The sprawling mass of guitar crunching, arse licking and general music industry schmoosing that is In The City took over Manchester once again over the first weekend in October. Having taken a week and a half to digest the sonic treats that were on offer Gigwise has brought together the low-down on who were the hottest bands in town and who we expect to be making the grade in the next year. This is not the Gospel truth, only the Gigwise truth.
So here we go…
Hailing out of the unusual music hot bed that is Grimsby Orphan Boy have stumbled on a sound that’s rough around the edges but with the potential to develop into something a little bit special. Half John Cooper Clarke, half Johnny Rotten front man Rob Cross brings a little punk dressed up in some catchy pop like an old hand who was born to perform. Orphan Boy’s concern is placed firmly in feeling, a feeling contorted by the aggression and passion of the Sex Pistols.
London four piece Guillemots are a spectacle, on seeing their gig at ITC one Gigwise writer was heard to mutter “Its special, and beyond words, Guillemots have claimed ITC for themselves”. Fronted by the Fyfe Hutchins, a mercurial individual if ever there was one, they wield miniature keyboards and produce tactile broken rhythms. Touted by many as the next big thing lets hope their next step is as bold and as definite as the claims they herald.
English Victorian Gentleman’s Club
The English Victorian Gentleman’s Club are two thirds a marketing mans dream and one third gimp. Typical of the Fantastic Plastic label they’re signed to and brilliant in nearly every way the English Victorian Gentleman’s club are all girlie wails and choppy guitar set to the repetition of seemingly meaningless phrases, i.e. “armature maaan, armature maaaaaan”. A little awkward in all the right places and fantastic to watch.
Conjurers of lush guitar-pop music The Immediates are a hot-bed of considerable talent. The Irish quartet have something of the Royston Vasey about them and have a penchant for a constant rotation of instruments. Their track ‘In Towers and Clouds’ is a particular standout with its slow building harmonies, it’s a smart and considered tune that gives weight and depth to a band that deserve big things.
The North-East has produced yet another potential art-rock heavy weight in the making in the form of Kubichek!. Raised from the dead of their previous band they have received glowing reviews of their abrasive pop take on danceable indie rock in recent months. Energetic and exuberant, melodic and pulsating – these are but just a few of the words that would describe them both on record and live. Expect a lot more in 2006.
A ferociously tight guitar band who bandy about riffs and lyrics like hot potatoes and sing sharp, shouty songs about everyday occurences - bandmates drinking too much, throwing up and breaking hearts. Good Shoes are fun and indie- disco-danceable with a Futureheads’ tang – there’s no doubt that they’ll soon be snapped up by one of the many baying industry hounds who were sniffing around the unsigned stage.
Boy Called Roy
Jaunty punk-pop fronted by a cheery young fellow looking like a primary-school teacher masquerading as a pop-star. Prickly guitar pop swirled with an occasional Tropicana vibe, some quirky little drum breathers and drawling vocals – a gold star for the lads from Sheffield. The steel city has a seemingly endless conveyer belt of talent at the moment and Boy Called Roy are the next in that long line.
A gorgeously classy acoustic act; American-born Feeney’s clear, melancholy tones and candid lyrics combine with accordion, peddle-steel guitar and drums to produce a sound as rich and smooth as melted chocolate. It’s no surprise, then, that Feeney’s lush ‘Mr Blue’ has been chosen to feature in the new Gwyneth Paltrow flick.
Razor sharp guitar pop; stylish members and stylish songs for the stylish indie-kid. Jostling guitars and ice-cold vocals combine to create some downright dirty dance-floor fillers. These whippet thin Norwich kids, The Pistolas, are nonchalant to say the least but have everything in their armoury, including plenty of attitude, to go all the way.
You now have the information but as they say ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’ - go out and devour them to your hearts content.