Tag Archives: Bands

Reading Festival 2015 – Friday

Hi,

I thought it might be nice to set some of my photographs from Friday at this years Reading festival to music.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

Bearded Theory 2015 Memories

Tomorrow morning sees me head off to my favourite festival of the year.

Beautiful Days festival at Escot Park in Devon is just a wonderful medium sized festival.  It doesn’t have the biggest names in music but what is does have is an atmosphere that is totally unique.  The festival is more about the people who attend than just about another festival I know.

Somewhat depressingly the weather here in Dorset today is foul.  It is pouring with rain and I am sat indoors wearing three layers.  Sadly it looks like the weekend may prove to be a wet one.  Continue reading

Photo Challenge - Muse Glastonbury

Glastonbury Memories 2015

This time four weeks ago I was getting ready to come home from Glastonbury.  If you haven’t been to Glastonbury it is a huge shock to the system.  The sheer scale of it all is stunning.  It can easily take a full hour to walk from one side of the site to the other.  The site at Glastonbury is the size of a small city both in area and population for a week every June

I spent at lot of time in the Field of Avalon this year and to walk from that stage to my camper van was a walk of 4.3 Kilometres.  The camper van fields are vast, though it must be said, well organised and friendly.  If you are camping onsite it is perhaps a little better though less comfortable.  It never ceases to amaze me that you can camp in sight of the main stages at Glastonbury.

The atmosphere at Glastonbury is amazing.  People come to party and they party hard but the atmosphere is overwhelmingly friendly.  There is entertainment available 24-hours a day for the duration of the festival.  The array of food available is absolutely incredible and unlike some of the big festivals you don’t get ripped off.  Glastonbury even allows you to carry a reasonable amount of alcohol into the arena.

Glastonbury isn’t for everyone.  Personally I wouldn’t want to do it with small kids (though it is very child friendly) as I walked over 80 miles over the five days of the festival.  My memories are in Photographs so here are a few of my favourites.

Bearded Theory – Sunday 24th May 2015 – Artists shots

Hi again everyone.  Today I am sharing the last batch of artists photographs from bearded Theory festival with you.  I will stop annoying you with them after today.

I hope you ahem enjoyed at least some of the shots I have shared.

Music reviews

Reviewing Music: Should I Get Mad At This?

Many of my regular readers know that I love music.  Music is the reason this blog even exists.  I review a lot of music both here on this blog and on a few other music sites that I am currently writing for.

I work hard at my writing and spend a huge amount of my time exposing myself to new artists, listening to music that is new to me and checking out bands live.  I try not to be unkind to musicians even when I don’t like the music.

One thing that I have learned in the time that I have been doing this is that most musicians struggle to make a living.  I have been lucky enough to meet some fantastic people on my journeys around the grassroots festivals, many of the musicians I have met I am now proud to call friends.  I know first hand that these people work incredibly hard to scrape a living, they are constantly away from home, sleeping in tents or in their cars, driving thousands of miles to play in front of anyone who will listen.

The music industry is notoriously exploitative, for those lucky enough to get signed to a label punitive contracts often mean that even successful bands struggle.  Streaming makes things even more difficult, services like Spotify pay artists a pittance and the sheer volume of online music makes it increasingly more difficult for talent to find an audience.

I thought I had seen it all until yesterday.  I came across a blogger that is trying to charge artists to review their material.  £5 for a review of a single or EP. £10 for a review of an album.  Now this wasn’t a major outlet but a small time blog with barely any following.  The reality of this is that an already struggling artists is being asked to pay out without any realistic prospect of receiving any exposure in return.

I have been lucky enough to build a reasonable following on this blog and can offer exposure in mediums with considerably more clout than I have.  Let me say this very clearly.  Never in a million years would I ask an artist to pay me to review their music.  I regard it as a gift that artists are willing to ask my opinion on their art.  If I can help them even a little I regard that as a gift too.

I am perhaps fortunate in that I get a small income from my writing elsewhere and from selling the odd photograph but in any successful relationship both parties have to benefit.  If I were a high profile blogger with millions of subscribers then I could probably earn a decent income from advertising and from amazon market place but I would never and will never ask an artist to pay me for reviewing their music.

Cate Ferris – Larmer Tree Breakthrough Music Awards – Photo Gallery

Saturday 11th April 2015 saw the final of the Larmer Tree Festival Breakthrough Music Awards.

Brighton based Cate Ferris adds samples of her own live playing and vocals, steadily building up intricate layers of rhythm, reverb and electronic chorusing and you get the illusion of an imaginary band echoing behind her.    Sadly for Cate she was runner up in an extremely high class competition but you can be sure we will be hearing much more from Cate in the future.

If you would like a High Resolution, copyright free, copy of any of the shots please feel free to drop me an e-mail to discuss.

The Drystones

The Drystones – Larmer Tree Breakthrough Music Award Winners – Photo Gallery

Saturday 11th April 2015 saw the final of the Larmer Tree Festival Breakthrough Music Awards.

Somerset based high energy folk duo The Drystones won the singer-songwriter category against a very high class field.

If you would like a High Resolution, copyright free, copy of any of the shots please feel free to drop me an e-mail to discuss.

The Villanovas

Villanovas – Larmer Tree Breakthrough Music Award Winners – Photo Gallery

Saturday 11th April 2015 saw the final of the Larmer Tree Festival Breakthrough Music Awards.

London/Bournemouth based band The Villanovas won the band category.  These shots were taken during their performance.

If you would like a High Resolution, copyright free, copy of any of the shots please feel free to drop me an e-mail to discuss.

Enter Shikari And Support – Portsmouth Pyramids 16th Feb 2015 [Photo Galleries]

Check out my Galleries of Enter Shikari, Fatherson, AllUsOnDrugs & Feed The Rhino from Portsmouth Pyramids on Monday 16th February 2015.

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Pocket Apocalypse – Under Our Sky – Album Review

I confess that I may be a bit of a dinosaur, I am certainly getting long in the tooth but I like to think I know a good tune when I hear it.  I also tend to think that there is nothing new under the sun and frankly I don’t really understand the need some music fans seem to have to tie down a band into a genre or sub-genre.

Pocket Apocalypse have been described as post-rock, math-rock and even prog!  Wow.  I even logged into wikipedia to find out what the hell math rock is.  Apparently it means a band that used unusual time signatures (anything other that four beats to the bar) in their music.  Seriously?  Bob Dylan was doing that on folk tunes in the early 60’s.  Woody Guthrie did it long before that and Jazz musicians have been doing it since god knows when!

Anyway, back to Pocket Apocalypse, what can I say about them.  Well lets start with them being a 4 piece from Liverpool and they are good.  Well actually they are better than good, they are excellent.  I was hooked from 30 seconds into the superb album opener, Glass.  

What you get is high energy, unapologetic guitar based rock.  Two guitars, bass and drums.  If you are an old fart like me I was at times reminded of Steve Hackett era Genesis, at other times of 2112 era Rush.  If you are a whippersnapper like my 16-year-old you  might come up with a description something like “A mix between The Killers and Enter Shikari.”

At times there is a prog-rock feel to the songs check out ‘The Missing Piece‘ as a taster.  It was released earlier last year with an official video which you can watch here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWGZPQxyeRA

At times the songs are riff driven and at times Chris Catterall’s lead guitar picks out some lovely little melodic riffs.  Listen to the album closer “Whats Left Behind” and you will see what I mean.  There delicate little riffs underpinning the whole track.  What is lovely to my ears is that is all fits together beautifully, these guys are tight, and I mean “Camels ass in a sandstorm” tight.  There is not a dropped note or a missed beat through the piece.

In a few short words I think this is a real stunner of a debut.  Well written, unapologetic and passionate guitar rock.  I can see the anthem nature of the songs going down an absolute storm  with festival crowds and I hope that I can catch these boys at a festival or two over the summer months.  I would love to see them out on tour with someone like Enter Shikari, Kasabian, Muse, Queens Of The Stone-age or Marillion to expose them to a bigger audience who would appreciate their musical style.  Prog Magazine hailed “Under Our Sky” as an “excellent take on melodic post-rock fusion” and that seems like a fairly sound analysis.

“Under Our Sky” is Released 23rd March 2015

You can download a song for free at http://www.pocketapocalypse.bandcamp.com

Take note of Pocket Apocalypse, I suspect you will be hearing more from them in the near future.

Pocket Apocalypse are:

Nick Jones – Vocals, Guitar
Chris Catterall – Lead Guitar
Lee Cuzzocrea – Bass Guitar
Phil Dunn – Drums
UK Tour Dates:

Wednesday 1st April – Stag & Hounds, Bristol
Thursday 2nd April – Old Blue Last, London, w/ Lost in the Riots & Polymath
Saturday 4th April – The Ferret, Preston, w/ Waking Aida &  Jekyll
Friday 10th April – The Flapper, Birmingham, w/ Samoans
Saturday 11th April – The Live Rooms, Blackpool, w/ Go Around Captain
Thursday 16th April – The Thirsty Scholar, Manchester
Wednesday 22nd April – Bar Bloc, Glasgow
Friday 24th April – Opium, Edinburgh
Saturday 30th May – alt:made Micro-Festival, Sheffield
Friday 21st August – ArcTanGent Festival, PX3 Stage, Bristol