New single: ‘Afraid of the Silence’ – an upbeat yet thought-provoking slice of prog folk from Dandelion Charm

Single release date: 14th July 2019

“Dandelion Charm have the songs and talent to appeal to not only prog and folk fans, but anyone who enjoys strong songwriting with blissful vocals and melodies” – Get Ready To Rock

Ahead of their much-anticipated new album this Autumn, south-coast duo Dandelion Charm release a new single on 14th July. Reflecting on the drip drip impact of a never-ending stream of modern media commentary ‘Afraid of the Silence’ delivers its message with an upbeat optimistic shuffle and overtones of Simon and Garfunkel.

Drawing from the prog, rock and folk influences of John Fowler (guitar and vocals) and Clare Fowler (vocals), Dandelion Charm’s critically-acclaimed signature sound is a luxurious blend of intricate harmonies, soaring melodies and heartfelt lyrics.

John Fowler: “Afraid of the Silence is a comment on Western society. So many of us just want to be told what’s worthy of our attention, what isn’t, what we should wear, what words we should use and so on. We absorb whatever the media spews out as if it’s our own thoughts, disregarding whatever was in vogue last week. So many people are terrified of not having all this stimulus and media guidance. They are afraid of the silence. People spend their time coveting whatever product is marketed to their demographic, and get a small dopamine release when it’s acquired, then they’re on to the next thing. This seems to be how many of us exist. I wonder whether such people reach old age and feel like they haven’t actually done anything – whether they feel as if they haven’t really lived.”

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The release of ‘Afraid of the Silence’ will be marked with a special launch gig at Bar 42, Worthing on 14th July.

Dandelion Charm’s debut album ‘Tiny Drop’ was released in 2015. This was followed by a five-track EP ‘Riding The Flood’ in 2018. Following the success of ‘Riding The Flood’ last year and appearances at Purbeck Valley Folk Festival, the Cropredy festival fringe and a support slot for prog icons Gryphon, 2019 is promising to be even more of an exhilarating ride for Dandelion Charm with an appearance at the Cambridge Rock Festival in July, a return to Cropredy in August and a string of gigs along the south coast. A second full-length album ‘Maybe Dreamers’ is scheduled for release in November 2019 in both CD and digital formats.

Media enquiries to: Darren Johnson +44 (0)7799 731 682


Afraid of the Silence cover art

Fine Soft Day: Contemporary progressive rock from folk-rock roots

New album: ‘You Are Here’ released 1st July 2019

You Are Here is the brand new album from Manchester progressive rock-influenced band Fine Soft Day. Fine Soft Day are Mark Sweeney (keyboards, vocals); Jeff Gascoyne (bass, guitar, violin, vocals) and Martin Hanbury (guitars, vocals).

Originally formed in 1996, Fine Soft Day were regular performers across the folk rock scene. The band’s live sets featured a mixture of traditional material interspersed with self-penned songs. Their eponymous debut album was released in 1998, picking up local radio play and a memorable live appearance on Sky TV. In subsequent years families and careers forced the music to take a back seat. In the summer of 2018, however, the band reformed with the intention of trying out some new material and to record some of the older songs which had never been committed to the studio. Over the following 12 months, Fine Soft Day’s new album, You Are Here, was written, arranged, recorded and mixed by the band themselves.

The new album incorporates strong influences of progressive rock, containing elements of early Genesis, Yes and Pink Floyd to name a few. The band’s original folk roots were now replaced by soaring guitars, sweeping keyboards, strident bass lines and rich, complex vocal arrangements.

Mark Sweeney (keyboards and vocals): “It was in 1996 that I was invited to join a band with Jeff and Martin. It quickly became clear that we had a musical understanding and we got on famously. It was bizarre that a Celtic rock band consisted of three frustrated prog rock enthusiasts. But we were at that stage in our lives when families and careers meant that our music had to take a back seat. Years passed, children grew and we all simultaneously felt that craving for creativity. So, in 2018, when Martin called and suggested we spend a couple of hours trying out some new material and recording some of the old songs, the spark was reignited. We started on the old folky stuff but it was clear that our new material was very different to the old stuff. I didn’t want to rely on my flute to the extent that we used to. Jeff felt the same about the fiddle. So our new music was much more based on progressive rock and the style was now leaning towards our original influences. Over the following twelve months You Are Here was born.”

You Are Here is a concept album, unashamedly. Built around a themes of hope and humanity stretching across two points in history but connected by a single point on the earth – the weaving together of time and space. The album features lyrical and musical motifs that recur throughout the material, in different guises, leading to the culmination of the 14 minute epic finale, Roll Up The World (Part 2). The band wanted the album to allow listeners to follow on a journey, in a similar way to classic albums such as Dark Side Of The Moon and Close To The Edge had done before. But alongside the progressive influences, there are elements of country rock, lending a flavour of R.E.M and Neil Young amongst others. The band are hugely proud of the album, which will be released on digital platforms worldwide on 1st July 2019.

Jeff Gascoyne (Bass, guitar, violin, vocals): “When my dad bought a cheap violin I jumped at the chance to learn. He always had an eye for a bargain and bought the whole record store at a 1971 school fair. What he didn’t realise was not all the records were classical. So at a young age I enjoyed Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Motherlight and Two Ounces Of Plastic With A Hole In The Middle. This opened the door to Genesis, Yes and ELP. The violin didn’t lend itself to playing this music but I soon discovered Fairport Convention and Dave Swarbrick. After college a friend said the cricket club band were looking for a fiddle player. I’d never been in a band before but was invited to the next practice and the next. As the line up changed it was clear that, much as we loved the Celtic music, at least three of us were frustrated prog-rockers. As family and career edged out the music I turned to leisurely solo composition without expectation of ever hearing it played. Then came the call from Martin…”

Martin Hanbury (guitars, vocals): “I had a hippy phase, a punkish phase, an Indie phase, and a folky phase. At the end of it, I settled on the folkier side of things because it was home-grown, accessible and invitational. Crucially, it honed the craft because there’s nowhere to hide with a bare, stripped down guitar and your voice. I was writing more and more songs and all I needed was a piece of wood with six strings and the breath in my body. My meeting with Jeff allowed me to expand the sounds I was hearing beyond the confining skills I had and when we teamed up with Mark the possibilities blossomed. So Fine Soft Day was always going to happen in a way; we just didn’t know what way. Now, looking back on those experiences and influences I can trace the tones and textures of my early heroes. Harrison, Hackett and Howe in a relay with Gilmour, Page and Declan Sinnott as each part of my playing steals the baton from one or another of them.”


Media enquiries to: Darren Johnson 07799 731 682

Twitter: @finesoftdayband

Thunderstick reveals his new gigging lineup for 2019 – new live dates announced

Drummer Thunderstick has always been one to champion change for his band. Both recorded material and live work have seen many talented musicians take their place with him onstage or in the studio so it is with fevered exhilaration that he excitedly announces Thunderstick ’19.

Barry Graham Purkis: “I can’t wait to put this band onstage, in my opinion it is the strongest lineup I have had since the bands formation back in the 80’s. Vocalist ‘Raven’ and guitarist Mike Gibbons have added something unique, something that goes beyond that of just being fantastic musicians. All of us are totally in ‘sync’ with each other, the creative chemistry between us all is something that for a musician happens very rarely if at all in a career. Their absolute love of theatrical rock/metal meant they were the perfect fit for Thunderstick and we have some great shows lined up. We’ll also be recording new material for a four track EP this summer I really feel very excited about this reincarnation.”

The full Thunderstick lineup is:
Vocals – Raven
Guitar – Mike Gibbons
Guitar – Lee Quenby
Bass – Rex Thunderbolt
Drums – Thunderstick aka Barry Graham Purkis

Raven started her career as a solo singer over a decade ago working the many small venues across her native Kent by putting in the performances she soon attracted enquiries from rock bands that had heard of her powerful voice and enigmatic stage presence she started guesting with many performing rock covers, as well as continuing her solo work. She now joins Thunderstick…’The Raven has landed’.

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Mike Gibbons has been on the Thunderstick radar for a couple of years indicating a strong interest in joining the band but the opportunity hadn’t been there…until now… professional UK-based session guitarist and songwriter he has played alongside major names including T’Pau, Richard O’Brien( Rocky Horror), Mike Pender, Brian Pool, Mike D’Abo and The Supremes amongst many others. He has as long list of TV and advertising credits as well as his stage and studio work. Aside from his work as a guitar player he is also a songwriter and composer, one of his songs ‘Butterfly’ featuring on the closing credits of the zombie horror PC game Paradigm Shift. He now brings his considerable talents to Thunderstick.

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Barry Graham Purkis aka Thunderstick became the figurehead of the newly emerging NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) scene in 1979, playing both with Iron Maiden and Samson (alongside Bruce Dickinson) and then with his eponymously named Thunderstick band. A songwriter, lyricist, arranger and producer in his own right he furthered the band’s career throughout the eighties until the band played its last gig in Tunbridge Wells in October 1986. Then a little over thirty years later he went back into the studio recording his songs that became the ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ album. Released in July 2017 it attracted enthusiastic reviews worldwide. In 2018 he put a live band together performing Thunderstick shows the first in more than three decades. Now Thunderstick ’19 are ready to ‘Steal your Rock ’n’ Roll Hearts’

Lee Quenby is a Kent guy through and through. He was lucky enough to score his first gig with Margate legends Vigilante before forming Mr Scary with two of his best friends, Mik Gaffney and Paul Delo. He never lost his love of that flash and showiness that the metal bands of the 80’s had.

Rex Thunderbolt another familiar face from the Kent music scene, bass-player Rex has been part of the reborn Thunderstick band since 2017, playing on the well-received album ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ and subsequent live gigs when Thunderstick returned to the stage.

Live dates confirmed so far are:
Sun 02 Jun 2019 – Mearfest – Slough
Fri 26 Jul 2019 – Leo’s Red Lion – Gravesend
Fri 02 Aug 2019 – New Day Festival – Faversham
Sun 29 Sep 2019 – 4 Sticks Weekender – Amersham Arms, New Cross
Sat 05 Oct 2019 – British Steel Festival (Bands consisting of ex Iron Maiden Members)- Fismes, France

Thunderstick group shot 2019 a

All media enquiries to: Darren Johnson (+44) 7799 731 682


All photo credits: Blake Cowell – visit his website here

‘Avenue of Luck’ the new single from folk/Americana duo Duffy & Bird

Single release date: 21st June 2019

A stunning slice of folk/Americana ‘Avenue of Luck’ is the brand new single from Duffy & Bird. It follows the duo’s well-received debut album ‘5 Lines’ released in 2017 and is a first taste of new material ahead of a new five-track EP that will be released this Autumn.

Duffy & Bird are Tricia Duffy on lead vocals and Al Bird on vocals and guitar. The duo’s blend of vocals with Duffy’s warmth and clarity creates a beautiful and emotive harmonic effect that is coupled with Al’s sensitive acoustic guitar. Betraying Al’s roots in rock, their songs combine fluid vocals with cleverly precise guitar arrangements.

Reflecting on the inspiration behind ‘Avenue of Luck’ Tricia Duffy comments:

“Al and I had been chatting about the number of listeners we had on Spotify and he used the phrase Avenue of Luck – how do we get on to the Avenue of Luck? That sounds like a song, I said to him! I think we both have a shared set of values when it comes to that whole notion of luck. We consider ourselves lucky but we also both strongly believe that there isn’t really any such thing as luck – as the song says only opportunity and [hard] work. That started the theme for the song. We’ve found that Avenue of Luck is a fantastic live song for us and even though it’s still new, it’s been incredibly popular when we’ve taken it out.”

Now based in Chiswick, west London (Tricia) and Farnham, Surrey (Al) the pair hail from Portsmouth and Cardiff respectively, their paths first crossing in 2015. Originally starting out as two-fifths of a rock covers band they morphed into an acoustic duo performing covers of classic songs. However, putting a set-list together one day two years ago, Tricia confided to Al that she was getting a little tired of doing covers and wanted them to start writing their own songs. With Tricia’s natural gift for storytelling and Al’s intuitive feel for a strong melody the pair soon evolved into accomplished singer-songwriters. Tricia’s trip to Nashville for a writing workshop in 2017 with songwriter, Verlon Thompson, and others meant she came back with new inspiration and a clutch of brand new songs. Their material began earning them a reputation on the live circuit, with some of their memorable appearances including 2018’s Weyfest and the Tamesis Dock floating barge venue in London.


“It’s all about stories with Tricia,” says Al. “She’ll get an idea from something someone has said, or she’s seen on TV, and that will percolate in her head until she can write 4-5 lines of a poem. That’s how most of our songs start.”

“Al is highly logical,” adds Tricia. “His musicianship is incredible but his inspiring skill is the way he listens. He hears how things are developing before we’ve even finished writing them and adds magic touches where you least expect them.”

Duffy & Bird’s debut album ‘5 Lines’ was released in November 2017. A five-track EP is scheduled for release in Autumn 2019.

“When I listened for the first time, my very first thought was I haven’t heard anything like this, since Simon & Garfunkel. An incredible duo.” Al Yardy – KB Radio on Duffy & Bird’s debut album ‘5 Lines’




Media enquiries to: Darren Johnson 07799 731 682


‘Stephanie’ the captivating new single from Dandelion Charm

Single release date: 8th April 2019

“a song about disappointment and failed expectation, loss of innocence, isolation and shame”

In a busy twelve months for prog folk outfit Dandelion Charm they’ve released a highly-acclaimed EP, extended their reach to many new fans and spent time in the studio finalising a brand new album. The single ‘Stephanie’ provides the first taste of what Dandelion Charm’s new material has in store for fans and will be released as a download on Monday 8th April 2019.

Newhaven-based Dandelion Charm is the creation of John Fowler (guitars/vocals) and Clare Fowler (vocals). They combine prog, folk and rock influences into a luxurious blend of intricate harmonies, soaring melodies, superb musicianship and heartfelt lyrics, receiving plaudits from across a range of genres – from prog to hard-rock to folk.
The single is a captivating and dramatic slice of exquisite prog folk from the highly-rated south-coast duo.

Clare Fowler: “I started writing the melody and lyrics for Stephanie on the bus to Brighton, I was thinking about my daughter and how she had come home from London after making a ‘bad’ choice. She was so embarrassed and crippled by shame and feelings of inadequacy, which were then fuelled and exaggerated by the insta-perfect lives she saw online. As the song took shape, however, I realised that I identified with her feelings and the character of Stephanie grew in my mind into an every-woman, embodying the journey into womanhood. Stephanie is a song about disappointment and failed expectation, loss of innocence, isolation and shame. The train is a metaphor for time which moves relentlessly forward regardless of our desire to step off or go backwards to a simpler more unworldly place.”


Already familiar faces on the Brighton and Worthing music scene, Dandelion Charm have stepped up their live appearances over the past year and won many new fans, performing as a duo or trio and sometimes in an expanded full-band format. Playing Purbeck Valley Folk Festival, being part of the festival fringe line-up at Fairport Convention’s Cropredy weekend and a support slot with prog rock icons Gryphon have been among the many recent highlights for Dandelion Charm.

John Fowler: “It feels like we’ve grown wings, its great when people you don’t know get in contact and want to talk about the music. That’s been the big difference this year it really feels like we’re going somewhere. For me this year has felt like someone has opened a gate to a big field, and we’re walking around the field and experiencing all these new things. It’s been great!”

Dandelion Charm’s debut album ‘Tiny Drop’ was released in 2015. This was followed by a five-track EP ‘Riding The Flood’ in February 2018. A second full-length album ‘Maybe Dreamers’ is scheduled for release in late 2019.

The release of the single ‘Stephanie’ will be marked with a special launch gig at The Observatory, Herstmonceux, Hailsham BN27 1RN on 6th April

DC Stephanie Cover Art

Media enquiries to: Darren Johnson 07799 731 682