Author: Kalpesh Patel

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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Live: Ladyhawke @ Scala

New Zealand synth rock artist Pip Brown, better known to the world as Ladyhawke, a stage name taken from a 1985 Richard Donner fantasy film, has had a colourful time of things between her sophomore record, 2012’s Anxiety, and it’s newly-released follow-up Wild Things. Having achieved global success with her eponymous debut, which produced five singles, the shy and anxious Brown followed it up with the less-stellar, guitar-driven and somewhat moody Anxiety. Disclosing her late-diagnosed Asperger’s and eventually copping to alcoholism, the intervening period has seen the Kiwi beat her addiction, get married and produce a collection of songs that can only be described as...

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Live: Garbage @ Troxy

“Twenty years we’ve been coming to London and every time we have, I’ve spent the whole day on the toilet, being so neurotic, because I feel like we come from the United Kingdom.” Now that’s some statement from an ever present and seemingly unflappable frontwoman that makes you think twice about a band that come across as so strong and confident that a show at London’s Troxy venue should be a walk in the park. Playing their first headline show since the release of sixth studio album Strange Little Birds just last week, Scottish-American electronic rockers Garbage hit up the...

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Live: Lera Lynn @ Islington Assembly Hall

Nashville, Tennessee-based singer-songwriter and guitarist Lera Lynn brought her Resistor tour to the UK for a run of shows including tonight’s stop at Islington’s Assembly Hall in support of her recently released fourth studio album – if we discount her significant contribution to last year’s soundtrack for season two of HBO’s hit crime drama series True Detective, in which she also picked up an acting part. Appearing on stage wearing a black jacket over a white shirt and tight gold trousers, flanked by a bass player on her left, guitarist and producer Joshua Grange on her right and drummer...

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Live: Little Green Cars @ Village Underground

Dublin-based quintet Little Green Cars are back on the road in support of sophomore LP Ephemera, which emerged in March some three years since well-received debut Absolute Zero. Following stops in Manchester and Bristol with the touring Dot To Dot Festival, alongside Mystery Jets, Augustines and The Temper Trap amongst others, they played a headline show at London’s Village Underground venue to round out their tour, bringing their brand of folksy indie rock layered with blended vocal harmonies to East London’s trendy Shoreditch. Hipster beards and braces optional. Appearing on the East London stage encased in smoke and lit...

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Live: Pentatonix @ Brixton Academy

Pentatonix may sound like a thrash metal band but they are, in fact, an American a cappella quintet that have been taking the US by storm following winning the third season of NBC’s The Sing-Off reality TV show back in 2011, which resulted in the group winning a recording contract with Sony. They’ve since gone on to win multiple Grammy awards, release four well-received EPs and three further albums including last year’s eponymous US chart-topping effort. Comprised of Texans Scott Hoying, Kirstin Maldonado and counter-tenor Mitch Grassi along with Visalia, California-native Avi Kaplan on bass vocals and Owensboro, Kentucky-born...

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Live: Vanessa Carlton @ Scala

Pennsylvania-born singer, songwriter and pianist Vanessa Carlton returned to London after a thirteen-year absence in style, following a capacity show at North London’s Lexington earlier this month, she was back at the bigger Scala venue to wrap up her European tour in support of fifth studio album Liberman. Probably, and unfortunately, still best known for her 2002 hit single A Thousand Miles from debut album Be Not Nobody, Carlton could have been written off as a one-hit wonder star. But Liberman, her freshest and most raw album to date proves that she’s come a long way since then and...

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Live: Band Of Skulls @ Electric Ballroom

Southampton-based rock trio Band Of Skulls are back with their Gil Norton-produced fourth studio album By Default. And to celebrate its launch next week, they played a duo of shows in North London; a last minute Lexington stop followed by tonight’s sold-out Electric Ballroom show. The band, comprised of guitarist-vocalist Russell Marsden, bass player and vocalist Emma Richardson and Matt Hayward on drums, who made waves with second and third LPs Sweet Sour and Himalayan, took inspiration from writing in a Southampton church for their fourth outing, a sound brought out in full to the Electric Ballroom. The trio,...

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Interview: Band Of Skulls, Church-Inspired Phase 2

Taking a step back from relentless touring, Southampton-based rock trio Band Of Skulls have been squirreled away in Monmouthshire recording the follow-up to their well-received 2014 album Himalayan. With the fruits of their labour – fourth studio album By Default – poised for launch later this month and proceeded with first single Killer, the three-piece comprised of Russell Marsden (guitar, vocals), Emma Richardson (bass, vocals) and Matt Hayward (drums) spoke to RockShot Magazine’s Kalpesh Patel about their process, ideas incubated and developed in a church, and working with acclaimed producer Gil Norton (Foo Fighters, Pixies) for the next phase of their...

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Manic Street Preachers @ Royal Albert Hall

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan wouldn’t have approved of tonight. Playing albums through in full is nothing new and is often considered simply to be for milking a few extra quid out of  past glory days. But as soon as I heard that Welsh rockers Manic Street Preachers were playing their seminal fourth album Everything Must Go in full in celebration of its 20th anniversary, and at none other than London’s glorious Royal Albert Hall, I simply had to be there. There are past glories, and there is the Manic’s epic 1996 album, which spawned four hit, anthemic singles in...

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Live: Chris Cornell @ Royal Albert Hall

Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell played his first show at London’s historic Royal Albert Hall in support of fifth solo album Higher Truth, the tour similar in style to his 2011 Songbook tour, with Cornell playing stripped-back renditions of a selection of songs from his Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple Of The Dog and solo material mixed with covers on a range of acoustic guitars, this time accompanied by Bryan Gibson on cello, keyboards and mandolin. “Royal Albert Hall! I have to confess that it is my fault I’m playing such a stuffy building, I really wanted to play here”...

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All Quiet Now: Prince

A Man Ain’t Happy Unless A Man Truly Dies – Sign O’ The Times Prince formed a fundamental part in the soundtrack of many people’s lives, including my own. His music gave me something different. Unique, yet familiar. Relatable yet from a completely different world. Born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 7th June 1958 and named after his father’s stage name in the Prince Rogers Trio jazz group, he abbreviated his name simply to Prince upon releasing his first album For You in 1978. Here was a man that was not going to be limited by anything, his colour,...

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Live: Tom Odell @ Islington Assembly Hall

Ivor Novello award-winning singer, songwriter and pianist Tom Odell is back. Following a whirlwind catapult into the music world over 2012 and 2013, with landmark milestones including a memorable Later… with Jools Holland performance, winning the Critics’ Choice Award at the BRITs, reaching number one with his debut album Long Way Down and, of course, that 2014 Songwriter of the Year Ivor Novello award, his star status seemed sealed. Snippets of new music emerged in 2014 including Odell’s cover of The Beatles’ Real Love, which was used for that year’s John Lewis Christmas television ad, but this year sees his return...

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Catfish and the Bottlemen @ The Forum

Llandudno-based indie rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen have had a great couple of years. From releasing debut album The Balcony in 2014 to winning British Breakthrough Act at this year’s BRIT Awards. Next month sees the launch of follow-up LP The Ride, and to road-test the material they’re out on a short tour including tonight’s Kentish Town Forum show. An early signing to Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett’s Communion label, their brand of raucous indie rock seems clearly fashioned after idols Arctic Monkeys. But unlike many followers, their blend of catchy hooks and heavy hitting guitars and drums made them stand...

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Live: Sunset Sons @ Koko

Surf and snow bums beware, if you’re hanging out playing some live shows in your local bar, you could just end up in a mega explosive rock band. That’s the dream right? And for Hossegor, France-based Anglo-Australian four-piece Sunset Sons, it just became a reality. The story is one you couldn’t make up. Guy walks into a surf bar (the guy in this story was drummer Jed Laidlaw), catches dishwasher singing (dishwasher = frontman Rory Williams), the pair get chatting and decide to head to the trendy Espace Killy ski area, which encompasses the resorts of Tignes & Val...

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Feature: Countdown to BBK Live

Tick, tock … while I would never want to wish my life away, I can only but wait for July to roll around before I pack my bags and jump on a flight to the picturesque Basque city of Bilbao for a few days of sunshine, pintxos and some of the best live music acts in the world today courtesy of the city’s BBK Live festival atop the Kobetamendi hills, overlooked by the surrounding mountains. Why is BBK Live not sold out yet like many of the big British and American festivals which most of the BBK Live acts...

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Live: Weezer @ Brixton Academy

Los Angeles-based rockers Weezer made their live UK return with two dates, hitting up Manchester’s Academy venue followed by London’s Brixton Academy almost five years since their last time in London, on the very same stage. Famed for their interspersion of self-titled colour and named album releases, last week saw the release of well-received tenth studio album: Weezer “The White Album”. Returning to the Brixton Academy the Californian four-piece strolled onto the stage, their famous illuminated “W” sign behind them, to screams from their five-year patient London audience, tearing straight into White Album opener California Kids. Frontman Rivers Cuomo,...

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Live: Låpsley @ Heaven

Holly Lapsley Fletcher, better known simply as Låpsley, is about to make bigger waves than she already has if Wednesday’s Heaven show in London is anything to go by. The Southport, Merseyside native released her debut album Long Way Home just a few weeks ago and was announced this week to be gracing one of the many Glastonbury Festival stages this summer. Her blend of electronica, soulful vocals, vocoder-pitch-shifted harmonies and strong song-writing demonstrate that she has a unique style that has a place amongst the plethora of new electronic pop acts emerging on the scene. Appearing on the...

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Live: James Bay @ Hammersmith Apollo

English singer-songwriter and guitarist James Bay has had an incredible couple of years. From being signed to Republic Records and releasing his first EPs in 2013 and selling out his first UK headline tour just a year later, to releasing his chart-topping debut album Chaos and the Calm and opening up for Taylor Swift for select European dates on her recent 1989 tour. And 2016 continues to reap rewards on Britain’s new golden boy who won Best British Male Solo Artist at the recent 2016 Brit Awards, which saw the 25-year-old sharing the stage with Justin Bieber in a...

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Festival: Glastonbury 2016: Extended Line-up Released

Following the slow release of headline act names over the last month or so, an extended line-up for this year’s Glastonbury Festival has been announced today. So for those signing the petition against Coldplay headlining Glastonbury’s famous Pyramid Stage for a historic fourth time, questioning the superstar appeal of Adele on Saturday night or unaware of the genius that is the Muse live show, there are a plethora of musical acts that can divert your attention in addition to the non-music areas Glastonbury is famous for such as the Circus field, the Unfairground, the mysteriously hidden Piano Bar and of...

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Live: Half Moon Run @ Roundhouse

Playing their biggest headline show to date, Montréal-based indie rockers Half Moon Run returned to Camden, albeit the Chalk Farm end, just a few months after their explosive Koko show following the release of their second studio album Sun Leads Me On. Yes, I went along to their Koko show (read all about that one here) and immediately went out and grabbed tickets for this Roundhouse follow-up as soon as it was announced. Why? Because I haven’t enjoyed a show so much in a while and the chance to do it all again was too much to resist, being asked along...

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Feature: PopShot – A Year In Pop

I love rock music. And I love shooting rock shows. Let me get that out of the way first. I’ve been a gig-goer for twenty years but have only been photographing gigs since around 2009, and as a rock music fan I mostly went to rock and guitar-band shows. But I always like to think I have an open mind and a broad sense of adventure, particularly when it comes to music. I would say I have at least one favourite track or piece in most music genres with a soft spot for cheesy pop music, having grown up...

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Live: Chairlift @ Scala

Brooklyn-based synth-pop duo Chairlift are back with their third studio album Moth, a good four years since 2012’s Something. And following an outing of the new album at Hackney’s Oslo venue in December, the group were back in London for one of only two European stops, this time hitting up King’s Cross’s historic Scala venue. Comprised of Caroline Polachek on vocals and synths, and Patrick Wimberly on drums, bass and keyboards, the duo came together in 2007 with Wimberly joining an early Chairlift formed by Polachek and Aaron Pfenning. Following early success with 2008’s Does You Inspire You, Pfenning...

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Live: Silversun Pickups @ Islington Academy

Los Angeles-based alternative rock outfit Silversun Pickups are back with their fourth studio album. And ahead of their upcoming festival appearances, including Indio, California’s dual-weekend Coachella festival next month alongside Foals, Chvrches and Guns N’ Roses amongst others, they’re road-testing Better Nature with a run of European shows including tonight’s stop at London’s Islington Academy, upgraded from the 500-capacity Dingwalls venue due to demand. The Brian Aubert-led four-piece kicked off proceedings with new album opener Cradle (Better Nature) before tearing straight into early hit, and my personal favourite Pickups tune, Well Thought Out Twinkles from 2006 record Carnavas, Chris...

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Festival: Bilbao BBK Live 2016. Underworld, Editors, Junior Boys + Blossoms added

Bilbao BBK Live have today expanded their already bursting at the seams 2016 line-up with British electronic group Underworld, Tom Smith-led English rockers Editors, Canadian electronic duo Junior Boys and Stockport-based five-piece Blossoms. British duo Underworld have been synonymous with world-class electronica over the past four decades with eight studio albums used across numerous film and television appearances including London’s 2012 Summer Olympics and, of course, Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting. Forthcoming ninth album Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future, their first in six years, is eagerly anticipated. Described as post-punk and industrial rock, Editors have remained vital to the overflowing...

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Live: The Japanese House @ Dingwalls

Singer, producer and guitarist Amber Bain – aka The Japanese House – had an incredible 2015. From hooking up with drummer George Daniel and frontman Matt Healy from chart-topping alt. rockers The 1975 to produce her music to releasing well-received first EP Pools To Bathe In, with single Still being Zane Lowe’s last ever Hottest Record on Radio 1. Second EP Clean was then released, adding a further four floaty tracks to her repertoire. Only now does the 20-year-old Londoner really have the combined material to put on headline shows of her own. But given her vocal style is...

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Live: Coldplay @ The IndigO2

They played the Super Bowl 50 halftime show in Santa Clara, California at the start of the month alongside Beyoncé, Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson to a televised audience of some 200 million. They won the NME Godlike Genius Award at last week’s NME awards and played a short set that night at London’s Brixton Academy venue for the ceremony. And tonight, Coldplay won Best British Band at the 2016 Brit Awards, their fourth such award, following an explosive performance of latest single Hymn For The Weekend at London’s O2 Arena in front of a room of their peers as well...

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Live: Jess Glynne @ Brixton Academy

English soul-influenced popstress Jess Glynne played the second of two sold-out shows at London’s Brixton Academy in support of her debut album I Laugh When I Cry, both 5,000-strong shows reassuringly sold out. Bursting onto the scene in 2014 with hit single Right Here, following a collaboration with deep house producer Route 94 the previous year, she achieved further chart success from a collaboration with Cambridge-based electronic outfit Clean Bandit and eventually topped the UK charts with her following two singles, rounding out 2014 where I caught her last, on an all-star line-up at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire alongside Ellie...

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Live: Poliça @ Village Underground

Poliça Live Review @ Village Underground American band Poliça are back with their third studio album United Crushers due out next month. And to ease themselves back into the live circuit, they hit up Shoreditch venue Village Underground for their only announced UK date of 2016 so far. Emerging in 2011, following the demise of Poliça frontwoman Channy Leaneagh’s previous band Roma Di Luna and marriage to bandmate Alexei Moon Casselle, the debut album from Leaneagh and producer Ryan Olson’s collaboration, Give You The Ghost, was recorded in just two weeks and resulted in something that couldn’t easily be labelled. Was...

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Live: Black Stone Cherry @ Wembley Arena

US touring hard rock mini festival Carnival of Madness made its way to the UK, including a stop at London’s Wembley Arena. With the event offering a line-up of Brooklyn-based trio Highly Suspect, the Lzzy Hale-led four-piece Halestorm and Jacksonville rockers Shinedown, headliners Black Stone Cherry were challenged to go above and beyond to follow such a stellar line-up of their peers. 10 years after the release of their eponymous debut album, this mainstay of the American hard rock scene have toured the US extensively as well as building a huge following across the pond early on, hitting up...

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Festival: Bilbao BBK Live 2016

Back for it’s 11th year, Bilbao BBK Live returns in 2016 to welcome 40,000 revellers to the picturesque Basque Country for a weekend of incredible music. Taking place from 7 – 9 July the festival places an amazing lineup in front of a stunning backdrop of green mountains and scenic views across the city. Today the festival proudly announces its first wave of artists for next year with Pixies, New Order, M83, Hot Chip, Jose Gonzalez, Father John Misty, Courtney Barnett and We Are Standard all set to take the stage. With a legacy that speaks for itself, Pixies...

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Live: Caro Emerald @ Hammersmith Apollo

“Good evening London city!” Dutch jazz singer Caro Emerald screamed. “This is the very last show we’re going to play in the Absolutely Me tour tonight” she continued. “We’re going to make it a party, enjoy!” The Amsterdam-native brought her 18-date UK headline tour to a close with a show at West London’s Hammersmith Apollo. Coming to prominence in 2009, following her debut single making waves in the Netherlands and her second single reaching number one in the Dutch charts, both released on her own record label, she quickly followed up that early success with debut studio album Deleted...

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Live: Lianne La Havas @ Brixton Academy

British folk-soul singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lianne La Havas closed out her UK headline tour in support of sophomore studio album Blood with the first of two massive shows at London’s Brixton Academy. “I’m going to be honest with you ladies and gentlemen” she said, a grin stretching across her face, “I’m trying very hard to remain calm and it’s really tough, but I find that the singing helps!”, headlining the Brixton Academy definitely a milestone for any band or artist, especially one that grew up on it’ doorstep. La Havas released her first single and subsequent debut album...

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Live: Flo Morrissey @ Bush Hall

London-based singer-songwriter Flo Morrissey played a show at West London’s Bush Hall as part of her first UK headline tour following a busy year which included slots at Glastonbury, Green Man and End Of The Road festivals, in support of her debut studio album Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful which was released earlier this year. Bringing her wispy, pastoral sound back to London, the now Paris-based singer was in fine form in front of the 200-strong crowd. This was always going to be a gentile show, given Morrissey’s summery, free-flowing sound. But with her band comprising just a keyboardist/guitarist along with...

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Live: Sugar & The Hi-Lows @ Royal Albert Hall

Sugar & The Hi-Lows @ Royal Albert Hall Nashville-based blues rock duo Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup – AKA Sugar & The Hi-lows – played an opening slot at London’s Royal Albert Hall for Country music starlet Kacey Musgraves’ headline show as part of the Kensington venue’s Albert Sessions initiative. Coming together as two solo artists who were writing together, it took an idea from Dabbs to begin writing songs with soul and dance influences, which ended up working well for the pair. They took it to the next level by discarding their true “normal acoustic, introspective” personalities and...

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Live: Suede @ Roundhouse

Live: Suede @ Roundhouse “Let’s have it!” yelled Brett Anderson at the Roundhouse crowd before Suede transitioned into 1996 album Coming Up’s hit single Trash, the North London crowd erupting into a frenzy at the opening bars. But that came well into the evening’s events … The London-based alternative rockers have been known over the past 25 years as a group who innovate, struggle to find their place, collapse, reform, elevate and have ultimately become a band that will always have a true rock and roll backstory. And so with their seventh studio album Night Thoughts due to be released in...

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Live: Bear’s Den @ Roundhouse

Live Review Bear’s Den @ Roundhouse English alternative folk band Bear’s Den played their biggest headline show to date to a sold-out crowd at London’s 3,300 capacity Roundhouse on the closing their run of shows in support of debut studio album Islands, which was released a year ago on Communion Records, the label founded by Bear’s Den drummer and bass player Kevin Jones along with Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett back in 2006. The tour follows a busy summer of festivals for the band including stand-out sets at Chicago’s Lollapalooza, Spain’s BBK Live in Bilbao as well as an...

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Live: Third Eye Blind @ The Forum

Third Eye Blind Live at The Forum. American alt. rockers Third Eye Blind returned to British shores for the first time in five years for two dates, including a headline slot at the newly rebranded O2 Forum Kentish Town, as part of a short European tour supporting their fifth studio album Dopamine, the second release on the band’s own Mega Collider Records label. Following huge success in the late nineties, with their eponymous debut album going six times platinum and spawning three hit singles, and it’s follow-up Blue achieving critical and commercial success, the band began leaving longer and...

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Interview: The Shires. Fish ‘n’ Chips & Country Licks.

Interview: The Shires. It’s hard to have missed the relatively recent upsurge of interest in Country music in the UK. Be that huge American Country music stars touring in the UK more and more and the establishment of the UK’s very own Country music festival, to home-grown talents making their mark. And leading the wave of British Country music acts are English duo The Shires. Formed in 2013, the duo of singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ben Earle and singer Crissie Rhodes have gone from opening support slots at tiny venues to a number ten-charting debut album, a packed-out Glastonbury...

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Live: Half Moon Run @ Koko

Half Moon Run @ Koko Montréal-based indie rock four-piece Half Moon Run brought their newly expanded set to Camden as they headlined Koko in support of sophomore studio album Sun Leans Me On, which was released just last Friday. For a band that came together via a Craigslist ad to make music together, everything about their rise to success could have seen them fold at any stage. From a tempting record deal with Indica, which they took against advice, Conner Molander almost leaving the band in pursuit of a firefighting career in British Columbia to being a band with...

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