The Joiners, Southampton

Western Sand

Darkness descends on the stage, as the much anticipated set is about to begin. The band pause – adding to the electric tension building up – before storming the arena as drums, bass and vocals connect to blaze out their classic hard rock anthems in front of the bouncing, packed out crowd.

They say they want to put Southern Hard Rock back on the map and judging by this explosive performance at The Joiners in Southampton at the weekend, they are doing exactly that. They are Western Sand, one of the south coast’s most exciting new rock bands from Bournemouth. If you like AC/DC, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Metallica then you will love these guys.

Despite the influences of the above icons, the four-piece, no-holds-barred, long haired group look every bit rock legends in their own right as they strut their stuff and power out pulsating, catchy tunes that leave you catching your breath. It’s easy to see why they are in-demand and being regularly snapped up to play at venues all over the south ranging from Bournemouth to Southampton, Reading to London.

And judging from the passion of the crowd, responding fervently to the rattling melodies such as “Going Down” and “Broken Bones”, it’s also easy to see why they’re getting interest from record labels, with them also set to release their first album on January 1 in order to quench the demands of their ever growing fan base.
Formed in 2008 when they were just teenagers, Western Sand, made up of Tyler Hains (lead/rhythm guitar and lead vocal), Jimmy Bradshaw (lead/rhythm guitar), Nathan J. Kay (drums/percussion and vocals) and Findlay Hotchkiss (bass guitar and vocals) are out to make a difference and have already supported members of top British and Irish acts such as Nazareth, Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake.

Western Sand

“Our music is for the people,” Tyler said, speaking after a pulsating performance at the prestigious Joiners venue, where they featured alongside Swedish rock sensations Bonafide. “Our songs are about all the normal stuff that people can relate to, such as day to day life and the troubles we have and getting through them. Of course we are rock ‘n roll so talk about our experiences being on the open road and partying too.”

When describing what makes them different to other rock bands, Tyler continued: “There’s not many bands who are truly rock ‘n roll these days and a lot of them look and sound the same. But we’re also the only ones playing Southern Hard Rock, everyone else is playing Indie and alternative.”

He added: “For our age we’re the only ones in the UK doing what we’re doing. We’ve played 400 events and are getting more and more bookings. We’ve worked hard on recording the album in Wigan and can’t wait for it to be released on New Year’s Day.”

With a busy build up to Christmas, including headlining at The Anvil in Bournemouth on November 24, where they will give a sneak preview of their new material before the album is released, it’s exciting times.


Words by guest reviewer Steven Deeks.

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