Stella Grundy - Stella Grundy band - Punk Reggae Party August 27th 2016

Stella Grundy - Stella Grundy band - Punk Reggae Party August 27th 2016
The Stella Grundy Band

Punky Reggae Festival

Burnage Cricket Club, Manchester

27th August

Stella Grundy brings her Magickal album to life with the help of a full backing band, giving it sparkle, depth and of course beats. Nigel Carr is on hand from Louder Than War and reports back below with photos by Jelly Universe Productions.

It’s taken a while to pull together but Stella has finally assembled the kind of band she can be proud of to bring her ambitious Rise and Fall Of A Northern Star project to life. The tracks which were released as an album appear in the play of the same name, which has been growing in reputation around the UK. I get the chance to chat to Stella before the show:

“I felt the songs were visual and had lot of dynamics to be live, people expect a natural chord progression but I don’t do it like that so it’s been a bit tricky – I’m using professional rock and roll musicians and making them play dance music, that’s why”

Steel Grundy Band

I’m in a field in Burnage a small suburb on the outskirts of Manchester and the heavens look as though they are about to open as the band hit the stage. From the opener, High you can see the effort that has gone in to the production of these numbers. This isn’t any old band, they are phenomenally gifted musicians and really know how to play. Karen Leatham bass guitar, Martin Bolt: lead guitar, Ben Knott: keyboards and electronics and Ian Budgie Jones on drums have all been frantically rehearsing and it shows. They made their debut at last month’s Blackthorn Music Festival in Stockport, their tight performance going down a storm.

They are here tonight to play just a short set of the highlights from the album and a couple of new tracks. As we get in to Escape Hatch which was originally recorded in the studio with Jah Wobble’s basslines, I realise just how much heavy dub and reggae underpins these tracks. It’s a deep throbbing, brooding number with Stella’s half spoken, half sung lyrics floating over the top. Ever the professional, she dominates front of stage, glitter faced, dancing with abandon at the mic.

Stella Grundy

Goodbye sounds oddly out of place in a live performance as the following track, I half expect to see her waving us off, but it’s just brilliant; with it’s upbeat French vibe, it’s soaked in heavy dub which suits this ‘punky reggae’ audience down to the ground. Heavyweight is introduced as a song about ‘being pregnant’ and I get it now! ‘It’s a heavy weight I’m carrying’ with its funky keyboard backing.

Star gives her the opportuntity to introduce some thumping beats with its tale of touring in the ‘back of a van’ and she closes with the remixed, remodelled Intastella track Skyscraper. With the darkness closing in and the rain keeping off we slide on in to the night, with sparkling lights and a deep groove that has the audience dancing away in front of the stage.

Stella has been back in the studio remixing some of these tracks as full-on DJ dance numbers, some of which I’ve heard – I look forward to the full remix album!

~

Upcoming:

Headline show at Hebden Bridge Trades Club on Friday September 30th  http://thetradesclub.com/events/stella-grundy-band

October 12th Supporting Lene Lovich at Manchesters Fac 251 http://glasswerk.co.uk/concerts/gig/13133/Lene+Lovich+Band-FAC+251,+Manchester/

You can read more about Stella and buy the album online here: theriseandfallofanorthernstar.com

The show ‘s Facebook Page is here, while Stella is on Facebook too and she tweets as @StellaProduct.

All words by Nigel Carr. More writing by Nigel on Louder Than War can be found at his Author’s archive

Photos by Nigel and Jelly Universe Productions

9 COMMENTS

  1. Another Excellent performance from Stella. Stella is making a lot of noise in the music industry, her song “Star” is an excellent example of Grundy’s innovative insight into band culture. Her artistic nature expands into many realms. Her acting and artwork are just some of her talents she holds within. It’s Well worth a visit to see Ms Grundy perform if you get the chance. A Manc thru and thru.

  2. As if Stella’s transition from musician to actress wasn’t remarkable enough – now, having gathered acclaim for her brilliant performances in her stage production ‘The Rise and Fall of a Northern Star’ – she is back with an exciting new band giving fresh purpose and interpretation to songs from the show in addition to new compositions.
    Looking forward to seeing her forthcoming headline show at Hebden Bridge Trades & as support to Lene Lovich at Fac 251.

  3. Hi this is Magic from the brakes I am the lead singer and I was playing at Manchester Academy and after our performance to an absolutely amazing crowd we got to witness Stella doing an amazing performance . blonde hair and voice to match what more could you ask for dance mix with Rock with amazing poetry she watched our entire set and was very encouraging in the dressing room, we hope to work with her soon, I love her vibe . The guest slot she did with dust junky was also an expected an fun .She gave us some good tips . We hope to support her at some point in the future and have started to listen to quite a lot of electronic rock .her old stuff was cool, was with intrastella , we’ve been following her on YouTube . She is as original as Bjork but for me makes more sense from a Manchester point of view . Really enjoyed her work with tricky . Grand Master seems like it inspired Kylie Minogue , Confide in me . The production of tricky but her voice has something very different , clarity and a bit meaningful with her words . When she was being interviewed in the dressing room she got the interviewer to do a piece with us which I thought was great .

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