Australian folk duo Charm of Finches announce first UK tour to include Leicester

By Courtney Stevens

On tour: Mabel and Ivy Windred-Wornes (Pic credit: Laura May Grogan)

Australian sister folk duo, Charm of Finches, have announced their first ever UK tour for Spring 2022.

The tour is to promote their third album Wonderful Oblivion which is available in the UK from May 6 via Anti- Fragile Music.

The tour kicks off in Oxford on Saturday, April 23, stops at The Musician in Leicester on Tuesday, May 3, and travels around the UK before finishing in Whitstable on Sunday, May 8.

Mabel and Ivy Windred-Wornes, grew up in Melbourne, Australia, and started busking and singing at festivals from a young age.

They made their first EP in 2014 at ages 11 and 14, later releasing their debut album, Staring at the starry ceiling in 2016.

They have described their music as being about ‘love, grief and whispering trees, with tight sister harmonies, and many stringed instruments.’

Mabel and Ivy said: “This album covers a lot of different themes and is about looking into the future.

“Our last album was about grief and processing the death of one of our close friends, whereas this album is about coming out of that and is more hopeful.

“This album explores the innocence of childhood, dreams and new beginnings.”

The duo are already well known in their home country, having won the 2021 Music Victoria’s Best Folk Act and Youth Artist of the Year 2021 at the Australian Folk Music Awards.

They were also nominated for the 2021 Australian Music Prize.

The pair are looking forward to their first UK tour and to performing to live audiences again after the coronavirus lockdowns.

They said: “We’ve never been to the UK before, so it will be a wild adventure, we don’t know what to expect.

“We’re very excited.

“We wrote and recorded these songs within the space of six months during lockdown, so it’s great to be able to finally play these songs to an audience.”

The sisters knew from a young age that they wanted to do music and work together and have spoken about the inspiration behind their sound.

They said: “Music has always been a part of our lives and we have been singing folk songs together from about age six.

“We both picked up string instruments at age nine and started writing our own songs, and it kind of all snowballed from there.

“One of our early inspirations was First Aid Kit, they started out young and we thought well if they could do it, so can we.

“We also love Sufjan Stevens – who is probably our biggest musical hero.”

You can listen to their music here: Charm of Finches – YouTube

Tickets are available now from:  https://charmoffinchesband.com/shows

Dates of Charm of Finches UK tour

DMU and UoL bands clash in musical Varsity contest

By Lara Alsaid

Tuneful students battled it out in a music competition last night(TUE,MAR15) at 2Funky Music Cafe as part of the annual Varsity contest between De Montfort University(DMU) and University of Leicester(UOL).

The Shipping Forecast was the first band to play for DMU.

Varsity is a yearly tradition where during a week, DMU and UOL compete in different sports and activities.

The DMU Music Society competed against UOL by choosing three bands from its membership to perform in the competition. 

First year DMU student Alicia Santamaria, who is a member of DMU Music Society, said: ”It felt exciting, this was the first time I experienced this. I have heard the bands that perform for DMU, and they are really good. I even voted for one of them to represent us tonight.”

The bands performed both covers and original songs with different genres, the most popular one being rock.

It was a perfect night to bring two universities together through a common interest for music. 

All performing bands from DMU and UoL together on stage at the end of the night.

After impressive performances from both universities, DMU ended up bringing back the trophy for the Varsity music competition.

To view performances, visit: https://www.youtube.com/user/DMUMusicSociety

Gazelle lead singer Ryan Dunn on effect of lockdown: “It really put a spanner in the works”

By Samuel Gill

Lockdown has affected many businesses, such as the entertainment sector, with live music having no potential roadmap in sight for bands to return to venues since the lockdown earlier this year in March.

Ryan Dunn is lead singer for the Leicester-based band Gazelle who, as well as a following in their home city, started to gain major traction further afield before lockdown.

Speaking about the effect of the lockdown from their perspective, he admits that there were big plans in the offing.

“Just before lockdown, we had a few things in the pipeline that were looking really good for us. There were television appearances and a few festivals so it really put a spanner in the works. It was quite annoying to be honest. We’re just hoping we can continue that when we get back,” said Dunn.

