Craig and Alex Priddice

Posted: March 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

Genre: Indie/Acoustic Rock
Band Members:
Alex Priddice- Vocal and Guitar
Craig Priddice- Vocal and Guitar
http://www.craigandalexpriddice.com

“One of the freshest sounds on the acoustic circuit” (Nick Parker)

“Voted one of the best local acts of 2013!” (The Basis Magazine)

Craig and Alex Priddice are serious music lovers, consummate songwriters and experienced performers. They are a well established act on the local scene having played most of the local venues.

Career highlights include when Alex and Craig performed solo sets at The Fleece in Bristol as part of the ‘Acoustic All Dayer’, competed in the first round to play ‘Pilton Party’ at Pilton Working Men’s Club and supported Gaz Brookfield and Nick Parker at the Bocabar in Glastonbury.

Craig has also performed at the Oxjam concert in the Red Brick Building and the ‘Ride The Boundary’ open air event at The Victoria, Street; enjoyed by hundreds of people. He has also played prestigious venues in Bristol and Bath and has headlined at The Rock Garden in Covent Garden, London.

The younger Priddice, Alex, toured across London for four years, playing his own compositions. This culminated in him performing at the legendary Halfmoon Inn in Putney; previous host to the likes of The Who, U2 and Kasabian.

The Present

2017 has so far been a busy year including gigs at The Louisiana in Bristol, the Croissant Neuf festival and ‘The Sessions’ bar (behind the John Peel Tent) at Glastonbury. Other gigs include a fund-raising event ‘Live for Leukaemia Care’, alongside other local acts Safehaus and Chloe Warren Music.

This year has also seen the pair’s song ‘Butterfly’ make the GFM songwriting final. The boys themselves have dropped in for a session on GFM.

And ahead of their performances at Glastonbury festival, Craig and Alex played a set to fans on The Tor, with the performance later gathering 10k views on the internet.

Alex Priddice- Does Time Really Heal – http://youtu.be/n8uXZ-HNmYE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-

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Check out www.craigandalexpriddice.com and https://www.facebook.com/craigandalexpriddice

 

mr keep calm

Mr. Keep Calm is the guise of Gary Smith, who is chief songwriter and contributor on ‘Digest’. He has assembled a talented crew around him in the form of The Cancelled Cheques and clearly put a lot of care into producing an album of variety and playfulness. Though at it’s lyrical core, it offers a darker message of introspection.

On opener “The Naked Truth” twinkling piano keys give way to a crunchy guitar riff. Its soul-bearing lyrics set the tone for the rest of the album as, not for the last time, Smith anguishes over living up to society’s conventions. It’s a forceful opening statement with a killer hook of a chorus

The wandering bass line and tumbling guitar chords of “There She Goes Again” have almost a britpop feel. It’s another stellar pop tune as Smith puts a concerned arm around a friend whose mixed up with a girl who “sees conflict as positive” and is “guesswork and trickery”.

The rhythmic “People Get Along” sees the band utilising the studio space, matching skipping beats with a worldly, universal lyrical message of anti-greed.

On “Shirt & A Tie” the downtrodden Smith returns to the theme of being stuck in the rat race and wanting to escape, decrying life working in a suit and tie. It has a classic 60s feel of a Ray Davies tune, complete with horn section.

The off-kilter “Taking It All In Your Stride” has a carousel of a rhythm and another strong political message. As things move along, the get vocals trapped in the tide of frenetic guitars breaking through.

“The Age Of Chivalry” is a rambunctious number in which Smith calls upon himself to live up to his principles and a chivalrous life in the uncaring modern age even if it means swimming against the social tide.

Compared to the musically jaunty numbers that proceed it, “No, No, No, No” is more of a ballad. It’s an ode to writer’s block – “a cranial blockage” – as Smith attempts to convey the strength of his emotions. Still, on the evidence of the chord changes he’s worked through it. The song climaxes with mounting piano chords and guitar lines enter over the ‘no, no, no, no’ refrain.

“Houndwood Blues” offers more introspection with Smith setting out domestic scenes within which he’s a man with the world stacked against him. That pervasive feeling of modern isolation and depression hangs heavy, over the hook of a mandolin refrain.

During the funky “Labels”, Smith is trapped by the labels society places on us and the role we have to fulfil. His descriptive, multi-syllabic language only ever emphasises the frustrations described.

The “Business Of The Morning” is like being cuddled round a fireplace on a winter’s evening as it develops and is bathed in a warm sound. It would have made a suitable closer but the band had other ideas. They instead leave things on the unsettling note of “Where I End (And You Have Just Started)”. Smith describes a ruthless, soulless figure whose “heart never bleeds” over an electronic landscape and numerous production flourishes. It’s an intriguing departure.

‘Digest’ is a highly personal and honest record with a political undertone and a healthy dose of social commentary. The rich, poetic language of the lyrics is extremely effective at highlighting Smith’s frustrations with the humdrum of day to day life. He certainly wouldn’t be the first creative mind to describe such frustration. These are winning songs from a strong tunesmith done justice with an array of instrumentation and production techniques.

Mr. Keep Calm and The Cancelled Cheques play The Hawthorns in Glastonbury on Friday 2 January 2015.

I absolutely love a list. That’s why I’ve decided to compile one of the Glastonbury and Street acts who’ve made the biggest impression on me in 2013.

All Us Authors

This exciting indie act performed regularly in the area and built up a small army of devotees before leaving for Brighton this year. Amongst these performances was a busy summer with appearances at Pilton Party, Godney Gathering and Farmfest. Having put out early singles “Tibidabo” and “This Old House”, we wish them the best of luck in their new location.

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Hot Sister/Taranga

Formed in 2011, rock/reggae act Hot Sister and their full rock guise Taranga can now be found topping bills across the areas leading venues and in slots at Sunrise, Green Gathering, and Croissant Neuf Summer Party during festival season. They saw in 2013 with a new year’s gig at La Terre and have been busy ever since, enjoying deserved popularity and filling dancefloors with reggae staples and originals.

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Flipron

The act local DJ Ian Liversidge describes as “Glastonbury’s own quirky English tea party rock band” have been on the road promoting 2012’s ‘Firework Shoes’ and more recent single “Big Fat Blackberries” for most of the year. This included a GFM fundraiser at The King Arthur in May and appearances at Glastonbury Festival.

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It’s All OK

Another act who left the area this year, in this case for University, they did establish themselves beforehand with gigs at La Terre and Strode Theatre and a performance on GFM. This was in promotion of an EP of spirited and life-affirming songs and harmonies built around Kathryn Butt’s strong, mature voice.

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Missart

The Street act have a slow-burning sound with has drawn favourable comparisons to Portishead. The band has come together over the last couple of years with members bringing forth an eclectic mix of influences from reggae and rock to classical. Having toured around the area earlier in the year, including gigs at The Oxjam event in Glastonbury, the Wunderbar in Midsummer Norton with My Story and an appearance at the Bristol Fleece; they are currently putting together an album expected in 2014.

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Nick Parker

Nick enjoys huge success on the continent and divides his time between gigs in Somerset and touring in central and eastern Europe. He’s is currently working on songs for his next album, the follow-up to 2010s ‘The King Of False Alarms’ should include the brilliant “Could We At Least Try?”.

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Alex and Craig Priddice

The brothers from Street are both serious music lovers, consummate songwriters and experienced performers who were welcomed back to headline two performances at the Abbeymoor Stadium in Glastonbury this summer. Craig went onto play at the Oxjam event in October and we look forward to hearing more in the future.

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Lee Rahn

A regular performer around Glastonbury and Street, including the Rescue Our Ruins gig at the Abbey and Godney Gathering, Lee gives a gentle yet confident performance of well-chosen covers and songs from his own armoury. He’s now left for University to study song-writing and further success seems certain to beckon.

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South Divide

Emanating from the South-west but now based in Bristol, South Divide mix excellent songwriting with professional production to deliver impressive alt-pop. They’ve already raced through production of two E.Ps (‘Play The Game’ and ‘No Man’s Land’) and are a fixture on the Bristol gig scene, this year playing the massive Brisfest event.

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UKID

A high-octane mix of rock and drum and bass that in 2013 went very well indeed in local venues including King Arthur and Rifleman’s and has recently made it as far as Bath Moles Club.

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Honourable mentions…The Fix introduced Hollie Trevis, Domino Fire and My Story, Mr. Keep Calm brought us Oxjam, Design returned with a brilliant new single, 17 year-old Sophii Negus earned a place at Glastonbury Festival and Charlie Miller and The Soul Agents continue to entertain across the region on a regular basis. Steve Henderson, Ben Russell, Liam Howard, Bob Gallie and Swampgrass have all impressed with gigs at the wonderful Hawthrons Hotel concluding another fine year for local music.

Pivotal French artist Sebastian Tellier is a well-connected man. Mixing it amongst the landscape of French pop ever since his days touring with Air, he’s also previously been produced by Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, Mr Oizo and DJ SebastiAn and represented France at Eurovision.

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For his sixth album, the cast is typically studded with talent with members of Phoenix lending a bass-picking hand and all-star producer Philippe Zdar (Phoenix, Cat Power and Beastie Boys) on mixing duties.

Tellier’s most famous moment so far has been 2005′s “La Ritournelle”, aided by an ingenious string arrangement from Emmanuel d’Orlando and remix treatments from a succession of big names. The song has become a cult classic. D’Orlando is back on board this time and his presence is notable.

‘Confection’ is largely a collection of short instrumentals. It could be a combination of about three film soundtracks, spliced together and shuffled across an album. Of these snapshots, some are piano-led and fully orchestrated, some have Spanish guitars and a contribution from Tony Allen’s stuttering drums; the sort of which drive along many a Fela Kuti jam. The final song “Le Delta Des Amours” sounds like it’s soundtracking scenes of a romantic western in which the protagonist is torn apart from his love.

Occasionally, the swathes of cinematic strings are joined by something more contemporary. The whirrings of “Hypnose” indicate a more modern, French influence; that of Daft Punk.

Only really on “The Waltz” is the consistency broken. Aptly it’s a waltz, though one played on the inside of a surrealistic computer game. Quite out of place on a largely classical LP.

And there is an exception to these instrumental pieces called “L’amour Naissant”; which does again have later instrumental variants. Its this song with its stab and swirl of strings and cascading piano line that recalls “La Ritournelle”. This is again thanks to the marked contribution of d’Orlando and Allen.

‘Confection’is said to be an album close to Tellier’s soul. He certainly has brought together his outlandish talents and those of his friends to deliver a sublimely produced album. Not recommended for those seeking a pop hook, it is however recommended for those wishing to drift away and bring visuals to these filmic scores.

7/10

Touring off the back off a number one album (self titled: The 1975) and just in time for Bristol’s Fresher’s Week, The 1975 are hot right now and so is the O2 Academy Bristol tonight. Bolstered by two support acts, MMX and Night Engine, the temperature rises towards their 21:30 appearance when the lights abruptly die and the atmosphere explodes. The band swagger onto a stage illuminated by doorway-shaped lighting. They play before flashing black and white throughout. The sound of the band has a dirty, buzzed up bass, given a pop lilt by the soft vocal of singer Matthew Healy. It’s big, euphoric and engaging and totally absorbs the audience, already primed to be entertained.

They open with “The City” which introduces the typical motif of calling, electric guitar riffs, treated, echoing vocals and all the modern wonders of drum pads and synths. Healy has a touch of Robert Smith as he feyly emotes beneath a shaggy undercut. “How’s it going, Bristol?” he asks to a sweaty, animated crowd. So much as a raised finger is lauded with throat-ripping cries. Imagine what happens when he takes his top off!  Meanwhile, the band justify their success by infusing the adrenaline of a modern dance act (think Chase and Status) to an indie guitar band.

The band’s loyal fan base sing along to every track in a set dominated by songs from the debut album and you would assume many of the audience members have been waiting a long time for this record as several EP releases preceded the album, which was finally released earlier this month. Standout performances included the upbeat 80′s pop inspired records such as “Girls” and “Settle Down”, which spark comparisons with early Whitney Houston material; frontman Healy cited “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” as an influential track during his interview with The Fix back in August.

The 1975

The 1975

They end with “Chocolate”. Like many of their songs, it’s built on a summery, funky riff. But this is a song they proudly inform us has just been nominated as the best song played on Radio 1 in the last five years. Such a vote may be bias to the present but the band are nevertheless able to leave the audience to lead the vocal. One big hit remains unplayed and the crowd chant of “We want Sex!” confirms proceedings aren’t quite ready to close. They return and obediently play “Sex” as part of a two-song encore with “You”. Healy ends the night atop a speaker before a reign of strobes, playing out the messianic role he holds in his fans eyes. Beneath sweating brows, the audience has been treated to a punch of one of 2013′s hottest names.

Find out more about the band by visiting www.the1975.com

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Ian Dury’s Blockheads were both idiosyncratic and iconic. They arrived on the new wave scene of the late 1970s with a clutch of mega tunes that have since become part of the national consciousness. When Ian died of cancer in 2000 the band were still recording and playing live. They’ve subsequently continued in his honour with new frontman Derek Hussey.

I caught up with keyboardist Mick Gallagher who describes the new wave movement as a necessary ‘upheaval’ and ‘breath of fresh air’. His long and varied career includes being a mainstay with The Blockheads who, he tells me, make up about 50 of his 250 performances a year.

I asked him how Derek has found singing the songs of Ian Dury. He was somewhat “forced into his shoes” Mick claims. Having road-tested a host of professional acts, the Blockheads went with a friend of the band and fellow Londoner like Dury; with the quality of what Mick calls “a rough diamond”. At the start he could be found shaking a tambourine on the side of the stage, “now he’s writing all our lyrics and he’s our front man”.

Of those lyrics, they’ve tried to stay in the idiom of Dury – the man who arguably coined phrases such as ‘reasons to be cheerful’ and ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll’. Dury’s lyrics were both down-to-earth and thought provoking. Mick says, although he didn’t believe in an afterlife, “he’d have loved the fact we’ve kept the old flag flying”.

Mick’s a tireless worker, whose career has included playing peacekeeper to a feuding Clash in the early 1980s. He’s still truly devoted to his work with the Blockheads. When I ask him about the set in Godney, Mick accepts “you can’t get away without playing the big tunes, people can get upset”. But he wants to make space for the new carnation of the band and says there will be three or four more obscure songs alongside the classics he lists (‘Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll’, ‘What A Waste’, ‘Clever Trevor’…). The band still record regularly and he insists they “try to be creative, not just recreative”.

They’re no strangers to the big stage and have just played the Isle Of Wight festival which Mick describes as “magic”. “Live music will always have an audience”, he says, “even if it’s one man and his dog”. Expect a few more sun-drenched revellers than that this July.

Mickey Gloss

  Mickey Gloss

Having arrived in London from the east coast of Australia to be greeted by the riots of August 2011, Mickey Gloss have apparently set about soundtracking such chaos. The riots themselves are literally sampled during this, their lead single, in which the manic chant of “Are You Happy?” builds over an inverse, Graham Coxon-riff and faraway bleeps.
Offering up social commentary set to the sound of lo-fi punk, it could have been picked from the Blur catalogue; perhaps in their an attempt to react against their sugary pop excess of the mid-90s. It’s a pleasing effect, released on August 5 through H Badger Records and also available for digital download.
For a link to the single follow https://soundcloud.com/mickeygloss/are-you-happy

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This was a night of powerful front women at Bristol’s Louisiana with the inimitable Marnie Stern headlining and support by other female-fronted acts Sky Larkin and The Hysterical Injury.

Although guest list problems, which thankfully were resolved, meant my enjoyment of Bristol’s The Hysterical Injury was cut short, they delivered a pummelling performance of charged guitars, screams of feedback and stacked drum beats that went down well. The final song ended with a long, trippy breakdown that had the ambling ambience of The Velvet Underground. All quite impressive for this siblling two-piece, of bassist and vocalist Annie Gardiner and her brother Tom, on drums.

Sky Larkin‘s Katie Harkin has a strong but kooky vocal, underscored by the band’s bittersweet chord sequences. Opener ‘Still Windows’ introduced a battering ram of a sound and these power chords were basked in waves of reverb. The synthy sound of the guitars brings to mind New Order. They’re also a bit Smashing Pumpkins but do have an original sound and integrated new songs from the forthcoming album into the set tonight, as well as an X-Ray Spex cover.

Marnie Stern then arrived on stage and took the first of several swigs from a bottle of wine. It was a ramshackle entrance but the quality of the playing and the passion of the performance more than made amends during the next half an hour. She is famed as one of the great modern guitarists with her trademark pacy finger-tapping of the fretboard. Her guitar actually did allsorts during the gig and it’s lead was matched simultaneously by all manner of vocal improvisation. ‘You Don’t Turn Down’ introduced a more epic, cosmic guitar sound. Elsewhere, the freeform compositions suggested Pixies as she also maintained the guitar jangle of Television and the sound of her native New York.

Marnie absolutely rocked. She played with a smile on her face and her skipping and pogoing was mirrored by the first rows of the audience. The best was left until last with the insistent, scrawled riff of ‘Year Of The Glad’ which then gives centrestage to Oneida drummer Kid Millions; whose playing had been an evening highlight. And so closed a highly original night, made for music lovers.

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Somerset based three-piece Design is led by Simon Barber, formerly of The Chesterfields – the county’s gift to the C86 indie scene back in the day.

Joined by Kyle Cullen and guitarist Helen Stickland, Design are still keeping the flames of yesteryear’s indie pop going strong on this their debut 7″ single, which was originally released for this year’s Record Store Door Day.  The dramatic ‘Annalisa’ is built on a spidery guitar riff and bolstered by Stickland’s backing vocals. “And another one, and another one, and another new chance has gone” Barber concedes as it darts through shadowy refrains at breakneck speed.

The lighter jangle of B-side ‘This Is Pop’ is very early 90s. It’s also lyrically cutting; lines like “this is what you get when committees have their say” would have Simon Cowell running for the hills. And in terms of a stellar melody and lyric they give a perfect demonstration on how he should be doing it. Expect more of this proficient and commanding indie pop to come from a revitalised Barber.

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In April  Glastonbury Festival finally revealed its line-up, boasting all the finest talent of the previous year or two and a long-awaited headline performance from The Rolling Stones. However, one slot remained open and it rested on a Saturday night at Pilton Working Men’s Club to decide who’d fill it.

 The Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition has previously propelled the careers of The Subways, Stornoway and The Golden Silvers. On the night, 2013’s eight finalists – of an original 8,000 entries – gathered in front of a warm audience and set about impressing judges including festival organisers, national music journalists and, of course, Michael and Emily Eavis.

As it turned out, the night openers were its eventual winners; Newcastle folk ensemble Bridie Jackson and the Arbour. Introducing me to a new percussive instrument called off belle-plaits, alongside violin, cello, acoustic guitars and Bridie’s own haunting vocals to create a chilling, ethereal sound. They will deservedly bring their highly original and powerful folk performance to the Pyramid Song this June.

The band were followed by a strong and highly varied line-up of competitors. The passionate indie rock of Lillian Todd Jones, the talent and big sound of Port Isla and the soulful acoustics of Rhys Lloyd Morgan.

Three other acts from the evening will also appear at the festival and it seems likely they’ll be taken from the second half of the bill.

Scotland’s Black Balloons had travelled down to plug in the mains on the nights proceedings with a clutch of catchy, powerhouse tunes that brought to mind other Scottish names The View and Young Aviators. They brought frenetic guitar riffs, energy and a gracious presence.

My evening highlight came from The Dancers, originally from France but based in Brighton. Their polished, upbeat sound and boy/girl vocal is very now (think Phoenix or maybe label-mates The Subways) and they charmed the audience playing with smiles on faces throughout.

15 year-old rapper Isaiah Dreads didn’t win tonight but the general consensus is that he’ll go far. Performing solo, he gave a striking introduction in a well-drilled, confident set that raced through vocal introductions, Jay-Z samples and storming crowd-interaction as he covered every corner of the stage.

Evening closer A Band Called Wanda probably sicken of Mumford and Sons comparisons and the ‘Folk ‘n’ Roll’ scene. They’re actually far more fun with warmly amusing lyrics and consummate Irish folk.

However, Bridie’s victory was roundly welcomed by a spoilt audience. I personally tip my cap to the judges for acknoledging a band of true originality. The band themselves – drunkenly dishevelled by this stage – fell raptourously onto the stage to claim their prize. Now their heads have cleared they can look forward to June.