It was pretty quiet and we were putting our coats on to go when we asked the bar staff who was playing that night – and were told Mark Owen! We didn’t believe them, and then I noticed Simon Moran (SJM Concerts, Take That‘s promoter) behind me, so I asked him, and he confirmed it.
Apparently, Mark had phoned The Castle Hotel (only a tiny venue) just a few hours beforehand to ask if they were free that evening to play a few tracks at 9pm. We quickly pulled our coats off and stayed – who wouldn’t!
The next thing we knew, Mark, a guitarist and pianist were playing in the pub’s tiny back room to about 20 surprised people! He was very cheerful, a tiny bit nervous, but came across confident and chatty.
He opened his five song set with Take That’s ‘The Flood’, played his own songs “Clementine” and “Four Minute Warning” and a new song ‘Stars’ which sounds like a huge hit. He closed with Take That’s “Shine”. (I managed to grab video of the last two songs, above.)
There were smiles all round! He joked that if we wanted to hear more we would have to pay and come along to his gig at The Ritz Manchester in a few weeks…
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 videofrom 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!