After the success of Modern Rock Vol 1 last year, we’re back with a new collection of signature songs for 2021, celebrating some of the many bands that have been a feature of what we have done during lockdown – artists that have been regularly requested and are worth time discovering further.

Why Modern Rock?

For four or five years now, this became a term that evolved during the Friday rock show to describe the music we were supporting. Classic rock was a golden era full of benchmark bands we still celebrate today. Today, it’s a new age though, a new era, and through the interviews we’ve done and music we’ve supported, we’ve been looking at the artists that can start a fresh new chapter for rock music. New ideas, music that reflects some of the issues we live with today, the DIY and digitised context – and artists that can broaden the appeal of rock to new, younger more diversified audiences.

From England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland – spanning aggressive pop to southern rock influences – there is something for everyone on this collection and the eclectic range of styles underlines the ‘broad church’ strength of the rising scene. On this page we share some helpful links to help you explore further. Do buy an album from a band if you can – and tell your friends about them.


Covaid 2020 - Desolate Days

A lockdown collaboration between artists that had never met before. A song that captures what it felt like to live through the first Covid lockdown. Music as art - and few argued it was our Single of the Year in December 2020. An emphatic achievement, and a song we premiered through our long-standing connection with Peter from Copperworm, who was central to this lockdown collaboration.

Discover more: Bandcamp / Twitter

Twisted Illusion

Twisted Illusion - Apathy Killed The Artist

A band that exploded onto our scene during the Modern Rock Wellbeing Festival last August – a mass jaw-dropping reaction to the premiere of a string of fine new songs. One of them was ‘Apathy Killed The Artist’ - which has been with us ever since. We reviewed their latest album release and in May 2021 they were both Album of the Month and Band of the Month. A significant feat for being relatively rare.

Discover more: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

DeadBlondeStars - Jesus Fly

DeadBlondeStars - Jesus Fly

Our first Band of the Month for 2021 and a band certainly on the rise. Commenting on Modern Rock Vol 2, Matt Simons said: “It’s great to be part of such a fantastic project. It’s been a tougher year than normal for independent music so we’re very happy to be involved in such a positive venture. We’ve certainly been made aware of a number of great bands courtesy of Volume 1, so it’s a privilege to feature on Volume 2 alongside more superb artists.”

Discover more: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Youtube

The Starling Radicals - Whatever Makes You Happy

Yet another rising force from Wales. We have history with this fine band, dating back to 2017. The premiere of this new song is from the band’s forthcoming EP ‘Promiseland Vol 2’ and we think the new collection will be a real head-turner. Fresh, vibrant music from a band that is in-tune with today’s world issues and the role music can play to make the world a better place.

Discover more: Website / Twitter / Instagram / Bandcamp


Ravenbreed – Wasted (Over You)

A band that had a significant resurgence with us through 2020 – another band that grew in stature during lockdown by focusing on new songs and connecting with fans during the Friday show. The band has a new chapter with a new singer, and the band’s music is both catchy and intense. A band that is proud to rock, but does it in a forward-looking way.

Discover more: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

Jason Sweeney

Jason Sweeney - She’s A Fighter

Flying the flag for Scottish rock, Jason has gone solo during lockdown and his recent run of singles have really made an impression. A great singer-songwriter and an all-round nice bloke who cares about the industry issues, but will always make you smile and feel welcomed. Jason comments: “It is a phenomenal pleasure to be included on Modern Rock vol 2 with so many great artists and not to mention the wonderful Mr GB… can life get better?”

Discover more: Website / Twitter / Facebook

Empyre - Stone (acoustic)

Another band we have been with since the beginning. Brooding, intense, intelligent rock. A band that has the potential to broaden its appeal beyond genre silos and across a wide range of audiences. A band on the rise and one that has been busy releasing sets and singles during lockdown. A band that has adapted and grown as a result.

Discover more: Website / Twitter / Instagram

Little Red Kings - Harry’s Town

From the East coast of England, a band that brought the party to our summer festivals in 2020. Lots of classic influences, but the quality and sense of fun evident in the band’s output is so refreshing. The band has adapted to lockdown through their use of technology, their podcast and home recording. They are a hard-working band that keeps music fun. And that’s as important today as it has ever been.

Discover more: Website / Twitter / Instagram

Unknown Refuge

Unknown Refuge – Shadows

A new band for 2021, a group of lads we have already done a lot with, and we were early to call their debut album ‘Album of the Month.’ Some of the band members are not yet 20 and this is a band starting out that is keen to connect with a young audience. From their journey, there is an opportunity for us all to learn something as we all seek to broaden the audience for rock music.

Read our Album of the Month review

Discover more: Website / Spotify / Twitter / Facebook

Thirteen Stars – Keep Calm And Carry On

A band that goes back to the beginning of Great Music Stories. Album of the Year winners in December 2020, ‘Only A Soldier’ and ‘Keep Calm’ have been signature songs over the last year. We premiered both songs and they stayed with us for months on end, as anthems through both Covid and Brexit. The music draws on many influences, but the guy we call ‘The Prof’ is an important character in the scene today – intelligent thoughts on music history, refreshing thoughts on today’s social and industry issues and room too for great humour. All this washes through the music Hoss and the boys share with us.

Read our Album of the Month review

Discover more: Twitter / Shop / Facebook

Amongst Liars - Black Days

A band that grew in stature during lockdown because they focused on recording and releasing great songs and connected directly with music fans on socials. A song here that showcases new rock music with something to say about today’s world. In two words – authentic & relevant. Ian from the band comments: “We are so proud to be on this awesome compilation album amongst so many amazing artists. Guy is a real champion for new music and we hope that you discover your new favourite act. Here’s to a great rest of 2021 and to the resurgence of live music!”

Discover more: Website / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

As Sirens Fall

As Sirens Fall - Puppy Squad

Twice Band of the Month, 2019’s Single of the Year with a song that had a record 50-consecutive-week run. And our current Band of the Year. A band that defies genre silos, is immensely creative, edgy and socially relevant. As Sirens Fall. Jason from the band comments: “In a world where live music disappeared entirely, we feel really honoured to be part of this line up alongside so many emerging artists who get to showcase their talents once again.”

Listen again to the Band of the Year winners interview

Discover more: Website / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

Loz Campbell

Loz Campbell - What You Doing It For

Loz has been one of the most requested artists in recent months and this song is having a long run with us. Regarding the Modern Rock project, Loz comments: “I’m so grateful to be a part of this compilation, last time we did something similar to this we gained lots of new contacts and made friends with bands who we are now going on tour with, so hoping the same comes from this! Thanks a million to GuyB for keeping that rock n roll ball rolling.”

Discover more: Bandcamp / Website / Twitter / Facebook

Verity White

Verity White – Alibi

June’s Artist of the Month and someone we invited to headline our Sunday run for the Modern Rock wellbeing Fest last August – based on quality song writing, championing important contemporary issues and doing so much to lift people’s spirits during lockdown. This song we premiered and it’s never left our playlist. An artist we have been proud to champion since the start, Verity has been on both editions of Modern Rock – and on merit.

Discover more: Website / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

Scarlet Rebels

Scarlet Rebels - Practice Run

A band that needs no introduction with us. Three times Band of the Month, Two albums of the month - and our Band of the Year from the end of 2019. An unprecedented feat – they then came 2nd the following December which says so much about the enduring love our community have for this band. The USP of this band isn’t the rock bangers – they are arguably unrivalled with their ballads and their empowering indie-infused anthems are requested almost every week. A band that wears leather jackets, but their music belongs in the mainstream – and all because of the songs. Practice Run has been with us for four years and shows no sign of going away.

Listen again to my feature interview with Wayne on them signing with Earache Records in 2021

Discover more: Website / Twitter

Stars - Fallen Mafia

Fallen Mafia - Stars

One of two bands from WDFD Records on this collection, a label that does so much to support new music. This Fallen Mafia song brings the drama to this collection, a fine dark song with an arresting vocal that just draws you on. A band that should be on everyone’s ‘watch list’ for the year ahead.

Discover more: Shop / Website / Twitter


HAVR - A Moment of Clarity

A fine Scottish band with a strong social conscience, music that speaks for many of the important wellbeing and inclusion issues in our world today. An original band evolving their own sound. Carrie from the band comments: “We’re really excited to be part of Modern Rock Volume 2 alongside so many incredible musicians. Rock has always been a vital force but it feels even more important now. It’s a beautiful, defiant, joyful noise that says something really important: you are not alone.”

Discover more: Website / Facebook / Twitter


Safire - Miracles

We’ve premiered half a dozen songs from this band since 2016 and done a lot to get the band noticed. Sunshine was on Volume 1 and had a 20-week run during 2016-17. Miracles, not yet released, is a song we premiered back in 2018 and it’s been on the playlist ever since. A band that has many classic influences, but their songs have appealed to younger listeners and their singer Safron has a great voice. An exciting performance band.

Discover more: Bandcamp / Twitter / Facebook

Devilfire - Chasing the Pain

Devilfire - Chasing The Pain

A band that has consistently stood tall with us whenever we have been looking to do something special for the community – the Spirit of Wildfire fundraiser in 2018, the Wellbeing Fest, the mental health and working musician interview series in 2020. The band are great ambassadors for the scene - and Alex always shares intelligent, experienced views on the big issues we all need to tackle to give rock n roll a brighter future.

Discover more: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram