Indiaterria meets Karkosa – Korean version

Hello!

We never thought that our  interview with Karkosa would be that popular! Thanks to all of you who shared and liked our post – it means so much to us! And we also went viral. Our interview turned out to be very popular among the Korean fans of the band!

We would like to thank Mia Choi, our lovely translator who worked so hard to translate this interview in a day and a half! That must be a new world record, we are sure about that!

You can find the English version of the interview here:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/indieterria-meets-karkosa/

And now for all of  Karkosa’s fans in Korea, here it is! Enjoy!!

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언젠가 우리는 우리의 유튜브 채널에 이 블로그에서 인터뷰한 밴드의 특집을 기획하고 싶다. 그들의 밴드명은 카르코사(Karkosa)이고 여러분은 향후 몇 달 뒤면 그 이름을 더 자주 듣게 될 것이다.

카르코사

우리는 년초 런던에서 진행된 인디콘 컨퍼런스에서 카르코사를 만났다. 그들은 우리에게 아주 훌륭한 인상을 남겼고, 카르코사의 리드 보컬 마이클 워녹(Michael Warnock)과 마주 앉아 짧은 대화를 할 수 있어 기뻤다. 그들은 우리가 만나 본 사람들 중 가장 친절하고, 노력하는 사람들이었다! 그들의 독특한 밴드명, 인디 어워드에 후보로 오른 것과 심지어 지구 반대편 팬들을 얻게 된 것까지, 무수히 많은 얘깃거리들이 있었다. 카르코사는 더 많은 것들에 도전하고 있고, 우리는 그들이 가능한 빨리 그에 도달하도록 계속해서 응원할 것이다.

Big in Birmingham

공식 소개: 영국의 인디 락 밴드 카르코사는 마이클(Michael)과 잭(Jack) 워녹(Warnock) 형제에 의해 2014년 버밍엄에서 결성되었다. 리드 기타에 톰 러쉬튼(Tom Rushton), 베이스 기타에 라이언 트롯(Ryan Trott), 그리고 키보드에 윌 클루스(Will Clews)를 영입한 뒤, 밴드는 한 묶음의 곡들을 작곡, 녹음해 온라인에 게시했다. 그들의 멜로딕하고 폭발적인 락 사운드는 캣피쉬 앤 더 보틀맨(Catfish and the Bottlemen), 로얄 블러드(Royal Blood), 그리고 더 아마존스(The Amazons)에서 크게 영감을 받았다. 카르코사의 첫 싱글 The Devil’s Greatest Trick이 2016년에 발매되었고, 이어 2017년에 싱글 Monarchy, Sheffield, Where the River Flows가 발매되었다.

마이클 워녹 Michael Warnock (보컬/리듬기타)
톰 러쉬튼 Tom Rushton (리드기타)
잭 워녹 Jack Warnock (드럼)
라이언 트롯 Ryan Trott (베이스)
윌 클루스 Will Clews (키보드)

흑백의 카르코사

소개를 보니 카르코사는 4년 전 버밍엄에서 결성되었네요. 인디테리아(Indieterria) 독자들에게 밴드 소개와 밴드의 시작에 대한 이야기를 부탁드려요.

마이클 워녹: 제 생각엔 제 동생 잭(드럼)과 제가 그것보다 좀 더 일찍, 그러니까 5년 전쯤 밴드를 시작한 것 같아요. 저희의 첫 공연은 아빠의 40번째 생신 파티에서 였어요. 그때와는 멤버가 조금 바뀌었지만요. 저는 톰 러쉬튼(리드기타), 윌 클루스(키보드)를 우리가 함께 음악을 공부한 BOA칼리지에서 만났어요. 가장 마지막으로 영입된 멤버는 잭과 같은 학교를 다닌 라이언 트롯(베이스)이에요. 우리 말로는, 우리가 더 아마존스, 캣피쉬 앤 더 보틀맨, 로얄 블러드의 영향을 받은 인디 락 밴드라고 이야기하곤 해요.

카르코사는 밴드 이름으로는 아주 독특한데, 이상하게도 기억하기에는 쉬워요. 어떻게 이 이름을 짓게 되었는지 궁금합니다. 저희가 예상하기로는 미국 작가 비어스의 단편 「카르코사의 주민(An Inhabitant of Carcosa)」에 나오는 가상 도시에서 밴드 이름을 따 온 것이라고 생각이 드는데, 맞나요?

마이클 워녹: (웃음) 네, 맞추셨네요! 카르코사라는 이름은 로버트 체임버스의 「노란 옷 왕(The King in Yellow)」이라는 책에서도 등장해요. “고대의 신비로운 가상 도시”로 묘사되죠. 사실 그 이름을 사용하기로 한 건 저희 아빠의 아이디어였어요. 카르코사의 C 철자를 K로 바꾸어 사용하게 됐죠. 독특하기도 하고 우리 맘에도 들고요.

새 싱글 “Lonely Kid”는 아주 흥미로운 곡이에요. 아티스트 앰버(Amber Le Grys)가 디자인한 앨범 표지가 단순하면서도 굉장히 눈에 띄고요. 이 곡에 대해 더 소개해 주시겠어요?

“Lonely Kid” 싱글 앨범 표지

 마이클 워녹: “Lonely Kid”는 2017년 7월부터 쓰기 시작한 곡이에요. 이 곡은 칼리지에서 대부분의 친구들이 떠나고 그들의 관계들을 맺어갈 적에 제가 느꼈던 것들을 담고 있어요. 저는 저 혼자 있는 게 괜찮았어요. 또한 저는 보통 제목에 적힌, “lonely(외로운, 혼자의)”라는 단어에 대한, 슬프다는 고정관념을 깨는 무언가를 만들고 싶었어요. 앰버가 만든 아트워크가 꽤나 곡의 분위기를 잘 살려준 것 같아요. 당신이 말했듯이 단순하지만, 굉장히 효과적이죠. 저희의 이전 아트워크들과는 달라요. 곡의 클라이막스 부분은 파라모어(Paramore)의 “Ain’t it fun”의 브릿지에서 영감을 얻었어요.

3월은 여러분들에게 아주 바쁜 달이었어요. 3월 17일, 출신지인 버밍엄 O2 Institute에서 서포트 밴드 North Parade, Elliot Sturman과 함께 헤드라이너로 공연하기도 했고요. 그런 다음 캠던의 Dublin Castle에서 공연하러 런던으로 이동했죠? 그 때가 런던에서의 첫 공연이었나요?

마이클 워녹: 저희가 헤드라이너로 섰던 공연은 굉장했어요. 저희가 마지막 공연을 맡는 게 흔치 않은 기회라는 점뿐 아니라, 저희의 멋진 새 베이스 드럼 로고와 ‘카르코사’라고 적힌 배너를 걸고 공연하는 첫 무대였다는 점에서도 의미가 있어요. 게다가 저희는 이제껏 가장 많은 티켓을 팔았어요! 전반적으로 저희도 굉장히 즐거웠고, 관객분들도 좋아해 주시는 것 같았어요! 캠던에서의 공연은 이전까지 저희가 한번도 해본 적 없던 것이라는 점에서 훨씬 더 신났어요. 새로운 지역에서뿐 아니라, 새로운 관객들 앞에서 공연하는 것이기도 하잖아요. 정말 놀라웠던 사실은, 관객분들이 엄청나게 즐겨주셨다는 거에요. 심지어 저희가 마지막 순서여야 했다고 말씀하시면서 말이에요! 아무튼, 굉장한 주말이었고, 또 다시 거기서 공연할 수 있기를 기대하고 있어요!

라디오 DJ 스티브 켈리(Steve Kelly)가 여러분에 대해서 꽤 적지 않은 동료 진행자들이 그들의 곡 ‘Sheffield’를 좋아한다. 과장이 아니라, 그 곡의 기타워크는 The Eagles, 내가 가장 곡인 ‘Hotel California’급 수준이다. 내 생각에 ‘Sheffield’는 아마 우리가 라디오 스테이션에서 틀었던 최고의 곡이고, 앞으로도 자주 선곡할 것이다.” 라고 한 바 있습니다. 이렇게 락 음악사에서 가장 사랑받은 곡과 비유되는 건, 보통 평범한 칭찬이 아니죠.

법을 어기고 있는 카르코사… (역주: 사진에 ‘자리에 앉으시오. 일어서지 마시오.’ 라고 적혀있음)

 마이클 워녹: 저희가 스티브 같은 사람과 연줄이 있다는 건 정말 행운이에요. 저희가 처음 만난 이후부터, 그는 쭉 저희를 응원해주었거든요! 저희는 그와 첫 라디오 인터뷰를 진행했었고, 저희의 헤드라인 공연에서 그를 개인적으로 만날 수 있어서 정말 기뻤어요. 그는 저희를 보러 엄청 먼 Blackpool부터 와 주었다니까요! 저희는 그를 5월에 다시 만나기를 기대하고 있어요. 그가 저희 밴드에 쏟아주시는 엄청난 열정을 보는 건 기분 좋은 일이니까요.

그 밖에도 많은 곳에서 인정받고 있죠. BBC Introducing West Midlands에서는 여러분의 연달아 발매된 세 싱글들(“Monarchy”, “Sheffield”, “Where the River Flows”)을 방송했고, 마지막 곡은 2017년 7월 금주의 곡으로 꼽히기도 했으니까요. 또한 여러분들은 리즈, 에든버러, 바스, 플리머스를 돌며 성공적인 국내 투어를 마쳤고, 끝내줬던 Sunflower Lounge 공연을 포함해 몇몇 공연은 매진시키기도 했어요. 그간 열심히 노력한 게 드디어 빛을 보네요, 그렇지 않나요?

 마이클 워녹: 그럼요. 저희는 이 모든 것들을 “사다리 오르기”라고 보고 있어요. BBC Introducing에서 방송된 것은 꽤나 멋진 일이었죠. 그치만 저희는 더 작은 라디오 방송들에서 선곡되는 게 훨씬 더 즐거웠어요. 진행자들이 항상 저희 음악에 대해 더 많은 것들을 말해주었거든요! Sunflower Lounge에서 공연하는 것도 굉장히 즐거웠어요. 우리 음악에 맞춰 모슁(역주: 락 공연에서, 몸을 부딪혀 가며 격렬하게 춤 추는 것)하는 팬들이 있었거든요. 관객들에게 가까이 갈 수록 항상 더 큰 활기가 느껴지곤 해요.

우리는 당신의 수상 프로듀서 개빈 모나그한(Gavin Monaghan)과의 콜라보에 대해 물어봐야 할 필요가 있겠네요. 더 셜록스(The Sherlocks)와 함께한 그의 최근 작업들은 갈채를 받고 있어요. 울버햄튼에 있는 그의 유명한 스튜디오(매직 가든)에 다녀왔나요? 몇 곡을 녹음했나요? 그리고 우리는 언제 그 곡들을 들을 수 있죠?

마이클 워녹: 개빈과의 녹음은 알려져 있는 만큼 매우 신났어요. 저희는 수많은 멋진 수집품들로 가득 찬 그의 매직 가든 스튜디오에서 작업했어요! “Where the River Flows” 한 곡만 녹음했지만 또 다시 Gavin과 작업하고 싶어요!

2018년은 당신들에게 돌파구가 될 만한 해인 것 같아 보이네요. 지역 언론으로부터의 주목, 공연 매진, 카르코사의 미래가 특히나 밝아 보이는군요. 다음 달엔 당신의 열성 팬들을 위해 스토어에 무엇이 준비돼 있죠? 우리가 지켜봐야 할 새로운 공연이나 싱글들이 있나요?

카르코사 홍보 사진

마이클 워녹: 올해는 지금까지 엄청났고, 이제 겨우 4월이에요! 지금까지, 저희가 참여할 훌륭한 공연들이 아직도 많이 있고, 저희는 또한 버밍엄 뮤직 어워드에서 최고의 인디/얼터너티브 밴드 후보에 지목됐어요! 현재는 Isle of Wight festival에서 공연할 수 있는 HotVox 투표에서 선두를 달리고 있어요. 대한민국에서 저희 음악이 입소문을 타고 있는 덕분에요. 저희는 올해 저희가 또 무얼 할 수 있는지 기대하고 있어요. 그리고 만약 메이저 페스티벌에서 공연할 수 있다면 저희 모두의 꿈이 이루어지는 셈이겠죠!

아래 링크에서 저희를 투표할 수 있습니다.
https://hotvox.co.uk/artists/karkosa

이건 흔히 있는 일이 아닌데요! 버밍엄 밴드가 세계 반대편에서 입소문을 타다니! 한국에서 여러분이 유명한 이유가 뭔지 아시나요?

마이클 워녹: (웃음) 솔직히 말하면, 저희도 잘 모르겠어요! 저희는 SNS에서 저희를 팔로우할 여유가 있는 모든 사람들과 관계를 맺으려고 노력했어요. 처음엔 그저 적은 수의 팔로워 였는데, 정말 며칠 만에 저희가 천명이 넘는 한국 팔로워들에게 답장을 보내고 있더라고요! 주로 인스타그램과 트위터에서요. 그들은 저희 음악의 링크를 공유해주었고, Isle of Wight festival 투표도 도와주었어요. 저희는 언젠간 그곳에서 공연하기를 기대하는 중이에요!

카르코사를 SNS에서 팔로우하세요:
www.karkosa.co.uk/
https://en-gb.facebook.com/officialkarkosa/
https://twitter.com/officialkarkosa
https://soundcloud.com/karkosa
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLFIGmi7Cwo

유용한 링크들:
https://bromsgrovestandard.co.uk/news/northfield-band-and-worcester-singer-through-in-austin-socials-search-for-a-star/
https://artists.nme.com/artist/karkosa/

우리는 앞으로도 우리의 최애 버밍엄 5인조 밴드, 카르코사의 행보를 지켜볼 예정입니다.
지금으로서는, 당신도 버밍엄 뮤직 어워드-라이징스타 투표를 통해 그들을 응원할 수 있습니다. 투표는 4월 24일에 마감됩니다.

투표 링크:

https://www.facebook.com/thebirminghammusicawards/posts/831404343728207
https://www.survey-maker.com/poll1927441x550C4e13-538

Text: Malicia and Rita Dabrowicz
Translation: Mia Choi

고맙습니다!!
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Indieterria meets Karkosa

Hi!!

We hope you had a nice and relaxing Easter break. Here at Vanadian Avenue we are unable to rest or sit still (one of our biggest flaws!) and we had to find something music related to do. And there was plenty to things to be done! We have set up a Youtube channel, edited hundreds of pictures, did a nice small social media campaign and even had some time to eat a bit of chocolate. Talk about very productive long weekend!

From now on, you will be able to see videos of the performances we attend. So far, we have fantastic clips from Iggy Cuthbert (aka Happy Bones), mighty The Americas and the indie sweethearts, Junior Weeb! Soon we will add other great bands from the WorcesterWave scene: Nuns of the Tundra, Thousand Mountain, Dead Dads Club and many more. Please be on the look-out for the best new and unsigned bands from West midlands.

You can visit our channel at:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiWtRmMIq6atchlvnDSBCpQ

One day we are hoping to feature on our YouTube channel the band interviewed in this blog. They are named Karkosa and you will be hearing about them often in the coming months.

Since Karkosa is very popular in Korea, you can read translated version of this blog here:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/04/23/indiaterria-meets-karkosa-korean-version/

The good lads of Karkosa

We met Karkosa at Indiecon conference in London at the beginning of the year. They made a great impression on us and we are very happy that we were able to sit down with Karkosa’s lead singer Michael Warnock for a short chat. Those guys are one of the nicest and the hardest working people we have met! There were so many things to discuss: their unusual name, being nominated for an indie award and even winning fans on the other side of the globe. Karkosa’s on their way to greater things and we will be keeping our fingers crossed for them to get there as soon as possible.

Big in Birmingham 

Official bio: British Indie rock band Karkosa was formed in Birmingham in 2014 by brothers Michael and Jack Warnock. After recruiting Tom Rushton on lead guitar, Ryan Trott on bass and Will Clews on keyboard, the band wrote and recorded a batch of songs and published them online. Their melodic, propulsive rock sound is heavily inspired by Catfish and the Bottlemen, Royal Blood and The Amazons. The Devil’s Greatest Trick – band’s inaugural release arrived in 2016 and was followed by singles Monarchy, Sheffield and Where the River Flows in 2017.

Michael Warnock (vocals/ rhythm guitar)
Tom Rushton (lead guitar)
Jack Warnock (drums)
Ryan Trott (bass)
Will Clews (keyboard)

 

Karkosa in black and white

Your biography mentions that Karkosa formed about 4 years ago in Birmingham. Please introduce yourselves to the readers of Indieterria and tell us a bit more about your beginnings.

Michael Warnock: I think my brother Jack (drums) and I started the band a little earlier than that, about 5 years ago. Our first gig was at our dad’s 40th birthday party. The line-up has changed quite a bit since then. I met Tom Rushton (lead guitar) and Will Clews (keyboard) at BOA College where we studied music together. The last member of the band to join was Ryan Trott (bass) who went to school with Jack. In our own words, we are an indie rock band with influences from The Amazons, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Royal Blood.

Karkosa is a very unusual name for a band, yet strangely it is easily memorable. We are very curious where it comes from. Our best bet would be you are named after the fictional city from a short story entitled “An Inhabitant of Carcosa” by American writer Ambrose Bierce. Are we correct?

Michael Warnock: (laughing) Yes, you are correct! The name Carcosa is also featured in a book called “The King in Yellow” by Robert W. Chambers. It is documented as being a fictional “ancient and mysterious city”. It was actually my dad’s idea to use that name. We changed out all the C’s for K’s to get Karkosa. Which we liked and it was unique.

Your new single entitled “Lonley Kid” is a very interesting composition. It also comes with minimalistic  and very striking cover designed by artist Amber Le Grys.  Can you tell us more about this song?

Cover of “Lonely Kid” single

Michael Warnock: We started writing “Lonely Kid” back in July 2017. It reflects how I felt at the time when most of my friends had left college or had their relationships to deal with. I was fine being on my own. I also wanted to create something that broke the stereotype of songs with word “lonely” in the title, being sad. I think the song’s spirit was captured quite nicely by the artwork which Amber made. As you said, it is simple, yet effective which is different to our previous artwork. The song’s climax was inspired by the bridge of “Ain’t it fun” by Paramore.

March was a very busy month for you. You headlined a hometown gig at the O2 Institute in Birmingham on 17th of March being supported by North Parade and Elliot Sturman. Then you travelled to London to play at Camden’s Dublin Castle. Was that your first time playing in the capitol?

Michael Warnock: Our headline gig was great as it was not only a rare occasion of us playing last but it was also the first time we got to play with our new bass drum logo and Karkosa banner which was really cool! We also sold the biggest amount of tickets for a gig ever! Overall, we had a lot of fun and the audience seemed to love it! Our Camden gig was a lot more exciting for me as it was something we hadn’t done before. Not only were we performing in a new location, but we were also performing to a new crowd. The surprising part was the fact that people started enjoying themselves, even stating that we should have been on last! Either way, it was a great weekend and we look forward to going back there again!

Radio DJ Steve Kelly had this to say about you: “Quite a few of my fellow presenters loved their song named ‘Sheffield’. No exaggeration, but the guitar work on it is up there with ‘Hotel California’ by The Eagles, which is my favourite track ever. I think ’Sheffield’ is probably the best track we’ve had on the station and I’ll be giving you regular airtime”. This is no ordinary praise, being compared to one of the most beloved songs in the history of rock music.

Karkosa is fighting the law…

Michael Warnock: We are very lucky to have a contact such as Steve as he has constantly gave us a lot of support, ever since we first got in touch with him! We did our first radio interview with him and it was real pleasure to meet him in person at our headline gig.  He came all the way from Blackpool to see us! We look forward to seeing him again in May, and it’s nice to see his incredible dedication to the band!

The list of recognitions is not over yet: BBC Introducing West Midlands played your three consequently released singles (“Monarchy”, “Sheffield” and “Where the River Flows”) with the last track becoming a song of the week in July 2017. You also had a very successful national tour that saw you playing in Leeds, Edinburgh, Bath, Plymouth and selling out several dates including at legendary Sunflower Lounge.  Hard work is finally paying off, isn’t it?

Michael Warnock: It certainly does. We view a lot of this stuff as “climbing the ladder”. Getting played on BBC Introducing was pretty cool, however we found that getting played on some of the smaller radio stations was even more enjoyable. The presenters always had more to say about our music! Playing at The Sunflower Lounge is also a lot of fun as we’ve had fans moshing to our music and there’s always a bigger buzz when you’re closer to the audience.

We have to ask you about your collaboration with award winning producer Gavin Monaghan (Editors, Jaws, The Twang, Ocean Colour Scene). His recent work with The Sherlocks brought him  universal acclaim. Did you travel to his famous studio (Magic Garden) in Wolverhampton? How many songs were recorded and when can we listen to them?

Michael Warnock: Recording with Gavin was pretty exciting based on his recognition. We were working at his Magic Garden Studios which was filled with lots of cool memorabilia! We only recorded one song, “Where the River Flows” however we hope to work with Gavin again!

2018 looks like a breakthrough year for you guys. With huge interest from local press and sold out shows, Karkosa’s future is looking particularly bright. What do you have in store for your loyal fans in the coming months? Any gigs or new singles we need to be on the lookout for?

Promo picture of Karkosa

Michael Warnock:  This year has been awesome and it’s only April! So far, we’ve still got a lot of great gigs lined up and we were also nominated for best indie/alternative band at the Birmingham Music Awards! We are currently winning the HotVox vote to play at the Isle of Wight festival, mainly due to our music going viral in South Korea. We look forward to seeing what else comes our way this year and it would be a dream come true for all of us to play a major festival!

You can vote for us at this link:
https://hotvox.co.uk/artists/karkosa

Now this is something we don’t hear very often! West Midlands band going viral on the other side of the world! Do you have any idea what made you popular in Korea?

Michael Warnock: (laughing) To be honest we are not exactly sure! We try to engage with anyone that takes time to follow us on social media. At first, it was just a few followers, then literally over a couple of days we were replying to over a thousand followers from South Korea, mainly on Instagram and Twitter. They have been sharing links to our music and have helped us with this vote for Isle of Wight festival. We’re now hoping to play out there at some point!

You can follow Karkosa on social media:
www.karkosa.co.uk/
https://en-gb.facebook.com/officialkarkosa/
https://twitter.com/officialkarkosa
https://soundcloud.com/karkosa
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLFIGmi7Cwo

And here are some additional useful links:
https://bromsgrovestandard.co.uk/news/northfield-band-and-worcester-singer-through-in-austin-socials-search-for-a-star/
https://artists.nme.com/artist/karkosa/

We will be watching Karkosa in the next months to see how our favourite Birmingham quintet is doing.
For now, you can also support them by casting your vote at The Birmingham Music Awards’ Rising Star/One to Watch 2018. The vote will end on 24th of April!

https://www.survey-maker.com/poll1927441x550C4e13-53

Till we meet again,
Rita and Malicia

Indieterria meets Misha Dawn

Hello hello!

We are starting a brand new month with a BANG! April is going to be a very exciting month with several of our favourite bands performing far and wide, making waves on the independent music circuit and rocking huge crowds of people. Please be on the lookout for Nuns of the Tundra, Thousand Mountain (as they are releasing their debut EP shortly!!), The Americas and Junior Weeb among others.  The spring belongs to them and we will be reporting extensively about their achievements.  Of course, we will always find the time to look for a world-class talent and today we would like to introduce you dear readers to a truly bright star. Her name is Misha Dawn and she has charmed everyone who has ever heard her sing!

The Lady herself – Misha Dawn Patterson

Diva in the making 

Misha Dawn is every record label’s dream come true. She comes with a full package: looks, voice, multiple talents and experience. With her resume the size of a telephone book and her almost effortless ability of penning perfect songs, Misha is a force to be reckoned with. Before she dethrones Leona Lewis as the next British Queen of Pop, Indieterria sat down with her to discuss being a child prodigy, growing into a confident artist and getting highest grades from the harshest judging panel on popular reality TV program, The X-Factor.

Misha Dawn Patterson

Actress, Dancer, singer, songwriter, producer – you seem to have many faces and as many occupations! Please tell us who is Misha Dawn?

Misha Dawn: I’m a Gloucester born artist.  I write lyrics that will confront emotions, happiness and heart break. I am a person who strives to be the very best I can be in everything that I do! I am also a very creative and I like to have a “Plan B’ which is also the title of a song I just wrote! (laughing)
I love experiencing new things all the time along with travelling abroad and seeing/meeting different cultures. My early professional singing career has consisted of singing 50’s-80’s music in care homes.

You started your career very early, at the tender age of 7. Since then you appeared in numerous shows, musicals, radio programmes and live performances. Including appearing on live TV regarding a CD which you wrote also at the same time! Was it hard to be growing up in the spotlight?

Misha Dawn: I would have to answer that with a yes and no. As a child I was awfully shy and have had to seriously work on becoming confident which most people find hard to believe! I am not saying it wasn’t a passion of mine to be in the spotlight (I dreamt about it every day and I still do) but I had to fight against one feeling saying “YES THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT” and the other saying “RUN, EVERYONES WATCHING”. Once I got over my hurdle, I enjoyed everything so much more and I am now completely addicted to performing.

I am fortunate now that I don’t have major stage fright, for those of you who watched me on ‘Dinner Date’ TV show will know I have a bigger fear of flying bugs!

Misha Dawn with Sam and Ashley Worskett at the O2 Academy in Birmingham

It is almost hard to believe but you are also classically trained dancer! Has your comprehensive education helped you in your artistic endeavours?

Misha Dawn:  That’s 100% right. Dancing since the age of 3 had helped me tremendously. From dance performances, rhythm, appreciating different styles of music such as classical, jazz, modern and much more. However, at 12 years old, my injuries put an end to a professional ballet career and my life took a new turn. When I’m on stage, you will notice that I incorporate dance into my singing performances and I love it! I couldn’t imagine singing while standing still.

We would like to ask you about two milestones in your career: appearing on the cover of national WI Life magazine (May/June 2016 edition) and taking part in the X Factor in 2017. You passed 4 rounds with flying colour. Both must have been amazing experiences.

Misha & Ashley

Misha Dawn:  They were both a dream come true. Just thinking about it now, I cannot believe they happened and how lucky I am to have experienced them! I have always wondered what it would be like to have my face on the front cover of a magazine growing up and have watched X factor growing up for as long as I can remember and still doing so now! Getting 4 yes’s from the judges was amazing.

Your music blends, soul, jazz, hip-hop, pop and rock. You have been compared to Beyoncé, Sia and Jesse J. We could add Mica Paris and Mary J Blidge to the mix, especially when you are on stage rocking out with a full band. Your performance at recent Soundwave Music Competition at O2 Academy in Birmingham reminded us of Mary J Blidge singing an alternative version of “One” with U2.

Misha Dawn:  Wow what can I say! For my performance at the O2 to be compared to Mary J Blidge singing with U2 is incredible. It has taken me many, many years of grafting to get where I am and with a comment like that it shows my hard work has paid off! I will continue to grow and every time I perform I make a promise to myself that I will always be better than he last time. My biggest rival is myself.

Talking about your live band, can you introduce your guitarist and drummer to our readers? You share a special bond with them, it was a pure joy watching you perform together.

Misha Dawn: Thank you very much! My guitarist is called Ashley Worskett, he is inspirational and my drummer is called Sam Worskett. Both are brilliant musicians and I am so glad I found them by taking a chance on advertising online for band members. I’m buzzing to see what the future holds performing with them at festivals, parties, events – you name it!

Ashley Worskett – Misha`s guitarist and we swear a new Bernard Butler!

Your latest single “Live It Up” is a well written and produced track that could be a launching pad to Top 20. Tell us more about it. 

Misha Dawn:  Thank you very much! I wrote and produced the song myself a couple of years ago and released the music video on YouTube quite recently. I really wanted a feel-good track for all ages, something you can play when you’re going out, in the car, feeling low, or whatever the reason may be. I made sure my “Live it Up” music video was ‘jammed packed’ full of fun and friends. I have put it on all major downloading sites such as Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and if it did get to the top 20…I would be utterly lost for words.

It’s only April and 2018 has already been a very busy year for you. What are your plans for the nearest months?

Misha Dawn:  I really want to get out there and play for fans and supporters. For the next few months I will be working on a new single of mine which I am so excited for. It is my best song yet. I wrote and produced it and I’m planning to have it uploaded onto all major downloading sites and Youtube. Music video will soon follow, so please be on the lookout and tell me what you think! Also, I’m booking a lot shows and I would like to perform with other artists such as Ella Eyre who is an inspiration to me in the music world.

Misha at the o2 Academy in Birmingham, 24.02.2018

You can follow Misha on social media:
https://www.mishadawn.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MishaDawnOfficial
https://www.instagram.com/mishadawn
https://twitter.com/MishaDawn_
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGkad0FIbHHALgftQBJ3F2A

Additional article you may find interesting:
http://www.starnow.co.uk/Misha3star

After our meeting with Misha at the SoundWave competition in Birmingham, we are sure she will go a long, long way. Vanadian Avenue will be closely monitoring Misha’s next steps and hopefully we will be able to chronicle her journey to stardom.

Please visit us soon as our next blog will be even more esciting!

See you soon,
Rita and Mal

**** Update 17/04/2018****

Misha, Ashley and Samuel on stage – this was such a powerful performance!

Misha’s concert at the SoundWave Competition at the O2 Arena in Birmingham left us truly impressed. Not only we were amazed by her extraordinary performing abilities but we were equally dazzled with her backing band. To learn more about them, we spoke to guitar player Ashley Worskett (we swear he is a new Bernie Butler!) to discuss the beginnings of their successful collaboration, musical influences and recent trip to London town.

 Would you like to tell us how did you and Misha meet and how long have you worked together?

Ashley Worskett: I started working with Misha after responding to her advert on a popular casting website. She gave me a call, I sent her some demo tapes and she liked them. She also needed a drummer so I suggested my brother Sam, who was 16 at the time. Sam is also a violinist and he had just returned from a music tour in Venice. He is still at school, but he agreed to do the gig to help Misha out.

We all met for the first time at a rehearsal studio. We all got on well, learnt the songs and 2 days later performed at the O2 Academy. So it was all a bit of a crazy!

Ashley and Samuel playing with Misha at o2 Academy in Birmingham

Your performance on stage during the SoundWave competition was fantastic. Please tell us more about yourself. Who is Ashley Worskett, how long have you been you playing and who inspires you?

Ashley Worskett:  I am 20 years old musician that have been performing drama for several years. I attended a highly regarded drama theatre in Warwick and I am currently a student at the University of Gloucester. I’ve been playing guitar for 5 years. My main musical inspiration comes from the virtuoso heavy metal guitarists from the 80’s, people like Eddie Van Halen and Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme. I like listening to bands like Whitesnake, Mötley Crüe and Metallica. Jake E Lee and George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob are also ripping guitarists that I take inspiration from!

You recently travelled to London. Did you have fun?

Ashley Worskett:  Yeah! London was amazing. I had to get up at 1 am to catch the bus from where I live in Cheltenham, to get to the film studio in London for 7 am. I was taking part in a feature film, being produced by one of the major studios. It’s a biopic about a well-known rock band from the 70’s and 80’s and it’s due for release later this year. It was an exciting day, and great to be working with truly professional people in the film industry!

We are sure that Misha, Sam & Ashley Worskett are people worth watching in the nearest future. We always say that the talented kids are the  future and we have enough talent in West Midlands for several decades.

xxx
M+R

Indieterria meets Junior Weeb

Welcome again!

Winter months have been a very busy period for your favourite independent A&R’s. We traveled to gigs, went to Indiecon conference in London, took pictures, filmed shows, handled merch, sent countless emails and wrote reviews and articles about our lovely Worcester Wave bands. The rest of March will leave us very little time to relax as well, but we love what we do!

Last time, we spoke to Lower Loveday – an exciting new rock group that makes a name for themselves on the indie circuit. Today we have something for lovers of young, hip and alternative rock with fuzzed guitars, wall of sound and catchy melodies.

Do we have your attention? Good – please read our conversation with a band that is quickly following the trails of Soeur and The Americas, leaving jaws on the (dance) floor and an insatiable craving for their full-bloodied debut album.

***

Promotional picture of the Weebs

 

Growing-up in the spotlight

Almost a year and a half ago, when we saw Junior Weeb for the first time, we were not impressed. They played a short set and compared to other acts performing that night, we didn’t think the young quarter had any future. How wrong we were! In recent months, Junior Weeb underwent almost miraculous transformation. Their stage presence is electric, their writing improved to the point where their songs could easily conquer the Top 40. Everything about them is matured, sophisticated and exciting.

Luckily for us, the band do not hold grudges and we didn’t have to beg for second chances to interview them. Chris Phee and the company were a joy to talk about their humble beginnings, self-(re) discovery and their upcoming music.

Official bio: Junior Weeb are an indie funk/alternative rock four-piece hailing from Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire. With hard-hitting bass grooves, soulful vocals and sticky guitar licks, Junior Weeb take their influences from a catalogue of different genres hoping to create a finished product that pleases your ears.

Chris Phee (rhythm guitar and lead vocals)
Max Killing (bass guitar and backing vocals)
Joe Webby (lead guitar)
Quentin Hill (drums)

Junior Weeb’s official bio mentions that the band was formed at the beginning of 2016. Tell us more about the beginnings of your musical journey? Where did you meet and who is in the band?

Junior Weeb: We’ve all been close mates since high school. To begin with, we were in 2 different bands, one of our old bandmates had a house party where we all played in his kitchen. This brought us closer together musically so we formed a super group called Junior Weeb in around February 2015 and thus discovered our mutual love and trust in music. We have the soulful enigma that is Chris Phee on rhythm guitar and vocals, Max Killing slapping da bass and vocals, man like Weeb (Joe Webby) providing that sticky lead guitar and the big friendly giant Quentin Hill smashing the shit out of those tubs like.

The Press and your fans affectionately refer to you either as The Weebs or The Juniors. Where the name “Junior Weeb” does comes from?

Junior Weeb: (laughing) Our guitarist Joe has the nickname “Weeb”. We don’t refer to him as Weeb anymore because of the association with the band. He said that if he ever had a son he would want it to be called Junior Weeb. We laughed but never really thought of it as a band name. It wasn’t until many weeks of arguing and moaning about the band name that we referred back to what he said and we finally settled with Junior Weeb. It was something catchy, funny and relatable to the band. We also happen to be the first website that pops up when you type our name into Google. Mad isn’t it?

We have to admit, when we`ve seen you for the first time, we were not into your music. Watching the band for a second time, a year later – we have fallen in love with Junior Weeb. Yours is the biggest, most impressive musical development on the local scene in recent years. Can you tell us what drives you, what keeps you focused?

Junior Weeb live on stage

Junior Weeb: We’re very happy with the progress we’ve made in the last year or so. We all study music at Kidderminster College and the tuition we’ve received has definitely kept us motivated and driven. Our musicianship has developed, each player is learning their instrument well and we’re listening to all kinds of music at the moment which is driving us to succeed. Some of the bands we’ve played/become acquainted with are doing some really great things at the moment which is also inspiring and a gentle reminder that we need to get our arse in gear.

It’s the beginning of the year and 2018 looks very busy for you already. On 17th of February you played at Mr Wolf’s in Bristol, where you supported two other WorcesterWave bands: Soeur and HVMM. You have opened for Soeur before at a sold out home-coming gig at the Marr’s Bar. How does it feel to perform alongside your friends? Have they offered any advice?

Junior Weeb:  Soeur has looked after us a lot over our musical journey and we couldn’t thank them enough for the support. We feel honoured to be playing alongside such talented songwriters who are so lovely and kind.  We don’t think we’ve ever had any advice from Soeur but we know how dedicated and driven they are. They have put so much hard work and passion into their music, they’re probably the most organised band we’ve played with and they deserve all the recognition they are getting. Playing with Soeur has definitely inspired us to work harder and organize ourselves respectively. We love you Soeur! XXX (laughing)

You shared stages with many popular independent acts such as Muncie Girls, The Riscas, Ivory Wave and The Americas. How important, in your opinion, is the close fellowship between different bands on the indie circuit? Is the Worcester scene supportive towards new starting acts?

Junior Weeb: In our opinion, we think the fellowship between bands on the indie circuit is very important. We’ve had some great opportunities recently and as long as we’re all supporting each other, things are gonna keep ticking along. The Worcester scene is always supportive to new bands and we’re always excited to hear new music and meet new people who are keeping the scene alive.  Seeing what all the other bands have achieved and the support we’ve received recently has really helped us out. Long live Da Woo Town scene!

On April 21th 2017, your debut single “No right” was chosen as the track of the week by This Feeling circuit and a month later popular website GigSlutz gave you a glowing review describing your music as “dreamy, psychedelic affair with just a hint of Oasis”. That’s very impressive review for a young band. Have you expected such warm reactions to your song?

Junior Weeb: To be honest we didn’t expect these reactions. “Not Right” was the first song we wrote together and it’s one that’s very close to our hearts. The main riff in the song was something that Max’s brother Sam came up with before he sadly passed away. We decided to write it as a tribute to Sam and his legacy. The reactions to this song have been very heart-warming and we hope Sam is proud of the finished product.

You are currently working on a new material to be published later this year. Can we expect an EP or a full blown debut album? We are curious where are you working and who is attached to the project?

Junior Weeb: We’ve had a lot of fun in the studio recently, we’ve been recording new songs at Kidderminster College with help from the Music Tech students who have made some impressive mixes for us. We thought it would be a good idea to record these songs live because on some of these tracks there is a lot of feel and groove. Hope that doesn’t give too much away (laughing). It’s great being able to record in an environment that we are all so comfortable with and the recording sessions have been fairly regular. We’re not too sure about an E.P or an album anytime soon but there will definitely be new music. Expect the unexpected.

You had to deal with incredible family tragedy. Do you feel confident to talk about it?

Junior Weeb: We lost Sam Killing in December 2015. After a long battle with mental health and drug misuse, Sam took his own life with unclear intent. He was a charming, intelligent and charismatic guy who inspired us a lot. We were all very shocked and upset when it happened but the legacy he left behind in his music and persona helped us a lot with our music. When you have to deal with a tragedy like that it’s hard find comfort when listening to music but we knew that music was the only thing that would help us out. Sam played lead guitar/backing vocals for Babypink and it’s not until you sit down and properly listen to Babypink that you understand the intricacy and beauty of Sam’s playing and writing. He has been a massive inspiration to all of us and one of the main reasons we formed. His legacy will continue to inspire us and live on through our lives as long as music will. R.I.P Sammy x.

Juniors on the green grass

2018 could be a breakthrough year for Junior Weeb. What are your hopes and fears for the nearest future?

Junior Weeb: 2018 is the year of the Weebs. We hope to gig as much as we can up until summer. The plan is to spend summer writing and working so that hopefully we make a fabulous return when we’re finished. None of us are driving yet so we hope to get on the road too. At the moment, we have nothing to fear, we’re going with the flow, taking everything as it comes. Big thank you to everyone who has supported us on our musical journey so far and we hope to see you all in the near future. Weebs out! Xxx.

***

Baby Pink

Writing about Junior Weeb, we cannot omit Sam Killing, the incredibly talented elder brother of Max Killing. Hailed as one of the most talented musicians to come out of The Faithful City, Sam played lead guitar for a band Baby Pink along with Andrew Brooks (vocals, guitar), Jack Vaughan (bass) and Jack Cotterill (drums). Formed in 2012, Baby Pink very quickly gained a lot of attention and toured the UK without even releasing a debut EP. Their gigs in London and Manchester drew big crowds even with minimal promotion, giving the band very positive reviews from music journalists and comparisons to the American alternative rock legends, The Pixies. Baby Pink were featured in the New Musical Express (named as precious find) in February 2014 and toured with Jaws, Catfish and The Bottleman, Wolf Alice and many other. Baby Pink decided to call it quits in March 2014 and Sam went on to form Birmingham based quartet named Juice with Davis Armstrong, Matt Burdon and Damon Cox in September 2014. Tragically he lost his life three months later.

