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Higher education bands to watch in 2018

Paul Greatrix's latest round up of the surprisingly large number of popular bands with higher education related names.
This article is more than 6 years old

Paul Greatrix is Registrar at The University of Nottingham, author and creator of Registrarism and a Contributing Editor of Wonkhe.

In previous posts we’ve looked at the older big names  and some of the forgotten ones from the musical world of higher education. And let’s not forget that 2017 was actually a big year for bands in higher ed, especially for these outfits:

  • The Wonks, who shone as the UK’s entry in Higher Ed Eurovision
  • Learning Gain, who enjoyed half a dozen top 10 hits
  • Groves of Academe secured a number 1 early in 2017 only to be pilloried remorselessly in the media in the second half of the year
  • Midlands Engine still looking for a new record label
  • Prevent Duty are still grinding out the hits
  • Mrs Johnson’s Boys are no more having decided to pursue solo projects. A brief outing for the jazz funk side project ‘Johnson & Greening’ ended after an acrimonious fall out with their manager.
  • Porterhouse Blues Explosion just blew the Oxbridge rock charts away
  • Hard Brexit, who split amid much acrimony
  • Apprenticeship Levy, who secured a huge recording deal

But what about the breakthrough bands, those predicted by the Wonkhe A&R team to make it big in 2018? Well, here are their tips for those bound for higher ed musical stardom this year:

  • HS2 – futuristic glam rockers, making a big noise on the northern circuit but everyone still waiting for their first album release which keeps being delayed.
  • Snowflakes – teen pop sensations who have reacted surprisingly positively to the negative publicity they’ve received
  • KEF – all new industrial garage outfit who have already made a big splash but yet to release any material.
  • Tier 2 – intelligent world beat combo with international outlook but sadly not touring in the UK very often
  • Spiked – wilful, self-indulgent, contrarian grungecore
  • Toadmeister – sophomoric solo songster, huge profile after spectacular New Year launch but possibly now falling out of favour despite deletion of most of back catalogue
  • The Bachelors – septuagenarian pop combo, remarkably still going (albeit in two different line ups) and tipped again for big things
  • Barber and Dandridge – exciting new experimental electronica pairing, very much targeting the student market and currently going down well on a national tour of students’ unions. Snappy logo too
  • Coeds – right on contemporary chamber pop
  • Commencement – US hardcore crossover thrash trio
  • Unconditional offer – sluggish alt rock from this southern stoner quartet
  • Brexodus – swaggeringly over-confident pub rock. Keep losing band members
  • Entry and Search – breakthrough rebellious and controversial hip hop duo
  • Two Year Degree – sharp suited jazz funk quintet who really mean business
  • Accelerated Degrees – long-haired, leather-trousered thrash metallers, continually irritated by being mixed up with Two Year Degree
  • Ivy League – New wave eight piece combo from the US
  • LEO – northern Goth rockers with a strong career ethos (not to be confused with soft rock tribute act LEO Speedwagon)
  • Gold and Green – cerebral electro-classical combo who have released all their material free online (note subscription may still be required for some songs)

Which are your picks to go to the top this year? Are there ones we’ve missed off the list?

2 responses to “Higher education bands to watch in 2018

  1. A whisper reaching me about a really bright prospect, a band with a really stripped back sound, very minimal and easy on the ear: The Baselines. Extremely accessible I’m told and so easy that everyone can join the party. Definitely ones to watch (or so I am assured by top West Coast pop Svengali Paul Watermain of the legendary Miss Factory).

  2. Latest news – the new supergroup, Advance!, bringing together members of three other bands, Equalities, The Leaders and The Academicals, recently split, is set to make waves this year…

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