Gig: Swampcandy – Overton-on-Dee Village Hall, North Wales: Saturday, 13th June

Posted on: Tuesday, Jun 2, 2015

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Swampcandy is a primitive blues influenced American duo from Annapolis, MD. The music they play is the dirty old Mississippi blues kind. Ruben Dobbs’ aggressive finger-picking and rhythmic style (which often adds up to sounding like more than one guitar), combined with Joey Mitchell’s bass playing, pounding kick drum and percussive bass throttling (representing the presence of a full drum kit) easily fill up the space normally created by a trio or even a four-piece group. Dobbs’ soulful, passionate vocals are the glue that holds it all together and makes this band tick. Swampcandy won the 2014 Floydfestival ‘On The Rise’ competition, coming in first out of 37 bands performing at the event.

Their third album, Midnight Creep/Noonday Stomp, was crowdfunded to remarkable success. “We did it in only two weeks,” says singer/ guitarist Ruben Dobbs with pride, “we had allocated eight.” Originally intended as two separate releases, Midnight Creep and Noonday Stomp ended up being combined into a 17-song document that combines studio and live recordings and has a familial vibe drawn from the original recording concept of Exile On Main St.  They have just released their fourth album, “Swampcandyland”.

Not only has the band played over 270 shows in 2014 alone, at venues and festivals around the U.S. and U.K., they also received an award as “Best Opening Act 2014? at the #1 venue in the world under 500 seats, The Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, MD.  Whether it’s a 20-minute opening slot or a 3-hour headlining gig, they give the audience 110% when they perform, leaving the stage exhausted and crowd satisfied.

This year they are touring the UK and are playing in Overton on Dee, at the Village Hall, on Saturday 13th June. (7 pm for an 8 pm start). Tickets will be £10 in advance, £12 on the night.

They will be supported by a more local five- piece band, The Black Rapids, from the dark heart of Shropshire, with songs of fear and loathing, fat politicians and the news of the world. The Black Rapids write music immersed in a timeless practice but their songs are laced with lyrical twists that narrate the darker side of modern life.

This creative band of musicians take twists and turns at every corner, taking the listener on a meandering journey of joy and then despair.

The Rapids deliver music that has feet in the rockabilly/country camp but is as current as their subject matter. This is no more apparent than in the song Silicon Kid which depicts the story of a youth who sits at home playing video games but his physical being is that of an old age pensioner. The band’s backbone comprises of hypnotic train-rolling rhythms and pounding double bass, embellished with infectious hillbilly banjo and furnace-fired electric guitar. Sitting on this, the vocal roars like a vintage Norton bike, classic components with a 21st century brand.

The band are currently recording their debut album for release in late summer 2015.

To avoid disappointment, reserve your tickets ahead of the night for £10, and save £2.00.  Call or text Katharine on 07752 942 702 or e-mail kathy.crockford@btinternet.com.  Tickets are very limited and are selling fast!

(Pic: Ian Williams Photography)

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