July 7, 2014 by Robb Powell
This was supposed to be another post before the weekend hit but I am afraid I got persuaded to drop by one of those public house establishments where I partook in enjoying some pizza and beer. By the time I got home the hour was pushing on, I was on the border of merry and tired so chilled out the rest of the evening with some getting on with season 7 of Dexter. Nothing like a spot of our favourite serial killer to relax with and see in a Saturday. This will be a brief one. Sort of. Loads of music but brief on the waffleage, I mean. Things to do, people to see. Including a man about a dog. Okay, perhaps not that last part. More like seeing an elephant about buying an Oompa Loompa. Not for slavery purposes you understand but it’s my nephew’s second birthday tomorrow and I want to do something, well, a bit different.
Moving swiftly on. I have the review of Mark Chadwick’s superb second solo album, Moment, pretty much sorted so that will be up later in the week. Do go check it out beforehand because it is a beautiful record! Click right >>here<<. See, you don’t even have to type or search. I’m doing the work for you. Some wonderful insights into each song as well up at his YouTube page right >>here<<. After the Moment review I will have another one coming at ya for new album Call It What You Will from Kirby James. You should also check that out without further ado too, right here >>here<<.
On the live music front, there’s now less than 6 weeks to go until Beautiful Days. The countdown begins. Sadly I’m too late to book a tipi, which would have been just wonderful. Tent it is then. The chat page on Facebook is a hive of activity already and it was announced on Friday that there will be a gathering/pre-festival party near Dirty Davey’s bandstand for all those arriving on the Thursday if they want to say hello. This has the theme Fez and sunglasses. Brilliant! It really is like going home once a year. Even as big a fan of Doctor Who as I am and Matt Smith‘s Doctor recently making Fez’s popular again I wouldn’t have really thought to buy one. Until now. What will be ace is seeing so many Fez wearing revelers over the weekend. Bring it on! Maybe I should even dress up as Matt’s Doctor, to boot? It will be mid-August though and baking hot so perhaps not a wise move.
Then I will be seeing Dry The River in October, Robert Plant in November and wait for it……German power metal band Blind Guardian next April. I am still in shock. Pinching myself so hard it hurts. There are bruises. Never thought I would be fortunate enough to get the chance to see them live. Not ever. Yet there was the announcement last Friday and I was on it faster than a vulture on acid(?!). Their only UK date. Ironically I’m currently reading The Silmarillion for the twelfth time and I cannot but think about and hear their songs from the concept album Nightfall in Middle Earth when I do now. It will be magic to hear any of the songs from the album live. I think I’d be able to fly home after that I’d be so high from the experience. Close my eyes and let the ancient forgotten lands of Beleriand before all Middle Earth was changed by the War of Wrath envelop me. I’m off already, see. They’ve got loads more music too of course, covering Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time and even George Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Oh yes! This will be a mega geeked up night of live music for me I can tell you. Although of the power metal kind. I do however, still need that gig expenses account if anyone out there is offering? No? Ah well, can’t blame me for asking. Jeez, waffle-lite I said didn’t I? I better crack on with sharing the fabulous music then…
With The Silmarillion already mentioned I will start with French acoustic folk band Ainulindalë who’s album Nevrast has moved me deeply. It is some of the most beautiful and gentle music my ears and mind have had the distinct pleasure of encountering. How I came upon it is a typically geeky thing as well. I was just doing a few random searches on YouTube for any Silmarillion-themed or related music and video. To be presented with this I count a blessing beyond words. It is a total contrast to the offering from Blind Guardian, which naturally I also love.
The album is called Nevrast, which as any Tolkien geek will tell you was the name (in the Sindarin tongue, no less) given to a stretch of land near the shore of the Great Sea to the north west of Middle Earth long before the War of Wrath sunk it deep beneath the ocean. I’m digressing. I have to be careful here.
You can listen to the entire album on the band’s YouTube page >>here<<. It is a real treat of a peaceful experience, trust me. You can also purchase Nevrast as CD+DVD >>here<<. Ainulindalë also released another album called The Lay of Leithian, this being about Beren and Luthien, one of the longest stories in the book. I’m yet to hear this but know it is going to move me similarly to how Nevrast has done. https://www.facebook.com/ainulindaleofficial
UNDER A BANNER NEEDS YOU!
A little while ago the growing Under A Banner clan launched a pledge music campaign in order for them to be able to complete second album Close to the Clouds. These are marvelous ways for indie musicians and bands to be able to make their music in the current uncertain climate within their industry. However they can only do this with your help. The assistance of their fan base and newcomers who will invest in such projects is what makes them. In return for making a donation of a specific amount you will receive the album in various formats (depending on your pledge amount) as well as some awesome exclusive rewards (again depending on your donation amount). Have a quick listen to this almost finished’ track from the album (and also the title track below, which sounds superb – very atmospheric!). It has really got inside my head and I want more. Then follow >>this link<< to check out the fabulous rewards and make your pledge. Even if it’s the very respectable £8 for a download of the album, it all adds to the total required.
