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The Skinner Brothers – Wednesday 23 March
Formed in London in 2017, after deciding a life in music might mean they’d never have to work a real job again, The Skinner Brothers gained notoriety after joining The Libertines on their Tiddeley Om Pom Pom seaside tour on a personal invitation from Carl Bârat. With influences ranging from Sinatra to Oasis, The Skinner Brothers don’t really sound like anyone else.
Morganway – Thursday 24 March
Striking six-part harmonies, energetic rhythms, catchy songs, and a fiercely formidable live act – Morganway have made quite the impression on the UK’s rising Americana scene. This Americana rock band is “like no other band out there right now…reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac” (Entertainment Focus). They were also described by Maverick Magazine as “One of the best and most exciting prospects to emerge in a long time.”
Dub Pistols – Friday 25 March
O2 Academy Leicester
Dub Pistols have done everything it’s possible to do in a band and still want more. Fronted by infamous Londoner, Barry Ashworth, they have toured the world more times than most of us have changed channels, they have spent years breaking America down into tiny, eager pieces via extended jaunts with punk-rock roadshows, whilst remixing the likes of Moby, Korn, Limp Bizkit and a host of others along the way. Simply one of the best live bands in the UK.
The South – Friday 25 March
Back at their spiritual home, The Donkey, The South return to their hometown for a night of Classic Beautiful South hits and rarities. The South are an impressive 9 piece band who feature former members of The Beautiful South including singer Alison Wheeler and lifelong sax player Gaz Birtles. Since Dave Hemingway, the original singer, left the group at the end of 2016, Gaz has moved across to front the band with Alison and taken on vocal duties.
Dream Wife – Saturday 26 March
O2 Academy Leicester
Dream Wife started out as a fantasy… literally. Icelandic singer Rakel and British musicians Alice and Bella played their first show as part of a performance project at art school in Brighton. Stuck in dreams of 90s club kid nostalgia they continue on making music, embracing their love for edgy pop. They play with the aesthetics of the 1960s yé-yé girls movement, along with current influences such as Sleigh Bells, Le Tigre and Grimes. Dream Wife ooze with girl power, infecting the crowd with their trademark ‘poolside pop with a bite.’
Elkyn – Sunday 27 March
Born in an old brewery, formed in a Leeds basement, and refined since 2019, elkyn is the moniker of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joseph Donnelly. His songs are an acute reflection of his beautiful heart with carefully crafted lyrics erupting with honesty and intricately finger-picked guitars.
Blue Rose Code – Monday 28 March
Blue Rose Code is the folk-roots performance name of London-based / Edinburgh-born singer/songwriter Ross Wilson. Fusing folk, jazz, soul and pop; his eclecticism has become a hallmark of the Blue Rose Code sound and has seen him compared to John Martyn, Van Morrison and Tom Waits.
Dry Cleaning – Wednesday 30 March
O2 Academy Leicester
Dry Cleaning are a 4-piece from South London channeling post-punk and new wave pop with a side order of low slung Americana. The create mostly spoken lyrics to a bed of crunching guitars, sounding like a female-fronted version of The Fall and hints of the mid-90s band Linoleum.
PREVIEW: Wide Eyed
Following a successful first year, Wide Eyed is back for 2022. The one day festival event showcases the best up and coming talent from across the UK and will take place at O2 Academy Leicester on Saturday 9 April. We’ve picked out a few of the must see acts.
Formerly known as Girl Band, the four piece post-punk and noise rock band hail from Dublin. The band formed in late 2011 and have since toured Europe and the United States extensively to wide critical acclaim. With influences ranging from Nirvana to Queens of the Stone Age to mclusky, their live show is known for being loud, intense and energetic.
Post-punk singer/songwriter Tor Maries (aka Billy Nomates) has a sparse and oddly danceable sound, despite covering various societal issues in her lyrics. She was actually born here in Leicester before moving to Bristol, where she spent eight years in various bands. Recognised an authentic, authoritative and frequently funny performer, she recorded her debut album with Portishead’s Geoff Barrow and featured on Sleaford Mods’ 2021 album, Spare Ribs.
Big Joanie are a black feminist punk band, describing themselves as “like The Ronettes filtered through 80s DIY and 90s riot grrrl, with a sprinkling of dashikis”. Inspired by a lack of intersectionality in the U.K.’s D.I.Y. punk scene, they formed in an effort to redress the balance and married ’60s girl group melodies with riot grrrl attitude.
Big Joanie’s influences range from Nirvana, Riot Grrrl, Throwing Muses, My Bloody Valentine, The Ronettes and Tina Turner to Jesus and the Mary Chain, Breeders and PJ Harvey.
Listed in NME’s top 100 for 2022, Enola Gay fuse post punk, noise rock, hip-hop and shoegaze. Established in late 2019, the band take inspiration from guitar-oriented bands such as IDLES, Fontaines D.C., and their beloved favorite, Gilla Band (also performing at Wide Eyed). Their single, ‘The Birth of a Nation’ came shortly after the Black Lives Matter protest in Belfast, and its success brought the band to a much wider audience.
The Goa Express
The Goa Express are a band that have emerged onto the indie scene with heaps of promise and poise, fuelled by chaotic indie rock energy. Their debut singles ‘The Day’ and ‘Be My Friend’ showcased a young band who are both hungry and exciting. Hailing from Burnley and surrounding bands, the five piece have been together in a band since college and are growing in popularity on the psych-rock scene.
Wide Eyed Festival takes place on Saturday 9 April at O2 Academy Leicester. Tickets are on sale now.
In this week’s playlist you can explore the full Wide Eyed line-up and plan your must see acts.
Have a listen and get in touch to tell us which tracks you’re loving.