I’m a big fan of supporting small bands. I love local gigs, I love buying their CDs and merch, I love photographing them and I love watching them get more and more successful.
Here are 5 awesome bands who you might not have heard of (yet) but are sure to fall in love with when you hear how incredible their music is!
1) I Said Yes
I discovered this band a couple of months ago when James sent me a link to their music video for Bad. I immediately fell in love with their sound, which is obviously influenced by folk, and set about searching for as much of their music as I could.
Unfortunately I’ve not been lucky enough to see these guys live yet but I’d really love to one day. Until then, I’m left listening to some of their stunning live performances on Youtube instead.
2) Release The Bats
I stumbled upon these guys on Youtube one day. I was on a bit of a new music binge clicking from one video to the next and was immediately drawn to these guys. They’re probably the heaviest band on the list but even if that’s not normally your sort of thing I’d recommend giving them a listen!
They have this awesome alternative rock sound with so much energy; they’re exactly the kind of band I would LOVE to photograph on stage!
Grab their first album here (or you can pop into Truck in Oxford like I did!)
I was lucky enough to see these guys’ first ever gig in Oxford a couple of months ago and was completely blown away by them! They sounded so well rehearsed and professional I would never have known it was their first gig if they hadn’t said. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera with me to get any photos of the that night, but I’m keen to see them again and photograph them!
Just to warn you, you will not be able to get Don’t Talk About Paula out of your head! They have this really catchy 80s pop kind of sound but manage to make it so much cooler than you’d expect. Plus, to make things even cooler, they’ve released their first few songs on tape! TAPE. It’s wonderful and immediately after seeing them I just new I had to buy it (and don’t worry, for those of you not stuck in the 90s like me, it comes with an MP3 download).
4. Willie J Healey
I’ve been lucky enough to see this guy perform twice now, both times supporting Spring Offensive in Oxford, but I wish it was more! He’s one of the few people I know who can capture the attention of an entire room within seconds of playing with just his voice and a guitar. On stage he’s so charismatic and he engages with the audience so well you can’t help but smile throughout his entire set.
He’s releasing his debut EP in just under a month and I cannot recommend pre-ordering it enough (I’ve already pre-ordered mine and I can’t wait until May!).
And follow him on Twitter – he’s not only an awesome singer but a lovely guy too!
5. The Dreaming Spires
Another Oxford band here (are you sensing a pattern yet?) who I discovered after I saw Robin Bennett perform a solo set one Sunday afternoon at my local community centre (he was joined by Stornoway’s Brian Briggs and The Brickwork Lizards who were both wonderful!). They’re probably the biggest band on my list in terms of success, although they’re still nowhere near as big as they deserve to be!
After seeing him perform Not Every Song From The Sixties Is A Classic, which I fell in love with, I immediately went home and bought their first album, Brothers in Brooklyn.
Like I said before, I absolutely love supporting local bands and bands who aren’t (yet!) huge, so make sure you check out all their music, share it around and go along to as many gigs as you can!
If you have any more suggestions for great local bands, drop me a comment because I’d love to check them out!