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Mossley band night to showcase the best in Tameside and Oldham talent

Jesus Knieval

A brand new band night in Mossley aims to showcase the very best of local talent.

On Saturday, June 22, The Vale will host the inaugural In Our Backyard event, featuring four bands from in and around Tameside and Oldham who are all on the cusp of great things.

The bands have been hand-picked by The Vale’s programming manager Johnny Clifford to showcase the thriving local scene for live music.

 “I’m constantly looking out for new local talent,” said Johnny. “There’s such a lot going on in Mossley right now and the four bands playing In Our Backyard are at the pinnacle of the local scene.

“It was really obvious to me that they had to play the first of what we hope will be an annual event. In my opinion, these are the best four bands in Tameside and Oldham right now.”

 As well as being familiar on the local scene and playing regularly in respected Manchester venues, the bands are also receiving national attention from some big names. 

 Heavy Salad - Lee Mann (vocals and bass), Rob Glennie (guitar), Esther Maylor, Ally McBoo and Toe Thomas (vocals), and Budgie (drums) - are based in Mossley but have performed as far afield as the esteemed Austin, Texas festival SXSW.

 The band are currently recording their second and third albums at the London studios of Blur frontman Damon Albarn, with production from legendary Blur and The Smiths collaborator Stephen Street. Guest musicians include Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson from A Certain Ratio, and artwork for the album is being created by Manchester’s Stanley Chow,.

 Heavy Salad’s first album, Cult Casual, was released to much acclaim and received airplay from Jack Saunders on Radio 1, Elbow frontman Guy Garvey and DJ legend Steve Lamacq on 6Music, and John Kennedy on his long-running Radio X show.

 Joining Heavy Salad will be Jesus Knieval, a three-piece band from Mossley, Grasscroft and Ashton.

The band has recorded and released music under its own Grasscroft-based label, also called Jesus Knieval, since 2007, with four albums under their belt and a string of nationwide tours. Their latest album, The Plural of Hiatus, was released in February.

 “This is going to be an absolute embarrassment of musical riches,” the band’s members Stephen Morris, Richie Gradwell and Pete Smyth said of In Our Backyard. “We’ll be joined by some of the best of the Mossley and Saddleworth music scene, which at the moment is positively brimming with creativity and awesomeness from every corner.”

 Saddleworth and Tameside-based Madame Claude, whose members Frank Williams, Henry Williamson, Gabriel Preston, Charlie Lawless and former circus performer Mikey, will be bringing their unique blend of vibrant, ska-based music to the event.

The band has earned praise from Pauline Black, vocalist from two-tone legends Selector, who called them “the best ska band I’ve heard in ages” following a support slot.

 Madame Claude has also played live gigs with ska favourites The Beat and Bad Manners. Their appearance at In Our Backyard follows the release of their debut EP, Holt Town Jig.

 Sugar Crease, a “jubilant and highly energetic six-piece party band” from Oldham and Greenfield, complete the line up. The band - featuring Christian on vocals and bongos, Mick on vocals and stink whistle, Adam on bass and backing, Andy on keys, Andy and Mark on guitar, and Richie on drums, have been compared to Talking Heads and Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. Their latest single Lemon Cake was released in January.

 Mossley DJ Jason Rushton will provide the sounds before, between and after the bands to keep the party going until midnight.

 “We want people to come and see just how good our local talent is,” The Vale’s Johnny said. “We’re expecting a real mix of people on the night, and maybe even some industry reps.

 “The bands all have their own loyal followings but it’s a great opportunity for everyone, regardless of musical taste, to enjoy a showcase of the best music Mossley and Tameside has to offer.”

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