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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.

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Track Reviews

Track Review: KeloDown – Breakin’ Off

KeloDown are a four piece classic rock band with a modern twist, hailing from the depths of the Suffolk countryside. I’ve had the privilege of playing alongside them at a few gigs and I can tell you first hand: these guys can seriously put on a show.

Their latest single Breakin’ Off is a blend of old school classic rock with a KeloDown twist, and a refreshing message: “Breakin’ Off is about breaking away from the mundane nature of everyday life, and the effect it has on a wayward soul. We hope the listener will recognise the everyday slog and shout f*** this s*** let’s get out of here.”.

This track was recorded locally at The Shrubbery studio in Bury St Edmunds, with the help of two student technicians Olly Chilvers and Charlie Grimwood. Breakin’ Off, to put it in technical terms is what professional musicians would refer as a “ f****** banger”.

Powerful vocals push this track forth, punchy rhythm section holds it down and the shredding guitar rips it all up again. This track is catchy, technically impressive and exciting all in equal measure.

KeloDown have told me they’re planning on new releases and have big plans for the coming year, so keep your eyes peeled for a show near you.

Written by James D’Alessandro

KeloDown are playing The 545 at The Apex, BSE on Friday 26th April alongside Underline The Sky, Salvador, Substation and The Daze. Tickets are available on The Apex website.

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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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Gig Reviews

August’s 545 @ The Apex

The second instalment of this year’s 545 events at The Apex saw stellar sets from Golden Bantic, Kelodown, Saving Scarlett, Enterlude and headliner Tom Lumley.

Golden Bantic opened the night in front of a great crowd who really related to their infectious indie-pop tracks. Gecko and Pink were the standout tracks from an enjoyable setlist. Tonight was the first time they’d played Bury St Edmunds, and off the back of this performance and with increasing popularity in Cambridgeshire, we’ll definitely be seeing them again.

After owning the Apex stage in March, BurySOUND finalists Kelodown returned with another very confident hard rock performance full of energy and power. Alongside the usual crowd favourites Electric Mountain Blues and Carpet Burn were new tracks which will be released sometime soon. The band play The Hunter Club on 20th October, so get down and see them.

After the hard rock of Kelodown, Saving Scarlett kept the night rolling with their brand of rock tinged with hints of pop punk. The band released their debut album last year which is a really great piece of work, and tonight’s performance showcased their music to a new audience with By My Side and Wild Creatures really going down well with the strong crowd.

Since forming last year, Enterlude have gone from strength to strength and tonight’s performance proved why they are one of the most hotly-tipped bands around. Starting their set with Hurt Yourself, the band went on to play more of the indie-electro tunes from their debut self-titled EP like Ruins and Happy Being Miserable. Enterlude also premiered new music with Thinking Of You Too sounding so special on the big stage. British Dream closed their triumphant set, one of the best we’ve seen this year.

One of Cambridgeshire’s finest talents headlined the evening, and when Tom Lumley and his band get up on stage you know you’re going to get entertained. Lumley captivated the crowd from the off with his scintillating indie-rock. The set featured some of his older ‘soppy’ tracks from his Dream City EP like Running For Our Lives and Done My Time, but also showed off some of his newest tracks with Skyhigh and Crawling really proving that he’s left his singer-songwriter days behind him. Closing the set with one of our favourite tracks from 2017, Just Like The Light was a ferocious affair culminating in Lumley jumping the barrier and playing alongside an energetic crowd. An awesome set from a man who gets better and better.

The next 545 is on Friday 2nd November at 7pm headlined by CONNOR ADAMS, with support from LOST LUNGS, ALTER THE SKY, LUNAR ECHOES AND THE FIFTHS!

We are putting on our second gig on Friday 12th October at The Constitutional Club in Bury St Edmunds headlined by WAR WAVES with support from THE ISLAS, BASEMENT STRIPPERS and more to be confirmed!

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Gig Reviews

Bury Fringe Festival 2018 Fundraiser gig review

A night of great variety performances culminated in a truly special headline set from funk legends Stretch Soul Gang.

The night kicked off with comedy, with four comedians all sharing the spotlight with their rib-busting humour, Bimi Adeyi was the pick of the bunch here though tonight showed that the comedy circuit in the area is one what is certainly up and coming.

