Band in regional final of ‘biggest festival’

Except for Access'From left bandmembers,Jackson Ellis,Harry Buller and Jon Dawes.'Picture by Neil Silk  123501'27/08/12
Except for Access'From left bandmembers,Jackson Ellis,Harry Buller and Jon Dawes.'Picture by Neil Silk 123501'27/08/12

They are already carving out a reputation in pubs in Scarborough – and now Except for Access are a few steps away from bigger things.

The three-piece are in the regionl final of the Surface Festival in Manchester on Saturday – if they win it’s O2 Arena here they come for the final.

They have already beaten hundreds of bands to get this far – and at stake are thousands of pounds of equipment, mentoring, recording and gigs.

Except for Access are Harry Bullen, singer-guitarist, Jon Dawes, drummer, and bass player Jackson Ellis. Harry and Jon both went to Westwood in Scarborough and on to rock school in Brighton. Jackson went to Scarborough Sixth Form. He joined Except for Access when he saw an advertisement on Facebook – something which is becoming a rock tradition in getting bands together.

“We play gigs in Scarborough and do covers – the money we make goes into a pot to pay for travel expenses and equipment,” said Harry. “We play, may be, three gigs a week and we also all have full-time jobs so it’s pretty full-on,” he said.

Jackson is a binman with Scarborough Council, Jon is a cleaner and Harry works at Comet and all want to make music their profession. They write their own material and slip in a self-penned song in their Scarborough sessions but mostly leave it to out-of-town gigs to showcase their own stuff. They have an album out in October and an accompanying tour is planned.

“In Scarborough we play covers of the likes of The Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon and Deep Purple. “We play what people want to hear,” said Harry.

When they take to the stage at Manchester Academy on Saturday they have to finish in the top five to make it to the final.

Surface is the biggest event of its kind. They will be playing in front of judges Jon Brookes from The Charlatans, Lindsay Wallace from Universal Music and Alex Baker of Kerrang radio.

“All it takes is one person in the industry to see you, like you and it can all kick off,” said Jon. “We know we aren’t the finished article and that we need mentoring and moulding. We are prepared for that,” he said.

Before Manchester, Except for Access take part in the next heat of the battle of the bands at the Tap and Spile in Falsgrave tonight.

They are up against Stairwell 17 and The Demondaines. They then play the Ramshill, Scarborough, tomorrow.

You can help Except for Access win on Saturday by texting your votes to North 2009 64343.