Tag Archives: unsigned

Paul Bannister EPs – Selfsames

23 Jan

Promo Video


The EP “The SelfSames” was released on 18 January 2012. All tracks were recorded, produced and mixed By Paul Bannister and, composed By James Alexander Bell, who is a songwriter based in Preston.

For the past year,these two guys have been recording tracks together and now have decided to sell them as EPs on Bandcamp.

Played all 6 tracks last night, on the whole these EPs are easy listening ones which have got brilliant structures and great vocals (Manolis Manoli and Simon Howell). The final results are the fresh distinctive sound and very cathy melodies that differentiate all the tracks in the EPs, very natural and intuitive.

For several personal favourites such as I Need Air, If She Asks Me, 5 Steps Behind, Lookin’ OK, I felt I liked them from very first note – fresh and full of engergy, upbeat feeling. Honestly, there is something in their music that reminds me of The Beatles.

Above all, this EPs puts great tune, excellent production,fantastic melodies all in one, and I think it’s gonna be definitely worth putting these songs in my iPod anyway.

Buy Now  ₤1.50 GBP or more for each EP. Cheers.




The SelfSames on Bandcamp
The SelfSames on Soundcloud 

Rate: 9/10

Jackdaws – Debut gig – Mad Ferret

13 Aug

Venue: Mad Ferret    Date: 13 Aug 2011

After a summer alive with rain and little time for outdoors leisure activities, on such a rare sunny Saturday, four amazing bands include Jackdaws, Hummingbirds, Ratty Little Fingers and Pete Bentham &The Dinnerladies, gave us a special summer treat from four totally different styles, with as much opportunity to become an attractive combination. With a grand reputation around the Preston and surrounding areas it was difficult not to expect the great music coupled with a warm atmosphere at the Mad Ferret on the Saturday nights.

Making it to the Mad Ferret for their first gig, Preston’s band Jackdaws have a folk rock beat, well with a fine variety of musical elements, did well to set the mood for the gig tonight. Their folk inspired set was immediately what the crowd wanted, folk guitar and hearty vocal from lead singer Ste are perfectly along with their bassist Mike and drummer Tom, weaving through the touching melodies as they built different but great scenes according to their inspiring set in front of the crowds.

Playing a nine song set, the band began with the solo Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division cover) – a track by leading vocal Ste which had gained certain attention at the Ferret previously with a very lovely music box accompaniment. Well, forget you’re a member of the new or old crowds, you simply couldn’t resist the clear and delicate tinkling sound came from Ste’s music box, and his heartfelt vocals.

If the music box version cover was an “appetizer”, a feast for the crowds’ ears just got started.

Following on from Love Will Tear Us Apart, the band together played the  narrative The Great Northern which received a very good reaction from the listeners, they were cheering and shouting “Jackdaws!”. Following up were the crowds’ two favourites – Undertaker’s Daughter and, Sea Enemies which was the first time they’ve played as a full band, a positive hint of influences showed the vigor they brought to the increasing number of listeners was absolutely amazing. Then you have Cigarettes with stark lyrics and tunes seemed to tell you a heartfelt story which turned the crowds into the deep thoughts.

The Great Northern + Undertaker’s Daughter

Good Things Happen To Good People and Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game further increased the pace and volume at the Ferret, it’s a pleasure to watch a band when you feel there’re some real reasons for being there and some input into each track. Next, you simply cannot help smiling when Ste introduced the song Eulogy for Carrie Magee, as the room is full of a great friendly and sunny feel that was too good take the crowds to another consistently fun atmosphere created by the Jackdaws. It was probably concluded by seeing the crowd as one big happy family.

Good Things Happen To Good People + Eulogy for Carrie Magee

Obviously, Eulogy for Carrie Magee led to shouts of an encore, the set closed with Butterflies, Jackdaws performed the song with enjoyable and upbeat melodies, and the perfect ending to what was a quite impressive set.


Tonight, most songs on the band setlist are original “Jackdaws material”, which was very commendable, and this also shows that Jackdaws is a new but very promising band with potential to be Preston’s next “big folk rock act” which is worth of watching again. It was a good performance from the Jackdaws and we look forward to seeing their next gig.

Join Jackdaws clan on Facebook and Twitter.

To download the tracks from Jackdaws for free, please click here for more details.

“Amaurotic Soundscapes” – A 5.1 Sound Design Installation by Manix

28 Apr

Unsigned Acts / Preston musician Manolis Manoli, also known as Manix, is approaching the end of his three year Music Production course at UCLan. Recently, he created a 5.1 Sound Design audio installation called “Amaurotic Soundscapes” and presented the piece at the Media Factory Main Theatre 2 of UCLan on April 28. The installation/performance was met with positive feedback from the participants and tutors who attended the show that night and has hopefully gained him a respectable evaluation for his final year independent project at UCLan. By taking away the participants senses, such as “balance and sight”, the main focus of the piece was to arouse the hearing sensory system separately.

“Amaurotic Soundscapes” in fact explores how a listeners’ mind constructs imagery based on the sounds that are heard, by stimulating the individuals mind in order to produce imagery according to the listeners perception of the piece. The piece portrays themes of “exploration, progression through sound and fear” said Manolis, “trying to lure the listener and guide the consciousness into a perpetually drifting and growing path of sound elements”.

Despite the complexities of sounds produced within “Amaurotic Soundscapes”, it is only constructed by three household objects and a Timpani drum, the items used were two metal drinking glasses, a wooden cabinet and a sewing machine, which were mainly chosen because of the materials in which they were made of and characteristic sound properties they obtained.. All recorded sounds were edited and manipulated by Manolis and mixed in 5..1 surround.

During the progression of the installation, the listeners were invited to lie on one of eight beds, which were formed as a circle in the centre of the room. The beds were accompanied by a pillow and resting on each pillow was a blindfold that had to be worn during the duration of the piece. Manolis was also performing with the piece as he stood in the centre of the circle with all the items he had used for the initial recordings of the sounds at his disposal, improvising and producing live sounds to accompany the 5.1 audio.

I was fortunate enough to be present at this event and participated as one of the listeners, my experience of the piece was truly terrifying as the atmosphere created by Manolis did indeed lure me to a world of frightening imagery, I was particularly effected by one sound that sounded to me like a slow pulsating heart-beat on the verge of death, this was a truly fantastic surround experience.

A New Track from Luke Jackson – Miss Rachel Zhong

1 Apr

© Luke Jackson

Luke Jackson is about to release his first album, which is progressing rapidly in recent days. The name of it may be The Time Is Now. This is a new track from this album called Miss Rachel Zhong, which he has been working on for the past 3 weeks with FL studio.You can clearly hear the flute and Japanese string instruments that make this song more sounds like a Japanese style.

Getting the inspirations from the moments happened couple of days ago, when Luke strongly felt the necessarity of chilling out the flippancy nowdays, so he decided to make a new song only instrumentals to help relax.

Luke’s new album will be on sale soon at Willy Banjos and Action Records in Preston. Would be ace if you could go and give a try on the copies of his songs.

Miss Rachel Zhong

Ste Whiley+Jamie Brewer+Laura Bailey – Open Mic Night

23 Mar

Venue: Mad Ferret    Date: 23 Mar 2011

Steven Whiley

In my humble opinion, a good musician not only knows how to effectively arouse the audience’s feelings by excellent pieces of music,  but recognises the art of performing and the use of diverse instruments. This was done very well tonight by Steven Whiley of the Preston band Jackdaws with his guitar and definitely, his “Thee”- a little music box.

Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division Cover) on music box was the first one to shine on the stage. If you’ve ever heard an antique music box play, you will imagine how delightful the clear, delicate tinkling sounds can be from Steven’s Thee. Love Will Tear Us Apart has been covered by many artists, but this one done by Steven is indeed fresh and inspiring which finally led a creative combination of classic and novelty. Obviously, the strong reactions from the crowds show they want more music box. Not upstaged by Thee, Steven’s continued to give a performance to try and get the acknowledgement and recognition he deserves.

Love Will Tear Us Apart + Sea Enemies

Following up were emotional Sea Enemies and Dearly Departed, thanks to meaningful lyrics and attractive melodies, these two songs all together sound like telling the crowds two thought-provoking stories. Steven has always been trying to take new elements into his music for the audiences, and he had never played Sea Enemies and Dearly Departed to anyone before, but Steven simply let the singing do the talking. So, shouts of “one more” from the crowds made Steven played the crowds’ favorite – Undertakers Daughter to finish his performance today.

Dearly Departed + Undertaker’s Daughter

For an open mic, Steven definitely played and sang to his best. Full music box version of Love Will Tear Us Apart by Steven is available here. Nevertheless, Unsigned Acts / Preston strongly recommend to go and watch Steven and his band Jackdaws live, which should be pleasure to do so, they are actively looking for full gigs at the moment, anyone feel interested, please feel free to contact us.

Jamie Brewer

Probably, some of you are enough with the roar of the daytime and want some music, well, in such an industry occupied with mainstream generic music with lyrics that couldn’t represent any implication or emotion, perhaps now you hope to go back to the basic and have a break, with a peace mind, and listen to some simple but really original, organic and refreshing things tonight, nevertheless, that is exactly what we got with Jamie Brewer at the Ferret.

First on was Songbird, a song written for Jamie’s friend – Our fascinating singer songwriter Katie Ryan. From the moment Jamie started to play, you cannot resist indulging yourself in the totally quiet and intimate atmosphere set out there. It’s a pure aspiration to play and enjoy this pleasant song, I would imagine myself sitting in my backyard on a relaxed and peaceful afternoon accompany with this Songbird. Next was also an interesting and engaging acoustic one called The First of Many, with fast rhythm and upbeat feeling, made it a perfect song to chill out the flippancy, and instead was all love and peace.


It’s the first time for Unsigned Acts / Preston to watch Jamie played solo without his band Defy The Sky. Well, we had seen quite a few amazing musicians played with a guitar that night, but no one played in the same way as Jamie, reminded me of the scenes when the musical prodigy played guitar in my favorite movie named August Rush.

Laura Bailey

Advent of Miss Laura Bailey with On your side and Zip it Up brought us some nice inoffensive music to listen to, that absolutely added luster to the show tonight and made the excited crowds even more enjoyed themselves.

Zip It Up

Three Unsigned Acts / Preston musicians played at the same night, same venue, well, hope could have more shows like this. For tonight, overall I would rate it 9/10.

A New Demo from Manix – Not This

5 Mar

© Manolis Manoli

This is a new demo from Manix called Not This, which was recorded recently in Preston under the tunnel.

Experimenting with natural acoustics under a local bridge at Preston park.

Check this demo out and tell us what you think about it.

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RTR Unsigned Heat 1

4 Mar

Running as North West’s the biggest band battles, you may wonder how exactly prominent the competition held by RTR Unsigned is, but when you keep an eye on it, you will easily find massive fan votes and siginificant attention they’ve got for the past few months till now. Nevertheless, there’s only one winner tonight, with all 3 judges and the fans all voting for ‘March‘ as the winners of the 1st heat which see’s them rolling on heat 2.

RTR Unsigned Heat 1 just clearly shows how big, phenomenonal and amazing it is per se, which probably can be seen as one of the best nights in the local music scenes. This should definitely give attribute to the 4 top bands tonight, Defy The Sky, March, The Blackhand, Ides of March. Every band that walked onto the stage, kicked ass and ultimately won over the crowd.

The outset of the night we have Jamie Brewer and his band Defy The Sky. Not only the fascinating music they make, but thanks to their natural ability and arts of getting the audience going and everything, especially their charismatic vocalist, Rob Pocock, Unsigned Acts / Preston totally felt the spirit of the occasion caused by them. The audiences are jumping along with Rob. Obviously, appealing and yet influential Defy The Sky got loads of following that night, which consequently leaded the show to a new level. Meanwhile, Unsigned Acts / Preston musician Jamie Brewer and other band members definitely give their fully supports on the stage, make the band “like a 50 year relationship” .

Here’s the set list from Defy The Sky on RTR Unsigned Heat 1:

Retreat Escape Evacuate
Side With The Guilty
Shine For You
Need To Know
The Boy In The Mirror
Your Heart Will Be Defended

You can find their tracks at: http://www.myspace.com/defythesky

Next up was The Blackhand with a balsy furrow meltdown. Not too many fan bases on the scene that night, nevertheless, the crowd head-banged along to most of their songs, with each member showing their own current touch on tonight, plus their unique musical style and beat, and highly powerful grunge appeal, made them won the crowd’ loyal supports as well.

Followers are the amazing March, who absolutely blew away the crowds, with specialty and different touching choruses. The constantly explosive moments they brought us had clearly showed their undoubted talent to wow the audiences.

Finally, it’s incredible Ides of March that rock the night. They answered the challenges from previous bands with astonishing confidence. This, however, was embedded in individual styles from each band members. The riffs jumped around recklessly in their set make them another spotlight of the night.

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