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Paul Henshaw

Contributors We are interested in building relationships with writers and bloggers who focus on music and wish to be part of our music Nikki making community. Henshaw

Beth Hemmings Kristian Wing-Penny

Janinne Wing-Penny

‘She asked how I get it all done?’ “Coffee & Vodka Darling” ... ... “Coffee, Vodka & Red Bull”

SR

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the individual contributors alone and do not reect the views of Shrop Rocks.

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Editorial

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elcome to Shrop Rocks Magazine, it’s been along time coming but nally we made it to print. Through blood, sweat and tears we’ve pressed hard over the past 12 months to bring you this release. Enjoy !!!

Anyway, Recently in the shire... An unlucky reveller set our facebook page alight this week when he pleaded with strangers to help him nd the trousers he was wearing when he went out on the town round Shrewbury for a few too many beers. The Bristolian shall we call Mr X was visiting Shrewsbury for his grandma’s 80th birthday when he got so inebriated he managed to lose track of the chinos he was wearing and woke up with no memory of where he left them - and his wallet and phone were inside. Posting on Shrop Rocks the group, he asked the good people of the town for help locating his pantaloons. “I blacked out and don’t know where I would have taken my pants off,” he wrote. “I had security check the tapes at the hotel and I indeed was trouser-less when I arrived back. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.” Users on Shrop Rocks initially thought it was all a joke, whilst other users already knew of the pain of missing clothing, one man wrote:

Shrewsbur y has stolen yet another innocent man's pants, when will this horror stop? When will West Mercia Police take measures to ensure that men don't lose their beloved pants in town?

EDITOR@SHROPROCKS.COM

And, typical of the internet, someone chose to poke fun at his misfortune:

Maybe you left them in 1955. You should really be trying to gure out where you parked the DeLorean

The loss of his charcoal Calvin Klein chinos meant Mr X was left wandering the streets with his hot pink briefs on show. The only evidence he had to help him piece together the remnants of his alcohol-induced amnesia was a credit card payment to kebab shop ‘Effs’ Castle Forgate at 4am. “We were out gallivanting around town. I’m not even sure where we were, wherever all the bars are, there’s so many,” he told Shrop Rocks. “It’s a great town, I enjoyed myself thoroughly. So much so I felt the need to walk around without my trousers on.” Mr X’s bottoms were located the same day his Facebook post appeal went out. They were handed into the hotel after being found in Barracks Passage by a man walking his dog Sunday morning. arhhh You just could’t make it up !!!

Love

Shropshire JAN/FEB

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THE QUARRY, SY1 1RN


Photo Tony Mottram

Q:

What Next For T H E

R O O Z ?

facebook.com/emberweir www.emberweir.bigcartel.com @emberweir

A:

EMBER WEIR

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hilst walking through Low Town - Bridgnorth I hear with my little ear the sound of music. Nope, this ain’t Julie Andrews, I havn’t gone totally bonkers yet but Telfords own ‘The Rooz’. My primary mission of gathering Chinese had now gone out the window and plan B had come in to effect. I was now being sucked into the musical, visual whirlpool blackhole that was the front door of the pub and straight past the big baldy bouncer who had thrown me out just two weeks prior, as he bent down to pick up a twenty pence piece I purposely dropped on entry (kids listen and learn). Once inltrated I took up position at the bar with an excellent vantage point of the whole staging area and then the night became one...

The Rooz are a young rock ‘n’ roll band. They are fronted by singer/songwriter Louis Coupe who appeared on everybody’s favourite singing contest programme ‘The Voice’. The band also includes Ralph Porrett on lead guitar, Tom Russell on drums and Peter Davis on bass. The Rooz do not stick to conventional rock tunes, instead performing a variety of ballads and original material. Crowned the LIVE BAND OF THE YEAR at Bilston’s The Robin 2 in 2013 their certainly worth a watch. The Rooz are currently taking bookings for 2017. owever, sporned from The Rooz, new project ‘Ember Weir’ see’s the band take on new roles, new band members and a new path forward. They headed out on tour in December supporting ‘Speaking in Shadows’ for a short run of dates. So keep your eye’s peeled. Exciting times ahead for these boys.

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S P O T L I G H T

Jim s Hawkin

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here’s no better way to start our spotlight feature than with the man himself BBC’s one and only Mr Jim Hawkins. Jim hugely experienced with more than thirty years of radio presenting and producing, for both the BBC and commercial stations, at local, regional and national network levels has become a true Shropshire gem. His constant support for local businesses and his care for the general public has earned respect from listeners across the county and beyond.

