Monday 30 September 2019

LIVE: Sofar Sounds Oxford at The Rowing Club Bar & Cafe (24/9/19)

For the three years that I studied in Oxford from 2014 to 2017 one of my favourite things to do was helping out at Sofar Sounds shows in the city. I started volunteering as a photographer at the shows a couple of months after moving there and got to see lots of brilliant artists in various intimate (and often bizarre) venues around the city - a bicycle cafe, an independent cinema, a museum and an art gallery to name a few. I had some time off work last week and headed back to Oxford for the first time in a couple of years. It was really great to be back in the city and luckily my trip coincided with a Sofar - it was a treat to be back!

China Bears

If Sofar Sounds is new to you - they're an organisation run mostly by volunteers, curating live music events in over 400 cities around the world. Originally set up to combat the issue of people talking around you and using phones etc at gigs, they create an environment for people to sit and discover new artists away from distractions. As the line-up and venue aren't announced until close to the show, there is an element of mystery and the opportunity to discover something new - it's a real joy to be part of! 

Tuesday's show took place at the Rowing Club Bar & Cafe at the City of Oxford Rowing Club, overlooking the Thames. I took a beautiful walk along the river from the centre of town to get to it. It was great to be reunited with my friends on the Sofar crew, as well as to meet some of the new volunteers and we had four brilliant artists on the line-up.

Opening up the show, it was a real pleasure to catch local (ish) guys China Bears playing their first ever Oxford show. I blogged about a couple of their songs recently and I'm really enjoying their debut EP I've Never Met Anyone Like You which was released via Fierce Panda Records back in August. Giving us a stripped back set showcasing their honest songwriting and indie influences it was a really fun way to open the show, and really sweet to meet the guys after the show. They're fans of the blog so I may be a little biased towards them... here's a video of them performing the EP title track from a Sofar London show!

Next up and hailing from Vancouver were duo Momento. I'm a fan of a violin at a gig, but what's better than one violin on stage? Two violins! Though their live set is now more electric in nature, they offered us a stripped back set (because they couldn't carry all the extra kit on the train, I think) covering popular tracks. Their immense talent and stage presence was obvious immediately and they very quickly got the audience on side - it was a really typical Sofar set, something that you might not expect and might not have usually gone to see, but which everybody seemed to love. Watch a cover of The KillersMr Brightside below!

Having travelled down from a show in York the night before especially for the night, next up was Sofar veteran Kim Logan. She's played lots (upwards of 70, I think?) Sofar shows and helps curate Sofar Paris as she currently lives between New York and Paris. Also (do you sense a theme?!) delivering a stripped back set and promising that her usual show was a full band rock affair, Kim sang a set of country and blues infused acoustic tunes. There's a video from Sofar Long Island below, featuring live dancing. Very Sofar.

Last up and after a long day exploring the gorgeous museums that Oxford has to offer, the lively set I needed to wake me up - Oxford favourites of mine, Little Brother Eli. It was the third Sofar I've seen the guys at, and my ninth time seeing them in total. I'll never tire of the infectious energy of frontman Alex Grew and his impressively broad vocal range, while backing him up, Josh Rigal and Adam Stowe offered superb musicianship and lovely harmonies. They're a well oiled machine and a local favourite and you can catch them playing at the O2 Academy Oxford for their Christmas gig on 21st December (tickets.)

Overall it was a really lovely show and is one of my favourite ways to experience live music - a really calm and inclusive environment where you're likely to leave the show having seen something you didn't expect, and lots that you loved. Long may shows like Sofar Sounds continue - I think it is clear that fans and artists alike love these shows! Check out the Sofar website here to see if there are shows happening close to you and take a chance on an evening of music discovery - you won't regret it!

Follow China Bears - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.
Follow Momento - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.
Follow Kim Logan - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.
Follow Little Brother Eli - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday 26 September 2019

WATCH: Half Moon Run - 'Flesh and Blood'

Kick off your Thursday with something really joyful - the new music video from Montreal folk-rockers Half Moon Run. The video is for recent single Flesh and Blood, and sees them in home-video style footage recording their new album. What a treat to be a fly on the wall in their studio! The track is taken from the band's upcoming third album A Blemish In The Great Light, due for release on November 1st (pre-order here.) If they're a new band for you, get on first album Dark Eyes and its follow up Sun Leads Me On pronto - both are gorgeous.

With shows already announced through September, October and November around the US, UK and Europe, they've just announced a further string of shows for the start of 2020, including a show at London's Roundhouse. Full dates and tickets here.

Follow Half Moon Run - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday 25 September 2019

LISTEN: Overcoats: 'Leave If You Wanna' & 'Keep The Faith'

Some of you may have caught my post about Brooklyn duo Overcoats recently, with their track and video, The Fool. They're keeping up the momentum with two brand new tracks, Leave If You Wanna and Keep The Faith - releasing all three tracks as a limited edition gatefold 7" vinyl in December. Together, the tracks explore a theme of empowerment, of "fighting for self, spirit and soul at all costs". Of the new project, the duo explain that "we often use songwriting as a way to wrestle with our doubts about love, but this is the opposite. It's a way to be proud and take a stand in the face of doubt. It's about not giving up." Watch Leave If You Wanna below...

And here's Keep The Faith...

Follow Overcoats - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 24 September 2019

LISTEN: Jordan Mackampa - 'What Am I'

Following from my Roman Lewis post last week, here's another new track from an artist I had the pleasure of seeing at this year's Bushstock Festival. Jordan Mackampa played at the venue I was volunteering at and he and his band/crew were some of the friendliest people I met all day! He also happens to have a beautifully soulful vocal and some lovely songs - new tune What Am I following in the footsteps of Under, released back in May.

Talking about the track, Jordan explains that "'What Am I' is a modern take on Marvin Gaye's classic 'What's Going On', highlighting the state of the world right now, from multiple wars in different territories; how the earth is dying, to the border control problem and how it's been deal with. It's a lot of hopes and prays, changing of display pictures to blue, but all trickling down to a stop soon after, as it is no longer in the forefront of the media. I wrote this song in the mindset of how I need to do more but don't know how because I am only one man, trying his best to make change within the means available."

Jordan is about to head out on a US tour with Amber Run across October and November, before a UK/Europe headline tour in November and December, with a show at London's Village Underground on 25th November. Full dates and tickets here.

Follow Jordan Mackampa - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday 23 September 2019

TOUR NEWS: Willie J Healey and BE GOOD (Nov 2019)

This post is being shared while I'm on my way to Oxford for the first time in just over two years (for those who haven't read me rambling about this in the past, I studied there from 2014-2017 and miss it terribly) and what a perfect topic to discuss... Oxford indie hero Willie J Healey has shared news of his Hello Good Morning tour this November. Exciting enough news but made a billion times better with the fact that fellow Oxford chaps BE GOOD are joining him on tour. I've loved them for a long time but still haven't managed to catch them live so I am thrilled by this news!! Especially the fact that the London show is in the gorgeous setting of Omeara. Listen to WJ's new track Songs For Joanna below...

Grab tour tickets here, dates below!

6th Nov: King Tut's, Glasgow
7th: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
8th: Leadmill, Sheffield
9th: Yes, Manchester
13th: Bodega, Nottingham
14th: Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
15th: Patterns, Brighton
16th: Castle & Falcon, Birmingham
20th: Joiners, Southampton
21st: Omeara, London

Follow Willie J Healey - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Follow BE GOOD - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday 20 September 2019

LISTEN: Annabel Allum - 'Gravel Not The Grave'

It's somehow already a week since Annabel Allum released what is surely one of the best EPs of the year. Gravel Not The Grave is made up of a collage of sounds and influences, touching on elements of punk-folk and slacker-pop. It's a little dreamy in parts but with an overarching sense of feistiness throughout, as Annabel makes a call for change on various levels. She explains that in the EP "you are immersed in the process of revolutionising one's life. Conceptually it's about getting up and changing the thing you're most miserable about, whether that be an unhealthy relationship, political injustice, or addiction." An admirable and strong message!

In support of the EP, Annabel heads out on a headline tour this Autumn - taking in Guildford, Bath and Norwich soon - tickets/dates here.

Follow Annabel Allum - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday 19 September 2019

LISTEN: Roman Lewis - 'When I Was Yours'

Roman Lewis has shared the first track from his upcoming second EP! The 18 year old singer-songwriter released his debut EP earlier in the year and played a gorgeous set early in the day at Bushstock Festival back in June. There's a lot of promise in his beautiful vocals (which are somewhat Fil Bo Riva esque, I find) and songwriting, so I'm looking forward to hearing more of the new EP.

For now, Roman explains of the new track that "I was getting over someone and got to a place where I was just a little sad all the time, so I sat down and thought a little and realised how funny it all was. I was getting caught up on all these things that didn't matter and realised how ridiculous I was being so just kind of laughed then wrote this song. Writing it put me into a really good mood and listening to it does too now."

Roman Lewis is touring in support of Bloxx in October, before playing a headline show at London's Courtyard Theatre on 23rd October. Tickets via Communion Presents here.

Follow Roman Lewis - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday 18 September 2019

LISTEN: Cosmo Sheldrake - 'Orby' and 'Prefusify'

Worth checking out for the absolutely brilliant artwork alone, I'm delighted to say that there are two new tracks from one of my favourite artists, the ineffable Cosmo Sheldrake. First up, Orby features Andrea Vargas on vocals - she sang on Cosmo's track Rich on an EP he put out back in 2015. As Cosmo explains, it is "a track I made as a birthday present for my friend Orban Wallace in 2013. I tried to design him a bespoke dance tune! It features Andrea Vargas singing a version of an old sacred harp song. It also features the sound of me dropping a log off a bridge into a frozen pond, slowed down and played backwards, among many other things." 

The second track, Prefusify, is different in sound, but still identifiably a Cosmo tune. It was made way back in 2008 when he was 18, one of the first tracks he shared online (back in the Myspace days I imagine?!) He adds that it "features many things including some Mongolian throat singing!" One of the best things about listening to Cosmo's music is wondering about the source of the different sounds within the tracks - when you hear something that sounds like a simple bass note, it is more likely to be a recording he's made of an animal up a mountain while abroad, or of some slate being smashed together. The seemingly endless realm of noises that the natural world offers creates a really exciting soundscape and a really unique collection of tracks.

Follow Cosmo Sheldrake - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 17 September 2019

LISTEN: Rose Cousins - 'I Would Die 4 U'

It was a joy to find this track in my new release playlist on Friday... there's no hiding how much I love Bear's Den and Christof van der Ven, and I'm loving this gorgeous cover of a Prince track that they recorded with US artists Rose Cousins. In a moment of "serendipity" as Rose describes it, the band and Rose landed in Toronto at the same time in May and got together to record on a day off from touring. The result is a beautiful cover with sublime harmonies.

In her post online sharing the track, Rose wrote of Prince that "the legend died on my birthday. He was beyond bold and daring in all moves both in presenting himself physically and in his music. A ground breaker. But there's so much we never see and his death was so vulnerable and tragic. Hard to know anyone's whole story, isn't it? I love this song and these gentleman for using part of their day off to come sing with me. Enjoy." 

Follow Rose Cousins - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday 16 September 2019

ALBUM NEWS: The Big Moon - 'Walking Like We Do'

With two big support tours coming up The Big Moon have just announced news of their debut album's follow-up Walking Like We Do, which is due for release 10th January via Fiction Records. Following recent single It's Easy Then, new single Your Light is, in short, a bit of a bop. It was premiered as Annie Mac's Hottest Record on BBC Radio 1, and is becoming a bit of an earworm for me, cementing its spot at the top of the blog's playlist for the week alongside the likes of Cosmo Sheldrake, Ghost and Annabel Allum. The track also has a cracking video with the band cycling through the Essex countryside, with some unexpected furry friends (honestly: have a look for yourself!)

The band's vocalist and songwriter Juliette Jackson explains the track - "I was thinking about how hard it is to tell if things are worse now or if they have always been this way and I just grew up and started paying attention. To me, it feels like we are at this tipping point that is unprecedented, but then it occurred to me that every generation before us probably had a moment when they thought they were going to be the last generation on earth. This song is about freeing yourself from all of it, just for a moment. It's a thanks to the one person or thing in your life that knows how to come in and open your curtains and light up the darkness and restore your strength so that when you clatter back down into the real world you have the strength to fight your battles, whatever they are." 

The Big Moon just kicked off a UK tour with Pixies, and support Bombay Bicycle Club on their tour at the start of next year. Take a look at dates and pre-order the album from their site here.

Follow The Big Moon - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday 13 September 2019

LISTEN: Patawawa - 'That Guy'

Need some funk in your life? Of course you do. Get on this sublime new single from Derbyshire trio Patawawa. They came onto my radar when they toured with Franc Moody (equally funky) earlier in the year but this is my first time sharing them on the blog and what a first track to be getting behind. The guitar lines and undeniably funky vibes have seen them gain comparisons to Chic as well as the likes of Two Door Cinema Club and Foals and they've recently had their track Patagonia soundtracking Millie Bobby Brown's new brand, exposing them to millions of potential new fans. 

While their last EP saw the trio recording in a studio, they've headed back to their 'bedroom' roots with new single That Guy and the results are pretty epic. Beth explains "we decided to go 'back to bedroom' with this track [...] we drafted in a good Matlock mate of ours, Karma Kid, to give the song a bit of xtra pizzazz and I have to say we are more than made up with the result. We just can't wait to share this absolute bop with you all!" 

Follow Patawawa - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Thursday 12 September 2019

WATCH: Overcoats - 'The Fool'

One of my favourite PR companies sent me this track from a duo who were a new name to me and I loved it on first listen. Overcaots are a Brooklyn duo made up of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell, and they're heading out on tour with Two Door Cinema Club across the US soon. They've recently shared new single and video The Fool, full of lots of lovely synths and disco beats to sink your teeth into, but made all the more special for me with vocal harmonies reminiscent of the likes of First Aid Kit, and a really empowering statement behind the lyrics.

The video (below) is well worth a watch - a DIY home video showing the duo shaving their heads and "igniting the next phase of their career with fearless honesty." Talking about the track, JJ explains that it was written "based on 'The Fool' tarot card. It signifies taking a leap of faith and jumping into the unknown. Conceptually, it felt like the beginning of the project. We wiped the slate clean and decided to jump. That's why the video includes the footage of us shaving our heads. We're 'The Fool', and we're taking our leap." Hana adds that "it's an empowering message. I don't need to be defined by the opinions of others or go with the status quo; I can f*****g be myself."

Follow Overcoats - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

LISTEN: Marcus Hamblett - 'Lost At Sea' (feat. Kate Stables)

The Bear's Den fans among you may know Marcus Hamblett for his work on stage with the band, as well as for his production and musical contributions to Christof van der Ven's recent album. Exciting news - Marcus is grabbing a bit of the limelight for himself (deservedly so) and has just announced his second solo album, Detritus. It's due for release via his label Wilkommen Records on November 15th and first track Lost At Sea features Kate Stables of This Is The Kit. Taking inspiration from the various bands and artists Marcus has produced and played with over the years, the album forms a sort of patchwork, a collage of genres, including electronic music, jazz, post-rock and modern composition. I'm certainly excited to hear more!

The first single was originally written back in 2006 for guitar, flute and clarinet, and this version of the track emerged when Marcus recorded the album's drummer Tom Heather playing in a soundcheck. He explains that "this song is sort of a cornerstone of the record, the idea of 'detritus', all the broken off crumbs, dust, leftovers that ended up staying in. I've known Kate Stables for a long time [...] now I sometimes play brass and occasionally electric guitar with This Is The Kit. I'm so glad she did the vocals for this so I could bury mine." Listen below...

Follow Marcus Hamblett - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 10 September 2019

WATCH: Geowulf - 'Lonely'

Geowulf continue to deliver gorgeous tune after tune with latest release Lonely. I'm absolutely loving the refrain "I'd rather be lonely than be alone in love"  - preach it. The track is taken from the duo's upcoming second record My Resignation, which is due for release via PIAS on 25th October and also features recent singles I See Red, Round and Round and He's 31

Talking about the track, vocalist Star Kendrick explains that "in a way, 'Lonely' epitomises a lot of what this album means to me [...] A bold and welcomed acceptance of myself and my own company. Feeling less and less like I need the approval of others. That's one of the many nice things about getting a bit older." 

To support the release of the album, Geowulf play a run of shows in the UK this November, dates below & tickets available here.

18th Nov: Oslo, London
25th: Deaf Institute, Manchester
26th: Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
27th: Exchange, Bristol

Follow Geowulf - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday 9 September 2019

ALBUM NEWS: Matthew And The Atlas - 'Morning Dancer (Unplugged)'

Some very exciting album news to share today! Specifically of the acoustic, unplugged nature. Matthew & The Atlas shared their beautiful album Morning Dancer earlier in the year and a couple of months ago they headed to Bristol and recorded an acoustic version of the entire album (!!) They did this for last record Temple and the result was sublime so I'm really chuffed to hear this news! The first two tracks Low and Pyres were shared last week and they're as lovely as is to be expected. Morning Dancer (Unplugged) is set for release on November 1st so... set your alarms, mark it in your diaries?! First up, here's Low...

As possibly my favourite track from Morning Dancer I am particularly enjoying Pyres with added harp from Emma Gatrill which you can hear below!

Follow Matthew And The Atlas - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday 6 September 2019

LISTEN: Christof van der Ven - 'You Were The Place'

I am ridiculously excited by this one - Christof van der Ven releases his second solo album You Were The Place today on Planet Zog Records. Please do yourself a favour and set aside some time to listen to it. I'm impressed at how quickly this album has come into our lives - juggling work as a chef, solo musician and playing live with Bear's Den, Christof made his way onto my albums of the year list last year with his debut Empty Handed. He's already released one of my favourite EPs of this year in the shape of Beneath The Ordinary Load and somewhere between that and some pretty extensive touring with the Bear's Den guys, he found time to recruit a talented ensemble of musical friends and create this record.

You Were The Place was recorded, produced and mixed by Christof's Bear's Den bandmate Marcus Hamblett (who is equally busy with an upcoming solo album of his own just announced) and features musical contributions from Tommy HeapJools OwenTommy SheenEmma Gatrill and Andrew Stuart-Buttle (you can spot most of these in the live videos below!) Between them they play with Matthew & The Atlas, Bear's Den, This Is The KitLucy Rose and more - an enormously strong foundation for an album and one which is audible in this album. The instrumentation is top notch!

The album was written and recorded over the three month period following the end of a brief and intense fling, and the result is a collection of tracks which cycle through the raw emotions that you might expect. As such it is incredibly personal and emotional, sad in places but full of hope and optimism in others. As his PR beautifully describes it, Christof "manages to harness a tentative optimism both sonically and lyrically throughout the album, reminding us to be thankful for the ability to love at all and that there will always be someone out there who can awaken even the most subdued of souls." 

In keeping with the raw themes at the heart of the record, Christof booked time in the studio and set himself a three month deadline to make the album before a single track was written. Far from it feeling rushed, the result is an album which says everything that it needs to about a situation which is deeply personal, while remaining relatable and offering listeners an opportunity to explore their own emotions through the tracks. Christof explains that "I think for people who've found themselves in this situation before, they can listen to the album and find that it helps them through a tough time. If that's something that I can do with this project, I'd be very grateful." 

It's hard to 'review' specific tracks on the record because it is clear both through knowledge of the creative process behind it, and from listening to it, that the album works best as a whole. Created in such a short and intense period the tracks sit beautifully together, building a story lyrically until the last few lines of closing track A Stranger with "the strangest of it all is you're a stranger to me now." To look at them, the lyrics read more like a collection of poetry than an album - he's a really talented writer and my sentiments surrounding his EP earlier in the year most definitely still stand, I really appreciate the honesty and integrity that is tangible throughout the writing. 

After a couple (alright, lots) of listens over the last couple of months I think that I've picked out 4AM as my stand out track on the album. One of the louder and busier tracks sonically, I love the live version in the video above and can imagine it getting a strong reaction in the live environment. Another track I'm loving is Fucking Loser - a pretty clear message in the name of the track and the refrain "I really am a fucking loser" but there's some hope in this one - "you were the place I stood, the day my feet were sore. A reminder I could love one still." Elsewhere I'm absolutely loving the horns section in Pill too. 

Christof heads out on tour in Europe and the UK in a few weeks, with shows in Brighton (The Hope & Ruin on 7th October) and London (The Lexington on 8th October) to launch the album. It's a full band tour and if his Waiting Room show earlier in the year is anything to go by, it is sure to be a gorgeous evening - full dates and tickets here.

