A Hillingdon band triumphed in a national radio competition and will now support some big names on the UK music scene this summer. JERRY LYONS talks to the lead singer of Red Roots to find out what the future holds
THE Beatles were four friends from Liverpool who didn't do too badly in the music world. Irish legends U2 took the first steps on their highway to success as four pals jamming in a garage in Dublin. Sheffield superstars the Arctic Monkeys are another quartet of mates who made good.
With this in mind, Hillingdon Ska band Red Roots are hoping that the formula of four friends playing music together will also work worldly wonders for them.
The boys have just been picked from more than 1,000 entries to win Xfm radio station's Unsigned competition.
The fantastic four are lead vocalist Tony Sami, who is 23, bass guitarist Nico Demus, 19, drummer Sam Timms, 24, and guitarist Mark Hebden, 22, and they hail come from West Drayton.
Tony tells us more about the competition win.
"We sent in a CD of our music to the station," he says. "We didn't hear anything back from them for a while, then we got a call out of the blue to say we have been chosen for the final three.
"We were delighted with that but, to top it all, listeners voted for our tune when the final three were played on air and we ended up winning the competition.
"We hope this will give us a real kickstart for the future and it certainly gives us a lot of exposure and brings us to the attention of people within the music industry.
"Our music has been described as Ska, Indy and we can also add a touch of the Blues. Our influences are bands like Madness and The Specials."
For anyone who does not what Ska is, Wikipedia describes it as 'combining elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues'.
As part of their prize, Red Roots are to play as a warm-up act at the Wakestock Festival, in Oxfordshire, on June 27 and 28. They will be getting the crowd in the mood for superstar acts such as Mark Ronson, Happy Mondays and The Streets.
"Performing at Wakestock is going to be a real buzz for us. It's going to be a busy few days because we are also performing at the Glastonbury Festival."
The band's roots are firmly founded in the borough as Tony explains.
"We met at Brunel University and began hanging out and playing music together and it has grown from there. We play gigs in Hillingdon at places like the Crown and Treaty in Uxbridge but because live music venues are limited, we have to look further afield in places like Shoreditch and Camden if we want to perform and practise regularly."
Tony is bullish about the band's future.
He says: "We want to be taking over the airwaves with our music. We want to be known internationally. We want to become as big as Amy Winehouse.
"I'm not being boastful, it's just I believe in setting yourself big goals."
* To find out more about the band, visit www.redroots.net