The eyes have it

St Helens band Rasta4Eyes
St Helens band Rasta4Eyes

THERE aren’t too many bands belting out punk infused ska music laced with dub influences knocking about in St Helens.

In fact, it’s fair to say Rasta 4 Eyes (pictured) pretty much have the market cornered in their hometown.

But that’s not to imply they’re a big fish in a small pond.

The seven-piece band are all over the country, in demand at festivals all over Britain in support slots for several well-known names.

Yet here in St Helens their particular brand of feelgood music doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.

The band were formed four years ago and have undergone several personnel changes since then.

However, with main man Billy McKelzie – the 22-year-old driving force behind the band - still at the helm, 2012 could be their year. They’ve already been signed up to appear at several big festivals, including Threshold in Liverpool in February.

And they are hoping to release their first album later in the year.

Billy, who is from Sutton, said: “Since we signed up with the record label Do The Dog we’ve been really busy.

“We’ve just been trying to do as many gigs as we can, playing whenever and wherever we can.”

Since signing for Do The Dog in 2009 the band has undergone several personnel changes as former members left to pursue more prosaic careers.

“Getting the new members in has been a change for me,” said Billy, a former Sutton High pupil.

“Before I would write all the songs and I’d come to rehearsals with the songs.

“Now that we have more competent musicians we’ve been able to share the songwriting, so that has taken some of the pressure off me.”

While the band aim to keep gigging throughout 2012, their main focus is recording their first album.

Said Billy: “We’ve been doing plenty of demos and posting them online to keep our fans happy but we’ll be going into the studio to record a proper album.

“All the songs are written, it’s just a question of getting them recorded and released.

“Ultimately, we’d all like to be able to get paid for doing this. We’ve put everything into this, it’s our passion so we just want to carry on doing it for as long as we can.”

l Find out more about Rasta 4 Eyes and their forthcoming gigs on their Facebook page.