A band who describe themselves gloriously as ‘one generation or another’s alienation, derangement and dirty washing’ projected back at you through their ‘nauseating, salivating, hypnotizing, no good sucker-punch-piss-yourself polystyrene agitator-blues’ should never go amiss. We’ve been big fans of the lads from North-Wales for some years now, and can tell you that Chupa Cabra are exactly the description set-out above.
What’s more, ahead of supporting the formidable Cabbage for a few dates, the hotly rising 3-piece will be joining the bill for our final Free Vibes event at Band on The Wall, alongside Leeds’ Elephant Trees, Mancunian acid-punks Springfield Elementaryand quirky art-pop, ex-MCR Live residents The Vanity Project.
Sending us out in style, we want you to be there to party with us and celebrate the past two years. Entry for Free Vibes is totally free, but make sure you don’t delay… Our last event sold out the 600 capacity venue! As our closing party – and with one day to go reaching similar figures – we’re almost certain it’ll happen again.
Find out a little more as to what you can expect from Chupa Cabra on the night by listening to their ultimate playlist, below.
Good Vibrations – Beach Boys
Everything about this tune gives me goosebumps. One of my all time favourites. I always think to myself how much acid I’d need to take to get me to a level where I could write a song anything like it.
The Model – Kraftwerk
My favourite kraftwerk song, electronic at its finest. I could’ve picked any song from the man machine but this always stood out for me. Probably something to do with rammsteins cover, my favourite band when I was 13.
Since I’ve Been Loving You – Led Zeppelin
No one will ever top John Bonham in my eyes. Big, heavy drums in a tune about heartbreak just gives it a completely different edge. Just a dramatic song that needs to be felt, not heard. One to piss your mum off with.
Bournemouth Runner – The Fall
A man who needs no introduction, deffo my favourite one from a very long list. Everything you could want from a fall tune.
Jazz (We’ve Got) – A Tribe Called Quest
Tribe are the arguably the biggest legends of the East Coast. Seem to just top everything that came out era for me, and
Q-tip is just the coolest guy I’ve ever seen in my life.
Hayden (Vox / Guitar)
I’m Not a Sicko Theres a Plate in My Head- Oblivians
If an alien were to ask me what garage punk was, I’d show them this- provided they don’t probe me first.
Elastic Seal- Duds
A sure-fire combination of deadpan lyricism and delivery set to mechanical-clockwork no wave.
Mr Eliminator- Dick Dale and his Del-Tones
RIP king of the surf guitar! This dude invented shredding. Fuck Yngwie.
If It Takes All Night- Roxy Music
I just want to be Bryan Ferry.
Diversion- Ty Segall
Sabbath worship at the altar of Marc Bolan.
I Think I’m Going To Kill Myself – Elton John
I have a lot of love for Elton, less love for skagging yourself but can appreciate the sentiment.
Nice One Eckhart – Chris Young and the Ever diminishing ego
Who the fuck is Eckhart Twolle? Chris is absolutely great and ‘Nice One Eckhart’ is a phrase for the ages
Poptones – Public Image Limited.
Poptones is the best song ever written turn off your mind relax and float downstream
It’s the End – Mr Ben & the Bens
These are gonna be massive and this is a beautiful song. Nice chap is Mr Ben.
Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts – Bob Dylan
One of those great mythic Dylan songs that do nothing and are epochal in equal measure
Lady Bird are one of the most exciting upcoming punk bands in the UK right now; signed to Girl Fight Records, the new label from Slaves duo Isaac Holman and Laurie Vincent. Lady Bird have a lot in common with Slaves; both bands are from the apparent-recently vibrant Kent scene and both make the same brand of witty, unapologetic punk-rock. The band are currently in the midst of their debut headline tour – which is impressively very close to completely selling out – and will feature support from Witch Fever, Guru and Arxx (and you should totally nab the last tickets, here).
With the release of new single ‘Love‘, we caught up with Lady Bird‘s guitarist Alex to talk about the guys’ bright future, the most interesting places they crashed on tour and the bands you need to keep your eyes on.
You recently finished your UK tour with Slaves, how was that for you and what was the best night of the tour?
The tour with Slaves was an incredible moment in our lives. To be invited to join them on those shows was a real honour and the people we got to play to was like nothing we’d experienced before. In terms of picking a favourite show, that isn’t easy! Glasgow Barrowland was off the charts. Manchester Academy, of course, was insane. There were many beautiful cities and experiences to choose a favourite!
We saw you playing at the YES basement during Neighbourhood last year – a big step up to now, playing sold-out arenas within only a month. Did the size of the audience knock you guys back at all? Any nerves?
I think the size of the crowds did take us back at the beginning. We stepped out on the first night in Newcastle expecting the room to be half empty and it was rammed! Having that many people be in the same room and be listening to our music is a real force of nature. We took that energy and it helps us push our performances each night, challenge ourselves. But I’m terms of nerves, for me, it’s more just the adrenaline that’s pumping round my body that I haven’t got on stage yet to use up!
We noticed that when you’re touring you often turn to Twitter looking for fans to put you up for the night. Have you got any interesting stories from those experiences?
Whilst on tour, we met some amazing people and made new friends along the way – we can’t thank the people that put us up last minute enough! Everyone was always so kind. We stayed with a lady in Glasgow called Hannah who had a kitten (and kittens are a deal-breaker for sure!). Such a nice thing to come home to after a gig!
You’re currently on your first headline tour, is there one night that you’re looking forward to more than any others? Will you be travelling to any new places?
Yes! We’re incredibly excited to be out doing our own string of dates – it’s been a dream of mine since I was a teenager! I can’t say I’m looking forward to certain dates more than others, but just the whole experience, really! We’re getting to visit some cities we’ve already been to before and it’s a nice return to continue your relationship with the place. (Soup kitchen is gonna go off!!!!)
What can we expect from the tour?
You can expect 3 blokes making some noise while trying to make sense of the world around them. New music, old music, sweat, fun, laughter and everything else in between.
How has it been for you, being recently signed to Slaves’ own record label ‘Girl Fight’? Do you get to work quite closely with the band when writing new songs?
Our songwriting process is very much ours and I don’t think the boys would ever want to step on our toes when it comes to that. But they encourage us in our creative endeavours and push us to create the best that we can. They’ve given us a great platform from which to work from and it’s up to us to continue that endeavour. It’d be fun to write some songs together one day, though!
Your songs tend to tell an interesting narrative, whats the general method behind writing? Does anyone take the lead? Where do you normally find inspiration?
I don’t think there is a set way a band can write a song – getting stuck in a method can be restrictive so it’s good not to be regimented. We’ve all got ideas and thoughts and Sam has the incredible knack of being able to sum it all up in poetry. The music just comes and you have let that flow so that it’s natural. Inspiration is around us all the time. The only thing we can talk about with certainty is our own lives, and our own experiences, so that’s a great starting point to getting out what we want to say.
What about new music? We know you’ve recently released ‘Love’…
Off the back of the tour with Slaves, we’ve been turning our minds to being back in the studio writing and recording and it’s been fruitful and enjoyable. It’s where it all starts for a band ya know? Writing songs. It’s an innocent stage as it’s the inception of an idea. Not yet touched by the world. Not yet reacted. So it’s definitely an exciting period to be in.
What else is coming up for LadyBird during 2019?
Well, there will plenty more shows and new music. Plenty more writing and recording. We’re looking forward to going to Europe for the first time as a band, connecting with people on the continent and just continuing to experience life as much as we can while sharing that with the people around us.
What do you guys get up to when you’re not playing/ writing/ recording music? Any other hobbies, or other burgeoning talents amongst yourselves?
I think for all 3 of us, music really is our only hobby. It’s what we love doing so it’s what we do most of the time – being able to do it in Lady Bird all the time is a blessing.
Who else should we be listening to?
You should be listening to Willie J Healey. His 666 Kill EP is amazing. New Gorillaz album The Now Now and the new The Good, The Bad and The Queen album Merrie Land are works of art. Big up Damon Albarn in general. Radio Ethiopia by Patti Smith is on a lot for me at the moment too. Also, check a cracking band from Brighton called Guru and their new single ‘Consumer Helpline.
Flora Jackson and Rob Paterson are the duo that makeup one of Manchester’s most-promising, and incredibly unique bands, The Vanity Project. With an emphasis on performance, the duo sit somewhere between pop clowns and cabaret cult leaders – if you can imagine such a thing. Using infectious pop hooks and drawing you in with tales of hallucinogenic soft drinks and fascistic seaside towns, we can’t wait for the two-piece to join us at Band on The Wall for our latest Free Vibes takeovers.
But what can you expect? The Vanity Project have not only been championed by the one and only Marc Riley on his 6Music show, but Everything Everything frontman Johnathan is also a big fan, citing that ”they put on a great show’. And of their set? It promises to be a live performance full of monologues, costumes and the occasional dance routine. If they’re good enough for Johnathan & Marc, we cannot wait to see what they’ll bring to the night.
Joining them on the bill, the two-piece will be wonky-psychedelic Springfield Elementary, Garage-punksters Chupa Cabra and the mysterious weird-funk of guano on Thursday 25th April at Band On The Wall. Our last Free Vibes SOLD OUT the 600 capacity venue, so make sure you RSVP now!
Before then, and to give you more of an idea of what you can expect from The Vanity Project, we asked Rob & Flora to pick out 10 tracks which best describe them… see you there!
I NI SOGOMA – Dinosaur Feathers
Dinosaur Feathers are a New York band we discovered a year or so back, and the way they balance strange off-kilter rhythms with catchy melodies is something that we’ve often tried to emulate, to variable success.
HAPSBURG LIPPP – Everything Everything
EvEv are definitely who we started off as, and it’s still difficult for us to shake the desire to break into a Jonathan Higgs falsetto at any given opportunity. He name-dropped us once in an interview with a Cumbrian local newspaper. True story.
THAT’S REALLY SUPER SUPERGIRL – XTC
If we started off as an EvEv tribute band we’re metamorphosing into an XTC one. Rob and I fell in love with Skylarking a couple of years ago and both that record and English Settlement have massively influences our writing styles.
BABOO – Pixx
Pixx‘s record The Age of Anxiety was one of the most underrated releases of the past couple of years, and the willingness to experiment with weird sonic pallets while still always remaining pop is something we try to replicate.
Radio Silence – Thomas Dolby
Thomas Dolby‘s been a musical touchstone for both of us for ages, and although in general, he’s a lot synth-ier than us, this track, in particular, fits our vibe pretty well.
Oily water – Blur
Blur‘s a weird band to cite as an influence because it could really mean anything. Are you a straight Britpop band? A Kinks-a-like? Heroin addicts? Do you just know Song 2? We went for this angular oddball cut from Modern Life Is Rubbish.
The City – Dismemberment Plan
The Dismemberment Plan changed a lot of my perception of chords; they love 7ths and open strings and taking one shape and moving it up and down the fretboard for eerie effects. One of our songs was even just called “D-Plan” until we eventually found a name for it.
NO PLACE – Ezra Furman
Transangelic Exodus was Rob‘s favourite album last year (my favourite, Daphne and Celeste Save the World, is maybe not appropriate for this playlist). This track has a brilliant atmosphere to it, but the real reason we picked it is we’ve just launched our night called No Place, so think of this as its unofficial theme song (tho, cough cough, we came up with the name way before, ahem ahem)
THINGS IT WOULD HAVE BEEN HELPFUL TO KNOW BEFORE THE REVOLUTION – Father John Misty
We’re both big FJM fans and though musically we walk different paths, the defeatist humour he uses in his lyrics is a strong influence on ours (though I like to think we’re at least slightly more optimistic…)
HEY LIFE- TUNE-YARDS
Finishing off the playlist comes Tune-Yards, who along with Owen Pallett taught us that you can do things with a loop pedal that isn’t just, well, loop pedal music. And by melding frantic but catchy melodies with weird rhythms, we’re right back where we started…
As its International Women’s Day, it seems only right to highlight some of the women in music doing incredible things. Here’s our Future Five for this year – may they have every success in 2019 in beyond!
Lava La Rue
Lava La Rue is exactly what you’ve been missing in your life, and from your go-to playlist. Representing the creative music collection NINE8, her debut EP Letra was launched in the summer of last year. She takes inspiration from Erykah Badu and Neneh Cherry and it’s clear to see that Lava La Rue is proud of where she comes from (West London); she’s passionate about sharing her music with the world. Standout tracks like Fucked It and Widdit perfectly showcase that she’s a triple threat: sickly sweet vocals, impactful lyric writing and an enviable rap flow, too. If you don’t know, get to know – Lava La Rue will be on my summer soundtrack for 2019.
Nabihah Iqbal has music woven into the very fibre of her being. Her regular NTS shows have gained a loyal following over the past year or so, as she showcases her favourite records spanning nations, decades and genre. From Italo house to reggae to punk, Iqbal never fails to surprise, educate and delight with her selections. She’s not just a talented DJ though, her skills as a producer and live performer leave audiences around the world in awe. Her debut album Weighing of the Heart (released on Ninja Tune in December 2017) is a glimmering, glowing collection of dreamy guitar pop, perfectly combining obvious inspiration from bands like Joy Division and The Cure with her own unforgettable sound. Look out for appearances in Marrakech, London and Leeds to name just a few this year.
Hailing from humble roots in the small city of Chester, Peaness have been climbing their way up the ladder of indie pop royalty. Think Strokes-esque guitar chords with divine feminine energy and a punk edge. That’s Peaness. Although still relatively unknown around the country, the three-piece have gained listens on major radio stations like BBC R1 and Radio X. With performances around the UK and Europe gaining the girls an adoring fanbase, we’re excited to see how they progress in 2019 – Kero Kero Bonito support and AYL Fest are already on the agenda. Oh, and they’ve just put out a song called Breakfast about Brexit.
It’s hard to believe that vocalist and songwriter Isabelle Brown is just 15 years old. But this incredibly talented lady could be the next MsLaurynHill; she’s that good. Her dreamy yet soulful vocals take the listener away, evoking a comforting nostalgia and familiar warmth in each and every one of her RnB tracks. Her sound is infectious too – we guarantee you’ll be humming along to Places from the moment you hear it. Isabelle has only released a handful of songs (her 03 EP was released last month) but she’s already been hotly tipped by The Fader and Vogue. We just know she’s one to watch this year.
2018 was the year that object blue started rising to prominence in the underground electronic music scene. 2019 will be the year that she climbs to the top. With a renewed residency on Rinse FM and regular sets across Europe alongside the likes of Ben UFO and Objekt, there aren’t many DJ-producers as exciting as this enchanting human being. Fans of experimental techno, if you’ve not yet heard her 2018 EP Rex – premiered by Mixmag -, you’re in for a serious aural treat. Erase everything you know about live performances and DJ sets: object blue is taking us on a journey of techno discovery, every single time she appears on stage or on the airwaves.
Caiine is the London born, Northwich raised, alternative R’n’B singer and songwriter, avidly conquering the hearts and minds of Manchester music lovers, one soulful gig at a time. With a vocal range as long as your arm, a stylistic and iconic voice akin to that of Nina Simone and Sade, and a sonic pallet throughout her music that keeps the listener locked into a perpetual state of awe; Caiine isn’t messing about, by all accounts.
This emerging, soul-influenced and dynamic vocalist isn’t here for fortune or fame, as she stated in a recent interview for MCR Live, in Manchester last week; Caiine is a true artist, using her music for communication and catharsis, and should be taken very seriously indeed.
Whether it’s a lyric ladened, jazz-influenced, R’n’B ensemble, or boom bap infused pop piece, Caiine’s music is fresh, awe-inspiring and hypnotic; and she very graciously and humbly answered a few questions about her latest project ‘The Game’, her musical idiom and her plans for the future.
Can you give us, and our readers, a little bit of a background about yourself, who you are and where you’re from?
Caiine: I’mCaiine, I’m twenty years old and I’m an alternative R’nB singer and songwriter. I was originally born in Lewisham, I lived there with my parents for the early part of my childhood and then moved up to Northwich, in Cheshire, before my teens.
Lewisham is a far cry from Northwich, what made you move?
Caiine: Well, to be honest, it was a family break up kind of thing and so we just moved up here when I was about seven or eight years old.
So, how did you originally get into music and singing?
Caiine: When I was at school, around the age of six or seven, a teacher heard me sing and then literally forced me to sing in the school’s next talent show. I was so embarrassed, but she honestly made me do it. That was the first time I had ever sung in front of people, and I loved it!
What did you sing?
Caiine: Did you have to ask me that, it’s a little embarrassing; I sang ‘Dedication’ by Lamar.
Nothing wrong with a bit of Lamar, don’t be embarrassed. When I hear you sing, I can hear a Nina Simone influence in your tone. Sometimes I hear a hint of Sade too, would you say that is a fair assessment?
Caiine: I’m not too sure about the Sade influence, I haven’t really heard very many Sade songs to be fair, apart from ‘Smooth Operator’. But I wouldn’t say I sound like her. I love Nina Simone though, she is definitely a big influence musically.
Now, I’m aware that Caiine is your pseudonym, what is the concept being that, is it a religious thing? As in, Cain and Abel from the Bible?
Caiine: No not at all; I was looking for a name with power or strength to it. After researching names and their meanings I came across this version of the name and learned its meaning. Apparently, it relates to being strong and powerful. It’s not in any way related to Cain and Abel.
It’s a cool sounding name. I like the way it’s spelled too. You have a single coming out at the end of January if I have that right? Called ‘The Game’, and from what I’ve heard, it’s outstanding. Can you tell me what the song is about and who produced it? Also, it has a running theme of a game player in there, is this a love song of sorts? Is it about anyone in particular?
Caiine: It kind of is about someone in particular, but I won’t get into that right now, let’s say it’s about no one in particular. Actually, to be honest, when I started putting the song together it was about someone, and I suppose it was about perceiving them as a game player or playing some kind of game. Then, as the songs formulated and I delved deeper into it, I realised it was actually more about me, how I was playing a game and it became a lot more introspective. So no, it isn’t about anyone in particular, it’s about me.
The song was produced by producer and musician, Keiran Flynn, who is also my manager, and it’s a really progressive, alternative R’n’B song. Previously, I had worked on a few, more soul-influenced, songs with Keiran. The music was solely focussed on my voice but I wanted to work with different styles and influences and so we came up with this track ‘The Game’. Keiran is a really good producer too, so it was easy for him to move away from a vocal-heavy style of ballads and slow R’n’B, towards this type of music.
When can we expect a release date for ‘The Game’ and what have you planned in terms of promotion and marketing to launch the single?
Caiine: My whole focus has just been on the music, making it the sound the best that it can. Keiran will deal with all the advertising and marketing stuff because, to be honest, I’m not about the fame or fortune, or to ‘make it’; I’m a musician and concentrate all my attention on that. I gig as often as I can in bars and venues around Cheshire, and Manchester more recently. The single should be available at the end of January but you’ll have to wait for an exact release date I’m afraid.
I am really interested in music videos though and want to work on a visual project to coincide with this single, and others I have in the pipeline that will form part of an EP or album to be released later in the year, or early 2020.
Caiine, this has been awesome. Thank you for talking to me, is there anything you would like to sign off with that I may have missed?
Caiine: Just that, if anything, any recognition should be for the music. It’s the most important thing to me as an artist and musician; that the art is recognised simply as good music. I’m getting deeper into a more progressive, alternative form of R’n’B song production and it’s a direction I’m really excited about.
LIVE: Inner City Waves #15 w/ Eva Bee + support @ Band on the Wall
WORDS – DALE BURGESS
If one of your new year’s resolutions isn’t to seek and discover more homegrown music, then it should be. Manchester is an exciting place to be right now for emerging talent across the genre spectrum. One group facilitating the exposure of the sounds of tomorrow – Inner City Waves – hosted their fifteenth show at legendary Manchester venue Band on the Wall last Friday.
Since their birth almost two years ago, the aim of their game has been to advocate the best underground vocalists, rappers, DJ’s and producers in the North West – a game which has proved fruitful for all involved, punters and participants alike. Bulldozing their way into 2019, show #15 saw none other than Manc soulstress EvaBee headline the evening, with support from Savvy, Hana Malik, Kamali and DJ Ben Jac.
Band on the Wall has been accountable for the spawning of many a Manchester musical legacy – a suitable location to fit the Inner City Waves ethos. EvaBee reiterated this early in her set, projecting how she had longed to perform on a stage with such local heritage. Known for its refined acoustics, Eva’s magnetising tones filled the room as an eager crowd revelled in the performance. Showcasing unheard gems and dusting off old crowd favourites, Eva treated us to an exhibition of what can be achieved through hard work and persistence on a passion.
Although she quite easily could have stole the show all by herself, MCR Live resident & A Broken Camarilla band mate, friend and artist in his own right Ceeow shared the stage to perform new track ‘Stranger Things’, taken from the aforementioned band’s forthcoming EP: Tides. Ceeow re-joined the stage for the penultimate track ‘Wave’; an A Broken Camarilla anthem from yesteryear. MCR Live resident TMNMS was on selector duty – a DJ and producer in his own right, responsible for the crisp production on some of EvaBee’s more recent tracks.
Eva’s charm and individuality stems from her effortless ability to capture the crowd with ethereal pitch-perfect harmonies – and in the same breath – spin the room out with her raw energy and feel-good spirit, making the synergy between the stage and the floor something to behold. Her outputs vary from deep emotional themes to lighthearted depictions of things she simply loves, resulting in a noticeable inclusivity about her music. Eva’s performance of new track ‘Morgan Spiced’ was a prime example, going down well on the night in more ways than one.
