Summer may be over, but there's still a vibrant buzz in the air as far as Drowned In Sound's man in Nottingham is concerned. Here's the latest on what's happening in and around the East Midlands at the minute, starting with a celebratory toast to the city's first ever number one solo artist...
Three months may have passed since our last round-up of all things Nottingham based, but in that short space of time so much has happened. It would be foolish to start anywhere else than offer our sincere congratulations to Jake Bugg on achieving the coveted number one spot in the official UK albums chart with his debut release. While his brand of acoustically based folk-inspired blues may not be to everyone's taste. And judging by some of the comments here the DiS community are split firmly down the middle (although accusations of him being a manufactured record company product are way, way off the mark). However, in these troubled times for the record industry where sales figures continue to plummet, it's still no mean feat for a relatuively unknown artist to achieve such an accolade off the back of little to no daytime radio airplay or national television coverage compared to that of his main rivals (Leona Lewis and Mumford & Sons) in the hit parade.
The week before (Monday 8th October) saw the release of another high profile debut, Dog Is Dead's All Our Favourite Stories, which also achieved a chart placing largely off the back of a relentless tour schedule that's seen them almost constantly on the road these past eighteen months. DiS caught up with the band at their sold out album launch show at Nottingham Boat Club, the full transcript of which you'll be able to read here in the coming weeks. Playing the album in chronological order, their performance - punctuated by chants of "Nottingham! Nottingham!" from the ridiculously enthusiastic crowd - only serving to highlight just what an exceptional live band they've become over the past year and a half. Once again, its difficult not to feel a sense of pride having witnessed their progress from the awkward teenagers that took the stage at the former Club S.O.S. night three years ago to the unshakeable force standing before us today. In the meantime, the band have put out another 45, the excellent 'Talk Through The Night'. Watch the video below:-
This weekend sees the launch of Nottingham's latest festival, Branch Out. Initially conceived as the brainchild of local label Denizen Recordings and the ever-hardworking Mark Del, whose NUSIC podcast and constant championing of local bands has undoubtedly helped raise the city's profile in recent months. The festival itself takes place on Sunday 28th October and features over fifty artists across seven different stages (Antenna, Broadway, Rock City Basement, Nottingham Contemporary, Stealth upstairs & downstairs and the Malt Cross). In addition, there will also be exclusive artist performances on the city's tram network throughout the day, while Friday 26th October sees the festival's launch with a series of events including this one where yours truly is one of the guest speakers. On the Saturday, Nottingham Arts Theatre plays host to a concert featuring the likes of Royal Gala, Sabre Soundsystem and the incredibly wonderful Invisible Orchestra.
For a full breakdown of who's playing Branch Out at what time and where, here's the full timetable of events. Oh, and did we mention that we're going to be DJing downstairs in Stealth from 3pm until midnight, and that it's totally free to get in. See you there!
It's been an interesting few weeks for new releases as well as the two high profile ones mentioned earlier. First up is the inaugural release from the recently founded Wild Combination Recordings. Set up earlier this year by renowned DiSser and occasional site contributor Jordan Dowling, the first release on the label will be a limited edition, split CD featuring Derby's Haiku Salut and Japanese solo experimental artist Hopeless Local Marching Band.
Denizen Recordings also have a couple of records out in the next couple of weeks. First up is Silver Birches, the long awaited debut long player from hotly tipped chamber pop outfit Injured Birds. They're set to play a launch show at London's Slaughtered Lamb on the night of the album's release, while a single 'Hey Now Hey Now' precedes the record by a week (Monday 29th October). Here's the video for its predecessor 'Happy As Clams', released earlier this year.
Post-grunge three-piece Kagoule are also gearing up for the release of their first 45 with a series of live dates including a slot at this coming weekend's Branch Out festival. The single will be a double a-side featuring live favourites 'Monarchy' and 'Mudhole', and although the release date has yet to be confirmed, we're predicting big things for these excitable teenagers in the coming months.
Quirky foursome Kappa Gamma have just been announced as the main support on Rolo Tomassi's forthcoming European tour, and to celebrate are giving away a free four-track EP. Currently in the studio in between shows writing and recording their debut long player which should be in the shops for the early part of 2013, here's a recent video they shot for Shaka Clothing of their track 'Akira'.
Local clothes boutique MIMM also double up as a record label, and they've recently put out a free four-track EP of uplifting house and bass-heavy electronica featuring the likes of Sergic, Lyka and Metske. Here's the menacing techno of 'Worm', taken from the EP.
Remember Komakino? Their first single 'Say Something' came out on the Drowned In Sound label back in 2005, before the band split then re-emerged as You Animals a couple of years later, only to once again vanish from the spotlight. Well, frontman Ryan Needham and keyboard player Liza Violet have returned once more under the guise of Menace Beach, and the first fruits of their labours, produced by Matt from Hookworms can be heard below.
Finally, former Nottingham dwellers Childhood may have relocated to London in recent months, but they're still highly regarded back in the city where they formed, as the response to their recent Nottingham show supporting Palma Violets demonstrated. Their new single 'Blue Velvet' is out now and the video is pretty ace, even if we do say so ourselves.
New artist: Georgie Rose
Georgie Rose How may still only be seventeen years of age, but already her live performances are fast becoming the talk of the city. Following in the footsteps of people like Natalie Duncan, Nina Smith and Indiana before her, Georgie Rose takes the singer/songwriter mantle by the horns to create something entirely unique all of her own doing. Inspired by the likes of Johnny Cash, Laura Marling and Joni Mitchell, she displays a maturity far beyond her tender age. While Nottingham currently undergoes a resurgence of interest from the A&R folk of London, anyone wishing to place a bet on the next artist to follow in the footsteps of messrs Bugg, Duncan et al would be churlish not to consider Georgie Rose as a main contender.
Here's a session she recorded in May of this year for NUSIC.
This edition of Drowned In Nottingham's live pick features the awesome Taffy, currently embarking on their first ever UK tour.
Their album 'Caramel Sunset' received a whopping 8/10 on these very pages earlier this year, and their show at Nottingham's Chameleon on Friday 2nd November promises to be a spectacular event indeed. Support on the night comes from London's Hunting Party and Haiku Salut, already featured elsewhere in this month's column. Here's the video for recent single 'Flower Chain'.
The best of the rest:-
26th October - Spotlight Kid + Towns - Bodega Social
3rd November - The Killers - Capital FM Arena
4th November - Polica - Rescue Rooms
14th November - The Wedding Present + Toquiwa - Rescue Rooms
16th November - Haim + Death At Sea - Bodega Social
20th November - Buckcherry - Rock City
24th November - The Lost Rivers + 93MillionMilesFromTheSun + Collider - Chameleon
26th November - Chad Valley + Trophy Wife - Bodega Social
27th November - Iceage - Bodega Social
27th November - Uzeda + Kogumaza + Nephu Huzzband - Chameleon
6th December - The Wave Pictures - The Maze
8th December - Gary Numan - Rock City
If anyone has any Nottingham based bands, gigs, releases, links, events or clubnights they wish to add please do so in the comments section below.