BRIAN ENO PRAISES JAMES HOLT

NEW SINGLE: ‘Whatever Happened to John?’

3

Photo credit: Paul Husband

“Brisk, funny, exciting… this track feels fresh and exciting to listen to.” – Brian Eno

Manchester-born singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, James Holt has just released the impressive video for his new single ‘Whatever Happened to John?’

The 24-year-old – who was diagnosed with a bilateral hearing loss at the age of four – has overcome his disability to release a pulsating and raucous rock’n’roll track. Speaking candidly about the record’s inception, James explained:

“The inspiration came from a Sky Arts TV programme set in an alternate reality in which John Lennon walked out of the Beatles before their fame in the mid-60s. It’s a fusion of thoughts and ideas and also bears references to George Orwell‘s 1984. Some people say that it sounds very Dylan-esque in the verses (especially with the harmonica), but I think the Indian-fused Beatles’ Revolver creeps in the bridge.”

Music legend, Brian Eno – who has long championed James – invited the young luminary to meet him at his John Peel Lecture for BBC Radio 6 Music. The former Roxy Music keyboard player, record producer and revered ambient pioneer also chose James’s song to use as part of an arts festival last year.

James – who graduated with a BA Music 1st class honours and MA in Music Composition (distinction) provides lead vocals, backing vocals and plays all instruments on the track, highlighting his immense talent as a musician and his resilience in the face of adversity.

‘Whatever Happened to John?’ follows several well-received releases from James, including his critically acclaimed second EP ‘Sanguine On the Rocks’, and ‘Butterfly’- a charity single for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, which has raised over £1100. James performed the single at the Royal Albert Hall for the Music for Youth Proms.

James continues to gain exposure, with a number of industry insiders tipping the young troubadour for great things. Watch this space.

Premiere on Louder Than War: http://louderthanwar.com/james-holt-whatever-happened-to-john-single-review-video-premiere/

For more information contact: liam@askmepr.com

LINKS
SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/jamesholtmusic/sets/single-whatever-happened-to
Website: www.jamesholtmusic.com
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/jamesholtmusic
Facebook artist page: www.facebook.com/jamesholtmusic
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jamesholtmusic
Spotify: http://spoti.fi/2ri6Fwd

QUOTES
“Very talented, very wonderful – absolutely love his voice.” – BBC Introducing Manchester

“Sounds so great on the radio.” – Chris Douridas KCRW

“With an arresting voice that is reminiscent of John Lennon or early Bob Dylan, wily lyrics and an upbeat weave of rock, prog and blues, it’s obvious to see why his remarkable music is turning heads.” – Manchester Evening News

‘STRAW BEAR: ALL YOU NEED IS AN ELECTRIC GUITAR’

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 09.59.05

Straw Bear: (L to R) Ian Ray (Vocals/Guitar), Catie Wicks (Bass), Tom Shipp (Guitar), Chris Gray (Guitar /Keys), Pas Stratos (Drums).

ASKME -singles-button-small

SINGLE – All You Need is an Electric Guitar

IMPACT DATE – 8 JANUARY 2016 (ISRC  GB8S51500001)

Everyone has a record that’s rescued them: a song that’s swept you away and set you back down in a slightly better place.

BBC favourites Straw Bear are back with “All You Need Is An Electric Guitar” – a record that celebrates the irresistible power of a pop song to sink its hooks in and not let go.

They’ve cut their own slice of infectious psychedelic power-pop in the process too:

The London-based five piece’s 2013 album ‘Black Bank’ won gushing praise and regular national airplay from legendary DJ Bob Harris – as well as spins from Dermot O’Leary, Huw Stephens, Cerys Matthews and Tom Robinson, for whom they played a Radio 6 Music session. In 2013, BBC Introducing picked them from thousands of bands to be showcased at The Great Escape Europe’s leading emerging music festival, and highlights from their set were broadcast on Radio 1.

Praise for the band has always centred around their knack for writing pristine pop songs, and “All You Need Is An Electric Guitar” sounds as chiming as ever — but now enveloped in washes of blissed-out psyche guitar.

This is a song showing Straw Bear’s mastery of the pop song — with a truly addictive chorus: one that soars and returns exactly when you hope it will.

“All You Need Is An Electric Guitar”’s video is a story of grind, despair and redemption, and is directed by Jake Robertson. Watch this space!

“For anyone who cares about music, there will be a time when a song or a favourite album has got them out of a hole,” says Ian Ray. “So the song’s really all about how music can come to your rescue; it has an incredible capacity to soothe and elevate you out of the everyday grind.”

