JEAN K GIG ON FRI 2ND FEB

Jean K headline the Scared To Dance and For The Rabbits gig night on Friday 2nd February at The Victoria.

Entry is free and support comes from Winnaretta.

Jean K are a new four-piece band based out of East London. The band started as the brainchild of Strasbourg-born singer Jean Kern alongside producer Michael Tomlinson, now fleshed out to a live band with the help of keyboardist Laura and bassist Gordon.

The band formed with the noble aim of infusing indiepop with a much-needed disco twist. Jean K’s debut single, “Billy”, a dancefloor homage to Kurt Vonnegut’s absurdist classic Slaughterhouse Five, was released last year on Crocodile Records. Music that challenges both your mind and your feet; it doesn’t come much more exciting than Jean K.

London-based trio Winnaretta burst onto the DIY-scene last year with their debut EP, Mine, recorded at Soundsavers Studio with the ever excellent Mark Jasper. The band deal in catchy pop songs infused with complex rhythms and tight harmonies.

Mine might be barely fifteen minutes long but it packs in everything from afro-beat to slacker-rock; coupled with a reputation as one of the best live acts in the capital, Winnaretta are a band not to be missed. They do things loud, DIY and queer.

FIRESTATIONS GIG ON FRI 12TH JAN

Firestations headline the Scared To Dance and For The Rabbits gig night on Friday 12th January at The Victoria.

Entry is free and support comes from The Great Electric.

This year is looking like a huge one for London five-piece Firestations. Freshly signed to The Pictish Trail’s Lost Map records, the band are set to release their new album The Year Dot. Recorded over three years in their own home studio in Walthamstow, it is very much a DIY-creation, but anything but a lo-fi one, the band’s attention to detail and obsession with finding the perfect sound creating a lush and absorbing listen.

The first new material since 2014’s debut Never Closer, The Year Dot is a record that refines and expands on Firestations’ shared musical vision. Starting with simple pop songs, the band add layers of drones, vocal harmonies, electronica and complex, intriguing rhythms, and create a sound entirely their own. Recent single “Build a Building” is a fine entry to Firestations’ world, a downbeat track about feeling like a cog in a wheel presented with a breezy pop melody and sun-drenched vocal harmonies. With support from Austin Town Hall, The Little Indie Blog and DIY among others, Firestations look on the verge of something very special.

Featuring alumni of bands as diverse as Kenickie, Hefner and Go-Kart Mozart, The Great Electric need little in the way of introduction. Formed back in the winter of 2012, the band recently release their self-titled debut album on the ever-reliable WIAIWYA imprint to critical acclaim. Their first new material in three years, since their debut EP for Static Caravan, it was time well spent on a beautifully crafted album.

The band’s sound is shaped by a shared love of classic German electronic and progressive acts of the 1970s coupled with the pop music sensibilities, hooks and production of 90s groups such as Stereolab, Quickspace, Pram and Electric Sound of Joy – or to quote most reviews they sound a bit like Neu!

WITHERED HAND GIG ON SAT 16TH DEC

Scared To Dance presents Withered Hand on Saturday 16th December at The Shacklewell Arms.

Support comes from Papernut Cambridge and tickets can be bought from WeGotTickets.

Withered Hand is the songwriting output of Dan Willson. A cult figure in the Scottish music scene since 2009, Willson has released two widely acclaimed albums, New Gods (2014) and Good News (2009) and several lo-fi EPs.

He has recorded several BBC radio sessions and played various festivals as well as collaborating with the likes of King Creosote and Eugene Kelly. Currently working towards his third full-length album, Withered Hand continues to tour and play one-off dates in venues from concert halls to living rooms.

Papernut Cambridge is a collective based around Ian Button, formerly of Death in Vegas and Thrashing Doves. Onstage they are represented by Button and an ever-changing cast of musical friends including Darren Hayman, Jack Hayter, Ralegh Long, Robert Rotifer, Robert Halcrow, Citizen Helene and many others. They have released several albums on Gare du Nord Records.

JESSICA’S BROTHER GIG ON FRI 1ST DEC

Jessica’s Brother headline the Scared To Dance and For The Rabbits gig night on Friday 1st December at The Victoria.

Entry is free and support comes from Ski Saigon.

Although yet to grace the internet with any recorded material, Jessica’s Brother are already creating waves of excitement via a series of impressive live shows. The London-based trio are fronted by singer-songwriter Tom Charleston, backed by former Ramshackle Union-bassist, Charlie Higgs, and Wave Pictures-drummer, Jonny Helm.

Describing their music as guitar, bass, drums and some ooo’s, the band’s take on rock music, infused with Americana influences and a twist of English-gothic darkness has rightly or wrongly drawn comparison with Pavement. This live show will be a first chance to hear material from their recently recorded debut album ahead of its as yet confirmed 2018 release.

Originally the brainchild of London-based lead-singer Rhys Griffiths, Ski Saigon has now expanded to a quintet featuring members of Mooncreatures, Grubs and Tigercats. Their sound is one of bright guitars, burbling dreamy-synths and muffled, muted vocals.

Ski Saigon burst onto the scene last year, with their well-received debut EP, released via a 32-page short story by Art Is Hard Records. They’ve recently shared their first material as a five-piece, in the shape of new single “Iran Tourist Dream”, a tantalising glimpse of where the music of this most intriguing new act is headed next.

LYYS GIG ON FRI 3RD NOV

Lyys headline the Scared To Dance and For The Rabbits gig night on Friday 3rd November at The Victoria.

Entry is free and support comes from Yukka.

Lyys is an electronic, dream-pop musician working out of her bedroom in South London. Inspired by everyone from the Cocteau Twins to early Madonna, her sound is one of reverberating guitars, cold distant pulses of synth and a honeyed vocal equal parts Stevie Nicks and Patience’s Roxanne Clifford.

Lyys’ set will showcase her soon to be released debut EP, “Darling Enemy” which has received support from the likes of The Line of Best Fit, Clash and Amazing Radio.

Yukka is London based electronic-musician Jacob Mayfield, formerly of Victoria & Jacob. Memorably described by Lauren Laverne as, “Kings of Convenience being remixed by Boards of Canada”, Yukka’s music is built around intricate electronic beats, analog synths and field recordings.

The resultant sound is a hugely organic electronic experience, bringing to mind the likes of Ulrich Schnauss or Broadcast. Expect to hear material from last year’s debut EP, A Long Way, as well as some much anticipated new material.

THE JUST JOANS GIG ON FRI 12TH AUG

The Just Joans headline our gig night on Friday 12th August at The Shacklewell Arms

Support comes from The Understudies and Suggested FriendsTickets can be bought in advance for £6 from WeGotTickets and they’ll be £8 on the door. 

The Just Joans make a long-awaited return to London for this rare full band show. Hailing from Motherwell via Glasgow and Edinburgh, the band have now expanded to a six piece amassing an enthusiastic following with each gig, festival appearance, and through their steady output of mini-albums and EPs on WeePOP records. They write songs about being “lonely, thoroughly bored and yearning for something more.”

The Understudies have been gaining a prolific live reputation since their debut EPs Wanting vs Getting and Press Play for Songs by The Understudies. They’ve been favourably compared to the Tindersticks, Butcher Boy and Felt with Drowned in Sound saying “their sophisticated indiepop is a blessing.” Their debut album is available on the Berlin-based Firestation Records.

Suggested Friends are a new jangly punkish pop band playing catchy songs about regret and micro-aggressions. Featuring members of Wolf Girl and Actual Crimes, they have melodic hooks and big choruses.

Our resident DJ Sam Cottis of the music site For The Rabbits will be playing records in-between the bands.

DARREN HAYMAN GIG ON FRI 8TH APRIL

Darren Hayman headlines our gig night on Friday 8th April at The Shacklewell Arms

Support comes from Ralegh Long and DeerfulTickets can be bought in advance for £8 from WeGotTickets and they’ll be £10 on the door. 

We’re thrilled to welcome back one of our favourite songwriters Darren Hayman for this night. For fifteen years, and over fourteen albums, Hayman has taken a singular and erratic route through England’s tired and heartbroken underbelly. 

Influenced by punk through his art college years and then American lo-fi indie in the ’90s he fronted John Peel favourites Hefner. Since then he’s been part of The French, Hayman, Watkins, Trout & Lee and Brute Love. It is his solo career that has earned widespread critical acclaim with The Guardian stating that his songwriting was “the match of Ray Davies”. His most recent album Florence was released on the excellent Fika Recordings label.

Ralegh Long is an English singer-songwriter. His critically acclaimed debut album Hoverance was released on Gare du Nord records in 2015. It is a beautifully pastoral record, in the tradition of Bill Fay and Nick Drake. Tracks from Hoverance received airplay on BBC 6 Music, from DJs including Lauren Laverne, Guy Garvey and Gideon Coe, BBC Scotland, BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio. The Guardian praised it for its “twilit ambience and demented beauty”, and in a four star review MOJO celebrated its “spooky pastoralism”.

Deerful is Emma Winston, a London-based multi-instrumentalist, singer, maker and academic. After several years spent as a session keyboard player and vocalist for artists and bands including Owl & Mouse and Enderby’s Room, she decided to begin making music of her own. She writes and performs story-led, electronic pop on miniature synthesisers about running away, staying in place, brokenness, recovery, and taking up space in the world.

Our resident DJ Sam Cottis of the music site For The Rabbits will be playing records in-between the bands.

SEA PINKS GIG ON FRI 12TH FEB

Our gig night is back for our first show of the year with Sea Pinks headlining at The Shacklewell Arms on Friday 12th February.

Tickets can be bought in advance for £6 from WeGotTickets and they’ll be £8 on the door. 

Sea Pinks are a Belfast trio consisting of Neil Brogan on guitar and vocals (also known as a founder member of Girls Names), Steven Henry on bass and Davey Agnew on drums. Their new LP Soft Days is the band’s second full-length studio record following on from 2014’s Dreaming Tracks and three previous DIY albums.

It’s a snapshot of a band growing in confidence and hitting its stride as a three piece. It’s also thrillingly eclectic, cherry picking genres with magpie abandon with rave reviews from QUncutLouder Than WarClash and The Line of Best Fit as well as airplay on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 Music. Together, they unite on forging blissful guitar pop out of everyday tension and are without doubt one of the most distinctive guitar bands around right now.

The Leaf Library are a London-based quintet who have recently released their debut album Daylight Versions on one of our favourite labels WIAIWYA. They play shimmering shoegaze and deep drone that evokes the changing seasons which has been compared with Stereolab. Championed by the likes of Pete Paphides and Gideon Coe, Daylight Versions received a glowing a five star review in The Guardian. Not to be missed.

Young Romance are an indiepop duo whose musical evolution wraps joyous vocals depicting a sorrowful narrative in a blanket of distorted guitars. Last year they put out their first EP Wild on Banquet Records on the back of support slots with the likes of Summer Camp, Slow Club and Mystery Jets. Keep an eye out for the release of their debut LP coming soon.

Our resident DJ Sam Cottis of the music site For The Rabbits will be playing records in-between the bands.

LÆTITIA SADIER GIG ON FRI 4TH DEC

Our gig night returns with Lætitia Sadier playing The Shacklewell Arms for our final show of the year on Friday 4th December.

Tickets can be bought in advance for £6 from WeGotTickets and they’ll be £8 on the door.

Since Stereolab went on indefinite hiatus in 2009, Lætitia Sadier has released three solo albums, The TripSilencio and Something Shines. An enthralling live performer, Pitchfork praised “her voice still oozes ethereality and sophistication” on her debut LP.

Sadier was also a member of one of our favourite bands of all time, the hugely influential McCarthy, played in the dream-pop side project Monade, and has contributed vocals to various groups and projects such as Blur, Luna and Benjamin Schoos.

Cosines are a mathematical pop band from North London. Simon Nelson and Alice Hubley met on the London Underground after a Stereo Total gig. They started making music together, fusing metronomic pop sensibilities, 60’s grooves and krautrock noise. The band’s line up was completed by Hubley’s old Loves bandmates Daniel Chapman and Jonny Drums and A Smile and A Ribbon’s Kajsa Tretow. They played their first show in April 2012, and since then have played shows with Comet Gain, Shrag and Still Flyin’ as well the Indietracks Festival releasing singles on Fika Recordings.

Wolf Girl are a garage pop four-piece based in South London. Their debut EP Mama’s Boy was released on limited edition cassette on Soft Power Records in 2014, and stays true to the poppy energy of their frenetic live shows. It’s been said that they both do and don’t sound like the Ramones, and have also been compared to both The Shop Assistants and Bratmobile.

Our resident DJ Sam Cottis of the music site For The Rabbits will be playing records in-between the bands.