Numbers add up for Aberdeen band 101

The 101

Tipped for the top – Aberdeen’s indie funk band The 101 have shared a stage with Paloma Faith, Primal Scream and Amy McDonald at Belladrum.

The six-piece played the main stage in front of thousands at the popular Tartan Heart Festival in the Highlands at the weekend.

It was the latest landmark in the stellar rise of the Granite City band, having released a single that has racked up in excess of 200,000 streams on Spotify.

The 101 are graduates of the Project Band course that allows musicians the chance to develop their skills and get a foot up in the industry.

It has certainly worked, as their reputation is rapidly growing throughout the country.

Singer and synth player Dexter Fawcett said: “Project Band truly is the main reason for why we are the band and, indeed people, we are today.

“I would recommend Project Band to any musician who seeks to pursue a career in music.

“Or even just to meet like-minded people to chat to and get to know.

“I was terribly nervous, shy and unconfident with my music before Project Band, and so was really resistant to the idea at first.

“However, after the first week I was so glad I went along as everyone is just as nervous as you.

“It really helps just getting a second opinion on your music, and even just to hear ‘Hey, that’s really good’ can be what you need to get started. I honestly cannot stress in words how much I recommend it.

“Project Band is completely unique in the sense that it doesn’t just give you tips exclusive to music performing or writing.

“It gives insight into what the music industry itself is really like.

“We learnt how to write, how to network, how to send our music to the right people and, an abundance of other useful things.”

The 101 are Dexter Fawcett (lead vocals/synth), Ross Buchan (lead guitar), Matthew Read (guitar/vocals), Cameron Stephen (drums/vocals), Nick Cameron (bass) and Andrew Joseph (guitar/synth).

They released their debut single Not You But Me last year and followed it up with Cliché, which has been a huge online stream hit.

Project Band offered the first rung on the career ladder that The 101 are ascending rapidly.

It is a course for musicians to work towards a showcase at The Lemon Tree at the end of the academic year.

Run by Aberdeen Performing Arts Creative Learning Department, the scheme offers the chance for bands to work on songwriting skills.

It offers workshops including sound recording, event planning and marketing.

The bands also have the opportunity to rehearse throughout the scheme which runs for three terms.

The 101’s headline show at the 500-plus capacity Lemon Tree was a sell-out, and they will top the bill at the same venue again on September 7.

Dexter said: “I definitely think Project Band helped me with self-confidence.

“Although we subconsciously ignore it when we’re watching our favourite bands live, a big part of why we enjoy watching bands is how they communicate to the audience and their overall stage presence.

“Project Band allowed me to realise that I can be confident and proud of my work.

“To realise that performing to a small group of people you know, along with other people attending the course, goes a long way in building up your attitude and persona on stage.

“Even if it makes you uncomfortable at first – which, believe me, it did – it really went a long way in teaching me how to best communicate and act in front of an audience who are paying to see you.”

The 101 have announced a show supporting Cassia at Cafe Drummonds on the Aberdeen leg of their tour alongside Dancing On Tables on Wednesday October 24.

Inspired by Circa Waves, The Kooks and Two Door Cinema Club, the band spent this spring in a studio in Edinburgh working on new material.

Fellow Aberdeen indie rockers The Little Kicks also played the main stage at Belladrum last weekend.

One of the organisers of Project Band is The Little Kicks frontman Steven Milne.

The Little Kicks released album Shake Off Your Troubles to acclaim last year.

Singer-songwriter Milne offered valuable insights to The 101.

Dexter said: “The best advice I was ever given was by Steven Milne of The Little Kicks and the organiser of the project when I attended the course.

“Steven told me that you should never be afraid or hesitant to ask for opportunities or advice.

“The worst thing someone can say is no if you ask a question, and you never really know what someone will say until you ask.

“You never know what might happen.

“We are really excited and are looking forward to the next 12 months.”