Big Gig 2016 Finalists Announced!
The 10 finalists to perform in the Big Gig 2016 live heats have now been selected by judges as the sixth year of Cardiff’s most credible music talent competition prepares to take to the stage.
Shortlisted Artists will now go on to battle it out in front of well-respected industry professionals including Media Wales journalist Dave Owens, Francis Brown of New Sound Wales, Andrew Plain of Musicbox Studios, former Coldplay manager Estelle Wilkinson and previous winners Maddie Jones and Scott Mckeon from Rusty Shackle. They will judge their performances during the semi-finals which take place on Wednesday 22 June and Thursday 23 June at the city’s legendary Clwb Ifor Bach, with the six best acts going on to perform in the finals on Friday 15 July.
The overall winner will receive a prize package designed to help them further their career in the music industry including recording and rehearsal time at Music Box Studios working with REM producer Charlie Francis, an interview and coverage with Media Wales, a headline gig promoted by New Sound Wales, a support gig at Clwb Ifor Bach, and new for 2016, £1000 worth of kit kindly donated by the new music store on St Mary Street Cardiff, PMT (Professional Music Technology) and world renowned audio brand Shure.
The 2016 finalists who will perform on Wednesday 22nd June are;
The Moonbirds- 5 boys from Merthyr Tydfil who throw dirty blues, seething guitar lines, and harp-riddled outbursts onto a crotch thrusting, lip-biting groove known as “drunk-funk”.
Fountainhead- A six piece electric folk band that have played in locations from Barcelona and Belgium. A refined a soulful happy summery sound with strong songs.
Naomi Rae- Inspired by everything from 70’s funk to 90’s pop, her soul infused tunes showcase her incredible pipes and her Bond-esque ballad ‘liar’ proves she’s a skilled songwriter who can deliver atomic-sized anthems.
Holiday in the Mind- Dancy, abstract, psychedelic, electronic, original, sweet and soothing sounds from a brilliant young family-based group. Original yet accessible,
Shop Girls- The Shop Girls play short, catchy, moving, funny pop/rock n’ roll songs which stick in people’s heads forever. They have supported C Duncan at Clwb Ifor Bach and the Blockheads and are about to record an EP this month.
The finalists to perform on Thursday 23rd June are;
Dave Morris and the Knock – Chilled folk, dirty blues, atmospheric soul, trippy country and good, old-fashioned rock and strong songs from Dave and a group of top musicians from the Cardiff scene.
Olivia and the Saint- Finalists last year, twenty something Olivia fuses dance, rock, jazz and latin tropicalia into sharp pop songs; The band’s debut EP, ‘Showgirl’, was released in Spring 2016 garnering plays on Nation Radio and BBC Wales.
The Brwmys- Foot-stomping, jig-tastic future folk from Cardiff, playing an eclectic mix of up-tempo world music! This popular Cardiff band has been rocking the festival scene for a few years now and are always fun.
Fire Fences- Fire Fences are a 4-piece indie rock band based in South Wales. From Bridgend to London and even all the way to Los Angeles, Fire Fences have made a very big impact with their music in their short three year tenure on the scene.
Himalayas- An Indie–Rock band from Cardiff known as a great live band. Their songs are melodic and fresh with cheeky lyrics and hook lines so catchy you can hang your hat on them.
New for 2016, will see finalists joined by former contestants who will perform in celebration of the Big Gig’s impact on the local band scene. 2013 winner Maddie Jones will play at the final on 15 July whilst previous finalists Tibet and Junior Bill, whose singers first came into prominence via the Big Gig, will play on the 22nd June and Junior Bill on the 23rd June.
Cabinet Member for Community Development, Co-operatives and Social Enterprise, Cllr Peter Bradbury said: “The Big Gig has established itself as a credible talent search on the Cardiff music scene and gives musicians from South Wales the opportunity to showcase their music in the heart of the city.
“Historically the competition has helped launch the careers of some musicians who have gone on to become successful artists so I encouraged people to get your tickets to see who could be the next big thing to come out of Wales.”
Over the last five years hundreds of artists have entered the competition which has helped to launch the careers of many popular South Wales’ acts including Albatross Archive in 2014, Maddie Jones in 2013 and Rusty Shackle in 2012, as well as finalists Ellie Makes Music and Palomino Party and has become an important stepping stone for young bands to gain wider attention.
2013 Big Gig winner Maddie Jones released her new album Colour Me In earlier this year, receiving rave reviews. Her previous album, Vita Brevis was voted one of the New Sound Wales best 50 albums of the year, recognising her as one of the major stars of the South Wales Music scene.
Since winning in 2012, Rusty Shackle have gone on to tour Europe & the USA, playing gigs at Glastonbury Festival, Music City Roots in Nashville, and Wakarusa Festival in Arkansas. The band is now embarking on their second UK tour, coinciding with the release of their third studio album, Dusk. Many other acts who have taken part in The Big Gig have gone on to appear at Sŵn Festival and have been recognised regularly in the South Wales Echo’s top 40 new bands lists.
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