Author: Simon Reed

The Amazons: An Upward Trajectory

A year ago to the day, The Amazons struggled to sell 300 tickets to a show at OSLO in Hackney. Tonight, they’ve sold out The Forum. That’s 2300 people – and a year-on-year increase of 666%, if you’re counting. Chances are, nobody in this Kentish Town landmark is. After all, there are more pressing matters, like being blown away by four young musicians with a one-way ticket to The O2 Arena stage. A thrilling rock band with songs as hot as the van blazing on their debut album’s cover, the quartet’s success is definitely deserved, but certainly not overnight....

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Wilko Johnson’s 70th Birthday Bash: Live @ The Royal Albert Hall

Unless you’re a fan of Game Of Thrones, or else otherwise just ‘of a certain age’, it’s unlikely you’d have heard of Wilko Johnson until 2013 – when it was disclosed he was suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer. This news, or more specifically his reaction to it (embarking on a farewell tour and a Gold selling album collaboration with Roger Daltrey) put him in the public consciousness in a manner he’d not seen since the early 1970s. Back then, he was the wide-eyed, amphetamine fuelled guitarist of ‘Thames Delta’ R&B band Dr Feelgood and he could be seen skittering...

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Photography: Victorious Festival 2017

It’s rather pleasant outside and whilst we’re still occasionally getting a whiff of Indian Summer, there’s no stopping the inevitable slide into rain, wind, gutters full of leaves and longer evenings. What better time then to hark back to images of three of the best days of weather and music that Summer 2017 had to offer: Victorious Festival. Of course, you don’t only go to the seaside for the sun, and Southsea’s 2017 Victorious Festival had arguably its finest ever line up this year. When the sun goes down, the party continues… …and the headliners come out to play....

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The Amazons In Ultraviolet

Fast rising rock band The Amazons continue their surge as they share a new video for fan favourite track Ultraviolet. The video captures the band excelling in an environment that matches the raw energy of their gigs. Each scene was shot on 16mm film, with dynamic animations scraped by hand, frame by frame onto the negative before being run back through the scanner. The video was directed by Oscar Sansom who has previously worked with Biffy Clyro, Belle and Sebastian, Idlewidl and Twin Atlantic amongst others. “I wanted to create a video that really celebrates the energy of The Amazons’ live...

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Wilko Johnson: 70th Birthday Celebrations

2017 is certainly a special year for Wilko Johnson.  Not only does it mark the 30th anniversary of the Wilko Johnson Band, but this year sees the guitarist celebrating his 70th birthday. Given the events of recent years, this celebration at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday 26th September is all the more meaningful: here is the death-defying Wilko Johnson leading his own party with partners in crime Norman Watt-Roy (bass), Dylan Howe (drums), family, friends and special guests. Wilko’s special guest at the Royal Albert Hall show is Dr John Cooper Clarke – poet, movie star, rock star,...

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Victorious Festival 2017, Three Days of Southsea Sunshine

I am local to Portsmouth, and I admit that I became slightly concerned before attending my third Victorious Festival. Victorious refuses to stop growing. It engulfs the entire city, with stages on the southernmost coast, and a new campsite on Portsmouth’s northernmost border. With victory after victory (just thought I would get the references to being ‘victorious’ out of the way), it felt as though it might disastrously shut down Portsmouth for the bank holiday. Perhaps that is destined to happen one year, but the strongest line-up yet spearheaded by Madness, Stereophonics and Elbow, along with abnormally gorgeous weather, made...

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Buck & Evans: The Debut Album & A Gig In My Lounge

As can sometimes fortuitously happen in the case of your favourite artists, I discovered the band Buck & Evans completely by accident. They were playing the inaugural Ramblin’ Man Fair festival in 2015, buried in an unassuming mid-afternoon slot on the curiously titled ‘Outlaw’ Country Stage. I was expecting a couple of old timers dressed in dungarees behind a pair of battered acoustic guitars. Instead, I got a sensational ‘rock ‘n’ soul’ band; a guitarist whose playing belied his obviously modest years, a vocalist who’d have made Janis look twice and a rhythm section that would still have you...

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Live: Ramblin’ Man Fair Festival 2017

Ramblin’ Man Fair, the festival run by Spirit Of Rock that celebrates the best in classic rock, prog, blues and country is now in its third year. Whilst Download has strayed into pop punk territory and Bloodstock books bands with comical names (Infected Dead, anyone?) the Ramblin’ Man focus is on an altogether more relaxed and ‘grown up’ weekend. It’s the festival where you’re more likely to find a mosh pit in the queue for an ice cream than you are down the front. And this means that it’s a really inclusive, friendly and welcoming place to be. This...

