Introducing Dye Thunder.

Friday 17th September saw Worcester’s newest band Dye Thunder hit the Paraddidles stage as headline act for their first EVER gig. With Diesel Snakes and Shotgun Marmalade already bringing the atmosphere to near boiling point, this young, new band had seasoned footsteps to follow in.

Only officially formed as the line up that hit Paradiddles, back in July this year, the boys of Dye Thunder would be forgiven for succumbing to nerves on stage in front of a sell out audience, but, to the contrary, as the opening strains of their first original track started to play, the excitement and anticipation surrounding the new kids on the block pulsed with energy. If ever the saying “blow the roof off” needed a visual explanation, these guys gave us exactly that.

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Performing a mix of high energy originals and intense covers including Nirvana, Muse and Royal Blood, the gig room literally blew up, with a mosh pit singing and pulsating with the insane riffs and beats pounding off the stage. Vocalist Matty was the epitome of a punk rock front man, interacting with the crowd, baiting them to join in and feel the electrifying energy the band was emitting. The vibe was intoxicating, it was impossible to stand still as the catchy hooks, specifically in their original tracks such as “Death of a Party” dragged you into their world. The crowd begged for more, not wanting the adrenalin rush to end.

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After such a knock out debut gig, it’s easy to see how these guys have landed their second gig on Wednesday 13th October, as support for The Slaughterhouse Band, alongside Wood Burnt Red for an Uncover night at Drummonds.

Ahead of that, I thought I’d find out more about the band and find out what makes them tick.

So, In an exclusive interview for Worcester UK Local and Live, THIS is Dye Thunder.

Who are your musical influences?

Max:- I think probably the biggest influence on me within metal has to be Metallica and other 80s thrash, they got me into playing, as well as Soundgarden and Pantera, to name a few. But more recently, Toska, an instrumental progressive band have impacted me massively.

Your first gig at Paradiddles was a sell out. What was the feeling like on stage for you guys seeing a heaving mosh pit infront of you?

Max:- Seeing people enjoy this music that a few random guys in a room thought sounded cool, is dope as hell, especially as they’ve not heard it before. Knowing that there is still a group of people that get provoked to react in such a physical and genuine way by music just serves as a reason to keep doing it.

Charlie:- Get a definite buzz from seeing people enjoying our stage time, can’t be matched.

Matty:- I absolutely loved every second of watching people having a good time and feeling the music on the same level as we did. Easily one of the greatest feelings is knowing that you are not alone and in a room like that it feels like you are with your best friends you’ve never met.

Kieran:- The feeling of being on that stage with everyone listening to what we created was intense, originally I felt the pressure of the gig being our debut as a band, although some of us had performed in front of people before, it was the first time for me, but by the end, the crowd were shouting our lyrics back at us and moshing, I felt so relieved that they loved us. The feeling was like no other, it felt like every ounce of oxytocin in my body was released the moment we started playing.

For me, your own original tracks went down as well as, if not better than the covers you did. Do you get more of a buzz performing covers that the crowd can sing along to, or your originals and seeing the reaction?

Charlie:- It’s always amazing hearing the crowd singing along to covers we are playing by bands we hugely respect, but the reaction to our originals is even better. Knowing the work we put into them, couldn’t have gone better.

Matty:-I much prefer playing originals because it gives you complete freedom to express yourself however you wish using everything that comes from you and only you, that’s a very special feeling in life and is one I love a lot. Playing it safe is the last thing I wanna do and when you start out you’ve gotta risk it for a choccy biscuit really, which with covers is hard to do

If you had the chance to perform with any band or artist, past or present, who would it be and why?

Matty:- If I could perform with any artists by myself it would have to be Guns n Roses because the authenticity level of their rock n roll performance and then making it as fucking huge as they can is definitely something I would love to be a part of.

Do you have a favourite track to perform, and why?

Max:- I really look forward to playing Drain you. Its a cover, but it’s just really straightforward, so I can kinda let loose on that one. It breaks the ice, kinda. Of the originals probably Bliss. Just a fast thrashy metal song, takes me back to playing Metallica all day in my room.

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The futures looking very bright indeed for these guys, and the next gig promises to be BIGGER and even better. Literally, watch this space and prepare yourselves, not just for the rumble of thunder, but for the imminent explosion!

Keep up to date with info from Dye Thunder over on instagram.

DYE THUNDER ON INSTAGRAM

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Sean Jeffery – The Universe Expands – EP review

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The Universe Expands is the title of the 4 track EP released by Worcester based singer/songwriter, Sean Jeffery, back in May.

Gravitational Wave is the first track, and opens with a light shuffling beat and a prominent twang of a guitar riff, before the vocals kick in with Sean’s distinctive lyrics that cleverly take on a universe and space theme that deceptively tell an intriguing love story.

After the first verse and chorus, there is a moment where you feel the track is finishing, but in fact it’s just warming up, and more levels are mixed in to add more musical texture.

The song is delightfully upbeat, a fitting declaration that embraces the joy that the singer would feel if the object of their affection changed their mind and decided to give things a go. A joyful journey back in time would be taken, to this feel good soundtrack.

During the chorus and second verse, a female voice takes on an ethereal backing vocal, courtesy of former Hitchhiker band mate Anna Mason, who also provides guest guitar. It’s a track that drifts through the air with ease, it’s upbeat yet gentle, with no harsh unexpected twists or turns.

Next up is Ghosted, a delicate synth melody that orbits around your head, with a guitar that trickles soothingly alongside this instrumental track. There is a some what ethereal sound to the track, as each layer adds depth and substance. A musical tour through space and sound.

Earthbound is a touch of alt rock, with a grittier beat, and impressive guitar solos. This track is always a fan favourite on Seans livestreams, but takes on a whole new level of professionalism in the form of this polished track, with drums by Chris Daniels, and bass/guitar by the late Jez Cole.  A track worthy of a full band performance, but has proven it can be stripped back and performed acoustically too.
The lyrics literally bring anyone with ideas above their station, crashing back down to earth. A strong message that at the end of the day we are all equals and all await the same fate.

Serotonin takes the pace back down to showcase Seans vocals and clever songwriting, a thought provoking track that winds along beautifully, poetic lines that touch upon self doubt and losing your way, to be drawn to someone who can lift your mood and lead you through, the much needed serotonin. A subtle and fitting final track to this EP. Four very different tracks that seem to sit comfortably together as a collection. The work Sean puts into each release deserves recognition. Hard work and dedication always pay off, as the EP is a great release overall, showing a skill set to be proud of.

Goodbye Cassini -Start A War -Single Review

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Worcester based trio Goodbye Cassini brought May crashing into existence with a brand new single, Start A War. With arrangements being recorded from home studios during isolation, they were then mixed and mastered by Joe Marsh. This track has an accompanying video which was filmed and produced by the guys themselves, with newest member, drummer Shaun, being responsible for the professional looking end result.

Lyrics and music start instantaneously, with the wonderfully Scottish accented tones of singer/guitarist Stewart narrating a relatable tale of “that” person we all know, that will start a war over nothing, just for the sake of an argument. The undulating guitar riff and teasing of the drums with cymbals crash like delicate waves behind the story, as the anger against the bully, the narcissist, builds, and leads into a powerful chorus with an anthemic message to stand your ground.

Start a war becomes a chant to inspire and encourage, every beat of the song represents a blow, a punch to the soul, a bassline provided by Colin, hums and whirs along, taking a powerful step along this musical journey. A fight back before the track slows, allowing us to take a breath, build ourselves back up, recharge before the final call to fight a battle every day.

Lyrically, this track is ambitious and wordy, a clever way of getting across a message, and delivered with an immense amount of passion. You can hear the resentment towards the subject matter of this three and a half minute track.

The video shows how you carry around the words said to you by the narcissist in your life, how you are shouted down, brought to your wits end, and ultimately what it could lead you to do.

For a three piece band, musically this is a intricate offering of sparkling guitar effects and thumping drums, inspiring fists being punched into the air. An alt rock band that delivers on every note and each lyric.

The track has been out less than a month but has already had radio airplay and inclusion in Spotify playlists. The fire and emotion bundled into this tune is begging for a live audience, it would literally bring the house down.Set to be a crowd pleaser, for absolute sure.

Kyle Parsons – Gold – Single Review

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Once in a while, the vocals of a singer can capture your whole attention, make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, with their tone and warmth.

Kyle Parsons has one of those voices.

His new single “Gold”, is spun with heart warming notes , telling the story of someone who moves away to pursue a romance that ultimately fails. After spiralling into depression, Gold symbolises their restorative journey home. The message woven into this track, released on 7th May, is that it’s not the outward journey, but the tracing of your steps, where you learn the most about yourself.

A shuffle of drum beats gives a positive start to a beautifully strumming track, a literal poem set to music. Kyle’s voice is like a comforting embrace as it lilts and rises with a tenderness not heard often from a male vocalist.

The subtly of guitar, drums, bass and keyboard float gently alongside each other, combining to create a glittering soundtrack to help Kyle’s golden tones shimmer even more. The melody lies with the keyboard, which trickles magnificently, carrying the lyrics upon the waves of each note.

Such a beautiful track, think of the sun seeping through the trees on a warm evening, an image the cover art artwork shows, and is perfectly fitting.

The high notes Kyle reaches as the track reaches its end are incredible, I make no secret of being a huge fan of this guy’s voice, his range means he could sing anything and it would be as smooth as liquid gold.

It’s no surprise that this single is written, performed and produced by Kyle himself, the emotion and commitment to the meaning behind the lyrics is one that can only be expressed by someone who has taken the journey to write them. What comes from that is a single that holds so much empathy and understanding both musically and lyrically.  The track was part recorded at ACM Birmingham by Steve Adkins, and part recorded in Kyle’s home studio, adding yet another element to this feel good, comforting single.

After discovering Kyle’s music, I literally can not wait to see him perform live. His music is perfect for an acoustic guitar set that will pull on your heart strings, make your spine tingle with warmth and get you waving your phone torches in the air. A super talented singer/songwriter that deserves to be heard and adored.

Kyle whatever “it” is, you’ve got it.

Sean Jeffery – Gravitational Wave- Single Review

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Worcester based singer/songwriter Sean Jeffery is an established musician on the local music scene, and has continued to perform under “new normal” circumstances, with almost daily live streams on a number of platforms.

On top of that, he’s been working on the release of his upcoming EP, set for release later this year.

Gravitational Wave, released on 26th March, is the lead single. It seemed an obvious choice, as it became popular for the online gig audiences. Of the track, Sean says  “I’m a bit of a science geek, so the song first came into being when I heard on the news about the first direct observation of gravitational waves in 2015.”

From there, the lyrics took a more accessible journey into everyday reflections on relationships, while retaining the notion of travelling back in time to win over the subject of the track on the crest of the very first gravitational wave.

The song was  given a chance to develop further as it, and other tracks, were test-driven during the lockdown live streams.

The track opens with a light shuffling beat and a prominent twang of a guitar riff, before the vocals kick in with Sean’s distinctive lyrics that cleverly take on a universe and space theme that deceptively tell an intriguing love story.

After the first verse and chorus, there is a moment where you feel the track is finishing, but in fact it’s just warming up, and more levels are mixed in to add more musical texture.

The song is delightfully upbeat, a fitting declaration that embraces the joy that the singer would feel if the object of their affection changed their mind and decided to give things a go. A joyful journey back in time would be taken, to this feel good soundtrack.

During the chorus and second verse, a female voice takes on an ethereal backing vocal, courtesy of former Hitchhiker band mate Anna Mason, who also provides guest guitar. It’s a track that drifts through the air with ease, it’s upbeat yet gentle, with no harsh unexpected twists or turns. It lifts your spirits and steers you away from the black hole.

Recorded and mixed in Sean’s home studio, Gravitational Wave has all the qualities needed for a heart-warming tune. Lyrically, Sean’s songwriting skills shine, and I truly believe this is where he stands out, and is the element that makes him a distinguished artist.  With a lyric video on its way, and eye catching artwork created by A Level Fine Art student Megan, Sean’s daughter, this is a great introduction to the collection of tracks set to appear on the EP.

Kieran – I Don’t Want To – Single Review

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When I was a teenager, life was simple. I didn’t have social media seeping into every aspect of my life, exposing every element of my relationships to a watching pack of wolves. I didn’t know what my friends were up to after college until I saw them the next day. And I certainly wasn’t subjected to seeing what my exes were up to just days after a relationship ended. Today’s generation of teens have it tough. It’s a subject 17 year old Kieran decided to tackle in a song produced as part of an A-Level music tech course. “I Don’t Want To” is a gritty, hard hitting track about a break up, with a no holds barred approach to lyrically describing the aftermath of the relationship ending, and a subsequent betrayal.

The track opens with a voicemail, presumably the girl in question, that suggests she wants to remain friends. The rest of the song plays out as the voicemail left in reply, which cleverly reveals the story of the relationship, the break up and the events that followed.

Self taught musician Kieran plays all the guitar you hear on this track, with a cutting and whining intro that sets the mood for the unfolding story. With the track being written, recorded and produced by Kieran himself from his bedroom during lockdowns, musically it stands tall.

The lyrics are raw, powerful and honest, a fantastic work of creative genuis that spells out, without a doubt, the pain caused by the end of a relationship that once promised the world. Muted vocals replicate the tinny playback of a voicemail.

The melancholy guitar continues throughout the track, stitching hard hitting verses seamlessly into the darker chorus, where the layers of the track build and rise in tempo, as a declaration is made that there’s no going back. No amount of talking or calling will bring even a friendship back.

The second verse reveals the sting in the tail, a betrayal that uncovers why the track holds such a sinister tone.

The instrumental bridge before the final round of the chorus is majorly impressive, as Kieran expertly takes his guitar on a twisting and turning journey which really showcases his skills as a musician. An energetic drum beat builds the tension, a cacophony of pent up anger spilling audibly out. The track ends with the voicemail being deleted, signifying perhaps that despite the anger and resentment, the storyteller is not yet ready for his side to be heard.

Lyrically this track is maturely poetic for such a young artist. The professionalism shown in the production of this track is promising for a bright future. With many more songs “pending”, this is a musician worth looking out for.

Spotify Link Click Here

Instagram and Facebook @musicbykieran

Lower Loveday – Is It Right? – Single Review

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Rarely does a band come around, where everything they produce can capture the imagination of a wide range of music lovers, and draw them in like a transfixing addiction. For me, Lower Loveday do just that. New single “Is it Right?” , released  on 13th November, has the same infectious appeal as previous tracks, guaranteeing to resonate with existing fans and new listeners.

The intro is high energy electro pop that brings a retro element to the track, with a repetitive click to rope you into an infectious beat. Drums soon join and already you are compelled to tap and click along. The layers of sound evolve even more when a punchy guitar riff ramps this explosive song onto another platform of greatness. Is It Right?, questions the sanity of thinking about someone all day and all night when you first start to fall for them, and whether morally, it is indeed right to be drawn in by someone who is potentially playing games.

The chorus is addictively catchy, with the lyrics easy to pick up and relate to, which moulds this track into the perfect pick me up to sing along to. It’s a mood lifter, for sure, absorbing your mood and turning up the happy vibes.

This Manchester based pop duo from Worcestershire bring energy to music life with knock out bass lines that hum along deeply under the recognisable vocals of singer Mark, and energetic vigorous beats fashioned from the  drum sticks of Tom. If pure energy had a sound, Lower Loveday are the ones to create it. Their ability to collide musical particles and come up with impressive songs that wouldn’t tire on repeat, is not one to be overlooked.

The second round of the chorus leads into a moderato bridge segment, with a faster tap running alongside a vocallised question of whether a game is being played with their feelings , is it real, and is it right? , providing intellectual food for thought, although the delicious vibe of the song as a whole surely makes it dessert for the soul.  A short but highly fused musical section takes us into one last round of the chorus before the song finishes abruptly with a perfectly placed full stop.

The harmony and melody piece together to create this intoxicating tonic of a track, making it akin to the feeling you get when the DJ plays “your song”.The different elements of the track flow brilliantly, making for a honey sweet indie pop tune, which is what I’ve come to expect from these guys. They just keep getting better and better…. bring on the next tune!

Open Mic @ The Firefly

If , like me , music is what keeps your heart beating and fires the sparkle in your eyes , then this global pandemic would’ve smothered the flames to a damp pile of dying embers . Yes , most of my favourite local musicians continued to do live streams to keep the flickers of a flame going, but it was real life , in the flesh, live music that took the biggest blow, preventing my gently nurtured campfire from igniting into the wild bonfire I was craving . Sure, as restrictions eased , outdoor live music was once again permitted , and the temptation to dive right into “whatever/wherever” was on offer, was strong. Although I didn’t . Still unsure how it would be with limited numbers, social distancing, and a fear , albeit very mild, of good old Covid 19 , I waited. Subliminal maybe, I was waiting for the right “fit” if that makes any sense at all .

Step forward “The Firefly” in Lowesmoor. Open mic night on a Thursday kept popping up on my news feed . A few local musicians that I know and love became regulars performing there . I had to go, the pull of live music far outweighed my uncertainties of a virus that had held me captive for 4 months.

Thursday 17th September was my 5th time going and its safe to say I have found my happy place again . Let’s start with the Firefly itself . Firstly , staff are amazing . Every member of the team puts you at ease, and treats you like a member of the family popping round for a cuppa . Table booking has become essential for this popular night, and upon arrival, you are escorted to your table and encouraged to order via the app to get food and drink brought to table . As a cider drinker , my thirst served is always quenched by the variety on offer . The food menu is solely, 100% vegan . Although not a vegan myself, I have devoured the loaded fries, and a burger have gone down well within my social “bubble” too . Hand sanitiser is available throughout and around the bar, though if you order via the app you have no reason to leave your table, and to be fair, why would you want to? The setting is perfect, wooden benches, strictly limited to people in their own bubbles, subtle lights and floral decorations dotted around the outside, umbrellas on tables, it’s easy to forget where you are. Good vibes and atmosphere is oozing from this little gem, to help transport you to a better place. A place where live music is allowed.

Now to the event itself. Hosted by popular local singer/songwriter Kringo Blue, the night is always opened up with a little set packed full of his signature style. Laid back, chilled out vibes with skillful, warbling guitar, Kringo offers up his own versions of songs, including a spectacular cover of Seven Nation Army, which is always my favourite. Kringos sound is unique within his covers and originals, a quality hard to find, and even harder to stick to and make a constant throughout a setlist…. Kringo makes it seem easy.

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The evening is then opened up to anyone. It’s mostly a pre-booked in running order, but anyone could potentially put their name down on the night to perform a song or two. Over the weeks I’ve been going , variety has been the name of the game, with a host of familiar faces and new discoveries. Among the familiar I’ve seen, Sean Jeffery offers up a set of crowd pleasing covers, and will occasionally throw in a self penned original, with open mics being the perfect platform to get new music heard. Although Sean appears quietly unassuming, he proves he is a seasoned professional time and again, clearly dedicated to delivering a quality performance. “Blinded By The Sun” by much underrated 90s band The Seahorses comes out top for me from his eclectic range of covers. A faultless set showing commitment, and a true appreciation of quality on show.

Bobby has taken to the mic a couple of times, literally letting his hair down to belt out an insanely epic version of Chris Isaaks “Wicked Game”, with the deep and sultry voice to match. Vocally versatile, Bobby can also hit the high notes when needed, and encourages audience interaction with his version of “Old Town Road”.

Both former members of The Fidgets, Max and Ryan, have rocked up on a regular basis, mostly performing individually, but on one occasion they teamed up to do a little set of songs from the bands’ busking days, “I Feel Fine” by The Beatles being a firm favourite, songs to raise a smile.

Ryan’s solo mix includes old, new and original material, with songs that span decades, his delicate but dynamic vocals make for an adorably heartwarming set. Each of his performances will always leave the socially distanced crowd wanting more. Ryan’s versions of “It Must Be Love” and “Its a Wonderful World” have stood out for me, for the very fact his voice has moulded itself around the lyrics and claimed the songs as his own. Simply beautiful.

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Max tends to pick up the pace with up tempo covers, songs that allow his personality and passion for playing, burn bright. His energy alone can warm even the coolest evenings. His distinctive voice is one of perfection for the set list he offers up, from “These Boots are Made for Walking” to “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head”, anyone familiar with Max would know its him singing, if just walking past the enclosed safe haven of the beer garden. To be instantly recognisable is not something every artist can claim, but this guy has individuality wrapped up in abundance. By far the highlight of his most recent set was his own song “You”, a beautiful little love song that feeds my desire of hearts and romance. Having only ever heard this song on Spotify and live streams, as released during lockdown, there was something quite poignant about hearing it played right infront of me. A natural entertainer with an infectious stage presence.

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Then there’s Matt, who my “bubble” guests and I have decided would be a perfect hotel lounge bar singer due to his dusky vocals and crooning classic covers. Matt is a real cool cat, and has treated us to smoky renditions of “Mercy Mercy Me” and “Lets Stay Together “. An effortlessly awesome, easy listening set of music that actively encourages good times and social get togethers. Another laid back performer who just “delivers” and sets the mood in the aforementioned perfect setting.

To break up the line ups with some much needed girl power, Hannah Webb has teamed up with Ben Hall to add delicate harmonising vocals, and also performed a showcase of her angelic voice for a short set. In an earlier week I heard an outstanding rendition of “At Last” by a female vocalist. Portia Smith has belted out Valerie with Kringo on guitar, and the evenings have seen a real mix of instrumental talent too. There are many more that I haven’t mentioned, but honestly equally enjoyed. Live music, it’s just “my thing”, you know.

Despite the evenings taking on an seasonal Autumnal chill, being surrounded by like minded music lovers in a safe and cosy environment provided by The Firefly, my musical bonfire has finally had its flames fanned by some much needed LIVE music.

To all involved, I thank you. From the bottom of my soppy little heart, you don’t know how much what you all do means to me.

Faux Fighters, Real Performance

Saturday 1st September.

New month and a new band for me to review.
I’d heard a lot about The Faux Fighters. I was all set to see them last time they visited Worcester, but I wasn’t well and couldn’t make it. From what I heard after, I’d missed out. I wasn’t about to let that happen again.
This time, the band had support from local band Altered Voltage. Singer Tash, who I’ve written about before, opened the evening with three solo songs, serenading the growing crowd as the doors opened. As before, when I saw her provide support for U2Baby, Tash mesmorised everyone with her dulcet tones, again stunning everyone during her performance of Wicked Games.

