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JW Jones Raises The Temperature @ London’s Borderline

JW Jones is an award-winning Canadian blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He has released eight studio albums, performed in 19 countries, toured four continents, and played with legends like Buddy Guy, Canned Heat, and Red Hot Chili Peppers phenomenon Chad Smith. This winter he brought his flying Gibson to the UK to promote his latest studio album, High Temperature. The tour came to London’s Borderline last weekend for what was, in my opinion, one of the best gigs of the year. Starting with Wham, a crazy jam from the current album, Jones set the tone for the evening, a night of...

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Reinventing Himself On The Road: John Bramwell Live @ Union Chapel

After many years as frontman of Manchester-based band I Am Kloot, in 2013 John Bramwell took a change of direction and set out on a “Never-ending” solo tour that charted a course that has criss-crossed this country and into the continent. It’s a journey that has wended its way though clubs and pubs, churches and village halls giving plenty of time for musing on life and love, hope and heartbreak, desire and despair en route. Returning to Union Chapel in London tonight, John is promoting his first full solo album Leave Alone The Empty Spaces, self-released in November 2017,...

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Scorpions, Yes, Roger Hodgson & Joanne Shaw Taylor For Stone Free Festival

Stone Free Festival will return on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June 2018 at The O2, London. Now in its third year, Stone Free Festival has become a firm fixture on the live calendar and next year’s exciting event is set to be the biggest and best yet. Headlining the arena on the Saturday night in a UK live exclusive for 2018 are legendary German rockers Scorpions, who have to date sold more than 100 million records worldwide over the course of their 50-year career and have not played in London since 2007. Joining them will be thrash titans...

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Victorious Festival Announces Friday Night Headline Acts

Victorious, taking place from 24-26 August 2018, is the UK’s biggest metropolitan festival. The bill has been revealed for its opening Friday night – and it contains a quartet of the best live party bands the UK indie scene has ever produced – The Libertines, Kaiser Chiefs, Shed Seven & The Lightning Seeds. Last year’s inaugural Friday night Opening Party with Madness was such a resounding success organisers have decided to do it again – only bigger and better with all the live action taking place in the huge main arena. Saturday/Sunday headliners will be announced soon but given last...

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Bad Touch Feel Good At Islington Academy

All bands, if they’re around long enough, reach that point where youthful urgency overlaps with experience. Bad Touch are now in that zone. Currently on their first UK headline tour (“eight years in the making,” as frontman Stevie Westwood puts it), the group have two full-length studio albums and two EPs of material, the skills gained from supporting big names like The Kentucky Headhunters around the country, and the lessons learnt from playing hundreds of shows. But, almost a decade in, they’ve lost none of the unbridled passion and dynamism of their early days as a bar band in...

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Samantha Fish Gets The Voodoo Working At Borderline

Some artists, like AC/DC, specialise in familiarity. Others, like Kate Bush, Bjork, and now Samantha Fish, specialise in surprise. The singer-songwriter-guitarist has been looking beyond her blues base to incorporate elements like Americana, ‘50s rock ‘n roll, vintage R&B, and retro soul into her sound. At this point in her career, all that’s guaranteed are her powerful vocals, expressive guitar playing, and emotional authenticity. “You should always get outside of the box,” she explains. “Challenging yourself is how you grow.” As if to prove her point, this year the Kansas City native’s released not just Chills & Fever (reinterpreting...

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Joanne Shaw Taylor Beats The Blues At Royal Festival Hall

Joanne Shaw Taylor is suffering from a cold. But, other than her drinking hot water and honey (not gin, she promises) between songs and an added hint of huskiness to her voice, you wouldn’t know. The singer and guitarist is all energy and smiles as she (sometimes quite literally) bounds through a set that stretches all the way from her 2009 debut White Sugar to last year’s Wild. Three songs from the current release (the swinging Dyin’ To Know, aptly titled all-out rocker Nothing To Lose, and the touching No Reason To Stay) kick off the show, before she...

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Dan Patlansky Offers Style And Substance At Royal Festival Hall

Gone are the leather jacket and checked lumberjack shirt. When Dan Patlansky steps out onto the Royal Festival Hall stage it’s in waistcoat and suit jacket. “As soon as I put on these clothes, I feel like I’m about to to go to work. It changes your headspace a little,” he tells me later. “And also with all these tattoos popping up everywhere,” he gestures towards the intricate inking on his neck, “I love the contrast of wearing something suave.” A less visual, but certainly more important, change is the interplay with his band. For his previous visit to...

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Michael Schenker Fest Celebrates Rock At Shepherd’s Bush Empire

The Michael Schenker Group are a band with such a complex history that their Wikipedia page has one of those colour-coded timelines to track the various line-ups through the decades. Formed by Scorpions and UFO alumnus Michael Schenker, since 1979 the group has had 14 lead singers, 11 drummers, 12 bass players, an extended hiatus, and even a name change (from Michael Schenker Group to McAuley Schenker Group from 1986 to 1993). Schenker, lead guitarist extraordinaire, has been the sole constant. By comparison, the idea behind Michael Schenker Fest is clear and simple. Reunite ‘80s era MSG band members:...

