ALBUM: Turning Tides – Wildwood Kin

ALBUM: Turning Tides – Wildwood KinWords by Katherine Priddy

As a female folk musician myself, it’s always exciting to hear how other young women in the trade are leaving their mark. It’s also the first time I have come across Wildwood Kin’s music, but upon checking out their website prior to listening to the album I was impressed to see they had reached the final four of the BBC Young Folk Musician awards, as well as left awash with good words from respected names in the industry. These two sisters and their cousin appear to be grabbing the folk world by its Aran jumper and giving it a good shake.

My fault, then, for researching Wildwood Kin before giving their debut album a listen. But I was slightly surprised, and dare I say disappointed, to find that Turning Tides isn’t the hollering crème de la crème of female folk I was anticipating.

With their gorgeous Joni Mitchell-esque appearances and a name like Wildwood Kin – a nod to their folk inspirations as well as their familial connection, I imagined Turning Tides would be more acoustic, organic and experimental. However going into the studio proffers an opportunity to develop your sound and explore the possibilities of the music you create; Wildwood Kin made the decision to move away from their folk roots, nurtured in small venues around Devon and Exeter, and pushed forwards into realms of synths, electric guitar and atmospheric production.

It would be wrong of me to pooh-pooh a piece of work that clearly had a great deal of time and love poured into it, purely on the basis that it isn’t the folk music I was expecting. Indeed, their use of harmonies is commendable; all three voices blend together perfectly and create some beautiful melodies that do still bear the traces of a traditional origin and draw an obvious comparison with The Staves, though more pop. These vocals are demonstrated best in ‘The Valley’, the album’s penultimate track, where there is a lot less of the studio production, reverb and atmospheric frills that dominate the rest of the LP.

That’s not to say that the other album tracks on Turning Tides aren’t worth a listen. ‘Warrior Daughter’ has a driving rhythm and the organic sound of the clapping adds to the track’s dynamism. The lyrics too are positive and uplifting, a theme that runs throughout the album, harking back to the ladies’ gospel and worship music inspiration. ‘Steady My Heart’ also has a little more guts than some of the more saccharine songs, whilst the title track makes great use of a double bass to cut through the atmospheric, dreamy effects to offer a possibility of something more raw and powerful.

Turning Tides is an apt name for an album that shows a brave retraction from the old and an embrace of the new.  It requires guts to change your sound, and I take my hat off to Wildwood Kin for taking that plunge. Despite not being the folk music that their past led me to expect, Wildwood Kin have created an debut album of sweet melodies and soft pop anthems that, whilst not breaking any great boundaries and doing anything wildly radical, are easily listenable and well-constructed.

I still feel the passion that was present during the song-writing process has been somewhat stultified by the addition of synths and heavy reverb, causing some of the tracks to blur into one another and keeping the raw climax that they seem to be building towards frustratingly out of reach. I would be interested to hear Wildwood Kin completely stripped back to acoustic guitars, drums and their haunting voices, which really are their best selling points and need no great embellishment. 

‘Taking a Hold’ – Wildwood Kin


‘The Valley’ – Wildwood Kin (from The Clockwork Owl Sessions)

Wildwood Kin release their debut album, Turning Tides, on Friday 18th August – out via Sony Silverstone. For more on Wildwood Kin, visit

BPREVIEW: Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam – album launch ‘all dayer’ @ Hare & Hounds 05.07.17

BPREVIEW: Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam - album launch 'all dayer' @ Hare & Hounds 05.07.17

Words by Ed King

On Saturday 5th August, Sunshine Frisbee Lasterbeam (SFL) host and headline an ‘all dayer’ at the Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath – launching their double LP, Sink or Swim / The Mirage.

Joining SFL will be a bevy of the great, good and decidedly gifted of the Birmingham DIY scene, with Black Mekon, YR Poetry, Sonne Mond, Burning Alms, Bad Girlfriend, Repeat of Last Week and Exotic Pets all playing live alongside DJ sets from This is Tmrw and Victories at Sea. Blimey.

Doors open at 4pm with tickets priced at £7 (advance) and £10 (otd) – as presented by This is Tmrw. For direct gig info, including venue details and online ticket sales, click here.

Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam have been out on the road with YR Poetry, touring their latest double release since the 25th July. The August 5th gig at the Hare & Hounds is a stone’s throw from the end of their oddly alliterated tour and a chance to see the MAMMOTH 20 track LP get some serious stage time. Plus check the wider line up… for a tenner downwards you can’t really go wrong there.BPREVIEW: Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam – album launch @ Hare & Hounds 05.07.17

So what’s the ‘ere LP all about then? Littered with short, sharp shocks the Sink or Swim / The Mirage double whammy is the fourth/fifth long playing endevour from SFL. Opening with the twisted garage rock  of one of the album’s title tracks, we slide into some kick drum led punk pretty quick and then bounce around the two.

The other title track delivers a longer wall of sound and pedal kissed rock, before introducing a second half that would have felt right at home on the sticky Hummingbird and Black Horse dance floors of yore… that’ll separate the men from the older men. Then there’s the album’s closer, ‘Drunk in the Sea’, with a psychedelic kiss goodnight.

But it’s live you want to see this band. The last time Birmingham Review stood in front of Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam was back in May this year, again at the Hare & Hounds, when they supported Victories at Sea. Ouch. Then there’s the wider line up to this ‘all dayer’ album launch who are, for the most part, pretty high on our ‘I’ll call in sick tomorrow’ list.

Can’t argue at that for a crinkled Charles Darwin; but if you need a little more twist to your arm…

‘Sink or Swim’ – Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam


The Mirage – Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam

Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam headline and host their ‘all dayer’ album launch for Sink or Swim / The Mirage at the Hare & Hounds on Saturday 5th August – as presented by This is Tmrw. For direct gig info, including venue details and online ticket sales, click here.

For more on Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam, visit

For more from the Hare & Hounds, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit

For more from This is Tmrw, visit

INTERVIEW: Ozzy Osborne

Ozzy Osborne interview - 26.06.10 / Paul Ward



Words by Ed King / Pics by Paul Ward

Everybody’s waiting. The media in a corridor upstairs, the fans against the railings downstairs. Gargantuan pillars of security standing stoic in the middle. We were all told to ‘be here by 1pm sharp’ but there’s been queues on the street for over 36 hours. Why? Ozzy Osbourne of course. Birmingham’s infamous bat Ozzy Osborne signing - 26.06.10 / Paul Wardbiter is in back town and it seems half the city has turned out to meet him.

“I was here a few months ago,” says Ozzy,“promoting my new book (I Am Ozzy). Lots of things have changed, new buildings and that. I mean, what’s with that big golf ball in the centre? It’s changed amazingly,” a strong accent blows all stardust from the room, “I mean, I used to get lost when I lived here. But it’s always good to be back in Birmingham. I’d consider moving back here but Sharon likes it over in America.”

Modern Birmingham’s constantly under construction, but how does Ozzy feel about the city he grew up in? “Coming into Birmingham just now I was reflecting back on what it used to be like when I lived at No14 Rose Road (The Birmingham Observer cannot confirm this address),” I think I’ve just worked out why there’s been a delay, “I was sitting there thinking, such a lot has happened in my life. I just could not have planned this. It’s unbelievable.” A fair description of over 18 albums selling millions worldwide. Ozzy grins, “42 years later and I’m still playing the Town Hall.”Ozzy Osborne signing - 26.06.10 / Paul Ward

Ozzy is back on the road promoting his 10th solo studio album, Scream, released in April this year. 18 months long and internationally wide, Scream tours across Europe, America and Japan. During a year and half of globetrotting performances how does Ozzy plan to stay sane?

“Not by drinking that’s for sure,” Ozzy is very candid about his alcoholism and recovery, “I haven’t drunk for a long time now, about 7-8 years. If I was drinking I don’t think I’d make it a week.” Judging by the hype surrounding today I’m not sure Ozzy’s management team will make it 18 months without. “I’m quite a straight laced guy nowadays.”

So with no bats on stage what can we expect from the Scream album and tour? “Heavy. Very heavy. You know, real Rock. It reminds me of my Sabbath days,” many reviews echo the same, “and some of my early solo stuff. But it was unintentional, you know, not a conscious decision.”

Conscious or not it’s been three years since his last album, Black Rain. Is Ozzy happy with his latest release? “I’m never happy. About a week after Scream got released I’m thinking why did I put that there? Why didn’t I change Ozzy Osborne interview - 26.06.10 / Paul Wardthat track?” So the artist still struggles even four decades on, doesn’t Ozzy feel good enough yet? ”That’s for the fans to tell me. What I’m good at is making an album and then demolishing it, you know. If I get a good review I kind of raise one eyebrow. What I have to do now is let go.”

Scream is the first Ozzy solo release since the mid eighties without longstanding guitarist Zack Wylde, cited as the most ‘endearing’ replacement since Ozzy’s original guitarist Randy Rhoades was killed in a plane accident in 1982. How does Ozzy find working with the new line up?

“Great. Gus is really, really good,” Gus G, aka Kostas Karamitroudis from Greek power metal band Firewind, “I’ve got high hopes for him. I mean, guitarists can be great but then you’ve got to find out if you can live with them.” A final grin as Ozzy’s publicist points to his watch, “we’re on the road for 18 months… I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

Scream, Ozzy Osbourne’s 10th studio solo album, was released in April 2010. For more information about the album and worldwide tour visit