The Reader's Panel #2

After the success of last month's readers panel I decided what I great can of worms I had opened. April had been an incredibly busy month for The Music Manual, full of reviews and interviews so it was only out of curiosity that I wanted to know what my reader's thought. Again, nothing has changed, it has and always will be all about the music. Lauren x

Lauren Wade on The Strypes

As an avid reader of The Music Manual, I always look forward to reading Lauren’s features. This month she has picked a selection of fantastic musicians to feature, therefore my decision was tough but in the end I went with The Strypes.

I chose the Irish four piece because they channel a few of my favourite musicians from the 60s, whilst generating a modern sound of their own. I caught the band on Later Live with Jools Holland recently, and their latest offering ‘Blue Collar Jane’ is an epic foot tapping tune, ready to tear up and infect the charts with that much needed dose of old school rock’n’roll. The band has charmed a legion of fans (including the likes of Miles Kane and Paul Weller) and, 2013 is shaping up to be an unforgettable year for the young group. If you like your music with inescapable riffs and echoes of music history; The Strypes are your go to guys. 

Finally, I would like to thank The Music Manual for consistently supplying an insight into the UK’s hottest ones to watch.

Siobhan Corcoran on Thomas McConnell

My favourite artist featured this time is Thomas McConnell, with his song Miss Maggie T. The first time I heard the song, Thomas' lyrics instantly hypnotised me. He has a magic way of manipulating words and music to get a point of view across. The political song is definitely not typical of a twenty year old.. it's surprising, and catches you off guard. You have to applaud the fact he's been courageous enough to write what could potentially be a very controversial song. Everything from the quirky choice of rhymes, and echoes of Lennon and McCartney, honestly have me hooked.
I'm delighted to have found his music on The Music Manual, obviously there is an abundance of other admirable musicians and lyricists on here.. but Thomas McConnell just captivated me. It's an outrage that he's not well-known or acclaimed yet. I'm excited for him, to see what he becomes, and what he will bring to existence.. hopefully in the near future!

Stevie Banks on The Strypes

The Strypes are my favourite featured Music Manual band for April '13. 

I was a bit cautious when Lauren described them as "rock 'n' roll with potent bluesy tones" because I'm always disappointed by bands who successfully deliver rock n roll's trademark riffs and textbook licks whilst forgetting the most important ingredient - the song itself. 
Still, I trust The Manual's judgement and listened to Blue Collar Jane. Disappointed I was not. 

The Strypes really do have rock 'n' roll in them, but also decent melodies, harmonies and sharp haircuts thrown in for good measure. They're a rhythm and blues dream. I can imagine a band like The Creation playing their songs, in fact The Strypes wouldn't have looked out of place next to them in '66. With their Small Faces attire and youthful glow, they may well have been teleported from the distant past to remind our ears that music can be raw and fun. It's easy to listen to them because the music is so familiar. I love the harmonica riffs that sound somewhere between The Yardbirds and Quireboys and that flow with an effortless swagger. 

Blue Collar Jane, my favourite song of theirs conjures great yet simple imagery with its lyrics whilst the song drives on. The vocal harmony is infectious and reminds me of the verse from Kula Shaker's "Hey Dude", whilst the guitars are rough and ready but not dissimilar to some of the great big hair rock bands of the early 90's. Yes, there was such a thing. Each drum fill makes me want get up and groove and it's hard not to get excited by the song's energy. But my favourite thing about is how Blue Collar Jane is spelled out on the choruses, it's just so darn cool. Great EP, I can't wait for the album. I just hope they don't forget how to do what they're doing and that they keep producing great songs like this. Come on lads!

Melissa-Kate Newitt on  Midnight Wire

My favourite artists that feature on this months Music Manual blog have got to be Midnight Wire. I was introduced to them by Lauren as many were by her blog. They are a very summery sounding band so very relevant for the upcoming months but they are definitely a band which you could listen to non stop. I was massively impressed as soon as I listened to their songs. Honey and Not Just Selfish are two tracks that you should give a listen. 

Honey is an especially good song as it has a great introduction that draws you in and the song itself is really enjoyable to listen to. Not Just Selfish is of similar description, amazing and catchy with a fantastic introduction/ melody. However, my personal favourite out of all their songs has to be Excuses. Again, it has amazing melodies but also has that wow factor to a song which makes it great. I haven't stopped listening to it ever since I had heard it. So I recommend you listen to them. They have really impressed me. 

Overall, Midnight Wire are a band I absolutely NEED to see live. I look forward to what
 more they have to come.

Emily Chalk on The Strypes

Its Hard to choose a best-loved feature in the recent months first- class instalment of the 'Music Manual,
However The blossoming young band 'The Strypes' have really stuck out for me.I had only really heard one song from their latest Single 'Blue Collar Jane ' but as soon as I'd heard it alarm bells rung and I knew for certain this was the start of something big. The following day after the first listen, I purchased the newly released single on Itunes. (Needless to say it was money well spent)

Everything about the smartly dressed band ooze cool and confidence and their dynamic rock 'n' roll sound go hand in hand to make one deliciously talented package. Exactly what the music industry is looking for, exactly what I'm looking for.

I'm extremely glad 'The Strypes' have been promoted through the 'The Music Manual' and was very interested to hear their say on their new claim to fame! Can't wait for the highly anticipated new album, I'm Sure they won't let us down.

Hannah Walsh on Ottilia

Not usually a massive fan of the female singing voice, Ottilia came as a pleasant surprise to me. 

I first listened to her track 'Heartless'. It's eerie intro, with tin drum beats and light enchanting percussion, it is immediately set apart from the mediocre music in the charts at the moment. Then enter Ottilia's haunting vocals, creating a unique sound unlike anything else. 

I then gave a listen to her track 'I Don't Let Myself Fall In Love.'  When listening this it becomes evident that Ottilia is not just a brilliant vocalist but a fantastic musician, as this song showcases her excellent guitar playing. This brilliant combination of Ottilia's soft voice teamed with the guitar melody creates a beautifully simple song.  I'm excited to hearing more from her in the future.

I would like to thank The Musical Manual for once again for the opportunity to be on the Readers Panel and I look forward to seeing next months artists. 

I'd like to thank all my fantastic reader's for their opinions on the music featured this month! If you're interested in becoming a part of the reader's panel then please get in touch!

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