Monday, January 08, 2018
This Feeling Big in 2018: 3 cities, 5 nights, 27 bands
This Feeling Big in 2018.
Words: Richard Cobb
There’s always that false air of excitement around this time of year where some fresh faced, early 20s caffeined to the eye balls Radio 1 presenter who took a hoverboard to work announces the ‘Sound of 2018’ midway through a hapless tale of the how hard Dry January’s been. A list which, whilst there’s no denying there’s a few gems in, always seems to break down when you do a bit of digging and clock that it’s all just one massive marketing campaign tug of war and their major label have effectively just paid their way into your ears.
So, if you’re looking for an honest list with less of an agenda, look no further than these bands that, renowned by its own merits, promoters This Feeling are showcasing and tipping for success in 2018.
London’s Anteros are effortlessly catchy, and surely destined for a big one this year. Last year’s standout track ‘Drunk’ has a driving beat which sounds like something out of Arctic Monkeys last album if it was commandeered by Blondie post recording and the vocals were re-recorded and there was a splash of synth added into the mix.
No strangers to Little Indie, Avalanche Party, along with their mates The Blinders are carving their own path to the big time thanks to their memorable live shows which have been hailed by many with their ear to the ground as one of the highlights of last year. You can’t afford to miss them this year.
If you’re a fan of getting suitably inebriated at the weekend with your mates in a field, at a gig, at a house, or alone without your mates on a Tuesday afternoon, you’ll adore Calva Louise and their DIY approach which has drawn comparisons to The Big Moon.
Aberdeen’s Capollos haven’t even had their first gig yet, but have already caught the eye of This Feeling as they’ve lined them up for their debut gig as one of the 'Big in...' acts. Sonically, think The Sherlocks and Catfish & the Bottlemen and you’ll be on the right lines. If they carry on the way they’re going they’ll be the biggest thing to come out of Aberdeen since oil and granite.
I first caught a glimpse of Dundee’s Carousel at a This Feeling show in Glasgow last year alongside The Blinders and Shambolics, where they put a huge amount of energy and passion into their set. Carrying on from the earlier mention of Catfish & the Bottlemen, this is another band who have them to thank for inspiration. There’s a real urgency to this band and it’s not hard to see why they’re being tipped for big things this year.
Dubbed as sounding like “a melting-pot of proto-punk rockabilly and snotty indie” by This Feeling, I reckon if you’re going to any UK festivals this year, there’s a good chance you’ll see these guys, their leather jackets, their cheek-bones and their heavy basslines there.
If you’re longing for the days when The Strokes didn’t record their album individually on a laptop, throw it up on the cloud and dry retch it back out to their fans without bothering to listen to the end product, Heavy Rapids will fill that void perfectly for you.
Try to ignore the usual pitfalls of a Sunday newspaper spouting you the usual patronising Victorian bollocks along the lines of “This all girl group kick ass. Did we mention it was an all female line-up?” It’s 2018 now and I for one am sick to death of that being the main focus when all that matters is the music. Hey Charlie are class and the fierce attitude is what being in a band is all about.
With over 3.5 million plays for their song ‘Thank God I’m Not You’, Cardiff-based Himalayas have amassed so many hits on Spotify that they surely must be edging dangerously close to Spotify’s worst nightmare of having to actually pay someone royalty’s. Think Arctic Monkeys with a wider range of backing vocals.
This Feeling have called their sound “Jangling indie with a stadium sized gleam.” Saying Judas have a bright future ahead of them is probably the worst kept secret in the music industry.
The Jade Assembly
The key to a bands success and longevity is the strength of its fanbase, and Bolton’s The Jade Assembly have amassed a small army of loyal fans in a similar way to The Courteeners, and things haven’t worked out too badly for them.
Marmite lover and sister of Carl, it would be a disservice to say Lucie Barat’s success is down to anything other than her own talent. There’s a mix of Kate Nash, Courtney Barnett and Patti Smith in the delivery here which creates a real raw and honest style.
