Under The Radar Live Sessions with Johnny Lucas

12 Aug

#Lilosplashmob

www.johnnylucas.co.uk

Johnny LiloThis week we welcome to Under The Radar Live Sessions on Brooklands Radio supreme one-man band Johnny Lucas, who is originally from Warrington in Cheshire but now living in London.  Johnny is a talented and versatile singer who has mastered the loop pedal and puts on a very engaging performance with perfect timing and aplomb, sounding like he has a full band around him.

His brand new single ‘Lilo’ is an infectious Brit-pop anthem which is sure to stay echoing in your head long after it has ended!  Johnny has found an innovative way to promote the single by organising a ‘flash mob’ event at London’s famous St Pancras station, where, this Wednesday 14th August at 11:45am, he, plus a bunch of his friends and fans, will launch into an impromptu performJohnny and DDance of ‘Lilo’ which will be filmed and uploaded on YouTube soon after the event to create a buzz and hopefully spark some form of viral reaction.

Listen to the show in full on Mixcloud

Under the Radar Live Sessions Volume 1 FREE Download

11 Jun

Supporting Music Therapy Week and Nordoff Robbins

Under The Radar Live Sessions Compilation Volume 1

UTR Live Sessions V1 Lemon artists keysBlue sizedIntroducing the first in a series of compilations of tracks from some of the artists that have appeared on Under the Radar on Brooklands Radio.

This first compilation consists of 16 tracks which have all been performed and recorded live at the Brooklands Radio studios.

Available as a ‘Pay what you like’ download on Bandcamp, we have plans to make it available as a CD and quite possibly in glorious vinyl including beautiful artwork on the covers and comprehensive sleeve notes.  We have included short interview snippets of each of the artists as bonus tracks which will add a new dimension to the listening experience and give an insight into the song and the artist.

We hope that by making these superb recordings available for FREE download, more people will discover and learn about the incredibly talented, passionate and innovative artists that are emerging not just in the UK but also worldwide.

Any proceeds from these downloads will be shared with Nordoff Robbins, who are a Nordoff Robbins Logo Landscape Colour JPEG1music charity dedicated to transforming the lives of vulnerable children and adults across the UK. Through music therapy and other music services, we support a range of people with a range of challenges such as autism, dementia, mental health problems, stroke, brain injury and depression. Some of our clients have a life-threatening or terminal illness, such as cancer. All of these people have one uniting factor – music dramatically improves their quality of life. For more information about Nordoff Robbins and how you can get involved please click the Nordoff Robbins logo.

Under the Radar is a weekly Internet radio show, now in its fourth year, which is totally devoted to providing a platform for up and coming original singers, bands and musicians to reach new audiences. You may listen Sundays from 7pm (GMT) on www.brooklandsradio.co.uk and meet like-minded lovers of new music by taking part on the friendly Facebook forum which accompanies the show if you visit my Facebook page.

We hope you enjoy this selection, and if you become a fan of any of the artists featured, it would be incredibly valuable for them as well as us if you let them know you discovered them via the Under the Radar Live Sessions compilation.  Your comments and feedback are also welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your support, and hope you enjoy this first selection of what we hope will be many!

You may access this compilation by clicking on the picture above, or by following this link:  http://undertheradarlive.bandcamp.com/album/under-the-radar-live-sessions-vol-1

Bandcamp

Bronagh & The Boys – EP Review

29 May

From Belfast with love, this Muse will enchant you

Facebook page Bronagh & the Boys

EP coverI first became aware of this enchanting chanteuse via Tom Robinson’s The Listening Post and was instantly captivated by ‘I’m His’, the first track on her brand new EP titled ‘A Young Heart’ by Bronagh & The Boys, a collection of four self-penned songs, beautifully produced and worthy of adding to any discerning music lovers’ collection.

I’m His opens with a haunting piano accompanied by a distant trumpet soon followed by Bronagh’s haunting voice, and as your ears begin to adjust to this eclectic combination of sounds, you become aware of the bass, percussion, guitars and all the intricate layers that make this one magnificent ballad.  This is a serious musical piece oozing melancholy, reminiscent of Portishead’s epic Glorybox.

Green is the band’s debut single. A quirky, rather uplifting number with a definite folky country feel, beautifully produced with enchanting piano and that subtle trumpet in the distance.  The lyrics are thoughtful, clever and original.  The song itself is simple, yet the arrangements are intricate and feature keys, trumpet, solo acoustic guitar and delicious harmonies, always led by Bronagh’s perfect vocals.

Bronagh & the Boys – Green

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Young Hearts starts gently with Bronagh’s delicate vocals accompanied by piano and once again that distant trumpet, and soon builds into a rock ballad full of energy, passion and you could be forgiven for feeling this is the opening soundtrack of one of those epic Hollywood motion pictures.

The fourth and final track on the EP is Not My Own and although all the elements of the previous songs are very much in evidence, this is yet another highly original, fresh and epic number, masterfully produced and led by Bronagh’s distinctive and supremely likable vocals.

To sum up, A Young Heart is a must-have EP and has certainly left me wanting to hear more from this enchanting young songstress, who at 22 has the World at her feet!  I personally can’t wait to welcome her to our studios for what promises to be a memorable Under The Radar Live Session!  Watch this space.

Arcelia

25 May

A treasure chest of Folk and Soul with a Pop twist

http://arcelia.co.uk

Arcelia mainIt is always hard to come up with the opening line for a blog, so without wishing to be perceived as lazy, I am going to use Arcelia’s very own introduction which I plagiarised from their Facebook page:

Arcelia ( pronounced Ah – KELL- ia, a very old Spanish word meaning ‘Treasure Chest’) combine clear, lyrical, soulful voices with guitar, cajon and original song writing, to create a sound that’s like relaxing in front of a blazing fire with a glass of red wine in hand. Their voices blend in intricate and haunting harmonies that will stay with you long after the set is over.
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As you can clearly see, their own introduction is as good as any I can think of, and the perfect way to describe this trio of supremely talented and affable musicians who graced the Under The Radar Live Sessions studios back in April.  The thing that really stuck with me is the way each of the three, Teresa, Gavin and Simon took the lead in each of the three songs they performed and made them sound totally different from the others.  It was like having three different artists in the studio all at the same time! Teresa’s vocals are pure, almost angelic, whilst Simon sings with the passion and the fire of many of the great soul legends of the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s and Gavin with his distinctive voice, reminding me of the great John Mayer, not to mention his supreme song-writing skills which also bear comparison to Mr Mayer.
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But don’t take my word for it, watch the videos below and listen to the full session and you will hear for yourself the versatility and effortless way each member of this very original group bring to the table their own character and style.
Arcelia studio
Once you have watched the videos and listened to the podcast, go and download for FREE their excellent EP ‘This Time’ a collection of three magnificent tracks which serve as a taster of their debut album due later this year.
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Arcelia Define their music
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Arcelia – 45 Seconds
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Arcelia – She’s Not Lost
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Arcelia – Heaven
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Under The Radar Live Sessions with Arcelia – Full Podcast 21 April 2013
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Phildel – Gig Review Bush Hall London 15 May 2013

18 May

She will send a storm to capture your heart

http://phildel.com

http://bushhallmusic.co.uk

phildel album coverLooks can be deceiving.  From the outside, there are not many clues, if any, about its pedigree as a renowned music venue.  The building looks dated, tired, and you could easily be persuaded to believe it is a bingo hall or snooker club, which incidentally, it was years gone-by!

Bush Hall is a small 300+ capacity venue which has character, great acoustics, and lends itself perfectly for those intimate gigs where artist and audience are so close they could almost touch each other.  The interior is pink, ornate, reminiscent of those old-time dance halls with high ceilings and several two-tier chandeliers giving a sense of elegant decadence.

