LIVE REVIEW. Tusks and Oh Sister in London

Date: 23rd November 2016

Venue: The Waiting Room,  Stoke Newington, London

Genre: Ambient/electro-pop

The Waiting Room is tucked within the basement of a pub in North London, like a secret hideout. Seeming slightly ominous at first when walking down the steep stairs to a wood-walled room, this venue actually turned out to be perfect to host Tusks’s headline London debut, as the space filled up, the atmosphere was totally comfortable and intimate.

 

Main support – Oh Sister

The evening was kicked off by the soulful melodic tunes of Oh Sister. A solo artist with a DIY sound and electric drums system. This artist brought the warmth that the room needed, with her raw but genuine tales of love and adventure. The opening track ‘Isn’t Love Used To It Yet‘ brought on nostalgia with a sort of new-wave jazz, full of romanticized heartbreak. A sort of ambient Winehouse vibe, but with more electric guitar and less drama. With her tantalizing, stripped back voice, Oh Sister managed to encompass the whole room, however at times lacked the control over her guitar necessary for such delicate set. With her voice alone, Oh Sister could bring any crowd to their knees with a full band behind her, allowing her to concentrate on what she does best, and experiment more with ambient, atmospheric sounds.

Headliner – Tusks

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Image: @charlie__mac_

An instant connection was made between Tusks and the audience and she stepped onto The Waiting Room stage tonight, and apprehension within her and her band was evident.

The first track of the set was a fan favorite ‘For You‘, however Tusks put her own twist on it. Now equipped with a full band of talented musicians, Tusks was able to break the popular hit down to its core elements and build it up into an accumulation of ambient sounds and thudding drums – it was at this point, it was clear to the crowd Tusks has more to offer in her performance tonight than ever before.

Poison Ivy‘ was the second song of the evening, and her voice sailed through it with grace, but we already expected this; what took us aback was the amount of power behind her voice. Tonight Tusks paired her soul-baring vocals with eerie guitar and dark bass lines, the  result was  all-encompassing and hugely graceful. It was touching to see Tusks explore the deeper possibilities within ambient and electro-pop music and the experimentation was made by her band. The thunderous drums and strong bass-lines brought a new level of power to the music, that just seemed to work.

Tonight Tusks took her time, putting in every delicate detail to every song. At times it seemed as though everything was in slow motion, until all musical elements were brought together at the point just before a satisfying drop.The crowd were gifted with a sneak preview of the new album with never-before-played-live tracks such as’Toronto‘ and ‘Bleach‘. An early solo track she wrote many moons ago was also showcased, which allowed Tusks to perform as she once did, with her voice pure and unaltered, and also showed how far she has developed since her first appearance. There is an air of true authenticity around Tusks as she performs, a connection is instantly made along with an atmosphere that is unbreakable.


You can check out Tusks’s most recent EP ‘False‘ here and give her some love on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Also make sure to check out Oh Sister and follow on Facebook and Twitter

All images: @charlie__mac_

 

Baker out.

LIVE REVIEW. TRAAMS and Mums at Leeds

Date: 11 November 2016

Venue: The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Leeds is full of music venues of all shapes and sizes, and the Brudenell Social Club is a surreal time machine. Though new comers are skeptical upon entering, reassurance greets them along with familiar groups, bass blaring out of the back room and the same shitty beers. 

 

Main support – Mums

Rating: ★★★

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The young three-piece from Widnes gingerly approach the stage and started warming up the crowd with an unassuming bass line and a low-key drum beat before bursting into some agro-rock magic, reminiscent of similar young grunge bands such as allusondrugs. This band have the right image and vision for what they want to achieve, but it is apparent that they are still in the early stages of progression, leaving them at risk of being stuck as another ‘Nirvana-wannabe-band’. However, technical difficulties suffered by the band throughout and some unsettling nerves surely contributed to this some and as the set went on, the distinctive sounds and styles of Mums began to shine through, reminding us of other fuzzy noise-rock bands such as Groves and Lake of Snakes

The track ‘Enemy’s Museum’ made quite the impression, with head-crushing bass blaring out and front man Jack Evans’s surprisingly measured screams, a quality that is becoming increasingly rare in bands. Mums were kind enough to give a low-key interval, with ominous bass lines to allow you to breathe before smacking you around the face once more, their music living of heavy reverb and droning riffs.

