Easy Stride Band (London)
Formed in 2015, Easy Stride Band use a deft fusion of soul and reggae to create upbeat, feel-good music, combining live vocal and guitar loops with deep bass and head-nodding beats. This easy-going yet infectious rhythmic sound sets the scene for dancing, smiling and party vibes. Easy Stride Band's catchy and vibrant sound comes from the minds of Joe Fleming, Noah Burton and Benny Brooke. Joe uses a loop station to layer guitars and vocals in real-time to form complex soundscapes, backed by Noah on electronics while Benny lays down the big bass, forming a unique blend of melody and groove that refuses to be pinned down. Immediately captivating, this uplifting trio scream positivity and celebration, a sentiment which is echoed through the band's performance style; their enthusiasm for the music shines through in their live shows and has engrossed audiences across UK venues and festivals including Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party, Bestival, Eden, Wilderness & Boomtown!
Resonant Rogues (North Carolina)
The Resonant Rogues craft fresh songs from a variety of vintage folk styles, featuring vocal harmonies accompanied by accordion, guitar, banjo, fiddle, and upright bass. With a passion for folk music that spans continents and oceans, the band is led by partners Sparrow and Keith J. Smith. The pair met in Asheville in the Autumn of 2012, and their instant spark lit a blaze that could not be contained. Since then, they have dedicated their lives to crafting and sharing their music, touring extensively around the world. The Rogues weave the threads of European, Middle Eastern, and American folk music together into a beautiful tapestry that simultaneously showcases tradition and innovation.
The Rogues’ third studio album, Autumn of the World, will be released in mid 2019. With tours to Australia, Alaska, the UK, and various jaunts around the continental US, this is sure to be another exciting year for this adventurous crew….
Junior Bill (Cardiff)
Junior Bill have been here all along. Surveying their world from atop a suburban overpass, or a forlorn back alley, they are the eyes and ears of urban Britain. Their witty provincial tales eulogise forgotten peoples, spin empathic character portraits and tell the everyday stories of contemporary city life.
The tunes themselves are catchy as hell. Pretty playground limericks, latin melodies and chanted refrains rattle round the skull, distracting you from the often tragic subtexts of division, decline and gentrification familiar to any British city-dweller. The music is hugely danceable too. Dubby basslines and concrete grooves underpin a ska-tinged global-local collage of sound. It's a blend that makes them the natural torch-bearers of a vein of Jamaican-influenced British songwriting running from Jerry Dammers to Jamie T.
When frontman Rob Nichols and keyboardist Joel Beswick met at Cathays Community Centre in Cardiff at the tilt of their teenage years, they never expected to take the band to where it is now. Whilst keeping allegiance to the humble community centre, the youth club loiterers have grown into electric and brilliant showmen who are regulars at the likes of Boomtown Fair and Nozstock and have toured with Danny Goffey (Supergrass).
They've got the home crowd on side, with support and airplay from BBC Radio Wales, jam-packed local gigs and a Cardiff Music Award. Now's the time for that support to spread nationwide.