Monthly Archives: June 2014

Audio Soup = Awesome Soup

By Neil Kerr

audio soup

I have waited a while to post this review as the good folks at Audio Soup put on more than one party a year, and having been given press access to their first of 2014 the Equinox Party I was left seriously impressed. So I decided to wait a wee while for the soupers to reveal the line up for their main event, a three day festival taking place in the awesome setting of the Lammermuir hills in East Lothian, my home. More on that later.

The Equinox Party was quite an event, it took place in a large warehouse type building at Belhaven near Dunbar which is also in East Lothian and incorporated two main events, a band stage and a dance tent, both of which were well set out with times well displayed and easy to locate. A good start. After a quick tour of the site and a wee chat to some of the ticket holders affectionately referred to by the organisers as “soupers”, I was already quietly impressed with organisation and I had yet to hear a drum beat. A trip to the well stocked bar for a coke (designated driver) and I was further impressed to see locally made Thistly Cross Cider was predominant behind the bar, local venue local organisers and locally made drinks great work by the organisers, keep that up its the way to go with this type of event, they really should support the communities that they are in as much as possible.

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Now for the actual event, the music and musicians we had all came to see, and there was a lot of people there an excellent turn out. First up were an act I had never seen before called Ska Ya Man bringing to our ears a unique mix of reggae ska music or was it ska reggae? Either way it was good, light hearted and entertaining, the stage was excellent too with some great visuals going on in the background. Ska Ya Man did a great set which got people to their feet and up to the front of the stage with ease, Their set was a great listen and well rehearsed, a great start to the day and well worth a look if you hear of them playing locally to you.

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Next on stage were another act I had never seen before calling themselves The Support Act a band name that doesn’t lend itself to thoughts of great music, for me anyway. Gladly I was wrong these guys were just excellent their set got my attention from the first song and kept it until the last beat, the female vocalist delivering a flawless performance and the rest of the four piece act, one of whom I am sure was back on the stage later that day, were just as precise in their delivery, another great act. Also at this point it was coming to my attention that the sound being produced by the Audio Soup team was excellent quality.

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The next act was another unique act a solo performer called Pauly Piper, a flutebox is the best way to describe him….. beatboxing and playing his flute to great effect, he has to be seen to be believed, unusually entertaining and great fun to watch, the organisers here have certainly done their homework. The following act The Girobabies were equally entertaining, although not my taste of music, the act was tight and clearly passionate about their music their lyrics to the point and sometimes risky another all round great act.

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I have to point out that by this point in the day I was becoming very aware of the general manners of the people around me, the audience, the “soupers”. What a great bunch of people they are, an example of this came when my can of coke was accidently knocked out my hand by a dancing souper who was consumed by the music and dancing happily as I tried to squeeze by with camera and coke in hand, I was chancing it carrying both at any rate. At most gigs this would have gone unnoticed. However this cheery chap immediately was very apologetic and insisted on procuring me a new can, even though I protested that it was my own fault for chancing it through the tight space and not to worry, this guy disappeared still dancing into the crowd only to find me 10 minutes later on the other side of the stage carrying a shiny new coke for me. And he was not a solitary case I spoke to many soupers that day and all bar none were polite and only too happy to talk, they even let me stand in front of them to take pics, and anyone who knows me will know that this means that the person behind will be seeing nowt as i am not a wee chappy, what a great bunch of people you soupers are I raise my hat to each and every one of you.

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Back on the stage I was feeling unsure of the next act appearing on stage, there were ten people there including not one but two saxophonists, I was wondering how this would sound, ten of them up there I thought was possibly a bit risky. I was very very wrong. This act was genius, and the sound people there at Audio Soup absolutely nailed it . The band are a band that have appeared on these pages in the past The Post Orgasmic Sunshine Band our Harsharan interviewed the band a while back. They were awesome so good i had to post on facebook how great the act was straight after they finished, I loved them. I spoke to the frontman Al after they came off stage and he was so modest about their sound a great guy.

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The next act were also awesome, again I was unsure when a dj, a Bassist, a Guitarist, a Violinist and a guy with what appeared to be a penny whistle took to the stage. I was wrong again I am pleased to say. The Grousebeater sound system were brilliant too, unique, different and daring music using dance beats and adding some catchy riffs on the afore mentioned ensemble of instruments. It was brill, and well worth a look if you ever get the chance, all the acts were.

