The time has come to run the final chapter of our series showcasing artists from our local music scene in Worcester (and neighboring regions) that will be all over the radars in 2018. We have saved some absolute gems and proper legends for this entry and we are hoping you will be enjoying this blog. Because we had an absolute ball preparing all the entries and profiles. It was also a lot of work, we will admit but we are absolutely in love with finding new music and bringing it to the audience. That`s what A&Rs are for and we are at your service if you ever need to find new artists to listen and fall in love with!
If you would like to familiarize yourself with previous entries, click on the links below:
You may also have a look at the Year in Review post where we showcased the biggest players on local scene in 2017:
And now dear readers, let us introduce you to a handful of kick-ass artists from our neck of country-side.
Starting off as a duo in 2014, Grafton Ash is currently a four-piece pop/rock group from Bromsgrove. Formed by childhood friends, Dan Roberts and Dan Blake, they were joined by Stephen Ashford and Sam Dimmick in early 2015. The band released their debut EP “Avalanche” in June 2015 and it quickly received very positive reviews from local radio stations. Their title track was named the Track of the Week twice by BBC Hereford and Worcester and Grafton Ash received an extensive airplay over the next 6 months. On 3rd of September 2016, they were officially included into BBC Introducing and recorded a three song session for DJ Andrew Marston alongside the Worcester/Bristol indie rock outfit, Vertigo.
Grafton Ash is touring nationally, frequently to the full-house shows in places such as at Birmingham O2 Institute, London O2 Academy, Islington and Covent Garden’s prestigious Hospital Club. They supported Flye, Tom Walker, Reef, The Feeling, The Fratellis, Racing Glaciers and recently James Blunt on 25th of November during his “Afterlove World Tour” at The Arena in Birmingham,.
Grafton Ash released their second EP entitled “Existing” in 2017 and they are currently in the middle of a promo tour that will last until the Spring 2018.
People behind the indie dance/pop trio, Silverlake are probably the most experienced musicians from the Worcester scene. After the breakup of their previous band, the septet Vivarama in 1998, Robin Dalleway (guitar and chief tunesmith), Tony Sherrard (aka Shez, bass) and lead singer Sally-Ann Parker (aka Miss Smartness) returned to their home town of Redditch to concentrate on a new material. Vivarama’s mix of dance rhythms with indie pop and rock sounds brought them a critical acclaim and led to several music videos being filmed for the band between 1993 and 1998. The most popular of them was “Updoor” filmed inside popular club The Flapper and Firkin in Birmingham. “Updoor” premiered on MTV Dance Night with VJ Simone Angel in 1996 and then entered regular rotation as part of Party Zone and 120 Minutes (hosted by Toby Ames). Vivarama was also supporting Lighthouse Family. The band was also awarded for their video to “Let`s Talk About Love” at Film and Television Festival in Birmingham in 1993.
Even before joining Vivarama, Robin Dalleway already had a successful music career. In 1977, he became a founding member of jazz-punk band The Cravats (they recorded 5 sessions for John Peel at BBC Radio 1) and in 1982, he formed postpunk quartet, The Very Things with whom he released 6 singles and 3 albums (they all entered Top 40 at UK Independent Chart). The band played two Peel sessions for Radio 1.
For many years, Silverlake recorded music without releasing it and kept their performances to minimum (appearing only a couple of times, for example at Worcester Music Festival in 2015). Their first song “Twist” still remains unreleased, but in 2010, they issued their debut album “Paradise Place” through Magnet Records. Their most current singles include “Black Ponytail”, “Drop By Drop” and “X (Marks The Spot)”. Silverlake received airplay on BBC Hereford and Worcester, BBC West Midlands and a mention at BBC Introducing.
The band is inspired by soul and funk music, the Coen Brothers and David Lynch movies, groovy Californian Pop, Miles Davis, Jackson Pollack, Roxy Music, and Chill Out/Lounge sounds.
Singer/songwriter Ewan Pollock (or as he is known locally “the boy with a guitar”) is the first person on our list that is not native to Worcestershire. He was born in Glasgow but moved to Worcester as a child and adopted The Faithful City as his hometown. He specializes in acoustic folk/rock genre and is inspired by the works of Glen Hansard, fellow Scotsman Paolo Nutini, Frank Turner and George Ezra.
Since 2013, Ewan has performed at many events around Worcester and beyond. In 2014 he reached finals of the nationwide singing competition”Open Mic UK” in Birmingham receiving positive reviews from judges and audience. He played at Worcester Music Festival three times (in 2014, 2015 and 2016), participated in Free Radio Summer Sessions at the Crown Gate Shopping Centre (where he was chosen the most promising artist) in 2015 and 2016, Worcester Moto Show (High Street stage), Festival at the Fountains (South Quay stage), Worcester Foodie Festival (as part of “Young and Talented” stage on the High Street), Christmas in Worcester (Worcester BID stage) and Severn Sounds Festival at Pavilion in the Park stage. He has also graced the stages of The Old Pheasant, Café Blis (supporting Worcester Soup charitable project), The Marr’s Bar, The Firefly (all in Worcester) and Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham.
Ewan released his first digital standalone single “Home comfort” in 2015 and a demo EP “Make it count” in 2016 (“Lady in the Dark”, Distractions”, “Make it count” and “Too late”). The leading single “Lady in the Dark” was played on BBC Hereford and Worcester radio and was featured on podcast show by popular online DJ Matt Barker in November 2016 (Matt is a presenter of the MattBarkerRadio and broadcasts on 60+ radio stations worldwide via the Deuce Radio Show).
Ewan is currently working on new music and has several concerts already booked for winter and spring 2018.
Official bio: A bunch of free-thinking, rock n roll survivalists came together in Worcester and produced a plethora of gorgeous, chin-out songs. Honing their craft, fittingly, in an attic studio above a notorious watering-hole (overlooking their home town of Worcester), they’re great lads but they ain’t here to take nonsense off anyone! Reminiscent of The Kinks, 13th Floor Elevators and sharing elements of your other favourite classic bands. They write a hell of a tune and have a great stage presence to boot.
Formed in 2016, Elephant Peel is a brand new band on Worcestershire scene, but it is quickly making a name for itself. The quintet consists of experienced musicians: Joe Thomlinson (vocals and harmonica), lead guitarist Matthew Randall (aka Randall), drummer Guy Bradnock, bassist Sean Gandy and Matt Crawford (nicknamed Crawford) responsible for rhythm guitar/backing vocals. Before forming Elephant Peel, Joe played in two well known Worcester bands: Virals and Something Men that also featured Matt Crawford and Sean Gandy. Something Men released 4 stand alone digital singles “Mud Brown Mistress”, “Birdy Roof”, “Go Diddley” and “Last Night (Was The Last Time)” that received a lot of airplay on local and internet radio stations. “Birdy roof”/“Mud Brown Mistress” was also released in a physical copy as a double-sided 7’’ single through EZPZ Records in September 2011. It was chosen a Song of the Week by BBC Hereford and Worcester in November the same year.
After Something Men disbanded in early 2012, Joe started working with Matt and Sean again which led to the formation of Elephant Peel. They recently released a demo single “Universal Stream” and played a string of popular local gigs including headlining two sold out concerts at Heroes (organized by Surprise Attack) and The Firefly (part of Boneyard Sessions). The band is inspired by Syd Barrett, The Kinks, The Beatles, Richard Hell, Jennifer Gentle and Graham Coxon.
2018 will see Elephant Peel in the studio (they are now working on more material to be released in the first quarter) and on the road (concerts are already booked and will be announced soon).
At 16 years old Stourport-on-Severn native, Chloë Elliot is considered a pop star in the making. She started singing as a child and further developed her singing and song writing abilities at performing arts school in Birmingham, where she received classical training in theatre, dance and stage presentation. Of course, she passed every exam with a distinction.
Chloë spends her free time from school either in the studio recording the songs she wrote or performing. In the last year and a half, she performed more than 60 times as a solo artist in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Greater Birmingham area receiving positive reviews. Her song “One” was selected as the “Song of the week” by BBC Hereford & Worcester which lead to her being interviewed on-air by popular DJ Tammy Gooding.
Her debut single entitled “3 Reasons” was released in early September 2017 and went into heavy rotation on BBC Hereford and Worcester Radio. It won her the recognitions for the “Song of the Day” and “Song of the week”. It was also named the post popular song among young listeners in November. Chloe was invited to BBC Introducing at Christmas Lights Switch on in Worcester by DJ Andrew Marston and her performance was seen by thousand of visitors on the High Street.
2018 may be a breakthrough year for the young artist. She has recently preformed for scouts from two biggest record labels in the world (Universal and Warner) and she is already booked for several shows in the early spring and summer.
Chloë is influenced by John Mayer, Shawn Mendes and James Bay.
Official bio: Winchester are a new British 3 piece that drags high octane prog, metal and hardcore screaming into the popular arena. Their emotional riff-laden assault course crashes and flows through cinematic soundscapes with no room for boundaries. Drawing from the intense social climate of today, Winchester have nurtured a sound and a concept that rings true with the twists and turns of tomorrow. With a live show that manages to re-create and somehow elevate their epic sound, this is something fresh that you will not want to miss. Life Begins.”
Worcester/Cardiff/Bristol based band Winchester are three piece outfit balancing between progressive rock and old school hardcore à la Biohazard, Pro-Pain or Crowbar with heavy metal inspired vocals instead of rap. The trio consists of producer-turned musician Scott Mahoney (responsible for excellent debuts of Nuns of the Tundra and HEXEN) on guitar, Adam Catalan on lead vocals and bass and Max Edkins on drums.
Winchester was founded in late 2015 and the band deliberately stayed quiet despite touring nationally and internationally (Germany, Belgium France in 2016). Lack of social media presence, stripped contact with the press and performing live resulted in a very raw yet appealing sound that was captured in the studio and perfected by legendary record producer Dan Weller (SikTh, Enter Shikari, Young Guns). Winchester spent more than a month preparing their full debut album entitled “Life begins at these dead ends” and it will premiere on 9th of February 2018. The album is available for pre-order now on all major platforms.
The first single from the album, “Life begins” was released 15th of December 2017 and received positive reviews from online rock magazines and from BBC Wales DJ Adam Walton. It will be followed by second single “Diamond” in late January 2018.
At this moment, Winchester is on promo tour in the UK. On 18th of November, they played popular club Hobos in Bridgend with As Lions and Greyhaven UK and on 29th of November they headlined sold out show in Bristol’s The Fleece with Holding Absence, Loathe and Phoxjaw. They will play Bristol again on 28th of February along with Loathe and there are talks of their gigs supporting Sever and Time & The Valuator later in the summer.
Winchester draws inspirations from the music of Muse, Biffy Clyro, Fightstar, Northlane, The Architects and Enter Shikari. They are represented by Imperial Music, an artist and event management company based in South Wales.
Official management: firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded over two years ago, Worcester-native psychedelic rock and roll duo, As Mamas consists of Harrison Baird-Whitman (guitar, vocals and harmonica) and Joe Devine (drums and percussion). Influenced by the Californian 60’s music, the group managed to create a very unique style, the-one-of-its-kind on the Worcester indie scene.
As Mamas released their debut self titled EP on 16th of July 2016. It was recorded in an original 60’s caravan (that was turned into a studio) and was produced, mixed and mastered by the band. It included four stand alone singles: “The Lights Are On but Everyone’s Wasted”, “World Wide Blues”, “Mama Moved” and “Zenobia”. Their single “The Lights Are On but Everyone’s Wasted” received a lot of airplay on Birmingham Radio, Free Radio, BBC Hereford and Worcester, 102 Touch FM (Shakespeare’s County & tThe Vale) and was featured on a compilation album “ENTER THE VOID” released by Donut Records in August 2017.
For the last year and a half, the duo has been touring the UK extensively. Along with The Americas, As Mamas are the only West Midlands acts that appeared on This Feeling circuit. As solo artists, they played Birmingham on several occasions including the Sunflower Lounge with The Whitelights (during their EP launch), Ten Tombs, supported The Cosmics alongside LCKD and Quinn (October) and appeared at Birmingham Blues Fest Saturday at the Big Bulls Head in Digbeth (July). They have also graced the stages in Worcester appearing at the Firefly club supporting Solsara alongside Happy Bones and in Heroes with Elephant Peel and Slumb Party (October and November respectively).
As Mamas regularly performs in London as well, usually to the clubs at full capacity. Their recent sold out shows include gig at Amersham Arms (alongside MONIKA, James Beau Barcley and Spinner) and Reverberation Psych Fest at Victoria Dalston with Strange Cages, Dusty Mush and Insomnichord.
Other notable shows include BBC Introducing Session at The Booth Hall with Raptor and New Revival (April 21st 2017), charitable concert at Alestones in Tardebigge Court in support of Anawim (women’s refugee organization) on October 28th and supporting popular Nederland group MY BABY on 7th of April.
Their latest video and a new single entitled “19th Floor” were released on September 11th and were directed by Caitlin Setterfield. “19th Floor” will be featured on their next EP “Parte Dois” to be released on 10th of March 2018. The band will play a show to celebrate the launch with a gig at the Sunflower Lounge. Tickets sale date and supports will be announced soon, so stay tuned.
Time Of The Mouth (TOTM)
Time of the Mouth is Kidderminster based punk rock trio that has been around longer than any of the previous bands we have written about (with the exception of Silverlake). Over the years, the outfit gathered a strong fan base in West Midlands and beyond. It looks like 2018 could be a breakthrough year for them.
TOTM was formed at the beginning of 2010 and went through different line ups changes. Since 2015, the band consists of Chris Jones (vocals and lead/rhythm guitar), Ash Greenway (bass and backing vocals) and Jake Fox (drums and backing vocals). Their back catalogue can only be described as the most impressive. They released their first EP “Third Time lucky” in May 2012 (including singles “Amy”, “The Only Way Out”, “Tears” and “Take Me With You”). “The Only Way Out” proved to be so popular that it was played not only on local BBC Hereford and Worcester radio, but also in America, Australia and Japan. Their second EP “Snorkeling with Jesus” was published on May 2nd 2014. It was a 5 single EP containing “Lost”, “6 Feet Under”, “Snorkeling with Jesus”, “Euphoria” and “Another Level”. Again, two singles “Euphoria” and “Lost” received a lot of radio airplay on BBC Hereford and Worcester, Birmingham Radio and Touch FM. Their stand alone single “Urgent Joe” released in 2013 was named the single of the week by BBC Hereford and Worcester.
Their newest EP entitled “What Would Dave do” was released on August 11th 2017 and contains 4 singles: “Going Back”, “My Disguise”, “Too Obvious” and “ELG3”. A promotional video to “My Disguise” was filmed at Shredder Live Lounge Studios in Birmingham. A stand alone single “Miss The Madness” was also released on May 26th 2017. It is worth adding that its music video features a popular actress Eleanor Ham known from BBC series “The Doctors”, “The 4 O’Clock Club” and theater productions of “Les Miserables” and “Cinderella”.
TOMT is known from very energetic live show and frequently tours nationally. They have performed in London, Birmingham (at prestigious The O2 Academy Birmingham & the LG Arena Birmingham), Bristol (Louisiana), Nottingham, Sheffield, Cardiff, Worcester (The Marrs’ Bar, Paradiddles), and Manchester among many other places. They also perform at many summer festivals between May and October (including Tower Stage at Drunken Monkey Festival). The band is inspired by Less Than Jake!, Reel Big Fish, Green Day, Spunge, Fall Out Boy, The Used, Placebo and Bowling For Soup.
And it`s a wrap our dear readers. Three long chapters full of bands that will rock your socks off and make you dance in your kitchen in the coming 12 months are yours to enjoy. We will hopefully see you somewhere at a local gig, next to the speakers. If we meet – come and say hi and tell us if our predictions were correct
There will be more to come on Indieterria in 2018 but we we will be changing our format a bit to get more interesting. You will see 🙂
Till then, stay beautiful