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Photography ZZ Top & Extreme @ Ramblin’ Man Fair

Ramblin’ Man Fair, a showcase of classic rock, prog and blues is now in its third year and continues to go from strength to strength. This year’s two main headliners, Extreme and ZZ Top it’s fair to say stirred up conflicting emotions amongst the fan base – with some in the Ramblin’ Man community feeling that neither band truly reflected the nature of the event. Personally, I couldn’t disagree more strongly with this sentiment – but tastes vary. The two sets were both brilliantly performed and hugely enjoyable but served up very different lighting from a photographic perspective. Extreme was challenging to say...

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Photography: Truck Festival 2017

The twentieth edition of Truck Festival, held at Hill Farm, close to the sleepy village of Steventon in rural Oxfordshire boasted the finest lineup in the event’s history. From the metalcore of Bury Tomorrow to the pop punk of Roam to the indie pop rock of Superfood to the country twang of Catherine McGrath to the nostalgic sound of Franz Ferdinand and The Libertines, this TruckFest had it all. It also had rain, an awful lot of rain. But despite the best efforts of the British summer, Truck put smiles on faces wherever you looked. And so that was that: three days of rain, mud, slither and great...

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Live: Truck Festival 2017

One of the UK’s finest small festivals, Truck, has just had its twentieth birthday – and the site at Hill Farm, near the Oxfordshire village of Steventon celebrated in style with a guest list that belied the ‘small’ festival moniker. Boasting headliners Franz Ferdinand, The Libertines and The Vaccines on the main Truck Stage, plus a significant undercard and some of the brightest new talent around on the other six live music stages, there surely was something for everyone – and if you preferred your music to be DJ led, the Palm City arena with another two stages pumped...

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Photography: BST Hyde Park, Kings Of Leon Day

RockShot are attending a few of the dates at this years’ musical celebration within the confines of Hyde Park, the Barclaycard sponsored BST (British Summer Time). There are five stages on site, with a total of six afternoon/nights of live music – and a lineup that accommodates a wide variety of tastes. I attended the middle of our three outings; where the accent was firmly on alt-rock, with artists such as Deaf Havana, Pixies and headliners on the impressive Great Oak Stage, Kings Of Leon. You can read my full review of Kings Of Leon here. In summary: great band, great music,...

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Live: Kings Of Leon @ BST Hyde Park

You learn something every day. Today I learned that carrying a step ladder and camera rucksack on the London underground in the rush hour when it’s thirty degrees outside is something to be avoided at all costs. I had the rucksack because I was en route to photograph Nashville rootsy garage four-piece turned anthemic stadium rock band Kings Of Leon. I had the step ladder because I’d heard rumours that the stage at BST Hyde Park was higher than Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. Sadly, the rumours turned out to be true. At around eight-thirty, the Followhill brothers and cousin...

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Live: Richard Ashcroft @ O2 Academy Brixton

Iconic frontmen of once iconic bands are all the rage at the moment. Noel Gallagher’s two solo albums are an established part of the landscape. Tom Chaplin (voice of post-britpop housewife’s favourites Keane) played a blinding support to Jeff Lynne (another iconic frontman of another once iconic band) at Wembley last weekend. Hell, even Phil Collins joined the party with a headline in Hyde Park during the week. It seems entirely appropriate therefore that Richard Ashcroft, iconic frontman of The Verve – surely one of the most iconic bands of the last thirty years – should be getting in...

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Festival: Ramblin’ Man Fair With Saxon, ZZ Top, Rival Sons, Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Ramblin’ Man Fair, the festival celebrating the best in classic rock, prog, country and blues music returns to the beautiful Mote Park in Maidstone, Kent from 28 to 30 July. The park is one of the largest in South East England with more than 450 acres of mature parkland and a 30-acre lake. With multiple travel links via train (Ashford International, Maidstone East and Maidstone West in close proximity) and road (with three park and rides available around Maidstone). The festival site is also perfect for European festival goers with easy links to the London airports, Eurostar via Ashford...

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Live: Jeff Lynne’s ELO @ Wembley Stadium

The first album I bought was Out Of The Blue. The Electric Light Orchestra, that album, and those which followed and preceded it were the soundtrack to my childhood. The ELO obsession has followed me into middle age. I’m the sort of guy who can sing: “Yes, I’m turning to stone ‘cos you ‘ain’t coming home. Why aren’t you coming home if I’m turning to stone? You’ve been gone for so long and I can’t carry on. Yes, I’m turning, I’m turning, I’m turning to stone” at full speed without pausing for breath or breaking into a sweat. Kind...

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This Life, Coasts’ New Album and Tour Announced

On 18 August 2017, Coasts will release their eagerly anticipated new album This Life via High Time Records. Available to pre-order worldwide from 23 June, this record is the follow up to their self-titled debut chart album in 2016. First single from the new record, accompanied by its tongue in cheek political video is Take Me Back Home. With a powerful four-to-the-floor chorus, vocalist Chris Caines croons to the listener: “Take me back home, where the sky is glittering gold”, embodying the joys of the success the boys have had whilst touring the world. Following a sell-out UK club tour in May...

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Live: Evanescence @ Apollo Hammersmith

One of the best things about doing this is that you get to experience live music that doesn’t necessarily twitch the antennae. To be honest, it’s unlikely I’d have been mixing it with a sold-out crowd tonight at the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith for an evening with Arkansas rockers Evanescence were it not for the chance to snap them – but I’m very glad I did, on a number of levels. First of all, we got lucky with access right at the front. The band were known in journalistic circles for being a little camera shy on this tour, having...

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Live: Roger Hodgson @ Royal Albert Hall, London

For two and a half hours on Saturday night, Roger Hodgson encouraged a sell-out Royal Albert Hall crowd to momentarily park the bad stuff taking place in the world and concentrate instead on a collected shared love for music and humanity. It’s a speech he gives at every gig. At the time, I interpreted it as a sideswipe at the current incumbent in the White House – it’s a popular observation after all. Forty-eight hours later, Hodgson’s remarks now seem more prescient than ever. Roger Hodgson was the major song writing force of 1970s/1980s prog/rock/pop megastars Supertramp. He can...

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Rock Show: Roger Hodgson at Royal Albert Hall 2017

Last night RockShot Magazine attended the first of two nights in the company of Roger Hodgson (‘the voice of Supertramp‘) currently being played at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The show was a sell out and Roger delighted the audience with many of his solo works, plus of course a healthy selection from the Supertramp back catalogue. The full review of the show will follow shortly but suffice it to say that an evening with Roger Hodgson is one not to be missed for anybody with even a passing interest in the music of Supertramp. The instantly recognisable tunes are...

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Live: Ward Thomas @ O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

In support of their sophomore album Cartwheels, twin sisters Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas brought their brand of Hampshire based Anglo-Nashville country music to the multiple-tiered beauty of the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire on Wednesday night. The new record, which holds the distinction of being the first country release to make number one in the UK Top Forty album chart, is a move away from some of the twangy Americana found on the debut, From Where We Stand. An altogether smoother, more pop-oriented sound envelops the new record. The most obvious comparison is that of Taylor Swift. Depending on...

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Vision: You Me At Six, Take On The World

Filmed at their headline show in London’s Alexandra Palace on 15 April (a gig that RockShot attended and which you can read about here), You Me At Six are back to reveal their video to Take On The World, a release from from their critically acclaimed 5th studio album Night People. 2017 got off to a flying start for YMAS with the release of their chart-topping album and the accolade of being the first band to land 15 consecutive Radio 1 A-Listed records. The band have just concluded their extensive European and UK tour and have also been announced for a headline...

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Vision: The Amazons, Junk Food Forever

After a first appearance on Later… with Jools Holland, confirmation of a set at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend later this month and the announcement of a major headline tour, The Amazons have now shared a new video for the track Junk Food Forever. The Junk Food Forever video reflects the track’s themes – “the fear of being left alone in my dead little commuter town” says vocalist/guitarist Matt Thomson. The band power through a performance of the song in an empty living room – much to the consternation of a cleaner who remains on hand to keep the chaos tidy. The...

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Live: Palace @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire

There was a nip in the air as I walked across Shepherds Bush Green tonight. We might be knocking on the door of summer, but momentarily talk of global warming has been suspended. This morning, I was back scraping the windscreen of the car and had icicles on my Ricicles. The green was, however, positively balmy compared to the chilled-out vibe going on at my destination, the Shepherd’s Bush Empire and an appointment with London four-piece Palace. Palace are described in their Apple Music bio as “an alternative blues-rock group with an extremely laid-back style”. Anybody speculatively attending one...

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Live: You Me At Six @ Alexandra Palace

Another day, another gig. Tonight, I’m at the rather wonderful Alexandra Palace to see the continued progress of stadium rock band You Me At Six. The band, who hail from Weybridge in Surrey, released their fifth studio album Night People on 13th January and with it signaled a more expansive sound, befitting of the sorts of arenas they are routinely looking to fill. The Alexandra Palace gig was the last date of a UK tour taking in big spaces such as the SECC, Glasgow and Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. They didn’t quite fill Ally Pally to its 10,250 capacity...

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Rock Show: Public Service Broadcasting Announce Autumn Tour

Public Service Broadcasting today announced details of a major UK tour in October in support of new album, Every Valley, released on 7th July. Stopping in twelve cities – including their biggest headline to date at London’s Eventim Apollo, plus a selection of some of the best live rooms across the country – the tour will be the first chance for fans across the UK to experience the band’s new album, the first single release of which was Progress. Every Valley is set against a backdrop of industrial decline and neglected and abandoned communities across the western world, but focuses on the history of...

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Live: The Magpie Salute @ Under The Bridge

  If rock ‘n’ roll history tells us anything, it’s that brotherly love doesn’t necessarily apply between brothers. Ray and Dave Davies, Mark and David Knopfler, Liam and Noel Gallagher. If you invited them round for tea, it would be as well to give them paper plates. You can add to that list Chris and Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes, whose creative differences meant the wheels were off the ‘Crowes wagon between 2002 and 2005, and have been detached seemingly permanently since 2014. With the atmosphere between the brothers Robinson currently on the prickly side of incendiary, you’d...

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Live: The Amazons @ Dingwalls, Camden

There’s something quite exciting about being in on the ground floor of something big. Last time I got this feeling, it was photographing The Hunna in front of a rabid sell-out crowd at Boston Music Room (capacity 250). Within nine months, I was photographing them in front of a rabid sell-out crowd at the Shepherds Bush Empire (capacity 2000). Tonight, I’m at Dingwalls in the company of Reading four-piece The Amazons and I’ve got the feeling again. It’s a sell-out, and I’m expecting the crowd to be rabid. Of course, I’m no musical Svengali; everyone is talking about this...

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Live: Amy Macdonald & Newton Faulkner @ The Royal Albert Hall

There’s something unbelievably special about live music at the Royal Albert Hall. When you gaze at the ceiling and marvel at the tiers of seats and boxes rising up and up, you can’t help but feel a little humbled to be in the presence of such outstanding architecture. Tonight, we’re equally humbled by the presence of two outstanding artists in the form of Newton Faulkner and Amy Macdonald. Having Faulkner announced as the support for Amy’s Under Stars tour added gloss to an already very shiny product. With a brace of number one albums in the bank; the first...

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Live: Cabbage & Blossoms @ The Roundhouse

I like the Roundhouse. If you can accept the compromised sight lines and sound, there’s something kind of cool about watching a band in an engine shed. It’s run by a charitable trust, which means it’s looked after; your feet don’t stick to the floor. Tonight, the giant dome is hosting the NME Awards Tour 2017, sponsored by VO5 – a fact that single-handedly makes it sound the least rock ‘n’ roll thing to exist since Tony Blackburn. Gracing the tour are a triumvirate of artists from the North West: Rory Wynne, Cabbage and Blossoms. I’m primarily here for...

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Photography: Hothouse Flowers @ Electric Ballroom

Hothouse Flowers were photographed at the Electric Ballroom by Simon Reed, you can see the live review here: http://rockshot.co.uk/25189/live-hothouse-flowers-the-electric-ballroom/           Hothouse Flowers were live at The Electric Ballroom on Saturday 18th March 2017. Photography by Simon Reed...

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Live: Hothouse Flowers @ The Electric Ballroom

The weirdly polarised people that sit either side of the weirdly polarised Jeremy Clarkson debate probably have weirdly polarised opinions about his favourite musicians, Hothouse Flowers. Regardless of your take on either, there’s no denying that the first ten minutes of The Grand Tour – which featured the band occupying a festival stage and blasting their 1990 cover of Johnny Nash’s I Can See Clearly Now into an unsuspecting Mojave Desert, has done Hothouse Flowers no harm whatsoever. Truth be told, that’s why I’m at the Electric Ballroom tonight. Whilst I enjoyed The Flowers output in the late eighties...