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That includes the last act of the night before the DJ sets an act called The After Hours Quintet, another unusual act that were enjoyable, not the headline act I would have chose but then the crowd loved them, I did too just not the headline for me, I will leave you to guess which act was.

I should mention at this point the Elektical tent that was there… I visited it briefly and liked what I saw there too, I was there for the bands though. In that tent there was hip hop  acts as well as a top line up of DJ’s and the folks I asked who had been were impressed, unfortunately the reporter who was there from voice to cover that area was not too well and had to leave… Next time for that.

Big up to Audio Soup,awesome work from all involved, the set was top notch the sound second to none and the organisation in general was just great, impressed is possibly not a good enough description of how I felt as I left that night. I raise my hat once again to all involved thank you for having me and I look forward to the summer festival over the weekend of the 18th to the 20th of July 2014 where the organisers have arranged over 100 acts across the weekend and much much more. If the Equinox Party was anything to go by then this weekend is set to be outstanding. Find out all you need to know using the links below and check out the photo gallery too, see if you can spot the bassist that was in 2 bands.

Thanks again soupers for a day I wont forget.

Audio Soup facebook

Audio Soup Official website

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Jonny Jack: Skin To The Bone

by Harsharan Hoonjan

I believe Jonny Jack is one of the most understated yet truly talented musicians I have had the pleasure of meeting.

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Jonny Jack (Lead Vocals and Guitar) , Paul Jack (Lead Guitar), Michael Jack (Bass Guitar), and Douglas I’Anson (Drums)  make up the Glasgow based band.

I watched Jonny Jack live for the first time at Pivo Pivo for the Glasgow Dirty Weekender. It was a superb set.  The vocals instantly hook you in as the guitar, drums, and bass work your interest. I felt something else too, a strength in the music that transcended through the lyrics and sound. Something in their songs/performance sounded piercingly honest.

Because, you’ll find they get under your skin,  which is tricky to do after seeing a band perform live for the first time.  I returned from that first gig, and loaded up their online music files for another helping. I also had to check if what I what I had heard earlier was true!

It was, and I was lucky enough to get an interview with the band. This was when Jonny Jack kindly agreed to perform for us at the Voice of Scotland Showcase gig in Dunfermline.  The guys talk sheep, freckles, wresting, homelessness, and how the really feel about gigging for zero pay.

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NME once described you as: “One of the most instantly recognisable and unforgettable soulful voices in a long time”. How do you feel about that?

Jonny: That was mental man, absolutely mental, that was a couple of years ago, and that’s when we had all the remixes  done on it.

“Wide Open” has loads of remixes doesn’t it?

Jonny: Yes. Some quite dodgy ones!

It feels good though, nice things being said about you, some people can say terrible things about you.  It’s no the ultimate end result. NME said it though and, it’s on all the posters

Paul: If they said it, it must be true!

It must be gospel.

You were saying you are excited about tonight:

Jonny: Yep, we are  in a good place,  good venue, and it’s the  first time playing in Dunfermline as well

Paul: Everything about it has been good tonight, the drive through, the weather

Jonny:  Look I’m a bit red

Paul: He will be out in the sun again tomorrow

Jonny:  I don’t get a tan because I’ve got freckles, I used to be told, one day your freckles are gonna join up and then you’re gonna have the best tan ever! I still believe it.

Great stuff but you can’t compete with my tan! Will interview you again when you turn orange though! 

*Laughs*

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When I last saw you live, you guys were amazing.  You sang your own songs, and you also did a cover, a Michael Jackson number. I loved your version of “Rock With You”. Is Michael Jackson an influence? Tell me more:

Jonny: Michael Jackson isn’t really an influence. We were asked to do a cover for some project in America.  They wanted young unsigned acts, who were asked to re-record a bunch of classic albums.  Michael Jackson, “Off The Wall” was one of the albums we were gonna do.  We got a phone call to listen to the album and had to decide what song to cover.

Stella Reilly walks into the room and we have a chat about her performance. The singer also learns that Jonny, Paul and Michael are brothers.  Douglas then goes on to describe himself as: “The Orphaned Child”. Which leads to my next question…

Douglas how did you get together with the brothers, were you always friends of the family?

Douglas: No, we met because I was recording in the same studio, whilst these guys were launching their old album for Jerricho Beats. They asked the engineer if they knew any guys who could play percussion.  My name was mentioned, and we just took it from there.

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Brilliant.

It must be great for you guys though to be playing with your brothers, as you are into the same music. 

