Animal Noise: One to Watch

We’re thrilled to be back at the John Peel Centre this month – with four more acts lined up for the free gig on 8 April.

James Spankie will be kicking things off with a welcome return to the live arena, having been away for a while as he adds the finishing touches to what will hopefully be a debut album. James is very much a perfectionist, so it can take a long time for him to sign off on a song that to my untrained ears sounds like a job well done. I’m hoping his date with us is the start of a process which will finally see his recorded material released to a wider audience.

I’m yet to see the Baskervilles play live, but we’ve featured them a couple of times on the radio show and they’ve been given the nod by Sheila Ravenscroft, who was impressed by a recent gig. If you’re yet to hear them, then the Black Keys seem a good reference point. The band themselves say they are “strongly influenced by both traditional blues and the more eccentric offerings of modern guitar based music”.

Third up is the incredibly prolific producer Muckaniks, who has pulled together some of his favourite MCs and collaborators for a special set highlighting the exciting talent of the local hip hop and beats scenes. If we were to look back over the past year or two, I think we’d find that we played a track featuring, or made by, Muckaniks at least every third week. He continues to amaze us with his range of beats and production techniques, crossing several genres. We’ve no idea what to expect from his live set, but are confident it’s going to be memorable.

Last but not least… it’s Superglu, who have had a phenomenally exciting first year of existence and show no signs of slowing down. Their debut EP, Horse, has cemented their place at the forefront of the county’s indie/pop/rock movement – and it can’t be long until the rest of the country catches up.

As always, we’re eternally grateful for the acts and the staff at the John Peel Centre, all of whom are giving up their time and talents for free.

In other news, we’ve had a few stand out tracks on the show recently. Scarlett Saunders won us over with her minimalist, Jeff Buckley style, Windmill – which for the large part is beautiful guitar and voice before it takes a welcome shift and ends in dreamy ambience. The buzz around Drones Club continues to build. They already have key industry players in the palm of their hands, and new single Python delivers something for everyone to get their teeth into. Two other acts to look out for – Gaffa Tape Sandy and Nero’s Thumb… both raw, and lots of fun.

Finally, I recommend checking out the new album by Animal Noise. We first heard about the band via Tom Robinson, who had them in session on his 6 Music show, and have since become massive fans.

The new album, Sink or Swim, is out on 8 April and features the incredibly catchy Bag of Bones and Alright. The rest of the album is a joy too.