The Pacers are one of London’s most exciting young bands. Informed by 60s garage rock and psychedelia, they create a unique sound that’s neither stuck in the past, nor immensely modern. Their music is raw and melodic at the same time, and their energetic live performances are guaranteed to impress anyone who likes rock with a hint of nostalgia.
Formed three and a half years ago, the quartet has regularly appeared at events organized by the Handel & Hendrix Museum, the most recent one of which took place at the historic venue Scotch of St James to commemorate Jimi Hendrix’s arrival to London. On 28th October, they are playing at the Shimmy Hendrix Halloween Party in the apartment that was home to the legendary artist in the late 60s.
Singer and guitarist Alex Friedl and guitarist Harry Stam met after Harry responded to a classified ad Alex had posted on Gumtree in search of band members. Although the ad didn’t specifically mention the 60s, Alex did list a lot of bands from the decade for reference.
“The first time I got interested in music as a kid, it was hip-hop. And when I started to play the guitar and I started to play in my first band when I was 16, I got into 80s metal and then 60s and 70s rock,” Alex recalls his early influences. “After I got the guitar, in two years I went from being a metal guy to being a punk rocker, and I would change style in every three months.”
Shortly after getting in touch online, Harry and Alex realized they shared musical interests and had a similar vision of the kind of band they wanted to be in.
“We met up and played each other a couple of songs we’d written, and we realized that they all fit together,” Harry says of their first meeting. “So we just continued writing songs. And after we had a bunch of songs, we started looking for other people.”
The two of them then recruited bassist Sean Doherty and drummer Jamie Yuan, also via Gumtree. All four of them have an eclectic taste in music, and their different influences blend in perfectly well together.
They released their first single ‘Losing Touch’ two years ago. The track is dominated by an old-school lead guitar sound reminiscent of Jefferson Airplane and Alex’s extremely distinctive vocals. Their second single ‘Mirror Man’ is a bluesy song with an unforgettably catchy chorus, influenced by 60s folk and early rock ‘n’ roll.
They recently finished recording their as-yet-untitled debut album and are now mixing the last songs. The LP is coming out early next year, with the help of the small independent label Psych-A-Rella.
Visit the Pacers’ Facebook page to find out where you can see them live next.