You can learn more about Baby Pink by listening their music online:
https://facebook.com/bbypnk
https://amazingtunes.com/brumpromoters/biography
https://amazingradio.com/home/news-babypink-break-up
https://soundcloud.com/babypinkband

More articles about Sam:
https://www.indiependent.co.uk/tribute-late-sam-killing-power-music/
http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/14188972.Bandmates_to_honour_life_of_musician_Sam_Killing__20__who_died_after_being_hit_by_a_train_in_Droitwich/

***

Poster for The Americas gig at Marrs Bar

Junior Weeb keep a tight schedule of gigs all over the West Midlands. They recently supported Soer at Night Bus in Bristol, played legendary Fleece,  opened a gig for hugely influential Catholic Action at another iconic venue – The Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham and will progress to 02 in Birmingham in April.

They will play Marrs Bar with Happy Bones and The Americas on March 30th. Its gonna be carnage and a sold out home show – we are warming you. So grab your tickets before they are gone.

https://www.facebook.com/events/266397940564769/
http://www.wegottickets.com/event/429992

As usual we will keep our hand on the pulse and will report all the action. In the meantime, you can follow Junior Weeb using the details below. You will thank us later for introducing you to the quality music and future rock stars.

https://www.facebook.com/juniorweebband/
https://twitter.com/JuniorWeeb
https://soundcloud.com/juniorweeb
https://juniorweeb.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/juniorweeb_

All the best,
Mal&Rita

****Update 02/04/2018****

What can we tell you about Junior Weeb that we haven’t said already? They are a perfect combination of youthful indie, funk, blues and classic rock. They emerged victorious from a tragedy that would end much older and experienced bands. They improved their act to the point where they outgrew local circuit by a long distance and moved easily to play bigger venues in Bristol and Birmingham. They will be on a label and touring their debut album sooner than we think.

Junior Weeb supporting The Americas at the Marrs Bar on 30.03.2018

We look at Junior Weeb and see a new Viola Beach. A four piece made for biggest stages, a group with strong work ethic and resilience, talent , sense of humour  and desire to succeed.

And they proved it on the night they supported The Americas. Jumping into crowd, singing their hearts out, being joined on stage by one of their dads for a hilarious blues piece. They are wild, free and  unstoppable as soon as they are in front of the audience with their instruments in hand. There are no apologies, no fear when they play.

Loud and ready. Junior Weeb put everything into their set.

Interaction with audience is very important

But see them back stage, sitting on a sofa in a front of photographer – huddling together,  making sure that all of them are in the frame. This is a band that does not only play good music together. They genuinely like being in each other`s company, they treasure and respect one another. Junior Weeb are a bunch of close friends as much as they are the next big indie act.

And that is why readers you should see them when Junior Weeb play live.

Here`s some videos in case you missed the gig.

 

And some green room shots too.

Junior Weeb with photographer Duncan Graves at the green room

Posing for a photo session right after the set. Junior Weeb work hard and play hard

Everybody in the frame. Post gig photo session at Marrs bar on 30.03.2018

That’s all for now,

Mal+Rita

 

Indieterria meets Lower Loveday

Hello, hello!

Oh! February is an extremely busy month for everyone at Vanadian Avenue. After talking to Dharma Bums about their new EP “Nothing to Lose Blues” and grilling Andrew Marston from BBC Hereford and Worcester about their new radio show, here we are throwing questions left and right at another very talented young band!

Named after a street in Birmingham, Lower Loveday are a four piece outfit that connects pop melodies with a edgy rockier sound. They are perfect for Top 20 chart and a mosh pit pogo at your local venue. We have caught up with the guys from LLD a day before their big gig at O2 Institute and had a quick chat about winning talents shows while at school, travelling to Australia and their music.

Lower Loveday logo

The band that was meant to be  – Lower Loveday interview 

Tom Garbett (drums)
Stuart Creed (bass),
Chris Francis (lead guitar/vocals)
Mark Washington (vocals)

Official bio: The band has its roots way back to Year 8 in school, when Mark (Vocals) & Tom (Drums) entered the end of year talent show in a band. From then we always assumed that it would always happen one day, although this was delayed by education. Then having both met up during travelling in Australia, we decided to go for it when we got back and follow our dreams and get a band going! With this then Tom got writing some songs whilst the two of us practised. We knew there was potential, not only in the song but in us as a combination. We then begun our quest to fill out the remaining positions in the band. And after a long and tiring journey we finally found our perfect fit in the form of Chris (Lead Guitar), who manages to provide the perfect guitar part to support our melodies and hooks. Along with Stuart (Bass) who has added his unique blend of punchy but melodic bass playing to fill out the rhythm section… Now nothing can stop us in reinventing the music wheel and creating something the world has not yet heard and therefore needs!

There then Lower Loveday was truly born.

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Lower Loveday promo picture

Lower Loveday is an incredibly poetic name. Where does it come from? Is the band named after a single by Britpop heroes Menswe@r or have you been inspired by a picturesque canal side street leading to the Jewellers Quarter in Birmingham?

Lower Loveday: Thank you very much! Our name actually comes from the street in Birmingham you mentioned. Tom, our drummer, lived on Lower Loveday Street during his second year at the university and always thought it would make a good name for a band. We didn’t have any other names, so we went with it and it actually means something to us.

Your biography is full of surprises. Is it true that the first incarnation of the band was formed for Year 8 talent show?

Lower Loveday: (laughing) Yes, that is absolutely correct! Tom and Mark went to school together and were very friendly throughout. It was the Year 8 talent show when for the first time music brought them properly together. It was also a bonus that they won it but after that they didn’t really pursue the music that much yet then.

After playing for a while at school, you seem to go separate ways only to meet again years later on the other side of the world…in Australia! We are sure, Hollywood will soon come knocking on your door asking for movie rights!

Lower Loveday: We wish! Yes, we’d joked a couple of times before both going our separate ways that we’d be in a band together in the future but university put us on different paths. It wasn’t until we both went travelling (separately!) and then we met in Sydney. After a drunken sing-along, we realised the band we’d been joking about previously, was actually a possibility. At this moment, Lower Loveday consist of: Tom Garbett – he’s our drummer and also the principal songwriter, on bass guitar we have Stuart Creed, on lead guitar is Chris Francis and on vocals is Mark Washington.

Your music has been compared to Kasabian, Kings of Leon, The Arctic Monkeys, The Blossoms and (a little bit) to Oasis. Those are huge names and it must be flattering to be likened to the most important rock groups of the last two decades. How do you feel about it?

Lower Loveday:  We’ve said it before that those bands are our main influences. We weren’t aware we’d actually be compared to all of them but if that’s actually the case then that is incredibly flattering. To achieve even half of what those names have would be amazing.

We absolutely love two of your tracks: “You Could Have Been My Queen” and “Chains”. Can you please tell us more about these songs?

Lower Loveday: It’s funny that you like both songs as, ironically, they came along at pretty much the same time in terms of song-writing. We knew then that they were a bit of a game changer for us. They had a different, very unique “pop” quality to them that the other songs we wrote at that point had not. We haven’t written anything like them before. And so as soon as we showed them to people and started playing them, everyone just really loved them and we knew we had something there.

Lower Loveday received some good response from the music business. BBC Hereford and Worcester called your single “You Could Have Been My Queen” fresh and exciting and New Musical Express included your music profile on their website as one of the upcoming bands from Birmingham. Three of your singles, “Loved You”, “You Could Have Been My Queen” and “Anything You Wanted Me To” also received a lot of airplay from Brum Radio, Cannock Chase Radio, Uckfield FM and The Bugcast.

The band on stage

 

Lower Loveday:  We thought we knew almost everything that has been written or said about us but we missed a few here. Being anywhere on NME is amazing! We initially started just being happy to receive any sort of air time on anything but when BBC Introducing H&W played pretty much every song we uploaded it really makes you think! Maybe these tunes we think are great, aren’t actually that bad!

On the 24th of February, you will be performing at SoundWaves Music Competition UK Final at the O2 Academy in Birmingham. Of course we are keeping our fingers crossed. Where did you learn about this competition and what will happen during the finale?

Lower Loveday: It may be hard to believe but finding the competition was as simple as just googgling ‘music competitions’ on the Internet. Or vocalist Tom found few good links and we applied for several. As far as we know, at SoundWaves 15 acts are due to perform in the finals and we will get a small slot to impress as many people and judges a possible. We think the winner will be announced on the night. It’s a great opportunity for us to perform on a big stage and it gives us a chance to play in front of an A&R’s and representatives from many labels. Hopefully we will go out and get our name out there even more.

Worcester News – 23 February 2018 (page 21)

You recently started working on new material to be released later in the year.  Are you finally recording your full debut album?

Lower LoveDay: Yes, we are currently working on several new songs. We went back into the studio just before Christmas to lay down the initial parts for two more songs which we’ll be completing very soon. The goal is to just keep recording tunes until we have enough for an album and then release when the right time comes (laughing)

Your website is warning that a musical storm is brewing. When can we see you live on stage? Any upcoming gigs we should be aware of?

Lower LoveDay: We came up with that phrase initially to lure people into listening and to create a sort of intrigue about us but it’s something we’ve seem to have kept going with from the start as it hasn’t done too badly! After this weekend’s final, we have a gig the following Sunday 4th March at The Fleece in Bristol which is going to be a full day of live music and a festival slot in August at  Venture Festival in Nottingham! We will be adding new information as they come!

We bet they look good on the dance floor as well!

Lower Loveday can be found on social media:

Website: https://www.lowerloveday.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lowerloveday/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lower_loveday
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/lowerloveday
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lowerloveday
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClGDR9XIPOo96KRox090yTg

Articles about the group:
New Musical Express Emerging: https://artists.nme.com/artist/lower-loveday/
Worcester News: http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/regional/worcestershire/worcester/16037251.Evesham_indie_rock_band_reaches_final_of_national_music_competition/

More information about SoundWave Competition:
https://www.facebook.com/soundwavecompetition/
https://www.soundwavemusiccompetition.co.uk/

The competition starts at 19:00 PM at O2 Institute so please come and support our local talents if you can!
We are keeping our fingers crossed for you guys!

