Newcastle’s indie punk band Jones the Cat was only in the last round of the Uni Sounds band comp because of a crowd-voted wildcard entry.
They knew they had to make the most of that chance as one of six entries competing for a tour and record prize-bundle in the competition’s finals at the Oxford Art Factory on October 11.
In the end, the 4-piece outfit of Jack Waterson (lead vocals and guitar), Jarrod Wilton (bass), Cameron Macey (guitar) and Tristan Lacey (drums) rewarded the crowd’s faith and reigned supreme.
“It was really awesome, we left it all on the stage in the competition and said ‘if we didn’t win with that we were never going to’,” lead vocalist Jack Waterson said of their Sydney win.
“We made it to the finals in the national campus comp [the old format for Uni Sounds] last year. One further is great.”
Jones the Cat, who has been relying on Waterson to book their tours, gigs and organise their EPs since their formation in 2013, is looking forward to the support the win gives them.
As part of the Uni Sounds prize, there will be a tour for the band to open 2018.
“It’ll be a bit funny when we go somewhere [on tour] and I haven’t organised it all,” Waterson said. “I can honestly say that was one of the best parts of the process, when I realised that I didn’t have to do that.”
For a Newcastle band looking to make it big in the industry, a win of this nature can be crucial, and the members of Jones the Cat are looking to grab the opportunity with both hands.
“Band comps and touring is nothing out of the ordinary for us, you have to play live all the time and get your name out there,” Waterson said. “To have the ability to facilitate that very much feels like progress.”
“It’s a very exciting place for us to be. Next is the recording, and we have a whole bunch of material kicking around.
“Whether it will be an EP or an album, we’re looking at some kind of release and what kind of material we have is what will determine how it all pans out. It’s just nice to now have a road map that I didn’t make.”
The top six finalists were mainly Novocastrian, with dave. and Bravo Victor appearing alongside Jones the Cat, and Waterson believes that it’s a “great look for the ever-growing scene”.
“The Newcastle bands [dave. and Bravo Victor] are great and they’ll definitely get something out of the competition,” Waterson said.
“Newcastle music is in a great place as a scene now, where the top bands are pushing the bill and doing things, so every new band has to feel like they have to keep up.”