Local Hereford alternative rock and indie music promoter Kirsty Morris is off on an epic journey this year to the Great Wall of China for a fundraising event of a lifetime to support local charity St. Michael’s Hospice.
She has received support from local businesses in Hereford and tickets donations from well-loved summer music festivals around the country to auction off and sell towards raising donations at her next fundraising event taking place at the Booth Hall on East Street this weekend. Kirsty has also received donations from some pretty famous bands around the country. She has been hard at work!
Hereford City Centric wanted to know more about this great trek being taken on by such an admirable woman and how close she is to her fundraising goals.
Political aspects are not something I really think of when I travel, as long as the areas I travel to are deemed as safe, then I really tend not to worry about such things.
Hereford City Centric: HelloKirsty, you are actively involved in music promoting in Hereford with your promotion group Hey Little Monster, can you tell us a bit about the music you put on and what drives this interest?
Steve Ignorant’s Slice of Life band will be headlining and are supported by one of the latest bands to make waves the past few years on the Folk Punk music circuit, Headsticks from Stoke on Trent.
The opening act will be Hereford punks Terminal Rage who are playing Rebellion this year and whose Nigel Farage rants get the audience pumped for what’s to come. This will be a night of working-class heroes, live music and spoken word that will inspire the punk and revolutionary within us all.
Terminal Rage Drummer Bob Griffin received his first drum kit from big brother Dale Griffin who was in Mott the Hoople and the rest is history. The other members are no less intriguing, consisting of mountain boarding champion Raphael La Roche, also known for his permanent Mohawk (I would be lost without it on his head) and Wolverhampton transplant Rich Lovell whose first Clash experience changed him forever (much like The Clash did for Steve Ignorant). Rich sings and plays guitar for Terminal Rage and is also one of the founders of The Underground Revolution Hereford.
Rich is anticipating this gig in a big way and says “Crass were my political inspiration, got me thinking, challenging my teenage views on life, on society and as such Steve Ignorant is a bit of a folk hero to me.”
If you were at our last gig of the year in December and enjoyed Sons of Clogger or attended our Under a Banner show in 2016, you will definitely connect with Headsticks music and may even find yourself dancing around with a pint in your hand. I really wanted to know what their songs were about so I asked. They are heavy on the mind and light on the feet. There is a lot of talent there – both musically and lyrically.
Frontman/Lyricist Andrew Tranter says about their songs “It’s a social commentary that the working classes can easily relate to…..we aim to make people stop and think with our songs and it does seem to do that! It’s not so much about smashing the statues and setting fire to the government buildings, but more of asking people to look outside their own bubble, basically to start giving a shit before it’s too late!” We need to listen folks so bring beer money, a keen mindset and your dancing boots.
STEVE IGNORANT’S SLICE OF LIFE
We all know Steve Ignorant from his Crass and Conflictdays but he recently has taken his talent in a new direction with his Slice of Life tour sharing his opinions with us through spoken word and acoustic songs.
Steve once chased (not literally) a girl to a Clash concert in Bristol and then found himself inspired enough to start his own punk band with friend Penny Rimbaud. He then became the youngest member of Crass and had fans listening to his every angry word. Steve isn’t very clued up on mobile phones or even Spotify according to an article in The Quietus and we like him like that…authentic and old school…who is running his Twitter account then?
All in all, it will be a beautiful night for Friends of the Underground Revolution Hereford carrying on from last year’s theme…A whole lot of good shit!
It was a total pleasure to sit down for an interview with such a lovely bunch of musicians performing live for the first time at John Hales ‘Hereford Rocks’ gig as the four-piece unit known as Mexicola. They were clearly excited and slightly distracted…who could blame them though, the crowd were heavily anticipating the performance. The pressure was on.
Bass Guitar – Colette Nicholls
Electric Guitar – Simon Bedford
Electric Guitar/Vocals – Ria Parfitt
Drums – Jonah Webb
Hereford City Centric:Simon and Ria, you once were in a band known as Artstar who seemed to be doing pretty well playing around the counties, when and why did you bring Artstar to a halt?
Simon/Ria: We finished with Artstar 2 1/2 years ago due to being overwhelmed in our personal lives. We really needed to take some time for ourselves. We planned to reform as Artstar but then Mexicolahappened.
HCC: I have to admit that since I was never able to see Artstar perform I was hoping there would be a reunion. I came across some of your music and live performances; I was instantly a fan without ever being there. Are the songs you perform with Mexicola all originals or are you performing Artstar songs mostly?
Mexicola: We are doing originals, covers and two songs from Artstar called ‘Icarus Is My King’and ‘Make My Day’. We currently have 3 new tracks recorded but are trying to making time in our busy lives to write and record enough songs to make an album.
HCC: Well everyone should know that patience is a virtue. I haven’t seen you perform but I am seriously excited to see a band that features two female musicians. Hereford feels like it is stuck in a man’s world when it comes to rock, punk and Indie. Edgy female acts are seriously sparse. We have a multitude of acoustic female acts singing pretty songs but the tapestry is rather thin in regards to anything edgier and more powerful. We fortunately also have Claire Perkins on the case as well.
BBC Introducing In Hereford and Worcester came to the Victory Pubin Hereford on 31st January 2016. If you are not familiar with BBC Introducing….in a nutshell; local unsigned bands upload their music, the BBC crew listen, and select four bands to play a set in a local venue. They bring recording & lighting equipment, making a real show of it. The sets are then played on BBC H&W’s Introducing show, giving much needed exposure to the acts.
I popped along to see what they do, how they do it and to see a couple of bands that I’ve got into over the last twelve months from my time in Hereford Live, namely Atlas and Last Tree Squad.
It was the latter of these bands, Last Tree Squad – normally a seven piece, but tonight an eight piece dub reggae band, that kicked the event off. Front man Loftie is well known on the Hereford music scene, a man that works hard not just for his art and his comrades, but for all those making music in the city.
Last Tree Squad
The stage area at the Victory is pretty snug at the best of times, so as you can imagine getting eight on to a stage was some feat of engineering. After the introduction by Andrew Marston, the band kicked off with “We don’t want it”, which has quite a roots reggae feel to it, and a strong anti-violence message.
Last Tree Squadreally mix it up as they go through “Oh, Oh” and “Streets” before finishing up with “What you gonna do”. As you would expect with such a large band, there is loads going on in the sound, with the heavy bass lines that I love, leading the songs’ grooves.
The eighth member tonight was Jenny Frost, who sings in the Hereford Soul Choir, and brought some more depth to the vocals that was a bonus. I could go on all day about Reggae – coming from the West Midlands, bands like Steel Pulse are part of my younger days soundtrack – and what a great band Last Tree Squad are, but really you just need to look them up and go see them.
Next up were Sin Eso from Bromsgrove. A new band to me, they play a great brand of melodic metal – their band page says a “mix of romantic Rock and love Metal”, and there’s definitely some Evanescence in their style, but Toby Bowett, lead singer & guitarist, has a voice reminiscent of Ed Kowalczyk, the ex-singer from post-grunge rockers Live.
‘Eye of the Storm’ was a particularly catchy (sorry to use that awful word) track and just to prove they are their own sound, they chuck in some rap vocals from Matt J Owen, keyboard player for the band. I suspect there is a great future ahead for Sin Eso; they have a cool aura about them.
They’ve already played at the O2 Institute in Birmingham and I can’t see that being the end of it.
Thank The Academy
Third on the list were pop punk band Thank The Academy, hailing from Birmingham. Absolutely in the mould of Blink 182 and Sum 41, they have honesty, a humble nature and the fact they had just completed a four date tour of the country with Never Hill, meant they played a pretty tight set.
Love to see a bit more originality from their song-writing, there were hints of it – Navigation for example – but in a pretty busy genre scene I think they will be doing their damnedest to show they can be different from the crowd. Their EP “Navigation”, a follow-up to their debut EP “Worth A Try” is due out any minute.
Finally, local rock trio Atlas took to the stage. Well, they say rock, I say down-tuned riff chugging monster Metal. I loved their set – part Mastodon, with some Bolt Thrower guitar and a bit of James Hetfield on the vocals thrown in for a pretty full on sound.
Lots of latent menace before an all-out onslaught of grooving terror and if you listen to their album MMXV you’ll know what I mean from tracks like Breaking Under and Isolated Clone. A great end to the night.
The sets will be played on the BBC H&W Introducing show throughout February, so keep an ear out for them.