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Gig Reviews

The NMG Awards 2019

Gaffa Tape Sandy and Riviera were the big winners at this year’s NMG Awards held once again at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds.

Bury St Edmunds-based trio Gaffa Tape Sandy deservedly walked away with the Breakout award, after a year which has seen them support Skeggs, Indoor Pets, play festivals abroad and release their second EP to much acclaim.

Winners of the 18 and Under band category Riviera were inducted into the NMG Hall of Fame alongside acts like 4th Labyrinth, who earlier brought the house down with two great tracks, Sages of the Subway and Camisayo.

Former winners Hollowstar and Ellie Dixon wowed the crowd with two flawless performances, sandwiched inbetween award wins for GABBY in the 18 and Under Solo category, The Glitter Shop for Alternative and Among The Citizens for Indie.

In the public votes, The Hunter Club walked away with the Best Small Venue award, whilst Silence and Company won the inaugural Track of 2019 trophy. Jake Day picked up the Best Producer gong, and the Audience Choice winners for 2019 were once again Pink Lemonade.

Young prospects Among The Citizens and Riviera also played live sets which went down really well in the venue. Upcoming band Salvador won the Breakthrough award after recently supporting Ed Sheeran at Chantry Park.

The Extons picked up the Best Rock award literally from the floor, after their trophy was dropped moments before announcing the winner, alongside Amethysts who appeared via video-link to accept the Electronic and Urban award.

The Male and Female Solo winners were first time winners Dan Bond and Sophie Winter, also the Folk, Country and Roots winners being Elizabeth & Jameson.

The night closed with a trademark performance from Gaffa Tape Sandy who formed possibly the first ever mosh pit at an awards night. 

Thanks to Tim Willett for an awesome evening celebrating the local scene.

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Features

19/10 – Best In The East Spotify playlist

The past two weeks have seen an incredible amount of new releases from local artists, and here’s our summary of the tracks that you really need to hear!

SOPHIE MAHON – BLACK TIE
After the release of her spellbinding single 2bf and various live performances around the area, Sophie Mahon finally released her debut EP Xenon Nights – Dusk a few weeks ago and it’s awesome. Black Tie is the EP opener, with its synth-laden instrumentals instantly drawing you into the 80’s-inspired art rock anthem. Mahon plays the Bury Fringe Christmas Party on 22nd December at the Constitutional Club.

THE CATCH – KNOW YOU WON’T TRY
With the release of their EP imminent, the lads from The Catch have given us a little taste of what’s to come with latest single Know You Won’t Try proving again why they are one of the best young bands in East Anglia. The track is a more toned down affair compared to previously released tracks Tie Dye and Sort It Out, but again they’ve smashed it out of the park with their infectious lyrics and hard instrumentals.

HOLLOWSTAR – LET YOU DOWN
Arguably Cambridge’s best rock export since Mallory Knox, the ferocious Hollowstar are back again with another teaser in the buildup to the release of their debut album. Let You Down instantly draws you in with an electrifying guitar riff which constantly roams throughout the three minute track. The band are heading out on tour in the next few weeks, head over to their socials for more information.

BESSIE TURNER – NINO
Bessie Turner has definitely made a name for herself this year with headlining festival slots at Latitude and Reading&Leeds and the release of her beautiful debut EP 22:22. Nino is the latest instalment on Turner’s ever-growing discography, showcasing her gorgeous vocals over dreamy indie instrumentals, a style which has seen her touted as a ‘superstar in the making’ by BBC Introducing.

AMONG THE CITIZENS – PRETEND TO BE IN LOVE
Pretend To Be In Love is the latest release from Among The Citizens, a band who have really come of age over the past year. With two EPs, two singles released and an NMG Award already in the bag, it’s no wonder why they are tipped for big things. The title track from their new EP is a Two Door Cinema Club-esque indie pop belter with an incredibly catchy sing-a-long chorus. They play The Hunter Club in Bury St Edmunds tomorrow night (6:15pm)

THE GLITTER SHOP – CALL THE BANK
Although Call The Bank is a b-side to the soothing Tonic, this track is an absolute banger. Call The Bank is a staple of their enigmatic live performances which have wowed audiences in Norwich and Cambridge most recently. The track is a bit different to what’s been released previously from the trio as guitarist Barny Cutter takes lead vocals. The Glitter Shop play The Hunter Club 3rd November, be there!

SHYER – THE ONLY CURE
Having recently won the indie category at the recent NMG Awards, punchy four-piece rockers Shyer released the triumphant The Only Cure a matter of weeks ago. The simplistic but riveting guitar riff which weaves throughout the track combines nicely with the emotional vocals that makes this easily one of our favourite tracks of the past few months.

FRANKO FRAIZE – STOP ME (FEATURING ALEX JOSEPH)
The finale to his ear-catching EP Lights and Colour, Stop Me shows Franko Fraize at his very best. Fraize teams up with long-term collaborator Alex Joseph (2017’s Side By Side) to produce an epic UK rap track destined to hit your playlists as soon as you listen. The rest of his EP features the heartfelt Queen of Hearts and summer bop Let It Go. It’s well worth a listen!

LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST BELOW!

Categories
Gig Reviews

The NMG Awards 2018

Cambridgeshire rockers Hollowstar were the big winners of this year’s NMG Awards held for the first time at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds.

The four-piece rockers from St Ives walked away with the Breakout and Rock awards, following on from an epic year of radio play and extensive live dates with a UK tour on the horizon.

The night kicked off with a memorable performance from newly-reformed band The Extons excellently clad in The Wizard of Oz costumes, followed by Deep City who premiered their soon-to-be released new single, folk duo Elizabeth & Jameson and heavy rock favourites False Hearts.

Fred’s House and Ellie Dixon both regained their awards from the year previous, winning in the Acoustic, Folk, Country category and Female Solo category respectively, whilst The Portland Arms won the Best Small Venue award once again.

As well as the Best Small Venue award, the public decided who won three other awards. The Audience Choice award went to new pop-punk trio Pink Lemonade, with North Acre Studios picking up Best Studio. Lauren Deakin-Davies picked up her first award of the night winning Best Producer.

In hotly-contested categories, Ffion Rebecca picked up the 18 & Under award, whilst Anthony Rubery walked away with the Male Solo award. Cambridge band Shyer not only won the Indie award, they were also inducted into the NMG Hall of Fame alongside Lunar Echoes and Saving Scarlett.

More live new music followed with stellar performances from dynamic indie group LUXURY and new solo sensations Ffion Rebecca and Gabby Rivers.

Local favourites Amethysts and Me & The Moon won their Electronic & Experimental and Pop categories respectively, whilst four-piece group Saltfen took home the Alternative award.

The last award of the evening was the Breakthrough award which was awarded for the first time ever to two recipients: Peterborough’s fast-rising indie stars Among The Citizens and art-pop soloist DIDI (who earlier won the Best Producer award).

Closing the night was 2016’s Male Solo winner Oscar Corney who got everyone off their seats with his gritty indie sounds.

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Categories
Gig Reviews

The 545 @ The Apex, Bury St Edmunds

Five of the best bands from in and around East Anglia played an outstanding night at The 545 music event at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on Friday night.

Stone Deepe opened the night with their alternative rock entertaining the growing crowd. If you didn’t turn up early to see these lot, you missed a great set. It was their first time playing in Bury St Edmunds and it certainly won’t be the last. Their setlist was inch-perfect to getting the crowd going, who they thanked for coming. Their set closer Get In Line was a fantastic way to end their inch-perfect set, a proper indie-like sound to it.

Next up were the post-punk sounds of one of Bury St Edmunds’ most promising bands SIAH. Although they are relative newcomers to the BSE music scene, they have a great collection of tracks to work with, especially the beautifully-named Feline Friends and the punchy A French Girl featuring “the angellic voice” of their drummer. Susie Smokes is always a great live song and with their debut record out next year, and an already large following, big things await the band.

The atmospheric indie-pop of Deep City was up next, and it was just a sign that the night was just going to get better and better. It’s no wonder that they are compared to The 1975 with their track Slow sounding like a blend of some of The 1975’s best songs, absolutely fantastic. The Cambridge-based band wowed the crowd with the even-better swag Wht Hppnd. Deep City premiered a ‘new-ish’ track Classic to the crowd, and if that’s anything to go by, they’re with us for the long haul.

Bury St Edmunds stalwarts Cathedrals and Cars were the real highlight of the night with their sophisticated and polished art-rock and a fantastic set which warmed the crowd up for Hollowstar. Notable highlights from their set were the incredible The Concierge and their set closer A Piece of Me Died In Europe. Great songs, great live performance, tonight cemented Cathedrals and Cars as one of the best bands from BSE.

Last up were the headliners Hollowstar, from Cambridge. An absolutely electric set which blew the roof off The Apex. They told the crowd they had only been around for about two years, took me by surprise considering how accomplished and confident they were on stage. Their whole set sounded huge, sandwiched by a passionate speech from their frontman about mental illness, that led into the phenomenal Feel The Burn. The band dedicated their new song All I Gotta Say to their loyal fan base. They said comically that without their fans they’d be “at home wanking and playing FIFA”. Sounding absolutely huge, let’s hope they’re back in Bury St Edmunds sooner rather than later!

A fantastic event as always at The Apex. I’m already looking forward to next year’s 545!