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BRITISH LION’s Twist on Classic Rock Gets Fans Roar of Approval at Manchester Club Academy

Clearly at home in venues like Club Academy as much as he is in the enormodomes of his day job, Steve Harris and British Lion came to Manchester recently and you can check out shots from the intimate gig here.

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British Lion (w/ Voodoo /*SIx, Nine Miles Down) @ Club Academy (Manchester, UK) on December 16, 2019

The roar of classic rock fills the Club Academy.

Nine Miles Down from South Wales looked to be crammed on to the Club Academy stage tonight, there didn’t seem to be much room to swing a cat but that didn’t stop them from cutting loose at all. Their brand of metal offered soaring vocals, great riffs and heavy drums mixed with a progressive element that made the songs stand out. With a short set they got the evening off to a flying start with some excellent musicianship and the kind of prog rock that doesn’t take itself too seriously or stick rigidly to the rules and odd time signatures and become just boring showmanship.

Here’s Nine Miles Down with the thumping video for “Beautiful Lie”:


Next up were Voodoo Six who absolutely stormed the place with a high energy feel-good set of big ballsy rock songs. Bassist Tony Newton spent the majority of the set leaning over the monitors getting up close and personal with the first few rows of the audience. It’s clear he absolutely loves doing this and his energy got everyone amped up and made them feel a part of the action. Vocalist Nik bears more than a passing resemblance to the godlike Neil Fallon looking like he’s borrowed the beard (and some of his actions) for the night. This is a good thing cos who doesn’t like Neil Fallon??? There’s a groove to the majority of the songs and the straight up down to earth appearance of the band made them easy to connect with. It’s bands like Voodoo Six that remind you that rock is all about having fun and enjoying yourself with a bunch of likeminded people.

Kick back and crank up “The Traveller” the new video from Voodoo Six:


Headline shows by British Lion are understandably sporadic events with their creative force being a member of one of the world’s biggest metal bands Iron Maiden. That would lead you to think that there would be many more rabid Maiden fans in attendance tonight but the audience for this band is a completely different beast, as is the band. They play a heavy (and we mean heavy) mix of classic 70’s style hard rock, mixing the best bits from the likes of Thin Lizzy, UFO and more, and in vocalist Richard Taylor they have a voice that fits perfectly, with an essence of Dio it’s the classic rock sound made to sound fresh.

It’s clear too that Steve Harris, even after playing to pretty much every metal fan on the planet, enjoys connecting on a more intimate level in a tiny club setting. He puts as much into this as he does the megaenormodome shows he plays with Maiden and it’s great to see.

New album The Burning is due for release in January with some US shows throughout the first months of the year. The band are also due to play at next year’s Download Festival meaning Steve Harris will be pulling double duty for the weekend.

Here’s what Steve Harris gets upto when he’s not in the biggest metal band on the planet:

Alternative/Rock

Glixen – “foreversoon” [Song Review]

On “foreversoon,” Glixen created a song where youthful exuberance clashes heavenly with the established shoegaze sounds of yesteryear,

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Glixen “foreversoon” single artwork
Glixen “foreversoon” single artwork

It’s been less than a year since Glixen released their debut EP, She Only Said, on Julia’s War Records. Still, the Phoenix shoegazers have already dug their heels into the DIY music scene and are heading out on an extensive US tour this year alongside the likes of Interpol, Softcult, Glitterer, and fish narc. Appearances at SXSW and Treefort will only further cement their reputation as a new band worthy of note.

To herald the busy year ahead, the band has released a new single, “foreversoon,” via the AWAL label, and it’s well worth a listen.

Says lead vocalist Aislinn Ritchie:

“‘foreversoon’ represents blissful moments of new love and intimacy. The song harnesses melancholy chords, layered with fuzzy red melodies and gliding guitars that pull you in deeper. I wanted my lyrics to feel like a conversation that expresses my infatuation and sensuality. Time is relentless and memories are fleeting, this song encapsulates those emotions forever.”

It’s a fair summation. Its youthful exuberance clashes heavenly with the established shoegaze sounds of yesteryear, think Ride, Curve and Slowdive, but with the fuzz cranked up possibly higher. Ritchie’s vocals certainly share that dreamlike quality of Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, and with many of those bands back on the road this year, perhaps the time is ripe to inject fresh blood into the genre.

Glixen, photo by Jesse Beecher

Glixen, photo by Jesse Beecher

Run Time: 3:43
Release Date: February 9, 2024
Record Label: AWAL Recordings

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Dance/Electronic

Mieko Shimizu Premieres Music Video for “Unworldy” Single “My Tentacles”

Get stoked, cause radical multi-instrumentalist Mieko Shimizu premieres the video for the reworked single “My Tentacles.”

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Mieko Shimizu, photo by Ruta Zemmere
Mieko Shimizu, photo by Ruta Zemmere

Radical, nonconformist Japanese singer and multi-instrumentalist Mieko Shimizu recently re-released her offbeat, unworldly single “My Tentacles.”

The single is the offbeat, unworldly title track of Mieko’s soon-to-be-released album. It is be-thronged by chimeric fusions, dysfunctional beats and startling mutations. The single is unaccompanied by an equally radical video created by diz_qo.

Speaking about the track, Mieko tells us:

“‘Emergence,’ the book by Steve Johnson, fascinated me; a colony of ants, a sprawling metropolis, and human brain cells, are all features of the unknown science of self-organisation. I wanted to cut down into society and sing a simple song about people as single cells.”

The multi-instrumentalist explains further:

“They interconnect with the multitude and conjure up a whole that is wiser together than we are individually. When my tentacles reach out and touch you, communicate with you then we become something else, something more than just an individual.”

For those who aren’t familiar with the name, Mieko has played at Sonar alongside Kraftwerk, as well as support for Goldfrapp and Massive Attack at their Melt Down Festival. She is currently an artist in residence for Wonky Plonky Electronk, an experimental, electronic live event which is touring the UK throughout 2024, the next show being on 28th March at The Cinema Room at All Is Joy in London.

Mieko has worked with an extensive range of artists, including Japan’s Mick Karn, Nitin Sawhney, Riz MC, David Cunningham, Robert Lippok and has also remixed the likes of Coldcut and Haruomi Hosono of Yellow Magic Orchestra.

For more information on diz_qo, check him out online here. To check out more of Mieko’s work or to pre-order the upcoming album, click here.

Mieko Shimizu ‘My Tentacles’ Album Artwork

Mieko Shimizu ‘My Tentacles’ Album Artwork

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Folk

Morning Bear Reveals Latest Single “A Simple Understanding”

John Runnels unveils the revival of his indie folk project, Morning Bear, with the release of new single, “A Simple Understanding”.

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Morning Bear

Denver raised and now Copenhagen based singer/songwriter John Runnels unveils the revival of his orchestral indie folk project, Morning Bear, with the release of a deeply personal and emotionally charged single, “A Simple Understanding.” Marking the band’s return after a six-year hiatus, Morning Bear’s latest offering provides an intimate glimpse into the mind of its creator, navigating through the profound challenges of loss, resilience, and self-discovery.

Characterised by highly dynamic compositions, Morning Bear’s music weaves together the calm and delicate stylings reminiscent of artists like Bon Iver and Jose Gonzalez, while embracing the complexity and depth akin to the Fleet Foxes and Sufjan Stevens. Featuring soaring vocals and unconventional arrangements, including cello, violin, piano, and more, Morning Bear crafts a textured landscape behind pop-influenced hooks.

The catalyst for Morning Bear’s resurgence lies in the transformative journey of band leader John Runnels, who, after facing a series of devastating events and losses, found solace and inspiration amid the chaos. The global pandemic, the loss of three close friends in separate tragedies, a severe injury, and battles with anxiety and depression marked a period of uncertainty for Runnels, but he emerged stronger and more resilient.

“A Simple Understanding”, a continuation of the first releases from Morning Bear after a long hiatus, showcases Runnels in an intimate and vulnerable performance, accompanied only by his acoustic guitar. Released at the time of year where it is most difficult for mental health, John recorded this in a single, live take during a rainstorm in a small garage in a village outside of Andover, UK, and the song captures the raw emotion of Runnels’ struggles and experiences. The lyrics delve into themes of self-loathing and finding hope in the darkest moments of life.

He says “People are often their own worst critic. ‘A Simple Understanding’ speaks to the self-loathing you feel when you have hit rock bottom. How do we find something to hold onto when we’re in the darkest points of our lives?

Morning Bear invites audiences to join them, to embrace vulnerability and share the power of music to heal and connect. With echoes of early Bon Iver in its acoustic performance, ‘A Simple Understanding’ is a brutally honest and delicately executed piece of songwriting that is sure to resonate with listeners, John Runnels bears all in this captivating and emotionally charged offering that sticks.

Morning Bear "A Simple Understanding" single artwork

Morning Bear “A Simple Understanding” single artwork

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