Black Diamond Bay
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Black Diamond Bay


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"Black Diamond Bay album review"

Andy Lane of No Title Magazine had this to say of I dreamt we were bank robbers (available on iTunes):

It's a brave band that hails its major influences as Shastakovich and Beethoven. Some will applaud the righteous intentions of classically trained musicians grappling with electric sounds. Others will sigh at the weary pretension of an act that takes its name from an ancient Neapolitan city where 'the tarantula's deadly sting is curable by diverse forms of music.' Others still might question why it is that anyone should care.

So consider this your reason: Tarentum are fucking ace. With airplay on Kiss FM, Chill Radio and the Coca-Cola new music podcast, the real world is slowly tuning in to the BREATHTAKING (our caps - obviously) poise and beauty of 'I Dreamt We Were Bank Robbers': An album conceived and written for the most part by Tom Sidebottom and Jesse O'Mahoney and recorded with the aid of a phalanx of collaborators.

Their depth is often ASTOUNDING (yeah, us again), as Rob McVey's Spanish guitar bathes tracks like 'Cold' in a melancholic glow while vocalists Emma Sargison and Becka Ward are sultry, cool and hauntingly fragile. From one track to the next, flirtatious beats melt away into wispy, intrusive numbers that drift effortlessly above creeping backing tracks. 'Did you notice?' Sargison chimes on the track of the same name, but with such careful craftsmanship committed to record, it's all but impossible to turn away. Originally an acoustic piece, 'Tides' sashays slowly and sensuously like Morcheeba caught in the dizzying peak of a blissful ecstasy rush. While 'The Levels' is all about attitude - broody, tense and sullen - the title track sees Tarentum break out into full-grown classical melodies with yearning lyrics propelled skywards by chiming pianos and sweeping strings. A love song almost too delicate to touch, 'Babydoll Loose' achieves emotional resonance with ease.

Elsewhere, the experimentation takes hold amidst a collision of violins, guitars, xylophones, synths and vocoders. 'Bitten Dirt' desperately wants to grow up to become a flat out club track until it remembers the company it's in and tries to affect an air of intelligent restraint (it fails, but gloriously so). 'Peace' is refreshingly lo-fi and almost, almost strays into what you might call hip hop territory with staccato violins inciting an itch-inducing hook. Buoyed by the strength of the work they've created, the writers themselves take vocal duties on 'Philharmonic Bubbles': the kind of gorgeously fuzzy electronic ballad that's destined to crop up somewhere on an independent film soundtrack and send the masses scurrying to the nearest online store. Their majestic, ethereal sound is the antithesis of commercial, but with the album available soon through the multi-media meat market commonly known as iTunes, there are worse ways you could pledge your allegiance.
- No Title Magazine

"Black Diamond Bay review 08"

By Sophie Hazan
LEGEND has it that a venomous swarm of tarantulas swamped the Neapolitan city of Tarentum, attacking the residents with their deadly stings.
There was but one cure – music by which to dance out the fever.

And that is the philosophy of Tarentum, a Leeds collective of trained musicians known to raise the roof with upbeat electro, downtempo house, acoustic rock and breathy female vocals.

Created by lifelong friends Tom Sidebottom (violin/synth), 30, of Armley, and Jesse O'Mahoney (acoustic guitar), 30, of Hyde Park, the band includes Lithuanian singer Agne Motieciute, lead guitarist Ben Ziapour, bassist Colin Sutton, drummer Ben Wilson and backing singer Holly Thomas.

The seven mostly hail from the prestigious Leeds College of Music, the same seat of learning that produced hit Leeds singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey-Rae.

Jesse, also a scriptwriter for Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, said: "This is the fi

rst time that we can say that Tarentum is a proper band.

"We have less of the pre-recordings and much more of the live musicians and live performance."

Tom added: "We are moving away from the club scene and aiming more at grass root nights."

For your own dose of lyrical medicine Tarentum can be found at independent arts studio Seven in Chapel Allerton, in North Leeds, on Friday.

This will be the launch of Tarentum's 11-track debut album I Dreamt We Were Bank Robbers, and the world premier cinema screening of the band's first video, a brutally chilling cover of Status Quo's Rockin' All Over The World.

Tarentum perform at Seven this Friday, with support from folk band Secret Cinema.

Friday 11 April @ Seven, Chapel Allerton
Doors at 7.30pm, tickets £3.
- Yorkshire Evening Post

"SLIDESHOW: Leeds band's big Hollyoaks break"

IF you were keen to make your musical mark on the youth of the day, then what better way than landing a slot on the UK's biggest teen soap?
Leeds's own Black Diamond Bay are set to perform to their biggest audience to date, when they appear on Channel 4's Hollyoaks at 6.30pm on Monday.

Around 3 million people tune in every week night.

In Monday's show, Hannah, played by Emma Rigby, makes a date with new music producer boyfriend Matt.

The pair hook up at the student union bar to see Matt's latest band Black Diamond Bay, who are playing as part of a university tour.

Matt is spotted flirting with the band's singers Holly Thomas and Agne Motieciute, who when not on television are both usually found studying at Leeds College of Music.

When the sleazy music producer is then seen getting up close and personal with an ex-girlfriend a fight breaks out, witnessed by the band's startled keyboard player Tom Sidebottom, who lives in Armley, Leeds.

Jesse O'Mahoney, lead guitarist, came clean about how he managed to get the band on screen.

"We know how it happened – I am a scriptwriter for the show," said Jesse, of Hyde Park.

"In a rather cynical way I gave the writers my demo and hoped they would put a tune on one episode, which they did last year.

"Then a storyline came up in conference and with great embarrassment one of the other writers asked for us to be in her episode.

"The chief executive looked at me and there was silence for what felt like an eternity before he said yes."

Black Diamond Bay are Colin Sutton, Tom Sidebottom, Jesse O'Mahoney, Holly Thomas, Agne Motieciute, Ben Wilson and Ben Ziapour.

Black Diamond Bay will be at Seven Arts Centre in Chapel Allerton on Friday, February 6 for the launch of their latest EP. Ten Thousand Hours is available from the end of January on iTunes, but copies will also be on sale at the gig. The album pays homage to the number of hours a band is said to have to practice to achieve genius.
- Yorkshire Evening Post

"Black Diamond Bay EP review - by Sandman Magazine"

What we have here are, quite simply, two examples of meticulously conceived, intricately realised and superbly executed trance/hip hop that are easily comparable to the best in the field. And I'm talking about the likes of Massive Attack, Portishead and 4 Hero here. Opening song 'Tides' is built around an endlessly descending piano motif and a breathy female voice that, rather disconcertingly starts singing the verse backwards. Expertly deployed string samples complement the rumbling sub bass and the dreamy pulse of the song is based on sub-conscious tides as the song dissolves its end into a recording of someone breathing in sleep. Second track ‘I dreamt we were bank robbers’ is a much more sinister, stuttering, nervy affair that nonetheless sports a beautiful, yearning melody in the choruses and subtly epic coda. Astonishing. Johnny Ersatz-Culture. - Sandman Magazine


Ten Thousand Hours EP - itunes etc. - Jan 09
I Dreamt We Were Bank Robbers LP - itunes etc. - Apr 08. Two tracks - I dreamt we were bank robbers and I won't forget you - have both been played on Hollyoaks (UK National Soap). Radio play includes XFM and BBC Radio 1.



'Beautiful' - XFM

‘Different’ - BBC Radio Leeds

‘A Modern Classic’ - Who's Jack Magazine

‘Astonishing’ - Sandman Magazine

‘Spine tingling’ - Metro

‘Majestic’ - No Title

'Poised and delicate' - Traffic Magazine

Black Diamond Bay were formed when two friends, Tom and Jesse, who’d written and produced an album called I Dreamt We Were Bank Robbers – described as ‘spine-tingling', 'astonishing', 'effortlessly self-assured' and 'poised and delicate' by various national and local press – decided they wanted to play it live. The album was a mix of classical instruments: violins, cellos, Spanish guitars; and synthetic electro and trip hop sounds, built around songs influenced by the likes of Neil Young and Crosby, Stills and Nash. They didn’t want to trigger programmes on lap tops, they didn’t want to hide behind synths. So putting a band together was going to be complicated.

They scoured the Leeds College of Music, where Tom taught, in search of singers and musicians. Ben Ziapour came first, a protege of former guitarist Chris Sharkey. He was followed by Ben Wilson and Colin Sutton on drums and bass respectively. Along side this auditions for a singer went so well they found two in Agne Motieciute from Lithuania and Holly Thomas, not from Lithuania.

There were now seven of them. Translating the songs from an album recorded and produced in a bedroom almost a year earlier into a live show proved difficult and at times painstaking. Songs had to be re-imagined. Parts that were loved had to be discarded. It took about five months but the following spring they held an album launch under their old name, Tarentum, to a sell-out crowd and for the first time, the live show exceeded the sound of the album.

The band were played on BBC6, Xfm, Kiss fm, the Coke Music Podcast, BBC Radio Leeds, Leeds Student TV and several internet based radio stations. They played a set at Kendal Calling which Traffic Magazine described as ‘the perfect soundtrack to a summer’s afternoon’. They were featured on the front cover of Sandman Magazine which stated they were ‘as good as any in their field, and I’m talking Portishead, Massive Attack and 4Hero here’. And then they decided to change their name. Black Diamond Bay suited the new sound that playing with live instruments inevitably brought. And it gave them the chance to start afresh.

They are releasing an EP, Ten Thousand Hours under the name Black Diamond Bay in January, to coincide with an appearance on Hollyoaks. The EP includes the songs I Won’t Forget You, Beautiful Waves, Philharmonic Bubbles and We Know In Our Hears You Lied. Several of these songs have already been played on Xfm, BBC6 and Kiss FM. With the band improving in all areas (even the admin department) they hope 2009 will prove a defining year in the life of electro-folk’s most ardent exponents.