Up & Coming Bands who perform in London – All images © Chris Dorney.

Archive for July, 2011

40 – ‘Fjokra’, ‘Houdini Dax’ and ‘Brave Yesterday’

Fjokra:

www.reverbnation.com/fjokra

“Earnest singer songwritery balladeering? NO!
Retro revivalists? NO!
‘Hip’, urban funkateers? NO!

‘Queen on crack’? Perhaps. Chuck in a liberal dose of Mike Patton/Mr Bungle, Todd Rundgren, Prince, Rachmaninoff interludes and metal riffs the size of skyscrapers and you’re halfway to describing the musical smorgasbord that makes up Fjokra’s music. Oh, and there’s some Latin grooves and some monstrous Dubstep chucked in as well. Five guys, two girls and a lot of facepaint.”

(Quote obtained from the band’s website)

Houdini Dax:

www.houdinidax.co.uk

“Summer 2011. And the nippers are still making good honest rock ’n’ roll. Take Cardiff’s Houdini Dax, who have an average age of 19. What are they doing digesting records, writing songs and rehearsing when they could be playing Xbox or texting friends from the back of the bus? Weren’t “the kids” supposed to have tired of analogous music? Wasn’t the house music craze of the late ’80s supposed to have killed rock? Heck, thinking about it, weren’t the synth bands of over 20 years ago viewed as the only way forward?

No my dear music lovers, valves are not dead, rock ’n’ roll is blossoming and “the kids are alright” (as Pete Townshend so neatly put it 46 years ago). The Noughties has seen great success for young bands.  The Libertines and then Arctic Monkeys paved the way post-Brit Pop and now still barely out of the shadows come Houdini Dax, your soon to be favourite new band.

Hearing ‘The Magicians’ for the first time it’s impossible not to think of Alex Turner and his band in their early stages. Jack Butler’s edgy vocals, sharp wordplay and the stop-start, spiky New Wave tendency of the playing certainly share similarities with early Arctic Monkeys, but it’s not what defines them.  A video of a live acoustic performance for Huw Stephens’ Swn Festival ‘Swn is Sound’ video series of ‘Struggling In The Sand’ show Houdini Dax playing in a stripped back setting with acoustic guitar, bass, brushed drums and harmonies to the fore. It’s tight, honed and timeless. Yes, they have major talent. They can sing splendidly, they throw in some deft bridges and could very well sound like one of those great old acts. Yet they don’t! And when quizzed about their favourite bands, ’60s touchstones (The Beatles, The Kinks, The Sonics, The Stooges) meet latter day acts (Blur and Supergrass) and new bands (The Black Keys, The Raconteurs and White Denim). Yet You Belong To Dax Darling sounds nothing like any of them. It’s the sound of teenagers discovering what they can do.

“Recording the album was amazing,” Jack reveals. “Having Rich from The Method [another of the See Monkey Do Monkey coterie] as producer was special. We’re friends, so he won’t shy away with his opinions. And he always got the best out of us.”  Mentioning how the production had elements of ’60s guitar heroics, post-punk rhythms and an element of My Bloody Valentine about it, Jack beamed back at me as if their mission statement had been achieved.”I’m glad you hear those things clashing,” he eagerly states “because we love that retro ’60s style, but it’s been done so much before. It’s important for us to mix older styles with newer ones… We were aiming for a really strong debut that doesn’t really let up in energy and excitement,” closes Jack. “We tried to capture this by recording in a really live way.”

And live and exciting is the order for the day for the teenage world view of Houdini Dax. Their second album may well feature strings, ballads and mellotrons but for now let the revolution begin as these youngsters play it their own way with what they have learnt from Hendrix, Syd, Gaz and co. They should be famous! ”

(Quote obtained from the band’s official website)

Brave Yesterday:

www.myspace.com/braveyesterdaymusic

“We are Brave Yesterday, a rock band from Jersey. Not the one immortalized in rock mythology by the Boss. The other Jersey, the one in the Channel. Knowing this, you could also be forgiven for thinking that we are nearly French. We’re not. We’re nearly Canadian-ish.

Our frontman Nutter’s authentic North American Rawk voice gives us our mid-Atlantic twang. Mention us in the same breath as Rival Schools, Jimmy Eat World and 30 Seconds To Mars. We’re cool with that.”

(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)

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39 – ‘Lost In The Riots’, ‘Electric Fusiliers’ and ‘Luxury Stranger’

Lost In The Riots:

www.soundcloud.com/lostintheriots

“Lost in the Riots are a four-piece post rock outfit fighting their way out of Watford, Hertfordshire. Differing from their hardcore peers that the town has previously spawned, the quartet serve up a guitar-driven assault of quiet-loud dynamics laden with unconventional time signatures and occasional vocalism. Their sound is a schizophrenic mix of heavy riffs to aggressively nod your head to and tear jerking, hopeful crescendos.”

Electric Fusiliers:

www.facebook.com/ElectricFusiliers

“Formed by Ollie, Sheard and Matt as we had run out of bands between us and wanted an outlet for our music. Callum quickly joined and we played a couple of small time gigs. Matt left to pursue other things, Sam O’D joined, cementing the lineup. Spent many hours and days playing COD and cracking jokes, under the guise of ‘Writing and Recording’. Now actually nearly finished writing and recording our first EP, having not had a band COD session in rather long time, due to the trend for practicing at Ruff Rockers. Will have more tracks up imminently, and a few gigs on the horizon, which will hopefully turn into many more gigs following the ‘release’, or more accurately indiscriminate distribution, of the EP. Have a listen, please do contact us with constructive feedback and stuff, love to hear what you think. ”

(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)

Luxury Stranger:

www.luxurystranger.com

“Influenced by the sounds of post-punk / new wave from 1978 – 1984. Imagine: Bowie and Pop’s Berlin years mixed with the disparate sound of Joy Division and early Cure with the melodies of Martin L Gore and power of The Chameleons – this is Luxury Stranger.”

(Quote obtained from the band’s official website)


38 – ‘The Damn Fine Coats’, ‘Random Perception’ and ‘Siriustar’

The Damn Fine Coats:

www.myspace.com/thedamnfinecoats

“The year 2005 saw the formation of The Damn Fine Coats, a band consisting of singer/guitaristOlly Cole, drummer/poet Tom Brooks and bassist/handsome man Jim Butler. Each band member contributes lyrics with Olly having penned songs such as ‘2 Headed Monster’, ‘Black Belt In Karaoke’ and ‘Nice Try, Icarus’. Tom has provided‘Roses’, ‘Comply Or Die!’ and ‘Dawn’ among others while Jimbles has recently dabbled in lyrics with success in the shape of ‘Be Lucky’. The band are also fairly equal in terms of their musical contributions with Olly writing the guitar parts, Jim contributing the bass lines and Tom providing the drums. This collaborative song-writing style has led to some of the band’s most inventive, unique creations such as the mind bending prog-math-rock instrumental ‘Let’s Put The Fun In Funeral’.

Having spent a substantial amount of time after their formation writing, rehearsing, changing, re-rehearsing and then scrapping vast amounts of music, TDFC finally settled on a five song track list for their first demo. This led to the band being booked for their first gigs at the back end of 2007 and have been playing regularly both locally and around London ever since. A second demo followed in 2008, and a third more recently in 2010.

The latest demo showcases the band’s eclectic tastes with each member bringing their own personal influences to the songs. From the screeching power of ‘Comply Or Die!’ to the melodic chords of ‘Black Belt In Karaoke’ to the juxtaposition of poetry and punk that is ‘Roses’, the band cater to all palettes. TDFC continue to gig around London having played venues such as Water Rats, The Bull & Gate, and Tommy Flynns Camden.

The band are continuing to write new material and book gigs with the aim of improving their music and gathering a fan base while striving to remain their own favourite band. Two recent tracks in particular are worth keeping an eye out for and will be debuted at upcoming gigs, while the most recent demo is available in mp3 format on request.”

(Quote obtained from the band’s myspace page)


 

Random Perception:

www.myspace.com/randomperceptionband

“Random Perception are a four piece alternative indie band from Fishguard, West Wales who formed at the start of 2009. Having already released an E.P titled State of Mind, fans can expect a full album in early 2012. Citing their main influences as Radiohead and Muse, the band put in a tight live performance and prove very popular with crowds. The band have appeared all over west Wales including some big name local festivals and are slowly branching out further to south wales and beyond.”

(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)

Siriustar:

www.siriustar.bandcamp.com

(No biography info available on the band’s website)

 



37 – ‘Eliza Jaye and The Tarts’, ‘Codes’, ‘Air Castles’ and ‘The Good Suns’

Eliza Jaye and The Tarts:

www.myspace.com/elizajayeandthetarts

(No biography info available on the artist’s website)

Codes:

www.myspace.com/codesofficial

“C O D E S . are an alternative/electronic quartet from Dublin, Ireland. Expansive yet melodic. Powerful yet delicate, their music colours the void between the ambience and longevity of soundtrack music and the energy and immediacy of live music..

Soaring vocal harmonies, dreamy arrangements and a calculated cryptography of electronic beats, piano, glockenspiel and analogue synths permeate their sound.

Codes debut album “Trees Dream In Algebra” which was recorded in Gloucestershire UK & mixed in Auckland, New Zealand with acclaimed producer Greg Haver (Manics, SFA) and mastered in NYC by Greg Calbi (U2,Interpol,Kings of Leon) is out now. It was the winner of Best Album 2009 in Phantom FM Dublin’s annual awards, is featured in hotpress magazine’s top 200 Irish albums of all time and was nominated for The Choice Music Prize 2010.”

(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)

Air Castles:

www.aircastlesmusic.com

“Air Castles is a London based band led by Swedish born singer-songwriter Max Mansson.

Starting off as a home recording project in 2008 by the then 19-year-old Mansson, Air Castles has since recorded an EP and an album together with Magnus Lindberg of Cult of Luna.”

(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)

The Good Suns:

www.thegoodsuns.blogspot.com

(No biography info available on the artist’s website)


36 – ‘Ronit’, ‘Lunch’, ‘The Broken Tea-Set’ and ‘Israel Cannan’

Ronit:

www.ronit-music.com

“A  passionate and captivating musician, Ronit has developed a devoted following around Australia that grows with each performance. Audiences are drawn to her strong vocals and emotive honest lyricism, while being floored by her fiery guitar playing. Her sound is a melting pot of soul, roots and rock with hints of Middle Eastern inspired melody, due in part to her Israeli heritage.

Before emerging as a solo artist, Ronit cut her teeth in several established Melbourne bands and toured with popular Reggae/Dub band The Red Eyes as a backing vocalist, gaining vast live playing experience around the country. She is now accompanied by a six piece live band featuring some of Melbourne’s finest musicians, who compliment and embellish Ronit’s catchy songwriting perfectly. Whether playing with her band, or performing intimate solo concerts, Ronit has fast been creating a reputation as one of the city’s premier and most exciting live acts. Just as comfortable playing in large venues as she is playing in smaller jazz clubs and classic Australian live music pubs, she has performed supporting such iconic Australian acts as The Whitlams, Tim Rogers, Renee Geyer, Mark Seymour, James Reyne and Vanessa Amorossi.

Ronit’s music has been used exclusively in the internet based advertising campaign for the established ‘Nevenka’ brand fashion line, and quite recently was used in a successful short film called ‘The Wake’ directed by Gemma Lee. ‘The Wake’ was selected to screen at Palm Springs Short Fest in June 2009 to critical acclaim, and was recently chosen for the prestigious Tribeca film festival in New York.

Ronit released her debut EP ‘Heavy’ through MGM in June 2009. The past couple of months she has been on a whirlwind Summer tour of the US and the UK. ”

(Quote obtained from the artists’ Official Website)

Lunch:

www.myspace.com/lunchUK

“The product of four years writing music together in differing projects, Lunch is the collective masterpiece of songwriters Tom Cale & Josh Jackson, merging the boundaries of as many genres as possible.

Together with bass player James “Mull” Mulligan, the trio are crafting the future sounds of your afternoon mealtimes that will have enough resonance to keep you hungry for more all day, no matter what course of the banquet you find yourself indulging. ”

(Quote obtained from the artists’ facebook page)

The Broken Tea-Set:

Israel Cannan:

www.israelcannanmusic.com

“In 2010 Israel Cannan travelled 20,000 kilometers around his homeland Australia singing songs in the streets and capturing hearts in the process.

This year he decided to trade the streets for the stage and headed to the UK armed with the new album “Walk” in which he wrote, recorded and played all the instruments on. After only a week in London Israel was showcasing at Cargo alongside fellow Australians The Jezabels, Little Red, Luluc at “The Aussie BBQ”.

From there came shows at some of London’s most prestigious venues including The Troubadour, Borderline, The Bedford where Israel continued to wow audiences with his heartfelt melodies and powerful lyrics.

Meanwhile back in Australia National Broadcaster Triple J were featuring Walk on their Unearthed podcasts and The AU Review even named “Walk” as #19 on the top 40 Albums of 2010 (Worldwide).

With shows and festivals being confirmed in the UK & Europe over the summer including Groundswell festival (France) alongside Jason Mraz and Newton Faulkner Israel’s Walk looks like its just getting started..”

(Quote obtained from the artists’ facebook page)


35 – ‘The Kabeedies’, ‘Town’ and ‘Fractures’

The Kabeedies:

www.myspace.com/thekabeedies

www.facebook.com/thekabeedies

(No biography info available on the artists’ website)

Town:

www.myspace.com/wearetown

www.facebook.com/town

“Formed on a love of iconic British bands like the The Clash, The Undertones and The Jam (to name a few), a working class work ethic and no-nonsense approach; South Wales quartet TOWN’s debut offering, the ‘Original Design’ EP, documents the knocks and scrapes of being a youth in modern day Britain.

It’s certainly not all doom and gloom though, lead single ‘Eighteen’, as frontman, Alex Nash explains, “focuses on a prime time in our teenage years, where you’re expected to follow the system and fall into the generic nine-to-five lifestyle, having only 48 hours on the weekend to let off steam. You don’t have to take a journey on that conveyor belt, and can do whatever you want to do, be whoever you want to be.”

It’s attitude like that, that has seen the band begin to make waves up and down the UK with their relatable subject matter, no matter what bill they’re playing on, following shows alongside the likes of The Buzzcocks, The Bluetones, Kids In Glass Houses and One Night Only.

Produced by Romesh Dodangoda (Motorhead, Manic Street Preachers, Lostprophets) at Long Wave Studios and the legendary Rockfield Studios, ‘Original Design’ is both anthemic and ambitious, serving as a perfect introduction to TOWN and should whet the appetite for what will surely be an exciting future for the Newport outfit.”

(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)

Fractures:

www.soundcloud.com/wearefractures

(No biography info available on the artists’ website)



34 – ‘Jax Walker’, ‘Chaser’, ‘Some Skeletons’ and ‘Wyndham North’

Jax Walker:

www.myspace.com/jaxwalker

“A culture clash, Jax Walker is a musician / producer & illustrator interweaving a deadly combo of classic Hiphop with sprawling, electronic indie. A brain blast of Pulsating Basslines, Bulletproof Beats, Trashy Keyboards and Human Voice, the most fun you can have with your own ears!

Backed by his head turning live band, Jax regularly packs out some of the most notorious haunts across the country, recent gigs include the Waterats, The Deaf Institute, Nottinghill Arts Club, Antwerp Mansion, Proud Camden, the Night & Day et al. With future ear bursting releases on the agenda, expect big things over the coming months.”

(Quote obtained from the artists’ myspace page)

Chaser:

www.chasermusic.weebly.com

(No biography info available on the artists’ website)

Some Skeletons:

www.someskeletons.com

(No biography info available on the artists’ website)

Wyndham North:

(No biography info available)