Listen to the album on Spotify here and grab your physical copy through Christof's site here

Follow Christof van der Ven - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday 5 September 2019

LISTEN: Declan Welsh & The Decadent West - 'How Does Your Love'

With the release of a live EP a couple of weeks ago I've been on a Twin Atlantic nostalgia trip lately as it'd been a while since I'd properly listened to the band. (Yep - still ace.) As if by magic, this cracking tune from fellow Glasgow artist Declan Welsh, and his band The Decadent West, arrived in my inbox shortly after and I am loving it! The track is taken from their upcoming debut album Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold which is due for release on 18th October via Modern Sky.

New track How Does Your Love drew me in with the tastiest of basslines. Seriously - listen for yourself and tell me you don't love it. Lyrically, the track is a nostalgic ode to and celebration of regional nightclubs and the crazy and intense experiences that they provide the setting for.

As Declan himself describes: "I actually think this is a love letter to the power of provincial nightclubs. See, they get a lot of stick and yes I am not a huge fan of Downtown in East Kilbride. But see for 90% of folk, the f**king Berghain is a nightmare. Or like any f**king grocers come techno cocktail bar in Dalston. It's pretentious and cool and it's full of people who go to places to be seen going to places. See Downtown in East Kilbride for all its flaws, people go there to get blitzed and forget about their week. Their week has been sh*te, they know the place they’re in is sh**e but it’s not work so they embrace it. It's also about how kissing someone on a dancefloor is a transcendent experience. Its lame as f**k and everyone around you hates you, but see when you meet someone you fancy on a night out and you both winch to music, no-one else in the world exists, yer hearts going a million miles an hour, it's a rare moment of genuine tunnel visioned bliss. This song celebrates that."

The new track arrives alongside an announcement of an extensive UK tour, seeing the band play fifteen dates around the country later this year. Tickets here. Full list of dates below...

31st Oct: Think Tank, Newcastle
3rd Nov: Hope & Ruin, Brighton
4th: Louisiana, Bristol
5th: Notting Hill Arts Club, London
6th: Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
8th: Bootleg Social, Blackpool
9th: Phase One, Liverpool
10th: Lending Room, Leeds
11th: Jimmys, Manchester
13th: Cookie, Leicester
14th: Lantern, Halifax
15th: St Lukes, Glasgow
17th: Mad Hatters, Inverness
18th: Tunnels, Aberdeen
19th: Beat Generator, Dundee

Follow Declan Welsh & The Decadent Welsh - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday 4 September 2019


I'm really excited by this group - Nordic trio I SEE RIVERS first came onto my radar when they opened for Cosmo Sheldrake last November. Their enthusiasm, harmonies and unique sound make them a really fun band to see live and I've kept an ear out since for new music. Eline (keys, vocals, percussion), Gøril (guitar, vocals, drum pad) and Lill (drums, vocals) are all originally from Norway, meeting in Liverpool while studying and moving to Pembrokeshire in Wales after they recorded their first EP in the area and fell in love with it.

With support from PRS FoundationBBC Launchpad and their fans via Kickstarter, the trio are in the process of making their debut album, set for release in 2020. For now, whet your appetite with new single Collide. Talking about the track, they explain that "the themes of 'Collide' are of conflict and reconciliation, turbulence and transparency. In contrast to the familiar voices and relatable lyrics, the production of the song is both more contemporary and more adventurous than our previous releases, focusing more on creating space using a combination of gritty, acoustic sounds and sweeping, synthesised elements."

Follow I See Rivers - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 3 September 2019

ALBUM & TOUR NEWS: Bombay Bicycle Club - 'Everything Else Has Gone Wrong'

A triple whammy of brilliant news today from Bombay Bicycle Club. First up, after some live shows and their recent single Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You) they've shared a brilliant new tongue in cheek video for the track, directed by long-time friend and touring member of the band Louis Bhose. It's one of the best videos I've seen in a while, setting the scene with the lines "In 2016, the UK was rocked by a seismic event... Bombay Bicycle Club went on indefinite hiatus. Without their music, British society crumbled. Three years later, the band's whereabouts are unknown..." 

Secondly (and nobody panic...) they've announced a new album, Everything Else Has Gone Wrong is due for release on 17th January 2020. I may or may not have cried many happy tears reading this news - the statement they've put out (below) speaks volumes to me personally, I adore this band and their music brings me so much joy so it's a delight to know that there is a whole new album on the way. 

"This is an album for anyone who’s ever turned to music in a time of crisis, whether personal or political. It’s about the solace one can get from listening to music or playing music when everything else in your life or the world has gone wrong. It’s about finding kernels of hope and renewal in dire situations."

Finally, they're taking the album out on the road in January, kicking off with a show in Cambridge and heading around the country, taking in London's famous Alexandra Palace along the way. In the statement they shared that "playing together again is such an unexpected surprise for the four of us and yet from the first moment we started rehearsing it felt as natural as if we’d played a show the night before. We feel a freshness playing live that can only come from having taken a step back and now we just want to play these new songs to as many people in as many countries as we can." 

20th Jan: Corn Exchange, Cambridge
21st: Academy, Bournemouth
23rd: De Montfort Hall, Leicester
24th: University Great Hall, Cardiff
25th: Academy, Leeds
27th: Academy, Newcastle
28th: Barrowland, Glasgow
31st: Academy, Birmingham
1st Feb: Centre, Brighton
3rd: Victoria Warehouse, Manchester
7th: Alexandra Palace, London
10th: Vicar Street, Dublin
12th: Ulster Hall, Belfast

Pre-order the album here for access to the ticket presale next week! 

Follow Bombay Bicycle Club - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

LISTEN: Joe Hicks - 'Swim'

"I'd give my soul just to keep you warm."

I've got a lovely new track to share with you today from my singer-songwriter pal Joe Hicks. Swim is his third single release of the year, another beautiful tune written around the same time as Cold and Hollow and in Joe's own words "it's a song about escape." It's also a perfect five minutes in length - I appreciate the precision!

We first met almost five years ago now when I was volunteering at Oxjam Festival in Oxford, at the now closed Purple Turtle bar. Pretty sure I met a member of The Libertines that night but more exciting to me was rushing to a tiny pub after my shift to see Adam Barnes, who Joe was playing guitar (and backing vocals) with. I saw them playing lots after that, in some of the quirkiest places I've been to gigs in (a primary school, a café, a living room and a church to name a few) and I'm loving Joe's solo releases. Check out Swim below!

Follow Joe Hicks - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday 2 September 2019

LISTEN: Ferris & Sylvester - 'I Dare You'

It's hard to exactly pinpoint their genre, sitting somewhere amongst blues, folk, rock and soul, but easy to be aware that Ferris & Sylvester are truly something special. They seem to get better and better with each release and new track I Dare You certainly follows the trend. The track arrives just in time for the duo's biggest headline tour yet, which sees them playing the first of a 21-show run tomorrow night in Guildford.

Talking about the new track, they say that "we've gone over to our dark side with 'I Dare You'. It felt important to get this song out there. We made bold choices with it and it is very unapologetic. We think this song shows another side to us, it blends dark folk with explosive rage and is grounded by our live performance, as all our songs are. We can't wait to play it on the road."

If you like what you're hearing, full dates for the tour are below, tickets here. I saw these guys playing on a Brighton street at The Great Escape last year and if the energy and passion there was anything to go by, a full show from the band should be something quite special to witness!


3rd: Boiler Room, Guildford
4th: The Horn, St Albans
5th: Omeara, London
6th: Omeara, London
16th: Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
17th: The Bullingdon, Oxford
18th: Metronome, Nottingham
19th: Green Door Store, Brighton
20th: Think Tank?, Newcastle
22nd: Stereo, Glasgow
23rd: Mash House, Edinburgh
25th: Lost Lane, Dublin  
27th: Phase One, Liverpool
29th: The Wardrobe, Leeds
30th: The Portland Arms, Cambridge


1st: Deaf Institute, Manchester
3rd: Forum, Tunbridge Wells
4th: Frog & Fiddle, Cheltenham
6th: Sin City, Swansea (Fringe Fest)
8th: Old Bakery, Truro
9th: Phoenix, Exeter

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