Category Archives: THE LONGSANDS

Longsands call it a day

The following statement has today been released by indie rock band, The Longsands.

Having released, in 2012 and 2016 respectively, ‘Meet Me in Spanish City’ and ‘Us & Them,’ two critically acclaimed albums the decision for a band who have supported the like of From the Jam, Ocean Colour Scene and recently celebrated four years of having been ‘In Session with Whispering Bob Harris on BBC Radio Two,’ was not taken lightly.

Consisting of Trevor Cox, Ian Barnes, David Stanyer, Callum Thompson and Paul Stephenson the band have said: “It is with heavy hearts today that we announce we have decided to call time on The Longsands.

“After a really exciting two years of recording and releasing our second studio album ‘Us and Them’ this quite rightly led us into talks about ‘where next?’ What quickly became clear is that 12 years on from when the band was formed, we all have very different lives and personal priorities, which have resulted in us now having quite different motivations for being a Longsand!

“When we formed The Longsands, we had a shared vision, a dream and a one for all, all for one commitment to the cause. This vision is no longer aligned and it’s nobody’s fault!  Life just sometimes takes people in different directions.

“We want people to remember The Longsands not only for our music, but for our ambition, dedication and belief in one and other. This is why calling time on it now is the right thing to do, out of respect for what the band meant and means to us and to so many people who have supported us over the last 12 years. Surely no one wants to see us fade away slowly!

(Longsands performing at The Cluny at their successful album launch in 2016 for ‘Us & Them’ courtesy of Alto Luz Photography)

“With this in mind, we are committed to going out with a bang! We will be preparing a very special farewell show in 2017 (details to be announced very soon). We will continue to promote ‘Us and Them’ and Unknown Soldier Records will continue to make all existing Longsands material available online.

“We want 2017 to be a celebration of the life of The Longsands, so we will be releasing some demos of unheard tracks that didn’t make it to release. We will also be releasing unseen video footage from gigs, tours and recording sessions over the last 12 years for you all to enjoy!

“There are too many people to personally thank in one statement so throughout 2017 we are going to run features on different people who deserve a huge thank you from us. For now can we just say thank you to everyone who has supported us, without you we would not have the wonderful memories we do!

“Let love rain on you! The Longsands”

More information on The Longsands and their farewell show later this year can be found either on Facebook or Twitter @the_longsands.

FEATURE: Longsands Year In Music (2012)

A year is a long time in anyone’s eyes and mind. In musical terms a lot can happen and times can change in the blink of an eye. When you are based in Tyneside and go by the name of The Longsands though, the rise and rise seems to be a continuous motion.

The five-piece, who hail mainly from Cramlington, on the outskirts of Newcastle, have been around for a good few years now (since around 2006), but it is only recently that they have gone full tilt into making their music matter. The only change in which they have had to really overcome arrived with the recent departure of Bass Guitarist, Gary Ormston, in late-November. His replacement came in the form of Callum Thompson.

The Indie Rock band though has had a year to remember, and a one that was predicted when they attended a talk-in with ‘Mad Frankie Fraser.’ The Gangland legend was quoted as saying back then that “the band has a great look and their music captures the way this generations feeling right now.

“I’m sure that they will do well and I’ll advise that people buy the album or I might have to pay them a visit.”

The album referred to was the soon to be released, ‘Meet Me in Spanish City’ which includes the classics such as ‘Little Britain,’ ‘Worlds Collide,’ ‘Affair in Manchester,’ and ‘Streets and Pavements,’ amongst numerous other well-versed tracks.

The year though began with the band supporting Simon Fowler, Oscar Harrison and Ocean Colour Scene when they were invited to perform at the second birthday bash for Factory 251 back in February. Including that outing, and by the time they appeared at The Cluny on the 9th December, the lads will have played some sixteen main gigs throughout the year of 2012, as well as appearing on weekly events in and around the Tyneside area.

March would see them perform at the O2 Academy in Newcastle as a support for CAST and was to be followed just three months later by their debut album launch gig at Newcastle University. The gig was to be a 90 minute set where they not only performed tracks from their album but also some new, unheard materials.

Ian Barnes, writer and rhythm guitarist for The Longsands, was quoted in an interview during the year saying that “we will put our all into the songs.

“They are ours and we love them.”

The album launch would be supported by that of The Bluetones and Ambershift. The year was getting better by the day.

Upon the final release of ‘Meet Me in Spanish City’ interviews would come thick and fast for Barnes and the rest of The Longsands – Trevor Cox, David Stanyer, Gary Ormston and Paul Stephenson. Interviews which included Purple Soul, Football Burp and Rocksucker amongst those with the usual named publications.

The year continued with their single, ‘Shut Your Mouth,’ gaining much welcomed airtime on BBC Radio 2 and was sharp followed by interest from the legendary Eurythmics guitarist and producer, Dave Stewart after he put a request out on the social networking site, Twitter, for a good support band when in Sunderland. Not surprisingly he would soon be inundated with messages suggesting that of The Longsands.

Album reviews would also come thick and fast, the lads were fast becoming the talk of the music industry, and rightly so, especially in the eyes of north-eastern musical aficionados.

The summer of 2012 would see the band announce their attendance at several festivals and which included the SKY fest Big Weekend in Edinburgh.

More recently the lads have also been back on BBC Radio 2, this time being invited to perform a live session for the masses.

Then there was the shock for followers of The Longsands, the departure of Bass Guitarist, Gary Ormston, ‘Gaz’. Upon the announcement of his impending departure, Gaz was quoted as saying that, “Unfortunately, on a personal level for me, as things continue to progress and the future prospects of The Longsands look brighter than ever, it is now time for me to hang up my boots (or bass, more specifically!).

“As some of you will know recent developments in my personal life and the demands of my job and the band over the next 12 months have made me reach this decision which, trust me, wasn’t one I’ve enjoyed doing or found particularly easy.

“Having been in The Longsands from the beginning, calling time on it has definitely made me appreciate what I have experienced. Pinching Bruce Foxton’s wine back stage on the FTJ tour, recording the album at stupid o’clock in the morning at the studio, the album launch night in June at Newcastle University and sharing various hideously coloured Travelodge’s across the country enjoying (or at times enduring!) minimal sleep and maximum alcohol consumption night after night!

“I’d like to sign off in style and take the opportunity to thank all the fans who have, and continue to make this all possible. My last gig as The Longsands’ official bass player will now be the DVD launch at The Cluny on Sunday 9th December, although I will remain close to the band and help out wherever I can.

“I’d appreciate it if as many of you as possible could make The Cluny show and join me in a beer or 10! I, more than anyone, want to see the band succeed and wish them all the best in 2013.”

This led to the search for a replacement, and, after strenuous auditions, Tynesider Callum Thompson, was successful in becoming Ormston’s replacement, if the term was to be warranted.  Upon his arrival with the band Thompson was quoted as saying that “’I’m a farmer’s son from the wilds of Seaton Sluice, brought up on Dire Straits, Rory Gallagher and Big Country. I picked up a guitar to impress the girls in school and found it only attracted the lads, stuck with it though!

“I have played guitar for 16 years now, played bass in The Din for 3 years. Recorded two albums at Trinity Heights and have performed at some awesome gigs around the region including The Sage. I have also worked on projects with Indria (traditional Indian music meets western stuff) I also play Banjo, guitar and ukulele.

“I’d like to thank the lads in the band for this opportunity and also wish Gaz the best of luck in the future.”

Now it is on to the show at The Cluny on the 9th December and then the eagerly anticipated first DVD, a live one at that, with the impending release of ‘The Longsands Live at Newcastle University’ due to hit music stores and beyond on the 12th December, just in time for Christmas, followed by a visit to Newcastle’s Think Tank where the band were deemed to be ‘unplugged’ in support of Echo & The Bunnymen and The Lightening Seeds. Several days after the band would be back again at the Think Tank, supporting Ocean Colour Scene’s Simon (Fowler) and Oscar (Harrison).

Continuance in the same vein will see The Longsands have an unforgettable 2013 that should, without question, eclipse the one they have just had in 2012.

You can follow The Longsands on Facebook and Twitter @the_longsands

Longsands Return At The Cluny

Time stood still for nobody on August 12 as indie rockers, The Longsands, made their eagerly anticipated return to the music scene, showing little sign of a recent hiatus as they, quite literally, rocked The Cluny.

Backed already by celebrity support in Bez from the Happy Mondays, and Whispering Bob Harris from BBC Radio 2 they made sure that the fans got all that and more when performing tracks old, and new for their adoring fans.

They were there, in their hundreds, old and young alike – even former ‘Sands guitarist, Gaz Ormston put in an appearance in support of his former colleagues.

Craig Redpath and The Red Jets opened in style and set the tone for what would fast become an exhilarating night of non-stop indie rock that was certainly worth the journey out.

When they finally took the stage The Cluny erupted, rightly so as it had been a while since they last played together as a full band.

Opening proceedings with the first track from their new album, a masterpiece in ‘Adrenaline Junkie Flu,’ embarking upon a full repertoire of sound from both ‘Meet Me in Spanish City’ and ‘Us & Them.’

There was even time for an unscheduled acoustic set mid-show thanks to an issue with Callum Thompson’s guitar that needed urgent repair, showing that anything can happen performing live.

Interaction with the fans was in order throughout, it always is at a Longsands gig; they don’t demand it, it just comes naturally for who they’ve become, more so as tracks such as Bully, Where’s My Daddy Gone and Scissors and Stone among others.

Favourites such as Streets and Pavements, North South Divide, Standing in the Shadows and Little Britain got deserved, welcome reception.

Trevor Cox and Ian Barnes vocalised to the hilt, Callum Thompson and David Stanyer chipped in with their own around their strumming to their hearts content, and Paul Stephenson had his drums reverberating around the venue adding extra to the occasion.

No matter what they played from their impressive catalogue of music, Longsands followers old and new hung on every last note.

It was like they had never been away, and the return, well it could be the start of something really special.

 

FEATURE: Longsands No Longer Standing In The Shadows

Following a brief spell in the wilderness, The Longsands are back with a new album and a string of UK shows in 2016. 
The band, originating from Cramlington in Northumberland, consists of Trevor Cox (lead vocals), Ian Barnes (guitar), David Stanyer (lead guitar), Paul Stephenson (drums) and Callum Thompson (bass).  They rose to dizzy heights after the release of their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Meet me in Spanish City’ in 2012; performing live on Radio 2, sharing the stage with Jools Holland and Ocean Colour Scene and receiving huge praise from the likes of Bruce Foxton and Dave Stewart. But what have they been up two for the last few years and why has it taken so long for new material? I caught up with The Longsands last week to find our more…
“It was the second I walked off stage having just performed to a sell-out crowd at the Dublin Academy for the second night in a row, I remember it like yesterday,” recalls Ian. 
“I walked straight out into the crowd and up the stairs to where my Mum and Dad were sitting.  I held my Dad’s hand and asked, ‘did you enjoy that mate?’ As he looked back at me proud as punch and smiled, I knew that this might be the last big show he’d see me perform at.” 
Ian’s Dad, had been diagnosed with Cancer just weeks before the band headed over to Ireland to tour with Ocean Colour Scene. 
“Paul was going through something very similar.  His Mam had taken ill just days before our tour with Ocean Colour Scene.  He was unable to come and we had to get replacement drummer Ian Richardson in last minute.  As you can imagine, this was taking its toll on us all and at a time when the ball had really started build momentum, the band just wasn’t the main priority.”
“Everything we were going through made us all take stock of our lives.  We’d been on the road touring and making records for 7 years nonstop!  Something had to give; I decided that I would not continue as a full time band member anymore.  Everyone was very supportive and we all agreed to put family and life before the band and take some time off.  Although none of us said it, I don’t think we thought we’d make another record at that point.”
Unfortunately Paul’s Mam and Ian’s Dad both lost their battles with cancer later that year. 
Fast forward to early 2015 and on a cold Tuesday night in Cramlington, The Longsands regrouped to discuss the making of a second album. One thing that tough times often bring with them is creativity, something this band have always had in hoards! Armed with an arsenal of new tracks Ian and Trevor had written during this period The Longsands were born again.
“We rattled through the songs and it was like we had never been away!  If anything we sounded better,” recalls Stan.  We decided very quickly that we should book some studio time and just go in and record them, live, raw and as a work in progress.”

The end result was stunning! At the back end of last year fans were finally treated to two new releases, both unique in their own right. The first was released days before the General Election and was entitled ‘Tomorrow we Vote,’ a classic track timed to perfection; although Ian insists it’s timing was completely coincidental! 

The second was the provocative ‘Standing in the Shadows,’ already a timeless classic having been performed at previous Longsands shows in the past but never recorded. Both feature on the upcoming album ‘Us and Them.’
“The mix sounds great and we’re really excited about it. The new album has an interesting element to it. We’ve just tried to write about what has been going on. The music and message is very ‘here and now’ and I think that it will be something people can relate to.” 

For lead guitarist David Stanyer the return signifies the magnitude and standing which The Longsands have on a national level adding: “We hadn’t seen each other or played together for quite a long time prior to the recording.”
“Some of the songs weren’t even finished and we were still writing them in the studio. But the vibe we got off each other being locked away for that week away from everything got us doing what we do best, being lads, having a laugh and playing great music!”
“It’s been a long time coming for us and the fans but I think it’s been worth the wait. It’s our second coming so to speak.”
It’s evident that The Longsands would love another run, with the album, the bands long-awaited second, and subsequent gig at The Cluny, hopefully being a catalyst for bigger days ahead.
After all, who could forget the challenges they laid out between late 2010 and early 2011 with the likes of Mike Tyson, Shay Given, the Newcastle Falcons et al remember them. It’s certainly crossing the minds of the lads and their manager Steve Wraith.
Vocalist Trevor Cox added: “I’d like to be able to get back out there and get onto national radio, like we did with Bob Harris, but we just need to keep things tight and give people a good show, after all that’s what they want. We may even play some tracks that nobody has heard before as well (at the gig).
“A lot of things have changed in all our lives but, saying that, I’d love to go on from this and make a third album; with having a strong team around us we feel there’s more credibility to what we have produced this time around on ‘Us & Them.’ I found it really encouraging to get all of the band together and we should be able to keep things going.”
What about ‘Us & Them’ though?
Longsands followers have waited a long time for new material which the new album brings, nearly four years have passed since the debut ‘Meet me in Spanish City’ was dropped with classics such as ‘Little Britain,’ ‘Streets and Pavements’ and ‘Bully.’
Now, with the new album fans will soon be raising the roof to ‘Standing in the Shadows,’ ‘Berlin,’ ‘Choices’ and more.
It’s certainly gearing up to be a night to remember, an unforgettable one where The Longsands live up to the prophecy from The People newspaper in that they are a “Newcastle band set to be huge.”
You can follow The Longsands on Facebook and Twitter @the_longsands