There’s Nothing Taboo about Tabou. From The Ashes Of HNTR Comes a Fresh New Project

2015/2016 was a great couple of years for the promising new band HNTR. They were surfing a wave of positive hype, becoming one of the buzz bands in the South East. Then as quickly as this momentum was reaching a peak, they very quietly announced that they were calling it a day. This was no fond farewell though, it was merely just a reshuffle in the ranks and a new battle plan. Goodbye HNTR. Hello Tabou.

The London/Essex 4 piece are quite simply a contemporary joy. Mixing indie, soul and electro pop, this is inventive song writing, which sits very nicely alongside other acts coming out of the Thames Estuary area like Southchurch and Arcaves. Once again, it seems there’s another vital sub scene brewing. This can only be a good thing.

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Their debut single ‘Honey’ has already received over 20k plays on their Soundcloud page in only 3 weeks. It seems that the hype from the past has continued into this reimagining.  And rightly so. Tabou are worth keeping your eyes on this year.

Tabou play The Rocksteady in Dalston London this Friday for a FREE ENTRY gig. Don’t miss out!

Arcaves Finally Crack Their Pop Formula With New Single ‘Familar Stranger’

Arcaves has been Billy Wright‘s baby for a long time now. In fact, it’s hard to remember a time when this project wasn’t active in some form or another since Redtrack‘s demise. From BB, to Casablanco, his journey has been a true musical progression, with Billy’s goal quite clear: pop music needs to happen.

14479558_1770247349883704_6182303741207336419_nWith a substantial amount of lineup changes, it seems that Billy has finally found the right ensemble to help realise his dream. One of the key additions was Bekile, who is truly captivating (as she proved at Arcaves’ recent homecoming show).
This 5 year journey has seen the evolution of Billy’s songwriting. Whereas in the past he may have been held back by the natural larger than life charisma he possesses, it feels like now he’s certainly started to find a natural balance. Finally, his songs are doing the talking.

Familiar Stranger finally brings Bekile to the front of the mix, with her and Billy’s voices complementing each others perfectly. This song is truly irresistible. The nod back to the 90s pop era is very welcome, with slick production, melodies that inject themselves deep into your subconscious, sitting over a groove that takes you on cruise control to the end of the track. There is no doubt about it; this is Arcaves‘ finest effort yet.

It’s been one hell of a ride to get there, but it seems that Billy has finally created the pop blueprint that he’s been committed to designing for half a decade. Write that shit down Billy, you have discovered the winning formula.”

Mikey Glenister

Nothing But Thieves Leave Their Hearts In Amsterdam, But Return With A HUGE Comeback Single

“Is this the most highly anticipated comeback single from a Southend band in history? Well it’s awfully hard to argue otherwise. The last three years have seen Nothing But Thieves thrive and become one of the biggest rock bands in the world. With a worldwide army of fans behind them, there’s massive pressure for comeback single ‘Amsterdam‘ to deliver. Does it?

We’ll just put this out there: Conor Mason will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the greatest rock frontmen on the planet. The evolution of this young man’s vocals is quite something; the emotive delivery, the inhuman range and the effortless dynamics once again transform the trusty rock song framework into a fast paced delight.

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It feels like Conor’s lyrics explore the frustrations of isolation, highlighting how people don’t quite know how to interact anymore. “We live and then we die as one, we all live under the same sun.”/”So I’m Hitting My Head Up Against The Wall, over and over and over and over again, because I don’t wanna be like them”.
He quietly reflects with the lyric “I left my heart in Amsterdam, where I could dream and nights were young”, he hints that maybe this is a place where they had some peace from the enormity of the struggles of basic social existence. His passionate performance makes you root for him.

It’s an exhilarating 4 minutes. This video had the band’s biggest budget to date, shot on location in Kiev. It’s the first video to fully reflect the dominance of this band. They have finally arrived at the next level. If this is a sign of things to come on Nothing But Thieves’ second album ‘Broken Machines’ (due for release 8th September 2017), we could potentially be looking at one of the great rock records of this decade.
We’re with you all they way boys. ”

Mikey Glenister

You can preorder ‘Broken Machine’ right here, receiving Amsterdam straight away.

Linnen & Friends Set To Soar At Homecoming Charity Show For Essex & Herts Air Ambulance

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Linnen outside of open mic events, so we’re very excited about this full band show at Chinnerys on Thursday 27th April. Linnen exudes exuberance and is one of the most exciting singer songwriters in Southend today.

This special show is a collaboration between Pierview Productions, South Records and Raygun FX, with all profits going to Essex and Herts Air Ambulance, a fantastic life saving organisation.

Support comes from lo-fi rocker newcomers  Blab; (whose debut EP ‘Everything Is Everyone Else’s Fault’ is worthy of your immediate attention) and Orlean, a fast rising troubadour whose songs are simply packed with soul.

With a very special guest also promised, this is a no brainer for your Thursday night this week. Support local music and local charity. Everyone wins!

•••UPDATE•••
The special guest has been confirmed as Longy, who will be playing a short set. What a turn up for the books!

Tickets are £5 and are available here, or £7 on the door. We’ll see you there.

Slim Pickings – Breathing New Life Into The Southend Reggae Scene

The Southend ska/dub/reggae scene has always been an ever evolving community, with the likes of Goldmaster Allstars and Tallowah leading the charge. There are key players in this fraternity of musicians who are passionate about the goings on in this town, so when a group of them united to create Slim Pickings, it was clear that this was going to be something quite unique.

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Led by the charismatic Jack Roth, the eight piece dropped their latest single ‘One Life‘ last week off their debut EP ‘Too Broke To Smoke’ due for release in June through Khandha Records. This track is quite something; the reggae framework is lifted by off-kilter guitar solos and Aurelius’ rap helps to sit this contextually higher than other efforts. It seems they’re taking things to the next level, which is great for the Southend scene.

It’s nice to see such a polished video for this track too, shot on location in and around Southend, a great job from Vanloop Media.

This year will see Slim Pickings play some high profile shows in the summer to support their debut release, which is great for all of us. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for more information.

The Trusted VIDEO PREMIERE – The New Single ‘Good To Bad’

The Trusted are back with their brand new single ‘Good To Bad‘. Once again, the young quartet deliver another indie treat.

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The bass lick hooks you in immediately, quickly locking in with the drums to embark on an irresistible groove trip. Tom Cunningham’s subtle vocal delivery sits neatly over the song, possibly singing about the frustrations of losing a special someone and not being able to do anything about it.

Shot on location at The Venue and directed by Cool Thing Records visual whizz Kana Waiwaiku, this new single is only going to strengthen their claim to being your new favourite band this year.

Apachelux – It’s Green For Go With Latest Single ‘Waiting For The Red Light’

It’s quite likely that Apachelux (pronounced Ap-ah-chee-lux) may have gone off your radars since their last release back in 2015. Back then, ‘Only When You’re Lonely’ received high praise from The Times, listing it as one of their Essential Tracks of the year. Indeed they have been fairly secretive in the build up to their latest release ‘Waiting for the Red Light’.

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This track harks back to the glory days of 90s electronica, with strong nods to Orbital and The Chemical Brothers. The star of the show once again is Louisa Stracham’s powerful lead vocals which shine brightly here.
With Louisa being very active in the Southend creative community (she helped young singer songwriters recently at a special workshop, a collaboration between SoSlam and Metal) it’s great that we finally get to hear Apachelux return with great new music. We await their next move eagerly!

‘Waiting For The Red Light’ is available now on iTunes