EP Does Guilfest!

It was the highlight of the summer so far for Essentially Pop when we headed down to Guildford, Surrey to Guilfest.

Although the forecast had been for heavy downpours in the early afternoon (and travelling to Guildford it certainly looked like it was going to be a damp day), it turned out to be a scorcher, so, after a trip around the park, we stuck mainly to the second stage.

FirWeyward Chilest act of the day we saw was the Rock Choir, followed in a complete change of direction by local band, Weyward Chile, who got the crowd pumped with their rock/blues sound.

Weyward Chile list their influences as Led Zepplin, Black Crowes, ACDC, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Healey, Aerosmith, Guns nRoses, Chuck Berry – and all this was certainly in evidence in their set!

You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, and watch the official video for their single, “Go Go”, here:

BemisFollowing Weyward Chile was Portsmouth band, Bemis, with their brand of acoustic rock.  Their Facebook page lists their interests as “biscuits”, but that really downplays quite a lot just how talented this act is.  As their bio says:

“Gareth Howells is a singer songwriter and founding member of the band, who writes, plays acoustic guitar and sings in Bemis.

Mark Finn is a versatile lead guitarist with many decades of experience in various different bands.

Dan Ogus is a walking encyclopedia of rock and a great singer/guitarist who is providing harmonies and moments of guitar distraction through the gigs.

Mike Rogers is a multi-instrumentalist who joined the band a couple of years ago but had to leave when he moved away from Southern England for a while. He returned to Portsmouth, and returned to Bemis – he plays guitar, bass, piano, harmonica and drums….and sings.

Nathan Shervill has been drumming almost all of his life and it shows in his playing. Together these 5 people create Bemis.”

Bemis are on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace.  Check out their rendition of Teenage Kicks from Guilfest – not on Saturday’s Good Time Guide stage, but rather on the Acoustic Stage on the Sunday:

 

Street VibesStreet Vibes Dance School, like the Rock Choir are Guilfest regulars, and have dancers aged from 4 upwards.  Based in Woking, and teaching all types of urban dance, street, hip hop, krump, commerical, lyrical and breaking, the group provided a good example of what their students can do.

The group would have sweltered in the summer heat, but like the performers that they are, they soldiered on, smiling.

Jedward GuilfestThe crowd filled out, with people coming from all over, with the news that the highlight of the Saturday afternoon, Jedward, was about to arrive.  Truth be known, we at Essentially Pop had been looking forward to this all week, and we weren’t disappointed.  The twins came on stage ahead of their advertised 2.45 start, and gave nearly an hour of non-stop music, starting with the bouncy Happens in the Dark, leading into their self-penned and produced, Free Spirit.  The crowd was a good mix, with Jedward fans flying in from as far as Germany and Finland.  There were a good crowd from Ireland as well, with the UK making up the remainder.  The age range of the audience seemed to be from toddlers upwards, with the vast majority somewhere in the 20-30 age group.

John and Edward surprised many by coming on, not with sparkly outfits and sky-high quiffs, but sharp suits and styled down hair, giving the UK a taste of the mature, grown up Jedward.  It’s hard to believe the Dublin twins will be turning 23 in under 3 months!

Acoustic JedwardThe pair brought out a Gibson guitar and sat down to perform two acoustic covers, Little Things, from One Direction, written by the twins’ mate Ed Sheeran, and the classic, Hey There Delilah, originally sung by The Plain White Tees.

Edward later said in an interview how they watched people move over from the main stage to the second stage to watch their performance, and as this photo by James Chapple shows, there were a lot of people there!

Jedward Audicence - pic by James ChappleJohn and Edward rounded off their set with their cover of Blink 182′s All the Small Things – a total of 11 songs in all.  They were supposed to finish at 3.15 but brought it to a close at 3.30 – much to the joy of the entire audience, who had been abuzz the entire time.  We’ve had it on here before, but check out Jedward’s new song, Free Spirit:

Jedward have announced two Irish concert dates so far to promote their new album, which is due out later this year.  Tickets are available from this Friday for their Olympia Theatre Dublin date on 24 October.  Ticket details for their date on 27 October, at the Royal Theatre, Castlebar, have not yet been released.  WATCH THIS SPACE!

Continuing the Irish theme, Folk band The Fureys had the crowd transfixed as they sang all their classics, including their cover of Gerry Rafferty’s “Her Father Didn’t Like Me Anyway”.

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If you’ve never caught The Fureys live, you’ve certainly missed something.  Their act is one for all the family, lots of jokes and warmth and fun.  They were selling CDs at the show, which are also available to purchase from their website.

After a break for lunch and several bottles of water (it was ridiculously hot…) we caught the set of Brighton Garage rockers, “The Fuses”.

The Fuses

According to their Facebook page, The Fuses have only been gigging for the past four months, but you wouldn’t know it from the performance they gave.  Lead singer Danny Kite reminded us a lot of Liam and Noel Gallagher (yes, all rolled up into one), and the whole band certainly gave it their all on stage.  Find The Fuses online on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Guilfest, from what we saw of it, is worthy of its title of Best Family Festival. Will we be back again? You bet your life!

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Jedward Concert Dates!

jedward castlebarThe Royal Theatre Castlebar tweeted yesterday that John and Edward will be performing there on October 27, in a concert to promote their forthcoming album – due out later this summer.  This is very exciting news for fans of the Dublin Duo, who are already gearing up to see them at Guilfest tomorrow.

Jedward are a massive draw to Guilfest, possibly more than the organisers had realised (we suspect they had been hired as a novelty act – boy are they in for a surprise!), and Eagle Radio, major sponsor of the festival, has recognised this fact, with an article about the festival this morning, devoted mostly to our favourite twins:

‘They cannot wait: “The best thing about a festival is that it is not just you.

“There are a lot of different acts so you might catch up with different artists or meet new artists that you’ve never met before.

“You can get loads of new fans because people going to festivals aren’t necessarily all your fans.

“We have like three albums so we have a lot of songs to sing.

“We’re going to rock out and we might do some covers, maybe some of the biggest hits this year like Coldplay or something like that.” ‘

One song we’re likely to hear performed tomorrow is their new one, “Free Spirit”.  Watch it here:

No ticket details for Castlebar are as yet available, but the County Mayo, Ireland Theatre has advised fans to watch their Twitter and Facebook pages for further updates.

Guilfest starts today, running through to Sunday.  Tickets are still available here or at the gate.

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The Scintillas

Hailing from Epsom in the Surrey Downs, The Scintillas are a quartet you wouldn’t expect to find in leafy suburbia.  But they’re anything but ordinary.

Influenced by such artists as The Kinks, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Police and The Clash, The Scintillas are a Rock Reggae group who deserve to make it big.

Band members are Nev Evans (lead vocals and guitar), Paul Smart (bass and vocals), Laura Callaghan (also guitar and vox) and Bob Dear, on drums.

The Scintillas have been playing for about 1o years, in both large and small venues:

“We have played at some big venues ( Islington O2/ barfly etc), we have been signed, we are published, we have also been sync’d to film and Playstation. We have even ventured into film making and animation all to try and get out there.” (ReverbNation Bio)

This weekend sees the band playing two festivals, first off Guilfest in Guildford, Surrey, on Saturday 19 July, and then The Albury Music Festival the following day.  Guilfest shall feature a set list of all original songs – some old, some new – so if you’ve not tasted The Scintillas yet, you’re in for a treat!

Catch The Scintillas online on their website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SoundCloud and ReverbNation.

The band make their own videos – check out the very funny (and eggstraordinarily clever) vid for “Say What You Like“:

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One Direction – or Every Direction?

With Niall Horan and Harry Styles both setting up companies under Irish accountant, Alan McEvoy, speculation is mounting that the You & I stars might be going in separate directions.

Social media went haywire at the news that Horan has set up Treaty Media with the assistance of the Limerick accountant, while Styles has a new company called HAS Publishing Ltd.

Further adding fuel to the fire is the story that Dublin band Kodaline have co-written a song earlier this year with Styles, about unrequited love.  This song is mooted as being for his solo album.

K0daline singer, Steve Garrigan said:

“It could be on his album, if he does something.  But I don’t know.  Nothing is set in stone.”

1D’s management however has been quick to dismiss the rumours of an impending split.

Management told The Mirror:

“Harry has no current plans to release any solo material – his focus is on writing and recording the new One Direction album, and then the world tour which continues in 2015.”

With Louis Tomlinson’s recent purchase of football club Doncaster Rovers, and the other members equally investing to secure their future earnings, there’s no doubt that whatever happens, the boys from 1D will not be short of a crust.

“It could be on his album, if he does something.  But I don’t know.  Nothing is set in stone.” – See more at: http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/music-news/split-fears-for-one-direction-as-kodaline-write-song-for-harry-styles-solo-album-30397372.html#sthash.v94k5QW0.dpuf
“It could be on his album, if he does something.  But I don’t know.  Nothing is set in stone.” – See more at: http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/music-news/split-fears-for-one-direction-as-kodaline-write-song-for-harry-styles-solo-album-30397372.html#sthash.v94k5QW0.dpuf
“It could be on his album, if he does something.  But I don’t know.  Nothing is set in stone.” – See more at: http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/music-news/split-fears-for-one-direction-as-kodaline-write-song-for-harry-styles-solo-album-30397372.html#sthash.v94k5QW0.dpuf
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Jedward Drop Music Video After Dramatic Coastal Rescue!

