A new generation of indie music bands breaking through
By Jason Disley
There is something special about live music –
It somehow gives rise to an optimism for the future when in these post Covid times a band comes onto the scene that has the ability to show that there is a new generation of indie rock stars on its way to share its intensity, its drive and skills.
Die Twice a band definitely to watch out for – have the wow factor. Last weekend they performed a debut gig at a new band showcase at Exeter Phoenix put on by Joe Duddell a composer and producer who is known for working with Richard Hawley, Elbow, and New Order. Die Twice performed as if they were seasoned pros. But were not the only band on this eventful night. The line up for the evening were three young bands, all there to show what they have to a sold out audience. First on – there was Beach Café – who were very good, played tight and started the evening off really well with a fine selection of songs, including The Yardbirds number Heart Full of Soul, then came Die Twice who really ramped it up and literally blew the roof off the venue, and lastly the most experienced of the three bands – Idol Giants – who for a three piece produced an incredible sound and were as excellent as you would hope. This three-piece teenage indie band from North Devon formed in 2017 and have been giging extensively. Their Influences include Artic Monkey’s, Joy Division and The Pixies. They are also signed to sr24 Records and have had their debut EP played on BBC Introducing. Their headline set consisted of a mixture of covers and originals, and Renee the lead singer has a voice that was clear and very pleasing to the ear – she is definitely one to watch. If anything, though, I personally would have enjoyed more original tunes than the covers that Idol Giants performed. But, as an experienced band they played incredibly well and the vibe of the evening was maintained, and the crowd were certainly enjoying the gig right up until the very end. Talking of covers – Die Twice only performed one cover – in there eight song set – not that anyone would really have known it was a cover – as it was actually rearranged with a reggae style, a rhythmic and very danceable version, that was in complete contrast to the French styled original of Koop’s Koop Island Blues. The song was so successful – anyone listening would have thought it was another one of their own perfectly crafted songs. That is the crux of it. Die Twice proved to be a band brimming with ideas and original work. Lyrically Ollie, the lead singer who writes the words to their tunes is of a calibre way beyond his years. Likewise, Sam the lead guitarist who is responsible for most of the arrangements is musically knowledgeable and astute enough to produce great ideas and music.
Yes. Die Twice may have been the most exciting band that evening, but the two other bands that were on that night really did give accomplished performances. If any of them are performing in your vicinity – go an see them. You will be in for a real treat.
As for Die Twice. It is only right you have a proper introduction:
This promising young band consist of-
Olly Bayton – lead vocals, guitar Sam Harris – lead guitar,
Zak Zaffiro – rhythm/lead guitar, vocals,
Finn Lloyd – Bass guitar
Jake Coles – drums.
The fact each member of the band is only 17, is mind boggling. They have only been together for a year – yes that’s right – only a year- and yet they sound like they have been honing their craft for many many years.
Olly the front man is a natural – it is plain to see. He works the crowd like he has been performing all of his life. He doesn’t stand still. You can see those at the front of the crowd are captivated and are hanging onto his every word. His voice has a fantastic tone when he sings the more harmonious parts, and yet he can scream and project his voice like many of the best front men out there – can’t help but imagine the likes of a young Alex Turner of The Arctic Monkeys not doing any better, and when the band really kicked in I was also reminded of 90s aussie rockers Jet – when they came on stage – it was like everything in the room had been turned up to full power and some – the energy was that high. Olly is definitely the perfect man for the front man role.
Sam on lead guitar is a truly talented musician. His guitar playing is superb, he is a multi instrumentalist and can play the piano beautifully – although as yet with the band we have only seen him play the guitar so far. Zak mainly plays rhythm guitar, but can equally play lead. He also provides extra vocals and harmonies, adding well to the dynamic. Then we have Finn – who looks younger than his 17 years. His bass playing is very accomplished. Originally used to playing the guitar, he was instructed to try the Bass only recently, and he has taken to it straight away. The bass guitar sounds quite prominent in the bands sound – but in no way does it seem like it shouldn’t be. If anything, it drives things along perfectly. Lastly Jake on drums is again a skilful drummer, and like all drummers has a sense of humour. Sat behind the band he looked comfortable and assured. It’s quite clear there is a confidence within the band. But it is an assured confidence. They aren’t arrogant. They are tight, and have a work ethic that shows true potential. This showcase is there chance to say look we are here to wake you up and have a good time.
Before this debut gig they have been working really hard they have ambition and a drive that is great to see. They recently recorded a 4 song EP with the Two Tone legendary Grammy awarded, Coventry based producer Roger Lomas. Which in itself shows they are already creating a buzz. A buzz that is bound to get louder as they continue taking the right opportunities that come their way.
They have released their first single – Pumpkin Spiced Latte – which is available to stream and download now on Spotify and Apple Music. They also have a second single Lady which will be released this weekend.
For a debut performance, I don’t think it could have gone any better for Die Twice – hence the focus- the atmosphere in the room was electric, and that was thanks to the vibe Die Twice helped create. Majority of the crowd on the evening were students from Exeter, and they clearly liked the band, and I expect their new fan base will grow quite considerably on the back of that performance and their new release.
They seem ready for the exciting road ahead, and a career that is wholly deserved should they stick with it. I for one look forward to seeing them get properly signed and seeing them take off, and be successful. The self penned songs and their musicality will take them far if they want it enough. I haven’t seen a band create that much energy at a debut gig ever.
These boys are the real deal –
You can follow Die Twice on Instagram @dietwice_
Idol Giants we will no doubt hear more about as their reputation grows, and Beach Café for a new band who have also only been around for a year and originally conceived as a solo recording project in January 2020. They too will no doubt build a following, especially as their Influences include The Beatles, The Coral, Buddy Holly, The La’s and The Stone Roses. The future is bright if this new crop of teenage indie bands is anything to go by.
Mods Of Your Generation 2021, All Rights Reserved. No part of this interview may be reproduced without the permission of the authors and Mods Of Your Generation . Image ©️ Jason Disley & respective owners