Indieterria meets The Blinders

Faithful Citizens of The State of Columbia!

The Blinders are less than a month from releasing their debut album. Each day they cover new grounds and by September 21st the world should know the power of their music. This is your duty as a Citizen to assist them in the conquest for our glorious homeland. Pre-order the record, call your local radio station unit and your local news publisher. Talk to your friends and advise them carefully to follow the same instructions. Your faith and co-operation will be rewarded. This humble blog brings you coverage from the front lines and a State approved message. The Blinders will appear at Leeds and Reading Festivals this weekend. But before they hit the stage – they have gracefully answered our questions. So read this interview, spread the word and don`t forget to eat your meat.

Thomas Haywood (vox, guitar, warpaint)
Charlie McGough (bass)
Matthew Neale (drums, vox)

Fans and music press reached a consensus describing you as “must see band” and “one of most original acts in recent years”. Would you like to introduce yourselves to Indieterria readers?
 

The Blinders: Hello Indieterria, individually we are Thomas Haywood, Charlie McGough and Matthew Neale, collectively we are known as the Manchester based band, The Blinders.

You often describe yourselves as “Johnny Dream and Codeine Scene”. It almost feels like there are two distinctive bands involved. So,  while we do the introductions, would you like to tell us who are the members  of Codeine Scene? Do they have names?  Can you elaborate how did you create the stage personas and their meaning? 

The Blinders: There are no specific members as of such. The Codeine Scene was a title banded about by ourselves when we came to name the band. We dismissed the idea and went with ‘The Blinders’ in its place (what fools we were). Johnny Dream plays a small narrative role on stage dressed in warpaint. However, the whole Johnny Dream and The Codeine Scene thing is a vessel we use in our heads to take on egos outside of our own in order to perform The Blinders’ music to its fullest intentions, all the while allowing us to detach ourselves from the on-stage personas. In short, it keeps us sane and allows us to remain grounded.

Why The Blinders? Are you fans of certain drama on BBC 2?

The Blinders: We are fans of the show. When we came to play our first gig, we were without a name so went with it. We didn’t really see it sticking, but here we are talking to you.

You grew up in Doncaster but relocated to Manchester. Is moving to a bigger city  beneficial for starting artists or is the competition for gigs and recognition not worth the effort?

The Blinders: Both were incredibly important places for us in the beginning of our lives as a band. We wouldn’t be where we are without coming to Manchester and playing its venues whilst friends from Doncaster would travel in busloads to continue on supporting us. This seemed to make a statement in a place that can be cliquey at times but were lucky enough to get in with the right people. In terms of bigger cities being beneficial for starting artists, that’s undoubtedly true because the contacts and resources you need exist in these really quite creative and liberal hubs.

It is hard to categorize your music. The Beatles, Police, Black Sabbath, Sonic Youth, Paul Weller, The Jam, Joy Division, Manics, The Doors and Arctic Monkeys were all mentioned as possible inspirations. If you were to review your own art, which musical heritage would  you subscribe to?

The Blinders: We don’t subscribe to a specific heritage. We obviously lean on certain bands or certain sounds, but it would be ludicrous to pigeon hole yourself as a ‘punk’ band. How could you while there are so many avenues to explore and doors to open in the world of music. We learnt how to write music like any other modern artist in the past 60 years, by having a hunger to listen to all music and interpret it in your own way.

There are many pop/cultural, political and historical references in your lyrics. “Ramona Flowers” is a character from a series of graphic stories by Bryan Lee O’Malley, “Brave New World” shares its title with dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley, “The ballad of Winston Smith” is an obvious reference to “1984” and “Swine” comes with the hypnotic chorus “There is no hope” that reminds us of the fated scene in “Terminator2 : Judgment Day”. Your admiration for Jack Kerouac is also widely observed.  You are first band since Manic Street Preachers who put their interest art and literature as a centre point of their music. Is it planned or does it naturally come out during the writing process?

The Blinders: It’s certainly not a conscience thing, perhaps we simply write by immediate influence or inspiration. This can be anything from a piece of literature to walking past the same homeless person every day and their story being impressed upon you. We like our lyrics to have a narrative, which is probably why novels and film seem so natural to draw influence from. Call us lazy.

Response to your music is incredible and it reads like a litany: you have been played on BBC 6 Music by several DJs, recorded a session for Steve Lamacq at legendary Maida Vale, Radio X`s John Kennedy is a fan, you have been on BBC Introducing, Louder Than War featured you in print, NME and MusicGlue offered rave reviews, influential zines such as Northern Exposure and Some Might Say champion you, you have been part of influential This Feeling  circuit and your single “Gotta Get Through” stayed on top of charts on Amazing Radio for weeks. You have achieved more in two years than most bands in their life-time. Where do you plan to go from here?

The Blinders: To the top, Johnny! To the Toppermost of the Poppermost!

You have recently signed to a label (Modern Sky UK). That’s a major step for any artist.  Does it come with losing your creative freedom or does it give more fire power to the band?

The Blinders: There’s clearly a balancing act. At the end of the day without signing such a deal we wouldn’t be talking to you about our debut album. We’d still be scrapping around trying get Brave New World recorded. We were given the chance and we took, and we can’t more grateful for that. We are now in a situation where we can pursue art and writing for a living, so you can’t complain.

Your debut LP “Columbia” will come out on 21st September. So far three singles have been made available from the record: “Gotta Get Through”, “L`Etat C`est Moi” and a new version of “Brave New World”. We can`t help but ask. Is Columbia a concept album? 

The Blinders: It can be a concept album for the people who want it to be. There are narratives and theme to be drawn from the album, however a lot of people will enjoy it as just 12 songs to be enjoyed in their own right. It also means different things for us all individually, we just want people to take what they will. If people simply listen to it, that is enough for us.

We know you try to leave room for interpretation for listeners but, in your eyes, if Columbia was  a real place: would it be a state or a town or alternative universe? Would it be more closer to Oceania with its poverty and lack of resources or would it be a highly advanced society (similar to what  is shown on Fear Factory`s trilogy Demanfacture – Obsolete- Digimortal)?

The Blinders: Columbia is drawn from our own reality. There was never any intention on creating our own dystopian world, it created itself from the worst parts of society we live in today. We used the dystopian narrative and language alongside our interpretation of what is going around us today. So Columbia would probably look a lot like what the UK or America does today.

And a question that must follow: is Johnny Dream a friend or a foe? Can we see him more of a real protagonist like Winston Smith or Edgecrusher  or is it just an idea?

The Blinders: Neither, he doesn’t exist.

One of our favourite songs is “L’état, C’est Moi”. The title can be translated as “I am the state” and is commonly attributed to Louis XIV of France. He established the French absolute monarchy and made France the main political power in Europe in his time. Surprisingly, the song feels very accurate in the current political climate as well. Tell us more about this song and its message.

The Blinders: The song was written around the very phrase that came out of his supposed mouth. It was something we’d picked up in a book somewhere and it stuck with us. As you say, it seems relevant, especially to a world in which frankly insane politicians and other insufferable individuals appear to be grabbing power and moving society in a direction in a way which seems to show a complete disregard for the people.

Once the album is out, you will embark on a 22- date headlining tour around the country. That will be the biggest tour to date. Are there any venues or towns that you are looking forward to visit?

The Blinders: Manchester feels most like home when we play, so that will hopefully be a highlight. We’re not really sure what to expect, we’re just looking forward to getting back on the road.

“Columbia” is being promoted by cryptic advertisements in the press, made out of fragments of lyrics.  What a great idea! What else can we expect? Secret shows?  New single or a video? Are you able to reveal any secrets?

The Blinders: We are working on something here and there, but our lips are currently sealed.

At the end of  August you will  headline BBC stage at Reading/Leeds festivals. What can we expect from your set. And since the show is sold out, will there be a chance to see/hear your performance afterwards? 

The Blinders: We’re presuming that a song or two are going to be filmed, so that will be there for your viewing pleasure.

There is a certain darkness in your music. In “Berlin Wall” you ask if voice of a sole person still matters.  In one of your older songs “Swine”, you sing “I need not to be, a man in the street”.  It is a brazen declaration of intent to escape the routine and grey existence of the common man. Yet, many of the most important events of the 20th century were started by the everyman, those invisible individuals who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. We can mention the Tankman, a still unidentified man who stood in the way of tanks coming to suppress the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 in China, Ryszard Siwiec (Poland) and Jan Palach (Czech Republic) who set themselves on fire in protest against police brutality against the Prague Spring, or August Landmesser who refused to perform the Nazi salute after becoming engaged to Jewish woman, Irma Eckler. Their sacrifices contributed to massive social mobilizations and in effect bringing down regimes and corrupted governments. Maybe each one of us is really capable of changing the world?

The Blinders:  As we mentioned before, many of our songs are drawn from the worst parts of our society. Combined with our existential perspective of whether any of this even matters anymore, naturally there is a darkness. In terms of our capabilities as individuals, we can commit incredibly powerful acts. Those acts are even more powerful in unison but that’s the problem we have. How can we stand together while those in power seek to divide us?

In May you have released a short film/video to “L’etat C`est Moi” that was a collaboration between Tom and Sam Crowston. It ends with the mysterious “to be continued”. Are you working on part deux? Will we learn what happened to the messenger and what exactly he was given to deliver?

The Blinders: We had a lot of fun creating that piece, and it’s something we intend to return to. When that will be is another question.

Cover artwork for Columbia Photo by Sam Crowston
https://www.facebook.com/sam.crowston

Let’s say The Blinders were offered to take up teaching residency at the university for the duration of one term.  What subject would you like to teach: creative writing, English literature or political science? Is there something really important to you that you’d like your students to remember?

