So far, 2016 has been amazing for music. I think so at least. Bands have been cropping up left right and centre, some unreal singles/EP’s have been released and I want to talk about some of the bands I think will have a big impact in the latter half of this year.
The Island Club have been on my personal radar for a while after they played a couple of gigs in my hometown and supported D.I.D in their hometown, Brighton (which I attended). The first time I saw them they blew me away and the first thing I did after was look them up on Spotify and wonder why they only had 100-or-so monthly listeners. In the past few weeks they have suddenly jumped up to 3500 monthly listeners and while it came very quick, I’m not surprised. This South Coast quintet are the perfect blend of funk and pop and it’s no wonder they’re drawing attention now, in the height of summer.
This five piece from Portsmouth are somewhat of a cult band where I’m from and they’ve done it totally organically through sheer hard work and determination. Named after a street where they come from, it’s no wonder the boys have such an ever growing fanbase in Hampshire. After sell out gigs at The Wedgewood Rooms and The Joiners, it is only a matter of when they break out of Hampshire and head for national stardom.
Leeds, like a lot of northern cities in the UK, has a fantastic reputation for music. Marsicans are at the forefront of their scene and it is just wonderful. They organise a club night called Schoolnight which features a Marsicans DJ Set and a couple of Leeds bands, usually good friends of theirs. What a lovely bunch of guys. Here we are just hoping they take Schoolnight on tour, bring it down to Brighton lads?
Another Leeds band to add to your Spotify summer playlist, Clay recently toured with another band on this list, Kassassin Street. They create sun drenched indie music with a certain swagger unmatched by a lot of other bands around. You can expect to see them at festivals next year if the response to their singles so far is anything to go by.
Excuse the amount of South Coast bands, but High Tyde deserve a mention. In April, the quartet embarked on a massive 16-date UK tour which has to be viewed as the start of something huge. Their live show is intense, to say the very least. This combined with their unbelievably catchy songs and knack for a lyrical hook are probably the reasons they are becoming increasingly likely to break through the barrier between small indie band and being able to sell out any venue given to them.
Get Inuit are particularly peculiar for me. I had the pleasure of seeing them play to a virtually empty venue called The Anvil in Bournemouth no less than 5 months ago. Since then, they’ve headed out to Texas for SXSW as well as toured with Spring King and Vant. Now, when I saw them I had no doubt I was watching something special. If that’s what they play like in front of virtually no one, I’m intrigued to see what they play like in front of a sold out venue.
This Newcastle four piece have been building themselves up for a while now, and now the time has come that they couldn’t confine themselves any longer, they have taken it perfectly in their stride. They have gained a reputation in their home town and it’s no wonder why. They’ve recently sold out a two night residency at Newcastle’s Surf Cafe and announced a gig on a boat that will happen on 23rd June. Be there if you can, it will be special.
Completing the three Brighton based bands on this list (says something about that incredible city) are Fickle Friends. They’ve been on their way up for a while and at the start of 2016 they confirmed their worth by signing to Polydor, probably after a major bidding war. They write festival ready 80’s tinged indie pop and it just works. Their live shows are dancy and their fans adore them and I have no doubt this band will release the album of the year, whichever year they release it.
Oh, Liverpool. Is there many more prolific cities in the UK for music than Liverpool? Clean Cut Kid would argue not. Creating fuzzy pop music that is almost impossible to hate, Clean Cut Kid have one of the best work ethics I’ve seen from any band in a while. If you don’t believe me, look at their festival lineup. They’ve supported everyone, from Circa Waves to Shura to Brandon Flowers to Fickle Friends. The strange thing? They’re versatile enough to fit on every one of these bills. They will be huge, full stop.
Bred in Milton Keynes and based in London, Rocky Nti spent years honing his songwriting craft in his bedroom before deciding to make himself public and thank god he did it this way, because the end product is gloriously simple 3-minute indie jams sounding like an evidently British rocky (excuse the pun) Ed Sheeran. Rocky has been on tour with Eliza and the Bear and Panic! At The Disco and is just generally a wonderful guy playing the music he loves and with that mentality there is no reason he shouldn’t break through to the mainstream.
Written by Lee Vincent