THE BOB CATS

 

THE INIMITABLE STU CROWN AND THE BOBCATS BLUES BAND.

The purpose of TheGuyWithaStick is to celebrate originality, which is what you get with The Bobcats. Heavily influenced by the likes of BB King and Peter Green, The Bobcats effortlessly blend originality with good old, traditional, 12 bar blues. A good smattering of the blues favourites pays homage to the past greats, but, they do it their way… The Bobcats way!!!

The Bobcats are a very good, 3 piece, traditional, 12 bar blues rock band who are not afraid to learn and refine their art through some grueling practice sessions. Comprising of Stu Crown lead/vocals,  Dan Fraser-Betts on bass and Boppa on drums. They have been together since 2013 and can be seen playing throughout the region on a very regular basis. Stu Crowns persona and, almost hardcore voice along with Boppa’s attack of the drums and Dan’s 6 string bass are a trio well matched and completely suited to blues rock…

 

TheGuyWithaStick held back on reviewing The Bobcats, not because they are not original or inconsistent but purely because of the fake American accent Stu Crown uses between numbers. The plain fact of the matter was, we didn’t get it!; we didn’t get the reason for such a cliché, we couldn’t understand why a band as good as The Bobcats would use a fake American accent instead of their own and why on the one hand you have the charismatic and highly original persona of Stu Crown and on the other, you have that accent. I put this to Stu who tells me he is moving away from the accent, I felt he meant the accent had served its purpose and it is now time to move on… I hope I’m right because they don’t need it, the way they look and the way they play is all they need… these guys are VERY GOOD!

These guys make a statement… This is the blues, we are The Bobcats and this is the way we play… original and charismatic, yet as traditional as they come.

 

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We’ve seen The Bobcats many time now and each time we pick-up a little more understanding, a little more originality. They strive for perfection and it shines through in their performance each and every time. If you have not yet seen The Bobcats, do yourself a favour and check them out, you certainly won’t regret it!

 

Check out The Bob Cats on Facebook www.facebook.com/thebobcatsbluesband and bobcatsbluesband.co.uk

 

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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!

 

 

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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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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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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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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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The Brandy Thieves

Strangler Figs

 

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.

If you’ve not yet seen the Strangler Figs then get to a gig, they are playing at The Shed this Friday, Western Park in June and SimonSays in July, so there’s ample chance… no excuses!

 

Under A Banner

 

The name Under A Banner leads one to the idea that there’s some sort of cause here, well these guys have a great one, one which will challenge provoke, and inspire an audience out of it’s collective, impoverished, X Factor, trance and into a World of meaning.

 

The mighty Under A Banner are a 5 piece, alturnative rock/folk band, originating from Wolverhampton but adopted by Leicester, Under a Banner are one of 29 bands who have donated a track to Edgar’s Gift charity CD ‘The 29 Rock You Cancer’ available on the blue tabs at theguywithastick.com and at edgarsgift.org.uk.

 

Under a banner, consisting of Adam Broadhurst on guitar and vocals, Jon Price on guitar, Si Hill bass and backing vocals and Tim Wilson on drums, percussion along with the odd guest musician, deliver a festival feel to any venue. Through smart playing, clever lyrics and Adams voice, which gets in your head and stays there for weeks, Under A Banner are something of a welcome change from the usual, run of the mill, alternative rock scene, much of which spend a great deal of time succeeding at being anything other than ‘alternative’. The sound they produce is an acoustic driven powerful alternative rock that punches you in the face until you wake-up from your mechinised, manufactured music slumber and see real life as its intended to be, crafted in to real songs which are powerful, thought provoking and hooks the audience in; have a listen to ‘How Martyrs Are Made’ and you’ll see what I mean… I love it!

 

Check out theguywithastick’s new playlist and the new ‘video’ page to see much more of Under A Banner… you won’t be sorry!

 

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EvenNine

 

 

EvenNine along with Under A Banner, Lost in Olympus and 26 other bands have donated a track to Edgar’s Gift for ‘The 29 Rock You Cancer’ CD. For further details check out the home page above or click Edgar’s Gift.

 

EvenNine are a 3 piece rock outfit comprising of brothers Jody and Rick Martin and Brett Stepto with influences from The Who, Bon Jovi and Aerosmith. The guys have played on many a big stage supporting the likes of ‘Fun loving Criminals’ amongst others. Formed back in 2005 EvenNine are getting their second wind as a 3 piece, writing and performing and getting used to the new, slimmed down EvenNine and, going from Edgar’s Gift ’29 Rock You Cancer’ CD Launch at The Soundhouse, enjoying it as they go.

 

Musically, I don’t see that moving to a 3 piece from a 4 piece has hurt these guys. The group dynamics are obvious as is the energy with a thumping rock beat and guitar and a bass player who’s in great danger of doing himself an injury, they rocked The Soundhouse into submission, not that it needed it but they did it anyway. I was impressed by EvenNine, their experience showed and I hope it won’t be too long before our paths cross again!

 

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Initial Thought

 

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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