The Blinders: It would undoubtedly be something on the subject of History, Politics or Sociology. We each have a tutor or lecturer which we were greatly inspired by whilst we attended university/sixth form. We’d like to spark the same inspiration in our hypothetical students.

Let us ask you about the swine masks that are a recurring element in your videos. Your technical crew members were also known to wear them during live shows. Who or what are they?  Columbia’s secret service or symbol of corrupted regimes?

The Blinders: A lot of features in our work tends to start as something trivial, with little meaning attached. We then allow it to manifest into its own ‘thing’. This happened with the masked men, Johnny Dream and our vision of Columbia. It’s a very fun way to work.

One last question. We have already established that you are designed for rock and roll greatness, but if you weren’t in a band, what careers would you pursue?

The Blinders: We’d probably all be butchers or something.

Please read our introduction to the band (long read format):

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/07/07/indieterria-presents-the-blinders/

You can follow The Blinders on dystopian (social) media

https://theblinders.tmstor.es/
http://facebook.com/theblindersband
http://twitter.com/theblindersband
https://instagram.com/theblinders
https://soundcloud.com/theblinders-music
https://open.spotify.com/artist/3Z8Y3Ek99rukRa1Hdo14GE?si=yx5j8oK-RpG6qE7MQtVU5Q

Or their label Modern Sky:

https://modernsky.uk/
https://modernsky.uk/blinders-debut-album-columbia-now-available-pre-order
https://twitter.com/ModernSkyUK
https://www.facebook.com/ModernSkyUK/

or just stream the soundtrack to the dark times:

We will be doing a proper review of Columbia once it comes out. Till then we hope you enjoyed our profile and the interview with the band.

Big, big thank you to Caffy St Luce (A&R extraordinaire and our PR goddess) and Paul Fassam (the manager super hero) for all their help and assistance, the band for answering the litany of questions and their patience and Modern Sky for everything else.

This broadcast has been created for the glory and prosperity of The State of Columbia.

YOU ARE BEING WATCHED.

M/R

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Indieterria meets False Heads

Hello dear readers!

Today`s blog is very important as we wanted to conduct this interview for a very long time. It has been a privilege to watch this very special London-based band grow for nearly two years. Things are looking really bright for the trio these days: they got signed to These Bloody Thieves Records, on September 6th they will embark on a 23- dates tour across Ireland, UK, France, Netherlands and Germany. September 21st will see digital release of their new EP “Less is Better”, while physical debut will take place on October 5th at their home coming gig at Dingwalls in London. Without further delay – please welcome False Heads to our humble blog. On the eve of the release of their new single “Yellow”, we sat down with their lead singer Luke Griffiths to talk about the music, Iggy Pop and their upcoming tour.

 

Barney Nash (vocals, drums)
Luke Griffiths (vocals, guitar)
Jake Elliott (bass)

Official bio: Hailing from the outskirts of East London, False Heads formed in 2016. Behind the energy of their live shows, the trio quickly thrust themselves into punk-rock limelight, catching the attention of Punk’n’Roll legend Iggy Pop, ex-Ramones manager Danny Fields and music taste maker Rodney Bingenheimer. Having quickly graduated from playing empty rooms in London to supporting The Libertines on a sold-out tour, the buzz around the young band is undeniable. False Heads are Barney Nash (vocals & drums), Luke Griffiths (vocals & guitar) and Jake Elliott (bass).

You have been making a name for yourselves on the indie circuit since 2015 yet we still wonder, who are False Heads? Would you be so kind and introduce band members to the good citizens of West Midlands.

False Heads promo picture #1 Photo by Alex Hurst https://www.instagram.com/alexhurstphotographer

Luke Griffiths: I’m Luke and I sing and play guitar. Jake plays bass and Barney plays drums and sings as well. Thank you good citizens of West Midlands.

You chose an interesting name for the band. The term “False Head” has several meanings rooted in the theory of communication, journalism and psychology. Our favourite definitions include an informal name for the news caster or a political TV commentator coined in the 1950’s; a social mask worn by an individual hiding their true feelings and an incorrect belief in one’s superiority based on an economic or class advantages (so called “False Head” start). So where does your name really come from?

Luke Griffiths: That’s pretty fucking awesome, that you’ve got that from the name and I always thought it was evocative. Originally, I just misread “False Hood” on a list of names scribbled down and I thought I’d written “False Heads”. I just got an image of all the people I despised from where I grew up – the fake, benign, mediocre, sleep walk through life type then die whilst mocking and turning their nose up at anyone different or creative type moron. I also got the image of irritating “talking heads” on TV of politicians spouting the same drivel they’d had written for them by the same script writer. So, it just conjured up a lot of different things for me. The name seems to be more relevant now, people are carbon copies of each other and base their belief system on what they think won’t get them in trouble. It’s nonsense.

You have been championed heavily by punk rock icon, Iggy Pop himself. He has played your songs on his show on BBC 6 Music. How does it feel to have his backing? It surely seems to be a dream come true.

Luke Griffiths: Yeah, “Raw Power” was and is one of my favourite punk albums. Iggy was a huge inspiration for me and emailing him is slightly bizarre. Him naming us as one of his favourite bands in the UK was crazy. It’s an amazing honour. He’s an incredible person and he still gives a shit about new bands.

False Heads promo picture #2 Photo by Alex Hurst https://www.instagram.com/alexhurstphotographer

Iggy Pop is not the only radio personality who gave you an outstanding review on air. We could mention several others such as John Kennedy of Radio X, Steve Lamacq of BBC 6 Music or  Hew Stephens  from BBC 1. Do you feel you are on the right track to the rock and roll greatness?

Luke Griffiths:  (laughing) I guess so, but I try not to think about it too much. We just try and write the best songs we possibly can and put on a great show. But all of those people, those huge names, we are extremely grateful for the support from them.

You also won a die hard fan on the other side of the Pond in form of senior KRCQ and Sirius FM DJ, Rodney Bingenheimer (and an owner of  his own star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame!) Rodney expressed  sentiment that you are Nirvana-reborn and the best British act that came out of London scene in the last decade. Are you off to conquer the olde US of A anytime soon?

Luke Griffiths: Yes! Another mad surreal one! He’s a living legend, he helped break bands in America and says things like that about us. It’s crazy. He’s another one we need to thank. There’s been some initial conversations about it, yes but we will see.

Tell us more about your beginnings. You met at the secondary school in Upminster and you played in several bands before separating to attend university. Do you still remember the names of the early projects you were involved in? Did they have any influence on your current sound?

Luke Griffiths: We were all born in East London and then moved out to Upminster which is like half East London, half Essex. Just an odd place, really. Barney and Jake were in a band called FiftyFours and I always operated under the name False Heads. I just could never get a proper band going (laughing)! It was extremely frustrating for me, but gave me a lot of time to write until the band finally did happen. I wouldn’t say there’s much influence from those early days, although I did write the “Twentynothing” riff when I was 15. Although, the chemistry between us comes from school. I think Jake and Barney being in the same band helped the chemistry between them and Barney recorded some demos for me to go to uni with to try and make a band, so it was probably inevitable!

New Single entitled “Yellow” is debuting this Friday, 24th of August

False Heads has been going on for three years now and from the start, you have received a strong support from audience and other bands from the capitol circuit. in November 2015, you played a memorable gig at The Black Heart in Camden  and you attracted the attention of  Danny Fields, the former manager of The Ramones. He became your mentor and a friend.  We are sure you have learnt a great deal from him.

Luke Griffiths: Yes, we’ve learnt so much from him, so much. He’s done so much for us, we’re so grateful for what he has done for us. The advice he gave and honestly it is so true. He said to get a lawyer or someone to help you deal with contracts and dealings at the very least (who knows about law). The stories that guy tells us over a few drinks are unbelievable and his company is brilliant. He can outwit anyone, trust me – do not try and mug him off (laughing).  A truly wonderful human being.

Your new EP “Less is Better” will be released very shortly. Tell us more about it. How many songs can we expect on the EP? Where did you record it and who’s producing?

Luke Griffiths: It was recorded and produced by the wizard named Jonathan Hucks and mastered by Tonalex (who are also incredible). Jonny is like our Nigel Godrich at the moment. There’s four tracks on the EP. It was recorded very DIY, sort of all over the joint –  some in his room, some in a little studio near Stanstead and some in the epic Grand Cru Studios. It’s a follow on from our first release, “Gutter Press”. The themes and things I wrote about on that have only got worse. The echo chamber, social media culture is extremely damaging. We’re completely fine with censorship, we can’t tell the difference between a joke and a bigot. We have created an environment where people are scared to say what they think, then we wondered how such fucking awful things like Brexit and Trump happened? But at times, it’s also more personal than “Gutter Press”. “Retina” sort of came about from an acid trip, but every song has a few different themes going on. It’s difficult to just pin point one and I also don’t want to sound like a broken record (laughing). It’s a scary world we live in man and the hope shrinks every day, without sounding too bleak. The cover art for me was like there’s this beautiful open blue sky/colour/whatever you want to think it is and there’s so much space there for discourse. Life and building relationships and changing peoples minds yet we’re just sucked into this horrible black hole or echo chamber and people are scared to step out of it, even though it’s much more beautiful.

You also have a brand new label, These Bloody Thieves Records so congratulations are in order! We are interested to hear how your co-operation started.

Luke Griffiths: Thank you! Rob Hirst, the owner, is an incredible guy. He has been a big supporter of us for a long time. He spoke to our manager, Cargo Records, got involved and we built an amazing team around us. It’s all gravy. Rob deserves some serious credit. He is an amazing bloke with an amazing work ethic.

Tour poster – please check the dates and buy your tickets before the gigs sell out

This Autumn we will have a chance to see you on your first European tour. You will be playing UK, Ireland, Germany and France. Are you excited?

