Tag Archives: Counting Coins

Humber Street Sesh – The Unorganised Chaos Formula

So, tomorrow is the first day of August and I’ve realised two things. One, I haven’t been successful at keeping the blog busy this year. City of Culture, I have struggled to balance you with work. And two, Humber Street Sesh is this weekend!

As with every year, my best friend is moving herself North for the weekend of Sesh. We literally only plan that one day. But so busy have we both been that this year we haven’t really found the time for even that. So, instead of my usual organised band-by-band what you should see preview, here’s my plan on ‘winging it’.

I’m usually one of those people who can write up a plan months before an event, especially something like HSS which I look forward to for most of the year (I bought my tickets on October). But when you overly plan things, it is more likely that something won’t happen. Last year, what happened was standing in front of the main stage waiting for one of my favourite bands, only for them not to go on. I could see the lead singer, I watched the lead singer waiting, waiting, waiting…

Streaming Lights - Steve & Ryan
Festival Faves, Streaming Lights

The band subsequently announced that they were no longer a band the following month.

The moral: winging it means no heartbreak. I don’t plan to see much, so I can’t be upset if I don’t see certain elements. I can simply blame the Unorganised Chaos Formula.

So, this is how it works. We turn up on the day with three acts on the Must See List. THREE. One headliner and two other acts.

Disclaimer: I will miss out on amazing acts that I would love to see. I will feel disappointed at this. I will bump into a bandmember I am friendly with and feel devastated that we missed their act. But I will simply say, “We’re winging it this year” and all will be fine.

To decide on my Must See List of three, I have to consider the bands which a) we both love and adore, and b) will ensure we are not disappointed.

So, start with the headliner. This is a lot harder than it sounds, because this year there are four headliners that I love and adore. They are The Quicksilver Kings (Speak Easy stage), Fire (The Unstoppable Force) (Strummerville Stage – many brackets), LIFE (Main Stage – and totally deserving, because they’ve had an epic year), and finally, Counting Coins (Fruit 2 stage). Thankfully, my lovely bestie helps with this decision. If I ask her which Hull band she wishes to see, especially at 10pm when we’ve spent twelve hours watching bands, she will say two words: Counting Coins.

Counting Coins
Counting Coins from a previous HSS (when I didn’t have a great camera)

We will be at the Fruit 2 stage at about 9:45pm and we will dance our tired feet off, doing a little salsa when necessary, and singing to our broken throats content. Because that is what the lady wants, and it’s actually been a whole year since either of us have seen them live.

That leave two Must See acts for my list.

First on the list, performing at 3pm on the Fringe Stage, I’ve selected Loudhailer Electric Company. I’ve seen them perform a few times at Kardomah94 but never on an outdoor stage, so it’d be fantastic to see them in that different setting. They’re loud, they’re funky, they’re amazing performers and songwriters. And the bestie hasn’t seen this band perform, so it’ll be good to introduce her to something new.

Loudhailer Electric Company Paul Newbon
Loudhailer performing at K94 (photo credit to Paul Newbon)

The last of my Must See is a little tricky. I had two bands in mind for the last slot. The Mighty and Moon are fantastic and now perform with the addition of the amazing Emma Fee. I haven’t seen them perform with this line-up of musicians, and I’ve just built up this beautiful image in my mind of how they’ll sound. But there’s one band that’s always on my Must See List, and they’re playing at the same time. Mighty and the Moon are on the Main Stage at 1:55pm, and Streaming Lights are on the Fruit 2 stage at 2pm. It’s no argument: Streaming Lights are my festival favourite, they’ve not played for ages due to various reasons, and I just know that it’ll be a set which either meets my expectations of wonderfully blows them out of the water.

So, my Must See List is 2pm Streaming Lights, 3pm Loudhailer Electric Company, and my headliner is Counting Coins.

Aside from that, we’re planning to wander relatively aimlessly around the 14 stages.

hss app

And to help with the Unorganised Chaos Formula, there’s the addition of a Humber Street Sesh app this year! It’s got an hour-by-hour guide to the line-up across all stages. There’s a map so you can see where everything is (including the Caffe Gelato stand!). And it’s going to be the most up-to-date way of finding out what’s on.

You can download the app onto the usual platforms – just search for Humber Street Sesh in whichever app store you use.

In fact, with the app in my pocket, all I really need to plan is my festival outfit.


If you haven’t been organised enough to sort out tickets yet then you can pick them up at a range of stores across Hull. Go to the festival’s website for a full list: http://www.humberstreetsesh.co.uk/tickets/

Festival Fever – New to Hull 2015

On Saturday 11th July, you will be able to enjoy live music and family fun in two locations. In one corner, there is West Park Party. And in the other, The Big Gig, held at the University Union. Naturally, there are pros and cons with both, but which one best suits you?

West Park Party poster

Let’s start with the first one to be announced, back in November. Organised by Auxilium Events Ltd, West Park Party declares itself as “a music festival for all the family”. There is going to be one main stage, with a range of acts considered Heritage, Current and Local. Current Acts which have so far been announced are Labrinth, Union J (who were at the Launch Party in Princes Quay in February) and Ella Eyre: a rather diverse collection on offer. Heritage Acts currently announced include Sinitta (who is also helping organise the festival), Toploader (who headlined at Trinity Festival 2014), and Aswad. Local artists Emma King, Chiedu Oraka, Emmie Craft and Nineties Boy are also on the bill. A true mixture of genres. However, there are still acts to be announced.

Front page of flyer

The Big Gig, the first festival from local events organiser Hull Red, have given a line-up of eleven local acts, including headliner Endoflevelbaddie and the ever-popular Young Jack. The aim of this stage is to get your feet dancing, but there will also be an acoustic stage with a range of folk acts, well known and new to the scene, offering a full variety of genres.

Also pegged as “family friendly”, The Big Gig has a focus on those with learning disabilities. Red have been putting on disability friendly events for some time, on a smaller scale, and are now confident that they can produce a festival designed with these specific needs in mind. The aim is to get people together; making the area both accessible and comfortable for people with learning disabilities, while providing a fun day out for families and fans of the local music industry.

Big Gig - line up

West Park Party is also considering those who often find festivals inaccessible. They have “a whole area” specifically designed to ensure access for disabled people. They are also linked with several local charities, including Cash4Kids and Dove House Hospice, who are working with the organisers.

Families can enjoy themselves at both festivals.

At West Park Party there is a Familyzone, defined as “an area where kids can play and adults can relax” in earshot of the bands, so as not to miss anything. In this zone there will be the usual festival fun, including a marine life zone, shows from local drama groups and an arts and crafts area. The young ones will have no reason to say they are bored.

So, too, at The Big Gig, who will also have children’s entertainers and arts and crafts, alongside story tellers, dance workshops, graffiti art and bubble shows. Something for everyone and every taste.

It’s difficult for me not to be biased about this one. The family friendly activities are not at the forefront of my mind when selecting a festival, though I do attend quite a few with friends and their little ones. And, as much as I want to see international selling artists and those ‘big’ acts from around the world coming to Hull, I love the local scene. Having attended the launch party for West Park Party, I can see why people are talking about it on a grander scale than they are about The Big Gig. But, with most of this talk still seemingly hanging on Union J, I just can’t get as excited.

Give me a dose of Streaming Lights any day.

Besides, I haven’t told you about the main deciding factor for most families considering attending. Let us stereotype the two adults, two children which is often used in ticket sales. For The Big Gig, this will cost you a maximum of £20: that’s £6 per adult, and £4 per child over the age of 10 years. A family ticket for West Park Party is £70. Adults are priced at £30, with children over 5 years at £20, and “new age pensioners” at £22.50. But remember, what you are getting for that cost.

Bottom line: both festivals aim to involve everyone, offering a range of opportunities and experiences for the community. What sways your decision should be which acts you want to see. You may have seen Counting Coins and The Hubbards perform numerous times, whereas you’ve never seen Ella Eyre, who has also been announced as part of the West Park Party line-up. You may want the comfort of knowing that you will enjoy the day if you see the bands you see regularly – for many with learning disabilities, familiarity is essential, and so this is ideal. You may decide to kick off the festival season with something different.

Your reasons for attending one over the other are individual. This is a snapshot of the pros and cons of each. All I can advise is that you are there at one of them. Start the festival season as you wish.

Tickets for West Park Party are available online or over the ticket hotline on 0800 689 3016

Tickets for The Big Gig are available through Hull Box Office.

FIVE SONGS which help end a stressful week

During the first few issues of Browse Magazine, of which are now in double figures, I had a regular feature which involved summarising the music festivals of the summer in 5 songs.

This week I do aim to review an album, which could be summed up in my top 5 songs. But I can’t face writing for work yet – whether it be a lesson plan for my paid occupation or an article for my freelance work of which this funds.

At the end of this work, the only music I want to listen to will do one of two things: allow me to wallow a little or to perk me up.

It’s been a stressful week. When Hull Fair is in town, all teachers feel it. Before the first ride is uncovered, before the first stretch of tarmac is laid, and even before the first child has come running up to ask that ever-important question – “Are you going to Hull Fair?” – we feel it. It’s a stress which starts to bubble and churn, causing terrible indigestion and a desire to bring back all forms of horrific punishments from the dark-ages of teaching. There’s been other stuff on top of that, creating a inedible layered cake of frustration, anger and disbelief.

So, I thought I’d give you, my readers, a taste of my sweet relief. Music has always been a go-to tool for calming. As a teenager my mother mocked me, as I seemed to only play heavy metal when I had a headache. But it worked, so I did it.

Today, my stress playlist looks somewhat like this:

1. I’ll start with something which allows the stress and anger to seethe. I need to wallow just a little longer, to ensure that everything has had a chance to come to the surface. You must face your problems, even if it’s in a dark room with only the laptop on as you scroll for the perfect tune.

A rather new addition to my collection, but a perfect one. Even if it’s just so I have an excuse to swear loudly as I sing along.

2. Secondly, a traditional song for me as I’ve played this for over a decade during stressful situations. Every argument I had with my father resulted in me grabbing this CD and hiding in my room.

Grace Slick’s album Dreams has many wonderful songs, mostly about getting really high on drugs. Perhaps that’s why I have never needed to use recreational drugs in order to ‘get away from it all’, as I let others’ experiences cast me off into an imaginary trip.

It was difficult to select a song from the album. Admittedly, I usually play the title song. But the lyrics of this song are much more ideal.

3. Now, I’ll need to bring myself out of the wallowing stage. I’m a master of dragging myself out of the quicksand; never letting myself sink too far. This stage requires something a little angry but a little dancey and fun. So, I’ll always turn to some of the popular ‘emo pop’ tunes of the early Noughties.

Often when I think of Fall Out Boy, I think of This Ain’t A Scene… as it’s a favourite song my best friend and I share. However, I’m not ready to laugh yet. I’m just starting to feel better, and I need to scream a dancey song, not necessarily dance to it.

4. Now, I’m ready to dance. You need to start distressing by screaming and shouting. Then, you need to shake it off. So, I get the ska out. And my favourite ska band? Hull’s wonderful Counting Coins.


5. You know what’s missing from this collection of 5 songs? Some Manics! I’d possibly start with one of their darker tunes if I hadn’t begun with Frank Turner. So, I shall end with a song which is so fuelled by memories that it neither happy nor sad. I am at equilibrium of emotion, having both wallowed and danced, and now I’m ready to simply listen to the tunes and enjoy the music.

Besides, James Dean Bradfield’s voice is enough to cure any sorrow. And I love the video to this song.

I feel better already.

A Change in the Tides; Hull’s Impact on my CD Rack

Everyone has their own go-to band; that one which you refer to when people ask who or what you’re into. Everyone has that song which takes them back in time to a better place, mostly because you only ever seem to listen to it when the world seems dark and unforgiving. And everyone has that party tune which perks them right back up.

Manic Street Preachers – insert in The Holy Bible, featuring images of the members as children.

I’ve always had the Manics in my life. They enveloped my teenage years and still are the most referenced name on my CD rack. I’ll collect their albums long into the time when CDs are museum pieces, because they are something I want to be able to hold in my hands, to pass on to my children and say ‘this was my childhood’. One of the songs from their first album is adorned on my back in a most permanent fashion. And yet, I am prone to flow with tides of change. Though they remain the raft I return to when the seas get choppy and uncertain, they feature less and less on playlists than they used to. My love for them is strong, but my need for them is no longer all-powerful.

Last year I was obsessed with Plan B, getting into rap for the first time since that one Eminem song I liked once. His music tells a story of modern life for so many, and, at the time, I needed to feel a passion like that which vibrated from my stereo. I had lost my mojo and I was seeking it out in the only place I felt confident to find it: music.

After Plan B, it was OneRepublic. My song of 2014 is probably their hit Love Runs Out. Again, Ryan Tedder is a fantastic poet. He was the one who’d written most of the songs I heard on the radio, where I would say that I didn’t particularly like the performer but the song was amazing. That one song – that was Ryan Tedder’s. time and time again.

And then I attended Press Pack and started writing for Browse Magazine. I’d decided that I wanted to do some more writing and I expected that there would be a spattering of both local, national and international talent which pooled across the pages of my blog. It didn’t really matter anyway, as I was writing for myself and not anyone else.

Ricky Wilson at the Adelphi30 gig – Friday 3rd October 2014

And then I wasn’t just writing for myself and I had followers and deadlines.

And I was writing about local, national and international acts. Toploader played the Trinity Festival, a free festival set in the picturesque grounds of Trinity Square. And in the same week I got press pass to see Kaiser Chiefs perform at another iconic spot, The Adelphi. I was there alongside other journalists and I was playing about with my photography, honing skills I didn’t even consider needing until the moment when I was told photographs were a necessity to any decent article.

Now my CD rack still features the name Manic Street Preachers more than any other band. But atop their collection, I have a new assembly of musical joys. Just as I have a ‘Hull Tunes’ playlist now on my computer, which is my first port of call for musical ambience when doing just about anything, I have a collaboration of CDs from Hull artists. Tom Skelly, Hillbilly Troupe and Streaming Lights sit above Plan B and even my first love from Hull, The Beautiful South.

The Hillbilly Troupe

When I need a quick pick-me-up, I will turn to the joy of The Hillbilly Troupe, knowing that I’ll know all the lyrics and the energy from their last gig will overtake any negativity in my heart. If I need a physical shake then I can trust Counting Coins will have me perform a one-woman mosh-pit in my living room, sparking adrenaline rushes and pumping endorphins around my blood stream. When I need something to chill me out and allow me to focus mostly on my work – the dull reminder of needing an ‘adult responsibility’ – I switch Tom Skelly or Jody McKenna on, with their poetic lyrics and melodies.

Hull is slowly but surely digging its way into my very soul, and turning me from small town girl, holding onto a loose connection with Wales in order to ensure that link with the Manics, to a city girl who wants to scream at anyone who questions this wonderful place I call my home. I’ll spend my weekends, and often weekdays, at gigs in a former fruit market or a local bar supporting local talents, rather than paying to watch someone perform at a huge venue.

At the Adelphi30 gig where I saw the Kaiser Chiefs, I was more excited about having a chat with Paul Jackson and finally getting to speak with Black Delta Movement’s Matt Burr than I was about touching the sweaty body of Ricky Wilson. Don’t get me wrong, it was ridiculously exciting to get the opportunity, but when the end of the night came I was singing Life’s Crawling and smiling at the gentleness with which Jacko spoke with my friend and me. These are the things I will share with my children, when my eyes will brighten and my soul will shine.

I want to share Hull’s music with the world. I want to support our bands and promote them and give them that platform they deserve. But I also kind of want to keep them for myself a little bit, ensuring I have that much more real connection.

Humber Street Sesh 2nd August 2014

The tagline “A festival for the people by the people” sums up this Hull festival, which showcases the city’s local talent through music, art and voice. 2012 saw the first Street Sesh, marking the 10th anniversary of ‘The Sesh’, a weekly night of local music and talent held at The Linnet & Lark, Princes Avenue. Three years later saw the introduction of a £3 wristband required for admittance, with free wristbands for under 11s. That 3 little coins opening the gateway to over 150 music acts; a string of DJs, dance acts and performances; entry to the Cult Cinema; a variety of local cuisines; and a collection of local art work from pencil drawing to giant graffiti pieces.

Humber Street Sesh has everything to offer, for people of all ages, and is an all-day event which doesn’t get dull.

I arrived, friend in tow, at around 11am. A vibrant buzz of activity could be heard as we passed The Deep, a  collection of sounds from the Rock and Dance stages. Humber and Wellington Street were busy but not heaving – just right if you want to stroll around and get your bearings. Artwork had begun – some of the prep work had naturally occurred in the late hours of Friday night – with a knitted welcome and some sketches on the walls. We wandered around, taking everything in, stopping at 12:30 to watch a show from Team Extreme, showcasing skateboarders, bladers and BMXers. This was a popular event throughout the day, with crowds gathering to show their support and awe.

We grabbed some lunch, and listened to the first band of the day (for us): The Craig Dearing Band, performing on Cosmo Stage. The rain was drizzling at this point, and the sound of guitars and cajón developed a thick atmosphere, not quite liquid but a humid sense of calm as you listened to the instrumental openings to each song. The song Bones, stuck with me: the introduction was haunting, giving you a real sense of the talent between these four men which was then pierced by Dearing’s sharp and distinctive voice. The chorus sings “I feel it in my bones, I feel it in my toes…” and this just about sums up their music – it isn’t something you hear but something you sense. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Unfortunately, some time after this the heavens decided to open to their full, in order to demonstrate that whatever level of preparation I go to, it is never enough. Bring your festival mac, I thought, in case it rains. Well did it rain! So, I had to take a break and head back home to change from a sodden set of clothes to a cleaner, warmer set, ready to take on the evening festivities.

We returned just after 6pm, and headed straight to the main stage, named Spiders from Mars after David Bowie’s backing band which featured Mark Ronson, also of Hull origin.

The first band we saw on the headlining stage was Life, a 4-piece punk band consisting of brother Mez (lead vocals & guitar) and Mick (vocals & guitar), alongside Loz (bass) and Rich (drums). Their SoundCloud site only has two songs on it, but, credit where credit is due, these were produced by former Kaiser Chief Nick Hodgson and both tracks echo classic punk reminiscent of The Clash and Ramones. Life have that eclectic mix of well-played instruments, memorable lyrics, and enough stage presence to take your mind away from the fact that they had some technical difficulties. Mez spent most of his time playing the audience, and this worked wonderfully, as he delved into the crowd and took control of the stage.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Up next were The Hubbards, a band consisting of Reuben, Alex, Ronan and Joe. A softer sound after Life, where vocal and music became entwined into a very fluid sound. Playing to such a large audience, you could feel everyone relaxing and enjoying the music, simply taking everything in. It was too easy to compare them to Life, who took the stage in a storm, whereas these lads were calm about the delivery of their music, gently teasing the audience and telling their story through song. Something very different, not entirely unique, but with a place alongside the likes of Sam Smith, whose songs are like deep narratives.


One of the bands I was thrilled to see live were Black Delta Movement, who recently supported The Stranglers at Hull City Hall. On Facebook, they refer to themselves (themselves being Matt, Dom, Liam & Jacob) as neo-psychedelia, Garage and Rock ‘n’Roll, all of which can clearly be heard as influences on their music, though I would not place them specifically in any of these boxes. Which is what drew me quickly into their music, as it was matchless as a whole with undertones of the familiar. You felt secure in the knowledge that you would enjoy the next song while the previous one came to a close, so that the anticipation which can often build up to an anti-climax within a live gig was not there. As with The Hubbards, they created sound from sound, making it work in a whole new tide, only with Black Delta Movement the lyrics were sharp, both separating from and enhancing the atmosphere created by the instruments.


Which leads me to the band I was really there to see. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed all the singers and bands we saw, from the acoustic Buskers stage to Spiders From Mars, but we were there, at that stage at that time, to see these guys…


Counting Coins consists of Harry Brumby on lead vocals, Matty Dennison on bass/guitar, Rob Green on bass/guitar, Sam Burnham on drums and Will Chalk on trumpet. Yes, trumpet. They were also joined by Adam Thompson on trombone, adding a whole extra layer to their sound. I first saw these guys last year at the Freedom Festival when we were unable to get into The 1975’s stage area. Best thing that happened at that festival – instead we bounced our way through 40 minutes of Counting Coins in the middle of the street. And bounce is the only way to describe the reaction to these guys. A mixture of jazz sounds from the brass instruments, Ska and punk as well as just simply hypnotising bass beats – nobody can stand still in their presence. From the first note, you are moving; perhaps slowly swaying at first, but by the end of the first song your feet have left the floor numerous times as you bounce to the beat. 30 minutes on stage, and it felt both too quick and much longer. These guys take their influences from anything that grabs their attention, and delve into a crazy world of energy and electricity. Like a good wine, once you’ve had a taste of them you never go back to the other stuff; you get the same feeling of sheer joy and buzz from any Counting Coins set, and Brumby mentioned on social media networks later in the evening that he should have been more tired but was pumped by the reaction from the audience. Counting Coins are an all-round good show. They will have your nana dancing in the street alongside your youngest niece and nephew. I urge you to get your fix as soon as possible (live is better than anything you can find on YouTube, but you get the idea here).

And so, another Humber Street Sesh is over. Does that mean you need to wait another year to experience what I experienced this past weekend? NO! Because most of the bands are also playing Freedom Festival in just over 4 weeks time.

I’ll be there.


Check out all the bands featured in this blog on Facebook & Twitter:

Craig Dearing Band – https://www.facebook.com/Craig88Dearing https://twitter.com/Craig88Dearing

Life – https://www.facebook.com/lifebanduk https://twitter.com/lifebanduk

The Hubbards – https://www.facebook.com/thehubbardsband?fref=ts https://twitter.com/thehubbards

Black Delta Movement – https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Black-Delta-Movement/151667951525742?fref=ts https://twitter.com/BDMofficial

Counting Coins – https://www.facebook.com/CountingCoins?fref=ts https://twitter.com/counting_coins