Newport’s finest are now touring to demonstrate their fierce live potential. Mixing rock, pop, gospel, blues, rockabilly and maybe even some skiffle, their music is focused entirely on everybody having the best time possible.
Their live set up is that of a bluegrass band, albeit with a drummer keeping the tempo up, but they bring a big sound that demands your attention. With a growing reputation and the ability to rock any stage they walk on to, this is what contemporary folk music is about!
Performing his Good Rockin’ Tonight show, Si Cranstoun comes to Hove’s The Old Market this month. Already known throughout the UK and Europe as ‘King of the Vintage Scene’, his energetic live performances have built him a dedicated live following over the last few years.
Now established as a regular on BBC Radio 2, his last two albums Modern Life and Old School have gathered both critical acclaim and impressive sales. So now he brings his unique blend of soul, Motown, vintage pop and rock ‘n’ roll to town. Already compared to the likes of Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke, quality of this amazing showman will blow you away.
This trio have cornered the market in funk-driven Delta blues. Their recent second album, Shamanaid offered an abundance of depth and inspiration. There’s certainly a lust for voodoo-powered guitar rock right now, something echoed by the band’s signing to the ever-surprising Embrace Recordings.
They unleash deep and dark bass alongside some soaring anthems, in a sound that’s rich, fascinating and unrelenting. Hopefully you caught them at The Great Escape last year, if not then it’s a good chance to immerse yourself in their psychedelic swirl of blues-rock.
Playing nearly 2,000 dates around Europe, often featuring ex-Zappa alumni, The Muffin Men play their own arrangements of classic Zappa material, along with some note-for-note versions of the favourites.
Now their 25th anniversary tour sees them tour Europe, taking on more Zappa and Captain Beefheart material, this time with the legendarily Denny Walley on slide guitar and vocals. Notable for his work on Zappa’s Bongo Fury and Joe’s Garage albums, Walley was also a member of Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, appearing on the classic Bat Chain Puller album.
The new band of Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönkkö and Mads Brauer, Casper Clausen and Rasmus Stolberg, Liima happily journey through a range of different styles and moods.
Since 2003, the trio have been at the forefront of musical exploration, through electronica, experimental pop and contemporary classical music, in a career spanning four albums, two films and various other projects and releases.
Like so much in the world of art, their recent career has been shaped by accident and coincidence. Founded on a fondness for experimentation, any live performance feels like the music is being written right there before you.
Formed in 1993, Liverpool rockers Space are now well and truly back. Original members Tommy and Franny reunite, and welcome the other members of the former’s new band – Tommy Scott and the Red Scare.
The return was cemented with the release of 2014’s Attack of the Mutant 50ft Kebab that reassured fans the band had lost none of their drama and occasional surreal touches. Now this year sees a UK tour, with new album Give Me Your Future promising new material and an evolved sound this month.
Now cheerfully taking jazz into the mainstream charts, he and his sumptuous voice can also move into gospel, blues and soul territory. His sound is a welcome nod to the 60s heyday of swing-soul. It’s classy, clever and effortlessly cool.
Becoming a festival favourite across the world, Porter is the undisputed master of crossover appeal. Full of personality and warmth, he is more than able to makes the transition from the smallest clubs to massive stages without losing any of the intimacy in his performance.
This Japanese cult pop punk trio celebrate their 35th anniversary this year. It coincides with a brand new album released this month through Damnably. The ladies will also be hitting the road for their most extensive UK tour yet, which includes a slot at the Stewart Lee curated All Tomorrow’s Parties festival.
The band rose from humble DIY beginnings, crafting their own idiosyncratic songs and fashioning their own brightly coloured outfits. Eventually sharing a stage with Nirvana on the Nevermind tour, they led the way for women in music and inspired legions of bands.
Cinematic compositions, drawing from a number of sonic sources, come to Brighton Dome courtesy of this Austin-based instrumental post-rock quartet. With a fearsome live reputation, Explosions in the Sky are being hailed as the next phenomenon in moody and dynamic instrumental indie rock.
This month has seen the release of their new album The Wilderness, the follow-up to 2011’s Take Care, Take Care, Take Care and their film scores for Manglehorn and Prince Avalanche. As the band’s reputation spreads, their confidence and ambition grows. So expect to hear plenty of crescendos, catharsis and joy.
Finally coming to everyone’s attention with 2014’s Bad Self Portraits album, this Boston-based four piece finally released its follow-up Side Pony last month. It’s their brightest and most tuneful album in their 12 years. A collection of songs that are fresh sounding, innovative and enticing, it’s hard not to like.
Unashamedly embracing 70s rock and soul, they deploy some winningly simple song writing and even the occasional splash of xylophone. This multi-instrumental outfit are not afraid to look a little bit uncool. Everyone has room for this kind of brightness.
Melbourne’s greatest future-soul band bring their signature brand of electronic psychedelic fusion to The Old Market. Last year’s Choose Your Weapon album melded together modern jazz, odd rhythms, 70s funk, scat-singing, world music and a dash of progressive rock.
A band as captivating as they are exotic, they pile on delicate piano to funked-up bass lines in a multi-layered assault on the senses. The first ever Australian act to be nominated for an R&B Grammy, they’ve only been together for a brief time but are set to reach the stars.
After producing four albums with The Pilgrims, singer-songwriter Mike Fullerton has struck out on his own with his debut effort Roll On. VSGEES stands for ‘very special guests’, highlighting the range of incredible and internationally renowned musicians joining him on the release. These include trumpet player Raul D’Oliveira, who is renowned as the leader of Sir Elton John’s horn section.
So now The Brunswick plays host to the album’s launch party. Wilfully spanning music genres, this new project brings in elements of rock, blues, jazz and country, emboldened by soaring instrumentals, complex rhythms and of course that world-class brass.