What the world needs is more bands who aren’t afraid to try something a bit different, and who are brave enough to see it through with passion and confidence.
Well, ladies and gents, I believe that Bedford based blues-rock, soul influenced band The Shtooks meet those criteria. Old friends Andrew (singer-songwriter) and Lawrence (guitarist) decided to form the band in 2013, and they soon recruited bassist Carlo (brother to Lawrence), drummer Leon and Jonny on the keyboards.
The Shtooks have also landed a brilliant gig, supporting The Sunshine Underground at Esquires in Bedford on 17th October – a gig not to be missed, I reckon! Tickets are available here.
Soon afterwards, new music can be anticipated prior to plans to tour extensively in 2015.
These guys have humility, a grounded attitude and a sense of humour that is infectious. With a tagline like “Don’t Think, Just Shtook”, I feel that they’re projecting a great, fun outlook and that is very attractive to many music fans! At the same time, they produce seriously good music, which of course is what we’re interested in here!
The “Papa Ganoosh” EP kicks off with “Impossible”; a song comprised of grungy guitars, eloquent, conversational vocals and simultaneously understated yet high energy drums. It’s a fantastic EP opener.
Track two, “All I Do” is a tad more relaxed, with a bit of a ska feel to it in places. It’s pretty bluesy at the same time – I love the saxophone interlude! It’s also very, very catchy – I sense a single release for this one.
It’s a change in pace again now with “Trouble Girl” – a collaboration with popular Bedford rapper Dotz, this shows the band’s adventurous side and their desire to be anything but a one trick pony. The raw, stripped back style is appealing and the two genres melded together works really well on this track. It’s not for everyone, but I like a band that is prepared to experiment.
Next up is “Here Comes Half Pint”. This song is another that is a nod towards grunge, but is also mixed with a more modern indie type style – a great guitar riff and strong vocals are a classic combination that is hard to resist, and why would you want to?!
“The Voyeur” is about someone who is seemingly feeling bitter that their ex partner has moved on – “Do you love him like you used to love me?” is a lyric I think everyone can identify with at some time in their life! One thing I like about this EP is the mix of genres and themes, lyrically and emotionally as well as musically.
One of my favourites (and the last track) on the EP is “Jimmy the Responsible” – it’s energetic and loud, and I can imagine this going down a storm at their gigs!
Overall, I conclude that this band is one to keep on your radar – I suggest you go and see The Shtooks while they are still accessible, as I predict it won’t be long before they are outgrowing those small venues we all adore!
As the band themselves say – “The more Shtookers, the merrier”!