Friday, 30 May 2014

OH BOY: An interview with Lee from The Front!

Below you can find an interview with Lee Poole, vocalist and rhythm guitarist of The Front, ahead of their appearance at the Camden Rocks festival tomorrow!
What is your earliest musical memory and what pushed you towards pursuing a career in the music business?
"My earliest musical memory was wanting to be in a band, even before I was old enough to play an instrument or know any musicians, I knew that was what I wanted to do. Music has always been a huge part of my life, since I can remember."
What kind of records were on around the house when you were younger and would you say that these records still influence your music today?
"When I was growing up, there was always music playing in my house, my parents had a huge record collection. I remember knowing the words to 'I Am The Walrus' by The Beatles, at the same age that most kids were learning 'twinkle, twinkle little star'."
Had you been involved in any other bands or musical ventures before The Front?
"I started in a college band, it wasn't that serious but it helped me practice and develop my skills in songwriting. I then played in a band called The Roaches for a few years after college, then finally formed The Front a year and a half back. And even though we have only been playing a short while, it has been the most successful band that I have been a part of."
How did The Front begin?
"The Front came about from the break up of The Roaches. At one point me and my brother, Sean, who plays bass, were gonna carry on as The Roaches with new musicians, which would have been the easier option. But the idea of starting from scratch with a blank canvas and a brand new band, soon became more exciting, so that's what we did."
Where did the name The Front come from?
"The name The Front was first suggested by our manager Dean, I think at that point, he was fed up of waiting for us to come up with one ourselves. We thought it sounded rock 'n' roll and represented us. You need to have some front with anything you do in life."
How would you describe the sound of The Front?
"The sound of The Front is a combination of all of our individual musical influences mixed into one, that is what gives us a unique sound of ska punk mixed with sixties blues."
The band currently have a residency at the Barfly. How did this come about and how has it been to get this slot at a well-respected venue?
"We agreed to a monthly headline residency slot at The Camden Barfly, after our first gig there. We brought a huge crowd, that absolutely tore the place apart, and they wanted us back ever since."
You recently released a new song via Soundcloud – “Oh Boy!”. What is this song about and what influenced it?
"The song was about a crazy night we had after we played a gig, that just got more insane by the minute. It ended off with all of us at a girl's house with her throwing her furniture out the window. I remember sitting there thinking that night, I'll write a song about this."
You are playing the Camden Rocks festival at the end of the month. What can fans expect from the gig?
"People should expect a night to remember if last year was anything to go by. We want to see the place bouncing, people have paid good money for a ticket to the festival, and we feel that it is our job to not let people leave feeling short changed."
Do you find that festival appearances help boost your profile?
"It guarantees that we will have the chance to play our songs to a large crowd of music lovers, which is what it has always been about for us."
Do you have any 'rituals' before you go on stage?
"I usually have a shot of brandy before I go on stage, I am not sure if that's a ritual, but if I say it is, then it's probably less frowned upon."
Any live dates coming up?
"After Camden Rocks, we look forward to playing for our good mates at Cooking Soup on the 26th of July which is always a top night. Then one more at Surya in Kings Cross on the 9th of August. Then we're off to Manchester on the 5th of September at Dry Live for a gig with Manculian promotions. We have a couple more dates, which you can check up on our website."
Any new songs in the pipeline?
"There's always new songs in the pipeline, it's important for any band to keep writing new songs for the set, it can quickly become boring otherwise."
When can fans expect the next official release?
"There is no official date as of yet, but we will be releasing a single later in the year. There is already talk of returning to the studio, as we have a lot of unrecorded material that we would like to get out there."
Who would be your dream collaboration?
"I would love to collaborate on a track with Paul McCartney, I know we'd have a great jam, but I think he would get sick of me constantly asking him questions about The Beatles!"
Who would be in your dream super group?
"Keith Moon on drums, Mani on bass, Kurt Cobain on rhythm guitar and backing vocals. Eric Clapton on lead guitar, with John Lennon on lead vocals. I would queue in the rain to watch that band in action."
Favourite Beatle?
"John Lennon."
Favourite band?
"The Beatles, without a shadow of doubt, they covered such a wide range of genres in such a short period of time."
Favourite new band?
"Unfortunately, there is no new band that is worth a mention, but I have seen some great new unsigned bands playing on the circuit."
Favourite song?
"Live Forever by Oasis, but to be fair if you ask me the same question tomorrow it would probably be a different song."
Favourite album?
"Definitely Maybe."
Vinyl, CD or download?
"Vinyl, I love the crackling it gives the song a real vintage edge, which unfortunately we have lost nowadays."
When you press shuffle on your iPod, what is this first song that comes on?
"Usually an old 60's number."
Style icon?
"Don't have a particular style icon, but I do love the way people used to dress in the olden days. It looked like people actually gave a shit about how they looked and what they wore back then, not like the tracksuit, baseball cap wearing scruff bags, you see knocking about nowadays."
Favourite film?
Favourite TV show?
"Peep Show, I love Super Hands...what a ledge!"
Who would play you in a film of your life?
"I'd give the role to Johnny Depp, provided he passes the audition!"
Favourite food?
"I'm loving sushi at the moment, although it took me a while to warm up to the idea of eating raw fish."
Football team?
"The Mighty Tottenham Hotspur!"
Hope you enjoyed our interview with Lee from The Front!
Be sure to check out our previous feature on The Electric Stars!

Check out The Front here -
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Wednesday, 14 May 2014

BELFAST BOY: An interview with Jason from The Electric Stars! Hear about their brand new George Best tribute single, "Belfast Boy"!

