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Band Profile: Akin

In their own words, Akin began life by choosing their band name as an inside joke and this quirky and very likeable bunch of lads don’t take themselves too seriously. But when it comes to their music and impressive live performances, you can’t help but sit up and listen. The young Blackpool based five-piece, who have been together now for around a year, prefer to incorporate a fun and happy go lucky element into what they love to do. You would be hard pushed to argue with that and so far that philosophy has enabled the band to progress and develop steadily but surely over the last twelve months.

I asked how the name came about.

“The name Akin is slightly unusual. It’s pronounced ‘A-kin’ for a start. It was originally suggested as an inside joke. Eventually it grew on us and it stuck. We couldn’t think of anything better at the time and we actually quite like it now.”

Having been musicians throughout their school years, the band regularly participated in high school events and assemblies, something they look back on and laugh about. Now aged 17, those school events happened to be the perfect platform and provided an excellent grounding, “We do laugh about it, but it was probably a good thing. We wouldn’t be nearly as tight if it wasn’t for that,” they said.

Akin consists of Josh Dixon on vocals, Jack Hirst on lead guitar, George Burrows on guitar, Matthew Brooke-Naylor on drums and Jebose Radcliffe on the bass. All are at college and balancing their studies with their music, the lads informed me they want to just gig and have a good time. Enjoying what they do and having fun doing it obviously reflects well in their sound and the band now have some very fine original material tucked under their belts.

I caught them live for the first time back in May at Donkey Fest and from that moment I became a big fan of the band and kept a close eye on their progress. They were hugely impressive that day with an extremely tight performance, full of energy, with a refreshing and different sound from other bands in the area. They told me, “Our first proper gig was at Yutofest in the summer of 2013,” and they’ve come a long way since then. After several visits to the recording studio and around five new songs later (with another on the way), the band is certainly kicking on and moving forward at a pace.

I asked the band about their sound and what genre they would describe it best?

“We struggle to define our genre. We don’t tend to think about it, but it’s probably somewhere between rock and indie. Our tag line is ‘a summer rock sound, with a cool cool breeze’, but Jebose describes the band’s sound less glamorously, as ‘friendly rock’.”

They continued, “We enjoy the fact that our vibrant and lively music contrasts with Josh’s melancholic lyrics. Our sound is inspired by contemporary artists such as The Strokes, Phoenix, M83 and Hudson Taylor. We are also influenced by classic rock artists such as The Beatles and The Who and Van Morrison.”

Having spent time checking out Akin’s recorded compositions through their Sound Cloud page, they strike me as a very focused and intelligent group of musicians, but they never lose the fun element in their songs and leave you with a feel good factor every time. This reflects their age and personality, giving off a positive vibe.

I asked them about how the songs come together.

“All of us take part in the writing process. A song starts with a musical idea that one of us came up with, then we jam it out together as a band and see where it ends up. Once a song sounds good to us instrumentally, Josh adds lyrics and melody over the top, then we often work together with Josh to add the harmonies.”

 

Akin provide an excellent visual presence once they hit the stage.

“Our live performances are entertaining to say the least, as Josh is a very charismatic front man. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we like to interact and have a laugh on stage.”

I would definitely go along with that statement and in Jebose Radcliffe they probably have the most photogenic young bass player in the area. Some excellent images have emerged with Jebose in full flow on stage and it certainly adds a great deal to the quality of their live performances.

I asked them where we can listen to their music and what have they have planned in the near future?

“We currently have five songs on Sound Cloud available to stream for free. We also have one more song on its way, which is different from our usual stuff. It’s more of a ballad. As for the near future of Akin, we just want to gig and have a good time, maybe release a couple of platinum albums!”

So where do you see yourselves in two years’ time? What would be your dream gig?

“We all have different ideas about our dream gig. We can all agree however that our dream tour would be a coast to coast tour of America on our own boat. In two years’ time, after we’ve released our debut album, tentatively titled Meet Akin, we’ll probably be busy shooting music videos outside arcades in Bispham!”

In my opinion, I can positively say that I think they can set their sights a little further than Bispham. Good times are ahead for this young Blackpool band.

Check out more from Akin and follow their progress and music through their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/musicakin.

 

 

Images by The Extra Third Photography.

  • Blackpool based self-confessed music fanatic involved in the local music scene around the Fylde and particularly passionate about promoting and assisting new upcoming bands and artists breaking through.

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