As all of the acts featured on this post are unsigned, their recordings vary in quality. Therefore get ye to one of their gigs before you make a decision on whether you’d buy a properly produced LP. I’ve always felt very passionately about giving acts a chance in a live environment, as it tends to be more of a testament to their songs and musicianship. For example, many can get access to Garage Band, but not everyone has the money for Logic. When I watch a musician play their own music I know fairly early on into their set if I want to invest in their songs. I also feel cheated when I’ve heard a fabulously produced record, but been spectacularly disappointed with the act onstage. The only type of music I can think of that is not intended for live performance tends to be found in a lift, and last thing I heard, ‘elevator music’ was hardly up there with the greats…
So here are some acts I recommend investing in tickets and travel for. (By all means listen to their demos, but please don’t think of them as the finished product):
Jake Flowers – Bluesy, beautiful, delicate finger spun melodies with understated, sultry vocals courtesy of Shropshire born Flowers. Drums and bass give a welcome added kick whilst lyrics are effortlessly fascinating. Utterly charming, scarily talented.
If you like… Ryan Adams, Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit, Mumford and Sons …you’ll love this!
Brilliant Mind – Newcastle bunch who blast out Johnny Marr inflected guitar riffs combined with self depreciating Morrissey-style lyrics without turning into a Smiths pastiche (although I just made them sound like one.) Features divine contrapuntal layers of guitar and organ melodies. Incredibly charismatic as a live act.
If you like… The Smiths, Young Knives …You’ll love this!
Ever Since the Lake Caught Fire – Newcastle rock orchestra with trumpets, occasional female guest vocals, splatterings of saxophone and lashings of indie pop goodness. A force to be reckoned with when live and always a joy to behold.
If you like… The Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Modest Mouse …You’ll love this!
Holy Mammoth – Amazing Radio DJ Tom Cotton’s third favourite band (after Radiohead and The National.) A live act that bursts with onstage chemistry developed from years of friendship and experience from touring under different monikers.
If you like… GOOD MUSIC …You’ll love this!