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This Week: Gig Roundup 24th – 30th November

November 24, 2014 in News

This week kicks off with a bang with a fantastic four band bill at The Sunflower Lounge, headlined by Nottingham fine young things Huskies. This week also sees visits from Leeds noisemakers Pulled Apart By Horses, pioneers in electric-rock Silver Apples and Sunderland indie rockers Frankie & The Heartstrings.


Huskies + Pleasurehouse + Avenues + SLTP @ The Sunflower Lounge

Championed by the likes of NME, Radio 1 and BBC Introducing, Nottingham quartet Huskies are in for big things, and you can catch them live at The Sunflower Lounge this Monday, with support from bright young things Pleasurehouse, Avenues and SLTP. Tickets are available on the door.

Watch the video for ‘Beach’ below:


Pulled Apart By Horses + Menace Beach + Them Wolves @ The Institute 

The Leeds quartet formed in 2008 bring their suckerpunch riffs and zinging choruses to Birmimgham’s Institute to celebrate the release of their third album Blood. The new album sees them embracing their love of psychedelic cinema and developing as a band whilst retaining the thrilling ‘Horses’ sound. It’s their most brilliantly fully-formed yet, a record that matches rhythmic stoner-rock propulsion with hollered hooks. Support comes from Menace Beach and Them Wolves. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Lizard Baby’ below:


The Vaselines + Schwervon! @ Hare & Hounds

Legendary Scottish indie-pop duo The Vaselines favoured by Kurt Cobain play Birmingham’s Hare & Hounds this week, with support from Schwervon! The band, who rose to prominence in the late 80s, wrote the blueprint for modern indie-pop and are back with their latest album V for Vaselines, a celebration of the continued chemistry of Eugene and Frances. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Sex with an X’ below:


Charlotte Carpenter @ Hare & Hounds

Having three previously self-released EP’s under her belt, and her most recent EP Whole climbing to No.10 in the iTunes singer/songwriter charts, Northampton songstress Charlotte Carpenter who channels Laura Marling’s breathless insight with Daughter’s ambient indie. takes to the stage at the Hare & Hounds to showcase her more bluesy, rockier sound to prove why she’s been anointed ‘alts newest darling’. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Whole’ below:

Silver Apples @ Hare & Hounds

Formed in 1967 as an electronic rock duo featuring Dan Taylor on drums and Simeon on a homemade synthesizer, Silver Apples quickly gained a reputation as New York’s leading underground musical expression. Many years on, Simeon, working as a solo performer with Danny’s drum sounds recreated by electronic means, has continued the Silver Apples legacy with performances literally all over the world. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘You and I’ below:


Sweet Baboo & Pictish Trail + Michael King (Boat To Row) @ The Glee Club

Two sonic stallions from the Moshi Moshi stable, Stephen Black, and Johnny Lynch (Sweet Baboo and Pictish Trail, respectively), canter around the counties for a seasonal co-headline tour calling at Birmingham’s Glee Club. Lynch invited Black up to the island to help him record his latest Pictish opus, Secret Soundz Vol.2. For this special advent tour, the pair are reunited for a fortnight of song-swapping, thigh-slapping and local-ale gargling; expect folk-tinged winter hymns, lo-fi audio wizardry and sweet Eigg-nog kisses under the casio. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for Sweet Baboo’s ‘Let’s Go Swimming Wild’ below:


Goodnight Lenin + The Travelling Band + Boat To Row (DJ Set) @ The Institute 

Birmingham’s Goodnight Lenin play their biggest headline performance to date to accompany the release of the band’s debut album, In The Fullness Of Time. The record, mixed by Jonathan Wilson, is the culmination of four years hard workThe band will be supported by Manchester folk-rock superhumans The Travelling Band who count Michael Eavis and Marc Riley amongst their fans and whose whimsical folk pop melodies are perfect for admirers of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Frightened Rabbit and Elbow. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘You Were Always Waiting’ below:

Frankie & The Heartstrings + New Bays @ The Sunflower Lounge

The energetic Sunderland indie five-piece have toured with the likes of The Vaccines, Florence and The Machine and the Kaiser Chiefs whilst also starting their own record label Pop Sex Ltd. This week they arrive at Birmingham’s Sunflower Lounge playing songs from their two critically acclaimed albums, Hunger and The Days Run Away. Support comes from Buckinghamshire/Birmingham quartet New Bays. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Hunger’ below:

Coasts + Only Shadows @ The Institute *SOLD OUT*

Conceived in 2011 in the crypt of a church, the Bristol-born five piece’s non stop touring has quickly built a growing group of fans across the country and the quintet embark on another headline tour this November, stopping at The Institute this week. Citing Foals and Arctic Monkeys as their current favourite bands, COASTS’ anthem Oceans has now had over 2 million+ plays on Soundcloud. Catch them at a small venue while you still can…

Watch the video for ‘Oceans’ below:


The Xcerts + Kagoule @ The Sunflower Lounge

This week comes to close with a visit from Aberdeen/Exeter three piece The Xcerts, fresh from their US tour with Brand New. The tour coincides with the release of their hugely anticipated third studio album There Is Only You. Support comes from Nottingham grunge trio Kagoule who have played shows alongside the likes of Temples, Merchandise, Drenge, METZ and Iceage. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Shaking in the Water’ below:

Interview: Goodnight Lenin

November 19, 2013 in Interviews

With a nationwide reputation for crafting beautifully intricate tunes delivered through highly charged yet intimate live performances, Birmingham folk/Americana five-piece Goodnight Lenin have toured with some wonderful acts including The Low Anthem, British Sea Power and Dry the River. Journeying on from their folk-rooted influences, the past year has seen the outfit develop into the band they have always promised to become. With a stock of beautiful new material, Goodnight Lenin join Oxford indie-folk four-piece Stornoway on their full UK tour which calls into The Institute in Digbeth on 24th November. We have a nice sit down chat with lead singer and guitarist John Fell before the show to find out what’s been going on in the Goodnight Lenin camp.


You’ve been together for a little while now and a lot of people will already know, but for those who don’t, how did you meet and come to be in this band together?

We’ve all known each other for a very long time! We all come from Northfield (with the exception of Sam [Berry – drums]) and our families have always known each other…typical Irish community I suppose. Liam [Conway – vocals, guitar] and John Joe [McCreedy – keys, violin, mandolin] have been friends for as long as they can remember. They became close friends with Matt [Sherlock – bass] during secondary school whilst I knew him from family get togethers etc. Sam came into the fold when he joined Liam and John Joe’s old band (The Allies) which I later joined. When we split up, myself, Liam and Sam created a new band before tricking John Joe into re-joining us. Matt then joined and Goodnight Lenin was born!


What is it within your relationship that makes it work?

I think it’s because we’re completely comfortable with each other. We can say exactly what we think knowing that we’ll probably argue about it, then agree and move on. It’s definitely the reason we’ve stuck together. We have a brother like relationship.


The name obviously references the German film, Goodbye, Lenin – does this picture particularly resonate with you?

Goodbye, Lenin is actually my favourite film. Apart from the history element that I love, it is set in Berlin. I used to have friends living there and it’s definitely my place to run away to. That city definitely resonates with me and ignites a chain of creativity!


You’ve played with some wonderful bands along the way – which shows have particularly stuck in your minds?

I think the show that sticks in my mind the most would be heading up to the highest pub in the UK to play British Sea Power’s ‘Sing From Ye Hillsides’ Festival. We walked into a room, which was 10metres by 10metres, to see British Sea Power sound checking. They are my favourite band so it was quite surreal. Then Metronomy walked in along with Bo Ningen. We spent the night drinking in the pub with the 100 or so guests and the bands. Very surreal!


Your newer material is a lot more ballsy than your earlier stuff – what do you put this down to?

I think we’ve finally found our sound. It’s taken a long time but we were always considered a folky band which in truth was never really our intention. We’re far happier now we have a more electric sound!


Does it mark a change in direction?

I would say so, it feels like we’ve gone back to our roots rather than being influenced by the likes of Fleet Foxes. Our long-term influences like Crazy Horse are now starting to shine through!


How do you write songs and has this process changed over your time together?

The songwriting process is definitely a more insular one with Goodnight Lenin. I always write on my own as I want to focus on what I am trying to say. I don’t like just making lyrics up that fit the tune, it needs to have some relevance. I am more than happy to sing about the most personal thing but I have to really focus and make sure it’s saying what I intend it to say before showing anyone, and that includes the band! I think Liam writes in a similar way too.


Where do you draw inspiration from lyrically?

It’s always from personal experience – that’s the most honest form of writing. I’ve spent the past few years really trying to develop a stream of consciousness style of writing to allow the deepest thoughts to come out. It’s quite strange as you can find out a lot of things about yourself when you write like this. With the music industry seeming to be more and more ‘plastic’, it’s nice to try and fly the flag for honest writing.


Your live shows have a stunning reputation and take place in some really unique venues. What importance do you place on the live performance aspect of musicianship?

The live show is the most important aspect of a band for sure! It’s the full experience. It’s quite easy to hide behind effects in the studio, which is great for creating an album, but for me it’s all about the live performance and trying to create something special.


You have very little recorded material online and physically – why is this?

I think it’s because we were still developing our sound and didn’t want to put things out that we weren’t happy with. I would say we’ve scrapped our album three times now as we just kept writing better tracks. The album is now complete so expect some more recordings to land early next year.


At the moment you’re really well placed amongst like-minded musicians in Birmingham. Which local artists are you listening to right now?

I think Boat To Row will always be a band that I admire. They have worked tirelessly over the past few years and really developed their craft. It’s great to see! Other artists I’m really into include Katherine Priddy, Youth Man and Victories At Sea. There really is a great spectrum of music in the city at the moment.


You played a sell-out headline show at The Prince of Wales in Moseley last month – what does it mean to you that you have that level of support in the place you call home?

It means everything. When you spend so much time trying to create something special with a great level of personal relevance it’s a great feeling to see people enjoying it. We’ve always been well received in Birmingham so we are very lucky to have so much support!


You play with Stornoway at The Institute on 24th November as part of their tour. What can people expect from the Birmingham show?

It’s definitely going to be louder than our previous show with Dry the River at the same venue. We have 30 minutes so we’ve had to pick the songs that we think will make the biggest impact. It’s the first night of the tour so we’ll be completely up for it!


What do Goodnight Lenin get upto on tour, will there be mischief?

Ha! What goes on tour…


Goodnight Lenin play The Institute in Digbeth with Stornoway and Sivu on Sun 24th November. You can purchase tickets, priced at £14 advance, here.

Weekly Gig Roundup 18th – 24th November

November 18, 2013 in News

Check out our list of live music events to warm your fingers and toes at this week!



On Wednesday, electro solo artist Brolin plays a free entry show at The Yardbird as part of his UK headline tour. Described as ‘the new Burial’ by The Guardian and ahead of his tour support with Gold Panda, Brolin plays with local sample improviser James Brough at this special and intimate event. Find out further information over on the event page.

Listen to ‘Reykjavik’ by Brolin below.



Thursday welcomes Northern Irish songwriter Foy Vance to the Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath. Influenced by his time in the southern states of America and drawing from the feelings that love inspires, Foy Vance promises a beautiful set including numbers from his recently released second album, Joy Of Nothing. On support is Rams’ Pocket Radio, the alias of Northern Irish multi-instrumentalist Peter McCauley. Taking inspiration from Beethoven to brutalist architecture, be sure to get down early so as not to miss this varied performer. Tickets for this event are priced at £12 advance and are available over on the event page.

Listen to ‘Guiding Light’ (ft. Ed Sheeran) by Foy Vance below.



On Friday, indie pop five-piece theLights return to Birmingham to play their last show of 2013 at The Victoria. Fresh from recording with legendary producer Gavin Monaghan, they’ll play a selection of old and new material. Entry to the evening is priced at just £5 on the door – find out further information here.



Saturday sees a very special performance from Birmingham indie-punk ruffians Untitled Musical Project who reform this year to play two shows only. Friends again for this night at least, Untitled Musical Project are joined by Birmingham three-piece Youth Man and electronic math duo, Tales. Purchase your tickets for what promises to be a completely explosive performance for £5 advance here or make your way to The Sunflower Lounge from 7:30pm.

Listen to ‘The People Versus Michael Miller’ by Untitled Musical Project below.



Round off your week on Sunday with one of the following; the weekly extravaganza which is the Sunday Social at The Yardbird which this week features performances from Nottingham five-piece, Amber Run; plus support from Merseyside-based singer-songwriter Natalie McCool; local singer songwriter and Bombergs’ frontman, Rick Wellings; and folk blues musician, Zee Khattak. Pop into this free event from the cold of the German Christmas Market which runs outside it, and find out more about all of the acts here.

Listen to ‘Noah’ by Amber run below.


Over at The Institute in Digbeth, Oxford indie folk four-piece Stornoway celebrate the release of their second album, Tales From Tera Firma, and an incredibly successful year. Drawing influences from Tom Waits, and John Adams and with nods to 19th century poets John Clare and Samuel Coleridge along the way, expect a wonderfully wistful affair from these boys. Support comes courtesy of intricate Cambridge singer songwriter, Sivu, and local folk/Americana five-piece Goodnight Lenin. Expect something truly special at this event – pick up your tickets for £14 advance from the event page.

Listen to ‘When You Touch Down From Outer Space’ by Stornoway below.


Finally, husband and wife indie pop duo Summer Camp return to Birmingham to play live at the Hare & Hounds. Having released their self-titled second album earlier in the year, the couple will play a selection from both LPs in what promises to be a stunning performance. Support is provided by London’s Fryars – pick up tickets for this event, priced at £8.50 advance, here.

Listen to ‘Fresh’ by Summer Camp below.

Stornoway to play The Institute Birmingham

October 23, 2013 in News

Fresh from releasing their highly acclaimed second album Tales From Tera Firma, and concluding their spring headline tour, Oxford’s finest Stornoway have announced their return to the road this winter for a run of dates during November and December including Birmingham’s The Institute.

It starts with a breathless, brimming affirmation of enduring love and ends with a becalmed reflection on life and loss as dusk draws in. Between these two elemental bookends Stornoway’s superb second album pauses to contemplate birth, death, family, sex, nature, joy, pain and the precise location of home. There are Turkish zithers and there are German spoons. It is the sound of one long song of life unfurling.

Drawing from influences as varied as Tom Waits, John Adams and David Gilmour, with nods along the way to 19th-century poets John Clare and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, it is a multi-textured, hyper-melodic, stirringly emotional piece of work. It is also a fantastic pop record.

If their debut captured the guileless rush of first love contemplated from a teenage bedroom, the follow up, Tales From Terra Firma, frequently describes a deeper, more complex world and more readily acknowledges the shadow as well as the sun. The title of their second album might place them firmly on solid ground, but in every other respect Stornoway are soaring.

Stornoway Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter


Watch the video for ‘The Bigger Picture’ below:

Goodnight Lenin headline The Old Rep Theatre

May 24, 2013 in News

Goodnight Lenin return from their live hiatus to play The Old Rep Theatre on 31st May 2013. The show will be their first live show in 6 months following their sell out headline show at Birmingham Cathedral last December.

This show will serve as a warm up to their only festival performance of the summer – Glastonbury.

The band have removed themselves from playing any live shows whilst they add the finishes touches to their debut album which as of yet doesn’t have a release date but is expected early 2014.

They are also delighted to announce as extra special guest for the show – Ex-The Stands frontman Howie Payne – who the band describe as important as Bob Dylan when it came to influencing their songwriting.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter