Thursday, 23 March 2017

Astroid Boys Announce Spring UK Dates

2017 got off to a flying start for Astroid Boys, releasing new track Foreigners which is currently sitting at over 150,000 views on YouTube and things are looking to get even better as today Astroid Boys announce a string of UK live dates starting in April!

After gaining a big following on the underground scene since forming in 2012, rising rock/grime collective Astroid Boys, who hail from Cardiff’s CF10 area code, have partnered with Music for Nations (Sony) as the label’s first signing since being recently re-launched.

Comprising Traxx (MC), Benji (MC), DJ Comfort (DJ), Dellux (producer) and Big H (drums), Astroid Boys have created something new and exciting, which was the intention when co-frontman Traxx started the band in 2012, wanting to merge his past as a punk kid with his transition into grime in his late teens.

With the band sitting comfortably between grime and punk/hardcore, their sound fuses together multiple sub-cultures and perspectives—a growth that defines them less as a band and more as a voice for the youth. Not many artists can say they’ve supported Trash Talk and Deez Nuts, as well as Public Enemy, Grandmaster Flash, Skepta and Stormzy, but Astroid Boys have taken their live show to the urban and metal scenes across the UK. Along with an impressive list of tour supports under their belt, they’ve played at Reading & Leeds Festival, Download Festival and T in the Park, as well as festivals in mainland Europe, including Block Party Festival and With Full Force Festival in Germany.

LIVE DATES: 28th April – Hit The North Festival, Newcastle 2nd May – Music Hall, Ramsgate 3rd May – The Horn, St Albans 4th May – Empire, Coventry 5th May – Vintage Bar, Doncaster 6th May – Parish, Huddersfield 8th May – KU Bar, Stockton 9th May – Tunnels, Aberdeen 10th May – Alma Inn, Bolton 11th May – Focus Wales, Central Station, Wrexham 9th June – Download Festival, Donington 13th August – Boomtown Fair, Winchester

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Aaron Buchanan And The Cult Classics - DEBUT ALBUM "The Man With Stars On His Knees" out May 26th

On May 26th Aaron Buchanan And The Cult Classics release their swaggering debut album The Man With Stars On His Knees. full of wit and rage. The band will showcase the dynamic debut at festivals through out the UK this summer including: Download Festival, Camden Rocks, Wildfire Festival and Ramblin’ Man Fair.

The Man With Stars On His Knees is informed by the sharp musical intelligence of Aaron Buchanan And The Cult Classics. “A lot of thought went into making an album that made sense. For a few years, I was so confused, tense and lost that I had more ammunition than I had ever had before to write lyrics and melodies that took me through the realms of anger, upset, uprising and all manner of feelings that probably manifested under a blanket of pressure and time.”

After leaving Heaven’s Basement, Buchanan formed The Cult Classics with sibling Laurie Buchanan on guitar, Tom McCarthy (guitar), Chris Guyatt (bass), and Kev Hickman (drums), as he “wanted to be true to the art in [his] mind, and the sound”, “I'm proud to fly the flag for something a little different.”

Recorded at Plus11 Studio with long-term friend and producer James Curtis-Thomas, the resulting dynamic and fulfilling The Man With Stars On His Knees comes from “doing what musicians do best. Creating.“

The record kicks off with Show Me What You’re Made Of as thunderous as prime Soundgarden and as kooky as MUSE and sets the tone for the whole album. The singles follow; first the lyrically purposeful and autobiographical All The Things You've Said And Done is is an angry kick to the teeth and the first song Buchanan wrote for the album. It bristles with conviction, while the Iggy Pop inspired Dancin’ Down Below with its riotous hooks follows.

This album is about struggle “bought on by surrounding yourself with the wrong people at the wrong time. What comes of that is negative energy. It’s the reason the album has such unique titles on it.” The Devil That Needs You talks of un-helpable addiction, A God Is No Friend speaks of not knowing what to turn to next be it a higher force or your next hit on whatever next passes by in the shop window of life, Mind Of A Mute speaks of how judged I felt over the years, there’s so much meat to this record. I don’t believe I could have written something like this without having been beat to an absolute pulp.”

You never find yourself in the presence of music that sounds self-consciously clever, everything flows before the incredibly elegant Morals, a showpiece song, stacked harmonies closes the album in the best possible way. Every one of these 10 songs is a master class in how to write melodies that pull the heartstrings while refusing to rein in the balls-out instincts. Combined with the combination of fearsomely virtuosic metallic riffing, solid pile driving rhythm section and Aaron’s versatile and soulful voice ensures that The Man With Stars On His Knees is a colossal and essential debut.

It was important to the band to keep the album-circle tight. They didn’t want outsiders getting in on it and the album was like “a speakeasy, nobody knew anything about it unless they were on the inside and it stayed like that for months. Ryan Woods (bass/guitars on album) had a friend, Sam Mayle who had followed Buchanan from the previous band – it just so happened he was an insane artist. Ryan showed Aaron some of his work, amongst them a portrait of a singer from a great band of the mid-noughties and Aaron loved it so much because of the colour and detail that he asked him to do a version of it for the album in question, through this, the striking cover image was born.

Aaron Buchanan believes and understands rock music can be both an unalloyed pleasure and a conduit for ideas, a means of provoking thought, a world in which you can reinvent yourself at the same time. And this has been achieved with the astonishing The Man With Stars On His Knees. “It’s inspired by many records, writers and voices from Eddie Vedder and Scott Weiland through to Queen and Manson – but it stands alone in it’s own cabinet of approval. The Man With Stars On His Knees was built for curious ears.”

The Man With Stars On His Knees retools every aspect of Buchanan’s story so far into something bigger, bolder and more emotionally potent. This brilliant and provocative artist has produced a hugely appealing and a simultaneously intricate and infectious debut album that deserves your attention The Man With Stars On His Knees is an enabling vision and unequivocal triumph.

The Man With Stars On His Knees track listing: 01 Show Me What Your’e Made Of. 02 All The Things You’ve Said And Done. 03 Dancin’ Down Below. 04 The Devil That Needs You. 05 Journey Out Of Here. 06 The Man With Stars On His Knees. 07 A God Is No Friend. 08 Left Me For Dead. 09 Mind Of A Mute . 10 Morals.

To pre-order the CD go to:

Aaron Buchanan And The Cult Classics UK dates June: 3rd Camden Rocks Festival. 11th Download Festival. 25th Wildfire Festival. July 29th Ramblin' Man Fair.

Aaron Buchanan And The Cult Classics are: Vocals: Aaron Buchanan Guitar: Laurie Buchanan Guitar: Tom McCarthy Bass: Chris Guyatt Drums: Kev Hickman

Monday, 20 March 2017

Alison Krauss - "Windy City", Released February 17th, 2017 via Capitol Records - ALBUM REVIEW

Alison Krauss - "Windy City"
Released February 17th, 2017 via Capitol Records

Blue Grass or mainstream country ain’t really a style I have bought in when it comes to music but when Dani K, our chief editor, mentioned to me it was an album of covers I almost choked. Now... never say never and rise to the challenge I told myself.

A few things were going to make this easy I told myself. Alison Krauss is well known vocalist and has a great voice check, musicians and production crew are always associated with high quality check, I can pass the more country sound like tunes check 😊.

Now surprise surprise! It turns out, thanks to Alison, that I now like Willie Nelson, who would have bet on that one!!! Beautiful piano intro, soft and aerial guitar and a bit of accordion... and I am now ready to wear cow boy boots when I listen to I Never cared For You.

River in the Rain from Roger Miller, which admittedly I never heard of (I know I know :-) ), is my second best preferred title on this record and I have found myself going back to this ballad on a regular basis. I seriously think I am going to buy a cow boy hat over the next few days.

Gentle on My Mind Pop intro originally sang by Glen Campbell, a retired country star, is the prelude to a soft and nice musical road trip to Arkansas and I am now contemplating purchasing a wild horse for the urban cowboy that I am slowly becoming.

I am told that Brenda Lee was the first artist singing All Alone Am I. I don’t know if it was one of her signature tunes, but it is a poignant song about loss that Alison has clearly made hers and this in the most superb fashion that an artist can do I must say.

You Don’t Know Me from Eddy Arnold concludes this 10-track cover album Called "Windy City", not an album that I thought I would end up appreciating but you know what, cowboys have a soft and tender heart too. 😊

Overall: All right, all right, all right.
If I was to pick three only: I Never Cared For You, Gentle On My Mind, All Alone Am I
Live test: If my horse brings me there...

Album review by Pascal Derrien

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Hey Violet Reveal New Single and Announce Tour

Hey Violet release a new single — “Break My Heart” — LISTEN HERE:

Calling the track a “twisted love song,” lead singer Rena Lovelis says that “Break My Heart” was inspired by over-romanticizing the painful part of a break-up. “It’s about how, in a relationship, you go through these phases — the first date, the first kiss, the honeymoon — and then after you’ve experienced all the amazing parts of that love, you want to go to the dark side. You want this person to break your heart so you can feel what it’s like to long for them and to feel so desperate that you’ll do anything to get them back. So it’s kind of masochistic!”

Hey Violet will perform “Guys My Age” on US TV show, Late Night With Seth Meyers on March 21st. They are currently working on their debut album, which will be out later this year via Virgin EMI. In the meantime, the band which is Rena, her sister Nia Lovelis (drums), Miranda Miller (keys, vocals), Casey Moreta (lead guitar) and Iain Shipp (bass) are currently on a sold out US tour. UK fan will get the chance to see the band live this spring, dates below:


“Break My Heart” is the follow-up to Hey Violet’s smash single “Guys My Age”, which was named one of the Best Songs of 2016 by The New York Times and one of the 20 Best Songs of 2016 by V Magazine. The video for the single also racked up over 10 million views. The band are currently featured on the March cover of Alternative Press.

Hey Violet’s current EP Brand New Moves, debuted as the #1 artist album on iTunes in the U.S. and U.K. The Los Angeles Times compared their move “from grimy punk to shiny pop” to the Go-Go’s, while Galore declares front woman Rena Lovelis, “emits an unheard of level of rock-stardom for such a small girl without even singing a single note. But when she does sing, it’s as if Courtney Love, Gwen Stefani, and Hayley Williams crashed into each other and made a whole new generation of rock star.”

MANIC STREET PREACHERS Celebrates 10th Anniversary of "Send Away the Tigers" on May 12th w/ Double CD/Vinyl Set

MANIC STREET PREACHERS get set for spring/summer of 2017 with a selection of activities both release wise and live. Having recently moved into a new studio outside Newport after leaving their Cardiff base in the Autumn of 2016, they are about to start work on a new album, the follow up to 2014’s critically acclaimed No. 2 album Futurology.

Their eighth album SEND AWAY THE TIGERS enjoys its 10th Anniversary and a very special edition is being released with a double CD + DVD folio book, double gatefold vinyl (with download codes) and a digital version available on May 12, 2017. Featuring all audio remastered by James Dean Bradfield of the original album, there will also be unheard demos, a bonus disc of b-sides and rare tracks; a DVD of their full 2007 Glastonbury set; promo videos and rare/never seen before footage from rehearsals. Nicky Wire has also contributed handwritten lyrics and imagery from his personal archive.

"Send Away The Tigers was a very important record for us, it gave us a new lease of life and helped us to rediscover our love of the band. This edition helps to tell the whole story. Through demos, home recordings and hand-written lyrics you find intimate details of a band about to reinvent themselves.” - Manic Street Preachers

James Dean Bradfield has also composed the soundtrack to a new independent film released on March 10th. The Chamber is a claustrophobic survival thriller, set below the Yellow Sea and described as a “new sound from Bradfield and adds to the dark and atmospheric mood of the film”. The album is released on Sony Classics on the same day as the film.