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Weekly Gig Roundup 2nd – 8th December

December 2, 2013 in News

As Christmas draws ever closer, team your shopping trips to the city with an evening at which you won’t feel like bashing people over the head with your purchases at! We’ve the usual selection of cross-genre talents at venues across the city and beyond, so take a cursory scroll down this roundup to introduce yourselves to the acts.



On Tuesday, Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble brings his solo setup to The Institute in Digbeth. Playing a selection of his own folk material from his four album back catalogue, as well as Idlewild favourites, he calls into Birmingham as part of his full UK tour this winter. With support to be announced, tickets for what promises to be a really beautiful event are priced at £15 advance and can be purchased over on the event page.

Listen to ‘Listen to Keep’ below:



Thursday welcomes Bristol art-rockers, The Blue Aeroplanes to the stage at the Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath. Releasing their debut Bop Art album in 1984, the outfit went on to release a staggering ten full length records from which they construct a lengthy and varied set for us tonight. Having collaborated with the likes of Michael Stipe and Andy Sheppard and with past members having gone on to form bands including Massive Attack, Suede and Primal Scream, the lineup at this show features Gerard and John Langley, Mike Youe, Bec Jevons, Gerard Starkie, Chris Sharp and Wojtek Dmochowski on dancing. Pick up your tickets for this one, priced at £10 advance, here.

Watch The Blue Aeroplanes’ video for ‘Jacket Hangs’ below:



On Friday, Birmingham singer songwriter Guy Jones joins us to play a set of his original guitar-based music which combines intricate playing with soulful vocals. Opening up the bill are Shanade and Kerry Smyth featuring Greg Pullin, who team together to bring us an evening of local and beautiful folk. Tickets for this event, which takes place at The Victoria on John Bright Street, are priced at £5 and are available to purchase on the door. Find out all further information, including links to all the artists’ music, via the event page.

Listen to ‘Curtain Call’ by Guy Jones below:



Saturday sees a very special showcase of the best in emerging West Midlands talent when Bedworth boys The Grafham Water Sailing Club play a headline show at The Sunflower Lounge. Combining layers of guitars and electronics with a brooding vocal and driving drums, it’s a unique setup not to be missed. Support comes courtesy of female-fronted grunge five-piece Victor, thundering four-piece Prayers, and newcomers to the scene, Noir all of which you can hear over on the event page. Tickets for the show are priced at £5 advance and are available here.

Don’t forget to RSVP to the Facebook Event!

Listen to ‘Ankara’ by The Grafham Water Sailing Club below:



Round off your week at the Sunday Social at The Yardbird which this time around features performances from 21 year old acoustic singer songwriter, Tammy King, country pop folk outfit, Bethan & The Morgans and Wolverhampton indie rockers, Velvet Riot. Entry to this event is free, find out all you know here.

Interview: Drakelow

November 28, 2013 in Interviews

The renovation project of Birmingham stalwarts, The Young Runaways, new outfit Drakelow create catchy and clean guitar-pop sounds. Having played only a couple of live shows to date, they launch their debut single, ‘Amber’, with a party at The Victoria on Fri 29th November. 

We chat to lead singer and guitarist Matt Pinfield ahead of the show to find out what to expect. 


You used to be Young Runaways. What’s different about Drakelow – have you retained any elements of your previous outfit?

I’m still writing the songs but other than it’s a completely different band, musically speaking. The orchestral arrangements have taken a back seat so I think the songs are more direct and simpler on the whole. There’s a lot more space for the melody to breathe and the guitars are probably a bit more prominent and also completely electric.


You obviously work well together as a group of people and musicians – what is it about your relationship that makes it work?

That’s hard to say but I think it hugely comes down to the fact that we’re all on the same page musically. We get on great as friends and there are certain personality types within the group that perfectly complement each other. Mainly what happens is when I’m having a neurotic moment, everyone else goes ‘hang on that’s fine, everything is going to be alright, it’s only rock and roll.’


Talk us through your songwriting process.

The big difference with Drakelow compared to what I’ve done before is the songwriting process. In the past I’d come to the band with everything fleshed out in my head. Now I deliberately under-write, knowing that my songs will be exponentially improved by working them up with the band and everybody contributing. That’s been the big step forward for me, and sound-wise it’s so much more natural because of this.


