Something For The Weekend with Jamie Otsa (Radstock Festival)

Once again we have another guest writer for this weeks edition of “Something For The Weekend.” Jamie Otsa is one of the individuals behind Liverpool’s Radstock Festival, which takes place later this month. On top of that Jamie is the web editor for music website Glasswerk, manages rising UK bands Marmozets and Decade, and runs Wall of Sound PR whose roster includes Giants, Colt 45We Were Beautiful, Next Stop Atlanta and more. 

For his stint as guest writer, Jamie picked three acts that he’s been exposed to through his various lines of work.

If your label, band or company would like to become a guest writer for Something For The Weekend – contact Sean Reid to find out more information.

The bands I’ve picked for this feature are just a handful of the excellent UK talent that I continue to be pleasantly surprised by as I open my email inbox and physical post on a day to day basis. I’ve been in bands myself and now that I’m on the other side of the fence it’s difficult to watch exceptionally talented people struggling to have their voices heard, hence why I try to do my best to help out as many musicians as I can in whatever small way I can. As a music website editor, PR, artist manager and promoter I have a lot of great outlets for helping bands to get heard and it’s what I love to do, so here are a smattering of some of the excellent bands that it’s my pleasure and privilege to pass on to you.

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For Eyes
For Fans Of: The Bronx, Every Time I Die, and The JCQ.
The first time I saw For Eyes I wasn’t really sure what the hell was happening; just that it was visceral, intense and that I loved it. Front man Dan Kenny was a tangled and sweaty mess of long blonde hair and bedraggled beard, and as he lurched and writhed across the pit towards me I was genuinely afraid. Guitarist Jack McGurran was topless on stage with a black stocking stretched over head which gruesomely distorted his usually handsome visage, and a small, terrified group of onlookers cowered away from the crushing riffs and impressive vocal acrobatics that were pouring out of the PA. Not just an excellent live show, For Eyes reign supreme at encasing their individuality and raw power in accessible, bite size chunks and have a knack for song craft that seems to elude many of their contemporaries. Frightening, essential, a little bit insane – this is music that venerates life and encapsulates sheer, irrepressible energy.

<a href=“http://foreyes.bandcamp.com/album/black” data-mce-href=“http://foreyes.bandcamp.com/album/black”>BLACK by For Eyes</a>

For Eyes on Facebook, Twitter, and Bandcamp.

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Giant Drag
For Fans Of: Dinosaur Jr, The Lemonheads, and Grandaddy.
I remember many years ago a friend of mine who was incredibly skinny had a tiny, pink tshirt that barely covered his midriff. The t-shirt turned out to be Giant Drag merch and he later played me their debut album ‘Hearts & Unicorns;’ a lo-fi, ambitious and intriguing release which would become forever entwined with that period of my life.

Flash forward to 2013 and I decided to send front woman Annie Hardy a message out of the blue to see whatever had happened to their long awaited sophomore ‘Waking Up Is Hard To Do.’ She sent me a very honest and touching essay of an email that chronicled her struggles with drug addiction and personal problems that had for so long stopped her from releasing the album, as well as a preview copy of it. It’s an astonishing and emotionally charged release that I fell in love with instantly. Annie is an artist in the truest sense of the word, and I urge you to indulge her in a little tardiness and check out this incredible album, seven years in the making, that deserves to be heard.

<a href=“http://anniehardy.bandcamp.com/album/waking-up-is-hard-to-do-deluxe-edition” data-mce-href=“http://anniehardy.bandcamp.com/album/waking-up-is-hard-to-do-deluxe-edition”>Waking Up Is Hard To Do (Deluxe Edition) by Giant Drag</a>

Giant Drag on Facebook, Twitter and Bandcamp.

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Crusades
For Fans Of: Refused, At The Drive In, and Alexisonfire.
This lovable bunch of Glaswegians popped onto my radar a couple of years ago and have been beavering away behind the scenes to perfect their new release. A good friend of mine innocently dropped their Bandcamp link on my Facebook wall and from the second I hit play on the free-wheeling, post-hardcore slam of ‘Pseudo Andro’ I was hooked on this band. I simply don’t understand how an act can release a debut EP as good as ‘Golden Throats.’ It’s a monster.

As a live act they excel, with duel vocalists Mark Higgins and the hulking Stephen Murray bouncing call and response melodies off each other as the frantic guitars and staccato rhythms whip into a frenzy around them. I’m hoping it won’t be long before they announce their next release and take their first tentative steps out onto the UK touring circuit.

<a href=“http://crusades.bandcamp.com/album/golden-throats” data-mce-href=“http://crusades.bandcamp.com/album/golden-throats”>Golden Throats by Crusades</a>

Crusades on Facebook, Twitter and Bandcamp.

Radstock Festival 2013 takes place the O2 Academy in Liverpool on Saturday 30th March 2013.

Further information can be found at RadstockFestival.co.uk and on FacebookTwitter and Tumblr.

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