Courtesans

Subspecies UK Tour, Live at Red Rooms, Rescue Rooms Nottingham.

So Christmas is nearly upon us and as it goes, this is my last review of 2017, so I’m going to keep it short and sweet. It’s about quality, not quantity, right and the two bands we had on offer, on this merry night, gave us just that!

It’s been a tough year, personally, what with a new born. Sleep has been in short supply and doing this has been a challenge, to say the least!

Having battled my way through traffic to get to the venue, early enough to interview the band, the Courtesans, I managed to arrive all a flutter. Thankfully, I made it in plenty of time, as this interview turned out to be one of my best, ever. Probably not for the setting, but for the fact the 2 individuals I had in attendance, Agnes (bass) and Sinéad (vocals) who make up half the band, were 2 of the most talkative and charismatic personalities, I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking too.

In this interview, we cover a multitude of band related topics, which works better than anything I could write about them now. Check it out for yourselves!!

Special guests tonight, were Bullet Height, who’d travelled all the way from Germany to accompany the Courtesans across the UK, for their Subspecies Tour. They originate from Berlin, to be precise and as they stated, on the night, this is their first time, here in the UK, so being one of the first to have witnessed them live, pleases me greatly. As three pieces go, these guys and girl are very creative with their sound. I think the use of a keyboard helps to fill the void, which Sammi plays, along with vocals, which is shared by Jon, who also plays guitar. Although their social media page states the band consists of these 2 members, I couldn’t tell you who the drummer is, but he’s an ox on that kit, what a monster. Vikki’s kit got smashed to bits, but I’m glad to report the drum kit stayed in tact, much to her relief!

I think it’s safe to say that the gothic look has well and truly made a comeback. Did it ever leave? Probably not, but it’s in vogue at the moment, especially with the female musicians out there! On the night, the band had their debut album ‘No Atonement’ for sale, on vinyl I might add and it looked lovely!

If you’re looking for a band that’s a little bit different, with plenty of character, then Bullet Height are the band for you! With a mix of heavy riffs, harmonious vocals and a side of electro punk rock thrown in, they certainly tick a lot of the right boxes, in my book! Sammi’s energy on stage, is second to non and what a looker!

Although tonight’s show, was held in the lesser used Red Rooms, at the Rescue Rooms, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of people who bothered to turn up. I was also pleasantly surprised to see a few familiar faces, in the crowd, which made my night that much more enjoyable.

Having first seen the Courtesans at Amplified Open Air Festival, this summer, these ladies are a relatively new band to me, but after that performance, I instantly fell in love with this band and their originality! Having gotten to know them a little bit, since then, I’ve even managed to relate with them, on a personal level and their take on enjoying life. Sinéad stated, playing B.O.A this year was a personal highlight, in her life, fair enough! Dave was meant to cheer when she stated this, but balls’ed it right up! Nice one Dave! haha

As stated in our interview, the band played 2 new tracks in their set tonight, which feature on their, yet to be recorded, new album. Having mentioned the fact that the their cover of DJ Luck and MC Neat’s track ‘A Little Bit of Luck’ cheered me up at Amplified, in our interview, I’d like to think this prompted the band to repeat that performance for us tonight? Who knows, but it went down well, as did all their tracks. Tonight’s performance was epic, put simply, I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.

I noticed, everything they had on sale, I already had, so to help finance their travels, for the rest of the tour, I purchased a t-shirt, for the wife, which she’s already worn! Cheers ladies, until next time!

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. Take care of yourselves and each other. I hope to see you all at a show in 2018! Peace!

Welcome to the Courtesans official website.

Here you will find music, videos, photos, blogs, up-to-date live dates and much more!

Goya

Release first performance music video ‘Venenatus’!!

Hailing from Stoke on Trent UK, Goya is a new post-rock/progressive rock group who have been impressing live audiences with their “must listen to” instrumental debut epKathmandu‘ and now they’ve released their awesome first music video; the mighty ‘Venenatus‘.

Captured on film by video producers Zeneration X, ‘Venenatus’ is epic and adventurous and delivers a kaleidoscope of musical influences from Goya whilst making the track their own. Goya don’t hold back on this, their “pièce de résistance” (to date)…, it is ‘Absolute Music’.

Watch the new music video ‘ Venenatus’!!

“We wanted to create a piece that went through various movements”, explains guitarist Jase Kester, “You’ve got a pseudo-classical intro, Sabbath-esque doom riffs, an up-tempo moment, a section of pure feedback, and an acoustic outro that we improvised live during the recording session. It wraps up everything that is Goya on our musical journey so far.”

Goya’s debut ep ‘Kathmandu’ is released 8th December 2017.

Praise for Goya:

“Goya’s music is a bit different… get lost in it… it’s a good trip!” – Powerplay Magazine

“Amongst a constant tsunami of music submissions, from time to time one or two really do make you sit up and listen intently to every note, beat, sound. Goya is one such band that did for us exactly that. Their talent and musicianship is unquestionable, all making for a listening experience of real joy.” – Real Rock Show

“Goya paint musical landscapes which are as dramatic as they are unpredictable. This debut offering never dropped my attention once… If this is the future of progressive rock, I could certainly be turned.” – Get Ready To Rock

“‘Kathmandu’ never feels pretentious but only ambitious” – Glacially Musical

“Attention grabbing… Goya’s debut performance is a truly progressive element.” – All About The Rock

“This EP hasn’t been so much recorded as crafted… Goya are the real deal.” – Stencil Mag

“There is so much to hook you in on this EP that I will keep coming back to it, discovering something new each time.” – Musipedia Of Metal

“It’s been awhile since instrumental music sounded so gloriously urgent.” – Sonic Abuse

“It’s a listening experience that will see you finding new & exciting elements every time you hear it. Mesmerising!” – GBHBL

“Goya are indeed a surprise package. Kathmandu for sure is one for the independent thinker. Sheep need not apply.” – Rock N’ Load.

GOYA: Debut EP ‘Kathmandu’ is released 8th December 2017.

For more information visit!

Jinjer

Rock City, Basement 25th November 2017

I think I can safely say, I along with the rest of the country (those that attended a show that is) are still absolutely buzzing from Jinjer’s brief trip over here to play a number of shows around the UK. Tonight, at the Basement, was their penultimate show, with only Birmingham remaining, before they head back over to Europe for 4 more shows, then a break to prepare for their tour around Europe, with Arch Enemy, who are heading are way after, incidentally, but without Jinjer.

They are heading over to the north of America, like here, for the first time in their career, which is great news for them, as I know they’ve been dying to play shows outside of Europe! That tour starts in March, 2018 and I can’t be happier for the band, as it’s been a long time coming! Fans of the band, in North America, show your support and show them the love they deserve!

As tonights show was on a Saturday, which is a rarity, incidentally, I managed to rope a couple of friends along with me, who also bought a ticket, as I did! They knew I had an interview scheduled with the band, but never did they think they would be sitting in and meet the band, whilst I chatted with them. They even made themselves useful, by monitoring the time on the camera, while I concentrated on the interview. Young Lucy did a cracking job, the best camera hand, I’ve had yet. You can help me again! Masaaki even gave me a great question to ask, which I saved until the end of the interview, which worked well! ;) I feel it’s one of my best yet. Lighting was good, even the sound was good, it’s just a shame I had to be in it, ah well, it’s a necessary evil and a small sacrifice to pay, when I think about it, as I get to meet great bands, like Jinjer and actually get to speak with them, in person, as opposed to just photographing them on stage, where I never actually get the chance to meet the real them! I’ve been a big fan of this band, since I discovered them, back in 2013, so I was super excited, but I kept my cool, for the most part and no, I didn’t fan boy my way through the interview either, I kept him locked up, inside me!

Tonight consisted of two support bands, before the main event, the first of which were local band Black Ink, who I’ve not encountered before, but 3 of the 5 band members looked very familiar and that’s because they use to be in a band called ‘Famous for Nothing’. When I asked Kam, the bands guitarist, why this was, he merely replied, we are a new band, with new material and new band members, but I’m sure I recognised some of their tracks! Black Ink have been going since 2013, which surprises me, as I’m sure I’ve shot F4N, since? Anyhow, tonight was a great opportunity for this six piece band, from Nottingham and as they play Metalcore, they were well suited. Having 2 vocalists, sharing in both clean and growls, it helped to give the band an exciting and dynamic approach to a well established genre.

