Friday, 21 September 2018

LISTEN: Mumford & Sons - 'Guiding Light'

"Let's call it an album. Let's call said album Delta. And let's get said album out in November."

Not a drill. Everyone's favourite folksters (and often, not-so-folksters) Mumford & Sons are back with new music. Since smashing onto the scene with their incredible debut record Sigh No More in 2009, their rise has been pretty stratospheric. Two more albums, worldwide arena tours, headline slots at some of the world's biggest and most prestigious festivals and receiving a Best Album Grammy award for Babel are just some of the things they've been up to over the last few years. Not to mention frontman Marcus Mumford producing Gamble For A Rose, the superb second record from King Charles, and Ben Lovett opening one of London's best new music venues, Omeara. 



From the first days of Sigh No More they became an instant favourite of mine, introducing me to a new style of music and opening up a world of new artists to me, even now. Most notably, they introduced me to one of my now absolute favourite bands, Dawes, when I saw them opening up a show for them in 2012. The two bands coming together to cover With A Little Help From My Friends for the show's encore is a pretty accurate representation of Mumford's intense desire to collaborate with other artists both on and off of the stage. Ben's label Communion, which I very often cite on the blog, has been a massive reference point for my music taste over the last few years, helping me to discover some of my favourite new artists and experience some of the best live music.

In short, they're one of my favourite bands and honestly mean the world to me, so the prospect of new music, which they've been teasing for a few weeks now, was pretty exciting. They premiered brand new tune Guiding Light on Radio 1 last night with Annie Mac as her 'Hottest Record in the World' and they definitely didn't disappoint. It's the first single from fourth studio record Delta, which is due for release on the 16th November. Fans are describing the track as blending their latest record Wilder Mind, which took a fairly synth-ladened route, and their earlier, more acoustic tracks. It's a beautiful combination, and one that shows a band who are refusing to set themselves boundaries sonically, with Winston discussing in the radio interview that at the start of recording, the band fell back in love with the acoustic instruments that they didn't use on the latest record, but with a desire to "make these instruments sound not like these instruments [...] trying to make the banjo not sound like a banjo". Listen back to the radio premiere and interview here from about 25 minutes. I for one can not wait to hear the record!


The band are announcing a string of tour dates to support the release of the record in a couple of weeks - make sure to pre-order the record through their website to gain access to the pre-sale - I can attest to their live shows being a joy to be a part of!

Follow Mumford & Sons - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

LISTEN: Indoor Pets - 'Hi'

When they're not too busy maintaining their brilliantly amusing social media presence, the guys in Indoor Pets also make some pretty great music. Barbiturates was in my opinion one of the best tracks of last year - and it was a total joy to hear it live when I finally caught the band at this year's Great Escape Festival down in Brighton. Though their set was announced at the very last minute as part of the Alt Escape, they completely packed out the room, with fans piling up the stairs to catch it.

They've just shared their first new music in months in the shape of single Hi, released through Wichita Recordings. In a tweet about the band, the label wrote that "we've been really missing having a great guitar band from the UK to work with [...] nothing new was floating our boat.... THEN we heard the fantastic Indoor Pets and everything changed. Smart/DIY/funny with hooks and tunes for days!! The process of working on their amazing forthcoming album really has been a great reminder of how exciting working with a young band hitting their stride can be." High praise, and I couldn't really put it any better myself! I can't get enough of those guitar hooks and the lead vocals from Jamie Glass - this is on repeat on the blog's 2018 Spotify playlist!


Follow Indoor Pets - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 17 September 2018

LISTEN: Cosmo Sheldrake - 'Run Rings Right Wrongs'

It's been almost a year since I caught Cosmo Sheldrake live, supporting the legend that is Johnny Flynn. I instantly fell in love with his music, which is utterly magical and usually more than a little bit bonkers. His debut record The Much Much How How & I, released earlier in the year, is one of my favourite debut records in a long time. He's back with a new single, called Run Rings Right Wrongs, in which he samples "a Bulgarian man I met on a mountainside wearing a green shell suit clapping ... and the sound of some mead that my brother Merlin and I were making bubbling away in a demijohn among many other things!" 

This is just one of many examples of Cosmo's talent for seeking out and recording peculiar sounds, often from the most unexpected of places. Written down, they often sound as if they shouldn't work in a song - yet they blend to create a unique sound which I adore. It is like nothing I have heard before, which I love.



Cosmo was one of the best live acts I saw in 2017 - his style of introducing some of the samples he uses to the audience was completely endearing, and helped to deconstruct the tracks, before seeing them come to life before us. He's touring across Europe and the UK over the next few months, with a show at EartH (Hackney Arts Centre) on 29th November - check out all of the live dates here.

Follow Cosmo Sheldrake - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 14 September 2018

WATCH: Novo Amor - 'Utican' & 'Birthplace'

I hadn't heard anything from Welsh artist Novo Amor (aka Ali Lacey) until I heard his single Birthplace earlier in the year. It's a beautiful track, and if you're a fan of early Bon Iver you'll probably love it, as well as new track Utican which I'm sharing below. His falsetto vocals are striking, accompanied by music that is vast, atmospheric and often cinematic in its nature, making use of some really exciting instrumentation, including soaring strings. Both tracks come from his upcoming debut solo album Birthplace, due for release on October 19th - if the rest of the record matches these singles in it's quality, I absolutely can not wait to hear more.


Beyond the music, which is utterly spellbinding, there are plenty more reasons to fall for Novo Amor, especially his care and love for the environment, which we should all share. There is a sustainability page on his website, detailing the steps he is taking to make his record and upcoming tour more environmentally friendly. These include using recycled and recyclable materials (right down to the LPs) to reducing waste (including plastic and food) on the road - by making use of refillable water bottles and "only asking for what we need, not what we want". As someone who has helped to supply riders for artists in the past - I fully approve of this point, because I have seen firsthand how much waste there often is, when artists request as much food and drink to be backstage as the promoter will provide. I've also often been concerned about the scale of single-use plastic used at shows in terms of plastic water bottles - and wondered why more touring bands couldn't just use refillable bottles. Hopefully more artists will follow suit!

