By Jon Milton
The last 18 months has left the UK's grassroots music scene battered and bruised, but thankfully unbowed.
A couple of days ago we wrote about Mai 68 Records plans to bring back the flexidisc and now four independent non-profit organisations (Blender, Blaggers Records, Transmission and Vandalism Begins At Home) have come together to produce a 4 band split vinyl 12 inch EP featuring four of the finest bands from a melting pot of talent over four counties, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire.
The EP will be accompanied by UK tour featuring the bands involved - JW Paris, Luna Rosa, Tragic and Seven Sentinels, with the project to be funded overall by a kickstarter campaign in which the vinyl EP can be pre-ordered, along with merch and gig tickets. There are various bundles and pledges available for pre-order, which you can check out at:
The bands were handpicked by a judging panel, consisting of Hana Staddon (BBC 6Music), Gareth Barber (Bedford Esquires), Danny Watson (Radio Promo) and Suzanne Fletcher (Musicians Against Homelessness).
JW Paris have been praised by Chris Hawkins as sounding like “where gritty meets swaggery”, and the band have earned radio play from Steve Lamacq, Radio X and Absolute Radio for their infectious indie rock ‘n’ roll.
A run of superb singles and a debut EP has propelled Tragic into all the right conversations and onto ‘Ones to Watch’ lists. It has been said, “there is no stopping Tragic’s blistering, post-punk attack”. There are big things to come from this Northampton band. Think METZ meets IDLES and you’re somewhere close!
Forged from the beauty and ugliness which permeate every facet of the concrete mass, The Seven Sentinels rise out of the dirt with a rallying call for the downtrodden heroes who have fallen foul of pitfalls and temptations. Helmed by the inimitable Bombshell – a battle-scarred MC, The Seven Sentinels are a grime-tinged force to be reckoned with.
Raw & frenzied tones with a post-punk DNA create the enigmatic backdrop for an unrivalled intensity that is delivered from the soul. Gripping psychedelic guitars, pounding basslines and primal beats forge a wall of sound that is Luna Rosa.