A lockdown demo was released by the band called This is My England ahead of the 75th anniversary of VE Day and this time has led to music being made differently including for Dunn and Gazelle.

“I’ve been writing a lot of new music and getting a few tunes down so I suppose in that respect, it’s been a bit of a blessing to get that time to write some new tunes.

“I think you can be a bit more experimental. I think it’s a time you can reflect and try and work out how you stand and hone your skills a bit more.”

Dunn’s last gig was at The Cookie back in March as a solo acoustic set with The Magic Mod, a sign which still adorns the venue today and like many, he didn’t think it’d be this long since his last gig.

He added: “To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to think at the time. I wasn’t too worried about it. I was a bit reluctant to go into lockdown so it was nice to get that last gig in and I definitely didn’t expect it to be almost a year. If you actually go by the Cookie, The Magic Mod is still there, it’s a bit weird to see.”

PRECURSOR: Ryan Dunn on stage at The Cookie before lockdown – Photo – Robert O’Brien/ Snake Oil Music News

So how does he see the future of live music and venues? Dunn believes it has been an apparent issue since lockdown began.

“I don’t think they’re doing enough to protect venues, pubs or any sort of small business. I think they jump to put us into lockdown too quickly sometimes and don’t stop to think of the consequences it has on the businesses.”

The Cookie set to close amid Coronavirus outbreak

By Samuel Gill

The Cookie in Leicester is the latest venue to close it’s doors amid the Coronavirus outbreak as the music industry becomes one of the big losers in the global pandemic.

Based in the High Street, it acts as a bar and a gig venue, very popular for seeing up and coming acts with the likes of Tom Grennan and DMA’s among others previously gracing the stage in its basement.

Many venues not only in this city but across the country have either closed their doors until further notice, like the Cookie, or just are taking it gig by gig after the Government’s advice to ban mass gatherings.

The venue released the following statement earlier today urging their customers to follow the advice given to them regarding the virus.

“It’s with great sadness that under the current government guidelines, we must close The Cookie until further notice.

As always the safety and health of staff, customers and artists is of the upmost importance. This incredibly difficult decision has not been made lightly.

We hope this closure will be short lived and we can welcome you back very soon. We strongly encourage you to follow the advice of Public Health Officials and as always we appreciate your support during this difficult time for all.”

With such gigs as October Drift and Wide Eyed Festival to come in the next few months, the venue have also been quick to say that all ticket holders will be contacted about a ticket shift or a refund.

University student’s career soared after opening for Denodriz Concert

image0 (1)Alwayne Campbell, 20 yrs old (left), Denodriz, 17 years old (middle) and Dami Sowunmi 20 yrs old (right)

by Khrista Davis

A Computer Systems Engineering student from Loughborough, Dami Sowunmi, has had major success since performing as the opening act for rapper Denodriz on January 30.

Dami is a self-made artist who has been doing music for over a year whilst balancing his University degree, he goes by the name of ‘Lyco’ and his music genre fits into the Afro-Rnb category, but it can also be associated with Smooth Trap and Soul.

He began to make music with friend Alwayne Campbell who goes by the name of ‘Wxyne’. Their management team also runs one of the most successful groups in the UK called ‘Lotto Boyzz’ and informed them about the opportunity to be the opening act to Denodriz.

Dami Sowunmi said: “I would say it was a big accomplishment and I am proud to have been given the chance. It was an amazing experience!

“In the past when I’ve been given the opportunity to perform on stage, fright always used to latch onto me but this time it was different.

“As I was up on that stage, I felt like it was where I belonged, the crowd cheering us on really helped boost my confidence as well as being the opening act for such a famous person. My career’s been boosted!”

Dami’s music partner, Alwayne Campbell added: “It was the best moment of my life so far, it reminded me why I’m doing music and solidified that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

As a result of this experience, Dami has been contacted for other performances soon, his songs have been played on Capital Xtra by DJ Semtex and he has made new connections as a result.

Dami hopes in the future to make more music videos and perform all over the country.