August 31, 2013 by Robb Powell
Fear not folks, I did not disappear inside some mining shaft while down in the west country for Beautiful Days 2013. Do they even have mine shafts down that way? I feel like that is something I should be more sure about. Since getting back I have been concentrating on the event planning for Oxjam Northampton. The predominantly indie rock night at The Picturedrome on Friday 18th October, in particular. Added to this – and yes I am quite insane – I am now also organizing a second night of acoustic music at Northampton’s Labour Club in November (most likely Friday 15th). Mad aren’t I? Absurd. I had toyed with the idea already and after a few tweets I couldn’t resist the urge. More news on this second gig when details become less squishy and more concrete. Although there are a couple of the acts included below in any case as I’ve come across them recently and simply have to share them with y’all.
Beautiful Days was, well, beautiful. It always is. Like I mentioned in the warm up post, it is like going home. Three days of quality live music and a community spirit unlike anything you can ever experience. Don’t get me wrong, the two other festivals I attended this year have the same kind of atmosphere but Beautiful Days is just the one I could never do without. I am determined to do it in a campervan one year too. At my current rate of saving this may well be in the next century but hey, I can dream right? There will be an overall review of the festival coming soon. I’ve not forgotten about Wood Festival either. I’ll get an actual review up of that weekend soon as I can too. Just please understand that planning and promoting events is currently taking priority over the blog updates. Sad, but true. Of course, if anyone out there wishes to sponsor me or give me a paid job doing this then the blog service wouldn’t need to be so affected but I’m a realist underneath the hippie dreamer so I know this has a very low probability right now.
In the meantime and before my week off runs out, let’s crack on and share a bit more music with you. As always I’m afraid I can’t share everything I’d like or we’d all be here until Christmas. Jeez, did I have to go an mention the C word. Oh dear, not that C word. Oh my, I better cease and desist and just get sharing before I get myself into trouble!
From those lovely folk at Prescription PR (who must think I really did disappear down some mine shaft and Skippy had trouble translating to the authorities to pinpoint my location, such has been my inability to keep on top of emails and features, so sorry guys – I need staff or contributors, please get in touch!), I received this EP titled Underway not too long ago and which was released on August 12th. Go get it is what I say, it is beautiful!
The video above is of the second track, Pour It Out from which you can already appreciate the exquisite guitar and those sultry evocative layered vocals. Her previously released top 20 debut album, Stand Still, firmly established Emma Gillespie as a household name. Don’t just expect more of the same though because with Underway Emma’s Imagination has clearly evolved musically and artistically. I’m sure it can be so easy to simply stick to a formula that worked well and so subsequent records like this which serve to show more of what an artist can do deserves big praise.
Opening track Let You Go sets up such a moody yet breathtaking vista before your ears. It sounds so crisp and beautiful you really don’t want it to let you go. The experimentation goes further with a supremely amazing cover of Deftone’s Change and I can confirm they are very successful experiments indeed. One thing running through all the tracks is size, strength and power. It may only be a short 6-track EP but it sounds like a pristine and polished full-length. It makes me excited about the next full album heading our way from Emma. https://www.facebook.com/EmmasImagination
This young chap from Belfast was on my ‘to check out’ list for ages before I finally got to buying his awesome Acoustic EP. You know the score with my hectic schedule and the sheer amount of music constantly coming my way. I was the one missing out though because when I did get to the tunes they really hooked me in!
The three tracks are stunning and Owen deserves airplay to be honest. This is something he is currently working on and in fact he will be putting into practice a completely innovative and original way of enticing radio stations over in Belfast. I can’t share what that method is before he launches the surprise but keep updated via his Facebook and Twitter pages next week to find out just what is up his sleeve.
Insanely talented and these three songs could be yours totally FREE as the EP is on bandcamp at name your price. Do please try and pay a little for this quality music if you can. Even £1 goes some way for these marvellous musicians. More would be welcome but it all adds up. Just please pay something.
Alternatively you can hold out until 12th September as You’re Not mine is being released as a single then which you can purchase. Do not miss it! Share and help spread the word of this awesome talented chap. http://www.owenmcgarry.com/
A SWIFT PINT IN THE LOCAL WITH…
KENNETH J NASH
Indeed I am checking in to the local because the more I look, the more I find. I stumbled upon the talents of Kenneth J Nash just before heading down to Beautiful Days. As I was about to head down, Kenneth had just returned from some time down in Devon. He then played Northampton’s Umbrella Fair, a superb free local event on the Racecourse park which is about 3 minutes walk from where I live. The shame is, it is always run on the same weekend as Beautiful Days so I miss out.
His music is just wonderful. There’s a quality here unparalleled in my opinion so I am thrilled he has agreed to play at the second Oxjam gig I’ll be arranging. Just listen to Take Me Home, above and then gorge yourself on his many other tasty tunes. Leaving Song below is so incredibly moving, it is haunting yet conveys such beauty. Divine!
There are previous albums available and any locals keep a sharp eye on his gig schedule because he is not one to miss live. I feel like a criminal for not uncovering Kenneth J Nash long before now. While I’m sharing such marvelous music, I cannot miss out The Ballad of Tobias Gill. Such superb songcraft! http://www.kennethjnash.com
The magical music from these two ladies provided me with a pretty gigantic wow for that particular day. Had I not proceeded to make enquiries about a venue for my second Oxjam gig I would not have discovered them as yet. The owner of the venue suggested them to play the event if they are available. I didn’t even have to finish listening to the first song before so wanting them to be available. The good news is it is looking good although it isn’t a 100% confirmation just yet. Pretty close though.
The serenity in the harmonies of Georgia Harris and Eloise Colbe are so near beyond human comprehension, they are exquisite. With a tranquil blend of piano and guitar they create sounds you will find it hard to stop listening to once you start.
I count myself very lucky indeed they are interested in being a part of my acoustic event for Oxjam. Although details are yet to be solidified, it is already shaping up to be quite an amazing night of live music. Now I need to crack on with the rest of the post of course but honestly, I am unable to not listen to more Apollo’s Mob songs. https://www.facebook.com/Apollosmob
Another suggestion to me that came about as a result of the musings about organizing a second gig. Kenneth J Nash included Phoebe Louise in a tweet stating we needed to balance the potential line-up out with some female contributions. It’s only fair and when the contribution promises to be as amazing as this you’ll need to be making arrangements to travel from wherever you are for this event.
Phoebe is actually playing The Live Lounge in Corby next Saturday, as is Kenneth J Nash. As usual I’m darting off about the place and will be in Oxford seeing Wild Swim. I don’t regret going to see them as they were amazing at Truck Festival earlier in the summer. I do feel sad I will miss another superb local gig though of course. https://www.facebook.com/PhoebeLouiseMusic
I believe Ant followed my @OxjamNpton account first through which I am finding yet more great music. An acoustic folk singer-songwriter from Bedford, he’s got some hugely impressive tunes up on his Soundcloud page. The first to dazzle me and hijack my ears was this Dylan cover of Soon After Midnight. It was listening to this that encouraged me to finally sit down and watch the Bob Dylan-inspired I’m Not There. I only bought it about five years ago. I just don’t get much chance to sit and watch DVDs these days with all the music stuff going on. I enjoyed it though and you will absolutely love this cover from Ant.
There’s plenty more tunes up there for you to enjoy as well and I’m pretty sure once you start you’ll be going through each and every one. Home is breathtaking. Ant has something unique about his voice. His words whirl around and about you. I find them captivating and hope it won’t be too long before I get chance to hear him play live. https://www.facebook.com/Antsavagemusic
NEITHER HERE NOR THERE
It’s been a while since I featured these guys and they are going from strength to strength. This is their latest video to be released. It builds nicely on top of Liberty Pill, released earlier in the year.
