Colours of the blues: exploring King Colobus with vocalist/guitarist Stewart MacPherson

kc_RingMasterReview

2017 has started with a bang, certainly in regard to introductions to and debut releases from fresh and truly striking bands. One of those making the biggest impressive impact is UK rockers King Colobus. Recently their self-titled first EP was rebooted into national attention, a release to steal one of the lines in our own review providing a “four-track theatre of blues and alternative rock [which] trespassed and seduced the imagination and passions.”

With thanks to Garry at SaN PR we leapt on the chance to learn more about the EP and its creators with King Colobus vocalist/guitarist Stewart MacPherson also touching on their beginnings and other aspects of being in a band…

Hi, thanks for sharing time to talk with us.

Your bio says the band officially began in 2015 but I believe its origins and seeds began long before then. Tell us about its beginnings and lead up to stepping out as King Colobus.

The first ideas started in a 3 piece band called BIBLE JOHN AND THE REPTILES, which included me (Stewart), GRIFTER bassist Phil Harris and former BROTHERHOOD OF THE LAKE drummer Rich Robinson. We spent months rehearsing and just before taking things live, Rich started to have back problems. The whole thing capitulated until James Bailes moved back to the South West. He and I had jammed out demos and worked together on various projects when we both lived in London. We got together and started to share ideas that we thought really deserved a life…and so KING COLOBUS was born.

The re-location to Devon of yourself and James from London seems to have been one of the sparks to the birth of King Colobus. Was that just coincidence or there was something you found down there, apart from meeting Gavin and Simon, which instigated the band?

The main thing that changed for both James and I was fatherhood. We both wanted our kids to grow up in a better environment and having both come from the South West, I guess this felt like the best option. There is also a great opportunity down here to create an alternative music scene. It has been blighted for far too long with tribute bands and folk music and venues like THE JUNCTION are starting to put alternative music firmly on the map again. There’s a lot of talent down here, but it just needs to get its fair share of the opportunities.

kc2_RingMasterReviewIs there a specific meaning or inspiration to the band’s name?

A King Colobus is a monkey that changes colour when coming out of childhood. I found this intriguing.

It is fair to say that your sound is a tapestry woven from a variety of musical textures and styles. How would you describe it to newcomers?

I would say that it is very much rooted to blues, with a heavy dose of trucker rock and grunge. There are so many pleasant, yet sometimes surprising comments we get from people regarding what they can hear in us, we encourage you to listen and draw your own conclusions!

Is there any particular inspiration you would say has helped shape your music as a band and individually?

I think if you heard 3 or 4 of our tracks, you would hear elements of Sabbath, Alice in Chains, Queens of the Stone Age, Clutch, Rage Against The Machine, Soundgarden, Interpol, and Johnny Cash…but to name a few. The likes of Bowie, Radiohead, and Morrissey have always provided a lot of lyrical inspiration, as they tend to tell stories that interest and make you dig a bit deeper into what is being said.

You recently re-released your self-titled EP to swift acclaim it has to be said. How did you approach its uncaging this time around compared to its first outing?

When it was first released, we did it just so that people could have something to take home at gigs if they liked us. After a while, it started to get a great response and people started getting in touch to order it online. It was at this point where we thought that it should be given broader exposure.

Can you personally put your finger on why it has caught the imagination of press and fans alike with great force?king-colobus-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

I think PR has a lot to do with it! You can have the best EP in the world, but it needs PR to get heard…then it needs to sound good for people to talk about it!

As broad as its songs in many ways are in sound there is an intimacy at the heart of the EP which suggests certainly lyrically personal experiences provides their seeds. Where do you draw inspiration most often for your tracks?

Everything I sing about is personal, or it is based upon something I know about. Sometimes looking at personal experiences of those who are closest to me provides for a better story. There’s no point in talking about California if you get me.

How does the songwriting predominantly work within the band?

Most songs are written acoustically at first. I perform solo acoustic gigs around the South West and ‘test’ things out before approaching the band with the idea. It’s a great way to test out the dynamics of a song, without the frills. I think it also helps us all to look at each track from a different perspective, without some massive riff dominating the landscape.

Can you give us some background to the tracks within the EP and their themes? king-colobus-cover-artwork_RingMasterReview

GET UP was actually written around the time of the 2012 Olympics. I lived in Hackney Wick at the time, so it was right on my doorstep. The track was based on the idea of it being used for Olympic Games footage. Needless to say, it didn’t, but it still made for a good track!

The self-titled KING COLOBUS track is based on my teenage years in Plymouth, so it’s a very personal outlook on my experiences throughout the nineties.

TITS AND TEETH is generally about how disposable the music industry has become and how we find ourselves absorbed by TV judging panels, who apparently know what they are doing.

WAIT is borne from a political platform. We keep on telling ourselves that if we vote a different way, things are going to change for the better. We need to believe this to keep going, but it’s far from the truth.

Live you have shared stages with the likes of with Sea Sick Steve, Band Of Skulls, Crazy Arm, and one of our favourites De Staat and that alone shows the diverse appeal of your sound. What is it you think about the band in sound and live which tempts such an array of artists and their fans into the world of King Colobus?

I think good music will always be just that and hopefully we have gained some new fans through doing our best to put on a good show when we play live. All of these bands are genuine, as are we.

Talking of Sea Sick Steve, the last time we saw him highlighted the trend it seems of people going to shows not so much to watch the artist but to socialise, certainly at higher profile events and venues. The sound of chatting often intruded on the music. If you have come across this, how as a band do you mentally deal with it on stage?

I think it’s our job to try and capture the audience’s attention. If we don’t, we need to do something about that! Sea Sick Steve was a really nice guy to talk to and he gave us so much great advice; I wish I brought a notepad! At the end of the day, you are in a bubble when you are in a band, so audience chatter really doesn’t bother me if it happens…but it rarely does!

What is next for King Colobus live and release wise?

We are just starting to branch out of the South West, as we are really keen to get involved in other musical pockets around the country. We’ve been busy scheduling this, as well as festival dates. As we deal with this ourselves, it is quite challenging. We also go into the studio again this Summer to record another 4 track EP, so this will be out way before the end of the year.

Big thanks again for talking with us. Anything you would like to add?

If there are any towns/cities which would like to see King Colobus, let us know!

Check out our review of the debut King Colobus EP @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/king-colobus-self-titled-ep/

http://www.kingcolobus.com/    https://www.facebook.com/kingcolobus/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

King Colobus – Self Titled EP

king-colobus-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

There are times when something just clicks with ears and imagination, instincts instantly seizing the day and directing responses with almost lustful energy. That is what happened to The RR when facing the self-titled debut EP from UK rockers King Colobus. From virtually its first breath on the opening listen, the four-track theatre of blues and alternative rock trespassed and seduced the imagination and passions. It is pure drama, creative adventure as bold and ballsy as it is imaginatively intricate and sinisterly persuasive.

With its seeds sown in 2013, King Colobus officially stepped forward two years later. Vocalist/guitarist Stewart MacPherson and bassist James Bailes had already collaborated on ideas and songs for a future project when independently they both relocated to Devon. There they linked up with Plymouth based guitarist Gavin Huck and drummer Simon Marsh, uniting as King Colobus.

There is no escaping inspirations found in the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age, Soundgarden, Johnny Cash, and Interpol in the band’s sound but equally they have a personality and character to their music and songwriting which is sure to intrigue fans of others like Japanese Fighting Fish, Damn Vandals, and Inca Babies. There is uniqueness to their sound though which is most vocal and suggests why the quartet has already earned a potent live reputation whilst taking in shows supporting artists such as Sea Sick Steve, Band Of Skulls, De Staat, and Crazy Arm.

king-colobus-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewRe-released this past week, the first King Colobus EP is a majestic introduction to the band and needs mere seconds to grip attention and appetite through opener Get Up. From its initial dark minatory melody, its texture wiry and tone ominous yet pure enticement, the track bounds in with swinging rhythms and a growling bassline supported by just as primal riffs. MacPherson instantly engages and recruits already persuaded ears, the song itself bluesy in air but pure virulent rock ‘n’ roll with an underlying punk snarl. It is a controlled web though, teasing and taunting rather than assaulting and only increasing its grip as a shimmer of guitar around alluring vocals breaks the tenacious trespass before breaking into an even bolder compelling incitement.

