Live review: Bombay Bicycle Club with Tamu Massif, O2 Academy Bristol. 24th July 2020

After 16 months of no live reviews of proper gigs, it was good to be back at the O2 Academy in Bristol to see the indie-rock legends that are Bombay Bicycle Club play their second warm up show before their headline set at Latitude Festival tonight (25th July).

Firstly (and hopefully the only c-word mention of the night), O2 Academy Bristol have what I think are very solid covid procedures in place. Everyone has to show proof of full vaccination, negative test from within 24hrs, or natural immunity from a positive test within 180 days. Other venues – take note! I did also notice a lot of people were keeping their masks on inside.

Once in, we were shortly introduced to the first act of the night, local musician Tamu Massif. Tamu, who played as a one man band, using a mix of guitar, pedals, loops and synths, played us a selection of new and old songs. Although I had never heard of Tamu before last night, I must say his skills and musical ability really took me by surprise. He is an incredible one man act, his voice matched his playing style amazingly. I think if he had a full band set up, it would be simply unbelievable. Sadly the set was ruined by so many people talking. Seriously, after 16 months and people are still doing this shit?

Tamu Massif – Copyright TrueStyleMusic

One to watch out for, and if you ever get the chance to see Tamu live, take it!

Another short break before the main band came on, and what an entrance they made. All of that pent up energy from the last 16 months of no gigs was released at once, and no one – band or crowd – could keep still. I was even singing along in the photo pit!

Copyright TrueStyleMusic

Now, with some bands, they come on stage full of energy, but by three songs in they are dying on their feet (looking at you, Neck Deep at Download…). Bombay were not one of these. That energy was kept up throughout the whole set. This was also one of the loudest crowds I think I’ve ever heard!

Throughout their mammoth 18 song set, we were graced by a truly amazing cover of Lose You To Love Me, originally by Selena Gomez, a false start for I Can Hardly Speak (I don’t know if intentional or not?) and even a brass section for some songs – at one point there were 9 people on stage!

I’ve always been told that if the crowd is singing along to a guitar solo, you know you’ve made it, and last night was certainly one of those nights. At one point, frontman Jack Steadman remarked “it’s been one of those shows with a stupid smile on my face the whole time”. Same.

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While looking through my notes it is difficult to put into words how good last night was! From my place up on the balcony I witnessed some epic dad dancing, and looking down into the pit below every single person there was having a great time.

The main set was brought to a close by Carry Me, from the bands 2014 album So Long, See You Tomorrow. With a bit of encouragement from the band, crowd members started ‘carrying’ each other (on their shoulders), before the time-honoured tradition of walk off walk back on again.

If you’ve ever read some of my other reviews you know I hate this part, so I’ll keep it short with one word: why?

With lots of chants of “one more song” and “Bombay Bicycle Club” (not the easiest, or clearest chant), the band eventually came back to the stage for the proper big ender – Always Like This.

And what an ending it was! The band still kept that energy going, and the crowd kept on top of their fiery dance moves. With more horn solos, good vibes and what is simply written in my notes as “bass solo, fuck yea!”, the night was drawn to a close and sadly we had to get to wherever we were off to next.

Copyright TrueStyleMusic

As always, a massive thanks goes out to all the staff, crew, security, bar staff, promoters and everyone else who works behind the scenes, to Bombay Bicycle Club and Tamu Massif for being amazing performers, and of course to the crowd for making it an excellent first show back!

Words by Ted Stargatt for TrueStyleMusic

All Photos copyright Edward Stargatt/TrueStyleMusic. Use without permission explicitly prohibited.

We chatted to SUNSTINGER about their new EP – Beyond The Frame

Can you tell us a bit about Sunstinger? Where are you from and how did you all meet?

Sunstinger was originally a recording project. We have all been in bands in the area, some of us in bands together. We wanted to just record some stuff and see how things would turn out. We got a few gigs and got the buzz back to start gigging again and it’s just progressed from there.

We are from various small mining villages in Fife, Scotland. Apart from our drummer Nick who was born in Spain but is from our main town in Fife, Dunfermline.

Where did the name Sunstinger come from?

The name means absolutely nothing unfortunately. We just stuck the first two words that came to mind together and that was that. There wasn’t much thought into a name as we did not know where we were going with the project. Do we wish we came up with something else? Maybe.

You recently released new EP Beyond The Frame. Any tracks that stand out as band favourites?

Everyone has different favourites, which I think is a good thing! We have alot of different styles and sometimes we change back and forth… I prefer our more melodic songs like Nothing’s Alright, Leave Me Alone and All My Friends Are High. Whereas our guitarist gourlay prefers the more 80s influenced stuff like The Void and Shimmer.

Who produced Beyond The Frame? Have you worked with them before? How did you find working with them?

