The High Plane Drifters
Gig Seeker Pro

The High Plane Drifters


Band Blues Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Georgian Theatre - Live Review"

World class music. A two-piece phenomenon with the power and energy of a full-scale orchestra. Garage band blues and psychedelia with high wire firebrand extravert guitar and vocals anchored with power hammer drumming. Pterodactyl guitar cries and blazes of feedback with showers of cymbals. Hyper Robert Johnson fully plugged in. Top drawer Hendrix moves and guitar grooves. - Robert Nichols

"Georgian Ghosts, Archer Street Blues and The Candy Factory - Album Review"

Album of the Month, November, is a first from Stockton-on-Tees High Plane Drifters. 10 tracks on black vinyl packaged in a sleeve reminiscent of the best of Blue Note.

We’ve already heard the singles / EPs from this extraordinary outfit - all of them sold out within months of release - on this album you get the full picture from a self proclaimed “Psychedelic Garage Blues Band”. Though it echoes “half a century and more of blues n’ roll” heritage the High Plane Drifters are totally original. Maybe the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion are in a similar frame but HPD reference a much broader territory. Mark Lamar described the Blues Explosion as the most exciting band he’d ever seen - if that’s the case then Teesside’s High Plane Drifters would totally blow him away.

No surprise that they were recently given the accolade of the prestigious PRS Foundation ATOM award. Only available through nomination this award is given annually to a handful of the most creative musicians in the UK, assessed by industry experts.

High Plane Drifters are Timothy James Oxnard on guitar and Wesley Stephenson on drums - together they sound like a stampeding herd, like a three or four piece band mixing amazing counterpointing drums and percussion with riffs reminiscent in range from the Ventures to Hendrix (sometimes, as in the opener “Electricity in My Bones”, in the same tune) and vocal delivery as full-on as Hound Dog Taylor at his wildest or Magic Sam or Screaming Jay Hawkins at their most eccentric. Then “Gumbo” and “Meek Damo Caged” take you to the Louisiana swamps, Tim’s guitar break flying above. “Shake, Shake” is stratospheric, “Cry Like A River” is James ‘Blood’ Ulmer territory, “Rendered By Distance Inarticulate” is reminiscent of Mingus in his Mau Mau days. Adventurous instrumentation and Tim’s famed cello-like guitar bowing mixed with Shanai like wailing from an eastern bazaar or the Atlas mountains. “Despair - I Couldn’t Escape the Feeling that it Would End at Any Given Moment” brings us down to roots with Howlin’ Wolf type riff, followed by a live favourite “I Wish I Was a Happier Man”, and the brushes driven, gently driving, “Road Theme” takes us out .... all expertly recorded and mastered by Stephen ‘Nobby’ Norman of Soul Fire Sounds. - Pete Bell / Cultural Foundation

"Real Deep Blues Website"

OK...lets get this straight up and send this out as a warning to every penny-ante-two-bit two-man band out there...It's Go Time. all y'all need to go out and get yrselves suspenders to wear with yr belts and start walkin' backwards and then just go ahead and get yr ass a bass player. If not I guarantee you suckers that The High Plane Drifters and those savvy enuff to dig them will be hunting the rest of you with dogs by 2006. Mark my words. it's over. No more Floridas. High Plane Drifters are Kings of the two-man universe. a stoogian wrayesque sonic powernuthouse guitar vs swangin' slayerific rumpus pounding beatdown drum ackackackshun...Git 'em. - Rick Saunders

"Sweet Poppy Jean / White Star Lightning - Download Single Review"

THE HIGH PLANE DRIFTERS are off touring the USA this month and release a single next week that I would describe as one of the best EVER releases by a Teesside band.
Sweet Poppy Jean/White Star Lightning is frighteningly good. Psychedelic, garage, blues - whatever tag you want to give, it is just a phenomenal outpouring. A sonic sound storm, it leaps out of your speakers and demands to be played again and again and again. - The Gazette

"Sweet Poppy Jean / White Star Lightning - Download Review"

The High Plane Drifters ‘sweet poppy jean’ (Don’t Tell Clare). A serious amount of water has passed under the bridge since we last had anything by the High Plane Drifters hot wiring our hi-fi, in fact if I recall rightly its not been since that impossibly crucial debut release of theirs from way a few years ago entitled ‘hot property’ EP that we here have had cause to dig out and dust down our dancing shoes for a spot of blistered primitive boogie. Seems that in that passing period of absence from our ear shot these dudes (Tim and Wesley) haven’t thankfully lost that knack for cooking up some raw n’ rocking brew having released in that time a tour split with fellow label mates Dooley Wilson and a full length entitled ’georgian ghosts, archer street blues and the candy factory’ which sadly we here appear a little light on. Anyhow now comes this dashing slab of frantic ear candy, if I was to say that ‘sweet poppy jean’ sublimely tail gates the Bunny men’s ‘Crystal Days’ - you’d think - mmm sounds dandy. If however we’d suggest for arguments sake the adding of in of elements of Alien Sex Fiend’s ‘ignore the machine’ and the Three Johns ‘Death of a European’ - you’d be searching for a leash to chomp on. By the time we utter early JMC doing their trademark fuzz spliced speed surf - your already out of your gaff in search of your local record emporium retailer demanding with intimated menace that they source said boogie bastard pronto. Frankly kittens I wouldn’t blame you. Of course you realise at this point its not the best cut here. That happens to find itself on the flip. ’white star lightning’ what a beast. Consider yourselves not alone if what you hear hurtling out the speakers is the distant sound of a whole heap of bent out of shape and buckled beatnik tweaked swamp dragged festering fuzz, all raw and primal, which may just have a few of you re-familiarising yourself with your prized Halo of Flies gems from yesteryear, mind you that’ll be rampantly potent Halo of Flies in serious arse whipping mood brandishing a dialect of blues so wired, crippled and corrupting its almost illegal and pitched as though finding Led Zep being beaten to within a skin of their lives. Kicked our asses anyway. In case of any misunderstanding f**kin ESSENTIAL. - Losing Today

"Hot Property E.P - Single Review"

The High Plane Drifters ‘Hot Property’ EP (Don’t Tell Clare). Like having all your birthdays arrive at once, well that’s if you like your toons packed with what sounds like a bastardised concoction of raw as you like early primitive JMC going head to head with the more gritty garage psyche blues ensembles currently causing a fuss on respected and well trusted labels such as Sympathy for the Record Industry and Estrus to name but two. I think we are right in saying that these dudes are a duo based in the North East of England and that this four track debut is by all accounts selling fast based on word of mouth and some incendiary support slots for the likes of the Soledad Brothers and Whirlwind Heat. The High Plane Drifters ransack the whole primitive blues culture, dirty, gritty and without doubt potent, it’s the kind of swamp fest that’d have Tarrantino shitting bricks with its lineage transgressing directly to Gallon Drunk and further beyond to the likes of Link Wray and Muddy Waters. Opening cut ‘Electricity in my home’ is a wired up rabble rousing hot road action number found hauled up in a lay by sniffin’ the blue glue, imagine John Spencer and Co dropped dead centre of the 60’s beat / garage scene – yeah that f**king good. ‘You’ve got to try’ trips into the kaleidoscopic world of classic Spacemen 3, repetitive looping chords and that primal mind-melting core so much in evidence on their early classic outings. Flip over and things get decidedly more fraught and animated, the fucked up wretchedness of the beating a path to oblivion ‘Cry like a River’ has that out of it feel as though Jim Morrison was doing extra curricula work fronting a secret underground student psyche band, listen a little closer and the detachment of early Warsaw / Joy Division begins to eke into view. ‘Road Theme’ is your bog standard hillbilly instrumental executed in the best tradition of those classic Perkins Sun discs. Buy on sight – these kids will break hearts, pressed on red vinyl as if you needed any further prods and without doubt Single of the Missive. - Losing Today

"The Yorkshire House - Live Review"

Now: imagine the nascent Led Zeppelin rising from the primordial swamp minus Plant and Jones. Imagine Chuck Berry choreographed by Balanchine and Jimmy Page. Imagine a two-piece rock'n'blues band contest in which the White Stripes are thrashed into second place by a howling neanderthal brickie and a drummer with genuine versatility (and a haircut last spotted on ex-England goalie Ian Walker circa 1994). Congratulations, you have just imagined the High Plane Drifters. Sort of.

This pair, however, sound like a three-, even four-piece band at times, and they achieve this more subtly than by just blasting the room with wall-to-wall racket. Drummer Wesley John Stephenson's fulsome and varied percussive palette is crucial to this illusion - as is frontman Timothy James Oxnard's use of his guitar alternately as rhythm engine, lead instrument, surrogate bass, even as a kind of modernist cello when he grinds a bow futuristically across six strings on a song written for Can's Damo Suzuki and propelled by appropriately Krautrock express-train drums.

It's one of several intriguing reference points for a "Psychedelic Garage Blues" band (as they label themselves) that lovingly patrol half a century and more of blues'n'roll heritage, select only the twangiest riffs, throw in some loopy loops of their own, and distil the whole glorious stinking mess into a heady, muddy brew, to be served up on their forthcoming album this summer. 'Despair', the fifth of only seven songs played tonight, is everything the blues should be: the well of unhappiness as fuel for a careering, sexy bassline to bring you out of that trough, with tomtoms-as-pneumatic-drill coda topping it all off. - Alex Brookhouse

"God Is In The T.V"

...tracks being used by C.S.I. Miami and Breaking Bad, so clearly this is music for criminal minds... - Owain Paciuszko

"Real Deep Blues Website"

The High Plane Drifters, our men from Stockton-On-Tees, frkn WAiL! They wail like a two-man riot squad. Like it's goin' outta style. The High Plane Drifters Bring that beat back. The down beat and the beat down. The rump shakin' racket. The damned abandon. Punk rock has never been terribly sexy. It was always pretty swagger and freak-out free. High Plane Drifters bring both. The stony head trip locks step with P rock energy and makes DANGER. Enough danger that C.S.I. Miami and Breaking Bad have used HPN tracks. High Plane Drifters bring that dirty danger stateside for the first time to this years Deep Blues Festival (playing saturday July 18th) wedged between Italy's Black Smokers and East Nashville's Black Diamond Heavies. A short U.S. tour will ensue as well. - Rick Saunders

"Middlesbrough Arena - Live Review"

Raw but polished, old yet fresh, The High Plane Drifters elongated blues wig-out stuns the younger audience members, THPD are on top form again tonight.

Tim’s other-worldly whine is beautifully unnerving and Wes’ powerful and concentrated drumming is so base, so primitive, and so sensual that a pair of knickers are promptly thrown at him. And then there’s a stage invasion.

- Natalie Boxall


"Trouble In Mind" and "I Heard Her Moan and Howl" (2 Track Demo CD-R)

“Hot Property E.P” - (Vinyl 7”)

“The High Plane Drifters and Dooley Wilson Split E.P” - (Vinyl 7”)

“Georgian Ghosts, Archer Street Blues and The Candy Factory” - (Vinyl LP and CDR)

"Sweet Poppy Jean" and "White Star Lightning" (Download Single)

All tracks are released through Don't Tell Clare Records. 3 tracks from the Debut "Georgian Ghosts..." LP have achieved sync placements with "Cry Like A River" featuring in CSI Miami (Episode 712 - Season 7 Episode 12 "Head Case" First Aired 12th January 2009), "Electricity In My Bones" featuring in Breaking Bad (Season 2 - Episode 11 First Aired 17th May 2009) and "An Hour To Suffer, A Lifetime To Live" featuring in the Tekken Movie.

Tracks are available for streaming primarily through myspace although they also feature on Sonicbids and Last FM, tracks are also available to buy through Tunecore who distribute to Amazon, I-Tunes and Napster amongst others, live performance footage is also on You Tube and other internet sites.

The band have had quite a bit of airplay which is outlined in the Biography and includes BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 amongst other worldwide and internet stations.



The High Plane Drifters are a Psychedelic Garage Blues two piece from Nothern England consisting of Wesley John Stephenson on Drums and Timothy James Oxnard on Vocals and Guitar.

A Two Man Band With A Four Man Sound

Together they have inspired and excited many with their exciting live set, betraying their audiences ears with their full sound. Their music comes from so many sources echoing half a century of rock and roll heritage and more that it renders itself fresh, The High Plane Drifters are totally original.

Described as “like having all your birthdays arrive at once, well that’s if you like your tunes packed with what sounds like a bastardised concoction of raw as you like early primitive JMC going head to head with the more gritty garage ensembles, imagine John Spencer and Co dropped dead centre of the 60’s beat scene – yeah that f**king good, listen a little closer and the detachment of early Warsaw / Joy Division begins to eke into view”.

Their self released output of Two E.P's, an LP and most recently a Download Single have sold around the globe. Although they have had interest from many major and minor record labels their LP was financed by the winnings of the PRS ATOM AWARD , a nomination only award that they won, being only one of three winners in the UK, the only band from the North of England to do so.

They have also landed themselves a publishing deal in the United States with Hunnypot Publishing , based in Los Angeles, who approached them to sign the deal, they have had music used in C.S.I Miami and Breaking Bad as well as being touted for Tarantino movies amongst other things, most recently they feature in the forthcoming Tekken Movie. They join a staple of artists as diverse as Clutch and The Victorian English Gentlemens Club .

Shortly before he died John Peel was impressed enough to play their demo version of “Trouble In Mind” , and this was long before they released any records. On the strength of their U.S Tour and Download Single "Sweet Poppy Jean / White Star Lightning" they performed a live session for the Marc Riley show on BBC6 in August this year having been invited by Vic Galloway, a strong supporter of the group. They have also been played by Mark Lamarr on Radio 2, Vic Galloway on Radio 1, Steve Lamacq and a heap of local BBC shows throughout the U.K, good underground stations like Artrocker and Resonance, Student Radio around the world plus a host of other stations in America, New Zealand, Ireland, Croatia, Portugal, France, Israel, Malta, Slovenia and Argentina not to mention The British Forces Broadcasting Service. .

They have toured all parts of the British Isles and most recently toured The United States after invites from promoters there including Chris Johnson from The Deep Blues Festival in Minnesota where the band performed in 2009 as part of their 16 gigs in 16 days in 14 cities covering 11 different States U.S tour. Having been "Recoginzed As Internationally Outstanding Performers In The Blues Music Field" by The American Federation Of Musicians the band are now set to return to the United States and break into Europe. They have played gigs with Stateside bands such as the The Black Diamond Heavies, The Bohannons, The Immortal Lee County Killers, The Soledad Brothers, The Bravery, Cut In The Hill Gang, Left Lane Cruiser, SSM, The Hentchmen, Whirlwind Heat, Pearlene, Dooley Wilson who they also released a Split E.P with, as well as acoustic artists such as Benjamin Wetherill and Serious Sam Barrett...the list goes on.

“This pair sound like a three-, even four-piece band at times, and they achieve this more subtly than by just blasting the room with wall-to-wall racket. Drummer Wesley John Stephenson's fulsome and varied percussive palette is crucial to this illusion - as is frontman Timothy James Oxnard's use of his guitar alternately as rhythm engine, lead instrument, surrogate bass, even as a kind of modernist cello when he grinds a bow futuristically across six strings, propelled by appropriately Krautrock express-train drums”.

Considering this is a group that have achieved this with their self released records on their own label and have organised their own tours with limited resources and hard work they remain optimistic, open minded and excited about the future and what it has to offer, and it seems right now that the world is ready to offer a great deal more than obscurity.

Currently the band are continuing to play the U.K, writing and recording new material, filming a documentary with Charlotte Johnson from Pixy Films and preparing for SXSW 2010 and their second tour of the U.S.A. The band are also considering their contribution to the second Cosmos Recordings "We Are All Circling The Stars" Compilation Album and preparing a session for Dandelion Radio in April 2010 whilst planning some new releases of their very own.