Thanks to being a fan of Vintage Trouble and their extraordinary live performances, I’ve also become a fan of Slydigs, who supported VT whilst touring the UK. Slydigs then followed in VT’s footsteps by also becoming the support for another band known for their live performances – The Who.
Earlier this year, Slydigs paid it forward, when they headlined at Rebellion, Manchester, and had in support of them two bands, including a band from Kent called Maker. As a fan of Slydigs, I was there.
Having not been too impressed with the first band (not terrible, tbf, but not great either), I was standing near the steps to the rear seated area with my beer when Maker came on but it wasn’t long before I found myself standing nearer and central.
I was impressed straight away and liked what I heard. It was clear that these guys both knew what they were doing and had played together long enough to have crafted their own distinctive style.
I’ve seen quite a few descriptions of this since – for example:
‘’Bluesy, swaggering and with a well balanced dose of psychedelia’’
If you’d hoofed The Small Faces, Led Zeppelin and Lenny Kravitz in to a blender, seasoned with a sprinkling of Free and a dusting of Howlin’ Wolf, you would just now be getting a whiff of what this band is all about.
Coming on like the love child of The Rolling Stones, The Faces, Led Zeppelin, T-Rex & Primal Scream; MAKER deliver a fresh sonic swagger defined by their own bluesy, boozy guitar riffs.
Kidda Records (Maker’s recording label).
As for me, my first impression was that Maker wouldn’t have been out of place appearing on an episode of The Old Grey Whistle Test from circa 1972. Their funky, bluesy style of rock was not a million miles from Vintage Trouble, whilst also being refreshingly different, and yet whilst also being reminiscent of an earlier time in music.
The band features Alessandro Marinelli (Vocals/Guitar), Andrew Donaldson (Guitar), Gavin Donaldson (Drums) & John Austin (Bass).
Following on from the Rebellion gig, in March 2017 Maker released an EP, Move Your Feet. I think the title track epitomises their sound.
It wasn’t surprising to me to learn that Maker had been around and gigging since 2009, as they have such an accomplished sound, but what did surprise me was that the Move Your Feet EP was their debut release.
In August 2017, Maker followed up with another five-track EP, Girl Quit Your Crying. The title track is a cracking blues number.
Like Slydigs, Maker are a band that are great live and get by on their ability to do that, but are lacking the commercial success and mainstream attention that the quality of their music deserves.
If there was a true equivalent today of The Old Grey Whistle Test (perhaps the closest being Later… with Jools Holland), the likes of Slydigs and Maker would probably benefit greatly from such, but it seems to be that much harder these days to get national exposure of this kind than it may have been in the past. Both bands seem to be struggling to be touted beyond a regional level or in the more mainstream music publications, which frankly I think is a crying shame.
Still, they are both here, after several years of hard work and gigging, making great music for people to come and listen to, and are about to reunite in order to gig together again.
Maker will be supporting Slydigs, live at the O2 Academy, Islington, London, on Friday November 10, 2017.