A DECADE of sofa surfing and gigging in small pubs have finally paid off for local drummer Jay Bone after he landed a spot in an indie legend’s new band.
Jay, who has been a regular on the Swindon music scene in various original and cover bands, fought off 1,000 applicants to become a member of Libertines lynchpin Carl Barat’s new band, The Jackals.
Carl, a protagonist in the cult band, put out an appeal on Facebook in a bid to unearth hidden talent and Jay decided to apply as a last roll of the dice – just as he was thinking of giving up hope.
“It’s bizarre – finally after ten years of trying to get something going, I let go and take a back seat and this happens,” the 27-year-old said.
“I had done my fair share of sofa surfing and there were moments when my friends would say to me ‘are you sure you still want to do this?’ “It was a cold, long struggle to keep it up and especially at my age, as a lot of my friends were settling down so I was thinking ‘I should be thinking about that stuff’.”
Jay, who decided to forge a career in music after leaving school at 16, moved back from London to Coleview in April last year and was gigging with covers bands locally until his friend sent him an email having seen the advert on Facebook.
He said: “I’m a massive Libertines fan and when I was at school there was a massive indie explosion so I got into that whole scene. When my friend showed me it I thought ‘I’ve got nothing to lose’.
“I had no ties and I wasn’t in another band so I sent them an email with some videos and audio and a bit of background about me. I didn’t even think I would get a reply.”
But Jay did get a response from Carl’s team and was called to audition in the Amersham Arms, in south east London.
He played two songs including the Libertines’ hit Death on the Stairs and Gin and Milk, by Carl’s follow up project Dirty Pretty Things.
“I know that sounds big-headed but as soon as I got the reply, I knew I had it,” he said.
“At the first audition I had no nerves at all. They asked us to play those two songs, which are quite tricky drumming songs, but I had listened to them for years so I knew them really well.
“Carl watched the videos of the 25 drummers, 25 guitarists and 25 bassists and selected three of each. We were asked to come for a chat and a drink and that’s when the nerves started. I began to think ‘I’ve actually got a chance here’.
“The next thing was I was asked to a rehearsal and Carl said to us ‘I want you guys in the band’. It took a few days to really sink in.”
Following the rigorous recruitment process Jay kept his big news quiet, only telling his parents and his ex-girlfriend at first.
But it soon spread, particularly after The Jackals announced their first gig at XOYO in London on May 15.
And Jay, who has played in Swindon bands such as British Beef, Kulucci March and Toxic, thinks the band will finally be the big break he was looking for.
“I feel like the last 12 months since I left school were my apprenticeship,” he said.
“This band can be really, really successful. The songs that have been penned as singles are really good, I would listen to them as a fan. there’s still a lot of work to do but I’m really excited.”
The early shows went down well with fans, as the band played a mix of Libertines classics and a host of new songs such as Victory Gin, which Jay and his new bandmates guitarist Billy Tessio Guitar and bassist Adam Claxton had to learn in the audition.
His dad Alan, 57, said: “We are very proud of him and it’s nice to know that drum we bought him when he was seven paid off. You always hope don’t you.
“He’s always been interested in music and over the years he has built up quite a following.”