Express & Star

Walsall band The Assist make the bill at Russian festival alongside The Twang and Riscas

Walsall rockers The Assist are heading to Russia to play at one of the country's biggest music festivals.

Walsall's The Assist Photo: Luke Jones

The four-piece will be making the 3,600-mile trip to play at the Ural International Music Night Festival in the city of Ekaterinburg on June 28.

They will be joined by Birmingham bands The Twang and Riscas.

It is an event spread across 100 venues that attracts more than 250,000 people from across Russia.

READ MORE: Birmingham's The Twang finally preparing new album

The festival appearances come under the UK-Russia Year of Music scheme and aim to build on the existing business and cultural links between Birmingham and Ekaterinburg.

The programme will see the three acts perform on the main stage of the Ural Music Night Festival on June 28, as well as playing other cities within the Urals during their stay.

The Twang are one of three Birmingham bands heading to a festival in Russia

Birmingham-based music PR firm Hey Honey have collaborated with the British Embassy in Ekaterinburg on arranging the logistics for the band, and director Kez Handley said: “It’s very refreshing to see Birmingham and Walsall-based artists play on an international stage.”

A celebratory event was held at Muthers Studio in Rea Street, Birmingham, on Thursday to mark the three bands being selected.

Sponsored by established Birmingham brands Luke1977, Scotts and Provide, it saw The Assist perform live, and special guests on the night included Richard Dewell - Her Majesty’s Consul General in Ekaterinburg - and Birmingham City Council's head of cultural department Symon Easton.

Mr Dewell said: “Being from Birmingham myself, I am excited to see some of our best bands getting the opportunity to represent the city at an international festival. I hope their visit will help to strengthen the links between Ekaterinburg and Birmingham.”

The Assist - Mikey and Ryan Stanton, Jorge Poole and Ben Faulkner - have enjoyed support slots with The Twang, Blossoms, Rat Boy and Shaun Ryder, as well as festival performances at Isle of Wight, Kendal Calling and Reading & Leeds.

Once they have made their Russia trip, The Assist will perform closer to home at The Sunflower Lounge in the Second City on July 6 as part of the launch of their latest single.

Birmingham four-piece Riscas

The Twang have been producing hit singles for more than a decade, and have just released Everytime, the critically acclaimed first single from their long-awaited forthcoming fifth album.

The four-piece, made up of vocalist Phil Etheridge, bassist Jon Watkin, guitarist Stu Hartland and drummer Ash Sheehan, have continued to wow audiences and win new fans with their electric live shows. They will play in Russia before heading out on tour as special guests to Shed Seven later this year.

They have also just been announced as one of the supports for Doves at the one-day Innercity Live @ Perry Park event in Birmingham next month alongside The Coral and Johnny Marr.

READ MORE: Shed Seven and The Twang to play Birmingham

Brummie quartet Riscas only formed in 2016, but have already garnered BBC Radio 1 airplay, amassed millions of streams and played UK tours.

For more on Ural Music Night Festival, visit their website.

All three bands can be followed on Twitter to see what they get up to in Russia, with The Twang @the_twang, The Assist @TheAssistBandand Riscas @RISCASUK

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