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The Minx Release New Single (Can You Find) My Head?

The Minx are a four piece band from Manchester comprising of Chris Haddon (vocals/guitar), Paul Robinson (guitar/vocals), Steven Stuttard (bass), Kieran McIntyre (keys/vocals) and Andy Evans (drums).

The Minx are set to release their new single (Can You Find) My Head?

The Mancunian band write smart, lean, gleeful songs about ordinary life. The BBC’s Steve Lamacq compared them to Buzzcocks and The Undertones when he played their last single Forest Bank on 6 Music. Guy Garvey from Elbow loves them too and Louder Than War’s John Robb just named them “the best new band in Manchester“. And to top it off, the band’s latest single (Can You Find) My Head? has the main role in Dr Martens’ international Autumn/Winter 2013 TV ad campaign.

The Minx’s new single (Can You Find) My Head? is accompanied by a brilliant new video which uses scatter-gun visuals, kaleidoscopic colours and frenzied gig footage shot around Manchester on charity-shop Hi-8 cameras.

The band have just announced their biggest headline gig yet at Sound Control on Saturday 7 December to coincide with the single’s release – and having sold out every single show they’ve played in Manchester, it’s set to be another occasion for their rabid fanbase to pack out the venue and get stuck in to yet another raucous set from their favourite band.

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Introducing…Clear

Clear are Chris Damms (piano, guitars, vocals), Jools Buffey -(piano, vocals), Hugh Ruiz (bass), Bryan Day (vocals, guitars, piano, keyboards) and Andy Cook (drums).

The band’s single Sunlight is getting an incredible reaction already, picking up tons of word-of-mouth national radio play. BBC’s Gary Crowley has played it 6 weeks running, BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson is raving about it and Simon Raymonde played and praised it on Xfm.

Clear Sunlight

Clear Sunlight

Perhaps it’s no surprise Sheffield’s Clear are wowing so many people; they’re very closely connected to Richard Hawley – one of Sheffield’s most celebrated musical sons. Clear’s members variously record, gig or produce with him. Andy Cook, having played alongside him in 90s darlings Longpigs, still plays in Richard’s band today as does multi-instrumentalist Bryan Day. It was Hawley’s producer and collaborator, Colin Eliot, who hunted down the band having heard talk of their cache of brilliant songs. He eventually convinced them to come into his studio to capture their music. A short, fruitful session followed and then Sunlight was gloriously born.

Clear have been carefully honing their craft, absorbing the golden-hued hits from the late 60s and early 70s and trying to figure out what made those songs sound so timeless. Thus Paul Simon, Neil Diamond, James Taylor, Jackson Browne and that classic west-coast feel was temporarily relocated to the grittier locale of Sheffield when Clear penned Sunlight.

Sunlight is a marvellous track that’s perfect for the end of summer as we slowly lose sight of the sun and unwillingly welcome in those winter chills. It’s the sort of song that helps you picture the last dregs of sunlight that are clinging on to light up the sky on a summer evening. It’s a relaxing, uplifting and melodic track. The vocals are soft with the acoustic guitar gently massaging and complimenting them. It’s definitely a must hear.

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Introducing…Straw Bear

So who are Straw Bear? Straw Bear are singer and lyricist Ian Ray, guitarist Chris Gray, bassist Tom Shipp, Pas Struthers (drums) and guitarist Catie Wicks. Singer/songwriter Ian Ray and guitarist Chris Gray met at school in a “dull market town in Cambridgeshire”. Over time, Tom Shipp, Pas Struthers and Catie Wicks joined the fold and they are now spread out all over the south-east. The band took their name from a pagan Fenland festival.

Straw Bear’s album Black Bank is an intriguing collection of oddball folk, alt-country vistas and poppier delights like Snobbery. Produced by Chris Taylor of The Bays at his studio in the eerie Fens, it has attracted breathless praise from the music press and bloggers, notably earning five-star reviews from respected magazine Rock’n’Reel and audio bible Sound on Sound. It has been released by Cambridgeshire-based label Oilbug Music.

Straw Bear

Straw Bear

If you’re a fan of Belle & Sebastian, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynki and Stornaway then you’ll probably like Straw Bear – they’re a band for people with an interest in psychedelia, alt-country and leftfield pop. Their influences come from a predictable range of some of the usual suspects (Talking Heads, Neil Young, Nick Cave, Squeeze) and more recently Grizzly Bear, The Shins, Tame Impala and Other Lives.

Straw Bear are set to release their debut single Snobbery on Monday 29 July. BBC radio DJs have been falling over each other to play Straw Bear’s delicious new single with recent spins from Huw Stephens, Tom Robinson, Jen Long & Ally McCrae, the legendary ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris, Gideon Coe, Chris Hawkins and Gary Crowley.

The song recently wowed a packed room at BBC Introducing’s Great Escape showcase in May after Straw Bear were handpicked by Tom Robinson to perform on the back of a terrific BBC 6 Music session.

Snobbery showcases all that Straw Bear’s acolytes have come to expect: wry storytelling, gorgeous vocals and sparkling tunes – this time telling the tale of love across the class divide from a snob’s perspective.

There’s also a brilliantly chic video for Snobbery, shot in the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square, that shows the band play while they watch a slapstick comedy echoing the song’s lyrics. The video was produced by Flying Guillotine and can be viewed below.

Straw Bears are touring the UK with the Kate Rogers Band in July. All tour dates are below:

Thursday July 25th: MANCHESTER – Night & Day
Friday July 26th: LIVERPOOL – Zanzibar
Sunday July 28th: LONDON – The Dublin Castle

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Introducing…The Kate Rogers Band

Kate Rogers is nomadic – musically and personally – and her music soars beautifully as a result. She’s blessed with a genuinely gorgeous voice, a cluster of fabulously diverse, pin-sharp songs and an ability to view the world from a degree or two off-kilter.

Anger Management is her new UK single release and is a huge radio hit in her native Canada already. It’s a single that’s bound to capture as many hearts in the UK with its contrasting icy observations and tender warmth.

The Kate Rogers Band

Kate Rogers from The Kate Rogers Band

Kate and her music are naggingly familiar but somehow refreshing and luxurious at the same time. After a bunch of fruitful musical collaborations, she’s releasing her new album Repeat Repeat – her most impressively innovative album to date.

Produced by Toronto’s Chris Stringer (Timber Timbre, Ohbijou, Snowblink), Repeat Repeat lays bare the vast scope of emotions Kate has grown so adept at exposing to her audience. Kate’s music sounds typically American in some ways but in other ways it’s a sound all of its own. Her voice is angelic and innocent however her lyrics always dig a little deeper under the surface. Her music isn’t far off 60s and 70s folk even with a little Fleetwood Mac influence being heard in places, especially on the vocals.

Born in the middle of nowhere in Canada, Kate somewhat unexpectedly discovered success in the UK after lending her voice to Mark Rae’s Manchester-based Rae and Christian project and was signed to the prestigious Grand Central label.

The Kate Rogers band consists of Kate Rogers, Robbie Grunwald, Devon Henderson, Josh Van Tassel, Alex Dodd, Joel Schwartz, and Julia Hambleton.

Kate and her band will be touring the UK in July. You can catch them live on the following dates:

Thursday July 25 MANCHESTER – Night & Day (w/ Straw Bear)
Friday July 26 LIVERPOOL – Zanzibar (w/ Straw Bear)
Saturday July 27 NEWCASTLE – The Cluny
Sunday July 28 LONDON – The Dublin Castle (w/ Straw Bear)

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Introducing…The Minx

The Minx are a four piece band from Manchester comprising of Chris Haddon (vocals/guitar), Paul Robinson (guitar/vocals), Steven Stuttard (bass), Kieran McIntyre (keys/vocals) and Andy Evans (drums).

The Minx write smart, lean, gleeful songs about ordinary life – think of the look, feel and sound of The Buzzcocks and The Undertones and you’re close.

The Minx

The Minx

There are no pretentions or haircuts in The Minx – just a clutch of great three-minute pop songs and a handy knack for getting their audience going. And it’s for a good reason The Minx don’t sound like the Mancunian bands you’d expect but have still connected with the youth in the manner you’d hope.

Word of mouth has spread the news about The Minx’s gigs quickly around town, their young acolytes packing shows to the rafters. And kids have found kindred spirits in The Minx. They’re lads you’d like to meet in the pub: smart, sharp-dressed, unpretentious and fun but with the brilliant pop tunes, snappy lyrics and infectious enthusiasm that have filled dance-floors citywide.

Echoes of fellow Mancunians The Buzzcocks and pop-punk pioneers The Undertones shoot through their short and sweet paeans to the joys of real life.

Chris Haddon, singer and guitarist, says that there’s no huge secret to The Minx’s successful recipe of pop-noise: “We’re just five best mates from Wythenshawe interested in all cultures and everyday life – we all love Punk, Reggae, Soul, New Wave and Pop, and it all comes out in the music we make. It’s Frank Sinatra meets Joe Strummer with a good backbeat”.

You can listen to their single Forest Bank here or watch the video for the track below.

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City Reign Set Off On Tour…And Make A Playlist For Q

Mancunian indie rockers City Reign set off on a national tour last week that includes a support slot for Bella Union’s Concrete Knives.

The band have released a behind-the-scenes video to show their fans what they got up to in the rehearsal studio. Just a heads up – you will be surprised at how glamorous their rehearsal space is…You can view the video below.

Not only have they been busy rehearsing for their tour, they have also compiled a playlist as requested by Q Magazine. As City Reign recorded their album in Salford’s Sacred Trinity Church, Q Magazine asked them to curate a playlist of their favourite tracks that were recorded in odd places. They picked a varied bunch, including Johnny Cash, Doves, Bon Iver, U2 and My Morning Jacket. The playlist can be found on Spotify here.

Their single Making Plans is set for release on February 25 with their debut album, Another Step being released on March 11.

City Reign Forthcoming Live Dates:

Mar 8 Castle Hotel Manchester, United Kingdom (SUPPORTING CONCRETE KNIVES)
Mar 15 Bull & Gate London, United Kingdom

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Darktown Jubilee – Stay (Acoustic Live)

Darktown Jubilee have recently released a video of them performing their new single Stay live. The video sees the band perform the single acoustically.

Darktown Jubilee

Darktown Jubilee

Stay is taken from the forthcoming album, The World, The Flesh & The Devil which is set for release on March 11. It’s the follow up to 2012′s Breakdown and has seen the band gain a lot of attention. Stay made such an impact that world renowned engineer, Cenzo Townsend mixed the single for them. Cenzo Townsend has worked with The Vaccines, Florence + the Machine, The Machine, U2, The Editors and The Maccabees.

Stay is a classic and triumphant indie rock song which works perfectly as an acoustic number. Hearing it acoustically opens up the emotional aspects of the song, it starts to feel like a love song, dare I say.

Singer/guitarist David Boardman from the band comments:

“Stay is the most emotionally direct song on the record and has always connected with audiences so it became an obvious choice when we were considering singles. It was a dream to get Cenzo to remix it for us. He has mixed some of the greatest records of the last 10 years and I think brought out the best in the track, bringing to it an increased energy and dynamic range.”

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