Eager to leave the crowd with one more song beyond her planned set list, Eva confessed her hesitation to do so due to being a little under the weather. Some crowd encouragement and a wave from her on-looking family was all she needed to jump down from the stage and perform unreleased track ‘Lets Go Back’ to absolute perfection – arguably her most impressive piece of work to date and certified to make serious noise when it drops later this year.
If that wasn’t enough to kickstart her year, EvaBee will releasing her first single ‘Full Circle’ on 15/1/19. Inner City Waves #16 goes down at Band On The Wall on 31/1/19 – get involved and keep the scene bubbling!
With an ominous video posted in December last year titled just ‘Who Was Gianni Paci’ there’s an air of mystery around the solo artist that is Gianni Paci. Although young in age, the New York native has quite the CV behind him, having worked with the likes of Jon Anderson, Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie’s backing band), and Ace Frehley (of KISS).
Having performed as the lead singer for the trio that was The Pine Hollows – an act that released two albums as teens and even performed at CBGB before amicably parting ways in 2013 – there are no signs of Gianni trailing behind. His journey to fame has been one of the lofty heights indeed, as he took his debut EP to production extraordinaire Perry Margouleff (Maroon 5, Led Zeppelin) hoping for a reaction that might also launch him further. Of course, the chance was taken.
Scooped out from his former band’s self-titled first album, a fresh-faced video has been unearthed that fills in the blanks in case you’re wondering of Paci’s musical stylings. Recorded when he was practically a child, here at MCR Live, we’re more than content in sharing with you the world premiere of ‘Blue Like Me’.
There’s a baroque air of TheLemonTwigs voices in Gianni’s vocal cords. Each lyric tells the unnervingly vulnerable tale about how a fanciful relationship unfolds in today’s culture of speaking out. Similar to the aforementioned duo (also coincidentally American citizens), Gianni’s verses in ‘Blue Like Me’ tell of love-lost tales: “You and I, we’re scarred the same/we can only relate” Gianni estimates, with pain in his voice. A dreamy 70s hue filters through the video, matching the theme of the track and laying down the musings that suit Gianni Paci. With a back-catalog to boot, alongside the ascertained track, you’re more than encouraged to keep an eye on this rising youngster.
Over the year, 2018 weened out a host of new acts that met the limelight. From Boy Azooga to Parcels, independent acts have blown-up the music scene and set their sights on the big-time. But what can come through in 2019? Of course we don’t know yet who are going to rise up from the depths of their rehearsal spaces and practice rooms but our MCRLive contributors have selected the next generation of acts that they can see appearing on your playlists over the next twelve months.
WORDS BY HANNAH TINKER
Their name comes from the “colour that disappeared” – the deep blue pigment that surfaced in the Egyptian period and vanished until it was rediscovered in the Roman Era – but be assured, EgyptianBlue aren’t going to disappear any time soon. The Southern four-piece have cropped up slotted in amongst the vinyls of record shops up and down the country, as well as featured on many a ‘top track of 2018’ list from BBC Radio6 to Piccadilly Records. Although still relatively unknown, they’re more than likely to break the mould in 2019 and be presented at some of your favourite venues.
FFO. Squid, Duds, Sorry.
WORDS BY JESSICA CAMPBELL
Think of the South of England and your mind will probably be drawn to the colourful stony beaches of Brighton, the White Cliffs that lead to more exotic places or the first right of passage as a rowdy 16-year-old, Newquay. But Portsmouth? It’s more than likely that you’d probably only recognise it as the place you’d pass through to get to Bestival (RIP). However, one band are about to change this – mainly hailing from these haunts comes the macabre Hotel Lux. Though a young band, the 5-piece provide gritty realism through their lyrics – case in point being smash single of 2018 ‘Daddy’ which focuses on the often overlooked seedy underbelly of every city, all which seem to possess a sense of familiarity for front-man Lewis which in turn will leave you wholly satisfied, if not with realistic world portrayed through their lyrics. If you like dark, punky music that your mum probably won’t get, these are your guys.
FFO. Lady Bird, Goat Girl, The Rhythm Method.
LAVA LA RUE
WORDS BY EMMA LANGFORD
Lava La Rue is a west-London rapper last year releasing ‘LAVALAND’ consisting of a few short tapes integrating soft vocals with the sounds of London showcasing her personal style. Earlier on in the year in June, she released her EP ‘Letra’ showing a more hip-hop infused, upbeat sound. The track ‘Widdit’ was a success, bagging her a show on the notorious YouTube channel ‘A Colors Show’, a platform promoting fresh talent. Lava La Rue is also the founder of the nine8collective, a London based music, and arts collective, promoting and collaborating the work of its artists and musicians. La Rue’s silky lyrics and distinctive sound have caught the attention of many listeners. She is one to look out for in 2019.
