Archive | May, 2012

The Rhythm Festival 2012, The Line Up For The Secret Showcase Presents Stage…

16 May

As you know, The Secret Showcase Presents…. Is humbly dedicated to finding, nurturing and showcasing outstanding and deserving new talent and we are delighted to announce our findings for this years line up.

We had an overwhelming amount of artist submissions this year all of which were of exceptional standards and if we could we would have put them all on. Alas we cannot and this is our pick for this year. Take your time to soak in the plethora of talent that is this year’s Secret Showcase Presents line up…


16.00 – 16.30 John D Wilson

John D Wilson is a 21 year-old folk singer/songwriter from Hertfordshire. London based promoter Zaid Joseph describes John as ‘One of my favorite young artists coming through at the moment.’ Adding ‘He gets better every time I see him.’ Wilson uses a simple style of guitar and harmonica playing complimented by heartfelt lyrics, delivered by a soft yet chilling voice. From early on in his career he has been compared to the likes of Mumford and Sons and much to his delight his idol, Bob Dylan.

16.40 – 17.10 Samantha Whates

Samantha’s songs are natural, instinctive and poignant. They are honest reflections of everyday feelings. A search for a home or a place to belong. A moment in time or a fear we all feel.
Honest, reflective contemporary acoustic music – everyday issues dealt with pensive melancholy, nostalgic yearning and a mature insight that belies her years

Samantha Whates is a Scottish Singer/Songwriter based in London where she performs live at many of the capital’s top venues, including The Electroacoustic Club, Bookclub, Cargo & Union Chapel. Recently, her demo recordings for Natural Studio Records have been receiving radio airplay, most notably on ‘New Ground’ for KCRW Radio, Southern California’s premier independent station and BBC 6.
Though based in London’s East End, Samantha’s music has more in common with Contemporary Scandinavian music (Rune Grammofon et al) where a lot of importance is placed upon the subtleties of tone, timbre and atmospherics.

17.20 -17.50 Trent Miller

Following on from his self-released, widely acclaimed debut album Cerberus – which received substantial press coverage
and airplay, including Cerys Matthews on BBC 6 Music – Trent Miller now returns with his second collection of arresting
country-folk, Welcome To Inferno Valley.

Unlike his debut, ‘Inferno Valley’ is very much a band album, comprising songs road-tested and honed at literally dozens
of gigs around the London area and throughout Miller’s Italian homeland with The Skeleton Jive.

‘A darkly underground mix of hangovers, anguished love, mournful blues and lonesome country’
(4 stars out of 5 – Andy Fyfe, Q MAGAZINE)


22.05 – 22.55 Small Horses

The Small Horses are Conor Fahy, Conor O’Brien, Kevin Harrington and Saulo Ramirez.

Double bass, guitar and drums deliver a tremeloed, folk picking, foot stomping soundscape, rattling along like a rickety cart on a mountainside, over which frontman Conor Fahy spends his words like a sailor, on songs that are as bright and heavy as doubloons.

This dark … ly comic, film noirish, out-of-focus, revelatory band are the distillation of dead Irish writers, pulp fiction, early rock n’ roll and many other things, sometimes as fine whiskey, sometimes as raw spirit.

The literary qualities of these songs are not to be ignored, and neither is the skill of each musician. Their tales of the grimy seam of life, of wayward men, women and friendships, can be heard on their two existing EPs.

23.05 – 23.55 Mad Staring eyes

Mad Staring Eyes are a 6-piece band from North London. Their line up Includes pedal steel and flute and revolves around a core that have played together for 20 years.

In 2006 Mad Staring Eyes self-titled debut EP won the John Peel ‘Best New Band’ award and they were chosen by Michael Eavis to play the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury Festival.

They have since toured in the USA, UK, Canada, Russia and Germany, playing international festivals such as South By South West (Austin, Texas), and North By North East (Toronto), playing with acts as diverse as Supergrass, The Subways, The Magic Numbers and Pete Doherty.

Their debut album ‘Bored Of Looking Cool’, recorded at Ray Davies’ (The Kinks) Konk Studio in North London, was released in 2008 on their own label, Retina Records. Its lead single ‘Walking In The Streets’ has had 250,000 hits on YouTube so far.

Over the last few years Mad Staring Eyes music has been featured on MTV2 as well as hit TV shows such as ‘Skins’ and ‘Gossip Girl.’

