Another day, another interview! We love working with young upcoming bands on the independent circuit and nothing gives us more pleasure than to discover new talented acts. We are extremely grateful for the chance to be able to listen and see the bands in action on stage and we cannot wait for Friday. If you are in Birmingham on 28th of September, please come to The Victoria and party with us. Vanadian Avenue is teaming up with Brighton based promoters – Modern Age Music to bring some amazing talent to town, so don`t miss out!
Now, let us introduce you to our newest discovery – ANOA. This band has been touring and performing since 2016 but only recently has been flagged up on our radars. Lend them your ears and hearts dear readers, you will not be regretting it.
Poster promoting the show
Official bio: A redolent, Leicester based, Neo-Punk set up, led by frontman Alex Harris, Anoa came crashing onto the scene late 2016. Lyrically dripping with dark sarcasm, their views are caressed with riffs that pack a punch. Known for their intensely frantic and wild live performances, the band certainly declare their arrival. Mitchell Gordon, Chris Johnston, and Jared Gopal complete the four piece. December 2nd 2016 saw the release of their self titled debut EP, featuring 4 tracks of a diverse variation. In April 2017 they released two A side singles which titled the boys with a punk styled identity; “I’m Alive, Are You?” And “Rock Bottom” allowed the quadruplet to slip into the same category as bands such as; Cabbage, Slaves & and The Sex Pistols. In late October they released their debut music video for their most vicious and bitter single, When In Kings Norton. Anoa closed the year headlining Leicester infamous venue, The Cookie. Where they celebrated the release of their most recent single, “Glorious Nuisance” which was aired by Dean Jackson on BBC Introducing East Midlands.
Anoa is an interesting name. It is the smallest water buffalo on Earth and also an armoured patrol carrier vehicle used by the Indonesian army. Where does your name come from?
Anoa: Our name choice probably won’t come as a surprise to you. In our younger days we’d be discussing our tiffs and tests with girls, quite often someone would pop up and say “Oh yeah, I know her”! That “I know her” in our common accent sounds very much like “Anoa” (laughing) and that’s where we pulled the name from!
You are hailing from Leicester, the home town of Kasbian, Cornershop, Maybeshewill, Basement Jaxx among other well-known acts. Tell us more about Leicester. Was it easier to start a band on an active and diverse local scene or was the competition making your beginnings much harder?
Anoa: To answer your question about Leicester, the scenes is growing day in day out. It’s competitive, intense and frantic, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We get on with a lot of local bands well, we all want the same thing after all. Our favourite tune to come out of the city is “100% Brimful Of Aisha” by Cornershop. Legends!
Anoa was founded at the end of 2015 and you quickly gained reputation for frantic and wild performances. Rumour has it, you scared the journalists from
ANOA in their splendor
NME who came to see you live all the way from London. We are dying to know what was happening on stage that night. If you could describe your live shows to somebody who has not had the chance to see you perform yet, what words would you use?
Anoa: The story about the NME journalist seems to be a fan-favourite (laughing). We love it ourselves. We were informed a writer for the NME would be attending our slot when we opened up for Spring King in June 2017. We don’t think he’ll ever forget us, but we don’t think he wants to remember us either. Mitch dressed in fishnets, Harris smeared in lipstick, a guitar got smashed, think he got chinned in the mosh pit too… Poor bloke, seemed a decent fella. But yeah, we were well up for that gig and went out all guns blazing, was one to remember. We can’t possibly settle for one word to describe our live performances, but can take a chance on 2: fucking nuts!
You are also known for sarcastic sense of humour and eccentric photo sessions like the one where you pose half naked with “We don’t bite” written across your chests. What inspired you to choose this stage presence? Was it a conscious decision to shake and stir things a little bit?
Anoa: We think, there’s a lot of musicians out there who are too “safe” these days. Don’t get us wrong, some bands can be static and deliver a breathtaking set, but that’s not for us. Our theatrical performances are just as important as our musical ones. We like stirring things up as well, there’s not enough people doing that. It’s nice to write a good love song but not one after another, we like to get under people’s skin and surface problems their surprising.. like the cunt who’s running this country!
Let us talk about your influences. It’s the classic Manic Street Preachers, T.Rex, The Sex Pistols, The Clash meets the modern angry wave of Cabbage, The Blinders and Idles. There is a lot of glam rock in your act as well. What inspires you to create?
Anoa: You’ve nailed our influences there. We like to entwine old and new influences in order to create something fairly unique. Musically, we’re very punk inspired… but we do take the time to understudy performers such a, Freddie Mercury, Charlie Steen & Iggy Pop. What inspires us the most to create are situations full of anger. We’ve recently stepped into a political territory, god that makes us fucking angry! But that’s where our best work comes from. Heart on the sleeve sort of thing!
Anoa – vivid colors and real spectacle on stage
In December 2016, you released your self-titled 4 track EP. It got you a lot of radio play in the north and sent the BBC Introducing knocking on your door. You were played on BBC West Midlands, East and Manchester to very good reviews. Tell us more about this release.
Anoa: Our debut EP is very innocent in the ranks of our music. It drips with sarcasm but doesn’t quite take that step into analyzing issues in the world itself. Our EP displays our own issues, mainly lust related. Our latest single ‘Glorious Nuisance’ accurately portrays the quintessence of modern humanity. We were made up when that starting doing the rounds on the radio.
A year later, you returned with two A-side singles entitled “I’m Alive, Are You?” and “Rock Bottom” which are our absolute favourites. When were they written and in what circumstances?
Anoa: Our 2 A side singles were an important step in our scheme of work. We upped the anti musically, creating riffs with a lot more tempo and aggression and aimed to step away from writing about relationships. “I’m Alive, Are You” is basically a goodbye to our old self and allowed us to step into a category where we could create songs like “When In Kings Norton” and “Glorious Nuisance”. “I’m Alive, Are You?” gave us that beeline to become real fucking punks!
Calm before the storm
You will be playing Birmingham on 28th of September with Dirty Orange, Whitelight and Malvern based rock and rollers, The Dead Dads Club. Is it your first time in the West Midlands? What can we expect from you during the gig?
Anoa: To put it bluntly, this is our first time in the West Midlands and definitely won’t be our last, we’ll make sure of that!
2018 has been a busy year for you so far. What are your plans for the next months? Anything lined up for 2019?
Anoa: And finally our plans for the future seem to be taking shape. We’re going to be working on releasing a follow up to our debut music video, which will be accompanied by a very fierce new single. We’re aiming to edge our way onto Handmade festival in 2019 as well, having debuted there in 2017. Fingers crossed yay! Finally, we just want to express our gratitude regarding how well you’ve researched us. Thank you very much for getting to know us and for asking proper good questions.
We hope you have enjoyed our little interview with Anoa- they are charming, funny and very keen on getting their music out for people to hear it. And this is what won us over in their case. We will be down in the front during their gig at The Victoria, so please expect some serious updates to this blog – with videos and pictures in the weeks to come.
For now, thanks for reading and we will be back with you very shortly for another chapter in our ongoing journey in the Indielands.
After years of preparation, and months of excitement and awaiting, the DAY OF TRUTH has arrived.
The debut album by The Blinders is finally here and now the entire world will hear the story of Johnny Dream and His Codeine Scene.
You are being watched! Johnny Dream is looking at you from the cover of “Columbia”
This musical hurricane will take you on a ride that will not be easily forgotten. To celebrate, Vanadian Avenue has opened the doors to the Columbia National Library Archives and digged out some impressive data to boast about the fruitful last couple of weeks.
The Blinders team has been working extremely hard and we would like to mention several people who made everything possible.
First of all, of course the musicians themselves: Thomas Haywood, Charlie McGough and Matty Neale. Plus Gavin Monaghan (the producer) and Joseph Wildy Murray (the engineer), who get the honorary mention as it was their experience and knowledge that created this masterpiece. They are truly the Wizards of Wolverhampton.
Second, their record label – Modern Sky UK and managers: Tim Abbott and Paul Fassam.
Third – their PR team with Caffy St Luce at the helm, their booking agent Jamie Wade and Sam Crowston – visualizer, artist, filmmaker, photographer and the man behind all graphic representation of Columbia.
Very, very special thanks to Mr Chris Hawkins and Mr Steve Lamacq – a legendary man who is the same to the new generation of musicians as John Peel was to us.
And then their families who supported them from the start, their friends and fellow bands that came to the shows, newspapers and magazines that wrote about them, journalists and DJ’s who played them, BBC 6 Music, BBC Introducing teams and BBC 1 teams, Amazing Radio, Radio X, XS Radio Manchester and other radio stations who played their music, photographers who tirelessly took millions of pictures and edited them right after the gig so people could enjoy them in the morning, promoters who booked shows and shouted on Twitter and other socials trying to sell tickets and bring crowds in, bars and clubs that hosted the band, fans for sticking with the band through thick and thin and countless of others who were there and we will never know their names.
THANK YOU to all and each one of you – you are wonderful human beings and your kindness means a world to three young lads from Doncaster.
Things would not be possible without your help.
The last three months before the album release have been very busy. You may not realize how much planning, work and extra hours go into social media, making of promotional materials or just simple PR. It is never ending job that keeps everything together.
We called this blog Columbia Library Archives as we tried to collect links, videos, interviews, and all sort of strange data that could show you what has been done and achieved.
Please feel free to scroll through this small collection and enjoy it. If you have missed something before, this is now your chance to discover it all over again.
To make it easier for you, we have divided our findings into groups:
Chart position: Columbia has debuted on the official UK Top 40 on the date of its release, 21st of September 2018. The Party has released an official statement and every woman, man and a child living within the glorious borders of our nation-state is expected to read it and celebrate the success!
The statements reads: “Having caught wind that our debut album ‘Columbia’ has entered the realms of the top 40 midweek album charts, we would just like to thank every single person who has purchased the record in the past few days. You all mean the world to us, and we really couldn’t be doing this without you. To ensure it stays there, buy it, play it, and tell all yer friends about it.”
It reads: “The self-titled debut album from Brighton rockers Black Honey opens at 22, one rung higher than Iridescence, the major label debut from hip-hop group Brockhampton (23). Doncaster group The Blinders are also vying for a Top 40 finish with their debut album Columbia (28)”.
Please check out this section often as it will be updated as new info is available!
BBC6 Music Album of the Day: On 1st of October 2018, Columbia has been named the Album of the Day by BBC6 Music. This is one of the highest recognition that can come for a debuting album and millions of people heard 6 songs from the album being played throughout the day.
Album of the Day according to the Gospel aka BBC6 Radio! Thank you so much guys!!!
Amazing Radio Album of the Week 01.10.2018-07.10.2018:
Columbia as the Album of the Week
Columbia has been chosen as an Album of the Week at Amazing Radio during the period of 1st and 7th of October. That means the album is played each day during the core hours and on Friday, the 5th of October, you will have a chance to listen to the entire album on air without interruption from 2:00 PM sharp. https://amazingradio.com/home/album-of-the-week-the-blinders-columbia
Festivals: The Blinders are in such a great demand that each day, a new gig or concert is being added. Those lucky ones who have the tickets, were able to see them performing on two festivals before they embark on a national tour.
The first festival called Neighbourhood ManchesterFestival took place on the 6th of October and The Blinders were added as a secret guest just 12 hours before the show. The band played at the YES the Pink Room and it was of course a sold out performance.
The second festival named Twisterella Festival in Middlesbrough took place on the 13th of September. The Blinders were one of the headliners along with Estrons, Avalanche Party and Bryde. As with previous performances, tickets were selling fast and it is a good indicator that many shows will sell out on the commencing tour. The Blinders played their 50 minute slot at The Townhouse, starting at 21:00 pm.
Mailing list and newsletters are very useful tools helping to keep in touch with fans and informing them about new things from the band’s HQ. Like any other marketing materials, Columbia Daily (aka the newsletter) is issued in in monochrome and contains pictures, latest news and the most important links.
Playlist: Spotify is one of the most popular streaming services on the Internet allowing billions of users to access the music. The Blinders are added to hundreds of small lists made by fans and industry professionals, but recently they came with a list of their own. And it is a pretty special list as it shows the band’s entire officially released catalog! It also looks wonderfully as you ca see at the attached screens below:
“It is guitar orientated album that is true to the live performance. Songs are fast and yet catchy, with haunting back ground vocals and hypnotizing drums. It is the fresh perspective on what music should be in 2018 – direct, poetic, enigmatic, political, tearing out your soul and different from what is happening around. And that is what Thomas Haywood, Matty Neale and Charlie McGough bring to the table” – Malicia Dabrowicz for Vanadian Avenue https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/08/30/indieterria-review-columbia-by-the-blinders/
“How important is this release going to be? Personally, I’ve waited for a band to make an album like this for twenty, maybe thirty years. Political albums can often deter because they are hard work, but they do endure… I’m thinking about albums by Gil Scott Heron, The Clash, Billy Bragg, Public Enemy, Manic Street Preachers, The The or Dead Kennedys. When the political scene is as warped and cruel as it is now, music should comment on it and be influenced by it. The Blinders are making music to mark their protest; there should be more like them” – Alan Neilson for BrumLive Magazine http://www.brumlive.com/blinders-columbia-debut-album-released-21-september-2018/
Signed LP on vinyl – back
“Politically charged trio The Blinders have taken the UK music scene by storm. Not only did their track ‘L’Etat C’est Moi’ get playlisted on BBC 6 Music, but they also landed a headline slot on the BBC Introducing stage at this summer’s Reading & Leeds festivals. Needless to say, these boys are destined for success” – Harriet Willis for The Skinny Music Blog https://www.theskinny.co.uk/music/reviews/albums/the-blinders-columbia
“That shamanic, compelling mood is captured perfectly in ‘Columbia’. Ably produced by Gavin Monaghan (Editors, The Sherlocks, Goldblade), the album sees childhood friends Thomas Haywood, bassist/co-writer Charlie McGough and drummer Matt Neale follow Johnny Dream on his spiritual awakening, from the coruscating swagger of the opening ‘Gotta Get Through’ to the raw, beautiful and ultimately redemptive finale ‘Orbit (Salmon Of Alaska)” – (legendary) R*E*P*E*A*T Fanzine https://repeatfanzine.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/the-blinders-debut-album-columbia-out-this-friday-uk-tour/
“It’s a really impressive debut, and we actually found ourselves feeling suitably shocked after our first listen at how accomplished it sounds. The band make indie rock music that is supercharged and political, with groovy yet raw riffs filling each song on the album. It’s raw but the production never sounds too fuzzy, with it all sounding pretty damn perfect to us” – Jane Howkins for York Calling https://yorkcalling.co.uk/2018/09/01/the-blinders-columbia/
“‘Hate Song’ is all urban noir menace, ‘Free The Slave’ a 28-second leviathanesque anthem, ‘Et Tu’ a heads down bass battering Adam and the Ants from Dante’s Inferno and, joining the quote dots, ‘Brutus’ a full seven minutes of charged rock darkness that variously encompasses Floyd, Enter Shikari, Metallica and Nick Cave. Impressive stuff” – Mike Davies for Roots and Branches Zine http://roots-and-branches.com/brum-beat–the-beat/record-reviews-september.html
“Whirring riffs dominating, the war drums integral, drone sounds making you check over your shoulder as you listen. It‘s infectious, with bombastic drum beats, western twangs and jangly yet searing guitar riffs getting you ready to dance, mosh or start a revolution” – Johnny Rogerson for Clash Magazine https://www.clashmusic.com/reviews/the-blinders-columbia
“This increasingly rare concept album, coupled with their constant references to history and literature display an artistic intelligence perhaps uncommonly associated with such a heavy-hitting sound. Alongside the likes of Cabbage and IDLES, they are leading the way in creating a new brand of socially aware Punk. With the release of ‘Columbia’, The Blinders are dragging us into a dystopian future where Punk-Rock rules again” – James Booton for Boot Music Blog http://jamesbooton15.wixsite.com/boot-music/single-post/2018/09/19/The-Blinders—Columbia
“Perhaps once in a generation comes a movement that speaks for its outcasts, those who are undernourished but well read, those who see injustice, but have been fed only on a diet of apathy, and corruption. The blue generation before us were emotionally rescued by bands like the Manic Street Preachers, now, rising from the ashes of Brexitopia, (and the burned out ruins of the indie landfill) we have The Blinders” – Dizzy Spell for The Zine UK https://www.thezineuk.co.uk/single-post/2018/09/19/Stepping-into-Columbia-with-The-Blinders
“So where does ‘Columbia’ place The Blinders? It’s an impressive debut, one that captures the essence of what they’re about and as much of the live performance as is possible within the constraints of a studio recording. It doesn’t compromise their personalities and the real core of what they’re about in search of a hit radio-friendly album, but it’s that which has caught the ear of those that champion them. They have influences but not too overt, their songs observe rather than preach, talk of politics in its social context attacking ideologies and beliefs rather than directly attacking individuals which give it more gravitas. But most important of all they remain true to themselves” – Even the Stars Blog http://www.eventhestars.co.uk/2018/09/the-blinders-columbia.html?m=0
“In the age of distraction, it’s hard to craft an album that grips you for a full 40 minutes and doesn’t have you reaching for the skip button, but ‘Columbia’ is a rare breed, as are The Blinders themselves. This is one to not only cherish, but to lose your voice and mind to in equal measures” – Richard Cobb for Little Indie Blogs https://littleindieblogs.blogspot.com/2018/09/album-review-blinders-columbia.html
“Of the lineage of politically charged and anti-establishment albums, The Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks and Pink Floyd’s The Wall, stand out as the two that most inform Columbia, which is without doubt an astounding achievement and a seismic debut for the band that labelled their sound in 2016 as ‘a spellbinding punkadelic-esque Roman orgy’. Columbia, the ‘alternate world informed by reality’ reverberates with the sound of the temple’s foundations being rocked to their very core” – Andrew Gutteridge for Words For Music Blog https://wordsformusic.blog/2018/09/21/album-review-the-blinders-columbia/
“An outstanding debut, The Blinders have caused an itch with Columbia, an itch I hope they can scratch with a follow up. We sacked off the ratings system a long time ago, but Colombia feels like an Eight from a band who have the potential to deliver a Ten. Far from a classic, but ever so close. Thoroughly enjoyable and a real kick up the ass for the alternative rock scene who should take notes from this excellent piece of work” – Josh Bell for RGM: Reyt Good Magazine https://www.rgm.press/review-the-blinders-columbia/
Vinyl copy of “Columbia”
“It’s impossible to fully appreciate this album in word form and I cannot stress enough how much you have to listen to it for yourself. The Blinders have truly changed the game with ‘Columbia’. They’re going to take over the world” – Lottie Catrin forLet It Happen Music Blog https://letithappenmusicblog.com/2018/09/21/the-blinders-columbia/
“If The Blinders were trying to get a message across, they couldn’t have achieved it in any more clarity if they’d tried. It’s poetical perfection. This, 12-track, just-under-40-minute album is, at it’s core, just a piece of music. But at it’s best, it’s a statement; a concept; it’s meant to provoke a reaction. And it does. Even during the live shows, the band, clad in face paint and dark clothing, embrace the ideology and the theme of the album entirely, immersing themselves in this make-believe world that they truly believe could become real sometime soon. The hype around this album has been second-to-none amongst independently released albums in the past ten years. But we’re here for it” – The Indie Room Blog https://theindieroomblog.wordpress.com/
