Alphabet Backwards – The Things We Did To Pass The Time EP


British quintet Alphabet Backwards completed their aim to write and record three separate releases in a year without the need of studios or labels with the recent unveiling of The Things We Did To Pass The Time EP. Containing three songs bubbling with the warm and melodically flirtatious sound that the band is becoming increasing renowned for, the release is a fine end to an aim and success which has provided a host of rather irresistible feel good songs.

Consisting of Josh, Steph, Paul, Bob Tom, and James, the Oxford bred Alphabet Backwards have been luring closer and stronger attention for quite some time now, making their first potent mark with a self-titled debut EP in 2009. The trio of EPs, The Superhero in 2010 with The White Russian and British Explorer following the next year, raised the momentum and praise cast the way of the band’s emergence with debut album Little Victories in 2012 putting the band’s fusion of indie and electro pop firmly on the landscape of the UK music scene.

It might be fair to say though that this past threesome of releases starting with Fingertips/Indian Summer, unveiled March 30th 2015, has raised the profile of the band most of all. The two track offering was fuelled by their most infectious and imaginatively creative adventure yet, subsequently built upon and pushed again by the Book About Foxes EP last September. Now to show that the three releases in a year also meant a continuation of the resourceful and inventive prowess soaking the band’s music, The Things We Did To Pass The Time released the end of this past March has ears joyful and spirits dancing.

Alphabet Backwards weaves a sound which simply puts a smile on the face and though the songs within the new EP might not be their most virulent catchy, each has a new depth in warmth and melodic revelry which ignites the same satisfied smile and thick enjoyment. It opens up with The Glass and straight away has ears fully engaged as the now familiar vocals of the band walk amongst a melodic jangle and jabbing beats. As much as the band’s music entices so does their vocal prowess and expression, male and female tones coming together as alluringly as keys and guitars caress a thicker rhythmic tempting. The song continues to caress and seduce with its flirtatious gait and melodic enterprise, warming ears and imagination perfectly for the rolling canter of Escape Artist.

Straight away the second song reminds a little of eighties band The Woodentops, its flirty rhythms and strolling melodic shuffle matched in magnetic kind by the vocals. That nostalgic feel continues as keys bubble and rhythms take their moment to entice as moments of slim but infectious relaxation break. The song predominantly though is a lively affair and quite superb, emerging the favourite amongst a trio of seriously addictive proposals completed by the vivacious waltz of Television. The last song’s swing is pure pop and its intimate textures almost folkish; a combination which simply lights ears and emotions as guitars and keys swirl and smoulder around more of those captivating vocals.

Alphabet Backwards is proving to be a band that induces real anticipation with every upcoming release; The Things We Did To Pass The Time EP showing exactly why.

The Things We Did To Pass The Time EP is out now via iTunes and other stores.

Pete Ringmaster 19/04/2016

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Gavin Chappell-Bates – We Are The Ones


The beginning of the year saw British singer songwriter/guitarist, Gavin Chappell-Bates unveil the video for new track Refugees. It was an ear catching offering also providing a teaser for the Cambridge musician’s forthcoming debut album. Now the release of We Are The Ones is upon us and fair to say if that earlier proposition spiced up the tastes buds there is plenty more highly flavoursome goodness to be found and feasted upon in the thoroughly enjoyable album.

The musical desire and devotion of Chappell-Bates is said to go back to the age of eleven and being inspired by Sgt. Pepper, an ‘awakening’ backed by “ his musical friends and a few early lessons by Ezio’s Booga.” Learning his craft playing in various local bands  which included Bokaata, The Deadlines, We Are Godzilla, and Up & Atom , Chappell-Bates decided to pursue a solo career in 2014, drawing on influences listed as The Beatles, Feeder, Aerosmith, Buddy Holly, The Bee Gees, Smashing Pumpkins, Our Lady Peace, and majorly Manic Street Preachers for his own creative adventures. The following year saw first EP, Black Holes released. Its attention provoking presence was followed by the singles 95 and We Are The Ones, each luring more eager ears the way of his emergence. Equally live he has been sparking strong praise and support around the UK, playing venues such as Bury St. Edmunds’ The Hunter Club, The Rescue Rooms in Nottingham, and in London the likes of Hoxton Bar and Sebright Arms.

Already earning strong radios play on BBC Introducing, BBC 6 Music, and XFM among many others and being was nominated for Best Male Solo Artist in the 2015 NMG Awards, Chappell-Bates is looking to now spark national awareness, something We Are The Ones certainly has the potential to give a potent nudge to. Produced by James Coppolaro, who with drummer Rob Gibiaqui (Sergey Lazarev, The Pinker Tones) plays alongside Chappell-Bates on the release, the album swiftly has ears keenly attentive with opener Church Of Rock ‘N’ Roll. A rousing and contagious slice of sound boisterously living up to its title, the song springs punk riffs and spicy hooks on ears as Chappell-Bates’ vocals lead its lively anthemic pull. It is a punchy and infectious start setting up an eagerness to hear more which the following All Ways more than satisfies.

Art_RingMasterReviewThe second song equally has an infectious swing to its presence whilst pursuing a more melodic/alternative rock imagination in its energetic persuasion. As with many songs there is a familiarity to the sound and nature of the song but equally a fresh essence that highlights Chappell-Bates’ own invention, the following 95 another example. It carries an air of the decade of rock spawning its title yet casts a vibrant pop ‘n’ roll flavouring which has the catchiness of modern rock pop flirtation. Its pleasing presence is matched in success by Refugee next, its initial gentle melodic caress growing in weight and intensity as keys shimmer in the background. Soon that brewing intent erupts in a fiery crescendo and chorus before repeating the cycle to engaging effect with Chappell-Bates’ vocals again a potent hue to his songwriting and its colourful realisation. A more subtle but increasingly provocative texture is provided by guest violinist Prue Ward and cellist Anna Scott, their evocative and here melancholic imagination a great spicing colouring a handful of tracks hereon in.

The album’s title track is another; its melodically reflective balladry evolving into a warm and inescapably catchy rock pop canter framed and steered by a robust and tenacious web of beats before making way for the acoustic tempting of Writing In The Sand and in turn the delicious spirit sparking incitement of Black Holes. The first of the songs has a sunny air to its infectious gait and a smouldering intimacy to its vocal and lyrical embrace whilst the second immediately has ears and imagination gripped with its opening throaty bassline and subsequent tone. A Nirvana-esque feel coats the beginning of the song whilst its emerging virulent stroll lies somewhere between Weezer and The Presidents of the United States of America, all essences combining to colour an encounter whipping hips and voice into eager involvement as it takes favourite song accolades on the album.

Dead End Disco Streets brings a great electronic spicing to its magnetic and physically buoyant temptation, indie and electro pop flavours uniting to embrace and dance with the equally spirited vocals before Follow The Light unveils its own animated serenade which dances with ears rather than laying sentimentally upon them though it is certainly emotively shaped and fuelled. As if any more proof was needed, the song is further evidence that Chappell-Bates knows how to write pop and rock songs which simply stir attention, proof swiftly backed by The Finest Hour and its Big Country like landscape of melodic and folkish hues.

The album concludes with firstly Last Angel, an emotionally intense country spiced ballad featuring the guest vocals of Kathryn James and keys of Jamie Brooks, and finally the acoustic/folk pop sparkle of Starlight. Both songs have brightness to their sentiment loaded proposals, especially the last which with a hug of strings is edgy and provocative as the best pop ballads always are.

Certainly some songs ignited more lusty reactions than others, but from its first note to last syllable, We Are The Ones is a proposition that can only be enjoyed from an artist with the potential to made big strides in the UK rock/pop scene.

We Are The Ones is released April 8th through R*E*P*E*A*T Records and @

Pete RingMaster 07/04/2016

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Niamh Crowther – Little by Little

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Folk rock/pop with a beaming smile, that is Little by Little, the new single from Irish singer/songwriter Niamh Crowther. Gripping feet and imagination from its first vibrant breath, the song is one of those feel good moments which continues to linger, warming the soul long after it has taken its physical leaves. The successor to the well-received single Origins, Crowther’s new flirtatious shuffle suggests she is well along the path to big rewards.

Crowther first came to prominence in Ireland when aged sixteen she beat over 15,000 other young people to claim the prestigious Irish Youth Music Awards. Concentrating on her school exams first, with most of 2014 devoted to successfully completing her Leaving Certificate (A Levels), Dublin hailing Crowther eventually went into the studio with Tim Martin (The Corrs, The Commitments, Declan O’Rourke), emerging with both Origins and Little by Little. Her eighteenth birthday also saw her on stage with Richie Sambora at the Olympia theatre in Dublin; so it has been a heady time on all counts for the emerging talent over the past couple of years or so, the garnering of over 130,000 streams on Spotify whilst having her music play listed on national Irish radio further success; all adding to good times sure to continue with the release of Little by Little.

A stroke of Crowther‘s guitar leads in her immediately alluring voice, the pair uniting as understated but firm beats add to the rising infectiousness of song and craft. Soon into a lively stroll which has feet tapping as if on puppet strings, the song seems to relish the tangy lilt of Crowther’s enticing voice and her instinctive melodic prowess, raising its energy and heart with each passing kiss of harmony and tenacious canter of rhythmic catchiness.

Though not necessarily in sound, there is a definite Kirsty MacColl like poise and invention to the songwriting and swing of the song too, a rich lure making up part of the refusing to go away majesty of the single, that and simply the organic virulence cast and fuelling the festivity.

Niamh Crowther is the name; expect to hear a lot more of it wherever you are in the world.

Little by Little is released on October 23rd.

Pete RingMaster 22/10/2105

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Billy Momo – I’ve Got You


Making a rather tasty teaser for their forthcoming album Drunktalk, which is scheduled for release next February, Swedish urban-folk collective Billy Momo are releasing new single I’ve Got You to whet the appetite. The song is a magnetic flight of modern folk pop wrapped in melodic expression and rhythmic tenacity which in turn courts a vocal vivacity and creative fascination; simply it is a song which swiftly grips the imagination. The Stockholm band has brewed healthy attention and fervour in their homeland and with I Got You and live shows as bait, it is easy to expect the septet of Tomas Juto, Oskar Hovell, Tony Lind, Mårten Forssman, Oscar Harryson, Christopher Anderzon, and Andreas Prybil to start stirring up UK emotions for the arrival of their full-length.

Keys and guitars entangle their melodic enterprise straight away as the single opens its warm embrace. Strings are soon joining the elegant and evocative caress as the song’s landscape broadens and finds an emotive colour to its potent lure. It is an imagination awakening start but catches fire once it slips into a pungent shadow and light clasped stroll. Scything strings and dual vocals provide a rich colour of sound and expression to the emerging adventure, whilst keys and melodies add their own climate of drama and creative theatre as the track increasingly seduces second by second.

There is a baroque pop air to the song alongside its folkish revelry and orchestral elegance which only adds to the contagion upon ears and thoughts, whilst a persistent swirl of strings and notes under the Juto led vocals just mesmeric and tantalising in equal measure. The song is glorious and impresses more and more with every listen as its invention and melody enriched charm captures body and emotions.

Written by Juto and Hovell, the band’s founding members when it emerged as a duo, I’ve Got You is a striking and compelling introduction to British ears and the world in general to a band you are likely to hear plenty more of and from, especially when Billy Momo unveils Drunktalk next year.

I’ve Got You is available from November 10th

RingMaster 10/11/2014

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Lizzyspit – Trouble Lies Deep

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It has never been difficult to be enchanted by the radiant talent of singer/songwriter Lizzyspit and with her new release, the Trouble Lies Deep EP, that artistic tempting has never been stronger. Consisting of four alternative folk/pop songs which touchingly croon to involve the listener’s ears and thoughts, the EP caresses imagination and emotions like a summer evening of reflection. The release comes from the heart for the heart, Lizzy at her most melancholic yet but also at her most potently seductive.

Hailing from London here in the UK and a resident of Sydney, Australia for around the past couple of years, it is fair to say that Lizzyspit has been one big digital success story. Over one and a half million fans have devoured her online performances as well as downloaded her music and hit up her videos. It has pushed her into a deserved brighter spotlight whilst her live shows have only cemented and pushed her stature further, the lady thrilling notable venues in the UK such as The Troubadour London, The Camden Roundhouse, and Manchester’s Lowry Theatre and in her new home, including The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Add places like New York’s famous Bitter End and you see the worldwide presence Lizzy has earned, something her releases and especially Trouble Lies Deep you feel, has and will drive forward. Currently back in England, the name and sound of Lizzyspit will be refreshing lips and ears of her elegant artistry through the new EP and it has to be said she has never sounded better.

The release opens with Once Upon A Time, guitar and vocals an immediate evocation of emotion and sombre reflection; Lizzy, as she is so 1959719_386215978184184_97481912_ngood at, exploring a situation and emotional shadow everyone has embraced or been shaded by. With shuffling beats and percussive coaxing plus delicious additional melodic hues provided by Carlos Adura and Carl Dimatage respectively helping colour the emerging small but rich drama, the song evolves into an understated yet fully magnetic and tonally busy proposition. It is a mesmeric wrap around senses and feelings easily enthusing ears and passions.

Second track All Dressed Up Nowhere To Go builds on the strong start with its sultry melodic endeavour and emotive dance. Unveiling a slightly more urgent energy and poise to its subtle stroll, the track transfixes sonically and lyrically, its warm skies and adventure enriched by the ever expressive voice of Lizzy and sighs of heated melodies which vein the compelling fascination. As in its predecessor, the skittish percussive essences and incisive guitar design adding extra enticement and depth to the voice of the song as it once again enthrals and lights up the imagination.

Goodbye (to the ones who screwed you over), from a tender gentle start which simply strokes ears like a loving partner, lifts its spirit and energy for a lively but controlled canter kissed by evocative strings and impacting rhythms. It never really elevates beyond that stance, merging the loftier gait with the opening tempered presence, but still evolves a lively infectiousness which infests senses through to passions. It is a masterful persuasion which lingers and continues to work its temptation long after its departure, the songwriting of Lizzyspit never lacking potent bait here at its most irresistible yet.

The release is closed by an acoustic version of Gone Gone Gone, voice and guitar at one in a melancholy wrapped narrative of a disappointing lost relationship. For a voice so vibrant from within a smile, going by her promo shots, which is a simple sunspot, the lyrical heart of the EP is surprisingly heavy hearted in sentiment and an investigation which feels it maybe intimate to her as much as the experiences of its listeners.

Lizzyspit is a bright light who just gets stronger and more eloquent musically and lyrically with every release, Trouble Lies Deep her most revelatory and impressive so far.


RingMaster 01/04/2014

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Imagination bred caresses: an introduction to Jingo

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It is always a strong pleasure to be introduced to a band who impress beyond hopes and without warning. Such is the situation with London based band Jingo, a quartet who dances with the passions as they wrap the senses in colour rich melodic embraces and emotive landscapes. Consisting of members originating from both sides of the pond, Jingo creates flames of riveting pop expanses which tenderly or feistily whatever is their want at the time, takes the listener by the hand into vivid emotion packed scenarios sound-tracked by seductive aural tangos.

Jingo is guitarist/vocalist Jack Buckett, his American wife vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Katie, drummer Joseph Reeves, and newest member Sahil Batra on keys/bass/guitar/vocals. The quartet of musicians have been playing and creating music in bands in Brooklyn, New York and London for many years before coming together as Jingo but once formed they took no time in making their mark, their first gig seeing the band supporting Graham Coxon of Blur in March of this year at a sold out charity night at Mother London. The day of the show also saw the band release their debut single IQ84, followed within a couple of weeks by second track Same Without You and in the same time gap again by third release The Matador, all available as free downloads from their Soundcloud profile. The three distinctly unique and individual tracks show a band which is already skirting the precipice of truly great things with songs which are adventurously and gloriously sculpted, employing equally scintillating textures, imagination, and beauty in their striking presences. It is impossible not to be excited by the band as their sounds coax thought and emotion to play within their descriptive musical narratives and potent lyrical expression, and hungry to hear so much more from the foursome.

Debut track IQ84 instantly has ears and attention rigidly alert and it is no surprise the track has received heavy traffic in its direction. Opening with choppy riffs soaked in pop mischief and reminding of Oingo Boingo in many ways, the song soon soars from its impressive opening stance into a greater temptation through the outstanding vocals of Katie Buckett. Her voice is drenched in captivating lures, a melodic pull which is strong and firm in its hold on the listener whilst making a mesmeric call which initially distracts such her quality. All the time the song is unveiling a wealth of respectful yet eager to impact rhythms and sonic whispers which almost sneak up on the listener, though once into its stride with the drums of Reeves adding more throat to their thumping presence and the guitar toying with a mix of riveting hooks and flames, everything is in the open. The song goes on to further enthral with flumes conveying suggestive atmospheres as the persuasive lyrical and visual craft ado their work with the result an excellent and exciting first taste of the band.jingo 2

    Same Without You was the next song unveiled and stood openly distinct from its predecessor yet seemingly part of its core story. The gentle piano touch of the ear is soon joined by the again strikingly emotive temptress that is Katie’s voice, their melancholic union an irresistible beckoning into the emerging guitar resonance and brooding bass line. All coming together with energy lifting its keen head into a bolder stance, the smouldering burn of the song brews little fires of elegance and classical tones through keys and harmonies whilst rhythms ensure there is a fever constantly waiting to break out, which it does in small climatic expulsions of invention and intrigue across the length of the incendiary seduction. A track which reveals more glorious depths with each encounter whilst leading the passions into inescapable lust, it is a sensational enticement and thrilling dive into fascinating emotive hues.

Their third song The Matador instantly stands proud with a Latin American coaxing from the guitar and mutually sultry vocal cry grabbing the ear before a sultry sway of melodic kisses and narrative casting vocals tread brightly but gently across thoughts. They cannot retain their restraint for long though and soon erupt in a blaze of sizzling heat and sound before repeating the course again with additional harmonies raising the temperature of the ambience enveloping the senses. There is a folk lilt to the Spanish caressed pop rock voice of the track, a blend which lifts the imagination into a cabaña hailing heart and its emotive tale and once more leaves a blissful pleasure in its wake.

Jingo, through just three songs, leave a lasting and inspiring allurement in their wake, an aural taste which the lips of passion can never get enough of. The band has given themselves a strong plateau to build upon with a very potent horizon safely in their own hands and we for one will be impatiently awaiting their next melodic alchemy.

Steam and Download the three singles @

Check out the Jake Strunk created video for Same With Out You below as well as upcoming live dates.

Fri 19/07 – Tramlines Festival, Sheffield

Sat 20/07 – IYAF Festival, Kingston, London

Thu 29/08 – Northern monkey, Leeds

Fri 30/08 – The Green Room, Stockton

RingMaster 14/06/2013

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Common Tongues: Solitary Thinker

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    Bewitched and enchanted by their 2011 debut single Jumping Ships, UK indie folksters Common Tongues has kept a candle in the passions vibrantly burning as they unveiled more delicious pop folk majesty through songs which continually smoulder and ignite the passions. Their new single is no exception, the song an emotive caress upon thoughts and emotions which first seduces before leading the listener into a sizzling yet tender melodic romp of contagious energy.

The Brighton band was formed in 2010 by childhood friends Tom Anderson and Oli Hinkins, who grew up together in Cambridge. With a line-up completed by Andrew Stuart-Buttle, Dan Somers, and James Drohan, the band released first two track single Jumping Ships via Something Nothing Records to a strong eager response following it up over the past couple of years with impressive appearances at numerous festivals including Bestival, and the Secret Garden Party, as well as support performances alongside the likes of Beth Jeans Houghton, Michelle Stodart, Juan Zelada, The Miserable Rich, and Alice Gold. Citing influences from the artists such as Yann Tiersen, Villagers, Radiohead and Brian Wilson as inspirations, the band creates sounds which tempt and persuade like sunshine whilst evoking and inspiring like her alluring touch.

Taken from their new April released EP, Solitary Thinker is the perfect teaser, a song which triggers a rich appetite for more ctwhilst igniting flames of pleasure to make the short wait for much more bearable. The song emerges from a brewing breath with acoustic guitar and melancholic violin weaving gently across the senses, their stroke tender yet powerfully suggestive. The feeling of loneliness is accentuated as the vocals add their weight and expression though the music equally offers a little dance of light and hope throughout the emotive heart. Mid-way through the track entertains rhythmic teases which raise and incite the temperature and intent of the song into a feisty launch of energy which sparks further rapture as the building crescendo of expertly crafted sounds and anthemic vocals explodes within the heart.

The song walks the perfect line between emotionally intense and light and whimsical, achieving both without unbalancing the passion or fun of the track. Musically too the track merges more forceful sounds which maybe are a rarity in folk pop with traditional majestic beauty in harmonies, melodies, and expression. It is a glorious song which will ensure an even more focused and maybe impatient anticipation for the upcoming EP.


RingMaster 23/02/2013

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