Bath Festivals reveals 20-strong shortlist for Bath Introduces competition
Is your favourite up-and-coming band on the shortlist for the Bath Introduces 2021 competition?
This year’s music contest, run by Bath Festivals with a panel of judges from the music industry, saw nearly 100 acts from all over the UK submit their entries. The ultimate prize will be to play the main stage of the Bath Festivals Finale Weekend on Bath Recreation Ground over the weekend August 7/8 – joining the bill that includes McFly, Scouting for Girls, UB40, Billy Ocean, Gabrielle, Fun Lovin’ Criminals and many more.
The judges have narrowed the entries down to a shortlist of just 20 acts and the two winners will play the main stage. One will then head to Real World Studios to work with Tim Oliver while the other winning act will work with Marc MacNab-Jack at Mizpah Studios to produce a single. This could be the chance of a lifetime for a solo artist or band to get the breakthrough they need.
Last year, what was supposed to be the third consecutive year of the Finale Weekend and the Bath Introduces competition was sadly disrupted, so this year Bath Festivals is making up for lost time, giving two runners-up the chance to perform on the city stage during the festival weekend.
So, without further ado, let us introduce you to our shortlist!
Gully is an independent singer/songwriter based in Bristol. Hailing originally from Portsmouth, his music began playing piano in the pubs of his hometown before drawing on the jazz and old soul influences of his repertoire and starting to write songs of his own. Backed by his six-piece band, including a brass trio, he has now garnered the praise of BBC Introducing in the West, Fresh On The Net, Radio Bristol and Radio Bath, drawing comparisons to the likes of Tom Misch, Amy Winehouse and Easy Life. His self-released debut EP Student Blues is available now on all platforms.
Evangeline is a rocky indie pop artist from Portsmouth, taking creative influence from a range of styles like the lyrical intrigue of Hayley Williams, to the industrious riffs of psychedelic surf rock band, Ocean Alley and the beautiful harmony textures of pop princess, Ariana Grande. Her perfect blend of infectious melody lines and bold, gospel like harmonies, elegantly narrates her personal trials in the relatable honesty of her generation. At only 17, Evangeline showed her prodigious talent with her track You in Blue as it was awarded Record of The Week on BBC Introducing in July 2018.
3. Ruby Cross
Ruby Cross is a singer/songwriter born and raised in South London. Learning to sing from a young age and encouraged to listen to the likes of Etta James and Led Zeppelin, Ruby could often be found guest appearing at South London pubs with her dad’s blues rock band during her early teenage years. These experiences would prove invaluable in developing her confidence singing live. Following her debut performance under her own name Upstairs at Ronnie Scotts in March 2019, Ruby has gone on to sell out Off the Cuff in Brixton in March 2020 and has amassed over 120k streams. The first single Addicted from her EP Sweet Love dropped on 2 July.
Night Swimming are a dream rock band formed and based in Bath. The band take the ethereal, melodic elements of the early Wolf Alice EPs and Slowdive albums, combining them with the classy minimalism of the local idols Portishead and Massive Attack. The band’s first gig was a show stopping festival performance at Bath’s very own Komedia to much critical acclaim and since then have been booked for shows on the Bristol and Cardiff circuits among many other filmed live lounge-esque opportunities. The band are now working on a double single that they are aiming to release late September/early October.
Walking the wire between 90’s influence, and modern indie, Split the Dealer’s sound is fundamentally honest. Working with beautiful restraint and explosive passion, emotional lyrics and cutting-edge production, Split the Dealer, aka Berkshire based Sam Brett is one to watch. Over the past year, Sam has gained momentous support from the likes of UNIlad, focusrite, and Sennheiser, who offered him a spot as an official Sennheiser artist. Headlining his own show in London in September of this year, Split the Dealer is set to go from strength to strength.
6. Rachel Jane
Rachel Jane is a force to be reckoned with. With a powerful voice liquefied in soul, flavoured with RnB and packaged in pop, she remains an honest, fearless and empowering writer and performer. With a number of EP’s released to critical acclaim (and another in the making), she is an artist who knows her sound, who she is and what she wants to say – a combination which makes for a dynamic and powerful performer. Influenced by the likes of Mahalia, Dua Lipa, Sinead Harnett and Amber Mark, Rachel Jane’s music encapsulates her effortlessly smooth, yet powerful vocals and bursts with exciting beats and unforgettable melodies.
7. Jealous Tina
Jealous Tina are a Bath based neo-soul five piece formed in 2018. Taking creative influence from the work of Mahalia, PUMA blue and Arlo Parks, they deliver a tight and punchy line-up of poetic lyricism and passionate melodies. Their unique sound is revealed through the soulful vocals and sweet-sounding saxophone of frontwoman Rosie Patton, accompanied by jazz infused keys and a punchy, groove-soaked rhythm section. After local success with shows around Bath and Bristol since 2018, the band are now planning ahead to a rescheduled run of live gigs this summer.
gürl is fashion posing as music. Bristol based band gürl is antipop. Having recently collaborated with Phil Gornell (producer of BMTH, All Time Low) and James Veck-Gilodi (vocalist of Deaf Havana), gürl’s sound has been compared to Billie Eilish meets Bring Me The Horizon. With anthemic choruses, crushing guitars, and hip hop production, gürl is redefining the bleeding edge of the British alternative music scene.
Inspired by comic-book imagery from the likes of Sin City and Watchmen, The Fangs of The Dodo are a five-piece gothic art rock band. The band produces a high-energy live show through the use of costumes and character performance, with pop hooks and heavy, infectious grooves. The Fangs of The Dodo have headlined and filled Moles numerous times in their hometown of Bath, performed for MCM Comic-Con London, Macmillan Fest Bristol, and Get Rad Festival. The Fangs of the Dodo have been played on Planet Rock Radio and Kerrang Radio, with Alex Baker describing the single Crime Of The Century as “destined to get lodged in your head” and “ludicrously catchy”.
The story of GeeJay started in a coffee shop in Haringey London where Gina Jane (vocalist and songwriter) and Jacob Lobo (producer, saxophonist and keys) were both working as baristas. They soon started jamming on the café’s old piano and as the weeks went by, they developed their own distinctive sound by fusing elements of soul, funk and Jjazz with urban hip-hop. The strong, soulful and emotionally-charged vocals of Gina fit perfectly on top of Lobo’s vintage jazzy chords, groovy rhythms and energised sax playing.
11. Chrissie Huntley
From her very first live show in 2018, to performing to millions on BBC One; headlining O2 Academy Bristol and being handpicked by Michael Eavis to play Glastonbury Festival; Chrissie made huge waves on the live music scene. Using her music prowess for good, Chrissie became dedicated to raising mental health awareness, raising money for charity, Mind through her performances. Her whirlwind journey came to an abrupt halt when the pandemic hit, however, the Brit School graduate used time granted by lockdowns to her advantage by equipping herself with a brand new body of work for her return to the stage with. For now though, Chrissie’s musical mission is simple: to make life a little peachier.
12. Tangled Oaks
Tangled Oaks are a contemporary folk collective, based in Bath. Entering the scene with a fresh melodic oxygen through their warm, yet earthy harmonies. Tangled Oaks are influenced by bands such as The Staves, Bon Iver and Mumford and Sons. They are soon to release their debut single Falling and working towards an exciting EP release in the autumn.
Inspired by artists from the likes of Marika Hackman, Angel Olsen, Alvvays, Alexandra Savior and Karen O. Bristol based singer-songwriter Olive’s debut album I Was Wondering, Lost will be available later this year. This ten-track album, produced and mixed by Calum Wotherspoon, revolves around the idea of hopelessness touching on themes of drug abuse, depersonalisation and infatuation. Having already released her debut single, Opium Requiem into the world she has attracted the likes of Green Man Festival and The Old Blue Last for future shows. As well as picking up press from: Notion, Earmilk, Right Chord Music and CLOUT.
14. Lucy Grubb
Lucy Grubb is a singer/songwriter from Norwich blending modern Americana with country undertones. After years of honing her skills at UK festivals such as Glastonbury, Red Rooster and Latitude, Lucy most recently headlined The Den Stage at Cambridge Folk Festival and received a “rapturous reception”- Nic Rigby, BBC News. Now with three EPs under her belt, her debut EP named Best UK EP of the Year by Belles & Gals and her second EP gaining a 5* Review from Maverick Magazine, Lucy released her third EP You Don’t Do Anything this summer to critical acclaim.
15. Ben Hutcheson
“Ben Hutcheson is a young singer/songwriter with a wisdom beyond his years. His lyrics tackle universal themes such as love and loss, yet also weave captivating stories, with a contemporary feel. With a warm, rich voice he expresses emotion and authenticity and makes a genuine connection with his audience” – writes Julianne Regan (All About Eve) Ben is a folk rock artist from the south west whose dark husky growl sings of a world of intimacy and observation. Love, lust and tenderness, haunted dancehalls and broken promises – Ben’s world is weary though alive due to delicacy and romance. ‘From Portishead to Nashville this is music for lovers, vagrants and thieves’ – Davey Ray Moore (CousteauX)
A garage rock quartet hailing from Bristol, specialising in dirty, disillusioned, and maliciously unapologetic rock and roll. 2019 saw PARKAS become one of the hottest prospects in the UK indie music scene. Following the release of three stellar singles, Catch Me Out, Thirtysomethings and Medication, the band have performed sold out headline shows in their stomping ground of Bristol at The Louisiana and The Mother’s Ruin, as well as in London at The Fiddler’s Elbow and The Monarch. New music is due for release in July, watch this space.
17. Sally Robinson
Sally Robinson is an independent progressive indie-folk artist and producer based in Cardiff. Often celestial, and usually introspective, her songs are compelling; her gluey guitar lines meld with her soaring melodies and airy vocals to assist her storytelling. She is frequently compared to, and finds influence from, Laura Marling, Lianne La Havas, and Joni Mitchell. She writes of fleeting moments in time, nature, art, and sculpture, and her live shows have been described as ‘spellbinding’.
Pompadour is a high energy, three-piece indie rock band formed in Bristol. Combining sultry guitar riffs, thunderous drums and melodies that seep into your brain, they are a band you certainly won’t want to forget. Their newest release, debut EP, Cut to the Chase has already turned heads, with the tracks being spun by BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Introducing and Planet Rock, as well as many independent online radios. The past two years have seen Pompadour support a plethora of artists, including Spector, PINS and Annabel Allum.
19. Jax Beats
Hailing from Suffolk, UK, Bath-based producer Jax Beats draws inspiration from a blend of genres including hip-hop, jazz, disco, and dance. His groove-soaked production sound captures summer sun-infused chill in every release and has been compared to the likes of Tom Misch, SG Lewis, and Mac Miller.
20. Enter Red
Having already received support from BBC Introducing as well as star producer Tarek Musa and playing multiple sold out headline shows, Bath’s hottest alt-rock export Enter Red aim to revitalise Bath’s music scene presenting their debut single Pin Drops dropping on 30 July. Enter Red are an emerging alt-indie quartet who draw influence from the likes of Foals, Radiohead and The Amazons. The band has developed their unique brand of infectious alt-rock that’s already making waves across the country.
Listen to all the shortlists on Spotify
Book your tickets for The Bath Festival Finale Weekend 7 – 8 August: bathfestivals.org.uk/the-bath-festival/finale-weekend/More news