Saturday, February 20, 2010


With a laid-back feel and a style which drips quality from every note, this three-piece band comprising of Samuel Thornton (Vocals, Guitar and Sax), Matt Baxter (Vocals, Acoustic/Slide Guitar) and Adam Richards on Double Bass, are in a class of their own. Covering a diversity of styles from Johnny Cash, Bread, T.Rex and Ray Charles to their own compositions with a warm and easy flowing style, this is a band that needs to be on everyones “Must See” lists.

SANS CIRE (pronounced sarn-see'air) collaborated in late 2009, whilst studying in Leeds. Featuring: Angela Marie Gordon, Tom Battye, Tom Orton and Tim Bradshaw, alongside live percussion from Jack Foster the band are currently recording their first EP, due for release in early 2010. Whether their set is funky, lounge, trip-hop or jazz orientated, this exceptional band can carry it through with immense class. Definitely a band with a big future.

The band began as the songwriting project of Craig and Warren Steer, producing their debut recording "A Song for Gil" in Craig's spare room and a garage in Holmfirth. The band have continued gaining respect and a loyal following over the past few years with a sound very much of their own niche. With 3 albums under their belt and another 12-track CD planned for April this year, from such humble beginnings the band now look set to realise their potential and move onto bigger and better things in 2010.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Comprising of Lisa Dply Masia and Marina Cristofalo, London-based Lilies On Mars are soon to be touring the UK, which hopefully will include dates in Yorkshire. Their ten track album “Lilies On Mars” is a remarkable insight to two very talented and experimental artists. It would be very difficult to find another album which diversifies genres as much as this album does. A CD with an opening track, Maori Legend, which could be called sci-fi/choral/experimental and ends with a crescendo style finish on X2, and a multitude of musical mixtures in between gives this album uniqueness not heard before. The rollercoaster of styles takes the listener to experimental rockier sounds on “Passing By” to the heavy bassed track “Honourable Horrible Friend” to some wonderful harmonic styles in “Hey, What’s Wrong? Wake up!” “Electric Fits” and “Et Voila” which keeps the listener interested and quizzical as to what will happen next. Hopefully this will not be subjected to a niche market as there is something very fresh and exciting about these songwriters which deserves a wider audience. Should you obtain a copy of the CD then make sure you listen to it until it stops as there is a twist in the tale!

Friday, February 05, 2010


Having seen lead singer Claire at the fledgling stage of her singing career in August 2006 at the Otley Courthouse, her rise since then has been meteoric and her new album “Maslow’s Songbook” takes her to yet another level. With a collection of highly skilled musicians by her side, the new album is a magnificent montage of musical mastery which lasts for 46 minutes, when the listener wishes it would last for 460 minutes. Claire’s poise and deportment which captivates her audiences during her “live” performances, are remarkably replicated throughout the 12 track CD. With the polished performances of Dave Redfearn, Sean O’Leary, Karl Odlum, Colm Mac Con Lomaire and Ronan O’Snodaigh entwined with Claire’s vocals and this is an album to savour. My personal favourites are “Real To Me,” “One In A Million,” “You Win But You Lose” and the final track “Maslow’s Love Story” which finishes the album off spectacularly as a vehicle for Claire’s clear vocals, which never show any sign of straining to reach the highest and most powerful of notes, which is in contrast to her pure and delicate sound of other tracks, evidence enough of a very special talent.

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