A Pendle punk band is hammering away at a mission to make it in the “tough” grassroots scene with a Do-It-Yourself micro tour.
And helping Nelson’s ALL HAIL HYENA! nail the opening gig last weekend was iconic band, Sleepy People, plus rockers, Soldato, and Preston “legends”, Dirty Bare Feet.
The brain behind it all is music promoter, DJ Bik, AKA Greg Braysford.
“This idea was born out of a love for live music, great musicianship and getting local talent exposure,” he said.
And for Greg, there is no band more deserving of the spotlight right than ALL HAIL HYENA!
“I think ALL HAIL HYENA! is incredible - a band that is interesting, exciting and perform to a high standard, with some brilliant songs,” he said. “I really wanted to work with them and push them out there.”
But in a scene offering only “pay to play” gigs – and being met with silence after applying to festivals and shows up and down the country – Greg has struggled to introduce the band to new audiences.
“At grassroots, this has always been an issue, especially trying to get shows in Liverpool and Manchester. It doesn’t matter how good the music is, it’s all about who you know.
“When I started putting on shows back in 2003, it was all DIY, zero budget. So I had the idea to go back to the old days, get a bunch of like-minded bands involved and start doing shows in new venues to expose them to new crowds.”
Saturday’s gig offered a fusion of Hyenas’ sweet melodies and “dirty rock riffs” from Soldato, plus a delicious hybrid of rap, reggae and blues from Dirty Bare Feet.
“Things got [even] better when Sleepy People approached me and loved the DIY idea and asked to play on the bill,” said Greg.
“Sleepy People are stalwarts of the DIY scene, and fuse prog and punk with nursery rhyme melodies and catchy riffs. They are fronted by Ultrasound’s Tiny Woods.”
And there’s already proof on TV screens of the power of DIY.
“Grace Davies is currently smashing it up on The X-Factor [and] the guy who produced her first DIY EP also produced the ALL HAIL HYENA! EP recorded last year,” said Greg.
“If the shows go well, I am taking the idea to Edinburgh, the Isle of Man and then Europe.
“Jay [Stansfield, vocalist] for ALL HAIL HYENA! wants to play in Japan, so that is on my agenda, and I have a few contacts in dive bars in Canada, San Francisco and San Jose over in the USA. So the plan is a world tour if we sell some records on this micro tour.”
And with Greg behind them, it seems the Hyenas are already on track to take on the world.
“It was amazing to support Sleepy People and in December we are supporting the legendary Ultrasound in Doncaster, following our previous support slots with Grandaddy in Manchester and From The Jam at Preston Guild Hall,” they said.
“We seem to be landing these cool shows and going from strength to strength.”
ALL HAIL HYENA! visit Darwen on Saturday, at Sunbird Records, with Liverpool DIY specialists, SPQR, and Preston rockers, 3 Headed Monkey.