Tag Archives: Think Tank

Chloe Chadwick Presents – McDade Intends To Deliver

(Images courtesy of Elaine Whyman)

Tyneside artist, Lee McDade, is intent on continuous delivery as he follows up his own, recent, album launch at The Cluny, with support of Northern Country Queen, Chloe Chadwick, at hers at Think Tank.

McDade, who like Chloe has taken several years to release their debut, grew up on a diet of good ol’ rock n’ roll.

Unlike the rock stars though McDade prefers the shorter tracks in life, although his day job may suggest otherwise, and you’d also be forgiven for thinking that his ‘Greatest Hits’ was arrogantly titled, however it’s definitely more a tongue-in-cheek scenario.

“I recently released my own debut album, my ‘Greatest Hits,’ at The Cluny,” began Lee.

“It was cheekily called that and was just one of those moments but that’s what they are, they’re my greatest hits so far.”

McDade’s background in music though may cause surprise, in a roundabout way. That rock n roll diet could bode well for the future in the industry and, having looked more punk rock than country, the image may well have gone with the sound.

“I grew up listening to the likes of Elvis Presley, Queen and Bruce Springsteen, that’s what my early years were like.

“However, I prefer to keep my music short and sweet rather than those lengthier versions.

“It was my auntie that got me into country though when she gave me some Garth Brooks, but for me the influence has to be Steve Earle and it’s because of that I’d say my style is more Americana than country and I’ve probably been doing it this way for maybe five or six years now.”

With gigs aplenty McDade took a chance a couple of years ago, swapping, albeit briefly, Northern England for West Coast USA and New Jersey, performing a few gigs which can only have benefited any artist.

That, combined with an increasing number of dates on home soil, have instilled increasing confidence in the artist and helps him look forward to a more positive future.

“We’re always looking at what the next step will be and pushing things on,” he continued.

“I’ve an album to promote so we’ll certainly be doing something there.

“The support I’ve had from Stephen Cunningham and Boomchang Records has been great and I can’t thank people like him enough for that support and it’s just a case of taking chances when they present themselves.

“I’m happy to be a part of anything and that’s good whilst being realistic with what can be achieved.”

In supporting fellow Tynesider, Chloe Chadwick, it’s a prime example of McDade’s willingness to involve himself elsewhere.

Showing respect for Chadwick’s talent he concluded saying: “She (Chloe) is an immensely talented woman and an amazing talent.

“I’ve found it difficult meeting like-minded people who dig what I dig but I’d rather be a pioneer in the industry than anything else.

“There’s so much to be said in music that I, we, put out there and it helps with any kind of mood. To me it’s a gift that’s meant to be given.”

Lee McDade, and Freeman, support Chloe Chadwick’s debut album launch at Think Tank, Newcastle on June 30. Tickets are available from the artists priced at £7 or from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/400890.

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/.

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