Medway-Swansea four-piece Mourning Birds are Sam Mitchell (drums/vocals), Bill Williams(bass guitar), Jimmy Gilder (guitar/vocals) and Rhys Downing (rhythm guitar, vocals).
Soon after the world allegedly ended in 2012, Mourning Birds ‘stumbled together’ and began writing and rehearsing. By the following summer, Sam, Bill and Jimmy were entertaining passengers up and down the Southeastern Main Line with raucous White Stripes covers. By the end of the year they were a real band, introducing themselves publicly with ‘Oh Yeh’ – 105 seconds of garage-rock bedlam, released on independent label The Preservation Society Presents.
“Garage rock at its best. It slapped me in the face and begged me to reach out for the replay button – again and again!” (BBC Fresh On The Net)
“Packs a punch like a prizefighter on meth.” (Little Indie Blogs)
If their December 2013 launch gig at the Camden Monarch was anything to go by, they’d won at least a coach-load of fans by this point.
2014 saw the band recording their debut album, ‘Exile’ with producer Rhys Downing (The Subways, Pete Doherty). The result brings out the ‘festival main stage’ potential in their dynamic sound. That spring, second single ‘Eve of the Isle’ was released, accompanied by the 70s rock tinged ‘Town on Fire’. It ignited more awesome reactions from Radio 1 Punk Show, 6Music, BBC Introducing, Amazing Radio and UK and US independent radio plays. It was a public vote winner at Tom Robinson’s Freshnet and Track of the Day at various blogs.
“Like The Cure on a date night with Nirvana” (Little Indie Blogs)
“I hear Nirvana, I see Nicky Wire” (Music Scenes)
With no two gigs the same, the band have earned a reputation as upstart troublemakers in the vanguard of a British rock resurgence. That reputation has won them festival slots and shows with Slaves and Little Matador (Snow Patrol/Idlewild supergroup), as well as a record deal with Japanese label P-Vine. Autumn 2014 was spent holed up with Rhys Downing at Foel Studios in Wales completing the ‘Exile’ album.
Third single ‘Breathe’ garnered more positive reviews, continuing through 2015 with the free track ‘Exile’ and videos for ‘Leave Me Alone’ and ‘The Last Thing (I Need)’.
Once 2015’s festival season was over, Mourning Birds retreated to the rehearsal studio with producer Rhys Downing joining as a full member, backing Jimmy up on rhythm guitar and vocals. New songs and new sounds were heard escaping from their Medway enclave.
In 2016, three lads who stumbled together recast themselves as a dynamic, powerful four-piece garage rock machine. With a classic release, instinctive musicality and live unpredictability, Mourning Birds are one of the country’s most exciting prospects.
- Kill What You Want
- I’m Sick
- Oh Yeh!
- Eve of the Isle
- Come Back
- The Last Thing (I Need)
- Leave Me Alone
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“Something has happened to transform them from mere rabble rousing rebels without much of a clue into a keenly focussed class act.”. . . ‘This is an invigorating debut brimming with spontaneity and guts. Watch them fly.” (Ben Wilmott, God Is In The TV)
“British balls-out garage-rock that picks you up, slams you over its knee, slaps your arse red and makes you run for it” (NME)
“Mourning Birds have been exciting me more and more with each single release, and the word is that they have their debut album ready to go, sometime in early 2015. They specialise in 2- to 3-minute trashy/grungy garage rock outs, and these guys have the potential to be huge.” (Andy Runacres, Little Indie Blogs)
Mourning Birds are
Rhys Downing – guitar, vocals
Jimmy Gilder – lead guitar, lead vocals
Sam Mitchell – drums, vocals
Bill Williams – bass guitar
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