Modern Minds @ Tahiti Rocks 27/06/14

Hey Jude Music Promotions and Venombase Studios put on their first gig together at Tahiti Rocks in Hanley. The atmosphere was something innovative and distinctive; together they have a great new live music venue.

New band on the local music scene is The Devil Blues. They have undeniably got the blues concealed into their music but they are a band that can dip their musical toes into other aspects of music genres too. Only a few months being together, they have a single These Towns; it’s got a straightforward grungy heavy beat with Adam’s distinct gritty vocal. Some tunes were clear crisp indie influenced with classic eerie riffs and catchiness. The Devil Blues during the end of the set, it became apparent they are clever musicians who can control delay and reverb in a way that doesn’t sound like confused noise; simply a band that have a range of influences with catchy uncomplicated tunes.

The Jackobins from Liverpool blew Tahiti’s crowd away. The sheer passion and unreal talent from all five lads was amazing. Performance from everyone was solid, the Jimi Hendrix infused guitar and shimmering keys added this alternative psych vibe. The confident catchiness I love. Their single The Otherside has repetitive lyrics, ‘and over, and over and over…’ and fantastic vocals from Dom, it’s  definitely written as a crowd pleaser. A strong musically force is about to erupt from The Jackobins so watch out.

Despite sound complications, Callaghan for the second week running at Radicals Rising has proven that rock and roll is not dead. There is a definite Led Zep/Rolling Stones influence but with a modern bluesy rock twist. Apart from the electric energy, Callaghan has a creativity flair which makes each individual tune develop into an individual grooving sound. The build-up of the rock and roll layers throughout the set creates a hefty dash of melodic sparkles.

The first ones to jump into the VIP jacuzzi and that’s headliners – Modern Minds. Having caught these lads a few times, each time they mature and develop more into establishing their potential sound. A band that can keep things fresh, change things about and still keep it original is a band with an immense capability to relocate positively upwards in the music industry. They have the sound that makes you turn your head and take notice, especially the newly written tune, Stop the World. It’s not explicitly synth led or guitar driven there is a talented balance. Luke’s idiosyncratic vocal and metaphorical lyrics has the power to paint story however little or however big in imaginations. They are currently in a competition to win a £100,000 record deal, text Negart 27 to 64343. More information is on their Facebook page.

Next Tahiti Rocks gig, 4th July, Strawhouse, Creek and Signal the Shore.



Stu Whiston – Take A Stride – EP Review 26/06/14

With an EP titled, Take a Stride signifies this could be about seizing risks and choosing the right decisions to take that stride which will lead to bigger and better opportunities. All three tracks have been recorded in Parr Street Studio’s in Liverpool and mastered by The Exchange in London.

Singer/songwriter, Stu Whiston released a single, There Was a Time back in late 2013. Couple months down the line, its re-produced, rearranged and is sounding precise as ever. With a completely stripped back drum roll that soon builds into the striking riffs, There Was a Time still has that catchy element and dream like vocals. “We used to be so happy”, Stu creates relatable lyrics because somewhere is someone’s life is something that has made us happy and it no longer exists.

A song combined by a wistful acoustic guitar and a drone of vocals; Dirty Day has a modern indie rock atmosphere. Then it has a distorted delayed kick in creating a foot tapping melody. Dirty Day is a blasé guitar driven tune which pushes emotional buttons again with his lyrics; “People remind me of you and me”.

Not Enough Hours is distinctively influenced by the ‘Brit-pop’ music era. The hard-hitting, pulsing rhythm assorted with guitar and keyboards is stadium standard. It has a well-thumbed collection of classic indie rock vibes. Again, Stu hits top marks lyrical. Opening Not Enough Hours with a mystic unanswerable question, “What is this?” sounds like something The Verve would produce.

Overall, Take a Stride has three compelling story telling tracks assisted with beautiful melodies.


Daniel Marsden – Untill Out Of View – EP Review 26/06/14


The first song on the Until Out Of View EP starts off with a soft and ambient sound. The vocals are soft and the feeling of the song is relaxing, Bloom is a great start for a gentle mood. The bass just does its own thing through the song carrying the rhythm through to the end. It’s slightly progressive when it comes to the song instrumentally; the end of the song has a nice build up. The music alone sound quite edgy, dark at times, but it’s nicely put together and produced.

One Two Three Four, has a similar feel, but there is more of a beat to this song. Following on from the quietness of Bloom, there are nice sounds like chimes and at some point Baba O’Reilly by The Who. It’s a nice song, a lot more catchy than the previous song. One Two Three Four, is a calm feeling, but it’s alive, quite like a cockroach after a nuclear explosion. The chorus is repetitive, and it has a nice rough recording sound during a segment of the song which builds back up to the calm sound.

Born as Romans seems strictly acoustic; it’s a quiet song that relies on deep vocal harmonies. For some reason listening to this felt like I should of watched Juno or something. Halfway through the song it has the gentle chime sounds from, one two three four, which kind of makes this feel like Daniel has merged Bloom and One Two Three Four into one song. Ornamental Birds, is my favourite song on the EP, it’s the longest song on the EP so it has more to it. It’s got that beautiful ambient feeling, along with the gentle percussion and guitars that feel quite light to listen to, kind of like being tickled with a feather in your ear (well, not quite.)

The whole EP is just a gentle listen to, the only fault I can pick for it is Bloom being a bit too short for my liking, it’s just preference.

Until Out Of View is a sweet ride into an ambient journey with calm vocal harmonies and ear massaging instrumentals, it’s a pleasant experience.



Sea Based Turtles – He Walks Alone – Single Review

It’s a nice change to hear something different rather than a generic love song, and Sea Based Turtle’s track He Walks Alone is a prime example of this refreshing approach. The combination of the various instruments intertwined with the wonderfully written rap verses craft a laid back yet attention grabbing atmosphere, and at the same time manage to work and flow well together. It brilliantly touches on many issues and actually tells a story, one thing that many songs lack, giving it that stand out factor. A breath of fresh air and well worth a listen!


Six Towns – Meet Ya Maker – Single Review 22/06/04

With a true old school feel, Meet ya Maker is the electric single from Six Towns. Binded together perfectly by the brilliant guitar riff and raw vocals, this single shows off the impressive local talent that Stoke has to offer. I can sense the single has had a great amount of energy thrown behind it, which in turns delivers a feeling of freedom and prosperity, making it one of those songs that sticks with you for a while. This truly is a perfect track for those long summer drives in the sunshine and definitely deserves a listen.


Steve Cradock @ The Exchange

Steve Cradock returned to Stoke with his new recent album Travel Wild, Travel Free along with new blues rockers Callaghan, soulful four piece Malthouse and indie ravers The Rivalry.

Formed in the early months on 2014, Callaghan has sure marched in the local music scene with power. With only a demo to listen to online, Callaghan has tunes which could easier be a strong single for them. Laying down a strong blues rock and roll influence, they show rock and roll isn’t dead in Stoke. The cockiness of front man Grant somehow, in Callaghan works. As well as the stage presence being a great live characteristic of the band, actually watching them is awesome. Callaghan is a group complete of four genuinely talented musicians. Next stop is Tahiti Rocks, Hanley supporting Modern Minds 27th June.

Malthouse impress again. The whole set was at a pinnacle. Even old tunes like Black Mamba still had that wow factor. Adding Emily on vocals has, and always will be one of Malthouse’s greatest ideas. Her expressive vocal strikes notes like Janis Joplin and a hint of Etta James. Creating intense and precise harmonies enhance the romantic but yet voyeur charm of the songwriter. The raw talent of Malthouse cuts through every emotion you have. Kieran’s soulful voice conveys such strong emotion that feels completely primal and natural. Jon is one of Stoke’s finest guitarists, with his slick style and attentiveness he adds a subtle flair of artistic riffs, which provide the foundation of rhythm throughout Malthouse’s melodies. Staveley Sessions EP is going to be a big one.

Still standing strong in the local music scene – The Rivalry, I don’t know one person who doesn’t appreciate the music; the music which is something different, something that is maturing constantly and something raw yet colossal. A set with good old classics and some new tunes was the perfect balance. The whole indie rock and roll, house rave package is faultless. The languorous vocal conveys cosmic insights to the songwriter. The Rivalry has a clever backbone which is treasured. New recordings will be release soon and music video! Next stop is Manchester 4th July.

Steve Cradock and his band performed acoustically. Mainly tunes from Travel Wild, Travel Free which has a change in sound from previous albums. Its music to relax too, music to jam out and chill with. Steve was joined by Sally (his wife) on vocal, she’s known to be a happy hippy and this was conveyed on stage, singing with a smile makes the music easier to enjoy. Cradock’s music was completely stripped back, it was a shame he didn’t play the good old favourite but at the same time it was great to see him so passionate about his new 60s psychedelic vibes. Favourite tune had to be Doodlebook, the catchy bounciness caught my attention.



All The Best Tapes – Album Review 22/06/14

The album starts off very energetic and upbeat, which in my eyes is a perfect way to start an album.

The energy coursing through I Want to Believe is a great feeling, with solid production and great riffs going through the songs. The vocals are easy to follow with and fits the bouncy mood this song has, instrumentally swell and tight in performance.

Nine Masks follows and offers a more settled down approach until the chorus which is practically roared through my headphones. There are great aspects of music genres, it’s a strange mix as its punk yet it progresses through the song. It sounds like a Yes song in a few parts, and Yes are pretty darn good.


Life Of Gold takes us back to the energy, and this song reeks of even more early progressive rock vibes. Vocally it’s impressive as there are screams as well as cleans, both are done very well. The intro to the song is good as well, the soft gentle vibes along with the progressive chugging of the instruments keep it fresh.

Conservatoria in Three Times continues the energetic feel, with synthesisers becoming more notable in the sound on the album.

