The fifth annual City Showcase draws to a conclusion today, wrapping up a week of festivities which saw the likes of rising Aussie pop singer Gabriella Cilmi, Canadian indie rock act Land of Talk and South African alternative rockers the Parlotones perform across more than a score of central London venues.

Montreal's Land of Talk and Johannesburg-based the Parlotones made a quick stop-over in the capital to play Billboard's Global Pulse Night. They were joined on stage June 2 by Cincinnati-based pop-rockers Walk the Moon, who had arrived in the country just hours before their performance.

The Parlotones played a set littered with tracks from their latest, 2007 set "A World Next Door to Yours" (Sovereign Entertainment), and their 2006 South African Music Award winning album "Radiocontrolledrobot," which was given a May 27 U.K. release through Universal.

Parlotones frontman and songwriter Kahn Morbee spoke to Billboard.biz in the lead-up to the Monday night concert at the Metro club. "It's always a huge buzz to play in Britain. In South Africa, the venues on the circuit are pretty much capped at about 500 capacity. The U.K. has such an enormous, thriving scene."

Morbee tells Billboard.biz that the band's most recent gold-certified album release will likely get a U.K. push in 2009, which the group will whole-heartedly support. "After that," he muses, "our South Africa release schedule should have parity with the U.K."

The group has since returned home for a string of performances, before heading back to European for further summer dates. Selected shows in South Africa will be filmed for an upcoming DVD release.

Billboard hosted two other Global Pulse shows, including the June 4 New Zealand Music Night, also at the Metro. It proved to be an evening catering for all palates, with atmospheric indie rockers Over the Atlantic, grunge-tinged outfit Batrider, roots act Ragamuffin Children, and pop-rock unit the O'Lovelys taking turns on stage.

Finally, The Borderline club Billboard's Real Rock of Sweden event on June 5. A packed crowd paid respect to the heavier side of the Nordic country's scene, epitomized by performers Hell 'N Diesel, Mustasch and Babylon Bombs. Finnish act Crumbland also warmed up the crowd with a slick rock set.

City Showcase's daytime panel program also proved both popular and informative. Artist manager Stephen Budd, Eva Karman Reinhold, owner and founder of Swedish publisher/label Smilodon, and music executive all-rounder Erwin Musper took turns on the mic for the informative "A&Ring for Success" panel at the Gibson Studio.

City Showcase was launched in 2003 to expose emerging creative talent. The likes of Amy Winehouse, Newton Faulkner, Keane, Razorlight, Scouting For Girls, Ray LaMontagne, Hot Chip, Sway and Lady Sovereign have all participated in past City Showcase concerts.

"City Showcase has been consistently striving to promote new musical talent in London since 2000," says the event's director, Nanette Rigg. "This year was one of our most popular festivals to date attracting many fans and artists from all around the world across many different genres. We look forward to introducing you to the acts of tomorrow again when we return in 2009".

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print