The second in our series of Unplugged events.
Signed by Cool Thing Records, Beckie Margaret takes to the stage to fill Chalkwell Hall with her hauntingly beautiful vocals, followed by ever energetic duo Luke & Jazz of Asylums, the soulful Schubert from El Ray, plus Liam of A.C.I.D.
A series of acoustic sets peppered throughout the seven weeks by a whole host of talented musicians from Southend and further afield – bringing in turn soulful, uplifting and energising music to the park.
Beckie Margaret is tied to her austere surroundings on the Essex coast and with that her music takes on a somewhat mythical quality steeped in local folklore akin to Clacton’s Ghost From the Water or Basildon’s Red Monk.
No great band is ever fully formed. Great bands morph and change with the times, great song-writers soak up the world around them, great musicians always have new sonic stories they want to tell. Asylums have changed. They’ve morphed into something bigger and, yes, a bit darker, but still with all the lust for life that has kept the band driving forward. All that change has now created one of the albums of the year.
Born in August 2014 with a single chaotic video uploaded to YouTube, Asylums’ blend of thrashing guitar pop and social conscience quickly drew a passionate scene around them in their home town of Southend-on-Sea. Being independent of mind and independent of action has been central to the development of the band. They’ve grown through the blogs and the DIY fans, the die-hards and the dreamers. With their own label, Cool Thing Records,Asylums have been able to create their own world, to support the musicians they love and build a community of like-minded souls. It’s a unique space where the new album ‘Alien Human Emotions’ has been incubated.
Asylums are like a seaside fairground (maybe something of Southend has got into their blood). Where the first album ‘Killer Brain Waves’ was a Friday night with neon colours, rollercoaster rides and two fingers up to the security, ‘Alien Human Emotions’ feels more like a walk in the same place as the wind whips through in November. You need to wrap the music round you to stay warm.
Building on gigs at Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds, and big love from Radio X and BBC 6 Music (‘Album Of The Day’), Asylums are ready, with this album, to reach out to the world.
‘Schubert, a man written by songs.’
Liam will be presenting stripped-back, atmospheric versions of ‘A Cause in Distress’ frantic and paranoid electronic punk songs, in a more confessional and intimate style inspired by ambient artists such as Brian Eno, Grouper and “Spirit Of Eden”-era Talk Talk. Unlike a usual A.C.I.D performance, the song’s lyrics will be front and centre, which amongst other things detail Liam’s own experiences with mental health.