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

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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!

Straw Bear Continue To Pick Up Rave Reviews

As if recieving plays from BBC Radio 2‘s Whispering Bob Harris, Dermot O’Leary, and 6 Music‘s Tom Robinson, Absolute Radio’s Geoff Lloyd, Xfm’s John Kennedy…  wasn’t enough, Straw Bear continue to attract breathless praise.

This time, it’s from the respected Rock ‘n’ Reel magazine, who gave their new album, Black Bank, a five star review:

R2 review

The first single from the album, “Kitty,” is released on March 11th 2013

Straw Bear On Bob Harris’ BBC Radio 2 Show

Straw_Bear_1cropped

Legendary radio DJ Bob Harris raves about Straw Bear‘s “Kitty” on his BBC Radio 2 show on Sunday 17th February 2013.


The band are booked in for a Tom Robinson session on BBC Radio 6 Music on 9th March – Bob said that this is “definitely a date to put in the diary.”

“Kitty” is released on March 11th 2013. 

Straw Bear – Kitty

Straw Bear band line up

singles button small

Impact date: 11th March

Label: Oilbug Music

What does it take to write a great song? It’s a question Straw Bear ask on their new single Kitty … the reaction from BBC 6 Music‘s Tom Robinson, among others, suggests they have the answer already.

Tom called Kitty an “understated gem” and booked the band for a live BBC session on March 9.

 

Kitty is a story of unrealised artistic ambition set to soaring folk-pop that has seen the Cambridgeshire five-piece tipped for big things.

A New Band A Day named Straw Bear as one to watch in 2013, describing Kitty as “a hook-laden song of near-perfect pace, delicious construction, delightful lyrics and sweet intent”.

The influential blog then went on to select Kitty for BBC 6 Music’s Ultimate 2013 Playlist.

 

The band draws on influences from Van Morrison to Kevin Shields, both of whom are name-checked by the eponymous Kitty in her journey for creative inspiration.

Straw Bear comprise of singer-guitarist Ian Ray, guitarists Chris Gray, Tom Shipp and Catie Wicks and drummer Pas Stratos.

They recorded Kitty with Chris Taylor of The Bays, at his studio in the remote Fens, and its parent album Black Bank is full of eerie Fenland melancholia and alt-country vistas.

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City Reign – Ahead of Ideas

Label: Car Boot

Impact Date: NOVEMBER 12 th 2012

Manchester indie-rock trio, City Reign, have announced the release of the first single from their forthcoming debut album ‘Another Step’. ‘Ahead of ideas‘ builds on the raw energy and exciting promise of their early demos, including ‘Making Plans’ which caught the ears of BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq in late 2011.

The band teamed up with Manchester-based producer Sam Jones for the album, who took the band into Sacred Trinity Church in Salford to record. Jones chose the church for its natural reverb, which added more depth to the band’s classic guitar sound. City Reign’s vocalist and guitarist, Chris Bull, said: “I think we’re taking a risk with this single, it’s one of the most ambitious tracks we’ve recorded. The church was a great venue to record in and we have Sam to thank for that. We’re really happy with the rich and atmospheric sound we achieved on the album.”

Using the church as a venue wasn’t without its drawbacks, with the band once having to clear out in the middle of a crucial session recording the string quartet after realising that the church had been double-booked, allowing some confrontational locals to attend a memorial service.

City Reign are song-writing pair Chris Bull and Mike Grice with Duncan Bolton on drums. The album, ‘Another Step’, is due for release in early 2013 and you can catch the band at the following live dates in support of the single:

October 6th – The Deaf Institute – Manchester – Clash Magazine Launch w/ Jim Noir
November 2nd – Belushi’s – Edinburgh
November 3rd – Audio – Glasgow
November 7th – Viper Rooms – Sheffield
November 8th – Lomax – Liverpool
November 9th – Escobar – Leeds
November 20th – Pop In – Paris
November 22nd – Winstons – Amsterdam
November 24th – The Castle Hotel – Manchester

Check out the video for Ahead of Ideas below:

Jack Robert Hardman – Lights of London

Impact date: OUT NOW on iTunes

jackroberthardman.co.uk

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‘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:

 

Blind Atlas – Kodiak Bear

www.blindatlas.co.uk

Blind Atlas have teamed up again with the incredible animator Volkerfirma films who created the video for ‘My Proud Mountains’ which was ‘Video of the week’ on the BBC6 Music Nemone Show. The latest animation for Kodiak Bear  is for the title track to their debut album, which is due out in April 2012. The results are simply stunning.

Hailing from Denver, Colorado and disparate points around the UK, Blind Atlas came together in the bohemian suburbs of South Manchester, united by a shared preoccupation with drinking, failed relationships and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Led by singer/guitarist Ross Thompson, Blind Atlas concoct a new take on American alternative country and classic British rock ‘n’ roll, taking inspiration from The Rolling Stones and Townes Van Zandt right through to artists such as Calexico and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy.

Blind Atlas have notched up headline slots at some of the most iconic venues in Manchester, with dates planned around their forthcoming debut album. They recently released their ‘Iron wall’ EP which, along with their double A-side single ‘4th Street/For Carol“, was produced by The Earlies. Both releases garnered numerous radio plays including BBC Radio 2 (Bob Harris) and BBC6 Music (Cerys Matthews, Jo Good, Tom Robinson, Gideon Coe).

“… dramatic, spellbinding with a touch of darkness in parts make Blind Atlas a thoroughly hypnotic act … powerful and mesmerising… well worth your attention”.  [BBC]

“… grizzled vocals and a heart-wrenching lyric sheet … think Ryan Adams fronting The Black Keys, or perhaps Fleet Foxes with a Led Zeppelin fixation; and clearly all designed to soundtrack long, whisky-addled nights of anguished soul-searching.”  [CityLife/Manchester Evening News]

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