Categories
Track Reviews

Track Review: Polly Haynes – Pulling Me Backwards

After releasing debut single I’m Fine at the end of March, Essex’s Polly Haynes is back with the release of her new track Pulling Me Backwards.

Pulling Me Backwards was released last Friday (11th May) rather unexpectedly, and it’s fair to say that the track has a different sound to her debut single.

What we loved about I’m Fine were the powerful vocals and the jazz-influenced instrumentals which gave the song a slow-burning, enticing feel to it, and the new single has a similar vibe.

There’s no doubt that Pulling Me Backwards has more of an uplifting sound, helped by the noticeably funky instrumentals and the softly delivered vocals by Haynes. Though the chorus is as simple as four words, it’s definitely one that will be stuck in your head for days.

With an EP coming in the near future, there’s no doubt we want to hear more of this jazzy-soul sound that Haynes and her backing band have been working on. These two tracks have definitely made an impression on the local scene, and it’s exciting to hear what else is in store.

A music video has been produced for the track, we’ll post a link up on our social media accounts once it’s uploaded!

Categories
Gig Reviews

Stretch Soul Gang @ The Con Club, BSE

In an area which is heavily dominated by indie and rock music, it was a welcome change to go to a funk and soul gig, and when Stretch Soul Gang are about you know it’s going to be a good one.

Motherfvker, a covers band from Ipswich, opened the night with a variety of brilliant covers. The best track of their set was a rather surprising cover of Childish Gambino’s Redbone, which was enhanced massively by the lead singer’s powerful vocals and guitar player’s sweet riffs throughout. A really nice way to kick off the evening.

The headliners of the evening were Stretch Soul Gang, a six-piece group from Sudbury who are one of the most-loved bands in the area. It’s a shame that the group only have the two tracks available to listen to on streaming services, but it’s those two tracks, the glorious Open Up Your Eyes and Ain’t Got No Money, that really got the adoring crowd moving.

What I personally love about the group is that everything about their sound is inch-perfect. Whether it be the tightness of the instrumentals, the impeccable vocals or the savvy crowd interaction between tracks, the Gang are really on to a winner.

The Gang’s setlist is one which is full of great soul numbers, Sharks At The Wheel shows off guitarist Alfie Row’s flawless falsettos whilst Poncho Villa and Ungrateful (featuring local rising star Steven Bamidele) gives us a taste of things to come with the band with an EP set for release in the immediate future.

Stretch Soul Gang are headlining Homegrown Festival this year, so if you want to have a great night grooving to some great original tracks and come away with a huge beaming smile on your face, then get yourself there. Because these guys are one of the best live bands around.

Thanks to Wigwam Promotions for organising a great night!

Categories
Track Reviews

Track Review: Stretch Soul Gang – Open Up Your Eyes

We are so so pleased to be premiering the new track from Stretch Soul Gang: Open Up Your Eyes.

Off the back of a great 2017 for the band which saw them narrowly miss out on winning BurySOUND and releasing their first single Ain’t Got No Money, the Gang are back with another enthralling track which will get you off your seat and dancing away.

Open Up Your Eyes is the first track from four soon-to-be-released tracks which will make up the group’s first ever EP.

Stretch Soul Gang got together in 2014 and have been grafting ever since, honing their original music, taking inspiration from the likes of Earth Wind & Fire, Anderson Paak and A Tribe Called Quest.

The song starts off with smooth saxophones and hand-clapping before lead vocalist’s Alfie Row’s trademark vocals kick in. His voice combined with groovy baselines and the rapped verses from Jamie Hicks really shows why Stretch Soul Gang are one of the most loved bands in Suffolk.

A staple of their live sets (which you all really need to get to), Open Up Your Eyes is an enjoyable, funky gem of a track. And like we said before, there’s still way more to come from Sudbury’s Stretch Soul Gang, and we can’t wait for it.

Band Members:
Alfie Row- Guitar/Lead Vocals
Jamie Hicks – Rap
Benjamin Mason – Tenor Sax/Backing Vocals
Louis Hicks – Alto Sax
Max Bridges- Bass
Camden Clarke – Drums/Backing Vocals

Open Up Your Eyes by Stretch Soul Gang is out TOMORROW (30th March) on all platforms!

The song was recorded at their drummer Camden Clarke’s studio, click the link here to find out more: https://www.camdenclarke.com/

Upcoming Shows:
1st April – supporting Huey Morgan @ The Bassment, Chelmsford
30th April – Neil’s Jazz and Blues in West Kensington, London
9th June – Homegrown Festival, Barrow nr. Bury St Edmunds

Be sure to check out our track reviews tomorrow (30th March) of TUNDRA’s Swimming Shorts and The Glitter Shop’s Sleep!

Categories
live

Homegrown Festival Showcase @ The Hunter Club

An outstanding night of live music at The Hunter Club proved that East Anglia has some of the most diverse and extraordinary talents in the UK music scene.

The night, hosted by Barrow’s Homegrown Festival, kicked off with Cambridgeshire’s own Tom Lumley. The singer, along with his very own backing band, proved to be the perfect warm-up for the night ahead with his mix of indie-pop packed with electric riffs and anthemic lyrics, a real crowd pleaser. It’s no wonder why he has already supported acts like The Hunna in recent months. Having recently released a new single Just Like The Light and with last night (29th September) being the first date of a tour which covers the length of the UK, there’s no reason why Lumley can’t go on to become an even bigger name in not only East Anglia but nationally. This was his first gig in Bury St Edmunds, and hopefully there is more to come.

Next up to the fold were Ipswich’s Underline The Sky. In a set which was unfortunately marred by technical difficulties, though this was not the fault of the band, they pulled off an excellent set which really got the crowd going. The band have a great back catalogue of music, having released one full=length record and several EPs, and their setlist proved it, rip-roaring their way through their 30 minute slot. Though their own songs were excellent, the ear-catching part of their set was their pop-punk take on Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Getting Back Together, a fantastic cover. Underline The Sky undoubtedly put on a great show, aside from the few problems. The wait for even more new music continues…

Sudbury’s smooth groving Stretch Soul Gang were the next band to showcase their talents, and they totally did. A packed crowd danced their way through an astonishing set from such a unique group, not many people can say they’ve seen a soul/hip-hop/jazz group. No word of a lie, they are possibly one of the best bands I’ve actually seen live… excellent showmanship, inch-perfect falsettos, soothing basslines, and a great set of songs like the tunes Ain’t Got No Money and Sharks at the Wheel prove that Stretch Soul Gang are one of the most promising acts in the East. They had the audience in the palm of their hand, and there’s no doubt that in the not-so-distant future they’ll be entertaining even bigger crowds, and playing even bigger stages.

Last to entertain the packed out venue were Aldeburgh’s Fick As Fieves and they rounded off a superb night of live music with a bang, The trio’s indie rock lifted the room, a very polished performance. The band’s music appears on Spotify’s The Indie List, and it’s no surprise off of the back of this performance with their energetic stage presence, catchy riffs and pounding drums. Having formed only a year ago, it’s fair to say that the trio have come a long way in such a short space of time. The band teased us with new material which sounded just as good as their current work like Label Us and Insomnia. Championed by BBC Introducing Suffolk, they are definitely set for bigger things.

An exciting night showcasing some of the best musical talents in East Anglia. A huge shoutout to the people at Homegrown Festival for organising the event, same again next year?

 

Homegrown Festival 2018 tickets are on sale NOW on the link below!
http://homegrownfest.co.uk/tickets/4592101812