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This Week: Gig Roundup 22nd – 28th June

June 23, 2015 in News

This week gets off to a start on Thursday with House of Sound, a new music night at The Rainbow that collects the very best of the UK’s emerging talent alongside open mic slots and chilled vibes. This week’s events is headed up by The Piratones and Kizzy Crawford. On Friday Sheffield indie quartet The Sherlocks take to the stage at The Rainbow fresh from Isle of Wight Festival and support slots with The Buzzcocks, Reverend & The Makers and The Enemy. Friday also sees maximalist cosmic voyagers Free School play a show at the Hare & Hounds to celebrate the launch of their new single ‘Love Calling’. Saturday we welcome Boat To Row frontman Michael King to The Glee Club as he headlines the Acoustic Sessions for what promises to be a beautiful set. Following that over at The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham-born singer-songwriter Benjamin Yellowitz returns to his hometown to celebrate the release of his brand new EP. Bringing it all to a close on Sunday we can’t wait to welcome Alden Penner, co-founder of celebrated Canadian art-pop band The Unicorns and his close friend Michael Cera to The Rainbow. Take a look at the full listings below for more info:

THURSDAY 25TH JUNE

House of Sound ft. Kizzy Crawford & The Piratones @ The Rainbow Courtyard
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Beatfreeks presents a brand-spanking new music night collecting the very best of the UK’s national and emerging talent alongside open mic slots, tea and chilled vibes.This month they’re bringing you the ska punk sounds of The Piratones & bi-lingual music magic from Kizzy Crawford, alongside open mic slots.

FRIDAY 26TH JUNE

The Sherlocks + Cubstone + Young Skins + The Regulars @ The Rainbow Courtyard
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Having performed in excess of 500 gigs, including supporting the likes of The Enemy, The Buzzcocks & Reverend & The Makers, the Sheffield indie quartet play The Rainbow with support from Birmingham indie-rock four-piece Cubstone, Lichfield indie/psych quintet Young Skins & Wolverhampton based indie four-piece The Regulars. 

Watch the video for ‘Escapade’ below:

Free School + Hoopla Blue + The Grafham Water Sailing Club + Field Harmonics @ Hare & Hounds
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Maximalist cosmic voyagers Free School have won the support of Lauren Laverne, Steve Lamacq, Gideon Coe, Gilles Peterson & Jacques Renault. The duo’s live show features a live drummer, a string of guest vocalists and has seen them support Editors, Andrew Weatherall, Walls, Ulrich Schnauss and Fujiya & Miyagi. Free School have set sail for bolder territories on their new LP. Together with a fearless band of shamanistic vocalists (Maps, Greg Bird, Tomlin Mystic, Sigmund Frued) they have created their most unique and profound set of hypnotic broadcasts to date. New single ‘Love Calling’ was recently premiered on BBC 6 Music. Set your controls for the heart of the sun.

Watch the video for ‘Love Calling’ below:

SATURDAY 27TH JUNE

Acoustic Sessions: Michael King + Greg Larkin + Simon Joseph Gregory @ The Glee Club Lounge
MORE INFO • FREE ENTRY

The lead singer and songwriter in much loved Birmingham folk quintet Boat To Row takes to the stage at The Glee Club as part of the weekly free entry Acoustic Sessions. Support comes from Manchester based acoustic instrumental guitarist Greg Larkin and Simon Joseph Gregory, guitarist in Birmingham indie-folk band Midnight Bonfires. 

Watch the video for ‘Tightrope’ below:

Benjamin Yellowitz + Indica Campbell + Atlas @ The Sunflower Lounge
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Birmingham-born singer-songwriter, backed by the likes of Ben Howard, Fink and Coldplay, returns to his hometown to celebrate the release of his brand new EP. The self-produced musician, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist takes acoustic roots to new levels with his dark ambient production style. Support comes from 21 and a singer/songwriter Indica Campbell,  daughter of UB40′s Ali Campbell and granddaughter of folk singer Ian Campbell, plus opening support from Emma-Lee Shepherd aka ATLAS, an experimental indie/pop singer-songwriter from Birmingham.

Watch Benjamin perform ‘Ash Wednesday’ below:

SUNDAY 28TH JUNE

Alden Penner (The Unicorns) & Michael Cera + The Adam Brown @ The Rainbow Courtyard
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In 2003 Alden Penner cemented himself in the annals of indie rock history as the co-founder/singer of The Unicorns, Montreal’s beloved dysfunctional art-pop outfit. Following a series of low-key self releases Alden Penner is back with a new EP Canada In Space. Featuring his friends Michael Cera, Laura Crapo and Farley Miller Penner will be playing songs from his new EP along with songs from throughout his career. Support comes from The Adam Brown. 

