Motion Theory

Motion Theory
Motion Theory

Promo shot for the 2011 EP 'It's not as dark as that, Friend'.
Background information
Origin Durham, England
Genres Alternative rock, Progressive rock
Years active 2008–present
Dom Main
Jamie Wesley
James Kerr
Will Soutter

Motion Theory is an English alternative rock band that formed in early 2008.



  • Dom Main – Vocals/Keyboards
  • Jamie Wesley – Guitars
  • James Kerr – Bass
  • Will Soutter – Drums

Sunlight on the Sand EP and 2008 tour

Motion Theory formed at Durham University in March 2008.[1][2] Two band members, Will and Jamie, originally played in a school band together in Macclesfield,[3] near Manchester. In May 2008 Motion Theory recorded a six-track EP, Sunlight on the Sand[4] which was released for free download.[5]

During the summer of 2008, they gained a local following in the North East of England through a number of live performances in University and in venues in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Durham, including supporting Frank Turner[1] at the annual Jam by the Lake Festival in Durham in July 2008.

In September 2008 they completed a short tour of the UK playing venues in Manchester, London, Edinburgh, Congleton, Macclesfield, Newcastle and Durham.[1][4]

Featherhead album and 2009 tour

In 2009 they recorded their debut album featherhead and embarked on a more extensive tour[6] of England in June/August/September, including supporting The Holloways in Durham at the Jam By The Lake festival and playing Newcastle,[4] London, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds,[7] Cumbria,[2][8] Macclesfield,[3] Stockport, Bristol, Crewe (supporting The Telegraphs),[9] Congleton[6] and Halifax. The album and tour received positive reviews across the country.

Featherhead was released online[2][7] on 10 August 2009 and on CD[5] on 10 September 2009. On 14 September it was awarded "Unsigned Album of the Week" by Manchester Music.[10] Also in September 2009 the three songs Motion Theory entered to the UK Songwriting Contest were awarded semi-finalist positions.[2] These were: September and Sunlight on the Sand from the debut EP and the title track featherhead from the debut album.[11]

In October 2009 Room Thirteen described featherhead as "a set of songs that work well in all sorts of situations", and that the band "brings you alternative progressive rock at its best"[12] but in the same month, Sphere Magazine concluded "[t]here is nothing wholly original on display."[13] In November Subba-Cultcha said "There are some clear influences on the album – namely Incubus and Muse".[14]

In November 2009, Motion Theory were added to the Crossover genre section on prog-rock community (which contains bands like The Moody Blues, Radiohead, Supertramp) where they were described as follows: "With hints of classical music, Radiohead, Rush, Led Zeppelin, but also Japan and many others, their sound is very eclectic, yet modern progressive."[5]

2010 - Regional Recognition

In January 2010 The Manchester Evening News interviewed Motion Theory and commented "The band's self-funded album 'featherhead', released late last year, announced their arrival as Manchester's reigning head boys of cerebral heavy rock - combining the dense, almost industrial textures of Nine Inch Nails with the expansive, anthemic rock dynamics of Muse and Radiohead." [15]

In 2010 Motion Theory had headline shows at The Roadhouse, Manchester in January,[16] The Box, Crewe in April[17][18][19] and supported alt-rock touring band eaststrikewest at Moho Live, Manchester in July.[20]

The Dutch Progressive Rock Page reviewed the album featherhead in March 2010 and concluded "Motion Theory have far more ideas than any band their age and experience should, by right, possess.".[21]

In April 2010 Motion Theory appeared on This is the Cat Radio in Crewe (2 April)[22] and Macclesfield's Silk 106.9 FM Radio (8 April).[23]

Two more Motion Theory songs, All I Need and I Love the Smell of the Universe in the Morning from the album featherhead were awarded semi-finalist positions in the UK Songwriting Contest in May 2010.[24]

In July 2010 Motion Theory were spotted by a Jar Music scout and invited to play at The Cavern Club Liverpool in an industry showcase event.[25] This led to entry into the Breakout Festival semifinal on 30 September, also at the Cavern Club.[26] From there Motion Theory progressed to the Regional Final at the O2 Academy, Liverpool, where the band was runner-up.[27][28].

2011 - It's not as dark as that, Friend - EP

In 2011 Motion Theory wrote and recorded a new five track EP It's not as dark as that, Friend and promoted it with a number of gigs across the North West of England[29] as well as local radio interviews.[30][31] The EP launch event at the Manchester Roadhouse on 9th July was dubbed Gig of the Week by the Manchester Evening News. [32]

In the month after release Sea of Tranquility reviewed It's not as dark as that, Friend and said "The music here is a bit more mellow than Featherhead, but still unquestionably the work of the same band. I'm often reminded of acts like Marillion (Somewhere Else or Happiness is the Road era), Radiohead, and Muse, but Motion Theory does have their own sound... generally a terrific EP".[33] and Room Thirteen commented "Motion Theory's sound is unmistakably British; vocally as well as instrumentally the Manchester mob have a distinctive charm".[34]. The BBC played the opening track Let's pave over the Sea on Introducing Stoke on 29th July 2011, then played Sure it's chaos but it's Ours on 9th September and Dead Reckoning on 28th October 2011.[35]

On 31st August 2011 Manchester Music gave It's not as dark as that, Friend 5 stars and awarded it "Unsigned Record of the Month".[36]



  • featherhead (2009)


  • Sunlight on the Sand (2008)
  • It's not as dark as that, Friend (2011)


  1. ^ a b c "Motion Theory completes UK tour in Newcastle". What's On North-East (ncj Media). 10 October 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Egremont hosts new band Motion Theory". Whitehaven News (CN Group). 16 September 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Motion Theory are sitting Pretty". Macclesfield Express (M.E.N. Media): p. 17. 6 August 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c "Catch Durham four-piece Motion Theory in region before UK tour". The Northern Echo (Newsquest). 25 June 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c "MOTION THEORY". November 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  6. ^ a b "Wheels in Motion for a String of Gigs". Congleton Chronicle (The Chronicle Series): p. 24. 6 August 2009. 
  7. ^ a b Seaman, Duncan (13 August 2009). "GIG PREVIEW: Motion Theory". Yorkshire Evening Post (Yorkshire Post Newspapers). Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  8. ^ "See the Theory put into practice". The Westmorland Gazette (Newsquest). 17 September 2009. 
  9. ^ "Review: The Telegraphs + Support (The Box, 25 Sep 09)". Crewe Music. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2009. "catchy and accessible melodic rock" 
  10. ^ Slowlie, Emily (14 September 2009). "FEATHERHEAD * unsigned record of the week *". Manchester Music. Manchester City Music Network. Retrieved 10 December 2009. "This band have all the makings of something special indeed" 
  11. ^ "UK Songwriting Contest 2009". UK Songwriting Contest. 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2009. "(enter song title (featherhead, Sunlight on the Sand or September) for verification of semi-finalist status)" 
  12. ^ "Motion Theory - Featherhead". Room 13. 30 October 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  13. ^ Skey, Jamie (23 October 2009). "CD Review: Motion Theory - 'Featherhead'". Sphere Magazine. Retrieved 10 December 2009. "[T]here are some flickers of talent in amongst the self consciously stylised alt-rock, but it isn’t enough to cover up the manifest weaknesses" 
  14. ^ Kilby, Gemma (November 2009). "Motion Theory - Featherhead". Retrieved 10 December 2009. "[T]his is clearly a highly talented band who have the potential to do very well, and this album could be ideal to showcase their musical gift" 
  15. ^ "Classical Talents in Rock Motion". Manchester Evening News CityLife (M.E.N. Media): p. 20. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  16. ^ "Band Headline City Showcase". The Sentinel (The Sentinel (Staffordshire)): p. 31. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  17. ^ "Making the Right Moves". Macclesfield Express (M.E.N. Media): p. Life Section, p.3. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  18. ^ "Motion Theory Headline the Box in Crewe". Chester Chronicle (Trinity Mirror). 14 April 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  19. ^ "Motion Theory in The Box". Congleton Chronicle (The Chronicle Series): p. 19. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  20. ^ "Motion Theory to Support Alt-Rockers". Congleton Chronicle (The Chronicle Series): p. 21. 15 July 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  21. ^ Hughes, Mark (6 March 2010). "Motion Theory - Featherhead". Dutch Progressive Rock Page. Retrieved 10 December 2009. "It is hard to pigeonhole the music as it covers many bases - alt rock to prog with tangents off in multiple directions - but the talent is definitely there." 
  22. ^ "Sean Dyer's Show". Crewe and Nantwich Community Radio Society. 2 April 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  23. ^ "Charlie Marlow's Evening Show". Silk 106.9. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  24. ^ "UK Songwriting Contest 2010". UK Songwriting Contest. May 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010. "(enter song title All I Need, or I Love the Smell of the Universe in the Morning for verification of semi-finalist status)" 
  25. ^ "Come Join us at Cavern Club". Congleton Chronicle (The Chronicle Series): p. 20. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  26. ^ "Band will Follow in Famous Footsteps". Macclesfield Express (M.E.N. Media): p. Life Section, p.3. 29 September 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  27. ^ "Alt-prog band needs your vote during festival final". Congleton Chronicle (The Chronicle Series): p. 24. 28 October 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  28. ^ "Motion Theory at Cygnet". Congleton Chronicle (The Chronicle Series): p. 21. 24 March 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  29. ^ "Congleton alt-prog band Motion Theory have written six new tracks and will be releasing an EP in July". Congleton Chronicle (The Chronicle Series): p. 35. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  30. ^ "Let's pave over the Sea, live on RedShift Radio". RedShift Radio. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  31. ^ "Motion Theory interview on Canalside Radio, 6 July 2011". Canalside Community Radio. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  32. ^ "Gig of the Week - Motion Theory EP Launch". Manchester Evening News CityLife (M.E.N. Media): p. 22. 8 July 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  33. ^ "Motion Theory - It's not as dark as that, Friend". Sea of Tranquility. 1 August 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. "These guys have their own sound and a knack for creating songs that are beautiful and memorable." 
  34. ^ "Motion Theory - It's not as dark as that, Friend". Room 13. 6 August 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. "This new EP follows on from their debut album "Featherhead" and doesn't disappoint, delivering on the promise of that record with five juicy alt-rock numbers." 
  35. ^ "Played on BBC Radio". BBC Radio (logo on 30 July 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  36. ^ "Motion Theory - It's not as dark as that, Friend - Unsigned Record of the Month". Manchester Music. 31 August 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011. "Some astounding song writing, this immense slab of ambitious rock is well worth the wait...Motion Theory have again, produced something quite magical here." 

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