The NME awards tour featuring Bloc Party, Drenge, Rat Boy and Bugzy Malone is coming to Notts!
After 16 years as a band, Bloc Party are taking it back to where it all began with Hymns. Their new record sounds like a band changing, making something more sensual than the abrasive sound of Four. After a two year break, Kele and Russell knew an album was inevitable. The two used to write lyrics together and find other people to work with : “it feels like that’s happened again” says Russell, with them adding bassist Justin Harris and drummer Loise Bartle joining them to make the band a four piece one again.
It’s clear that they’re looking forward to their future. “Now we’ve written this record and met two brilliant people, it’s flowering again,” says Russell. We’re really excited about the songs and we’re desperate for people to hear them and to start performing them.” With Kele adding “I’m super-excited about getting this music in front of people”, we can expect their enthusiasm to show in their performances.
Kele said that he had to cut off the modern world, moving to Brixton to have time and space, saying “I put myself in a bubble.”, and that is where he found the hymns of his childhood. They’re clearly both happy that they’ve managed to keep Bloc Party going. “I realised that I want to do this,” says Kele.
“I want to travel the world and I want to enjoy it all. In my mind, I wanted to prove something.”
Having started Drenge as schoolboys in 2010, brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless have been climbing the ranks since the release of their debut album in 2013 and even more so with the success of their 2015 album ‘Undertow’. They supported the Maccabees at Rock City just a couple of months ago, but are coming back already for what will definitely be another great performance considering how good the last one was. Their grungy, riff-driven sound has earned them so much praise that they won Best New Band in the NME awards, with singles like Bloodsports and
Dogmeat making it clear from the beginning that they’re a top class band. With Bloodsports making it onto Zane Lowe’s Hottest Track end of year list, it’s clearly a popular song and always fills the crowd with energy as the guitar starts playing.
With a lot of time invested in both writing the songs as well as recording and refining last autumn, they certainly came out a record worth waiting for in the end, with Eoin saying “It was one of the most creatively rewarding things that we have done and probably will ever do.”. Before Eoin wrote any of the lyrics, they went ahead and recorded all the instrumentals. “We tracked everything else first,” he says. “I was writing all these different songs lyrics at once, so they would blur into one another and give the album a stronger thematic thread. It felt quite important to write like that for an album.” The flow from start to finish of the album shows that they succeeded in having a strong
theme, one slightly more gloomy with less of an aggressive punk sound than their first album with a few exceptions like We Can Do What We Want. Clearly their old style is still very much present even though Undertow is a step in another direction, and playing songs from both albums will make for a great live performance given the quality of both records.
Rat Boy’s raps tell the tale of suburban Britain. It’s a place in which stepping onto public transport is like entering a battlefield: a land of wannabe gangsters, muggings and sportswear casualties. He’s firmly within the storytelling lineage of Britain’s great lyricists who represent some of his greatest influences: Ian Dury, The Clash, Squeeze, Blur and The Streets. Rat Boy, real name Jordan Cardy, has been championed by a number of tastemakers from Zane Lowe, Annie Mac, Huw Stephens, and included in Radio 1 single of the week and In New Music We Trust playlist on Radio 1. Rat Boy has been championed and featured by publications such as Fader, i-D, The Clash and The Guardian.
Playing his biggest show to date at Heaven in London on Jan 26th 2016 which has already sold out, things are looking very bright leading up to the release of his debut album. The upbeat and chaotic nature of his music matches his personality, and while it’s hard to believe that all the different sounds aren’t from other people too, Rat Boy does it all himself: he writes, raps/sings, plays guitar, bass, keys and programmes the beats. In working this way, he gains full control and is sure of what he produces being nothing but his own sound.
The ‘evil genius’ Bugzy Malone is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the brightest independent grime talents in the UK. The Manchester born rapper has gained a loyal fanbase through heartfelt lyrics and knock out delivery displayed in his music. 2015 has been an outstanding year for Bugzy, gaining plenty of attention and racking up over 20 million views on YouTube for his freestyles and raw music videos. He also won ‘Best Newcomer’ at the GRM Daily Rated Awards and was nominated for two Mobo Awards for ‘Best Newcomer’ and ‘Best Grime Act’.
Bugzy’s E.P ‘Walk With Me’ was released in July 2015 and got to number 2 on the UK I Tunes Album Chart and peaked at number 8 on the official UK Album Chart. (Which was followed by a ‘sold out’ UK tour in December). He also already has several mixtapes and videos on his website, with his 360 involvement in his videos, merchandise and image making him a fully rounded modern day artist and definitely one to watch for 2016. Even for those not into his music or who haven’t heard it, his performance at the NME Awards should be a good one, stirring up the whole crowd of people who’ve gathered to hear.