West End Live


Kai Bosch 
Friday 3rd May 7pm 
Poetry Club, SWG3 

Kai Bosch is a 22-year-old producer/songwriter from the tiny fishing village of Port Isaac (pop. 721) on the Atlantic coast of north Cornwall, England, which is home to the TV show Doc Martin and legendary 90’s sea shanty vocal group, Fisherman’s Friends. He started producing his wistful and yearning music in his bedroom aged 17 (there wasn’t much else to do in Port Isaac) and has been releasing music on London’s Cartoon Records since 2022. Nowadays a “bedroom” artist doesn’t mean all scratchy guitars and lofi vocals, but accomplished electronica arrangements sitting atop well thought out grooves all smothered with lush vocal stacks … those damn laptops and their capabilities!

I hear a lot of Bon Iver in how he delivers his songs, but with a little more wit and a lot more synths. And when he opens up his diaphragm and lets his voice soar you realise he’s something a bit special. He’s out on a short UK tour to promote his new EP ‘Love, Throw Me A Bone’ released on LAB Records in late April. I’ve really enjoyed listening to him this week.  

Choice Track: Kai Bosch – ‘Be Right Back’ 

Olivia Rodrigo 
Tuesday 7th May 6:30pm 
OVO Hydro 

It’s so good when you find an artist that you and your daughter can enjoy together. I’ve spent many a car journey with my 11 year old singing Olivia Rodrigo songs at the top of our voices. The only issue I have with them is that my daughter might start to think lowly of the opposite sex due to Rodrigo’s lyrical accounts of her many failed relationships … if her songs are anything to go by, she definitely hasn’t found mister right yet. But there’s still time as she’s only 21 years old. I keep assuring my daughter that there ARE good guys out there … honest there is. Anyway, my daughter’s mother has spent an inordinate amount of money on tickets for this gig. I’m sure both of them will enjoy singing about how rubbish men are for 2 hours at the top of their voices. Sigh. 

Choice Track: Olivia Rodrigo – ‘Vampire’ 

Leith Ross 
Wednesday 15th May 7pm 
Òran Mór 

Leith Ross is a young Canadian indie rock singer-songwriter and guitarist, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Ross’s mother is from Glasgow and they often reference their Celtic heritage. What a beautiful voice Leith has and their deliveries are absolutely effortless. It’s really mesmerising watching them … everything seems so easy for them … there’s a live video of them playing their song “(You) On My Arm” in a living room with just two other musicians, it’s just pure perfection. And they’re writing all these beautiful songs too! What a talent. Unable to tour during the pandemic in 2021, Ross turned to TikTok to promote their music, joining the app in early 2021.

Their song “We’ll Never Have Sex” went viral not long after, with over 41 million streams on Spotify and used nearly 40,000 times in videos by other TikTok users. In 2023 The NME called them “Gen Z’s new favourite indie songwriter” and stated that Ross is “a voice for their generation”. Their album ‘To Learn’ has been nominated for the Alternative Album Of The Year 2024 at the prestigious Juno Awards in Canada. What a future awaits them. 

Choice Track: Leith Ross – ‘I’d Have To Think About It’ 

Black Umfolosi 
Wednesday 19th June 7:30pm 
Hug And Pint 

Black Umfolosi are an award winning traditional a capella vocal and dance group from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Southern Africa. They were formed in 1982 by students who wanted to preserve and revive the Imbube Culture which was at the time being threatened by Western influences and was facing elimination from African Dance Culture. There are usually at least six male and female singers/dancers on stage when they perform live and their sound is very calming and restrained. The meanings of the songs need some explaining and the members of the group take it in turn to introduce each song, highlighting it’s relevance to the Imbube culture.

Many of their songs set out to depict the land of Zimbabwe but also engage with such challenging topics like climate change, parent/child relationships and different traditions learning to respect, live with and love each other …. Not that far removed from our own culture’s issues I would suggest. If only we could sing about it all so beautifully. 

Choice Track: Black Umfolosi – ‘Basijabulela’ 

Kara Jackson 
Monday 24th June 7pm 
Mackintosh Church, Queen’s Cross 

Kara Jackson is an American poet, singer, and songwriter from the Midwestern state of Illinois. 

She has one of the most unique voices I’ve heard in a while … it’s a deep, tenor female voice, you just don’t hear that very often in someone so young. Her harmonic choices, her melodic journeys, her lyrical scans are all just so unorthodox … she’ll definitely divide opinion. But she was named the Youth National Poet Laureate in the US at the tender age of 19 (she’s 25 now), so what do I know! You have to really concentrate when u listen to her, she emotes in a completely different way to any other singer … It’s a strange listening experience. But does she touch me? Eventually, eventually she does and boy does it all start pouring out when it happens. It feels a bit like when Rufus Wainwright grips your heart strings and starts yanking on them. A real find. 

Choice Track: Kara Jackson – ‘pawnshop’ 

Ty Segall 
Thursday 27th June 9pm 

Ty Garrett Segall is a 30 something American multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and record producer from Laguna Beach in Orange County, California. It’s a coastal surf town and Ty surfs. But this ain’t surf music, he sights Hawkwind, Bowie, Sabbath, The Stooges and punk pioneers Black Flag as influences. A big source of his inspiration also comes from the San Francisco garage and indie rock scenes. I don’t know why I was drawn to this, but as I built my pool of artists to draw from for this months mag, I kept going back to him and listening to more and more stuff.

He’s been a bit prolific … his new record ‘Three Bells’ is his 15th studio album! In his press shots and on live performances he sports an iconic aluminium necked Travis Bean guitar, made famous in the 70’s by the likes of Keith Richards and Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead. It kinda states his intent. Loud, complex, dissonant music but always melodic. It would be lazy of me to liken him to Beck at his most strident and experimental, so I’m not gonna do that. Oh wait … 

Choice Track: Ty Segall – ‘Void’ 

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