Saint Saviour + Bill Ryder Jones

"Saint Saviour, aka, it shouldn't matter what her real name is, has been around a while, cutting her teeth performing upbeat pop songs and touring as Groove Armada's frontwoman... but that shouldn't put you off. That's because, as a sideline, she's been making some insultingly great music.

Part chanteuse, part preacher, Saint Saviour has drawn comparisons from Liz Frazer and Kate Bush, which of course, may be something of a cliché, but in this instance, are well-deserved. Sensitive, powerful and ultimately unusual ballads have appeared online, occasionally bringing to mind the gloomy, introverted hymnal weirdness of the likes of Anthony and the Johnsons." The Quietus

Bill Ryder Jones: "Once you've accustomed yourself to the sedate pace, something haunting, stately and in a small-scale, arthousey sort of way cinematic gradually reveals itself. References to the hypersensitivity and naivety of childhood abound, though most of them like the mini-narrative of 'Christina That's The Saddest Thing' and 'You're Getting Like Your Sister' (in which the protagonist professes his love for a girl before falling for her sister) are intended to bring a wry smile of recognition. It's not maudlin or cynical, but often quite comical." NME

Cambridge Portland Arms, Tue, 2 Dec 2014 at 7.30pm buy tickets

The Silent Majority + Fast Infamy

Cambridge based The Silent Majority play effervescent indie that calls to mind the likes of The Libertines, The Manic Street Preachers and The Clash. This show will celebrate the release of their latest single.

Fast Infamy are newcomers playing electro pop with a wide range of influences.

Cambridge Portland Arms, Fri, 12 Dec 2014 at 7.30pm buy tickets

Laura Stevenson + The Travis Waltons

Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult

Presented in association with United Cambridge -,uk


"(Runner) is a song about moving, sure, but also about naming your demons in order to blast past them. 'Running' grows bigger and bigger with each iteration of the chorus, till it hitches its sails to its own adrenaline high and leaves that hurt in the dust."
Lindsay Zoladz, Pitchfork

"Laura Stevenson comes into her own on Wheel. A boost in fidelity and aggression elevate the big-hearted indie jams... Lovely and heartfelt, Wheel is an introspective delight."
Annie Zaleski, Alternative Press

"Brooklyn's Laura Stevenson & The Cans make the good kind of indie rock: the beaming, soaring, cloud-gazing, theatrical kind; the nu-sensitivo version of 'all killer no filler.'"
Christopher Weingarten, The Village Voice


Stripped back acoustic set from Travis Waltons frontman and main driving force Dan Flay. The Waltons play Tellison-esque indie pop.

Cambridge Portland Arms, Tue, 16 Dec 2014 at 7.30pm buy tickets

Green Mind Christmas: Forest + Xbomb Factory + More...


It's December 27th. You feel cabin feverish, you've eaten nothing but chocolates and christmas dinners for 3 days. You need to go out and do something to shake off that Christmas torpor.

Forest are fuzzy indie rock in the vein of Pavement, Dinosaur Jr., Pixies etc. They've played up and down the country, but they're back in Cambridge for the first time in about a year.

Bomb Factory are a snarling, angry punk beast. Equal parts John Cooper Clarke, Wire, Shellac, Sex Pistols.

More TBC. We promise no mince pies.

Cambridge Portland Arms, Sat, 27 Dec 2014 at 7.30pm buy tickets

Grant-lee Phillips + Howe Gelb

Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult


Grant-Lee Phillips has been making memorable music since his days as the golden voice and poetic visionary fronting the folk-rock trio Grant Lee Buffalo in the 1990s. Since recording four fine albums with GLB, he's gone on to release seven solo albums, including his latest, Walking in the Green Corn, which explores his Native American roots.

Connecting to my ancestry is like having this deep trunk that's embedded in the earth, with deep roots. It was always something that was important to my grandmother, who was Creek, and to my mother. So, after becoming a father, I wanted to be able to answer all those questions I know I'll be asked one day, when my daughter takes an interest in where we come from. The website AllMusic calls the album beautifully crafted, elegant, and poignant. The songs are spare, evocative, and full of heart. Grant-Lee Phillips harks back to the earnest ambitions and expansive melodies of Bob Dylan and John Lennon, singing with the conviction that rock can still be heroic, says the New York Times. Grant-Lee brings the passion of rock to this quietly intense and intimate music that makes you sit up and listen close.


