by Margaret Chrystall
SINCE drummer Audrey Tait and John Louis aka rapper Louie put band Hector Bizerk together in 2011, the group has been pioneering its own hip hop path in Scotland.
Their second album Nobody Seen Nothing from 2013 made it to this year’s longlist of Scottish Album Of The Year.
It follows two 2011 EPs and 2012’s debut album Drums. Rap. Yes.
And, inspired by the Glasgow coat of arms, they have just released the first EP – The Fish That Never Swam – in a series designed to indulge their experimental side before tackling album three.
Audrey Tait – who as well as drumming has also recorded, produced and mixed both albums and the EPs made so far – thinks the SAY nomination marked a milestone for Hector Bizerk.
"I think the Scottish Album Of The Year Award has definitely raised our profile. And I think there are a lot of people who are proud of us for getting onto the longlist. We do everything ourselves, though we’ve recently got management. It’s at a very early stage ...
"We are still doing the majority of the work ourselves at the moment, but we felt we had taken it all to a certain level and probably as far as we could."
They were approached by the manager of The Libertines, Adrian Hunter.
Audrey said: "Just before that, he got us on the bill to open for The Libertines in Glasgow at the Barrowlands."
Audrey said: "Playing the Barrowlands for anyone from Glasgow is brilliant. But we were playing three gigs that day. The Barrowlands crowd were very receptive, were tweeting us afterwards and came back to see us at other gigs.
"That’s the ideal scenario."
You can hear a promo version of The Libertines Can’t Stand Me on the Hector Bizerk Soundcloud page.
But the other two gigs packed in that day were like "the opposite of The Libertines in the Barrowlands".
Audrey laughed: "One was a charity night in a little pub in the Balloch that’s outside Glasgow. It was so funny, a guy was sick during our performance because he was so rough from the day before. It was a bit like Phoenix Nights, keeping it real.
"The last gig was for Oran Mor’s birthday, so it was quite a day."
From day one, Louie and Audrey have put everything into Hector Bizerk . "I don’t really know any other bands who have done what we have with ... nothing," said Audrey. "The money we put in comes from selling T-shirts and merchandise and albums. We work a day job, go to practice and then head home to deal with the emails and enquiries.
"Now management can take us to places that are just out of our reach."
Below is Hector Bizerk's Columbus from Nobody Seen Nothing
Church Street Hip Hop at Mad Hatters, Inverness, today (Friday) features Hector Bizerk, Too Many Ts, Def Concerto, DJ Butterscotch plus open mic. For more on Hector Bizerk: www.facebook.com/hectorbizerk/info Twitter: @HectorBizerk
Hip hop fans might want to head to the Ironworks on Saturday for a massive dance night including a set from Capitol 1212 featuring MC Dangerman. For an interview with 1212’s Dave Boyd from Inverness, see under music later today.