Blue and green record exploding into shards

Various Artists
The Showcase Sett LP

Tired of seeing quality music remaining hidden in plain sight, The Showcase Sett is a compilation of music from bands and artists that have featured on Xan Philips’ Showcase show on Original 106 FM. There’s a broad selection of songs on offer here, so let’s get to it!

Jazica make the strongest possible start to this South Coast compilation with ‘Illusions’, which bleeds from sequenced electronica to slick rock with powerful rhythms with a vocal reminiscent of Raissa. Following this is ‘Slaves’ from In Darklight. This is an indie song with flickers of The Bluetones and Delays in the sound. This is a great song, especially considering the fact that it’s a flip-side, taken from their recent single ‘Head Rush’. This is one band that have come a long way since they started out.

Recreation serve up another slice of melodic-indie with ‘Open Up’, which has the kind of chorus that can launch a career. This transitions to an acoustic-led sound that gives all the sonic space to Andrew Foster’s voice in ‘The Alchemist’; a melancholy song about the complexity and chance of love. Nick Tann follows this with another song that’s powered by an acoustic guitar, but this time with the feel of an unplugged Maroon 5.

The Visitors also start of acoustically, but ‘Promised Land’ turns out like a lost Rolling Stones song with Hammond, lead guitar and classic swagger. Cranking up the rock and roll, ‘T.H.E.M’ from Kodiac Jack has a stomping beat, a rush of guitars, and a big voice. On top of this, there’s a big chorus and a big solo with a fade out that gives this song a twelve-inch feel.

Taken from the awesome album Building Humans, ‘The Temptress’ is all things epic, massive and huge – with killer melody and brooding chorus on top. Hijera add their funky sound to the compilation with ‘Pointless Cigarettes’, which is a trademark electro-funk-pop song.

‘Slide’ is Thinking For Tuesday’s chosen representative and it actually sounds really good on this compilation – and their record demonstrates they have even better songs on offer too. Wise Children layer delicate guitars and sparkly metallophone to create an intricate sound, which is perfect for the assured melody. This is one of those songs that perfectly captures and shares an emotion.

‘Sarah and the Wolves’ is a weighty soundtrack from Loz Bridge and The Box Social. The quality piano solo is a truly great musical moment in a song that delivers a heavy softness. Returning to some retro rock and roll, ‘Living In Sin’ is a rocker with loose drums from Moody Tuesday and ‘Top of the World’ is big open-chord Brit-rock from The Queue.

Dlugokecki’s fantastic ‘Let This Be Right’ smoulders like a hot coal, before bursting into flame with a rich melting pot of guitars, piano, keyboard and solid rhythm section. The voice is unmistakable and the builds are amazing, finding new highs with each massive wave.

Georgia Wonder finishes the album with the classy ‘Hello Stranger’, which is like a modern day song from The Carpenters.

In the words of Xan Phillips, this album is born of “…the frustration of hearing talent linger in the shadows…“. The songs on offer here really represent extraordinary talent and this is a fantastic way to hear these great bands before they do make it out of the shadows to burn brightly.

Written by Fenton on

Steve Fenton writes in our music, words, and culture categories. He was Editor in Chief for The Mag and covered live music for DV8 Magazine and Spill Magazine. He was often found in venues throughout the UK alongside ace-photographer, Mark Holloway. Steve is also a technical writer and programmer and writes gothic fiction. Steve studied Psychology at OSC, and Anarchy in the UK: A History of Punk from 1976-1978 at the University of Reading.

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