Platform Music Festival 16th July - The Shires warm up for Watching Planes!

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Watching Planes are influenced by the melodic side of British indie, as well as classic pop & rock, and have amassed a huge 'back catalogue' of songs: an eclectic bag of irresistibly melodic tunes with rich vocal harmony, tasteful arrangements and insightful lyrics.

"With their modern-day 'White Album' feel it's hardly surprising industry pros and local impresarios alike have drawn parallels with the likes of Paul McCartney, Squeeze and Crowded House." - Wokingham Festival website

Veteran producer Stuart Epps (Elton John, Led Zeppelin, George Harrison, Oasis, Robbie Williams) told us: "Nice and McCartney-ish. Very good songs, these! I like this stuff, right up my street - you're very talented.” 

We've had a few Industry offers (including from Live and Unsigned) as well as reviews, and have made the Finals of an international song competition on several occasions - see below for more quotes.

The band will play Platform Festival in Yorkshire on 16th July alongside Badly Drawn Boy, The Shires and Gretchen Peters. They were also penultimate act before 60s covers band The Fliks closed Wokingham festival last year.

The Wokingham Paper published this glowing review of the band's performance at Wokingham Festival -

"WATCHING WATCHING PLANES - The band lit up the stage with their energetic set as the sun went down on the final day of the Festival... a sixties vibe with a Britpop twist."

And this is what one London-based sound engineer who wanted to work with us said he was looking for (and what we aspire to...) "Original and jaw-dropping composition and writing... strong harmonic progressions, catchy hooks, poetic, thoughtful lyrics, an amazing voice and great harmonies."

WP to play to the same crowd in the same space as these great bands!

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Platform lineup
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Gig in the Sky - 9th July

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On Saturday 9th July we're presenting Gig in the Sky - a one-day festival at The Jolly Angler's, Kennetside, Reading, featuring local bands such as The Zone, and The Jetstream, culminating in performances by Let it Beatle! and Selina and the Howlin' Dogs as well as smaller, acoustic acts. Here's a map of RG1 3EA.
Click poster to read about Let it Beatle! and listen to covers of Drive My Car, Get Back & Don't Let Me Down.

Facebook takes you to the event page.

Press coverage - Gig in the Sky Festival

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News

Latest news... Watching Planes are very excited to be playing Platform Festival, Yorkshire, alongside Badly Drawn Boy, The Shires and Gretchen Peters on Saturday 16th July.

And a week prior (on Saturday 9th July) we're presenting Gig in the Sky - a one-day festival at The Jolly Angler's, Kennetside, Reading, featuring local bands such as The Zone, and The Jetstream, culminating in performances by Let it Beatle! and Selina and the Howlin' Dogs as well as smaller, acoustic acts. Here's a map of how to get to RG1 3EA.

We've also had a call from Matt Allwright's Saturday Solution show on BBC Radio asking us to come in for an acoustic session, date TBC. Matt is well-known for his TV work on programmes like Rogue Trader, Watchdog, Fake Britain, Food Inspectors and The One Show.

The band has just had a track aired on Radio Woking, and Kristian was interviewed by Artist BR James and also played an acoustic track live. Now the band have been invited back to the studio later in 2016 for a live lounge session. Recently, BR James picked Watching Planes to play at his 'Innovative and Unique' Showcase in Fleet's Harlington Centre.

Watching Planes entertained crowds at Wokingham Festival last summer with a one-hour set on the evening of Sunday 30th August, playing brand-new songs 'Julietta', 'Looking for Laura' and 'War's Won' as well as newly arranged material. The band was penultimate act before 60s covers band The Fliks closed the festival.

The Wokingham Paper published this glowing review of the band's performance at Wokingham Festival -

"WATCHING WATCHING PLANES - The band lit up the stage with their energetic set as the sun went down on the final day of the Festival... a sixties vibe with a Britpop twist."

See opposite for the showreel video by Sean Nelson Productions comprising highlights of the festival, which opens with Watching Planes (19 seconds in) and closes with The Fliks. There's also a video of 'The Answer (Shangri-La)'.

The band were also headline local act on a 5,000-capacity stage at Gig on the Green, Yateley Music Festival in 2014 having been hand-picked by the organisers as the best local band they could find. The set included several then newly penned songs including 'Lefty Lucy', Song of Siam' and 'Hit and Run'.

Stage presenter, Neil Samuels (who told us recently that organiser Colin Ive was keen to bill the band again in the future), excitedly told Kris as the band finished their set:

"Really, really good set - I really love your voice as well - I've had some great feedback already! Apart from the obvious Beatles influence I can hear Crowded House... and you remind me a bit of Squeeze!"

We also played Weyfest as a five-piece in 2013 to good reviews, on a smaller stage.

Reviews

"Pretty amazing songwriter... Beautiful songs."
Matt Sage (The Catweazle Club, Oxford).

“You sound like a young Paul McCartney… you have a rare talent. Wonderful music.”
Matt Saunders (Weyfest & Open Mic).

"My favourite performance of the night... Passes the ‘Old Grey Whistle’ test!”
Vic Cracknell (Weyfest Rustic Stage & Vic's Buskers open mic).

"Nice and McCartney-ish. Very good songs, these! I like this stuff, right up my street - you're very talented.”
Stuart Epps (Elton John, Led Zeppelin, George Harrison, Oasis, Robbie Williams).

"8/10... Interesting chord sequence and a memorable tune. Sounds a bit like Paul McCartney, we think. A very talented man."
Linda Serck (BBC Radio).

"Your tracks are great. You could make an amazing record!"
Tom Knight (Britannia Row Studios).

"Really wish I could write songs like that." - Jonathan Fernando (Wall To Wall TV talent scout for The Voice).

"The songs are excellent! But just remember, A&R is nothing to do with how good music is... The major music business has lost its way, no question."
Fran Ashcroft (Gorillaz, Dandy Warhols).

"I am seriously keen on getting behind you as an artist. I could get you a deal with an indie label."
Mike Puskas (Producer, Independent Label).

"I'm pleased to say we are interested in your songs - let me know what kind of deal you're looking for!"
David Buskell (World Domination Music).

"It's our intention to sign you."
Ben Price / Chris Grayston (Live & Unsigned / Head of A&R, Future Music Management).

"Nice things indeed here on this page. I am definitely thrilled by the McCartney ingredient here and the songs are lovely."
Filippo Gaetani (Producer).

"Think 'Dragon's Den' ... You and I create a product that we interest an investor in."
James Sanger (Keane, Dido).

"It's good to work on some interesting songs for a change!"
Ian Catt (Mercury Prize Nominee, Saint Etienne).
Logo & Poster - design with Rowena Canning using stock photography.

Logo & Poster - design with Rowena Canning using stock photography.

More Reviews...

"Yeah, it's all really good songs, with pretty nice arrangements, colours and taste! I'm really enjoying the 60s vibe with the Britpop twist. Your music, it's totally my cup of tea."
Jean-Baptiste Pilon (Freelance producer).

"Where did you find those amazing chords? Well, they're yours now - great songs!"
Dennis Ward (Central Studio, Basingstoke).

"Original and jaw-dropping composition and writing... strong harmonic progressions, catchy hooks, poetic, thoughtful lyrics, an amazing voice and great harmonies."
(London-based sound engineer).

"Very 'Crowded House'."
"Great chord changes, really unexpected. You'd sound like Nirvana if you sped it up!"

"You remind me of Squeeze."
Woody's Open Mic. (Farnborough).

"Great harmonies!" - Jamie Bowden
"Good songs, really enjoyed your set!" - Rhys Morgan (Grizzly and the Grasshoppers - Weyfest band).

"Great Beatles-esque tunes from Watching Planes at Weyfest!"
Mark Nelson (Weyfest main stage performer & 'Best Support Act' at the Guildford 'Britz' Music Awards 2010).

"Really enjoyed your set - nice, rich sound with good melodies and instrumentation!"
Catherine Williams (Wychwood - Weyfest band).

"WOW! That really is SOMETHING!"
Sebastian Enraghi (Revolver Entertainment).

"What key were you playing in?!"
Adam Kotz (Newbury Unplugged).

Wokingham Festival 2015 clip of 'Looking Both Ways'

Clip starts at 0.19 - Courtesy Sean Nelson Productions

'The Answer (Shangri-La)' playing Wokinham 2015

Headline local act GotG '14

This photo and 'girls' header photo © 360 Media Studio

This photo and 'girls' header photo © 360 Media Studio

About the Band

Watching Planes is a UK originals band based in the Berkshire/Hampshire/Surrey area around singer songwriter Kristian Wilkins (who, very aptly, lives near Hook) together with his long-standing writing partner and arranger, Duncan Morter.

Over the past decade they've notched up three UK Songwriting Contest Finals places and also had several publishing and album offers on the table (including one having been talent-spotted by Live & Unsigned) prompting them to put together a five-piece band for Weyfest 2013, where Watching Planes played then newly written tunes 'You Don't Have To' and 'Close But No Cigar', amongst other recent material.

In summer 2014, Watching Planes played Yateley Music Festival to an audience of about 3000 featuring as headline local act.

And last summer, they were the penultimate act before the final act, a 60s tribute band, headlined the festival on the closing day.

Watching Planes' material has received BBC and other local radio airplay and has also been covered by local press, and a video is currently being featured on the UKSC YouTube channel.

Go to Passport Control to read some stunning feedback from industry professionals.

Influences span indie, alt-folk as well as classic pop & rock, resulting in an eclectic bag of irresistibly melodic tunes with rich vocal harmony, tasteful arrangements and insightful lyrics that will draw you in, atop sometimes complex and truly unique chord structures.
Watching Planes hook-driven tunes deftly switch between - or seamlessly blend genres. With their modern-day 'White Album' feel it's hardly surprising industry pros and local impresarios alike have drawn parallels with the likes of Paul McCartney, Squeeze and Crowded House. But we feel there's as much in common with the melodic side of British Indie - like Coldplay, Keane and Athlete.

Watching Planes hope to play more festivals and record EPs this year and next, chosen from well over a hundred songs in their catalogue, including the eponymous 'Watching Planes'.

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Photo - Andrea Wilkins

Photo - Andrea Wilkins

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Photo - Andrzej Dworski

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