“But it is impossible not to be sucked into this scary world of slithering bass, straight-for-the-throat guitars and Thomas Haywood’s cool without being an annoying snob popular cultural references. The deliciously snarling guitars that pave the way of ‘Et Tu’ and then again on the outro to ‘Brutus’ while Haywood screams ‘Et tu, Brute?’ over the top are the stuff of genius. This isn’t songwriting, this is atmospheric musical theatre” – Leigh Sanders, Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments at Express and Star and Shropshire Star. https://www.shropshirestar.com/entertainment/music/2018/09/22/the-blinders-columbia—album-review/
“Doncaster trio The Blinders’ Columbia is a dystopian-infused, literary-inspired social critique on modern day society, comparing our own world to those created by Orwell and Huxley. Before listening I was apprehensive, afraid the ferocious punk sound that has dominated their early works and live shows would become too repetitive, but Columbia’s highlights are the tender moments. Acoustic number ‘The Ballad Of Winston Smith’, and Nick Cave-inspired ‘Orbit (Salmon Of Alaska) are the album highlights as Tom Haywood, under his persona of Johnny Dream” https://therodeoblog.blogspot.com/2018/09/on-trend-future-is-bright.html
“If ever there were a time for heroes, it be now. A band to speak to and for the disaffected, disenfranchised youth about to be trampled on by the aftermath of us adults screwing up their future by withdrawing from the EU and leaving them with a “no deal” Britain that ensures they’ll be working until they drop and the word ‘pension’ will become as obsolete as pronouncing the letter “H” as it is spelt” – James Auton for God is in the TV blog http://www.godisinthetvzine.co.uk/2018/09/24/the-blinders-columbia-modern-sky/
“Emerging from Doncaster as new bastions of explosive live music, The Blinders have become a must-see band on the UK live circuit in the past two years. Fusing punk politics, gnarly hooks and psych-lyricism, the band have found the perfect algorithm to live success. Picking up support from 14 influential playlists, including Indispensables and Walk Like A Badass, The Blinders have enjoyed a 132% increase in their playlist following in the past 7 days, taking their total to over 3.5 million. With a 5.45% increase in their artist following, the trio also seem to be building a solid fanbase” – FRTYFVE Blog, powered by Instrumental https://www.frtyfve.com/new-music/hottest-artist-in-the-world-the-blinders
“On the back of the game-changing album ‘Columbia’, The Blinders have now cemented themselves as one of the hottest bands in the UK. The album itself is racing into the UK top 40 after rave reviews from fellow bands, fans and press – we’ve had it playing constantly since last Friday, and trust us – believe the hype!” – Mock It (the Best in New Music) Blog https://mockitmusic.wixsite.com/mockitmusic/features/tenement-trail-the-blinders
“In tracks such as ‘Hate Song’, ‘Where No Man Comes’, the scintillating power of expression in ‘Ballad of Winston Smith’, ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)’, The Blinders have found the right series of buttons which makes, which demands of the debut a sense of the calm, collected, and ready to light the beacons in the anticipation of fighting a bigger battle ahead. It is a battle in which the generations above had better be wary of standing in their way ” – Ian D. Hall for Liverpool Sound and Vision http://www.liverpoolsoundandvision.co.uk/2018/09/25/the-blinders-columbia-album-review/
“Influenced by Arctic Monkeys and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, there’s also a hint of Kasabian in their groove-laden alt-rock sound. This brooding collection of 12 songs is loosely based around the concept of Columbia as ‘an alternate world informed by reality’. It demands your attention from the off with a wonderful brace of singles, the insistent ‘Gotta Get Through’ and ‘L’Etat C’Est Moi’ (it means I Am The State). Like most of the album’s best moments, they’re propelled along by delicious post-industrial bass lines reminiscent of Peter Hook in his Joy Division pomp” – Gary Welford for Hartlepool Mail https://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/whats-on/music/album-review-the-blinders-columbia-1-9365505
“The album provides a unique and enjoyable listen, leaving you feeling fully involved with the dystopia that is Columbia, all helped by the vivid imagery of the lyrics. This band is essential to 2018, and with this album they have literally pulled a blinder” – Katie Macbeth for Rock Chic Blog https://rockchicme.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-blinders-columbia.html
“For a young generation on the cusp of a new political awakening, their debut will no doubt act as an accompanying soundtrack to their cause. After a few years of honing their craft and some impressive slots on the UK festival scene this year, ‘Columbia’ will be taking The Blinders places – so catch them while you can” – Ceri Saunders for ON: Yorkshire Magazine https://www.on-magazine.co.uk/arts/music/album-reviews/columbia-the-blinders/
“The Blinders are a band worth experiencing live. Enrapturing, politically injected lyrics enable the gig-goer to encounter an alternative to what is seen in mainstream media. Catch them on their headline tour alongside White Room and Calva Louise this October and November, you won’t be disappointed” – Sahar Ghadirian for Forge Media http://forgetoday.com/2018/10/02/review-the-blinders/
“Despite clocking in 12 songs in just over 42 minutes, ‘Columbia’ never rushes its narrative. Constantly proving that rock and roll is most definitely still alive and well, The Blinders have returned the hope that rock and politics can go hand in hand. With hints of the ‘Stones, The Smiths and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, it’s quite hard to not deem ‘Columbia’ as one of the most influential albums of 2018. It’s a definitive, well-polished record from a young, promising band who stand for something much more” – Paige Smiths for Not Enough Notes Blog http://www.neverenoughnotes.co.uk/2018/10/review-the-blinders-columbia-rock-debut/
A new review from K Production
“Energetic, goth-tinged Yorkshire three-piece The Blinders take their influences from great lyricists, poets and writers such as Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, John Lennon, Rimbaud, Allen Ginsberg, George Orwell and William Burroughs, but also count Charles Manson and the devil among their influences. Their debut album, Columbia, therefore, is a bit different to the run-of-the-mill indie bands around today. LP and CD on Modern Sky Entertainment.” – KProduction https://www.keyproduction.co.uk/blog/2017/latest-releases-manufactured-by-key-production-group_september-round-up/
Columbia review by Jack Saunders of BBC Radio1. Picture by Sam Crowston
“Delivering an LP of fierce dystopian rock n roll loosely based around the concept of ‘an alternate world informed by reality’, The Blinders are an example of a new breed of guitar band who are noticeably far less complacent than many from earlier on in the decade. They bash out an exciting blend of punk, indie and psychedelica, listing their influences as Dylan, Cohen, Mark E Smith, Lennon, Cave, Kerouac, Rimbaud, Orwell, Ginsberg, and S.Borroughs” – Rewind/Forward Blog https://rwffmusic.blogspot.com/2018/09/album-review-blinders-columbia-2018.html
“Of the lineage of politically charged and anti-establishment albums, The Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks and Pink Floyd’s The Wall, stand out as the two that most inform Columbia, which is without doubt an astounding achievement and a seismic debut for the band that labelled their sound in 2016 as “a spellbinding punkadelic-esque Roman orgy”. Columbia, the ‘alternate world informed by reality’ reverberates with the sound of the temple’s foundations being rocked to their very core” –Andrew Gutteridge for Words for Music Blog https://wordsformusic.blog/2018/09/21/album-review-the-blinders-columbia/
“This increasingly rare concept album, coupled with their constant references to history and literature display an artistic intelligence perhaps uncommonly associated with such a heavy-hitting sound. Alongside the likes of Cabbage and IDLES, they are leading the way in creating a new brand of socially aware Punk. With the release of ‘Columbia’, The Blinders are dragging us into a dystopian future where Punk-Rock rules again” – James Booton for Boot Music Blog http://jamesbooton15.wixsite.com/boot-music/single-post/2018/09/19/The-Blinders—Columbia
On 2 of November, the band was played by the legendary American radio station, KEXP 90.3 FM and they chose a rather unexpected song from “Columbia” – “The Hate Song”. Next stop for the lads? Top 20 on Billboard charts 🙂
Domestic (as per Airplay Ninja):
Please note that this list does not include local radio-stations plays, only the national ones.
This means that all BBC Introducing plays for example are not monitored and we cannot add them here.
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 05:21 on 12-Nov-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:31 on 11-Nov-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 00:51 on 11-Nov-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 16:59 on 10-Nov-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 10:24 on 07-Nov-2018
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 01:41 on 07-Nov-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:26 on 06-Nov-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 01:50 on 06-Nov-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:25 on 04-Nov-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 04:24 on 04-Nov-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:51 on 03-Nov-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:32 on 01-Nov-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 09:07 on 31-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Radio X at 22:54 on 29-Oct-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:05 on 28-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 16:07 on 28-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:26 on 27-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 10:30 on 24-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:39 on 22-Oct-2018
L’Etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:26 on 21-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:30 on 21-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 03:22 on 20-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 13:57 on 18-Oct-2018
L’Etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 12:22 on 17-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:11 on 17-Oct-2018
Ballad Of Winston Smith (Amazing Sessions) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 12:52 on 16-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:14 on 15-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:56 on 15-Oct-2018
I Can’t Breathe Blues – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:46 on 14-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:34 on 14-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:10 on 14-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 02:19 on 13-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 09:54 on 12-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:13 on 10-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:42 on 10-Oct-2018
L’Etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:32 on 08-Oct-2018 Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 18:43 on 07-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 19:07 on 06-Oct-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 12:00 on 06-Oct-2018
Orbit (Salmon of Alaska) (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:36 on 05-Oct-2018
Rat In A Cage (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:33 on 05-Oct-2018
Brave New World (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:30 on 05-Oct-2018
Brutus (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:23 on 05-Oct-2018
Et Tu (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:21 on 05-Oct-2018
Ballad of Winston Smith (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:19 on 05-Oct-2018
I Can’t Breath Blues (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:16 on 05-Oct-2018
Free the Slaves (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:14 on 05-Oct-2018
Where No Man Comes (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:10 on 05-Oct-2018
Hate Song (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:07 on 05-Oct-2018
L’Etat C’est Moi (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:03 on 05-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through (LP Version) – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:00 on 05-Oct-2018 Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:57 on 04-Oct-2018 Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:26 on 04-Oct-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:46 on 03-Oct-2018 Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:34 on 02-Oct-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 12:34 on 02-Oct-2018
I Can’t Breathe Blues – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:27 on 01-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 15:09 on 01-Oct-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 13:16 on 01-Oct-2018
Orbit (Salmon Of Alaska) – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 12:26 on 01-Oct-2018
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 08:54 on 01-Oct-2018
L’Etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:27 on 30-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 18:46 on 30-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 06:51 on 30-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:54 on 28-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 04:12 on 28-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:22 on 28-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Radio X at 23:02 on 26-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 18:57 on 26-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 11:09 on 26-Sep-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:28 on 25-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:16 on 25-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:16 on 24-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 18:10 on 23-Sep-2018
Rat In A Cage – The Blinders – playing on BBC Introducing Manchester at 21:52 on 22-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:52 on 22-Sep-2018
Et Tu – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 16:23 on 21-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 12:26 on 21-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Radio X at 00:31 on 21-Sep-2018
I Can’t Breathe Blues – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 00:18 on 21-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 19:19 on 20-Sep-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 22:32 on 18-Sep-2018
Hate Song (Introducing Session, 20th Apr 2018) – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 16:26 on 19-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 13:46 on 18-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Radio X at 22:52 on 17-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 06:44 on 15-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 12:47 on 13-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 00:42 on 11-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:21 on 10-Sep-2018
Gotta Get Through – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 23:42 on 08-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 06:45 on 07-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:03 on 06-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 23:20 on 04-Sep-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 20:56 on 04-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 14:12 on 04-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 16:55 on 03-Sep-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 17:00 on 01-Sep-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:06 on 31-Aug-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 15:51 on 31-Aug-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 6 Music at 17:42 on 30-Aug-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 04:53 on 29-Aug-2018
L’etat C’est Moi – The Blinders – playing on Amazing Radio at 20:59 on 28-Aug-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 18:28 on 28-Aug-2018
Brave New World – The Blinders – playing on BBC Radio 1 at 14:59 on 26-Aug-2018
Photo-session and Exhibition
The Blinders by Paul Husband (copyrighted)
Professionally taken pictures are the heart and soul of each marketing campaign. For the new album and new tour, The Blinders worked with renowned photographers to ensure that their live images (such as taken by Manchester based photography wizard Trust A Fox) or the ones taken in the studio, are of the best quality.
Their studio session has been shot by Paul Husband, another very talented photographer. And the session went so well that The Blinders’ pictures were used in Paul’s international exhibition that opened on 20th of October 2018 at the Manchester Bar in Montpelier in France! How cool is that!!
Although it is not a part of the meet & greet tour, HMV Worcester receives a honorary mention for displaying this by the main doors. You guys are amazing!
Also, we have heard that Glasgow branch had to be re-stoked twice on the premiere day! Oh me, oh my oh Roy… (but it is the wrong band!)
HMV in Worcester knows the best music when they hear it!
Columbia banner is ready to be taken to the barricades
Close up number 2
And close up number 3
Works of Arts; We all know that “Columbia” is a true work of (musical) art and it is nothing shocking that other artists are being inspired by it. If you have seen the band performing on Kendall Calling Festival, you may have noticed two beautiful artworks displayed near the tent. They were made from broken vinyl records and the pieces were assembled into the Columbia’s cover artwork, or the face of Johnny Dream. The artist behind this very unique work is Kirk Whitehouse and his art is known as the “Smashed Hits” artworks. Kirk has been working with pieces of old vinyl records for years and his artworks have been exhibited many times in the UK and abroad. They were also featured in magazines, press and in hundreds of other publications (digital and print). Kirk is not only a very successful artist but also a volunteer and regional manager for Musicians Against Homelessness charity. His work took him recently to London where he spoke to the Parliament about the growing homelessness crisis. He managed to convinced several MP’s to their very worth cause! Kirk lives in Birmingham with his wife and two daughters. He is open for commissions so please contact him if you’d like your own smashed hits piece of art.
