Bellaghy, County Derry
General Fiasco are a feisty Northern Irish trio comprising of Owen Strathern on Lead vocals and bass, his brother Enda Strathern on Lead guitar and vocals and their friend Stephen Leacock on drums.
Their debut album ‘Buildings’ due to be released in March 2010 reflects the frustration felt watching friends succumb to alcohol and doing nothing to better their lives.
“It’s all quite upbeat, poppy and rocky but the contents are all pretty bleak,” says Owen, “It was being aware of everybody wrecking themselves and not realising it. I’m sure everyone has something they really want to strive for, something they really want to achieve and it’s the frustration of not being fit to achieve it yourself and watching people not even try.”
By the age of eighteen Owen had been playing bass with another act for a few years, occasionally gigging at their home town Magherafelt’s sole rock bar with his younger brother Enda on guitar. The local scene was big on talk, small on walk; everyone dreamed of getting out of Northern Ireland, but nobody knew how. Owen put off university in 2006 and dedicated a year to becoming a rock star, writing songs with enough weight and velocity to power their way out.
He emerged with a bunch of firebrand pop rock tunes with their feet in both indie and sheen rock camps but their minds somewhere altogether darker. The song Rebel Get By broaches the issue of teen suicide. Aged just seventeen, several of Owen’s friends told him they were going to end it all, “It really struck me, it was a really fucked up thing to hear. That was one of the first tracks that started General Fiasco.”
A basic canon built, Owen roped in his brother and schoolmate Stephen and in 2007 General Fiasco moved to Belfast. Their first gig as a three-piece was at Glasgowbury 2007, Northern Ireland’s biggest unsigned music festival. A demo in the summer of 2008 landed them a spot on the BBC Introducing Stage at that year’s Reading & Leeds festival. Their first single ‘Rebel Get By’ was released in November 2008 and their second single ‘Something Sometime’ became Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record In The World. They signed to Infectious that Summer.
In the past twelve months they’ve played the BBC Electric Proms; supported Snow Patrol, Fighting with Wire, The Pigeon Detectives, The Answer and The Enemy amongst others; and embarked on their own headline tour.
The band caused a fiasco when they played on the 5.19 show which ended in a power cut through the entire BBC building. The excitement around this band just keeps on Building…