Jaws the Shark, AKA Olly Bailey, is in a groove. An ex tour manager who suddenly found himself with time on his hands during lockdown; and suddenly a new career is born.
“I’ve been in and around music for a long time now, working around other musicians, in a crew related role…as a tour manager. But when the pandemic hit I had a full year of touring lined up, going to the States and all over Europe. But then that didn’t happen.”
So what does a guy do in a pandemic? Well… Olly is off to his mums in Devon leaving his little London place behind.
“Then not having anything to do every day, the only other thing I can do is just write music. You don’t get much time to do this on the road…so having the pandemic happen was the catalyst to getting a new direction.”
Of course, with lockdown there are many bands finding tours cancelled and gigs not happening; many musicians are having to adapt and find new ways to get an audience.
“Obviously starting a new music direction in the middle of lockdown, the first live show I did was like in front of 30 people! It was a venue that could have 200, (and a cat), and everyone had to sit down. The first time I performed any of these songs I had been performing was in Manchester with a Company called ‘Scruff of the Neck’ and they were doing live streaming, so the first time I got on stage as Jaws the Shark was to do that. It was cameras in your face, it went out to thousands of people, which was cool. That was my introduction to live stuff for Jaws, and that sort of thing usually comes later…”
There has been a remarkable adaptability in the business today, where artists are adapting – being found on social media before even the recording deal is signed they can have thousands of listeners. And there are so many ways of getting product out there, even vinyl (of which there is now a shortage) is back in vogue. Olly has just had his first vinyl released for a track recorded last May (2021), but has just made it now to the manufacturing stage.
Olly is a singer songwriter, making his own way in the music world. As a songwriter Olly notes that he loves to focus on the melody to write a song, having a mindset to seek a single every time. Why go to all the effort to create music that isn’t marketable? His answer – create an album’s worth of singles.
Talking of singles, the new single from Jaws the Shark is out now, the video on YouTube is linked here. It is called “Still Young” and it give a nod toward The Beatles with their famous rooftop concert.
“It was fun, its the roof top of the building I live on. Early morning, frosty when we got up there, my hands were just blue and you can see it on the video! My friend Rob shot the vid, but it was early morning and so frosty. But the song is fun, one of the first I wrote during the lockdown and quite close together as well, its from the upcoming EP. That song in particular started off acoustic, like ‘Beetlebum‘ by Blur, but it was like a country version of that really, out of character for the other stuff I was doing. I needed it to sound like the other things I was doing, so I added the electric, turned on some fuzz, turn it up…a few variations of it and its a fun one to play.”
A clip exists of a live video in which a mate of Olly, Eliot, is on the drums. So they are playing as a two piece.
Originally, Olly did all the instrumentation in the studio. However, he is not a solo singer, Jaws the Shark is a band name. When Jaws the Shark play the numbers grow for live performances. Having a band name means that people don’t know what to expect, and Olly indicates he can take on, or reduce numbers as the need arises!
Interesting times lie ahead, and we will follow things closely here in the mag.
Mark C Chambers.