The vocals to me already sound distinctive and while they have nailed their own sound within the indie alternative rock spectrum, it is clear there are layers yet to be revealed from them. It’s a perfect way to do it and keep those fan numbers on the rise. Well done lads. https://www.facebook.com/welcomepariah
TELL ME WHY
This is the brand new single from those Manchester Mutineers – released on 23rd September. Seriously, Manchester is one lucky town with all the quality bands sprouting up and getting out there. I first featured Mutineers way back right at the start when I began doing the podcasts. Ah yes, the podcasts. I’m afraid time constraints just aren’t leaving any free space for me to be doing them at the moment. It isn’t the end though as I really enjoy it and will get one on the go at some point.
Back to Tell Me Why, it is a stonking cracker of a new song from this band. For me, they established themselves pretty damn well with their album Friends, Lovers, Rivals but with this tune they take things to another level. It is punchy and lively enough to really get you going. It has their signature sound embedded within but there’s a bit more of a rockier feel. There are layers galore with backing vocals and just an altogether fabulous explosion of sound. https://www.facebook.com/mutineersofficial
October sees the band head out on a mini ‘whistle stop’ tour taking in the below so make sure you get along and support them because they deserve it:
Warrington Friars Court – 12th October
Manchester Sound Control – 17th October
London Rattlesnake – 18th October
Glasgow Pivo Pivo – 2nd November
Leeds Cockpit – 16th November
So much to write. So much to include. So little space and time. I so need a TARDIS!
For some reason since I created a gmail account via my google+ profile I’ve been receiving loads of emails from bands and PR folk there too. It’s great of course but only swells up an already heavy backlog. When music wows me like this from Piano Piano though, how can I not feature it?
It is experimental ambient rock so atmospheric and sublime, it takes you far away from everyday monotony. The way they manipulate sounds and the results of their creative processes are stunning. I have to be brief here but listen to the wondrous scope of sounds in the album sampler above. Then do yourselves a favour and go buy the album. It is called, When I was not in myself, no one alarmed me. It’s on bandcamp below, as well as from CD Baby >>here<<.
I know that backlog only keeps getting bigger but I will return to Piano Piano as soon as I can to write lots more about this amazing debut album. The mix of styles and what they can do is just phenomenal. http://pianopianoband.com/
LET’S GET COMFY ONT’SOFA
Sit back, relax and enjoy the tunes from these two Ont’Sofa sessions from two very different but both multi-talented chaps.
JAMIE CAMPBELL BOWER
Love this. Amazing talent!
LLOYD ‘BILLY CASPER’ WILKINSON
This guy is a complete and utter ledge. Legend! A Facebook friend of mine liked one of his videos which popped up in my news feed and I’ll be honest I’ve been hooked to his expert observational comedy ever since. Then I comes across a post of this when he demonstrated further amazing talents by way of singing and playing guitar. Certainly makes me feel like an underachiever I can tell thee. What a cracking voice! Feed em rice.
Now make sure you do the sensible thing and go subscribe to Lloyd’s YouTube channel so you don’t miss his latest masterpieces. You can also keep updated by following him on Facebook and Twitter @ShagMe That is one of his catchphrases, which he delivers with such precision, you will crack up. Shag me.
Well must dash folks, but not even to rest or chill with a movie. I’ve been event planning like crazy all this week and have lots more to do for the first Oxjam Northampton gig at The Picturedrome. The poster is ready and I’ve ordered some. Flyers should be ordered soon too for a mail drop. Lots of press and listings sorted and on the cards. Busy busy busy. Then on to looking at gig #2 tomorrow.
Also got a wonderful week of live music ahead. Firstly, to kick off a superb September – and I cannot believe it has come round so bloody quickly- is Robert Plant in Wolverhampton on Monday. So excited for that as you can imagine! Then next Saturday it is a lovely trip to Oxford to see Wild Swim who blew me away at Truck Festival so very excited about that one too. I should have been going to see Black Feathers last Friday at long last and it was a local gig too. Except the village it was in was like the Twilight Zone and we could not for the life of us locate the venue. Never mind. I will catch those guys soon! Ciao for now. Peace.