Music fans are paying extra attention to the ‘ones to watch’ lists for 2021.
After a rough twelve months (which cancelled thousands of gigs and left the handful of surviving shows to proceed in unusual, socially-distanced formats), a symbolic fresh start is exactly what the industry needed.
Live gigs’ dormant era may finally come to an end next year; a chapter that will surely go down in history as one of the most cathartic and triumphant in music history. Understandably, fans want to get to know the artists who will be riding the crest of a famous wave when gigs return.
The first place people are looking to find these new musicians is, naturally, the north.
Manchester established a reputation for itself as an innovator, trend-breaker and bar-raiser many decades ago, and every December the nation cups its ears and leans towards the Rainy City to eavesdrop on the local talent tipped to soundtrack the upcoming year.
One band already been touted for big things is the Wigan-born ensemble The Lathums – who have been added to the BBC’s prestigious ‘Sounds of’ list (which has a knack of pinpointing Britain’s next breakout stars).
But there’s another group who’ve been making a racket on the local circuit over the past couple of years – selling out venues across the region before they’ve even finished a first full studio album.
The four piece – who hail from Failsworth and Tameside – burst onto the Manchester music scene in 2017 and have turned heads for their earwormy blend of jangly indie rock ever since; a crossbreed of Britpop, late noughties indie pop, and post-punk revival.
Since signing for Golden Robot Records, Callow Youth have been the focus of music magazines and featured on BBC Radio – with their single ‘Red Leather’ reaching number 3 on the UK vinyl singles chart.
Pre-pandemic, the group had been booking sellout shows across the country – including a rowdy performance in March at Manchester city centre’s iconic gig venue Deaf Institute.
Their rising star on the live circuit was brought back down to earth by COVID, but Callow Youth have sustained the momentum in the studio by continuing to write new music through the rest of 2020.
Callow Youth’s singles so far – including ‘Rough’, ‘Did It Really Matter?’ and ‘Wake Up’ – manage to evoke the sound of chart-topping noughties rock (sporadically reminiscent of The Wombats, The Courtneers, and The Vaccines) whilst simultaneously feeling completely fresh and modern; buoyed by palpable pace and energy.
Their latest track ‘Over Your Head’ – a post-punk-style production that offers a narrative on daily life in Britain and the effects of social deprivation – was released on December 14 and has already racked up thousands of plays on streaming sites to give the group a strong footing for 2021.
There’ll be dozens of bands jostling for a place on those stages when venues are finally allowed to reopen. Don’t be surprised to see Callow Youth right there in amongst it.
You can download their latest single, ‘Over Your Head’, online now.
The Killers to play THREE huge gigs in Manchester next summer
The Killers have announced three massive arena shows here in Manchester for next summer on their Rebel Diamonds Tour.
The Las Vegas indie rock legends have announced the tour to celebrate 20 years of hits together, and will release a brand new compilation album of the same name next week.
The Rebel Diamonds Tour will mark the first time The Killers have played arena shows in the UK since 2017, though they wowed huge crows with their summer show at Emirates Old Trafford cricket ground last summer.
The Killers will be at the Co-op Live arena for three nights in June 2024, with other shows announced in Dublin, London and Glasgow.
The group, consisting of Brandon Flowers (vocals), Ronnie Vannucci Jr. (drums), Dave Keuning (guitar), and Mark Stoermer (bass), are behind massive hits including Mr Brightside, When You Were Young, Read My Mind and Human.
They’ll bring together some of those huge hits from their back catalogue into the new Rebel Diamond album.
It will feature at least one song from each of the band’s seven studio albums, from their groundbreaking debut Hot Fuss to the band’s latest release Pressure Machine.
Brandon Flowers said of the record: “See it’s been said that what’s remembered lives, and we’ve racked up stadiums full of memories the past twenty years, enough to fill lifetimes. Twenty songs for twenty years – Rebel Diamonds.”
The Killers will perform at the Co-Op Live in Manchester on 18, 19 and 21 June 2024.
Tickets will go on sale at 9.30am on Friday 8 December through See Tickets.
Troye Sivan announces huge Manchester gig on European tour
Pop superstar Troye Sivan has just announced a massive gig in Manchester on his upcoming tour.
The Rush singer shared the news with a video posted on his social media, saying he is ‘so nervous’ to announce the tour.
The tour will come in support of his third studio album Something to Give Each Other.
Troye Sivan, who is nominated for two Grammy Awards this year, said he’s created the show to be ‘the best night of your life’.
The Australian singer’s tour dates will take him to cities including Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam and London, kicking off in Lisbon on 29 May.
He will reach the Manchester AO Arena on 22 June 2024.
In a video posted on TikTok and Instagram, Troye said: “When we wrote ‘Something to Give Each Other’, we wrote it as a live show. And I’ve been so nervous to announce this because I want this to be THE pop show.