Radar Guest Column: Felix White of The Maccabees On The UK’s Best New Bands, From The Big Moon To Crows

In the latest of NME’s regular new music columns, The Maccabess’ Felix White bigs up the new breed of British bands. Read why and listen to the lot below.

I was glad to be able to see Wolf Alice headline O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire recently. I came away thinking how good it was to see a band who’ve been playing venues all the way up achieve something really tangible. It felt reassuring. Special mention to The Magic Gang, too, who were supporting. They have the un-teachable knack of looking like they genuinely love playing with each other. It’s a very contagious thing. The way they bounded around onstage even made me feel sentimental about how we would have behaved before we all developed differing degrees of back problems. Allied with an obvious and natural sense of melody, it makes them very likeable.

As a side note, on leaving that gig I couldn’t help but feel how another London venue, the Astoria, is deeply missed in the capital now. It was a real rite of passage for me [before being closed down to make way for Crossrail in 2009], and it’s sad that bands like those two can’t tick it off as well. The Coronet in Elephant & Castle, one of the closest venues in structure to the Astoria, is also being threatened with closure, and we’d encourage anyone to make their voice heard in trying to halt another step in the constant bulldozing of what holds live music up in the capital.

Anyway, back to the music. While I haven’t seen Crows live yet, my brother assures me they have the best frontman around – so that’s on my to-do list. And also there’s The Big Moon, who NME’s own Lisa Wright told me last week are a must-see. Their debut single ‘Sucker’ suggests she’s probably right.

Four albums in but new to me is Toro Y Moi. I hope more learned readers will also forgive me for admitting that being invited to see him at London’s Oval Space was the first I’d heard of him. It was absolutely brilliant. It must have affected me in some way, as we ended up getting vinyl signed by him, which I haven’t done since I queued up to meet The Hives aeons ago. That new record, ‘What For?’ is all Teenage Fanclub melodies, a really addictive listen.

Meanwhile, our new record is finally finished. As anyone who has worked on anything for three years will tell you, to have it done is a relief, and it all suddenly feels worth it. The first tour back takes place this week and includes a show at the aforementioned Coronet. I look forward to seeing some of you there.

Wolf Alice – Wolf Alice – I Saw You (In A Corridor)

The Magic Gang – Alright

Crows – Crawling

The Big Moon – Sucker