Rock & roll has always been such a potent voice for cultural revolutions and currently we are on the cusp of yet another occurrence and a magical thrill is, yet again, in the air. We are in the midst of an astonishing creative peak with a surge of talented, young bright bands who are extremely passionate about their craft. While successfully driving a wedge into the heart of the mainstream, they are unstoppable.
We follow on from our ‘Best Live Bands of 2017‘ with ‘Northern Exposure’s One’s To Watch… 2018.’
Hot off the support tour with Texas in Dubai and South Africa on their stadium tour, we first watched singer-songwriter Emily Capell at the Isle of Wight Festival last year. We were blown away by Emily’s witty, current and fresh lyrics and style. A young yet phenomenal guitarist with dynamic songwriting skills and a beautiful voice, Emily leaves a lasting impression wherever she performs. Definitely, one to watch in 2018. Follow Emily at… Emily Capell Facebook
The Assist recently supported their fellow Brummies The Twang on their tour up and down the UK at the end of last year. The band who lovingly describe themselves as a ‘four-piece council pop/rock band from Walsall’ are heading for a very bright future after singles ‘Wonderful’ and ‘Trouble’ racked up serious plays on services such as iTunes and Spotify. The band continue to deliver and released ‘Give It To Me’ in October on This Feeling Records which is, by far, their most defining single to date. Big things are without a doubt on the horizon. Find out more at… The Assist Facebook
Psychedelic, grunge rockers Fluorescent produce a visceral, emotive racket full of raw gritty angst. The band always give a wild, full-on performance and the crowds go crazy. The band is made up of all Sheffield-based musicians on a mission for new-wave grunge. This year brings new music and they another Sheffield band you want to look out for. The band play Burnley for their third slot with CounterCult Records on the 4th March. All details here… Fluorescent Facebook
Birmingham-based Ivory Wave play colossal upbeat indie-electro dance, fusing wicked hooks, fuzzy guitar lines and addictive choruses. Keen to get people on the dance floor, the band have an impressive legion of loyal fans in Birmingham and have now started their assault up and down the UK, recently touring with The Twang. The band are set to release a new single in February and play a huge gig at The Sunflower Lounge on January 13th in Birmingham. All details here… Ivory Wave w/ Social State, Cave Girl & The Novus
Scarbrough’s indie rockers Stray Scene are a mix of indie /retro/alternative rock that whips crowds into a frenzy with Radio 1’s Jericho Keys recently describing their live gigs as ‘pure carnage’. Their tracks are a superb blend of rhythmic beats, catchy lyrics and excellent guitar riffs. Stray Scene are proud to have played with some of the best names in the UK including Cast, Twisted Wheel, The Sherlocks, Lightening Seeds, Otherkin, Alias Kid, Inspiral Carpets, The Rifles, JUDAS, Jackobins, Glass Caves, Sisteray, Various Cruelties, Chris Helme (Seahorses), Tea Street Band, The Slow Readers Club, 12 Dirty Bullets, Exit Calm, All The Young and many more. They have had their tracks played on BBC Introducing radio stations and as well as playing dates with This Feeling last year and ourselves for Musicians Against Homelessness, touring tracks from their debut album “Vive Somnium” released in November 2016. Keep up-to-date with the band here… Stray Scene Facebook
Dominating the stage since 2014, Sisteray are a punk four-piece who make it their mission to share their powerful anti-establishment messages. They express their meaningful lyrics with such passion that you are immediately engrossed in them. Tackling social issues with riotous drums and aggressive guitars, attitude goes for your jugular, as frontman Niall Rowan hurls his catchy choruses at you. This band have successfully carved out their own sound ,taking influences from many bands such as The Clash, The Libertines and The Smiths. The band played a blinding set for us at The Leadmill for Musicians Against Homelessness and the band hits the North again on tour over the next few months, including playing for us again at The Kavaliers single launch. All info here… Northern Exposure Presents The Kavaliers/Sisteray/Teeff
The highly enthusiastic West Midlands based trio, The Americas (who let’s just clarify, are making very British music) are Alex Bradshaw, Aaron Whittaker and Harry Payne. They are a sensational hard rock ‘n’ blues get up with a blow-the-house-down set that could translate into a debut album perfectly. Ripping it up with great playing and memorable songs, the minute they start their set it’s immediately clear that the rebirth of rock ‘n’ roll is upon us. Checking out the bands Facebook earlier today, announcements of shows in 2018 will soon be upon us! Keep updated at… The Americas Facebook
What a year MINT had last year with plays on Radio X, backing from BBC Introducing and BBC Radio 6 with plays from Steve Lamacq. MINT were also picked up by This Feeling and played festivals such as Isle of Wight, Y Not and Reading. The end of the year saw the single release of ‘St. Oxford’ which was played on ITV and Channel 4. 2018 looks set to solidify the band as major contenders to break through. The band are tipped as one of This Feelings #Big In 2018 and play Jimmy’s on the 20th of January all details here… This Feeling – Manchester ‘Big in 2018’
False Heads are another band that had a phenomenal 2018. They are intent on bringing post-millennial grunge kicking and screaming in to the modern day. Supporting The Libertines last year, the London-based trio are establishing themselves as one of the country’s premier live acts. To say that the band are destined for big things would be an understatement. They launch new single RETINA and hit the road with Strange Bones for several UK dates and will play Europe for the first time.
All info and tickets at… False Heads Website
Teeff are a Sheffield/Leeds based guitar and drums duo, featuring an excellent singing drummer. Now it’s one thing to be a good drummer but to be a great drummer – one who keeps the beat, plays for the whole song, and who imbues his craft with a unique sense of personality – that’s something else altogether and here’s where Teeff excel. Churning out their catchy kick-ass, blues tinged rock with an irresistible swagger, the band caught our attention after playing for us at the Frog & Parrot. Check out Captain Vere below and catch the band live in Sheffield on the 27th of January at The Kavaliers’ single launch: Northern Exposure Presents The Kavaliers/Sisteray/Teeff
CELLAR DOOR MOON CROW
Cellar Door Moon Crow have proved to the world that they are a force to be reckoned with, their unique gritty sound –White Stripes and Black Keys mixed together with a sprinkle of Beastie Boys for good measure – giving them a real edge in what can sometimes be seen as a rather muted musical landscape. This two-piece is made up of two brothers: Tom and Phil Goodwin who hail from Sheffield. Tom plays the drums, piano, harmonica and everything in between while Phil sings and plays the guitar. Cellar Door Moon Crow are finding a distinctly unique sound through mash-up and experimentation of their influences. It shouldn’t work but it really does. The tracks stay with you long after the clubs are closed and their dedication and hard work is evident through their tireless reworking and blending of these contrasting styles. ‘East to the West’, their current release is testimony to that and shows how unafraid these boys are to push the boundaries time and time again. Follow them at… Cellar Door Moon Crow Facebook
Doncaster born and bred band of five musicians and writers who have burst on to the scene with their own spin on indie-rock. With Tom on vocals, Alex on bass, Matty & Sam on guitars and Jordan on drums they always deliver a dynamic performance. Wowing audiences recently at The Music People Party in Camden, they are now preparing for an EP release along with video and single launch set for January 27th at The Hubs in Sheffield before touring around the UK in Spring 2018 which include This Feeling sets in London and their first gig in Paris. All details for the upcoming launch here… Northern Exposure Presents The Kavaliers/Sisteray/Teeff
THE SLOW READERS CLUB
The Slow Readers Club have gone from playing the small venues of the Northern Quarter to selling out The Ritz and The Albert Hall months in advance and supporting James at Manchester Arena, Brixton Academy, and Castlefield Bowl. Soaring vocals, pounding basslines and sets full of potential singles, 2018 is definitely going to be The Slow Readers Club’s year to break. Keep up with all news and events here… The Slow Readers Club Facebook
With their energetic shows and original take on riff-driven rock, Berries describe themselves as ‘grunge, rock with some bluesy riffs and discords thrown in every now and then … and a lot of hair.’ On stage, they have an enigmatic quality as all three girls – Holly on vocals and guitar, Lauren on guitar and Lucie on drums – are charismatic, striking and hugely talented in what they do. With an electric energy and tight performances with each song, they are quickly gaining an impressive following as their reputation for great performances and originality takes flight. You can follow the girls here… Berries Facebook
All bands mentioned here are destined for big things this year. Keep your eyes on Northern Exposure for more from the above and the newest talent as it arises.
Rachel Brown & Kate O’Brien