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Welcome To The State Of Mind

(Images with permission of Keith Fusco Photography)

Sponsored by EGH Radio Rocks, the home of unsigned rock music, 24/7 and the home of Anne’s Rock Show, Monday’s from 9pm.

Rockers Twister went above and beyond at the O2 Academy on Sunday night when releasing their ‘Combined State of Mind’ album collection.

The lads, who had three supersized screens on stage, fireworks, plenty of tickertape and strobe lighting in effect certainly played to their adoring fans, Team Twister turning out en-mass – even the four support acts played a massive part.

Sam Gibson put on as an exhilarating opening as you could want; OffPeak performed magnificently; capital rockers, Judas, were as powerful as they were passionate; as for A New Nowhere, as chief support, they justified that role when setting up Twister as only a band can do, in style.

That main event though!

A combination of nearly a year’s work as Stevie Stoker, ever the perfectionist frontman, Matt, Jake, Joe, and additional members Paul and Michael, putting together two EP’s into one super album with Designed and Refined State of Mind’s completing the collection.

It’s hard to say which of the twenty plus tracks from their current, and back catalogue of music, received the better reception as the band reeled off some ninety minutes of pure, Twister, rock gold.

Even the new tracks, a few even unheard in a live setting until the night itself, were met with vigour and dance as the bar was well and truly risen.

As for what’s next from the lads, you’ll have to wait and see but for Twister, on Sunday night, and that incredible support they possess, they did it – O2 Academy main stage, done, and in some style that’s for sure.

Twister Ready For Major Headline On Tyneside

Rockers Twister are to headline the O2 Academy main stage in Newcastle this Sunday evening as Stevie Stoker and the lads take the next step on the rocky road to rock stardom.

The band, formed by Stoker near fourteen years ago, has come on leaps-and-bounds in the past few years, playing some high profile supports and selling out places like The Cavern Club in Liverpool and the O2 Academy (Stage 2).

In fact it was their last headline at Academy two, late last year, which saw the lads afforded the opportunity of the big one as Stoker, alongside bandmates Matt Whitaker, Jake Grimes and Joe Major, deciding to use the opportunity to capitalise and make it ‘The State of Mind Collection,’ full album launch.

Last time out they released the first half of the album, ‘Designed State of Mind’ in a packed out Academy when ably supported by Craig Roddam, Catalyse and Singapore Safehouse. Fast forward some seven months or so and they’re prepared to release not only the second half of the EP, ‘Refined State of Mind,’ but the complete collection, ‘Combined State of Mind.’

“We were absolutely over the moon to be able to sell-out Academy Two,” began Stevie.

“The response to the atmosphere and music on the night was great and then, to get the call from the Academy the following day asking if we’d fancy headlining the main hall, words can’t describe that.

“We’re aware as to how big a step up this is and the challenge that it presents but it’s a dream stage to play on and we’ve only been there once and that was a few years ago now (as support to Alarm).

“This is us, it’s something really, really special and we’ll certainly throw everything at it.”


“Playing the O2 is just surreal anyway and was packed out from start to finish, staying like that until the last song,” added Jake.

“So, already being on cloud nine with that, we get this as well. It brings back great memories for me going to gigs there as kids and the Ubeat Awards (last December when the lads collected a couple) was the perfect warm-up.

“Knowing it was Academy One from the off, we hope to sell it out, and although it could be seen as a bit of a risk, it’s now or never really. It’s the first step in the next big thing for us.”

In addition to their usual back catalogue of tracks, and the album being blasted out, Twister will also play two new tracks, opening with ‘Welcome to the State of Mind’ as well as ‘Mystery’ – which says it all really!

Supported by Sam Gibson, Offpeak, Judas, and A New Nowhere, tickets will be available for entry only, £8, on the night with VIP doors at 545pm and normal entry at 630pm.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT – Inside Mann to manage Social Room

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Wearside indie band, Social Room, have had a year to remember and it culminated with an impressive launch of the single Be Forever Mine at Independent Sunderland in mid-December. The single, the bands fourth release, came after a year which would see them appear at Lindisfarne Live and Stockton Calling as well as supporting The Bluetones; 2017 has already started strongly.