Before the musical sets, the audience were wowed by the wonderful words of poet Joanna Hagan-Young. She certainly didn’t disappoint here, and her poem We All Came Together written about the Fringe, was without a doubt the highlight of her delightful set.

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Kelodown

Kicking off the musical side of proceedings was country soloist Lucy Grubb. In this year’s Fringe, Lucy deservedly won the Bury Songwriters Competition with the stunning 18 Miles, a track performed live with so much heart and passion. Other tracks played during her short set were from her 18 Miles-named debut EP. She truly is an artist to look out for, because she is definitely set for bigger things.

BurySOUND finalists Kelodown warmed the crowd up for the main event with their joyous brand of hard rock. Though the band are of a young age, they instantly interacted with the large audience and showed off their experienced stage presence with shredding riffs and extreme amounts of head banging. We’re still awaiting new music from the five-piece rockers, but as soon as we have news on that we’ll let you know!

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Stretch Soul Gang

It was well-documented that on Friday night I was meant to be attending the Craig David gig in Newmarket, but as soon as this event was announced I sold my tickets. Why you ask? Because Stretch Soul Gang are arguably the best live band in the region. The band played a similar set to the one at Homegrown a few months earlier, but as always the audience were up on their feet dancing away to their amazing original tracks like recent single Open Up Your Eyes and the sweet Poncho Villa. Upcoming single Ungrateful is a track that always goes down well, but as soon as they jive into Ain’t Got No Money that’s when you know you’re watching something truly truly special. New music is almost certainly on its way… see these lot when you can, they are epic.

Thanks to Jan Roberts for the use of his images in the article.

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

Bury Fringe All-Dayer 2018 @ The Hunter Club, BSE

An incredible array of talent was on display at The Hunter Club yesterday (Saturday 5th May) for the 7th annual Bury Fringe All-Dayer, headlined by the rampant Gaffa Tape Sandy.

The day was brilliantly started with bands from Queens Road Rock School, Queen Dogs showed vast confidence beyond the years playing covers of One Way or Another and a great cover of Transmission by Joy Division, whilst The Daze played some original tracks alongside covers of Use Somebody and Blitzkrieg Bop. Both bands went down really well with the crows, and it really was a great way to kick off the day.

Opening The Magic Carpet Stage was rising star Noah Evans, another performer in the same age range as the bands before, but still showing off his incredible talents playing tracks from his debut EP See It Through which is now on Spotify. These three acts really shows that the Bury St Edmunds area is abundant with young talent, and it’s so promising to see this!

Going back to the Main Hall, alt-rocker Sophie Mahon and her backing band wowed the crowd with a truly awesome 80’s influenced-set featuring crowd favourite 2bf which is a really really brilliant track. Turning 180 degrees, it was then Blue Mean Eyes turn to shine and they certainly did. Tearing through tracks like Brixton Shrug, the trio proved during their set that they are set for big things, especially considering that they have new music on it’s way!

Enterlude brought their indie-synth sound to the Washing Machine stage, playing the phenomenal tracks Hurt Yourself and British Dream whilst also showing off new track Dancing With The Devil. With a support slot for Bessie Turner coming up for the band, they’ll just get better and better. After their set, Cambridge’s Lemondaze played a blinder of a set, with their stunning shoegaze sound really connecting with the large crowd. They are definitely a band to keep an eye out for, really promising stuff!

Our first visit to the Rock Against Racism Stage, run by Toonteen’s Joe Weaver, saw us see the brilliant BAILEY. Starting his set with his debut single The Future, his elevating-pop sound really shone through as his set went on, he has new tracks on the way and we can’t wait to hear them. Next up on stage was the delightful Matt Hammond who was a really interesting act to watch. It was lovely to sit and admire his guitar work, his intricate guitar melodies were truly impressive, especially during the wonderful Skylines.

A late replacement after the Interesting Times Gang sadly pulled out, KULK played two sets during the day. Heavy rock is their speciality, especially when they’re playing the bloody insane tracks Fix Me and Toxic. Every time I see these, they just get better and better, and to get that sound from only two people is just jaw-dropping! After seeing them support DRUIDS in January, it was really nice to see Stealing Signs back with their sweet alternative rock, playing one of my personal favourite local tracks You Will Be and many more. Every time these lads perform they put on a great show, we can’t wait to see them at Homegrown Festival!

Rounding off the first half of the all-dayer were the wonderful trio of The Glitter Shop. They may have only played a handful of gigs together since forming, but as soon as they stepped on stage, you would have thought they would have been playing together for years. Not only do their studio releases Fizz and Sleep sound great live, the other tracks on their set like Throwing Apples and Call The Bank topped off with their frantic energy on stage proves why they are one of the most exciting bands to have come out of the local scene in years.

After a much-needed food break, Kelodown and their hard rock sound really got the crowd moving proving why they made to the final of BurySound this year. With more gigs under their belt, the band will get even better, especially if they write tracks as good as Carpet Burn and Occupational HazardThe Baby Seals made their Hunter Club debut with a formidable set filled with really fun tracks with bonkers names like My Labia Is Lopsided But I Don’t Mind and Nipple Hair. Hopefully they play there again soon, because they were ace!

Playing before the headliners on the Rock Against Racism stage were The Catch with one  of the best sets of the entire day. Their new tracks sound really really impressive especially the thumping Can You Feel It? and Hindsight, which really compliment the rest of their packed set which include crowd favourite Tie Dye and new single Sort It Out. Quality as always from one of the best bands in Bury.

SIAH played a long over-due set on Chris’s Stage, with their post-punk hits Susie Smokes and A French Girl sounding really great as always. Let’s hope that they release some new music before the year is out because it’s desperately needed! Fresh off the back of a European tour, Fightmilk were another band returning to the Hunter Club with their epic pop-punk tracks like Pity Party, making the release of their debut album hotly anticipated!

Co-headlining the Rock Against Racism Stage were indie-rock legends The Baskervilles. The band have recently released new track Blood In My Mouth which sounds truly majestic live, alongside their set-opener Kalashnikov and all-round belter Death Of A Pop Song. We really can’t wait to hear what the foursome release next because they’re one of the best indie rock groups around locally. The other band co-headlining the RAR stage were 2017 BurySOUND finalists Goldblume, a commanding set from the god-like trio who played Razor, from their RSD vinyl release, which sounded utterly sublime. Their bold stage presence was a joy to watch and was the perfect way to close the stage. Two real highlights of the day.

After releasing their second EP Life’s A Beach only last week, Tundra brought the summer vibes to Chris’s Stage with their glorious surf-punk sounds. They played the EP in full with Walking Stick and Swimming Shorts sounding absolutely huge with their awesome riffs and thundering drums. It’s no doubt that Tundra are a ‘live band’, and when it comes to playing their trademark song Vacation, you know that the crowd are going to go absolutely mental. And they certainly did. A really memorable set that led into the overall headliners set impeccably.

So, now onto the last act of the night, the absolutely AMAZING Gaffa Tape Sandy. The band had already played in Leeds earlier on in the day, but they saved their A-game for their hometown crowd bursting into the frantic Transylvania and the snappy Water Bottle with moshpits already forming in the packed crowd. The trio played a mix of old and new with the well-received Smart Dressed Guy and L’Appel du Vide still sounding so exciting and fresh. New tracks Turnstile and Meathead went down a treat with the crowd too, with the fun instrumentals and perfect vocals really packing a punch, the latter is being released soon, WATCH THIS SPACE! And by the way Manager is still class, probably the most underrated track from their debut EP Spring Killing. They closed their set with the ever-present Beehive, inviting the absolute legend Seymour Quigley to crowd surf whilst they played it. With several festival dates this summer lined up, there’s no doubt that they are one of the most exciting bands in the UK at the moment. Go and see them if you ever have the chance!

Well done to all the acts who played yesterday! Special shout out to Substation, Rosa, Alicia Hall, Robert C Taylor, Ben Pegley, Phoebe Austin and Grandma’s Waffle Velocity too!

Thanks to everyone involved for putting on a great event!

Written by Marc Manning                Graphics by Guy Rodwell

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Gig Reviews

BurySOUND Grand Final 2018 @ The Apex

Influx of Insanity were crowned winners of BurySOUND 2018 last night (9th March) at The Apex, Bury St Edmunds.

