Hampshire band set for wild time at Bestival

Band set for wild time at festival

Winchester band Wild Smiles

Bestival organiser Rob Da Bank

First published in Music Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

AFTER only two years together, a Hampshire band is hoping to win greater support when they perform at a major music festival this weekend.

Wild Smiles have built up a strong following among the college community on the other side of the Atlantic, and have performed in France, but when they take to the stage at Bestival they hope for more recognition on these shores.

The Winchester trio were recently signed to festival organiser Rob da Bank’s Sunday Best record label, which has given them direct access to what is claimed to be the largest music event on the Isle of Wight.

Twenty-four-year-old frontman Chris Peden hopes this will be the start of something big for them.

He said: “I can’t wait. We have played places before but not as big as this. We can look forward to afterwards and hopefully enjoy it.

“Sometimes I’m a bit nervous about it. I’m trying not to think about it too much. 

“When I do I think, I should probably concentrate on our set list.”

The band came together in 2012 after all three of them overcame personal troubles with either girlfriends or school and came together through Chris.

Chris eventually found drummer Ben Cook after a busker recommended he speak to one of his students.

After recruiting his own brother Joe as guitarist, who was only 16 at the time, the fledgling Wild Smiles set to recording their first single on a laptop in the cramped environs of the brothers’ shed.

“You could stand in one place and touch both sides,” Joe says.

“We had to go in one person at a time to record. We didn’t get any complaints because we did it all on headphones and the drums were programmed then.”

Their then manager introduced them to Portishead’s Geoff Barrow, who snapped up their first single to release on his Invada label.

Two years later and grateful for Geoff’s mentoring, the band looked to expand their brand.

“We wanted to get onto a bigger label for the album and we felt Rob would get us in front of more people,” Chris added.

But he remembers being nervous that the band wouldn’t get signed up by Rob.

Even when they were told they were going to be playing at Bestival they weren’t entirely certain it was going to happen.

Chris said: “We weren’t entirely sure it was going to happen until we saw the poster. It was amazing to be included.”

Bestival runs from Thursday to Sunday this week.

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