Champs, brothers Michael and David Champion emerged from the Isle of Wight in 2014 clutching their debut album Down Like Gold. The siblings’ love of alt pop and melodic heartbreak combined with passionate and persuasive harmonies saw them beautifully out of sync in terms of what else was going on around them. Signed to Play It Again Sam, the album was showered with plaudits, picking up plenty of radio support, whilst accompanied by mutual musical friends, the brother’s made their first foray onto the London live circuit with series of what were to become all-too-rare live shows.
Keen to keep to their promise of releasing two albums in twelve months, Champs decamped to London in the Autumn of 2014 , hooking up with producer Dimitri Tikovoi (Goldfrapp, Placebo) to write and record what was to evolve into VAMALA. A thus far definitive Champs record, beautifully rendered, racked with melancholy, undeniably personal and rooted in love.
The past twelve months has seen Champs lying low, spending time between London and the Isle of Wight, embarking on numerous surfing escapades including four months travelling throughout SE Asia whilst all the while writing new material. Looking to get into the studio to begin work in earnest as they prepare for chapter three, the brothers recently played a low-key London show flagging up several new tracks that certainly bodes well in the Champs camp for whatever materializes over the coming months.
As touring season gets into full swing, we’ve got even more musical treats lined up for you with a show for every day of the week! The week kicks off with a visit from up-and-coming Scottish fuzz-pop duo Tuff Love, followed by a welcome return from New York noise-makers A Place To Bury Strangers, then a long-awaited hometown headline show from local heroes Superfood, plus Suburban Legends, Ekkah and Balthazar closing the week with a bang! The full week’s listings can be found below:
MONDAY 6th APRIL
Tuff Love + The Jacarandas + Jump The Shark @ The Sunflower Lounge
Glasgow two-piece Tuff Love are creators of hyper-infectious, fuzzed-up, lo-fi pop music that the city is so famous for. The band have previously supported the likes of Real Estate, Perfect Pussy, Joanna Gruesome, Honeyblood & PAWS and have been championed by the likes of Lauren Laverne, Steve Lamacq, Rob Da Bank and Huw Stephens. Be sure to catch this band in a small venue while you can! Support comes from Birmingham indie-popsters The Jacarandas and Brit Award Winners Jump The Shark. Tickets are available here.
Listen to ‘Groucho’ below:
TUESDAY 7th APRIL
A Place To Bury Strangers + September Girls + Fauxchisels @ The Rainbow
New York noise purveyors A Place to Bury Strangers returned with their fourth studio album Transfixiation, released on the 17th February 2015 via Dead Oceans.Catch them debut tracks from the critically acclaimed album when they play The Rainbow on Tuesday, joined by Irish all-female noise-pop five-piece September Girls and local racket-makers Fauxchisels. It’s gonna get loud… Tickets are available here.
Watch the video for ‘You Are the One’ below:
WEDNESDAY 8th APRIL
Bipolar Sunshine + Cape Cub + Shatter Effect @ The Institute
After announcing festival slots including Longitude, Reading & Leeds and Glastonbury, Bipolar Sunshine will once again make a hotly anticipated appearance at The Institute Birmingham. The solo project of Manchester based Adio Marchant, previously of Kid British fame, continues to impress and carve out his own singular path. Latest single ‘Daydreamer’, described as “a warm breeze of a song… that channels 1970′s Elton to dreamy effect” by The Times, provides a teaser for his upcoming album. Support comes from much-talked-about solo artist Cape Cub and local electro rock act Shatter Effect. Tickets are available here.
Watch the video for ‘Deckchairs on the Moon’ below:
Superfood + YAK + Black Honey @ Rainbow Warehouse
The Birmingham indie quartet play their biggest hometown headline show to date following the sold out NME New Breed Tour and the release of their debut album Don’t Say That on 3rd November through Infectious Music. Originally touted as heralding a re-birth of cheeky, choppy indie guitar pop, Superfood dug deeper to record an album that’s energy, warmth, and wit was infectious. The Midlands four-piece have travelled well over the past twelve months, taking to the road alongside Wolf Alice and We Are Scientists, but now they take to the Rainbow Warehouse joined by London-based buzzband YAK and up-and-comers Black Honey. Tickets are available here.
Watch the video for ‘Mood Bomb’ below:
THURSDAY 9th APRIL
Retox + Warsawwasraw + Opium Lord @ The Sunflower Lounge
Featuring Justin Pearson (The Locust, Head Wound City), Retox have emerged from the collective depths of San Diego & LA with their latest antagonistic effort, Beneath California. Varying styles and sonically experimenting, melding the raw with the refined, the band continuously teases, yet never settles on any one genre. Since their conception in 2011, they have toured with similarly like-minded acts such as Melt-Banana, Tomahawk, OFF!, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Doomsday Student. Support comes from blistering avant-thrash punk duo Warsawwasraw and Opium Lord. Tickets are available here.
Watch the video for ‘Lets Not Keep In Touch’ below:
Suburban Legends & MC Lars + The Bottom Line @ The Rainbow
Third wave ska vets, Orange County’s Suburban Legends, return with their distinct blend of fizzy ska and sugary pop, with accents of disco and funk. The group’s latest EP, Dreams Aren’t Real But These Songs Are (Rock Ridge Music), is a reverently played and imaginatively arranged collection of Disney classics. Suburban Legends have built an impressive live profile playing multiple tours throughout the US, UK, Europe, and Canada, undertaking successful runs with big names like Reel Big Fish, Less Then Jake, Bowling for Soup, and Goldfinger. The band are joined by MC Lars and The Bottom Line. Tickets are available here.
Watch the video for ‘Kiss the Girl’ below:
FRIDAY 10th APRIL
The Assist + Fleece @ The Rainbow
The Assist are a 4 piece indie/alternative band from Walsall. The lads have a huge passion for real music, and their honest, hard hitting lyrics speak for themselves. It’s music that anyone can identify with from sing along anthems to infectious guitar riffs. They recently featured in the Itunes Alternative Chart with their track ‘Walsall FC Go To Wembley’, the official anthem for Walsall Football Club’s trip to the stadium. The band are joined by local indie four-piece Fleece. Tickets are available here.
Listen to ‘In Your Ear’ below:
SATURDAY 11th APRIL
Ekkah + Chartreuse @ The Sunflower Lounge
Hotly-tipped Birmingham duo EKKAH have announced they will return to The Sunflower Lounge this spring, following a triumphant headline show back in January. The pair recently released their much-anticipated debut EP Last Chance To Dance in November via new label Year One Recordings (UK) and Honeymoon (US). The band will be joined by local favourites Chartreuse. Tickets are available here.
Watch the video for ‘Last Chance to Dance’:
SUNDAY 12th APRIL
Balthazar + CHAMPS @ The Sunflower Lounge
The Belgian indie-rock quintet return with their much-anticipated third album Thin Walls, released 30th March via Play It Again Sam, the follow up 2012′s acclaimed effort Rats. Having been holed up in the studio, the band emerge bearing new tracks, whetting appetites and their first live shows of 2015, including a show at Birmingham’s Sunflower Lounge. Balthazar are joined by folk-pop duo CHAMPS. Tickets are availablehere.