Hosted annually, Wide Days is Scotland’s 3 day event music conference open to everybody and anybody involved in the music or wider creative industries. Taking place over 13th, 14th and 15th April, Wide Days offers delegates the opportunity to network, develop and check out some of the best new music from Scotland and beyond. Kicking off the live music events was the Best in Scotland Talent Development Programme Showcase.
Hosted by BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway at Edinburgh La Belle Angele, the Talent Development Programme line up featured Russell Stewart, Quiet Houses, Silvi and The Big Day.
Taking to the stage first is always an intimidating prospect for any artist, but from Russell’s elegant soulful delivery you would never suspect such nerves. Describing himself as ‘modern soul, with electronic flourish and alternative twist’ the Glasgow singer is captivating at every turn. Upbeat, feel good soul music that given the growing popularity and momentum behind the likes of Joesef should be encouraging for artists like Russell. With his 2019 single Midsummer having over 3 million streams on Spotify alone, Russell is already leaving his stamp on the scene.
Consisting of couple Hannah Elliot and Jamie Stewart are Edinburgh based duo Quiet Houses. With its soft gentle beauty it was Hannah’s voice won me over instantly. Delicate with a soulful depth, the voice just sucks you right in. During the stunning track Cold Water Swimming the connection between the pair is enchanting. Although Hannah and her voice are the ‘star’ of the show, without the natural talent and encouragement from Jamie, the act just wouldn’t deliver the same. The pair make it look easy. Using a lot of synth tracks to build their sound, it would be amazing to see these two accompanied by a live band. I can only imagine it would just take their stage show to another level. Regardless, their intimate performance this evening left me with a lasting impression that I found hard to shake before the next act.
Already feeling vulnerable to the music shared here this evening, things just continued to get better when West Lothian powerhouse Silvi took to the La Belle stage. Visibility nervous building up to their performance, Silvi (aka Jodi Findlay) didn’t let those nerves impact on their stage presence. As soon as her band hit those first opening notes, Silvi came to life. Despite her tiny stature, this girls voice is anything but. Deeply soulful and sultry, Silvi goes on to hit depths and notes many singers can only dream of having the range to deliver. Hearing new single Don’t Wanna Love Again Silvi’s sincerity and passion blooms as naturally as a well watered flower in the sun. It is truly stunning experience. Having the full band accompaniment is just the icing on the cake here this evening. So many talented individuals working together to create something explosive.
The Big Day
The final act of this evening showcase event are one of my personal favourite upcoming Glasgow bands of the moment, The Big Day. 80’s inspired electro pop with a modern rock twist, the four piece are fascinating to watch. With their big melodies, eccentric attitude and outlandish style they own the stage before they even begin performing. For a short set, The Big Day pack in banger after banger. With each one more dynamic than the last, its 2022 single Fashion Statement that really sums up what this act are all about. After an evening of more stripped vocal based talent, the energy these guys bring is well overdue. With only two songs currently available to stream The Big Day are getting all the right kind of attention and you just know these guys have something big coming.
An outstanding evening of fresh Scottish talent who quite frankly knock many well known established acts out of the water. Each one of them is uniquely impressive in their own space, the panel have done themselves proud this year. I cannot wait to see where the next 12 months take these acts.