With a new video out today and their debut EP on the horizon, we meet the exciting five-piece.

Hello and welcome to DIY’s introducing feature, Get To Know… getting you a little bit closer to the buzziest new acts that have been catching our eye as of late, and working out what makes them tick.

Recently we’ve met Nice Swan record newbie Phil Madeley, LA-based collective Peach Tree Rascals, experimental artists GLOWS, Aussie alt-rockers Loose Fit, and now we’re introducing you to gritty five-piece Hotel Lux.

Raised in Portsmouth and now a solid staple of the ever-blossoming South London scene, the group create sizzling “pub rock” gems, blending indie grooves with darkly intense lyricism, and are currently gearing up to release their debut EP ‘Barstool Preaching’ on 24th April.

Sharing the animated vid for recently released stomper ‘Eddie’s Gaff’ today, created by the band’s own Cam Sims, he explains, “The video for ‘Eddie’s Gaff’ is the result of boredom during the COVID-19 lockdown. It features stuff that we all took for granted a few weeks back.”

We caught up with them to find out a lil’ bit more about what makes them tick.

Describe your music to us in the form of a Tinder bio.
Like to try a variety of things, average around 3 minutes.

What’s your earliest musical memory?
Madness – Baggy Trousers. Used to think the lyrics were jokes as a kid. Still reckon it’s the only song bar our own (and even that’s debatable) that I know word for word.

Who were some artists that inspired you when you were just starting out (and why)?
Just all the bands that we loved collectively. I remember making a playlist on Spotify titled ‘London Band’ when we decided we were gonna give Lux a go when we moved up to London. Can’t recall exactly what was on it but I know there would’ve been a bit of Dr.Feelgood, a bit of the Blockheads, the Stranglers, Specials blah blah blah. To be honest, the list of bands all five of us can agree on is very slim. Maybe those four were the only four.

You’re from Portsmouth! What do you think of the music scene there at the moment?
I’ll be honest, I don’t know enough about what’s going on there to answer that question. There’s a real lack of venues in Pompey which makes it hard for a scene to really thrive. It’s in dire need of a decent 100 cap to really push something there – it’s a big uni city so there’s room for a good scene à la Bristol, Brighton etc. As much as it pains me to say that other city up the M27 looks better at the minute but that’s because they’ve got the venues. Southampton, that is.

Are there any other artists breaking through at the same time that you take inspiration from?
I wouldn’t say that there’s anyone about that we’re taken inspiration from directly but it’s inspirational to see those in the circles around you doing well for themselves. Fair play to Sorry for releasing the album of the decade in its opening year though.

Who would be your dream collaborator?
Damon Albarn full stop.

Musically or otherwise, what are you most looking forward to this year?
In the current climate I’m just looking forward to seeing the pals for a pint again. Nothing more, nothing less.

If people could take away one thing from your music, what would it be?
That ‘any fucker can do it’ mantra ain’t a myth.

Nice Swan Picks – 30th March


As promised every few weeks we are refreshing this humble playlist purely for your aural pleasure. Best of the best only!

We’ve decided to add a load of our new discoveries that have been recently released from some amazing acts such as Cabbage, Hotel Lux, Cable Ties, Home Counties, The Lounge Society, The Homesick, Ikebe Shakedown, Sports Team & many more….

Hotel Lux share new single ‘Eddie’s Gaff’ via Nice Swan Records


Hotel Lux share new single ‘Eddie’s Gaff’ via Nice Swan Records


Ahead of their sold out show show at The Waiting Room and following sold out shows across the UK, Hotel Lux release ‘Eddie’s Gaff’, a hungover reflection of the night before looking back on their early times in South London. The band keep up the pace as they release their second single from debut EP ‘Barstool Preaching’ and further prove that in woeful times, we can still crack a wry smile.

First single ‘Tabloid Newspaper’ acquired acclaim from titles such as DIY, So Young, Gigwise and also led the band to be mentioned in The Independent’s 20 bands to watch for 2020.

The single title pricked the ears of The Daily Star too leading them to say “this bunch of twentysomethings could be the next great British hope”.

On the radio, the band have received recent backing from Jack Saunders and Huw Stephens at Radio One, Steve Lamacq at 6Music and the track being placed on the evening playlist at RadioX by John Kennedy.

On ‘Eddie’s Gaff’, Hotel Lux continue their trend of honest observation, brutal self reflection with frontman, Lewis Duffin adding:

“A nostalgic tune about the early days in London. First year at uni and knocking about South with new pals. Simpler times. Wasting our lives away..”

Hotel Lux finish their UK tour tonight at The Waiting Room before heading out to the continent for four dates in France and then on to SXSW in March.

EP ‘Barstool Preaching’ will be released 0n 08/05/20 Via Nice Swan Records.

Tabloid Newspaper
Eddie’s Gaff
The Loneliness Of The Stage Performer
Ballad Of You & I

Phil Madeley releases creepy video for 21st Century Witch Hunt & also announces AA 7″ featuring Same Skies.


Brummy troubadour Phil Madeley has revealed a brand new creepy video for his single ’21st Century Witch Hunt’. The folksy alternative tune was released back in November on cult label Nice Swan. 

Medieval tropes mingle with American pilgrim vibes for a visual filled with bandages, braces, string and damp henley shirts. We’d definitely rate it a PG for its mild threat and seriously sinister groups of people toting burning torches.

Pre-Order the limited edition AA 7″ now on Nice Swan Records. Out on 19.03.20

There’s exorcism in there, wide-eyed white people sinking to their knees to pray, candelabras. You get the gist. See it here:

The song, meanwhile is a bit like if Catfish and the Bottlemen did a spaghetti western.

On the tune, Madeley said:

“21st Century Witch Hunt is inspired by the notion that in spite of what you believe in or stand for, you will be persecuted regardless…In one way its really about the unfathomable standard to which we have to conduct ourselves to escape this. And the narrative of the song stems from my own perspective of eventual reclusiveness due to this fear. Ultimately there are no winners in this climate of persecution. We are all subject to the 21st Century Witch Hunt.”

An EP titled 21st Century Witch Hunt arrives later this year on Nice Swan records.

Words @GigWise

Dublin-based five-piece Silverbacks have shared their new single ‘Drool’ Out on 7″ today!


Dublin-based five-piece Silverbacks have shared their new single ‘Drool’ out on 7″ today.

The accompanying A/A to ‘Sirens that landed at the back end of 2019.

Nice Swan Records – the indie label which has given rise to the likes of Sports Team, Pip Blom and Fur – release the single on Friday 31st January 2020. Earning widespread critical acclaim for previous single ‘Sirens’ (Q Magazine, DIY, Dork, Stereogum, 6Music) the 5 piece return with yet another musical gem produced by fellow Dubliner, Daniel Fox of Girl Band.

Keeping him on to record ‘Drool’, we see the darker side to this diverse and creative band, with a knack for catchy and infectious pieces. The propulsive rhythm section prompts a visceral response from the three guitarists who weave fuzz-laden riffs, tonally warped solos, and taut riffs into the mix. Switching from semi spoken nonchalance to unabashedly catchy melodies, singer Kilian O’Kelly uses these aesthetics to deliver a tale of someone not knowing what’s good for them and the isolation they feel. Of the lyrics, Killian says: “Drool tells the story of a good family man who unfortunately suffers from poor health and his resulting demons. The lyrics voice the man’s concern about whether or not his medication is making him feel better or worse. ‘Can’t you see, it does exactly what is says on the box’ is a line that can apply to almost anything, the amount of trust we put into our systems and that they’re there for our own good.

Empty bottles, empty stomachs and wedding fights paint a worrisome picture but the outro concludes that the song’s hero will continue to try his best.” ‘Drool’ spearheads what is expected to be a very strong year for Silverbacks. Hot off the back of Supporting Girl Band at the end of 2019, the band will release their highly-anticipated debut studio album this year, 2020 is freed up for a major push. This terrific new band will be unstoppable.

2020 Tour Dates:

14/01/2020 Old Blue Last, London, UK DIY Magazine Hello 2020
16/01/2020 Groningen, Netherlands Eurosonic Festival
18/04/2020 Rotterdam, Netherlands Motel Mozambique
02/05/2020 Portsmouth, UK Psyched Fest
03/05/2020 Liverpool, UK Sound City
03/05/2020 Newcastle, UK Hit The North
12/05/2020 Sheffield, UK Café Totem
13/05/2020 Manchester, UK YES
14/05/2020 London, UK The Victoria
15/05/2020 Brighton, UK The Great Escape
16/05/2020 Bristol, UK The Crofters Rights
18/05/2020 Stoke on Trent, UK The Sugarmill
19/05/2020 St Albans, UK The Horn
20/05/2020 Birmingham, UK Hare & Hounds
21/05/2020 Glasgow, UK The Hug and Pint
22/05/2020 Belfast, Northern Ireland Voodoo
23/05/2020 Dublin, Ireland The Grand Social

Silverbacks are: Daniel O’Kelly – Guitar, Vocals Kilian O’Kelly – Guitar, Vocals Peadar Kearney – Guitar Emma Hanlon – Bass, Vocals Gary Wickham – Drums

Nice Swan Picks for 2019


Another year has passed and therefore we only thought it was right to give you our personal picks for the year.

We’ve decided to add a load of our new discoveries that have been released from some amazing acts such as Pip Blom, Silverbacks, Phil Madeley, Bill Ryder-Jones, Hotel Lux, L’Eclair, Just Mustard and many more

Hotel Lux share new single ‘Tabloid Newspaper’ via Nice Swan Records


Hotly-tipped indie sorts Hotel Lux have today unearthed their first new track since March. Titled ‘Tabloid Newspaper’, it’s out via a label they’ve newly signed to: Nice Swan Records. This tightly-curated label – with a formidable A&R – has given rise to alumni Pip Blom and Sports Team so big things are in the works.

Taken from the Portsmouth-raised yet London-based band’s upcoming debut EP, which is titled Barstool Preaching and out (enter date), the track has been impeccably produced by Dave McCracken (Ian Brown, Pip Blom).

And, in keeping with the band’s style – and the bulk of the label’s roster – the instrumentation is traditional handmade rock n’ roll: a straight drum beat, thunderous bass and choppy post-punk guitars underpins singer Lewis Duffin’s black-humoured lyricism.

On ‘Tabloid Newspaper’ – if we consider the band’s following statement about the song: “That old saying of the journo’s cut, paste and twist is the same in songwriting. Just no-one admits it. These three verses and a silly chorus are a confession” – we see there’s a self-deprecating protagonist. One who questions their integrity as a songwriter. One who pokes fun at the rhetoric appropriated to sell music – ‘be cathartic, deep’. In other words, the song begs the question: Are singers structuring their take on the lyrics to fit the mould they’re taught makes a song good? Possibly. ‘Tabloid Newspaper’ can be heard as a light-hearted exposé of those who are playing games of smoke and mirrors. Equally, it’s a morbid reminder of the sabotaging role the tabloids can play in people’s lives.

‘Tabloid Newspaper’ follows on in the style and witty feel of their March 2019 self-released 7” single ‘English Disease’, which is a tongue in cheek dig at lad culture.

This light-heartedness is relatively new for the band. Dig further back into Hotel Lux’s back catalogue and you’ll see it gets a lot darker.

2017 debut single ‘Envoi’ is evocative British realism; ‘Daddy’ is about paedophilia, written from the victim’s perspective; darkly-psychedelic slow banger ‘Berlin Wall’ is a timely, relevant attack on divide and conquer politics.

Lastly, ‘The Last Hangman’ is a discordant guitar-led epic about the English hangman Albert Pierrepoint. This has been synced in Peaky Blinders Season 5 finale.

Earning this synch has given them a spurt of momentum, but the large majority of their following has been built up through touring.

Feverishly received wherever they go, the response to their gigs at London pub venues, such as The Windmill and The George Tavern, led to support slots for The Chats, Slaves, Fontaines D.C., Shame and more. Packed out gigs at the UK festival circuit (The Great Escape and Y NOT and one in one out shows at Manchester’s

Neighbourhood, Cardiff’s S​ŵ​n and Lincoln’s 2Q) have further cemented their reputation. Impressive, considering this is all before even having an EP or a label. But with that now in place, the feeling is they’re only just getting started and 2020 will be theirs for the taking.

PHIL MADELEY Shares follow up track ‘21st Century Witch Hunt’ on Nice Swan Records



Observing the hypocritical behaviour of anti-humanist warmongers Trump and Boris Johnson has yielded a song for Birmingham-raised songwriter Phil Madeley.

The newcomers’ second ever single ‘21st Century Witchhunt’ – released via Nice Swan Records (Pip Blom, Sports Team, Silverbacks) –  is a commentary on their appropriation of victimhood. Something he’s noticed from their penchant for using the term “witch hunt”. Their own actions and policies have incomparable, brutal consequences to the suffering they claim to be experiencing themselves.

Knowing his poetic lyrics may not instantly reveal this meaning, Phil Madeley has created some companion information to make his intent clear. He’s created an actual church called ‘The Church of the 21st Century Witchhunt’ – a pedestal for the wrong ‘uns to be united.

Feeling that Trump and Boris clearly have a talent for igniting witch hunts Madeley (who is the self-elected Lord Reverend Speaker) has written formal letters, inviting them to be de facto Lord Reverend Guest Speaker. Invitations to other leaders of their ilk are being written as we speak.
The tune as a whole is a convincing statement of intent from an artist who has the potential to be one of the most prolific solo artists of his generation. His swaggering, evocative vocal hits straight through you and his Americana-tinged guitar playing recalls that of the mighty Neil Young.

The track follows his debut single ‘Same Skies’ which received acclaim from the increasingly influential So Young magazine. Praising him for bringing new life into soft rock, they compare him to the mighty Ocean Colour Scene and Neil Young. High praise, that.


23rd – Southampton – Heartbreakers w/ Do Nothing
26 – London – Peckham Audios w/ Nice Swan Records







Silverbacks share ‘Sirens’ on Nice Swan Records – AA 7″ out on 31st January 2020.


Nice Swan Records – the indie label which has given rise to the likes of Sports Team, Pip Blom and Fur – will release the limited edition AA 7″ from Dublin band, Silverbacks, on 31st January 2020.

A. Sirens
B. Drool

Pre Order Here

Earning widespread critical acclaim (NME, DIY, Clash, Stereogum, 6Music) for the results, fellow Dubliner and Girl Band’s bass player Daniel Fox produced the last three singles for Silverbacks: ‘Dunkirk’, ‘Just In The Band’ and ‘Pink Tide’. Keeping him on to record ‘Sirens’, we hear the creative spark well intact, with plenty to latch on to. The lushly recorded propulsive rhythm section prompts a visceral response from the three guitarists who weave fuzz-laden riffs, tonally warped solos, and spindly post-punk riffs into the phenomenal mix.

Switching from semi spoken nonchalance to unabashedly catchy glam punk melodies singer Daniel O’Kelly uses these aesthetics to deliver lyrics where he’s camouflaging his disdain towards society with his natural sardonic wit.

Of the lyrics, O’Kelly says: “In ‘Sirens’, the narrator misses riots and important protests taking place in his city because he’s too preoccupied with writing the perfect soundtrack for what is happening. He’s equally distracted by his relationship issues, tennis, and his obsession with his favourite band.”

‘Sirens’ comes towards the end of a very strong year for Silverbacks. Supporting Ride, Girl Band and The Lemonheads, playing Electric Picnic (Ireland) and signing to Nice Swan are just some of the highs. Having finally completed recording of their highly-anticipated debut studio album this year, 2020 is freed up for a major push.