Having released their debut single ‘Headlights!’ on ifm records in November, Manchester epic rockers Stop The Blackout are taking the music world by storm with bright, modern pop tunes with an experimental twist. ‘Headlights!’ has proved a fantastic premiere for the quartet and has been heavily praised by the likes of NME, Q Radio & BBC Introducing. NME Radio’s Michelle Owen called the track ‘a brilliant, brilliant tune’ and Rik McGee from Pure Radio 107.8 FM hailed the group as ‘a band that has all the skills to become a great international act‘. talkSPORT Radio even used the single’s instrumental as a bed on the Alan Brazil Breakfast Show – audience = 3.4 Million! For their TV debut, the band were interviewed and performed the track live on ESPN’s ‘Talk Of The Terrace’, and filmed an acoustic rendition of ‘Headlights!’ for SportsVibe, a new pilot for Channel 5.
If you’re a sports fan you may have heard ‘Headlights!’ blasted around your team’s stadium as it made its way onto top clubs’ playlists. Producers at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light called Stop The Blackout ‘A promising band for next year’ and West Bromwich Albion producers described the track as ‘Awesome’. The song was played on ITV during Champions League and International matches as well as on British Tour Car Racing – proving television stations really believe in the music. STB’s musical link with sports does not end there… as keen Manchester City supporters they have been lucky enough to perform three times at Manchester City FC, first in collaboration with Key 103 Radio as part of the City Sound initiative (the VIP treatment didn’t go amiss, either!), next at the Player of the Year Awards where the band’s music was played to the entire squad (with the band interviewed alongside the FA Cup!), and finally as part of the Club’s holiday celebrations at City Square. On top of that, Stop The Blackout has a 2 page feature spread in the December issue of ManC, City’s official monthly magazine, and a feature on ‘Football Burp’ talking about the Club.
The guys believe one of the band’s strengths lies within their live set. They have had rave reviews likening them to acts such as Coldplay, Elbow and U2 and dubbing their music ‘anthemic’ and ‘stadium sized’ with ‘glorious epic reservoirs of sound’. They have been chosen to support bands like Editors, One Night Only and Oceansize in the past and play to packed audiences at venues like London’s Club Fandango, Alan McGee’s Greasy Lips Club, Notting Hill Arts Club, Camden Barfly and Manchester’s Ruby Lounge, Moho Live and Academy 2 and 3. The lads recently played alongside The Stranglers, Cast and The Damned at Cumbria’s Solfest Festival.
The lads have been working tirelessly to gain as much exposure as possible by playing acoustic sessions on various radio stations in support of the release such as Wolverhampton’s Beacon FM, Stockport’s Pure FM and NME Radio in Cardiff, showing that these massive songs also work well when stripped back and laid bare. STB are also keeping up with all the latest technology and social media around; prior to the release they rolled out a text messaging service to offer downloads to mobile phones and PCs, and an iPhone app is on the way. And there is plenty more to come – tour and festival dates for the New Year are planned, not to mention another string of acoustic radio sessions. Their hard work looks to be paying off: analytics show ten times the number of visitors checking out Stop The Blackout’s website than last year and the band are getting regular airplay and press coverage.
‘Headlights!’ and follow up single ‘Oxygen’, due out in April 2012, are snapshots of their forthcoming debut album. The album was recorded at Motor Museum Studios, Liverpool with Simon Cullwick, who’s work includes ‘Arctic Monkeys’ & ‘OMD’. Watch this space!