Tag Archives: Amped

Amped: Is This The UK’s Next Big Rock Show?

The UK underground music scene is arguably the strongest it’s been in decades, even despite the pandemic. In order to highlight it, the amazing Anne Estrella put in a LOT of work to try and bring something special back to the fans – a format that hasn’t been around for a while in the genre to get some much needed exposure on the scene. Putting on a pilot for a TV show is a mammoth task – especially when that involves getting a film crew, a crowd AND three bands down to the same place at the same time and it all going off smoothly. I would say that they managed that and more.

Held in the awesome Waterloo Music Bar in Blackpool, the Lemmy-obsessed establishment is the perfect venue for a rock show. With posters and gig memorabilia plastered across every wall in the place, as well as there being alcohol from the likes of Motorhead, Iron Maiden and Kiss all to hand, this is definitely the most suited venue for gig I’ve ever seen!

The night kicked off with a short speech from Anne and her co-host, the ever-charismatic Brad Marr, before the opening video above kicked us off. Then came the first of the three bands on that night (all of which were surprises to the audience, I might add), the awesome Gorilla Riot.

Photo by conbotherwayhill

The heavy blues-rock band swaggered onto the stage like the very spirit of rock’n’roll personified. Bringing a bottle of Jack on stage with them to share before launching into one hell of a set full of huge, chunky riffs, catchy vocals, and plenty of swearing and attitude. Oh, and pyro too – we had pyro at such a small venue! Scared the crap out of the crowd most times it went off, but boy was it awesome. The five of them (three guitarists for the optimal crunch, I’m sure) rocked through a short-ish set that was very well received by the crowd before the show hurried along to its next act… the always awesome Bastette!

Now, this is the FOURTH time I’m speaking about this band since the start of September, after first having seen them at Rockin’ The Bowl and then two sets at Hard Rock Hell. You’d think I’d have gotten bored of talking about them by now, but I have to say that they only seem to be getting better and better each time. I will stress that I have said countless times at this point that they are going to be the next big thing, and I feel like I have to say it here too. All of them have developed into more competent, charismatic and confident musicians in such a short space of time. I can’t even begin to imagine what level they will be at in a couple of years.

Photo by conbotherwayhill

Last up we got the awesome Stevie R Pearce and the Hooligans. The veteran punk rocker brought the thunder through his entire set, having the crowd in the palm of his hand throughout as he rattled off some of his biggest hits. He was another that oozed charisma, a great thing when this is hopefully ending up on TV!

Photo by conbotherwayhill

Outside of the music itself, we got to chat to a lot of the people involved, from Gorilla Riot and Bastette to Anne and Brad and even Revival Black, who were there supporting the show as fans. Keep an eye out on our socials for more Amped updates and some interesting behind-the-scenes content.

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“I want to melt the faces at home”: Brand new TV show ‘Amped’ is set to bring rock music to the masses

The pilot of the brand-new music show ‘Amped’ is set to be filmed in November this year at the Waterloo Music Bar in Blackpool, hosted by journalist Anne Estella and frontman Brad Marr.

Completely unscripted, the programme is designed to capture the energy and the atmosphere of a live rock show as well as put emerging young talent on centre stage. Amped is all about supporting and broadcasting up-and-coming UK rock, covering different branches of the genre.

“It’s all about the new talent”

The programme will feature three new wave rock bands in every episode. Filmed as a live gig with behind-the-scenes interviews, the show’s loose structure will allow viewers to get a down-to-earth perspective of bands and artists before, during and after their performance.

Anne Estella said: “Rock TV shows have been going since back in the day. We all grew up with one, anyone from my generation and older, but the current generation doesn’t have one. I want to see new rock bands on TV and so I made it my mission – that’s what I was going to do.”

“I’m hoping for a couple of surprises and something a little bit different than your average gig.”

With an extensive history in the music scene, Anne Estella described Brad Marr as the ideal partner to host with due to his interest and knowledge of the UK rock community.

Brad Marr has some background in radio and TV when he lived in Australia, but Amped is set to bring on a new and exciting dynamic for the singer.

Talking about the inspiration and the driving force behind Amped, Brad Marr said: “There’s social media, there’s YouTube. But what’s better than just having to search for it? Having a central location where you can click on and watch a TV show and find something new without having to search for it. We bring it to the people so that’s the reason.”

When asked why is now the right time for a rock show like Amped, Anne Estella said: “I feel there’s been a real evolution, especially in the UK, with a new wave of classic rock. It started in 2017 and it’s become a genre in itself which is incredible, and so many people are really backing it up. We’re seeing it now but it’s still a very small community compared to other genres, for example. Writing is something I’ve done for a long time and I’ve got my YouTube channel and Brad’s got his podcast. 

“I always felt there must be something more and now is the time to do it. We’ve got the most amazing talented bands over here. If not now, when are we going to do it? Now’s the time.”

“Every time you go there it feels like home”

The first episode of Amped will be filmed at the Waterloo Music Bar in Blackpool which is promoted as “a venue for musicians ran by musicians.”

Brad Marr said: “I think the Waterloo is perfect for what we’re doing because it’s a musicians bar run by musicians for musicians. Their entire set up is for musicians. They could make a lot more money if they spent more money on food or whatever they wanted to, but they want to be a band venue and that’s exactly what this TV show is about – supporting the bands. It’s a match made in heaven.

“I’ve made a lot of drunken bad decisions in the Waterloo many times and even though it’s a long way from home for me, every time you go there it feels like home because it’s a musician’s place. It’s exactly what musicians need when they’re on the road. It’s this cool home-like pub that you know supports musicians so it’s perfect for us.”

Want to get involved with Amped? You can.

In the future, there might even be an application process in place for bands, artists and their biggest fans worldwide to put new talent forward to be included in the programme.

Anne Estella said: “I don’t have any specific bands in mind. If they’re good they’re good, right? It can be a tiny band that nobody’s heard of or it can be bigger bands. I don’t want anyone too big because that’s not the point of the show. We want to be supportive of the up and coming talent. Each time for each episode I want it to be a nice selection of different styles within the rock genre which we definitely have for the pilot.”