The band are currently at 67% of the total amount they need with 17 days to go. It is a remarkable achievement to have reached this by now but the race is on. The rules of these pledge music and kickstarter type methods of investment mean they MUST have gained 100% of the target to receive anything and thus enable them to finish the record and distribute the rewards to the investors. If they don’t make it to the 100% they receive nothing and anyone who has pledged receives their money back. We don’t want that to happen now do we? Get on board and be a part of something in the making. It will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. You will also have the eternal bond of friendship of the lovely Under A Banner clan. You know it makes sense! http://www.underabanner.co.uk/
I have made no secret about how deep a connection I feel for Josh’s song Mountains in Hurricanes. I play it repeatedly and each time there is something new or more added to my life as a result. And now something visual too by way of this lovely video for the song. Please share. And buy his stuff too, it is more than worth it. http://joshsavagemusic.com/
BROKEN WITT REBELS
A band from my hometown of the Ham of Birming is Broken Witt Rebels who have a really nice smooth and banging rock sound. This is their latest video for the latest single Shake Me Down. Just get it in them ears. Listened to this and hooked right away!
Broken Witt Rebels have an EP launch show on 26th July at the Wagon & Horses in Digbeth which is the very date the Howlin’ EP will be released (Facebook event right >>here<<). Howlin’ it is, of the sublimely musical variety though. Just check out the other songs too, like first single All Worn Out, below. Local folk best get your tickets for that live gig quick smart because one thing is certain: there’s nothing broken about the sound from these rebels! http://www.brokenwittrebels.com
Even just the bio on this band’s Twitter page made me love them before I’d even heard a second of their music:
Got to love that! And the music is superb! Governor’s Luck have just announced their 12-track debut album which can be streamed in full this coming weekend. Not long to wait. If ever there was a reason to wish away the week then this is just such a one! https://www.facebook.com/Governorsluck
**YOUR BABY EP**
I really wish I had time to review everything properly. Jinnwoo I saw play a while back now at The Musician in Leicester and I have not forgotten how incredible this was! Here is his EP Your Baby which is OUT NOW! Something different. Something interesting. Something rather very wonderful! https://www.facebook.com/Jinnwoo
Here’s the link to grab this beauty from iTunes >>here<<.
Time to get much heavier now with some quality metal from Schemata Theory and their recent new video for Courage is Contagious. The theme is something I’ve come to expect after following more closely the non-musical work of band member Myles Dyer. He has really opened my eyes to a lot of things I knew were there in the background but perhaps never investigated as much as I should.
AND IN BRIEF…
WAITING FOR HOLLYWOOD: NYC
This is a cracking follow up to their debut single from Waiting For Hollywood. Here is the video for NYC in all its glory. Love it!
I mentioned Beautiful Days right at the start and Tom Hickox is one of the musicians I am really looking forward to seeing. Just check out this beautiful song and video Out Of The Warzone and you will be jealous you won’t be coming to see him there too. And in that case get on buying his War, Peace and Diplomacy EP right >>here<<. http://www.tomhickoxmusic.com/
MY LYRICAL MIND
As I was in the throes of my postgraduate module this beauty of a live recording of Standing On The Edge passed me by somehow but OMG, WOW! It is a stunning song! This chap’s vocals are just something else aren’t they? Beautiful sounding guitar too. Get liking, following, the lot! https://www.facebook.com/MyLyricalMind
SEAN GRANT & THE WOLFGANG
**WE THE WORKING CLASS EP**
I reviewed the brilliant I Am The Devil single/video a while back now and wish I had time to go more into this excellent EP, We The Working Class. The superb music really speaks for itself though so come on, get clicking and own it. Available via iTunes >>here<<.
Also, numbers speak volumes and their recent video for Sing To Your Papa notched up over 7000 views in the three days since it went live online at www.muzu.tv
You see, you need to get on this, NOW! See and hear what it’s all about right here: http://www.muzu.tv/sean-grant-and-the-wolfgang/sing-to-your-papa-music-video/2260707/
Also, here’s the video for another of the songs off the EP, Hoist The Sails.
A CURIOUS LIFE
Just sharing the trailer of this film about the band at the minute. I will write and cover more as I can because there’s no release date as yet. As a fan of 17 years I am rather excited about seeing it after its well-received reception at the premiere where the band also treated the audience to an acoustic set. The lucky sods!
There has been no announcement but I am hoping there might be a screening or two at this year’s Beautiful Days. One can dream. If not, I will be patient. http://www.levellers.co.uk/
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT…ISH…
You may recall that in addition to being a Tolkien-geek I am also a bit of a Game of Thrones-geek. And an 80s child. Well, very young during the 80s but watching more of the classic Doctor Who and lamenting the terrible opening theme that was thrust upon the very late Baker-era into the 80s it was refreshing to actually enjoy this Game of Thrones mash up. Rather quite funny!