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

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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 – City of Lights at The Cellars At Eastney – Thursday 19th March 2015

city of lightsAlthough City Of Lights are based in Leeds, the original seeds of the band were formed in Paris in April 2011, when Matt Dunwell (acoustic Guitar & Lead Vocals), inspired by the ever-present swirl of possibility floating throughout the French capital, decided to form a band. Collaborating with long-time song-writing conspirator Sean Howey (Ex Drums & Backing Vocals), the two formed City of Lights in the aim to create their own brand of honest rock-pop that would ignite and engage. When the duo pulled in Sean’s brother Ashley to play bass and handle backing vocals, the enterprising crew undertook over a year’s worth of rigorous rehearsals and shows throughout the UK to help shape their sound. In order to further complete the line-up, they drafted lead guitarist Alex Humphreys into the fold to become a 4 piece. With the departure of Sean and the introduction of Ben Freer to the drums in May ’14, City of Lights are a band that have fine-tuned their sound to remarkable proportions and are prised for laudable notoriety.

Meshing the song-writing aptitude of Biffy Clyro with the melodic mastery of UK big guns Snow Patrol and the heart and drive of Thrice, City Of Lights adeptly glide along the tight-rope of having an accessible sound with true longevity. After an initial series of successful shows, the band quickly assembled an army of fans, and word spread fast about the crafty Yorkshire tunesmiths.

Evidently, appearances at Reading & Leeds Festival ’13, various O2 Academy’s and UK and European tours have proven to the masses that the alt-rockers have truly created a sound that will quench the thirst of fans needing something solid, fresh, and inspiring from the rock genre.

From The Cellars website

GIG – Twin Wild at The Cellars at Easney – Sunday 7th December 2014

twin wildTwin Wild is made up of a group of friends from Greater London; Richard Hutchison (vocals, guitar), Imran Mair (drums), David Cuzner (guitar) and Edward Thomas (bass).

United by their love of bands such as Foo Fighters and Biffy Clyro, but also excited by each other’s musical differences, they embarked on a journey into making a sound of their own.

Their first song to be released is called ‘Fears’; a song the band have described to be about “that point when everything you had previously feared becomes insignificant and what’s truly important to you takes precedent”.
Despite being fairly early on in their journey, their sound is proving to appeal to a wide audience, with their song ‘Fears’ already achieving an impressive 160,000 plays on Soundcloud. It hasn’t taken them long to attract the attention of their peers either; AlunaGeorge, You Me At Six, Blitz Kids have already confessed their love for their track and shared this via social media.

With the enormous influx of hits, the band has become the talk of many music blogs including the prestigious Hype Machine & The Huffington Post.

From The Cellars website

GIG – Winter Mountain at The Cellars at Eastney – Sunday 30th November 2014

winter mountainA Cornishman and an Irishman, both travellers, step onto the same train at Chicago’s Union station and meet for the first time. Both are musicians, both singers, both songwriters. They’re broke, but intent on making their way by rail to Memphis, TN, the birthplace of Rock n Roll…

The conversation that followed revealed a mutual love for vocal harmony, the honesty of live performance and the sounds of the sixties.

That night, on a train that sent the young musicians hurtling through the darkening Illinois plains, Winter Mountain was born.

A fan of the beat poet movement and inspired by the 60’s folk resurgence in greenwich village, Joseph Francis – an acclaimed songwriter from the magical village of St. Agnes in Cornwall had spent a successful month writing and performing in New York City before heading West, stopping for a while in Chicago.

Marty Smyth from Donegal, Ireland had flown to California in search of sun, sea and the west coast soul that infused his favourite records of the 60’s and 70’s. After two weeks of exploring California’s rich musical heritage he began making his way East. After a 3 day journey he too found himself in Chicago and was soon to find himself sharing a train to Memphis with Joe.

Over the time that followed the two exchanged stories, lyrics, songs and sang together for the first time in the clubs and cafes of the deep south. Recognising the rare magic of their unique vocal blend they hatched together a plan to meet up once they had completed their travels.

From band website

GIG – Jon Allen at The Cellars at Eastney – Monday 3rd November 2014

jon allenJon Allen has a voice you don’t forget. Just ask Jools Holland, who demanded Jon appear on “Later…” after hearing him on the radio. Or Duffy, who heard his version of “Mercy” and called him in to the studio – only to find that he wasn’t the black soulman she had imagined. Or the millions of viewers of “Homeland” transfixed by his track “Joanna”. Or the BBC producers repeatedly A-listing his songs. Or fans Guy Chambers, or Mark Knopfler, or Jo Whiley, all of whom have been entranced by his trademark mix of catchy tunes and folk- and Sixties-inflected country blues.

Jon’s voice comes from the south, but not the south any of the above expected. He was born in 1977 in Winchester, and “had a strange combination of influences as I grew up”. In Totnes, in Devon, he sang in the choir at a school run by monks (“I wasn’t happy there. I’d only gone because this monk came into the bookshop my parents ran”). But his musical awakening came when he went to the alternative school Sands. “When I went to see the school Led Zeppelin was blasting out from a balcony. You didn’t have to go to lessons so I spent a lot of time bunking off in the music room. I began as a drummer, but I had plenty of time to sit on the piano and guitar.” It helped that he’s a natural musician: “I remember taking up the guitar with a friend and us both trying to Learn I Wanna Be Like You from Disney’s The Jungle Book.  I think that was the first and last song my friend learned but I never looked back.

Then, as a youngster, he stole Rod Stewart’s voice. Literally. “I stole a ‘Best of’ Rod Stewart and the Faces from Woolworths. It was £6.99. I’ve felt guilty ever since so I’ve just decided to send Rod a cheque.” In fact, Jon’s voice is more American soul than Rod the mod. “My voice is a voice of the past, hopefully in a good way, I try to stay untarnished by modern vocal mannerisms, the strange wailing noises I hear on the radio. I’m trying to express some truthfulness,” says Jon. “People ask me if I smoke 40 a day and drink whisky but I don’t smoke and I’ve got my drinking under control,” he laughs.

It took a while for him to realise he had such a vocal gift. After school, he did a music tech course in Torquay, where he played in a Beatles tribute band (“I started as John Lennon and moved to Paul McCartney”), then followed the Beatles connection to Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, co-founded by McCartney. But: “I reacted against the musical virtuosity of many people there. I managed to stay rough and ready. For me it’s more about being able to get something artistic out rather than being the best technical musician.” The moment he’d finished the course he left for London and made his first album “with a bunch of people who did it on the basis that they’d get paid if anything happened”.

And something did happen. The producer knew someone was looking for a Nick Drake-type song for a Land Rover Freelander TV and movie advert, put Jon’s “Going Home” forward, and it got chosen. The song got heard all over the world, racked up 20,000 downloads, and found a champion in Jo Whiley on Radio 1. Meanwhile, “Uncut” described the album, “Dead Man’s Suit” (2009), as “exemplary”, and evocative of Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, and Nick Drake, while “Q” called it “breathtaking”. Radio 2, Magic, and Absolute A-listed the track ‘In Your Light’ and ‘Down by the River’ got significant airplay too.

It was “In Your Light”, taken from Jon’s 2009 debut album Dead Man’s Suit that landed Jon a coveted spot on “Later… with Jools Holland”. Introducing Jon, Holland described how he heard him on the radio and had to Shazam the track with his mobile to find out who the singer was before insisting he was booked for the show. “It was one of the most amazing voices I’ve heard this year,” he explained.

Radio 2 had also picked up on “Mercy”, Jon’s collaboration with the band Third Degree that really shows off his soul-vocal chops. “Duffy heard it on her tour bus and contacted my manager. I ended up in Sting’s studio in north London doing a session with her. She was stunned. I walked in and she thought I’d be black.”

Jon’s second album, “Sweet Defeat” (2011), continued Jon’s rise, spawning the Radio 2 A-listed hit track “Joanna” – the song that also made it onto the soundtrack of the global TV smash “Homeland”. It also landed Jon a featured slot on the BBC’s Glastonbury TV coverage. “It was Beyoncé then me! I like to think that she supported me,” he says. He continued landing big-name fans, including Guy Chambers, Mark Knopfler (who offered to play guitar for him), and Bob Harris, for whom he did a session; and toured extensively, both solo and with his band, appearing with Knopfler, Emmylou Harris, Damien Rice, and becoming a TV star in the Netherlands, prompting Jon to sarcastically remark, “In a year or two I could be a judge on the Dutch “The Voice”.

His new album, “Deep River”, contains some of his best work. To Jon, it’s simple. “I just try to write music that moves me. I’m trying to express some truthfulness. There’s no gimmicks, no beeps and whistles.” On it he channels everyone from Dylan to Shakespeare, via Al Green, JJ Cale and John Martyn, and even manages to write a romantic song about bankers (“I know there’s not a lot of sympathy for bankers, but you can get off on retribution, and it’s dangerous”).

He says: “I feel a bit like I’m an outsider, now. I’m very inspired by music that feels like it comes from one of the main tributaries of blues, or jazz, or that kind of heritage. But it’s OK because there’s no such thing as a scene any more. You can jump out of the ground looking like 1959, 1979, 1989…”

And the subject matter? “It was what was coming out of me at the time. Ends of relationships, trying to figure out what the hell I’m doing with my life. I feel like there’s a spiritual side to the record ­– the title track is like a Negro spiritual, about trying to let nature guide me.”

From The Cellars at Eastney website

GIG – House of Hats at The Cellars at Eastney – Thursday 11th September 2014

house of hatsBrighton’s House Of Hats are Alex Gigante (vocals guitars), Al-Anoud Al-Omran a.k.a ‘Noddy’ (vocals, guitar, piano), James Kuszewski (vocals ukulele,), Rob Gigante (bass, percussion, vocals).

Surfing a musical wave out of Brighton are House Of Hats, with their debut album, This Love co-produced by the band and Grammy winning Pete Smith. The most immediately striking thing about This Love is the ensemble singing. With Noddy and Alex alternating in the lead role and James adding a third voice, they create lush and richly layered harmonies.

They are a tight knit bunch and Alex recalls meeting Noddy and James at college, some eight years ago with all of them studying music. They each had their separate musical endeavours going, but became firm friends. Alex then coaxed his brother Rob down to the south coast with the promise of a new bass guitar and a place in his band. Rob duly immersed himself in music making and also the whirlwind social scene centred around a big shared house called The Blatch. James described their lives as like an endless Mad Hatter’s tea party and The Blatch became the House Of Hats.

When the fates conspired in 2012 and all of the various bands they were individually involved with ended, it was actually Rob who joined the dots and realised that rather than all heading off in different solo directions they should work together. They each brought their own songs and ideas to the table as they met up musically for the first time. From that very first encounter the magic flowed and the unexpected harmony of their singing proved the glue. Noddy describes it as an explosion – the big bang that set the House Of Hats in motion.

Armed with nothing more than the inspiration they took from each other The Hats sound started to take its own unique shape. They quickly and collectively realised the merits of putting their sumptuous harmonies to the fore and not burying their gift under layers of music. A shared love of the raw power of acoustic guitar and voice proved the template that had the benefit of unifying their sound, whether recording or playing live.

The reaction to a hastily organised gig confirmed what they were feeling and The Hats turned the creative tap to full juice. A superb set of songs emerged and they busied themselves recording. But when Alex, on his old day job in a mobile phone store, met and befriended Pete Smith, the final jigsaw piece slotted home. By their own admission The Hats benefitted from the combination of experience, passion and energy that Pete Smith introduced in helping them finish what they had started.

They are now at the heart of the buzzing Brighton music scene and The Hats have their own quarterly night called the Harvest Sessions, to showcase local talent, friends and other acts gathered up on the road. They’ve found their place and in doing so found each other, bonding over parties, heart to hearts, highs, lows, food, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan – they are family. Having just returned from touring Europe together with Will And The People and with more gigs scheduled in Holland and America, This Love is already picking up strong reviews and radio support. Q Magazine and Acoustic Magazine have called them the new Crosby, Still and Nash. 2014 could well be the year of the Hats.

From band website