The song emerges after a turbulent couple of years, and their new forthcoming album, “Fiction,” is the result of a series of births, deaths and marriages. The band return emboldened by their experiences and are stronger than ever: tighter pop choruses, laser- focused verses and bolder lyrics.

They’ve also built their own studio in Essex, and new LP “Fiction”, set for release later in the year, was recorded there.

For more information about Straw Bear:

www.strawbear.com www.facebook.com/strawbearmusic www.twitter.com/strawbearmusic

‘ST. ANTHONY: AN ODE TO ANTHONY H WILSON’

WATCH THE VIDEO FEATURING Steve Coogan, Iggy Pop, Christopher Eccleston, Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert, Mike Garry, Joe Duddell, Rowetta, Terry Christian, Richard Madeley, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Shaun Ryder, Johnny Bramwell, Paul Morley, Mark Radcliffe, Vini Reilly,  Andrew Weatherall, John Cooper Clarke, Peter Saville & Philip Glass…

VISIT THE WEBSITE:  saint-anthony.co.uk

“I first heard St. Anthony the day before our Jodrell Bank gig in July 2013. I thought it sounded fucking great.“Bernard Sumner, New Order

Skinny Dog Records are proud to announce the release of ‘St Anthony: An Ode To Anthony H Wilson, a touching tribute to Factory Records legend Tony Wilson. The single is released on the 14th of August 2015 and features artwork by the great Peter Saville a personal photo of Tony Wilson taken by Hacienda architect, Ben Kelly and a remix by Andrew Weatherall

The poem was written by Mancunian poet and lifelong Wilson fan Mike Garry who took it to music composer Joe Duddell (New Order, Elbow). On the first read, Duddell immediately heard elements of New Order’s ‘Your Silent Face’, completely unrealised by Garry, and decided to base the music on that song.  ‘St. Anthony: An Ode To Anthony H Wilson’ was born.

‘When Anthony H Wilson died in August 2007, I knew the world would never be the same.  Tony Wilson built the modern Manchester.’ Mike Garry

Wilson launched Factory Records in 1978 and he went on to establish the label by signing the likes of Joy Division, New Order, and The Happy Mondays. He became known as Mr Manchester for his work throughout his career promoting the city. He was immortalised on film by Steve Coogan in 2003’s 24 Hour Party People and again in the Joy Division biopic Control, this time played by Craig Parkinson. After a long struggle with cancer, Tony Wilson died in 2007 in Manchester’s Christie Cancer Hospital. All profits from the single will go to The Christie Charitable Fund.

‘St. Anthony: An Ode To Anthony H. Wilson’ will be available to download and buy on CD and white vinyl 12”, all featuring the Weatherall remix, on Friday 14 August.  Skinny Dog Records is a label formed by members of I Am Kloot and Elbow.

To celebrate the release of St. Anthony, there will be a launch party at the old Granada Studios on 14 August. Mike Garry and Joe Duddell & ensemble will be performing the single live, there will be some very special guest DJs alongside a screening of the video as well as previously unseen, exclusive interview footage from the shoot.  For more information and to buy tickets please go to www.stanthony.tickets . All proceeds from the event will go to The Christie Charitable Fund.

The newly launch website designed by Retro Fuzz at saint-anthony.co.uk allows you to explore the places, people and stories which make up the lyrics — helping to see the full picture of Wilson’s impact. Playing on the poem’s repeated refrain of ‘Talk to me of…’ the website allows you to send messages from your mobile phone direct into the site to join the conversation.

PRE ORDER THE SINGLE: http://saintanthony.tmstor.es

http://radi.al/StAnthony

http://radi.al/StAnthonyEP

TEXT YOUR DONATION: FACT65 £ followed by the amount to 70070

BUY TICKETS TO THE EVENT:    www.stanthony.tickets

WEBSITE: saint-anthony.co.uk

FACEBOOK: facebook.com/StAnthonyMCR

TWITTER: twitter.com/stanthonyMCR

LABEL: skinnydogrecords.com

#stanthony

For further information please contact Liam at Ask Me PR on liam@askmepr.com 

Cavalry

Liverpool five-piece Cavalry have crafted a sound that confidently melds together a mixture of classic and contemporary musical influence, from Paul Simon to The National, Fleetwood Mac to Villagers, The Beatles to Bon Iver.
 
Since they formed, the band’s music has quickly caught the attention of established and influential musicians, seeing them take on live support slots for British Sea Power, The Antlers and Steve Malkmus. 

BBC Merseyside’s Dave Monks and BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens featured the band as a discovery on ‘BBC Introducing’, with Tom Robinson of BBC 6 Music and Janice Long of Radio 2 both eagerly playing their early tracks.
 
It’s hard to believe Cavalry have achieved so much in so short a time, with just two online tracks and a handful of live shows under their belts, but their music strikes a deep chord on first listen. 
 
Leaves’ has all the dreamy insistence of a long-lost Grant Lee Buffalo gem, while ‘Lament’ hints at the understated anthemic pull of Band Of Horses at their best. 
 
With national radio eager to playlist the band, they will release their first official single, ‘An Understanding’, later this year. Fingers crossed for an appearance at Glastonbury Festival too – the band are currently longlisted for a slot.
 
Cavalry are Alan Croft on lead vocals, Austin Logan on guitar, Paul Jones on bass, Steven Taylor on guitar and Gareth Dawson on drums.
Website: http://cavalryofficial.com

Twitter : https://twitter.com/__cavalry__

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cavalryliverpool

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/cavalryliverpool

BETH ORTON LEADS WEEK-LONG MENTORING PROGRAMME FOR BRIGHTER SOUND

beth_orton

Twice-Mercury Prize nominated, BRIT award winning singer-songwriter Beth Orton is to mentor a specially-selected group of thirteen up-and-coming female musicians, composers and vocalists from all over the UK.

The event, held at Manchester’s Band On The Wall in conjunction with Brighter Sound and Wall of Sounds, will bring together some of the UK’s most exciting young female talent to collaborate with one of the country’s most respected songwriters.

Beth said:

“I am thrilled to be asked to support and take part in this exciting and important project. Getting the chance to mentor — or simply the opportunity to stand as witness to — the diverse, and possibly unheard, talents of artists from all across the UK fills me with curiosity and some apprehension! 

“If I’m lucky I will get to share some of what has been passed along to me over the years. I am equally prepared to be humbled beyond recognition and cannot wait to be so!” 

After noticing that the vast majority of previous applicants were male, Wall of Sounds created this residency especially for female artists in order to spark discussion around women in the music industry and to support emerging female professionals.

Bethan Morgan-Williams, previous residency participant, considers the programme to be an incredibly important opportunity:

Wall of Sounds is the sort of opportunity that money can’t buy, that decides a career, turns on a light, ignites a creative candle – a candle that shines upon your face and lets the world know who you are. It’s the kind of opportunity that can give someone the boost they need for stepping on into the next generation of British music.”

Beth is perfect for this collaborative mentoring role, having worked with a host of notable musicians including William Orbit, The Chemical Brothers, Terry Callier, Dr. Robert and Ben Harper.

Her residency is an intensive five-day project which will produce new work and culminate in a unique showcase event on Friday 20th February.

Previous Brighter Sound residencies have been held by highly-acclaimed folk group The Unthanks, Grammy award-winners Snarky Puppy and DMC DJ of the Year award-winner, DJ Yoda.

 

THE MINX ARE DEAD – LONG LIVE THE MINX!

10523999_10152790605109651_1801005327803289634_nThis Saturday sees the final gig of one of the bands we’ve enjoyed working with the most: The Minx. We’ll be there supporting them, and are looking forward to getting together for a few pints afterwards (and then probably a few more pints).

The gig, at Manchester’s awesome Soup Kitchen, sold out instantly, without promo, off the back of a Facebook message posted by the band.

This tells you everything you need to know about The Minx, and why we loved working with them: they connected with loads of people who were not represented in music and didn’t kow-tow to anyone else’s opinion of what they “should” be doing.

When we heard that The Minx were stopping, we were a bit stunned.

We thought this because we were thinking with our music biz heads on: here was a band that sold out every gig they had played in Manchester, that was smart and worked hard, that were professional and well-regarded by everyone in the industry who worked with them… why were they stopping now?

But then we thought about the sum of what they’d achieved, and we think that they’re making a brave, smart decision based on one very key thing, and the thing that made us want to work with them in the first place: they are first and foremost a close bunch of very good, old friends.

Life in a band is hard. Breaking through to the point that The Minx have reached where they can virtually guarantee selling out the venue of their choice is incredibly difficult.

They achieved what 99.9% of bands never do: they made a name for themselves based on their raw talent and great pop tunes, amongst music fans and music biz people alike.

the Minx

On the way, they’ve the played the big venues in Manchester (The Ritz, Gorilla) and the smaller ones too (The Ruby Lounge, The Deaf Institute) — and the audience went mad wherever they played.

They starred in an international ad campaign for one of the only really cool brands left, and we felt a surge of pride when we walked past the Dr. Martens shop in London and saw their faces in the window display looking back at us.

They played loads of gigs: summer festivals, UK tours, London shows — where they were stunned to see people singing along — as well as gigs in Paris and gigs in Italy, gigs, gigs, gigs. They played a great show every time. The audience never swayed along at a Minx show.

They shot great, colourful music videos which clearly showed the band for what they are: one of the only guitar bands brave enough to have fun, be happy and hold this reality up to the audience.

Oh, and they pissed off one of the world’s richest Premiership football clubs, and Johnny Fuckin’ Marr leapt to their defence!

the minx

We worked as hard as we could for The Minx because of their approach and what they stood for. We played their music to the top people in music radio and everyone raised their eyebrows in surprise: they never expected them to be as brilliant as they actually were.

The Minx got stuck in and got it done the old fashioned way. They didn’t have useful relatives in the music biz or a gap-year budget to “try out being in a band”.

They gigged hard, remained true to themselves and their fans, and were patient. They were rewarded with a rabid fanbase who loved them.

The Minx are still good friends who’d do anything for each other, and have made a decision to stop which ensures they can have their cake and eat it: success as a band and their friendships.

The UK music scene will be much poorer for The Minx’s retirement, but they’ve left hundreds of fans richer, with solid gold memories of amazing gigs and so many great tunes.

The Minx are dead, long live The Minx!

BBC RADIO 1’S HUW STEPHENS PICKS MDNGHT TO KICK OFF HIS “BEST OF BBC INTRODUCING” MIXTAPE

MDNGHTRADIO1

MDNGHT are no stranger to praise from the UK’s biggest pop music station: they were picked as BBC Introducing Radio 1 Artist of the Week, have been played on all the huge daytime shows and also wowed the crowd at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Glasgow.

Radio 1’s Huw Stephens is one of the UK’s most respected music tastemakers and is a long-term supporter of the band.

So when he was asked to put together a playlist of the “Best Of BBC Introducing” for Radio 1, he chose MDNGHT’s summertime smash “Into The Night” to kick the whole thing off – and it sounds as fresh as ever.

2014 was a breakthrough year for the Manchester four-piece, taking in a UK tour, an extended stay in the Upfront Club Chart and a buzz-worthy stint on the Hype Machine charts.

TONTARIO & SAXOKID’S REMIX OF MDNGHT’S “BREEZE” SHOOTS UP HYPE MACHINE CHART

MDNGHT_J_BandW_1000px

Up-and-coming Finnish producer Tontario has collaborated with saxophonist SaxoKid to produce a MDNGHT remix that’s had an Earmilk premiere and a bunch of other top blogs excited too.

Reaction from listeners has been fantastic – the track has quickly dashed up the Hype Machine chart!

Tontario takes Breeze‘s euphoric house sounds and welds to it SaxoKid’s deep sax grooves with the lightness of touch that is fast becoming his calling card.

It’s a fabulous refresh of MDNGHT’s sun-soaked song, and will drag you right back to summertime!

HEYROCCO CAP DEBUT UK TOUR WITH EXCLUSIVE XFM SESSION FOR JOHN KENNEDY ON 4TH NOVEMBER

IMG_4163_1000px

HEYROCCO came, saw and conquered on their first trip to the UK!

Not only did they play to a packed KOKO in London at the start of their debut tour – a tour that saw them playing to more sold-out venues around the UK – but they rounded it off with a return to the capital, and a session for the premier new music show on Xfm.

The session will be broadcast on 4th November 2014!

Looking every inch the rock stars that they look set to become, the HEYROCCO arrived for their Xfm X-posure session excited to meet key DJ John Kennedy, and as expected, they delivered a fabulous session.

John, who’s always a reliable musical weathervane of new talent, was hugely complimentary and supportive. We can’t wait to hear the session when it’s broadcast on 4th November!

photo 1_1000px

MDNGHT SHOOT TO NUMBER 3 ON MUSIC WEEK’S UPFRONT CLUB CHART, BEHIND CALVIN HARRIS AND BREACH!

MDNGHT_MW_Chart

Even more fantastic news for Manchester four-piece MDNGHT’s Breeze: it’s shot to Number 3 on the Music Week Upfront Club Chart!

MDNGHT_J_BandW_1000px

They’ve steadily climbed the chart in the last couple of weeks, and have now nudged up behind Calvin Harris feat. John Newman‘s Blame and Breach feat. Kelis‘ The Key – proving MDNGHT’s floor-filling, euphoric house-pop can mix it with the big hitters.

The response from club DJs has been outstanding, with a third of DJs giving the tune a score of 90-100%, and nearly half of them marking it 80-90%.

They’ve been getting huge positive responses from dancefloors too: they’ve played a series of huge gigs around the country, playing to enormous student audiences in Bath (below), London and more.

MDNGHT are a classy, talented group with a bunch of heavyweight songs – and it’s great to see word spread so fast and so enthusiastically!

MDNGHT_Crowd_1000px