Onstage, The Nature Boys‘ lead singer Cammy is possessed by the spirits of Johnny Thunders, Iggy Pop and Tenpole Tudor; performing with a chaotic energy which ensures the band provide as unforgettable a visual experience as they do a musical one.
In the cold of a vaulted cellar-based rehearsal space in January however, he keeps his shirt and lumberjack jacket on.
“Something takes over when I’m on stage,” says Cammy, grinning.
“Aye, folk do a double-take when they see him onstage with his shirt off” says guitarist and backing vocalist Mark. “Now, they’ve come to expect it!”
Formed in 2009, The Nature Boys keep the spirit of punk on a life support machine; injecting it regularly with their angular guitars, strangled vocals and swaggering attitude.
In their brief existence, they’ve built up a loyal following of fans, attracted to their music and style; and sharing The Nature Boys’ view that a gig should be as much about a night out and having a good time as it is about a band showcasing their talents.
“Our gigs turn into a big party,” says Cammy. “We love it when people turn up and then stay on at the venue after the gig. It’s all about having a good time.”
The Nature Boys are not just punky party animals, however. They have an ambition and drive that sees them regularly onstage and on the road, taking their spiky, melodic sound out to as many people as possible.
“We’ve matured a bit,” says bassist, Ben. “We practice at least once a week and we’re looking at playing bigger venues, like King Tuts.”
Drummer Andy echoes this. “I’ve not been with them long,” he says, referring to himself having recently taken ex-Nature Boy Haddow’s place behind the drumkit. “But we’re already recording and looking to play anywhere we can.”
“What we’d really love to do is play a festival,” adds Cammy. “It’d be great playing to a massive crowd out in the open air.”Guitarist Mark Cooper happens to be spending a couple of months in the summer running 50 marathons across Europe for charity (check out his site, Run With Mark).
“Our mate Steven will be standing in for Mark whilst he’s away,” says Ben. “It’s not gonna hold anything up at all.”
Musically, The Nature Boys cite the seminal influences: Buzzcocks, Clash, New York Dolls, Joy Division. Songs like “Age Is A Number” and “One Way Out” summon up their idols with short, sharp rhythmic compositions which rush up to you with a manic grin and an extended middle finger.
Other numbers like “The Last Dance” and “A Girl Called Vanity” grab you straight by the Sham 69’s and are the musical manifestations of their “let’s have a good time” mentality.
They’re currently recording (in sound engineer Andy’s professional studio, Howden Sound) and plan to release an EP and use that to make even more Nature Boys converts.
There’s a momentum building up behind these Boys and their live shows are creating the kind of word-of-mouth buzz that gives them a good chance to become one of the biggest bands to emerge out of the city in some time. I predict they’ll go far – maybe even further than Mark this summer…
Check out The Nature Boys on MySpace.
The Nature Boys are playing a charity gig in aid of Edinburgh Headway at Maggie’s Chambers (above the Three Sisters) on Friday 5th Feb with Pose Victorious, Hot Lips and The OK Social Club; 7pm-3am, £6.
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