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Music played whilst audience listens…


AL GMF Rep for Cheltenham & Fanzine Sub-Editor Monkey Hello March and hello everyone! Spring isn’t even here yet and already Cheltenham will be overrun with our cheery racing chums from across the world. Just because the world famous national hunt pays it’s annual visit – we won’t stop and neither will we. As for the rest of Gloucestershire? Enjoy the tranquil beauty of our county.. But what’s next? We have the Jazz Festival heading towards us at the end of the month and our next issue will be exclusively supporting the “Cheltenham Untapped” portion of the festival. I was lucky enough to be asked to “co-co-ordinate” the Fringe festival this year as well as helping book local acts from around the county for the fringe and Budvar stages – with more booked for ticketed events in the Arena. This is a great opportunity for yet more exposure for bands and artists from around the county to promote themselves to a new audience. The scope of genres being booked is brilliant too – well outside Jazz and a brave implementation of new thinking to help further root the festival into the heart of culture in the county. May 3rd (bank holiday Monday) will essentially be a one-day local music festival in Imperial Gardens – and for this we have a new director Ian George to thank. If I don’t see you and at least two friends enjoying the free access gifted to so much festivity, then I guess we’re just going to have to fall out. This fanzine also gets Please contact Amelia if you want to contribute anything to this fanzine here: Alternatively email me directly and I promise to reply on Enjoy the issue – and have a great February.

WHO MAKES THIS MAGAZINE AND WHY DO THEY WANT TO DO ALL THIS STUFF FOR FREE FOR YOU? There are lots of people and companies who all want to help those who are in bands, developing musically or are involved in the creative arts. Normally, one can expect to pay a small fee, an exchange in kind or even a percentage to taken from their own creative endeavours; the archaic pay-to-play system still exists to this day. The Gloucestershire Music Forum was set up by some pretty special people who only care about helping others and want to see the local music develop in a unique culture. What’s in it for us? We want to see the music grow – it will be good for venues, promoters, businesses, bands, artists and we all get better gigs and attract better bands to the county – if you love music, you’ll understand this simple sentiment. For the cynics amongst us out there, I’m sure this all seems highly unlikely. Please send any of our staff an email and see if this is case. The fact is that people and organisations out there do exist that simply have an altruistic aim is exactly that: a fact. All of us love the music that’s produced and enjoy the fact we get to go to gigs, produce radio shows, write magazines, try and - sure we all have personal tastes, but I’d much r Okay then – what can you do for me? The people that work hard to put this together are all in contact with each other and if you need help finding anyone who does just about anything that is listed above can help you in their areas – we’ll do the co-ordination and introductions for you. We bundle things like flyers and posters that go out with 1,000 of these fanzines each - this is a free service (at least until we can’t afford to do it for free anymore) to different schools, colleges, venues, public spaces, the university as well as numerous other places. If you, your band, venue, in fact – anything musical want to be included, just send us an email (listed opposite) and we’ll get talking.

BBC Gloucestershire Introducing… is the show for your new music. Every Saturday from 5:30pm on BBC Radio Gloucestershire, you can hear the tastiest new cuts of unsigned music from across the county. We might have only been on-air since the beginning of October, but the response has been fantastic with shed loads of you uploading your tracks at – keep em comin’! Making new music? Good. We like playing it and we've even got a show dedicated to the county's unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar music. What's more, you never know where it might take you - coming up over the summer there are opportunities to play for BBC Introducing at big festivals such as Glastonbury and even Cheltenham's Wychwood festival. Our “Fab February” of music included discoveries for us such as Jamie Irie, Zen Elephant and the mysterious 'Mr H' with a rockin’ bluesy number about local legend Joe Meek. Just upload your tracks at and you could be getting airplay on BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music, as well as right here on BBC Radio Gloucestershire. Rob Champion presents ‘BBC Gloucestershire Introducing…’ every Saturday from 5:30pm on BBC Radio Gloucestershire 104.7, 95, 95.8 FM, 1413 AM and on the BBC iPlayer

Badlands kicks arse, world finds out. looks the same. It’s not a very good shopping experience.” Steve added.


Unique side projects such as a travel agency offering trips to see big bands such as U2, and The Rolling Stones, and an unofficial Bruce Springsteen fan club has pulled trumps on supermarkets and mainstream shops. “In the tough economic times you have to be resilient and initiative, introducing new lines help. Things are always changing and businesses’ have to be dynamic.”

