Sound Check - Architects, Nine Black Alps, Sean Grant & The Wolfgang

Sound Check - Architects, Nine Black Alps, Sean Grant & The Wolfgang

Amy Gravelle (@AmyGravelle) checks out a host of acts about to tour, here's her recent highlights that will be playing a UK venue near you soon.


Two hundred bands and 2,000 punters were crammed into 20 venues across North London, all in the name of Camden Rocks festival (31 May). The area has a history for nurturing the best in new talent and showcasing more established acts, so I made it my mission to catch the best of both. Playing the Forge, Sean Grant And The Wolfgang looked sharp with shirts and braces, slicked back hair and twisty moustaches. The 25-year-old and his three-piece band sing soulful indie folk tales of working class hardships and love. Hoist The Sail and I Am The Devil have bluesy personality that immediately draw positive comparisons to Frank Turner. Grant and Co bring an enlightening blend of chilled out folky tunes to Camden Rocks, which ensure that they won’t be playing opening slots for much longer. On the road: Northampton Music Festival (22 June), Milton Keynes Tattoo Convention (13 July), Properstock Festival (19 July), Simon Says Festival (27 July)

Later on that evening I caught Nine Black Alps’ headline slot at Dingwalls. Having split and reformed since their bold debut album Everything Is the band have not quite returned to the initial highs they set for themselves, but I get the feeling this might all be about to change. New track Patti sends off a Nirvana-esque groaning that appeals to the crowd immediately, whilst old tracks such as Get Your Guns and Shot Down reinforce the band's ability to mesh rebellion and anger into one tightly-knitted package. With latest album Candy For The Clowns remaining true to the band's darker indie-grunge undertones, the existing love for the band seems set to spread to a wider audience. On the road: TBC

Heading down to Maida Vale studios for the first night of BBC Radio1 Rocks (9 June), I was particularly eager to see how Architects - announced last night (12 June) as Best Album winners at the Kerrang! Awards for Lost Forever/Lost Together - would display a noisier side to mainstream chart music in a live, but sense checked, environment. Opener Naysayer erupts into melodic yet angsty surges of choral outbursts and heavy guitar melodies. Even though their tracks grasp you with harmonious tendencies, Architects have still managed to evolve over the years into one of the heaviest British bands around. Lead singer Sam Carter’s performance is impressively intense, as he sways with the atmospheric build-up during Broken Cross before laying himself on the line for the song. British rock is in rude health. On the road: Reading And Leeds Festival (22-24 August)