It’s that time of the year Swingamajiggers. The moment you’ve all been waiting for, the big reveal of the first stage of our monster 2017 lineup! The full bill comes swinging into action in early March but for now we’ve got a sneak peek at some of the headline artists leading the charge and gracing the stages for this year’s festival.
First up: one of the most unique, in demand and hardest to pin down acts around, The Correspondents. So much more than the sum of their parts, this dynamic duo of DJ and MC scoff at the notion of genre, taking in sounds and influences, absorbing them, mixing them up and throwing out music that defies convention, challenges expectations and above all brings life to dancefloors. The Correspondents are fronted by the ecletic vocal talents of Mr Bruce, a man with oodles of charisma and seemingly limitless vocal energy while they’re backed up on the wheels of steel by Chucks, a selector who picks and chooses with no prejudice, taking your hand and leading you on a journey; from jazz to electro, hip-hop to drum & bass, blues through dubstep and onwards.
Eighteen years in the game means two man DJ and production outfit The Freestylers have seen an awful lot. They’re absolute heavyweights in the bass music scene with five studio albums and numerous singles and remixes under their belt. They’ve had too many live performances to count but with things like Glastonbury, Big Day Out, Times Square Millennium Parties and even Tops of The Pops on their credentials you know to take notice. Their music crosses boundaries, stemming from a love of breaks, beats, electro and hip-hop and is delivered in a renegade and wild style that only they could manage.
Still going from strength to strength, 2017 sees Electric Swing Circus bigger than ever. The year kicked off with the launch of their second album: It Flew By which took electro swing and vintage remix and flipped them on their heads and further reinforced the ESC aesthetic. Pushing boundaries and wowing audiences since 2012, Electric Swing Circus are never more at home than when playing their own Swingamajig festival, supplying Birmimgham with a taste of its very own homegrown swing sound. You know what to expect with these lot!
Trumpet? Check! Vocalist? Check! Sam & The Womp take Balkan influences and ska then put a twist on it with some modern dance and electronic production techniques. Their first single ‘Bom, Bom’ went flying into the number one spot upon it’s release in 2012 and sold over a million copies and saw them getting snapped up by Stiff Records shortly after. Big brass sounds with an infectious groove and a big dose of bass means these guys are the perfect addition to the Swingamajig sound.
A little bit of swing, a healthy splash of gyspy tinted ska, a dash of dub, a trickle of soulful melodies and a great big infusion of eastern riffs and womping bass. That’s the patented recipe for Mr Tea & The Minions. A Bristol based musical treat, these guys bring high energy and inimitable stage presence to the table and are guaranteed to plaster a big fat smile across your face while keeping your knees up past your ears.
C@ In The H@ is true turntablist and the pioneer of his own ‘Swing With The Big Bass Sound’. One of Birmingham’s most unique musical personalities, he blends early swing and jazz sounds with 21st century beats and big bouncy basslines while co-directing Ragtime Records alongside Top Hat of the Electric Swing Circus. His DJ sets are an exciting blend of electro swing, turntablism, dubstep, jungle, house and reggae.
Fronted by the luscious and powerful vocals of Sharna-Mae this year’s champions for the bumpin sound of rock n’ roll are Sharna-Mae and the Mayhems. Winners of the Glastonbudget 2016 Band of the Year Award, they’re a fresh young band producing music in a rockabilly and country roots style. Their first album has seen BBC2 play by Bob Harris and with overwhelmingly reviews flying about left, right and centre we’re proud to bring them to the 2017 instalment of Swingamajig.
A sixteen piece big band like no other, the Jim Wynn Swing Orchestra are one of Birmingham’s hottest swing exports. They specialise in vintage swing from the 30’s and 40’s and are no stranger to the classic sounds and textures of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and much more. Veterans of the swing dance scene, this lot will have you lindy hopping and jumping in no time whatsoever.
So there you have it, your first teaser of what to expect this year! Keep those eyes and ears peeled for the rest of the artists being announced in March!