My Guitar Journey – Chapter 3

I’ll be uploading another video showing where I’m at with a couple of Metallica songs I’m attempting to learn. They should be up later today.

Thanks for your continued support with my blog, and I would appreciate any messages with helpful hints or tips. Your feedback is always appreciated.

Thanks again!

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Music Review – The Outlaw Orchestra

Written by Dave Briggs and Deb Gardner for The Rock Asylum

outlawThe Outlaw Orchestra (Formerly Dirty Diesel Outlaw Orchestra), formed in 2016, are a powerhouse four piece, based in the Deep South UK, comprising of drums, banjo, guitar and double bass. Hard Southern Rock through to Cajun/Dixie/Country and Flamenco described as “A melting pot of styles from American Southern rock, British 70’s rock, Louisiana roots to bluegrass”.

This fantastic four piece consists of David Roux on Guitars/Lead Vocals, Ryan Smith on Drums/Percussion/Vocals, Alex Barter on Double Bass/Vocals, and Stephen Welch on Banjo. The sound is a unique blend which showcases the musical talent which each band member brings to the fold, having the musical maturity to mix high energy with moody soulful rock. With their debut ten track CD released, they have drawn comparisons with Humble Pie, The Black Crowes through to the Cosmic American country genre.

Recent accomplishments include a home territory sold out show at the Portsmouth Guildhall, packing the indoor stage at Bristol’s Grillstock Festival alongside Hayseed Dixie and The Darkness.

DSC00202In 2017, the band secured an endorsement from Swedish Rock n Roll craft beer company Pistonhead lager, who added them to their artist roster of ‘bands to watch out for’! They also gained endorsement from Cloven Hoof spiced rum who will be booking them into various festivals and events across the UK in 2018.

Already booked to play at Planet Rock Radio’s Winters End Festival 2018 on Sunday 25th February, alongside the likes of The Quireboys, The Temperance Movement, Wayward Sons and King King! Tickets still available, click here to get yours!

Right, so let’s get down to business. The debut album……here’s our opinion of this offering.

Too Much Willie Nelson is a spectacular opener with a typical country blues feel to it, teamed with a prominent combination of harmonica and banjo in this offering which adds the deep south blues rock ‘n’ roll flavour. With reference to Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash….the back story as told by David Roux…..“We did a gig at a Hippie Jam in the hills of Maui with Willie Nelsons band members. Firstly we all praised Mother Maui, standing barefoot we jammed Santana stuff and Hendrix for hours with world class players in this huge barn that was lit with cosmic lighting. We were paid in a huge bunch of Willie Nelsons own weed. Upon returning to the apartment we got wasted so hard on this weed that we couldn’t even move and tried in vain to write a country song, it was so awful. My pal Buzzy’s wife Trish walked in and said ‘country song, lets hear it……. I’m telling you….. you guys….WAY too much Willie Nelson and not enough Johnny Cash’….the rest is history.” Hangin Tree is a fast paced foot stomping, heart racing, brace twanging, docey-doeing number that grabs you from the opening twang of the banjo and proceeds to drag you forcefully by the seat of your pants through the rest of the song. Even though you will think to yourself, “What the fuck just happened?” You will have a face wide grin. The astounding banjo demonstration in this track demands you to listen.

Whiskey Drinking Liar brings things back down to steadier pace, with some country blues to get down to. The gravelly vocals combined with the harmonica and bluesy beat sets this track apart from the rest. Once again the banjo finishes it off nicely. There’s so much going on in this track, you can pick something new up on each listen. Another World starts off with a tireless drum beat and bass line to get you going. Soon joined by guitar, banjo and harmonica, this is yet another foot tapping addition. Heavily laden with banjo that would raise the dead towards the end, this song relays how things could be different and that you should take advantage of opportunities. Chicken Bones opens with some extravagant mouth organ playing and slide guitar before being accompanied by the other instruments in an impressively complex arrangement throughout the rest of the track. The lyrics tell the story of someone detailing their intent for someone who has wronged them. The track successfully sways from a quick pace to a controlled tempo, before jumping back into a pleasing musical melee. Voodoo Queen starts out with an eerie intro, which feels like a western style saloon situation. Once in, the story, told by the amazing vocals of David Roux accompanied by a harmonica unfolds, until we are treated to a delivery of thundering southern blues interbred with  manic Latin pandemonium which repeatedly astounds you with the exceptional talent on display throughout. David explained what this track is all about. “It’s about a boy who was the bastard son of a preacher and a whore who are in fact father and daughter. Being hidden under the floorboards for the best part of a decade he escapes and hitches a ride on a midnight train that runs into downtown New Orleans whereby he seeks out an opiate addicted beautiful black Cajun fortune teller to seek reason to his future the result being that she takes him on a wild out of body trip by blowing her opium smoke into his face which is audibly replicated by the band with a fast Latin crescendo of musical mayhem.” 

 

Burn the House is dominated by some great blues style guitar riffs from beginning to end. Fantastic vocals are flaunted throughout the track, between the shots of intricate guitar work, which then morph into a guitar and banjo motif that will blow your mind. Send Some Whiskey Home leans nearer to a typical blues rock ‘n’ roll venture, feeling more like it’s accompanied by the occasional bit of harmonica, or banjo and fits in well. A complimentary sound that works well with the main style of the album. Dominant drum beats keep the track together between the varied instrumental displays. It Ain’t Right throws you back into a great musical concoction, relaying the message of just because some things aren’t always wrong, doesn’t mean that you can consider it to be OK. After a small slowed interlude part way through, we’re off again via a superb guitar spot leading to the final portion of another entertaining track. Brand New Day is the final track and is a solid conclusion to the album. It narrates a change in direction and starting over after some less than favourable times. This has a deeper feel to it with some traditional rock guitar riffs teamed with banjo motifs which gives a bit of meat to the bones of this song. The awesome vocals and accomplished guitar work towards the end help celebrate the end of this outrageous shindig of an album.  Heavy, hillbilly, blues, southern, country, oh my god, rock n roll.

Review  – The Devil Made Me Do It EP – release date 2nd February 2018

This soon to be released collection demonstrates that the band have evolved into much more than an unforgettable ‘novelty’ into a deeper, more palatable sound which will appeal to a wider audience than the original material (even though that was fantastic!) Back to Georgia as with previous material flaunts the suberb banjo throughout, but this time the hefty guitar is up there with it, meaty riffs, funky dixie beats along with the gritty vocals make this tune my favourite track so far. Here’s what David had to say about this one. “Myself and my girlfriend were just outside Birmingham Alabama a couple of years back when I woke to a flat tire. We were due back in Atlanta Georgia to catch a flight to LA where I had a gig with a Rolling Stones tribute band as Keith Richards. After half an hour of grunting, cussing and straining laying on the burning hot dusty roadside I said to my lady ‘If I can’t get this wheel off you’d better get your ass on that road and hitch us a ride back to Georgia’, she replied “Write that down……back to Georgia, that’s a song”….the rest is history.” Laughing All The Way To The Gallows steams in at full speed with a funky beat and guitar riff which never slows. The vocals on this track command you to join in and although short, this track will no doubt stick in your head for time after the song finishes. See You In Hell sets off with intricate banjo motifs and a booming beat and bass that will soon get you stomping. Deep chunky guitar riffs join forces, creating a heavy rock variation, which when added to the sublime vocals, makes for some heavy blues rock with a unique country/dixie/blue grass edge. The incessant pounding of drums part way through, coupled with the dominating guitar suddenly urges you to rock out.

In Summary

The debut album was an enjoyable selection of blues rock ‘n’ roll soaked in a deep south flavour. Musically impressive from beginning to end. The combination of the intricate harmonica playing, nimble fingered banjo prowess and the accomplished guitar work was faultless. Although not the most harmonious lyrics, they still worked really well within this album. Right from the off I found myself tapping along to the infectious rhythm played out in every number. In all honesty, I didn’t expect myself to enjoy this album as much as I did. There are a few notable tracks that I instantly liked. Infectious and enjoyable are the two words that immediately come to mind.

Whilst I have never taken recreational drugs in my life, I can only imagine that if I did, this music would be what I would be hallucinating! Throughout the whole of the debut album, I felt high on the pure talent on display, and the ‘wackiness’ of the tunes, this band certainly give out extra large helpings of ‘hell yeah’ if you know what I’m saying. Whilst I would not have described myself as a fan of this genre of music, The Outlaw Orchestra has done a mighty fine job of picking up the music style, shaking it up in a bag full of wacky ideas, and coming out with ‘fucking awesome’.

The new material on the EP The Devil Made Me Do It is everything they already had from the first album, but with added substance and a greater emphasis on the rock elements, which for me is the icing on this already awesome cake! I am now a follower of this band, and will be making a concerted effort to see them live some time in the near future. I recommend that you guys do the same!

Rating      star rating

A message to whoever has to follow them on stage at Winter’s End (or any other gig for that matter) Top That!

If you like what you’ve heard about The Outlaw Orchestra, why not follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Click here to visit their Instagram page

 

Take a look at this band – Fleer

fleerA 3 piece alternative rock band from Warwickshire. The band consists of singer and guitarist Liam Garratt, singer and bassist Wilem Thomas and drummer Martyn Nicholson. A dark dynamic sound fused with a raw energy taking influence from bands such as Nirvana, Tool, Royal Blood, Queens of the Stone Age and Deftones.

This bunch are bursting with talent and have an alternative edge to them. Piercing vocals and a mixture of alternative rock, punk and dark elements certainly make them worthy of a listen.

 

 

If these guys float your boat, why not catch them at one of the gigs?

Friday 26th January – Actress and Bishop, Birmingham

Saturday 24th February – The Asylum 2, Birmingham

Thursday 5th April – The Soundhouse, Leicester

Saturday 2nd June – The Giffard Arms, Wolverhampton

Why not follow Fleer on Facebook or Twitter?

Music Review – Third Angle Projection

14354936_10154578370778410_8799260747401807088_nTHIRD ANGLE PROJECTION
are a 3 piece rock band from the Midlands. First established with the current line-up around 2 years ago. Arron Tipper on guitar/vocal, Dean Tipper on bass and Charlie Brotherton on drums. Influences are REM, Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana, Black Sabbath, and The Doors to name a few.

I asked Arron to tell me more of how the band came about and this is what he told me.

“Me and Dean (bass player) are brothers. We’ve always been 3 piece band, although we did try guitarists out but didn’t seem to work with how we played. We have had about 100 drummers 🙂 not really about 10, most of time searching for a good drummer that gets us, and 2 years ago we got one, Charlie is a great drummer, also he doesn’t hold back when playing live, so by the time we have finished our gig, we are almost dead.  Dean our bass player also helps out with the writing of the song’s (when his not sunning his ass in Australia about twice a year !) He plays bass like a guitar and is a bit mental on stage. He’s alright at times. I (Arron) do most of the booking of gigs and promotion. We do most things DIY, releasing song’s, videos, gigs etc That way we can do what we want 🙂 “.

I asked Arron what the band has been up to. “Yeah we feel like we have just started, we have been playing live gigs for around 9 years, but the last couple of years something has changed. We’ve done a few demo recording sessions and decided to start recording an E.P. So that took up most of 2017. We also went on Tour in Germany summer 2017 that was an amazing experience our good friend Nico Rubner from Marburg Records arranged the gigs and even put us up on our stay there, great bloke We are looking at going back again sometime this year. In the time we have been together we have toured Germany twice and put a number of successful festivals and gigs on throughout the UK. We are going to France in February on tour with She Wolf and Black Jump, heading to Paris for our first gig 10th February. Then later in the year will be heading back to Germany again.”

Third Angle Projection have just recorded their new E.P Nothin to You, which contains 3 studio recordings available on iTunes, Spotify etc. The video for Nothin To You is below.

Disarray of Time is a fantastic track about loss, which has elements of Seether throughout, but with a dirtier grungier feel to it. The thick guitar riffs accentuate the power to the track which then leads to a mix of acoustic guitar and melodic vocals, just before smacking you between the eyes with the massive voice of Arron, and again the thunder of heavy guitar riffs and imposing drum beats. My favourite track of the EP.

 

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Photos courtesy of Laura Duddy and Matt Whittock

Coming Down has a more classic rock intro but without losing the signature grunginess. Soon you get dragged back into the full-on power and dirty guitar riffs of the song. The striking vocals and intense lyrics deliver another powerful addition to the EP. “Coming down, is about 10 years old, one of the first songs I wrote, has a lot of anger, pain and rejection” said Arron.

Nothin To You is an impressive, fist pumping, head shaking, foot stomping track that you feel compelled to rock out to. The thunderous beat throughout demands you to respond. A striking track which finishes the EP in fine form. “Nothin to you, we have had in our set for about 10 years. The theme is blind leading the blind and drug addiction” Arron told me.

The Nothin’ To You EP is an awesome example of the talent we have in the midlands, and I would recommend that you take time to listen to it. A fine start for Third Angle Projection which excites me to think what is still to come. These are definitely a band to look out for. It’s scary to think that such talent has gone unseen by many (including me) for so long! For any fans of Seether, these guys will be right up your street!

I’m going to see Third Angle Projection at Route 44 Birmingham on 16th February 2018, where they will be part of an awesome line up not to be missed. Hopefully see you there!

Rating   4.5 Stars

If you want to know more about Third Angle Projection, why not follow them on Facebook 

Other media links:

Spotify

itunes

Email

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gig & Music Review including Band Feature – W.M.D

 DSC07838Words may differ or W.M.D for short, are a band formed in 2013 in the Midlands, an alternative group with blue and grungy undertones. After releasing their debut E.P “So Has The Faith” in 2015 , in mid 2017 original member and guitarist Dan Price and the band parted ways and ex White Rose guitarist Jack Revill filled the void to record the new single/ album teaser for 2018. They are now hard at work writing their debut album for a 2018 release.

2017 has seen W.M.D gigging locally and working hard to produce their new material, which will be ready for release next year, and after having seen this band play live, I have to say that its a very exciting prospect.

Gig Review – The Cottage of Content

W.M.D supported by Rai Kah Mercury

On arrival at The Cottage of Content, we were pleased to find a friendly atmosphere with pleasant staff. A little cold in the gig room, but things soon warmed up as more people arrived. The car park was smack on the front of the building so easy access, and I would describe the pub as no frills, but a warm and friendly atmosphere and kept clean, with a great atmosphere about the place.

Rai Kah Mercury kicked the night off. I’d never seen or heard them before but I was pleasantly surprised by these 3 lads Tomas Crean, Reece Shaefer, and Josh Lowe. They are very young and fresh on the scene, not many gigs under their belt, but they certainly pulled off a great set. They drew me in with the innocent and naïve appearance, and then socked it to me with a fantastic, fresh and captivating performance.

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For anyone wanting to find out more about this band here’s an extract from the band’s facebook page. Built around the multi talented singer, song writer, guitarist Tomas Crean, whose lyrics have a poetic quality, Rai Kah Mercury displays subtlety and intensity often in one song. Influences can be traced through Free, Crazy Horse, Joy Division to Radiohead, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The rhythm section of Reece Schaefer on bass, and Josh Lowe on drums empathises with the ebb and flow of Crean’s songs, in all their delicate and chaotic glory. Soulful, bluesy and downright heavy at times, when RKM lock horns into their signature jams adrenaline flows right off the stage to the audience.

I thought that Tomas Crean, although very fresh to the live music scene, was mesmerising, and with more experience under his belt, he is certainly one to watch. In fact, the whole band did a really great job of kicking this gig off, considering I was told they’ve only been gigging a few months. A big WELL DONE to you guys!

Take a look at this video footage, and if you like what you see, maybe go visit RKM on facebook, click here or Instagram here

 


 

Before W.M.D took the stage, I caught up with them for a chat. You’ll find the full interview published separately. Then, without further ado, they took the stage. Playing some of the older tunes as well as their new tracks which are due for release on a double A side single, they produced a set which the audience enjoyed immensely. Their unique blend of music, took the audience on a journey through dirty, grungy rock music, with detours into blues and progressive metal encounters which went down well.

 

DSC08025Guitarist Jack Revill demonstrated his prowess throughout the set, blasting out a strong, confident performance from start to finish.

Something about the way Jack performs sets him apart, giving an unusual edginess to the sound he produces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bassist Mike Wood soon got into his stride and as usual had the audience jigging along with him in no time.

He performed a great bass solo which was something a bit different too.

The thing I like about Mike is that he’s not a man of many words (not that I’ve heard anyway), but when he gets up on stage, his smile and body language tells you that he wants you to enjoy his performance. And the more you enjoy it, the more he gives!

 

I think there were issues with microphones throughout the night, but again, this was just a minor setback and didn’t spoil the performances in my opinion.

 

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Simon Wood on guitar and lead vocals displayed confidence and great humour throughout the night, entertaining the crowd with a bit of stand up comedy as well as his brilliant vocals.

I did catch him coughing a few times during the night, but he did not let this spoil his performance at all, even when the audience beckoned for one more song at the end of the set, he came up with the goods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC08010Drummer Aran Grant also put on a sturdy performance, even though it was difficult to catch him on video due to the set up of the stage. He’s as elusive on stage as I’m told he is to get to rehearsals. But the main thing is, he got there and he smashed it!

 

 

W.M.D gave a really sincere stage show, interacting with the audience making the night entertaining and memorable for all. There is an even presence from the band members, with each of them taking their turn in the spotlight. The set was given with seasoned skills and naturally effortless delivery. You can’t help but warm to them and there’s a genuine appreciation from the guys.

Having had the opportunity to review the new double A side single ‘Stepping Stone’, I have to say these guys are awesome. I found the digital versions of both tracks a real testament to the abilities W.M.D possess, and the tracks are worlds apart from each other, giving an extra flavour to the release, however, I loved the live performances too. Please take the time to check out the videos, the new releases are in there somewhere!

If you like what you’ve heard about W.M.D why not follow them on facebook or twitter
I am hoping that I will get the opportunity to meet with W.M.D again prior to the release of their album in 2018, and I’m sure this will knock your socks off!

 

 

 


*** Sincere apologies for any video/picture quality. The venue is fantastic to hold live events, however the lighting is not kind to the camera!***

 

 

W.M.D Interview

Just a quick update. I have so much footage from the W.M.D gig, as well as photos and pictures, it’s far too much to be publishing in one go.

So here’s the interview for you to listen to with a mixture of photos old and new. The rest will be published in the next day or two.

Thanks for your interest and continued support!

Enjoy!

 

 

Gig Review – Diamond Head + support from Fires That Divide

As soon as I saw this line up I knew it was going to be a great night. The Robin 2 is a well known and well loved local venue, and has a great reputation for hosting some massive names. Last gig I came to was Inglorious, and before that Dirty DC, both were filled to the brim.

So there was no surprises when I saw the place filling up rapidly, well before the support band were due on. Fires That Divide are a 4 piece rock band from the West Midlands, formed back in 2014. They describe their material as an eclectic range of musical creativity delivered with a hard punch.

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From left: Steve Knight (bass guitar), Kirk Shuttleworth (lead vocals and guitar), Steven Norton (guitar) and Marc Harris (drums).

For anyone who hasn’t heard of these guys before, why not take a look at my feature from earlier this year.

Okay so back to their latest performance. These guys showed that they had the balls to perform at big venues such as The Robin 2. Other than a couple of technical issues which were out of their control, they put on a strong performance, and had a good crowd of followers at the event.

They performed some new material which I particularly enjoyed, as well as some already established tunes such as Vector Man. Take a look at the video footage I caught along the way, and if you like what you see, why not visit Fires That Divide on facebook and give their page a like/follow! Or visit their website here.

 

 

I really hope to see Fires That Divide gigging again soon, as they are a force to be reckoned with, and after seeing them in this setting, supporting a massive band such as Diamond Head, I know this is where they belong. Well done lads!

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I may still have a surprise or two up my sleeve involving this bunch, all will be revealed!

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Then it was time for the headline act, Diamond Head. This band was originally formed in 1976 in the town of Stourbridge. The band is recognised as one of the leading members of the new wave of British heavy metal movement.

DSC07778DSC07725DSC07745DSC07643The current line up of the band is Brian Tatler – Guitars, Rasmus Bom Andersen – Vocals, Karl Wilcox – Drums, Dean Ashton – Bass, and Andy Abberley (Abbz) – Guitars

Needless to say, this band is well rehearsed and could probably but on a great show in their sleep, and this gig was no exception, a brilliant performance which delivered exactly what their fans expected and needed from them.

The star of the show for me will always be Brian Tatler, an amazing guitarist.

Take a look at some video footage I caught of these guys in action.

If you want to find out more about Diamond Head, why not visit their website to find out more about up coming gigs or follow them on facebook. 

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Photo credits to Dave Briggs – Gig Photographer . Why not visit his facebook page to see more photos from this gig. Click here