Eye to Eye #9 JOE SYMES & THE LOVING KIND

JSTLK

JS&TLK as we shall refer to them from here on in(to save our poor fingers!) are a five piece who play 60’s infused ‘acoustic rock’. While they wear their sixties heart firmly on their sleeve they are by no means a Beatles tribute act… From our own fair city they have been together for a year or so and are about to release their debut album. The launch is at the Zanzibar Saturday 20th July, so get down and show your support!

JS&TLK are Joe Symes – Vocals/Guitar/Harmonica, Colin White – Drums/Percussion, Paul Hetherington – Guitar/Backing vocals, Dave Skilling – Keyboards/Backing vocals and Chris Giblin – Bass Guitar.

Joe kindly answered some questions for us:

TLE: What are you listening to at the moment?
JOE: I’m listening to The Beatles White Album at the moment, a very wide range of music and styles on there for me, one of my favourite Beatles album’s, a lot of influence was drawn from that album for our debut album, The different styles of songs, presentation, the whole feel about the album, I’m also listening to a lot of Marvin Gaye at the moment.
TLE: What’s the most Rock and Roll situation the band have found themselves in?
JOE: We recently met SAM LEECH who was the founder of the Merseybeat scene in Liverpool in the 1960’s, he was best friends with The Beatles, he organised all their first gigs in and around the north west… He is still best friends with Paul McCartney to this day, Sam will be opening our debut album launch at The Zanzibar in Liverpool Sat 20th July, It was an honour to meet him, so many great stories he told us about the whole Merseybeat scene and The Beatles, he is a fan our band also.
TLE: What’s been your favourite gig so far and why?
JOE: I’ve enjoyed all the gigs we have played up to now, been very rewarding for the band. The best one for me was our 2nd gig when we headlined the main stage of the 02 Academy 1 in Liverpool Sept 6th 2012 for Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds official aftershow party, the gig was sold out and it was such a great night. It was also great for the band to asked on the night to be the main support band for Steve Cradock ( Ocean Colour Scene/Paul Weller ) two months later at the same venue.
TLE: How do you describe your sound?
JOE: I would describe the band sound as very diverse in the sense that we don’t like to repeat what we have done previously.
We would like to do the gamut if we can, even down to the bands layout and promotion and new material the band are set to release this year and 2014. We are always looking for something new, new sounds, totally different ways of writing and approaching songs.
TLE: How long have you known each other and how did you meet?
JOE: Myself and Colin our drummer go back a long way… Overall we have been together as a band for almost a year.
TLE: How has your music evolved since you started playing together?
JOE: We have grown as a band and are very tight as a five piece band. We know ourselves on stage and can lock into any given situation. The songs themselves have grown also, songs that have started out as a 3 minute song can now go into a 5 minute song so when we play a song on stage we can jam it out in the middle section and give the audience something different from what they normally would hear; something which we will continue to do in a live setting.
JOE SYMES & The Loving Kind debut album launch will be at The Zanzibar in Liverpool Sat 20th July 2013
Until Such Time – the ‘Eye

The Eyelet #8 Lizzie Nunnery

LizzieNunnery

We caught Lizzie at the Shy Lowen Fundraiser. If Folk is your bag then she is your gal. Her lyrics draw you in and while they hark back to times gone by they also comment on the present day… its rare to hear anything approaching a protest song these days…odd considering the state our world is in……

Check out her WEBSITE

Festival of Firsts 6-14 July

fesoffirsts

The festival runs 6-14th July and takes place on the Wirral or to be more specific, Hoylake, West Kirby and New Brighton in various venues.

To quote the festivals organisers-

“Wirral Festival of Firsts was established in Hoylake in 2011 to deliver an innovative, community based arts festival to encourage participation, the showcasing of local talent as well as the opportunity for the community to access and enjoy some examples of the best art, music and poetry in the country.
The Festival is run by volunteers consisting of an elected executive committee supported by steering groups and managers responsible for different aspects of the Festival.”

Sounds good to us.

The festival is directed and chaired by John Gorman, vocalist, comedian, actor…. You may know him from here

We digress, as well as the poetry andmusic on offer the festival will run workshops on a variety of arts from writing to would you believe it shamanism! There are also talks on various subjects as well as the host of acts for your delectation.

For a festival it’s a long runner and we think there’s something for everyone. We’re up for a bit of the Wirral Ukulele Orchestra and the various bands playing the festival. More importantly though this kind of festival needs your support so get yourselves there and tell them the ‘Eye sent you…

Festival website

Eye to Eye #8 MOKOOMBA

Mokoomba

This week we stray far from Liverpool and even beyond our shores to bring you Mokoomba. From Victoria Falls the Zimbabwean six piece are playing the Africa Oye festival in Sefton Park on Sunday June 23rd.

Mokoomba are, Mathias Muzaza: Lead Voice, Backing Voice & Percussion. Trustworth Samende: Electric, Nylon & Mute Guitars & Backing Voice. Abundance Mutori: Bass & Backing Voice. Donald Moyo: Keyboards. Miti Mugande: Percussion & Backing Voice. Ndaba Coster Moyo: Drums, Backing Voice & Beatbox.

They kindly answered a few questions for us.

TLE: What are you listening to at the moment?

Mokoomba: On tour, we have been listening to a lot of different kinds of music, especially learning more about the other bands that we meet at the festivals we play.

TLE: What’s the most Rock and Roll situation the band have found themselves in?

Mokoomba: We have had quite a few “rock and roll” situations considering where we are coming from, peak of which was our performance live on the Later with Jools Holland show. The performance generated lots of excitement and interest in our band and music. Other amazing moments have been meeting legendary African musicians like Youssou N’Dour, Salif Keita and Baaba Maal who continue to inspire us and many other young bands to aim for the stars. Lastly, working with Manou Gallo on our album Rising Tide is definitely on this list.

TLE: What’s been your favorite gig so far and why?

Mokoomba: We enjoy performing everywhere we go which makes consensus on this question hard to reach. But if we had to call it then the band’s favorite gig so far was our concert in May to close the Harare International Festival of the Arts. We had a special guest collaboration on stage with the great Baaba Maal from Senegal in front of our home audience and live on national television.

TLE: How do you describe your sound?

Mokoomba: Our sound is Afro fusion hugely inspired by the distinct Tonga traditional music styles and rhythms with influences from Afro-salsa, Congolese Rumba, Funk and Reggae to create a pan-African sound that many are saying bursts with raw energy.

TLE: How long have you known each other and how did you meet?

Mokoomba: We have known each other since we were very young boys growing up in the same neighborhood called Chinotimba in Victoria Falls. We went to the same schools and hung out playing music in our spare time.

TLE: How do you write your songs?

Mokoomba: Mathias Muzaza who is our lead singer comes up with the base concepts for most of the songs and the whole band led by Trustworth Samende our lead guitarist work on the musicality and arrangement.

TLE: What do you think the music reflects about you as people, or is it pure escapism?

Mokoomba: Our music is a combination of influences. There is a strong spiritual foundation based on our commitment to our Tonga culture and our love of traditional rhythms and wisdom of our people. At the same time, we reflect on how tradition speaks to everyday life and issues in society today. In a way, we come from a life with many challenges but the joy we feel and the rhythms, which bring people to their feet, make dance a celebration of life as it is, with no need to “escape”.

TLE: What’s the hardest aspect of being in a band?

Mokoomba: Our band is beginning to travel a lot more and the most challenging aspect is being away from friends and family for long periods of time. We do try to keep in touch with them via the social networks but we cannot say that it is enough.

Use the links below to delve a little deeper.

Facebook

Mokoomba.com

Youtube

Special thanks to Poney Gross @ ZIG ZAG WORLD Management

Until Such Time -the ‘Eye.

Eye to Eye #7 HOWIE PAYNE

hp

So Friday is upon us once more. This week we have one of the most talented yet unknown singer songwriters (as far as the ‘mainstream’ is concerned) in the UK.  From his early days in various bands in Liverpool to playing with some of the most influential musicians of recent years Howie is not what you’d call a household name. Having said that he did have 5 top 40 hits with The Stands which he fronted until 2005. Since then Howie has released two albums, under his full name, Howard Elliot Payne, on his own label Move City Records. He has also written for and collaborated with other artists such as Ren Harvieu and Benjamin Francis Leftwich.

We think the latest tunes he is currently demoing are among his finest yet. He kindly answered a few questions for us.

TLE: What are you listening to at the moment?

Howie: Loaded by The Velvet Underground.

TLE: What’s the most Rock and Roll situation you have found yourself in? 

Howie: Hard to pin down this..there’s been a few good ones..Neil Young once took me, Noel and Liam Gallagher for dinner..that was pretty far out..long story.

TLE: What’s been your favourite gig so far and why?

Howie: There’s been a lot..The gigs I just did because I haven’t played for a couple of years so there was a bit of nerves, but people came and the vibe was wonderful…
Some of The Bandwagon shows really stand out too. When The Stands, The Zutons and The Coral were all on the same bill in The Zanzibar packed to the rafters with the sweat crawling down the walls..amazing.

TLE: How do you describe your sound?

Howie: It’s circular.

TLE: What’s the ultimate direction for your good self?

Howie: Forwards is the only direction.

TLE: What do you think the music reflects about you or is it pure escapism?

Howie: Sometimes everything, sometimes nothing, It changes line by line, song by song.

TLE: Your sound seems to have mellowed over time, are any of your new songs heavy or heavier than we’ve come to expect?

Howie: I don’t know, I have written a few heavy tunes lately though so it will most likely have it’s moments.

TLE:  How do you choose which songs you keep or give to other artists?

Howie: I don’t really..people get in touch and ask me if I have any songs that might be good for such and such or so and so..

Ren Harvieu covered a few of my songs but I didn’t write any them especially for her or anything like that, her producer just heard them and thought they’d be good songs for her.
I like that it that way, it’s cool, uncomplicated and it’s interesting to hear other people sing your songs.

If I’m collaborating with someone we’d usually start something from scratch or maybe use a really ruff idea off a phone or something.

Sometimes the other person might have an idea they’ve been working on and we’re both into it we’ll work on that.
In The Open that I wrote with Benjamin Francis Leftwich was like that, he already had the idea and and some of the melody so I mainly did the lyrics and a some arranging.

TLE: What do you consider to be your best work?

Howie: What I’m doing now.

To delve a little deeper check out the links below.

Facebook

Twitter

Soundcloud

Until Such Time – the ‘Eye

The Eyelet #4 SUNDOWNERS

sundowners

After some debate we decided to put the Sundowners in the Eyelet and not Eye to Eye. Why? Because we gonna give them some time on the road to gather some tales to be told.

So until such time comes this feature gives us an excuse to point you in the direction of sounds that are currently wafting in and out of our ear holes and the Sundowners have been doing just that.

Currently supporting Mr James Skelly, which comes as no surprise as the Sundowners lead guitarist and one of the singers are James’ siblings. The drummer is also a ‘Sharrock’,

The Sundowners are: Lead Guitar – Alfie Skelly, Vocals/Rhythm Guitar – Niamh Rowe, Vocals/Rhythm Guitar – Fiona Skelly, Bass Guitar – Tim Cunningham and Drums – Jim Sharrock . Nepotism aside they have what it takes to be performing at this level. Check the links below to delve a little deeper…

Twitter

Facebook

SundownersWebsite

Eye to Eye #6 STEVE MASON (the Beta Band)

steve mason

King Biscuit Time, Black Affair, SteXiS and another band you may’ve heard of….the Beta Band? It’s not often you get artists like Steve Mason, who remain cult yet mainstream and who continue to make great music after being in such a seminal band. After being in The Beta Band it’s not about living up to what you’ve done, it’s about continuing the journey…

Steve kindly answered a few questions for us.

TLE: What are you listening to at the moment?

Steve: New track by Petula Clark called Cut Copy Me and Vacuum Cleaner by Tintern Abbey.

TLE: What’s the most Rock and Roll situation you have found yourself in? 

Steve: Playing in Vegas in 1999 we sold 1 ticket, cancelled the gig and went on the razz for 2 days. Bumped into Ice-T in the lift and told him what we had done and why. His parting words were “stay stoopid man”. Bizarrely there are many many Beta Band rock n roll tales. We were nuts, just kept it quiet.

TLE: What’s been your favourite gig so far and why?

Steve: Probably the last time I played, which was Village Underground in London. It was a step up from the last time I played there in terms of capacity and I got a bottle thrown at me for laughing about Thatchers death. It’s nice to feel your moving forward!

TLE: How do you describe your sound?

Steve: I don’t.

TLE: How long have you known each other and how did you meet?

Steve: I’ve known myself all my life. I get on famously…

TLE: Has your music evolved since you started playing?

Steve: Of course. If you don’t move forward you ain’t no kind of artist. That’s what its all about. Challenge and truth.

TLE: What are your rehearsals generally like?

Steve: Weird question! They are usually hard work and stressful.

TLE: What’s the ultimate direction for your good self?

Steve: I don’t know. I make it up as I go along.

TLE: How do you write your songs?

Steve: That’s an impossible question to answer.

TLE: What do you think the music reflects about you or is it pure escapism?

Steve: I really don’t know, I think that would be something to ask a 3rd person. I don’t think I could answer that. I have no perspective on it.

TLE: What’s the hardest aspect of being in a band/solo artist?

Steve: These days it’s surviving on the money you make. It’s sometimes frustrating wanting to be able to do things you cannot. Everything is stretched to the max. Especially playing live. I would love to take out a bigger band and play loads of small towns and the cities you rarely get to go play in but promoters just wont take the risk. Fewer and fewer people are going out these days, mostly due again to money issues. Apart from that I don’t have too many problems. I’m very lucky, I don’t earn much, but nobody does. At least I don’t have to bow down to some profit squeezing machine everyday and be treated like a number to earn it.

TLE: What’s the one rule that must remain unbroken?

Steve: Never go back to a lit firework. Metaphorically or otherwise.

TLE: Do you ever tire of the Beta Band comparisons or do you just accept it as inevitable?

Steve: It’s inevitable that the guy that sang and wrote the songs in TBB will be compared to TBB. Standard. I don’t care at all. The British love to live in the past!

TLE: Do you have a space you go to write or are you more wherever whenever?

Steve: Wherever really, just get the phone out and sing into it. I used to carry a dictaphone before mobiles.

TLE: Is the guitar your weapon of choice for songwriting?

Steve: It depends really. Sometimes a song will start with a beat. Get the MPC fired up and put something together. It’s not an exact science, but mostly they will come from some kind of noodling or strumming yes.

To delve a little deeper click on the link below…

SteveMason

Until Such Time – the ‘Eye