Garage Sessions (Hydroshima)

Although many students at Falmouth University may not know this, every now and then ‘Garage Sessions’ are set up to promote the talent and skills of certain courses at the university.
This time it is a collaboration of four different courses from Falmouth; Music, Photography, Radio and Drawing.

Tonight was a special session though, as the theme was based entirely on the blues-rock duo ‘Hydroshima’, who had to put on an exhibition for their course. For those who are not familiar with the band, they are Jacob McClennon and Tyla Haigh, an up-coming duo studying popular music; you can usually catch them playing around Falmouth.247745_10151909912353084_51250990_n
It was hard to imagine how many different artistic pieces there could be based around one band, but on entering it was obvious that the exhibitors were talented and imaginative enough to create an individual piece based on them. Each one relating to the band differently. All the work brought out different aspects of the band, whether it be: influences, style, instruments or the guys themselves.
Tonight isn’t just about visuals though, as the guests are treated to a specially made radio show, supplied by George Evans from Radio, which is played in the background throughout the night. The show consists of ‘Evans’ talking about the band’s history, among playing several of the duo’s tracks, songs which have influenced them and interviews with the boys. The show brought some humor with it, which really set the mood for tonight’s event.yes9
The first piece that I noticed, among the chilled atmosphere, were three charcoal drawings placed against a wall. They depicted the band’s rehearsal area, which also turns out to be their garage. The attention to detail was magnificent, especially because of the fact that they were done in charcoal, and, as I was later told by an enthusiastic Thea Hickling of whom the pieces belong to, they also included some spray paint. What really stood out was on one which showed McClennon’s guitar, at the bottom the ‘KILL’ sticker which he has on it was in red acrylic, and is the only part of colour on the drawings. That sticker has become a part of the band. So having it, crossed with the grey tone, shows the sombre feeling, with the occasional explosion, which the band give off.yes12
Right next to these is a piece which accentuates the bonding between these two Yorkshire lads, whether that be a sexual bond is for someone else to decide. A slightly tipsy Lucy Isaacs leaps over to explain how she created her work. Starting off with a photo which had been taken at this years ‘Masked Ball’. She drew the picture out in pencil, then put acetate over the top and drew over the lines in marker. Then for that extra jazzy look, she added green and red spray paint behind either side if the piece. That’s not all though, underneath are the bold lyrics “Grab the bull by the horns, I’m the feeling you can’t describe”. From ‘Close To The Bone’, giving viewers a slight insight into ‘Hydroshima’s’ song lyrics.exhibit 1
She then explains her feelings for tonight, “it’s exciting, you can feel the buzz. It’s something that you wouldn’t normally expect.” Before talking about what the exhibitors are getting out of tonight. “This should happen more often, the courses collaborating together. We’re helping one another out.”
Moving to the other side of the garage, I am greeted to a projection on the wall which is influenced by the band. George Baldwin is responsible for this silver glistening show, which is constantly changing between the name Hydroshima, McClennon’s face and Haigh’s face. The images are made up of small dots which dance around as they form the shapes, though it is hard to see with the sun shining. However once it gets dark, it looks quite mesmerising.
Although tonight is a much smaller turn out then the band had hoped for, in some ways it seems better because, as spectator Emma Collings puts it, “it’s better when there’s less people, you can hear the music and see the work better. It’s not as dark as it would be.”
Moving back to the work, on the same wall are pieces by Joel Hayden and James Gordon, both show the feeling of Hydroshima’s music through them. ‘Gordon’s’ dark, gritty images link to the industrial and raw sound which the band create and could definitely be used as an album cover or as part of a music video. His work also presents faint circles, something which the band have had in previous images.yes2
‘Hayden’s’ work was completely inspired by them as he worked with the band for a project in first year. Once again the feel of the explosive duo’s music style comes across in his images, with a mushroom cloud being present in each. One which suits the band so well, shows a mushroom cloud made out of tape emerging from a cassette.yes5
After some slight socialising and a few ciders, I wander over to the last pieces for this evening. The first I come to are from Laura McHugh, she has done three pieces for this evening. With the first one, ‘McHugh’ had the boys play for her, and then she drew them at different stages, first in pen and then in marker. The second piece is more elongated, sort of rectangle shaped, and “is a documentation of the movement, like a music video”. It seems to focus on a part of each member and then show them frame by frame. ‘McHugh’ explains her third piece, “the third one is from what I know about them, I made sure to get all their qualities and personality in there, such as Tyla’s cheeky grin.” She’s not wrong, if you know the band then you can see everything that goes into these guys is in this bit of work. Whether it be the ‘boozing, boozing, boozing’ sign, the ‘Big Dog Rivers’ t shirt, their names, the lyrics to four of their songs (Neutral, Uranium Fission, Mexican Death Song and Close To The Bone) or the fact that the drawings of McClennon and Haigh show them in their juju (The point when they’re truly being one with the music). The entire work screams Hydroshima.
exhibit 2
A small piece by Molly McBreen is next. It is a drawing in pen of the band, and, even though it is small, it still captures the essence of the lads. As it is from one of their most well known images.
Last, but not least, I get to the photography work of Annukka Havukumpu. Who has captured the duo, like Laura McHugh did, in different ways. Firstly there is a large image which was taken on a 35mm film camera at their first London gig, whilst they were bringing the thunder. The picture looks quite grainy, which goes well with the band’s raw image. ‘Havukumpu’ has also presented four polaroid photographs, one of McClennon, two of Haigh and one of a cat. The way that the polaroids look give a slight vintage tinge to the picture’s. How they are taken and what is in them shows the band for who they are. These guys aren’t trying to pose for the camera. It’s about the music, and if photographs get taken, then that’s a bonus. The white boarders of the polaroids also go with the large white sign in the bigger image.yes11
Tonight has been a real social event, not just to get people out to look at other’s work. Also to chill out with your mates and meet some new people, and that is what Charlie Jones, the man who puts on these Garage Sessions, wants it to be like. “It’s a good place where you can socialise and have a drink. There’s more enjoyment about it, as oppose to going to a gallery. You can socialise much better.” He then eagerly adds his hopes for the future of the Garage Sessions, “Friday is going out night, we want to get people into the loop of having Wednesday as the exhibition night.”
An enjoyable night which promoted talent from Music, Drawing, Radio and Photography.
Keep an eye out for more of these Garage Sessions, they happen every now and then and always showcase brilliant work.
For more information on Hydroshima and the exhibitors, click the links below:

Hydroshima
www.soundcloud.com/hydroshima
Facebook Page
George Evans – Radio
www.soundcloud.com/the-evans

Exhibitors:
Lucy Isaacs – Drawing
lucyisaacs.tumblr.com
Laura McHugh – Drawing
lauraelm.tumblr.com
Thea Hickling – Drawing
www.theahickling.com
Molly McBreen – Drawing
mollymcbreen.co.uk
George Baldwin – Drawing
giraffevisuals.co.uk
Annukka Havukumpu – Photography
annukkahavukumpuphotography.tumblr.com
James Gordon – Photography
www.flickr.com/photos/gordysflickr
Joel Hayden – Photography
Joel Hayden Photography

Neutral

Neutral is the new single by the blues-rock duo Hydroshima, the song captures everything great about the band; their musical talent, their song writing and a powerful punch which each of their songs have.

hydroThis is not just a track which you would listen to in the background, it grabs you with it’s lyrics about making love to your preferred sex, calmly at first with the lightly touched chords, which could be showing foreplay, then when the chorus comes in with the overdrive and the drums it seems as if we are at the point of climax, especially with Jacob (McClennon – guitar/vocals) singing “I said oh! Baby now now now!”.

The lyrics and the instruments flow together, creating a song which takes you on a journey through how two individuals feel when they are together intimately.

The duo, completed by Tyla Haigh (drums), originate from Yorkshire and are currently at Falmouth University. The boys have gathered a rather handsome following of fans in Falmouth, and are becoming one of the more popular acts in the town, partly because of their live shows which are always full of energy.

Neutral is available to listen to now through Hydroshima’s Facebook page, a music video for the track will be released shortly.

Hydroshima

Here is an interview with the boys and an acoustic version of neutral.

Hydroshima

First House Gig For Blooze Rockers

Tonight is Hydroshima’s first gig without another band playing, and although it is situated at a house party, the lads still give it their all in their performance.

As the duo, Jacob Mcclennon on guitar and Tyla Haigh on drums, blast in to ‘Uranium Fission’ it is clear that a portion of the party guests did not expect to hear this volume of music tonight. However they stay on and listen to the boys play through their tunes; Haworth Road and Neutral, the latter getting the crowd moving as the bass-drumming finale comes in.

The Band In Action

As alcohol influenced song ‘Blooze’ kicks in, most of the crowd begin to disperse to other rooms of the house, all except the bands friends and fans. The people who have decided to leave should definitely be regretting it now as the band’s powerful, fist-pumping ‘Shark Attack’ fills the room with energy. It’s a shame the large part of the crowd has left as this would be the time to jump around.

Throughout the performance the band give off their ‘we love playing our music and are good at doing it’ vibe, by constantly moving around, even Haigh looks as though he wants to jump on his seat and drum. Not once do they lower the energy they’re giving off, and even though the crowd has reduced dramatically in size, the duo are playing as though it is a venue full.

Hydroshima sign off the night with a fresh, unheard song ‘Close To Bone’ and it ends the set just as powerful as it started, by playing their ‘Uranium Fission’ riff one last time.

For more information on Hydroshima visit their Facebook page.

http://www.facebook.com/HYDROSHIMA

Bursting On To The Music Scene

The Challenges New Artists Face When Trying To Catch Their Big Break.

It is a big world out there and one of the parts of that world is the media, the media world is filled up with a great number of industries; Film, Print, Television…But the industry which gets harder and harder to make a name for yourself in every year, is the music industry.

Every year hundreds maybe thousands of bands are formed in different countries around the world, and only a small number of those bands will get their big break and be able to play their music to an audience and become famous. As the years have gone by the amount of artists who will actually get signed and will be able to follow their dreams has declined, it could be because they are not good enough or do not try their best, it could even be because of the breakthrough of the genre Pop/Punk on to the music scene, this genre is getting more popular and with so many bands trying to recreate this style with their own music it’s possible that a record label might only be interested in what is popular right now, which means bad things for bands of other genres e.g. Metal, Punk, Alternative.

Hydroshima playing The Underground

On the other hand because there are so many artists of the same genre appearing these days, record companies will be looking for something new and fresh which they also think an audience will appreciate and sell records. In this day and age to make your name known in the limelight you have to be offering something different which audiences have not witnessed or heard before, it could also be a reinvention of a former genre or a mix up of two genres creating a new one. An example of a new band with a combo genre is the explosive blues rock duo, Hydroshima. When asked about what a record label wants these days Drummer, Tyla Haigh, explains “it depends if they’re in it for the money or not”, if all the label wants to do is sell records then they will go with the genre which is popular now, however “it depends what label it is” says Jacob McClennon, the Guitarist and Vocals of Hydroshima.

The forming of a band is part of the work on the Popular Music course at University College Falmouth, therefore no one in Falmouth knows better than the students on the course the challenges a new artist faces on the scene. Once the band has been formed and have found a gig to play they have to “Promote it” as Haigh states, McClennon then explains how to go about doing this “you could do it on the internet, you could hand out flyers, you could go on the radio station.”

Hydroshima playing at the Festifal

Getting as many gigs as possible is the key to spreading the name of your band through an audience, supporting a band can be just as good as playing your own show “if you’re supporting and know ones heard of you, and then they hear you, they’ll be like ooh I like them” says Haigh. When your band gets a small following the crowd could be bigger as “someone might bring their friends as well” creating a greater audience for a gig adds McClennon.

Another challenge which new artists will face is the money side of music, as we know students are not the richest of people so funding a band will not come easy, and as Haigh puts “if your instruments break” then money is going to have to go into replacing them. However “we get to rehearse for free, we get to record for free” is explained by Haigh as being one of the advantages of being at UCF as they have the Performance Centre.

Some might argue that the Falmouth music scene is rather stale, usually only offering the Princess Pavilion stage (The biggest in Falmouth) to Folk or tribute bands, which with a university close by which has a popular music course, is not the widest range of music and therefore will not attract a majority of students. “It needs a heavy rock scene, it’s mainly just reggae” says McClennon on the Falmouth scene. Although the Tremough Campus has the Performance Centre for these newly formed student bands to preform in, it is not the same as actually getting out there and gigging in small venues and pubs. These student bands need to break into the Falmouth music scene as it needs something new, fresh and as Jacob McClennon clearly states it “It needs us”.

Hit The Deck!

POP/PUNK TRIO STORM THE STAGE IN FIRST MAJOR GIG

As the sun goes down over the Falmouth landscape, the doors of the performance centre on Tremough Campus open and an audience are welcomed to a music act which will make you dance your socks off…

For their first major gig, there is quite a sizeable crowd waiting for Hit The Deck! To enter the stage, it could possibly be because of the free beer being given away, although the people who are taking the beer do seem to be sticking around to watch the acts.

The stage is ablaze with coloured lights as the audience wait in anticipation for the first act, and they are not waiting long as a young guy (Ben Pablo Feldberg Collins) wearing a dressing gown and in bare feet stumbles on to the stage and appears to be putting on an act which the audience does not get straight away as people are left whispering “what?”. However as he leaves the act behind and grabs his acoustic guitar. The crowd are gripped to the chords he strums out (however much they sound like Wonderwall) and his odd song lyrics which he warns constantly could offend some people seem slightly loose and easily written. However he keeps the audience amused with comedy weaved into the songs for example telling his ex to “bathe in my golden shower” goes down with laughs throughout the studio.

Hydroshima

Once the guitarist has finished his 3-song set the audience are in suspense for something which they can move their feet to. With that thought in mind the explosive Blues duo ‘Hydroshima’ take to the stage and are welcomed to a few shouts and applause from the crowd as they get ready to play. Guitarist and singer Jacob McClennon introduces himself and Drummer, Tyla Haigh, as Hydroshima and then jump straight in to their powerful punch of a song ‘Uranium Fission’ which is a good start for the band as the intro reels in the audience and then the song kicks off. Even with the songs screaming out through the amps, Jacob’s spinning and head banging whilst playing the guitar and Tyla’s energetic drumming the crowd only appear to be nodding their heads without looking as though they are getting into the music. This slightly changes however after Jake tells the crowd “you do know that you can move around, you don’t have to stand there like f***ing zombies”, the crowd then begin to actually jump around a bit and enjoy themselves.

Jacob Freestyles

With all the bands coming out these days that are the same genre, it’s good to see a band who blends genres and takes us back to classic Blues which is then hardened up with some Rock and Grunge…it’s a good change which you do not hear a lot it today’s music scene. Jacob McClennon gives off a vibe of a classic Blues artist as well, with his high strapped guitar and tiptoeing for the microphone. Tonight the audience have been welcomed to a great support act who have given their all into this performance, and interacted with the crowd well, making the odd joke now and then…truly a good act.

Hit The Deck!

The studio is now waiting for the band which they have come to see tonight to enter, as their first major gig Hit The Deck! need to make an impression on the audience. On walks the band who are greeting by screams and applause from a ready to dance crowd. One third of the band, singer and Guitarist Matt Tiller, introduces them “we are Hit The Deck! and we’re going to play you some songs”. The trio jump in to their song ‘Hit The Deck!’ which starts off with a quiet Guitar riff from Tiller and is then met up with Bass from Max Ellis and Drums from Rory Mapes, the instruments then cease and we hear the band scream “HIT THE DECK!” and pound into the rest of the song, which straight away has the crowd jumping off each other and waving their arms in the air.

These guys really know how to own the stage as they are constantly talking to the audience which is always good to see a band do, and mixed in with Tiller’s crazy Guitar antics, backing vocals from Ellis and the pounding Drums from Mapes the crowd really sees the energy the band create.
Tiller and Mapes have a great variation of singing between them, during their own songs and the cover of Blink 182’s Dammit which they play.

The Band Bring The Thunder!

Here is another band who have mixed two genres to make something different, changing between Pop/Punk and Screamo/Hardcore changes the way you perceive them on stage, it’s as though the band have two sides to them…Dark and light.

The catchy riffs and choruses of the songs keep the audience entertained, along with a heavier cover of ‘Foo Fighters’ song ‘Everlong’ which goes down a treat with the audience and “the biggest drop” in one of their songs as stated by the drummer which gets majority of the crowd moshing, this is a good thing as he said before “if you want to mosh, now is the time”.

After a great set of songs an entertained audience is left wanting more from the guys, they can get it as the bands EP is on sale for only £2 and includes more songs, 7, than quite a few other bands EPs which is great as the band is giving the fans more. The only flaw for an otherwise great band is that on the EP they don’t appear to bring the energy which their live shows give off, there are great songs on the CD however what let’s the band down is that the instruments are so much more powerful than the vocals.

That aside this is a band that anyone would enjoy live, whatever music genre you’re into, they create an atmosphere which makes you lose yourself in the music and want to move every limb on your body.

For more information on Hit The Deck! click on the link below.

Hit The Deck! Facebook Page