Story: Jack Foley
WHEN you ask The Cornerstones which part of London they come
from, they say simply, 'out near the airport'.
They are referring to the Heathrow hinterland that swallows up
those disparate areas of Uxbridge, West Drayton, Harefield, Ickenham,
Ealing and the rest of those solidly working class dormitory towns,
the unfashionable bit of West London
The Cornerstones don't claim, nor particularly want, to be fashionable.
The very thought of being lumped in with the latest hip movement
Formed in 2001, The Cornerstones are comprised of Richard Ruth
(lead vocals, guitar), Danny Bennion (lead guitar, backing vocals),
Paul Eaton (bass, backing vocals), Glenn Perryman (keyboards,
backing vocals) and Ben Townshend (drums).
Computer electronics genius, Richard, and professional tiler,
Danny, knew each other from way back, and Danny met painter and
decorator, Ben, when they worked on a house refurbishment together.
Graphic designer Glenn, (son of 70's Spurs icon, Steve Perryman),
and bit part TV actor Paul (he's been in The Bill and Holby City
several times) were mates of mates.
This is no simple rags to riches rock 'n' roll odyssey. Three
years of writing and playing together has helped The Cornerstones
to hone their unique, melodic sound to somewhere near perfection,
and with all five band members contributing to vocal duties, they
have assembled a set of harmony drenched pop classics.
Great bands don't form in limbo and the Cornerstones are happy
to acknowledge those artists who have inspired them.
Their melodic sound has been likened to that of Crowded House,
the Hollies, early Bee-Gees and the Beatles.
But delve a bit deeper and you'll hear darker strains of Neil
Young, Van Morrison, Nick Drake and The Byrds.
This is a band to which the music is everything. It's refreshing
to know that they simply aren't interested in cheap soundbites
and attention grabbing stunts - to them, that would be a criminal
waste of creative energy.
That manifesto applies equally to the bands live work. Richard
is a charismatic and convincing frontman, ably backed by Danny,
Paul, Glenn and Ben.
There is no reliance on shallow theatrics to mask a lack of
confidence or ability; it's all about the songs.
The band has a laid-back languor and strikes an easy rapport
with their audiences, all of which puts the focus firmly on the
Recent special guest slots with the likes of Oasis and Finlay
Quaye, and, increasingly, their own headline shows throughout
the country have started to sow the seeds of a committed following.
New single, Smack Me In The Face, is a great introduction
to the Cornerstones.
A simple yet beguiling piano and guitar led melody, a haunting
lead voice and lush, complex vocal harmonies showcase wonderfully
their grasp of emotive songwriting.
You can catch The Cornerstones supporting Finley Quaye at Shepherd's
Bush Empire on Thursday, November 13, or on the following night
at Putney's Halfmoon.