donnie Willow Tour June 17

Donnie Willow / Rory Indiana / Tirade

Alma Inn, Bolton, UK

17th June 2016

Rating: 3.5/5



Donnie Willow Alma Rory Indiana 2Bolton is one of many satellite towns that are scattered across the edges of Greater Manchester, despite being away from the bright lights of the city centre there is a no less a thriving music scene with the added bonus of many venues offering free shows from up and coming bands, and tonight is one of those nights where you can see two promising acts from the other side of the UK. Scotland’s Donnie Willow and Brighton’s Rory Indiana are coming towards the end of a brief UK tour showcasing their heavyweight alt rock sounds on a co-headlining tour, with Donnie Willow touring in support of the Exhibition EP that was released earlier this month.
Donnie Willow Alma Tirade 1The Alma Inn is a compact venue, to put it mildly, with the bands playing in a small space which is weirdly lower than the bar area offering some unique vantage points, weirdly for a warm summers evening the small outdoor stage isn’t utilised meaning we’re packed into the tiny room ensuring the bar staff are kept busy. Tirade are opening the evening, they are the local addition to tonight’s line up and they bring a touch of northern spirit to the evening. There is a sparse turnout early in the evening despite the offer of free music, presumably due to the temptation of beer gardens and barbecues, and this leads to a delayed start to tonight’s show and it’s late in the evening when Tirade finally take to the stage to play a brief muscular set of pop punk infused alt rock.
Donnie Willow Alma Tirade 2One thing that immediately strikes you is that this is a refreshingly loud venue compared to many I encounter where noise regulations mean you can hear everyone else’s conversation, that is not an issue tonight as any kind of vocal communication is impossible whilst the bands are playing. The upbeat feel of the songs is underpinned by pulverising bass lines and beats and the their songs veer between the heavier end of pop punk and head into hardcore intensity, all of which is underpinned by a solid spine of alt rock. Tonight’s set gives me the feeling that Tirade are a band to watch, and with a new EP in the works they are a band who have youth and talent on their side, and I have the distinct feeling that we’ll be hearing a lot more from them in the coming years.
Donnie Willow Alma Rory IndianaAs the sun goes down on Bolton the venue starts to become a little busier indicating my suspicions about the beer garden and barbecues were well founded and this brings the first of the co-headliners, Rory Indiana, who deliver a set of crunching straight up melodic alt rock. Rory Indiana bring a different element to the line up as they offer a more anthemic feel than Tirade‘s opening salvo and you feel that their brand of intense alt rock is one that deserves to be heard in grander venues, and to bigger crowds. New material is showcased, including the impressive Pink Cloud, and my personal highlight, the wonderfully titled Brexism, that indicates that the UK’s grass roots alt rock scene is thriving and their new single, Tough Love, brings things to a heartfelt and intense finale.
Donnie Willow 1As we approach the witching hour Donnie Willow take to the stage, the Glaswegian trio bring a more stripped down intense and raw approach than their co-headliners and as good as their recently releases Exhibition EP was they are a band that should be experienced live. Such is the depth of influences in their sound they are hard to pin down, punk attitudes, alt rock intensity, post hardcore breakdowns and even Beatlesque melodies are present in their set, although the latter of these elements is delivered in a way that is far removed from their origins, and are hammered home in a pulverising and intense set that, like every band on tonight’s bill, demonstrates the diversity of the bands in the UK’s music scene.
Donnie Willow 2For me Tirade edged it s my favourite act tonight, their mix of influences and youthful energy and enthusiasm provided something unique in tonight’s line up, but that’s no disrespect to the co-headliners who both provided full blooded sets of alt rock to a sparsely attended venue, and that to me is where the problem lies, if people don’t attend local shows, especially when free, then we are in danger of losing these kinds of venues. For me spaces like The Alma Inn need to be supported as they provide a valuable opportunity for bands to showcase their material and gain exposure, venues such as these are in many ways the backbone of the grass roots alternative music scenes, it’s up to us to use them or we face losing them, and when they’re gone it’s doubtful anything will replace them.
Donnie Willow Alma end shotDonnie Willow‘s website is here 
You can read The Punk Site review of Donnie Willow‘s Exhibition EP here
Rory Indiana‘s website can be found here
Tirade‘s Facebook page is here and their Bandcamp is here
Live photography is by Dean Unsworth, his Instagram account is located here
You can click on any of Dean’s photos to view a slide show of the images
Donnie Willow Exhibition

Donnie Willow


Sunbird Records

Rating: 3.5/5




Scotland’s Donnie Willow will be releasing their latest EP, Exhibition, on the 9th June via Sunbird Records, their latest release follows on from their critically acclaimed 2016 mini album, Inhale Exhale. Donnie Willow have been building a reputation through relentless touring and explosive live shows and have been steadily attracting an increasing level of exposure on national radio and in print, the release of their latest EP, and the accompanying UK tour, can only build on the buzz around this Glaswegian trio.

Exhibition is an impressive, heartfelt and varied four tracks of alt rock that boasts intricate guitar lines and interwoven vocal harmonies that crash into expansive choruses. The EP kicks off with a squall of feedback that becomes the heavyweight riff of Stuck, this is a track that carries a hefty level of alt rock grunt and is the perfect opener before the darker and heavier Blessed Company kicks in. Toys continues with the darker feel of the EP before the more melodic closing track, I Still Remember, eases you out of the Exhibition with the most radio friendly moment on the EP.

This is a heavyweight EP of alt rock that largely avoids the clichés of many of their peers, and you get the impression that Donnie Willow are a band that forge their own path, Exhibition is an original EP that combines post hardcore rage with a slick alt rock delivery to produce an impressive and hard hitting four track EP. Donnie Willow cite the likes of Reuben, Glassjaw, Deftones, Arcane Roots, Basement and Tubelord as influences, and if you’re in anyway a fan of those bands then you’ll need become acquainted with Donnie Willow as the Exhibition EP indicates that the Glaswegian trio are on course to exceed the achievements of the bands that inspired them.

You can order the Exhibition EP from the 9th June via Sunbird Records here

Donnie Willow‘s website can be found here and their Bandcamp is here

Donnie Willow Reveal ‘Toys’ Video And UK Tour Dates

Donnie Willow ExhibitionGlaswegian alt-rockers Donnie Willow have today revealed the stop motion video for Toys, the track is taken from Donnie Willow‘s forthcoming EP, Exhibition, that is set for release on 9th June 2017 via Sunbird Records, the EP will be released digitally and on limited edition 10″ vinyl, and is now available for pre-order.

You can pre-order the Exhibition EP here

You can view the video for Toys, and Donnie Willow‘s tour dates, below Read More…

Glaswegian Alt Rockers ‘Donnie Willow’ Announce New EP

Donnie Willow ExhibitionAfter recently supporting their hotly-tipped Scots comrades Vukovi on tour, Glaswegian alt-rockers Donnie Willow have announced that their new EP, Exhibition, will be released on the 9th June 2017 via Sunbird Records, the band have also released a stream of the first single from the EP, Blessed Company. Citing the likes of Reuben, Glassjaw, Deftones, Arcane Roots, Basement, Tubelord and TTNG as influences, it’s immediately clear from their new material that Donnie Willow have every intention of being every bit as vital as the bands they idolise.

Donnie Willow‘s website is here and you can stream Blessed Company here