of the week
Imagine it’s 1968 and five twenty somethings from Southend, kitted out in Portobello Road’s finest threads are piled in to their trusty Mk1 Ford Transit on their way to a gig. Their music fuses Sergeant Pepper era Beatles, The Doors and early Deep Purple with the powerful vocals of Grace Slick, delivered with a cut glass English accent.
Then disaster strikes, they fail to avoid a particularly large pothole on the A13 which opens up and sucks them in to a worm hole in time where they are subsequently spat out in to the present day. Upon realising their new circumstances the band discover that as most of their contemporaries are either inactive or dead they sound like no other band around, a fact they proceed to take full advantage of and soon pick up an army of new followers.
The video for Electric Landlady is given a suitably psychedelic treatment, combining cut & paste animation with footage of the band performing. Front woman & Guitarist Rosalie Cunningham has been transformed in to a sabre swinging guitar slinging creature part Hindu goddess, part blue meanie. The video perfectly compliments the music with the added bonus of lyrics allowing you to sing along, should you wish.
Music wise, the Hendrixian title is reflected by an intro which cleverly re-purposes the riff to Foxy Lady. The dual lead guitar break sees Rosalie channelling Toni Iommi and trading licks with her counterpart George Hudson as Jimmy Page. It might said Purson’s overall sound is distinctly retro but it still manages to sound more fresh and exciting than a lot their contemporaries.
The band completed a US tour last year supporting Ghost BC and this year have already recorded a BBC session for Mark Riley. A UK tour has just been announced culminating with a home town show at Chinnerys Southend on April 15th. After that they head back over the pond for a tour supporting The Sword before returning to play Rambling Man Fair in Kent on Sat 2rd July.
We first encountered Canvey band The Ends a couple of years ago at Rayleigh Mill. Since then they have been steadily building up a solid live reputation. This is the video for their new single - Just Do It.
You can check out more of their stuff at their SoundCloud profile on our Original Acts page.
Upminster born Hope Murphy has crammed quite a lot in to her 18 years. She entered her first recording studio at age 11, wrote her first song at 13 and had already worked with legendary pop producer Pete Waterman when she appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in front of the equally infamous Simon Cowell.
All of these these experiences thankfully seem to have had a positive effect on her music. This track 'Addicted' to our ears brings to mind the late-great Aaliyah at her moodiest.
Hope has recently been in the studio with none other than Basement Jaxx and we look forward to hearing what that colaboration brings.
In the meantime, check out more at her website.
Futureages were formed in 2012 by former members of Rueben & The Sam I Am. They have already received support from Scroobius Pip, at one of whose club nights we first saw the band at the now sadly defunct Sun Rooms in Southend. They have also received airplay from XFM DJ John Kennedy as well as a personal invite from Yoko Ono to play as the ‘Future Sounds’ act at Meltdown Festival.
This brand new video begins with the band performing in a studio, before tantalising glimpses of what awaits them come tea time in the form of a fully loaded cake stand. Unfortunately someone else has other plans and for the rest of the video the band battle to carry on while an unseen assailant pelts them with all manner of sticky treats.
The music itself to our ears brings to mind vocally the likes of The Duke Spirit, blended with the musical muscle of The Mars Volta.
Following hot on the heels of fellow Canvey Islanders The Ends as our video of the week, Remember December utilise performance footage shot at Southend's legendary Chinnerys venue interspersed with pre-gig shenanigans, culminating in a stage invasion.
We first encountered the band live back in 2012 supporting yet another Canvey band Whoremoan at The Fat Surfer in Grays. The band have gigged solidly in the interim, including high profile festival dates alongside Mallory Knox. Check out their profile on our Originals page where you can download this track for free alongside the rest of their self titled EP.
You can catch the band live this
Friday April 11th at The Hermit Club Brentwood
Having been released back in January, this fell under our radar somewhat amidst all the new releases. So we have to big up Ollie Winniburg from BBC Esex introducing for bringing this to our attention. If you haven't already done so, head over to BBC Essex Introducing and upload your tracks. Not only do you stand the chance of gaining national airplay but your band could get to play festivals such a T In The Park which happened to Basildon's Courts last year.
So it would have been rude of us not to grab the lot! The production on Some Woman for us has a slight 90's Portishead feel about it, while vocally we are reminded of Siobhan Donaghy. Pandora Ind is currently in the studio working on new material, we look forward to hearing it.
It's been nearly two years since Reachback were our cover stars, with a behind the scenes look at what it's like to play Download festival. One of two Essex bands along with The Jellycats who were picked to perform at the prestigious festival in 2012. This video sees the band performing and perusing inside Daves comic book store in Brighton before singer Ruby is comically kidnapped by a cosplayer and held captive underneath the pier. After being being rescued by a masked saviour she is chased back to the shop and rest of the band.
This track is taken from their debut album Adventureland which is out in June. The track is available to download exclusively from Amazon now, with other outlets to follow shortly.
The band are currently on tour in Scotland but return down south for a gig at Beacon Court, Gillingham in Kent on Friday 9th May.
This video for Colchester based electro dirt band Killatrix was brought to our attention by Shut Up Fool Studios, who not only filmed the video but produced the track as well. It would have been our Video Of The Week last Monday but unfortunately wasn't officially released until the Tuesday, so better late than never!
This video is a masterclass in how you can produce professional results on a modest budget, capturing the energy and exuberance of the band perfectly. The production evokes echoes of electro pioneers Jesus Jones and Republica brought right up to date, while a more modern reference point would perhaps be Sonic Boom Six.
The band are currently lining up some gigs and we were happy to point them in the direction of promoter Stuart Whiffen, who promptly offered them a gig on June 21st for Matt Horne's Session at the Queen Of Hoxton, Check the bands profile on our Original Acts page, you can download this track for FREE along with a rather excellent remix.
They are playing this Thursday 1st May at tribal Nightclub in Colchester.
When we spoke to States Of Emotion frontman Olly Hookings prior to his acoustic set at The Essex Arms in Brentwood the other week, he mentioned that a new video was in the bag. Sure enough here it is, the official video for The Way That I'm Wired - a staple of their live set as reported the last time we saw the band at Chinnerys gig back in August 2012. This was on the eve of the bands announcing their record deal with Rinse FM, also home to Katy B.
