Loose Kites release their new single Roo Ba Bah on 6 May
BBC Subculture has the latest news from the local band music scene in Stoke, Staffordshire & South Cheshire.
Here we're now reporting April 2010 gossip, but if you have any news and gig-announcements, even if it's further in the future, just let us know.
Reporting what's happening on the local unsigned bands scene is just part of what the show does.
Alana Hughes updates this page every Thursday - so thanks to all of you for the supply (you know who you are).
You can keep the bits coming -
For websites for the venues mentioned, see our weblinks list on the right of this page.... and check them before you go out!
NEWS (and Gossip)
Yep, it's true - Woodfunk and its followers is back, despite being branded bad boys. The underground dance-music festival has promised to clean up its act (see
) and have located themselves this year in a field far from pesky human habitation.
But we expect high jinks will still be on the menu (as well as Inland Knights, Justin Robertson, and Crewe based band the Dead Wasps!).
Staffs songstress releases debut album
Uttoxeter's April Anderson - what a lovely stage name - is a solo songstress, guitarist, pianist and just about everything-ist, who hails from a very bohemian background, has just released her debut album.
She's scored a first in her Jazz Contemporary & Popular Music degree, travelled the country busking from a converted ambulance and even performed in the Royal Albert Hall for a Broadway show. It seems everything this girl touches just turns into melodic-lyrical gold dust.
See her home-town return gig at the
on the weekend of 21 May.
Festivals - and more
Our little reference to the festival season coming up provoked cries of
despair I guess! ... from people who felt their fave fest had been missed.
Jonno had a rabbit about us not mentioning the
Bloodstock Open Air festival
(strictly for metallists) near Alrewas from 13th to 15th August; and Sarah mizzed about us not including the
Acoustic Festival of Great Britain
which is being held in Uttoxeter in May.
'Course, what we were talking about really was outdoor fests for unsigned bands, - but don't mind us.
Hard to believe but
Are Chester lads Loose Kites winding us up? They tell us that they had the Christmas number 1 in Greece. Blimey. What next? Serbia?
Anyway the lads are really pushing for world domination, saying that they've got all excited about the Election and are thinking of standing as candidates. For which party, boys? (Are the Raving Loonies still going?).
Anyway - check 'em out at Telford's in May (see gig guide).
Get well Wench
Shame to see on the
Alsager Arms site
that Wench is still off-sick. Wench took over the pub last autumn to make it into biker/rocker/alternative pub/live music venue and put some hard nights.
What will happen now?
And the new boy in school is
The latest Staffordshire music blog is run by Lyndsey Oliver (late of the Sentinel music new column). It's called
. Read it.
Stoke top of pops
Funny to think that two Stoke-on-Trent boys are in the album charts right now (and neither is Robbie). The old G&R's guitarist, Slash, is releasing his first solo album (self-titled) featuring an all-star cast including - you guessed it - Lemmy! (Also Dave Grohl, Kid Rock, Ozzy Osbourne, Ian Astbury, Iggy Pop etc).
Both Slash and Lemmy were born in north Staffs. Bet you didn't know that.
Rob's idea to get SubCulture-supported bands on to the public address system at Stoke City's Britannia Stadium on match days is working a treat. Even if we so say ourselves.
Spring for festivals
The best thing about Spring is that it means festival time is not far away!
The amazing thing is just how many festivals we have right here on our doorsteps
For example, Carl Foster told us about his
charity rock event in Newcastle this month. Headlining the two days are Fury UK (Sat 24) & Praying Mantis (Sun 25)
along with a host of local unsigned acts.
We especially like the
Night Of The Dog
fest which is in a field in Lower Tean (er
where???). On July 3 it happens all over again with NOTD 5.
Up to now eight local bands have confirmed, from around Uttoxeter, Ashbourne, and Stoke, to play at the concert. All the bands donate their time for free.
Last one for now (but DO tell us if you know more) there's the 6th Middle Of Nowhere Festival, at New House Farm, in Blithbury nr Rugeley - on Fri 28 & Sat 29 May. It's sponsored by those greats of the Stafford music scene, the Grapes Music Bar and the Guitar & Son shop.
Undiscovered land. Er... band.
Hello to Maps Of Columbus. We've just found out that this new band (Robert Bramhill, Craig Parkinson and Jonathan Mottram) was the old Last Great American Whale formed from the ashes of former local bands.
A year later and a change of musical direction and fresh ideas resulted in the emergence of Maps Of Columbus - a high-energy experiment in post-punk excellence, mining similar veins to the likes of Pulled Apart By Horses.
Love the name guys.
Pegasus Bridge have just acquired a new domain for their
... and the current prevailing colour of it is purple. Something to do with the new single - which is called Ribena - I'm told.
(...Ah... I get it now! Er. Very funny.)
Some gigs you missed this month
Troops Of Mafeking's drummer gets lost in his own drum kit
Friday 2 April: Troops of Mafeking at The Box in Crewe, supported by Crewe band Maps Of Columbus, together with Thought Explode and Echo Of Ages (both from Northwich)
April 5: Easter Monday Bank Holiday Special at The Full Moon - starting at 3pm with
Friends of Ken
plus The Seers and
Bad Hair Days
11 April: Rebel City Radio, Fiction Factory @ Alsager Arms
16 April: Rough Kutz + The Fortunas at Voodoo Lounge, Hanley
16 April: Screwloose + Everything on Red + Amongst the Stars, at Fat Cats, Hanley
We Like Danger
presents Amateur Assassins at White Star in Stoke
Motion Theory display their South Cheshire credentials at Jodrell Bank
at The Box. Last year MT released their debut album Featherhead, which won a few awards (including Manchester Music Record of the Week). Description? Er... "Manchester's reigning head-boys of cerebral heavy rock" - even though two of the guys are from South Cheshire.
Friday 23 April: Bluetones, supported by Crewe's own Sumo Kings at The Box in Crewe.
24 Apr: Tequila Lips at The Underground w/The Cheek.
24 & 25 April:
charity rock event in Newcastle this month. Headlining the two days are Fury UK (Sat 24) & Praying Mantis (Sun 25) - with supports from Liquid Sky, Apparition, Kinn, Exoterik, Long Time Dead and Headrush
along with a host of local unsigned acts.