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Marky Edison

Marky Edison

Québec Spring Hits UK

Each spring, musical artists from the great Francophone province of Québec descend on the UK to play for British audiences at world-class professional events such as Wide Days, FOCUS Wales and The Great Escape. This May, the next wave of global hit-makers from this remarkable music scene will come to the UK under the Québec Spring banner.

This year’s lineup features eclectic guitar-driven bands that have distinguished themselves in neighbouring markets such as France for their thrilling, high-energy performances. Listen to music by ALIAS, La Sécurité, DVTR, Bon Enfant, Soran, Choses Sauvages, Corridor and Emilie Kahn on the Québec Spring playlist, and catch them while on tour at your local venues or any upcoming UK showcase festival. Showcases will be brought to you by premium music conference M for Montreal, with networking activities organised in partnership with the Québec Government Office in London and SODEC. Founded in 2006, M for Montreal (November 20-23, 2024) is a business catalyst for artists and industry professionals, contributing to the promotion and export of Québec artists, as well as positioning Montreal as an essential music capital. Its flagship event brings together over 500 local, national and international delegates for three days of showcases, conferences and networking activities tour at your local venues or any upcoming UK showcase festival.

Listen to Québec Spring Spotify playlist

Having harvested legendary artists such as Leonard Cohen, Céline Dion, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Québec is home to the city of Montreal that has become an internationally-renowned hotbed of musical creativity that nurtured the early careers of present-day high-profile award-winning artists such as Kaytranada, Grimes, Mac DeMarco, Patrick Watson, and tUnE-yArds, and rising stars such as Charlotte Cardin, Jean-Michel Blais, Suuns, La Zarra, Half Moon Run, Big Brave and so many others.

Complete Québec Spring schedule:

May 2

Wide Days Music Festival

Québec Dinner Reception @Bongo Club (Edinburgh) - from 18:00 to 19:00

(Entry reserved for Platinum delegate pass holders)

 

M for Montreal showcase @Bongo Club (Edinburgh) - from 19:00 to 23:00

Emilie Kahn

Soran

ALIAS

DVTR

 

May 8

On Tour

La Sécurité @Shacklewell Arms (London) - from 19:30

 

May 9

FOCUS Wales

M for Montreal Reception @Penny Black Room 2 (Wrexham) - 20:00

RSVP - coming soon!

 

M for Montreal showcase @Penny Black Room 2 (Wrexham) - from 20:30 to 23:10

La Sécurité

Bon Enfant

DVTR

ALIAS

 

May 10

FOCUS Wales

Bon Enfant @The Rockin’ Chair 1 (Wrexham) - 19:15

DVTR @The Rockin’ Chair 2 (Wrexham) - 22:45

 

On Tour

La Sécurité @Kazimier Stockroom (Liverpool) - from 19:45

 

May 11

On Tour

Bon Enfant @In Colour Festival - Brudenell Social Club (Leeds) - 14:00

La Sécurité @Sneaky Pete's (Edinburgh) - from 19:00

 

FOCUS Wales

ALIAS @The Rockin’ Chair 2 (Wrexham) - 19:00

 

May 12

On Tour

La Sécurité @Just Dropped In Records (Coventry) - from 18:30

Bon Enfant @Band on the Wall (Manchester) - 20:30

 

May 13

Networking Reception @The Québec Government Office in London - from 3pm

(invite only)

 

On Tour

La Sécurité @Big Hands (Manchester) - Times TBA

 

May 14

Canadian Showcase

Soran @Studio1 - Strongroom (London) - 18:15

 

On Tour

La Sécurité @The Lanes (Bristol) - 19:30

Bon Enfant @Hare & Hounds (Birmingham) - 19:30

 

May 15

On Tour

Bon Enfant @The Lanes (Bristol) - 19:30

 

May 16

The Great Escape Festival

M For Montreal/ NZ Music Commission Mixer: What’s 14000 Kilometres between friends?  @Patterns Upstairs (Brighton) – 12:00 RSVP here

 

M for Montreal showcase @Patterns Upstairs (Brighton) - from 12:15

La Sécurité

Haviah Mighty

Choses Sauvages

Mock Media

 

Bon Enfant @Acid Box Super Fuzz Weekender (Brighton) - 21:00 

(La Sécurité is playing late night Thursday / early Friday in Brighton)

 

May 17

The Great Escape Festival

La Sécurité @Patterns Upstairs (Brighton) - 1:30

Corridor @Canada House, Green Door Store (Brighton) - 15:30

Bon Enfant @Canada House, Green Door Store (Brighton) - 16:10 

(Bon Enfant playing late night Friday / early Saturday in London)

 

May 18

The Great Escape Festival

Bon Enfant @Dust (Brighton) - 00:15

Soran @Canada House, Green Door Store (Brighton) - 13:30

Soran @The Prince Albert (Brighton) - 23:30

 

On Tour

Bon Enfant @The Shacklewell Arms (London) - 19:00

 

Willy Mason @ The Grand Social (Live Review)

Willy Mason

@ The Grand Social, Dublin

By Marky Edison

 

We first became of aware of Willy Mason in 2004 when ‘Oxygen’ flooded the alternative radio airwaves. That protest song was his debut single and it wasn’t long before he was collaborating with The Chemical Brothers. ‘Battle Scars’ is a highlight of the We Are The Night album and we have no idea how he dropped off our radar after that.  (Apart from this guest spot on Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan’s album in 2010).

Tonight is only his second gig in Dublin, which is surprising when he’s been touring for so long. He must feel some connection with Ireland, given that a recent album of remixed tracks had a title in Irish.

The singer-songwriter is supported by the elegant vocals and sparse hollow-body guitar work of Amy May Ellis. When she started playing, there were 20 people by the stage. By the closing number, the beer garden had emptied as word had spread about her hypnotic, charming, and haunting set. A little artsy for our tastes but she certainly brought the audience on a journey.

We are perched up at the bar for the main set. The unassuming trio take the stage to a polite and understated ovation. The welcome is in keeping with the music. Mason is either very chilled, or very shy. There are a few thanks muttered but no banter between songs. They move quickly from each song to the next. The presence of the rhythm section elevates the performance from what’s been committed to tape/hard drive. It even allows Mason the chance to experiment with guitar sounds and rock out a bit. The aforementioned ‘Oxygen’ and recent single ‘Youth on a Spit’ are delivered with swagger and panache.

They’re organic and rootsy. Even when they skip between genres and throw in a country number, it’s played with well-earned confidence in their abilities and in each other. Mason may not be chatty onstage but he puts a lot into his performance and it pays off with the crowd. They’re happy to sing along, reflecting his verve back to him. It’s a rare combination to be able to write songs that enlighten and affect people while putting on an entertaining and dynamic show but Mason has it, and he’s not afraid to use it.

 

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