Friday, 30 October 2009

More music for you lot.. (Live review)

I've been absent a while, blame univeristy life and all its trials and tribulations. However I do have a guy for you lot to listen to and keep an eye out for.

Thabani Nyoni is a guy who embraces the African beat into his music, leaving a memorable impression on all who hear it. I was at a gig of his last night and Thabani and his band were easily the best act of the night, getting everyone to sing along and having a charisma many stage performers could only dream about.

Right from when Thabani and his band took the stage, I knew something different was coming, something I would enjoy. It was a sentiment shared by mates with me. This anticipation to see what was coming stopped me from leaving after the second act and battle through my tiredness. I did not regret staying. Thabani brought the whole place alive with people dancing to the beat.

The best song of the night that got people singing long after it finished was Fire In The Village. Thabani sang "There's a fire!" We sang back, "Fire In The Village." Actually amazing. I've been to a lot of gigs and I'm going to go to a lot more but Thabani and his band are one of the few who's stage presence I will not forget and who I will look out for in the future. If you're going to Glastonbury 2010, make sure you check these guys out, it'll be worth it.

Also Thabani, if you're wondering who wrote this, I was the guy in the grey t-shirt who asked if you had an album out. If you want to still add me to your e-mail list it's

Listen to Thabani now!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Album Review: Revolutions by Agency

Another week, another album review. This weeks album is brought to you by Agency and is titled Revolutions. A lot of you may remember Agency being mentioned way back when this blog was only a few weeks old. Back then, they had quite few good tracks on their MySpace.

Revolutions is what most in the music business dub as the difficult second album. A band has already cemented their sound in their first album and songs so the second album sets out to build on that success. Have Agency built on that success? Let's see.

The album opens with a short untitled intro before directly launching into 'Ours'. This song is a straight up rock song, fast paced and eager to please. Well it should please all rock fans with its great riffs and loud drumming. 'Ours' is short, fast and great.

We then move straight all out rock to a bit of a short ballad entitled One For Us. It's a bit slower and deeper than 'Ours'. It's a good song to hear and if I had to pick the a potential hit for Revolutions, then 'One For Us' would be it.

From here on in the album seems to take a turn for a slower vibe which has it's ups and downs. 'Went Looking' comes directly after One For Us and would be called the long ballad. It does merit a place on the album but in my opinion I think it should have been further down the track listings.

Things speed up again at track 6 called Get Up. This is what I would pick out as the definite hit of Revolutions with everything here blending perfectly to create a incredible rock song. However this seems and track 7 called 'Transient' seem to be the last true independent songs on the album. The 2nd half of Revolutions just seems to blend into one with no tracks really standing out. They are all a good listen but don't make themselves known like the first half of the album.

I'm going to give this album a respectful 7 out of 10. Revolutions is to be recommended to fans of alt. rock music looking for something slightly different.

Favourite Tracks: Ours and Transient.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Album Review: Chasing Rabbits - Tab & Anitek

So to mark my return I'm celebrating the return of a very good musician. Many of you may remember I mentioned Tab way back when he was releasing Poet in The Dark. Poet in The Dark was a mind opener, not just an album but an insightful journey. So what does Chasing Rabbits hold for us? Well I don't think anyone can describe it better than the artist himself:

"This album is for anyone who gave up on a dream to settle for the mediocre... For anyone medicated for asking questions.. Judged for being different.. Hated for being honest.. This is the soundtrack for those stuck on the slow road to nowhere... For BIG dreams in shitty towns.. For anyone chasing something they will never find.."

So the actual album then? What is it? Good? Bad? Okay?

In my opinion it's great follow up to Poet in the Dark. Tab has not lost any of the talent that he first showed and it seems to have improved. His style seems to have matured a bit more and the songs on Chasing Rabbits seem a lot more ordered and grown up than his previous releases.

My favourite songs from the record:

Charades - The opening to this song is amazing, the spanish guitar really makes this song seem to have that more soul. Also there's a bit of a throwback to a song from Poet in The Dark here, my favourite song from that record which was Sun Goes Down. He has taken the formula for that song and made something that is familiar but unique at the same time.

Vitamin Shoppe - Here Tab tackles an issue that isn't really discussed and that is addiction to prescribed medicine. Many produce songs about drug abuse but Tab is one of the few that looks at the issue from another standpoint. This is the track that really hits out a healthcare system that seems to thrive of abuse.

The Ballad of The Man That Never Made It- This tune, I think, will be the definitive song of the whole album. I don't think any other song on the album comes close to the whole message of the album and Tab's message above about all the people who failed to realise their dreams. It's slow and follows Tab's continuous story telling model. If I had to pick a single to promote the album, that would probably be it.

