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Meraki Festival 10-12 AUG 2018 St Albans, Hertfordshire
Herts Showground, AL3 7PT
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Pixie Lott

Pixie Lott
Multi Platinum-selling singer-songwriter Pixie Lott will play Main Stage on Saturday 11 August

Pixie Lott has enjoyed a hectic career so far. Having emerged in 2008 with two multi-platinum selling albums (2009’s Turn It Up and Young Foolish Happy in 2011) plus a portfolio of hit singles, including 3 #1’s, she followed with her self-titled third album in 2014 which spawned her 7th Top 10 single. Along the way Lott has been nominated for 4 BRITs (including British Female and Breakthrough Act) and won 2 European Music Awards (including Best UK & Ireland Act).

In 2016, Lott took a different direction for her premier role as Holly Golightly in Breakfast At Tiffany’s. The play, which included a long stint at the West End’s Theatre Royal Haymarket, proved to be both rewarding and emotional.

To prepare for her creative splurge, Lott often booked studio time whenever she was able, “working constantly” on tracks and demos throughout 2016 and 2017. On her time off she would travel to LA to record new material, “being creative and getting down new ideas.” Without a deadline to work to, she has found the process exciting. Meanwhile, a huge batch of recorded songs could arrive on an album next year.

“Whenever I had a few weeks here and there I would go back into the studio to write. I just wanted to keep it up in the gaps between performing.” She’s excited with the results, too. “There are loads of new tracks,” she explains. “It might seem to some people that I’ve been quiet, but I’ve actually been working so hard.”

“I’ve also learned loads,” she continues. “I’ve grown as an artist and a person. When I first started working with a manager I was 14; I signed a deal at 15, and I was on tour at 18. I’m 26 now and it feels like I’ve been involved in music all my life. But that has given me confidence, experience. As a writer working in the studio I’m more inclined to say what I think, sing what comes to mind, and try out new melodies. When I’d just started I’d think, ‘Oh my gosh, my ideas are stupid, I can’t say it out loud because the other people in the room will be like, What is that all about?’ Not anymore. And after working so hard on Breakfast At Tiffany’s I think, If can do that, I can do anything.’”

There have been exciting changes behind the scenes as well. Lott has moved from Mercury Records to 3 Beat Productions, a “cool, boutique label” working under the Universal umbrella. She’s operating in prestigious circles, too: 3 Beat have previously released hits by the likes of Mercury Prize-winning grime artist Skepta and Romanian singer songwriter Inna. “I love a lot of their mainstream stuff too, like Sigma,” she says. “They released This Girl by Cookin’ On 3 Burners, which was my favourite record last year.” In 3 Beat, Lott seems to have found a spiritual home.

Fresh beginnings are something Pixie Lott understands all too well. Her career has already been a scrapbook of reinventions and redesigns on a thrilling pop blueprint. The latest chapter in her story came with the release of Won’t Forget You and it should reach its thrilling endpoint with an album of new cuts sometime next year. Watch this space: one of the year’s most-eagerly awaited pop albums is in the making. Life is about to get a whole lot busier for Pixie Lott.

Morcheeba

Morcheeba

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Pick a date – any date – in the next nine months and Morcheeba can say where they’ll be. From topping festival bills in Brazil to touring theatres in Australia, from returning to Russia, China and Chile to playing their debut shows in Cape Town, Casablanca and Tel Aviv to criss-crossing Europe and the UK over the summer and North America in the fall, the band has most of 2018 mapped out already.
“20 years in, it’s never taken us longer to tour the world,” says singer Skye Edwards. “We’re still finding fans in places we’ve never played before, who’ve waited all this time to see us, or fans who’ve only recently discovered our music through streaming. It’s amazing.”

Morcheeba’s global success is no surprise. Being one of the first Western acts to tour China, their melting pot sound has been border-hopping ever since the London-based band emerged from the mid-’90s trip hop scene that made them household names at home. Several line-up changes later and the departure of DJ/producer Paul Godfrey in 2014 – Morcheeba have never been busier or more in tune with the times.
Blaze Away, their positivity-packed ninth album, marks both a fresh start in its organic approach and a return to the joyous genre-mashing of their early days. There was no template for its ten, extraordinary, future-facing songs, no self-imposed limits on style, no themes to be adhered to or rules in place to break.

“Touring so much and seeing what works for us on stage, all around the world, gave us the confidence to experiment,” says multi-instrumentalist Ross Godfrey, now also the duo’s producer. “We brought back a lot of the influences of early Morcheeba records – from ‘50s blues, ‘60s psychedelic rock and ‘70s dub reggae to ‘80s electro and ‘90s hip hop. Whatever felt right, we went with.

“At the same time, we wanted to capture the energy and love of our live show, which is such a big part of the band. A lot of Skye’s vocals were recorded live, often in one take. Two of the tracks are in French. None of the guests or collaborators were planned. If we came across someone fun we wanted to work with, we asked them.”

All Saints

All Saints

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All Saints to headline Meraki Festival August Friday 10th!!

The group’s debut album, All Saints (1997), peaked at number two on the UK Albums Chart and went on to become the third best-selling girl group album of all time in the UK. The album contained three UK number ones: “Never Ever”, “Under the Bridge”/”Lady Marmalade” and “Bootie Call”. “Never Ever” is the second best-selling girl group single of all-time in the UK, behind the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”.[1]

It also won two Brit Awards: Best British Single and Best British Video, and the group were nominated for Best British Breakthrough Act. Their second album, Saints & Sinners (2000), became their first number-one album and achieved multi-platinum success. It included the UK number one singles “Pure Shores” and “Black Coffee”.

Gabrielle

Gabrielle

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Gabrielle is back! The record-breaking, chart-topping singer songwriter returns this Summer with the album, Under My Skin, her first studio record in 11 years. The album drops on 17th August and can be pre-ordered now from here. The first single from the album, Show Me, premieres on Thursday and can be listened to here.

Last year, Gabrielle connected with Grammy-nominated producer Steve Chrisanthou to write the comeback single, Show Me. Clicking instantly, Gabrielle describes Show Me: “‘When Steve first played me the music to Show Me, I knew I had to write to it. It excited and inspired me. I feel like it’s me, it’s classic Gabrielle and I love it’”.

The release of Under My Skin will mark 25 years since the release of her debut single, Dreams. The #1 single stormed the charts all over Europe and Australia, going Gold in the UK and cementing Gabrielle as one of the most exciting new names in pop music. Two and a half decades later, Under My Skin is sure to remind the world of Gabrielle’s signature, heart-warming, soul-stirring voice. Under My Skin is released through BMG and will be available on CD, Vinyl and all digital and streaming platforms.

10cc

10cc

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Among the most inventive and influential bands in the history of popular music, 10cc are one of the very few acts to have achieved commercial, critical and creative success in equal measure. Testament to their ongoing appeal, the band can count a generation straddling array of fellow artists, everyone from Chrissie Hynde to The Feeling’s Dan Gillespie and Axl Rose to Sophie Ellis Bextor, among their many millions of fans.

I’m Not In Love, co-written by Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart, features prominently in the soundtrack to the 2014 blockbuster film Guardians of the Galaxy, which grossed $635 million in its first two months in US cinemas and spawned a No 1 album. Meanwhile, a key element of the soundtrack to 2010’s Facebook feature film The Social Network is Dreadlock Holiday, which is also the Sky Sports cricket reports theme in Australia.

10cc has sold more than 30 million albums around the world and the band’s longevity is testament to their timeless songs, and reflecting Gouldman’s status as one of the world’s leading songwriters, he was inducted into America’s Songwriter’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony in New York in June. Previous inductees include Noel Coward, Burt Bacharach, Neil Sedaka, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, Elton John and Sting.

The band continues to traverse the globe and play countries as disparate as Iceland and South Africa, Latvia and Japan, as well as across Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Canada and the US. Gouldman attributes 10cc’s lasting appeal to the quality and individuality of the band’s songs. “They don’t seem to date; they are original, we never followed any trend we simple wrote for our own pleasure. The fact that the songs are being played as often on the radio today as they ever were shows how true that is,” he says.

10cc ruled the pop world at a time – the 1970s – when the charts were dominated by some of the most creative and colourful artistes in pop history. Unlike David Bowie, Queen, Elton John or Rod Stewart – all of whom they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with for a decade – 10cc’s energies were not centred on image or celebrity-status, but on creating highly sophisticated rock masterworks with mainstream appeal.

Early influences on the band included The Beatles and the Beach Boys, but their palate proved wide. Says Gouldman: “For me it was people like Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Jimmy Webb, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers. Eric [Stewart] was more rock ’n’ roll, the blues and R&B; while Kevin [Godley] and Lol [Creme] were into more artistic and avant-garde acts including Jacques Brel. It’s what happened when we put all those things together that made 10cc.”

The result was some of the greatest pop records of the 20th Century. From breakthrough hit Donna in 1972 to their final No 1, Dreadlock Holiday in 1978, via landmark releases including 1975 worldwide hit I’m Not In Love, 10cc stood for the kind of heightened pop sensibility achieved only by the very greatest music practitioners. As Rolling Stone magazine put it in 1975, ‘There is more going on in one 10cc song than on the last ten Yes albums.’

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