Preview: Wide Days 2016

Named as Best Networking Event at the Yearly Music Convention Awards in 2014 and as the runner-up in the same category the following year, over the last six years Wide Days has attracted key music industry players from across the UK, US and Europe.

The Edinburgh-based conference’s showcase programme has built a strong reputation over the years for featuring a snapshot of upcoming Scottish talent from a diverse range of genres.

 

Hosted consecutively across three of Edinburgh’s well-established venues, the gigs are attended by close to 700 people.

Last year’s acts included Kathryn Joseph, who went on to win the Scottish Album of Year last year, as well has Mercury Music Prize-nominee C Duncan and recently signed to Luv Luv Luv Records Catholic Action.

Bearing this in mind we look towards this year’s chosen six, pleased to see a few familiar names…

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Best Girl Athlete

Releasing tracks layered with all intelligence and maturity of an established musician it’s remarkable to find that this is the music of teenager Katie Buchan, also known as Best Girl Athlete.

From a young age Buchan’s father, Scottish folk-musician CS Buchan, provided her with the opportunity to sing publicly with him around shows in north-eastern Scotland.

These experiences are displayed in wise lyrics removed from any teenybopper fluff.

Each track features well thought-out musical arrangements made up by atmospheric keyboards, soothing strings and elegant vocals, truly showcase the father/daughter collective’s talent.

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Be Charlotte

Writing her own music has always been important to Dundonian singer Charlotte Brimner, and her unique lyrical and vocal style is a testament to this. Playing under the moniker Be Charlotte, Brimner’s has managed to produce a number of pop songs with the ability to cross genres.

Breaking the boundaries of what it means to be a singer-songwriter, not only does Brimner sing, but also raps and beatboxes, truly utilising her vocals to their full potential and showcasing her technical ability.

Her innovative performance demonstrates the pastel haired younger’s artistic talent as well as her determination and ability to pave her own way in the music industry.

The first two showcases of the evening will take place at the Pleasance Theatre shortly after the last panel finishes.

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Elle Exxe

With four singles already under her belt, multiple sync placements on British National Television as well as previous support slots with Professor Green and Jess Glynne, Edinburgh’s Elle Exxe is surely one to watch.

The dirty pop diva combines her confident vocals with electro melodies and glitchy basslines to create a sound that is equally unique and current.

Taking her role as an entertainer seriously, Elle Exxe aims to give her audiences the best night of their lives; previous performances have included cheerleaders, a giant cat head (also known as Pussy LaRae) and a handcrafted giant strobing X.

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Tongues

Beginning as frontman Tim Kwant’s solo project, while he travelled the world, Tounges became a full band shortly after he accidently set early material as public on Soundcloud.

he aforementioned track went on to receive far more attention then originally planned, being played almost 10,000 in just few days.

Combining husky harmonies, electric guitars and spellbinding synths Tongues have everything they need to create their own unique brand of electronic anthems.

While their live show, which incorporates five keyboards, live drums, guitar, bass and three sets of vocals, focuses on delivering a highly engaging and energetic performance.

The second pair of showcases will take place at the new addition to this year’s venues, La Belle Angèle.

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The Van T’s

Nostalgic yet thirst-quenchingly fresh twins Hannah and Chloe Van Thomson have been re-working 50s pop riffs in a modern context as The Van T’s.

Joined by Joanne Forbes and Shaun Hood the four-piece have created a sound laced with grunge-fuelled guitars, sublime harmonies and a dash of surf rock.

Influenced by the positive and negative experiences of dealing with their late teens, The Van T’s create songs that are personal to their own lives but relatable to ours.

With a sound that has already been labelled the “new smell of teen spirit” and live show packed full of attitude and swagger, you’ll be begging to join The Van T’s gang.

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Scumpulse

Promising a high-energy performance of good quality punk infused black metal, Scumpulse are certainly different from anything Wide Days has seen before.

Formed from the death of Blackened Crust and Fifteen Dead, the four-piece have gone on to play a variety of DIY festivals and sold out the first pressing their debut EP.

Proud of their music and their scene Scumpulse also recently headlined Vomfest, the festival they founded two years earlier in an attempt to get punk and metal acts from across the country to interact further.

Receiving plenty of interest and praise both Vomfest and Scumpulse possess the capacity to continue growing throughout 2016.

The final of the evening’s showcases will take place at Electric Circus.

Full interviews conducted by ravechild with all of this year’s showcases artists can read on the Wide Days blog

Words: Jess Lavin

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