INTERVIEW: Knock On Effect

Knock On Effect is taking the music scene by storm after the release of their first EP Jump the Gun with the band performing better than ever.

L-R: Liam Bryce, Scott Lever and Scott Beaton

L-R: Liam Bryce, Scott Lever and Scott Beaton

Sitting in a small Gourock pub three fifths of indie rock band, Knock On Effect is waiting to get interviewed.

Not long after the release of their first EP Jump the Gun and a knock out performance in Glasgow’s iconic King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, where the godfathers of indie rock, Oasis, were first signed after a gig, the band are making their way to a bright future.

Knock On Effect formed in 2011 after the boys met at school, parties and football  with each member doing their own thing – singer Mick McLennan and guitarist Scott Lever working together, guitarist and vocalist Scott Beaton having individual success before joining, bassist Liam Bryce had never played bass in front of anyone before and drummer David Hughes was in another band, the five piece decided to join forces – one practice session created Knock On Effect who secured their first gig one week later.

Scott Lever recalls that: “[they] just started jamming and it all came together”.

Their most recent four track release Jump the Gun, aptly named after the bands tendency to get things done quickly, has three originalsongs that were played during their first practice even if they “sound a lot different now”, recalls bassist Liam, the EP draws on musical influences from bands including Stone Roses and Dundee kids The View mixed in with the talent and own musical twist of Knock On Effect.

Similar to other performers the band are doing their best to build their fan base and work hard to ensure people realise that they are not like other artists out there and this is clear in their music.

Taking influences from all types artists has improved the quality of songs getting produced explained guitarist and vocalist, Scott Beaton: “getting influences from other types of music brings something to it, like, hip hop base lines and things like that are pretty cool.

But you won’t catch me rapping.”

As an unsigned band Jump the Gun was recorded using savings and in a bid for perfection was recorded twice.koe

He continued: “We can’t afford to go recording again” when asked if an album is next on the cards, “we recorded the EP twice.

The first time we didn’t like it so we scrapped it and went to record it again.”

The attention to detail can be heard on the EP and the bands progression since forming is evident through the song writing and performance that the five piece are not only ambitious and strive to be the best they can be but have learned to work well together.

Liam said: “We’re a better live band and our songs are getting better, more complicated and advanced.

We’ve noticed people have started getting more into some of the songs which is the best compliment.”

Songs are inspired by wild nights out, friends and daily experiences making the EP an honest reflection of the band and, although the demos are something the boys would like to forget, it is obvious in the music that as a band they work well together to make memorable music with the talent that runs through the boys – even if some of the songs have no meaning at all.

Scott Beaton laughing said: “‘Words Were Weapons’, it’s quite funny because it doesn’t mean anything to me at all…when you see people singing along you’re like ‘this doesn’t mean anything to me so I dunno what it means to you’”.

Slick rock songs infused with melodies and lyrics that begs to be played on repeat there is little room to wonder why King Tuts, another Glasgow venue added to the bands hit list after already playing gigs in The Garage, O2 ABC and its sister venue the Academy, has crowned the boys one of the most successful acts to perform in the venue with their growing fan base.

Scott Lever said: “Even the guys in King Tuts said it was the rowdiest crowed they had seen in a long while.

Hopefully they’ll have us back.”

King Tuts has spurred the boys on to attempt to organise more gigs for an EP tour around Scotland’s music scene but the dream of performing to a sold out Wembley crowed is one the band all share, with no hesitation when asked if they would give up their daily routines to be able to perform their music worldwide for a living.

Already having great success with their first music video for ‘B.I.A.S (On the Run)’ featuring live shots of the band performing and working in their personal studio, a studio which the boys believe has improved the band as it is their private space where they can spend as much time as they want writing songs and practicing, thoughts on making ‘Shadows’ into the next visual release is at the front of the bands mind.

The boost from another music video and plans to record a new album next year besides performing in local venues is the way Knock On Effect are going to make their name in this business, but with a successful release of Jump the Gun (available on iTunes) and their minds set on making the most of their talent the boys from the West of Scotland are one step closer to performing at Wembley.

Twitter: @KnockOnEffect1 Facebook: KnockOnEffect

Pictures: Caroline Armour  Full band image: Mark Gordon

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Run-up to Reading and Leeds

The coveted Reading and Leeds festivals start in just four days (23 August 2013) and it’s time to get the wellies, ponchos and merriment packed up for the most exciting weekend of music in the summer calendar.

Acts performing at this years festivals include HAIME, Frightened Rabbit, Nine Inch Nails, Jake Bugg among a wide range of others waiting to show R+L revilers the time of their lives. Even without extra acts on the bill this years headliners have set the bar high enough with a mix of rap, rock and punk on offer.

Green Day

Returning to the main stage after a less than stellar year, Green Day are returning to Reading, and Leeds this year, after their impromptu performance in the NME tent last year. After lead singer Armstrong spending months in rehab, less than fantastic reviews from their three album release, the so called Kings of pop-punk will follow the drunk bunny to perform tracks from their most recent albums and old fan favourites from 1994’s Dookie, covers of some great classic songs and show festival goers that the Bay Area’s finest still know how to rock the stage.

Biffy Clyro

Scottish giants Biffy Clyro will take the main stage at this years King and Queen of music festivals. After years of working hard to get themselves known the trio have worked their way to having a headlining spot. The release of Opposites, the sixth studio album from Biffy, earlier this year cemented the band in the music industry with their blend of progressive rock and ridiculously catchy songs. The only British band headlining this years festival it would seem there is a lot to prove, but Biffy Clyro will prevail. 

Eminem

The Real Slim Shady is back and probably as good as he ever was! The release of his latest single ‘Survival‘ proves that Eminem’s return after 2010’s Recovery is going to be the biggest yet. Closing the Leeds festival fans can expect nineties nostalgia with favourites including ‘Lose Yourself’ and some of the Detroit rappers latest hits – for all we know Marshall Mathers might surprise the crowd with some special guests.

This is arguably the biggest R+L lineup so far with a wide mix of performances available: dance, rock, alt rock, folk and hip hop, silent discos and comedy, if the sun stays shining it could be the best festival of the summer.

The View – Tacky Tattoo

Sometimes I wanna sell my soul to the devil
And sometimes I wanna put a face long gone
And sometimes I feel that I’m not so clever
That I don’t even know the things that I’ve done wrong

‘Cause the girl with the tacky tattoo is the one you shouldn’t do
It only lead to trouble epic fails
Oh the girl with tacky tattoo the one that ruined me and you
The one I wish I never knew

And sometimes would you sell your soul to the devil
And do you ever wanna put a face long gone
And sometimes you feel you’re not so clever
That you can’t even find a melody for your song

Oh the girl with the tacky tattoo is the one that shouldn’t do
It will only lead to trouble epic fails
Oh the girl with tacky tattoo the one that ruined me and you
The one I wish I never knew

I’m not waiting around for the lost or the found
To come back around
I’m not waiting around for the lost or the found
To come back around
I’m not waiting around for the lost or the found
To come back around

‘Cause the girl with the tacky tattoo is the one you shouldn’t do
It will only lead to trouble epic fails
Oh the girl with tacky tattoo the one that ruined me and you
The one I wish I never knew
One I wish I never knew
Oh I wish I never knew
Oh I wish I never knew

Interview with new artist, Lizabett Russo

Aberdeen based singer/songwriter talks  about her debut EP release.

A new artist to add to your summer playlist

A new artist to add to your summer playlist

Lizabett Russo, originally from Transylvania, enchants listeners with her debut EP, The Travellers Song.

The talented 21 year old recorded her first EP in Aberdeen’s Music Studio with the help of Paul Davidson and Innes Cardno who co-produced the three track wonder, which does not fail to impress.

Imagine yourself sitting in a quiet café in a secluded part of town drinking a cappuccino and you’ll more than likely hear the type of music Lizabett offers, relaxing, alternative soulful songs that enchants listeners.

Getting musical inspiration from her mother, who raised her with the intention to make her: “grow with a compassionate, artistic soul”, and Italian singer Elisa, Lizabett’s songs are filled with life experiences and, it could be said, a part of herself in all her songs which are sometimes on the darker side as misery, she explains, is always a good inspiration to guide song writing.

‘Tonight’ is the defining song on the EP standing out from the rest with its experimental sound mixed in with pop and electro infusions it is one song to be kept on repeat.

Lizabett, who has been working on her music from a young age, said: “I started to write poems when I was in secondary school. I had a weird childhood, I was alone most of the time, never had too many friends so music and words were my only good friends back then.” From then Lizabett decided to turn her poems into songs and started to perform her music in school at the tender age of 10; “I’ve always loved singing…music was my therapy and my partner through better or worse.”

