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

Summer may be here, but don’t put away your winter coat just yet: you need Big Jacket in your life

The folk scene in Southend is incredibly healthy. It’s a good time to be a troubadour, with plenty of Open Mic nights springing up over the last few years. There’s never been more platforms for upcoming artists.

One of the current standout acts in this scene is Big Jacket. Led by Jordan Hemmingway, they have only been playing together since January this year and already they are earning themselves a large following. Their single release show at The Alex was absolutely rammed, but this is testament to just how good their songs and live performances are.

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Something To Think About‘ is charming song. The reassuring growl in Jordan’s voice is perfectly complemented by the delicate tones of Kyiah Marks. The subtle build to the huge crescendoing ending is a beautiful journey. They’ve stamped their sound; this is pure and honest pop music. Very welcome in our seaside town.

Big Jacket play Village Green Festival next month. ‘Something To Think About’ is available on iTunes right here.

Innocence? Please. Suspects will chew you up, spit you out and leave you a glorious mess.

“If you haven’t already heard Suspects, then you sir are a liar. They are the loudest band in Essex, so you must be genuinely deaf  if you haven’t.

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Thomas Prescott and James ‘Jaff’ May are on a roll at the moment. Last week their latest release ‘Innocence’ was premiered on the Kerrang! website. The loudest magazine featuring the loudest band in Southend? Completely fitting.

‘Innocence’ is a visceral assault on your senses. Think White Stripes times a billion. Not since Winnebago Deal has a duo turned up with punk and grunge ambitions this big. It’s no surprise that Cool Thing Records have picked up on these guys. They play Village Green Festival next month, which is sure to be one of the highlights of the event. Here’s hoping they don’t blow the PA system.”

By Mikey Glenister
Photos: Kana Waiwaiku

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.

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.

Beach For Tiger – Leading the Psychedelic Pop Renaissance

By Mikey Glenister

So psychedelia is a thing again.
For years, it was seen as an ideology that died in the early 70s. Often created as a result of the artists’ own hallucinogenic experiences, this aural representation was sometimes an attempt to recreate their visual kaleidoscopic trips. Listening to the classic psychedelic bands with a great set of headphones can send you to a truly weird altered state.

Bands like Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Temples have made this genre relevant and closer to the mainstream once again, so it was surely an inevitability that a Southend band would suddenly arrive to surf this psychedelic wave. That band is Beach For Tiger, and golly, look at the tricks they are pulling off.

Their latest effort ‘Black Buddha’ is rich with layers of dreamy synths and vocal harmonies, held together by a restrained disco groove. It’s slick production (recorded at The Broom Cupboard, fast becoming the home of astonishing homegrown talent) really captures their dynamism. This is polished and dripping in personality. The summer vibes flow through this track, which are incredibly welcome during these cold winter months. The extended outro is brimming with succulent chord progressions that fill your body with warmth.

The lyric “Buddha is black and babe it gets me going” repeats reassuringly through the choruses, it’s almost hypnotic.
This track certainly gets us going. We await their next move with baited breath.
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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.