24 Jul 2009 - The Cellars, Eastney (Matt Merritt)
The Storys have visited the Cellars at Eastney a few times before, but this is the first chance Portsmouth audiences have had to check out their new line up. When guitarist/vocalist Dai Smith quit the band last year it left a void in their sound, one that the band chose not to replace like-for-like. Instead they drafted in close friend (and well known folk singer/songwriter) Rosalie Deighton. It's a move that seems to have given the band new life. When The Storys take to the stage I'm shocked to see them open with "Cinnamon", one of their most popular songs, but it seems to jumpstart them straight into an energetic and entertaining set. They have a new face but their soaring harmonies and laid back banter between numbers remains much the same. It's a strong set all round, but the highlight for these ears was a haunting rendition of the title track from their second album "Town Beyond The Trees", highlighting everything that's good about the band, but centred around lead singer Steve Balsamo's stunning vocals, this was without doubt the peak of a uniformly impressive evenings entertainment!
15 Jul 2009 - Princess Royal Theatre, Port Talbot - South Wales Evening Post (John Davies)
If you like live music, then you will love The Storys. They certainly have the X-Factor when performing on stage and their gig at the Princess Royal Theatre in Port Talbot was no exception. They dropped straight into the groove with the wistful "All We Really Need". This was followed by a flawless ride down the West Coast sound of "Long Hard Road".
Every band needs a strong lead vocalist and Steve Balsamo is that for certain. "Town Beyond the Trees" featured Steve at his wide-ranging best and this song sounds better every time he sings it. But this is a democratic six piece band. Lead guitarist Rob Thompson, bassist Andy Collins and the delightful Rosalie Deighton all demanded attention in their lead solo spots. The whole set was underpinned by seamless four part harmonies reminiscent of the Eagles at their best. The Storys impeccable timing and magnificent musicianship was held together by the awesome drumming of Brian Thomas, and is there a more versatile musician than Alan Thomas? He played guitar, mandolin, harmonica, keyboard and grand piano with equal aplomb. There were some less than convincing live performances at Glastonbury, but every song in this Storys set was a pefectly polished gem. Is it possible to sound better live than on record? The Storys weave a magic spell on stage which makes this happen. Go and see them soon!
Mar 2009 - Brangwyn Hall, Swansea - Big Issue Cymru (Jenny White)
"This song's called Long Hard Road," says Steve Balsamo. "It's certainly been one." Tonight's big, demographic-defying crowd is proof that six years of gigging and recording is leading somewhere. The band's sound has crystallised into wistful West-Coast romanticism. A landmark number comes early in the set: big-haired bassist Andy Colins sings the refrain "Wide Eyed Troubadour" and summons the dreamy beauty of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Further influences (The Eagles; Fleetwood Mac) underpin the delicious harmonies that have arrived along with the band's newest member, singer and guitarish Rosalie Deighton. Lined up along the stage and taking turns in the limelight, The Storys are clearly a democracy, with song-writing duties divided squarely between them. The result is a clutch of chorus-heavy, guitar-led crowd pleasers, including meaty raw rabble rouser "Long Way Up", which wins big cheers, and "I Believe In Love", the lighter-waver that made Elton John invite the band to support him. One wimpy number backed by a grand piano sounds like an effort to emulate their benefactor but thankfully it's the darker, more complex sounds that dominate. "Trouble Deep" is a beautifully bleak little piece that blows along like tumbleweed, while a nameless new song invokes Pink Floyd before rising to a crescendo in which Rob Thompson's guitar screams and sighs to rapturous applause. Stay on that road, boys. (4 stars)
9 Sep 2008 - Your Canterbury (Jane Connolly)
Why Zebra Mavericks all have the X Factor - I watched The X Factor on Saturday night and saw Simon Cowell getting excited over a very loud Whitney Houston-alike. If that's his definition of mind-blowing talent, he would have popped his high waistband if he'd been at the Zebra Bar last night. Each and every performer had more talent in their right eyebrow than most of the wannabes that stampede into convention centres every summer, in the hope of winning five minutes of fame. The latest Maverick showcase was opened by Canadian singer/songwriter Tia McGraff, in the company of her guitarist husband Tommy and two members of rising Welsh band The Storys. To begin with her voice seemed fairly average, but it soon turned out she was hiding her light under a bushel. As the set progressed she gradually showed off her extraordinary range and power, switching from the crystal clarity of the bluegrass hills to the gravelly rasp of the Mississippi sound with apparent ease. The Storys are by no means unknown, having been championed by Elton John and recently supported Van Morrison. But I had not heard them before and I will definitely be seeking out their album. Steve Balsamo on vocals and guitar displayed a stunning voice, while Rob Thompson quietly worked magic on the electric guitar. Their rich and thoughtful tunes, particularly the haunting "Town Beyond The Trees", will stay with me for a long time.
9 Sep 2008 - softarchive.net
The Swansea six-piece comprise of no less than four singer/song-writers, adding much versatility to their melodic brand of Americana and drawing comparisons to The Eagles, The Byrds and The Burrito Brothers. Mixing the country rock harmonies of The Eagles and Crosby Stills Nash & Young with the acoustic side of Led Zeppelin and the West coast pop of The Byrds and The Burrito Brothers, The Storys have already won many fans - including Elton John, with whom they played at Swansea Liberty Stadium on 29 June. It sounds like Swansea band The Storys have done some soul searching on this their second album. Following on from the success of their 2006 debut, they re-emerge with 10 very polished, radio-friendly songs on "Town Beyond The Trees". Opening track, "Long Hard Road", sets the scene with Steve Balsamo's contemplative, philosophical lyrics and those now trademark, soft Eagles-esque vocal harmonies. Best displayed in the tender title track The Storys now have some tales to tell.
2 Sep 2008 - Glan Yr Afon Theatre, Neath - South Wales Evening Post (John Davies)
Not since the days of Pete Ham and Badfinger has Swansea seen the likes of such a brilliant singer/songwriter as Steve Balsamo. But Steve is only the icing on the cake of a talented set of musicians and singers called The Storys. It seems inevitable that they should be compared to The Eagles. Their acoustic-based sound has strong melodies, rich harmonies and intense lyrics which tell stories. I was privileged to be at the Glan Yr Afon Theatre in Neath College to witness a flawless performance from this superb six piece band. In such a small venue, it would have been tempting to reduce standards. This did not happen. This was a performance worthy of the Royal Variety Show. The musicianship was top notch, the harmonies spot on and in Steve Balsamo they have a first class front man. There was harmony between the band members as well with plenty of playful banter. Some fans were disappointed to hear that Dai Smith, who's contribution was considerable, has left the band. They needn't worry. His replacement, Rosalie Deighton, was simply superb. Check her out on Myspace, she is an excellent singer/songwriter in her own right. On a night of superlatives, it was difficult to pick out the best song. Andy's switch from bass to acoustic guitar with Neil Young-ish vocals was notable. Rosalie's solo spot was super and the range of Steve's voice on "Town Beyond the Trees" was absolutely amazing. In a tight and professional performance it would be unfair to leave anyone out. Rob was a revelation on lead guitar. Alan was ace on keyboard and acoustic guitar and Brian was brilliant on drums. Afterwards, the six were cheerful and charming as they autographed CDs for their adoring fans. No wonder they're Elton John's favourite band.
May 2008 - Classic Rock Magazine (Sian Llewellyn)
Swansea's answer to The Eagles. In their short lifespan, The Storys are always namechecked along with the cream of 60's west coast rock. And for very good reason. On this, their second album, the Welsh quartet continue with a set of polished, acoustic guitar heavy, incredibly catchy songs liberally doused with three-part harmonies. Despite the Californian comparisons, on opener "Long Hard Road" vocalist Steve Balsamo sounds eerily like John Waite, while "It's All We Really Need" has echoes of an older, wiser, 2008 version of the latter's "Missing You". If you're a sucker for a ballad, the title track is for you. It's guitar refrain sits somewhere between The Beatles' "Dear Prudence" and the opening of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain", and is both delicate and hypnotic - a lullaby from the point of view of an absent father. "Town Beyond The Trees" might not break any new sonic boundaries, but if you liked The Storys' debut album, you'll like this one even more. (7/10)
4 Apr 2008 - Western Mail
It sounds like Swansea band The Storys have done some soul searching on this their second album. Following on from the success of their 2006 debut and high-profile tour support slots with Sir Elton John, they re-emerge with 10 very polished, radio-friendly songs on "Town Beyond The Trees". Opening track, "Long Hard Road", sets the scene with Steve Balsamo's contemplative, philosophical lyrics and those now trademark, soft Eagles-esque vocal harmonies. Best displayed in the tender title track The Storys now have some tales to tell. Standout Tracks: "Long Hard Road", "Town Beyond The Trees". (3/5)
4 Apr 2008 - Scottish Daily Record (John Dingwall)
Album Of The Week - The Storys boast a West Coast US sound that has drawn comparisons with The Byrds and Crosby Stills Nash & Young and The Jayhawks. (5 stars)
2 Apr 2008 - americana-uk.com (Keith Hargreaves)
Killer tunes hide slight identity crisis on the way to world domination. This is the second album from the South Wales natives of whom great things are expected and it's a fascinating piece of modern pop. Any band with four singers should be able to conjure up a few harmonies and this lot don't disappoint; some of them so lovely the grin springs to the face as you bask in 'the melodic sunshine'. And it's these strengths that open the album "Long Hard Road" a driving song par excellence that will be at home both on the M4 and Ventura Highway; a Fleetwood Mac c.1976, easy feelin', Smile era Jayhawks sound. A great opening and I note their first single - good choice. If the sun's shining when people hear it - they will buy! The same could be said of "Feeling Something" and "Nobody Loves You" particularly the latter track where the simple structure and restrained production really focus on the harmonies which are gorgeous. However these tracks are also accompanied by a couple of weaker ones "Evangelina" and "It's All We Really Need" where the slick production, particularly the strings, overwhelm the songs. There is also a sense of reaching for a formula - they both have a Coldplay feel to the rhythm. Completely underwhelming but the recovery is great. The title track is simple and lovely - unsullied by the previous over production. "Trouble Deep" is filled with echoes of Crowded House and then the song that will break the US wide open "Heaven Holds You Now" a straight down the line ballad that will have them weeping in the aisles when it features in a movie - which it surely must. This is the sound of a band about to break big; if they trust their own judgement and songwriting they will deserve it. (8/10)
Apr 2008 - Uncut Magazine (Adam Sweeting)
Hotel California opens South Wales Branch. This Swansea-based sextet make no secret of the fact that they've gorged themselves on gargantuan quantities of the Eagles, Jackson Browne, The Byrds etc, but hey! What's not to like? It may be true that their sleek vocal arrangements often sound more Hollies than CSNY, but they've honed their craft with care, and can bang out a Laurel Canyon ballad or freeway-cruisin' harmony-rocker with aplomb. This second album finds them sounding almost insolently self-assured, with standout tracks including the fast-acting "Evangelina", the beautifully string-driven "Alone", and the moody, subdued "Trouble Deep". (4/5)
Apr 2008 - Rock 'n' Reel Magazine (Colin Hall)
Robust and rewarding The Storys serve up soaring harmony rock that suggests a well-spent youth absorbing all things good from the USA's West Coast. Comparisons with The Eagles, CSN&Y and the Byrds are inevitable but The Storys are not mere retro stylists: there's grit in this particular machine, an urgency shaded with persuasive intimacy that gives them their own voice and contemporary edge. Coming from Swansea, as this talented sextet does, it couldn't be any other way. 'Sit up and listen' moments abound throughout "Town Beyond The Trees", their superb second album: the anthemic ache of "It's All We Really Need", the unnerving darkness of "Nobody Loves You", the title track's heart-rending sense of farewell and - possibly most impressive of all - the haunting "Trouble Deep" which closes the record, bringing into focus all that has gone before: terrific arrangements and ensemble playing, perfectly honed, melodic writing and stunning vocals that never let you down. It's the attention to detail that mark The Storys out. Road tested and tight as a bear hug they are cresting a creative peak. For anyone looking for a band to cherish The Storys come mightily recommended. (4/5)
30 Mar 2008 - Sunday Express (Martin Townsend)
Steve Balsamo is the British Don Henley: his huge, breathy, passionate voice sounding like it originated in California, not South Wales. "Evangelina", "Alone" and "Heaven Holds You Now" are outstanding examples of the band's shimmering, multi-layered melodic rock. A little Radio 2 airplay and they could have a success story on their hands. (4/5)
28 Mar 2008 - Daily Express
The Storys pick up where the Eagles, Crosby Stills & Nash and Big Star left off - with well-crafted, melodic rock tunes that possess subtle layers. From opener "Long Hard Road" to "Trouble Deep", band leaders Steve Balsamo and Dai Smith maintain an emotional intensity that relies on the quality of the song and nothing else. Great. (4/5)
11 Mar 2008 - Sonic Dice (John Skibeat)
With their debut rightly acclaimed and subsequent high-profile gigs with the likes of Elton John and Katie Melua behind them, The Storys release their much anticipated second album "Town Beyond The Trees". Opening track "Long Hard Road" is the purest form of easy-listening Americana country rock music. It's Billy Joel, The Eagles, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young all rolled into one with gently-strummed guitar chords ballooning out into resonating solo with slide bar mewing. The soft, comforting slightly-croaked vocal of Steve Balsamo is heavily-accented with Yankee twang and brings to mind Don Henley and to some extent Jon Bon Jovi. It's followed by "You Couldn't Make It Up" which introduces a slower much-less anachronistic sound with surprising pop sensibilities and only now is it apparent that this lot are actually rooted in South Wales - Swansea, to be precise. It's the mandolin of Alan Thomas that eventually gives it all away along with Balsamo's ability to drop that formulaic accent to something far more complex and fresh. The band continue to switch between upbeat country and downbeat pop throughout the rest of the album with apparent ease. It's a surprising mixture and certainly each number is impeccably structured with plenty of memorable lyrics - spot the Madonna smash-and-grab on "Trouble Deep" - making them instantly accessible. Whether there is an audience for a sound that's very much rooted in the past will make or break them. Which it will be is unclear but they are certainly compiling quite a catalogue of favourable reviews and if it doesn't happen here in the UK then it doesn’t take a genius to imagine them doing well across the pond.
5 Mar 2008 - Daily Star (James Cabooter)
Still pining for a bit of emotive musical sensitivity while Snow Patrol take a few months off? Then look no further than this quality Welsh outfit who marry anthemic British songwriting with a more minimal west coast American feel. This elegant second album is packed with instantly likeable FM rock songs, the type designed for holding lighters (or should that be mobile phones nowadays?) aloft. Slow burning delights "You Couldn't Make It Up" and Eagles-esque "Nobody Loves You" show off the fine twin vocal talents of Steve Balsamo and Andy Collins. Elsewhere the country flecked title track highlights the band's intricate guitar work and ability to pull on the old heart strings. Perhaps the album's finest moment is "Alone", a tender Celtic flavoured ballad about finding love awash with gorgeous, widescreen strings. A very big sounding record, in more ways than one, "Town Beyond The Trees" is destined to be the making of these Welsh lads.
Mar 2008 - Maverick Magazine
A superb second album that should appeal to lovers of the Eagles, Poco and Buffalo Springfield. It's only February, but The Storys' strong songs and exquisite musicianship mark their second album as an early contender for those contentious year-end best-of lists. The Welsh country-rockers haven't been around that long, but in two short years they've made enormous critical impact, having crafted several catchy, quirky singles that are smartly produced, crisply sung and lyrically sharp. With the likes of Elton John and Bob Harris singing their praises it surely shouldn't be too long before the mass public comes on board and embraces their gorgeous harmony-laced music. What is impressive about this sextet, is that beneath those lush harmonies lies real lyrical depth. Too many groups place layers of harmonies to disguise weak songs. There's ten powerful, well-written songs on offer here. Title track is a dark and brooding song about a guy on death row writing a letter to his unborn son. Not as depressing as it might seem, there's a note of optimism with a stunning, understated musical arrangement. "Heaven Holds You Now" is an optimistic country-rocker about loss and hope. Brian Thomas' drums are very consistent on this track with great organ and guitar. "Feeling Something" is a classy power ballad with great dual guitar and piano. The closing "Trouble Deep" is a string drenched haunting ballad full of foreboding atmosphere with more than a little fuzz on the electric guitar. This is their first album with extensive use of string and takes more ambitious conceptual steps in arrangements, production and tone. This group is really tight, the vocals are superb and the songs are written to last through the ages. What's not to like? (4/5)
14 Feb 2008 - South Wales Evening Post (Kate Lay)
Sound of a band hitting their stride - Swansea band The Storys have found their stride with a new album, "Town Beyond the Trees", out on March 31. A couple of years of heavy gigging with and without Elton have put some muscle on their sound and given Steve Balsamo's fabulous voice - always their ace in the hole - more dark tones and more weight. For those who have struggled a bit with their assertion that they follow in the footsteps of Crosby Stills and Nash, The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac, this disc is heartening. The sound of The Storys doesn't have the musical ambition or inventiveness of those supergroups, but the days of the trailblazing bands are probably gone. And any of these tracks could slot in happily beside Don Henley and Glen Frey's songs on the latest Eagles album. There is even the simple and effective Joe Walsh-style guitar line on the upcoming single, "Long Hard Road". "Town Beyond the Trees" might not make you want to quit your job, grab a guitar and join a band, but it is winning, tastefully produced and smilesome stuff.
Jan 2008 - getreadytorock.com (Pete Whalley)
The opening track on The Storys second album - "Long Hard Road", could so easily be a track on the "Long Road Out Of Eden", The Eagles big comeback album release. It has the hallmark West Coast sounds, and even Steve Balsamo's vocals sound uncannily like Don Henley. It's a corker. Who would have predicted it from a band from Swansea, South Wales? With roots clearly deep in the rock harmonies of The Eagles, CSN&Y and The Byrds, this is not what you expect to emerge from the valleys. Recorded at Peter Gabriel's Real World studio by veteran producer Jon Kelly, there's no doubting this is quality soft rock. But it would be better served with the top down and the sun baking the asphalt rather than on a damp, dreary, British winter day. Nevertheless, for anyone who enjoys their rock Hotel California style, check out The Storys. Despite the similarities in style and delivery to their American cousins, there's more than enough originality here - the stunning closer "Trouble Deep", for example - to suggest they're a hell of a lot more than just wannabees. (3.5/5)
Jan 2008 - shakenstir.co.uk
This Welsh band's debut album featured a couple of songs that were quite special and hinted at a band capable of filling the gap left by classic American mid-west rockers like the Eagles. The recent album releases (after an absence of 28 years) from the Eagles and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss suggests that there is a huge untapped demand for this genre of music. It's in this music territory that The Storys have chosen to park their talents. So, the big question is can this band meet and beat the best? "Town Beyond The Trees" almost passed me by on first listen, but, as is sometimes the case, on the second and subsequent plays its quality hit me, and the answer to my question became clear. The Storys have produced an album that is capable of beating the Yanks at their own special game, and a well publicised Stateside release could see it fly... But there's something else at play here - the ability of four vocalists and song writers to actually work in total harmony to produce such successful results. Opening mid-paced track "Long Hard Road" quickly illustrates this unity of purpose. Steve Balsamo's vocal is country rock perfection and full of feeling, while the band's vocal harmonies are also beyond reproach. It's a classic song with superb melody, beautifully judged instrumental arrangement and simple but powerful lyrics. Based on this song alone, the band should figure in this year's USA Country Awards... Next is the beautiful, darker, slower paced "You Couldn't Make It Up". The band describes the song as a 'grown-up pop song' but it's a little more than that with its intelligent lyrical message, and emotionally believable delivery. There are love songs aplenty here including the upbeat "Evangelina", the haunting and tantalising "Alone", and the bittersweet, beautiful "Nobody Loves You". Then there's the subject of failed ambition covered brilliantly by "It's All We Really Need" and dreadful longing in "Town Beyond The Trees", that describes the feelings of a man on death row reflected in a letter to his unborn son. This song is masterful in its capture of a desperate, contemplative atmosphere - a killer track if ever there was one. This wonderful album closes on the deeply moving love song "Feeling Something" and meandering, string-soaked "Trouble Deep" - one of several album highlights and featuring haunting, ethereal backing vocals from Rosalie Deighton, in addition to the most glorious instrumental conclusion. I've now listened to this album many times and am of the firm opinion that it is capable of becoming a very major seller over the pond. There's also no doubt in my mind that it does indeed meet and beat the yanks at their own game - a remarkable musical achievement. The album is released in March 2008. (4.5/5)
Dec 2007 - toxicpete.co.uk
The Storys instantly sound like a band on the move-on-up and this stunning album, "Town Beyond The Trees", is as good as anything out there - old or new! This six piece from South Wales certainly know how to put down a good song - their combined songwriting is classy, bordering on timeless - their nu-country bent is reminiscent of The Eagles and their pop sensibility is approaching that of The Beatles. Add to that their seemingly natural penchant for the epic overall sound and hey, these dudes are a bit special!! Watch them go! The Storys' story is one of strong melodies, magnificently proportioned instrumentation, precise vocals and crisp harmonies. Although The Storys have one foot firmly in the nu-country camp, the other's planted firmly in soft-rock - the combination is well tried and tested and The Storys excel in their genre of choice. Unlike most bands, The Storys have shied away from the simple 'indie' cliched pop/rock and gambled on the probably less popular nu-country - and I for one am so glad they've gone down that route coz these guys are better than yer run-of-the-mill indie outfits and their 'proper' music should stand the test of time much better. The proof of the pudding, as the proverb suggests, is in the eating - well, get yer chops round this then coz "Town Beyond The Trees" is just brilliant!! With six music-hungry members you'd think that The Storys might struggle to achieve much in the way of musical unity but The Storys seem to be solid in their beliefs and focussed on their future as a rock-solid band for the 21st Century. The Storys pitch their craft absolutely spot-on; The Storys are a proper band writing and playing proper music of classy maturity. The Storys bring new light to a tired and often desperate industry - and long may they shine on!! "Town Beyond The Trees" by The Storys is an exceptional album and I really hope that these guys get the exposure and hence the rewards they so rightly deserve. Awesome!!
16 Dec 2007 - Joe Cocker/The Storys, Indigo2, London - getreadytorock.com (Pete Feenstra)
...whoever manages tonight's support band The Storys made sure that their harmony laden charges would open proceedings for Cocker's baby boomer audience. For in the land of enduring musical values, Radio 2 is the natural home any aspiring west coast sounding melodic outfit like The Storys. And while the impressive west coast influenced melodic rockers are perhaps a shade too sugary to fully embrace the Americana template, their crisp, multi layered harmonies and acoustic sensibilities recall the days of The Eagles, Jackson Browne, Crosby Stills & Nash and in their more poppy moments Wet Wet Wet. And despite the fact they were hitting most of the audience cold, The Storys quickly proved that their brand of polished melodic pop was indeed the stuff that Cocker's audience were predisposed to. The crowd's warm reception was fully merited as Wales' own impressed with a handful of well crafted songs from the polished acoustic wash of "Journey's End" and the rousing sing-along chorus of "Save Me", to their best song "Cinnamon" on which you half expected Jackson Browne to wander in from the wings...
30 May 2007 - The Aquarian (Ken Shane)
Given that there's not much new under the pop music sun, it appears that every once-popular genre is a target for revival. Based on this British band's debut album, the time has come for an updating of the folk/country rock sound popularized by Poco, and later The Eagles, in the 1970s. This is a tricky style to pull off. It demands catchy, melodic songwriting with great hooks, and strong vocal harmonies. The Storys have all that, but even when it's done well, as it is here, it doesn't always meet with great success. The great Scottish band Del Amitri can attest to that. There are a number of really listenable songs here, and it's easy to understand how Elton John became a fan. The standouts include "Cinnamon", "Roll Like A Stone" and "Journey's End".
May 2007 - CD Universe
On their self-titled debut album, the Storys offer up a confident set of acoustic-driven pop/rock. Boasting four (yes, four) singer-songwriters, this UK-based act succeeds in making Coldplay seem edgy with its effortlessly catchy choruses and sensitive lyrics, as best revealed on the uplifting sing-along "I Believe in Love" and the thoughtful ballad "Be By Your Side".
5 May 2007 - amazon.com (M R Warren)
Following in the tradition of the Cosmic Rough Riders, Teenage Fanclub and the Thrills, yet another band from Europe gets Sunshine fever. A six man band with four lead singers, tho it must be said frontman Steve Balsamo has the greatest range, ample harmonies abound. What sets this group apart from the above mentioned is the diversity of style here. The cd kicks off with "I Believe in Love", owing alot to the country rock sound of the seventies. "Save Me" is straight ahead blues, while "Journey's End" could be off of a Don Henley solo cd. Heck there is even a little Backstreet Boys in "You're Taking My Heart away"! A little bit for everybody on what is an impressive first effort. Kinda like what the Eagles would sound like if they had started in the 21st century.
5 Apr 2007 - amazon.com (Don Morrison)
These guys are from England and they are some what of a new group, they are not the "Stories" from the seventies. I have a friend who likes to club in England and she told me about them, I went to Amazon and bought their CD. They have an English urban pop sound that you just have to listen to. As far as I know, they have not came to the States yet and are not well known here, be the first on your block to get "The Storys".
27 Mar 2007 - Philadelphia Daily New (Jonathan Takiff)
On "The Storys" (Ryko/Korovo), the group of the same name neatly evokes (without totally aping) the '70s West Coast aura of Crosby, Stills & Nash and the Eagles. A little John Lennon and "Wild Horses"-era Rolling Stones is also stirred into this pot.
3 Oct 2006 - Shepherds Bush Empire - The Times (David Sinclair)
On paper this was a landmark gig in the onward march of The Storys. A personal endorsement from Elton John - who declared their self-titled debut album to be "fantastic" - had led to the six-man group from Swansea supporting him on a string of stadium dates during the summer. Now they were back to play the biggest concert yet in their own right: a showcase event as part of the month-long On Song Festival, which was being recorded for a broadcast in two weeks' time on Radio 2. The Storys are a group whose appeal depends on an old-fashioned concept of musical elegance and harmonic nuance. With a front line comprised of four distinct singers and songwriters, they harked back to the classic era of American West Coast bands such as the Eagles and Crosby Stills Nash & Young, an impression reinforced by their fashion sense. Their set was a masterclass in the art of slow, melodic, acoustic harmony-rock, beautifully played and sung with an attention to detail that left little room for any showmanship. Despite the collegiate nature of the group, with each of the songwriters taking the lead on their own songs, it was Steve Balsamo who clearly emerged as the best singer and natural focus of attention. His performances were spine-tingling throughout, especially the soaring bursts of falsetto in "Save Me" and his sad, haunting delivery of "The King of Broken Dreams". And despite one or two comparatively uptempo numbers, the bias in favour of slow, soft material was slightly enervating. But it will sound absolutely beautiful on the radio. (3/5 stars)
Sep 2006 - Quayside Exchange, Sunderland (Sam)
Wow... There wasn't anyone in the whole building that didn't love it! The Storys made a fantastic impression on this place. They spent the day chilling and soundchecking and I have to say it was one of the best soundtracks I've had to my 9-5! They Kicked off at about 9.30 after Brian - now, he's a legend in his own right. Brian Houston - double wow... You must check him out! Anyhoo - got seriously distracted... The night was just fab - having annoyed the majority of staff here at the Quayside with the tracks off myspace they were almost sick of the 4 songs they'd heard repeatedly and I was worried they wouldn't enjoy it - but instead they sat there singing along (yes - I'd played it that much even the staff knew some of the words!). I'd just like to thank the band for all that they did for us here at the Quayside - by the way Steve... Holly still goes all crossed eyed everytime we mention your name! Highlights of the night were definitely "Cinnamon", playing pool with Andy, watching the staff get star struck over the nicest and most down to earth band! Getting the full album for the staff (even the customers have asked who's singing now it's blasting out in the bar!) Giant Twister!!!! (Andy and Dai can really bend!) Rob's Birthday!!!! So after having one of the best nights ever here at the Quayside I'd really like to thank The Storys... From me, Dave and Richard and all the staff (working and not) - THANKS!!!! We'd love you to come back (even if it's just for lil' Holly!). Well, on to the next... but can the next band live up to these guys!!?
12 Sep 2006 - The Boardwalk, Sheffield - classicrocksociety.co.uk (Martin Hudson)
I did not have to wrestle with myself over whether or not to get along to this gig. For one, the headline band is outstanding, and two, one of the CRS' fave band's was opening. It proved to be another one of those very special evenings that the average punter would only "um and ah" over. Silly really since airwave luminaries such as Bob Harris and Janice Long are waxing lyrical, not only over The Storys, but also over the little Irishman Brian Houston. Having said that, gig attendances is not a new subject for myself and not surprisingly it was a sparsely filled Boardwalk on arrival. The Storys have star of the West End stage, Steve Balsamo, as lead singer/guitarist and this guy can sing. Having said that the vocal harmonies are superbly rich giving The Storys a CSN or Eagles tang! The band is a six-piece with four equally amazing vocalists that spreads the vocal work load around. The eponymous debut album is stuffed full of quality songs that provides for all the family. In fact Steve announced on a couple occasions to an oblivious crowd, "Here's a proggy one for Martin!" Thanks Steve, but every song was performed with aplomb and built upon some beautiful musicianship. Indeed, each of the four front men could have performed a full solo set (had they the material) and transfixed the now fuller hall. "I Believe In Love", the album opener, became the evenings opener, ("High Enough" - a ballad - was track of the evening for me), and that CSN parallel was instantly apparent. The Storys have recently opened for Elton John and performed at Bob Harris' 60th birthday bash and so are rated highly by those that know. All that is needed now is for the band to become less of a secret to the general public and they will be massive. They are simply brilliant! PS - Watch out for Story boys Steve Balsamo and Rob Thompson along with Magenta's Rob Reed on the ChimpanA project!
Jun 2006 - clickmusic.com (Andrew Noon)
On Tour With Elton John - it's with these ominous words on the cover of "Cinnamon" that we're first acquainted with The Storys. Like stumbling through the first few questions at a big job interview, or getting through the awkward talk at the start of a date, you hope things can only get better. Fortunately, they do. "Cinnamon" sounds like a lost track from Ryan Adams' "Gold" sessions. A song to soundtrack the moment when you're stood in a field in the summer waiting for your new favourite band to appear on stage, and suddenly you glimpse the guy or girl you've been waiting all your life to meet. Similarly, ace B-side "So Long" will then soundtrack the last few moments you spend together, promising to meet up although you both know you never will, before going your separate ways, on different shuttle buses back to the station. (3.5/5)
Jun 2006 - Classic Rock Magazine (Jerry Ewing
Tall takes from the south-west coast of Wales. You'll probably be aware that this mob are to support that Grand Old Pantomime Dame of pop Elton John this summer, but don't let that put you off, for there is much to revel in within the intricate vocal harmonies of this Swansea sextet's sound. True, one doesn't normally associate the West Coast sound of The Eagles and Crosby, Stills & Nash with the south-west coast of Wales, but "Be By Your Side", "Roll Like A Stone" and "Cinnamon" are sweet, soulful songs embellished by the split harmonies that carry each one... it's a cracking start. (8/10)
24 Apr 2006 - The Point, Cardiff - South Wales Echo (Bob Cypher)
Welsh band The Storys came to Cardiff Bay on Saturday to showcase their eponymous album. The band, featuring erstwhile Jesus Christ Superstar Steve Balsamo, has been making waves with their soft rock music, reminiscent of The Eagles, Crosby Stills Nash & Young and The Association. They are due to begin a nationwide stadium tour with Sir Elton John at the end of next month and are using a mini tour of the UK to sharpen their stage act. At The Point, they were obviously among ardent fans who had travelled from the Swansea area where the band originates. Their set was bright, musically excellent with the anthemic "I Believe In Love" and "Roll Like A Stone" having the sort of hooks you think you remember from the past but which are totally original. Although the band boasts four singer/songwriters and the harmonies are superb, there is little doubt that Balsamo, looking as though he has just stepped from the Superstar stage, is the frontman. His charming - almost shy - boyish smiles seem to endear him to all ages typical Radio2 - and it seems likely that, with The Storys, he is about to embark on a new chapter.
Apr 2006 - Maverick Magazine
Harmonic sunny country-rock from the Welsh hillsides. The west coast comes to South Wales on this debut release by six-piece guitar-pop outfit The Storys. The recording process may have taken place amid the Welsh valleys, but the sound - radio-friendly melodies, uplifting harmony vocals and mandolin and banjo for wholesome country-rock flavouring - is pure 1970s California. Lead vocal duties are shared between the band's four singer-songwriters; Steve Balsamo (vocals/guitar), Andy Collins (vocals/bass), Dai Smith (vocals/guitar) and Rob Thompson (vocals/guitar), and when out of the spotlight, all contribute great tight-but-natural harmonies. Sensitive backing comes from Brian Thomas on drums and percussion, with keys, mandolin and banjo courtesy of Alan Thomas. Happily, the sonic variety elsewhere stays within more plausible bounds, taking in breathy acoustic balladry ("High Enough" and "You're Not Around"), the exuberantly huge choruses of "Cinnamon", joyous and jangly country-rock on "Roll Like A Stone", and string-led narrative track "The King of Broken Dreams". The real knock-out, giving away its superiority as the slyly chosen album opener, is "I Believe In Love", with bold, sunny layers of sound underpinned by industrial strength bass lines. Throughout, the irresistible voices of Balsamo et al remain smooth, boyish and superb communicators of sometimes unadventurous material. Ultimately though, The Storys' is a winning formula and one sure to be lapped up by wider audiences. Blessed with four voices like these, an intuitive musicality and extremely astute commercial sensibilities, this sextet should soon be winning many more fans with their warm, feel-good glow.
Apr 2006 - dvdfever.co.uk (Elly Roberts)
The Storys are the best band to come out of Wales in a long, long time. It's not only me who seems to rate them. Elton John has recruited them for his 11-date stadium and arena tour this summer: 'Sir Elt' has a knack of spotting real talent: James Blunt, Scissor Sisters and Anastacia have all supported him. "They have made a fantastic debut album, and I am really excited that they will be playing with me on tour", says Elton. Comprising Steve Balsamo vocals/guitar, Andy Collins v/bass, Dai Smith v/g, Rob Thompson v/g, Brian Thomas drums/percussion and Alan Thomas Keys/mandolin/banjo, and on the evidence of this sensational debut they're destined for a big future. Embracing the best of 60s/70s west-coast influences such as Crosby Stills Nash and Young, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac (and The Beatles) they've added their own 21st Century twist. Immaculately constructed songs with Californian sunshine, the six-piece combo have delivered a sumptuous debut sure to make most radio playlists. Catchy hooks, golden melodies run amok across the 11 tracks. With four singer-songwriters playing their part and alternating lead vocals then performing backups, they present a formidable sound as the opening track "I Believe In Love" sets the tone, a classic CSN&Y sound-alike, as is later "Roll Like A Stone". "Be By Your Side" could well be Fleetwood Mac at their most melodic. Elsewhere, there's a slight hint of Pink Floyd on "High Enough" as the track explodes into a glorious crescendo, highlighting their collective talents. McCartney and Lennon could well be the inspiration for "You're Not Around", a gentle strum-lead ballad. There's just enough 'boy-band' vocal appeal on the soaring ballad "Journey's End" to make it a huge hit. The Daily Telegraph wrote, "Every track is a polished gem", which they are. The band has played many live radio sessions for the BBC including Radio 4's Loose Ends, Radio 2's Janice Long and Bob Harris who said, "Wonderful songs, great playing and instinctively beautiful harmonies. The album is gem". Bob should know. (10/10)
26 Mar 2006 - Sunday Mirror
Album of the Week - this classy six-piece have been tipped as one of the big things of 2006. The folky, rocky feel with just a touch of country is in the tradition of Crosby, Stills and Nash.... even if The Storys come from Swansea! And they know how to pen catchy, cool songs.
23 Mar 2006 - The Sun
Some bands would have been put into a quandry by Elton John ringing them up and personally inviting them to support him on his tour. Not so The Storys, who jumped at the chance. Their Californian-tinged folky pop has no problem with heading straight down the middle of the mainstream. Single "Be By Your Side" is perfectly polished with a guitar solo straight out of the Neil Young songbook. They may have more in common with boyband pop than Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, but they never miss a melody or a chance for a lovely harmony. At its worst it washes over you without demanding attention. At its best, it's the soft and slow country rock of The Eagles. Destined to be massive, catch them while they're still playing the smaller arenas.
23 Mar 2006 - The Times/T2 (Pete Paphides)
With a former Lloyd Webber lead atop the charts, (Orson's Jason Pebworth), the former Jesus Christ, Steve Balsamo, must fancy his chances. And with reason. Three-part harmonies will flood Crowded House fans with deja vu, while well-deployed Hammond organs and mandolins explain why Elton John has offered the band a support slot. Only the odd failure to distinguish between classicism and cliche hampers a strong debut.
20-26 Mar 2006 - Big Issues
If celebrity endorsements count for anything, then South Wales six-piece The Storys have hit pay dirt: Elton John has described their debut album as "fantastic". Presumably Elton is also a fan of The Magic Numbers and 1960s American folk-rock, because The Storys have much in common with both. The vocal harmonies on "Cinnamon" and first single "Be By Your Side" practically have flowers in their hair, while "The King of Broken Dreams" points to a country influence.
20 Mar 2006 - Woman's Own
This band is currently enjoying massive airplay on Radio 2. Best described as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young meets The Eagles, they're tipped to be this year's hottest new group.
18 Mar 2006 - Music Week
In the tradition of acts such as Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Storys possess an ability to pen instantly classic songs which ooze class. Signed by Warner imprint Korova earlier this year, the band are building a strong, loyal fanbase in the UK through their extensive touring and look set to have a successful 2006.
Mar 2006 - Birmingham Mail (Paul Cole)
While The Thrills have re-invented the Beach Boys and The Magic Numbers have re-visited the Mamas & Papas, Steve Balsamo's Welsh wonders have re-written the West Coast songbook of The Eagles and Crosby Stills, Nash & Young, coming up with credible soft-rock packed with warm harmonies, hummable hooks and gorgeous guitar. Songs such as "I Believe In Love" and "Cinnamon" have booked in at Hotel California, while "High Enough" has a Lennonesque keen and "Save Me" boasts a bluesy guitar crunch that Joe Walsh would admire. Listen, too, for a cheeky pinch of Eagles hallmark Lyin' Eyes during "The King Of Broken Dreams".
10 Mar 2006 - The Sun
Lovely harmonies and polished melodies have found them a new best friend in Elton John, who they are supporting this summer.
10 Mar 2006 - Daily Mirror
Timing can be everything. Two years ago, US group The Thorns promised big things with their West Coast rock, but sunk without a trace. Now, with Jack Johnson paving the way, the time may be right for Steve Balsamo's similar classy, Sir Elton John-endorsed outfit from Swansea. Peachy harmonies, sun-baked melodies and chiming guitars dominate on this taster for their imminent debut. (**** Must listen to at all costs)
Mar 2006 - Uncut (Nigel Williamson)
Welsh rockers check in to Hotel California - After selling the record at gigs for several months, the debut from Welsh sextet The Storys now gets a full release, and is set to give fellow West Coast revivalists such as The Thrills a race around the canyons. Leader Steve Balsamo sounds uncannily like Don Henley, and they recreate the sound of '70s LA soft-rock so accurately as to almost resemble an Eagles tribute band. As they're all in their 30s and 40s, you also wonder where they've been hiding since Hotel California ruled the airwaves. But four strong songwriters add contrast and character to an otherwise derivative style.
Feb-Mar 2006 - Acoustic Magazine (Brett Callwood)
One listen to The Storys, and 70s bands like Crosby, Stills Nash & Young and The Eagles spring to mind, but in fact, they were formed in South Wales two years ago. With four different singer/songwriters in the band, they take it turns to sing lead vocals, a fact that gives them a wonderfully diverse range of styles and subject matters that they can cover over the course of the album. Opening track "I Believe In Love" is an honest, if slightly middle of the road, ballad, while the piano led "High Enough" manages to tug on all the right heartstrings. Having four storytellers is to the benefit of, erm, The Storys, who display a rare charm and delicate sensibilities throughout the course of what is an incredibly accomplished debut album. The highlight of the record is undoubtedly "You're Taking My Heart Away", a dark, country-ish ballad. With bands like Snow Patrol and, dare I say it, Coldplay in the charts, there's no reason why The Storys' tortured tales can't take the country and it's radio stations by storm. They certainly have the tunes and the commercial sheen required. And let's face it, anything's better than Will Young.
Feb 2006 - QSheet (Nik Harta)
Heavily tipped by the music press as "ones to watch in 2006", The Storys are a six-piece band from South Wales: Steve Balsamo, Andy Collins, Dai Smith, Rob Thompson, Brian Thomas and Alan Thomas. The band's material has a rootsy quality, with flavours of southern California about it, similar to the sumptuous sounds and country-rock harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young/The Eagles and the soft undertones of The Magic Numbers. Aided by a catchy chorus and excellent harmonies there is an instant comfort factor when listening to their debut single "Be By Your Side".
Jan 2006 - altcountry.nl (Wiebren Rijkeboer)
Long hair, pale faces, born in South Wales: the four The Storys guys. Music: more vocal voices, countrified guitarpop, typical West Coast. You can compare the style with Venice, but then a 1000 times better. The 4 band members all can sing, and how! It sounds really great: it makes the CD The Storys (Hall Recordings) a very nice CD. This classical concept has been done a lot, especially by British young ones like Grand Drive, Goldrush and The Vessels, but I don't care: as long as I can enjoy the golden melodies, beautiful singing and guitar oriented countrypop. Then I am satisfied. And I am with this nice debut. The Storys have made a varied pop rock CD, at moments superb and vocally superior. The lead singer is Steve Balsamo, who already made a solo album and played roles in JCS and Edgar Allen Poe musical POE (and has a Dutch fansite). The Storys is an ultimate West Coast country rock band and the combination of guitars and singing is perfect in numbers like "Be By Your Side", "Cinnamon", "Roll Like A Stone", "The King Of Broken Dreams" and "Save Me" (with howling guitars). It even calls up great memories of great seventies bands like Starry Eyed Laughing, Blue and Brinsley Schwartz (all to be expected to be forgotten classics). I think it's mighty. Altcountry.nl thinks The Storys deserve compliments! But I don't think they care: more important is that the band signed a record deal in December at a major record company. Well boys, go for it!
Nov 2005 - melodic.net (Par Winberg)
Mon Dieu! That's French for Holy freekin moses or something like that, and that is an understatement for this album. This is a MONSTER release folks. I can make that clear from the start. This album will easily end up TOP 5 of 2005 when we'll sum it all up in December. How high... well... just wait and see. The Storys is a new discovery for me and I just got this album sent to me from the band the other day. I put it on the stereo the same evening while reading a musicmag and I just sat there staring at the stereo and then looked at the sleeve... Out came a perfect hybrid of midwest/acoustic 60s pop/westcoast/modern singer songwriter pop. And the cake is spiced with the absolute best "harmony-vocals" I have heard since the days when Julius Caesar ruled the world. The Storys is a 6-piece band from South Wales and the guys in the band are more or less all of them fabulous singers with Steve Balsamo's voice as the shining leadsinger-diamond (he sent me a great solo album from 2001 as well - see another review another day...). Just listen to the opening "I Believe In Love" where the guys set the tone immediately (it smells - take it as a compliment... Mr Big's huge radio hit "To Be With You"... AND just listen to the harmonies folks... just listen...). The race just continues in second out "Be By Your Side". In third out - the first single - "Cinnamon" I just sat there with an open mouth staring at the stereo once again. WHAT-A-HELLUVA-REFRAIN!!!! This is what The Eagles would sound like if they were young and horny the year 2005. In fourth out "High Enough" the tempo goes down a little bit and a beautiful piano sets the tone and fifth out "You're Taking My Heart Away" has a cool modern arrangement in an almost latin sort of flavor which works out fine. In sixth out the tempo goes down even more and the smell of The Beatles sort of sweet 60s pop is quite obvious. In seventh out "Like A Rolling Stone" the band sits on another "killer-hit" for the radio. This song is a marvelous piece of work and it sounds like the best song that the Venice-Brothers would die for to have written. The toughest track on the album is eight out "Save Me" and it's just good without that extra touch. In ninth out "The King Of Broken Dreams" we're back on track once again and it starts out in a soft way and goes into a bombastic "big" refrain with a ridiculous good show-off from the guys and their voices. At this point all the superlatives are written but what the hell can I write more than another big bravo when I hear tenth out "Journey's End" and the last one out - "Is It True What They Say About Us", is the perfect end on the perfect journey in a west-coast landscape where just big heroes travels.
Nov 2005 - americana-uk.com (Paul Kerr)
West Coast influenced band trading on their harmonies. Hailing from Wales The Storys are a six-piece band led by Steve Balsamo, a veteran of London theatre having played the lead in the 90's production of Jesus Christ Superstar and also appearing in Les Miserables. Aiming for the soft rock comfort zone they have already garnered some plays from the likes of Bob Harris and others of that ilk. With obvious nods in the direction of CSN and more particularly the Eagles they are undoubtedly talented and the album sounds fine, clear and well defined... The best song is "You're Not Around", written by bass player Andy Collins which is a plaintive song with a touch of Sparklehorse around it. (5/10)
12 Oct 2005 - South Wales Evening Post (Badger from The Wave)
This new, self-titled debut album from a new band is oozing with quality. The Storys consist of Rob, Dai, Andy, Brian, Alan and Steve. They got together last summer and spent three months in an old cinema in the Welsh Valleys and recorded this album, only available to us in South Wales. If you loved the solo stuff Steve Balsamo recorded a couple of years ago, you will love this. The single Cinnamon is getting loads of plays on The Wave at the moment. Many of the tracks have the production style of the new album by Daniel Powter - you feel as if you are actually in the room with the guys.
9 Oct 2005 - Birmingham Sunday Mercury
While The Thrills have re-invented the Beach Boys and The Magic Numbers have re-visited the Mamas and Papas, Steve Balsamo's Welsh wonders have re-written the West Coast songbook of The Eagles and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, coming up with credible soft-rock packed with warm harmonies, hummable hooks and gorgeous guitar. Songs such as "I Believe In Love" and "Cinnamon" have booked in at Hotel California, while "High Enough" has a Lennonesque keen and Save Me boasts a bluesy guitar crunch that Joe Walsh would admire. Listen, too, for a cheeky pinch of Eagles' hallmark Lyin' Eyes during "The King of Broken Dreams".
8 Oct 2005 - The Telegraph (Neil McCormick)
The Storys caused a flutter of excitement when their demos did the rounds last year, with every major record company expressing an interest in their sumptuous revival of the country-rock harmonies of CSNY and the Eagles. There was only one problem. "Please tell me that they're young," was the response of the head of one label. With ages ranging from 31 to 50, the six-piece band were never going to pass the teenybopper test, but then it would be hard to imagine spring chickens making '70s-based music with such an air of relaxed finesse. Their blending of complex chord structures with simple melodies adorned with effortless, multi-layered harmonies is almost a perfect distillation of everything appealing about West Coast Americana, albeit that the Cardiff-based outfit hail from the west coast of Britain. Being big in Wales may not carry much pop-cultural cachet, but The Storys are more than a match for such acclaimed Irish revivalists as Hal and The Thrills. Every track is a perfectly polished gem, compensating for its essential derivativeness with an abundance of character and skill. It comes with age, you know.
Sep 2005 - playlouder.com (Iain Moffat)
It's tempting to call them the Welsh Eagles because these boys sound uncannily like those 70s country rock megastars in the golden days before they became plodding stadium rockers. They also share the mixed blessing that finally laid The Eagles low - virtually all of the members can sing lead and virtually all of them write songs, so the potential for in-band rivalry is enormous. It's not clear from the promo copy I'm using to review the album who wrote which tracks or who sings on which tracks, but there's plenty of variety in the vocals, from sweet and sensitive to rough and ready. The album's first single, "Cinnamon", starts out with a simple guitar strum which is almost exactly like Jackson Browne's "Take It Easy", which was of course recorded by the Eagles, but it quickly takes on its own identity. This is the track which, released on their own Hall Recordings label, has already picked up significant radio airplay, thus justifying the band's confidence in starting off their career without even trying to get signed to a major label. The band was formed back in 2003, and spent six months recording this album in The Hall, a converted cinema in Glyncorrwg, Wales. The results will gladden the hearts of anyone who loves to hear soaring close harmony vocals set against rippling acoustic guitars, although there is absolutely nothing new being added to the basic country-rock mix, except perhaps the speedy Flamenco-rock handclaps in "You're Taking Your Heart Away" which give the track just enough of a hint of The Gipsy Kings to shift a few hundred thousand copies in Europe and South America. What's more significant though is that, despite all of their Eagles-derived aspects, songs like the delicate "You're Not Around" and the churning "Save Me" work more than well enough in their own right to deserve whatever success they might achieve, and certainly well enough to reward your investment of a few pounds.
Sep 2005 - backonthetracks.com
So that's what happened to Steve Balsamo! Afficionados of one-minor-hit-wonders will fondly recall his superb blue-eyed soul nugget from 2002 "Sugar For The Soul", and they'll be proper amazed, as we are, to discover that he's only gone and ended up in this here six-piece, hammering out another UK take on that elusive west coastal summery thang. Naturally, the high water-mark in this area is always Teenage Fanclub, and it goes without saying that The Storys aren't quite in that league yet, but this is a promising enough debut, thanks to its intoxicating harmonies, carefree strumminess and mile-wide keyboardy glee. More thrilling than The Thrills, which is undoubtedly the point.
Sep 2005 - Sound Nation
Once signed to Sony, Swansea's Steve Balsamo and his smouldering looks couldn't break the charts, so a couple of years down the line, he's back with a new band and a self-constructed label campaign. This is core Radio 2 territory, with a classic Seventies West Coast vibe of FM rock. It's Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles and Crosby, Stills and Nash. It's harmonised vocals, piano lines, some strings, slowly-strummed guitars and deliberate moves towards one-line, repeated choruses. It's simultaneously simple and complicated, and effective too. The single "Cinnamon" has a good hook that recalls the likes of Tom Petty. This doesn't push any envelopes of sonic exploration, but Balsamo and his band are pressing the right buttons.
25 Jun 2005 - Nerina Pallot/The Storys, The Borderline - The Times (Lisa Vericco)
It's about time Britain had a big-hair band, not least one led by a former son of God. The Storys are a seven-piece, alt-country outfit from South Wales whose four main members share both vocals and a love of striking hairstyles. The lead singer, Steve Balsamo, is best known for playing the lead in such West End theatre productions as 'Jesus Christ Superstar', but his singer-songwriter sideline might just make him more famous. A pretty boy with long, blond locks, Balsamo has a truly spellbinding voice and the Storys' melodic, mandolin-backed ballads and jaunty rockers should spark some serious interest when the band's debut album is released later this year. (4/5)
18 Jun 2005 - Abbey Music Fest, Reading - josaka.com (Dave Stevens)
The Storys were next on the main stage. I'm not sure how appropriate their Alt Country tag is, but this was a very polished performance. Songs like "Be By Your Side", "Hollywood" and "High EnoughW featured four vocalists, alternating in taking the lead parts and backed by a mix of two acoustic guitars and one electric - underpinned by a solid rhythm section and a gloriously afro'd bassist. Having travelled up from South Wales, they managed to get the crowd involved and I'm sure they were glad they made the journey. They were certainly well received. Apparently, they recently supported Tom Jones - who'd have thought it. They've completed their self-titled debut album, which is out sometime this year, maybe even now.
Jun 2005 - Supporting Tom Jones, Pontypridd - The Pop Factory
With the party atmosphere in full swing from the offset, Tom's 65th birthday promised to be a great day. Welsh acts such as Along Came Man, Tesni Jones and The Storys warmed up the crowd to rapturous applause.
28 May 2005 - Supporting Tom Jones, Pontypridd - South Wales Evening Post (Spencer Feeney)
A series of warm-up acts culminated in an excellent set by Swansea band The Storys.
May 2005 - The Telegraph (Neil McCormick)
Big choruses, sweet harmonies, heart, soul and four lead vocalists, The Storys are the hairiest, most melodious band of West Coast rockers this side of the Atlantic.
Jan 2005 - The Telegraph (Neil McCormick)
The new British bands who will brighten up 2005: The Storys - unsigned but classy country-flavoured ensemble.
26 Jun 2004 - Record Collector (Tim Jones)
Olympic Torch Concert - The Storys had the crowd of all ages rocking by 3pm...