Photo Credit: Riot Photography


Okay, enough with the overexcitedness. You see, I’m still a little hyper. Less than 24 hours ago I witnessed an absolutely incredible showcase of some of Notts’ best local talent, and it really was something to behold!

I know you’re sick of hearing the rules and the idea behind it, but just in case there’s anyone out there who’s been living under a very big rock; the Future Sound of Nottingham gave six Nottingham artists the opportunity to play THE most famous stage in Nottingham, Rock City. The stage that pretty much everyone in Notts’ has seen one of their idols on. And, how’s this for a cherry on top of the awesome stage cake, the winners get to open the main stage at Splendour Festival in July, you know, to just, 20,000 people… not many.

Anyways, the night kicked off with a bang. There was a great crowd from the start, and it was lovely to see how many people came out to support the artists. Opening the main stage we had CROSA ROSA. Now, you’ve gotta give these guys credit; the first act on in the competition is bound to be bricking it, but these boys came out and smashed it! Their heavy, grungy distorted sounds shook the entire venue, and of course, had a few mosh pits erupting… THE RASCELS fans looked a little concerned…

Next up, bringing things slightly more upbeat, we had the Power-Pop/Disco/Funk/Soul/yeah he’s hard to describe okay, of OSCAR SPEED (and band). All looking rather fancy in their smart attire, Oscar kicked his set straight off by introducing his phenomenal band, before kicking into “Wait For More”, a song that is still stuck in my head now (that’s even after the afterparty!). Oscar and his band are the perfect get up and dance kind of act, and Oscar simply oozes style and confidence on stage. I heard a fair few people comparing them to disco legends Chic; which, you know, isn’t bad, I wouldn’t mind being compared to a million selling band. Although I did hear one guy say Ricky Martin, I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not…

Keeping things upbeat,we had JOY MUMFORD (and band) take to the stage. She kicked straight into “Attention” and I know I’ve used this line before, but dammit I’m gonna use it again, that song catches your attention. Seriously; Joy has a knack for penning one heck of a catchy Soul/Folk/Pop tune. As she moved into her second song, Joy put down the guitar, and went a bit gospel on us, and bleddy hell did it work. She had the crowd in the palm of her hand, clapping along, singing back the words; I can only imagine how incredible that must have felt for her. Joy’s band compliment her sound incredibly well; and I’m still drooling over Matt’s guitar. That caught my attention… okay, I’ll stop now.

FIELD STUDIES took to the stage next. These guys got put straight through to the final from round one after the judges loved them so much; so there were high expectations for em. Well, believe me when I say that they were met. It’s really hard to translate Ambient-Rock live, but these boys, in my opinion, sounded even better live than on record; and that’s quite a feat considering they sound bloody good on record. Their set closer “Closer” (I see what they did there!) was really something to behold. A speech known as “I Am Become Death” by Robert Oppenheimer introduces the song as the room goes quiet; and then vocalist Chris’ voice sent shivers down everyone’s spine as he kicked the song off with an incredibly powerful vocal.

You could tell that THE RASCELS were taking to the stage next; as the room erupted into loads of high-pitched screaming. I wasn’t part of that, I swear. Anyways, these guys just have a knack for making incredibly catchy Pop-Rock. One of the new songs that they played, “Kiss Me Like You Mean It” summed the band up perfectly. Huge catchy choruses, punch the air riffs; and just general feel good vibes. I may sound like a hippy, but honestly, these guys just make you feel good! They finished the set with their lead single “My Summertime” and it’s just one of the catchiest songs I’ve ever heard. I was lucky enough to be up on the balcony, and I saw plenty of cool kids trying to resist the temptation to dance… but they couldn’t! Oh, and as cute as it was, the fan girls at the front, please double check your spelling before you make a huge sign that everyone can see.

The last competing artist we had take to the stage was JOSH WHEATLEY (and band). Now, if you didn’t get a hug off this man on the night, then I’m sure you can pretty much sue him now; but anyways, back to the music; Josh quite simply smashed it. He kicked off his set solo, and as first song “Howls” started to come to an end, his band walked out on stage and elevated Josh’s sound to another level. Josh’s beautiful voice was shown off best by his set closer however; during “Follow The Smoke” Josh had a fair majority of the crowd singing back his lyrics, and you could tell how overwhelmed he was by the support. It didn’t stop Josh from putting on an incredible performance though, and I’m sure there were people leaving the venue singing “follow the schmooke, follow the schmoke”. Actually don’t. Smoking is bad for you kids…

So, now that all the competing artists had took to the stage, it was up to me and the rest of the Nusic team to use a calculator for the first time since GCSE maths, as we added up all the scores. But, we didn’t want you lot awkwardly pottering around like you’re at a school disco; so as is tradition, we had a special guest performer. Following in the footsteps of SAINT RAYMOND and INDIANA, this year we had GEORGIE! I only got the chance to catch one song before I was running about like a headless chicken backstage; but from the song I saw, and the feedback I heard afterwards, they put on an awesome performance. They haven’t been together that long as a band, but they sounded so slick and tight up on stage, you’d have thought they’d been performing together for years!

Well, after GEORGIE, it was of course the big moment. As I legged it around the entirety of Rock City (it’s like a bloody maze that place you know), the artists lined themselves up next to the stage. Mark Del introduced the acts back onto Rock City’s main stage. And here we were… the big moment. Mark revealed, that in third place, we had… FIELD STUDIES!

Then Mark had to explain something. You see, this year, there was only one point between first and second place… yup. One point. The closest we’d ever had was a six point difference, but nope, literally one point separated the top two…

So, with 494 points. Coming in at second place, we had, (brace yourselves for the screams) THE RASCELS!!

But, who was the winner Sam? I hear you ask. Well internet stranger, I can in fact, reveal, that the winner of the Future Sound of Nottingham 2014 is…………………………


Yes! JOY MUMFORD scored 495 points, which won her first place, and as such won her the opening slot of the main stage at Splendour Festival in July. An absolutely incredible experience, and a very deserved winner. We grabbed Joy after she got off stage to see how she was feeling about winning, and you can hear all the chaos on the latest New Music Podcast which can be found HERE!

Well, there you have it. An absolutely amazing night. Full of such great talent. We need to thank everyone who made this happen, the artists, the judges, the crew, DHP/Splendour, and a very special shoutout to The Julie Cotton Foundation! I’m sure there’s a few people we’re forgetting about too… without you guys this wouldn’t happen, and we’re eternally grateful!

Speaking of being grateful, I’m pretty grateful I don’t have to review the afterparty. No one should ever have to experience me dancing to Jay-Z, ever, and I mean ever, again.

Yours in Love of New Music,
Sam Nahirny x

17:00 270614 UPDATE: As is traditional we only publish a breakdown of the Top Three, this is because it could somewhat ruin the positive experience of FSN night to find out you came sixth (which is of course actually sixth out of sixty six a great achievement, not sixth out of six).

#FSN2014 Result Breakdown:

1st JOY MUMFORD (1st with judges with 235 points, 2nd with audience with 260 points, total = 495).
2nd THE RASCELS (4th with judges with 204 points, 1st with audience with 290 points, total = 494).
3rd FIELD STUDIES (2nd with judges with 225 points, 3rd with audience with 230 points, total = 455).