Express & Star

Stars in Waiting: The Assist

Jenny Ormsby catches up with the region's best unsigned acts and meets our future stars. This week it's The Assist from Walsall.


From sing-a-long anthems to infectious guitar riffs, The Assist are ready to take fans along for a ride that they will never forget.

The indie/alternative Walsall band are made up of four lads; Jak Baker on bass, Ben Faulkner on drums, Ryan Stanton on guitar and Mikey Stanton on vocals.

Guitarist Ryan says the band formed through a mutual love of indie and alternative sounds. "We all have a huge passion for real music."

The band grew up together – Ryan and Mickey are brothers and Ben and Jak have known one another for many years.

They hail from the same neighbourhood and share musical tastes. "We've been to lots of gigs together and attended plenty of festivals," added Ryan.

"We all became musicians around the same time, being in a band is everything you could imagine and more."

The Assist list their influences as being indie big-hitters from Oasis to the Artic Monkeys, though they try to bring a fresh edge to their own compositions. Ryan added: "We make the sort of music that people can identify with. It's honest with hard-hitting lyrics that speak for themselves. We're fans of our music too, it's the sort of thing that we would genuinely go out and buy ourselves."

The Assist pride themselves on being down to earth. They are more than just a band built to play tunes – they walk it like they talk it. Ryan added: "We differ from other bands on the market because we've got the right attitude; we're willing to listen to people's opinions."

The band enjoy the sense of mateship that comes from being on the road, or in the rehearsal studio. Ryan said: "Every second is a laugh. Gigs turn into all-nighters and every practice turns into a road trip."

The Assist are living the dream. Ryan said their main ambition was to release an album and appear on Soccer AM.

"We're all huge football fans and we'd love to go on Soccer FM."

The boys recently supported Bruce Foxton, formerly from The Jam, and described the gig as being a 'dream come true'.

"We hadn't been together for that long," said Ryan. "The gig came out of the blue. We were shocked to be asked."

Ryan said: "There's lots still to achieve and we are gearing up to release our new EP, Nicole, in coming months."

They will also be back on the road with gigs coming up at venues such as The Wharf, 02 Academy 3 in Birmingham and a headliner at The Sunflower Lounger on July 19.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.