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Introducing: Jordan Mackampa

March 13, 2017 in News

Singer-songwriter Jordan Mackampa is often described as a troubadour, an artist with timeless soul and lyrics drenched in heart felt empathy. As a man who was born in Kinshasa, grew up in London and became an artist in Coventry, Jordan’s music is swimming in the sounds and stories of the cities he’s inhabited over the years.

His critically acclaimed debut EP Physics was celebrated for its unique combination of jazz soaked beats, folk melodies and effortless gospel harmonies as well as his poet like lyricism exploring love, longing and loss by the likes of  NMEThe 405Julie Adengua and Clash Magazine.

With a follow up EP shortly on its way Jordan says, “there’s a smokier, darker sound to this one, it reflects the times we’re living in and poets and artists I’ve been immersing myself in.”

Jordan Mackampa Links: Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter 

Jordan Mackampa plays Ort Birmingham on Sat 20th May 2017, with support from Ryan Sparrow and Amy Louise Ellis. Tickets available here.

Listen to ‘Midnight’ below:

Yonaka & Gurr announce co-headline tour

March 9, 2017 in News

Brighton quartet Yonaka and Berlin duo Gurr embark on a joint headline tour this spring, calling at Mama Roux’s Birmingham on 11th May.

In the space of just one full single, Brighton quartet YONAKA have powered towards nationwide attention. The reaction after they uploaded their first track ‘Run’ to SoundCloud was phenomenal, as it was picked up for Radio 1 airplay without any promotion whatsoever. It was followed with their first full single ‘Ignorance’ which was released on Phil Taggart’s Hometown Records and continued to amplify the growing acclaim that has flowed their way. Shows alongside DrengeKilling Joke and Demob Happy, as well as festivals including Radio 1’s Big Weekend and Truck also helped to spread their gospel.

When two best friends start a band, songs get filled with inside jokes. In My Head takes the listener to a journey of Andreya Casablanca and Laura Lee’s friendship, their life, and a step further into the world of GURR. ‘First Wave Gurrlcore’ they call their own genre, always with a slight and acknowledging nod to riot girl culture and yet stressing that they want to invent their own style – they pair straight-forward garage rock tunes with more psychedelic and wave elements on their debut album.

Yonaka & Gurr play Mama Roux’s Birmingham on Thurs 11th May 2017. Tickets available here.

Yonaka Links: Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter
GURR Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Watch Yonaka performing ‘Blue’ at Radio 1′s Big Weekend below:

Watch the GUUR video for ‘Moby Dick’ below:

Introducing: Joe Dolman

March 7, 2017 in Introducing, News

Joe Dolman is a 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Leamington Spa.

Praised for his relatable lyrics and emotive live performances, Joe has been attracting attention from the public more than ever before. With 2 independently released EP’s under his belt landing him top 10 in the UK and US iTunes charts, Dolman has been growing from strength to strength with each show he plays.

His first appearance on the big stage was at Hyde Park back in 2014, since then he has taken his music around not only the UK but overseas also – including festival appearances at Reeperbahn in Hamburg and house concert tours across America. New single ‘Addicted To You’ out now.

Joe Dolman Links: Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

Joe Dolman plays The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Thurs 9th March 2017, with support from Dahlia & Eve Pitt. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Addicted To You’ below:

Marika Hackman to play Mama Roux’s

March 3, 2017 in News

Marika Hackman’s hotly-anticipated new album I’m Not Your Man will be released on 2nd June 2017. To celebrate, she embarks on a UK headline tour this spring, calling at Mama Roux’s Birmingham on 29th May.

The english songwriter was once a craftsperson of mannered, progressive indie-folk. However, her new single, “Boyfriend,” is a swift left-turn—it loudly announces that she’s done playing nice. “I’ve got your boyfriend on my mind/I think you know she stayed with me last night,” she sighs, before twisting the knife: “I held his world in my hands/I threw it out to see where it would land.” Backed by London band the Big Moon, she’s found a muscular sound that feels a world away from the quiet of 2015’s We Slept At Last.

Marika Hackman Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Marika Hackman plays Mama Roux’s Birmingham on Mon 29th May 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Boyfriend’ below:

Trash Talk to play The Flapper

March 2, 2017 in News

Trash Talk are a hardcore punk four-piece from Los Angeles. The quartet bring their infamous live show back to Birmingham this spring, to celebrate the release of their latest EP Tangle, which is available as a free download via the band’s website.

The effort follows 2014’s No Peace LP and features five new tracks for your thrashing pleasure. As a press release puts it, the EP “is characteristically fast and loud — staying true to the band’s thrash roots while offering their their most accessible songs to date.”

Trash Talk came together in 2005, and in true hardcore band fashion they had a demo pressed and released as soon as they were playing their first shows. Their ferocious blend of hardcore punk and speed metal made them a live act to be raved about right from the word go, and netted them a record deal with Sell Our Souls Records, who released their demo tape within a year of the bands formation. After a few more releases on various California punk labels the band signed with Rumble Records to release their debut full length album in 2007. The band never stopped the whole time, fitting in studio time in the few weeks downtime they’d have in between tours, and in 2008, the band’s hard work paid off with self titled second album, produced by the legendary Steve Albini.

Through sheer force of perseverance and talent, they’ve become a hardcore band on a record label with a major label’s distribution behind them. For that, and their already legendary live shows, they come highly recommended.

Trash Talk Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Trash Talk play The Flapper Birmingham on Fri 3rd March 2017, with support from Youth Man, Golden Deathmask and Dead Hands. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘The Hole’ below:

Introducing: The Seshen

March 1, 2017 in News

The Seshen (Tru Thoughts Records) is a San Francisco Bay Area-based seven-piece led by singer/lyricist Lalin St. Juste and bassist/producer Akiyoshi Ehara. Their forward-thinking sound combines synthesizers, drum machines, live percussion, and entrancing harmonies to create an unmistakable fusion of R&B, synth-pop, and electronic music.

St. Juste and Ehara are joined by five remarkable bandmates to create their multidimensional music. They take inspiration from across the musical spectrum; their individual influences range from recognizable artists (Erykah BaduJai PaulJames BlakeRadiohead, and Broadcast) to genres and eras that don’t initially appear to fit together (hip hop, indie rock, early electronica, and 70’s dub). Their unique alchemy of seemingly disparate sounds has led fans and critics alike to describe the band as defying categorization.

The Seshen Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

The Seshen play Hare & Hounds (Venue 2) Birmingham on Monday 6th March 2017, with support from Brother & Wolf. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Distant Heart’ below:

Introducing: Laurel

March 1, 2017 in News

Southampton-raised, 22 year old London-based singer, songwriter and producer Laurel Arnell-Cullen has been busy this year, whether that be releasing her Park EP, or signing to iconic English independent label Counter Records(an imprint of Ninja Tune), releasing the tracks ‘Life Worth Living’ and ‘San Francisco’ on her own Theia label or heading out on her first headline tour.

Critical acclaim has appeared from numerous blogs, becoming a mainstay on the hype machine chat in 2016 and picking up support from the likes of Radio 16MusicRadio XBeats 1Spotify and awarded Apple Music’s very first New Artist of the Week. Laurel has garnered comparisons to just about every young pop singer out there, including Lana Del ReyLordeLaura Marling.

Laurel writes, performs, records, produces and mixes her music in her East London bedroom based studio. Where she has been setting the final touches to her debut album, due for release in early 2017.  Her music demonstrates a maturity of sound beyond her 22 years, her breathy vocals sitting atop exquisite melodies with heartfelt, intimate delivery.

Laurel Links: Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

Laurel plays Ort Birmingham on Thurs 2nd March 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Hurricane’ below:

Gabrielle Aplin announces Birmingham show

March 1, 2017 in News

Following the release of her recent EP Miss You which marked a mature new sound and has thus far racked up an impressive 25 million streams online, Gabrielle Aplin has confirmed a UK autumn tour for 2017.

