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Days Before Television & Anna Leddra-Chapman - 8 March 2008

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"Back in July I featured a group called Days Before Television, as part of my Unearthing MySpace Gems feature - well now I’ve heard their full EP Angels on the Sidelines and I want to share my thoughts with you. To recap, Days Before Television are Gary and Aaron, two talented chaps from Lincoln, England. They create fantastic acoustic music, with such depth and feeling, so happy I was to see this EP land up on my doorstep.

The EP is seven tracks (24 minutes) long and kicks off with Feel More Alive. It’s an acoustic folk ballad of sorts and focuses a lot of emphasis on Gary’s bitter-sweet emotive vocals and the melancholy acoustic melodies. Quite a dark track in a certain sense, although countered beautifully with the almost optimistic acoustic strumming. This is then followed by the slightly more perky sounding Great Southern. Once more Gary’s vocals drive perfectly with the acoustic melodies, there’s a slight twang of Paul Heaton about his voice - whether anyone else would agree, I don’t know.

The third track on the EP is The Time It Takes and it takes their sound into a different direction, a more personal and unique direction I think. I love the bassline to this track, it’s extremely subtle, but really helps to pull everything together - the echoing backing vocals work very well also. Sunday is up next, one of the tracks I really enjoyed when I first discovered Days Before Television. It really strikes a chord with me (pardon the pun), I just love the arrangement and lyrical structure. You have to hear for yourself…

Backwards is the fifth track and quite a soothing one at that. Quite basic in its make-up, but often simplicity makes for best results - a genuinely pleasant track. The title track Angels on the Sidelines is next up and features some piano and strings, that shows in this instance not only are their tracks powerful in basic acoustic form, but also as impressive with more in the way of accompaniment - certainly bodes well for the future. The final track is Colours, and this is the one that really stood out for me in the original July feature. There’s just something about the melody and general feeling of the song - truly beautiful. The sentiment is fabulous and execution exquisite, great choice of final track on the EP. Apologies if my words during this review have been at all ‘hazy’, the proof is in the pudding, as they say…

I instantly liked this EP when I first heard it, but it is also a grower. From the moment I put it in the car stereo, I actually listened to it through five times in a row, and it just gets better. Days Before Television are still in their infancy, but from this early offering it is clear to see that they have something special. Some tracks on the EP sounded more polished than others, but if they carry on at the same rate as now, then I bet their first full LP will be amazing. Check out their MySpace page to listen to other songs, and add them to your friends list to keep informed on progress. Anyone that appreciates acoustic music will love this." [Just Like Music, 2007].

"Writing lyrics of love and loss, Anna Leddra Chapman has the audience in her arms. At 17 years old one can only wonder what is yet to come."

Anna Leddra-Chapman is a young solo singer thats been creating a stir of late. She has secured a number of prestigious gigs, and her showcases have attracted over 30 music industry executives. All this attention is being levelled at an emotive voice that belies her 17 years, excellent musical ability, and a number of lively pop/rock songs and atmospheric ballads.