* The following was written late last year for a local magazine but ended up unpublished.
Hemingway’s dictum that courage is ‘grace under pressure’ refers to the idea that the truly brave maintain composure and humility in the face of personal challenges. It would be fair to say that local born five-piece Courage Have Courage have taken the bull by the horns this year with their ever increasing commercial success, but haven’t lost sight of their roots.
The band - comprised of vocalist Luke Vidamour, bassist Ollie Smith, drummer Jack Cowens and guitarists Ben Wilson and James Le Tissier – began life in West London, practicing in flats and studios in the Acton area.
Despite releasing a recording and music video for their first track ‘Say Enough’ in 2010, the band recognise themselves as officially becoming a band with their first live performance, supporting Adelaide at the Purple Turtle on the 29th of March this year.
However even before their first outing, the troop had enjoyed some noteworthy success having been selected by Alex Bakerman as featured artist on Kerrang! Radio as well as having the video to ‘Say Enough’ played on Kerrang! TV. Having national coverage is no mean feat for a band that had yet to play live but this was just the beginning.
Since then, their accomplishments have been painfully impressive. With the release of a mini-album and subsequent tour with UK act Verses, further coverage from various media outlets such as BBC Introducing, Rock Sound Magazine and Mercury Press as well as big name endorsements (Orange, Fender, Protection Racket) it was only logical that by the summer, festival stages would be beckoning.
Playing a hugely dynamic live show on the main stage at the inaugural Guernsey Festival of Performing Arts showed that the boys can really work a stage. This was followed up by playing at both Leeds and Reading Festival in August. This is an almost impossible résumé for a band with less than a year gigging together and currently only 10 performances undertaken.
It is a little easier to digest however if you witness the virility of their live performances, observe their natural chemistry as a band and soak in a few of their unnaturally catchy melodies. Feel-good songs such as ‘All Night Long’ are loaded with melodic hooks powerful enough to snag a sea-beast.
What really shines though is their attitude towards success. Each of them seems modest and grateful in the face of their achievements and challenges and they certainly aren’t forgetting their roots any time soon. Drummer Jack Cowens reflected on this:
‘Guernsey is such an amazing place to grow up. You can take a lot of values from island life to this kind of industry. Everyone knows everyone and there are no big egos…it is great to take this attitude and translate it in to a world where networking is so important,’ he said.
With a fast-rising fan base beyond our golden shores, the British pop-rockers are certainly employing their down to earth island sentiments; from Luke signing autographs for hoards of screaming pre-teens to publically posting chord charts to some of their most beloved tracks on request.
It is likely their acclaim will continue to rise, with the band currently working hard on material for a new album:
‘The new album is properly underway now and we are in the process of demoing the new songs. The sound has progressed and matured, keeping in touch with what is current’
Perhaps their tour bus – a humble red Renault Scenic plastered in Jägermeister stickers – will be hitting the roads again soon, but until then their mini-album is still available for download from iTunes or you can visit them on the web at the following: