Catapulted from sleepy Hertfordshire to showbiz LA in only a brief three years, The Tricks are currently travelling a fairly smooth road to renown. The four school friends were playing a low key gig in London when they were spotted by none other than Bruce Witkin of Unison records (of interest for non-musos for his friendship with Johnny Depp). The canny lads were invited almost immediately to record some tracks, as well as being given the no-brainer choice between recording in LA or London.
So why did Witkin take such an instant shine to the band? Well, it’s a rather charming, if not so original, story of passing the mantle on to young potential. Having started out himself as a whippersnapper playing with mates for fun, Witkin could see some of his youth in The Tricks’s relaxed aspect and cheerful sounds. Giving the guys the opportunity to see the bright lights and sunshine of East Coast USA, before they knew it they were signed with an album ready to market.
Life in LA was perhaps not as glamorous as it might sound; spending most of their time waiting to be told when the studios might be free meant that rock star partying could leave them without a record – not an ideal start to their career. Still, it did give them the chance to play the Whisky a Go Go, cult venue which they list as their favourite to date.
Back in the temperate, cloudy and altogether less thrilling UK, The Tricks have just completed their first UK tour; supporting Babybird, known (a subject of bitterness for the headliners) for the infectious You’re Gorgeous which found them chart fame in 1996. 16 years later, the older band are peddling a more austere temperament, meaning The Tricks provide a pleasant balance with their light-hearted lyrics. Exposure to new audiences and venues comes at a price, though: often sleeping four to a bed (including sharing with their manager) in dingy Travel Lodges all over the UK. Rock and roll.
The February release of their double A side, Just for the Summer/Remember Me, seems oddly timed, though the tracks definitely add a warm glow to winter blues. With appearances on Radio 2 and in mainstream magazines such as Instyle and Disorder, however, marketing momentum should get The Tricks fame in time for a hazy British heatwave.
Just for the Summer/Remember Me is out now and can be bought on iTunes here, listen to the first track below:
Words by Claudia Rowe & Kayleigh Moss