TOP 3 GIGS – Week Beginning 23rd May 2016

It’s always a bit risky talking about weather when you’re in England, cos it’s so unpredictable. One thing we can say with certainty, no matter what elements we get thrown at us this week, we’ve got plenty of sun-drenched goodness in the form of music to keep those spirits high! This week you can get down to some Reggae Dub loveliness from BUD’s EP launch on Friday, music from all corners of the globe on Saturday and finally a whole host of live acts from Nottingham’s beloved Dot to Dot festival on Sunday.

FRIDAY

BUD’s been on our radar for a while now and with the build up to her debut EP ‘City Bird’, we’re intoxicated as ever. Single ‘City Bird’ featuring ORIGIN ONE is undeniably a summer jam – those hazy lyrics layered over a bouncy Reggae beat – I can taste the overcooked sausages from here. Hailing from Mansfield, Bud loves writing happy tunes (this is helped by her Reggae vibe – I mean c’mon who can be sad listening to Reggae?!). Her voice has a distinct edge but with a warm tone – think Corinne Bailey Rae cross Marina and the Diamonds ish… Having recently supported Hip Hop rapper Dizraeli, he commented that we’ll be hearing Bud on the airways before no time and I couldn’t agree more. Bud is joie de vivre, period.

You’ll recognise them from Gypsy, Hip Hop band UNKNOWN ERA, but front vocalist KANE ASHMORE and guitarist JOSHUA CROFTS also perform as a duo. A Hip Hop connoisseur in his own right, Kane infuses his beats with Gypsy, Balkan and Reggae influences. Matched by the adroitness of Joshua Crofts, there’s great synergy between these two and you’ll probably want to get up and join them (but don’t because you probably can’t sing – a fact I keep forgetting about myself).

STUCK IN 2ND are a Reggae Surf Dub 4-piece that show you don’t need to go a 100mph through life. “Just chill out and have a beer” is probably their mantra with music created purely to put ‘a smile on your face, dance in your step’. From Long Eaton Stuck in 2nd’s influences are sunshine and sand (errrmm not sure if you’re getting much of that in Nottingham guys). Without a beach paradise to live on at least their music allows us to pretend (on that note, someone pass me my straw hat).

National Video Game Arcade
Doors: 8pm
Tickets: £5.50

SATURDAY

Ooooh mamma this is going to be a good one. Prepare to feel those cultural vibrations as part of #NEAT16 with music showcasing influences from the Middle East, The Caribbean, Africa and Europe.

Representing Notts Reggae, LISA HENDRICKS AND THE PROJECT-US BAND * are a beacon of positive energy – I mean it just exudes from their pores. Having started in a gospel choir aged 15, Lisa has Soul in the bucket loads – actually scrap that, the truckloads. Their Reggae Soul music reflect Roots and culture and raise awareness of current issues facing the world.

Proving just how diverse Notts music can be, MUHA combine Indian Kathak rhythms with Cuban beats and Eastern European melodies (sounds interesting right). All masterful musicians themselves, MUHA formed back in 2004 when vocalist Iryna met guitarist Dmitry. Now they are taking Slavonic-rooted music all over the country charming people with their folklore narratives and European flavour.

Possibly one of the happiest people we’ve had in for a Future Session, BLESSING MAGORE arrived in Notts from Zimbabwe aged 17. His years as a session musician for Zimbabwean artists gave him the skills to develop his own unique Afro-Funk/Reggae fusion. Sometimes speaking in his mother tongue Shona, Blessing takes on the piano, guitar, marimba and mbira. Conscious world music from the heart of Notts – ahh we love it!

The Jimi Hendrix of the Kora, JUST JUDE’s dexterous playing on the West African instrument will transport you to another place. Make sure to hit up Anglo-Iranian inspired band ARIAN too. Their track ‘Emshab’ is wistfully beautiful (although I have no idea what they’re singing about but hey). I AM STARZ is also on the bill bringing an altogether different vibe with her Atmospheric Indie…

Nottingham Playhouse
Doors: 7.30pm
Tickets: £8.50

SUNDAY

Dot to Dot Festival is back and as always it is repping the local music vibe. We’ve featured two of the most prominent Notts-focussed stages in this little preview, but pretty much every stage has some local talent representing. Booyah.

Rough Trade

JAMIE MOON is first artist on the Rough Trade stage with his delicate blend of Acoustic/Folk. Having released an EP ‘Oh, My Heart’ earlier this year, Jamie’s scorched vocal sound has been pricking the ears of many Ben Howard listeners. Indie-Pop band DECO are next and will sure to bring the summer vibes (be it raining or not). Singles ‘Turn Around’ and ‘Tell Me Lies’ are sounding super tight and we love the synergy between these boys. Gritpop (I didn’t even know that was a genre) MOWBECK have been working hard in the studio so we’re hoping to hear some new toons from them. Art Rock 4-piece FIELD STUDIES capture my flight and fight emotions in one sound. Falsetto vocals with a heavy rock edge – what a texture! Exciting times as new EP ‘Rainmaking’ comes out on Friday – the LP artwork looks super cool too. With their amplified sound, Alternative-Rock band LACEY are due to start their UK tour. You can catch them headlining Rock City in June or you can catch them for FREE on Sunday where it will be so intimate you’ll smell the armpit of Bob next to you – it’s a no brainer. Headlining is duo APRIL TOWERS with all the Electro-Pop goodness you can scoff. New track ‘Silent Fever’ is a definite summer anthem so get those pretty Instagram filters out.

Rescue Rooms Bar

Escape the hustling crowd to hear the calm before the storm on the Acoustic Rooms stage. Southwell’s Knight in shining armour JOSEPH KNIGHT, (did I go too far with that one), is building up to his debut EP release show on the 18th June. His raw voice accompanied by simple guitar playing has earned him big respect from the scene. Another musician from Southwell, BILLIE will be enchanting the crowd with her ethereal sound. When you have a voice that makes the room go silent, you know you’ve got the key ingredient. JOSH KEMP is a creative type that always manages to weave positivity into his songs. New track ‘Imaginary Friend’ has a montage music video from all of Josh’s adventures in far-flung corners of the world (yeah not jealous at all Josh, not one bit). Also performing is JOSH WHEATLEY. Alternative-Pop is his playground although he’s not afraid to experiment with new sounds – we’re happy at least swingin round n round to those catchy hooks. A true architect of sound, HOLLY TAYLOR-GAMBLE shows us how one voice can be used as an instrument. Expect some soaring high notes with deep, dark low ones thrown in – step one of how to make an exquisite blend of Ambient Folk Pop. JONNY OLLEY will also be performing with his spicy blend of funky guitar riffs and quick tempo singing – a bit Jamie T ish you could say.

For a full line up of Dot to Dot festival, click HERE.

All over Notts.
Doors: Differs by venue.
Tickets: £27.50

Yours in Love of New Music,
Anna Butler x

*Transparancy Declaration: LH&TPB are #FSN2016 semi-finalists. However, this had nothing to do with this gig being chosen for the T3, we genuinely believe it is one of the top three gigs this week. All deets on how to be considered for future T3’s here – www.nusic.org.uk/faq

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