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As we near the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, now just a couple of weeks away, we’re reminded of some of the great events in British music that have occurred during her reign- Beatlemania, the mods and rockers, the rise of punk, Britpop, the list goes on.
Two days after the Silver Jubilee in 1977, The Sex Pistols took a boat along the Thames and performed, illegally, as they passed Westminster and the Houses Of Parliament. This year the Queen is being treated to a concert featuring JLS and Jessie J. Poor old Liz.
This is part two of our May showcase featuring Ian Edwards, Another Costume Party, Evol, King the Native, Birdeatsbaby, The Basis, River Jumpers, Bleak Falls, Carmen Reumers, Tay Devenny, Dirty Leaves, Candela and The Vindickers.
Ian Edwards – Now That It’s Over
The subject of countless gags and memes across the internet, the friend-zone is a place more feared than Baghdad or Bogota. Populated by nice guys, imprisoned by clueless girls with more looks than sense, it’s the inspiration behind ‘Now That It’s Over’ by Ian Edwards, a married man who must fear no longer. Instantly catchy with Edward’s distinct vocals atop a pop-rock backing, the track begins with an almost hardcore beat and vibe that makes you wanna move. Despite its context, ‘Now That It’s Over’ has a feeling of bouncy optimism that really lifts the spirit. A perfect summer drive anthem.
Influenced by: U2, The Killers, Annie Lennox, Chuck Berry, Cat Stevens
Another Costume Party – When You Came In
Jumping in with a twanging bassline eventually joined by sweet melody and harmonic vocals, ‘When You Came In’ in by Another Costume Party is a sea of misleading calm dotted with moments of chaos. In a lot of ways that band seem out of their time, but with quite apparent similarities to bands like Incubus they also appear very much at home in the present as well. Frontman Graham Dunn’s vocals seem to surf the rough vibe of the music that surrounds them, often echoing and sometimes seeming very much in the background. Overall ‘When You Came In’ is very typical of the band, with an arty, indie sound you won’t find with many other acts.
Influenced by: Incubus, The xx, Nero, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Strokes
Evol – Reflection
Written in the heart of darkness, ‘Reflection’ is the meeting of both sides of one mind. As Jekyll loses his grip on Hyde, the artist’s bad side is given the chance to speak its mind, highlighting failures and insecurities as only an alter-ego can. Dripping with self loathing, ‘Reflection’ is pretty savage, a no holds barred attack on what Sam sees when he looks in the mirror. Production-wise the track has a very schizophrenic vibe, with several different but identical voices harking at each other. Raw and flawed in a deliberate way, ‘Reflection’ is highly relatable, no matter who’s listening.
Influenced by: Eminem, Tech N9ne, Hospin, Adventures Of…
King the Native – N.E.D
Inspired by Scottish director Peter Mullan’s 2012 film Neds (Non Educated Delinquents), ‘N.E.D’ is a hard hitting, hard sounding track about the consequences and dangers of getting in with the wrong crowd. With a fast pace throughout it sees Alan Mitchell change the way he speaks a little, adopting a bit of the dialect of his subject matter, backed by a fusion of punk and grunge, With plenty of flow and movement “N.E.D” has a bit of an Arctic Monkeys sound to it. Obviously that isn’t always a bad thing!
Influenced by: Nirvana, The Xcerts, Brand New, Biffy Clyro
Birdeatsbaby – Love Will Bring You Nothing
With a peculiar old ditty sound to it, ‘Love Will Bring You Nothing’ was inspired by the singer Mishkin watching a little too much Supernatural. About a woman who kills her husband and burns down her house while possessed by the ghost of a former lover, the track has quite a scary feel to it, unsurprisingly, almost reminding us of something by a much calmer, can-canning Cradle Of Filth.
Influenced by: Nick Cave, Radiohead, Muse
The Basis – What To Do
Managed by former Young Apprentice contestant and SQ columnist Harry Hitchens, The Basis are always commented upon for the impressive talent they possess despite their young age. We think that’s been said far too often, so enough’s enough. Written by guitarist Tristan Savan, ‘What To Do’ was the band’s first original song. Simply about relationships that don’t go well, it’s a killer track with a really awesome guitar riff throughout that tackles everyday issues with class.
Influenced by: Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, The Libertines, Elbow, Babyshambles
River Jumpers – Words, Chords & Irony
Inspired by the famous line “When I got the music I got a place to go” from Rancid’s song Radio, written with Billie-Joe Armstrong of Greenday, ‘Words, Chords & Irony’ is about being able to slip away from life and into a calm conjured up by music. Punk in both sound and feel, the track has everything you’d expect- attitude, expression and pace – but with plenty of talent to go with it. Unlike many stereotypical frontmen this one can actually sing, and has something really infectious about his voice.
Influenced by: Strike Anywhere, None More Black, Kid Dynamite, The Clash, Alkaline Trio, Lagwagon
Bleak Falls – Pass a Promise
Beginning slowly with a few surges of industrial metal sounding guitars, ‘Pass a Promise’ is a song of screams and sorrowful moans. About how we miss, love and care about family members who leave us without contact or reason despite how much it hurts, the track is highly emotional, with plenty of energy. One of the track’s verses says it best; “These things take time, to rebuild and to repair, it’s not loss to you, you were never there, you passed a promise, you could not keep, what a waste of words”.
Influenced by: Pearl Jam, Municipal Waste, Suicidal Tendencies, Nirvana, Killing The Dream
Tay Devenny – They Say
A seventeen year old that hasn’t been on the scene that long, Tay Devenny is an eloquent MC with a sound that, in a way, echoes some of the founders of Hip Hop with an emphasis on words rather than production. Although that lack of theatricals may be something that many aren’t keen on, it really allows the lyrics to shine and, though it might get old across the course of an entire album, the stripped down nature of the song really makes it stand out in today’s environment. Tay Devenny has an EP, Knowledge, out this summer.
Influenced by: Blu, Verb T, 9th Wonder, Phonte, Asher Roth, J Dilla
Dirty Leaves – A Little Longer
Inspired by the premature death of a friend “A Little Longer” is about always wanting more time but knowing, deep down, that every bit of life we get, no matter how short, is a blessing we have to make the most of. Led by Harry Smyth “A Little Longer” is a powerful track with a driving sound that echoes the seriousness of its subject matter. Vocally it changes often, with rich and masculine tones sweeping with long notes and melody. “A Little Time” could easily be listened to again and again, its atmospheric solos and moody, standout guitars are superb.
Influenced by: Joy Division
Candela – It Is What It Is
Candela are something really special. With a funk rock sound and vocals that bring to mind bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, ‘It Is What It Is’ is a haze of almost reggae sounds; a bright and shimmering ride. A four piece outfit from Brighton, the band say this track is about getting on with life and just making the most of what you’ve been giving. That meaning isn’t apparent unless you really listen, but that isn’t due to bad song writing, quite the opposite in fact; it’s because the track makes you lose yourself and eases you into a trance.
Influenced by: Jimi Hendrix, Peter Tosh, Jamiroquai, The Doors, Thin Lizzy
The Vindickers – These Love Songs Don’t Make No Sense
A single with a soon to be released video, ‘These Love Songs Don’t Make No Sense’ is a satirical jab at all the typical pop-punk love songs that seem to be everywhere these days. With a playful punk sound the track feels a little like a less serious Green Day with no real agenda. Very catchy, “These Love Songs Don’t Make No Sense” doesn’t weaken due to the simplicity of its subject matter; the music has a distinct punk sound with a complex rattling of fast guitars and rolling drums.
Influenced by: Greenday, The Offspring, Millencolin
Carmen Reumers – Little Time
Born in The Netherlands and influenced and compared to artists like Alanis Morrisette, Garbage, Bjork and Hayley Williams, Carmen Reumers is a remarkable talent with a truly beautiful voice. ‘Little Time’ is a song about needing exactly that, about being unsure of what you really want and having to decide between your heart and your head. Really stripped down, the track is fairly simple – just a little music with vocals on top – but it’s in that simplicity that Carmen shines. We want more from her.
Influenced by: PJ Harvey, 4 Non Blondes, Garbage, Tracy Chapman, Skunk Anasie, Amanda Marshall
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!