Graham Norton/Taylor Swift

Just caught a glimpse, well heard a glimpse actually, of Taylor Swift’s new song, Me, just a few minutes ago and I have to admit it’s not overly bad. The songs does it its moments in terms of the way in which it’s structured and has a sort of ‘girly vibe’ to it. Now I openly admit that I’m not a huge fan of Taylor Swift yet I openly admit that she’s a good singer and has a big vocal range on her. In regards to her singing abilities she’s actually quite good and seems, displays full confidence in herself and shows a commanding presence whenever she’s on the stage. In tonight’s performance she had great backing singers who appeared to be more like actual band members than just average backing singers. However, despite the fact that her new single sounds good I won’t be rushing to buy or download it anytime soon. Me is out now and is on her new album of which the title has yet to be released.

Also on the sofa were James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Sophie Turner and Jessica Chastain to discuss the new upcoming X-Men film, Dark Phoenix which comes out in early June. As an X-Men I genuinely can’t wait for this

🙂

MusicNotts Talks With… Ben Mark Smith

The latest from the MusicNotts Talks With… series, this one’s with Nottingham’s own Ben Mark Smith, have a read and enjoy  🙂

MusicNotts Talks With… Ben Mark Smith

 

Graham Norton/Shakespear’s Sister

I first remember hearing ‘Stay’ when it first came out and it was a powerhouse of a hit, Siobahn and Marcella’s voices just hit all the right notes, and within all intents and purposes it was a rich, powerful song with deep, gothic quality. It’s been 27 years since they performed it and it’s not lost any of its touch. Sound-wise it’s got a bit lighter but then you’re just reminded of how great Siobahn and Marcella sound together. Stay still holds the record for the the most weeks at no.1, eight impressive weeks back in it’s heyday. It’s one of those songs that defies time and still sounds as incredible as it did back then. Anyway, the ladies of Shakespear are releasing a new album called Singles Party, can’t wait. A great comeback for Shakespear’s Sister. Also on the sofa were Will Smith, Naomi Scott, Kevin Hart and Octavia Spencer.

MusicNotts Talks With… Evil Scarecrow

An interview I did a while back with Nottingham/Derby band, Evil Scarecrow. Think K.I.S.S meets gruesome slasher with full-on screamo vocals you get these guys. And some strange dance-moves (just go to a gig you’ll get it)

MusicNotts Talks With… Evil Scarecrow

 

Colt 48 + support @ The Albert, Nottingham 7/3/19

The doors opened at 6pm and the people gradually poured themselves in for to one of Nottingham’s night spots. Live music and beers all round for everyone. Colt 48, who are nearing the end of their current tour with Cotton Mouth, 10 Gauge and Down in One. The night was held at The Albert, formerly known as Spanky Van Dykes. The name of the venue may have changed but the general vibe of the place hasn’t. No introduction was needed for Cotton Mouth, mainly cos they did it themselves, but these guys let their music do the talking for them. Local lads, and all from Nottingham, they’ve been around for at least three years but are showing promise and definitely know how to get the crowds going. They are a fusion of rock, metal and grunge along with strong vocals and energetic presence and took the stage with ease. Now 10 Gauge, I’m just going to go out there and say it sound like legendary pros and even their lead man who is from our side of the Atlantic sounds like he like an American export.

Vocally he just hits all the right notes. By this point the adrenaline was rising, as was the sweat from the excitement of people punching their fists in the air. He got everyone to get on the floor at one point. Down in One were as game for a laugh as they were for creating riffs, the lead singer made a couple of jokes about their drummer being the next 007. Now that’d be interesting. Front-man, Gon, was literally a whirlwind of energy as he just wouldn’t stop moving from either side of the stage.

Colt 48 closed the night by singing a mixture of original songs as well as a Gotye cover, ‘Somebody That I used to Know’, just in case you were wondering. I admit it’s always interesting when bands pull-off song covers as you never know where they’re going to take it. Throughout the gig he switched between two microphones and was just a ball of energy throughout and the crowds got up close and personal by this point. Lead singer, Adam Jerome, closed the set on ‘Enemy’, a track so new it’s not even been recorded yet. Overall, a great night. Keep your eyes on these guys, they’ll be coming to a music venue near you.

 

In The Spotlight: Vic Mensa – Down on my Luck

Now this record came out ages ago but is still, in my opinion, an amazing dance/hip hop record, with a mixing of deep house. Down on my Luck came out in 2014 and even though it didn’t do spectacularly well it still received quite a lot of airplay on various mainstream radio stations such as Capital and Radio 1. Continuing on that note though I’m surprised it didn’t stick around for just that bit longer as with the right amount of enthusiasm it could’ve got even higher. It’s one of those tracks where even though it lacked in one element it certainly made up for it in another.
Song-wise, the lyrics don’t seem to match what’s happening in the video, also they contain references to Hollywood culture.

If you’ve ever seen the video it actually has its moments in terms of comedy and scenarios, also it includes moments time rewinding. In the video there’s a girl who he notices and tries to make his way to her and in doing so ends up in various scenarios including being punched in the face, being stopped for a selfie. At one point in the video he’s vomited on by a girl and run over by a vehicle.

By the time you’ve got to the end of the video he’s outside of the club having a smoke whilst walking away. Lyrically the chorus acts as a sort of hook and just seems to go around and round, “When I get down on my luck I hide behind my eyes in Hollywood”. The song itself ends in with a sort of in-your-face style ending as it’s kind of a ‘screw you’ type of statement “Cause they told you to, why you listen to ’em Hands up, middle finger ’em Fuck that get down”.
If you ever get the chance to, watch the video cause even if you don’t quite get what’s going on the antics are to some degree laughable.

MusicNotts Talks With… Tom Shawcroft

Another one from the MusicNotts column feature, Nottingham’s own Tom Shawcroft. His music’s really good and another great artist to keep a listen out for.  Enjoy  🙂

http://musicnotts.com/musicnotts-talks-with-tom-shawcroft/

 

SHVPES @Red Rooms, 30/1/19 Nottingham

A review I did of SHVPES during at the Red Rooms in Nottingham for MusicNotts at the end of last month, read and enjoy.

http://musicnotts.com/shvpes-the-five-hundred-death-blooms-red-rooms-nottingham-30-1-19/

 

 

Listen To This: Beans on Toast

 

An interview with veteran rocker, well I say that but he’s been active since 2005, Jay McAllister, and the next addition in the Listen To This series, also he’s playing at the Rescue Rooms tonight in Nottingham. Enjoy

BOT 2019 PORTRAIT

Meet Jay McAllister, a one-man-band music veteran who’s been making music since 2005, or since Indie music got a breath of new air. Better known by his stage-name Beans on Toast, Jay McAllister is a home-grown solo musician with a soothing voice who sings about many aspects of life such as drugs, politics and love. Beans on Toast is an extraordinary musician in his own right who sings to you in a way that only a small handful can. A beautiful mixture of folk, rock and acoustic with a bit of heartfelt soul. He has ten albums under his belt, his most recent being A Bird in the Hand and countless tours and look forward to hearing much more from him in the near future. For your further listening check out Another Year, Magic, Here at Homerton Hospital, Bamboo Toothbrush and Miss You Like Crazy and let’s see what you think.

“I wrote my first song was I was 15 and I’ve been writing them ever since”

Who are you?
For all intents and purposes, my name is Beans on Toast. I’m a folk singer from Essex currently travelling around the country singing simple songs about life and Love.

What made you want a life in music?
It made more sense to me than pretty much everything else, it’s just how it’s always been. I wrote my first song was I was 15 and I’ve been writing them ever since.

Now you’ve been making music since 2005, about 15 years now, do you feel like a music veteran?
I feel like I’ve been around the block a few times yeah. Still enjoy it as ever as ever though.

Do you feel you’re at the stage where you feel like a pro or would you view yourself as someone who’s still learning?
I’m not sure the plan was ever to be a pro and you should always continue to learn, that said I’m pretty settled in what I do these days and feel like I know what I’m doing.

When you first began as a musician what music influenced you?
I played in a grunge band a school, so Nirvana, Placebo and the like were a massive inspiration. Around the same time, I also discovered The Doors and Jim Morrison and fell in Live with his attitude and magic.

Describe Beans on Toast in five words
Drunk Folk Singer

On a scale of 1-10, how rock are you?
5

Beans on Toast, how did that go from being an edible dish to your stage-name?
I think it’s a pretty fair description of the music I make. It’s English, cheap, easy and it does what it says on the tin.

Describe a Beans on Toast gig to the MusicNotts readers
A gathering of friends with some singing, drinking, dancing, thinking and forgetting.

As a musician describe to me how life on the road is as you’ve been both around the UK and Europe. What can you tell me?
That good people are everywhere and if you’re polite the world will open its arms to you.

Where are you top 5 music venues both in Nottingham, the UK and abroad?
I’ve played many, many times in Nottingham and 90% of the shows have been in the same building, just different rooms. So my top Notts venues would be Rock City, Rock City Basement, Rescue Rooms and stealth. UK venues I like include Gorilla in Manchester. Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. The Trades in Hebden Bridge. Omeara in London and The Phoenix in Exeter. Worldwide. Amnesia in San Francisco. Rockwood music hall in NYC. De Roma in Antwerp. Die Wohngemeinschaft in Cologne. The Bank Rooftop in Cape town and Smiles Saloon in Bolinas.

What reactions do you get from your music compared to both here and abroad cos I imagine the musical tastes are a bit different.
I’m generally surprised how well it goes down outside of English
speaking countries, turns out it was my ignorance I was worried about.

Now you’ve got a gig later this week at the Rescue Rooms, what can we expect from it?
Same as above: A gathering of friends with some singing, drinking, dancing, thinking and forgetting.

And will you be performing songs from your recent release ‘A Bird in the Hand’?
Yep, and a bunch from the back catalogue too. This is my first tour with a new band, we’ve reworked a bunch of old tunes into a full band affair. Which is fun.

The last time you performed in town you played at Rock City, how did it go and are you excited to be coming back?
Yep, I Love Nottingham. Can’t wait to get a Mocky D’s before the show too.

Something that people might not know is that your last album was produced by Ben Lovett, would you be open to collaborating with him in the future, either as a musician or producer?
Ben produced my first album and I was lucky enough that he found the time in his mental schedule to produce my 10th. Maybe in ten years, he’ll do the 20th.

Has your music been played on The Beat or any other radio station yet?
I have no idea. 6music plays the odd song here and there as does Radio X.

Lastly where can fans listen to your music?
Wherever they normally listen to music. I’ll be there. Or Google Beans on Toast. It took me a while to get above the food on the search results. But I did it.

https://twitter.com/beanstoast?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
https://www.facebook.com/beansontoastmusic/
http://www.beansontoastmusic.com

Listen To This… Raised By Owls

Raised By Owls

May I introduce you to Sam, Alex, Mark, Tobias and Lee, five guys, all come from the deepest depths of Derbyshire who together make Raised by Owls. Raised by Owls are among the latest rock greats who fuse rock, metal, thrash-energy, sharp vocals with full-on screamo backing. And a passion for Mary Berry and The Great British Bake-Off (I’m as confused as you). For further listening check out The Great British Grind Off, Off to The Pub, Rot Stewart and The Almighty Sunday Roast. Derby, you’ve done us proud with these metal greats.

“I have a lot of respect for bands that are willing to experiment and try something different”

Who are you guys?
Hi! Raised by Owls is:
Sam Fowler – Vocals.
Alex LeGrice – Guitar & backing vocals.
Mark Bainbridge – Guitar
Tobias Cope – Bass
Lee Deane – Drums

And how did you all get together?
Me (Sam) and Alex just started messing around in Alex’s old bedroom at his parents’ house. We started ripping off bands that we really liked, and I would put ridiculous lyrics over the top of the songs. Shortly after we got our good friend Lee involved and started making daft internet music videos.
Once the videos started to take off online, we wanted to start making live appearances. That’s when we inducted Mark and Tobias to complete the line-up.
The five of us all grew up in a rural town in Derbyshire called Ashbourne. It’s a bit like Royston Vasey off ‘The League of Gentlemen’ which probably explains why our music is so odd.

What are your music influences?
Mainly extreme metal. However, I have a lot of respect for bands that are willing to experiment and try something different.
Some of our favourite bands are Carcass, Cannibal Corpse, Pig Destroyer, Napalm Death, At the Gates, The Black Dahlia Murder, Behemoth, Aborted, Revocation, Every Time I Die, Mastodon. The list goes on.

On a scale of 1-10 how rock would you say you are?
We’re probably minus 10. We’re not a very cool band.

Story behind band’s name?
We can’t remember, which is embarrassing. I think it was during recording in Alex’s bedroom, I vaguely remember that we wanted to take a name that would normally sound metal, like ‘Raised by Wolves’ and replace with a less brutal animal, like an owl.

You released an album, The Great British Grind Off, wouldn’t be a reference to a certain cookery show?
ALL HAIL MARY BERRY, THE ONE TRUE QUEEN OF BAKING!

It’s a whooping 24 tracks long, how long did it take to work on the whole album?
It started as just a laugh. We never intended to release it to the public in the beginning. Then we started making daft videos for the songs and people online responded, so we decided to put it out.
We started recording it around September 2015 and finished around September 2016. We weren’t working solidly. We’d just mess around every few weekends and see what came out. The recording of the next release will probably be a lot more focused as we have a handful of people who actually care about our musical output now ha-ha.
Have you played in Nottingham before?
Yes sir, many times, It’s always a good laugh. it’s our home from home… as it’s only up the road, and we love Taco Bell.
Derby needs a Taco Bell!

And are you looking forward to Macmillan Fest this weekend?
Very much so. Our last show was Truck Festival back in July, so we’ve had a bit over a month off. I’ve been itching to get back on stage.
Looking forward to checking out some awesome bands and hanging with some cool dudes and dudettes that we haven’t seen in ages. It’s going to be good clean fun.

You’ve been together since 2015 and have an album as well as numerous gigs under you belt such as Bloodstock and Truck Festival, what can we expect from you next?
A few more gigs spotted about to see the year out. Then we’re planning to release another record in the first part of 2019. The last few months have been spent hiding away and writing, and now we’re just starting to record.
Next year there will be a new record, new daft videos, more gigs and hopefully some festival appearances! It’s all looking very exciting.

And finally, were can fans hear more of your music?
Go and download our debut EP ‘The Great British Grind Off’ for FREE on bandcamp here: https://raisedbyowls.bandcamp.com/
Like us on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/RaisedByOwls/
And watch us here: http://www.youtube.com/raisedbyowls