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?

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Rockers Through The Ages Xmas Party

This gig was kindly hosted by Wendy Shone, owner of The Giffard Arms Wolverhampton. Organised and promoted by Brett Hall and Doddy White, who certainly came up trumps with this line up, which was a sure fire way to fill The Giffard. The Rockers Through The Ages Xmas Party was designed to raise money for a great cause,  Compton Hospice.

Kicking off the performances were Hollowstar, a 4 piece hard-hitting dirty rock band originating from Cambridgeshire. Never seen them before, but after watching their assault of in your face rock music that certainly got the pulse racing, I will be looking out for these guys in the future, and hope to get up close and personal with a cheeky interview if at all possible.

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These guys certainly put on a brilliant performance despite some technical issues as you will see on one of the videos. They took it all in their stride and their set was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The stage was well and truly warmed up in preparation for the next band on this awesome line up.

If Hollowstar tickle your fancy, why not visit/like their facebook page, or click here for twitter

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Naked Sunday

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DSC06518.jpgAfter a quick change over, it was time for Naked Sunday to take the stage. I’ve been following this band for some time now, and was keen to see them, as they are always guaranteed to spice things up with their unique, dirty rock n roll performances.

Tonight, they promised some surprises, and delivered the biggest surprise which was in the form of an additional guitarist, Alex Williams on stage for two of their songs, Diamonds and Pearls and A Dozen Red Roses.

From start to finish it was clearly one of the best live performances from Naked Sunday that I have ever witnessed, and having an extra guitar on stage gave a little extra something to the performance.

It was also very clear that they themselves were having a ball up there, and that came across to the audience very well.

The below video is my favourite tune at the moment from this band, called Reaper. Martin Stanyer put everything into his performance of this, even mentioning a few of the people in the audience by name part way through.

 

If Naked Sunday float your boat, why not head over to their facebook or twitter pages to give them a like/follow.

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Next up were Electus, a 4 piece hard rock band from Wolverhampton. Again a confident and crowd pleasing performance was unleashed on the audience. A couple of issues with equipment, but this didn’t spoil the performances at all.

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My favourite video from the set is the one below. Lead guitarist Gareth Daker was awesome and I would have loved to capture more of his performance on video but unfortunately I was at the wrong side of the stage to get any decent footage of him. These guys are definitely worth a watch, and they did a fantastic job of preparing the audience for the main attraction of the night.

If you want to know more about Electus, why not follow them on facebook or twitter?

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A few minutes were taken by Brett Hall and Doddy White to raise money for their cause with a raffle and an auction.

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And next, the moment we had all been waiting for……. Tom, Dale and Karl of The Bad Flowers from Cannock walked calmly onto the stage and started to prepare themselves. The audience knew what was about to come, and the room was packed out. The energy in the room rose to another level in excitement and anticipation of what was about to come.

This band are well known for their thunderous rock n roll which leaves audiences astounded, and this gig was no exception, they performed their hearts out as always. The relentless attack of elaborate drumming from the talented ‘animal’, Karl Selickis, the heavy bass delivered with tonnes of attitude by Dale Tonks and the pure, powerful vocals and exceptional guitar work from Tom Leighton delivered an earth shattering experience to their fans which finished the night off perfectly.

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The Bad Flowers really do capture the hearts of the audience, always performing at full throttle and with a genuine raw talent that you cannot buy. I’m in no doubt that this appearance will be one of the last ‘smaller venues’ these guys perform, as they have some fantastic shows lined up for 2018, including Steelhouse Festival.

I’m just happy that I had the privilege of seeing these guys perform at such a personal level, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for them in the coming year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gig Review – Papa Shango, Anonymous and Dead Happy

On Saturday 28th October I was at The Giffard Arms Wolverhampton to see Papa Shango and supporting bands, Dead Happy and Anonymous. 

I’ve heard that The Giffard is the place to be on Halloween, and for a mere £2 to get in, this was promising to be a great night, especially knowing that Anonymous were in the line up.

A Halloween themed band called Dead Happy certainly kicked the evening off in style, demonstrating a completely abstract performance of rock/alternative music.

It was then time for one of my top 5 upcoming bands to rock the house. Anonymous put on an electrical performance as always, these guys have all the ingredients needed to become a successful rock band, looks, talent, charisma and determination.

 

Even though the frontman/vocalist Rob Baynes had been unwell, he put on a great show for the crowd. These guys have come a long way since I first saw them on a Facebook live feed, playing a pub in Burton-on-Trent.

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They will be supporting Ryder’s Creed at the 02 Academy 3 Birmingham on 9th December 2017 which I’m sure will be a great night, and I have no doubt that  Anonymous will help to kick the night off appropriately. Hayden Kirk (guitar), Steven (Herbie) Herbert (drums), Luke Lawley (bass) and Rob Baynes (vocals/guitar) certainly get the job done when it comes to putting on a show.

So, having rocked out with Anonymous, it was time for the widely talked about Papa Shango to make an appearance. To be perfectly honest, I had mixed feelings about this ‘act’, but kept an open mind as I’d never seen them before. They describe themselves as a circus rock act with mayhem and madness guaranteed to leave jaws dropped.

 

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Unfortunately, the only video footage I took of these guys will not upload, so apologies to anyone who wanted to see them. Well I can only describe the Papa Shango experience as unusual. I thought for a moment I’d had my drink spiked when I saw girls in sequinned hotpants humping hobby horses to the rhythm of the music. It was all a bit tongue in cheek, and I watched them perform a couple more of their tracks before leaving to the sound of ‘pissing on your wife’ being belted out. The room was full of people in full Halloween costume though, and I’m sure the night went well. Not sure if they came into watch Papa Shango, or whether it was just because the disco downstairs was packed out, but either way, a great night celebrated with major weirdness and rock music, you couldn’t ask for more. (Especially not for £2 entry)

For those of you who are now more curious than ever, here’s a link

 

Gig Rating: 4/5

 

 

 

 

Coming Tonight – Gig Reviews from The Giffard and The Lamp Tavern

There will be more of this………….

and this……

and so much more!

 

Music Review – Questions of Angels

Questions of Angels constists of Ant Hoult (Vocals) Ben Bakhsh (Guitar) Andy Perry (Bass) Chris Jennings (Drums) Ant Winsper (Guitar). They are a band with their roots centred round the Walsall Borough area, and if you ask anyone who has seen them, Q of A certainly have something special going on. When song writing began, it was prolific, and by April 2012 they performed their début show. A fantastic success spurred the band on to what is fast becoming the live performance to see. Recording sessions are now regular and the band are already generating a catalogue of releases, and released their début album ‘From Within’ in September 2014. Writing of their second album is well under way and the band hope to release it in early 2018.

Questions of Angels take their influences from the entire spectrum of rock. Pearl Jam, Rush, Alice in Chains, Motley Crue, Metallica, U2 and Drowning Pool to name but a few. What comes of this concoction is pretty special indeed. Powerful vocals, often compared to James Hetfield, and unforgettable melodies, which, when mixed with a wall of guitars, shredding solos, driving bass lines and drums to frighten the faint hearted, results in a pretty awesome unique sound.DSC01994

I first saw Q of A performing at The Giffard Arms in September this year, where they were one of the bands supporting These Wicked Rivers. These guys are genuinely nice hardworking people from the West Midlands, who are pulling out all the stops in order to establish themselves in the music industry. After seeing their strong, lively performance that night, I kept contact with them in the hope that I may get to interview them or review any upcoming music prior to it’s release. Which brings me to the present day, where I find myself listening to their tracks, some old tracks which I have enjoyed immensely, but also two very special tracks that have not even been finished as yet. I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to hear them this early on in the process.

Firstly looking at music that this band already has out there. My favourite track hands down is The Scarecrow. With its dark, eerie opening to the track, and the sinister feel, your attention is grabbed from the beginning. The lyrics ‘when all the cows are sleeping and the sun has gone to bed, up jumps the scarecrow and this is what he said’, made me automatically think of a nursery song I fondly remember from my children’s nursery days, but then the song deflects from the lyrics I remember, into a powerful ranting of the scarecrow, which is not only menacing and heavy, but it also brought a smile to my face. The guitar work in this song is intricate, and with the great bass line and incessant drums, it makes for a damn good listen! Policy of Flies is another formidable track. It opens with some beautiful guitar technique which slowly increases in strength as the drums and vocals are introduced. There is a dark side to the lyrics which makes for interesting listening, and when combined with the chunky riffs, Q of A will have you rocking with them in no time. The demanding drum beat orders you to listen. Another robust addition to this band’s material. Other tracks such as Shit You Put Me Through, Hope You’re Happy, Long Way Down, The Glow, Take a Breath, and Worthy of You continue to showcase the many talents of this band, with their signature sound becoming strongly evident throughout. You can listen to these tracks on their facebook page by clicking here

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New Music

Feel So Alive is a deep and powerful track full of dramatic vocals from frontman Ant Hoult, with a crippling bassline and hefty guitar riffs, coupled with that perfect drum beat keeping it all together. I am excited to have heard this track as I feel its one of the best pieces they have written. A dramatic track full of lively guitar expertise and a sturdy drum showcase throughout. Once again captivating, intense vocals create the mood for the track. One More Day is packed with touching lyrics, and has a sad ambiance which is portrayed by the heartfelt vocals of Ant. A gorgeous song that everyone can relate to at some event in their lives. ‘The back story of one more day is realising that someone close to you has drifted away and that feeling of thinking maybe those they drifted to are more important than you are and just needing on more day together free from all the other shit the world throws at you’ Ben Bakhsh told me.

The sound that Questions of Angels produce is a perfect combination of meaty guitar riffs, strong bass lines, intense vocals, backed up with an unswerving drum beat that will get the pulse racing. So in a nutshell, this group of talented musicians have not only already produced some great material, they have perfected their signature sound, grungy, gritty and sleazy rock music with a bit of a cheeky smirk on its face.

If you haven’t experienced Q of A performing live, then I strongly recommend that you check them out. They have a gig coming up on Friday 26th October at The Giffard Arms, Wolverhampton, where they will be supporting My Brother The Wolf. I’m sure that this will be a blast, so go on, get yourselves down there! At £5 entry for a whole night of entertainment, you can’t go wrong!

My brother the wolf gig

In the meantime, check out Questions of Angels on Twitter and Facebook

 

 

Gig Review – The Giffard Arms 26th August 2017 (photography by Dave Briggs)

So I turned up at The Giffard Arms a tad late and could hear the first band King Corpse playing as I approached. These guys were energetic and it was clear they were working very hard to put on a good show. I’m not a fan of doom metal myself, but there were a lot of people in the room who were enjoying their sound.

It’s always a difficult task to open a show, and I think all things considered, these guys did a fairly good job of it. One has to acknowledge that these guys are just setting out on their journey compared to other more established bands, and whilst their performance wasn’t perfect, the potential is certainly there.

Well done to Jack Cradock, James Pearson and Toby Sambidge for a cracking opening to the show.

Their set list was; Black Goat, Bleed for me, Sleepless, Godzilla, The Count and Swamp Thing.

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My favourite track from King Corpse was Godzilla.

I’m sure that the guys from King Corpse won’t mind, but below is an up tempo version of Godzilla, you never know, next time I see them they might be playing it this speed! Now that I would love to see!

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Next up were Unhinged. These guys recently had their upcoming album Life Can Wait reviewed by The Rock Asylum, so I was intrigued to see how a live performance would compare, and they most certainly did not disappoint. Highlights of their set were Cigarette, The Bitter Blues and Life Can Wait.

Michael Hodges once again played a blinder with his egotistic performance, during which he took every opportunity that arose to get involved with the audience and delivered tons of swagger as he strutted his stuff on stage.

Having seen a live performance from Unhinged a while back, in comparison their performance was more polished, more fun, both for the audience and for the guys on stage. It was very clear that every member of the band was enjoying being there.

Dan Hipkiss once again delivered his trademark animated performance, but this time with far more confidence than before, enticing the audience into anticipation. He also stepped up his limitations by ripping off his vest at the end.

Ben Armstrong came into the forefront of the performance too, also having an in your face style, and showing off his guitar playing and singing skills he certainly proved that he’s a strong member of this band. Both guitar players complimented each other, however, if I was being picky, I would have liked to see more interaction between the two during their performance.

Dave Kitely, a very talented drummer, who if I’m brutally honest I haven’t paid much attention to in the past, did a fantastic job, and I personally think he could add more flavour to the set by doing a bit of a drum solo, I’m sure he would find something ‘Unhinged’ style to do. All of these guys have humungous personalities and skill, and it would be such a shame not to get him as equally involved in the set. I feel that something such as that would take them to the next level as far as performance goes.

Their set list for the evening was; Stay OK, Steal your lover, Single, Bitter Blues, Band Wagon, Breakout, FU, Cigarette, and Life can wait.

Unhinged are right up there in my top 5 local bands, and to anyone who doesn’t think its for them, I say don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! Their album release kicks off with celebrations at the Clap Trap Venue, Stourbridge on 29th September 2017, doors open at 8pm. Click here to find out more.

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Following Unhinged were the very lovely guys (and girl) from Naked Sunday.  The husband and wife team on guitars were definitely on the same wavelength during the whole performance. I absolutely loved Martin’s voice when he sang the more gritty songs, he came into his own. This band have a fantastic mixture of sweetness, darkness and pure gritty rock n roll, I cant compare them to another band on what I’ve seen of them during this gig.

Drummer Craig seemed happy to be in the background, however as with other bands, I would pay to see this guy being given the limelight even if only a few minutes doing his own thing, I’m sure that there is more to him than first impressions lead you to believe. He is a talented drummer, and me being a fan of drummers who ‘show off’ I think he could definitely pull this off…. So come on Craig, show us what you’re made of!

All in all a solid performance by Naked Sunday, Diamonds and Pearls being my favourite track, closely followed by Reaper.

Look out for these guys appearing on The Rock Asylum again in the near future……. I have  a couple of things in the pipeline with them!

The set list for Naked Sunday was; Sunflowers in the rain, Sobering Kiss, What kind of love are you on, Closure, Diamonds and Pearls, Unbreakable, and Reaper.

Naked Sunday will be performing at The Station, Cannock on 23rd September, prior to the launch of their second album.

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Next up were the headliners, Buzzard. Jimmy Croutear on lead guitar / lead vocals,
Andy Vernon on bass / vocals, Justin James on drums / vocals.

The Giffard soon filled with their supporters as the set began. These guys put on a full on heavy rock performance with quite a hefty dose of punk undertones.  Their heart and souls went into the performance tonight, which was most definitely appreciated by all.

The relationship between band members was tight and this came through with their banter during the set. Welcoming other people to get up and join in with Born to be Wild was rather brave of them as most people had downed their fair share by then, but it was all in good fun and made for a pleasant night’s entertainment.

They also showed their versatility by swapping roles at one point, something I haven’t seen before!

I particularly enjoyed their covers, my favourite being Pretty Vacant, which was performed as an encore. I also enjoyed their performance of Step it Up.

Set list for the performance; Kamikaze, Frustration, Step it up, Breed, Another Chain, Saturday Night TV, Hair of the Dog, Rat Race, Ace of Spades, The Line, Shoe String Band, Covered by the Blood.

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