3:30pm Gates Open
4:00-4:15pm John Adams
4:20-4:35pm Ladies Love a Super Hero
4:40-4:55pm Lucie Jones
5:25-5:45pm Aleks Josh
5:50-6:10pm Lily Green and McGuire
6:45-7:05pm Diana Vickers
8:00-9:30pm Olly Murs
*Please note that times stated above are subject to change.
“I’m never going to think ‘Right, that’s it, I’ve made it now.’ Even the greats like Paul McCartney never think they can’t do better. The artists who do get cocky are the ones who don’t have longevity.” – Olly Murs
Steely words from one of the most successful new male singers of the past decade, and a statement of intent for how he’s improved on his double-platinum-selling debut album, with its follow-up ‘In Case You Didn’t Know’.
One of the most anticipated albums of the year, it’s a collection that’s every bit as infectious as that self-titled debut, but takes Olly in many unexpected directions. You’ll find ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll references, you’ll hear ballads that take a sharp turn into euphoric pop sing-along’s, you’ll even have your heart broken.
“You can always grow as an artist,” explains Olly of the reasons behind progressing away from the reggae-tinged grooves of his debut. “Every album should be better than the one before it. I needed to work harder, test the boundaries and do something different. Any song that sounded similar to my debut was rejected, because there was no progression there for me.”
When writing sessions begun in January, it was clear that ‘In Case You Didn’t Know’ was going to have a more old-school, classic soul and rock ‘n’ roll feel. But it’s also a set of very modern pop songs. “It’s an album that sits really well with what’s current. It fits in with what Plan B, Mark Ronson and Cee-Lo Green are doing, by bringing back that old-school vibe and giving it a modern element.”
Around this time, Olly was offered the job of co-hosting The Xtra Factor on ITV2. He was initially reluctant, not wanting his first role as a TV presenter to interfere with his day job. Olly recalls: “Simon Cowell really wanted me to present The Xtra Factor, and everyone’s been amazing in ensuring we could work that around this album. I don’t see myself as a TV presenter, but The Xtra Factor made sense, because I started out on The X Factor.”
Olly is one of the few male solo singers to have enjoyed huge success from a reality TV show background. Having worked as an energy advisor at a call centre in his home town of Witham in Essex until The X Factor, it seems Olly’s life has suddenly become one that many would happily slay a few passers-by for. “There are people who’d love my life,” he accepts. “Hosting The Xtra Factor, I really appreciate what people who audition for the show go through. When I auditioned in 2009, I didn’t really think about it – I just got up there and did it. It’s only looking back that I think ‘God, what if I’d mucked up a line?’
That initial carefree attitude was shown on Olly’s first headline tour in Spring, where every venue sold out, including three nights at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. After that, there was only one way to go and, sure enough, a huge round of headlining arenas will follow the album in February.
“The first tour was a great experience,” grins Olly. “I think everyone walked away with sore voices from singing along, sore hands from clapping along and sore feet from dancing. That shows we got it spot on, and that we were right to concentrate on the musical side of performing. We’ll put on a great show in the arenas, but we’re not going too far down the dancing route – I’ll get a bigger band, build that up. I just want to put on the best show of the year, if I can. I want people to come away feeling it was money well spent.”
Having sold 600,000 copies of his first album and knowing that he’s improved on it second time around, it’s no wonder Olly is confident about the future.
“I’ll do whatever I can to keep getting better,” he explains. “Having gone double-platinum, I want this record to go triple-platinum. It’d show that the people who enjoyed my debut want to hear more, and that I’ve got new fans too, who love these songs that bit more this time. Really, I just want to enjoy this. I don’t want to think ‘If only I’d done this…’ I don’t want regrets.”
With an album as strong, consistently entertaining and confident as ‘In Case You Didn’t Know’, there’s nothing to regret. In case you didn’t know, it’s a pop classic.
Cover Drive are a band on a mission to bring the sunshine and sounds of their native Barbados to the world. The young quartet has already ignited the UK charts twice. Debut single Lick Ya Down reached the Top 10 last year, while its fabulous follow-up Twilight shot straight to No.1 at the tail end of an otherwise dreary January.
With their debut album, Bajan Style, due for release in April, Cover Drive’s fresh, fun, sun-soaked sound is set to dominate the airwaves in 2012. Their YouTube views are at over eight million, their fans include the likes of Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sandé, Labrinth and Jessie J and both their fellow Barbadian Rihanna and UK chart-topper Dappy have allowed them share their stage as main support acts.
“We’re amazed how quickly people have connected with our music,” says Amanda, the band’s sassy, 20 year old singer. “On the first two dates of our tour with Dappy, most of the audience only knew Lick Ya Down. By the third night, because fans had filmed our set and put it online, the crowds were singing along to every song. It was incredible. Then we released Twilight and although we knew people loved it, we were shocked when it went to No.1. Shocked and so happy!”
Cover Drive comprise of the lead singer Amanda, 18 year old bassist Jamar, 22 year old guitarist Barry and drummer/singer T-Ray, 18, for whom Amada used to babysit. Although they joined forces less than two years ago, the four were friends who had been making music individually since the start of their teens. “We had known each other for ages, but it never crossed our minds to start a band,” says T-Ray. “As soon as we did, it seemed so obvious. We’re the perfect fit.
Amanda loves pop music, I like metal and hip hop, Barry likes punk rock and Jamar is into indie music, but our influences meet in pop and the Bajan music we grew up on. When we formed, we found our sound straight away.”
Cover Drive call that sound ‘Carib-pop’. A bubbly blend of their Caribbean roots in reggae, dub and soca with happy, hook-laden pop, hear it and you won’t stop smiling. Little wonder Twilight is still a radio staple.
Cover Drive’s name came from T-Ray’s dad’s love of cricket. Coincidentally, it was cover versions the band posted online that instantly attracted major label attention. Dubbed The Fedora Sessions (because they wore fedoras – hat obsessive T-Ray has a collection of 20) and filmed in their manager’s basement, their funky, Carib-pop reworkings of Train’s Hey Soul Sister, B.o.B.’s Airplanes and Ke$ha’s Tik Tok saw them signed to Polydor within six months of forming. Crucially, as they demonstrated at a showcase at their mentor Eddy Grant’s house in Barbados, the quartet also write their own songs – Twilight was one of their first.
Indeed, six months spent travelling back and forth from Barbados to London, L.A. and New York to record Bajan Style only strengthened Cover Drive’s signature sound. Working with A-list producers including Steve Mac (JLS, The Saturdays, Kelly Clarkson), StarGate (Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Jennifer Lopez), Future Cut (Lily Allen, Nicole Scherzinger, Estelle) SuperDups (Bruno Mars,Estelle), Boi1da (Eminem,Drake) and J Remy (Jay Sean, Lil Wayne), Cover Drive created an album that couldn’t have come from any other band.
Diana Vickers is an English singer-songwriter, stage actress and fashion designer who initially came to public attention as a semi-finalist on the fifth series of British talent show The X Factor in 2008. In January 2009, Vickers signed a record deal with RCA Records and after touring with her fellow X Factor finalists until March 2009, began work on her debut album, Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree.
From October 2009 to January 2010, Vickers played the title role in a West End revival of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice for which she won the award for “London Newcomer of the Year” at the Theatregoers’ Choice Awards.
Vickers’ debut single, “Once”, charted at number one on the UK Singles Chart after release on 19 April 2010. Vickers’ debut album was released on 3 May 2010 in the United Kingdom achieving number one status on the UK Albums Chart. Her second single, “The Boy Who Murdered Love” charted at number thirty-six on the UK Singles Chart and on 31 August 2010, Vickers revealed that her third single would be titled, “My Wicked Heart” and was released on 17 October 2010 digitally and on 1 November 2010 physically. “My Wicked Heart” peaked at number thirteen on the UK Singles Chart making it Vickers’ second Top 15 single and third consecutive Top 40 single. Vickers performed the track live on The X Factor results show on 16 October 2010.
Vickers has received commercial success musically where she has sold over 500,000 records in the UK alone with combined sales of her three singles and debut album “Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree”.
West London bred Angel began much like many do, as a gifted child, unquenchably enthusiastic and rather uniquely, as one fifth of a family singing group along with his siblings. Known as The Charles Family.
The Charles Family came to prominence as a result of a BBC One documentary- One Life (2004), which followed the family’s musical journey. Initially signed to Warner Music.. Angel recalls, “I started producing from about 10 years old, I was fascinated with music and creating it from scratch so I’d use anything available to me, Atari Video Music, Cubase, it was all a case of trial and error.
Angel drew his main influence from his father, former manager and talented musician Tendai Charles, a professional keyboardist who accompanied an array of Reggae music talents including Bob Marley and Dennis Brown. “My dad was and still is my biggest inspiration” Angel asserts, “from a young age I saw him fulfilling his passion and the prospect of doing music everyday for the rest of my life didn’t seem out of my reach.”
The study, alongside his natural gifts paid off, as Angel at just 22 now boasts the ability to write, compose and produce his songs from scratch. A talent that was identified by Universal Music who in late 2009 signed Angel to Universal Publishing as a songwriter. Angels’ knack with words has seen him pen songs used by UK urban acts such as Roll Deep and Devlin, as well as him composing pop pieces for the likes of JLS and Cheryl Cole.
It’s a tale of two Jons. (Jon) Lilygreen bubbles with energy, cracks big, boisterous jokes and is as welcoming as they come. (Jon) Maguire is a little more reserved, a little more analytical and can crack a zinger of a subtle pun that matches those of his pal.
Together, their differences combine to create something more than the sum of their parts: 60% Simon and Garfunkel, 40% Mitchell and Webb. These two young veterans of the Newport music scene are, as they explain contradictorily, serious about their music… but not that serious… no, seriously serious… wait.
“We’ve always had something in music – be it writing, playing, producing or recording – and we’ve liked that music’s been the centre of our world,” says Lilygreen.
Their music is an update on the classic singer-songwriting partnerships of the early-mid 70s and they are currently recording their first album with Warner Brothers Records UK, set for release in Summer 2012.
Lucie Jones is a 2009 X Factor finalist ,Lucie has been in demand since leaving the show, signing a year’s contract with Cameron Mackintosh for the role of Cosette in Les Miserables in 2010. She played alongside Nick Jonas and Gareth Gates as well as performing at the O2 for Les Mis’ 25th anniversary. Lucie was then snapped up to star in “The Prodigals” at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2011 receiving rave reviews for her performances.
Lucie has also been signed by top London Modelling Agency Select Models for their ‘New Faces’ division and is currently the new face of Wonderbra’s ‘Full Effects’ campaign. Lucie has recently endorsed beauty product LMS, a red light therapy treatment for spots, which is currently available in Harrods.
Since finishing her stint in Edinburgh, Lucie has been performing up and down the country and is currently working with some top producers in the studio creating her own material.
Ladies Love a Superhero are young upstarts who deliver a blend of indie/pop songs. Opener Danger!Alert!Monster! is probably a warning to the world as to what they're about to unleash on the crowd. Formed back... 'well ages ago now', they set out on a quest, a quest to be cool. They may believe this is yet to be achieved, however over the last year they've made huge strides to becoming the new 'cool' band in South Wales through writing and recorded songs and supporting a number of the top bands in the area.
John appeared on the X Factor in 2011 as a Maths Teacher, where he made it through to the last 12 of the boys category. His audition was featured heavily on the show and his rendition of Cannonball by Damien Rice received a huge response from both judges and audience.
John is widely credited as the reason that this song was picked as the “Winners Single” and John’s performance also launched Rice’s version to #9, making chart history as the first time a song has re-entered at a higher position than its original release.
As a result of his X factor experiences he resigned as a maths teacher to peruse a music career. John is currently writing and recording an EP to be released sometime this year and can’t wait to share the tracks with you. He released a single “Nowhere to Hide” on iTunes last December which received a 5 star rating and radio play nationwide.