In addition to this, for the video for Birthplace, Ali and his team enlisted the help of British Champion Freediver Michael Board to highlight the major issue of plastic pollution in our oceans. In the video, which you can (and definitely should) watch below, we are introduced to the beauty of the oceans, before being shown just some of the impact that plastic pollution is having on the incredible creatures which inhabit our oceans.


The video has been viewed over 750,000 times on Youtube alone, and was awarded 'Independent Video of the Year' at the AIM Awards recently. There is a behind the scenes video showing the sheer time and effort which went into creating such a visually impactful video, from both the creative team and locals in Bali. The video has an accompanying website, highlighting some fairly unbelievable statistics about worldwide plastic consumption via Earth Day, here are some which I found most shocking:

91% of plastic waste isn't recycled. 
500 million plastic straws are used everyday in America. 
Nearly two million single-use plastic bags are distributed worldwide every minute. 
There are over 300,000 plastic beads in a tube of face wash. 

Buy a reusable water bottle. Take a reusable cup to get your takeaway hot drink. Carry a backpack or tote bag for your shopping. Say no to a plastic straw or disposable cutlery. Boycott micro-beads. There are SO many ways that you can reduce your personal plastic consumption and make even the smallest of differences. For more info on the issue and what you can do to make a change, check out Plastic Oceans, and check out Novo Amor's upcoming tour dates here to hear this beautiful music live.

Follow Novo Amor - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

LISTEN: Banfi - 'If Not For You'

It's been almost exactly a year since I last saw one of my favourite bands, Banfi, playing a storming sold-out headline show in London. Since the show, they've gone from strength to strength - they've released their The Jack Powell EP and played shows to adoring crowds up and down the country and across Europe. They've just released brand new single If Not For You, which was recorded over summer and was produced and mixed by Eliot James, one half of the classical duo Pêtr Aleksänder. It's a slightly more pop-oriented track than their previous releases, showcasing a band who are trialling new sounds and becoming more and more comfortable in themselves. As always, lead vocalist Joe Banfi's distinct vocals shine through the song beautifully, and from the opening lines "If not for you / Lying wouldn't feel so bad / And dying wouldn't seem so sad" we're instantly drawn in to the world of the song.


Banfi play a single launch show at The Windmill in Brixton on Monday 17th September (it's free!) before heading off on tour - check out the full dates on their website here.

Follow Banfi Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 10 September 2018

WATCH: Parcels - 'Lightenup'

About time! Parcels have announced their debut self-titled record, which is set for release on the 12th of October. The release comes alongside a brand new single and music video, Lightenup - it's pretty typical of their work (typically brilliant, that is) and sounds just as if Nile Rodgers himself had a hand in the guitar work. They're a five-piece disco-pop group, originally hailing from Australia but now living in Berlin. In 2017 they were the first emerging band ever to collaborate with Daft Punk, a collaboration which resulted in the absolute tune Overnight, which has had over 23 million listens on Spotify alone. Tieduprightnow, a single from earlier this year, is probably my favourite track from the band - I'm very much looking forward to the album release! Also worth a mention - they recently shared a completely spellbinding a capella version of Bemyself online which you can check out here.


Parcels are touring to promote the record later in the year, with a small run of UK shows in November. They play: Academy 2, Manchester (5th); SXW, Bristol (6th); Stylus, Leeds (7th) and Roundhouse, London (8th). Tickets for all the shows here!

Follow Parcels - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

WATCH: Ten Tonnes - 'G.I.V.E'

I often see music videos and think about how much fun it would've been to be part of the crew or just to have watched it be filmed - this entirely fits in that category. Ten Tonnes has shared the video for his latest single G.I.V.E - complete with lots of beautiful dogs. Not only is the video filled with loads of glorious pups, but the track itself is pretty wonderful too. The younger brother of that little known chart topper George Ezra, Ethan (aka Ten Tonnes) has been making a name for himself with tunes like Lay it On Me and Born To Lose for the last couple of years. He's been rewarded for his hard work with support slots for the likes of Stereophonics, Blossoms and Tom Grennan and slots at festivals such as Bushstock, Dot To Dot, Live at Leeds and Barn On The Farm. Keep an eye out - it's only a matter of time before he's rivalling George in the charts!


Follow Ten Tonnes - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 7 September 2018

WATCH: Fleet Foxes - 'I Am All That I Need / Arroyo Seco / Thumbprint Scar'

Hearing that Fleet Foxes were releasing a new album after a six year break last year was probably the highlight of the year, musically. Crack-Up, as expected, was beautiful - one of my favourite records of the year. It's been out for over a year, but the band are still very much in my headphones, recently becoming a favourite reading soundtrack for my commutes to work. They've just shared the video for I Am All That I Need / Arroyo Seco / Thumbprint Scar in the form of a 35mm short film directed by Sean Pecknold, the brother of vocalist Robin, who has made eight music videos for the band.

In the video premiere on WePresent, Sean describes the video as "a chance to revisit a song that you've heard and experience it anew." He goes on to add that the "song lent itself so well to visuals - the strings, the big sections. This kind of inherent, cinematic quality to it made it that much better to pair with film and make a video out of it." I imagine it to be quite an intimidating and difficult task to match the beauty of the band's music in a video, but Sean has achieved this time and time again!


Follow Fleet Foxes - Facebook | Instagram.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

LISTEN: Tempesst - 'Doomsday' EP

London based psycho-folk quintet Tempesst recently shared their Doomsday EP, following up last year's Adult Wonderland. The release sits somewhere in between a contemporary sound and something of the 60s and 70s, eras of music which hold particular influence for the band. Vocalist Toma Banjanin explains that the band tracked the EP in just four days back in January, and that they "wanted the tracks to sound quite classic, but also [...] with nods to psych, folk, indie and alternative bands around now." The choice to lean towards a faster recording process enabled the band to retain a more organic sound for the release.

