Tue, 15.12.2009
Doors Open: 20:00
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If you?re going to title an album The Best In Town then it?s a good idea to make sure that you <are>> the best in town. The Blackout are in no doubt that this claim ? which also happens to be the title of their new album ? is justified.

?The best way I can describe our new record,? says Gavin, ? is that it is 10 songs that you?re simply not going to be able to get out of your head once you?ve heard them. It is catchy and heavy at the same time, and we think it?s ace.?

The Blackout began life in the Welsh town of Merthyr Tidfil in 2006, coming together from the nucleus of their previous band Ten Minute Preview (the TMP in question being the amount of time granted free on hotel porn channels). Each member had just finished university or college and so the group gave themselves a year in music in order that they could try and make something happen. Put simply, they made something happen.

?For that first year I was definitely more hopeful than confident,? says Gavin. ?But as time went on we could definitely all see that we were onto something.?

They weren?t the only ones. In the summer of 2006, with just one EP release under their belt (The Blackout The Blackout The Blackout, issued through Fierce Panda) the Welsh sextet were invited by their countrymen the Lostprophets to be the main support on that band?s UK tour. As guests of LP, TB played to thousands of people each night up and across the country, including two nights at London?s famous Brixton Academy.

With gathering moment and an expanding fanbase, 2007 saw The Blackout release their first album, We Are The Dynamite, also released on Fierce Panda. Touring in support of this LP saw the band playing all over world, including two visits to Japan. They performed acclaimed and applauded sets at the Leeds and Reading festivals (introduced by DJ Colin Murray as ?six self-professed cunts from Merthyr Tidvil?). The sextet also supported Linkin Park as part of the Californians? Project Evolution package, a bill that included the pop rock Gods N.E.R.D. After one show Sean Smith introduced himself to Pharrel Williams only to come away from the encounter with the superstar?s mobile phone number.

?I thought ?there?s no way that?s his real number,?? laughs Smith. ?But then he only went and sent me a text! I couldn?t believe it.?

By the time 2008 came by The Blackout had many other claims to fame beneath their belt, including their own headline appearance at the now demolished London Astoria. It was by now, though, time to start thinking about writing and recording the follow up to We Are The Dynamite. After filing their collection of new material down to 10 knockout songs the band decamped to Sonic Ranch Studios in El Paso, Texas, under the wing of British producer and A member Jason Perry. These desert sessions not only produced The Best In Town but also secured the band a record deal with the famous Epitaph label, who signed the sextet on the strength of these recordings.

?The Blackout have delivered an amazing record,? says Epitaph President ?Mr Brett? Gurewitz (the man who formed the label in 1981 in order to release records by his band Bad Religion), ?and I expect these guys to make a huge leap forward this year. I?m thrilled to have them on the label.?

For their part The Blackout are thrilled to be on the label too, having turned down the advances of at least one major label in order to sign a deal with the world?s coolest independent imprint.

?There really was no question of who we should sign with,? says Gareth, The Blackout?s myopic tubthumper. ?Epitaph were clearly the ones who wanted us the most. We didn?t even have to think about it, really.?

The Best In Town is released in Europe on May 25th and the following month in the United States. The band?s bassist, Rhys, has now rejoined the band after suffering a head injury earlier this year. The Blackout have also shot a video for the song Children of The Night in Los Angeles, and this summer the group will link up with the annual US punk rock caravan that is the Warped Tour.

It looks like being a hell of year. Because with The Best In Town, the boys from The Blackout are back in town.

Link: http://www.myspace.com/theblackout

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