Dueling Kazoos’ DIY approach to promoting has made them one of Cornwall’s most likeable, down to earth promoters. A collective of friends and music lovers, they’ve been working since 2008 to put on the gigs that they want to see in the county.
After venturing into increasingly alternative venues over the last year or so, utilising Truro Library, the Royal Cornwall Museum and Mr Simm’s Sweet Shoppe they’ve just embarked on their most ambitious project yet.
On Monday 7th May, ‘House Gig Day’ aims to inspire music fans across the county to fill their living rooms with live music for the day. They hope the day will be a chance to bring the music community together under roofs across Cornwall to celebrate the impact it has on all our lives.
Now, to stay within the law the gigs must:
a) be ‘invitation only’; and
b) use no amplification
but other than that it’s up to you how you choose to organise your gig. Some info and tips can be found here: www.duelingkazoos.com/housegigday.htm and the lovely chaps at Dueling Kazoos will be more than happy to talk any prospective party throwers through any problems they may have.
For more information and updates on House Gig Day, you can head to www.facebook.com/HouseGigDay
Kate McGill might not be the biggest name on the South West live circuit but on youtube she’s big news. A testament to the changing face of the music industry, Kate (or Katem3 as she’s known online has uploaded over 8 hours of footage to her channel and attracted over 128,000 views.
But over the last year she’s made the transition to performing in three dimensions, embarking on a UK tour and heading to LA to record an album.
Back on the road, she’ll make her second appearance in her hometown, Plymouth’s White Rabbit on Friday 8th June. Joining her as special guests will be Plymouth songstress Harriet Jones and singer/songwriter Jonathan Stafford.
Tickets are available from www.midnightmango.co.uk among other online retailers at £7.50. Kate McGill can be found at www.katemcgill.co.uk
Laurence Collyer is a somewhat reclusive artist based in the South West yet whose work travels much further, recent releases being exported as far afield as the US and Denmark.
This Thursday he’ll be performing a selection from his bulging back catalogue at The B-Bar, Plymouth including some songs from his latest project. This year long scheme has seen him release a five track EP every month of this year, something he will continue to do for its duration.
The Diamond Family Archive has been described as Psych-Folk and Alt-Folk and it’s certainly on the gritty end of the genre. Collyer makes truly beautiful noise.
The Diamond Family Archive are performing at The B-Bar on Thursday 12th April. Doors are at 9PM and tickets are £2
There are a few establishments that can feasibly jostle for status as Plymouth’s favourite small venue but none has as loyal and vocal regulars as White Rabbit. Primarily providing the heavier end of the musical spectrum and popular among up and coming touring bands it has provided an intimate and intense atmosphere for some of the most talked about gigs the city has seen.
Always keen to help out the bands that love it so, Gareth, White Rabbit’s sound engineer, and Tim, bassist in one of the City’s most successful groups Crazy Arm, has recently started a recording service to help the area’s bands lay down some tracks at an affordable price.
Electronic artists Tom Bennet has just released a few tracks under his new guise of AxisAxis. We caught up with him to find out what he’s been up to and where he sees this project going…
BoaTM| The last thing we heard from you was your EP ‘Autumn‘ which you released under your own name. What have you been up to since then?
TB| I’ve been working on a full album project of mostly electronic songs, where I’ve been working on using my instrumental and vocal techniques more as if they were samples – cutting them up, distorting them and finding different ways to make them merge with the track.
BoaTM| And is this slight change of direction inspired by any artist or movement in particular?
The album in the works is similar to the feeling of artists like Flying Lotus, Amon Tobin, Baths and Gotye, but while making it, I became inspired by the new ‘Seapunk’ movement and artists such as Fire For Effect and Unicorn Kid. The synths, styles and themes coming out of this sub-genre gave me an incredibly nostalgic feeling. Growing up in the 90s living on the coast, the return to the old garage and club styles I heard as a kid infused with echoey steel drums and the tacky visuals you could imagine being printed on a cheap bodyboard felt refreshing and stuck out as being quite memorable to me.
BoaTM| Was there anything that made you choose these tracks to release as a single above the others on the album?
TB| After listening to a fair amount of this stuff, I wanted to combine elements of it to my own style, which is where these two tracks came from. As they deviated from the rest of the album, I decided to release them as a shorter stand-alone project. I also added in little elements of glitch, jazz and trip-hop in Sea Snakes, to tie in with the feel of the current album-in-progress.
BoaTM| Autumn, your previous EP, featured a remix by Casey LaLonde and this time you’ve secured another remix from electronic artist Février. How does it feel to have your tracks taken out of your hands and altered so much?
TB| Working with Février was great. If you haven’t heard of him before, I suggest you listen to his albums (all of which are available on Bandcamp). He has an incredibly chill sound and amazing production techniques. I’m looking forward to more collaborations in the future because he’s honestly a great person to work with and always manages to create wonderfully eveloping tracks.
BoaTM| Thanks for chatting to us Tom, we’ll look forward to hearing the album when it’s ready!
AxisAxis’ debut release is available on bandcamp at http://axisaxis.bandcamp.com/
Dead Poets are a band that describe themselves as simply ‘heavy’ – and I think that’s great.
Sure, the obvious thing would be to refer to them as hardcore punk – they have all the hallmarks of it – but they are something more, which is plainly evidenced by EP Break The Walls. There are moments that remind me of Metallica, others that sound like early Biffy Clyro, and sections that could quite easily fit into songs by System of a Down.
Opener ‘Passin’ The Buck’ does exactly what a first track should do, which is draw you in and show you what this band is all about – instantly. The whole ‘fading in and guitar noodling’ works well for the intro, despite being slightly cliche. Overall, this song hits all the right marks and lets you know exactly what you’re in for here.
Revolution is Revolting starts with a nice bass groove and gives you what is probably the most atmospheric part of this EP. What I noticed about this song in particular is that it really makes you want to move; I imagine it must be a killer track live. Things slow down a couple of minutes in. It doesn’t just work well – the song needs it to be great.
Our Last Stand is probably the standout track here, and the band seem to know this – it was released as a single with an accompanying video. The thing I really like about this song is something that is quite hard to come by: you can really feel the greatness in it. It’s almost self-aware in its power. Definitely the song to download if you’re picking just one.
That Loaded Question also serves its purpose in being the penultimate track of the release. It has that soaring chorus feeling you really need at the end of a collection to carry you through to the final song. The only criticism I have with this song is that when the vocals become more singing and less, screaming, it becomes less effective. However, the vocal break is needed, so it may work better for others. While my least favourite on the EP, it probably has the best guitar work, if that’s your thing.
‘How Should I Put This…’ is where the drums come to shine, specifically near to the end. The EP culminates in a brilliant mess of all the songs preceding this final song. What I thought was quite interesting, was the ‘hidden track’ monologue at the end, complete with lovely tape hiss. Check it out.
I can say that Break the Walls was definitely a great listen and I’m now looking forward to seeing them at The Corsairs’ single launch party this week. My criticisms, while minor, mainly fall with the vocals. Not the vocalist, but I felt the sound got quite repetitive at times. However, I would mainly write this off to myself not being a huge fan of that style, and it definitely didn’t deter me from following this band.
The production on the EP is great, having the perfect balance between raw and slick. There was great use of double and multi-tracking on the guitars, the drums really cut through, and the backing vocals provide great accompaniment.
Everything Dead Poets can be accessed through their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DeadPoetsOfficial
‘Pick Me Up’ is the latest track from Plymouth based ‘Luke Scott Dumper’. Not your typical singer/songwriter, Dumper’s alternating falsetto and natural vocals are something not often heard in a one-man-band set up.
This influence perhaps can perhaps be put down to his dabbling in metal bands such as his previous outfit ‘The Death of Lola Rose’, the mix of genres completely throws away any preconceptions you may have of acoustic music and gives birth to something all together different.
The track is somewhat gentler than what we’ve heard before on debut EP ‘Can’t Kill The Cat‘ (December 2011, Smeaton Power Records) and is accompanied by a beautifully shot video by Ant Thornton. Featuring an extremely simple instrumentation and a lovely keys accompaniment the track doesn’t rely on any fancy tricks to impress; just good, honest musicianship.
Luke continues to gig heavily in both the South West and further afield. You can catch him on facebook here: Luke Scott Dumper
It would be fair to say the fledgling Black Bird Collective have done pretty well for themselves in the first few months of their existence. Their inspired ethos of combining local talent with that of further afield has brought some fantastic acts to the South West with two sell out shows already under their belt.
Their third show on April 13th sees the collective return to Totnes’ The Barrelhouse and features local band Lamplighter as well as London singer/songwriter The Little Unsaid.
Lamplighter, who released their debut EP at the end of 2011, bridge the gap between Alt Rock and Alt Folk and have graced the stages of Glastonbury, Sunrise and Green Man Festivals.
The Little Unsaid is the pseudonym of multi-instrumentalist John Elliot who embellishes his guitar and vocal skill with all sorts of loops and gadgetry.
It’s great to hear of such inspirational shows happening here in the South West and long may it continue. Snap up your tickets fast as both previous shows have sold out and these really are shows not to miss.
Tickets for the show are available from The Barrelhouse for £3 in advance or £4 on the door as well as from www.wegottickets.com
More info on The Black Bird Collective can be found at www.facebook.com/theblackbirdcollective
We’re approaching decision time. As the secret societies that decide such things finally release their festival line ups to the world, one must decide where one’s time and money is best spent.
Knee Deep has had two highly successful years and grown from humble beginnings into something ecstatically looked forward to in the regional music calendar. Fusing a handmade, locally produced ethos with an impressive roster of artists it is a fresh and exciting place to be.
This year’s line up will be announced online on 2nd April but if you’ve got itchy feet then you can get an insight into the ongoing preparations at www.kneedeepfestival.co.uk