Park Sounds At Canary Wharf

Venue: Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14
Dates: Monday 20th to Friday 24th July 2009
Times: Monday-Thursday, 12.30-2pm/Friday, 6-9.30pm

Following the success of the first ever Park Sounds in 2008, Canary Wharf Arts & Events look forward to presenting Park Sounds 2009, five days of great musical entertainment from new and emerging artists. Catch them live on stage in Canada Square Park as they showcase their talents in a bid to become the winner of Park Sounds 2009.

From Monday 20th to Thursday 23rd July a dazzling array of musical talent, whose influences incorporate a range of musical styles, from indie to soul, jazz to folk will provide lunchtime entertainment, between 12.30 and 2pm. Each act will be doing their best to secure as many as votes as possible from the audience in an attempt to make it through to the grand final on the evening of Friday 24th July.

From Monday to Thursday five acts will perform a 15-minute set at lunchtime with the winner from each day continuing to the grand final on the Friday evening. The audience will have the chance to vote for their favourite act each day online at or by using the voting cards distributed at the event. By including their email addresses voters will be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win Canary Wharf Gift Cheques worth £100.

On the evening of Friday 24th July, each of the four finalists will compete for a chance to win an Epiphone acoustic guitar plus £1000 cash and a headline spot at The Bedford Hotel. Each will play a 30 minute set to a panel of three judges, including this year’s celebrity judge, radio presenter Emma B, Julia Jones, Entertainment Relations Consultant for Epiphone and Giles Broadbent, editor of The Wharf newspaper.

Park Sounds is proud to be supporting the Teenage Cancer Trust at this event and all funds raised will go towards the South East Appeal, which is concerned with building Teenage Cancer Trust facilities in the South East including; South London, Kent, Sussex and Surrey. Susannah Temko, young ambassador to the TCT, will also be present at the grand final.

Running order:

Monday 20th July

Galen Ayers and Kirsty Newton met in 2004 and became, not only best friends, but formed the duo, Siskin. The intimate nature of their songs, both lyrically and musically, combined with their unusual, intricate harmonies and natural on-stage chemistry has caught the attention of audiences across the UK and beyond.

Alex Hall
22-year old Alex started out busking in Brighton’s Pavilion Gardens for some extra money but before long people started asking him for his demo or website details and soon he was earning airplay on Radio Reverb and BBC Southern Counties’ South:Live. A maturity in his voice and a performance style beyond his years put him in good stead for exciting times to come.

This London-based duo, Martyn Stone and Lindsay O’Mahony, are already making waves on the UK music scene, including BBC Radio 2 plays from Wogan and Janice Long who has booked them twice for a live session on her show. Following shows in Texas, France and Canada, they have also sparked international interest, recently signing their first international deal with the Canadian label, Awesome, distributed through EMI.

Call Me Laura
Talented singer/songwriter Laura Critchley hails from Liverpool and has been attracting considerable attention on both sides of the Atlantic. Oscar and Bafta nominated Jeff Arch (Sleepless In Seattle) directed the video for her song, Today’s Another Day, having been blown away by one of Laura’s performances to a packed audience in Hollywood.

Jamie Abbott
There are many different flavours in the compositions of singer/songwriter Jamie Abbott, due in part to his eclectic influences, ranging from Dizzee Rascal to Ray LaMontagne. His catchy hooks and conversational lyrics have been described as being akin to ‘reading a book you’d never wish to end’.

Tuesday 21st July

Smile at Strangers
Singer Katie Hicks and singer-songwriter, Si Pollitt form the acoustic duo, Smile At Strangers. So far each of them has had musical adventures which have taken them all over the world and their future together looks equally bright and exciting.

Hailing from Cardiff, 16-year old Kadesha has already played more gigs than artists twice her age, written and recorded some wonderfully sublime songs that belie her years, and has still found time to finish her A levels. Spotted by chance by songwriter/producer Len Arran (Skunk Anansie/Skin), she is already making waves after her song So Into You was picked up by Adam Walton on BBC Radio.

Now resident in London, singer/songwriter Nicol was raised in California in the late 1980s, which goes some way to explain her music’s unique Anglo-American blend. Her sophisticated pop sound has led her to synch deals with Sony Pictures and ABC/Disney and a spot as ‘featured artist’ on Bebo/iTunes UK. Her song Everybody Knows was the Hit Sheet’s Record of the Week.

Lee Broderick
This 20-year old singer/songwriter is a talent to be reckoned with, already cutting his teeth as support act to such impressive names as Willy Mason, Paolo Nutini, K T Tunstall and Daniel Powter. He has toured extensively across the UK, performing and crafting songs with passion, subtlety and an endearing honesty.

Olivia Leisk
Olivia Leisk is a soulful young talent from London, described by the London Paper as “Amy Winehouse crossed with Brand New Heavies”. Since the making of her EP Everything I’ve Learnt About Men So Far, she has earned a huge following around town.

Wednesday 22nd July

The eX whY
Jnay and Gan from The eX whY offer up a feel good party sound with their mash up of Electrosex punk chic with true retro funk.

Singer and multi-instrumentalist Marli’s debut album White Light sends out a clear statement of intent. Songs with intricate melodies and rich vocal deliveries have already led to comparisons ranging from Tori Amos to Alanis Morissette, although Marli is no-one apart from herself.

The Fancy Toys
Taking their influences from far and wide, The Fancy Toys have formed a new, exciting and refreshing way of making music. Absolutely unique and with the ability to surprise on every level, their vision is to stimulate listeners to smile, laugh and dance.

Davide Sanna
Sardinian, Davide Sanna combines styles that echo traditional folk roots blended with his innovative approach to playing guitar and songwriting. His music drifts from folk to Mediterranean to jazzy flavours, traversing countries and genres.

The Blind Hearts
A brand new band whose members are all veterans of several signed acts, with a wealth of festival and touring experience already under their collective belt. It’s still early days but, with a firm offer of a publishing deal on the table and several summer festival dates on the cards, the future looks bright for these young London hillbillies.

Thursday 23rd July

No stranger to the music industry, singer/songwriter and guitarist Gary O’Brien began his solo career when his one-time band Don split in 1998. Gary has just recorded a new album, Hell, Heaven and Earth with his new band Lucho.

Marcus Bonfanti
Marcus Bonfanti is still only in his 20s but he’s packed enough playing into this time to create a distinctive sound, which may nod to the very heart of the blues but is entirely his own. His debut album, Hard Times garnered impressive critical claim and earned him a live session on Paul Jones’ show on BBC Radio 2.

Natasha Davies
Now resident in England, the young singer/songwriter Natasha Davies was born in Hawaii where she enjoyed a wonderfully colourful childhood that helped inspire her great creativity. Natasha is currently in the studio recording her first album.

Modern day troubadour, Jinder is set to release his new album, 9 Cents From Benelux, at the end of July. Front man with acoustic trio, The Mercurymen, Jinder returns to the essence of what he does best; a well-versed singer of songs and storytelling.

Dekata Project
Dekata Project is the brainchild of song writer, sax player and producer Sam Sharp who tracked down the UK garage/dubstep producer Zed Bias after hearing him on Gilles Peterson’s Radio 1 show. The pair soon began working together to utilise Sam’s obsession with composing catchy hooks, funk stylings, squelchy bass lines combined with Zed’s knowledge of all things heavy, reflected in his beats and arrangements.