The songbird

All the latest Music News, Reviews and Interviews and Tailored PR Services

TEAM SONGBIRD

SALLY NEWMAN

I’m Sally and I’m the Founder/Director of The Songbird HQ and The Songbird PR Services Ltd

I’ve been involved in the music industry for a number of years now making contacts and relationships with a wide variety of industry figureheads from artists/managers/promoters/record labels/festivals/venues/press/podcasts/playlists/TV shows/radio stations/photographers you name it. I work tirelessly and and relentlessly to promote new music be it by way of review/interview/feature on The Songbird HQ, through my various and extensive playlists on Spotify or via The Songbird PR Services Ltd, our live gigs/festivals or radio show!!

I do what I do for a genuine love of music and supporting new music nothing more, nothing less.

The Songbird is an inclusive platform that prides itself on collaboration and not competition. This is evidenced by our wide range of partners which is growing exponentially. It’s truly humbling that so many companies wish to be involved with us x

We have a Track of the Day Feature with In Your Ears Music a weekly radio show ‘The Songbird Sessions’ on Islington Radio, have partnered with various live gig promoters to bring you live events up and down the country – more coming soon, not forgetting our amazing festival partners at the Isle Of Wight Festival and Hipshaker UK and our work with Jack Pepper Media Ltd, Toura Toura Festivals Ltd and our collaborations with other brands such as Indie Girls Dream and Custom Kicks.

The Songbird has an incredible ever growing team of creative individuals behind it now. I’ve watched this little dream of mine grow and flourish over the years and I feel so blessed and honoured to know that I now have the right team behind me who share my vision and ethos to help The Songbird soar high !

JIM DOLAN

Hey, I’m Jim Dolan aka Jim from the Author 

Hailing from the culturally enriched suburbs of north west London and now residing on the beautiful island of Jersey, just off the coast of France.  I formally co-fronted noughties new rave outfit The Author, who where hailed by Steve Lamacq as one of his favourite bands from the era and best known for the track Taxi. Now putting all my efforts into putting on and promoting events and giving new bands and artists as much exposure as possible, I can be described as a self proclaimed new music addict. 

Currently running Indie label Bubblebrain Records and working with new music champions The Songbird HQ,  I love nothing more than travelling the globe discovering and seeking out the best new bands out there in music land. 

I also host the fantastic Songbird Sessions, a weekly radio show for Islington radio where you can expect a mix of brand new bands, absolute classic’s and a big slice of rare gold, as well as exclusive interviews and the odd live session from some of Jersey and the universe’s most exciting new outfits.

DEL OSEI-OWUSU

Hi. I’m Del. Or Derek. But only when I’m in trouble or you’re my mum.

I’m the son of a preacher man but I’m not Billy Joe.

Born in London, to Ghanaian parents, My background is gospel music, having played keyboards and led bands for choirs for many years. But my main passion is discovering new music hence why I have my own blog and am part of Team Songbird helping people tell their stories via interviews, and also reviewing music sent my way.

I listen to anything, everything and nothing, and I give artists a fair chance, through listening to Fresh On The Net, The Songbird HQ and whatever comes through my inbox!

Having my own radio show this year has been a dream come true thanks to Sally, Jim and the Islington Radio crew

Also check out my own tunes on all platforms as Platinum Mind or Del Owusu.

PHIL TAYLOR

Phil Taylor lives in the East Midlands and – when not commuting to London for his day job in the legal sector – spends his time listening to music, attending gigs in the area (focusing on Nottingham, Leicester and Peterborough as well as Birmingham, Cambridge and beyond …) and wearing band T-shirts.

Formerly a drummer, and now a choir member and occasional guitarist, Phil is obsessed with music of all genres, with a leaning towards alt-pop, folk, indie rock and post-punk. He can be found under the name Music Observer sharing his thoughts on music of all kinds on social media as well as on his own blog which he set up in 2021 as a means of sharing his feelings about good music. The blog quickly grew into a fully fledged venture with a focus on new releases as well as live reviews and interviews. The blog also provided a springboard for Phil to join The Songbird HQ in the summer of 2021, and he is thrilled to have become part of the talented team.

BEN DURLING

Ben Durling Freelance. University drop out turned full time filmmaker and ‘rock n roll’ videographer. Entering the industry through his independent music documentary ‘Rising Sounds of Albion’ (2019 to present) featuring established artists such as The Libertines, Kyle Falconer (The View), Cruel Hearts Club and Alan McGee as well as emerging bands on the scene. Ben Durling combines freelance videography and his work with The Songbird HQ to keep his ear to the ground and fingers in all pies to highlight the best emerging talents from the Medway, Margate and London band scenes. 

Debauchery and decadence are always the orders of the day. 

Antonella Gambotto Burke~ “A northern soul boy dreamed up by the God of Skins, blind to everything but the music…British down to his Docs”

LISA BRIDGEWATER

Living and growing up on the west coast of Scotland with Glasgow and venues such as The Barrowlands and King Tut’s on my door step I have had the privilege of seeing many new bands from the start of their careers as support acts then headlining their own tours.

I am an indie girl at heart following bands such as Happy Mondays, Echo & the Bunnymen, Cast, OCS, Embrace, James, Charlatans etc from an early age.

Although indie is my original passion I do have an eclectic taste and go and see many genres of music live. 

No matter the type be it Indie, Rock, Post-Punk, Country & Western, classical etc – the best way to hear any music is live. 

Always on the look out for new bands,  I found the one benefit of lockdown was seeing new bands use social media to breakthrough and increase their following. Many of whom I have now had the pleasure of seeing live.

I have travelled across Scotland and down to cities such as Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle to see bands some of them in venues holding 200 and others in the thousands. 

I have been known to travel further afield too – including London, Amsterdam and my recent trip to the Isle of Wight festival to represent Songbird HQ working with 4 of our excellent bands.

Wherever there is live music and i can travel to it, i will be there. 

Looking forward to going to some more festivals (and gigs) this year to discover, listen, record and review some unsigned and new bands/ artists. 

If you are heading to some festivals you may see me lugging my tent, wellington boots and enough clothes to last 2 weeks instead of a few days (i will never learn). If you do, come and say hello and if you want to help me carry my stuff that would be lovely lol!

RACHAEL BLACKER

Rachael grew up in a quiet sleepy village in rural Yorkshire and her move to the excitement of city life in Leeds coincided with the arrival of Britpop.

It was here that Rachael discovered her love for the live music scene and became a regular in independent venues such as the now legendary Duchess of York and The Cockpit.  Rachael felt most at home whilst submerged in the music world which led to writing gig reviews and doing interviews for local fanzines back when graphics were done by hand and issues were produced by photocopier.  

From the Bitpop and indie scene, Rachael became involved in the Mod and Northern Soul scene of the mid to late nineties. This meant regular “weekenders” and “all-nighters”, along with travelling the country for music events and festivals.

Rachael has been involved in local events such as Live at Leeds and Bingley Festival, championing many local independent bands in Leeds, as well as travelling further afield to Primavera and Roskilde

Rachael is now working with The Songbird HQ, and as the universe must have balance, when she isn’t attending gigs and festivals and writing about it, she works in the hedonistic world of Data Protection and volunteers for a local drugs and alcohol charity.

COLIN BRIDGEWATER

Hi, Colin here. Glasgow born, but Netherlands based, I have the musicality-equivalent of two-left feet, but what I lack in skills, I more than make up for in a life-long passion for music.

From an early beginning, whether it be listening to my Dad’s favourite sounds of the 60s, blasting out from the radio, on a Sunday morning, or experiencing the ‘joy of vinyl’ at family parties, where 78s competed with 45s, as my grandparents music gave way to the latest ‘hot wax’ that my Aunties & Uncles had brought along, there never seems to have been a time in my life when I’ve not been lost in music.

Graduating from vinyl, to cassette-tapes, on to CDs and then back to vinyl again, with Napster, iTunes & Spotify thrown in for good measure, across the universe, it’s been a long journey that’s kept me immensely entertained. As happy as a fat hamster on a continually spinning-wheel. Spinning at 33RPM?

Regardless if it was the gramophone encased in an old piece of furniture at my Grannies, my first turntable (with a built-in speaker), twin-tape ghetto-blaster, Sony Walkman, Awai stacking Hi-Fi, iPod, smart-phone or laptop and latterly onto a more sophisticated turntable, with high-end sound-sticks, my musical tastes have swooped & soared and circled back around again, to cover many genres, over my discerning years.

Some lyrical gems gifted to me, dynamite recommendations from friends/ family/ NME or CUT Magazine, or maybe just being bored and stumbling into something or someone I’ve either never listened to before, or even heard of, late at night, when dialling the airwaves, after everyone else has gone to bed. There’s a never-ending array of melodic wonderments, to always keep me going. And I’m discovering new stuff to listen to EVERY day.

Family comes first in my life, closely followed by my wee furry pal, Ziggy. He’s a chihuahua BTW, not some short, hairy bloke, covered in tattoos, who I go drinking with. Although I do have one of those too.

But if it’s not family, or furry pals (of whatever species), it’s a constant cacophony of tunes permeating our household, complemented by as many concerts as the budget will stretch to. Watching artists & bands, established, or emerging, in the back-room of a pub, concert halls, converted churches, massive arenas or a festival in a muddy-field, I’ll go anywhere.

Gigs I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention. And I’m still constantly amazed at how these skilful people can do what they do; writing, playing (sometimes multiple instruments) and doing it night after night, in front of complete strangers (hundreds, often thousands, and on occasion, 10s of thousands).

Joining Songbird HQ, I’m hoping to learn a thing or two from the talented team who’ve welcomed me warmly into the fold. And to be able to take my rhythmic passions to another level, contributing to music-reviews by exciting new kids on the block, writing a few column inches on a gig or three, or snapping the odd great photo, capturing moments in time that are uniquely live. And I hope you’ll share that journey with me.

OTHER TEAM MEMBERS/CONTRIBUTORS

KATIE MUSZANSKYJ (Journalist/Reviewer/Interviewer)

CHRIS HUMPHRIES (Journlist/Reviewer/Live gig Promoter)

KITTY SMITH (Photographer)

DENNIS HALFHIDE-SMITH (Photographer)