I've been really enjoying the already released singles A Little Bit Of Trouble and title track Doomsday, but since the release of the EP, Roller Coaster has become a firm favourite. The idea for the track came from singer Toma during a camping trip with his girlfriend, and put simply, it's everything you want from the band - full of beautiful strings and harmonies, and transporting you straight to a seaside resort.

The band originated in Queensland, Australia, and is made up of twin brothers Toma (vocals, guitars) and Andy Banjanin (drums), alongside Kane Reynolds (keys), Blake Misipeka (bass) and Eric Weber (guitars). They moved across the globe a couple of years ago, and as a collection of tracks, the EP brings to attention the daily anxieties and temptations that come with living in a busy city like London. Opening track A Little Bit Of Trouble nods towards an ill-fated encounter with some locals in a London pub, while the almost MGMT-esque closing track Eric's Dream, penned by the band's guitarist Eric, reflects the anxiety and sleeplessness they found in their new hometown.



Tempesst are heading on a UK tour this month to celebrate the release of the EP, with a show at The Victoria in London on the 27th - check out the other dates and grab tickets for the shows here.

Follow Tempesst - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

LISTEN: Gengahr - 'Atlas Please'

A midweek treat! Just months after releasing Where Wildness Grows, one of my favourite records of the year, the total heroes Gengahr have shared new single Atlas Please. Produced by Jack Steadman (Bombay Bicycle Club, mr jukes) you barely need to listen to know that it's going to be something rather special - they're a bit of a dream combination! 

Talking about the track, vocalist and guitarist Felix Bushe explains that it is "us considering that our lasting memories are the ones shared in good company - although, at times it can feel as though the weight of the world is resting on your shoulders. Talking to friends and considering our own personal experiences we're mindful that we often find it easier to suffer in silence than to open up - so being able to identify when someone you care about is hurting and to make the time to help them is an incredibly important and powerful thing to do."


Follow Gengahr - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 3 September 2018

LISTEN: Holly Redford Jones - 'Big Blue Sky'

Here's a Monday morning treat for you... easing you into the week with the debut single from Holly Redford Jones, Big Blue Sky. She's an artist I've had on my radar for a couple of years, having caught her playing at shows in Oxford, London and Brighton for Tigmus, at which I've always been particularly impressed with her guitar playing and her unique tone of voice, delivering an almost husky, jazz-tinged vocal.

In a submission to the blog a few weeks back, Holly explained she had gone to the US earlier this year, where she did some recording in Nashville. The track has been floating around as an idea for a while (there's even a demo recorded by Catgod's Robin somewhere!) and marks Holly's return to music - with plans for an EP to be recorded and released later in the year.


You can catch Holly in London tomorrow evening at The Finsbury for Stop Look Listen info here!

Follow Holly Redford Jones - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 31 August 2018

LISTEN: Honey Moon - 'Yours, Girl'

After really enjoying their last single (Why Do You Think You're So) Special? I was pleased to find a new track from London 'croon-pop quartet' Honey Moon in my inbox last night. It's a beautiful early morning tune which, as lead vocalist Jack Slater Chandler explains, "shoots straight down the ballad barrel. The recording is intentionally quite clean and simple - no flashy production tricks, no crazy effects, just one single unadulterated slice of dreamy seaside pop. One for the lovers." 

The track comes alongside the announcement of the band's forthcoming EP Four More From... which is set for release by Heist or Hit on 21st September. The band are playing across the UK later this year, with an EP launch show at The Waiting Room in London on 27th September (it's a free gig!) followed by a support tour with label mates Her's across September and November.


Follow Honey Moon - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

WATCH: Tamino - 'Persephone'

One of my favourite discoveries of the year so far is Tamino - he's a 21 year old singer-songwriter of Belgian, Egyptian and Lebanese heritage, and his music is breathtaking. He's another Communion Music discovery for me - I first saw him play at their showcase at The Great Escape in May, and later at the venue I was volunteering at for this year's Bushstock Festival. His vocals are simultaneously incredibly powerful yet measured, and his range is seriously impressive - to the extent that the first time you hear the high notes live you're left a little shocked!

He has shared the single Persephone, announcing the release of his debut record Amir on 19th October. The record features the single alongside the tracks from his beautiful Habibi EP which was released earlier this year. If these five tracks are anything to go by, it's sure to be a sublime record - you can pre-order it on his site here!


Tamino plays for Communion at The Courtyard Theatre in London on 12th September - grab tickets for the show here.

Follow Tamino - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 27 August 2018

LISTEN: Archie Faulks - 'It Rains'

It's always exciting to share a debut single... this time around, it's from Archie Faulks. You might not be a total stranger to his sound, as he was on the scene a few years ago under the name Tenterhook. Under that name, he played on a Communion New Faces tour and released a couple of EPs, as well as the total tune What I Like. He disappeared a couple of years back, and has returned to release music under his own name for the first time. Debut track It Rains is a soothing showcase of his lovely vocals and features strings from Tom Hobden, always a brilliant addition to a track! 



His first solo show (as Archie) will be in a couple of weeks at Servant Jazz Quarters, on 4th September - that one sold out quickly but fear not, he's added a show at the beautiful setting of St Pancras Old Church on November 12th. Tickets here.

Follow Archie Faulks - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

LISTEN: Geowulf - 'Saltwater' (reimagined by Pêtr Aleksänder)

I'm really pleased to share this track - not quite a remix, but a 'reimagining' of Saltwater by the lovely Geowulf who released their debut record Great Big Blue earlier this year. Classical duo Pêtr Aleksänder have reworked the track, adding in some beautiful strings, much like their recent version of the Banfi tune Future.

With a few of their own tracks under their belt, including Bells, the video premiere for which is the most viewed post on the blog (check that out here) the duo have recently signed to Communion Music, and I can't wait to hear what they release next! 



Follow Geowulf Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Follow Pêtr AleksänderTwitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram.

Friday, 24 August 2018

LISTEN: Sam Fender - 'Dead Boys'

Testament to the scores of incredible artists they work with, it often feels a little like I'm running a Communion Music fan blog. Here's a new track from Sam Fender, one of the latest in a long line of artists I've discovered thanks to Communion. While volunteering at The Great Escape earlier this year, I couldn't decide who to go and see one evening, and took myself along to the label's showcase, catching Sam after Tamino. I'd never listened to either, but have a lot of love for so many of the label's artists - it's usually safe to assume that if Communion likes an artist, I probably will too.

Much the same as with Dermot Kennedy the previous night, it was clear that Sam already had quite a loyal following thanks to a string of quality singles. The latest is Dead Boys, which has been gaining support from the likes of the NME and BBC Radio 1, and which was shared alongside news of a UK tour later in the year. The track explores themes of toxic masculinity and suicide among young men, focusing around the main refrain "we close our eyes, blind our pain, nobody ever could explain, all the dead boys in our hometown." Talking with the NME, he explains that he has lost close friends to suicide and that playing the track to people has made him realise just how far reaching the issue is, saying that "if it gets to one person and they feel like they should reach out an talk to somebody, then it has done a good job." In the interview, he also shares his belief that "archaic" beliefs of how men should behave, in terms of their reaction to emotional stress, is what kills men. There's always room for socially conscious young artists in my playlists - get listening to the track now!


Full tour dates: The Mash House, Edinburgh (29th October); Fibbers, York (30th); King Tut's, Glasgow (31st); The Chapel, Leeds (2nd Nov); The Leadmill, Sheffield (3rd); Soup Kitchen, Manchester (5th); The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool (6th); Thekla, Bristol (7th), Rock City Basement, Nottingham (10th); Omeara, London (12th and 13th); Newcastle University, Newcastle (17th). Tickets available through Sam's site here.

Follow Sam Fender - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

LISTEN: Sivu - 'Trickle'

For years Sivu (aka James Page) has held a really special place in my heart - his stunning vocals, songwriting and the production of Charlie Andrew have made for some of the best new music of the last few years. Tracks like Sleep and Family Tree mean the world to me. Sivu returned last Summer with Sweet Sweet Silent, the follow up to debut record Something On High (2014) - both are sublime pieces of art.

He's recently shared Trickle, a track which was written and recorded during work on the second record, but which didn't fit with the rest of the record. Luckily for us, as James begins to write and figure out where to take his music, particularly in the light of his experiences with Ménière's disease, he has shared the track. In its lyrics and sound, the track is both exposed and exposing, Sivu explains it is about "feeling awkward in your own skin and realising not everything is within your control." 



Follow Sivu online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 20 August 2018

LISTEN: Low Island - 'Holding It Down'

The gloriously talented bunch Low Island are gearing up to release Low Island 17-18, a collection of their tracks so far (categorically not an album) in September, and they've just shared a revamped version of early tune Holding It Down. Consider my interest piqued. I love these guys, not only are their studio recordings some of the best tracks I've heard over the last couple of years (a favourite has to be (Pause)) but they're a wonderful live band, and this new track captures the energy of a Low Island show.



If you're in the Oxford area and fancy catching them live (why wouldn't you?!) then you're in luck as they're launching the collection with a hometown show upstairs at O2 Academy Oxford on 21st September with support from locals BE GOOD (who I completely adore too) and Theo. Grab tickets for the show here!

Low Island 17-18 is being released on vinyl on 20th September, their first physical release - pre-order it here!

Follow Low Island online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

LISTEN: Ferris & Sylvester - '(I Think That You Look) Better In Yellow'

I don't need much of an excuse to share anything related to Ferris & Sylvester... but this is a perfect reason! They've released a new, spruced up version of their tune Better In Yellow and while it's just as beautiful as the original, it showcases a more confident, more powerful duo than the one which released the track earlier in the year. I loved their set at The Great Escape earlier in the year - if you want to catch them live, they're playing the September Communion Music Club Night at Notting Hill Arts Club on 2nd September - info here!



Follow Ferris & Sylvester - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

LISTEN: Jade Bird - 'Uh Huh'

I've made the mistake of not really listening to Jade Bird until now, but after finding her new single Uh Huh in my Spotify new music playlist last week I've had it on repeat ever since. The power and control in her voice is sublime and I'm adoring all versions of the track that I've listened to so far, including these sessions for Vevo DSCVR and CPR's Open Air. The track follows up her 2017 EP Something American and singles Furious and Lottery. 

Her Spotify bio describes her as "Classic, contemporary, and a total breath of fresh air in the current musical landscape [...] that rare, next-generation artist who appears as clued up on the past as she is determined to learn from its lessons: in control, sometimes in your face, and in possession of gifts beyond her years." I couldn't put it better myself.


Follow Jade Bird - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 13 August 2018

WATCH: Leyya - 'Wannabe'

I'm loving this track from Austrian duo Leyya which I just found in the blog's inbox - one of the best things about getting submissions sent by various PR is certainly finding bands from other countries who I'd likely have never discovered otherwise! The track follows up their second album Sauna, released back in January. Leyya are a duo made up of Sophie Lindinger and Marco Kleebauer, who among quite a string of achievements have racked up over 3 million Spotify plays, played a bunch of festival slots this Summer, and recently opened for Arcade Fire in Vienna.

With the track repeating the phrase "I wanna be like you wanna be like me" the duo refer to a "problem almost everyone can relate to: Wanting to be like somebody else. Ironically - we find - its often also the other way around." Rupert Höller, who directed the video for Wannabe, describes it as being "about the feeling that there is always someone cooler, better than you and the endless circle this thinking causes [...] In the video, we created a world where two clones are constantly fighting and making up again [...] fighting for their status, both admiring and envying each other, and yet enjoying their company. This abstract world set in the glowing summer sun of Croatia's landscape visualises the absurdity of the dissatisfaction with one's self and celebrates this feeling." 


Leyya tour Europe later in the year, with a show at London's Sebright Arms on 23rd October - tickets here.

Follow Leyya - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 10 August 2018

TOUR NEWS: Banfi (November 2018)

Having seen them play live eight times over the past couple of years, I can pretty confidently say that Banfi are one of my favourite bands to grace the stage lately. I (shockingly) haven't seen them since their UK tour last September - but fear not, following a DIY tour around Europe this Summer, they've announced a tour in Europe and England later this year! They'll be taking in one of their biggest hometown headline shows so far at London's Moth Club, as well as playing shows in Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Bristol and Southampton along the way. Check out this beautiful session of their track June below...


Full England dates: The Chapel, Leeds (11th Nov); The Castle, Manchester (12th); Bodega, Nottingham (13th); Cuban Embassy, Birmingham (14th); Rough Trade, Bristol (15th); Moth Club, London (17th); Heartbreakers, Southampton (18th).

Follow Banfi Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

WATCH: Dizzy - 'Joshua' (Communion & RAK Studio Session)

It's no secret that I'm a pretty big fan of the label Communion and I'm digging one of their latest signings, Dizzy. Hailing from Ontario, I caught the quartet playing live at The Great Escape in Brighton earlier in the year - it was a last minute choice between catching them or heading to my hotel room to catch up on sleep, and I was glad that I chose to trek up to Green Door Store to see them with a couple of friends (staying up even longer for a 1am Gengahr set...) Having never listened to them I wasn't sure what to expect, but was instantly drawn in by singer Katie's stunning vocals. Despite the late stage time, she had complete command of the audience and we were treated to a range of songs from their recently announced debut album, Baby Teeth, which you can pre-order here. For now, check out a live session of Joshua, it's soothing, intricate and more than a little bit dreamy.


Follow Dizzy - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

LISTEN: Magique - 'Real Love'

It isn't an entirely new track, but I am smitten with this from Magique, shared online yesterday. Last May, I caught Willie J Healey playing live in an Oxford art gallery on the day I'd submitted my last piece of coursework for my degree. One of my last gigs in the city, it was a celebration, and a brilliant gig in wonderful company, kicked off superbly by support act Magique. I was particularly struck by the track Real Love, but it sadly got taken off of the internet a few months after the show upon the release of the equally cracking tune Eventually. I've missed it since and I'm so glad that it's back! If you're a fan of artists such as Gengahr, All Tvvins and Hudson Scott, you'll probably enjoy this one. For me, the sound is familiar and yet unique, the lyrics moving and the tune of the chorus incredibly memorable. Get listening!


Follow Magique - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 27 July 2018

LISTEN: Deep Throat Choir - 'In Berlin' (Cosmo Sheldrake Remix)

It's no secret that I'm completely smitten with Cosmo Sheldrake - he's a complete musical genius. If you need proof, listen to his debut album The Much Much How How and I. Following it's release earlier this year he's back with a new song (kind of) - a reworking of the Deep Throat Choir song In Berlin. 

The Deep Throat Choir are a group of female vocalists who have been meeting since 2013, stripping music down to just vocals and drums, reimagining the works of artists such as Sylvan Esso and Peacedrums. Increasing from a group of five to thirty, they still sing together every week as well as working to put on their own shows and collaborating with other artists, and they released their debut album Be OK last year. Cosmo's reworking of their track, while putting his own unique (and brilliant) stamp on it, allows it to retain its original charm and frankly stunning vocals. Get listening!



Follow Cosmo Sheldrake - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Follow Deep Throat Choir - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

WATCH: Honey Moon - '(Why Do You Think You're So) Special?'

After a busy week at work, I'm writing this having just trawled through a weeks worth of track/album submissions for the blog. From just over 90 emails, this new one from Londoner's Honey Moon was a major highlight! I haven't listened to the band before but was instantly drawn in by vocalist Jack's falsetto and those delicate guitars. It's entirely up my street - and the video has a dog in it, what's not to like?! Once you think you've got to grips with the song, the band surprise you with a brass outro. The track has a lot to give, and I'm looking forward to exploring more music from the guys!


Follow Honey Moon - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

WATCH: Fil Bo Riva - 'Time Is Your Gun' (Live Session)

I've been reflecting lately on the fact that Fil Bo Riva is probably one of my favourite musical discoveries that I've made through writing the blog over the last few years. While the majority of my posts feature artists I already knew or listened to prior to writing the blog, or that I've discovered through various outlets online, FBR was a discovery I made in a submission to the blog with his early single Like Eye Did. From falling in love with his voice on first listen, I've remained a fan for a couple of years and eagerly await his debut album which should be ready for late 2018/early 2019.

Time Is Your Gun is a recent single from the album, and Fil has shared a live session. The video comes in place of a music video because, as Fil describes, "we always felt the song to be very special, energetic and a purely live based track... so we wanted to give people an impression of how powerful the song actually is." The video was recorded in Funkhaus Berlin recently, before the band headed off on their current European tour - it's the place where they recorded their first live session, a lovely reflection on how far they've already come in a short space of time!


Follow Fil Bo Riva - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 23 July 2018

WATCH: Parcels - 'Bemyself' (Live in New York)

Australia's Parcels are back! Having already showcased their skills in creating indie hits with Overnight (a track which they worked on with Daft Punk, no less) and tieduprightnow this new single shows them in a new light. The track is a slower one, and all the better for it, exposing every vocal, lyric and musical note - it's a bit of a stunner. You can check out the studio recording here, but there's also a session video (on a roof in New York) below - they recorded tieduprightnow in the same session here (check out those riffs and bass lines... mmmmm.)


Like what you're hearing?! Parcels tour Europe later this year, including some UK shows in November. Check out the full list of dates here!

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Friday, 20 July 2018

LISTEN: Swimming Girls - 'Asking For It'

Bursting onto the scene with the absolute tune Tastes Like Money last year, it was instantly clear that Swimming Girls were a band to watch out for. The total ear worm Back Of Your Car cemented that thought, and I made sure to catch the band live when the opportunity arose at The Great Escape back in May. Despite playing an early evening set on the opening day of the festival, the room was completely crammed, and deservedly so. The group are back with Asking For It, which lead singer Vanessa describes as a "blunt break up song - written at the bitter end of a relationship, it explores the distinct lack of sympathy you feel after being hurt over and over again" (DIY premiere.)



