Imperious Sussex scuzz-rockers Blue Stragglers drop self-titled EP and share two more massive tracks, ‘Forever & A Day’ and ‘Last Call’
This summer has already resounded to three of the cuts from the EP – part-mastered by Bill Skibbe of Jack White’s Third Man Mastering in Detroit – garnering the band enthused reviews across numerous premier music magazines, as well as extensive radio play ranging from BBC Introducing to Radio Caroline.
A whirlwind rollercoaster of sound” Gigslutz
“Gritty, melodic and catchy all at once” Turtle Tempo
“All the elements needed to keep rock’n’roll alive.” Clunk magazine
“Razorblade melodiousness drenched in a pool of kamikaze guitars” Turn Up The Volume
“A mosh-pit singalong. Play loud!” Melita Dennett, BBC Introducing
“I’m blown away, ladies and gentlemen” It’s All Indie
About ‘Forever & A Day’
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“A tip of the hat to some of our favourite crossover anthems,” according to Stragglers’ frontman Lee Martin, ‘Forever & A Day’ is a song of epic intent, one that emerges from waves of feedback to deliver, via an enormous harmonised chorus, a yearning for simpler days – a sentiment we can all relate to during this disorienting corona-summer of 2020. A meld of robust garage rock and Nineties baggy euphoria, the song addresses the need to “accept the beauty of being aware that some things are bigger than me or you”, says Lee. The video, all wide-open seascapes and big skies, adds to the song’s expansive atmosphere as the band heed the lyrical call: “Meet me on the Way to the Sea”.
About ‘Last Call’
Running the gamut of rock’s dynamic range, ‘Last Call’ journeys thrillingly from the industrialism of its opening bars via a satisfyingly slow-burn crescendo to its intense uber-grunge coda. The ‘Last Call’ in question is in many ways a cry for unity and justice – in this case expressed by making sure you do the honours when it’s your turn at the bar! Only Blue Stragglers could convey such a message with the intensity of ‘Last Call’.
About the ‘Blue Stragglers’ EP
Comprising five heavyweight alt-rock gems that lay equal claim for A-side status, Blue Stragglers’ debut EP captures the Sussex trio at their muscular, melodic finest. Recorded and mixed by engineer and producer David Holmes in the belly of Lightship 95 at Soup Studios – a houseboat turned recording studio docked on the Thames in East London – the EP sessions were almost over before they had even begun. Recording took place during a ferocious winter storm, which turned the loading of equipment across the Lightship’s ice-covered bridge into a precarious ordeal. Thankfully, the dreaded cry of “man overboard” was never heard and Blue Stragglers laid down five songs to serve as rallying calls of rock’n’roll defiance during a summer that’s been thin on such life-affirming delights.
1) All Mine (Sometimes)
2) Late at a Festival
3) Forever & A Day
5) Last Call
The mastering of the EP was shared between Bill Skibbe of Jack White’s Third Man Mastering in Detroit and Oli Morgan of Fluid in London.
About Blue Stragglers
Not many bands can claim to have built and then run their own non-profit rehearsal studio but then Blue Stragglers are not like many bands. Having grown up in the town of Horsham – nestled between London and Brighton – Lee Martin (vocals, guitar), Ali Waite (bass) and Andy Head (drums) bonded via a love of bands such as The Raconteurs, PJ Harvey, Supergrass, Demob Happy, Beck, Grandaddy and Jane’s Addiction. Skilled players themselves, the trio originally formed the backbone of the much-loved Sussex act Tied to the Mast. But when they struck out on their own to form Blue Stragglers, they were lacking somewhere to hone their craft. And so began the tough but ultimately fruitful challenge of converting an empty space next to a South Downs chalk pit into somewhere they – and other Sussex bands – could practice 24/7.
This DIY dedication to their art is evidenced by the intuition that each member has for the others’ playing, as seen and heard in the supremely powerful live showcases that have secured Blue Stragglers a cult following across England’s southeast, from Brighton via Tunbridge Wells to Horsham and Hastings, alongside some intimate London gigs that first drew the attention of Lost In The Manor records.
Exuding that impenetrable, gang-like identity that’s the preserve of only the best trios, Blue Stragglers been picked up by BBC radio, stolen the show at a number of grassroots festivals and now, thanks to their debut EP release on Lost In The Manor, will be spreading that buzz much, much further afield. A programme of showcase gigs will be announced after the lockdown but in the meantime, you won’t find a better means of banishing the lockdown blues than a healthy blast of Blue Stragglers.
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