SXSW 2013 coverage
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Evolution Emerging is very much the North East’s version of something like Liverpool Sound City: a showcase of the very best up-and-coming artists from Tyneside, Wearside, Cumbria and Yorkshire, sprinkled with a few more familiar names who treat it as a homecoming celebration, having made that all-important move towards the mainstream over the preceding 12 months. Arranged and facilitated by that shining beacon of regional artist development, Generator, Evo Emerging is possibly the most important evening in the North East musical calendar, held at several boutique venues scattered about the Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle’s creative and cultural hub. What follows is a flavour of what went down this year.
First up are Blank Maps in the Cluny. Theirs is an uplifting sound, with soaring guitars and gently keening vocals, perfect for a summer’s evening, being reminiscent of the balearic influences that swept through guitar music a couple of years ago. Think Friendly Fires, with at times a bit more stadium rock, at others a more ambient, chill out vibe. It’s a shame they’re performing indoors tonight; they’d be perfect playing from the balcony of a beachfront bar as the sun drifts below the sea’s horizon, before the disco really kicks off into the early hours. Lovely stuff.
Agerskow, aka Yorkshire-born singer-songwriter Kate Edwards, fronts a sparsely-instrumented three-piece that trade in gentle, confessional ditties that sound a lot like Hem, which is a perfectly good thing. On record there’s cello everywhere; tonight the sound is very simple, letting songs like recent release ‘This Train Terminates’ sigh their modest evocation. Edwards’ voice is lovely, falling somewhere between American country twang and pristine English-rose folk – as striking as her looks. Influences appear numerous; like a complex glass of red, there’s several flavours at once: Joni Mitchell is there, along with the aforementioned Hem, overlaid with the redoubtable Linda Thompson. A fine list of influences then – and it would seem Agerskow has the voice and the songs to compete with the best of them.
Mickey Moran Parker is a fresh-faced chap who purveys a decent slice of urban soul, aided by a crazy-haired producer dude, and some live instrumentation. He’s got a decent voice – although in the interests of full disclosure he sounds just that bit more in tune on record than live, and tuning is all-important in this genre which relies so heavily on a strong vocal performance. For some reason all I kept thinking was he’d go a long way on the X Factor, which I’m sure isn’t a thought that has escaped the man himself. But credit that (for now!) he’s ploughing an independent furrow. For although white soul might not be everyone’s cup of tea, this is a very competent example of it, broaching the credibility gap between chart-bothering pop and more underground urban stylings. Competent stuff, and Moran has plenty of time to refine his sound and persona.
Goy Boy McIlroy take the prize for best set of the evening, not in small part down to an astonishing, fourth-wall-smashing performance from singer David Saunders (see what I mean here). Not content with the ample stage down at The Tyne, he and his enormously long microphone cable wander through the unsuspecting audience, gyrating, falling over, and generally acting like a rock ‘n’ roll frontman should, but rarely, do. The music is self-confessed alt-blues, with a hard, snare-skin-puncturing edge. It’s difficult to fathom what Saunders is on about, but he gives a spellbinding performance when he’s on about it. What is possible to determine is the gothic atmosphere, the dirty riffs, and more than a splash of unexpected camp. Well worth checking out online, before experiencing the ear-bleeding live show.
Richard Smith’s slow-burning balladry is a welcome rest for the ears after the cacophany of the previous set. Although it’s not a particularly quiet affair, featuring as it does three guitars and expertly-thumped drums from Hyde & Beast’s Neil Hyde. Things certainly are much more deep and cerebral though; Smith manages to conjure a distinctive, desolate soundscape, his languorous vocals and washes of reverbed guitars evoking backwoods loneliness, occasionally blossoming into Editors-style tightly-wound rock riffing. Recent track ‘The Water’ sums up his style perfectly, commencing with an elegant acoustic guitar riff against a murmuring backdrop, perfectly framing Smith’s baritone musings, until finally unfurling a gently driving end coda, like the first shoots of spring after a particularly chilly winter. Lovely mature songwriting, excellently executed.
Nadine Shah takes the headline slot in the Cluny 2 for what appears to be something of a homecoming for her: she’s been playing a few dates across the country to crowds of variable numbers, on the way berating Mancunians who think they’re from the north (“It’s just the north Midlands, right?”. It’s her first gig since The Great Escape, and she seems pleased finally to be playing to a partisan crowd. Shah’s performance is highly emotionally-charged – whilst there’s seemingly nothing particularly happy in her songbook (sample song titles: ‘Cry Me A River’, ‘Dreary Town’, ‘Aching Bones’), it’s an engrossing spectacle to see her dispense with each nugget of bitter wrath in her beautifully highly-strung South Tyneside contralto. As is common with musicians from coastal towns, around Shah’s work hangs the salty tang of the sea shanty, and the careworn drama of an out-of-season seaside resort. She’s about to release her début album, produced by no less a luminary than Ben Hillier, so she’s just getting started with her career proper, and we can assume we’ll be hearing far more of her unique delivery. A beautifully unsettling end to a night of superb music.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 5th June 2013 at 4:00 pm
Dublin’s Kodaline made three appearances at the Great Escape 2013, including this jam-packed one at Audio on the Friday afternoon. We’ve got videos of the band performing ‘All Comes Down’ and ‘Perfect World’ for you to enjoy below.
In case you missed you, listen to my interview with frontman Steve Garrigan at the Great Escape here.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 4th June 2013 at 2:00 pm
I’ve now done SXSW, Sound City and the Great Escape all in the same year, in both 2012 and 2013. Each comes with its own perks and challenges, but I think the one underlying thing that ties all three of these events together is the mental exhaustion, on top of the physical you already put your body through. Admittedly, I knew John and I had to leave the flat at 7 in the morning on Sunday to catch our trains to go back north (Sheffield for me, Lincoln for John), so that terrible thought weighed heavily on my mind while I tried to sort just how exactly I was going to work my Saturday night. Before I’d left America, I had grand plans to crisscross Brighton up and down on the final evening, but by the time I’d actually reached day 3 (and over two weeks in Britain), my mind was saying no way to that.
After getting shut out of the Zanzibar a fortnight earlier in Liverpool during Sound City, I made the conscious choice and made good on my promise to Matthew Healy of the 1975 that we would cover them at one of the two festivals in May. Directly before them on the CMJ-sponsored showcase bill at the Paganini Ballroom at the Old Ship Hotel were China Rats, who I’d seen at SXSW 2013 at the PRS for Music / Kilimanjaro showcase on Friday night with the Ruen Brothers and the Crookes, and Young Kato, who I’d written a Bands to Watch piece on last summer but had not seen live yet.
It sounds a bit textbook and far too easy to decide to stay in one place for nearly an entire evening, but it turned out to be the right decision in the long run for me, because as John described in his Saturday report, the place was later oversubscribed and full up with people that probably should not have been let in. This was pretty annoying, since I as editor was the one to make sure John was on the press guestlist for the Paginini Ballroom and I know it wasn’t the press office’s fault either. To be honest, I still feel very bad about John missing the 1975, because I’d seen them twice before and John still hadn’t. I offered to give up my spot and told John to tell the bouncer I was coming down if it meant he could come back up, but like the professional he is, John said no and decided to head up to the Dome to catch the fuss surrounding Bastille instead.
I don’t know if they were feeling especially confident, or because it wasn’t so hot, or it had to do with playing in England. But China Rats looked and sounded 100x better in Brighton than they did in Austin. It wasn’t even the crowd so much that lent to this atmosphere; as you can probably guess, most people who had arrived early were primarily there to stake their places for the 1975, who were to be followed closely behind with late night programming of Tribes. No, there was just something about them that when they played, you could tell they meant business. ‘Nip It in the Bud’ was loud, raucous and just pure fun. The “ai yi yi yis” of ‘To Be Like I’ reminded of the early Beatles, and in an entirely good way.
Cheltenham sextet Young Kato look primed for Radio 1 exposure. Talking to other punters, I’m pretty sure no-one there had any idea who they were, so I knew they had their work cut out for them. To be honest, I was a little worried; they are all so young, how are they going to take it if the audience doesn’t like them? I shouldn’t have worried. Their single from last summer, ‘Drink, Dance, Play’, has a tribal beat-themed second half; it’s like they took the best bits of Bastille and put it into an indie pop song, which can only be a good thing, and the crowd just ate it up.
The anthemic ‘Lights’ is another great singalong, I’m seriously wondering why they haven’t been picked up for more airplay. I thought for such a young band, they sound remarkably polished and it was nice validation after hearing them on recording and writing a feature on them to discover that they’re excellent live. After watching them, I silently thanked myself for choosing the Paganini Ballroom for that night.
And then came the piece de resistance for the night, who everyone was waiting for, the 1975. Oh my. I already knew I was going to enjoy this, but I didn’t know how much I was going to enjoy it. They only played seven songs, but they had so much energy and the crowd assembled was so ready for this, there was only one way this could go: all the way up. The crowd jumped up and down to the infectious beats and you could feel the room literally shifting from side to side from all the bodies bouncing. I didn’t expect him to but Matt Healy did see me down the front during ‘Girls’ and smiled widely at me. He knew this performance was huge and they were having the times of their lives playing this grand ballroom. I’m sure it’s a moment they will always remember, and I was glad that I’d made a special effort to be there.
The only blemish was towards the end, when I felt a sudden breeze behind me. That’s not right; the ballroom is rammed and there was a massive wall of people behind me. What’s going on? I looked back to see that a circle of people had parted and backed off while two blokes, probably heavily intoxicated, were going at it with each other. Bouncers quickly got involved and it was clear both men were hot-headed, one of them giving the bouncer that was holding him a murderous look. Whoa. My first experience with violence at the Great Escape, and luckily, it looked like no one was seriously injured. It was a good thing it was over soon after that, as the crowd dispersed quickly once their set was over and I think everyone in there needed some air.
You and I
My last port of call for the Great Escape 2013 was to be all the way up the hill back towards the train station. I knew there was no way in hell I’d be able to leg it quickly enough to catch Teleman‘s set, so I flagged down a taxi driver to take me. Unfortunately I must have wasted at least 10 minutes yelling at the taxi driver because at first he refused to take me (grrrr). There was a taxi van in front of him, but it was full of a band’s gear and with my patience being tried, as nicely as I could I explained that the van was currently not in service. Finally, he let me in and drove me to the Green Door Store.
Then began the most infuriating moment for me at this year’s festival. I was desperate to see Teleman so I’d requested guestlist for the venue, figuring I’d have a better shot at this venue than some of the others. I get to security and tell the bloke there I’m on the press guestlist, and he decides to give me lip, claiming there is no guestlist. I hadn’t come all that way up to the Green Door Store to be denied entry. I insisted that I was on the guest list, I was press, and that was legitimately supposed to be there. Finally, he decides to pull out a ripped piece of paper out of his pocket, looks my name up, and what do you know, I’m on there and suddenly I’m allowed in. ::facepalm::
Not that this really did much good. Through the arguing with the taxi driver and the bouncer, I’d missed the first half of the set, and there was so much pushing and shoving inside the venue, I couldn’t get any closer to the stage than the brick archway leading into the main room. A funny moment was hearing someone say to their girlfriend, “can we get any closer?” and to turn and see it was Stephen Black of Sweet Baboo saying it; he’d played that same stage earlier in the evening We had a brief moment to say hello, so that was unexpected and nice.
I wasn’t a fan of all the pushing, especially from the very tall men with pints in their hands, obviously not caring that the group of girls I was with, all much shorter and unable to see anything, would have appreciated some graciousness. Occasionally, when punters would leave the main room and come back out through the archway, I could see the outlines of Tommy Sanders and band briefly. I could hear the notes of ‘Cristina’ but couldn’t really enjoy it. I recalled 2 years ago when I’d seen Pete and the Pirates up close in Islington’s Buffalo Bar a week before my birthday. One day, Teleman, I’ll see you up close and personal too. Just you wait.
The next morning, somehow John and I got out of our respective beds. I remember fighting my suitcase to get it shut so we could leave Brighton on time and make our connections in London. I nearly forgot my purse on the kitchen table. (Thank god we hadn’t dropped the keys through the letter slot yet.) But the Great Escape and our time in Brighton was over, and for me, it was time to switch gears…to be reunited with friends in Sheffield.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to Mr. Pane, the lanky Nigger with purple frames.” His words, not mine…
Most artists will rock up to The Great Escape by train or, if they’re a little higher up the musical food chain, in their tour bus, in whatever shape or size that may be. Mikill Pane rolls up to The Fishbowl by bike after cycling from the O2 Arena, which he joshingly told GQ he could sell out (http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/entertainment/articles/2013-05/30/mikill-pane-great-escape-video). Now, PR stunt or whatever, he’s saving the rainforest and I love a bit of green thinking, plus cycling is bloody cool. Mikill says, “it was just a stupid idea, I managed to go through with, and it was cool. It was a slog, yeah, parts of it were a real slog, but most of the time it was some really nice scenery, really good quality of tarmac compared to London!”
But what did I expect from a lad who penned a tune about being a ‘Dirty Rider’ around the streets of London. So I decided to ask the up-and-coming rapstar for his top three tips for cycling ‘in the big city’:
1. Don’t expect anyone to respect you as a cyclist, people WILL hate you. This isn’t Sweden or mainland Europe where they respect cyclists.
2. Avoid going between two busses… (Mikill has evidence on his leg).
3. Watch out for potholes, they can properly do you in.
Mikill also does a charming song about throwing a house party at University. “I studied at UCL, but I almost walked out four times while I was there, as it just wasn’t for me. But with education, my Dad put the fear of God into me, and he loves anything to do with educational institutions, and that’s why he sent me to London Oratory, even though they couldn’t afford it. Because he loved education so much, I think that is why it made me hate it.”
So to keep with the theme of top tips, we asked for his guide to throwing the best, hippening and most happening party on campus. Sadly though, we may have to take his advice with a pinch of salt, as Mr. Pane has only ever thrown one party, “we played spin the bottle and it was allright, but nothing crazy.”
1. Don’t invite Michael Barrymore.
2. If you think you have a decent concept of fun, throw a party. If not, DON’T AT ALL COSTS.
3. Be willing to let half of the people into your house be people you don’t actually know.
So there we have it, Mikill’s guide to traversing London by bike and his tips to how to throw the best party you can as a student.
But let’s talk music then, that’s why we’re here, right? Mikill has some friends in high places, very high in the music business. Movers and shakers like a certain Ed Sheeran who was the hottest thing going at The Great Escape 2011, and Rizzle Kicks who Mr. Pane toured with. Mikill insists, though, that with regards to collaborations with artists like these, it isn’t a manufactured process. Instead, it is quite the opposite, something that incidentally just happens…
“I always get to know the person with regards to collaborations, I don’t even think about music most of the time when I am getting into it. It’s normally just hanging out, like, ‘I know you do music, you’re a cool person, I wouldn’t mind spending some time in the studio together’, do you know what I mean? It becomes work if you just keep hand-picking people that you don’t know to collaborate with. Even if you do something like that you should *at least* try to hang out with the person for a week, to get what they are about.
“If you know what makes a person tick as a person rather than an artist, you get to know them and understand them a lot better.”
Have a listen to his track with Ed Sheeran and you may see what I mean, it’s not just samples, it’s a deeply touching and at the same time disturbing tune, which could only come from Mikill’s deep understanding of what makes the ginger-haired strummer tick.
Mikill though comes across as a deeply thoughtful man, and for someone who says he felt alienated from education, it’s obvious that he is a deeply intelligent and pensive thinker. His puns are sharp and his lyrics strike an accord with the demographic that his music is aimed at, so I see no reason for him not to do well? You could say I have a ‘Good Feeling’, yeah, I punned…
Many thanks to Kat for sorting this interview for us, and of course, Mikill Pane for his time chatting to John at the Great Escape; surely he must have been exhausted from all that cycling???
After two days of revelry and debauchery on the streets of Brighton, TGTF heads were heavy and the party decided that a debrief in Giraffe, a chain restaurant serving quite frankly the best breakfasts on the South coast, was appropriate to clear the haze from the past 2 days, and augur the body for the day ahead.
After the demons of the past two days were expelled, not literally I may add, I dragged myself to meet the extremely personable Itch, ex-frontman of The King Blues and generally lovely chap. You can watch the interview here. After a nice chat in his tour manager’s garden, I ventured to the Blog Up, where the impressive Embers were attracting a capacity crowd in the tightly woven confines of The Mesmerist. The sound in the venue made for a deafening spectacle, which wasn’t help by us at TGTF setting up camp right next to the main monitors. With earplugs donned, it was easy to see the attraction of Embers.
They’re young, good looking and have an archetypal tall, dark and handsome lad on lead guitar and vocals in the form of George Agan. Their sound is extremely big live though, there’s a splash of prog, with comparisons to Muse overarching throughout the set, but it’s all kept grounded by the fact they have a cutesy female violin player. It all is a bit more authentic for that fact at least. (7/10)
After a few drinks in Brighton’s most reputable watering holes with some of my compadres from my former life in Guernsey, it was back off on the long journey to Concorde 2 to catch one of my favourite bands Tall Ships. They’re a group who go about progressive rock in the right way, that being their own way. They’re not smashing dubstep into the equation and shoehorning in electro wherever they can, they’re making exciting guitar music on time signatures that excites me in ways that aren’t suitable for even here.
‘Phosphorescence’ sounds pristine, as if it’s been ripped straight from ‘Everything Touching’, their fantastic debut record. Whilst ‘T=0′ is the ultimate set closer, forget ‘Knights of Cydonia’, scratch all of that, and wow, it absolutely went off. The disappointment was that it seemed to only be certain sections of the crowd enjoying the expertly crafted riffage, perhaps they were all too worn out from Hacktivist’s drivel the night before. However, at least in certain small sections of the crowd it was obvious there was a deep appreciation of the musical chemistry going on in front of them, aloft on stage. (9/10)
My trudge back towards the pier is at least cheerier for the fact that I was to be reunited with editor Mary, and that I would shortly be watching one of my guiltiest pleasures The 1975. However, whilst I was on the guestlist, and 10 minutes before the band were scheduled to venture on stage, I was rebuffed by the bouncers on the door. Instead of fleetingly and pointlessly arguing my case to the two gentlemen, who were, I quote, “taking none of my shit”, I hopped step and legged it to The Dome to sneak into the capacity Bastille show. What I was to be met with was unbeknownst to me…
Think of the audience to your classic, McFly or The Wanted show; sprinkle a sparing dressing of awkward looking v-necked boyfriends, and voilà, you have the cornucopia of underaged girls amassed to pay tribute to their new favourite band Bastille. Bastille have literally everything going for them at the moment; frontman Dan has hair that does that flicky thing, I mean, do I even need to continue? Yeah, all right then. The tunes are horrendously catchy and are accessible to all, Radio 1 friendly and firmly embedded on the A-list. The throngs of screaming girls just add to the blurred hysteria around the band, who can seemingly do no wrong in 2013.
Their debut album ‘Bad Blood’ is there with Mumford and Sons‘ ‘Sigh No More’ just for its mass appeal alone. Hence why The Dome was at capacity when I squeezed my way through. Note: I’m 6’ 5″ and look like a potato, so for any poor girl whose view I blocked with my massive form, I apologise, but it was for the good of music…
The almost fanatical following that the band have developed led me to believe that the performance was going to be one of pure showmanship, energy and enthusiasm. Instead, Bastille slogged their way through a set that looked like it was almost a trial to them. They looked like they’d just fought of millions of Persians at the Hot Gates, and Spartans they are not, with their weariness etched clearly on their visages. Every note, from the album tracks, to set closer ‘Flaws’ was sung, well, flawlessly. Dan even did a little circumnavigation of the crowd during the encore. But overall the set seemed lacklustre. Perhaps the band have been on tour for too long, or it was an off night, but either way, it was a set to forget by these up and coming less-than likely lads. (5/10)
To close the festival for me, it was a trip to the seaside. To the stage where my first romance with The Great Escape began, Coalition, to watch for the second time of the weekend, Mikill Pane. My opinion was that he would be more suited to the late night slot, in a larger venue. This wasn’t the case though, as technical problems and an overawing backing band distracted attention from the fantastic London rapper’s lyrical prowess.
Mikill wasn’t being a diva, far from it, as the microphone was cutting in and out throughout the short set. But his reaction somewhat detracted from the excitement of what was geared up to be a livewire set, but sadly ended up being quite flat and repetitive. (6/10)
After a relatively low-key Friday night, I was raring to go on Saturday morning, feeling much better to take on day 3 of the Great Escape 2013. First things first, though. At John’s recommendation, he, myself, Braden (who if you recall used to write for us, but has now gone on to become the Live Editor of Sound Influx – this becomes important 2 days later in London), John’s PA for the weekend and sometimes TGTF contributor Hannah and Hannah’s boyfriend George found ourselves having a very nice breakfast at Giraffe, a mere 2 blocks from our flat. Definitely a good shout, John, for a fantastic breakfast burrito and a very nice fruit smoothie to start the day right in a healthy, mum-approved kind of way. (I loved this place so much, when I saw the chain restaurant in Heathrow a couple days later, somehow they got another £15 off me…)
Apparently, the good people of Brighton – and everyone English or from wherever else – recover from late nights and drinking a lot better than I do, because it was with some surprise that when I tried to get into the Dome Studio Bar (formerly known as the Pavilion Theatre), there was a queue. That’s right. At 12 noon. I was sure everyone would still be asleep and nursing sore heads. Uhh, no. Luckily, the entire Don’t Panic, We’re From Poland showcase was running late, so by the time security finally let me in, I was able to catch three songs by former pop idol but now singer/songwriter in her own right (Monika) Brodka.
I got whiffs of the teenage Annabella Lwin of Bow Wow Wow from Brodka’s look onstage: free-spirited, she had on glow in the dark face paint, unusual headgear, and very loud , red clothing. It ended up making her look more childlike than necessary and to be honest, her look I think detracted from the actual performance, which was extremely energetic with Brodka and her band, who brought synthy melodic goodness and beats that everyone in the place were dancing to, rather happily I might add. They brought the place down with the loudest cheers I think I’ve heard for such an early show during the day at the Great Escape. Good job.
At some point I thought John and I were going to have a drink in the afternoon, but he was running around doing interviews (good man!); you always think you’re going to have time to spend with your fellow writers at a festival, but it never actually happens! I think next year I want to bring a friend along with me to either Sound City or the Great Escape to have a comrade in arms, someone to bring me back down to earth and who’s not scooting around town to catch gig after gig like the crazy people we are. Going to work on that… Having scanned the afternoon schedule, I realised I had not returned to the Blind Tiger, the hot box I remembered last year who played host to alt-J and Django Django, and I wondered what the place would be like during daylight hours.
The Saturday afternoon there was a special Canadian showcase, and after a discussion I’d had with Martin in Gateshead a couple days previous about bands whose names were entirely unGoogleable (MONEY, College, etc.), I thought I’d see the entirely unGoogleably-named Boats, hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba. I had absolutely no clue what they sounded like so it was either going to be really, really good or really, really bad. I was pleasantly surprised, as well as highly entertained. Not going to lie, singer Mat Klachefsky has a very unusual voice for a man, kind of like Elton John on helium? I’m not describing this properly; wait for a while, I’ve got video somewhere on my camera.
They are also very funny; they have a song called ‘Advice on Bears’, which Mat said drolly “is a song about advice on bears”. I thought, ok, this sounds pretty appropriate for a band from *Canada*, right? Enjoyable and entirely unpretentious synth effects bleeped and blipped before rocking guitar and drums and Klachefsky’s unusual voice came in. Overall, Boats are a very fun band to watch and to listen and dance to.
There wasn’t anything particularly jumping out at me for the rest of the afternoon, and I was supposed to rendezvous and get boozed up with a whole bunch of bloggers later at the Blog Up at Mesmerist. I don’t know if it actually happened or it was just a rumour, but Friday night the word on the street was one of the ‘Special Guests’ on the schedule at the Haunt was actually Palma Violets. So after poring through the schedule one more time with a cup of gelato, I decided to take a chance with the Latest Music Bar, which also had a similar marking on the Alternative Escape schedule. I popped in just in time for the last song by piano-playing singer/songwriter Jordan Bradley. He’s a bloke of course but I got a Lady Gaga vibe off him somehow in his singing? Definitely too in the look: in a red suit and a grey quiff, it all seemed very theatrical. I’d have to listen to him more to make a more quality assessment.
The ‘Special Guest’ downstairs at Latest turned out to be part screamo, mostly hard rock quartet Fort Hope. Their tour manager explained that they had recently been on tour with Americans We Are the In Crowd, who I gather from John is a pretty big deal in the rock/punk genre. As Fort Hope began their set, with their admirable guitar licks and well-constructed songs. This isn’t a genre I consider a favourite but there was just something in their songs, including their next single ‘Control’ out on the 24th of June, that just clicked with me. Keep an eye on these kids – I say kids because they look really young, but musically, they sound very accomplished!
The afternoon was rounded out at Mesmerist by Manchester’s Embers, who had come highly recommended by several bloggers, including Breaking More Waves’ Robin Seamer (who refused to see them again on Saturday, saying he didn’t want to sully his memories of seeing them at Above Audio on Friday afernoon) and the aforementioned Braden Fletcher. They were loud and good, but I think because everyone had spoken so glowingly about them, the bar in my mind was set too high. Yes, they have a rock violinist, that’s cool. But will they survive in their genre? That remains to be seen.