Their 3rd album ‘Talking To The Operator’ has been released this year via Proper Music.

00.05 – 00.55 Ben Gunn

Ben Gunn – Ben is a Blues, soaked Alternative, Folk, Skiffle singer songwriter with a love for traditional rhythm and blues and folk. He will be accompanied by his full band who will provide the best toe tapping, hip swinging, skiffle in town. So, put on your best dancing shoes.

01.05 – 01.55 Burning Condors

Burning Condors are four Londoners getting music fans on both sides of the Atlantic talking about a sound which has been described as “…what Blur would have sounded like if they grew up listening to Carl Perkins.”

Having carved out a reputation as one of the best live acts on the London scene, Burning Condors were invited to support Legendary Shack Shakers (of True Blood fame) on their UK tour. Producer of the Shack Shakers’ last four albums, Mark Robertson, was duly impressed by what he described as “the most interesting band to come out of London in years,” and immediately invited the band to his studio in Nashville to work on their debut album.

With a short run of US dates before recording started, Burning Condors’ live reputation quickly spread across “Music City” and earned them a slot on a ‘New Acts to Watch’ bill. As fate would have it, Dave Roe (former member of Johnny Cash’s band The Tennessee Three and double bassist on Cash’s Grammy winning album ‘American Recordings’) was in the audience that night, and after declaring his enthusiasm for Burning Condors’ sound, agreed to play double bass on ‘Bringing Back the Blues’. This track is included on Burning Condors’ debut album which also features Col JD Wilkes (Legendary Shack Shakers) on blues harp.

Although Burning Condors’ hard hitting rootsy sound naturally draws comparisons to bands from the other side of the Atlantic, what makes them unique is that they wear their London roots on their sleeves. No fake tales of San Francisco, Burning Condors are the real deal.

‘Bringing Back the Blues’ is available for download from 16th April 2012 at http://www.bandcamp/burningcondors.

The debut album “Round Our Way”, produced by Mark Robertson, is due for release in Summer 2012.


14.40 – 15.10 Hayley Carlyon

Folk steeped in Bluegrass

Originally hailing from Pembrokeshire, Wales, this London based singer song writer will have the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end as she weaves beautifully crafted lyrics with an incredible voice and engaging presence. She is currently recording an eagerly anticipated EP.

Reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, American singer song -writers Patti Griffin and Sarah Jarosz, Hayley is not one to miss!

15.20 – 15.50 Caleb

Caleb’s Icarus debut was nothing short of stunning! Their music has a quiet majesty,with Dan’s outstanding guitar work,augmented by Elyza’s bassy tones,overlaid with vocals that have a dramatic Radiohead-esque,operatic quality which is truly mesmerising.

16.00 – 16.30 Josienne Clark and Ben Walker

Those who have been following the folk revival movement will already know about Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker. Both classically trained, Josienne’s voice and style has been compared to June Tabor, and Ben’s vintage guitar and mandolin lends the perfect musical tact. Leading lights of the emerging folk scene, reviewers for the NME were already talking about their ‘exceptional talent’ before they won the 2012 Isambard Folk Award and the wider world started to take notice.

Having performed alongside many greats including Martin Simpson, Ric Sanders of the Fairport Convention, Kami Thompson, Emily Portman, Mary Hampton and Emily Barker,
Ben and Josienne are a delicate, winding and unwinding proposition that requires close attention… She has this voice that’s like a precision tool for making golden, ringing shapes in the air … It’s as if they pull in all the energy in the room, concentrate it in some kind of musical alchemy and then spin it into shimmering cathedrals of sound.

The next EP, Homemade Heartache, will be out in this summer

You can see them doing just that in the Union Chapel here:

16.40 – 17.10 Pete Greenwood

After studying a degree at London’s Goldsmiths university, Greenwood found himself on a world tour with Mojave 3 as a guitarist, only four songs to his name, and a record deal with Heavenly waiting back in London. On returning, and after a hectic ten days of writing and recording, eventually Pete’s debut ‘Sirens’ was released in 2008 to much critical acclaim (making it into Uncut’s “top 50 albums of 2008”), and saw him touring Europe extensively for 18 months.

Having bunkered down to work again Pete has spent the last year in an old school overlooking Bunhill Fields where William Blake is buried, working with Stephen Cracknell of The Memory Band. Pete plays the majority of instruments on the album himself, something that means the
finished product sounds closer to what he had in mind than anything on his debut.

The new record is titled ‘Beauceron’ and is a more assured and varied record than anything Pete’s done in the past and features a duet with Lou Rhodes of Lamb.

17.20 -17.50 Jessica Moncrieff

Jessie grew up in Fremantle, Western Australia, where she started playing violin at three. While developing an on-going obsession with the sounds of sitar and tabla she heard a family friend playing next door, she learned some Hindi lullabies and her parents taught her classical music at home. Violin playing took her through studies in classical music and jazz, a degree in composition and arrangement at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), concerts and conversations which brought her overseas as far and wide as Africa and Europe. Later she took up the guitar and began writing melodies to scribbles she made on her travels, arranging them for string quartet and various combinations of instruments. She released her first EP in July 2011 and is currently recording for a new EP to be released later this year. She recently performed with Jason Singh (Nitin Sawney and resident beat-box artist at the V&A) at Hush in London, and continues to perform regularly throughout the UK as a songwriter and violinist with other bands.


23.05 – 23.55 Praxis IV

Praxis IV was formed by 3 school friends who wanted to make interesting music.

The formula is to essentially combine the influence of 60s artful and melodic songwriting like The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Simon + Garfunkel; with the blissful sonic mastery of dream pop and shoe gaze bands like Slowdive, Cocteau Twins and Galaxie 500. Expect strong melodies, reverb laden guitars, and fancy dress costumes.


00.05 – 00.55 The McGowns

The McGowns are three brothers who have been playing music together for 15 years – the unity of their sound is the product of three lifetimes’ working together. The band has a rock’n’roll heritage that’s clear to see, but a fresh sound that’s raw and genuine.

If Johnny Cash, the Beatles and the Clash formed a supergroup it might well sound a lot like The McGowns. The band can often be found busking on London’s South Bank, in the shadow of the Eye, wowing crowds with great harmonies, fine tunes, and a raucous performance.

01.05 – 01.55 Solko

Six piece Suffolk based Solko have been together in different incarnations for around three years. Solko’s influences come from a wide array of Dub, Reggae, Soul, Indie and World music, and their sound is all about vibes and energy. Last year saw the band pick up airplay and feature on ‘Fresh Faves’ from BBC 6 Music presenter Tom Robinson. As well as playing various festivals, In September 2011 Solko released their debut EP ‘Fix This Fire’ on Norwich based independent label All Sorted Records.

2012 has set off in a similar vein. Solko were selected to attend the BBC Musicians Masterclass at Abbey Road in London and were also earmarked by Music Week in their Future Faces section. The band also notched up
support from Dubstep producer Flux Pavilion who has been posting Solko tunes online. Having already supported bands such as ‘Dog is Dead’ and ‘Submotion Orchestra’ in the past few months, Solko have a busy year ahead and plan to release EP number 2 this Summer!


 13.30 – 14.10 Ed Begley

Hailing from deepest darkest South East London, Ed’s songwriting certainly compliments his surroundings.
Moody progressions and hard hitting glitchy rhythms are led by his powerful and ethereal voice. He is Joined by longtime co writer James Kitchman.

Ed’s music is a winning mix of Jeff Buckley-esque vocals, Radiohead sounds and 1920’s blues and gospel undertones. While some of his influences are clear, his songs show a great deal of originality, heart and mastery. Anyone listening to Ed Begley should be prepared find themselves guided graciously through an other worldly sound-scape.

– Piranha Parlour Promotions

14.20 – 14.50 Samantha Jean

Samantha exists on the margins of popular music, her style is distinctly English and oddly timeless, or rather not modern! The sound draws comparisons to Nick Drake and Robert Wyatt combining the eeriness of an English winter evening with a memory of a perfect summer. Where other artists seem locked in a desperate bid for success Sam exists in a world where being lost is something to aspire to, time simply to record and document experiences, friendships and relationship breakdown. The songs are confessional but not necessarily based on truths. They are written by a gifted storyteller, the actions are real but the names have all been changed.

15.00 – 15.50 Felix Holt

Born in London, Felix spent his formative years avoiding school in any way possible before taking it upon himself to get a whole new education, saturating himself in the history of folk, blues and lyric poetry. A history which is reflected in his traditional yet original songs. But from the image-saturated incantation of “Somewhere to Fall” to the simple desperation of “I Forgot to Win”, it is Holt’s earnestness and attention to detail that tie the whole into a knot of musical authenticity. The gentleness of his voice could send you gently dreaming, but let the gravity drag you under, and you’ll find it speaks to a loneliness that very few could reach.

16.00 – 16.50 Klac Tik

Klak Tik (comprised of Søren Bonke, Matthew Mitchinson & Jonathan Beyer). To follow their (9/10 NME rated) debut album ‘Must We Find A Winner’ the band escaped the trappings of East London’s alternative coffee shops and vintage chic for a simple purer existence in the Welsh village of Penrhos. For a month Klak Tik drew inspiration from the cold January sea, set up a make shift recording studio deep under Parys Mountain and shouted high into the chapel’s rafters, then walked out with the remainder of the album to be finished in London

What has been crafted is a tale of two lands; the powerful nature and the freedom that comes with solitude – and the infinite timelines and realities of the metropolis.

If pressed Klak Tik might refer to themselves as Post-Folk, so file loosely between Grizzly Bear, Sufjan Stevens & Love.

‘The Servants’ will be released in the UK through Safety First Records. Slowshark records will release in Demark & Germany where Klak Tik’s debut has already been included in All Scandianvia’s Top Album’s of 2011, been nominated for three ‘Gaffa’ awards and had full support from Politiken, Denmark’s Guardian equivalent.

“Like little droplets of sublimity, these 13 tracks are built around chiming, tender and sorrowful melodies.
So who has released the orchestral folk album of the year? Some people think it’s Bonke’s”
9/10 NME

“breathtaking – and as good as anything you’ll hear on 6 Music at any time of any day of the week”.
Tom Robinson

17.00 – 17.50 Dave Gerard and The Watchmen

“Usurping the standard folk formula and carving a niche of their own, Gerard and the Watchmen have a habit of grabbing whatever instrument comes to hand — be it guitar, banjo, mandolin, upright bass, strings.… – retuning it and going from there. With rich harmonies meeting melody full on, Gerard and the Watchmen could be the next alt folk heroes”.


 Jack In Water 23.05 – 23.55

Jack In Water are a five piece alternative folk band from Essex via Lincolnshire. They write music about happiness and draw influences from artists and bands such as Bjork, Sigur Ros and Talking Heads. They have just released their third E.P ‘The meaning Of Events’ after recently winning the Abbey road Anthem competition. This triumph saw them record at Abbey Road with The London Symphony Orchestra, The Crouch End Choir and Eric Whitacre.

‘Jack In Water give new meaning to many hackneyed adjectives used in music reviews. They are as soft as a chilling caress and they are epic like an ancient battle, full of blood and dismembered limbs. They do not play music for the faint hearted but their attentiveness is able to usher in and embolden the uninitiated rather than scare them away.’ Earhorn

Their music is so beautiful and evocative’ Eric Whitacre

00.05 – 00.55 Robin Elliot

Robin Elliott was born and raised on Merseyside, but he was always a softlad so he went to live in London. He tries to do different things with his guitar in every song, and tries to make each of his songs do different things (albeit always with the same instruments), and his pop sensibility has been landed with the unfortunate task of trying to tie everything together whilst picking up the pieces. His voice has a whispering descant quality that puts a lot of people in mind of Nick Drake, though Robin goes to great pains to point out that he’s got no idea how Nick Drake sounds or sings and doesn’t know who he is.

Despite this Robin has profited from a talent for mimicry, having been hired by a production company to write and perform songs in a variety of styles – including those of Oasis and Arctic Monkeys – for use in the documentary feature film A Very British Gangster. A lot of people over here haven’t heard of the film, although it did do quite well in France and the US. The production company has since gone bust.

He owns the rights to the stuff he did for British Gangster, and when, recently, he was offered a copy of said film on pirated DVD by a smiling man with a large rucksack in a pub in Tottenham, it really brought home to him the chilling realities of copyright theft.

With his band, he is currently working on an EP/mini-album, to be titled There is a Land.

01.05 – 01.55 CC Smugglers

“CC Smugglers are a rag tag band of Bedfordshire boys, who have honed a unique style influenced by a wide variety of roots based styles, which they call NEW ROOTS MUSIC.

It is their mission to create and present a brand new, fresh and
exciting blend of proper playing and style to the masses.

CC Smugglers have earned themselves a reputation for great live shows and are commonly regarded as contemporary innovators – come and be part of the revolution. Experience for yourselves – NEW
ROOTS MUSIC – from CC Smugglers. ”

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