The Featherz

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The Featherz
Origin London, England
Genres Punk rock, glam punk
Years active 2011–present
Labels Flockrock Records
Charles Of London Records
Associated acts Extreme Noise Terror, Georgie Girl And Her Poussez Posse
Members Danie Cox
Dazzle Monroe
Lucy Lawbreaker
Aryanne Maudit
Past members Molly Spiers-MacLeod
Rachael Smith
Lily Marlene
Alex Gold
Daniel Jones
Alice Atkinson
Chris Shepherd

The Featherz (formerly The Feathers) are a Welsh/English/Swedish/Italian band with glam and punk influences (self-styled as "Flock Rock") led by Danie Cox (born 15 December 1990 in Bridgend) on lead vocals and guitar. Cox formed the band with two fellow former members of Georgie Girl And Her Poussez Posse, a band fronted by Georgina Baillie and mentored by Adam Ant. After leaving Baillie and Ant to form their own group, they received press coverage in the Ipswich Star,[1] Wales On Sunday,[2] Basingstoke Gazette,[3] website Louder Than War[4][5][6][7] and rock magazine Vive Le Rock who included their track RNR★ on the free CD with the January/February 2014 edition (issue 16).[8][9][10] They also completed a UK national tour supporting Boy George, in three of whose videos Cox has appeared[2] and have since toured with The Damned.[9][11]

Since May 2014, Cox is the last remaining founder member. The band now features drummer Dazzle Monroe (formerly of Extreme Noise Terror), bassist Lucy Lawbreaker and second guitarist Aryanne Maudit. The band have also recently announced their intention to recruit a keyboard player.

History[edit]

2011-2014 - Formation[edit]

Cox arrived in London in October 2010 to pursue a career as a professional musician.[12] In January 2011, she was recruited to Georgie Girl And Her Poussez Posse as guitarist and backing vocalist. The band also included Baillie, Molly Spiers-MacLeod (the daughter of Spizz) on bass and backing vocals, drummer Rachael Smith[12] and second guitarist Fiona Bevan.[13] This lineup supported Ant on several tour dates in spring 2011 and recorded tracks for a planned album. Footage from early 2011 of a Poussez Posse band meeting at Ant's home is included in The Blueblack Hussar, a documentary about Ant directed by Jack Bond.[14] Unhappy with the general direction of the band and Ant's style of mentoring, Cox, Spiers-MacLeod and Smith all left the group[12][2] (to be replaced by a new lineup, still fronted by Baillie, which continued to support Ant on tour until the end of 2012.)[15] The trio formed their own band The Feathers, making their debut guerilla gig appearance at the Occupy London camp outside St Paul's Cathedral on 23 October 2011.[2]

The band's track "Life Stranger" reached the quarter finals of the YouBloom online talent contest and was released on the compilation Hipsters 3.[16] Cox and Spiers-MacLeod also performed an acoustic set on Garry Bushell's Rancid Sounds radio show on TotalRock in April 2012.[17] Two years later in April 2014, they performed a second acoustic set for Bushell's show - by now transferred to online literary community Litopia's podcast section.[18] At around the time of the first session, Smith left the group to be replaced by Alex Gold, also of The Boys. Gold in turn would be replaced by Monroe in January 2013.

In April 2013, Cox befriended Boy George after they met at the launch party of an exhibition of stage costumes of their mutual hero David Bowie at the Victoria and Albert Museum at which George was a guest speaker. Impressed with the appearance and demeanour of the glammed-up Cox, George invited her to show herself on stage.[19] Subsequently, Cox appeared in three videos for singles by George: "I'm Coming Home" (also featuring a cameo by Monroe), "King of Everything" and "My God" directed by Dean Stockings. The band also supported George on his November 2013 solo UK tour to promote his album This Is What I Do.[1][2][8][20]

In spring 2013, the band undertook a photo session for fashion designer Mark Charles and his Charles of London fashion label. From then until mid 2016, all band members regularly wore Charles' designs as stagewear[2] (as Cox still does frequently.) Charles also released the band's debut single "RNR★" on his Charles Of London Records label. The A-side was later included on the compilation CD Teenage Rampage, cover-mounted on issue 16 of Vive Le Rock magazine. The magazine's track guide described Cox as a "rising star" and the band as "injected with glam rock attitude" which "will give you glitter-covered goose bumps and get your feet stomping."[8] The single has also received airplay on BBC Radio Wales[21] and Radio Caroline.

