Band plays UK gigs
From strumming guitars at Matamata Primary School to cracking the music scene in London, Mark and Steve Hitchcock and Andrew Coogan have never forgotten their Matamata roots.
The trio, moved from Matamata to London to experience living and working overseas.
Joining with keyboard and saxophone player Romy Bylin, the Matamata lads have formed the band Melic.
Mark Hitchcock said they arrived in London on separate agendas and no doubt with very different plans in mind.
Coming up with a name for their band was something they did collectively.
‘‘We were after something short and memorable. Andrew actually found the word, Melic – it’s an old Greek word that means ‘ intended to be sung’,’’ Mark said.
‘‘It seemed appropriate enough and everyone seemed happy with that for a name and so Melic was formed in early 2009.’’
Mark and Steve have been playing music together their whole lives, from humble beginnings at the Matamata Corner Pub to various bars and restaurants around the Waikato and Bay Of Plenty.
They then had different band projects at their respective universities in Auckland and Wellington.
Mark said it was always the plan to meet up in London and start a band. ‘‘We had no idea that it would involve our long time school friend, Andrew Coogan,’’ he said.
‘‘Steve and I got together for an initial jam session on the guitars in Steve’s garden back in October 2008. That initial jam session actually produced key parts to many future Melic songs.
‘‘Andrew (drums) then joined for a jam session in November and then Romy (sax and keys) a few weeks later.’’
Since forming Melic, there have been many highlights including playing at some big festivals in 2011.
‘‘ We played at Cornbury Festival ( Headlining acts were: Status Quo, The Faces, James Blunt and The Straits) which was a fantastic experience. Melic even got mentioned in the official review of the festival in The Independent newspaper,’’ Mark said.
‘‘A few months earlier we played in London at Southern Sounds Festival, with the likes of INXS, Shihad and I am Giant – that was a goody.’’
Steve and Mark both started playing guitar at Matamata Primary. They went on to Matamata Intermediate where they picked up brass instruments and then Matamata College, where they played in various concert and rock bands.
‘‘We were part of the Matamata Citizen’s Brass band for many years too,’’ Mark said.
Andrew was also at Matamata Primary where he played lead glockenspiel.
It wasn’t until later on at university that he picked up drumming.
‘‘Like many kids that grow up in Matamata, we were taught music by Clare Hitchcock. It just so happened that she was our mum. She was also responsible for Andrew’s glockenspiel career.’’
Described as a bit of a random mix of musos – Melic’s genre has been referred to before as ‘‘some sort of unique progressive acoustic funkrock’’.
Melic’s song Nowhere I’d Rather Be is now playing on The Rock radio station.
Check it out: http:/ / www. therock. net. nz/ Melic-Nowhere-id-rather-be/tabid/ 401/ articleid/ 17713/ Default. aspx
Making music: Matamata lads Mark and Steve Hitchcock, Andrew Coogan and Romy Bylin are the band Melic.
Jamming: Melic playing live at The Grand.