Spotlight's High Risers and Secret Gems for 2018
With the likes of The Pale White, Sam Fender, Plaza and Brooke Bentham having a hugely successful year behind them, the message is clear: that the North East music scene is booming!
No doubt 2018 will see those already emerging acts take things even further, and we will continue to champion them, but it's also the perfect time to start searching out those up and comers who will be next to follow in their footsteps.
Below are some of our picks of 'high risers' - acts which have already hit some pretty impressive milestones last year and are expected to really hit it big this year.
The Old Pink House – In a genre of their own, The Old Pink House’s cosmic pop has it all: stunning vocals, poignant lyrics, groovy riffs and infectious rhythms. These charismatic gents won’t remain our best kept local secret much longer with plenty of new music and live shows no doubt on the way.
Callum Pitt – With his divine falsetto vocals, unique folk-pop sound and boy-next-door looks Callum is bound for great success in the music world. His already released tracks have never been left off our playlists or out of our heads.
Despite taking things at a steady pace until now, we expect a host of nationwide gigs and new music very soon for his name really to get out there.
VITO – Their youthful indie-rock has seen VITO achieve some impressive goals already in their young lives, including several national tour dates as well as some far-flung shows in South Korea. With their endless energy and tunes that really get a crowd going we expect this year to be BIG for these guys. First stop: playing the stunning Sage in Gateshead as part of NARC’s 'New Year New Artists' showcase.
Cape Cub – This musical project led by Chad Male has made huge leaps since the addition of a brand new band lineup. Beautifully written ballads laden with rock, electro and pop influences as well as an electric live show are bound to get Cape Cup noticed, starting with the upcoming national spring tour.
FEVA – With a growing number of off-the-wall rock bangers and scorching live performances that always leave us breathless, FEVA are a musical basket we confidently put our eggs into. Their first headline show last year was mind-blowing, so much so that we can’t wait for these lads to kick start their new year during their sold-out Riverside show supporting The Pale White.
Llovers – Dreamy guitar melodies that we would happily listen to on an endless loop, Llovers seem to have a magical formula for creating their unique sound laden with beautiful vocals and hooky choruses. With loads more new music being hinted at and more live shows lined up we are steadfast behind this llovely foursome as they look to to conquer 2018.
Deep. Sleep – Utterly loveable indie-pop for dreamers. Having played non-stop in 2017, including some big festivals like Kendal Calling, they've truly honed their skill in getting a crowd going. With more promising music in the pipeline it’s time to get excited for a huge year ahead for the lads from Deep.Sleep.
Shamu – Mind-bending electro-rock that will make you ponder in wonder as you groove to their infectiously progressive sound. The highly addictive trio sound as compelling on record as they do live, both of which we hope to get a whole lot more of in coming months, starting with a performance at the magnificent Sage Gateshead as part of NARC’s 'New Year New Artists' showcase.
Headclouds – Since forming from guitar band High Tide 15:47, things have taken of rapidly for melodic dream-rockers Headclouds.
With national airplay and a host of national gigs already already under their belt, as well as an EP on the way, things are bound to rise high above the clouds for this driven band from Newcastle.
Twist Helix – Despite having been on the local scene for some time and having released their outstanding debut album 'Manifesto' in 2016, Twist Helix’s electro-rock sound is ever evolving. And thanks to a relentless gig schedule this trio has built a loyal fan base too.
Expectations are very high for their upcoming album and a big 2018 is definitely on the cards, especially with epic new track 'Ouseburn' due for release in early February.
Next up are a selection of acts which have blown our minds recently but have remained a little more under the radar, until now...
Tom Joshua – A singer-songwriter that is as humble as he is talented. With vocals and lyrics that will make your heart jump in little loops, quite simply we just can’t get enough of Tom Joshua.
Mayfare – A young blooded, feel good indie band who have already delivered some impressive live shows and well-written tunes that have made us instant fans, and no doubt they will gain a lot more this year and beyond.
Lhymes – A brand spanking new indie band that are yet to announce their first live show, but have shown huge promise with the first two tracks they released, both of which deliver beautiful dream-pop and darker gloom rock sounds.
Great Waves – Their debut EP 'Solace' is an absolute blinder full of Indie gems that deserve to be shouted about. With beautiful vocals and catchy indie melodies that most bands can only dream off, be sure to catch the band live at their upcoming gig on the 3rd of March.
Giraffes – Dark lyrics blended with infectious rhythms make this indie-rock duo stand out from the crowd. These guys have been shortlisted for this year’s SoundWaves music competition which takes place on the 3rd of February at the O2 Academy so be sure to root for them!
Sauvage – Fantastic ambient electro-rock band that have had a busy year gigging and writing new tunes due to be released soon. We highly recommend experiencing these guys live, with your next chance being when they support the incredible The Howl & The Hum on the 3rd of February.
Peace Frog – Made up of members from Leeds and the North East, indie-rock band Peace Frog excel at writing catchy sun-infused tunes as well as delivering exhilarating live shows. Check out their fantastic EP 'A Message for the people at Home' which has just been released.
Plastic Thieves – Epically loud and theatrical guitar rock with a leading vocalist that will blow your mind. With two impressive tracks released so far we hope to see a lot more from Plastic Thieves this year.
Michael Gallagher – Full of charming swagger, Michael Gallagher is a singer-songwriter whose sound puts a youthful spin on classic brit-rock with his acoustic performances. New track Deborah is a beauty and we think Michael is definitely one to watch!
Jake Houlsby – The philosophical singer-songwriter has already released some stunning tunes like 'Carousel' and 'Howl', the latter of which has been used on a national telly advert. He is currently working on his first album which we are eagerly awaiting.