The Sequins
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The Sequins

Coventry, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Coventry, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Rock Pop


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"Coventry Roots"

Deploy Wild-Beasts-style goosey-voicedness strapped to Sparksian glam melodies, worn with an air of Maccabees wistfulness. - NME


I’ve been a fan of the Sequins since, rather annoyingly, about a week after their last Edinburgh gig three years ago. Since then I’ve bought a couple of excellent singles and their frantic, fantastic debut album The Death of Style, released on Tough Love Records a couple of years ago.

A couple of lineup changes have ensued, and the band are no longer working with Tough Love, and almost inevitably the sound has changed a little as well. This EP is more harmony and guitar-based than The Death of Style, which was something of an explosion of frenetic machine gun rhythms, whereas The Risky Woods is probably closer to their earlier material.

Perhaps because of that less demanding approach, this took me a little longer to get into than I maybe expected, but having done so I find I am really enjoying this. It’s got a lot of the same theatrically preposterous characteristics which so endeared the Sequins to me in the first place, from the occasionally slightly Queen-esque guitars of All That We Know, to the downright surreal Offside & Beautiful, which is presumably the world’s first gay football anthem.

I suppose I’d say that under all the really nice, slightly rock ‘n’ rolly indie guitar riffs, The Sequins are basically just a little bit over the top, and that’s one of the things I like best about them. They’re exaggerated, and a little bit larger than life, but they never ever let it get to the stage where you might think of them as a novelty band.

Another interesting aspect to this is that this record is out on Indie mp3 Records, another example of a label being a blogger, a promoter… pretty much everything music-related actually, rather than just a single entity like a traditional label. I like this model, because hearing someone talk about music is a pretty consistent way to sniff out who is a sincere music fan and who is just chancing it because they heard such and such a band might be cool at the moment. - Song By Toad

"The Sequins: The Risky Woods Review"

Proving that there’s still a heart in a genre thought to be selling its soul; The Sequins bring a sweet pinch of sentimental dazzle to indie pop. With their EP entitled The Risky Woods, it seems more likely you would encounter Lorraine Kelly rather than any goblins or trolls out in rural fantasia; despite what the front cover may convey.

They "make pop songs with guitars" admittedly; and the result is somewhat like combining Roy Orbison with the Maccabees on the edge of Dr. Parnassus’s Imaginarium. Yet in a land far far away from fairytale make-believe; The Sequins can currently be found gigging around the venues of Coventry- the city of three spires and almost no obvious woodland. They play in a sea of gritty rock n’ roll and blues; combating the most dominant themes piping from their hometown with an enchanting quality- which is at times, haunting. Perhaps it is best to describe their songs as downright jaunty, yet coming from a contrastingly sorrowful place. Vocalist Hywel Roberts sings with dainty charm; almost as though a voice could walk over eggshells. And guitar provided by Justin Hui is succinctly plucked and fired up alternately; a good concentration of the bands outright energy. The band’s EP sounds a bit like stop-motion animation.

All That We Know is wistfully vibrant; the instrumentals thoroughly rev up momentum where it’s needed in a Queen-esque fashion, and the vocals pepper the down-time with a blissfully melancholic warble. Space Travel in Your Blood has the makings of a jazz number with salsa undertones, and delicate psychedelic touches. Then The Chiming Bells contains shades of both light and dark; it takes you from the yellow brick road to the backstreets of Oz faster than a Munchkin. Angeline is almost like a journey; perhaps on an aeroplane, maybe as part of an escape adventure- but most likely because Freddie Mercury wants his riffs back. Finally Offside & Beautiful finishes the EP off on a classical, more romantic note; imaginably like dancing a waltz under the glare of frosty pale moonlight. The song naturally leads to a peppier crescendo, but otherwise the vocals in particular are floating down like feathers.

If The Sequins was a place, it would surely be a land of magical enterprises; a spell-binding flurry of sparkle- located somewhere near to Narnia. A trip to The Risky Woods for some indie tunes or turkish delight anyone? Find out more at - Music In Objectivity

"The Sequins – Offside Beautiful"

I used to be a huge anglophile. It’s where my love for Arctic Monkeys came from. So maybe deep down I still have a sweet spot for craft bands from the UK. My latest find is The Sequins.

The Sequins are a band from Coventry, England. Their most recent release was this year’s The Risky Woods EP. My first taste of their music was “Offside Beautiful”, a enchanting song of the EP. With clean crisp instrumentation and vocals that come off as mysteriously haunting. These guys have a unique sound that has left me hooked.

This is their newest EP, but they are far from a new band. They have already released one full length, and two other EP’s. I’m going to have to check those out as soon as possible.

