2017 with Already Heard

As you all might already know, in March I joined Already Heard as a contributing photographer. Since then I have shot a few gigs for them, but it’s only just the beginning! The AH team have made me feel very welcome and I cannot commend them enough for the superb organisation behind all the features and reviews you see on their website. 

As the year draws to a close I have been asked to take part in presenting forth my top 10 records of the year, as well as writing up a succinct review of an album included in our “10 Albums From 2017 You Might’ve Missed” feature. 

If you haven’t come across these features yet, the links are listed below!

Read the Already Heard’s “Record of The Year 2017 - The Staff Picks” here, to see my top 10 records, favourite gig and festival of 2017.

Find out what we had to say about the albums you might’ve missed out on this year here, including my review of “With Might And Main” by Defences.

And if you’d like to see the photo sets I’ve contributed to AH so far, click here!

Don’t forget to keep up to date with Already Heard on…




Spotify - Listen to the “Best Songs of 2017” playlist here and check out more!

REVIEW: Defences - With Might and Main

Earlier this year, Defences, a Hertfordshire based alt-metal
band released “With Might and Main” unto the world to make its mark as their
stand out debut album, mixed by Jeff Juliano (Twenty One Pilots, PVRIS) and
mastered by Tim Debney (Biffy Clyro, Iron Maiden). But it might have just slipped
under your radar. Despite being a self-proclaimed “alternative metal” band this
album really showcased the extent of their abilities to adapt and incorporate
different sounds. Covering not only alt-metal, but a mix of subgenres too, such
as symphonic metal and post-hardcore. If you’ve ever wanted to find a kick ass
female fronted band that breaks free from the conformities of their genre, whilst
still maintaining a mature polished sound, then this album will be something
for you.

“With Might and Main” opens with a beautiful instrumental
track “Re Emerge” where lead singer Cherry Duesbury’s voice creeps through the
atmospheric piano in whispers and echoes “I’m not dreaming, I’m not dreaming
anymore”. Before long the crescendo of her voice leads into the next track “The
Takeoff” which is where things really do take off, with a striking drum intro
and lively guitar riffs they pick up the pace. They maintain the energy and
tempo as the track seamlessly flows to the next track “Two Steps Back”. Here we
really hear the dynamics between Cherry’s clean melodic voice and Ed Briggs’
raw screaming vocals, which really works and not too many bands can get that
mix right. The chorus showcases their complimentary vocals well whilst integrating
a catchy hook, which you can imagine invites a sing along when played live.
Throughout the album they display their maturity instrumentally and also
lyrically, this isn’t just an album that makes you want to head bang, but it
also pulls at your heartstrings, as it’s encased with a lot of meaningful
lyrics people can relate to. Great examples of this include, Let You In, Scared
and title track, With Might and Main.

Beginning in 2013 working on their own sound, as well as
this album for years, it is clear that their hard work has paid off now the
album has been brought to the light of day. Defences have achieved a lot with
their very first full-length album, so much so you would think they were
veterans. Look out for more big things from them in the new year.

Special accreditation goes to Ed Briggs for smashing the vocals on this album!

Top Tracks: Two Steps Back, Grow and Beneath The Surface.

Listen here on Spotify or, if you’re into physical copies, check out their web store here.

Graphics/Artwork: Make North

Photo: Fordtography

INTERVIEW: Courage My Love

So this is your second UK tour, how are you finding the UK?

Mercedes/Phoenix: It’s awesome!

Mercedes: We love it, it’s even more fun this time around cause we’re seeing some familiar faces and made friends last time.

Which city has been your favourite to play so far?

Mercedes: Paris was a really good show and we really like that city a lot. London I gotta say is always really fun and a lot of good times. I think it’s different for everybody.

Phoenix: We haven’t played this day yet but I think Leeds is gonna be pretty fun too. Last year it was a really good show, we’re excited.

Have you had much time on this tour to explore?

Mercedes: Yeah sometimes, like today (Camden Rocks Festival) we already played so we’ll probably go and explore a little bit. Usually we’re the last band on so at around like 10 at night or after we soundcheck we’ve got a bit of time to go check things out.

And you guys are playing Warped Tour this year. Are you doing the whole run?

Phoenix: Yeah! The whole thing.

Mercedes: We did it before in 2014 and we got asked to do it again this year so it should be a fun time.

Phoenix: We’ll have like two days back home after this tour then we leave for warped tour so it’s pretty good!

Brandon: On the road again!

Are there any bands you’re looking forward to seeing on Warped Tour?

Phoenix: *Gasps* There’s a lot of bands!

Mercedes: For sure.

Phoenix: Beartooth are really cool, I wanna watch them, I think they’re awesome. Silverstein are like our Canadian bros so it’ll be cool to see them.

Brandon: It’ll be cool to see Hawthorne Heights again.

Mercedes/Phoenix: Yeah!

Mercedes: We already toured with them and they’re really cool people so it’s nice.

What’s your favourite thing about touring?

Mercedes: Honestly the whole thing is my favourite. I love travelling, I love the friendships that we make, I really like the experiences and seeing new places and meeting new people. Being musicians we like getting to play every day - that’s a bonus! If you’re cut out for it then it’s the perfect life.


Phoenix: It can be physically straining I guess, just on your health sometimes. But it’s really fulfilling and really fun, it’s worth it!

Any top tips for touring?

Mercedes: I’d say sleep as much as you can. That’s we do, we try to sleep as much as we can in the back of the van. It’s not easy because sleep is probably the thing you get least of on tour.

Phoenix: Drink water. My secret weapon when I start to feel under the weather is Emergen-C. I don’t know if it’s around here.

Brandon: Any vitamin C.

Mercedes: Yeah any multivitamin. Or there’s a sick thing in the UK called Vocalzone, if you’re a singer. It works, it’s crazy! I lost my voice and I couldn’t even talk, then before a show I took it and I could sing.

What was filming the music video for your latest single “Need Someone” like?

Mercedes: It was pretty cool we’ve never done such a simple stripped down video before. I’ve never cried on camera before or anything like that so it was kinda surreal that way but I think it turned out really well and we all had fun doing it. It was an emotional roller coaster!

Phoenix: It was hard for Brandon and I because we are normally behind either a bass or drums. So it was kinda awkward being like up front and centre.

Brandon: We didn’t really know what we were supposed to do! We need some direction!

Phoenix: Yeah we were pretty much told “Okay you just have to get in zone.” Emote! We just had to think what the song was about and let it flow.

Mercedes: That song means a lot to all of us. When it’s something already really close to you it’s easy to tap into that energy or whatever.

Phoenix: Feelings!

Does Brandon ever get left out as the only guy in the band, especially since you’re both twins?

Mercedes: No! I don’t think so.

Brandon: Do you want the dirt or?… Just kidding! It’s awesome, we’re all like bros anyway, and we’ve been friends for a long time. There’s no bullshit we’re all pretty straight up with each other. These are my girls and I look after them - my little sisters!

If you were a cocktail/alcoholic drink what would you be?

Phoenix: There’s so many sexual ones! It’s a horrible drink but I think I’d be a long island ice tea because it’s easy on the way down but there’s lots inside!

Mercedes: I’d be like a berry cider because it’s sweet but also bitter so it’s conflicting tastes.

Phoenix: You’re so bitter! So bitter on the inside!

Brandon: Sex on the beach baby!

Phoenix: You’d be a shot of JD, let’s be real!

Brandon: Straight shot, no cocktails!

Phoenix: No chaser!

Catch Courage My Love on tour in the UK this November and Europe from February next year.

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