‘In Tune With Radio 1’ – Sunday Post – 1987

‘It’s a long hard slog, but we are getting there, slowly but surely.’ So speaks Steve Hastie, guitarist with up and coming Edinburgh rock band AVO-8.

Steve and his fellow band members had just returned from London after completing a recording session for Radio One DJ Andy Kershaw, who has taken AVO-8 under his wing.

Kershaw and his Radio One colleagues Steve Wright and John Peel have all given air-play to the band’s single Is This The End?

Inevitably, perhaps even sadly, comparisons are always made when a new band comes on the scene. In that vein I would suggest that AVO-8 sound like a softer and more listenable version of the Rezillos. It would seem the band is part of the current revival of pop-punk music which is evident on the airwaves.

The make up of AVO-8 is a story in itself. There are two married couples within the ranks. Steve is married to one of the outfit’s vocalists, Jan Hastie, while drummer Kenny Gourlay is married to the band’s other singer Claire. The fifth member of the AVO-8 is bass player George Glen.

The two girls lead from the front and are very much the focal point of the band. AVO-8 pride themselves in the fact that they don’t settle for the usual sound of the indie band cliques or all into progressive rock cliches. Instead, they stick to what they know best – tightly crafted pop.

AVO-8 recently completed a number of gigs in the Edinburgh area and are now heading further afield, playing Newcastle and Dundee.

Steve Hastie told the Post: ‘Our biggest break so far has been the response from Radio one, especially Andy Kershaw. ‘After playing the single on his late night show he mentioned that copies of the record should be sent to his daytime comrades and if the band was listening they should send some singles to him and he would do it for them. ‘We spoke to him and sent some copies. The next day he ‘phoned us back saying he had just played it to Steve Wright in the studio and that he loved it and would be playing it.’

But it’s not all fun and games for a band in the situation of AVO-8.

Their single was released on their own record label, AVO Records, funded by the band’s own resources. Steve added: ‘One of the biggest hassles has been chasing A and R men at the record companies.

‘As we don’t have a manager, we do all the chasing ourselves, and it is really time consuming as we are all in full time employment.’

Mark McSherry

Sunday Post – 1987

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