Tag Archives: Distant Blue

DREAM STATE – The Hairy Dog, Derby, 23/02/2018

SUPPORT: Chapter and Verse, Distant Blue

Dream State gig photo 1

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
PHOTOS by ADAM SPECK

Welsh alternative rock/post-hardcore quintet Dream State are currently a band very much on the up, having had a fantastic 2017, what with playing the Reading festival, becoming label mates with the likes of Architects and Northlane, and their single ‘White Lies’ getting over a million Spotify plays and 3.5 million YouTube views.

As part of the band’s recent UK headline tour, they stopped by at what I consider to be Derby’s premier rock and metal venue, The Hairy Dog, joined by Londoners Chapter and Verse and local lads Distant Blue, who were first up on stage.

The two major differences I noticed from when I had been at the venue in January to catch Canvas, Skywalker and Revealer, was that it seemed much busier, and that there must have been improvements made to the sound system, as you could literally feel the vibrations emanating from the instruments.

Distant Blue gig photo

Distant Blue played a decent set full of highly-energetic pop-punk, however, it was nothing spectacular, something the guys admitted when I spoke to them afterwards.

Unfortunately for them, there were a few teething problems, what with the tuning of the guitars, but on a positive note, they took it all in good humour, with frontman Ed Binding joking, “I really need to invest in a tuner!“, prompting some laughs from the crowd.

However, everything seemed to come together well for the quartet’s finale, their latest single, ‘Amber Leaf’, where they put on a flawless performance, and I noticed that some of the crowd were singing along to the lyrics.

Chapter And Verse gig photo

Chapter and Verse, the next outfit to play, made an atmospheric start, with the band’s vocalist Josh Carter standing still, singing softly.

After a few minutes of this, Josh then shouted to the crowd, “How you’re doing? We’re Chapter and Verse!“, ad at that moment, the stage, which up to that point, had been mostly shrouded in darkness, exploded into a burst of frantic light flashes.

At the same time, the sound became much more energetic, with the vocals becoming harsher.

It was a passionate set, with each of the four members, even drummer Ash Morton, being animated throughout, and listening to it, it was easy to understand why Metallica legend Lars Ulrich has given the lads his seal of approval.

Josh sure knows how to work a crowd, constantly rallying them, and asking everyone if they were enjoying themselves, which resulted in an almighty cheer erupting across the room.

However, when he asked them if they had enjoyed Distant Blue’s performance, there was a rather more muted response, which I personally thought was slightly hard on the young four-piece.

Before launching into another track, Josh shouted, “If you know the words to this, sing along. If you don’t, just make it up!

The band also previewed a few of the songs that will be featuring on their second EP, ‘Glow’, which the audience seemed to give their full approval, which bodes well for when the full EP is unveiled later this year.

Dream State gig photo 2

Even a band of Dream State’s current calibre would have struggled to top Chapter and Verse, but then, they haven’t been tipped to be one of Kerrang! magazine’s hottest bands of 2018 for nothing.

Frontwoman CJ Gilpin gave a performance that matched their sound, light and cheerful one minute, heavy and aggressive the next, which literally had everyone jumping and swaying about.

CJ was also frank about her battles with anxiety and depression, both through song and the banter she engaged in with the crowd in between.

It was during one of these instances that the most heartfelt moment of the evening occured, when she dedicated one of the tracks on the setlist to her beloved pet dog, who was being put down the following day.

Dream State gig photo 3

It is very rare that a band, no matter how big or small they are, has got the audience in the palms of their hands as effectively, and as quickly, as these guys.

It was little wonder then that when it was time for Dream State to depart the stage, pretty much the whole room was demanding an encore. After a couple of minutes, CJ emerged with her bandmates, laughed at the crowd, and joked, “You bastards!

They went on to play a few more songs, which everyone eagerly lapped up.

Dream State gig photo 4

Judging what I saw here, it will surely only be a small matter of time before Dream State, Chapter and Verse, and hopefully, Distant Blue, will be gracing bigger venues.

Dream State are playing at this summer’s Download festival, and if you’re going to that, then, if you can, please do make an effort to see them, you certainly won’t regret it.

 

 

 

 

 

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DISTANT BLUE

Distant Blue band photo

DISTANT BLUE (from l-r): Joe Cliff (bass), Peter Wronko (drums), Ed Binding (vocals/lead guitar), Kieran Hodnett (rhythm guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Taking influence from the likes of Green Day and Blink-182, Distant Blue take you back to a period when pop-punk reigned supreme, with a fun blend of explosive power chords and deep lyrics drawing from the band’s past experiences.

