It’s been a while since we posted, but we’re back, after being ‘Into the Wild,’ and better than ever before! So, what have we been up to, you ask? Good question! Yes, we admit it – we went for a bit of a stroll in the wilderness and got lost. We found our way back, though, had a shower and a swift half and now we’re ready for action!
OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but we have been a bit lax in letting all of you know what we’ve been up to – more of a social media wilderness, if you like. It’s not that we haven’t been busy, particularly recently.
As some of you know our local live music venue the Star in Guildford was served a noise abatement order and was looking like it was going to have to shut down. The Star is very dear to us as a band and so naturally we threw our support behind the #saveourstar campaign, which turned out to be a roaring success! We played quite a few gigs at the Star towards the end of last year & earlier this year to help raise awareness and, generally, to fight the power!
Each gig we played, felt like it was our last and so we gave it everything we got because the Star is our Temple, we value the place and the people so much. It is a real shame that local councils are that corrupt that they will actually entertain planning applications that back on to an established live music venue. A Music venue that has been there for over 100 years! We don’t know about you, but our band is disgusted by this kind of thing!
Anyway, so we’ve been playing quite a few gigs at the Star. Plus, there was one protest gig we played, which was awesome. To cut a very long story short, due to the exceptional hard work of the #saveourstar team, being spear headed by Georgina (the Star Manager, and her legal team) the battle to Save the Star was eventually won earlier this year, and we have been celebrating ever since!
We’ve also written an album’s worth of material. We’re just finishing off some other ideas at the moment, so that we have plenty to pick from, and then we’ll be looking to get started on recording. We may need a bit of help on the old crowdfunding front, so please keep an eye out for details of the cool stuff you’ll be able to get for helping us…when we launch our Kickstarter campaign.
We have also been auditioning for the infamous 5thmember of our band. Recently we recruited a new guitarist called James, which we announced a couple of months ago (for once, we did let you know what was happening!). James is an awesome addition to the band, full of great riffs and ideas. We’re stoked to be back up to full strength again, as Free Recovery rocks so much harder as a 5 piece – the way we were always meant to be.
We’re doing some other cool stuff in the background, so keep your eyes peeled for way more activity over the coming months – let’s get the message out there! If you’re fan of the band then please let people know – play them our music, share our links etc.
Thanks for being patient with us all – you guys rock and shall be rewarded with new music to enjoy in 2020.
As the opening bars of Free Recovery’s cover of ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ fired up, on Saturday 3rd November, lead singer Jimmy dedicated the song, appropriately, to Guildford’s The Star Inn Manager Georgina Baker.
Neil Young’s ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ of course undeniably rocks. No question. It is also one of those rare songs that resonates so strongly with people as, while reflecting the time period and political landscape in which it was written in a gut punching snapshot, it equally remains timeless, far-seeing and defiant; shining a light on the wrongs, and standing up for what is right.
The Star Inn is a historic landmark in Guildford, dating back to the 16th Century. Well known for hosting The Stranglers first ever gig, The Star Inn is Guildford’s longest running live music venue, playing host to a range of musical artists, as well as arts and fringe festivals. Hugely supportive of local bands, and genuinely passionate, this is the go to place for the musical community to support one another and also be given the opportunity to put on their own events. So, why when Free Recovery announced their gig this month were they worried this would be their last at The Star?
In short; this beloved and extremely popular venue is now under serious threat.
When a very different Neil Young, a property developer, applied to convert the building behind the pub from offices into flats The Star Inn stated they raised the obvious issue of having the flats right next to the pub, and overlooking the courtyard of a popular and thriving live music venue. It was clear this would of course be a cause for concern regarding noise. Despite these objections, and logical common sense that building flats next to a music venue is not a good idea, planning permission was still granted in 2013 by the local council and the flats are now ready. Very sadly this pushing ahead with the development has now resulted in a Noise Abatement Notice being issued to The Star after complaints by the developer to the Council regarding noise. Noise they had prior knowledge of.
The Noise Abatement notice is being strongly contested by The Star, as well as by supporters across the country, as it effectively could shut down amplified music at the venue, from 9th December, essentially ceasing The Star being a live music venue. The subsequent effect, not only on the cultural fabric of Guildford, could have additional disastrous consequences for the pub side of The Star too, as the live venue drives a significant amount of their trade, being firmly established and intertwined. Without the live music element The Star Inn as a whole is hugely at risk Guildford’s Star Inn manager ‘shocked’ by noise abatement notice
It is fair to say this is becoming a familiar story with small music venues all over the UK who are fighting similar battles to continue to stay open and keep local culture and heritage alive and well. Tragically many are losing, and these gems of places which help grow, nurture and inspire talent, friendship, community, wellbeing, culture, arts, history, and so much more, are fast disappearing, and we will truly miss them when they are gone. Please help The Star Inn not be one of these.
