Southend Who presents: Cisco In The Aquarium + Friends, a celebration of the old school Southend Ska Punk Scene!

 

On Friday January 5th 2018, Southend Who is proudly presenting an evening of Southend ska-punk to celebrate an era that was positively thriving in the early noughties!

Ska punk shows were a regular occurrence at Chinnerys back in 2000-2003, so we decided to get 3 of the best ska-punk legends back together as well as an appearance from one of the biggest characters from the scene for one night only at Chinnerys on Friday 5th January 2018. Here’s why we’re so excited!

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The ska pop princes back in the day, Cisco In The Aquarium were famous for their raucous live shows. Their loyal following  disbanded in 2005 when frontman James Kelleway moved to America. After a one off reunion show back in 2010, they’ve decided to have one last party at Chinnerys!
They were just kids when their legendary songs like ‘Tiffy Got A Texty‘ and ‘Flamin’ Nutcase‘ captured the hearts of the Southend music scene. Now they’re all grown up with a mission statement to get Southend skanking one last time!

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Matt Linnen’s X Factor Journey – The Story So Far

“So The X Factor then. For musicians and music fans alike, the reality show music culture is very much a polarising subject. Musicians who consider themselves ‘credible’ will most likely scoff at the thought of this product of popular culture.

“It’s rigged!” “It’s bullshit!” “It’s damaging the music industry!” “You’d never catch me on a show like that!”

Which is why it came as a shock to many people within the Southend Music Scene (the SMS) when Southend’s very own Matt Linnen showed up on primetime TV to sing a song for the X Factor judges. Hang about son, I thought you were a real musician? WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS!?

In reality (the real life reality, not the TV product reality), this is the result of years of being a dedicated performer and songwriter. Matt‘s not shy to the music industry, having enjoyed some early success with his old band Vox Empire, even being endorsed by the one and only Liam Gallagher. Matt has been a constant force in the SMS for nearly a decade now.

Recently he embraced his natural charisma and talent and embarked on developing the Linnen brand. He played the main stage last year at Village Green Festival and was one of the big highlights of the day. Big crowds have never phased him.

He is also one of the unsung heroes of the Southend Open Mic Scene, regularly organising these events at pretty much every intimate local venue and helping unite this community, as well as helping restaurants like Mangetout with their music booking as well as being a regular for the ever popular steakhouse (Matt even played a cheeky duet with Conor from Nothing But Thieves after their album launch party).

So why was it time to go for the X Factor? The story goes that his friend talked him into it after years of possibilities. It’s no secret that The X Factor scouts for talent for the show. Matt Linnen has always been on their radar. For Matt it would seem, now was the time to see if this was really a road he could walk.

Fast forward to now; Matt is now on Week 4 of one of the biggest shows on the planet. He’s become the poster boy of the current batch of contestants and Southend is now being mentioned regularly at the weekends. Southend is getting put on the map.

With all eyes on Southend, this can only be a good thing. Us Southenders have known for a while now that there’s something brewing in our scene. The likes of Nothing But Thieves, The Horrors, Asylums, Lydia Kitto and Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly are all testament to this. With all these Southend success stories, could this competition ignite something in the scene?

If you know Matt Linnen, there really is no bullshit here. He’s grafted, championed new talent and been a genuine force in the local community. He’s created this opportunity; The X Factor could potentially change Matt’s life forever. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

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Whether you’re an X Factor fan or not, there is no denying that this whole journey has been incredibly exciting and rewarding to watch. Southend is fully behind Matt Linnen and we will be voting every week to try and keep him on this journey. Go #TeamMatt!”

Mikey Glenister

Make sure you download The X Factor App to secure 5 free votes each time the voting opens on Matt Linnen.

Understand this: Youth Club are back with ‘Misunderstood’, their best single to date

“Now let’s get one thing clear: Youth Club are quite possibly the most loved band in Southend.
That’s a pretty bold statement to make about any band, but if you were one of the people present at the sold out Chinnerys gig that this latest single ‘Misunderstood‘ was shot on location at, you could feel the adoration. A true honest connection between the band and the audience. None of this ‘We’re filming a music video, look like you’re having fun‘ nonsense. It was a beautiful thing to witness and be part of. Pure joy in a room.

But let’s get down to the single at hand. It’s their best one for ages. Their forte has always been the upbeat anthems with the huge choruses and YC fans have been gagging for another ‘People‘ or ‘Tunnel‘. ‘Misunderstood‘ is very much up there with those. Easily. Momentum is very much back on Youth Club‘s side.