You can see the picture of the Blinders posing with the Columbia artwork at the festival and with the artist in tow):
Another artist inspired by The Blinders is the excellent Nick Dillon! Manchester native, Nick is a pop (culture) artist that specializes in portraits using embossing and debossing techniques. Each artwork he makes takes about 100 hours and everything you see is done by hand. Nick’s works have been exhibited numerous times and the biggest rock stars and football clubs are among his clients. The Columbia artwork is very unique as Nick decided to emboss all lyrics on one canvas – that’s staggering 7500 letters! We don’t know how long this piece took him but it must have been twice the usual amount of time. The artwork will be displayed on The Blinder’s London gig on 7th of November in London.
Fanarts: The Blinders’ artistic vision is encouraging fans to create as well. The first fan-arts inspired by the dystopian tale are starting to appear and we are sure, there will be more and more coming up soon. Just last month, we only had two artworks created by Polish graphic designer, Marek Zbrozlo and they feature the lead singer (Thomas Haywood) in a traditional style and his alter ego (Johnny Dream) as a comic book character. In the next few weeks, more and more artists joined in and we now have a small art gallery on the blog!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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!
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.
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!
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)
Rita and Malicia
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!
And now for all of Karkosa’s fans in Korea, here it is! Enjoy!!
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.
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)
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.
‘카르코사’는 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 Eagles의, 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!
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!
It’s December already and soon 2017 will be a history. Despite what the popular songs says, it was a very good year for Worcester and Worcestershire groups. After numerous articles in the press, sold out gigs, sessions for BBC Introducing, national radio plays and won competitions, we can be proud of our musical scene and its accomplishments.
If you are searching for brand new bands to look out for in 2018, to quote again another popular song, please don’t look any further. Your faithful A&R’s at Vanadian Avenue spent the entire last week composing a list of emerging groups that will keep you headbanging, pogo’ing and singing along for the next 12 months. Some bands are well established, some are just starting and some have their resume filled with important names, legendary venues and songs on the charts.
This guide has two parts already and we will be adding more in the future:
You can read the next chapters here:
Please keep your eyes open and you will be attending the best concerts without the need of travelling anywhere outside of Worcester! There is so much happening in our city, it’s really hard to keep track of every event out there.
To make it easier for you music lovers, please read our guide to the bands that will rock 2018. We salute them!
Navajo Ace acoustic
Official bio: Worcester band Navajo Ace formed in 2016 and are quickly garnering themselves a reputation as an interesting underground band that make music with power and soul. The band combines a broad spectrum of influences, breathing new life into a sound somewhere between the grittier end of 90s college alt rock, shoegaze and Emo before it became a dirty word.
Named after the DC Comics Native American superhero character, Johnny Cloud from 1960’s “All-American Men of War” (created by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Irv Novick), Navajo Ace is an Americana/college rock four-piece based in Worcester. The band started playing together early in 2016 and their current line up consists of Adam Barnes (vocals and guitar), Thom Dewhurst (guitar and backing vocals), Christian Burton (bass) and Crag Sharpe (drums). On August 6th 2017, they released their 5 track EP “Five Turnings” (“Tiger in the Tank”, “Underneath Cars”, “Awkward Place”, “Five Turnings” and “Drop The Needle”). The EP has been recorded at a well known studio JT Soar in Nottingham, produced by Phil Booth & Navajo Ace and mastered by Jesse Cannon at Cannon Found Soundation (Limp Bizkit, Man Overboard, NOFX, The Misfits) in New York. In September, their song “Awkward Place” debuted on BBC Hereford and Worcester and the band received positive reviews from Andrew Marston of BBC Introducing and Louder Than War magazine.
Navajo Ace are constantly touring nationally (Nottingham, Lincoln, Bristol, Plymouth) and locally (sold out gigs at Heroes Bar with nth cave, Worcester Music Festival and acoustic set at Bottles in Worcester). They supported Moose Blood, Bivouac and legendary bassist Mike Watt (Minutemen, Big Walnuts, Yonder, Porno for Pyros, The Stooges).The band is inspired by the music of Some Skeletons, Transmissions, 36 Strategies, Thousands of Reflections and Rosebud.
Formed in Worcester early in 2017, Novaview is the youngest group to join the WorcesterWave scene and one with a massive potential. The group consists of four band members: Luke Rhodes on guitar, Joanna Edwards on vocals, bass player Jack Godwin bass and drummer Tate Ellison. Inspired by My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth and Smashing Pumpkins, this very young shoegaze/dreampop quarter is now working hard on their demo songs that will be released in 2018. We hope their new material will include a remastered version of “In Limbo”, a beautifully crafted and very catchy song they currently have on their Soundcloud account.
Novaview debuted in October at the Boneyard Sessions concert at The Firefly in Worcester and made a big impression on the audience and music promoters. It is worth mentioning that Joanna Edwards has an unique, almost ethereal voice that can only be compared to that of Hope Sandoval’s of American dreampop giants, Mazzy Star. Vanadian Avenue will be closely watching their progress as their prospects are big and bright like the starry skies in the middle of winter (the most luminous time of year if you wondered).
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.
Hailing from the Worcestershire town of Droitwich Spa, former Victorian health resort and a well known beauty spot, Junior Weeb is an indie/alternative rock quartet with massive dose of energy. They easily pass it to their audience during their live performances causing serious cases of pogo, headbanging and singing along. The group consist of Chris Phee (rhythm guitar and lead vocals), Max Killing (bass guitar and backing vocals), Joe Webby (lead guitar and an obvious inspiration behind the name) and Quentin Hill (drums).
The band known affectionately as the Juniors (or alternatively as The Weebs) has been together for over a year and spent the majority of that time recording their demos and touring. They supported Muncie Girls, The Riscas, Ivory Wave, The Americas (at the O2 Academy in Birmingham) and Soeur at the sold out show at the Marr’s Bar in Worcester. They will return to Birmingham this Christmas to play alongside Mama Roux and The Icon.
On April 21th 2017, their debut single “No right” was chosen as the track of the week by this Feeling circuit and a month later, popular website GigSlutz gave the boys a glowing review describing their music as a “dreamy, psychedelic affair with just a hint of Oasis”. With recommendations such as this and a strong following, Junior Weeb is on the best way to make it to the charts in the next couple of years.
The Lightweights at The Marr’s Bar by Indri Richardson
Before joining forces with The Lightweights, Jodie Hughes was a well established singer/songwriter in her own right. At the age of 16, Worcester School of Rock and Performance alumna, Jodie became the youngest person ever to perform at Worcester Music Festival and at the Independent Music Week in her hometown to support Anteros and The Assist. The Lightweights are three-piece indie/punk rock band from Worcester consisting of Jodie Hughes on lead vocal and guitar, Alex Russell on bass and Euan Richardson on drums. Second guitarist, Fiona Berry occasionally joins their performances but doesn’t seem to be a permanent member of the band anymore.
The Lightweights had a very busy summer performing at the Live Experience Festival, Battle of the Bands at the Rugby Club, MappFest in Malvern, Bowfest in Bromsgrove and Worcester Carnival. Recently the band supported Jacklines at Birmingham O2 Institute, the RPM’s and Thousand Mountain at the Marrs Bar in Worcester and participated in the 10th edition of Worcester Music Festival. The band is currently in the studio working on their debut EP.
23 year old Jesse River Dylan Murray is the singer/songwriter based in Worcester. His strong voice, impressive range effortlessly changing from falsetto to bass and striking scenic image has been compared to David Bowie, Mark Bolan and Johnny Cash. Named after River Phoenix and the bard himself (Bob Dylan), Jesse is designed for fame. His debut EP “Classical Music” has been released in July 2017 to positive reviews. JRDM has been very busy this year touring and gigging in every corner of West Midlands and beyond (The Brecon Fringe Festival, Wales) , performing with numerous local acts such as Reuben Seabright, Ben Dallow, nth cave, Nuns of the Tundra (at the Marrs Bar), Boneyard Sessions and Doozer McDooze (for Worcester Music Festival). He is often performing at the Open Mic nights at the Chestnut Pub in Worcester. 2018 seems to be another busy year for him as Jesse is already booked for summer festivals such as Breathfest.
Ben and his Collective playing at Firefly in Worcester, picture by Malicia Dabrowicz
Reggae, ska and funk musician Ben Vickers is somewhat of a Worcester music scene legend. Performing since he was 11 years old (right after he received his first guitar), Droitwich resident Ben played, jammed and shared the stage with almost every local musician. He has worked at well established music shops in the city center (RGS Worcester and Cranes Music) and tutored countless amateur musicians helping them develop better guitar-playing skills. He was also in popular Worcester band, Hometown Tourists.
However, Ben is best known for playing acoustic solo sets that draws big crowds. He has played at The Marrs Bar, The Firefly, Heroes, The Chestnut, Bottles and many other local venues. He is also involved in running popular open mic nights and jam sessions. Ben performed at Youthcomm’s Minifest, Sunshine Music Festival in Upton, Worcester Music Festival, Worcester Show and was featured on BBC Introducing by Andrew Marston. In 2015, he released 4 song EP entitled “Keep it Real Funky” which received a lot of radio play at BBC Hereford and Worcester.
Ben’s newest musical endeavour is called The Collective. It is a five-piece outfit consisting of very experienced musicians. Except Ben Vickers (lead guitar and vocals), The Collective include Poppy Waterman-Smith (piano and vocals), Matthew Todd (bass guitar), Ryan Lerigo-Jones (drums) and Pat McArdle (percussion, melodica and samples). The Collective plays a mixture of ska, roots rock reggae rhythms with touches of jazz and soul. It is worth mentioning that Poppy’s powerful voice and scene presence gained the attention of Seal, who invited her to perform as an opening act for his concert in Manchester in July 2016. In November, the band released their first EP (recording of Davis Amps live session).
Malvern native, the 29 year old singer/songwriter, Ruben Seabright is the owner of one of the most recognizable and the most powerful voices in Worcester. Ruben comes from artistic and musical family and he has been performing along with his parents and siblings locally since a very young age. He has released his debut album entitled “Depths” in 2013 and has been performing extensively ever since. Ruben shared the stage with Soeur, Nuns of the Tundra, This Wicked Tongue, Ben Vickers, Vault of Eagles, Thousand Mountain and many more. Recently he has supported Nigel Clark (of Dodgy), Heck (formerly Baby Godzilla) and Kill the Romantic. He has been featured on BBC Introducing Hereford and Worcester in 2016. Ruben is currently working on his new material to be released as an EP next year.
Ruben is hosting a number of open mic nights in Worcester and Malvern where he performs solo or in the company of his father, Paul “Toad” Seabright, member of successful Worcestershire groups Health Warning and Sons of Spock (winners of Three Counties Band of the Year award).
Please keep your eyes on the entire Seabright clan as the talent runs in the family! Ruben is married to fellow musician, Becky Rose Seabright and he is a brother-in-law to writer Katie Lowe, whose debut book “The Furies” has been purchased by Harper Collins for an international publication in 2018 (and they paid a 6 figure sum for it as well)!
It’s the middle of the month and Indieterria is now back with another cool band you just have to know. Usually people like us here at Vanadian Avenue (professionally known as Artist and Repertoire or A&R’s for short) are sailing the vast waters of the world wide web in search of another talent to bring it to the surface for your enjoyment. It is a hard, ungrateful task at times but once a truly talented band or a musician is found, a long and successful career can begin.
Sometimes we don’t have to search at all, the bands approach us themselves and all we can do is to sit, listen and admire as they are excellent at their craft. Our latest guest, Mutant-Thoughts found us on social media and we had to invite them to Indieterria as they are truly unique band!
Official Bio: Mutant-Thoughts is an experimental synth-rock band formed by Han Luis Cera (vocals and synths), Joshua Lennox-Hilton (bass and backing vocals) and Tom Pearmain (drums). Their unique sound combines traditional rock music with electronic sounds, eerie vibes and beautiful melodies. Mutant-Thoughts’ live shows are a spectacle that cannot be missed – it is equally energetic and emotional, filled with odd time signatures, crazy electric signals, heavy bass lines, eclectic vocal harmonies and to the listener’s surprise, no guitars. Using synths, drum machines and other special effects, Mutant-Thoughts is able to transform their surroundings into a completely new, detailed musical reality. The band released their first album in 2016. Their latest EP entitled “Is This Me?” was released in September 2017.
Han Luis Cera (vocals and synths),
Joshua Lennox-Hilton (bass and backing vocals)
Tom Pearmain (drums)
We are sure all music journalists can wholeheartedly agree that looking for a new, interesting band to write about can be tricky. Among millions of self released singles, YouTube videos and EP’s filled with repetitions or (in worst case scenarios) bad cover versions, discovering a true gem sometimes feels like mission impossible. Yet the hours spent listening to home-made demos are rewarded when you come across a band that captivates you with their music within seconds. We all know that feeling: the music starts, you close your eyes and a beautiful sound landscape unravels its mysteries to you through lyrics, tempo changes and fuzzed guitars. Good things do come to those who wait and we are really lucky to discover Bristol based trio that calls themselves Mutant-Thoughts. Vanadian Avenue sat down with their lead singer, Han Luis Cera to discuss their beginnings, unusual name and growing up in Latin America.
We have interviewed many bands with unique names, but yours is one-of-a-kind. It could be the title of the next Marvel superhero blockbuster. Where did it come from?
Han Luis Cera: (laughing) I admit, it does sound a bit like the next Marvel/DC psycho-thriller! That’s a film I’d like to watch. The actual name came from a very dramatic break up of my previous band. The whole thing left me in a situation in which I started having thoughts I didn’t recognize as my own, hence the name, Mutant-Thoughts. I thought it would no logger be possible for me to play with a band again. I started writing songs as some sort of personal therapy. However, when I moved to Bristol, I felt a lot better, and was happy to play with others again. I found Joshua Lennox-Hilton (our bassist), and Tom Pearmain (drumer), and I’m very happy and lucky to play with these two guys.
We are interested in learning more about Mutant-Thoughts. When and how did you meet?
Han Luis Cera: I moved to Bristol in 2014 but even before then, I was already looking for musicians to collaborate with. After a while, I met Josh, as he responded to a post I wrote online looking for a bass player. Around the same time, I befriended Pablo, an Argentinian drummer that played with us for the first year; sadly he had to leave us as he moved abroad. He basically transformed all the electronic songs I have written on my own into proper rock music as no band could ever play them in their original version (laughing)! After Pablo left, we played with another drummer named Tobias for about half a year, and he left for personal reasons. Then we auditioned a few drummers. Tom was the first one we heard that day and we were so impressed, that the decision was easy. He just understood immediately what we were doing and it was very easy to get along and work with him.
Han, you are Colombian native. Can you tell us about your life in Latin America. What type of music you grew up listening to?
Han Luis Cera: I grew up in Barranquilla, a port city in Northern part of Colombia. I was exposed to lots of types of music, but mostly Latin. Barranquilla has one of the biggest carnivals in the world, so we are used to listening to a lot of music, all day and every day. It is quite interesting to live in a society where music plays such an important role in our culture. Also, Barranquilla is located on the Caribbean Coast of Colombia; our music is hugely influenced by African music, with heavy emphasis on rhythm. That is the reason why the rhythmic section is so important for Mutant-Thoughts and why we put more fluid stuff on top of it. I enjoyed growing up in Colombia. I think that Latin America has a very interesting way of dealing with problems. People seem to be happy regardless of the situation. And I think it takes a lot of courage to see life like that.
Moving to the other side of the world can be a great adventure or a traumatic experience. How do you find the life in the UK? Was it easy for you to get accustomed to a new reality or did you experience any cultural shocks?
Han Luis Cera: I lived in Amsterdam before moving to Bristol, so I had my fair share of culture shocks when I moved there! Coming to the UK was definitely a lot easier. There are a few things that I find interesting in British culture, (like wearing shorts in the middle of the winter), but I really love living here. I’ve met very interesting and talented people, and I’m doing what I love!
We can imagine that music scene in Colombia and in the UK are completely different. What do you think about the music scene in Bristol? Should we even compare those two?
Han Luis Cera: I think British people generally have great interest in live music. That helps the music scene a lot and it gives the musicians a chance to grow. There are multiple small venues and places where musicians can play and reach new listeners. We only have a handful of venues in Barranquilla where you can see a live band play. Most Colombians tend to listen to music from records or on the radio, rather than live but that means the music is everywhere, even on public transport. During the Carnival season, there are gigs everywhere though.
Your music has been likened to Pink Floyd, Faith No More and Caspian. We hear UNKLE, a bit of Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead. Also, we are not the first ones to point out that when you sing, you sound like Tom Yorke or Davie Bowie from his Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars era.
Han Luis Cera: Some of the artists you mentioned have indeed influenced us. We all have different tastes in music and we bring them into the band. We give each other the space to experiment and grow. All of the bands that we are likened to are incredible and we can only see that as a huge compliment. I personally think we sound different to them, but if I could ever play together with any of those bands, I’d probably go into some form of a shock not being able to believe my luck!
Mutant-Thoughts use a lot of odd time signatures, tempo changes and you are not afraid to experiment with sound. It is not so common these days but reminds us the golden days of the progressive rock: early Genesis, King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator. You have learnt from the best!
Han Luis Cera: To be absolutely honest, I don’t really listen to progressive Rock, apart maybe from Porcupine Tree, and Pink Floyd, (if you can call them progressive rock). I don’t really listen to music with odd time signatures that much either. I just have a fascination for rhythm, contrast and I enjoy doing the opposite of what other people are doing. I’m not trying to be interesting or cool or anything like that.
I just think that if something has been done before, there is no need for me to do it again. I’m not sure if we’re succeeding at that, but that’s the idea. I could say that my fondness for rhythm comes from Latin music. There was a lot of jazz influence in 70’s salsa. On the other hand, my fascination with sound experiment streams from feeling limited with the possibilities of keyboard based instruments. As much as I love the sound of a piano, or an organ, the synthesizer is the instrument I seem to be able to express myself most intimately with, but I do still check my parts on a piano though.
Last month, you have released your latest EP entitled “Is This Me?”. It is a beautiful piece of music, very well written and perfectly executed. We are especially fond of two songs: the title track and the atmospheric “Alone”. Can you tell us more about them?
Han Luis Cera: Thanks! I’m really happy to hear that. Well, the whole EP is about going through a rough period in life and being able to find a solution to your problems. It has some very dark moments and it has moments which are more up-lifting. The title song “Is This Me?” is about self-analysis. A question to one-self about what we are doing. Is this really what we want to do? Are we acting according to who we are or are we acting on an instinct? Are our action based on what we believe to be true at that moment or do we have the full picture of the situation? It is hard to find the answer to those questions.
I’m unable to explain just two songs without discussing the context of the other songs at the same time. They are all linked together. The second song on the EP is entitled “Chaos and Entropy” which is about going through the actual problem. It is about losing oneself and just tasting every single moment of that path.
The third composition is actually a poem. I have named it “Trying to Make Sense” which I think the title is self explanatory. Then we have “Alone”, which deals with the sense of realization that after the chaos and suffering, we are actually alone. At this stage, we have taken some distance from the world to give ourselves the chance to deal with our problems. And then we close the EP with “Adaptation” which is about changing, “mutating” into a different person that is now able to deal with the problems left in the past.
Mutant-Thoughts appearance on the Bristol music scene was very well received. You have played alongside new prog/math rock talents such as Last Hyena or YOUTH. When can we see you on stage next?
Han Luis Cera: At this moment, we are working hard on promoting our EP and some of the new projects. We are lucky that Bristol has a great music scene with many, very talented bands we have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with.
We will be playing in Bristol again on the 2nd of November at Mr. Wolf’s for the EP launch of “Siblings of Us” who were kind to invite us to support them. Also, we will travel to London to play at Off The Cuff, the date is going to be confirmed soon. We are looking to add more dates before the end of the year, so please check our Facebook and the official website regularly.