At times, Mums got it absolutely right, with sinister lyrics and apathetic strumming that sent you into a grungy trace – drummer Lewis O’Neil was also possibly the highlight of the set with comical and light-hearted approaches to the heaviest and dirtiest tunes – but at other moments songs were attempted to be stuffed with distorted layers of guitar, leaving the music almost incomprehensible.

Mums have recently released their debut album, Land Of Giants on Superstar Destroyer which is grabbing the attention of many across the UK, as the band settles into what they want to be, their music will hopefully rise to a higher standard them more confident and satisfied – we can’t wait to see how they grow.

 

Headliners – TRAAMS

Rating: ★★★★

We saw TRAAMS soon before the release of their debut album as the main support act for Eagulls (Check out the lovely review here) and since then the band has rapidly matured, with a more creative and polished set and more confidence leaking off the players – however frontman Stuart Hopkins remains minimal in audience engagement with the odd playing-it-cool “cheers” at the end of a track. 

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The Chichester boys opened with ‘Costner‘, a familiar hit with fans from the debut album and an exciting opener for the first-timers with vibes similar to Drenge. Despite progressing onto the next step of maturity in their structure, TRAAMS remain a sort of organised chaos, one that has an experimental twist throughout created by Stuart who seemingly makes it up as he goes a long – and it just works. The following song was ‘Get Outta Here‘, featured a punk-esk guitar riff throughout to lay the foundation for drummer Adam Stock to really excel in heart-pounding bass beats. It must have been humbling for the band members to witness the crowd recognize and sing along to their stuff in the typical rowdy tones, a recent departure from the early stages of playing live in which people continue to be skeptical of each song and always wanting more – TRAAMS are really starting to own their band identity.

The highlight of the set had to be their most recent single, ‘House On Fire’ bringing an electric vibe to the whole room. With an 80s style bass line that could spark memories of Joy Division and the continuous chanting throughout, front man Stuart found himself in his element, with a battering guitar commotion and apathetic screams (a smile may have even appeared). A definite exhaustion appeared after every song, and I think that was the intended effect.


15053195_10206248208839262_2023570037_oTRAAMS have also grown more experimental in their live sets, progressing from rushing through many short and snappy hits, to taking their time to fry our brains with reverb-heavy blaring guitar.
In many of the tracks such as ‘Head Roll‘, the crowd would be built up through mounting drums and riled up lyrics before reaching an instrumental breakdown where Adam, Leigh and Stuart would join forces and gradually descend into manic white-noise. The instrumental ability of these guys and the energy they manage to generate despite being relatively static on stage is what makes TRAAMS distinct from other, more armature sad-punk bands attempting to do the same. Now they are starting to headline their own shows and no longer have to make creative compromises, they can continue to build in more risky and mind-melting aspects into their music.


Check out the charming Mums on Facebook, Twitter and Bandcamp

Don’t forget to give TRAAMS some love on Facebook and Twitter while listening to their debut album here.

 

Baker out.

EP Review. Isaac Gracie – Songs in Black and White

Released: 30th September 2016

Genre: Folk/Acoustic

Rating: ★★★★

This EP opens with a live rendition of ‘All In My Mind’, giving us a stripped back welcome to this tender and entrancing live performance at The Waiting Room, London. Hearing Isaac Gracie performing live lets you hear the delicate imperfections and heavy breaths in between verses, this is an artist who is not afraid to exhibit the most raw aspects of his being, a feature of his music that takes you off guard at first, but gradually secures an emotive connection that, once made, is hard to break. These are not simply acoustic songs, they are folk ballads (if there is such a thing).

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The 21-year-old from Ealing, London first caught people’s attention on Soundcloud with his track ‘Last Words’, a song recorded modestly recorded on GarageBand and posted independently online. Since growing in success and following, Isaac Gracie’s standards of recording may have drastically changed, but his approach to music has not.

The second track ‘Burn My Clothes, Bury My Clothes’ takes a slightly different tone, one reminiscent of more 60s folk and –dare I say it – expresses the influence Dylan has on him. A tale of sacrifice and heartbreak that against his delicate melodies, creates a gentle melancholy feeling. The EP then goes onto a harsher and more aggressive tale told within ‘Digging’, with a heavier electric strumming out 70s-esk psych sounds and Isaac questioning the legitimacy of love. This EP demonstrates Isaac Gracie’s ability to surf through different sounds and sub-genres of folk for sure, however, I feel this EP is more about showcasing the all-giving-non-hiding song writing talent, the way he can tell anyone’s story, remove the ego and complicated noise and get down to the raw bare-bones of it all. From remorse and desperation to retribution and blissful content – Isaac here demonstrates how to put soul into it all, how to portray the reality of any emotion in an honest and heart-wrenching song.


Check out Isaac Gracie’s Live EP here

Give him a follow on Twitter and a like on Facebook

 

Baker out.

NEWS. Allusondrugs announce final headline tour via mysterious message from Allusinlove Organisation

After just coming off a co-headline tour with close buddies Fizzy Blood, the grungy shoegaze quintet are getting straight back onto the bus later this Summer, with support from alternative-indie group Massmatiks.

A spokesperson for the band released an ever-so-slightly ominous comment regarding the tour. Stating “The Allusinlove Organisation hereby wish it to be known that these engagements shall be the full and final musical undertakings of the entity known as allusondrugs. Please await further communications on this situation in the coming weeks for details of future works”. Could this really be the end of a band only just starting to peak at their potential?

Since their emergence in 2012, allusondrugs have been anything but stagnant. Between building a fan-base that followed their rising influence through support shows with Enter Shikari, Marmozets and Lonely The Brave, and creating ever-growing anticipation with every release, this band are getting bigger and bigger.

This tour is shaping up to represent a progressive move forward from their beginnings as a band. With more experimentation, unreleased material and heavy energy levels, allusondrugs – with an existing reputation for bringing it at their live shows – are perhaps (and hopefully) going to go through a name/image change rather than a breakup.

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You can buy tickets for the tour  here, and follow the band on twitter and facebook

 

 

Baker out.

SINGLE REVIEW. Tusks – ‘Torn’

Release Date: 7th June 2016

Genre: Alternative Electro-pop

Rating:★★★★

 

Tusks, fresh from the Great Escape Festival with her beautiful voice that has moved so many, has released a new single ‘Torn’ ahead of the release of her second EP, ‘False’ (out tomorrow, 10th June).

 

This track represents Tusks coming into her own, the confidence exudes from the bass notes and somewhat elusive vocal range showcased by the young London artist. It is exciting to see her begin to experiment with vocals and the changing tone of her music. The electronic influences fused from the likes of Disclosure and The xx compliment Tusks greatly, the eb and flow of this track creates a stunning journey for all to hear.

We’re sure that if the rest of the EP is like this, then Tusks will prove to be an even more interesting live act than she already is. What is so noteworthy about this artists is that she is proudly responsible for every sound, beat, and movement within her music, she paints her music onto a canvas, organically building it up until we are given a full experience such as this single.

 

Listen to ‘Torn’ now below:

You can also connect with her on facebook and instagram.

 

Baker out.

 

 

CAMDEN ROCKS FEST REVIEW – Tellison

Date: 4th June 2016 (Camden Rocks Festival)

Venue: The Forge, Camden.

Genre: Sad indie-rock

Rating:★★★★

Indie-rock favourites, Tellison have been relatively quiet since the release of ‘Hope Fading Nightly‘ (2015), so it was good to see them do their thing again and play this great festival, this sentiment was also be shared by obvious fans who almosted filled The Forge for the London lads tonight.

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The band started their set with ‘Helix and Ferman‘, with the audience echoing the chants of “Drink red wine, say you’re fine” along side Peter Phillips (guitarist) and Andrew Tickell (bass) while our front man sung troubled tales of struggle in love, the set started as it meant to go on. Tonight showcased the greatest, almost tangible connections that can be made between a great band and it’s endowed audience. I’m not sure whether this was more due to Stephen Davidson’s emotional, matter-of-fact voice or the genuinely humble audience interactions that frequented the time inbetween songs (“Look you’re here watching us while all the famoud bands play down the road, so thank you”) – but despite having some time-wasting technical difficulties, and a venue that did not entirely suit the band, Tellison managed to touch a lot of people tonight.

Tunes such as ‘Boy‘ and ‘Tact Is Dead‘ were strung out full of detailed guitar riffs and energetic drums, demonstrating how timeless, ageless and seamless Tellison‘s troubled indie-rock music really is. They even experiemented at times throughout the set, with some songs incorporating warm, delicate harmonies, and others having some heavier guitar lines and more relentless drums by Henry Danowski, these were met with positive crowd reactions. This is a personal band, who sing personally significant lyrics and enjoy playing intimate sets (regardless of the size of the venue room), and as the words and beats are seemingly pouring out of the musicians, the crowd stand in wonder and bliss.

 

 


What the crowd thought…

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“A fantastic, unique band that have invigorated my evening!”

 

Listen to Tellison’s tunes below:

You can also follow them on facebook and twitter

 

(All images: Steph Baker)

 

Baker out.

CAMDEN ROCKS FEST REVIEW – The Carnabys

Date: 4th June 2016 (Camden Rocks Festival)

Venue: The Forge, Camden.

Genre: Alternative-rock/Brit-pop

Rating: ★★★1/2

This Camden rocks gig was hosted by the Forge, one of the more lager venues of this festival that allowed for more open-air circulation of sound and room to move about. The Carnabys of Twikenham opened their set with ‘So Much Better On My Own’, an upbeat tune that showcased the great synergy between the energetic drumming and funky bass lines, and also gave front man Jack Mercer the chance to warm up the crowd.

Tracks such as ‘It’s Not My Party’ had Jack jumping around the stage, and filled the Forge with optimistic, brit-pop vibes. This band brought something different to Camden Rocks tonight, with their entertaining performances and choruses full of funloving hooks, they are a great example of a more tight and mature alternative rock band.

 

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The crowd steadily became more condensed, with committed fans fleeing to the front to chant the chorus lines back to the band. The Carnabys’ energy is not only carried but pushed out onto the audience by the strong-standing Jack and his powerful resounding vocals with the band’s music and upbeat vibes being carried and pounded out by the impressive drumming skills of James Morgan.

Despite covers usually being the lul of a band’s set, a moment where it is clear they have ran out of unique tracks and settle for something people will (hopefully) know, The Carnabys’ cover of David Bowie’s ‘Jene Genie’ was arguably the highlight due to the perfect suiting of this band with this song. Jack’s voice boomed out the lyrics, which hit him right back in the face as the crowd reciprocated them, and the music was seemingly in the musicians’ fun-loving comfort zone. This classic, British sound was continued through the rest of the set, and althought it would have been good to see their more adventurous side musically, the Twikenham boys gave Camden rocks authentic, brit-pop summer vibes.


What the crowd thought…

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“Great indie-pop vibes and good energy!”


 

Check out The Carnabys now below:

Also give them a follow facebook and twitter

 

(All images: Steph Baker)

 

Baker out.

CAMDEN ROCKS FEST REVIEW. Fizzy Blood

Date: 4th june 2016 (Camden Rocks Festival)

Venue: Hawley Arms, Camden. 

Genre: Heavy Rock

Rating:★★★★1/2

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This five piece from Leeds, consisting of mates Paul, Benji, Jake, Ciaran and Tim are a powerhouse of hardcore rock’n’ roll – and that is something that becomes apparent from the first chord struck.

The boys came out with ringing heavy riffs, instantly blaring through the the room while front man, Benji screamed through the mic. All of the niche defining talent irrupting from the musicians resulted in manic screams and a scramble for space to move on the small Hawley Arms stage. You could hear the bass player’s crazed scream into the crowd despite not having a mic in front of him. Meanwhile, front man Benji kept his cool and strong stance throughout. It’s a wonder how this cool image is maintained whilst blaring out seemingly effortless hardcore vocals.

Patience’ and ‘Up and Down’ were clearly the highlights of the set, and we even got to experience ‘ADHD’ a track never before played live. The emotive lyrics, upbeat bass lines and playful drums lured the crowd in before they exploded into a frenzy of hardcore guitar solos and head banging.

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The reason this band are going to do so well in their career is their live performances. Fizzy Blood were undoubtedly the highlight of Camden Rocks -a relentless explosion of fuzzy rock ‘n’ roll that shook up London.

 

What the crowd thought…

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“That was fucking intense”

 

Give Fizzy Blood‘s ear shattering tunes below:

You can also connect with Fizzy Blood on facebook and twitter

 

(All images: Steph Baker)

 

Baker out.

CAMDEN ROCKS FEST REVIEW – Blackwaters

Date: 4th June 2016 (Camden Rocks Festival 2016)

Venue: The Hawley Arms, Camden.

Genre: Indie-Punk

Rating:★★★★

This was the young quartet’s first time playing Camden Rocks Fest, and boy, did they hit up a storm.

With an explosive opening number ‘Moon On A Stick‘ which has formed their most recent single (out now, link below), every member took the chance to show what they were all about, and why they deserved to be here today. The lead guitar excecuted energetic punk riffs which were carried by the strong drum beats that pounded throughout. Meanwhile, our front man encouraged “Come on, Camden!“, before screaming their lyrical hooks and leading the indie punk charge.

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The set continued with the more up-beat track ‘Blury Day‘, a highly dancable track that show-cased the diversity of this band. They dictated the vibes of the Hawley Arms track by track. As the room got more crowded, you got the impression that you were lucky enough to get a front row seat to a huge gig, not that you were seeing this band in the upstairs of a classic Camden pub – and this was all down to Blackwaters‘ consistent energy and power.

Blackwaters‘ set followed onto shake up the early-day crowd, with rough and wild track such as ‘Fiction‘ and ‘Pull Up Your Socks‘. The front man sung tales of heartbreak with angst and indie hooks dotting through the tunes, while the other band members were (at times quite literally) bouncing off eachother effortlessly, showing their strong connection and confidence in their music. The lead guitar even nearly had his head off while trying to balance on the stage’s high-up kick-drum.

Today’s set was pure indie punk magic, with the right hooks, guitar riffs and manic drumming from both genres that we all find irresistable. This band are so exciting and full of potential, their energy is relentless while their rough-around-the-edges sound gives them so much charm.


What the crowd thought…

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“Bloody brilliant”


Listen to Blackwaters‘ new single ‘Moon On A Stick‘ below:

Also don’t forget to follow them on facebook and twitter

(All images: Steph Baker)

 

Baker out

LIVE REVIEW – Sophie & The Giants, Machiavellis and HYLA at The Boileroom.

Date: 30 May 2016

Venue: Boileroom, Guildford

Tonight’s gig, hosted and promoted by The Boileroom and fello blog pals thnksfrthrvw was all about showcasing female-fronted bands from a variety of musical influences and genres. With a great selection of talent, a supportive crowd and good vibes all round, tonight’s gig did exactly what it set out to do.