‘Jim uses the power of radio well to make a positive difference to peoples lives’ P6

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@Jimallthetime jimhawkins.co.uk

Winner of a Silver Sony Award, and nominated (2006) for Sony Speech Broadcaster Of The Year Jim’s made his own inuential mark in radio. During his career he has interviewed notable gures including Gordon Brown, Gene Simmons and Steve Cropper and not so notable gures such as myself. Personally I found Jim a pleasure to meet, his kind professional demeanor shone through. Not all local radio presenters have the time and commitment that Jim offers his listeners. You can catch his show ‘Jim Hawkins in the morning’ 9am till midday Monday to Friday on BBC Radio Shropshire. Jim also plays in local band ‘Green Moon’ an acoustic outt with an electric heart. Playing atmospheric americana, folk with rustic roots. So if that tickles your fancy you can head on over to twitter and check them out at:@GreenMoonBand


In The Beginning... It all started off in Market Drayton 2009 at the back of the Coach and Horses pub on the bowling green Hence (in part) Rock 'n' Bowl. The other aspect of 'bowl' came in the charity elements. The RNB team thought it would be an excellent idea to put on a few bands at the back of the pub and pump a bit of open air live music back into the community and try and support local charities, Generously supported by local and national businesses the event has grown exponentially. The team have been genuinely surprised at the response to the event and over the years it has grown massively from over 1000 attendees in 2011 to over 4500 in 2016!

Location, Location ... In moving the site to the picnic area but still in Market Drayton next to the river Tern things changed greatly and the possibility of 'giving away' the gate money became unviable due to the huge increase in costs and workload. It was clear from attendance and the enthusiastic response that the event was welcomed with open arms to it’s new home. Organisers decided to produce and present the event on a level that the town had never seen before and give the townsfolk something to be proud of ... P8

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M A R K E T

D R A Y T O N

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27th // 28th // 29th R O C K A N D B O W L F E S T I VA L . C O M @rockandbowlfest facebook.com/rockandbowl

Onwards and Upwards... By the time the event is staged around 1000+ hours of planning will have gone into the running of this popular event, for the price of a good night out on the town you can get a day or weekends worth of top entertainment which proves a fantastic value for money alternative and with your contribution the festival can stay around for years to come. The event of course is primarily about the music, the amazing vibe and shared experience it creates. Festival organiser’s are lucky to have many people living locally who are industry professionals and give their time for free to put on the festival. What we love about the RNB team is they strive endlessly to support local community projects and charities so that the festival has a direct impact on local peoples lives. Rock 'n' Bowl - "The Biggest Little Festival"...........Enjoy ! JAN/FEB

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PW r iAt e sU. . . L

HENSHAW

thedolphinalehouse.co.uk

O P E N

M I C @

facebook.com/TheDolphinShrewsbury

THE DOLPHIN INN

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he only issue I have with writing about a small, undiscovered and extremely cool night out in my home town is the potential that others will discover it too and next time I go there won’t be a parking space within a mile. That said, a night out at The Dolphin Open Mic is something you should all do at least once. I walk in at 8:30 and the music room, no bigger than an average sitting room is at capacity. Sonia Smith is playing and a crowd of about 40 are listening intently. It’s busy and it’s standing room only so with my pint of Green Monkey I settle back against the bar and soak it all in. There’s a distinct Irish session feel about the proceedings. The evening, run by the exuberant host Richard Benjamin “The pub was closed 2 years ago, when I saw it was reopening P10

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I spoke to the landlord and offered my services to run an evening of music” Richard continues “What makes this so special is the audience, it’s predominantly musicians but they stay and support every act that plays, there’s a great feel to the nights” With that Richard is off to announce the next act in his own inimitable style. We’re treated to the lyrical meanderings of David Owen. A song about Old Punks, a song about a Barbeque, it’s passionate, it’s funny, it’s brilliant and everyone is having a good time. The dial on the Craic-o-meter just smashed. Richard’s inuence on the success of the evening is conrmed by Alex Vicenzotti, a Shrewsbury based musician,“There’s a great energy, a good set up, an appreciative audience and of course Richards enthusiasm”


Evening regulars Lizzie Lane and Pete Jones have the crowd bouncing to the sounds of “The Boxer” while the free sandwiches are passed around. I’m suddenly covered in cheese, an over excited punter with a mouthful of sandwich can’t contain himself and he launches into loud “LA, LA, LAAA’S!” Lance and Dave from CUOPRI are there too, not playing, but supporting the night. “I came to this pub for my rst legal pint” says Lance, “The band are a 3 piece uke band and a singer, we go and learn some songs and then come down here and play them, it’s just a special place”

Nikki Rous and Beth Prior round the night off in style and I head home one happy bunny, at least as far as my mate Tim’s house, he has good coffee and listens to my ramblings about just how good a night the Dolphin open mic is. There are a lot of open mic nights / showcases on the go right now, I’ve been to good ones and I’ve been to some not so good, but what makes The Dolphin Night so different is the passion of the organiser and his appreciation for the acts that come and play. Richard is a well-known local musician, he also works with the Flaxmill Group and has an energy that says I LOVE THIS! Well, I do too. You don’t have to be cool or wear the latest shirt, just have the desire to play and have a good time. I’m just gutted I missed Kevin Perry’s 21st consecutive appearance, ah well there’s always next time. I might even take a guitar with me!

Paul Henshaw

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JAN Avoid the christmas hangover blues and get yourself out. Here’s our pick to start 2017 with a bang !!!

THE DYNAMIX

SAT 14TH JAN THE BULL HOTEL

L U D L O W 9PM

facebook.com/TheDynamix

NICK PARKER

F R I 2 7 T H J A N PERCY’S WHITCHURCH

+ S U P P O RT F R O M PA U L H E N S H AW

9PM

OXON PRIORY SHELTON SY3 8DL

28TH JAN 9PM P12

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Please check times & dates with venue before travelling to avoid disapointment.


FEB

4TH

TWO FACED TOM

THE BOOTLEG

& THE WHITE HORSE B

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THE GRAHAMS

HENRY TUDOR H

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24TH FEB 8PM

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ounds Of Simon: A Tribute to Simon and Garfunkel.

SOUNDS OF SIMON

BISHOPS CASTLE TOWN HALL

25TH FEB 7:30PM S O U N D S O F S I M O N . C O . U K For Loads More Gigs Visit: facebook.com/shroprocks @shroprocks shroprocks.com

facebook.com/sounds-of-simon JAN/FEB

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NUCLEAR W

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uclear Weasels debut full-length album ‘Bring to Mind ‘ cements their reputation as one of Shropshire’s most talented and exciting acts. It’s also their rst accessible work to date since being formed 6 years ago and I can tell you it was well worth the wait. Whether or not you fall in love with Nuclear Weasels depends how much stock you put in originality. The Shropshire four-piece are clearly the sum of their own inuences and their music is different to the mainstream commercial material of the same genre we hear today, their debut album brims with such gusto and powerful tunes that it’d take a heart of stone for anybody not to weaken in the face. The Boy’s from Bishop’s Castle start with the excellent ‘Lungs‘ a great bright catchy opener that oozes appeal. ‘What’s the Matter‘ shows great lead guitar lls mixed with memorable lyrics we all can relate to. The slow ‘All My Life‘ works nicely and slips you perfectly into an even slower dreamy instrumental ‘You Were Me and I Was You‘ if you havn’t realised yet how superbly brilliant this album is you will in the next 3 mins 17 seconds as ‘Three and a Half ‘ Kicks in… great guitar

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riffs, great use of drums, hearty vocals with nice backing harmonies, the track speeds up to a great energetic nale. ‘Bed Song‘ ticks along ska style with again great lead guitar that will have you up dancing in a ash. Next up ‘Got No Money‘ which I’m sure we can all relate to offers a dark side to Nuclear Weasels with it’s big beefy chorus that certainly makes you wonder why these guy’s have no money?, they should be loaded lling venue’s all over the UK and Europe.

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Visit: www.nuclearweasels.com @nuclearweasels Facebook/NuclearWeasels

anyway rant over and on to ‘Laa‘ which is another trademark instrumental that make’s you want to pack your bags and jet off to Spain I’m not sure why? I never studied music psychology then it all becomes apparent as it leads into ‘Built on a Hill‘ Which is stunning in every department, hauntingly awesome, fantastic vocals, beautiful lonely guitar with an uprising ghting spirit that will blow your mind. Right once you get over that last track your hit with ‘Pyramids‘ that offers a great wall of sound with snaky riffs and super high vocals thats just irresistible. P16

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Bring To Mind Available On: iTunes Google Play Amazon

‘Sock‘ follows and has to be the heaviest track on the album and it moves at a pace, again catchy lyrics on top of relentless guitars, great vocals and punchy drums and a soothing outro whats not to like. Final track ‘Stranger Things‘ is a great piece of musical arrangement and puts these boys at the top of their game tipped for bigger better things to come. Nuclear Weasels collective strength is in this combination of bold bright guitar and earworm choruses that pepper every track. The swaying melodies, well wrote lyrics make this band one of Shropshire’s gems.


www.youngbraves.co.uk @youngbravesUK Facebook.com/youngbravesUK

YOUNG BRAVES

a potent release that is undeniably BRILLIANT

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oung Braves a 4 piece rock/indie band from Newport, Shropshire, consisting of brothers Ollie and Elliot Scott, Jacob Ferguson and Dan Byrne. Formerly Arcade Parade, they were the 2012 winners of the Shropshire’s Next Big Thing competition run by BBC Introducing in Shropshire and the Shropshire Star. The band have performed at The O2 Academy 2 & 3, Birmingham Ballrooms and The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton. 2012 saw the band perform at Osfest and Shrewsbury Fields Forever Festival alongside The Wombats, Sunshine Underground and Razorlight. 2013 proved to be another busy year with numerous live shows, festival appearances and recording sessions. The band are featured regularly on BBC Introducing in Shropshire and in Octber 2013 released their debut single ‘Youth’, produced by acclaimed producer Gavin Monaghan (who has worked with Editors, The Twang, Kings of Leon, Robert Plant).

