Categories
Uncategorized

The Music Blog 42 EP Of The Year

2019 has been a strong year for the local scene and the EPs released this year shows the local scene is in a good place for the years ahead.

Below is a very condensed round of this year’s Top 10 EPs as voted for by you! The votes were very very close on this one!

10. Too Cool Kid – The Candidate
Cambridgeshire’s Too Cool Kid released an ambitious effort this year with an EP based around a fictional political, inspired by the sounds of Bowie and Radiohead.

9. GrassRoof – GUYAKA
Cambridge Band Competition winners GrassRoof blew everyone away with their mind-bending psych-rock EP GUYAKA, their finest work to date.

8. WRECK – Dusty Knees
Emerging from a growing Norwich scene, surf-punk heroes WRECK released one of the best debut EPs this year with Lost My Weed and Six Hours In becoming instant favourites.

7. Deep City – CIRCUIT
Indie-pop quartet Deep City released the cohesive CIRCUIT which features some of their most technical tracks to date including The 1975-inspired thoughtofmind. and indie-dance hit The Box.

6. Caswell – Blindside
Breakout star Caswell has had a stormer of a year after winning a national competition to support Ed Sheeran in Ipswich in August. Blindside is further proof she is a star in the making.

5. Gaffa Tape Sandy – Family Mammal
The long-awaited second EP from Gaffa Tape Sandy earned national praise on release for their memorable garage-rock hits like Headlights, Kill The Chord and new single My Desperate House.

4. The Daze – Stares Like Stone
Newcomers to the local scene, punk foursome The Daze released their awesome debut EP under the stewardship of Queens Road Studio. The band are ones to watch in 2020.

3. KYANOS – Lost In Blue
The follow-up to 2017’s Elevator to Japan, KYANOS fused jazz, psychedelia and alternative rock together to create one of the most ambitious and successful EPs of 2019.

2. SubStation – The Yellow One
Another band from the Queens Road Studio, SubStation’s debut EP made a lasting impression on the local scene with deep, thoughtful lyrics and interesting instrumentation.

The Music Blog 42 EP of the Year is…
1. Salvador – Salvador

The self-titled debut EP from Framlingham’s Salvador propelled the indie-pop band to be known names within the local scene within a matter of months. Tracks like Ordinary Love and Gum Disease shows the band at their best, making intense and emotive tracks. Having had extensive radio play on BBC Introducing Suffolk, the band were picked to support Ed Sheeran in August at Chantry Park. Salvador will be looking to build on this 2020 with more new music and live performances.

Categories
Features

The Music Blog 42 Track of the Year 2019

2019 has been another great year for local talent around East Anglia and this has been proven with the brilliant tracks released by these artists over the past twelve months.

The tracks below were voted for by you and make up this year’s top 10.

10. FLEAS – Dogs
This exciting new punk band from Bury St Edmunds unleashed Dogs in early 2019, earning praise from many within the local scene. Since the release, they’ve played several Washing Machine nights and are tipped to go far in the 2020 edition of BurySOUND.

9. Lemondaze – Neon Ballroom
Cambridge’s premier shoegaze band released their debut single early last month and it instantly became a favourite with us here. The track really captures the essence of their live performances, with the swirling guitars and ethereal vocals being a real hit.

8. Gabby Rivers – Game
The long-awaited debut single from the talented Gabby Rivers came in October after a year of winning BurySOUND and headlining a stage at Latitude. The tightly-written Game really whets the appetite for more music with an EP reportedly coming in 2020.

7. Basement Strippers – Mind Reader
The Bedfordshire rockers delivered the goods in August with their best track to date: Mind Reader. Its fearsome riffs and powerful lyrics really set the precedent for their success this year which has seen them support Sarpa Salpa and Tom Lumley. 2020 is their year.

6. Kelodown – Breakin’ Off
Another debut single in the Top 10 with every right to be here. Breakin’ Off is an exciting classic rock track with a modern twist, led by the flawless vocals from Aleks Michalewicz. The band are looking to release more new music in 2020, and we can’t wait for it.

5. KYANOS – Sunrise
A staple of their live sets, Sunrise is a technical masterpiece with elements of psychedelia and jazz combining into one of the best tracks the local scene has to offer. This year has seen them release an EP, two singles and play a session for BBC Introducing.

4. PET NEEDS – I Don’t Wanna Be Only Happy
Essex punk rockers PET NEEDS have had an incredible year, with a really strong collection of tracks released with I Don’t Wanna Be Only Happy being the pick of the bunch. Other highlights include being championed by Frank Turner at Camden Rocks Festival.

