Tag: Review

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: Lower Than Atlantis @ Great Hall, Cardiff

Lower Than Atlantis’ UK headline tour is a big deal. A big deal to more than just the four-piece themselves, but to fans, to aspiring British musicians and to the rock music scene. They’re a tale of rags to riches and a prime example of how perseverance, determination, talent and creativity really does pay off. For tonight’s attendees in Cardiff’s Great Hall, it’s their chance to see what the past ten years as a band has amounted to. Arriving from down under, Hands Like Houses are the perfect warm up act to raise spirits. Their melodically led songs draw...

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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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Live: Train @ Islington Assembly Hall

American pop rock outfit Train have hits that will, no doubt, bounce off your subconscious and reverberate whether you want them to or not! For this is the band that were a mainstay of the Billboard charts and alt. rock radio waves of 1999 with hit single Meet Virginia, who bettered that effort just two years later with Drops Of Jupiter and continued their whimsical journey of chart staying power in 2009 with Hey, Soul Sister. This month, the Patrick Monahan-led six-piece is back with eighth studio album A Girl, A Bottle, A Boat (if you discount a Christmas...

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Live: Saint Agnes @ Oslo, Hackney.

Beware!  Saint Agnes are back with a new single and are ready to kick down the doors in your neighbourhood. The band, who are my personal greatest discovery of 2016, have bought out another strong rock song Merry Mother Of God Go Round. The new single release was followed by a live show at Oslo, Hackney on 8th December. Nothing can be just ordinary on 8th December. On the same date, we lost John Lennon (1980) and Darell Dimebag (2004) and it should be another celebration of Jim Morrison’s birthday – the Lizard King would have been 73 this year. With expectations set high by the upcoming single, I...

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Live: Chase & Status @ Alexandra Palace

Alexandra Palace started filling up with red-lit smoke just seconds before Saul Milton aka Chase, Will Kennard aka Status, MC Rage and drummer Andy Gangadeen appeared on stage. I expected the venue to be busy but wasn’t at all prepared for how rammed it actually was. Ten thousand people gathered in one of the most iconic venues in London on Saturday 26th of November. They all came to see one of their favourite bands – they all came to see the world famous Chase & Status, the excitement and the party-like anticipation were palpable. MC Rage welcomed the crowd letting...

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Live: Biffy Clyro @ The O2 Arena

Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro are back, and bigger than ever, with the release of seventh studio album Ellipsis. And to support the record, frontman Simon Neil along with his rhythm section of twin brothers James and Ben Johnson on bass and drums respectively, hit up some of the biggest venues across the country, ending up with a stop at East London’s tent-venue – The O2 Arena.   The rock trio suffered from a split of their fan base following their mainstream success with Only Revolutions in 2009, seemingly sounding too light and commercial to some when compared to their...

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Live: Hinds @ Academy 2, Manchester.

Saturday evening at the Academy 2 in Manchester was an evening of two halves: the support acts and the headliner. It isn’t often, but on occasions, the support acts outshine the headliners, and Saturday night was one of those occasions. Setting aside the greater depth of repertoire of Hinds, the line-up could very easily have been reversed. London-based lo-fi disco quintet SWEAT hit the stage first and quickly won over the half-full venue with their spellbinding and seductive sound and stage presence. Supporting Hinds on four dates of their UK tour, SWEAT are worth seeing in their own right. From...

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Live: Kongos @ Islington Academy, London.

American rhythm specialists Kongos brought their mighty and fascinating sound to London. On the day after the US presidential election in which Donald J Trump was chosen as the 45th President of the USA, they rocked into town in a shocked state. They are all brothers and share the family name, Kongos. In their stage shows the band are happy to include their many influences whether it be kwaito dance from South Africa or qawwali from Pakistan and their music does take in a lot of global styles and beats. It is easy to make comparisons with others who have done...

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The Veils @ KOKO, London

The Veils @ KOKO, London The lights dim, before Finn Andrews even takes to the stage his presence is palpable. As The Veils make their appearance, the atmosphere is charged and the rising anticipation in the crowd can be felt. The hunger of the crowd is juxtaposed by the bands cool calm assurance as the opening song fills Koko like a thick heavy smoke. If you’ve heard Axolotl on their latest release, then you can appreciate how Andrews so cleverly commands hearers’ attention, enveloping us within minutes into his world, right alongside him.  This show feels incredibly personal, as though we have been invited not so much to see...

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Live: Moose Blood @ Y Plas, Cardiff.

Live: Moose Blood @ Y Plas, Cardiff On tonight’s line up are four young, hotly discussed and justifiably hyped bands ready to wave the flag for the new generation of emo, each ready to provide something unique. Although Cardiff was the last show to sell out, from the offset, Moose Blood’s crowd for the evening emit an excitement and anticipation that’s shared among every single member of the audience; each ready to prove their worth to the fanbase, religiously screaming their heart’s out to the soundtrack of the best night of their lives. Luca Brasi start the show with...

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Live: Goo Goo Dolls @ Hammersmith Apollo

Hailing from Buffalo, New York, veteran American rockers Goo Goo Dolls returned to the UK for a run of shows, kicking off in Norwich last week and concluding at West London’s Hammersmith Apollo, in support of the group’s eleventh studio album Boxes, released in May. Formed in 1986 by continuing members Johnny Rzeznik on guitars and vocals and Robby Takac on bass and vocals, the group’s first two records featured Takac exclusively on lead vocals, bar a couple of songs on sophomore album Jed. But it was Rzeznik’s slow shift to frontman that coincided with the group’s rise in...

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LIVE: LLOYD COLE @ UNION CHAPEL, LONDON.

On this tour Lloyd Cole is only performing his classic songbook covering a period from 1983 – 1996 which comprises of hits from albums Rattlesnakes, Easy Pieces, Mainstream, Lloyd Cole and Don’t Get Weird On Me Babe.  Union Chapel is an intimate and relaxed setting perfect for an acoustic performance, with soft stage lights and the balcony lined with candles.  The audience are seated together in the church pews drinking tea and coffee (the venue still being a functioning church, no alcohol is allowed in the chapel area) it seems to add to the warmth and closeness of the...

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Live: Nina Hagen @ O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London.

Nina Hagen hasn’t played in the UK for a full 14 years, apparently, so there is tangible anticipation amongst the crowd tonight for this rarely seen and curious artist. Trying to pinpoint Nina Hagen’s role and legacy in the musical vista, on this, her 45th anniversary tour, is something of a conundrum. Descriptions of Nina span the spectrum from the whispered reverence devoted to the iconic Godmother of Punk, to opera singer with a spiritual message, to teenage actress turned controversially opinionated cult celebrity. Whether it’s her startling fashion style or her musical talent, her genre-traversing career or her...

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Live: Autumn Ruin, We Make Our Own Luck.

AUTUMN RUIN: WE MADE OUR DAMN LUCK, FRESH EP FROM MANCHESTER JUST IN TIME FOR THE COLD SEASON With Autumn now here, the debut EP from Autumn Ruin has been released. This Manchester’s five has been playing for over a year now and after three successful singles they put out their first EP “We Made Our Damn Luck”. Celebration for the release began with shows Manchester and London. Last year was pretty intense for the band. After completing their first ever mini headline tour, they followed that straight after with  live dates with Hertfordshire’s based band Room 94, supporting...

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Live: Together The People Festival Review

Together The People, set in Preston Park, Brighton, seems an apt name for a festival created by local people for local people. The organising commitee involves housing trusts, arts centres and creatives from around the region. So how on earth does a festival like this end up with cast of rock music royality. A line up that features Brian Wilson, Nathaniel Rateliff and Suede seems somehow juxtaposed to the fete and fair style layout of the site. Set apart from some others by the ecology and sustainability message, to enforce this organisers encourage walking and alternative transport to this non camping festival.  Together...

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Live: Glastonbury 2016 – Mud, Brexit and All-English Headliners

Described by festival founder Michael Eavis as the muddiest ever Glastonbury, revellers can at least be thankful that the rain was largely kept at bay during the four festival days, although a torrential spell during Friday, a good downpour over that night, and some drizzle here and there over the remaining days ensured Worthy Farm’s famous mud was kept topped up. Hell, this year’s edition is probably just as memorable and mentioned for its sludge-like mud as for any of the bands, the resulting substance described by one as a kind of chocolate mousse. Attendees can also be thankful for...

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Live: Nashville In Concert @ Hammersmith Apollo

Hit US television show Nashville, following the lives of fictional Country musicians living in Tennessee’s Music City, has been a breakthrough hit on both sides of the Atlantic. And while viewing figures may have waivered enough after four seasons for the ABC broadcast network to cancel the show, fans the world over have made enough noise for cable channel CMT to pick it up for a fifth. But the thing that makes the show great is the simply diverse talent of its stars – actors, singers, musicians and writers across the board from the youngest cast members, sisters Maisy and...

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