Notes from the in-box
notes and jottings from our substantial in-box of emails and notifications about music generally.
We get lots of emails from agents and publicity outlets for national bands and artists.
Here is a selection of what has come in.
15th April 2016
Izzy Bizu and HONNE
have paired up for the stunning track ‘SOMEONE WHO LOVES YOU’.
Izzy says of the song, “it’s a song all about how we want what we can’t have and how the grass is always greener”. Driven by the rich, affecting mix of male/female vocals, ‘Someone That Loves You’ is likewise described by HONNE as a song “fundamentally about forbidden love, but from both sides of the story.”
22 year old, Izzy Bizu continues to prove herself as one of the most exciting breakthrough acts of 2016. Catapulted into the spotlight after being named BRITs Critic’s Choice finalist earlier this year, she’s has gone on to sell out two UK tours to much critical praise and has now announced her largest London show to date at Koko on June 16 as part of a larger European tour.
HONNE are singer Andy and multi-instrumentalist James. The pair first bonded over their shared upbringing in South-West England, and then the more evocative, US West Coast grooves of their record collection. A mutual fascination with Japan bled into their escapist, nocturnal songwriting, whose universal portraits of twenty-first century romance have quickly won them a broad global audience. Naming the project after the Japanese word for ‘true feelings’, HONNE recently sold out their European and US headline tour – featuring London’s Electric Brixton and New York’s Bowery Ballroom – further establishing themselves as one of British music’s leading (night) lights.
Izzy Bizu and HONNE have paired up for the stunning track ‘SOMEONE WHO LOVES YOU’.
She Drew The Gun
Skeleton Key Records are pleased to announce the release of ‘Memories of The Future’. The superb debut LP from She Drew The Gun. The debut draws lyrical inspiration from Louisa Roach’s (aka She Drew The Gun) own real life experiences. Whilst the chugged guitars and a laid back percussive tempo glide effortlessly through a chorus of glacial blues tinged understated and soulful sublime offerings. Self-scrutiny and drunken reflection, are just a few of threads in the rich tapestry and myriad of intertwining themes found within She Drew The Gun’s music. That isn’t afraid to explore or veer outside the norm with a Sci-Fi protest song and dreamy love song straight out of a Kurt Vonnegut novel amongst the gems on the album. The album was recorded at Parr Street studios, Liverpool during 2015 under the watchful eye of James Skelly of The Coral on production duties.
On April 10th, She Drew The Gun were crowned winners of Glastonbury’s ‘Emerging Talent Competition’ 2016, a prize supported by PRS for Music and the PRS for Music Foundation. The judges – who included Michael and Emily Eavis – awarded She Drew The Gun 1st place. Prizes include a slot on the fabled John Peel Stage – plus a generous £5,000 Talent Development Award.
We Are Scientists
We Are Scientists, the un-killable indie rock duo who stepped into the spotlight in 2005, have announced a fifth studio LP and accompanying U.K. tour coming this spring. Following massive success with hits such as ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt‘ and ‘After Hours‘ the band’s new album Helter Szelter will come out on the 22nd April via 100% Records. The album retains the band’s signature quirks, charm and humour, whilst delivering a poppier more melodically addictive sound than ever.
We Are Scientists will play the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham on the 25th of April.
We Are Scientists, the Brooklyn, New York based power pop troupe are set to return this coming April 22nd with their fifth album. Titled ‘Helter Seltzer’ and released via 100% Records (on CD, digital and limited edition teal coloured vinyl), it is preceded by the single release of ‘Buckle’, the album’s bombastic opening track. Available today for stream and download it comes with a video that sees carrot juice, egg yolks and glass splash and spin through the air with gorgeous languor!
Friday 29th April – Leicester – Handmade – Festival
Benjamin Francis Leftwich
In all walks of life sometimes an end can only be dealt with from the closure of starting something new; which is the case of Benjamin Francis Leftwich on his eagerly anticipated new album After The Rain. Due out on August 19th through Dirty Hit (Wolf Alice, The 1975), the news also comes with new track, ‘Tilikum’, and the announcement of an intimate run of live dates for this spring which will see him come to The Bodega in Nottingham on the 24th April. Following the release of his 2011 acclaimed debut album Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm, a record which has gone on to sell 100,000 copies worldwide and over 150 million global Spotify plays, Leftwich’s life was thrown into an unexpected path when he went through one of the hardest things in life, the loss of a parent and his number one source of inspiration, his father.
21 – The Brickmakers – Norwich
22 – The Portland Arms – Cambridge
23 – Academy 2 – Oxford
24 – The Bodega – Nottingham
26 – The Harley – Sheffield
27 – Electric Circus – Edinburgh
28 – Nice N Sleazy – Glasgow
30 – Live At Leeds
1 – The Crescent – York
3 – The Night & Day Cafe – Manchester
4 – The Shipping Forecast – Liverpool
5 – The Rainbow Courtyard – Birmingham
6 – Clwb Ifor Bach – Cardiff
7 – The Louisiana – Bristol
9 – The Cavern – Exeter
10 – The Joiners – Southampton
11 – The Forum – Tunbridge Wells
12 – The Borderline – London
13 – Green Door Store – Brighton
15 – Whelan’s (upstairs) – Dublin, IE
16 – Amstelkerk – Amsterdam, NL
17 – Les Nuits Botanique – Brussels, BE
18 – Theater der Wohngemeinschaft – Cologne, DE
19 – Le Klub – Paris, FR
The Big Moon
Following a massive tour with The Maccabees, which included three dates at Brixton Academy, London quartet The Big Moon have announced they will be heading out on their first ever headline tour this spring. As one of the most exciting new bands in the UK, this is definitely a tour not to be missed. The twelve-date run kicks off at the Bodega Social Club in Nottingham on 30th March, and concludes with the band’s biggest headline show to date at The 100 Club in London on the 13th April. The London quartet began 2016 with a full UK tour alongside The Maccabees, which included three nights at Brixton Academy. The band will be in Leicester on 8th April at The Cookie.
Canadian Theatrical Rock Veterans to Play UK
Saskatoon, SK – Canadian theatrical goth-punks New Jacobin Club, best known for their darkly flamboyant stage theatrics and sideshow stage performers, are proud to announce their upcoming UK tour to celebrate their achievement as one of Canada’s longest running theatrical rock acts as well as the success of their latest album overseas. Soldiers of the Mark is the band’s 5th full length album in nearly 20 years and has won critical acclaim with its’ apocalyptic feel and rich kaleidoscopic sound that has been described as “a cauldron of classic goth, 70’s rock and power metal” and is dominated by soaring electric cello, theremin and dual male and female lead vocals.
New Jacobin Club – UK TOUR
Fri June 3 – Leicester, UK @ Firebug w/ the Glass House Museum
Visionary composer, producer, violist, guitarist, and arranger JOHN METCALFE takes to the road for a series of dates in May 2016.
For these live shows Metcalfe has assembled an incredible line up of musicians from the worlds of folk, electronica and post-classical; crisp, jazz-influenced beats from Rae Morris’ drummer Daisy Palmer, deeply felt groove from Red Snapper’s bassist Ali Friend and the exquisite voice of Rosie Doonan, fresh back from touring with Birdy.
The band will perform music from Metcalfe’s entire solo output including his latest albumThe Appearance of Colour, which has been described as “effervescent, divinely beautiful, packed with Eno-esque passages of ambience and glistening guitar lines worthy of Vini Reilly” by Clash magazine and “staggeringly beautiful” by Mary Anne Hobbs on BBC 6Music. Metcalfe is tantalised by taking it on the road. “I’m excited to share the music with these exceptional players to see where we go with it” he says. “Should be amazing”.
New Zealand born Metcalfe is one of the most sought after musicians in the business, whether arranging for the likes of Blur, Morrissey and Coldplay, co-producing albums with Peter Gabriel, or as violist in the renowned Duke Quartet. He was a member of cult band Durutti Column and alongside Tony Wilson launched the pioneering Factory Classical on Manchester’s legendary Factory label. He also performs and records with the Max Richter Ensemble.
2016 UK DATES
John Metcalfe and band will play the following venues in May 2016.
28 May LEICESTER Cookie
One of the most exciting bands to emerge from Leeds in recent years – VITAMIN – have announced they will be hitting the road this Spring for a series of shows with Clean Cut Kid and Magic Gang.
The indie four-piece will be kicking off with a show at London’s 100 Club alongside Clean Cut Kid in late-March, from there they hit the road with Magic Gang for a string of gigs taking them through to the end of April.
All 19 and from the Leeds area VITAMIN formed whilst at college together, and dropped out to focus on the band full-time when they signed to National Anthem Records (the label that launched the careers of Haim and Chvrches). The band’s first EP ‘Giving it Up’ was featured by NME, Q Magazine and played on XFM and Radio One by Huw Stephens (Single of the Week), Phil Taggart and Jo Good resulting in the band appearing twice at Leeds Festival; once on the ‘Welcome to Leeds Stage’ (Thursday Night) and on the BBC Introducing Stage (Sunday).
See Vitamin at
29th April – O2 Academy / Handmade Festival, Leicester
Eliza and the Bear
Eliza and the Bear have returned with yet another glowing anthem, ‘Friends’, the latest single to be lifted from their eponymously-titled debut album, released April 8th on Capitol Records. The track follows previous Radio 1 play-listed singles ‘Lion’s Heart’, which ‘led to roaring singalongs at festivals’ (The Telegraph) and ‘It Gets Cold’ (The Independent “hard to get away from its magnetic groove”).
The track tells an uplifting story about the importance of friends and family, combined with gleaming guitars and stadium-sized optimism. ‘Friends’ is the perfect example of how the Essex quintet create life-affirming songs.
Having previously supported the likes of Paramore, Imagine Dragons and AWOLNATION, last year they completed a string of support dates with Twin Atlantic including a 10,000 capacity sold out show at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro, Brixton Academy and Manchester Albert Hall as well as their own headline date at a packed out London KOKO. The band have now announced a pre-album launch show at the Islington Assembly Hall on April 7th and shows in Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and Glasgow too.
07/04 – London – Islington Assembly Hall
13/04 – Birmingham – Institute Library
14/04 – Bristol – Thekla
15/04 – Manchester – Academy 3
16/04 – Glasgow – Garage
Wanting to introduce you to the incredible THE HUNNA. The band, who only launched in October, are heading out on a completely sold out tour this week which has been achieved purely from word-of-mouth and social media. Well on their way to being the next big thing, it would be great if you fancied heading down to experience their live show first hand and see what all the fuss is about!
After three raucous sold-out shows at London’s Boston Music Rooms and further sold-out shows across Europe last week, UK four-piece The Hunna continue their swift rise by announcing a second UK headline tour, scheduled for May/June. This tour follows on from the now completely sold out run of 12 shows across the UK that the band embark on later this month.
Kicking off in May it takes in their previously announced London Electric Ballroom show and precedes with their maiden voyage to the US, with more dates to be announced including a night at New York’s Mercury Lounge.
Since launching in October, The Hunna have become one of the hottest acts on the scene. Amassing an army of followers, the 4-piece have accrued audiences from London to Paris, and their second single – ‘We Could Be’ – has now notched up just under two and a half million video views and reached #15 on Spotify’s UK Viral Top 50 and #22 on the iTunes Alternative Chart. Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens and Dan O’Connell have shown the band strong support, giving the track spins on their Beats 1, BBC Radio 1 and Radio X shows respectively.
May 23rd – Stoke – The Sugarmill
May 24th – Hull – Adelphi
May 25th – Newcastle – Think Tank
May 26th – Glasgow – King Tut’s
May 30th – Cardiff – Clwb Ifor Bach
May 31st – Birmingham – Hare & Hounds
June 1st – London – Electric Ballroom
June 2nd – Oxford – The Bullingdon
June 3rd – Bath – Moles
June 4th – Southampton – Joiners
June 5th – Plymouth – The Underground
June 6th – Brighton – Patterns
June 8th – Norwich – Waterfront studio
June 9th – Leicester – The Cookie
Lonely The Brave
Cambridge band Lonely The Brave is to play at Leicester’s Handmade festival in April. After the success of the recent epics “Black Mire” and “What If You Fall In”, Lonely The Brave released the video for the album’s first single proper “Radar”. Both anthemic and immediate, the track was debuted by Annie Mac as her Hottest Record In The World on Radio 1, alongside an interview with Mark and Ross from the band. The video itself sees a child’s obsession with the unknown proven ominously right. As well as the release of “Radar”, the band have added a one-off Redux performance at All Saints Church to their upcoming live dates, which also include a huge homecoming show at Cambridge’s Corn Exchange.
5th March 2016
The Brandy Thieves
Leicester band The Brandy Thieves appear in the Leicester Mercury (a local news paper).
is back with her brand new single ‘NO’, from her much anticipated forthcoming album, ‘Thank You’. Heralding one of 2016’s most eagerly awaited releases, Meghan Trainor’s brand new single “NO” makes its world premiere today. This is the very first release from the GRAMMY® Award-winning multi-platinum pop superstar’s mega-anticipated second full-length album, Thank You [Epic Records]— available everywhere on Friday, May 13th, 2016. The album’s online pre-order goes live today and will grant an immediate download of “NO.” Pre-orders are available. Heralding one of 2016’s most eagerly awaited releases, Meghan Trainor’s brand new single “NO” makes its world premiere today. This is the very first release from the GRAMMY® Award-winning multi-platinum pop superstar’s mega-anticipated second full-length album, Thank You [Epic Records]— available everywhere on Friday, May 13th, 2016. The album’s online pre-order goes live today and will grant an immediate download of “NO.”
More: Megan Trainor website.
All the way from the Big Apple, hip hop act Onyx performed at 2Funky#s show at the Music Café, Leicester, on 4th March 2016. The group has enjoyed commercial success as part of movie soundtracks including How High and 8 Mile, as well on TV favourites such as The Cleveland Show. They have a big international fan base.
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
A new and reimagined collaboration with Jay Siegel’s Tokens. “This version of “Lion” is bigger and even more universal than its predecessor. Can’t-sit-still African percussion, real instrumentation, and a powerful vocal
As different now as it was when it came out in 1961!” –Jay Siegel (the original falsetto for The Tokens)
A stout brass section that recalls Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long”. This 2016 version brings listeners to the heart of the jungle and the all-inclusive party that this 72-track recording creates, spanning all generations and genres. BEAU DAVIDSON reimagines the #1 hit with the voices who made it a worldwide hit in 36 countries, Jay Siegel’s Tokens. Davidson is a two-time Emmy® nominee for composing, singing and producing his patriotic anthem “BLESSED.” A Memphis, Tennessee native, he has performed as an actor and a singer and is a magna cum laude vocal performance/opera graduate of Northwestern University’s prestigious School of Music. Beau’s first music video was integrated by CMT, GAC, MTV, and Vh1, indicative of the fact that his music appealed to a diverse audience. Like his hometown hero, Elvis, Beau’s music and presence cross genre lines. “The American Gentleman,” defines Beau as a classic singer in the style of Josh Groban and Michael Bublé, with a uniquely American flair, in the vein of another singer-actor, Harry Connick. Jr.
Vans of Australia
Australian band The Vans played in Leicester once. They told us
Hello South Australia. We’ve made it to South Australia and have met some crazy awesome people. We’ve seen Camels, Wombats, Kangaroos, Dolphins and large monster Flying Ants. We’re slowly making our way to Adelaide for this weekends gigs and then next week is off to Tasmania. Woo!!
6th August 2015 The Vans (from Australia) were at The Shed:
Where the Indian ocean breaks on the shores of South West Australia comes band from the town of Perth. The Vans is an aspiring aural asset has come all the way to Leicester to play for us tonight. The Vans gave us a set of energetic music that was vibrant and entertaining that came from a noticeable chemistry on the stage. In August and September this year the band was on a UK tour. An unsigned, indie rock band, the band has been around since 2011, playing in Australia and touring internationally. [Music in Leicester]
Bare Knuckle Parade
Bath indie rockers Bare Knuckle Parade have revealed the video for their new single Diamond Eyes. The track is the band’s first material since their debut EP “Iron Lungs” and will be out via Dirty 38 Record this Friday. Recorded live at Middle Farm Studios in Devon, “Diamond Eyes” conjures up the raw emotion and infectious pop hooks of The Gaslight Anthem and Augustines and is a chance for fans to explore the band’s matured sound. Bath indie rockers Bare Knuckle Parade have announced they will release their new single “Diamond Eyes” via their own label Dirty 38 on the 4th of March. The track is the band’s first material since their debut EP “Iron Lungs”. Recorded live at Middle Farm Studios in Devon, “Diamond Eyes” conjures up the raw emotion and infectious pop hooks of The Gaslight Anthem and Augustines and is a chance for fans to explore the band’s matured sound. Forming in a pub during a drunken conversation between friends, the band instantly became a hit in their hometown of Bath, with their unpredictable chaotic live shows and a vast catalogue of contagious songs. Early fans from the likes of Dermot O’Leary and Rhod Gilbert on Radio 2, appearances at Glastonbury Festival, Nass Festival and 2000 Trees Festival and support slots with the likes of James Bay, The Heavy and Enter Shikari, seen the band recognise they were onto something and set them in motion to become one of the most exciting bands in the South West.
Jim Jones and The Righteous Mind announce they are to release their second EP, “Aldecide” on Brighton’s Raygun Records on 1st April. Following a string of French dates in February the bands first UK show of 2016 will be at London’s 229 Club on 26th March they then play a further six UK shows with more dates to be announced. Singer/ guitarist Jim Jones’s distinctive musical history has spanned several incarnations including The Jim Jones Revue, Black Moses and Thee Hypnotics. Now with his new band, Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind, Jones and crew are sailing further into dark musical waters in search of rare and exotic beasts. Taking the band name from a book of social psychology, Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind — the latest manifestation of Jones’s ever-evolving sonic vision — were in the recording studio conjuring a new collection of songs a mere five days after The Jim Jones Revue had played their last encore at their final sold out show at London’s Forum at the end of 2014. Jim Jones has performed on Later with Jools Holland, the David Letterman show and numerous radio sessions including the late great John Peel. He has toured extensively and shared bills with bands including The Damned, The Black Crowes, The Cult, the Cramps, The Stooges, Grinderman and Primal Scream. His studio adventures have included recording with John Leckie, Jim Sclavunos, Jimmy Miller and Chris Robinson. He recently sat in for Guy Garvey on 6 Music presenting a special show As part of the BBC’s Rock & Roll Season presenting a special show, featuring music from Eddie Cochrane, Jerry Lee Lewis, Pink Floyd, Tom Waits, The Stooges and of course Elvis.
Another band of national significance that played in Leicester is Lawson. Lawson today unveil gloriously upbeat new single ‘Money’, the next single to be taken from their forthcoming sophomore album. A future anthem-in-waiting, ‘Money’ (Polydor Records, March 18th) is a stunning slice of carefree, optimistic pop rock and sees Lawson – Andy Brown (lead vocals/ guitars), Ryan Fletcher (bass), Joel Peat (guitar), and Adam Pitts (drums) – on the sort of classic songwriting form that propelled them to million selling status in the UK. Since the release of their hit single ‘Roads’ last summer, Lawson have spent the six months touring the US, UK and Australia. The band were selected by Robbie Williams himself to be the main support act on this Australian Arena Tour. Robbie was so impressed by the band’s ability he asked them to join him on stage each night of the tour for a show-stopping rendition of ‘Back For Good’.
Flashback: Lawson in Leicester
Knife from Japan
Japan’s awesome cult punk trio Shonen Knife celebrate their 35th Anniversary this year with new album in April alongside a full UK Tour throughout April and May, including Stewart Lee’s curated ATP. Damnably – comes out on 1 April 2016. Formed in Osaka by guitarist and chief songwriter *Naoko* in 1981, Japan’s *Shonen Knife* rose from humble DIY beginnings crafting their own idiosyncratic songs, and fashioning their own brightly coloured outfits, to sharing a stage with *Nirvana* on their Nevermind tour, trailblazing a path for women in music and inspiring legions of bands.
Tour dates: 16th April – Birmingham, Oobleck, 6th May – Leicester, Musician
[This has been an experimental article; if it gets some attention, we might well do more on a regular basis. All the items on this page are taken from the editor’s email in box]