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Vagabond update: competitions, single,TV, press
Posted at 5:38 PM, 28 July 2009 - 1 Comments

Vagabond are just about to release their new single, "Don't Wanna Run No More", on August 3rd (pre-order on iTunes). Their debut album follows on August 17th. They have recently shot the album cover in New Forest, Dorset, with the photographer Andrew Whitton.

Vagabond guitarist Luke Fitton celebrates his birthday today (have a happy one!). Coincidently, the Huddersfield Examiner has published an article about Luke and Vagabond. They say: «A few years ago, Huddersfield guitarist Luke Fitton was just starting out in his band career. Now he’s a member of pop rockers Vagabond, who are being tipped for promise in 2009.»

The group has been running a series of competitions - check their MySpace blog for details. They will be answering questions from the fans, so if there's anything you'd like to know, send in your question.

Vagabond will perform "Don't Wanna Run No More" on GMTV next Monday, 3rd August (single release day), and on T4 very soon. You can also catch the video on the following TV request channels: TMF, VH1, The Box, Chart Show TV, VMX / Homechoice, 4Music, Bliss and Channel M.

Vagabond are heading out on tour in August. For more details, you can visit their MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Twitter, etc. (they're everywhere, really)

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"Left My Heart In Tokyo": radio support, sample, reviews roundup
Posted at 11:31 PM, 27 July 2009 - 1 Comments

Mini Viva's debut single is the Record Of The Week on the Scott Mills show on Radio 1. Text 81199 and tell him what you think about the song.

A Xenomania spokesperson has informed us that the arpeggiated synth melody (similar to "Azure" by Slam) that builds up to the chorus of "Left My Heart In Tokyo" is definitely not a sample. The arpeggio present in the middle section of the song is in fact a preset sound generated by an ARP 2600 virtual synthesizer by Arturia.

"Left My Heart In Tokyo" is out on September 7. The single has been getting a very good response. NME blogger Jaimie Hodgson says that this is «the catchiest single of 2009» and InStyle believe that Mini Viva are «literally the most fabulous new pop duo in, well, forever».

Read the latest reviews:

-- Music Week: Xenomania have been busy of late and Mini Viva, are one of the projects keeping the studio desk warm. Pop duo doing infectious, upbeat, radio friendly pop.

-- InStyle: These girls will be H.U.G.E. (...) Mini Viva is literally the most fabulous new pop duo in, well, forever. Mancunian Frankee Connolly (19) and Geordie Britt Love (20), are the girls with the lungs and the poptastic tunes.
With the weight of the Xenomania production team (who've worked with Sugababes, Girls Aloud and Kylie) and a management team comprising Simon Fuller and his team at 19 (the Beckhams, the Spice Girls) behind them, we don't need to be remotely psychic to predict their success. Need more convincing? Their first disco-fabulous single Left my Heart in Tokyo is catchier than swine flu.

-- Daily Star: Xenomania and Simon Fuller have struck the jackpot with new duo Mini Viva. (...) I checked them out at a champagne and jumbo cupcake-fuelled launch and was impressed. Debut single Left My Heart In Tokyo, out September 7, is nuts, meanwhile Hooked has all the hallmarks of a smash hit.
Full marks for the synchronised arms. My verdict: Dance moves and songs for a new generation.

-- Electroqueer: Cute girls, good tunes and fresh like a loaf o bread straight outta the oven. With the massive onslaught of girl bands coming out right now, it will be interesting to see if they can live up to the hype. Regardless "I Left My Heart In Tokyo" is a sick pop diddy and I'm I love the whole disco vibe it brings to the table - you can't really make this song any better can you? But holla! There's a Fred Falke Dub!

-- DizzyPop!!: Basically they have a xenomania sound that updates the Mel and Kim vibe from the 80s, mixes in some Girls Aloud friendly verses and sprinkles it with some Betty Boo type rapping. It's like a tour through the greatest hits of pop and could well bring the girls some attention and success. I quite like it, but I can't help but feel the best is yet to come from these girls...

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Mini Viva playlisted on Radio 1
Posted at 11:31 AM, 23 July 2009 - 0 Comments

Mini Viva's "Left My Heart In Tokyo" has been added to the Radio 1 playlist (it's currently on the 1-Upfront List). George Ergatoudis, Radio 1's head of music, told The Guardian that the station is loving the single:

«We're loving Dizzee Rascal's Holiday and Mini Viva's Left My Heart in Tokyo now. They have that poppy-trance sound that works at the moment, perhaps because it echoes early-90s rave culture, which people associate with being outside and having a good time.»

"Left My Heart In Tokyo" has been receiving positive reviews from all over the web:


-- Digital Spy: Their debut single 'Left My Heart In Tokyo' - terrific title by the way - is a classic Xenomania confection: inventive production, quirky lyrics and loads of different musical ideas held together by the magnetic pull of an instant pop chorus.
We watched them perform four songs at a showcase gig earlier this week and we really liked what we saw. The girls look great together and have lots of fresh, zesty energy, all of which comes across in the 'Tokyo' video.

-- The Happiness Machine: "Left My Heart In Tokyo" is a deliciously hooky and kooky pop ditty which I do hope will be afforded some decent chart success alongside the usual, more forgettable chart fodder!

-- Karinski: It’s a brilliant buzz of disco pop which couples the best Xenomania rapping since ’strippers in the vicars in the back’ with a gloriously funky bassline and some cheesy oriental sounds. Plus hold out there for the middle 8 and it’s pummeling strings. Live they are a bundle of fun, and have a real instinctive quality to their performance – they know exactly what the other one is getting up to. (...) I always talk in some kind of idiot manner about how it’s really important your favourite pop star is either really aspirational (La Roux, Atomic Kitten) or stark raving bonkers (Gaga) and these pair really fit into the aspirational quality.

-- Popjustice: (...) Mini Viva's video for 'Left My Heart In Tokyo' [is] FUN and ACCESSIBLE but it's also SMART and STYLISH. *Champagne all round*
This isn't even their best song. Amazing.

-- This Must Be... POP!: At last the Mini Viva campaign is properly kicking into gear, and if all goes well they'll soon be the pop superstars they have the potential to become. (...) The song is more dancey than GA or The Saturdays and this is perhaps a good key to getting Radio 1 on board, since they always seem to fall for the old trick of "it's not pop, it's (insert cooler genre here)!" The video is as sparkly and exciting as the song and the girls themselves, and wouldn't be out of place on The Box ten years ago, so Mini Viva are definitely a throwback to the good old days of girly pop bands. I don't think they're the next Spice Girls, but they'll do a great job of filling in while GA are on hiatus.

"Left My Heart In Tokyo" is out on 7th September. The single comes with remixes by Pete Hammond, Treasure Fingers, Acid Girls, Chris Lake, Kush and Spog.

Watch the video here.

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Vagabond update: radio, reviews, covers
Posted at 9:36 PM, 22 July 2009 - 0 Comments

"Don't Wanna Run No More" is now A-listed on BBC Radio 2 and remains on the B-list of Radio 1's playlist. Terry Wogan, Greg James and Jo Whiley have been the biggest supporters on BBC radio.

Vagabond have recently added the guitar chords and lyrics of "Don't Wanna Run No More" to their MySpace. Go and have a look. The single will be released on August 3rd. You can pre-order it now on iTunes.


Angry Ape has reviewed the song. Read their verdict:

«Slickly produced by Girls Aloud collaborators Xenomania, the whole thing screams epic. And with its piano-intro, chiming guitars, acoustic strums, tsunami-sized chorus and the rich vocals of Alex Vargas, it sounds like something from Richard Ashcroft's acclaimed debut solo album 'Alone With Everybody'.
Having supported The Script and James Morrison on tour, it won't be long before Vagabond are selling-out huge venues of their own.»

