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Byline: By Wales on Sunday

It's not often a boy gets to listen in on a girlie gossip session but interviewing new guitar-wielding girl band The Faders, that's what I'm treated to.

Bassist Toy and drummer Cherisse Osei (singer and guitarist Molly Lorenne is otherwise engaged on the phone) barely interrupt their discussion with a hello before they carrying on chatting.

But it's not boys or shopping the excited twosome are discussing. In fact it's a subject you would expect to be on the lips of the nerdiest of male music nerds rather than two teenage girls - John Bonham's drumming on a Led Zeppelin live recording owned by Toy.

'We are massive music fans,' explains 19-year-old Toy. 'I was having a really sad conversation with my boyfriend the other day about plectrum gauges. We discovered we like the same plectrum.'

'I'd much rather talk about drums than boys,' adds 18-year-old Cherisse. 'Drum kits are much more reliable. But we do talk about things like that sometimes.'

Intelligent and funny, The Faders are used to destroying people's preconceptions about them.

'Busted with boobs' is one.

On paper it might seem like a fair description - The Faders are a three-piece pop band who play their own instruments and write their own songs - including the irresistible Bangles-a-like debut single No Sleep Tonight.

They're even getting the same kind of criticism Busted received when they first started out. As Molly, 18, bounds into the room fresh from a phone interview, she's incredulous that the journalist asked her if they really can play their instruments.

'I think people think we do have a lot to prove,' says Molly. 'Especially because we're girls. When you go into pop music as well, that's when people don't believe you - they think you're manufactured.'

The Faders' arrival on the music scene coincides with a new phenomenon - guitars huge rise in popularity with female musicians.

Iconic guitar brand Fender say women now account for half its sales.

'Girls are going to be inspired by musicians whether they're male or female,' says Cherisse. 'But obviously the more girl musicians they see, the more they will be encouraged.'

Rather than being manufactured The Faders just seem to have formed at the right time. They came together in the way many bands do - moving from band to band until they found those with similar mindsets.

Londoner Molly's background seems the most impressive as her father is Midge Ure. 'He's been very supportive,' she says, 'but he hasn't sat me down and given me tips because I'm doing something quite different to him.'

Dig around in Toy and Cherisse's history, however, and you'll find equally impressive musical pedigrees. Toy's father played guitar in a band and, growing up in Milton Keynes, she says can't remember the first time she played an instrument.

'It would be great to inspire other kids to do what we're doing now,' says Molly. 'But we weren't formed to do that, we're just a band.'
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 20, 2005
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