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Guitarist on stairway to rock heaven

PUBLISHED: 11:53 07 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:40 25 August 2010

JAMMIN’: Shelta’s Mike Staples (left) and Joe Wyatt will perform at Brixton.

JAMMIN’: Shelta’s Mike Staples (left) and Joe Wyatt will perform at Brixton.

A GUITARIST hopes his band will make the final lurch to stardom after landing the chance to play before a rock idol.

A GUITARIST hopes his band will make the final lurch to stardom after landing the chance to play before a rock idol.

Mike Staples, 36, of Balmoral Gardens, Bexley Village, is due to play with his band Shelta at Brixton Jamm on May 30 before one of his musical idols, Mike Joyce, drummer for The Smiths.

The Mod-influenced band has played gigs across London and performed at the Jamm once before, where they received a ringing endorsement from Bonehead, the guitarist from Oasis.

Mr Staples said: "When Bonehead DJ'd at the last gig I asked him what he thought of us and he said 'class one mate'.

"He and Alan McGee, the man that signed Oasis, both watched our set. Now so will Joyce before he DJs.

"He's a complete legend of a drummer. I've always loved The Smiths so just to meet this guy will be amazing."

Joe Wyatt, 26, a plumber from Joydens Wood, is Shelta's frontman, while other band members include guitarist Dan Lawrence, 26, and bassist Sean Walters, 27, from Tonbridge.

Jago Robins, a 36-year-old drummer who went to school with Mr Staples at Eltham Green Comprehensive, also plays in the band despite living in Kingston.

Their music was described as "filthy, dirty" by XFM's Dave Berry and is inspired by bands including The Who, Ocean Colour Scene and Paul Weller.

Mr Staples, who rehearses at Abbey Studios, Belvedere, hopes that higher profile circuit venues like The Water Rats in Kings Cross will help them get a manager.

Usually the band draw between 30 and 50 fans from south-east London, but Mr Staples said there was no 'scene' in Bexley, instead managing to secure the Jamm gig through his contacts.

He said: "Through a friend of a friend I know the promoter that runs the Jamm as well as the Dirty South in Lewisham.

"It's a bit of a godsend really. To get ahead you really need to play up in Camden. That's where the industry is, and that's where it expects you to go."

To listen to Shelta's songs visit www.myspace.com/gimmeshelta.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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