With three years of phenomenal success for an artist still aged only 24, including sales of over two million singles, 200 million Spotify streams and 150 million Youtube views, Aplin’s rap sheet of achievements is nothing short of remarkable.

Her debut album English Rain (2013), now certified Gold in the UK, contained a slew of UK top 10 singles, including ‘Please Don’t Say You Love Me’, ‘Panic Cord’, ‘Home’, ‘Salvation’ and Gabrielle’s unforgettable cover of ‘The Power Of Love’ which reached #1 in the UK chart. Her sophomore album Light Up The Dark (2015) displayed a maturing in Aplin’s sound and lead to eighteen months of international touring during which she enjoyed a taste of fan mania in Japan, Australia, The US and Brazil, Aplin racking up a further 3 #1 singles Worldwide.

The Miss You EP features three original tracks and a stripped back piano version of the single and title track. It will be available on Aplin’s own independent record label Never Fade Records; founded by Aplin to self release her own music and ‘in order to give young talent and unsigned artists their first stepping stone in the music industry’.

Gabrielle Aplin Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Gabrielle Aplin plays O2 Academy2 Birmingham on Fri 20th October 2017. Tickets available from 9am on Fri 3rd March 2017 here.

Watch the video for ‘Miss You’ below:

Sound of the Sirens to play The Sunflower Lounge

February 28, 2017 in News

There’s a certain transcendent magic that happens when two contrasting voices coalesce in perfect harmony. Imperceptibly, they can raise you from the temporal to the spiritual in the breath of a song, and set you floating among the firmament infused with a sense of wonder – just like Sound of the Sirens.

Exeter-based duo Abbe Martin and Hannah Wood dovetail beautifully on their debut album, For All Our Sins, a beguiling acoustic pop collection replete with lyrical sensibility on tracks like the first single, ‘Smokescreen’ (“Living beyond the darkness others create for us, and growing into something positive”), ‘The Circus’ (“When everyone wants something from you, who can you trust?”) and ‘Mr Wilson’ (“The chemistry of a new relationship, unsure of where it is going, but knowing that you want more from it”).

Already championed by Chris Evans – who declared himself “blown away” when he heard Sound of the Sirens for the first time, and subsequently invited them to perform alongside U2 and Take That on TFI Friday last year – they’re certain to broaden a burgeoning fan base on the back of For All Our Sins. It’s a fan base built up not just over several sublime EP self-releases – but also through their live shows, which combine a natural facility for connecting with their audiences and unforgettable performances predicated on energy, warmth, humour and, above all, real conviction. They are touring in May around the release of the album which comes out on 5th May on DMF Records and will be available on CD, Vinyl and Digital and will be playing at festivals over the Summer.

Sound of the Sirens Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Sound of the Sirens play The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Sun 21st May 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Together Alone’ below:

William McCarthy (Augustines) announces Birmingham show

February 24, 2017 in News

In the spring of 2017 William McCarthy will embark on his second solo tour, titled Music For The People. McCarthy was the primary songwriter in New York City bands Pela and Augustines, and is also a writer, storyteller and visual artist. He is currently based in Berlin, Germany.

In January and February 2016, he toured Europe and the UK with his first ever one-man show Journals, Maps, Stories & Songs: An Evening with William McCarthy, received with great reviews and sold out venues.

“A jaw-dropping, knockabout odyssey” – The Independent

“McCarthy effectively seized gentle command of every iota of emotion in the room”, “His lyrical intimacy had struck a profound chord with each member of the audience” - Quays News

“He can take a room from engrossed silence to arms-in-the-air ecstasy in minutes” – Listen Up Manchester

William McCarthy Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

William McCarthy plays Mama Roux’s Birmingham on Wed 3rd May 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for his Patreon campaign below: