2012 isn’t shaping up to be a brilliant year for music. With the cancellation of Sonisphere combined with the death of Jim Marshall and the fact that Justin Bieber has somehow managed to make it to adulthood, things haven’t so much started to go downhill as they have plummeted off Everest into a big pile of donkey manure.
But it’s the local stage that we care most about, and that’s suffering as well; the Eastbourne Extreme Battle Of The Bands won’t be returning this year, popular venues still favour cover acts over original ones, and one of the finest promoters in the area is considering calling it a day. Here at SQ we can proudly say that we will always support local music, and that we aren’t going to stop pushing it. So, keep sending us your tracks, we’ll keep this scene alive.
Here’s part one of our April Showcase featuring Ian Edwards, Glam Ryze, Pink Narcissus, Oh! My Head, Rob Stevens, From Afar, The Slytones, Rise Of The Icarian, Rich Lown, Jenna Bennett, Half Hour Hotel, King the Native, Rotait, Screama Ballerina, and Golden Boulder.
Ian Edwards – Reach For Our Lives
He may hail from Eastbourne’s ugly neighbour, but singer/songwriter Ian Edwards’ rich and intimate sound is a shining light in an otherwise gloomy town. Inspired by other artists like Bryan Adams, with whom he shares a robust vocal quality, Edwards’ voice in “Reach For Our Lives” is uplifting and charismatic. Musically the track carries a distinctly alt-rock vibe, but thanks to a beat that carries the lyrics it’s also quite radio friendly as well, with a sound not dissimilar to some of Savage Garden’s stronger, more mature work.
Influenced by: U2, The Killers, Annie Lennox, Chuck Berry, Cat Stevens
Glam Ryze – Long Year
Despite the fact that Glam Ryze are one of Eastbourne’s better known bands here at SQ, we’ve always managed to miss out on hearing them. So, when they sent us over their track ‘Long Year’, we didn’t really know what to expect; we were shocked by what we heard. Glam Ryze are definitely a band fused with elements of classic rock; frontman Mark’s vocals share a rough and gritty but still somehow melodic quality with artists like Axl Rose and Scott Weiland, while the band’s instrumental section features some of the narcotic and adrenaline fuelled guitar and drum work that ensures the genre’s survival over two decades later.
Influenced by: Guns ‘n’ Roses, Bon Jovi, Buck Cherry, Motley Crue, the Black Crowes
Pink Narcissus – Days
With more glamour than a room full of David Bowie tribute acts, we’re thinking the Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane years, Pink Narcissus have a circus rock sound that shows them off as a band not to be fucked or trifled with. Though it’s hard not to fantasize about seeing the boys perform this song with help from Kermit and the rest of The Muppets, ‘Days’ is a brilliant track by a gifted bunch of people that carries a real aura of mystery.
Influenced by: Jane’s Addiction, Iggy & The Stooges, New York Dolls, Bauhaus, Leonard Cohen.
Oh! My Head – The Annoyance
Certainly not our favourite track by the band but by no means a bad one, ‘The Annoyance’ by Oh! My Head is simple and not overproduced with an infectious and slick beat throughout. Vocally it’s a harsh look at a landscape of constant irritation that echoes, even if it doesn’t sound like, raw and establishment hating 70s era punk rock. Joining the beat that keeps the song on repeat is some great guitar work, including a real standout latter solo. All in all ‘The Annoyance’ is a no holds barred, no thrills track that’s just, well, thrilling.
Influenced by: Queen, The Who, The Pixies, Cream, The Clash
Rob Stevens feat. Sam Towler – The Adventure
It isn’t right that a showcase of original, local music should include a cover, but we aren’t sorry; this is awesome. A stripped down, acoustic rendition of Angels & Airwaves’ ‘The Adventure’, this track is a lot less pretentious than the original, and shows off some great ability from Rob and Sam. The vocals aren’t completely flawless, they could be improved quite a bit in a few places, but they deliver the song brilliantly and the guitar compliments them wonderfully.
From: Bognor Regis.
Influenced by: All Time Low, Blink 182
From Afar – Bastard Son
A track that’s wasted if played at anything but maximum volume, ‘Bastard Son’ by Brighton post-hardcore five-piece From Afar rips out a hadouken power punch of constant, unrelenting energy. Filled with surging guitar lines that stomp around with more melodic and precise riffs and tumbling drum work, the track isn’t at all straight forward, instead made up of several completely fresh movements that are dominated by soaring hooks and vocal cord rendering screams.
Influenced by: Alexisonfire, Underoath, Deftones, The Fall Of Troy, Refused, Glassjaw, Thrice
Rise of the Icarian – Faith
Instrumental music tends to bring us all out in a rash, there’s just something missing; vocals in this case, obviously. But this track, ‘Faith’ by Rise Of The Icarian, is beyond good, awesome in fact, and we love it. Described as symphonic metalcore with trance/DnB, it’s something you might not have heard before, and that just makes it all the more fresh. This is what DJs should play in clubs.
