Abel Tesfaye's dark, twisted album is at odds with the glossy pop world he's been thrust into
It needs a miracle. On a night when temperatures outside hover around zero, it's going to take something pretty special to make us glad we ventured out...
It seems unfair to expect that from London-based Scottish duo Electric Music during their first ever gig, but they have no problems delivering. Built round a couple of stools and the haunting, wistful tones of singer and music journalist Tom Doyle, Electric Music are the newest, most gorgeous acoustic band around and - don't panic - the complete antithesis to Gay Dad. Instead, they tread softly between Talk Talk and Shack, and tracks like the fragile, bewitching 'Showstopper' sound like they might melt if you breathe too hard in their direction. Let's hope they don't get crushed in the excitement bound to ensue once a few more people hear them, then.
The Justin Lewis Orchestra are at least rather more sturdy. Nine members including a cellist, trumpet player and Justin himself on vocals, they're Sheffield-based and still counting gigs in single figures. With so many people involved, it therefore doesn't seem at all bizarre when they draw simultaneous inspiration from Portishead, Bach, Duke Ellington and Radiohead, yet avoid sounding like anyone at all. Add to this Justin's soft, angelic voice and the crowd are curiously open-mouthed, hypnotised and certainly not thinking of the waiting frost.
Something in his relaxed but defiant pose tells you Justin Lewis has waited for this moment. And, though you might not know it yet, so have we.
The Cavan teenagers attack album two with abandon, largely at the expense of quality
A still-vital John Lydon rages towards retirement on a saucy, scuzzy new album
10 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (26/8/2015)
Oxford's finest flit between gnarly rock and frustrating slickness on an often-brilliant fourth album