The Crooked Empire at Worcester Music Festival
The Crooked Empire: The Crooked Empire is a 4-Piece indie-rock band from the Midlands that have been quoted as being "The greatest pure rock'n'roll act in the two counties" (Andy O'Hare BBC Hereford & Worcester).
Last year saw a few changes for the band on both a musical and personal level with a new direction in songwriting and a new guitarist on-board. The band have since gone from strength-to-strength, securing gigs with bands such as Athlete, Dodgy,The Festivals Experience and The Arcadian Kicks. They also completed the recording of their debut album “Jagged Souls” at Aeriel Studios in Carmarthen with the legendary keyboard player and producer Tim Lewis (Spiritualized) with such luminaries as Andy Fairweather Lowe (Amen Corner/Roger Waters/Eric Clapton) and Alan Kendall (The Bee Gees) guesting on some of the tracks.
Four exciting tracks from their debut album "Jagged Souls" can be heard here on the website and the album itself is due for release this summer. Meanwhile they continue to gig around the country performing their unique style of original songs with infectious melodies, solid rhythms and honest lyrics .
A little bit of history
The Early Days
In 2006 “Parker” was formed as a 4 piece band playing locally to much general acclaim until 2008 when founding members Sean Sheldon & Matt Stafford resized down to a three piece with the departure of the lead guitarist. With a clear road ahead the remaining members returned to the practice room to plan their next moves. After hours of work in the practice room and armed with a whole new set of upbeat, indie-rock tunes it wasn't long before the band found new hope, passion and purpose and late the same year The Crooked Empire was born.
The Rise of The Crooked Empire
2009 brought promise and impetus culminating in The Empire being voted one of the top 15 bands in the Midlands reaching the regional final of the Surface Unsigned festival held at the Carling Academy in Birmingham.
Sadly in the Winter months of 2009 the bass player decided he had had enough and retired, once again leaving founder members Sean and Matt without a band. Although the band initially stumbled, again failure was not an option and it wasn't long before Chris Gibbs joined in 2010 as the bass player. Chris having played bass guitar since he was 14 paid his dues in such far flung places as Gibraltar and Australia before returning home where his vast experience provided just what The Empire needed with his solid bass lines, precision and impeccable rhythm. His integration into the engine room with Matt was seamless. Going from strength to strength they constantly gigged; finding time in 2011 to start work on their debut album.
During the recording of "Jagged Souls" the decision was made to become a 4 piece again going full circle from the “Parker” days, and in Summer 2011 Jamie “Jay” Dudley joined as lead guitarist bringing with him an arsenal of catchy licks to enhance the already brilliant Empire tunes. Jay has been playing and writing music since a young age and spent his formative years in various local bands including Birmingham based band "The Crossfires" before crafting his way as a solo artist on the pub and club scene. His inclusion in the band has brought a new line of creation adding depth and scope to the band giving them the freedom to broaden their sound and fully exploit the full potential of the undoubted musical talents they all possess. The Crooked Empire have arrived!
SEAN SHELDON - VOCALS/GUITAR
JAMIE DUDLEY - GUITAR/VOCALS
CHRIS GIBBS - BASS
MATT STAFFORD - DRUMS/VOCALS