The lobby is a narrow corridor adorned with photos of musicians who have previously played at Bush Hall, and what an impressive line-up it is: Adele, Kings of Leon, Lilly Allen, Amy Winehouse, REM plus many more of the World’s best-known artists and bands silently watching over you as you study each phoPhildel stage bandto and accompanying review.  The corridor leads into the bar, which then leads into the auditorium, a hall devoid of chairs except for a few round tables and chairs near the front.

We parked ourselves at the very front on the left near a grand piano next to the stage.  In front of the stage a maypole had been erected with several coloured ribbons taped to the floor.  The auditorium filled slowly, and after some considerable time, it always seems like an eternity when you wait patiently for a performance to start, the lights flickered to indicate the start of the show.  First the band took their positions on the stage, and were followed by a group of six young females in dresses wearing masks, who took their places around the maypole each grabbing the end of one of the coloured ribbons.

As piano filled the hall and a chorus of angelic voices from ‘Union Stone’ gently caressed our ears, so the maypole dancers started their dance skipping in opposite directions round the maypole gracefully and skilfully avoiding colliding with ePhildel arms highach other.  The dance and music ended and as the last of the girls exited, the band started to play and smoke-filled the stage; Phildel appeared, barefoot, stunning in a white dress, and effortlessly started to sing ‘The Disappearance of the Girl’, her excellent debut album’s title track, a haunting, gentle, melodic song dominated by strings, percussion, expert synth and her immaculate voice.

Phildel is no ordinary artist, she cannot be compared to any mainstream artist, her style is unique, her songs are authentic and even the instruments which accompany her repertoire are not your usual guitars and bass, instead she uses strings, piano, synth, percussion and rich harmonies.  Her music is visual and tells a very definite story, her own story, which is both tragic and magical.

The third song ‘Storm Song’ a more upbeat but also gentle number with a very infectious hook and again those angelic harmonies and choruses is perhaps one of the most commercially strong songs on the album.  The sound at Bush Hall was so good, that this, as well as most of the thirteen or so songs on Phildel’s set list sounded as good as the fully produced and mastered CD versions, a true testament to Phildel, her band as well as the sound engineers at the venue.

After ‘Storm Song’, Phildel stepped off the stage and took to the grand piano which sat patiently waiting for her to start playing ‘Beside You’, a stunning love ballad with words like ‘I’ll be everywhere you go, you go, in my symbolised world I’m a beautiful girl, in my house on the hill there is room for you still’.  The arrangements with piano, strings, haunting synth plus those angelic choruses and harmonies are simply exquisite.  ‘Union Stone’, the full version quickly followed and Phildel, now fully relaxed and in her element, started to tell eloquent stories in-between songs giving away a charming, humble and slightly mischievous side to her personality.

Her magnificent set ended with a double encore and a standing ovation which took her by surprise and moved her to tears.  Without a doubt this is a performer who oozes talent, passion, determination and whose songs are honest, heartfelt, dramatic and sometimes verging on the tragic.  Phildel literally has the World at her feet.  I for one, consider myself incredibly privileged to have witnessed this performance, and I urge you to go to one of her intimate gigs before she starts playing larger and less intimate venues.  If you haven’t bought her album, go and grab yourself a copy.123

Orlando Seale and the Swell – Kings Place Gig Review

11 May

Artistry in Sound and Motion

www.facebook.com/orlandosealeandtheswell

IMAG0840The first thing we noticed as we waited outside No 2 Hall at London’s magnificent arts and culture venue Kings Place, was the diversity of our fellow gig-goers who were as keen and excited as we were to experience this original ensemble of musicians calling themselves Orlando Seale and the Swell.  People of all ages, sizes and looks mingled in the spacious bar area in a buzz of eager anticipation.

