Archive for jez parish

THE TONIKS-“Jealousy” World Premiere.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

toniks3Being the first music writer to receive an advance copy of The Toniks‘ new single, “Jealousy“, was enough to make my day. And then I listened to it. And I listened again. Amazed and impressed, with their permission, I forwarded the track to my friend, Todd Miller of Radio That Doesn’t Suck, host station of the Indie Music Show, New Music Mondays (sponsored by I Can’t Believe My Earz and co-hosted by Bobby Gottesman and Todd Miller), and he agreed to begin playing it as of today.  So, I Can’t Believe My Earz and Radio That Doesn’t Suck, did it first.

toniks2Jealousy rocks. Mark Tonik and Jez Parish continue to write songs with unforgettable melodies and wonderful harmonies. The killer hook, the heavy guitar riff and the almost hypnotizing keyboards work. The drumming impresses. Colin Marshall continues to impress me with his ability to make the complex seem simple. I love his “less is more: style”. The lyric continues in The Tonik fashion of meaningful human existence. The production excels. Nothing missing here. Pure power pop, at its best. It amazes me that these guy just keep getting better! Could just be the best thing to come out of England since The Beatles.

148To hear it, you have to listen in to Radio That Doesn’t Suck on December 16/13 for the world premiere…just before noon, 6pm and 10pm, eastern standard time. If you miss it, don’t worry. Just keep listening. It will be played regularly. Check it out. It will blow you away.

And thanks to Mark, Jez, Tom, Jessica, Colin and Graham, the man behind the scenes, for having the trust and faith to allow me to be the first. As always, it is a pleasure to call you all friends.

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TOUR WITH THE TONIKS-Toronto 2013

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

After months of anticipation and a few days of school girl giddiness, the time had come to hang out with The Toniks. All week, my wife had been informing our friends that “He thinks he’s going to hang out with The Beatles”. What can I say? Was I excited?  Like a pre-pubescent school girl with a new puppy! For 10 days all I drank were Gin & Toniks.

htI take pleasure in knowing that I had some part in bringing The Toniks’ music to Canadian ears. Actually I am proud as hell!  I had found them on the internet and contacted them. I wrote a few articles about their music and over time we became friends. When I learned that the English band were coming to play the legendary Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto to promote their new album, Rise & Shine, I arranged to meet  up with them, get an interview and catch the show.

In doing my research, I discovered that this is the 2nd incarnation of The Toniks. The 1st line-up, included Ollie Smith on drums and Jim O’Neil on keyboards. A 4 track EP was released in 2009 and 2 of the songs, ” Wonderful Then” and “Simple Things” appear on the Rise & Shine album . For the past 9 months, the current 5 members have been touring in England and recording.

We met out front of the bar and decided to conduct the interview over dinner. Jez presented me with a Rise & Shine CD and a t shirt they had made for me.  How cool is that? What a great bunch of guys. And a girl!

Colin Marshall

Colin Marshall

Finding a place to eat was challenging. In the midst of Chinatown, Mark announced he does not like Chinese food. Colin was adamant that he needed grilled chicken and veggies. So we headed out  across Queen St W until Colin found us a restaurant. We settled in, and ordered (yep, Colin got his grilled chicken and veggies). I had prepared 10 questions that I wanted to ask, however after the 1st, the interview took on a life of its own. Incredibly cool. It just naturally flowed. This band was open and honest, appreciative and humble.

Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor

The band informed me that the music industry in England has been decimated by the influence of X-Factor and Simon Cowell. It has become increasingly difficult to even get gigs if you are not an X-Factorite. Canada, they claim, is far more receptive to new bands and music than England. And while they see no changes occurring in the English industry in the foreseeable future, they have no intention of leaving. Not yet anyway. While Colin helped the server clear tables (the guy is so ADHD) Mark and Jez informed me that they are the song writers, and described their relationship with producer/manager Graham Dominy as very positive. “Graham allows us to make our music. He just helps show us how to get it to sound the way we want it to sound.” There is no plan or conscious effort in their song writing. “We don’t sit down and say, well let’s write about this topic or that topic. We just start playing and it just sort of happens”. They do believe that they write positive songs because they are positive people. “I don’t like being down”, Mark says, “so I don’t want to bring others down”. Really cool attitude. One of the most endearing qualities of  this band is that they try to view everything in a positive light.

Jess English

Jess English

It’s a tough haul being a Tonik, though. They have no major iqnrecord deal, and have to cover all expenses out of pocket. They hold down full time jobs and devote as much time as they can to their music. The 5 of them share 1 hotel room. Not so bad since they view the band as family.  “I miss not being with them”, Colin said, “but I miss not being away from them”.  But this is one smart band. They have their own publishing company, and their own record label.  They have learnt all they could about royalties, mechanical rights and return on investment. They get that this is not just music. Its business.

Jez Parish

Jez Parish

I invited my buddy, Todd Miller of Radio That Doesn’t Suck to come down and see the band. I had given him a copy of  the new album and he seemed impressed. We hung out with the band in The Horseshoe for a while, talking about the artists who had played there and our own musical experiences. We sat through 2 opening acts and listened to the band talk about how cool it was that people in Canada move up to the stage. “In London, they move way to the back. That’s just what they do”, Mark told me. It was interesting for me to see Colin’s pre-gig ritual. Drummers tend to be incredibly ritualistic. Colin reads a very special book written by and given to him by a dear friend, Danielle. He sits alone and reads his book. This was the only time I saw him sit still for any length of time.

Tom Yates

Tom Yates

When The Toniks hit the stage, Todd and I were front and centre, taking pictures and shooting video.  I watched the crowd as Scapegoat began, and  everyone was tapping their feet, or dancing, or moving in one way or another. What a great opening song! They morphed into “Wonderful Then” and when it was done, the crowd erupted in applause. I knew it!! The band relaxed, smiled and got down to having fun. Each song they played drew the audience deeper into their world. The band was tight, with spot on harmonies. The vocals rang true, cradled in an almost perfect rendition of each track. You could feel the band’s energy, and you just knew that they were having the time of their lives. I am certain they are like this every time they play.  The Toniks are as much fun to watch as they are to listen to. Not just a studio band, these guys love to entertain, to work an audience.  They closed the set with “Figure It Out“. The audience erupted in chants of  “1 more song! 1 more song!”.  “You And I” was the encore. Killer song.   Killer show!

128I can’t helping really liking this band. Not just the music, or the performance, but the people in the band. Jess, the lone girl, is gentle, quiet and oh, so English. Mark is cerebral and tends to worry and wonder, and reminds me of Ian Hunter.  Jez is animated and quite sardonic in his humor, and very much the musical director of the band. Tom is quiet in his cool. He plays in the Gilmore style of less is more:  No shredding.  Just clean, crisp solos. And Colin, well, Colin has enough energy for his band mates and then some. He is an amazingly gifted drummer who plays with the exuberance of Keith Moon’s  “beat the crap out of my kit” school, but with that same less is more style. I just refer to him as Ringo. And yet these very different personalities have come together in an insanely talented and creative band.  It seems a perfect fit. These guys belong together. They are The Toniks. Their camaraderie, well, let’s call it festive. They like playing together. They like each other. They anticipate each others moves and, at times, finish each others sentences.

148This was their first visit to Canada. They said the Canadian response to their music has been great. “Can you believe people were buying our CDs and asking us to autograph them?” They opened for The Sheepdogs last weekend and played The Horseshoe. Not bad for a first Canadian tour.  Todd Miller was so impressed that he informed them that he was putting their music into regular rotation on Radio That Doesn’t Suck. I am determined to have them return for a longer tour, playing around Southern Ontario. They loved the Horseshoe. They loved Canada. And from what I saw, Canada loved them. Awesome music. Awesome band. Awesome people.  I am proud and thrilled to call them friends.

toniks19The Toniks are:  Mark Taylor–Bass, lead vocals; Jez Parish–Guitar, background vocals; Tom Yates–Guitar; Jess English–Keyboards, background vocals; Colin Marshall–Drums.

You can purchase Rise & Shine on The Toniks website:    http://www.thetoniks.com/riseandshine.php

Very Cool The Toniks Videos:

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THE TONIKS-Rise And Shine

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

It was May 2013, that I first “reviewedThe Toniks. I had stumbled upon this UK band  while traversing the assorted music sites that I regularly search, looking for new music. At the time, they were working on completing their debut album and touring Europe and Canada. I did not get to see them on the Canadian leg of their tour, but I have been following them very closely after making contact with drummer, Colin Marshall.

toniks2And then, two days ago, thanks to Colin, I received my advance copy of the completed album, Rise And Shine. Produced by Graham Dominy and released on the Indie label Smile Records, the album contains ten tracks, six of which I had not heard before.

The title track has been re-mixed. With an almost acapella introduction and the addition of horns and strings, the song has taken on additional layers of pop poetry. The great trademark harmonies, wonderful hook and flawless drumming, had me wondering where the Go Go dancers were. “Won’t Let You Down” , brings subtle keyboards and a great use of harmonics. The catchy melody, augmented by hand clapping,  make this one of the better tunes on the album. The slower tempo of “Figure It Out” maintains an almost ethereal atmosphere when the strings and harmonies are added. The arrangements are wonderfully done as the eternal question “how am I supposed to make you happy, now” is asked. “Weather“, an upbeat number, pokes fun at interpersonal relationships while demonstrating the vocal range of vocalist/bassist, Mark Taylor. A light guitar solo and amazing horns are impeccably placed within the dynamic melody. “Simple Things“, shines with its stand out harmonies and production techniques that appear at unsuspecting moments throughout the tune.  “Never Real“, more of a power pop song, has a grunge feeling but maintains its pop harmonies amid a subtle keyboard influence. The screaming guitar riffs of “Secret’s Safe” create a punk rock song out of a pop melody. toniks3The great drum shots and driving guitars of Jez Parish and Tom Yates give this song the sense of urgency the lyric conveys. “There You Go“, another venture into power pop, uses heavy guitar riffs to drive the melody and counter balance the harmonies.  The 80’s feel of “Scapegoat” allows the band to play with production techniques. With great guitar riffs and a powerful bass line this tune is the darkest song on the album. My favorite track, “Wonderful Then” brings the band back to it classic pop sound. Jessica English‘s subtle keyboards drift throughout the great melody and trademark harmonies. The vocals are standout and the orchestral arrangements are magnificent. The song is a blast. Sort of Squeeze’s Pulling Mussells meets Badfinger’s No Matter What.

Toniks1Rise And Shine is Pop perfection. Not a bad track on the album. It will make you dance. It will make you sing. Best of all, it will make you happy. The song writing is exquisite, with simple lyrics about life and love and human interactions that take one to a more innocent and simple place.  These guys are amazingly talented. The music is insanely great The album is a wonderful time. Slated for a September release, Rise And Shine will be available on itunes and the band’s website.

The Toniks will be in Canada next on September 5, 2013 when they play The Shores of Erie International Wine Festival with The Walkervilles and The Sheepdogs in Amherstburg, On.

To listen to The Toniks, click on the link :http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/fb_share/3345498

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