Looking back at our tips for New Bands for 2006 the likes of Orson, Boy Kill Boy and Forward Russia have flourished while bands like The Hussy's and Misty's Big Adventure are playing the longball. Elsewhere The Tommy's have finished 2006 minus their lead singer and are continuing as a 3 piece, Linchpin seem to have all left school / college which has enabled them to their first full length tour of the country in 2007 and they should capitalize on that potential and Dear Eskiimo, Lucky Soul and Omerta have all been concentrating on studio work for much of the year.

As we launch our selections for the New Bands for 2007 many are backing the likes of Mika and Enter Shikari for major success in the next twelve months, some are still going on about the Klaxons despite the fact they've been constantly on the radar for the last 6 months constantly. Below Designer Magazine select 5 bands we believe will break nationally and then look locally to Manchester with 5 bands we believe will be the talk of M1 and the surrounding areas.

The Tigerpicks played their first ever gig for Designer Magazine as part of our In The City Preview on Sept 26th and a week later the NME were frothing at the mouth calling them "The Rapture + Bis x the sound robots make when they die divided by disco drug abuse = this genius racket". Fast forward just four weeks later and the band signed to Deltasonic Records during the In The City weekend, got selected by our goodselves to be played on Huw Stephens Radio 1 In The City special and then got national airplay on XFM as part of the Deltasonic Xmas Bash alongside the Coral. With some exciting support slots lined up between February and April they are potentially the biggest new band out of Manchester in a long while.

To look at Switches are a blank canvass giving nothing away about their sound which will in turn be as much as a help as a hindrance. In these modern times people always like the easy option and if they can see mini-Libertines or Monkeys action dolls in action it's a lot easier than saying we just don't know how this band are going to sound like. With a host of influences from Bowie through to 70s powerpop such as Cheap Trick. Modern reference points include Suede, Silversun and on the single "Lay Down The Law" they manage to mix The Zutons with Franz Ferdinand. With more tunes than you can shake you tic tacs expect to hear a hell of a lot more of Switches in the near future.

Just 100 people crammed into the Star & Garter earlier this year to witness local band The Jakpot launch their EP, but it was support band The Enemy who were destined to be the ones everybody were talking about. At the time it was only their fifth ever gig and NME were yet to coin the phrase New Midlands or whatever it was they called the likes of The Enemy, The Twang and burgeoning scene that previously had been avoided like the plague due to Ocean Colour Scene-itus. Managed by the same team as Boy Kill Boy, The Enemy were in comparison an edgy punk band and the fact that they were launched by
word of mouth with people suspecting it was a mini-indie supergroup featuring members of The Paddingtons, Boy Kill Boy and The Others made it all the more hilarious. With support slots with The Paddingtons, Milburn and The Futureheads under their wings they kick off 2007 with a headline tour in January.

Miss Conduct sent us a request to our Myspace profile shortly after we booked fellow Welsh Rockers Kids In Glass Houses to play one of our Designer Magazine gigs and we were blown away. As we've said before in reviews 2007 will be the year of strong female artists and Miss Conducts frontwoman Kim Waterson looks set to be the spokeswoman for the rock scene. With gorgeous pop hooks the band are set to follow in the footsteps of Funeral For A Friend as one of our favourite bands and with Visible Noise (Lostprophets / Bullet For My Valentine) behind them 2007 looks set to be the year they break out from the underground scene to the mainstream. Expect a few scenesters to cry sell out - expect the rest of the world to say thank f*ck
for Miss Conduct!!!

It only happens once or twice a year at most, but when you see a band like Tiny Dancers its possible to imagine them being single-handedly one of the biggest bands to come out of the UK in the 2007. Hailing from Sheffield the band have absolutely f**k all in common with the Arctic Monkeys and if we had to pinpoint a locals they have more in common with the spaghetti western sound of certain Coral songs mixed with the widescreen country sound of the Eagles even though they are named after an Elton John song. Walking on-stage with poncho's and Adam Ant meets The Village People style face paint the more oikish members of tonight's audience who inevitably been dragged along by their girlfriends to watch Paolo are walking out of the venue in droves only to return 5 minutes later when they realize exactly what they're missing out on.

As much as their image rips up the template, musically they don't so much rip it up as tear up every rule book that ever existed and make year zero the year of Tiny Dancers. For the first 3 minutes a hypnotic dancefried beat which is part Dr John , part the Chemical brothers, goes on until it breaks into a country tune that Clint Eastwood would use for method acting. That's as conventional as it gets with this band but somehow they manage to take from these disparate influences and make glorious tunes which should make them serious contenders for 2007.


Manchester so much to answer for. In fact this years been one of the best in recent years with Designer Magazine stepping out to see more unsigned bands than ever before and our own unsigned band nights being a growing success which has seen some great Manchester bands such as Omerta, 4ft Soldiers, Ryna, Shepherds Pi, Orphan Boy, Air Cav, Band(ism), Powell Morgan play for us...bands we fully expect to go on to greater things in 2007.

With bands such as Carlis Star, The Jakpot, The Answering Machine and The Maple State all receiving label interest we should really have made this a Top 25 new Manchester bands you should check out, but alas we had to keep it to 5 bands you should check out on 2007:

Popworld, Face from the A Team and Frank Sidebottom all count themselves as fans of Doug Walker. Rocksound named him as one of the singer songwriters to look out for in 2007 despite the fact he doesn't play guitar and one of the leading A&R guys from Vertigo Records told Doug he was coming up to Manchester the next day after hearing "Stranger Than Fiction" at 11pm while looking through Myspace. Not bad for someone who as the beginning of 2006 who'd managed to sing backed by a 90 piece orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall but had been criminally ignored by the music industry. 2007 starts off with a show at Clapham Grand Theatre in February for dozens of A&R execs before a hometown show in Manchester in April. Expect more from Manchester's one man answer to The Feeling.

At the time of going to press Hey Bulldog isn't a fully fledged band, haven't played a gig and we're already naming him one of the Best New Artists to look out for in 2007. Named after the last song the Beatles recorded in a room together Rob Manton (the man behind Hey Bulldog) has just released the New York City Blues EP and its the most vital release we've heard since Oasis's "Definitely Maybe" or The Strokes "Is This It?". Ploughing the garage rock furrow, but mixing it up with the pop nous of The Subways or Nic Armstrong if there's one artist that's going to go from zero to hero within six months then this man will be it. As Guitarist/songwriter Rob Manton puts it “Its not about being part of a trend or a scene, it’s about making good
music” can choose to believe us or not, but by the end of 2007 you wont be able to escape Hey Bulldog!

On our wish list for bands for 2007 we wished for a band that could be as big as Lostprophets or My Chemical Romance and put a spotlight on Manchester's often over-looked rock scene - White Knuckle are that band. Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine have done alot to invigorate the metal scene, but White Knuckle take it one step further by delivering on the tunes
as well as the riffs in the same way that Iron Maiden did.

Designer Magazine have been waiting for Astro Boy to break through for nearly 18 months and 2007 could be the year they do it. Over the past few months with management on board they been recording their debut album in London with sporadic visits back to Manchester to roadtest the new material. With The Maple State breaking through onto the indie scene Astro Boy have obviously been watching and have notched up support slots with Boy Kill Boy and Captain towards the end of 2006 which sets them in good stead for some headline dates of their own in 2007.

"Astro Boy have been loitering around Manchester's alternative rock scene for the past 12 months, but they seem to have really found their calling on this support slot for Boy Kill Boy. "Guilty Conscience" and "Rotoscope" sound like The Killers meet the Arctic Monkeys with touches of the Panic! At The Disco thrown into the mix for good measure. New song "Holiday In The
Sun" is a real primal rock song turned into a disco classic, "We Need A Story" sounds like the Get Up Kids gone acoustic and hints at their emo past before ending with the classic singalong "We're Not Stars". Give it 12 months and it could well be Elliot Smith and The Astro Boys their talking about rather than Alex Turner and his Arctic Monkeys" March 2006

"Designer Magazine saw Karima Francis at this years Cohesion Live festival. Well we say saw her. Karima was watching Lou Rhodes at the time was striking enough that when we were glancing through the In The City listings we immediately recognized this strikingly individual character that could just be one of Manchester's hottest exports. Recently we've become bored of the
likes of Stephen Fretwell and Liam Frost but female singer songwriters such as Karima Francis and Lucy & The Caterpiller are proving that the girls are where its at. Musically it's highly emotive reminding us of Tracy Chapman or even a female Leonard Cohen and is about as far away from KT Tunstall as you can imagine. This is a must see gig!!!" That is what we wrote for Designer Magazine's In The City Preview shows in Mid October. After seeing her twice over the ITC Weekend at shows where people were literally standing outside venues at the hope of saying they were there, we're convinced Karima is the most important musical artist to come out of Manchester since Morrissey. Karima Francis plays Manchester Academy 3 in February.

Which bands do you think will be big in 2007?
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