This is our first article, which will be a regular monthly feature here on altblackpool, looking at promising upcoming bands and solo artists that we hope to see making a future impact on the local music scene. With everything crossed, hopefully one or two can make the breakthrough and go on to bigger and better things, keeping Blackpool and the Fylde coast on the map for producing great talent. If altblackpool can help in some small way to highlight the abundant talent we have in our area and help raise their profile, then we believe we are doing our job right.
With a healthy amount of local bands and solo musicians writing their own material and getting out there and performing it live, it bodes very well indeed. Their creative skills and work ethic mean we have every chance of seeing some stars coming through, but obviously they will still need the support of the local media, recording studios, venues and, more importantly, the public, to help raise the awareness of their presence and what they are aiming to achieve. As someone who gets out there quite regularly to watch these artists perform and listens to the great work they produce, I’m very excited and also extremely proud that we are seeing a renaissance of quality musical talent emerging again.
We begin these regular monthly features with two very different artists over the next two weeks (two per month). In local young band JEKYLL we have, I believe, a very good chance of seeing and hearing these guys perform to much larger audiences, through both radio and live tours in the future. The feedback so far has been very encouraging.
RYAN CREGAN is another to keep a close eye on. Possessing a wonderful voice and no little amount of charisma, at age 17, Ryan is now writing his own material and working incredibly hard at honing his undoubted skills as a performer. After working tirelessly and gigging regularly, Ryan is now getting the plaudits he deserves. He will be featured in FULL next week on altblackpool as one of this month’s featured up and coming musicians.
So, without further a do, to begin this regular feature we have JEKYLL.
All aged just 17, Jekyll are a four-piece alternative rock band from Blackpool comprising Joel Foster (vocals, guitar and keyboard), Jonny Chatterton (backing vocals and guitar), Lewis Armistead (bass guitar) and Liam Singleton (drums).
Originally formed in 2011 as a trio, and heavily inspired by bands such as Muse, Radiohead, Editors,The Smiths and Kasabian, Jekyll spent two years playing gigs in a variety of venues with a diverse repertoire of covers besides writing original material and they have even won a local Battle Of The Bands competition.
In 2013, however, they decided to add another member to their line-up, Jonny Chatterton, in order to further develop their sound and extend their repertoire. Since this addition, Jekyll have accelerated and have headlined local festivals such as Eaglefest, recorded a five-track demo of original material and received airplay on stations including Radio Lancashire. They are currently in the process of writing more original songs and are looking to perform in venues further afield.
Recently featured in The Gazette and a full dedicated programme on live internet radio station Globegig Radio, things are really starting to happen for Jekyll. All the band are current students at the Blackpool Sixth Form College, which makes it more impressive that they can balance their college studies with the band time. A very successful 2013 has seen the band thrust into the public spotlight on a much more regular basis and securing plenty of local gigs in the process. The hard work and energy the band put into their live performances and the way they conduct themselves off stage hasn’t gone unnoticed. The maturity in both their songwriting and delivery is impressive and each show they perform is gaining them more fans, admirers and plaudits. Hence the attention they are currently receiving.
As with many young bands attempting to make the breakthrough, the members of Jekyll are supported superbly by their parents and family. Every live gig, rehearsal, recording session and radio appearance is backed by a solid team, encouraging and assisting with their development. But these guys are also very independent, know exactly what they want and work hard to achieve it. Now it is beginning to pay dividends.
Jekyll have a solid indie rock sound, obviously at times influenced by their musical heroes, but they also manage to maintain their own unique signature sound. Lead vocalist Joel Foster effortlessly manages to reach a wonderful falsetto in many songs. This shows the flexibility and diversity that the band are capable of musically. Each band member takes pride in the quality they deliver, making sure everyone is on their game. They can certainly mix it up too, by delivering a melodic tune and then rising to a loud crescendo, with no little skill and endeavour. They also know how to entertain, which of course is an integral and important ingredient to have as a band. Every live show gives the audience a real connection with the personality of the band, their influences and substantial skills with their respective instruments. Many hours of practice and dedication to their art has helped them deliver consistently good sets, even at such a tender age. But knowing Jekyll, they won’t rest on their laurels and will strive to improve continually as they grow as a band.
Such great original songs such as the brilliantly punky My Oh My, the gritty Cramp, and the ethereal Lost To Love show a maturity beyond their years and the thought and care that goes into their songwriting. Although still very much learning their craft, they are striving to be the best at what they do, by setting themselves goals – not a bad thing, as the competition out there is pretty fierce and the lads from Jekyll know that. This band are most certainly one that we should keep a close eye on and for that matter a close ear too, because its only a matter of time before they spread their wings and go on to bigger and better things. Here at altblackpool, we will of course be keeping a very close eye on their journey.
We set the band three questions to answer.
Q. Where do you see Jekyll in twelve months from now?
A. In twelve months’ time we would like to have played at various festivals around the country, supported more established recording artists and have recorded many more original songs and hopefully have recorded an album.
Q. What would be your ultimate dream gig to perform and why?
A. Our ultimate gig would be a sold out concert at the Empress Ballroom in our home town, where all of our mates could watch us! However, other great options would be to be headlining Leeds Festival or playing at The Royal Albert Hall.
Q. Which original Jekyll song is generally the band’s favourite?
A. Overall, our favourite is Cramp, although You Bled Me Dry and Lost to Love are great songs that we love to perform live.
Jekyll will be performing live at the following venues over the coming weeks on the run up to the Christmas period.
- Saturday 23rd November at Carleton Bowling Club
- Saturday 30th November at Rossall Tavern
- Saturday 7th December at The Layton Battle of the Bands
- Saturday 14th December at The Swift Hound
- Saturday 21st December at Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Rock City Jekyll images courtesy of Cheryl Morris Sidebottom Atkinson.
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