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.
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.
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.
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 NME, The 405, Julie 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.”
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 1, 6Music, Radio X, Beats 1, Spotify 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 Rey, Lorde, Laura 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.
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 McCartney, The Script, Justin Timberlake and Pink. New album The Long Way is released on 9th March 2015 on Island Records. Support 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 Lastis 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.