Category Archives: TVD UK

UK Artist of the Week: KTG

Those Irish know how to write a song, don’t they? It must be something in the air—which is certainly the case for young KTG who is our latest Artist of The Week.

KTG—aka Katie Gallagher—is pretty new to the scene but we’re sure that won’t be for much longer if her new single “Don’t Tell My Mother” is anything to go by. Her second release to date, “Don’t Tell My Mother” feels like a wholesome hug that keeps on giving. KTG combines elements of country-pop with indie-folk to create an undeniably infectious earworm, perfect for the summer months. Citing artists like KT Tunstall and Wallis Bird as her influences, it’s clear that her upcoming album Searching For Magpies will include even more tracks to get addicted to before the year is out.

At just 22 years old, Katie is already exhibiting huge potential and an incredible ability to write poignant lyrics way ahead of her years. With Searching For Magpies out on 26th September and another single on the way before that, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for this wee, Irish gem.

“Don’t Tell My Mother” is in stores now via Beardfire Music.

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TVD Live Shots: Riskee and the Ridicule at The Black Heart, 6/22

Ah, the joy of going to an album release show for a band that is primed to be the next big thing out of the UK. It’s a rare thing these days to catch a band just before they explode and I just caught lightning in a bottle last week at the legendary Camden Town rock ‘n’ roll shop The Black Heart.

Ashford based Riskee and the Ridicule came onto my radar a bit last minute as the record was sent to me along with an invite for the show. I get a ton of links to records and videos alike, but when a publicist with a stellar track record recommends something, I take a listen. The next question is always, when’s the London gig? Friday? Too perfect, I’m there.

Riskee and the Ridicule blasted onto the stage to a full house celebrating the release of their stellar new record Body Bag Your Scene which sees its worldwide release today. The energy in the room matched the explosiveness of the new album perfectly, and I’m so glad that I made it to this gig.

These guys have crafted their own over-the-top style over the years, but on the new album they take it up a notch. That sound falls somewhere between The Dropkick Murphys, The Clash, and Eminem, bringing together the angst and fury of punk with street smart storytelling tackling issues of addiction, depression and more. The new record hits hard out of the gate with tracks like “Accelerate” and the insanely catchy “Kaboom,” but it keeps your attention with stories of self-destruction and hope brought to life through another standout track “In the Dark You Dwell.”

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TVD Live Shots: Candlebox at the O2 Islington Academy,
6/19

I was a teenager in the ’90s growing up in the Midwest of the United States and I remember the exact day and time when grunge single-handedly killed hair metal. It was during an episode of MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball and host Rikki Rachtman had just finished introducing Motley Crue’s “Don’t Go Away Mad” as the number one Skullcrusher of the week (yeah, I know). Rachtman declared to the viewers, “I have a new band from Seattle that I think you all are going to like, they are called Nirvana.” This was the nail in the coffin for bands like Poison and Warrant, but it paved the way for a new breed of rock ‘n’ roll.

While Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains owned the harder edge of the genre, there was room for a band to step in and bring a bit of soul to this new sound. That band would be Candlebox. Their debut self-titled record is arguably one of the best debuts of the era and it stood out from its peers because of one man, Kevin Martin. The first time I saw the band was during a promotion for Jolt Cola, an overly caffeinated drink that was all the rage with rebellious teenagers at the time. If you brought a bottle cap from the drink to the venue (the famed Mississippi Nights in this case) you could get in free.

There were about 20 people at the show that night as the album had just been released and it was just beginning to get traction. I remember the band being on stage but missing their singer, literally calling out to the crowd, “Has anyone seen our singer Kevin?” Several minutes later said singer comes waltzing through the crowd unassumingly as if he’s at his own house party with high school friends. Seconds later as he grabs the mic, history would change once again with one of the most electric and dynamic performances that I’ve seen.

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TVD Premiere: Gallery 47, “Weeklong”

It’s been quite a while since we featured young singer-songwriter Gallery 47 here at TVD, so it gives us great pleasure to share this exclusive with you today! His latest single “Weeklong” is his first official release of 2019 and its premiering right here, right now!

“Weeklong” has more of a classic rock feel than Gallery 47’s previous work, but that’s certainly not a bad thing. With a full band behind him, Jack’s warm, softs vibrato is filled with colour and a power that we haven’t really heard from him before. It makes sense that Gallery 47—aka Jack Peachey—has decided to change things up a bit, as the whole folk/singer-songwriter thing is starting to get a bit old isn’t it? With “Weeklong” Jack has stepped out of his comfort zone and it’s certainly paid off in our eyes. Fans of the likes of Canned Heat and Easyworld will feel at home here.

On the single, Jack elaborates, “‘Weeklong’ is a simple track which deals with the personal side of trying to make it in the music industry. Nobody knows quite how to treat you, and a lot of the time it ends up being down to how valuable you’re being perceived at the time. Anyone aspiring to achieve anything has to be willing to drop the rational anchors of stable life when a decent chance comes along, but as quite a cautious and cynical person I’ve often found it stressful to deal with that level of risk.

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UK Artist of the Week: BRIDGES

Indie rock is looking alive and well if our next Artist of the Week is anything to go by. BRIDGES’ new single “Return To The Drake’s Nest” is an indie anthem from the offset that will have your toes tapping in minutes.

The rising quintet have been making waves in the UK for some time now, having already supported We Were Promised Jetpacks, Slow Readers Club, and All Tvvins to name a few. With their latest anthemic single, BRIDGES hope to continue to captivate fans far and wide with their poetic lyricism and celestial soundscapes. Fans of The Twilight Sad and Frightened Rabbit will feel at home here. Oh, and the harmonies between these guys are absolutely stunning by the way.

BRIDGES are the latest signing to Big Indie Records, a label we’ve had our eyes and ears on for a while now and they are yet to disappoint. Based in both Austin and London, Big Indie Records have been making a splash on both sides of the pond recently and we’re always excited to hear what they’re getting up to next. Catch BRIDGES live on 10th July 2019 at London’s Two Tribes Brewery in association with Big Indie Big Nights.

“Return To The Drake’s Nest” on 25th June 2019 via Big Indie Records.

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TVD Live Shots: Deadland Ritual
at the O2 Islington Academy, 6/13

Who doesn’t love a proper rock ‘n’ roll supergroup? Especially when it’s made up of four people you never really thought would jam, let alone write songs and tour together. Say hello to Deadland Ritual, the new band featuring bassist Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), guitarist Steve Stevens (Billy Idol, Michael Jackson), drummer Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses, The Cult, Velvet Revolver), and singer Franky Perez (Apocalyptica).

Even though these guys have only been together since December of last year, they’ve already written seven songs, played their debut gig in LA last month, and embarked on a European tour of select club dates and major festivals including Download and Hellfest. Filling out the setlist with various numbers from their past, Deadland Ritual is quickly building a fan base and looks to be setting itself up for a full-length record as well, but that remains to be seen. When I saw that the band would be stopping by the intimate O2 Academy in Islington on their way to play to tens of thousands at Download, I jumped on it.

I will say that I’m a bit partial to Steve Stevens and Matt Sorum only because they played with two of my favorite artists, The Cult and Billy Idol, respectively. Sorum’s not only one of the best dressed and most stylish musicians on the planet, but he’s also one hell of a drummer to boot. Then you have easily one of the most innovative guitarists on the planet with Stevens, the man who single handedly redefined what the word “tone” means for a new generation of guitar players. This is enough to pique my interest alone. Add a real metal icon in Geezer Butler to the line up, and you have a supergroup, along with the very capable vocal power of Franky Perez taking things up yet another notch.

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UK Artist of the Week: Chloé Caroline

This week’s Artist of The Week is a surefire sizzler who is bound to get you in the summer spirit. California’s Chloé Caroline has just released her infectious new single “Messy” and it’s an absolute delight from start to finish.

If you’re a fan of Shania Twain or early Taylor Swift then Chloé Caroline is definitely for you. Her new single is full of colour and feel-good vibes that will get your toes tapping instantly. Chloé combines country and commercial pop sensibilities to create a sound both vibrant and warm—along with being a totally addictive ear worm in the process. You’re welcome.

Talking about the track, Chloé elaborates, “This song is meant to unify people through our messiness and celebrate the strength it takes to keep moving forward despite the struggles.” Amen to that.

With residencies in Los Angeles and Las Vegas already confirmed for later on this year, it’s safe to say Chloé isn’t doing too badly for herself. We actually can’t believe this is the first we’re hearing of her, but we’re sure it won’t be the last.

“Messy” is out now via AWAL.

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UK Artist of the Week: Hein Cooper

PHOTO: ROBIN CERUTTI | Get ready to have your soul soothed by Hein Cooper’s mesmerizing musicality. His latest single “Hijack” is a breath of fresh air and will have you hooked in seconds.

The Australian artist has been making waves in his home country for some time now, even supporting huge talents such as James Bay and Edward Sharp and The Magnetic Zeros to name a few. He’s now preparing to release his ethereal new album Underneath It All on 14th June 2019 and if “Hijack” is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat.

The single soars with crisp electronic beats and velvet-like vocals that could easily be mistaken for that of the late, great Jeff Buckley. Cooper manages to combine his warm voice with a celestial musicality that creates a sound entirely of his own. If Jeff Buckley and Chet Faker were ever able to collaborate, it would sound something like “Hijack” (in our opinion anyway).

You can also check out previously released album tracks “Like That,” “Fear Of Missing Out,” “Over Again,” and “Hear My Voice” to give you even more of a taste of what’s to come before the album release this Friday. So what are you waiting for?

Underneath It All is in stores on 14th June 2019 via AntiFragile Music.

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TVD Live Shots: James Walsh at Bush Hall, 5/30

Starsailor frontman James Walsh has just released his second solo record, Tiger on the Bridge. It’s one of the most beautiful records I’ve ever heard, and sees the celebrated UK-based singer-songwriter taking a page from the Americana playbook.

If you’ve read any of my past reviews, then you know that Starsailor is favorite of mine, having seen them four times here since I moved to the UK three years ago, with an additional three shows in the US. I think they are easily the best band from the ’90s Britpop invasion and have followed them ever since. 2014 saw the release of Walsh’s first solo record, Turning Point. I was first in line to pick that one up, and I thought it was a solid debut. Tiger on the Bridge is on another level.

From start to finish every song showcases Walsh’s exceptional voice on top of some of the best songwriting I’ve heard in a decade. The opening track “Germain” sets the stage and preps the listener for the Americana twist that many of his fans probably didn’t see coming. “Germain” segues into arguably the strongest track on the record “Heavy Heart” with its tribal-like crescendo, reminding all of us very quickly how no one on the planet can sing quite like this guy. From a soft soprano to a powerfully piercing perfect falsetto in an instant, he makes it sound so easy. I was in the studio when he recorded this record, and it’s fucking mindblowing how remarkable and powerful his voice is.

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UK Artist of the Week: Kidsmoke

Are you ready for summer? Well you will be after listening to our Artist of the Week’s newest single. All the way from Wales, Kidsmoke kick off the summer months with their dreamy new single “She Takes You Under,” in stores now via Big Indie Records.

If you’re a fan of sparkling harmonies, jangly guitar riffs, pleasant drum beats, and general feel-good vibes, then “She Takes You Under” is the song for you. Reminding us instantly of fellow brits Bombay Bicycle Club, Kidsmoke prove there is nothing quite like a bit of uplifting indie-pop to get you going. Consisting of Lance (vocals/guitar), James (bass/vocals), Sophie (guitar/vocals), and Ash (Drums), the quartet’s harmonies are on point throughout.

Lead guitarist Sophie’s powerful guitar twangs are undeniably infectious and, as a result, it’s no surprise that they’ve been making waves over in the UK for some time now. They’ve also already been making some splashes over here as well, having played SXSW earlier this year and now signed to Austin/London-based label Big Indie Records, we’re sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from Kidsmoke in the coming months.

Due to perform as part of Big Indie Big Nights on 12th June 2019 at London’s Two Tribes Brewery, we have high hopes for Kidsmoke and wish them all the best with this fantastic release.

“She Takes You Under” is in stores now via Big Indie Records.

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TVD Live Shots: Juliana Hatfield Three at the O2 Academy Islington, 5/21

It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than three decades since Juliana Hatfield burst onto the scene as a core member of the Blake Babies. Ever since, she’s consistently released some of the most unique and celebrated indie pop records of our time.

Even though I’m a fan of pretty much anything she touches, my favorite will always be The Juliana Hatfield Three. 1993’s Become What You Are was my introduction to Hatfield and the entry point into her world. This was her major label debut, and in the ’90s when a major wanted to push something to break through, they did a hell of a job. Not so much anymore. Furthermore, this was the record that polished Hatfield’s garage-rock, folkish punk while adding a dark overtone and touch of mystique. Combine that with the tongue in cheek lyrical genius that is Hatfield, and you have the makings for a remarkable debut.

The setlist that night was a bit of a surprise, to be honest. Touring as The Juliana Hatfield Three one would suspect that material would be the majority of the set. Become What You Are was represented with the classics “Spin the Bottle,” “My Sister,” and “I Got No Idols.” Curiously missing from the set however was “Supermodel.” Even more surprising was the lack of songs from the 21 years in the making follow-up, Whatever, My Love, with only one song in the set, “If I Could.”

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UK Artist of the Week:
Luke Marshall Black

Sometimes all you you need is a sweet, wholesome piano ballad to sort you out, and that’s exactly what Luke Marshall Black’s “Losing Sleep” is all about.

If you feel like having a good ol’ cry to wipe the toxins away, this is the single for you. Luke’s warm, gritty vocal is full of emotion throughout, soaring effortlessly over the gentle keys of the piano. Fans of the likes of fellow Scot Lewis Capaldi and even Damien Rice will certainly feel at home here, so get the tissues at the ready. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but everyone needs to sing along to a powerful piano ballad every now and again right?

Now based in Bristol, the Glaswegian born singer has been honing his skills for some time, whilst dealing with heartbreak in the process, and as a result, “Losing Sleep” was made. With a slot at the UK’s previous Glastonbury Festival due soon, we’ve got high hopes for this young lad and, who knows, maybe he’ll make it across the pond in the near future too.

“Losing Sleep” is in stores now via Prospect 21.

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UK Artist of the Week: Danny McMahon

This week’s Artist of The Week is the UK’s answer to Keith Urban, well in our opinion anyway. Country singer-songwriter Danny McMahon creates beautifully poignant songs that will pull at your heart-strings and stay in your head for days to come (in a very good way).

Danny’s latest release is a gorgeously nostalgic video for his hit single “When I See You.” The single, written by songwriter Dan Evans, is an emotive tale about Dan’s grandfather who had recently passed away. Fittingly, as a result, the video sees Danny with his own grandfather in a number of clips from family footage over the years.

The single is incredibly moving from the offset, filled with twinkling guitar melodies and Danny’s soft, smooth vocal sounding incredibly honest and pure throughout—so get the tissues at the ready.

With “When I See You” having debuted at number 1 in the UK iTunes country charts, there are extremely high hopes for Danny’s forthcoming EP “Boys Cry Too,” in stores this Friday, and we can’t wait to hear it. Keith Urban better watch his back, that’s all we’re saying.

“Boys Cry Too” is in stores on 24th May 2019 via Puzzle Maker Records.

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TVD Live Shots: Pete Doherty and the Puta Madres at the O2 Kentish Town, 5/12

I’m a massive fan of rock stars who genuinely embrace the lifestyle—the ones who make the most noise and piss off a ton of people while rising to the top because they play by their own rules. It’s the punk rock mentality that says, “show up as your true self and take no shit from anyone.” There are those who try to fabricate this mentality, then there are the tortured souls who have no choice other than to channel it in a creative way. Peter Doherty is the personification of all the above.

I’m also a massive fan of the Libertines and Babyshambles since I was living in the States. The Britpop invasion in the US seemed to have evaporated by the time these two bands caught a tailwind before the next big thing took over. However, there was always a buzz around them, and the critical acclaim couldn’t come quickly enough. So why didn’t either band truly break through in the States? Who fucking knows. (I blame the hipster elite who deemed it cool to love these bands and you almost had to be approved by this clique to properly enjoy the music.)

Now, I’ve been living in the UK for three years and looking to catch my first Pete Doherty show in any incarnation but with no luck. I missed the Libertines twice—it’s pretty much impossible to get tickets to their shows in London as they are usually one-offs, private gigs, or part of a huge show in a tiny venue for one reason or another. So when I saw Doherty’s new band plotting a proper UK tour, I thought this was my chance. And it worked out beautifully (…minus the non-existent lights on the stage. It was pretty much pitch black with a couple of backlights—otherwise known as a photographer’s fucking nightmare).

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UK Artist of the Week:
Kev Minney

Having gained notable press support from the likes of BBC Radio, Acoustic magazine, R2 magazine and Folk Radio, singer songwriter Kev Minney has returned with the pertinent new single “God is an Algorithm.”

Inspired by Yvan Noah Harari’s book Homo Deus, “God is an Algorithm” tackles important themes related to our reliance and addiction to modern technology. As technology continuously advances, and smartphones and computers dominate society as a whole, the impact upon our daily lives has been stark. With AI progressing at an alarming rate, it is difficult to predict what the future holds.

“God is an Algorithm” offers the perfect juxtaposition to the subject matter. The track begins with beautifully picked guitar as Minney’s lush harmonised vocals become the focal point, accented by a stunning orchestral segment produced by a sting quartet. Taken from the forthcoming album Modern Stories, “God is an Algorithm” is a majestic offering from a talented, thoughtful artist.

“God is an Algorithm” is in stores now.

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