Luke Griffiths: Well, our first European tour was early on this year. Sorry to be pedantic (laughing)! We haven’t played in Ireland or Germany before yet and we cannot wait. We played France and Belgium on our last tour and played Rock Olmen Festival and InMusic Festival in Croatia. Europe is amazing for bands so we can’t wait to get back. And we fucking love Guinness so can’t wait for Ireland either. Whelans in Dublin is so iconic as well. All amazing stuff, really!

The famous last question and this is going to be hard! Name a song you wish you have written that was released in the last 12 months.

Luke Griffiths : “Blind Faith No Future”  by Strange Bones

———————-

These Bloody Thieves Records logo

After speaking to Luke and hearing the praise for their new record label, we decided to approach Rob Hirst himself and ask him few questions as well. We didn’t think he would agree to do it, but he was more than happy to speak to us. This way, instead of just one interview, we got two! And that’s why we absolutely adore the DIY scene. Musicians, record label people, PR teams, fans – they are out there for each other. It is more than just everyday kindness. This is a genuine friendship, a true interest, that can only come from those who really care. People are taking care of one another, they look out for others, they participate and support. It is amazing to see it happen! As our good friend keeps saying: “What a time to be alive!”. We at Vanadian Avenue, are extremely privileged to be a part of that movement.

But coming back to Rob and his record label. This is what he said:

Rob, your dream is coming true. You are now an owner of an independent record label! Can you tell us more about These Bloody Thieves Record. Is there any rock and roll history behind its name?

Rob Hirst: The name of the label was actually the name of the very last band I was in. A very short-lived band that I believe was the best I was in and certainly the best band name I had come up with. I just thought it would be a good way for me to continue my past into the future and I couldn’t be bothered with spending hours of thinking of a label name and branding.

How did you set it up?

Rob Hirst: As you know I already work with bands & my Spotify playlist gets hundreds of submissions a month. I was scouting for other management companies and labels. I just woke up one morning and just thought ‘I’m going to start my our label’ and I did (laughing)! I must admit I have been very fortunate with the support I have had around me, especially coming from Rich (False Heads manager) & Ditto Music.

False Heads are your first release. How did you convince them to join you?

Rob Hirst: They approached me. I’ve known the band for a while and I’m a huge supporter. As soon as they asked I knew I had a label & a solid foundation to show that this label is serious. What a band for a first release.

Besides “Less is Better” EP, do you plan any other future releases linked to False Heads?

Rob Hirst: Er! Really, everything has gone into this release. The band has a great team around them and at the moment it’s all about this release. I’m sure there will be as the band have been in the studio with legendary producer Jonathan Hucks and have a bank of unreleased material in their locker. It’s very exciting times! False Heads have nowhere near reached their potential as a band. Pretty exciting really when you consider how great this EP is.

Are you accepting submissions from an unsigned acts? If so, what are you looking for?

Rob Hirst: I am always searching and always accepting submissions. It’s one of the most exciting aspects of running a label. Nothing better that discovering a band that you instantly gravitate towards and fall in love with everything about them. I don’t have specifics for what I’m looking for. I don’t really know until it comes along and slaps me in the face and says to me ‘Here I am, love me’. The label has a couple of other acts on the radar, one close to signing who I have been following for the last four months and a single deal out next month that is due for announcement anytime now.

You can follow False Heads and These Bloody Thieves Record on social media:

False Heads
https://www.facebook.com/FalseHeads
http://www.falseheads.com/
https://www.instagram.com/falseheads/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqivl1sWLJyZxP3Ywei3HGw
https://twitter.com/FalseHeads

These Bloody Thieves Record
https://www.facebook.com/pg/thesebloodythieves
https://myspace.com/thesebloodythieves
https://twitter.com/TBT_Records
https://www.facebook.com/rob.hirst.754
https://open.spotify.com/user/dbjph28w55odrz4ehj79ckorm/playlist/4ZqYUJXPWs0SFcT7MEQ9FU?si=Xz7oHAGeTauD0k-9TX6nOA

Thank you Luke and thank you Rob for speaking to us! This week is fantastic for so many great new bands and we are happy to be able to witness the revolution in popular music. False Heads will release their new single entitled “Yellow” this Friday, so please come back as we will have a full review for you to enjoy.

Until then, we bid you farewell.
Keep on rocking in the free world and  make sure you listen to your vinyls/cds/digital albums loud. Very, very loud.

Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

Indieterria meets Inwards

Dear readers!

Oh, it was a very frustrating beginning of the month! The WordPress went down, their SSL broke and our publishing schedule got delayed by a week and a half. Luckily, Rita is a miracle worker, found the right script, implemented it and voila – we are back in action. But it took a long time and we do apologize for the technical issues. They were outside of our control!

So, in span of just several days, you can enjoy two brand new blogs. The first one is our view/review/official waffling post about The Blinders (you can read it Here) and the other is a brand new interview with the electronic music prodigy, Inwards.

Inwards in another dimension (or maybe just on the stage!)

Of course, we don’t have to tell you that Inwards (aka Kristian Shelley) is the pride and joy of Worcestershire and we are extremely proud of his achievements. And there is a lot to be proud about! His music receives praise after praise and super favourable reviews from journalists, media and radio stations. Kris is going places and he is going to the top at an impressive speed. Before you blink, he will be there at the top of the charts with Burial, Aphex Twin and Chemical Brothers.

Talking to Kris is a rare pleasure. He is entertaining, kind and very pleasing to interview. He is curious about the world, culture and popular heritage. We sat down with him after his session for BBC Introducing in Hereford and Worcester and grilled him about his equipment, music and having his music played on the national radio.

Official bio:  Inwards is the alias of Kristian Shelley, a multi-instrumentalist and music programmer from Worcestershire, UK. His work exists in the experimental domain and draws influence from the far borders of dance music, using modular synths with acoustic and electronic sources to create a nostalgic and colourful sonic palette.  Crackling with the freedom and spontaneity that characterises his studio productions, Inwards live performances vary from one environment to the next, taking on organic forms through the manipulation of his electronic instruments. Gaining a reputation for his absorbing shows, which are often complemented by live visuals, he has played alongside the likes of Lapalux, Adam Betts (Three Trapped Tigers), Tyondai Braxton (Battles) and Ulrich Schnauss, and at festivals including The Great Escape and Brighton Digital Festival. Signing to Small Pond in 2017 after capturing attention with a series of DIY releases, Inwards invites you into a dark yet playful and psychedelic world of sound on his debut album.

According to your bio, Inwards is a moniker of producer, multi-instrumentalist and music programmer – Kristian Shelley. We are intrigued. Can you introduce yourself to readers of Indieterria?

Inwards: Hello readers of Indieterria! I’m Kris and I play instruments and use computers to make music.

Inwards is very poetic term. It describes someone “orientated towards the inside” or something “existing within the mind, soul or spirit, often not expressed”. It can also be applied to a person that is private or even shy. This is not a name that was chosen accidentally, isn’t it?

Inwards:  No, it is not an accident. The music I make is an introspective experience for me so I arrived at the name “Inwards” and it felt right. I stuck with it.

Before becoming a DJ, you played in several alternative and funk outfits. Is working on your own much harder than being part of a group? Do you feel more comfortable relying only on yourself on stage?

Diesel album cover

Inwards:  Working on your own can be a very freeing experience. It also makes you question whether what you are doing is a good vibe because you don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off. Being on stage alone is much more daunting than with a band but I like it. At this moment, I’m looking forward to a new project I have started with some musicians friends this year. I really miss playing in a band and miss the band vibrations!

It is not always possible to meet your musical heroes, but you were lucky to speak with Aphex Twin (aka Richard D James) at Bangface Festival in Cornwall in 2012, right at the beginning of your career. Are you still in touch? If so, did he say anything about your newest compositions?

Inwards:  This was just before I had started making electronic music and the whole festival was very inspirational! We didn’t exchanged details but I was lucky enough to bump into him again last year at a small festival in Cornwall and we had a good chat about modulars and living in the countryside. I don’t know if he has listened to any of my stuff, but it would be great to give him something back for his early support!

You have performed alongside Lapalux, Forest Swords, Adam Betts (Three Trapped Tigers), Tyondai Braxton (Battles) and Ulrich Schnauss (of Tangerine Dream) and at festivals including The Great Escape and Brighton Digital Festival. If you could share the stage with just one artist or a band, who would you choose?

Inwards: (laughing) Slayer! It has to be them!

On 19th of January 2018 you released double single entitled “Amsterdam”/“Computertalsk”. In one interview you mentioned that both tracks are based on your personal experiences.  Can you tell us what events from your life inspired each song?

Amsterdam/Computertalsk double single cover

Inwards: Well, the first track “Amsterdam” kind of gives me that feeling of freedom you get when travelling. It is mixed with undertones of wanting to return home and chill. “Computertalsk” represents a different feeling, the one of trying to make the computer to express itself. It is like giving the machine a voice so it can tell you what’s going on. For me, this tune is like the computer is learning to talk because it’s got something really emotionally potent it needs to tell you. I really like making the machines feel like they have a personality and trying to give them a voice and this was me exploring these possibilities.

You are the only Worcestershire based artist who has been championed by so many DJ across BBC 6 Music: Mary Ann Hobbs, Don Letts, Stuart Maconie, Lauren Laverne, Tom Robinson, Steve Lamacq and Tom Ravenscroft. Your single “When she flashes her smile on me” was named a Song of the Week. That’s a complete take-over of national radio station! What`s your secret?

Inwards: (laughing) I don’t really know how to answer this question. I don’t think there are any secrets to making music! Just do what feels right for you.

We have seen the equipment you use to create your music during your session for BBC Introducing Hereford and Worcester in Pershore. It looks very impressive and very complicated. We are sure that outside of music, it is also capable of answering phone calls and making a cuppa. Help us out and tells us what are all those cables, wires and boxes?

Inwards: I will try to make it easy! So, the main box with the wires is a modular synthesizer. It is basically a synthesizer that you can choose what component parts are inside it. Basically, you can make it your own instrument. The other stuff is a mixer, drum machine and a Delay Pedal which I use alongside the modular and my computer to create the vibes. I wish it could make drinks but not quite there yet (laughing). Would be cool to make a phone module that could randomly call people in a contacts list and then use the audio from the call in the system. Or a prank call module with customizable soundbank for all your favourite prank calls. If you are a modular synth developer and reading this, you’re welcome!

Tell us about your relationship with your label – Small Pond

Kristian at work

Inwards: I met the Small Pond crew through living in Brighton. I remember going to a great party at their studio on Castle Street. I think it was the opening evening of the studio that the Small Pond team had been building for 2 years. I met most of their employees that evening, although I didn’t back then think I would be working so closely with them in the future! Samuel Organ asked me in late 2016 if I would be interested in working on a release with them and if I had any music that I would consider submitting. I put everything I made that I thought was decent enough and sent them a file with about 60 tracks in it. It was quite nerve racking experience really. It felt like sending of all this precious stuff that I wasn’t even sure was any good anymore because I had listened to it so much. I think they were a bit taken back by the number of tracks included! Obviously, they couldn’t make a 60-track album (or could we?). It took some time for us to work out the best combinations of tunes but we got there in the end. The album turned out to be a belter and I’m super proud of it. Yeah in short, the relationship is ace, I had a great time so far working with the whole team and I look forward to future projects with them.

Your music is classified as general electronic /dance but we hear so many elements and inspirations: from Aphex Twin, Ian Pooley, The Orb, Orbital, Future Sound of London, 808 State, Sven Vath to Atticus Ross. At times you cross into territory inhabited by Boards of Canada, Unkle, Bjork and all the way to Radiophonic Workshop. You seem to be familiar with incredible amount of popular music, how do you retain your own distinctive identity?

Inwards:  I think the identity of music comes from chasing a sound or vibe that makes you feel a certain way. For me, it’s like there are massive spaces in music. Almost like big gaps or territories that haven’t been discovered yet. Making music is my way of bridging these gaps and getting to these sonic landscapes that I feel are missing from my current musical world. I think this is perhaps where musical identity comes from. When you are trying to chase an idea or feeling that exists only in your mind and you try to make it into something tangible. It has your own stamp on it.

Your debut offering via Small Pond – “Diesel” was released on 27th April 2018. How did you approach working on that album? Did you enter the studio with prepared material or preferred to compose there and then?

Inwards:  My approach varies to each song individually. Each track is like an experiment where I am exploring music possibilities within a framework of equipment that I set up in different ways each time. When I experiment, I am chasing a vibe or sound that makes me feel in a certain way. Sometimes I can be making music and listening to the same cycle for an hour and not realize it because I am totally sucked in. Some tunes are made in a methodical sequenced way on the computer and others may be coming straight out of the hardware live or a combination of the two methods. I didn’t sit down and said to myself: “Right, I’m going to make a 13-track album this month”.  Every time I make music, I just do it in certain moment. Only afterwards I try and fuse tracks together to make larger works.

Last question – where can we see/hear you next? What`s in your calendar for coming months?

Inwards: I have a live show in London coming up at the Pickle Factory on the 16th of August with my visual bro Irie Pixel. We have been working on a live AV show that I am excited to perform. I’m very excited that the show will take place at the Pickle Factory as they have really good club system. Also, I have a show coming up in Bristol soon and some other very cool things to announce but can’t quite tell you about them yet! You will have to watch and see!

You can follow Inwards on social medias:

Label: Small Pond
Contact: Rosie James
Website: https://smallpondrec.co.uk/
Bandcamp: https://smallpond.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/inwardsuk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/inwards_
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/inwards_92/
Bandcamp: https://smallpond.bandcamp.com/album/diesel
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/inwardsuk
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/542nHHjo4wRmP3AbeJWkse?si=I3pj6B1DSyqchOJ45fV8uw

On 29th April 2018, Inwards visited his home town of Pershore to record BBC Introducing session. We have been there and made some recordings and videos on the day. It is only fair to share some of our materials with you.

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You can also see our videos on Youtube (yes, we have our own channel with a lot of goodies here)

Well, that’s all folks for today, but stay tuned and we will be back shortly with even more news, reviews and interviews!

Please stay beautiful!
xxx
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

Indieterria meets Jack Fletcher Band

Hey all you people (right here, right now)!

So much is going on dear readers, that we don’t know where to start! Interviews, pictures, secret gigs being organized (maybe in Birmingham, or maybe not 😊), plans and collaborations – we are 24hrs party people, only our party is a long-time marketing campaign! It is an exciting time to be alive as our friend says, but we wish our day had 48 hours instead of 24. Or well, you only live once.

Saturday, the 9th of June is coming closer and closer and we cannot wait! We will have a mini Worcester invasion with HVMM playing at The Flapper, Lost Tigers appearing at the Bishop and Actress and Dead Dads Club coming back to The Sunflower Lounge to rock you like a hurricane. Please use the links below to purchase the tickets and support The Racket, Jack Fletcher Band and our Malvern boys in DDC, if you are looking for a quality entertainment. Always support your local DIY scene. Those bands are the future of the British guitar music!

Poster for gig at the legendary Sunflower Lounge on 9th June 2018

https://www.facebook.com/events/216304582300587/
https://www.seetickets.com/tour/modern-age-birmingham-w-the-racket

You can also read our previous interview with:
Dead Dads Club: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/06/04/indieterria-meets-dead-dads-club/
The Racket: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/indieterria-meets-the-racket/

The event has made it onto the newspapers in Brum, so we are happy kittens:

https://www.expressandstar.com/entertainment/music/2018/06/04/wolverhamptons-the-jack-fletcher-band-to-support-the-racket-in-birmingham/

Today, we would like to present you with the last interview we did to promote the show. The Jack Fletcher Band is one of Wolverhampton’s finest new bands and you just have to see them live. We talked to lead singer and guitarist, Jack Fletcher about the band’s name (quite obvious!), playing with Johnny Brown of Twisted Wheel and their new upcoming music. No beating about bush, only simple and straightforward answers. This is what we like!

Band`s logo

Jack Fletcher (vocals, guitar)
Tom Robinson (drummer)
Henry Bradley (bass)
George Hadley (lead guitar)

Official bio:  The Jack Fletcher Bans is an indie-rock four piece from Wolverhampton that can only be described as real rock with their stripped back guitar music, Midlands twang and their live-for-the moment attitude.

After the split of his former band “The Town”, lead vocalist Jack Fletcher began his solo career before meeting fellow band members: Tom Robinson (drummer) and Henry Bradley (bass) on a music technology course at university. From this friendship and the introduction of George Hadley (lead guitar), The Jack Fletcher Band was formed. Combining influences from mod bands such as The Jam & The Who with the rock and roll sounds of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix.

To date these Black Country lads have played numerous festivals and venues including Lakefest (supporting the likes of Primal Scream, The Coral, Cast and Star Sailor), Party in the Pines Festival, Wolverhampton’s Slade Rooms, Notting Hill Arts Club, Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham and the legendary Band on the Wall in Manchester.

With their unique and timeless compositions, youthful spirit and optimistic outlook, The Jack Fletcher Band are a group that will stand the test of time. They are a band that not only defines the present, but a band that embodies the culture and guts of those that came before them and will continue to do so for years to come.

Amazing picture taken by our dear friend Nidge Luhg Sanders at Trust A Fox Photography https://www.facebook.com/TrustAFoxPhotography/

Before we start, let`s have a proper introduction to all the members of the band. Please tell us who is who?

Jack Fletcher: Hi. My name is Jack Fletcher and I’m the lead singer and I play guitar. The rest of the band is George Hadley on lead guitar, Henry Bradley on bass and Tom Robinson on drums.

You have been performing under The Jack Fletcher Band moniker for quite some time now. It is simple yet memorable name. Did you choose it on purpose or was it last minute decision that just stayed with you? Are you tempted to change it to something else?

Jack Fletcher: We decided on The Jack Fletcher Band as the band’s name wasn’t really something we cared about. I wasn’t really good at picking names so we picked the worst name that we could find (laughing). Joking aside, it’s just stuck with us.

Your biography mentions that the band started out after a group of incredibly talented musicians took the same music course at the university. It is a perfect script material. Was it really a random encounter or did you know each other before?

Jack Fletcher: We all knew each other. Myself, Henry and Tom – we all really met at college and George was a friend of Jack’s early on… and the rest is a history (laughing).

Jack, before forming this group, you fronted The Town, an accomplished act in its own right. Can you tell us more about your project?

Jack Fletcher: The Town was my first real band. We played all around the country when we were around 16 -17 years old. Looking back on it, that’s a big achievement in itself really. We did well and we were so very young. But we enjoyed it.

Jack Fletcher Band in black and white

You have wonderful working relationship with Twisted Wheel. You supported them several times and in return Johnny Brown performed with you on stage. How did your collaboration start?

Jack Fletcher: We were always big fans of Johnny’s music and we met him at an acoustic gig in Derby some time ago and our friendship has been good ever since. We see him as a hero, but please don’t tell him that (laughing). He is a good friend.

The video to song “Has it all gone wrong” beautifully directed by Benjamin Harrp amassed over 100k views on social media.  We have to admit, we absolutely love this song. It is very emotional. Any back story behind this track?

Jack Fletcher: Thank you! The story behind this track is very simple. I personally believe everyone can relate to it. Anything can go wrong in life but I suppose, it is always for the right reasons. The song is very emotional but I think it has a positive ending. You know, “keep on keeping on”, that sort of thing. And we are glad to hear that people can relate to the song’s tune and its lyrics.

Another of our favourites “What are you waiting for” was produced by Ryan Pinson at RML Studios in Wolverhampton. Pinson is known for working with several upcoming independent artists such as Jump The Shark, Wax Futures and Cosmic Rays. His style is crisp, a bit raw and energetic. Was that what you wanted to highlight in your song?

Jack Fletcher: Writing a good song is one thing but getting it produced well and making it sound like you do live is very difficult. Ryan’s a legend. He is an excellent producer and he can do his stuff very well. Always brings the best out of our music and that’s very important for us.

As Vanadian Avenue is based in Worcester, we have to mention that you have played on our home turf at Worcester Music Festival in 2017. How do you remember it? We hope The Faithful City provided you with a solid crowd and good memories.

JFB live on stage

Jack Fletcher: Yeah we have played in Worcester a few times. To be honest sometimes a bit too early for us to have half-decent crowd. You seem to put up shows very early guys, but the experience hasn’t been bad all bad (laughing).

On 9th of June you will join The Racket and Dead Dads Club at The Sunflower Lounge for a true rock and roll celebration. Are you preparing something special for the gig?

Jack Fletcher: We will try and impress people at gig on Saturday. That’s what we always intend to do anyway. We are not planning anything special, we will give it our all and maybe play a new tune.

Your schedule this year is fully packed. Where can your fans see you next? Any summer festivals or important concerts we should be on the look out for?

Jack Fletcher: We’ve got a quite a few things coming up and we are getting quite busy again. But everything still needs to be confirmed. Always come to our social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to check things out. You will not be disappointed.

As mentioned already, the band is available on all important social media platforms, so take your pick!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackfletcherband/
Official website: http://www.jackfletcherband.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jackfband
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thejackfletcherband/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC81Xd2zyhx0Xkju36Q5Geug
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/jackf_music

Talking to the bands is one thing, but seeing them live is a completely different set of vinyls. Hopefully we will see you in Sunflower Lounge this Saturday. Bring your friends, a pair of comfortable shoes and let’s dance the night away!

Au revoir la haut à mes amis (just because speaking in French is hot these days)
xoxox
Rita and Malicia

Indieterria meets Dead Dads Club

Dear Readers!

The first half of 2018 is behind us but your two faithful A&R’s are not stopping for an inch! In the last week we have travelled with Nuns of the Tundra to HowTheLightsGetIn festival, witnessed them play a semi acoustic gig at Paradiddles Cafe for Before The Music  workshops (similar in form to the “Story Tellers” on MTV if you are old enough to remember it!) and wave them off to go to Swindon for a meeting with a producer!

That’s not all! The Americas and Soeur were chosen by BBC Hereford and Worcester to play at the Wychwood Festival and you can see a short video of The Americas playing one of their best gigs on Vanadian Avenue Facebook page. In short, it was a crazy 7 days  but we are having the time of our lives (as usual anyway)!

New week and we have a brand new interview for you dear readers. We have sat down with Lee Richardson, lead singer of the Dead Dads Club, to discuss Malvern blooming rock and roll scene, new tracks and their love for the DIY, guitar driven scene led by bands such as The Blinders. Dead Dads Club will support The Racket on their first national tour and you can catch them both (plus the Jack Fletcher Band) at the Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham on the 9th of June. The show is organized by the great people at Modern Age Music and you can find more information about the show here:

Poster for gig at the legendary Sunflower Lounge on 9th June 2018

https://www.facebook.com/events/216304582300587/
https://www.seetickets.com/tour/modern-age-birmingham-w-the-racket

We have to admit that we giggled like schoolgirls reading the interview and Lee’s sense of humour (bit dry and sarcastic) made it one of the funniest interviews we ever hosted on Indieterria.

So, please enjoy!

Lee Richardson (vocals, guitar)
Matt Rawlings (bass)
James Devine (drums)
Milo Ferreira-Hayes (lead guitar)

Official bio:  Hailing from Malvern, Worcestershire, The Dead Dads Club consist of four close friends: Lee, Milo, James and Matt. Lee Richardson (lead vocals) is known for composing meaningful lyrics that everyone can relate to. There is a rich deepness as much as sense of humour backed up by strong, dynamic rock and roll acoustic steele string guitar. Lee’s chords are graced by Milo Ferreira-Hayes on lead guitar. Their partnership creates a unique sound with strong arrangements and lush solos. Then comes James Devine with his powerful drumming and unmatched beats that strongly root the band inside the alternative and independent genres. Matt Rawlings’ atmospheric and hypnotic bass completes the musical equation. The Dead Dads Club tour consistently and played many important venues in West Midlands such as The Sunflower Lounge, O2 Arena and O2 Institute in Birmingham, Gifford Arms in Wolverhampton or Marr’s Bar in Worcester. They shared stages with The Racket, HVMM, Nuns of the Tundra, Jump the Shark, Matchboy, Juniper Nights, Winchester, Ruben Seabright, The Soviets and many more.

According to your bio, The Dead Dads Club are four good friends with similar musical interests and outlook on life. You listen to the same records and laugh at the same (apparently unfunny) jokes. Please introduce yourselves to the readers of Indieterria.

Lee Richardson: All right, let’s get started. First, we have JD or James Devine. Our drummer is 23-year-old history graduate. Has a tendency to throw his drumsticks mid-song and he’s a huge music fan. One of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, although he never shuts up (laughing).  Matt Rawlings. Bass. 19 years old. Studying music at college. Saved the band when our previous bass player Liam left as I was ready to jack it in.  Intelligent but quietly reserved, and says what he needs to.  Milo. Lead guitar. 17 years old. Studying music with Matt in Hereford. Channels Jimmy Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan while he continues to develop his own style.  Highly intelligent, loves the ladies (and some men).  He’ll go places.  Lee Richardson.  Rhythm guitar, vocals. 30 something. Loves the band, they’ve become his family.  Came late to the music game but is glad he did.  Also, what really brings us together is we’re fed up of what is considered “popular music” these days. Where the hell are the guitar bands in the charts?  We aim to be part of the wave of new guitar bands that will bring back indie music to the masses. Its due, and it’s going to happen. Bands like The Blinders will lead the way for this new wave.

We heard there is a good story surrounding your first meeting. How and where have you met?

Lee Richardson: Actually, there is (laughing). I met JD first, in a pub over Christmas in 2016. He’d put an Oasis track on the jukebox and in my drunken state, I stumbled over to his table and asked who the Oasis fan was.  Initially, JD thought I was coming over to start trouble so… (laughing again). Anyway, we started chatting and he joined me at some open mic night accompanying me on Cajon. At one such open mic, we were just sitting down as a tall, good looking kid walked in with a guitar and amp in hand.  He set up and started banging out “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” by Hendrix note for note perfect.  Jaws dropped around the pub, and I was introduced to Milo 10 minutes later.  Milo, being an old soul in a young body (he’s 17), decided he was going to adopt us and he started joining JD and I on stage.  Matt came into the band last as a replacement for Liam Blakemore, who left us after becoming a father last year.

Dead Dads Club Live
Picture by Duncan Graves https://www.facebook.com/duncan.graves

The Dead Dads Club is a highly unusual name. We did a little research about it and the results are very inconclusive. We found an episode of a popular American TV series “Grey’s Anatomy” bearing that title, a book, an independently released murder-mystery stage play and a scientific paper. What is the inspiration behind the band’s name?

Lee Richardson: A friend of mine, Tristan James (who is an incredible rapper and lyricist by the way) and I were working on some songs together two years ago.  Tristan’s dad had passed away two years before and mine had just died around the time.  We made a joke that we should call ourselves The Dead Dads Club. Some found it distasteful, we found it funny and as time went on, it proved to be an attention grabber.  As the band was developing in its infancy, we moved forward without Tristan as we felt that we wouldn’t be able to accommodate rap within our music, and that Tristan’s talents needed to have the sole emphasis placed on him alone.  We still work together and have a collaboration between DDC and Tristan James coming out this year.

The original line-up of The Dead Dads Club included Liam Blakemore on bass and Milo Ferreira-Hayes on lead guitar. Currently you have a newcomer, Matt Rawlings on guitar and Milo moved on to play bass. How long have you been working with Matt? When did he join the band?

Lee Richardson: We have been working with Matt just under a year now. We were lucky to find him after Liam left the band to concentrate on his new family.

Talking about Matt, we have noticed that him and Milo have a tendency of swapping guitars during gigs. Is it done only for certain songs or are you trying to totally confuse the audience?

Lee Richardson: Matt is actually a lead guitarist first and foremost, but we dragged him into the band as we needed a bass player.  Luckily, he could hold his own on the bass.  Matt and Milo swap their instruments over on a song called “Stop”. When we recorded the studio version, Milo was laying down his lead track, when I suggested an idea of putting something “Hendrixy” into the solo. Matt immediately heard something in his head, grabbed Milo’s guitar and played the most amazing little lick that had Milo put his hands to his head in disbelief and proclaim: “You’re a @*%^”! Please insert the swear word of your choice! We all still laugh about it months later. We have another new track in development about an unsuccessful application to play at a local festival that Matt will again take guitar duties on.  And yes, we love to confuse the audience.  It’s what we do best!

Your home town of Malvern is relatively small but it has long musical tradition and a vibrant scene. You are part of the local pack along with Nuns of the Tundra, Ruben Seabright, UltraMegaOK and White Feather Collective. Any explanation for such a high concentration of talent per square mile?

Lee Richardson: Malvern has always attracted arty types from all over the country. It has also produced many talented locals in many endeavors aside from just music. There’s good music everywhere, but I think a lot of people are scared to put it out into the open as they’re worried what people will think.  Bands like the Nuns of The Tundra and The White Feather Collective have got the balls to believe in themselves and their songs and they should.  They set the standard in Malvern for sure and I’d argue further afield than that as well. The Malvern scene has been very supportive of us playing our own songs, and that has provided us with a platform to build on to play bigger towns and cities. Of course, others would say the high concentration of talent is just down to the Malvern spring water (laughing).

Lee Richards singing his heart out
Picture by Duncan Graves https://www.facebook.com/duncan.graves

Dead Dads Club’s music has been compared to The Beatles, The Stone Roses, The Doors, Oasis, Crosby Stills Young and Nash, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Ryan Adams and Arctic Monkeys – that’s some of the biggest names in popular music. Tell us what inspires you to write?

Lee Richardson:  Have we?  Jesus, we should be playing Wembley by now then if that’s the case (laughing). Our influences vary, but all those bands have been massive for me when I was growing up.  I have one goal when I write and that’s to infect a person’s mind with the melody or the hook.  If I see people dancing, tapping their feet or getting emotional when they hear Dead Dads Club track, then my job is done.  My lyrics aren’t really deep or even that good. It’s hard to write meaningful lyrics when you have a heart of stone (laughing again).  Most of the tracks have been inspired by either ex-girlfriends, stalkers or life events. I don’t look at the moon on a dark starry night and have flood of beautiful Dylan-esque lyrics come to the forefront of my mind’s eye.  I’ll leave that to all the Joni Mitchells of this world.  I’m rather in-your-face rock n roll writer with attitude and swagger. That’s enough for us.

Your shows attract large number of guest musicians and singers. We are especially interested in James Burnham who joined you on stage playing electric violin many times. Any chances of seeing him performing with you again?

Lee Richardson: James was an original member of Dead Dads Club along with Liam, Milo, JD and myself. Our sound changed after Liam left the band, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to accommodate a violin within a setting that was chasing a heavier charged more electric sound.  James Burnham is probably the most talented musical mind I’ve met and I plan on doing more acoustic recordings with him as a duo to add to the songs we’ve already recorded together.

Recently you played three gigs in one day. Were you celebrating a special occasion or trying to beat the Guinness World Book record for the biggest number of gigs played in a single day?

Lee Richardson: We already have a record for band with the most special needs, so we’ll settle for that one for now (laughing). We played at a 21st birthday party in Malvern and did an acoustic set to start things rolling, before packing up and heading to play at The Brickroom in Worcester.  We then headed back to the party to play a full electric set.  It was a good day and the alcohol certainly helped us along the way!

You have been working hard on your new batch of songs. So far you have given us three titles: “After the War”, “Chant” and “Buttons of Gold”. Can you tell us more about those songs?

Lee Richardson: We have such a backlog of tracks, it’s hard to decide what to bring to the set next!  The first song you are asking about “After the War” was written by Matt and myself after consuming half a bottle of Jack one Sunday afternoon.  Matt’s been listening to a lot of Jeff Buckley recently and wrote the trip chords. I wrote the lyrics and melody there and then. Not sure why, but I had images of a post-apocalyptic Earth ravaged by the aftermath of fallen society.  So, I just wrote the story that was forming in my head and we had the track recorded as a demo within an hour. Another demo recording, entitled temporarily as “Chant” in short is a peace protest kind of song. I channeled the “Hey Jude” chorus and came up with my own interpretation of that massive crowd singalong. We’re currently rehearsing “Chant” to add to the set, but “After the War” will probably end up as just a standalone song. It would be very difficult to reproduce the haunting sound we got on the recording on stage, unless we used multiple effects peddles and we don’t believe in overdoing it with those. “Buttons of Gold” is brand new track inspired in a way by the sound that The Blinders have made their own.  It’s about an experience that Jimi Hendrix had when he came to London in the 1960’s with two policemen who stopped him for wearing a WW2 military veterinary core jacket but really because of the color of his skin, let’s face it.  I encourage everyone to read up on it, it’s interesting.  I won’t bore you with the details here (laughing). Anyway, we’ll be playing “Buttons of Gold” for the first time in public at the Sunflower Lounge gig on June 9th. We are supporting another good guitar band, The Racket so come and see us there.

The band in full
Picture by Duncan Graves
https://www.facebook.com/duncan.graves

Next months will surely be very busy for you. What’s in store for the Dead Dads Club? Anything we need to know?

Lee Richardson: We’re having a month off in July to re-charge and find new inspiration.  Our EP is ready to roll now, and that’ll be out in August.  We’ll be throwing a release party at Carnival records in Malvern, and playing a set there too.  The momentum has been building nicely thanks to support from the Nuns and local promoters, and we’re going to build on this massively this year, guaranteed.  Long live rock n roll…and cheeseburgers.

You can follow Dead Dads Club on social media:

Management and booking:
Officialdeaddadsclub@gmail.com
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBAV3WyU2Yika85Moux8uzg
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialdeaddadsclub/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/deaddadsclublive
Instagram: www.instagram.com/officialdeaddadsclub

Articles about the band:
http://www.malverngazette.co.uk/news/15889224.Bands_to_play_in_Worcester_as_part_of_Independent_Venue_Week/
http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/16080910.Snow_forces_Malvern_band_to_postpone_gig_-_but_the_show_goes_on_in_nearby_venue/
https://www.expressandstar.com/entertainment/2018/03/13/birmingham-show-rescheduled-for-worcester-band-nuns-of-the-tundra/

We cannot wait to see Lee, Milo, James and Matt rocking The Sunflower stage again! Last time Dead Dads Club played there, they gave their best and the audience loved them. Some tickets are still available, so do yourself a favor and come see them live.

The Blinders might be leading the musical revolution, but Dead Dads Club are following their footsteps!

Please come back soon as we have  another great interview to show you before the big day  next Saturday!!

till then,
Rita and Mal
xxx

Indieterria meets The White Feather Collective

Hey everybody!

Welcome to 2018! We would like to wish you a very happy and prosperous new year and we hope it will be better than the last one. This year is going to be a very important one for our Worcester Music Scene and of course Vanadian Avenue crew will be keeping our eyes and ears open for anything music related. Please add us on Facebook if you haven’t done so yet to stay in touch with the latest information!

We would like to kick off 2018 in style with the first interview of the year. Ladies and gents, we give you the excellent White Feather Collective!

***

Believe it or not, there must be definitely something in the famous Malvern spring water. After the success of fellow Malvern rockers Nuns of the Tundra at the national Firestone Battle of Bands competition and incredible releases from Dead Dads Club (they are playing Marr’s Bar with HVMM this February), here comes The White Feather Collective, swinging rock and roll quartet that has a major chance to represent England at the famous SXSW Conference & Festivals in San Antonio. We sat down with WFC to discuss their new material, previous accomplishments and sneaking into Glastonbury Festival.

 White Feather Collective are:

William Turner (vocals/guitar),
Christopher Reynolds (drums),
Josh Lambe (vocals),
Roo Macphee (bass/organ)

 

White Feather Collective – picture from the bands archive

White Feather Collective logo

You are immensely popular in West Midlands. But just in case somebody spent the last few years living under a rock. Who are The White Feather Collective?

White Feather Collective: We guess, the easiest way to describe us would be we are a four-piece rock band from Malvern. The boarder definition would be who we are is what we aim for. We want to change some part of this world through music to make creative escapism as popular as it was. We want a big scene of groovy people loving all day and night, not just to escape the current state of things but as a means to change it. It sounds daft like a hippy dream, but it is so much more. The world is run by liars you’ll never meet and we want some power shift where what we say it counts and we see the efforts of our strain. Music is just one way of getting us on the same page and talking about that.

BBC Hereford & Worcester put you forward to the panel that chooses the BBC Music Introducing South By South West (SXSW) showcase line-up. Potentially, you could play at the biggest music conference in the world in Austin, Texas. Previous alumni of the BBC stage include among others The Big Moon and Idles. The first were nominated for Mercury Prize, the other recorded album of the year. No pressure, right?

White Feather Collective: No pressure at all! The fact we’ve been nominated encourages us to continue on the path we’re on. We just have to dream bigger and continue to put more loving energy into everything we do. The overall goal is to share good music with people and keep on riding that high.

The band formed in 2014. One year later, you had about twenty recorded songs and one of them “Come On and Get Down” was used by French company WIKO Mobile in their international campaign. Can you tell us how did that collaboration come to be?

White Feather Collective: They found us on Bandcamp. It was an early demo EP we nearly didn’t put on. Looking back, it was a good job we did! The coolest part of that was the video they made to go with it and the fact it was blasting out in huge stadiums!

The White Feather Collective – photo by Duncan Graves

White Feather Collective scored some prestigious gigs: The Water Rats in Kings Cross and The Monarch in Camden. And they were sold out shows. You also regularly perform in Scotland. How does the audience across the country react to your music?

White Feather Collective: The audience seem to react very similarly everywhere we go. They are all very warm and welcoming and tell us they dig our sound. Of course, it all depends on what night you’re put on in these places, really. For example, a Wednesday night in central London can be a bit hit and miss whereas the same night in a country pub could turn crazy. It’s all about the vibes, man. But still we find it’s the best way to try out new tracks and see what people respond to. We see it as a work in progress and some songs get left for recordings and others are better to be performed live.

April 2016 saw you recording a session for BBC Introducing at the Phoenix Theatre in Ross-on-Wye. You were partnered with another group tipped for national success – nth cave. Do you have any recollections from that session?

White Feather Collective: Honestly not much (laughter)! We’d come from a gig up north the night before so we were all quite hung-over and tired. We do remember singing Roy Orbison with Andrew Marston quite a lot though and that felt nice!

In October 2016 you released your five track debut EP “Universal Harmony” and then followed by a stand-alone digital single “Doorman” in November of the same year. We tried to find one bad review of either and we simply couldn’t. Very unusual, but it seems nothing is ordinary about White Feather Collective.

White Feather Collective: No, you will not be able to find anything ordinary about us. We’re all very unusual! (laughing)

William Turner (vocals,guitar) – photo by Duncan Graves

This summer you spent mostly playing festivals (The Orchard Venue in Ledbury, West Fest, Mello Fest, Lakefest, Nozstock) with few performances in Wales (Cardiff, Monmouth) and one in Bristol (Mr Wolf`s). Is any new material coming or are you just taking things easy?

White Feather Collective: Yes, we were lucky enough to play some great festivals. Some down in Cornwall and Glastonbury which our singer, Josh actually had to sneak into (sorry Mr. Eavis!) He was there for about ten days and we had to pull him away. We don’t think he ever wanted to leave! And yes again, there’s always new material we’re working on. At the moment we are just getting funds together to get into the studio to record  new songs.

The band started out as a quintet but recently you are down to four members. Can you tell us who departed the Collective?

White Feather Collective: We have always been a 4 piece  band but we have percussionists, keys players and singers join us for certain things, that’s why we call it the collective. Our longest serving percussionist is a friend named Robby Rotten. He’s a real dude and often joins us when he’s not riding his motorbike through Africa!

The sound of White Feather Collective has been described as psychodelic surf rock with influences stretching from The Rolling Stones and Animals to Beach Boys, Donovan, Crazy World of Arthur Brown or even Captain Beefheart. How would you describe your own music and influences?

White Feather Collective: Yes, these are some pretty big names. We all have so many influences but we all love the iconic sounding records of the sixties and the people who make BIG songs that are still so popular like The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Velvet Underground.

Roo Macphee (bass) – photo by Duncan Graves

You prefer to have a complete control of your art: writing, filming, recording, designing and producing all the aspects of your musical presence. That is a very unique approach in the era when bands employ entire armies of collaborators.

White Feather Collective: It’s a story of two halves, really.  We’re poor but we’re also creative people and truly enjoy doing it (laughter). We would love the opportunity and want to collaborate with other artists but financially it’s not viable. Naturally, we all work in the creative industry, whether it’s recording music, film making or photography. This has helped us enormously.

You have substantial following online for an unsigned band. “Come On and Get Down” has been viewed over 80 K times on Youtube while “Crossroad Shootout” has over 34 K hits. Your songs on Reverberation have been listened by thousands of visitors. We are sure you already receive proposals from the labels.  Ever thought of jumping ships and getting signed?

White Feather Collective: We’ve only received an offer once but unfortunately it wasn’t right for us at the time. It’s an incredibly important decision for a band and one that will set our direction for time to come. We’re very open to the idea and would love to sign if the right opportunity arose with the right label, but for now we’ll continue to do what we enjoy.

In the element – The White Feather Collective photographed by Duncan Graves

Any plans for the future, maybe except for the world domination?

White Feather Collective:  Nah just continue making things, living the best we can and keep trying to meet Robert Plant! (laughing again)

On Saturday, January 6th, 2017 BBC Hereford & Worcester aired a short interview with The White Feather Collective and gave this very blog a shout out. You can here the 5 minute segment on the band and our interview  right here:

https://vocaroo.com/i/s0aXrHgwHmuI

or listen online http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05rfp94

Come on SXSW – you know you want a band from Worcester play at one of your events. Or two or seven bands from Worcester, we can ship you some incredible artists!

You can follow The White Feather Collective here:

Official Page: http://www.thewhitefeathercollective.com/
Facebook:
  https://www.facebook.com/thewhitefeathercollective/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TWFCollective
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMn_Umrhabb1wzGfRNRVlpw
Bandcamp: https://thewhitefeathercollective.bandcamp.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thewhitefeathercollective/

***

Please come back again as  we have a fantastic interview almost ready that will be published soon!
Have a great week and keep the 2018 safe and sound!

Best regards
Rita and Malicia

Indieterria: WorcesterWave youngest bands part 2

Hello again!

Welcome back to the second part of the Vanadian Avenue official guide to the new, exciting and emerging bands on the Worcestershire Music Scene.
If you have missed the first part of this blog, don’t panic. Please click on the link below and you will be able to read everything about the bands mentioned there:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/indieterria-worcesterwave-youngest-bands-part-1/

Part three can be found under this link:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2017/12/24/indieterria-worcesterwave-youngest-bands-part-3/

Are you ready for another dosage of the super talented and ready-to-take-on-the-world musician from The Faithful City?  We hope so, as we have  some superb artists to show you!

Happy Bones (Iggy Cuthbert)

Happy Bones playing live photo by Alex Knight

Happy Bones (aha Iggy Cuthbert) by Josh Foster

Official bio:  Happy Bones is a Worcester based folk project written by Iggy Cuthbert. Joined by Daniel Merry who provides backing vocals and rhythm guitar. Melancholic, sleep deprived and intimate folk tunes. Sung in a trembling voice, the influences range from Elliott Smith to Conor Oberst.

 Worcester born and based singer/songwriter Igor “Iggy” Cuthbert is a busy body. He is a solo artist (performing under the name of Happy Bones), a poet, visual artist and a music promoter. As Happy Bones, Iggy played extensively in Worcestershire alongside nth cave, Thousand Mountains, Solsara, Ben Dallow, Iosif Norrisache (Joe Norris), Luke Steele, Sam Clines and others. He was also a lead singer and guitarist for the band Shia and lead guitarist for another alternative outfit, Gooche.

Happy Bones released a self-titled debut EP in 2017 to very positive reviews. Iggy described it as “a project I wrote and recorded in 15 days. The EP was full of mistakes, wrong notes and skipped beats. It’s intended to be honest and intimate. I wrote the songs as sketches and ideas and I hope whoever listens to them keeps that in mind.”

As a music promoter, Iggy is a member of The Boneyard Sessions along with Hector and Fergus Brazier and Alfie Newman of nth cave. He works with music venues in Herefordshire and Worcestershire organizing open mic nights, spoken word sessions and concert for local and international artists such as the German indie-rock outfit, The Black Rattles.

Iggy curated a stage for Worcester Music Festival at the Old Pheasant headlined by popular Worcester quartet, RVRMN.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iggyhappybones
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/iggyc
Bandcamp: https://happybones.bandcamp.com

Benjamin Dallow

Benjamin Dallow

Benjamin Dallow at Firefly concert, picture by Malicia Dabrowicz

Brought up in Worcester and Evesham, Ben Dallow spent several years living away from West Midlands residing in Liverpool and Bristol. His music has been described as a classic rock, with mix of psychedelia and a lot of brit pop. It shouldn’t come as a surprise as his influences include Paul Weller, The Jam, Oasis, The Stone Roses, Primal Scream and Ocean Colour Scene. Known among his friends as “Brit-pop Ben” due to his musical style and image, Ben has been performing in Worcester music clubs and venues, sharing stages with many established and local acts.

He played at 9th and 10th edition of Worcester Music Festival (2016 and 2017 respectively) and curated a music night on September 15th at the Firefly under “Ben Dallows Presents” banner. He introduced several new acts to Worcester scene including Plastic Scene, Ghosts in the Photographs, Elephant Peel, Pink Diamond Revue and The Actions.

Alongside poet Joe Norris, Ben is a part of Random Name Generator artistic project created to popularize poetry and acoustic music in Worcestershire. Random Name Generator closely works with other local promoters including The Hive, Worcester University, Boneyard Sessions, Slap Magazine and Sudden Attack.  As a solo artist, Ben supported Birmingham based electronic/hybrid music trio Lycio in November 2017 at the Bottles and Jesse River Dylan Murray during the launch of his debut EP entitled “Classical Music” in July. He was also involved in Worcester Canal Festival in 2016 and 2017.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/benjamin.dallow
Worcester Music Festival:
  http://www.worcestermusicfestival.co.uk/bands/Benjamin-Dallow/

Becky Rose Seabright

Becky Rose promo picture

Becky Rose live

 At only 26 years old, Becky has a resume of an artist and performer twice her age. In the last 4 years, she has performed more than 250 times nationally, with her biggest concerts being held in Birmingham, London (Troubadour Club and Amnesty International Headquarters) and Manchester.

 In June 2012 while still a student at University of Worcester, she performed an original song for The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to commemorate the opening of The Hive, the biggest library in Worcestershire. Her performance was recorded and broadcast live on BBC Hereford and Worcester. It also received mentions in the national press and radio.

Two years later, after beating nearly 37000 candidates from the UK and Ireland, Becky was selected to attend the BBC Introducing Musician’s Masterclass at Abbey Road Studios in London where she met artists such as Calvin Harris and Mark Ronson and the bosses of companies including Columbia Records and XL Recordings. As an unsigned artist, her songs received national airplay on BBC 6 Music and Radio 1. Becky’s music has been championed by Andrew Marston and she was invited to record her sessions for BBC Introducing in Hereford and Worcester twice in 2013 and 2016.  Becky was also interviewed after her fiancé and fellow musician, Ruben Seabright decided to propose on stage in the middle of Dr Stanley’s Medicine Show! Mrs Seabright performed several times at Worcester Music Festival to full houses. She is the only Worcestershire artist with number one hit in the charts! One of her songs made it to the top spot on Amazing Radio Top 20 which led to her receiving professional music tutoring from Air Management of Air Studios in London (Radiohead, Travis, Doctor Who franchise).

She is inspired by Boradway musicals, Queen, Danny Elfman, Regina Spektor and Hans Zimmer. Becky works now for Worcester University as an events manager and performs extensively.

