Sergeant come home.

2008. A New Year, new hope, a new band emerging from the toilet gig circuit ready for the masses. On Friday 28th Dec, over 1300 music lovers hit Fife’s Rothes Halls to celebrate Scotland’s hottest band, Sergeant. The Fife band, acclaimed by NME as “Officially the most exciting band in Scotland”, are Bill Anderson (Bass), Scott Duncan (Guitar), Rory Buchanan (Drums) and frontman Nick Mercer. The gig saw Sergeant sell out Rothes Halls even before releasing a single or album – a true testament to their renowned live set and hard work. Sergeant headlined the gig which also featured Scottish Ska favourites ‘Root System’ and Dundee’s ‘The Law’.

When asked how it felt to play such a huge homecoming gig Sergeant were unanimous…“Special. To play here, just down the road from where we live in front of over 1300 fans is incredible, it’s really exciting.” That excitement shined on stage as Sergeant played a typically tight, energetic and most importantly – fun set. Gliding effortlessly through perfectly constructed bouncy anthems including ‘Counting Down The Days’, ‘Love will be Love’, mellower acoustic favourite ‘Sometimes Sarah’, and even a positive tribute to Glenrothes in ‘I Love It Here’”, Sergeant delivered on the night. Despite being a ‘local’ gig, 100’s of new faces travelled to see Sergeant do it for Fife, and were welcomed lovingly to dance with long time supporters – a warming experience and reflection of the love filled atmosphere of Sergeant gigs.

Sergeant fan Calum ‘Blackened Blue Eyes’ Traynor said afterwards “Sergeant were absolutely fantastic, a great set – flying the flag for Fife, bang on amazing, and you can’t go wrong with Root System and The Law – they always get the crowd going!” Like their music, Sergeant’s outlook on life is positive, vibrant and refreshing, Nick reaffirmed this; “There’s nothing we hate more than people who constantly look negatively at things, we should all be positive in life. Sergeant are all about positivity.”
Apart from perhaps Bill’s pointy boots and bass swinging, Sergeant seem to focus more on the music than the visual image, a focus on music which Nick described; “Our music is easy to listen to, nothing complicated, just great, positive tunes, obviously influenced by core bands like The Beatles, Oasis, and The Stone Roses. But for me personally, we are all about the songs, if a band has one great song I’d happily listen to that all the time, but I don’t have to be a fan of the ‘band’ in itself.”

And whilst many successful bands such as The Enemy and The View sing of social deprivation and urban decay, Sergeant place a positive focus on self belief and the self fulfilment of ambition. Despite Fife having it’s fair share of social struggles the band sing not of despair and desperation but of hope and dreams. Speaking before the gig, Nick explained further on what Sergeant songs are really about. “It’s about dreaming, escaping, but at the same time not moaning about things. At the end of the day everywhere you grow up has the same problems, but you have to get up on your feet and make it happen for yourself – it’s about making yourself happy, dreaming and having fun.”

Sergeant’s dreams are coming true, with Fife’s music scene a hot topic their views echo a growing swell of opinion regarding the importance Fife music venues, Nick praised such places; “Venues like the Greenside are massively important, that’s were you start out, it’s your first exposure and it all filters out from there. Venues are vital for the scene, there’s nothing to do in Glenrothes if you love original live music apart from The Greenside where you can go and watch great bands. Everyone who goes to the Greenside has become friends and it draws in fans and bigger bands from outside the area, for example Glasvegas and The Law who are coming up strong.”

Make no mistake, Sergeant are not a one album flash in the pan. Recent studio time was used laying down demo’s to help select tracks for the debut album, a difficult task considering the incredible plethora of potential hits at their disposal.Sergeant’s Mercury Record’s deal and the anticipated success of their album is expected to have the same positive impact on Fife’s music scene as The View had on Dundee and The Enemy is having in Coventry. There is a growing belief uptake of original live music will spread throughout Fife, reaching beyond the current core of venues. Sergeant frontman Nick Mercer said “I’ve heard people talk about there being no venues in Kirkcaldy, but we know there are thousands of music lovers there, it’s the exact same as Glenrothes was before the Greenside.”

With this in mind the live music scene in Kirkcaldy, and Fife as a whole, is on the verge of great change, in terms of venues it really is a ‘build it and they will come’ scenario – proved by the likes of The Greenside in Glenrothes (ok, Leslie!) and PJ’s in Dunfermline.


Words & Photos: TwoThumbsFresh.

more Sergeant photos from TwoThumbsFresh on Flickr