Music | Who are we? The Pontangz!
Glasgow rock-band removed from Broadcast headline spot due to an apparent controversy over band name.
The rise to fame is no easy feat. It takes hard work, concentration, building skills, sourcing out venues and doing so under the gaze of the ever-judging public. This is a reality rock-band, The Pontangz, are unfortunately now facing as they have hit backlash from a band name they created in innocence. This has caused them to not only lose a promoter, but a headline gig in the well-known Glasgow-based Broadcast venue.
Since their beginning the Pontangz have wasted no time in building up a loyal fan-base. The band consist of singer/songwriter and skilled guitarist Peter Connachan, band manager and bass player Ian McNaught, lead guitarist and backing vocals Joseph Kane with the beating heart of the band provided by drummer Mark Turnbull.
Despite their fast-growing following, passion and determination to produce melodious music and consistency for their fans, The Pontangz have hit a hurdle as a previously unknown meaning of the word “pontang” has come to light.
Peter said: “The first thing I felt when I saw the definition to ‘pontang’ was really bad. I mean, I have little sisters, I was raised by my granny and have a Mrs. So, to even think for a minute that we are using a name that would promote using women as a sexual object is…if you know us, absolute madness. If they had just taken the time to speak to us about it, they would have understood that.”
We have no intention of offending woman or offending men. We are all feminists. We believe in equal rights. We do not intend to offend you.”
The word ‘pontang’ has a couple of entries on urban dictionary as a discriminatory word towards women. Pontang is also a district in the Banten province on the island of Java, Indonesia. What it isn’t, however, is the name of the four-member band The Pontangz, who all of which were unaware of the word’s existence.
Mark said: “The name ‘The Pontangz’, the way I look at it, is my relationship with these guys. When I joined the band, it was ‘The Pontangz’ and from day one they welcomed me in. It was just the way they treated me…so every time I think of ‘The Pontangz’, I think of the history from day one all the way to now. The word pontang has nothing to do with ‘The Pontangz’.”
Ian added: “We are not the first band that has faced this and we won’t be the last band that ever face it but we are making a stand. Our name is not pontang, our name is ‘The Pontangz.”
Regardless of the hard week they have faced, The Pontangz haven’t forgotten what the most important thing about being in a band is to them. Their friendship, music and their fans are still their top priority and although they lost the space at Broadcast, they are much more concerned for their followers.
Peter said: “We promoted that gig. People that follow us would be looking forward to that, they bought tickets and even people that don’t know us but still follow us did too. We are trying to create trust and a fan-base. Creating a fan-base is not just getting people to like our music. You need to have people like you as well. At the end of the day we are trying to create that trust between us and our fans and before you know it, you’re going ‘the gig is cancelled”. It is the first time we have ever had to do that.”
Timeless Music Promotions, the young promotions company, contacted the band through a mere social media message after deciding ‘The Pontangz’ was an inappropriate name.
Although the company’s actions were unprofessional and the bandmates would not work with them again, they have decided to move on from the ordeal with a positive outlook. The Pontangz have since been contacted by other promotion companies happy to work with the talented four.
Ian said: “We have had overwhelming support from other members of the music industry as well as our friends and family. “
Timeless Music Promotions was contacted numerous times although they have failed to comment on the situation.
Peter said: “Want to know who we are? We are The Pontangz! Nothing ese. We are. That is who The Pontangz are. That name to us has a history. It has meaning to us. It is who we are. To go and change that, to rip it away feels like it would change the vibe of us. It would change who we are as a band.
For us to just roll over and not put up a fight and say what we have to say…it wouldn’t be right.”