Hazels is an indie-rock band from Jesmond in England, comprising James GibbonsRobbie O’NeillPeter LaveryTomo Errington and Matthew Duffy.

Hazels - indie-rock from England


Brightly shining music skips around the room as Hazels deliver solidly formed sounds. The bass creates the steely spine of the out-put allowing the percussion to flourish with creative flurries and tempo changes, that gives the hook and foundation on which to add the textures of the guitars. A vocal spears clearly through the tracks as the various six-stringers are given the room to explore a range of effects, from wow, to echo and dampener, without ever finding the changes out of context.

Although formed a couple of years ago, it wasn’t until the latter part of last year they really took themselves seriously and started to establish a regular live performance presence, which has found them generate a local buzz of interest. The slow start means that I have only been able to hear two tracks, though rumour has it that a a six track début release is due to surface over the summer. Certainly an LP I am looking forward to hearing and one which, if of similar vein to the couple of tracks about, should see Hazels rapidly gain far wider traction.

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The Floormen

The psychedelic-gaze quintet Buddy Keenan (Vocals / Guitar), Luke Barlow (Bass), Jamie Lindberg (Drums) Jess Gowing (Vocals) and Sam Rogers (Guitar) who hail from Liverpool in England form The Floormen.

The Floormen - psychedelic-gaze from England

The Floormen

Swatches of kaleidoscopic colour drift around the room as The Floormen combine angularity with soft lines to create compositions which curl gently around the brain. The music has a mystical quality that gives it the floating textures and by combining sharper points of reference the quintet is able to deliver sounds which keep the audience fixated.

A plethora of influences permeate through the soundscape which The Floormen spaciously extend, giving the familiar a completely new perspective as the notes are given the time to form and expand slowly around the head.

Having established a local audience base The Floormen are beginning to cast a wider net, having travelled to the South of England recently for a performance, to which an LP, that is currently being recorded, will afford the band a broader audience.

The Floormen is not a band to approach with a deadline for a meeting in the next few minutes, as the tracks which regularly extend well above five minutes, finds the mind out of synch with the second-hand on a watch and the more you allow yourself the time to melt into the material, the more you will want to hear.

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Astral Trip

Astral Trip is the bass-rock duo of Haydn Wilcox (Bass / Vocals) and Nick Millbank (Drums) from Bradford in England.

Astral Trip - bass-rock from England

Astral Trip – bass-rock from England

To maximise value of Astral Trip – turn up the volume, turn up the bass – boost the sub-woofers and tone down everything else. You will find yourself rewarded by walls bending and a bones rattling in sympathy. The simplicity of four strings and a frenetic drum-kit are taken to extremis by the duo who deliver music that claws the entrails.

Astral Trip is, as a regular reader you well know, something that will hit my spot as lower extremities of the octave ranges are the essence of the sound. Accompany this with a scant disregard for political hyperbole in the so called ‘hot-spot’ of racial tension in the UK – in the mind of geo-political mainstream media and Politicians seeking to gain advantage through splintering. How could I not other than recommend you to spend time with a duo who reflect of discordance and disconnection from the mainstream?

The furrows of intransigence scarify the audience with harrying brushes of contempt.

I look forward to hearing more from Astral Trip, formed this year, who still haven’t managed to get round to more than two images – you have them both on this article – one above – the other below, but have already managed to surface with a six track eponymous LP (which is available on bandcamp).

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Novakane from Coventry in England is the alt-rock quartet of Adam Collins, Jordan Nevin, Ryan Leaper and Will Malpass.

Novakane - alt-rock from England


Novakane is able to slip 90% cocoa chocolate with whisky to produce material which furiously stomps across the floor as the ploughing bass furrows the soil to which a triumphalism of guitar skips across discard, whist a harrying percussion ferrules the tracks ever forward as the vocal provides the conquering flag.

There is an after dinner warmth to an argumentative discourse over the preambles that Novakane induces with their layering wafts of sound that float across the room, as they make coherence of polarity, in compositions which finds the audience in concordant tempo.

Collins, Nevin, Coventry, you may ponder – have I heard this combination previously? You are right back in 2012 Urban Spirit were introduced. Novakane takes a darker template with more imagery as the quartet reflect on possibility as much as inevitability, in sounds which comment on the cut and thrust of 2015.

As I write, on the 12th, these are comments on five fresh tracks, merely hours old and given the starting point Novakane have far the potential to travel far, I merely caveat I also thought that of Urban Spirit. If this is the right combination of creators, expect to hear more. If not – expect me to be introducing Adam Collins and Jordan Nevine in another three years.


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The Franklys

The Franklys, a new-wave quartet based in London, England originating from Sweden, England and The USA is Zoë Biggs (Bass), Nicole Pinto (Drums), Fanny Broburg (Guitar) and Jen Ahlkvist (Vocals / Rhythm Guitar).

The Franklys - new-wave based in England

The Franklys – new-wave based in England

Turn up the speakers, stand up and move the furniture, then hit play – The Franklys will find you happily destroying everything in your pathway with an exuberant flailing body as percussion incessantly piles into the ears, with skipping beats whilst a mesmeric bass finds your head wildly bouncing in opposite directions to which a screaming multiplex of guitars sets the context as you reach for the vocal accompaniment.

The Franklys is able to harness the energy that sweats its way out of the speakers in manageable slices, where the raw dynamism is encapsulated in nuggets of shiny desire, without loosing the burning frustrations laying underneath, but not sprawling into a morass of incoherent noise.

As a regular reader, you will know, the moment you see ‘new-wave’ as a genre descriptor this is a recommendation as an immediate add to playlist and guess what? Do.

Having had the opportunity to take a listen to their back catalogue along with their forthcoming release, which comes out on the 27th – Bad News, I once again find myself positing, if you don’t want to pop The Franklys into your ‘must have’ on release, you are reading the wrong website.


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