The Amorettes

Female rock bands have always been a controversial point with many people, and when asking people to name a female rock star people will always answer with Suzi Quattro or Joan Jet. Good female rock musicians are few and far between or perhaps don’t get the credit they deserve. Personally I think the world would be a sad place without girls rocking gigs and the Amorettes certainly do not disappoint.

The girls recently performed at the Giants of Rock weekend at Butlins, Minehead and within our own group of friends there was a divide between whether to watch the girls instead of the Choirboys.

There was a rumour going round that the Amorettes wouldn’t be performing until the following day and this effected the numbers in the audience, I stayed around just in case as I was keen to see them. After the Yardbirds and Black star riders they had a lot to live up to but ended up finishing the night on a high. The best way of describing the girls is a high energy rock band with a real rock attitude. There was a sea of rock ‘n’ roll salutes and mobile phones throughout the show which displayed the fan’s appreciation for the girls. They were getting something right and the crowd were buzzing.

This is the first time I have seen the Amorettes but I soon felt familiar with their music and this left me wanting more. Hot and Heavy and Whoot Woo, were an instant hit for me and I have played them many times since. Hannah kept a nice high energy beat to the band and was constantly perfect throughout the performance. Gillian is the lead singer and plays guitar, her performance is quiet static but she has a rock star quality. Heather is a bass player and her performance style was the opposite, she is a lively performer and her performance was memorising. Gillian and Heather stage presence complimented each style very well. If you ever want to see a female rock band these girls are a must.

​Scott Freeman and the Tokyo Sex Whales​

It’s a late Saturday afternoon in the Jumpin’ Jaks venue at Butlins, Minehead. Rock fans gather to the introduction stage in the hope of discovering new talent and perhaps ease the hangover of the night before with a quiet pint. The second annual Giants of Rock Music weekend has already proved to be a great success. With impressive performances from Black Star Riders and The Yardbirds the night before, the bar has been set high for the rest of the artist due to perform that weekend. But now it’s a chance for music fans to relax and take a break from the head liners with the hope of finding something new.

Daytona Catchups have done a fantastic job of warming up the crowd and now it’s four guys from Winchester’s turn to take to the stage as Scott Freeman and the Tokyo Sex Whales. The band name may be a little strange but the band are certainly not. The raw energy of their front man is enough to grab the attention of the crowd forcing everyone to take notice. This is a big opportunity for Scott and the band and they are determined to do all they can to leave a lasting impression. His lively energy is immediately evident from the introduction of their first catchy number, quite fittingly titled, ‘A New Spark’. Scott separates himself from many of the other front men performing that weekend with his wild individualism and intriguing lyrics. He’s unique and It’s clear right from the start that he is certainly one to watch.

Scott does an admirable job of engaging the crowd and this is most evident during ‘Same Train Different Departure Times’. It’s not even dark outside yet the crowd are drawn from their seats to the dance floor. This particular song was definitely a highlight for Scott,

“People got out the moves on that one, no better thrill than seeing people dig your music enough to dance. Giants Of Rock was a blast, always love a crowd with personality.”

Scott aims to perform as though each gig is the last he will ever play; delivering an exciting and stimulating performance with enchanting songs and thought provoking lyrics. His talent and raw passion really come to light during ‘Magnet Star’ and it’s hard to believe that he is only 23 years old.

‘Love the way you’re making me feel’ definitely stands out, from the powerful beginning to the catchy chorus. Scott does a remarkable job of getting the crowd involved and it’s not long before everyone is singing along with him. Jim Morrison’esque improvisation and spur of the moment dialogue between the crowd and the rest of the band separate him from the other new acts; reflecting a confidence rarely found in an artist of his age. The band are tight and it’s hard to believe that they have only been performing together for such a short time. Scott clearly has the ability and stage presence to captivate a crowd as a solo artist which he has done previously. His new band however, compliment him perfectly.

The crowd may not have ever heard of Scott Freeman and the Tokyo Sex Whales before, but it’s quite fair to say that this band will be leaving a lasting impression on everyone that was lucky enough to have taken the chance to see them on the introduction stage that afternoon. Impressive, effortless vocals with an exciting stage presence and confidence somewhat lacking from even some of the more accomplished acts performing that weekend; Scott Freeman is a refreshing break from the norm.

Scott Freeman’s album ‘Season Of Blue’ is out now and can be purchased here: ​ 


It’s 30th of July 2013. A warm Saturday evening at a farm in Pilton where only minutes ago the Rolling Stones made history with their first performance at Glastonbury festival. The night is still humming from the last chords of “Satisfaction”, the fields are full of the desire of 177,000 revelers wanting more.  But what’s next? While some choose to take the epic passage to the world of district 9, others march to the dirty burger bar or the cider bus to end their evening in style.

Meanwhile however, be it by chance, purpose or written in the stars, some of us end up at the Crossiant Neuf Stage waiting eagerly for a performance from five men from Bristol and South Devon.

The crowd, (what there is left of them) are both tired and exhausted, much like the Stone’s logo t-shirts which have very much outworn their welcome over the last few days.  With ears ringing, heads pounding and feet aching from wellies dancing in the madness among the pyramid stage we wait. Then it starts.

The pure energy of the band is enough to make you stand up and take notice from the first chilling stroke of Aaron Catlow’s violin. The enticing introduction of Lost In Transitvania cannot fail to bring a smile to your face and keeping your feet still during this song proves to be the most impossible task.  I envy those who have stumbled upon the Crossiant Neuf by happy accident to witness the unique and quirky, frenzied folk legends that are Sheelanagig. To see the crowds staggered faces as they marvel at the brilliance that is thrown upon them is captivating, especially during the haunting rendition of Lamento Di Tristano where the band’s musical talent really comes alive.  For me, this is Sheelanagig at their very best. Violin, percussion, guitar, banjo, flute and drums are all part of the magic and the combination is world class.

My journey here this evening however is not by chance. I had never experienced Balkan music  before but after having been privileged enough to see this band at my local pub in Chippenham Wiltshire (following several high recommendations from the pub’s manager), Sheelanagig were hastily added to my list of musicians not to be missed at Glastonbury and I was far from disappointed.

Walking into the Crossiant Neuf tent whilst Sheelanagig are playing is like venturing into a magical funfair of folk tales, drinking, dancing and madness. The audience continues to build up and the tent becomes even more crowded as people seemingly appear from nowhere, all drawn to the mayhem of this circus. Vocalist Aaron Catlow felt it was one of the band’s highlights of the year, “We had a great gig at Glasto, you never know how many people are going to turn up to your show because of the shear size of the festival and amount of things going on but the crowd turned out in force to see us. from the first note every one was bouncing around like kittens possessed.”

And like kittens possessed we bounced. The band’s ska influence becomes evident during the band’s imaginative rendition of “Vlad The Inhaler”. Storytelling is still very much a part of the Glastonbury experience and the audience listen intensively as Dorian Sutton unveils the magical tale of an ageing vampire known as Vlad with his mystifying vocals.

The performance becomes even more surreal during the dreamy rendition of Al Fresco’s Love Temple Waltz/Salterello as the crowd sway merrily in an almost hypnotic trance! It gets even weirder later when everyone is told to crouch down during the introduction of another magnificent number, but of course at Glastonbury it feels like the most natural request in the world and the crowd obediently crouch down to the floor before jumping back up again to bounce their way through the rest of the performance! What ever your taste in music, I challenge you to keep your feet still whilst watching this band.

Visiting Glastonbury is always going to be a special time, whether it is your first visit or your last but sometimes the most magical moments are not just those enjoyed whilst witnessing the performances of the headlining acts. Sometimes those moments happen whilst discovering the crazed human pyramid of folk musicians you stumble upon in the Crossiant Neuf with a pint of cider in your hand. My wellie’s endured plenty of dancing and my voice plenty of cheering during that memorable weekend in July, but following the performance of Sheelanagig very little compared to the sheer joy and excitement of the crowd on that Saturday night roaring for one more tune!

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Post by Samantha Swindlehurst

Photography by Neil Melville-Kenney

The Mouse Outfit

Hip Hop has for many years been decaying. Its no wonder this is the case with the new breed of money orientated misogynistic rappers defiling the organic sound that was so popular during the nighties. However the cure to this is not found in darkest Brooklyn or in the ghettos of Compton but rather the streets of Manchester. The Mouse Outfit are both breathing new life into the genre and tipping their hats to the old masters that pioneered the sound.

Their debut album Escape Music dropped in May 2013. Nineteen tracks long the danger is always that half the album becomes filler. This however is far from the truth and the album became a soundtrack to the summer.

The Mouse Outfit turn the typical Hip Hop show on its head by swapping the two turntables, mixer and MC for a full live band and a whole host of rappers and singers. Dr. Syntax a UK Hip Hop veteran in his own right is pivotal to their live show and is prolific on their album. His natural comedic style and magnetic flow make him indispensable within the group. The other rappers on the team include Sparx, Black Josh, and Fox to name just a few. The large group of featuring rappers allows them to comfortably span a wide range of styles. Black Josh provides a more typical UK Hip Hop sound on tracks such as Know My Face and Air Max contrasts and compliments the smooth Jamaican flows from Fox on Built In a Day.

The key to the Mouse Outfits phenomenal fresh sound is their emphasis on not only the lyrical genius that their rappers provide but also the cleverly crafted instrumentals created with a full band in mind. This translates fantastically into their live performances making them a joy to watch. The band moved slickly from song to song and in a master class of musicianship at the end of the show performed a fantastic medley containing classic Hip Hop, Jazz and Motown hits. With a rapidly expanding fan base these guys are one to watch and even if Hip Hop isn’t necessarily your thing their jazz and soulful take on the genre will be sure to get your head bobbing.

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Post by Alex Berry