In the summer of 2013, the band decided to start a fresh with a new sound and name, and from a GCSE History lesson on the American West emerged the name, Young Braves! Their rst single Youth is a hugely catchy pop rock anthem which you can check out below via the link.

“The Young Braves have channeled all the emotions and life experiences they have been through the past few years into this EP, a potent release that is undeniably BRILLIANT — and that’s apparent from the beginning to the end” The guitar work in their is sublime backed with beautiful melodies and heartfelt quality lyrics. I’m not going to go on and on about how the tracks work or sound. There really is no need to at all with these guys. They are all frighteningly good and their all still young. Go and experience them for yourselves you won’t be dissapointed.


A D V E R T I S E

Shrop Rocks magazine comes out bi-monthly, and is distributed free to bars, pubs, clubs and other local establishments in the flourishing county of Shropshire. It is packed with music related local content written and provided by the people of Shropshire. Your advertisement will sit alongside real content which is wrote by the people, for the people. This means that 6000 copies of Shrop Rocks aren’t just being circulated, it means 6000 copies are actually being picked up, read, kept and talked about locally. With a thriving social network now you can be apart of the county’s fastest growing music publication.

SINTRODUCTORY P E C I RATES AL BI MONTHLY PUBLICATION 6000 READERS 3200 FACEBOOK USERS 1300 TWITTER FOLLOWERS 3500 SUBSCRIBERS

Box ads: These ads are positioned throughout the magazinze 47mm (W) x 68mm (H) Colour or mono: £10

Quarter page strip (horizontal): These ads are located within the reviews section of the magazine. 140mm (W) x 50mm (H) Colour or Mono: £25

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Quarter page box: 70mm (W) x 100mm (H) Colour or Mono: £20

Half page (horizontal or Verical): 142mm (W) x 102mm (H) Colour or Mono: £40

We have professional designers who can design your artwork for you please enquire for more details

C O N T A C T

Quarter page strip (vertical): These ads are located within the reviews section of the magazine. 50mm (W) x 200mm (H) Colour or Mono: £25

U S

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TWO BLANK PAGES Pictured : Antony Titley and Fergus Mckeown

www.twoblankpages.com Facebook.com/twoblankpages @TwoBlankPages

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espite all the music that comes our way, Alternative Folk Country Trio, ‘Two Blank Pages‘ have successfully operated under our radar … up until now that is. The EP ‘Folk ‘N’ Roll’ was brought to my attention by band member Antony Titley and from the rst it certainly gained our attention. The elements of worthy vocals, simple pared-back instrumentation and eloquently memorable melodies leave you wanting far more than the six tracks on offer. There’s a nice edge to the lead vocals that belies the depths and searching of the lyrics, and gives the songs a softly engaging appeal. There’s also a connection, an intimacy if you prefer, that pulls the listener into the song and moves this trio closer to you to a nice effect.

When you’re faced with a selection thats all worthy of a vote it’s hard to pick out tracks, however for me the fun track ‘Bearded Man’, the thoughtful ‘Georgia Line’ and ‘Drifter’s Daughter’ are outstanding, with the power to draw you in every time. Two Blank Pages consist of members; Antony Titley on guitar & vocals, Fergus Mckeown on guitar & vocals, Jamie Rushworth on bass. Shrewsbury based they are denately one to watch for the future. JAN/FEB

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R A I N B R

This four-piece have a refreshing approach to blues rock in a style which you don’t hear too much of on the British blues circuit. Their sound channels the greats of the 60s and 70s, yet with a modern twist and a healthy dose of soul. The Rainbreakers may hail from Shrewsbury, but their groove tells you Austin, Texas.

BLOOD N O T BRASS

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EP

Since the release of their “Blood Not Brass” EP, Rainbreakers have found themselves being featured extensively throughout a variety of media platforms. The Blues Magazine and Blues and Soul magazine have each

celebrated the band’s refreshing outlook on the blues/rock scene, while radio stations across the country and most notably The Paul Jones Show on BBC Radio 2 have all featured their songs respectively.


E A K E R S “

The bands efforts have even gained the attention of The British Blues Awards, who nominated Rainbreakers for The Barry Middleton Award for Emerging Artist 2016.

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n the last year, Rainbreakers have reached new heights, with a string of live dates up and down the country supporting the likes of Corky Laing (Mountain), The London Souls, The Devon Allman Band and Laurence Jones.Their performance at this year’s Great British Rock and Blues Festival in Skegness saw them win the crowd vote on the Introducing Stage and gain a place on the Main Stage at next year’s festival.

