josh-bessant

OTH Interviewer & Reporter | Punkulele | Kult DIY Plymouth | DORKS

  • Exeter
  • 11 reviews
Hello! My names Josh, I play in a band called Crooked Little Sons. I also play in bands/Projects like PunkuleleUK, Dorks, KULT DIY Plymouth (Formally Black Sail Records), Get Rad Festival and have been luck enough to feature on a few other track here and there. I am also a field reporter and normally the guy in front of the Camera for festivals and interviews that OTH are covering.

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Current project: PunkuleleUK

Just a little Lock Down project I’m working on until the world opens back up again. Currently Crooked Little Sons and Dork Are writing new material and Get Rad festival is starting to be mapped out for when gigs start to come back (No Social Distancing of course….) but for now, Enjoy me trying to make the Ukulele cool.

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Reviews

Showing 11 review(s).

Josh Bessant reviewed Lonesome 1 month ago

Lonesome – inure

A somber song with ambient feel. This track is able to go big by keeping you at a simmer throughout. Reminiscent of the same emotion put out by bands such as Deaf Havana and Black Foxes, putting out a film score Lonesome are coming in with a very different way or releasing music.
(For those that don’t know, Lonesome have a concept EP ‘To Myself, From Myself’ that has been split into 6 parts, all flowing as one track)

Inure constantly feels like it’s building into something. The full swings of the chorus is almost spiritual, bringing you into a full release of emotion but toes that line between pretty guitar twangs and biblical mass sound perfectly.

Usually this isn’t my kinda bag musically but the work/creativity that has gone into this way or releasing music and everything that accompany’s it is undeniable. Well done guys. I look forward to seeing how this concept progresses.

Josh Bessant reviewed THE STRAYS 2 months ago

I might be somewhat bias toward these rockabilly cats. I’ve been lucky enough to get friendly with these guys over the course of the pandemic since playing a wild Christmas show with them in Bristol just before the pandemic. But equally they managed to sneak an entire album past me without my knowing. (Seriously, I thought ‘Cool Your Jets’ was a stand alone single…)

A catchy and familiar subject matter opens this records and it’s one that almost feels nostalgic. I too spent a lot of time at the start of this pandemic inside my own head while not even realising it. Then towards the middle of the lockdown felt my mental state altered – which was depressing enough, but it also chipped away at me as a creative too. This is a fairly common woeful tail told by most musicians and The Strays own front woman, Estelle Chamberlain, captures that perfectly for me. Whether that be the intent (I’m still not sure) but expression is about feeling and The Strays will have you feeling slick.

Many lines resonated including ‘well I guess I gotta be online, after all this is the life I chose’ and ‘I’ve got nothing to add, it makes me feel bad like anybody cares’ and I think it’s not only a (E)stellar way to start the record but also a very much relatable one. The Strays have always had a knack for taking common and sometimes less serious troubles and putting their own brand of shake ‘n’ roll on it. (A personal favourite of mine is the bands older drinking inspired jam, ‘12 bar booze’) and the title track/single ‘cool your jets’ is in that same vein. I mean who doesn’t know someone who need’s to chill out from time you time…and for those who haven’t seen the video, please do, those jets aren’t foolin’!

‘Hold your own’ is also a track I’m familiar with, thanks to the miracle gods of Spotify and keeps that same rock ‘n’ roll goodness throughout. It will have you snapping, jiving and swinging with the best of them. A song (or rather a band) reminiscent of something from The Legendary Shack Shakers this song keeps a you in tight and the head bobbing. This record really is The Strays showing what 2 years of hard work and a glance pandemic can do for the influences. ‘Snap out of it’ opens with a 80’s hair metal esq verse that quickly hits the double time and launches back into the familiar sounds we know, and ‘heyyy’ has guitarist Sam Jack Cordery showing off his brush picking over a eerie chord progressions.

We’re penultimately at the half way point – it’s time to party, and ‘MOAN’ is a perfect way to start it. This song sounds just like a smash and grab from early Kings of Leon’s ‘Mollys Chamber’ or Pete Doherty’s Babyshambles and I can see in my minds eyes what I’d want to see from this song being played live. There’s no reason this song won’t have you having a little jump or at the very least hurry for more.

