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Friday, 15 February 2019

Black Whiskey - 'Dry Bones'

Words by Adrian Ball
Black Whiskey is a hard rocking tight-knit group from London, made up of Simon Gordon (vocals), Kev Ingles (guitar), Rich Bannister (drums) and Craig Nabbs (bass).  The last two years have been a tough road for them, but the band has worked through these challenges to produce a hard-hitting album that’s due for release in April.

Opening with the title track Dry Bones you are launched into a hard and heavy beat with the band putting their uncompromising style forward for the listener to soak up.  
King of the Blind highlights the great vocal talent of Simon, matched with guitar riffs and solos that blaze away throughout the song.  The delivery is tight and the tune is so catchy you’ll be chanting through the chorus before you know it.
The album continues at a swift pace with each track full of gusto.  Black Whiskey march on, albeit with the occasional (and necessary) slower songs that are Here to Stay and Timebomb.

It’s difficult not to hark back to the 1980’s when hard rock ruled the air waves, but with the style of vocals, guitar work and thunderous beat this band has put together, it’s impossible not to. The presentation captures magnificently those over the top memories of new rock videos on MTV.  Few bands manage to capture moments in time and transport you far away, but this album does that with ease.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Paterson - 'Smug and Married'

STREAMING NOW: The new single from Paterson (the latest incarnation of South Wales based singer-songwriter Georgia Paterson) ‘Smug and Married’ is a toe tapping anti-love anthem, written for the ones tormented by the sickening ritual of Valentines Day: 

It tells the story of agony, when falling in love with a straight married women and is cleverly conveyed with bluesy piano, jazz trumpets and self-assuring sarcasm. Paterson’s music celebrates the LGBTQ community and her involvement has been recognised by Diva Magazine, Lezbelib Magazine, Buzz Magazine and has been given ‘Track of the Week’ on BBC Radio Wales.

Taking inspiration from a huge catalog of folk legends such as Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Melissa Ferrick and Brandi Carlile. Georgia crafts music overflowing with
metaphors and poetry that speaks universally whilst simultaneously encapsulating deep personal experiences and sage like epiphanies. 
 Having worked extensively in the genre as a solo act, Georgia felt that as her new material seemed inspired by collaborations a new slimmed down name would
be appropriate given then paired down yet provocative nature of the songs.

Throughout her career Paterson had collaborated with many distinguished people in the music industry, including Aled Richards from Welsh alt-rock band Catatonia, producer Greg Haver (Melanie C, Manic Street Preachers & Catatonia) and Charlie Francis
(REM The Noisettes). As well as this, Georgia has supported Amy Wadge (Grammy Award Winning Co-writer for Ed Sheeran), plus festivals and events involved with LGBTQ including Oxford, Swindon and Wiltshire Pride.

More info and gig dates can be found here:

Monday, 11 February 2019

Departed - 'Tides'

Words by Adrian Ball
Departed has been busy over the last couple of years with appearances at such major festivals including Download, Planet Rockstock and Rockingham Live.  The new EP "Tides" is a follow up to their debut release and really highlights the talents and song writing skills of this band.  Guitarist Ben Brookland and frontman Mark Pascall know how to deliver both full on rock songs and those with a more melodic edge.

The EP is well put together, moving through the tracks is a pleasure and so effortless it makes for a great listen and leaves you wanting to hear more; a mix of heavier rocking tracks, great guitar riffs and stunning vocals.  Comparisons galore spring to mind, but it would only be to show the influences this band has and they do their own style so well.

Come On is blend of old school rock with stunning, raunchy vocals and a beat that just makes your face light up, a great mix of bluesy-rock.  From this track alone you can see why they've been busy playing the live scene recently.

Second track Soul Shaker is another rocker, in fact, straight out of the classic rock stable.  The vocals are on point throughout and the guitars kick out a riff that takes the track to a higher place.

A superb stand out track is All the Way which has the power to draw you in and take up all your presence, allowing you to forget everything else that is going on and ensures you enjoy the pure delight of this song.  A prefect blend of vocals, guitar and drums leaves you figuratively sprawled out on the floor wanting more, more, more.

The EP leaves you praying for more recorded music, so another EP please Departed?  No, wait, an album! This is a stunning piece for anyone’s collection and be sure to catch them live in 2019.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Rival Sons - Birmingham O2 Academy, 5/02/19

Photo credit: Cathy Evans
Words by Adrian Ball

Support tonight is from laid-back classic rocking Canadians Sheepdogs. The quirky, cool and old school group are performing to an expectant crowd and somehow, it all works for them as they are extremely well received with cheers and clapping from the crowd. The end of their set is pure class when the guitarists all join together at the front of the stage and stare jokingly into the crowd; a great opening act.

The stage is set for the Rival Sons to deliver their cool brand of blues-rock.  This is the first time they have visited Birmingham since they supported Black Sabbath on their 13-month world tour.  
The lights dim and the crowd are moving forward in anticipation.  The backdrop illuminates a skeleton of a dog with a beating heart and as the beat grows and grows the band stride out confidently, as is their wont. 
The whole set is a tremendous mix of tracks from the new album Feral Rootsand well thought out classics from the ever growing and impressive back catalogue.  The band has grown so much in confidence, feeding off the energy of the adoring fans and controlling the crowd participation with ease.  They’re always a band to be admired with beautifully crafted songs, but they have somehow managed to lift the performance to another level and it's so well deserved.  Vocals from Jay Buchanan cannot be rivalled (pardon the pun) tonight and blending with the cool style of Scott Holiday's guitars makes for sight to behold. One word for the gig; phenomenal.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Inglorious - O2 Academy Bristol, 29/01/19

Photo credit: Martin Thompson
The moment of truth came for the new Inglorious line-up on the first night of their biggest tour yet in Southampton last night and if the reviews are anything to go by, the boys are doing alright.
Tonight in Bristol they are supported by the city’s own grunge outfit Flowerpot, who are bringing their alternative energy to modern rock. This is a band that is doing its own thing and bringing their original music to an already substantial crowd in this 2,000 capacity venue. They should be proud.
Hard rocking Londoners City of Thieves up next, bringing some fast paced riffage with floor-shaking vibes so loud it’s making it hard to breathe. 
Lead singer Jamie’s t-shirt slogan seems so apt, it reads; “arrive, raise hell, leave” as that’s exactly what they do, it seems. Loaded with swag and confidence, there’s no need for niceties as they soar through their set bringing melodic and screeching rock relentlessly, namely during Incinerator which stands out as a highlight.
This bunch gives the impression they don’t give a damn, but they really know their stuff, ending their set on a high with Buzzed up City.
Inglorious congregate on-stage to the sound of their own song, ditching the previously used Match of the Day theme tune. Nathan James is bringing all of the well-honed confidence in his larger than life blond locks and fringed shirt and jeans, starting the set in a whirlwind of dramatically backlit smoke, highlights and tassels.
With new additions Danny Dela Cruz (guitar), Dan Stevens (guitar) and Vinnie Colla (bass) giving the music the respect it deserves, using their own styles rather than replicating those than came before them, the crowd is treated to tunes from the latest album Ride to Nowhere like Where Are You Now?, Freak Show and Liar, with some more than coincidental hidden meanings following their rough times of late.
Mid-set a beautiful and personal rendition of Alanis Morissette’s Uninvited is added, as melancholic as the original, but fully rocked up for this crowd, giving it a stunning edge.
The band has given the crowd a night of fully fledged rock ‘n’ roll, with depth, character, attitude and without signs of giving up or in to anything. Look forward to more from this hard-working band; maybe the future of rock is still in safe hands.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Nathaniel Rateliff - O2 Academy Bristol, 23/01/19

Bristol’s O2 Academy is literally packed to the rafters tonight, in anticipation of Denver’s jolly Stetson-donning folkers Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.
The night opens with an impressive set from UK alt-rocker Lion, who is the embodiment of female empowerment in style, channelling The White Stripes in sound with injections of the 1970's in her raspy Joplin-esque vocal.
After a mad scramble from the crowd to get a (not so) comfortable prime spot, Nathaniel and his Night Sweats, including a three-piece horn section, launch straight into those Memphis vibes they emanate so well.   
They strut through the two-hour set list, showcasing screeching sax solos and wailing trumpet, with more than a heavy dash of soul; all of which are the vital organs of the latest album Tearing at the Seams, released in March 2018 via Stax records.
With sweet melancholy remaining the source of the musical flow, the Otis Reading style A Little Honey and I Need Never Get Old keep the current drifting.
Coolin’ Out demands almost regimented stomping in the grooviest form, making hairs stand on end and deliciously turning your spine to jelly.
S.O.B obviously brings the party, being the ultimate drinking song. With mighty shouts of ‘son of a bitch….get me a drink!’ as the crowd sings along, this is the highlight of the set. Ohhhh it makes you want to dance, so bad.
Powerfully perspiring Rateliff is an inspiration who stands out in the crowd among his older, equally soulful peers. And he seems politely modest about the whole thing too.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Pompadour - 'Violet'

Cities like Bristol are prolific breeders of the arts, being cultural, unique and iconic across a broad spectrum and this definitely includes music. That’s where bands like Pompadour comes in.

The local college friends formed the band in 2018 after finding a chemistry they were unable to fight, creating original songs that would flow naturally from their song-writing ability to organic energy that fed from one to the other.
Establishing themselves in prominent venues around the city and finalising their first track in 2018, they are hungry and ready for more.

With that comes their romantically-apt titled debut single Violet, releasing on Valentine’s Day and mastered in their home town by Tom Cory (Novatines).
The song is a classic story about boy meets girl, falls in love, but doesn’t have his feeling reciprocated so starts acting like a child (you know the one). It’s juxtaposed by a jolly tempo, with sultry vocals and a catchy aura. It’s an easy listen that, like an uncontrollable but quite welcome urge to sing in the shower, creates a need to tap and nod along.

If Arctic Monkeys and The Last Shadow Puppets are your bag, then you’ll like this. Not that this doesn’t deserves much more than comparisons, as the band has created their own brand of sonic likeability.

The track will be available to purchase on ​iTunes, Amazon and Google Play​, as well as available for streaming on ​Spotify, Apple Music, and other major streaming platforms.