Where’s Strutter? @ The Fine Line Project, Southampton Cellar

WheresStrutterA2310WwmEvery so often you come across a band that’s so great live that you’re left utterly speechless – such is Where’s Strutter? It’s almost three months since they performed for The Fine Line Project at The Cellar in Southampton and we’re still in recovery, still searching for the right words to describe the sheer utter awesomness of their performance.WheresStrutter2350Wwm

The band travelled from Manchester on the day, had a puncture on the way, thus missing their studio session with multi-media magazine St Pauls Lifestyle (which will come later – meanwhile check out previous sessions on their LISTED ARTIST page) yet arrived perfectly chilled and went on to deliver with complete ease the most blistering, hottest set ever. The stage and the venue vanished altogether into the music and the moment.WheresStrutter2352Wwm

From Bones which starts off with a laid back ballady blues vibe, building into an enveloping anthem, peppered by perfect drumming, the signature sound of echoing guitars and utterly confident pitch perfect vocals, and onto other brilliant tracks from their current CD, Where’s Strutter? sure know how to hold their audience’s attention.WheresStrutter2355Wwm

Their music seamlessly crosses genres from hard edged rock into clever little strands of pop, atmospheric passages which transport you altogether elsewhere (was that bit of morse code? check the EP…) and stunning blues, blending unusual sounds into beautiful melodies that are at once new and yet strangely familiar. These guys have it just right – catchy guitar riffs, anthemic choruses, perfect timing, neat lyrics and a fantastic stage presence. If the sign of great artists is the apparent ease with which they demonstrate their talent, Where’s Strutter? have it in arena-loads.WheresStrutter2356Wwm

We’ve been enjoying their EP, Apollo’s Bloom, ever since we got our hands on a copy at the gig. Here’s the track listing:

Bones
Binded By The Sun
Questions (check out the video here)
Back To The End
See You AroundWheresStrutter2359Wwm

Get yourself a copy of this little gem while it’s still available – a bargain at £3.99 – and what’s more get down to their next gig and catch them live in a smaller venue before they become massive. In a few days time they’ll be on stage with another epic band, fronted by the great Pete Doherty. Where’s Strutter? are supporting Babyshambles at Manchester Academy on 7th September – so wish we were in town for that one!WheresStrutter2360WwmWheresStrutter2347WwmWheresStrutter2346Wwm

Where’s Strutter? features Patrick Neville, Lee Broadbent, Dan Green and Josh Leach. With the biggest thanks for their appearance at The Fine Line Project’s Rethink Benefit. Thanks also to Steve Maynard for all the great photos, St Pauls Lifestyle for their amazing ongoing support – take a look at our LISTED ARTIST pages on their site – and The Cellar Southampton, such a great venue.

Fine Line Project June 8th: Charlotte Campbell / Mog Stanley

Completing our line up for the Rethink Benefit at The Cellar Southampton on June 8th we have 2 more artists.

Upcoming local talent, Charlotte Campbell, one of the area’s biggest rising stars, is a singer songwriter with a voice exuding warmth and crystal clarity, beautiful melodies and a quirky folk/pop vibe which is already short-circuiting her to success. Charlotte is a graduate of the BRIT school and current scholarship student at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, having won her place through Mayor of London’s Gigs Live competition (Summer 2012). She has just released her new album Blue Eyed Soul featuring this catchy original tune – Quiet Nights:

We’re looking forward to opening the show with the powerhouse that is Mog Stanley’s one-man band, featuring some exceptionally brilliant blues guitar sounds along with his custom designed ‘percussion toe tapping shoe box thingy’. Mog will be releasing new recordings this Summer. We’re also hoping he’ll have a clutch of his recent EPs to bring to the gig including this awesome little track, Tricky Mouth Blues:

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The 8th also features Noah Francis in the headline slot and Where’s Strutter?

The Fine Line Project June 8th: Where’s Strutter? Live

It’s so refreshing to hear a genuinely original band – from the opening bars the echoing sound of Where’s Strutter?’s Long Way Down wraps you in, swirling forth through subtle twists, cascading guitars and an epic solo, all held together by some great drumming and Paddy’s melodic tones. This track sweeps you up, building in and out of massive crescendos in several loops – it’s all there in one song and delivered with palpable pleasure from St Pauls Lifestyle’s studio. This band from Manchester sure are going places; catch them while you can in a smaller venue. Hear them first at Southampton’s Cellar on the 8th with The Fine Line Project. We can’t wait!

Paddy on guitar/vocals, Danny on lead guitar, Broady on drums and Leach on bass, listen up:

Noah Francis to Headline Fine Line Project Southampton

We’re unbelievably excited about our next headline act, the incredibly talented Noah Francis.

We first saw Noah perform last year and were totally blown away by his voice, his songs, his band and his sheer presence on stage. Here’s an artist who certainly knows how to capture and hold his audience’s attention from the subtlest melodic tone to the sheer power of the chorus, all tightly controlled yet delivered with utter ease – electricity unleashed. More about this great singer, his band and new album later.

Meantime a word about our hosts, the fabulous Cellar in central Southampton – we’re looking forward to heading South on June 8th to work with this legendary music venue and their great team. We’ll be promoting the gig, which is in aid of Rethink, in collaboration with another brilliant Southern outfit, St Pauls Lifestyle, the cult music site known for their unstinted support of indie music everywhere. These people have soul! We’re also looking forward to some online support from the one and only Ralph, rock dog par excellence.

Watch this space for the rest of the line up. Meanwhile you can join us on Facebook and Twitter or email to be added to our mailing list.

We did say heading South in June – here’s a suitably sunny shot of Noah and Jamboree, one of his acoustic tracks. Back soon with more news.

Noah Francis Johnson South

Next Fundraiser for Mental Health – Time For A Rethink

It’s official: our next fundraising gig will be in aid of Rethink, who celebrate their 40th anniversary this year. They started out as the National Schizophrenia Fellowship, operating at a time when conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar (then know as manic depression), were barely spoken about. Anyone diagnosed with or caring for someone affected by these wide ranging and often debilitating conditions was almost utterly bereft of any support, let alone information. Thanks to the work of Rethink, and that of a few other pioneering charities including SANE (the beneficiaries of another of our ongoing campaigns), times have changed.

Speaking of pioneering efforts and times changing, the now aptly renamed Rethink Mental Health and Mind’s joint campaign to address stigma, Time To Change, has had a massive and wide-reaching impact on people’s perception and understanding of mental health issues. Their approach has been inclusive and broad, bringing the stigma commonly associated with tackling mental health to the very top of the agenda on TV, radio and also crucially through social media channels and onto the internet. Thanks to the web, people from all over the world are now able to access resources which continue to improve almost daily.

Please take a few minutes to watch this powerful and ground-breaking film produced for the Time To Change campaign. It’s not just relevant to young people and clearly it doesn’t just concern the British population:

Time to Change film link: The Stand Up Kid

As I write, the number of viewers is 53,410 – this video was published on the 12th September 2012, 17 days and less than 3 weeks ago.

There are lots of interesting comments and currrently 504 likes and 21 dislikes – the latter making you wonder who and why they felt the need to disapprove. Therein perhaps lies part of the story about stigma. Anyone touched by mental health issues, whether personally or professionally, knows that stigma remains one of the biggest issues. This is no time for complacency. Whilst the dialogue is more open nowadays, we still need to keep talking. The Time To Change film highlights how difficult talking can be and how crucial it is, from both sides of the fence. The more we can communicate this to others the better. Please share this film and please keep talking.

Find out more about Rethink via our Charities page where you can also donate direct to any of the organisations that we highlight.

To find out more about our forthcoming music benefit for Rethink, please check back soon, join our mailing list thefinelineproject (at) gmail (dot) com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Cheque Presentation to Mind

We were delighted to present a cheque for £1050 to Richmond Mind’s director Val Farmer a couple of weeks ago. The event took place at The Troubadour in Earls Court, London, where our last fundraising gig was hosted. The cheque was handed over in the presence of one of the Club’s directors, Susie Thornhill.

The Fine Line Project cheque for Mind designed by Patrick Barthes

Our designer Patrick Barthès created a wonderful fake cheque for the occasion which we’ve reproduced here, another opportunity to thank everyone involved especially the artists who performed at the fundraiser: BluesClub, Yolanda Charles’ The Deep Mo, Black River Wild, Max Fletcher and last but by no means least, DJ Liam Rogue State Wild.

We’re also grateful to our own team, The Troubadour’s, Richmond Borough Mind’s and Armadillo Central’s, not forgetting all the wonderful people who bought tickets and donated their money, time, energy and skills to make the event such a success. We couldn’t have done it without you!

We’re now working on the next gig so watch this space for more news. We’ll also be posting updates on Facebook and Twitter. To receive news by email please ask to join the mailing list by sending a message to: thefinelineproject *at* gmail.com.

Fine Art Prints from Armadillo Central to Benefit SANE

From music to art and from Mind to SANE, we’re onto our next project.

Armadillo Central artist Jennifer Copley-May has just agreed to pledge 10% from each sale of her new Tao prints to The Fine Line Project.

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Jennifer Copley-May Tao Armadillo Central

“This painting, which I have called Tao, symbolises for me the ever evolving universe and our lives in it.  Attitudes towards mental health/illness evolve too and they have long been a concern both for personal reasons and in the context of the wider world.

Taoism in its more pragmatic form has interested me for a long time. I recently dipped back into the ‘Tao of Politics, Lessons of the Masters of Huainan’, a book full of everyday wisdom, very profound and yet easy to read. The version I have has been translated and edited by Thomas Cleary. One aphorism seemed particularly relevant: “Those who comprehend the Tao are not focused only on themselves, they are also connected to the world.”

It seemed appropriate therefore to use Tao as my contribution to raising funds for The Fine Line Project.”

Tao, which has been reproduced from an original watercolour painting, is printed on heavyweight 310 gsm Hahnemühle Fine Art Paper using archival inks and is available in 2 sizes from www.armadillocentral.com.

Find out more about SANE’s crucial work via their website, linked from our Charities page.