They then headed off on a nationwide tour supporting The Enemy before heading in to the studio to work on their debut album. States Of Emotion have always excelled at the epic and atmospheric and this track is given a suitably dramatic video treatment with performance footage of the band interspersed with actors seemingly portraying a tale of young love on the wrong side of the tracks. The track itself is released on June 2nd and we eagerly await news of the album to follow.
This track is taken from the bands forthcoming debut album Stuck In A Void, due for release on May 30th and is available for pre-order.
Crashland is another infectious, fuzz laden slab of alt grunge pop that has been the bands stock in trade since forming in 2012.
The video itself is another fine example of how a bit of imagination and creativity can easily make up for lack of big label budget.
Featuring performance footage shot in the studio intersperced with some clever editing, filters and overlays.
Not only do the band write, record & produce their own music, they even buld their own effects pedals. Steve from the band produces a bewildering array of fuzz boxes and other tone shaping devices under the name Raygun FX.
This is the second time Canvey's The Ends have been our Video Of The Week. The ironically titled "You Write The Hits (I Write The B-Sides would be wasted as a B-Side as it has hit written all over it.
An infectiously catchy slice of brit pop reminiscent of early Blur combined with the urgency of their Oil City forefathers Dr. Feelgood.
The band describe the video as "Full of sweat and charisma". indeed the rehearsal room footage is cleverly put together and does a pretty good job of conveying some of the bands the bands live energy.
As reported above, the track is available to order now from iTunes.
The band are supporting The Enemy at Koko London on May 28th.
This video is for the debut single from Basildon based Wolf Party.
Monochrome studio performance footage is energetically cut together to effectively convey some of the energy of their live shows.
It's these live performances that have garnered the band a sizeable following since forming in 2012. Eagle eyed gig goers may have recognised drummer James as the former frontman of The Shame.
The band have just announced that Southend’s Youth Club will be joining them at their Sebright Arms gig in Bethnal Green on 28th June.
Before that they play Mariner's in Leigh-on-Sea this Friday May 30th.
The single is released on 9th June on Dual Records.
If you go down to the woods today you might bump in to Chelmsford based The Hype Theory who are out for a walk with what looks like a pair of huskies, perhaps they helped to drag the piano in to the middle of a forest! It all makes for a suitably atmospheric backdrop for a video for brand new track 'Gone' which has just been released on a new EP called The Hunted, which also contains five tracks taken from last years Captives LP.
This track could very easily have turned in to some kind of power ballad cheese fest which may or may not have been a bad thing, depending on your point of view. However as a piano driven ballad it contrasts nicely with the rest of their material and demonstrates a softer side to Katy Jacksons vocals.
This video features performance footage filmed at The Essex Arms in Brentwood, scene of this weeks live report. Intercut is a mini film noir featuring an anxious suited man making his way to the venue via an aborted trip to the office, recklessly discarding his Next tie en-route. Granted, Next aren't exactly Saville Row but hardly cheap all the same! Alas he doesn't seem to have found it by the time he returns to the office at the end of the video, which is a shame.
The performance footage is effectively edited to demonstrate the bands dynamic stage presence with some effective use of lighting, mostly red funnily enough. As reported above the track is available to download free from the bands website.
Calgary features Jakob Deist Oelofse on guitar and vocals, who first came to our attention a few years ago as a solo singer songwriter.
Joining him are Pete Wicker on lead guitar and Kirill Teslia on Bass.
The video for 'Shine' features some Brady Bunch style split-screen fun and games with the band and assorted chums miming along to the track and a man juggling in a banana suit!
The song itself is built around some gentle Chilli Peppers style riffing that creates a lilting, summery vibe. Combined with a catchy melody and smooth vocal delivery, this would be perfect for an afternoon festival slot. We'll be sure to keep you posted as soon as news of any such appearances are announced.
In the mean time, head over to their profile on our Original Acts page to download this track FREE.
The video begins with a classy title sequence, a cityscape as dawn breaks fades to a stark studio containing the bands equipment set up waiting. The band appear just as the intro begins and the video continues with studio performance footage combined with shots of the band going for stroll in the park, pausing briefly for a quick sit down on a convenient bench. It’s obviously harder than it looks this video shoot business!
The song itself is highly melodic slab of modern rock with a catchy uplifting chorus underpinned by some effective keyboard work. Tightly focussed and intricate guitars weave and crunch throughout, vocally we are reminded slightly of the criminally underrated Thrice.
Their debut EP "Test The Waters" was produced by Former Sikth singer Justin Hill (Rise To Remain, Young Guns, Malefice).
When Our Time Comes are now recording their first full length album.
All At Sea have been around for a few years now and have recently followed up their first EP 'Sink or Swim' with 'Your Ocean. My Sky’ This video for 'Whole New World’ is a slickly produced affair featuring the band performing in a loft/warehouse space. Effective lighting and tracking shots keep things interesting, making full use of the limited location that in less creative hands might become a bit dull.
The band describe themselves as pop/punk, citing influences such as Deaf Havana, We Are The In Crowd & Funeral For A Friend.
We can hear a bit of Thrice in their somewhere with maybe a hint of You Me At Six?
'Last Orders’ is the latest video from to be released from their newly released Graveyard Whistling EP, which also contains the track ‘Emergency’ - picked up by Radio 1’s Zane Lowe after just one listen. The band make no secret of the influence Jeff Buckley has had on their sound. There are also traces of Radiohead circa ’The Bends’ - an album unashamedly influenced by the tragic singer-songwriter.
The accompanying video is one of three scripted promos that accompany the EP and is as slick, as you would expect from a major label. In these still uncertain times for the record industry, it is to be applauded that young original song writing talent is being given the green light and thankfully Nothing But Thieves seem to have the potential to justify the faith shown in them.
The band are currently on tour playing a string of dates up and down the country, including The Barfly in London tomorrow Tues 22nd) night and local shows at Chinnerys on Fri 25th July and Brownstock Festival main stage on Sunday 31st August.
Black Hole Girl is the second video from The Ends to receive our Video Of The Week accolade. It begins with lead vocalist Mike dressed as a space man surrounded by debris having presumably just crash landed on a Southend beach. Some fun and games along the Hight Street follow including a spot of busking. A brief game of football comes to an abrupt halt when he zaps his opponents with his ray gun after they laugh at his goal keeping. He then finds his way back to the band in their rehearsal space via a brief performance at The Railway pub, a famous haunt of fellow Canvey lad Wilco Johnson. After a brief stint in the studio he walks out in to the road where he is teleported just at the moment a car runs him over, bizarrely leaving his space suit behind.
The song itself is the sort of catchy brit pop that a few years ago would probably have seen them already gracing Top Of The Pops.
The single is available to download now from iTunes, they play a double launch show with The Scarletts this Friday August 8th.
A mere eighteen years of age Singer/Songwriter Pharella is a Brit School Graduate and after receiving the outstanding achievement award for music at her secondary school she went on to attend the Sylvia Young School.
This video for Stay Right Here slickly mixes footage of a care free Pharella singing to the camera against a back drop of rolling countryside juxtaposed with a storyline of suburban grief and strife featuring two young boys driven to wrong doing by personal tragedy.
The song itself is an infectiously catchy piece of Pop stroke R&B with a production every bit as slick as the accompanying video. Pharella has no live shows scheduled at the moment but we’ll let you know as soon as that situation changes..
We previously featured this great tune from Chelmsford based singer/songwriter and multi - instrumentalist Paola Morena as our Hot Track. This recently released accompanying video was shot at the Tour De France Festival in Braintree on Monday 7th July.
Paolo's new album 'The Mighty Small' is due out October 19th.
This Thursday Paolo brings his finely honed live looping show to The Fatling & Firkin in Hornchurch.
You can check out this and the rest of his forthcoming dates dates on his website.
Divine Chaos describe themselves as Extreme Trash and to our ears they blend the best bits of Slayer, Megadeth, Pantera and Carcass in to something that while harking back to a golden age of Thrash still manages to sound bang up to date.
The slickly produced accompanying video sees the band performing in a damp, derelict & graffiti strewn building which lends a suitably dark and menacing atmosphere to the proceedings. Presumably due to the decidely damp nature of their surroundings, the band have wisely decided against a live performance, thus avoiding a potentially deadly water and electricity interface which may have gained a few more hits on YouTube but would do absolutely no favours for their career longevity.
Death Toll Rising is taken from the bands recently released
A New Dawn In The Age Of War album which is available to download from Bandcamp.
Basildon born, Billericay raised and currently residing in Berlin, Gemma Ray is now on her sixth album. Milk For Your Motors was released last week on indie label indie label Bronze Rat and has already been awarded MOJO magazine Album of the Week status.
The video for Shake Baby Shake sees Gemma performing against kaleidoscopic images of volcanos and palm trees which is simple but effective. Head over to her website and you can download this track for free in exchange for your e-mail address, you will also find there links to download the album.
Gemma begins a U.S. and European tour on September 13th in New York before coming to London on the 26th and concluding on October 18th in The Netherlands, full details are on her website.
We last saw Essex Punk/Poppers Reachback frolicking by the seaside in the video to Savior, a previous Video Of The Week and lead off single from their debut album Adventureland.
For No Place Like Home the band have chosen a forest location for a performance based video featuring a spot of dog walking & some smoke flairs, and why not? The track itself is a strident exercise in punk pop but it's the soaring vocals of Ruby Williams that really make it stand out when the chorus kicks in.
Adventureland is available now from iTunes
F.O.X describe themselves as Electro Pop although this doesn’t really do justice to the levels of sophistication at play in their music. They have been championed by Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode who invited them out on tour, however it’s their former Mute label mates Goldfrapp to which comparisons can perhaps be more closely drawn albeit superficially.
Fall From Grace is underpinned with a distinctive tribal beat, with atmospheric verses that give way abruptly to an upbeat infectious chorus that gradually builds throughout the course of the song.
The video itself creates a monochromatic feel with stark white lighting in a blacked out studio, lead singer Mitzi Fox in flowing white gown contrasts with her accompanying darkly costumed dancers.
'Fall From Grace’ is taken Taken from their new album 'Hypoxia - Part One’ which is available on iTunes for the bargain price of £2.49.
Rhiannon describes her sound as Acoustic Folk Rock which is as good as any description we can come up with. Those Days Are Gone is as bright, breezy, and catchy an example of the genre as we’ve heard this year, with a sophisticated production that reveals more of itself with every listen. As well as singing and playing guitar Rhiannon also plays drums and was assisted on the recording by producer Phil Panton, his brother Doug Panton on keyboards & vocals and Jacob Myles Tyghe on bass. The EP has been financed through the PledgeMusic scheme and is available to pre-order here, a special launch show to be announced later this week.
The excellent video for Those Days Are Gone was made by Rhiannon’s brother Gareth Gray and manages to be both scary as well as funny. Starting off innocuously enough with Rhiannon going about her morning routine before it all goes a bit Donnie Darko, only instead a creepy rabbit we get an equally creepy man in a Gremlins mask. His various materialisations go unnoticed by Rhiannon throughout the video until a very funny moment when she sits down in front of the TV with a big bowl of popcorn and finally clocks him. Needless to say the popcorn goes flying as she runs out of the room then nearly hyperventilates at another encounter in the hallway before legging it down the street, leaving her unknown tormenter staring starring at us from her open doorway.
Remember December have certainly come a long way since we first encountered them a few years ago, a solid gigging schedule has certainly paid dividends with each new release sounding more confident than the last. Front woman Jazmine possesses a vocal timbre that brings mind 80's popstress Kim Wilde, which is by no means a bad thing.
Their new video features the band performing in a parkland setting while a sinister plot unfurls on the streets of their native Canvey Island involving abduction and murderous intent by masked assailants.
As well as a busy year of solid gigging, the the band have been busy creating a range of merchandise which is available to buy here.
London based duo Dolls have only been together a year and have spent the last twelve months perfecting their blues infused sound and preparing for the release of this their first single.
Lead by the sultry howl of front-woman Jade Ellins the overall impression is of Karen O elbowing Jack White out of the way in order to have a jam with Meg and front The White Stripes. If you think that sounds pretty cool, you'd be absolutely right!
The band play their final show of the year with two lof our favourite female fronted Essex bands Reachback and Remember December at The Square in Harlow this Thursday.
After teasing us for weeks, the new video from Chelmsford based melodic rockers Shouting Signals is finally with us. Impeccably produced as ever and catchier than nits in a nursery, this track is surely destined for some heavy rotation.
Slimming down to a four piece last year does not seem to have had any detrimental effect on their sound as we witnessed at their Rayleigh Mill show.
Check out the live report here then get down to see the band this Friday at Chinnerys in Southend.
Our new Video Of The Week comes from Basildon Funksters Courts whose star has been rising steadily since they won the opportunity to play at T in The Park festival, courtesy of BBC Essex Introducing. The band recently had the honour of being Zane Lowe's very last ‘Next Hype’ band before he moves on to Apple’s new radio service.
The video for ‘Part Of’ features footage of the boys cavorting about the pool on holiday, reminding us bizarrely of Wham’s ‘Club Tropicana’ - albeit on a slightly smaller budget. The accompanying music, though arguably way cooler than that of messrs Michael & Ridgeley does share some of the same jazz funk leanings.
After a recent successful London show for Noise Kitten Presents the boys are heading back to the big smoke to play a headlining show at Hoxton Underbelly on Friday 20th March. Tickets are available here.
Hailing from Braintree Drop Dead Fred are Lee Carter, Wesley Stubbings, Chris MacKinnon and Stephen Ellis.
They describe themselves as Grunge, part of a generation of bands proud to label themselves as such when at the time it was considered a derogatory term. Musically Drop Dead Fred have absolutely nailed the ‘Bleach’ era Nirvana sound and while they may share their name with a Rik Mayall film, it’s his comedic other half Adrian Edmondson that we are reminded of, or rather his Young Ones character Vyvyan in the anarchic vocals of Lee Carter. All of this sounds a hell of a lot better than it looks on paper and while we’ve yet to see the band live, from the evidence on their YouTube channel we are in for a treat when we do.
This very well put together video for ‘Skittles’ takes place in a dingy squat where a young lady sits alone on a mattress with only a portable TV for company, She takes a pill labeled Drop Dead Fred which causes her to vomit forth the band in miniature form, unimpressed by their attempts to perform for her she proceeds to spend the rest of the video trying to eradicate them, somehow losing most of her clothes in the process. The band get their own back in the end however by getting inside the portable TV and causing it to fall on her head. By the way, do not adjust your own set, the TV style aspect ratio of the video is apparently due to it being filmed on an old Bolex camera.
Tall Dark Friend AKA Jordan Gray has to be one of the most distinctive solo performers to emerge from Essex in the last few years, gathering a significant army of followers through her dynamic performances and prolific musical output covering a range of styles and genres including Pop, Rock, Jazz & Electronica.
Tall Dark Friend is an artist that defies comparison, the closest contemporary artist that comes to mind is Mika, if you were around in the 80’s you could possibly be reminded vocally of Dr Robert from The Blow Monkeys.
The official video for Hang With The Happiness takes on a bit of Sci-Fi theme with Jordan kitted out as an intergalactic time-traveller brandishing a raygun and blowing up a wardrobe, possibly a metaphor for her own personal journey. Musically this jaunty pop tune is complimented by intelligently written lyrics and clever word play that inhabits much of Tall Dark Friend’s material.
The new album LIVE is available now on iTunes
Tall Dark Friend plays Islington O2 this Thursday.
South East London and Essex based duo Nova Twins are Amy Love Guitar/Vocals and Georgia South - Bass/Vocals, they are also joined by a drummer when they play live, you could call them a 'Girl Power Trio' if the drummer wasn't a bloke but we digress.
The video for Bassline B*tch is listed as being ‘home made’ but the resulting clip is as well put together as many ‘professionally’ shot promos we’ve seen, any perceived rough edges only contributes to the grittiness of the track.
The girls describe themselves as Urban Punk and the best we can come up with is Rage Against the Machine fronted by Azealia Banks and Charlie XCX with some wicked tongue twister lyrics that would make Chas & Dave proud! This actually falls some way short of describing one of the most exciting things we’ve heard in
quite a while.
You can judge for yourselves when they play
As previously featured as our Hot Track of the week, we now have the video for ‘Home’ by the The Jellycats. It documents the bands recent return to The Isle of White Festival and features lot’s of fun, food & frolics on ferries & funfairs as well as performance footage filmed at the festival and in the studio.
The band are no strangers to major festival appearances, having won a slot on The Bull Stage at Download Festival, a report of which you can read in our archive section.
The song itself is another ridiculously catchy tune guaranteed to stick around in your head for days. Just when you think you’ve heard all the song has to offer there comes a serious guitar and sax wiggout preceded by a brief solo from much maligned drummer Stu Cooper. Perhaps the band were trying to make up for naming a previous song 'Stu Can't Play The Drums’!
'Home’ is taken from the forthcoming E.P. 'A & E (Alcohol and Ego's)’ and is out on July 24th.
As reported above The Jellycats play Bay Days Festival at The Golden Fleece Chelmsford this Saturday 25th July.
Colchester based ‘electro dirt’ band Killatrix have been rather busy lately, both in the studio and on the road. A staple of their live set for some time now, 'Overcome' has now been chosen to be the bands official debut single, and has been given a suitably cinematic video treatment to boot.
Lead singer SinDii is very much the start of the show here, only the most eagle-eyed fans will be able to spot cameo roles by anyone other than guitarist Sam Scarlett. The video is beautifully shot and follows a ‘day in the life’ of SinDii and her female accomplice as they embark on an adventure that takes in bedroom scenes, rooftops, a fun fair, a spot of clubbing and even a car crash. Thankfully SinDii miraculously apears to escape unscathed from this, or does she?