Cheltenham’s independent record store Badlands has been voted the UK’s best independent record trader, topping a total of 300 shops. The award, set up by the Entertainment Retailers Association through their new site made to support the remaining UK indie record shops, left Badlands brothers Steve and Philip Jump honoured that their customers had voted them number one. Steve said; “We were very pleased and flattered to have won the award, we didn’t have the opportunity to set up elsewhere, but who’s to know, we could have been in London, but there’s more competitiveness in London.” Dedicated customers and Gloucestershire’s wealth of people involved in its music scene have managed to give the popular store a welldeserved title. The brothers and their eight staff celebrated with the £200 on Saturday evening.

Badlands, based on Saint Georges Place, doesn’t only support the big names, and are known for aiding gigs to promote the local talent; “We like to support local bands, and when bands come in with their music we are always happy to stock and sell it” Steve said. Steve and Philip will also be celebrating their 25 years of trading at the end of the year. ERA Director General Kim Bayley said; “We have been overwhelmed by the public reaction to the site which has revealed the genuine affection music fans feel towards indie shops. Badlands is a very worthy recipient of this honour.” The brothers trust that Gloucestershire’s commitment to backing local independent retailers is a strength that won’t fade in the coming years. They thank everyone for their support and trade since their opening, and hope to continue their selling success in the future.

A high level of customer loyalty and their excellent knowledge on music and online selling have pulled them to the top of the bunch. They regularly email customers with updates and new titles; “People like customer service and they like specialist. Not everyone likes the high street where every shop is the same, every high street

Check out Badlands online: Or better yet – pop in and buy something!

Autobahn Gloucestershire band the Young Vinyls have taken it upon themselves to provide local gig goers with a free monthly club night at Cheltenham’s popular Frog and Fiddle. The last Friday of every month will see the band support touring acts from around the country, with other Gloucester bands opening the show. Performers to headline have included Lunar Youth, who played the same month they were voted number 6 in NME’s Top 10 Songs of the week, in February. London based act Morning Parade will take to the stage in March. “We want Autobahn as the place to be in Cheltenham for live music” Guitar and vocalist Chris Newman said, “And to put on a free night of really good bands for people to come and see. It helps raise the profile of Young Vinyls in our home town, which we love to come back and play!”

For more information:

The Peppermint Hunting Lodge Another great opening act to a fantastic Wired night. The quirky sixsome, and the most energetic band yet to perform, were fusing electro with punk with alternate rock - the perfect choice for the crowd’s tastes in music. Sunshine Suicide, a new song from TPHL comprised crisp screaming over modish dance beats on the keys. Up to the minute tracks such as On Switch and I Like to Gamble exhibit all their strengths, the reason they will be returning to perform with The Automatic in March. Relishing in audience attention these guys were able to make their show about the people watching, what fan could ask for more than that? The Echoes The Echoes’ nine song set went down well after techs were introduced and problems were solved! The Echoes are reminiscent of everything that would hit the charts today, Cheltenham is lucky to be named hometown by such a band! Most people watching had seen them before, bragging quite a following in the county. Every song was as good as the last and performed to perfection; What Juliet Says, Goes is a slower of their brisk tracks, The Rope, a recent song from the lads and played with a harmonica was a hit with admirers while Role Up was an obvious favourite for viewers. Other songs from their latest EP, This Isn’t Hollywood, were saved ‘till last, finishing with one of their best, Save Me and EP title track, In This Scene.

New Years Noise 9th January 2010 @two pigs New year’s noise offered up a selection of experimental music concerned more with the tone and use of sound along with the de-construction of traditional arrangement than a recognisable tune. Although this could be unappealing to the average gig goer it was definitely an evening open to exploring new ideas and moving away from reiterating the same tired formulas normally delivered at you local band venue. The opening act Franz Reichelt used various tools including a spatula to create layers of percussive loops and riffs building to a crescendo of screaming, distorted guitar noise. Grace and Delete followed with their combination of abstract, broken notes twiddled and expelled from a box of electronics and Saxophones. Ion Whistle growled through a cacophony of filthy rhythms layered with incidental noise and drones, the venue was immersed in the phat, grungey low end loops trying to melt the sound system, it felt like a new kind of dance music that just needed a new kind of dance, probably one involving less limbs than we have evolved. The headline act, DJ Tendraw, was less abstract and tried to encourage a more energetic participation from the crowd. He charismatically drew attention to his music with a formal introduction to his homemade circuit bent Casio keyboard and with his Casiocore and minimal techno style managed to acquire a new fan. Tendraw and fan were spontaneously emoting love for the 8-bit beats through shared vocals to one of the highlights of the set ‘Love song’ which continued the theme of the evening in its subversion to conventional instrumentation and the willingness to do something different just because you can and you should.'

The Suitables Every genre under the sun came together when eight very talented musicians busied the stage with their brass band, funk, jazz, and rapping reggaed-up rock, with a mix of hip hop! Undeniably one of the most unique entries into Wired, and somewhat unexpected to those who hadn’t heard of them... and if you haven’t, you need to look them up. They opened with Suitable Sunday, which sparked an up-beat encouraging reaction from onlookers. Rise Up, their so called ‘skanking song’ put people on their feet and Guns of Brixton flaunted a natural flair for song writing. Bluesy track Miracle Man was a mix of Michael Buble and Jamiroquai, with a whole lot more! Guerilla Radio was all the rage, and Eyes Open closed the penultimate showcase until March, where the last acts of the 2009-2010 programme will play.

! Get in touch with Wired at

similar indeed, so if you would like to be find one for yourself and be involved in a form of aggressive story telling that has no particular point but does involve a guitar then I suggest you look out for Andrew Lips (probably found busking outside Tescos as he says that he is homeless a lot). Stagecoach

Lower High Street, Cheltenham Modesty Blaise goes to a lot of gigs at the Frog & Fiddle and then goes to a magical land west and writes about them. Here’s what she’s gone and there done written… All photos © by Miss Shelby Tree’s Photography: Elephants This is a careering riot of enthusiastic trash pop that is a shock to the system and totally unavoidable, this is certainly not the Elephant in the room. It’s good for Pop to get a little out of control sometimes and that’s exactly what’s going on here, with a very stylish frontman at the helm steering writhing utter guitar madness around your ear drums with a voice both equally as powerful as it is effortless. There wild and eccentric style is enthralling and enticing, absolutely laden with hooks and ingeniously catchy riffs also making Elephants utterly irresistible – all handclap drumming and clattering guitar work. The vocals have this slightly droning quality yet also have an awesomely honest clarity to them and coupling this with the quote-a-minute lyrics makes for something pretty unforgettable. Not the only unforgettable thing either - stage presence and live performance has just been stepped up a notch or eighty! Utter lunacy breaks out and the band are throwing themselves around on floor and bashing guitars against their heads – total hysteria but all in the name of good clean fun. So if you are looking for some spectacularly cool pop songs and a live show that will literally excite you beyond the help of Valium then look no further than Elephants… coming to a room near you. Andrew Lips An incredibly juvenile stab at politically charged Acoustic song writing, with a vocal that leaves a lot to be desired. This childish, self-important drivel doesn’t provoke thought but only offends and bemuses, the first only happening in a wildly unimpressive way. Lyrically it is mainly just whining and insipid stories about sleeping rough; vast alcohol consumption and general quips from a rather everyday social life. Subject matter poses no issue here; heroes of the Acoustic ditty like Frank Turner craft some of their best tunes from the simplicities of everyday life, however it all lies in the observation of small yet significant details and vocabulary capacity, not in an immense amount of self loathing/gratification and diminutive quantity of musical talent. It seems that the stage is a forum where Andrew Lips can cathartically release his sometimes sour and unwanted opinions and innermost thoughts to a malleable crowd, however in this case there was at least one listener who was less than willing to be an emotional punch bag (even if it is in the form of “song”). I can’t actually pick you out one particular song for you to listen to as it all sounded very