Follow Swimming Girls - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

LISTEN: Tempesst - 'Doomsday'

"It's the first time in my life that I've felt so aware of my mortality and it probably doesn't help that the Facebook and Netflix algorithms have cottoned on and keep feeding me shit on the topic." 

Tempesst have shared the title track from their upcoming EP Doomsday, following up recent single A Little Bit Of Trouble. The track is described as a reflection on the current state of the world and how our addiction to social media and the internet have turned us into mindless creatures - incredibly contemporary themes which lead singer Toma predicts will re-occur in their future releases. My favourite thing about the tune personally is some pretty beautiful strings towards the end. I can't wait to hear the full EP - it's due on the 27th, keep an ear out!



Follow Tempesst - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

LISTEN: Pale Seas - Someday (Everything Everything remix)

After blowing my mind with their remix of Rae Morris' Someone Out There earlier this year, Manchester's Everything Everything have done it again, this time with the Pale Seas single Someday. I'm not often one for remixes, but they've taken the track, flipped it on its head and given it a pretty magical reworking, with lead singer Jacob's original vocals shining through a pop beat and otherwise almost robotic vocals. The track is going to be available in a limited run of 7" vinyl through the band's app and at shows - you can catch them live in London on September 2nd at The Five Bells - info here!


Follow Pale Seas - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Follow Everything Everything - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

LISTEN: Hazey Jane - 'Lifeboat' EP

Tigmus and Sofar Sounds alum Hazey Jane shared their Lifeboat EP a few weeks back - it pools together recent singles from the last year or so, including the title track Lifeboat, Mirror View and Mother's Lie, for which I was really proud to premiere the video last year (check out that post here.) Taking influence from the likes of Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Neil Young, the tracks showcase a passion for songwriting and some beautiful harmonies, and are a perfect acoustic accompaniment for the Summer evenings!


Follow Hazey Jane - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 16 July 2018

WATCH: Boy Azooga - 'Face Behind Her Cigarette'

I featured the debut record from Boy Azooga in my recent "albums of the year (so far)" feature, and felt like sharing another track from it on the blog because I'm enjoying the record so much. It's a really refreshing debut from the Cardiff musician, and one that, despite playing it in full several times already, I'm not tiring of in the slightest! The instrumental sections in the tune below, Face Behind Her Cigarette, are a really cracking introduction to his music and the record more specifically. If you like what you're hearing I strongly urge you to check out 1, 2, Kung Fu! here.


As well as plenty of festival appearances over the next couple of months, Boy Azooga headlines Scala in London on 17th October - info here.

Follow Boy Azooga online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

LISTEN: Catgod - 'Heartbeat in My Hand' EP

It's been out for a couple of weeks now, but just in case the latest release from my pals Catgod passed you by, here it is! They're following up 2017 EP Someone Love with their utterly sublime Heartbeat In My Hand EP. The collection of four tracks opens with the title track, instantly showering us in those beautiful vocal harmonies of brother and sister duo Robin and Cat. Recent addition Patrick Bolton, on keys, takes centre stage for a moment in the almost understated opener, which gravitates around the instrument. While the first track lures us in gently, Keep My Promises is it's musical opposite, a much wilder track, lyrically and musically. Flute solos included. The pace is taken down a notch for tearjerker Let Go, before Robin takes over lead vocal responsibilities for closing track Owing You. 

As a band that I've been friends with from their early days, I'm incredibly proud of the evolution their sound has taken on. From their beginnings as Roberto y Juan with the Monster Love EP in early 2016, the band became a collective, working with musicians from across the Oxford music scene and beyond to try out different styles, organically becoming Catgod as it is now. Pretty wonderful they are, too.



Follow Catgod - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

WATCH: Francobollo - 'We're Dead'

Francobollo have given recent single We're Dead a pretty comical (but also fairly hard-hitting) video treatment, courtesy of animator Samuel Lewis. They're tackling the incredibly important and contemporary issue of our insane plastic usage, highlighting things such as plastic straws, coffee cups, bottles and the insane overuse of packaging in online deliveries. The band have committed to support the Plastic Soup Foundation and their #StartPlasticDiet campaign, raising awareness of how to lower our plastic use so that less ends up in our oceans. It's an issue that's become really important to me over the last year or so, and it's so encouraging to see so many people taking even small steps to reduce their personal use of plastic. Simply acknowledging the problem and trying to be a little more aware of the plastic you're using can make a difference. 


Some facts from the Plastic Soup Foundation website, (find out more here):

- Every year, about eight million tons of plastic ends up in sea.
- It's estimated that millions of animals in the sea die every year because of plastic waste. Animals such as fish, sea birds, sea turtles, dolphins and whales.
- Plastic particles in the sea attract toxic substances. These plastic particles enter the food chain because birds and fish think they are food.
- All the plastic that was ever produced in the world is still on earth in one way or another. Plastic that enters the ocean never disappears.
- Every year we produce more than 300 million tons of plastic. About half of this is used just once and is then thrown away. If we don’t do anything about it, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050!
- About one billion plastic bags are used around the world every year. This is more than one million bags every minute!

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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

TOUR NEWS: Nick Mulvey (Sep/Oct 2018)

His sold out show at the Royal Albert Hall was a total joy to behold earlier this year, so I'm really glad to hear of the news that Nick Mulvey is heading out on tour again across the UK this September and October. Giving the fans what they want, Nick is heading out with his gutiar to play a run of eighteen solo shows, taking in the likes of Cambridge, Oxford, Brighton, Bristol and Nottingham, with a show at London's Hackney Arts Centre on 26th September. The venues are intimate - and speaking from personal experience, I can highly recommend catching Nick playing solo, it's truly something special. 


Full dates for the In Your Hands solo tour are below, for which tickets go on sale this Friday!

The Empire Music Hall, Belfast (19th Sep); Whelan’s, Dublin (20th); Live At St. Luke’s, Cork (22nd); Corn Exchange, Cambridge (24th); Town Hall, Oxford (25th); Hackney Arts Centre, London (26th); Phoenix, Exeter (29th); Tram Shed, Cardiff (30th); Guildhall, Gloucester (2nd Oct); St George’s Church, Brighton (3rd); St George’s, Bristol (5th); Opera House, Buxton (6th); Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal (7th); Pocklington Arts Club, Pocklington (9th); Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow (10th); Arts Club, Liverpool (12th); Trades Club, Hebden Bridge (13th); Rescue Rooms, Nottingham (14th).

Follow Nick Mulvey online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

LISTEN: Fil Bo Riva - 'Time Is Your Gun'

It's always a joy to have a new Fil Bo Riva track to review! Since first finding Like Eye Did in my inbox a couple of years ago, I've been fairly smitten with his unique vocals, and new track Time Is Your Gun shows them off beautifully. It follows recent singles Head Sonata (Love Control) and Blindmaker but reminds a little more of earlier EP If You're Right, It's Alright in it's style, a more stripped back folk tune. Most importantly, the track gets us just a little bit closer (I hope!) to a FBR record!

Writing of the track, Fil shares that it "is a song that somehow became a bridge between the EP and the upcoming debut album. I wrote the lyrics sometime after the EP was recorded and those lyrics felt like the last lines I had to write about the person most of the EP songs were written for", adding that the track came to life when he first met Felix, now band-mate, "one day we found ourselves jamming in the rehearsal room... somehow after a few hours we had this song done without knowing we were writing one. I don't wanna sound too romantic, but I remember that the first chord we ever played were these ones [....] we usually open our concerts with this track - the energy we get from it is unique." 


With the release of it's third single, the FBR album is in its finishing touches - expect more new music before its release! He's also heading out on tour, playing various festivals across Summer as well as a run of European dates later in the year, including London's Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on 3rd October.

Follow Fil Bo Riva online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 6 July 2018

LISTEN: Little Brother Eli - 'Wait For You'

Following up 2018 singles Tooth and Our Kind Of Love, Oxford's Little Brother Eli are keeping up the tempo with their latest release, Wait For You. The track has been premiered live at recent shows, including a Sofar Sounds Oxford show in a primary school gym (honestly one of the coolest venues I've seen a gig in, with previous Sofars while I was in Oxford for university!) from which you can watch a video of the track here. Led by vocalist Alex Grew's powerful vocals, the track has everything you'd want from the group... gorgeous harmonies (particularly in the acoustic version for Sofar), infectious lyrics and, in a fairly wild departure from their waistcoat and tie early days, a rather lovely guitar solo towards the end!


Follow Little Brother Eli online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Albums of the year (so far)

Between working in a music store, curating a playlist and generally making more time to listen to new music, I've been really impressed by lots of incredible albums so far this year. As we've passed the half way point of 2018 I've decided to do a post bringing together ten of my favourite records of the year so far. It's difficult to narrow them down, and the likes of Dawes, Ben Howard, Christof van der Ven, Geowulf, George Ezra, Nathaniel Rateliff and Django Django just missed out, but their recent records are all certainly worth checking out! (The list is in order of release, rather than preference.) 

Rae Morris - Someone Out There

Probably my most listened to record of the year so far, it very quickly became a favourite and an early shout for my album of the year, a title that it would be pretty difficult to lose. I have so much love for this record. What first really struck me about the record was the lyrics, it felt as if Rae was really opening up to the audience, the songs are incredibly personal but at the same time relatable. The progression in the sound from her first record Unguarded is another huge plus for me. Favourite track: Dip My Toe.


The Wombats Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life

It's always exciting when a favourite band of several years releases a new record, and this was the case for the new Wombats record earlier this year, as I've been a fan of the band through much of secondary school and university. Back at it with the inventive and often quite amusing lyrics, my favourite is probably "You could give an aspirin the headache of it's life." Genius. Favourite track: Turn.



Superorganism Superorganism

Aside from the radio hit Everybody Wants To Be Famous, I hadn't listened to anything from this group until we tried the album in the store I work in, and I really liked what I was hearing. Many, many listens later and I caught them at The Great Escape, where they brought everything fun and inventive that I loved from the record into the live environment. Favourite track: Night Time.


Gengahr Where Wildness Grows

One of my favourite things about this record from Gengahr is the fact that you received a pack of seeds if you pre-ordered the album through the band's site. Lead singer Felix's beautiful falsetto beautifully compliments the music and the record is a strong follow-up to their 2015 release A Dream Outside. Favourite track: Before Sunrise.


Ady Suleiman Memories

Since catching him live at my first Bushstock back in 2015 I've been eagerly awaiting a record from Nottingham's Ady Suleiman. Memories is a mix of singles from the past few years and some new tracks and it's a brilliant collection, showing off his incredible voice. If you ever get the chance to see him play live, take it. Favourite track: Serious.


The Magic Gang The Magic Gang

I adore this record from start to finish. I've been aware of the band for years but didn't get around to taking a listen until I saw that they had released their debut record earlier in the year. It's been in my headphones a lot since, and their set at The Great Escape was a big highlight of the weekend. Favourite track: Getting Along.


The Vaccines Combat Sports

Similarly to The Wombats, it's always a total joy to hear a new The Vaccines album, as they've been a favourite band of mine since the release of What Did You Expect back in 2011. Those riffs. Mmm. They're another band whose clever lyrics can often be quite amusing, with a couple of highlights from this record being: "How many lightbulbs does it take to change the mood? If that's how many, dude I think I'm screwed." and"I wanna fly you to the moon but I don't wanna pay for gas." Favourite track: Your Love Is My Favourite Band.


Cosmo Sheldrake The Much Much How How & I

From the moment I caught him supporting Johnny Flynn towards the end of 2017 I've been fairly mesmerised by Cosmo's work, and just in time, as he's released his debut record this year. In it's sound and musical process it's quite unique from the rest of the albums on the list - a whimsical, utterly joyful piece of work pulling together sounds from various areas of the natural world, sampled together alongside his vocals. Favourite track: Wriggle.


Boy Azooga 1, 2, Kung Fu!

It's only been out for a few weeks, but the debut record from Cardiff's Boy Azooga has quickly become a big favourite of mine for the year, and I've been listening to it almost daily. My first introduction was to Jerry, a track about a dog from the local dog rescue centre - consider some major brownie points earned for that. If you like the records from Gengahr and The Magic Gang, this is worth a listen. Favourite track: Loner Boogie.


Evergreen Overseas

Last up, I've been waiting for the follow-up to the band's debut album Towards for what feels like an age (I managed to get a degree in the time between records...) but Overseas is proving to be entirely worth the wait. A little more electro than it's predecessor, the album feels almost grown up, and makes use of the band's native tongue, French, far more. I'm really enjoying The Foreigner, Gemini and Bloom. Favourite track: Aux Echos.


Be sure to follow my 2018 playlist on Spotify to keep up to date with all the new music I'm listening to and enjoying. Recent additions come from the likes of Seramic, Florence + The Machine, PD Liddle, Dawes and Panic! At The Disco.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

LISTEN: Seramic - 'Strange Magic'

It was a total joy to volunteer at the Communion Music festival Bushstock towards the end of June. My highlight of the festival last year was a stunning stripped back secret set from Seramic in a tiny wine bar, and their set at the Courtyard stage this year was my festival highlight this year! You could say I've got quite a bit of love for this project. Following up the I Got You and Found EPs, Seramic are back with new music, the first in a year, with single Strange Magic.

I'm really excited to share here that with Tigmus, I've helped to handpick a few bands for this year's WOMAD Festival line-up. Seramic are one of them, alongside MarthaGunn and Low Island -  what a trio! You can find the full line-up and ticket information for the festival here. Check out Strange Magic below, and keep an eye out on the Tigmus blog for an interview I've done with Seramic about their appearance at the festival very soon!


Follow Seramic online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 29 June 2018

WATCH: Evergreen - 'Comme Si'

One of my favourite gig memories is back in 2012, when I saw King Charles playing live for the first time. For the encore, his cover of We Didn't Start The Fire, he pulled me up onto the stage alongside the support acts Giovanna and We Were Evergreen and (though slightly terrifying) it's stayed with me as a really special early gig memory. I loved catching We Were Evergreen a couple of years later in the same venue in Cambridge, on the launch tour for their debut record Towards, which I still adore a few years later. A couple of weeks back, the band returned with Overseas, their second record, under the new band name, Evergreen

As the name suggests, they're a trio in full bloom with the release of this record - it's quickly becoming one of my favourite albums of the year so far alongside the likes of Rae Morris, The Magic Gang, Boy Azooga and Superorganism (I'm planning a post on my albums of the year so far if I get time, keep an eye out for that!) It's a collection of songs that flit successfully between vocals in English and the band's first language French and make use of various synths and electronics, a glorious step forward from the first record. For me, highlights include Gemini (pretty relatable as I am one!), Bloom and the incredibly relevant The Foreigner - but as a whole, the record is incredibly strong. If you're new to the band, single Comme Si is a pretty good place to start, and they've recently shared a brilliant (and colourful) video for the track which you can watch below - their music videos have always been a joy to watch!


Check out Overseas by Evergreen on Spotify here.

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Wednesday, 27 June 2018

WATCH: PD Liddle - 'Uncanny Valley'

It's somehow already over two and a half years since one of my favourite bands, Dry The River, decided to call it a day after two brilliant records. Their music continues to mean a lot and I've kept an eye on and an ear out for the various side projects they're involved in, and perhaps the most exciting is reaching its peak as lead singer Peter Liddle, under the name PD Liddle, has just unveiled another solo track Uncanny Valley and announced that his debut solo record Casual Labour is due out in two weeks time via Xtra Mile Recordings.

The record is a treat for loyal Dry The River fans, filled with those beautifully distinct vocals of Liddle, and featuring guest appearances and contributions from members of DtR including Scott Miller on bass, Patrick Pearson on keys, Will Harvey arranging and performing strings and Matthew Reynolds on guitar. The record itself, produced by Peter Miles (Eliza & The Bear, Lonely The Brave) was completed in just 5 days and written gradually over the years since DtR disbanded, coming together in Liddle's spare time while he turned his attention to a new career and began to study law.

Writing of the record, Peter said that “When I was younger, I thought you wrote about the big events and huge milestones in your life - that you need emotional peaks and troughs to inspire you, but just participating in daily life is much more inspiring for me… The ethos of this record was if it’s really difficult, you’re not doing it right. If you’re having to push hard against something it’s probably not working. It was finding the path of least resistance… It's been a nice journey, discovering that.”


Pre-order Casual Labour here - it's due for release on 13th July.

Follow PD Liddle online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Monday, 25 June 2018

LISTEN: Tempesst - 'A Little Bit Of Trouble'

They're one of my favourite discoveries of the last few years, and I've had their Adult Wonderland EP in my headphones a lot since it's release last year - I'm very happy to share that Tempesst have released a new tune, A Little Bit Of Trouble. Having seen them play a show in Summer 2016, for me the band, their look, videos, and most importantly their tunes, encapsulate the season and this new cut is certainly no different. The quintet, based around brothers Toma and Andy Banjanin alongside Eric Weber, Kane Reynolds and Blake Misipeka, originated in Queensland, Australia before moving across the globe and basing themselves in London. In the past couple of years they've supported the likes of Temper Trap and Albert Hammond Jr. and played showcases at The Great Escape (which I'm gutted to have missed...), NME Awards and Live At Leeds. Things are looking pretty sunny for the band.

The new single, with their trademark psychedelic rock vibes in tow, is the first from forthcoming EP Doomsday, of which Toma wrote that "we wanted the tracks to sound quite classic, with 60s/70s influence but also very current/relevant, with nods to psych, folk, indie and alternative bands around now." The EP was recorded in just a few days earlier this year, an in-the-moment and raw process highlighting the band's prowess in the live format, preferring not to work too heavily on tracks in pre-production.



If you enjoy the new tune (who wouldn't?!) then be sure to catch the band live in London on the 2nd August - info here!

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