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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.

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Gig Reviews

DRUIDS @ The Hunter Club (20/10)

Intergalactic duo DRUIDS brought the house down with a triumphant headlining set at October’s edition of Washing Machine.

The hotly-tipped Among The Citizens opened the night in front of an eager crowd, playing tracks from their extraordinary EP Pretend To Be In Love, whilst also playing a selection of their singles like the upbeat belter Words Mean Nothing. The band’s tight instrumentals coupled with the inch-perfect lead vocals made this set the perfect way to start the night. Expect more local gigs from these lads.

The instantly likeable Interesting Times Gang were next up. Fresh from the studio where they’ve been recording more sci-fi anthems, the band were on top form with Killer Scientist and Wayward Navigator sounding even more punchy and even more awesome. Their set closer Kill The Red Octopus, written in a bath tub in Australia, was brim with fabulous harmonies and catchy synth rhythms.

This gig was to be Kelodown vocalist Jasmine Canham’s last with the group, and the band really put on a show to what was a large and excitable crowd. The fivesome’s energy and insanely brilliant guitar riffs went down a treat on tracks like Electric Mountain Blues and traditional set closer Occupational Hazard, which resulted in a moshpit from their adoring fans. 2019 looks to be a big year for the band.

Fast becoming favourites on the local scene, the likeable trio of Blue Mean Eyes get better and better with each performance. The band teased new music at the end of November in the shape of an album, but this set was primarily focused on their older material. Escapade is a track that I can hear live over and over again, the vocals are just brilliant each time and the instrumentals are so euphoric. See these live whenever you can!

DRUIDS closed the night with their intergalactic brand of rock and roll. Their album-spanning setlist saw favourites like Stuart Slater Alligator and Time played to an engrossed crowd. The duo’s onstage chemistry is the perfect respite in-between tracks, before they launch into their harder tracks like Mission and Reflections. DRUIDS were celebrating the release of new track and music video Journey To The Centre Of The Earth which is available to watch on YouTube NOW!

The next Washing Machine is SATURDAY 3RD NOVEMBER with a headline slot from KYANOS and support from THE GLITTER SHOP, THE CATCH, LEMONDAZE and GROFF! Doors at 6pm!

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Features

19/10 – Best In The East Spotify playlist

The past two weeks have seen an incredible amount of new releases from local artists, and here’s our summary of the tracks that you really need to hear!

SOPHIE MAHON – BLACK TIE
After the release of her spellbinding single 2bf and various live performances around the area, Sophie Mahon finally released her debut EP Xenon Nights – Dusk a few weeks ago and it’s awesome. Black Tie is the EP opener, with its synth-laden instrumentals instantly drawing you into the 80’s-inspired art rock anthem. Mahon plays the Bury Fringe Christmas Party on 22nd December at the Constitutional Club.

THE CATCH – KNOW YOU WON’T TRY
With the release of their EP imminent, the lads from The Catch have given us a little taste of what’s to come with latest single Know You Won’t Try proving again why they are one of the best young bands in East Anglia. The track is a more toned down affair compared to previously released tracks Tie Dye and Sort It Out, but again they’ve smashed it out of the park with their infectious lyrics and hard instrumentals.

HOLLOWSTAR – LET YOU DOWN
Arguably Cambridge’s best rock export since Mallory Knox, the ferocious Hollowstar are back again with another teaser in the buildup to the release of their debut album. Let You Down instantly draws you in with an electrifying guitar riff which constantly roams throughout the three minute track. The band are heading out on tour in the next few weeks, head over to their socials for more information.

BESSIE TURNER – NINO
Bessie Turner has definitely made a name for herself this year with headlining festival slots at Latitude and Reading&Leeds and the release of her beautiful debut EP 22:22. Nino is the latest instalment on Turner’s ever-growing discography, showcasing her gorgeous vocals over dreamy indie instrumentals, a style which has seen her touted as a ‘superstar in the making’ by BBC Introducing.

AMONG THE CITIZENS – PRETEND TO BE IN LOVE
Pretend To Be In Love is the latest release from Among The Citizens, a band who have really come of age over the past year. With two EPs, two singles released and an NMG Award already in the bag, it’s no wonder why they are tipped for big things. The title track from their new EP is a Two Door Cinema Club-esque indie pop belter with an incredibly catchy sing-a-long chorus. They play The Hunter Club in Bury St Edmunds tomorrow night (6:15pm)

THE GLITTER SHOP – CALL THE BANK
Although Call The Bank is a b-side to the soothing Tonic, this track is an absolute banger. Call The Bank is a staple of their enigmatic live performances which have wowed audiences in Norwich and Cambridge most recently. The track is a bit different to what’s been released previously from the trio as guitarist Barny Cutter takes lead vocals. The Glitter Shop play The Hunter Club 3rd November, be there!

SHYER – THE ONLY CURE
Having recently won the indie category at the recent NMG Awards, punchy four-piece rockers Shyer released the triumphant The Only Cure a matter of weeks ago. The simplistic but riveting guitar riff which weaves throughout the track combines nicely with the emotional vocals that makes this easily one of our favourite tracks of the past few months.

FRANKO FRAIZE – STOP ME (FEATURING ALEX JOSEPH)
The finale to his ear-catching EP Lights and Colour, Stop Me shows Franko Fraize at his very best. Fraize teams up with long-term collaborator Alex Joseph (2017’s Side By Side) to produce an epic UK rap track destined to hit your playlists as soon as you listen. The rest of his EP features the heartfelt Queen of Hearts and summer bop Let It Go. It’s well worth a listen!

LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST BELOW!

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Top Tracks

21/09 – Best In The East Spotify Playlist

When we first started the Blog we created a Spotify playlist featuring new music and old favourites from bands around the region. For some unknown reason it fell by the wayside but it’s now back in all its glory!

This fortnights offering includes these awesome little numbers:

AMONG THE CITIZENS – WORDS MEAN NOTHING
Easily one of the best indie tracks released this year with its ridiculously catchy guitar riffs and relentless vocals, the Among The Citizens lads have had a belter of a year having won the Breakthrough award at the recent NMG Awards whilst also playing gigs around the region in Stamford, Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds. The foursome embark on their first UK tour next month promoting their soon-to-be-released EP which we can’t wait to hear!

FFION REBECCA – DEVIL
Another artist who was successful at the 2018 NMG Awards was female soloist Ffion Rebecca who walked away with the 18 & Under award. Rebecca stole the show on the night of the awards with inch-perfect performances of her newly-recorded tracks. Devil shows off her impressive vocal range complimenting the slick contemporary R’n’B production. She is definitely one to watch in the future!

BASEMENT STRIPPERS – BLINDFOLD
Without a doubt one of our favourite EPs of 2018, Bedfordshire rockers Basement Strippers are on top form on Echo Chamber with lead single Blindfold showing off their new grittier sound of intense instrumentals and a powerful vocal delivery from frontman Jamie Gilman-Lewis. The band travel to Bury St Edmunds on Friday 12th October for our gig night, supporting War Waves, don’t miss their set!

KYANOS – LOST IN BLUE
The BurySOUND 2018 Rising Star winners KYANOS proved why they are one of the most-talked about bands in the East when they released the gorgeously funky Lost In Blue at the start of the month. The smooth guitar rhythms and chilled out vocals makes this a real favourite during their live performances. Make sure you catch them headline the 3rd November Washing Machine night at The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds!

POLLY HAYNES – WOULD YOU WAIT?
2018 has been a phenomenal year for female soloists in the area, and Polly Haynes has really proved why she is one of the best out there with her three superb releases. Would You Wait? has an Americana/soul vibe to it, showing off her versatile vocals and talented songwriting skills. More is still to come from Polly and her brilliant backing band, but for now, listen to this and her other two tracks I’m Fine and Pulling Me Backwards.

HUCKLEBERRY HARRISON – TAKE IT OFF
After the Mac DeMarco-inspired 2017 album What The Huck? and a subsequent year at university, the loveable Huckleberry Harrison returned late last month with the sonic Take It Off full to the brim with electronic beats and a small dose of Auto-Tune for effect. A completely different style to his previous music, Harrison completely pulls it off on production alone, leaving us completely in the dark as to what he’ll be releasing next.

FIGHTMILK – FOUR STAR HOTEL
Everyone’s favourite pop-punk band are back with an almighty bang with Four Star Hotel, a tale of a trip to Amsterdam and troublesome heartbreak. Their relatable, memorable lyrics really resonate on this track which is the first to come from their debut full-length album Not With That Attitude. It’s out on 2nd November, a mere 15 days before they tear up The Hunter Club supporting Gaffa Tape Sandy!

ENTERLUDE – THINKING ABOUT YOU TOO
Everybody knows how much we love Enterlude and this track is no exception. Having released their eponymous debut EP earlier this month, the lads have released two new tracks before embarking on new adventures with Thinking About You Too being the pick of the bunch! The delicate vocals and gentle instrumentals shows off a more emotional side to their songwriting, making this one of their best releases to date.