What the Star Means to Free Recovery
When drawn on the matter about the Star the Free Recovery frontman had the following to say on behalf of the band:
“The Guildford Star Inn is the only true local live venue in Guildford where local bands can, actually, book their own gigs! It has been the spring board for countless bands. If it’s closed it will destroy our local live music scene. It is so hard to book a gig when you’re a new band starting out. If it wasn’t for the Star’s support of homegrown, grassroots local bands, most bands would never get out of the rehearsal rooms, and most local bands worth their salt, owe a great deal to the Star for giving them a leg-up early on.
I know the Star is home to comedy, theatre and other forms or live music too, but in rock circles it is a much needed release for many angsty musicians and alternative types, including myself. Without having a place like the Star for us to vent, I don’t know what we’ll do. Our society needs these kind of places, otherwise, a lot of frustrated people are gonna do what exactly? If we we don’t have a healthy places to rock out & vent…what’s next…what happens to our society then? The closing of the Star’s live music venue for the sake of short-sighted greed, will come at a high cultural cost too. Sadly, the short-shited can’t see that. If this venue closes… what will be next? Before you know it, we’re gonna live in a very sterile Town with little to no culture, with nothing happening and nowhere for emerging performing artists to take their first steps. This will totally destroy our local live music scene & will stifle the artistic talent in our area. I don’t want to live in that kind of town…I dunno… do you? “
How you can help!
Most importantly you can support The Star Inn by signing the petition on change.org. A minute of your time could make a massive difference with over 30,000 signatures already being collected Sign the Petition
Join the public group ‘Save our Star’ on facebook where there are lots of practical and respectful ways to support them, including writing to your local Member of Parliament Save Our Star! and /or follow them on Twitter to support and follow the progress.
“Free Recovery are the headliners of Grungecase tonight and rightly so; they wear their influences on their sleeves and in tonight’s case on their tees.
These guys literally have grunge running through their veins.
Lead singer Jimmy is wearing an Alice in Chains t-shirt in honour of the late great Layne Staley, and drummer Dan is wearing a Kurt Cobain tee, in tribute of the date – the 5th April – sadly a day when both of these important pioneering musical frontmen passed away, albeit years apart.
Free Recovery’s set list tonight feels much more reflective, their new material really harnessing all the band members strengths. Having seeing Free Recovery on many occasions I have to say this is one of my favourite gigs of theirs; they are always tight but tonight also feels very fresh. New song “Leith Hill” highlights the fracking issues in the local area and the concern for current and future generations of the potential disappearance of this natural beauty spot. This is of course very important political stuff, but Free Recovery have also managed to turn this into a melodic banger, utilising vocals from both Jimmy and Dan, and with definite potential for audience sing along. I can definitely see this being more towards the end of the set list in the future as a firm favourite.
So yes, Free Recovery are more political and reflective this evening but the rock is still very much alive; Swamp Thing, one of the classics from their self-titled LP from 2015, is a stand out tonight. They mix it up well with old material, new and, appropriate for this evening, covers. Free Recovery are known for their fierce version of “Alive” by Pearl Jam. This is omitted this evening in favour of covers of Alice in Chains “Dirt” and Nirvana’s unplugged version of the Meat Puppets song “Oh Me”. Before “Dirt” Jimmy expresses concern of doing the song justice. He need not have worried. It works well.
The highlight for me however is their version of “Oh Me”, with perfectly pitched vocals and beautifully restrained and lovely guitar work from axeman Dave, paradoxically rocking frantic solos just a few songs later. On a Thursday night in Guildford it is a pleasure to hear this gorgeous song live and done with heart.
Many people do not realise that April 5th is a significant day in this Grunge Rock history. The reason being is, that April the 5th was the day that both Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley, sadly, left us. Different years (1994 & 2002), but coincidentally the same date. For those of you that already knew, you will appreciate that it is a sad time of year for die-hard Grunge Fans around ‘the day that Seattle died.’
Music has always been an ever-evolving beast, from rock and roll in the 50’s, psychedelia in the 60’s, disco and punk in the 70’s and electronic music in the 80’s…then something happened in the air over a town in the north of the USA…perhaps a touch from the Rock Gods? Whatever it was, a new movement began to grow in Seattle, which became a seedbed for some truly astonishing new music by extraordinary musicians with other-worldly lead vocalists.
Spearheaded by a meteoric rise of a local 3 piece that you may have heard of…Nirvana…other bands rode the wave and became global stars themselves; particularly Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. And so Grunge was born…not so much a ‘sound’ (although Seattle Sound has been used to describe it) but a collective movement, all hailing from the same remarkable breeding ground. Some have even said…that Grunge is in the soul, not the sound!
Like many musical movements, some fantastic music was produced and many fans acquired, but perhaps one of the truly great things about this new music was the power of the vocalists…truly iconic voices. Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, Chris Cornell, Eddie Vedder – do we need to go on?! All playing in the same town (OK, grunge purists – we know Eddie wasn’t technically from that area). What was in the water there?!
Sadly, we have lost many of these star talents far too early. Many of us remember where we were when we heard the news that Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley had died. More recently, we’ve suffered the grief of losing Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots) and tragically Chris Cornell last year. Even before all of these, Andy Wood from Mother Love Bone; the pre-cursor band for Pearl Jam. Many people have joked about bubble wrapping Eddie Vedder, but perhaps it’s not such a bad idea. We’ve lost too many already.
Whilst we acknowledge that April 5th is a sad time of year for Grunge Fans, our band likes to get out and gig around this time, to help celebrate the lives of the late greats.
Grungecase – celebrating the lives of Layne Staley and Kurt Cobain.
We are honoured to be playing The Sussex Music Festival (SMF) again this year. Partly as a Showcase (or Grungecase) for bands playing at the festival this year, they have joined us in organising a gig to celebrate the lives & music of the legends that we lost, on the 5th of April! What better way to remember KURT COBAIN & LAYNE STAYLEY than by playing their music…LIVE & LOUD!
The night will feature three of the hottest new original grunge acts around, who will be paying tribute to NIRVANA and ALICE IN CHAINS, but at the same time reassuring you that Seattle Sound is very much alive and well!
SMF Grungecase – 5th April – Line Up
From Fire – will be the first band to be slapping the audience around the ears as they open the night with their badass blend of alternative rock and epic melody-driven sounding songs. These boys are local to Guildford, and we can’t wait to see them rocking the Star!
Echoes in Red – from West Sussex, Echoes in Red are a solid three piece hard rock band, creating highly accessible hard rock sounds, with soaring choruses and melodies. For fans of Nirvana, QOTSA, Dinosaur Pile-up, Foo Fighters, Royal Blood and many more. These guys are also rocking the Sussex Music Festival this year, and boy, are they an electric act to catch!
Free Recovery – will once again be lighting up the stage at the Star with their full-fat Grunge sound that is capturing the attention of die-hard Grunge fans everywhere. Listen out for rare and epic covers the band will be playing, at Grungecase, to pay tribute to both Layne, and Kurt. Fans of Alice in Chains & Nirvana should not miss this. So get yourself down to the Star and let the hard-hitting rock recover your lost grunge soul!
There you have it, Grungecase is featuring a selection of the best local, Seattle sounding, bands that the UK has to offer, so don’t stay home alone on this sad day… get out… and come and celebrate with us, and be around your Grunge Brothers & Sisters…and rock out! What better way to pay tribute to… ALL… our fallen heroes.
Help build the Grungecase Intermission Playlist
What songs would you like to hear on the night? In between band sets, on the night, we are putting together a playlist of some music from the bands playing, plus Nirvana and AIC tracks. Help us, to help you, to have a truly awesome night by adding your favourite songs to the playlist. Or just click the playlist below to start listening to some Nirvana and AIC songs!
Simply click the link below, follow the playlist author on spotify, and then you can start adding songs to the playlist. Alternatively, let us know what your favourite songs are, in the comments below, so that we can add them to the list for you. The bands will also be looking to see if they can pick a couple of songs from the playlist to play live on the night…so get your favourite tracks in there as soon as you can!
Free Recovery is glad to announce, that it is officially back on the road!
We have 3 exciting gigs coming up in quick succession, so make sure you get your ass down to the gig nearest to you and show the band a little love. Otherwise, before you know it, we’ll be tucked away in the studio trying to write new songs for you.
The first gig is on Saturday 17th in Croydon at Joe’s Grunge Night (Croydon- Scream Lounge), the band is being represented by Paul (our bassist) who will be opening the night with some acoustic guitar for the other bands. Sadly, Jimmy & Dan are unable to make it due to family emergencies. More details about the night can be found over on facebook simply by clicking here. Joe’s Grunge night is one of the friendliest and most social grunge nights around, so be sure to come along and have some fun! Keep the grunge alive Joe! Respect, love and sorry we couldn’t all be there this time, but with Paul representing, we are still there in spirit!
History will be repeating itself again this year when Free Recovery steps out on stage for their first headline show of the year at the Backroom of the Star Inn, in Guildford, next Friday 23rd February. The band whose hometown is Guildford, reliably play their first headline show of the year, every year, at the Star Inn because they just love the place. Come and rock out with the band on their home turf! The band is grateful to Jasta 11 gigs for booking and promoting the event, and perpetuating a little bit of Free Recovery history in the process. Thanks, Chris!. We are stoked to be working with Jasta 11 Gigs as they have some very interesting gigs going on which you can check on out their website www.jasta11gigs.co.uk. For more information about our Guildford show at the Star, Friday 23 February, check out thefacebook event.
Last, but not least, we have a super exciting gig on Friday the 2nd of March for the epic Ultramega-Grunge-Night, at the Big Red, in London. Man, what a cool place. If you’ve not been to Big Red before, then this is your chance to experience this underground dive bar at it’s best. Free Recovery is now headlining this show too, so be there, or be square! For more information about the gig at Big Red check out the facebook event. Special thanks to Nina for booking us – you rock \m/
Thanks for reading, and be sure to get along to one of our gigs to keep us rocking in the free world!