A Medway Vision 8: Monster Ambition


Taken by Phil Dillon

It’s so often not just about the talent.  It’s about work rate too.  The distinctive artistic blossoming of the Medway Towns, that vibrant feeling that something special is happening, the ‘Medway Vision’ as I call it, can’t merely happen from wanting it to happen.  Work goes into it.  A lot of sweat needs to be leaked if you are going to get your art seen or heard.  If hard work brings rewards then up-coming Medway band Crybaby Special and the Monsters will be reaping heap loads very soon.

The band only came into being in September last year but have already played in virtually every venue the Towns have to offer culminating in the release of their first ever EP ‘Man in the Woods’.  And let’s not forget all their London and other Kent gigs.  Starting out as an acoustic two piece (Josh Carson, Jason Stafford ) they wrote a few songs and spent one day rehearsing (yes, ONE day, these boys want things done fast) before debuted them at an open mic night.   In the words of Josh Carson “it’s been non-stop ever since, with Lewis Crennell joining the band on drums at the end of January 2012”.  Before this, the band was just one man, singer Jason.  He performed solo as Crybaby Special for the best part of a year before deciding he wanted to play as a band.

And so, endless gigging led to their first EP ‘Man in the Woods’  The EP was recorded in February 2012 with Mik Whitnall (Babyshambles guitarist) and Adem Hilmi (who also records Babyshambles and Peter Doherty solo). Mik even plays on three of the 6 tracks.  Their sound has been described in a number of ways.  As Josh points out “Bob Dylan on Crack…Creepy, Eerie, Spider, Jiggery…Folk Punk sung by Fagin…our favourite though is probably Exuberant Garage-Folk-Punk from the Medway Delta from Bug Bear promotions who put on gigs in London” Oddly enough those descriptions sum up their sound pretty well.

However, seeing as Mik Whitnall from Babyshambles produced the EP you can’t help but hear the Pete Docherty influence too.  Add to that, if you will, a bit of ska as imagined by Midnight Oil and you’re getting the picture.  But, as cute and cool those Babyshambles/Ska tracks are it’s their most original sounding work that excites me most. The almost middle-eastern tinged title track feels most vital.  It’s not only the best track on the EP, but, if there is any justice, it will be on repeat play on radio stations throughout the summer.

Judging by the continuous cycle of gigs then the EP seems to have cemented their following.  But you know full well that these lads are not going to be happy with that.  There is an ambition here, a desire to get to the top.  This is already a touring band, a band that develops its sound the more it interacts with its audience.  Josh confirms “our plans for the future are to too just carry on as we are by playing at every given opportunity and anywhere we can”

It’s ambition; it’s hard-work; it’s about having a vision.  A Medway Vision.  Crybaby Special and the Monsters will carry on growing and adapting and reaching out to whoever wants to hear them next.  I think it was Paul Weller that said something like the people who ‘made it’ are the ones that didn’t give up.  If true then you can be sure that sometime soon, Crybaby Special and the Monsters will have ‘made it’.

‘Man In The Woods’ EP is available to buy from iTunes:




Mr Young

Independent Filmmaker




Area  South East

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