Tag: London

LIVE: Picture This @ Electric Ballroom, Camden

If there is one band you should be going to see this year, it could be an Irish duo with a sold out UK and Ireland tour who have already established a large fan base even before they “drop” their debut album, Who this? Picture This. If you have never heard of them it’s could be  because you are not following the latest trends on YouTube or Spotify. Or put another way you are not up with the kids. In a world where everything is easy to reach, simple to find and share, then bands like Picture This don’t need to have the...

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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: Kishi Bashi @ Oslo

On a rainy Sunday evening in Hackney as one approaches Oslo you’d be forgiven for wishing you were at home curled up in a warm blanket, but what small handful of us (and when I say small handful I mean all 353 people in the at capacity room) got was a heart warming display of raw musical talent. For those of you haven’t come across our patron of strings before, Kaoru Ishibashi aka Kishi Bashi has spent his years playing violin for Of Montreal and Regina Spektor before wowing us with his solo prowess. Drawing from a range of genres (from folk to...

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Live: John Mayer @ The O2 Arena

“My stupid mouth has got me in trouble, I said too much again” sang a young John Mayer on his debut studio album Room For Squares, released some 16 years ago now. And his ‘stupid’ mouth (read twitter in today’s age) is what the now 39-year-old guitarman is generally in the media for. But it is for his mastery of blues guitar that I will always (always!) try and catch his live shows. Following the release of pop-rock record Room For Squares and its successor Heavier Things in 2003, featuring radio-friendly singles Bigger Than My Body and Daughters, it was with 2006...

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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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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: Geraint Watkins and the Mosquitoes @ The Sound Lounge

It’s 3pm on a warm spring Bank Holiday Sunday afternoon and Tooting’s newest café-come-music venue The Sound Lounge is packed to all four corners with middle-aged hipsters eager to see Geraint Watkins and the Mosquitoes play their first show in 18 months. The show’s organiser, host and support act Niall Kelly kicks off the afternoon with an uplifting fusion of blues-folk-country packed with foot-stomping tracks from his second studio album Not Sleeping as well as new material that he hopes to release in the next year.  The latest studio offering features legendary pedal steel player BJ Cole on three tracks, and was aptly titled during the period following the birth of Kelly’s first child, a period to which I can...

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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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Photography: Joe Bonamassa @ Royal Albert Hall

Joe Bonamassa – two-time Grammy-award nominated guitarist and vocalist – does not need an introduction. This year he is back in the UK to promote his twelfth studio album Blues Of Desperation. The album was recorded in just five days in Nashville’s Grand Victorian Sound Studios (previously known as RCA Studio A) under the watchful eyes of Bonamassa’s longtime producer Kevin Shirley along with drummers Anton Fig & Greg Morrow, bassist Michael Rhodes and keyboardist Reese Wynans.  This combo is a simple recipe for success. As expected, Bonamassa’s new proposal is the kind of material that redefines the blues-rock genre. Blues Of Desperation appears to be...

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Live: Katy Hurt @ The Sound Lounge

I first met Katy Hurt back in July 2014 when I got chatting to her parents at a Kacey Musgraves show at west London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire. We were all enamoured with the meteoric rise of Country Music’s popularity in the UK but the Hurts had an ace up their sleeves, daughter Katy’s incredible Southern-styled voice coupled with her song-writing talents which her parents were immediately gushing about and championing. Spending her early life in the U.S., it’s no surprise that Hurt was exposed to Country music and got the bug herself. But pursuing it following the family’s relocation...

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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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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: Dua Lipa @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Rising London pop star Dua Lipa has been making waves and setting grand expectations since bursting onto the scene back in 2015 with top 10 single Be The One. Last year saw singles Hotter Than Hell and Blow Your Mind (Mwah) continue to show promise along with not one but two sets at last June’s Glastonbury Festival, her name already up in lights behind her. June will see the release of her much-anticipated self-titled debut album, and following a busy pre-album launch tour comprised of a massive 18 dates across the U.S. and Canada, followed by a further 10 across Europe and the...

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Live: Sting @ Hammersmith Apollo

Sting is a man who needs no introduction. Or maybe he does in a world where his solo tour has been hitting up medium-sized venues rather than the arenas and stadiums of years past. He is probably known to most as former The Police frontman, the 1970’s new wavers who exploded globally with their three-piece rock offerings before bowing out in a blaze of glory following hit 1983 album Sychronicity (obligatory noughties reunion tour not withstanding). But Sting was always more than just a rock singer and bassist, having a foundation in both Spanish guitar and jazz, so it’s...

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Live: Melanie C @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire

There are pop stars and then there are The Spice Girls – probably one of the most successful female pop groups of them all – a group comprised of five very different personalities, something that made them stand out from the rest from the off when they broke onto the scene in 1996. And, while probably not the biggest tabloid star of the five, one of the stand-out voices of the group was always, always Melanie Chisholm AKA Sporty Spice or Melanie C, to differentiate between the two Melanies in the group. Proceeding the Spice Girls effective disbanding in 2000, Mel...

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Live: Bear’s Den @ Hammersmith Apollo, London

It’s funny, I always think of the Hammersmith Apollo as one of London’s bigger, less personal, gig venues.  But last night Bear’s Den managed to make it feel like the back room of a smoky pub. Whether it was their particular brand of spiritual, emotive folk rock or the soft but striking set lighting I don’t know, but I liked it. Since Joey Haynes left the band last year, Bear’s Den don’t play alone. On stage with songsmith and lead vocalist Andrew Davie and singer and multi-instrumentalist Kevin Jones, is Dutch session man Christof van der Ven on guitars and banjo,...

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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: Bush @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire

You’d be forgiven for thinking 1990’s rock outfit Bush were an American band, given both their sound and enduring success across the pond. Their 1994 debut studio record Sixteen Stone was certified 6x Platinum in the U.S., it’s follow-up peaked at #1 in the U.S. album charts and many of their singles hit #1 on the U.S. Alt. Rock charts for a decade. But Bush are, in fact, a British band. So much so that they’re named after the area in which tonight’s gig takes place – Shepherd’s Bush! The original line-up of frontman Gavin Rossdale, drummer Robin Goodridge,...

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Rock Show: Weezer Bring Summer To Europe

American rockers Weezer have announced new single Feels Like Summer, not taken from last year’s self-titled ‘White’ album. along with a run of 10 European shows, including five in the UK! About to hit up this weekend’s SXSW in Austin, Texas with two shows, the Californian four-piece then head out on an extensive 30+ date tour of the U.S. including stops at Sunfest in Florida, Boston Calling and Firefly Festival in Deleware, alongside Muse and Thirty Seconds To Mars. They’re even rumoured to be lining up a secret set at this year’s Reading Festival, which would slot in nicely between their...

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Rock Show: Phoenix Hit Ally Pally

French electro-rock outfit Phoenix are officially back! While a follow up to 2013’a Bankrupt!, the group’s fifth studio album, is still to be announced, a number of US and European festival dates have been announced, including The Governor’s Ball in New York, NOS Alive in Portugal and Bilbao’s fabulous BBK Live. Today marks the groups first headline show announcement in since winding up their Bankrupt! tour and, of course, it has to be at London’s famous former BBC television broadcast centre at Alexandra Palace. The French four-piece will bring new music, and we all hope some of our old favourites, to the North...

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