Overcome is out now on independent record label Foundling, and
is available now from iTunes and all major download services.
The band launched the single with a gig at Chinnery Southend.
As Christmas is nearly upon us, mould brings to mind the prospect of a nice bit of Stilton on some crackers, washed down with plenty of Guinness. However we suspect in this case mould refers to Bob Mould - erstwhile frontman of US Alt Rock legends Hüsker Dü & Sugar. It’s no secret that the band are big fans although we can find no further reference in the lyrics. Perhaps the title was a place holder that stuck as the band do a fine job of channelling the spirit of those bands.
The video features the band in the rehearsal studio laying down a demo to 4 track cassette recorder. For the benefit of younger readers this what bands had to use in the olden days before GarageBand.
'Mould' is taken from the forthcoming album ‘AUTOSPY' - scheduled for release on January 29th. Pre-order it now for a discounted price and receive an instant download of 'Mould' We suspect some live dates in support of the album will be announced in due course.
Alfreda is a 17 year old singer/songwriter based in London which as everyone knows is actually in Essex.
She grew up in New York City but moved to England at the age of 9. She attended boarding school for a while, but by the time she turned 15, she became intent on moving to London to pursue music. She now attends to art college in London, and frequently gigs around London with her band.
Alfreda writes all of her own songs. And she has been experimenting with music production since the age of 11.
Alfreda is currently working on her debut album with Craig Walker and Thierry Fournie at Riverside Studios in Berlin. You can check out the work in progress on her Soundcloud page.
Night Time Nothing has a lovely summery vibe to it and we can't wait to hear the rest of the album when it's finished.
The lead off track from the bands recent Thoughts Of A Rising Sun LP 'Structurally Unsound' starts off innocuously enough with a gently picked guitar before a barrage of double kick drums, screaming vocals and furious riffing attempt to drill in to your skull with deadly precision. It's all pretty intense stuff but the aggression is balanced with plenty of melody, not least in the tasty soloing of self proclaimed 'banjo slayer' Tony Dando.
Joining him recently is fellow Thurrock lad David Pankhurst, a former drummer who fortunately was just as adept on guitar when injury forced him off the drum stool. Dave is also co-organiser of Danfest - a music festival dedicated to raising awareness for Autism. After last years highly successful inaugural event there will be another on Saturday August 2nd.
As previously announced above, the band are tour support for the forthcoming Hellyeah tour commencing in August.
A fairly new band on the scene, Daze Train were on a typically eclectic bill we saw put on by paulsgig.com at The Essex Arms, Brentwood. The following week we also caught their set at The Edge in Basildon. At the same venue a few weeks later they took part in a Battle Of The Bands competition we were asked to help judge, they got our vote but sadly they were just pipped to the post.
This is a fantastic track called Closer which is available to download FREE from their SoundCloud profile on our
Original Acts page.
You can catch them back at The Edge on Thursday 27th March.
We first heard this track back in January via a sneaky preview clip, followed by a full live rendition at their recent Rayleigh Mill gig (review here).
Chugging guitars introduce and underpin a slow fuse of an verse, before an explosive chorus delivers on the incendiary suggestion of the title.
Soaring melodies pervade throughout, something we've come to expect from this band.
Create To Inspire mix hardcore savagery with huge anthemic hooks and thought provoking lyrics. The band are currently preparing for the release of their debut EP ‘Halfway Home’.
They are also hoping to play this years Download festival, which is where you can help them out by heading over to the Red Bull Studios page to vote for them.
If you think your vote won't make a difference think again, as last year not one but two unsigned Essex bands Reachback & The Jellycats got to play the festival the very same way, you can read their story in our archive.
In the meantime Create To Inspire play The Garage on Wednesday 23rd April, full details here.
Unusually not only have we gone for an instrumental choice this week but a classical one to boot! Southend based Josh is an accomplished Producer, DJ, film composer and classical pianist.
As well as classical and soundtrack work, Josh's SoundCloud page hosts a selection of House & Techno track, some of which wouldn't sound out of place on one of those Chilled Ibiza compilations you stick on to get you in the mood for your summer hols.
Josh has a gig coming up on Friday May 9th at Leigh Road Baptist Church. Entitled 'An Evening of Contemporary Piano it also features the gentleman mentioned at the top of the page. Josh's brother Ollie will be joining him on percussion along with Elisa Bergerson on Violin and Alex Milne on guitar.
The Courtesans are an all female band who describe themselves as sultry sounds with a vicious kick ... wild, brash and addictive. We're certainly not going to argue with that last bit as this is definitely one track we've been playing a lot, along with the acoustic version that is also up on SoundCloud.
There is a cinematic feel to their music which is brought to the fore on this synth laden remix, not dissimilar to Depeche Mode at their most atmospheric. Vocally there are echoes of Kate Bush via Beth Gibbons while visually the girls project an aura of bohemian gothic chic.
The band financed their debut album through the PledgeMusic campaign which is available to order here.
Hopefully we'll have news of some live shows to bring you soon.
This week we have the most recent track from Hockley based Some Were Satellites.
A catchy slab of highly melodic post-hardcore, not a million miles away from the likes of You Me At Six if we had to draw a comparison.
It is a particularly saturated genre at the moment but Some Were Satellites seem to have what it takes to stand out from the crowd.
The band have been gigging solidly over the past couple of years and look set to take things to the next level.
Next gig for the lads is Asylum in Chelmsford on Saturday 26th July.
Don't forget, if you'd like your track to be considered but can't be arsed with SoundCloud, just use our DropBox.
Warrenpeace are a duo consisting of Buddy Peace and Worgie, who cite a wide range of influences, including At The Drive In, Wu Tang Clan and Squarepusher.
The accompanying video for this track was co directed by none other than Stanford-le-Hope's very own bard of Hip Hop Scroobius Pip. Featuring Natasha Fox of Southend's Future Ages who's 'Missing Misery' was our video of the week a while back.
After an atmospheric intro of tribal beats 'Indoorvoice' get's underway with some guitars that would sound right at home on a Radiohead track, before the distinctively sultry voice of Ms Fox comes in. This is counterpointed by the more aggressive male vocal.
The bands debut album SDR007 is due for release on June 2nd.
We Were Lions are an alternative rock band who cite fellow Essex bands InMe and We Are The Ocean among their influences, but have enough of their own musical identity to avoid drawing too many comparisons.
Backseat is taken from their Rebirth EP and opens with some big sounding drums which lay the ground work for the equally big melodies that follow.
Featuring a far from predictable arrangement with a fair few twists & turns along the way in a perfect balance of heaviness and melody.
The band have recently begun a brace of summer shows which continues with a gig at Chinnerys on May 24th. Check out their gig flyer on our upcoming page.
Colchester based synth pop act F.O.X have achieved a lot since forming in January 2013.
They released their debut album 'Chimera' in February and spent March touring the USA with The Deer Tracks from Sweden including shows at SXSW.
They were then personally invited by Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode to support them on their 2013 Delta Machine stadium tour, resulting in the band playing to over 200,000 people across Europe.
It's easy to spot the affinity as the bands music does contain echoes of the early 80's New Wave scene from which the mighty Mode themselves emerged, with a hint of Hazel O'Connor in the vocals of Mitzi Fox.
The band are currently working on their 2nd album.
We could probably have picked any track from the recently released I am Rosiemay EP but for our money this is a stand out track.
The atmospheric production combined with Rosie's highly distinctive vocals bring to mind mid 90's trip hop duo Lamb with maybe a hint of Paloma Faith for want of a more contemporary comparison.
East London born and Essex bred, Rosie May has been singing publicly from an early age and went on to study at The British Academy of New Music.
The EP was launched recently with a gig at hip London venue Queen Of Hoxton.
Local fans don't have long to wait as Rosie is playing this Thursday May 29th at O'Neils in Brentwood High Street.
Southend based Kiites have been around for a couple of years and have been making a name for themselves with some high profile gigs, most recently for Mathew Horne's Session at Queen of Hoxton.
The show was filmed by respected local photographer Rich Crooks, watch this space for details.
The Disguise is the bands most recent upload to SoundCloud.
Kiites play The Nest in London on Saturday May 10th.
Kloq consists of vocalist Dean Goodwin, bass player Tim Jackson, drummer Alex Baker and Oz Morsley, who was a founding member of XL signed Empirion.
To our ears 'High' brings to mind late 80's acid House pioneers The Beloved and the more contemporary sounds of Narcotic Thrust.
It should go without saying that Essex has always had a strong connection connection with electronic music with two of the worlds biggest exponents hailing from the county. Kloq look set to receive the baton at the forefront of a burgeoning Essex EDM scene.
This track from the Chelmsford based melodic rockers is part of a newly released mini EP ‘Now You See’. The accompanying imagery depicts the band blindfolded on a deserted pebbled beach.
In other possibly related news, the EP features another new track 'Waves', on which the band give us a short (1:29) gimpse of their mellower side. Also on the EP is previous 'Hot Track' 'Set It Off'.
'I am Catastrophe' is another carefully crafted slice of modern rock with an infectious chorus underpinned with some nimble finger tapping guitar.
This weekend sees the band play
SamStock festival in Maldon on June 21. They will be touring throughout the rest of June & July. Taking in Chelmsford, Hatfield, London, Birmingham and Colchester. Then on July 26 they play a headline show at Colchester Arts Centre in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.
The tour concludes at The Edge in Basildon on Thursday 31st July.
Little love is taken from the recently released Tides EP from Billericay based singer/songwriter Mabel Rogers. The EP was Launched recently with a gig at Tigerlily Bar in Leigh-on-Sea, followed by a brace of shows including a support slot for Matt Boulter of The Lucky Strikes.
Beginning with gently fingerpicked guitar accompanying Mabels lilting vocal, it’s quite a jolt when a full band suddenly joins in on the chorus. Things calm down briefly for the next verse before the band come crashing back in for a final chorus.
All in all it’s quite a roller coaster ride but maybe of the slightly more genteel wooden type than the nemesis at Alton Towers.
Comparisons to Laura Marling are as inevitable as they are complimentary as the vocal similarity is quite remarkable.
The Tides EP is available now on iTunes.
Chelmsford based singer/songwriter and multi- instrumentalist Paola Morena has been making a name for himself for some time with his live solo performances and previously with his band The Morenas.
Oh Yeah is the forth track on Paolo's 'Is' EP and opens with some beautiful harmonising acoustic guitars that wouldn't sound out of place on a TV holiday programme.
Paulo's haunting vocals resonate with ghosts of the late lamented Elliot Smith and Jeff Buckley. There is also a hint of home grown acoustic duo Turin Breaks in the harmonies that Paulo is able to replicate perfectly live with his finely honed looping skills.
Paulo is heading out on tour next week beginning with a gig at the Tour De France Festival in Braintree on Monday 7th July.
Check out the rest of his dates on his website.
‘Today' is one of three songs quietly uploaded last week to Soundcloud, along with ‘Ageless' and ‘Seven'. Perhaps the more overtly commercial of the three, ‘Today subtly employs double tracking to allow vocalist Jennifer Young to harmonise with herself on an exceptionally catchy chorus, over a backing that hints at early Radiohead via Foo Fighters, provided by guitarist Glen Bartlett, Bassist Dan Frost and Drummer Sam Chapman.
‘Ageless' rolls along in a manner akin to early Smashing Pumpkins while ‘Seven’ deftly re-purposes the riff to Mr Brownstone by Guns’n’Roses, proving there’s nothing wrong with a bit of recycling!
The band describe themselves as progressive rock, but to our ears Daze Train seem to be torn between heavy rock and indie. The exuberant riffage of songs like Ageless is in stark contrast to the beautifully atmospheric ‘Closer’ a former Hot Track in it’s own right. None of this is of concern however for a band yet to exit their teens, there is more than enough raw song writing talent in evidence here to overcome any minor categorisation issues that only seem to pose a problem for lazy journalists anyway!
Daze Train return to the scene of our first encounter with them on Saturday August 30th at The Essex Arms in Brentwood.
We first heard this track performed as part of a short acoustic set supporting The Victories at The Essex Arms in Brentwood back in April. It was released last week via Souncloud as a ‘B side’ to her forthcoming first single which should be a treat if this is anything to go by.
We previously compared Olivia’s extraordinary voice to Laura Marling but perhaps a closer reference would be Hannah Reid of London Grammar, both in tonal quality and the exceptional vocal range displayed here.
‘Ghosts’ begins with some subtle atmospherics and a gently plucked acoustic guitar, Olivia’s voice soon starts to soar as layers of harmonies and electric guitars are gradually introduced to created a lush soundscape reminiscent of Cocteau Twins via Johnny Marr’s dense guitar texturising, with hints of The XX for want of a more contemporary comparison.
Watch this space for news of that single release and upcoming live dates.
Our Hot Track this week comes hot off the press from the Soundcloud of brownbear_music.
Catch Me If You Can is a dreamy slice of chilled out Urban pop with a mild Dub step undercurrent courtesy of this remix by D’LuxeDJ.
Duo Nyms & Kayne have been performing across Essex & London recently at select music nights including The Ivory Rooms in Billericay.
The 4 track Catch Me If You Can EP is available to download now from from iTunes.
Watch this space for news of any forthcoming live appearances.
Hailing from Southend, Fire At Dawn cite similar post 90's influences to many of their local peers but to our ears their music harks back a little further to the late 80’s Goth scene. The vocals of Victoria Walker in particular bear an uncanny resemblance to those of All About Eve vocalist Julianne Regan, it should be stated that this is very much not a bad thing.
Run is the final track on the bands self titled EP but in truth we could have picked any one of the other four as they are all just as strong. The fact that ‘Run’ is inexplicably trailing the others in Soundcloud plays may have prompted a subconscious sympathy vote. If we’re being picky the production doesn’t quite do the songs justice, but when you learn the EP is completely self produced this matter pales in to insignificance.
Fire At Dawn play Club Riga on September 13th followed by Chinnery’s on November 8th.
Only a few weeks ago we featured eighteen year old Singer/Songwriter Pharella as Video Of The Week with ‘Stay Right Here’. However when this track popped up on her Soundcloud a mere three days ago we couldn’t resist making it our Hot Track this week.
'Love In A Different Way’ has a slightly more chilled out vibe in comparison but is just as infectious a slice of modern Pop/R’n’B as it’s predecessor.
While on the whole, we are not fans of 'rap interludes' but the one provided by Mista Burns is tastefully done and far less cringeworthy than many we have heard, actually complimenting the rest of the song well.
Pharella is performing an acoustic set TONIGHT at Vibe Bar in Brick Lane.
Colchester based Jarvis, or Cris presumably to his mum describes himself as a producer of bass heavy music influenced by Trance, Heavy Metal and EDM.
He’s also pretty prolific going by the amount of material uploaded to his Soundcloud page, which features a lot of remix work as well as his own material.
Run Away falls most firmly in EDM territory, very much in the same vein as Dubstep titans Nero.
Click on the Soundcloud player to listen and download Run Away for FREE!
Jarvis recently contributed his track Soilwork VIP to the Bass for Autism compilation album which is available to download from Bandcamp.
North Essex Ska/Punk/Pop/Rockers The Jellycats have had a busy summer performing at the Isle Of White Festival followed by a support slot on the Reel Big Fish European tour which began at Sonisphere festival before taking in most of the UK as well as dates on the continent.
For the most part ‘Home' is fairly mid tempo but just as catchy a slab of Ska/Pop as we've come to expect from this band. It bounces along at jaunty pace before ramping up the tempo towards the end for the guitar solo with some nifty brass work to boot.
Home is taken from their forthcoming EP A&E (Alcohol and Egos) to be released in October.
In the meantime their debut album 'When I Do' is still available to download FREE. If you haven’t done so already, we highly recommend you do so immediately!
Most definitely not to be confused with the duo of the same name that were recently on a certain TV talent show that will remain nameless. Needless to say we would hope most viewers of this website would have better things to do on a Saturday night.
If you are one of out regular viewers you will already be familiar with The Courtesans as previous their previous single ‘Genius’ was a former ‘Hot Track’ for us a while back.
Liberate is taken from the forthcoming album 1917 which is due to be released on October 27th. Haunting vocals and slabs of distorted guitar float over a bed of cinematic synths and highly effected beats that lurch between down beat industrial and rapid drum & bass rhythms.
At the moment the only scheduled dates the band have listed are in Scotland, hopefully we’ll have some news of some dates for us sasanaches soon.
The new single from Scarlet Echo marks a distinct change in direction for the Billericay based band consisting of Hannah on lead vocals, guitar & synth, Mitch on bass, Jamie on lead guitar & synth and Alex on Drums, percussion & Samples.
We could describe it as atmospheric but instead we’ll use a word invented by the band themselves to describe their sound ‘Echospheric Rock’.
Grayhaven begins with gently pulsating bass & minimal guitar over stripped back beats, Hannah demonstrates a softer side to her voice than we usually hear. The second verse picks up the pace and the song builds gradually as it progresses before self detonating with an explosive climax in a manner that brings to mind 90’s Oxfordshire noisenicks Ride.
Our Hot Track of the Week feature comes with good news and bad.
The good news is we have four new tracks from Southend Trio The Darvaza Hole, the bad news is that with these new tracks the band have announced they are to call it a day.
The band assure everyone they are all still best friends but all good things must come to an end.
We wish Laura, Rich & Steve all the best and thanks for some great music over the past few years.
Difficult as it was to chose from this parting gift from the band, in the end we have gone with Skin & Bone and we thoroughly recommend you head over to their Soundcloud page to check the rest out.
Line Me Up For The Firing Squad is the latest slab of angular sludge punk from London & Essex based band The Dropper's Neck.
The band have previously been favourably compared to The Cramps, Dead Kennedys & QOTSA, we can also hear hints of Mark E Smiths laconic drawl in the vocals of Lloyd Mathews who is accompanied by Chris Blake, George Barrows, Jack Turner & Michael Myers.
For their album 'The Second Coming' the band enlisted the help of Paul Tipler (Placebo, Idlewild & Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster) which is available to buy from iTunes.
The band have just completed a comprehensive UK tour in support of this single which was recorded earlier this year with Marmozets producer James Kenosha.
Asylums are the latest in line of Essex bands that take us back to the golden age of Britpop. In the same way that Canvey Islands The Ends remind us a bit of early Blur, Southend based Asylums sound a lot like early Supergrass at their fast and frantic best. The fact that they also sound a bit like legendary Benfleet noiseniks Engerica should come as no surprise as their bassist is none other than Michael Webster from the much missed trio.
We were lucky enough to witness one of Asylums early shows last year at Hippy Joe’s Live & Unsigned, who incidentally taught guitar to Michael and his Engerica band mate Dave.
We strongly suggest you take the chance to check Asylums out yourselves when they play The Amersham Arms in London this Saturday.
Singer/Songwriter and Brit School Graduate Pharella was a mere eighteen years of age when we featured her video for Stay Right Here as our Video of the week.
Still only Nineteen, the latest upload to her Soundcloud account is quite possibly the catchiest slice of pure pop we’ve heard so far this year.
Featuring a quite frankly bonkers (in a good way) production there are echoes of early Madonna and 80’s Hip Hop diva Lisa Lisa. The fact that this track sounds nothing like her other work serves well to demonstrate the diversity of material on offer from talented young lady.
There are currently no live shows on the horizon for Pharella, we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as there are.
Louise Byrne is a Colchester based Music producer and composer ‘Secrets’ features the vocals of Niccie Simpson.
After a brief acapella intro, the track gradually builds with some nylon string guitar. The gentle introduction of strings prefaces the chorus with Niccie's gentle vocals bringing to mind Tracey Thorn of Everything But The Girl.
The track continues to build with additional instrumentation before falling away to to leave the vocal and guitar to finish the song alone.
In her biography Louise mentions she is looking for great vocalists and while there is one more track featuring Niccie Simpson we certainly hope it’s not the last we hear from this pairing.
Louse also has her own music production company, for more information, free music & commissions check out: www.louisebyrnemusic.com
- Dark, Dark Lie
At a mere 16 years old Chelmsford based Roisin O'Hagan may be one of the youngest artists we have featured but her lack of years is by no means reflected by in a lack of maturity in her music.
Roisin claims to spend her time writing too many songs, spending too much time with a guitar and doing a lot of singing stuff, the results of which certainly seems to have paid off in her finely crafted songs that belie her age.
Dark, Dark Lie is taken from her 5 track EP of the same name, the overall high quality of which made it difficult to pick just one track with Shouldn't Have To Fall coming a close second. The EP is available for a paltry £4 from BandCamp:
Roisin recently played Cosmic Puffin festival as well as the Acoustic Lounge at Colchester Arts Centre, watch this space for future dates.
Anna Pancaldi - Out Ahead
Singer/Songwriter Anna Pancaldi had to overcome debilitating stage fright that nearly ended her career before it began. Anna was raised in Colchester before moving with her family to South Africa when she was 12. Returning to England three years later she successfully auditioned for a music course at Colchester College but it was during the ninth month’s she spent travelling that her singing really developed. After relocating to London her music came to the attention of Radio One’s Huw Stephens leading to gigs supporting Rita Ora, Rudimental, The Noisettes and Tinchy Stryder.
Out Ahead is produced by Grammy winning Simon Gogerly (Paloma Faith, U2, No Doubt). The acoustic led track is given a subtly sophisticated backing that makes it’s presence known without overpowering the song. Anna’s extraordinary voice ranges from deep husky tones to a spine-tingling high register soaring over evocative lyrics that speak of love reaching over sand, sea and shore. The closest vocal comparison we can think of is Marina Diamandis of and The Diamonds fame.
Charlie's Hand Movements - 'Don't You Dare, Boy'
Charlie's Hand Movements describe themselves as a deeply unsuccessful alternative pop combo consisting of Lance Keeble & Adam Gardner.
They may have to eat their own words soon however, judging by the amount of airplay they have been picking up across the country. Starting with BBC Introducing in Essex the track has been picked up by Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music and Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1.
Taken from their album 'In Glorious Technicolor’ 'Don't You Dare, Boy’ is eccentric English pop at it’s very best, bringing to mind everything from Blur to Pulp & Elbow even Ian Dury & The Blockheads in the mad saxophone outro.
'In Glorious Technicolor’ is available either as a pay what you can download or as a limited edition CD for just £3 from
Kloq - 'The Gun'
Chelmsford based self proclaimed ‘Punktronica’ band Kloq first came to our attention a while back with the track ‘High’ which gained a considerable amount of airplay.
Bringing to mind British dance rock pioneers The Shamen and The Beloved as well as more contemporary acts such as NIN & Narcotic Thrust, it put them firmly on our ‘ones to watch’ list.
The band have now released a new 4 track EP - The Gun, it’s very difficult to pick just one track from it but if you put a loaded weapon to our head we’d have to go with the title track ‘The Gun’. This must have gone down a storm at their recent EP launch show at Cargo in London with it’s pounding beats, hypnotic synths and grinding bass.
The band have just announced another London show at the O2 Academy Islington but if you can’t wait that long you can see them tonight at Bassment in Chelmsford.
The phrase ‘put through the ringer’ could have been coined for this band. After a decade spent building up a loyal fan base, the band finally secured a deal in 2011. After a high profile nationwide tour supporting The Enemy, events conspired against the band and they disbanded before they could release their long-awaited debut album.
Now slimmed down to a duo consisting of Olly Hookings (vocals) and Bonzai (bass) the boys recently broke in a new live line-up at their old home town stomping ground of The Essex Arms in Brentwood.
This 4 track album taster is an excellent indication of the epicness to come when ‘Black & White To Gold’ finally sees the light of day on 15th February.
A launch show has been announced for Friday 19th February at The Underworld in Camden, you can buy tickets and pre-order the album at www.labelwhiteroom.com