Ash have been together for 30 years, but it was their two years apart which ultimately inspired their brilliant new album.
Like the rest of the world, Tim Wheeler (guitar/vocals), Mark Hamilton and Rick McMurray (drums) were blindsided by the pandemic. It enforced not only the first extended period of downtime the band have ever had in their incredible three-decade career, but also became the longest they’d gone without seeing each other since they met at school in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland.
So, when they were finally reunited to rehearse for a livestream gig in the dark days of 2021, there were some understandable nerves at how it might go.
“Madly, we sounded like we’d never been away,” grins McMurray. “We sounded better than ever. It was probably one of my favourite days of being in a band – there was just such a buzz to get back in a room together.”
That buzz extended to reviewing the next steps for one of Britain’s most beloved bands. Following 2018’s highly acclaimed Islands album, the band had intended to release the follow-up quickly. And, indeed, they had most of an eclectic, part-rock/part-electronic album – some songs even predating the Islands sessions – in the can, even before the world ground to a halt.
But the catharsis of getting back together, supplemented by the joyous reaffirmation of their immense Teenage Wildlife greatest hits tour – which started pre-Covid and finally wrapped in March 2023 – amidst the chaos of a rapidly changing world prompted a rethink.
Tim Wheeler – as you’d expect from one of the greatest songwriters of his generation – had kept writing throughout Ash’s enforced lay-off. And he had turned up for the band’s re-boot camp with a rucksack stuffed full of hard-rocking anthems ready to go. And after all, heavy times call for heavier music.
“I played a shit-ton of guitar in the pandemic,” grins Wheeler, who spent one particularly bored moment in lockdown mastering every single note of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird. “There are some quite outstanding guitar solos on this record which are probably a result of that!”
The solos are, indeed, pretty awesome. But then, the self-produced Race The Night – the band’s eighth full-length studio album, no less – is outstanding in every respect. Having shut down their New York studio base as the pandemic kicked off, the band headed back to the Oh Yeah studio in Belfast with renewed focus and emerged with a record that combines the irresistible rock riffs of 2004’s blistering Meltdown album with the melodic mastery of its 2001 predecessor, Free All Angels – all wrapped up with a distinctly 2023 twist. And, with the distant rumblings of an oft-mooted rock revival on the horizon, it might just be the essential guitar-centric, anthem-packed album the world has been waiting for.
“The last time we went this rock, it happened to coincide with the world going totally indie,” laughs McMurray. “So hopefully we’ll be catching the wave this time!”
“It’s not a calculated move,” stresses Wheeler. “It’s just the timing is lucky. I went to see Mudhoney in Brooklyn and it reconnected me to our early rock spirit – I came out thinking, ‘This is something we could explore again…’”
And explore it they do. Race The Night starts with a bang(er) in the form of its title track and lead single – a song that Wheeler says is about “chance encounters and grasping opportunities with both hands”, something that’s likely to strike a chord as the world finally gets back to normal.
From there, the album fizzes with the barn-storming likes of Crashed Out Wasted – featuring what a newly teetotal McMurray jokes is his attempt to “sum up 29 years of heavy drinking in one drum part” – and Double Dare which, according to Wheeler, is a “rocking Beastie Boys-type song with a lot of braggadocio in the lyrics”, also featuring the return of turntablist Dick Kurtaine, who last scratched Ash’s hip-hop itch on 1998’s Nu-Clear Sounds.
There’s the lethal punk detonation of Peanut Brain, the shortest song an Ash album has ever seen, but no less devastating for its brevity. There’s the scorching Reward In Mind, featuring what Hamilton calls “the best-ever guitar hooks in our catalogue”. And then there’s Like A God, a song so epic it’s been split into two, its powerful reprise providing a brutally uncompromising finale to the album.
“The plan is to have a proper circle pit stampede when we play it live,” grins Hamilton. “It’s definitely got Led Zeppelin vibes.”
But there is also true emotional depth amidst the rock mayhem. Oslo is the record’s big ballad, a beautiful duet between Wheeler and Dutch singer Démira, while the poignant Usual Places channels a real sense of loss.
“I wrote it towards the end of my time in New York,” says Wheeler. “I was thinking about all the places that had closed in the time since I’d moved there. New York has a way of very unsentimentally building over its past, so things disappear. And it made me think about getting older and how the faces of your youth often just aren’t there anymore, they’re only in your memory.”
It’s this ability to cover multiple bases, while always pushing forward, that has kept Ash a vital, growing concern ever since they blasted out of Downpatrick as teenagers with their Number One debut album, 1977.
Most of their contemporaries have faded away, or at least split up before returning, but Ash’s light shines as brightly as ever. For this album, they’re even back on Fierce Panda Records, which released one of their earliest recordings, Punkboy, on 1994’s guaranteed-real-teenagers Crazed And Confused EP.
“What’s our secret?” muses Wheeler as he contemplates why the trio are still together and thriving after all these years. “Making new music and being excited about it keeps us going. We’re lucky we’ve got a great fanbase. And it’s the power of three. If you can get the dynamics going between three people, it’s a lot easier than with a larger group. And we got the formula right early on…”
And certainly, the band that slays together, stays together. Wheeler may jokingly dismiss the recent flurry of ‘90s reunions as “part-timers and quitters – not lifers like us!”, but there is a strength that comes from perseverance and never letting your musical standards drop.
“Writing is a constant journey,” he says. “It’s rare for an artist to stay in one place. There are always evolutions.”
And, as well as music, Ash have always been ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. They became early-adopters of the internet’s direct-to-fan capabilities. With their singles-only A-Z series, they pioneered innovative subscription release schedules when Spotify was still just a twinkle in Daniel Ek’s eye. And they have never once shyed away from the changes wrought on the music business since its ‘90s heyday.
Those changes continue apace but, as McMurray points out, “If you put Ash’s back catalogue into AI, it wouldn’t know what the fuck to do next!”
Luckily, this most vital of bands always intuitively knows the best course of action. And that’s why Race The Night deserves to sit amongst the upper echelons of Ash’s cherished history, and remind the world that – even with 30 years of greatness behind them – the best may be yet to come.
As separations go, this one couldn’t have been more civil. There were no awkward exchanges or scores to be settled when The Feeling decided to go on an indefinite hiatus in 2016. Merely a sense that the next challenges that lay ahead didn’t necessarily fall within the parameters of a group that had existed in one form or another since they were teenagers. Five albums in ten years had yielded a string of radio classics such as Sewn, Never Be Lonely, Without You, I Thought It Was Over and Fill My Little World, the group’s status cemented by the celebratory live shows that earned them an intensely loyal fanbase right up to the back-to-basics power pop of their eponymous fifth album. “It wasn’t like we were splitting up, as such,” recalls bassist Richard Jones, “more that we agreed to put nothing in the diary.”
The timing was apt, as it turned out. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – the musical cowritten by front man Dan Gillespie Sells alongside Tom MacRae and Jonathan Buterell – had premiered at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre to a rapturous reception, before commencing a West End run that continues to this day. With Film4 acquiring Everybody’s Talking About Jamie for a film adaptation, other studios started to beat a path to Dan’s door. For the rest of the group, family seemed to merge effortlessly with the day-to-day business of playing music: Ciaran and Kevin Jeremiah (keyboards and guitar) recorded an acclaimed album of original folk-flecked compositions. Richard Jones balanced session work alongside touring with his wife Sophie Ellis-Bextor – whose house band also featured Ciaran on keyboards. And yet, like one of those phone calls where you keep saying goodbye, but neither party wants to put the phone down, The Feeling just couldn’t quite bring themselves to end it.
“I think I realised it almost straight away,” smiles Dan, “I think there might have been five minutes, several years previously, where I was like, ‘Maybe I’d be liberated from The Feeling if I was just Dan.’ And then the next thought was, like ‘Hang on, I hate being on my own! And pretty much any musical idea I have, the four musicians around me know what I’m getting at.’ Even to the point that when we were working on the soundtrack to the musical, these were the guys I reached out to. In our own tiny way, it was a bit like when the Bee Gees stopped making records in the 80s but carried on working together for other projects.”
Fans of the band will attest that this was a “break-up” like no other. As well as playing on the Everybody’s Talking About Jamie soundtrack, there was also a tour to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of their triple platinum debut album Twelve Stops And Home – which, as Richard recalls, “re-engaged us with what it was about the band that made that such a special album. We were selling out bigger venues and this time around, the audience knew every word of every song – and that seemed to have a huge effect on Dan especially.”
“It’s all about distance,” suggests Dan, “You look back at certain records, and there’s always some objective beyond writing the actual songs – be it trying to write hit singles [Together We Were Made] or just having the five of us playing on it with no additional instruments [Boy Cried Wolf]. and this time around, none of that mattered. It was just a matter of doing what felt right for each song. If the songs didn’t have a strong enough reason to exist, then I just didn’t finish them.” What Dan swiftly noticed as the 2020 lockdown stretched into the summer was the effect of having written songs for a musical.
“Every line has to do its share of heavy lifting. If you put in something just to fill up the space, it confuses the audience because they’re closely following a narrative.” And, of course, as the extraordinary events of 2020 played out in the world beyond Dan’s East London home, there was no shortage of inspiration to “fill up the space.” Taken as awhole, the resulting songs on The Feeling’s self-produced sixth album Loss. Hope. Love amount to an existential stock check: a montage of epiphanies – some personal, some less so. As you familiarise yourself with the songs on the record, you’ll recognise the centrality of the title to its contents.
Propelled along a rhythmic rolling-stock rattle reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac’s Big Love, There’s A Word For It is a grown-up love song that addresses the aching absence of a presence in your life to whom you can turn and feel seen – before hope floods in to fill the vacuum, to be redeemed by love.
After hibernating for twenty years (where did the time go!?) Britpop favourites, Sleeper are back on the road, performing live. Original members: Louise Wener (vocs, guitar), Jon Stewart (guitar) and Andy Maclure (drums) are newly joined by Kieron Pepper (previously of The Prodigy) on bass.
Sleeper enjoyed huge critical and commercial success in the mid 90's: achieving 8 Top 40 singles across 3 Top 10 albums with well over 1,000,000 sales. The band also had two tracks featured on the era defining soundtrack to 'Trainspotting': named as one of the best film soundtracks of all time by the likes of Rolling Stone.
Sleeper garnered front covers across the music press and appeared numerous times on key music shows of the time like TFI Friday, Jools Holland and Top Of The Pops: an episode of which Louise Wener presented.
Together, the band played the main stages of Reading, Glastonbury, V etc along with sold out touring across all of the UK and a support slot with REM at Milton Keynes Bowl.
The band's first headline show in 19 years was a sold out date at Shepherd's Bush Empire last December, followed by a sell-out UK tour this spring. Their music is characterized by astute, observational lyrics and big, hook driven melodies. With a headline UK tour in November, a new album to follow and huge affection for the band across the media, 2018 is the year Sleeper awakes.
UK Song of the Year 2020 Americana Awards UK
Album of the Year 2020/2023 UKBlues Awards
Artist of the Year 20/21/23 UKBlues Awards
ARTIST & Live act OF THE YEAR 2023 Americana Awards UK
Elles Bailey, the smokey voiced, human dynamo who has powered her way to the forefront of the British blues and roots scene in recent years, unveiled her eagerly-awaited third album ‘Shining in the Half Light’ in the spring of 2022. Crammed with vibrant originals brought to life with her A-list band, it's another significant step forward in a career already feted with awards & acclaim generated by her two previous studio sets Wildfire and Road I Call Home.
Shining in the half light debuted at the top of her native genre charts: #1 in the Official Blues charts; #2 in the Official Americana charts; and #4 in the Official Independent Charts. In a landmark breakthrough for an independent artist, ‘Shining In The Half Light’ also appeared on the RADAR of the UK Charts, reaching #11 in the mid-week album charts, and finishing just a handful of sales away from the UK’s Top 40 at #42. For a fully independent artist, without the clout of a major label, it is one hell of an achievement. What’s more, Elles has won Artist and Live Act of the Year at the prestigious UK Americana Awards 2023 at a star studded ceremony at The Hackney Empire in late Jan and has picked up a hat trick of awards at The UK Blues Awards including Artist, Vocalist and Album of the year for Shining in the Half light.
Recorded in those ‘silent’ days during the 2020 lockdowns, all four singles have garnered support from BBC Radio Two and Planet Rock. Cheats & Liars, Sunshine City, The Game & Stones were all added to the Planet Rock A list playlist, with 15 weeks collectively at the top spot on the UK Airplay Charts. The little track ‘Shining in the Half light’ received its first play, along with an interview with Cerys Matthews on the Radio 2 Blues Show. And it not just about gecng spins on the radio for this multi talented artist- on the back of all her radio success with Planet Rock she was offered a weekly show and you can now hear Elles every Saturday at Midday on Planet Rock Radio, sharing her love of Rock with a sprinkling of Americana.
This self-confessed ‘rolling stone’ continues to do everything she can to call the road her home. 2022 saw Elles play multiple high profile headline festival slots, taking to the high seas to play the Joe Bonasmassa - Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea Cruise, opening for Blues Legend Walter Trout and joining Don McLean on his 50th anniversary American Pie UK tour. In 2023 Elles finally took her chart topping album on the road with a hugely successful UK headline tour coinciding with a deluxe release of the album. Early in 2023 she headlined festivals like Winters End alongside Kris Barras Band and the Von Hertzon Brothers and headed to Germany to open for roots rockers Kiby, Daisy & Lewis in April 2023. Summer saw her play slots alongside Bonnie Raib at Black Deer Festival. Main stage at the brand new Maid of Stone fest alongside Airborne, headlining festivals into across the UK and into Europe and opening for Jools Holland at Kew The Music. She also headed to Nashville to play Americana Fest in September.
2024 is looking very promising for this far touring chanteuse - there’s a new EP dropping early 2024, rumours of a live album and a new studio album. Plus some very exciting touring opportunities including sharing the stage with Jools Holland again.
Miss Bailey really does call the road home & when she arrives near you, don't think twice, get there. A great evening and a long musical friendship will be waiting.
If you're a fan of Queen's iconic music, you know that their legacy lives on through their timeless tunes and electrifying performances. And if you're looking for the ultimate Queen tribute band in the UK, look no further than Flash Tribute.
As a group of talented musicians and performers, Flash Tribute has become one of the most sought-after Queen tribute bands in the country. With a passion for Queen's music and a dedication to capturing the band's unique style and energy, Flash Tribute delivers an unforgettable tribute experience that's not to be missed.
But what sets Flash Tribute apart from other Queen tribute bands? Here are just a few reasons why they stand out:
Authenticity: Flash a Tribute to Queen are dedicated to providing an authentic Queen tribute experience, complete with authentic costumes, identical instruments, and stage presence that made QUEEN the legendary band that it is today.
Talent: Each member of Flash Tribute is a highly skilled musician and performer, with years of experience playing in various bands and tribute acts, each of whom grew up studying the playing characteristics and style of their Queen counterpart, making each of them sound and perform just as close as it gets.
Professionalism: From their top-of-the-line identical equipment to their seamless stage setup, Flash Tribute maintains a high level of professionalism in everything they do.
Audience engagement: Flash Tribute knows how to get the crowd involved and create an interactive experience that's fun for everyone, from start to finish, hit after hit, anthem after anthem, makes Flash the UK’s no.1 Live Queen Tribute Band
So whether you're a die-hard Queen fan or simply appreciate their music, Flash Tribute is the perfect band to bring the magic of Queen to life. With their high-energy performances and dedication to authenticity, they're sure to leave you feeling like you just witnessed a true Queen concert.
One of the most energetic, exciting and powerful live sounds to hit the South West of England in recent times, The Dirty Smooth are no strangers to the festival circuit, having quickly gained a reputation for playing original, anthemic pop songs, in addition to being tighter than a pair of Lizzo’s hotpants.
Following the release of their debut EP ‘Rise’ accompanied by a number of sold out local shows and radio interviews, the band quickly looked to expand their horizons. The band continued doing what they do best, writing catchy songs and making countless appearances at some of the biggest and best festivals across the South West of England, supporting a seemingly endless list of household names.
In 2017, The Dirty Smooth helped set up and organise Minety Music Festival, Wiltshire which in its first year, was shortlisted at the UK Festival Awards (Best New Festival category) and has since become a well established festival, now into its fifth event year, hosting acts such as Scouting For Girls, Reef, Cast, Space, Dodgy, EMF, Jesus Jones, Toploader, Republica & Chesney Hawkes.
The success of their single ‘Seed To The Spark’ (available on all major platforms) demonstrated the band’s unerring talent to pick out rhythmic grooves and strong vocal hooks, offering their fan base a sneak peak of what is to come…
With their debut studio album album ‘Running From The Radar’ currently in post-production (delayed by COVID), the release of their latest single 'Black Jack City' is now available on all major platforms. With imminent new music releases planned, 2023 is already shaping up to be a busy year, with a number of UK venue and festival dates already confirmed. Watch this space!
Metropolitan and melodic, The Chase's music is a blend of cultural influences that pays tribute to their council estate roots. In the space of a few short years, the five-piece have amassed a dedicated fanbase that has propelled them into the stratosphere of the UK indie music scene. From debut performances at some of the best UK festivals (The Great Escape, Isle of Wight, Y Not, Truck, Splendour), to sold out nationwide tours & landing main support slots with The Kaiser Chiefs, Reverend & The Makers, The Rifles and more. The lads have been tipped as one of the biggest breakthrough bands on the scene by press, promoters, radio & anyone who see's them live.
Formed in their pre-teens, the multi-instrumentalists have a multicultural background that has inspired their sound. Brothers Tyler (songwriter/frontman) & Dion (drums) were born and raised in Nottingham with Scottish and Caribbean heritage. The Chase are a melting pot of the musical genres that the boys were exposed to when growing up. With cousin Luke on the bass, co-writer James on keys and synth duties and long time friend Will on 2nd guitar, the result is a sound that is both uniquely British and undeniably infectious.
From The Beatles to Oasis & The Specials to Damien Marley, if you listen to the music you will hear the unmistakable impact their upbringing has had on their songwriting and performance. As a frontman Tyler is equal parts rugged, glam and real. By day he is a labourer on a building site, but by night he is on stage in a leopard print shirt bringing out strong Marc Bolan vibes that draw in any audience. He best describes his fashion sense as "Champagne taste with a lemonade budget" - which is the most accurate thing we have ever heard. "Our live show is theatrical, full of personality & showmanship, I couldn't do it any other way. We want to get the crowd involved, we love it when they're singing the tunes back at us, it's all part of the experience for us and them."
Hold on to your hats... they're back!!! After ripping up the Minety Stage in 2023, due to huge popular demand, we've invited NOFLIPE back to play the main stage in 2024.
NOFLIPE are a band composed of seven individuals on the fringe of society. In their songs, we learn their story from the origin of the band to the discovery of the one which will become their worst enemy. At the heart of an increasingly superficial and inhumane society of appearances, the story plunges us in the gloomy atmosphere of DullTown. Then, the seven characters experience the world on their way : Doctor E, the vigilante of shade, Flush, the « scum of the society », Natch, the swindler, Rudy Tiger that nothing prevents from creating, Pew, the blind, SLow, the « offbeat » and TokToc, amnesiac in spite of himself. It’s time to enter the NOFLIPE Universe !
NOFLIPE is also two EP and three albums autoproduced with a music influenced by bands like Beastie Boys, Transplants, Stupeflip, Puppetmastaz, Funkadelic ou or Bad Brains. All of this with an aesthetic aspect inspired by comics like Métal Hurlant or comics illustrators such as Franck Miller or Robert Crumb. By building their universe step by step, NOFLIPE have first transpired their energy on stage with a particularly communicative dynamism !
Scott Mickelson is an artist/producer from San Francisco. His debut release Flickering was on the Grammy ballot for Best Folk Album and Best Roots Music Performance. His follow up full-length A Wondrous Life received great reviews in the US and abroad which led to his first European tour in 2019. He then produced the critically acclaimed Blanket The Homeless benefit compilation which included Grammy winner Fantastic Negrito. In 2020, Mickelson released Drowning In An Inflatable Pool to rave reviews in the U.S. and Europe. On November 19, 2022 the first single/video “UNarmed American” premiered on Americana U.K. The highly acclaimed new full-length Known To Be Unknown was released in April, 2022. Mickelson has since been invited to perform at festivals both in Europe and the U.K. The band is Mickelson (vox/gtr/banjo), Jon Buckett (piano/bass), Lee Moulding (drums/vocals) and Ian Taylor (bass).
Mickelson has appeared in BBC, NPR Radio, Huffington Post, CBS Morning Show, No Depression, Glide Magazine, Paste Magazine, PopMatters, TheBayBridged, Alternative Press Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Mix Magazine, Heaven Magazine (NL), etc. He also gained national recognition after winning a band search contest sponsored by MTV/7-Up with a prize of $15,000 and a song in the feature film Along The Way. He has shared the stage with artists including: Nick Lowe, Dick Dale, Dave Van Ronk, David Bromberg, Peter Case, Vandoliers, Jonathon Richmond, Steve Forbet, etc.
“The combination of the layered vocals and instrumental textures, along with a tune that feels immediately familiar, is that ‘UNarmed American’ becomes anthemic.” - Americana U.K.
“San Francisco singer/songwriter Mickelson brings us something that is both reassuringly familiar and yet wholly unique.” - At The Barrier (UK)
“Substance will always win over style at Maverick and US act Scott Mickelson possesses both. He was referred to by anecdote as a cross between Michael McDermott and Billy Joel. Interesting comparison that gains traction for an artist happy to drop the first name.” - ThreeChordsAndTheTruth (UK)
“Mickelson unveils his most politically charged work to date with Drowning In An Inflatable Pool. It’s an album rooted in a collective frustration about the mismanagement of our country by this current White House administration.” - American Songwriter
“this music is the balance between strong, subtle, unexpected, and sophisticated.” - Paste Magazine
“Drowning in an Inflatable Pool combines an anxious energy with alluring melodies to create a remarkable musical experience”. - Twangville
“I call it anthemic when a band or chorus hits all the notes just right and the sound becomes bigger than it should be and Mickelson hits it often enough on this album to make it worthy of the highest of recommendations.” - No Depression
“It’s American folk-Rock with a post punk edge, rustic but scarred.” - Alternative Press Magazine
“Flickering, a buoyant composition showcasing that Mickelson offers undeniable musical charm and instrumental dexterity.” - Glide Magazine
With a unique vocal style and outstanding musicianship, Onika performs original material in a wide range of styles across the UK. Expect to hear shades of old school reggae with soulful compositions that conjure up many surprises. These days, she performs with her band; Mark Venus (Guitar and Vocals), Dan Boulter (Percussion), Allen Hutkin (Bass), Tom Selway (Brass), and Kayla Kelly (Backing Vocals), but it wasn’t always this way.
Born in South Manchester, Jamaica, Onika was introduced to live music at an early in age in her home village of Resource, quickly learning that music reaches people in a way that nothing else does. Ever since her first performance with her friend Chabe, her soulful voice and reggae style has been capturing the hearts of audiences over two continents.
Upon moving to Kingston, Onika experienced a recording studio for the first time. But just as she started to pursue a music career seriously, her ticket to the UK had arrived. She was heading for London! There, Onika worked with Seanie B from BBC1 Xtra, as well as Tubby T and Miss Dynamite, under her stage name ‘Lady Posh’.
In early 2006, a new era began as Onika fronted the band Slyde. With her unique voice mixing with their Break beat, Techno and House music styles, they recorded 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' and 'Vibrate to This”, both released on the Finger Licking Label. They were nominated for best new act at the Break Beat Awards that very same year.
After finding success in London Onika moved once more, this time to the musically vibrant city of Bristol. This is where she first met local musician Mark Venus. Over the last 11 years of open mics, festivals, and headline gigs, Onika continues to make strides; building her six-piece band, her debut album 'Everything You Are', and a family of two kids with Mark.
Ria Plays is an artist-led, three-piece band that fuses uncanny, magic realism lyrics with a backdrop of angular and raw alternative rock.
'It's raw, it's musical and it's groovy. Just a perfect combination' - Fresh On The Net
Hooch, comprising of some of the most experienced musicians in the South West, is dedicated to performing the biggest hits of the 90’s. They are a group of four musicians who came together from their love and appreciation of musicianship and the nineties scene.
Their music characterises the 90’s nostalgia boom, creating an electric atmosphere and transporting you back in time to the good old days. Hooch take it one step further than Brit-pop, introducing artists such as Robert Miles, Faithless, Bobby Brown, alongside other huge bands from the era likes of Oasis, Blur, Pulp and Ocean Colour Scene.
Join them in re-living the pivotal decade known as cool Britainnia, and get MAD FOR IT!!!
Not a band to sit on their laurels, 80’s flavoured, euphoric indiepopsters -TALK IN CODE- have certainly stayed on the front foot in difficult times, continuing to release music accumulating over 200,000 streams with tracks added to 600 playlists, including 6 editorials!
The band name is derived from the idea everyone relates to music differently – a theme carried through song lyrics with a sense of mystery and being wide open for interpretation. TIC reside in the heart of the South West, UK, often holed-up in their studio, fondly known as ‘The Den’, where all the writing magic happens. With a sense of craftsmanship, the synth soundscapes are developed, the shimmering guitars are applied and the vocals cultivated, all underpinned by a stomping rhythm section to get the most sceptical feet moving!
