Head Writer Jane Howkins joins in with her picks for 2018.
Feature photo – The Black Lagoons by Graeme Smith
2017 was a fairly busy year for us, despite having a brief hiatus towards the end of the year. There are so many good artists in Yorkshire that this list has been fairly hard for me to pick, but I feel that every one of those listed deserves a place here, for a number of different reasons.
Henry Raby has been a feature of the York arts scene for quite some time, working within a variety of different mediums. Raby puts on plays, performs poems, and even plays in a folk-punk band called Pewter City Punks, meaning that he is well versed in art of performing. Whilst Pewter City Punks have been put on the backburner for the past couple of months, Henry regularly runs a slam poetry night at The Basement in York called the Say Owt Slam, and it’s highly recommended that any budding poets check this out, as there is often the opportunity to perform your own work.
The Birds and the Beasts
The Birds and the Beasts actually aren’t from York, but they are a great upcoming band from the West Yorkshire area, so we thought it was worth including them here.
They’re a folk band from Huddersfield, playing a more modern form of the genre that has a pop tinged edge to it, with this meld of genres going very well together. Nu-folk has become terribly popular in recent years, so we predict great things for The Birds and the Beasts!
The Howl and the Hum
The Howl and the Hum are a local band that seem to have designs on something much bigger than performing in the underground York scene for the rest of their lives. The music they make has a dark, folk-tinged edge to it, and it’s certainly very atmospheric. They’re fronted by Sam Griffiths, who seems to have made something of a name for himself in the area, and it’s not hard to see why with his strong vocal delivery and talented musical skills. These guys are ones to watch, not just for York, but for the UK.
The Magnificent Seven
Anyone interested at all in the music scene in York will have heard of these guys, and the likelihood is that you’ve also seen them perform live too. They’re a bit of an institution in this parts, and it’s not hard to see why, with their catchy brand of ska-punk being much loved in this town. One interesting thing about this group is the way in which they manage to incorporate other genres into their sound, with hip-hop and funk being just two elements that are present in their music.
The Black Lagoons
We saw these guys supporting Ordinary Boys a few years ago, and were absolutely hooked from first sight. Back then the band members were very young (and still are!) so it was incredibly to see people so talented on stage at The Duchess to the point where they almost upstaged the headliners. Their bluesy rock is something that has been done many times before, but the way they play is different to the majority of bands, and the passion on display when seeing them perform is fantastic.