Introducing Welcome Pariah

Ellen Tout spoke to local band Welcome Pariah in the run up to their headline slot at Southampton’s SMILEFest.

This alternative rock group formed only a year and a half ago, but have played alongside some impressive names since. The boys are set to headline a night for SMILEFest on Tuesday 5 at Southampton’s Lennon’s. Lead singer and guitarist John Waghorn told us more.

Welcome Pariah Credit: NikkiDixon.co.uk
Welcome Pariah Credit: NikkiDixon.co.uk

For anyone who hasn’t heard of Welcome Pariah, how would you describe the band?

We are an alternative rock band from Southampton. In a short time we’ve played with some top artists, including Steve Cradock, guitarist for Ocean Colour Scene and Paul Weller, The Moons, Mark Morriss of The Bluetones and Chris Helme of The Seahorses.

Both myself and the other guitarist, Josh, moved back to Southampton from Brighton in order to start the band and then the full line up was complete with Daniel on bass and Jon on drums.

Have you played at student event SMILEFest before? Are you looking forward to the gigs?

We haven’t played SMILEFest before, but we’re really looking forward to the opportunity to show what we’re about to some new faces and fans, so we’re definitely up for it yeah. It’s good to see in a festival in the local area, as music is an important part of a lot of people’s lives. Bring it on!

We also played SOFEST in Southampton guildhall square recently which was a good crack.

You’ve supported some big names, but who would you love to support in the future?

Considering how long we’ve been together, we’ve supported some good artists. Supporting Steve Cradock was great because we’re big fans of Ocean Colour Scene and Paul Weller, which you can probably hear the influence of in our own songs. When you get these opportunities, it’s quite strange because you’ve got most of their albums in your CD collection. It’s a great feeling nonetheless. Someone like The Stone Roses or Noel Gallagher would be the top support slots in the future. You never know!

“Follow your heart, it sounds like a cliché but you only get one shot at this life”

What advice would you give to musicians in the making?

Follow your heart. It sounds like a cliché’ but you only get one shot at this life, so why not make the most of it. If music is in your heart and you’ve got feeling and soul for it then get out there and start gigging. We’ve done it and I can tell you now, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.

Start doing everything that you can and see where it takes you. A few of us went to uni and once we finished the party officially began. The best advice we can give is do it, believe in yourself and don’t let anyone stand in your way because they’re not the ones doing it.

You can catch Welcome Pariah at SMILEFest on Tuesday, with support from The Empire and Pivotal. They’re also performing at club night This Feeling on May 10 and Pulse Festival in Sunnyfields Farm, Hampshire on the 11. 

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