THIS weekend, Wide Days returns with its biggest showcase yet. Set to attract hundreds of artists, students and industry figureheads across three days in Edinburgh, the international music convention is set to host an extensive and varied programme featuring an array of speakers and organisations, before its live showcase takes over at night. Almost a rite of passage now for many homegrown acts, Wide Days has been known to pave the way for some of the nation’s most promising musicians as they look to take the next step in their career – and this year will be no different.
This year’s live section is bigger than ever before, with the Talent Development Showcase, supported by PRS Foundation and Music Venue Trust, on Thursday 13th April at La Belle Angele. Organisers have also announced a new live element called the New From Scotland Showcase on Friday 14th April which will feature some of Scotland’s best up and coming talent and take place across Bongo Club, La Belle Angele and Sneaky Pete’s. Then, finally, on Saturday 15th April, the festival takeover with M Pour Montreal (Canada) and FOCUS Wales giving a flavour of their events with their own carefully curated line-ups.
With all of the events open to the public, and the Talent Development Showcase on Thursday free of charge, find out about the artists we’re excited to see below.
Get your showcase tickets here.
The Big Day
Style. Confidence. Heaps of ambition. Pop hooks galore. These are all things The Big Day have in abundance. Landing in a flurry of colourful suits, sunglasses and stadium-ready pop anthems, the four-piece made an instant impact from the moment they first burst onto the local live circuit – and have since lived up to all that early potential and more. Led by the illustrious Ryan Hunter, they draw from a wide range of influences such as David Bowie, Duran Duran, Gary Numan and Confidence Man, blending them into fun, slick and well-crafted pop songs – and their live show is not to be missed.
Showcase: Thursday 13th April, La Belle Angele, 10.15pm
Since forming during lockdown, Uninvited have garnered a loyal following across the UK thanks to their heartfelt lyrics and catchy pop-rock anthems. With the release of their debut single ‘Tomboy’ came the realisation that they could be the change they wanted to see, as they began writing songs that would bring the LGBTQ+ conversation to the forefront while challenging traditional tropes of indie music, and putting their own indelible stamp on the genre. They’ve not looked back since – releasing one fizzing anthem after another, embarking on a UK headline tour, playing Reading & Leeds, joining the likes of Nova Twins on the road, playing a sold-out King Tuts and winning the coveted Radio 1 Live Lounge competition.
Showcase: Friday 14th April, La Belle Angele, 8pm
For those not yet acquainted, Becky Sikasa is a songwriter-songwriter who crafts deeply emotional ballads that are defined by their left-field arrangements and striking honesty. Exploring ideas of belonging, identity and connection, her stunning vocal harmonies weave effortlessly through colourful arrangements to complete explorative, vibrant and left-field pop tracks that will stay with you long after listening.
Showcase: Friday 14th April, Sneaky Pete’s, 8.45pm
A band who grow in stature with each release and riotous live show, Slix are a five-piece indie-rock band from Gourock. With a loyal following behind them who make every show a sell-out, they’re a band brimming with charisma and youthful exuberance – dealing in heart-on-sleeve lyrics, jangly guitars and of course, hooks galore.
Showcase: Friday 14th April, Bongo, 9.30pm
Formed between Paris and North Berwick in 2020, Amelia (vocals/drums) and Fraser (guitar/vocals) reconnected after first meeting over ten years ago and began collaborating via video call as a creative and cathartic outlet during lockdown. The rest, as they say, is history. On Amelia’s return to Scotland, they began crafting dark, powerful soundscapes – their delicate melodies often set against ominous, enveloping instrumentals for a stirring and hypnotic listening experience.
Showcase: Friday 14th April, La Belle Angele, 11pm
The winner of last year’s Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition, Lewis McLaughlin is an alt-folk singer from Edinburgh. Working with Frightened Rabbit’s Andy Monaghan, he shared his debut album ‘Feel The Ground You Walk Upon’ in 2022 – a life-affirming debut influenced by traditional folk sounds, and innovative electro-indie sounds.
Showcase: Friday 14th April, La Belle Angele, 8pm
Chef the Rapper
Chef the Rapper’s sound is versatile, showcasing an exceptional talent for skilled lyricism, in-depth storytelling and impactful punchlines in both his up-tempo and slowed down beats. A lynchpin of Aberdeen’s hip hop scene, working with names like Louis Seivright, Ransom FA and Bemz, his reputation is starting to grow far beyond the confines of his hometown – and he’s already got the support of the likes of Radio 1.
Showcase: Saturday 15th April, Sneaky Pete’s, 7.45pm