The nineties were a simpler time, weren’t they?
There was no judgement if your DJ played Abba’s Dancing Queen at your wedding party, with a marriage of coloured lights to flash in time to the beat.
Maybe there was a smoke machine. It was a party must. But in this digital age of Instagram selfies and over-exposure, that kind of garb just won’t cut it anymore.
Switch are a local covers band, who’s brand of indie-pop frequent the upper echelons of the cover-bands ladder, playing anywhere from weddings to corporate events to an array of pubs and bars across the Isle, namely Jak’s Bar and The Creek.
The original line-up first played at the Bay Hotel in Port St Mary on St Patrick’s night in 2007, and by 2014 the band had evolved into the Switch now playing today.
Gef spoke with the band ahead of their stint at the Bushy’s tent.
GEF: Firstly, who do we have here?
SWITCH: Neil Curphey on vocals and shaky things; Colin Davidson on guitar strings, bleeps, pings and backing screams; Matt Quine on six-string twangs and bangs; Mal Atkinson on sub-bass and vocal vociferousness; and Jonny Peacock on clicks, sticks, thumps and bumps.
GEF: Do you have a diverse range of influences and what are your favourite songs to play live?
SWITCH: Matt wouldn’t have kept playing guitar had he not gone to a Back Door Slam gig when he 15, but Clapton and Santana are his guitar heroes. Between us we’ve got influences as diverse as Pink Floyd, Kate Bush and Blur.
GEF: What’s a typical Switch gig like?
SWITCH: Too many things to mention. Far too many men seem to enjoy getting topless at our gigs. At one gig some audience members were playing with a giant Jenga set and having space hopper races as we played – that was weird.
We had people crowd-surfing in Amber during one TT and roof in there is so low there were literally bouncing off the ceiling. We play more marquees than anything in the summer as it’s loads of weddings. We do so many weddings and functions that we don’t get a lot of time to do pub gigs, but if we do it’s usually at The Creek or Jak’s Bar.
GEF: Have you got a stand-out moment from the previous gigs you’ve played?
SWITCH: Some stand-outs are the first time we played the Villa. It was only for a Christmas do, but being on-stage where we’d seen bands we love like The Stranglers and Status Quo was a great experience.
Another would be the first year ELS did the stage at Bushy’s and it was just rammed.
The weather was perfect and the crowd were going for it big time. The security guards had to hold the crowd back!
GEF: This is the first time the Bushy’s tent will be in the Villa gardens. What do you think it’s going to be like?
SWITCH: We’re excited for the new changes and can’t wait to see what this year brings. The Villa Gardens should be jumping! The atmosphere is incredible at Bushy’s and should be even better at the new site.
GEF: Apart from playing live, what is it you love about the TT?
SWITCH: The atmosphere at TT is brilliant; the Island comes alive and there is such a huge mix of people from all over the world, all here to have a great time. Because we’re in a band more often than not, TT is when we get some time off from work and we can hang around with our mates. We get to see lots of live music when we’re not playing. It’s the best week of the year.
GEF: Being a covers band and playing songs that people know so well, what’s the reaction like from people who see you play?
SWITCH: The response to the band has always been positive and enthusiastic. I think because we love playing so much our audiences can see our passion for the songs we do. It’s so good to see the audience’s response and this motivates us during a gig. Our only rule is if one of us doesn’t like a song, then we don’t play it.
GEF: What have you got in the pipeline off the back of the Bushy’s gig?
SWITCH: We’ve got a couple of weeks’ recovery time and then it’s back to the weddings and parties!