Hull, is perhaps, not the first Northern UK port that people think of as a hub of musical innovation, but it has given the world The Housemartins, The Beautiful South and Throbbing Gristle, not to mention a large proportion of the Spiders From Mars. With Hull named 2017 UK City Of Culture, we go to the East Riding of Yorkshire to find 20 bands that you need to hear now.
Hull Punks LIFE first came to our attention last year with the release of their single ‘Old Boots’. They also made it onto our recent British New Wave list, being one of the most exciting guitar bands on the current emerging scene, so it would be remiss not to include them on this list of Hull bands as well, to get things going.
Now is the time to ‘Get Familiar’ with Bud Sugar’s unique refreshing mix of indie, reggae, hip hop and uke vibes. It’s catchy, happy and it will make you feel good whilst it relays its message. Their EP ‘VIBE’ is out now, and their very creative videos are also worth a watch.
The Dyr Sister
One of the most artistically ambitious artists on our list, The Dyr Sister sounds like some wonderful collaboration between Thom Yorke and Shirley Collins. With the latter putting folk back on the map at the end of last year, there’s no better time to check out The Dyr Sister’s solo approach to performance and song-making.
Chiedu Oraka is being credited both locally and further afield for championing the urban scene of Hull, and challenging preconceptions of the city itself, with his artful hip-hop wordplay. Definitely one to watch for 2017.
Black Lime are a four-piece rock band that have made a strong, darker and more doom-laden than average rock and roll sound for themselves that will appeal to fans of Queens Of The Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys and the Rancho De La Luna gang. Check out ‘Sucker Punch’. New material expected soon.
La Bête Blooms
Signed to Hull indie label, Adult Teeth, La La Bête Blooms are a new-wave orientated alt-rock guitar band, who are not afraid to turn up the distortion, but also quite happy to perform unplugged. Watch ‘Stay Away’ below.
Already a critically acclaimed indie rock band, despite their youthful 18-19 years old, Fronteers formed when their guitarist and singer were brought together by a mutual appreciation of The Last Shadow Puppets.
Making it onto our list with their members being 50 per cent Hull/East Yorkshire and 50 per cent Leeds/West Yorkshire; an authentic hardcore/punk band whose energetic vocalist, Emma (pictured below), seems to be channelling the legendary Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex to great effect. The prominence of the hardcore/punk scene in Hull has been largely attributed to Hull Noise Collective who have promoted the heavier genres in Hull since 2013.
Tapping into the same scene as Natterers, Less deceived describe themselves as “Anthemic four-to-six chord punk rock with woahs, yeahs, and glass-raising choruses”.
A different take on the punk genre to Natterers and Less Deceived, Lumer have a dystopian musical aesthetic pitched perfectly somewhere between Bauhaus and Nirvana with bass distorted to the edge of recognition.
Another artist on Adult Teeth. Described as “A terrific piece of observational pop music with a wry sense of humour” by BBC 6 Music taste maker Steve Lamacq, My Pleasure’s ‘weird-pop’ is weirdly catchy. Watch the Clockwork Orange inspired vide for the solo artist’s recent song ‘I Want To Keep This Feeling Going’, taken from the 2016 EP 'Party Popper'
Not really a band as such, but certainly the source of some of the most interesting Electronic music on the Hull scene. SquareWaves is a collective of musicians and producers who perform together and hold improvised sessions and open electronic music jams (called ‘Zoodles’).
No prizes for guessing who’s this band’s favourite Bond. Surprisingly quirky indie rock ’n’ roll that manages to keep one toe in the 1960s whilst sounding fresh and modern.
As mentioned earlier in the post, folk music seemed to get some of its identity back at the end of last year, and, Yorkshire, and ports, have always been great places for British folk music. Katie Spencer’s songs have a folky quality at their heart and a timeless maturity, despite her own young age. To introduce yourself watch her short film below.
Despite their somewhat disconcerting name, Sex Injuries are a promisingly loud and irreverent Metalcore five-piece with multiple voices and harmonising guitars that have won over fans from the punk/metal crowd as well as a wider audience.
Liberatae Mae's Latin unsurprisingly translates roughly as 'free me'. Check out their liberally loud and unrelenting song 'Pallbearer' below.
Challenging preconceptions of what rock band from Hull look like and sound like. Izzy Thomas is like some modern day alternative incarnation of Bonnie Tyler, complete with husky voice.
EndOfLevelBaddie are a four-piece, mask wearing, computer game referencing electronic dance outfit promising to get your party started. Hear their new track ‘I Make It’ below.
We found out about these guys following a tip from LIFE (who appear earlier in on the list). 'Life's Rough' is there eloquent indie punk jibe at the superficially absorbing nature of social media and its like-greedy culture. For fans of The Fall and Buzzcocks.
Wrapping up the list at only 15 years old, Yasmin Coe’s cover of Wolf Alice’s ‘Your Love’s Whore’ has caught attention in Hull, especially with its release on Christmas Day via the UK City Of Culture 2017 website. Watch it here.
In addition to the artists mentioned above there were many others that we didn't have room to include, but who are all worth a follow to stay up to date and find out when they are playing near you, including: Bitmap, The Colour Line, Pearl’s Cab Ride, Emma Fee, Counting Coins, The Talks, DAZE, Signs Of Home, Battalions and Stimpy Myth.
Huge thanks to all of those who made suggestions or got in touch to be involved.