Tag Archives: Grant Nicholas


The FOUR PLAY FESTIVAL is a low profile affair held at the Acoustic Couch in Bracknell and organized by local progressive rock band SPRIGGAN MIST.

Jade Vine at FOUR PLAY… a celebration of folk-prog talent…

It is a celebration of folk-prog talent and attracts an unprecedented array of  free-spirited individuals, including [but not limited to] steampunks, pagans, hippies, fair folk and people of peace.

The unhurried schedule means that bands have enough time on stage to deploy their longest songs and tackle their most extravagant numbers.

The Acoustic Couch is a community project built in the concrete heart of Bracknell town and offers locals a pleasant and welcoming place to come and enjoy live music.

Mila Verney_of Jade Vine – mind-blowing musical content…

First on stage at FOUR PLAY were the five-piece JADE VINE based in London. This band was formed by the brothers Constantine (guitars, vocals) & Marios Magdalinos (guitars, vocals) in 2006.

Constantine & Marios wrote the first songs and gigged extensively as a duet before bringing the band together. At Bracknell we saw Mila Verney (piano & keyboards) and Yannis Paloyannidis (bass) with Babis Margaritidis (drums.)

We enjoyed songs like “Lost it All” that had a shimmering murkiness to them. We loved the repetitive guitar motifs and the slightly off-kilter drum-work. We also appreciated the vocals that we thought were reminiscent of Fish. Their neo-prog achievements soared with mind-blowing musical content, astounding lyrics and expert musicianship. Their 2016 album “MIND OF A MAN” is out now.

Kindred Spirit – tranquilizing yet sinister textures…

We’ve written about Elaine Samuels and her band KINDRED SPIRIT many times before.

It was great to see them onstage at Bracknell bringing their extraordinarily beautiful prog-folk songs to life and creating a series of imaginatively elaborate musical ideas.

Wolves at the Door” had a fretful sax [Catherine Dimmock] and lamenting violin [Martin Ash ]and created ever-developing sensations of enhanced anxiety.

The song formed part of what Elaine described as the “Beast” cycle — consisting of three songs . The cycle was completed by “Run Red.” This had tranquilizing yet sinister textures — peacemaker flute with violin flares.

The bass-play on this song was excellent too [Mike Hislop] as was Catherine’s backing vocals. The remarkable thing about Kindred Spirit was that the band soldiered on without their drummer [he was taken ill at short notice] yet they managed to deliver a very polished and surprisingly tight performance.

Multi Story- dramatic vocal performance…

Cult Welsh prog band MULTI STORY was formed in the 1980s.

Around the dramatic vocal performance of Paul Ford and Rob Wilsher’s wizard keyboards and superlative programming.

At that time [1984] the band was invited to the BBC Maida Vale studio to record a session for Radio One Rock Show with Tommy Vance. The band was signed to Heavy Metal Records [FM label] and recorded a debut album in 1985 at Rockfield Studios.

Paul Ford was replaced by Grant Nicholas [who went on to be the Feeder front-man] and Grant worked on an album with the band in 1986 :Through Your Eyes — though the project broke up shortly afterwards.

The members of Multi Story went on to have successful careers in production and film projects and more recently, the original writing partners Rob Wilsher and Paul Ford starting working again. A new band began playing shows during 2015 in support of their project “Crimson Stone.”

Paul’s delivery at Bracknell was dramatically poignant — bordering on theatrical at times — and included some superior guitar-play. Rob’s keyboards were, as expected, sheer quality of class. A series of oscillations, waves and huge columns of sound. The song-melodies were catchy — with instant appeal. And often reminded us of 1969 era The Who.

Spriggan Mist’s Max Cilia – intoxicating musical layers…

If this event is to become something more ambitious in the future then the organizers will have to watch their ticket sales. [Fifteen pounds is good for a “full day of music” but too much for locals who might want to drop-in to catch just one or two bands.] They should also look at the possibility of wider promotion. It looked as if most of the audience consisted of “Sprigg” fan-club members or supporting musicians.

FOUR PLAY was a completely enjoyable way to spend a day. With hugely talented performers, friendly hosts and good (cheap) beer. What’s not to like?

Thanks to all involved… especially the co-hosts Spriggan Mist & Kindred Spirit and their fantastic crew. Also thanks to the staff at Acoustic Couch who made this special day so friendly.

Words & Pictures : @neilmach 2017 ©


Enjoy Destroy

Enjoy Destroy

Enjoy Destroy

Come…let’s play…

Enjoy Destroy have been favourably compared to Juliette & The Licks, Biffy Clyro and Silverchair. Their melodic compositions,
enhancing light and shade and underlining the excesses and the vulnerabilities of this modern age, are tempered by post-grunge anxieties of doom and guilt yet feel welcome in these crunchy & uncertain times of highs and lows.

I saw Basingstoke’s highly favoured sons on a chilly Monday night at the Boileroom, Guildford, and the place was like a statically charged play-pen of anticipation!

The good looking boys have recently been supporting ‘My Vitriol’ on tour and, during this set of live dates, they have built up an astonishing and enviable stage presence and an aura of reliability, trust and sheer musical quality that was fully demonstrated on the Surrey stage.

Enjoy Destroy tested a couple of new tracks on their oh-so friendly supporters but it was the familiar funstuff that the crowd had come in from the cold to celebrate. And, wow, was it not food for the masses? Truly a symphonic sacrament.

Most folk would choose ‘Screamer’ as the iconic Enjoy Destroy song. It starts with a goth-sounding stomach churning chord
line from Freddie that settles down to a rumbling and regular chug-a-chug rising to a sensible and catchy chorus. Lots of
peaks and troughs though… a sure sign of each Enjoy Destroy song.

‘Holiday Lover’ with its kooky harmonisations, chord based anthemic vibes from Chris – along with plenty of syrupy smooth
lead breaks- contrasted well with ‘Rifles’ and the screech and whine of machine chop-shop metals, entwining together with tribal thumping from drummer Tommy, in this futuristic industrial soundscape.

The trademark sound of Enjoy Destroy is the heavily melodic mix of guitar, bass and drums building up a rich tapestry of interwoven
riffs and nifty sequences. The results are often colourful, majestic and sonically influential landscapes.

‘Mactier’ is a favourite song, with a heavily bass influenced riff (Ted) that tends to slightly fade away to reveal, like a gift from the thunder gods, a simply picked shimmer of shiny notes glimmering in a weak light before changing direction and effectively looping-the-loop with an infectious and raucous sing-along chorus.

Celebrating the light and shade, ‘Little Dreams’ starts with a xylophonic set of rapidly dappling notes accentuated by smooth
lead curves and building up to a high plateau of sunlight upon which a platform is established for the insistent and anthemic

For a golden treat and a celebration of darkness and light Enjoy Destroy are incomparable right now. Catch them as soon as
you can, in their youthful and experimental stages of growth… because this band is destined to soar an ever higher arc towards the mountain tops of pop-rock.

© Neil_Mach
JAN 2009



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