RISING stars Cassia will headline The Joiners on Wednesday before a huge homecoming gig in Manchester.

The Macclesfield trio have been playing to packed venues in Europe and the UK on their latest tour, which supports their latest Radio One single, Loosen Up.

While this is their first show in Southampton, frontman Rob Ellis, bassist Lou Cotterill and drummer Jacob Leff are no strangers to the south coast, having brought their upbeat Afro-Caribbean indie rock to Victorious Festival in August.

It was there that they told The Echo about the origins of their unique sound.

“My dad used to live in Zambia, and, when he came back to England with my Grandad, they brought back loads of African music,” explained Rob.

“We’ve grown up with guitars as well, and that sound will never leave us, but fusing two such difference styles of music together is what it’s all about for us.

"Paul Simon is one of our heroes, but there are very few, if anyone, at our level doing the same thing.”

The lads signed to Distiller Records this year and have been furiously writing and rehearsing songs in Macclesfield, before recording them in Bath with a producer who has worked with some of the biggest names in music, including Michael Jackson.

A recent single 100 Times Over was a BBC Introducing Track of the Day on Radio One, while a new song called Dream A had its UK debut at Victorious.

“At the beginning Rob did most of the writing, but recently we’ve all been chipping in,” said Jacob. “If someone has an interesting idea, we’ll go with it and jam it for ages.”

“We can’t officially say what we are working towards yet, but you could call it a collection of 12 singles,” laughed Lou, hinting at plans a for a debut album.

While they play their biggest gigs in Manchester, the band describe a thriving music scene in their hometown, centred on a venue called Mash.

“It’s a small and dingy room, but it means a lot to us and it’s probably one of the beat venues we’ve played,” said Lou.

Later this month, the band play their biggest show so far at The Ritz in Manchester, less than a mile from where they did their first gig at Night and Day Café.

Support at The Joiners comes from Manchester’s hotly tipped Larkins and Southampton favourites The Manatees. Doors 7:30pm on Wednesday October 31. Tickets £10.

Richard Derbyshire