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WATCH: Stevie Parker – ‘Without You’

February 7, 2017 in News

Stevie Parker has launched her stunning new single ‘Without You’ today, directed by Tom Ralph. The track was premiered on Huw StephensRadio 1 show last night.

Stevie Parker established herself as a striking new talent at the end of 2016 with her introductory tracks ‘Never Be’, ‘The Cure’ and her more recent debut EP Blue. Drawing comparisons with London Grammar and The xx, many critics praised the tender emotion of her inimitable vocal as well as her ability to craft tracks rich in both ambient atmosphere, haunting heartbreak and carefully nuanced touches.

Now the 24-year-old Bristol-based musician takes another bold step forward with the release of a brand new track ‘Without You’. The single sees Parker’s expressive vocal range exploring a cavalcade of emotions from yearning to spirited independence, while the track’s relentless rhythmic march gains in intensity before exploding into a dramatic crescendo. People will relate their own experiences to its central rallying cry “I’m doing alright with you”, but early line “Won’t take a breath boy if I’m breathing for you” expresses both pain and pride with poetic precision.

“With this video I really wanted to convey a sense of isolation, which is at odds with the theme of strength and independence evident in the lyrics.” Says Parker, adding “Kind of makes you wonder what the actual message is and I like that ambiguity! The variety in the locations and the number of them only furthers that, a sense of being just as lost in a sea of people as you are on your own.”

Directed by Thomas Ralph with Caviar Productions, the video for ‘Without You’ juxtaposes Parker’s femininity with a series of settings traditionally viewed as masculine, and also contrasts her solitude in places rammed with crowds. The video features many London locations including the recent Women’s March in Trafalgar Square, Billingsgate Fish Market, the Wansted Flats Sunday league football pitches and Hampstead Lido. The video’s memorable opening aerial tracking scene echoes the introduction to Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 classic The Conversation.

Stevie has just finished touring with Mercury Prize-nominated artist C Duncan, and embarks on her own headline tour this February.

Stevie Parker Links: Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

Stevie Parker plays The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Wed 22nd February 2017, with support from Bryony Williams. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Without You’ below:

This Week: Gig Roundup 30th Jan – 5th Feb

January 30, 2017 in News

Coming up in Birmingham this week we have The Head and the Heart at the O2 Institute on Monday, following the release of their album Signs of Light. Wednesday sees singer-songwriter Tom Walker play a sold out show at The Sunflower Lounge. And after supporting the likes of Ryan AdamsFather John Misty and BeckKieran Leonard returns with his new band Saint Leonard’s Horses on Saturday at The Sunflower Lounge. Check out the full details below:

MONDAY 30TH JANUARY

The Head And The Heart + Cattle & Cane @ O2 Institute2
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The Head And The Heart‘s new release Signs Of Light, recorded in Nashville, crackles with the upbeat, sing-a-long energy of the the band’s finest work. Throughout, the colors are brighter, the electric guitars are louder and the musical touchstones more universal, with nods to classic Fleetwood Mac. Support comes from Cattle & Cane with their finely crafted indie-pop and mesmerising harmonies.

Watch the video for ‘All We Ever Knew’ below:


WEDNESDAY 1ST FEBRUARY

Tom Walker + Grafton Ash + Ryan Sparrow @ The Sunflower Lounge
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Recently signed to Sony’s Relentless RecordsTom Walker was born in Scotland and raised in Manchester on his father’s extensive record collection – drawn to artists like Ray CharlesThe Police and Bob Marley. His song ‘Play Dead’ immediately conjures comparisons with some of the UK’s brightest crossover singer-songwriters such as Finley QuayeHozier, and Paulo Nutini. Support comes from 4 piece pop/folk band Grafton Ash and Birmingham singer-songwriter Ryan Sparrow.

Listen to ‘Play Dead’ below:


SATURDAY 4TH FEBRUARY

Saint Leonard’s Horses + Joseph Hicklin + Jack Cooper And The Offshore @ The Sunflower Lounge
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After supporting the likes of Ryan Adams, Father John Misty and Beck, Kieran Leonard returns with his new band Saint Leonard’s Horses. Born out of a visit to Stanley Kubrick’s family estate in St Albans, Hertfordshire, the intention was to harness the creative forces at work in the Kubrick house and record new material as ‘live’ as possible with the five-piece band playing together in the same room, and even lead vocals being laid down live with each track. Support comes from singer-songwriter Joseph Hicklin, and Bob Dylan and Ben Howard inspired Jack Cooper And The Offshore.

Watch the video for ‘Spooky Lover’ below:

Introducing: Saint Leonard’s Horses

January 25, 2017 in News

In the past few years Kieran Leonard has toured the UK and USA supporting and playing shows with Ryan AdamsFather John MistyBob Dylan, The StrokesBeckThe LibertinesBilly Bragg and Wolfmother, to name a few. Then, early last year he was invited to work on music at Stanley Kubrick’s family estate in St Albans, Hertfordshire. The intention was to harness the creative forces at work in the Kubrick house and record new material as ‘live’ as possible with the five-piece band playing together in the same room and even lead vocals being laid down live with each track.

They then further honed their skills and the songs through extensive touring and festival appearances (including GlastonburyReading & LeedsThe Great EscapeSXSWand British Summer Time in Hyde Park). This marks the start of Saint Leonard, a culmination of two years work in search of a new recorded sound, citing the experience of the Kubrick estate, and several bizarre episodes in the isolation of stays on the Yorkshire moors and the Californian desert, as the grounds for this shift in artistic identity.

Debut album Good Luck Everybody is available to pre-order now via Xtra Mile Recordings.

Saint Leonards Horses Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Saint Leonard’s Horses play The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Sat 4th February 2017, with support from Joseph Hicklin & Jack Cooper and the Offshore. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Spooky Lover’ below:

Introducing: RedFaces

January 20, 2017 in News

RedFaces are a brand new guitar band snapped up by a major label RCA. With a debut single – the incendiary ‘Kerosene’ – due on February 3, 2017, RedFaces are four lads from Sheffield treading what was once a well-worn path, these days the road less travelled.

The journey started at 2Fly studios in Sheffield, recording demos with Alan Smyth, the man behind the Arctic Monkeys‘ first ventures.

Out of these sessions came the band’s first release ‘Katie Come Home’ in early 2015 – championed by BBC Introducing it also attracted the attention of the London A&R fraternity. An early gig in Sheffield saw representatives from every major label through the door.

RedFaces Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Redfaces play The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Sun 29th January 2017 as part of Independent Venue Week 2017 #IVW17. Support comes from SLTP, AutoPilot & Spoort. Tickets available here.

Listen to ‘Kerosene’ below:

Exmagician to play The Sunflower Lounge

January 13, 2017 in News

Belfast duo Exmagician released Scan The Blue on Bella Union earlier this year showcasing a heady mix of guitars meeting synths and spiraling threads of psychedelia from the latest musical incarnation of longtime collaborators Danny Todd and James Smith.

As the songwriting partnership behind Cashier No. 9, the band released the David Holmes produced album To The Death Of Fun in 2011 to widespread critical acclaim. Their new venture is propelled by a love of adventurous, psychedelic sounds, apparent from the opening bars of lead track ‘Kiss That Wealth Goodbye’. Steaming in with a filthy riff that’s the product of a guitar and a synth melding together making one sound indecipherable from the other.

After a succession of radio hits in Ireland with ‘Kiss That Wealth Goodbye’, ‘Job Done’ and ‘Bend With The Wind’, exmagican were nominated for the Northern Irish Music Prize, the band spent Summer touring festivals and doing German dates with July Talk.

Exmagician links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Exmagician play The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Wed 25th January 2017 as part of Independent Venue Week #IVW17, with support from Callum Pickard & The Third Look and Jump The Shark. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Job Done’ below:

The Wytches announce intimate Birmingham show

January 13, 2017 in News

BBC Radio 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq is touring some of the UK’s iconic independent music venues to support the IVW initiative, where he will be stopping off at Birmingham’s own Sunflower Lounge. Steve says that “Now, more than ever, it’s important to support small, grassroots venues around the country, because, while a lot of them continue to thrive, we’ve seen many of them shut down and many still under threat”.

So to celebrate, Heavenly Records’ The Wytches will be bringing their psychedelic rock to The Sunflower Lounge on Tuesday 24th February in support of Independent Venue Week courtesy of independent promoters Surprise You’re Dead Music and Birmingham Promoters. You may have seen them on the road with The CribsBlood Red ShoesPulled Apart By Horses, at the UK’s major festivals, and more recently headlining O2 Institute2. Thanks to IVW you’ll get the chance to see them in one of the UK’s smallest indie music venues for a completely intimate one off show!

“We wanted to shine a light on these great little places, which nurture new talent and act as a meeting place for music fans. I’ve had some of the best moments of musical life in these little venues, watching all kinds of bands, including several who’ve gone on to huge success. But there’s nothing like seeing a group at its most raw and engaging when they’re first starting out, even if they’re only playing to 100 people.” 

