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The High Plane Drifters

The High Plane Drifters were a powerful musical force that never really fitted into any neat sound bites or perfectly tailored descriptions, but when reviewers did put their thoughts into words, this is how they described the band.......

‘...like having all your birthdays arrive at once, well that’s if you like your tunes packed with what sounds like a bastardised concoction of raw as you like early Jesus and Mary Chain going head to head the more gritty garage psych-blues ensembles. 

The High Plane Drifters ransack the whole primitive blues culture, dirty, gritty and without doubt potent, it’s the kind of swamp fest that would have Tarrantino shitting bricks with its lineage transgressing directly to Gallon Drunk and further beyond to the likes of Link Wray and Muddy Waters...a wired up rabble rousing hot road action found hauled up in a lay by sniffin’ the blue glue.

Imagine Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Co dropped dead centre of the 60’s beat/garage scene – yeah, that f**king good....tripping into the world of classic Spacemen 3, repetitive looping chords and that primal mind-melting core.

It has at times that out of it feel, as though Jim Morrison was doing extra curricular work fronting a secret underground student psych band, listen a little closer and the detachment of early Warsaw/Joy Division begins to eke into view.’

The fact is that they sound like they arrived in their Teesside home via Detroits 8 mile road and the Bowery district of New York, stopping somewhere on the banks of Lake Erie to bash out their sound. 

A rollicking onslaught of the rawest rock you might ever hear two men play, setting the tone with some hard hitting blues thunder, with contrasting psychedelic tunes that ride the mysterious crest of Psych-rock like old hands.....

The band had also a formidable live reputation, one live reviewer was moved to write – “Imagine a two-piece rock’n’blues band contest in which the competition are all thrashed into second place by a howling Neathandral and a drummer with genuine versatility. This pair, however, sound like a three, even four piece at times, and they achieve this more subtly than by just blasting the room with wall to wall racket.

Wesley John Stephenson’s fulsome and varied percussive palette is crucial to this illusion – as is frontman Timothy James Oxnard’s use of his guitar alternatively as a rhythm engine, lead instrument, surrogate bass and even as a kind of modernist Cello when he grinds a bow futuristically across six strings, propelled by Krautrock express-train drums”

 

HPD  HPD2020

Away from the stage they allowed their full creativity to flow, creating some interesting and genuinely thrilling recordings that spanned two EP’s and a sole LP that was recorded at the height of their career.  Vinyl copies of these records are now becoming increasingly sought after as the bands reputation continues to build, regardless of the fact they called it a day over a decade ago.

To showcase the great music that they recorded, the band have put together a ‘Best of’ compilation, with tracks available for download and streaming, made up of official releases, out-takes and demo tracks that span their career from 2003 – 2009, and much of the material still sounds as fresh as the day it was recorded.

HPD Classic

Stream/Download (Disco)

Spotify

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