The Ipswich Star gave a headline preview to the band's 25 January 2014 gig at the Steamboat Tavern in Monroe's native Ipswich, alongside a photo of the band, noting how "The London trio, fresh from suporting (sic) Boy George on his recent UK tour, led by Danie Cox, are getting rave reviews for their brand of punk-pop."[1] Wales On Sunday extensively interviewed Cox in the 9 February 2014 edition about the band, their associations with Ant, Baillie, George and Charles, and her life in general. Commenting on Cox and her band, the newspaper noted "With her electrifying red hair, extravagant make-up and outrageous dress sense, 23-year-old Danie Cox and her band The Featherz look every inch pop stars."[2]

2014-2016 - Alice Atkinson era[edit]

Spiers-MacLeod left the band in May 2014[22] and Atkinson was announced as replacement bass player in early June. She made her debut on 28 June 2014 at the 100 Club alongside new second guitarist Lily Marlene[23][24] (the daughter of Bond's partner and credited on The Blueblack Hussar as Assistant to the Director[25]). The gig also marked Cox's return to the stage following a severe knee injury days after Spiers McLeod's departure.[22] Due to Marlene's commitments outside the band, she left amicably and an ongoing vacancy for second guitarist existed for 14 months until Daniel Jones' spell with the band.

In the meantime Cox, Atkinson and Monroe continued to gig in the three-piece format,[5] occasionally joined by various guest guitarists, including veteran Norwich musician David Donley,[26] his student Zoe Keeling,[27] Vera Wild of the band Jelly[28] and Polly Hedges of the band Seek Destroy.[29] In late 2014, they recorded fresh material at Broadoak Studios, Sussex with producer/guitarist Kevin Armstrong. Their 14 February 2015 headline gig at the Irish Centre in Basingstoke received praise from the Basingstoke Gazette "The headline band were The Featherz ... who continued the general theme of girls showing just how well they can rock it up ... Not quite as heavy as (second on the bill act) Petrol Girls, they still had a real fast punky set. They had also picked up a posse of new followers who were now ready to worship every bead and every bit of glitter - as well as dance along to their songs." [3]

The band also played the Pavillion Stage of the 2015 Rebellion Festival.[5][30] Their set received an enthusiastic review from Martin Haslam of Louder Than War: "Bringing their brand of self-styled ‘Flock Rock’ to the masses, I’m pleased that the venue is filling up. Glam anthems (Glamthems?) get the crowd onside, ‘When Was The Last Time You Had Sex?’ and other ear worms. I’ve seen them before, but this line up has added Alice Atkinson, which is a very good thing; the three-piece with Danie Cox and Dazzle Monroe are now tighter and born to entertain. Championed by Boy George and dressed by Charles Of London, they deserve your attention. Now!"[5] The band appeared again at the 2017 festival on the Opera House stage.[31]

A second single for Charles Of London Records, You, was released from the sessions with Armstrong on download in early September 2015 followed by a CD release two months later.[32] A video was filmed back in April 2015 in Brighton, directed by Stockings. Interviewed by Haslam at Rebellion for Louder Than War, Cox announced that the band's next release would be their debut album. Cox also commented on her philosophy as a performer and bandleader: "I’d always had a dream, to write my own songs, to express myself through my clothes and how I present myself. Luckily, I found that in The Featherz, in London ... We are The Featherz, there is nothing else for me. I’d rather die than give up. Our songs are statements. It really is all I can do"[4]

Around the time of the single's download release, the second guitarist role was briefly filled when Jones joined. He left amicably three months later due to musical differences, shortly before the band played three high profile support slots in Sheffield, Liverpool and London, for The Damned.[9][11] Following the death of her hero David Bowie in January 2016, Cox was filmed by Italian television show Studio Aperto performing Bowie's songs at his shrine at the Heddon Street telephone box[33] while the Featherz performed at a Bowie memorial concert at the Union Chapel, Islington with Mick Ronson's sister Maggi guesting with the band on vocals for Ziggy Stardust[34] Cox and Mike Garson's biographer Clifford Slapper also performed a vocal/piano version of We Are the Dead.[35]

