Archive for the ‘Unsigned Highlights’ Category

Trof open mic videos – the remaining performances from the Manchester open mic

Thursday, November 12th, 2009


I promised I’d post all the videos from the Trof Northern Quarter open mic. Well, here are the remaining performances:

Or you can click through to my site for the complete list of performances.

Artists – feel free to embed these videos in your own sites. You need to press the appropriate button on the video player and it will give you the code.

Featured Artist – Hannah Atkins

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

I’m intending to write a bit more about unsigned music on this blog over the coming weeks—especially focusing on unsigned acts in Manchester, and trying to tie in a bit with some of the stuff on our All FM Radio Show.

So let’s get things started with the first review:

Hannah Atkins – Falling

Manchester-based Atkins’ music is reminiscent of an early Imogen Heap (or Heap’s earlier band, Frau Frau). It’s got that really great mix of edgy but sweet-sounding synthesisers and live instruments and vocals.

The layers of sound are arranged intricately, but without overloading you with sound. There’s some really interesting stuff going on with samples and effects, but crucially these don’t get in the way of the lyrics or the vocals. In fact, the vocals soar above the arrangements. Underneath, synths meld with live violins and guitars – but the juxtoposition of studio wizardry and real-life instruments really works, and there’s a real feeling of space to the music.

It also reminded me of some tracks by (Manchester based) band Lamb – and they’re famed for their live performances. By the same token, live, in a big venue, Atkins’ music would really go down well. It’s not hard to imagine her playing venues such as Academy 2 or the Jazz World stage at Glastonbury, with a full complement of live musicians. In fact, though, the live shows I’ve seen so far involve just her.

And – for the moment at least – you can still catch her in smaller venues around Manchester. I recently saw her at the Iguana Bar in Chorlton, and was impressed by the live show – which was mainly performed using a stage piano. The live shows are great – I’d definitely recommend getting down to one if you can.

Her latest album, Falling, is available to buy online. It’s a beautifully-packaged in a tiny Fairtrade cloth bag.

Hear more of Hannah Atkins’ music, and buy her albums, here:

Review of Winelight Club gig

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

Really enjoyed playing the Winelight Club in Bury. Here’s a link to a review from Manchester Music (please click link to read full review – here’s a small excerpt – really chuffed to get such a good review:


Probably the star of the evening is TOM KERSWILL, a familiar face on the city circuit and very much a one man band. Tom’s energetic approach to his music finds him on cue with work boots, well worn jeans and maybe his favourite t-shirt. He’s casual in image but so absolutely meticulous when it comes to songwriting. His guitar style eschews finger picking for the best part, with his dynamic strums sometimes feverishly staggering between big chord crashes. The songs are perfectly trim and crammed with infectious, serious melodies. There’s not just one or two gems here but a whole string of tunes that hook you in to the observational lyrics as the set is interspersed with tales from the road and anecdotes about missed trains. “My Mind’s Eye” is one of Tom’s signature tunes and I for one hope that more people get to hear and see him play.

Midget and Giant

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

Acoustic duo from Manchester.

Upcoming Midget and Giant events
Midget and Giant Myspace

The Devil’s Interval

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

It’s been a while since adding any new music to this part of the site.. so a good place to start is with something a bit different. English folk group the Devil’s Interval are based in Newcastle – they’re a folk three-piece featuring Lauren McCormick, Jim Causley and Emily Portman. Well worth having a listen to some of their music!


Thursday, September 14th, 2006

Feldspar – acoustic duo from Leeds. They’ve played at songs for the bathtub, our acoustic night at Fuel, and are soon to play sister night Songs from Another Place, at Trof, Fallowfield

Visit their myspace page for more music

Joe Williams

Monday, July 18th, 2005

This week’s unsigned highlight is Joe Williams. Based in Newcastle, UK, Joe is an acoustic singer-songwriter. His songs are intimate and memorable. The website offers free downloads, plus some works in progress and snapshots of new material. Well worth a visit.

Trimorphous – Exeter band

Tuesday, June 21st, 2005

This week’s unsigned highlights are Exeter-based Trimorphous

It’s a five-piece live electronic outfit, comprising Amelia Best (vocals, percussion, keys), Adam Bonner (bass, keys, programming), Joe Ings (guitar, keys, programming), Adam Jones (guitar), and Amy McGill (guitar, keys, programming).

Their website describes the music as: eclectic female-fronted guitars n breaks, but think Portishead / Massive Attack vibe and you’re halfway there.

Trimorphous are playing quite a few South West shows. The next is at Exeter Three Fat Fish – Wednesday 22nd June.