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New Xenomania acts: Vagabond
Posted at 7:51 PM, 01 February 2009 -

Vagabond are one of Xenomania's new acts, a young five-piece pop/rock band with a bluesy and soulful sound. The group consists of Alex Vargas (vocals, acoustic guitar), Stephen Carter (backing vocals, guitar), Luke Fitton (backing vocals, guitar), Sam Odiwe (bass) and Karl Penney (drums).

They met in the Xenomania studio («we were a band before we even knew it», says guitarist Luke Fitton) and have been crafting their sound under the guidance of Brian Higgins. They are the first band signed to the newly-revived Geffen label. Since playing their first acoustic show less than six months ago, their time has been spent between studio work and national touring.

Frontman Alex Vargas (who is very reminiscent of Michael Hutchence) explains Vagabond's sound: «Soul is the thread that runs through everything we do. Our tastes span pop, rock, lounge, funk and blues, but it's these clashes that make us interesting, that make us who we are». Some of the influences listed on the band's MySpace include Sly & The Family Stone, Hall & Oates, The Spencer Davis Group, Cat Stevens, Sam Cooke, INXS and Duran Duran.

Their first release was More Than You Take, a limited 12'' EP with two versions of "More Than You Can Take" plus "Do You Fear Me?" and "Go".

Music Week says that «the Xenomania production team is onto a winner with Vagabond: this is top-shelf pop with international ambitions». Popjustice has written two articles about the band and says that Vagabond «are definitely more at home on the side of Gabriella Cilmi than, say, an electrocybermetal balls-out techno rock troupe, and they won't be to all your tastes».

However, Popjustice points out that a couple of the tracks do sound like "proper Xenomania". "I've Been Wanting You" is «electronic and exciting and very very good indeed», and "More Than You Can Take" is «enjoyable in an early-2000s George Michael sort of way».

The debut album from Vagabond (tentatively titled You Don't Know the Half Of It! - a line from the song "Smile Of Mona Liza") arrives summer 2009. Their first single, "Sweat (Until The Morning)", is due this spring. Popjustice indicates that the single «starts off pretending to be 'Unfinished Sympathy' then slides into a slick, orchestral funk sort of 'affair' which doesn't really sound very good on the first listen but ends up hitting the spot about halfway through the fourth spin».



Listen to some songs:

More Than You Can Take
I Know A Girl | live
Sweat Until The Morning
I've Been Wanting You
I Said Hello
Do You Fear Me?
Go


Links:

Vagabond on MySpace
Vagabond on YouTube
Vagabond on Twitter
Vagabond on Facebook
Vagabond on Bebo
Vagabond on IMEEM
Vagabond on Last.fm
Vagabond press release


Upcoming shows:

3 Feb 2009 19:30 -- Water Rats London
7 Feb 2009 20:00 -- Oakford Social Club, Reading
8 Feb 2009 20:00 -- Charlotte, Leicester
9 Feb 2009 21:00 -- Notting Hill Arts Club (Private Show) London
10 Feb 2009 20:00 -- Dry Bar, Manchester
11 Feb 2009 20:00 -- Cockpit, Leeds
12 Feb 2009 20:00 -- Rockhouse, Derby (Club NME)
18 Feb 2009 20:00 -- 229, London (Club Fandango!)
21 Feb 2009 20:00 -- Colosseum, Covertry
22 Feb 2009 20:00 -- King Tut’s, Glasgow
25 Feb 2009 20:00 -- The Fly, London London
3 Mar 2009 21:00 -- The Troubadour London
9 Mar 2009 20:00 -- Portland Arms, Cambridge
10 Mar 2009 20:00 -- The Lanes, Bristol (Club NME)
11 Mar 2009 20:00 -- The Hub, Exeter (Vibraphonic Festival!)
12 Mar 2009 20:15 -- Water Rats London
13 Mar 2009 20:00 -- Marquee, Hertford
14 Mar 2009 20:00 -- The Cellars, Portsmouth

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