LJ HOWARD – ‘SETTLE DOWN’ EXCLUSIVE NEW SINGLE VIDEO PREMIERE

We are incredibly excited to EXCLUSIVELY unveil the brand new video for Southend sensation LJ Howard‘s latest single ‘Settle Down’!

LJ Howard first came onto our radars supporting Arcaves at Chinnerys earlier this year, with one of the most upbeat high energy performances we’ve ever seen. We’ve been fans ever since.

This new single is slightly mellower than his previous releases, but there’s some classic 80s pop going on here. Think classic Lionel Richie with an up to date contemporary twist. The simple shuffle of the club beat sits nicely under meandering phasing synth and strings, whilst LJ’s dynamic voice glides over the track.

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LJ Howard plays In The Park Festival at Garon Park alongside The Hoosiers, Toploader, Arcaves and Southchurch this Sunday 28th May. Tickets are available here. He’s also playing this year’s Village Green Festival. He’s going to be busy this summer clearly, so make sure you do yourself a favour and check him out. Guaranteed to put smiles on faces!

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.

Arcaves @ Chinnerys 24/02/17 w/ Southchurch + LJ Howard

“First and foremost, we highly recommend heading to any gigs headed by the phrase ‘JD Presents’. Free Jack and Coke on entry? Yes please!

Free booze isn’t the main event however, as Billy Wright brings his band Arcaves back for his biggest homecoming show to date. There’s a full set up with professional light rigging that would look more at home on The Cliffs Pavilion stage. Can this evening live up to the hype of the occasion?

Kicking off proceedings is LJ Howard, who immediately sets the precedence for the rest of the evening. His charismatic pop soul simply demands your attention; the crowd are like putty in his hands, getting them engaged with call and response chants for ‘History’. Instant superstar. That’s how you open a gig.

Next up is Southchurch, who are riding the momentum train, with BBC Essex Introducing choosing them as one of their Sounds of 2017. They don’t mess about, jumping straight in with their current single ‘Fading‘, much to the delight of the room that’s starting to fill up nicely. Their house and garage grooves are a refreshing change to what Chinnerys is used to. Casey’s vocals completely shine over impressive arrangements, with Taylor keeping the energy high at all times.

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We are now two for two. The future looks bright and we’ve not even made it to the headliners yet.

Billy Wright has been building and developing his vision for some time now, so tonight feels like a realisation of the dream. A packed Chinnerys, a huge stage production setting and great anticipation; can Arcaves live up to the main event?

If Arcaves new material is anything to go by, then Billy’s big pop aspirations will be soon realised. Sure, old favourites like ‘Man Enough‘ and ‘Out Of The Blue‘ go down well with the Arcaves faithful, but with the current lineup, some much needed energy and cohesion is now present. For the first time in a while, it feels like a band, rather than Billy with some session players. We’re witnessing his vision start to come into fruition, which is just as satisfying as the disco beats and big soul belters that we’re hearing.

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Bekile is an absolute star, who is absolutely key to the band’s sound, her soaring vocals compliment Billy in such a way that gives these tracks an incredible vindication. If anything, Billy’s charisma is in danger of shielding her here. Tucked away on the side of the stage, our only niggle is that maybe she should be right at the front, demanding our attention. Billy’s charisma is never in doubt, so a little switch up could bring his band more into play, because his band are simply wonderful. The moment when Dominic Nyarambi jumps on the barrier and hypes up the crowd is pure joy. Then suddenly what is going on here? Is that a keytar? Lewis Olley has stepped forward behind his keys and is about to do a keytar solo? He certainly does and somehow, it makes perfect sense. Keytars should never be cool, but here we are, a full Chinnerys absolutely lapping it up.

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Tonight is a celebration. Arcaves have come so far and with promises of more new music, Chinnerys witnessed something that was important, a rebirth and a sign that once again, the Southend Music Scene is the healthiest it’s been for years. And that’s not just the JD talking.”

Mikey Glenister

Darren Jones brings his World Music Band to Chinnerys on Saturday night!

This weekend is clearly a good one to set up camp at Chinnerys for. Once Arcaves have brought the Friday party, Saturday 25th sees the enigmatic Darren Jones & The World Music Band take to the stage to keep the party going, for one of his biggest headline shows.