FFO.Biig Piig, Poppy Ajudha, Puma Blue
WORDS BY CRAIG HOPKINSON
32 Tens are a Warrington based indie rock band, are set to make a serious impact on the unsigned, emerging U.K. music scene in 2019. This awesome band is already receiving thousands of streams and playlist features on Spotify, are members of the quickly growing AWAL independent music community to distribute globally and have also played a tranche of gigs across the U.K. for the last eighteen months. Their music is an energetic blend of harmonic melody, intense, heavy drums, funky bass, and lead guitar solos and very dynamic lyrics. The intensity and passion really shine through with every song and performance and so these guys are definitely a band to watch out for next year.
FFO. The Snuts, Rascalton, Chappaqua Wrestling
WORDS BY JESSICA CAMPBELL
Listen to just 30 seconds of one of their songs or seeing their oversized art-rock cum new-romantic inspired attire and you’ll wonder whether what you’re listening to is from now, or some 20 years ago. Inhaling the somewhat ‘twisted’ society around them and exhaling glittering tracks like ‘No Need For A Curtain’, which explores a documentary based on prostitution in Leeds, Walt Disco are breathing a new and beautifully flamboyant life (far beyond their years) into the flourishing Glasgow music scene. Punk AF. Glamorously gothic, with elements of Bowie ringing clear (both in haunting stage prowess, to recorded sound) everything the quintet do catches the eye. Need a douse of something refreshing to fit with your new year revamp? Walt Disco have it all.
FFO. Crack Cloud, HMLTD, The Ninth Wave (and banging clothes).
WORDS BY JACK MCKEEVER
The London-based producer/DJ Imogen took the final quarter of 2018 by storm. She turned in a stonking hour mix for Rob Booth’s legendary Electronic Explorations series, and her impossibly murky breaks assault ‘Katla’ was a highlight of Mumdance’s ‘Shared Meanings’ mix CD. She takes severe techno as a starting point and splices into various grinding, wiggling forms, making tracks as likely to make one quiver as to bang fists. Early 2019 sees her appear in Brussels alongside Charlotte De Witte, and in June she’ll appear at the hallowed Junction2 Festival in her hometown. Here’s to hoping there’ll also be a load of seismic releases from her throughout the year.
WORDS BY RUSSELL HOPE
When you know you’re good you have to be incredibly good to back up that arrogance and cock-sureness of knowing how good you are and then you come across those artists that do what they do with humble confidence and appreciation of where they are and where they are going in their career. Boy Azooga is the latter and the captain of the ship (Davey Newington) has the full respect of those who have listened to his debut album ‘1, 2, Kung Fu’. Through the full variety, ranging from the grit of ‘Loner Boogie’ to the sheer brilliance and beauty of ‘Jerry’. After witnessing the album live at Bluedot in the summer, you just know that the follow up to this album has the potential of being even better. I can thank Mary-Anne Hobbs from BBC Radio 6 for opening my ears to this one and after being live on there last month I’m sure Davey is thankful too.
FFO. The Orielles, Pip Blom, The Vryll Society
WORDS BY HANNAH TINKER
Make way for the act that stole the show in 2018’s festival scene: ConfidenceMan. If you’re a Disco fanatic, you’ll know of the icon that is RosinMurphy and her ability to immediately get the floor moving. Like the Disco Queen herself, the two-piece has faced audiences who didn’t know the ConfidenceMan title and left them proclaiming their excellence. Feel-good gets a re-boost with this group, they know exactly what to say to make it right and brighten any negativity. I for one am angling to see this pair at a festival in 2019, having heard that their spectacle of a show lets the euphoria run right up your spine. It’s Pop, it’s Disco, it’s Dance. It’s everything you need in 2019.
FFO. Methyl Ethel, Winston Surfshirt, Haiku Hands
WORDS BY SOPHIE BILLINGTON
This four-piece band of men in Liverpool offers a clean but heavy sound with a lot of smooth talking. With guitars and drums that take turns in the spotlight, Persian Hugs are a classic rock outfit that are simultaneously polite and gentlemanly yet wild and unruly. The lead, Henry Belcher, is the kind of man that you want to take home to meet your parents but not for very long. Every release has been a hit so far and Persian Hugs’ following is fast growing on Spotify due to the undeniable panache that comes across in the band’s deliverance of mature and thoughtful stories.
FFO. Sea Girls, Red Rum Club, Corella
WORDS BY RICHARD SAMUEL
Another Sky burst on to the scene in 2017 with their progressive indie rock, that has a real cinematic quality to it. Gluing together some real classic elements with a tangible rawness, sharp observant lyrics, dark yet uplifting and the distinct vocals of Catrin Vincent that are hauntingly beautiful. If you go deeper you will find ambient guitars layered upon penetrating bass lines and apprehensive beats. Think Radiohead meeting The xx but with added bite and you’ve got something that is thrillingly haunting. I also love the lyrics “Why worry ‘bout the weather or nuclear weapons when you can eat for free on a black card at Nandos?” on recent single ‘Chillers’, which show a band wanting to tackle big issues instead of singing about why their ex has broken their heart.
FFO. Sam Fender, Stereo Honey, Art School Girlfriend
WORDS BY JESSICA CAMPBELL
I’m going to go ahead and say it – Patawawa released the catchiest tune of 2018. Ever since monster-single ‘Patagonia’ dropped, the Matlock-based trio have gone from strength to strength playing up and down the country to packed out crowds at headline gigs and festivals alike and (not-so) rumours have it, a new EP is set to drop in the coming weeks. As new bop ‘Wires’ exhibits, Patawawa are showing no signs of stopping – taking their inherently Nu-Disco sound to new levels with Latin flavours sprinkled throughout. Hearing all this, I’m sure that you can imagine that no matter when you hear them, listening to Patawawa it’ll feel like you’ve been thrust back to the midst of the summer. And live? If you’re having a shit day, the three-piece will be sure to change that with beaming smiles as they bounce around the stage, filling any room with a contagious energy that doesn’t slow down for a second.
FFO. Parcels, Crazy P, Franc Moody
WORDS BY HANNAH TINKER
It’s rare nowadays that anyone doesn’t have a social media presence, let alone a music act aiming to rise up through the ranks. Meet black midi. A quick scan of their scarce social media pages shows they only post their gig listings and nothing else. Word-of-mouth has brought them an alert fan-base, each passing on the folklore of this newcomer with no online bearing. Clamouring for every scrap of information they can find, the BRITSAcademy graduates: blackmidi are in high demand. It’s a unique math-rock take on the independent acts floating around nowadays. As individual in their promotion as they are in their performance, go see for yourself at their twenty *almost* consecutive January and February 2019 tour dates.
Newcomers to the electro-pop scene, SequinSally are bucking the trend against pop acts alike. Synthesizers and shell-suits match their pared-down melodies and ethereal vocals that depict the tumultuous events life throws at us.
The band has already amassed a cult-like following around their local hunting ground of Manchester, selling out shows across the city. With their refined sound and established presence on the local music scene, you’d be forgiven for assuming they are well seasoned within the industry. Their first EPis all set to be realised in 2019, produced with label Uncommon Ground; it is a confident and well-positioned step into the professional music scene.
Over the last year or two the four members of the soulful hip-hop electronic band ‘A Broken Camarilla’ have shown us how they do it solo – demonstrating how different dimensions within the group can blossom when left to their own devices. ‘Camarilla Tape Vol 1’ – released earlier this year – was a fine exhibition of this direction. With two formulas of band production and solo work running seamlessly alongside each other, these guys really are a gift that keeps on giving in the underground Manchester music scene right now.
‘Owl City’ by Ceeow&JoeyBricks is the latest creation to be churned out of this musical machine. It comes as an early Christmas present for those seeking deep reflection of the foregone year and positive outlooks for the one to come. A late car journey home or a midnight walk through the city is where the vibe of this one will take you.
The delicate delivery of Ceeow’s bars over the elegant, creeping entry of Joey’s 140 bpm-beat make for an introduction laced with melancholic ambiance. An injection of purpose then becomes apparent and a forward-thinking drive is omitted as the beat evolves, with Ceeow’s tone adapting to the extra layers now present within. ‘No chill, no chill. It’s about time we build’ is repeated throughout, with added vigor to match the progression within the track – epitomizing the aforementioned notion of reflection of the past making way for a vision of the future.
Honesty, emotion, and humility are the characteristics that these artists have taught us to expect in the past – with ‘Owl City’ keeping that expectation fulfilled. Expect the wheel to keep turning for these guys as 2019 rolls in