The Iron Rod is great instrumentally, the fast vocals were quite off putting at first, but become more fitting throughout the song. The tempo change adds a great effect, you either want to bounce around or sit down and have a creepy smile as if you’ve smoked sh**load of crack. The delay sounds on the guitars add a nice ambient feel during the calmer parts of the song, kind of feels like it’s come off Hysteria by Def Leppard. Unlike Def Leppard, there is a lot more to this band when it comes to genre versatility.


New Ribs has more to offer out of the songs so far on this album, it’s the second longest song at the duration of 4:03. It’s explosive, relaxing and decent all into a great musical mixture for a lot of people to enjoy. The end of this song offers different styles of playing and genres, and goes nicely straight into Soft Light.Another introduction that differs from when the vocals come in, this time it starts calm and goes batsh*t crazy. This song offers a heavier side to All The Best Tapes, with a nice screamed vocals from a hard-core/punk background of music. It does the album justice as it’s all just a vortex of rock fusion.


I’ve Been Bored Since 9/11 again offers decent musical performances and a great chanting part nearing the end of the song. The last song was obviously going to pack a punch, and We Judged It by the Waves does exactly that. It starts off as this progressive break down and continues with this heavy riff and crashing symbols throughout the song. The last minute offers a soft and gentle instrumental that fades the album out.


All the Best Tapes have got this album straight to the point.

They called themselves progressive punk according to their Facebook page, but they are one of few bands who know what they are on about. You can only of heard of most of the bands they are influenced by in order to fully respect what they are doing.

The tempo changes, the genre transitions and the music in general is solid and packs a cracking punch to the face. As I have said plenty of times the energy off this album gives them their own distinctive trait that separates them from most bands.

I have to admit, I never paid much attention to this band until the album review popped up, and to be honest I regret this, All The Best Tapes’ self-titled adventure sounds like the start of something solid, but hopefully they can experiment with other genres in their future releases.

Punk and Prog seem to collide, especially when both of the genres had their heyday in the 70’s, as punk became rebellious against the pomposity and complexity of progressive rock music.

This band makes them best buddies, and it’s as if they are skipping through a field of daisies with these genres not giving a single sh*t.

A solid release and I want more to come from All The Best Tapes.





Parisian Youth Culture – Throw me Away – Single Review

Parisian Youth Culture, their new single, Throw me Away was released 11th June. Straight away, I can confirm that their creative and original name is a perfect match for their incredibly catchy music.

To produce a song that is melodic, interesting and catchy is a hard task- but Parisian Youth Culture have done just that with this single. I was even able to remember the chorus after the first few listens! The single itself has a fast pace, one that would encourage energy, spirit and would undoubtedly get a crowd jumping at any festival. The catchy tune of the song is complemented by the powerful vocals which give the song an edgy rock feel to their indie style tune. The sound is very relatable to Two Door Cinema Club and Foals but portrays a mood similar to that of The Vaccines. It’s defiantly a song for the summer and I recommend you add this to your playlist right away and keep an eye out for this upcoming and very talented band!


Bathed in Light – Sherry Counsellors – Single Review 15/06/14

Bathed In Light is the brilliant single from Sherry Counsellors. The track starts with a relaxing, peaceful vibe, which progresses into a more upbeat anthem. The guitar creates a hypnotising, catchy beat which quickly sticks in your head, along with the chorus. Throughout the track you can pick up upon the edgy, almost effortless flow, with a similar sound to many of Kasabian’s tracks which took them years to master, yet somehow Sherry Counsellors pull it off with the same expertise and style.


The Personas – Sugarmill – 15/09/14

Indie Rock band The Personas, from Stoke-on-Trent, spread an infectious energetic vibe through the Sugarmill on Friday night, creating one of the best crowd reactions I’ve seen in a while. Their set included covers of The Black Keys and Two Door Cinema Club embedded in a mix of their own songs, most of which had a traditional indie vibe and were very catchy. However, there was a clever taste of rockiness, which provided that edge that really makes this band enjoyable to listen to. It was a struggle to find anyone standing still long enough to ask them what they thought of the gig, but one person I spoke to said, “I’ve seen them many times and they’re just consistently good, the crowd is always amazing, they remind me of really early Arctic Monkeys” whilst another said. “that was the best crowd I’d been in for a long while, I’m absolutely buzzing after that, they were brilliant”. With their excellent choice of covers and equally impressive songs of their own, I feel that great things could come of this band. Their support act, Greenroom, provided an enjoyable set and built up a good atmosphere for The Personas. Their songs included punchy, fast and edgy songs that really got the crowd moving with an occasional slow and reflective song to allow a well needed rest from a hectic crowd. My favourite song of the set was their final one; it had an incredibly catchy guitar motif with a fast paced beat that made dancing inevitable. Their music had a modern, mature feel that could still be enjoyed by all.

Over all, a brilliant gig with a lively atmosphere provided by two very talented bands,