Kelodown kicked off what promised to be an insane night with their brand of hard rock which sounded so much better on a bigger stage. They opened with Occupational Hazard, a great up-tempo track that really got the crowd moving. The vast amount of energy on stage as a joy to see, the perfect way to open the night.

The psychedelic sounds of KYANOS came next, a world away from the hard rock before. Their setlist featured some ‘old’ favourites like the stunning Thunder In Japan but also featured various new tracks from their upcoming record Lost In Blue. A band to keep an eye out for because if the rest of their record is as good as So High then they’re on to a winner.

The insanely good Influx of Insanity played out another great set, with this being the third time I’d seen them in a matter of months. And since then, they’ve just got better and better. Oozing with confidence throughout, they burst into the fantastic tracks Envious Souls and Perpetually Unfulfilled, commanding the stage in the process. The duo looked the part, and are deserving winners of the year’s competition

Math-rock foursome Indecision were something of an unknown entity going into this year’s competition and having not seen Heat 4 I was intrigued about the band. They have a great selection of tracks like 60s, and their frontman is something else too. A great tone to his voice and not to forget his hilariously great dancing meant this was a memorable performance indeed.

Grunge-blues trio Organ of Corti closed the night with their extensive sounds. Their performance in the first heat was hard to beat, but they were a thousand times better on The Apex stage. A real surprise to the competition, give them time to develop and hone their sound even more and they could be a really really special band.

Whilst judging the competition, the crowd were treated to a headline set from 2017 winners and all-around legends TUNDRA. Their setlist consisted of new tracks from their upcoming EP (27th April can’t come soon enough) and favourites like Loser and Vacation (Cheer Up Chuck) which resulted in a stage invasion. It’s been a great start to the year for Elliot, Caitlin and Elliott having supported Marmozets at Cambridge Junction, and with the EP out soon, 2018 could be a huge year for them!

Congratulations to Influx of Insanity on winning BurySOUND 2018.

Also congratulations to KYANOS for winning the Rising Star award!

Me and Guy would like to thank Seymour Quigley and Tim Willett for choosing us to judge this year’s competition.

We’d also like to thank Joe, Jay, Linzi, White, Catherine, Neil, Claire, Sara, Davey and the other judges for making us feel so welcome on the panel. We can’t wait for next year already!

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Gig Reviews

BurySOUND Heat 4 @ The Hunter Club, BSE

Kelodown were named winners of Heat For of BurySOUND 2018 at The Hunter Club last night (16th Feb) in what was a very close heat.

Unwaves, a duo from South Suffolk, kicked off the night with their impressive instrumentation (which included the drummer playing the drums whilst singing and implementing synths into the music) and catchy tracks. Their EP Foam Hands is a good listen, go check it out!

Next up were Lemondaze, a shoegaze quartet from Cambridge. From the start, they looked in their element up on stage, with tracks like Tremolo and Liquid Rush so smooth with their trademark sound flowing through. A real band to watch over the coming months and year.

Having got to the final last year, Maverick were hoping to go one better this year. A slight change in their musical style saw a more grungier tone which culminated in a ferocious but slick performance. We love a band who has great stage presence, and Maverick had just that!

Formed at the local West Suffolk College, Pop rock outfit Kelodown are a relatively young group, however, this was forgotten about as they launched themselves into tracks like Occupational Hazard. The crowd absolutely loved the band, and it’s clear to see why with their inch-perfect vocals and intricately jingling guitar riffs. They reminded us of Ipswich’s Underline The Sky, go check them both out!

Finishing off the night was ALL WE KNOW. What was only their second gig turned out to be a huge success with each track flowing into each other, added in with a rather rowdy crowd and punchy, tight riffs. Relentless rehearsing has helped the band so much, the trio are definitely ones to watch in 2018. Listen to Fractured, it’s an absolute banger!

Headliners War Waves, from Ipswich, played a great set whilst the judges were away deliberating. Although with ourselves judging we didn’t get to see all of the set, we loved their collection of tracks!

Next up: BurySOUND Heat 5 @ The Hunter Club on 23rd February! Featuring Abbey Green, The Catch, Eeeyore, Influx of Insanity and KULK! 6pm start!