Vanguards - music pioneers from Haslingden

PUBLISHED: 01:29 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:14 20 February 2013

Making connections, The Vanguards, from Haslington: Richard Hearn, Thom Twemlow, Joey Jennings and Tom Bishop

Making connections, The Vanguards, from Haslington: Richard Hearn, Thom Twemlow, Joey Jennings and Tom Bishop

This talented Haslington band are clearly going forward, thanks to their single 'Regress' which caught the ears of no less than Radcliffe and Maconie

A 'vanguard' is someone at the forefront of a movement or change, which is an apt description for this Haslington-based band. 'It's as if we've challenged ourselves' Rich Hearn, lead guitarist explains. 'Vanguards are pioneers and that makes us push boundaries and gives us something to strive towards.'

And their efforts are being noticed. Their single 'Regress' was made record of the week on Radcliffe and Maconie's Radio Two show. 'When we found out one of the tracks was ours we thought "Oh God we've got our work to do now" but our friends and fans came to our rescue.'

Voted for by the Radcliffe and Maconie listeners, 'Regress' is going from strength to strength and kicked off the launch party at the Ruby Lounge in Manchester in August. Even after a technical glitch, the band pulled through and, although disappointed that they couldn't play most of their new electrical based pieces, they still played a full set. 'We're going to do a few more parties closer to home, so if you've missed out this time don't panic,' Rich assured me.

Challenges and change are something this group are used to, being described as 'alternative UK, circa '81, with a bang up to date twist', by legendary music producer Dave Tolan. The band describe themselves as 'a mixture between The Police and the Foo Fighters': something new indeed.

Even the bandmates positions are subject to change. Drummer Thom Twemlow, from Congleton, now takes the stage as lead singer after the position was vacated by the now bassist Joey Jennings, from Market Drayton, and Tom Bishop, from Cotton, percussionist, used to play bass.

In fact the only band-member not to have moved is guitarist Rich. 'The others will tell you it's because I don't have their musical skill, but the truth is I'm just really good at what I do!' This lively spirit and adaptability is certainly reflected in the band's music and their success.

The Vanguards met while attending a music recording course at Stoke-on-Trent University and began playing at gigs with other bands. 'In Stoke there are a lot of bands who do that course. It's quite a nice community,' said Rich. Hailing from Haslington, guitarist Rich is the business man among the group. 'I had experience in web design and I'm quite into the business side of it but everyone pulls together.

We know we have a lot of hard work to do, so when we get in the studio we work really hard, often staying there until the small hours of the morning. Now the hard work is starting to pay off. We've just got back from recording some live tracks for XFM which go out the day before the single release. It's the best thing ever. Thom, the lead singer, likes performing on stage but I really vibe off recording in the studio.'

The passion and dedication of The Vanguards is evident in their plans. 'We'd really like to get to the point where we release an album ourselves. A lot of musicians get bad deals these days that aren't artist friendly, so this way we'd have something to bring to the table.'

The album is most definitely on the way and they're hoping to have a new single out this month. 'The album should be ready around March or April next year, but it's in a new direction. Our sound is always changing as our influences and tastes change, so this new album uses a lot more electronics than the earlier songs,' said Rich.

It's this planning that has played a part in the band's success so far. 'Plan everything, write it all down. We work from a list that we have up in our practice room', explains Rich. So it's not all rock and roll then, and this band know where their loyalties lie. 'We're going to release the new single around the student campuses, like we did with 'Regress'. The students were really good to us.'

For more information on The Vanguards visit their website

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