INTERVIEW: Liz Loughrey




Liz Loughrey


RISE Up! is a single that has been hotly anticipated and promoted by…

Toronto-based artist, Liz Loughrey. From a nation (Canada) that has provided so many of today’s best new artists; I am in no shock to find Loughrey being celebrated and creating serious buzz. Her voice has a silkiness and sweetness; a sexiness and strength – a combination few of her peers possess. Not only is Loughrey releasing Rise Up! as a single: she is popularising and touring the #RiseUpMovement. That sees her tour schools and provides inspiration videos and stories. It has captured imaginations already and seems like it can be franchised to other nations and other sectors of society. Liz Loughrey is clearly above the average musician: someone who gives back to the people and is one of the most mature and fascinating young women in music. All of this given; I was super-keen to talk with her and what we can expect from her new single and the months ahead.


Hey Liz.  How are you? How has your week been?

Great thanks; spending a few weeks making music in L.A.!

For those new to your music: can you introduce yourself, please?

Hey, I’m Liz. I’m a singer-songwriter from Toronto and I hope to make people feel united when they hear my sound. I’m half-Trinidadian and half-Irish.. so the last name is pronounced lock-ree (common misconception.)

I am interested in Rise Up! You will be featuring stories and photos from amazing people rising up in their communities. What inspired that idea and where about are you taking the concept in terms of towns and cities?

We turn on the news and are constantly bombarded with negativity and so it’s easy to feel powerless but the #RiseUpMovement is about spreading the message that we can do amazing things when we commit to positivity. The #RiseUpMovement is worldwide! There are people rising up in communities all over the world and the goal is to share as many of these positive stories as possible.


Your first Rise Up! talk occurred a few days ago. What was the reaction like from the school you visited?

Seeing the kids engage with the workshop was so encouraging. They were dancing, singing and even getting up in front of the school to tell their peers how they want to better their community. Seeing at-risk youths overcoming their fears of public speaking in that moment was really incredible.

Do you think young musicians have a duty to do more in communities and use their voice to help others?

I don’t think that duty is exclusive to young musicians: I think it extends to everyone. We have to do more because we can. I think young musicians have the unique opportunity to engage the world in that message through music and we should make better use of that.

Your latest single, Rise Up!, is out very soon. What can you tell us about it and the influence behind the song?

I’m so excited! I don’t think I had any idea how important this message was when I was writing this song in Miami. I didn’t write it so that I could start a movement or be an activist but that’s what this single has become for me. It has an island vibe: that’s my Trini. roots right there!


You are a classically-trained vocalist and one of the most original voices out there. When was the moment you decided you wanted to pursue music and have there been any challenges along the way?

I grew up hearing my mom sing in church; that’s sparked an early interest for me. There are ups and downs in pursuing your dream just like with anything in life. But the highs outweigh the lows, and one door always leads to the next.

When you sing, as you have said, people sit up and take notice. That is a rare power for any singer. Which artists have influenced you most and gone into that stunning voice?

I’ve learned so much from listening to the greats. Etta James, Billie Holiday; Amy Winehouse and Sade just to name a few.

You seem (if you don’t mind me saying) quite mature and vintage compared to your peers – more suited to life as a ‘50s Jazz singer, perhaps? Have you always had a fascination for older artists and how influential were your parents in that?

I’ll consider that a compliment 🙂 I always say I was born in the wrong era. As I’ve gotten older my fascination with powerful female artists from days gone by has grown. Because now I feel like I understand. Now that I’ve known both love and heartbreak. Their sound, their stories, their style… so much authenticity to be inspired by.

After Rise Up! is released, what can we expect in the next few months? Tour dates or any new material afoot?

After the Rise Up! workshops wrap up I’ll be working on my E.P. and releasing a few more singles! I sense a few U.K. shows in the near-future too!

Toronto is one of my favourite cities for music (where you hail). Do you think the city gets the recognition it deserves outside of North America or is a place many music lovers are not aware of?

Toronto is taking the world by storm! You know those guys Drake and The Weeknd… they really paved the way for this generation of musicians coming out of the city.

I actually think other countries give Toronto more credit for its art than we give ourselves.

In terms of the local talent: who would you recommend people investigate?

So many gems! Here are a few of my faves:

If you want to get heavy, check the band Sate; if you’re into poetry check Mustafa the Poet

and local to the county: Montreal native Kaytranada will always be a fave.

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Your music seems to be influenced by some British acts and has quite an anglicised aspect. Are you a big fan of British music and can we see you perform over here anytime soon?

British music is the best! Huge fan of the sound and the energy there in general; definitely going to be spending some time there in the coming months! I’ll keep you posted on show dates!

Looking at your social media posts, you seem like a positive person keen to give energy to others. As a young woman who has a busy career: where do you find that energy and how do you remain so positive?

It’s my greatest joy as an artist to reach people in a personal and positive way. It’s much more draining to be negative so positivity comes naturally most of the time. Nice to hear that’s reflected on my social media sites 🙂

There will be young artists looking at your rise and wanting to follow in your footsteps. What advice would you offer them?

Sometimes you’ll have to fight for your vision so make sure that vision is clear and surround yourself with people who get it. Also, never get too comfortable. Bowie said it best: “As soon as you feel like your feet can touch the ground, go deeper”.

Finally, and for being a good egg, you can name any song you like (not one of yours as I’ll include that); I’ll play it here…

Currently playing as I write this: Estelle – Come Over


Follow Liz Loughrey







FEATURE: The September Playlist: Vol. 5



Musicmusings THE SEPTEMBER PLAYLIST andsuch vol. 05 

The September Playlist: Vol. 5


NOT only is there a spate of brilliant…

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new songs and albums out now – and the coming weeks – but some of the old masters have brought out work. David Bowie’s Who Can I Be Now? collates his 1974-‘6 work – showing the shift between Young Americans and Diamond Dogs – during his ‘American Phase’ and the brilliance and transitions of his work. Nirvana’s Nevermind and Primal Scream’s Screamadelica celebrate 25 years of existence; Weezer’s Pinkerton is 20 today. Beck has decided to release his back catalogue on vinyl and we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix arriving in London. In terms of new music coming through – cuts from Dirty Projectors, Emilie Sande and Fenech-Soler are all included – plus the artists releasing albums in the coming days (or last week) and a lot of sonic goodies. Sit back and enjoy September’s 5th Playlist.


The Old Guard


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Weezer El Scorcho



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Primal ScreamMovin’ on Up



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Nirvana Lithium



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Jimi HendrixFreedom (Live)



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Beck Loser



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David BowieYoung Americans



The New Breed


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Daft Punk and The WeekndStarboy



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Tor MillerAll Fall Down



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Hamilton Leithauser + RostamIn a Black Out



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Deap VallyGonnawanna



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Boxed InJist



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Dirty Projectors Keep Your Name



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The Slow RevoltLean



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Will Joseph CookSweet Dreamer



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How to Dress WellCan’t You Tell



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Billy Bragg and Joe HenryGentle on My Mind



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Merchandise Lonesome Sound



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MarillionThe New Kings



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PassengerWhen We Were Young



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Slaves (ft. Mike D.)Consume or be Consumed



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Malone (ft. Ismael Sankara)Dream Big [Remix]



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Gold ComplexBackbone



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Emelie Sande Hurts



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ShamirTryna Survive



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DZ Deathrays Pollyanna



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Bloc Party Stunt Queen



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Green DayRevolution Radio



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Joan as Policewoman (ft. Benjamin Lazar Davis) Broke Me In Two



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DayaSit Still, Look Pretty



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Bon Iver –  10 d E A T h b R E a s T



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Craig David & SigalaAin’t Giving Up



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The Divine ComedyThe Pact



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Raf Rundell – Right Time



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Beach BabyAtom Bomb



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It is going to be exciting seeing what else the month offers and the singles that will arrive. October is looming and there are some wonderful albums in the pipeline. I shall keep you abreast of them, but for now, re-enjoy the gems of September and all the awesome music about. The nights are getting cooler and music’s warm glow is something we all need to embrace. Keep your attentions set to the music press as some very notable bands are preparing to unveil new albums in the next weeks.

E.P. REVIEW: FloodHounds – Look What You’ve Started







Look What You’ve Started





16th September, 2016

Blues-Rock; Alternative; Rock ‘n’ Roll


Sheffield, U.K.

The E.P. Look What You’ve Started is available at:



State of Mind9.4

The Fear9.5

Soulmates to Cellmates – 9.5

End of the Road 9.4

Greatest Mistake 9.4


A&E; The Fear; Soulmates to Cellmates


Soulmates to Cellmates


THERE is a lot to recommend about my featured band…

who are looking to the future – having been playing for many years; there is no sign they are ready to call time. Before I come to them, it is worth looking at bands from Sheffield (and Yorkshire; they hail from here) and the Indie-Rock genre; looking at groups who manage to survive and succeed when changing their membership. At the start of last month, it was Yorkshire Day: a chance to celebrate everything about the county. Whether you consider it God’s County or a part of the world rather gentle and scenic: you cannot deny how many great bands have come out of Yorkshire. I have mooted this point before (many times) but we have misconceptions about Yorkshire. Often looking at the likes of Alan Bennett as the archetypal symbol of the county: images of cardigans, soothing narratives and a nice cup of tea always come to the fore. You can apply the same stereotypes to any county and would be overlooking the reality. Yorkshire is a huge county with many distinct areas and people: those who live in Leeds are distinct from those in Harrogate; Sheffield is separate from York. The same distinctions should be made with regards music – such a varied and busy area for wonderful talent. If you put a cursory search through Google – ‘the best Yorkshire bands of 2016 – the results would be a little scarse and limited – why are there not polls and articles dedicated to this type of things? Apply the same question and replace ‘Yorkshire’ with ‘London’ or ‘Los Angeles’ and you’d have ample reading material – so why does Yorkshire get overlooked?


It is an interesting question that has never been adequately answered. The big cities – in terms of legacy and media glare – get the kudos and attention whilst Yorkshire has to bubble beneath the surface. ‘Older’ bands Sister of Mercy, Soft Cell and Embrace come from Yorkshire: The Long Blondes, Pulp and Cribs represent different parts of Yorkshire – Sheffield (Pulp and The Long Blondes) and Wakefield. Arctic Monkeys are perhaps the most synonymous and famous Yorkshire band at the moment but there are plenty of terrific unsigned and away-from-the-mainstream artists that deserve credit. There will be local journalists (in Yorkshire) that are going to gigs and discovering fantastic bands. I feel there needs to be more exposure and blogs dedicated to the best and brightest artists in Yorkshire. I have been trying to find comprehensive lists that point me in the direction of some wonderful Yorkshire musicians – you have to go by instinct and haphazard fortune. Billie Marten is a 17-year-old prodigy whose voice capture the heart and is one of the most beautiful you will hear – showing Yorkshire is more than bands, Rock and a certain image. It is impossible to unearth every great Yorkshire musician but cracking the surface is needed – ensuring we do not miss out on some terrific music.

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FloodHounds are a band I have reviewed before and find their music to be among the most interesting and energetic. Before I raise some new points, looking at the band’s previous work, I will introduce them to you:

Jack Flynn – Guitar/Vocals

Rhys Owen – Bass/Vocals

Lauren Greaves – Drums

 “FloodHounds are a fast-paced 3-piece British indie-rock band from Sheffield – Layered in Blues.

FloodHounds’ “gloriously guitar-heavy rock,” takes you from British Indie/Rock to raw American Blues and hits you like a British Black Keys, crossed with The Rolling Stones, fed on a diet rich in Band of Skulls, The White Stripes, Blur and Kasabian.

Floodhounds were picked (out of 1,200 unsigned bands who applied) to play at Sheffield’s iconic Leadmill.
They join an exciting Tramlines Saturday 2015 line up, headed by Fat White Family.
BARE BONES, the title track of the band’s second EP currently streaming on Soundcloud; has attracted Radio play from BBC INTRODUCING Sheffield, Sheffield Live and a host of other local/online radio shows around Europe and America.