A slightly weird and satirical approach to making pop songs is always welcomed in my opinion and with a huge side order of talent and big guitary noises it makes for a musical haymaker of awesomeness. With tones of nineties Pop Punk running through and strangely enough The Cure at points through the vessel of rolling floral guitar parts. The vocal is almost sarcastic sometimes and the lyrics compliment this unique approach; singing about tazers and chequers in the same breath is not something you hear all too often but Stagecoach manages to make it fit. It’s voices and string snapping scalelectrics riffs all over the shop with inexorable quality that makes the songs stick in your head. Also the classic rock undercurrent keeps this experimental Pop Grunge magic grounded firmly in the zone of utterly cool music. Hieroglyphics is a song that must be heard by all who have ears. Once again the on stage antics are wildly entertaining, with stiffened limbs; myoclonic jerks and wide eyed bellowing. At the end of the set there is a riotous stage invasion by Elephants – equipment goes flying and singers get on each other’s shoulders and of course plenty of forward rolls. Their fun and frolics are totally infectious and so are they’re tunes – Stagecoach are hit and will continue to be for a while yet. Andrew Villanelle A poet in name and a poet in nature, Andrew Villanelle is here to weave his way into your heart and soul with an array of inventively played instruments and lyric so laden with metaphor they could have come of come from Shakespeare himself… well almost. Immediately you are hit by his subdued and introverted presence leading you with the illusion of mystery, which is helped along hugely by surrounding violin, squeezebox and synth. Previously created samples are used to build the wall of sound, and then the howling violins hot you sounding as though they are drowning in a world of romantic pain. The accordion also sounds like nothing you have ever heard before and certainly very different to how you have ever heard an accordion sound before – jovial, onion clad French man I think not; It’s 100% haunting and 0% jaunty. His vocal growl has shaded tones of awkwardness yet writhe up at unexpected moments and grab you straight by the heartstrings with a gargantuan pull. This right here is a musical genius at work, with the ebb and flow of a beautiful and rhythmical guitar and the wailing cry of the violin and a voice that growls softly with the lyrics dripping with poetic beauty. If you want to get serious about music again and truly be moved then enter in the artsy yet overflowing honest world of Mr Villanelle.

Reviewed… Xposed Club

Pittville Studios 19.02.10 Words: Julia Price Picture: Matt Archibald

We were promised an evening of “meaningful eccentricity and sheer originality” and boy, did we get it! First up was button accordionist Christopher Keatinge – a student on Gloucestershire University’s advertising course whose latent talent was literally (e)xposed tonight. Christopher’s selection of Celtic reels, traditional airs, Scottish dances and original Border tunes had the audience purring with delight, and tapping its feet appreciatively. Little wonder that he was an acclaimed finalist in this year’s Radio 2 Folk Awards. In stark contrast, pianist Pete Robson’s set was entirely improvised - though equally engaging. Pete’s understanding of the jazz piano repertoire is instinctive. His vocabulary encompasses Cecil Taylor, Keith Tippett and Keith Jarrett, and weaves in elements of John Cage and Philip Glass. Yet as much as Pete displays a highly developed musical imagination, it is clear that he plays from the heart. London-based duo Magic Lantern proved just as mesmerizing. Guitarist and kalimba-player Jamie Doe’s songs harboured more than their disarming naïveté suggested. Alongside, Zac Gvi [corr] provided subtle support on clarinet, tom-toms and ankle bells. And there was also some impromptu audience participation, in response to the pair’s quasi-gospel/folk numbers - a first, even for the Xposed Club!

Find out more about Xposed Club at

Want to contribute? Very much like this section states every month, we like listings, reviews, editorial, previews, pictures, art, cartoons and would like to fill these pages with things you care about. We‘d love to hear about anything to do with live music in the county really and can help with anything from promoting you here to getting you reviewed, played on student and local radio, putting you in touch with venues, musicians and artists across the county and just about anything else you can think of! Want to advertise? Put your gig posters in with the mag for distribution? Ask what our favourite kind of ham is? You can contact Amelia – our lovely PR girl on Produced by AfterDark. AfterDark Editor Justin Box | AfterDark Music Editor Andrew Lansley | PR/Listings Amelia Scognamiglio | Cover Design Dan Cooper | Listings Design Robbie Pert | Listings Contributor Ollie West | Staff Writer Lotte Lawrence | Staff Writer Rose Churchill | Comic Strip Courtesy of K-Bomb Comics | Thanks to all the people who contributed to issue four, special thanks (again) goes to Claire Leadbeater @ The University of Gloucestershire for organising the funding and production of this work. All work remains property of the original owner, used with permission. Reproduction in whole or any part (especially the listings) of this fanzine would be awesome as it’s great to spread the word people, just make sure you credit the fanzine : )

These people love and support live local music in Gloucestershire, we hope you do too!

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