In partnership with Papa John’s
Wednesday night (September 29) saw NME and Papa John’s turn an exclusive venue in London into the House Of Papa for one night only. Over 100 fans (including ByteSquad HQ members Shauni, Jake, Em and Loz, who broadcast the event live on their social media platforms) were in attendance to enjoy Papa John’s new Fresh Soul range all night – pizzas so big on feel-good flavours that they make your soul sing.
There was great live music, too. With DJ Jess Iszatt on the decks, and a line-up that showcased some of the most exciting new musical talent on the planet, lucky revellers had the chance to see some recent NME Radar stars in an intimate setting.
Kicking off the proceedings with his recent TikTok smash ‘Roses’, Finn Askew wowed with his effortless combination of DIY-minded pop hooks and gritty rap verses. “Shout out Papa John’s – I love their pulled meat pizza, man,” he said at one point, laughing. As he aired new singles ‘Adidas’ and ‘Tokyo’, Askew commanded the crowd with a rousing performance, leaving fans hungry for more.
Lo-fi singer-songwriter Cathy Jain also hit the stage to get in on a slice of the action. Unveiling psych-inspired material from her forthcoming EP ‘Artificial’ (which is set to drop on November 5), the 17-year-old uplifted her personal, diaristic songs with dreamy guitar lines and honeyed vocals, which soared on a gorgeous rendition of her debut single, ‘Cool Kid’.
For Edinburgh-born vocalist and guitarist Brooke Combe, NME and Papa John’s House Of Papa event marks the first of many gigs this autumn, as she’ll be hitting the road for a run of headline dates later this year, before supporting Miles Kane on tour in early 2022. Her five-song set included soulful numbers ‘A-Game’ and ‘Are You With Me?’, before she treated fans to the live debut of her new break-up banger, ‘Oh Boy’.
To close off the night in style, BaggE – the north London singer and voice of Papa John’s new global campaign – took the opportunity to share with everyone that she’s working on new material, before shimmying through her dazzling tracks, including the new Fresh Soul campaign track. She brought the tunes from her 2020 EP ‘What About Summer?’, playing songs such as ‘Everytime’ and ‘Sorry About That’, on which she collaborated with Dwyer.
As BaggE’s irrepressible soul earworms filled the venue, she wrapped up a gig that was by turns exciting and uplifting, ending with fans and artists dancing together as one.