20140703-141655-51415756.jpgThe music video for Jedward’s latest single, Free Spirit has been released today – but not without a bit of drama first!

Jedward fans woke up to the story that the Dublin twins had been rescued by helicopter in the very early hours of Tuesday morning, when they had become stranded by the tides while on a walk with a relative.

John told Ken Sweeney from the Irish Sun Newspaper:

“What we want to get across is how quickly this all happened. This got out of hand before we even realised. We would urge young people to be very careful around water and the sea. This could have been a tragedy but for the good work of the Coast Guard.”

Essentially Pop is very grateful that John and Edward are safe, and we’re also loving the new music video for their fab tune, “Free Spirit”! Inspired by US Olympic Figure Skater Gracie Gold, the song tells the story of a girl who isn’t afraid to live how she wants, and who doesn’t let other people influence her. Check it out here and let us know if you love Free Spirit as much as we do!

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Midfield Workhorse

midfield workhorseNamed for their favourite footballers (“the no-flair, 110% for 90 minutes kinda guys”), Midfield Workhorse are anything but average.  Hailing from Kingston, Del, Dave, Rick and Andy are heavy on the guitars and strong on the vocals – not a bad thing.

Del and Dave came from (sadly departed)  mistakes.in.animation, while Andy continues to play bass in Tellison. Midfield Workhorse’s sound is reminiscent of Coldplay and Jetplane Landing, the latter of whom they supported last September in London.

Midfield Workhorse’s debut EP is out next month, and is tentatively entitled, “Great Bunch Of Lads All The Best”.  The lead song, “Lincolnshire Poacher” has been featured on BBC Introducing and Eagle3 Radio, resulting in Eagle playlisting them.

Catch Midfield Workhorse at The Old Ford, North Camp, on 18 July, followed by Guilfest on the 19th, where they’ll be taking to the Surrey Advertiser stage at about 10pm.  Tickets for Guilfest are available from their website.

Find Midfield Workhorse online on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, and YouTube.

Check out “Lincolnshire Poacher”:

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Bobby Womack – Dead at 70

Bobby WomackLegendary soul singer, Bobby Womack, has died, aged 70.

Womack’s song, “It’s All Over Now” was recorded by The Rolling Stones, and gave them their first UK number one.

Born the third of five brothers in a musical family, Womack started singing in the church where his father was minister and his mother played the organ.  His father also played guitar, and forbade his children from playing the instrument when he was away.  Bobby and his brothers showed prodigious musical talent, and so their father bought Bobby a guitar and formed The Womack Brothers.   The group toured the gospel circuit, with their parents accompanying them on guitar and organ.  In 1954 the group, performing as Curtis Womack and the Womack Brothers, released the single, “Buffalo Bill”.

Sam Cooke discovered the group in 1956, and soon became their mentor.  After changing their name to The Valentinos, Cooke produced and arranged, “Looking for a Love”, written by Bobby.  It became their first hit, and brought them to the attention of James Brown.  1964 saw their next hit, “It’s All Over Now”.  Cooke persuaded Bobby to allow The Rolling Stones to cover it.  Speaking on BBC Newsnight in 2012, Womack said,

“He said, ‘One day you’ll be part of history, this group is gonna be huge,’

“I said, ‘Why don’t they get their own songs?’ “

The Valentinos folded following Cooke’s death in December 1964.  Losing Cooke had hit Bobby particularly hard, and he grew close to Cooke’s widow, Barbara, 10 years his senior. Marrying only three months after Cooke’s funeral, it was seen by many as a betrayal, with Bobby falling out with his brothers, was severely beaten up by Barbara’s brother, and was booed at concerts. His first solo records were all but ignored.  He persevered however, working as a session musician between 1965-1968, and played guitar on recordings by Elvis Presley (Suspicious Minds), Arethea Franklin (Rock Steady), Dusty Springfield (Son of a Preacher Man), the Box Tops (The Letter) and Wilson Pickett (I’m a Midnight Mover).

From 1970-90, Womack charted 36 singles including “That’s the Way I Feel About Cha” and “Woman’s Gotta Have It”.

Womack struggled with drug addiction throughout the 1980s, but sobered up in the 1990s, releasing his album, “Resurrection”, which included a collaboration with The Roots.

In 2009 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, and his career received another boost the following year when he contributed to the Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach.

The singer had a number of health issues, ncluding diabetes, prostate cancer, heart trouble, colon cancer and pneumonia, but was still recording up until his death, with a new album under the working title, “The Best is Yet to Come” set to be released.

Only two weeks ago the singer was on stage at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester Tennessee.  Watch the legend perform at Glastonbury last year:

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