Thursday 27 July 2017

WATCH: Seramic perform 'Trying' at Bushstock 2017

As I'm heading to Shepherd's Bush this evening for the Music for Grenfell show with the likes of The Hoosiers and Sam Swallow performing, I'm reminiscing over the wonderful day of live music that was this year's Bushstock Festival back in June. A huge highlight for me was a secret set from one of my favourite new acts Seramic, with Marcus and Layla bringing their beautiful voices and stunning harmonies to a tiny Shepherd's Bush wine bar with simply a keyboard to accompany them. The set left me grinning from ear to ear, telling friends at the festival what they'd just missed, and I remember writing on Twitter that it was no exaggeration to say that the set was one of the best things I'd ever seen. They had released the I Got You EP not long before the festival and closed their set with its final track, which also happens to be my favourite from the EP, the wonderfully emotional Trying. Thankfully the performance was caught on camera and a video of them performing the track has been uploaded recently - get watching below to have your socks blown off by their voices.

Tuesday 25 July 2017

LISTEN: Tom Figgins releases EP title track 'Run'

Back in April Tom Figgins played his first London headline show at The Islington, playing tunes from his Ghosts EP and treating us to some entirely new tracks. He's just released Run, the title track of his new EP which is due out in Autumn... any track with strings from Tom Hobden is certainly worth a listen! Talking about the track, Tom F quotes that it is "a song about finding strength and freedom through moving on to something new. It describes a sudden awareness that you might explode, if you don’t get out there and change things. The chorus represents the flow of relief that inevitably follows that change and an air of hope as you step out in to the unknown." Following the show back in April which sold out and was a total dream to run the door for, Tom is headlining Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on 10th October - grab your tickets for the show here

Monday 24 July 2017

LISTEN: Panda Cult release 'Blue Angel'

The intriguingly named Panda Cult are a new band from Liverpool, for fans of the likes of All Tvvins and The 1975. They're serving up a slice of indie-funk with second tune Blue Angel which they self-released earlier in the month. Officially forming back in March, they're a group of friends creating music out of love and passion for it and it certainly shows in this absolute tune. They've already turned heads at their local BBC Introducing and play at the Hope and Glory Festival in Liverpool on August 6th. Get listening to the track below and give the guys a like on Facebook here!

Friday 21 July 2017

LISTEN: Catgod release 'Someone Love' EP

Exciting day for new music! Dan Croll's new record Emerging Adulthood is finally out, and my Oxford pals Catgod have just released their Someone Love EP today, the title track of which has been making waves on Radio 6 with Lauren Laverne choosing it as her 'Headphones Moment' a few weeks ago. The EP is atmospheric, funky, experimental and all kinds of beautiful, and I'm particularly digging I'm Innocent which as quickly become a live favourite at the shows I've caught the band playing over the last few months!

Following their EP launch show in Oxford last night and a slot at Truck Festival today alongside Low Island, Slate Hearts, Coldredlight and more, they're carrying on full steam ahead, playing an intimate EP launch show at The Harrison in London's King's Cross next Thursday (27th July) with Laish and Anna McRae in support - tickets for that show here! 

Wednesday 19 July 2017

LISTEN: Elias - 'Hope'

Introducing Elias, a musician from Sweden who has been getting a lot of attention with his previous releases from the likes of Annie Mac and the Swedish Grammy's. His new track, Hope, gives a taste of what is to come from his debut album, due later in the year through Warner Music. The track, following up Thinking of You, is giving me hints of Alex Vargas with its soulful and emotional vocals. Check out the new track below and keep an eye out on news of Elias' debut album later in the year!

Tuesday 18 July 2017

LISTEN: Benjamin Clementine - 'God Save The Jungle'

Winner of the Mercury Prize in 2015 for his debut album At Least For Now, Benjamin Clementine is back with news of its follow up, I Tell A Fly. Following its first track, Phantom of Aleppoville, he has released God Save The Jungle, a track alluding to the notorious camp in Calais. Speaking about his role as an artist, Benjamin says that "I am neither a politican nor prophet, but an artist who creates to only entertain is no better than a con" and hopes that the album "fulfils its purpose as the continuation from 'At Least For Now'". Pre-order the new record here.

Benjamin Clementine tours the UK in November/December as part of an extensive run of European shows, including a headline show at Brixton's O2 Academy as well as shows in Brighton, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Gateshead and Bristol. Full dates and ticket info are on his site here!

Monday 17 July 2017

TOUR NEWS: The Hoosiers 10th anniversary tour (Nov 2017)

What a way to kick off the week - my favourite band The Hoosiers are celebrating the tenth (!!) anniversary of their hit debut album The Trick To Life with their biggest tour for several years, taking in 27 shows around the UK in October and November. They'll be releasing the album on vinyl for the first time for a limited run as well as a 2CD edition with extra tracks. All the dates are here, with tickets going on pre-sale at 10am this Wednesday.

Full dates:

Fri 29th Sep: The Bodega, Nottingham
Sun 1st Oct: MK11, Milton Keynes
Tues 3rd: The Lounge, Canterbury
Weds 4th: Old Fire Station, Bournemouth
Thurs 5th: The Boileroom, Guildford
Fri 6th: The Sugarmill, Stoke
Sat 7th: Kasbah, Coventry
Tues 10th: Waterfront, Norwich
Weds 11th: O2 Academy 2, Leicester
Thurs 12th: O2 Academy 2, Oxford
Fri 13th: Scala, London
Sat 14th: The Venue, Derby
Weds 18th: Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
Thurs 19th: Subscription Rooms, Stroud
Fri 20th: Komedia, Bath
Sat 21st: Phoenix, Exeter
Sun 22nd: Fleece, Bristol
Weds 25th: Academy 3, Manchester
Thurs 26th: O2 Academy 2, Sheffield
Fri 27th: The Live Rooms, Chester
Tues 31st: Lincoln Imp, Scunthorpe
Weds 1st Nov: O2 Academy 2, Newcastle
Thurs 2nd: Potterrow, Edinburgh
Fri 3rd: King Tuts, Glasgow
Sat 4th: Diamond Lounge, Doncaster
Sun 5th: Engine Shed, Lincoln
Mon 6th: The Horn, St Albans

Friday 14 July 2017

WATCH: Public Service Broadcasting release 'Making of Every Valley' documentary

I'm partial to a good music documentary and really enjoyed getting an insight into the process of making what is a pretty unique album, the new record from Public Service Broadcasting. As I write this I've just found out that the record, Every Valley, a concept album of sorts about the mining industry in Wales, reached number four in the album charts after its release last week - incredible work for a fairly niche band. Check out the 'making of' documentary below and grab the new record through the band's site here!

Thursday 13 July 2017

WATCH: Hider - 'Yosemite'

Following a six year break from making music as a solo artist, in which he sold guitars on Denmark Street and produced for other artists as well as composing for adverts and film trailers, a previously acclaimed singer-songwriter (who... your guess is as good as mine!) has returned under the apt moniker Hider. The anonymous songster has just released a summery new tune, Yosemite, which has hints of Foster The People about it in the chorus and is the follow up to first single You Look So Amazing. The track is a time capsule of youthful summer love, about which Hider explains that “I’ve always found it easier to write sad songs and often reflect on the past in my songs. With ‘Yosemite’ I wanted to write a song to express how I am feeling right now in my current relationship without being too soppy or emotional, a positive celebratory love song.”

Tuesday 11 July 2017

TOUR NEWS: Lucy Rose and Charlie Cunningham (November 2017)

Following the release of her new record Something's Changing last week Lucy Rose has announced a mammoth November UK tour including a show at London's O2 Shepherds Bush Empire and the beautiful SJE Arts in Oxford. Support comes from folk heartthrob Charlie Cunningham who I caught at SJE supporting Stornoway back in 2015 - check out his tune Telling It Wrong for the Mahogany Sessions here! All the dates are here and tickets for the tour will be available from 9am tomorrow in the pre-sale, and on general sale on Friday (14th).

LISTEN: Roo Panes - 'Soldier of Hope'

How lovely to have the beautiful voice of Roo Panes back with a new track, somewhat of an interlude between his 2016 record Paperweights and some new music. It isn't quite new, as Soldier of Hope is a track he wrote nearly 11 years ago but it is all kinds of beautiful so I'm glad that he decided to record it! Writing about the track, Roo says that "It's a very simple track, and it's not a single release or anything, but I just wanted to share it with you as its a song with a story! I hope it's something for you to enjoy whilst I continue writing some new stuff!" If Roo's music is new to you and you're enjoying this, I recommend checking out his latest record Paperweights which kicks off with the beautiful tune Stay With Me.

Monday 10 July 2017

LISTEN: Banfi release 'She Comes Home'

Unless you're new to the blog (in which case hello!) then you'll probably be aware of how much I love London's Banfi... they've spent 2017 going from strength to strength, following up some fantastic singles with a run of free residency shows, a support tour with Bear's Den and lots of festival slots (including Bushstock where they played the best set I've seen them do so far!) A favourite from their live set for me is She Comes Home, so I'm really excited that they released the studio version of the track last week - get listening below! With four singles under their belts I hope that an album draws ever closer, but first they're heading on their first headline tour in September with shows at The Lexington in London, The Cellar in Oxford and lots of other cities - see the full dates and ticket info here!

WATCH: Willie J Healey - 'People and Their Dogs'

Though I've been a fan for a couple of years, with an album name like People and Their Dogs Oxford's Willie J Healey certainly recaptured my attention, and he's just released the video for the title track of the album. Featuring some pretty questionable dancing and some adorable dogs - but sadly no dancing dogs - the video and track are equally funky and I can't wait to hear more from Willie when the record is released on 18th August. If you dig this, be sure to check out his tracks Greys (also featuring a cute dog in the video) and Lazy Shade Of Pink and pre-order the record here! 

Friday 7 July 2017

GIG NEWS: Music for Grenfell at St Stephen's Church (27th July)

Since the fire at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington just over three weeks ago the resilience and unity shown by local residents and those further afield has been astounding. The music world too has done its bit to help with various benefit concerts and a huge charity single, and there's some more exciting news to come from this awful tragedy as Sam Swallow (ex keys player, backing vocalist and all round legend for The Hoosiers) and friends have organised what they promise to be "an evening of fantastic music to lift everyone's spirits in this difficult time and bring our community together". The concert will take place in the stunning surroundings of St Stephen's Church in Shepherd's Bush, where Sam, The Hoosiers, Alessi's Ark and more will be performing, all for the total bargain price of £10, with donations and money raise through the bar being donated to the tower fund. Join the Facebook event for the show here and grab your tickets here for what is sure to be a special night of wonderful live music! To whet your appetites, here are The Hoosiers performing the beautiful Don't Say What Nobody Wants to Hear in the church a few years ago!

Thursday 6 July 2017

WATCH: Lucy Rose - 'Something's Changing'

Last Summer Lucy Rose headed off on a tour of South America, playing free shows that were booked by fans who had all asked Lucy to play in their towns. The fans put her up in their houses, showing her around their towns and countries and, as Lucy wrote in tour diaries at the time, quickly came to feel like friends. It's pretty difficult to imagine just how special the tour must have been but now we don't have to, as Lucy yesterday released her documentary Something's Changing, featuring footage from the tour and some really heartfelt narration about her connection with her fans. I actually wrote about the tour a few months back for an essay about the changing relationship between fans and musicians which we're seeing as a result of social media, coming to the conclusion that this tour was a wonderful thing, and watching this documentary has only cemented that belief! Hearing Lucy speak about how fans are often wrongly stigmatised for the passion they show artists and how this should in fact be appreciated and reciprocated gives me so much happiness, and we would certainly benefit from having more artists like Lucy. She recently played a Glastonbury rehearsal with some fans who have listened to her the most on Spotify and last night met fans who had pre-ordered her upcoming record to personally deliver their albums and hang out with them in her local pub. I highly recommend you take 20 minutes to check out the documentary and become acquainted with Lucy and her beautiful tunes!

Lucy Rose releases a record of the same name as the documentary, Something's Changing, this Friday (7th) - pre-order it here!

Wednesday 5 July 2017

LISTEN: Delafaye - 'West Coast Vibes'

I'm digging this new track from Kentucky artist Delafaye (aka Andrew Shockley) which was submitted to my inbox a couple of weeks ago. West Coast Vibes was rather modestly (but perhaps pretty common nowadays?!) recorded in the artist's bedroom, and explores a brief but deep past relationship. The track is taken from his forthcoming Highlands EP which is due out this Friday (7th July) through London record label Street Mission Records. Highlands is the follow up to his debut EP The Hilltop which received over one and a half million plays on Spotify, which sounds pretty crazy when Delafaye only played his live debut a few weeks ago playing a support slot to San Fermin in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Get listening below and pre-order the EP on iTunes here!