Thursday, 20 February 2014

2014 Ones To Watch: The Original Rudeboys

My fourth tip for 2014 takes us to Ireland, specifically Dublin, and to a trio who are close to releasing their sophomore album in the hope that it will reap even more rewards than their debut record…

A guitar, a ukulele and a rapping front man. An odd combination, maybe, but Neddy Arkins, Rob Burch and Sean Walsh – otherwise known as The Original Rudeboys – make it work, and then some.

After gaining acclaim in their native country since forming in 2011, the beginning of 2013 saw the Dublin-born trio stretch their wings further across Ireland and the UK; when fellow Irish band The Script enlisted them as a support act on all dates of their arena tour.

An instant hit, the Rudeboys developed an even bigger fan base, making their debut album 'This Life' hot property during mid-2013 with its raw and acoustic sound proving to be a soundtrack for a lot of people’s summers.

This Life is the trio's debut album
With their unique sound the trio, fronted by Neddy, are already close to releasing their follow-up album which they say is just as hard-hitting lyric-wise as 'This Life,' however Neddy has stated; “While still writing lyrics that we think hit home, the songs themselves are upbeat and almost feel good in a way.”

This is exceptionally true in their first single from their second album entitled ‘Never Gonna Walk Away’ which the boys released at the end of November, and just this week (February 19) the boys gave the first play of second single ‘Feel It In Your Soul’ on the radio.

They hope to release their second album within the next couple of months, and I for one can’t wait to hear what the boys have got in store for us. I like how they, like a lot of bands nowadays, refuse to pigeonhole themselves into one genre. I think that’s what has made them turn the heads of so many people in the last couple of years, and what’s more they deserve it: they’re a band who have worked their way up on their own and, thankfully, they’re starting to see their hard work pay off.

‘Dublin hip-hop would never work there’s something missing,’ raps Neddy, ‘the accent is too deep, it’s too strong, but now most of them are singing along.

Find out more...
Twitter: @ORBsOfficial
Facebook: www.facebook.com/OriginalRudeboys
Instagram: @theoriginalrudeboys
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/theoriginalrudeboys

Check out my previous Ones To Watch For 2014... 
Bipolar Sunshine
Circa Waves
The Family Rain

Friday, 7 February 2014

2014 Ones To Watch: The Family Rain

In a week which has seen the release of their debut album, I decided it would only be right for my 2014 Ones To Watch this week to focus on The Family Rain…

Will, Ollie and Tim Walker, otherwise known as The Family Rain, are an all-brother trio who last year began to bed themselves further into the industry and showcase their energetic music in what has been a quick yet deserved climb up the music ladder.

Formed in 2011 after a fairly unsuccessful attempt as a band named ‘The Rock Pirates,’ the brothers released their debut single ‘Trust Me…I’m A Genius’ in late 2012 which was their first step in putting their name out there and getting noticed.

Catching attention is certainly vital in the early stages of a band’s career, and luckily for the Bath-based band 2013 was a year which saw them catch the eye of the right people in the music game; namely those who enlisted them as support acts on their respective tours, such as Miles Kane, Jake Bugg, the Courteeners and Willy Moon.

The brothers finally released their debut album this week
And if the release of their debut EP ‘Pushing It’ in May wasn’t enough to gauge interest of the up and coming band, their most notable support slot to date definitely will have turned some heads, when they opened for The Rolling Stones at their Hyde Park gig in July.

Appearances at a handful of festivals – such as Reading and Leeds and Latitude – were a given; allowing the brothers to create a real buzz around their blues-rock sound and aiding them in gathering a fan base who have patiently waited for the release of their debut album, which finally arrived this week (February 3) entitled ‘Under The Volcano.’

This rapid rise to fame is certainly an achievement The Family Rain can be proud of, but it will be up to the trio to sustain this in 2014, with ‘Under The Volcano’ giving them the perfect platform with which to do so.

Find out more...
Twitter: @TheFamilyRain
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thefamilyrain
Instagram: @TheFamilyRain
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/thefamilyrain

Check out my previous Ones To Watch For 2014...
Bipolar Sunshine
Circa Waves

Friday, 31 January 2014

2014 Ones To Watch: Circa Waves

If you read my blog post last Friday you’ll know I have decided to write a weekly feature about bands and artists I think you should be on the lookout for in 2014.

My first blog looked at Bipolar Sunshine, and you can read what I have to say about Adio Marchant’s solo project here.

This week I decided to talk about Circa Waves; a recently formed band who are set for a big debut year…

It would be oh so cliché of me to use some kind of ‘making waves’ pun to describe newly formed band Circa Waves. But making waves is exactly what the four-piece intend to do this year, after catching the attention of the right people in the music industry in late 2013.

Hailing from Liverpool, the quartet in the form of Keiran Shuddall (vocals and guitar), Joe Falconer (guitar), Sam Rourke (bass) and Sian Plummer (drums) was formed by Keiran just nine months ago through his overwhelming desire to be in a band.

After being part of bands but not really getting anywhere, the 26-year-old decided to make a real go at being noticed and recorded a demo – playing all the instruments himself – and uploaded it online. The magic of the internet soon prevailed; Keiran had people hooked and gig requests flying in. Now he just needed a band.

The demo ‘Young Chasers’ allowed him to recruit Joe, Sam and Sian and from there they formed Circa Waves; with a sound reminiscent of the noughties indie era, influenced most profoundly by bands such as The Libertines and The Strokes and being compared more contemporarily to The Vaccines.

The band have so far released two songs

Circa Waves are now in the stages of recording their debut album, with vocalist Keiran telling NME Magazine “at the moment, I only write things that could be singles.”

For some this may seem like a big statement to make, but the material released by the four-piece thus far supports this claim. ‘Get Away’ and ‘Good For Me’ are both stunning singles; brimming with guitars and an upbeat, bright sound that the band must be hoping will go hand in hand with their bright future ahead.

Find out more...
Twitter: @CircaWaves
Facebook: www.facebook.com/circawaves
Instagram: @CircaWaves
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/circawaves

Friday, 24 January 2014

2014 Ones To Watch: Bipolar Sunshine

Following on from my piece for Demon Media where I chose my most anticipated albums of 2014, I decided to take a look at the bands and artists who are set for a big year and turn it into a weekly feature.

First up it’s Bipolar Sunshine, the solo project of former Kid British vocalist Adio Marchant, already tipped to be one of 2014’s big names...

After the split of indie-ska band Kid British at the end of 2012, vocalist Adio didn’t waste time in getting back into the music game. The Mancunian singer-songwriter wrote and collaborated with producer Jazz Purple before releasing new music under his own independent record label.

And 2013 proved to be a stunning debut year for Adio’s new project. Off the back of hugely successful debut EP ‘Aesthetics’ which was released in June, Bipolar Sunshine went on to land a slot a a major festival, Reading and Leeds, before supporting Bastille and then Courteeners frontman Liam Fray late last year.

November’s release of second EP ‘Drowning Butterflies’ created an even bigger buzz around the Manchester-based project; receiving notable praise from BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe as Adio embarked on his first headline tour as Bipolar Sunshine.

Adio Marchant aka Bipolar Sunshine
The name itself is telling of the sound Adio has created. The mix of upbeat and catchy melodies with rather sad lyrics, typified in track ‘Love More, Worry Less’ from his second EP, is what Bipolar Sunshine is all about.

“There’s a light at the end of the tunnel for each song,” states Adio, in this video introducing Bipolar Sunshine, “that’s the reason why I called it Bipolar Sunshine. At the end of the day it’ll be alright.”

Adio’s ability to capture real life experiences and turn them into beautifully emotive songs is just one of the reasons I’m tipping Bipolar Sunshine to continue to make waves in the music scene in 2014.

He himself is definitely up for the challenging of making this year an even bigger success than 2013, with support slots for Rudimental and Phoenix lined up, as well as more headline shows of his own booked for March/April.

And with the impressive material released by Bipolar Sunshine so far, you can expect more of the same when the full LP finally drops.

Find out more...
Twitter: @bipolarsunshine
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bipolarsunshine
Instagram: @adio123
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/bipolarsunshine

Sunday, 12 January 2014

A curse or a blessing?

If I could pin-point the moment where my life took a dramatic turn for the worst, it would be just hours after my birth.

We still have the photograph somewhere. Me in the hospital in a cot beside my mother. A Birmingham City scarf draped around me.

A lot of the time we don’t have a choice in life and this was one of the moments I had no control over. First born and landed with the curse of supporting the Blues; there was no way I was ever going to get out of this one, not if my dad had anything to do with it.

But over twenty years on and, despite the tears I’ve shed, the copious amounts of money I’ve spent and the times I’ve been let down, again and again, the curse has, in my eyes, become more of a blessing.

Sometimes you wonder, when you’re in places like Burnley and Leeds and you’re watching your team being played off the park and being taught a good little footballing lesson, why you do it.

But then you look around you to your friends beside you. The ones who were born into the same tradition as you, the ones who you share the same experiences with every week, and the ones who make the losses that little bit more bearable.

And it’s not been all gloom and doom either. There have been happier times. The wins over the top teams, the battling performances where you’re left feeling as proud as you ever could be of those eleven players on the pitch, the promotions, the Premier League survival, playing in Europe, even winning a trophy.

Even yesterday, as I saw my team get beat by Brighton in a somewhat frustrating match, I thoroughly enjoyed my day. I spent it with some brilliant people, had a laugh and watched some football. I wouldn’t want to spend my Saturdays, or often my Tuesdays, doing anything different.

Because as much as I joke about Blues having a negative impact on my life – and probably my health too – I wouldn’t be without them.

As much as I berate my dad for passing down the curse, I thank him for it too.

As much as I complain as a trudge out yet another ground after yet another loss, I smile at the same time.

Because Birmingham City, despite all its faults, has given me some of the best days of my life, allowed me to meet some fantastic people, and taken me to places I never would have gone to were it not for football.

So in a sense I suppose while in those first hours of my life I was condemned to a lifetime of supporting a mediocre football team who will seldom achieve anything special; it’s opened my eyes to making the most out of bad situations and laughing in the face of adversity.

It’s not that I can’t find a way out of this; it’s that I just don’t want to.