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Ice Black Birds

Brighton, 2008. Sam Denniston and old school friend George Grinling, whilst at university, get together and record some demos with fellow musicians under the name of Ice Black Birds. The early recordings are inspired by blues and rock ‘n’ roll of the past, particularly The Stones, Cream and Creedence Clearwater Revival alongside some modern purveyors of the genre such as Kings Of Leon, The Black Keys and White Denim. In the opinion of Sam and George, there aren’t any current UK bands doing this properly, and with any real balls or conviction. The ‘British Kings Of Leon’ tag has been up for grabs for too long, and it’s going to be seized with two hands. Tracks are subsequently posted online, and the local scene’s ears prick up; the energy and youthful exuberance in the songs is infectious, and their debut show at Brighton’s Providence venue on a Friday night in late 2008 is a complete sell-out. More well-received hometown shows follow, and in time the band are invited to support touring acts such as Wave Machines, Post War Years, We Have Band, Joe Gideon & The Shark, Local Natives and Peggy Sue, in turn developing and honing their live show and becoming a real must see act. By early 2010, the band feel it’s about time to put a record out there to get themselves on the map. ‘Ears To The Ground’, with its thumping bass line and dramatic build up of tension, is an obvious, hard hitting choice. Heavy Independent Blues, an early live favourite and perhaps their most old school blues number, is the chosen B-side. Both tracks see the light of day on 29 March, through the band’s own Black Bird Records. Two incredibly successful launch parties at London’s Old Queens Head and Brighton’s Hope help galvanise what is to be an eventual sold out release. As summer looms, the Birds get booked to play a number of festivals, including the illustrious Secret Garden Party, on no less than three of the days, as well as Bruton’s boutique Farm Festival, the latter becoming a regular fixture on the band's summer calendar. London based independent club night and label Laissez Faire Club signs the band up for their second single, the anthemic, big-stage friendly ‘As Birds We’d Be Fine’, which drops on 14 June. Backed by the cut and thrust rock 'n' roll of 'Doors', the 7” gets recommenced by Rough Trade Shops as a release to look out for, alongside the likes of Mystery Jets and Sleigh Bells, with the lead track receiving plugs on Radio 1 from the likes of Steve Lamacq and Huw Stephens (as well as Tom Robinson on BBC Introducing). An appearance at Manchester’s In The City festival and a sold out jaunt in Holland supporting local indie heroes Go Back To The Zoo are the highlights of October 2010, the latter being the band’s first venture to the Continent. Judging by the hugely enthusiastic response they receive – in no small part due to the European penchant for well-done, plug and play rock ‘n’ roll - it should be the be the first of many forays into the Euro market. With their third single, the hard and fast, incredibly catchy and Youth & Young Manhood era KoL referencing “22:22” set up for release in late February (again through their own label), things are continuing apace for the fast-establishing Brighton quartet. You get the feeling it really won’t be long before these birds take full flight – 2011, if their flight path is unhindered, could well be theirs.

My Artists Sessions

Sunday, March 20

12:30am CDT