UK Metal Merger Launches Campaign to Help Vital Music Crew and Tech Experts

Harry Fenn

In this pandemic, live music is set to be the first sector to shut down and the last to re-open. Despite some support from the government, numerous iconic grassroots venues have been forced to close their doors for good with many more in danger of doing so. This last year, musicians and the largely self-employed workforce of the music industry have fallen through the cracks in government support and the damage to the industry could be felt for many years to come. 

That’s why producer Mark Mynett has brought together some of the UK’s most celebrated Rock and Metal names in a fundraising effort called UK Metal Merger. UK Metal Merger’s campaign is aimed at helping the crew and tech experts that enable all live music to go ahead in COVID’s wake.

The merger consists of eighteen UK Metal musicians including members of Cradle of Filth, My Dying Bride, Iced Earth, Winterfylleth, Kill II This, Xentrix, Divine Chaos, Krystla and Pythia. The result is an epic 12-and-a-half minute musical journey entitled ‘In Solitude’. 12-and-a-half minutes seems all too short when you consider that they had over 300 hours of contributions to work with – the result is a powerful symphonic masterpiece. The 30-second teaser can give you a flavour of the journey you’ll experience once you’re able to listen to the full track on the 4th of May. 

A video will accompany the release of ‘In Solitude’ and UK Metal Merger is urging fans to share it far and wide to spread the message. Although it (hopefully) seems that we’re nearing the end of this virus nightmare, the UK’s music industry has a long road to recovery. The help that is available clearly isn’t reaching everyone and we risk the loss of an industry that brings so much joy to us all. 

You can help the cause directly here and listen to the 30-second teaser here.

Produced, Mixed and Mastered by Mark Mynett; Mynetaur Productions
Video Production by Hal Sinden of Eulogy Media;

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Introducing The Scaramouche of Sunbridgewells – Even Seagulls Swoon for The Captain of the Lost Waves

Setting sail from dockside, tales have passed from lip to cheek of The Captain of the Lost Waves  – a celebration of the renaissance, an exemplar of all things Vaudevillian, embarking on his voyage to redefine labels of artistic expression. While dropping anchor at the likes of Glastonbury Arts and Edinburgh Fringe, The Captain’s absurdly engaging live performances have mesmerised and captivated crowds. As a fluid performer, transitioning between musician and storyteller, the journey is wildly outlandish, deliciously bonkers and has witnessed expressions distort from the rigid and terrified to the joyous and amiable.

Starring in his very own folk opera, little is known about his true Earthly origins, but the man behind the persona resides in the shadow of the not-so-coastal plateau of the Peak District, and from there he has embarked extensively taking his show to audiences who are then transported aboard his mystical voyages. Delightfully inventive, undoubtedly eccentric and impossible to characterise definitively, after a brief introduction in his guise indicative of an intergalactic time detective, so begins his splendid deliverance.  all of which are encouraged to be sung along to.

The premiere for the video of ‘Uniforms’, the first single from the album Synthesis, will be held right in the heart of Bradford’s historic trading quarter in Sunbridgewells, showcasing the Edwardian charm of footage shot at the New Beehive Inn. Whether hopping aboard for the first time or looking to set sail once more, we’ve been offered a perfect opportunity to delve into the mystical otherworldly-ness of realms so often consigned to the shadows.







Composer Toni Castells draws inspiration from modern social epidemic for Neo-Classical concert releasing ‘HHUMANN X’

Topical themes are often a good source of inspiration due to the immediate emotional connection you establish with your audience. For Neo-Classical composer Toni Castells, it was the work set out by former MP Jo Cox’s Commission of Loneliness (which divulged that more than 9 million people are affected by loneliness in the UK alone) that has inspired his latest release ‘HHUMANN X‘.

Toni Castells
Toni Castells

While initial innovation came largely from his teachers at music school, Castells’ overall sound was developed from a foundation of classical training combined with an inventive use of modern technology to produce a mixture of dreamy, cinematic and poetic soundscapes.

His music has since been described as “Morricone meets Satie” by Michael Haas, producer of prize-winning recordings with major classical artists including Zubin Mehta, Mstislav Rostropovich, Daniel Barenboim, Cecilia Bartoli and Luciano Pavarotti.

With this album’s themes centred around the subject of a paradox that highlights a growing social isolation in times of technological hyper-connectedness, the premier performance at LSO St Luke’s in Barbican (20th October) is also set to feature More Than Just a Choira community choir based in North London that works with people suffering from mental illness and social isolation.

The choir will appear towards the end of the piece and they’ll be unknowingly sitting amongst the audience before their entry.  This staging metaphor is designed to strengthen the idea that isolation and mental illness are invisible to most of us.

“The Revolution Will Be Live!” – Malik & The O.G.’s come to Cambridge.

The revolution will not be televised… but it will be at Cambridge Jazz Festival this upcoming weekend as Malik & the O.G.’s prepare a run of events at the festival celebrating the work of Gil Scott-Heron.

The upcoming appearance at Cambridge Jazz Festival include multiple seminars, talks and performance by Malik Al Nasir, showcasing why Gil Scott-Heron is still relevant to artists  as well as social politics today.

Gil Scott-Herons most notable work comes in the form of “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, a spoken word track released in 1971 – it’s free form style and spoken-word, poetic approach to lyricism within music is an example of breaking down the wall between music and art, the song is not only musically but literarily insightful.

“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” holds lyrical significance even by today’s musical standards, whilst contemporary lyricism is more explicit and straight forward. The message it gave was a public one and that if there was going to be a revolution within 1970s America is not going to be televised; it was going to stare you in the face and it was going to be real.

“The Revolution will be not be re-run, the revolution will be live.” Are the final words of the iconic track that Gil Scott-Heron is most notable for – it’s a message that still holds strong within the current socio-political climate within America.

Malik Al Nasir who was Gil Scott-Heron’s protégé is currently following in his footsteps, delivering a message that is direct, insightful as well as artistic.

Malik Al Nasir is a Guyanese activist, poet and filmmaker from Liverpool, following in his mentors footsteps; Malik’s work Malik discusses how colonialism and slavery destroys identity, he also establishes the significance of genealogy, anthropology and DNA as an insight into “who we actually are” as well celebrating our inherited roots and cultural identity without anyone else dictating otherwise – using his Guyanese roots as an example of claiming his heritage and being self-aware of one’s cultural inheritance.

“My own journey back to Guyana to re-connect with my South American roots, was actually both a quest for lost family ties and a search for historical truth. Discovering I had an indigenous Amerindian grandmother, further complicated an already convoluted sense of self and the discovery of my Scottish aristocratic slave-owner ancestry, will offer the basis of a paradigm shift in how we view Transatlantic slavery – as it was practiced in Demerera South America.”

Malik will also explore the significance of the “Black Arts Movement” in America and how he contributes to that via Gil Scott-Heron and the Last Poets – with his role as an activist in breaking down colonialism and its control over identity.

Malik will be running an “Artist as Activists seminar” at the University of Cambridge, Centre of Latin American studies at 5pm on the 17th of November. “The Revolution Will Be Live!” will take place on the 18th of November at 8:30pm, Cambridge Wine Merchants. Finally Classic Album Sundays event; a tribute to Gil Scott-Heron will be running two events on the 19th of November at 2pm, Hidden Rooms, and 8pm Arts Picture house.

Links to tickets for these events can be found here;

– “The Revolution Will Be Live!” tickets.

– “Classic Album Sundays” @ Hidden Rooms

Free – “Artists as Activists”

You can keep up to date with the events at Malik’s social network links found below;


Baluji Shrivastav Presents The Inner Vision Orchestra UK Tour

As seen at the 2012 Paralympic Closing Ceremony with Coldplay – blind and partially sighted musicians to play live around the UK
Renowned blind Indian maestro Baluji Shrivastav brings together this inspiring group of musicians from all over the world.
Baluji who is a world famous multi-instrumentalist and composer has recorded for dance, theatre, Western orchestra, Indian ensembles, Radio, TV and film, with music currently featured in Disney’s newest Film ‘Million Dollar Arm’ starring Jon Hamm from Madmen. He has recorded with celebrities such as, Massive Attack, Madness, Doves, Amorphous Androgynous, and on Shakira’s latest album. He has performed with great artists such as Stevie Wonder and Chris Martin. He also has his own Jazz ensemble Jazz Orient/Re-Orient and has recorded several albums of Indian Classical and fusion music.
This incredible orchestra of talented blind musicians from around the globe celebrates the power of music to transform lives. The Inner Vision Orchestra plays music from Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, Japan, and soulful Gospel and Blues plus sublime Indian Ragas and Western Classical compositions.
The Inner Vision Orchestra are preparing themselves for a full UK tour later this year.
Baluji is excited about the upcoming tour “Each member of the Inner Vision orchestra has an extraordinary story to tell about the power of music in their lives, for example, our Iranian singer Fereshteh’s parents told her that if she would perform in public they would pour petrol on her and set it alight, but nothing and no-one will stop Fereshteh from singing. It is about amazing people using music to give their lives direction and purpose.”
Their moving and uplifting music will make these live dates truly unforgettable.  The tour will be featured in a full length documentary film.
Tour dates:
Leeds  – South Asian Arts Centre –  Saturday 5th July 7 – 9 pm –
London  – Rich Mix  – 25th September
Exeter  – Barnfield Theatre  – 10th October.
Suffolk – New Wolsey – 18th October
Further dates to be confirmed – see links below for more information.

‘Guitar Muse’ single from The Cheek of Her out May 12th

Second single from album ‘Adult Angst Anonymous’ out May 30th
Guitar Muse ReleaseSinger-songwriter Helen Dooley, aka The Cheek of Her, is set to release the second single from upcoming album ‘Adult Angst Anonymous’ (AAA) on May 12th. A track about taking on her own musical independence after relying on a string of guitar players to play her songs, it’s an empowering and unique pop track.
You can see an acoustic solo performance of ‘Guitar Muse’ here:

A passionate songwriter with a truly individual sound, vocal and sensibility, The Cheek of Her comes across like Lily Allen but with a darker cut to her lyrics.
It’s an approach that is starting to garner plenty of interest, with previous single ‘Write Me A Letter’ being featured on Radio 2, as well as positive reviews for previous work from the likes of Female First and
Due on May 30th, ‘Adult Angst Anonymous’ is set to be the culmination of her hard work and passion – her first full length album after a number of EPs, chock full of quirky songs written from the heart.
‘Guitar Muse’ will be available online from May 12th, followed by the ‘AAA’ LP May 30th.