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Live: Elbow @ Hammersmith Apollo, London

I’m grateful to my wife for so many things. She spots the traffic cameras I don’t. She’s always on hand with salient fashion advice. Her meringues are the stuff of legend. And then there’s Elbow. The first time I saw this band was in 2012 when they were touring Build A Rocket Boys!. I was quite churlish about it. My wife, a long-term fan dragged me there, but I just knew it wasn’t going to be very good. The traffic was awful. We had crappy little seats at the back of crappy big Wembley Arena. The sound was average. It...

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Live: Jo Harman @ The Jazz Cafe Camden

RockShot doesn’t do album reviews. If it did, I’d be able to tell you that Jo Harman’s sophomore album People We Become, released earlier this month to wide critical acclaim, is truly exceptional and you really, really should buy it. Oh. Whilst I can’t do what I just did, I can report on the launch gig for the new record, held in Camden’s iconic Jazz Cafe – my first visit to this venue since it underwent a change in ownership and a radical internal improvement at the back end of last year. Traditionally, this place has bathed its performers...

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Festival: Stereophonics & Elbow Join Madness To Headline Victorious 2017

Having previously revealed Madness as the headliner for the all-new Friday night Opening Party, the festival is proud to announce legends Stereophonics and Elbow as top of the bill for Saturday and Sunday. Celebrating an incredible 20 year career, Welsh rockers Stereophonics are guaranteed to deliver an immense set on Saturday night packed with hits from nine studio albums along with brand new material and a dynamic live performance that has earned them a reputation as one of the best in the business. Support comes from indie-folk troubadour Jake Bugg, power pop trio Feeder, folk rockers Frightened Rabbit, alt-rock...

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Photography: The Hunna @ Shepherds Bush Empire

Last time I photographed The Hunna was in front of a couple of hundred people at a sold-out Boston Music Room in London’s Tufnell Park. Nine months later, they’re back promoting their debut album 100 at a sold-out Shepherds Bush Empire. This time around, the venue capacity has multiplied ten-fold, ticket resale sites are asking stupid money, and touts are out in force patrolling Shepherds Bush Green. It was obvious from the outset that this band were going places and the evidence displayed in and around this splendid West London venue seems to speak for itself… Read the full...

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Live: The Hunna @ O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

Last time I photographed The Hunna was in front of a couple of hundred people at a sold-out Boston Music Room in London’s Tufnell Park. Nine months later, they’re back promoting their debut album 100 at a sold-out Shepherds Bush Empire. This time around, the venue capacity has multiplied ten-fold, ticket resale sites are asking stupid money, and touts are out in force patrolling Shepherds Bush Green. It was obvious from the outset that this band were going places and the evidence displayed in and around this splendid West London venue seems to speak for itself. The Hertfordshire four-piece...

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Photography: The Temperance Movement, Acoustic Live.

The Temperance Movement live acoustic……So, an announcement at the end of November that the band would shortly be playing a series of three stripped back acoustic shows in small venues in London, Manchester and Glasgow was met with considerable excitement and fans rushed to obtain tickets for what might well be the last opportunity to see the band in this guise. The first of these shows was at Bush Hall (a treat in itself) in West London and I was fortunate enough to be there…read more here: http://rockshot.co.uk/23431/live-the-temperance-movement-acoustic-bush-hall/ Photography by Simon Reed. The Temperance Movement at Bush Hall 2nd December...

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Live: The Temperance Movement Acoustic Set @ Bush Hall

I’m lucky enough to have stumbled upon The Temperance Movement whilst they were still playing tiny venues; when much of the set was acoustic and vocals were performed from in front of the microphones. In the last couple of years and on the back of two critically acclaimed albums, they have progressed to share stadium stages with The Rolling Stones and now sell out some of our largest venues. Whilst nobody would wish to deny them their success, a significant part of the fan base (myself included) miss the intimacy of those early days and those very special gigs....

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Live: Electric Six @ O2 Academy Islington

With twelve albums to their name, Electric Six are remarkably prolific for a band primarily known for two hit singles. Danger! High Voltage and Gay Bar were an essential part of the noughties soundtrack, but as loyal fans crow-barred into a sold out O2 Academy Islington tonight will testify, there’s much more to this band than that. This is a weird venue. Purpose built in a nondescript thirteen-year-old shopping centre, it has all the ambience of a nondescript thirteen-year-old shopping centre. As functional as it gets, service ducts and pipework dangle from the ceiling – it’s kind of like...

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