Good luckxxx
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

Indieterria meets Andrew Marston

Dear readers!

We always have fun speaking to bands, singers, songwriters and artists. Discovering new music is what we love to do and we will never miss the opportunity to ask few questions and direct your attention towards a good tune or an album that is worth listening to. From time to time, however we have a special guest at our blog and today’s entry will be dedicated to a man we all know but whom nobody interviewed yet (we know it is a shocker!)

It is with the biggest of pleasures, we are able to announce that Indieterria has interviewed the man who not only came up with the name for Worcestershire music scene but who has been tirelessly working behind the stages of biggest local radio programmes, festivals and concerts – Andrew Marston of BBC Hereford and Worcester and BBC Introducing! We sat down with Andrew to discuss the impact the BBC Introducing has on the UK musical map, the best songs he has ever received through the Introducing Uploader and his brand new exciting show.

Think globally, do locally  – Andrew Marston Interview

The right person for the job!

Official press release: A BBC programme, dedicated to supporting up-and-coming musicians, is to launch a second show this weekend.

 BBC Music Introducing in Hereford & Worcester, which broadcasts every Saturday from 8pm, is to double its airtime in its new timeslot on Sundays from 6pm. Since its launch in 2005, the team has been overwhelmed with the amount of musical talent coming out of Herefordshire & Worcestershire with more than 15,000 demos sent in, during the last decade, from the local area.

 Presenter Andrew Marston says: “We have such an incredible music scene right here on our doorstep – and I looked down the pile of music that I’d earmarked for broadcast and realised, if I never received a song again, I still had enough to carry me through the next decade without repeating a single track!

 “The picture, nationally, is also very similar – with 170,000 artists now registered and 500,000 songs submitted. It would take 3 years to listen to every song currently on the Uploader and the number of musicians registered now exceeds the number of people who went to Glastonbury last year.”

 Originally broadcast as the Friday Session, the programme has gone on to discover acts such as Ellie Goulding, Becky Hill and Peace. John Peel’s former manager, Clive Selwood, said: “John would have loved the programme – it would have pleased him enormously.”

 As well as the superb quality of music the programme showcases, there’s a weekly gig guide, local music news, interviews with movers and shakers, a Musicians’ Masterclass, a local history of great gigs and musical legends, coverage of our local festivals plus live sessions on the show every week.

The team has also been responsible, in recent years, for sending Leominster’s AKA George to Glastonbury, Hay-on-Wye’s Cherryshoes to T in the Park, Sœur to Reading + Leeds and flew Bromyard’s Remi Harris to perform at the Montreal Jazz Festival. Other successes include Sam Isaac at Glastonbury and the BBC Electric Proms, Pencil Toes, Luke Leighfield, The Anomalies and Pegasus Bridge at BBC Maida Vale (and Radio 1’s Big Weekend), while securing the brother/sister duo Muchuu a support slot with Florence & The Machine and the Temper Trap alongside a spot on the BBC Radio 1 playlist. Other Radio 1 opportunities include Riscas and Lauren Wright, while FREnchfire, Georgina Upton, Kamos & Tripbuk and Scarlette Says ending up on the BBC 1Xtra playlist. Andrew also landed The Roving Crows a place on tour with Jamie Cullum, AKA George two spots on the Radio 1 playlist, as well as a place on stage at Glastonbury and Radio 2’s Live In Hyde Park.

 Andrew continues, “Every month, we record our sessions at a variety of festivals – including Hay, Wychwood, Nozstock, Lakefest, Worcester Music Festival, SXSW, T In The Park, Montreal Jazz Festival, The Great Escape, Radio 1’s Big Weekend, The Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds.

“When artists upload their music for airplay, they often don’t realise they’re being considered for these incredible opportunities.

 “With such a diverse range of music, the new show makes it really easy to plan – and sharpens the focus for our audience: ‘Is this more of a Saturday night track?’ or ‘is this more of a Sunday night track?’”

You can listen to the new show on Sunday from 6pm on 94.7FM in Hereford, 104FM in Worcester, 104.4FM in Redditch, 104.6FM in the Wyre Forest, 738AM across Worcestershire, 1584AM in Tenbury Wells, on DAB Digital Radio, Freeview channel 720 and online at bbc.co.uk/introhw. The programme will also be available via the BBC iPlayer Radio App for free download for 30 days.

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Andrew Marston at the mixing console

You are very well known in the West Midlands, but in case somebody spent the last decade on the other side of the world, please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria. Who is Andrew Marston and how did you get involved with BBC Hereford & Worcester?

Andrew Marston: Hi, I’m Andrew, a 36-year-old radio presenter from Hereford who’s now spent more than half a lifetime behind the record decks and well over a decade at the helm of BBC Music Introducing. In fact, I’ve always been surrounded by music having had keyboard and piano lessons since the age of 6 and have wanted to work in radio since discovering my first cassette recorder as a toddler. Somehow I’ve managed to combine both passions in a way that I’ve not played piano in public for 2 decades and haven’t played a cassette since I was at Hereford Sixth Form College!!

In fact, I was gigging regularly at Whitecross High School (mine – I didn’t just break in!), also touring the country with my brothers’ band – but I was being asked more and more to DJ between sets; something that ended in me landing my first residency at the Jailhouse Nightclub aged 14! Slowly, but surely, my gigging time was filled with playing CDs rather than keys – and I eventually tried to claw back some of what I’d “lost” by organising weekly band nights at the Imperial in Hereford. At the same time, I was presenting a non-music show (!!) on Hereford Hospital Radio, focussing very much on bringing news to life. I finished college on the Friday, had the worries of ‘what to do next’ for two days and went into the BBC’s Hereford office for work experience to be greeted with the words “how would you feel if we’re to train you up as a Broadcast Assistant?” I still haven’t had my training…

Outside of Dj’ing and music production, you are heavily involved in the BBC Music Introducing programme, looking for new talents. Tell us more about it.

Andrew Marston: I spent from 1999-2005 working behind-the-scenes at the BBC, including several stints on BBC Online. Back then, we were writing album reviews and gig features – very much like Vanadian Avenue and Slap Mag, but we kept saying to the boss “let’s stop talking about music – and let’s play it”. 12 months later, the boss came to us and said “I’ve got a great idea! Let’s stop talking about music – and let’s play it!” and the Friday Session was born. It made a lot of people very nervous thinking there wouldn’t be enough music to sustain a 2-hour programme every week and “is local radio the right place to be breaking new acts”. In fact, the bosses of Radio 1 came down to see how this was impacting on their audiences and some of the people in charge of local radio. I think they weren’t keen on the idea, before they arrived, but within 6 months the BBC Introducing brand was launched nationally!

In 2017 BBC Music Introducing celebrated 10 years since its conception. If you look at the official stats, nearly 130,000 bands submitted more than half a million songs. That’s nearly 3 years’ worth of music if one would like to listen to them all. How is BBC Introducing in Hereford & Worcester looking compared to other local shows? Do you know how many bands submitted their songs and how many played a live session for you?

Andrew Marston: Since we launched the uploader seven years ago, more than 10,000 songs have been uploaded from Herefordshire & Worcestershire alone. We’ve also just finished ripping all of the CDs sent into us 2005-2010 and that’s another 4,000. But – in those early days, tracks that didn’t get a spin after a couple of years were deleted from the uploader to save on server space – so I’m guessing that figure is much, much higher. In fact – I’m going to keep my eye on that! In terms of live sessions, we’ve now had more than 1,000 acts perform live on the show leading to countless opportunities. Last week, the whole Introducing family (that’s what we call it) got together at Broadcasting House in London before heading down to Maida Vale for our annual get-together. Everywhere in Britain is powering forwards, but it’s interesting to see how the poor folk in London are swamped by acts claiming to be from London when they’re not. Geographically, you have more chance of “making it” if you’re from a rural area than somewhere that’s overrun with musicians (who’ll also play for free. I lived in London for a couple of years and, despite playing 137 gigs in one year, struggled to find any paid opportunities in the capital as everyone would do it for nothing).

Andrew Marston preparing to go live

You were one of the first DJs to play Ellie Goulding, The Voice UK alumna Becky Hill, Peace and the alternative outfit This Wicked Tongue. Do you remember the artist or a band that made the biggest impression on you as part of the BBC Introducing?

Andrew Marston: Muchuu made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Sadly they’re no more, but their music was haunting, full of space and left you wanting more. Somehow it drew you in and I still go back and listen to those tracks when I want to reflect. They were one of the first acts to use the Uploader and I instantly passed it onto Huw Stephens at Radio 1, who claimed there was “something in the water” with so many artists going national from our neck of the woods. They’d go on to support Florence + The Machine and the Temper Trap at the BBC Introducing staff Christmas party (those were the days!) and turned down a slot at Glastonbury because they were going on holiday – I know, right??!

Worcester music scene is going through a real cultural renaissance at this moment. Many local acts receive fantastic reviews from the critics and you are credited with coining the name for it – “WorcesterWave”.  Do you think Worcester is going to be the next musical hotspot after Manchester, Cardiff and London?

Andrew Marston: I think we actually have a greater music scene than all of those cities. Having lived in London, everybody that claims to be from there comes from somewhere else. Sadly, these big cities are so swamped with bands (from across the region) they’re embracing the “pay to play” culture, meaning you’ve either got to sell tickets for your show or actually pay the promoter for stage time. It’s a very sad state of affairs, especially when musicians have learned their craft since a young age having music lessons at £20 per hour.  I also lived in Manchester for a while and everybody tours there, but Manchester bands rarely get the chance to play their own city because of the competitive nature. Every city has its own music scene – but often it’s cut-throat. The thing with Manchester is if you’re 15-years-old and you get bored, you go out. But if you’re 15 and living in Clifton-upon-Teme, you form a band. And when there’s nowhere to play, you organised your own gigs. This whole cottage industry, where everybody supports everybody else, is what’s getting this city noticed.

