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FRIDAY 6TH JULY (4pm-11pm)

SOUL II SOUL

“We’re from the days when a number 14 bus and a supermarket trolley got us around.”

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Back In The Day
“We’re from the days when a number 14 bus and a supermarket trolley got us around.” Jazzie B remembers the lengths he and a school friend used to go to play dances with their first sound system when they were just 13 years old. It sums up the determination, resourcefulness and a love for music, that got Soul II Soul where it is today.

Their first North London sound system, Jah Rico, played mainly reggae, but after three years changed the vibe to more soul and funk and Soul II Soul was born. “We came up with the name not just because of the music we played, it also stood for Daddae and myself – two souls moving together. We’ve always had that kind of relationship – there are not many words exchanged between us, but everything that’s happened has been very much in tandem.”

Soul II Soul quickly achieved a name in their community, but were in no position to give up the day jobs, and at age 18, Jazzie was working for cockney pop legend Tommy Steele, as a tape operator. He found himself one of the few black people working in London’s recording studio and recalls how this shaped his attitude: “It made me vexed in one way, but it made me see that there are parts of the industry that we’re not taking care of because we always want to be so upfront.” As Soul II Soul grew, Jazzie was determined to create a dancefloor
environment that would appeal across the board.

Movin’ Forward
Soul II Soul’s dances had been reflecting what was occurring naturally in London; kids of all races had grown up together and were now raving together. By the mid-1980s the warehouse scene was in full swing, vibrant and underground, removed from the constraints of the mainstream – a natural fit for Soul II Soul’s creativity: “We were very arty as an early sound. We never had conventional speakers, we used pyrotechnics in a dance, we had banners and strobes in a house party!”

Nothing summed them and their crowd up better than their regular Sunday night spot at the now legendary Africa Centre in London’s Covent Garden. This was truly the Soul II Soul experience, which, unlike other sound systems on the same circuit, wasn’t just about the big name DJs, it was about a vibe. Jazzie remembers it as being unique: “You had people from all walks of life at the Africa Centre. A very eclectic crowd. It was like Benetton down there!”

The Africa Centre was a game changer for Soul II Soul; for British black music; and for the nation’s youth culture in general. It caught the attention of Virgin Records, who signed them as an act in 1988, catapulting them into a tornado of success. The Soul II Soul sound was original, new, fresh, and infectious – above all, though, it was a UK thing. It represented what was going on all around it and alienated nobody. There was the Soul II Soul lifestyle too, with three shops in London selling clothing emblazoned with the Funki Dred logo, plus all manner of branded merchandising including clocks and jewellery. They even had a slogan “A happy face, a thumpin’ bass, for a lovin’ race.”

Popular Demand
There were the resident club nights all over the world; live concert tours; radio and TV appearances; Jazzie had his own show on London’s Kiss FM and there was even an Adventures of the Funki Dreds comic book. And, of course, Soul II Soul enjoyed the type of chart success – notably with Keep On Movin’ and ‘Back To Life’ – that made them household names all over the world.

To date Soul II Soul have sold over 10 million albums in over 35 territories worldwide and have product on over 200 compilation CDs while Jazzie has accreditation on over 35 million albums in over 100 territories. They’ve performed in over 20 countries, and appeared at some of the most famous venues in the world including Wembley and New York’s Universal Ample Theatre. America embraced Soul II Soul to such a degree, in 1990 they picked up two Grammy’s. Jazzie was given the keys to seven cities in the US, including LA and New York, and the NAACP has honoured him. There’s even a Soul II Soul day over there.

Into more recent times, musically Soul II Soul has kept itself contemporary – “Keep On Movin” was used for the high profile Renault Clio television ads. Mary J. Blige and Sean Kingston have both released cover versions of “Back To Life’; while Beverly Knight released her version of “FairPlay” in 2011. A year later, “Back to Life” was featured in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.

In 2008 there was royal recognition for the Funki Dreds when, after thirty years of dedication, Jazzie was awarded an OBE for services to music. The first sound man to be honoured by Her Majesty the Queen, and probably the most deserved investiture ever. Then in the same year Jazzie won the Ivor Novello Award for inspiration, and as he stepped up to accept the trophy he was announced as “the man who gave British black music a soul of its own”. 2012 saw Soul II Soul receive the PRS for Music Heritage Award with a special plaque erected on The Electric (formerly The Fridge) in Brixton, where the group played their first live gig in 1991.

Bringing It Back Home
2013 has been the year it came back home for Soul II Soul – literally. In spring the clothing range’s Classics Collection took original artwork from the Funki Dred archives to reprint on modern fabrics, cut to contemporary shapes, designed around the rhythms of the dance. Jazzie himself was honoured by his birthplace – Finsbury Park – when local residents selected three distinguished locals of the area for their contribution and inspiration to the community. An ironwork sculpture of him now stands at the Portrait Bench by the station forecourt, alongside suffragette Edith Garrud and health pioneer Florence Keen. The year finished on a high, when, as curtain-raiser to Soul II Soul’s 25th Anniversary in 2014, they performed a series of full band, old school-style gigs all over the UK.

For the man who considers himself as a “pleasure giver”, it’s paramount to Jazzie to remain a part of the club scene. “Being a sound system is very important to me, I still DJ in clubs. And the label is run like a sound system. It’s all exactly the same as before, except that the times have changed. Technically we are still a sound system. The singers and artists are our MCs, and instead of mix tapes we now make records and CDs.”

Jazzie B no longer borrows supermarket trolleys and hasn’t seen the inside of a number 14 bus for a while, but the sound system mentality is still very much at the root of Soul II Soul, keeping him in touch with their continually evolving audience.

LOVELY LAURA & BEN SANTIAGO

Appreciated for his ‘Balearic’ approach, Ben is just as passionate spinning eclectic sets at private villa parties, on yachts or for catwalks as he is delivering straight up house tunes in a club.

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Ben Santiago is one of Ibiza’s most prolific DJ’s. Since moving to the White Isle twelve years ago he has held a number of enviable residencies and played for the biggest brands in the industry including Amnesia, Cream, Café Mambo, Café del Mar, Es Vive, Hed Kandi, Ibiza Rocks, Manumission, Ministry of Sound, Pacha, Space, and Ushuaia Beach Club Ibiza.

Highlights from Ibiza 2016 included playing the main room at Space Ibiza for the sell out Creamfields event, packed shows at Ocean Beach and Café Mambo with saxophonist (and wife) Lovely Laura, as well as guest slots at the exclusive Hard Rock Hotel and also for Melon Bomb, a party that he started in Ibiza with fellow resident DJ’s that has completely blown up within just two short years.

Outside of the clubbing world, Ben is musical director for Berlin Fashion Week and spins at fashion show and private soirées for Dolce & Gabbana throughout Europe and Asia alongside Lovely Laura. The pair also work closely with Storm Models and perform all over the world at exclusive events for a number of A-list clients.

Appreciated for his ‘Balearic’ approach, Ben is just as passionate spinning eclectic sets at private villa parties, on yachts or for catwalks as he is delivering straight up house tunes in a club. His success is based on a simple premise: “Whatever the genre, if a track is going to connect with the audience then I’ll play it…”

ARTFUL DODGER

They have been tearing up dance floors as a duo for over 18 years now & their reputation as an MC/DJ outfit has become highly rated.

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Originally comprising of producers Mark Hill, Pete Devereux, David Low & Mc Alistair, the name Artful Dodger is already established as the most commercially successful UK garage act to have emerged from the scene to date.

Together they produced an amazing string of chart topping hits, remixes and a platinum selling album (It’s all about the stragglers) that confirmed Artful Dodger’s place as the most successful Garage act of all time. After Pete & Mark decided to follow different musical paths David Co owner of Public Demand Records & Mc Alistair continued to bring the chart topping brand to the clubs & festivals around the world.

