Vestige

Vestige is the alt-indie duo from Portsmouth in England of Lewis Brown and Paul Matthews.

Vestige - alt-indie from England

Vestige

Glittering guitar with a shoegazey feel shimmers across the room whilst a resounding anchor of percussion firmly tethers the music into the ground as a vocal draws the heart out of the material. The compositions are superbly structured and Vestige produce a sound I could happily stay with for some considerable time.

The tracks have a depth and lustre to them which glides easily around the head in a warming flow of sound. These are talented music creators with a fine ear for detail which they can convert to delivery, allowing the audience the opportunity to immerse themselves in some top-notch compositions.


Of good fortune is the fact that the duo have just released their début ten track eponymous release. I am still pondering the concept that there are only two players in the band as Vestige build huge pieces of music, which they deliver with the deft-hand of a five piece out-fit. The only consternation being that these creations won’t transfer to stage with just the two players, so it will be interesting to see if they make the transition from the studio with a permanently expanded line-up.

However it develops, I wish Vestige every success and hope to be able to follow their progress for some considerable time. I raise a glass to their self-evident abilities and thank them for adding much to the world of music.

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Mary Joanna & The Southern Electrikk

Mary Joanna & The Southern Electrikk from Manchester in England is the alt-synth collaboration of Mary Joanna (Vocals), Rikki Turner (Keys), Steven Tatji (Bass), Spencer Birtwhistle (Drums), Stephen Evans (Guitar) and Zack Davies (Guitar).

Mary Joanna & The Southern Electrikk - alt-synth from England

Mary Joanna & The Southern Electrikk

Experienced performers and musicians Mary Joanna & The Southern Electrikk have taken little time to get into their stride and I thought it would be of interest to take a few minutes out to consider a sextet with only two tracks available, nary a handful of gigs, but big plans that look set to come to fruition.


As regular readers will know by my recent comments, the emergent sounds of 2014 in the UK have fast evolved into, malcontent dark textures combining the underpinnings of solid rock influences with the floating chambers of  synths, which resonates of a country in flux and implosion and it is the North West – Manchester / Liverpool / Stoke-On-Trent / Sheffield quadrilateral in which this is best found. Mary Joanna & The Southern Electrikk  are perfectly in tune with this movement.

The dreamy synth floats around the room like mist rising from a cold moor on an autumn dawn, as lilting guitars glitter in the shroud and an emphatic bass / percussion combination evokes of hidden menace, whilst tightly binding the head is a vocal which presages the unfolding realities of life.

A new single due out on the 22nd September – Wasted – is something to look forward to. Further ahead an LP is being put together of which You Knew, You Knew has recently appeared.

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The Minx

The Minx from Manchester in England is the new-wave quintet of Chris Haddon (Guitar / Vocals), Andy Evans (Drums), Paul Robinson (Guitar / Backing Vocals), Steven Stuttard (Bass) and Kieran McIntyre (Keys / Backing Vocals).

The Minx - new wave from England

The Minx


Stand up, clear some space and only then hit play as The Minx send charges of voltage through the room which remind me of The Members and The Stranglers which is never a bad thing. This is scruffy music which sits in perfect tune with my continual desire to pogo. It doesn’t however sit as a pastiche of the bands of my playing era, rather a refreshing slice of current diced onions.

The straightforward compositions are stuck in perfect syncopation as The Minx roll out sounds which have a burst of energy along with a consideration of composition and again the synthetics play an integral role in developing the raw rock frisson. Whilst there is an underlying freneticism, which is enhanced by the tightly woven notes, the players deliver the songs with calmness which allows the audience to only concentrate on keeping their own balance as they flail around the room in vague unison with the beats.

I have heard people pay for gym membership – there is no need – just stick on a thread of The Minx.

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Chimpshed A.D.

Chimpshed A.D. is the psychedelic lo-fi duo of Richard Peacock and John Hancock from Wimborne Minster in England.

Chimpshed A.D. psychedelic lofi from England

Chimpshed A.D.

Newly exposed to the wider world within the past year Chimpshed A.D. have warmed the tones of the wandering sounds with the luxury of analogue, which in the age of ‘digital pretty much everything’ is bliss to aged ears like mine. This technique allows the duo to extract the full juice from the notes, which gives the resulting out-put a creamy frothiness in which the listener just wants to settle.


Both the keys and guitar are allowed to spray the room in kaleidoscopes of colours which wash like water-paints on blotting paper. Whilst Chimpshed A.D. allow the notes to meander, the audience is not left in a psychotropic haze, as there is an underlaying steadiness to the compositions which enables the duo to provide music that is fused into finely constructed pieces. Through the tracks a subsumed vocal is provided which plays as though an accompanying instrument adding an extra thread to the compositions rather than a focal point.

A nine track  eponymous LP – is a welcome launching pad for the duo. The tracks all retain the core sound, yet each uniquely spaced, with influences from different genres being given the Chimpshed A.D. treatment and I look forward to hearing more from the duo in short order.

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Fire Island Pines

Fires Island Pines an alt-indie collective from Wadebridge in England is Anton, Andy, Ben, Seamus, Simon and Tom.

Fire Island Pines alt-indie from England

Fire Island Pines

Fire Island Pines bring together jangly pop with trumpets and sympathy to deliver melodic twists and turns of tempered sounds that mercurially flow into the ears. The sextet build their music into generous layers which have a presence that is demanding of attention as the polarities of  the instruments and influences ease across each other in immersive combinations.


The bitter-sweet final product is finely balanced, with the out-put having a hazed delivery, which adds to the sensibilities of the music that Fire Island Pines creates. Despite the numbers of players, there is nothing over reached in the sounds, which find the players ably folding one into the other creating a cohesive sound that has a generous layers for the listener to consider.

As I comment, from time to time, I do always promise to get back to every introduction, though not always in a timely manner and it was back in June 2011 that I received the introduction. Somehow things do marry up as it was only towards the end of last month that Fire Island Pines released their début ten track LP – True Grit (which is available on bandcamp).

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