THE NEXT BEST IN THE EAST UPDATE IS COMING FRIDAY 5TH OCTOBER AT 19:00!
Featuring new music from The Baskervilles, Pink Lemonade, War Waves and more!

Categories
Gig Reviews

The NMG Awards 2018

Cambridgeshire rockers Hollowstar were the big winners of this year’s NMG Awards held for the first time at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds.

The four-piece rockers from St Ives walked away with the Breakout and Rock awards, following on from an epic year of radio play and extensive live dates with a UK tour on the horizon.

The night kicked off with a memorable performance from newly-reformed band The Extons excellently clad in The Wizard of Oz costumes, followed by Deep City who premiered their soon-to-be released new single, folk duo Elizabeth & Jameson and heavy rock favourites False Hearts.

Fred’s House and Ellie Dixon both regained their awards from the year previous, winning in the Acoustic, Folk, Country category and Female Solo category respectively, whilst The Portland Arms won the Best Small Venue award once again.

As well as the Best Small Venue award, the public decided who won three other awards. The Audience Choice award went to new pop-punk trio Pink Lemonade, with North Acre Studios picking up Best Studio. Lauren Deakin-Davies picked up her first award of the night winning Best Producer.

In hotly-contested categories, Ffion Rebecca picked up the 18 & Under award, whilst Anthony Rubery walked away with the Male Solo award. Cambridge band Shyer not only won the Indie award, they were also inducted into the NMG Hall of Fame alongside Lunar Echoes and Saving Scarlett.

More live new music followed with stellar performances from dynamic indie group LUXURY and new solo sensations Ffion Rebecca and Gabby Rivers.

Local favourites Amethysts and Me & The Moon won their Electronic & Experimental and Pop categories respectively, whilst four-piece group Saltfen took home the Alternative award.

The last award of the evening was the Breakthrough award which was awarded for the first time ever to two recipients: Peterborough’s fast-rising indie stars Among The Citizens and art-pop soloist DIDI (who earlier won the Best Producer award).

Closing the night was 2016’s Male Solo winner Oscar Corney who got everyone off their seats with his gritty indie sounds.

War Waves Poster Web.jpg
Categories
Track Reviews

Best Of The Rest: The Releases We’ve Missed

It’s been a busy summer for us at The Music Blog 42, and we’ve missed a lot of new music! So here’s our condensed look at some of our favourite tracks of the summer!

Among The Citizens – Words Mean Nothing
After the release of Mess In The Head in May and several gigs, one of the hottest talents in the area Among The Citizens returned in late June with the indie-pop blockbuster Words Mean Nothing. With some funky instrumentals and in-your-face vocals, the band have proven why they are tipped for big things. This is easily one of our favourite tracks of this year.

BAILEY – Change
Change, the new single from ‘elevating-pop’ soloist BAILEY, is a great feel-good track with lyrics that’ll be stuck in your head for weeks. His debut single The Future was an instantly likeable number, and with Change he connects with his fans in producing a track with honest and relatable lyrics, leaving us wanting even more new music. And believe me, more new singles are on its way.

Franko Fraize (ft. Tone) – Let It Out
If you were on the lookout for a track perfect for your summer playlists, then Franko Fraize’s new track is just the one for you. Let It Out is the first release from Franko since 2017’s Side By Side, and this new track is just as good. The UK House-style instrumentals hook up well with Franko’s rapid rap verses and Tone’s chilled vocals. An EP is on its way towards the end of the year!

Anthony Rubery – Your Side
Another artist who released an awesome summer track is Cambridgeshire’s Anthony Rubery, with Your Side showing off a unique marimba-pop sound. This is arguably one of his best tracks with his sleek vocals really shining through on a track which stands out against Cambridge’s rock-heavy scene. 2018 has been a breakout year for Rubery, and more is still to come.

War Waves – Sleep
The comeback single from War Waves is a heavily emotive track with soul-bearing lyrics and a sense of maturity from a band who are at the top of their game. Their new EP Be Well is out towards the end of the year, and Sleep is a track that signals War Waves are going to be one of the most talked about bands of 2019. After their last two albums, we are expecting big things.

The Fifths – Chance It
After months of gigging and recording, The Fifths finally released their debut single in mid-July called Chance It. The track is a really bold statement from the band who have been making aname for themselves from their high-energy live shows and radio appearances on HCR FM and Cambridge 105. And with a new track set to be released in the coming weeks, The Fifths are set for a great end to the year.

 On SATURDAY 18TH AUGUST, we are holding our first gig night at The Constitutional Club with psych-rockers Sun Scream headlining, with support from BurySOUND winners Influx of Insanity, loud rock duo KULK and Cambridge’s hottest prospects God Hates Astronauts! Music starts from 7pm, £5 on the door!

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Gig Reviews

Highlights of Homegrown Festival 2018

After two brilliant days at Homegrown Festival 2018, here’s our highlights of the brilliant weekend, although all of the bands were awesome!

The first act we saw at the Festival was the underrated talent Connor Adams. Hailing from  Ipswich, he released his first EP only a few weeks ago, and the songs from this sound pretty awesome live especially the title track Open My Eyes. Alongside the new tracks was an inspiring cover of The Chain by Fleetwood Mac which really set the tone of the weekend! A really great set to open up the festival.

Making their debut at Homegrown Festival were young duo Influx of Insanity, bringing their heavy prog-rock to the fields of Barrow. It’s been a phenomenal few months for Dom and Oli, having won BurySOUND and Cambridge Band Competition, and starting to recording new music for their upcoming EP. A slight change to their set list paid off with tracks like Scaffolded Minds and Envious Souls sounding better than ever.

Tom Lumley played his first of many festivals this summer, having confirmed a slot at Truck Festival a few days previously. Lumley has a knack of writing anthemic indie bangers, and his last single Skyhigh is one of many on his packed setlist. One of the highlights of the weekend was his passionate performance of yet-to-be released track Crawling, a track which shows off a heavier side to Lumley’s music but also proves that he is still one to watch in the Cambridge area.

After playing The Apex the night before, The Catch dropped in and played a stormer of a set featuring old favourites like Artist and Effort, but it’s the rock-influenced Sort It Out and fast-paced fan favourite Tie Dye that went down really well with the Saturday afternoon audience. The trio also played a few new tunes which you can expect to hear real soon. They play Cambridge Junction tomorrow night (15th June), be there!

Among The Citizens were another band who played at The Apex the night before, and here they delivered a set which proves why they are highly thought of in the region. Tracks like Curved Lips and Needy not only shows off the band’s versatility in their styles, but makes their set list even more varied alongside the heavier, guitar-driven tracks like their brilliant new single Mess In The Head.

Having seem them at the Bury Fringe All-Dayer, we were excited to see Blue Mean Eyes  and they definitely didn’t disappoint. They played songs from their 2017 EP Through The Mill like Brixton Shrug and our favourite Escapade whilst also teasing new material. After several line-up changes it seems like the trio have finally settled as a band, and it’s exciting to see how their sound develops over the following year.

One band who always goes down well with a crowd wherever they play are the psychedelic quarter KYANOS. Having won BurySOUND’s Rising Star award, they were given an early evening set which showed off their talents playing smooth instrumental tracks and the usual crowd pleasers like Thunder In Japan and So High. The band also teased new music to be released soon in the form of an EP, more news when we get it!

One of several artists at Homegrown who we hadn’t seen before was young rising star Gabby Rivers, and after this showing we can’t wait to see her again. Not only does she write some really awesome original tracks, Gabby also played some enjoyable covers like Portugal, The Man’s Feel It Still and Florence + The Machine’s Dog Days Are Over which had the crowd singing along. An inspiring talent at only 15 years old, definitely one to watch.

When it comes to energetic indie rock tunes, Fick As Fieves are the pick of the bunch. Deservedly, they co-headlined The Coastline Stage with an impressive light show throughout their fast-paced, catchy set. A moshpit formed in the crowd when the trio played tracks like English Weather and Wasteman, whilst new tracks from their debut EP Drift End like COL and Outstayed prove why they are one of the region’s finest live bands.  More new music could be on its way to your ears by the end of the year, watch this space!

Saturday’s epic day of music was closed by the funk-soul legends Stretch Soul Gang. Their epic hour-long set was full of original classics which made the whole field have a dance. Opening their set with latest single Open Up Your Eyes, the Gang kicked in to gear with their next single Hit The Deck, fun groover Poncho Villa and the always outstanding Sharks At The Wheel. One of our highlights of the whole festival was the performance of Ungrateful which featured a rare live outing from soul singer Steven Bamidele whose vocals complimented the flawless falsettos on the track. They closed their set on debut single Ain’t Got No Money, followed by a fireworks display to round off the day. Let’s hope they get invited back for the third year running next year!

We had a great time at our first Homegrown Festival, and we want to thank the organisers (especially Sara!) for their support, and for putting on an awesome weekend!

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Gig Reviews

May’s The Fiver @ Cambridge Junction

May’s edition of the long-running The Fiver night saw six bands play awesome sets at the Cambridge Junction.

Haverhill’s The Fifths kicked off the night with a highly commendable set, with each member brimming with confidence throughout. Not only did they play a cover or two, the band played some great original tracks like Chance It and They Should which are on their Soundcloud. Their set was definitely one of the highlights of the night, and for a band that formed only six months ago, the future looks bright for them.

The Islas, from Norwich, were up next, a band who were playing their first ever show in Cambridge. The four-piece indie band played an energetic 30-minute set full of cheeky crowd interaction and some really nice indie-rock tracks, notably their recently released debut single A Generation To Forget. An EP is set for release in the near future, an exciting prospect on the basis of their performance.

It’s fair to say that Among The Citizens are the most exciting band to have come out of Peterborough for a while now. Their awesome new single Mess In The Head closed their set, which included tracks from their 2017 EP Unlearn You, mixing in intricate guitar melodies with more electronic-based sounds. The band have a fair amount of gigs coming up, including a slot at Homegrown Festival on 9th June.

Oscar Corney was up next with a really pleasing set. His inch-perfect vocals were brilliantly complimented by his backing band as they played some great memorable tracks from his previous EP’s like Be Someone and Your Fool. Corney has had a great start to 2018 reaching the final of the Cambridge Band Competition, and with new music hopefully on the way, the year could get even better for him.

With The Junction swarmed by his passionate fans, it’s fair to say Woodley Taylor put on a show with his 30 minute set. His classic rock-inspired tracks like Smoking At Midnight and Runaway showed off his soulful vocals and talented backing band. Taylor closed his set with Breathe A Little Deeper, with the audience chanting back every word to the very professional soloist. A really enjoyable set.

The last act on were The Mojo Slide, a blues rock band from Cambridge. The band formed in 2011 and their experience showed as they put in a great performance, with some catchy tracks from their 2015 album Twist Your Bones, and some smooth guitar riffs really connecting with the crowd. The Mojo Slide also have a lot of live shows coming up, all information is on their Facebook page.

The next Fiver is 15th June featuring Cambridge Band Competition winners Influx of Insanity!

Categories
Gig Reviews

F.O.X @ The Hunter Club, BSE

Colchester’s F.O.X tore the roof of the Hunter Club last night (7th April) with their stunning synth-pop sounds.

The first band to perform on the night were Among The Citizens, a four-piece indie band from Peterborough. The band released a truly great EP last year, and their setlist revolved around it, firing through tracks like Needy and Our Love. ATC’s tight-knit sound was a perfect way to open the night especially with their start time delayed due to technical problems.

A pleasant surprise on the night was soloist Leaone who was up next. Having not heard any previous music, I was instantly wowed by his emotional brand of pop music. End of the World was easily my highlight of what was a really strong set, but interestingly Leaone released two EP’s in 2017 full of really great tracks so you need to get your ears in to them! If you’re a fan of The National I think you’ll love him.

The psychedelic vibes from KYANOS packed out the room once again in slightly more modest surroundings after their last set at The Apex. The band look so comfortable up on stage performing some of their best tracks Thunder In Japan and So High whilst playing tracks from their forthcoming album like Lost In Blue and Sunlight. Once KYANOS start playing in different venues around the area, they’ll get even better.

Sun Scream were next, and this was very very exciting with the band having released their debut EP the day before. The majority of their set includes tracks from Take It Easy with the 6Music-endorsed Extract and ferocious Samsara sounding absolutely massive, alongside usual favourites Sun ScreamDavid Lynch and the mega She. The band are on to big things and with some great tracks and an EP under their belt they are without a doubt one of the best bands in the East.

Anyone who spoke to me after the night will know how much I loved the F.O.X set and you could now say I am their biggest fan. From the first track, they blew me away with how tight they were as a trio musically, and their mesmerising light show which really fitted in with their on-stage image. The tracks they have are really really special and there’s no surprise there having supported the likes of Depeche Mode and Florence and the Machine in the past.

The trio have two great albums out, with a third on it’s way, and they are truly well worth a listen. Wild Horses is one of those tracks that will get you dancing, not forgetting the equally as brilliant set closer I Am Electric and We Are The Younger People. By the end of the night, the whole room was dancing along to a really special set. This set topped off what was easily one of the best Washing Machine night’s yet.

Be sure to keep an eye out on The Music Blog 42 social media accounts for all the latest news from the acts who performed tonight!

The next Washing Machine is on 21st April with a 6pm kick-off at The Hunter Club. Headlining are the rock legends A HORSE CALLED WAR, supported by RAD PITT, BRACKEN, CLOWN SMASH EVERYTHING and ALL WE KNOW.