The Alternative Escape – Karousel Music X Help Musicians UK at the Marlborough Theatre, Brighton – Thurs May 19 6pm

On May 19th we’re teaming up with Help Musicians UK for our stage at the Alt Escape, at the Marlborough Theatre, Brighton. All the acts have been recipients of funding from HMUK, and while it’s a showcase festival where slots are akin to hen’s teeth, the charity are paying each and every performer £150.50 per musician, as well as their travel expenses. How much do we love this charity? Huge thanks to them for their support. There’ll be some free drinks for delegates arriving for the networking section at 6pm – we’re looking forward to seeing some friendly faces and welcoming you to the show.

The Lineup is as follows:

6pm – 7pm – Industry Networking Drinks
7pm – 7:25pm – Throws
7:45pm – 8:10pm – Samantha Whates
8:25pm – 8:50pm – He Is A Pegasus
9:05pm – 9:30pm – Pat Dam Smyth
9:45pm – 10:10pm – The Lottery Winners
10:25pm – 10:50pm – PORTS

See below for info on all the acts. See you at the Seaside!

/// THROWS – 7pm ///

There is always a moment, just before meeting an old friend, when fear kicks in. Has the relationship fizzled, or do you just pick up where you left off? For Mike Lindsay and Sam Genders, Tunng’s founding forefathers, a magical Icelandic adventure of man chats, drinks-til-dawn, and a little ‘Northern Falsetto’ has found the pair re-igniting their spark on new record Throws.
Nearly ten years since the release of Tunng’s third album Good Arrows and the last time the partnership’s imagination was let loose together – comes Throws; the sound of two old friends and collaborators reconnecting, catching up on each other’s lives and creating ideas on an enchanting island. During their time apart Mike had been living in Reykjavik and Sam had moved to Sheffield; it became apparent the two friends had taken dramatically different paths in love, location, and life. Curious what they could produce second time around; with no preconceived agenda Sam packed his suitcase and joined Mike in his Reykjavik studio, in the town’s industrial old fishing harbour, with no more intentions than catching up with his old buddy.

The result is something no-one, least of all them, would have expected, and breaking away from his signatory hushed tones, and a big shift in Sam’s vocal habits soon opened some surprising new doors. Tracing relationships with all their twists and turns – romantic, bromantic and those brief encounters. Throws is about being connected to your surroundings, friendships and rekindling the magic, but also very much about the present – living life with passion, no matter where it takes you.

We’re talking three star generals here – a sneaky peak at the new project from two men who have maintained a top level of output in different guises for well over a decade.

/// SAMANTHA WHATES – 7:45pm ///

Samantha Whates is one of those rare artists that ignites little bonfires beneath your ribcage and sings you something about yourself while the fire burns. A voice so warm and pure you’d be forgiven for thinking you were out in the wind wrapped up in merino wool and drowning in chocolate. For fans of acts like First Aid Kit, Nina Nastasia, Laura Viers and Susanna And The Magical Orchestra, Samantha is a lost piece of the jigsaw. She writes songs in a way that is precisely hers: Musically moving where she wants to go whenever she feels like it, and sometimes never coming back; while all the time lyrically drawing you a map and walking along beside you through her story. The much lauded Dark Nights Make For Brighter Days album, which she recorded live in a couple of days up in her native Scotland, is a sparkling, atmospheric, and emotionally brave record that drew nothing but praise from exactly the kind of people she’d want it from – Bob Harris opining on BBC Radio 2 that it was “…really, the most beautiful album…” and Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music echoing the sentiment describing it as “… just gorgeous…”. Crucially, Samantha is one of those artists that also enjoys the endorsement of her peers. James Yorktson (a Mercury Music Prize nominee and fellow artist with an involvement with HMUK) described her as “a lovely surprise, her presence and songs made my evening, she’s a rare treat…” Live, she has that knack of tying a squadron of helium balloons to the more serious songs by being so irrepressible and likeable in the moments between them. You won’t be the first to leave the show feeling like you just met your new best friend.

Always in demand to guest on records she was also asked to record the vocal for the Barclays Premier League YouAreFootball TV and online advertising campaign – winning Best Bespoke Music in Advertising at the 2013 Shots Awards. She recently released a single Anyone Who Knows What Love Is with The Chaps Choir, the release show selling out the Union Chapel in April. New record is on the way.

/// HE IS A PEGASUS – 8:25pm ///

HE IS A PEGASUS is the solo project of 24 year old multi-instrumentalist, David Butler. Hailing from Coventry in the Midlands, recent live sets have been garnering him a reputation as one of the most exciting new live acts around for his furious, energetic guitar and haunting, unaccompanied melodies.

Currently working with producers Dougal Lott (Jonathan Jeremiah, Alabama Shakes, The Leisure Society, Ray Davies, James Morrison) and Chris Sheehan (Bench Connection, Moths) on his new EP, HE IS A PEGASUS is a breath of fresh air to the mainstream pop scene. His new EP is forged with an uncompromising approach, bursting at the seams with amped romanticism. Roaring post-rock sat beside songs of devastating quietness to create a beautifully paced recording. However, it’s onstage where Butler has been building an impressive reputation – the kind of stunning vocal range and lyrical sophistication you’d expect of an artist in his mid 30’s, three albums in. Recently signed to SESAC, he received one of the Emerging Artist Awards for 2016 from Help Musicians UK and Pledge Music.

/// PAT DAM SMYTH – 9:05pm ///

PAT DAM SMYTH’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 and the Velvet Underground, 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. He is into the final straight for a PledgeMusic campaign bringing fans together to power the new PDS album, and was awarded the top PledgeMusic/Help Musicians UK award at the end of 2015. Pat is an artist who has learned his trade like the greats, and has honed an uncanny knack for creating space around the vocal that other artists can only dream of. It’s beginning to show live – recent shows in London, Rome and Northern Ireland (Belfast, Bandbridge) all sold out. The new record is a massive sonic leap forward from the debut – as you’ll hear tonight.

‘The Great Divide conquers beautifully” – The Independent
‘He has returned to create something beautiful…’ The Daily Mirror 
‘ … amazing… 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

/// THE LOTTERY WINNERS – 9:45pm ///

Born in Salford and raised on romance, The Lottery Winners are one of the greatest live bands you’ve never heard of, until now. Gigging is where they truly excel, with support slots on their musical CV for the likes of Madness, Clean Cut Kid, Catfish and The Bottlemen, The Charlatans, The View and The Wonderstuff plus many more. And then there’s been tons of hype from tastemakers too with Chris Hawkins of BBC 6 Music giving them some heavy rotation, whilst Louder Then War lauded their “beautifully crafted pop songs” and Tom Robinson of 6Music described them as “somewhere on the musical spectrum between the blithe Beach Boys and the suffering Smiths”.

Since the release of their debut single the band have been beavering away in the studio creating new feel good, life affirming masterpieces in the form of their debut EP ‘The Meaning of Life’. The entire EP came around through the band launching their very first Pledge Campaign in co-existence with their acceptance onto the Help Musicians UK’s ‘Emerging Artist’ scheme where they hit they target within a mere 5 days.

The songs are irresistibly energetic and uplifting. Something has to happen for them in 2016/2017.

/// PORTS – 10:25pm ///

Four piece PORTS add to the blossoming Northern Irish contingent tonight. After the release of their first demo ‘I’d Let You Win’, The band received a flood of fantastic reviews including; ‘Flavour of the Month’ and ‘Ones to Watch’ from BBC Introducing which resulted in extensive airplay from BBC Radio 1, RTE and countless others. PORTS rose to prominence in Ireland after an exciting performance at ‘Other Voices’, Derry-Londonderry (when they stepped in to replace Two Door Cinema Club). After their memorable performance, they were asked to return to the Other Voices stage, this time in London’s own Wilton’s Music Hall, joined by Villagers; John Grant; SOAK and Imelda May.

PORTS spent most of 2014 in the studio recording their debut album, ‘The Devil’s A Songbird’, which was mixed by Dan Long (Local Natives, Queens of the Stone Age). The band have released ‘Gameplay’ the first of three singles from the album. You’ll be hearing a lot about them in the next 18 months. The perfect way to close the showcase out.

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