Clear Blue Skies
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Clear Blue Skies


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The best kept secret in music


"Time & Time Again"

This week we've got a mellow but rockin' number from Clear Blue Skies...

Entitled 'Time and Time Again' this will be the band's first real single. Due for release in June, you can pre-order the single for 79p from IndieStore

These guys could be the second unsigned band to make it big on the charts - so if you've got 79p to spare go and support them...They work hard at what they do, they've had a recent appearance on Popworld and you'll get 10 free tracks if you pre-order the single.

11 tracks for 79p...BARGAIN!

To hear more Clear Blue Skies tunes or to check out their extensive gig list - they never seem to stop playing shows! check out their web site.. - Music Mog

"The Arches"

Finally, it was the turn of Clear Blue Skies. A band from Northumberland, but with a look that is wholly American. The lead singer, Derek Allan, has an appearance that wouldn’t look out of place on stage with US Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, while the bass player has the facial hair of a Woodstock refugee.

Clearway were meant to be the headliners, but due to a prior engagement, dropped down the bill so they could leave early. Clear Blue Skies took their chance as new headliners with some aplomb.

Full of energy, and enthusiasm, the band fired on all cylinders. Their sound is not dissimilar to the aforementioned Lynyrd Skynyrd, but with a modern, grungy twist to it.

It sounded strange for a North East band to be playing a style of Southern Rock such as this. But for the in between banter, you would have been forgiven if you thought these guys were American.

Matty Pringle’s finger picking guitar solo on the band’s second track was exceptional, and for the first time in the evening, the crowd began to get into the music. Suddenly people were dancing, cheering, screaming for more.

Pringle was a delight, with a stunning wah-wah solo, while the song ‘Carried Away’ had Allan on his knees, gesticulating wildly.

After the black cloud of Duma had cast its shadow over the evening, Clear Blue Skies allowed the sunshine to break through once more. - BBC Tyne / Rahul Shrivastava

"The Cumberland Arms"

Derek Allan is an interesting character. Big, hearty smile, and a warm handshake, he just wants everybody to be happy. ‘When you’re on stage, and the crowd are cheering and having a good time, it just feels great,’ he says after giving another polished performance with local band Clear Blue Skies.

"By Derek’s own admission, the music of Clear Blue Skies is a hard one to categorize, if categories are your thing."

But underneath the giddy exterior is a man who appears to be constantly battling with the creative voices in his head. Easily distracted in mid-conversation by another topic that suddenly springs to his mind, you get the impression that Allan could quite easily hold a conversation with himself in an empty room, and always be entertained and surprised by what he has to say.

No wonder then, that the lead singer of the Alnwick four-piece has written eight novels and penned over 4000 poems. If he didn’t get all of his ideas down on paper, he’d probably explode.

After the entertaining 'Superlatives' have given another lively performance (that will sadly be their last for some time due to educational pursuits), Clear Blue Skies take to the stage. Perhaps not since Dire Straits broke onto the scene at the end of the 70s with their electrified Bob Dylan-isms, have a local band looked and sounded so American.

They begin the set with a funky intro, laden with sumptuous wah-wah guitar, before Derek Allan joins his bandmates on stage, wearing his usual open flannel shirt, and baggy shorts, and begins a-hollering. By Derek’s own admission, the music of Clear Blue Skies is a hard one to categorize, if categories are your thing, but light shades of Lynyrd Skynyrd, with a hint of Hootie and the Blowfish, and a smattering of Pearl Jam’s grunge are thrown into the mix.

“We’re Clear Blue Skies and we’re canny good” says Derek grinning, and at the same time, shattering the American illusion. Nightsail, a track from their debut album, Shadow, is a highlight of the set. A toe-tapping bass intro opens the track, followed by a gentle finger-pickin’ riff, and an upbeat drum shuffle tempered by Allan’s downbeat vocals: “ Here I am heading home, might as well be alone.” It’s passionate stuff.

Long Ago is dedicated to The Superlatives. A raucous, foot-stomping, booze-swilling jig with a folk-rock vibe. Hear it enough times, and we could probably all sing a long, arm in arm, with our pints of ale sloshing from side to side, legs kicking outwards.

Window Dresser is a full-tilt boogie, with heavy bass, and a great guitar solo, while one can only think that the ‘John Brown’ in the song of the same name is the man who attempted to abolish black slavery in Southern America in the mid 1800s. Who needs Neil Young anyhow?

The band finish the set with Carried Away, that has another fine solo from guitarist Matty Pringle, before headliner Jawbone takes to the stage. For anyone who has never seen the Detroit bluesman, here is a man alone on stage with nothing but a guitar, a harmonica, and a bass drum. Fantastic stuff.

