Top Hat Alleycat
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Top Hat Alleycat

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Band Rock Classic Rock

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"Top Hat Alleycat Glitzine Review"

Top Hat Alleycat are a 5 piece rock band from Norwich UK. They play a kind of rock heavily influenced by the glam rock of the mid to late 80's, and they play it really well. Opener 'Red Light City' is a nice up tempo rocker, a great opener that is quickly followed by 'Day By Day'; another great melodic rocker telling you to "live your life, day by day, cuz you never know when you'll be taken away", a truer sentiment could never be said/sang! 'Friend' closes out this three track EP, it's a slightly slower tempo, almost power ballad I guess. Top Hat Alleycat have some great songs on display here, with a kind of poor mans Poison/Motley Crue/Wrathchild/GnR sound production wise, hell I'd love to hear what these guys could sound like with a production budget of one of the aforementioned bands! A great fun diversion from the horrors of day-to-day life; well worth checking out.
Rating 8/10 - Barry Gennard


"Top Hat Alleycat Violent Moshground Review"

"Great young British band that plays amazing late 80’s inspired commercial MTV Hardrock. Most familiar bands are: TUFF, WINGER, WARRANT and BON JOVI! Too bad the EP CDR looks a little bit cheap, but the music sounds very professional and tight. Great band including very good production and vocalist!!!" - Patchman Marco


Discography

Top Hat Alleycat's Excellent EP.

Top Hat Alleycat's Most Triumphant EP.

Album (un-titled, yet to be released).

Photos

Bio

Top Hat Alleycat are a hard rock/pop metal band from Norwich, UK. The band consists Benny Valentiene (Lead Vocals), Dirty Chris Ashton (Lead guitar), John "Mozz" Mosley (Rhythm guitar), Ky Hammond (Bass) and Daniel "Taz" Moss (Drums).

They formed in the fall of 2008 when Mozz and his band mate Kim Cassidy (then known as Nikki Noir) left their band "Strip Hollywood" to take their music in a different direction, away from sleaze/punk and towards a more classic rock sound.

The band name came from the lyrics to a song Cassidy had written. It is a metaphor for a drug dealer, one who has a lot of money but still has a life in the gutter. After reading the lyrics, Mosley suggested it as a band name and it stuck from then on.

They recruited Benny Valentiene, who had previously been the singer in a band named"Love Punch" with Mosley, a bass player named Izzy Chevelle (then known as Goncalo Gomes) and the drummer from Strip Hollywood, Andy Conda.

This was the original line up for Top Hat Alleycat, but it didn't last long as there were clashes in musical direction, commitment and personalities which led to Izzy Chevelle being quickly replaced by Dirty Chris Ashton.

Chevelle later went on to form a band named "Vampire Gypsies" with Cassidy.

Dirty Chris was an esteemed guitarist who had taught Mozz how to play when they were in their early teens and had remained a solid friend throughout all their separate musical projects. Chris had also played guitar in "Love Punch" with Benny and Mozz. However, he was the bass player of the line up at the time as Cassidy was a founding member and the songs had been written to suit his guitar playing.

This line up recorded their first E.P "Fast Cars and Fast Guitars" at the beginning of January 2009 at Walnut Tree Studios in Norfolk. However, halfway through the recording Cassidy announced that he was leaving the band due to personal issues that he felt needed to be addressed. This was closely followed by the departure of Andy Shilling, who felt that he had other more important priorities than playing in a band.

It was then decided that Dirty Chris should take the role of lead guitarist, and the E.P was to re-recorded with him playing both guitar and bass and a good friend of the band Martin Chang to fill in and play drums.

Due to financial difficulties, the E.P was never finished apart from two versions of the song "Fast Cars and Fast Guitars"; one with Cassidy's guitar playing and the other with Ashton's.

For a while after this, the band was put on hiatus as they were without an official bass player and a drummer. However, this didn't stop the song writing. In this time Dirty Chris, Mozz and Benny sat behind guitars writing what would become their first official E.P "Top Hat Alleycat's Excellent E.P" which was named after a mutual love for the Bill & Ted movies.

Once this was written, the boys couldn't wait to get into the studio and record - so they headed Fortress Studios in Hackney, London with another friend of the band Joe "Penguin" Barnes to session on the drums and decided to share the bass parts between Mozz and Chris. They recorded the E.P in full in only two days. The E.P was produced by Tom Morris, who had been a sound engineer on the Kaiser Chiefs album "Off with Their Heads".

The E.P was released in March 2009 and went down well on the internet circuit, getting fair attention in America and Europe - although the band and the fans felt that had they spent more time and money on the record it would have been much of better quality and would have been ultimately more successful.
Also, the band didn't have the appropriate members to play any shows - therefore weren't able to achieve a substantial fan base with their live show.

Eventually they found two more members, Lee Graham on the bass and Martin Chang, who had recorded with them on "Fast Cars and Fast Guitars".

Graham's time in the band was short lived however, as they were unable to glue musically, and he was replaced with Ben "Squints" Everington, who had been a school friend of Mozz and Chris and had played in bands with them previously.

It was then that the band was finally able to start performing.

They played a few shows locally and went down well, however - disaster struck once again when Chang decided that he had too many other commitments as he was also playing in a local band "In Rapture" and couldn't play full time for both.

Then auditioned a few drummers, and found ex "Circus" drummer Chris Chapman. He played with them for a while but somehow they lost contact and to this day not even the band knows why they stopped playing together.

Chapman now plays for a band called "The Burning Crows".

Shortly after this, Squints left due to musical differences and personal differences with Valentiene. He still remains a friend to the band however, and has a new project named "Them Or Us".

This left the band back at square one and almost ready to hang up their