Accessibly sumptuousbetween easy-listening seductress and torch-song belter, her voice is soulful and dreamy with just a tang of something muskier in its sweetness. - The Daily Telegraph
Hers is an arresting voice, soft and sweet, but dark in hue and sharp with melancholy, like a vinegar smoothie. NME
Cambridge Portland Arms, Sun, 26 Apr 2020 at 6:30pm
Although many of Tom Robinson's 70s contemporaries such as The Jam, Elvis Costello and Ian Dury have spawned tribute bands, to the best of his knowledge no such act has ever attempted to cover his own back catalogue. Which of those songs, he wondered, would a Tom Robinson tribute band choose to assemble a full-on crowdpleasing set?
There'd have to be the songs co-written with Elton John and Peter Gabriel. Also those unexpected comeback hits of the 1980s such as War Baby and Atmospherics. Not to mention the stone-cold punk-era classics that launched his career: Motorway, Power In The Darkness, Up Against The Wall, Too Good To be True and of course the anthemic Glad To Be Gay.
In May 2020 the veteran broadcaster and songwriter will mark 70 years on the planet by embarking on a month-long tour with his incendiary live band playing highlights from his own 45 year career in music. There may not have been a Tom Robinson tribute act until now - but as the chorus of his debut single puts it: "2-4-6-8... ain't never too late".
Cambridge Storey's Field Centre, Fri, 15 May 2020 at 7:00pm
S-X is a singer, songwriter and producer, born and raised in Wolverhampton. In 2010, S-X shot to the top of the UK production scene after releasing one of the biggest Grime instrumentals of all time, 'Woooo Riddim'.
With a Grammy nomination and production credits for Childish Gambino, J. Cole, Lil Wayne, Skepta and many more, S-X is now an artist releasing tracks such as 'Plans' and 'Still I Get'.
Cambridge Portland Arms, Fri, 15 May 2020 at 7:30pm
Pinegrove's new album begins with a breath and ends with a shimmering exhalation. In between is Marigold, an urgent, multivalent meditationand an expanded take on the blend of alt-country, indie rock and cerebral humanism that's inspired the band's ardent fan community. Marigold marks their Rough Trade Records debut, offering what songwriter Evan Stephens Hall calls a heart-first perspective.
Those familiar with Pinegrove will recognize signature elements of the band's sound: literary yet conversational lyrics, geometrically interlocking guitars, the dynamic shifting shadows of rhythm and structure. But this effort marks the most spacious, bold, and well defined iteration of the project yet
Formed in 2010 by childhood friends Evan and drummer Zack Levine, Pinegrove have released three previous albums Everything So Far (2015), Cardinal (2016), and Skylight (2018) to massive critical acclaim, garnering them a widespread and devoted listenership. They've described their sound as variously as introspective party music, or energetic music in the folk tradition; in any case they have combined catharsis and inventive structures with irrepressible melodies, resonant lyrics and emotive twang. Marigold finds the band expanding into the latter, spreading out over varying tempos and swelling pedal steel. But in surprising moments, the album can suddenly unfold into the band's heaviest, most unbound offerings yeta cavalier disregard of genre in favour of something honest and unique.
Cambridge The Junction, Fri, 22 May 2020 at 7:00pm
Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult
The Lovely Eggs are back on the road in 2020 as they announce a string of tour dates around the UK!
With observational and often surreal lyrics about life The Lovely Eggs have a powerful raw sound that creates the sonic illusion of a band twice their size. The result is a mix of heavy psych, pop and strangeness and they have become known for their ferocious yet joyous live performances.
Their new single This Decision is out on January 10 followed by their new album I am Moron produced by Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, MGMT, Tame Impala, Mogwai) in the Spring.
With much support from BBC 6 Music and Radio One the band continues to sell out gigs across the UK without the help of management, booking agent or record label support.
They are selling out bigger and bigger venues and more eggheads are joining them in their crusade against bullsh*t.
Support from THICK RICHARD and DOG DAISIES
Cambridge Portland Arms, Mon, 20 Jul 2020 at 7:00pm
This one's for the procrastinators and the slow learners. This one's for the bungled and the botched, for the fumbled and humbled. This one's for the late bloomers, and ultimately, Snapshot of a Beginner is proof that sometimes, the late bloomers bloom brightest.
Eight years and four albums into it, the artistic arc of Nap Eyes finds itself tracing a line alongside frontman Nigel Chapman's daily Tai Chi practice. Those first years and albums are the cold mornings in the park: the measured movements, the joint aches, the self-doubt. With each new release, an incremental and invigorating step forward. And with the end of each album and tour, a return to the beginner's practice. And now, Snapshot of a Beginner, Nap Eyes's boldest, most concentrated and most hi-fi album to date, a study of that repeated return and all that it can teach you.
The fact that you'll never reach some idealised goal of self-mastery is exciting and a very good thing, said Chapman of both his musical and meditative endeavours. It's necessary to be patient and to accept whatever's happening now. Whatever you understand today, there will always be much more to learn, and so there's not much cause for either self-congratulation or self-negation. This is part of Suzuki's idea of the 'beginner's mind' [see: Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, 1970], that even after years of practice, a person should maintain an open-minded willingness to learn. For a true rank beginner, this attitude also serves as a potent inoculation against overly harsh self-judgement. There's an immediately noticeable leap in arrangement and muscle on Snapshot..., one that still holds the raw, nervous energy and the earnest, self-deprecating poetry that make Nap Eyes an enduring cult favourite. The music still brings to mind the bucolic ennui of the Silver Jews and Daniel Johnston's jittery naïveté. But the new sheen and maturity also now brings to mind the wide-angle appeal of The Jayhawks and the addictive brightness of Green Day's Kerplunk!.
Cambridge Portland Arms, Tue, 25 Aug 2020 at 7:00pm
Hailing from the Isle of Man via Brighton, Penelope Isles is the collaboration of brother and sister Jack and Lily Wolter.
The band mix waves of ambient delays and fuzz guitar noise, sonic dynamics and melodic pop hooks entwined with girl-boy harmonies. Their self-produced home recordings portray an honest lo-fi approach when capturing their own music. Their live set is hypnotic, captivating and moving, smeared with glistening psych, dreamlike chimes, and potency that will transfix and satisfy.
Cambridge Portland Arms, Thu, 27 Aug 2020 at 7:00pm
"From the emphatic and high-powered 'Mixed Signals' to the somewhat softer, yet equally effectual 'Addictive', the set is a seamless display of stalwart power-pop. There's a beautifully indescribable simplicty to their performance with each track easing effortlessly into the next, despite the undeniable versatility within much of their music." Yorkshire Evening Post
Cambridge The Junction, Mon, 14 Sep 2020 at 7:00pm
"One of the best new live bands in the country, it's a matter of time before they explode onto the big stages" This Feeling
There's something about this type of music that feels raw, Southern, and whiskey-soaked. I can't get enough Indie Shuffle.
The arrangement of James Tranter's dominant, layered guitar work, Danny Core's strong and unique vocals, Luke Davis's muddy harmonic bass playing and James Dudley's drumming groove are the framework of a band that's enchanting and irresistible.
Cambridge Portland Arms, Wed, 16 Sep 2020 at 7:00pm
"...a record of soulful depths and heady, emotional highs. From the haunting, melancholic gospel of 'Come Back Around' to the campfire simplicity of 'How Heavy The Quiet That Grew Between Your Mouth And Mind,' the band's pace and drive never let up. The sultry doo-wop of 'Longest Day Of The Year Blues', meanwhile, may well be the catchiest tune you hear this winter." NME
Cambridge Portland Arms, Wed, 23 Sep 2020 at 7:00pm
The ever evolving HAPPYNESS return. Founded in 2013, the group - consisting of core members Jonny Allan and Ash Kenazi - have acquired consistency in the ways they express their creativity; be it the standard album release formula (their two LPs 'Weird Little Birthday' and 'Write In' have each accrued critical acclaim) or through Kenazi's recurring South London based drag clubnight 'BDE'. Their now signature alt-rock stylings are laden with vulnerable vocals and charmingly laid-back guitar riffs, treading similar paths to that of predecessors Yo La Tengo and Grandaddy.
Cambridge Portland Arms, Thu, 8 Oct 2020 at 7:00pm
"Listening to Beings though makes one thing abundantly clear: Lanterns on the Lake are one of Britain's most crucial bands of the present moment." - Drownedinsound.com
"(Beings) dwells in a cloudy blend of dreams and creeping nightmares, unsettling yet captivating." - All Music
Support from HILANG CHILD
Cambridge Storey's Field Centre, Sun, 11 Oct 2020 at 7:00pm
An immersive wall of distortion envelopes the powerful fragility of frontman Kiran Roy's vocals, while he paints a verbal landscape of introspection, despair and hope amid a sonic palette that evokes both the driving, spacious absorptivity of My Bloody Valentine and the poetic, visceral honesty of Nick Cave's lyricism.
Cambridge Portland Arms, Mon, 12 Oct 2020 at 7:30pm
I'm drawing on the urgency of the moment, reflects Grant-Lee Phillips. The things that eat away in the late hours That urgency inspired the headlong rush of Widdershins, in which Phillips invests the insight, nuance, and wit that has distinguished his songcraft over the past three decades in a riveting dissection of today's fraught social landscape. With more than two decades' experience first as frontman of the acclaimed Grant Lee Buffalo then and accomplished solo artist, Phillips awakens comfort and hope by shining light into darker corners. I hope to express my faith in people, my faith in the good ideas we're capable of, and that regardless of what opposition we face, the fact that we can surmount these things, he concludes.