In February 2022, the band signed to reputable London-based independent label, Regent Street Records. Produced by Sam Bishop at Studio 91 (Amber Run, Fickle Friends, The Amazons) the band has released 2 singles alongside publishing a CD album titled THE BIG SCREEN as they turn the page on their new chapter of music creation.
Described as ‘Daft Punk meets The 1975’ and ‘genre blurring’, the band have been featured by CLOUT, Indie is not a Genre, Indie Buddie and many more publications alongside being well supported by BBC Introducing Networks, Amazing Radio, BBC Radio Wiltshire and several independent stations.
Live, TIC have given their ‘Talker’ fanbase the chance to see them perform with artists such as Years & Years, Scouting for Girls, Cast, Jesus Jones and Sophie Ellis-Bextor through to 80’s icons Tony Hadley, Go West and Marc Almond. TIC have played headline slots on stages across three of their home region’s largest festivals – a true testimony to the perseverance and persistence the band has shown.
TIC cite individual songs as influences more than collections of artist’s work. From retro vibes through to modern day chart-toppers, it’s fair to say the band’s sound spreads across various boundaries….you decide!
This eclectic and euphoric band of musicians plays music that forms beautiful alchemical dreamscapes and paints ambient backdrops while occasionally slipping into idiosyncratic drum and bass, odd time signatures, classical grace and truly breathtaking anthemics. This is jazz, this is indie-folk, this bears hallmarks of classical, soul and psychedelia with psychological and astronomical themes to make Brian Cox’s toes curl.
Notoriously hard to pigeon-hole, Will Lawton's music crosses a myriad of genres including singer-songwriter, acoustic, jazz, progressive rock, folk and electronic. His work as a music therapist means he has a high degree of self-awareness when it comes to the cathartic, healing power of creativity.
Will is currently active with his band, Will Lawton and the Alchemists who are releasing an EP titled Alchemy in March 2023 with record label, Supermarine Music. The title of this recording is a reference to the alchemical process of creativity fusing Will's masterful song-craft and the band's dextrous flair for instrumental flourishes and lush, subtly evolving arrangements.
Will is also currently writing and recording a studio album with Argentinian guitarist Ludwig Mack. The music in this project reflects the rootsy song-writing energy between Mack and Lawton and is being supported by Kandu Arts and produced by Mac Lloyd.
Feel. Write. Play. Play some more. Hip Route are just trying to do the same as everyone else - play as much as possible to as many people that will listen!
Individually and collectively we have shared the stage with Ben Howard, Jason Mraz, Newton Faulkner, The Hoosiers, Alabama 3, Them Is Me (ex-Reef and Basemant Jaxx), Ben Ottewell (Gomez) and StringerBessant among others.
So it's all going pretty well so far, gigging loads and 3 self released albums are selling well!
Using the old working ethic of playing live as much as possible, Hip Route make full use of Weissenborn, lap slide, acoustic and electric guitars, drums and bass to create a bigger sound than you’d think
After learning his trade playing vinyl in the late 90's at free-parties and selected clubs across wales and the south-west, George Penny aka George G-Force has come out of retirement and ready to bring the heat with a unique blend of disco and house vibes.
George regularly plays at some of the coolest cocktail bars in the South West including The Alchemist, Revolution, AllBarOne, Sub13, Walcot House/LOMAH, The Gold Bar, The Common Room, and StayOriginal venues for SelectDJ’s and Genre Music agencies.
He's also been making a name for himself on the festival scene with appearances at Latitude, Wilderness, Shindig and LakeFest as well as residencies for 'FunkyTown' (Disco), 'Getting Jiggy' (House) in addition to 'SATISFUNKTION & Funky Sensation' club-nights promoted by himself with the ethos of trying to bring the fun back into clubbing with good old uplifting, hands in the air music!
In 2022 he's gone international with a guest appearance at YekeYeke an established house music night. curated by CN Williams hosted at the decadent OPM Bar at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton situated in the Jumeirah Beach Resort in Dubai.
More recently with Covid restrictions George has also played numerous live-stream events and online radio shows and recently was runner-up in a national DJ competition for New World Festival against hundreds of entrants and has submitted guest mixes for BBC Radio Bristol.
Death Pop formed in the 1980s and released a 3 track ep Rogers Gone Mad, also featuring Ghosts and Picture. The band played extensively in Berkshire and London and achieved radio airplay on the John Peel (Radio One) show.
Jim, Jon. Vic play guitars, write and sing their original songs, ably assisted by Rich on drums, and occasional saxophone provided by South Cerney’s very own Saraan Deguise.
The band have gigged with Glen Matlock and Wayne County of the Electric Chairs, and have gone on to release 3 studio albums - “The Siege of Sebastopol” is available on Spotify and Prime Music and more recent albums "Psychomania" and "Petrol & Glue" have also received cult acclaim status.
Enjoy their post punk songs and swamp rock songs live at Mnety Festival 2023.
The Real Cheesemakers is Wiltshire’s favourite nonsense group.
Following their debut album, Grated Hits, finally released just before the pandemic, the band has grown in stature and built up a strong following. This follows collaborations and sold out shows with Chap-Hop legends Professor Elemental and Mr B Gentleman Rhymer, a failed but popular Eurovision Song Contest entry and an award-winning song for plastic-free July.
In 2019 they played with Creed Bratton from the US Office on a few dates of his UK tour to huge acclaim, and supported Goldie Lookin' Chain at their Xmas bash in Bristol.
Most recently they provided the soundtrack for multi-award winning comedy horror short, Guiltea, winning the gold award for best soundtrack at the Fortean International Film Festival.
“psychedelic, surrealist-edged rock… as if Spike Milligan was Iron Maiden’s frontman, yet they were a Wurzels tribute”
Get Carter are one of Swindon's premiere cover bands. The 5 piece group offer an eclectic mix of crowd pleasing anthems delivered through energetic and edgy performance. Popular, rock, pop and indie favorites are given the treatment through flawless vocals, a tight funky rhythm section and dynamic lead guitars. The band never fail to deliver a memorable musical experience, covering songs ranging from Bastille to Blink 182, Snow Patrol to Stereophonics, REM to Radiohead and Kaiser Chiefs to The Killers with many more between. Get Carter are always busy with gigs but are available for pubs, clubs, parties & special occasions and come complete with all their own equipment including full PA system. Guaranteed to make any event a success, no one leaves a Get Carter gig without having a good time and wearing thin their dancing shoes!
Here Come The Crows are a 4 piece Dirty-Blues, Romantic, Punk-Rock band based in Swindon. Front man from Manchester “Large It” Lee Knott formed the band in 2019. With various band member changes after Lockdown the line up is perfect.
Lee knott on vocals
Paul Mortimer-Jones on Guitar
Martin Lane on Bass
Gavin Loynes on Drums
Expect high energy catchy choruses and a fusion of musical genres whilst remaining true to 'The Typical British Festival band' vibes. Influences are endless, but a bit of Jim Morrison crossed with Iggy Pop whilst dancing with Bez on Steroids
The Funkdamentals are a five piece band playing the very best Funk, Disco and Soul music from the last 50 years. The band feature some of the best musicians in the South of the UK and have played at hundreds of events across the country and internationally. Individually the band members have played with artists such as Atlantic Starr, Odyssey, The Manhattans, Glenn Jones, Dexter Wansel and Archie Bell and The Drells among many others. days - 4 stages - over 100 acts
29th June - 2nd July 2023
Acoustic Duo Ethemia aka Michaela Mott & Berny Poulton hit 2020 running. After the successful launch of their EP ‘Common Ground’ they were invited to support the legendary band ‘The Osmonds’ and the magic was due to continue, but with the Music Industry in great difficulty due to the pandemic, they sadly had to postpone all gigs until further notice. However, they have been busy working on a very timely ‘climate change single’ with all profits being donated to that cause, as well as a new EP called ‘Past Shadows’. This year Ethemia are looking forward to performing and touring once more.
Their distinctive sound with strong vocals, beautiful harmonies, catchy melodies and great guitar riffs brings 'Fleetwood Mac' to mind. Their trademark charismatic onstage chemistry and heartfelt performances certainly leave their mark.
They have toured extensively throughout Europe and the UK, and have performed, and been broadcast on many radio stations including BBC Introducing, The Gaby Roslin Show BBC London, and featured on BBC Radio 2.