Five bands to watch – with Jon Buckett of Earthworm Recording Studio

I haven’t been out much this past year, the producing and touring shenanigans have kept me out of the local venues too much, so I’m really looking forward to the Shuffle and to catch up on lost time and tunes.  It would be all too easy to promote bands I’ve recorded or mixed and say how wonderful they are, but they’re already doing great and I think will be on many a radar already.  So, this year I thought, out of interest, and indeed necessity, I’d spend some time familiarising myself with the new names on the bill and write a little about who, in my humble opinion, are going to surprise and excite at this years event.  So, just armed with a search engine and some hours spent listening to their recorded/video’d songs here’s 5 picks that I’m looking forward to experiencing what they do live….

First up, an easy one, “Slagerij“…..the return.  One of Swindon’s successful exports having toured the U.K. and major festivals and cities of the U.S.A. over the years.  I saw these guys back in 2007 when they formed and they were a great live show then, I’m really looking forward to seeing them back on home turf.  High energy, high quality, ska-punk with a smile on it’s face.  Undoubtedly a great Shuffle launch night headliner.

Wasuremono – Pop with invention, with originality, with crafted playing, a Dave Fridmann-esq record sense, and a touch of class.  Touchstones might be The Flaming Lips, Radiohead and the dynamic-shift based sensibilities of Arcade Fire.  These musicians, in this form, and whatever other they may take further down the line, deserve a full and rewarding musical future judging by what they’ve put out into the interwebworld.  I’m excited to get to my first live gig of theirs as they headline Saturday night at the Vic, I think it could be quite special.

Also on the bill Saturday night at the Vic is Fabian Darcy.  I don’t generally like catch-all terms, so here are a few in the ball park of what one might mention to describe….soul-rap, jazzy hip hop, lounge, chill out.  If I was 20 years younger and sat post-club, post-starlight in the spangly sunshine of a new day, then I reckon Fabian Darcy would be a good vibe to be around.  There’s a syncopation in his delivery and ease of manner which seems naturally engaging.  I haven’t seen Fabian live and so I don’t know how he will translate live in the Vic on a busy night or what line up he will present, but I’m intrigued enough to find out.

Richard Wileman – The composer behind Karda Estra, purveyors of neo classical symphonic prog. takes to wood walled musical corner of wonders that is the Beehive on Shuffle Sunday.  His recorded music is a new discovery to me, and the more I discover it, the more apparent is his amazing talent, and the more I look to discover.  His solo recordings are beautiful, dark, uplifting; he deftly creates and controls the emotive narrative in his music.  In my head it’s Gothic Bacharach, or “if Mazzy Star were a fella” music and it’s exceptional.

Basement Club – So I know these guys, I taught them in live performance workshops for a while at music college.  They’re great lads with plenty of cheeky charm and I’m pleased to see they’ve applied enough discipline to keep getting better and better…do I sound like teach?  Seriously, naturally gifted musicians and they’re developing into a great band.  Performing at The Castle on Friday night as part of a good looking line up!

Check out Jon’s activities and the bands he is working with via his studio’s website here  –  earstudio.co.uk