Aside

I first came across Siobhan Mazzei shortly before I started TheGuyWithaStick and was impressed by the quality of her songwriting and strong presence on stage and I have been a fan ever since.

Siobhan Mazzei is a very talented songwriter and musician who is not afraid of trying something different. Yes her music is influenced by folk and would sit easily between Janis Joplin and Suzanne Vega but don’t be fooled! Siobhan Mazzei is as comfortable with folk as she is with garage, in fact, Siobhan, through her music and words refuses to be hemmed in by narrow boundaries of genre, which makes TheGuyWithaStick very happy indeed!

The video below is an early one but exemplifies her willingness to be that little bit different….

Siobhan is clear, that, without lugging a guitar and, often an amp, around the streets to play in a local hostelry followed immediately by a street festival elsewhere you won’t develop as an artist. Yes! Siobhan Mazzei is very hard-working, very talented and very much eager to learn and develop her craft, and she’s doing a great job of it!!!

We like Siobhan Mazzei at TheGuyWithaStick!

The question, then, is what else can Siobhan do to progress, to perfect her craft, to take her in different directions without losing the very essence that is Siobhan Mazzei?  Well, Siobhan had added four elements to do just that and they are:

Joe Doyle on Bass, Tom Scarlett on lead guitar and production and Les Hayden on drums, all three highly talented musicians in their own right and all bringing to the table a depth of experience in songwriting, instrumentation and production to name but a few, on top of Siobhan’s own vocal style and songwriting talent.

Siobhan Mazzei Band performs ‘Waiting Awake’ (Not the best quality video i’m afraid)

I asked Siobhan what she thought the guys brought to the table and the way she answered was telling. Her excitement and enthusiasm for everything the guys contribute leapt out at at me, I didn’t think she would stop!! But, the biggest thing I think the guys bring is confidence and a much more relaxed stage presence.

It can be a long, lonely journey tramping the boards on your own week in week out, but, to find people, particularly experienced and highly talented people, who share your outlook is a rare commodity indeed but that is exactly what Siobhan has done! The SIOBHAN MAZZEI band have propelled Siobhan to much greater heights. Siobhan has gone from a really good warm-up act to an accomplished and talented singer/songwriter with a band to envy! Her voice is powerful, as powerful as any one and up there with the likes of Stevie Nicks and yes! Suzanne Vega with a hint of Tanita Tikaram if that’s at all possible… Hell! Anything’s possible with The Siobhan Mazzei Band!

Les Hayden’s drums are top draw, at times he hits them so hard you feel he has a real personal problem with them, Joe Doyle’s bass is clever and frames the set wonderfully while Tom Scarlett’s guitar is perfectly in tune with Siobhan, as though they think as one? These guys truly are a class act. No more Siobhan warming-up the audience for someone else (although she will continue doing what she loves), The Siobhan Mazzei Band are a magnificent headline act in their own right!

Wait a second, I did say their were four elements and I’ve only told you about three! Well, the fourth element is simple, it’s a touch of brilliance… Four different people with four different characters but one brilliant band….. The Siobhan Mazzei Band.

Siobhan Mazzei Band – ‘In Wolfs Clothing’ E.P. is available via the link below and should be in everyone’s collection…

https://siobhanmazzei.bandcamp.com/

 

fb.me.com/siobhanmazzei

Twitter: @shedthefred

 

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Siobhan Mazzei Band

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Aside

OLD TATTOOS

the debut album by

THE BRANDY THIEVES

Many of you know about my love of The Brandy Thieves. A great Leicester based band with influences from folk, punk and soul, with a healthy dose of scar thrown in for good measure.

The Brandy Thieves came together in late 2012 during which time they have produced some of the best festival anthems around. So, it came as something of a surprise to find that, until November 2015, they had not produced an album! The guys have released a couple of ep’s but not a full album… well they have now it’s called ‘Old Tattoos’ and I got my hands on a copy of it!

Through their music, The Brandy Thieves use well crafted lyrics and an array of musical instruments to tell, in the great folk tradition, a story. Stories based on their experience of life. They tell stories of alcohol fueled benders and the kind of social commentary that can only come from a life well lived. Their songs are catchy and easy to get into and before you know it, you are hooked!

If their ep’s and live gigs tell you a story, then their new album, ‘Old Tattoos’, use those stories to take you on a journey; the journey of The Brandy Thieves. The album brings together their music from the very beginning of their existence to where they are today. In many ways the listeners become voyeurs, watching through sound, the very personal journeys these guys have gone through and which comes through in their lyrics and music.

I loved the new album, Old Tattoo’s and have it playing at least once a day, much to my kids annoyance; they are big fans of The Brandy Thieves but, they tell me,  “you always have it on!”. Well that may be near the truth but I make no apologies for it! So The Brandy Thieves first album, Old Tattoo’s’, should be in everyone’s collection and I can hardly wait for their next one!

The Brandy Thieves are a very talented bunch who deserve to have much wider recognition than they currently enjoy! So, watch out Mumford and Son, you have some serious competition!!!

 

FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/thebrandythieves

TWIT: @thebrandythieves

Gigs:

 

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The Brandy Thieves

Idle Empire

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I’ve been waiting for a while to tell you about these guys. Based in Nottingham and Leicester, Idle Empire are a three-piece indie/acoustic band that have been going since in January 2014. Idle Empire are part of something of a revival in the acoustic/gypsy sound, and they do it well!

 

(©Photographs by Philip J Vernon 2014 all rights reserved)

 

Comprising of Alex Oxley- Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar, Ollie Horton on Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals and Tom Sellars on Violin.

They come together brilliantly, combining Alex’s vocals with Tom’s violin and Ollie’s lead guitar. Alex Oxley’s voice is really quite unique with influences from the likes of John Lennon, Paolo Nutini and George Esra, which lends well to high tones of the violin and is aided and abetted by Ollie’s strong backing vocals… I really like these guys!

I had the opportunity to chat with Alex at the launch of Carmen – Seduction Of The Promise album, where Alex played a solo spot as an opener to the nights proceedings. Alex was telling me that now, through studies, they have to work much harder to get to gigs, however, they relished challenge. My strong impression was, that, they have the talent and determination to to rise to any challenge.

The guys will be playing an unplugged session at The Musician in Leicester on the 2nd Jan, looking at the gig list, it should be a very good night indeed!!!

 

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(©TheGuyWithaStick 2014 All rights reserved)

Moscow City Ballet comes to the East Midlands

It’s always a bit of an anti-climax, you welcome in the new year with optimistic vigour only to be thwarted by the cold and dark of the Great British winter. Well, we may well have found something to give you the warmth that is cruelly lacking this time of year.

What is this antidote to jack frost and a lack of daylight?

Well, maybe this it:

 

MoscowCity1

R&DLOGO

are proud to present

MoscowCitylogo

The Moscow City Ballet begin their eagerly awaited 2015 tour with two of their much-loved and enchanting performances of Swan Lake and Giselle.

Giselle beautifully tells the tale of those eponymous village girl who dies of a broken heart when her peasant lover Albrecht is unmasked as a nobleman who is betrothed to another.

Swan Lake is a signature piece of the Moscow City ballet company’s repertoire. The orchestra, choreography, interpretation, beauty and outstanding virtuoso performances win repeatedly rave reviews.

So, throw away those winter blues and get some central heating for the soul with a visit to the Royal and Derngate and the Moscow City Ballet from 12th – 17th Jan 2015.

For further information click HERE

Acid Haystack and the Shattered Villain

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I bumped in to these guys at an open mic session some time back and just on seeing them once and having an all too brief chat with them between venues, I became hooked!

 

 

Acid Haystack and the Shattered Villain, composed of Andrew Mills and Daniel Heath, have been getting into people’s heads for sometime now, largely through The TGC Project which brought together various music talent into one vast, live, jamming session. This new venture demonstrates what they have learned from their previous lives and presents it live to a growing fan base, of which TheGuyWithaStick is most certainly one!

Acid Haystack and the Shattered Villain have been making a name for themselves over the last few months, playing supporting spots with the Strangler Figs and Brandy Thieves and getting a write-up in Music In Leicester. Their style is folk/bluegrass. Their mastery of the guitar, banjo and mandolin is a joy to watch and fun to listen to as are their original lyrics, laced with humour but certainly not a comedy act, and then… before you know it you are hooked!

I don’t know when their next gig is but I hope it’s soon, we could do with a lift after the holidays.

All the best lads, we’ll see you soon!

 

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Jimmy Carr to headline Derby Comedy Festival | Derby LIVE.

Jimmy Carr to headline Derby Comedy Festival | Derby LIVE

Mon 22 Dec 2014 We’re pleased to be able to announce that our headline act for the 2015 Derby Comedy Festival will be Jimmy Carr with his hit Funny Business show!Jimmy’s been described as ‘the hardest working man in comedy’. Which, let’s face facts, is not that impressive. It’s like being the ‘tallest dwarf’ or the ‘healthiest Glaswegian’. Really not that big a deal. Funny Business is Jimmy’s brand new stand up show. Audiences should come for the witty and incisive musings on the human condition and stay for the knob gags.The announcement of Jimmy as headliner for the festival is really good news as his show in last year’s festival had to be cancelled due to the closure of the Assembly Rooms.Jimmy will be performing at the Derby Arena on Fri 10 Jul and there will be a 48 hour pre-sale for all those who had tickets to see him at last year’s festival. Tickets are on general sale from 24 Dec 2014

via Jimmy Carr to headline Derby Comedy Festival | Derby LIVE.

Aside

Bombay Bicycle Club

3rd DEC 2014

 

Bombay Bicycle Club

We are pleased to announce that Bombay Bicycle Club will embark on their biggest and most ambitious tour yet.

Bombay Bicycle Club’s critically acclaimed fourth album, So Long, See You Tomorrow, captures the results of singer Jack Steadman’s picaresque adventures in the likes of Turkey and India throughout 2013.  Joyously escapist, its electronic-inflected and Bollywood-referencing sound made good on the Eastern promise, as it went straight to Number 1 in the album charts (Feb 2014) and reached silver status in record time.

The press were effusive with their praise “Buoyant, wistful and heart-rending” said The Telegraph, “sensational” said Sunday Times Culture, whilst The Times chimed in “Bombay Bicycle Club remain one of the most inventive indie bands out there.”

The band’s broad and varied body of work means the North London four-piece are both as at home with the intimate acoustic nature of Eyes Off You as they are with the euphoric highs of first single Carry Me and the exhilarating rush of album openerOverdone.  In songwriting terms Bombay Bicycle Club, who are still only 24 years old, posses a kind of dynamism that’s been missing from young British bands for years. They have mastered the melodic, the melancholic and at the same time, the euphoric.

With an expanded live line-up to cater to the ever-increasing range and complexity of their songs, this tour is not only their biggest in terms of venue, but also in terms of sound.

It follows on from their poignant, career augmenting performances on the Other Stage at Glastonbury and the Radio One stage at T in the Park, and their appearances to come at Reading and Leeds (NME/Radio 1 stage headliners).

“Bombay Bicycle Club have grown from talented teens overflowing with ideas into a slick outfit with a confident grasp of their place in pop.” **** The Times

“They continue to confound expectations.” **** The Independent

“A brooding, impressive return.” Uncut 8/10

“A real standout.” **** The Sun 4

“One of 2014’s most exhilarating returns.” NME

“Sincerely captivating and euphorically playful.” Clash 9/10

“Bombay Bicycle Club remain one of the most inventive indie bands out there.” Saturday Review

 

 

© All Rights Reserved, De Montfort Hall, Granville Rd, Leicester LE1 7RU. Box Office: 0116 233 3111.
De Montfort Hall is owned and funded by Leicester City Council.

DeMontfort Hall, Leicester

The Four Fours

Going out on a limb here! about to introduce to you one of the most exciting alternative rock bands in the UK, and their based in Derbyshire!!!

Refreshingly different, The Four Fours, Matt – Vocals, Chris – Guitars and Rich on Drums (I’d love to give you their surnames but, apparently, they don’t have one… none of them!!!) were originally members of math rock outfit ‘You Slut!‘ which comes through in this new venture but a lot more as well! Mixing various styles, The Four Fours have come up with a sound that deserves to be heard… and preferably LIVE!

 

Their recently released EP, entitled ‘Count To Ten’ is a gem! Two tracks of ‘interesting’ lyrics based on Si-Fi and love and a great alternative rock sound. The choruses are far too catchy, bordering on infectious…

 

You get what I mean?

It’s almost pop but with enough of their soul still there to earn the ‘alternative rock’ title, I like these guys… a lot!

They tell me they intend to release a new track on the 29th September, I’m looking forward to that but while we wait try this…

no video this time:

 

It’s early days yet for The Four Fours but if they continue to write tracks like ‘Count To Ten’ and ‘Messing With History’ then they could well be destined of big things, we will be watching intently and enjoying their journey almost as much as they are!

 

The Four Fours appear on www.theguywithastick.com playlist and video list and will soon be featuring on the video page.

 

The Four Fours on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thefourfours on SoundCloud: soundcloud.com/thefourfours

 

RJG

 

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