on this side of the Atlantic, you don’t hear too much about the British town of Reading, apart from the massive music festival that gives youth an annual party outlet. Alas, today we have another reason to be speaking of this city – namely, the introduction to a fabulous band hailing from this territory. Named Rocket Kings, they recently released ‘Paving The Way’ album and today, we have the pleasure of premiering their video for ‘The Yellow Bird of Fortune’, which was created by Lee Waters. Light-hearted and easy on the ears, this song is one of 12 tracks featuring on this album – now turn your eyes towards this delightful video.
Formed in 2016, Rocket Kings is made up of Dave Stewart (ukulele, vocals), Bex Crossland (vocals, ukulele), David Heath (drums), Jess Tuthill (ukulele, vocals), and Yoshiko Nakayama (bass). With three ukuleles in their line-up, along with bass and drums: this is ukepop as you’ve never heard it before!
If Rocket Kings is not already on your radar, time to get them in your ears and onto your playlist. Psst! Spread the word!
“Dave stumbled across the phrase ‘The Yellow Bird of Fortune’ – a yellow bird is commonly believed to be a symbol of positivity and luck – and thought it would make a great song title. The song is written in a way that feels relatable and real. It’s about people and situations you are drawn to that are not good for you or that hurt you. Dave is an eternal optimist (as far as music goes anyway) and so he is always looking to find the best in different situations. He wrote this song about change, grabbing new opportunities and finding happiness,” says Bex Crossland.
“David plays some of his most inspired drumming on this track, which is not surprising as it is his favourite song to play.”
Dave Stewart adds, “Bex will tell you that this is all very well for the optimists, but whilst “the optimists will always keep on smiling, time is ticking away for the rest”. Recording the song was particularly exciting as it is one of two songs on the album that includes trumpet for the first time in the band’s history.”
Earlier, the band shared the singles ‘She’s Going To Mars’ and the title track ‘Paving The Way’. With 12 tracks on offer, this sophomore album presents a fab sound reflecting a blend of The Beautiful South, Teenage Fanclub, Belle and Sebastian and The Cranberries, complemented by a healthy dose of ukuleles, melodies and harmonies.
The new’ album was recorded, engineered, mixed and mastered by Josh McCrohan at Creative Control Studio in Bracknell. Dave Stewart produced this record together with McCrohan, who has become a really important factor in Rocket Kings’ sounds. Having provided professional sound services for Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull, Echo & The Bunnymen, Squeeze, Paul Young and Fairport Convention, among others, his input has been invaluable.
The band debuted on the music scene with ‘The Spellbound EP’ in 2018, influenced by Teenage Fanclub, Lou Reed, The Kinks, The Wedding Present, Status Quo and The La’s. Their most recent album – ‘Everyday Adventures’ – was released in 2021. The band also recently shared a series of demos (from 2016), called ‘Intense Whirlwind’.
The ‘Paving the Way’ album is out now, available digitally and also on limited edition vinyl and CD via Bandcamp. The album will also be available via other fine digital outlets, including Spotify and Apple Music.
All songs written by Dave Stewart except ‘Damn Tired’ and ‘Say it with a Smile’, which were written by Jess Tuthill
Recorded, engineered, mixed & mastered by Josh McCrohan at Creative Control Studio in Bracknell
Produced by Dave Stewart and Josh McCrohan
Bex Crossland sang, played the ukulele, piano and tambourine.
Greg Forys played bass.
David Heath played the drums.
Dave Stewart sang, played the ukulele, shaker and tambourine.
Jess Tuthill sang and played the ukulele.
Richard Vanryne played trumpet on ‘The Yellow Bird of Fortune’ and ‘Say it with a Smile’.
The choir on ‘The Time of Our Lives’: Ben Ash, Nicola Blair, Jude Brindley, Dawn Challis, Chris Clements, Anna Freshwater, James Gildersleve, Jason Helmore, Ruth Horbury, Alison Hull, Jane Jones, Stella Murphy, Barbara O’Donovan, Frances Osang, Zoe Robinson, Helen Savidge, Chris Taylor, Jayne Tricker, Alan Turner.
‘The Yellow Bird of Fortune’ video created by Lee Waters