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We continue to shine the spotlight the biggest and best emerging acts from across the UK. Each Monday, we ask one of our esteemed tippers to select five of their hottest tips to be featured on the site throughout the week.

Next up we have Chris Bye, Head of Artist Development at Pirate Studios, the largest network of 24/7 rehearsal and DJ spaces in the world. He previously spent a decade at Arts Council England as a key supporter of emerging music and talent development. Further back he promoted shows, ran a DIY label and moderated Tom Robinson’s Fresh on the Net. Nowadays work involves, heading up the Pirate Live streaming sessions, the Prodigies talent development programme, festival stages and oodles more. Dig in to Chris’ tips below.




Nova Twins blow the doors off, pick up the remains and then use the pieces to systematically beat you into submission. But it’s all done with love and will leave you grinning each and every time.

First time I heard them, the name that sprang to mind was RATM. Not just because they both share a undercurrent of undiluted funk, but also the fact that the inaugural listen makes you spit out your chips and say “what the bloody hell is that?”

Nova Twins are needed and they absolutely fucking rule.



I have the honour of working alongside Plastician. One day he casually recommended I check out this young artist by the name of Jafro.

Cut to me, shitting myself.



These guys recently sold out the 02 Academy before their debut album has been released which is pretty damn good going. They have one of the best attitudes I have come across and plus, well, they just write really really great pop tunes. Ridiculously good live and sure as eggs is eggs, you will see their name creeping ever up the festival billings. It would be remiss for me not to mention, Red Rum Club are one of the first batch of Pirate Prodigies – See also Yves, Alex Ohm and the much-tipped, Seamonsters. Red Rum Club have their debut on pre-order right now. Go check them out and let the joy into your life.



TVAM is a project where the videos and production walk hand-in-hand. The hands are most likely wearing leather gloves. And they don’t so much walk, as lurk outside your house, staring up at your bedroom window.

TVAM is jam-packed full of esoteric goodness. My curated pick a few years ago at Off the Record and a true demonstration of just how mesmerising a one-man-band can truly be. The new album seems to be generating all manner of saucy reviews and got 6music Album of the Day.

It’s Mythos music. Black Lodge music. Music to get lost in those woods to. If Twin Peaks had a disco, this would be the music they played as the police raided the joint.



Bang Bang Romeo are destined for big things, no question. The whole band are awesome but in particular, Stars has the most incredible voice and commands a stage like she was born there.

By the time this goes out, the news about a massive stadium support slot will have become public. They are the loveliest people, work their arses off and I for one, couldn’t be happier that things are – quite rightly – happening for them. Pirate Studios have been with them from the get-go and it warms my cold heart to see good people get the rewards their hard work warrants. Keep a very close eye on Bang Bang Romeo, they will explode in 2019.

Plus, wait until they drop ‘Chemical’ as a single, as it is the absolute definition of a banger.

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