Also in early 2016 the band, plus Donley again on second guitar, recorded new material at Quadra Studios in Walthamstow with producer John "Lucifer" Pridige.[26][36] A new second guitarist, Chris Shepherd, joined the band in April. In June a video, featuring the new lineup, was filmed in Southend for Atkinson composition Forget All You Know.[26] In early September, the video was posted to YouTube[26] and this track and a cover of Moonage Daydream (featuring Slapper on piano), both from the Quadra session, were uploaded to the group's Bandcamp account and iTunes store. Prior to this, a trailer video featuring a clip from a third track from Quadra, a cover of "The Ballroom Blitz" had been posted to YouTube.[37] Cox and Slapper have also recorded another version of Moonage Daydream for the latter's upcoming album Bowiesongs 2,[38] while Cox has also collaborated with The Lurkers.[39]

2016 onwards - Five-Year-Itch[edit]

Atkinson and Shepherd left the band in late 2016. Guitarist Holly Henderson of the band Dorja and bassist Jenny Lane of the band Planet Of The Capes, both of whom previously deputised in these roles in The Featherz, served as temporary live members until the arrival of permanent replacements, Swedish bassist Gerda Lucy Rankka aka Lucy Lawbreaker and Italian second guitarist Aryanne Maudit.[40] In the meantime, the band produced new music videos of the tracks Chelsea, Takes One To Know One and Moonage Daydream and recorded further material in Quadra Studios with Pridige and Faebhean Kwest.

Appearing on internet radio station K2K Radio's show FlipsideLondon Radio hosted by Aidan McManus, on 28 March 2017, Cox confirmed that the band's imminent debut album was entitled Five-Year-Itch and would be 17 tracks long.[41] The album was released on 13 April 2017 and was compiled by Pridige (who also funded the release) from content from various sessions since 2012 (hence the album title) including material from his own sessions with the band at Quadra Studios as well as the Broadoak Studios sessions with Armstrong, both sides of the RNR★ single recorded in 2013 and the band's earliest attempt at making an album at Perry Vale Studios in 2012, as well as Pridige's own live recordings of the band. [42][43] Vive Le Rock's Alison Bateman rated the album 7/10. Although lukewarm about the choices of covers included, she nevertheless enthused, "(The band) have already built a buzz with their energetic live shows, centred on flame-haired attitude-oozing young frontwoman Danie Cox. Their cheeky punked-up glitter rock risks being a tough act to translate to the studio, but Five-Year-Itch mostly manages with charismatic flair... They're neither short on musical chops, nor shy of buckling down to serious business of writing infuriatingly immovable hooks."[10]

The band's next single, Ordinary Girl? recorded late 2016 at Quadra with Atkinson and Shepherd (shortly before their departures) and produced by Pridige, was released on Bandcamp on 1 May 2017. [44] The single cover featured Cox's friend, the late Imogen Goldie[45] whose mother Diane had previously designed and provided the costumes worn by the band in the Forget All You Know video[26] and again in the video for this single, in which she herself appeared.[45]

Discography[edit]

The Featherz discography
Studio albums 1
Music videos 8
Singles 4

The discography of The Featherz consists of one studio album (including some live material),four singles, eight music videos and one original appearance on another release.

Album[edit]

  • Five-Year-Itch (Flockrock Records, FRO1, 2017 - CD album only)[41][42][43]
  1. "Takes 1 2 Know 1" [nb 1]
  2. "When I Fall In Love"
  3. "RNR★"[nb 2]
  4. "When Was The Last Time You Had Sex?"
  5. "Dig Me"[nb 3]
  6. "Chelsea"
  7. "Bad Girl"[nb 4]
  8. "Party Crasher"
  9. "Forget All You Know"[nb 5]
  10. "Moonage Daydream"
  11. "Patience" (Live - Acoustic) [nb 6]
  12. "Ballroom Blitz"
  13. "Give Over Darling"
  14. "Cum On Feel The Noize"
  15. "Beat On The Brap" (Live)
  16. "Hopeless Summer" (Live)
  17. "Don't Dictate" (Live)
  1. ^ Tracks 1 and 2 previously released on Bandcamp 18 December 2014, recorded 2012 at Perry Vale Studios, produced by Pat Collier, previously circulated as radio singles
  2. ^ Tracks 3 and 4 were previously released on vinyl as the RNR★ single - see below
  3. ^ Tracks 5 and 6 were originally recorded at Broadoak Studios during the 2014 sessions for the You single, produced by Kevin Armstrong. Mixed by John Lucifer Pridige at Quadra Studios, February 2017
  4. ^ Tracks 7 and 8 were recorded January 2016 in SSLU Studios, Southend, for the studio's internet radio show, Live And Unsigned. Produced by Paul Finch
  5. ^ Tracks 9-10 were previously released as an MP3 package as the single Forget All You Know. Tracks 12-14 are further material from the same session at Quadra Studios.
  6. ^ Tracks 11 and 15-17 are live recordings made by Pridige with official authority from the band.

Singles[edit]

  • RNR★ (Charles Of London Records, COLRecords1, 2013, 7" vinyl only)
  1. "RNR★"
  2. "When Was The Last Time You Had Sex?"
  • You (Charles Of London Records, COLR002, 2015, mp3s on Bandcamp plus CD single)
  1. "You"
  2. "Bad Girl"
  • Forget All You Know (2016, mp3s on Bandcamp and iTunes. A CD single edition was planned, but did not materialize - instead the tracks were included on the Five-Year-Itch album.)[42]
  1. "Forget All You Know"
  2. "Moonage Daydream"
  1. "Ordinary Girl?"

Compilations[edit]

  1. "Life Stranger" (also released as standalone mp3 on iTunes. Reissued on Bandcamp 18 December 2014)
  1. "RNR★"
  • Redrock Festival 2016: All Day Rock Fest - National and International Bands 2nd Oct 2016 (Redwire, RED002, 2016 CD [46])
  1. "Bad Girl"

Videography[edit]

Music videos[edit]

Year Song Director Notes Sources
2012 "Life Stranger" Rachael Smith Only stills/snippets are reported as surviving of this video.
Featured Cox in close-up performing the song with overlaid effects
2013 "RNR★" Julian Napier Filmed at the Charles Of London Records launch party at Madame JoJo's October 2013 [47]
2015 "You" Dean Stockings Stockings had previously directed music videos for Boy George featuring Cox [48]
2016 "Forget All You Know" Danie Cox Filmed at the Railway Hotel, Southend, produced by Gaz De Vere [26]
"Chelsea" Dazzle Monroe Filmed in Kings Road, Chelsea, London, December 2016 [49]
"Takes One To Know One" Filmed at Winter Wonderland, London, 19 December 2016 [50]
2017 "Moonage Daydream" Released to commemorate the first anniversary of David Bowie's death [36]
"Ordinary Girl?" Danie Cox Dedicated to the memory of Imogen Goldie, daughter of Diane Goldie [45]

Concert tours[edit]

Opening act[edit]

  • Boy George This Is What I Do UK tour, first leg, all seven dates (November 2013)[2][20]
  • The Damned December 2015 UK tour, three dates plus afterparty for London date and headline show in Camden one night before opening date (December 2015)[11]
  • Healthy Junkies Box Of Chaos UK tour - four dates plus headline show in Southend two nights before opening date (June–July 2016)

In addition, as sidewomen in the Poussez Posse, the founding line-up of Cox, Smith and Spiers-MacLeod toured supporting Adam Ant's The Good The Mad and the Lovely UK tour - six dates including preview show (May 2011)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Featherz lead lineup at Steamboat, Ipswich Star 24 January 2014 page 4
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Outrageous dressing Welsh singer Danie Cox teams up with 80s legend Boy George Wales On Sunday 9 January 2014 page 10
  3. ^ a b Neil Duncan reports on the Valentine's night gig which snatched victory from the jaws of defeat Basingstoke Gazette18 February 2015
  4. ^ a b Interview: The Featherz – the self-styled flock rock band spoke to Louder Than War at Rebellion Last Weekend, Martin Haslam, Louder Than War, 20 August, 2015
  5. ^ a b c d Rebellion Festival 2015 review by Martin Haslam - Louder Than War
  6. ^ The Featherz: Camden Unicorn – live review
  7. ^ Jonny Cola And The A Grades: Camden Barfly – live review (includes paragraph on The Featherz' support set)
  8. ^ a b c d Vive Le Rock issue 16 (January/February 2014), p28 & covermount CD
  9. ^ a b c THE DAMNED: ACADEMY IS THE LIFE FOR ME - The Damned/The Featherz live review O2 Islington 20th December 2015 - Vive Le Rock website
  10. ^ a b Five-Year-Itch review by Alison Bateman, Vive Le Rock issue 46 (July 2017) page 87
  11. ^ a b c The Damned: Live Performances - 2015 listing all The Featherz appearances supporting The Damned. (Relevant entries are the top three entries on page) White Rabbits website
  12. ^ a b c Artist's Trove - Danie Cox
  13. ^ Fiona Bevan interview in Irish Times
  14. ^ The Blueblack Hussar DVD Sunrise 001 2014. Credits include: "... In order of appearance: ... Danie Cox, Fiona Bevan, Molly Spiers Macleod, Rachael Smith, ..."
  15. ^ Georgina Baillee interview - Louder Than War
  16. ^ a b Hipsters 3 listing on Acid Jazz Records website
  17. ^ "Sat, 28 Apr 2012 ... Garry is joined in the studio by reggae legend Dave Barker, rising Ska stars Buster Shuffle and the feisty Feathers"
  18. ^ "The Featherz & Infa Riot - The Hungry and the Hunted" Garry Bushell radio show podcast - details and link to podcast 3 May 2014
  19. ^ David Bowie Official Website - See Danie Cox and The Feathers in London For Free - 24th May 2013
  20. ^ a b THE FEATHERZ SUPPORT GEORGE - tour support announcement on official Boy George website (Archive)
  21. ^ BBC Wales Adam Walton Show playlist, BBC Wales Website, 17 February 2014
  22. ^ a b The Gonads Official Website May 2014
  23. ^ "It's a new line-up tonight ..." Nemesis To Go live review: Vice Squad, Dragster, TV Smith, The Featherz, Latchicos, The Phobics, 100 Club, London Saturday June 28 2014
  24. ^ Fotozine by Rupert Hitchcox - The Featherz at the 100 Club images - pages 6 and 8-12
  25. ^ Lily Marlene entry on IMDB
  26. ^ a b c d e f "Forget All You Know" official music video
  27. ^ The Featherz perform with Zoe Keeling (stage right)
  28. ^ "Join Danie Cox, Alice Atkinson, Vera Wild and Dazzle Monroe live ..."
  29. ^ The Featherz perform with Polly Hedges (stage left in red wig)
  30. ^ Archive of Rebellion Festival 2015 line up
  31. ^ Rebellion Festival 2017 line up
  32. ^ The Featherz: Camden Unicorn – Live Review, Martin Haslam, Louder Than War, 16 September 2015
  33. ^ "Studioaperto Edizione Speciale:Hero in onore del Duca Bianco". Studio Aperto, Italia 1. 12 January 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2016. 
  34. ^ BBC News: David Bowie death: London's Union Chapel hosts tribute concert
  35. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnBKjUkAu1M
  36. ^ a b "Moonage Daydream" official music video
  37. ^ Trailer for September 2016 single release featuring clip of Ballroom Blitz
  38. ^ http://bowiesongs.com/about-2/
  39. ^ The Lurkers' Website: "OTHER NEWS: The band have started recording with Danie Cox of The Featherz and the collaboration has proven to be very successful. More later..."
  40. ^ Real Music Club - February 2017 newsletter
  41. ^ a b Flipside London Radio Episode 8 with Danie Cox from Flock Rockers The Featherz, transmitted 28 March 2017 K2K Radio. Event occurs at 01:50:14
  42. ^ a b c Notes on Five-Year-Itch by compiler/ co-producer John "Lucifer" Pridige
  43. ^ a b Five-Year-Itch album review in Real Music Club newsletter April 2017
  44. ^ a b https://thefeatherz.bandcamp.com/track/ordinary-girl
  45. ^ a b c d "Ordinary Girl?" official music video
  46. ^ "The Featherz are playing at Redrock Festival 2016". Redrock Festival. 
  47. ^ "RNR★" official music video
  48. ^ "You" official music video
  49. ^ "Chelsea" official music video
  50. ^ "Takes One To Know One" official music video

External links[edit]