UK indie legend CHRIS HELME (THE SEAHORSES) headlines with support from Edinburgh songwriter CHRIS BRADLEY (‘a big talent in the making’ – The Sunday Times) – and Oban troubadour MIKE NISBET (‘incredibly graceful… Rufus Wainwright-esque’ – Curious Joe blog).


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Chris Helme (The Seahorses)

Chris Helme, who first rose to prominence as the front man of John Squire’s post-Stone Roses band ‘The Seahorses’ released his brand new solo album on the 27th of August 2012. Still rightfully remembered for the anthemic Britpop classics Love Is The Law and Blinded By The Sun - songs that evoked everything the 90’s stood for, the excitement, the culture and the bands that provided a voice in a period of political and social imbalance. Present day societal context may well in fact mirror those times but the man himself, now, appears cut from an entirely different cloth.

Helme’s is an enviable back catalogue, bolstered further by his acclaimed works with The Yards, but it’s The Rookery’s knack for melody and imaginative, intricate, three-way guitar interplay that brings each track to such lush, blossoming, climaxes. Add to this Helme’s keen ear for arranging and those brooding string passages resonate even more deeply.

Recorded in just 9 days at The Rookery, a country hideaway nestled in the wilds of the Yorkshire Dales, the album reveals a beguiling vulnerability in both Helme’s voice and lyrics. The wonderfully restrained Darkest Days’ somber refrain, ‘Following you, leads me astray’, rings out with the sentiment of changing direction, putting paid to past misdemeanors, while on the forthcoming single Long Way Round, Helme is found resolute in his plaintive cry, ‘Now you’ve found yourself, you’re on your own’. An apt lyric indeed as his solo path turns this dramatic corner.

There is plenty on offer here as Chris and producer Sam Forrest (Nine Black Alps) showcase their depth of sonic understanding as fuzzed out guitars are married with distorted Mellotron, melting strings, whistling feedback and haunting orchestral vocals.

Melodies rooted in traditional folk structures are vividly reimagined on an album of startlingly rich variation. Even the Rolling Stones’ stomp of Daddy’s Farm bookended between the blues filth of Pleased and the gorgeously mellow Summer Girl, doesn’t stick out, testament to Helme’s most powerful weapon – his voice.

This aspect to his music was never in question. From the earliest days of his career, his voice always commanded attention, and The Rookery’s variation is seemingly bound by this one continuous thread. File next to CSN&Y, Led Zeppelin 3, Buckley, The Coral, and enjoy.

Chris Bradley

Following the success of his 2008 debut Voices, Edinburgh-based singer songwriter and Aberfeldy guitarist Chris Bradley releases his 2nd solo album. Competing against over 10,000 musicians nationally, Chris shone through at the Area Finals of UK’s largest talent search, Live & Unsigned, making it through to the judges top five. He also reached the finals of the ISC competition out of 15,500 entries worldwide, for Best Music Video for ‘Two My Ears’. New album At The Outpost (released 29th March on 17 Seconds Records) was written, produced and performed entirely by Chris except for a guitar solo from Aberfeldy frontman Riley Briggs on the song ‘The Beatles’. As well as his own songs he has been successfully composing for TV and radio in Scotland.

See the video for ‘To My Ears’ and latest single ‘Waltzing’ (released in February accompanied by a brand new animation video by Dave Lemm):

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Mike Nisbet

Vagrant is the debut album from Oban-born musician Mike Nisbet. A Diving Bell Production, it was recorded in Glasgow in October 2010 by Marcus Mackay (Snow Patrol, Frightened Rabbit, Sparrow & The Workshop) and will be released on (9/06/2011). The release will be preceded by single (Not Long)

Though only 22 years old, Nisbet’s talents have flourished since his interest in music began. “I’ve been playing and writing music for years,” he says. “With ‘Vagrant’, it feels like I’ve really found my stride. The Diving Bell and Marcus’ involvement was really important to the whole process.

Simple acoustic guitar and percussion, married with vocals that belie Nisbet’s young age, succeed in creating a resonant escape to the desert, a personal and emotional travelogue through themes of waywardness, discontentment, relationships and fear.

While the album’s subject matter may be imbued with a real sense of its creator’s unsettled frame of mind, it soundly captures Nisbet’s love of traditional folk and rootsy Americana and confidently presents an accessible album of ideas that, says Nisbet, “I hope many people will find themselves relating to in one way or another.”

Advance tickets £7 / £9 on the door. Over 18 only.