The Wytches Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

The Wytches play The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Tues 24th January 2017 as part of Independent Venue Week #IVW17. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘C-Side’ below:

Introducing: Cosmo Pyke

January 12, 2017 in News

Cosmo Pyke (that’s his real name) is an 18-year-old songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Peckham. Raised on a diet of blues, jazz, hip hop, and neo-soul, he writes warm, lo-fi songs that he describes as “spacey, beautiful, and lazy”.

His songs draw less on other music and more on his everyday experiences growing up in south east London: reading books, going to pubs, playing football, and other simple pleasures in life.

Cosmo Pyke has a lot of strings to his bow. As well as being a singer and multi-instrumentalist, he’s a skateboarder, spray paint artist, and a model — spot him in Frank Ocean’s ’Nikes’ video. It’s not surprising, then, that he doesn’t have a lot of time for sitting online, as he makes clear in the stoner-friendly acoustic pop of his debut single ‘Social Sites’, a song about an ex-girlfriend and social media’s role in a relationship.

After supporting JAWS at their huge headline show at The Rainbow Warehouse back in December, Cosmo now announces his own headline show at The Sunflower Lounge this March.

Cosmo Pyke Links: Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

Cosmo Pyke plays The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Wed 1st March 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Social Sites’ below:

Introducing: Man & The Echo

November 25, 2016 in Introducing

Three years on from previous band Cheap Cuts, neither Gaz Roberts or his Warringon bandmates have had much time to ponder their brush with the pop scrapyard. With the name changed and the songs duly written, they’ve signed to James Endeacott’s hugely respected 1965 Records, been invited to play Billy Bragg’s leftfield stage at Glastonbury, enjoyed lots of airplay and had influential BBC DJ Steve Lamacq call Gaz “a great northern storyteller”, comparing him to Jarvis Cocker and their gigs to the first time he saw Pulp.

There is a bit of Sheffield’s finest’s era-defining mix of smart, observational pop and musical glam about Man & The Echo. But there’s also a bit of ABC, The Smiths, the Divine Comedy, Dexys, Super Furry Animals, blue eyed soul, 50s/60s crooning, literary references, social commentary, humour and much more, as they have arrived at a sound that isn’t retro so much as ricocheting through pop’s many decades and landing squarely in the post-Brexit, conflicted, chaotic UK of the here and now.

Man and the Echo Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Man & The Echo play The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Sun 5th March 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Operation Margarine’ below:

This Week: Gig Roundup 14th – 20th November

November 14, 2016 in News

We’ve got a busy week of gigs lined up this week, including critically acclaimed Illinois singer-songwriter Ryley Walker at the Hare & Hounds on Wednesday, and Danny Brown at The Rainbow Warehouse celebrating the release of his new album. Thursday brings a night of math-rock with Three Trapped Tigers shaking up The Flapper with their effect-laden guitars and glistening sci-fi synths. Saturday sees Glasgow duo Honeyblood take on Mama Roux’s following support slots with Foo Fighters and Wolf Alice. Check out the full listings below:

MONDAY 14TH NOVEMBER

Is Bliss + Outlander @ The Sunflower Lounge
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Introducing Velvet Dreams EP, the debut from psychedelic shoegazer trio Is Bliss, released on Club AC30 – a tantalising taster of this new band’s potential. The EP’s atmosphere resonates strongly with the hazy sixties underground, with its sitar­like waterfall guitars and hypnogogic beats, but other, harder influences bleed through. The band have been together barely a year and yet have quickly gained attention opening for Wolf AliceTelescopes and Nine Black Alps. Support from Birmingham Mogwai-influenced Outlander.

Watch the video for ‘Ocean Blue’ below:


WEDNESDAY 16TH NOVEMBER

Ryley Walker + Itasca @ Hare & Hounds
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With a powerful voice that spans ranges and eras & an effortless approach to a fine melody on the guitar, the Illinois singer-songwriter sets the bar high for the modern folk artist. Robert Plant declared himself a fan – as did double-bass legend Danny Thompson, with whom Ryley would later embark on a string of sell-out British shows. A sprawling tour of the USA around Primrose Green presented a perfect chance to workshop ideas for what would eventually become his third studio album, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung. Support comes from Itasca, L.A.-based guitarist, singer-songwriter Kayla Cohen.

Watch the video for ‘The Roundabout’ below:

Danny Brown + Zelooperz @ The Rainbow Warehouse
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One of rap’s brightest lights Danny Brown celebrates the release of his 4th studio album Atrocity Exhibition with intricate wordplay, unmatched storytelling, and lyrical thoughtfulness. The album is the latest peak in a career full of highlights: over the last decade, he’s worked with a breadth of artists from Purity Ring and Rustie to Schoolboy QE-40, and Ghostface Killah. Support comes from 21-year-old Detroit rapper ZeelooperZ, member of Brown’s hip-hop collective Bruiser Brigade.

Watch the video for ‘When It Rain’ below:


THURSDAY 17TH NOVEMBER

Three Trapped Tigers + The Physics House Band + Constant Waves @ The Flapper
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Three Trapped Tigers are a band for which genres and labels struggle to keep up; they move - often at breakneck speed – from screeching, effect-laden guitars, an arsenal of glistening sci-fi synths, pummelling sub-bass, colossal riffs and audacious drum patterns that both underpin and define their unique sound. In full force the band feel both gracefully intelligent and wildly primal, gargantuan yet melodic. Support comes from Brighton psychedelic math-rock trio The Physics House Band and West Midlands prog rock band Constant Waves.

Watch the video for ‘Engrams’ below:


FRIDAY 18TH NOVEMBER

The Graveltones + Brandy Row @ The Flapper
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UK based Australian heavy blues rock and roll duo The Graveltones formed in late 2011, after the two members met in London’s Tin Pan Alley, brought together by a mutual love of artists as diverse as Captain BeefheartHowlin WolfJohn Lee Hooker and QOTSA. Their critically acclaimed debut album saw the band tour extensively with the likes of Rival SonsThe Temperance MovementBoss HossMonster TruckCadillac Three and a stunning set at Download Festival 2013. Support comes from blues rock and roll singer-songwriter Brandy Row.

Watch the video for ‘Bang Bang’ below:

Spotlight On: Alligator + Gloss + Nausea + Gasfoodlodging @ O2 Institute Blue Room
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Birmingham Promoters present a new weekly night at a brand new venue within the O2 InstituteThe Blue Room. Every week Birmingham Promoters will showcase the best & most exciting local acts from across the West Midlands. Alligatr are not just your usual indie band from Leicester. Combining their influences of  jungle and dance with rock and jazz, they have created a unique vibe which makes their  songs sound far from the bland and the obvious. Support comes from indie post-punk band Gloss, Birmingham based Nausea and 3 piece alternative countrified/indie-fied Gasfoodlodging.

Listen to ‘Reminiscing’ below:


SATURDAY 19TH NOVEMBER

Weirds + Vulgarians + History Of Sex @ The Sunflower Lounge
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Weirds have been destroying venues across the UK for the past year with their blistering sonic assault of motorik­driven, druggy grunge. NME described their live show as “like a vulture ravaging a corpse”, but beneath the fuzz and sprawling, psycho­tropic breakdowns lies a knack for melody and structure. Support comes from Vulgarians with their unique brand of chilling post­punk noise, and Birmingham based garage noise band History Of Sex.

Watch the video for ‘Old World Blues’ below:

Honeyblood + Pins @ Mama Roux’s
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Glasgow duo Honeyblood have managed to brilliantly capture then subtly refine and embellish the duo’s notorious live energy that over the past two years shared stages all round the globe with everyone from Belle And Sebastian and Foo Fighters to close comrades like Courtney Barnett and Wolf Alice. Support comes from Manchester band PINS crafting a blend of noise, texture and melody.

Watch the video for ‘Ready For The Magic’ below:


SUNDAY 20TH NOVEMBER

And Yet It Moves + Bad Girlfriend @ The Sunflower Lounge
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Fronted by former Amazing Snakeheads frontman Dale Barclay, who has witnessed firsthand the banality of the music industry and came out battered but unbeaten, And Yet It Moves want to play music for the love of it. Live they enrapture crowds with a real natural chemistry, Barclay’s undeniably captivating aura and expansive, songs of sorrow mixed with themes of the heart. If you want freedom these are the guys for you, if not just go away. Support from Birmingham heavy garage rock band Bad Girlfriend.

Listen to ‘No Way Back To Lunch’ below:

Introducing: Tom Grennan

October 19, 2016 in Introducing

Bedford singer-songwriter Tom Grennan is 21 years old and the newest signing to Sony ATV publishing & Sony’s new Insanity label.

Maturity isn’t measured by years but by character and Tom is an artist whose age has no reflection on the depth of his art and story telling. A bluesy, soulful tone balanced with an original flair, Tom is guaranteed to make a massive impact on the scene when his music is revealed to fans.

In the past year, Tom has topped Hype Machine, made it to #2 on Spotify’s UK Viral chart, supported The Libertines, been Clash Music’s ‘Track of the Day’, and featured on the Chase & Status track ‘All Goes Wrong’.

Tom Grennan Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter 

Tom Grennan plays The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Wed 8th February 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch a live performance of ‘Something in the Water’ below: