Press releases and coverage

Hove: Dandelion Charm perform free-entry acoustic gig in support of music therapy charity

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

Date: Friday February 8th 2019 , 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm. Free entry.

Prog folk duo Dandelion Charm will be performing a free-entry acoustic gig as part of Fifty Gigs In A Day, which is taking place world-wide on 8th February 2019 to support the work of the Nordoff Robbins music therapy charity. They will be joined by singer-songwriter duo Milton Hide.


Newhaven-based Dandelion Charm are John and Clare Fowler. They combine prog, folk and rock influences into a luxurious blend of intricate harmonies, soaring melodies, superb musicianship and heartfelt lyrics. 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. The duo’s exquisite studio work has received plaudits from across a range of genres – from prog to hard-rock to folk. Clare and John will be joined on stage by guitarist/vocalist Bob Burke.


“We are absolutely passionate about the power of music and this gig is a wonderful opportunity to support the work of Nordoff Robbins. Their music therapy work can be life-changing for so many people,“ says Dandelion Charm’s Clare Fowler.

Opening the evening will be Milton Hide who are husband and wife team, Jim and Josie Tipler. Natural storytellers with material that is rooted in folk traditions, they write and perform songs that are strong in melody and full of hooks. Sometimes personal, sometimes amusing, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes making a point – but always memorable.

Fifty Gigs In A Day is the brain-child of Jason Ritchie. “The idea was to create a whole host of gigs, events and social media posts mentioning Nordoff Robbins on and around the 8 February. As it was such a success last year I thought why not make it an annual event. This year it will be hopefully 51 gigs and the focus this time will be on up-and-coming bands, artists, comedians and authors – all supporting and plugging the work of Nordoff Robbins,” says Jason.

Nordoff Robins are the largest independent music therapy charity in the UK, dedicated to changing the lives of vulnerable and isolated people. They support thousands of people in their own centres as well as care homes, schools and hospitals. When delivered by a trained practitioner, music therapy can be used to support people living with a wide range of needs.

Donations – for those wishing to support the work of Nordoff Robbins through Fifty Gigs In A Day a Just Giving page has been set up here

Find out more here about Fifty Gigs In A Day here:

Find out more about Nordoff Robbins here:

Media enquiries to: Darren Johnson 07799 731 682


Kent-based hard rock band Thunderstick return to live gigging after thirty years

Leo’s Red Lion, Gravesend – Saturday 28th July. Doors open 7.30pm. Starts 8pm. Support from Blackmayne. Tickets £10 – available via

A New Day Festival, Faversham – Sunday 5th August

On the back of an overwhelmingly positive critical reaction to a new album last year, Kent-based band Thunderstick hit the stage on July 28th for their first Thunderstick gig in over thirty years.

First noticed playing with a developing Iron Maiden in the seventies 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.

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 Faversham’s ‘A New Day’ festival on Sunday 5th August.

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 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’…”

The Folkestone-based musician adds: “I have lived and travelled all over but always feel truly at home on returning to the Kent coast. As a musician living in Kent I find the creativity that exists here totally energised, full of like- minded artists that have no wish to compete in the daily rat race of large cities such as London and yet still manage to achieve the same aims conducted in a far more serene environment.”

The new Thunderstick lineup is :
Vocals – Viixen, from Margate
Guitar – Baz Roze, from Margate
Guitar – Lee Quenby, from Faversham
Bass – Rex Thunderbolt, from Gravesend
Drums – Barry Graham Purkis aka Thunderstick, from Folkestone

Vocalist, Viixen: “Originally from Shropshire, I’ve lived Kent for the past 18 years. We have a fantastic live music scene in our county, with some awesome venues such as ‘The Red Lion’ in Gravesend and ‘The Harp Restrung’ in Folkestone who are dedicated to keeping it alive. How privileged we are to have this on our doorstep! As the First Thunderstick storm draws closer I grow more and more excited! We literally can not wait to perform for you! Expect passion, theatrics, and full sensory stimulation. it’s gonna ROCK!”

Guitarist, Baz Roze: “Living in Thanet since the age of 3, I’ve been very lucky as Margate has always been a place that has attracted musicians and bands with many venues..Most of these places are now gone but I was lucky to be part of the hairmetal and rock scene in the 80s and early 90s with a great venue, The Ship Inn, being my local. Many bands passed through this iconic place with many band members going on to relatively bigger things. Margate still has a great rock following even today.”

Guitarist, Lee Quenby: “I’m a Kent guy through and through born and grew up in Canterbury and currently living in Faversham. I was lucky enough to score my first real guitar playing gig with Margate legends Vigilante in 1990 before forming Mr Scary with two of my best friends, Mik Gaffney and Paul Delo later that year. I’ve played in various cover bands between then and now, but never lost my love of that flash and showiness that the metal bands of the 80’s had, so now playing in Thunderstick, I love getting that chance to dress up and be a showman again!! Can’t wait to see you all at a show sometime this summer! Hell yeeah!”

Bass-player, Rex Thunderbolt: “From being born and growing up in Margate during the eighties and around the country during the early nineties, Kent has always been home. I feel privileged to enjoy this wonderful county as I travel from show to show. Having settled in Gravesend since ‘96, the red lion has always had a special place in the hearts of the rock and metal-minded. The names that have played on that stage. It feels right that as the Red lion celebrates 40 years of great live music, the reborn Thunderstick should restart its journey. I am proud to be a part of it.”

A recent band photo-shoot took place at Ashford’s Boys Hall.

Thunderstick band shot colour 2

Photo credit: Emma Morgan-Knight

Thunderstick are available for interviews.
All media enquiries to: Darren Johnson (+44) 7799 731 682


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