The Irrepressibles – Mirror Mirror

Posted by Sophie Stratford | Posted in Album, Independent Music Finds, Other, Sophie Stratford | Posted on 17-12-2009

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The flamboyant, fantastical and unfathomable Irrepressibles are set to release their stunning new debut album Mirror Mirror. Led by composer and artist Jamie McDermott, the band are a ten piece performance orchestra that, through the power of their instruments can transport and transfix, break moulds and collide worlds.

The Irrepressibles

Fusing European orchestration with pop melodies and soaring cathartic vocals, Mirror Mirror is a theatrical, playful and emotionally passionate album. From the dramatic opener My Friend Jo to the galloping rhythms of Anvil, from the yearning echoes of Forget The Past through to the intensely intimate In This Shirt, the album is a beautifully constructed exploration of McDermott’s stories of love, anger, lust and loss.

The Irrepressibles sound has been compared to early David Bowie and Kate Bush however Mirror Mirror is quite unlike anything you have heard before. As the album unfolds there is so much more to discover, enchanting musical offerings that hold surprises at every turn.

Released 11th January 2010.

By Sophie Stratford

OOiZiT.com – Tom Fearn “The music industry’s next big problem.”

Posted by Sophie Stratford | Posted in Independent Music Finds, Sophie Stratford | Posted on 21-11-2009

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Sophie Stratford talks to Tom Fearn founder of OOiZiT.com and the music industry’s next big problem.

The record industry is undergoing a paradigm shift in the 21st century, and the latest stage of evolution has arrived – in the form of new music platform OOiZiT.com. The site offers unsigned artists the chance to have a hit. OOiZiT.com combines the capabilities of sites such as Spotify, MySpace Music, iTunes, Reverb Nation, Twitter and Facebook under one banner, but with a key difference: the ability to propel users into the charts. On OOiZiT.com, musicians can not only build an online following, but sell direct to them – and see those sales count towards official chart positions. No record deal, publisher or ‘middle men’ necessary. Never before has the route from bedsit to stardom been so direct.

OOiZiT.com already has grown over 900% since it launched on a trial basis earlier this year, going fully live on the 12th November 09. One of its members, rapper Alex Blood, has already used it as a launch pad and gone on to tour with Mark Ronson and Jay-Z and attracted major label interest.

Explain briefly, exactly what is OOiZiT in a nutshell?

It’s a social network for new UK music artists. Basically you sign up, create a profile and an online presence. The site acts as sales platform for them; so they are able to sell and market their own tracks and material all through one site.

How is it different from other music sites?

There are a couple of main differences, one is that is it 100% music focused, it’s a sales site (if you sign up to the Premium account £9.97 per month) and those sales count towards official chart positions. This is quite a big step forward for the music industry and unsigned artists alike. It’s hugely exciting to think that someone could put together a track in their bedroom one week and hear it on the radio the next, with no need to sign any rights or seek a corporate stamp of approval.

Also how is it similar to social networking sites, like Myspace, Facebook etc?

Yes it is, people can create profiles, have bios, events news and just build an online community, and make friends with the people already in our community. We’ve utilised all the social networking elements, (the parts you need to utilise) but also added our own features.

How popular is the site already?

Well we have only been launched for a week or so but we are growing quite rapidly. We have already through our BETA testing throughout out the last few months got about 1200 music artists and bands on there at the moment. Obviously we have only just started to push it out there. We’re doing a lot of work offline too just to try and help artists.

Is it successful?

Anybody can sign up to the site for free, but in order to sell their music they have to upgrade to our premium package – £9.97 per month, we have about 20 people on this at the moment, however bear in mind we haven’t been launched that long at all. However, people are already selling their tracks, we made our first two pay outs over the last week or two, one for £70 and one for £60, which is a lot of money for an unsigned band to earn in a week. It is proving a success.

Is this wholly a British site or can artists overseas access it?

It’s completely focused on UK artists; it’s all about UK music. With all the social networks you go onto you are in amongst the masses, so this is specifically targeted towards the UK.

What kinds of ways do you promote the artists?

Each month a featured artist who we think deserves that extra bit of exposure is selected to benefit from OOiZiT’s promotional machine. This artist is placed on the home page of the site. Also we help bands with whatever they want to achieve, that being a record deal or to record a new album. OOiZiT.com gives music artists help and advice about the music industry, dealing with PR issues, record companies and contracts. OOiZiT is a more in depth service than just putting up your profile on a site, we really do engage with our community. We also have a whole resources section on the site which anyone can access, it gives top line information in the industry; where’s it going, how to plan your first gig etc, things bands don’t necessarily know of the top of their heads. We go that extra mile.

So, what’s the future of OOiZiT?

We want to get much more out of what we can do offline for the bands and help to promote their gigs awareness, and this is going to come with getting more people on the site and engaging with them much more on the community and building the community. Similarly we really want to make a big success through the site as well, we will be searching for the next big stars, and we want to prove that artists can get successful without having to rely on the major labels.

Interview By Sophie Stratford

Fighting Fiction – A Lesser of Two Evils

Posted by Sophie Stratford | Posted in Album, Independent Music Finds, Rock, Sophie Stratford | Posted on 14-11-2009

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Fighting Fiction’s debut EP ‘A Lesser Of Two Evils’ is a powerful collision of indie rock guitar riffs, reggae tinged punk and socially aware lyrics. These are songs written with anger and sung with an amazing passion.

The Bristol based foursome evoke an honest and fundamentally English sound that is reminiscent of the brooding reggae guitar hooks of The Clash, the lyrical and vocal delivery of Billy Bragg and more recently the sing-a-long sensibilities of The King Blues. A buoyant energy shines throughout the album and the sheer youthfulness of gang vocal infused choruses and hook lines show the listener these songs are made to be sung back at them.

Fighting Fiction

Released 16th November 2009.

By Sophie Stratford

Interview Codeine Velvet Club – Jon Lawler 03/11/09

Posted by Sophie Stratford | Posted in Independent Music Finds, Other, Rock, Sophie Stratford | Posted on 10-11-2009

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Sophie Stratford talks to Jon Lawler, front man of Codeine Velvet Club and The Fratelli’s.

Codeine Velvet Club are the sensational new band featuring chief Fratelli Jon Lawler and Glasgow chanteuse Lou Hickey. The musical collaboration celebrates Jon and Lou’s shared love of ’60s girl-boy duets, dramatic orchestral pop, and dark post-war Hollywood romanticism.  Their debut single “Vanity Kills” will be released on the 23rd November and their eponymously titled album will be released on the 28th December.

Coedine Velvet Club

What are the main things that influenced you for the new single, Vanity Kills?

Just basic elements of my life, it’s nothing new. If you listen to quite a lot of material you pick and choose different aspects. This single follows onto the album and it’s just another part of my record collection.

How could you describe the band’s sound to someone that has never heard of you before?

I just hope it’s exciting enough.

What can we expect from Codeine Velvet Club compared to The Fratelli’s?

To me it’s totally different. We’re somewhat what others will be. Codeine Velvet Club are a bit smarter dressed I suppose, but there’s got to be more than that. The band has definitely taken on a life of its own that I didn’t expect. When we played our first show in Glasgow I got a bit of a shock at how different the live show panned out from what I’d imagined it would be. I can’t think of anyone coming to see us and being underwhelmed, we could see the confusion in people’s faces the first night we played and I guess nobody was sure what to expect. At the end when you see that difference is what makes it all worthwhile.

What’s the best thing about being in a band?

It’s great, you just play guitar with your friends and drink tea all day long. It’s the best job in the world for somebody who thinks about music all the time. There is nothing better, nothing can even come close to this, and it’s not even about the money. You’re just in control of everything.

Has this new band opened up new musical doors for you?

Nope not at all it’s just as I said another part of my record collection. Putting a band together from scratch isn’t always the easiest thing to do, the personalities are really important and I’ve definitely learnt that.

What are you looking forward to most about the tour?

I just can’t wait to get out there and play. Tours are great when you’re releasing a new record because there is normally hype over the radio or press but you don’t really have control over that, but when playing live you do. Playing live is the most important because you’re in control and it’s your part.

What do you want people to gain out of listening to your music?

If people are looking for something that’s not your usual sweaty bunch of guys on the stage playing guitars then that’s us. We’re alternative.

What’s the best thing about being on tour?

It’s just like being a 12 year old. It’s a ridiculous way to live your life, just travelling around on a bus with your friends and all you have to do is a play a show at night. Not a day goes by when I haven’t laughed about it, whether I’m having good days or bad days. At least once a day I just like to stop and think it’s pretty hilarious, especially on tour.

What artists would you love to perform with?

God plenty but I’m really lucky that since The Fratelli’s I’ve had a chance to play with loads of people, even heroes of my dad. I always watch us performing on YouTube it still makes me laugh that we did those things. I remember when we supported The Police, when they did the tour of the States, these things always come up again if you wait around long enough for them.

What can we expect next from Codeine Velvet Club?

If I’m still working and we’re still out there playing for people I know it’s going okay. I don’t even really know what to expect from it. It makes it a bit more exciting.

Interview by Sophie Stratford

Stereophonics – Keep Calm and Carry On

Posted by Sophie Stratford | Posted in Album, Independent Music Finds, Rock, Sophie Stratford | Posted on 28-10-2009

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KeepcalmandcarryonStereophonics are set to release their new album Keep Calm and Carry On, which was written by lead vocalist Kelly Jones. With 11 top 5 singles, 21 top 20′s and five consecutive No. 1 albums Stereophonics have stood the test of time to become one of Britain’s biggest bands.

The title of the album Keep Calm and Carry On, is a message taken from a World War II propaganda poster, and its 12 gems of intelligent, sharply crafted, melodic storytelling, have taken the band in some surprising and extremely enjoyable new directions.

It’s the punchy hooks, dynamic percussion and the voice of Kelly Jones which have put the band on the map, and their new album takes this agitated, upbeat vibe to a new level. The record is full of grunge-infused Summer tracks that are a welcomed vibe. Keep Calm and Carry On takes Stereophonics to new depths, they have introduced new synth to the old sounds of rock and roll and have come out with an album full of passion and individualism.

Released 16th November 2009.

By Sophie Stratford