It is entirely possible that although this is their first review in the magazine, you may already be aware of Fourth in Line. They have been playing live around the area for some time now (including at the Godiva Festival & Jagfest) and you may in fact have seen them under their original name of Lingua Franca. Lead vocalist & rhythm guitarist Louie Forde is a very popular & respected solo artist & has been so for a number of years, with many live gigs under his belt & a long stay in the HillzFM local chart: in fact the band now currently sit at number one in it with "On The Run" from this, their debut & eponymous EP.
As well as Louie, this bluesy rock band comprise Rob Sampson on lead guitar, Jack Maltby on bass guitar & drummer/percussionist Lloyd Williams. So now you know the facts.
The EP kicks off in compelling style with the throbbing "You and I". What first impressed me in fact was the production wherein Louie's fine vocals are crystal clear over the powerful backing: as is the excellent guitar solo which cuts in with stiletto brevity. In fact this aspect is another big plus of the whole set, no aspect outstays its welcome, being edited tightly for impact: no flab here.
If the first track was notable for its staccato nature, track two, the chart topping "On The Run" is a groove orientated one: again with excellent vocal mixing but this time the dominant instrument is the bass, loping around with a dub state of mind, collaborating well with incisive drumming.
Third up is "Off The Tracks" which is yet another approach: this time its dance I immediately think of. If every one of the songs sounds a sure fire live favourite, then this is the one which I think will get the floor heaving. Funkily sure footed the instruments all work together to create a mesh of riff-centred backing before once again breaking the song up with short, tasteful solo contributions.
All too soon the EP comes to an end (it's a pretty good tactic I think to leave us all panting for more) with "Disillusioned": perhaps the most "rock" styled of the quartet & yes they can really play rock. Although I am delighted that "On The Run" is top of the charts, it is this last track which positively screams "single" to me.
Setting their stall out with such a fine debut is much to the band's credit: can't wait to catch them live.
A SonicPR promotion ...
"He is one of a kind, and whether he likes it or not, he's an absolute legend, and I can't think of anyone on planet Earth who has a better story to tell." - Gary Numan
"I toured a lot with The Mission and Wayne was much too bright and nice a guy to be in the rock business. He always had a sense of humour." - Iggy Pop
"After years and years of living with repression and religious guilt, I had finally shaken off those shackles to become the clichéd licentious, degenerate, promiscuous rock star – everything that my mother had feared I'd become." - Wayne Hussey
WAYNE HUSSEY is pleased to announce his ‘Salad Daze Tour 2019'.
Perhaps best known as the frontman of totemic goth rock outfit The Mission, Wayne will be embarking on an extensive UK tour in support of his autobiography: 'Salad Daze', released earlier this year.
The 16 date run will see Wayne spinning yarns of a legendary life in rock'n'roll, plus performing many of the unforgettable tunes that have soundtracked his illustrious career in music. Kicking-off at the Queens Hall in Nuneaton on 26th August and winding up at the Komedia in Bath on 6th November, the full list of dates and details are included below.
Born in Bristol and raised as a Mormon, Wayne had his epiphany as a young boy watching Marc Bolan and T. Rex on Top Of The Pops. Seeing his destiny in a blinding flash of glitter, mascara and dark curls, he decided he was going to be a rock star too. Later, leaving Bristol to move to Liverpool – home of his beloved Liverpool Football Club and birthplace his favourite band, The Beatles – it wasn't long before Wayne surrendered to excess and debauchery as he gained international recognition and notoriety as lead singer and principal songwriter in The Mission, after previously being guitarist with The Sisters Of Mercy, Dead Or Alive, and a member of Pauline Murray's Invisible Girls.
The Salad Daze Tour will see Wayne opening up about his childhood up to his life in The Mission and everything in between. Explaining why 2019 was finally the time to tell his story, Wayne says:
"I'd recorded seven albums in eight years, and by the time we'd finished the last Mission album in 2016 I felt creatively exhausted and needed to do something else for a while. I'd been approached about writing an autobiography but always felt I'd rather make music than write a book. With my 60th birthday fast approaching it just felt like the right time to sit down and recall my life. It's a strange thing, writing about yourself. There's a certain conceit involved, that your life warrants recording and might be of interest to someone else, and it took me a while to come to terms with that premise. But once I did I thoroughly enjoyed the process."
WAYNE HUSSEY – SALAD DAZE TOUR
Support at all shows comes from special guest: EVI VINE.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW:
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Bristol born & bred, and passionate Liverpool FC supporter, Wayne Hussey, lauded by some as maverick legend and others as charlatan, has been making music since the day he was first inspired to pick up a guitar after watching Marc Bolan & T.Rex on Top of the Pops.