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Steve Hill, One-Man Band Casts A Spell At Academy Islington

Being an opening act is always tricky. You never know what to expect or how many people will turn up early in the hope of some good music. And then there are venues like O2 Academy Islington, where I’ve seen great opening bands playing to an almost empty room. So if challenges are your kind of thing, top of the list would be a one-man band opening for rock veterans Wishbone Ash. But young Canadian one-man blues-rock machine Steve Hill is totally up for the challenge. Far from the mainstream, Hill does things his own way and, in a world where...

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Promise Realised: Lukas Nelson And The Promise Of The Real

Country music has come a long way, there are now as many variants and classifications into sub groups as there are for rock and roll.  The music crosses over into all other musical genres.  The prevailing image of country as ‘Big Hat’ corporate stadium bands who sing about Christian values, driving your truck and falling in love with a demure ‘good girl’ or a gun toting Daisy Duke wearing ‘bad girl’ has fallen away leaving room for a resurgence of American folk music, storytelling, and crossover. This is process that started in the early ‘60s and hit a kind...

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Dan Reed: Intimate Performance In St. Pancras Old Church

Dan Reed is one of those rare musicians who’s achieved success in a band (as the charismatic lead vocalist of Dan Reed Network, he’s sold millions of albums and toured with the Rolling Stones) and as a solo artist. The American rocker recently released his fourth solo album entitled Confessions and hit the road on his European Solo Tour, which kicked off last Thursday in one of the most beautiful and intimate places London has to offer, St Pancras Old Church. Those who’ve followed Dan Reed’s solo career know about his phenomenal songwriting and his ability to change a room...

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X Ambassadors Throw A Political Party @ ULU

Want to front a chart-topping band? You’ll need more than a distinct voice. You’ll need to be a cheerleader, inciting the crowd to wave their arms or sing along in unison, like it was their idea in the first place. You’ll need so much energy that standing still is simply not an option. You’ll need the swagger to pull off iconic rock star poses (like holding your guitar aloft while in silhouette), without a hint of irony. And you’ll need the sincerity to deliver passionate monologues that celebrate both unity and self-acceptance.   In short, you’ll need to be...

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British Electric Foundation, A Photo Story At Rewind

Supergroups are one of a kind. In one place and on one stage, they offer you the chance to witness collaborations between the biggest musicians. Whether a tribute project or a band offering brand-new music, it’s always worth seeing what all-star groups have to offer. British Electric Foundation are one of the best and they should be. Having stormed the charts in the ’80s with performers like Tina Turner and the late great Billy Mackenzie, they bought all their electronic experience to  Sunday afternoon at Rewind The 80s Festival. The iconic group in full flight featuring the full Heaven 17 band...

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John Parr, Status Quo, Peter Hook & Other Great Photography Highlights at Rewind

British summer is well known for two things: unpredictable weather and the best festivals. So choosing the right festival experience can be crucial to keep your mood up during the downpours. Rewind The 80s gives you the opportunity to cruise through the decade with your smile in place, no matter the weather conditions. But it’s always good to have your waterproofs ready. Here are some of my personal highlights from the North edition of this year’s Festival writes Edyta Krzesak. I have to admit, two years ago when New Order were announced as headliners of The Other Stage at Glastonbury...

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Rewind North The 80s Festival 2017 Photography

Sometimes the best things in life start in an unexpected way. Imagine, you’re about to go to a festival, you’ve kept your ticket safely in your desk, and you’ve been getting excited as the date approaches. You pack your bags with the essentials: small stove, sleeping bag, waterproofs, clothes, and food. You’ve got your train ticket on your mobile, and you’re ready to go. Then your accommodation falls through. On the bright side, I discover this before setting off from London. But it’s the day of the festival, my train departs in 2 hours, and I have nowhere to stay....

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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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Rock/Media: Mollie Marriott Album & Tour

Mollie Marriott, which we went to see at The Borderline earlier in June, is due to release her newest album Truth is a Wolf, available on 3rd November 2017 via Amadeus Music. The album is available for pre-order through www.molliemarriott.com and is available as Limited Edition Red Vinyl and Deluxe CD and Standard CD. Fan favourite bundles are available with exclusive signed merchandise ranging from T-Shirts, Posters, Set Lists, Unique Polaroid images and even house gigs. Anyone who pre-orders any of the bundles will receive Mollie’s first single Control as a thank you on Friday 28th July. “I’m really...

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LIVE: Blink-182 @ O2 Arena, London. Whats My Age Again?

Recently one of my Facebook friends posted an article about the appropriate age when you should stop clubbing. In wider context the appropriate age when you should abandon the dance floor or concert hall for the benefit of early nights in with kids and pyjamas. The magic age revealed by a new study which polled 5,000 Britons was 37. That is  when you are “officially” too old for gigs and parties. So here I am, another night at the O2 Arena, excited as a teenage girl, ready to go and photograph the band I love. What’s my age again?...

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LIVE: Christina Martin @ The Sound Lounge

Nova Scotia singer and songwriter Christina Martin recently released her new single Lungs Are Burning and toured the UK, visiting ten cities from York and Cheshire to London and Brighton. I was lucky enough to catch her intimate performance in one of London’s smallest but newest clubs, The Sound Lounge in Tooting. Although Christina has released six studio albums and spent 15 years building her solo career, I discovered her music only recently. And, after the evening at Sound Lounge, I can’t stop asking myself why it took me so long. The night opens with Gabrielle Papillon who, with...

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