Author: Nils van der Linden

Welshly Arms Are Legendary At Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen

Welshly Arms have released the video for breakout single Legendary ahead of their headline show at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen in London. The song, which has over 13 million streams on Spotify and been Shazamed more than 600 000 times in six months, conveys the Cleveland-based band’s drive to succeed. “It’s about how there’s a payoff to all of that effort,” explains lead singer and guitarist Sam Getz, who’s fronted the blues-rock six-piece since they formed in 2013. “In the beginning, it was inspired by [basketball player] LeBron James. He’s from the Cleveland area, and he ended up...

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Apocalyptica Plays Metallica By Four Cellos Across The UK

Apocalyptica, the Finnish band known for their cello-based take on metal and hard rock, are returning to the UK in early 2018 to continue celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut album, Plays Metallica By Four Cellos. When the group released the LP in May 1996, the graduates of the prestigious Sibelius Academy added a new twist to the genre. Their unique, instrumental approach to some of Metallica’s biggest songs, including Enter Sandman and Master Of Puppets, paved the way for a career that’s seen the classically trained musicians release seven more studio LPs and amass sales of over...

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Vision: 5 Billion In Diamonds, Travelling

5 Billion In Diamonds, the latest project from Butch Vig, have released Travelling, the brand new single from their brand new self-titled album. The third song to be taken from their debut LP, it was actually the first written by the collective that also features UK DJ James Grillo and UK producer Andy Jenks. “James and I came up with a couple dreamy guitar loops, which inspired Andy to record all these amazing groovalicious keyboards, which inspired me to track some funky drums and to bring Justin Meldal-Johnson in on bass,” explains Vig, best known as Garbage’s drummer and...

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Vision: Black Country Communion, Collide

Black Country Communion are back with the first single from their first new album since 2013. The rock supergroup featuring bassist/singer Glenn Hughes, guitarist/singer Joe Bonamassa, keyboard player Derek Sherinian, and drummer Jason Bonham have released the video for Collide, taken from their upcoming fourth studio album BCCIV. “I had written the riff to this song in the morning of the first day of writing BCCIV,” Hughes tells us. “Joe came over and I played him the riff, and we finished the song before lunch. I had a feeling that Collide would set the pace for the record.” And...

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Live: Wildwood Kin @ The Islington

Wildwood Kin are on the verge of something very big. They’ve already had a single playlisted on BBC Radio 2, supported Ward Thomas on a national tour, played Glastonbury, headlined their first London shows, and signed to Sony. And that’s just in the past three months. Now, with their debut LP two weeks away and this momentum already behind them, tonight’s likely the last time they play a venue as intimate as The Islington. Which is as it should be: these songs, and the three young women performing them, deserve to be heard by as many people as possible....

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Interview: Christina Martin, Old Memories New Perspective

Canadian singer-songwriter Christina Martin has spent the past 15 years carving out a solo career that, across six albums, has seen her perfect a musical style that pairs an Americana-rock sound with lyrics that are personal, yet universal. Her latest single, Lungs Are Burning, from her upcoming LP (expected in November 2017) is a case in point. An irrepressibly catchy song with an irresistible chorus, it conveys her reaction to the Fentanyl drug crisis that’s killed thousands of Canadians. It’s one of the songs she’s been performing on her latest UK tour. Just before her recent show at The...

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Live: U2 @ Twickenham Stadium

U2 come out swinging. Having warmed up an already expectant crowd with The Waterboys’ guaranteed party starter The Whole Of The Moon as their intro tape, the band launch into a chronological run of eight songs that have anchored their live performances for at least the past 30 years. As Bono declares “there’s no place we’d rather be than here with you”, a thunderous Sunday Bloody Sunday makes way for a jubilant New Year’s Day. Bad, the only bonafide stadium anthem to ever tackle heroin addiction, still manages to sound menacingly tragic and beautifully uplifting all at once, before...

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Live: Midnight Oil @ Hammersmith Apollo

“We spent more time on this setlist than most people did thinking about how to vote on Brexit,” says Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett towards the beginning of the band’s first London show in 20 years. Initially it seems like a throwaway joke from the former government minister and lifelong activist. But he’s clearly not kidding. Like crafting the perfect mixtape, they’ve picked the right songs in the right sequence for the biggest impact. Blistering set opener Redneck Wonderland easily fulfils its purpose, getting the punters up and and out of their seats within the first 15 seconds. Originally...

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Sound: Shelby Lynne and Alison Moorer, Every Time You Leave

Shelby Lynne and Alison Moorer have shared their reimagination of The Louvin Brothers’ classic Every Time You Leave. The song is drawn from the sisters’ first ever collaborative album Not Dark Yet, which sees the two musicians reinterpret songs by the likes of Bob Dylan, Nirvana, Nick Cave, The Killers, Townes Van Zandt, Merle Haggard, and Jason Isbell. The 10-track collection was recorded in Los Angeles in the summer of 2016 with producer Teddy Thompson. A collaboration showcasing the sisters’ individual and collective artistry, the LP ends with a co-written original (Is It Too Much) that highlights their strong...

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Live: Spoon @ Forum Kentish Town

It’s midway through Spoon’s set at Forum Kentish Town. A fired up Britt Daniel has just led the band, backlit in orange, through a ferociously jubilant Do You. Multi-instrumentalist Alex Fischel begins a moody keyboard piece that gradually swells to Sigur Ros levels of intensity. As Gerardo Larios joins in on organ, the instrumental slowly shifts again, culminating in his playing the unmistakable melody of I Ain’t The One alone. And somewhere from the shadows Daniel croons the opening verse, his earlier swagger now all restraint and composure. Together, he and Larios hypnotise the audience with silences and subtleties,...

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Sound: David Ramirez, Watching From A Distance

David Ramirez returns with Watching From A Distance, the first single from his upcoming fourth album, We’re Not Going Anywhere. Discussing the song, the Austin-based singer-songwriter told Rock Shot: “Most times, when a relationship ends, there is a season of mourning but then the clouds part, the sun rises, and we move on. What happens if and when the sun doesn’t rise? What happens if, no matter how hard we try, we can’t move on?” The LP it precedes marks a departure for Ramirez who built on the rootsy sound of his early albums by incorporating musical influences from his...

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Vision: The Moonlandingz, The Rabies Are Back

Fresh from their Glastonbury performance, The Moonlandingz are sharing the video for new single The Rabies Are Back. Discussing the video, which stars frontman Lias Saoudi, a large log, and a razor blade, the band told Rock Shot: “We shot the video on the outskirts of Sheffield in the Peak District. Lias came up with the idea of shaving with a giant log as a representation of the human struggle, so he went into this wood and found the biggest, heaviest trunk he could find – and we attached a razor blade to the bottom of it. “Just holding...

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Live: Jon Stevens @ Borderline

Jon Stevens rose to fame in the 1980s, the decade when more was most definitely more. Over 30 years later, he’s still got the same mindset. Instead of just one London gig, the Australian rock legend is playing five across the city. And, although the venues are far more intimate than those he’s used to, don’t for one second think he’s scaled back. He’s brought the full band who supported him at the Isle of Wight Festival, even though they struggle to fit on the Borderline stage. He’s brought a team of audio and lighting engineers so, although the...

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Live: Chris Shiflett @ The Water Rats

Chris Shiflett grew up in Santa Barbara, California. His childhood idols were Kiss. He first gained attention as a member of punk band No Use For A Name. And for almost two decades he’s been the Foo Fighters’ lead guitarist. Yet, over the past five years, the musician with such bonafide rock credentials has been beating a path down to Nashville (the city not the TV show) on three solo albums. The latest, West Coast Town, is his most authentic yet. Recorded in the city’s legendary RCA Studio A with Chris Stapleton’s producer Dave Cobb, its classic country sound is...

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Live: Simple Plan @ Kentish Town Forum

Simple Plan know what a noisy, sweaty old-school rock show needs. The psyched audience scream on command. The showman singer likes to leap off the monitors, continually whips the crowd up into a frenzy, and suddenly appears at the mixing desk. The wild drummer stage dives and crowd surfs. Fog blasters and streamer cannons go off with wild abandon. Bras are thrown up onto the stage. T-shirts and giant beach balls get lobbed into the crowd (complete with a “playing with my balls” joke from the frontman). And the band unleash one riotous punk anthem after another. Tonight the...

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Live: Imagine Dragons @ Roundhouse

The Imagine Dragons sound is big on beats, both on record and on stage. So it’s almost expected that their encore of Radioactive climaxes with all four band members pounding on some type of drum. Less expected is the might of lead guitarist Wayne Sermon. Relatively low-key on their albums, in concert he’s as integral to the Las Vegas quartet’s sound as Dan Reynolds’ voice and, yes, even those pounding rhythms. Not convinced? How about the long, fluid instrumental that echoes the vocal line on seismic set opener Thunder? Or the fiery noodling to ride out the victory march...

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Live: Eddie Vedder @ Hammersmith Apollo

London’s Hammersmith Apollo isn’t what you’d call intimate. And yet Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder makes the 3,600-seater venue feel like a living room, or a cosy campfire singalong. And it’s not just because he’s surrounded by a vintage radio, reel-to-reel tape player, battered suitcases (complete with The Who sticker), various old-timey speakers, assorted instruments, and, later, an actual campfire complete with starry sky backdrop. Most of it’s down to Vedder himself. Seated on stage alone for much of the two and a half hour set, he’s frank, honest, spontaneous, and vulnerable in his words and musical performances. He makes...

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Vision: Oumou Sangaré, Kamelemba

Oumou Sangaré is sharing the new video for Kamelemba, lifted from her new album Mogoya. Set in Paris’ 13th arrondissement, the all female Afro-futurist video shot by Chris Saunders references Congolese “La Sape” dandy culture in a deliberately non-gender, European setting. Performances by the female dancers of the Swaggers Group form a retort to the mistreatment of women by the womanisers of Kamelemba, which Sangaré outs in her lyrics. She told us: “It’s about men who show off, who bring women down, about women who fall badly in love. I wrote that song to give advice to our sisters...

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Live: Mollie Marriott @ The Borderline

As a two-year-old, Mollie Marriott remembers seeing Chuck Berry perform. She was in the front row, “dancing like crazy” on her mother’s lap. Fast forward a few years and she’s still dancing like crazy, albeit on the Borderline stage in front of her own equally enthusiastic fans. Like Berry and the other rock ‘n roll greats she saw growing up as Steve Marriott’s daughter, she has real presence, personality, and power. She endears herself with disarming comments about being excited but frightened, getting hot and sweaty, the challenges of tackling an Aretha Franklin song, and the tightness of her leather...

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Live: Overcoats @ St Pancras Old Church

“We believe in the strength and power of female friendship,” declares JJ Mitchell, one half of Overcoats, “and the things you can achieve when you stand by a woman.” But actions speak louder than words. So Mitchell and her best friend Hana Elion begin and end the show with a long embrace. They spontaneously drape their arms around each other. During moments of emotional intensity, they lock eyes across the stage. And, after the final song, Mitchell piggybacks the injured Elion (torn ligaments) out of the venue. Their singing is equally unified, two voices intertwining delicately as the New...

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Live: Sheryl Crow @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Be Myself, the title of Sheryl Crow’s latest album, says it all. After flirting with soul and classic country on her last two outings, 100 Miles From Memphis and Feels Like Home, she’s gone back to her roots, embracing the sound that first made her a household name. The decision to be herself once more was clearly personal, as lyrics like “Hanging with the hipsters is a lot of hard work” make abundantly clear. But there’s the added benefit of the new material slipping seamlessly into a live show that, from the get go, leans on her first three...

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Live: Oumou Sangaré @ Village Underground

“I want to talk to you, but I have a problem,” Oumou Sangaré tells an adoring Village Underground crowd who greet each of her songs with jubilation. “My problem,” the Malian songstress laughs, “is English.” But, when it comes to “The Songbird of Wassoulou“, something as trivial as language is no barrier. After all, the vast majority of people rejoicing inside this packed Shoreditch venue don’t understand a single word of the Bambara language she sings in. That’s a testament to her glorious voice, refined and finessed over almost five decades of performance. A singer from the age of five,...

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Live: Marianas Trench @ KOKO

Marianas Trench’s 2015 hit Pop 101 is an insider’s guide to mainstream success. Advice like “a beat you can’t ignore”, “harmony in thirds, not fourths”, and their own spin on Tom Petty’s immortal “don’t bore us, get to the chorus” are certainly worth following. But the tongue-in-cheek single leaves out one essential tip: “put on a blinder of a show the fans won’t soon forget”. And that’s exactly what the Canadian quartet deliver at Camden landmark KOKO. Despite playing a venue far more intimate than those they sell out back home, the Vancouver band certainly don’t dial back their performance....

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Live: Hey Violet @ The Garage

Hey Violet’s hyperactive performance at North London’s The Garage begins, and ends, with deafening screams from an equally hyperactive audience. To be fair, though, there’s a lot of screaming the whole way through. Like when singer/dynamo Rena Lovelis asks: “How’re we doing London?” Or when she tries to tell the excitable crowd about falling for this city (on her second visit), her love of British accents, and how she could just “listen to you talk and talk and talk”. Or even when, for the purposes of a video shoot, the band perform the big-grooving Hoodie twice, both times prompting en-masse...

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Live: Saint Leonard’s Horses @ The Borderline

With a backstory featuring Stanley Kubrick’s estate, a Los Angeles cult, William Blake’s grave, a near-death experience in the Mojave desert, Jim Morrison’s meditation chamber, and a bust-up at Father John Misty’s wedding, you’d expect Saint Leonard’s Horses’ debut album to be special. You’d be right. The twelve tracks of Good Luck Everybody rock up ‘70s Laurel Canyon folk with big Eagles-style hooks as British (now resident in LA) frontman Kieran Leonard’s slightly-rough-around-the-edges voice as he negotiates such nimble turns of phrase as “swimming through the ashes of the bridges I burned”. Performed live, and in sequence, to an...

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Live: Dan Patlansky @ Islington Academy 2

Guitarists are not unlike magicians – a lot of practice and work goes into making it look easy. But Dan Patlansky is clearly not one for cheap magic tricks. He pours so much passion and intensity into his performances that how he plays is as powerful as what he plays. Not just his face, but his posture changes whenever he teases, cajoles, or downright strangle’s the at-times incomprehensible notes out of his trusty 1962 Fender Stratocaster. That guitar – and Patlansky’s entire body – gets a full workout during his visceral, sold-out London show that begins quietly with a...

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Live: Erja Lyytinen @ 100 Club

Erja Lyytinen is a phenomenal guitarist. That’s a given. Not just technically brilliant – capable of playing with speed and precision, able to imbue every solo with unique character and tone – she has an edge over many other virtuosos: the ability to cram so much tangible emotion into six strings. So when she delivers the cascading, intensifying instrumental break of the magnificent Black Ocean, it’s as if she’s actually reliving the same dark feelings that went into lyrics like “I need some peace/ Please hear my call”. The jaw-dropping how-did-she-do-that slide solo of swampy Koko Taylor reimagination I’m A...

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