Up & Coming Bands who perform in London – All images © Chris Dorney.

Posts tagged “live and unsigned

40 – ‘Fjokra’, ‘Houdini Dax’ and ‘Brave Yesterday’

Fjokra:

www.reverbnation.com/fjokra

“Earnest singer songwritery balladeering? NO!
Retro revivalists? NO!
‘Hip’, urban funkateers? NO!

‘Queen on crack’? Perhaps. Chuck in a liberal dose of Mike Patton/Mr Bungle, Todd Rundgren, Prince, Rachmaninoff interludes and metal riffs the size of skyscrapers and you’re halfway to describing the musical smorgasbord that makes up Fjokra’s music. Oh, and there’s some Latin grooves and some monstrous Dubstep chucked in as well. Five guys, two girls and a lot of facepaint.”

(Quote obtained from the band’s website)

Houdini Dax:

www.houdinidax.co.uk

“Summer 2011. And the nippers are still making good honest rock ’n’ roll. Take Cardiff’s Houdini Dax, who have an average age of 19. What are they doing digesting records, writing songs and rehearsing when they could be playing Xbox or texting friends from the back of the bus? Weren’t “the kids” supposed to have tired of analogous music? Wasn’t the house music craze of the late ’80s supposed to have killed rock? Heck, thinking about it, weren’t the synth bands of over 20 years ago viewed as the only way forward?

No my dear music lovers, valves are not dead, rock ’n’ roll is blossoming and “the kids are alright” (as Pete Townshend so neatly put it 46 years ago). The Noughties has seen great success for young bands.  The Libertines and then Arctic Monkeys paved the way post-Brit Pop and now still barely out of the shadows come Houdini Dax, your soon to be favourite new band.

Hearing ‘The Magicians’ for the first time it’s impossible not to think of Alex Turner and his band in their early stages. Jack Butler’s edgy vocals, sharp wordplay and the stop-start, spiky New Wave tendency of the playing certainly share similarities with early Arctic Monkeys, but it’s not what defines them.  A video of a live acoustic performance for Huw Stephens’ Swn Festival ‘Swn is Sound’ video series of ‘Struggling In The Sand’ show Houdini Dax playing in a stripped back setting with acoustic guitar, bass, brushed drums and harmonies to the fore. It’s tight, honed and timeless. Yes, they have major talent. They can sing splendidly, they throw in some deft bridges and could very well sound like one of those great old acts. Yet they don’t! And when quizzed about their favourite bands, ’60s touchstones (The Beatles, The Kinks, The Sonics, The Stooges) meet latter day acts (Blur and Supergrass) and new bands (The Black Keys, The Raconteurs and White Denim). Yet You Belong To Dax Darling sounds nothing like any of them. It’s the sound of teenagers discovering what they can do.

“Recording the album was amazing,” Jack reveals. “Having Rich from The Method [another of the See Monkey Do Monkey coterie] as producer was special. We’re friends, so he won’t shy away with his opinions. And he always got the best out of us.”  Mentioning how the production had elements of ’60s guitar heroics, post-punk rhythms and an element of My Bloody Valentine about it, Jack beamed back at me as if their mission statement had been achieved.”I’m glad you hear those things clashing,” he eagerly states “because we love that retro ’60s style, but it’s been done so much before. It’s important for us to mix older styles with newer ones… We were aiming for a really strong debut that doesn’t really let up in energy and excitement,” closes Jack. “We tried to capture this by recording in a really live way.”

And live and exciting is the order for the day for the teenage world view of Houdini Dax. Their second album may well feature strings, ballads and mellotrons but for now let the revolution begin as these youngsters play it their own way with what they have learnt from Hendrix, Syd, Gaz and co. They should be famous! ”

(Quote obtained from the band’s official website)

Brave Yesterday:

www.myspace.com/braveyesterdaymusic

“We are Brave Yesterday, a rock band from Jersey. Not the one immortalized in rock mythology by the Boss. The other Jersey, the one in the Channel. Knowing this, you could also be forgiven for thinking that we are nearly French. We’re not. We’re nearly Canadian-ish.

Our frontman Nutter’s authentic North American Rawk voice gives us our mid-Atlantic twang. Mention us in the same breath as Rival Schools, Jimmy Eat World and 30 Seconds To Mars. We’re cool with that.”

(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)

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37 – ‘Eliza Jaye and The Tarts’, ‘Codes’, ‘Air Castles’ and ‘The Good Suns’

Eliza Jaye and The Tarts:

www.myspace.com/elizajayeandthetarts

(No biography info available on the artist’s website)

Codes:

www.myspace.com/codesofficial

“C O D E S . are an alternative/electronic quartet from Dublin, Ireland. Expansive yet melodic. Powerful yet delicate, their music colours the void between the ambience and longevity of soundtrack music and the energy and immediacy of live music..

Soaring vocal harmonies, dreamy arrangements and a calculated cryptography of electronic beats, piano, glockenspiel and analogue synths permeate their sound.

Codes debut album “Trees Dream In Algebra” which was recorded in Gloucestershire UK & mixed in Auckland, New Zealand with acclaimed producer Greg Haver (Manics, SFA) and mastered in NYC by Greg Calbi (U2,Interpol,Kings of Leon) is out now. It was the winner of Best Album 2009 in Phantom FM Dublin’s annual awards, is featured in hotpress magazine’s top 200 Irish albums of all time and was nominated for The Choice Music Prize 2010.”

(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)

Air Castles:

www.aircastlesmusic.com

“Air Castles is a London based band led by Swedish born singer-songwriter Max Mansson.

Starting off as a home recording project in 2008 by the then 19-year-old Mansson, Air Castles has since recorded an EP and an album together with Magnus Lindberg of Cult of Luna.”

(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)

The Good Suns:

www.thegoodsuns.blogspot.com

(No biography info available on the artist’s website)


36 – ‘Ronit’, ‘Lunch’, ‘The Broken Tea-Set’ and ‘Israel Cannan’

Ronit:

www.ronit-music.com

“A  passionate and captivating musician, Ronit has developed a devoted following around Australia that grows with each performance. Audiences are drawn to her strong vocals and emotive honest lyricism, while being floored by her fiery guitar playing. Her sound is a melting pot of soul, roots and rock with hints of Middle Eastern inspired melody, due in part to her Israeli heritage.

Before emerging as a solo artist, Ronit cut her teeth in several established Melbourne bands and toured with popular Reggae/Dub band The Red Eyes as a backing vocalist, gaining vast live playing experience around the country. She is now accompanied by a six piece live band featuring some of Melbourne’s finest musicians, who compliment and embellish Ronit’s catchy songwriting perfectly. Whether playing with her band, or performing intimate solo concerts, Ronit has fast been creating a reputation as one of the city’s premier and most exciting live acts. Just as comfortable playing in large venues as she is playing in smaller jazz clubs and classic Australian live music pubs, she has performed supporting such iconic Australian acts as The Whitlams, Tim Rogers, Renee Geyer, Mark Seymour, James Reyne and Vanessa Amorossi.

Ronit’s music has been used exclusively in the internet based advertising campaign for the established ‘Nevenka’ brand fashion line, and quite recently was used in a successful short film called ‘The Wake’ directed by Gemma Lee. ‘The Wake’ was selected to screen at Palm Springs Short Fest in June 2009 to critical acclaim, and was recently chosen for the prestigious Tribeca film festival in New York.

Ronit released her debut EP ‘Heavy’ through MGM in June 2009. The past couple of months she has been on a whirlwind Summer tour of the US and the UK. ”

(Quote obtained from the artists’ Official Website)

Lunch:

www.myspace.com/lunchUK

“The product of four years writing music together in differing projects, Lunch is the collective masterpiece of songwriters Tom Cale & Josh Jackson, merging the boundaries of as many genres as possible.

Together with bass player James “Mull” Mulligan, the trio are crafting the future sounds of your afternoon mealtimes that will have enough resonance to keep you hungry for more all day, no matter what course of the banquet you find yourself indulging. ”

(Quote obtained from the artists’ facebook page)

The Broken Tea-Set:

Israel Cannan:

www.israelcannanmusic.com

“In 2010 Israel Cannan travelled 20,000 kilometers around his homeland Australia singing songs in the streets and capturing hearts in the process.

This year he decided to trade the streets for the stage and headed to the UK armed with the new album “Walk” in which he wrote, recorded and played all the instruments on. After only a week in London Israel was showcasing at Cargo alongside fellow Australians The Jezabels, Little Red, Luluc at “The Aussie BBQ”.

From there came shows at some of London’s most prestigious venues including The Troubadour, Borderline, The Bedford where Israel continued to wow audiences with his heartfelt melodies and powerful lyrics.

Meanwhile back in Australia National Broadcaster Triple J were featuring Walk on their Unearthed podcasts and The AU Review even named “Walk” as #19 on the top 40 Albums of 2010 (Worldwide).

With shows and festivals being confirmed in the UK & Europe over the summer including Groundswell festival (France) alongside Jason Mraz and Newton Faulkner Israel’s Walk looks like its just getting started..”

(Quote obtained from the artists’ facebook page)


33 – ‘Cult With No Name’, ‘Evaney’, ‘SpyGenius’ and ‘Statuesque’

Cult With No Name:

www.myspace.com/cwnn

“‘Post-punk electronic balladeers’ Cult With No Name, comprise the East London duo of Erik Stein and Jon Boux.  Having been the first international signing to LA label Trakwerx in 2007 (founded by Jackson Del Rey of Californian punk legends ‘Savage Republic’), ‘Cult With No Name’s two studio albums to date – ‘Paper Wraps Rock’ and ‘Careful What You Wish For’ – have been met with considerable critical acclaim.
Leading UK music journalist Mick Mercer proclaimed the band his discovery of 2007 (with both albums sitting in his subsequent annual top ten lists), Blaine L. Reininger of genre-transcending legends ‘Tuxedomoon’ collaborated on their second album, Don Letts spun tracks on BBC6, and more recently Brett Anderson (Suede) asked ‘Cult With No Name’ to open for him for the launch of his new album.

Having provided the music for two blacker than black comedies at the Edinburgh festival (‘Moz and the Meal’ and ‘Bored Stiff’), it’s fitting that ‘Cult With No Name’ turned their attention to cinema for their first DVD release, ‘Lightwerx: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’.  Cult With No Name’s compulsive and compelling soundtrack extends their ability to instantly create evocative moods over 51 breathtaking minutes, on a journey that takes in mystical ambience, nerve-shredding distortion, popular and unpopular song, electronica, and vast, futurist soundscapes. ”

(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)

Evaney:

www.myspace.com/evaneymusic

 

SpyGenius:

www.spygenius.co.uk

“An electric 4 piece band who use a 60s vocabulary to craft 21st century music with a postmodern twist.

If you appreciate the jangle-meistering of the Byrds and Beatles, the harmonies of Crosby, Stills and Nash and the lyrical wit of Robyn Hitchcock, you’ll love Spygenius.”

(Quote obtained from the band’s Official Website)

Statuesque:

www.myspace.com/statuesquemusic

 

 


32 – Congratulations to ‘Twin Brother’ and ‘Rams’ Pocket Radio’

Congratulations to Twin Brother and Rams’ Pocket Radio who have recently announced that they will be appearing at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.  Over the past six months, I have photographed Twin Brother and Rams’ Pocket Radio and the images have been featured on this LondonUnsignedMusic Blog.

They will both play on the ‘BBC Introducing’ stage which showcases brand new musical talent from across the country and is a great opportunity for the bands to perform at the world-famous festival.

Twin Brother will be performing on Friday 24th June 2011 and Rams’ Pocket Radio will perform on Saturday 25th June 2011.  If you are heading down to Glastonbury, be sure to check them out!!

Meanwhile, here are a few images of their performances that I photographed earlier this year:

Twin Brother performing in Camden (January 2011)

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Rams’ Pocket Radio performing in Kentish Town (May 2011):

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Twin Brother: www.myspace.com/twinbrotheruk

Rams’ Pocket Radio: www.myspace.com/ramspocketradio


31 – ‘Some Velvet Morning’, ‘Electric Penguins’, ‘Rams Pocket Radio’ and ‘ Age of Giants’

Some Velvet Morning:

www.somevelvetmorning.co.uk

“Rock band start a revolution! Amazingly in only 6 weeks Some Velvet Morning raise a staggering £100K album launch budget with new model record label My Major Company UK.

Some Velvet Morning’s lead track on their forthcoming album “How To Start A Revolution” was on the international trailer for ‘Kickass’, the Matthew Vaughn Hollywood blockbuster. Their distorted basslines and pounding beats have woken up audiences around the world offering them a sound to believe in again – “You won’t fool the children of the Revolution.”

Some Velvet Morning like to do things differently. Recording live to tape, rather than computer in their large north London studio, the Fish Factory, the band have built momentum over the last three years with a series of radio friendly gems including BBC and XFM playlisted singles ‘Losing My Mind’ and ‘Propaganda’ from album “Silence Will Kill You.”

‘Losing My Mind’ took the band to the states to record a show (Fearless) for Fox TV, followed by a tour of the East Coast. It wasn’t long before the rest of the world caught on. Some Velvet Morning have taken their sound to the South of France, Russia and most recently Asia, where the band performed for 3000 fans as part of the Heineken Greenspace festival.

Some Velvet Morning’s roof top publicity stunt nearly got them arrested: With a nod to the Beatles, the band shunned council authorities by performing live on the roof of the PRS For Music in London, blasting their cries of the revolution across six blocks around Soho. Oxford Street also hosted another ‘heritage’ gig this year, when Some Velvet Morning supported the legendary Yardbirds at the 100 Club in February. Shows with The Levellers, Reef and at the British Moto Grand Prix at Silverstone followed.

Whilst learning from masters of the UK’s buoyant musical past, Some Velvet Morning continue to break new ground by veering away from the normal pop fodder of teenage crushes and heartbreak, preferring instead subjects such as religious tolerance, western political indoctrination and McCarthyism.”

(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)

Some Velvet Morning‘s “How To Start A Revolution” featured on the International movie trailer for Kickass:

Electric Penguins:

www.electricpenguins.get-ctrl.com

“Electric Penguins are back to tempt you with their self-recorded and produced long player entitled “II”. The 12 track feast of psychedelic cuts slides dreamily between electronic, folk and ambient soundscapes with acoustic and club elements dispersed throughout the record. Whirly and trippy audio effects, vocoders, moogs, mellotrons, organs, deeply layered strings and naked pianos mash and mix to maximise melody. Amongst the delights featured are the folksy love song to London, “Highgate Hill” and the kraut-club inspired combo-track“Airships/Soundproof 45”.

With live supports to Devo, Annuals, Sebestian Tellier and krautrock legends Roedelius prompting gushing reviews like this…“They led the audience through a delightful soundscape, lit up superbly by angelic vocals and magical lyrics. Splicing together bits of Kraftwerk, Laurie Anderson, Sigur Ros, The Postal Service, Pink Floyd, Alison Moyet and Brian Eno with old English folk ballads the band weave a remarkably rich audio tapestry”(Hot Press)…it’s little wonder the Penguins live rep as a “must see audio visual experience” is rock solid.

In addition to widespread domestic critical acclaim, Nic Harcourt has also supported Electric Penguins on his highly influential Morning Becomes Eclectic programme on L.A’s KCRW Radio and UK trade mag Music Week featured the Penguins as a high point of Irish music scene talent on their recent sampler. Mark Cummins has formerly collaborated with Pink Floyd’s orchestral arranger Edward Shearmur and contributed to endeavours with Massive Attack cohort Gavin Wright. Paul Murphy is a Dublin based producer of various rock bands and composer of multiple tv and film projects.”

(Quote obtained from the artists’ Official Website)

Rams Pocket Radio:

www.myspace.com/ramspocketradio

“RAMS’ POCKET RADIO is Peter McCauley, a drummer, pianist, jack-of-all and songwriter from Lisburn, Northern Ireland. Unfettered personal expression is the impetus of the project, and with the timeless works of the 1950’s product designer, Dieter Rams’, in mind; purity, simplicity and longevity are the first concerns.”

(Quote obtained from the artists’ facebook page)

Age of Giants:

www.myspace.com/ageofgiants

(No biography info available on the artists’ website)


29 – ‘The Touch’, ‘Vetoes’, ‘The Recusants’ and ‘Pharaohs From The Grave’

The Touch:

www.myspace.com/thetouchyew

“The Touch initially made a name for themselves with their party inducing Dance-Punk sets around Adelaide in 2008. Since then the band has expanded their sound adding ethereal vocal hooks, multi-layerd washes of synth and intricate guitar interplay whilst loosing none of their energetic delivery. The band has played numerous high profile Australian festivals (Big Day Out, Parklife and One Movement) and supported bands like Phoenix, Ladyhawke, Miami Horror, The Swiss and many more. ”
(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)

Check out The Touch‘s music video for ‘SHOT’:

Vetoes:

www.myspace.com/vetoes

(No biography info available on the artists’ website)

The Recusants:

www.recusants.co.uk

(No biography info available on the artists’ website)

Pharaohs From The Grave:

www.myspace.com/pharaohsfromthegrave

“An alternative punk rock band of London musicians Emily Wolf O, Katharine Kibela, UJ and Par Mahn. Formed in 2009.  Set to release their EP ‘Machines’ in June 2011.”