SALOP ST - BISHOPS CASTLE - SY9 5BW

Pictured: Ben Edwards JAN/FEB

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SUPPORT A urgent city-wide campaign has been launched to save London’s live music venues, the number of which has declined by 35% in eight years. Since 2007, 50 venues have shut their doors for good, leaving the capital with just 88. Historic venues such as the Marquee Club, the Astoria, the 12 Bar Club, Water Rats and Madame Jojo’s have disappeared from the map, falling victim to high costs, complaints from residents and pressures from developers. Many more are on the brink of closure.

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VENUES

Have your say...@shroprocks facebook.com/shroprocks editor@shroprocks.com

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or music fans of a certain age it must count as one of the greatest gigs in history. On 4 July 1976, at Shefeld’s Black Swan club, the Clash played live for the rst time, supporting the Sex Pistols on a bill that also included the Buzzcocks. Over the years the Black Swan changed its name to the Shefeld Boardwalk, but its commitment to live music remained undiminished. Arctic Monkeys performed at the club, releasing a demo collection recorded at the venue called Beneath the Boardwalk. The ‘Support Local Music’ horn has been tooted so many times now that people, especially internet people are starting to feel like they have tinnitus. However I am not asking you to go musically vegan, I’m not even asking you to go musically vegetarian, just have that meat free Monday now and again.

Buying and supporting local music saves you money, encourages growth and attracts tourism but more than that it helps to develop a sense of community and gives us all something to be proud of, which makes us rich… emotionally. The economic reasons are pretty good too. Let’s be honest, we are all pretty selsh and whether or not that refers to money, most of us don’t really want to just give it away. After all why go out and spend £25 on a band, or £70 for Dolly Parton, when we can all stay at home and watch X Factor, or at least spend the money on beer. Well if you went to see a local band, you could probably afford both a few beers and a cracking show. Local gigs are usually a lot cheaper, the money’s not being spent to get the band there (touring isn’t cheap for international bands). Also, more than likely, the band


isn’t that well established and so are just not famous enough to rip you of your hard earned cash. Chances are they’ll put on a better performance as well, no point getting you through the door and putting on a half-assed show, because next time when they charge £12 instead of £10, you probably won’t go. Bands in themselves are a local business and the more you give them the more they can spend and the more they can improve. This in turn makes everything else better, because that is how the economy works… until the bankers take it all. So, usually the venue will get a cut of the money a band makes on entrance fees, and if not it will probably get at least one or two people having a drink. More money for them! They’ll be able to keep the place up and running and maybe even have more shows. This is especially good for those venues that don’t quite have enough money or a good enough space to attract big acts. However if you don’t go, no one makes money, bands starve, music shops liquidate, bars close, we all go sober – productivity may increase but we will all kill each other in frustration. Let’s not forget the poor record stores, even if you’re not buying a record or CD by a local band, at least try to buy it in a local store, you’re helping these bands in a different way and more so helping a business that will be investing money back into our own economy. You personally will be saving someone’s job and in that case go ahead and buy yourself another congratulatory CD.

By creating a thriving local scene ourselves we produce something that tourists will want to come and see

There has been a lot of discussion over the past decade of the Creative Class, a group of people who are the leading force behind economic growth. A wondrous selection of workers that bring growth to any country that attracts them. We obviously want some of that. So in this new age of global economy, we have to shift our focus on retaining big industry and manufacturing but more importantly start attracting smaller creative rms, the rms all these Creative Class types want to work for. Now there are many, and almost certainly more important, ways to attract these people, but one of them is to have a thriving local music scene. A city needs to have a sense of self to reel them in and a scene that demonstrates the cultural and social diversity of a place is one way to do that. You have to ask yourself, what wouldn’t be appealing about going somewhere with a great local music industry? JAN/FEB

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According to Support the Arts, £856 million of spending by tourists is on arts and culture. Also 8 out of 10 tourists see culture as the reason for their visit and what is more culturally expressive than local music. This point is rather similar to the second one in that everything has a knock on effect. By creating a thriving local scene ourselves we produce something that tourists will want to come and see, in turn they spend money in our hotels, bars, restaurants and on our local transport giving the tourism aspect of our economy a boost. This is more important now than ever as the inux of tourists had soared over the past few years and creating a tourist friendly environment is something that will help Shropshire’s economy to stay aoat, unfortunately there are bigger issues to address than having some great local music, but you have to start somewhere. At the end of the day we shouldn’t need these reasons to support our local music industry, we have a great scene and should happily be spending our money to take advantage of all that it has to offer be that in a store or in a bar. So work hard, go out, spend your money and feel good about yourself for doing it.

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Buying and supporting local music saves you money, encourages growth and attracts tourism but more than that it helps to develop a sense of community and gives us all something to be proud of, which makes us rich emotionally. The economic reasons are pretty good too.

