2013 marks the 25th anniversary of a certain young band from Glasgow’s first public concert.
That night in March 1988, nobody looking towards the stage of Dundee University students’ union would have been any the wiser about the unknown and unsigned vision before them. A female-fronted quartet with a twangy, gang-like swagger harking back to the pout and punch of Blondie and The Pretenders a decade earlier. The singer, a sultry, scarlet-lipped 20-year-old tomboy with an ink-black shake of hair, a telecaster at her hip like a gunslinger poised to draw. And the music itself. A modern sound sequined with vintage flashes of soul, country and 50s jukebox pop, as if blasted from some self-constructed fantasy city neither Glasgow nor Memphis but a rock’n’roll town planner’s daydream in between. A sound which the world duly came to know as Texas.
Jools Holland is a composer, pianist, bandleader and broadcaster.
From playing pubs in the East End docks as a teenage greaser, to leading his rhythm and blues orchestra and selling millions of records this century, it is his passion for music that has made Jools Holland into a doyen of the music scene.
Everyone adores Alison Moyet; the Basildon punk, the high priestess of electronic pop, and the peerless soul singer who has warmed our big British hearts since the early 1980s.
In the last decade, Moyet has taken other career turns. She has played Mama Morton in the West End hit musical, Chicago; acted with best friend Dawn French in the Kathy Burke-directed play, Smaller; narrated jazz documentaries for Jazz FM; reformed Yazoo with Vince Clarke for a triumphant reunion tour in 2008; and recently toured the UK as the guest of the Academy Award-winning French composer, Michel Le Grand. Married to her second husband, David, with three children aged 24, 21 and 13, she is a grown-up for us all to be proud of – and a woman finally enjoying the legacy of her brilliant back catalogue.
Cheeky chappies Loveable Rogues charmed the Britain’s Got Talent audience – and judges – with their witty self-penned song “Lovesick” during the audition stage. The feel-good tune sent them through to the next round and caused a million crushes all over the country. They came back even stronger in the Semi Finals – singing the stupendously catchy song once more, and sailing through to the BGT Final.
Born and bred in Poole, Dorset, Moya grew up on her mother’s music collection, a combination of Motown, soul, jazz and disco: “All the big Motown and soul artists have played a big part in moulding me into the singer I am today,” says Moya. Her first foray into music was with her sisters, before joining a Saturday stage school at the age of 6, where she had her first taste of performing. As a teenager, Moya continued to write music and perform at open mic nights, before finally deciding to move to Brighton last year, to pursue her career full time.
The last few years have been a journey for The Longsands: Two self-penned singles, battling Take That for HMV’s best-seller shelf-space; two UK tours, culminating in a glorious sold-out Sage Gateshead homecoming; commissioned to record the Newcastle United walk-on tune (guests of honour at St James’ Park on its debut).
Natasha Haws has been making her mark on North East music now for just over a year. Following the release of debut EP 'Stepping Stone' and follow up single 'Stranger', the singer-songwriter has gone on to receive airplay from BBC Radio 1's Huw Stephens as well as becoming a firm favourite on BBC 6Music and BBC Introducing shows across the country. Natasha's songs are laden with her trademark vulnerability and foreboding, telling the tales of moral entanglements and true love's poor-timing. Her intensity has earned her comparisons to likes of PJ Harvey, Zola Jesus and Bat For Lashes. Over the last twelve months, Natasha Haws has supported the likes of Lucy Rose, Willy Mason, The Little Comets, Karims Francis and The Futureheads.
Twister are a 4 piece Pop/Rock band from the North East of England. They are a high energy, young and exciting four piece, fronted by charismatic Stevie Stoker, who certainly knows how to work a crowd. Twister have a natural ability to connect with the audience and with a set list of rock/pop anthems and a dedicated following they are renowned for giving an amazing show every time they perform.