Norwich; the home of celebrity chefs who enjoy a wee dram with their halftime rabble-rousing and chat shows that make Jerry Springer look like Newsnight. One thing it’s not home to, though, is fringe-shaking hipster elitism. While bands from London, Liverpool and Leeds crack under the pressure of living up to their legendary predecessors, East Anglia’s finest continue to plough on. When the benchmark of cool is Delia Smith or that fat bloke who didn’t get called up for England’s Euro 2012 squad all that matters is the music.

And for Port Isla, it’s the music that matters most. Formed in 2011 by a bunch of music students, the outfit resembles Mumford & Sons (both physically and musically); but in a good way. Despite confessing to never having listened to their albums, Port Isla channel the same indie-folk ghosts that turned the banjo-picking Londoners into mega-selling Hot 100 heroes.

The band’s latest track, ‘Adventurers‘, is a bold re-imagining of the anthemic sensibilities that fired Chris Martin’s unassuming indie hopefuls into U2’s orbit. A television advertiser’s dream, it’s chart-dominating pop wrapped up in the authentic clothes of real ale-supping acoustica. Beautifully orchestrated with harmonies as sweet as anything Crosby, Stills & Nash could muster, it’s proof that you don’t have to be from Manchester to make waves.

Words by Toby Rogers

Tip courtesy of Adam from Alphabet Bands

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