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Vagabond: 50 years after the Beatles
Posted at 9:09 PM, 07 September 2009 -

Alex Vargas and Steve Carter
Ahead of the release of the digitally remastered versions of The Beatles' studio back catalogue, The Guardian has been trying to find out if the Fab Four continue to inspire new bands today.

Paul Morley talked with Alex Vargas and Stephen Carter from Vagabond to see what it's like to be a group going for it almost 50 years after the Beatles found their name and their purpose. Watch the video here.

Paul Morley writes: «The young, ambitious and very knowing Vagabond are not a boy band, although they are all male and possess looks that suggest they have been designed to send much of the pop-based world swooning in their jeans. Alex glows with casual pop star intensity and seems to be the result of a genetic experiment in pop star production that blended the DNA of Bolan, Kylie and Arthur Lee of Love.»

He adds: «They are unlined, prepossessing and shapely, although Alex sings Vagabond's glistening soul songs as though he is a little lined, and shapeless, and potentially troublemaking, and while critics detect a little Wet Wet Wet and Simply Red, in his heart and soul he's hearing a little Tim and Jeff Buckley.»

In the interview, Paul Morley talks of how the Beatles were sonically interesting and at the same time created a hysteria with their fans, a formula that is the ultimate goal for a new young band. Alex Vargas agrees: «Someone wrote a review about us and wrote as a negative thing that we had girls screaming at the front of the stage and I don't get it, because one of the bands whose success we all aspire to reach, that's what they had».

Stephen Carter, who had his first taste of pop music with the Beatles, notes that they managed to be constantly surprising: «I think that to be a true great you have to surprise people... Sgt. Pepper's sounded completely different to Rubber Soul, and Rubber Soul to A Hard Day's Night because they wanted to evolve and test themselves. It's obviously quite arrogant in a way, but I think you have to be. To be able to do that, you have to test yourself and not be worried of what might come out or what people might think.»

Alex Vargas: «Four albums down the line, I would hate it if we sounded exactly the same as we do now. Hopefully I'll be a lot smarter and not just write about the things that I write about now, which is nothing wrong for a 21-year-old to be writing, but I dont want to write about that at 25».

When asked which Beatles song they would like to cover, Stephen mentioned "Got To Get You Into My Life", because it has «the big Motown influence, and we love Motown». However, he probably wouldn't like to cover "Eleanor Rigby" - «there was a video for Eleanor Rigby and I remember it just scaring the life out of me (laughs)».



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