Tag Archives: rock

Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast – Airbourne

The night I saw this band play The Borderline in London a few years ago, I knew I would be hooked on them forever.  I think it was because of their energy and charm (and straightforward Aussie sex appeal?) that I wrote my book.  I sincerely hope they stay on the road until the end of time.

Thank you guys for all the inspiration. x

Marshall Ultimate Band Contest 2013

This competition has become a favorite of mine.  In these days of perpetual addiction to social media avenues, we see the market flooded with desperately hopeful young bands.  For new and deserving talent, the contest provides an opportunity to get seen and heard by a wider audience of heavy metal/rock fans.  

As I write, the five finalists selected to battle it out under the scrutinizing eyes of a panel of judges, are probably polishing their performances for the Marshall Ultimate Band Contest 2013 which is due to be held next weekend.

To take part, each entry makes a promotional video which can be seen on the dedicated Marshall UBC site.  The public then vote to decide the top twenty five bands.  These are then whittled down by the judges who must take best performance video and self promotion into consideration.  They finally decide upon just five bands who must play the Marshall Theatre at the HQ in Milton Keynes.  The overall winner receives Marshall endorsement and a most coveted slot at Download Festival.

This year Alexander Milas, Editor of Metal Hammer Magazine will be among the judges with the unenviable task of choosing a winner.  It will be a tense but exciting night as Ravenface, Plastique, Motorfinger, Bad Touch and Balls Deep, play in the headquarters of one of the world’s most famous amplification specialists.  Last year’s winners, States of Panic (formerly Peepshow) will also be showing us how things are done with a small set to take the nervous edge off the proceedings!

I reviewed the Final 2012 for Stereoboard.com last year, merely out of interest and subsequently discovered some new favorite bands, including 2011 winners, Sons of Icarus, who kicked off the Final for us last year.  I recently revisited the Finalists of 2012 (States of Panic, Frantic Alice, Obey, Nakedium and Deligma) and interviewed them all for Stereoboard.com to understand what the Contest meant to them now and at the time.

Here’s the link if you fancy checking it out: http://www.stereoboard.com/content/view/182018/9

Good luck to all the Finalists this year

marshall ubc 2013

Hayseed Dixie, The Forum, Hatfield, Monday 4th November 2013



There are many music genres that fall under the strong, long arm of rock.  Usually attracting niche audiences, few can promise to entertain across a multi-genre crowd in one night.  Hayseed Dixie, the creators of rockgrass, however, are kings of rock and roll, glam, prog, metal and more.

Currently on a UK/Europe tour, the university campus venue in Hatfield was a strange choice of venue for a Monday night.  Absent of financially bereft freshers and gig goers who probably still nursed weekend hangovers, the auditorium held a sparse crowd.  However, less is more and it is quality not quantity that over-rides situations like these.

Throughout the two hour set, I was more than aware that I could not shift the grin on my face.  It wasn’t just the denim, wiry facial hair or scraggy knees.  Nor was it an appearance that suggested the potential to swill illegal liquor by the light of the moon or join a dance in the barn with the devil himself.  Hayseed Dixie play other people’s rock songs and their own, at a mesmerizing, finger-bleedingly fast pace.  The quartet is a riot of southern American, steel string musicianship which is second to none.  Brandishing a banjo, a bass, a mandolin, a fiddle, an acoustic guitar and howling harmonies to die for, the band have been playing songs about “drinking, cheating, killing and hell” since 2001

With no less than eleven albums tucked under their dungaree straps, this tour has celebrated the first album, A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC, played it in its entirety.  Songs including Dirty Deeds, A Touch Too Much, Hells Bells, Back In Black, and Whole Lotta Rosie, were played by forty fiery fingers that could set fret boards ablaze.  The second half of the set invited requests from the intimate crowd.  The band demonstrated a talent for international languages, singing in German before singer, John ‘Barleyscotch’ Wheeler, introduced a masterpiece rendition of “the greatest killing song ever written,” Bohemian Rhapsody.

It wasn’t all about covers by any means; original Hayseed Dixie material like I’m Keeping Your Poop, was disturbingly entertaining, but the evening ended with Black Sabbath’s War Pigs, Alice Cooper’s Poison and finally Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb, which raised the roof and some goosebumps.

There is wily genius in the comical delivery of every song that Hayseed Dixie play.  This is one beautiful, beardy, rockgrass phenomenon that I highly recommend you check out if you haven’t already.  Go to!

For the rest of the tour dates this year checkout: http://www.hayseed-dixie.com/Appearances.html

SixtyTwoIntro – Featuring: Young Aviators

young aviators

Shut your eyes and this could be Brit Pop all over again.  These three lads have the infectious bounce of Blur and Elastica tinged by the romance of The Libertines, roughly brushed at the edges by the crude swagger of punk.  Their debut album “Self Help” is worth a listen, with some banging indie/garage rock tunes to dance to as well!

Take a listen :


SixtyTwoIntro – Featuring: Dexters


This East London five piece produce big, happy indie rock/pop tunes that transport you back to The Housemartin’s “Happy Hour” and the Buzzcocks “Ever Fallen in Love”.  It’s snappy, dapper stuff gleaming with the raw edge of fast paced riffs and lyrical attitude.   As recent supports to B.R.M.C and The Courteeners they are hailed as ones to watch.  Nothing new, but irresistible!

SixtyTwoIntro – Featuring: Crystal Head

crystal head

This up-coming rock band is a hot one to spot on the small venue and festival circuit.  Oozing heavy finesse with unexpected surprises, this nutty London 3 piece display mixed influences with shadows of QOTSA and grungy, head banging stuff which experiments with jazz and bluesy mood changes.  Some tracks on the debut album are vocally similar to Black Spiders.  Go to pronto.

SixtyTwoIntro – Featuring: The Knievel Dead

the knievel dead

Think The Doors jamming with Bauhaus, sprinkled with the retro sound of The Black Keys if you can!  Describing themselves as “dark”, “fast” and “flirty” this London based four piece play indie rock that will either haunt your dreams or invite the devil to dance you to death in your own shoes.

Listen: My favourite tracks from debut album “And We Sleep”