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The Grey Lady Music Lounge, Sunday 25th September 2011

Headline Act: Virgin Soldiers

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Virgin Soldiers is an eclectic group of musicians who share a passion to create innovative music. One of the band’s unique selling points is the incredible rhythm and energy of the music – achieved without the use of a drum kit - and unable to find a genre that fits their music they have created their own, Strock.

Formed in the summer of 2009 by singer/guitarist/songwriter James Beeny the band creates a unique sound. James loved the idea of combining contemporary with classical instruments and had a head full of violin, viola and cello parts, but like many self-taught musicians was unable to put the music down on paper. He was lucky enough to meet Mike Parkin, a classically trained violinist, who was able to write down James’ sometimes unorthodox ideas and together they started gigging in London and the South of England with a girl singer, a bass player and a number of cellists and violinists. In 2010 they were joined by bass player James Luke, singer/pianist/songwriter Gina Georghiou and viola player John Hinchliffe. But it wasn’t until 2011 that the line-up was finally complete when James met cellist Hannah Masson on a station platform and asked her if she wanted to join the band. Hannah, who was studying at the Royal College of Music became the final piece of the puzzle. They now all work together to produce the sound that is uniquely Virgin Soldiers.

Virgin Soldiers will be appearing live on the main stage at the Good Weekend Festival in Hampshire on Saturday July 23 and at Local & Live on Monday August 29.

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Zoe Konez

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From the North West to the South Coast, settling in London via Australia, Zoe Konez is a force of well-travelled, indefinable acoustica.

As an inimitable guitarist exploring experimental open tunings and innovative playing techniques, Zoe brings us her unique twist of indie-folk. Through sharp lyrical acumen Zoe shares a tender balance of insightful personal introspection and keen observations on life. Her instinctive connection between word sounds and melodic pattern is woven through cross genre, open songwriting styles and delivered through confident command of her instruments – voice and guitar.

Long term friend and drummer Will Connor joins Zoe in a dynamic two-piece line up. Through this unconventional coupling they exhibit an intriguing and surprisingly complete sound, exposing a spacious chemistry between acoustic guitar and drums.

Zoe is passionate about musical collaboration and fostering creativity. She leads inspiring community music projects and showcases up-and-coming artists at her successful acoustic night Stop Look Listen. If you’re lucky you can even catch her all fired up and fronting riot grrl rock band Cat Bear Tree.

Zoe's album 'Fold The World In Two' is to be released in January 2014 on the Big Chill label.

Understated acoustic guitar brilliance & forensic songwriting precision... I've seen Zoe hold an entire room of people enthralled 

Tom Robinson, BBC 6Music 

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KP and Squizz

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A conveniently timed simultaneous purchase of guitars at the age of 15 by best friends Katie Perfect and Amy Squirrell could only mean one thing – overzealous music making. The Kent based acoustic duo is built around many things: a mutual love of all things eccentric; the desire to make and promote their own music; countless in-jokes, but most of all a shared compulsion to create coupled with the inability to control their own musical enthusiasm.

The wonderful world of KP and Squizz is inhabited by Squizz’s acoustic guitar, cello, keyboard, ukulele, stylophone, kazoo and shakey egg, and KP’s basses, trumpet and tambourine. This magical collection of instruments creates a sound world roughly described the band and admirers alike as alternative indie folk, “harmonious and pleasing, downright enjoyable music.” Being both classically trained from a young age the girls also like to inject their love for good old-fashioned traditional music into their songs, as well as taking influence from all areas of the musical spectrum with favourite genres being folk, blues, rock ‘n’ roll and even ska, but to name a few, all while retaining their distinct ‘home-grown’ sound. KP and Squizz are both songwriters who combine the reckless fumbling of adolescence with the more sophisticated pursuits of adulthood to create their unique sound, both in their painstakingly honest lyrics and their music, which can be both toe-tapping and heart-wrenching. Neither of the two is ashamed to declare their love for Fleetwood Mac.

The band’s humble beginnings occurred in their music practice rooms at school, where with a lot of determination and a good few Greenday covers with which to get started, KP and Squizz established their guitar skills and quickly developed a passion for writing songs of their own. In their youth, the band spent many months recording interpretations of favourite songs and of their own music in KP’s study, with nothing but a webcam microphone and free recording software, and in bedrooms of friends alike – a beautiful disarray of background noise and feedback, but nevertheless the precursor to exciting things to come. As far as performing was concerned, the Tunbridge Wells Forum provided much opportunity, and the band gained a great deal of their experience thanks to this wonderful venue. As time went on they managed to branch out across West Kent performing in bars and pubs. KP and Squizz have been known to collaborate with old friends and members of the Kent-based dance-rock alternative post-blues indie-jazz pop band ZIGO to further enhance their onstage experience to form the imaginatively named KP and Squizz and Friends. Look out for the motley collective in the Christmas, Easter and summer university breaks, when things really start to get exciting!

Nowadays KP lives and studies ancient history and archaeology in Leicester, whilst Squizz works towards her music degree in Brighton. Writing songs is a continuous pursuit for both members of the band, and they have begun to perform in both cities as regularly as they can. Now all that remains is to break London very soon!

The band happily signed with Sevenoaks-based label Blizzard Records in the spring of 2010, and is hoping to make it big within the next year and a half or so to avoid the fiscal crush of tuition fees. They released their debut EP (modestly titled, ‘KP and Squizz EP’) with Blizzard in October 2010, available for purchase at any time from the band, Blizzard Records (see link), at live shows or from Amazon, iTunes and many other good eTailers. They are currently in and out of the studio like busy bees recording their debut album, set to be released in the summer of 2011.

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Nick John Wilson

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Born with left side Microtia, Nick picked up the guitar from his folk playing parents when he was seven years old. 

His uncle played drums with Suzi Quatro in the seventies, so music has always run in the family. 

Nick started to sing and produce his own songs at eighteen having honed his blues, rag finger style and soulful rocky tones. 

He ran a studio for three years and in 2013, now with time to focus on himself as an artist, released his debut EP followed by his debut album early 2015. 

Nick aims to be out and about more than he ever has been, to promote himself, record label, charities and good music. More info online.


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