Less than a week after the announcement that he was leaving Serpentine, it seems that English singer Matt Black has already found new employment – this time with Fahran. The Derbyshire rock band announced via a press release today that the former Serpentine singer would be replacing the departing Nick Whitcroft, while in another change to their line-up bassist Alex Stroud would be replaced by twenty-four year-old Josh Ballantyne.
Matt Black’s first performance with Fahran will be in November. Read on to see the full press release below.
Big Changes for Derbyshire Rockers…
They (whoever ‘they’ are) say that everything happens for a reason. You have to wonder if Derbyshire rockers Fahran were quite so sanguine in the face of recent developments…
Together barely a year and in that twelve-month period they released an album that garnered the best reviews any of the respective musicians’ have enjoyed thus far.
Then they bagged a high-profile tour-support slot with ZP Theart’s I Am I. So far, so not too shabby, right? And still the hits kept on coming.
Prestigious slot at Download? Check.
Dream-come-true appearance at Bloodstock? Yeah, that too.
And then? Well…
Long-term bassist Alex Stroud decides to hang up his Warwick. Ouch. Just when pre-production on the new material for album number 2 was going so well. Still, them’s the breaks, yeah?
Oh, but hang on; then frontman Nick Whitcroft calls it a day as well. Ouch, ouch and thrice ouch. The sweet turned to sour, the cylinders started clanking and the wheels came off. Pick your own cliché. Losing one band-member’s unlucky, but losing two? Maybe the band needs to install sat nav as standard on all their musicians.
No scandal where Stroud’s concerned. The man’s just not feeling it anymore. Getting older, many dreams unlived, many avenues unexplored and a thirst to get more from life than the endless gig-album-gig-album cycle. That’s cool. Rock ‘n’ roll aint for everyone.
Whitcroft’s story is a different one, but like Stroud’s, lacks fireworks. No scandal or gossip so if you’re hoping for some, look elsewhere. Stresses and strains of committing to a Midlands-based band while living in the Smoke, day-job and other personal factors necessitating a move from his present gaff. All that and more. The man’s plate simply aint big enough to cope with all that’s just been piled upon it.
Stroud says, “… it’s been an honour to write and perform alongside you all. I have, after all, spent what feels like my entire life with you, especially JR and Jake, and I can’t really remember a time that was without you.”
The band’s now-ex bassist will stay involved in his capacity as a budding film-maker. Handling the band’s promo videos and visual production is something that fills the man with more excitement than he’s felt for playing bass for quite some time. Good luck to our friend Alex, say the band. May he find that which truly makes him happy.
So, Nick Whitcroft, then? “There is no doubt in my mind that this band has been, and is, one of the most precious things in my life. On so many levels. And when you guys are headlining the main stage at Download I’ll be there in the front row screaming you on.”
Needless to say, both Whitcroft and Stroud carry with them the band’s love and best wishes wherever their respective journeys may take them.
So; the end of another once-promising young band eh? Ha! Not a chance. In one of those rare coincidences of time, place and circumstances the band caught not one, but two breaks.
First is the recruitment of twenty-four year-old Josh Ballantyne to pick up the four-string slack. “I saw Fahran in Manchester on the I AM I tour,” says Ballantyne. “I thought they were superb and exactly the kind of band I wanted to be in. Now I’ve got a fantastic opportunity to be a part of the band. I can’t wait to get stuck in!”
Welcome to the jungle, Josh. Kid, you have no idea…
Now, then; finding any kind of decent singer is a tough call at the best of times but finding the right singer as well? Yeah, good luck with that, lads. Oh, hang on; what’s that? You’ve found him? Really?
Yes, indeed. Ladies and gentlemen, Fahran is delighted to announce the recruitment of none other than former-Serpentine frontman, Matt Black! Now, come on; how cool is that?
Manager, Beth Windsor, says, “We thought, for a long time, that Matt would be prefect but, obviously, he was committed to Serpentine and poaching is not our style. But when he became available just as Nick was leaving, well, it’s hard not to think it was just meant to be.”
Black is equally enthused with his new appointment. “I’m extremely excited to be in this band. In terms of the music, the direction in which the band want to progress and the various personalities, chemistry and goals, I finally feel like I’m exactly where I should be. Our gigs are going to be a serious party and you’re all invited!”
Ballantyne makes his live debut at Whitcroft’s farewell show on 4th October at The Hairy Dog in Derby while the fully revamped Black-fronted Fahran make their first appearance at Long Eaton’s The Sportsman on 10th November.