The EP was produced by Magnus Collie. He plays a huge part In the way this band sound has developed. He’s pretty much the 5th member. We won’t work with any else, we have no reason to.

What were some of the biggest challenges to overcome when making music, especially during a pandemic?

The pandemic has been challenging trying to keep active. Just before the pandemic hit we were really starting to see the numbers at shows and things were picking up pretty fast. It was unlucky but we kept releasing songs and have managed to keep busy during the time. We just can’t wait to play live again. In this EP we tried to capture the drive and energy of our live shows.

You guys released a lot of new music in 2020, and even before. How would you say Beyond The Frame compares to your older releases?

We experimented with a few different sounds in our releases. I think the EP is what we were building towards. It’s exactly how we wanted it to sound and were very proud of how it’s turned out.

Can we expect any live shows from you guys soon?

Yes, we’re booked to play a hometown show in Dunfermline at PJ Molloys on 8th October. This will be our first show back by the looks of things and we have two great local support acts lined up. T-A and Jupiter Strange.

Where can we find out more about you?

Check our Facebook page and Instagram for updates

Both @sunstinger

And if you haven’t already go and purchase our EP from bandcamp. Grab a limited 12″ vinyl!

And, because they are always forgotten in interviews, any last words from the drummer?

He’s not here but if he was I reckon he would say “quien tiene los doritos?” Then fall back asleep.

GIG ALERT: The Stayawakes with NervEndings – 30th October – Exchange Bristol

TrueStyleMusic is excited to announce more live music coming to your eyes and ears very soon.

Portsmouth based punk-rock 4 piece The Stayawakes are coming to rock Exchange Basement, with support from local(ish) band NervEndings.

Tickets are only £7 advanced, on sale via HeadFirst Bristol from 9am today! (16th July 2021)

Described by Loud Hacker: “If your summer soundtrack is likely to include acts such as Sugar, The Wannadies, Weezer, Teenage Fanclub or Nada Surf then this really is a band that you’ll want to check out”

NervEndings are an alt-rock trio from Wiltshire, and since forming in 2018 have become one of the forefronts in the underground rock scene, as well as being one to watch out for!

NervEndings

Tickets will be available here

NEW SINGLE ALERT: Fever with TIME WILL DEFINE

Ahead of hitting the road later this year with Label Bosses Blossoms, Fever have released a new dark indie wave banger, Time Will Define.

Filmed in the perfect mood setter that is an old church, this new single by the 5-piece is all about embracing those new beginnings, maybe a hint at what is to come from the band…

Tickets for their shows supporting Blossoms can be found here.

NEW SINGLE ALERT: The Lathums with How Beautiful Life Can Be

With their first release since their return to live performing back in May, The Lathums have today released their new sound of the summer – How Beautiful Life Can Be.

The single release is also accompanied by a video, recorded live at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool.

Talking about the single, Singer, Alex Moore, says  “Our saddest and loneliest moments can lead to our happiest and most content, because we have felt what it is to be down there looking up. It feels like now is the time to appreciate all of the things, big and small, that we’ve missed the most.”

The Lathums will be playing some live show’s later this year, dates and venues can be found here.

NEW SINGLE ALERT: The Lottery Winners with Favourite Flavour

In a bid to be the band to release the most music in 2020-21, The Lottery Winners are back with another new single and music video.

The sound of summer – ice cold cocktails, multi-coloured lollies and a race down to the beach, the video sees front man Thom get covered in food, paint and other substances while singing along. A video that looked very fun to make.

The Lottery Winners are heading around the UK on tour later this year:

23Jul Tramlines 2021 Sheffield, United Kingdom RSVPTickets
06Aug Stourton Estates Lincoln, United Kingdom RSVPTickets
14Aug Cardiff Castle Cardiff, United Kingdom RSVPTickets
01Sep Prince Albert Brighton, United Kingdom RSVPTickets
02Sep Joiners Southampton, United Kingdom RSVPTickets
03Sep The Castle & Falcon Birmingham, United Kingdom RSVPTickets
05Sep Bodega Nottingham, United Kingdom RSVPTickets
07Sep Thekla Bristol, United Kingdom RSVPTickets
08Sep The Key Club Leeds, United Kingdom RSVPTickets
09Sep Bootleg Social Blackpool, United Kingdom RSVPTickets
10Sep The Boulevard Wigan, United Kingdom RSVPTickets
11Sep The Sugarmill Stoke-on-trent, United Kingdom RSVPTickets
22Sep The Craufurd Arms Milton Keynes, United Kingdom RSVPTickets
23Sep Oslo Hackney London, United Kingdom RSVPTickets
25Sep O2 Ritz Manchester Manchester, United Kingdom RSVPTickets
30Sep The Leadmill Sheffield, United Kingdom RSVPTickets
02Oct Sound City Liverpool 2021 Liverpool, United Kingdom RSVPTickets
09Oct NE Volume Music Bar Stockton-on-tees, United Kingdom

NEW SINGLE ALERT: Red Rum Club with NIGHTCALLING

For their first release of 2021, Red Rum Club are hitting it home with a massive banger. Nightcalling is the first track from their new album, set for release later this year. The first of many sounds of the summer to come, this single is accompanied by an awesome trippy-fun music video.

Red Rum Club will be going on tour later this year, dates here:

JUL 30 FRIRed Rum Club In-Store performance at The Vinyl Whistle @ 7:30pm Leeds, United Kingdom
AUG 10 TUETramshed Cardiff @ 7:30pm Cardiff, United Kingdom
AUG 11 WEDO2 Academy Leicester @ 7:00pm Leicester, United Kingdom
AUG 14 SATLiverpool Uni Mountford Hall @ 7:00pm Liverpool, United Kingdom
AUG 19 THUThe Waterfront @ 6:30pm Norwich, United Kingdom
AUG 20 FRIO2 Academy Brixton @ 7:00pm London, United Kingdom
SEP 3 FRIVictoria Park @ 12:30pm Warrington, United Kingdom
SEP 5 SUNVictoria Park @ 7:00pm Warrington, United Kingdom
SEP 10 FRIGlasgow Green @ 12:00pm Glasgow, United Kingdom
SEP 25 SATGathering Sounds Festival @ 7:30pm Stockton-on-tees, United Kingdom
SEP 28 TUERed Rum Club at Newcastle Riverside @ 7:30pm Newcastle, United Kingdom
SEP 29 WEDRed Rum Club at Glasgow King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut @ 7:30pm Glasgow, United Kingdom
SEP 30 THURed Rum Club at Hull Adelphi @ 7:30pm Hull, United Kingdom
OCT 1 FRIRed Rum Club at Blackpool Bootleg Social @ 7:30pm Blackpool, United Kingdom
OCT 2 SATSound City Liverpool 2021 @ 7:30pm Liverpool, United Kingdom
OCT 3 SUNRed Rum Club at Leeds Brudenell Social Club @ 7:30pm Leeds, United KingdomTICKETSRSVP
OCT 4 MONRed Rum Club at York The Crescent @ 7:30pm York, United Kingdom
OCT 5 TUERed Rum Club at London Lafayette @ 7:30pm London, United Kingdom
OCT 6 WEDRed Rum Club at Milton Keynes The Craufurd Arms @ 7:30pm Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
OCT 8 FRIRed Rum Club at Bedford Esquires @ 7:30pm Bedford, United Kingdom
OCT 9 SATRed Rum Club at Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach @ 7:30pm Cardiff, United Kingdom
OCT 10 SUNRed Rum Club at Brighton Patterns @ 7:30pm Brighton, United Kingdom
OCT 11 MONRed Rum Club at Bournemouth The Anvil – Tickets Available Soon @ 7:30pm Bournemouth, United Kingdom SOLD OUT
OCT 13 WEDRed Rum Club at Bristol Thekla @ 7:30pm Bristol, United Kingdom
OCT 14 THURed Rum Club at Truro Old Bakery @ 7:30pm Truro, United Kingdom
OCT 15 FRIRed Rum Club at Exeter Cavern @ 7:30pm Exeter, United Kingdom
OCT 16 SATRed Rum Club at Oxford o2 Academy 2 @ 7:30pm Oxford, United Kingdom
OCT 18 MONRed Rum Club at Birmingham o2 Institute 3 @ 7:30pm Birmingham, United Kingdom
OCT 19 TUERed Rum Club at Sheffield Academy @ 7:30pm Sheffield, United Kingdom
OCT 20 WEDRed Rum Club at Huddersfield The Parish @ 7:30pm Huddersfield, United Kingdom
OCT 21 THURed Rum Club at Manchester Academy @ 7:30pm Manchester, United Kingdom
OCT 23 SATRed Rum Club at Liverpool Mountford Hall @ 7:30pm Liverpool, United Kingdom

Is this the reopening of live music? Download pilot festival 2021

This weekend saw the return of the first full festival in the UK in over 15 months. 10,000 of us packed into the sacred grounds of Donnington Park for three days of live music and good times.

Once inside the gates, there was no requirement for wearing a mask or distancing, a true feel of normality. A few people did choose to wear masks around some parts of the site, as well as one guy in a full hazmat suit I saw walking around.

The main requirement for entry was proof of a negative lateral flow test on arrival. The test must have been completed and registered that day, with the name on the test matching your ID and ticket. Everyone also was asked to do a PCR (lab) test either the night before or on the day of the festival, and a second 5 days after the event.

