Little Green Cars may outshine the much-hyped Bugg in Lincoln
by Ryan Butcher
If you want to know what we're all going to be listening to over the next 12 months, you don't have to look much further than the BBC's annual "Sound of" list.
Compiled by DJs, bloggers, musos and journalists, it gets it pretty spot on every year. And with artists like Adele and Ellie Goulding topping the list in previous years, it's hard to argue with its pedigree. So watch out for Haim, who are on top in 2013.
And Tom Odell's breathtaking debut Another Love is already my song of the year – and we're only into the second week of January.
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One band in particular, Little Green Cars, will be in Lincoln playing to round 1,800 people in a matter of weeks.
The Dublin five-piece will support chart-topping sensation Jake Bugg at his hotly-anticipated Engine Shed gig on Sunday, February 3.
Their standout single The John Wayne evokes a sound somewhere between Funeral-era Arcade Fire and Wall of Arms-era Maccabees.
The harmonies are tight, the pace is fast and, as much as I hate the word, it's nothing short of anthemic.
For a debut single, it's bold. The other tracks in their arsenal show equally as much promise, and with Markus Dravs at the helm of their forthcoming debut Absolute Zero, a man who has worked with Coldplay and Bjork, it's clear that Little Green Cars are taking no prisoners in 2013.
A tour and subsequent Lincoln gig with Jake Bugg is the perfect exposure a band needs this early on in the year.
Bugg himself is still a little green, rising to prominence almost overnight with his eponymous number one debut album back in October. It means his position is still unsecured and that a band like Little Green Cars, who have all the tools for success, could easily steal the show.
Personally, I'm uncertain about Bugg. On one hand, it's refreshing for a teenage songwriter of the purest kind to keep the likes of Leona Lewis off the top of the album charts. But on the other, it's hard to trust the longevity of an artist who's so shamelessly ripped off Bob Dylan in everything from song-structure to vocal style and even the way he conducts himself in interviews.
We all have to have idols though, I guess.
Some of his tracks that have sneaked their way onto the Radio 1 daytime playlist are a little suspect as well.
Take latest and highest-charting single Two Fingers, for example.
Lyrics like: "So I hold two fingers up to yesterday, light a cigarette and smoke it all away" scream more sixth form poetry than credible recording artist, and it's hard to take a man from the Clifton area of Nottingham seriously when he refers to the police as "Feds".
Lighting Bolt, though, is a catchy little number. It shows that Bugg is at his best when he's keeping it simple. It shows promise. But one has to wonder – has he peaked before his prime?
Despite his early years though, he's already toured with behemoths like Snow Patrol, Noel Gallagher, and has even been snapped up for a couple of gigs by The Stone Roses in the summer.
Although whether the typical Stone Roses fan will appreciate his subtle Dylan-esque nuances or merely titter at a song about "skinning up a fat one" – that's Two Fingers again – is a different story. I know what my money's on, though.
Tickets for Little Green Cars, Jake Bugg, and second support act Hudson Taylor are currently sold out, but keep an eye out on www.engineshed.co.uk or @engineshed on Twitter for any re-sales.
For any of the other gigs on his 21-date UK tour, visit an online ticket retailer.