What do you like about music?

I’d have to say mainly the cocaine and the fast cars. Everything else I can take or leave.


You launch your first single, Amber, at the show on Fri 29th November. Tell us about the song.

Amber is the first song we wrote where I felt we’d really nailed most of the elements that I love about our music into one song. Lyrically it’s partly fictional, partly autobiographical and it’s the first time I’ve deliberately written around a central character.


Where was it recorded and how long did it take to come together? 

We recorded it ourselves, mostly live at our practice space and then a few overdubs at my studio. It was done fairly sporadically but I suppose it took the best part of a month altogether including mastering in New York with Alan Douche at West Side Music.


You’ve played a handful of shows as Drakelow thus far, how has the reaction been to the material?

It’s been really good so far. We’ve enjoyed the shows immensely which I think always comes over in a performance. The material seems to have been well received even though we’ve put very little out for people to listen to as yet.


The Facebook Event for the launch show promises free gifts and unannounced surprises for attendees – can you give us any hints?

Surprises may involve balloons although they definitely won’t be blown up as I am terrified of them. We’ll have free CDS and hugs for people and as it’s almost Christmas, free shots of mulled wine.


What else can people expect from your performance?`

All the thrills and spills of the world’s best bar band up close and personal.


Only Shadows and Mutes are also on the bill, what do you make of these bands?

Both of those bands are blinding, I know Only Shadows are very tight and can make a lot of noise which should be fun.


We’re getting close to Christmas – what’s on your Christmas list and have you been good enough to receive it?

Heck yes I’ve been good enough this year. Nothing particularly special on my list, I’m hoping for a new scarf from Lucy. It’s in the public domain now so she has to buy me one now really doesn’t she?! No excuses.


What are your plans for the new year?

Hopefully more cocaine and fast cars, all the good stuff really. The band may do another single, maybe an EP and certainly more gigs and festivals. It’s going to be a lot of fun.


Drakelow play The Victoria on Friday, November 29 with support from Only Shadows and Mutes. Tickets are priced at £5 advance and are available here.

Weekly Gig Roundup 25th November – 1st December

November 25, 2013 in News


Start off your week at the Hare & Hounds on Monday when The Monster NME Radar Tour calls into town. Showcasing the best in up and coming national talent including New York punk quintet, Cerebral Ballzy; Glasgow’s rock and soul, The Amazing Snakeheads; South London 60s psych six-piece, Fat White Family; and the Black Country’s own, Victor, this promises to be a completely frenetic evening. Tickets are priced at £8 advance and are available over on the event page.

Listen to ‘Don’t Tell Me What To Do’ by Cerebral Ballzy below:



Jump forward to Thursday and classic folk trio, 3 Daft Monkeys, who weave world music into the sounds they create, play the Hare & Hounds for the price of £10 advance. With support from Johnny Kowalski & the Sexy Weirdos  you can find out everything you need to know over on the event page.

Listen to ‘Paranoid Big Brother’ by 3 Daft Monkeys below:



On Friday, we welcome local guitar pop quintet, Drakelow, to the stage at The Victoria on John Bright Street. Celebrating the release of their new single, Amber, expect melodies and hooks which will stay with you for days. Support comes courtesy of Only Shadows and Mutes – find out further information on all the acts and pick up your tickets for £5 advance from the event page.

Listen to ‘Be Still’ by Only Shadows below:



On Saturday, we present local outfit Cold Ocean Lies’ first ever show at The Sunflower Lounge. Drawing inspiration from the wealth of talent that the city has spawned over the past year, the band promise en exciting selection of songs including the demos they have just finished recording. Support comes from energetic midlands five-piece, Mr George’s Famous Last Words. Tickets for the event are priced at £6 on the door – find out more, here.

Listen to ‘The Game’ by Cold Ocean Lies below:


Alternatively, exciting live act Crystal Fighters play live at The Institute in Digbeth for the price of £10 advance. They’re joined by Roosevelt and The Grafham Water Sailing Club – find out more here and don’t forget to RSVP to the Facebook Event!

Listen to ‘LA Calling’ by Crystal Fighters below:



Round off your week at the Sunday Social which this week features performances from blues pop fusion artist, Nina Baker; soulful songwriter, Guy Jones; Birmingham singer songwriter, Demi Marriner and young piano-based artist, Emily Ewing. This event at The Yardbird is, as ever, completely free – warm your cockles and join us for what promises to be a beautifully intimate affair. Find out more about all of the artists, 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.

Weekly Gig Roundup 11th – 17th November

November 11, 2013 in Listing

This week is fit to bursting with a selection of live music events to take your fancy…



On Monday, Scottish indie rock five-piece Frightened Rabbit return to Birmingham to celebrate the release of their fourth record, Pedestrian Verse. Having shot to number nine in the charts when it was released earlier this year, this is their most successful album to date – catch the celebrations at The Institute where support will come courtesy of Lanterns on the Lake and Paul Thomas Saunders. Tickets, priced at £13 advance, are available over on the event page.

Listen to ‘Candlelit’ by Frightened Rabbit below:



Manchester-based Bipolar Sunshine, the solo project of Adio Marchant is live at the Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath on Tuesday. Creating brutally honest and heartfelt lyrics, delivered in an upbeat refrain, Biploar Sunshine has won real critical support over the past year. He plays with Ulla Nova and Kastella for the price of £6 advance and tickets can be found along with further information on the event page.

Don’t forget to RSVP to the Facebook Event! 

Listen to ‘Love More Worry Less’ by Bipolar Sunshine below:



On Wednesday, the wonderful Pogues-esque five-piece Skinny Lister are live at the Hare & Hounds. Having wowed the festival circuit this summer, they call into Birmingham as part of their full UK tour – expect a performance and a half at this one! Support is provided by Dirty Old Folkers & Mile Wide Stride, and tickets are priced at £7 advance – get hold of them here.

Don’t forget to RSVP to the Facebook Event!

Read our interview with Skinny Lister here.

Listen to ‘Rollin Over’ by Skinny Lister below:



On Thursday there are two shows to choose from:

The legendary Har Mar Superstar plays the Hare & Hounds in support of his new record with support from funk four-piece, Racing. Expect a selection of the finest dance moves and musical talent to boot at this one which is priced at £12 advance – get your tickets here.

Listen to ‘Lady, You Shot Me’ by Har Mar Superstar below:


Alternatively, Portland electronic four-piece STRFKR travel the country, playing their Birmingham date at The Sunflower Lounge. Promoting the release of their fourth full-length studio album, Miracle Mile, don’t miss your chance to see them while they’re here! All further information can be found along with tickets on the event page.

Listen to ‘While I’m Alive’ by STRFKR below:



Friday is another double attack as local lo-fi three-piece Mirrorhall are live at The Victoria. Playing an eclectic sounding art rock laced through with atmospheric storytelling, this one will be a beautifully intimate affair. Tickets for this show are priced at £5 and will be available on the door – find out more here. Don’t forget top RSVP to the Facebook Event!

Listen to ‘Cadmium’ by Mirrorhall below:


Over at The Institute, Cheltenham six-piece, Young Kato play a headline show with support from Propellers and Club Phobia. Hugely inspired by the success of the Birmingham music scene in recent times, Young Kato play a blend of indie pop with irresistible hooks and catchy lyrics – make sure you catch them at this show! Find out more and purchase tickets, priced at £8 advance, over on the event page.

Listen to ‘Drink, Dance, Play’ by Young Kato below:



On Saturday, brand new Birmingham four-piece Cascades are live at The Sunflower Lounge. Describing themselves as “the biggest thing to hit Birmingham since the Second World War”, imagine if The Libertines and The Wombats joined Rudimental and you’re getting close. In support of the release of their very first single, this is their first Birmingham Promoters show – get your tickets for the event for £5 on the door. Find out more, including information on support acts Symphony State and The Mumblecores, over on the event page.

And don’t forget to RSVP to the Facebook Event!



Bring your week to a chilled out close at our regular Sunday Social event at The Yardbird. This week we bring you sounds from family folk rock trio, High Horses; the Jeff Buckley-influenced, Nothing But Thieves; modern acoustic duo, Tom & Josh; and folk singer songwriter, Bethan Marshall. Enjoy this in the beautiful surrounds of The Yardbird jazz club for the price of free – find out all you need to know, here.