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2018 has got off to an amazing start. Over two years ago I set up Northern Exposure because I felt there was a lack of frontmen and women that possessed that magical lure. Well, over the past two months I’ve come across 4 more awe-inspiring bands that have blown all my preconceived expectations out of the water. They’ve each played memorable sets and i’m excited. All different in genre and style, I honestly don’t think any four of these bands actually realise just how good they are. The following bands are all naturally, influential artists – full of passion, mystery and expertise. Live, you know the gigs and bands that are making an impact, the ones you come away from buzzing for days after, the ones that the next day your downloading their music and looking where they are playing next. The following bands play those gigs – they have the ability to hold the entire audience in their hands, creating that interaction that blows your mind for days after. 

HANDS OFF GRETEL – Don’t judge a book by its cover.

With over 100k views on some of their YouTube videos, I was told about Hands Off Gretel about 18 months ago and I’ll be honest I had a quick two min listen and thought they weren’t my genre. Well, big mistake. This band is ridiculously over-saturated in talent and despite their emo pop-punk appearance have a universal appeal. In musical terms, they are an amazing band, but there is no doubt Lauren Tate is the jewel in the crown.

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She has this thing about her that you can’t explain — the thing that makes somebody a star. When she walks into the room, you just have to take notice. Lyrically, Lauren touches on subjects we have all come across in our lives and is instantly relatable. After seeing their live performance at the INmusic final I’ve been hooked: Lauren has that allure,  a star waiting to claim her crown. I look forward to them gaining more attention outside of their usual genre circles. Catch them at…

MAY 11 Ferocious Dog + guests Hands Off Gretel // Holmfirth The Picturedrome, Holmfirth Get Tickets

JUN 2 Camden Rocks Festival 2018 – Second Announcement Camden Rocks Festival Get Tickets

JUL 14 BeanFest 2018 BeanFest

AUG 2 FILF@Rebellion Blackpool 2018 Winter Gardens Blackpool Get Tickets

OCT 5 Butlins Great British Alternative Festival 5-8 Oct 2018 Butlins Skegness Get Tickets

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AVALANCHE PARTY – Improvisational, thrilling and wild.

On their game and continuing to rise from the secluded realms of Castleton, the hedonistic Avalanche Party are a band you must see live. This band have been on my radar for over a year but due to one thing or another, I’ve only just got round to seeing them live. Their headline show at Cafe Totem was one of the most explosive performances I’ve ever witnessed. I was massively impressed by their level of energy and whilst it would be easy to compare them to the likes of Strange Bones or False Heads – Avalanche Party’s energy is something else, they completely lack fear and the entire band are not intimidated by the large crowds they are attracting. They inhabit the space they’re in and put a full on assault on your senses. Singer, Jordan Bell, is a master of stagecraft and possesses that dramatic intensity that is irresistible.

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To witness it’s almost like he’s teetering on the edge of a cliff throughout the whole set, he’s somewhere else and in a trance and I love that. You can literally smell the talent on him, throwing himself into the crowd and completely losing it, I’d go as far to say it was almost like he was possesed – brilliant. The whole band have got so much fighting spirit that creates a euphoric atmosphere, like so many others in the crowd on both occasions, I’ve been totally gripped. The band go on tour with This Feeling next month and play a huge show at the Georgian Theatre in Stockton-On-Tees in June…

MAR 16 This Feeling – Birmingham w/ Avalanche Party + supports The Sunflower Lounge Get Tickets

MAR 17 This Feeling – Leicester w/ Avalanche Party, The Strawberries O2 Academy Leicester Get Tickets

APR 5 This Feeling – Cardiff w/ Avalanche Party + supports TBA The Moon Cardiff Get Tickets

APR 6 This Feeling – Bristol w/ Avalanche Party + supports TBA Get Tickets

APR 7 This Feeling – London w/ Avalanche Party + supports TBA The Water Rats Get Tickets

APR 14 This Feeling – Leeds w/ Avalanche Party + supports TBA Lending Room Get Tickets

APR 20 This Feeling – Manchester w/ Avalanche Party + supports TBA Jimmy’s Get Tickets

APR 21 This Feeling – Sheffield w/ Avalanche Party + supports TBA Café Totem Get Tickets

APR 27 This Feeling – Glasgow w/ Avalanche Party + supports TBA Broadcast Get Tickets

APR 28 This Feeling – Edinburgh w/ Avalanche Party + supports TBA Sneaky Pete’s Get Tickets

JUN 23 Georgian Theatre, Stockton-On-Tees Get Tickets

HIMALAYAS – Young & talented this band are the next big thing to come out of Wales.

Himalayas are quickly rising to be one of the UK’s most acclaimed new unsigned bands and its not hard to see why. Everything in their songs are catchy, but its the potential this band possesses is what really attracts me. They are so focussed, young and insanely talented. They are a spectacle, ready to become spectacular…

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The band possess a raw energy and deliver it with such precision on a grand scale. They mean it, and you can hear it throughout their work. The band’s energy is infectious but Joseph Williams doesn’t need to do much moving or throwing himself about, because his voice is just so captivating. I predict massive things for these lads. Don’t miss them at… 

THE SURRENDERS – Voice, that soul, that look.

Enticing on stage, with an amazing voice Connor Brooke’s is a frontman with soul and rock ‘n’ roll. Full of guts and brilliant vocal control, Connor has confidence, he knows the pitch, and he’s like here is the sound. Connor’s voice is smooth and smoky, his whole demeanour on stage oozes sass. The whole band produce a bluesy rock reminiscent of the 1970’s but with an up to date edge that’s difficult to pinpoint. We were mesmerised at This Feelings #BigIn2018 by not only his breath-taking performance but by the craftsmanship of the whole band – with harmonies and texture on point and their look from another decade altogether but in the best way possible.

MAR 3 This Feeling – Brighton w/ Creeping Jean, The Surrenders + more The Hope & Ruin Get Tickets

Dates and info at:


Images: Rachel Brown, Trust A fox Photography Rhona Murphy photography, Gareth Burroughs






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