It is a stunning start swiftly reinforced by the song King Colobus, it too opening with a juicy lure before uncaging its heavy blues rock saunter. Bass and vocals stand individual in tone but equal in temptation as beats jab with relish at the senses, the song’s flames waiting to erupt in a sizzling blaze before settling down again until further incendiary expulsions throughout its compelling body. Showing an array of flavours making up their sound, at times the track reminds thoughts of Josh Homme and co and indeed The Doors but again the result is individual to the foursome.

Tits and Teeth steals its fine share of the passions next, its dark vaudevillian devilry carrying an air of sadly demised circus punks The Shanklin Freak Show, further evidence of the host of spices in the King Colobus invention. The song as good as stalks its victim but relishing its creative invasion of ears and imagination with energy eager to consume its prey whilst, with virulent catchiness, recruiting their participation.

Final track Wait immediately reminds of nineties band Skyscraper, having their instinctive rock ‘n’ roll infectiousness and tenacity to command attention; invention and imagination blossoming in its success. Grooves and hooks tangle the senses as rhythms ground out an easily given submission to their insistent prowess, vocals leading it all with their own rousing presence.

It is a glorious end to a must hear release not only bringing King Colobus to wider attention for the first time but suggesting there is really something major brewing down on the south coast.

The King Colobus EP is out now through all stores.

http://www.kingcolobus.com/    https://www.facebook.com/kingcolobus/

Pete RingMaster 07/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Survival Code – One

the-survival-code-pic-2_RingMasterReview

Sure to cement the attention and praise generated by recent EP Broken Strings and a title track acting as its first single, UK alternative rockers The Survival Code release new track One mid-January. Also from the three-track EP, the song is another imagination sparking, ear pleasing proposal sharing just a little more of the variety making up the band’s infectious rock ‘n’ roll.

London based, The Survival Code is fronted by Dubliner Gary McGuinness on vocals and guitar and driven by the rhythmic prowess of bassist Michael Eden and drummer Tom Cook. Formed in 2011 and inspired by the likes of Johnny Cash, Deftones, Foo Fighters, Alkaline Trio, The Cure, The Beatles, and Biffy Clyro, the band released the Everything But Today EP in 2013. Well-received it was easily surpassed in sound and success as well as acclaim by debut album MMXV two years later, a step forward replicated again by Broken Strings.

the-survival-code-one-artwork_RingMasterReviewLast year was a big and eventful year for the band, seeing them play over 40 gigs across the capital and beyond ending with a UK tour around their latest EP. It also saw The Survival Code settling down to write a new album, go through a change of bassists, and endure “a manager that ran off with months of work.” One ensures that 2017 is kicked off in fine style for the band, a year already threatening to exceed its predecessor in success and adventure.

From its first breath One uncages a tide of jabbing beats and imposing riffs but with a creative restraint which allows all aspects within to express and tempt around the potent vocals of McGuinness. Raw in air yet finely woven, the track also casts harmonic roars and melodic sighs within its rousing body, essences of bands like Feeder and Skyscraper hinted at as the song blossoms in imagination and infectious energy.

From start to finish, it is a relentless persuasion which has body and spirit involved. It might not prove to be the most unique encounter found this year but few will be more enjoyable so if you are looking for new meaty rock ‘n’ roll to feed a hungry appetite The Survival Code might just be the One.

One is released January 20th through Independent Records Limited (IRL).

January 14 – Proud Camden – Camden Rocks all day festival

March 16 – Brighton – The Hope and Run

http://www.thesurvivalcode.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/thesurvivalcode    https://twitter.com/thesurvivalcode

Pete RingMaster 11/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Scott Swain – Oil!

scott-swain_RingMasterReview

By his own words, “This track is what you get when you cross the film There Will Be Blood with Johnny Cash“. That description sums up Oil!, the new single from Scott Swain perfectly; its flavouring and emotive atmosphere encapsulated in those few words and living up to hopes equally raised by such a suggestion. The song is a swarthy slice of melodic rock within a country/mariachi spiced cinematic climate of suggestiveness which swiftly captures attention and imagination.

Having played in bands for almost a decade, supporting Biffy Clyro among the highlights, Swain decided to explore his solo side when his main bands, How to Dress a Monster and Fire at Night, took breathers earlier this year. Drawing on inspirations ranging from Elliot Smith and Mark Lanagan to cult cinema, he soon ventured onto the live scene with just his voice and acoustic guitar. As Oil! shows, in the studio Swain expands his sound and emotive adventure with the help of others but without losing that organic raw character and texture luring increasing praise.

Inspired by There Will be Blood, with Swain lyrically examining “the relationship between wanting to be ambitious and the things which can be sacrificed in the process”, Oil! is a natural seduction of ears and thought. From its first melodic strum and metronomic lure of beats it has ears gripped, ambling in with purpose before hitting an even eager stride as guitars and bass unite around warm harmonies. The country kissed twang of guitar and melodies hold a myriad of pictures for the imagination to conjure while feet and hips are employed by the gentle but keen swagger of the infection loaded song and its lively gait.

Managing to smoulder in emotion and atmosphere while providing a tenacious canter to get involved in, the song is pure magnetism which lingers long after taking its leave and increasingly impresses with subsequent listens.

Oil! is out now via iTunes, Spotify etc.

Upcoming Live Dates:

06.12.2016 Apples and Pear Bar, Brick Lane. London

14.12.2016 Fu Manchu Bar, Clapham. London.

22.12.2016 The Bricklayers, Hitchin.

http://scottswainmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/scottswainmusic

https://twitter.com/scottswainmusic

Check out the video for Hitman from Scott Swain @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/video-selector/

Pete RingMaster 29/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Thee Infecteds – The Macabre Tale Of The Harlots Curse

art_RingMasterReview

Imagine Misfits meets The Meteors with the salacious touch of Demented Are Go and the thumping might of Grumpynators involved and you get a sense of the treat to be found within The Macabre Tale Of The Harlots Curse. The debut album from British rockers Thee Infecteds is a bloody stomp of garage punk and psychobilly; a slab of rock ‘n’ roll weaving its own distinct cavalcade of horror bred escapades from familiar and fresh creative cadavers in sound and enterprise, and one rather irresistible blood lust.

Hailing from Newcastle, emerging from its dark mausoleums this year, Thee Infecteds draw on inspirations from the likes of Johnny Cash, Eddie Cochran, Hank Williams, Link Wray, Wayne Hancock, Motorhead, The Meteors, Demented Are Go, and The Cramps among many sparks for their own rousing exploits. They are flavours which at times openly shape The Macabre Tale Of The Harlots Curse but only add to its swift attraction and lingering hold on ears and imagination.

Playing like an aural Tales From The Crypt, each song an episode of blood and death shown in a theatre from where exits “all go down”, the album gets down to business after the introduction of Feature Presentation with The Harlots Curse. With a great cavernous air to its atmosphere, the track opens on the steely riff of Anth Bundy’s guitar, it soon joined by the menacing kisses of Sean Sinner’s beats and further riffs alongside the intimidation of upright bass slapped by Ruby Morgue. It is a carnivorous proposal guided by the potent tones of vocalist Howlin’ Jimmy, he not so much a barker but a narrator to your demise at the whim of the song’s curse.

It is a rousing start quickly matched by the strolling swagger of The Razors Edge, the song a mix of catchy hooks and fifties rock ‘n’ roll guitar courted by the already irresistible presence of Morgue’s bass. Each plucked string is a dark conspirator for ears and imagination more than matched by the tangy enterprise of pick on string by Bundy and Jimmy’s straight to the point attack. The track is too brief but an unstoppable appetite pleaser before the adrenaline fuelled Creepy Crawler has its moment of attention swiftly sealed. With a bit of Guana Batz to the song, its stomps around with attitude and creative barbs which soon has hips swinging and feet bouncing, Bundy’s salty grooves additional pleasure as the song blossoms on its repetitive character.

Both Skulls and It’s Them! keep the album in top gear and pleasure unbridled, each embracing an unmistakable Misfits influence woven into their own highly addictive and virulently infectious guises before Intermission allows a momentarily breather for mopping up sweat and ice cream. Eager involvement is a given throughout the album but the pair demand and receive some of the most zealous with the second of the two leaving the body breathless.

Never Go To Heaven is a less boisterous incitement next, at least initially, it’s gentle coaxing all melodic seduction and strolling rhythms as Jimmy romps alongside yet one more riveting bass riff as it heads towards a tenaciously feisty shuffle. The track does not quite find all the sparks which ignite its predecessors yet still has voice and body hooked before moving over for the lusty enticement of Lay That Chainsaw Down. Hooks and riffs are an enticement which enslaves the senses and imagination with ease, all teasing within a rolling canter under the commanding guidance of Sinner.

The thumping beats and melodic lures of Happy Jack are also an entanglement impossible to throw off, unbreakable chains further provided by the delicious throb of bass while its thick success is only eclipsed by that of Your Love Makes Me Itch, a song which is pure slavery as its nagging bass rhythms and repetitious hooks play with and seduce the imagination. The song is a web of slimline strands of barb littered lines from all concerned, and a united weave which is as rich and thick in temptation as anything on this and many other genre similar encounters in recent times.

The dirty, dark, and destructive romance of True Love Dies brings the album to a close; a Gene Vincent meets P. Paul Fenech flirtation which just hits the spot dead centre before it is time to make for the Exit and the inevitable journey.

With a real lust for good psychobilly/horror rock incitements here our wants are demanding. The Macabre Tale Of The Harlots Curse delivers on virtually every level whilst providing one seriously rousing and enjoyable excuse to unleash the blood lust.

The Macabre Tale Of The Harlots Curse is out now and available @ https://theeinfecteds.bandcamp.com/album/the-macabre-tale-of-the-harlots-curse

https://www.facebook.com/theeinfecteds/

Pete RingMaster 13/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Survival Code – Broken Strings

the-survival-code-artwork-broken-strings_RingMasterReview

As a teaser for a larger proposal, tracks do not come much more persuasive than Broken Strings, the new single from UK alternative rockers The Survival Code. The lead and title track from the London based trio’s new EP, the song is a web of tangy grooves and spiky hooks delivered with energy and urgency which alone rouses the spirit.

Founded in 2011, The Survival Code was forged in the driving force and song writing of lead vocalist/guitarist Gary McGuinness. Dublin born, he previously drummed in successful alt-rock bands for over a decade before moving to London in 2010 where he subsequently linked up with drummer/vocalist Tom Cook and The Survival Code’s original bassist Pete Agnelli. With a sound inspired by influences ranging from Johnny Cash to the Deftones, the band released the Everything but today EP in 2013 which was followed two years later by their well-received debut album MMXV. As their first full-length, with Chema now handling bass duties, The Survival Code’s new single and EP is released through IRL and is set to be backed by a host of shows across the UK and Ireland.

Broken Strings instantly nags ears with sturdy boisterous beats and teasing riffs; a Deftones meets Reuben feel coating the appetite sparking coaxing which perpetually shapes a song ebbing and flowing in melodic prowess as it blossoms in ears and imagination. The band’s sound has been compared to Foo Fighters before and the single offers sound reasons why, an exuberance and infectious aggression like the Americans fuelling the anthemic roar and dynamic virulence of the song.

Impossible not to get physically and emotionally involved in, Broken Strings is an incendiary spark to a want to grab the new EP from The Survival Code and more…

The Broken Strings single is released September 25th through IRL.

Upcoming Live dates:
21 October – Alleycat – Denmark St, London
27 October – Fibber Magees – Dublin, Ireland
29 October – Bruxelles – Dublin, Ireland
17 November – New Cross Inn – London
18 November – Bar 42 – Worthing
19 November – Cave at the Holly tree – London
14 December – Tooting Tram and Social

http://www.thesurvivalcode.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/thesurvivalcode   https://twitter.com/thesurvivalcode

Pete RingMaster 23/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Browlin – To The Border!

Browlin_RingMasterReview

Luring ears and imagination into the sultry climate and shadows of the Wild West on a funk infused wave of melodic and lyrical adventure, To The Border! is a highly suggestive and seriously captivating encounter everyone deserves to treat themselves to. Released by Browlin, the album offers up the smouldering melodic artistry of Morricone, the dark honesty of Johnny Cash, and the lyrical conjuring and prowess of Helldorado with the vocal suggestiveness of Rooster Cole for extra spice. The result, something as unique and magnetic as you could wish for.

Browlin is the latest moniker of Oliver Brown who previously was engineer and studio manager at Skint, where he gained Top 40 credits, hit 2m views on YouTube and was part of the incredible success of artists such as Fatboy Slim. With his new project, Brown has moved away from his electronic past to immerse in heartfelt picturesque songwriting embracing indie and funk imagination upon Latin honed rhythms and emotions.  To the Border! is the result of his exploration, an encounter which infests ears and imagination like the dirt and hot atmospheres its song’s premise’s and climates suggest.

The album opens up with Border and an immediate cinematic strum of guitar, it’s coaxing quickly joined by darker tones of bass and those Latin inspired beats. Lone harmonies and the subsequent vocal touch of Brown soon add to the already evocative prowess of the song, its lively canter taking the appetite in tow with little trouble. With keys joining the Mexican hued saga the track makes for a compelling start though it is soon eclipsed by the following Pieces. Brown’s gravelly hum aligns to another single melodic lure to open up the song, his vocals and words swiftly seducing the imagination as the guitar soon after leads into a bass and keys driven slice of melancholic funk ‘n’ roll. Even without electronic essences, there is a touch of The The to the track, even as it induces hips to swing and feet to eagerly shuffle.

art_RingMasterReviewIts success is matched by the earthy majesty of All My Days and in turn the flaming revelling of There’s Always A Way. The first of the pair keenly walks and then bounds through ears, more flirtatious rhythms seizing body and spirit as vocals and melodies paint a brooding yet warmly alluring picture. Virulently catchy with keys and harmonies bordering salacious, the outstanding track is matched in majesty by its successor, a Cajun-esque dance with spicy harmonica and woozy melodies within a climate of moonshine fuelled, and inspired carnival.

The thrills and seduction continue at an already irresistible level as Big Deal romances the senses with its Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers meets Chris Isaak swing next. Once more the harmonica almost burns its way into the passions while a thickly appetising soak of discord invades guitar and tone. It is an off kilter pleasure transforming into the haunting and fiery beauty of All About Us without a breath being shared. The new song slips under the skin within seconds, its repetitive hooks and melodic bait as enslaving as Brown’s vocal craft and expression and in turn the orchestral weight of an increasingly epic encounter.

I Sit Alone allows the body to at least rest next, it’s smouldering entrance with female sighs the canvas for the reflective declaration of Brown. You can almost see him sitting on the front porch of a barren land sitting shack or under the moonlight against a hanging tree as he pours out his heart. It is a dark and maudlin moment which subsequently evolves into a funk nurtured shuffle, rhythms and guitar entangling in a brewing descriptive sound and hopeful suggestiveness taken to new heights by the gorgeous landscape of following instrumental Death In Mexico. The piece is glorious, cinematic melodic poetry Morricone himself would be proud of and a track as intimate as it is visually vast.

To The Border! concludes with firstly Well I Never, another superb swinging incitement for ears and imagination with a whiff of Talking Heads to it and lastly On The Bank, a final fascination of sound, voice, and word bringing the album to a mighty close.

Not really aware of Brown’s previous work as such, all we can say is thank goodness he has ventured into new adventures through Browlin because quite simply To The Border! is an album bringing a new creative emprise to the whole music scene.

To The Border! is out now via Rife Records across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/browlinuk   http://www.browlin.com/  https://twitter.com/BrowlinUK

Pete RingMaster 25/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright