DARREN HAYMAN GIG ON THURS 31ST MARCH

Scared To Dance presents Darren Hayman on Thursday 31st March performing songs from Hefner’s We Love the City and Dead Media.

Support comes from Hattie Cooke at St Matthias Church and tickets are on sale at DICE.

Darren Hayman is a thoughtful, concise and detailed songwriter. He eschews the big, the bright and the loud for the small, twisted and lost. Throughout his prolific solo career he has taken a singular and erratic route through England’s tired and heartbroken underbelly.

Hefner’s third album, We Love the City, became the critical and commercial highlight of their short, intense career. By this time Hayman had started to develop a sharp, incisive voice. The song narratives now took place in the toilets and kitchens of everyday British homes. Hayman sang about the thread on skirt hems and the hairline cracks in the china as well as the tears on cheeks. Hefner’s fourth and final album, Dead Media, presented an erratic creative left turn. Largely leaving their guitars in their cases, the band made a bizarre, stuttering bleeping confection on ancient analogue synths.

Hattie Cooke is a solo artist, composer and producer. In 2016 she released her eponymous debut album with Third Kind Records. Having supported a number of acclaimed musicians including Jeffrey Lewis, Haiku Salut and RM Hubbert, Cooke initially garnered a reputation as a writer of gently crafted, melancholic pop and folk songs. In 2019, she released her first instrumental album, The Sleepers. It’s critical and commercial popularity cemented her position as one to watch on the UK electronic music scene. 
Hattie’s third album Bliss Land received a dinked edition and was released in 2021 to critical acclaim.

DARREN HAYMAN GIG ON THURS 24TH MARCH

Scared To Dance presents Darren Hayman on Thursday 24th March performing songs from Hefner’s Breaking God’s Heart and The Fidelity Wars.

Support comes from Michael J. Sheehy at St Matthias Church and tickets are on sale at DICE.

Darren Hayman is a thoughtful, concise and detailed songwriter. He eschews the big, the bright and the loud for the small, twisted and lost. Throughout his prolific solo career he has taken a singular and erratic route through England’s tired and heartbroken underbelly.

Hefner’s first records attracted the attention of cult indie label Too Pure and the broadcasting legend John Peel. The band’s first album, Breaking God’s Heart, mixed raw, sexual words with religious imagery and earned the band a loyal, intelligent following in the UK, Europe and the USA. The second album, The Fidelity Wars, shifted the songwriting focus to the personal and remains a fan favourite.

By his own account, Michael J. Sheehy has pissed away two or three careers. Having formed Dream City Film Club in 1995, the band released two albums on Beggar’s Banquet before disbanding in 1999. Despite a few bumps along the road, he has continued making music as a solo artist and as part of the rock band Miraculous Mule and as one half of psychedelic electronic duo United Sounds of Joy. His latest album, The Crooked Party Sings, is his first in a decade and is finely crafted collection of bastardised folk songs, murder ballads, traveller tunes and sea songs.

EX-VÖID GIG ON SAT 5TH MARCH

Ex-Vöid headline the Scared To Dance and For The Rabbits monthly gig night on Saturday 5th March.

Support comes from Buggs at The Victoria and you can get your free tickets at DICE.

Ex-Vöid were formed back in 2018 by Alanna McArdle and Owen “O” Williams from the Welsh Music Prize-winning punk group Joanna Gruesome. The band have since expanded to their current four-piece line-up and have already shared stages with the likes of Waxahatchee and Speedy Ortiz. They shared their self-titled EP back in 2018, an enticing three-track collection of power pop that served as a reminder of the musical magic that comes when McArdle and Williams get together. The band recently returned with a new single, “Churchyard”, the first taster of their debut album, Bigger Than Before, which is out on 25th March as a joint release by Don Giovanni Records and Prefect Records.

With a hook-laden blend of melody and jangle, the band have drawn comparison to the likes of The Lemonheads and Teenage Fanclub, even if they claim to exclusively take influence from Black Sabbath’s “Into the Void”, The Raincoat’s “The Void” and the Washington DC hardcore punk group VOID.