 

First Support – HYLA

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Image: HYLA facebook

Rating: ★★★★★

HYLA are a self-proclaimed aggro-grunge quartet who have been “smashing shit up on stage since 2015” and they are not wrong. Seconds after sneaking onto the stage, the almost silent Boileroom exploded as Libby plummeted the bass drum, with Aaron (lead guitar) and Yani (bass) accompanying with heavy grunge riffs. And then lead vocalist Vicky Holburt began to sing, everything changed. It seems this band have mastered hardcore grunge in its basic, and sometimes predictable form from day 1, and have gone onto bring something entirely new to the table in the form of impassioned lyrics and vocals. Vicky’s voice is a perfect powerhouse of darkness. She lures you in with soft but cut-throat tales of betrayal and heartbreak being glided along by Aaron’s detailed riffs before reaching whole new heights of zealous screams surrounded by energetic drum beats and resounding basslines. 

Not only do this female-fronted band play with such synergy that it is surprising they have only being going for a year, but they perform on stage as if they are playing to the sell-out crowd they deserve. As the set got more daring track-by-track, the crowd’s reaction became increasingly positive. The group (with the encouragement of guitarist Aaron) tried a hardcore rap tune that went down an absolute treat. It was the perfect demonstration of how versatile the group’s talents are, but also how stunning Vicky’s voice is, no matter what you put it to.

Check out and connect with HYLA at their official website and facebook now.

Also check out their live talents below:

 

 

Main Support – Machiavellis

Rating:★★★★☆

 

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Image: thnksfrthrvw

 

Canterbury group, The Machiavellis are another example of how much a band can progress and impress within less than a year since. The group sauntered onto the Boileroom stage and gladly showcased their distinct musicianship with a bit of instrumental jamming to warm them up before embarking on their set. The Machiavellis’ sound is led by the almost-overwhelming talents of lead guitarist, Ruben, who throughout the set continued to embrace his daring creativity and showmanship. This is an alternative-rock/grunge band that excel in instrumental abilities as well as the knack of writing 90s hooks.

This female-fronted group are intriguing to say the least, with a clear amalgamation of musical influences including the likes of Peal Jam and Patti Smith, it is the sense of adventure and experimentation that flows through their hits that makes the band one to remember. Front-woman Megg shows off a delicate, yet impassioned voice that tell relatable tales of young love and angst, this is emphasised even more in selected tracks by the use of a duel-tone pedal which separates her voice into two distinct spheres intertwining beautifully together.

This is a band worth seeing live, even if only to see how their sound is broken down into individual inputs of the members. Up-beat drums carry the melancholic tracks, while lead guitar stammers through with intricate solos. Meanwhile, rhythm guitar and bass dictate the tone of each song, from 90s grunge to more recent indie-rock. A collection of musicians have come together to form The Machiavellis who are only going to get better and better.

Give this band a like and a follow on facebook and twitter

 

 

 

Headliners – Sophie and The Giants

Rating: ★★★★☆

 

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Image: Boileroom instagram

This is a band that are so comfortable in their own skin and with each other that half of them played tonight’s gig barefoot, while the other half were sauntering around the stage as if they were casually jamming together at home. Te first noticeable aspect of this band, (similarly to the support bands) is how can such an impassioned, ardent voice boom out of something so petit? This local group are amply named, as front-woman, Sophie did in fact seem to be surrounded by giants in regards to the size comparisons on stage, but this is more then compensated for with her huge, Florence-esk soulful vocals.

 

This indie-rock quartet have mastered their distinct sound, with each member playing their part to create a tightly polished collection of future hits. Set highlights included ‘Raspberry‘ and ‘All Along Nothing‘, we even got the delight of hearing a live rendition of their latest single, Lord Knows‘ (out now) which was met with positive acclaim from the growing crowd. As the set continued, the band grew more confident and energetic; part-way through, 3/4 of the band actually exited the stage, leaving us alone with Sophie’s voice to bounce off the walls. This solo track is beautifully written, with sinister lyrics “We are all human here, does that make us twisted?” that demonstrated her independent power is only emphasised by the accompaniment of screeching guitar-riffs and powerful drum beats. As their live experience develops, this band are only going to go on the up – a perfect female-fronted indie rock gem.

Like the band on facebook, give ’em a follow on twitter

And buy their new single ‘Lord Knows‘ out now on iTunes and Apple Music

 

Baker out