For now, dig into “Offside Beautiful”:

[mp3]: The Sequins – Offside Beautiful

Be on the look out for the bands “Man Alive/On the Streets of Japan” single that will be available on November 8th. - We All Want Someone TO Shout For

"Man Alive / On The Streets of Japan"

We've long had a penchant for Coventry's premier jangle pop merchants The Sequins so it's great to see that their tune cupboard is still chock full of goodies. The two offered up here are both quirky, urgent and extremely enjoyable; Hywel's tight panted vocals rarely pausing for breath as he duels with the sprinting rhythms and swirling keys in a delightful double dose of Queen tinged indiepop. Available in a ludicrously limited run of only 200 7" records and even less CDs, I suggest you don't hang about. - SoundsXP

"Single review: The Sequins – Japan/Alive"

Formed in 2002, by vocalist Hywel Roberts and guitarist Justin Hui, and with two singles, an EP and an album under their belt the Sequins aren’t exactly one of the more prolific bands around. However we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they go for quality not quantity, and judging by this latest release it would appear to be a fair assumption. The double A of ‘Man Alive’ and ‘On The Streets Of Japan’ is an odd record to say the least, though never quirky (general rule of thumb: odd=good, quirky=bad!). ‘Man Alive’ is rammed with ideas and guitar styles as it chops and changes through its three and a half minutes, though maintaining its fast pace throughout. On top of this is Hywel’s vocal which is even odder; he sounds like an English Feargal Sharkey with a bit of Bryan Ferry thrown in. ‘On The Streets of Japan’ follows a slow/fast pattern but is still brimming with ideas and this time an unusual stilted rhythm, but as with its flip side always remembers that it’s a pop song.

The Sequins have an inventiveness and uniqueness about them that makes it difficult to find comparisons, but I would imagine that Magazine, Pulp, Roxy Music and Orange Juice have all played their part in influencing them. In the hands of a lesser band I’m pretty sure Japan/Alive would have sounded like an awful mess, but in the hands of The Sequins it somehow works, and brilliantly at that. 4/5 - Punk Ist Nicht Tot

"The Sequins – Man Alive / On the Streets of Japan (Sturdy)"

I can’t quite decide yet whether Sequins are some band of geniuses or a motley bunch of musical villains. Throughout both tracks here there are moments when the recording sounds boxy and a little bit cheapskate. There’s plenty of opportunities when singer Hywel Roberts’ voice strays between Fergal Sharkey and Justin Hawkins. And there’s definitely a vibe of glam operetta to ‘On the streets of Japan’. But then I’m not sure all this uncoolness really matters – The Sequins have strung a couple of good tunes together here – let’s just take them at face value. 7/10 - Tasty

"Monday Music – 29 November 2010"

There’s something slightly ’80s about this: an assuming, initially underwhelming slice of plodding soft rock that captivates a little more with each play. It’s tight, nicely melodic, velvet soft at times and pleasingly thuddish at others. Continuing the old-fashioned theme, the Coventry lot have just released this ’Japan’ as part of a double 7? vinyl single, available via here. - Some Of It Was True

"Rumbles January 11"

"Japan Alive" by The Sequins is a high energy, post-punk-sounding thrash that echoes The Cardiacs but adds a little Coventry swagger to the mix. Both tracks on this double-A single hustle along like the over-caffeinated popsters they are. - Terrascope Rumbles


7? Vinyl Single: Japan/Alive!

Track List
A. Man Alive
A. On The Streets Of Japan

CD Single: Japan/Alive!

Track List
A. Man Alive
A. On The Streets Of Japan

EP: The Risky Woods

Track List
1. All That We Know
2. Space Travel In Your Blood
3. The Chiming Bell
4. Angeline
5. Offside & Beautiful

Click logo to buy CD or download:

Album: The Death of Style

Track List
1. Catholic Guilt
2. When The Flames Went Out
3. Treehouses
4. Everyone Loves the Sequins
5. It Pays Well Not to Care
6. The Lost Art of Friendship
7. Felix
8. The Usual Delights
9. Let’s Go Drinking in the Morning
10. The Grass is Never Green
11. Les Faux Amis
12. The French Way of Life

Single: Patients

Track List Vinyl
1. Patients
2. Wife

Track List CD
1. Patients
2. Afraid of The Dark
3. Happy Chappie

Vinyl & CD: Sold Out

Single: Nobody Dreams About Me

Track List
1. Nobody Dreams About Me
2. Dear Old Bill

CD & Vinyl: Sold Out



The Sequins are Coventry indie band who count Talking Heads, Roy Orbison, Queen and the Ramones among their influences. They originally formed at Warwick University in 2003, when singer Hywel Roberts and guitar player Justin Hui got together to perform “Psycho Killer” on ukele at open mic nights.

The band have survived several lineup changes – by some counts there are more former Sequins than there are current members, but every incarnation has been based around Hywel’s passionate vocals and Justin’s barefoot Brian May guitar attack. Since 2008, Steve Weird on bass guitar, and Donna Crawford, a veteran of Rugby punk rockers Any Given Day on Drums have completed the line up. They have more recently been joined by Thomas “Tommy Gun” Simkins on keys.

For live shows the band decorate the stage with home-made sound activated lights, and as twee as this may sound Sequins gigs have a harder edge than you’d expect, and on more than one occasion have ended in stage invasions during over-the-top glamrock finale ‘The French Way of Life’

In 2005 the band released ‘Nobody Dreams About Me’ on Coventry-based Tough Love Records which sold out almost immediately and established the band as ones to watch in the (very) indie scene. This was followed up in 2006 with ‘Patients’ and in 2007 with ‘The Death of Style’, the first full length album that the label released.

The Sequins have parted company with Tough Love Records in the wake of the label’s relocation to London, and after some terrible experiences in commercial recordng studios they now write and record music in their houses, pub function rooms and anywhere where you can play loudly for an hour or two without the police being called.

The first release from this new material was the ‘The Risky Woods EP’ on Indie-MP3 records in March 2010. To mark the record’s release, The Sequins took over Coventry’s historic Saint Mary’s Guildhall and put on the biggest independent gig and party that the city has seen for some time.

The band have just released 7? double A-side release Japan/Alive through Sturdy Records.