Your Emerging Icons gig calendar is in need of some live new music, and we are here to provide it. From the vast array of shows coming up across the country next week, we've hand-picked five that we think you really should pay attention to, and with very good reason.
These acts have something really special. They have exceptional talent, fantastic tunes and the power to unleash 100% pure shenanigans as soon as they hit the stage. As you won't want to miss out, make sure you follow the links below so that you can click 'YES', you plan on attending. You get to have a date in in your diary, and the artist gets to know you're planning on going. It's a real winner!
So here they are, the gigs you just can't miss next week. These are our Top Five Emerging Icons Live...
Monday 18th February
Raphaella at XOYO: Shoreditch, London
She may be a strong, independent woman but there are some things that can knock even Raphaella back. Beleaguered with gigging problems thanks to a right nasty throat infection, this is the first chance our pop princess has had to escape her pharmaceutical prison this year. Ready and raring to go with an EP release set in her sights, she is sure to put on a spectacular show to celebrate her return to the stage in this reunion with her loyal fans. We've heard the official teaser for the upcoming record 'Idiot' and this talented singer-songwriter is sounding more ready for success than ever. Vocally resembling something in between Pixie Lott and Adele (with even more soul), the charts are in need of a performer like this right now. Go see this girl do her thing at the brilliant XOYO tonight.
Tuesday 19th February
Du Bellows at Notting Hill Arts Club: Notting Hill, London
West London five-piece Du Bellows describe themselves as 'an amalgamation of odd creatures somehow creating a bit of noise, we like to think its music...'. Now, while they seem to have a slight lack of faith in themselves, we can step in at this point and let you know that they are in fact really rather ace. Dabbling in genres as far reaching as blues, gospel and rock; the five of them are bound tightly together by a deep love for melody and plenty of groove. Whether it's a tapping of your foot or head-to-toe goosebumps, this show is definitely going to be getting a reaction from you as you experience frontwoman Jade's powerful voice. Taking the headlining slot at Notting Hill Arts Club tonight, it's well worth checking Du Bellows out.
Tuesday 19th February
Anna Leigh Stainton at Tottenham Court Road Tube Station: Soho, London
There is no way of getting your music to the masses quite like the worthy art of busking. Sixteen-year-old Emerging Icon Anna Leigh Stainton has secured a spot just a few metres from the bustling point near the Dominion Theatre, where thousands of commuters, shoppers and possibly We Will Rock You fans will be flowing past, catching snippets of her tunes in their ears. This is roots level passion at it's absolute best, so if you're in the area around 4pm, why not drop by and show her your support? She's a long way from home being a North Eastern lass so she'd appreciate as many music-loving faces around her as possible. But if you'd prefer to make a night of it- she's also playing at The Abbey Tavern in Camden that evening. Go have a gander.
Wednesday 20th February
Damn Vandals at Bull and Gate: Kentish Town, London
This is a gig we've been preparing ourselves for. Filthy rockers Damn Vandals are joining forces with the fantastically erratic groovers in The Winter Olympics to blow the Bull & Gate apart. With the tragic news of the live venue's closure filtering through to us last week, it may not be such a bad thing if they lay waste to the iconic rock n' roll venue in the process of their explosive set for Club Fandango; simultaneously saving the space from its sorrowful gastro-pub fate. With the underground scene still reeling at the news that Bull & Gate it is to cease in providing beefy rhythms in favour of Beef Wellingtons, this can be one of the last memorable gigs to see it off in style ahead of the scheduled May closure. Go forth, raise a glass and rock out like you have never rocked before- because we need to remember the good times. Damn Vandals and The Winter Olympics are going to make sure of that.
Wednesday 20th February
Wicket at The Louisiana: Bristol, Avon
Fancy something a bit different? Perhaps instrumental? Slightly blow-your-mind-ish? Wicked, there's a gig here you're gonna love. Wicket aren't just being pretentious little sods when they call themselves a 'project'. That is literally what they initially were- a task that was assigned to the trio as they studied for their Music degrees at Cardiff University. Since their formation, a module that was set a year ago has developed into a fully-fledged post-rock act. Citing This Will Destroy You as one of their favourite artists while showcasing a sound that echoes Explosions In The Sky and hot new act Embers; Wicket were always going to impress. However, the inclusion of their live visuals that they bring to their set takes this show to 'unmissable' status. Check them out in Bristol tonight as they join a line-up alongside The Portillo Moment, The Cavemen and Iran Iran.
If you can't make it to any of these fantastical shows, never fear. There are many more waiting to be discovered... just click on the 'GIGS' section at the top of the Emerging Icons homepage. Or if you're feeling a bit lazy, you can try here.
Follow Kat Jackman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/emergingicons