Tag: Review

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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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 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: 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: 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: 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: Live At Leeds Festival Turns 10

With the rise of city festivals, such as Sheffield’s Tramlines and Brighton’s The Great Escape, Live At Leeds has seen a steady growth in size over the years from a handful of bands in 2007 to 189 acts performing at 21 venues across the city on its 10-year anniversary. This year’s festivals attracted a host of well-known big acts as well as a plethora of equally fantastic lesser known ones. Headlining acts this year included Slaves, Rag’n’Bone Man, White Lies, Wild Beasts and Nothing But Thieves and it was one festival that I wasn’t going to miss. Besides being...

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LIVE: THE KOOKS @ LEEDS ACADEMY

The Kooks are one of those bands that you find surprising when you realise you know more songs than you anticipate. Tonight in Leeds at a sold out Academy show they are playing the greatest hits tour, a best of – probably because they have hit that post 10 year milestone and really the whole thing can go one of three ways from now. They either bow out in the way that The Enemy did a few months ago, try to replicate the previous highs with a steady release of poorer albums, or, the more probable route – milk...

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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: 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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