Henry Priestman is a singer-songwriter with a rich potted history that has seen him open for the Sex Pistols, tour with The Who (with his first band Yachts) and write every song on a triple platinum selling album with The Christians. if that wasn’t enough he’s received production credits on numerous other releases as well as had music featured on adverts, BBC Wildlife TV and the alike.
In more recent times, Henry has begun to embark on something of a solo career and in this time he’s drawn from his varied history to create timeless and diverse music that should find appeal and kinship with all those rockers, punks and folkies that have had to grow up but still have that edge.
The brilliantly named The last Mad Surge Of Youth is the latest album by Henry Priestman and once again showcases Henry’s diversity both as a musician and as a songwriter, this time around there’s foot stomping fiddle laments, blues tinged pop and introspective ballads among the thirteen track affair (if you count the bonus track). But perhaps, the over all feel of the disc is something of reflection, pinpointing to where Henry currently is in his life.
The album opens with the gorgeous, harmony enriched (Lottie Mullan) ode to Henry’s recently deceased mother, At The End of The Day, featuring subtle horns, a shuffling beat and Henry’s weathered croaky vocals, that yank at the heartstrings, whilst the lyrics resonate with anyone who’s ever lost someone close. From a beautiful slice of melancholia, the light and airy True Believer bursts from the speakers with it’s delightful combination of strings and guitar (or is it a banjo) twangs complimenting a lovely choir assisted chorus that can’t fail to lift the darkest of days.
From there, Goodbye Common Sense has something of a stomping rootsy country lilt complete with the aforementioned blazing fiddle and a big sing-a-long chorus, Valentine Song is a widescreen emotive ballad with a harmony fueled opening, swelling orchestral backing and a beautiful honey-rich vocal that simply oozes passion. In My Head is a brilliant dreamers lament complete with parping horns, both Rant ‘n’ Rave and same Circus, Different Clowns hint at a country-blues influences both utilizing harmonica, upbeat rhythm and infectious vocal hook, whilst A Pint Of Bitter And Twisted deserves a mention not only for the fabulous title but also for the wry observational look on life, the lyrical masterclass and the fiery folk groove.
The Last Mad Surge Of Youth is a majestic album from start to finish, a lyrically inspired, observational look on life through all it’s up and downs, that will find kinship with anyone of a certain vintage. A highly recommended lifetime report by one of the nations finest songwriters.
Rhythm & Booze Rating 9
Kill The Romantic are a Worcestershire based three-piece alternative rock/post hardcore bunch who take their cues from the likes of Biffy Clyro, Reuben, Jimmy Eats World and perhaps even McClusky, then add their own attitude and twist to create a glorious, often infectious, always compelling and rousing sound that both floors and bedazzles the listener.
Collasped Under Our own Creation is the band’s debut album and what an introduction, together with acclaimed local producer Dave Draper, the band have compiled a stunning eleven track affair that wouldn’t sound out of place on a major label or echoing from the biggest arenas.
The album opens with an impressive statement of intent in the form of Is This Closure? setting out the band’s agenda with a torrent of feedback, before a barrage of drums join the mix, followed by the vocals a number of stop-starts, choppy guitars and a massive, instantly infectious hook that sets the mood for the entire album. Within the space of the opening three and a half minutes you that this album is going to serve up a collection of angular riffs, a combination of melodic and occasional roared vocals as well as hard hitting yet groove-laden rhythms, that’ll have you scrambling for the repeat button over again.
Second number, Love Loss, consolidates this theory as the band twist and tune in numerous directions, that see’s the band at their most melodic with delicate shards of guitar and crooned, barely audible vocal whispers showcasing a majestic more refined side to Kill The Romantics sound. Car Crash TV Episode adds more aggression and near screamed vocals to the mix, yet still manages to manages to retain the band’s melodic sensibilities, with both clean and guttural vocals competing at one point whilst the band flex their sonic range.
Individual highlights are hard to pick from such an intriguing and inventive album, but it’s hard not to mention the short, yet impressive lulling instrumental post rock number featuring added strings, showcasing yet another (and pardon the pun) string to their collective bow. Whilst the album’s final two numbers are also worth a mention, the first of the duo, Deceive Or Believe is something of an epic six minute plus affair that pretty much sums up the various assets of Kill The Romantic’s sound to glorious effect, whilst the closing track, Past Present Future is a stunning shimmering hushed indie rock number complete with mantra like repetitive, aching vocals.
Collasped Under Our Creation is a stunning debut from start to finish, it’s full of hooks, twists, emotional pull and imagination, if you like alternative rock or the more melodic side of post hardcore I urge you to track down this by Kill The Romantic, you won’t be disappointed.
Rhythm & Booze Rating 9
*** Dirty blues rockers announce March UK tour, to support second album ‘10 Tales From The Gin Palace’ – out now on Cargo Records***
Thurs 13th March – BIRMINGHAM, Scruffy Murphy’s
Fri 14th March – CRUMLIN, The Patriot
Sat 15th March – SWANSEA, The Static
Thurs 20th March – BOLTON, The Railway
Fri 21st March – NOTTINGHAM, Doghouse
Sat 22nd March – REDHILL, Hellfire Club
Sat 29th March – LONDON Streatham White Lion (w/Bernie Torme & Jimmy Owen)
Making a welcome return to the heart of Birmingham’s cultural quarter following last year’s overwhelming success, Swingamajig Festival arrives back in Digbeth on Sunday May 4th 2014.
Situated at Boxxed, Swingamajig is the UK’s first one day urban festival dedicated to Electro Swing, Vintage Sounds and Gypsy Madness. Swingamajig takes the sounds and styles from the 1920′s and updates them with a modern twist, bringing together several thousand of the UK’s best dressed ladies and gents to party like it is 1929.
Organised by Birmingham’s Electric Swing Circus, one of the UK’s leading Electro Swing acts and the team behind popular club night Hot Club De Swing, Swingamajig promises to provide four diverse stages showcasing some of the most inventive and entertaining acts on the scene, including headline spots from Molotov Jukebox, Electric Swing Circus and The Destroyers, plus sets from top DJs such as A.Sillz, Bobby Friction and the C@ in the H@.
New to 2014, ticket holders will have the chance to attend dance workshops held by some of Europe’s leading professionals, with a diverse programme offering lessons in lindy hop, jazz steps, right through to modern and street dance too. Further new additions to Swingamajig 2014 are the Vintage Cinema and Electric Hamster racing, allowing festival goers an opportunity to retreat from the madness of the party by escaping to a haven of 1920’s decadence.
So why not try something genuinely different, inventive and fresh, and escape to the Swingamajig wonderland this May.
Swingamajig Festival Key Facts
Attendance last year: 1000
Capacity this year: 3000
Venue: Boxxed Floodgate Street Digbeth
Date: Bank Holiday Sunday 4th May
Organisers: The Electric Swing Circus (Birmingham based band)
Musical entertainment: electro-swing, vintage sounds and gypsy madness
Other entertainment: Swing dancing, circus performances, electric hamster racing, walk about acts and vintage cinema.
Headliners: Molotov Jukebox, Electric Swing Circus, A.Skillz, Bobby Friction
- Henry Priestman-The Last Mad Surge Of Youth
- Kill The Romantic-Collasped Under Our Creation
- Peckham Cowboys Tour
- Swingamajig Festival Bringing The Best Of Electro Swing To Birmingham
- Latest Line-up Announcement For Sonisphere 2014
Tides From Nebula-Earthshine (8 votes)
The Dirt Tracks-Never Been To Mars (7 votes)
Dan Webb-Hyperspace Clearance (5 votes)
October Sky Release New Album And Tour (5 votes)
Huron-Mary Celeste (5 votes)
Introducing New Town Kings (4 votes)
Das Sexy Clap-So So Sick (4 votes)
Jil Is Lucky-Jil Is Lucky (4 votes)
Interview With Dana Jade (3 votes)
Rendezvous-C Sharp (3 votes)