It’s only ever the choice few who break into the mainstream, but it seems like this hierarchy of artists is shifting. Audiences are tapped into the underground, and now the outside world is starting to listen. We no longer want supergroups and divas, auto-tuned R&B and 3 power-chord rock. We want something real and from where we are. And now, finally and rightly so, those very artists are getting the recognition they deserve.
Take Boy Azooga for example, frontman Davey Newington may not be influenced by some rough and rugged upbringing. His exposure to the music world via working mens clubs and drumming for Charlotte Church trickles through into riff heavy, yet dreamy synth explorations into alt-rock. From ‘slightly dodgy’ flats in Cardiff, to kicking it around festivals all summer, to playing to a near sold out crowd in Birmingham at The Castle and Falcon days after a Jools Holland appearance, success for Boy Azooga seems to have snowballed in the best possible way.
Bands on home soil here in Birmingham are also worth shouting about, keeping the flag high for Birmingham’s famous music scene with help from one of the top Birmingham promoters creating a two day festival championing the best of the best here at The Castle and Falcon.
On a similar path is Tyneside’s Sam Fender, who has taken a more raw approach and cast his home town in a grey overcast. His breakthrough single ‘Dead Boys’ opened the difficult and frank conversation of male suicide, lifting tales of his working class roots and performing them to thousands, gaining Radio 1’s amicable ‘hottest record in the world’ status. His debut UK tour has sold out 11 dates, with The Castle and Falcon on November 10th being one of them.
These stellar acts aren’t the only examples of what lies ahead, Welsh rock outfit Estrons (live here on November 15th) are kicking down their door with their punchy and explosive debut album ‘You Say I’m Too Much, I Say You’re Not Enough’, all with national accolade. Biffy Clyro guitarist turned solo act Mike Vennart may be well versed with other projects, but has recently broken through with his new alt-rock album ‘To Cure a Blizzard on a Plastic Sea’, showcasing his enigmatic skills here on November 19th.
La Dharma are another local story teller with catchy, unique lyrics inspired by their West Midlands upbringing, joined by the powerfully energetic Echo Gecco, Camens and The Borgias on November 17th. Future Sounds are championing brand new music with rock & rollers Raul Lai and The Rockets on November 24th with a host of local supports. Finally, local surf punks Miilkk have gained notoriety and a headline show here on November 29th, supported by Delights, The Butters Aliens and Creature Appeal.
If somehow you weren’t excited before, now is the time to be hyped about new music and new music. Each artist is putting their place on the map, whether that be through passing through our doors or headlining their home town, and we should revel in these home town heroes whilst they’re in their heyday.