Tag Archives: Bronze Medals

Review: Scarlet Harlots / Tantrums / Bronze Medals / The Carpels

As part of the Moseley Festival, The Bulls Head is buzzing with the atmosphere that tonight’s gig is not going to disappoint as two of Birmingham’s’ biggest local bands are taking to the stage. The Gutter Skank DJs are dropping some awesome tunes whilst the first band are setting up.

The Carpels are first on, and their blend of dubstep beats, spiky indie riffs and two differing vocals draw us in. The energy from the band is injected into the crowd and they set a really high standard for the rest of the bands for the night.

Bronze Medals take to the stage next, with their more mellow sound, chilling out the crowd that had been revved up by The Carpels.

The eagerly anticipated Tantrums are up next and the room is crammed with people who want to witness their impressive performance. The mix of heavy dub sounds and haunting vocals shouldn’t work on paper however it sounds incredible and the crowd really soak it up, with many people singing along. How these guys haven’t been snapped up is a question on many people’s lips.

The final act of the night is Scarlet Harlots, who have people dancing as soon as they grace the stage. Their confidence on stage shines through and the progression within their music shows that these lads are moving with the times and should go far.

Overall the bands and DJ’s work well together to create a fantastic gig which is over too quickly.

Perri Ross


Review: Bronze Medals @ The Saturday Matinees @IslandBar

Bronze Medals
The Saturday Matinees
Island Bar
1st May 2010

Seeing the upstairs of Island Bar in daylight is quite a strange experience – being able to see the Tiki Bar in its full garish glare is rather wakening, but does allow us to see the brilliance of Them Lot’s artwork in all its surreal glory.

Brummie blogging contemporaries Scene Not Heard are doing a more than honourable thing for the city by offering Saturday afternoon gigs at the rock n roll cocktail joint, showcasing some of our regions finest acts for free.

So step up Bronze Medals who have taken US college post rock and added a heavy English accent to it. Think the twiddly guitars of American Football with an almost Afrobeat rhythm and a slight, perhaps unintentional Bloc Party vocal jostle, and you’re in the rough vicinity of this raw three piece.

The stripped down almost purist dynamic with no tricks up their sleeves other than the adept playing and canny knack for a tune is how they manage to engage so well. No slick synths, pre-programmed backing tracks or apparently even, it would appear, guitar effects to hide behind, just a fresh aptitude and fast fingers.

Promoters take note, Bronze Medals offer a pretty unique ability to be two bands at once as they also form the much acknowledged Boat to Row. The same members of Ben Gilchrist, Mike King and drummer Lloyd Miller make up the band, just with swapsies between bass and six string between the designated frontmen. Not to mention Mike’s wiry guitar gymnastics in Youves as well as Ben’s super sub appearances of late.

Jacks of all trades, masters of them too.

Andy Roberts

Blue Whale Presents… @ The Rainbow 24/4 – Interview with Mike ‘Boat to Row’ King

***Boat to Row play Blue Whale Presents…at The Rainbow on Saturday 24th April. Entry £2 before 8pm***

The enviable Michael King brought his force of folk, Boat To Row into Blue Whale Studios to kindly perform for our In The Belly sessions.

Michael not only creates leafy acoustic romanticism with baffling finger picking wizardry through songs such as ‘A Boat to Row, To Row to You’ and ‘Autumn Glow’ (see below), he also gets the blood pumping as one fifth of disco sex punks Youves and a third of the adventurously angular Bronze Medals. So, how does he find the time?

“I think it’s important to myself as a musician to try and keep a happy medium,” says Michael. “When times are busy with Youves I’m still able to write for Boat to Row and plan stuff, and now Bronze Medals are gigging we seem to be able to fit around the other 2 acts nicely as we’re quite a new outfit.”

“I’m hoping for a busy year with plenty of shows and releases to look forward to. I feel extremely excited with where Boat to Row could go to terms of progressing in the songs I write and rowing everywhere!”

Michael from Boat To Row at Blue Whale

You seem very versatile with your playing as the styles of the three bands you’re in are quite different from each other, are you classically trained?

“I’m not classically trained, I studied Popular Music at University of Wolverhampton and finally graduated last May so I’ve been playing for a good few years. There are still so many instruments I’d love to learn though, so wish I was classically trained.”

Ben from Boat To Row

You must have a pretty wide taste in music then, who else are you admiring at the moment?

“It’s always a tough one as it’s sometimes hard to distinguish who you think are a great band and who are your friends in a band so I’m going to go for new bands that have really impressed me. I’ve really liked Malpas whenever I’ve seen them, with a voice like Ali’s, it’d be hard to sound boring. Goodnight Lenin are a band I really want to see live, from the footage I’ve seen they sound ace with a kind of Laurel Canyon approach to folk pop.

“Nottingham based Dog is Dead have landed some pretty impressive support slots including Ok Go, Friendly Fires and Lightspeed Champion. They’re really fresh and original, I guess equal parts Hot Club de Paris, Futureheads and Gerry Rafferty in the best way possible.”

After impressing many people in the past 12 months or so at a number of Coffee and Cake gigs amongst others, Boat To Row has also caught the ears of super hip Nottingham based label, Danger Laser! Phaser! Razor! who will be releasing an EP and tape in the near future which Michael promises us that the packaging will be, “immense”.

Paul from Boat To Row

And finally, go on, say something nice about your time at Blue Whale.

“It was a nice experience all round and the set up worked really well in the end playing as a three piece. Both the students and Ben and Andy were a pleasure to work with, It was nice to not have to worry about anything in that department. We we’re in safe hands.”


Here’s a live version of Boat To Row’s ‘Autumn Glow’ exclusively performed for Blue Whale TV:

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Blue Whale TV feat. Boat To Row – ‘A Boat to Row, to Row to You.’

Read an interview with Michael from Boat to Row here and see more exclusive live performances for In The Belly here.

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