The partnership was & an instant success on the dance floors due to their versatile ability to play for any crowd in front of them.

They have been tearing up dance floors as a duo for over 18 years now & their reputation as an MC/DJ outfit has become highly rated.

This is confirmed as they continue to play alongside some of the biggest artistes in the music business such as Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dog, T Pain, Calvin Harris, Skepta, Chipmunk, Wretch 32, N Dubz, Wiley, Pro Green & Taio Cruz to name but a few.

The popularity of AD is testament to the quality of the live sets the duo deliver week in week out as they continue to bring their unique vibe to the party people from all around the world.

The live Artful Dodger sets are not just your run of the mill DJ / MC set but consist now of playing a host of styles from UKG, Deep, Funky & Soulful House, Bassline, Jungle/D&B.

Their sets having been tearing up dance floors up and down the UK and all over the world (Dubai, Holland, Poland, Romania, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Russia, Switzerland, Ibiza, Cyprus, South Korea, Germany, Prague & the USA to name but a few) where ever they play.

Getting the audience involved and being able to adapt to any crowd they play to by dropping a selection of tunes that fits nicely in with atmosphere on the night, this makes a splendid party vibe wherever they play and keeps the crowd entertained & partying all night long.

DJ GRAEME PARK

“For my entire career I’ve been finding good tunes that I want other people to hear. The reason I keep doing it is simple: it’s my mission in life to let people hear good music.”

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The story of DJ Graeme Park really mirrors the story of the evolution of dance music and club culture itself. Graeme found himself working in a Nottingham record shop called Selectadisc in the early 1980s, when the very first house records began to filter through from Chicago, Detroit and New York. When the shop’s owner opened a nightclub, it was only natural he should turn to Graeme to select the discs. Determined to showcase this new style of music, his reputation as a house pioneer soon brought him to the attention of Mike Pickering at the Haçienda in Manchester, who asked him to cover for him while he went on holiday in 1988. Simply put, there was no-one else in the country who could do the job. The Summer of Love followed, and Parky quickly became one of the biggest names on the emerging dance scene. Aside from his nine year residency at The Haç, he was one of the first British DJs to play places like Australia, South America, the USA, Asia and beyond as well as producing and remixing tracks for the dancefloor, including The Brand New Heavies, Inner City, Eric B & Rakim, New Order, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and more.

The Haçienda was a club without a purpose until house music filled its cathedral-sized dimensions. It undeniably defined Graeme as a DJ, but after more than three decades as a DJ, that can only be seen as one chapter in an on-going tale: ‘Yeah it was a very big chapter,’ says Graeme. ‘I guess the first was when I realised I could DJ and discovered house music from the US. The Haçienda was chapter 2, then chapter 3 was when it re-opened after closing for a couple of months in 1992. Chapter 4 was when it closed not long after I left and I played all around the world. I suppose Chapter 5 was the turn of the century and continuing my journey. Chapter 6 is where I am right now, with more variety to my gigs and music selection than ever before.’

As far as Graeme’s concerned, things are as fab as ever. But where is dance music and club culture headed? Well, who better to ask directions than the man who wrote the disco A-Z? ‘I started doing it purely by accident,’ he details. ‘And then realised I was actually pretty good at it. But I never thought I’d end up doing it for over 30 years. And I see no need to stop at the moment. I still love playing fantastic tunes in a variety of different clubs all over the place and people still want me to do it too.’

And where we are now is a very interesting place to be with regular gigs around the UK, Europe and beyond playing a selection of classic house cuts as well as new and current tunes to audiences made up of die-hard regulars and new clubbers too. There’s also a variety of occasional productions, remixes and collaborations under various guises with people such as legendary Ten City vocalist Byron Stingily, Juan Kidd and his ongoing Yellow & Black project. Although keen not to be bracketed as purely a ‘classics’ DJ, Graeme regularly delves into the thousands upon thousands of tunes he has collected on vinyl over the years: “House music has made people channel their tastes, so I went back to my roots and pulled out some forgotten classics,” he grins, still in love with process of mining those rich seams of vinyl. “I love seeing a crowd go wild to a tune they haven’t heard for years or playing something really obscure from 20 years ago that people think is new.”

In the past couple of years, Graeme has reunited with original Haçienda Friday Nude Night partner Mike Pickering for a variety of FAC51 The Haçienda club nights playing a selection of contemporary tunes alongside a variety of forgotten classics. “We want to try and recreate the excitement of the original Nude nights when nobody knew what we were playing from one week to the next. We’re also both massive fans of the current crop of young house and dance producers who are making scores of huge club tunes that take their references from over 20 years ago. Response to our occasional sets has been massive from both young and older clubbers alike.”

Alongside Mike, Graeme has been a major part of this year’s Haçienda Classical shows which have performed in Manchester and London to rapturous response. They’ve both been DJing live alongside the Manchester Camerata Orchestra, Peter Hook, Rowetta and special guests to a set of classic house tunes from 1988 to 1992. This euphoric show is currently on tour throughout the UK and gives you the chance to hear classic tunes like you’ve never heard them before with a 70 piece orchestra, live percussionists and a choir.

Celebrating over 20 years on the radio with shows on Kiss, Galaxy, Key 103, Radio City, Juice FM, Forth One and more, Graeme’s years of experience help him understand the specialist skills required by a radio DJ: ‘A lot of radio shows or DJs just play the same big tunes. You can’t simply pretend you’re in a club, you have to talk to the audience and put your personality and knowledge across without sounding like an idiot.’ His weekly Graeme Park Radio Show airs on scores of radio stations both in the UK and overseas and brings in a big audience with his mix of new and older tunes mixed together like only he knows how.

Whether through his sets, his radio shows, his productions and remixes or simply by getting to know his audience, Graeme has spent over 30 years getting his jocular personality across. He was there before it all started, he was at the forefront of the dance scene when it was at its zenith and he’s still there, still rocking it, years later – longer than some of the people on the dancefloor have been on the planet! And the best thing is he still loves it, still loves the music and still loves to play it for people to dance to.

‘Yeah, for my entire career I’ve been finding good tunes that I want other people to hear. The reason I keep doing it is simple: it’s my mission in life to let people hear good music.’

The Haçienda is now an apartment building (the developers asked Parky to DJ at the launch; he politely declined). At the back of the building there is a time-line, carved into steel, detailing the history of the club from Madonna‘s early performance to its closure. And there’s Graeme’s name not once, but twice, carved into the metal for time immemorial. What other DJs (what other venues?) have had that significance in clubland?

Taken from www.thisisgraemepark.com

CEEJ HAZE RECORDS

CeeJ is no stranger to featuring on top UK Festivals alongside the best Live/DJ acts in the business, as well as in Europe.

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Returning back to Sunniside Live this year we bring you one of the best up & coming DJ/Producers we have in the city representing the brand he’s built from the start, CeeJ (Haze Records).

CeeJ – the new outfit from young budding DJ/Producer from Sunderland, Carlton Johnston, who is no stranger to be seen on many Line Ups throughout the NorthEast over the past few years. Having a heavy musical influence growing up with instruments including Percussion, Guitar & Playing chords on the Keyboard, He has developed this Knowledge and applied this towards his musical step into DJing which was first crossed at the early ages of his youth, watching over Brother Azz on his first pair of Numark Belt Drives, Soon to be upgraded to Technics 1210s in the late 90s, where he shadowed and taken the first interest which would inspire him to go on to re-building the once Underground House music scene now being dominated by his brand HAZE throughout the city.

CeeJ is no stranger to featuring on top UK Festivals alongside the best Live/DJ acts in the business, as well as in Europe. His past gigs have seen him play at MiNT Festival & Parklife Festival, both in 2016 as well as many local smaller festivals too.

2017 was another massive year, as he debuted playing in Sankeys Ibiza where his brand hosted room 2 for Darius’ Syrossians night DO NOT SLEEP, not forgetting when him & the crew flew The Sunderland Born Brand to Croatia, where they played a monumental Haze Records Pool Party for HIDEOUT FESTIVAL.

2018 see’s him & the boys invited back to both Hideout Festival & Parklife Festival to be playing on the same Bill as Liam Gallagher, The XX & Pharells N.E.R.D , not forgetting more & more of the sold out productions happening in the city where they have invited guests such as Roger Sanchez, Nic Fanciulli, Heidi, YOUSEF, Marshall Jefferson & many, many more.

SATURDAY 7th JULY (12pm-11pm)

LIGHTNING SEEDS

Ian Broudie is now writing and recording the first Lightning Seeds album for many years.

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Ian Broudie originally emerged from the post punk Liverpool music scene of the late seventies playing in the band “Big in Japan” alongside fellow band members Bill Drummond (KLF), Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes To Hollywood), Budgie (The Slits/Souxie And The Banshees) and Jayne Casey (Pink Military).

Before the band ended in 1979 they created the independent record label Zoo Records which would later feature the bands Teardrop Explodes and Echo & The Bunnymen.

This in turn led to him producing several bands (sometimes credited under the pseudonym “Kingbird”) starting with Echo & The Bunnymen and including The Fall, The Pale Fountains and Wah along with many other bands for the emerging independent record labels of the time including Factory Records, Rough Trade, Creation Records, Beggars Banquet etc.

In 1989, Broudie returned to his songwriting with a set of home recordings. Out of necessity, with no record contract and no band in place, Ian sang and played everything on the tapes himself recording in his “spare bedroom”.

Eventually, there was the opportunity for extra production on the tracks and a few hundred copies of “Pure” were pressed up through Rough Trade on the small independent record label Ghetto. “Pure” was released under the name “Lightning Seeds”, the imaginary group he had envisioned to write his songs for in the hope it would become a reality.

Gradually over a period of months, “Pure” started to gain some attention. Initially with radio play from the legendary DJ John Peel and then specialist night-time plays on regional radio stations.

Pure began to climb the independent record charts and before long it was featured on daytime radio and became a chart success.

Imported copies of the single had somehow made their way to the USA and Pure was spontaneously being played on American college stations and championed by KROQ’s legendary DJ Rodney Biggenheimer. It soon became the most requested record in California topping the airplay charts although it was not yet released or even placed with a label in the USA.

In 1990 with the release of the Album Cloudcuckooland the Lightning Seeds were truly off and running on both sides of the Atlantic although the first gig would come a lot later.

In 1991 after producing The Wild Swans and Pink Industry, Broudie started on the second Lightning Seeds album SENSE.

Inspired and fascinated by the way loops and sampling were being pioneered and used on a lot of hip-hop records (in particular De La Soul), Ian decided that by using this sample based technology and methodology combined with Lightning Seeds structured arrangements and melody led cadences so contrasting in style to the music inspiring him, he could create an unusual blend and an exciting direction for the band’s sound. To that end he began working on the album with co producer Simon Rogers who was adept at sampling and the perfect co conspirator.

Joined by Cenzo Townsend on engineering duties, they recorded the Lightning Seeds’ second album Sense. Ian’s brother Rob had kindly donated his front room agreeing to let it be commandeered for a couple of months as a makeshift studio.

The song ‘Sense’, which also became the album title, was the first of many songwriting collaborations between Ian and his good friend Terry Hall. “Sense” along with “The Life of Riley” became the most effective and memorable recordings born out of this approach and pointed the way to the future sound of the band.

Following the release of the Sense album, Ian rented a couple of rooms in an old laboratory in Liverpool city centre and set up his equipment in a more formal studio setting. This was particularly fruitful since it allowed him time and space to produce records.

During this period, Broudie produced artists such as Dodgy, Alison Moyet, Terry Hall, Sleeper and The Frank and Walters. He also provided free time for some fledgling artists, including The Divine Comedy.

In the meantime, The Lightning Seeds were once again without a label with the implosion of Rough Trade and Ghetto records. Nevertheless, writing and recording began on the next album”Jollification”.

There was a different atmosphere around these recordings. Although it was the same recording team, improved technology helped Ian to find a more attainable sound and this encouraged him to focus more on Lightning Seeds; committing to becoming a live band, promoting the album and shelving all other distractions.

For the first time Ian gathered musician friends together to form a formidable band originally consisting of Chris Sharrock (future Oasis drummer), Bassist Martyn Campbell (of legendary Liverpool beat band Rain) and Ian’s neighbour Paul Hemmings, also a founder member of the La’s. This was the nucleus of the live band although keyboard players and others came and went and Chris was later replaced by The Who drummer Zak Starkey.

Jollification was released in 1994 on Epic Records it was easily their most accomplished album so far selling in excess of 900,000 copies.

In 1996, Euro ‘96 was set to be the first major football tournament to be held in England since they had won the World Cup on home soil in 1966. The English Football Association asked Ian if he would write a song for the England team.

He had the idea of collaborating with two comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner, the hosts of popular TV show Fantasy Football. They then wrote and recorded the song 3 Lions ’96, which became a number one single on two occasions, selling over a million copies in the UK.

Another version of the song, 3 Lions ’98, also topped the Chart two years later.

The album Dizzy Heights was released in 1997 and contained many of the group’s most successful hit singles. Ian co-wrote with Nicky Wire (Manic Street Preachers), Stephen Jones (Babybird) and once more with Terry Hall (The Specials). A reworking of The Turtles’ song “You Showed Me” was also featured.

Halfway through recording the album, Broudie’s studio was relocated to a barge on the river Thames, owned by Pete Townshend, and the recording was finished on board.

Dizzy Heights went on to achieve platinum sales, also receiving a coveted 5 star review in Q magazine.

The last Lightning Seeds album “Tilt” was released on epic in 1999 and was followed by a long hiatus.

During this break from the Lightning Seeds, Ian returned to his hometown Liverpool and started helping to develop two unsigned bands The Coral and The Zutons.

Subsequently this resulted in Broudie producing debut platinum selling albums for both bands.

Ian’s Studio is now located in Liverpool on the roof of a warehouse, overlooking the river Mersey, in which he mixed the album “Don’t Forget Who You Are” which he had produced for Miles Kane in 2013.

Broudie recently performed a solo concert, which included a collection of his songs and some of his favourite productions, with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Guest vocalists James Skelly, Terry Hall, Ian McCulloch and Miles Kane joined Broudie who was backed by guest musicians Sean Payne, Nick Power, Bill Ryder-Jones, Martyn Campbell and Riley Broudie.

He is currently writing and recording the first Lightning Seeds album for many years.

REVEREND AND THE MAKERS

The release of their second album, A French Kiss in the Chaos in 2009, led to the band being invited to support Oasis on their final tour.

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Reverend and The Makers are an English rock band based in Sheffield, Yorkshire, they are fronted by Jon McClure, nicknamed “The Reverend”.

The band’s debut album The State of Things (2007) helped them gain success in Britain, as well as spawning UK Top 10 single “Heavyweight Champion of the World”.

The band released their second album, A French Kiss in the Chaos (2009), which led to the band being invited to support Oasis on their final tour, playing venues such as Wembley Stadium.

The band’s third studio album, @Reverend_Makers (after the band’s Twitter handle), was released in 2012, and the band’s fourth studio album, ThirtyTwo, was released in 2014.

A Sheffield contemporary of Arctic Monkeys, Reverend & The Makers’ leader Jon McClure is something of an acquired music taste.

On one hand he has an ever-loyal army of supporters at his gigs; on the other – thanks in large part to a series of outspoken interviews – many music fans think he’s a berk.

Looking back at his career so far McClure says he can see their point, none too keen with the gobbie fella who keeps cropping up in his old press cuttings.

Having found a spot on “indie’s fringes” he’s comfortable with – The Reverend is now conent with the bands sound.

“ This unique band, using a combination of indie rock, electro and funk to complete their signature sound, is coming to a venue near you in 2018.”

THE BLUETONES

The band has scored thirteen Top 40 singles and three Top 10 albums in the UK charts.

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The Bluetones are an English indie rock band, formed in Hounslow, Greater London, in 1993. The band’s members are Mark Morriss on vocals, Adam Devlin on guitar, Scott Morriss on bass guitar, and Eds Chesters on drums. A fifth member, Richard Payne, came on board between 1998 and 2002. The band was originally named “The Bottlegarden”.

After the release of two singles on Fierce Panda Records, the band signed to A&M Records and released Expecting to Fly on their own sublabel Superior Quality Recordings. The album entered the UK Albums Chart at number one, and featured the singles ‘Bluetonic’ and ‘Slight Return’, with the latter climbing to #2 on the UK charts (kept from the top by Babylon Zoo’s ‘Spaceman’). Following the touring and promotional duties for Expecting to Fly, the band released stand-alone single ‘Marblehead Johnson’ to bridge the gap between albums.

The second Bluetones album, Return to the Last Chance Saloon, was released in 1998. While failing to repeat the commercial success of their debut, it reached the top 10 in the UK album charts and spawned the hit singles ‘Solomon Bites the Worm’ and ‘If…’.

In 2000 the Bluetones released their third album, Science & Nature, which again reached the Top 10 and featured the hit singles ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’ and ‘Autophilia’.

After a best-of album in 2002, the band released their fourth studio album Luxembourg to mixed reviews in 2003.

A three-album deal was signed in late 2005 with the Cooking Vinyl record label, promptly followed by the limited release of E.P. Serenity Now and a full UK tour.

In early 2006, Universal issued a comprehensive box set of all The Bluetones singles and B-sides released between 1995 and 2003, A Rough Outline.

A single, entitled ‘My Neighbour’s House’, was released in the UK on 18 September 2006. The single was taken from their self-titled album, which was released on 9 October that year. It failed to chart in the UK Albums Chart after its first week on sale..

In February 2007, the band released BBC Radio Sessions containing tracks recorded for the BBC between 1994 and 2000. This was followed in June with their first full live album, Once Upon a Time in West Twelve, recorded at the Shepherds Bush Empire on 18 November 2005, and was followed on 29 October 2007, by a live DVD of the same concert under the title Beat about the Bush. 2007 also saw the release of a compilation album of early demorecordings, entitled The Early Garage Years. They also released a DVD under the title Blue Movies, which includes all of their 15 music videos.

In December 2008, the band embarked on a five-date tour, taking in Lincoln, Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham. The tour saw them playing their debut album, Expecting to Fly, in full. Some further dates were subsequently announced for February and March 2009.

On 31 May 2010, the band released a new album entitled A New Athens. Despite moderate praise the album failed to chart in the UK Albums Chart.

On 28 March 2011, the band announced they would split after a farewell tour in the autumn. On 13 April 2015, the band announced that they would reform for a new UK tour.

In Summer 2017 they will co-headline the Star Shaped Festival tour run by the popular Britpop club of the same name alongside the newly reformed Sleeper. This will take place in Birmingham, London, Manchester & Glasgow in July and August 2017.

The band has scored thirteen Top 40 singles and three Top 10 albums in the UK charts. The band have remained consistently popular since the Britpop era, they have continued to tour and release new records.

CAST

Formed in 1992 from the ashes of two of the most legendary and lauded guitar bands of all time, The La’s and Shack.

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Originally formed in 1992 from the ashes of two of the most legendary and lauded guitar bands of all time, The La’s and Shack, Cast released four albums, the second ‘Mother Nature Calls’ also went platinum (three of them top 10), and had ten top 10 singles, before disbanding in 2001. ‘All Change’ became the biggest selling debut album of all time for Polydor Records. After the band’s split, John Power released three solo albums, and played intermittently with the reformed La’s.

A decade later in 2012, the bands original line-up reunited with original producer John Leckie (Stone Roses, Radiohead, The Fall) for ‘Troubled Times’. The reinvigorated band produced an album full of the anthemic, melodic and beautifully written songs for which they have always been loved by their fervent fanbase.

With Founding member Pete Wilkinson retiring form the band in 2013. John Power (guitar/vocals), Liam ‘Skin’ Tyson (lead guitar – also playing with Robert Plant) and Keith O’Neill (drums) were joined by former La’s member Jay Lewis on bass.

At the end of 2015 Cast celebrated the 20th anniversary of their classic album ‘All Change’, with two sold out shows at the historic Liverpool Philharmonic Hall where they played the record in it’s entirety accompanied by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

The bands Latest album ‘Kicking Up The Dust’ was released on 21st April 2017. The album, Cast’s sixth studio album, was recorded at The Motor Museum in Liverpool and was produced by resident studio legend – Alistair Groves.

Labelled ‘The Who of the 90’s’, Noel Gallagher once described watching Cast play live as “a religious experience.”

LARKINS

Far from the typical masculine posturing of much of Manchester’s indie output, Larkins are a breath of fresh air in a scene in danger of stagnation.

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When Manchester’s Larkins started 2016 by hitting the ground running, no-one could have predicted the year they’d end up having.

A summer of festival appearances at the likes of Kendal Calling, as well as a sold out show at Manchester’s Club Academy saw the band rapidly made a name for themselves amongst both fans and critics alike; turning heads and winning fans wherever they went.

Now shortlisted by the MEN as one of the City’s Best Breakthrough Artists, and with their biggest headline show to date under their belts, they’ve started 2017 with an even bigger bang, and with even more confidence.

Something that’s manifest in the four-piece’s latest single, ‘Wasted Years’. Building on the effortless freneticism of their previous singles, ‘Wasted Years’ is both angular and fluid and marks a new progression in the band’s seemingly limitless creativity.

Far from the typical masculine posturing of much of Manchester’s indie output, Larkins are a breath of fresh air in a scene in danger of stagnation, something made all the more evident thanks to their aforementioned sell out show at Manchester’s much-lauded Gorilla.

TOM MOUSE SMITH

Tom has achieved so much in such a short time whilst living with the life limiting condition Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

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Tom Smith is a 13 year old Singer Songwriter from County Durham. Now with almost 20k Facebook follows he is a formidable social media presence.

Already an accomplished guitarist, in his short career he has supported Shed Seven, James Bay and Catfish and the Bottlemen (three times) and Madness. Last winter he supported The Charlatans on tour and is the youngest ever performer at The Great Escape, Festival No.6 and Kendal Calling playing entirely original material. He has also supported Frankie & The Heartstrings, John Power from Cast and could be found jamming backstage with James Bay at T in the Park.

His appearance at The Fluffy Rock Cafe at Glastonbury Festival resulted in him being described as one of the highlights of the Small stages alongside Billy Bragg and FFS. He has also won last years Child of Acheivement at the north east press Best of Wearside awards.

Tom also appeared on the charity recording of The Beatles classic Help! In aid of Syrian refugees alongside the cream of the North East Music Scene and again he stole the show and recently recorded material at Peter Gabriels Real World Studios.

He has achieved so much in such a short time whilst living with the life limiting condition Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome which means he was born, and continues to function, with only half a working heart.