18 videos featuring some of the best bands on the circuit!!!
All artists and bands featured on TheGuyWithaStick Vid-Lists also have reviews on http://www.theguywithastick.com just use the search box on the right of this page… ENJOY!
The beautifully enchanting Elizabeth Cornish and her band, comprising of: on drums – Adam Wykes, bass – Jason Skinner and on additional guitar – Mark Riley Cardwell, are wonderful a tremendous acoustic folk band following in a great tradition, and doing it justice!
Influenced by the likes of David Gray, Alanis Morissette and Laura Marling (which comes across in Elizabeth’s guitar playing) with undertones of Susan Vega, Elizabeth Cornish and the band are becoming quite a force in the region. Elizabeth’s voice is well suited to the genre mature yet amazingly gentle…
… her finger-picking guitar play is highly complimented by Mark’s electric guitar and Jason’s bass play with it all brought together by Adam’s drums and Elizabeth’s vocal, and what vocals they are… a master class in folk pop!
I always thought that the best thing to happen on the 15th of March was my birthday, so you can imagine how distressed I was to be ‘gazumped’ by a piece of plastic!!! Ok! it wasn’t ‘just’ a ‘piece of plastic’, it was something much more precious it was the birth of an album… Elizabeth Cornish’s album called ‘Displaced’ which had it’s launch at the Cookie on March 15th this year… and what an album it is!
Below is the title track…
…It truly is a must for any music collection!
There’s an old saying about ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’, well, in time, Elizabeth Cornish and the band will be those giants!
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There are some good bands playing the East Midlands at the moment, there are also some… shall we say… not so good! The Flying Kangaroo Alliance are in the shit-hot part of the range!
The Flying Kangaroo Alliance are a 4 piece alternative rock/punk band with influences of the 90’s ‘grunge’ scene. Band members, Meri Everitt – Vocals/Guitar, Ali Findlay – Guitar, Ivan Hunt – Drums (until the 5th July 2014) and Keeley Knight – Bass/Vocals, work well together. Keeley’s bass play and stage craft is great to hear and watch, Ali’s guitar play works well with Meri’s vocals and Ivan’s Drums are absolutely banging. All in all a very energetic bunch who demonstrate their craft as musicians and own every stage they play on. Clearly F.K.A are a band of note!
… but there’s much more to The Flying Kangaroo Alliance than your average rock band, much more indeed! The musicianship and stage-craft are good, but, what sets F.K.A apart from the rest are their challenging lyrics and the voice of Meri Everitt!
F.K.A write and sing about life as it affects them, its not pretty, it’s not feel-good but it is honest, its born out of adversity and demands you take heed… not in a dictatorial way, but, as an older sister or brother; not ‘do as I say’ more ‘this is our experience of…’ The lyrics are challenging, but, they are very truthful…
When I first saw F.K.A I wondered if they were about effect or were they genuine? and, then, I had the privilege of seeing Meri Everitt doing a solo gig and it became plainly obvious that her music is about honesty… blunt, pure, honesty! If I didn’t get it before, I got it now!
Yes! we get it! what we, at theguywithastick.com, don’t get, is why The Flying Kangaroo Alliance aren’t playing a stage at Simon Says or Leicester Music Festival? We know Ivan the drummer has now departed, but, would he have stayed until after these gigs?
Meri Everitt will play at Simon Says and that in itself is worth going to see, but, not the band it would seem?
It beggars belief that a local band of such high caliber don’t get on a stage at two of the largest gigs to hit the East Midlands??? I simply don’t git it!!!
The Flying Kangaroo Alliance were made to play at big events and its a great loss, to both Simon Says and Leicester Music Festival, that F.K.A won’t be owning a stage at their events…it’s a real shame!
Fresh from Glastonbudget 2014, Beneath the Lights are a 4 piece, alternative rock band with an emphasis on ROCK.
A young bunch of lads but don’t let that fool you, theses guys have a lot of experience, playing across the region in small venues and on the larger stage such as ‘Glastonbudget’, which they have played 3 times (or is it 4 now? I’m sure they’ll correct me!!!). Finalists in the OBS, held at the Musician in Leicester, Beneath the Lights are winning people over wherever they play (Ryan at TheGuyWithaStick.com is raving about them… I think he likes!!!). Energetic guitar play with thumping rock beats and dual vocals, these guys ouse charisma as they bang out covers along with intelligently thought-out originals such as ‘Broken Town’ and ‘Moving On’. The guys tell me they ‘love playing live’, a cynic would say ‘they all say that don’t they’… but wait! take a look at their gig list! They are just as comfortable playing at a local social club as they are playing the festivals and it shows in their stage presence and rapport with the crowed.
So, Beneath the Lights are hard working, charismatic, talented and energetic what more can I say?… I know, going places, these guys are going places.. truly! I will be very surprised if the ‘unsigned’ label isn’t changed sometime in the foreseeable future. Their hard work will pay off in the end and we wish them well with it!
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I have talked about these guy before. I told you how refreshing their style of play is, I’ve said how good they are musically and I’ve talked about Joe Pickering’s voice, yet I feel the need to go further.
Some will know that I’m a sucker for the Hammond organ, a key board is good, if it’s played well, but a Hammond organ… well that’s something else. The Strangler Figs don’t have a Hammond organ but you wouldn’t know it. The way Freddie Pickering uses the keyboard gives the strong impression that he has a Hammond organ hidden away somewhere, up his sleeve or in a different dimension, just out of sight of the rest of us… I don’t know where but I’m sure it’s there… somewhere! You can hear it running through every song complementing Joe’s voice and guitar play and answering the call of the bass line.
Now when I say ‘Bass line’ I don’t want you to get the wrong impression. Sometimes the drums can drowned out the Bass but this is not the case for the Strangler Figs. James Lyons, who, incidental is as mad as a bag of spanners, bangs out the beat with vigour but intelligently, he knows his stuff and does it very well indeed. Then there’s the Bass itself. Well, when I say ‘Bass’ I mean double Bass not bass guitar. It’s often difficult on stage to keep instruments in tune, this is particularly the case for acoustic instruments, so imagine how difficult it must be to keep a double bass in tune for a full set. Well that’s just what you get from Joel Hanson’s double bass, impressive if not ever so slightly barking!
All of this is brought together by the backing vocals of Rosie May Price who is most certainly not there to be part of the furniture but an integral part of the line-up and Joe’s unique vocal range and intellectually mature lyrics adds layers that simply isn’t available to other groups.
Since their formation in September 2013 Initial Thought have been busy members of the East Midlands music scene. So busy in fact that I sometimes wonder if there is more than one Initial Thought, they a so prolific!
Luke Coates and Garth Collins first got together to perform their first song ‘The Otherside’ and decided to continue as a writing and performing due, playing their own compositions with some covers (some good Editors covers lads!). Although they have been together less than a year, they have managed to craft some really good numbers which is surprising given their performance rate.
Initial Thought are a hardworking acoustic duo that have some smart guitar rifts and pleasing vocal harmonies, we at TheGuyWithaStick are hoping for big things from these guys in the future… good luck on your journey lads!
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Popped along to The Musician one of Leicester’s premier live music venues offering new acts as well as established ones, a chance of getting down close and personal, with a knowledgable audience. I went along with one purpose in mind, to find out more about a local band… The Strangler Figs.
Considered by many to be ‘the next big thing’, we had previously heard The Strangler Figs at The Exchange, Leicester, at an event designed to give talent a chance of playing to a substantial crowd at this years Western Park Music Festival. There were some good acts on that night, I had gone to support Sam Bradshaw, a solo experimental guitarist I had come to know. Sam was at his provocative best and well worth seeing.
Sam, along with Becky, a great soloist, made it a good night.
I had been sat by a group of young lads who appeared a little nervous. When asked, they told me they were the first ‘band’ on that evening and that their name was… ‘The Strangler Figs‘.
The Strangler Figs are a five piece indie outfit from Leicester, Hinckley and a smattering of Wigan. They are brothers Joe and Freddie Pickering on guitar/vocals and keyboard respectively, Joel Hanson on double bass James Lyons on drums and Rosie Price on backing vocals. they told me they were once asked if they were a ‘Stranglers’ tribute band. Well I can tell you with certainty they are not!
Moments before their gig at The Exchange, I passed two of the band members of the stairs, they looked a little concerned, which made me wonder if they would get up and play. I need not have been concerned.
They took to the stage amid mutterings of… ‘look at the size of that double-bass’ (True, this double-bass did look particularly huge! huge enough to make a cello look like a fiddle.) As they tuned-up and began their set, it was clear, any nervousness, imagined or otherwise, was channelled right back into their music; enough to be edgy, enough to be different.
The Strangler Figs set started with a cover of The Pixies ‘Where is My Mind’, which they owned, and included a memorable rendition of Jungle Books ‘King of the Swing’ and which demonstrated both their expertise and their sense of humour. After a couple of their own numbers, including the aptly named ‘Attack of the strangler figs’, the set was, all too soon, over.
They left the stage as true professionals and true to the principle of ‘leave them wanting more’. I wanted more, hence popping in to The Musician on that Friday… and I’m very glad I did!
‘The next big thing’, well we’ll see. They are certainly good at what they do and not just what you see on stage either; they are very good at encouraging others (something you may expect from a band that had ‘arrived’ but not necessarily one just embarking on the journey themselves) just as ‘they’ had been when they formed, at a workshop in Brighton ( take a look at some of their videos on YouTube, the picture quality on some is not great but you will get a feel for what I mean). These guys demonstrate a level of maturity greater than their years suggest and more than a hint of fun, that demonstrates their genuine affection for each other and, importantly, for their music… and it shines through!
So… The next big thing?… I hope so… they are most certainly good enough!
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STOP PRESS: Strangler Figs to play at Simon Says 2014
Video courtesy of DemonFM: