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.

We’re approaching the half way mark in this year’s Firestone ‘Battle of the Bands’, a competition where grassroots musicians are given the opportunity to be seen and heard – bands that may not have ever played outside their own garage, basement, or rehearsal studio. We are giving bands of all genres, ages and gender an opportunity to play in front of industry people and musicians who have been where you are now, trying to make it out there. For now though, we want to give some airtime to women in music.

As much as we wish we could just ignore the whole gender divide in the music industry -and every other industry, for that matter, statistics prove time after time that the music industry is very much a ‘man’s world’, both on and off stage, and no matter how much we want that to change, it won’t – unless more females stand up and make it happen.

Let’s take a look back at females that have played important roles in music over the last couple of decades:

Brody Dalle Homme



Australian born artist Brody Dalle moved to Los Angeles at 18 where she started punk band The Distillers, a band that gained huge commercial success and encouraged girls all over the world to pick up the guitar and scream their hearts out. After three albums, the band dismantled and Dalle went on to pursue her solo career. In 2017 she’s happily married to Queens of the Stone Age Frontman Josh Homme whom she’s got three children with, and she keeps making music under her own name.

Rosalie Cunningham



After the disbanding of her former band Ipso Facto, Rosalie Cunningham went on to form 70’s influenced psychedelic band Purson, who’s debut album ‘The Circle and the Blue door’ gained critical acclaim and ended was ranked number 15 on Metal Hammer’s list of the 50 best albums in 2013. Armed with a Gibson Les Paul, Cunningham and the band toured relentlessly, supporting bands such as Kiss, Electric Wizard and Pentagram. The band announced their split earlier this year, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that Rosalie will yet again come back with a vengeance.

Zel Baterista


Vodun drummer Zel is an absolute powerhouse of a drummer and technical as few. Her band Vodun is African tribal inspired stoner psychedelic rock, and consists of a soul singer and guitarist, as well as Zel on drums. Known for the bands energetic and somewhat different live shows including face paint, costumes and flaming cymbals, Zel really is a breath of fresh air, and can knock you out of your boots any day of the week.

Alison Mosshart


Alison Mosshart first gained fame with garage rock two piece The Kills alongside guitarist and singer Jamie Hince. Sharing vocals, the band toured excessively using just a drum machine for beats, and gained international fame. While touring with The Raconteurs, Jack White lost his voice and Alison ended up filling in on vocals for some shows, igniting some musical spark between Jack and Alison. The two ended up jamming alongside Raconteurs bassist Jack Lawrence and QOTSA guitarist Dean Fertita, and not long after a supergroup was born in the form of The Dead Weather. Alison’s raspy voice and energetic live performances, makes her the epitome of rock ’n’ roll, and she might just be one of the biggest females we’ve got in rock today.



Paz Lenchantin


Multi instrumentalist Paz Lenchantin has had her fingers in all the pies – from playing bass in her own band The Entrance Band, playing violin on QOTSA’s ‘Songs for the Deaf’ album, playing with A Perfect Circle, and becoming a permanent member of the Pixies in 2016 after being their touring bassist since 2014. Paz performances are spellbinding and her musical craftsmanship really is astonishing. She is a world class bassist, and while playing with The Entrance Band she almost functions as a second lead guitarist with her melodic way of playing.

Joan Jett


From forming her first band at the tender age at 16, Joan Jett gained international fame with he band The Runaways from an early age. The band recorded five albums and toured and opened up for bands such as The Ramones, Cheap Trick and Van Halen. After the Runaways ended, she felt lost as ‘her baby had died’ and eventually ended up forming Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, and band that’s still together this day today. Joan Jett is pretty much a living legend.

Liz Buckingham



Since joining Electric Wizard on guitar more than a decade ago, Liz Buckingham has proven herself to be one of the queens of doom, a genre that’s more males than any other. Buckingham’s riffs are heavier than hell, and her presence is so refreshing in a sea of bearded blokes.

Heather McKay

Photo: Marty Moffatt / Planet Rockstock

The Amorettes is an all female rock n roll three piece from Scotland, and they have been making a name for themselves over the last couple of years touring with bands such as Europe, Danko Jones and Black Stone Cherry. Bassist Heather McKay is the youngest one in the bunch, and also happens to be an Orange endorsee! The band’s sound has been described as “Airbourne fronted by Joan Jett, and a “Female Motorhead” – do we need to say more…?