3. Underline The Sky – Miss Identity
Everyone’s favourite pop-rock band released this catchy riff-laden track in July this year, as well as playing at BardFest and PimJam Festival. Catch them headline The Hunter Club in Bury on Saturday 25th January when they break #theburycurse.

2. Gaffa Tape Sandy – Headlights
Gaffa Tape Sandy have gone from strength to strength this year, with a highlight of their year being the release of Headlights. The track’s powerful message of mental health awareness resonated with crowds up and down the country during their support slots for Lady Bird and Skeggs.

The Music Blog 42’s Track of the Year 2019 as voted for by you is…

Sages of the Subway – 88′

Cambridgeshire newcomers Sages of the Subway’s 88′ is one of the best indie-rock tracks we’ve heard locally since we began in 2017. With incredibly funky instrumentals and a chorus which will be stuck in your head for weeks, Sages of the Subway are worthy winners of this year’s vote. The four-piece will be looking to capitalise on their successes this year after making the final of the Cambridge Band Competition.

Categories
Uncategorized

Track Review: History & Lore – St. Claire

Cambridgeshire’s leading indie band History & Lore exceed expectations once again with their beautiful new track St. Claire.

Ever-present in their hit-filled setlists, St. Claire is a track which really ups the tempo of their live performances and definitely gets their gig-goers moving.

The first twenty seconds of the track grab you instantly, the lonely sounds of drum and synth soon cascade into a wall of catchy guitar riffs and dreamy synth lines.

St. Claire is easily the best vocal performance on a track from frontman Danny Kingsley since 2017’s Black Eyes. His emotive vocals throughout leads into an anthemic chorus, which is arguably the catchiest of the year so far.

After a year of winning the BurySOUND Rising Star award and playing gigs for Radio X and BBC Introducing, it’s clear that they have bags of potential, especially after releasing what could be the best track out of Cambridge this year.

Categories
Gig Reviews

The NMG Awards 2019

Gaffa Tape Sandy and Riviera were the big winners at this year’s NMG Awards held once again at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds.

Bury St Edmunds-based trio Gaffa Tape Sandy deservedly walked away with the Breakout award, after a year which has seen them support Skeggs, Indoor Pets, play festivals abroad and release their second EP to much acclaim.

Winners of the 18 and Under band category Riviera were inducted into the NMG Hall of Fame alongside acts like 4th Labyrinth, who earlier brought the house down with two great tracks, Sages of the Subway and Camisayo.

Former winners Hollowstar and Ellie Dixon wowed the crowd with two flawless performances, sandwiched inbetween award wins for GABBY in the 18 and Under Solo category, The Glitter Shop for Alternative and Among The Citizens for Indie.

In the public votes, The Hunter Club walked away with the Best Small Venue award, whilst Silence and Company won the inaugural Track of 2019 trophy. Jake Day picked up the Best Producer gong, and the Audience Choice winners for 2019 were once again Pink Lemonade.

Young prospects Among The Citizens and Riviera also played live sets which went down really well in the venue. Upcoming band Salvador won the Breakthrough award after recently supporting Ed Sheeran at Chantry Park.

The Extons picked up the Best Rock award literally from the floor, after their trophy was dropped moments before announcing the winner, alongside Amethysts who appeared via video-link to accept the Electronic and Urban award.

The Male and Female Solo winners were first time winners Dan Bond and Sophie Winter, also the Folk, Country and Roots winners being Elizabeth & Jameson.

The night closed with a trademark performance from Gaffa Tape Sandy who formed possibly the first ever mosh pit at an awards night. 

Thanks to Tim Willett for an awesome evening celebrating the local scene.

Categories
EP Reviews

EP Review: Gaffa Tape Sandy – Family Mammal

After months of hard work in the studio, Gaffa Tape Sandy have finally let their second EP Family Mammal loose to critical acclaim.

Their instant hit Beehive is unleashed on us right from the get-go, with the band’s proven formula of catchy hooks and razor-sharp instrumentation winning over fans only one song in.

My Desperate House is a boisterous number, a classic full throttle garage rock track brought to the fore by the raspy vocals of Kim Jarvis.

When it comes to songwriting there’s really no competition when it comes to this trio, and Meat Head and Headlights prove they are really at the top of the game. Meat Head‘s intense, passionate message of equality and the mental health awareness in Headlights shows why the band resonates with so many people.

Dinner Jacket shows off a more gentle side to their sound, with Catherine Lindley-Nelson’s vocals really shining through as the track rounds off with a thunderous finish.

One of the four tracks released before the EP was So Dry, a track which was inspired by “the people who really, really annoy us” but packs an absolutely killer chorus.

Ever since they starting touring this track back in 2017, Turnstile has been a fan favourite and it’s great to see it finally getting a studio release. Drummer Robin Francis sets the pace of the track with ease whilst the playful dual vocals combine perfectly throughout.

Rounding off the EP is the vociferous Kill The Chord, it’s rock’n’roll sound packs an almighty punch with Lindley-Nelson’s vocals shining once again.

Every track is as infectious as the last “banging tune” and it’s hard not to be begging for more after this. Gaffa Tape Sandy are one of the most exciting bands out there, and after this showing it won’t be long until they hit the big time. Oh, and I’d hate to have to write a setlist for them now.

Categories
Track Reviews

Track Review: Stretch Soul Gang ft. Steven Bamidele – Ungrateful

Ungrateful is the latest release from Suffolk’s Kings of funk Stretch Soul Gang featuring the smooth voice of London-based artist Steven Bamidele. On this track, the Gang get their slow groove on and turn a new corner with their sound.

The flawless falsettos and intricate instrumentation are constant throughout Stretch Soul Gang’s discography, but on Ungrateful they intertwine to create a more chilled out sound compared to their previous releases, their influences of Anderson Paak and De La Soul really shine through on this second by second.

The group have built up a solid reputation around the area with their electrifying live shows, and with their studio material gaining the same level of hype it won’t be long until they get major attention from labels and festivals. This weekend notably the group are performing at the Boomtown Fair in Hampshire, a must-see for anyone attending.

Ungrateful is a great addition to their back catalogue, and is definitely one of their best tracks to date. Whatever is up their sleeve next is hotly anticipated with them being arguably one of the best local acts around.

STRETCH SOUL GANG will be playing The Hunter Club in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday 16th November with support from GABBY, A.N.G, IMPILO and SHADLEY HARRIS. For more information, check out the Washing Machine Facebook page.

Categories
Track Reviews

Track Review: Tundra – You’re Welcome

Sudbury’s favourite surf-punk trio Tundra have turned a new chapter in their already hit-filled back catalogue with their new track You’re Welcome.

After the release of the Record Store Day-endorsed single Navy Red in April, the trio are back with another more mature and polished-sounding track to what we’ve heard before from the former BurySOUND winners.

The band have clearly spent time perfecting their songwriting skills over the past few months and it has paid off with some really great verses, and the instantly catchy ‘I Don’t Like You’ hook towards the end of the track which still stay in your head for the next month. This isn’t only their best track yet, this is easily one of the best local tracks released this year.

It’s exciting times for Tundra towards the end of the year with a return trip to Wales pencilled in as well as more headline shows around Suffolk. And if they keep up the good work maybe their dream of playing Latitude could become a reality.

You’re Welcome is available on all streaming platforms.

Categories
Features

Bury Songwriters Competition 2019 Final preview

This Friday (3rd May), The Constitutional Club in Bury St Edmunds hosts the final of this year’s Bury Songwriters Competition. 

The competition this year has seen some very talented acts come through what have been evenly-contested heats, meaning this year’s final is an event not to be missed!

This year’s final features local favourites Josie Bryan, Kelodown vocalist Aleks Michalewicz and last year’s third placed act Shadley Harris. Whilst rising stars Leon O’Leary and The Broccoli King will be looking to pull out all the stops to win the competition.

Whilst the judges will be deciding who the Top Three and overall winner is, the audience will be treated to a live performance from last year’s runner up Phoebe Austin who has recently been signed to a record deal.

Tickets on the door are only £6 and the first act will be on at 7pm. Come down and support one of the last events of this year’s Bury St Edmunds Fringe Festival.

Set times for the final are as follows:

7:00            ANNA CARTER
7:20            CHRISTOPHER JAMES
7:45           ALEKS MICHALEWICZ

8:10            JOSEPHINE BRYAN
8:35            LEON O’LEARY
9:00            BROCCOLI KING
9:30            SELINA HAWKER
9:55            SHADLEY HARRIS
10:15          MATT REACTION
10:40          EXPLOITS

11:10          PHOEBE AUSTIN 

For more information, head to http://www.buryfringe.co.uk

Categories
Features

Bury Fringe Festival All-Dayer 2019: Rock Against Racism Stage preview

This Saturday (4th May) is the annual All-Dayer of live music as part of the Bury Fringe Festival, and this year we’ve been honoured to co-run the Rock Against Racism Stage alongside our good friends at Toonteen Industries. We’ve selected some awesome acts to play this stage and here are the set-times and a little preview as to what you can expect from the acts from 2pm on Saturday:

2pm – Jess Kemp
3pm – Matt Hammond
4pm – Kim Jarvis & The BloodSuckers
5pm – A.N.G
6pm – Too Cool Kid
7pm – Vincent Vain
7:45pm – Influx of Insanity
8:30pm – Amethysts
9-15pm – ShaoDow

Jess Kemp opens the Rock Against Racism stage with her inimitable feminist-inspired poetry and spoken word. Jess is a well-known figure around the town having previously run a spoken-word night at Oakes Barn as well as having been championed by Radio1Xtra.

Having performed here last year, we were more than happy to welcome Matt Hammond back for another wonderful set. The ‘percussive guitarist’ released his latest single Skylines last year to much local acclaim so expect to hear that amongst his beautifully performed set of songs.

After headlining the festival last year with his band Gaffa Tape Sandy, frontman Kim Jarvis has decided to go it alone this year with his backing band The Bloodsuckers to perform some of his soon-to-be released solo material which EVERYONE is looking forward to hear.

A.N.G brings a different kind of performance to the RAR Stage with her influential grime and rap sound, which has made her a standout name in the ever-growing Suffolk rap scene. You may also recognise her from the BBC Introducing Suffolk team!

Following on from that, we’ve got the hotly-tipped trio Too Cool Kid who have recently wowed crowds at the Cambridge Band Competition. Their The Candidate EP is easily one of the best we’ve heard this year (expect a feature on that out very soon) having been inspired by the likes of Radiohead and The Strokes.

Alternative-rock duo Vincent Vain are another act to make their Bury St Edmunds debut on the night and they are well worth the watch. They’ve recently been teasing the release of their new music, and if their latest EP and recent live performances are anything to go by, we could be in for a real treat.

The awesome progressive-rockers Influx of Insanity are crowd favourites in Bury St Edmunds having won BurySOUND back in 2018. Since then the duo have gone from strength to strength having released an astonishing self-titled EP and have perfected their has-to-been live set. Expect awesomeness on Saturday.

Co-headliners Amethysts are one of the most recognisable acts from this region and their set on Saturday is going to be a real treat having previously played at Latitude Festival and several sold-out London shows. The electronic duo have also recently been championed by DIY Magazine and Radio 6Music.

Headlining the Rock Against Racism Stage is international rap star ShaoDow. The manga-influenced rapper has previously opened for well-known acts like Wiley and Stormzy, as well as having toured Europe, Asia and South America. ShaoDow is known for his unique sound which has been broadcast on popular radio show Fire In The Booth and on many commercial radio stations.

Elsewhere at The Hunter Club on Saturday will be performances from the likes of Sink Ya Teeth, KYANOS, Sam Eagle, The Glitter Shop, GABBY, History & Lore, Dusky Sunday and many many more! Doors open at 1pm so come down early for some awesome local live music! Tickets on the door are only £8.

Categories
Track Reviews

Track Review: Tom Lumley & The Brave Liaison – Chardonnay

After a memorable start to the year already, Cambridgeshire-based frontman Tom Lumley is back with his awesome new single Chardonnay (via North Acre Records)

Chardonnay is the debut single from Lumley and his ever-present backing band ‘The Brave Liaison’. After touring with the band for a few years, the former singer-songwriter decided to make them a mainstay in his work as “their personality and performances have massively contributed to our popularity.”

The track is in the same vein as previous single Modern Age showcasing his instantly recognisable vocals over incredibly-tight guitar work and heavy riffs. This is a sound that the band have been developing over the past year and it is well and truly paying off.

As well as being an alternative-rock anthem, it’s also a stark warning to people about the dangers of alcoholism and depression. Lumley hopes this track is a reminder to people that anyone could be going through these problems, and it’s important to reach out to others going through similar issues.

To help promote the new single, the band have been touring up and down the country over the past week culminating in a sold-out hometown show and a trip to the Camden Monarch, alongside several festival appearances this summer including Tramlines.

Off the back of this and his past few singles, it seems like there is no stopping Tom Lumley and The Brave Liaison. The future looks bright…

Written by Marc Manning