This coming September (Friday 23rd) we’re back in Hamburg for the sequel to last year’s Reeperbahn showcase. This year, we’re teaming up as ever with our great friends at US giants SESAC; and we’re also delighted to say we’re being joined by the UK’s largest independent music charity Help Musicians UK. We had such a great show with them at The Great Escape in May we figured we’d do it all again.
It’s never been more important for the best new acts to break into new markets. British acts have had a wonderful relationship with Germany – and Hamburg – back as far as the 60’s when the Beatles learned their trade there. Reeperbahn Festival is arguably the best festival of new music in Europe. We hope that the showcase, thanks to the support of Help Musicians UK and SESAC, will help these acts find a new audience. There’s none better anywhere than in Germany. Showcasing at Reeperbahn for the European industry, we hope we’ll see some German (and other European) deals for some or all of the acts.
For more information on Help Musicians UK and the assistance they offer musicians in crisis, click here. They recently announced a scheme to give artists a hearing check up and bespoke earplug protection worth over £350 for a heavily subsidised £30 for MU members, and £40 for non members. For more on that, click here.
See below for info on the artists.
/// TEN FÉ ///
Ten Fé are a much hyped electronic rock and roll outfit who have taken just two singles to become one of the most exciting new British prospects. Londoners Ben Moorhouse and Leo Duncan were described by Les Inrockuptibles as having “already reached the grandeur that most bands can only dream of after two albums. Or not even.” Of late they’ve been selling out shows across the UK, and both recent singles “Elodie” and “In The Air” reached no. 2 in the Hype Machine chart. Their debut album is currently being produced by Ewan Pearson (M83, Jagwar Ma, The Rapture) in Berlin. The band have been likened to artists as broad as Primal Scream, Fleetwood Mac, The War On Drugs and The Cure.
“driving, meditative, bright and heartening” – Consequence of Sound
“excellent slice of indie pop with lively guitar lines and a cool vocal” – The Independent
“a nigh-on perfect piece of pop” – DIY
“Big, bold and ambitious” – Line of Best Fit
/// PAT DAM SMYTH///
‘Conquers beautifully’ – The Independent
‘He has returned to create something beautiful…’ The Daily Mirror
‘Musical storytelling at its finest…’ BBC
‘A rare kind of truthful songwriting’ The Irish Times
‘Epic’ – Female First
‘Beautiful, with an acerbic bite’ – PRS Magazine
‘An authentic masterpiece which never ceases to amaze…’ – Rock Italia
‘Beautiful – **** ‘ – Stereoboard
‘Intoxicating’ – 9/10 – Rhythm and Booze
Pat’s debut album ‘The Great Divide’ was hailed as a modern masterpiece in his native Northern Ireland and received critical acclaim in the rest of the UK from The Independent, Q magazine, Hotpress Magazine, Irish Times, BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 music to name but a few. Born and raised on a farm in Northern Ireland from Irish and Greek roots he moved to London, via Dublin, Liverpool, Athens and Los Angeles. His music falls somewhere between Father John Misty, John Grant, Leonard Cohen and Lou Reed; and his ability to distill his raw authenticity into a mixture of world weary low vocals, and those soul-searingly high moments is winning him an army of fans both inside the industry and out.
For the new record Pat has formed a formidable partnership with Drummer/Producer Chris McComish forging a live show that is blowing away audiences across UK and Europe – including a series of recent sold out shows in Italy, Ireland and London; and he will be touring Germany with the new record in the new year.
/// JOEL SARAKULA ///
‘The new album The Imposter is dreamy and Bowie-esque… It’s a really engaging and adventurous record, I would highly recommend it… It takes you to lots of different places’ Lauren Laverne, BBC 6 Music
‘really cool new release… gets under the skin, refuses to budge’, – Craig Charles BBC 6 Music
‘A wonderful Baroque-Pop stomper that puts me in mind of the Small Faces and the Left Banke…’ – Lauren Laverne BBC 6 Music
‘Northern Soul is that rare thing: a pop song that would sound equally at home on Radios 1, 2 and 6.’ – Independent on Sunday, Future Classic Alert
‘The lovechild of Rufus Wainwright and Billy Joel… on Duracells’, BBC London
Joel Sarakula is an AUS/UK artist who sings Soulful Indie-Pop songs at the piano and guitar. Born in Sydney and now based in London, his debut UK album The Golden Age racked up generous plays across BBC Radio 2, BBC 6, BBC London, XFM, Q Radio, Absolute Music and internationally. He is a regular fixture on the festival and club circuit in the UK, Europe and Australia, including appearances at The Great Escape, Reeperbahn Festival and Hop Farm Festival.
Sarakula is a songwriter who has travelled the world in search of his muse, experiencing everything from Caribbean carjackings to performing in the remote fishing villages of Norway, via the dive bars of Europe and the US. With personal tastes that span from the more avant-garde to pop greats like Sly Stone, Todd Rudngren and Elvis Costello, there are clear nods to contemporaries like Beck and Erland Øye in terms of ambition and style. The new record The Imposter (We Are Elevate Records) has enjoyed a wave of support at 6 Music, and is currently on fire in Germany, Holland and Italy – where he’s been playlisted on a slew of public radio and completed several sold out mini tours. With a healthy following in Scandinavia and his native Australia, Joel is a great example of a modern artist who wasn’t prepared to wait around the industry to get on board, and has raised himself to a place where they’ll now be glad if they do.
The new album lovingly indulges in his references to the late 60s and early 70s while executing it with a colder, contemporary vision. It’s a fitting album title for a man unafraid of playing his various roles as singer, artist, writer and producer. Joel Sarakula is The Imposter.
/// THE WHOLLS ///
“The Wholls…destined to become the biggest band the UK has produced for years” – BBC Introducing
“The Wholls are being touted as the sound of 2016…Debut single X21 is indie rock with a light dash of dub, and is the culmination of two years’ worth of BBC Introducing and Battle of the Bands-type attention.” – The Guardian
“Camden remains a fervent breeding ground that will inevitably spew up many more next big things……….I’ve been blown away by The Wholls.” – NME
“These lads are primed and ready to blow every other British guitar band out of the water, not just here at home but on the world stage too. No wonder major labels are falling over themselves to snap them up. The race is on.” – Record of The Day
/// REWS ///
Fancy some high-energy pop rock? REWS are the sassy Belfast/London duo that’ll help you out!… With Shauna Tohill on guitars & vocals (she’s been singing for Snow Patrol and bass playing for Darwin Deez) and Collette Williams providing beats and vocals (she’s currently drumming in the new Gabrielle Aplin video). Formed last year in 2015 – REWS have released three chorus-laden singles since the beginning of this year. “Can You Feel it?” was a smashing opening gambit with their insta-catchy garage pop. Followed by “Death Yawn” and now their third single in as many months “Shake Shake”. All of this has drawn great reviews, which led Ireland’s premier music magazine – Hot Press – to place them on their “Most Likely To Make An Impact In 2016” List. There will be an EP in September followed by an album in February 2017.
The band has spent the spring playing dates in London, the wider UK and Ireland. REWS played to a rammed Spiegel Tent at The Great Escape 2016, delighting industry tastemakers Huw Stephens and Steve Lemacq from the BBC. The band has been presented by “BBC Introducing” in Belfast, London and Wales. Summer festival appearances included Glastonbury, Beautiful Days, Kendal Calling, Goldcoast and many others. A full UK Ireland tour for the autumn followed by dates in Europe in the spring of 2017. Interest in Europe has been buzzing…
/// FLIGHT BRIGADE ///
“…the best unsigned band we saw live at The Great Escape  this year.” – Record of the Day
“This (New single – ‘When We Were Young’) deserves to be a future festival anthem for decades to come. To describe it, just one word suffices – glorious.” – Record of the Day
“Check this lot out’, and you discover something you think is wonderful” – Janice Long, BBC Radio 2