Press releases and coverage

Ed Sykes ‘Whiplashed’ single – reviews and news round-up

Some nice reviews in for ‘Whiplashed’ the forthcoming Ed Sykes single released on 8th June:

“Summoning the glam rock’n’roll 70s spirit of Bowie, Mott and the Stones, ‘Whiplashed’ includes a guest contribution from The Pretty Things’ Jon Povey, while a cover of ‘Ziggy Stardust’ on the b-side features Bowie’s longtime pianist Mike Garson” Vive Le Rock! – read full review here

“Using a vibe that harks back to the 70’s this is a toe taping stonker of a tune that will put a massive smile on your face” Spin Sunday Music Reviews – read full review here

“Sykes has written and produced the song which has a clean, retro 70s vibe with hints of Bowie, Rolling Stones and a touch of urban grit ala Tom Robinson” Rox Rock n Metal – read full review here

Ed Sykes Artist Profile at Pete’s Rock News & Views here

Whiplashed is released on June 8th by Maniac Squat Records.

Thunderstick – New-look band photos unveiled and live video plans announced

‘The Seismic Plate Date’ – Ambition and development built on nostalgia – NWOBHM ‘18

Ahead of ‘The Seismic Plate Date’ at Leo’s Red Lion in Gravesend on 28th July, the first Thunderstick band gig in over thirty years, the new-look band is unveiled in full glorious colour for the first time. In addition, Thunderstick creator Barry Graham Purkis has also announced plans to film the historic gig for DVD release later in the year.

Thunderstick band shot 1

“At Leo’s we will be creating our own little piece of rock ’n’ roll history by filming throughout the day, the build up to the gig, talking to gig goers, the full show and a post-gig meet and greet question and answer session with the band. Viixen, Lee, Baz, Rex and B will steal your rock ‘n’ roll heart…” promised Thunderstick’s alter-ego Barry Graham Purkis.

Thunderstick & Viixen 1

Tickets £10 – available via

Doors open 7.30pm. Starts 8pm. Support from Blackmayne.

The full Thunderstick lineup is :

Vocals – Viixen
Guitar – Baz Roze
Guitar – Lee Quenby
Bass – Rex Thunderbolt
Drums – Thunderstick

The Leo’s Red Lion gig will be followed up by a number of festival appearances including A New Day Festival (3-5 August ), Hard Rock Hell (8-11 November) and Mearfest (November).

Barry Graham Purkis aka Thunderstick became the figurehead of the newly emerging NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) scene, initially with Samson and then with his own band Thunderstick, playing live and recording for six years until the band played its last gig in Tunbridge Wells in October 1986. ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’, the first new Thunderstick album in over thirty years, was released in July 2017 and has been attracting enthusiastic reviews from all over the world.

Thunderstick band shot colour 2

Photo credits: Emma Morgan-Knight

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


News: ‘Whiplashed’ – like a rock ‘n’ roll time capsule, debut single from Ed Sykes ‘Whiplashed’ b/w ‘Ziggy Stardust’ (featuring legendary Bowie pianist Mike Garson)

Released: Maniac Squat Records 8th June 2018

Cat no: MSL2018V008

‘Whiplashed’ is the long-awaited debut solo single from Bury St Edmunds singer, song-writer and producer, Ed Sykes. With its glammy overtones, fondly reminiscent of Bolan, Bowie and ‘70s era Stones, the single immediately announces itself as a classic pop debut while strongly kicking out its own identity and authenticity.

Ed Sykes is like a rock ‘n’ roll time capsule that has somehow let himself in through your cat flap and is about break open the goods here and now in 2018. His music and Shaman-like performances are deliberately aimed at going beyond typical stereotypes. With a mission to put latter-day expectations of an ‘entertainer’ up a few notches, he describes his own brand of pop music as sonic stories that deliberately evoke a heightened state.

Enthusing about the release of ‘Whiplashed’, Ed Sykes reflects,

“It’s very fitting that ‘Whiplashed’ is my debut single as its early ‘70s vibe captures the time that I was born into and the sounds that formed the bones of my musicality. This is essentially my ‘Get It On’ or ‘Rebel Rebel’. I wanted it to sound like a great little timeless Rock and Roll number that you feel you already know somehow. I want to remind people how great pop can be and to show people the standard that I aspire to. For me great pop and rock and roll should be instant, you have no intellectual choice you are either in or out. The sound of it, how it hits you, you know you instinctively love it so it’s not a choice. That’s what I’m about. I believe that if something is written and played from the heart then even an over familiar twelve-bar riff can still be as vital as it always was, like I think I’ve demonstrated with ‘Whiplashed’. It’s a blatantly honest pop song and how it sounds should connect to the core of other people’s basic love for Rock and Roll too I hope.”

Written and produced by Ed Sykes ‘Whiplashed’ features ex-Pretty Things keyboard player, Jon Povey, on brass. Povey played on the band’s highly-revered SF Sorrow album amongst other classics.

“I am honoured to have Ex Pretty Thing Jon Povey on the track who did the fabulous brass section giving it a touch of 60’s Stones that I love,” Ed says.

The B side of ‘Whiplashed’, meanwhile, (rightfully named the ‘Z’ side for this release) is a stripped-to-the-bone rework of the David Bowie classic ‘Ziggy Stardust’. It features the unmistakable avante-garde jazz-infused piano of legendary Bowie collaborator, Mike Garson. Ed’s vocal drives a new reflective vibration into the piece that possibly only the passing of significant time, and a certain hero, could allow for.

“Ziggy Stardust came about completely by chance after being asked by the record company ‘How are you at singing Ziggy Stardust?’ I didn’t set out for it to be the Z side to my debut single but again it feels very fitting that it is. Being a big David Bowie fan I still pinch myself that Mike Garson is actually playing on this track and WOW! What a performance. Nobody has ever heard Ziggy this way. I’m glad it came about naturally otherwise I’m unsure I would have ever chosen to take on such a huge classic song.

“It’s sheer size is very daunting but I’m over the moon and very proud of this version. I tried to bring a tenderness to the song and it’s story. I wanted to reflect a love and thankfulness for that iconic character who still lives in the hearts of millions and also to the man that created him who is dearly missed. Coincidentally it’s feels very right for me that rock and rolls biggest Shaman should appear on my first record. This connects very much to what I am about and intend to tap into as a performer,” muses Ed Sykes.

Those who have worked with Ed Sykes recently say the following:

“Undoubtedly the best young musician/producer I have worked with since Abbey Road. A real turn on for me – to create great sounding music with Ed. Wow!!”

– Jon Povey (ex-Pretty Things)

“Ed Sykes has proven to me what an incredible talent he is. He guided me towards the light of the late ‘60s while producing my album Think Pink III. I hope Ed’s new single is a smash. He deserves it.”

– Twink (Pink Fairies)

“I enjoyed this version (Ziggy Stardust) very much and enjoyed playing on it.”

– Mike Garson

Ed Sykes – a brief history:

Born in Bury St Edmunds in 1971, Ed Sykes soaked up his parents’ record collection of the 50’s and 60’s and lived through the rest of pop culture. His foundations were a love of classic songwriting infused with the influences of being exposed to counter-culture lifestyles from a very young age. His influences include Hawkwind, Bolan, Bowie, Beatles, early Stones, early Pink Floyd, Numan, Can, Wire, Beta Band, King Tubby, Beck, PJ Harvey, Jesus & Mary Chain, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spiritualised and Ty Segall.

Ed’s last band before going solo in 2017 was Colchester-based So-Called Humans. Over the years his work within bands has gained favourable reviews from John Earl (9/10 Single review) and he has appeared on a John Peel Radio show playing 4 track demos. Damon Albarn recommended a self-produced white label EP to an equally impressed Parlophone Records.

More recently, Ed has become equally recognised for his production skills. He has produced founding Pink Fairy member Twink’s 2018 album Think Pink III. Ed also has writing credits on the album, which is currently receiving rave reviews.28870049_1794294897288435_3018959257679437866_n‘Whiplashed’ is released on 8th June 2018.

Photo credit: Maryann Morris

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

News: Thunderstick ‘The Seismic Plate Date’ – Showcase gig for NWOBHM icons at Leo’s Red Lion, Gravesend 28 July 2018

A band by the name of Thunderstick has not been seen on stage for thirty years. All that is about to change…

On the back of the phenomenally positive reaction to last year’s album the eponymously named Thunderstick hit the stage in July for the first Thunderstick gig in over thirty years.

Taking the stage at Gravesend’s infamous rock venue, itself celebrating 40 years of live music, Leo’s Red Lion will host a unique Thunderstick ‘showcase’ gig a week before their performance at ‘A New Day’ festival, after which the band will do select gigs through until the Autumn culminating in the ‘Hard Rock Hell’ festival in November. The Gravesend gig will see Thunderstick performing their full festival set coupled with a post-gig Q&A session with Thunderstick creator Barry Graham Purkis and his band-mates.

Thunderstick aka Barry Graham Purkis comments:
“Energy, power, theatrics and outrage have always been present in the Thunderstick shows of old. We will ramp up those components considerably for the forthcoming New-NWOBHM 2018 stage shows. For those who were there first time round in the ‘80s welcome back we have missed you so much. For those about to experience us for the first time prepare yourselves for a journey. Viixen, Lee, Rex, Baz, and Thunderstick will steal your ‘rock’n’roll heart’…”

On returning to this prized venue he reflects:
“The Red Lion in Northfleet has always been a ‘musical basecamp’ for me, both with Samson and with Thunderstick. Iron Maiden have their ‘Cart and Horses’…I have the ‘Red Lion’ Northfleet. Can’t wait to play there this summer.”

Lead vocalist Viixen adds:
“The sky drew dark and low with ominous clouds, the winds shriek, howl, cry, baying wolf like into the black, the first crack of lightening announces the reverberated boom of the overhead Thunder, in the eye of the savage storm thirty years plus in the coming, I will stand centre stage resolute in my ability to control, do not fear I am here for you…”

Tickets £10 – available via

Doors open 7.30pm. Starts 8pm. Support from Blackmayne.

The full Thunderstick lineup is :
Vocals – Viixen
Guitar – Baz Roze
Guitar – Lee Quenby
Bass – Rex Thunderbolt
Drums – Thunderstick

The Leo’s Red Lion gig will be followed up by a number of festival appearances including A New Day Festival (3-5 August ), Hard Rock Hell (8-11 November) and Mearfest (November).

First noticed playing with a developing Iron Maiden in the seventies then moving to Samson (being instrumental in finding a very youthful Bruce Dickinson) Barry Graham Purkis became the figurehead of the newly emerging NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) scene. This was done by creating an alter ego Thunderstick, a masked persona known not only for his wild style of playing drums but doing so from inside a cage and playfully terrorizing audiences. He went on to form his own highly theatrical band in the eighties. Fronted by a female rock ’n’ roll wild-child (something comparatively new for its time) Thunderstick the band was a perfect ‘Beauty and the Beast’ combination, playing live and recording for six years. The last Thunderstick band gig was in Tunbridge Wells in October 1986.

‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’, the first new Thunderstick album in over thirty years, was released in July 2017 and has been attracting enthusiastic reviews from all over the world: “the band vacillate between the hard-hitting glam rock of late-era Sweet and the crunchy riffola of NWOBHM” – Classic Rock magazine

The CD album ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ is available for purchase via via and in download format via Bandcamp

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


Thunderstick poster Leo s Red Lion-page-001

News: Newhaven duo Dandelion Charm release brand new EP with launch gig at The Brunswick, Hove

Venue: The Brunswick, 1 Holland Rd, Hove BN3 1JF

Date: 11 February 2018, 7pm

Riding The Flood is a new five-track EP from Newhaven-based duo Dandelion Charm. John and Clare Fowler combine prog, folk and rock influences into a luxurious blend of intricate harmonies, soaring melodies, superb musicianship and heartfelt lyrics. Imagine Fleetwood Mac meets Opeth and CSN meets Yes.

The EP is released on 11th February and will be formally launched with a special gig that evening. Dandelion Charm will be performing songs from the EP with a full band at the Brunswick, Hove’s premier music and arts venue. Tickets (£8 advance/£10 door) available via

Very much a personal as well as a creative partnership, Dandelion Charm have been memorably described as ‘like Fleetwood Mac without the drama’. As one reviewer has noted, however, all the drama is to be found in the songs themselves.

Clare Fowler: “The themes we deal with in our songs are not frivolous ones. They are all about aspects of real life, things that we’ve seen or been part of. Fear and self-doubt, optimism and determination, family, relationships and addiction are some of the emotions and situations we explore on Riding The Flood.”

“I just can’t find the words to express how excited John and I are about this launch gig,“ Clare added. “We’ve been rehearsing with some incredible musicians to bring to life John’s epic production.”

Dandelion Charm - High Res for print-71

With a background working in a commercial studio, John brings over twenty years of song-writing and production experience to Dandelion Charm. Clare, meanwhile, is a long-time visual artist and performer and her love of storytelling manifests itself in her heartfelt lyrics and emotive delivery. There are three key elements to Dandelion Charm, however: John, Clare and ‘Olah’. The latter being John’s custom-built jumbo twelve-string guitar which is central to both the songwriting process and the duo’s live performances.

John Fowler: “We crowd-funded for Olah and I ended up with this amazing beautiful-looking instrument. With Dandelion Charm it’s the first time I’ve made music where I’m not trying to please anyone but it’s hugely rewarding seeing others who love what we’re about.”


What people are saying about Dandelion Charm:

“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.” – Jason Ritchie (Get Ready To Rock)

“…the fullness of the music, the beautiful harmonies, the sheer musicianship that one moment floats out of the car hi-fi then suddenly becomes a blast of power” FATEA

“Dandelion Charm…clearly destined for greatness” – Chris Giles (Folk Is Not A Rude Word)

“Packed with beautiful harmonies and emotional, heartfelt lyrics. Like Fleetwood Mac, they play, sing and write music with classic, soaring pop melodies that will also appeal to the serious muso.” – ROSS SIMPSON (Director – First Act Workshops)

“Bloody brilliant night at The Old Oak…Dandelion Charm – just, WOW!” – Jimbo Tipler (Folk at The Old Oak)

Media and guest-list enquiries to: Darren Johnson 07799 731 682