By Jon Milton
Music in the UK continues to flourish and there’s lots to look forward to in 2022. 2021 saw some particularly impressive new bands emerge, others returned after either brief interludes or long hiatuses, and we expect 2022 to be a similar picture.
In this series of articles, we profile our picks of those artists, starting with those bands that blew our socks off when they released their first music last year, and we take a look at what they’re up to in 2022.
Undoubtedly the most ubiquitous (and obvious) of new artists appearing in 2021 was Wet Leg, with debut single ‘Chaise Longue’ rightfully earning many plaudits and lots of airplay. Before you could say ‘one hit wonder’ however, they followed up that cracking debut with ‘Wet Dream’ and ‘Too Late Now’ and ‘Oh No’ further underlining their credentials. 2022 is looking busy for them so far too, with their eponymous debut album produced by Speedy Wunderground's Dan Carey and out in April on Domino, and gigs spanning the UK, Europe, North America, Canada and Mexico taking up every month of the year up until July so far. It’s unlikely that they will escape your attention in 2022, so if you haven’t heard them yet make sure you do.
Click here for tour dates and their website.
Another new act snapped up by a well-established label (Partisan) progressing their careers rather swiftly last year were Brooklyn band Geese. Their first single, the rather epic ‘Disco’ emerged in June and was swiftly followed by ‘Low Era’ and ‘Projector’ before their album, also called Projector surfaced in late October. A string of London gigs happened in November and I was lucky enough to catch them one of them at the Sebright Arms where they put on a great performance. January sees them play a couple of gigs in the states and then they return to the UK (including Manchester, Bristol, Leeds and London) in February before heading back stateside to tour extensively in March and April. As seems to be the case with Wet Leg they’re properly on the treadmill now so expect more new music later this year too.
Click here for live dates and their website.
The wonderfully eclectic Keg released their debut EP ‘Assembly’ on Alcopop records in October last year, drawing comparisons with the likes of Squid and Black Country, New Road whilst apparently managing to eclipse both on stage with their lively performances. I’m looking forward to finding out for myself in a couple of weeks in Hitchin of all places, part of their National Lottery tour that also takes in Winchester, Bath, Guildford, Colchester and Ramsgate. They’re also playing alongside the excellent English Teacher at the Old Blue Last in London on the 18th for DIY magazine and then Colours Hoxton the week after with Courting, with festival dates also slated for the summer.
Click here for tour dates
Brighton based Porchlight came to our attention in July with their debut single ‘Drywall’ which also found its way into the top ten of our Festive Fifty (which has tracks from all the artists featured in this article). Frenetic follow up single ‘Country Manor’ could easily have made it in there too but for our limit on having just one track from each band. At the moment they just have an appearance at The Hope and Ruin in Brighton lined up for the 29th, but if last year was anything to go by, it’s worth keeping your eye out for their socials as lots of their gigs seem to appear relatively close to the night.
Belfast based Irish noise punks Enola Gay actually released their first single in 2020, but came to prominence last year with the blistering string of singles that would eventually make up their debut ‘Gransha’ EP. Aside from the EP their highlights for 2021 involved Iggy Pop playing two of their tracks in one sitting of his radio show and their debut London show at the 100 Club selling out. 2022 sees them touring extensively in March and April across the UK, beginning in Glasgow on March 4th and ending in London at Brixton’s Windmill on April 6th. They’ve packed in 28 dates in all (including Bedford Esquires on a Friday night which is where I’ll catch them!) for the headline dates and after that you’ll find them at the Wide Eyed Festival in Leicester (that’s some line up there), followed by an appearance at the Truck Festival in July. No doubt there’ll be more dates later in the year too. They have new music recorded too, but with no firm release dates at this stage.
Click here for tour dates.