Words by Ali Waite @alister_88
1. Crows: Gnarly, coarse and incredibly intense, Crows have the potential to be one of the biggest British breakthrough bands of year. As fervent and abrasive as any London 4 piece around at the moment, they have caught the ear of Felix White from the Maccabees and will be headlining the third Yala Records night in Bermondsey on Friday January 27th. I will be there and expect nothing less than my eyebrows being burnt to ash by the shear ferocity of their live set.
2. Demob Happy: I’ve seen this band so many times live that I’m pretty sure frontman Matt is going to file a restraining order against me. Their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Dream Soda’ is an essential buy for any alternative rock fan…Throbbing QOTSA-esque rhythms are covered in enough dirt and fuzz to keep any Stooges or Nirvana fans pinging off the walls till morning.
3. Saint Agnes: I wrote about these guys in 2014 for LITM and my opinion has only been enhanced. If you were anaesthetised in the back of the dentist cart from Django Unchained on your way to Alison Mosshart’s house party then Saint Agnes would be the soundtrack. Frontwoman Kitty could be the perfect femme fatale for any Tarantino screenplay and together with her other half, guitarist Jon Tufnell they are a formidable song writing duo. With the privilege of being labelled ‘the best hair in rock’ by Portsmouth journalist Danny Randon at Southsea Fest - You can’t help but think Sebastian Bach will wake up in a cold sweat from here on in.
4. Tigercub: It’s only a matter of time before you’re covered in your mate’s beer and singing along to Tigercub on the main stage at Reading Festival. Alongside Demob Happy, Tigercub are the best racket to rise from Brighton’s underbelly in years. Their show at Patterns in Brighton last year was as good as anything I’ve seen in a long time and Ben from Royal Blood was there, vibing out in front of me. The production is superb on their debut ‘Abstract Figures In The Dark’. It sounds like Trent Reznor has locked them in his warehouse space, covered them in latex and thrown away the key.
5. Kid Kapichi: Hailing from Hastings, an enigmatic yet endearing seaside town where if you are not plotting to burn down your own pier you’ll probably be in the Tubman dropping in on the indoor skate ramp or getting rowdy in The Havelock. Full of guts, swagger and bravado, Kid Kapichi are a young band with the world at their feet. Sounding like a dangerously good early Arctic Monkeys, there’s an undeniably honest British sound to their material which is already resonating with the masses. I expect big things from them this year.
6. Clever Thing: The musical imprint in all projects Rich Fownes has been involved in makes you feel like you are strapped in a chair having your feet tickled by a clown from Zippo’s circus. Clever Thing are warped, abnormal and utterly twisted in the most brilliant way. Some would say delightfully unhinged and always the right side of wrong. This is probably my favourite project Rich Fownes has been involved in and that’s saying something as I’ve been a fan of 80’s Matchbox and The Duke Spirit for years. There’s something a little Tim Burton about the chemistry between him and frontwoman Daisy on stage which is compelling to watch.
7. Dancehall: The mongrel dog of Kill Kenada, The Semper Teens and Ice, Sea, Dead People, Dancehall were always going to be one of my new favourites. I was a huge Semper Teens fan and Dancehall are already living up to expectations. You can pick up a copy of the excellent ‘Vs and Gs’ from Rough Trade East. Fans of The Pixies, Pavement or Sonic Youth won’t regret it.
8. The Sly Persuaders: I caught these guys live at one of the Roadkill Records nights at The Lock Tavern in Camden in May and I was instantly hooked. I highly recommend checking out their debut LP launch night on February 24th at The Nambucca in Islington. For fans of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, MC5 and early PJ Harvey.
9. Warhorns & Shaken Tailor: Feral, filthy and packed full of choruses, both Warhorns & Shaken Tailor are good mates of mine and a pleasure to go on tour with last August. When you are living out of each other’s pockets for a while it’s integral to get along and we all had an immense time… even if I did fall asleep in the most ridiculous places at any given moment. Both bands have deservedly received BBC Introducing plaudits – Warhorns due to their Royal Blood like muscle and grit, and Shaken Tailor with their Weezer styled summer anthems.
10. She Crazy: The perfect halloween party would have Queens of the Stone Age headlining and these guys opening. Survivors from the legendary Hector’s House ‘Buzz Club’ scene, where the best bands in and around Brighton used to regularly play, these guys always know how to turn it on. As fun as The Hives and as feel good as Rival Schools