We’ve now had a whole year of mostdeffo! This feels like the perfect opportunity to have a recap of what’s gone on and maybe have a little nod to the future, too.

Eyesore & The Jinx released their second single ‘On an Island’ on 31st January 2019 via Eggy Records. We launched it with lots of help from Bido Lito! with a front cover and a packed out headline gig in Liverpool on release day. They received extensive radio support from Steve Lamacq and even won the Roundtable when they were featured. This started to get the attention of the wider industry and they played their first London show for So Young Magazine at The Social.

We brought Daniel Fox from Girl Band over to Birkenhead from Dublin to record the next single, alongside Matt Freeman at Fresh Goods Studio. Live favourite ‘Shitbag’ became ‘Swill’ and was released at the end of April, picking up new support from John Kennedy and Huw Stephens, alongside continued love from Steve Lamacq. Eyesore were asked to headline Huw Stephens presents… at The Social and also made their first appearance at The Brixton Windmill.

They were awarded a special grant for £5k by PRS Foundation in conjunction with the Liverpool City Council. The grant was a special version of the Momentum Fund called the Momentum Accelerator, created for those artists that aren’t ready for the full Momentum fund but are showing lots of promise and drive.

They quickly went back into the studio to record a 4 track EP with Foxy and Matt and then over the course of the Summer the band took their first trip abroad, all the way to Russia to play two festivals as part of the UK Russia Year of Music 2019. They also played a good few shows around the country before finishing off with a special appearance at Merseyside’s newest fezzie FUTURE YARD in the home of Eggy Records, Birkenhead.

The crowd at Eyesore’s FUTURE YARD set at Bloom Building by Keith Ainsworth

What’s next?

There’s a new single coming out very soon. It’s the first single from the forthcoming EP and comes with lots of live dates – including a free LDN show at The Waiting Room, courtesy of Eat Your Own Ears. Although it is free, if you’d like to come please register for a ticket here.

To keep up with Eyesore & The Jinx releases, follow them on Spotify.

To make sure you are alerted to their next gig in your area, follow them on Songkick.

Merseyrail Soundstation is an artist development programme led by the Bido Lito! team. Mostdeffo is involved in this fantastic scheme as a music industry mentor, helping to provide promising artists around the region with the tools to broaden the reach of their music, some much needed validation that they’re doing something special and also to begin to build their knowledge of how the industry works and how they can make it work for them.

So far we have hosted three semesters, which means that already we have an alumni of over 30 brilliant local acts – two (soon to be three – ooooh, exclusive news) of these acts are on the mostdeffo management roster.

The programme features a studio/songwriting day, a masterclass with Becky from Stealing Sheep, one on one sessions with the Musicians Union, PRS and Sentric, an industry day with relevant people from the wider industry giving personalised advice and we end with a performance day at Liverpool’s incredibly busy Central Station. There are also further opportunities after the programme for those acts that are most suited to take advantage of them. Further mentorship, festival slots and gig opportunities, particularly.

For more information on all the acts and the programme, head over to the Merseyrail Soundstation website.

What’s next?

Merseyrail Soundstation is currently taking submissions from Merseyside-based artists for Semester Four! If you are interested or know anybody that would benefit from this awesome opportunity, applications close on 27th September.

Merseyrail Soundstation has joined forces with Liverpool Band Vans and Eat Your Own Ears for a special showcase gig on 4th October at The Waiting Room. The gig features Eyesore & The Jinx and Beija Flo from Semester One, along with Podge from Semester Two. Facebook event here.

Beija Flo joined the mostdeffo management roster in January. Co-managed with Matty Hogarth, who heads up Eggy Records with Sam Warren. Beija Flo had already released two singles showing two very different sides of this very special artist, so it was very important to take our time and explore all the different elements of Beija Flo before the next release.

Beija Flo is an artist in every sense. She not only writes and performs in a way that captures her audience in the palm of her hand, but we can also add in poetry, illustrations, photographs! It’s notable to mention that her collaborative nature has led her to the theatre, too.

We are conscious that through her music we have the perfect platform to showcase these further elements, so we decided to create little worlds around individual songs and have been working stealthily over the past few months to share these worlds with you!

What’s next?

Follow Beija Flo to find out! All will be revealed very soon.

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify

Untitled: Self portrait by Beija Flo

In the meantime:

Read this wonderful review of Museum of Liverpool’s Double Fantasy exhibition penned and illustrated by Beija Flo for Bido Lito!

Have a look at this wonderful profile of Eggy Records written by Paddy Clarke for NME.

Check out this fantastic review of FUTURE YARD Festival over on The Quietus featuring Beija Flo.

Liverpool City Region Music Board

At the end of 2018 the newly formed Liverpool City Region met for the first time to talk about the issues effecting the region’s music offering and what the priorities should be.

As someone who has spent pretty much 15 years working outside of Liverpool and only a couple of years working within it, I felt incredibly privileged and excited to be on the board and part of the discussion.

A summary was recently put together of what has been achieved and what our priorities are:

What has it done?

In its first months of work, the Board:

  1. Has created four working groups who have explored strategic priorities for the city in relation to : Music education and skills, music tourism and marketing, music venues, strengths and gaps in provision and needs for further growth in the sector.
  2. Has held two consultation events with representatives from the music sector to gather views on these areas
  3. Has actively worked to support the Agent of Change principle, specifically in relation to the 24 Kitchen Street venue in Liverpool and the new development adjacent to it.
  4. Has written to the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation in support of LIPA’a appeal against the recent reduction in its Higher Education funding
  5. Is currently preparing a bid to the Liverpool City Region Single Investment Fund to support the implementation of a growth strategy for the sector.

What are its immediate priorities?

  • To secure Single Investment Framework investment to enable delivery of the music growth strategy
  • To establish the adoption of the Agent of Change principle  to protect our venues
  • To establish a Music Office with the capacity to drive forward a growth strategy for the city; create an information resource to support the sector and promote music in Liverpool; and maximise the benefit of Liverpool’s UNESCO City of Music status

After finishing her second album, Natalie signed a licensing deal to release it with Modern Sky UK, an independent record label based in Liverpool.

She released a standalone single for International Women’s Day back in March called Woman’s World.

We had an absolutely wonderful time when she was selected by Aurora to support her during Youth Music’s ‘Give a Gig’ week at The Courtyard Theatre in London. Aurora’s audience were so amazing and you could’ve heard a pin drop during Natalie’s captivating solo performance.

The first single to come from Natalie’s new album was released recently. ‘Someone Nue’ marks a solid return for Natalie, who is currently bozzing up and down the country in her trusty Peugot 206 (which has actually already broken down twice) playing living room gigs at a number of different fans houses, along with a couple of Sofar Sounds gigs thrown in for good measure. She’s also popping in to see Janice Long to do a live session of her new single for BBC Wales.

What’s next?

Natalie will be playing two headline full band dates at the end of September:

25th – Jimmy’s, Manchester

26th – Waiting Room, London

She’s joined by labelmate Abbie Ozard on both of these.

After that, more music, more shows, more songwriting sessions!

Follow Natalie on Spotify for new music and on Songkick to hear when she’s playing in your area.

This one is another co-manage for me. Having worked with Girl Band when I was at Rough Trade Records, I was pretty excited when I got a call from Alan Duggan to talk about his other project, so we’re managing the claque together. The Dublin trio released their debut single ‘Hush’ b/w ‘Stray’ in April this year. The release included a 12″ pressing courtesy of Any Other City Records. The track was an absolute hit with Tom Ravenscroft on BBC 6Music, featured extensively across Irish radio and press, was covered by Stereogum and also provided the band with their first print feature in Loud & Quiet Magazine.

Their first show was a secret gig upstairs at Whelan’s, followed by an appearance in Liverpool at The Kazimier Stockroom before heading to Dot2Dot Festival.

Since then they have supported IDLES at Iveagh Gardens, played before Black Midi and Murder Capital at All Together Now Festival and played special shows in Limerick and Galway before recently making an appearance on the Body & Soul stage at Electric Picnic.

What’s next?

The band have been developing their sound, not only in rehearsal but also on stage. They’ll head back in to the studio at some point before Christmas to record their second single. In amongst this the new Girl Band album comes out! It is utterly amazing and I urge you to get behind this if you haven’t already.

The Claque head over to the UK in October to do a number of festival dates including Swn and Simple Things. They are also supporting Scalping at Electrowerkz in London.

Safe to say that I’m really looking forward to 7th November when the claque support Girl Band and Fontaines DC at Autumn Falls Festival in Brussels at quite possibly one of the best venues in the world, Botanique.

Follow the claque on Spotify to make sure you’re all present and correct for new music and on Songkick to be updated when they’re playing in your area.

I’m going to end this rather long summary of things that have happened over the first year of mostdeffo with another first. The first FUTURE YARD Festival in the town that I was born in and the home to a lot of my family, Birkenhead.

I was delighted to join the team to help pull together a force of volunteers to not only help us over the course of the festival, but also to take part in further mentorship opportunities afterwards. It has been amazing to speak to so many of the organisations across The Wirral who are doing great things to provide interesting opportunities and also to work with the very talented and enthusiastic volunteers at the festival.

This is just the start of activity in Birkenhead in relation to FUTURE YARD, so keep an eye on their channels for further developments.

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Website / Youtube

In the meantime, check out the video highlights:

If you’ve gotten all the way to the end, then bloody hell! Thanks for reading.

Special thanks to (probably loads of people I’ll add to this as I think on):

Any Other City / ATC Live / Baltic Social / Beija Flo / Bido Lito! / British Music Experience / Bundobust / Daniel Fox / Dave Monks / Domino Publishing / Eat Your Own Ears / Eggy Records / Ellie Giles / EVOL / Eyesore & The Jinx / Ghost PR / Harvest Sun / IDLES / International Teachers of Pop / Kazimier / Kevin McManus / Leagues O’Toole / LIPA / Liza Geddes / LYDIAH / Marketing Liverpool / Mat Greaves / Matty Fresh Goods / Modern Sky UK / Molly Dunlea / Musicians Union / Natalie McCool / Nathalie Candel / National Museums Liverpool / Output Gallery / PRS Foundation / Polyphonica / RIBA North / Robin Clewley / Rough Trade / Rough Trade Records / Sam Meaghan / Sentric / Smirnoff Ice / SOUND on Duke St / Static Gallery / Supercat PR / the claque / They Do PR / Ulyanovsk, Russia / University of Liverpool / Whiskas / Youth Music

…and everyone I share the studio with.

Below is a handy Spotify playlist of mostdeffo artist releases. Make sure you follow this, as it’ll be updated when new stuff comes out!