Have Your Say at: facebook.com/groups/shroprocks editor@shroprocks.com


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BETH HEMMINGS WRITES

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n August 27th, Shrewsbury’s very own Quarry Park opened its owery and communal arms and welcomed in a new and exciting event. An event that is renowned up and down the country for its remarkably uncanny and exceptionally talented tribute musicians. It was indeed, the mini franchise of festivals: the Fake Festival. For the rst time ever, Shrewsbury hosted the all-day gig in the Quarry Park and attendants were treated to excellent music – not only from local bands of the Shropshire area, but also three phenomenal tribute acts. The iconic music of Queen, The Foo Fighters and The Jam was performed exceptionally, way into the night. The franchise of Fake Festivals tour all around, up and over the country and for each location they rock their fakeness, granting local musicians the opportunity to perform and kick start these awesome little festivals. The fakeness travels far and wide with some of the country’s most amazing tribute acts that are almost uncanny to the real deal. Tributes throughout this summer’s tour included; Oasis, The Rolling Stones, The Stone Roses, Bon Jovi, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers and many more. Not to mention Shrewsbury’s headliners of Queen (The Flash), Foo Fighters (The Four Fighters) and The Jam (The Jam’d)!

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The afternoon was kick started with Shropshire talents; Thin Vision, Two Faced Tom and the Bootleg Boys, Guttersnipe and Scaface. Whilst these local bands where setting the elongated marquee on re, festival goers could also enjoy family entertainment outside via a bouncy castle and slides, food and beverages to suit every tummy and an amplitude of porta loos- which are a vitality to any festival, big or small. Within the marquee too, adults could satisfy all tipples with a fully stocked bar to enjoy soft or alcoholic beverages via a speedy token system. As the evening drew in, so did the local talent. First of the headliners to take stage were The Jam’d, performing all the classics from ‘Going Underground’ and ‘Town Called Malice’, to ‘In The City’ which elevated the atmosphere in the giant marquee to a full blown festival caliber and provided an amplitude of nostalgia for the fakey attendants.


This atmosphere was soon shaken up like a wild cocktail mix when The Four Fighters followed. Their entrance was electric- thrashing guitars and drums and a light show that would put any night club to shame. The Four Fighters performed every single Foo Fighters classics and then some, including The Pretender, Walk, Everlong, Best of You and Learn to Fly, which had the audience high in the sky. What was notably brilliant about The Four Fighters’ performance was the band’s rousing energy on stage. They did not miss a single beat and there was an elite chemistry between the performers as each took their character of the Foo’s band members rather professionally. Notably the lead singer Iain Angus (also involved in organizing the Fake Festival tours) whose voice, attire and visual performance was uncanny to that of Mr Dave Grohl’s. Iain had the persona of the iconic Foo Fighters front man down to a tee with his world famous head-bobwhile-playing routine. Once The Four Fighters nished turning the marquee and everything in it into a rock and roll paradise it was time for Queen tribute The Flash to burn the stage. From the word go, The Flash were sublime. The lead singer again bore an uncanny resemblance to his subject, in this case Freddie Mercury; with the famous white tank top, 70’s porn star mustache and the performing with the microphone on the stand – he truly captured the essence of Freddie Mercury exceptionally, and with a whole lot of grace. He elevated the atmosphere within the marquee to that of such electrifying proportions, it could have powered a house through winter. Like The Four Fighters; the whole band had a noticeable chemistry as they all interacted on stage in the way that Queen so famously used to.

Throughout their entire performance of all of the Queen classics- such as ‘Radio GaGa’, ‘I Want To Break Free’, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, ‘We will Rock You’ and many, many more – The Flash engaged the audience with masterful sing-a-longs which denitely broadcasted the lead singer’s sheer talent and vocal capacity. At one point he had the crowd belting back a singing scale that can only be described as brilliantly coral and of the excellence level of a professional gospel choirwhich left the audience abbergasted within themselves A denite highlight came right at the end – when Queen’s famous ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was covered. When the rst notes played and ”Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?” was sang, every member of the audience cheered with gleeful recognition and a look of awe on their face. But things changed dramatically when the world-class guitar riff was thrashed out. The whole audience was bouncing like a herd of baby kangaroos and the head banging was like something you’d nd at a heavy metal concert. The Flash were simply sublime, a gold standard performance that I think Freddie Mercury will be smiling down upon with pride. So, if you have the perception that tribute bands and tribute festivals are something of indecency and never a match on the original, then all I want you to do is to tag along to one of Britain’s nest Fake Festivals. They are a plethoric pool of immense talent, electrifying performances and boast an unforgettable atmosphere. Because if you close your eyes, you will feel like you are in the presence of the real deal. JAN/FEB

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HAYGATE RD - WELLINGTON - TF1 1QA


S I N G L E

R E V I E W

ANDY O’BRIEN

YOU SHOULD’VE CALLED

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he smartly crafted development of ‘You Should’ve Called’ ensures that the listener remains attentive to the evolving composition, which like wax dripping down the side of a candle ows from warming melt to hardened sculptures of mystical shapes as the ethereal vocal guides the way through the journey.