As I write this, a post has appeared on the bands Facebook page, stating their new single ‘Lights Out’ will be played on Alex Baker’s radio show, on Kerrang! Radio, for his feature Fresh Blood. The band certainly are that! If you like what you hear, check out the bands other music, on both Spotify and Itunes. It would appear these guys have got their shit together and are going for it, the right way. Good luck lads, tonights set was a credible performance and I was suitably impressed!

Another first, for me was the band ‘From Sorrow to Serenity’ consisting of 4 lads from Glasgow, who have been the main support band to Jinjer, throughout their visit, here in the UK and man, these guys are off the chain! I generally pride myself, in knowing who the ‘new bands’ are, what with doing this for fun. I receive new music from all over the place, from record labels and PR companies a like, which is ace, as it keeps me well informed, but sometimes, you come across a band and say to yourself, how have I not heard of this band before? In April, this year, they released a new music video called ‘Golden Age’ and so far, it’s managed to rack up 13,000 views on YouTube, which in modern day terms, is pretty impressive. I love YouTube, despite what others might think, it’s a great tool for new bands to get themselves discovered! Check out this video for yourselves, tell us what you think!

Kerrang! Sure summed these guys up well, stating the band are “Metalcore Monsters” which the band appear to be proud of and why not, they do exactly what it says, slay and conquer, in equal measure. Sadly the lighting was terrible for these guys, but I managed to get a few, half decent shots! With a new album and another UK tour to look forward to in 2018, i’ll be sure to keep my beady eye on these guys!

Having already spoken Tatiana and Eugene of Jinjer, I was well and truly hyped to finally witness them live! It’s been a long time coming, 4 years in fact, since I first discovered this band, thanks to Dimitris, who was working for their record label, The Leaders, in Greece at the time the label signed Jinjer, they even distributed the bands first 2 albums, Inhale, Don’t breath, which is one of my favourite albums, of all time. However, as it’s only 8 tracks long (not including the three live tracks) the band class this as their debut EP. Later it was re-released as a full length album, along with the bands 2nd offering ‘Cloud Factory’ which has stand out tracks Outlander, tonights opening track ‘Who’s is Gonna Be the One’ and the title track, ‘Cloud Factory‘ on it!

Having followed this band avidly, I’m aware they’ve been through hell and high water to get to where they are today and they are a prime example of never giving up on a dream. Sure it helps if you’ve got the talent to back it up and a singer who looks and sounds like Tatiana, but what a front woman she is, she is incredible, as are every single one of the bands other musicians, who are a talent, in their own right, but together, they are a formidable force, a force to be reckoned with, for many years to come, as they’ve now only just started to break into new and more lucrative markets, like the UK and the US!

Having been voted best metal band, in their own country of the Ukraine, in 2013 and 2016, they are still relatively unknown, around the world. I’m sure by singing with a renowned record label, like Napalm Records, will help to give them more exposure around the world and knowing they are signed to produce at least another 2 albums for this record label, I’m very excited by this and the bands future prospects!

Tonights show was incredible, from the first note, to the last, the crowd here in Nottingham gave it their all, which we should all be proud of It would appear, so did the crowds that attended at all the other UK shows, from what I can gather, from the crowd videos that are starting to appear on social media feeds, which pleases me greatly. It’s nice to know I’m not alone, in supporting this great band, who are primarily metalcore, with a twist of groove-laden and even death metal, they are very diverse in their sound, which should make them palatable to a wide range of metal fans, what ever their chosen genre, I’m sure Jinjer will cater for a variety of musical tastes, due to their exceptional and energetic style of music, clean and growling vocals! I side with one fans comment, I read recently, which stated the bands set was way too short, approximately 45mins long, which was way too short. The crowd managed to shout loud enough to force the band to perform an encore, which just so happened to be ‘Scissors’ which ended the set perfectly and made me even more happy, than I already was!

If you can, listen to the track Pisces, off the bands new album ‘King of Everything’ for me, this track sums this band up perfectly, in my opinion and demonstrates, what I’ve just said, perfectly! This new album is a great album, that’s for certain, but I’ll always hold Inhale, Don’t Breath as perfection!

Fans of Lamb of God, Opeth and Meshuggah should check out Jinjer.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)