Live – BlitZ at The Old Wine Vaults

BlitZ at The Old Wine Vaults, Eastwood, 19th June 2021

BlitZing the House Down

It seemed like forever, yet no time at all, as Nottingham rockers, BlitZ re-ignited audience passion at The Old Wine Vaults, Eastwood last Saturday.

Frontman, Stuart Corden, warmed up the ears of those who had been missing live sounds for so long,  with an acoustic covers set before the main event.

Within the first few bars of their opening number, Damage, The Spirit of the BlitZ was back & regular band fans and new audience members alike were riding high on a set list of great classic rock tunes from the band’s first two albums.

BlitZ are an extraordinarily exciting band to see live, reminiscent of the big rockers of the 70s/80s. You can catch them next in Nottingham at The Old Salutation Inn on August 1st, with guests: Blues Rockers, Yesterday’s Gone from Chesterfield and, as part of their first ever tour of England,  young Sleaze/Glam rockers from the Highlands of Scotland,  Bad Actress. Tickets are available here.

Catch up with BlitZ here

Words and photos by Tina Sherwood

We’re delighted to welcome Tina to the Breaking Glass photography team and look forward to featuring more of her stunning images as live music continues to open up; do check out the rest of her work too.

21st June 2021

Tour of Wales / Taith Cymru

An electric guitar leaning against a stool plus details for the Tour of Wales (Taith Cymru) streaming events for Independent Venue Week

Tour of Wales / Taith Cymru (Independent Venue Week 2021)

This time last January, preparations were in full swing for a flurry of gigs across the UK to celebrate Independent Venue Week. This year a more innovative approach is required and as ever, Horizons (the music project from BBC Wales and the Arts Council of Wales) has stepped up to support and promote breakthrough artists from the current Welsh music scene. Each day this week, the team will be broadcasting sessions from a different grassroots venue, bringing a cross section of musicians and genres.

Weekday performances come from hip hop artist Mace the Great, country singer Jodie Marie, rock band Those Damn Crows, R&B singer Faith, urban brother & sister Leila McKenzie and K(e)nz, singer-songwriter Rona Mac, lo-fi / spoken word artist Ennio The Little Brother, blues rock pairing Alffa, electro pop artist Malan, new duo Body Water and a solo performance from Gwilym frontman Ifan Pritchard. Additionally, the weekend brings more Welsh rock from Holding Absence on Saturday 30th and Junior on Sunday 31st.

Tour of Wales / Taith Cymru is supported by Creative Wales and BBC Introducing and the venues taking part are Le Pub Casnewydd / Newport, Sin City Abertawe / Swansea, Queen’s Hall Arberth / Narberth, Galeri Caernarfon and Neuadd Ogwen Bethesda.

Sessions will be broadcast at midday each day this week, starting today, so set your alarm for some lunchtime tunes and check out the wealth of talent on display. It’s so important, now more than ever, that we keep supporting musicians, venues and everyone involved in the industry, and this will serve as a sweet reminder why. You can tune in here.

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Words by Siobhan

25th January 2021

 

Best Music Shots of 2020

Picture this!

Given the devastating impact on the live music scene this year, we debated whether to go ahead with the annual Best Music Shots gallery. However, popular opinion said yes so here we are and, looking at the photos submitted, what a good call that was. All images have been taken either outside of lockdown or at Covid-safe / socially distanced events and it’s definitely good for the soul to remember those moments. Hopefully, things are slowly mending; whatever happens next one thing’s for sure, we’ll never take easy access to live music for granted again.

Delighted to have some of our regular photographers involved here – your contributions are always massively appreciated. And equally it’s great to have some new faces taking part – you’re all most welcome and we hope to see more from you in the future.

Photos are in no particular order, mixed by genre and style, so find a comfy seat and check them all out to avoid missing anything… enjoy.

(Header photo above by Mark Cartwright, details in article)

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1. The Darkness
2. Catfish & the Bottlemen
Alcatraz, Milan, February 2020

By Oriana Spadaro – Website | Instagram

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1. Simeon Hammond Dallas
The Old Joinery, Greenwich, London, October 2020
2. Bandini
The Old Joinery, Greenwich, London, December 2020

By Petra Eujane Photography – Website | Instagram

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1. Jamie Bower of Counterfeit
Manchester Ritz, February 2020
2. Lazarus Kane
Georgian Theatre, Stockton, February 2020

By Steve White – Flickr

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1. Gordon James & the Power
Strathpeffer Pavilion, Ross-shire, February 2020
2. Forgetting the Future
Potting Shed Garden Festival, Inverness, July 2020

By Alan Cruickshank Photographic – Facebook

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1. Lauren Lo Sung
Liverpool Digital Music Festival, EBGBs, August 2020
2. Callum of The Bottom Line
Jimmy’s, Liverpool, January 2020

By Sarah (Shots by Sarah) – Instagram | Facebook

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1. Dominic Corry of The Battery Farm
2. Paul Worrall of The Battery Farm
The Club Academy, Manchester, October 2020

By Gary Hough (allthecoolbandsphotography) – Website | Instagram | Twitter

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Rein
Berns, Stockholm, January 2020


By Catarina Olausson – Website | Instagram

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1. Conor Marshall of Sylosis
Islington Assembly Hall, London, February 2020
2. Markus Vanhala of Insomnium
Islington Assembly Hall, London, January 2020

By Chris Andrews – Instagram

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Sugarstone
Night People, Manchester, January 2020

By Alana Thomas – Instagram

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1. King Nun
Bodega, Nottingham, February 2020
2. Emzae
Rock City Beta, Beat the Streets, Nottingham, January 2020

By Nigel King – Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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Brian Shuck & the Local Legends
Sneaky Pete’s, Lewisville, Texas, September 2020

By Robert C Maxfield II – Website | Instagram | Facebook

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Kelly Jones of Stereophonics
Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham, March 2020

By Tina Sherwood (Rock Shotz Live Music Imaging) – Instagram | Facebook

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1. Accident
2. Gemišt
Monte Paradiso Hardcore Punk Festival, Pula, Croatia, September 2020

By David Gasson – Website | Instagram | Chasing the Light Art

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1. Beatles tribute show put on by staff, students & alumni feat. Alex Mullins
Paradise Valley Community College Fine Arts Theater, Phoenix, March 2020
2. Jared & the Mill
Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix, February 2020

By Jennifer Mullins – Website | Instagram

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1. Obongjayar
Village Underground, London, February 2020
2. Fat White Family
Windmill Brixton, London, February 2020

By Anna Louise Yorke – Website | Instagram

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1. Ríoghnach Connolly
2. Caoilfhoinn Rose
Carlton Club, Manchester, November 2020

By Ingrid Turner – Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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1. John Robb of Goldblade
2. Keith Warren of The Adicts
Great British Alternative Festival, Butlins Minehead, February 2020

By Mark Cartwright – Flickr | Facebook | Twitter

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1. Dry Cleaning
The Green Door Store, Brighton, February 2020
2. Lynks
The Rossi Bar, Brighton, February 2020

By Siobhan (16 Beasley St Photography) – Website | Instagram | Twitter

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Enormous thanks to all the talented photographers here for sharing their awesome shots – fingers tightly crossed that you’ll all be back in the pit in 2021. You can see more from everyone featured and follow their socials via the links shown. Stay safe everyone.

All pictures are copyrighted by the photographer credited; please do not use without gaining their permission first.

17th December 2020

Playing through the Pandemic

An insight into how the global Coronavirus pandemic has affected the lives of musicians

By Bethany Clayton

2020 has been the year that no one would have been able to predict. If someone had told me last year that there would be a deadly disease that would spread across the entire globe resulting in millions of deaths and in a raise of unemployment and potential poverty for thousands – I would have thought that they had just told me the outline to a new apocalypse movie conceived by Hollywood film writers. However, that is the unfortunate reality that many of us find ourselves in this year. Many people and industries have been affected by this pandemic in different ways. I talked to two musicians who are at the beginning of their journey within the music industry to see how the global Coronavirus pandemic has changed their lives this year. I spoke to Nottingham’s Connor Harrsion, a solo artist who goes by the pseudonym Stature. Connor produces innovative garage music available to listen to on Spotify. I also spoke to Wakefield’s Andrew Horn who is a multiple band member of two folk bands, Aelfen and Moss, and modern-rock band Possum whose music is available to listen to on Spotify and Bandcamp.

For many musicians there have been a number of challenges that they have had to face due to the current pandemic. The main and potentially disastrous challenge is the cancellation of concerts and tours for these artists. Live performances serve as a main source of income for many musicians and are a vital lifeline for smaller solo artists and bands that are trying to earn a living within the music industry. Solo artist Connor Harrsion revealed that many of the musicians that he knows personally, or would have worked alongside prior to the pandemic, have had to sadly find alternative jobs within the music service industry or elsewhere due to no longer having the means to support themselves as musicians because of the effects of the pandemic on people’s livelihoods. Andrew Horn told me that, “It was when a gig for my band Moss was cancelled in Todmordon that I realised things were going to be very different for me.” This was one of the first cancellations that Andrew and his band members had to face this year as well as his third tour with his band Possum cancelled and a venue for his folk band Aelfen to play at what would have been 2020’s Boomtown festival also cancelled, following the UK restrictions on large outdoor events and temporary nationwide lockdowns. There were many musicians facing the same issues as Andrew as events and tours were cancelled resulting in a loss of income for many. However, Connor Harrsion noted an inventive way that many musicians have been able to still secure some income and revenue. Many bands and solo artists have opted to host live performances over social media, utilising formats such as ‘live mode’ on social media platforms like Instagram, as a way to gain donations to allow them the funds to keep on making music for their fans and continue to work in a profession that they love. This mode of virtual performance displays a temporary solution to the challenges posed by this current pandemic displaying the creative ingenuity of our favourite artists and bands.

(Stature on Spotify)

Additionally, Connor revealed to me that his solo work as Stature creates a current source of income through streaming services. “A lot of people have been listening to more music which means more streams and royalty income,” Connor then stated; “which is generally nothing in comparison to what a musician would earn playing live”. For example the streaming service Spotify provides a rate of £0.0028 in royalties for one stream so it would take one thousand streams for a musician to earn £2.80 in royalties. Therefore, it is important to note that the revenue made from streaming services and virtual performances does not compare to the income a musician would earn from in-person live performances. Andrew told me that he believes that live in-person performances could still happen during the pandemic in a safe and Covid-secure way by utilising social distancing measures. This would then allow for many musicians to earn a liveable wage once more, provide business to venues and event holders and keep fans happy. This revelation came to Andrew during his time performing at the Cloth Cat Open Mic Night at the Packhorse in Leeds during the summer, when the UK restrictions temporarily relaxed. The event implemented socially distanced measures such as audience members had to sit at tables in groups no larger than six and wear a mask whenever walking about the venue. Andrew told me that, “all our lives we have taken things for granted like live music and it’s only now that there are restrictions that we realise the importance of such things!”. From this experience Andrew believes socially distanced events could be a new and profitable future for the music industry and we could once again appreciate the pleasure and importance of experiencing live music. These types of performances would supply a means of overcoming some of the most damaging effects of the pandemic as these socially distanced events would allow for the music industry to regain business and for musicians to once again earn a liveable income.

(Possum on Spotify)

As I discussed the obstacles set by the pandemic with both Connor and Andrew they both noted some positives that have also arisen from this uncertain time. For Andrew, during the first UK nationwide lockdown he was unable to meet and rehearse music with his fellow bandmates. Andrew decided to utlise this time instead to work on his first solo album which will be released and available to download on Bandcamp. If it was not for the lockdown, therefore, we would not be gifted with this fabulous new album by Andrew Horn. Connor also stated that the free time that lockdown provided allowed him to work on new music. He also noted that because of the free time that many people have found themselves with during lockdown that “new labels are popping up and have been on the hunt to add to their roster so that in a sense it’s created a higher chance for smaller artists getting noticed”, a silver lining therefore for new musicians looking to be signed. It is evident then that along with the negative effects that the pandemic has created there has also been some positive impacts made on the music industry. Solo artists have had more time to create and release new music which will no doubt keep fans smiling. New businesses such as new record labels have been founded providing more opportunities and business for musicians.

Throughout this apocalyptic Hollywood movie that has somehow seemed to become the reality that our society is living in, there have been numerous effects evident that the pandemic has created upon the livelihoods of musicians and the music industry at large. Such as, some positive effects: brand new music being created and the introduction of virtual performances as a new means to experience music, and some negative effects: the loss of jobs and incomes. However both Andrew and Connor share a consensus that the future remains hopeful and, once some of the disastrous effects of the pandemic begin to de-escalate, then these talented musicians can continue with their livelihoods without disruption and fans can once more enjoy the thrilling venture of listening to new music and watching live performances.

You can listen to Stature and Possum on the links above; Andrew’s solo album is due for release soon.

Words by Bethany Clayton

19th November 2020

When Covid-19 Stopped the Music

When Covid -19 Stopped the Music
by Jennifer Mullins

This refrain from Joni Mitchell’s song Yellow Taxi, ‘Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know you’ve got ‘til it’s gone,’ seems to sum up the situation of live music at venues being put on hold to stop the spread of the virus. Hopefully, the small venues and musicians that have created a community there will have a place to return once this pandemic is over.

Alex Mullins at the Rebel Lounge

I began to get into music photography when my son, Alex, began playing open mics. His first show was at Joe’s Grotto in Phoenix, Arizona. Because he was underage, I had to accompany him. It was the first time that I had seen him perform, though I had heard him play in the house. I was blown away at how calm, confident, and talented he was as he took the stage. A year into his playing at different venues, I began to take photos and videos. My primary photography focus at this time was on nature.

Top: Fans at Pub Rock
Middle: Alex Mullins
Coyote Tango at the Rebel Lounge

Once Alex formed his band, Alex Mullins and the Royal, I began going to different venues with low light. It was a whole new photography learning experience as I had to learn to adjust to low light photography. I met some of the nicest young photographers who helped me with camera settings and encouraged me to move from shooting in auto to manual mode. They also helped me with editing techniques as I found my unique style.

Top: El West at Crescent Ballroom
Bottom: Holiday Extravaganza at the Van Buren 

In the beginning, I would stay and photograph only Alex’s band, then head home. As time went on, I began to stay and watch other bands. Before I knew it, I was driving around the greater Phoenix area to different venues to discover the vibrant local music scene. I found not only so much musical talent, but a community. Music is meant to be heard live with other people who come together to share their love of the sound the musicians create.

All at Crescent Ballroom – Top: Rival Coast
Middle: Luxxe  
Bottom: Harrison Fjord

A camera gives you a different way of seeing the world and that’s true when photographing a gig. You have to move fast to capture the moment because each set is non-stop and there are no second chances. Since my focus was on the viewfinder, I would forget that people were seeing me in action. I was also posting on Instagram and people would get to know who I was through there as well. I would always introduce myself to musicians and they would say, “I know who you are.” It’s been great to not only see Alex grow as a musician but to get to know other musicians and fans.

Top: Jared and the Mill at Rhythm Room
Bottom: Jared and the Mill at the Rebel Lounge

Now all the venues are closed, the musicians are not playing live and the music community can no longer gather safely. It’s great when my favorite musicians livestream but I miss seeing them on stage as much as I’m sure they miss playing. The collection that I created was capturing the musicians and fans. The connection that only music creates can be seen in both the musicians’ faces and the fans’ reactions.

WHSTLE at the Van Buren

All words and photos are © Jennifer Mullins – you can find more of Jennifer’s work on her website and follow her on Instagram 

We recently featured some of Jennifer’s lockdown photos; you can view them here 

10th July 2020

 

Interstellar Food Drive – Online

Interstellar Food Drive Online, 20th June 2020

For a number of years now, Portsmouth’s Strong Island Recordings have hosted a day of live music in exchange for donations to the local foodbank. With gigs and festivals still currently a pipe dream, on Saturday they took their Interstellar Food Drive online, in collaboration with Pie & Vinyl, Honeymooner Records, Velvet Candy, Hard of Hearing Music and Thank God For Sinners, bringing streamed performances from artists around the world. The event ran in association with Love Record Stores Day and encouraged donations to the Trussell Trust and other charities.

LA Peach

Tom Bryan

Given that the novelty of taking photos of the beach has long since worn thin, I thought it would be good to shoot some musicians again so spent a strange chunk of the afternoon pointing my camera at computer screens. And yes, I’m aware there’s such a thing as a screenshot but if people are doing photo shoots over Zoom then why not. Oddly, I found I still defaulted to my favoured slightly to the left front of stage position, make of that what you will.

Thyla, Sunfruits, Freya Beer

Hussy, Tugboat Captain

Rosie Alena

As well as seeing favourite bands, a lot of us are missing that chance to find something new, and the food drive gave just that opportunity with a whole bunch of talent from far and wide. Kicking things off, an Australian trio of laid-back psych from Sunfruits, kaleidoscopic riffs from Dear Doonan and some fine indie tunes from Badgers. Closer to home, there were great mini sets from local south coast artists including Megan Linford, Barbudo, Ban Summers, Public Body and Thyla. A stunning showcase from Speedy Wunderground’s new kids on the block Tiña (header photo) suggests that they will very definitely be on the ones to watch list, and no less chaos and ripped denim than you would expect from the illustrious Lynks Afrikka, proving that sofa performance is not to be taken lightly. Too many more to mention individually (see poster for complete line up) but suffice to say that every artist was well worth the watch and I have to give a shout out to LA Peach for the shower cap and shades combo, sure to catch on.

Lynks Afrikka

Fake Turins, Megan Linford, LIME

Tropa Magica

The final set came from LA’s Tropa Magica, closing an excellent day with some suitably festival fuelled cumbian-punk. Am so looking forward to when we can do all this in person again but, for now, if you haven’t had the chance yet, you can watch the full stream on the YouTube link here. If you’re able, you can donate directly to the causes listed below via their links.

The Trussell Trust
Helping food banks to provide practical support to people in crisis

Brixton Soup Kitchen
A Brixton based service for the homeless and people in need

Portsmouth Hive
A local cooperative from the voluntary and community sector helping people to build independence

Words and photos by Siobhan

22nd June 2020

Instore – Porridge Radio at Pie & Vinyl

Porridge Radio, Pie & Vinyl, Southsea, 10th March 2020

Playing a string of record shop instores to promote their new album Every Bad, Porridge Radio paid a visit to surely the most intimate setting of them all, the wonderfully eclectic environment of Southsea’s Pie & Vinyl, a shop with music, memorabilia and, of course, pies.

With everyone squeezed in, they played a beguiling set kicking off with Born Confused, its questioning tone and chant of ‘Thank you for making me happy’ resonating through the shop. The tracks are full of energy and emotion, the addition of violin strings in the background adding another layer of atmosphere and sentiment. The album is an accomplished piece of work and will no doubt delight fans and new listeners alike – pictures from the instore below…

Catch up with Porridge Radio here – Every Bad is released via Secretly Canadian tomorrow, 13th May 2020

Words and photos by Siobhan

12th March 2020

Live – Modern Nature + Aoife Nessa Frances at The Green Door Store

Modern Nature / Aoife Nessa Frances at The Green Door Store, Brighton, 3rd March 2020  

Modern Nature is the meeting of minds of Jack Cooper (Ultimate Painting/Mazes), Will Young (BEAK>) plus Woods’ Aaron Neveu and Sunwatchers’ Jeff Tobias. Their music is inspired by the juxtaposition of urban and rural living, their name by a Derek Jarman book. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, they have created something that’s hard to compare along with a sense of interest and intrigue. On Tuesday they visited Brighton to play to a packed Green Door Store.

Travelling from Dublin for support duties, Aoife Nessa Frances and her band brought an abundance of psych-folk melodies, mixing light and dark in the music and lyrics. Aoife’s vocal is pleasantly hypnotic, not the same but perhaps in the same field as contemporaries Cate Le Bon and Gwenno. Her debut album Land of No Junction is well worth a listen.

It’s often a source of perplexity that people go to gigs then provide their own background chat to accompany the music. Something in the atmosphere of Modern Nature’s set from start to finish clearly dissuaded anyone from doing so and it was an absolute pleasure to only hear the band.

Playing through their album How to Live, their musicianship is obvious but understated. Soft vocals meet frenzied sax solos head on, complimented by a seamless transference between guitars, keys, drums and occasional maracas. There are hints of psychedelia, folk, electronica and the Bowie/Eno collaborations of the late 70s. Often the songs run into each other with the barest of gaps and still the crowd remain entranced, only adding their voices in appreciation. When it’s getting late and well into the set, Jack contemplates how many more songs they can fit in and asks ‘What’s the time?’ ‘Half seven!’ is the hopeful response.

Modern Nature have found a niche that draws in lots of different musical tastes. The Brighton show was a resounding success and they look sure to keep building their reputation as word spreads.

You can keep up with news from both artists here:
Modern Nature    Aoife Nessa Frances

Words and photos by Siobhan

6th March 2020

Live – Dry Cleaning + Pozi at The Green Door Store

Dry Cleaning / Pozi at The Green Door Store, Brighton, 28th February 2020 

Despite a strictly bare minimum online presence, the buzz around Dry Cleaning is such that they are still selling out venues on their current tour and look to be headed for much bigger audiences.

Support for the evening came from London trio Pozi, an implausible yet effective stab at post-punk via the medium of drums, bass and violin, with all three band members taking vocals at points. Their sound has a feel of Buzzcocks meets Television and is certainly worth a return listen. Intriguing.

Things have moved on rapidly for Dry Cleaning, whose spoken word lyrics maintain a dark humour running throughout. Their released EPs have been snapped up and there is much anticipation for a debut album. Since their last visit to Brighton they have undoubtedly tightened up their sound and play with a more obvious confidence. With cassette tapes and handwritten lyrics clustered front of stage, there is a sense of nostalgia coupled with the contemporary  structure and content of their songs that makes for quite compulsive listening and viewing. It’s going to be interesting to see what path they take next; they certainly had the crowd in the palm of their hands here.

You can find both bands here:
Dry Cleaning    Pozi

Words and photos by Siobhan

2nd March 2020

Live – Lynks Afrikka + Speedboat at The Rossi Bar

Lynks Afrikka / Speedboat at The Rossi Bar, Brighton, 26th February 2020

With a growing live reputation and an impressive collection of repurposed ripped denim, Lynks Afrikka played their first Brighton show in The Rossi Bar’s basement, making a huge impression and surely paving the way for many invitations to return.

Setting the evening off with a completely different but no less impressive tone, local duo Speedboat took the support slot, their guitar/synth mix evocative of the 80s’ penchant for overcoat-laden bedsit ballads for the indie pack. It’s easy to see why they’re becoming a mainstay of the Brighton circuit and upcoming shows in Europe will no doubt spread the Speedboat message to a whole new set of fans.

Hurtling straight into an animated version of Don’t take it Personal with some classy dance moves to match, Lynks Afrikka showed how to make an entrance in style. With a now packed room engaged from the start, the set never stopped gaining momentum with high kicks and hair flicks aplenty, taking in crowd favourites On Trend and How to make a Bechamel Sauce in 10 Steps (yes, there were pictures and singalongs of ‘Continue adding milk…’). Like a warped electro-trash mash up of The Mighty Boosh and The League of Gentleman, Lynks Afrikka brings maximum impact and total immersion, a glitter frenzied party from start to finish. Let’s hope for more live dates soon.

Catch up with both acts via the links here:
Lynks Afrikka    Speedboat

Words and photos by Siobhan

28th February 2020

 

Live – Rosie Alena + Number 9 + Temples of Youth + Beau Curtis at The Wave Maiden

Rosie Alena / Number 9 / Temples of Youth / Beau Curtis, The Wave Maiden Southsea, 8th February 2020

Selling out her first headline show outside London, Rosie Alena and her band filled Southsea’s The Wave Maiden on Saturday night, a welcome exchange from the approaching storm outside. With three support acts, there was an eclectic mix of music on display, all well attended and received.

First up an unconventional string duo offering from Beau Curtis, setting up the atmosphere nicely with a laid back package of songs that a Leonard Cohen fan might be keen to hear.

Next, Temples of Youth took to the stage with a new fuller sound that compliments their accomplished dream-pop tunes. You can get a flavour of how their music has developed from their Live Lounge session with BBC Introducing Solent here. 

Despite the gremlins attacking with some technical difficulties, local psych-pop/rock outfit Number 9 played a great set bringing, as always, an updated stylised nod to the 60s. Full marks for maintaining the blazer/polo neck combo in a venue that gets increasingly hotter throughout the evening too.

London based singer-songwriter Rosie Alena has been creating quite a storm since the recent release of her debut single Mixed Messages. Its hypnotic vocals and smooth backing track wouldn’t be out of place in a Twin Peaks remake and it’s clear that Rosie can easily reproduce the sound live. Along with her band she gave a performance that pretty much stopped everyone in their tracks – keep an eye out for what she does next as this could be the start of something big.

You can find more from each of the artists via the links here:

Rosie Alena    Number 9    Temples of Youth    Beau Curtis

Words and photos by Siobhan

10th February 2020

Live – Fast Trains + VCR + Marley Blandford at The Loft

Fast Trains / VCR / Marley Blandford, The Loft Southsea, 1st February 2020

Fresh from a successful debut slot at Icebreaker Festival, Fast Trains’ first headline show took place at the weekend to a capacity crowd at The Loft.

Opening support came from singer-songwriter Marley Blandford, offering up a stack of beautifully toned original songs plus a one man and his guitar version of Bohemian Rhapsody to close. Anyone who can induce a singalong to this track without veering into Wayne’s World territory is clearly doing something right; check out his tunes and if you can’t quite remember the name, it’s ‘Marley as in Bob Marley, Blandford as in boring car’.

Second support of the night came from indie-rock quartet VCR. In the past year the band have won the 2019 Youth Music Best Original Track Award for their song Circles and been busy on the local live scene. They picked the pace up nicely, playing an energy filled set, even managing to switch up their usual roles to allow some rapping from the drummer. More live dates and new music are on the cards for 2020.

And so to Fast Trains, the brainchild of Tom Wells playing here with a full band to add an extra dimension to the songs in a live setting. As the warm melodies of Measure by Measure fill the room, it feels like we’re watching a much longer established act, the work that has gone into producing the tracks is obvious and there’s a happy mix of tempo and momentum across the set. It must feel good to play your first gigs to rooms packed full of support – in return the Fast Trains experience lets you temporarily forget that it’s raining outside and just enjoy the summery 60s’ feel of the music and atmosphere. If you don’t get a chance sooner, you can catch Fast Trains performing at Psyched Fest on 2nd May. In the meantime, take a look at the brilliantly matched music and animation created for the project so far.

Keep up with the latest news from all three acts via the links here
Fast Trains  /  VCR  /  Marley Blandford

Words and photos by Siobhan

4th February 2020

Live – Indoor Pets + Gloo + Speakerfreak at The Factory Live (IVW20)

Indoor Pets / Gloo / Speakerfreak, The Factory Live Worthing, 31st January 2020

With so many independent venues closing down it’s great to see things going against the trend in Worthing with a new purpose built live music and club venue in the shape of The Factory Live. Fittingly, on Friday it played host to a trio of bands playing as part of Independent Venue Week – an initiative that continues to promote and support music venues, culminating in a week long celebration of gigs across the country.

First up for this one, locals Speakerfreak pulled in a good early crowd with some clear grunge and indie influences in their material. Busy gigging and with new music in the offing, next up they play a support slot for Dirty Hit protégés King Nun in Brighton on 10th February.

From just along the coast in Littlehampton, grunge-punk trio Gloo are well established on the local live circuit and showed exactly why that’s the case with a tight set of songs old and new, an undercurrent of a sped up version of The Hives shining through the vocal and guitar riffs. Already booked for 2000 Trees in the summer, keep an eye out for more live dates coming through.

Having taken a short break, headliners Indoor Pets are back with a vengeance. Often compared to the likes of Weezer and Hooton Tennis Club, the band seem to have cranked things up a notch and kept energy levels on and off stage high throughout. A confident performance and a batch of certified singalong indie-pop tracks received a warm welcome from the crowd as the band noted that they’d never played in Worthing before. Hopefully, a lot more artists who fall into the same boat will consider stopping off here now that there’s a decent sized venue for them to play at.

Keep up with the latest news from all 3 bands via the links here:
Indoor Pets  /  Gloo   /  Speakerfreak

Words and photos by Siobhan

3rd February 2020

Icebreaker Festival 2020

Icebreaker Festival, Southsea, 25th January 2020

Drawing a long, cold January towards its conclusion, Icebreaker Festival was back with a bang at the weekend, offering up another huge variety of live music from the freshest faces on the local and national scenes. Filling up The Wedgewood Rooms and a fine selection of pubs along Southsea’s Albert Road and Elm Grove, this year’s event certainly seemed to be the busiest so far with crowded rooms from early till late – brilliant to see so much support for new artists and independent venues as always.

Icebreaker is a great place to discover bands and singers who you haven’t seen before; this year starting with some sunny sax-filled pop tunes from Yasmin Natasha at the Edge of the Wedge while next door, Bella Estelle opened up the Wedgewood Rooms’ stage with a confident set full of big pop-rock songs, setting the tone for some huge performances over the day.

Along the road at the Wine Vaults, it was a pleasure to catch the chilled, soulful sounds of The Isle of CC – definitely one to watch.

Doing Littlehampton proud (and it’s usually only the cafe on the beach that can say that), Gloo took the volume up a level or five with their crashing punk antidote to traditional seaside living, making a big impact on the main stage audience.

A scoop for Icebreaker as Fast Trains played their debut at the festival – lots of local support on display for the already award winning project from Tom Wells, ex of Kassassin Street, bringing along some familiar faces to play with him on the day. An accomplished first performance boding well for the future.

Every time LibraLibra play they seem to up their game and another stand out set left the crowd in awe once again. Fabulous to see them on a bigger stage, their heartfelt punk-glam hybrid is just captivating. A very smart booking for any festival – can’t really recommend them highly enough.

Another two bands who are both firm favourites on the local festival scene, Drusila gave their usual energy filled performance and The Howlers never disappoint live – check them both out if you have the chance.

Locals The Stone Birds’ reputation is steadily building and they  definitely squeezed one of the biggest crowds of the day into the Wine Vaults. Their blend of 60s’ tinged blues and rock sets them apart from a lot of other new bands and, with new music and live dates pending, it will be interesting to see how things develop for them. Certainly on this occasion the big crowd was well deserved.

Closing the Edge of the Wedge stage, Currls brought some solid indie grunge tracks and a fitting party atmosphere to end the night on a high note.

Hot on the heels of this weekend’s success, Icebreaker have announced that there will be a new summer event – stick a star on 18th July in your diary and keep an eye on the website for updates…

More from Icebreaker here

Words and photos by Siobhan

28th January 2020

Live – Adam Thorn at The Globe at Hay

Adam Thorn / Nick Thorn – The Globe at Hay, Hay-on-Wye, 18th January 2020

Nestled away in the foothills of the Black Mountains, the Globe at Hay features some of the best local and national unseen talent. On Saturday night it welcomed Adam Thorn, a Welsh singer-songwriter studying a popular music degree in Gloucestershire. Adam’s soulful and acoustic music taste is highlighted in much of his original material and it’s clear to see as he takes inspiration from the likes of Lewis Watson, Nick Mulvey and Lewis Calpaldi. In addition to his headline gig Adam invited his father, Nick Thorn, as support and it’s clear where Adam gets his talented musical genes from!

As Adam continues to write and perform as a solo act, he also produces the lead vocals and guitar for Northern Ruins, a Welsh band who recently took to the main stage of the famous Young People’s Village in the summer of 2019.

Check out our gallery from the evening here…

You can find more from Adam Thorn here

Words and photos by Andrew Barrell

21st January 2020

2020 Vision – Six of the Best

And so as we leave 2019 behind and head into a new year, who should you be keeping your eyes and ears open for in 2020? We’ll be continuing to highlight new music as we discover it; for now here are six of the best bands we saw for the first time this year and would highly recommend…

Deux Furieuses 

With second album My War is Your War firmly on the critically acclaimed shelf, powerhouse duo Deux Furieuses look fully set for bigger things to come. Their songs are confrontational yet accessible and they can play a band twice their size off the stage. Check out the video for Let Them Burn here.

Deux Furieuses

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Dry Cleaning 

While spoken word has taken centre stage this year with many bands, there is something different about Dry Cleaning’s sardonic compositions and delivery – captivating live, their debut EP Sweet Princess was released in August. Catch their take on the changing face of the monarchy with Magic of Meghan below.

Dry Cleaning

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Italia 90

Keeping the spirit of punk alive with a glut of dirty guitar breaks, Italia 90 have been building their material and stage presence for some time now. The result is an unexpected melee of brash social commentary with tunes that will stick around in your head for a long, long time. Latest EP Italia 90 III is available now; listen to Road to Hell here.

Italia 90

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Lazarus Kane

In September, Lazarus Kane burst into our psyche with scorching track Narcissus, an indicator of plenty more genre-crossing tracks full of electro disco beats and a faux southern drawl all adding to the creation of the artist’s character. The music alone is enough to muster intrigue as to what comes next – listen to Narcissus here.

Lazarus Kane

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The Ninth Wave

The ethereal world of The Ninth Wave is definitely worth taking a plunge into. With double vocals and synth-laden guitar riffs calling The Cure and Magazine to mind, their live sets are a compelling experience. Their status is heading skywards with debut album Infancy cementing their reputation as an accomplished and innovative act to be reckoned with. Check out the video for Human Behaviour here.

The Ninth Wave

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Walt Disco

To close the list an absolute gem of a band, Walt Disco grab the very best of 80s’ glitz and glamour and take it to a new sharp-edged level of flamboyance both musically and theatrically. There are undeniable echoes of the past with notes of The Associates and Siouxsie / Budgies’s kitscher side project The Creatures, and a live performance that you’ll miss at your peril. Watch the video for recent single Dancing Shoes below and keep this band very firmly on your radar.

Walt Disco

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Words and photos by Siobhan

30th December 2019

Live – Slug Money at Acapulco Bar

Slug Money, Acapulco Bar Portsmouth, 20th December 2019

We get lots of feedback on Breaking Glass saying that people use the site to find new music so here’s a little early Christmas present for you…

Slug Money are born from the depths of the Portsmouth music scene, a relatively small area which nonetheless boasts several growing festivals and a host of independent venues. With a chaos filled performance split between the stage and the crowd and an assault by a wall of vociferous guitars and drums, Slug Money are not a band you’ll forget easily, or want to. They have an energy reminiscent of early Stooges with some added humour and, as Iggy Pop himself once said, ‘What some people would call antics I would just call a good show’. Despite the disarray, make no mistake that their ability is assured given their past ventures – if you’ve ever chanced upon Melt Dunes, Make Them All Smile or Violet Mud then you’ll be pleased to see some familiar faces back in action. Having already supported the likes of Japanese TV, Flamingods and The Wants, things look pretty auspicious for the band. Keep an eye out for live dates and prepare for your senses to be whipped.

Here’s our gallery from their set at Acapulco Bar on Friday…

You can find Slug Money here

Words and photos by Siobhan

23rd December 2019