Wednesday, 22 November 2017

MS BANKS – SINGLE REVIEW

Ms Banks – Bangs 
Ms Banks - Bangs


Release Date: Out Now

There’s more than a bit of a buzz around UK Hip-Hop artist Ms Banks at the moment so I was intrigued to hear what all the fuss is about. This single, ‘Bangs’, starts with a mellow synth throb before a sparse beat clicks in and then Ms Banks arrive full of confidence, class and purpose. The beauty of this track is the simplicity of it that leaves plenty of room for Ms Banks to lay her words down but even given that space she isn’t tempted to overdo things by rushing or trying too hard. The fact that Nicki Minaj has already shown more than an interest by signing Ms Banks up is always a good sign but even without that the music tells me that this is a real, genuine talent with a bright future.


GILI YALO – SINGLE REVIEW

Gili Yalo feat. Keren Dun – Africa (Dead Sea Recordings) 
Gili Yalo feat. Keren Dun - Africa


Release Date: Out Now

I don’t mind admitting that I was in a bit of a grump today but this tune has not only lifted me out that grump but it’s also made a late play for my end of year awards. Gili Yalo is an Israeli artist who seems to have a fix on creating a level of happiness in music and spreading a philosophy that I can really get on board with. ‘Africa’ is not a complex song but combined with the video it is a piece of pure joy imbued with colour, energy and light. The jerky, twitchy keys melody is soon joined by carnival horns and a rhythm that makes you want to jump and move. Lyrically, this is not complex either, the message is just to be happy for friends as well as your own achievements. The additional vocals of Keren Dun just give this a more fun, party vibe while the music gets it’s groove on like there’s no tomorrow. There’s a real live quality to the musicianship which only adds to the energy and, along with the colourful fashions, this just a good time written all over it. Perfect to blast away those winter blues with, better get some.


Live Dates:

8th December – Rencontres Trans Musicales, Rennes
20th December – Barby, Tel Aviv

Watch the Video:


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

POPPY ACKROYD – SINGLE REVIEW

Poppy Ackroyd – Trains (One Little Indian Records) 
Poppy Ackroyd - Trains


Release Date: Out Now

Poppy Ackroyd is definitely one of my finds of 2017 and latest release ‘Trains’ just heaps more glory atop her already glorious output but throws in a video of epic proportions as well. The itchy, unsettling piano riff is like the start of something on the distant horizon coming closer with urgency and promise, mirrored perfectly by dancing pebbles in the video. A scattered, crustacean inspired rhythm skits in the background and strings do their best to smooth and soothe without detracting from the tension, excitement and impending…. something. Something is coming and whatever it is has me excited. Poppy Ackroyd is at the peak of her powers with an album due out in early 2018 and I think we’ll all be hearing a lot of her creations in the next 12 months which is good news for her but even better news for us. Do yourself a favour and get in on this now before John Lewis buys the rights and makes Christmas 2018 a hugely tense affair.


Live Dates:
26th November – Lucerna Music Bar, Prague
27th November – Jazz Tibet Club, Olomouc
30th November – Tabacka Kulturfabrik, Kosice
2nd December – Klub Zak, Gdansk
3rd December – Scena Na Pietrze, Poznan
8th December – Nosta, Opwijk
9th December – ACCA, Brighton

Watch the video: 


50 YEAR STORM – EP REVIEW

50 Year Storm – Distressor EP 
50 Year Storm - Distressor EP


Release Date: Out Now

When you’re faced with a power trio from Newquay who present themselves with a debut EP produced by the legendary John Cornfield then you know you’re dealing with a band that have hutzpah and more than a little moxie. The aforementioned EP, ‘Distressor’, is a three-track blast that opens with ‘Cold Teeth’ which begins with a haunting vocal followed by synth throb and a dirty guitar riff. Crack open some steady drums and then pour in some stylish pop-rock vocals are part Brandon Flowers and part Ozzy Osbourne in his young prime.

‘Shotgun’ is up next with some Gospel organ and Blues guitar atop a lumbering, lurching, sparse beat that was born in the Louisianna swamps rather than the beaches of Newquay as they sing “I might as well kick back like a shotgun”. Closing track and ‘Naughty Coffee’ is as dirty and grizzly as they come, like walking in to a futuristic saloon bar in West World full of cyber-cowboys and oil instead of bourbon. As an introduction to this three piece, this is a powerful and intoxicating brew that only hints at what I’ve heard are heady live shows. Expect more, much more.


Live Dates:


2nd December – Charlie’s Bar, Redruth w/Citations + Majaro

FROZEN HOUSES – SINGLE REVIEW

Frozen Houses – Tax & Tarmac 
Frozen Houses - Tax & Tarmac


Release Date: Out Now

This is the last single from Cornish based Frozen Houses before the debut album gets released in 2018 so this can be considered an early Christmas present for all you good little boys and girls out there. ‘Tax & Tarmac’ is a sweet little nugget of sub-three-minute indie-pop that packs a lot in to its short life from loose guitar riff and morose vocals that open proceedings to the harmonies and steady pop beat that keeps the party moving. There’s a beautiful understated vocal harmony between male and female voices that walks the line between Badly Drawn Boy and Belle & Sebastian with determined uncertainty. Throw in some gorgeous guitar licks, some violin and the kind of build that Arcade Fire would kill for and you’ve got yourself a pretty damn decent track. Now let’s just see this year out and wait for that album in 2017.


Live Dates:

15th December – The Liskeard Tavern, Liskeard
5th January – Lusty Glaze Beach, Newquay
18th February – Rod & Line Inn, Tideford

23rd February – B-Bar, Plymouth

Friday, 17 November 2017

WILDWOOD KIN - LIVE REVIEW

Wildwood Kin + Charlie Harris live @ the Brook Inn, Plympton – 16/11/2017 


I’m a blogger and, as a result, a blagger. I don’t get paid for my writing so if I can get the odd free gig ticket or CD (or T-shirt, hint hint) then I’ll take it as recompense for my time, I’ve no problem with that. However, as soon as this gig was announced I knew I had to buy tickets for what is surely one of the biggest gigs to ever hit my home-town of Plympton. My hunch was right and as I arrived at the Brook Inn (a shining beacon of a venue in a world where live music venues are closing quicker than you can say ‘Simon Cowell killed songwriting’) the sold out nature of the night soon became apparent. 

Charlie Harris
When opening act Charlie Harris takes to the stage you can feel the nerves emitting from the teenager who has developed a strong reputation for one so young. The Cornish musician, however, soon turns heads (and shuts a few mouths) with the voice that creeps hesitantly and then blissfully from her mouth. Working through a few covers and one of her own compositions, Harris’ voice lives up to the hype and, despite a couple of technical hitches which don’t help with the nerves, she puts in a performance that has the crowd nodding and smiling with approval – particularly the sparse but linguistically accurate Ukulele version of globe straddling hit of the summer ‘Despacito’. If she can spend 2018 relentlessly gigging and writing more of her own songs then Charlie Harris will find herself on bigger stages with bigger audiences, no doubt.

Next up are three musicians from the Exeter scene who have banded together under the guise of Club Brothers – presumably because of their mutual love of the McVitie’s biscuit. Now, one of them I’ve seen fronting one of the best wedding bands I’ve ever seen, another I’ve seen all over the internet and the other shares a name with a host of good people so, collectively, the trio of singers gave me high hopes. In terms of the quality of their vocals, there’s no denying that these three have talent and they complement each other nicely as they mix covers and original compositions effortlessly. What was a slight let down, however, was their choice of songs which all felt a little to Sunday afternoon chill-out soul vibes which seemed to dampen the mood slightly. Covers of Sugababes and Kodaline worked but didn’t really inspire any swell of emotion or dancing so it felt like these three talented entertainers were holding something back a little. Then again, as one of my gig companions said, the job of a support act is to make the headliner look good so maybe there were some generous tactics at play here.
Wildwood Kin (Pic: The Lazy Photographer)

As the iPad toting compere left the stage to huge applause, three demure and unassuming women take to the stage with hunched body language and the flicker of a smile on their faces. This is not a band prone to rock star posing or over the top displays but then they don’t need any of that, they’ve got something very, very special. This is Exeter familial trio Wildwood Kin and regular LWM readers will know I’ve been championing these ladies for a while now so it was particularly gratifying to see them playing to a sold out venue on a Thursday night. Opening with former single ‘Warrior Daughter’, the trademark three part harmonies brought an awed hush to proceedings (apart from the three guys at the back who decided to talk and laugh through the whole performance – tools) and their magic started to spread.

In between songs like ‘Dove’, Hold On’ and ‘Circumstance’, it is singer and percussionist (and avid hat wearer) Meghann Loney who assumes the role of frontwoman, quietly drawing the audience in with tour stories, an unerring ability to stare in to the audience’s soul through a camera lens and the encouragement of one of her cousins (Bethany Key) to sneeze on stage for the first time (no dice this time) which all serves to endear the band to the audience all to more.  It is on songs like ‘Steady My Heart’, however, that my impress-o-meter (patent pending) goes up to new levels as the trio explore a new, darker side to their songwriting that adds depth and breadth to an already impressive set. A superbly emotional cover of the Stereophonics’ ‘Dakota’ brings a tear to the eye while the constant switching between acoustic, electric guitar, keys, bouzouki and a variety percussion keeps you guessing without the need for a large stage rig.

Wildwood Kin (Pic: The Lazy Photography)
A year ago, Wildwood Kin sold out Exeter Cathedral as a home-town, home-coming show and you would have forgiven them for going out at something of a pinnacle but these three are not content with being an enormous fish in a medium sized pond. No, despite being able to wow crowds is large pubs like tonight, these three have a debut album, ‘Turning Tides’, under their collective belt and they’ll take a break after this national tour before going again in 2018. With a much deserved encore of ‘The Valley’ leaving the Brook Inn chiming to the closing words of “help me find my place in the warmth of your embrace”, you can’t help but feel that something special has occurred here tonight, something that is very unlikely to be repeated with such intimacy and bonhomie ever again. Something that those back of the pub chatters may well live to regret…..if there’s any justice!

More information:



BLACK GOLD BUFFALO - SINGLE REVIEW

Black Gold Buffalo - Pearls Deep
Black Gold Buffalo - Pearls Deep

Release Date: Out Now

This might be the first single from the debut album by Black Gold Buffalo but this is not the first rodeo these guys have competed in. No, South East dwellers Keziah, Marc, Joy and Hannah have been honing their sound, their attitude and their focus for a number of years and it shows. ‘Pearls Deep’ is moody, arty and too cool for its own good but it also has oodles of heart and soul which makes it interestingly endearing – like the cool kid at school who seems unapproachable but also smiles at you secretly in the corridor. Taking the production values and style of the XX and Hot Chip, mixing them with the atmospheric qualities of Bat For Lashes and then injecting them with the spirit of the Eurythmics in their prime results in a heady brew but one I want more of. 2018 is there for the taking if this is anything to go by.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/blackgoldbuffalo/