A Letter From... Cornwall #1

A profile of the South West scene...
The Black Tambourines.jpg
There's a lot of misconceptions about the South-West music scene. Having lived here for coming on two years now (that's a scary thought), I'm beginning to understand why. With the lack of venues to tempt bigger artists down, the music here doesn't get enough exposure. But at the same it's difficult for me to comprehend exactly why people are complaining. On one hand, there's a lot of bitching and moaning about the lack of "big bands" coming down here that rings true, and at the same time there's not a particularly huge audience for the amazing local musicians already here. Fortunately there's a D.I.Y uprising throughout the South-West, and a lot of the bands involved are starting to pick up some serious momentum.

2012 is shaping up to be a good year to be A Black Tambourine, and not just if you're old and American. I'm talking Cornish vibe: THE Black Tambourines. These guys pretty much have it nailed. Recording, gigging and just generally kicking out the Jams. It's an understatement to call them local heros. After a successful tour and a very successful E.P launch, they're off on the road again at the end of the month. Shipping their idiosyncratic brand of reverb sodden guitar pop across the country, I urge you (who-ever you may be, where-ever you may live), catch these guys when you get the chance. As far as a live show goes, you won't be disappointed.

Further east, there's something of a hype machine being bulit around Plymouth based Gorgeous Bully, and it's certainly not before its time. Anyone who knows Mr. Thomas Crang will tell you.There's always been a wedge of good music pouring out of him and the rest of the world seems to be catching up. With latest release, "The Young Obese", sold out on Pre-Orders, it's clear to see i'm not alone in loving them. Good pop songs, performed even better. If Lo-Fi is your bag, you should be kicking yourself for missing this.

Which leads me very nicely onto the ones responsible for this amazing release. Plymouth based label, Art Is Hard. For a label of this size, the quality and volume of their output has been staggering, and it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. This is the attitude most of the Cornish music scene seems to be taking. Lack Of Opportunities? We'll do it ourselves. For a county its size, Cornwall has a massive student population and the new music courses (now in their second year) are a definite help to the scene.

Originally the brain child of Manx musicians Brian Brough and Jack Wolter, Tiger Years have expanded their cohort since moving to Cornwall. And to great effect. There's something so hypnotic about their live performances, I always die a little inside when I realise I've missed them. Currently recording a brand new E.P, there should be something very exciting heading our way.

Words by David Tate

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