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NISTORY – Notts Music History

First updated on 6pm 11th September 2014, second update 1.30pm 24th October 2014, third update 11pm 1st December 2014, fourth update 1pm 28th January 2015, fifth update 11pm 4th October 2015, sixth update 11pm 30th November 2015, seventh update 9th December 2015, eighth update 6th November 2017, ninth update 11th May 2018, tenth update 30th November 2018, eleventh update Monday 10th June 2019, twelth update Monday 28th October 2019, thirteenth update Friday 14th Feb 2020, fourteenth update 23rd March 2020, fifteenth update 10th June 2021.

As more and more Nottingham musicians make an impact beyond the Trent, moments of Nottingham Music History are constantly being made. On this page we TRY our best to keep track of those moments, focusing on key milestones achieved in the noughties and the 10’s (???). We have focused in on achievements of a size that simply didn’t used to happen in Nottingham that often, so yes artists have sold out our more intimate venues like The Maze or The Bodega, but no one ever used to sell out a venue the size of Rescue Rooms, which is what makes that a noteworthy nistorical achievement. Yes local artists got featured on local media but not national.

We’ve identified a number of major milestones, rarely achieved ones that indicate an artist is on the way to achieving their dream of making a living doing what they love, and we’ve attempted to justify each metric chosen.

Please let us know if you spot anything we’ve missed.

FIRST ANNIE MAC / ZANE LOWE HOTTEST RECORD (The UK’s, and one of the world’s, most famous new music radio features)

LIAM BAILEYYou Better Leave Me – 1st February 2011 (also lead vocal on “Blind Faith” by Chase & Status which was Zane’s Hottest Record on 17 November 2010.)
JAKE BUGGLightning Bolt – 18th April 2012
LONDON GRAMMAR – 14th February 2013
SAINT RAYMONDYoung Blood – 14th November 2013
INDIANASolo Dancing – 4th Feb 2014
YOUNG T & BUGSEY – Drop Me A Text – Thursday 19th March 2020.

FIRST ANNIE MAC / ZANE LOWE SESSION (The UK’s, and one of the world’s, most high profile New Music live session opportunities)

JAKE BUGG – 3rd October 2012
LIAM BAILEY – 24th September 2013
SAINT RAYMOND – 15th Jan 2014
INDIANA – 29th July 2014

We’re struggling to pin down when LG’s first Annie / Zane sess was, our memory is 13/14, we’re on it.

FIRST NATIONAL BBC SESSION (That isn’t with Zane Lowe / Annie Mac) (Your first national radio session with the world’s most famous broadcaster is a huge moment for any musician)

SWIMMING – Part of BBC Masterclass 2011 – Maida Vale – Huw Stephens
DOG IS DEAD – 23 Feb 2011 – Radio 1 – Maida Vale – Huw Stephens
JAKE BUGG – 1 October 2012 – Radio 1 – Maida Vale- Lauren Laverne
INDIANA – 25 April 2013 – Radio 1- Huw Stephens
ADY SULEIMAN – 7 May 2013 – Radio 1 – Maida Vale – Mistajam
LONDON GRAMMAR – 7 August 2013 – Radio 1 – Maida Vale
FISTS – 13 June 2013 – 6Music – Marc Riley
A PLASTIC ROSE – 6 Feb 2014 – Radio 1 – Maida Vale – Huw Stephens
YAZMIN LACEY – 9 October 2017 – 1Xtra – Maida Vale – Jamz Supernova

We’re struggling to pin down when the first national bbc session for SLEAFORD MODS was, our memory is 2013/14*, we’re on it.

*Nusic was basically on a part-time hobby vibe back then so we did miss a few bits.

We’ve got no excuse for missing YT&B’s national debut. Soz YTB we’re on it.

FIRST TOP TWENTY ALBUM (Your first top twenty album is a strong sign that you have made it to a level where for the foreseeable future you are going to be able to make a living doing what you love)

JAKE BUGGJake Bugg – Number 1 – 21 October 2012
LONDON GRAMMARIf You Wait – Number 2 – 6 September 2013
INDIANANo Romeo – Number 17 – 8 February 2015
SAINT RAYMONDYoung Blood – Number 8 – 10 July 2015
SLEAFORD MODSKey Markets – Number 11 – 31 July 2015

FIRST TOP TEN SINGLE (Your first top ten single is a strong sign that you have made it to a level where for the foreseeable future you are going to be able to make a living doing what you love)

PHILLIP GEORGE – Wish You Were Mine – No.2 UK Single for 2 weeks – 11th January 2015 & 18th January 2015
YOUNG T & BUGSEY – Strike a Pose (feat. Aitch) – Peaked at No 8 in the chart for 9 weeks during Summer 2019.