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A video of the band recording of “Bare Bones” at Sheffield’s iconic 2FlyStudios is
Following storming local gigs at the Rocking Chair and Plug Sheffield (supporting October Drift) and strong positive reviews in the local music press, FloodHounds are now playing further afield. Some successful London gigs in Camden and Shoreditch in April and supporting DJ sets by the likes of Gus from alt-J at 229 The Venue’s Mayday Festival.

The band’s new 3-piece incarnation emerged in late 2014, when founder members Jack Flynn – the vocalist, guitarist, songwriter of the band – and bass player Rhys Owens, were joined by drummer Lauren Greaves.

There is an honesty and reality to the band that is missing from a lot of their contemporaries. So many bands are about image and ego; trying to be as exposed as possible in an attempt to side-step the issue their music is not that strong or original. There are enough artists that do not distinguish themselves enough and are all talk and no action. FloodHounds get on with music and are as raw and open as you’d imagine. They are three normal (are extremely talented) musicians that do not need to create waves of hyperbole and self-hype to get people talking. Few bands are capable of surprising and existing after several years – the demands and hardships of the industry scare many off – and have evolved since their formation. Lauren Greaves (drums) joined the band in late-2014 and has added new relevance and inspiration to FloodHounds.

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Groups that bring in new members or shift their members often face losing solidity, consistency and quality. I have seen many artists slim-down or replace members and their music has suffered as a result. It can be challenging and risky introducing new musicians and changing dynamics, but in the case of FloodHounds, it has enhanced and benefited their music. Since late-2014, FloodHounds have been building their fan-base and ensuring they keep putting out great material. Critics and radio stations have highlighted their Indie-Rock, guitar-heavy sounds that are a nice blend of familiar and fresh. They are inspired by everyone from The White Stripes and The Rolling Stones: unifying Blues and Rock from ‘90s U.S. and ‘60s U.K. By mixing America and Britain; splicing genres and styles together: their music has that depth, variation and quality. Even though they have hints of others, you get plenty of unique perspective and originality from the Sheffield band. It seems like there is a little bit of a gap left since the ‘brief hiatus’ of Royal Blood. I know I have used the Brighton two-piece as an example before – they are recording new material but been off the scene a little while now.


It is always risky coming in strong and creating a solid and impressive debut album: leaving too big a gap after that risk the energy and fascination waning; many will go looking for other bands. Little snippets the duo have released (since their debut) suggest their sophomore L.P. is going to be titan, mighty and meaty. In the meantime – assuming they put something out in the next year – I have been looking for bands to fill that void. FloodHounds have a little bit of Royal Blood to them but are more varied and everyman in a sense – Royal Blood a little grittier, harder and straight-out-Rock. As I listen to the radio of a day – 6 Music is my drug of choice – you hear a few promising bands but not many that are straight-ahead Rock. Too many synths. and introspection; gloominess and a lack of directness. It is frustrating hearing artists like this – you need some but it seems like radio playlists are packed full of them. One yearns for something driving, spikier, and let’s face it, more interesting. Royal Blood are just one example of what we need more of in music: musicians that know how to bring something biting and body-moving to music but keep it personal, disciplined and universal. FloodHounds are masterful when it comes to crafting loveable anthems and music that gets straight into the head – free from tinsel and distractions of many of today’s artists. A good old-fashioned band who know how to rock and keep it simple but compelling. Look What You’ve Started follows from their previous work and adds new themes and urgency. It seems, like all great and eager bands, they are at their peak and suggest even better are just around the corner. The E.P. is picking up plenty of appreciation and love. The six-track E.P. is impressive with its emotional balance and standout cuts – the video to Soulmates to Cellmates is gathering particularly strong acclaim.


The trio has released two E.P.s previously and is a band who always capture the spirit and energy of live performances in their collections. Cuts like Motivation and The Fall from their eponymous debut rattled with urgency and a wonderful band performance. Always tough, spirited and electric: a wonderful duo of songs that defined the E.P. and brimmed over with life and evocativeness. Moving Pictures had that swagger and confident vocal. The hero was wearing out his mind (“Trying to keep up with you”) and it had that spirit and defiance of the Britpop era. Acts like Oasis came to mind and one was transported right back to the heydey of their rivalry with Blur – maybe shades of Arctic Monkeys creeping in. Bare Bones (E.P.) followed a couple of years after their debut and contained more variation and threads. It is hard to pin down but you can sense a little more confidence and assuredness in the music. The compositions are more nuanced and the production a little more polished – really bringing the best from the music. In both E.P.s, the gang display clear influences yet very much have their own voice and sound. The three-track E.P.s were tight and memorable and every song compelled you to come back and reinvestigate. If you look at Look What You’ve Started and it is a six-track E.P. that displays yet more confidence from the band. Having toured a lot and picked up new skill (and inspiration) on the road: FloodHounds bring all this into the new work and expand their sound once more. You get little tastes of Oasis, Arctic Monkeys and The White Stripes but they are less obvious and the band is embracing their own voices more. Keeping the Blues-Rock template strong and carrying on from where their previous E.P.s left off – their most solid, variegated and complete work to date. You immerse yourself in the music and notice a distinct skin and personality in each song. Unlike Bare Bones and FloodHounds, one senses more distinction between the tracks and the trio seem a lot closer and more adventurous with the compositions and lyrics. Perhaps the confidence and faith in the ranks are high but FloodHounds are at their peak right now and seem unstoppable.

A&E begins with twang and a definite defiance. Cool-edged and rebellious; it hoves into view. All the people “look so small” when you are down and out says our hero. Perhaps directing to a friend or someone in need of comfort – the song seems to deal with someone who is struggling with some hard times. The hero offers that comfort and support if needed and you wonder what is behind the song and its lyrics. The guitars chug and race whilst bass and percussion keep everything tight and authoritative. Always bonded and together in every song they release: here, there is even more solidity and FloodHounds are at the top of their game. Despite the excellent production values, there is still a sense of loose and raw live-sounding elements creeping in which means it will appeal to a wider sector. Many bands over-produce and polish their music which takes its edge off and sounds rather fake. FloodHounds attempt to reproduce their live sound and that energy. Throughout the song, the lyrics are clear and you start to piece the storyline as it unfolds. I got the impression of a colleague or friend that was going through some tough times and that suits the song’s title. Maybe things are at a low but it seems like there is a way out. When Flynn sings about there being a better place to be – a question that is posed by the subject – you feel it is a cry for help and a way out of a bad town/situation. Throughout the song, you are hooked and scintillated by the unfolding drama and the combined strength of the band. It is an excellent and fiery opener that does not come in too hard but shows what a unit FloodHounds are.

State of Mind begins calmer and boasts woozy Blues strings before ramping things up and coming out of the block. The hero sees his friends working 9-5 and cashing cheques; maybe caught in a mundane and predictable way of life. He poses questions like “Why do we try?” and seems to be aghast at the sameness and routine nature of life. Perhaps balking against anything that boring and workaday: one hears the dissatisfaction and annoyance in the vocal; bereft and fatigued by what is unfolding. Wondering if you’re “going to make it in this world alive” it is a cautionary tale and warning to the generations. You speculate whether the lead has seen too many of his friends go through the motions and not learnt from those lessons. State of Mind is a song for everyone and people that might be stuck in a rut and unwilling to get themselves out of a hole. Few can deny the emotion and conviction that goes into the song and the way the band support the hero. The composition remains funky and kicking but able to kick and spit when needs be. The malaise and miasma is a state of mind and a funk that can be remedied. Our hero knows things can change and you can escape the pressure. One of the more inspirational and defiant songs the band have created: it is surely going to be a live favourite and get the crowds singing along. Maybe there are elements of debut-album Oasis but the influences are less obvious than the band’s debut E.P. What we find (compared to albums like Definitely Maybe) is the sense that things will be okay and we will get through things. Completing a rousing and glistening 1-2: a perfect way to get Look What You’ve Started into the mind.


The Fear arrives and does so with a bit of menace and attack. The bass hops and skips whilst the guitar is definitely laden with trunks of funk. Sassy and hip-shaking; the song instantly gets inside the head and distinguishes itself from anything FloodHounds have done. Images of stepping out of the light and staying in sight lead you to believe some rather tense and anxious experiences are being assessed. Whether turning the lens on himself or addressing a friend: there is that motivation to escape fear and run away from something that is torturous and weighing. “I don’t want to watch it bury you” defines this sense of urgency and the fact someone might be in peril. It is hard not to be intoxicated by the constantly swing and addictiveness of the composition that will get crowds jumping and dancing along. The Fear balances serious and heartfelt messages with a fun and frivolous composition that makes it one of the E.P.’s standout numbers. It is another song that will resonate well live and is hard to compare it with any other band. You maybe hear a little essence of other acts but FloodHounds are starting to emerge as their own group and separate themselves from their influences. More confident and assured with their music and talent: terrific to hear them embrace their own voices fully. Like A&E; one wonders if a sweetheart is being assessed. Maybe a girl has a point of view that threatens to swallow her and the hero is reluctant to watch it all go down. You do not want to see it happen and you speculate what the origins of the song are. Maybe it is just self-destruction or someone with an ego; a person who is blind to their faults and not listening to advice.


Soulmates to Cellmates intrigues with the title alone and that is before experiencing the stunning introduction. It is another typically catchy and funky parable that shows the band getting out of the pure Rock ‘n’ Roll and adding more Soul and Funk into their music. Able to stay strong and gritty but imbued with sway and merriment; it ensures the song begins hot and captures the imagination. Stepping to the microphone and asking “What have we become?” the hero is unable to relate (to the subject’s) smoke and mirror games. It might be a relationship that is breaking down and cracks starting to form. The song’s title leads you to believe the duo is caught in a small space but instead of being lovers they are prisoners that are trying not to kill one another. You sense that claustrophobia and sense the walls are coming in. It appears the girl is at fault and is lying and deceiving the hero. Keeping her feelings guarded and not willing to be straight – the end of the road for the pair it seems. The girl is trying to remonstrate and beg for some sort of forgiveness. Asking for another chance and time so she can explain things: our man is not letting her off the hook that easy. Time heals everything, it has been said before, but not when the heroine is around. The track has just had a video made and it perfectly explains and illustrates the tensions, emotions and imbalance in the relationship – typically humour from the band being shown throughout. Calming things down and casting himself in the guise of his other half, there is that desire for things to return to normal and wait for understanding to come in. It is not clear what has caused this split but the girl seems to be reluctant to walk away – perhaps to the dismay of the hero. Soulmates to Cellmates is a song you will come back to as it has that charm and shows the band at their very finest.


End of the Road starts with plenty of grumble, gravel and verve. It is yet another song that starts with force and catchiness and spares no time in laying the table and showing manners – right into the action and getting down to things right away. The band have really stepped it up when crafting their music and ensuring every note gets into the head and evokes reaction. Look What You’ve Started is altogether tighter and more muscular than their earlier work. End of the Road find the hero clinging to the breeze and in the midst of a storm. Maybe it is another relationship drama and tension but one that is not bogged down with lyrical cliché or snarling strings. FloodHounds ensure even the heaviest emotions have a little bit of lightness and accessibility as not to put the listener off. The dust and smoke and settling and our lead is keeping his eyes closed. “There is no easy way out” and it seems like whatever is ascribed – a girl that is baying for blood – will take no more from her man. Metaphors are laid out and vivid images presented: the hero is being left by the side of the road and fed up with being exploited and taken for a fool. Not as predictable and obvious as you’d imagine: FloodHounds address a common subject without loading it with bland lyrics and hyperbole. It is a great balance of regret and defiance as the hero tries to make sense of everything. Once again – and common words for this review – you do get hooked by the music and the trio come together splendidly. Taut and leading basslines propel the tight and smacking percussion that, in turn, aids the funk-ridden and sexy guitar. By the song’s end, the hero has expended a lot of emotion and one feels the relationship is doomed and beyond repair.


Completing the E.P. is Greatest Mistake, and one feels, another song that trades in some rather harsh and regretful emotions. Unlike its E.P. counterparts; here we get a more restrained and contemplative introduction that brings some genuine heart and sensitivity into the mix. A lot of bands structure E.P.s this way and end things with an emotional and touching number. In the first few seconds, it is a song that has elements of ‘60s Blues and a rather sensual start. The strings are cool and slight; they evoke all kinds of images and possibilities. Another departure from the band’s previous work it effortlessly fuses Blues, Jazz and Soul in a teasing and shivering coda. The lead does not know if he should reach out further – the girl has her will and he has his – and you feel love is under the microscope again. Feeling blue at times and only relying on his own thoughts and truths: maybe it is the continuation and reflection on a love story that has had quite a bitter end.

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One feels the entire E.P. could be seen as a concept and each song represents a different stage in the relationship. From the supportive and hopeful arms of A&E via the contrasts and mood swings of Soulmates to Cellmates – we now arrive at the aftermath and the hero looking back on things. “Over and over I replay the steps” and it is a sentiment that seems to define the song. Maybe both parties have made mistakes and the black box is being pulled apart and studied. All the while, the composition is light and breezy but replete with a Blues soul and a sense of romance. Percussion adds a heartbeat and certain tension whilst the bass adds fluidity to the song – ensuing myriad emotions and layers come to the precipice. Here, we see some self-examination and doubts from the hero as he states that the greatest mistake is making no mistakes at all. Wanting to change things and turn back the clock: maybe it is not as one-sided as one assumes. FloodHounds show they have depth and are capable of presenting something quite emotive and revealing without crowding it with noise and anger. Greatest Mistake brings things to a close and ensures Look What You’ve Started ticks every box the listener has in their survey. Jack Flynn, Rhys Owen and Lauren Greaves are one of the most solid and talented group of musicians around and have developed and grown from their earliest days. They sound much more like themselves and ensure FloodHounds are not easily compared with other bands. Their latest E.P. shines with memorable moments and highlights how much more is still in them – I would not be surprised to see another E.P. from them next year. One feels an L.P. could come and they have so much life and energy in the camp. A tremendous effort from a band that are going to be mainstream artists in very little time.

Floodhounds 2015 _ Photo by BACKSTAGEUK _ Image 0011.JPG

The guys are excited about the coming months and one can hardly blame them. Look What You’ve Started is being championed by the media and fans: that will give them impetus and motivation to keep recording and carry on in music for (let’s hope) many years to come. They’ll be playing a string of dates – check out their social media pages for more details – but take their music to Spice of Life (Soho) on 29th October for the Animal Farm. It will be great to see the guys in the flesh and the capital seems like a perfect place for them to play – lots of new fans and stations that will lap their new E.P. up and spread the word. Mixing their usual heartfelt emotion with humour, candour and passion: a triumph from a band that keep on surpassing and evolving what they do. The trio are a properly solid and galvanised unit whose natural talent and chemistry goes into everything they produce. It will be interesting seeing where they go now and what their next moves consist. Of course, touring will be in their mind but surely new music is in the back of their minds. It will be good seeing what materailising but there is good spirit in the camp and a lot of energy among FloodHounds. I started by looking at Yorkshire music and what a history the county has – how undervalued it is compared with other parts of the world. It is fairly harsh the county is not as exposed and focused-upon as it should but that has not deterred musicians (there) making a big noise and creating some of the finest music on the underground. FloodHounds are one of Sheffield’s finest but have no intention in remain localised and sitting still. Look What You’ve Started is their most impressive, full and strongest work to date and you get the feeling they have many more releases ahead. Ensure you check their E.P. out and catch them live if you can. They are another terrific young band that have been playing for years but have many more to come. With many of their peers struggling to remain and survive; it is imperative we do our utmost to encourage…

Photo by BackStage:UK



ARTISTS like FloodHounds.



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IT is hard properly defining yourself and standing aside from…

the crowd I guess. Music has so many different entrants and acts it can be a minefield situating yourself away from the rather faceless mass: showing character, light and originality without coming off insincere, faked and forced. Lánre is an artist for whom I have a lot of respect and time for – one of the noblest and warmest musicians around. Her live performances are talked about in passionate tones and her music channels spirituality, faith and common experiences through something we can all relate to. I was excited to see how the year had been treating her and what upcoming gigs she was looking forward to – how her heritage and African roots have influenced and enforced her music.


Hey Lánre. How are you? How has your week been?

Hiya, I am well. Week’s going great. Just got back from a family holiday and preparing for autumn gigs and projects.

For those new to your music: can you introduce yourself, please?

I am a singer-songwriter currently based in London. I released a new E.P. a few months ago: it’s my third project.

You have just played a gig in Guelph (Ontario). How have you found Canada and what are the audiences like there?

It’s my second time of playing in Canada; first time in Guelph. I love sharing my music with new audiences. I get to meet new people and other creative people as well.

PHOTO CREDIT: Janssem Cardoso

Are there any upcoming gigs you are especially looking forward to?

I have a few gigs coming up – it’ the 80th Anniversary of Cable Street and I’ve been commissioned to write a new song and perform the song live at Rich Mix on the 1st of October. I also playing at an event supporting a great cause called Thumbs UP for Uganda on the 27th Sept and on the 5th of October, I’ll be playing at The Troubadour.

You seem to have a special bond with your audiences when performing. Is playing your music to people vital for your growth and confidence. Do you feel a direct companionship with your audience? 

The feedback I get is that people love when I tell the stories behind the songs. I love to play in intimate space. Writing helps me to figure things out in my mind. Not necessarily provide an answer but helps to let those thoughts out and to then get to share that with an audience is a blessing. So I’d say yes, writing and singing has helped me grow as a person.

In July, you ran two interactive storytelling sessions called Finding Your Voice. It was held at Africa Writes and brought together poets, translators and authors. What was it like being in such rarified company and is it something you want to continue next year?

If the invitation comes again I’ll be honoured to be a part of it. Helping people find their voice through storytelling and writing is new for me but I enjoyed doing that.

Human was your E.P. released this year. What were the themes and inspiration that drove and defined the album’s lyrics?

Life; dreams deferred; love, humanity and purpose. It’s all wrapped up in those 4 songs. All I try to do is pay attention and then write from there.

Fire is my favourite song from the E.P. Can you remember the day you wrote it and what was the story behind that track?

Thank you, I love that track as well. It all started with words ‘will you light a fire for me’ when I first heard about a friend who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Then it grew into the idea that we all want to be remembered, to be seen; to know that our time here on Earth counts for something. When you live in a city like London, with the fast-paced day-to-day grind, you tend to forget to look around you; to pay attention ‘til something tragic happens that forces you to take a min. to reflect. So Fire is all about that.

Can we expect to see any new music coming into 2017?

I’m always writing, so who knows… when it’s time for new songs to be heard, it will come.

As you have performed in Canada: are there any other areas/nations (as-yet unticked) you’d like to play.

Oh yes! Oh dear! I have dreams traveling the world playing music.

You are a very positive person and often inspire others with your inspirational messages. How do you remain so positive in a world that is very fraught right now?

I am? Thank you. I try to stay grounded and positive through my faith. I know we live in the world where it’s so difficult to believe that there’s a divine force at work. So many questions unanswered but it’s what makes the search interesting. I have a little light deep inside me that represents hope. I think that’s what keeps me grounded. I have rough moments and times of doubt ALL THE TIME but I also believe and have faith.

How does your African heritage and upbringing go into your music and the way you perform?

My heritage goes into everything; my food, my fashion; it filters the way I see life. So it comes through my music naturally I think. I love the Yoruba language: I think it’s one of the most beautiful languages in the world and I’m proud to introduce a lil it of that to my audience.

Are there any artists and musicians that you would recommend we investigate?

I just bought LA Salami’s album Dancing with Bad Grammar. Have you heard it?

What have been your favourite albums from 2016? 

The Dreaming Room – Laura Mvula

The Wild Swan – Foy Vance

Martyr Loser King – Saul Williams

What advice would you offer new musicians coming through?

Get on with it, persevere and enjoy the ride.

Finally, and for being a good egg, you can name any song you like (not yours as I’ll put one in); I’ll play it here…

Meshell Ndegeocello – Oysters. This song goes for your heart




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INTERVIEW: Samuel Jack




Samuel Jack


ONCE again, I am the feet of another promising and terrific…

solo artist with a bright career ahead of them. Samuel Jack has just released his Let It All Out E.P. and the third track-by-track video for the song, All the Things – where he explains the inspiration and story of the song’s creation and germination. Raised on the legends of Blues – B.B. King and Etta James counting among his early idols – and spending his formative years in London: the South West-based musician even recorded an E.P. in his caravan. There are few like Samuel Jack so I was eager to find out more about his recording process and inspiration; which musicians mean most to him and his plans for the future.


Hey Samuel. How are you? How has your week been?

Hey, hey. My week’s been full of lovely musical endeavours; rehearsals, writing and a gig for Sofa Sounds London, which was ace. I’ve been saving up for some swanky new equipment for my home studio too (which arrives today!). I’ll be indulging myself with my new toys for the rest of the week.

For those new to your music: can you introduce yourself, please?

I’m Samuel Jack: a singer-songwriter; I write and sing and sing what I write. I’m London-born, Dorset-bred via Amsterdam and Johannesburg. I currently live in a caravan on the Dorset-Somerset border.  I’m a new artist and hope to be in your ears more and more over the coming months.

It is rumoured you record and rehearse out of your caravan (or did in the past). Is that true and is it an environment more suited to your musical style? What was the decision behind this?

I certainly demo. in the caravan, yes, but use a studio for proper recording – but I rehearse and write in the caravan all the time.

I moved in the caravan mainly because it’s cheap; allows me the flex. to be on the road as much as possible. I also wanted a chilled space to write in literally in the middle of nowhere: tranquil, it allows me to be solely focused on music.

It’s just me and the sheep. It gets a little cold through winter. It’s not exactly The Ritz, but it’s home for now – some central heating wouldn’t go a miss 🙂

You hail from Dorset and have performed widely through the county. What is the music scene like there and are there enough opportunities for a young musician like yourself to be heard?

If I’m honest, the Dorset music scene isn’t the most thriving – not to say there haven’t been some great artists emerge from here. Venues are closing doors quite regularly; it’s a tough one. To really get yourself heard you have to travel, which luckily, is something I love.

After you were spotted in a local restaurant and invited to play the Avalon Stage at Glastonbury, it all must seem like a dream. What was the experience like and how nervous were you stepping on that stage?

It was all a bit nuts really. I couldn’t believe it. At that stage, I only had a bunch of unfinished songs too so it was a mad scramble to get a long enough set together. I was totally nervous: I think it’s always good to be a little nervous but these were killer, knee-shaking nerves. I think I did ok, though. It was an amazing experience. It was a real shot in the arm for me at the time. I was kinda just working in a pub, writing when I could. A bit all over the place I guess, and then suddenly it was like ‘boom, you’re opening Glasto. stage’.

You are playing The Hospital Club and Sofar Sounds in London. Are you looking forward to those gigs and what how does playing London compare to Dorset?

I look forward to every gig. Sofar Sounds shows are so brilliant and they’ve been great to me.

I’d do one every day if I could, and yeah, Friday’s show at The Hospital Club should be great. I love playing London. I was born there; some family is there still; I’ve played some wicked venues so far but I’ve definitely got many on my list I want to tick off (Wembley etc. etc.)

Your music has been played on U.S. shows including Nashville and About a Boy. Have you been getting feedback from U.S. fans and would you like to perform in the country if offered the chance?

Yeah, I’ve been really lucky. There are a few T.V. shows out there that are liking my music and I’ve had several really cool placements. I actually played a few shows on the West Coast earlier this year. The plan is to be back out there in the New Year. I love the vibe there. I remember landing at LAX and driving straight to the studio just thinking to myself: wow; a few hours ago I was in a caravan in a field in the middle of nowhere; now I’m driving through Hollywood about to cut a record. Those are the sorts of stories I wanna tell my grandkids (note: I don’t have any grandkids) haha.

The video for Let it All Out (your latest single) seems like it was fun to shoot – involving a group of friends constructing a house-like structure and releasing balloons. What was the idea behind the video and what was it like shooting it?

It was so much fun, and yeah, the people in the video are all friends of mine. The idea came about because the song is about release, togetherness and about having a good ol’ sing-song. I wanted the video to capture those themes and I think it does that. We built a church-like structure.

I’m not a particularly religious guy, but after spending time in South Africa, I fell in love with the way whole communities would gather together and sing the tribal songs; the traditional songs; sometimes at a church and sometimes in the townships.

I like the idea that a church is somewhere people come together so we built one 🙂

Let It All Out is the E.P. and has gained some great reviews. The songs are quite emotional and vulnerable at times. Did the writing and creation (of the E.P.) occur at a difficult time for you and how do you view the creative process in hindsight?

Y’know, it’s an amazing thing, writing a song.  You’re putting yourself on paper. I’m no sob-story, but yeah, I guess that vulnerability you hear and that emotion is derived from points in my life where I’ve struggled a bit. I’ve moved around a lot – I’ve lived in bedsits, caravans and trying to make ends meet – all whilst writing & performance music. It’s a labour of love, y’know? Relationships have been tricky; romantic and not. I’ve had some confusing family stuff happen to me over the years but I’ve tried to enjoy the journey and I’m loving every second of the ride right now. Things like that contribute to the way I write for sure, and they’ll continue to do so.

Which songs from the E.P. do you view with the most fondness or hold a special place in your heart?

I love all the songs on the E.P: that’s a toughie. Remember Me and All the Things will always be particularly special to me. I’ll let you listen to the lyrics to work out why 😉

Your voice has been compared to Hozier. Is he someone you follow and what singers/musicians have influenced your style and career?

I’m just trying to do my own thing; make my own sound; tell my own story.

It’s flattering to be compared to Hozier. I feel really honoured to be put in the same bracket as such great artist. I love old Soul, Blues; Gospel, Roots and Electro. I draw influence from a lot of the old greats and like to listen to as much music that’s coming through now as I can.

I know you were raised on artists like B.B. King and Etta James. Do you think there are few icons like this in modern music and how do you compare today’s vocalists with the legends of old?

I mean, don’t get more wrong. There are some voices out there: some big, big voices, but for me, unless you look really hard you’ll struggle to find a voice like Etta James and James Brown – that raw, rugged; natural,  oozing-out-their-skin-type passion and delivery is hard to find.

Looking ahead and what are you especially looking forward to in the coming months?

I’m on-tour through November. It’s my first small U.K. tour: playing in Manchester, Bristol; London, Brighton; Cardiff and the South West – can’t wait for that! Also, I’m writing every day. I’ve got a bunch of new material in-the-works that I’m really happy with; excited for people to hear it. Beyond that, we’re working on European dates, and as I mentioned,

I’ve got a bunch of new material in-the-works that I’m really happy with and excited for people to hear it.

Beyond that, we’re working on European dates, and as I mentioned, hopefully a return to the U.S.A.

You have come a long way and achieved so much in a short space. What do you attribute this success to, and what advice would you give to others coming through?

Ah thanks. I’ve been very lucky to have worked with some great people – two in particular from my label – they’ve pretty much taken me from working in a restaurant to being on stage. I owe a lot to them, but of course, all this stuff starts with yourself. My advice would be to persevere, surround yourself with good people; do what you do, and most importantly, enjoy the journey.

Music is defined by long hours and huge demands. Do you manage to take time off and disconnect or is that not a possibility at the moment?

I worked in hospitality for years so I’m no stranger to long hours: hard work’s in my blood.

The great thing is that now I’m exchanging long hours in a restaurant for long creative hours on the road; playing live, writing. I love it.

It’s my passion. I’d do it every second of the day if I could.

Finally, and for being a good egg, you can name any song you like (not one of yours as I’ll include that); I’ll play it here…

Awesome . I’m well into Honne at the moment. Have a play of Honne feat. Izzy Bizu. I played with Izzy last October; she’s brilliant. Listen to Someone That Loves You.



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SALT, Saints Patience; Words & Noises + Meat Loving Vegans Play Musicmusingsandsuch’s Free Show at #Blogtober

It is with delight that I announce SALT will play alongside Saints Patience, Words & Noises and Meat Loving Vegans at Musicmusingsandsuch’s free show at Lost in the Manor’s #Blogtober festival in London on October 30th.

I have loved assessing these musicians and will be tremendous bringing them all together under one roof at The Finsbury. Meat Loving Vegans are one of my favourite finds and frontman Dexter will be playing a stripped-back acoustic set. Expect big tunes and plenty of noise from SALT and some typically alluring, enlivened Rock from Saints Patience. Words & Noises will bring stories of love, life and romance to the capital in a not-to-be-missed gig.

Maybe SALT newbie Don’t Look at Me That Way will feature in addition to Words & Noises’ E.P. The Collector. Saints Patience welcome new members and fresh tunes while Meat Loving Vegan’s Lost in Fiction could feature in a more intimate and toned-down performance. Whatever happens, it will be a gig you will not want to miss.

Head down to The Finsbury on October 30th and show some support. You can find tickets here. They are limited, so reserve them now. Make sure to R.S.V.P. on Facebook, too.

In addition to Musicmusingsandsuch: 30 other nights will give Blogtober plenty of variety and magic. CLASH, Artrocker and Louder than War will be there; For Folk’s Sake and many others  – some of the biggest tastemakers in the country. 

For more information on #Blogtober; head to the event page

SALT have just released the video for new single Don’t Look at Me That Way:






Adam K


MANY ignore the great solo artists of the underground…

and those who have the potential to be future stars. We get hooked on the charts and magazine-tipped examples: we often forget the raft of exceptional musicians waiting to be discovered. I am excited about Manchester-raised, London-based Adam K and what he can achieve in the coming years. One of the most special and original voices you are likely to hear – packed with so much emotion, gravel and drama. It gives birth to incredible songs that are gaining attention and marking him as a talent to watch. I got the chance to catch up and ask him about the coming months and his music career so far…


Hey, Adam. How are you? How has your week been?

Hey, Sam! I’m good thanks. It’s been a productive week. I’ve just done a gig in Dalston at The Servant Jazz Quarters.

For those new to your music: can you introduce yourself, please?

I’m Adam K. I’m a solo-acoustic artist based in London. I’m different from the rest: playing catchy riffs followed by unique vocals – the two work hand-in-hand. Who needs a band ey? Haha!



You moved from Manchester down to London. What compelled the move down to the capital?

The music scene mostly. My girlfriend had wanted to move to London for a while so I had two options… Option A.) Stay in Manchester where the music scene is great and commute to London or B.) Move to London with my girlfriend where the music scene and opportunities for gigs are at a larger scale. I went with the latter.

If you had to compare the two cities: what are the main differences that stand out from a musician’s perspective?

The local music scene in Manchester is great for music and you kind of know everyone. It’s a little restricted though as there are only so many venues.

London, on the other hand, has a never-ending stream of venues and pop-ups! I’ve been here for over 4 years now and there’s still so much I haven’t seen or done – I’ve got a list that I’m gradually ticking off. It reminds me of a smaller-scale New York: it’s always busy and there’s always something going on.

You are playing for Lost in the Manor next week. Are you excited about the gig? Will it be your first time playing The Pack & Carriage?

Yes to all of the above!  I’m excited for this gig; the lineup looks great. It’ll be my first time playing The Pack & Carriage and also my first time playing for Lost in the Manor – it certainly won’t be the last. There’s still a couple of FREE tickets available for  Saturday 24th  September here:

In terms of all the gigs you have performed over the past year: which have been particularly treasured?

I’d say Camden Rocks Festival. Great day and a great gig with so many inspiring acts in one place. I’m hoping to be there again next year as it’s such a cool atmosphere.

Songs like Left Inside and See Through have great acoustic guitar lines and unique vocals. The songs sound like nobody else. At what age did you study guitar and realise you wanted to become a musician?

Thanks! Well from the age of 14/15 I wanted to play guitar and sing. I couldn’t afford guitar lessons so had to go to the local library and get books to teach myself. Luckily for me, I heard a neighbour called Andy playing guitar as I was walking past his house. I knocked on the door and asked him if he could teach me a couple of nights a week and he did. For FREE! It was a Tenacious D moment like when Jack Black-meets-Kyle Gas, haha! There was no Pick of Destiny, though. He let me borrow a few tapes like Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning and The Black Album (Metallica); Nirvana’s  Nevermind – which we jammed to and I’ve been learning ever since. I’ll be forever grateful to Andy for helping me.

It may sound like a hackneyed question, but what drives your music and compels your writing? Do you have to get into a particular headspace and what kind of topics enforces your music?

I try and write riffs that are catchy as hell. The ones that make you stop and go: THAT is a killer riff like G.N.R. Sweet Child o’ Mine or Metallica’s Enter Sandman.

I try and create something unforgettable every time. Singing on top of that can be a challenge but I work on that until it’s ready for the public ears.

Recently, I managed to create a song from a riff that I’ve had since 2010. 6 years later, it’s become a song by slowly adding layers of different styles and direction. It can take years to write the song you want. Sometimes it will just come to you and you can write it. Topics for the music I write? I’ll let you decide that one.



Can we expect to see any new material coming in the next few months?

I’ve got lots of new material which can be heard at my upcoming gigs. I’ll be recording them soon. I’m steering towards more of an album than an E.P. really but I’m not going to rush something that’ll be out there for good. I want it to be right.

Which musicians and artists were particular influential when you were growing up?

My favourite question!

Metallica, Nirvana; Madness, Foo Fighters; Queens of the Stone Age, Red Hot Chili Peppers; Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and ZZ Top were my main influences growing up.

Growing up my sister told me: “Listen to everything and you can become a better musician“. How true that is: listening to everything without judging or saying I only like ‘x’.

I’ve learnt that by listening to different genres you can incorporate those styles a little into your own music whilst maintaining the style you have without going too much off track.

If you had to select the three albums that have played the biggest role in your life, what would they be?

Q.o.t.S.A. – Songs for the Deaf.

What an album! Not a bad song on it. Riff after riff with great catchy vocals. I’ve heard that album start to finish at least 50 times.

Metallica – The Black Album

Love this album. Again: not a bad song on it. A lot of people say they sold out by going from Thrash Metal to a mix of ballads, Rock and Thrash. It’s good to be different and mix it up. Great dynamics on a great album. Listening to that will make anyone pick up an instrument.

Madness – 7

This album makes you want to jump around with your mates while clinking a beer in the process. A bouncy Ska vibe is what you need in your life. Wicked guitar work made me see it’s not all about Rock.

Which musicians (local or nationwide) would you recommend we should check out?

Sonic Boom Six – Vibrant, feel good band with killer songs. They take a bit of everything that we each love and combine them together and they do it so WELL! Especially live; you have these great bouncy, vibrant songs being played to a room full of Liquorice allsorts! You know; there’s a Mod in one corner and a Metal-Head in the other. Nice to see that a band that can bring and unite a mix of people regardless of age, sex or race together all under one roof. That’s special.

Have you any advice for any new artists coming through right now?

Keep doing what you’re doing. If people don’t like you; f*** them.

Also, watch out for pay-to-play gigs. Why would you pay to play a gig? For what reason? Baffles me. Play as many free ones (within reason) and paid ones, as well as open mic’s, but don’t pay-to-play a gig. Once you start to build a following you’re on the right road.

Finally- and for being a good egg- you can name any song you like (not one of yours as I’ll pick one); I’ll play it here…

Misfits – Fiend Club.



(Thanks for the interview, Sam!)


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