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First Past The Post Tour live in Birmingham

May 15, 2017 in News

South London musician Matt Maltese has teamed up with one of the most promising and idiosyncratic new acts in the U.K., The Rhythm Method, for a joint ‘First Past The Post’ U.K. Tour in May and June – their own take on music and politics engagement movement Red Wedge updated for the 21st century. Tickets are on sale now – £1 from every ticket sold will be donated to homeless charity Emmaus UK – and a full list of dates can be found below. The bands said:

“There is a huge misrepresentation of the youth at the moment in politics, and we are once again at a crossroads that could change our long-term future. A landslide for the Tories seems depressingly inevitable and we want to use whatever voice we have to try and make some kind of a difference and encourage young people to turn up at the polling stations on June 8th. We can’t let our future once again be decided by the elderly just because we can’t be bothered to turn up and vote. This election is not about Brexit – something which Theresa May has cleverly banked on to steer clear of other issues in the UK – but more about choosing a better, more humane government. Not a party led by a sound bite queen that breaks the bank for nuclear warfare and privatises everything this side of the sun. But a party like Labour who want to politically address war torn countries such as Syria rather than bomb it, increase funding for schools and police, and actually address major injustices that have arisen in public industries thanks to privatisation. Politics can be serious, funny and stupidly complicated all at the same time. And this tour is about encompassing that and putting politics forward as something that isn’t complicated and, more importantly, isn’t reserved for the grannies and granddads. Like our shared musical philosophy, our politics is to be kinder, more honest and more hopeful. As the world caves in, we could take care of each other.”

20 year old Matt Maltese last week released his second track of 2017, ‘No One Won The War’ – a bruising and introspective ballad which finds Matt ruminating on the world being gripped by constant and cyclical discord. Produced by The Maccabees‘ Hugo White – The Coral’s Bill Ryder-Jones also plays guitar and organ on the track – ‘No One Won The War’ follows Matt’s acclaimed first single of this year, the crushingly romantic and sinisterly evocative ode to Theresa May and Donald Trump making love after triggering the nuclear apocalypse, ‘As The World Caves In’.

Matt has been lauded by BBC 6 Music‘s Lauren Laverne and BBC Radio 1’s Phil TaggartHuw StephensAnnie Mac and Mistajam alongside The FADERInterview MagazineThe GuardianWonderland, DIY Magazine and NME Magazine.

Matt Maltese Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Matt Maltese & The Rhythm Method play Ort Birmingham on Thurs 1st June 2017. Tickets available here.

Listen to ‘No One Won The War’ below:

Allmän Brown to play Ort Birmingham

May 12, 2017 in News

Allmän Brown is a London-based singer songwriter who announced himself back in 2013 with the wonderfully emotive and poignant single ‘Sons And Daughters’, a collaboration with fellow Londoner Liz Lawrence.

To date, the song remains the bedrock of Allmän Brown’s ever expanding catalogue, with over four million Spotify streams, half a million YouTube views, a number two placing on Hype Machine, numerous online cover versions and a raft of notable placements on US TV dramas, including the likes of ParenthoodReign and Beauty And The Beast.

2017 has seen Brown finally release his debut full-length album, entitled 1000 Years. The eleven-song record, a combination of old favourites and new songs (including latest viral single ‘Sweetest Thing’), represents an artist exploring his past, present and future with an ever expanding set of musical tools anchored by a beautiful, rich and distinctive voice. “This album represents and means a great deal to me. I hope that all those who listen will get a glimpse of the times and emotions it contains.”

Allmän Brown Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Allmän Brown plays Ort Birmingham on Fri 6th October 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Ancient Light’ below:

LISTEN: Jordan Mackampa – ‘Battlecry’

May 3, 2017 in News

Coventry-based singer-songwriter Jordan Mackampa shares the gorgeously soulful ‘Battlecry’ ahead of a new EP.

The Democratic Republic Of The Congo-born artist is following up ‘Saint’, which arrived when he announced new short-player Tales From The Broken.

‘Battlecry’ is a thumping, rallying cry that snowballs into a huge, foot-stomping anthem. Mackampa piles on layers of sound, harmonies multiplying until it’s a cacophonous congregation belting out the track’s mantra: “Can you hear the people marching louder than the drums? Can you hear the people coming louder than the drums?”

