Neon Tricks are something of a new name to the local scene, formed originally as a college project the three-piece have performed a handful of times in and around Stratford-Upon-Avon, honing their unique blend of indie, modern R&B and pop, whilst writing new material.

On the evidence of the couple of tracks I’ve heard to date Home and Skeleton Trio, the trio, Becca, Tom (Forbes) and Rhona have come up something a little special, Home opens with a tough urban vocal and a throbbing beat, before Tom adds his soulful indie pop croon to proceedings, as the band add layers of instrumentation (guitars, both acoustic and electric, synths, etc) and complimentary male/female vocal harmonies, twisting the track into a fresh take on the indie pop theme designed for both the indie club and hottest dance floor.
Skeleton Key is different again, showcasing a definite love of throbbing electro and perhaps even dubstep, as the group weld a deep pulsating beat with the aforementioned vocal harmonies and squelchy synth, but whereas a great deal of acts lose sight of the song underneath a wall of electronica, Skeleton Key has an infectious vocal hook, a tasty guitar breakdown and enough rise and fall to really demand the attention.
Hopefully Neon Tricks will continue to explore their love of music in this way, their cross-pollination of genres is both bold and refreshing.
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The Blues, certainly in the Midlands if not the UK has a new home, in sunny Vale Of Evesham, The Iron Road once again leads the way, having launched their blues night with Laurence Jones, they then continued their momentum with fellow Brit, blues, demigod Mr Ben Poole..

In recent times Ben Poole and his band have been busy tearing up venues across the UK, taking in the likes of The Albert Hall with his combination of fiery fretwork and emotive smooth vocal delivery bedazzling audiences and critics alike and so when one of the hottest names in the business right now decided to drop in on our doorstep, I had to be there.

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The four-piece band (keyboard, bass, drums and of course Ben on Guitar and vocals) take to the stage and deliver a short muscular instrumental to set the mood, before kicking the set off with a trio of originals that simply ooze class and sophistication. Ben’s vocals are light, passionate and soulful, whilst his guitar sings out proudly, as squeezes out such depth and emotion through each solo, all the whilst his band lay down a mesmeric groove, epically rising from the subtle to the bombastic effortlessly.

Following on from the opening salvo Ben and his band stun the blues loving audience with his first cover of the night, a glorious take on Freddie King’s Have You Ever Loved A Woman, that perhaps even managed to top both the original and Derek & The Dominoes rendition for both style and substance, with keyboardist Sam Mason adding his own impressive flourish to proceedings, complimenting Ben’s flair wonderfully.

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Both original Starting All Over Again and a spirited run through Mr Pitiful showcased Ben’s funk and soul credentials, as he strutted and crooned, whilst a jaw-dropping reinvention of Hey Joe, was a masterclass in guitar abuse as he bent and bashed his already battered fender, creating a stunning sound, even rivaling Hendrix for creativity and style.

Ben left a shell shocked audience with a loving tribute to the late Gary Moore in the shape of the beautiful Time Might Never Come, before returning for one more flurry in the shape of Hanging In The Balance, leaving us hollering for more whilst trying to comprehend what we’d just witnessed.

The Iron Road has promised to deliver the best in blues and so far they’ve done just that and then some, if you missed Ben or indeed Laurence before, shame on you, checkout the venue on facebook and see you down the front.

www.benpooleband.com

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The Last Great Dreamers (formerly the Silver Hearts), maybe the greatest band you’ve never heard, a four-piece that blended glam, stomping indie and punk, to create an infectious, hook-laden racket, full of swagger and balls (think a supercharged Beatles or Big Star meeting The Ramones and The Quireboys head first in a glorious musical collision). A band that were once on the cusp of greatness, before a change in the musical landscape and life conspired before they ever really got to realise their full potential, despite rave reviews at the time.

Well, now twenty plus years later guitarist Slyder and frontman Marc Valentine have reunited to reignite the flame, tread the boards and promote a wealth of material previously unreleased first time around (now collected as Crash Landing In Teenage Heaven) aided by bassist Ian Scruffykid and drummer Ginge.

The band took to the stage dressed in sleazy seventies garb, jackets, hats and messy in place, the dual guitars set to stun, the band set off with Supernature Natural, instantly setting their stall with a combination of buzzing riffs and battered percussion before Marc unleashed a melodic, yet attitude fueled snarl, whilst throwing shapes around the stage.

By the time Slyder cranked up the guitar on No.1 Wonderboy the band had not only won this critic over but had him humming along and looking around the rest of the audience seemed to be converted to the band’s cause. Hooks and riffs were delivered in abundance with the likes of the instant Superboy Disaster, Sci-Fi Louise and Ashtray Eyes all hitting home, as the band bashed out their set with more attitude than most band’s can muster in a lifetime.

The band finished their high octane set with a self-titled chant along anthem and the thrills and spills of Crash Landing In Teenage Heaven, leaving the crowd exhilarated and baying for more, knowing  that they’d just witnessed the resurrection of one of the true bastions of rock ‘n’ roll.

The Last Great Dreamers have it all, the style, the substance, the swagger and a fistful of bona-fide sing-a-long anthems, what’s not to like?

www.lastgreatdreamers.com

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Terrace

Debut Album
‘We Fall Together’

Out June 1st 2015

www.terraceband.com

Simon Lock formed Terrace in 2010 with intent that Terrace will make music that doesn’t obey the fickle music “scene”. Too many sub genres confuse the palate and create short lived trends. Instead, why not make music that can reference the past, lighten the future and live in the present?

“As a band, we have one main goal, which is… to create and play unpretentious dance music that pays no attention to current fads. Rather than follow the rest of the herd, we pull strongly from our deep roots in House Music, Techno, Funk, Disco, Brit Pop, Post Punk, and Ambient and throw it all together in one ear pleasing mix.”

“We infuse every song with our deep passion for music and really focus on making the track unique. It has to remind you of all the things you love about music.”

With the release of their first single Cote d’ Azur in November 2014 the band plans to release their first full length album with the new line up by Spring 2015.

Terrace the band is Simon Lock (Vox, Guitar, keyboard, drum programming), Kalani Polson (Drums, Percussion) Alex Cooper (Guitar, Keys, Backing Vox).

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR COTE D’AZUR HERE
The first of a trilogy of thematically linked videos. The second, for track‘Exit Stars’ will follow soon.
These guys make absolute summer jams. Travel and escapism plays a big part in their songwriting, with a reoccurring theme of just dropping it all and getting away from life. We all live relatively responsible lives and the thought of pursuing a life of frolic and indulgence seems so far away – why not attempt to taste it via music. True to this, the album was recorded all over the world, including in Vancouver, The British Virgin Islands, Hawaii, New York, Montreal and Toronto. The singer / songwriter is actually a commercial airline pilot..Intr

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PALE HONEY – THE SELF TITLED DEBUT

OUT MAY 4TH ON BOLERO RECORDINGS

 

“a White Stripesian voice-drums-guitar sparseness… brilliant” – Sunday Times Culture, ‘Breaking Act’

 

“Youth is a nervy bolt of Rock & Roll.” – Stereogum

 

“packed with refined, and barely controlled, fury.” – The Line of Best Fit

 

“Sparse yet emphatic, there are shades of early PJ Harvey or Sleater-Kinney in the directness of the songwriting. Capable of shifting intensity within a few seconds, Pale Honey have a remarkable sense of control for such a fresh group.” – Clash

 

“…resembling the kind of Brit-grunge that saw PJ Harvey change the mid-90s musical landscape.” – NME

 

“The Gothenburg duo of Tuva Lodmark and Nelly Daltrey make brutally minimal rock that’s prone to the odd fit of rage.” – DIY

 

Pale Honey remain coolly poised throughout the three-minutes of their latest single, in which fans of PJ Harvey and Sleater-Kinney will find a lot to love.” – Q

 

SEE PALE HONEY LIVE ON MAY 20TH AT THE ISLINGTON, LONDON

 

PALE HONEY are a minimalistic rock duo from Gothenburg, Sweden. Already likened to artists likes PJ Harvey and Sleater-Kinney for their intensity and directness, and calling to mind the sonic textures of Alvvays and Beach House, their debut single proper ‘Youth’ landed online just a few weeks ago. Bathed in a tone that conveys both nonchalance and sincerity in equal measure, the track premiered at Stereogum, who said;

“Youth comes in like a slow-moving storm; first, it’s just a drizzle, a solitary little synth line, then drums and Tuva’s low, slow vocals. But when her guitar explodes into the frenzied, nervy bolt of the chorus, she keeps her voice subdued, creating this sense of tension and control that adds an intimate, feminine layer to the song.”

Put together across three different studios in Paris, Gothenburg and Stockholm, many of the sounds were also recorded in the kitchen of producer Anders Lagerfors, who perfectly captures the group’s shifting intensity and spontaneity. Returning regularly to themes of disheartenment and melancholy, they describe the album as being, lyrically, very state-of-mind. It’s also about empowerment and, simply put, strength. The songs routinely flirt with the polite, before exploding into fits of distortion.

Tuva Lodmark (guitar / vocals) and Nelly Daltrey (drums) said the following: “Youth started to take shape one summer that we spent locked up, sweating in our new rehearsal room. The playful guitar riff set the pace for the drums and the vibe was clear to us – the laid back sound gave the feeling of controlled coolness, which we later wanted to match the lyrics with. We recorded the song inParis with our producer Anders Lagerfors and from there the song grew into the more wild, attitude-filled song, still keeping the simple playfulness. Being inspired by our ultimate decision – to start daring to make our own music and just go for it no matter what (probably paired with the usual personal awakening that every Swedish summer brings after the cold, dark winter) the lyrics are about letting go, getting over things and just keep going with your head held up high and starting to earn your bruises.”

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