New from the South – Bands to look out for in 2020
Despite most Mancunian’s believing only their fair city is capable of making music and everyone below Birmingham drinks Shandy’s, there are Southerners releasing some damn fine noise for you’re your listening pleasure. So here’s a round of what should be filling your Spoofy playlists in 2020.
Beat poets for the beaten generation, Bournemouth’s Stocksnskins use their seaside isolation from the wider world, musically and emotionally, to explore the daily lives and lies they see around them every day. From the mundane to the magnificent, the duo seeks to reflect the reality of living in modern Britain. Combining beat poetry and post-punk infused electronica, packed to bursting with dub influences and perfectly topped off with engaging and meaningful spoken word vocals.
Hailing from London, Chaos in the Teahouse are a fun-filled cheeky and charming 5 piece who have already gained a horde of fans in their local circuit with their earworm worthy offerings. The still relatively young lads have also built up an exciting live reputation by working with names such as Boiler Room, The Finborough Arms and The Basement Door proving to be pitch-perfect both in the studio and live. While this lot are so brand spankingly new they barely have any releases best way to check them their ‘Live from the Living Room’ session on YouTube.
Wolverhampton 4 piece HÜDS create high energy avant-garde rock fit for the 21st century. Meeting as school friends and bonding over shared musical tastes they blend influences from Sonic Youth to the Manics and Bauhaus to Primal Scream. Having played consistently in the Birmingham and Wolverhampton music scene for the last 18 months gaining local press and critical acclaim 2020 is set to be the year this hotly tipped lot break out across the rest of the UK. Expect to see them filling festival stages this summer.
Sex Cells wield analogue synths and drum machines, creating an immersive live experience that straddles industrial, techno, minimal wave and electro-pop. A creative force in all aspects, the London pair have built a grassroots reputation with a series of DIY releases, alongside hand-made zines, and striking self-made music videos. Over the last 18 months, SEX CELLS have garnered support from 6MUSIC, Resonance FM, Radio X, BBC Introducing London and LA’s Dublab. This year’s single ‘Modern Witchcraft’ was described by BBC DJ Emily Pilbeam as “an instant classic”. Since their genesis, the band have been invited to support acts such as Blanck Mass, HMLTD, International Teachers Of Pop, and Damo Suzuki. The duo has been working with Producer Dave Allen (Pete Shelley, The Cure), with new material due for release in 2020.
Born out of the ashes of previous bands Magic Octagon and Neon Fetus, Plastic Mermaids are a curious entry to this list as although the Isle of Wight 5 piece have been together 5 years they released their debut album in 2019. Taking the unique path of building their own analogue studio, the band have self-produced one of the most genuinely original and sonically adventurous debut albums you’ll hear all year ‘Suddenly Everyone Explodes’. In terms of musical influences, imagine a richly textured amalgamation of The Flaming Lips enigmatic live shows, Arcade Fire, Sparklehorse and Tame Impala. More than just a record, they have created their own very idiosyncratic world which you need to experience for yourself.
Hackney-based Kiki & The Tiger are a truly unique band in terms of both their sound and path they are choosing to take. Shunning the traditional approach by releasing a double single and heavily influenced by satirical poetic greats, such as Ian Dury, the group are young men with old Jazz fueled souls. Plus they have a trumpet and who doesn’t like a trumpet. They were bred through the rise and sounds of the nu-jazz movement that has electrified the youth improvisation groups and has burst through with great popularity into the global world, forging a brand-new space and sound that represents London jazz. With a high level of musical maturity with building blocks in funk, jazz and soul and filled with honest and relevant lyrics, you need to remind yourself are still listening to fresh-faced youngsters.
So not only have Idles written a pro-immigration track about frontman Danny Nedelko his band Heavy Lungs, also from Bristol, are damn fine as well. Bristol’s music scene at the moment is nothing short of superb. With bands like Idles, The St Pierre Snake Invasion and Beak> releasing brilliant albums recently, Bristol certainly seem to be sprinkling crack on the corn flakes of the music-making masses. Their raw take on uncompromising punk rock and downright dirty production is creating mauling mosh pits across the UK. Hopefully, the same level of critical acclaim will fall on Heavy Lungs
The Mirror Pictures from Reading are a new rock and roll indie punk band formed early in 2019 made up of members from indie startlets Pinups and Island Records signed garage rock band The Dirty. Hailing from Reading, they have released a couple of tracks so far and have gained air play from BBC Radio 6 and Radio X and there eagerly awaited upcoming album ‘You Can’t Change the Past’ is due for release this Spring.
The Gecko Club came to life at the start of 2018. The 4-piece indie-surf rock band hailing from London, own an exotic sound which is unique to many other current British bands, and play an energetic set with deep grooves and dreamy melodies. Having filled out various London venues such as O2 Islington and Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen throughout their first year, The Gecko Club received their deserved, first sold-out headline show to a bustling crowd at the prolific Camden Assembly in January 2019. Debut single ‘High Flyer’ received airtime on ITV 1’s This Morning in February, on top of reaching the 90k stream mark on Spotify.
Artemis is a four-piece, all-female, alt-rock band formed in Southampton, UK, in February 2019, drawn together by an extending passion for music, Solent University and an intention to leave an imprint of the femme-icon aspect of Rock ‘N’ Roll history. Taking influence from the likes of past and current trouble-makers; The Runaways, Paramore and Courtney Love. They give adrenaline-seeking giggers plenty of material to mosh and dance around and providing the world with catchy and empowering tunes you will not forget.