Influenced by: Suicide Silence, My Dying Bride, Abandon All Ships, Memphis May Fire
Rich Lown – My Own Legend
An artist with a laid back and soulful voice that rivals that of other talents like Charlie Simpson and John Mayer, Rich Lown is a guy with what it takes to make it big. “My Own Legend” is quite simplistic, fusing folk guitar sounds with rock solos and soulful melody, and it allows Lown’s voice to soar. Lyrically the song is really upbeat and optimistic, but Rich doesn’t seem full of himself, just quietly confident. ‘My Own Legend’ is a peaceful and relaxing song, stations like Radio One might not feel it fits their demographic, but who cares?
Influenced by: John Mayer, Ray LaMontagne, Hanson, Ben Harper, William Fitzsimmons, Sigur Ros
Jenna Bennett – Man in Suits
Jenna Bennett doesn’t have a voice like a lot of other members of her sex; many female vocalists sing beautifully, with melodic notes that could pass for birdsong. Jenna’s is better, it’s more robust and natural, and shares some of Kate Nash’s energy and Alanis Morissette’s spark. Rich and velvety her voice shifts shape easily, and seems to show no restriction. ‘Men In Suits’ is extremely heartfelt and intimate, but it’s also very loud, but not in volume; it screams at the listener and holds them in a headlock.
Influenced by: PJ Harvey, Incubus, Alanis Morisette, Reef, Gomez, Blind Melon, Wallis Bird
Half Hour Hotel – Keep Breathing
With ‘Keep Breathing’, the still relatively new Half Hour Hotel identify themselves as a standout band; atmospheric, anthemic, and full of catchy melody and changing pace, the track sweeps listeners right off their feet. ‘Keep Breathing feels like the kind of song that would be championed by the NME as evidence that the band are Britain’s next big thing, but unlike many acts this one have staying power and wouldn’t just fade away. Half Hour Hotel state influence from arena filling bands like Muse, and they share alot in common with them; ‘Keep Breathing’ is full of ever changing and superior guitar work that demonstrates a skill that isn’t often seen.
Influenced by: Muse, Elbow, Sigur Ros, Foregone Conclusion
King the Native – Thieves and Cheats
Feeling a little like the soundtrack to a chase movie from the word go, ‘Thieves And Cheats’ by King the Native is epically catchy with humming bass sounds and loads of breakdowns. Although on the whole very grungy, there are many parts of this track that cross genres as eagerly as chavs and dogs chase footballs, with rich and powerful post-rock movements clashing with poppy melody.
Influenced by: Nirvana, The Xcerts, Biffy Clyro, Brand New
Rotait – Sleep Tonight
A song writing package made up of an Austrian girl and an Irish boy, Rotait join together sweet melodies and bitter memories to create a sound that merges folk with rock and soul. The title track of their recent album ‘Sleep Tonight’ is a drift on the wind tale of unrequited love, insomnia, and the feeling that, even through the darkest hour, there’s always a light in the distance. Ethereal the song holds a balance between subtlety and tumultuous emotions that allows it to burrow into the mind and stay there, always soaring.
Influenced by: Nick Drake, Bill Withers, John Marytn, PJ Harvey
Screama Ballerina – Papercuts
Always throwing up as many fingers as they can at the upper-classes and the size zero world, Screama Ballerina have returned to us once again with ‘Papercuts’, and this time it’s money they’re turning their noses up at. ‘Papercuts’ is as raucous as always, with lots of big guitars and drums, but it’s also a lot catchier than their other stuff. The track is as bold and loud as we expected it to be, with the band drop-kicking money into their own room 101.
Influenced by: Billy Talent, A, The Sex Pistols, Blondie, The Mars Volta, Nirvana, Patti Smith
Golden Boulder – Wallow
Back for the second time, Golden Boulder are without a doubt the greatest threesome anyone’s ever likely to find in Bognor Regis without braving a crab-infested sandwich of Nike and Mackenzie. The first thing you’ll notice about “Wallow” is the drumming, it’s ace, and the way it rolls about with the guitar is just magnificent. Saying that though the drums are but a stick of dynamite in a cyclone; the track ticks almost every box with a perfect blend of style and infectious energy.
From: Bognor Regis
Influenced by: Biffy Clyro, The Strokes, The Maccabees, Alexisonfire, The Foo Fighters
The Slytones – Captain Ketamine
Whisperingly dream-like with funk, soul, and mystery, ‘Captain Ketamine’ by The Slytones is a freak show of sound. When listened to with tight shut eyes, the track spawns a kaleidoscopic brain storm of shifting colour and dancing, laughing faces. It’s the sort of song Lewis Carrol or Ken Kasey would’ve listened to over and over again had they been alive today, the sort of song that inspires as much as it terrifies the senses. A true masterwork.
Influenced by: The Doors, Al Green, The Mars Volta, Jethro Tull, The Ravens, Bill Withers, Tom Waits
This showcase is our attempt to show off some of the music we love in our local area. We received such a demand from bands to have their tracks featured that we had no choice but to open the Showcase. We only hope this popularity continues.
Obviously we couldn’t include everything, so if you’re reading this and your song isn’t here don’t be too disheartened, it could be included in the next edition!