Listen to ‘Meditate’ below:

This Week: Gig Roundup 15th – 21st June

June 17, 2015 in News

This Wednesday we welcome much-hyped Scottish hip-hop outfit Stanley Odd to Birmingham’s The Sunflower Lounge. Following that, Thursday sees North-London pop-rockers Room 94 take to the stage at The Rainbow after tour dates with the likes of Union J and Lawson. Friday we bring you the second installment of Baddie’s Banquet, a night that brings you 3 rooms of live music and DJs until late. This Friday’s event is headed up by rising Telford noisemakers Hyena, with support from Manchester duo Bad Grammar and local four-piece The Drive. Saturday sees 20 year-old Brighton based singer-songwriter Jack Watts headline the free entry Acoustic Sessions at The Glee Club, followed by a visit from Melbourne garage rock quintet Money For Rope over at The Sunflower Lounge. Check out the full listings below:

WEDNESDAY 17TH JUNE

Stanley Odd + Loose Lips + Bear @ The Sunflower Lounge
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Edinburgh-based alternative hip-hop band Stanley Odd return with their third studio album A Thing Brand New. The record follows up from the band’s second album Reject, which was shortlisted for a 2012 Scottish Album of the Year. Since then, Stanley Odd have continued to tour heavily, taking in some their biggest shows to date including a string of US dates with The View and numerous festival slots including Wickerman, Belladrum, Insider, Greenbelt and Celtic Connections. Support at this show comes from Telford-based acoustic hip-hop duo Loose Lips and acoustic hip-hop and soul influenced Bear. 

Watch the video ‘Pastime’ below:


THURSDAY 18TH JUNE

Room 94 + Young Braves @ The Rainbow
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North London pop-rockers Room 94 have built up a loyal following over the last couple of years through shows withUnion J, Lawson and Twenty Twenty. Their debut albumNo Strings Attached reached the Top 30 in March 2014 – a mightily impressive feat for a then unsigned band. Less than a year later, they’re back with a second self-titled album. What follows is even more impressive, with anthemic, hook-heavy rock that recalls the band’s love of You Me At Six, The Offspring and Bring Me The Horizon. Support comes from Shropshire based rock four-piece Young Braves. 

Watch the video for ‘For the Day’ below:


FRIDAY 19TH JUNE

Baddie’s Banquet: Hyena + Bad Grammar + The Drive & more
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Baddie’s Banquet is a new Friday night event at The Rainbow. One set entry price allows access to three rooms of music, including a host of the best local live bands in The Rainbow Courtyard & Cellar. Aftershow follows in the bar with Testify DJ’s spinning 60s R&B, Northern Soul and Disco till late. Headlining this week are rising Telford noisemakers Hyena, Manchester noise-rock duo Bad Grammar and local indie rockers The Drive. 

Watch the video for ‘Mental Home’ below:


SATURDAY 20TH JUNE

Acoustic Sessions: Jack Watts + Contact + Franklin & Jones + The Gardener’s Son @ The Glee Club Lounge
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After recently releasing his debut EP, Red Shortbread, Jack joins us at the Glee Club Birmingham to headline our weekly free entry Acoustic Sessions! A song-cycle of sorts tracing the transition from a failed relationship into stability & contentment elsewhere, Red Shortbread is the work of a magnetic new talent, as distinctive and assured as the emotional territory it inhabits is fragile. Support comes from acoustic duo Contact, folk duo Franklin & Jones and folk singer-songwriter The Gardener’s Son. 

Watch the video for ‘Red Shortbread’ below:

Money For Rope + Millbrook @ The Sunflower Lounge
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Melbourne-based quintet Money For Rope’s raw brand of rock music has earned them a reputation for chaotic, ambling musical mayhem tied together by harmonies driven by the spirit of rock. Twin drum kits, two guitars, four voices, a bass, keys and a sweltering, sultry, swaggering style, Money For Rope are dealers in a raw brand of rock music that must be felt to be believed. With their public-bar rise propelled by word-of-mouth whisperings, 7” releases and an energetic, swirling live show that seethes with energy, Money For Rope released their much-anticipated self-titled full-length recording in November 2012, taking their pulsing sound from dark stages to stereos right across the globe. Support comes from Birmingham trio Millbrook. 

Watch the video for ‘Easy Way Out’ below:

This Week: Gig Roundup 8th – 14th June

June 9, 2015 in News

This week kicks off with a visit from Boxed In, otherwise known as songwriter and producer Oli Bayston, who combines his love of Krautrock and house music in his critically acclaimed solo project. Wednesday is a busy day at The Rainbow, with celebrated folk-punk band Andrew Jackson Jihad playing in The Rainbow Cellar, whilst rock’n'roll trio Little Barrie take to the stage in The Rainbow Courtyard. Friday sees the first of a series of events called Baddies Banquet, an event that delivers 3 rooms of music every Friday at The Rainbow. Headlined by the dynamic Birmingham indie/ska fusion band The Underclass, this event should be the first of many great nights! And bringing it all to a close on Saturday at The Glee Club, Birmingham troubadour Barnesy plays a much anticipated set as part of the weekly Acoustic Sessions events. Check out the full listings below and see if something takes your fancy!

TUESDAY 9TH JUNE

Boxed In + Zola Blood + Midnight Bonfires @ The Rainbow
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Boxed In is songwriter and producer Oli Bayston. Having played in indie band Keith, written for The 2 Bears, sung for George FitzGerald and been a producer for the likes of Charlie Boyer and the VoyeursRosie Lowe and The Bohicas, Oli is now bringing his wide array of talents to bear on his own solo project. Boxed In brings together Oli’s two greatest musical loves: Krautrock and house music. Inspired by the motorik rhythms of CanCluster and Neu! as well as house producers, like Pépé Bradock and Theo Parrish, Oli nevertheless emphasises that the art of pop song writing is right at the heart of Boxed In. Support comes from London-based electronic-rock band Zola Blood and Birmingham’s Midnight Bonfires,a band who fuse folk sensitivity with rock and roll energy.

Watch the video for ‘Mystery’ below:

WEDNESDAY 10TH JUNE

Andrew Jackson Jihad + Hard Girls + Ghosts of Dead Airplanes @ The Rainbow Cellar
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 Andrew Jackson Jihad have always had a way with words. That’s pretty obvious from their near endless catalog of songs like ‘The Michael Jordan of Drunk Driving’ and ‘Love in the Time of Human Papillomavirus’ for example. But on their latest album, Christmas Island, the Phoenix folk-punk weirdos seem intent on upping their eccentric lyric game. Support on this show comes from Californian punk trio Hard Girls and energetic Birmingham quartet Ghosts of Dead Airplanes.

Watch the video for ‘Temple Grandin’ below:

Little Barrie + Gil De Ray @ The Rainbow Courtyard
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Following the release of their critically acclaimed album King Of The Waves, the rock ‘n’ roll trio return with latest album Shadow, recorded with Edwyn Collins. Recorded and mixed in just 17 days there is a relaxed urgency about Shadow inspired by having recently worked with Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Damo Suzuki (Can), Andrew Weatherall and Pete Molinari. Support comes from Gil De Ray.

Watch the video for ‘Bonneville Ride’ below:

FRIDAY 12TH JUNE

Baddies Banquet: The Underclass + Bloom & more @ The Rainbow Courtyard & Cellar
MORE INFO • TICKETS ON THE DOOR 

Baddie’s Banquet is a new Friday night event at The Rainbow. One set entry price allows access to three rooms of music, including a host of the best local live bands in The Rainbow Courtyard & Cellar. Aftershow follows in the bar with Testify DJ’s spinning 60s R&B, Northern Soul and Disco till late.

This week features The Underclass, Savannah, Hope Street, Party Hardly, Bloom, Rituals, Fringe & Shooze!

SATURDAY 13TH JUNE

Acoustic Sessions: Barnesy + Mike Moloney @ The Glee Club Lounge
MORE INFO • FREE ENTRY 

2014 saw Barnesy make huge strides in the right direction, playing sets at Lunar & Moseley Folk Festivals, sharing stages with John McCullagh and James Walsh (Starsailor). Barnesy is currently recording in the studio following the release of his single ‘Blue Flashing Lights’, mastered by the legendary Pete Maher.  Support comes from modern day crooner Mike Moloney.

Listen to ‘Blue Flashing Lights’ below:

Interview: Sally Haines

May 22, 2015 in News

We caught up with Birmingham singer-songwriter Sally Haines to talk about her many career highlights, her musical influences and the Birmingham music scene ahead of her show at The Glee Club on Saturday 23rd May. Check out the full interview below:

Can you tell us about how you started writing and performing and what inspired you to begin a career in music?

My uncle was a musician, so it was part of my life from an early age. I remember him writing songs and I remember chipping in an idea. My family were great music lovers and I found it a great way to express myself. My first instrument was my voice but having a guitar and a keyboard helped my creative streak. Performing started at school with the choir and orchestra and I joined my first band in London when I was 21

You’re a vastly experienced artist who was worked with many musicians and performed across various genres. What have been the highlights of your musical career so far?

I’ve supported Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, done backing vocals on the Red Shoes album that included Fairport Convention and ELO members and have had my songs played on the BBC and local radio stations. However after years of just being the singer/front woman in bands, I think the moment that gives me the greatest satisfaction was going solo.

Can you tell us more about where you find inspiration for your music?

Life, death and love inspire my writing. It can be a personal experience or something I observe, or have heard – it has to strike a chord with me though.

Who are your biggest musical influences and why?

So many genres of music and artists have influenced me, too many to mention, however I love jazz, neo-soul, singer-songwriters, and strong female artists.

Are there any local acts you recommend we listen to?

In Birmingham there is so much talent, and everyone tends to help each other out. A few of the talented friends I have made on the scene and would recommend are Call me Unique, Kezia Soul, Sic-Nis – they have some great musicians that play with them too. Again there are too many too mention.

You’re a regular performer at Birmingham Pride Festival. Where can audiences catch you at this year’s festival and what have you got in store?

I’m at the Womens Arena (at The Fox) on Saturday 3.30pm. It’s always fun!

What can audiences expect from your set at The Glee Club on Saturday 23rd May?

An insight into me and some nice guitar grooves but hopefully songs that they can relate too or feel.

If you could collaborate with any musician, past or present, who would it be and why?

This is a difficult one but I guess someone that could teach me on my instrument and tell me some great rock’n’roll stories, maybe someone like Bessie Smith or Janis Joplin from the past, but modern day would be Erykah Badu.

And finally, what’s your favourite thing to do when in Birmingham?

GIG of course and see all my friends play too. Birmingham has a great musical pool of talent! I love it!

SALLY HAINES HEADLINES THE ACOUSTIC SESSIONS AT THE GLEE CLUB BIRMINGHAM ON SAT 23RD MAY, WITH SUPPORT FROM TARA, INTERIOR CASTLE & PATRICK BREWER. MORE INFO CAN BE FOUND HERE

This Week: Gig Roundup 18th May – 24th May

May 21, 2015 in News

After a quiet start to the week, things get loud on Thursday with a visit from Philadelphia quartet  Creepoid who take to the stage at The Rainbow. Friday we welcome local folksters Boat To Row to The Rainbow for an eagerly awaited set. Saturday we invite you all to another Free Entry Acoustic Sessions event at The Glee Club where local songstress Sally Haines headlines. Saturday night sees Buckinghamshire/Birmingham based indie five-piece New Bays play The Sunflower Lounge following rave reviews from Clash. If any of the above takes your fancy then check out the full listings below for more info:

THURSDAY 21ST MAY

Creepoid + Gleam + Holy @ The Rainbow

Philadelphia quartet Creepoid have shared stages with the likes of Dinosaur Jr. and Kurt Vile and have been compared to everyone from Sonic Youth, Brian Jonestown Massacre and Nirvana. They release their third album Cemetery Highrise Slum this summer following their two highly acclaimed albums Horse Heaven and Creepoid. Support comes from Birmingham shoegaze quartet Gleam and psych-rockers Holy. Tickets are available here.

Listen to ‘American Smile’ below:

FRIDAY 22ND MAY

Boat To Row + Alessi’s Ark + My Grey Horse @ The Rainbow

The Birmingham folk quintet have earned an outstanding live reputation after supporting the likes of Slow Club, Willy Mason and Johnny Flynn, plus crowd pleasing sets at Moseley Folk & Lunar. Their songs play host to winding tales, journeying through light and shade. Expect an intricate set woven with strings and vocal harmonies, layered with an ever-expanding collection of instruments. Crossroads, Grassmarket and Loyal Light EPs have paved the way for new single ‘Tightrope’. Released on Nocturne Records, it has enjoyed BBC Radio 2, BBC Introducing, Amazing Radio and BBC 6 Music play. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Tightrope’ below:

SATURDAY 23RD MAY

*FREE ENTRY* Acoustic Sessions: Sally Haines + Interior Castle + Patrick Brewer @ The Glee Club

The unstoppable Sally Haines has steadily nurtured her own solo career in many venues in and around Birmingham as well as being a familiar artist in Birmingham Pride. Her capacity for working in diverse music styles is quite remarkable. Even more outstanding is that she is successful in all of them. There can be few vocalists that work with blues, rn’b and soul bands who have also had personal citations from principal soloists at Covent Garden and Bucharest State Opera. Support comes from Interior Castle and Patrick Brewer. More info here.

Watch Sally live in session below:

New Bays + Fox Chapel + Institutes @ The Sunflower Lounge

Out on May 11th, the deeply independent outfit, who have performed alongside the likes of The Cribs, Kids in Glass Houses, Young Kato, released their latest EP Reckless on their own VersicRecords imprint. The title track is a breezy piece of fuzz pop with a nagging melancholic feel, and is currently streaming on Clash. Support comes from Fox Chapel and Institutes. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Reckless’ below: