Generator brings an explosion of new music to Roundhouse Rising, with the best emerging artists unearthed through Generator’s innovative new music blog, The Tipping Point.
Friday 21st February
The Roundhouse (Studio Theatre)
Adv. Tickets £8
"Recalling the pop-leaning parts of The Cure’s back catalogue along with other, shoegazier inspirations, the band prefers to talk up the influence of New York school poets Frank O’Hara and John Ashberry" The Fly
Sheffield five piece Blessa recently released their debut single 'Between Times'. Recorded, mixed and produced by MJ of Hookworms, ‘Between Times’ is a song predicated on emotion without resorting to cheap sentimentalism. It questions the insincerity of typical representations of love and loss in modern day pop music. In contrast with other bands in Sheffield, Blessa attempt to create a more textured, expansive, escapist aesthetic, offering a fresh alternative to the garage rock and punk influenced bands around the city.
Blessa, in its current and definitive guise, formed through a long standing friendship between Olivia (vocals) and Alex (guitar). Studying English Literature in the Steel City they began to be influenced by prose, poetry and the physical world around them; rather than by their musical contemporaries. Lyrically drawing references from the New York School poets such as Frank O’Hara and John Ashbery, and taking musical inspiration from the binaries of darkness/light and open/closed spaces, they set on forging a new Sheffield sound with the now completed line up of Andy (drums), Rob (guitar) and Jake (bass).
Having begun as a shy solo singer-songwriter, Sophie Jamieson’s project has evolved rapidly into something ambient and haunting. What were once quiet, melancholy folk songs are growing in strength and gaining atmosphere at the hands of her band, to provide one of the most engaging live sets taking place in London.
As hard-working as musicians come, Sophie spent her first year after graduating gigging relentlessly in the capital. The year has brought highlights of radio play on BBC 6Music and BBC Introducing, playing live in session for Amazing Radio, supporting Emily and the Woods, Keston Cobblers Club, Josh Record and a signing to boutique label Folkroom Records. Her debut, ‘Where EP’ was released in June 2013, launched with a sold-out show at The Slaughtered Lamb and has since gained wide praise from blogs and press. Sophie’s diligence has earned her a strong and ever-expanding reputation on the London music scene.
Sophie and her bandmates, Liam Hoflay and Alex Betancourt, continue to grace London venues on a regular basis. Drawing comparisons to the likes to Daughter, Sharon Van Etten and Beach House, the quiet three-piece are constantly pushing their sound, with the promise of yet more compelling material to come.
Prides burst on to the internet with ' Out Of The Blue’, a rare song that is not only immediately familiar but sounds better with each listen. After posts from tastemakers like The Line of Best Fit, Neon Gold and Pigeons and Planes this Glasgow based trio announced their first shows and the song lived in the Top 5 on Hype Machine. After a summer of playing dozens of festivals from the tiny Ullapalooza to the massive Reading and Leeds and finding themselves on BBC Radio 1, Prides are now back in the studio recording an EP and preparing for a tour of their native Scotland along with more English dates and a visits to the states for CMJ and SXSW.
Prides formed in 2013 out of the ashes of several local bands. The boys signed to Island records when two of the members were in a band called Midnight Lion. Stewart Brock sings and play keyboards, Callum Wiseman plays guitar, keys and sings and Lewis Gardiner plays drums and is the band's producer.
“A nigh-on perfect piece of pop” Fake DIY
“A cracking new band” Lauren Laverne
“Pretty darn brilliant… a wonderfully atmospheric experience” Pigeons & Planes
Released in the Autumn, Fé’s ‘Time’ was a flawless signal of intent from a band we consider to be an extremely significant new discovery. The next single was ‘She Came’, a moment of endearing pop perfection (November 2013, Bad Life). The response to their music has been breathtaking, with BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music and The Guardian all rushing to heap praise on the band.
In both singles, Leo and Ben have proclaimed their arrival with wonderful, heroic melodies, heartfelt sentiment and a euphoric sense of space. Their music oozes an ambition for which superlatives fail us; the kind of songs that feel like they already belongs to the fabric of modern life.
For Fé, music is a compulsion. Before the band took off, every day Leo and Ben would take to the London Underground with their guitars. Traversing the packed carriages, they would battle to endear themselves to commuters with an exquisitely performed repertoire made up of skiffle versions of early R&B and rock n roll songs. Faced with adulation, apathy, or actual bodily harm, it’s the challenge upon which they thrived; the thrill of entertaining. They were fuelled by the endless love for music that they encounter on the trains, with the band themselves describing this ritual as ‘getting under the skin of the city': an 'unquenchable well of inspiration, £50 notes, stamps and phone numbers’. These years of busking together have cultured a joyous ethos which is at the heart of Fe's music; outwards, open, honest and always striving to make that connection.
They first met in a meat container under the Westway, London, in which Leo lived. Straight away they began writing together and so began a musical marriage that has consumed their lives ever since. With no running water or heating to speak of, for years they spent tireless hours locked away crafting their songs, fusing their love for classic songwriting with contemporary electronics. Finally this spring they felt ready, and decided upon the name Fé, which has been borrowed from Leo’s Grandmother.
The finesse of Fé owes much to those years spent demanding perfection from their own songwriting. It’s now that they are ready to unleash their music upon the world, with a devastatingly good live show to match.