10 Days, 10 Songs - Still Unsigned

WHEN MY DAUGHTER Sian was in her teens, she went through a phase of going out to Kelly’s night club in Portrush on the weekend. It was a huge club complex with about eight bars and venues, and it attracted vast crowds every Saturday night.

  The worst thing about going to Kelly’s was always the struggle of trying to get home – by the time she was leaving, there were no cabs to be had. I used to beg her to just call me, even if it was three in the morning. I would rather have got out of bed and driven over to pick her up than left her to hitch a ride home with some random stranger. But occasionally she would wander in at dawn, soaked to the skin, having walked four miles home in the rain in her Converse sneakers.

  And the lyrics are all about that north coast nightclub scene, and the great little rock bands that blossomed up there in the early 90s. I got the phrase ‘it’s hard to believe that they’re still unsigned’ in my head and it wouldn’t go away. It’s ironic – there are fewer places to play than ever up there these days - and even less chance of anyone getting signed.

The musicians:

Anthony Toner – vocals, guitars, percussion

Clive Culbertson – bass

John McCullough – piano

Paul Hamilton – drums

Linley Hamilton – trumpet

David Howell - saxophone



It’s too cold to be out in her Converse sneakers.

And her head aches from standing too close to the speakers.

Now she’s out in front of the club with the oblivion seekers,

and the taxis are passing her by.

She got a mark on your neck from a boy who kissed her,

and then he said she went to school with his older sister.

He sort of offered her a lift, but he must have missed her,

and now it feels like it’s starting to rain. 


Oh the band are so cool, but they’re still so young.

They make everything sound like they’re having fun.

And when they sing, you can taste the water turning to wine -

It’s hard to believe that they’re still unsigned,

it’s hard to believe it but they’re still unsigned.


She should’ve taken that ride with somebody’s dad,

with the radio playing something warm and sad,

and he’d be teasing her about how many drinks she had,

and trying to look down her dress on the sly.


It’s just two guitars and bass and drums.

They keep rocking all night ’til the kingdom comes.

And when they bite down hard, they could really hurt someone.