Single Review: Andrew Combs – Blood Hunters

andrew-combs

Released: 3rd March 2017
Label: Loose (Europe)

He’s become known as the ‘modern, east Nashville Troubadour’; Andrew Combs is fast becoming the new face and sound of the Country/ Americana scene in the UK and the States.

The new single Blood Hunters is the leading track from his forthcoming album Canyons Of My Mind released April 2017 and is an insight into his finely crafted brand of alternative country.

Blood Hunters is a song about losing your mind. It is subtly dark in its lyrics but melodic and catchy in its delivery; an interesting and effective juxtaposition, which makes the sentiment all the more effective.

Combs said: “It came out in a haze of post tour blues; this being the 24-72 hours after you get home from tour in which you find yourself restless and somewhat deranged. The 180 degree flip in movement, conditions, and sleep patterns does this to me every time. Anyways, I lost it during one of these episodes. I thought everyone and their mother was out to get me, including myself.”

The accompanying video is a glorious short film set to Combs’ music… a sci-fi inspired tale with echoes of Stranger Things and War Of The Worlds. Directed by Ry Cox, the beautifully shot piece has a grand cinematic feel to it and delivers a brilliant twist at the end.

You could say that it’s the full package; thought-provoking songwriting, easy to digest with gripping visuals.

Combs is due to start his US tour in April and UK tour in May. Here’s a chance to catch this burgeoning songwriter at the start of what will be a very promising career.

– Charlie Barker

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Hayseed Dixie’s New Album & Tour Comes To Sheffield

Bluegrass rockers, Hayseed Dixie are set to tour the UK in April/ May 2017 with the release of their latest album ‘Free Your Mind… And Your Grass Will Follow’.

Since forming back in the summer of 2000, John Wheeler and Mike Daly the group have got fourteen albums under their belts already. Their forthcoming release takes them up to fifteen! You could say they’ve come a long way since starting playing those first acoustic AC/DC covers.

There’s not many who can say they’ve given birth to a whole new musical genre, but it is fair to say Hayseed Dixie are the undisputed kings of ‘Rockgrass’.

Expect to hear fun twists on rock, RnB and soul classics along with their original material when they stop off at Sheffield’s Plug on May 11th following the release of their new album on April 14th.

‘Chip Pan’ reaches Number 8 in UK Independent Chart

chip-pan-1Sheffield’s favourite uke-wielding brethren, the Everly Pregnant Brothers have been in the race for the highly coveted Christmas No. 1 this week, with their charity single Chip Pan.

Their parody of Kings of Leon’s Sex On Fire has seen them teaming up with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service to raise awareness of the dangers of cooking fires and accidents around the festive holidays.

Their brand of Yorkshire charm has seen the band featured on Channel 4’s The Last Leg, local BBC news and the nationwide BBC Breakfast programme in the last seven days and it wasn’t long before the song was at number 15 in the UK singles chart.

It saw the Brothers sharing the spotlight with Clean Bandit, Rag N Bone Man and Little Mix fighting for that top spot.

Whilst the single had slipped down the singles chart by midweek, it has still reached number 8 in the UK Official Independent Chart alongside artists such as Adele, Jona Lewie, Major Lazer and Friends of Jo Cox.

All proceeds from the single are going towards Age UK and Shelter to help vulnerable people.

Click to buy the single HERE.

Live Review: Hudson Taylor in Sheffield, 05/02/15

Date: 5th February 2015
Venue: The Plug, Sheffield

Sheffield’s Plug was treated to an intimate night of pop/ rock with Ireland’s upcoming sibling duos, Hudson Taylor and friends.

Feeling somewhat older than the masses of youngsters there, mainly students and school kids, I was slightly unsure as to how I would fit in and relate to the music on offer tonight. My student years have passed nearly a decade ago though the only others in the crowd, vaguely my age appeared to be parents escorting their offspring to the gig.

First on stage to get the crowd warmed up was Irish, solo singer and guitarist, Jack Morris. It’s a hard job being the first support act, opening up as the crowds are still arriving and talking though Morris seemed un-phased by this confidently playing a mixture of originals and a very brave cover of Lou Reid’s classic, Walk On The Wild Side. Commenting on his friendship with the headline act, he was in good spirits though the crowd somewhat unresponsive unfairly gave him a rough deal. I can only assume the talents of Jack Morris would have been appreciated better in a totally different setting.

As the second act, Southern took to the stage, a Belfast born, brother/ sister fronted group I was starting to see a family theme emerge for tonight’s music. Playing their own wave of pop/ rock and blues, the crowd instantly lit up with their catchy riffs and driving rhythm. Taking tracks from their recent releases Where I Want To Be and Where The Wild Ones Are, Thom and Lucy Southern are definitely ones to watch.

The crowd broke out into cheers and applause as brothers, Hudson Taylor entered the stage. There was no mistaking them for anything other than the main attraction.

Their stylish, retro image and guitars, harking back to Elvis Presley’s quiff and Buddy Holly’s black-rimmed glasses, perfectly set the tone for what was to follow.

There’s something very special in the vocals of two people who know each other so well whether they be siblings, parents/ children or couples. Hudson Taylor’s voices blended and complimented each other so well it was a joy to listen to every single harmony they sang and reminiscent of acts such as the Everly Brothers. Playing songs with a pop/ rock and folk vibe the young audience lapped it up, the brothers had us in the palm of their hands.

Featuring material from their forthcoming debut album Singing For Strangers; the singles Weapons, Battles and Chasing Rubies the boys chose a varied set of material, which showed their capabilities as quality songwriters and performers.

Close vocal harmony, a great backing band, varied material and two great frontmen; what more could you ask for?

– Charlie Barker

View full set of live gig images: click here.

Tramlines 2015 announces line-up

TramlinesSheffield’s inner-city music festival Tramlines is thrilled to announce the first wave of artists for its 2015 event, which will take place in multiple venues and outdoor spaces across the city from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 July. With confirmations including Buzzcocks, Sugarhill Gang, Melle Mel & Scorpio, Martha Reeves, Dutch Uncles, Slaves, Jagaara, Marika Hackman, Roman Flugel and Blanck Mass, festival organisers have delivered another eclectic lineup, spanning international and UK talent, as it continues its seven year reign as one of the most diverse music festivals around.

The 2015 event comes hot on the heels of Tramlines’ biggest year yet, with performances from Public Enemy, Sister Sledge, The Cribs, Katy B and over 200 other artists having made 2014’s festival a truly unforgettable weekend for 100,000 festival-goers. The early artists announced for Tramlines 2015 point towards another unforgettable weekend in the making, and with it come some true music legends.

Buzzcocks bring with them a colossal back-catalogue of hits including What Do I Get and Ever Fallen In Love. Meanwhile, rap royalty Sugarhill Gang are set to wow the crowds with classics such as Rapper’s Delight and Apache; having contributed to the founding of hip-hop as part of Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Melle Mel & Scorpio are going to create a storm performing epic tracks like The Message, and West Street Mob will bring hip-hop boogie at its very best in the form of Break Dance – Electro Boogie. Motown hit-maker Martha Reeves adds to the legend collective, touching down in Sheffield after celebrating 50 years of Dancing in The Street in 2014, whilst on the punk-tip, Tramlines welcomes political activist and punk troubadour Billy Bragg for his festival debut, playing well-known hits from his 30-year career.

From the established to the up-and-comer, a wealth of the UK’s most exciting breaking talent will also appear, showcasing a host of exciting new sounds. Acts include Manchester indie-pop five-piece Dutch Uncles; singer-songwriter and BBC 6 Music favourite Marika Hackman; duo and BBC Sound 2015 long-listers Slaves; North London sister trio Jagaara, and Liverpudlian psychedelic pop outfit and former Guardian Band of the Day Gulf.

The electronic offering at Tramlines is also shaping up to be even sharper than last year, which saw the festival being shortlisted for Best Dance Event at the UK Festival Awards. Early confirmations include the techno giant with the Alter Ego alias and the man responsible for Geht’s Noch, Roman Flugel; one half of UK experimental electronic duo Fuck Buttons, Blanck Mass, whose track Sundowner featured in the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony and Ninja Tune signees Portico who drop their new album Living Fields in March, featuring the likes of Jamie Woon.

Elsewhere on the bill is a smattering of rock and metal including long-standing English outfit And So I Watch You From Afar and psychedelic rockers Knifeworld.

Tramlines festival director Sarah Nulty said:“The 2014 lineup was one of our best ever so we knew we’d set the bar high for this year, and we think we’ve done it again with the legendary likes of Buzzcocks and Sugarhill Gang. We pride ourselves on being a ‘discovery’ festival where people can seek out established talent alongside breaking talent and are excited to share more big and brand-new names for the festival.”

Tickets for Tramlines 2015 are available from www.tramlines.org.uk and cost just £30 for all three days, making it one of the most competitively priced festivals around. Where else can you see international legends alongside the UK’s most in-demand new talent for less money?

Sheffielders can also pay a visit to The Harley, the University of Sheffield’s Student Union box office, the Leadmill, City Hall or o2 Academy to pay in person.

For up-to-the-minute information about Tramlines 2015, visit www.tramlines.org.uk or follow Tramlines on Twitter @tramlines

Tramlines 2014: In Pictures

Tramlines 2014

Sheffield’s largest city centre music event, Tramlines is in it’s sixth year and 2014 was set to be the biggest event they’d ever hosted. Featuring headline artists Sister Sledge, Public Enemy, Katy B and The Cribs on the huge main stage Devonshire Green park and hundreds of venues throughout the city centre and surrounding areas. Photographers Ian Spooner & Jim Lambert we on hand to capture the weekend’s festivities on stage and on the streets. Take a look in the gallery HERE.