A long and excessive and sometimes downright scandalous road has led Wayne to where he is today. One thing is certain about Wayne, he's certainly a divisive character.
Playing with various "punk" bands in Liverpool at the tail end of the 70′s, and after enjoying the dubious pleasures of touring for the very first time with Pauline Murray & the Invisible Girls, he met the flamboyant Pete Burns and joined the then fledgling ‘Dead or Alive'.
Two years spent in the service of the Scouse ‘Boy George' schooled Wayne in such subjects as hairstyle, fashion, & gender bending. It was the early 80′s after all, a period of time where style really was more prevalent than substance. After many failed hairstyles and with a suitcase full of stolen dresses and a couple of ‘hit' singles, Wayne decided to leave Liverpool and Dead or Alive.
He headed across the Pennines to Leeds to answer the call from Andrew Eldritch & The Sisters of Mercy. The Sisters needed a guitarist who could wear sunglasses in the dark and would spray paint provocative slogans on his guitar – Wayne was more than able and willing.
After another two years spent touring the world and developing some very bad habits, and contributing his song writing talents along with his very distinctive guitar sound to the seminal TSOM ‘First & Last & Always" album, Hussey, in a fit of inspired pique, left the Sisters with bassist Craig Adams to form The Mission.
The Mission went on to considerable global success in the late 80′s and early 90′s, enjoying album sales in excess of four million worldwide with notable works such as ‘God's Own Medicine' and ‘Carved In Sand' amongst others and enjoying an unbroken run of 14 UK Top 40 singles! They forged a reputation that still stands today as one of the best ‘live' bands in the world, thanks in no small part to the charisma & energy that Hussey exudes & exerts on stage.
The Mission took a break of 5 years in the mid 90's in which time Wayne relocated from the UK to Southern California and spent his time remixing, producing, and making music for film. The band reconvened in 1999 and to this day they tour the globe, and released highly acclaimed albums in late 2001 entitled ‘AurA', and ‘God Is A Bullet' in May 2007.
Original members Simon Hinkler, Craig Adams, and Wayne Hussey re-united in late 2011 to celebrate their 25 year anniversary with a sell out tour, and released a new album containing 12 Hussey newly penned songs, the very brilliant ‘The Brightest Light' in September, 2013, followed by their first UK Top 40 album in more than 20 years with 2016's fan-favourite & critically acclaimed ‘Another Fall From Grace'.
In 2002, alongside his activities with The Mission, Wayne, armed with just an acoustic guitar and piano and a bulging song-book, started playing solo shows. Wayne's solo show has since evolved and now incorporates the use of electric guitars both 6 & 12 string, baritone guitar, ukulele, and some backing tracks. Each show is totally unique and spontaneous. And with a songbook of over 200 songs there is no set list as such; what Wayne plays is largely dictated by the involvement of the audience and will usually consist of new, intimate readings of ‘classic' and lesser known Mission songs, a smorgasbord of entertaining cover versions, and brand-new never-before heard songs. Wayne's creed; ‘give ‘em a little of what they want, a little of what I want, and a little of what I think they need!
Since 2002 Wayne has played many successful shows throughout the UK, Europe, Latin America, USA, & South Africa.
In 2008 Eyes Wide Shut Recordings released his first solo album entitled ‘Bare'. A second solo album entitled ‘Songs Of Candlelight and Razorblades' was released in September 2014 and reached the top 40 In the UK independent Charts, with the subsequent live DVD debuting at number 2 in the UK national chart. Wayne played a mammoth 50 plus date World tour to coincide. Which he will do again later this year, 2019, in support of the publication of his rave reviewed autobiography ‘Salad Daze', published by Omnibus Press in late May.
Wayne is vegetarian and resides in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Loved my visit to Cropredy again this year, fab to see Wildwood Kin on the big stage going down a storm while other highlights on and my visit included a fine dose of prog rock by Caravan and wonderful sets by Richard Thompson and a full of action Seth Lakeman.
Also loved the diverse set by Wilson & Wakeman which stretched from David Bowie to Les Miserables also caught acoustic sets at the BBC Radio Oxford tent including a couple of numbers performed by Frank Turner.
Well here I am again, this time reviewing not one but two artists on whom I fear I may have already used up my supply of appropriate superlatives in previous reviews.
But of course not. They are so good that the last thing either would do is simply produce facsimiles of past concerts.
The Mechanicals don't have support acts as a rule, yet such is the level of mutual admiration that yesterday afternoon at the Magic Lantern, this rule was set aside for their guest Ellie Gowers. After all they have much in common: consummate musicianship, impeccable taste, a drive to create their own music on entirely their own terms plus one other similarity which I'll reveal in a moment.
The latter as is her wont, held the rammed venue spellbound: from her traditional a cappella "Robin" set opener, you could hear a pin drop. Even when she started playing her guitar, the intensity of her performance was only matched by that of the audience's attention to it.
As I've said before, Ellie completely inhabits her own songs, dancing & moving to them with a restless energy matched in the pieces themselves: passionate lyrical images set in idiosyncratic melodic structures: although Ellie is probably thought of as a "folk" singer, her writing completely avoids the traditional formal structures of that genre with neither words nor music repeating in the predictable ways of the canon. We are always kept guessing at what is coming next.
The only negative aspect of Ellie's set in fact was that immediately after delivering what sounded to us all as a haunting pitch perfect rendition of "For A While", she was forced to curtail her set as her voice had gone. What it must have cost her to deliver that last song in that way is impossible to guess, but I thank her as the song is one of my favourites: I defy anyone not to have a moistness in the eye so moving are the words & melody.
I suppose too that it was fortunate that one of the songs she had in the earlier part of the setlist was a brand new one "The Sky Is On Fire" which could well be her finest so far. I suggested it was "zeitgeisty" to her afterwards & she seemed happy with that so I'll leave it in. You really do have to hear it to appreciate it so I recommend that you attend one of her live shows since Ellie also said that she won't be recording it until she has, in her own mind, perfected it (and since she has plans for future musical collaboration, I imagine that will be a factor in its final arrangement). And don't just take my word for it: I think we can safely say that if a musician who was present and has had a number one single calls it "awesome" then it is indeed a really great song. (Incidentally I am just adding this sentence as while I was finishing my review I caught sight of a comment by Adam Barry of Merrymaker about Ellie saying "Simply put, I don't have the vocabulary to put how good this girl is into words. From the opening line to the final chord, she's hands down one of the best artists I've ever ever had the pleasure to listen to and to hang out with.....you're an inspiration, and you've NO idea how good you are. Incredible". How could I not include that?)
Catch up with all things Ellie Gowers at her online bases:
You can catch her live back at Temperance on September 7th with Greengrass as her special guests.
And thus the Mechanicals began their set a little earlier than scheduled, by about two songs' worth of time. They too had temporarily lost a vital element but more fortunately it didn't stop them playing. Viola player Katrin Gilbert was unable to be part of the band & as drummer Ben Haines said, the other four filled the space she left in the arrangements. This manifested itself in several ways including violinist Jools Street standing rather than sitting and in the intimate space of the Magic Lantern, there was more room for him and double bassist John Parker to move about as their music took them, adding a visual element not usually associated with the Mechanicals. Whether this too accounted for the slight shift in the set towards the more jazz orientated end of their repertoire is moot: it may have been a nod to the recent birthday of Philip Larkin (born 97 years and two days previously): they have been working on a suite of songs "The Righteous Jazz" for a hybrid music/drama celebration of his life. Several of the songs from that project were played, along with three of the Shakespearean settings from their first album ‘Exit, Pursued By Bear' and several from their latest EP, ‘Miscellany #1', moving seamlessly from jazz to folk to classical & various composite styles entirely of their own, enriched by the textures only musicians of such calibre can bring, yet not allowing their own virtuosity to detract or distract from their prime objective, to give poems they (especially singer/guitarist Wes Finch) admire, settings which complement & enhance the original words.
I have noted in previous reviews how although starting with writers well known to me, such as Shakespeare, Masefield, Larkin, Yeats etc, their latest work has introduced me to poets previously I was unaware of (thank you), none more unknown to me than the most recent writer they have set, Australian artist/cartoonist/poet Michael Leunig whose poem "When The Heart" was in the set & it was a highlight of the evening to have Australian audience members who were familiar with him & his work: a first apparently for the band.
Where they had a similarity with Ellie I mentioned earlier, was in playing a superb & unrecorded (to date) new song "I've Got Your Back": the only original song of Wes they played & I think one of his best, even by his high standards. As with "The Sky Is On Fire", this is one I'd really liked to hear recorded & to thus have with me.
It was a wet day outside & the steam rose from the audience as Ellie observed. However the sheer joie de vivre of musicians so enjoying what they were doing, what each other was doing & the audience in turn appreciated this themselves made for an afternoon & early evening not to miss however damp we were to begin with. I'll give it five stars as that's what real reviewers do.
The Mechanicals will be performing "The Righteous Jazz" on November 2nd at Hull Truck by the way.
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