This performance is part of a weekly series of concerts called Folk Union which seeks to give artists from emerging and established backgrounds a platform to present traditional and contemporary music of the highest quality.orlando heart

When the signal to go in was finally given, we formed an orderly queue and filed into the hall, which was devoid of seating, except for three or four rows with a dozen neatly lined chairs to the left of the stage, which we soon learned had been reserved for the elderly and less able individuals who would not be able to endure two hours standing.   We stood at the front very close to the stage, which was darkened except for a large screen showing moving images of London with a very interesting soundscape, a fusion of electronic sounds with reverbed voices.  Not far behind us, we noticed a certain Josie Lawrence.

Orlando Seale and the Swell – Lost and Keeper (Encore) Kings Place 10 May 2013

Special thanks to LondonRocks2008 (Vivienne Drewett) for this video.

After what seemed like an eternity the lights in the hall dimmed, and the screen was raised to hushed whispers of excitement among the crowd. The band members slowly filled the stage, one, two, three, we counted nine, and then the tenth, Orlando Seale himself, who took centre stage right in front of us.

IMAG0850Without much pomp or ceremony, the band launched into their first song, ‘Running Through the Trees’, which was marked by a military drum beat accompanied with violas, cello, and flute, which were soon joined by guitars, bass, synth and Orlando’s distinctive vocals, very reminiscent of David Byrne, and some very infectious harmonies and choruses.  The second song, ‘Lost and Keeper’, featured a very haunting oboe and flute, and as the song unfolded, more instruments and voices joined in, always marked by resonant drums and intricate sounds from the electric guitar and synth.

Orlando Seale and the Swell are a musical machine of extraordinary versatility and originality, with fresh songs which are as light-hearted and heartfelt as they are dark and verging on the macabre, but always uplifting, and euphoric.  The band members are young professional musicians who play with credible orchestras such as The Southbank Sinfonia   Orlando himself is an accomplished actor and this is evident in his songs as well as his own stage performance.

The band played two 45 minute sets with passion, enthusiasm and supreme professionalism.  During the second set, the 10 members soon became 12 with the addition of horns.

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Orlando Seale and the Swell represent the very best original emerging music of the moment, and although they have had record deals on the table, they have chosen to do things their own way, confirming the changing landscape of the music business where the once omnipotent music conglomerates held all the power.  Now the balance is shifting in a totally new direction, music lovers like me are continually treated to many opportunities to enjoy and get close to talented and creative musicians who thanks to technology and the Internet, are now able to create, produce and distribute their music to the masses without having to sell their soul to the once-powerful corporate monsters.IMAG0863

If you enjoy fresh unusual sounds, interesting lyrics, supreme musicianship and originality, I urge you to catch Orlando Seale and the Swell at a gig near you, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Katharine Rose

6 May

This Rose will capture your heart

http://facebook.com/katharinerosemusic

Katharine Rose MainImagine the beauty of Keira Knightley.  This songstress has it, and although I cannot attest to her thespian skills, I can assert that her artistry, song writing and singing skills equal Ms Knightley’s acting skills.  Based in Brighton, Katharine Rose is currently finishing her studies to become a vocal coach which she plans to commence in November of this year.

Her voice is delicate and pure, and her songs ooze melancholy, happiness and hope accompanied by her piano which she plays masterfully.  Her debut three-track EP ‘Four Leaf Clover’ is available for download and also available in a very limited edition in individually hand painted covers.  To continue describing and giving accolades to Katharine would probably dilute what I am trying to convey, so do not take my word for it, listen to her interview below, and watch videos of each of the three songs she performed for us on Under ThKatharine Rose Pianoe Radar Live Sessions, if, at the end of this exercise your heart is captured, give her your support by buying her EP and sharing with friends, acquaintances and loved ones, oh and go and catch her at one of her gigs in and around London and the south-east of England.

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Katharine Rose defines her music

123Katharine Rose CD cover art

Under The Radar Live Sessions on Brooklands Radio with Katharine Rose 14 April 2013 (Full podcast)

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Katharine Rose – Wild Rose

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Katharine Rose – Four Leaf Clover

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Katharine Rose – White Birds

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