With some big gigs coming up, including our own Chislehurst Rocks festival on Saturday, 20th June, could this be the year that The Dirty Perks from Chislehurst, get their big break? Here Stephen Prosser, singer with the band, tells us how it all began...
We formed in 2012 at an open mic night at the Beaverwood Club in Chislehurst, Kent, when serendipitously a drummer called Steven Wilson was hired to work behind the bar where I (Stephen Prosser) was working. He turned out to be unbeatable on drums and had been in bands his whole life. He suggested we play together, and seeing as we worked at an open mic night had a host of musicians in front of us to choose from, our fantastic guitarist, Neil Taylor from Chislehurst was hand picked like a blackberry from a bramble bush.
We continued for a few months as a three piece, myself singing, Steven on drums and Neil on lead guitar until my best friend and local busker (well recognised from her time singing in Bromley High Street) Joanna Vass offered to learn the bass guitar to join our band. Joanna has the voice of an angel and it complemented how I sang so we decided to sing together, although I still sing the majority.
I started writing songs and brought them to the band, who would add drum rolls and bass solos and guitar riffs, and really give their all to the music. We entered our song 'Oh Oh Oh' to a competition run by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to play his Big Feastival, and were chosen from over 800 other entrants as the finalists. We filmed a music video with him in London, and, whilst not winning the competition, still got invited to play The Big Feastival alongside The Feeling, KT Tunstall and more.
This really inspired us to keep writing and recording our own songs, we now have well over an album’s worth, as well as three music videos. We have just filmed a video for our song 'For a Little Bit Longer' last month, a softer song than usual, with a more acoustic lament, which is now on YouTube and SoundCloud to download for free. We were starting to find that people were now contacting us to play gigs, rather than the other way around. We played lots of gigs locally and in town, supporting the likes of Pete Doherty's BabyShambles at their London after party.
Just a week ago, a friend recommended us to someone who scouts for bands to play the Isle of Wight Festival; she liked our music and offered us a place and now we're playing on the Saturday alongside Blur and Pharrell Williams (on a different stage, I must add!). Since announcing IOW we've been in contact with lots of places to play, and we will be playing live and interviewed on BBC Kent Radio on the 16th May at 14.30.
The dream is to have our music heard by as many people as possible, it's all available to download free on our website. Locally we're lined up to play lots more pub gigs and we often get hired to play a mix of originals and covers at weddings and parties, (all details on our website) as well as Chislehurst Rocks Festival and Priory Live this summer, and we've played Petts Woodstock for the last two years too.
We practise all the time in a converted stables in Chislehurst, enjoying the space and fresh air that comes with the location. I studied at Ravensbourne Art College in Chislehurst and we all live in the area.