It’s not work, it’s an escape
Nobody turned up to hear Phil Morrison sing at his first gig decades ago.
He was then in his 20s, the frontman for local band Scarfish.
“Only the sound guy came, although he did like our music,” he recalled. “The band did get popular, but when you write music in your 20s, you spend too much time trying to perfect things. Now, we just want to have fun.”
By ‘we’, he means Radios in Cars.
The group started performing publicly about a year ago and has developed a cult following. Most of their gigs are packed.
Mr Morrison, who’s now 46, is the band’s vocalist. He’s backed by pianist Hugh Murray-Mason, songwriter and guitarist Mark Browne, drummer Seb Deiros and bassist Jamie Lovell.
“They say when you stop trying, that’s when success really happens,” he said.
Radios in Cars will perform at Docksiders tonight following the Rugby World Cup opener. It comes on the heels of a well-received gig at Harbour Nights and shows at Hog Penny Pub & Restaurant, Robin Hood Pub & Restaurant and Henry VIII.
Music is a hobby for the members, who all hold down full-time jobs.
Mr Morrison continued writing music even after Scarfish broke up.
“I always liked playing with sounds,” he said. “Sometimes I would sit there and play one note over and over again until something came to me.”
He and Mr Browne formed Radios in Cars inadvertently in 2000. The pair would regularly get together, just to write original music and lyrics.
“Covers are nice, but there are so many bands in Bermuda doing that,” said Mr Murray-Mason.
“We really wanted to set ourselves apart and do something different.”
Their songs are often inspired by everyday events in their lives — anything from the startling price of a cup of coffee to Hamilton street personalities.
The band name was taken from one of their early songs.
“I wrote a song about how an idea can be transmitted to a satellite and then to lots of people,” Mr Morrison said. “In a way it was an ambitious name because I’d love for our songs to be played over the radio and heard by many people. In fact, we have had about three songs played over local radio.”
They’ve released some of their music on Spotify and similar websites.
“Our dream is to eventually go into a studio and produce an album,” said Mr Murray-Mason.
Added Mr Morrison: “Everyone brings their own thing to the table. I often write songs with Mark; Hugh is good with sound. It’s not work, it’s an escape. Before we got the band together my ideas were starting to dry up, but now we bounce ideas off each other all the time. I might be late for practice and, before I arrive, someone’s already thought of three lines of a song.”
See Radios in Cars at Docksiders from 7pm to 9pm.
Watch them perform at Chewstick here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=29iAZfiLWdk.