Captive State
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Captive State

Band Alternative Adult Contemporary


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"EP / Singles Review"

Channelling the heart and soul of Elbow and Badly Drawn Boy, the epic nature of the Verve and the melodicism of Oasis, Captive State are a band with all the ingredients to charm and beguile.
With new release, the ELMORE GROVE EP, this musical outfit trot out a quartet of songs well worth investigating. Opener MONA sets Captive State up as warm hearted acoustic troubadours, gentle melodies and easy going guitar chords tripping playfully over smooth bass rumbles and beats. The more epic CHINA WHITE DOLL introduces full blown brass band dynamics to the mix, Captive State subtly but confidently stealing your heart away in the process. With WEATHERMAN, the band develop more leftfield leanings; picking up sonically from where the Beta Band left off whilst with LOST, things move in pastoral, acoustic directions before the band veer towards classic blues rock territory.
A confident sounding introduction to Captive State, the ELMORE GROVE EP finds the band making a gloriously self assured first impression.
- Mike Bond (UK Music Review)

"EP review"

Captive State take their name from a George Monbiat book, and on their way to a first single release the octet have impressed Brian Eno with their sonic pictures.
No doubt he was impressed with the brassy colouring applied to China White Doll, the second of four songs that struggles with initial fragility before breaking in to a refrain of some depth.

A lightly elegiac air hangs also over first song Mona, seemingly a paean of tender remembrance, given with gorgeous harmonies and unexpected key changes. Weatherman finds a beat as it tells a wistful story over a brooding sonic picture, the brass returning once again.

Finally Lost, another track beginning with vulnerability and asserting itself through the first chorus - more of a straight ahead rock sound, but convincing all the same when the brass return for a blissful coda.

There is another feather in the Captive State hat - a refreshing unpredictability that hints sometimes at XTC but evades capture. It bodes well for their debut album.
- Ben Hogwood (Muisc OMH)

"Review of Elmore Grove"

Their current EP opens splendidly with ‘Mona’, a tune which can only be described as groove-based folk-pop. Is this a new genre? Perhaps, although there are echoes of The Super Furry Animals in there. Oh, and the producer is Lemon Jelly’s Nick Franglen, so the credibility levels are already pretty damn high. Captive State’s secret weapon is their horn section, which blows a lovely blowsy wind over the track. Warning! Hippy-haters should beware, as the lyrics are unapologetically of the ‘peace-out, man’ variety, and there is even what I call a ‘Send for Ravi’ moment, in which a sitar player takes a solo. Possibly the only misstep in a complex and wonderful piece of work.

Dave Gilyeat and Tim Bearder single-handedly justified the licence fee when they played the next track, ‘China White Doll’ on their BBC Oxford local music show last week. Imagine if Scott MacKenzie, instead of getting in a load of San Franciscan stoners to record his hymn to the city, had instead enlisted the Bilston Glen Colliery Band: hopefully this barmy idea gives a flavour of the unearthly gloriousness of this track. Ambitious, tender, passionate, timeless and brilliantly paced, this is the love song in epic form, culminating in an almost Schubertian piano coda. Quite simply, the opportunity to hear music like this is why I write reviews.

- Colin Mckinon for Oxford Bands

"Toxic Pete Review"

Woah!! Just slow down there buddy!! This is nice!! This is more than just nice, this is absolutely beautiful!! This is 'proper' grown-up music, intelli-pop for the brave new world, mature pop/rock for the more discerning ear. For the older amongst you readers - it took me a while to remember what or who Captive State reminded me of - eventually I got there though - The Moody Blues; that same gentle, very fluid style; melodic and harmonious yet somehow bordering on soft-rock and with one eye firmly on commercialism. Those who don't know what the hell I'm going on about, suffice to say that Captive State are doing something very very special here!

Captive State is an eight-piece ensemble from London; their Myspace blurb suggests what they do is 'Alternative / Electronica / Acoustic' and I suppose that's loosely what this is all about. But, even that wide-ranging description fails to hit the mark; Captive State produce a sound that's rare nowadays; their is an almost understated kind of alternative soft-rock; pop with a lot of finesse and a little well proportioned attitude. Not bad attitude I hasten to add; oh no Captive State's attitude is artistic attitude, compositional diversity, musical reconstruction. And hey, it's bloody good!

'Elmore Grove' came as a bit of a surprise; I wasn't expecting what I got but what I got I thoroughly enjoyed and continue to enjoy. 'Elmore Grove' is in a space and time all of its own - 'Elmore Grove' takes modern music to a place that's nicely different - not exactly experimental but certainly well removed from the indie norm! Captive State blend elements from several genre to make their brave and exciting sound. Captive State bring in instruments not normally associated with modern 'pop' culture and make them work and feel just right somehow. Captive State's 'Elmore Grove' is a twenty minute worth of pure pleasure, time well spent, educational time, rewarding time. What Captive State do here is very nearly re-write the rule book - this is one stunning EP; just four tracks - 'Mona', 'China White Doll', Weatherman' and 'Lost' but four quite exceptional pieces of modern music that ought to challenge most people's understanding of what makes today's music scene so exciting and refreshing.

'Elmore Grove' by Captive State is pure genius - all too short methinks - can't wait to hear a full-blown album of work from this brilliant band. Special stuff this, special and very very smart!


Elmore Grove EP - 4 track EP
This is the debut EP released September 29th 2008. From the EP a double a-side single of 'Mona' and 'China White Doll' was released on Genuine Records, September 15th 2008



For the while Captive State have been holed up in their Whitechapel studio, writing, recording and developing sounds and songs.

Encouraged by Brian Eno’s enthusiastic response to their first demo Captive State’s Tom Bootle and Joseph Kennedy teamed up with Lemon Jelly’s Nick Franglen at the tail end of 2007 and found the perfect producer to bring life to their creation. The first fruits of these labours, which provides a sweet taster of what to expect, is a four song EP called, Elmore Grove.

Determined not to be confined to the studio Kennedy and Bootle have assembled a 6-piece live band that pits horns and accordions amongst their guitars and drums, effortlessly stretching the breadth of the recorded songs into the live arena.

Captive State’s name was taken, with permission, from the title of a book by writer George Monbiot.