STEVEN Battelle is still buzzing from the excitement of another gig supporting The Darkness when he picks up the phone in his hotel room.The LostAlone frontman played in Holmfirth the night before (“it’s where they filmed Last of the Summer Wine and we have all been to the cafe where Norah Batty worked”).“We played in this beautiful old cinema; it was such a great show,” Steven says. “It’s a very different audience to those we have played in front of for the last two years but they all love rock and I think we will get a lot of new fans from it.“The Darkness are playing their debut album in full. So we are getting to see a record we love played live – 29 times.”LostAlone will head back to home turf to play Derby Assembly Rooms on December 20, headlining a night that will also feature Burton’s Max Raptor.“It’s a definite tradition for us,” says Steven. “We have done it every year since we have been a band and it just gets bigger and bigger. Last year we did the Assembly Rooms for the first time and it was an incredible show for us, one of the best we have done. So I booked this year’s literally the day after, saying ‘we have to do that show again’.“We have spent a lot of this year making the new album so the gig will be the start of the campaign.”LostAlone have given us a taste of what to expect with an early Christmas present – the free download The Bells! The Bells!Steven says: “It’s hard to put out a song that represents the whole record as it’s so diverse. We knew if we put this track out people might go ‘what is that?’ as it’s not straightforward but the reaction has been incredible.”Steven says the new album, a follow-up to the highly-rated 2012 release I’m A UFO in This City, is now ready for release in April.“We recorded it in a 300-year-old hops kiln in Dorset. We wanted an old school Led Zeppelin-Queen vibe so went out into the countryside and then I did a lot of overdubbing in London. For one track we got the official 2012 Olympic choir, who did the opening ceremony, and they were unbelievable.“The album was finished in September but there are only about four times in a year you can release a record. Nobody releases one now unless they are aiming for the Christmas market. But we are already being booked for festivals next summer as they know we will have a new album out.“There will be a new single in January or February and then we know what we are doing all the way into 2015.”LostAlone have gone down the Pledge Music route to finance the album (with fans investing in the music directly) after their experiences with a major international label on the last release.“I was massively reluctant at first,” says Steven. “I thought ‘why would we do that when we are on a label’. But it made sense after the Warner Brothers experience, which was incredble to start with and then just because someone changes their job everything you have worked for disappears.“So eventually the idea of controlling 100 per cent of the money that goes into the record lit up as being the best way – the only way it won’t work is if we mess it up. We have made a record that in our opinion sounds better than the one we made with Warner Brothers. With them we had $250,000 and for this one £20,000. The producers we worked with at Warner were amazing but we have grown as a band and Dan Weller, who produced this album, hunted us out and it was a real melding of similar personalities.“It’s the record I’m the most proud of and the benchmark for us and hopefully for UK rock. I definitely think it’s better than anything else out there at the moment.”We may get a taster of the album at the Christmas gig and Steven is looking forward to welcoming Burton’s Max Raptor.He says: “We are from the same area but didn’t know each other. They are having a good year and there’s a lot of attention on their mini album so it made sense to have another local profile band. We went to see them play and they are amazing. We are are really happy they are playing and it makes for an even better show.”Not that it stops then for LostAlone. After the Christmas show the band get two weeks off before embarking on another tour, with The Black Out.Steven says: “Then it’s promo stuff for the record, our own headline tour, Europe and the summer festivals. We are going to very busy.”LostAlone can be seen at Derby Assembly Rooms on Friday, December 20. Go to www.derbylive.co.uk
Published: Thu 05 Dec 2013
AHEAD of their move into South Derbyshire, organisers of a popular music festival have been boosted by a major award.Bearded Theory, which switches to the new location of Catton Hall in 2014, has been named Best Small Festival at the UK Festival Awards.Now organisers are gearing up for the 2014 event with a host of bands already signed up.Legendary Joy Division/New Order main man Peter Hook and his band The Light will be joined by Carter USM (a UK festival exclusive), The Stranglers, The Blockheads, Hayseed Dixie and The Orb Soundsystem.Award-winning folk-rock outfit Oysterband will be playing Bearded Theory as well US rock-fusion veterans Fishbone, who will be celebrating 35 years since their formation at school in LA in 1979. Also confirmed are reconvened UK favourites King Prawn.Their fusion of ska, punk, dub, reggae and rock into their self-proclaimed ‘Wildstyle’ sound made them one of the defining bands of the 1990. The Membranes, 3 Daft Monkeys, Leatherat and Anti-Vigilante are also on the bill. The four-day event sees music starting on Thursday, May 22, and continuing through the Bank Holiday weekend until late on Sunday, May 25. Tickets are now on general sale, with the price of a family ticket cheaper than it was in 2013. Festival director Steve Blount says: “Our last festival at Kedleston Hall was our best-received so far. And while we’re sad to have left that venue, the move to Catton Hall means we can come closer to realising our vision for Bearded Theory. “It’s a hugely exciting time for Bearded Theory and all the signs are that 2014 will be the best event yet – our ticket sales so far suggest that our festival-goers are just as excited about it as we are.”Bearded Theory weekend tickets are available from www.beardedtheory.com/shop, with adult tickets priced at £87 plus booking fee. No day tickets will be made available. Ticket can also be bought at Tourist Information Centres in Derby, Burton and Tamworth.
Published: Thu 28 Nov 2013
FOR a band with a relatively short history, Hacktivist have already come a long way.The five piece’s fusion of metal, grime, hardcore and hip-hop has created a sound that has already helped them cross genres and reach a growing audience.Now they are celebrating with the release of a mini-album to coincide with their first full UK headline tour (with special guests The Algorithm), which brings them to Rock City, in Nottingham, on December 5.The ‘EP’ release collects and remasters their debut mini CD (which quickly sold out) and adds bonus tracks.Bass player Josh Gurner says: “When it first came out it almost did too well. We were a new band so did a limited press which had sold out within 30 days. Which means we have had no CDs to sell for six months.“We were astounded at the response of people coming to see us live or hearing about us.”Hacktivist hail from Milton Keynes which Josh says is a ‘fairlrly boring place’.Although only formed in 2011 the band members all knew each other from the local music scene and almost inevitably came together.Hacktivist’s music is a mix of all their influences and is hard to pigeonole.Josh says: “People ask what genre we would put ourselves in but we say that you have to listen and form your own opinion. We always wanted to progress beyond just the metal scene and hit the heights of bands like The Prodigy.”Hacktivist’s growing following is latching onto the fact that they are a bit different.This summer’s Download was one of a string of festivals that grew that fanbase.Josh says: “It was the highlight of all of our careers. The Download set was amazing.“We got to hang out with Limp Bizkit and a few other guys.“There were so many faces we have grown up knowing and suddenly we were in these backstage areas with them - you are sharing toilets with your childhood heroes. It’s very surreal.“We made a good impression at the festivals and they covered a diverse range. Download is a world capital of metal and getting to play there we knew we would have a solid following.“But there were some small festivals where we were sitting next to ska bands or appearing after chilled out electronica and thinking ‘we are on in 10 minutes, are they going to want to get up and have a bounce?’ - but suprisingly they did.”The band is now planning to write as much of their debut abum as possible over Christmas before heading to a music festival in Australia in February then it’s back to the UK for more gigs.The new mini album and tour details are available by visiting the band’s website at www. hactivist.uk.com.
Published: Fri 22 Nov 2013
Published: Fri 22 Nov 2013
TWO Stretton brothers who have been touring with The Osmonds have described the group as ‘professional and really nice’.
Published: Thu 21 Nov 2013
PETER Andre has announced his first major UK tour in two years including two visits to the Midlands.
Published: Tue 19 Nov 2013
BAND Arcane Roots have announced their final 2013 UK headline tour, with seven dates set to take place in late November.
Published: Mon 18 Nov 2013
Global superstar Katy Perry has today announced her return to the UK in May 2014 as part of her Prismatic World Tour.
Published: Mon 18 Nov 2013
It's an exciting day for fans of 90s pop as Backstreet Boys have announced that only are all five of them returning to perform together for the first time in 10 years, but their support comes in the form