Grandfather Birds
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Grandfather Birds


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"Holy-moly! Grandfather Birds’ new single is good…"

One of the many perks of being involved with creaturemag is that it gives me a legitimate excuse to spend oodles of time pouring over the latest singles and online releases. An added bonus is that bands come to *me* rather than me having to hunt them down in order to procure singles to review…

The Grandfather Birds’ new single was one such beauty that dropped into my lap- only, I’d already heard it… Having avidly followed them online since stumbling across one of their sets as a support act at the Cluny 2 a while back, I’ve been going to see these guys play whenever I can. I’ve even learned the words to their song. So naturally I was delighted to see their name in my inbox subject field, and even more ecstatic when I realised their new single will be one of my favourite tracks, ‘Higher Bridges’.

It’s taken me a lot of waffling to get to this point, so I’ll keep it short. This song is mint. You should download it. Now.

Alright, maybe not now, as it’s not actually out until May 2nd… but you should definately pre-order the track from itunes, or bandcamp, or better still directly from their website. The b-side track is a delish rendition of ‘She likes it on the left’, which makes it a double investment.

I’ll be posting a more in depth review of the single on creaturemag over the weekend, so check back for that, but in the meantime, stuff this down your ears! - Betty Hammer

"Single Launch For Grandfather Birds"

Grandfather Birds had themselves a damn fine single launch at the Bridge Hotel for their latest effort, Higher Bridges. The limited edition CD release has already sold out, but this marvellous web world we live in means you can still get hold of the digital edition, containing the single Higher Bridges and She Likes It On The Left recorded as a live track. It’s £1.58p so don’t be cheap now. If you like it, buy it, the Grandfather Birds are one of those bands you should know an awful lot about. -

"Live Review: Grandfather Birds, Let’s Buy Happiness & Baskin’s Wish (Newcastle)"

Before starting this review I’ll admit that I’m not by any means profoundly knowledgeable when it comes to the music scene in the North East, despite having lived here for the past eighteen years. However, I was reliably informed that these three bands are all key ingredients to the vibrant local music scene. I had also never been to the infamous venue that is the Bridge Hotel, 5 minutes walk from Central Station, yet far enough out the way to avoid it becoming full of ‘lads’ on nights out and women in the middle of hen parties. Tucked away up a narrow flight of the stairs, the venue itself was a hastily converted function room, however was none the less comfortable and desirably intimate.

With the lights dimmed and a sideshow of flickering images of Newcastle projected onto the wall behind the stage, Grandfather Birds stepped out to a now eagerly waiting, packed out crowd. Making the most of the intimate settings by conversing heavily with fans throughout the set, yet still taking it seriously enough to put in a tight and atmospheric performance. The likes of last year’s single The Woods and recent B-side She Likes It On The Left showing a fragile but self-assured side to the group. However the highlight of the evening was undoubtedly Higher Bridges, their fantastic new single which was performed with confidence and sincerity, striking a chord with the crowd whom are were all too familiar with the songs inspirations. It may still be a while before these three bands are recognised throughout the rest of the UK, however from these three performances, it’s merely a question of when, not if. - Crack In The Road

"[Introducing...Grandfather Birds]"

This weekend was a lesson on learning how to not spend money. Okay, we’ve already managed to trip up on our own bullshit with the first sentence right there. We blew over £80 on Friday night, attributable to the early curfew set for the Rival Schools/And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead double-headliner at Electric Ballroom – although we’re not complaining, being home by 11pm is fine by us. However, this led to certain ancilliary expenditures, as there often is, namely 1 x burger king (standalone bacon double cheese and a large fries. Should have got the meal deal); 1 x pack of Marlborough Lights/Golds; 4 x Amstels and 3 x Gaymer’s Ciders (we had our special ladyfriend with us, although we did have several gulps of her cider whilst “holiding it” for her); 2 x City Kebab’s finest meat and chips and a coke; and a whole bunch of other shit we shouldn’t really mention. So, to qualify our opening statement, the rest of the weekend was spent learning how not to spend money. Which was unfortunate, as of course yesterday was the annual Record Store Day. Despite our most valiant efforts to splurge out on limited edition 7? pressings and one-day-only releases, owing to the previous evenings indulgences all we managed to get was a wristband to the Rough Trade East aftershow party, which we didn’t even go to in the end because we watched Man U/City. Did we feel musically deprived? No, we did not. We had Grandfather Birds helping us out on that front…

Grandfather Birds – Higher Bridges

Spawned from the same thriving Newcastle music scene that gave us the mighty Polarsets – and if you’re wondering when we’re going to shut up about those guys, the answer is not any time soon – Grandfather Birds might well be considered the more-mature and pretty reserved older sibling were this a familial set up. Drawing their sound from a range of influences – let’s say a blend of Mumford & Sons’ more inventive moments, a solid body comprised of Grizzly Bear‘s duality of indie rock and folk, and the inticing vocal tones and instrumental complexities of Radiohead – these four merry men are taking leftfield sounds into the conventional mainstream. Cue a link up with Little Comets‘ guitarist Michael Coles who ended up manning the mixing desk for a unique recording sesh, taking place under “a number of Newcastle’s legendary bridges”, and the resultant songs have ended up in the laps of everyone’s favourite-station-since-it-was-saved-from-the-jaws-of-financial-doom, BBC 6Music. Right on. The chaps have already touched down in London town, with a packed-out headline stint at Old Blue Last a couple of days ago.

Grandfather Birds – She Likes It On The Left (Live)

Grandfather Birds – Grandfather’s Bones

Naturally, you’ll be asking “was zur hölle ist los mit diesen leuten?”, especially if you are of the Teutonic persuasion. Well, we’ll tell ya. These dudes are going all out with a single release, in the form of the above-posted Higher Bridges, which shall be unleased upon this green and pleasant land on 2nd May. This is being backed by a North-ish tour, touching down at such locations as Edinburgh, Liverpool, Durham as well as two hometown shows in Newcastle, followed by a chunk of festival dates running throughout June, July and August. We’d recommend getting involved and seeing what all the fuss is about for yourselves. - Killing Moon LTD

"Grandfather Birds- Higher Bridges (single)"

New week, new music, and to kick it all off we’re featuring Newcastle four-piece the Grandfather Birds’ new single ‘Higher Bridges’.

The track is a perfect example of why these guys have been tipped as one of the best emerging artists on the north-east circuit at the moment, effortlessly blending folk-tinged guitar melodies with sharp drum beats and charismatic vocals. ‘Higher Bridges’ bursts into life with a lone guitar hook- reminiscent of Tears for Fears’ ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’.

Lead singer Matt produces the goods here with a confident mix of confessional verses and an optimistic and lively chorus that showcases his vocal range almost to its very limits. At points strained, his voice conveys the emotional bounce of the instrumental arrangement his vocals cut through, producing a convincing and catchy hook that’ll have you humming along- we particularly like the refrain.

The understated rhythm that keeps the track upbeat even when the lyrics dip into darker places, achieved through the subtle drum beat that energizes the track and a plum bass line that puts in the leg work beneath the more elaborate guitar work.

Overall, we think it’s a top tune!

Pre-order it now, or download it on it’s release date of 2 May 2011 from the band’s website or off itunes. In the meantime, give it (and B’side ‘She Likes it on the Left’) a listen here.

SOUNDS LIKE: Jeff Buckley, Tears for Fears, Folk, Pop, Indie rock all shook up and presented with long hair and a stubble.
RATING: 4/5 Spring is here! - Creature Mag

"Review: Grandfather Birds – Higher Bridges"

Since their 2010 debut single ‘Fourteen Mile’, northeast band Grandfather Birds have been a group firmly on our radar. Their latest release, ‘Higher Bridges’, takes the sound what impressed us so much in the early days and develops it further. In short, the sound is remarkably fuller. The story behind the single’s recording goes to some lengths to explain the mature sound. Recorded almost entirely under bridges in Newcastle, their methods give the work a remarkable amount of depth.

Ultimately however Grandfather Birds are a pop band and they make no reservations about this. The hooks are catchy, the riffs are smooth and Matthew Saxon’s voice comes with a rather familiar indie-pop sound. Regardless of this, they still manage to never come across as stale. The production goes to some lengths to ensure this. Stuart Walkinshaw’s guitar tones meld to form a sound that’s eerie in stature, with Saxon’s recorded harmonies giving the sound a scope that most indie bands simply lack.

The tone of the piece is perhaps the most impressive aspect of the single, “Think of another way out of here, forget about your mother’s fears, jumping out of higher bridges….” Is a remarkably dark tone for a song rapped in such an indie sound. Somehow the gentle juxtaposition of tone and sound manages never to clash harshly, it all comes together in a sound that is remarkable in scope but comforting in personality. - Crack In The Road

"BBC: Introducing"

The Waves Roll Back & Forth - "Here is a track that is so deeply, richly lushious enough to swim in" - Tom Robinson (BBC:Introducing - BBC 6 Music) - BBC 6 Music - Tom Robinson


HIGHER BRIDGES (Golden Lake Records)
Release May 2nd 2011.
a) Higher Bridges
b) She Likes It On The Left (Live)

Played by Huw Stephens (Radio 1) Lauren Laverne, Tom Robinson, Radcliffe & Maconie (Radio 6Music), and many more.

'Higher Bridges' was recorded in the dead of the night, underneath, inside and on top of the bridges of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Also included is B-side 'She Likes It On The Left (Live)' Recorded for The Amazing Sessions for Amazing Radio.

THE WOODS (Golden Lake Records)
Released May 17th 2010.
a) The Woods
b) Grandfather's Bones
c) The Waves Roll Back & Forth

DIY Release.



Four Piece Alt-Indie band based in Newcastle.

For fans of Radiohead, Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors, Everything Everything, Sigur Ros, Let's Buy Happiness, Mammal Club, Field Music, Dutch Uncles, Elbow, Guillemots...

Fresh from our debut UK Tour supporting our second self release 'Higher Bridges', we take the DIY route, simply because we have no choice, we're skint.

Chosen as support for The Futureheads, Little Comets, Dutch Uncles, Remember Remember, Findo Gask.

Currently recording the follow up single to Higher Bridges 'Fourteen Mile' with Little Comets guitarist/producer Mickey Coles.