/// TOM BAXTER ///
After a number one record in Ireland, top ten in the UK and deals with Sony/Columbia and EMI for Feather & Stone andSkybound, many of you will be no stranger to Tom. His track Miracle was used for the BBC’s final Beijing Olympic montage; My Declaration was covered by Eliza Bennett; and he’s even been covered by Dame Shirley Bassey who recorded one of our favourites, Almost There, and performed it with him at the BBC Electric Proms, at the Royal Albert Hall. While that gives you an idea of the pedigree of his writing, as a performer he is knockout. If the spirit of Jeff Buckley were to wade up onto the beach and pick up a guitar, while Marvyn Gaye and John Legend lit up the bonfire and raised the flame by pouring on an 18 year old single malt, it might sound like Tom. Check out Better (the most requested wedding song in Ireland 4 out of the last 6 years) and My Declaration, and then get ready for the incredible new record, The Uncarved Block.
/// THE MAGIC LANTERN ///
If you liked the Tiny Ruins record last year, this will be right up your street. The Magic Lantern is the musical moniker of Jamie Doe. With an immediately arresting voice that has been compared to Chet Baker and Jeff Buckley and a unique guitar style that takes elements of folk fingerpicking, Flamenco and West African music, the 10 songs that make up his second album – Love of Too Much Living – sound deceptively simple at first but open up to reveal a warmth, humour and wisdom that mark The Magic Lantern out as an artist with a unique songwriting voice.
Born in Australia before moving to the UK aged 12, it was while studying philosophy in Bristol that Jamie began performing as The Magic Lantern alongside friends and long-term collaborators in the DIY Bristol music scene including This Is The Kit, Rozi Plain and Rachael Dadd. Moving to London, Jamie expanded The Magic Lantern into a quintet of friends and together they evolved a transporting sound inspired by the immediacy of Jamie’s lyrics and lilting melodies and a shared love of improvised music. The Magic Lantern’s debut album A World In A Grain of Sand was mixed by Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno/Paul Simon) and, on subsequent release in June 2011, was critically acclaimed by Late Junction’s Verity Sharp, Bob Harris and Tom Robinson (BBC Radio 3, 2 and 6 respectively) amongst others.
Keen to focus on the intensity that comes with stripping everything away Jamie dissolved the quintet line up to return to playing and writing on his own. Love of Too Much Living is the product of two years spent crafting this new musical approach, playing hundreds of gigs around the UK with friends and contemporaries including Sam Lee & Friends and Cocos Lovers to an ever-increasing audience of enthusiasts.
“Very, very special”
– Lauren Laverne, BBC 6 Music
“Intriguing, compelling and exceptional. A man to watch”
– The Guardian
“An exciting new talent”
– Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2
“Bitter sweet, beautiful music”
– Verity Sharp, BBC Radio 3 Late Junction
“A classic album, I love it!”
– Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2
“**** Beautiful, engrossing music”
/// RORY BUTLER ///
If there is an artist causing chatter among the industry at the moment, this is him. It’ll take you about 25 seconds to work out why. When Rory got onto the stage at the Old Queen’s Head for us last year you knew instinctively the moment his mouth opened he was the real deal. John Martyn references seem to get thrown around willy-nilly these days, but if you’re saving it for one guy, it’s Rory. Absolutely masterful on the guitar, and a writer who will no doubt go on to be worthy of the comparisons. Rory was handpicked by Danny Thompson to play at his 70th birthday; he won the Danny Kyle award at Celtic Connections, opened for a sell out performance by Rachel Sermanni and shared the bill with Transatlantic Sessions on Mary Ann Kennedy’s late night Radio 3 sessions. He has since supported Michael Marra, Eliza Carthy, Sam Lee, Bella Hardy and Anais Mitchell in some of Scotland’s major music venues. Once London and the rest of the UK gets a taste of him, he won’t be supporting people long. To whet your whistles, check out the videos on here – but really, you need to be in the room to completely get it. It’s like watching a young Jackson Browne pouring out his heart and humour in a thick Scottish lilt while John Martyn and Nick Drake scatter woody, earthy chords around Beverley’s feet. Destined for musical mecca.