Off The Record ‘17 – the best of the best!


Through the power of spotify we’ve picked up snippets of the bands being showcased for this years Off The Record conference/festival/music industry gathering.

“Russ can you pick your favourites from the bands being showcased at the OTR event please, is the request” It’s a tough one considering the curators included Louder than war, Bluedot, Kendal Calling and Sound City. Each artist is picked on individual merit and when going for the chosen acts that I’ll be taking in I’m hoping they’ll be no clashes on this run down! The event is championed by Elbows Guy Garvey, John Robb and communities like Silent Radio, Popped Music and Get into this. It’s set to be very good indeed!.

Here’s some of the bands I’ll be checking out over the couple of days and it might serve as a steer in the right direction for you too. Have a good OTR 2017!

100 fables start the list off with a joy division influenced gritty pop tune, Wake Up. The drums are suitably tinned, the bass sounds low slung and the vocals are cheeky. Reminiscent of Powder, Salad with significantly more punch.

Brooke Bentham delivers harmonies a plenty and a truly melodic groove, heavy on the keys, and an easy to listen tempo with evocative (or is that provocative) vocals. Fantastic range on the voice and I’m interested to sample more from their set.

Byrde are channelling Garbage Shirley Manson with a good wrapping of Cardigans, another fantastic female vocal with a deep groove. Worth checking these out.

Cassia are fantastic and hail from my home town of Macclesfield. Think lofi punk and a laziness to the vocals a kin to Caleb from Kings of Leon (early days), chuck in a smattering of Vampire Weekend and if you’re up for that blend get into their set and sup the brew!

Control of the going pull on a very strong guitar sound, the jangle of Marr which is so sought after and with the technical licks of Squire, cobainesque growl on the lead and you’ve got a very full live sound I imagine.

Eliza Shaddad soft voice and dubbed out drums/bass backline offers a stoner melody that should pound right into your chest with deep tones to the voice and groove on their offering of ‘Wars’. It’ll be interesting to discover more.

FEHM channels Hooky’s bass and editors groove, vocals are haunting and set firmly in the centre of the synth heavy melodies. Another set of jangling guitar to set off the sound. Dark and mysterious. I’m interested to seeing this live.

Jakl stand out on the playlist and their self titled theme of the Jackal shows big range of vocals and quiet loud mix to pull in any music fan.

JW Ridley  gives a nearly spoken word intro with electro heavy backdrop, building into a mixed epic which is like Jarvis Cocker Pulp and more on the dark side rather than cheeky pop.

Koalas  give us an LCD Soundsystem meets Chromatics outlook of dark electro sound. Think Drive soundtrack, Wolf Alice, After Dark compilations (Italians do it better).

Layfullstop covers the urban beat and spitting rhymes over a traditional hip hop beat. The rythmn feels more left-eye than latifa and in a very guitar based line up it’s a welcome stretch into other genres.

Low Island give similarities to Django Django and have a brilliant dance groove to their electronic guitar based sound. If their other tracks sound like ‘the Lines’ they’ll be a bouncing floor watching them at OTR.

The Blinders have been getting a lot of media coverage recently and their stomp into Manchester for OTR when listening to Brave New World gives similarities to Kasabian with a a likeness to the marching metronomic chant and wailing mantras. Sounding great and as a full sound they’ll be one to watch this year.

Sugarmen deliver a fantastic rolling classic melodic rock sound with tints of glam and punk sound – AC is the point of reference and has drops of cosmic synths and repeats. Their set will have a good groove and I imagine more soundtracked surprises.

River Matthews – sound like they can write a hook and deliver it with a deep west mississippi beat. They have a classic sound which is given with a full sound and powerful vocals. This will be received well live and will have the crowd bouncing.

Well all im all a packed list of great music and it was almost impossible picking out the best of such a good bunch of new acts. Now the impossible but glorious task of squeezing them all in :). On to off the record.

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