The Rebs tell Warwick Payne about their music and plans to tour in the USA later this year

MANY bands start by playing gigs, then gain recognition and eventually record some impressive tracks.

The Rebs, on the other hand, have done it the other way round.

The Hampshire-based guitar group was started in November 2005 when three friends came together.

Nader Rezaie and Vicky Averre-Beeson were playing with another band called The Monos, while Russell Edmonds had been with The Rise.

The trio recorded a three-track EP at Nader's studio at his home in Southampton.

They then made a few copies available, and sent one to BBC Radio Solent in early 2006.

A few weeks later, the station named them as the winners of their Demo Review contest.

Vicky, who plays keyboards and provides backing vocals, added: "We got a really good reaction and people were saying you should really be gigging these songs'."

The Rebs duly obliged, and started performing in bars and clubs across Hampshire.

Their name, for the record, stems from a working title of The Russell Edmonds Band, which was later shortened to The Rebs.

Russell, who lives in Kings Worthy and is a tennis coach by day, is the lead vocalist and also plays rhythm guitar.

He added that the trio grew into a quintet in summer 2006 with the arrival of Kevin Turner on lead guitar and Sim Cracknell on drums.

According to Sim, the group's music is a combination of "indie and britpop".

Nader, who plays bass guitar and is also a part-time producer, added: "We've all got different influences, so it gives the band a very different sound."

The Rebs are now hoping to take their music further afield, and a tour of the south eastern states of the USA is being lined up later this year.

Said Russell: "It would be amazing to break America, as that would put us in a really good position when we come back to England."

In the meantime, the Chronicle went to see The Rebs headlining at The Dorchester Arms in Southampton earlier this month.

Their catchy guitar chords salute the glory days of britpop, but with a tougher edge to bring the sound up to date.

Their eleven-track set contained plenty of strong numbers, with Can't Get Away and Happy Face standing out.

However, Beta Love was the catchiest song of all, and has the makings of a successful single.

* The Rebs are due to play The Talking Heads pub in Southampton on Thursday, April 5. Visit for more details about the band.