GIG – The Sulks at Lennons – Saturday 20th August 2016

sulkSULK are an English psychedelic rock/shoegaze band from London.

The group was formed in 2011 in London by Jon Sutcliffe (vocals), Tomas Kubowicz (lead guitar) and Andrew Needle (rhythm guitar). The line-up was later completed by Jakub Starzyński (bass guitar) and Lewis Jones (drums).

The band’s debut single, “Wishes”, was recorded and produced by Suede, Pulp and White Lies collaborator Ed Buller at ICP Studios in Belgium. Released in August 2011 on Perfect Sound Forever, the single was mentioned in NMEs “Radar Tip Of The Day” by Matt Wilkinson,This Is Fake DIYs single review by Chelsea Cochrane and Killing Moon Limited’s “Track Of The Day”. The track was also played by Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 6, Clint Boon on XFM and John Richards on KEXP.

The band released new song in anticipation to their upcoming sophomore album via Stereogum.  “Black Infinity (Upside Down)” had its premiere on 18 September 2015.

In December 2015 it was announced that the band’s second album would be called “No Illusions” and would be released on the 15th April 2016 – exactly three years after the release of their debut album, Graceless.

Another song was released on 3 February 2016 following up the news of band’s first European Tour in May 2016. Fred Perry Subculture premiered “The Tape Of You”, saying “SULK have the songs and substance where it counts, and their second LP “No Illusions“, will reportedly push their British indie-pop sound forward to win new ground.”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


GIG – Bel Esprit at The Joiners -Tuesday 16th August

bel espritBel Esprit was a fund Ezra Pound made for T.S. Eliot to get him out of his day job and write poetry full time. It is now also a band. A 4-piece indie/alternative rock band based in Southampton, Bel Esprit brings the youthful energy of the noughties indie scene together with the artistry of Andy Warhol’s factory and the beat generation.

The quartet, based in Southampton, have had a fantastic 12 months, playing sets at Common People, Wickham, Independence and Icebreaker Festival and playing sold out shows at Southampton’s Joiners, Sheffield’s Plug and Camden’s prestigious Barfly with acts such as Ezra Furman, Sundara Karma and Nothing But Thieves.

Debut single ‘Lose My Mind’ has racked up over 150,000 plays across all platforms, leading to plays on BBC Radio 6 Music with Steve Lamacq.

“Bel Esprit blew me away the first time I saw them and I’ve been a fan since… Highly addictive hooks, phenomenal playing and great tunes” – Rob Da Bank, curator of Bestival

“The band’s sound exceeds their size and status; they could easily have been higher up the lineup with the talent that they produced… Bel Esprit have already accrued a great setlist.” – Never Enough Notes, after the band’s set at Independence Festival.

“It really is a breath of fresh air to see a fledgling band draw inspiration from such an eclectic field of sources… expect a mind-blowing journey into four articulate young musical minds.” – Safe Kind of High

“Bel Esprit are one Hampshire band set to make a major impression in 2015” – Daily Echo

“The former is a foot-tapping, certified indie rock gem with the smoothest, most suave chorus and the sweetest-sounding guitars. The latter is an effortlessly cool jaunt that demonstrates singer Billy Herklots’ fine lyrical aptitude.” A Safe Kind of High on ‘Lose My Mind’ and ‘The Mad Ones’.

“An outstanding piece of musical genius. Ten out of ten.” – Aldora Britain Records

“It is both slack and driving and I like it quite a bit. It was matched to my behaviors and now I am matching it to yours.” – The Awl on Lose My Mind

“‘Lose My Mind’ is a driving stroke of indie genius complete with guitars that capture youthful angst and a voice that could define a generation.” – We Close Tonight on Lose My Mind

‘“Lose My Mind” spins the story of a complicated love interest in a punk rock fashion, with a healthy dose of cynicism and loathing.’ Impression of Sound on Lose My Mind

“The anthematic edge to the song sets them aside from most new bands at the moment where they all like to play it safe.’” – It’s all Indie on Lose My Mind

“From the driving rhythm section that signals the opening of the track, …to the indie rock and roll guitars that kick the track into full throttle” – Aldorra Britain Records on Lose My Mind

“It was exactly everything I think a live music venue should sound like in fact – the kind of song the next generation of music lovers should be exposed to.” – Splash Music

“This is Lovely” – Steve Lamacq on Midnight, Midnight after airing on BBC6Music

“The quartet incorporate elements of indie and beat to create a fresh, alternative sound complete with strong riffs and energetic melodies. New single Lose My Mind is a literate and lively indie rock gem from a band whose name will soon be ricocheting around all corners of the UK.” – Pepper on Lose My Mind

From Bands Facebook page

PLAYLIST – ‘Feral Hearts’ by Kerli

feral hearts

Kerli Kõiv ( born 7 February 1987), usually referred to mononymously as Kerli, is an Estonian recording artist and songwriter.

Born in Elva, Estonia, Kerli entered multiple singing competitions before being signed to Island Records in 2006 by LA Reid.

In 2007, she released her debut self-titled extended play and in 2008, released her debut studio album, Love Is Dead, the latter of which charted on the Billboard 200. The lead single from the album, “Walking on Air,” charted in many countries and was also featured as the iTunes Store’s Single of the Week where it was downloaded over 500,000 times, a record at that time.

In the years following, Kerli was featured on Almost Alice with the song “Tea Party” and she began to abandon her alternative rock sound and started to adopt a more electronic and dance-influenced sound, as can be heard in her 2010 single “Army of Love”.

Following the release of Love Is Dead, Kerli began production on a second studio album which became her second extended play Utopia, released in early 2013, where it became Kerli’s second release to chart on the Billboard 200.

Two promotional singles from the EP, “Army of Love” and “Zero Gravity”, were released prior to the release of the album’s first official single, “The Lucky Ones”. All three songs entered the top ten of Billboards Hot Dance Club Songs chart; two of them peaking at number one. Two songs which were co-written by Kerli for Utopia — “Skyscraper” and “I Feel Immortal” — were later recorded by artists Demi Lovato and Tarja Turunen, respectively. Kerli’s version of “I Feel Immortal” was later released on Frankenweenie Unleashed!.

In 2013, Kerli performed twice on Dancing with the StarsVibe called the performances a “major milestone in the EDM world.”

In November 2013, Kerli left Island Records and signed a record deal with Ultra Music.

GIG – Signals at The Joiners – Thursday 21st July 2016

signalsWe are Signals, a female fronted math pop four-piece from the South Coast of England.
Our four releases can be found on our Bandcamp Page – ‘Square Wheels EP’, ‘Facial Furniture EP’, ‘Sleep Talk EP’, and ‘Lungs Apart single’.

We are currently writing a bunch of new tunes with the invaluable help of our good friends, tea and cereal.

Expect lots of harmonies, shouty bits, pedal board antics, and time travel.

GIG -Big Deal at The Joiners -Tuesday 14th June 2016

big deal 2A lot has changed for Big Deal since the release of their critically acclaimed debut album Lights Out back in September 2011. Comprised of California-born Kacey Underwood and London’s Alice Costelloe, Big Deal’s bedroom-composed songs struck a pure and resonant chord with music fans and critics all over the world.

Built on the duo’s gilded melodies and just two guitars, it was this sparse set up which allowed their intensely honest and at times, shockingly intimate lyrics to take centre stage. Anyone who’s felt the sting of love unrequited, or the poignant pull of experiences savoured and lost; anyone who’s ever been consumed with feelings for another, can’t help but be moved by their music.

Meanwhile Big Deal’s live shows were unmissable affairs – the pair’s palpable chemistry inspiring audiences to lean in just that little bit closer. Were they sharing a secret? Or were you eavesdropping on a shared moment? Whatever the case, they cast a unique spell on those who discovered them.

“I’m really proud of the first record,” says Underwood. “It was so minimal and it captured exactly what we sounded like at the time: it completely encapsulated the moment.”

But as word spread, so they began to leave behind smaller venues—whose size suited the close nature of their songs—moving onto larger stages in the UK, Europe and America. With both Underwood and Costelloe coming from rock backgrounds, the more they toured, the more they began to miss the potency and live punch of playing with full band.

“With Lights Out, Kacey and I hadn’t really meant to write an album,” explains 20-year-old Costelloe. “We spent the summer we became friends writing together non-stop and it was super easy to record just the two of us with only our guitars. But when we toured it, we started to get a bit jealous of all the other bands with drums.”

Fast-forward to Spring 2012 and Big Deal suddenly found they had the luxury of time – their schedules not dictated to by Costelloe’s A-level exams or Kacey’s work. Costelloe elaborates: “This time around we wrote for the best part of a year and had time to really think about the record we wanted to make. We didn’t want to be limited to just two guitars, we wanted to embrace a wider variety of sounds and emotions.”

Thus, post-SXSW, Big Deal travelled to southern California where their second album, June Gloom, began to take shape. Appropriately for the transatlantic twosome, the lion’s share of the writing was split between California and London, the environment bleeding into their compositions.

The carefree, sunshine pop of ‘in your car’ for instance, evokes endless summer days and sure enough, it all began with Costelloe humming the melody while they cruised down the California coastline.

“That fun, road trip kind of a song doesn’t happen a lot with English rock bands because it’s just not in the culture,” explains Underwood. By contrast, glowering grooves and creeping claustrophobia pervades ‘pillow’, a song written in the UK.

However, both places offered too many diversions: California with the lure of the sun and sea, and London with the constant clamour of city life. Craving isolation they retreated to the countryside. “It was perfect,” says Underwood. “The positive sides: no distractions at all, and then the negative side, the terror of quiet country life!”

With the help of producer Rory Atwell and the addition of an airtight rhythm section, Big Deal set about capturing June Gloom at Lightship95, a converted lighthouse vessel moored at east London’s Trinity Buoy Wharf.

Recorded in two weeks in the windowless bowels of the ship’s hull, Atwell’s ironclad work ethic and guitar pedal nerd knowledge brought out the best in the band, even if it took some time to find their sea legs, combatting the tidal shifts of the Thames.

June Gloom not only marks a sonic step forward, but lyrically, the duo broaden the themes of their previous work. Where Lights Out mapped out an internal world, here Big Deal continue to anchor their songs with emotion while looking outwards too. There’s a sense of expectation versus reality in the happy-sad swing of ‘catch up’, while the blissed out ‘dream machines’—one of the album’s standout tracks—was inspired by a recurring dream.

“I kept dreaming I was going back to school every year because I kept failing these tests and I was the age I am now and everyone else was 16,” recalls Underwood. “Then I had this moment of, ‘This is stupid, why am I here? Let’s go and ditch school and smoke pot and play pool and hang out!’ None of the things I actually ever got to do. Then I was thinking that’s kind of like what we’re doing with our lives now! It’s your typical rock dream stuff, not wanting to have a 9-5 job, but at the same time missing what that life gives you.”

The band’s boldest stroke is also the album’s finale. ‘close your eyes’ weds the pared back yet up front aesthetic of Lights Out to the distorted fuzz and commanding drums their new configuration allows. At its core June Gloom is a rock record that represents all aspects of the duo – their ability to communicate volumes in the almost stillness of their most spare compositions, plus tunes which soar thanks to Big Deal’s honeyed melodies set to slacker anthems.

“Sometimes it’s great being that exposed and you feel a real connection with the audience, sometimes it’s torture,” says Underwood. “But before it was like going into a fight on our own and now we’ve got a gang.”

“And swords,” says Costelloe with a wry smile.

From the Joiners website.

GIG -Alias Kid at The Joiners -Saturday 19th March 2016

alias kidOnly six months after forming, Manchester band Alias Kid were signed to 359 Music by industry mogul Alan McGee. The band fuses 60’s style anthems with an eclectic mix of influences from the 1970’s to the present day, creating a sound that is at once familiar and yet still unique. 

Alias Kid have recently joined the roster of the iconic Creation Management, home to The Jesus and Mary Chain andWilko Johnson. The band recorded their debut album in The Gorbals Sound Ltd Studios in Glasgow with Paul Quinn (Teenage Fanclub/Soup Dragons) and Kevin Burleigh (Glasvegas/Simple Minds).

In under a year as a band, Alias Kid have risen from obscurity to headline shows in Manchester and Liverpool, secured national airplay on XFM and have won plaudits from those within the music industry, many of whom are touting Alias Kid for huge success in 2015.

From The Joiners website

PLAYLIST – ‘Reflections’ by MisterWives

MISTERWIVESMisterWives is an American indie pop band based in New York City, consisting of lead singer Mandy Lee, percussionist Etienne Bowler, bass guitarist William Hehir, guitarist Marc Campbell, multi-instrumentalist Jesse Blum, and saxophonist Mike Murphy.

MisterWives have opened for acts such as Twenty One PilotsHalf Moon RunBleachersThe Mowgli’s, and American Authors.

The band is currently signed to Photo Finish Records. The band’s debut EP Reflections was released in January 2014.

The band released Reflections on January 7, 2014. The EP included 6 songs, including the title track, which was iTunes’ free Single of the Week for the week of January 6.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia