The Annual Mayors Charity Rock Festival 2018

DSC01258-Edit-8Rockers through the ages presented the Annual Mayoral Charity Rock Festival. All money raised  was donated to the Mayors Charities, Samaritans of Wolverhampton, The MS Therapy Centre, Wolverhampton Help for Heroes.

Kicking off this celebration were Seize The Void and Spreading The Disease. Unfortunately we didn’t arrive in time to see these guys perform hence no footage or pictures.

First band we saw were Hightale. A 4 piece band from Wolverhampton. I’ve seen them a few times now, and find there’s always a barrel of laughs to be had with vocalist, Scott Griffiths, however, joking aside, I like the sound they produce, and the fact they have a sense of humour with it just makes the experience more enjoyable.

 

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This photo, captured by Dave Briggs, captures a more serious side to Hightale

 

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Next up were the fantabulous (I know this is not a word, but it should be!) Naked Sunday. I’ve been following this band’s progress for some time now, and always enjoy their set. Never a dull moment when Martin Stanyer is on set, and the band continues to go from strength to strength. Drummer Craig Stanley was on form, and even managed a bit of banter with Martin during the performance. The lovely Laura Stanyer brought a bit of glamour to the stage with her sexy diamante hosiery teamed with her unique style of bass playing.

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Next up were Daylight Robbery, a heavy melodic rock band from Birmingham. Another awesome performance with lots of animated stage presence from frontman Tony Nicholl. A fabulous set from these guys.

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The much loved Shyyne were next in the line up, with frontman Toni Gale absolutely in fine form.  This band are true entertainers.

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Next up were Devilfire, rock and heavy metal band from Birmingham. The band delivered an energetic performance all round which was enjoyed by many.

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Last up were Voodoo Sioux, a four piece hard rock band from The West Midlands. This is the first time I have seen a performance from them, but it most definitely won’t be the last. I was hooked as soon as bass player Mario Ermoyenous kicked off the first track with his wicked style of playing, and massive stage presence. The whole band had something about them that drew the crowd in, and once captured by them, there was no escape. A perfect end to this awesome night.

If you haven’t seen this band before, don’t delay in getting down to one of their upcoming gigs, you will not be disappointed!

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Overall, a fantastic night, with proceeds going to charity. Well done to Doddy White, Brett Hall and all who had a hand in organising this event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gig Review – Third Angle Projection + support from Strike The Light & Superhooch

Onroute 44 picce again, we found ourselves at the delightful Route 44 venue in Acocks Green, Birmingham, this time to review three bands we have never seen before, Third Angle Projection were the headliners, with support from Strike The Light, and Superhooch.

Greeted by promoter Nancy Harding, the night looked set to be a banger of a gig. Route 44 continue to promote upcoming,  as well as established bands in the midlands area. Some notable names have refined their skills at this well known, genuine venue.


First up were Strike The Light, a three piece rock band from South Wales. We quickly found out that although first on, they were definitely worth a watch. Formed in February 2017, this Swansea based trio put on a strong opening performance for us at Route 44. A particular favourite from the set was their newly released single Black Gold. With a feel of old school rock to it, this track is set to make you rock out. By the mid point of this track they soon had the attention of the growing crowd, it’s definitely a blinding song from this relatively new band.

A quality opener that paved the way for a superb night. I would definitely pay to see these guys again. They have a seasoned style which was delivered via a very confident performance.

The single, Black Gold is available now. Visit the band’s facebook page here. The Rock Asylum rates this single 4/5 stars.

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Next up were Superhooch, a Coventry based rock/blues foursome with an unusual mix of hyperactive, bluesy, stoner, garage rock psychedelia, this band certainly took their followers on a remarkable journey. With an additional performer, Azrael Quibilah for part of their performance, I have to say that her voice really changed the whole feel of the music.

I went from thinking, bloody hell I’m far too old to be listening to this, to oh wow this is awesome……..trippy…….but awesome. I especially enjoyed it when they started belting out the vocals, transforming it from a melodious track into a foot stomping heavy number, the eclectic combination really working well.

On reflection of their performance I couldn’t help but draw similarities to the mighty Kasabian.

If you like what you see, why not visit Superhooch on facebook here

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Then it was time for the headliners, Third Angle Projection.

I recently discovered this band when they asked me to review their latest EP ‘Nothing To You‘.  I instantly loved them, and found similarities to the awesome Seether, which added to the appeal. I had been looking forward to this moment for a while, seeing them perform live. Sadly, an earlier arrangement to see them never came to fruition.

