GIG – Benjamin Francis Leftwich at The Wedgewood Rooms -Wednesday 15th March 2017

benjamin-francis-leftwichBenjamin Francis Leftwich (born 4 September 1989) is an English singer-songwriter from York. Leftwich released his first album ‘Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm in 2011 which peaked at #35 on the UK charts. In February 2016 he announced his next album ‘After the Rain’ on his Facebook page, set to release on 19 August 2016.

Leftwich began playing at the age of ten and grew up listening to The Rolling Stones and Nina Simone; later discovering Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, and Elliott Smith. He cites Arcade Fire, Ryan Adams, and Bruce Springsteen as inspirations

Leftwich’s debut album, the Ian Grimble-produced Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm, was released in July 2011. The Fly called it “a majestic debut” The Skinny, while the Sunday Express called it “lovely”. Hazel Sheffield, writing in The Guardian, gave it a 3/5 rating, as did David Pollock, writing for The Scotsman, who drew comparisons to Damien Rice and José González. 

Leftwich’s “Shine” was named Spotify’s most addictive track of 2014, the most repeat-played song of the year. In 2015, Benjamin Francis Leftwich co-wrote “Grow” with British artist Frances which featured in the Amazon UK TV advert.


GIG – Calm of Zero at The Railway Inn – Thursday 23rd April 2015

calm of zeroAn idea that has yet to fully evolve, would be one way of describing CALM of ZERO. A star crossed love-child, born out of the ashes of their former incarnation as Echobelly, could be another.

Either way, what has come to exist is an expression of songwriting energy which has honed it’s temperament away from the current Pop Factor/X Idol by numbers singalonga blandness and chosen a mellifluous subtlety, rare today, as its agenda.

ACOUSTIC SESSIONS 1 is the title of their first musical outing, a mini album of six songs, recorded in London with a six string guitar, a twelve string guitar and the barest of embellishments.

The idea is to evolve into a full band, but they as yet have to do so. The idea is to record a full album, but they as yet have to do so. Instead, here is a chance to hear the Calm before the Storm: CALM of ZERO.

From The Railway Inn’s website

GIG – Courtney Barnett at The Joiners – Tuesday 20th May

courtney barnett“Barnett is a storytelling twenty-something singer/songwriter from Melbourne who writes matter-of-fact tales that unspool like barstool revelations and sound like some hybrid of Kimya Dawson and Kurt Cobain.” – Rolling Stone.

Welcome to the world of Courtney Barnett, a hot, hazy place where suburban banalities and mindless procrastination have never sounded so compelling.

The 26-year-old Melbourne-based singer has a nurtured a growing legion of devotees through a series of DIY releases that have been re-released worldwide to snowballing acclaim. Single’s “Avant Gardener” and “History Eraser” are vivid displays of her magic. Hook-laden fugs of country roots and discordant psychedelia with dream-like narratives.

Courtney is nominated for NME’s Best New Band at the 2014 NME Awards while and her sprawling, rocking live shows have seen her sell out tours in the UK, USA and back home in Australia

From The Joiners Website

GIG – John Power at The Cellars at Eastney – Sunday 13th April 2014

john powerJohn Timothy Power (born 14 September 1967 in Allerton, Liverpool) is an English singer-songwriter and musician. Power achieved commercial success as the bass guitarist and secondary vocalist for The La’s from 1986 to 1991, and later as the frontman of Cast during the Britpop movement of the mid-1990s.

Following the split of Cast in 2001, John Power embarked on a solo career. Power has since reunited with The La’s in 2005 and Cast in 2010 and they released the album “Troubled Times” in March 2012.

Having previously struggled to find a permanent bass players since their formation, The La’s recruited then 18 year old John Power in July 1986 after he met Mike Badger at a course for unemployed musicians. Whilst still quite inexperienced on bass guitar, Power was mentored by Lee Mavers (a former bass player himself) and the core trio of Mavers, Badger and Power rehearsed and performed extensively until December 1986 when Badger left the band. The La’s fanbase grew rapidly after the arrival of Power and the group recorded some of the demos which helped them gain a record deal the following year.

For the remainder of The La’s’ history, the band’s line-up would change frequently with a constant duo of Lee Mavers (guitar, vocals) and John Power (bass, backing vocals) and various other guitarists and drummers. Power played on the band’s early singles “Way Out” (1987) and “There She Goes” (1988) and was part of the recording of the band’s debut album The La’s released in 1990.

Whilst in The La’s, John Power emerged as a songwriter himself and two Power-written songs “Alright” and “Follow Me Down” were performed live by the band during 1991. Following increased tension between Power and Lee Mavers, John Power left The La’s in December 1991 and he went on to form Cast the following year.

It was then announced in 2005, that The La’s were to reform for a series of headline and festival appearances in the UK, Ireland and Japan. Following these gigs and with no sign of new La’s material, Power returned to his solo career.

Power released the John Leckie produced solo album, Happening for Love in June 2003. Power would later comment on the album that ““after the demise of Cast, I was still writing Cast-like tracks, but without the verve I had when I believed in it.

Since the La’s reformation, Power has gone on to release 2 further solo albums, more in the acoustic folk vein on his own Tanuki Tanuki label, Willow She Weeps in October 2006 and Stormbreaker in January 2008. From 2006 to 2009, Power performed live with The John Power Band featuring backing musicians Jay Lewis (bass, slide guitar) and Steve Pilgrim (drums). Oli Hughes replaced Pilgrim as drummer after he left to play with Paul Weller.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

GIG – Johnny Flynn and The Sussex Wit at The Wedgewood Rooms – Tuesday 8th April 2014

johnny flynnJohnny Flynn (born 14 March 1983) is a South African born English musician and actor. He is the frontman of the folk-rock band Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit. As an actor he is credited as Joe Flynn, due to the fact that there was already another actor registered as “Johnny Flynn”.

Flynn was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, the son of Eric Flynn and Caroline Forbes. From his father’s first marriage he has two older half-brothers, actorsJerome Flynn and Daniel Flynn, and an older sister, Kerry Flynn, and from his Father’s second marriage, a younger sister, Lillie Flynn, who sings with the Sussex Wit. At the age of three he moved with his family to Hampshire, England, fleeing South Africa after apartheid-supporters murdered his mother’s cousin and her husband, a mixed-race couple, for lending support to the African National Congress.

He attended Winchester College where he sang in the chapel choir and was required, due to his music scholarship, to learn two instruments: the violin and trumpet. Later, he would teach himself guitar and win a second music scholarship to the Bedales School.

In 2005, Flynn was one of Screen International’s Stars Of Tomorrow. He is best known for his starring role of Dolf Vega in the film Crusade in Jeans (2006). He had smaller parts in television series Murder in SuburbiaHolby City and Kingdom.

Flynn has performed in Propeller’s all-male Shakespeare troupe, playing Curtis (The Taming of the Shrew) and Sebastian (Twelfth Night) in the 2007 season. He has also performed in several other plays including Richard Bean’s play The Heretic at the Royal Court Theatre (2011).  Johnny Flynn was cast in the role of Lee in Jerusalem, Jez Butterworth’s hit play, for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award for best supporting actor. In summer of 2012, Flynn appeared in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre’s productions of Richard the Third, as Lady Anne, opposite Jerusalem co-star Mark Rylance and then as Viola/Cesario in the Globe’s production of Twelfth Night with Rylance as well. The productions transferred to the Apollo Theatre in the West End until February 2013. Flynn is currently playing the lead in Bruce Norris’ new play at The Low Road.

In 2013, Flynn was cast in Song One, a film starring Anne Hathaway. Flynn plays a musician by the name of James Forrester, who becomes involved with Hathaway’s character, following an accident involving her brother.

Flynn has released several studio albums and plays folk-influenced songs of his own composition.

GIG – Young Rebel Set at The Joiners – Thursday 27th February 2014

young rebel setYoung Rebel Set are an English Indie Rock band from the North East of England. They formed in Stockton-on-Tees in 2007.

