Check out some of my written work below; featuring gig reviews, interviews, festival coverage and album/EP reviews.
INTERVIEW : Otherkin
Dublin based quartet Otherkin have done it again with the new single ‘Come On, Hello’. The punchy track with swirling vocals and abrasive riffs is the next track to be released from the upcoming debut album ‘OK’ released 29th September. The lads have already had a huge year, with opening for Guns ‘N’ Roses Slane Castle show being one of the highlights as well as their own UK headline tour! Following the release of the single and the upcoming album, GIGsoup’s Tara Atkinson got a quick chat with the Otherkin boys. Talking everything from their new music, merch and talking to aliens.
GIG: The Darkness - King George's Hall
Remember the 00’s? Baggy clothes, the birth of reality tv, myspace and that band with the guy who can hit the high notes. That band was called The Darkness and guess what… they’re still going and they’re back on tour.
ALBUM : Declan McKenna - What Do You Think About The Car?
Declan McKenna’s long awaited debut album is finally here, and boy was it worth the wait! The 18 year old alongside his band have created an absolute banger with ‘What Do You Think About The Car?’. Each track has intense, thought provoking ideals behind them, put forward by Declan’s incredible lyrical talent, alongside astounding melodies.
GIG : Pale Waves - Sound Control
To look at them you’d think Manchester quartet Pale Waves were an up and coming punk band, you’d be surprised if you walked past the sold out Sound Control on Wednesday night to hear beautiful indie waves streaming through the doors. Having just released their latest single Television Romance and completing a support slot on their label buddies The 1975’s American tour, it’s no surprise that Pale Waves have racked up a huge number of fans over the past year and that number is only going up!
INTERVIEW : Heir
Bringing a hit of the 80’s into the current day, Heir are back with their new single ‘Need You The Most’. Dreamy synths, bouncing bass lines and those electric riffs that are oh so eighties, really make this a track that make it irresistible not to get up and have a boogie to. Frontman Tom Hammond’s swirling vocals are insanely good, not to mention the lyrical work… after just a couple of listens you’ll be singing every word until your neighbours are sick of you.
EP : Hydromag - Sweet Obsession
Hydromag is the solo project of Canterbury based artist Josh Best-Shaw. A multi-instrumentalist who has managed to capture the essence of a simple bedroom recording into something astounding, ultimately creating an EP that doesn’t fail to make all your senses tingle. The four track EP ‘Sweet Obsession’ was released last month and has already achieved huge success with fans and industry professionals alike.
INTERVIEW : Glassmaps
Glassmaps is the solo project of Howling Bells’ guitarist, Joel Stein, and with the release of their debut single ‘Summer Rain’ it wouldn’t come as a surprise if this band went on to do just as well as his former. The track is a mix of garage and blues rock getting into a dreamy chorus with tantalizing riffs and vocals throughout.
GIG : Deco - Soup Kitchen
Having played in Manchester two weeks ago for Dot to Dot festival, Deco were back in the city this week for their first headline show and will definitely be back for more! The quartet released their new single ‘Chances’ last Friday, a feel-good indie pop track with a catchy bass line, fiery riffs and enticing vocals. An upbeat live performance video fits perfectly with the new song and is sure to spark some interest for new fans.
EP : Touts - Sickening and Deplorable
Irish rock trio Touts released their debut EP ‘Sickening & Deplorable’ last week, and what a debut it is! Each of the four tracks brings back memories of that ever so dearly missed 70’s punk; fast paced, remarkable lyrics and raucous vocals round this album off as one to set the lads on a rollercoaster of a career in the music industry.
INTERVIEW : Dot To Dot - Alaskalaska
Six piece band Alaskalaska are next up in Tara Atkinson’s ‘In Their Own Words’ series. Having released two new singles this week, we chatted with the lads about Welsh festivals, studio memories and of course their upcoming performance at Dot To Dot.
INTERVIEW : Dot To Dot - The Slow Readers Club
More and more bands are creating huge success for themselves whilst remarkably still being unsigned. The Slow Readers Club are the perfect example of this; selling out venues across the UK just by word of mouth, supporting James, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and playing at various different festivals shows just how hard this band have worked over the last few years.
GIG : Proletariat - Jimmy's
To celebrate the release of their debut EP ‘Always The Same’, Proletariat played to a very sweaty sold out crowd at their headline gig at Jimmy’s in Manchester last Friday night, in association with This Feeling. The venue to be for the North West’s best rising talent, we’re sure that Proletariat are going to make a huge mark on 2017!
INTERVIEW : Dot To Dot - To Kill A King
With less than a month to go until Dot To Dot festival, Tara Atkinson spoke to indie-rock band To Kill A King regarding their performance and new single ‘Good Old Days’. A track that fuses old school rock with atmospheric vocals and melancholy type synths, creating a sound that is pure and original to the five piece.
INTERVIEW : Ardyn
It’s been a long wait to hear some new music from Ardyn, a year in fact! But never fear, today they are back with the new single ‘Together’ produced by Tourist, and the wait feels so worth it.
INTERVIEW : Dot To Dot - Low Island
Having just released their new single ‘Holding It Down’, Oxford based electro four piece Low Island are set to play their first ever festival as a band this May at Dot To Dot! With soothing vocals, enticing synths and a cool vibe that’ll have you dancing all night long; Low Island are not ones to be missed at this years festival!
GIG : You Me At Six - Manchester Academy
The first night of the UK tour and back in Manchester for the first time in over 2 years, You Me At Six are without question back in business! Just days after finishing their headline European tour, the Surrey based quintet have embarked on an 11 date trip around the UK with The Night People tour.
GIG : Circa Waves - Manchester Academy
Many great music artists have come out of streets of Liverpool; The Beatles, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and The Wombats to name a few. The latest addition to follow in the footsteps of these iconic bands is four piece Circa Waves.
GIG : VANT - Gorilla
It’s not very often you find a band that mix indie rock and politicism as impeccably as VANT do! It almost takes you back to the Sex Pistols era, and with our world in it’s current state, this band is sure to succeed. The London based four piece played to a rowdy sold out crowd at Manchester’s Gorilla last night, and it’s no surprise it was a sell out; with the success of their debut album ‘DUMB BLOOD’ released 2 weeks ago.
GIG: Chic ft. Nile Rodgers - Liverpool Echo Arena
We were promised a party, and a party is what we got! The opening night of Liverpool Music Week consisted of a sold out Echo Arena, enough funky disco music to last a life time, oh yeah and that little band you might have heard of called CHIC! The last time CHIC strut their stuff in Liverpool was 1979, 38 years later they’re back with no difference other than a hairstyle or two. Mr Nile Rodgers kicked off the 15th anniversary of the Liverpool festival as only a seasoned professional of his stature would, walking up to the mic under the worlds biggest disco ball exclaiming; “I have a feeling you came here to party!” before opening with one of their most successful tracks ‘Everybody Dance’.
GIG : Will Joseph Cook - LiVe Preston
Having just celebrated his debut albums ‘Sweet Dreamer’ 6-month birthday, Will Joseph Cook has set out on the second and final tour of this LP. Starting with a trip to Preston’s LiVe venue in the Guild Hall, a first for this city and one that didn’t disappoint.
FESTIVAL : Dot To Dot - Manchester
Dot to Dot festival is an iconic fixture every year, not only for the audiences turning out, but also for the bands who are given a platform to progress in the music scene itself. With speculation about whether it was going to go ahead after the tragedy of the terrorist attack in Manchester on Monday, it is clear to see the strength of Manchester as a city to look to music as a way of pushing forward, thus perpetuating Manchester’s brilliant musical vignette.
INTERVIEW - Gardenback
Back in July we went to Gardenback’s debut single launch gig at Jimmy’s and what a show they put on! Now the trio are back with a brand new track ‘Bulldogs’. A rapid, dirty bassline fits perfectly beneath the roaring vocals and gritty riffs. “B-U-L-L-D-O-G!” gives an added bonus to a live set, as you can imagine the crowd chanting along to the bruising track. We spoke to the lads about their “music for the anxious loner” and what they’ve got in store as the year comes to a close.
INTERVIEW : Touts
Having just released their debut EP ‘Sickening & Deplorable’, punk rockers Touts are preparing for the summer of their lives filled with some huge tour dates and festivals. The Irish trio are in the midst of something truly great, bringing back that 70’s punk movement while keeping a fresh, enticing sound that is unique to them. With support slots with Blossoms and Kasabian’s this summer it’s no surprise that they’re proving to be one of the rising bands of 2017.
INTERVIEW : The Vex
London based quartet The Vex are back with the powerful new single ‘Education Kills’. A fitting title seeing as it is about the extraordinary woman that is Malala Yousafzi who was killed whilst campaigning for women’s rights to education. The track does her complete justice; gritty riffs, gnarly vocals and an instantly recognisable grungy melody makes ‘Education Kills’ one to take this band to the top! Hearing The Vex’s music makes you reminisce about that raw 70’s punk era that so badly needs injecting back into the current music industry, and with this track The Vex manage it with ease.onths.
GIG : Little Illusion Machine / Ladies' Darts Night / Gardenback - Jimmy's
A fantastic evening of psychedelia took place last Saturday night at one of Manchester’s most popular new venues Jimmy’s, filled to the brim with rock and punk tunes, an ecstatic crowd, plus a little bit of good ol’ Theresa May thrown in for good measure! The evening put together by Elephant Management consisted of three of the cities best up and coming bands; Little Illusion Machine, Ladies’ Darts Night and headliners Gardenback.
EP : Airways - Starting To Spin
Peterborough based quartet Airways’ debut EP ‘Starting To Spin’ is packed full of promise, without doubt making them ones to keep your eyes and ears on over the next few months. The indie rock band have already had huge support from the industry and have supported the likes of Nothing But Thieves, The Hunna and Sunset Suns on full UK tours. Having formed just over two years ago, these lads have worked their arses off and now with the EP finally here, all the hard work is starting to pay off.
INTERVIEW - Pat Dam Smyth
Northern Irish solo artist Pat Dam Smyth released his latest single ‘Juliette’ last month, and with his UK tour currently underway we took time to chat with him about the track and EP coming later this year! The latest single opens with a moody atmosphere, followed by a euphoric chorus, beautiful vocals and heart wrenching lyrics. As soon as you hear ‘Juliette’ it’s obvious it’s Pat Dam Smyth! In the years leading up to this release it’s clear he’s managed to carve out his own sound, drawing inspiration from Pink Floyd and Nick Cave, he’s created something pure and unique which is sure to gain a mass of fans in no time.
GIG : Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles - Sound Control
Former Catfish and the Bottlemen guitarist Billy Bibby is back on top form, this time with his band The Wry Smiles.After leaving Catfish in the summer of 2014, Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles formed a year later creating smooth rock tracks to keep you going throughout the year! Last Saturday the band played their biggest headline show to date at Manchester’s Sound Control with three brilliant support bands… An evening full of Manchester’s (and a little of South Wales) growing talent.
INTERVIEW : Dot To Dot - Banfi
Three piece pop rock band Banfi are newbies to Dot To Dot, but don’t let that phase you as these lads are sure to put on one hell of a show over the festival weekend. The London based trio have just released the video for their new single ‘Rosedale House’ following on from their debut ‘Happy When You Go’. From what we’ve heard so far, we can only expect the band to get bigger and better as the months roll through.
INTERVIEW : Dot To Dot - Kolars
Electric duo Kolars are the next instalment in Tara Atkinson’s ‘In Their Own Words’ series. The LA based duo are made up of Rob Kolar’s impeccable vocals and groovy riffs, along side Lauren Brown’s dynamic drum style involving her using her whole body as the instrument; this is a live set you do not want to miss at this years Dot To Dot festival!
INTERVIEW : Proletariat
So many great music artists have come out of Manchester over the years, some would say it’s where the worlds greatest bands are born; think Blossoms and Cabbage just over the last few months! The most recent fresh new band hoping to follow in their footsteps is Proletariat, the four piece from Mossley have just released their debut single ‘Mr. Brown’ and from the sounds of it, you do not want to miss out on this band’s rise to fame!
GIG : The Amazons - Deaf Institute
A blow up shark, glow bands and plenty of drinks to go around. Just your average gig for Reading based 4 piece, The Amazons. The second night of the second leg of their UK headline tour at Manchester’s The Deaf Institute, and what a night it was. With frontman Matthew Thomson exclaiming, “this is probably our favourite gig so far!”
INTERVIEW : Dot To Dot - Tender
As Dot To Dot draws nearer, North London based Tender are the latest instalment in our ‘In Their Own Words’ feature. The duo’s name is extremely fitting as they deliver tender, electro-indie, chilled beats into our ears with the new single ‘Erode’. And with their debut album coming this summer, we can only wait to be blown away by more of their majestic “ downtempo, vibey sex music.”
INTERVIEW : Dot To Dot - Heaters
The US is being very well represented at this years Dot To Dot festival, with the line up featuring some of America’s best up and coming musicians. One of the bands flying over from the States is Michigan based Heaters. The rock band are well known for their pitch-perfect raw vocals and heavy psych-rock guitar riffs, and with their second album ‘Baptistina’ out last year it’s no surprise Heaters are venturing out across the pond. They stopped by to chat with us about their studio highlights, English breakfast and their slot at Dot To Dot…
INTERVIEW : Aylee
Electro-pop musician Aylee is the latest exciting new artist to come out of the Scottish highlands, she releases her debut single ‘Bad Habit’ today – and what a debut it is! Boasting infectious melodies, dreamy vocals, hard hitting lyrics and a drop so good you’ll have it stuck in your head for days; Aylee is set for huge things this year!
INTERVIEW : Marsicans
We here at GIGsoup have been following Marsicans for a while now, after seeing them perform at Manchester’s Dot To Dot in May, they’re back with another huge track ‘Too Good’! The Leeds quartet keep in with their groovy, indie-pop trademark sound alongside swirling vocals, raw percussion and punchy bass line. Not to mention the instantly recognisable harmonies and extremely addictive melody, something these lads have proved to be too good at, if you mind the pun. Always creating unique and refreshing tracks that make you want to get up and dance and sing-a-long to, even on public transport… yes I’m speaking from experience.
INTERVIEW : COLOUR
COLOUR release their new single ‘Minus’ this Friday, via their own COLOUR Recordings, as the second installment from their upcoming EP ‘The Famous Boy Making Things’ set for release in late autumn. The track opens with a heavy, bold bass line, bleeding into ecstatic riffs and punchy drums. Not to mention the genius lyrical work and swirling vocals similar to that of The Amazons’ front man Matthew Thomson. Blend all that together and you get something pure and original to add into the ‘Micro-Prog’ genre.
INTERVIEW : FAERS
FAERS have created a brilliantly unique sound that takes you to another dimension every time you catch a glimpse of their music. The new single ‘Last Of Our Kind’ is nothing short of a magical dreamland; captivating vocals, enigmatic riffs and stunning lyrics make the track, and the band, a force to be reckoned with. The indie quintet from London are at the forefront of what looks to be a magnificent career. With their original sound and passion for music, it won’t come as a surprise if these guys blow up over the next couple of years. GIGsoup’s Tara Atkinson caught up with the FAERS lads ahead of their Camden Assembly show next month.
INTERVIEW : Dot To Dot - Overcoats
Having released their debut album ‘Young’ last month, Overcoats are preparing themselves for a huge year ahead. The duo from NYC blend their voices in a way that hasn’t really been heard before, it’s more than just harmonies, it’s as if their voices were meant to fit together! Their latest instalment is the video for the new single ‘Leave The Light On’, the track focuses in on those magnificent harmonies with contrasting synths, in turn creating something pure and unique to Overcoats.
INTERVIEW : Dot To Dot - Easy Life
With only a week to go until Dot To Dot festival kicks off in Manchester, we here at GIGsoup managed to grab a quick chat with Easy Life’s Sam ahead of their performance. The quartet are having a brilliant year so far; having played at various festivals such as 2Q, Splendour, and Handmade, they’ve just been announced for Y Not and will be playing D2D at the end of this month. The debut EP is also in the works and should be ready for our ears in the coming months, with all of this in mind you can expect to be hearing a lot more from the Leicester based band this summer!
INTERVIEW : Dot To Dot - Swimming Tapes
Swimming Tapes’ Louis Price recently took the time to speak to us about the five piece’s upcoming performance at Dot To Dot festival. The dreamy guitar pop band hailing from London have just reached 1 million hits with their single ‘Cameo’, a track filled with luscious riffs, soothing vocals and fantastic melodies.
INTERVIEW : Dot To Dot - Ardyn
Up next for our ‘In Their Own Words’ series is Gloucestershire based duo Ardyn. A lot of bands struggle with being away from their families for months on end when they are on tour, and whilst some call this a blessing in disguise, Ardyn don’t struggle with this problem as the siblings always have each others backs.
INTERVIEW : Dot To Dot - RedFaces
The next best thing to come out of Sheffield since Arctic Monkeys? Indie-rock quartet RedFaces certainly live up to that comparison with the latest single Kerosene. With one of the best bass lines you’ve heard in a long time, instantly recognisable vocals and a melody that you’ll be humming for days; it’s shouldn’t come as a surprise why RedFaces are one of the rising new bands of 2017.
INTERVIEW : Chris Reardon
If you want to be a singer-songwriter you need to have something special. You have to captivate the audience with not only your voice and music but with mesmerizing, relatable lyrics. Chris Reardon does exactly that with his new single ‘Bends’, a track packed full of melodic riffs, soothing percussion and keys, powerful vocals and heartfelt lyrics. Chris has also released the music video for the single, involving an epic garden party that we can only wish to have been a part of! A fun video that perfectly suits the chilled feel of the song.
INTERVIEW : Dot To Dot - Sonny
17 year old singer, songwriter Sonny is one of the newbies to Dot To Dot, set to bring fresh, chilled vibes to this years festival. His debut single ‘Princess’ features stunning lyrics, majestic vocals and beautifully arranged strings. With his debut EP ‘Hopeless Romance’ released last week, Sonny is preparing himself for a big year ahead.
INTERVIEW : Dot To Dot - Yonaka
Brighton based four-piece Yonaka are a force to be reckoned with at the moment. Currently supporting Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, with an upcoming co-headline tour with GURR and various festivals planned for the summer; they’re fast becoming one of the most exciting new names in the indie rock scene.
INTERVIEW - Dot To Dot - Parcels
Dot To Dot festival takes place this May, with artists flying in from all over the world to perform in Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham. One of these is Australian born, Berlin based Parcels. Having released their EP ‘Hideout’ in January and a tour with Two Door Cinema Club ticked off the list, it’s no wonder the five piece are set for huge things this year.
GIG : LANY - Gorilla
Los Angeles based LANY played their second UK gig of their European tour on Tuesday night at Manchester’s Gorilla. After various support slots with the likes of Troye Sivan, Ellie Goulding, and Oh Wonder over the past year, the 3 piece are back as headliners. And with only 3 UK dates, it’s no surprise that tickets sold out.
GIG : Sundara Karma - Manchester Albert Hall
Fresh from their support slot on Two Door Cinema Club’s UK tour, Sundara Karma embarked on their own sold out headline tour last week, playing Manchester’s Albert Hall on Friday night. The lyrics to ‘Be Nobody’ “all the kids are ravers ‘cause the church is now the club” springs to mind with this revamped venue.
GIG : High Tyde - Deaf Institute
You may have heard of High Tyde from various support slots over the past year including; The Hunna, Little Comets & Peace. Now they are back with a 4 date headline tour of their own along with the new single ‘Keep On’.
GIG : INHEAVEN - Preston LiVe
After various support slots touring with VANT and The Big Moon, INHEAVEN ended their UK headline tour in Preston’s new venue LiVe in the Guild Hall last night.The London based indie rock 4-piece recently released their new single ‘Treats’, a song that sets them apart from the crowd. With Chloe’s strong bittersweet vocals and the abrasive rock guitar riffs it’s no surprise this band have already had huge success.