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Rising Stars


One of a number of new UK bands who play in the classic rock style like Mostly Autumn and Karnataka. They have also recently won an award from the Classic Rock Society based in Rotherham.

1. What are you currently up to?

As I'm typing this Kirsty (McCarrick) our lead singer is on the phone organising some UK dates for us. We've all been writing recently and we put together a very basic demo CD of our collective ideas, so that we can all have a listen and get an idea of what the next album is about. We'll start recording in the next few weeks, with a view to getting the next album out in Spring

2. Who were your influences?

Speaking for myself I've been influenced by many people, but to pin them down and playing bass myself it would have to be John Wetton. All his bands have influenced me from King Crimson's Red album which still blows me away, through to Uriah Heep, Asia and his solo stuff. I just caught The John Young band last week and thought they were excellent too.

I know Paul (Ayre) our guitarist is a huge Deep Purple fan and loves Van Halen. Roy (Taylor) our drummer is into all styles of music, but again he calls Ian Paice from Deep Purple the guv'nor.

Kirsty is only 23, but us older heads try to tell her what to listen to, occasionally she might take a bit of notice. I do know she likes Led Zeppelin and Jennifer Warnes - there's a combination for you.

3. Brief history of the band plus the style of music you play.

The guys in the band have known each other for years and we've all threatened to play together in the past. Me and Paul were working together in a band called Museum when Kirsty approached us to write some songs for her. We then got Roy involved who both myself and Paul had worked with and that was the start, some 18 months ago.

Quecia have not played live much in 2002. We did a couple of dates over in Rotherham for the Classic Rock Society and some local stuff, but we intend to get out and about more this year. Our style of music is hopefully a new style of classic rock music, but we also have a softer more melodic side. I know Kirsty wants to be the female version of Robert Plant, obviously she's much better looking.

4. You have a debut CD out - 'This Is Where We Are' - could you take us through some personal highlights of the CD please?

My favourite tracks are "Fight For This" the opener, which I think as someone else put it "draws you into our music", "Alive" is a great track, which I think is a highlight of our live show, I think Winter's Tale shows the more melodic side of our writing, with a great vocal from Kirsty and "Sleepwalking in Paradise" is a good rocker, with Roy showing you what he can do and with a great solo at the end from Paul.

5. The band recently won an award at the Classic Rock Society Awards. What was it for and how did the band feel?

The Classic Rock Society run by Martin Hudson are a great set of people who have helped us so much and we can't thank them enough. The readers of the magazine voted us Best New Band for 2002 and it was such an honour to get the award from Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone. All the band were absolutely delighted and it makes you realise that there are still some people out there listening and wanting to buy real music, played by real musicians.

On a personal note I was a bit gutted that Rick Wakeman beat me to best keyboard player, but you can't win everything. (If you've heard me play the piano then you'll know that was a joke).

6. What do you think of the current state of UK radio and the live music scene? How easy/hard has it been to get exposure for the band?

The UK music scene has been ruined by the whole karaoke pop TV style programs. No-one seems to want to write and record new songs anymore in the charts, it's all cover versions, or if it's new stuff it's been put together on a computer by some team of song writers sat round a monitor. Occasionally something good comes along and we have to keep striving for that. I've told my teenage son many times that a song he's listening to was a hit 20 odd years ago and he thinks it's a new song and I'm joking.

We've found it very difficult to get any radio play over here as all the commercial radio stations are about selling advertising and the tried and trusted formula of TV pop star becomes famous lets play that.

The internet has been great for us, we have a video on which peaked at No.5 and got to No.2 in the rock genre. Also our site has directed loads of people to our main site where they can buy the album which is Sorry but I had to get the plug in early, it's the only way a band like us can hope to survive with the state of the music industry.

7. How easy is it to gets gigs?

It is not easy. You have to sell yourself, often times play for free and stay on top of the people who book. Once you develop a relationship with them, it gets easier.

8. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoint(s) of your career to date?

The highlight I think was watching our CD being pressed at Universal in Blackburn and watching them run off the line next to the likes of Black Sabbath and Robbie Williams. It was a dream of mine and Paul's to get this album out there and when Kirsty and then Roy came along it all fell into place. It's been a lot of hard work and late nights, but when people give you great reviews and genuinely like what you do then it all seems worthwhile.

I haven't had any lowpoints with Quecia, because I'm playing with great musicians and writing and recording original music. The fact that people have faith in us and like it is a bonus.

Low points in the past would be being broken down at the side of the motorway at 3am in the morning on the way home from a gig thinking - you should have stayed in bed. Thanks to Deke Leonard of Man for that one, but its true.

9. Who have you toured with and would like to tour with in the future?

Quecia as I said haven't toured much just the occasional date, but we are trying to rectify that as we speak. We know we are a very strong live band and we need people to see that. In fact you can read a live review at

As for touring in the future I don't mind, but a few shows with Deep Purple, Uriah Heep or John Wetton would be nice.

10. If you could create a fantasy band - what would be the line-up and why?

I think you know by now who'd be on the bass, but I saw Qango a couple of years ago with Carl Palmer on drums, John Wetton on bass and lead vocals, Dave Kilminster on guitars and John Young on keyboards and they just blew me away. I think that was an incredible line up and the best band you could wish to see.

11. Any other bands/artists you would recommend checking out?

I think you should all take a look at John Young's site and buy his album he deserves it. I also like Karnataka and Man from Wales and the Dutch band Ricocher.

12. What CD's do you currently have available and where can they be purchased from?

You can buy our debut album "This is Where We Are" by credit card securely at our website and hopefully we'll have another one out for you fairly soon. You can also have a sneak preview at the mp3 site and download one of the tracks.

13. Message for your fans...

Thanks for all your support and I'd just like to thank everyone who voted for us at the CRS and we can't wait to get back there and play in April. Also thanks to everyone who's bought the album and for all the great email and feedback we've had. See ya

Album review

Interview © 2003 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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