Tag Archives: Stevie Stoker

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.

 

Twister Welcome Sam Gibson

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.

Next month pop rockers, Twister, headline the main stage at the O2 Academy in Newcastle for the first time and alongside them will be some special friends with the first announcement being that of soloist, Sam Gibson.

Having released the EP, Before All Else, in 2012, Gibson, who is an international acoustic rock artist in his own right, with endorsements from both Candlewood and more recently Optima Strings, followed up with the debut album, Plastic Universe, in 2015, which all but solidified his name in rock.

“This is my fourth year performing on a full-time basis and have been gigging for around six,” began Sam.

“Although the good definitely outweighs the bad I just need to keep plugging away and doing what I do. I performed over 180 gigs last year which included an amazing tour of Switzerland where I’m looking at going back to later this year taking in France, Germany and Italy along the way.

“Last year was just amazing and it just added to all those big gigs I’ve done over the years and this (supporting Twister) will be another of those gigs.”

May 21 will see Sam open for Twister’s ‘The State of Mind Collection’ launch party and the two main parts of the wheel go back a number of years, Stevie Stoker (lead vocalist of Twister) calling on the friendship to get that wheel in motion.

“We’ve done a few things together over the last few years so I had to say yes straight away,” continued Sam.

“I like their (Twister’s) music anyway and he likes mine which is an obvious, added bonus so know we can work together.

“I’ve played upstairs (Academy Two) before but this is an amazing opportunity, for all of us, and I can’t wait to get out there and not only perform but also see the others do their thing as well.”

Constantly tour the UK and abroad, with festival appearances for added measure, Sam will follow up that May gig on Tyneside with hitting the studio and the recording of a new album of his own.

Tickets for the Academy show, priced at £7 entry and £11 VIP are available direct from Sam himself, or from www.officialtwister.co.uk.

You can follow Sam’s progress on social media via Facebook or Twitter  or visit www.samgibsonmusic.co.uk and he’ll see you all front and centre, on Tyneside, on May 21.

Twister’s Combined State Of Mind

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Twister, fronted by founder, Stevie Stoker, have announced that they will not only headline the O2’s Academy One on May 21, but add Refined State of Mind to Designed State of Mind for a Combined State of Mind uniting two EP’s into one album.

The band, which consists of Joe Major (drums), Jake Grimes (guitar & backing vocals) and new addition John Howard (bassist) have been around for an age, under different guises with the current line-up, on the whole, having been together for nearly two years now.

Earlier this year they sold out Academy 2 with their EP launch, ‘Designed State of Mind,’ and well supported by Catalyse, Singapore Safehouse, and Craig Roddam. The immense success of that led to Academy manager, Phil Beevers, contacting the lads the following day and offering them the main stage.

In what can only be described as a whirlwind for Twister they followed that up by being nominated for seven Ubeat TV awards and winning two further awards at the Heather Terry Memorial Music Awards at the Music Lounge in Stockton.

“We were absolutely over the moon to be able to sell-out Academy 2,” 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). Granted we are there for the upcoming UBeat Awards but this is us, it’s something really, really special and we’ll certainly throw everything at it.”

Immediately after their last Academy gig they supported Tygers of Pan Tang at the Cluny and played at Trillians Rock Bar in the city centre and for Jake and Joe, the pair are living the dream.

“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 is just the perfect warm-up for that. Knowing its 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.”

Several times the band have played Academy Two, each as good as the last with the band getting better as time moves on. It could add extra pressure, but it’s their living, and for drummer Joe there’s nothing better saying: “We will certainly push to get the place as full as it can be and make it as comparable to the big touring bands the Academy gets as we can.

“It’s not just a one-off though that’s for sure. So long as we put the work in as individuals then the band is certainly capable, relieving that pressure so we can concentrate on the putting down tracks, writing that new material and showing that we can, in essence, do whatever we like.”

With Designed & Refined State of Mind becoming a Combined State of Mind, Twister are putting together a ‘Battle of the Bands’ in conjunction with UBeat TV and Filthy’s Newcastle (application through the UBeat website from December 1) and will see prizes of support slot, music video, studio recording time, photoshoot and a Series 4 Ubeat TV appearance on offer.

Tickets for Twister Live at Academy One will be available soon and will be priced at £7 standard and £11 VIP (inc. Twister acoustic), further information via Facebook or Twitter @wearetwister

Official Event Page – Twister O2 Academy Newcastle

FEATURE: Someone’s Gotta Lie ‘Cos This Isn’t Wonderland

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

From a little County Durham former pit village of Shotton Colliery stems a musical murmuring that is causing a rather large Twister across the airwaves and beyond as Stevie Stoker and his rock cohorts continue to tear up the music scene.

Having recently celebrated his 25th birthday, band founder and lead singer, Stevie Stoker has suddenly found himself looking back on over a dozen years of musical madness for the band in which he started when at school in early 2004 has this year shared the same stage as Electric Six, Status Quo, and Bumblefoot (Ron Thal of Guns ‘n’ Roses fame).

All that has gone between then and now has never wavered Stevie’s spirits and, as an only child, has had the full backing of his parents, Steve and Shirley Stoker, as well as partner Rebecca Rawlinson. It’s the kind of support network you could only dream about but for the Stoker’s, life on the road is their son’s life, and they encourage it with open arms.

Since that original formation back at school, Stevie included, there has been some eighteen members go through the doors, but the music has remained very much the same, and that is what keeps their loyal band of followers pretty much onside, so much so that they’ll travel any and everywhere around the country to support the lads, irrespective of incarnation.

“You have to think though, we had a steady line-up for five of those years but, if you want to be in a band, be in this band, then you have to stay grounded for nobody gives you a leg up, you have to work yourselves in order to get somewhere and that’s what we’ve all done,” began Stevie.

“When we first began, back in 2004, we were already doing bits of our own material and then, when Someone’s Gotta Lie was released we knew that doing that (originals) was the way forward, knew what the tracks we did, and would do, sounded like, and things would be made going forward.

“Now, when I listen back to the first album, I love it. Some of those tracks actually rock. It was all different though when we first began, we were just 13-years-old and although we set little goals, nobody wanted to be the lead singer, so I did it myself.”

From then until now Stevie hasn’t looked back with anger or regret. Far from. He is very much aware that everything happens for a reason whether it’s playing outside of school as a child entering his teenage years, those early gigs at the band’s long-term home at ‘The Fleming’ in Shotton, right through to being a full-time, gigging band who are pretty much always on the road, whether it be here in their native north-east or further afield.

“That first, proper gig we did, was at a place called Breathless at Blackhall and we but mere kids then,” continued Stevie.

“It was an amazing gig though and still one of the biggest buzzes I’ve ever had. From that moment on we all knew wanted more, much more. The Fleming, until it was knocked down, was a family haunt and where my parents met so everything was done there so it was upsetting, the end of an era, when that place went.

“Everything that we have done though has continued to build up to where we want to be and we know that we can give a lot to both the music industry, and to the people. That’s how we want to be and will always look to connect with them. We have fans who follow us everywhere, people like Jemma Henderson and Joyce Barugh, so we’ll always look to give something back.”

Over the years their many members have included that of Louis Sera, Niall Whittaker and Johnny Kell, the latter whom, other than Stevie, has had the longest individual run in the band stretching over eight years.

By the time they played alongside, and as chief support to, Bumblefoot at the O2 Academy in April this year the quartet, which included Kyle Hughes, Edward Bell and Karl Scott, where coming to the end of that particular band incarnation.

That was a special night in its own right and since then, the new quartet consisting of Matt Whitaker, Jake Grimes and Joe Major, have continued to go from strength-to-strength.  Firstly, the new awesome foursome went onto play at Lechlade within two months of melding, Quo legend Francis Rossi saying afterwards that their “songs are great,” “Pink Floyd cover was great,” and that they “were loud,” – tribute indeed.

“Although the Bumblefoot gig was the best we’ve played together as a band and served a purpose from which a lot of good came out of it,” added Stevie.

“Now it’s all been about a fresh start, a clean slate with three, hardworking people who want this as much as I do. Famous Last Words was a closure piece for me, a closure and launching a new beginning and to be able to move forward – we want people to know that we are still about, to know what we are doing, and that we care about our fans.”

With a new, short-play EP due for release in early 2016 the only other thing that Twister promise is festivals, more gigs, a double tour date of which one will be of their own making, and a New Year’s Eve extravaganza at Bowburn Community Centre.

It will pretty much be the same as they have been before, on a ‘Feeding Frenzy.’

You can follow the progress of Twister on Facebook or Twitter @wearetwister.