We caught up with Jason Edge from The Electric Stars just before the release of their George Best tribute single, "Belfast Boy"!  The single is out now and the exclusive interview can be read below, enjoy!
AB Records:  "The new release for The Electric Stars is a George Best tribute.  How did this idea come about?"
Jason Edge:  "Well, it was a chance meeting with TV celeb and lifelong United fan Eamonn Holmes.  He is president of the George Best Foundation and a keen music fan.  He knows our band, owns a copy of 'Sonic Candy Soul' and thought it would be a great idea to re-record 'Belfast Boy' as it would suit our sound!  Then we talked about the proceeds going to the Foundation and the idea just exploded from there..."
AB Records:  "The a-side to the single 'Belfast Boy' is a cover of the Don Fardon original.  Where did you first hear the tune?"
Jason Edge:  "I first heard it when I was a kid because my dad was a huge United fan (we live near Old Trafford) and he bought the original.  Like all kids when you get into music you play your parents records first and they have always given it the odd spin at games!"
AB Records:  The b-side is an Electric Stars original entitled 'Georgie (The Brightest Star)'.  How did this track come about"
Jason Edge:  "In this age of download lethargy, I wanted to make sure the CD had something very special and appealing about it.  So, there is a collectable booklet inside with tributes from people who played with and admired George like, Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Alex Ferguson and Ryan Giggs! Also I wanted to write something myself because George was a hero of mine and once I started to write it, it kind of took on a life of its own!"
AB Records:  "You hear a lot of bands say that the big dream was to either be in a band or be a footballer.  Was this the case with you?  If so why did you choose to go down the path of music?"
Jason Edge:  "Rock and roll and football are my life.  I still play now twice a week, but when I was a kid I wanted to play just like Georgie!  It soon became obvious that wasn't going to happen although I have played some in some decent local leagues.  When I left school music began to take over and hey presto here we are!"
AB Records:  "What does the rest of the year hold for The Electric Stars?"
Jason Edge:  "The single is out on Monday 12th so we expect to be busy with that for a while.  Then we have some decent gigs and festivals to do.  Autumn should see another single, the first from the new album!"
Hope you enjoyed our interview with Jason from The Electric Stars!
Be sure to check out our previous feature on Edwina Hayes and John Hinshelwood!

Check out The Electric Stars here -

You can also like our facebook page to keep up to date with all future interviews and reviews at the following link -


Thursday, 8 May 2014

IRISH WALTZ: A review of a fine live performance from two of the UK's finest unsigned singer-songwriters, John Hinshelwood and Edwina Hayes!

Our regulars will remember our review of Edwina Hayes' live performance supporting folk royalty Fairport Convention earlier this year! Well she was so good that we had to go and check her out again - this time at the Edinburgh Folk Club with support from the superb John Hinshelwood! Check out our review below!
The Edinburgh Folk Club hosted a night of music from Edwina Hayes and John Hinshelwood on the 9th April. Glasgow-born Hinshelwood was up first and performed two three songs sets accompanied by a lead guitarist and a bassist. The songs were mainly taken from his three albums to date – ‘Lowering the Tone’, ‘Shattered Pleasures’ and ‘Holler ‘Til Dawn’ – however the guys also treated the crowd to a cover of a country classic which Hinshelwood revealed to be his favourite song title of all time – ‘My Wife Thinks You’re Dead’. The highlight of Hinshelwood’s sets were original numbers, ‘Radio Angel’ and 'A Few Shallow Moments'.
Hayes played two longer sets and, in true folk tradition, played a mixture of originals and covers. She was chatty as ever between songs and provided some amusing tales as to how the original tracks came to be. Hayes opened with the two opening tracks from her debut album, but in reverse order – ‘Leave a Light on for you’ and then ‘Run’. These were followed by Richard Thompson’s rare Elvis song, ‘From Galway to Graceland’. Also included in the first set was an astonishing rendition of Kate Rusby’s ‘Who Will Sing Me Lullabies’, various Hayes originals such as ‘Tell Me So’ and ‘Bend in the Road’, and the sing-a-long finale of Joe South’s ‘Games People Play’.
The second set saw Hayes continue her fine form opening with Leonard Cohen’s ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’ – as requested by an audience member. She also showcased a brand new original entitled ‘Crying over you’ and one of the finest versions of Bob Dylan’s ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’ ever! The set concluded with the final track from her debut album – ‘Irish Waltz’. For those lucky enough to have heard the studio version, the live version is taken to a whole new level as the heartbreak-drenched lyrics are brought to life with Hayes’ incredible voice. Shortly after leaving the stage she was invited back to perform the classic Randy Newman number ‘Feels Like Home’ (as featured in My Sister’s Keeper).
All in all, a top night of live music which demonstrated the fine pool of talent that is still in the folk world to this day.
John Hinshelwood Set 1
Dangerous Journey
Radio Angel
Your Move
Edwina Hayes Set 1
Leave A Light On For You
From Galway To Graceland
Bend In The Road
It's A Hard Life Wherever You Go
Who Will Sing Me Lullabies
Want You To Stay
Tell Me So
From Galway To Graceland
John Hinshelwood Set 2
Look Back In Anger
A Few Shallow Moments
My Wife Thinks You're Dead
Edwina Hayes Set 2
Famous Blue Raincoat
Open The Show For You
It Ain't Me Babe
Nobody's Coming Around
Pour Me A Drink
Season Of Love
Crying Over You
Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness
To Ramona
Irish Waltz
Feels Like Home
Hope you enjoyed our review of Edwina Hayes and John Hinshelwood!
Be sure to check out our previous feature on The Last Of The Troubadours!

Check out Edwina Hayes here -

Check out John Hinshelwood here -

You can also like our facebook page to keep up to date with all future interviews and reviews at the following link -