Alongside announcing appearances at this year’s Sunniside Live with The Farm and The Happy Mondays, and next month in a free event at the Bavaria Band Nacht in their hometown, they also announce taking on regional PR specialist Peter Mann in an early management capacity.

A statement from the sextet of Matty Smith, Adam Jefferson, Adam Potts, Simon Bewick, Chris Leonard and Alex Gunn said: “As a band we presently have a high demand from people wanting to know more about us and to see us perform.

“We came across Peter in the run-up to our single launch last year and he did a great job with the promotion of that. Having kept in touch we met up recently in Seaham and we felt that his ambitions meet our own moving forward and that he is in a perfect position to be able to handle the band’s affairs.”

Having produced PR for event management companies on Tyneside for the past five years as well as working closely with acts such as The Longsands, Twister, Scream of Sirens, international star Bumblefoot, and EGH Radio Rocks among others, Peter has the knowledge and contacts to make a success of the band.

He added: “I’ve picked up a few things including recognising talent from working alongside Steve Wraith and Danny Cox over the past few years.

“When the chance was presented to manage a band like Social Room I felt it was too good an opportunity to ignore. It’s a natural progression for anyone in the industry and, with the increasing contacts I have at my disposal, then it can only benefit the band moving forward.

“The music scene in the region is massive and I take great pride in having been a part of it for the past few years. Social Room are a fantastic set of lads, talented and have a bright future ahead of them so I’ll be looking to get them out as much as possible, not only here but elsewhere around the country whilst building their fan-base and social media presence.

“Personally I’d like to thank Stephen and Anne Lambert (EGH Rocks) and Natalie Conway (Electrify Events/PR) for their advice and guidance in making this decision and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.”

Enquiries regarding the band, media requests should be made to the manager via petermann78@hotmail.com

Let’s Rock n Roll In 2017

Sponsored by EGH Radio Rocks, the home of unsigned rock music, 24/7 and the home of Anne’s Rock Show, Monday’s from 9pm
North East music, and particularly its rock scene, is positively thriving as we head into 2017 with a number of acts looking at making some incredible noise.
With Twister claiming the Best EP/Album for Designed State of Mind, and Best Band awards at the recent Ubeat Music Awards; Craig Roddam and his band blasting their way through Christmas Live at the Arena; and Black Nevada providing immense support for Dani Filth and Devilment at Think Tank, you’d think the close to 2016 would be hard to top.
Actually, it’s already being set up to do just that as Twister have recently announced that they’ll be headlining the O2 Academy in mid-May for a Refined/Combined State of Mind double release, an opportunity arriving off the back of a hugely successful Academy Two slot were they were more than ably supported by Roddam, Catalyse and Singapore Safehouse.
Black Nevada followed up the release of their excellent EP, Fragments, with that Think Tank performance and go into the New Year talking of a possible new music video release and an early year tour taking in Leeds, Nottingham and parts of bonny Scotland, and that’s before summer festival festivities.
Craig Roddam on the other hand has certainly taken his opportunities the past year, following up supporting Twister to playing in front of thirty thousand plus at the Metro Radio Fireworks in Saltwell Park, to Christmas Live, in a matter of months. His new single, to be released early next year, places emphasis on Where do we go from Here.
“I already have a few things I want to get done next year and I’ll be in the studio soon enough,” said Roddam.
“I’ll look at releasing a single first so I can build some momentum, some hype, towards either an EP or album. There’s also the possibility of a tour along with some big support spots at places like the Academy.
“The band also deserves credit and I can’t believe how good they sound when playing my music, they deserve the big stages.”
Big stages are places the like of Micky McCrystal and Kyle Hughes are getting used to, for differing but similar reasons. The pair, along with Edward Bell, are still coming to terms with a recent mini tour they embarked upon with former Guns n’ Roses guitarist, Bumblefoot.
Beginning at Trillians in Newcastle they also took in the Diamond Live Lounge in Doncaster and a date in Featherstone, leading to the duo being offered an opportunity, amongst others, for a trip to LA next month, ahead of Hughes announcing something pretty special himself.
McCrystal meanwhile been guitarist with local rock gods, Tygers of Pan Tang, since Belgium in June 2013. The band releasing Only the Brave earlier this year before a home, Cluny launch, of their mass-acclaimed, self-titled album, in late October where they were, in turn, supported by…..Twister.
Releasing the album through Mighty Music in Denmark McCrystal said; “I had in my mind tas to what the fans wanted to hear and that’s how we approached it.
“Now we’re gearing up to record another video next month which won’t necessarily be old school Tygers, but more a fun song with a hint of classic Tygers all the same. The record label is keen on releasing more if all goes to plan which will be a combination of that old school, recognisable but new.
“That and, with my filling the boots of John Sykes there’s been a level of expectation for me, I’ve had to put my own stamp onto the position whilst still being respectful.”
An exciting addition to the scene the past few years has been Teesside’s Lisa Kilcar, who parted ways with a rock covers band to produce an array of her own, rock originality. The trodden path of many a rocker, before and after, came as a surprise to friends and loved ones alike.
Pushing boundaries of the blues, rock and ballads, Lisa has already penned material enough to release an album in the New Year alongside her new band.
She added: “Things will happen quite quickly as most of the album is done.
“After leaving the covers band I picked up a guitar and wrote a whole new batch of songs. I’ve always wanted to sing as well and, although people were surprised I took this path it’s always been one I wanted to take.
“I’m hoping to release a varied range of material next year across several genres whilst doing some solo work at the same time.”
With The Firelight Opera, Death to Indie and Serinette also making loud noises there’s a trio of acts to watch in Tyneside all-girl rockers, Scream of Sirens, Sunderland’s indie stars, Social Room, and Durham’s unknown entity, Off Peak.
Firelight Opera are making a transition from covers to original whilst penning an album, something they’ve already begun with Lee Hardy stating: “We’ve been down Liverpool already and began putting material down on a new album and is something we’ll go back to in February.
“There’ll be an official video and single release in March with an album launch come the summer.”
Mark Rayner and Death to Indie are in a similar position album-wise with their heading to the studio late spring.
“We’ve had a great response this year, support-wise, so we’re keeping the early part of the year free in order to refresh social (media) and website presence,” added Mark.
“Then we’ll build towards an album later in the year with a live video performance as a teaser, maybe two to build momentum.”
Social Room successfully released their latest single, Be Forever Mine, at Independent in Sunderland and the new year will be a massive one for the six-piece fronted by vocalist, Matty Smith alongside Adam Jefferson, Adam Potts, Simon Bewick, Chris Leonard and Alex Gunn ; Scream of Sirens followed up an EP with the launch of Get Some which landed them a slot with Wipe Out Publishing.
Off Peak meanwhile are brothers Jamie and Robbie Pick with friends Kier Hutchinson and Jackson Raw from Esh Winning who have been providing indie music for the past three years now.
The past twelve months or so have seen them come into their own following up the release of debut single, Stay the Same, with an Academy launch, in 2015, before an EP and mini tour last year.
“We’ll be releasing a second EP in January with a launch gig at Durham University,” said Jamie.
“Afterwards we’d like to release an album but an EP would be great as we’re enjoying it which is why we do it, doing it all off our own back.”
All of this, and more, will be played out on international radio station, EGH Radio Rocks, with Anne and Stephen Lambert, on Monday nights from 9pm; they themselves are looking at a big year ahead and can followed on Twitter through @EGHRocks whilst the online radio show can be reached via http://mixlr.com/egh-radio/.