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Darren is Southend’s answer to Paul Simon and is a regular on this town’s popular open mic circuit. With his full band behind him he’s unstoppable.

This is one live show you don’t want to miss. An uplifting folk force to be reckoned with, one of Southend’s best kept secrets. Head to See Tickets to get your tickets for this must-see show!

Recreations – London Brixton Jamm 27/01/17 – By Graham Farquharson

Recreations. Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager. Friday Night in London. All the ingredients were in place for a great gig, so did it meet expectations?

Following a sparky set from Seán McGowan (long time friend of Sam and well worth checking out), it was time for Recreations. 12 of them (that’s right, you heard correctly, 12?!) squeezed onto the stage at the Brixton Jamm.

First up were a couple of songs from Sam Duckworth’s new album ‘Kingdoms’ that had been released just that morning on Spotify. Backed by the full band, these were punchier than the acoustic recordings, probably more so than Recreation’s last release ‘Beaches Ain’t Shit‘, which boded well for the main part of the evening.

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After a brief interlude, Recreations kicked off with ‘Once More with Feeling’ before taking things up a notch with a funked up version of ‘An Oak Tree’, which got the sold out crowd moving.
Recreations proceeded to follow ‘The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager’ track by track, but these were no facsimile renditions of long loved favourites. Each track had been re-arranged or re-imagined in some way. Indeed, I felt Recreations were playing in a more muscular fashion than when I last saw them play this set in Southend last October. I especially liked the extra snap, crackle and pop that the electronics were adding to the Recreations sound.

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As the gig progressed, it was great to see Sam looking so relaxed and at ease in this intimate space, which really came through during the show. It’s hardly surprising with 11 colleagues though, it is clear tonight that Recreations is more than a one man band, with the 4 piece brass section taking, literally, centre stage. Add to the mix the happiest drummer I have ever seen, keeping things tight with the rest of the rhythm section and a special mention to Katie the violinist, who performed a stunning rendition of ‘If I had a £1….’ with Sam. The Chronicles section of the show concluded in the best possible fashion with ‘The Chronicles …(Part 1)’ with the crowd in full voice reprising the ‘bah dah bah bah bah’ chants for so long, that Recreations were able to re-take to the stage and pick the song up exactly where they left off.

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They finished the night with the opening track on Kingdoms ‘All These Nights’, an encore which signposts to more good times for Recreations. For me, they have gone from strength to strength over the last few months. Even if you saw them at Chinnerys or on Southend Pier last October, you do not want to miss the chance to see this current lineup again at Chinnerys again on 11th February. If this show was anything to go by, then trust me: you do not want to miss it.”

GF

Enter the Outrageous & Unhinged World of The Ears Of Xeno Group

By Mikey Glenister

So let’s get one thing clear right from the start: there is nothing quite like The Ears of Xeno Group in Southend.

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They are a experimental psychedelic jazz trio, led by Daryl Tattoo, arguably one of the best guitarists in the country right now (check out his previous band FutureAges, we’ve been fans for a long time).

Last year they released ‘EOX‘, an ambitious instrumental abstract study that really pushes musical boundaries. It’s an effort that is full of subtle grooves, sonic depth and ladened with multicoloured vitality.

When acts this original and earnest rise up, it’s important to recognise the declaration. This is a project that you have to take notice of. The Ears Of Xeno Group captivate your senses. They demand your attention.

Expect new material and new live shows in 2017. In the meantime, plug in a good set of headphones and lose yourself in the spellbinding landscape of The Ears Of Xeno Group.

Introducing Bertie Scott – Could He Be Southend’s Next Breakout Star?

By Mikey Glenister

The best thing about the Southend music scene is that every now and then, you’ll get artists that come along and demand your attention.

Bertie Scott
 is one of these artists.

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Hailing himself as alt-pop, young Bertie does things on his own terms. Despite being a relatively new artist, everything about his approach is polished and refined. His current single ‘Overdose’ is a direct and satisfying listen; the depth of the track shines thanks to it’s glossy production. There is an endearing charm to Bertie, which shines through here.

It’s refreshing to see someone apply such professionalism to their work. There is nothing amateur about this, and is rightly making people stand and take note. We will certainly be keeping an eye on Bertie Scott in 2017. We can’t wait to see what he does next. Be sure to follow his journey at www.bertiescott.com.