Neck Deep at Electric Factory
Thursday, February 1st, 2017
ALL AGES | Doors: 6PM | Show: 7PM
◊ Neck Deep ◊
Every now and then — and it happens less often than you might expect — a band comes along with the power, precision and indelible heart to capture the zeitgeist of a generation. Wrexham’s Neck Deep are, beyond any shadow of a doubt, one such band; a bona fide phenomenon whose remorselessly effervescent pop-punk bounce has already achieved what all rock music aspires to — striking a chord with kids all over the world. Since their formation a little over three years ago they have become one of the scenes most looked-up-to stalwarts in the US, UK and beyond thanks to a killer combination of monolithic choruses, spartan work ethic and redoubtable X factor. Returning now with a new salvo of hits in the shape of second full-length effort Life’s Not Out To Get You, Neck Deep stand on the cusp of something truly remarkable.
“This band has already provided me with some of the most incredible times in my life,” beams Ben Barlow. “When we started my only ambition was to play one gig. At this point I think I’ve ticked most things off my first bucket list and am having to draw up a new one!”
It’s no surprise that Ben’s bin is already full of goals written down and swiftly ticked off. After all, with an average age of just 20, the quintet (completed by guitarists Lloyd Roberts and Matt West, bassist Fil Thorpe-Evans and drummer Dani Washington) have, amongst other things, undertaken 2014's US Warped Tour (with 2015's imminent, having being the first band announced) and crushed the iconic Wembley Arena as main support to All Time Low — just one year after they first played the 180 capacity Camden Barfly as the launchpad for 2014 debut album Wishful Thinking.
Yet despite a catalogue of landmarks that would turn most bands salad-green with envy, ND’s sights are firmly set on the future.: “With Life’s Not Out To Get You we wanted to make what could, in the future, be considered Neck Deep album,” enthuses Ben ahead of a landmark Reading and Leeds mainstage appearance which will ignite the album campaign proper. “It’s a record which sums up so much of the journey that we’ve been on up until this point but which I think will also surprise a few people. It’s us at our most mature, our most sophisticated and with the best collection of songs we’ve ever written, in my opinion.”
◊ Speak Low If You Speak Love ◊
No stranger to the music scene, Ryan Graham, the now 23-year-old singer-songwriter, heads back to his roots sporting just a voice and an acoustic guitar to captivate as the ever passionate Speak Low If You Speak Love. Devoted to a rigorous and regular touring schedule and a lust for evoking untapped emotions, SLIYSL is a project aimed to become a household name, thanks to Graham's raw honesty and likeability.
Fusing elements of Evan Weiss-laden melodies with the pop sensibility of Taylor Swift, Graham produces a genuinely new outlook on the cliché acoustic scene. Not only does Speak Low If You Speak Love refuse to cut lyrical corners, but each song is crafted with its own unique identity. With the gift of bare-boned and blunt story telling, Graham extends listeners a personal invitation into the melancholy world he calls home.
With his newest release, “Everything But What You Need,” Graham explores his pressing existential inquiries, as well as delving into his recurring life quandary: the failed relationship. Relatable and relevant, EBWYN is a record with something for everyone.
“I feel like it’s as if I’m listening to Ben Gibbard’s demo tracks for Transatlanticism.” — Alex Boundy, Funeral Sounds contributing writer