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The Sonics (US), Gemma Ray (UK)

Almost fifty years had to be waited for it to happen, but finally it did: punk rock godfathers, The Sonics released a new album in 2015, which will be presented in Budapest as well! After multiple disbands and reunites on February 11 we will be able to jump into world of the 60-ies on the A38 Ship's Dance Floor. Support will be the charming and kicking Gemma Ray.

The Sonics (US)

Since the beginning of garage rock, the northwest sound, grunge, or whatever anyone calls it, the Sonics set the precedence and the pace, and the sound that gave to every musician and band that followed the inalienable right to take rock to the edge of the universe, to explore the possibilities, to get out of the rut, experiment, and to scream your guts out, that you have arrived, and to continue that thought.

The Sonics have remained the most recognized sounds ever listened to by aspiring musicians and multitudes of fans around the world.

The band in its early stages, began in Larry and Andy Parypas living room with a couple of Sears bought guitars and an early unidentifiable bass.  Their mom played some guitar and would encourage the boys to get it together.  She loved rock, and was an early inspiration.

But it was in early 1963 where the band came together, with skin basher Bob Bennett on drums making them sound like cannons with each beat, and later on, the addition of gut wrenching screamer songwriter piano player singer Jerry Roslie and fellow musician friend, sax player Rob Lind, forming the original Sonics.

Originally from Tacoma, Washington USA, the SONICS are claimed worldwide to be the first punk band, or garage, or hard rock, or alternative, setting the stage for all that would follow. The Sonics are still based in the Northwest USA.

The Sonics songs and precedent music creations began in 1964, with a visit from Etiquette Records co-owner Buck Ormsby, following a friend of the band plea that he check out the group.  The meeting took place at a rehearsal in Bob Bennetts garage.  Not too impressed with the performance of cover songs, asked if they had any originals.  A killer riff was played, but the lyrics didnt work.  Two visits later and a change in lyrics, the song The Witch was born.  The Sonics first 45 single was released on Etiquette Records in 1964.

Because of the power unleashed by the Sonics recording and unprecedented sound for the times, many stations were hesitant to play the record.  Etiquette had an in with several A stations and also what were called B stations.  The B stations were a bit easier and open to new sounds and especially local and regional groups recordings.  They began the assault on the public’s brain with the first plays of The Witch which took off like a bullet sending it screaming up their charts.  This became the launch that helped force the A stations to give it a shot.  Overnight, after six months of promoting the Sonics first single, they became the band to see, the new sensations, the bad boys of rock.


The new enlightenment, and the bands acceptance by music fans and DJs, demanded the bands first LP. Here Are the Sonics was recorded in Seattle, Washington late 1964 and released early 1965 to raves.  This established the Sonics as one of the most progressive and popular rock bands in the Northwest.  Originally released as a replacement for the original B side of The Witch the Sonics original Psycho became another brutal musical attack on the establishment and had to be played on all radio, again reinforcing the fact the Sonics were not going away.  The bad boys of rock were raising hell with their new found glory, while hordes of fans would pack ballrooms and dancehalls waiting to see their new heroes.  Etiquette Records planned for the next album, commandeering a small grocery store front studio in Tacoma Washington to record various Etiquette artists including the Wailers Out Of Our Tree single and LP.

The classic The Sonics Boom LP recorded in late 1965 and released in 1966 was the final Sonics album recordings on the Etiquette label.  Both albums feature the most daring and dynamic rock music ever put to 2 track tape.   The Sonics Boom simple black and white album cover is one of the most recognizable work of LP art in the world. The original photo was taken by Northwest premier photographer Jini Dellaccio and used in the jacket designed by Zane Baker.  The Sonics 60s  recordings have remained the most recognized sounds ever listened to by aspiring musicians and multitudes of fans around the world.

The Sonics left Etiquette Records in 1966 to join with Seattle label Jerden Records.  Soon after recording their first LP with the label, the original band decided to retire from the scene.  Going their separate ways they individually kept performing in various music endeavors but the flame was dampened.

Following their early retirement from being the SONICS they left a legacy and decades of fans who continued to spread the word and the music.  Still revered, in late 2007 the Sonics regrouped and reignited on the scene in Brooklyn, New York headlining two sold out shows at the Warsaw.

The Sonics return has sparked international promoters, journalists, reviewers, festival organizers and hordes of dedicated and new fans to embrace the group who’s music has thrilled and inspired so many for so many years.

Following in 2008 the Sonics performed theatres and festivals:in London, Barcelona and Bilboa Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, and Vitoria, Spain.   They returned to Seattle to headline their sold out concert at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre where they performed their last ’60′s concert in1973.  The Sonics headlined the Ink & Iron Festival in Long Beach, CA June 6 ’09.


The Sonics accepted an invitation to perform at South By Southwest (SXSW) 2009 in Austin, Texas in March,2009 at Emo’s.  SXSW is Attended by music industry, including over 1000 music groups and artists from all over the world performing nightly during the event.   Aclaimed as one of the most memorable concerts since SXSW began, they were invited to headline at NXNE in Toronto June  ’09, performing on the main outdoor stage in Yonge-Dundas Square.

Original members of the Sonics included Bob Bennett, Drums; Larry Parypa, Guitar;  Jerry Roslie, keys and lead vocals; Rob Lind, sax, harp and vocals; Andy Parypa, bass;

The Sonics today includes: Rob Lind, sax, harp and vocals; Freddie Dennis bass and vocals; Dusty Watson drums; Jake Lords keys bkg vocals, and Evan Foster guitar.

Drummer Dusty Watson, the drummer of the Sonics. Dusty has toured and recorded with 60’s surf music legends Dick Dale, The Surfaris, Davie Allan and the Arrows, as well as Agent Orange, Lita Ford and Seattle’s own Supersuckers and Boss Martians. His big bass drum and machine gun snare rolls give the Sonics that bombastic sound reminiscent of Bob Bennett’s attack, which helped launch the band in the very beginning. Dusty’s approach to drumming is exactly what the Sonics are all about, pure rock and roll energy.

Gemma Ray (UK)

British pop music has plenty of retro-soul and R&B acts, but the recordings of singer/songwriter Gemma Ray reveal a more complex and restless artistic nature than most. Reaching back to pre-Beatles rock for inspiration — but tossing in a jumble of influences including the torch songs of Billie Holiday, film scores, flamenco, and beyond — Ray has sculpted a sound that is familiar and warm, but also appealingly off-kilter and full of noir-ish touches.

The Essex native released her first album, The Leader, in early 2008 on the U.K.-based indie label Bronzerat. Aloft on a cloud of positive reviews from the British press, she was about to embark on a tour when she became ill and had to cancel a number of profile-raising shows. While recuperating, Ray wrote a batch of new songs and recorded them in a modest home studio with co-producer Michael J. Sheehy. The resulting Lights Out Zoltar!, released in late 2009, was an ambitious work that belied its homemade origins by boasting an expansive concert hall sound. Ray took the opposite approach for her third album, It's a Shame About Gemma Ray, which found her covering 16 songs (ranging from Buddy Holly's "Everyday" to Mudhoney's "Touch Me I'm Sick") in spooky, stripped-down versions. She continued to stretch out artistically on her more pop-oriented 2012 album Island Fire, which found her not only covering two songs by Sparks, but also collaborating with the band. A year later she released the vinyl-only Down Baby Down, a more experimental record with help from Thomas Wydler of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. The prolific run continued in 2014 with her fifth album, Milk for Your Motors, recorded upon Ray's relocation to Berlin.

Gemma Ray’s latest opus The Exodus Suite is a dramatic 52-minute odyssey through her unique style of epic torch song psychedelia. Recorded live in seven days at the infamous Candy Bomber Studios (situated in the former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin) by Ingo Krauss, the album’s title reflects the personal-political themes of the songs within. The Exodus Suite will be released on 20th May 2016 on Bronzerat Records.

An unexpected yet inescapable influence on The Exodus Suite sessions was the presence of 8,000 Syrian refugees housed in the hangar beneath the studio during the recording. The stark reality of the refugees’ circumstances (whom are still housed there to this day), and the experience of these sights, sounds and smells right within spitting distance, lent a profoundly immediate dimension to Gemma Ray’s lyrical explorations of love for all life, exile and relocation, nature's sovereignty, technology, class and most of all the need for human empathy.

The Exodus Suite is set in two parts, starting with a hymn-like paean to nature's forces, “Come Caldera”, a prelude that then kicks into the souful grit of“There Must Be More Than This”, an Afro-Beat meets Krautrock gambol with a sprinkling of Ethiopiques (courtesy of guest pianist Carwyn Ellis (Edwyn Collins/Zarelli). The next track “The Original One” is a soft lament about modernity, followed by “We Do War“, a chilling lullaby that
shifts into a brutal siren song before “Ifs & Buts”, a Latin-tinged, surf-esque wig-out, rounds off Part 1. Part 2’s opener “We Are All Wandering”, has a Beach Boys meets The Wicker Man sound which segues into the improvised soundscape neo-spiritual “Acta Non Verba”. “Hail Animal”, set against a backdrop of brooding psychedelic tension, is an ode to the nature’s vastness and our place within it. “The Switch”, an intimate guitar
and voice number, transitions into “The Machine”, an explicit call for human connection against the threat of technological distraction set to a synth groove. Finally, the esoteric, skulking “Shimmering” rounds off the album.

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