2017 saw the East Midlands four-piece make quite an impact on their local music scene, with unmissable, highly energetic live performances, including an appearance at Nottingham’s Macmillan Fest, and a well-received single, ‘Amber Leaf’.

I spoke to the guys prior to their recent set supporting Dream State in Derby, and this is what they had to say:

How did the band form?

ED BINDING (vocals/lead guitar): It started off just being me and Peter. We had been in bands together before, and we decided to embark on a new project. We started looking around for people to join us, and one day, we asked Joe, who I’ve known for my entire life, and Kieran, who used to go to our old school, if they wanted to jam with us.

PETER WRONKO (drums): Joe and Kieran were kind of in the band before they became official members.

ED: Yeah, when me and Peter were in bands with other people…

KIERAN HODNETT (rhythm guitar): I used to follow them around. I was their number one supporter.

(All laugh)

ED: And now, you’re in a band with us.

KIERAN (laughing): Yeah.

ED: Congratulations, bud.

From where did the name Distant Blue originate?

PETER: Honestly, a friend of ours, who is actually coming to see us tonight, came up with the name.

ED: Distant Blue is actually the title of an Architects song, but we didn’t know that at the time.

PETER: She suggested that we call ourselves by that name, and we thought, “That sounds good“, but when we realised that it was actually a song by Architects, we all went, “Oh, shit!

ED: However, by that time, we had already brought out T-shirts and everything with Distant Blue on them, so it was easier to keep the name, but we’re doing alright with it so far.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

ED: It’s quite loose, like sometimes, I’ll write a song and bring it to the lads, or we’ll just go into practice and jam something.

What inspires the band lyrically?

ED: Past experiences, mainly.

PETER: Growing up, girls…

ED: Girls, yeah. (laughs) A little bit of politics in there, as well, but we don’t tend to dwell on that too much. It’s not really worth our time. Just general life, really.

KIERAN: Yeah, what we go through.

Last November, you brought out a single, ‘Amber Leaf’, which followed your debut EP, ‘HolyWater’. How was the reaction to those releases?

ED: Generally, really good.

PETER: I don’t think ‘HolyWater’ was very good, to be honest. I felt it wasn’t recorded to our best quality.

ED: We do plan to re-record it, though, but I think ‘Amber Leaf’ got a good reaction.

PETER: To be honest, ‘HolyWater’ was a bit raw, but when ‘Amber Leaf’ came out, everyone was like, “Woah! It’s a catchy song, that!”

(All laugh)

So when were you thinking of re-recording ‘HolyWater’?

ED: Maybe in a couple of years.

PETER: At the moment, we’re focusing on newer stuff.

KIERAN: Maybe when ‘HolyWater’ reaches an anniversary or something.

ED: Yeah, we’ll re-release it then to a much higher quality. Maybe, we could even re-write some of the songs from it, but that’s just all ideas at the moment. Nothing is set in stone.

The band are supporting Dream State here tonight. How is the experience, for you all, of playing live?

KIERAN: Love it.

ED: The best thing there is.

PETER: It’s better than sex!

(All laugh)

KIERAN: That’s going down in history!

PETER: It’s all the adrenaline you get when you’re up on stage, playing the music you’ve written as a band, making the crowd happy.

ED: Yeah, any feedback from the audience, for us, is crucial, even if it’s negative.

KIERAN: And if it is negative, at least it’s constructive criticism.

What are your plans for the near future?

PETER: We’ve got some big plans, and hopefully, they will happen. We just have to keep pushing ourselves.

ED: Hopefully, we won’t let anything slip too soon, but we hope to break out of the East Midlands, and get to further parts of the UK.

KIERAN: Expand our audience.

ED: Just get out of Nottingham and Derby, really. We’re sat on a few tracks at the minute, so we can pick and choose when to bring them out. The future is bright.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

ED: To just enjoy ourselves and have fun. If we get anywhere, that would be great, if not, we keep on trying, you know what I mean?

PETER: We won’t let anything stop us.

KIERAN: Hopefully, if we can become that band who can be uplifting to anybody who finds themselves in a bad mood, more people will listen to us, and that would be one of our end goals.

ED: Yeah. Adding onto that, knowing that others out there can get joy out of listening to your music, connecting to them on that level, that would be some achievement.

Distant Blue Single Cover

‘AMBER LEAF’, THE LATEST SINGLE FROM DISTANT BLUE, IS AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, SOUNDCLOUD & BANDCAMP.

FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/OfficialDistantBlue

TWITTER: twitter.com/DistntBlue

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/distantblueuk

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com