"We just want more!"
"Near the top of the class when it comes to tunes"
"A consistent and confident set of well crafted, catchy, dark indie pop songs"
"Nostalgic jangle pop gem"
"This band is still under the radar but “Yield To The Night” is sure to bring about their impending rise. It’s got just the right amount of shimmer and shine to the jangle of the guitars, and those mellow classic indie rock vocals are sure to trigger some nostalgic listening of Orange Juice, or The Pastels, or your favourite indie rock band. What I’m getting at is that the sound here is instantly classic, but by no means trite. Take a listen and keep your ears listening for more from The Artisans."
Austin Town Hall, US music blog, January 2016
"When I discover new bands that celebrate an organic sound, it gives me hope that music will always remain at its forefront, human. The Artisans have received praise for their unique songwriting style and infectious melodies, with the single “However Much I Love You, I Love Lloyd Honeyghan More” proving a firm favourite among critics.
“Yield to the Night” evokes a curious blend of 80s and modern influence, with Nick Thompson’s rose-tinted guitar tone elevating the song from ballad to classic. Bright riffs in the chorus show equal parts confidence and restraint, which is a welcome change from seeing guitarists struggle to hold attention without blistering solos.
Kevin McGrother’s soft spoken vocals bring an instantly likeable quality to the music, self titled as “bitter as it is sweet”. There’s an unmistakable honesty there that can be lost in newcomers’ music, a vulnerability that shows the potential for depth across the album. Seeing some variation from the airy vocals would further their sound - incorporate the concert-hall vocals of Maximo Park, and the result could be phenomenal.
Karen Foster’s punchy tone is created with her Rickenbacker bass, the weapon of choice for any established four stringer. The smooth shifts across the fretboard always feel at home, complimenting other parts and sometimes stealing the show. Her joyous bass part on the outro takes centre stage, making the argument that musical equality is at the heart of The Artisans.
Mark Cliff’s drumming is testament to this - I am always happy to hear a drummer using the entire kit, and Cliff’s energetic beats give the softer melodies bite. Blends of syncopated and more conventional rhythms mirrors the band’s quirky mission statement for the alternative, with the choices of fills showing a musician willing to push outside their comfort zone.
All in all, The Artisans’ new material will be a welcome addition to Newcastle’s ever growing music scene. The “creators of fine cheese, cakes, and indie pop” boast a mature approach, which will serve them well when performing live again and is likely to translate into a growing fanbase year upon year. For fans of the quirky as well as the classic side of music, The Artisans’ debut album will be one that even Lloyd Honeyghan will surely approve of.
I Love Newcastle, January 2016
"However Much I Love You combines beautiful jangly guitars with some ludicrously catchy and danceable melodies, but what puts it over the edge is the band’s wonderfully quirky songwriting. "
NARC magazine, April 2015
"Their carefully handcrafted little gem "However Much I Love You I Love Lloyd Honeyghan More" is a masterpiece of musical craft. Ringing, jangling guitars over a sturdy backbeat and a melody that brings pleasant memories of Orange Juice and beloved C86 era bands. "
When You Motor Away blog, April 2015
"Song title of the month goes to this recently formed North East band. However Much I Love You, I Love Lloyd Honeyghan More. And the track packs a Honeyghan style punch too, being, as it is, a shimmering indie jangler which can't help, despite itself, speaking of a love of boxing. Elsewhere the band show they know their way around a C86 compilation and I imagine they'll go down a storm at the next Popklubb on 26 September."
The Crack, September 2014
"I have to say that the songs that are on the soundcloud of The Fabulous Artisans are a delight. Best thing I’ve heard in ages! Really a beauty. I’m in love. The 4 songs, “However Much I Love You, I Love Lloyd Honeyghan More”, “A Week of Wednesdays”, “The Nearly Man” and “The Night I Met Tracey Emin”, are just top class. I especially like the first one. And this is just a “demo”! Crazy.
These songs would make one of the classiest 7″s I’m sure. If you are reading this, all you Artisans, I’M HOOKED! I play it so very often these songs (especially now that my work computer doesn’t let me play CDs!)."
Cloudberry Records Blog, 19 August 2014
"Hailing from North East England, between Newcastle and the (their definition, not mine) thick smog of Hartlepool, this quartet formed at the end of 2013, but they are not newcomers into this "business": frontman Kevin 'The Nearly Man' McGrother has a very extensive career in bands like Just Like Alice, Tickety Boo or solo, releasing via several indiepop labels, while the rest of the band played in Pale Man Made and Uncle Monty. The buzz around the combo has just begun in the form of radio airplay and the support from Frankie & The Heartstrings. Something logic considering the four tunes (considered demos despite their unstoppable strength) we can enjoy to date. Jangly, with that timeless 80s feel, and immediately catchy songs honouring the best of traditions and its more than apt name. We just want more!"
Bloodbuzzed, August 2014
"Yes, the boxing paraphernalia in the photo is relevant to the music of The Artisans. "I know I shouldn't like boxing, but I do" doesn't sound much like the line from a love song, yet the North Easterners run through the names of many famous fighters in the classic indiepop sounding 'However Much I Love You, I Love Lloyd Honeyghan More'. This very brutal of sports is something of a contrast to the '80s inspired guitar music of this group who are "old enough to know better but young enough to still try", although we'd argue that you're never too old. The fact that the band are are named after a line from an Orange Juice song should give you an idea of where they're at musically.
Boy/girl vocals work their magic on 'The Nearly Man' and 'The Night I Met Tracy Emin', and each of their four demos (or at least that's how many are online) are filled to the brim with melody, C86 influences, jangly guitars, the odd touch of surf and occasional organ. A list of influences is somewhat futile as you can probably guess what they are already, but it's safe to say that The Artisans follow in the footsteps of those bands in an extremely capable way and can compete with most of the other current revivalists doing the rounds. It's something I often find myself saying, but if these are demos then they should probably be left as they are because there's nothing at all wrong with any of the tracks. They might score low on originality, but are near the top of the class when it comes to tunes."
The Sound of Confusion, August 2014