Matter of Mind
If you liked the 1975 before they disappeared through a cloud of smoke, moments later to reappear back on 80s' Stars In Their Eyes, with an almost Nickelback-esque divide in opinion, Matter of Mind are ones to keep an eye on this year.
“Swaggering Mancs with enough personality to fill ten stages.” A thought shared both by the promoters and festival goers alike. They’re mint.
Haunting vocals and powerful music packed full of attitude and aggression create a unique sound somewhere between Bat for Lashes and Anna Calvi with occasional unexpected Jack White like guitar lines.
Sporting a similar bloodthirsty passion and energy to bands like Slaves, Proletariat have a lot to offer this year, and their working class pride shines through on their songs which has built them up a devoted fanbase in return. Though unfortunately I’ve not been able to get that film about the horse, Secretariat out of my head since seeing their name.
For as long as these guys are around, punk is far from dead.
Rising from the ashes of well-loved Edinburgh band The Merrylees, Rituals are a darker, more matured reincarnation with a hint of Echo & The Bunnymen and The Jesus & Mary Chain about them.
“Bedford ballers who can flit from visceral rock to heartfelt balladry in the blink of an eye.” - This Feeling. DMA’s went from the small time to a huge deal over the space of a few short months. Don’t be surprised if The Scruff do the same.
Grunge has never been a genre to hog the limelight, it’s always been that quiet one in the corner of the pub doing the crossword and not being overly bothered if anyone comes and speaks to them or not. With the growing popularity of bands like Ulrika Spacek and The Wytches over the last few years, Sleeptalking probably won’t have time to do any crosswords this year.
With their sound being hailed as “two brothers who make enough noise to waken the dead”, it will be hard to ignore the sounds of this band if you see them at a venue or festival later this year.
New bands playing their own classic blues rock is somewhat of a rarity these days, so it’s a welcome addition to the list to see The Surrenders here. Instead of relying on old grainy footage from Woodstock, get yourself down to a small venue to see a band adding a bit of roll on to the classic sounds.
If what’s been described as “a raging bloke from Banbury, who knows a thing or two about face-melting riffs” doesn’t sell this guy for you, his Royal Blood, Lenny Kravitz and Them Crooked Vultures sounding track ‘What It Takes’ should do the trick.
The Velvet Hands
With one song sounding like Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos fronting The Strokes and the next sounding like a frantic cycle away from a school bully, there’s a lot of variety on offer from The Velvet Hands and you never know what you’re going to get next.
If you’re feeling a bit of a void with the disappearance of everyone’s favourite scallywags Palma Violets, look no further than Glasgow’s Voodoos to take your mind off it. They share a similar sound to city mates Baby Strange too - which isn’t a bad thing.
If you like guitar music, skinny jeans, Red Stripe and catchy indie songs, you probably won’t need any more convincing to listen to this Sheffield lot who emerged late last year with debut 'Nightsweats'.
“Cocksure bravado decorated with terrace-chant choruses. MEGA.” - This Feeling. If you’re reading this, the chances are you’ve already heard this band, they need no further introduction. They’ll likely be top of many a ‘to see list’ this year.
Last, but not least, another band from Glasgow, which highlights just how good the scene is there just now. The Vanities sound like a mic’d up bull in a china shop. There’s similarities to The Undertones and The Vaccines with a bit of early Cure in there too.
Not one to miss a beat, This Feeling have these 27 artists playing Big in 2018 showcase shows in London, Manchester and Glasgow. See below for dates and go to thisfeeling.co.uk for tickets.
13 Nambucca w/ Anteros, Judas, Avalanche Party, SHEAFS, Hey Charlie, Himalayas, Calva Louise, The Surrenders, Lucie Barat.
25 The Monarch w/ The Velvet Hands, The Scruff, Ulysses Wells, Nadia Sheikh, Sleeptalking, SONS.
20 Jimmy’s w/ Proletariat, Mint, Matter of Mind, Voodoos.
21 Jimmy’s Wulfman Fury, The Jade Assembly, Generation, The Racket.
09 Broadcast w/ Heavy Rapids, Rituals, Carousel, The Capollos.
Click for Playlist