“instru-mentalists with maverick Krautrock vibes” Guardian Guide
“akin to Chrome Hoof creating a cosmic space soundtrack to a modern day reboot of Blade Runner” Loud & Quiet
... “the music John Carpenter would make if he was in 65 Days Of Static” Clash
“Deliciously offbeat” The Big Issue “quadratic grooves and space shuttle synths” Uncut
“the reconstructed unreconstructed Seventies synth-rock of the second Justice album, mid-Eighties Sonic Youth with added analogue, Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come, David Gilmour jamming an intro out with The Ex, the ectoplasmic guitar genius of Alan Rankine, ‘Moby Octopad’ (some of Yo La Tengo’s sprawlier excursions being a good primer on how to be influenced by Neu! without looking as if you’d actually like to be Neu!), Belew-era Crimson, XTC circa English Settlement, Boards of Canada, the less irritating portions of Kid A, bits of Tool and Battles. As ingredients for an album, unimpeachable.” 8/10 Drowned In Sound
"Think Fugazi crossed with Slint crossed with Stereolab crossed with awesome." The Guardian
PLANK!, made up of guitarist and synth player Dave Rowe, bassist Edward Troup and drummer, Liam Stewart, are either unaware or simply unconcerned about the shifting fads of their geographical contemporaries (they’re from Manchester). Refreshingly separate from their surroundings, they instead focus on an electronically expressive sound borne out of a respect to the likes of 70s Krautrock pioneers Neu!, Cluster and Harmonia, alongside more wilfully expansive rock and mind bending electronics.
The three-piece’s exact origins aren’t entirely clear; they surfaced without warning in 2010, playing a string of disarmingly accomplished support slots for the likes of The Phantom Band, Egyptian Hip Hop, Zombie Zombie, Fujiya & Miyagi and Sleepy Sun (and more recently with Hookworms and
K-X-P). Before going on to release and quickly sell out a self-titled EP and 7” single on aA and Static Caravan. Festival appearances followed at Manchester International Festival, Green Man, Beacons and Liverpool Psych Fest to name a few. Before the release of their debut album ‘Animalism’ (on the aA (Akoustik Anarkhy) label) in 2012 – a record that also caught the attention of Scottish behemoths Mogwai, the national press, saw them sell out a launch in Manchester and championed heavily by DJ Marc Riley, Gideon Coe, Jon Kennedy and Stuart Maconie’s Freakzone.
Whereas some acts choose to divide the line between their studio and live environment, for Plank! the creative journey is one and the same; whilst the album ‘Animalism’ was an ensnaring krautrock-leaning snapshot of the trio at that particular time, but the motorik that underpinned it spoke of a freedom and a willingness to explore further. This is exactly what Plank! do live, giving these snapshots new dimensions, taking them out to different terrains and doing so with a vibrant energy that's difficult to resist.
The band has started work on album number two, due for release later in 2013.
Joe's music echoes years of influence from his upbringing in and around the English folk scene, with a fresh twist and energy provided by his own venture into punk over the last decade. His parents are Steve Tilston and Maggie Boyle, so his upbringing is steeped in English and Irish folk traditions. A real return to his family roots, but maintaining an extra edge: the outcome of this and his years on the punk scene is not a million miles away from the likes of Nick Drake and Damien Rice … and a long way from what people familiar with ska/punk band Random Hand would be expecting from him!
Joe's debut album, Embers, is available on Fellside Records. It brings together six years of writing to one consistent piece. It features calm, relaxed grooves, layered with a number of great musicians adding their flavours to the mix, including long time live violin player, Luke Yates. This is complemented by the odd splash of sound from his punk roots, showing the true diversity of his song writing. Songs on the album cover subject matter both questioning our humanity and celebrating it, all taking inspiration from friends and family. Embers was produced by Matt Tweed, who has produced Martha Tilston's recent records. The recording process was split between the coast of Cornwall and the valleys of West Yorkshire with assistance from Luke Yates, who also added some beautiful string arrangements.
On the record, Joe is joined by sister Martha for the opening track 'The Railway Children'. Joe also has Sean Howe of Random Hand playing drums; Robin Tyndale-Biscoe on percussion; Phillipa Ratcliff on the cello and Hugh Bradley adding all things bass to the mix as well as some nice twiddles and flavours from Matt Tweed and Luke Yates over the whole album.
Live gigs tend to be Joe’s solo vocal and guitar but he can be accompanied by violin and occasionally available with full band.
If you're part of a respected family of northern folk musicians and you're also the bassist for a ska-punk crew, one could be forgiven for thinking that any solo excursion might be a little schizophrenic. Not so, our Joe and his debut album 'Embers'. With no trace of Random Hand's forceful defiance, these songs resonate with a different kind of intensity, one drenched in fiddles and female vocals, drones and dreams; the likes of 'The Railway Children' proving a weighty addition to the homegrown folk canon alongside father, Steve, and sister, Martha. Meanwhile, 'Kings Of Industry' reveals a likeness to Nick Drake as it casts its critical eye over the post-industrial fallout. Creative, unassuming and from the heart. Result. 247 mag