The distinctive British tones of Orange Amplification are coveted across the globe. Musical groups including Grateful Dead, Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown, and Marcus King Band, are delighted to join the prestigious ranks of Orange Ambassadors.

Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown band are known for their electrifying classic rock revivalism and have performed alongside AC DC, Aerosmith, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and  ZZ Top. They are currently supporting Guns N’ Roses on the Not In This Lifetime world tour. Orange recently caught up with the band and you can see front man and killer guitarist Tyler Bryant talking about his Rockerverb MKIII 100 here. Fellow bandmate and guitarist, the fleet fingered Graham Whitford uses a Dual Dark 50 which you can see here and the bands talented bassist Noah Denney talks about his AD200 MK3 here.

Also, joining Orange’s highly respected list of Ambassadors is guitar phenomenon Marcus King and fellow bandmate, bassist Stephen Campbell,of the Marcus King Band. Marcus is poised to be one of music’s great guitarists; with his remarkable virtuoso talent, he can play blues, rock, R&B, country, soul and more. So he and the Rockerverb MKIII and PPC412 cabinet are ideally suited. Meanwhile Stephen is using Orange AD200 MK3 with OBC810 cabinet to hold down the bands sweet groove. The Marcus King Band is currently touring across the USA.

Another new Ambassador, Bob Weir is appreciating the sounds of his Orange Rocker 15. He describes it as ‘a fun, really flexible little amp for low-volume situations like playin’ electric along with acoustic instruments….’. Bob has been described as the harmonic engine of the Grateful Dead and Dead & Company, with his original ability to make the guitar sound huge. He is currently touring with Dead & Company across the USA.

Whether it’s rock, blues psychedelia, Americana, folk or other music genre, Orange Amplifications clean sounds will appeal to guitarists and bassists alike.

When PMT Manchester asked Orange Amplification to help raise funds for the We Love Manchester Charity, the company was delighted to be able to donate a signed CR60C Combo for a charity auction. The auction took place on Saturday 7th July, and the amp, signed by some of the Orange Ambassadors who performed at Download 2017, was sold for £1050.

PMT Manchester Store Manager Andy ‘Beef’ Hartwell said ‘PMT Manchester and Orange have a long-standing friendship. I wasn’t prepared for the generosity of Cliff Cooper and James Deacon giving me a £400 amp signed by Artists at Download festival last year. The amp donation reached £1050 at auction that night. A terrific success only possible with the help of our friends at Orange Amps.’

The one of a kind amp was signed by Brent Hinds of Mastodon and Vman (Alessandro Venturella) from Slipknot. Other signatures on the amp were Billy Martin from Good Charlotte, Steve Micciche from Every Time I Die, Vidar Landa, Bjarte Lund Rolland and Maciek Ofstad guitarists with Kvelertak and Bryan Giles and David Sullivan guitarists with Red Fang. Other autographs were Kelby Ray from Cadillac Three and Kevin Antreassian of Dillinger Escape Plan.

The We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, was created after the Manchester Area attack to help relieve financial hardship among the victims and survivors of the disaster including families and dependents of those killed or injured and to relieve physical and mental sickness or disability of the victims and their dependents.

Cliff Cooper, CEO and founder of Orange Amplification said ‘the Manchester Arena attack touched us all in many different ways, we at Orange were delighted to be able to help with the donation of this unique, one off, signed CR60C Combo.’

To find out more about the We Love Manchester Charity and make a donation, please go to http://www.manchesteremergencyfund.com/

Orange Amplification are delighted to introduce guitarist and singer-songwriter Francesca Simone as their latest Ambassador. She has played onstage with Kehlani, accompanied Beyoncé on the Formation World Tour, and recently performed alongside her at Coachella. In Simone’s school yearbook, she was voted ‘most likely to be famous’ by her classmates. This prophecy has certainly come true as she sets the world on fire with passionate guitar playing and knack for fusing pop, rock, and jazz to produce fat, perfect notes full of Californian sunshine.

Last month Simone’s debut music video featuring her own composition ‘Still premiered on Billboard and you can see her latest Orange amps video here – https://youtu.be/VPhKwAss8Ys. Her distinctive guitar playing is a blend of her bubbly personality and rock star shredding ability threaded through with a vibrant street style. This has put her at the forefront of popular music, and she continues to collaborate with a variety of artists and producers on projects in addition to her own.

