Archive for the ‘manchester’ Category

October 30th and 31st – Pictures, video and news

In asylum, bands, blue note, guernsey, jersey, live lounge, manchester, music on October 26, 2009 at 15:55

Asylum has been going for a year now and over fifty bands and solo artists have contributed to the nights. It is thanks to those artists that the reputation of Live Lounge as Jersey’s outstanding music venue has grown in that time. Asylum has demonstrated by objectively representing the island’s diverse music culture that it is not necessary to hire tribute bands or the same few guaranteed crowd-pullers to preserve a collective project of artistic relevance. Thanks to all fans of good music in Jersey for their support.

We have chosen to mark the anniversary with a weekend of shows starting on Friday October 30th at Live Lounge with The Raffle, Esther Rose Parkes, Annie Law, Stephan Metcalfe and DJs Carlo and Livingstone. The entertainment continues on Saturday October 31st at Blue Note with The Coal Box Generals, Esther Rose Parkes and Stephan Metcalfe.

The Raffle

The Raffle

The Coal Box Generals

The Coal Box Generals

Annie Law

Annie Law

Stephan Metcalfe

Stephan Metcalfe

Stephan has a blog hosted by WordPress in which his gigs and recording sessions are documented with honest and intimate style. Check it out here Stephan Metcalfe

During a concert in Rörum, Skåne, Sweden on August 14th 2009, Esther Rose Parkes was joined for a performance of her song Climbing The Stairs by Maria McKee. This video was uploaded to YouTube by Loffamalm

Asylum Halloween at Blue Note, October 31st 2009

In asylum, bands, blue note, guernsey, jersey, manchester, music on October 12, 2009 at 14:49
Poster designed by Dave Spars

Witchin' - Poster designed by Dave Spars

The Blue Note in Broad Street has an essential place in the history of musical life in St. Helier. It was established by Noel Flood in the early ’90s as a venue where lovers of honestly played music, predominantly blues, jazz, folk and fusion, can enjoy a comfortably intimate and authentic live music experience.

Asylum has invited The Coal Box Generals to perform there on Saturday October 31st. This duo is a significant offshoot of Guernsey’s esteemed, self-styled ‘cosmic skiffle’ combo The John Wesley Stone, comprising General Shack (acoustic guitar, banjo and vocals) and General Burg (electric lap steel).


Tom Girard of BBC Guernsey Introducing has said of The Coal Box Generals, “It is a treat to see this kind of music being played and played well. They really demonstrate how two men in Guernsey can evoke the sounds of men like Johnny Cash while still maintaining something of their own in the music.”

And what great music it is, infused with the irresistible charm of blues and gospel music crafted to a fine edge, scratchy, atmospheric, and timeless. Their performances are animated by their love of artists reinterpreting the blues for the twenty-first century such as The Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band of Indiana, Arizonian alternative country pioneers Calexico, and Nick Cave’s primal blues gang Grinderman. They borrow and mix all manner of American ingredients such as the shuffling dance rhythms of Bo Diddley in their roistering hymn to stimulation Caffeine Benzedrine Nicotine, to the dust-blasted, love-scarred balladry of Whiskey Made The Devil Outta Me.

The Blue Note is a perfect location for a band of such quality and atmospheric power, and we hope you’ll be there for a night to remember. It’s free, too!

Esther Rose Parkes and Stephan Metcalfe will also be performing at the show.

Asylum at Live Lounge, October 30th 2009

In asylum, bands, guernsey, jersey, live lounge, manchester, music on October 9, 2009 at 15:11
Flower of romance

Flower of romance

The Raffle

The Raffle formed after the split of The Valdees in September 2007. Matt Ward (The Arc and Moped, both of Liverpool, and Yeboah of Guernsey) and Seb Kirk (Yeboah and The Valdees) started jamming with a couple of other lads (the two Nicks from rockers The Bridge). After a few lineup changes they brought in Will (Yeboah and The Valdees) to relieve Matt from singing and writing duties and also to play rhythm guitar so Matt could go back to bass. Not long after they drafted in Ben Hewlett (Yeboah and The Valdees) to take over drumming responsibilities. They had basically reformed Yeboah but as a four piece and instead of playing songs with a dark edge they began writing tunes which hold a breath of optimism in them along with some beautiful melodies and lyrics.

They spent last year mainly writing and rehearsing and played the odd gig but then back to the studio in Autumn 2007 to have a rethink about refining the sound. They got Ben to add more backing vocals so they could do some three part harmonies and carried on writing and practicing.

Now with a mostly brand new set (although they’ve kept a couple of the fan favourites from last year) and a more refined, jangly sound they’re looking forward to pushing forward and getting many people to hear them. If you like ’60s tinged, melodic, guitar pop rock with songs you’ll be humming for weeks then make sure you catch them.

The Raffle are Will Tostevin (vocals and rhythm guitar), Seb Kirk (lead guitar), Matt Ward (bass and vocals), and Ben Hewlett (drums and vocals). They were enthusiastically recommended by Esther Rose Parkes after she saw them perform in Guernsey in Summer 2009.

Esther Rose Parkes

An exclusive introduction to the collection of complex and richly emotional songs making up Esther’s soon-to-be-released album produced by Jim Akin and recorded at Viewfinder Records, LA, and Esther’s home studio in Jersey. With a range of instruments including bass and acoustic guitar played by Jim, drums by Tom Dunne, guitars by Jerry Andrews, and piano and backing vocals by Californian folk rock superstar Maria McKee, it is a uniquely evocative set of songs.

Maria McKee has said of Esther, “Her songs are haunting and intimate, her vocals are complex and rich. There is a gravity to her work that will nourish those of us who have grown weary searching for the sustenance that most contemporary singer-songwriters fail to provide. I’m looking very much forward to a long journey with an artist who will deepen and grow and challenge the listener for many years to come.”

An EP, Slaking The Dust, has recently been made to preview tracks from the forthcoming album and I’ve been lucky enough to get one. In this era of virtual product it is an object of considerable charm and tactile quality with a lovely gatefold package, great art designed by Steve Hutchins, and a rose emblem on the CD applied by Esther herself.


Slaking The Dust EP contains five songs varying in mood from the sparse, introspective title track with its gentle rhythm and optimistic lyric of new beginnings, to dramatic soul ballad Dancer’s Devil steeped in dense rock textures and featuring a vocal performance of thrillingly restrained passion. Everywhere on the disc her new collaborators add interesting tonal colour. Maria McKee’s backing vocals are beautifully judged and Esther’s singing throughout is perfect, delivering her words of love, loss, hope, and mysterious destiny with a rare grace.

Esther recently completed a successful Scandinavian tour. Since returning to Jersey she has recorded a set of songs with Falenizza Horsepower, at Cerf Studio, to be released in 2010.

Stephan Metcalfe

Fans of Stephan Metcalfe who reside in Jersey, of which there are many since he played several well received shows with Brave Yesterday and Oxjam Jersey this summer, have another opportunity to hear his utterly original and gorgeously poetic songs. His various studio projects, including The Engine Room, are collections of formally audacious songs constructed with a quirky experimentation that embraces electronic processing of guitars, drums and voice in a constantly transforming sonic space like no other.

Stephan has recently returned to Manchester where he continues to perform to appreciative audiences, and he is journeying back to Jersey for this special show.

Annie Law

Annie Law is the kind of singer that after just a few moments of hearing her it is obvious that she has a voice of amazingly sensuous quality and a deep understanding of the drama and melodic possibilities of classic soul music. Not only is she a brilliant singer, and excellent guitarist of understated style, but her songs are astoundingly good. With maturity of lyrical invention that belies her youth, Annie Law appears to be slowly but surely building a collection of self-penned masterworks that would sound perfectly right next to many of the great soul classics of the last fifty years.

Annie has played at the last two Jersey Live festivals and at the recent Branchage Film Festival. She supported Nerina Pallot at Jersey Opera House in 2008. She says that since working with other musicians her style has become more upbeat. On this night Annie will be joined by Joe Hutchinson on guitar.

Oxjam Jersey news, video and photos

In asylum, bands, fundraising, jersey, live lounge, manchester, music, oxjam on July 17, 2009 at 03:30

A bridge has been built between the Oxjam fund raising project and the live bands community of Jersey. On Saturday July 25th, musicians of Jersey and their fans applaud the work of Oxfam.

There is a large number of acts between two floors and no one need miss their favourite artist. A timetable of the night’s acts will be available from Sara in the ticket booth. Here’s a taste of some of what to expect on the night.

A brand new video from Hedley Le Maistre is scheduled to be shown on the main stage screen at Jersey Live this year. Parts of it will be filmed at this Oxjam event and the audience at Live Lounge will be a prominent part of the video’s storyline. Hedley is a good ol’ bean and we’re very happy to be able to help him out. I’ve asked the barman to get in a bottle of broccoli liqueur especially for the occasion.

BlackStats’ filmmaker dazvibes has recently posted a new video for the band’s song Burning Sons, with a promise of more uploads to come soon. The film is a document of recent studio and stage work by the band. The off-the-wall style of editing suits an evolving sound with increasing compositional complexity. BlackStats performances now feature psychedelic soundscape interludes, buzzing wonky textures, and singing of authentic grandeur. As ever, the mood is one of not too tightly wrapped sexual paranoia and poetic recklessness.

osakadenture has a video of Falenizza Horsepower from a couple of years ago. It’s a photo montage edited to a great song. In hot plasma of electric distortion, cross rhythmic interplay of drums and bass coalesces and dissolves as the music conjures intimations of cosmic catastrophe on the scale of galaxies tipping inexorably together at the turbulent edge of a murky dew-drop we call the universe.

Also working with us at Oxjam are


Kevin Pallot

The Speedways

The Speedways

DJ Phantom Limb

Phantom Limb

Stephan Metcalfe

Stephan Metcalfe

Dave Findlay, sound engineer

Dave Findlay, sound engineer

Brave Yesterday and DJs Carlo and Livingstone are also performing on the middle floor. Entertainment on the newly refitted top floor is provided by amancalledhorse, Andy Manson, Dança da Liberdade, Gotlyrich, Jackson Lee, and Phantom Limb. We expect to exceed expectations of what great dance music can be at the turn of a decade of mashup and genre deconstruction.

Oxjam Music Festival, Jersey, July 25th 2009

In asylum, bands, fundraising, jersey, live lounge, manchester, music, oxjam on July 4, 2009 at 06:53

Oxfam needs your support

Tickets for Oxjam Music Festival are on sale, £5, from the following vendors:

White Label Records, 4 La Colomberie, St. Helier, JE2 4QB
SDS, 13 La Colomberie, St. Helier, Jersey, JE2 4QB

Raffle tickets are available and there are lots of great prizes. I’ll update this blog with a list of the raffle prizes shortly.

Oxfam GB is working to end poverty worldwide. Go to the Oxfam website to learn about their initiatives to support the basic needs of people caught up in the escalating humanitarian crisis in Pakistan, to help millions affected by Cyclone Aila in Bangladesh, to deliver aid to civilians displaced by war in Sri Lanka, to demand action on climate change from governments, and many other vital programmes.

Louise Williams and Chris Almond are promoting the island’s first Oxjam Music Festival. Oxjam is about raising money for Oxfam to tackle poverty all over the world. Holding an Oxjam fundraising event means that we can help people to earn a living, get an education, gain better access to health care and fresh water, and to grow more food. Every pound raised counts.

Oxjam Jersey is a little out-of-step with the national Oxjam calendar which tends to get busy around October. Jersey is happiest in summer and so we’re holding our show in July. What is hoped to be an annual event is inaugurated with a lineup of bands, solo artists, dancers and DJs that is second-to-none.

For the first time since the Asylum nights at Live Lounge began, we’ll be opening the top floor up as well as the middle floor bands area. The recently refurbished top floor, with sumptuous new decor, will be the place to hear some of the best DJs in the island as well as see a fantastic dance performance and lots more surprises.


Jackson Lee

Mesmerising beatbox, loops and samples showcase from the island’s undisputed master of hip hop vocals.

Dança da Liberdade

Capoeira demonstration: A Brazilian fusion of fight and dance techniques encompassing acrobatics, music and song. Makulele demonstration: Once a fight with machetes this Afro-Brazilian dance depicts the life of the slaves on the plantations cutting the sugar cane and lamenting their homeland.

Andy Manson

Andy is the creator of the brilliant Insole nights at Pure where such amazing talents as Cut La Roc, M. I. Loki, and Loop De Ville have joined him in recent months. Andy says “I’m really pleased to be involved with Oxjam this year. I’m looking forward to playing a whole heap of familiar tunes, remixed by some of the hottest jacking, dubstep and wobble producers of the moment!”


Breaks, rave and mashup in a futuristic sonic gumbo.

DJ Phantom Limb

Phantom Limb plays other people’s records, scratched charity shop rejects and the type of music that makes grans sit down at weddings.


A complete mash-down of old and new designed for the funky generation.



They’ve recently recorded a new set of swaggering, evil glam future classics that reach ever greater heights of rock ‘n’ roll inspiration. BlackStats MySpace

Brave Yesterday

Another band with a huge reputation, and a seemingly unstoppable well of songwriting creativity. Their latest songs are jubilant celebrations of the pop song as art form delivering emotional impact and technical wonder. Brave Yesterday MySpace


Masters of the post post-punk universe, and such indispensable friends of Asylum that almost certainly none of it would happen without them, FalenizzaHorsepower return to the Live Lounge, following their wonderful trio incarnation at Ecuador Challenge, this time as a bass, drums, loops and vocals duo. Get some tuneless wheezing in your life.

Kevin Pallot and The Pinnacles

Ambitious, deep, group-arranged soul pop from one of the island’s best songwriters and a band of talented musicians. Jazz, blues, folk and rock have rarely been blended so fine. Kevin Pallot MySpace

The Speedways

Hear the half-rapped, half-sung vocal of The Speedways’ Lose Yourself, with its disco punk beat and protean guitar riffs that take ska as their starting point and quickly divert to somewhere weird, primitive and lovely, and understand here is another of the island’s innumerable pop pioneers at work. The Speedways MySpace

Stephan Metcalfe

Stephan is a songwriter of unique quality. His songs are literate and wondrously imaginative, and the recordings he has produced are constructed with a consciously punk attitude to objective chance and textural experimentation. Stephan Metcalfe MySpace He is also another blogger at, hello Stephan!

A large banner, 300 cm by 50 cm, has been designed as part of this promotion. Working on such a large document nearly brought my poor, overworked laptop to the brink of meltdown. It features group photography by Roy Yates, amongst others. Two of these banners will be displayed in prominent locations in St. Helier. Thanks to Clare Sullivan and Jane Denney at Prestige Properties for allowing use of their office and curious wooden effigies.


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