Cambridge Portland Arms, Tue, 13 Oct 2020 at 7:00pm
King Charles is an extraordinary man. He doesn't look like anyone you know, he doesn't think like anyone you know and he doesn't make music like anyone you know. How often, in these days of near fatal over saturation, days where you feel that, perhaps, there's just nothing new out there to spark your imagination, can you say that? Glorious psychedelic folk from this highly rated indie-folk solo act.
Cambridge Portland Arms, Wed, 14 Oct 2020 at 7:30pm
Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult
One thing you won't be able to avoid on Bambara's Stray is death. It's everywhere and inescapable, abstract and personified perhaps the key to the whole record. Death, however, won't be the first thing that strikes you about the group's fourth and greatest album to date. That instead will be its pulverising soundscape; by turns, vast, atmospheric, cool, broiling and at times on stand out tracks like Sing Me To The Street and Serafina simply overwhelming
Cambridge The Junction, Mon, 19 Oct 2020 at 7:00pm
Braids began teasing their new album last fall with the release of "Eclipse (Ashley)," a song dedicated to Standell-Preston's best friend that sinks deep into a feeling of reverie for nature, the love found in friendship, and the vital essence of personal reflection. It was praised by Pitchfork, Stereogum, Paste, and The New York Times who stated "Raphaelle Standell-Preston sings with openhearted earnestness."
A luscious and expansive release, Shadow Offering leads us through a sonic tapestry of narrative. With heartbreaking honesty and precision, listeners traverse a nuanced and complicated world: one full of beautiful contradiction. Although the album directs itself at the failures of people to love and be loved, it also seeks to restore justice and attain blissful union. Its arc crests through the dark towards the light and learns how to dance with the dizzying rhythms of the heart. The songs bubble, sustain, dissolve, expand, and retract.
Cambridge Portland Arms, Thu, 12 Nov 2020 at 7:00pm
Formed in 1995, The Dears released their first, ultra lo-fi album, End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story, in 2000. The orchestral, dark pop sound and dramatic live shows cemented The Dears at the foundation of the then-emerging Canadian indie-rock renaissance.
In 2001 and 2002, they released two separate concept EPs, Orchestral Pop Noir Romantique and Protest, respectively. In 2003 they released their second full-length album No Cities Left in Canada, and a string of highly anticipated shows at SXSW '04 prompted the international release of No Cities Left with Bella Union. Gang of Losers came in 2006. In 2008 the group partnered with Dangerbird Records to release Missiles, followed by Degeneration Street (2011), Times Infinity Volume One (2015) and Times Infinity Volume Two (2017). In 2019, Murray A. Lightburn released his solo record, Hear Me Out.
The Dears have toured the world over, including performances on Letterman (twofold), Jimmy Kimmel, Jonathan Ross and at Glastonbury, T in the Park, Wireless, Montreal Jazz Fest, Siren Festival, Coachella, Austin City Limits, V Fest, Reading and Leeds, Les Inrocks (France), Montreux Jazz Fest, Istanbul Jazz Fest, Pop Montreal, CMW, NXNE and countless appearances at SXSW. They have shared stages with Spiritualized, Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Daniel Lanois, Rufus Wainwright, Zemfira, Bloc Party, Keane, Morrissey, The Tragically Hip, Metric and Death From Above, to name a few.
The Dears don't disappoint. - The Independent
Support from PERFECT SON
Cambridge Portland Arms, Thu, 19 Nov 2020 at 7:00pm
Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult
Daft Funk Live are no tedious tribute. They take the songs of Daft Punk and bring 7 grand of constumes and lighting to bring a completely convincing take on the disco house masters.
Cambridge Portland Arms, Sat, 28 Nov 2020 at 7:30pm
Freedom Faction 8pm
UK Subs 9pm
Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult
It's December so we've got the mighty UK Subs back for their annual Christmas show. Expect attitude, moshing and all your favourite punk anthems.
Cambridge Portland Arms, Thu, 3 Dec 2020 at 7:30pm
Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult
It's hard to believe that it's been ten years since Mystery Jets broke surface with their debut album, Making Dens. Of all the acts that sprang into life in The Libertines' Fagin-like wake, Mystery Jets were always the hardest to pin down. A Syd Barrett-enthralled troupe fashioning delightfully skewed, potting shed psychedelia out of playful wonky pop and unashamedly proggy flourishes from their Thameside hideout of Eel Pie, the South London island that played midwife to the British R&B boom in the early '60s.
Cambridge The Junction, Mon, 7 Dec 2020 at 7:00pm