Welcome to Day Two of our tips of 2018 where we present twenty acts who we think will make an impact on the music scene next year. Today we have Purple Merlin, Pip Blom, The Goa Express and Pale Rider.
Purple Merlin have burst onto the Manchester scene with a series of often chaotic live shows, full of energy but always seemingly on the brink of collapse. With songs that some of which don't have titles and a refusal to adhere to the songwriting rules of verse-chorus-verse-chorus-breakdown-chorus they're a little hard to place in any box, which is just what they intend. It'll be intriguing as to where they'll go next, whether they'll implode in a cloud of gunpowder, push the boundaries still further or bring power and control to their sound without losing the excitement they've generated so far.
Our review of their Jimmy's show in September captured this "Purple Merlin are a bit bonkers, one of them is wearing a hi-vis, one of them keeps shouting what sounds like United between songs in a fit of tourettes, they seem to take turns in attacking the drummer and his kit and the keyboard player somehow manages to coax sounds out of a keyboard that's precariously placed on a table on stage."
Purple Merlin are on Facebook and Twitter.
Pip Blom burst onto the scene as a teenager with a series of killer singles such as I Think I'm In Love, Taxi Driver and Skippy Still Remains, but it's most recent School that has won the attention and love of Marc Riley on 6 Music and helped to fill rooms across the country including a performance at October's Neighbourhood Festival in Manchester. Whilst the band take their front woman's name, they're actually a four-piece band which also features Tender Blom on guitar and vocals, Casper van der Lans on bass, Camiel Muiser on drums.
Our review of Pip Blom's recent Peer Hat show came to the conclusion - "As most of these songs have formed the set for some time now they're an incredibly tight live unit, but one that lifts and takes the audience with them. Some of that is down to the energy, the love and the passion that's evident in what they do as they lose themselves in what they're doing. The songs themselves also possess enough variety to keep the audience interested, full of sudden changes of direction, feet pressed on or released from the accelerator pedal."
Pip Blom's official website can be found here and they are on Facebook and Twitter.
THE GOA EXPRESS
The Goa Express hail from Burnley, but have already broken out of there to become favourites on the Manchester live scene, supporting the likes of Cabbage and Purple Heart Parade in 2017 as well as releasing their own double A-side single Goa / Kiss Me as well as the exhilarating live favourite and debut single The Reincarnation Of The Lizard Queen. Using three vocalists live helps to make their intoxicating blend of psychedelic guitars stretch further than most of their contemporaries and the new material they've aired recently suggests that they're ready to broaden horizons still further.
Our review of their show at the Golden Lion in Todmorden in the summer stated "They have what feels like an innate knack of creating songs that are rich in influences, but which also possess a wealth of their own personalities running through the middle of them. They're no copyists though, the groove and rhythm that their songs swim in are powered by a tide of their own making."
The Goa Express are on Facebook and Twitter.
We stumbled across Pale Rider by happy accident back in May when they supported The Lucid Dream in Liverpool at what was only their third show. Back then they had little in the way of online presence and no songs available to listen to, but in the interim they've awoken the likes of Get Into This on the local scene there and released a brilliant debut single in I Run On Rain. They recently ventured to Manchester for the first time too, so it's hoped 2018 is the year they start to spread their wings.
Our review of that Liverpool show talked of the excitement of the new discovery - "This is apparently only Pale Rider's third gig but you wouldn't guess that from the stunningly cohesive and uplifting five-song set that they grace us with. With a front man with a voice that can soar off into the stratosphere and drop us back down into the grime and dirt and a drummer who dictates the songs with a subtle change of pace or a brash bold explosion of power, they look set to become a fixture in the North West's flourishing underground music scene for months to come. The rest of the audience seem to have the same revelatory moment as we do as they deliver delicious psych-tinged moments such as One Beat and their set-closing Chlorine Eyes. Pale Rider are definitely one to keep a very close eye on."
Pale Rider are on Facebook and Twitter.
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