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Drenge Interview

Image shows Drenge live at a gig

Photo:Paul Cantrell

Originating from the quiet hills of the Hope Valley, Derbyshire, Drenge are a two man noise-rock outfit, that are tearing up venues across the British gig circuit.

Since laying their first gig to a packed out house party in September of 2010, brothers Eoin (Guitar/Vocals) and Rory Loveless(Drums) have exploded onto the rock scene, earning themselves a support slot on the Mystery Jets November 2012 UK tour.

The pair have also landed themselves a gig at the trendy London HQ of Vice magazine-The Old Blue Last.

Début single “people in love, make me feel yuck” is an aural assault of abrasive guitar licks and chaotic drums, Eoins vocal delivery is incredibly intensive and powerful. It is comparable to the sounds of such classic US punk acts as the Stooges.

The Lo-Fi aesthetic transfers to their DIY videos, which include the lads causing shenanigans in a Sheffield home ware store, and in a phone box.

Image Shows the band Members posing by a 4x4

Photo:Drenge

LMS had the opportunity to speak to drummer Rory Loveless, earlier this week, here is how it went:

How did the band begin?

We’ve played music together since we were young, learning piano, playing Keane covers to empty village halls and got bored enough to start doing our own stuff.

What was your first gig as Drenge, and which gig has been your favorite?

Our first gig was at the Redhouse in Sheffield, which was completely empty except for a space metal enthusiast who dressed like a wizard. It was a baptism by fire.

Favourite gig has to be when we played the Devil’s Arse cavern, this huge cave right outside our house, cos we didn’t have to get on a bus to Sheffield with our gear and it was in a cave!

Who would you say are your main influences musically?

I don’t know, we’re just finding new stuff all the time and now and then a song comes through. I’ve been listening to Goat’s new album, Temples and the SSX Tricky Soundtrack.

You have just finished doing a few dates with the Mystery Jets, how did that go?

I don’t think we were what their crowd was expecting but it was so much fun, we got to play the Ritz in Manchester which is massive!
Could you tell us a bit about your next release?

Hopefully we’ll get the next track up in mid February…. We’re lazy though. But we want to put it up as much as you do or don’t

Finally, any plans to play in Lincoln in the new year?

Nothing in the diary, but I’ve got a lot of time for Lincoln. I heard it’s got the tallest cathedral in the world, which is quite impressive.

Thanks Rory.

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Christmas Number One

James Arthur

photo: xfactor.itv.com

It is that time of year again when the UK single with the most copies sold in the week of Christmas is named the Christmas number one.

In the past, songs such as novelty, charity and songs from winners of talent shows have received the title however it is always an anticipating occasion when the top 40 is revealed on the radio.

Traditionally the levels of record sales peak more so than any other time of the year and in the past the Christmas number one has been the best selling single of the year. The sales are recorded and based on weekend sale totals.

Since 2002 the number one has been dominated by talent show winners, ever since the programme Popstars: The rivals contestants released three top singles on the chart. For five years, 2005-2010, the Christmas number one has been dominated by the song released by the winner of the talent show The X-Factor, with the exception of 2009 where the facebook campaign to overturn the winner, Joe McElderry, was successful and the 1992 single “Killing in the name of” won the title.

Last year the winners of The Choir, The Military Wives feat Gareth Malone, took the number one spot, beating the X Factor winners Little Mix with the song Wherever You Are.

This year bookies are already taking bets on who will get the number one spot, with the favourite being the X Factor winner James Arthur, who has achieved the title of most explosive X Factor opening sales, ever. Another favourite to win is the cover addition of the song The Power of Love sung by Gabrielle Aplin, of which is featured on the heart-warming advert by John Lewis.

The only thing certain is this year there is no clear winner and we could be in for a surprise.

Ben Howard – The Burgh Island EP Review

UK acoustic sensation Ben Howard has released a new EP on iTunes.

A black and white close up shot of Ben Howard on stage

Ben Howard playing at The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh. Photo: The Queen’s Hall

The Burgh Island EP is a follow-up to hit album Every Kingdom, released in 2010, which featured such hits as Keep Your Head Up, Only Love and Old Pine.

The new EP resonates Ben’s unique acoustic sound, combining soft, husky melodies alongside soulful guitar riffs. This 4 track release is a perfect wintery soundtrack, with an intimate feel to it,

First track on the record, Esmarelda, is a slow downbeat tune, with the conventional deep-hitting lyrics that Ben always produces

Oats in the Water is a little more upbeat and up-tempo by comparison. However, Ben still sticks to his roots, and does what he knows best, packing a punch in his lyrics.

Third on the album is To Be Alone, has a very eerie vibe to it, with sounds of echoes and wails seeming to start the track. However, it soon cheers up into an upbeat track, worthy of a place in the charts.

Burgh Island, is the 8 minute finale to the 4-track EP. However, it is vintage Ben Howard, mixing his melodic voice with his pure skill on guitar. The accompaniment of Monica Hendal adds another dimension to the song, as their voices complement each other so well.

Overall this EP is well worth its price [£3.96 – iTunes] and a listen to over these winter months.

The Band Crusade

An image of the Band Crusade finalists, The Lounge CrusadeEvery Christmas we see the charts being dominated by singing competitions and cheesy pop. This year three lads from Sheffield wanted to campaign against this by getting an unsigned act from the UK to Christmas number one “we want to give the public a wider choice of alternative music”.

For the past twelve months The Band Crusade have been searching for the best unsigned bands around the country. They narrowed it down to the top 100, and left it to the public to vote for their favourites. The voting, which is free to the public has been running since July and will end on December 1st.

The Lounge Crusade is an all boy band from Lincoln who were picked to be in the top 100. After months of campaigning and gigging the boys have managed to make it to the final 20.

To gain as many votes as they can, the band have been campaigning in Lincoln by appearing on Lincs FM and BBC Radio Lincolnshire. They also performed at the Lincoln City Football club on bonfire night. As well as gigging and interviewing they’ve been connecting through Twitter and Facebook.

Over the past six months the band has been gigging around the country to develop their fan base. They’ve played in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Scotland and have been supporting the likes of Tinchy Stryder and The Seahorses.

The boys describe their music as an ‘alternative mainstream sound’. All their lyrics come from personal experiences. Their aim is to get into the UK Top 40.

The winners single will be released on December 1st. From then it’s more campaigning for the bands to get into the UK charts.

 

Awooga DJ Competition

Flyer advertising the Dj competition

Photo: Awooga

You wouldn’t expect to find such a high quality dance music collective in Lincoln, considering the scene is usually dominated by tacky “chart and cheese” tunes.

However, Awooga has managed to expose a valuable niche in the underground market.

Started by a group of friends in early 2011, Awooga is an organisation with a difference. Maintaining a strong visual element to go with the nature of the music, the graphic design work would not look out of place at London’s Fabric.

They also support local talent in the area, and this event was a showcase of some of the best new DJs on the scene. The winners were Jack Drake and Adam Bennett, who “showed enthusiasm and bravery with track selection”.

DJs from the city competed against each other at Dogma, for a slot at the next club event. Punters were treated to a variety of diverse sounds, ranging from soulful deep house, ecstatic electro and abrasive dub-step records.

Image shows a DJ playing at an Awooga event

Photo: Awooga

With the success of other nights promoting underground sounds such as Moda (fronted by respected radio 1 DJs and Ibiza playboys Jaymo and Andy George) it seems as though the Lincoln club scene could soon grow to rival that of music metropolitan heavyweights such as Manchester and Birmingham.

