ANNOUNCE - Liverpool Acoustic Songwriting Challenge 2017 open until 29th October
Friday 29th January 2016 sees Liverpool Acoustic playing host to a rare, acoustic gig by local rock legends Xander and the Peace Pirates.
Xander and the Peace Pirates (Keith and Stuart Xander, Mike Gay), who are endorsed by Gibson Guitars, produced by Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie) and who’ve opened for Bon Jovi, will be appearing in the intimate performance space on the top floor of Mathew Street’s View Two Gallery.
Also playing will be Glasgow singer-songwriter John Rush who impressed everyone with his dynamic set at last year’s Threshold Festival.
Completing the lineup is Omagh-born, Liverpool-based Karen Turley. Formally of the Jessie Janes, Karen was last year chosen to represent Liverpool at the songwriting and performance exchange between Nashville’s iconic Bluebird Cafe and the Bluecoat.
Doors open at 7.45pm and the music kicks off at 8.15pm. Entry is by £5 advance ticket or £6 on the door and as always the money raised goes to the artists.
To play click the player above or right click Spotlight 144 to download for free.
1. Xander and the Peace Pirates – Rain
Taken from The Spy Music Sessions
Theme: King of the Faeries by Andrew Ellis from his CD Midnight On The Water
XANDER AND THE PEACE PIRATES
Xander and the Peace Pirates & Gibson Guitars Rock America……
February 18, 2014 – There’s a monument close to Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club that proclaims ‘Four Lads Who Shook the World’ – referring of course to The Beatles. This musical city has now produced another group of ‘world shakers’ in the form of Xander and the Peace Pirates, who have just created a storm from one side of America to the other with their own unique brand of soulful, blues based rock.
Brothers Keith and Stuart Xander have been playing a regular weekly slot at The Cavern – as well as the North West circuit, along with support slots for stadium rockers Bon Jovi and Ritchie Kotzen. But now they have come to the attention of one of the world’s most famous guitar companies – Gibson Brands Inc.
Gibson recognized their musical skills and song writing talents – but also the fact that guitarist Keith doesn’t actually have a right hand – he plays the guitar with a prosthetic ‘hook’ adapted to hold a plectrum!
Keith was always told by his school music teachers he would never be able to play a two handed instrument with a prosthetic hand – of course he proved them all wrong, and is now a world class virtuoso – and an inspiration to musicians everywhere!
Last month, Gibson invited the guys from the winter rain of Liverpool to the sun kissed desert of Las Vegas – to showcase their talent at the world famous CES (Consumer Electronics Show) where this year Gibson ranked number 2 most talked about brands at the show. This is an opportunity for inventors, innovators – and gadget loving people to gather under one roof. With Gibson leading the world with their own ‘self-tuning’ guitar invention, it was the perfect opportunity for Xander and the Peace Pirates to wow the crowd with their music – using of course Gibson guitars!
Keith and Stuart made such an impression – not only on their American sponsor, but the worldwide crowd, they were immediately booked to play the Winter NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) – the USA’s biggest music trade event. 6,000 miles away from Liverpool, the Xander brother’s music ripped up the crowd at the Los Angeles exhibition show ‘Go Pro’ stage – bringing them to the attention of some of the biggest names of the music industry.
World renowned recording engineer and producer Eddie Kramer (the man behind the music of Jimi Hendrix – all his albums, Led Zeppelin – The Song Remains The Same, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, The Woodstock album, Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive and Kiss and many more too numerous to mention) was so smitten with Keith and Stuart, he immediately offered to produce their next album. Not only that, but ex Atlantic Records A&R guru Leigh Lust wants to promote the album through Pledge Music – the latest innovation in album sales.
After playing on the Go-Pro stage at NAMM they were approached by Simon Phillips (Toto’s drummer and producer who also produced and played for Steve Vai). They then found themselves in his studio a day later negotiating a Xander song being featured on his current recording artist Billie Rainbird’s new album.
In just a couple of weeks, these two hard working songsmiths have created a ‘musical storm’. Even on their flight stop over at New York, they linked up with Bruce Springsteen sidekick Willie Nile to perform at the world famous Bitter End in Greenwich Village – this immediately resulted in them being re-booked to play a number of New York historic venues at the earliest opportunity as well as South California bookings being made for the coming year.
The next chapter in this fairytale takes place in March, when they fly out to Frankfurt to perform with Gibson at Musikmesse – Europe’s equivalent of NAMM – and the biggest music trade show this side of the Atlantic.
Its more than likely a safe bet to assume that pretty much every person that attends a Xander & The Peace Pirates gig leaves with the belief that this was one of the best gigs they have ever witnessed. And if mass chanting after every song was anything to go by, this band should be leading the music charts and headlining festivals across the UK. Currently endorsed by Roland and Boss UK these brothers are making a big impact. They are also in the first stages of filming a documentary on the meteoric rise from busking on the streets of Liverpool to supporting Bon Jovi and becoming weekly residents in the world famous Cavern Club and finishing with a road trip across the USA from east to west to visit the legendary NAMM festival and meet record executives in LA.
The current XATPP show incorporates Roland and Boss’s cutting edge equipment the rc300 and the GR55 midi synth guitar. The peace pirates use loops created live and the GR55 combined with the raw sound of driving acoustic and soaring lead guitar entwined with soulful rich vocals in synergy to create a huge sound. Xander & the peace Pirates are one of the most energetic, entertaining and they sound as good live as they do recorded. They have shared the stage with legends Buddy Guy, Eric Bibb, Richie Kotzen, San Brown, The Fabulous Thunderbirds & The James Taylor Quartet and are resident band in the world famous Cavern Pub, Liverpool.
With over 100 thousand views on You Tube, thousands more hits on MySpace and Facebook, a large fan base around the UK and Ireland, good looks and relentless talent, Xander and the Peace Pirates will continue to wow audiences with every show. Gibson Guitar flew us to CES in Vegas and is having us play for them at NAMM.
Xander and the Peace Pirates combine soul, blues and rock to channel a message of peace and love through their music. Questioning authority and shedding light upon the lies in the media and promoting what they feel to be true from within their being.
The band was formed by The Xander Brothers who love music, love writing, love performing and love listening to music. However, they don’t love the idea and belief in these reality show infected days that indoctrinate the idea that being a celebrity is more important than the message held within the music or that wealth is more important than the soul. They see a new world of creativity and soul liberation. Even as I write this bio about the band I’m in, pretending its a third person when you and i know its us writing about us, I feel like we all need a little truth, transparency and love.
Glasgow based singer/songwriter John Rush with his ‘folk tinged pop songs’ has played some of Glasgow’s greatest venues such as ‘King Tuts Wha Wha Hut’, ‘O2 Academy’, ‘Barrowlands’ & most recently ‘The Royal Concert Hall’
Through the years he has racked up some highly acclaimed support slots with names like ‘Ocean Colour Scene’, ‘Mark Morris (Bluetones), ‘Chris Helme (Seahorses) and even Paul Weller favourite, Irish singer songwriter ‘Declen O’Rourke’ to name but a few.
Mr Rush took a selection of songs “The Anna E.P” across the pond to New York City, late September where he showcased the new E.P in a quick mini tour consisting of 4 gigs in 5 nights across the city, concluding in the prestigious New York Music Venue ‘The Rockwood Music Hall’ on the 23rd of September.
Not resting on this, John was straight back in the studio where he finished off a new set of songs “The Shindig E.P”. With this john will be starting a mini tour of Glasgow called “The Piccolo Tour”. This begun in House Martin Barbers and Cafe on Bath Street early December and ends back in “The Big Apple” on the 9th and 10th of April 2016.
Karen Turley is a Singer-Songwriter from Omagh in Northern Ireland, living in Liverpool. She started playing the guitar at the age of 15 and has always had a passion for music, particularly American Folk and Country.
Karen began writing her own music in 2008 when she moved to Liverpool for university. She recorded her own songs and covers from her bedroom and was lucky enough to have Gerry Anderson from BBC Radio Ulster play her cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Boots of Spanish Leather’ in 2009.
Continuing to write and play in Omagh, she formed ‘The Jesse Janes’ in 2012 with two friends. An all female Bluegrass and Folk trio, Karen enjoyed success gigging with the girls in Liverpool and Omagh before parting ways to dedicate her time to her own material.
Karen continues to write and record her own material and has had her original songs ‘Little Old Me’ and ‘Dreamer’ played on BBC Introducing on BBC Radio Merseyside, as well as joining ‘Dave Monks’ for a few live sessions.
In March 2015 Karen was lucky enough to be one of two Singer/Songwriters chosen to travel to Nashville for a full week of Songwriting workshops and activities with esteemed songwriters. She was also able to perform ‘in the round’ with the prestigious Beth Nielsen Chapman and Don Henry in the famous ‘Bluebird Cafe’. The competition was part of an exchange between Liverpool and Nashville, with The ‘Bluebird Cafe’ being recreated in August 2015 in ‘The Bluecoat’ in Liverpool for an evening of live performances. Karen performed at the Early Show for this event while the late show was hosted by ‘Whispering Bob Harris’ and included special guests from Nashville.
If you get the chance, please support your local artists by joining their mailing lists, liking their facebook pages, following them on twitter, leaving them comments, going to their gigs, and buying their music direct from them where possible. The Liverpool Acoustic Spotlight is produced and presented by Graham Holland and Stuart Todd on behalf of the Liverpool Acoustic website, and is a proud member of the Association of Music Podcasting. The theme music alternates between King of the Faeries by Andrew Ellis from his CD Midnight On The Water, and Solid Ground by Neil Campbell.
Preview: Liverpool Acoustic Live – Friday 29th January 2016
Graham Holland is the owner and editor of the Liverpool Acoustic website, and runs Liverpool Acoustic’s award-winning live music events with local musician Stuart Todd. In real life he’s a Web Development Officer, has been producing podcasts on a regular basis since July 2006, and runs a number of websites for other organisations. He lives in Wavertree with his husband and their cat Xiao Hei.
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