For many on the Island, and indeed us here at Gef HQ, TT isn’t just about the racing.
It’s that two-week party spirit that engulfs the Island, the forgetting (then remembering) why tequila shots are never the answer, and Karen from finance spewing her guts up on the side of the beer tent whilst Sue from HR holds her hair back.
But we’re all Karen from finance when it comes to TT.
We’re all working through a pounding hangover whilst injecting caffeine intravenously just to make it through the fortnight.
During TT, no one at work cares that you’re not meeting deadlines or that the photocopier is low on toner.
For two whole weeks, we’re a collective gaggle of an Island united, mutually amazed that we’ve all actually made it into work.
The anticipation of an impending TT holds rank with the likes of Christmas and the long Easter weekend for us Manxies, and it isn’t difficult to see why.
One such party-place where you’ll always find me is the Bushy’s TT Village (nee Tent) who are well versed at giving local acts the opportunity to play to a solid audience of music lovers.
This year, bands are being given the opportunity to play to over 4,000 people, the largest crowd that many of the acts have ever played to.
We at Gef love keeping it local and with that said, allow us to shine the spotlight on some of the bands hitting up the Bushy’s Village this TT.
Symbollix are no strangers to a Bushy’s crowd, having played a myriad of TT gigs over the years. These classic rock veterans know how to get even the most reserved audience members hip-thrusting away to a catalogue of rock greats, performing everything from The Eagles to Stereophonics, played faultlessly and with more passion than you can shake a stick at.
Gef met with Symbollix to discuss exploding amps, TT 2015 and everything in between…
GEF: For anybody who’s been living under a rock or for anyone who’s about to have their TT cherry popped, can you tell us a little about Symbollix?
SYMBOLLIX: Symbollix was formed in 2010 and since then there have a few changes in our line-up. The band collectively has many, many decades of experience playing in local bands. The current line-up consists of Martin McElevey on vocals; John Ruscoe and Mark Grant on guitar; Stewart Steptoe on bass guitar: and John Ryan on drums.
GEF: Who would you say were the band’s biggest influences and what are your favourite covers to play live?
SYMBOLLIX: As a classic-rock covers group we tend to pick covers that we like to play, but we also choose songs that we’d like to hear a band play if we were in the audience. It’s difficult to pick a favourite song that we like to play live. Sometimes the oldies are simply the best.
GEF: What is it that brings you back to the Bushy’s tent year after year?
SYMBOLLIX: It’s getting to play on a big stage. As we usually only play in pubs, it’s a luxury we only tend to get once a year!
GEF: Aside from playing the stage during TT, what’s your favourite thing about TT?
SYMBOLLIX: The excitement surrounding the whole festival, it’s a truly unique experience.
GEF: Being TT connoisseurs and having a wealth of industry experience may make this question impossible to answer, but what’s been a standout moment in the band’s career?
SYMBOLLIX: We had a really great gig at TT on the Bushy’s stage in 2015. We were the last band to play at the festival and we played to a packed house whilst the fireworks were going off. We were all buzzing when we came off stage. It was the biggest gig we’d ever played.
GEF: What’s been the most unusual thing that’s happened at a Symbollix gig?
SYMBOLLIX: We had an amp blow-up during our last song whilst play at Jak’s Bar. It was during the intro to Pinball Wizard by The Who and the amp went up in a big cloud of smoke. It was a fitting rock and roll ending for our guitar amplifier!
GEF: Aside from TT, what other venues can our Mongoose ears hear you playing your sweet, sweet music?
SYMBOLLIX: We’ll play anywhere who’ll have us and squeeze us all in!
GEF: How would you describe the audiences’ response to your live shows?
SYMBOLLIX: Over the years it’s been really great. We have plenty of regular followers and it’s always a pleasure to see them at gigs. It’s also great when you get people coming up to us afterwards saying that they watched us last year whilst here on their holiday and that they’re glad they’ve managed to see the band again.
GEF: And finally, what can we expect from Symbollix following on from this year’s TT performance?
SYMBOLLIX: We’re currently adding new songs to our repertoire when we can get together and add our own Symbollix twist to them.
Catch Symbollix live at the Bushy’s TT Village on Sunday 27th May at 19:55, and on Sunday, 3rd June at 9.30pm on the Carole Nash Stage.
The full gig line-up for Bushy’s TT Village is available here.