Youtube: www.youtube.com/beckyrosemusic
Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/beckyrose
Myspace: www.myspace.com/thisisbeckyrose

RVRMN

RVRMN posing for promo picture in Worcester

RVRMN up on the roof

Founded in 2013, Worcestershire quartet RVRMN (pronounced “Riverman”) consists of Joe Powell (lead vocals, guitar), Ben Growcott (drums), Will Maeers (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Morgan Whitebeam (bass). 2017 has been a breakthrough year for the young band. They released their debut EP “Back to Bed” in February and embarked on a tour to promote it that took them to Birmingham (The Flapper), Bristol (Louisiana), Hereford, Worcester (The Marrs’ Bar), Walsall, and Wolverhampton. They have returned to Birmingham twice more over the summer to headline young bands nights at O2 Academy. They also played at several summer festivals (Nozstock, Offenham Festival) to great reviews in local press including a positive review from Slap Magazine.

RVRMN performed at Worcester Music Festival three times (2014, 2016 and 2017). The last time saw them performing twice in one day, first at St Swithuns Institute and then at The Swan with Two Nicks. On 29th of November they have been invited to record their session for BBC Introducing Hereford and Worcester along with the Americas, Ben Goodwin and Jakebob.

RVMN is influenced by The 1975, Hodera, Bon Iver and The Hunna

Website: http://rivermanofficial.wixsite.com/page
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RivermanPage
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RivermanPage
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_riverman_/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rivermanpage
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/3d2jDGHN6UP2CrGsWV7Q8v

Neil Ivison and Stone Mountain Sinners

Stone Mountain Sinners promo1

Stone Mountain Sinners promo2

Official bio: Sometimes, timing is everything. When Neil Ivison’s first band (the Janice Long championed Misers) imploded, he soon found his way back out on the road working as a touring guitar tech with the 1975 & Wolf Alice among others. Meanwhile, Sarah Warren’s eponymously named band were also about to call time on 10 years of hard gigging through the UK and & Europe. During a rare day off from an intensive US tour schedule, in a hotel room in the Californian desert, beside the 29 Palms Highway and less than 2 miles from the infamous Joshua Tree Motel (where 42 years previously, Gram Parsons had met his untimely end), Neil, finally admitting that his passion for writing songs and playing his own gigs had become eroded, took the decision to finish the current tour and return to the UK to work on new music, inspired by the regular jaunts to the southern States of the US. Neil: “That same afternoon, I was aimlessly browsing social media and noticed Sarah had written a post announcing the end of The Sarah Warren Band. Having been a fan of her incredible voice ever since I first heard it, I immediately dashed off a quick email to see if she’d be interested in working on something new together. I think I just put “Any Chance?!” in the subject line”. Luckily, Sarah’s mutual appreciation for Neil’s work with The Misers meant that she was more than eager to see what could come out of collaborating together but not before she had grabbed her musical cohort, die hard Americana fan and ex Warren Band bassist Nick Lyndon. The 3 got together over several months in the autumn of 2016 to kick around some ideas with Nick & Neil forming a prolific song writing partnership, giving birth to 12 new tracks in the first 2 weeks alone, as well as revisiting some old songs that were rejuvenated with new & dynamic male/female vocal arrangements. Once the songs started to take shape the trio dug out their address books, made a few calls and were soon bolstered by Roger Roberts on Hammond/Piano and Vocals and former RedBeards sticks man Duke Delight on Drums and began rehearsing in earnest.

Worcester/Hereford based band, Stone Mountain Sinners consist of Neil Ivison (vocals, guitar,) Sarah Warren (lead vocals), Nick Lyndon (bass), Roger Roberts (keyboard/hammond) and Duke Delight (drums). Both Sarah and Nick previously played together in an established Worcestershire outfit The Haunted Souls, while Duke was a member of the RedBeards.

Before joining SMS, Neil Ivison also had a successful career with his previous band, The Misers and as a solo artist. The Misers toured nationally and worldwide playing legendary venues such as Astoria, Royal Albert Hall and Club 100 in London, The Viper Room in Los Angeles or Fillmore in San Francisco usually at full capacity.  Neil performed live and on records with members of Squeeze, The Sex Pistols, The Cult, Guns n’ Roses, The Specials, Morrissey, Ocean Colour Scene, The Proclaimers, The Wildhearts, Groove Armada & Tenpole Tudor. Many of his performances were broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 and Sky Arts. He was also championed by Janice Long (BBC 2 journalist awarded the prestigious BASCA Gold Badge for her unique contribution to music in 2016). Most recently Neil scored a Top 10 record in the UK Album charts as vocalist on The Professionals album “What in the World” (released on October 27th 2017 through Automaton Records).

Stone Mountain Sinners have appeared locally on several occasions including a short set on April 30th at the Swan with Two Nicks (Malicia’s gig of the year). The popular pub in Worcester city center was packed to the last place and a huge crowd gathered outside trying to get in. Their gigs around Evesham (The Regal and The Royal Oak) became the talk to the town bringing Robert Plant to see them. On 7th of December, the band made their London debut at the Bordlerline, supporting Men They Couldn’t Hang. The Sinners will release their debut EP in the late spring 2018.

Stone Mountain Sinners
Website: https://www.stonemountainsinners.co.uk
Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/stonemountainsinners/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/StoneSinners  

Neil Ivison
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/neil.ivison
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NeilIvisonMusic/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neilivison
Twitter: https://twitter.com/neilivisonmusic

HEXEN

HEXEN promo picture1

HEXEN promo picture2

Ren Wolfe, better known under the pseudonym of HEXEN is Worcester native singer/songwriter, costume designer, model and visual artist. She currently resides and works in Cardiff. HEXEN describes herself as “pop noir” or “goth pop” and finds inspiration in pulp novels, occult and sexploitation movies from the 60’s and 70’s. She is also interested in horrors and witchcraft motives and their influence over pop culture. Her favourite band is The Cure.

Ren has worked closely with several notable Welsh and Worcester musicians.  She sang backing vocals on a well received single “Float away” by Nuns of the Tundra and supported them on stage during promotion of their EP in Worcester (Marr’s Bar) and in Bristol (Louisiana).

She released her debut EP “Holy Hell” on 14th of August 2017 to excellent reception from press and Spotify community where her songs received thousands of listens and likes. The three song release (“Baptism”, “Sacrifice” and “Salvation”) tell a story of an elaborate revenge and can be classified as a concept EP, something very rare on an indie circuit. It was produced by Scott Mahoney at Strange Trees Media and mastered by Joe Caithness.

Scott Mahoney has nothing but praises for HEXEN for their work together:

“The EP was written completely in the flat. HEXEN wrote some beautiful songs and then came to me. We worked on the music together to get the songs to where they are now. We went into the studio in Malvern, up in the middle of the Hills to record the vocals and extra layers, and then I went away and mixed it all together. The whole process took a few months from demos to finished tracks, and there are more tracks currently being worked on”.

Over the summer, Reverbnation placed Ren in their top 5 pop chart for Wales in 2017, Our Culture Mag (blog) described her as “dark pop artist, her powerful and moving music is starting to put her on the radar” and she was interviewed for BBC Wales by DJ Bethan Elfyn in June 2017. Ian Critchley of Louder Than War Magazine described her EP as “atmospheric, emotive and brimming with soul, heaven for pensive ears. Baroque and Roll for all the lost souls”.

HEXEN was championed by DJ Adam Walton at BBC Wales. In May 2017, he included her on BBC Introducing Wales and in July, she became their Artist of the Week. She was also named one of the emerging new artists on BBC Wales three times: in May, August and September 2017. HEXEN’s songs are included in several official Spotify play lists dedicated for rising indie stars: “Wonky Sensitive”, “Fringe Music Fix”, “Find A Song” and “Pop Daily”.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/itshexen
Twitter: https://twitter.com/itshexen
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/itshexen/
Bandcamp: https://itshexen.bandcamp.com

Vertigo

Harry Lee Jones – the mastermind behind Vertigo

Cover for the single “Breath”

Fronted by Worcester native, Harry Jones, the Bristol based project Vertigo is one of the best kept secrets on the West Midlands and Bristol indie scenes. Formed in 2015, the band underwent several line up changes and at this moment consists of Charlotte Tunnicliffe on drums, Aaron House on bass and Harry Lee Jones on vocals and guitar. Vertigo are somewhat elusive and do not perform much, but each of their concerts is always well attended (such as the sold out gig at The Fleece in Bristol). Their debut single entitled “Breath” received a fantastic response from local media and the band was quickly spotted by BBC DJ Andrew Marston. They were included into BBC Introducing in Hereford and Worcester on 3rd of September 2016 along with Grafton Ash. “Breath” also received an extensive play on BBC Hereford and Worcester radio. The band is inspired by Jesus and the Mary Chain, The Stone Roses, The Beatles and The Velvet Underground.

Vertigo is now working on new material to be released in the second half of 2018. Judging by their new demos, we can expect great things from them. They are Rita’s discovery of 2017. Honestly, she has not been so excited about a band since The White Lies and they went on to have a spectacular career!

Website:  http://harryjoneslfc.wixsite.com/vertigo/vertigo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/harryjones27
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Vertigo-1710755979198462
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/vertigodada
Soundcloud (new demo for “Gucci”) https://soundcloud.com/vertigodada/gucci-the-first-demo
Soundcloud (“Breath”): https://soundcloud.com/vertigodada/breathe
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj0K77SGJnPWsz417sYERKw

Wheew! What a ride! One can get a serious case of vertigo being surrounded by so much talent in such a small place. We keep saying it, but we are extremely proud of our musicians, the entire scene and the people who work so hard in the background to make the gigs and events happen. Hats off to you, ladies and gentlemen.

It is not possible to mention all the bands that are playing clubs, bars and venues in Worcester, but we are constantly on the lookout and if we see anybody worth a mention, we will be more than happy to add them to the next edition!

Stay tuned, stay sharp and stay vigilant,
Rita and Mal D.