Posts Tagged ‘blues’

  • Tank Trap
  • Vivid Nation
  • My Life In The Making
  • Blackwater Revue

Saturday night at the Bar Below in Folkestone saw a Below the Radar Events and Promotions gig that was a little bit special.  It was a line up of four bands not to be sniffed at by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact I would go as far as to say four bands all worthy of headlining!

Blackwater Revue are a heavy blues rock band from Canterbury/London.  I’d never heard this band before but their reputation preceded them and I’d already been told they were good.  Good is an understatement.  With influences ranging through from The Doors to Pantera they bring a different sound to rock, but there is one thing for sure, its loud, balsy and heavy!  Oh and pretty damn awesome at that.  Perfect band to open for a gig that is headlined by Tank Trap.  Their lead singer, who on first glance looks like he should be sitting in the halls of Oxford or Cambridge university (I hope he won’t mind me saying that), has one of the most powerful voices I have heard.  Not only powerful, easily carrying above the range of instruments, but with a really dirty, gritty edge and pitch perfect to boot.  A really tight band producing some amazing material and a sound I dare you not to love.  Seeing Blackwater Revue is not an option, its a must!

1 Blackwater Review (3)

My Life In The Making are a 4 piece metal band from Ashford/New Romney and I recently had the pleasure of reviewing them live at Club Q in Ashford.  So I’ll try not to cover the same aspects again and instead give you the link to go and read their previous review, its was good one!  (Club Q gig review)  Now if you’ve read my last review (and I hope you have) you would already know that I really like this band and that I thought they were really good.  I can honestly say this time I thought they were even better and yes, I told them that on the night.  Vocals were even tighter and clearer but I am aware Ken was on pain medication and suffering a bad back last time.  Thom was minus his own kit on this evening but that did not seem to mar his performance in any way.  The band has the most energetic bass player I have ever, and I do mean EVER seen in Sam and they just gel!  They are professional and perform extremely well but also have fun with it, really enjoy it.  There are times you feel there is a private joke going on among the lads with the smiles and looks they give each other and you can see they are playing with the instrumentals.  Thus they are that accomplished musicians they can do that live and from looking around, some people weren’t even aware of it!  A band I will never tire of seeing.

2 My Life In The Making (26)

Vivid Nation are an alternative rock band from east Kent and I’ve seen them a fair few times but never live reviewed, only photographed.  I have to be just honest up front here because this is a band I have always liked but they are also a band I’ve also always believed are right on the cusp of a break through.  They’ve already had airplay on BBC Introducing and seven other Kent radio stations and are currently getting ready to record their debut EP.  The new material the guys are playing live now, is pretty damn good stuff and has that same slightly commercial (not too much) but still alt rock sound to it.  They have a really distinctive sound to them, one that can never be mistaken and sets them apart from so many bands on the scene.  Their songwriting ability is pretty outstanding with really clever and interesting lyrics and their live performances already give them a rock star status.  A set full of broken strings (both accidental and due to ripping them off the guitar at the end of the performance), band members whizzing around the stage in a Tasmanian blur, high kicks and guitars played above heads, behind backs… well what more could you ask for?  I’m expecting great things from this band.

3 Vivid Nation (37)

Well last but by no means least!  The mighty Tank Trap a blues grunge rock band from Gravesend who I don’t think will be playing too many small venue gigs for much longer!  Having deservedly won a competition recently, they are now playing main stage at the Isle of Wight Festival this summer and I feel after this, they will be very much in demand.  However, I’m pretty sure they will still be playing smaller venue at times as they come across as a band that will never forget their routes and are pretty humble and lovely lads.  On the note of playing small venues, I had seen them once before and the stage was tiny.  This performance was better, so they need to make it too ensure they get those nice big areas to showcase themselves at their best!  I photographed this set, or attempted too any way as I have to say, even I was taken over and had to keep stopping to join in the dancing and at times mild head banging.  A set jam packed full of mind blowing originals that everyone attempted to sing along too, with some awesome The Doors covers and this was a performance so worthy of headlining.  I just hope I get to see them again very soon as their brand of bluesy grungy rock, it would appear is just my thing.  Judging from the rest of the audiences  jumping around and headbanging, many other peoples also.

4 Tank Trap (22)

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

Blackwater Revue – give them a listen here 
Find them on Facebook 

My Life In The Making – Beneath The Surface  Find them on Facebook 

Vivid Nation – You Just Gave It Away  Find them on Facebook 


Tank Trap – Bite the Bullet  Find them on Facebook 


Below is a very small amount of photography taken at this gig.  For full evenings photo’s please go to Facebook, this gig only 

Photo’s by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions



Funke and the Two Tone Baby – Battles – Debut Album Review

The raw energy of Dan Turnbull’s vocals and purity of his writing style run powerfully all through his debut album “Battles,” a compilation of his song writing to date.

It is indeed a two-tone world we step into, for we witness a war of two opposing sides: on one, the power and the glory of his musicianship, a tenacity of vision and style that simply will not quit; and on the other side, the effective communication of the messages from that leader.

It is a struggle that is in some battles won, others lost, and hence from your war correspondent, comes a review…

As a journey, the album starts strong with “Bella’s Kiss” effectively providing a rousing call to arms through the atmospheric use of a true, Texas-southern-bar rough and tumble of blues that recalls John Mayall’s purity of style.

This rawness is carried through “Mountains” where we are transported to a track with a PJ Harvey-like quirkiness to it: “The Woman Who Stood at the Edge of the World.” There are Django-ish guitar elements, and many layers of simplicity that build to realise an impressively effective force.

We then travel to older countries, with tracks such as “Ode to the Pirate Ghost Witch” and “Battles,” the latter rendering a folksong tradition with a hard mix of harsh percussive guitars and rhythmical beatbox sounds, these tracks giving nods to both The Levellers and Radiohead respectively.

The remainder of the tracks communicate with equal truth and forcefulness, the various stages of this young song-writer’s musical and emotional life. A standout later track is “Now I See You.” With Mike Oldfield guitar runs, the passion in the vocals is contrasted with gentle guitar picking, brought together by pseudo-beatbox sounds then lifted infinitely by the surprise entry of a ballsy harmonica towards the end.

There are moments however where the listener’s attention is distracted from the excellent songwriting and playing by the over-zealous application of effects and mannerisms that jerk one out of the song’s created world and into a place that seems suddenly incongruous.

There are bafflingly unpredictable losses of the letter T in the lyrics that whilst undoubtedly wishing to pay homage to Billy Bragg, given the rest of the album and in some cases the rest of the song, seem an affectation too far for comfort.

Undeniably, Folk and Blues should be raw, truthful and powerful, but ideally not at the expense of the listener’s ability to enjoy the songs. As such, there are times when the tempo and notes of the song seem to escape the musicians, and too much tremolo reverb in some sections threaten to devalue what are important structural points in those songs.

This is a good collection though, it has strong songs and the seeds of more great songs within it, but it is not yet an album that sits together well. These are but the formidable early steps of a truly great future General, I have no doubt. Some battles may indeed have been fought, and fought well, but the war is not yet won…


Blues Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

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Katie Bradley Blues – She’s Ready Album

Track from album – I Don’t Believe 

Katie Bradley’s star is rising. Nominated for 2013’s British Blues Award, her latest album “She’s Ready” finds her surrounded by top-flight musicians handpicked from the music profession’s finest, in whose illustrious company she stands tall.

It’s hard not to lapse into cliché with reviews. I have resisted as much as humanly possible, but with the quality presented here, it’s tough, so bear with me…

From upbeat and energetic (“Shoe On The Other Foot”) to southern states plains drifting and powerful (“Be Careful With My Baby”) or pure Beale Street blues style, “She’s Ready” takes the full gamut of styles and envelops you in a New Orleans nightlife experience where you might expect the next joint to be hosting B.B. or Albert King.

“I’m Ready” shows off the ensemble’s strengths. Katie’s ballsy vocals, reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt, are topped off by an electrifying “Gary Moore meets Robben Ford” guitar solo from the band’s co-founder Dudley Ross. This is underpinned by the rhythm section, Paul Jobson (Keys), Joe Sam (Bass) and Sam Kelly (Drums).

Lifting this album each and every time is the superlative addition of Katie’s harp skills. Always pitch perfect in soul and substance, it lifts every track in which it features.

This is shown to best effect in the cover of “Let The Good Times Roll” where the barely reined in up-tempo track takes flight with the entrance of the harp’s glorious solo.

What would otherwise be mere covers are consistently transported by the band’s talents and eccentricities.

Katie lays the ghost of Presley to rest in “Hound Dog” to deliver a quirky playful stripped-down track that allows each element to work perfectly, keyboard duties from Paul Jobson stand out to add mischievous character (as keys players are wont to do) and deliver a perfect bar-room blues traditional turn with delightful extra antics.

Katie and Dud’s self-penned track “I Hear The River,” itself the nominee for the Kevin Thorpe Memorial Award for Best Original Song, challenges the reviewer not to lapse as formerly mentioned. He fails.