The band comprises of Matthew Chipchase (vocals & acoustic), Luke Evans (drums), Mark Evans (electric guitar), Andrew Parmley (electric guitar) and Chris Parmley (bass). Former members include David Coombe (harmonica) and Patrick Jordan (electric guitar).They have been classed as ”life affirming graft rock” by the NME. They take inspiration from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash, Dire Straits and The Pogues.

The band met after an impromptu gig at Stockton KuBar and Young Rebel Set came to fruition in the winter of the same year. They signed to Ignition Records, home of music heavyweights Oasis on 11th February 2011following several self-released singles. They toured the UK in 2008 and 2009, including slots supporting The Coral, The Pigeon Detectives and The Courteeners.

In August 2009 they were championed by the NME as “the perfect antidote to cold careerist indie” in a two-page spread in the magazine’s RADAR feature, shortly before the release of their debut single ‘If I Was’.The second single ‘Walk On’ followed in November. It received support on BBC Radio 1 via DJs Annie Mac and Huw Stephens. The band toured the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Holland in February and March 2010.

Their 4th release was the “Won’t Get Up Again” EP which was released in May 2010.‘Measure of a Man’ followed in October 2010 and featured ‘This is England’s’ Jo Hartly in the accompanying music video. Their debut album “Curse Our Love” was released by Ignition Records in the UK in April 2011 and by Independent record label Grand Hotel van Cleef in Germany in May 2011.

In May 2011 the band recorded an interview session with Dermot O’Leary for BBC Radio 2, followed by airplay of their single “Lions Mouth” which succeeded the album release. During this time the band also recorded a live Maida Vale session for Steve Lamacq’s 6music show. “Red Bricks”, the final single to be taken from the album was released in August 2011.

‘Crocodile’, the band’s second album, was recorded in Glasgow at Chem19 Studios with producer (and former Delgado’s drummer) Paul Savage, best known for his work with Mogwai, The Phantom Band & Arab Strap, in early 2013.They spent most of the autumn/winter promoting the album in Germany, where it was released by Grand Hotel Van Cleef. They played a homecoming gig to more than 600 fans at Middlesbrough Town Hall in December 2013

The second single to be taken from the album was ‘Tuned Transmission’ and was released in March 2014.

In November 2013 the band announced they will tour the UK in February and headline the Stockton Calling Festival on 30th March.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

GIG – Paper Aeroplanes at The Cellars at Eastney – Tuesday 26th November 2013

paper aeroplanesPaper Aeroplanes are an alternative pop band from West Wales formed around 2009, although both members have played together since 2005. Their fanbase has been built up around early years gigging in Cardiff and UK wide after extensive touring.

Formerly part of Cardiff-based band Halflight, Richard Llewellyn and Sarah Howells, from Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire respectively, make music that has been compared to Fleetwood Mac, Suzanne Vega, The Sundays, Lisa Loeb and The Cranberries. The BBC described them as “a west coast, easy-riding, folkish indie with a pop sensibility”, and The Guardian as “disarming, breezy pop that’s tinged with melancholy”.

Llewellyn was also formerly a member of Cartoon, while Howells was part of rock/riot grrrl band Jylt. At the end of 2008 they joined forces with the Autonomy Music Group.

In January 2009 they worked with John Reynolds (Sinéad O’Connor, Andrea Corr) on two singles that were taken from their album The Day We Ran Into the Sea, which was released in 2010, and described by the BBC’s Adam Walton as “‘pop’ music: brilliantly crafted and stoked from a bruised heart’s embers”. BBC Radio Wales described it as “the finest radio album to come out of Wales since Rockferry“.

The band have featured on Bob Harris’s BBC Radio 2 show, being interviewed by Harris and performing a live session. They have also recorded a live video session for the BBC.

Immediately prior to the release of their album We Are Ghosts in March 2011, the band used local independent coffee shops to publicise their music. A limited edition 4-track CD was produced and these were given away at each of 12 of the band’s favorite cafés, in exchange for the purchase of food at the venue. In this way the cafés also benefited from the publicity.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia