The Mic Awards 2019: Best Nottingham Band/Group

Winner: Good Hustles

A collective hive of joy and creativity, Nottingham’s Band of the Year are a high-octane, propulsive live outfit. Despite their relative newness to the scene, they have already honed in on a distinctive barrage of sound, propelling them nearer to the forefront of the city’s rock movement. Ben Standring explains why Good Hustles are The Mic’s Nottingham Band of the Year for 2019.

Despite kicking off 2019 as relative newbies, the Hustles have consistently smashed the bar of expectations set, their studio sound and live shows bolstering their glowing reputation as DIY-thoroughbreds. The enigmatic combination of Will Bewley’s no-nonsense, unapologetically killer riffs with Nathan Hart’s composed presence and the raucous jangle of Will Peters behind the kit is expertly brought together and consolidated by Morton Piercewright, commander-in-chief, running the ship with distinctive vocals that cut through the maze of sounds in scintillating fashion.

The unity between the quartet is unquestionable, allowing them to make high-octane, propulsive rock music. Despite meeting on the Nottingham open mic circuit, 2019 seems to have been a founding year for their welcoming into the city’s music scene. The arrival of Hart back from Germany alongside Peters’ relocation to the city centre has seen the band’s momentum drastically shift in the latter half of the year, mutterings of a new live force gradually becoming louder with each gig passing.

In March, the four-piece released their second EP Tightrope, refining and showcasing the band as a dominant force for heavy rock fans. A prowling confidence started to shine through, bolstered by Peters’ presence behind the drum kit. A political masterpiece, the EP’s title-track offered Bewley’s metal influences to shine through his guitar work, whilst Not The One toned down the ferocity and increased in charm and charism.

Their range of influences and music tastes allows them to adopt multiple stylistic frameworks to their increasing catalogue. Know It All’s infectious chorus reflects the opaque camaraderie permeating the band and their followers, whilst smirking latest track Rent mixes propulsive rock with their honest, straightforward promotion of community and friendship. The band’s personalities cultivate an environment that places pure enjoyment for music and the company they share at the front and centre of their image. They take their work and branding seriously, but nothing seems to be more important than the reason they first wanted to create music.

In a live environment, prepare for a seismic barrage of sound that grips audiences from start to end. A recent support slot at the iconic Bodega cascaded into an intense concoction of gritty instrumentation, unpredictability and jubilation for the love of the sound they’re slowly configuring and understanding. A juggernaut onstage, Will Bewley’s refusal to stand in the same spot for more than two seconds provides apt entertainment as he clambers atop speakers and parts crowds at every given moment.

A wave of optimism rests over the band’s future. Nottingham sits at the roots of Good Hustles and the increased proximity of the band’s members to one another, alongside a staggering creative desire to write and record has the potential to see their name rocket to the forefront of the city’s rock movement. Individually, Good Hustles are four immensely talented individuals. Collectively, they are a beacon of creativity set to take the city by storm in the new year, and together with the help of their loyal and growing fanbase, they’re crowded The MIc’s Nottingham Band of the Year for 2019.