Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Hidden Gems

I generally listen to quite commercial music. Mostly, when I say to somebody what band I am listening to, they can say 'oh right, yeah'. But there are a few bands that I adore that, while perhaps not being entirely unknown or underrated, they still do not have the recognition that I feel they deserve. So here is a list of my five favourite underappreciated bands. Have a listen. Spread the word.

1. The Sunshine Underground.

When I was 16 I used to hang around in Leeds pretty much every single day, and basically I discovered TSU just by being
in the right place at the right time. They were doing a single signing at Leeds HMV where they also played a short live set, and it they were astonishing. I have never ever seen a man wearing jeans and an Adidas tracksuit jacket that could sing as powerfully as TSU's frontman can. I few months later I saw them for the second time, again at a single signing, and they just blew me away. Raise The Alarm is such an epic album, and it really should be heard by more people. I have also recently just bought their second album Nobody's Coming to Save You, and while I don't prefer it, I still love it.

Fun Fact: they're from Yorkshire and the lead guitarist is WELL fit.

2. The Chapman Family.

I saw The Chapman Family in York when I went to see Frankie & the
Heartstrings on an NME tour, and they were exceptional. Their music is different to anything that's really going on right now, and when they came on stage they started off with this really weird, rowdy piece of music before they even played any songs, which I thought was a great sign of their confidence, and also bravery as a band. They are probably a band that needs to be seen live to be fully appreciated, but I listen to the stuff on their YouTube and it still makes me happy.

Fun Fact: the guitarist looks and acts exactly like Frank Iero, who I adore. And their band t-shirts are the softest and most comfortable that I have ever purchased.

3. One N
ight Only

Yeah, you probably know who these are. They did that Just for Tonight song a couple of years ago, remember? Well in 2008 I was obsessed with this band. OBSESSED. Thinking about it now, it is embarrassing how obsessed I was. I saw them 12 times in the space of about eight months. No doubt when their new album comes out in a little while I will do a full on ohmygod post about them, but right now I'll just say this: NME were wrong. NME ripped the shit out of One Night Only every week for about a year, and it pissed me off. Yes, they are seen as a band for 13 year old girls. But that's because they're cute and their music is easy to listen to. If you listen to them, really listen, you will understand that George Craig's voice is actually so beautiful. It is. It astounds me even now how lovely his voice is. And when you see them live, they are so much more raw and powerful than on record. I love them.

Fun Facts: In his spare time, George models for Burberry, probably because he's the most beuaitufl 19 year old on the planet. Me and my friend once went on their tourbus and played poker with them. I got drunk on their WKD.

4. The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster

Eighties Matchbox really, really should be superstars by now. Imagine The Cure, The Horrors, The Mighty Boosh and The Dead Weather with extra Jack White, and then add a strangely attractive goth singer, and you have TEMBD. I'm almost entirely certain that Noel Fielding bases his entire personality on Guy McKnight (singer).

Despite being a fan of the band since I was about 13 or 14, I have never seen them live. UNTIL NOW. I'm going to see them on Thursday and I am uncontrollably excited. Apparently they're one of those bands that it is an experience to see them live, and I cannot wait.

Fun Fact: If you want a good rock 'n' roll story, read this band's biography. Their former guitarist said the following about why the band eventually stopped doing drugs: "Because it's irresponsible, and you can't get anything done, and it stifles your creativity, and there's no benefit in it really, apart from its like going on vacation constantly"

5. Bombay Bicycle Club.

BBC are a really sweet kind of folk-indie band. Jack Steadman's voice is lovely; he's got that whole warbly (is that a word?) thing going on. I saw them for the first time at Leeds Fest in 2007 before NME started bumming them, and then again in Hull in 2008. The thing about BBC is that they genuinely want to be different to other bands - their sound in 2006/7 is quite different to it is now. Back then nobody really played music like they did, but now with bands like Mumford & Sons (incidentally who I aso love), it's quite common, so they have changed to a much more folksy kind of vibe.

Fun Fact: At gigs in the past, BBC used to invite fans to come on stage with them when they played their final song. When my friend and I saw them at Hull, we mentioned this to them, and before they played their last song they asked us to come on stage. You can find their music pretty music anywhere on the internet, so the below video is me and my pal dancing on stage with Bombay Bicycle Club.


  1. There are no words to describe The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. Never heard of them before now. Thanks for making my day xx


  2. I can really imagine what you mean when you say it'd be an experience to see them live.
    I'd SO see them on the tour they're doing at the moment, but I'm on holiday when they get anywhere near me. PLEASE let me know what it's like? :) xxx

  3. I absolutely will! Apparently he jumps out and sings in the crowd and all kinds of shenanigans. Watch out for a post about it on Friday :) xxx

  4. Thank you. Sounds AMAZING! But yeah, totally looking forward to that post xxx

  5. cool post!!!!!!

    thanx for ur so sweet comm:))




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