Monday, February 26, 2024

Men on a Mission: Stupid Chief, The Influence, Circadian

We are two guys on a mission, a mission to find the next big thing before the big thing finds them! We will tour UK venues searching for unsigned UK talent and list up who we’re hedging our bets on. We’re looking for groups that bring something a bit special to our souls by nailing or redefining a genre or by just giving us something truly original!

It’s such a shame local talent isn’t getting the same exposure and feedback it used to when, every weekend, the masses would flock to local venues for their mate’s band or even just going to seek out a new sound. So, how do bands make it these days? Is it really just how much money you or your parents have!?

Working hard on the mission article.
The local Bracknell venue.
The local Bracknell venue.

Our first stop was our local venue, The Cellar Bar, which has been home to local talent that you can now watch on TV and buy on iTunes – Exit Ten and Enter Shikari come to mind – so we are hopeful that we may be able to find the next in succession.

We caught up with the man in charge, Al Heslop, to find out exactly who was playing and learnt that there should be some promise to tonight’s line up; Circadian, Stupid Chief and The Influence. Stupid Chief piqued our interest being described as Electronic Rock, time would tell.

Stepping down into the Cellar, plastic cup of beer in hand, the nostalgia washed over us, for this was a regular haunt of ours with numerous gigs watched and even a few played. The cellar is empty apart from a few straggling musicians; it’s quiet, a little too quiet…

Slowly the cellar starts to fill with what we expect to be friends and family of the bands, the pre-gig atmosphere is light and happy as the bands intermingle and share a few jokes.


Circadian was first up, a 5 piece rock group that resembled Placebo with pinch of Mick Jagger. The vocals were a tad delicate and the riffs combined soft and hard elements; however, the overall effect was lost as the sound levels didn’t do the band any favours. Nothing really stood out for us, but that’s not to say they weren’t worth a watch.

Headliners,The Influence, brought us some no-frills pop-punk; it was well delivered but nothing new. They had great energy and were comfortable on stage, even sharing some jokes with the audience. Their sound was well-rounded and the levels complementary which made the set all the more enjoyable.MOM_THEINFLUENCE

Sandwiched between the two was Stupid Chief, a 3-piece Electronic Rock band from Berkshire, who stood out from the others with their presence and sound. Starting off with an explosive, heavy and melodic track that made incredible use of synths, it set us up for the rest of their set well. The versatility this band has is mind blowing from a Sublime-esque, hard-core Greenday riff locker to some insane drum techniques that resemble George Kollias from Nile; for an Electro-Rock band, blast beat and double bass shouldn’t work but instead worked so well. Again, they suffered from the sound in the venue, but still delivered a cracking performance; it’s plain to see that these guys love performing. Multi-talented Daniel Tilbrook takes care of vocals, synth and guitar while James Searle gets busy on the bass throwing in some synthy effects for good measure; Ryan Gillett blew us away with his drumming and really brings something to the group as a whole. Catching up with them after the show, they directed us to their band camp where we heard a few tracks that differed somewhat from our experience in The Cellar that night. They bring dirty, 90’s 8-bit elements (aka: chiptune) and blend it with rhythmic and melodic indy styles. The production of their tracks is a DIY job but works quite well with their style in some ways. Their material is great – fun and listenable – and the sound is well on its way to being refined.


We have started the shortlist with Stupid Chief as the first name, could they be the next big thing? Go on over to Facebook and have a look at these bands and hopefully team RAM will see you about in local venues so you can give us your opinions on who you did, and didn’t like!

Adam HemmingsMarcus Wheeler  \m/

Adam Hemmings
Adam Hemmings
Point, click, type, repeat.

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