 

Nita Strauss


Californian based guitarist Nita Strauss descends from Austrian composer Johann Strauss II, and her claim to fame was as the guitarist in the all female Iron Maiden tribute band the Iron Maidens. As of 2014, Strauss took over as Alice Cooper’s touring guitarist, and she’s been touring excessively ever since.

Despite all of the artists above being from different genres and generations, they share their passion for their profession, and the mutual understanding that music speaks for itself, no matter gender, sex, or race. Help us make this year’s Firestone Battle of the Bands one of the best ever – let’s celebrate diversity and come together for music.

 

 

We are a partner in this year’s Firestone Battle of the Bands, a competition that gives unsigned acts the chance to showcase their musical talents and be in with a chance of winning a great set of prizes. Entries are now closed but 6 spotlighted artists have been chosen by us and campaign partner PMT and a public vote to choose the 3 finalists opens on Monday 13th November.

Keep an eye on our social media and Firestone’s Facebook, vote, share and #BeHeard

Unsigned acts to be heard in Firestone’s Battle of the Bands!

Unsigned music acts and artists across the UK are being given the breakthrough opportunity of a lifetime with Firestone, whose Battle of the Bands competition is back for another year featuring Orange Amplification’s Wolf Alice bassist Theo Ellis.

Firestone’s Battle of the Bands will provide hundreds of acts with the opportunity to showcase their musical skills, with the iconic tyre brand now promising to build on the successes of the past two years like never before.

More than £2,000 worth of invaluable Orange Amplification equipment will be up for grabs for the winning band, not to mention studio time worth around £1,500 and support towards the creation of a bespoke EP album.

Orange Amplification, returning partner Professional Music Technology (PMT) and Firestone will also have the responsibility of judging the entries and agreeing on eight shortlisted acts. A public vote will then decide which three acts will then have the opportunity to perform on the new look artist stage, located in the pre-show entertainment area on the Arena Birmingham concourse, where the final will take place on a date to be confirmed soon.

Battle of the Bands can now be entered at battleofthebands.firestone.eu

Firestone enlisted the support of Orange Amplification, who celebrate their 50th anniversary next year, alongside one of their endorsed artists, Theo Ellis, to add their voice and support to the promotion.

Firestone’s Battle of the Bands was created to give unsigned acts a chance to shine, with its ‘Be Heard’ strapline created to give musicians a chance to do exactly that – and hopefully make their big industry breakthrough.

 

 

Battle of the Bands will officially launch today (29 September 2017) with eight shortlisted acts eventually being selected after an October 22 closing date. The competition will then be opened out to an online public vote from November 13 to 23, with the top three going forward as the finalists to play on the Firestone Stage in the pre show entertainment area on the Arena Birmingham concourse on a date to be confirmed soon. An overall winner will then be announced in front of the biggest crowd they will have played to, at the famous indoor venue.

Firestone’s brand manager Stuart Attfield said: “This will be our third Battle of the Bands competition and we are looking forward to it being our biggest and best yet.

“Music is ingrained in our DNA and dates back to our Voice of Firestone radio show in America many years ago. We are passionate about giving talented bands a journey to the main stage, which is why Battle of the Bands is such a vital competition for us.

“We wanted to build on two really successful years and engage with even more ‘grassroots’ musicians than previously. Our new ‘Be Heard’ strapline is particularly fitting as we think that every single artist should get the chance to have their own sound amplified to a big audience. Battle of the Bands will make sure that this will be the case for so many acts.

“Both Theo and Orange Amplification will supplement the existing partnerships we have with Professional Music Technology and Arena Birmingham, so we really hope this year’s event will be more memorable than ever.”

Ahead of the start of a heavy touring schedule to promote the release of Wolf Alice’s second album, Visions Of A Life, Theo Ellis said: “With small gig venues closing and bedroom music become increasingly accessible, Firestone’s Battle of the Bands is a cool opportunity for musicians to make and put their music out there to be physically heard. Music fans get to hear fresh new bands, that discovery is exciting for everyone involved in music and it’s great it’s being promoted here.”

For more information about Battle of the Bands and details on how to enter, visit battleofthebands.firestone.eu

Job Description:

Job Title: Product/Project Coordinator

Location: Orange HQ, Borehamwood, 108 Ripon Way, WD6 2JA, England

Line Manager: Managing Director

To apply e-mail: jobs@orangeamps.com

Role Purpose:

Reporting to the Managing Director this is a pivotal role within the business. The successful candidate will work closely across the business to ensure the on-time, on-cost and on-specification delivery of new products.

This is a role that requires excellent communication skills as it interfaces with all departments within the business.

Key tasks include but are not limited to:

  • Work with the Senior Management team to maintain the new product roadmap.
  • Create and agree clear product specifications for all new products.
  • Create and execute a SMART project plan for each product.
  • Work closely with the Technical team to:
    • Understand the scope of technologies and products in development.
    • Ensure that products meet all safety requirements.
    • Maintain schematic and service information.
  • Work closely with the Operations team to:
    • Agree a deliverable solution.
    • Ensure that accurate information is provided for manufacture.
    • Manage any discontinuation of old product with the Sales team.
  • Work closely with the Sales and Marketing teams to:
    • Develop a coherent launch plan.
    • Provide key data for all communications.
  • Work closely with Finance team to:
    • Ensure pricing is in line with market expectations.
    • Create a 12 month budget for new product development.

Based on the Orange Music Electronic Company Values we are looking for people to join the team who:

  • Will be an Ambassador for the Company at all times.
  • Have a proven track record of Delivering the Highest Standards.
  • Have strong communication and influencing skills to develop Partnerships and Teamwork.
  • Are constantly striving to Improve Performance for themselves, their team and the Company.
  • Are proactive and solution focused and takes Ownership and Responsibility for their own and their team’s part in seeing everything through to the best possible conclusion.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience:

Essential Requirements

  • Project management experience ideally within new product development.
  • An understanding of manufacturing techniques for electro-mechanical products.
  • A commercial approach to product development.
  • Ability to work with UK and overseas manufacturing sites.
  • A structured approach to delivering results but able to solve problems creatively when required.
  • IT literate.

Preferred but Non-Essential Requirements

  • Some knowledge of the AV or Music Instrument markets.
  • Experience with a ERP system such as SAP.
  • A passion for being the best.

Personal Qualities

  • Professional communication skills externally and internally.
  • Time management and good organisational skills with the ability to prioritise and manage workloads in a timely manner.
  • Be a self-starter with the ability to work autonomously.
  • Full, clean driving licence.

Orange Amplification is delighted to introduce two new pedals to their range; The Fur Coat is a vintage fuzz and the Getaway Driver is an overdrive, cab sim, class A type pedal. Both have been designed by Orange’s Technical Director, Adrian Emsley.

The Fur Coat, inspired by the great fuzz tones from the seventies is loosely based on the old Foxx Tone Machine originally released in 1971 which was often used by artists such as Peter Frampton and Adrian Belew. Designed with a foot switchable octave, it is superbly versatile, allowing players to adjust  the level of the upper octave rather than just turn it on and off. In keeping with the era’s vibe, it is built with germanium diodes and is Orange’s only true bypass pedal. When used it puts a ‘dirty, smelly fur coat’ on every note produced giving them a warm, furry quality. The Fur Coat drapes itself over the music; stroke it lovingly to produce grungy, warm effects or turn it up for lots of filthy, shaggy texture. Its tone can be dressed down casual, super modern, funky or wonderfully dramatic.

It sounds absolutely phenomenal’ said Clutch’s Tim Sult and Matt Pike from Sleep said “I’ve tried every fuzz pedal on the planet. This is my new favorite. The Fur Coat is everything I expected Orange would do with an octave fuzz. It’s seriously gnarly.

The action-packed Getaway Driver is an amp-in-a-box type pedal. It has the same transparent, buffered output as the Orange Two Stroke and Kongpressor pedals plus a second Cab Sim / headphone output. This makes the Getaway Driver perfect for silent practice or recording. The three dials, Volume, Bite (tone) and Gain, allow players to ‘rev their engine’. The pedal really excels when played through an amp’s clean channel, even ones with a bright cap. Low gain and high volume makes for a clean boost, pushing amps over the edge into classic overdrive. Armed with one of these, players can be transported back to the fast and furious seventies feeling the heat as this hot rod pedal drives relentlessly forward to produce the closest thing to the buzz of being a real getaway driver.

