Bleech - from Zero's to heroes

BLEECH could clean up over the next few years, if early examples of their refreshing brand of indie Brit rock are anything to go by, writes MATT TROLLOPE. Their infectious debut single, Is It True That Boys Don t Cry is out this week on Ban*Jam Records an

BLEECH could clean up over the next few years, if early examples of their refreshing brand of indie Brit rock are anything to go by, writes MATT TROLLOPE.

Their infectious debut single, Is It True That Boys Don't Cry is out this week on Ban*Jam Records and an album will follow soon.

And teachers at Wanstead High School, Redbridge Lane West, will be proud.

Singer Jen O'Neill, 20, and her 18-year-old bass player sister Katherine, front the band, with Matt Bick, 19, on drums. Jen and Matt have not long left the school, while Katherine is still there, trying to juggle her A-level studies with her role in this exciting up-and-coming outfit.


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But there's no doubting that one massive influence for the girls is dad Brendan, the drummer for Nine Below Zero, the cult blues band who have no less than 13 albums to their name and who in their time have toured with and supported the likes of The Who, The Kinks and Eric Clapton.

Still a huge live pull, Brendon and the band are in the middle of their latest European tour and dad's standing and experience in the business has certainly helped keep his two daughters grounded.

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Jen admits: "With Dad being in Nine Below Zero, me and Katherine have always been around live music. That whole involvement in his career has been amazingly inspirational. We've also got a brilliant manager in Andy Ross, and we have great faith in all the people around us.''

Bleech have already supported Peter Doherty (at The Rhythm Factory in Whitechapel), The Kooks and The Rifles and are in the middle of a tour of their own, which as well as loads of London gigs, will take them to Leeds and Brighton.

Formerly Slummin' Angels (the incarnation that supported Doherty), the trio were discovered six months ago by Ross, who unearthed Blur many moons ago. And now, not surprisingly, the plaudits are starting to flood in.

BBC presenter Steve Lamacq was "listening to this demo every day", Xfm presenter John Kennedy reckons "you're about to witness rock history in the making" while Doherty understated, as ever, chips in with "they're all right".

You do sense that this lot are on the verge of great things. Katherine needs to complete those art, drama and photography A-levels, while Jen is "filing" in her spare time and Matt is "answering the phone" for a courier firm.

Jen explains: "Me and Matt are having to take part time jobs at the moment, and Katherine is going straight from school to sound checks or gigs and up early again to study.''

All are from the Aldersbrook area of Redbridge, but the trio's spiritual home over the past few years has been Camden, and of the 30-odd dates the band play between now and the end of July, more than half are in Camden.

Venues in the legendary gigging mecca already conquered include The World's End, The Enterprise, Tommy Flynns and The Monarch, where they launched Is It True That Boys Don't Cry on Tuesday.

Other dates coming up include The Dublin Castle, Camden on Sunday, plus two gigs as part of The Camden Crawl on April 24 and 25 (venues to be announced) as as well as a spot at the Xfm Festival at Leicester Square on May 7 and at The Sun Rooms in Southend on May 29.

For more info go to www.myspace.com/bleech

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