Upset The Rhythm |
GREG ASHLEY has been a fixture on the underground music scene since the late Nineties while strafing eardrums as a teenager in Houston in garage- punk band The Strate-Coats. Since then he’s proven himself not only as a songwriter, singer and guitar player in bands like The Mirrors & The Gris-Gris, but also as a producer/sound engineer via his Oakland-based Creamery Studio. His career as a solo artist is vast and varied, spanning the gamut between fried-n-beautiful psychedelia, gorgeous & cathartic symphonic suites and gentle, damaged folk music, beginning with 2003’s debut and last leaving us with 2017’s ‘Pictures of Saint Paul Street’ (Trouble In Mind). This recent record carries forward Ashley’s musical palette (a rootsy amalgam of tortured, Cohen-esque folk tinged with the beer soaked recklessness of a West Texas honky-tonk). The songs on ‘Pictures of Saint Paul Street’ are lush & beautiful autopsies of society’s underbelly, with stark and brutally honest ruminations on humanity. Songs like “A Sea of Suckers” & “Pursue The Nightlife” pull no punches, while “Jailbirds & Vagabonds” and “Blues For A Pecan Tree” carouse on a more abstract, human (almost romantic) level. The protagonist in many of Ashley’s songs may be Ashley himself – a true artist willing to admit he’s nowhere near perfect, and honest enough to document his sunrises & sunsets no matter if they occur in his own backyard, or on a barroom floor.
MASS DATURA have spent the last three years earning a well-deserved reputation for their mesmerising, raw and unpredictable live performances. Mass Datura was initially formed by singer, writer and artist Thomas Rowe (with best friend Joseph Colkett), as an outlet to channel his own strange childhood experiences. Born and raised in the rural ghettos of Western Canada, frontman Rowe discovered at an early age what a powerful form of escapism music could be for him. Landing as an alien in London eight years ago, Rowe gathered a group of like-minded East London misfits around him and from this, Mass Datura formed. Mass Datura take their name from 16th century occult mythology, the Datura flower when ingested was said to give you the ability to levitate, flying through bleak night skies around the world snatching up little children. The band’s debut album was released last year alongside a performance at Liverpool Psych Fest. Mass Datura have managed to support some very exciting bands around the country including L.A. Witch, The Black Angels, A Place to Bury Strangers, Holy Drug Couple, Dark Horses and Black Mountain