whose produced local With an essence of band ‘Shoot The Verves Ashcroft mixed with hints of Coldplay Symphony’ and Indie the track sets to rock band ‘The become a great debut Clocktower’ this release for O’brien who track sets down a works tirelessly great foundation for throughout O’briens solo efforts Shropshire’s live music and is great insight scene week in week of things to come out. Produced by the from this talented ever impressive Ryan musician. Pinson at RML Studios Wolverhampton facebook/andy-obrien-live-and-acoustic


S H R O P S H I R E

FACTS

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t's one of the most picturesque counties in Britain, yet is one of the least well-known. Visitors are often delighted at the choice of activities available in Shropshire. Steeped in history and culture, tourists come to Shropshire to see this county's incredible past. Here are fteen interesting bitesize facts that may astound you, even if you've lived all your life in this wonderful county. The origin of the name Shropshire comes from the Old English name "Scrobbesbyrigscir" (try saying that after a few real ales) which means Shrewsburyshire. Shropshire is home to the world's rst skyscraper, Ditherington Flax Mill, situated just outside of Shrewsbury. Built in 1797, the building was the rst in the world to be built as a multi-story iron-framed building - the way that all skyscrapers are now built. English Parliament rst gathered in Acton Burnell, and not London as most people think. Edward I brought his parliament together at a barn in the area, the ruins of which can still be seen today. The remains of Bridgnorth Castle lean at a huge 17 degree angle, three times more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. Tourism in Shropshire is worth a massive £561 million, contributing nine percent of the total West Midlands tourism spend. Over half of all visitors come for the countryside, rather than the towns. The 13th century Clun Castle is owned by the Duke of Norfolk, Miles Francis Stapleton Fitzalan-Howard, who also holds the title of Baron Clun. The delicious Sweet Pea was rst introduced to our plate by Henry Eckford of Wem, who was responsible for creating the rst ever sweet peas in 1888. Prince Arthur, elder brother to Henry VIII, has his heart buried at St Lawrence Church in Ludlow. It's contained in a silver casket beneath the chancel. His body was buried at Worcester Cathedral. It is thought that he died from TB in Ludlow en-route to Wales with his wife, Catherine of Aragon.

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Standing tall outside Shropshire County Council's HQ at Shire Hall in Shrewsbury, Lord Hill's column is the tallest Doric-style column in the world, standing at 133ft tall. The coldest temperature recorded in England was in Shawbury. The town was a freezing -26.1 degrees on the 10th of January 1982. The Three Tuns pub in Bishops Castle claims to be the oldest working brewery in Britain, with beer being brewed there since 1642 when their licence was ď€ rst granted to the public house. Shropshire is home to sheep steeplechasing. Taking place every day at Hoo Farm just outside Wellington, Telford, visitors can bet on which sheep crosses the line ď€ rst. Take your camera watching the woolly jockeys on their backs is hilarious. Most of the rather smelly (but simply delicious) Shropshire Blue cheese isn't actually made in Shropshire - it's more likely to come from Leicestershire or Nottinghamshire. A cave in Nesscliffe was home to Humphrey Kynaston, a notorious highwayman, son of the High Sheriff of Shropshire. Convicted for murder in 1491, he lived a lifestyle compared to Robin Hood, by robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. There are more rocks of different ages in Shropshire than any area of similar size in the world. Caradoc is home to the world's oldest known complete fossil.

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SINGLE REVIEW

Blacksmith Hill

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oday is going to be a good day’ will be a fan favourite for popular duo Nikki and Paul Henshaw of Blacksmith Hill, it’s nice harmonies work perfectly to bring a well crafted song it’s due . Forgoing the usual party time and catchy riff choruses of that of the ‘The Scientic Simpletons‘, Paul and Nikki strip it down to the bare bones of music performance, allowing their voices to shine through and make this truly special. That’s why this track will become highly rated – it possesses a true talent and conveys that in an honest, emotional, and strikingly simple way.

‘It’s incredible to me how someone as glaringly talented as Paul Henshaw doesn’t have the same mass appeal as the auto-tuned people of this world’

A heartfelt ballad with simply picked acoustic guitar and reserved drums, the arrangement is specically designed to gently support the content of the song without ever overpowering it. We are allowed, therefore, to feel the sheer weight of the lyrics. It’s incredible to me how someone as glaringly talented as Paul Henshaw doesn’t have the same mass appeal as the auto-tuned people of this world, but I am also glad that he seems to be attracting the ears of more and more people in the mainstream sphere, as this track has already been picked up by Shrewsbury business ‘Greenhous‘ for their christmas advertising campaign, plus all money raised from the song will go to ‘The Shrewsbury Ark‘ in the true christmas spirit of things. So all Paul needs now is a stage, a guitar, and his wife Nikki on harmonies, and all those present will listen.


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Joshua Sole tops the #BUSKITUP chart with ‘Chainsmokers ft Halsie’ busked in Telford and earns himself a feature in March’s edition of ‘Shrop Rocks Magazine’.

#1

JOSHUA SOLE Chainsmokers ft Halsie With

Visit shroprocks.com #BUSKITUP to see all the tracks.

DAN WILLIAMS With

RAINBOW BRIDGE

#2

SHOOTRUNAWAY THE &SYMPHONY HYDE With

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★★★ Upload Your Busk ★★★ #BUSKITUP with Shrop Rocks Open to all - Upload Your Busk to facebook.com/groups/shroprocks Then to See Your Busk in 'Shrop Rocks’ go to shroprocks.com With The Magic of Google Analytics Your Busk Could be a 'Shrop Rocks #1' and be featured in our next magazine. ✪ ✪ ✪ COME ON ✪ ✪ ✪


Cooper s e i v a D &

Feelin’ Time

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resh release Feelin’ Time. Coming out of literally nowhere, Cooper & Davies’s Feelin’ Time, soothing vocals and superb harmonies captures a lot of people’s hearts, mine included. It sounds like there’s a lifetime of stories and music in this popular duo, so I hope they can dig deep and nd more material to make this year one to remember. Listen Here: revernation.com/cooperdavies

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rignorth-based Cooper and Davies superb debut EP 'The Coach House Sessions' is an ethereal, warm, and magical combination of lyrical genius, inspired poetry and modern innovative country folk rock. The mix of Simon Davies and Rob Coopers unique poetic vocals and the enchanting beautiful backing harmonies is quite special. There are elements of The Everly Brothers and Paolo Nutini to be found here but Cooper and Davies's sound remains distinctively theirs. Catchy hooks and owing melodies inform their set lists, which reect their inuences and interests, and contain an increasing proportion of their own original material. Strong vocal harmony balances with the instrumental work to produce vibrant performances. Drawn together by a desire to play rootsy Americana, they developed their own style and sound which draws on the traditions of country, blues, bluegrass et al. Si's driving groove on guitar and rock steady kick drum beat is anchored by Rob's easy rolling bass, or blistering banjo runs; with the addition of hi hat and wailing harmonica. An ever expanding circuit of pubs, clubs, private functions and festival appearances reects the growing popularity of this duo's brand of good time music, guaranteed to leave audiences with toes tapping and faces smiling for a long time to come. www.cooperanddavies.com

facebook.com/cooperdavieslive @CooperandDavies ‘The Coach House Sessions’ Available On: iTunes Amazon Spotify JAN/FEB

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the sun Hotel T

here are many Artic Monkeys wannabes out there. Bands with lead singers that will put on a whiney accent and act all rock & roll, believing they’ll be the next Glasto headliners – but they will never quite be in the same calibre. So, with the amplitude of these types of new bands ever growing, it’s making it harder and harder for upand-comers of the same genre to truly allow their individualism and drive to beam through the masses. But when tuning into just one track of the Shropshire and Mid Wales trio, The Sun Hotel, all hope returns with urrying amplitude – because these three have a talent and individualism unlike any other.

They are an indie-rock piece with Joseph Daniel Warham (Vocals, Bass, Harmonica), Jon Hamer (Guitar, Vocals) and Ed Brown (Drums, Percussion). Starting out as a three piece in February 2015 with classic and modern rock inuences coursing out of their ngertips, these inuences are still evident in their work today as you can hear their mutual respect and admiration for music within every strum, note and harmony. These traits make them rather unique.


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s well as the catchy band name, The Sun Hotel have been doing notoriously well so far, with and arm-length list of gig dates throughout Shropshire, Wales and Birmingham. Not only that but in May last year they have released an incandescent ve track EP called ‘A Quest for Knowledge’. This EP was recorded at Magic Garden Studios (UK) and was produced by the renowned Gavin Monaghan (who has also produced for The Editors, The Sherlocks and the legendary Robert Plant) All of the tracks on this EP are uplifting, fun and foot-tapping anthems that make you want to throw your chair back and shake your booty and hips – including the titular track A Quest for Knowledge that has acted as the single for this EP due to its recognition and great reception, really staying true to the band’s indie-rock story telling genre. Whereas the rst featured track ‘Bad News’ has a showstopping drum rhythm right from the rst second and has an edgy vocal synopsis that grabs you by the throat and won’t let go – but in a good way, obviously!

soundcloud.com/the-sun-hotel-band facebook.com/thesunhotelofficial

Another commendable thing about this EP and the band themselves is that every track sounds different and more diverse than the next. This is particularly apparent in comparison with their rst selftitled EP The Sun Hotel released in 2015. Where, in which, the track ‘Lose a Little More’ particularly stands out and grips you from the start with an almost jazzy sounding interlude that is a theme throughout the song. Both EP’s are available for your listening pleasure on Soundcloud, Amazon, Google Play, Deezer and even Spotify. JAN/FEB SHROPROCKS.COM P39



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