“‘Battlecry’ is a reflection of the times,” Mackampa explains. “It’s about standing up for what you believe in, refusing to be silenced and coming together. It was written to make people feel powerful in the face of adversity, comforted in times of isolation and brave in the face of change.”

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

Listen to ‘Battlecry’ below:

Charlie Straw to play Ort

April 5, 2017 in News

Charlie Straw doesn’t know when to stop. He’s relentless in his artistry, a perfectionist who’s dedication has taken him across the country several times over. Debut single ‘St. Ives’ was an explosive online success, quickly racking up more than a quarter of a million streams. Setting out on the road, Charlie Straw couch-surfed his way across the UK, playing a total of 30 dates in 30 days.

Originally from the Wirral and now based between Leeds and London, Charlie’s music sits somewhere between Blues and Folk. Taking inspiration from artists including Justin Vernon and Jeff Buckley right through to Howlin’ Wolf and Etta James, his sets consist of calming songs mixed with a dark, soulful edge.

Alongside sessions for BBC Leeds and BBC Introducing, he has supported artists such as James Morrison, James Bay, Nathaniel Rateliffe and Marika Hackman, as well as numerous UK festivals.

Charlie Straw Links: Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

Charlie Straw plays Ort Birmingham on Thurs 13th April 2017, with support from Ryan Sparrow, Matt Millard and Lucy Shaw. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘St Ives’ below:

Saint Sister announce Ort show

March 16, 2017 in News

Saint Sister, formed in November 2014, is the new project from Morgan MacIntyre and Gemma Doherty. Their music draws from early Celtic harp traditions, 60s folk and electronic pop to create ‘atmosfolk’—a mix of soulful vocal harmonies, dreamy synth and electro-acoustic harp.

Following their debut performance on Irish television, they opened for Arcade Fire’s Will Butler in Whelan’s. April saw them support San Fermin (Downtown records), and tour Ireland with Dublin band Spies. In August, the band entered the studio for the first time to record their debut EP with Alex Ryan (bassist with Hozier), which was released on November 13th on Trout Records. Over the coming weeks they commence two Irish tours with O Emperor and Wyvern Lingo. They finish 2015 with their first London showcase, and play their first US performance at SXSW 2016.

Saint Sister Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Saint Sister play Ort Birmingham on Wed 31st May 2017, with support from Rosie Carney. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Madrid’ below:

Introducing: Joe Fox

March 14, 2017 in News

Joe Fox, whose debut Blue Flowers EP Acoustic Alley Sessions, released at the tail end of 2016, introduced the young Londoner as one of the most singular new British talents to emerge in recent years, has announced an 8 date tour of major UK cities, calling at Birmingham’s ORT on Fri 17th March.

Acoustic Alley Sessions, is a collection of raw, soulful, unadulterated songs, that illustrate why A$AP Rocky chose Joe to co-write 5 songs on his #1 album At.Long.Last.A$AP, following a chance meeting on the streets of Soho, where Joe was busking and selling CD’s.The EP included the tracks ‘Like Jesus’ and ‘Autopilot’, classic lyrical songs which demonstrated Joe’s dedication to his craft and displayed a total disregard for trends that makes his voice unique in the modern musical landscape.

A student of every great songwriter from the Beatles to Bob Marley, the debut EP, together with these forthcoming live dates, present Joe Fox as a truly magnetic live artist and find him performing in the same way he began making and selling his music: alone with a guitar.

Joe Fox Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Joe Fox plays Ort Birmingham on Fri 17th March 2017, with support from Aaron Jackson and Mikey. Tickets available here.

Listen to ‘Autopilot’ below:

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:

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:

This Week: Gig Roundup 23rd – 29th March

March 23, 2015 in News

We’ve got a ridiculously busy week this week with 7 fantastic shows lined up over 5 days! We’ve got something for everyone, kicking off with a visit from Irish indie rockers Raglans, shows from The Devil Makes Three, The Coronas, Lotte Mullan, Marika Hackman, Erros and finishing with a much-anticipated return from Manchester songstress Ren Harvieu. Phew! Check out the full listings for this week below:

MONDAY 23RD MARCH 

Raglans + Luke Wylde & the Japes @ The Rainbow

Indomitable Irish indie-folk four-piece Raglans have undergone a meteoric rise in popularity since the release of their debut album ‘RAGLANS’ with sell out shows across the continent and touring as support for Haim, The Strypes and The Fray. The Dublin band return to the road for their second UK headline tour in March 2015, dates which coincide with the UK release off their new single ‘Natives’. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Digging Holes’ below:

TUESDAY 24TH MARCH 

She Makes War + Louis Barabbas + Forgery Lit @ Ort Cafe

Bristol-based gloom-pop artist She Makes War has been championed by the likes of BBC6′s Lauren Laverne, Marc Riley and Tom Robinson, follows on a high profile support slot with folk rockers The Levellers with her first UK headline tour. Her inimitable brand of melancholy, grungey rock with a modern twist has been likened to Blood Red Shoes, Throwing Muses and Bon Iver. Fellow Bristol rockers and collaborators Forgery Lit join her as the support act for many of these dates. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Slow Puncture’ below:

The Devil Makes Three + Rhino & the Ranters @ The Rainbow

Laced elements of ragtime, country, folk & rockabilly, this trio recorded their latest album with Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) and supported Willie Nelson & Trampled By Turtles. The band’s travels and travails serve as inspiration for their fourth album and their New West Records debut, I’m a Stranger Here, produced by Buddy Miller and recorded at Dan Auerbach’s (Black Keys) Easy Eye Sound Studio in Nashville. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Stranger’ below:

WEDNESDAY 25TH MARCH 

The Coronas + Jimmy Weston @ O2 Academy 3, Birmingham 

Boasting 3 double platinum albums in their homeland of Ireland, The Coronas have sold out everywhere from Dublin’s 13,000 capacity o2 Arena to The Olympia Theatre, where they played a record-breaking six night run. They have supported Sir Paul McCartneyThe ScriptJustin Timberlake and Pink. New album The Long Way is released on 9th March 2015 on Island RecordsSupport comes from Coverntry-based singer-songwriter Jimmy Weston. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Just Like That’ below:

Lotte Mullan + Jazz Morley + Lexis @ Hare & Hounds

Dubbed as the female Bob Dylan, Lotte will be playing intimate versions of songs from her forthcoming album Love’s Bonfire, made out in Nashville with Band of Horses. Lotte is joined by fellow songstress Jazz Morley as special guest. The Dorset girl has been quietly touring the UK for the past 4 years, honing her skills and notching up over 500 shows in the process, including festival slots at Isle Of White, Guilfest, Redfest and The Great Escape. Support comes from Solihull-born songstress Lexis. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘I’m Still Here’ below:

THURSDAY 26TH MARCH 

Marika Hackman + Charlotte Carpenter @ The Sunflower Lounge

London folk songstress Marika Hackman returns to Birmingham to showcase songs from her debut album We Slept At Last, released 16th February via Dirty Hit. Described as the lovechild of Nico and Joanna Newsom, We Slept At Last is an assured and endlessly intriguing debut album that rewards every repeated listen with new riches. Support comes from Northampton-born singer-songwriter Charlotte Carpenter. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Drown’ below:

FRIDAY 27TH MARCH 

Errors + Victories at Sea + Ubre Blanca @ The Rainbow

After support slots with Chvrches & The Twilight Sad, the Glasgow ‘post-electro’ trio play The Rainbow to mark the release of their new album ‘Lease of Life’.  The band were formed in 2004 as a bedroom-based electronic project. They were quickly signed to Rock Action Records, the label developed by fellow Glaswegians Mogwai. Support comes from Birmingham’s Victories at Sea and Glasgow duo Ubre Blanca. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Slow Rotor’ below:

Ren Harvieu @ The Glee Club

The Manchester singer/songwriter formerly nominated for BBC Sound of 2012 returns following the success of her debut album Through The Night which reached No.5 in the UK charts. Currently working on her second album, join Ren for a very special night at The Glee Club. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Do Right By Me’ below: