Monday, 30 December 2013

2013: An overview from some of the best up and coming bands of the moment!

As we approach AB Records' first ever New Year we catch up with some of the bands that have graced our blog over the past few months and we also feature future interviewees such as mod boys The Spitfires, soul boys Man & The Echo and the legendary Henry Priestman.
Before we get going thanks to Mamas Lips for the sounds they have brought to us over the last couple of years and best of luck with their future projects. Hopefully Mamas Lips will make a comeback in the not to distant future.
We hope to see many of you in the new year, you can keep up to date with all future interviews at the following link -
For this feature, we asked each band a set of five questions to which they provided their own individual responses to.
Have a read...
Question 1 - What’s the best thing you’ve heard all year?

Thomas McConnell: "The best thing I've heard this year must be Paul McCartney's new album, 'New'...he's still the greatest at 71!"
Garry (Button Up): "James Skelly And The Intruders - 'Love Undercover' - stunning."
Darling BOY: "My nephew laughing. The Everything Everything and Duckworth Lewis Method records. Every utterance of 'Alex, do you want a cup of tea?'"
Pedro (Casual Agenda): "The unmissable rotation of shopping trolley wheels around the Wharf Bar's dance floor. Oh, and how could I forget, Dappy getting kicked in the face by a horse!"
Bill (Bel Esprit): "Listening to Babyshambles’ 'Farmer's Daughter' for the first time was the best thing. Say what you want, he can still sing."
Glenn (Groovy Uncle): "'Clarifoil' / 'Never Been To California' by Bronco Bullfrog."
Ted (Decoy Jet): "Close tie between Arcade Fire's 'Reflektor' album and Kermit the frog - 'Wrecking Ball'."
Jason (The Electric Stars): "Temples."
Joe (Casual Agenda): "'The Notion'!"
George (Bel Esprit): "The squeal of horror as I walked in on my flatmate stealing my milk after repeatedly denying it."
Nick (New Street Adventure): "The new Arctic Monkeys album."
Mark (DC Fontana): "(Das) Poltergeist - 'Your Mind Is A Box (Let Us Fill it With Wonder)' and the incredible unreleased 'Pro-Juicer' by Kiosk."
Kerry (Tilt Shift Music): "I didn't even have to think about this question! 2013 I haven't had any time at all to listen to anything other than the music I am working with or the music I get sent really. I was totally blown away the first time I heard 'Sure Enough' from Red Sails, musical perfection! And it remains one of my favourite songs of the year! Also the young guy I work with, Luke Cusato, recorded his debut single recently at Parr St Studios in Liverpool with producer Rich Turvey. Rich is a fantastic producer and I knew the result would be special, the result was epic. The release of this track in early 2014 will be the start of something big, remember I told you first!"
Gaz (Man & The Echo): "The best thing I've heard all year? I don't listen to very much in the way of new music, not because I don't like it or have anything against it, simply because I've not finished listening to everything that was released in the sixties yet. Plus a lot of new music seems to be by people with thick arms who look good in T-shirts, and I have an innate mistrust of well built musicians. I did enjoy the new Duckworth Lewis Method album, and Fush (bass player) keeps telling me about various new bands which I always assure him I will listen to. I finally got Billy Stewart's 'Secret Love' on vinyl, so that would probably be the best thing I heard this year."
Sachin (Bel Esprit): "'Reflektor' by Arcade Fire."
Rich (The Broxton Hundred): "If we're talking albums then 'AM' - Arctic Monkeys ran away with it. If we're talking singles then Daft Punk - 'Get Lucky' was a clear stand out single."
Henry Priestman: "Bill Fay - 'Life Is People'."
Dan (Casual Agenda): "John Grant - ''Pale Green Ghosts'."
Frans (The Most): "The Strypes and We Are The Mods radio show."
Fahad (Bel Esprit): "'Inhaler' by Foals or 'Don’t Swallow the Cap' by The National."
Billy (The Spitfires): "Arctic Monkeys - 'AM'."

Little Liam: "The best thing I've heard this year without being biased is Simon Fowler's Merrymouth. Love the style, love the music and of course the people!"

