The third instalment of our Five To Watch recommendations is from freelance producer and musician Sam Bates.
Having spent the last five years working as a freelance producer and engineer out of the legendary Ladder Factory over near Shrivenham, Sam recently set up – in partnership with Front of House Management – a studio here in Swindon called Western Audio Recording & Rehearsal (www.facebook.com/westernaudiorecording). Boasting a 900 square foot tracking room, with a maximum ceiling height of 24 feet, the studio probably has the largest ‘live’ room in the Swindon area.
Sam also has an impressive background as a musician, having played previous Shuffle’s with the likes of The Carter Affair, Rats Ruined My Brain, and The Incredible Disappearing Boy (amongst others), and he is also a music lecturer at the Academy of Music & Sound and the University of Wolverhampton.
So Sam’s Five To Watch are, in no particular order…
Bradley Cowtan (Band)
Friday – The Victoria – 21:15
Bradley has taken everyone by surprise in the last six months. He’s got a hatful of intelligent songs, an instantly recognisable voice and now a great band behind him. His second single has around 170K views online – make sure you catch him to see why.
Thursday – The Castle – 20:00
I’ve had the pleasure of recording with these guys, and was bowled over by the maturity of their songs & arrangements. Swindon is currently one of the hottest places on the UK indie scene and I think these guys will make a massive impression this year.
Saturday – The Victoria – 20:30
Rising from the ashes of Polar Front, HAIL have taken everything that made that band great and further distilled it into something leaner, smarter and even more hauntingly beautiful. A high-tech future-pop duo with two of this town’s best musicians and a unique sound.
Saturday – The Tuppenny – 18:45
I’ve recorded a brace of singles with DREUW. He has an absurdly emotive voice and a talent for exploring the space within songs. He has a knack for making the spine tingle in a similar way to the Bon Iver of old. Special.
Friday – The Victoria – 22:45
They made one of the best albums of last year and are an absolute riot of creativity, talent and colour. I’m not even sure they are a band; more a living art installation that is like a 3D Pollock painting made of sound. If you dig Bowie, Eno, Flaming Lips… you’ll love these.