The Truth: Pesky! are seven kids from Ulverston, Cumbria, a small market town on the edge of the Lake District. They consist of Megan Cooper (vocals), Niamh Angell (vocals), Patsy Gillam (bass), Kate Stamp (guitar / vocals), Joseph Jackson (guitar), Jessica Webster (keyboards) and Harry Angell (drums). You may well have heard Pesky!’s “Keep Me” previous single, a fine mix of shoegazing guitars, twinkling keys and sweet vocals
So far, so indie. What is pretty hecking remarkable about this entire heavily charmed project however is that most of Pesky! are 12 years old. And the ones who aren’t 12, namely guitarists Kate and Joseph, are even younger, both being 11. Recognize their age – it’s a tweenage rampage.
The digital version of their LP ‘Smells Like Tween Spirit’ came out on July 24th, ie the start of the school summer holidays, due to public demand there will a physical CD version of the mini-album coming out on October 23rd, the day the schools break up for half term. And it’s precisely that kind of simple, innocent logic which has propelled Pesky! so far from playground obscurity to computers and stereos everywhere.
Indeed, Pesky! are an off-shoot from Croftlands Junior School Guitar Club (itself not an entirely shoddy indie band name), where they were taught to play classics by The Beatles and Beastie Boys. Although this caused the odd raised eyebrow at the school summer concert and sent some of the younger children home crying it definitely fuelled the kids’ enthusiasm for more of the same.
As their confidence and skills developed, it became apparent that something special was slowly but surely bubbling to the service. It began with singer Megan, who brought her first attempts at song-writing to the group where it transpired she had a real talent for squeezing a marvellous melody out of a couple of simple chords. Spurred on by this, both guitarist Kate and co-vocalist Niamh started writing and bringing songs to the table as well, and the seed of the band was born.
There Pesky! cobbled together those pop tunes with loud guitars (the louder the better) and a keyboard, because they had one. Rehearsals were limited to one hour a week to fit in with homework, Scouts and dance club and consisted of writing songs and eating sweets…sometimes more of the latter than the former. Then they set up in a classroom and over a weekend recorded ‘Smells Like Tween Spirit’ on an iPad. Sounds simple, right? Right.