After recording "Fans" by Kings of Leon (as selected by the, err, fans), Vagabond have posted the choices for their next cover version:

What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
Wild Horses - The Rolling Stones
Hard To Handle - Otis Redding
Ramble On - Led Zeppelin
Layla - Eric Clapton

Let them know which track you would like the band to cover by posting your choice on their MySpace.

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Video: Mini Viva - Left My Heart In Tokyo
Posted at 5:38 PM, 21 July 2009 - 0 Comments


Mini Viva's first music video is finally here. "Left My Heart In Tokyo" was directed by Ray Kay (who also did Lady Gaga's "Poker Face", Destiny's Child's "Soldier", among many others). The video was shot in L.A., but it definitely captures the vibe and imagery of the city of Tokyo.

The single will be released on 7th September. Mini Viva's debut album will follow in November.

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Popjustice Twenty Quid Music Prize: the shortlist
Posted at 11:49 AM, - 0 Comments


Girls Aloud's "The Promise", Alesha Dixon's "The Boy Does Nothing" and "Love etc." by Pet Shop Boys are the three Xenomania songs shortlisted on this year's Popjustice Twenty Quid Music Prize.

The prize rewards the best British single of the last 12 months and is given out on the same night as the Mercury Prize. Past winners include Rachel Stevens, Amy Winehouse and Girls Aloud, who won four times.

These are the twelve British pop singles shortlisted for the 2009 Popjustice Twenty Quid Music Prize:

'Beat Again' by JLS
'Better Off As Two' by Frankmusik
'I'm Not Alone' by Calvin Harris
'In For The Kill' by La Roux
'Love Etc' by Pet Shop Boys
'Method Of Modern Love' by Saint Etienne
'New In Town' by Little Boots
'Take Me Back' by Tinchy Stryder
'The Promise' by Girls Aloud
'Up' by The Saturdays
'The Boy Does Nothing' by Alesha Dixon
'The Fear' by Lily Allen

The winner will be decided at a London judging debacle - this year's takes place on Tuesday September 8. The winning artist will be awarded twenty quid (cash).

If you'd like to be on the judging panel, send an email to musicprize2009@popjustice.com with your name, age, occupation, one single you think should have been taken off the shortlist and one single you think should have been put on the shortlist.

Closing date for judging applications is September 1; selected judges will be notified on September 3.

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Listen to Mini Viva's "Left My Heart In Tokyo"
Posted at 1:13 AM, 20 July 2009 - 0 Comments


Mini Viva's "Left My Heart In Tokyo" had its first official airplay last night on Radio 1's Switch. The song received positive feedback - Nick Grimshaw estimated around 80% of good reactions. Annie Mac said that the single "is not bad for one of them pop songs" (??) and Grimshaw added that "it'll grow on you and be massive this summer".

You can listen to a radio rip of the song above. The song is fun, fresh and eagerly dynamic. It has the Xenomania sound and yet it is unlike anything we've heard from them. Beneath the fairly conventional pop structure, there's little tricks and treats to be found.

It has that apparent conflicting nature of a slightly melancholic tone surrounded by danceable energy and attitude. The voices are interesting & captivating, the bass is funky, the synths are glistening and the chorus is instantly catchy, as is the little tune that precedes the chorus (sounding like a cross between the Oriental Riff and the opening riff of "This Diamond Ring").

"Left My Heart In Tokyo" is set to be released on 7th September.

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"Left My Heart in Tokyo" radio debut today
Posted at 4:15 PM, 19 July 2009 - 1 Comments


Mini Viva get their first official radio airing today. The debut single "Left My Heart In Tokyo" premieres on BBC Radio 1's Switch with Annie Mac and Nick Grimshaw.

Tune in to Radio 1 from 7pm today. The song will be played in the first half of the show, so text them afterward and let them know what you think of it. For more info, see bbc.co.uk/switch/annieandnick.

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Listen to "Standing Up For The Lonely"
Posted at 1:26 PM, - 0 Comments

Jessie Malakouti's debut single, "Standing Up For The Lonely", premiered last Friday on Radio 1's Floorfillers with Scott Mills. You can listen to the song on Radio 1's website - the show will be available to stream until the end of the week.

"Standing Up For the Lonely" will be released on 21st September 2009, on the Ministry of Sound label.

Jessie Malakouti went on tour supporting The Saturdays last month. Here's some behind the scenes footage from the tour:

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Xenomania Records host free live event for under-18s
Posted at 7:22 PM, 18 July 2009 - 0 Comments

Xenomania Records are hosting a free live music event in Westerham on 29th July 2009.

Xenomania are based in Westerham and want to give something back to kids who are interested in music, therefore this event is for under 18s and totally FREE.

The event will be held at Westerham Village Hall, Quebec Avenue, Westerham TN16 1BJ, between 18:00 and 22:30.


The line up is as follows:


  • Alex Gardner
17-year-old from Scotland, recently signed to Universal Records after a bidding war between three record labels. It's the biggest deal Universal has signed since Mika. He's been doing a weekly residence at Water Rats and recently performed at T in the Park - you can watch a live video from the festival here.
MySpace: http://myspace.com/alexgardnermusic

  • Pageboy
Lead singer Brooke is from Brooklyn, NYC, and started out in a Led Zeppelin cover band before being spotted by Xenomania's A&R. Pageboy are signed to Geffen and have been gigging for the last six months and getting rave reviews from The Times & GQ.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pageboy

  • Eliza Noble
20-year-old singer/songwriter from London. She has been gigging for the last few years and just starting to get things going and booking more gigs.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/elizanoblemusic

  • Maxine
A 16-year-old girl from the Bronx, NYC. She is a sassy/soulful singer who's one part Neneh Cherry, one part Beyoncé. Maxine has just started out with Xenomania.
MySpace: http://myspace.com/maxineakamimi

  • NiteVisions
Once part of the Electric City, the singer Andy Taylor and guitarrist/writer James Taylor have started up a new band called NiteVisions, with a leaner, more electro sound.
MySpace: http://myspace.com/nitevisionsmusic

  • Gez O'Connell
Soulful soloist with a big voice. Once signed to Island as part of The Rushes, Gez joined the Xenomania family this year and is one of their newest stand out talents.

  • JFK
Three piece pop rock outfit making waves wherever they play with their rhythmic harmonies. They have backed artists such as Gabriella Cilmi and Xenomania stable mates Mini Viva.

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Mini Viva in the press: The Guardian, NME
Posted at 3:47 PM, 17 July 2009 - 0 Comments

Mini Viva are today's "New band of the day" in The Guardian. Paul Lester writes: «They're rough and raw for the polished-pop milieu, which is good, and they've got a lot to learn, but there are groups, plenty of them, who could learn a thing or two from them, even at this early stage in their development, even this late in the game.»

Seeing Mini Viva in NME this week (more of that below) reminded Lester of «how wonderful it would be if there was more two-way traffic between indie and pop». Just like in the early '80s, when there was a new sense of "dual engagement": «of indie bands using pop techniques to infect the mainstream with "awkward" ideas, and of pop acts seeking the edge and cred of rock».

Paul Lester says that Mini Viva are «the act most likely to encourage a productive dialogue between indie and pop, between the art world and the chart world». He adds that Mini Viva are the new Mel & Kim, the '80s pop duo that was under the guidance of production team Stock Aitken Waterman ("Respectable" is one of the great tunes to remember).

This week, Peter Robinson guest-edited the Radar section of NME and named Mini Viva «the next biggest girl band in the universe». You can read the brilliant interview on their MySpace (Little Boots also seemed to enjoy it).

Robinson says that «Mini Viva's pop music, like the very best pop music, has not been invented for the benefit of children or idiots». He talks about «Xenomania team's ruthlessly efficient attitude, a perfectionist approach which frequently results in era-defining pop tuneage». «And yet, there's a curiously unmanufactured feel to Mini Viva», he adds.

Mini Viva have also recently appeared on the website of French magazine Première and on Argentinian magazine Si! . The plan for international pop stardom sure seems to be on course.