Lizabett is keen to promote her EP and her original twist on music

Lizabett is keen to promote her EP and her original twist on music

The Travellers Song could be seen as a mirror into Lizabett’s life, coming from Romania and living in Scotland,making her songs more touching and relatable to some. Although writing about personal experiences is helpful at times she doesn’t want to give out too much: “I’ve always been a reserved, secret-keeper type of person so I want to let people imagine and think about what happens in a song and how it can relate to them , regardless of my own story. I want people to own their own version of my songs and keep it close when in need of something to make them feel. A little piece of me goes to each and one of my listeners,” and this is clear when listening to her songs; lasting impressions are made through her originality.

Her EP, available on SoundCloud, is a breath of fresh air compared to the dance infused chart hits currently around. If a more relaxed Eliza Doolittle or Joss Stone feel is what you want in your music then songs including ‘Lose Your Colour’, a mellow folk number, is what you have been looking for.

Along with performing live shows in Aberdeen Lizabett is working hard to promote her music and said: “Maybe I will end up getting some sponsorship for a full length album, but until then, I will record some other songs and post them on Soundcloud to keep people happy”. Other upcoming gigs include a July date in Glasgow and a performance in the ever busy Amsterdam in August.

Upcoming gig listings are available on Lizabett’s Facebook page and you can buy her EP here.

Scottish musicians give artistic hand for charity

This weekend (May 3 – May 5) Glasgow will play host to a three day music festival in aid of Yorkhill Children’s Foundation. Events for Charities will bring musicians, bands and comedians to the city in the organisations second year which is set to be bigger and better than last year. Filled with cover bands, original artists and comedy everyone will have something to enjoy whilst giving a helping hand to a great cause.

Over the bank holiday weekend the charity music festival will have a great atmosphere helping a great cause. Events for Charities

EFC returns to Scotland for its second year

EFC returns to Scotland for its second year

chairman, James Edmond, said: “People can expect a family event with great atmosphere and entertainment from musicians, bands and comedians. All working to help raise awareness and funds for Yorkhill Children’s Foundation.

In its second year there has already been a huge difference in the size of the festival, turning a two day event into a three day event with acts including Logan, Dan ReedNot The Sensational Alex Harvey Band and brilliant cover bands h-Aye Voltage (a tribute to AC/DC) and Bowie inspired musicians, Spiders on Mars. Tickets to all events held in Ivory BlacksThe Cultha and Maggie Maysare available through TicketScotland and Events for Charities website, with prices starting at £8 in advance and £10 on the door.

dan reed (1)

Dan Reed is just one of this years performers

This year’s festival has been under-way since last May to allow plenty time to ensure it is the best it can be. With all the planning and preparation the event is set to please everyone who participates, James continued: “The planning of the event we had to look at different styles of music and what days and venues to use for these. So we didn’t have any clash of styles. The initial stages sorting out what bands could play on what day was the hard bit with shuffling line ups around to suit. The next stage was to sort out the initial promotion for the event through social media and our websites to create the overall awareness of the event.Twelve months on we have the complete three day festival in aid of Yorkhill Children’s Foundation.”

Last years event raised a total of £3742 and the organisers are hoping to raise even more this year. The festival is guaranteed to have a great turnout with all the shows and events on offer but if you are unable to attend the festivities there are other ways to help raise money for Yorkill. James explains “[Events for Charities] have set up just giving pages for people that can’t take part can help by collecting in their work place or just donating the price of a ticket.” The event also needs more volunteers to work over the weekend, donating money or giving a helping hand over the bank holiday weekend will help the event and ensure a great atmosphere to those enjoying the show.

The festival has the best in original Scottish talent

The festival has the best in original Scottish talent

Unsigned musicians, bands, cover acts and comedians also get the chance to get their name recognised through these events. The success of last years event has raised interest from local musicians with more artists requesting slots over the, now, three day festival urging for an even bigger event next year. Talent is booming in Scotland and Events for Charities is bringing that talent to the public for a great cause. Growing interest and music ability has already led organisers to look for 80 to 100 bands, artists and comedians to take part.

Although currently based in Glasgow with previous success travelling Scotland it looks like local musicians, bands and comedians may be able to travel Scotland, James added “Last year in December we had an event lasting twelve days in aid of CHAS, Yorkhill Children’s Foundation and Erskine Hospital, “The Twelve Days OF Christmas”. We took this from east to west of Scotland. We are hoping to be in Edinburgh and Stirling later this year with other charity events. We do have plans, not sure how far away it is, to take the festival from been a mostly indoor festival to an outdoor event, this is still in the planning stages and could be one to two years away. ”

Music, comedy and a good cause is the best way to enjoy a bank holiday weekend after a hard weeks work.

Tickets are still available online (TicketScotlandEvents for Charities).

Festival Madness

IT is that time of the year again. Festival season has started and this weekend Scotland’s most prestigious festival T in the Park takes center stage.

Titp

T in the Park 2012, held in Kinross Scotland, sees Kasabian, Snow Patrol and indie godfathers The Stone Roses take the headline spots for the three day festival. The main aim at a weekend filled with live music, friends and unlimited supply of burger fans is to have an unforgettable experience. Here are my top ten tips at ensuring great festival fun.

Where do I go?

The first, and most important, step of a festival is deciding where to go!There are over 100 festivals in the UK alone so you need to figure out which one is for you. The best way of doing this is going to the one that has your favourite band playing. It really is that simple. Festivals are there for fun and a weekend away from real life but their main aim is giving people the chance to see most of their favourite acts live. So if death metal is music to your ears or country caravan music is your thing there will be something for you.

Camping

You’ve arrived, stumbled off the bus with sixty other festival goers and now it’s time to set up shop. The best tip I have here is GO EARLY! If there is an opportunity to buy tickets one day before the festival starts it is there for a reason. Finding the best spot to build your Argos tent is essential: you don’t want to be on the outside and have drunk people falling on/in your tent at night, but you don’t want to be so far into the maze of tents you forget where your bed is. Three rows in is always a safe bet plus you’ll be surrounded by others and make friends. Just make sure you buy a waterproof tent there’s nothing worse than waking up with a puddle of mud under your pillow.

Stage Times

Music is the main aim of festivals. Make sure you either print off the stage times before going or buy a handy laminate from the merchandise stand. The laminates include the stage times for every band over the period of the festival. Some even tell you when bands are doing a signing and in which tent. Bonus!

Flags

Remember that little tent in the middle of that field is your home for the next three to four days. Customization is key. Not only so it stands out from the crowd and looks snazzy but I guarantee you it will help you remember which tent belongs to you six jager bombs later. Flags will are great to help you see where you’re supposed to be sleeping that night, and they can represent where you come from. People all over the world come to festivals in the UK so there wont be a shortage of French, German or Spanish flags in the camping area.

Weather

We live in the United Kingdom not the Mediterranean. Sunshine is not guaranteed. Make sure when you’re packing you take a small rain jacket that can easily be thrown into your bag if the sun does make a guest appearance and you don’t take clothes that you wouldn’t want to see covered in mud. Most importantly make sure that tent is waterproof!!!

Wellies

This one is entirely up to you…and the weather. Wellies are a God send if your festival weekend is a washout but they’re a bit pointless if the sun manages to stay out longer than two hours. When it comes to footwear you have to be comfortable and not care if a large clump of mud gets stuck to the sole of your shoe. That means the brand new white Adidas are out.

Fancy Dress

Who doesn’t love fancy dress? Some festivals have a night dedicated to people who want to dress up as Scooby and Shaggy, the Mario brothers or just run around in a zebra onsie. Plus everyone knows the camera loves people who dress up, make it good and you might end up on the BBC. Just make sure you’re going to be happy with the costume choice 20 years from now when you show your kids.

TechNOlogy

iPhone’s and Blackberry’s were not designed to keep up with the festival life. If you want to take a phone with you make sure it’s an oldie, I’m talking Nokia 3210, and it won’t matter if you lose it. The best way to keep in touch with your friends at the festival is with the age old pen and paper. If you want to go to the burger van just write a note for your friends to see when they come back to the tent not three days later when a text arrives to their charged phone. Unfortunately nobody has created a charger that plugs into the grass.

Devil Juice

It’s the weekend. You came here to party, forget the real world and have a few drinks. Just make sure you know your limit and you don’t go a stage too far. Everyone can have a good time with a little sip of devil juice and it will loosen you up so singing at the top of your lungs in a silent disco is acceptable. Make sure you look after yourself and your friends and nobody ends the night crying into a bin because they have had an alcohol induced teen life crisis after Foo Fighters have left the stage.

Health

It’s a boring subject but it is important. All festivals have health clinics there in case you hurt yourself, party a little too hard or – ladies – if you have any emergencies. During your stay make sure you have the most fun possible but don’t damage your health. If you think it’s a bad idea then it probably is.

Festivals are seen as a right of passage for young people and they are filled with memories, music and the best fun any teenager can have. Hopefully my top ten tips for festivals helps you out. Now festival goers go forth and have the weekend of your lives.

If you’re not going anywhere this year the BBC have full coverage of most UK festivals and you can watch my favorite festival performance of the summer so far.