And as for Clear Blue Skies? “We are going to be touring the UK shortly”, Derek tells me. Something glints in his eye, and he looks to his left, carried away by a thought, an idea, or a concept. After a moment, it passes, and he turns back. “I can’t wait”, he grins. - BBC Tyne / Rahul Shrivastava

"Tynemouth Truck Concert"

Passers by stopped in their tracks. Trendy teens stopped what they were doing and danced in the middle of a field. An old man bopped and embarrassed wives moved slowly away from their air guitar playing husbands before joining in themselves.

What caused this Sunday afternoon phenomenon? An eighteen tonne truck.

Or, to be more precise, four lads, a drum kit, two guitars and an eighteen tonne truck. In a brave move, Northumberland based band Clear Blue Skies kicked off their “TruckWorld” tour with a free gig from the back of a lorry overlooking the sea at Tynemouth.

With the location kept a secret until minutes before the opening chords, it was a calculated risk. One that paid off for band members Derek, JP, Matty and Eddie. Currently leading the pack on Channel 4’s Popworld Promotes, their eclectic blend of rock, country and grunge combined with a mesmerizing live performance drew crowds from far and wide.

As the melodic harmonies to the opening number “I” kicked into life, weekend strollers joined in with hardcore fans to make this one of the most memorable, impromptu gigs that the North East has ever seen. Track after foot stomping track including the anthemic ‘Sprint of Life’, the irresistible ‘Window Dresser’ and the brand new, yet to be recorded ‘No Borders’ enraptured the crowd, leaving them begging for more.

Four hours and four sets later, Clear Blue Skies left the audience breathless, unlike the band themselves. Remarkably fresh after their marathon gig, they had maintained a standard of both music and performance that Dire Straits, U2 or any big stadium band would be proud of.

As for me? Well, I’ve been around a while. I have seen it, and heard it all before. But, just like the passers by, Clear Blue Skies stopped this hardened music critic in her tracks…
- MediaMoggie


CROW (acoustic album) - Clear Cut - August 2006
1) Splinters
2) Witches Hat
3) Holding On
4) Crow
5) Long Ago
6) Moment
7) The Dock
8) Aday
9) Rinky Dinky Two

"I" (single) - Clear Cut - August 2006

LOST WITH EVERYONE (6 track EP) - Clear Cut - August 2006
1) Milesaday
2) Nightsail
3) Put It To The Back
4) Song Song
5) Inside Outhere
6) Inside

NO BORDERS (single) - Clear Cut - March 2007

WAKE UP DREAMING (new album) - Clear Cut - April 2007
1) Orange Peel
2) Hillside Climb
3) Change The Changes
4) Cathy Said
5) Endless Day
6) Last Man Leaving
7) Button Up
8) Their Song
9) Teach Me To Stand
10) No Borders
11) Time And Time Again

TIME AND TIME AGAIN (single) - Clear Cut - June 2007


Feeling a bit camera shy


Clear Blue Skies are a four-piece band hailing from Northumberland in the North East of England, bringing you their own unique style of finger-picking country-rock. Lyricist and lead singer Derek Allan has been writing songs with guitarist and music-maker Matty Pringle for almost ten years. In 2003 they were joined by Derek’s brother, the outstanding JP Allan on drums and king of the bass, Eddie. Derek’s passionate lyrics, combined with Matty’s jaw-dropping riffs and the dynamic rhythm of JP and Eddie make up the feel-good phenomenon that is Clear Blue Skies.

In the four years since their formation, Clear Blue Skies have managed to keep busy by playing over 100 gigs a year, including appearances with signed bands such as Half Man Half Biscuit, Jawbone, Eastern Lane, Adam Bomb, Mother and the Addicts, Sons & Daughters, Decoration and Fleeing New York. They have also recorded and released two albums to rave reviews, performed sessions on local radio stations and have been featured regularly in local newspapers, all of which has helped them to build a large local fan base. More recently, they were featured on Metro Radio’s first ever ‘Unsigned Podcast’.

National acclaim was achieved by appearing on Channel 4’s Popworld in March of this year. Thanks to their Popworld appearance, 2007 will see them perform at major venues around the UK. This year has also seen the Clear Blue Skies single “I” enter the UK Bands top twenty, along with Koopa, The Arctic Monkeys, Muse and The Zutons. All this, combined with the release of their new album ‘Wake Up Dreaming’, a tour of the USA in the pipeline and their usual blend of sheer hard work and determination to succeed, will make Clear Blue Skies unstoppable in 2007 and beyond.