Catch them at:

http://awooga.eu/
http://www.facebook.com/AwoogaEvents

Lincoln Live Lounge

Josh performing at Lincoln’s Live Lounge

The final performances for the ‘Lincoln Live Lounge’ were on Monday 29th October. I went along to see Josh and the other finalists.

The club was filled with pumpkins, leaves, and a giant stuffed wolf along with cobwebs hanging from the ceiling and all over the bar, it had a really spooky feel to it.

There was an open space surrounded by tables and chairs where the finalists would perform. The lighting was dim which really added to the atmosphere, perfect for live music. On each table there was a glass of jelly sweets, to give it more of a festive feel and cocktails were two for one, which is never a bad thing.

The performances started around 9 o’clock. Josh sang first. He introduced himself and started with Bob Dylan – ‘Watchtower’, everyone was joining in and showing their support, each finalist performed a total of five songs each. Josh finished the first part with Outkast – ‘Roses’, which  he smashed.

Before all the votes were taken in each finalist performed one last song. Josh definitely saved the best song until last, City and Colour – Body in a box. As well as playing the guitar and singing, he played the harmonica. It’s such a beautiful song and the room was silent listening to every word he sang.

When all the votes had been counted, the finalists stood at the front of the room and it got announced from third place to first. Josh, who finished third won a gift voucher for the club as did second place, the winner won £1000 pound.

Breaker Smashes Accelerate Conference

Rafael Fernandes a.k.a. Breaker performed on Saturday October 20th at the Accelerate conference, held at New Life church, Lincoln.

Originally from Nottingham, Breaker moved to Lincoln last year on a year-out scheme run through New Life, helping with Energize, the churches’ youth set-up. However, youth work is not Rafael’s main career path, instead the 19 year old makes his living off of selling records.

However, Breaker is no ordinary MC. As a Christian, he mixes his faith with his talent, and writes his songs about his journey with God, and the trials and tribulations he faces in this.

Rafael started writing his material about 3 and a half years ago, before he became a Christian. The change between the lyrics and their meanings is immeasurable he said. He started taking his music seriously when he came to faith, around 3 years ago. From there he has been on the rise, becoming more well-known and releasing material.

Breaker got signed to the record label GL360 in October 2011, and has come a long way since. Gospel Link [GL360] is the UK’s biggest urban gospel record label, and helped him produced his 5-track EP Re:Loaded, which was released earlier this year. Rafael has also released his own 11 track album, My God’s Real, in 2011, but wasn’t as popular as the new EP. Each track from Re:Loaded features other up-and-coming artists in the Christian music world, which to him seems a natural thing to do, saying ‘I wanna help people as I was helped.’

As well as helping him with his music, Breaker says GL360 have also helped him massively on his spiritual journey with God. He says they [GL360] don’t just care about the music, but care about the artists as people, and their relationship with God. This can be seen in Breaker’s Affinity promotional video, which can be seen here.

Breaker is set to perform alongside other artists signed by GL360, including Ni Sheng and Treblez, at the Affinity concert, on  November 24th at The Drum, Birmingham. The night will also see the launch of Lift 2, a project which incorporates an album with a track from all of the artists signed to the label.

However, Breaker’s latest performance was certainly one to treasure. He opened the Accelerate evening conference performing to a crowd of around 150 youths, which travelled from all over the midlands to attend the evening of worship and praise.

Performing songs from both his own, self-produced album and his EP, the crowd hyped off of his energetic performance, and a buzz could be sensed around the place. After his short, but impeccable set, Breaker joined the Accelerate band, as part of the vocalists, and performed a variety of songs alongside Emily, Sam, Ben, Jarryd, Billy and Mikhael.

After a half hour set by the Accelerate Band, the focus of the night went back to rapping and urban music, as MOBO award winner Guvna B [real name Isaac Borquaye] took to the stage. He also performed for around 30 minutes, leaving the crowd pleased by ending on his big viral hit ‘Kingdom Skank’.

The Accelerate conference is set to meet again in the new-year.

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