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Pre-order Vagabond's "Don't Wanna Run No More"
Posted at 10:25 PM, 16 July 2009 - 0 Comments

The new Vagabond single is now available to pre-order on iTunes. You can also pre-order it on Amazon. "Don't Wanna Run No More" will be released on August 3rd.

The single has moved up to BBC Radio 1's B-list and remains B-listed on Radio 2. Click here to see who's been playing the song on the radio - Jo Whiley seems to be the biggest supporter.

Vagabond have recorded an acoustic cover of "Fans" by Kings of Leon, as voted by the fans. Watch it here (Afro Sam is seen briefly doing abdominal crunches...). Stay tuned for another vote on which cover you'd like to see next.

Watch an interview with the band at T in the Park and two live videos from Vagabond's last show with James Morrison: Sweat Until The Morning; I Know A Girl.

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Alphabeat team up with Xenomania
Posted at 3:46 PM, 15 July 2009 - 1 Comments

Danish popsters Alphabeat have been spending some time at the Xenomania mansion. They are working on their new album, the follow-up to last year's This Is Alphabeat.

Alphabeat are known for their unpretentious, melodic and pure pop sound. The single "Fascination" was a major hit in Denmark during the summer of 2007 and peaked at number 6 in the UK charts. Their debut album This Is Alphabeat went platinum in Denmark, and in the UK it has gone gold. Earlier this year, the six-piece band signed a new record deal with Polydor.

The London-based Danish group posted "The Alphabeat Summer Photo Album" on their MySpace blog, with a picture taken at Xenomania HQ:
«At the Xenomania mansion we spend some days in search of song writing inspiration ... Besides hard work we enjoyed the beautiful surroundings ! In the picture above [below] is Lil Anders and Stine using their break from music to (for some reason) play with a swing chair. We have no further explanation to Lil Anders' cheeky smile and why Anders SG wanted to snap a picture right at this spot ? ! ? We might never find out ...»

Mini Viva in NME magazine
Posted at 1:01 AM, - 0 Comments


This week's NME includes a two-page spread about Mini Viva. They appear in the Radar section, guest-edited by Peter "Popjustice" Robinson. The magazine is now on sale across the UK.

UPDATE: You can now read the article on Mini Viva's MySpace.

Mini Viva have been working with Xenomania over the last year and a half, writing with Brian Higgins, Miranda Cooper and also with Norwegian pop singer Annie. They recently performed a few live shows as a support act on The Saturdays Work Tour and are currently getting ready for the launch of their first single, "Left My Heart In Tokyo", to be released in September. Their debut album is due in November.

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New Girls Aloud album in 2010
Posted at 3:56 PM, 14 July 2009 - 1 Comments


Girls Aloud's official website has issued a statement to clear all rumours:

«We are definitely NOT splitting up. In fact we have all signed a new contract with Fascination/Polydor Records guaranteeing that we will release at least another three Girls Aloud albums - minimum. We will definitely all be going into the studio next year to record - and there will definitely be a new GA album in 2010.»

They also say that over the next twelve months the girls are going to be involved in lots of different things - music, TV, fashion and more. Sometimes it may be a solo project - sometimes just a couple of them and sometimes all five together.

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"Left My Heart In Tokyo" is Popjustice's Song Of The Day
Posted at 11:40 AM, - 0 Comments

Popjustice has selected Mini Viva's debut single "Left My Heart in Tokyo" as the "Song of the Day":

«The Fred Falke mixes of '...Tokyo' were released on deliciously packaged 10" vinyl last year via a spooky indie label set up by Xenomania.

«Now the duo have signed to Geffen the track's full release this September will come with a few more bells and whistles - quite fitting considering the full balls-out radio edit version of 'Left My Heart In Tokyo' is several different kinds of incredible - a sophisticated future disco record and a flag in the ground for the post-Aloud pop generation.»

This week's NME magazine (out tomorrow) has a two-page spread about Mini Viva, written by Peter "Popjustice" Robinson.

Here's "Left My Heart in Tokyo" and "Bedroom Viba" performed live in Manchester on The Work Tour:



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Xenomania acts at iTunes Live - Popjustice ticket giveaway
Posted at 11:08 AM, - 0 Comments

Xenomania Records are showcasing their newest acts at iTunes Live Festival in London this Thursday (July 16). They are offering a pair of tickets to 20 Popjustice readers.

The artists performing are Alex Gardner, Pageboy and Gez O'Connell. The tickets will also allow you to go into the main iTunes gig to see Simple Minds supported by Vagabond.

To enter, send your name and email address to mightnotstayforsimpleminds@popjustice.com (hah) by 3pm tomorrow (Wednesday July 15). Successful entrants will be notified by email and will need to get to the venue (the Roundhouse in Camden) by 6.30pm to claim their tickets.

Alex Gardner recently performed at T in the Park - The Herald says he was «soulful and youthfully confident». Gez O'Connell is «new and unsigned», and this will be one of his first gigs under the Xenomania umbrella.

Earlier this year, Pageboy were selected by The Times as one of the hot music acts of 2009. This is what they wrote:

«Fronted by Brooke Gengras, first impressions of Pageboy suggest an old-fashioned female-fronted rock group with faint overtones of the Pretenders. Gengras's band is capable enough, but all eyes are on a singer who seems to have spent a lot of late-night vinyl hours in the company of soul greats such as Dinah Washington and Irma Thomas. No singles have been released as yet, but Monica and Brothers and Sisters deserve to be huge hits ahead of this summer's debut album».

Click here to watch an acoustic performance of "Brothers and Sisters". Also, as you might have noticed, we love animals, so this gives us the perfect excuse to post a picture of Brooke's puppy (recently twittered by Vagabond). Look at this cutie:

What a smart puppy. There's more of him on Pageboy's MySpace.

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Mini Viva's "Left My Heart in Tokyo" radio premiere
Posted at 2:12 PM, 13 July 2009 - 0 Comments

Mini Viva are getting the first airplay of their debut single "Left My Heart In Tokyo" on BBC Radio 1's "Switch" with Annie Mac & Nick Grimshaw on July 19th (7pm - 10pm).

Mini Viva have added a clip of the single to their MySpace player.

Give it a listen and let the girls know what you think by leaving them a comment. You can add it to your profile to help spread the word.

This week's issue of NME magazine will have a double-page spread about Mini Viva, so look out for it.


Here's a live performance of "Left My Heart In Tokyo" from the Popjustice stage at Camden Crawl:



Links:
Mini Viva official site
Mini Viva MySpace
Mini Viva Facebook
Mini Viva Bebo
Mini Viva YouTube

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Pet Shop Boys demos on the official site
Posted at 1:24 PM, - 0 Comments

The demos of the Xenomania-produced "Beautiful people" and "This used to be the future" are now available on Pet Shop Boys' official website.

To listen to the demos, go to the website and then click on Navigation -> Product -> Exclusive tracks.

"Beautiful people" is very stripped back, without the lush '60s-style instrumentation. It sounds smoother and cleaner. It's interesting to hear how it was later developed by the Xenomania team.

"This used to be the future" doesn't sound too dissimilar - it is however a bit longer, the bass seems heavier and the production is not as crisp and "futuristic" as the final version. Neil Tennant does most of the vocals on this one.

Meanwhile, in the US charts, "Love etc." has reached a new peak on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play Chart, climbing to #4.

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Alex Gardner added to T in the Park
Posted at 4:50 PM, 10 July 2009 - 0 Comments


Alex Gardner will be performing at T in the Park tomorrow, on the BBC Introducing stage. The 18-year-old Scottish singer recently signed to Xenomania Records and is currently working on his debut album, due this Autumn.

Scotland's biggest music festival T in the Park begins today. Vagabond are also included in the line-up - they're playing tonight at 7:15 pm.

Alex Gardner's MySpace has demo clips of "Yesterday's News", "Picture Me Running" and "I've Tried" - go and have a listen.

