Junior Bill & The Scallies

Junior Bill & The Scallies from Cardiff in Wales in the ska-hop quintet of Junior Bill (Vocals / Guitar), L-Hyo (Vocals), Joel Beswick (Keyboards), Rory Saunders (Bass) and John Whittles (Drums).

Junior Bill & The Scallies - Ska-Hop from Wales

Junior Bill & The Scallies

Junior Bill & The Scallies deliver bounding music which skips happily around the room. The keys are given wide run-out which lightens the tone of the sound, as the bass is given more of a background effect than may be usually anticipated. The joy of the off-beat is not lost however as the quintet add their own stamp on the style and where appropriate they can pulse the bass as well as anyone.

With a catalogue dating back to 2013 Junior Bill & The Scallies have become more confident over the years in their reflections, which has enabled them to take the music to even broader reference points. The resulting out-put ensuring the audience remains invested in each composition, to find out where they are stepping next, with tracks one moment heavily influenced by hip-hop, the next dub reggae along with other flecks of taste such as rap or samba-funk. Whichever way the material is cut, the ears remain enthralled.

Playing live performance predominately in Wales and the West of England, I hope they gain further traction across more of the UK as well as finding space to play to international audiences as this is music that works without borders. Until such time as they pass your doorstep, the releases, most recently Som Do Brasil, are well worth adding to the ‘reggae mood’ collection.

Inevitably, having mentioned how bass can be softened, I have chosen a track with an enhanced four string as the showcase track.

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Som Do Brasil – Junior Bill & the Scallies is available on iTunes.*

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E S T R O N S based in Cardiff, Wales, is the alt-rock quartet of Taliesyn KällströmHugh ParryJames Keeley and Rhodri Daniel.

E S T R O N S - alt-rock based in Wales


Formed a couple of years ago E S T R O N S have spent much of their time garnering a live audience, playing across much of the country with their darkly dampened bass featuring strongly and as you know a prominent bass is always likely to capture my attention. Guitar glides spectrally across the room adding dichotomies that sheer the ears like sparks from a grinding axe, whilst a precise percussion pulsates inside the brain to which a soaring vocal delivers the furnishing in either Welsh or English excoriating of travails and spurious relationship.

E S T R O N S deliver compositions which captivate the audience with their doom laden temperament which wraps folds around the head whilst in the background muffle lays a beacon of light guiding towards a far off route of escape.

After a short break in which Taliesyn gave birth, they have an almost eponymous single set for release on the 6th April Aliens. Were the band named estroniaid then it would be eponymous, were they called estron and the single alien it would have been too. However, they aren’t and it isn’t –  E S T R O N S, have a new track coming out – called Aliens, that finds them in a more shoegazy moment and why did I mention the birth of a child? Björn makes his début appearance in the closing frames of the accompanying video.

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Aliens – Single – Estrons is available on iTunes.*

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Tarsiers is a psychedelic rock band from Cardiff in Wales, comprising Mike (Guitar / Vocals), Rory (Bass / Vocals) and Jean-Pierre (Drums / Vocals).

Tarsiers - Psychedelic Rock from Wales


In the approaching five years of reviewing new bands there still hasn’t been a duplicate band name, though this and the previous review come pretty close, with only a ‘The’ separating the names, though that one word marks a gulf in musical styles as Tarsiers deliver their melodic psychedelic take on the world.

Echoes are deployed to often give the music an almost stop start animation about it, whilst reverb allows the music to keep flowing forwards. There is much to enjoy here as the trio combine, garage, psychedelia and garage with influences from the the Indian Sub-Continent, providing the audience with much to invest their brains, without it becoming hard work.

Underpinning what floats around the ears is a hive of activity by the players, which they are able to deliver an overall sound that has an ethereal smokiness to it that wraps the listener into a calming trance. Having spent the year of their existence in honing their craft through live performance there is a rumour that an EP is in the works and this I look forward to with enthusiasm.

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Foreign Television

Originally from Haverfordwest in Wales now based in Moscow, Russia, is the solo creator Francis Allen who releases his ambient shoegaze under the name of Foreign Television.

Foreign Television - ambient shoegaze from Wales

Foreign Television

Inside recognizable parameters Foreign Television is a flowing viscosity of sounds each melting into the other like melting waxes and the listener is invited to settle back and let the mind flow in seamless transitions. A variety of timing, electronics and instruments are displayed to the accompaniment of a reflective vocal, each transitioning like a Hubble Telescope image of a nebula of unfathomable distance.

What I recall most of Haverfordwest is take the M4 west out of London and keep going west until – well you hit ‘The’ roundabout, go straight on the A48 keep heading West on the A40 and when you reach the end of the road – that is Haverfordwest and somehow it seems so appropriate as that is a journey to take as the sun sets over London, take your time in mid-summer and the sun will be rising as you reach the outskirts after a drive in the peace and quiet of the night and that is how Foreign Television strikes me –  languid liquidity.

A debut LP the 10 track 43 minute Youthless is an exemplar of weightless floating in space.


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