The event was also overseen by researchers from Public Health England, who will be monitoring the effect large crowds, mosh pits and crowd surfing has on the spread of the C Word.

Anyway, onto the actual festival.

This year’s site was much smaller than normal for Download. Operating at about 10% capacity meant parking, camping and arena was all in the space that is normally just stages. Size-wise, think 2000 Trees.

We decided to set up near to the entrance/exit, and although it was pretty empty when we got there, the place soon filled up with the familiar site of tents and gazebos. Although space soon became a bit tight here and there, everyone was friendly and happy to help out.

Only 2 stages and no clashes meant that, if you wanted to, you could see every band’s set – and lots of people did that. We decided that we would rather just hang around at the main stage for day 1. Hot Milk, Boston Manor and Neck Deep all killed during their sets, and aside from a bit of barrier crushing and muddy wellies in the face, we had an awesome first day.

Friday’s headliner – Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes absolutely blew me away. A phenomenal band, words cannot do justice to just how good their set was. During his set, Frank was joined by Joe Talbot (IDLES), as well as up and coming artists Cassyette and Links. I have to mention the awesome female only mosh pit, as well as Frank stopping mid song to make sure someone who fell down was OK.

Day 1 was seen off by the return of the silent disco’s rock/pop-punk/emo night. Part of the reason I have no voice left today.

Day 2 saw the worst hangover imaginable, but also featured more brilliant artists. I didn’t manage to catch them all, but Wargasm, Vonaka, A, Creeper and Enter Shikari all played some amazing sets. The silent disco was running again, but as Nu-Metal isn’t my scene I opted for beers by the tents. A special mention has to go to Jason Perry from A for coming out with a Deliveroo rucksack on. I still have no idea why.

The final day saw some of my favourite bands (both of the festival and ever) play. Chubby and The Gang (who also play Dot To Dot later this year), Jamie Lenman, Elvis Fronted Nirvana, Massive Wagons, Trash Boat, The Wildhearts and Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls all did first-class sets. A few of us even had the pleasure of hanging with Frank, The Souls and the crew during their soundcheck. That might also be the reason I have no voice left.

So, did it feel safe?

Yes

10,000 people did 20,000 tests before the festival, there is not much more that can be done to make sure events can go ahead safely. There was plenty of hand sanitizer around to use, especially around the food and drink stalls.

What about those who might not feel comfortable being in a festival?

Throughout the whole weekend, there were plenty of staff and security on hand to help if anyone needed it. If you wanted a bit of space, there was always loads of room at the back of the crowds, as well as sealed off areas if it all really did get to be too much. I did also see security help pull people out of the mosh pits when it did get a bit too much for them.

All that is left to do now is wait to see what the results from this trial show us. Let’s hope that it won’t be too long before we are all back in the pit with each other again.

And finally, a massive thank you has to be said to everyone who made that festival happen. Bar staff, security, stage crew, sound techs, camera operators, medics, chaplains and welfare staff, cleaners, catering crew, bands and anyone else I’ve missed off who help make these events happen. Without you people, music would not be. And of course, a massive thank you to every single person who came to Download to do their bit to help live music reopen.

Until the next festival, and hopefully will be seeing a few of you there.

Words by Ted Stargatt

We chatted to ORA VIOLET about their new single HAVE YOU ME ME

Released yesterday, this new song is one to watch out for. The band’s previous track Feel The Same features on our playlist ‘Rock Out’, so this one was set to be a banger!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from and where did the journey into music start for you? 

We are all Londoners who come from all over the place, Italy, India, Australia and Norther Ireland. We have been involved with music, in one way or another, from a very young age. 

If you had to sum yourself up in three words, what would you say? 

Rock And Roll 

You released today your new single Have You Met Me. What does this song mean to you? 

the song was inspired by the realisation that the same way we go down, we come back up; gradually and then suddenly. The antihero protagonist has lived a life of unapologetic excessive in all ways and despite nearing the end, the statement is clear… I won’t go down.  

You released two singles last year, Delicious and Feel The Same. How does this new track compare to these previous releases? 

We released 3! Creep Negativo came out at the end of the year. They are all rock and roll songs, they are all very Ora Violet, they are all honest and put a lot of work into each one of them. This one is a 2 minute feral sonic bullet, so it’s shorter than the others, it differs in this 

Is there still more new music on the way from you? 

Oh yes, plenty more to come out this year 

Can we expect to see any music videos any time soon? 

We have a video for Have You Met Me by Italian artist Pablo Chiereghin, it comes out on June 11th 

What about live dates, now that gigs look set to return soon?

October is when we start playing live again, more info to come soon. 

What is one thing you didn’t expect to have to deal with, while making music? 

As banal as it sounds, Covid 

Where can we find out more about you? 

@oraviolet and on Spotify 

Anything else you would like to tell us? 

Thank you for having us and thank you for your support