I always love finding new music that is close to my hometown, it gives me a sense of pride that I can show off talented people from the small part of England that I’m from. In the past I have sung the praise of bands such as Luna Blue, Blue Eyed Giants and Wild Front respectively; but with these bands being from Brighton and Southampton, which evidently are both on the south coast of England they are still about an hour or so drive from my actual hometown of Bexhill. So you can imagine my excitement when I came across a band that is a 15 minute drive ( on a good day ) from Bexhill they are Stagg Collins.
Coming from the seaside town of Eastbourne and the small town of Hailsham, Russel Collins and Aaron Stagg met in school playing in bands since they were 16 years old from there they have been inseparable even when Aaron went off to the RAF due to the passion they share for music. For those who are not familiar with Eastbourne as a seaside town, it is sometimes known as “ God's waiting room” due to the number of old people living there, a term that I am very familiar with. Having slamming songs in Aarons dingy basement and playing around town together the band tend to send over songs remotely to each other now due to being in different places and you know Covid and what not. It was here, Stagg & Collins found their folky rock sound we hear today.
As most bands are aware, it can be very difficult to find a distinctive sound. I think it comes with maturity and hours and hours of honing on your craft, but with these guys, there is definitely an acoustic rock feel as Russel likes to explain “bringing an acoustic rock vibe with an intention to have bold, powerful lyrics and melodies that offer sound to your ears”. With both members having the sense that bands starting out now are worried about committing to a sound description, Stagg & Collins are fine with being described as folk/rock. With this, the south-east boys take inspiration from the likes of Mercury Rev, Bob Dylan and Tim Buckley as well as more traditional rock bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana, which is interesting given the music they play. Who says grunge rockers can't be calm and relaxed? Though you have to admit a sound that mixes Nirvana and Tim Buckley does sound like a lot of fun.
Russel and Aaron bring us there beautiful melodic track ‘Will You Watch Me’. Having been released back in February ‘Will You Watch Me’ is a song that Russel write in mind for a large audience to be involved in, jokingly he mansions that “ the first line: 'I see you under the spotlight, put your hands in the air' could be interpreted as being caught by the law” obviously that’s not the intention. Lyrically it’s sound Russel has that husky voice that is so captivating it makes you hang onto every word until Aarons drum beat comes in to set the mood to back up the silky folky strings of the guitar. The track gives off an energy that should surround an arena of people clapping slowly to Aaron and singing along with Russel. I can’t be the only one really missing live music at the moment.
‘Will You Watch Me’ is a triumph and easily one of the most beautiful pieces of music we have heard in a long time. Recording for a new EP will happen in May, and then with news of live music making a return in June-July, we will see them back on stage doing what they do best. Trust us you WILL want to see these guys live, if ‘Will You Watch Me’ is anything to go by seems like it would be a heck of a show. Check out the track below.