They’ve recently been on tour in France and I’m sure that the UK festivals will be welcoming them to their stages in no time.

These guys delivered a massive set, full of twists and turns, making their performance intriguing and volatile, which kept me on my toes, wondering what they were going to do next. Without exception, this band delivered the most emotional, artistic performance of the night.

If you like what you see of Third Angle Projection, why not follow them on facebook? Click here

They performed my favourite tracks, Useless and Nothing To You as well as a Seether cover, a fitting rendition of Remedy.

 

 

 

 

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Dean Tipper – Third Angle Projection

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Arron Tipper

 

 

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Arron Tipper

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Dean Tipper

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Charlie Brotherton – Third Angle Projection

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Arron Tipper

 

 


 

In summary, the combination of bands on the night delivered a wide brush stroke of the rock genre. Each band adding their own identity, yet combining to produce an outstanding production of live music.

Thanks to Dave Briggs for the fantastic photos. For more from this gig, visit Dave’s facebook page by clicking here . (Please remember that Dave owns these photos, and whilst the bands featured are welcome to use them, there should be no editing or cropping of the picture).

 

 

Coming Up – Gig Review – Third Angle Projection with support from Superhooch and Strike The Light

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Don’t miss my review of this banging night, courtesy of Third Angle Projection, Superhooch and Strike The Light, hosted by Route 44 Birmingham with promoter Nancy Harding.

Here’s a little taste of what’s to come.

Full videos of all of the bands plus some awesome photos by Dave Briggs. don’t miss it!

Gig Review coming soon – W.M.D + support from Tear It Down and Rai Kah Mercury

My review of last night’s show at Route 44 Birmingham is nearly ready, including video footage of each of the bands as well as photos supplied by Dave Briggs.

Don’t miss it!

 

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Photo courtesy of Dave Briggs

 

 

Tear It Down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

DSC08833-Edit-1Rai Kah Mercury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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Photo courtesy of Dave Briggs

 

 

W.M.D

 

Coming up …..Gig Review ………W.M.D with support from Third Angle Projection, Tear It Down and Rai Kah Mercury

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This cracking gig is on Friday 16th February at Route 44, Birmingham

The Rock Asylum and Dave Briggs Photography will be capturing the whole night on camera for those of you who can’t make it, but any locals why not head down there and come and say hi?

I’ve seen all of the support bands live, and can honestly say this will be well worth the trip, and as you know, I’m a huge fan of W.M.D who will no doubt be smashing it.

Hope to see you there!

 

 

This Elegant Chaos – House of Destruction

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This Elegant Chaos born from the major elements of rock music, love, angst, desire and alcohol!

Steph, Mark, Greg and Keith bring real in your face rock music to the waiting world, writing songs about the dark side of their lives, it’s hard to define a genre.

With influences ranging from Adam Ant to Nirvana, Tool to My Chemical Romance, This Elegant Chaos live up to their name with an energetic live show, that leaves you wanting more.

The new album ‘House of Destruction’ was recorded by Stephanie Taylor Vocals, Paul Clifford Guitars/vocals, Mark Beach Drums, Greg Boden Bass. Going forward into 2018 Keith Armstrong is on guitars, after Paul made the decision to call it a day.

I asked Steph about the song writing process …..“Most of our songs are written by all of us having a jam to a riff or a drum beat and see what comes out of it 🙂 . I then take away the basic song and write the lyrics, adjusting the structure as need be to accommodate the lyrics… so they are nearly always a group effort.”

Steph also explained a little about some of the tracks on the album. ‘Take it All – This is my personal favourite. Myself and Mark are big Adam Ant fans, and I’ve always loved the dirtiness of his song “physical”. We considered trying to cover this, but as we’re anti-covers we wrote this in homage 🙂 Filled with subtle innuendo, its seductiveness is just (to quote Adam Ant) pure sex. House of Destruction – This came from Greg’s evil bass line, he had the idea of writing a song about a serial killer. Taking my inspiration from all the American Horror Story we watch, I delved into that troubled mindset. No way home – This followed a dream after watching Alice in Wonderland (Tim Burton’s version of course). This is our darker and more sinister reality, the vision of which will be our next video…”

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House of Destruction is the latest collection of tracks from This Elegant Chaos, which certainly lives up to expectations.

No Way Home sets the scene for this dramatically produced collection. The eerie intro captures your interest, which is soon followed by the sound of Steph’s vocals which are provocatively haunting. Once the track is in full swing you will be under its spell, with the powerful drums and menacing guitar, you have to stay…..’no one’s gonna hear you, no one’s gonna find you….no one’s gonna save you now’. Diseased is an in your face, wrathful number which is not for the faint hearted.

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Photo courtesy of Dave Briggs

The pulsating beat combined with the fierce lyrics delivers a powerful addition to the album. Again has a catchy riff at the start which grabs your attention. This is one of my favourite tracks of the album, it strikes through various genres, punk, goth, rock, formulating to give another exceptional edition. More has a more sombre feel to it, with the fantastic tones of blackness, you get drawn into the mood of the track. Evocative lyrics add strength to this fantastic example of the capabilities of this band. Feel Me has a definitive punk feel to it. Playing heavily on the emotions with it’s seductive undertone, detailing the mind games and passion that one may endure in a troubled relationship. Run charges at you full force with the unrestrained pounding of drums and melancholy lyrics interlaced with the heavy guitar riffs which make this another strong feature to this collection. Get Out relays the frustrating end to a burnt out relationship. The story unfolds to riotous drums, brilliantly punctuated by expressive lyrics. Sick builds in pace from the start, before spitting the venomous lyrics at you. It sort of picks up where ‘Get Out left off, this time giving both sides of the story. It could quite easily be described as a blazing row to music.

Take It All sets out at a sultry pace, the words of this track lay heavy with seductive reference. The suggestive nature of this track sets it aside from the rest. With its distinctive and emotive lyrics it clearly demonstrates that TEC is multi faceted. House of Destruction, kicks off with a bass line which can only be described as possessed, and the lyrics suggest dark times from a troubled mind of someone wrapped up in their own world of darkness and death. HFYG finishes the album off with a massive celebration of all the qualities that This Elegant Chaos behold. Incessant drumming gets into your head from start to finish, and when the guitars are added to the mix, you will simply have to join in. Steph’s vocal performance and prominent lyrics perfect this number, which epitomises what the band name stands for. An almost chaotic pace and enigmatic vocals deliver this final portion of their journey so far.

Summary

This Elegant Chaos take you on a tumultuous journey, full of dark and sinister lyrics and eccentric performances which are infectious in a weird and wonderful way. They are a bizarre and mysterious creation which certainly draw you into their world, and once in, you won’t want to leave.

They certainly live up to their name when it comes to performing, and if you fancy seeing them in the flesh, why not head down to their album release night at Scruffy Murphy’s on 10th February ?

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For more information or to follow This Elegant Chaos on Facebook click here

You can also follow them on Twitter

Take a look at them performing live in October 17.

Facebook – Issues with connection

Sincere apologies to those of you who follow my page on Facebook, or who are waiting for me to reply to your messages regarding reviews or features.

For some unknown reason, Facebook is preventing me from logging in for the time being whilst they look into some ‘issues’, however I am assured that this will be sorted out very soon.

My Twitter page is still working, so if you need to get in touch, either message me on this site here or contact me via The Rock Asylum on Twitter.

Thanks

 

Album Review – The Bad Flowers – Starting Gun

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Photo courtesy of Mark Varney

 

***Information taken from press release***

Midlands based hard rock band, The Bad Flowers, are set to release their debut studio album Starting Gun on Friday 16th February 2018. The album is a follow up to 2016’s self-titled EP and shows the great progression of song writing and musicianship of The Bad Flowers over the past two years. The band will play an exclusive album launch show at the Birmingham Asylum 2 on Saturday 17th February 2018, playing all the songs from the new album plus more surprises. To dovetail the release of the debut album, The Bad Flowers will be special guests on Stone Broken’s nationwide 12 date UK tour that starts on Thursday 22nd of February at The Haunt Brighton. The tour also includes an appearance at Planet Rock’s Winters End Festival.

Following the September release of their recent single Thunder Child, The Bad Flowers we’re named as one of Planet Rock Radio’s “Ones To Watch”. Thunder Child, the first single taken from the Starting Gun, gained heavy airplay and was described by the station as “pure, dynamic, riff-heavy rock ‘n’ roll delivered with passion and prowess.”

Starting Gun was recorded at Vigo Studios, near the band’s hometown of Cannock. The band chose this studio because they wanted to make a record that sounded like their roots and had the chance to work with long-time friend of the band and producer Adam Beddow, who has recently helped produce Diamond Head’s most current work.

The members of The Bad Flowers reflect on what the new album means to them:

Tom Leighton – Vocals & Guitar

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Photo Courtesy of Dave Briggs Photography

The whole process of recording this album has been a huge labour of love, it’s come at the right time in our progression, we originally wanted to record an album two years ago but shelved the idea at that point, and I glad we did! The last two years have seen us play some shows with some amazing artists and we’ve all been though some ups and downs as everybody does, but it think it’s helped us to write some of our best songs. There’s all out songs with monster riffs and big chorus’ down to a song with just one acoustic guitar and vocals and plenty in between, I think this album will show that we have more than one trick up our sleeve and I’m really excited for people to hear what we have made. We plan on hitting the road as hard as possible in 2018 to get this music into everyone’s ears, we have a full UK tour the week after the album comes out, and a few festival appearances already in the diary and plenty more things in the pipeline!

Dale Tonks – Bass

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Photo Courtesy of Dave Briggs Photography

Recording the album and getting to the point where it ready to be unleashed to the world is an exciting, yet scary, thing to try and grasp. To me it’s like a time stamp on everything we have done up to now, how the band, sound, style and us as musicians have developed. It’s also been one hell of a ride in the making. It’s been hours in the practice room and studio slugging away and sometimes giving each other a constructive kick up the backside trying to better ourselves and mold the songs into what we want them. We never wanted to over complicate the songs or lose the meaning and passion that has gone into them. We’ve put everything into every single track. It’s been such a rollercoaster of emotions that I know we have all gone through at points, but when I’ve listen back to the tracks I think, man, we make some damn good noise together, that’s not me being big headed but I just love it and love playing these songs with what are now my brothers, I just can’t wait for others to be able to hear them and hopefully enjoy and get their groove on as much as I do.

Karl Selickis – Drums

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Photo courtesy of Dave Briggs Photography

It’s been a year-long process with the writing and recording process that’s resulted into the Starting Gun album. We’ve all encountered many different emotions. There’s been highs, and a lot of lows, but as an end product I can happily say without being too cliché, that I’ve never been happier. Starting Gun shows our raw talent enthusiasm and professional attitude to our craft.

The album itself I think shows true dedication to a new generation rock revival. True to our word and influences! Not apply has it had us work our knuckles the bare bone it has made us tighter as a unit as friends and as a family! I am truly proud to call this our debut album and hope that everyone else feels the way we do come February 16th.


TheBadFlowers_AlbumLaunchShow-hrThe Bad Flowers – Starting Gun

Album Tracklisting

1. Thunder Child (3:59)
2. Lions Blood (3:49)
3. Secrets (3:44)
4. Rich Man (3:14)
5. I Hope (3:24)
6. Let’’s Misbehave (5:40)
7. Who Needs A Soul (3:17)
8. Be Your Man (2:56)
9. Hurricane (3:44)
10. I Don’t Believe It (3:16)
11. City Lights (4:44)

Produced by Adam Beddow and Tom Leighton
Recorded and engineered by Adam Beddow at Vigo Studios
Mastered by Fabian Tormin at Plätlin Mastering, Hamburg, Germany


 

Full review by Dave Briggs and Deb Gardner of The Rock Asylum

So, before getting into the review of this Black Country trio’s debut album a little history of how we came to find them in the first place. We had visited a number of charity gigs across the West Midlands during 2017 and, although we had heard good things about them, we always found ourselves in a different room watching other notable bands whilst they were doing their set. We kept saying that we needed to catch their

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performance. That opportunity came about in October 2017. After booking to see The Picturebooks at The Flapper in Birmingham we were delighted to discover that The Bad Flowers were supporting them. Up until that point I’m ashamed to say that we hadn’t heard any of their tracks properly. That said I was thoroughly looking forward to witnessing them live (and as it turns out, up close too). The set they delivered was awesome. (If The Picturebooks had decided not to play I’d have still been over the moon with the night.) I can honestly say that I was a fan before they’d finished their first track.
We got a second opportunity to see them headlining at The Giffard Arms at the beginning of December 2017. Another blistering performance which cemented our firm appreciation of this faultless trio. Having been featured on Planet Rock and receiving thoroughly deserved rave reviews this was their final gig of 2017. I have to say they  appeared to genuinely enjoy performing and treated the assembly of fans to an early Christmas present. They received thunderous appreciation from the crowd and quite bloody right too. Easily one of the best gigs of 2017, hands down.

On to 2018 and with the upcoming album release is looming over us, I thought I’d chance it and message Tom to see if there was any chance of the little old Rock Asylum reviewing the album. “Yeah, no problem, get in touch with our PR and they’ll send you a copy”, was his reply. Feckin’ awesome, I couldn’t wait. Now, I wanted to do this review, and the lads, justice, so was taking my time to soak in the awesomeness of the albums contents. Meanwhile, I was considering a relaxing Saturday night in front of the TV (knowing that I was up at 6am the following day) when I noticed a Facebook post from Tom stating that they were doing a gig at the Stumble Inn, Cannock. Just up the road. And to put just a little bit more icing on the cake it was free!!!! I couldn’t believe my luck. So off we went. Needless to say we were presented with another incredible performance. These guys always give 100%, without exception and they never show any hint of arrogance. They are totally down to earth, chilled and grounded. Considering their successes last year you would be able to excuse it if there was a hint of cockiness, but no, not in the slightest. Makes you like them even more.

Right then, onto the review of the album, ‘Starting Gun’.

The opening song is Thunder Child. As the title suggests it’s a thundering track. This is everything that we could expect from the lads – great lyrics and excellent composition. The exclusive sound of Toms voice sets this track up to be a blinder, but when coupled with the top notch guitar work, powerful, incomparable drumming, and hefty bass lines this track jumps out and demands your attention.

Lions Blood is another thumping rendition which clearly displays Karl’s blistering ability on the tubs. The musical prowess is further emphasised by Tom’s incredible guitar work, neatly blended together with Dale’s faultless bass lines. Tom has a voice that you hope you will never stop hearing. Secrets delivers another welcome dose of The Bad Flowers signature sound. It is peppered with amazing guitar work and superb lyrics, perfectly delivered with those unmistakable vocals. That chunky riff that’s present throughout the track is insane, not to mention some of the clever guitar motifs displayed which bring power to the track. The drumming from Karl puts him out there with the best, this man could have his own show with the amazing talent he possesses. Rich Man has an evocative opening from Tom and his guitar. The song builds slowly as the story unfolds, then you get that massive slap to the face when those piercing vocals take their place. This track takes the opportunity to exhibit the immense qualities of this great band, giving something a little different to what we’re used to, and it really works. This is a stomping track that you will not be able to switch off once you’ve heard it.  The last part of the track is just a massive showcase of immense vocals, intricate guitar, incessant drumming, and massive bass lines, an absolute showstopper. I Hope is an acoustic track that really showcases Tom’s lyrical expertise. The story relayed will likely strike a personal cord with many a listener with its sentiment. Let’s Misbehave starts off with an almost eerie calmness and has you wondering when the power will kick in. Tom dishes out another masterclass in lyrical proficiency whilst the intensity of the track builds. Then you’re taken on a rollercoaster of pace, this song is packed solid with intensity and power, and delivered seamlessly and effortlessly by every member of the band at one point or another. It’s definitely a significant number on this stellar album. Who Needs a Soul is another signature Bad Flowers production. With its groovy bass lines, the lads have found the perfect recipe to create brilliance once again. This is a really strong member of the collection and, not that it’s needed, proves why these guys are destined for much bigger things. Be Your Man has a great blues rock tone to it that will certainly get you going, and an explosive drum display towards the end, coupled with powerful vocals. Yet another cleverly written and exceptionally performed track. This is as good as blues rock gets.  Hurricane is another dose of brilliance with Tom and the boys building it up then slowing it down a little before catapulting you back into the thick of it. We’re treated to yet another slice of stunning guitar work during this track.

I Don’t Believe is a seductively heavy, blues rock number that jumps pace frequently and hooks you from the beginning. Once again, the astounding musical prowess of each member is thrown open for all to witness.  City Lights was previously released on EP, but is a very worthy edition to this incredible album. This gives a humble story of desire to succeed in life. It’s a fitting final track as I firmly believe that this trio are unequivocally destined for those very bright city lights.

In Summary

As debut albums go you would certainly be hard pushed to find another to stand against this one. I’ve rarely listened to a band where each instrument is clearly evident in every track.  The material is very cleverly composed and the vocals delivered by Tom throughout the album are exquisite. Dale’s base playing is unusually entertaining and solid throughout every number, and Karl’s drumming ability is off the scale. As I said earlier, he is up there with the best in my opinion. To see these guys live is a pleasure to behold and to hear them perform any song at all in a live setting will set the place on fire, without a doubt. They have a huge stage presence that few other bands can match. Extremely charismatic and engaging to say the least. Tom is an exceptional guitarist, while Dale’s passion for what he does is clearly evident. And I have seen very few drummers that can throw down like Karl does. For a three piece band the sound they produce is exemplary.

I urge you to go buy this album, I guarantee you will be blown away. If you have a love for blues laced rock then your music collection should definitely contain Starting Gun!

Rating   star rating

If you like what you’ve heard about The Bad Flowers, why not follow them on Facebook, Twitter,  or Instagram?

 

 

 

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!

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.

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Photo courtesy of three7evens photography

In 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!

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