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.”

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Media enquiries to: Darren Johnson 07799 731 682 darrenjohnson@crowfliescommunications.com

Website: https://www.finesoftday.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/finesoftday
Twitter: @finesoftdayband

Classic Rock magazine review of Thunderstick’s ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’

“…the band vacillate between the hard-hitting glam rock of late-era Sweet and the crunchy riffola of NWOBHM”

The November issue of Classic Rock magazine is out and has a review of the new Thunderstick album. Follow link to read the online review here

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Thunderstick – reviews round-up for ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’

In addition to full-page features in leading rock magazines like the UK’s Classic Rock, Germany’s Rock Hard and Mexico’s Heavy Riff, the Thunderstick album ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ has been picking up some great reviews.

Here’s a taster from recent reviews:

Classic Rock magazine: “…the band vacillate between the hard-hitting glam rock of late-era Sweet and the crunchy riffola of NWOBHM”
Read full review here

Bravewords: “an absolute cracker of a comeback album 9/10″
Read full review here

The Moshville Times: “like opening a doorway back to when rock and metal was at its newest and most raw”
Read full review here

Hotmetalonline: “will vie for the #1 spot on my year end album ‘best of 2017’ lists”
Read full review here

Get Ready To Rock: “A wonderful reminder of how good a drummer Thunderstick is and how much more there is to him than just the image”
Read full review here

Rockstruck: “A surprising and very successful comeback that deserves to be purchased by anyone with a hankering for a solid lap time classic well-executed Rock”
Read full review here

Eternal Terror: “wonderfully organic and raw record that perfectly captures the mood of the old days and yet sounds sharp, punchy and current”
Read full review here

KNAC: “its ten tracks literally burst with ideas 5/5″
Read full review here

Sea of Tranquility:Considering it’s been over thirty years since we’ve heard new material from this outfit, the band are locked and loaded”
Read full review here

New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Blog: “The Thunderstick and his band have recorded an excellent album which your ears deserve to hear”
Read full review here

For further information on the new Thunderstick album contact darrenjohnson@crowfliescommunications.com

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August 2017: Astounding reviews for first new Thunderstick album in three decades

Press Release: Astounding reviews for first new Thunderstick album in three decades

New album from NWOBHM legend: ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’
CD: TSCD001 Released: 31 July 2017

Hit hard by the tragic death of former Thunderstick vocalist Jodee Valentine at just 55, Thunderstick creator Barry Graham Purkis was inspired to do something in her memory. The first new Thunderstick album in over thirty years ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ duly emerged. Combining songs that the band were playing live first time around but had had never been released together with some new tracks written especially for this release, the album has met with fantastic reviews from all over the world.

Bravewords: “an absolute cracker of a comeback album” 9/10

Hotmetalonline: “will vie for the #1 spot on my year end album ‘best of 2017’ lists”

Get Ready To Rock: “A wonderful reminder of how good a drummer Thunderstick is and how much more there is to him than just the image”

Rockstruck: “A surprising and very successful comeback that deserves to be purchased by anyone with a hankering for a solid lap time classic well-executed Rock”

Eternal Terror: “wonderfully organic and raw record that perfectly captures the mood of the old days and yet sounds sharp, punchy and current”

KNAC: “its ten tracks literally burst with ideas” 5/5

Thunderstick: “The reviews for the new album have been astounding with an emphasis being placed on my songwriting ability and production – something that I am thrilled about, not bad for a drummer that wears a mask and plays inside a cage..!’

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 wildchild (something comparatively new for its time) Thunderstick the band was a perfect ‘Beauty and the Beast’ combination, playing live and recording for six years until it folded in 1987.

Something Wicked This Way Comes is true to the band’s original ‘classic rock’ style and maintains the classic Thunderstick band format of female vocalist, two guitars, bass and drums. Musicians on the album are: Thunderstick (drums), Martin Shellard (guitars), Dave Kandy Kilford (guitars), Rex Thunderbolt (bass) and Lucie V (vocals).

The CD album is available for purchase via Webstore  and in download format via Bandcamp

 

New Thunderstick album – news, reviews and interviews round-up

Some great reviews coming in for ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ the first new Thunderstick album in over 30 years. Here is a selection of what has been said so far:

Knac.com Pure Rock: “And what an album it is. As the first album with new THUNDERSTICK material in thirty years, its ten tracks literally burst with ideas.”
Read full review here

Sea of Tranquility: “Considering it’s been over thirty years since we’ve heard new material from this outfit, the band are locked and loaded here on Something Wicked This Way Comes, their blend of melodic metal, hard rock, and a touch of punk gives songs such as Dark Night Black Light.”
Read full review here

Eternal Terror: “Hats off to Thunderstick (the drummer) and his cohorts for managing to craft a wonderfully organic and raw record that perfectly captures the mood of the old days and yet sounds sharp, punchy, and current.”
Read full review here

Rockstruck Denmark: “A surprising and very successful comeback that deserves to be purchased by anyone with a hankering for a solid lap time classic well-executed Rock”
Read full review here

Get Ready To Rock: “A wonderful reminder of how good a drummer Thunderstick is and how much more there is to him than just the image. Well worth checking out.”
Read full review here

Also some lively interviews including:

Just For The Record: THUNDERSTICK in RETURN OF THE MASK – “It’s been a long process so many things have happened along the way…it would make a great book”
Read full interview here

Pete’s Rock News And Views: The former Iron Maiden and Samson drummer has been promising this release over the years. To say that it has been worth the wait is an understatement. The world of heavy metal needs this release, a release that was 30 years in the making.”
Read full interview here

Molten Metal Show: “On the show this week the legendary Thunderstick is here talking about his new album “Something Wicked This Way Comes”
Listen to interview here

Andrew McKaysmith Presents Scars and Guitars: listen to interview here

Totally Driven Radio: ‘Thunderstick talks to Totally Driven Radio about Samson, Iron Maiden & Something Wicked This Way Comes’
Listen to interview here

Hard Rock Heavy Metal: ‘Giovanni Soldi talks to Thunderstick’
Read interview here 

And thanks also to the whole slew of outlets who ran news of Thunderstick’s historic new album announcement. Too many to list in full but these include Bravewords, Blabbermouth, Sentinel Daily, MetalTalk, RockPages Greece, DemonsZone and Ultimate Guitar.