Withered Hand is the songwriting output of Dan Willson. A cult figure in the Scottish music scene since 2009, Dan has released two widely acclaimed albums, New Gods (2014) and Good News (2009) and several lo-fi EPs. Currently working towards his third full length album, Withered Hand continues to tour in the UK and further afield, playing in venues ranging from concert halls to living rooms.
This solo acoustic performance celebrates ten years since his debut LP Good News was released and he will be performing it in full, followed by a Christmas pick n mix of other Withered Hand songs.
Darren Hayman is a thoughtful, concise and detailed songwriter. He eschews the big, the bright and the loud for the small, twisted and lost. For 15 years, and over 14 albums, Hayman has taken a singular and erratic route through England’s tired and heartbroken underbelly.
Hailing from Hull, bdrmm are a quintet who infuse what they describe as introverted small-town sketches, with the lush, musical expanse of shoegaze and dreampop. After catching the ear of many with a handful of self-released singles, the band recently teamed up with cult shoegaze label, Sonic Cathedral for the release of their sublime debut EP, If Not, When?
Describing their sound as, “slacker-shoegaze”, on If Not, When?, bdrmm take influences from the dreamy-soundscapes of Beach House, the jangly tones of DIIV and more recently a healthy dose of driving post-punk, in doing so creating a sound all of their own. Having gained fans in the likes of Huw Stevens, Steve Lamacq and John Kennedy, bdrmm’s ability to make adolescent disconnection sound this broad and exciting, marks them out as a band not to be missed.
Originally from Groningen in Holland, CIEL have now made Brighton their home and have been winning over audiences with their dreampop snapshots ever since. The band released their debut EP back in 2017 and have recently been squirrelled away working on new music. Having previously supported the likes of Penelope Isles, Marika Hackman and Sasami, CIEL will provide the perfect accompaniment for a night of getting lost in glorious shimmering reverb.
The Tubs are the new project formed by of Owen ‘O’ Williams and George ‘GN’ Nicholls, best known as two of the primary songwriters in Joanna Gruesome. Also featuring members of Flowers and Garden Centre, The Tubs have impressed live audiences supporting the likes of Flasher, Porridge Radio and Public Practice, and the band recently shared their debut single Silver Moon.
Citing an eclectic mix of influences from British folk to post-punk, perhaps the sound that most comes across in Silver Moon is the sort of jangling guitar music, more often seen emanating from Australia via the likes of The Goon Sax or Terry. While this is only the start for The Tubs, this already feels like the start of something truly exciting.
th’sheridans are the London-based duo consisting of Adam Sherif and Julia Oertli. The band describe themselves as a “DIY incongru-pop outfit” and are inspired by food, dating, small towns and “using radical softness as a response to everyday racism and sexism”.
There’s a winning simplicity and honesty to the music th’sheridans make; at a time when everything is loud and frenetic, they offer quiet contemplation and a moment away from the churn. Equally influenced by folk, riot grill and Klezmer Music, their live show promises everything from car boot sale drum machines to sassy high kicks and is entirely unmissable.
Stockholm psych-pop act Melby first emerged back in 2016 with their ear catching debut single Human and they haven’t really stopped impressing since. A steady stream of excellent singles and acclaimed EP’s followed, culminating earlier this year with the release of their debut album, None of This Makes Me Worry.
Taking influence from a vast variety of genres, Melby’s sound is one of glistening melodies and expansive rhythms, dreamy-pop songs given an emotional depth by Matilda Wiezell’s soaring, enchanting vocal style. None of This Makes Me Worry was, according to the band, the closest they’ve got to capturing the energy and dynamism of their live show, on that evidence Melby are a band not to be missed.
The latest wonderful act to emerge from the fertile Falmouth music scene are dreamy-indie types L I P S, who released their self-titled, debut EP earlier this year through Chicago-based label Sunday Records.
A hugely impressive debut; L I P S is a sublimely recorded collection of classic-pop songs given a modern twist, a record equally like to draw admiring glances from fans of The Sundays and Alvvays as it does from their more underground peers like Worst Place and Foundlings. Part of a current wave of brilliant indiepop coming to the forefront of the UK’s musical underground, L I P S are on the verge of something very special.
Hailing from Cardiff, Rosehip Teahouse, started life back in 2015 as the bedroom-pop project of guitarist and vocalist, Faye Rogers. Now expanded into a full-band, they have impressed with their sparkling take on DIY-pop, which has seen the band pack out their own headline tour and bag a high profile slot at Indietracks.
Musically, Rosehip Teahouse inhabit a world of melancholic beauty. Recalling the likes of Let’s Buy Happiness or a less frenetic Mothers. A band in that thrilling early stage; full of creativity and fearlessness, simultaneously making you long to hear what comes next and simply enjoy where they already are.
Born in a South Edinburgh barn circa 2015, Nice Church are ever evolving collective of musicians split between Scotland’s two biggest cities, with influences as diverse as Stanley Brinks, Erasure and Cats (the animals not the musical). They first emerged back in 2018, with their debut album, Chord on Cord, a record they followed up this April with their self-titled second offering.
An eclectic collection melding elements of anti-folk, slacker rock and anti-folk, Nice Church saw the band expand both their ambition and their musical horizons. Paired with a comedic pessimism that came up with song titles like Everything Is Terrible and The One Day the Sun Came Out, Nice Church are a delightful and defiantly independent treasure.
Entry is free and support comes from Alex Chilltown.
Originally from locations as diverse as Spain, Brazil and the musical hotbed of Essex, GHUM have since gone on to become one of the most exciting bands in the fertile London DIY-scene. The band initially formed when band-member Marina put an advert on Gumtree, and the quarter bonded over a shared love for The Cure, Warpaint and PJ Harvey.
The band caught the ear of many with their self-titled EP back in 2017 and have gone on to take their post-punk-grunge-goth across both the UK and Europe, including dates with the likes of Dream Wife and L.A. Witch as well as taking to the mainstage at last year’s Indietracks Festival. Recent double-A single, I’m the Storm/Undone saw them team up with Everything Sucks Music; harnessing their throbbing bass-lines, complex beats and new wave influenced guitars to their most emotionally honest lyrics to date. A recent sold out show at Bermondsey Social Club confirmed GHUM’s reputation as one of the most exciting new bands London has to offer, and an act you don’t want to miss.
Alex Chilltown is the musical moniker of suburban Londoner Josh Esaw, who started sharing his music with the world back in 2013 and has been making textural, hypnotic, indie-sadcore ever since. Alex Chilltown’s music explores ideas of self-identity and how we can interpret what all the noise around us really means. Josh has always been joined by a revolving cast of musicians to make his musical sketches come true, culminating in the 2017 EP, Eaten Up By Nothing, which saw them catch the ear of everyone from Gold Flake Paint to The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.
With new material coming rapidly onto the horizon, Alex Chilltown is ready to achieve his musical ambitions to embrace complex, weird, and messy ideas, and one day debate Matty from the 1975 on the merits of postmodernism. Unique, intriguing and just a little bit odd, a trip into the world of Alex Chilltown is one well worth taking.
Entry is free and support comes from Schande.
Savage Mansion is the current project of Glasgow-based purveyor of scuzzy slacker rock, Craig Angus. Originally working under the Poor Things moniker, Craig became a well established figure on the Glasgow DIY-scene, carrying much of the excitement and energy from that world into his own musical output. After crashing into our musical consciousness with debut EP, Document, back in 2018, Savage Mansion’s place at the forefront of British guitar-music was cemented with the sparkling debut album, Revision Ballads, released back in February on Lost Map.
Revision Ballads is an album unafraid to wear it’s influences proudly for the world to see; The Velvet Underground’s no-fi swagger, Pavement’s easy, sing-speak vocals, R.E.M.’s shimmering guitar tones. Lyrically the tracks are literate and often quietly comical, flittering from Elwood’s personal musings on childhood tormentors to the more politically charged Dog O’Tears, Craig’s rambling response to the rise of xenophobia on our streets. Breathing new life into their timeless influences, Savage Mansion might just be your new favourite band.
Schande started back in 2002 as the solo project of principle songwriter, Jen Schande, before quickly expanding into a full band courtesy of a steady stream of mostly three-lettered named band members (current bandmates Gio and Cat are prime examples). Their latest offering of driving-melodic indie rock came recently in the shape of a brand new EP, Pedigree, released via Everything Sucks Music.
Pedigree was penned during a period where Jen was struggling with her mental health issues, a theme explored across the record. Clearly You Do muses on the isolation affect of anxiety, Fancy Trolley reflects on the exhaustion that comes from panic attacks, while Community Theatre is a celebration of seeking help. While Pedigree, comes from a place of darkness, it is not a record that wants to glorify that, instead it is laced with a hidden positivity, the feeling that we all deserve to be hopeful that things can get better. With that positive, determined attitude to overcome challenges and struggles, what’s next for Schande? “What isn’t?”
Entry is free and support comes from Secret Power.
Over the last few years London-based quintet Average Sex have emerged as one of the fastest rising bands on the UK indie-scene. They make youthful, exhilarating power-pop gems, telling instantly relatable stories of finding love, falling out of love and living your best life.
The band have so far shared a pair of well received EP’s on Tim Burgess’ O Genesis Recordings. Their debut Ice Cream EP drew comparisons to the likes of Alvvays and The Shop Assistants and last year’s Melodie EP saw the band tour Europe with The Charlatans.
Formed in 2017 Secret Power have since expanded to a three piece band and honed their live show playing sets around Brighton and London. This year looks like it’s going to be a break-out one for the band, with a slot supporting Big Joanie on their upcoming UK tour, as well as the release of their debut EP on For the Sake of Tapes.
The EP is a showcase of the variety of influences that collide to create Secret Power’s sound; from angular post-punk to girl group harmonies and a love for all things reverby.
Entry is free and support comes from Whitelands.
London-trio Protection Spells may only just be getting started but they’re already leaving quite the impression. Their 2017 EP, Daughter of Gold, was an intriguing introduction, while their latest single, Bleed Through Sheet, came good on all that promise. Their take on what they describe as, “witchy dreampop”, has already seen the band support the likes of Jane Weaver and Jess Williamson.
Discussing Bleed Through Sheet, chief songwriter Gwen Austin has suggested it’s one of many songs written about the nativity, in her own words, the track, “imagines the relationship between Mary and the Holy Ghost as heard by Mary’s mother Anne through her bedroom wall”. Musically, the track is an intriguing fusing of sounds, Gwen’s folk-tinged vocals are given a more modern spin through the intricate shoegazey haze created by her bandmates. There’s something both eerie and intriguing about Protection Spells music, expect a lot more people to fall for their incantations in the coming months.
Whitelands is the musical project of Etienne; beginning as something to do at lunchtime in sixth form, before quickly becoming a lot more serious with 2018 seeing the release of both an EP, Old News, and a self-titled debut album. Etienne’s blend of shoegaze and indiepop caught the ears of many, receiving radio play on both sides of the Atlantic as well as a well received set at Indietracks. Closing off a monumental year for Whitelands, Etienne released a brand new single Fluoxetine, a reflection on a personal battle with depression and the wider issue of our societies failure to talk about mental health. The track marked a thrilling new direction from a prolific and intriguing new voice on the DIY-scene.