FIRST JOOLS HOLLAND APPEARANCE (The most viewed music show on British telly. Yes, even more than Noise Floor)

JAKE BUGG – 22nd May 2012
NATALIE DUNCAN – 28th September 2012
LONDON GRAMMAR – 29th October 2013
LIAM BAILEY – 22nd September 2015
SLEAFORD MODS – 13th October 2015

For the record Six by Seven played Jules a couple of years before our cut off point off the year 2000 – see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AODiYAWrV40

FIRST RESCUE ROOMS SELL OUT GIG (or equivalent) – verified by RR box office. Quite a few Nottingham artists get to a level where they can sell out The Chameleon, The Bodega or The Maze, selling out the 450 capacity RR’s is a sign that you are on your way locally and nationally. Rescue was open for eight years before DOG IS DEAD became the first (in 2011). See note at bottom of this page about whether you include London Grammar or not.

DOG IS DEAD – 5th March 2011
JAKE BUGG – 23rd November 2012
LONDON GRAMMAR – 22nd October 2013
FEROCIOUS DOG – 15th March 2014
SAINT RAYMOND – 28th March 2014
INDIANA – 7th November 2014
SLEAFORD MODS – 27th Jan 2015
AMBER RUN – 28th April 2015
THE INVISIBLE ORCHESTRA – On 2nd May 2015 TIO sold out an independent show at a privately hired ‘not-normally-used-for-gigs’ venue (The Masonic Hall if you’re interested) with a 500+ attendance making this the equiv of selling out Rescue Rooms.
APRIL TOWERS – 9th December 2015
BROTHERHOOD – 10th March 2018
YOUNG T & BUGSEY – 12th December 2018
BRU-C – 19th November 2019
DO NOTHING – 30th September 2021

HEADLINE ROCK CITY SELL OUT GIG (verified by RC box office) (Nottingham’s most famous venue, revered nation and world wide. If you are selling out the RC main room you’re making a living doing this). No Nottingham artist sold out Rock City between it opening in December 1980 and Valentines Day 2013 (not even the mighty PITCHSHIFTER). Here is every (not just first) sell out gig at Rock City by a Nottingham artist since it opened in December 1980. See a pattern?

JAKE BUGG – 15th Feb 2013
DOG IS DEAD – 3rd May 2013
LONDON GRAMMAR – 31st Jan 2014
SAINT RAYMOND – 11 Feb 2015
SLEAFORD MODS – 9 October 2015
FEROCIOUS DOG – 28 November 2015
JAKE BUGG – 28 October 2016
SLEAFORD MODS – 3 Nov 2016
LONDON GRAMMAR – 26th October 2017
SLEAFORD MODS  – 9th November 2017
FEROCIOUS DOG – 28th April 2018
DARKZY – Sunday 5th May 2019
JAKE BUGG – Saturday 16th November 2019
BRU-C Wednesday 8th September 2021

Note: The Crucast shows at RC, did also sell out, and did also feature (high on the bill) NG artists such as Bru-C and Darkzy, but they were not headline shows for an individual Nottingham artist. Tricky one.

ARENA SELL OUT GIG (Nottingham’s biggest indoor venue, case closed)

JAKE BUGG – 20th February 2014


LATE OF THE PIER – Strongly associated with Nottingham they’re actually from Castle Donnington which is just outside Nottinghamshire. They had a Maida Vale session on 4th August 2008, and Zane Lowe’s hottest record on 23rd November 2009.

ROLO TOMASSI – Now a Nottingham based band all their ‘firsts’ were achieved whilst still a Sheffield band.

TINDERSTICKS were known as ASPHALT RIBBONS when they formed here. They moved to London, got a few new members, and then formed under the name TINDERSTICKS. They had their first Jools Holland performance on 9th May 1995, the year they had their one Top 20 Album. Thanks to @mikeatd for this info.

BAND OF JACKALS played a session at Maida Vale for Radio 1 on 26th April 2013, however, it was never played out.

SHEKU KANNEH-MASON is basically one of the most famous classical musicians in the world (he legit played the Royal Wedding), and he is from Notts. However, the majority of his art / music is covers, and we try our best to focus on original music.

Nusic 2021