This pedal is great……..it sounds like vintage Orange’ observed Damon Fox The Cult/ Big Elf.

The Fur Coat can be powered by 9 or 12V DC. Running at 12V increases the headroom and the output volume available. It draws very little current, less than 5mA allowing for a long battery life. The Getaway Driver can be powered by 9 or 12V DC. At 9Vs the pedal has the characteristics of EL84 valves, whereas 12Vs gives it a EL34 flavour.

To find out more about the Fur Coat and the Getaway Driver guitar pedals please go to https://orangeamps.com/ and also check out our new YouTube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0e7-5zEL5s&list=PLA620E1C3C54EBC0A

 

Tim Ireland has been appointed as OMEC’s (Orange Music Electronic Company) new Managing Director with effect from August 21st. This role includes global responsibilities for the whole group and the mission to drive the company forward in an ever changing industry. The appointment comes after an extensive search to find the right person with the appropriate skills and experience. Tim has over fifteen years experience in audio in a variety of senior roles including CEO of Meridian Audio and Head of Product Design at Bowers & Wilkins. He brings a wealth of global understanding and operational expertise to the role as well as a thorough understanding of the product.

His credentials are supported by a successful commercial background, involving setting policy structure and implementation of distribution channels and strategies globally as well as securing lucrative business to business licensing contracts.

Quote from Tim Ireland:
“I am looking forward to my role as Managing Director with a company with the heritage and reputation that Orange holds in the music industry,” said Tim. “My aim will be to grow the brand even further, ensuring we deliver the best service possible to our ever expanding customer base.”

Cliff Cooper, Founder & CEO:
“On behalf of Orange Amplification it is with great pleasure that we can announce the appointment of Tim as our new MD. His experience, dedication and leadership were key points for our selection and we wish him the very best in his new appointment.”

First day on the road with Radio Moscow and I’m currently on the verge of dying from alcohol poisoning and bad decisions.

Kicking it all off, they played a sold out show at London’s Borderline last night supported by the legendary Groundhogs, and I must say, having the Groundhogs supporting you is pretty damn cool – and pretty damn brave as those guys can tear shit up and have been doing so for decades, even before any of the Moscow dudes were born. It was my third time ever seeing Groundhogs, and needless to say, they left big boots to fill. Luckily, Radio Moscow are pretty damn great too and had every mind in there blown within the first song. It was my first time ever seeing them, and I’m stoked I get to see them again tonight. And tomorrow. And Thursday. Then twice again in October. That’s right, no getting rid of me now for these dudes.

Following last night’s gig I spilled an entire bottle of ranch over myself backstage before venturing next door to the dingiest dive bar of them all, Crobar. A place you go to lose your dignity, memory and personal belongings, and it might not come as a surprise that it’s all a bit of a blur after that. Cans of red stripe, hotel hallway vending machine bags of crisps, listening to Dirty Tricks and falling asleep on the floor. So far I think I’ve made a great impression on everyone, and it’s going really great.

Most of today has been spent in the van feeling horrendously hungover, with the highlight of the day being a pit stop at some pub in Kent which hosts Freddie Mercury, Michael Bublé, Elvis, and of course – white Tina Turner tribute nights. Next level entertainment right there, so I shall be returning once I’m sick and tired of this San Diego psych rock and in the mood for an upgrade.

As for now, we’ve just arrived in Hastings to find the venue being on the second floor, and had to load in a bunch of amps up through three flights of stairs, and as you all know, Orange amps are good as gold, but god damn heavy as led. Still, spirits are high, and as I type the guys are setting up and getting ready to soundcheck. Tomorrow we’re at The Exchange in Bristol, followed by The Castle and Falcon in Birmingham on Thursday, and I’m hoping for lifts and no condiment spillage.

Describe Orange Amps in 10 Words or Less! You don’t even have to own an Orange. We just want to know what you think about our brand – good or bad!

The First Place Winner will be awarded the Ultimate Orange Pedal Board based on the creativity of their description. Runners Up will have their name and description featured in our upcoming pedal marketing video (scheduled for release in September).

First place winner will record a scripted audio message for inclusion in the video.