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)

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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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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!

 

 

TheGuyWithaStick Vid-List1+2

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Hailing from Ilkeston in Derbyshire, Matt Henshaw describes his current location has Derby, Nottingham and Leicester… he gets about this guy! In fact, Matt Henshaw has to be one of the hardest working musicians around. It often seems there is not a day or night goes by that Matt is not adorning a stage somewhere in the UK, it’s quite understandable to suspect there may well be several Matt Henshaws, all cloned from the original, but no! I can assure you there is only one Matt Henshaw… only one, brilliantly talented, trend setting, soul saving, Matt Henshaw!

Matt describes his style of music as ‘rhythmic gospel’, and in doing so Matt invents a whole new genre which, without the blink of an eye or  a scratch of music journalists head, the genre is accepted… and why not! What Matt does, and does expertly, is his own thing! He’s not bothered about ‘pigeon holes’ or classifications, he is bothered about his life and his life is music!

Matt has had something of a rebirth lately, standing-down from his University job to concentrate on relaunching his career in music, following his epiphany on the road to stardom and alcoholism which saw the demise of his former, and very highly rated, band ‘Censored’ in 2008. Since this time Matt has done some amazing things, from recording a cracking album with MC Rudimental st al, to re-launching his career. You can’t keep this guy down, he is determined, he’s confident and he is one of the most decent human beings I have had the pleasure of meeting he’s also destined for success!!!

TheGuyWithaStick have included a couple of Matt Henshaw tracks on the acoustic playlist on the ‘Feature’ tab at www.theguywithastick.com

Matt Henshaw can be seen all over the UK including OSFEST Music Festival in Derbyshire on July 26 and Leicester’s Simon Says on July 27th

For a fuller list of Matt’s upcoming events follow this link

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©Copyright: theguywithastick.com2014

 

Matt Henshaw

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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!

 

Elizabeth Cornish can be seen at Leicesters SimonSays Festival on the 27th July and at The Musician on the 19 August… and you just know in between these dates they’ll be playing somewhere. x

 

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©Copyright: theguywithastick.com2014. All rights reserved.

 

Elisabeth Cornish

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The music scene in the East Midlands is kicking at the moment and nowhere more so than Burton-on-Trent. Burton are producing some top artists and band, we have previously highlighted Wet Lettuce and the Magik Bean… who have recently signed a record deal with LMC Records, well here’s another band to keep an eye on… the awesome Arcadians!

Formed in 2013, The Arcadians are a 4 piece indie/rock band playing original compositions. The band comprise of: Jamie Cavanagh – Vocals & Lead Guitar, Ed Petch – Rhythm Guitar, Jack Lenaghan – Bass and Dan Alton – Drums. A busy bunch, they have been winning friends across the East Midlands and have received some good reviews, not least from Burton’s own ‘Brew Town’.f you like indie then The Arcadians are right up your street, we like… a lot!

On stage it’s clear they know their stuff, its also clear that they enjoy what they do. We at theguywithastick.com try to avoid comparisons but with The Arcadians it’s difficult not to see a little more than a hint of The Arctic Monkeys. but, don’t let that fool you! The Arcadians are very much their own people, this isn’t a tribute band, this is a top-notch indie band with some great riffs and original thought which comes through in well thought-out original compositions…

 

They have great stage presence and draw their audience in with some really catchy riffs clever lyrics, you can’t help but get involved. If you just want to stand a look at a band playing, then, The Arcadians may not be for you, but, if you want to go to a gig, get right into the music and come away feeling you got your monies worth, then, go and see The Arcadians… you won’t be sorry!

The Arcadians can be seen at The Barefoot festival on the 26 July and Wardstock on the 23/24 August

Theguywithastick.com have included a video of The Arcadians on the site and included them in one of the playlists on the ‘feature’ page… enjoy!

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©Cpoyright: theguywithastick2014 All rights reserved.

The Arcadians, Burton-on-Trent at its best.

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At theguywithastick.com we ask our people to write about how they feel about a band or artist, how they are moved and what they take away with them from a gig. We are not professional journalists and we reject, as much as possible, the requirement of professionals to ‘pigeon-hole’ everything and everyone. This is evident in the multitude of musical genres that purport to exist at the moment. If you constantly break everything down to its common denominator you limit yourselves, and, in the opinion of theguywithastick, you force artists to conform to that limited view, instead of enabling originality we stifle it! and then an artist, or in this case a band, comes along and sticks two fingers up to convention and with a swagger in their step and a wry grin on their faces, they set about ripping the guts out for the established ‘pigeon-holes’ and do what the hell they want… I give you The Brandy Thieves!!!

Listed as a four piece outfit, although they played as a five piece at the recent Western Park Festival, The Brandy Thieves, consisting of: Andrea Kenny, Cain Barriskill, Bernardo Mendes and Joe Carey, they play gypsy folk, in a punk rock manner, punctuated with ska… and they do it brilliantly!

Andrea’s mature, enigmatic, vocals start slow and clam enough but then she beats the crap out of you with fast guitar play and equally quick vocal hooks, aided and a betted by a rasping horn with bass and drums ensuring you can’t run off, and why would you want to? Their lyrics come across as joyful but they are drenched in social comment delivered in a rhythmic gypsy style, with two fingers in the air and smile on the face. Their energy is infectious, it’s simply impossible to stand still, you’ve got to move it… and then you’re hooked!!!

The Brandy Thieves are immense! They have won over audiences wherever they play and bit by bit they will take over the nation, the sooner the better!

So! would I pay good money to see The Brandy Thieves again, well it’s a no brainer… hell yes! However, there’s a gig I would love to see even more and that’s The Brandy Thieves on the same bill as Under A Banner, an electric folk rock band, reviewed by theguywithastick.com some months ago… I’m salivating at the thought!

Until that happens, theguywithastick.com have placed videos by both The Brandy Thieves and Under A Banner on the website along with tracks by both on the playlists under the ‘Feature’ tab.

The Brandy Thieves are playing Heather Music Festival on Friday 25 July and Leicesters SimonSays on Saturday 26 July

 

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©Copyright Theguywithastick.com2014. All rights reserved.

The Brandy Thieves

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Seen as a 4 piece, Georgia Rose is known as both a soloist and head of a cracking band that has its roots in U.S. west coast blues/rock and influenced by country.

The band, comprising of: Georgie Rose-Vocals & Guitar, Jan Gerighausen-Bass/vocals, Kegan Clark-Drums, Niall Glover-Guitar/vocals, Myles Graham-Keys/vocals. work well together; powerful drums complimenting the guitars and cracking banking vocals that are used as instruments in their own right, used sparingly but relevantly, they lift the set to even greater highs… it works well!

Georgia Rose’s voice is strong with hints of Stevie Nicks but great ‘dollops’ of Georgia Rose, she is familiar yet unique, influenced by Fleetwood Mac and the whole west coast neo-country scene… I l.o.v.e it!

 

 

Georgia Rose has/have taken the home City of Nottingham by storm with notable gigs at The Maze and Rock City and have received much local and national attention from the likes of XFM and  BBC’s Introducing East Midlands

 

one review sums them up well…

‘Superb voice, brilliant songs and with national airplay on XFM and super star fans such a as KT Tunstall and Billy Bragg prepare to be awestruck’ – Nottingham Post

… which all bodes well for, what has to be, a truly bright future, we wish you well and look forward very much to seeing you again soon!

TheGuyWithaStick.com have included tracks from Georgia Rose in the acoustic playlist, available at http://www.theguywithastick.com/feature.html

 

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©Copyright:TheGuyWithaStick.com2014

 

Georgia Rose

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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!

 

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Flying Kangaroo Alliance

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Simon Says

 

Simon Says… we’re back!

After the success of last year’s sell-out festival, Simon Says… returns to De Montfort Hall and Gardens.

Presented in partnership with three of Leicester’s most loved music venues, The Donkey, Firebug and The Musician, the festival is a celebration of local talent with some more nationally-recognised names complementing the line-up.

Headlining the weekend will be The South, featuring members of The Beautiful South and playing many of their original hits.

Alongside them will be new age reggae band By The Rivers, tipped as one of the “five future stars of the Pyramid Stage” by the BBC.

Building on last year’s success, this year the festival will have an expanded outdoor area with extra stage, a family area, more food stalls and real ale from event sponsor Hobgoblin.

With the perfect setting of De Montfort Hall’s beautiful gardens as well as the iconic hall itself, Simon Says… is the perfect city centre festival with a rural feel. Come and join us for the weekend.
Saturday 26 July

BY THE RIVERS
THE DT’S
VIBRONICS
DANNY & THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD
DAWSON SMITH & THE DISSENTERS
JOHN BUTLER

ASH MAMMAL
BRANDY THIEVES, THE
CALDER
CLAIRE SCHOFIELD
DAN WRIGHT
DAYDREAM CLUB, THE
DELLA GRANTS, THE
FALLERS
FALLOWS, THE
GRACE AND THE MAGIC ROOTS
GUY JONES
HELL’S ADDICTION
HUMDRUM
JINNWOO
OUT OF KARMA
JOSH KEMP
JUNIORS
KENNY WILSON
KGB JAZZ
KITTENETTES, THE
LUCY DAVIES-KUMADIRO
MARTIN LUKE BROWN
MERI EVERITT
OVAL IRIS
PAUL MCCLURE
POLLY
PRASH GOR
RESIN
SI CLANCY WITH MARTHA BEAN
SLOW MOTION
SPEAKING IN ITALICS
STRANGLER FIGS
SUPEREVOLVER
WEALLFALLSILENT
WEIKIE
Sunday 27 July

THE SOUTH
KINGSIXZE
PRESSURE TENANTS
SKINNY LISTER
SALLY BARKER
SCOTT MATTHEWS
DRUGSTORE COWBOYS

BRASSICK BEARS
CHRIS CONWAY
CIGAR BOX PERFORMERS
DAVID WYATT
ELIZABETH CORNISH
FRANK JOHNSON
GAVIN SWEENEY
JACK LONDON
JAMES BYRON
JOHN THE SINGER
JONNY HALIFAX & THE HOWLING TRUTH
KEITH BUTLER
KRISTYNA MYLES
LES HAYDEN
MARK HARRISON
MARKUS REEVES
MATT HENSHAW
MIRACULOUS MULE
NATIVE, THE
NFQ
NO MANS HEATH
PREACHER AND THE BEAR
RUBY DOOS, THE
SAM IDWAL
SEAN GRANT AND THE WOLFGANG
SIOBHAN MAZZEI
SOLD SEPARATELY
STEVE CARTWRIGHT
STEVIE JONES & THE WILDFIRES
TAPESTRY
TRUCKSTOP HONEYMOON

 

DMH, The Donkey, Firebug & The Musician present

 

Original courtsey of SimonSays

Simon Says Simon Says… we’re back!