Music Week, ILUVLIVE and MusicConnex present Radar (Showcase)
Thursday 3rd September 2015
Under The Bridge, Stamford Bridge, Fulham London
The nightclub Under The Bridge is situated under Stamford Bridge which is the home to the Chelsea football team in the UK. It has become a popular London music venue over the past few years and is regularly used for competitions where you get to see artists who can fill arenas and stadiums in an intimate 550 capacity setting.
In addition to gigs and live competitions the venue is also home to The Radar Showcase which is presented my music industry publication Music Week, ILUVLIVE and MusicConnex. It is also supported by BIMM (British & Irish Modern Music Institute) and they helped the first performer Sam Brockington by naming him (BIMM Breaking) thus securing him the slot.
Sam moved to London at age 18 and played regular gigs in the capital before moving to Melbourne, Australia to soak up the culture and develop his craft. He is now 22 and resides in Bristol. The track ‘Stolen’ had pleasant guitar but I found the song quite interesting but I didn’t care much for the ‘babababab’ in the lead vocals. I enjoyed his take on Little Walter’s ‘Blue and Lonesome’ as the song did lend itself to his voice and tone. I do think that he has a bright future but he is a lot like George Ezra and although that is in no means a a bad thing, it’s the fact that they may be too similar in terms of performance style and overall sound. For more information on Sam Brockington visit: https://www.facebook.com/sambrockingtonmusic
Next to grace the stage was 17-year old singer songwriter from London Hollie Stephenson. From the age of three, she’s been obsessed with jazz, blues and soul and I actually saw her at Proud in Camden last year with a full band and it was definitely a fun show. This time though it was just her an an acoustic guitar and she walked on and admitted to the crowd that she was nervous. Early last year, as she approached her 16th birthday, Dave Stewart (one half of The Eurythmics and BRIT and Grammy award-winning producer) invited Stephenson to his studio in Los Angeles. Dave Stewart had seen a grainy video recording of Hollie performing at Bar Vinyl in Camden aged 12. There, the first half of her debut album was recorded, all live, in a circle with some of the best musicians on the West Coast. While in the U.S., she also performed a few shows in L.A. to rave reviews.
Opening with ‘Confession’ I could tell straight away that Hollie does have strong vocals and ‘Dried Out Lies’ showcased her songwriting ability which is impressive particularly at such a young age. She is an accomplished acoustic guitar player, but as a young adult male I can’t really relate to a lot of her songs like ‘Lover’s Game’ but I know that they aren’t written for my specific demographic. With the support she has been receiving and her determination I think this is just the beginning for Hollie Stephenson.
Hollie will be releasing her debut album, yet to be titled, in the autumn. Keen to keep control, Hollie is working closely with Pledge Music to create a campaign where her fans and supporters can take a key role and engage with her from the very beginning. Fans can pre-order Hollie’s debut album through PledgeMusic and gain access to exclusive updates, content and merchandise. The Pledge campaign is open now at www.pledgemusic.com/holliestephenson
After a quick changeover singer-songwriter Midé explained to us that he started writing poetry and he would sing occasionally. Backed by an electric bassist and drummer, Midé blended his own emotive compositions such as ‘The Only Way Is Up’ with his version of the late Michael Jackson’s ‘Love Never Felt So Good’ beautifully. He has previously released a string of EPs and has now has a new EP release. If you like people such as Michael Kiwanuka, James Bay and Ed Sheeran than have a listen to Midé.
He really engaged with the crowd and had them singing and dancing along with his song ‘Right Where You Are’ that brought the set to a perfect finish. His new EP is available to pre-order on PledgeMusic here: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/midesmusic
The lights dimmed and the stage was filled with bright colours because of two glowing keyboards and an electronic starry backdrop. A male five-piece from Newcastle (lead singer is actually from Durham) called Shields took to the stage with their alternative pop sound and you can’t fault their energy. Shields recently came 2nd out of 6000 applicants in the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Event 2015. As a result of their blistering set at Glastonbury Emerging Talent, the band secured 3 slots at the festival this year.
Guitarists Rich (Guitars/Vocals), Dave (Guitar/Keys/Vocals) and Luke (Guitars/Bass/Vocals) all had rich fuzzy guitar sounds wrapped in hypnotic synths courtesy of John (Percussion/Bass/Samples). They gel really well as a band and the vocal harmonies are really strong. Unfortunately, the sound engineer couldn’t balance the overall sound the whole time and I felt that they sounded quite drowned out when they sang or said song titles.