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Desperately Seeking Solidarity

Stuart Bailie | 09:04 UK time, Thursday, 13 November 2008

In the old days, rock and roll bands chose their name in the interests of brevity. It had to be something that you could quickly spray on a wall before the cops arrived. That's why Rudi was ideal and SLF was a handy abbreviation. And in the ages before word processing, it was also helpful to have as few letters as possible so that you could make the most of your sheet of Letraset. That's one reason why Therapy? had a question mark after their name. It was left over on the transfer sheet and it was a shame not to use it.

solidarity220.jpgIn the new millennium, most of the cool, short names have been used up, and so band names have expanded. Hence the NI act of the moment, And So I Watch You From Afar. You can just about squeeze it on a T-shirt, and a tattoo would surely be a challenge. No matter, because these people are intensely resourceful. They exude belief and focus. They make things happen. And Belfast is currently getting excited at the prospects of their efforts on 'A Little Solidarity'.

It's a chance to mass up the alternative nations of NI, to see a load of bands helping each other out. It starts tonight with Ed Zealous, The Lowly Knights and more. It will roll across Friday and Saturday, introducing bands to industry speed dating and all-ages music. It will be swell and we shall toast ASIWYFA at every opportunity.

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