You have an eye to spot future stars. Many artists championed by you frequently receive national coverage. The list is very impressive: The Americas performed on Georgie Tonight, a prime-time show across the whole of BBC Local Radio, Soeur recorded live session at the legendary Maida Vale studios, Nuns of the Tundra reached second place in nationwide “Battle of the Bands” competition sponsored by Firestone, Tazmin Barnes’ EP “Powerful” debuted at number 11 at iTunes Pop charts, nth cave and Thousand Mountain were played by Steve Lamacq while Population:7 and Chavy Chase Stole My Wife were noticed by Tom Robinson. What qualities are the most important for future success? Song writing, catchy melodies or stage presence?

BBC Introducing

Andrew Marston: The song is always key. It doesn’t matter how good your biog is, who you’ve toured with, where you’ve played and how good you are at playing guitar, the 3-minute song is the thing that will get you everywhere. In fact, it’s your best advert. In commercial radio, a 30 second commercial could cost you £150. A 3-minute song is effectively £900 worth of airtime. If you were recording speech – you’d tell people to download your music, advertise your shows, sell some merch and ask them to friend you on Facebook. So make sure your demo isn’t a demo – it’s the polished product.

As a presenter, if you get too involved with a band, it definitely impacts your decision making. I’ve seen many bands who’ve blown me away, jumping all over the stage, but I’ve listened back on iPlayer and they’ve failed to jump out of the speakers. I will score every track based on the first listen – as that’s exactly how the audience will hear it. There’s no such thing as a “grower” unfortunately – that’s a phrase coined for bands that have had so much money invested in them, they’ve got no choice but to champion that track. First impressions count.

Rumour has it that there is a brand new Sunday radio show being prepared? Can you please tell us more?

Andrew Marston: Exactly that! We have so much music coming in that we want to play, 2 hours a week just isn’t enough. In fact, it’s a really simple thing to do – the gig guide still exists, we still want to cover the same number of festivals, enjoy live sessions – but the canvas is now twice as big. The thing we’re accused of, most of all, is using a too-bigger paint brush. At one end of the spectrum, there’s tonnes of classical musicians and folk artists in the Malvern Hills; at the other end of the spectrum, Kidderminster produces the heaviest of death/screamo metal and Bromsgrove unearths a lot of dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass. The balancing act is to aim to the programme at everyone – otherwise you risk broadcasting the X-Factor to only the people who queued up to be on the X-Factor! Being blunt, musicians provide the raw material for the show – it’s my job to then expose it to as wider audience as possible, so I have to be careful not to make the show sound like a fanzine. That job just got a little simpler; I can now ask “is this more Saturday night or more Sunday night”. So Saturdays will be a lot louder, a lot more raucous with a real edge. Whereas Sundays will be a lot more accessible, focussing a lot more on those acoustic/soulful/folk/jazz/blues/country styles with “candlelit” stripped-back studio sessions. I’m hoping there’ll be a fair bit of crossover, meaning audiences will feed between both programmes – but the idea is you’ll definitely have your favourite, all, of course, available for 30 days to download and listen via the BBC iPlayer Radio app!

What advice would you give to the kids who are just starting out and would like to send their music to BBC Music Introducing for consideration?

BBC Hereford and Worcester: Guitars and great tunes!

Andrew Marston: Here’s my top three…

  1. Always disappoint your audience!! Keep your music short. Your favourite song will never be long enough; loop play is the greatest compliment. If they hear it on the radio and want to hear more, they’ll have to go out and buy it! If you play a gig, don’t give them an encore. If they want more, they’ll have to come to another show! Take pictures of every gig – especially the audience having fun – and host them online afterwards. People will be disappointed they missed out and will come to your next show. If you’re on the door, don’t let every Tom, Dick and Harry in! An exclusive audience will grow punters; letting in those who don’t particularly care will distract your die-hards. Remember that time you couldn’t get into your favourite nightclub because your mate was wearing trainers? You didn’t particularly want to go in – but the moment the bouncer said no, you were desperate to be in there!
  2. Properly release your music. Set a release date. My best music I’ll save for a “rainy day”. I’m hoping it’ll never rain. But that means I might not play it for 5 years! Setting a release date ensures everyone is across your track on that particular date. Nobody likes to back the last horse in the race, so if everyone else is championing your music on that date – others will follow. Make big events even bigger. I remember booking Remi Harris for the Montreal Jazz Festival a couple of years ago and just as I was ending the phone-call, he said “oh – did you hear I have a new album?” If I didn’t know, nor would any of his potential audience. I told him to stop being a fool and to release it at the festival! Forevermore you can say “I launched my debut album at the biggest gig of my life”. The festival will be happy you saved such a special moment for their event – and, with any luck, will also do your promo for you! Whenever Remi rings up a venue, he can now say “and here’s a copy of my album I officially released at the Montreal Jazz Festival”.
  3. Write music you believe in. You’ll be amazed how many people I interview who write rock music who go out every Friday and Saturday night and listen to dance/RnB then wonder why nobody comes to their gigs. Take a look around and see what people are genuinely listening to. If you’re really into electronica, you’ll probably write better electronica than trying to form a band with people who don’t really share your passion. The most common reason bands split is because of “musical differences”. If you wouldn’t be happy to drive around town with your windows wound down and your track blaring out, you’re possibly not being true to yourself – and if you’re not 100% behind what you’re writing, what chance does anyone else have?

But most importantly – have fun! If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, you’ve probably forgotten the reason you got into music in the first place. If you become the best at what you do, the money will somehow find its way to you. But just remember it’s not always this cartoon version of “write a song, get signed, achieve #1 then headline Wembley”. There’s money to made in writing theme tunes, being a session musician, writing for video games, weddings, playing the piano in hotel receptions, writing for other people and one of the most lucrative “revenue streams” is writing lift music! But that’s just page one of an ocean of opportunity. Remember, I learned piano and I now host a show on the BBC. So music can open all sorts of opportunities – just make sure you grab them with both hands and never let go!

BBC Introducing:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p001d72q
https://twitter.com/bbcintroducing
https://en-gb.facebook.com/bbcintrohw/

Andrew Marston is very active on social media and you can find him on many different platforms:
http://www.djandrewmarston.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Marston
https://twitter.com/DJAndrewMarston
https://www.facebook.com/djandrewmarston
https://www.mixcloud.com/djandrewmarston/
https://www.youtube.com/user/DJAndrewMarston
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/dj-andrew-marston/id983733498

Vanadian Avenue would like to thank you to Andrew and the crew of BBC Inroducing in Hereford and Worcester for their time, hard work and answering the questions.

Keep on doing the good job!

Please come back soon as Indieterria is meeting a really cool band next week and we will be back shortly with another interview for your enjoyment!

Bye for now,
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

Indieterria meets Dharma Bums

Howdy!

Welcome back to another edition of Indieterria, where we discover new and exciting music. After speaking to the wonderful Nic Evennett two weeks ago and receiving many nice comments regarding the interview (including a praise from the legendary musician and radio DJ, Tim Robinson himself!), today we will introduce you to a 4 piece outfit from Worcestershire that plays rock and blues better than the cowboys from the American West.

Dharma Bums are incredibly nice folks and it was a privilege to talk to them. If blues, country and a jazz fusion is your thing, you cannot miss them! Please read on.

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Welcome to the Wild, Wild West Midlands

 

Dharma Bums at the Abbey Road Studios in London

Inspiration works in mysterious ways. Sometimes you are not even interested in making music and you end up forming a genre defining band with your school mates or friends living on the same street. Or you could be a professional musician, for years struggling to find same minded people to play with.  Luckily for us, all members of Dharma Bums were in the right place, at the right time and clicked together immediately. Their instant communication, understanding of one another and simple joy of working together can be heard in their every song. It was a pure pleasure to listen to their EP entitled “Nothing to lose blues”. Vanadian Avenue took The Bums leading outlaw, Kevin Wrench to the nearest saloon to discuss their previous musical experiences, love for blues and their new material over a bottle of finest whisky and a game of cards.

Kevin Wrench – Vocals/Guitar
Dave Shuter – Lead Guitar/Harmonica
Jon Green – Bass
Thomas Paine – Percussion

Your biography mentions that Dharma Bums were formed in 2015 yet all the members have been active on Worcestershire music scene for years and were involved in several different projects before. Tell us how did the band start and introduce all the members to our readers.

Kevin Wrench: Dave Shuter (lead guitar/harmonica) and myself initially started playing together early in 2015. Dave’s wife lived just up the road from where I grew up and after chatting to her on Facebook one evening, Dave and me got together and instantly hit it off. We shared an appreciation for blues and in particular, Robert Johnson. Dave had never met anyone, who was as keen on Robert Johnson as he was before the two of us met. Dave & his wife performed in a function band together for a number of years but they hadn’t gigged for quite some time when we first met. Dave’s patience has really helped me improve my own playing. He’s one of the most easy going  and nicest guys I know.

I’ve been interested in making music for years but could never quite find the right outlet to pursue it. I’ve never been a particularly confident performer and as a child, I was painfully shy. It has taken a number of years  and a bit of effort forcing myself out of my comfort zone in order to get to the point where I feel happy performing or sharing my music with anyone.  Some time ago I had guitar lessons  and played on and off for years but never really considered writing songs myself. I had some singing lessons around 2009 and did ABRSM Grade 5. The popularity of Michael Buble at the time coupled with my grandfather’s influence. He was a big admirer of Frank Sinatra and led me to collaborate with a couple of local pianists. Together, we performed mainly swing/jazz covers at local restaurants.

In 2013, I was approached by a producer friend about writing some songs for a solo project. Unfortunately, that project never quite came to fruition although I may re-record the four songs I wrote at some point in the not too distant future. Essentially, that meeting was the spark that ignited my passion for song writing. I also appeared in a couple of musical shows at the Rose Theatre in Kidderminster; that was where I met our percussionist Thomas “Tom” Paine. Two years later, while volunteering at The Civic Hall in Stourport, I organised a monthly music night called ‘Live Local’ which featured a variety of local artists. As well as being a rewarding experience, it also ended up being a massive inspiration as I was bowled over by the amount of talent in the local area and that ultimately inspired me to seek out some musicians to start a band myself.

Walking down the Abbey Road

Our drummer Tom has been a member of two local amateur dramatics groups for a number of years. In fact Tom`s whole family are members of both Kidderminster Operatic & Dramatic Society (KODS) and Carpet Trades Musical Theatre Company (CTMTC). Tom plays a variety of instruments and joined us around November 2015. He had never played the cajón before he joined us and slowly but surely, we’ve discovered more & more things that Tom can play which has greatly added to our overall sound. Only last year he was bought a banjo as a present and learnt several songs on it already. Tom grew up in a family where performing is second nature. He is a very gifted  and versatile musician.

Out of all of us, our bass player Jon Green has had the most experience in terms of being in bands, he’s played in several different bands since the age of 14, ranging from Rock to Crust Core Punk. A couple of the bands Jon has been involved in previously have been signed to record contracts. Jon is also a multi instrumentalist who plays the bodhrán and recently started learning the violin to bring something a bit different to our sound. Jon has performed all over the UK including London and even toured in the US. Jon’s daughter Ellisha Green is an extremely talented singer/songwriter and Ellie has also performed with the youth section of KODS, which is how Tom and I met Jon as he was often involved helping out backstage.

As I’m sure you’ve gathered by this point we combine a variety of very different backgrounds but we all share a passion for making music.

Right at the end of 2017, Dan Mathew joined us on percussion. Dan is also the drummer for The Bug Club who are another great local band and already he is proving to be a tremendous asset to our line-up. He has given the new songs we’re currently working on a much more dynamic sound.

“The Dharma Bums” is the title of the 1958 beat generation classic novel written by Jack Kerouac. It is also the name of an American garage band that influenced many pre-grunge groups in Seattle including Nirvana, Hole and Green River. What inspired you to take on that name as well? How are you going to distinguish yourselves from your American counterparts?

Kevin Wrench: That would be down to me. “The Dharma Bums” is one of my favourite novels and I’ve loved Kerouac’s work for years. He was a pivotal figure in the Beat Generation of the 1950’s counter culture which was very much a forerunner to the psychedelic 1960’s. It influenced some of my favourite artists including The Doors and The Beatles. My partner and I travelled quite a bit in our early 20’s and on our travels we visited Morocco and stayed in Jack Kerouac’s room in Tangier. Jack and Alan Ginsberg stayed there for a couple of years writing. In fact, I popped the question to my partner Sarah in Jack’s room when we arrived there!

After I chose the name, I realized that quite a few bands had used it. I did do a bit of research before picking it, but must admit, I didn’t realise that the other Dharma Bums had reached such a wide audience. I’m sure though if they truly are “Dharma Bums” they won’t have any issues with us using the name too and our sound is very, very different to theirs.

 You have just released a video to your song “Ballad of El Chivato“. It was directed by twice award nominated film maker Nick J. Townsend of Weak13 and shot in Bewdley. Can you tell us more about working with Nick and the story behind the song’s lyrics.

Kevin Wrench:  Working with Nick has been an absolute pleasure. He’s a lovely genuine guy who’s passionate, full of creativity, enthusiasm and he’s been on the local music scene for as long as I can remember. Not only did he produce a fantastic music video for us, but he’s also been incredibly supportive and has been very generous with his wisdom and experience which has been invaluable. I wrote “Ballad of El Chivato” while on holiday in Tenby with my partner and our daughter. It was raining one day so we were limited as to what we could do. We stayed in the caravan and I wrote a song. I’d been reading a book called “To Hell On A Fast Horse” by Mark Lee Gardner which is about the American West Outlaw Billy The Kid. I’ve read many books about the Old West, particularly about Billy The Kid and I’ve always loved songs that tell a story so that’s exactly what I tried to do with this song.

Dharma Bums use a mixture of blues, jazz, country and rock and rock to create their unique sound. Slap Magazine described your music as “cool” while Ryan’s Gig Guide called it “unique and vintage”. What is the audience reaction? Do they like it?

Kevin Wrench:  Audiences tend to respond really well to our music. We’ve picked up some lovely supporters (feel reluctant to say fans) who really seem to appreciate the blend of influences we draw on. As we’re still building our repertoire of original material, we tend to play a mixture of covers and originals at our gigs at the moment, covering artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Hank Williams, Sam Cooke, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Prince or The Soggy Bottom Boys. We’re writing more and more original songs though, so over time we will increase the number of originals we play and most likely not play as many covers. As I’m sure many other bands will testify, you’re never going to please everyone. There’s been one or two gigs where people drunkenly shout “play Summer of 69” or “play some Bon Jovi” not that there’s anything wrong with these songs/artists but they’re just not to our taste; but for the most part we get a great reaction wherever we play.

“Ballad of El Chivato” is promoting your latest EP entitled “Nothing to Lose Blues” released in July 2017. The 5 track EP was recorded in Stourport and mastered in London at the famous Abbey Road Studios. It must have been quite an experience to work with Sean Magee a Grammy winning mastering engineer of The Beatles, Rush, Deep Purple and Public Image Ltd.

Nothing to Lose Blues cover

Kevin Wrench: Since we started gigging, every penny the band has earned has gone into an old biscuit tin and has been accumulated to pay for recording, mastering, producing a video and paying for our CDs to be printed. We feel it’s better to create memories like visiting the legendary Abbey Road Studios, rather than taking a quarter share of gig money and then having to contribute towards these costs anyway after we’ve spent the money. Obviously, visiting Abbey Road wasn’t cheap, but it was paid for entirely out of the kitty and is an experience that none of us will ever forget. All four of us stayed together in London as well as our time in the studio, we had a great time.

“Nothing To Lose Blues” features a wide array of local musicians including George Alan on trumpet, Chris Yates on piano and Matt Worley on banjo. The EP cover was also designed by an established contemporary artist, Craig Simmons. For a debut record, the guest list is simply impressive. Was it hard to bring so many creative minds to the same project?

Kevin Wrench: When I first thought about starting a band, I always imagined the line-up being flexible and being able to work as a collective melting pot of various creative minds able to operate across a variety of genres. This was a very romantic notion for an amateur band and I’ve since come to realise that it’s important to have a strong bond amongst the core members of a band. That’s not to say that we can’t invite other local musicians to make guest appearances  and I think our next record will be very similar in that respect. I met a lot of musicians while organizing ‘Live Local’ at The Civic in Stourport and I made a lot of friends in the local music/artistic community. I’ve become quite cheeky and not afraid to ask others to be involved. We never tell people what we want them to play, we invite them to play because we know that they will bring something of themselves to our recordings. We were blessed on this first recording to get George, Matt and Chris on board, they are all extremely talented guys and we hope they will be involved on our next project. We also hope to invite several other local musicians to be involved. Craig Simmons is an incredibly talented local artist  and luckily for us, he is friends with Tom. We think he did an awesome job on our artwork  and we very much hope to be able to work with him again on our next release.

Rumour has it that you are beginning to work on a new material. We heard that you have wrote a protest song called ” Sell Your soul”. Would you like to elaborate?

Kevin Wrench: (laughing) I don’t wish to give too much away just yet but yes this is true. Like many people, I’m a little concerned by the emergence of certain “leaders” in the last couple of years and wanted to write something that communicated this concern that I know I’m not alone in feeling. We’ve already discussed with Nick Townsend about a possible video for “Sell Your Soul” and we’re quite keen to get it out in the public domain as soon as we can. I know some people don’t like it when musicians incorporate their political opinions into their music but I think it’s difficult not to sometimes as it effects us all  and our opinions are just as valid as anyone else’s. We’ve also got a couple of bluesy numbers  and a pirate shanty inspired folk song which will appear on our next record.

Dharma Buns performing

Dharma Bums has just been confirmed to perform at WolvesFest in Wolverhampton on 16-17th of June 2018. Where else can we see you playing live? Any coming up shows to look out for?

Kevin Wrench:  Our calendar is filling up quite nicely at the moment with new dates being added regularly. We’ve not pursued too many gigs in this early part of the year as we wanted to focus on writing new material and also we wanted to give our new percussionist Dan chance to settle in. We’re playing at The Swan in Stourport on 1st March and at the Cock & Magpie on 14th April. We’re currently arranging dates with many of the venues we’ve played at over the last couple of years, so if people wish to keep up to date they could check out our Facebook page  at http://www.facebook.com/dharmabumsuk.

And finally, a question that has to appear on every interview: where do you see yourselves in 5 years time?

Kevin Wrench: Wow, that’s a big question! I see us being maybe 2/3 albums further along with a lot more of an established fan base and maybe even having travelled to America to possibly have used a studio over there for mastering and with a bit of luck picked up a few gigs while we were there. I’d also like to have done a couple of mini tours in the UK, maybe also in Ireland and I’d like to have gigged in London. I’d also like to think we would’ve had a bit more airplay which seems to be the most difficult thing to acquire, particularly if you fall outside of the mainstream musical spectrum. The ultimate aim would be able to give up the day job  and focus full time on music. I don’t think any of us are naive enough to believe we’ll achieve fame and fortune but there are plenty of musicians out there who are not household names but still manage to make a good living from their music.

Dharma Buns review from Ryan Gigs Guide

Dharma Bums can be found online at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dharmabumsuk/
Bandcamp: https://dharmabumsuk.bandcamp.com/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkOHwhVl706lJQxVJB0fLcA
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/5Ex1lCGaJ20okS35pfwa2O

Articles about the band:
http://www.kidderminstershuttle.co.uk/news/15888601.Kidderminster_band_brings_a_touch_of_the_wild_west_to_district
http://www.stourbridgenews.co.uk/news/local/15888670.Stourbridge_film_maker_brings_wild_west_to_Bewdley
http://www.kidderminstershuttle.co.uk/news/15369035.Kidderminster_band_to_release_debut_EP_next_month/

You can purchase their music here:
CDBABY:
https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/dharmabums12
Amazon Music: https://www.amazon.com/Nothing-to-Lose-Blues/dp/B0742979NT
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nothing-to-lose-blues-ep/1261253519
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