Because there's more to Notts than Jake Bugg + Robin Hood
Andrew Trendell
13:16 4th September 2014

Every so often, a lazy journalist will write that Jake Bugg is from Manchester, Sheffield or Liverpool - assuming that a massive act could never come from Nottingham. How incredibly ignorant and misguided they are. Nottingham is not only a hotbed for creativity at the moment, but home of the most exciting rising artists and bands around. 

It has everything that Manchester or Sheffield has but within the walking distance of a relatively small but eclectic city centre. From the sprawling world-within-a-world of Mansfield Road, the chic and boutique corners of Hockley or the historic monasticism of the Lace Market, Nottingham is a town where the old and new collide and blend in perfect harmony – where tradition lays the groundwork for upward thinking.

The music is no different, so please check out these 13 brilliant Notts acts that you need in your life. 

Because there's more to Notts than Jake Bugg + Robin Hood

  • Indiana: The latest Notts act to head straight from NG1 (the postcode, not the gay bar) to the mainstream is Indiana - currently all over the radio, and rightly so. Her trance-inducing blend of honey-sweet vocals, simmering and subtle dark disco and a canon of other sounds have her tipped for greatness. Her debut album No Romeo is out next year, and is going to be massive. Key tracks: 'Solo Dancing', 'Heart On Fire', 'Shadow Flash'.

  • Sleaford Mods: No nonsense, no gimmicks, no bullshit, just proper music with a punk attitude made for all the right reasons. Not for the faint-hearted. Key tracks: 'Tied Up In Nottz', 'Jolly Fucker', 'Job Seeker'.

  • Ronika: Having been hotly-tipped for a fair few years now, pop queen Ronika finally dropped her debut album back in June. Titled Selectadisc after Nottingham's most beloved record store, it contains all the eclecticism, fun warmth and cheeky charm of the city itself. Key tracks: 'Forget Yourself', 'What's In Your Bag', 'Only Only'

  • Fists: With countless artists welcoming the return of Pavement with shameless imitation, Fists are something else. Although harkening back to the glory days of Lo-Fi brilliance, Fists are a refreshingly nostalgia-free and joyful listening experience. They do DIY, and they do it well. While you're at it, check out all of their other local labelmates on the excellent Hello Thor imprint Key tracks: 'Ascending', 'Cockatoo', 'Go'

  • Saint Raymond: Feel good indie-pop that's destined for arenas. Having supported HAIM, been produced by Jacknife Lee, covered Whitney Houston for his Gigwise session, sold out the Scala in London and landed himself on a major label, we're in have no doubt that's where he'll be in no time. Key tracks: 'I Want You', 'Brighter Days', 'Young Blood'

  • I Am Lono: Pillaging the best of the worlds of electronica, goth and synth-pop, I Am Lono's sound takes tired elements and fires them at 100mph into the future. It's like an awesome Tron nightmare sequence. Key tracks: 'Too Bright', 'Simone', 'In Silence'.

  • Dusty Bible & The Canadians: They already take the prize for best band name in this feature but they also provide indisputable evidence that the River Trent in fact links up to the Mississippi Delta. Guttural rock to shake your bones and rattle your soul. Key tracks: 'Cross', 'How Did It Come To This', 'Hell No'.

  • Grey Hairs: Another Hello Thor signing, this Harry Nilsson covering outfit is a Frankenstein's creation of the limbs of several local bands - and it makes for one hell of a fierce beast. Key tracks: 'Jump Into The Fire', 'Final Solution', 'White As Whispers'

  • Nina Smith: Sweet, meandering acoustic soul with a fresh urban edge, Smith has the vulnerability, ambition, charm and knack of penning one hell of an earworm to see her go much, much further. Key tracks: 'Sexy Surprise', 'Love To Leave' 'Come Home'.

  • Lacey: Bypassing record label politics, Lacey have managed to crow-fund their debut LP on Pledgemusic through the support of scores of hardcore fans and admiration from the likes of Bowling For Soup. Nothing can stop their horizon-chasing arena-emo. Key tracks: 'Let It Go', 'Hometown', 'Burning Out'.

  • Kogumaza: Where kraut, drone and Black Sabbath meet in one glorious noise. Catch them supporting Hookworms on tour. Key tracks: 'Ursids', 'Cosmonauts', 'Swang'. (Photo: Andrei)

  • Harleighblu: A Winehouse-esque diva of sound with a down to Earth soul. Key tracks: 'Enough Now', 'Who's That Girl', 'Let Me Be'

  • Alright The Captain: Mathy without ever bordering on self-indulgent, just a universe of awesome sounds compressed into sharp bursts of post-rock insanity. Key tracks: 'Bolognaise Holiday', 'Hurt Burger', 'Snake Tits'


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