STRAW BEAR NAMED AS A HIGHLIGHT OF THE GREAT ESCAPE BY CLASH MAGAZINE

strawbearclash

Revered music magazine Clash picked Straw Bear as one of their select handful of highlights from The Great Escape music conference.

Straw Bear, over at the BBC Introducing stage, trade in dreamy acoustic pop. Sweet nuggets such as ‘Kitty’ take the sounds of Americana and bring them back to Blighty. Their Midlake-meets-Doves twang makes them perfect for a mid-afternoon set, sounding as cosy as your favourite duvet. Their warmth and familiarity bring compulsory smiles.

clashstrawbear

The band’s appearance in their pages marks another step in their rapid ascent: both national and regional radio DJs, magazines and a swarm of influential blogs are all enthusing over them and their new single, Snobbery.

Snobbery has already grabbed radio play from Tom Robinson, Jen Long & Ally McCrae, Gary Crowley… and a string of plays on Amazing Radio. It is out on the 5th August.

An illustrious list of other BBC DJs have backed the band, including Bob Harris, Huw Stephens, Tom Robinson, Jen Long & Ally McCrae, Dermot O’Leary, Gideon Coe, Chris Hawkins and Gary Crowley…

They are touring with Kate Rogers Band in July:

Thursday July 25th: MANCHESTER – Night & Day
Friday July 26th: LIVERPOOL – Zanzibar
Sunday July 28th: LONDON – The Dublin Castle

STRAW BEAR – Snobbery

Straw Bear Snobbery

singlesIMPACT DATE: 5th August

LABEL: Oilbug Music

Do your in-laws dress more like outlaws?

Snobbery – the new single from BBC favourites Straw Bear – is a sparkling and wry evocation of love across the class divide.

 

The song wowed a packed room at BBC Introducing’s Great Escape showcase in May after Straw Bear were handpicked by Tom Robinson to perform on the back of a terrific BBC 6 Music session.

Live tracks from their set featured on Jen Long and Ally McCrae’s Radio 1 show; the pair joining an illustrious list of BBC DJs to back the band, including Bob Harris, Huw Stephens, Dermot O’Leary and Gary Crowley.

Snobbery’s funny, touching lyrics and chiming guitars made it an obvious second single, following the band’s breakthrough Kitty, which was one of Dermot O’Leary’s Radio 2 singles of the week.

“Whispering” Bob Harris raved about the new album Black Bank on his show, and Tom Robinson called Kitty “an understated gem” before booking the band for a session on his BBC 6 Music show.

If you take the song at face value, it’s just an amusing lyric about a horrible snob whose girlfriend’s family is a little rough around the edges,” explains principal songwriter Ian Ray of the single.

“But on a more general level, it’s about that very strange experience of trying to integrate yourself into somebody else’s family. I think everyone has had that feeling of meeting a partner’s family for the first time and thinking: ‘these people are actually insane’.”

The Cambridgeshire five-piece’s album Black Bank is an intriguing collection of oddball folk, alt-country vistas and poppier delights like Snobbery. 

Straw Bear’s infectious hooks, sprightly story-telling and sharp humour looks set to bring them to the attention of a much wider audience very soon.

They are touring with Kate Rogers Band in July:

Thursday July 25th: MANCHESTER – Night & Day
Friday July 26th: LIVERPOOL – Zanzibar
Sunday July 28th: LONDON – The Dublin Castle

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

Straw Bear Picked For BBC Introducing Showcase At The Great Escape 2013

strawbearbbctge

Straw Bear have been chosen alongside some of the UK’s most hotly-tipped new bands to perform at the BBC Introducing Stage at Europe’s most prestigious new music festival, The Great Escape.

Selected by hugely-respected BBC DJs Tom RobinsonHuw Stephens, Jen Long and Ally McCrae, Straw Bear will be performing with Childhood, Iyes, and Lauren Aquilina; and live recordings of their show will be played over the various BBC networks the following week.

Read more on the BBC Introducing blog here!

Jack Robert Hardman – Lights of London

Impact date: OUT NOW on iTunes

jackroberthardman.co.uk

twitter.com/jrhardman

‘Lights Of London is the second single by 22 yrd old singer-songwriter/producer Jack Robert Hardman through Pleasant Pursuits / Essential Music.

Packed full of pulsating rhythms and intricate melody lines, ‘Lights of London’ tells the tale of a relentless desire to reach the bright lights of the big city. Fusing Hardman’s distinctive vocals and trademark production style, the song paints a dreamy picture of life in London, looking from the outside in.

Since releasing debut single ‘Famous’, Jack’s quirky pop music has attracted great excitement and interest from music scene luminaries such as  Huw Stephens (Radio 1), Tom Robinson (BBC 6music), John Kennedy (Xfm), and his local BBC Introducing presenter Linda Serck.

Quotes: listen to what Huw Stephens has to say about Jack below…

“His sound and writing have grown in range, and daring every time we’ve heard him”
Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music

“Harks back to happier days like a pleasing meld of Belle & Sebastian and The Postal Service
Middleboop

“Jack Robert Hardman should come with a warning label: his insanely catchy pop will stick in your head pretty much forever. He’s a supreme talent with a unique voice and take on life.”

BBC Berkshire Linda Serck

You can also listen to a sampler of Jack’s album from our SoundCloud page:

 

Jack Robert Hardman ‘Famous’

Impact date: 13:02:2012

www.jackroberthardman.co.uk

22-year-old Jack Robert Hardman writes and records his own brand of quirky pop music from his home studio in Ascot, UK. His intention of pushing the boundaries of production each time he records a new track has certainly been realised. You may have heard how, in the summer of 2011, Jack made his track ‘Sorry to George’ available as a free download. It attracted great excitement and interest from the blogosphere, being described as ‘dangerously addictive’ and ‘fantastically appealing’ by Eclectically Challengedsupport from radio came from John Kennedy (Xfm) and the BBC’s Tom Robinson , Huw Stephens and his local BBC Introducing presenter Linda Serck. See Music Week The Tastemakers below.

‘Famous’ is the first official single and is set for release through Pleasant Pursuits / Essential Music and Marketing. An acoustic blend of distinctive vocals and folk guitar melodies, the track’s intelligent juxtaposition of simple musical style with a lyrically complex theme showcases Hardman’s creative sensitivity at its best. The song tells of a youth’s insatiable desire to make something of their life, without any real plan on how to do it. In Hardman’s words “Famous captures the blissful naivety of youth that leads us to believe we can achieve anything.” You can check out the video below.

News:

BBC Introducing Masterclass:

Jack has been invited to the prestigious BBC Introducing Masterclass 2012 on Thursday 19th January at legendary Abbey Road and Maida Vale Recording Studios. In attendance will be; Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Wretch 32, Magnetic Man, Maverick Sabre, Jamie Cullum, Frank Turner, Brian Higgins (Xenomania), high profile music industry professionals and BBC Radio DJs:  Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens, Steve Lamacq, Tom Robinson, Jo Whiley, Rob Da Bank, Pete Tong, Tim Westwood, Ally McCrae, Daniel P Carter and Jen Long.

Music Week: The Tastemakers 13.01.12

Quotes:

“His sound and writing have grown in range, and daring every time we’ve heard him”
Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music

“Harks back to happier days like a pleasing meld of Belle & Sebastian and The Postal Service”
Middleboop

“Jack Robert Hardman should come with a warning label: his insanely
catchy pop will stick in your head pretty much forever. He’s a supreme talent with a unique voice and take on life.”
BBC Berkshire Linda Serck

You can also stream “Famous” from our SoundCloud page:

You can also listen to a sampler of Jack’s album from our SoundCloud page too:

City Reign – Numbers for Street Names EP

Impact date: 28/11/11


Picture this: Four twenty-something guys from various parts of the UK meet at a Ryan Adams gig in Manchester and decide to start a band. City Reign were born (did the Ryan Adams fans among you notice the reference to his track ‘City Rain, City Streets’ there)? Next, BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq picks up on and plays ‘Making Plans’, noticing the Idlewild influences. He then invites the band on air for an interview and hails them as a band to look out for, along with The Heartbreaks and Driver Drive Faster. Not a bad start for a DIY single.

Another previous single ‘Out In The Cold’ is included on the ‘Numbers For Street Names’ EP, which received a raving recommendation from The Independent (see quote below and the video on www.cityreign.net).

To complete the EP, there are three brand new tracks recorded at Blueprint studios. As singer Chris Bull says, “We’re extremely proud of these 5 songs. It’s a good mix of the punchier pop songs like the singles Making Plans and Out In the Cold, alongside bigger sounding songs like ‘The Line’. It closes nicely with a new song called ‘Anywhere Anyway’ recorded at the 11th hour, that we knew instantly where had to close the record. Although the song is stripped back, the vocal layers give it depth and it shows the attention to detail we put into everything we do.”

‘Numbers For Street Names’ will be released on the bands own label Car Boot Records on CD and digital download. It will be available to pre-order via the band’s brand new website www.cityreign.net from 1st  October.

Track listing

1 Making Plans (GBK6T1000001)

2 Sleep Easy (GBK6T1000004)

3 The Line (GBK6T1000005)

4 Out In The Cold (GBK6T1000002)

5 Anywhere Anyway (GBK6T1000006)

Quotes

“Fans of Yuck and Dinosaur Jr will approve of City Reign’s anthemic, grunge. A million failing garage bands will ask why.”

The Independent

“‘Making Plans’, I do like that.”

                                                                                                                                                                 Steve Lamacq BBC 6 Music

“I’m really digging the wistful lyrics, powerful guitars and pounding drums. It couldn’t be a better slice of English city life if it tried…it all makes for something very atmospheric”

                                                                                                                                                                               There Goes The Fear

Murky guitar atmospherics, emote an almighty passion and power.

  Manchester Evening News

 This independence of mind can be heard in their driving guitar rock sound, unphased by suggestions that the guitar band is destined for the musical scrap heap.

    Music Week

The Manchester-based band’s third single manages to hit all the right notes.

One’s to watch. 9/10

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Shout4Music

                                                                                                           

Tour Dates

Oct  26th – The Ruby Lounge – Manchester supporting The Birthday Suit (former Idlewild Rod Jones)

Nov 5th – CC Muziekcafe – Amsterdam

Nov 7th – Ram +Shackle – Manchester

Nov 12th – The Bay – Glasgow

Nov 15th West Street Live – Sheffield

Nov 19th – Bull & Gate  – Camden, London

Nov 26th – Gullivers – Manchester

Dec 3rd – The Live Lounge – Blackburn

 



The Narrows – Able Danger

Impact date: 07/11/11

http://www.thenarrows.bandcamp.com
 
http://www.twitter.com/thenarrowsband 

The Narrows’ second single, Able Danger has already garnered rave reviews from the likes of Tom Robinson, who had the guys in for an interview on his BBC 6 Music Introducing show. This was on the back of their T in The Park performance in August (25:08:11) where they completely wowed the audience, as you can see in the video footage below, which outstripped the views of White Lies and Everything Everything‘s performances.

Utilising a laptop and guitars (and no live drummer), the track is pulsing with 80s electro-pop or, ‘dark futuristic electro pop’, as the band describe their music. “It’s a three and a half minute frenzy of loud guitars; synths that sound like broken computers; and snake-like drum-loops that keep threatening to go mad and eat someone! It is about fear, government, panic, terror and secrets. A mix between the electronic side of Radiohead, Kraftwerk and Queens of the Stone Age – a real pop song for right now.”

Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and Zane Lowe both tweeted about The Narrows: Zane saying he liked the video to their last single, ‘Initials MM’. Let’s hope he tweets the same about their new video too!


QUOTES:

 Mike Joyce: (BBC 6 Music/East Village Radio)

“I like the fact they don’t sound like they are from Manchester!”

HIGH VOLTAGE:

“Here, right here, we could have the makings of another Manchester legend. Like Delphic run through a dark ambient wringer, or Johnny Greenwood playing session on a Portishead record comes the Narrows’ debut, and it is fucking ESSENTIAL… Manchester’s best dark alternative band… when it comes to current Manchester bands, The Narrows really are leading the pack”

MANCHESTER MUSIC:

“…consistently, utterly brilliant…they have precisley no contemporaries”

M.E.N /CITYLIFE:

“…one of the most original, provocative and iconoclastic new Manchester bands of 2011.”

MUSIC FROM RAINY SKIES:

“The Narrows’ sound almost transcends era pigeon-holing… the lyrical content is every bit as confrontational as the music… piercing lyrical genius, fantastically commanding… The Narrows will take over the world.”

Soft Toy Emergency – Critical

singles button small

Release date:

9th November 09

Soft Toy Emergency - Critical

Having already secured support slots with the likes of Friendly Fires and N.E.R.D. ‘Critical’ has already become an underground hit with Radio One plays of the band’s performance at this year’s Reading/Leeds Festival, courtesy of Nick Grimshaw and Huw Stephens, which where they were the highlight of the BBC Introducing Stage.

With huge support for the single coming from 4Music, Clubland TV, NME TV, The Box, Kerrang Radio and Gaydar Radio (and not to mention being championed by the likes of Steve Lamacq, Nemone and John Kennedy), ‘Critical’ looks set to take the band in to the mainstream.

 

Soft Toy Emergency – Maida Vale Session!

“Noughties electro disco pop, writ large in neon lights”

Soft Toy Emergency - CriticalSoft Toy Emergency

After taking the Reading and Leeds Festivals by storm back in August (they were the only band on the Introducing stage to be played by Nick Grimshaw and Huw Stephens), the good folk at BBC Introducing were very keen to get Soft Toy Emergency in to record a session for them. Subsequently, a few weeks ago, the guys dropped in to Maida Vale studios to do just that…

Check out their forthcoming single Critical live at Maida Vale

 

Check out Headline live at Maida Vale

 

Check out Circles live at Maida Vale

 

Check out Here With You live at Maida Vale

 

Alternatively you can visit Soft Toy Emergency‘s BBC Introducing page for the videos of their Reading/Leeds performances.

NEWS

Soft Toy Emergency: We just love these guys! They’re now signed to All Around The World Records and release a new version of Critical in late October. They made a huge impression at Reading and Leeds festivals playing on The BBC Introducing stage, blowing everyone away.


Following these performances, BBC Radio 1’s Grimmy and Huw Stephens both played a live track from Soft Toy Emergency’s set on their shows. No other artist from The BBC Introducing stage enjoyed this privilege! TV-wise, Critical has now also been added to the full playlist at Box TV, Chartshow Channel and NME Radar.


Honey Ryder’s new single is the title track from their debut album, Rising Up. It’s been given a new radio mix and some remixes that are making their presence felt in the dance charts.


Cosmo Jarvis: We think this guy is a genius! His debut album has just come in to the office. It’s called Humasyouhitch Sonofabitch and we know it’s going to be huge. He’s just supported Muse and has some London dates coming up.


The My Albatross single is going down exceptionally well at UK radio and we’re really pleased with how it’s been received. An Xfm Razor Cuts session will be broadcast on 13 September to coincide with the release of their new single.


Saving Aimee’s great new single, Fresh Since 88, is due out on 11 October and has a stunning video from the guys who worked on Guy Richies’ Rocknrolla. It’s been added to Kerrang TV, Chart show, Scuzz, Stars and The Box already. Saving Aimee’s album, We’re The Good Guys, is released on 26 October.


Alice Russell is a brand new signing to the Ask Me roster and we’re over the moon to be working with her. She’s playing KOKO in London on 1 October and releases her Pot Of Gold album remixes on 5 October. We guarantee you’ll be hearing lots more about Alice over the coming weeks!