3 COLOURS RED

Has McGee found the next big thing?

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Act: 3 COLOURS RED Project: single Songwriters: 3 COLOURS RED Label: Creation Producer: Terry Thomas Released: out now

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When Creation Records managing director Alan McGee touted his latest signings, 3 Colours Red, as the second-best band in Britain - after Oasis, of course - he could have been accused of hyping the London-based band beyond all credibility. But McGee, typically, is unrepentant. "Their debut single just went in the UK chart at number 22," he says. "If my comment is a millstone round their necks, let's keep them coming. In fact, with Oasis off the road, I'd say that 3 Colours Red are the best live rock band in Britain right now."

This is high praise for a band who have existed for little more than a year, but already McGee's judgement has been backed up by the success of that first single, Nuclear Holiday, plus a growing media profile which has seen 3 Colours Red tipped for big things by NME (on whose Brats tour the band are currently starring) and Kerrang! NME editor Steve Sutherland says, "We put 3 Colours Red on the tour because we were confident they'd do well this year. The second-best band in Britain? McGee would say that. He's a great enthusiast. But yes, they're pretty good."

"McGee signed us on gut instinct," says 3 Colours Red bassist/vocalist Pete Vuckovic, "and that's going to give us some clout. He's got a right fuck-you attitude, so it's nice to be his protegees."

"What he said about us has weighed on us a bit," admits guitarist Chris McCormack. "People want to get back at Alan - they just think, 'Why should Alan McGee get away with saying stuff like that?', so they slag our band off in the gossip columns and stuff like that. But half the people who write that stuff don't know anything about us."

Vuckovic adds, "I suppose a lot of people who've heard our name but haven't seen us will probably be quite disappointed that we're a punky rocky band."

Vuckovic isn't giving the whole picture here. Certainly Nuclear Holiday is a boisterous punk pop tune, and there are a few more on the band's debut album, Pure, (due in May) but 3 Colours Red also have a knack for infectious guitar pop, illustrated by the album's standout track Copper Girl.

McGee says, "Nuclear Holiday is just an introduction. 60 Mile Smile is the next single and it already sounds like a Top 10 song. 3 Colours Red are just a great rock and roll band. They remind me of early Clash. I knew I'd sign them within half a song. That's all it ever takes. They've got presence, sex appeal, charisma and great hooks. This band are a total, absolute priority for Creation. They have it in them to be superstars. I think this album will go gold. Our aim is to sell 100,000 records now, but by the second or third record we'll sell 5m. I'm serious. We see 3 Colours Red as the band to follow Oasis. After Britpop, people want something harder, and 3 Colours Red could be that new twist. They're going to be huge."

by Paul Elliott