It's hard to get a handle on Howe Gelb and he likes it that way. He's released about 30 albums with an ever-changing group known as Giant Sand, three or four albums with the Band of . . . Blacky Ranchette, an album with OP8, and about 20 solo albums, including his latest, The Coincidentalist, which AllMusic calls as poetic, strange, and mysterious as the desert itself and recommends for its real tenderness, as well as confusion, humor, and wry observation. PopMatters compliments the album's twister-like logic of the heart and says that Howe's vocal intonations, strange and poetic phraseology, and sparse sonic landscapes evoke comparisons to Leonard Cohen, which is high praise. Howe has long attracted devoted followers and accomplished fellow musicians, including, on the new album, M. Ward, Bonnie Prince Billy, and KT Tunstall. Calexico used to be his backup band. He has described his music as erosion rock music that changes with the elements on a daily basis and he's described himself as endlessly restlessly wanderlusted encrusted, though, if pinned down, he'll admit that when not on the road or living in Denmark he resides in the Barrio Santa Rosa neighborhood of Tucson, Arizona.

Cambridge Portland Arms, Wed, 21 Jan 2015 at 7.30pm buy tickets

The Wave Pictures

It's been about 2 years since The Wave Pictures have graced these shores under their own steam, so we're delighted to welcome them back. Melodic, quirky with a real wit and charm.

Cambridge Portland Arms, Wed, 4 Feb 2015 at Doors 7.30pm buy tickets

King Charles

Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult

After a storming set at Cambridge Folk Festival's den stage last year, King Charles' multi layered and beguiling operatic rock makes a welcome return to the city

Cambridge Portland Arms, Mon, 9 Feb 2015 at 7.30pm buy tickets

The Catenary Wires (ex-tallulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research) + Model Village

THE CATENARY WIRES were formed in 2014 when Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey (Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Tender Trap) moved out of London.

They started playing songs on their daughter's 3/4 size acoustic guitar, and are still refusing to give it back.

THE CATENARY WIRES function as a simple two-piece, but will often feature guest musicians when playing live. Their first ever show was on 3 May 2014 at the Arnolfini in Bristol. Their songs are quiet and (mostly) sad.

Cambridge Portland Arms, Sun, 15 Feb 2015 at 2pm buy tickets

The Staves

Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult

"...Whether they are a result of sibling instincts and tonal similarities or simply a decade of practice and hard work, their pristine harmonies on fragile numbers such as Pay Us No Mind and In the Long Run are unimpeachable." The Guardian

"Hailing from Watford, The Staves are like a distillation of all that's best about the folk heritages of England and America. On "Winter Trees", their voices have that cold, sharp precision born of the Anglo folk tradition; while "In The Long Run" presents a more American flavour, with the simple purity of the guitar recalling Simon & Garfunkel, and their harmonies embodying the innocence of West Coast hippie idealism." The Independent

Cambridge The Junction, Tue, 17 Feb 2015 at 7.30pm buy tickets

Tim Barry + Cory Branan + Sam Russo

Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.

Presented in association with United Cambridge.


After more than twenty five years of making music, and a full decade as a solo folk-rock troubadour, Tim Barry presents his first ever concert recording, Raising Hell & Living Cheap Live In Richmond. As a forward-thinker not big on sentiment or revisiting the past, Barry had sometimes toyed with the idea of releasing a live set, but only if it resonated as an authentic document of the interplay between artist and audience, which - without toting along a professional sound engineer to record a series of shows - can seem an almost insurmountable challenge.


"Branan's hushed, dry whiskey voice and his sharp edged, story song lyrics make the appropriately titled Mutt a mongrel that rewards repeated spins..." - American Songwriter


"Russo does what he does just as well, if not better than, most of the known heavyweights of this genre. His songs are evidence that
while many of his musical contemporaries were out touring with their various bands, Russo was home getting his heart broken." - Razorcake

Cambridge Portland Arms, Thu, 19 Feb 2015 at 7.30pm buy tickets

Little Comets

Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult

Feel good, jarring beat pop-rock four-piece from Newcastle with kitchen sink indie songs. Little Comets remain committed to actually saying something in a song and convincing Taio Cruz that 'plans' and 'dance' is not acceptable as a rhyme.

Cambridge The Junction, Tue, 24 Feb 2015 at 7.30pm buy tickets

Jarrod Dickenson

Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult

Texas-born songwriter, Jarrod Dickenson's slightly spooky melodies and lyrics invoke a mid-Western post-war America, when cars ran on leaded gas, television hadn't yet kidnapped the country's imagination, and men wore hats every day. His reflective lyrics, almost like hand-written letters, remind us that human stories of lost love, sudden fortune, and abiding mystery transcend the decades...and nothing is better or worse right now than it's ever been

"If you can catch him, you should...he reminds of this cat, Gram Parsons" -Huey Morgan, BBC Radio 2

A voice like a young Tom Waits...Jarrod Dickenson's songs are simply breathtaking, possessing melodies many of his peers would give their left arm for. - No Depression
"An incredible talent" -Janice Long, BBC Radio 2

"Dickenson has a superb, expressive voice..." -Country Music People (5 Star Review)
"Brilliant songs" -Cerys Matthews, BBC Radio 6

Cambridge Portland Arms, Sun, 1 Mar 2015 at 7.30pm buy tickets

Zun Zun Egui

"a kinetic sort of art-punk that wriggles and writhes and spirals out of every description you might attempt to snare them with. Just count the reasons how: French, English, Creole and Japanese lyrics; trilling and artfully nutso vocals; and a sonic adventurism that journeys from wiry post-punk to Afro-funk, prog to pan-everything-north-and-south-of-the-Equator." NME

"This Bristol-based quartet claim to play "free-range rock music", but it's more informative to take their description of their visual sense and apply it to their music: "Fifth world". Zun Zun Egui sound like a great many things, but most of all like themselves. You can see antecedents Talking Heads, for example but Katang doesn't sound like an attempt to finesse west African music into the shape of rock; rather, it's the other way round. So Kushal Gaya's guitar doesn't ring and chime, it buzzes and snarls, but following lines drawn in another continent (his voice, too, flits between languages, some of them possibly made up, often in the same song). But the wonder is that there are hooks here, melodies that grab, even if they loiter for just a few bars before being shoved aside by something else. Katang is an odd record, but for all the experimentation manages to sound unselfconscious and exhilarating." The Guardian

Cambridge Portland Arms, Tue, 3 Mar 2015 at 7.30pm buy tickets

Grant Nicholas (feeder)

Grant Nicholas is best known as the lead singer and lead guitarist of the rock band Feeder.

In early 2014, Grant Nicholas announced via social media that he was recording a solo album. The song "Soul Mates" premiered on the Dermot O'Leary show on Radio 2 on Saturday May 31. The same track was made available for a limited time as a free download.

His debut solo album Yorktown Heights was released on 11 August 2014, via Popping Candy, although in Japan it was released a few months earlier on Victor. Yorktown Heightswas produced, written and played by Grant in his North London Treehouse Studio, The Crypt (London) and Angelic Studios in Banbury. Help at the controls came from Sam Miller & Brian Sperber at his Tiny Pocket Studio in Yorktown Heights, upstate New York.

Cambridge Portland Arms, Wed, 4 Mar 2015 at 7.30pm buy tickets

John Otway

Under 18s welcome with an adult.

In 1977, John Otway briefly took the UK punk scene by storm with 'Really Free'. But what seemed like the first hit of a promising musical career turned out to be his only chart success for 25 years, until a wily and well-coordinated guerilla marketing campaign got 2002 single 'Bunsen Burner' into the top 10. In the intervening period, Otway's likeable eccentricity, and his continuing string of hilariously bad career decisions, garnered him an unlikely, but loyal fan-base. Consistently up for a stunt, it was that fan-base that enabled the singer-songwriter to gatecrash the charts as a 50th birthday present in 2002, and who launched him to seventh place in a BBC poll of Britain's favourite lyrics.

The film about his career (Rock and Roll's Greatest Failure: Otway the Movie) was shown at Cambridge Film Festival.

Cambridge Portland Arms, Thu, 5 Mar 2015 at 7.30pm buy tickets

Steven James Adams

Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult

House Music, the new album from Steven James Adams, was originally conceived as a stripped-back home recording, but soon grew into something more textured and far-reaching, showcasing both Adams's songwriting prowess and his perceptive lyrics. The cover features an original work by acclaimed artist Dan Hillier.

With musical contributions from Vancouver 's JUNO award-winning Dan Mangan, rising stars John Smith and Emily Barker, Justin Young of The Vaccines and Scottish musical luminaries Martin Green (from three-time BBC Folk Award winners Lau) and Inge Thomson and more, the resulting record is ambitious, beautifully conceived and graceful.

He says of House Music I've had such a good time doing this. It was an opportunity to make music exactly the way I wanted, with people I love dearly and no compromises. I'm really pleased with how it's turned out.

House Music is Steven's first 'solo' album. He started out in 2001 as frontman and principal songwriter in the much-lauded Broken Family Band - who released seven albums over the course of eight years - and more recently released two albums with his band Singing Adams.

Cambridge Portland Arms, Fri, 13 Mar 2015 at 7.30pm buy tickets