Michael: Yea well I was always into U2, Oasis and that

Paul: Other guys like Paolo Nutini as well.  We all came together full circle with our influences you know

Sounds like you guys really have pulled it together.

 

How was your E.P. launch for “Skin To The Bone”?

Paul: It was good.

Jonny: Quality Weekend.

Michael: Went to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness.

Jonny: That was mental man!

Paul: Jonny went missing in Inverness.

Oh no! Where did you go?

Paul: There are question marks over him!

Oh right was it the whole, “I’m in a band…”

*Laughs*

Have you ever used your band name to get anything?

Jonny: No I would never because it puts people off.

So you’ve had good reviews from the E.P. launch then?

Jonny:  Good reviews, good reactions from the crowd.  Good gigs! Glasgow and Edinburgh were great.  Inverness was great, we stayed over, met a lot of people from the gig and we partied with them afterwards.

Brilliant!

Paul: So, we hung out with the locals.

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You’ve got a bigger fan base over there now?

Paul: Yea, especially with the sheep

Oh the Sheep, they follow you everywhere!

Paul: Jonny loves the sheep

*The brothers start laughing*

Jonny will do anything for sheep

Michael: I suppose they are warm and comfy

Snug! Jonny…

Paul: In the gutter!

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Let’s talk about your song Rennie then, the proceeds of that went to Shelter? That’s very admirable.

Jonny: Yea because it was Christmas time, we saw a lot of homeless people in town and we just thought we’d do a song for that.

Paul: We’re gonna release the video soon too, which will be months down the line. It’s about a girl called Rennie, who has indigestion, and she needs a cure. We’re hoping to get an advert made for indigestion tablets!

 

And tackle homelessness!

Paul: They need Rennies as well!

Douglas: They get indigestion too!  People buy them sandwiches and they don’t think of the consequences.

Paul: Two birds with one stone!

Nice!

Paul:  Tackling World Indigestion and Homelessness!

Jonny: That’s it!

Paul: You might think the song is about a girl called Rennie but it’s so much deeper than that.

Douglas: Double meaning.

Paul: Jonny was suffering from heartburn the day he wrote it!

Jonny: I still actually don’t know what the song is about.

*Laughs*

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Is that one of your favourites,  actually do you have a favourite?

Paul: My favourite changes every day. I’m one of these guys who wants to perform songs no one else wants to play. I like a song called: “Voodoo” but nobody else wants to play it.

*Laughs*

Paul: As soon as it’s not on the set, I think, it’s a must and I want to play it, that’s just me

Douglas: There’s a great musician, I can’t remember his name,  who said his best song is always gonna be the next one.

Paul: That’s how we feel as well but we’ve got new songs every week.  We’re releasing Rennie with a video, but that song was recorded three years ago!  But, I love it, we love it, it’s one of ma favourites, it’s a wee uplifting tune! I feel like it’s a summery tune, I hear sunshine in it. I can imagine myself wearing sunglasses with the window down listening to it.

Paul: It’s hard to pin one tune down.

Michael: Jonny is a song writing machine. He writes about five songs a week.

Really?

Jonny: Doesn’t mean they are all good!  You could write five poems a day and they might all be rubbish

Paul: Jonny comes in with new songs all the time, it’s kinda hard to choose.  When I hear them I always think it’s hard to pick between them.  They all sound really good to me, I never know what one we will take forward and work on.

Michael: We usually jam out for weeks and weeks in rehearsals, until we think that one is starting to come forward a bit. I think when you jam with a song for long enough, it becomes more natural.

Paul: It comes to a point with a song then, you don’t think about it too much it just kind of happens.  Sometimes it just happens like that, with Rennie, we wanted  to play something so it sounded kinda summery.

Michael: Yea it just kind of happens like that. Basically Jonny can just be playing a solo in rehearsal and then we’ll just join in after.

You guys are good! 

Jonny: We just like doing what we do! We like playing music, if people like it that’s…

Michael: …a bonus!

Paul: Thanks for saying that

Jonny: Hope you enjoy it and if other people enjoy it, that’s what it’s all about.

Absolutely.

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Going forward: what are your plans?

Jonny: I used to have a lot of things I wanted to achieve, this year especially because of the E.P. launch and the gigs around and about Scotland. I really enjoy just meeting people.

Paul: Is that what you call it?!

Jonny: All the things that have happened this year, and after having conversations with people in the band. We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing, and if people like it then that’s cool. It’s not the end result.

You all have day jobs then?

All: Yes

Jonny: If we can make a living doing this, then we’ll do it!

Douglas: I do it because I enjoy it, I’d rather play for free than not play at all. If  something comes of it, then fantastic, if not I’m gonna carry on playing regardless.

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What are your thoughts on playing for free?

Douglas:  If a musician is playing for free, I think it’s down to the promoters, and the gigs and things you know. Unfortunately, it kind of undervalues the worth of the musician and the effort that’s been put in, if you don’t actually get rewarded for it.  There definitely should be rewards.

You look at function cover bands playing a wedding, and they get £200 per musician per night sort of thing, you know? Why shouldn’t original bands be given that as well?  They are putting a lot of the same effort into it as well you know. They are going travelling, singing, they are writing the songs. Yea, it is difficult but unfortunately, if you don’t play for free, you’re not going to get all the gigs.

Thank you so much for coming to this one by the way.

Paul:  Yea (to Douglas), tell us how you really feel!

*laughs*

How do you prepare for a gig, what’s your routine?

Jonny: I think it’s different for all of us

Paul: I like interviews, reviews and people telling us we’re great, that’s how I like to prepare! Journalistic types like yourself telling us we’re great.

Michael: We also have a ceremonial arm wrestling match before every gig.  The thing is we do it with our feet!

An foot/ankle wrestling match!

Paul: It’s the three of us against him!

*Looks at Douglas*

Paul: He usually wins!

Jonny: He’s got big thighs!

Good on you Douglas!

Jonny: He cycles!

Oh do you? That’s brilliant…okay moving on! 

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How do did you deal with nerves/ stage fright? Any advice for people who want to get into the business but are a bit anxious/nervous?

Paul: You’ve gotta love what you are doing first and foremost, you have to please yourself. If you’re getting nervous,well you need to have  a love for it inside yourself

Paul: Nerves is a good thing but. Something the earthlings have is nerves…

Douglas: It’s humbling

Paul: I get nervous before gigs, but I’m on the stage with my brothers.  I just look at them and think, I remember Jonny doing that, running around with pants on his head.  Oh and I remember Mike doing that, oh I quite like being up here now, you know.  I just imagine the audience wants me to do well.

Fantastic.

Jonny: It’s all about doing something you love doing.  If you love doing that type of music, you should do that type of music, you’ve just got to love what you do.

Tell me about growing up together and that sort of thing:

Michael: Well he could batter me (points to Paul), and I could batter him (points to Jonny)

*Laughing*

Paul: That’s all you need to know!

Michael: I’m looking forward to a fight one day just to see who’s gonna come out on top

Paul: Michael was also the first to pick up the guitar

Michael: Aye

Paul: I was kind of into the drums first but, yea, I remember you got your first guitar in 2004, and that was it, Bob’s your uncle.

You’ve done very well!

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Final message for your fans:

Jonny: I’d like to thank the fans, all you fans out there for the support.

Thank you Jonny Jack!

 

With each performance, you may find Jonny Jack’s suave sound gripping you in the midst of a set.  Listen to the emotion, the instruments, the tone, the echoes coupled with those crisp lyrics. There is a symphony of sweet, sweeping heart quenchers in each track. I’m sure they’ll be requested to play at somebody’s wedding. They are a perfect fit.

Their E.P. “Skin To The Bone” is available to stream for free on Sound Cloud.

Definitely worth checking out, What a remarkable act, one that doesn’t need to scream about their talent. they ooze it – Skin To The Bone style.

Thank you once again Jonny Jack.

Upcoming gig: 

Jonny Jack next perform at Market Bar, Inverness on Saturday 26th July.

Links:

www.facebook.com/jonnyjackmusic

https://soundcloud.com/jonnyjackmusic

http://www.youtube.com/jonnyjackmusic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Single Review: “The Revenge of Icarus” from Feet of Clay

By Harsharan Hoonjan

“The Revenge of Icarus”, starts with an electric guitar (which is sensational throughout) and drums, which instantly hook your attention.  The vocals are also, brilliantly timed to create an exceptional fiery Britpop sound. The up-tempo beat keeps your head swaying, and your feet tapping. It pauses only slightly before its regrettable finish, I wanted more. It’s fully charged with everything your ears could hope for from Coatbridge’s finest. Feet of Clay have come up trumps with this single. Get it now!

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Feet-of-Clay/133713673370110?fref=ts

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-revenge-of-icarus-single/id883237621

http://www.amazingtunes.com/feet/tunes/275975

 

 

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