‘Didn’t want to know’ really is just a great song. For me it’s all about the chorus and although some could probably argue that this wouldn’t be a single release I’d personally like to see it. This second half keeps up the party pace and with high energy and madness evoking riffs with the likes of ‘Fred Batt’, it keeps you pumped right up until the mega blues of ‘the house always wins’. There’s not much to say other than these are high-energy rockabilly jams that keep you craving more.

However it could be time or something completely different… Ok so, I was waiting for the slower jam but I wasn’t ready for feeling of BB King on acid with Black Stone Cherry as his backing band, but it’s a welcomed song and definitely a favourite. One of my favourite things about listing to an album is waiting on the one or two wild cards and when I say that I of course mean no slam at the song. It’s keeps up those catchy chorus’ and doesn’t stray from the foundations of the band.

The album closes out with ‘Book of Joe 4:14-21’ which is a song that ends this trip with attitude and grabs your attention right till the very end. If you’ve been able to shake, rattle and roll the devil from your soul, then The Strays have accomplished their mission.

Only thing list to do is to catch these songs live. This album is flying the flag high for UK rockabilly at the moment and you can bare witness to this over the rest of the year as the band will be playing with the likes of The Blue Carpet Band, Porcelain Hill and Sunshine Festival 2021.

Josh Bessant reviewed Abe’s Apes 2 months ago

My first introduction to the band was ‘king of the bongo’ and I would say it’s a perfect track to introduce this band. On first listen I couldn’t help but screw up my face slightly as musically is just wasn’t for me. But on a second listen I must say it’s impressive that the Apes manage to fuse salsa groves, samba rhythms, trumpets, hip hop verses and a catchy hook all while maintaining a classically structured song, clocking in at just over 4 minutes. It’s for sure grown on me However, the song I was drawn to from the get go was a ‘HeartBurn’
This song features Joshua Lloyd and describes its subject mater simply as ‘when the heart burns, something must be done to extinguish it’
This track opens with a somber lone guitar and a seasoning of high pitch bleeps and bloops that could find themselves better lend to 2001: a space odessy. The lost in space esq opening would lend itself well.
However that only lasts a little more than 10 seconds before the soul-hop of the verse kicks in, and soul hop is cool…. this song has 3 separate styles of vocals within the first 2 minutes, each turning the melody down slightly, the aggression up a touch, and the emotion at a constant. ‘You keep up with the tempo of my heart’ indeed and I’d say this was a strong choice for a single.
Last track I listened to I wanted to chose something at random so based on the title alone I picked ‘I killed the king’ (runner up was ‘Bitch I’m Beautiful’)
This song starts with a positive and chilled grove/riff that lends itself to the almost aggressive lyrical stylings of the songs protagonist. The hook for this song almost leaves you feeling lost. It’s a wide open piece that has you eerily feeling like your stood in a desert waiting on the next mirage to run to.
3 songs into this band and I’m starting to get what they mean when they say ‘ADHD driven song’s structures, anxious changes and melodic madness’ you don’t quite know what’s coming next musically. Which is of course never a bad thing. And I think is Ape-Hop has its own wave of creativity thrust upon musicians, I’m glad Abes Apes are here to lead the charge

P.s. I killed the king was over to quickly so I did indeed go back and listen to bitch I’m beautiful. Another different opening. The song goes from Norman Greenbaum to KAAN in the opening 10 seconds. and it’s another original and catchy offering from Plymouth’s only apeDHD house band. Great work guys.

AbesApes replied 2 months ago

Wow man, thank you so much. That just made 2 Apes really happy 🙂

Josh Bessant reviewed Bad Actress 3 months ago

The fact that 5 young lads who look like they are living on the sunset strip in the early 80s found each other seems about right. I mean c’mon, Scotland isn’t known for its Glam Rock scene. But Bad Actress aren’t just a throwback. They are bringing the hair metal madness to the masses from the most northern part of Britain.

“Poison Snake” was the first offering I heard from this band and man it’s the good stuff. Strong opening, dirty deep tones, shredding, pinch harmonics, high pitch screams and a driving ZZ top riff. They pulled out every (welcomed) cliché right off the bat. I’m not knocking it when I say that, it’s more like a medley of everything you know and love from this era of music. But where do you go from there…?

Thankfully, “Skin Tight” has enough difference going on while still incorporating all those familiar sounds. This track is a mad glam throw back. Motley Crüe, Aerosmith, Deaf Leopard and pretty much every other tights wearing, hairspray ingesting, sass strutting band right up to Steel Panther would approve.

Now listening to “Red Hot” (the band’s latest single) and I’m a sucker for that Avenged Sevenfold-Esq, reverb heavy intro lick. It doesn’t just set up the song but also sets up the whole EP and 5 seconds is all you get to catch your breath before jumping right in. It’s a tie for me on this or “Poison Snake” for favourite song.

Both “Hellbound” and “No Vacancies in Hell” keep up with the pace of the previous 3 tracks but at this point I would have one small criticism. Well, not a criticism but more a thought…

This band obviously take huge influence from one specific sub genre of rock n roll/heavy metal and they make no secret of it. In fact their Facebook even says ‘bringing back the glory days’ so as well as playing those killer riffs, screeching solos and pouring the sugar on you like only hair metal can… why not try re-imagine some of that sound actually coming from a group of Scottish lads? The sunset strip gave birth to one of the most iconic and vibrant eras of heavy metal, so what could, let’s say; the Aberdeen Harbour Board give birth to with an influence of that same sound??? Less sunny maybe?

Ok, ok, bad analogy but you get the point. I guess we will find out in releases to come and I look forward to it. Glam is often something that’s criticised for being too ‘gimmicky’ but Bad Actress have enough tasty, guitar driven (head) bangers to accommodate.

Getton lads – Go check out the bands new EP ‘Red Hot’ out July 30th.

badactressband replied 3 months ago

Thanks you so much josh! some extremely kind words. really appreciate it🤟😁

Josh Bessant reviewed The Blue Carpet Band 5 months ago

I’m probably coming in from a biased point of view as I’m already a BCB fan after they were first put on my radar thanks to the viva la rock awards in 2019. The few tracks I’ve heard have never failed to impress me, however I’ve decided to review ‘Aint Got No Rock n Roll’ as for whatever reason it has totally slipped under my radar…
The first thing that caught my attention? That guitar bend! I’m a sucker for a bend. But seriously, right from the get go you can hear what this band is all about. It’s got attitude, it’s got swagger and it’s got a killer riff. It goes without saying but if you need 50’s rock ‘n’ roll in a timeless and distorted form then this is the band for you. Evidently the only thing this song is missing is rock and roll from the protagonist, luckily lead singer Djamel Abina is doing a pretty good job of calling them out for it, ‘No Jim Vincen, no Carl Perkins, no Ricky Valance. Maaan not even Elvis Presly.’
I can’t wait to play with these guys at OTH’s Attitude festival in September and especially can’t wait to hear more from this band. They tick pretty much every box for me, the only one left to tick now is to see them live!

Josh Bessant reviewed WIRED DESIGN 1 year ago

I know I’m probably somewhat bias, as I was lucky enough to feature on one of Weird Design’s most recent track (Madman), but ever since their debut release at the start of lockdown, i’ve been keeping abreast of these guys. Their now ten-track discography, covers a lot of influences, but a melodic Post-Hardcore/Rock foundation leads the way for a building of a very versatile band, born completely out of lockdown.
Jordan, Jon, Ryan and Jack all came together to form a bedroom project that isn’t just a quick bandcamp release, but a well driven band. They didnt hesitate to smash out killer releases featuring the likes of Liam Engel (Merithian), Ollie Goodchild (Wrongens) and loads more of Exeter creatives – who wanted to unleash some pandemic cabin fever.
Top picks for WD is the groovy “Looking Outside”, the truly brutal “Time” (seriously, that middle section though..), the early ‘Lower Than Atlantis’ sounding “Cabin Fever”.
Oh and “Madman” because I’m egotistical like that..

Josh Bessant reviewed MOUTHBREATHRE 1 year ago

Chilled rock n roll that will put you and your soul in in a real grove. A darker side but a welcomed one. The grunge style mixed with a eerie almost soul sounding vocals its truly something to be enjoyed. Dance of Death is a great first release and as they are local to me, I’m defiantly going to have to keep an eye out (You know, when the world is normal again)

Josh Bessant reviewed SWITCHOVER 1 year ago

An impending feeling of head banging, followed by a slice of Royal Blood esq. riffage, Switchover will hit you right out of the gates with their debut track ‘Centerpiece’.

Although the band is local to my hometown (Exeter), they already have a few years under their belt as Telstar and I won’t lie… I can’t remember them ever coming up on my radar (sorry guys!) but with this track coming out early into Lockdown, I for one, like a lot of people, can’t wait to be back in a small sweaty club to see these guys rip this song live. 

Leah (Whatmore) leads the heavy chorus with a crescendo of modern grunge and rock that almost wakes something up in you. You want to see this live. You want to sing along. You want to be bouncing up and down, and you want to be bobbing, not just your head, but your whole upper body too!

This track keeps up an almost audioslave like energy. The last minute and a half is a testament to the bouncing rhythm section that Swichover obtain. It’s not a fast paced song but that doesn’t mean it isn’t high energy. This is new-school, heavy, catchy and it has me ready for more.

Josh Bessant reviewed HOMETOWN LOSERS 1 year ago

I searched for pop punk and my eye was quickly caught by these guys. Not just because the band’s name suggests the identity of every pop-punk kid growing up, but also because they are from Miami! And despite what US stand up’s say about Florida, I think any band from the same home state of ‘THE FEST’, ‘Less Than Jake’, ‘Yellowcard’ and ‘A Day To Remember’ might know a thing or two about pop-punk.

I prepared myself for a standard, positive and energetic vibe, but I was happily taken off guard with a beautiful and soulful swung guitar sound, accompanied by tiered midwest emo vocals.
The first 45 seconds of this song are just a proper vibe. A vibe that only gets better once the whole band drops in.

The weary staggering sound of Hometown Losers makes me think of a packed club singing along, that only ‘PUP’, ‘Tiny Moving Parts’ or ‘Mom Jeans’ could keep up with. Although I can’t make a comparison to other bands on one song alone, I am fondly reminded of seeing ‘The Heartaches’ in Manchester a few years ago.

Lyrically this song is fantastic and was made to be sung together, ‘a unity anthem’ if you will, and I hope to be part of that, should the chance ever arise.

Well done Losers.

Josh Bessant reviewed DEAR ANYONE 2 years ago

The second the vocals come in on the opening track of Dear Anyone’s Roulette it was not what I was expecting. Not by any means bad, and a catchy sprinkling of Morrissey Esq vocals over a par muted lead line sounding reminiscent of basement, suddenly starts building with a call and response going on with lead vocalist Tom Gilbert and Backing vocalist Elli Cook. The track is building to something and man is it good. A strong opener, Favourite Person is heartfelt, honest and catchy, and that seems to be the theme of this band. Their title track Roulette and Cancer are both bittersweet song with an almost positive sound over the dark expression that is Dear Anyone. Lyrically the band has you hooked on the woeful tales and descriptive situations being sung to you. Bedbugs keeps up with this vibe bringing more hooks and bounce with every sour sentence but as we come to the closing track Bristol its time to end (Like most bands do) on something a little slower. Or at least that’s what you get a first….The tremolo heavy jam starts with a beautiful lead line before the band once again built to something great. The emotion is real, the songs are raw and the sound these guys have is excellent. Very much looking forward to seeing them live

Josh Bessant reviewed OCTOPUS MONTAGE 2 years ago

Music at its purest form is audio only, so for Octopus Montage’s new track How Dose It Make You Feel you might want to remember that if your watching their latest video like me. I say that because when checking this band out I was curios to know how a trio of youngsters like these were going to pull off a ‘unique style of heavy, riff based Pop-Punk; blending catchy pop influenced choruses and verses paired with heavier more aggressive riffs and even heavier breakdowns, building on influences such as that of A Day To Remember, Bullet For My Valentine and Parkway Drive.’ AND make it sound as full as the bands just listed. But… They nailed it. Its aggressive, the riff is tasty, The chorus is catchy, The song has balls basically. The video is very DIY and doesn’t perhaps show off the song as well as it deserve but that’s my only criticism. Now I’v just gotta see what these guys are made of live…