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Interview: The Assist

April 10, 2015 in News

We spoke to Mikey Stanton, lead singer of rising Walsall indie-rockers The Assist ahead of their show at The Rainbow on Friday 10th April, to talk about their love of football, Walsall FC, their current tour and their influences. Check out the interview below:

You’ve had quite a year so far with you guys releasing new material and playing a crazy headline show at The Slade Rooms in February. How was the show?

The Slade Rooms was wicked, this years going to be exciting. we feel we have a good sense of direction at the moment with more music to offer later on in the year.

Your tour kicks off on the 3rd April in Manchester, and sees you play shows in Stoke, Cambridge, Blackpool and London. Other than Birmingham (obviously!), which other shows are you most excited to play?

We love Birmingham. The show at The Rainbow will be great. Blackpool however is a second home to us , we have a real love affair going on between the two cities and are looking forward to both shows.

You recorded a song in support of Walsall FC heading to Wembley. Despite the defeat (sorry guys!), the song made its way onto the ITunes Alternative chart. Tell us more about how the opportunity came about?

Basically, we released a song the same week Walsall won the semi-final [in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy], at the time we were in the local press so the Supporters Trust approached us to do the song!

You were even spotted on Soccer AM, how did you football skills fare? Did any of you attempt a ‘Serge Pizzorno’ moment?

As a band we pride ourselves on our football ability and are open to challenge any fellow musicians feeling brave! We won’t name and shame, but there is always that one member of the squad who you have to carry. As for Soccer AM, let’s just say the pressure got to us…

Your single ‘In Your Ear’ was released earlier this year and the track was featured on BBC Introducing. Can you tell us about the track and the creative process behind your material?

The track is about the struggle to get away from social situations whereby those under the influence of alcohol seem to do nothing but talk about themselves. All of our tracks begin as bedroom rehearsal material then are taken to the studio to create the sound we have.

What are the band’s main influences and to what extent are they apparent in your own music?

All the boys in the band are into different styles and genres of music. Each of us do tend to play or sing in the way of which our favourite artists influence us to do so. However, due to the wide differentiation of music we all listen to, when everything comes together our influences aren’t very apparent in the music we write.

Can you tell us more about how the band came about?

The Assist formed through mutual friendship, other than myself and Ryan being brothers. The four of us had rehearsed and played for years before getting together and finally creating a band of our own.

Are there any local bands we should be listening to?

We are all big fans of The Jacarandas.

What’s next for the band in the rest of the year?

We have festival season to look forward to after the tour. Throughout the summer we will also begin recording our debut E.P set to be released sometime next year.

What can Birmingham audiences expect from your show at The Rainbow on 10th April?

An adventure!

THE ASSIST PLAY THE RAINBOW BIRMINGHAM ON FRIDAY 10TH APRIL, WITH SUPPORT FROM FLEECE. TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE HERE

This Week: Gig Roundup 6th – 12th April

April 7, 2015 in News

As touring season gets into full swing, we’ve got even more musical treats lined up for you with a show for every day of the week! The week kicks off with a visit from up-and-coming Scottish fuzz-pop duo Tuff Love, followed by a welcome return from New York noise-makers A Place To Bury Strangers, then a long-awaited hometown headline show from local heroes Superfood, plus Suburban Legends, Ekkah and Balthazar closing the week with a bang! The full week’s listings can be found below:

MONDAY 6th APRIL

Tuff Love + The Jacarandas + Jump The Shark @ The Sunflower Lounge

Glasgow two-piece Tuff Love are creators of hyper-infectious, fuzzed-up, lo-fi pop music that the city is so famous for. The band have previously supported the likes of Real Estate, Perfect Pussy, Joanna Gruesome, Honeyblood & PAWS and have been championed by the likes of Lauren Laverne, Steve Lamacq, Rob Da Bank and Huw Stephens. Be sure to catch this band in a small venue while you can! Support comes from Birmingham indie-popsters The Jacarandas and Brit Award Winners Jump The Shark. Tickets are available here.

Listen to ‘Groucho’ below:

TUESDAY 7th APRIL

A Place To Bury Strangers + September Girls + Fauxchisels @ The Rainbow

New York noise purveyors A Place to Bury Strangers returned with their fourth studio album Transfixiation, released on the 17th February 2015 via Dead Oceans. Catch them debut tracks from the critically acclaimed album when they play The Rainbow on Tuesday, joined by Irish all-female noise-pop five-piece September Girls and local racket-makers Fauxchisels. It’s gonna get loud… Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘You Are the One’ below:

WEDNESDAY 8th APRIL

Bipolar Sunshine + Cape Cub + Shatter Effect @ The Institute 

After announcing festival slots including Longitude, Reading & Leeds and Glastonbury, Bipolar Sunshine will once again make a hotly anticipated appearance at The Institute Birmingham. The solo project of Manchester based Adio Marchant, previously of Kid British fame, continues to impress and carve out his own singular path. Latest single ‘Daydreamer’, described as “a warm breeze of a song… that channels 1970′s Elton to dreamy effect” by  The Times, provides a teaser for his upcoming album. Support comes from much-talked-about solo artist Cape Cub and local electro rock act Shatter Effect. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Deckchairs on the Moon’ below:

Superfood + YAK + Black Honey @ Rainbow Warehouse 

The Birmingham indie quartet play their biggest hometown headline show to date following the sold out NME New Breed Tour and the release of their debut album Don’t Say That on 3rd November through Infectious Music. Originally touted as heralding a re-birth of cheeky, choppy indie guitar pop, Superfood dug deeper to record an album that’s energy, warmth, and wit was infectious. The Midlands four-piece have travelled well over the past twelve months, taking to the road alongside Wolf Alice and We Are Scientists, but now they take to the Rainbow Warehouse joined by London-based buzzband YAK and up-and-comers Black Honey. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Mood Bomb’ below:

THURSDAY 9th APRIL

Retox + Warsawwasraw + Opium Lord @ The Sunflower Lounge

Featuring Justin Pearson (The Locust, Head Wound City), Retox have emerged from the collective depths of San Diego & LA with their latest antagonistic effort, Beneath California. Varying styles and sonically experimenting, melding the raw with the refined, the band continuously teases, yet never settles on any one genre. Since their conception in 2011, they have toured with similarly like-minded acts such as Melt-Banana, Tomahawk, OFF!, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Doomsday Student. Support comes from blistering avant-thrash punk duo Warsawwasraw and Opium Lord. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Lets Not Keep In Touch’ below:

Suburban Legends & MC Lars + The Bottom Line @ The Rainbow

Third wave ska vets, Orange County’s Suburban Legends, return with their distinct blend of fizzy ska and sugary pop, with accents of disco and funk. The group’s latest EP, Dreams Aren’t Real But These Songs Are (Rock Ridge Music), is a reverently played and imaginatively arranged collection of Disney classics. Suburban Legends have built an impressive live profile playing multiple tours throughout the US, UK, Europe, and Canada, undertaking successful runs with big names like Reel Big FishLess Then JakeBowling for Soup, and GoldfingerThe band are joined by MC Lars and The Bottom Line. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Kiss the Girl’ below:

FRIDAY 10th APRIL

The Assist + Fleece @ The Rainbow

The Assist are a 4 piece indie/alternative band from Walsall. The lads have a huge passion for real music, and their honest, hard hitting lyrics speak for themselves. It’s music that anyone can identify with from sing along anthems to infectious guitar riffs. They recently featured in the Itunes Alternative Chart with their track ‘Walsall FC Go To Wembley’, the official anthem for Walsall Football Club’s trip to the stadium. The band are joined by local indie four-piece Fleece. Tickets are available here.

Listen to ‘In Your Ear’ below:

SATURDAY 11th APRIL

Ekkah + Chartreuse @ The Sunflower Lounge

Hotly-tipped Birmingham duo EKKAH have announced they will return to The Sunflower Lounge this spring, following a triumphant headline show back in January. The pair recently released their much-anticipated debut EP Last Chance To Dance in November via new label Year One Recordings (UK) and Honeymoon (US). The band will be joined by local favourites Chartreuse. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Last Chance to Dance’:

SUNDAY 12th APRIL

Balthazar + CHAMPS @ The Sunflower Lounge

The Belgian indie-rock quintet return with their much-anticipated third album Thin Walls, released 30th March via Play It Again Sam, the follow up 2012′s acclaimed effort Rats. Having been holed up in the studio, the band emerge bearing new tracks, whetting appetites and their first live shows of 2015, including a show at Birmingham’s Sunflower Lounge. Balthazar are joined by folk-pop duo CHAMPS. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Bunker’ below: