PLAYLIST – Fifty Five Fires by Imperial Mammoth

imperial mammothImperial Mammoth began in bed. When musician Laura Jane Scott lay in recovery from knee-surgery, her boyfriend and fellow songwriter Leonard Jackson brought his guitar to pass the time. Together they sang, and wrote some songs, and thought it sounded good enough to record.

It didn’t take long for people to agree. Their debut single “Requiem On Water” landed in the Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1 soundtrack, and featured in a key scene in the film. Just a week after their own wedding, Laura and Leonard played their first show as Imperial Mammoth to 1500 fans at the Breaking Dawn premiere.

They soon followed with the EP, “Where Satellites Fall,” building their fan base with over thirty placements in TV and film, including spots in Parenthood, About A Boy, Awkward, Grey’s Anatomy, Royal Pains, Chasing Life, Private Practice, Ragz, Drop Dead Diva, Switched At Birth, Alexander & The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and Enlightened.

The band grew, and the sound got bigger. They enlisted cutting-edge producer Nate Pyfer (Kascade, Mideau), and mixer Mark Needham (The Killers, Walk The Moon, Imagine Dragons) to actualize their biggest work to date, the new LP: Gold Confetti (out June 24th, 2014 on Bleed101 Records).

Even as the music propels them into daring territories, the eleven song album finds the band — much like the great beasts that gave them their name — stuck in the past. From their fondness for Raymond Chandler’s Hollywood (The Last One To Leave The Party), and the bittersweet pull of distant loves (The Limitless Hours and Mooncatcher), to the re-casting of a local crime as a mediation on villainy (Fifty- Five Fires), Imperial Mammoth is a band that can’t let go.

It makes sense then that the band describes the new album as a study of timeless themes. Or as Jackson puts it “Songs about love, loss, and longing — $0.99 each”

From MTV website

GIG – Calm of Zero at The Railway Inn – Thursday 23rd April 2015

calm of zeroAn idea that has yet to fully evolve, would be one way of describing CALM of ZERO. A star crossed love-child, born out of the ashes of their former incarnation as Echobelly, could be another.

Either way, what has come to exist is an expression of songwriting energy which has honed it’s temperament away from the current Pop Factor/X Idol by numbers singalonga blandness and chosen a mellifluous subtlety, rare today, as its agenda.

ACOUSTIC SESSIONS 1 is the title of their first musical outing, a mini album of six songs, recorded in London with a six string guitar, a twelve string guitar and the barest of embellishments.

The idea is to evolve into a full band, but they as yet have to do so. The idea is to record a full album, but they as yet have to do so. Instead, here is a chance to hear the Calm before the Storm: CALM of ZERO.

From The Railway Inn’s website

GIG – Callaghan at The Cellars at Eastney – Monday 13th April 2015

callaghanBritish artist Callaghan (full name Georgina Callaghan) is a singer-songwriter. She performs under the name Callaghan. She is best known for her 2012 album “Life in Full Colour” produced by Grammy-nominated US artist Shawn Mullins.

Callaghan is currently living in Nashville where she is recording her 2nd studio album.

Callaghan wrote her first song at the age of 14 and earned a place on BBC TV show Get Your Act Together, hosted by Irish singer Ronan Keating.

In 2008 Callaghan self-released single “Look Around”. Doing all of the PR and radio plugging herself, Callaghan achieved airplay on numerous BBC radio stations, extensive local and national press coverage as well as a performance on Sky TV. All proceeds from the sale of the single went to music charity Live Music Now.

In July 2009 Callaghan travelled to Georgia, USA to record with US artist Shawn Mullins. The first single from the collaboration “Smile” was played and endorsed on the Bob Harris Country Show on BBC Radio 2.

Callaghan’s full album “Life in Full Colour” was completed in 2011 and initially made available as pre-release Limited Edition copies to fans through her website and at live shows.

Callaghan’s music is a blend of pop/rock/singer-songwriter genres, with influences from great artists including Shawn Mullins, Sarah McLachlan, Johnny Cash and James Taylor. Her voice has been compared to artists including Sarah McLachlan and Alison Krauss.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

GIG – Neon Waltz at The Joiners – Sunday 12 April 2015

Neon WaltzThere are some bands who come bursting out of the traps – no holds barred, everything online, straight into the press/radio conveyor belt. Neon Waltz are not one of those bands.

I love how slowly they’re taking things. It’s refreshing, and you can see it paying off already. Here is a band who you can still catch playing incredible sets to clubs that are only two-thirds full, meaning you can tell your mates you were onto them before anyone else. It’s a genius way to work things, and it pays dividends when you consider that old music mantra: ‘Too much hype early on kills a band’.

Anyway, I thought I was onto them early when I first heard ‘Sombre Fayre’ at the start of January, but I was wrong. They’d been doing what they do – which is write amazingly melodic songs that recall Shack, The Coral and Echo & The Bunnmen – for about eight months before that, playing mad little gigs in and around their hometowns Thurso and Wick at the very tip of Scotland, presumably to a lot of lonely barstaff and their dogs.

One of the more peculiar venues they frequented was at a disused castle – Freswick Castle – which dates from the 11th century and still has a stone staircase that looks like something out of Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, and a fully-operational dungeon (possibly). It backs out onto the north sea, and if you step outside you can apparently quite often see the northern lights. It’s a place that was made all the more weird a couple of weekends ago when, having just completed their first baby tours of the UK, Neon Waltz played there again in front of a gaggle of onlookers (yours truly among them).

From NME

GIG – Young Kato at The Joiners – Thursday 9th April 2015

young katoYoung Kato are a British six-piece indie pop band from Cheltenham, England. Formed in 2011, the band consists of Tommy Wright, Jack Edwards, Joe Green, Joe Lever, Harry Steele and Sam Henderson.

The band was brought together by step brothers Sam and Jack who attended different schools in Cheltenham where the band are from (with the exception of Joe Lever who lives in Birmingham). In an early interview Lever says “We got together through school and stuff basically. Sam and Jack are step brothers and so kind of brought us together… half of us went to one school where we live and the other half went to another so we just kind of knew each other and wanted to start a band.”

The band started rehearsing, writing material and playing numerous gigs and smaller festival appearances around their local area including a show at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol on 2 June 2012,before releasing their debut 4 track limited edition self-titled EP via LAB Records on 26 August 2012 which reached number 31 in the iTunes albums chart on the day of release.

The band then went on to play various gigs including one off support shows with a variety of bands including One Night Only, Spector, We Are Scientists, Bastille, Peace, Swim Deep and You Me at Six. They then embarked on their first headline tour which saw them across the UK in January 2013 on a run of nine dates.[6] It was around this time the band signed a deal with BMG Chrysalis. Shortly after, in late February, the band ventured off into Russia to play their first international show at 22.13 in St. Petersburg.

On 8 April 2013 Young Kato were featured on Made in Chelsea during Episode 1, Series 5 performing a gig at The Barfly, Camden in London. This appearance came about after the producers chose the band to feature on the programme after having featured tracks “Drink, Dance, Play” and “Life’s Good” heavily in Series 4.

This increased the band’s popularity and their name trended worldwide on Twitter. “Drink, Dance, Play” entered the UK Indie Chart at number eighteen.

In May 2013, the band played a few more shows including a gig with Spector in Manchester at The Deaf Institute and The Great Escape Festival in Brighton where they performed alongside The 1975 and Tribes at the Old Ship Paganini Ballroom.

Young Kato then embarked on a twenty-two date tour in May/June 2013 across the UK; this was in support of single “Something Real”. “Something Real” was released on 3 June and saw the band landing support from XFM, Absolute Radio and BBC Radio 1 with DJ Zane Lowe hailing the track as his “Next Hype”.

On 28 October 2013, the EP “Drink, Dance, Play” was released. The re-issued lead track which was recorded/produced/mixed by Dan Grech-Marguerat received playlisting on XFM and support from BBC Radio 1 DJ’s including Fearne Cotton and Zane Lowe, reaching number 58 in the Alternative UK Airplay Chart. In November of that year, the band embarked on their biggest tour to date in support of the “Drink, Dance, Play” re-release, with the London show held at Dingwalls in Camden. Later that month they also went on to play two nights at KOKO supporting Australian pop punk band, 5 Seconds of Summer.

February 2014 saw the band’s second national television performance when they appeared on CBBC programme Sam & Mark’s Big Friday Wind-Up.

In March 2014 the group played a headline show at The Garage before going on to support You Me at Six for the UK leg of the Cavalier Youth tour, along with Don Broco, culminating in a performance at London’s 10,000 capacity Alexandra Palace. This tour was in aid of promoting single “Help Yourself” which was premiered on BBC Radio 1 on 9 February and released 24 March 2014.

The band were scheduled to be supporting Awolnation in Paris, Berlin and Luxembourg in June 2014 although these dates were later cancelled due to “unforeseen recording commitments”. On October 14 the band opened for Charlie Simpson at The Roundhouse in England.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

GIG – Lotte Mullan at The Cellars at Eastney – Wednesday 8th April 2015


Mullan proceedlotte mullaned to plug her debut album ‘Plain Jane’ to the music press and received a significant level of critical acclaim from the likes of Q, Mojo, The Guardian, The Independent On Sunday and the Telegraph. A blog she was writing about her adventures as a musician and undercover work experience girl has now been snapped up for a book and film deal which is set to be a ‘Bridget Jone’s diary’ for the music business.

Mullan is currently challenging the fashion industry’s idea of perfection with her single ‘I’m alright with me’ and touring with her band ‘The Plain Jane’s’ which consists of herself and a drummer who can also play bass and sing at the same time. Her music presents a very English Twist on alternative Country music with soul and folk leanings and she sings songs of broken hearts and how to recover from them with a smile on your face.

This is a thoroughly subversive DIY story, with an engaging and talented young musician very much at the centre of its success. The Work Experience Girl may not have gotten the job, but Lotte Mullan has emerged with a label, film and publishing deal…and ample source-material for her next chapter…”

GIG – Raglans at The Joiners – Thursday 26th March 2015

raglansIndomitable 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, The Fray European Tour and The Libertines reunion at Hyde Park.

Hailing from Dublin, Raglans return to the road with dates just announced at Holland’s prestigious Eurosonic Festival. The band will continue the promotion of their record in Australia at the country’s major Soundwave festivals in February before coming back to the UK for their second headline tour in March 2015. The dates coincide with the UK release off their new single ‘Natives’ taken from ‘Raglans’ and recently heard in the motion picture ‘Gold’ starring Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) and James Nesbitt (Bloody Sunday, The Hobbit). Natives was produced by Kirean Lynch (U2) and Rob Kirwin (Hozier)

Multi-instrumentalist and lead vocalist Stephen Kelly jokes about the band’s conception, pinching Rhos Horan (bass, backing vocals) from his old band at a music festival and setting off to the capital to meet Conn O’Ruanaidh (drums, backing vocals) and most recent addition Dan O’Shaughnessy (lead guitar, backing vocals) to begin rehearsing, touring Ireland and putting the name out there. “We recorded a demo of our first song’Down,’ and that was that, we were Raglans.”

The name? “It came from a famous Patrick Kavanagh poem ‘On Raglan Road’. Any school student from Ireland would be able to tell you about that poem, so I guess it stems from being Irish, remembering our roots and how we started out.

Raglans released their self titled album to critical acclaim and it debuted at no.5 in the Irish Album Charts and as an LP, encompasses the grouped vocals of The Lumineers, the multi-instrumentalist efforts of Of Monsters And Men, whilst highlighting the substantial post-punk camaraderie circa The Libertines.

From The Joiners website