Unsigned City: Bristol

Promoting unsigned artists is something we at Gigslutz feel extremely passionate about, with our regular ‘Unsigned Act Of The Week’ and ‘Ones To Watch’ features, as well as a wealth of reviews and premieres. Celebrating new artists, or even people who’ve been making music for years but not got the recognition they deserve, is something we pride ourselves on and feel is an integral part of what the world of music should be about. We therefore thought it would be a great idea to focus on the array of unsigned artists in different cities around the country and spread the word about the huge amount of talent that is out there! 

– Mari Lane, Assistant Editor & Unsigned Artists Editor

This week, Oliver Evans takes a look at his pick of the unsigned scene in Bristol

The Garage Flowers
From the name of this band, it may be obvious who they take their name from – Garage Flower was released in 1996 by The Stone Roses, an album which offered up previously unheard demos, and different versions of ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ and ‘This Is The One’. Eighteen years later, youthful up-starter and frontman Joe Capaldi claims that his band sounds like “Oasis mixed with The Stone Roses“. Early song ‘In The League Of Divorce’ shows Capaldi crooning like a softer shaded Liam Gallagher to the dreamy plucking of guitars. ‘Trigger Happy’ is a jolly tune that chugs out stunted riffs and features the golden line “the world is a mess but my hair is perfect”. Not everyone may be a fan of Capaldi’s vanity, but there’s no denying that The Garage Flowers are a rough gem studded far into Bristol. The question that remains is: Who will shine more, Capaldi’s hair or The Garage Flowers?

Idle John
There are times when you come across an artist by complete chance and are completely bowled over , left scraping your head thinking “Why haven’t I heard this before?!” Bristol born 26 year old Idle John was one of these very artists who I had this reaction to.  The raw, husky vocal tones of John on ‘She Doesn’t Know’, where the repeated powerful climax of “she don’t know how great she is” really dig into you. It falls off the cuff naturally and grabs you into a chokehold of emotion cracking through the tempered bluesy strum. Fast forward four months and we have ‘Camelot’ which expands with John’s quivering yet confident voice through the fast paced strings tripping over each other in enthused anticipation; it plays out as a legend worthy of its title.

Emily Wright and the Royals
It’s 2014, and classic jazz has found a new body to slip into: Emily Wright with her ‘royals’ including David Archer (guitar), Mike Willox (piano), and Will Harris (bass). Together they make an organised collision of traditional swing with a touch of gypsy jazz, forged forward by leading lady Emily Wright’s nectar-like vocals. The group sold out their Brecon Jazz Festival show, and it’s not hard to see why. Plucked from the band’s latest EP A Royal Flush?, the jerking jive of ‘Delovely’ offers jazz piano merging perfectly with Wright’s harmonious vocal, while ‘Route 66’ serves as an old school ode to the famous American highway, backed by intriguing instrumental arrangements which could easily seem self indulgent, but flow freely through the song. Royals indeed – bow down to Emily Wright, David Archer, Will Harris, and Mike Willox.

The Brackets
Brackets are used to quietly set apart a piece of text within a sentence. so what sets The Brackets apart? The 3 piece rock band hail from Bristol, with Will, Craig, and James meeting at university and carrying on from there. ‘Lady of a Tramp’ displays the sense of relentless youthful drive that makes a rock band crack into the music scene, with broad yelps of “won’t you be my mademoiselle” amid the blazing guitars and roaring bass. ‘Used and Abused’ hurtles towards you with the same twisted tornado of lively riffs and drum taps. Yet their latest affair is a calming of their normally ferocious frenzied rock approach, slowing to a bluesy swagger in latest single ‘I Care If You Do’ with added “woooahhhs”. While it’s far from original, it’s certainly a very good start for The Brackets. Their debut album, Through The Fog, is available now through iTunes and Google Play.

Barney Sage is the one man instrumentalist behind the trip hop grooves of Madilan. He plays guitar, keys, bass, and leads his own little band with the vocoder providing a unique take on tracks like ‘One More Conversation’, where the sheer mass of his ability explodes into colour on this assault on the ears through shuddering drums and bass that can barely keep up with the song. Meanwhile, ‘The Grey’ mixes the vocoder led vocal with a hip hop sensibility backed by swinging cymbals ready to burst. This Bristol experimentalist’s electronic sound project needs to be heard to be believed. For now,  we  just have the Madilan EP but watch this space.

Oliver Evans


Oliver Evans

Oliver Evans

I'm Oliver and I am currently based in Bristol. I prefer the rock genre, but I like writing about other genres like blues, jazz, reggae, pop, R&B, and hip-hop as well. Live for anything by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Metronomy, and Pulled Apart By Horses. Future UWE Bristol Journalism Graduate. If you wish to get in touch please email - oliverevans95@gmail.co.uk
Oliver Evans

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