Hailing from South East London, Buggs (formerly BUGS) first emerged in the spring of 2020 with their debut single, “Nick Gowland”, released via Sad Club Records. With a sound pitched somewhere between The Breeders and The Beach Boys, the band have already caught the ear of Green Man Festival who invited them to play last summer, which coincided with the release of their second single, “Flaws”. Combining forensic introspection, with surrealist imagery and flourishes of comedic joy, the band use song to explore the best and worst of human nature and deliver it via the medium of song. With a live show not to be missed, Buggs might just be your new favourite band.

CRUSH GIG ON SAT 5TH FEB

crush headline the Scared To Dance and For The Rabbits monthly gig night on Saturday 5th February.

Support comes from Bastien at The Victoria and you can get your free tickets at DICE.

A quartet based out of Manchester, crush describe their sound as heady and hypnotic. Their music glances back to the shoegaze behemoths of the 1990s while adding a modern flair reminiscent of contemporaries like Soot Sprite or Life Model.

The band formed in 2018 while studying at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute and have been building a name for themselves ever since with a series of increasingly well-received singles, with the jangling flourish of recent offerings “So Strange” and “Chewed” giving a tantalising glimpse of where their music is headed next. Having already shared stages with the likes of NewDad and bdrmm, their live show promises to be one not to be missed.

Formed in London one week prior to lockdown, Bastien spent much of their first year writing remotely – swapping demos and finding common influences. Blending elements of new wave, soft rock, psych and jangle pop, the five-piece are gearing up to release their first single “Empty House” in March, while establishing their presence on the London circuit.

WITHERED HAND GIG ON FRI 4TH FEB

Scared To Dance presents Withered Hand on Friday 4th February at Moth Club.

Support comes from Molly Linen and tickets are on sale at DICE.

Withered Hand is the nom de plume of Edinburgh-based singer-songwriter Dan Willson, who will be performing with a full band for this performance. Dan started writing songs and singing in his thirties during a period of reflection following the birth of his first child and the death of a close friend. With a wayward tenor and unaffected charm onstage he has come to be celebrated in his adopted country and further afield as a songwriter and lyricist of rare wit and remarkable honesty. 

Alongside activity with his band, Dan is a well-travelled solo musician with a cult following. 2014 saw the release of his strident second album New Gods which propelled Withered Hand into the charts, featuring appearances by friends, luminaries and supporters from the Scottish music scene, from Belle and Sebastian to Frightened Rabbit to The Vaselines and beyond. 2017 heralded Among Horses EP – the result of a collaborative songwriting retreat in Spain. Dan is currently working on a new Withered Hand album, scheduled for release in 2022.

Molly Linen’s beguiling voice is both emotive yet serene, recalling the dulcet whispered tones of Cat Power, layered upon melodic fingerpicking guitar lines. For fans of This Is The Kit, Anne Briggs and Nick Drake. Molly has received radio support from BBC 6 Music’s Gideon Coe, Marc Riley and Cerys Matthews, as well as BBC Scotland’s Vic Galloway and Roddy Hart. Her new Days Awake EP is out now on Lost Map Records.

SUEP GIG ON FRI 14TH JAN

SUEP headline the Scared To Dance and For The Rabbits monthly gig night on Friday 14th January.

Support comes from Paolo Ruiu at The Victoria and you can get your free tickets at DICE.

With a debut single “Domesticated Dream” described by BBC 6 Music’s Marc Riley as “perfect pop”, London’s SUEP are a band making an instant impact. Featuring members of Porridge Radio, Garden Centre and Joanna Gruesome, SUEP were, in their own words, “borne out of a near-decade of wearing silly clothes and deconstructing pop together”. Teaming up with the Memorials of Distinction for the release of their new single “Misery”, SUEP are a band you won’t want to miss.

A second-generation Sardinian-Brit raised in the London suburbs, Paolo Ruiu first came to the world’s attention as one half of the critically lauded duo Young Romance. With the band’s touring plans curtailed, Paolo took the time to explore his musical desires as a solo artist, sharing several singles throughout 2021. Those tracks are now set to be drawn together as his debut EP, Low, due out later this month. Written and recorded in Ruiu’s home studio on a desk used by Pink Floyd and a Tascam 424 cassette recorder, Low is a celebration of analogue recording, featuring elements of 70’s psychedelia, lo-fi indie and vocals smothered with delightful waves of echo.

SOOT SPRITE GIG ON SAT 4TH DEC

Soot Sprite headline the Scared To Dance and For The Rabbits monthly gig night on Saturday 4th December.

Support comes from Lyys at The Victoria and you can get your free tickets at DICE.

Soot Sprite are a three piece from Exeter, Devon. Originally started by the first EP Elise Cook wrote and recorded in her loft room in 2018, the band grew as the live performance required more musicians. Now with their third EP the outfit comprises of Elise on guitar and vocals, Sean Mariner on bass and Tom Gilbert on drums.

With influences such as Mannequin Pussy and Phoebe Bridgers, their most recent sound has gotten the attention of BBC 6 Music, receiving multiple plays on the station from DJs Steve Lamacq and Gideon Coe. The band have toured the UK and Europe fairly extensively right up until the 2020 lockdown and plan to do much more of that on the other side of things in 2021.

South-London based singer, songwriter and producer, Lyys, delivers beautifully melodic and dreamy indiepop inspired by sprawling influences from Cocteau Twins and Camera Obscura to Caroline Polachek and The Japanese House. Walking the line between the bedroom studio and the dancefloor.

MODERATE REBELS GIG ON SAT 6TH NOV

Moderate Rebels headline the Scared To Dance and For The Rabbits monthly gig night on Saturday 6th November.

Support comes from Fell at The Victoria and you can get your free tickets at DICE.

Moderate Rebels were never really meant to be a band. They formed on a one-off basis, yet enjoyed making 2017’s debut single “God Sent Us” so much that it has expanded into an EP, two albums and counting. Gaining high profile supporters from Lauren Laverne to John Kennedy, the band have recently signed to Moshi Moshi Records, who released their incredibly ambitious record If You See Something That Doesn’t Look Right, a three-part, thirty track musical opus.

If You See Something That Doesn’t Look Right is a bold and eclectic affair, featuring an eight-strong revolving collective of members who make music that is a free-form expression of joy through sound. With influences that stretch from the Pet Shop Boys to Syd Barret, Stereolab to Brian Eno, expect a myriad of sounds spun through a Moderate Rebel lens. Driving rhythms, discordant guitars, twinkling piano ballads and playful synthpop, you can’t pigeonhole Moderate Rebels, because they refuse to play along with your labels, and are every bit as exciting as that sounds.

Fell is the project of London-based artist, illustrator and creator of “sun-kissed psychedelic pop dreaminess”, Nicholas Burrows. Fell burst onto the UK scene back in 2019 with the well-received EP, For the Pickling, a series of songs of domesticity, half-forgotten pasts and imagined Lancastrian space missions. With a sound that goes from beat-driven desert folk to 60s pop and pretty much everything in between. With plans for a new album underway, Nicholas has recently been sharing his “sides” project, a series of tracks recorded live to cassette in a couple of hours in Fell’s practice room.

ADWAITH GIG ON SAT 30TH OCT

Scared To Dance presents Adwaith on Saturday 30th October at The Lexington.

Support comes from lilo and tickets are on sale at DICE.

One of our favourite new bands of recent years, we clearly aren’t the only ones who’ve noticed the brilliance of South Wales-trio Adwaith. Their acclaimed debut album, Melyn, drew near universal critical acclaim, culminating in the band winning 2019’s Welsh Music Prize. The band have wasted no time in following up on Melyn’s success, releasing a series of new tracks that hint at where their fascinating music is headed next.

Describing Adwaith’s sound is a difficult task, each track is equally likely to be a slice of perfect post-punk, an ethereal soundscape or a swampy blast of ravey psychedelica. With an eclectic, magpie-like approach to songwriting, Adwaith manage to create a sound entirely their own, and one that looks set to propel them as far as their ambition and imagination can take them. More than just the future of Welsh-music, Adwaith might just be the future of music as we know it.

lilo are a duo from London. They released their debut Tinted Windows/Tough Love EP in 2017 and since living in different countries for a while are back playing and recording again with recent singles “Change” and “Scarecrow”. Taking influence from the likes of Kings of Convenience and Adrianne Lenker, their harmonies and acoustic guitar come together to create a uniquely delicate, indie folk sound.