Full Track Listing:

1. Down The Rabbit Hole
2. Scrapbook
3. Vitamin Shoppe
4. House of The Rising Son
5. Cheap Disguise
6. Here Comes The Rain
7. Charades
8. Last Call
9. Manipulated Living
10. Ballad of The Man That Never Made It
11. Elmer Fudd Theory

All in all I give the album a solid 4 out of 5. If you are a hip hop fan or a music fan in general then this album deserves to be in your collection. So what are you waiting for? It's avaliable now to buy.


Monday, 2 March 2009

So I had a bit of a relapse...

Okay so I didn't post this weekend. Life has a funny thing of throwing unexpected events at you. That's all I have to say about that. Remember I've already cleared myself for not posting the weekend coming because I have quite a lot of things going on and I will barely be on the computer. Also today, I did voice training and after listening back to some old recordings I'm glad I did. I was all monotonous and boring. Bad times. Well when I have the podcast up that will change. Speaking of the podcast, if you want to have one of your songs featured on it contact me at Right onto the bands.

The first band we have are from Enfield, North London and go by the name of Retro Crooks. These guys are an alternative band with a great sound going between slow beats to fast rhythms. This mix works so well with how this band play and instantly draws you into them. Their songs about guys, girls, relationships and all the bits in between. Of course that subject has been done over and over (see the history of all music) but Retro Crooks seem to bring a new life to it and its hard to get bored of a subject that seems to have been taken away and polished to reveal something new underneath all that old stuff. The same could be said about Retro Crooks. They are by no means the first band to do what they do but they are a refreshing one.

The second band we listen to is called Draw Me Stories, from Cardiff, Wales. These guys describe themselves as an alternative folk rock band and its not hard to see why. You have the folk rhythms backing up with some very interesting lyrics. Draw Me Stories seem to be quite downbeat but they pull it off in such a way that you enjoy yourself and your nodding along to their music, well thats what I was doing... Anyway I'm really liking these guys and they do have a debut EP avaliable which I think would be a wise buy and could be one of the best records of the year.

I tell you what is a shame. Both these bands are unsigned and yet producing great music. They may not hit it big this year, a shame for the mainstream, but they have what it takes to knock down all barriers and by the beginning of 2010 start to invade. That's why both bands are BTB Rising Stars of 09.

Remember if you want to contact me send me an email at or

Thursday, 26 February 2009

I'm still going!

Yes! I haven't stopped posting in a row yet. I knew writing this in the morning would have a better rate of success than when I used to do it mid afternoon when I hit the lazy stage. Also thanks to the bands who are sending MP3's for the podcast. If things go well then it will be up be the end of next week. However if some unexpected stuff happens then it will be pushed back depending on what actually happens. I do know that next weekend (Friday 6th to Sunday 8th) I will not be updating this site due to a family occassion. Other than that nothing major should get in the way. Let us begin.

The first band of today goes by the name of Controller, who are from the UK ( I could say Kent due to the interview with BBC Kent but I don't want to be wrong. Though if you are from Kent, Controller, you are doing us proud!). This pack of 4 is led by Jenna Donnelly who has a fantastic voice which really brings the music to life. of course it is helped by the musicians, Louis Newell on guitar, Paul Townsend on drums and Ethan Maltby on Bass, who bring amazing rhythm and tone that blend incredibly well with Jenna's voice. The music covers mainly relationships, well that's what I get from it, though I suppose you could take away your own meaning. I can see Controller going far and so also nominate them as a BTB Sound of 09 act.

Favourite Song: Something to Walk Out On.

The next act I have is Tab, more than just a rapper/singer but a lyrical genius. Tab hails from New Jersey and has been involved in music for the majority of his life. He has picked up a lotover the years and listening to his songs you can tell that he is a quality act. In a tip when R&B, Hip Hop and Rap has been invaded by those who go on about how great they are and how much money they have, it's refreshing to have an artist of the genre who goes back to what hip hop was and was meant to be, mainly sending a message of the wrongs of the world, sending messages to the people. I know a lot of my readers don't like rap or hip hop but give Tab a listen and tell me he isn't good. Tab, if you're reading this, consider me one of your newest fans and someone who will be spreading the word.

Favourite Song: There's too many to choose from.

Anyway that's today's post done. If you want to contact me:

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

We continue!

What?! I'm actually doing a second post in a row like I promised?! I fear we've slipped into some kind of alternate universe during the night or things are on the up. You decide on which answer you prefer or come up with your own. You have the choice after all. Right any updates I need to be telling you about?...Nope. I'll put updates up here for your bands if you ask me too though! Anyway let's crack on.

The first band we encounter today are, Draft Animals, who are from Port Orchard, Washington in the USA. They are an indie band though not the generic indie band everyone claims to be, because you know recently a lot of indie bands have started to suck. Draft Animals have, however, reinstated my belief that there are good hard working bands out there. Draft Animals even chuck in a bit of reggae with their song Western Jamaica which is something I wasn't expecting when I first hit their MySpace page. All in all a band that, should they continue to spring some surprises like that, will be stampeding through the music world and into the ears of many listeners.

The next act I have for you is a solo artist from Tasmania, Australia who goes by the name of Samuel Page. All I have to say is amazing. I have the belief that Samuel Page can do for Australia what Ladyhawke did for New Zealand and reaffirm its status in the modern music world. With Samuel Page you take what you will from his lyrics but it's almost guaranteed that you will connect with his songs in some way. I know I did and I was not expecting that. One of the BTB Sounds of 09? Yes, yes he is provided enough of you lot start supporting him and help in spreading the word of Samuel Page, listening to him, going to gigs if you are near his area or if he comes to you. Sam, keep it up and realise you have made many new fans today.

That's that for today then. Remember the following ways are how you can contact me:

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Fuck this shit!

Do you know what I did today? I realised how lazy I have become. I scorned myself and told myself off for being so damn lazy. So now, unlike those empty promises I have fed you before, I mean it this time. BTB is not going to die because of my "I can't be bothered" attitude. I started this because I wanted to find new music and share it with others. This is the glorious return of the daily update. Not the weekly update or the monthly update. The weekly update. Now that I'm fired up again, lets do this!

The band I have found to kick start this reboot is called Pretend Girlfriend who are from Burnley. Pretend Girlfriend are a post punk/rock/pop mash up of sound and are catchy enough to be singing along and cool enough for you to proudly proclaim to be one of their fans. These 4 guys have a great chemistry between them with every member of the band playing an intricate part in carving out pure music awesomeness. They've recently recorded new material and are playing shows in Burnley. So if you're a Burnleyite (or is it Burnleyian?) go take a look because if Pretend Girlfriend's songs are anything to go by, they'll put on one hell of a show. They say it is during times like these when the economy has gone to shit and the public is apathetic to the world that the real music comes out to shine among the crap. Pretend Girlfriend are one of those shining lights guiding us through the shitstorm we're encountering.

Favourite Song: Shopping For Free

Now to slow things down slightly with a band called Just To Annoy Ray, who are from Cirencester. This bunch of girl and guys class themselves as Acoustic Folk Rock but you need to throw a bit of funk and the fact that JTAR have a certain ambience surrounding them. I will be the first to admit that similar bands to JTAR kind of threw me off liking this take on a genre but JTAR have reeled me back in with their hooks. The lead singer, Sian Chandler, has a hauntingly beautiful voice that you cannot get sick of hearing. Throw in the support from her co band members, Ray Hughes, Trevor Short, Sam Gerard and Nigel Gardner and you have one of the best recipes of a band yet.

Favourite Song: Loaded Gun

Both bands are currently unsigned so if you work for a record label , snap up these treasures.

Well that's it for today. I need breakfast. To contact me:

E mail:

Wednesday, 21 January 2009


So some important changes have occurred, most notably the USA has a new President. Other important changes concern this here blog. Over the next couple of weeks you will see a string of changes, the layout of the site could change quite dramatically though I haven't decided how, a new podcast should be up soon enough and now with a webcam at hand, some video blogs could be made. Hooray for progress I say.

Right first band is 3BobNation who hail from Gravesend, England. So who or what are they? Well 3BobNation are an Indie, Punky, Poppy threesome who bring out some smooth listening songs, combined with commentary of everyday life and every song they have made have catchy lyrics, catchy tunes and are generally all around catchy. The amount of times I used catchy in that last sentence should give you a sense on what you're missing out on by not listening to them. I've seen them live a few times and they know how to get a crowd on their side by putting on a great show for all who have attended one of their many gigs.

Band number 2 are called, Base Battalion, from London, England. Who or what are they? I'm going out on a limb by first guessing they are human, if they aren't then this is both interesting and worrisome. Base Battalion are an experimental rock band who use the art of sound distortion like experts. The vocals of Swan compliments the sound the band produce who also consists of fEET, fLash and L.Pops ( I am not making these names up, I swear). A sound hot pick for 2009? You better believe it!

Well those are the two bands I bring you today. It's only 2 today because well I am working on quite a lot of things so time is naturally being a bitch. Listen and love!

Got a suggestion? Want your band to be heard on the BTB podcast? Then contact me:

Friday, 16 January 2009

Just checking in...

I know. I know. I haven't posted in over a month. I've been busy/ ill. However some developments. The new podcast is being worked on and should be up in the next week or so. Also I have a new laptop which has a built in webcam so maybe some video blogs will be done.

Watch this space!