Posts Tagged ‘Tunbridge Wells’

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We’re not talking about the film, or the Chet Baker song. Lady Bird are a three-piece punk band formed around Tunbridge Wells, signed to fellow punk rockers Slaves’ new label. Their Social Potions EP was released in February this year, followed by the singles “Boot Fillers” and “Reprisal”. They’re wry, witty, social observers; crafting small but intricate vignettes of life that would otherwise seem mundane.

Band Members
Sam Cox – Vocals/Guitar/Organ
Alex Deadman – Guitar
Joe Walker – Drums

Kent-based duo SLAVES perform ‘Where’s Your Car Debbie?’ live at Dot To Dot Festival 2014.

2015 was a very big year for Slaves. Sure, their debut album “Are You Satisfied?” may have missed out on the Mercury Prize, but it was a powerful introduction to the best band ever to come out of Tunbridge Wells. Wasting no time on digesting their Christmas dinner, the punk duo are out on tour this month at venues across the nation, including a double-header in Manchester.

10 Jan: O2 Academy, Leeds
11 Jan: O2 ABC, Glasgow
12 Jan: O2 Academy, Liverpool
14 Jan: O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
15 Jan: O2 Ritz, Manchester
16 Jan: O2 Ritz, Manchester

Slaves’s last single “The Hunter” is a three-minute wall of noise. A spiky guitar riff leads the way before drummer/vocalist Isaac Holman announces his presence with the rattle of a symbol and spits lyrics that reference climate change like Johnny Rotten reading a Greenpeace pamphlet. The other half of Slaves, guitarist Laurie Vincent, takes the riff up a notch before the track descends into chaos as a stage whisper calls “The Hunter”, Vincent’s guitar sounds like a rusty chainsaw and Holman smashes his drums to pieces. Eventually comes the refrain “It’s reckless and pointless/but it’s also very fun.” Never has a truer word been spoken.

Slaves are making the most noise a duo has made since The White Stripes and are causing a proper fuss amongst the music press. Their reputation as a live band is already preceding them – their headline slot at The Victoria in Dalston sold out in less than two hours and they’ve just secured the opening slot on the NME Awards Tour 2015, following in the footsteps of Franz Ferdinand and Florence and the Machine. Hailing from Kent and on a mission to cut swathes through a music landscape flooded with generic EDM, Slaves are set to make a serious impact over the next 12 months. They will be at most major festivals this summer.



Dead Ceremony , something took hold and back we kept returning to this new track, ‘Losing You’. This isn’t their debut,  “About three years ago Chris and David [drums] wrote and performed a live score for the silent film ‘Nosferatu’ as a Halloween event. We were both in the same band together, Tom Williams & The Boat, but that was the first time we teamed up together as just us two,” vocalist / keyboards player Christopher Stewart,  “At the end of 2012, David, Harry [synths / bass] and Neil [guitar]  joined me and we began rehearsing some songs together. By the middle/end of 2013 we began playing a few shows to get used to playing together, and for me to get used to the idea of singing in front of people and being a ‘frontman’.”

During the course of last year, the four-piece from Tunbridge Wells in Kent, put out a debut track ‘Trophy’, followed by ‘Heartbeat’. Of the former, there now seems to be no online trace, and you’ll need to hunt for the second, suffice to say that it managed to attract the attention of BBC 6 Music through the combination of Stewart’s affecting lyrics with the band’s rather dark, deep electro production.

Whereas ‘Heartbreak‘ we will admit, was not one to really wow our senses, with ‘Losing You’ there is something that gets under your skin; hat be the multi-layering of electronic sounds coupled with the organic Nord keyboard notes going on, the stirring vocals of Stewart, the repeated ambiguous lyric line of, “Light head / Cold sweat / Find the vein / And deliver,” or a combination of the lot, we can’t really say, just that put together this makes for one stirringly emotive track.

The lyrics, Chris reveals, were inspired by The Antlers work ‘Hospice’. “That album was all I listened to in my first year at uni back in 2009-10. It’s about a man falling in love with a cancer patient, watching her die and then dealing with the loss. I read that it was a metaphor for a terrible break-up the songwriter had gone through. For me, the important bit of ‘Losing You’ is the chorus line: Everyone has lost someone, in some way, at some point. It’s a relatable tragedy, I suppose. It’s been interesting to hear what people think it is about, though. The main assumptions are that it’s about a girl – despite the song being entirely gender non-specific – or that it’s about taking drugs and getting high. But I don’t mind this, as I want my lyrics to retain a sense of ambiguity. Dead Ceremony play a one-off show at The Forum in Tunbridge Wells on December 11. “We have only played 6 or 7 live shows so far, but we will play further afield next year. We are finally happy and confident with our set. It’s taken us over a year to get to that point, but we feel ready now.”

Dead Ceremony are: Christopher Stewart (vocals / keyboards), David Trevillion (production / drums), Neil Allen (guitar) and Harry Pearce (synths / bass).