Here's Alex singing "With Her":



Links:
Alex Gardner MySpace
Alex Gardner YouTube

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Mini Viva update: tour videos, "Tokyo", France
Posted at 8:00 PM, 08 July 2009 - 1 Comments

Mini Viva performed the final show on their UK tour supporting The Saturdays last night in Manchester. Head over to DJ WM's website to see backstage pictures and read the tour blog.

Mini Viva are now preparing to release their debut single "I Left My Heart in Tokyo" in September in the UK. They are also being launched in France, and have been drawing attention from the press.

Musique Evous calls them the «new English pop phenomenon», while Mobifun predicts that Mini Viva's music «will quickly take over your iPod playlist».

Melty.fr says that their music is «light, fresh and will put a smile on your lips» and that «besides making good music, the two singers also have a lot of charm».

Musique Radio writes that their debut single is «elegant and seductive, (...) refreshing from the very first listen, tailored for the summer and introducing Mini Viva in a beautiful strong manner». They add that the summery tones of Mini Viva's first single «already promise a radiant musical future».

Musique Radio have "I Left My Heart In Tokyo" (the single version) on their "Dance Party" playlist. Skip through the playlist to have a listen.


Here's a few videos from Mini Viva's tour:

Hooked



Bedroom Viba



Emotions of Love

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Vagabond update: playlisted on Radio 1 & 2, remix, live reviews
Posted at 8:00 PM, - 0 Comments

"Don't Wanna Run No More" has been added to BBC Radio 2's B-list and is now C-listed on Radio 1.

You can listen to the Bimbo Jones remix of the song on YouTube. The single is out on August 3rd.

Meanwhile, Vagabond will be busy touring the UK. These are this month's scheduled dates:

10 Jul T in the Park
11 Jul Liverpool Echo Arena (With Mcfly)
12 Jul Mouth Of The Tyne Festival
12 Jul Durham Cricket Ground (Supporting James Morrison)
16 Jul ITUNES FESTIVAL - The Roundhouse, London
17 Jul Rochester Castle (With Mcfly), Kent

Read a few recent live reviews:
  • Support-act Vagabond gained a huge reception from the 10,000 strong crowd after performing a string of quality, high tempo hits from album You Don't Know The Half Of It. In Alex Vargas, the band have a lead singer who oozes cool. His rock star haircut and confident swagger on stage are reminisent of a young Lenny Kravitz, definitely a group to look out for. Click Liverpool
  • Their look (apologies for beginning with the superficial) is… unusual. The frontman with his long curly locks could be Michael Hutchence; funky, afro-haired bass player Sam wouldn’t look out of place in The Jackson Five and the other skinny two look like they should be in Franz Ferdinand. Yet when the music began, they all gelled well.
    The sound? It’s mainstream, but it’s darn catchy. old-fashioned, 70s-style soul balladry for those who loved the original r&b, with a touch of urban and white-man’s blues, their songs are pinned down by Vargas’ impressive, gritty vocals and his band-mates chilled-out grooves.
    The track that got the crowd going most tonight was debut single, er, ‘Sweat Until the Morning’, and if they can sing a song with a name like that and get away with it, then these boys surely have a future. The Irish World

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Vagabond interview: Michael Jackson, the group, the album
Posted at 1:24 PM, 05 July 2009 - 0 Comments

Vagabond's frontman Alex Vargas recently spoke about Michael Jackson and his influence on the band: «I can't believe it – it's such a loss. You can't reinvent music in 2009, you can only mix together what's come before - he was one of the last musicians to really make something unique and new.»

The band had spent the whole day in the Xenomania studios when they heard the news: «I got a call from a friend. Steve (Carter, guitarist) is the biggest fan so we ran over the road where Luke (Fitton, guitarist) lives and put the news on. History was the first album I spent my own money on and I guess he's had quite an influence on the band.»