Tash of Altered Voltage taken by Kieran Ford

She was joined on stage by her Altered Voltage band mates to perform an eclectic set of 8 songs. Being in a group transforms Tash, from being the simplistic guitar strumming songbird, into a crazy little rocker, and the foursome gel wonderfully onstage together. The songs chosen were perfect to show case the bands collective skills and knowledge of music, choosing perhaps lesser known tunes and turning them into their own. For such a young band, they had a captive audience, everyone I heard talking about them was lavashing deserved praise

.  The band attracted at least two people to the dancefloor from the opening song, Wolves of Winter by Biffy Clyro, and there they stayed for the whole set.  I’ve heard that Swim Down by Moose Blood is a band favourite to perform and it showed, the energy from all four members was insane and it was impossible not to fall in love with everything this band has to offer. Every time I see them perform, they have grown, evolved. And it’s exciting.

 “I bet you look good on the Dancefloor” was arguably the song that ramped up the mood in the venue, calling for frantic dance moves from the crowd and onstage. 

A dedication from the singer to her Dad led us into  popular choice, No-one Knows by Queens of the Stone Age, before the set was concluded with Lights Out by Royal Blood,a song which has previously, aptly, caused stage malfunctions when performed by the band, inspiring their name. The only sparks that flew this time though, came from the group themselves,  proving they were very worthy candidates to warm up the waiting crowd. 

​Since delving into this writing malarkey, I’ve found myself in a position where I’m reviewing music I’m not familiar with. Original artists are great, as their music is previously unheard by most of the people in the venue. When you’re reviewing a tribute band however, the opposite is true. Facing the mighty Faux Fighters, I felt I was wet behind the ears, a little like an outsider, if I’m honest, and the pressure to “get it right” was immense. The venue had filled with people who would know The Foo Fighters inside out, and apart from maybe two songs, I knew NOTHING! 

I knew what the band looked like, I knew who the lead singer was, but I’d never watched any of their live performances, although I had caught a song they performed at The Brits this year. Their music had passed me by. Was I finally out of my depth with this one? Would I have to admit defeat? Armed with notebook,pen and a whole heap of determination, I waited. 

As taken by Kieran Ford

As the screen lifted and the intro led into the opening song “No way back”, the first thing to hit me was the singers striking resemblance to Dave Grohl. Staggering infact. The two “dancers” had stayed front and centre and were joined by a friend, a small crowd forming as the band threw their energy off the stage and into the venue. No pause for breath between one song into the next, “I’ll stick around” enticed more people onto the dance floor, filling it up in front of us so we had no choice but to stand. “Up in Arms” and “My Hero” , which incidentally was the first song I recognised, followed. The music was loud, and polished. These guys were clearly professionals at what they were delivering.

The fifth song of the first set served up a little surprise. Tash from Altered Voltage and Maddie from another local band, Nexus, joined the band onstage to provide harmonic backing vocals for Sky is a Neighbourhood, the song I remembered was performed on the Brits earlier this year. The song has the perfect alt-rock pulse to suit the trio of singers now onstage and it’s fair to say this moment was certainly one that would be talked about after the show.

Sky is a Neighbourhood featuring Tash and Maddie

 The groovy beat and winding guitars in Generator headed up another run of crowd pleasing favourites. The songs were delivered with so much passion, I had to wonder how I’d gotten through life without ever hearing them before. It certainly was the kind of music I like, and the Faux Fighters were expertly serving me each song in perfectly digestible ear splitting, throat tearing morsels of awesomeness. As the first set came to end with “Stacked Actors”, the venue was fit to burst, as more people joined the Faux party, long since ditching a Peaky Blinders event that had happened earlier that evening, to join us while dressed in their finest outfits. 

As I’ve admitted to not knowing much about the Foo Fighters, I took the opportunity to talk to the people around me who clearly did. The best testament a tribute act can get is that of a die hard fan of the original band. One guy I chatted to had seen the Foos several times live, each ticket costing him an arm and a leg, but in his opinion, worth every penny. He did however then say, “but for a tenner I’ve seen these guys, the music is just as good, he bloody looks like Dave, it might as well be the real thing”. Out of the mouths of fans. 

The band came roaring back onto stage and into the limelight with the power of wild lion. “Rope” opened the set, then into “Breakout” which , from assessing the adoring crowd, was a winner with the fans. By this point , the guy behind me had noticed me frantically taking notes, desperate to capture the atmosphere I was feeling there and then, and decided to take it upon himself to remind me to add “potatoes” to my shopping list, a joke that became a running theme throughout the rest of the evening. “Learn to Fly” was jam packed full of rip roaring riffs, causing the swaying crowd to sing, dance, jump and bounce in unison. Blokes hugging, songs have meanings to people, and if a tribute act can successfully convey the same meaning to a person as the original artist, then that’s proof indeed that they must be doing something right. 

The guys took the opportunity inbetween songs to do a few birthday wishes to crowd members before going into “For all the cows” , prompting the guy behind me to tell me to add milk to my now hypothetical comedic shopping list. Two more songs ran into a wind down “Wheels” and I really studied what was going on around me and on stage. The crowd was literally buzzing, as if the ground beneath them was electrified, making them jump around uncontrollably. They were loving it. The band members looked professional, they looked as though they were performing to thousands, not hundreds, they looked like the real deal to my eyes, my eyes that would only recognise Dave Grohl on a Foo Fighters poster. I guess what I’m trying to say is that they looked like they belonged up there on that stage. As far as I was concerned, they might as well of been the real deal.  Not knowing enough of their music before hand to make a comparison, I could only go on my feeling on the night itself. It was a good feeling. Not one person remained seated. All eyes and ears were on the band. If anyone left early, I sure as hell didn’t notice. All I saw were more and more people squeeze onto the dancefloor as each drum bashing, guitar screeching, vocal powered song went by. 

They have the ability to turn a small dance floor into a heaving mosh pit. That’s admirable! 

After All My Life and Arlandria, thanks was given to my partner in crime Sarah, for taking the photos. Sarah is one of those die hard, life long fans of The Foo Fighters, and having heard her talk about these guys before, I knew I’d be in for a treat.

By the time they reached “Best of you”, I was a mental, hot and sweaty mess. I got adopted by the guys that had been around us all evening and whisked into the middle of the dance floor in a long line of bouncing bodies and intertwined arms. The songs outtro lasted an eternity, with strains of “woah ooh-oh” from the crowd continuing long after the song had finished, reaching its climax with a Mexican wave of adoring arms showing how much the music was being appreciated. If that had been the last song of the set, I have a feeling we would still be there now. I have only ever experienced that kind of reaction to one song before, and that is when Shed Seven finished a live gig with “Chasing Rainbows” , and the chorus continues long after the band has milked the adoration, left the stage and the crowd is back out in the street heading home . It’s epic. It’s belonging. It’s what music does. It’s what good bands evoke. 

“Pretender” took the already manic crowd to a whole other level, before more screaming vocals on Run led into Monkey Wrench and then the finale song “Everlong” leaving the crowd wanting more. But there was no more to give. The guys had put everything they’d got into that performance, leaving it lingering within everyone that was there to witness a tour worthy show. 

My words can only say so much about a performance like this. My words are no substitute to actually being there. The photos can capture a small snap shot of the evening, but you have to be there to feel the heat, and the passion from the band and it’s fans. 

To The Faux Fighters themselves, well done and thank you. You were kinda epic! 
Follow the band:-

The Faux Fighters on Facebook

Photos unless otherwise stated by Lissywitch Photos.

Follow Altered Voltage on Facebook and catch them next at Dragon Heart Rocks www.dragonheart.nutickets.com

Uncover presents- Heinz-sight, White Noise Cinema, Sam Hollis and Friends and Skewwhiff.

​Friday 17th August
Uncover presents Heinz-sight, White Noise Cinema, Sam Hollis and friends, and Skewwhiff.

Heinz-sight

First up on the night was solo artist Heinz-sight. Having seen him ordering a drink at the bar before his set, I could sense nerves from this guy as he took to the stage, with spot light and all eyes firmly on him. Even seasoned professional performers get nerves, and to me, this shows a sign of true passion for spilling their thoughts out to strangers from a stage, with nowhere to run and hide. Opening track “Needle in a haystack” was a jolly little tune, with an infectious hook that drew you in , and original lines such as ” Bet your lips taste so sweet, a thousand different flavours of Rowntrees. I know that line, is pure cheese, but sometimes cheese is just what the world needs ” put a smile on my face and of those around me. “Music Man” was next up, with a military march drum beat behind the first chorus, the artist showed a mix of genres and lyrically it felt like we were being shown the pages of his diary. Clearly, I think, autobiographical words made into a mix tape of sounds during his set list. A selection of songs from previous EPs and his current one “Indie-sctructable”  . Music Man was definitely a toe tapper, with empowering words- “so many people trying to get you down, the trick is not to show your frown”.

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More tracks “Indie-vidual” , “Sulk” (which was a recognisable tantrum turned into a song, awesome!) and “Ghost”- written about an ex , reinforced my suspicions that the words we were hearing were personal and somewhat private, but he had a story to tell and he wanted to tell it!

“Give it” was the sets closing song, with its electro pop back track , it’s clever lyrics told of modern image, how social media plays a part, and the set was concluded with a little speech about body image,  and how we should all be who we are without bowing to the pressure of social medias unrealistic expectations.

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White Noise Cinema

Next up were White Noise Cinema, a 6 piece band with so much equipment on stage it was unbelievable. I’m not technical with instruments but to the untrained eye, there were drums, 2 guitars, 3 keyboardy “things” , one with a set of side drums. I didn’t know where to look! Now I’ll admit to not catching the titles of some songs so, writers privileges taken to describe them! The opening song, perhaps “More than us”, had me intrigued from the get go. Every instrument played a major role in creating an epic sound blasting throughout the venue. The band members themselves, like the collection of instruments, were varied, from the topless drummer, to the unassuming singer with a surprisingly powerful voice, the mix worked. The second song, introduced more musical delights, introducing tambourine and megaphone to the cacophony of delights, intertwined with the epic guitar riffs we were hearing.

The third song was a little softer, perhaps entitled Ghosts, the singer also picked up a guitar,I’m sure I spotted a maraca, and I was feeling Maroon 5 vibes, although the guitarist on the left hand side of the stage would be suited to a Muse tribute band, my eyes and ears were often drawn to him. The fourth song we heard is ear marked to be released later in the year as a single, and again took my mind to Muse, this time the song “Madness” was emulated in my head .  It’s guttural beat winds right down Nirvana style before surging back up with a vengeance.

A song about mental illness, Thin Skin perhaps, ended the set with floor thumping power. The creativity from this band is something I’ve never seen before and I’m excited to follow their career from now on. I was accompanied by two critical teens on this occasion , and both of them loved White Noise Cinema, praise indeed!

Sam Hollis & friends

Third up on the stage was singer /songwriter Sam Hollis and friends. A quirky bunch of 5 guys with three guitars, a keyboard and drums between them, and with a set list of 7 equally quirky songs. We were treated to a little “uni lads vibe”. Singer Sam was heavily reminiscent, in the way he dresses and moved on stage, to Jarvis Cocker, a little eccentric compared to one of his band mates who looked like he’d just got out of bed! This isn’t a bad thing, oh no, it added to the feel of the set and made for interesting viewing. The songs again were written from experience, relationships being an obvious choice, although guitar heavy Deep Again seemed to focus on a best friends betrayal. “Love Dreams” was my favourite song of their set, full of attitude and smoky bar sass. Collectively these guys are very competent musicians producing musically unique songs they can be proud of. They seem to focus on the band’s sound as a whole without the need for too many instrumental solos, although Ciaran on keyboard (who I’ve reviewed before as a solo artist under his stage name “Keys”) got a little mention and a nod to his skills in the 6th song. Closing song 21st Century saw the bed head guitarist sit on the floor, following a quirky little back to the audience dance move. Groovy numbers from these likeable lads with a lot to offer. Definitely ones to watch.

Headline act Skewwhiff have also had the pleasure of being reviewed by me before so I’m not needing to do an in-depth report of this gig, although, it’s fair to say, each time I see this foursome, I love them a little bit more each time. 

Skewwhiff

This band, who musically refuse to sit in just the one genre box, and are loved and supported locally, deserve to have huge success. Festival favourites across the country, the music is infectious and relatable. Their set of 13 songs should be an album, as each song seamlessly links to another creating a radio ready play list for anyone seeking feel good music to sing and dance to.  Not that any of us can keep up with the vocal talents of lead singer Beanie, aka Hannah. Third song on the set “Gizmo”, shows how this talented lady can lend her delicate vocals to all kinds of music styles, ska, punk, and yes, she can even rap. Each band member, with Beanie on vocals, Hogey on guitar, Sammy on bass and Glazz on drums, is professional on stage and their hard work and commitment to their own songs is clear to hear. By the fourth song, Sam Hollis and friends took to the dance floor and entertained us with their moves as one hit after another kept the good times flowing. It is impossible not to boogie either on the dance floor or in your seat to these guys, their catchy numbers flow into you, hooking their little sound waves into your nerves and muscles and make you move to the music.

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Beanie

As a proud owner of Skewwhiffs long player CD “Nice Little Upper”, I’ve loved tracks such as Startrite, and Skidaddle, for a long time, since it’s release in 2014 infact, a firm favourite being “Its Obvious” , a song about the paradise of equality in a relationship, the beauty of being equal but different.  However I’m always looking for new music and I’m hoping there’s a new release on the horizon featuring tracks such as the cheeky “Doll Parts” and the encore “Hey Mister”. If you’ve never seen these guys live before, you need to. Their style cannot be pin pointed so appeal to such a wide audience! You’ll want to be at the front of the crowd, but you’ll have to push past me to get there!

Video is a snippet of “Startrite” .