Joel (The Last Of The Troubadours): "I think it's been a great year for music! I really loved 'AM'. Such a cool album."
Aaron (Stone Thieves): "James Skelly & The Intenders - 'Love Undercover'. Such a belting album. Proper songs. Proper singer. Proper instrumentation. Every song on that record could be a hit."
Question 2 - What’s the worst thing you’ve heard all year?
Thomas McConnell: "I can't think of anything specific but there's definitely been some really shit pop come out this year. I can't stand Mumford & Sons and all that Topman we're-rich-but-look-poor-folk."
Garry (Button Up): "I don't listen to shit records but watched Robbie Williams and Olly Murs sing a jungle book song, horrific."
Darling BOY: "Can't think of any truly terrible music I've heard - must have been a vintage year! Every utterance of 'Alex, we've run out of teabags'."
Pedro (Casual Agenda): "James Blunt is still making music."
Bill (Bel Esprit): "Relentless Vietnamese pop on a night bus while coping with food poisoning."
Glenn (Groovy Uncle): "Almost everything played on mainstream daytime radio."
Ted (Decoy Jet): "Another close tie between the foxes fighting outside my house at 4AM last week and Kanye West - 'Bound 2'."
Jason (The Electric Stars): "Everything on Radio 1..."
Joe (Casual Agenda): "Not sure, anything with a '#' in the title."
George (Bel Esprit): "A similar noise as they then caught me stealing their milk."
Nick (New Street Adventure): "The new Mayer Hawthorne album."
Mark (DC Fontana): "Traumatic stuff in my personal life which led my cerebral cereal box to dish out a little snap crackle and pop resulting in lyrics to a new DC tune called 'Bluebells & Peacocks'."
Kerry (Tilt Shift Music): "Ooo I can think of a few things that just haven't been my thing. I do tend to think that everything has it's place though. People put so much heart and soul into their music that it would be unfair for me to say what's worse than is so subjective! That's why you have people like Lily Allen doing covers of Keane songs! Need I say more!"
Gaz (Man & The Echo): "The worst thing? Dunno, I'm pretty insulated from bad music as I don't watch TV much and hardly listen to the radio, except 6music. Have you noticed when you're in a cheap shop like Home Bargains or Matalan they have re-recordings of pop songs with karaoke singers singing them? I think its to avoid paying royalties. I heard one with a guy singing 'I Predict A Riot' and he ran out of breath on the big 'whoah', so that would probably be the worst thing I heard."
Sachin (Bel Esprit): "'Upstarts' by Johnny Marr."
Rich (The Broxton Hundred): "Anything from James Arthur."
Henry Priestman: "Don't really do negativity, we're all trying to make a go of it, but there IS a hell of a lot of rubbish around! How about, worst thing I've heard all year...all the guff the politicians speak!"
Dan: "Justin Bieber - anything he has released."
Frans (The Most): "The deaths of Gypie Mayo and Lou Reed."
Fahad (Bel Esprit): "'Wrecking Ball' by Miley Cyrus takes the biscuit."
Billy (The Spitfires): "That awful track 'Radioactive' that XFM and Absolute play every fucking day."

Little Liam: "This is a hard one because most of the stuff in the charts today is bollocks so yeah, too many to list!"
Joel (The Last Of The Troubadours): "The creation of McBusted!"

Aaron (Stone Thieves): "'I Love It' - Icona Pop. That song ruined my summer. Everywhere you went it was their. Like a bad smell."
Question 3 - What's the best gig you’ve been to this year?
Thomas McConnell: "I've only been to a couple this year because I've been so busy myself but it's got to be the Radio 6 gig / Q&A with Paul McCartney in October."
Garry (Button Up): "Toots And The Maytals in Glasgow ABC."
Darling BOY: "The Soho Hobo at the Groucho Club. Duckworth Lewis Method at Lord's."
Pedro (Casual Agenda): "The Rifles. Just an epic band. Underrated!"
Bill (Bel Esprit): "Palma Violets at the 100 Club."
Glenn (Groovy Uncle): "Zervas And Pepper at St Pancras Old Church."
Ted (Decoy Jet): "Hard Rock Calling hands down; Miles Kane, The View, Kasabian, Paul Weller and loads more."
Jason (The Electric Stars): "The Wonderwall Festival in Germany."
Joe (Casual Agenda): "Tough one, not been to as many as I would have liked, Johnny Marr at the Wulfrun in Wolverhampton does stand out."
George (Bel Esprit): "Everything Everything."
Nick (New Street Adventure): "Arctic Monkeys at Earls Court!"
Mark (DC Fontana): "Plastic Palace People at The Gutter."
Kerry (Tilt Shift Music): "Again so, so many to choose from...I do at least two gigs a week! I had a great time recently at The Cavern in Liverpool. Red Sails, Colour and Soho Riots were all brilliant. If this goes live after 21st December I am going to have to say Ali Ingle's Do Robots Dream Of Christmas at EVAC in Liverpool! Ali is my son, and my younger son Oli, is supporting him with a DJ'll be Oli's debut gig so just a bit of a special night for me! Also am pretty excited about seeing The Tea Street band 19th December at EVAC too!! Brilliant band who are just electric live!"
Gaz (Man & The Echo): "The best gig was without doubt The Duckworth Lewis Method at Manchester Academy, a really tight band, their enjoyment of the gig was infectious and Neil Hannon is a fantastic entertainer."
Sachin (Bel Esprit): "Arcade Fire at the Roundhouse."
Rich (The Broxton Hundred): "Well as a band we attended The Stone Roses at Finsbury Park that was of course amazing. And I also went to Glasto so The Stones and Chic were also amazing."
Henry Priestman: "Low at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral the other week...transcendental stuff."
Dan (Casual Agenda): "The Rifles."
Frans (The Most): "Mavis Staples live in Uppsala May 2013."
Fahad (Bel Esprit): "Arctic Monkeys at London Earls Court, Suede at Southampton Guildhall or Biffy Clyro at le Trianon, Paris."
Billy (The Spitfires): "Arctic Monkeys at Earls Court."
Little Liam: "Ok I haven't been to too many gigs this year but of course without a doubt December 14th, Ocean Colour Scene - Marchin' Already Tour, it was my era of being around their studio and also I think my favourite!"

Joel (The Last Of The Troubadours): "For the overall experience of how we did it, and the spoilt way we got to enjoy it, Kasabian at the Olympic Park."

Aaron (Stone Thieves): "Springsteen at the Olympic Park. Shows why he is the boss every time. Also the Black Crowes were on the bill as well."
Question 4 - What’s the best thing to happen to you all year?
Thomas McConnell: "Going to the gig with McCartney I mentioned and getting to ask him a question, only for him to know who I was from the cover of 'New' I unbelievable dream come true."
Garry (Button Up): "Playing in London and Birmingham with Button Up, just back tonight."
Darling BOY: "Argentina. Touring with great mates. Being whisked to Vegas as a birthday present. Cups of tea. Seeing my friend Sophie smile."
Pedro (Casual Agenda): "Writing tunes, playing your music to people, the hustle and bustle of getting gigs, buying guitars, recording, breaking strings. All of this with your mates! It doesn't get any better than that does it?"
Bill (Bel Esprit): "Forming this band, starting uni."
Glenn (Groovy Uncle): "Recording and releasing our latest album 'One Vowel Away From The Truth'."
Ted (Decoy Jet): "Starting Decoy Jet."
Jason (The Electric Stars): "Being asked to record a song for a Hollies psychedelic compilation album! It was released on limited edition coloured vinyl and sold out in two weeks...We met The Hollies at their Manchester show on stage at The Lowry and the press turned up, next thing we are on the front page of the local paper!"
Joe (Casual Agenda): "Gonna be mushy and say my misses, but also getting Dan Bott in on the drums, the kid is a living legend."
George (Bel Esprit): "Starting uni."
Nick (New Street Adventure): "Billy Farr returning on the lead guitar."
Mark (DC Fontana): "It has been a real 'annus horriblis' for me and the sooner 2013 f**** right off and doesn't darken the doorstep of my memory again the better. It will be but a couple of things stick out...firstly Rosemary Pratka and secondly being asked to play bass with The Sorrows as well as DC Fontana."
Kerry (Tilt Shift Music): "On a professional level the best thing has been watching the growth of Tilt Shift. We had a fantastic launch party at The Kazimier Gardens back in June...incredible night of live music surrounded by the support of my family and friends was pretty cool. Since then things have just gone from strength to strength. Also travelling to Berlin for some meetings with Luke Cusato was pretty epic! Also I have to say meeting bands like Red Sails and Colour. On a more personal level there are far too many things to name...all my kids have made me so proud this son signing a record daughter graduating...another going off to uni! My family are everything to me and they never cease to amaze me how they've grown up so incredible."
Gaz (Man & The Echo): "The best thing to happen was the positive reaction to our debut single, 'Beg'. Within hours of releasing it we were being talked up by James Endeacott (head of 1965 Records and former A&R man for Rough Trade) and the single got a play on Geoff Lloyd's Unknown Pleasures show on Absolute Radio."
Sachin (Bel Esprit): "Getting majorly into The National and Interpol."
Rich (The Broxton Hundred): "I got a dog, that's pretty fecking sweet, not very rock and roll but it's my answer."
Henry Priestman: "Finally finishing my album 'The Last Mad Surge of Youth'."
Dan (Casual Agenda): "Joining Casual Agenda."
Frans (The Most): "Gigging in the UK, Germany and Spain."
Fahad (Bel Esprit): "Got new tubes in my amp, sounds like a joke but seriously it sounds great."
Billy (The Spitfires): "Going on our first tour and the positive reaction we’ve had from many people we’ve met on our travels."
Little Liam: "I think the best thing to happen this year is Mr Fowler joining us on stage at Welfest which was a dream come true!

Joel (The Last Of The Troubadours): "It's split between playing the Isle of Wight Festival and walking out to a breath taking sea of people at the Carnaby Sound Festival."

Aaron (Stone Thieves): "We played some really good shows this year and we loved them all. Our local ones make it all worth while. But Cardiff back in April was belting! The Welsh were mad for it! And we got to play a show case at the Pretty Green clothing store in the city centre. We also released our debut EP early this year, which held its own in Reverbnation's unsigned rock chart, reaching no. 43 in regional poles."
Question 5 - What are you looking forward to in 2014?
Thomas McConnell: "I'm hoping things will keep going the way they appear to be at the moment, more gigs around the country and more tunes!"
Garry (Button Up): "Recording new Button Up album 'Beat Street' in January 2014."
Darling BOY: "Loads of touring. Loads of good times. Loads of writing. Loads of tea."
Pedro (Casual Agenda): "Playing Wembley Stadium."
Bill (Bel Esprit): "Saints winning the title."
Glenn (Groovy Uncle): "Getting to work on a new recording project."
Ted (Decoy Jet): "Loads of great debut albums from Dexters, The Sundowners, Findlay, Baby Strange, Life In Film and Temples."
Jason (The Electric Stars): "In 2014 we are going to release more material including our second album."
Joe (Casual Agenda): "Got a new tune on the horizon (hopefully you will review it again!) which is gonna sound ace. Looking forward to playing at some new venues that we've got confirmed in the new year..."
George (Bel Esprit): "Finishing uni for the summer."
Nick (New Street Adventure): "The release of our debut album!"
Mark (DC Fontana): "2014 will be a busy year for both DC Fontana and The Sorrows. As well as recording the second DC album which we are at the very earliest stages of sorting now. Looks like we will be heading back to Europe to spread the new DC Fontana sound and that’s also a huge thrill. On so many levels I instinctively feel that 2014 is going to be an 'UP' year for me both in a personal sense as well as a musical one."
Kerry (Tilt Shift Music): "Things being as brilliant as 2012 and 2013! Also a feckin' holiday might be nice!"
Gaz (Man & The Echo): "In 2014 we're looking forward to gigging more and hopefully touring. We've also got a stack of new material so we're all keen to get in the studio and get some more material out there in the early new year. We're hoping it's gonna be a very busy year for us."
Sachin (Bel Esprit): "New Warpaint album."
Rich (The Broxton Hundred): "As a band we're looking forward to doing some live shows outside London, northern cities and abroad. Heading back into the studio to do a live session of us just playing. Bit like Abbey Road live in session but it's a tiny studio in Camden."
Henry Priestman: "Release of the album (out February 17th 2014)...and more importantly, my 25th wedding anniversary!"
Dan (Casual Agenda): "Casual Agenda!"
Frans (The Most): "More gigs and record releases."
Fahad (Bel Esprit): "Potential tour from The Strokes."
Billy (The Spitfires): "Going back on the road, home and abroad, and more recording."
Little Liam: "Gigging again & more recording I think!"

Joel (The Last Of The Troubadours): "The first Last Of The Troubadours album."

Aaron (Stone Thieves): "The calendar is shaping up nicely for 2014 already, we are looking forward to every event we are down to take part in. Especially 'March of the Mods' in association with Teenage Cancer Trust in the spring. Great bands for a great cause. This will be taking place in Camden somewhere we believe. We also are planning another release, probably a promo single. We are mainly looking forward to playing shows with other decent bands and seeing all the faces again from last year and a lot of new ones we hope! We would like to take this time to thank all the believers! We've got one more show next week at The Horn, St. Albans on Saturday 21st.
Hope you enjoyed our end of year feature!
Big thanks to all the artists featured above! Also, a big thanks to all the other bands that have featured on the blog over the last few months! And, once again, thank you to Mamas Lips for the tunes and the rock and roll - hopefully see you again one day soon!
Check us out on our Facebook page to keep up to date with all future interviews at the following link -
And we leave you with the immortal words of Stone Thieves frontman Aaron Gardner... "shine on..." and see you all in 2014 when we will be bringing you plenty more of the latest up and coming bands, singer/songwriters, producers, record labels and much more. Have a good one!

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