Ones to Watch 2018

Editor in chief Graeme Smith runs down the up and coming acts he’s excited about in 2018.

Feature photo – Kymberley Kennedy by Graeme Smith

Kymberley Kennedy

Kymberley was the second person we ever interviewed for York Calling and we instantly fell in love with her. She has a voice that will knock you socks off and a stage presence to match it. Off-stage, she’s one of the loveliest people you’re ever likely to meet.

In the past couple of years we’ve seen her headline The Crescent, Kennedy’s Bar and support Meadowlark when they came to York. In that time she’s also been in the studio releasing some brilliant material. I don’t see the pattern changing in 2018, and this year could definitely be her year.

Laura Kindelan

We first encountered Laura when she played at the MOR Music on Rails event at the National Railway Museum in 2014, right near the start of her career. Since then, I’ve been captivated by the maturity beyond her years of her lyrics and her ease of performance on stage.

Laura is good friends with arguably one of York’s most successful musicians, Beth McCarthy and the two are often found performing at the same shows, though more and more I see Laura headlining her own gigs, particularly charity fundraisers which she often organises herself. Last year she launched an EP and a new website so the stage is set for her in 2018.

The Receivers

2017 has been a big year for York’s relative newcomers The Receivers. Last year they were signed to a label, launched an EP and exponentially grew their fanbase.

Their passion for music is as great on stage and it is off stage and it’s equally great working with them and watching them play. If they carry their energy into this year, then they truly are York’s ones to watch.

Lion Papers

We’ve watched this indie-folk duo for some time, and even had them play the first ever York Calling Presents gig back in 2015. Never lacking confidence, they’ve grown their setlist and, the last time we caught them, their line-up, playing at a four piece.

It’s difficult to say what 2018 has in store for Lion Papers but, with the energy and talent they have, I can only see it being good things.

Minster Conspiracy

This rock five-piece formed when at least one of their members was nine-years-old so, even though they’re still teenagers, they’re really seasoned pros.

In 2017, they got into the studio to bring out an EP and, I’ve challenged to this this before, surely this year is the year of their debut album! Their sound and stage presence grows each time I see them. They are truly on the up.


Bull stole the show at this year’s York’s Little Festival of Live music, with white hot energy and broken strings aplenty that livened up the family event. They so often do, though, whether it’s a belt and braces electric set or a quiet acoustic.

They are York’s best kept secret (except to their growing and hardcore fanbase) and it’s incredible to think they haven’t yet joined the national stage alongside the likes of Vant. Perhaps this year will be the year.

Faux Pas

In 2016, Faux Pas won the chance to appear on the centre stage of Leeds Festival, launching themselves quickly forward as some of the rising stars of the York music scene. A few months later they launched their debut EP to a world that was ready for them.

Last year they built on that success with new music, headline appearances, inclusion in Manchester’s Dot to Dot line-up and an ever growing fanbase. In 2018, I can only see them going onto further success. Hopefully it will also be the year I get some pictures of them performing live!