In our ongoing Ones To Watch feature, we shine the spotlight on a fast-rising rock bands that demand your undivided attention. This week it’s Gorilla Riot!
Gorilla Riot are Arjun Bhishma (vocals/guitar), Liam Henry (guitar/vocals), Charly T. (guitar/vocals), James Degnen (bass) and Will Lewis (drums).
Hailing from sunny Manchester, the brilliantly monikered Gorilla Riot proudly describe themselves as ‘a dirty rock n’ roll blues machine.’ Utilising a three-strong guitar attack and multi-part vocal harmonies, the band’s riotous sounds are firmly entrenched in high-octane blues rock, however elements of grunge, stoner rock, and even country form part of their wide-ranging musical palate.
Founded by frontman and lynchpin Arjun Bhishma back in 2014, the band’s early releases (Gorilla Riot LP in 2014 and the Six Shots Down EP in 2016) perfectly showcased their embryonic talents, before the three-track ‘American Honey Vol 1’ landed last year. A tight-knit and powerful live force, last summer they played The Rising Stage at Ramblin’ Man Fair after winning the public vote and since then they’ve toured the length and breadth of the UK and beyond continuing to finely hone their craft. In fact, we’ve been so won over by their talents we snapped them up to co-headline the Planet Rock Roadstars tour alongside Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones and Piston this October.
Gorilla Riot recently announced that they have signed a two album deal with Off Yer Rocka Recordings, with the first record due to land in November. Following March’s ‘Half Cut’, as another tantalising taster for the record, Gorilla Riot will unleash the rip-roaring single ‘Young Guns’ on Friday 12th July.
Bhishma explains: “The song is about an adventure I had when I was living up in Edinburgh. I lived a ludicrous life up there with my mates. This song was a way for me to remember those hazy days with admiration. All we had was the next party, who knows where we would end up?
“It has a straight up rock 'n' roll riff that I came up with whilst messing around with a few licks on the guitar. I felt an Aerosmith vibe from it so I took the whole song in that direction. As a band we stuck to that feel, whilst still sounding like us. The chorus and chords are simple and memorable - it's a feel-good rock tune.”
Watch the recently premiered ‘Young Guns’ lyric video here:
Gorilla Riot play a series of shows supporting Massive this July before heading out on the Planet Rock Roadstars Tour in the autumn.
See them at the following shows:
Edinburgh Bannermans Bar – Tue 16th (w/ Massive)
Newcastle Trillians – Wed 17th (w/ Massive)
Grimsby Yardbirds – Thu 18th (w/ Massive)
Doncaster Woolpack – Fri 19th (w/ Massive)
Wolverhampton Giffard Arms – Sat 20th (w/ Massive)
Nottingham The Old Cold Store – Mon 22nd (w/ Massive)
Bridgend Hobos – Tue 23rd (w/ Massive)
Bridgwater The Cobblestones – Wed 24th (w/ Massive)
Southampton The Joiners – Thu 25th (w/ Massive)
Reading The Facebar – Fri 26th (w/ Massive)
Elland The Meeting Room – Sat 27th
Northwich Rockwich Festival – Sun 25th
Sheffield HRH CROWS Festival – Sun 8th
OCTOBER 2019 - Planet Rock Roadstars Tour
Chester Live Rooms – Thu 3rd
Manchester Rebellion – Fri 4th
Birmingham Flapper – Sat 5th
Norwich Waterfront Studio – Sun 6th
Newcastle The Cluny – Tue 8th
Leeds Lending Room – Wed 9th
Bristol Exchange – Thu 10th
London O2 Islington Academy 2 – Fri 11th