What a rollercoaster ride it’s been for Andy and the Odd Socks. It seems like only yesterday that the idea for the band came to Andy Day in a dream, but in the short time since, they’ve played Glastonbury and gone way beyond Andy’s wildest dreams. Which are pretty wild dreams.
It took The Rolling Stones 50 years to get the chance to play Glastonbury. Half a century! But Andy and the Odd Socks were invited to play the UK’s biggest festival by Emily Eavis herself only months after forming, and have now played over 50 festivals. They’ve now scored their own TV series and have just finished a new album which is set to see them soar to even greater heights.
Call it serendipity, call it fate, call it what you will. Like a river flows, surely to the sea, some things are meant to be. Andy and the Odd Socks are not about cliched rock’n’roll, this is true sock’n’roll – fantastic catchy songs and a true celebration of individuality. Like The Monkees or The Simpsons, the Odd Socks appeal to kids and adults alike. Singalong songs that kids adore, with a dash of Mighty Boosh or Flight of the Conchords oddball humour that parents love. “The great thing about rock’n’roll is that someone like me can be a star” said Elton John. Andy and the band are proof that the great thing about life is that Odd Socks can make the greatest stars.
So what’s the odd story behind the Odd Socks? Well, he may be one of the most recognisable faces of kids TV, with hugely popular CBeebies shows like Andy’s Wild Adventures and Andy’s Safari Adventures making him a household name, but music has always been Andy Day’s first passion. He grew up on classic artists like Ray Charles, Queen and Elton John, before embracing rock gods like Dave Grohl. Then one day, Andy had a vivid dream about starting a band in his mum’s hometown of Barking that would take over the world, a dream so real that when he woke up, he knew he had to make that dream come true. After years tackling dinosaurs and on safari, Andy was ready to take on the music world.
That same afternoon, Andy went to have his haircut, and in the next chair was Blu, the coolest dude he’d ever seen. “I asked him to join the band straight away. For his hair really,” says Andy, “but it turned out he’s a brilliant laid-back bass player and a true style guru. That was the start of the Odd Socks.”
The next day, Andy went to get his bike fixed, where the mechanic called Moxy, started banging out a tune with her spanners on Andy’s bike. “We realised if she could play spanners like that, imagine what she could do with drumsticks!” says Andy, and they asked Moxy to join the Odd Socks there and then. Not long after, the trio went to Barking music festival and met madcap guitarist Rio, who hails from Planet Rock and had got lost on his way to Reading Festival. “We hit it off straight away,” says Andy, “he’s from another planet, literally! Planet Rock, where Dave Grohl is President, so he was the perfect guitarist for the Odd Socks.” The four-piece started rehearsing and writing their first songs, but really gelled when Mac, Andy’s second cousin twice-removed came down to visit from the Scottish highlands, where he had his own one-man band “Croft Work”. A brilliant nerdy technical genius, Mac was the final misshaped piece to the Odd Socks jigsaw.
Within weeks they were invited to play Glastonbury, and the Odd Socks story just got wilder and weirder from there. Even when he was a child, Andy could never find a pair of matching socks in the morning, but came to see it was an expression of his personality. Now the whole band, and their followers wear odd socks. “Our Odd Socks are like Thor’s Hammer, or Heman’s Sword!” says Andy.
The band also came up with the idea of Odd Socks Day with the Anti-Bullying Alliance in 2017, which has proved a huge success, with over 13,500 schools taking part last year. The Odd Socks believe in finding what makes you unique and celebrating it. “Be yourself, everyone else is taken” said Oscar Wilde. We’re all Odd Socks, in our own way. The sky’s not nearly the limit for Andy and the Odd Socks, who have been touted as a modern day Monkees, now have their own TV show on BBC iPlayer. Andy and the Band is filmed mainly on the road, watching the band tackling odd jobs and saving the day, as they tour the country spreading the Odd Socks word. It’s The A-Team meets Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but with a better soundtrack.
They also finished their eagerly anticipated new album on tour, recording in the most unlikely of places. “We want to capture the moment and record a song when it’s fresh, so one day we just stopped the bus and recorded in a phone box at the side of the road. It sounded brilliant, so from them on every time we wrote a song we’d stop and record it in the next phone box!” They are without doubt, the greatest sock’n’roll band in the world. “We jam, we write, we rock… we’re the Odd Socks!”