It is smokey, atmospheric, a true bayou feel; the approaching prairie thunderhead feels moments away and your mind expects to be assailed by other characters from a David Lynch film. Once again, perfectly sultry vocals and sweetly tortured harpwork are complimented by slide and keys, building to a full-throttle guitar solo that supercharges the track’s very air.

When I fail, I fail all the way.

It is truly an album of superlatives. As a debut it cannot fail to leave the listener with the impression that Katie Bradley means business. You get a sense of things to come, the need to hear the next track, straining around the corner to see the next album. To the audience member, the musician, even the casual passer-by, it perfectly summons up the ghosts of those perfectly amazing evenings of neckhair-raising music that one wished would never end – it was left on repeat in my headphones for many, many hours. In the olden days, this album’s LP would have been played so much, you could see the light coming through from the other side…

Standout tracks: Impossible to choose. Really.


Blues Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

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Official website


Here is a selection of tracks from various INDIE/BLUES bands.  Like what you hear?  Check them out on Facebook, find a gig and go and support them!

If you search for a band in the search box in the left column of the blog, you will find their blog posts, with photography, Facebook and in some cases website and YouTube links.  Also any featured band articles if relevant. Just click on the links to hear a track:

  1. Black Lion Courtiers – Bear Song – (Indie/Folk from Medway) – Find on Facebook 
  2. Saturday Sunset – Embers – (Indie/powerpop) – Find on Facebook 
  3. Van Susans – Served Cold – Find on Facebook 
  4. Tank Trap – Bite The Bullet – Find on Facebook 
  5. Elle Rayenne – Rayguns – Find on Facebook 
  6. Skies (formerly Blaise Paisel) – Magical – Find on Facebook – 
  7. The Tied – It Takes Two To Make An Accident (Indie/Rock band from Maidstone) – Find on Facebook 
  8. The Doctorates – Sorry Love mix – Find on Facebook 
  9. Fighting for Alpha – ROSES (Rock/Indie band from Tunbridge Wells) – Find on Facebook 
  10. Eskimo Chase – Car Crash (Indie Rock/Jazz/Soul band from Medway) – Find on Facebook 
  11. CzechMate – With Me (Alternative Rock band from South-East) – Find on Facebook 
  12. Katie Bradley Blues – I Don’t Believe (local artist nominated for a British Blues Award) – Website 
  13. The Lightwings – Revolutions (Beatpop band from London signed to Beatnik Geek Records) – Find on Facebook 
  14. Keston Cobblers’ Club – Pett Level (Folk/Indie band from Keston, Bromley/Kent signed to Beatnik Geek Records) – Find on Facebook 
  15. Loaded Pistolas – Underground (Rock/Indie/Alternative band from Canterbury) – Find on Facebook 
  16. Wildfoul – Carousel – Find on Facebook 
  17. Ross and the Wrongens – That Magic Feeling (Acoustic/Rock/Indie band from Kent) – Find on Facebook 
  18. The Gang – Mania (3 piece Indie band from Canterbury) – Find on Facebook 
  19. The Basement People – typical – Find on Facebook 
  20. Ted Clark – Code Red – Find on Facebook 
  21. Empire Light – Dreaming For Two – Find on Facebook 

For more tracks in this genre from bands/artist not yet worked with, but just as awesome… please click here

This was a gig I really wanted to go to. I missed the opportunity to photograph Tank Trap before so was very pleased to get the opportunity last night and they did not disappoint.  Thumbscrew and the Flicknife Barbers were recently recommended to me and again… WOW, so very glad I caught these guys and had the chance to capture the moment.  Both bands I highly recommend you check out.

Big thank you must also go to Platform 5 in Ashford for allowing me to come along and capture their evening.  The hospitality of this venue was amazing and they give so many bands the chance to perform, you really must get down and catch a gig at this place!

So here follows a very, very small amount of the photography taken from this evening.  For full evenings photography please go to, Facebook, this gig only

As the night’s music began the four members of Tank Trap emerged from the crowd and took to the stage.  Tank Trap brought their style of blues rock to Ashford.  Showing their many talents front man Ian Day revealed a new one.  The ability to break any mic just by touching it.  One by one he fearlessly slayed mics like they were marauding dragons until he made peace.

A little taster of a review of the evening from Banned Reviews… read more here

Thumbscrew and the Flicknife Barbers – Gerry Attrick 

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Like what you hear?  How could you not lol…. they have their entire 5 track EP for free download here … you lucky people!

Tank Trap – Bite The Bullet  You lucky people, kind thanks Tank Trap, this is their title track from their latest EP which you can buy here
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