Of course let’s not forget who the real star of the video was. A cameo from yours truly. You’re welcome boys. I’m also available for weddings, funerals and Bar Mitzvahs. “

Mikey Glenister
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Youth Club ‘Misunderstood’ is out NOW on iTunes

Owen Williams new single ‘The Man Who Ate a Hurricane’ – worth digesting.

Owen Williams‘ latest single first came onto our radar when he played a delightful acoustic version of this track live on Broom Cupboard Sessions. Owen joins a heady mix of Southend troubadours that are fully embracing this town’s love for all things folk.OwenWilliams1We’re pleased this is finally getting the full release that it deserves. ‘The Man Who Ate a Hurricane‘ is a bluesy gospel track, with the fantastic analogy of a man who’s consumed rage the size of a hurricane, spreading the destruction wherever he goes. Owen‘s voice is warm and reassuring; it feels like he’s been singing to us for 40 years. His charisma really shines through over the effective simple structure of this song.

The Southend folk scene is an absolute joy at the moment, with Owen Williams a very welcome addition to this ever growing movement. This single is a delight.

Not sure I’d eat a hurricane though. I’m more of a Twister man myself.”

Mikey Glenister

Upgrade your pop taste – Tabou are back with more genre crossover bliss

“Now we’ve spoken a lot about these guys before here at Southend Who.
We even did a video interview with them during their recent show supporting Youth Club at Chinnerys a few weeks ago, but due to technical difficulties out of our control the sound got corrupted (we are new to the video-making game, it was totally our fault).

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But with or without super trendy local music blogs providing video content, it’s hard to ignore the pop bliss that is Tabou‘s current single ‘Upgrade‘. The subtle phasing synths in the intro build to a slick pop groove, dictated by duelling melodic guitar lines. The way they meander around the vocal melodies is very accomplished stuff. This is polished indie-pop packed with soul.

This single release should only cement the ‘ones to watch’ tag that seems to keep getting stuck to them. Expect a future video interview with them soon from Southend Who (seriously, how hard is it to turn a microphone on, right?).”

Mikey Glenister

Back of the Mind? More like Back of the Net with Courts’ best release to date.

“We’ve been shameless Courts fans for a while now. In fact, it’s been hard to restrain ourselves from just writing exclusively about Courts recently, as we didn’t want to risk this site becoming a Courts fanboy page. We held back on featuring their latest single ‘True Say‘ and the previous release ‘Any of Us‘, as we knew that these were both to be included on the long awaited EP release ‘Back of the Mind’. Boy oh boy, it was worth the wait.

Courts are simply one of the most exciting bands in the UK right now. Blending the exceptional disco funk of Chic, the gritty attack of grime and presented in a polished indie package; it shouldn’t work, but it really does. Frontman Chris is easily one of the best rap lyricists around. Not only are his choice of words on point, but his diction and elocution creates relentlessly seamless, lyrical phrases. This is advanced craftsmanship.

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Feel My Love‘ is the standout track of the three singles on this EP, a fantastic disco anthem, but ‘Move The Roots’ is a welcome addition to these songs. The addition of vibrant brass (supplied by Gavin Fitzjohn and Tom Pinder, two of the top players in the world right now) fills out the intricate layers even further. It also features fantastic lyrics.
‘Evil exists because it should, without evil there would’t be good. That’s the only reason that it’s there, so don’t fear anything you don’t need to care.’ Simple but reassuring observations.

This EP has been a long time coming and is one of the best releases this year so far. Courts are one of the best bands on the planet. They deserve your worship immediately.
‘Back of the Mind’ is available to stream and download here. Courts play Village Green Festival on 8th July.”

Mikey Glenister

The wonderful world of transatlantic troubadour Matthew Battle

“Some time ago, Matthew Battle packed his bags, said goodbye to sunny Leigh-on-Sea and relocated to even sunnier Colombia. Taking with him 400 million instruments, a wealth of influences and his wild imagination, he has been dropping nuggets of lo-fi goodness ever since. And we should know, he has sent us a video pretty much every month for as long as we can remember!

His most recent LP ‘A Room Without a View‘ dropped recently. The whole thing was recorded in his tiny apartment and provides an intimate look into his mad little world. The whole thing is drenched in layers of irresistible DIY noise.

Opening track ‘Build Your Wall‘ throbs with a euphoric bitterness, ‘You Were Made for Me’ (featuring vocals from his wife María Angélica Madero) is a swirling, sardonic tale of love, and ‘Lost in the Internet‘ is a pulsing, despairing battle cry against the world we live in. While all these tracks reflect his new surroundings, there is still a pleasingly British matter-of-factness and humour running through them.

You could certainly do worse than buy the whole thing from his Bandcamp page, or have a little glimpse via the Southend Who Spotify playlist.”

Rob Glenister