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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

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.

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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

The 545 @ The Apex, Bury St Edmunds

Five of the best bands from in and around East Anglia played an outstanding night at The 545 music event at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on Friday night.

Stone Deepe opened the night with their alternative rock entertaining the growing crowd. If you didn’t turn up early to see these lot, you missed a great set. It was their first time playing in Bury St Edmunds and it certainly won’t be the last. Their setlist was inch-perfect to getting the crowd going, who they thanked for coming. Their set closer Get In Line was a fantastic way to end their inch-perfect set, a proper indie-like sound to it.

Next up were the post-punk sounds of one of Bury St Edmunds’ most promising bands SIAH. Although they are relative newcomers to the BSE music scene, they have a great collection of tracks to work with, especially the beautifully-named Feline Friends and the punchy A French Girl featuring “the angellic voice” of their drummer. Susie Smokes is always a great live song and with their debut record out next year, and an already large following, big things await the band.

The atmospheric indie-pop of Deep City was up next, and it was just a sign that the night was just going to get better and better. It’s no wonder that they are compared to The 1975 with their track Slow sounding like a blend of some of The 1975’s best songs, absolutely fantastic. The Cambridge-based band wowed the crowd with the even-better swag Wht Hppnd. Deep City premiered a ‘new-ish’ track Classic to the crowd, and if that’s anything to go by, they’re with us for the long haul.

Bury St Edmunds stalwarts Cathedrals and Cars were the real highlight of the night with their sophisticated and polished art-rock and a fantastic set which warmed the crowd up for Hollowstar. Notable highlights from their set were the incredible The Concierge and their set closer A Piece of Me Died In Europe. Great songs, great live performance, tonight cemented Cathedrals and Cars as one of the best bands from BSE.

Last up were the headliners Hollowstar, from Cambridge. An absolutely electric set which blew the roof off The Apex. They told the crowd they had only been around for about two years, took me by surprise considering how accomplished and confident they were on stage. Their whole set sounded huge, sandwiched by a passionate speech from their frontman about mental illness, that led into the phenomenal Feel The Burn. The band dedicated their new song All I Gotta Say to their loyal fan base. They said comically that without their fans they’d be “at home wanking and playing FIFA”. Sounding absolutely huge, let’s hope they’re back in Bury St Edmunds sooner rather than later!

A fantastic event as always at The Apex. I’m already looking forward to next year’s 545!