Pocket Venus

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Pocket Venus
OriginConwy, Wales
GenresPost-Britpop, indie rock, alternative rock, piano rock, post-punk revival
Years active1998–present
LabelsSecrets Of Sound
Websitehttp://www.pocketvenusband.co.uk
MembersChris Yates
Chris Ryan
Simon Barton
Naldo Algieri
Dave Robinson

Pocket Venus are a Welsh rock band from Conwy in North Wales. The band's sound has been difficult to pigeonhole as they have such a diverse range of sounds, however, many critics have compared the group to classic rock bands such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin for the progressive rock dynamics and comparisons of the precise orchestration and song writing techniques of bands like The Verve and Spiritualized were also abundant in reviews.[citation needed] The band formed in 1998 and toured the UK extensively, hailed as one of the best unsigned bands of their time[citation needed] they achieved critical acclaim both in the UK and abroad.[citation needed] Pocket Venus split in 2003 during negotiations with major record labels, the band cited musical and personal differences as the reason for the breakup. In late 2010 Pocket Venus reformed.

Current Lineup[edit]

  • Chris Yates (lead vocals, guitar)
  • Dave Robinson (keyboards, piano)
  • Chris Ryan (guitar)
  • Naldo Algieri (bass)
  • Simon Barton (drums)

History[edit]

Formation (1998 - 2003)[edit]

Pocket Venus, from North Wales formed in 1998, an amalgamation of various members of earlier bands, the original line up was Chris Yates, Naldo Algieri, Steve Jones, Chris Bainbridge and Mark Roberts. The line up changed in 1999 when guitarist Chris Bainbridge left transferring rhythm guitar duties to Chris Yates. Keyboardist Dave Robinson joined shortly after but the lineup changed again in 2000 when drummer Mark Roberts left the band to be replaced by Pete Ryan. The band were managed by Neil Crud, who released two singles for them on his Secrets of Sound record label. First release; "Make It Through Your Day" was highly acclaimed[citation needed] and received airplay on BBC Radio One from John Peel and Mark Radcliffe,[1] and also airings on BBC Radio Wales from Adam Walton,[2] who invited the band on his show for a session. The band produced a video for their second release Tell Me Why, which is still available on YouTube and the NME's official website.[3] gigs and an energetic stage performance led to more airplay from radio stations both across the UK and internationally,[4][5] notably winning "Best International Artist" at the Orange County Music Awards.[6] The lineup changed again in late 2002 with the departure of Steve Jones on lead guitar. Jones's place was taken by Dyfed Roberts formerly of Gwacamoli. The band continued to play live shows until August 2003 when the band split up. The band had become disillusioned and disheartened by the music industry, so in order to save their friendships and personal relationships they went their separate ways.

Post-breakup activities (2003 - 2010)[edit]

After the band split Yates and Roberts went on to form Gotti, with Steve Flavell on drums and bass player Mauve. Gotti played locally and also recorded a number of demo tapes. Ryan, Algieri and Robinson stayed away from the music scene for various reasons and concentrated on their family lives and other responsibilities. The band attempted to reform in 2008 but never got past the rehearsal stage.

Reunion (2010 - present)[edit]

In December 2010, Yates, Algieri and Robinson were joined by Chris Ryan on lead guitar and John "Hargi" Hargest on drums for a low key gig in North Wales announcing the band's return. Hargi was replaced on drums by Simon Barton early on, since then the band have played a number of gigs and have recently released a new E.P, Back to Make it Better, tracks include "Back To Make It Better", "Godspeed" and "Life Of Misery". The E.P has received national airplay and has helped the band reach a wider audience. The band are also supporting various charities including rereleasing their E.P Tell Me Why for Help For Heroes, and also playing gigs to support the Oxjam Music Festival. The band have suggested, via their Facebook page, that they intend to begin recording their debut, full-length album in 2013.

Live[edit]

Pocket Venus claim they never managed to capture the true essence of the band in their recordings and urged people to see them live instead of relying on the EP's and singles they produced. They played at many of the more infamous London venues including the Garage in Highbury, The Water Rats in St Pancras and The Bull And Gate in Kentish Town. The band played several festivals during their career playing Pigstock[7][8] in North Wales and also played alongside Reef at the prestigious Wakestock festival.[9] Pocket Venus have also played Manchester's world-renowned "In The City" showcase festival.

The band played at Club 147 in Llandudno with Talk To Angels and Danny McNamara of Embrace on Friday 2 September 2011. More recently the band performed an acoustic set with Chris Helme of The Seahorses and supported Ultrasound at the launch of their new album at the Borderline Club, in Soho. The band are set to play at Club 147 in Llandudno again December 2012 supporting Ultrasound once again.

Discography[edit]

EP's[edit]

  1. Make It Through Your Day (06/2000)
  2. Tell Me Why (03/2002)
  3. Back To Make It Better (08/2011)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Pocket Venus played by Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 1 Link2Wales archive
  2. ^ Adam Waltons Online Blog Pocket Venus article
  3. ^ NME official website Video for Tell Me Why
  4. ^ Aural Innovations review of Tell Me Why
  5. ^ Aural Innovations review of Make It Through Your Day
  6. ^ OCMA Archives
  7. ^ Adam Waltons Online Blog Pig Stock article
  8. ^ North Wales Weekly News Preview Pig Stock 2002
  9. ^ Wakestock on eFestivals 2002 Line up.

External links[edit]