The Rockerverb MKIII Combo 50 she will be using on stage is perfectly suited to her effervescent style and sparkling sound. Talking about her Orange Amp Simone said ‘The first time I played through the Rockerverb I was blown away by the depth of the sound. The tone is so dynamic; it cuts through but maintains its warmth…one of a kind. Orange helps me get my signature tone that I’ve been looking for all these years. And I’m all about bright colors so the orange color is the cherry on the top!!’.

The bright shades of Orange are set to be one of this summer’s hottest trends. Their vivid sound will be helping to inject a buzz into many festivals and concerts across the world.

 

Guitar goddess, Orianthi has become Orange Amplification’s latest Ambassador. The multi-talented guitarist, singer and songwriter has performed with King of Pop Michael Jackson, toured with rock godfather Alice Cooper, played lead guitar for Carrie Underwood, exchanged solos with legend Carlos Santana as well as having a successful solo career.

More recently, Orianthi has joined forces with Grammy Award winner and Songwriting Hall of Fame inductee Richie Sambora to form the band RSO. This month they have released their first album Radio Free America. It is the perfect platform to showcase their considerable skills as songwriters, vocalists and guitarists, setting the bar high for all future male-female guitar and vocal collaborations.

Orianthi is the rock star with everything, guitar skills superb vocals, rock star looks and now an Orange Ambassador! She loves the Orange Rockerverb Mark 3 with its 4 x 12 cab and says

The first time I plugged into The Rockerverb Mark 3 I felt a instant connection ..the tone I had been looking for , very responsive and powerful at a low volume and when cranked up it never loses clarity…this amp is the lion of amps in the rock jungle, check it out’.

The versatile, dependable and uniquely voiced Rockerverb Mark 3 is the perfect complement for Orianthi’s distinctive style and electrifying playing with its clean sound and a meld of classic and modern tones from Brit-rock to R&B. To find out more about the Rockerverb and all of the amps in the Orange range please go to https://orangeamps.com/products/

 

 

I must be getting older cause the years keep flying by, and it’s time for Desertfest London yet again, having just about recovered from the last one. Just kidding, I’m totally recovered from that one, but still slightly sleep deprived from last weekend’s Roadburn festival – anyway, enough about myself and my speedy or not so speedy recoveries.

This weekend, as every other year, Camden will be infiltrated with mostly longhaired, although not limited to, music and beer enthusiasts ready to shout along to some of their favourite bands before let’s admit it, getting hammered at the Black Heart and The Dev until 3am before when it’s time to, venture to Woody Grill for lifesaving kebabs that will prepare them, myself included, to do the same thing all over the following day – and then again, the day after that.

Covering last years festival I started out incredibly professional with pen and paper in my bag for professional notes to go in my professional daily recaps I’d be getting up at 8am the following mornings to write, and earplugs because we only get one pair of ears and we must look after them. Four hours into the festival I’d had about eighteen pints, lost an earplug, and a single puff of a cigarette that definitely wasn’t a cigarette and sent me on a magical mystery tour for about 3 hours, making me run away at an incredibly slow pace from my friends to watch various bands in the dark on my own, all while feeling uncomfortable about the way my arms were attached and hanging down the side of my body and accidentally brushing unknowing by-passers.

Radio Moscow, Desertfest Antwerp 2017

This year I’ll be kickstarting my festival nice and early on the Friday when London noise connoisseurs Swedish Death Candy takes the Black Heart stage at 2.45pm. I’ve seen ‘em a million times before, but they continue to deliver impeccable live performances every time, so I wouldn’t wanna miss them. Following that, I’ll be making my way to The Dev for Orange ambassadors Lionize where guitarist Nate will brighten the place up in his all gold outfit, which will most likely be the only all gold outfit at the entire festival. After that, we’ve got Orange ambassador Anthony Meier taking the stage at Underworld, which might just be my favourite venue in all of London, with his band Radio Moscow, and I’m pretty sure will be one of the festival highlights as they blew the roof off as headliners at last year’s Desertfest Antwerp. When Radio Moscow ends, I’ve got half an hour to make my way to KOKO where the kings of Gothenburg and 70s revival rock Graveyard will be headlining the night, with bassist Truls Mörck flaunting his AD200 (Product placement, advert, shameless name drop etc.)

Saturday I might as well set camp at Electric Ballroom with bands such as Church of Misery, Weedeater and High on Fire playing. London, lock up your ladies cause who knows what’ll happen when a shirtless Matt Pike plays his first note through his stack of turned up to eleven Orange amps taking everyone on the train to vibration station – the entire Roundhouse will be speaking in tongues not knowing what hit ‘em, most likely all in a haze of, uhm, Willie Nelson scented incense. ‘Incense’.

Church of Misery, Desertfest Antwerp 2017

Then there’s Sunday, the grand finale which already had a pretty damn strong lineup since day one, until they about a month or so ago threw in King Buffalo which will be headlining the Black Heart at 9pm, Elder playing Roundhouse at 4.30pm, a band that simply just blew me away when I saw them for the second time last August, having added a second guitarist/keyboard player to their line-up, as well as adding a second headliner for the day which is none other than Hawkwind. Hawkwind. H A W K W I N D. ‘Hawkwind live at the Roundhouse’, kinda rings a bell, doesn’t it? The legendary kings and pretty much inventors of space rock will be taking the stage at 7.50pm, and that really is a show I don’t wanna miss. I met Phil Campbell last year, and he told me Hawkwind live was ‘the scariest fuckin’ thing he’d ever seen.’ Fair, that was in the 70s when they had a topless Stacia on stage surrounded by some of the trippiest visuals the world had ever seen at that point, but surely even decades down the line Hawkwind are destined to provide you with a night you’ll late forget. Let’s not forget Monolord who just finished touring with Black Label Society where the played London’s infamous Royal Albert Hall, and will be taking their caffeine fuelled doom to yet another iconic London venue as they open up the Roundhouse at 3pm.

Monolord, Desertfest Antwerp 2017

Between all of this, running between shows, catching up with friends from near and afar and drinking lukewarm, flat beer that I’ve held in my hand for far too long, I’ll also be conducting artist interviews and keeping Instagram a float, keeping you guys up to date with the mayhem and the madness going down in Camden town.


If you wanna join the madness and share the fun, head over to Desertfest London’s website and get your hands on a or two ticket before they’re all completely gone – see ya there!

Orange Amplification bring back their iconic 1970’s OMEC brand with an ingenious new product, the OMEC Teleport. The Teleport is a soundcard with a twist – in addition to being a studio-quality USB recording interface, it fits inside a guitar pedal – perfect for a gigging musician.

The innovative, new OMEC Teleport is a universal connection device compatible with iOS, Android, MacOS or Windows devices without the need for any specific drivers or software requirements. It converts analogue audio signals to digital enabling them to be processed with one of the many applications available, including the supplied AmpliTube CS Orange Edition from IK Multimedia.

The Mono IN and Stereo OUT are delivered by a low-noise buffer giving unlimited scope for stereo signal experimentation. Designed to fit alongside guitar and bass pedals when playing live, the OMEC Teleport allows external DSP effects to be used anywhere in your pedalboard signal chain such as those from your mobile phone. It also allows digital signals to be reproduced as analogue and played through mixers, D.I. boxes and amplifiers.

As a touring musician, I needed something simple that allowed me to bring my studio software & apps with me on tour,’ said Danny Gomez, Product Developer. ‘Now you can Teleport the studio to the road and the road to the studio with the first interface ready for your pedalboard. Record, play, practice or discover new virtual instruments. No boundaries, no limits… Teleport… Anywhere… Anytime.’

The Teleport features:

  • Buffered bypass.
  • Audio interface built into a light and robust mini pedal enclosure.
  • IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube CS Orange Edition which provides a full-featured guitar/bass amp and effects rig for MacOS and Windows platforms. This incorporates the virtual OR120, Tiny Terror, Rockerverb 50, AD30 and matching Orange Cabs.

The Teleport offers musicians endless opportunities to experiment with digital signal processing; there is no limit to your sound.

To find out more, including full technical specifications and other software that can be used with the new audio interface please go to https://orangeamps.com/omec-teleport/

With over 300 aspiring acts hoping to be the lucky winners of this year’s Firestone Battle of the Bands, it was narrowed down to the top three who made it to the finals at newly built BIMM Birmingham. A quick recap to remind us all about the finalists; we had Welsh pop-rock band Fire Fences who despite their age had already played a sold out show at LA’s legendary The Viper Room and have one of their tracks picked for the new NASCAR Heat II video game, rapper EL-Emcee who’s been making countless tracks from his bedroom back in Ipswich and the heaviest band of the lot, Bristol’s Nuns of the Tundra. 

As we arrive to the freshly painted BIMM, all the acts are patiently waiting for sound check, dress rehearsals and their time to shine – streamed live for the world to watch. I mingle around and chat to the bands to see how they’re feeling, and how they’ve been preparing for the finals.  

Nuns of the Tundra:  

We’ve been working on ways to make the songs more interesting, and changed one of them around to give it a massive and dramatic ending. We also played a gig last night, almost like a rehearsal gig where we asked everyone for feedback on what they liked, but also what needed to be improved and could be done better. We’ll be playing two quite different songs as well to show versatility. We’ve been working towards the final, but we’re also in the process of writing new material and speaking to different producers, so whether we win or not we’ll still venture back into the studio. 

 

EL-Emcee:  

I’m very excited to play, really looking forward to it. I was expecting it to be a lot more nerve wrecking, and had it been last year I know it would have been, but I’m feeling quite relaxed. When I first entered the competition I didn’t really think that much of it. I gave it a go not expecting to hear back as it’s ‘Battle of the Bands’, and I’m not a band, so it did catch me by surprise when I all of a sudden got an email saying I’d made it through! It’s pretty mad to be honest. Obviously with me being a rapper competing against two guitar-based bands, I’ll be bringing a different vibe to the competition, and I hope that will work to my advantage. I’ve just been doing my regular thing leading up to the finals – I’ve been making music seriously for about four years now, and I’d say another eight before that just doing bits of pieces of lyrics and poetry, and I’ve got a tight group I work with who produces beats for me, although I’m looking at trying to do that myself. 

 

Fire Fences:  

We’re feeling excited about tonight, and even if we don’t make it to the top this is just another exciting thing to add onto the list of amazing stuff we’ve had happen to us. A few years back, we were lucky enough to record over in the States and play a sold out show at The Viper Room in LA. At the time we were under 21 and not old enough to drink or even be inside the venue, so we were literally stood outside on the sidewalk with our instruments until someone came and told us it was time to play. We set up, and when the curtains opened it was absolutely packed. It was incredible, and we feel like we’ve learnt a lot from that experience. We really love playing live, and we feel like that is our strength. We will try to treat tonight just as any other gig; go on, play, and have fun. It’s nice to be part of a final where all the bands are so different and great in their own way. The feedback we got after entering the competition was so great as well. You could tell that they had really taken their time to actually listen to and almost analyse our music, which made us feel even better about making it through as we were recognised for exactly what we were. 

 


Eventually it’s time for dress rehearsals and a quick run through of everything that’s about to happen. Abbie McCarthy from BBC Radio 1 is the host for the evening and starts out interviewing the judges which includes Orange’s European A&R rep Daniel Darby. A video of each band that was used during the public votes is showed before their performance, and they all get two songs each before they’re over in the hot seat with Abbie to share their thoughts on their performance and the competition. Shortly after, family and friends start to arrive adding some extra tension and excitement to it all, and the countdown till we go live begins. 

6pm sharp it all kicks off, and first out is Nuns of the Tundra, the heaviest act of the night. They start out with the bass-based ‘Dead in the Desert’, followed by ‘Minds’s Eye’ which they’ve re-worked for the evening and given a dramatic ending. Second man out is EL-Emcee who appears to be the natural entertainer, interacting with the camera and audience while showing off his incredible songwriting skills. Last but not least, is Welsh Fire Fences, who by the looks of it are probably the youngest of the lot. They start off loud and proud then mellows it down for the second song, both described as ‘anthems’ by Abbie McCarthy.

With all acts being so good at what they do, they judges are left with a tough decision to make. Minutes which must feel like months for the contestants pass by, and they can finally announce that this year’s winner of Firestone Battle of the Bands is Fire Fences!

While basking in the new found glory of their victory, we had a brief chat with the 2 runners up, Nuns of the Tundra who still were high in spirits and ready to take on some new recording, and EL-Emcee, who said he’ll keep writing and get producing, and perform wherever and whenever he can. When we finally managed to get a little piece of Fire Fences who were the centre of everyone’s attention, they couldn’t be happier about the outcome and head to the studio to record new music. We’ll be staying in touch with the winners, so watch this space for updates to see where they venture off to next. 

This upcoming Thursday, 14th December, sees the final of 2017’s Firestone Battle of the Bands. The public votes have closed, and the top three that made it to the final are Welsh four-piece Fire Fences, London-based rapper EL-Emcee and Malvern’s Nuns of the Tundra. One of the things we’re very excited about this year is that we’ve managed to cover a lot of ground and sound with this year’s bands and artist, from indie and rock ’n’ roll to hip hop and rap.

Fire Fences:

Fire Fences, who can be compared to the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy have had some incredible things happen to them during their four years as a band, from being invited out to LA in 2015 to record and play a sold out show at the legendary Viper Room, to being picked as one of the top ten UK unsigned bands in 2017 by Rising Sounds. This allowed them to record their single ‘Weather’ which has been chosen to be featured in the new NASCAR Heat II Video Game. The guys have made it clear that they’re in the music game for the thrill of it, and that the successes the band have seen so far have only been an added bonus. If they don’t make it in the end? Well, they’ll still be going at it at 60, as long as they’re still enjoying it.

EL-Emcee:

EL-Emcee is the only solo artist that’s made it to this year’s final, and also the only hip hop act in the top three. The Ipswich and London-based rapper, who’s real name is Lloyd Millwood, has been making tracks and beats under the alias EL-Emcee for years now, and records everything at home in his bedroom. For EL-Emcee, hip hop has become a way to express feelings, opinions and thoughts, and he’s already got hundreds of tracks under his belt. He is always still striving to learn, and adapt better to his soul, and will always find a way to stand out among the competition.

“Spreading Mind, Heart, Soul, to the world. Let our voices serve our purpose. Whether we become Pacs or Killer Mikes.”
-EL-Emcee

Nuns of the Tundra:

“Dirty desert rock from the unlikely tranquil town of Malvern. Nuns will make it their holy mission to get you moving.”
– From Nuns of the Tundra’s Soundcloud

Nuns of the Tundra will be the heaviest band on the bill for this year’s Firestone Battle of the Bands final, floating somewhere between Royal Blood and Queens of the Stone Age with their alternative indie psychedelic rock. Nuns of the Tundra have used their social media and SoundCloud to build up a following and reach new audiences, and love seeing people’s faces light up in excitement at gigs and shows.


As you can see, this diversity’s key, and it’ll be extra hard to pick a winner this year as all of the finalists are so good in their own field. The Birmingham final will be live streamed on Firestone’s Facebook, so tune in there from just before 6pm Thursday night to cheer your favourite to the top!

 

The Great British public are being urged to crank up the volume and appreciate the sounds of six talented unsigned acts, before voting on which ones should make the final of Firestone’s prestigious Battle of the Bands grassroots competition.

Around 300 acts have been whittled down to six and voting is now open at http://battleofthebands.firestone.eu/ for people to decide on who should take the final three slots, each of which will then be a step closer to making their big industry breakthrough. Once voting closes on November 23, the chosen acts will go onto play in the overall grand final on December 14 in Birmingham.

EL-Emcee, Sugarthief, Fire Fences, The Fleas, Super Furniture and Nuns of the Tundra are all on a journey to win the historic tyre brand’s nationwide talent contest, having beaten around 300 unsigned other artists to get to the shortlisted stage of the competition. A coveted Firestone trophy, more than £2,000 worth of Orange Amplification equipment and studio time worth £1,500 are all now within reach for the musicians.

Orange Amplification and returning partner Professional Music Technology (PMT) were faced with the tough task of judging the entries and agreeing on the six shortlisted acts.

Daniel Darby, artist relations and marketing at Orange, said: “It is so hard to make it in the music industry, so any competition that helps artists to break through is an in invaluable one. Battle of the Bands offers a real oppportunity for them, which is a brilliant.”

Professional Music Technology’s marketing manager Jake Marray said: “Battle of the Bands is such a relevant competition because it gives emerging artists and bands the chance to make a name for themselves. Many don’t have the budget for studio time and equipment can be very expensive too. Firestone have created something tangible and meaningful here.”

Both Daniel and Jake were part of a panel charged with whittling all of the entries down to six and they were fulsome in their praise of the quality of music on show.

“Each act is very authentic,” said Daniel. “The levels of self-belief when we were going through the entries was really noticeable. We were looking for acts who were doing things a bit differently and the final six certainly do this. This, combined with their passion and enthusiasm, has made for a very strong shortlist to vote on.”

Firestone’s brand manager Stuart Attfield said: “It has been a really uplifting experience to meet and listen to the shortlisted acts, all of whom have underlined why Firestone is so committed to music and promoting grass roots talent.

“Back in 1928, Founder, Harvey Firestone, brought together musicians and music-lovers on the Voice of Firestone, which gave known and unknown musicians a platform to perform on and an audience to perform for. This show was the first sponsored radio programme and quickly became the most successful entertainment broadcast of its time.

“Just as its tyres support drivers on the road, Firestone supports these rising talents on their Road to the main stage.”

“There is a diverse mix of talent with different styles coming to the fore. We believe that these six acts are the strongest that we have come across since launching Battle of the Bands in 2015 and we wish them all the very best of luck as they aim to make the final.”

The journeys that all six artists have been on with Firestone to get this far have been brought to life and can be also be viewed at battleofthebands.firestone.eu. Meanwhile, votes can also be cast on the same website.