Vagabond have been putting the finishing touches on their debut album - they recently recorded a new song titled "You Talk To Me". The album's synth-tinged rock and soulful guitar pop is seen as a surprising mix coming from the Xenomania team.

Alex denies feeling under pressure to match Xenomania's chart-topping success: «You can see it as pressure or as motivation. The way I see it is that it's great these people at the top believe in us. In fact I'm the one stressing myself out. I believe in the record so much – what if it doesn't do well? What do I do then? I'm so nervous about it, I've had to warn the guys that I'm going to be a ***** until the album comes out! A big ego is very heavy, so it's going to be a tough month.»

Vagabond met when they were working as backing musicians at the Xenomania mansion. «I was in there doing some work on my own music and as we got working together, it just worked», Alex says. «We all get on really well – we've said to each other that we want to be doing this for a long time, so we need to treat each other like family and have patience with each other and look out for each other.»

«It's important for me because I don't have my family around me here - I left home in Denmark when I was 17 to move to England, but I'm still close to them and I love going home and lying on the sofa while my mum runs around after me!»

Vagabond's buzz single "Sweat (Until The Morning)" recently played on EastEnders. Alex Vargas said in an interview that the song is based on a short fling he had: «[It] is basically just about sex, stopping to have a glass of wine and a smoke and then back to bed again». «"Sweat" is probably our most produced track and it’s definitely not the biggest track on the album but we decided to release it first to give people a taste of better things to come.»

He added: «There are a lot of uplifting songs on this album and we wanted to do this because there is a lot of depressing shit out there. It isn’t wrong but I think too many writers are afraid to admit they’re actually ok – we’re happy so we write uplifting music.»

Vagabond's debut album You Don't Know The Half Of It is set for release on August 17th. The single "Don't Wanna Run No More" is out on August 3rd.
Pre-order both on Amazon: album + single

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When I say MINI you say VIVA
Posted at 9:40 PM, 03 July 2009 - 0 Comments


Mini Viva have three shows left on their UK tour supporting The Saturdays - they'll be performing in Grimsby this Sunday.

They seem to be getting a positive response from the tour audience, who shout out their name and do the Mini Viva hand sign (see video above). They also have a new logo - Popjustice did a thing about it yesterday.

There's a video on YouTube of Mini Viva performing "Emotions of Love". Video quality is not the best, but you'll get the idea. Click.
You can read tour blogs on their MySpace and also on DJ WM's website.

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"Don't Wanna Run No More" playlisted on Radio 1
Posted at 5:45 PM, 02 July 2009 - 0 Comments

Vagabond's upcoming single "Don't Wanna Run No More" has been added to BBC Radio One's 1-Upfront list.

To give the band your support, text in with your feedback if you catch the song on the radio.

Keep an eye out for the "Don't Wanna Run No More" video on TV: it's been added to The Box, 4 Music and Q TV.

The single will be released on August 3rd - the album You Don't Know The Half Of It is out on August 17th.

Vagabond will be playing at Kenwood House this Saturday with James Morrison. Check their MySpace for full dates.

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Mini Viva tour videos and setlist
Posted at 3:49 PM, 01 July 2009 - 1 Comments


Mini Viva have so far done three shows on their UK tour supporting The Saturdays. The girls will be in Plymouth tonight. These are the next dates on the tour:

1 Jul 8pm Plymouth Pavillions
2 Jul
8pm Swindon Oasis Centre
3 Jul 8pm Cardiff CIA
5 Jul 8pm Grimsby Auditorium
6 Jul 8pm Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
7 Jul 8pm Manchester Apollo

Mini Viva are joined on stage by DJ WM. They have been performing five songs each night on the tour: "Hooked", "Bedroom Viba", "Emotions Of Love", "I Wish" and the debut single "I Left My Heart In Tokyo". The single should be on the radio in a few weeks time. Keep checking their MySpace blog for updates.

Here's Mini Viva performing "Hooked" to an enthusiastic crowd in Leicester:


There's also a couple of mini videos on YouTube of another song: 1, 2 (the second video includes a cute Mini Viva moment at the end...).

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