Medway Music

Wishing everyone a happy new year and hope that 2009 brings good things to you.

In the last year thanks mainly to the influence of Phil Dillon combined with Riverside Live gigs at the Command House  I have discovered the Medway Music Scene. Whilst I knew of Billy Childish and had been to see a few Medway bands it has been in 2008 that I discovered how many very talented musicians and singers there are in the towns.

Lists seem to be the thing at this time of year so here’s a short list of some of my (and my sons) favourite Medway Bands right now (blurb copied from the bands respective MySpace page) –

Burn Paper Tigers – Burn Paper Tigers have been around for about a year, previously under the name “Hospital Bombers”. It all began with Stephen Driver listening to the songs Chris Austin had been writing, and convincing him to start doing something with them. Up till then Chris had always played guitar for other singers, including Lupen Crook and Kid Harpoon. He had only really sang solo at the odd open mic around the Medway towns.

Dancing Turtle Records really liked the sound of the first few tracks that Chris and Driver recorded, and put out their first 7″ single of Phillipa Hut/Maid In Old Town.

Initially playing as a duo, over time, Chris and Driver saw many incarnations of this band as different people casually joined and left. In the summer of 2008, Chris Taylor joined on drums and under their new name Burn Paper Tigers, they have continued to develop ever since into what you hear now and in the future.

Ben Jones and The Lovedays – The Lovedays formed out of the embers of Carters England, featuring the songwriting prowess of Ben Jones, the rhythmic pulse of Samuel Jacques, glued together by guitarist Jason Crispe. Their debut LP is available now from www.thelovedays.net

The Shagmonroes – Influenced by Wine, Port, Painkillers, Stella and Digging Holes. Sounds like nothing in your record collection, so listen to them now.

Lupen Crook – Nearly a novel. Worms and Words. Nothing Wasted. Nothing learnt. Lupen Crook is the writer of rhymes in a twenty something century. riddled with words. fiddling guilt. a bottle of rum. a pint of milk. curious for cats lie dead by the side of roads. under weight. over exposed. whispering and wandering with a suitcase of tales. tatty love. broken bands. filthy fingers and a sawn off nose. always yours SINcerly. truly. madly. in beast reality.

The Deccas – “They deliver a superb old school, up beat rock performance. Every inch still in the Britpop scene, their vintage riffs brought The Who, Oasis, and even some Nirvana back to life. They described their sound as “mod revival”: a clever and catchy mix of the 60s with the early 90s”. Pauline Eiferman – surface unsigned

During the summer I took the boys to see a few gigs put on by Riverside Live at the Command House.  Son no.3 is completely entranced by the music he heard and since then has become one of the youngest aficionados of the Medway music scene.  He’s only three but can sing along to all of the songs each of the bands above have posted to MySpace and could tell you the title of any of the tracks he hears. He’d been asking for  a black rock guitar for Christmas for months. He got one. It’s a shame Jaz at the Command House took issue with me.  Not sure how it’s going to pan out summer 2009.

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