Author: Kalpesh Patel

Live: Rae Morris @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Rae Morris @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire It’s been a great year for Blackpool-native and sometimes Bombay Bicycle Club collaborator Rachel Anne “Rae” Morris. Following the release of her debut album Unguarded in January, which peaked at #9 in the UK album chart, she hit the road for a full UK headline tour of smaller venues before hitting up the summer festival circuit including stops at Field Day, Glastonbury, T In The Park and Bestival. She even had time to contribute to sister-in-law Lucy Rose’s sophomore album Work It Out. Now she’s back, touring larger UK venues and stopped in...

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Live Review: Gin Wigmore @ Dingwalls

Gin Wigmore @ Dingwalls New Zealand singer-songwriter Virginia “Gin” Wigmore played a show at Camden’s Dingwalls venue in North London as part of a short run of European shows in support of her third studio album Blood To Bone. With a distinctive voice often compared with the likes of Wanda Jackson and Amy Winehouse but with songs fashioned with rock guitars instead, it was truly a treat to catch her live. Thankfully making it to the stage following a short stay in a London hospital after arriving in the capital a couple of days ahead of the show, Wigmore...

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Live: Gabrielle Aplin @ Village Underground

Gabrielle Aplin @ Village Underground English singer-songwriter and musician Gabrielle Aplin built up a fan base the new-fashioned way, by posting acoustic covers of hit songs from the likes of Katy Perry and Cee Lo Green on her YouTube channel. She was thrown into the limelight after her cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s The Power of Love was used for the 2012 John Lewis Christmas television commercial. The then 20-year-old followed through with the release of well-received debut album English Rain the following April. Aplin is back with her second studio record Light Up The Dark and played...

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Live Review: Florence + the Machine @ Alexandra Palace

Florence + the Machine @ Alexandra Palace It’s hard to have missed Florence + the Machine’s meteoric rise to stardom over the past six years. Even before debut studio album Lungs was released back in 2009, the Florence Welch-fronted group was longlisted for BBC’s Sound of 2009, ultimately losing out to synth-popper Little Boots. But even during her early evening Reading Festival slot that year, she was making a name for herself, climbing the rafters of the NME tent on what was her 23rd birthday. Six years on and three studio albums later, she has proven her staying power,...

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Live Review: Alvvays @ The Empire Shepherds Bush.

A staple of the festival circuit this summer, including stops at Glastonbury Festival’s John Peel stage and the end-of-season Reading and Leeds dual events, Toronto-based Canadian indie-pop troupe Alvvays brought their instantly pleasing brand of jangle-pop to the UK road once more, finishing up with a headline show at West London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire before a run of shows in their native Canada to close out what has been a busy year for the band. Following the release of their critically acclaimed, eponymous debut studio album in July last year, Alvvays have worked tirelessly to get themselves in front...

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Live: The Gaslight Anthem @ Shepherds Bush Empire

“We wanted to let everyone know that we’ll all be taking a break from The Gaslight Anthem after this next European tour in August. We’re all going to do other projects and stay active in some way or another, both in and out of music, but we’d like to step away from the band until we decide what we’d like to do next.” Leading with this statement to followers of the band on Facebook ahead of heading to Europe for a series of headline and festival dates was bound to be heart-breaking for some. But the 2000 or so...

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Live: Death Cab For Cutie @ The Empire

Pacific Northwestern alternative rockers Death Cab for Cutie played the first of a trio of sold-out shows at West London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire in support of eighth studio album Kintsugi, which refers to the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery using precious metals. Following 17 years as four-person outfit, the dynamic has shifted for this tour as founding member, guitarist and producer Chris Walla departed the band last year following completion of Kintsugi. The touring line-up has expanded to five in order to fill in the void. Kintsugi track No Room In Frame opened up proceedings followed quickly by Crooked Teeth from...

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Live: Republica @ Under The Bridge.

Techno punk rockers Republica returned to the stage at South West London’s Under The Bridge venue, situated under Chelsea FC’s famous Stamford Bridge ground, to play a set of hits, fan favourites and new material. Huge during the mid to late 1990s Britpop scene, the London four-piece, led by Saffron Sprackling, along with Tim Dorney on an array of synths and keyboards, Johnny Male on guitars and Conor Lawrence on drums, returned to the London stage following a reformation in 2010 and a string of co-headline shows with fellow Britpoppers Space in 2014. Following their well received 2013 E.P....

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Live: Brooke Fraser @ Dingwalls.

Kiwi singer-songwriter Brooke Fraser played the only UK date of the European leg of her Brutal Romantic tour at Camden’s Dingwalls venue in support of her fourth studio album of the same name. And while her music has been touted as New Zealand pop, that’s where any Lorde comparisons can end. While not as well established on these shores as she is in her native New Zealand, her sound has evolved more in the direction of Scandinavian synth-pop, something that is likely to sit well with a British audience. Shrouded in darkness from the outset, the first thing you...

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Live: Sweet Billy Pilgrim @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen.

Coming from the roots of a self-starting band, experimental folk-rockers Sweet Billy Pilgrim didn’t begin recording in studios until third album Crown and Treaty in 2012, with everything preceding that famously recorded in a garden shed, including 2009 Mercury Prize-nominated sophomore album Twice Born Men. And it is that struggle to get themselves out there and heard with really limited resources that lends itself to their quirky and local-band feel. With fourth album Motorcade Amnesiacs due out in May, the four-piece – expanded to six on stage – hit East London’s Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen to preview their...

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Live: Lucy Rose @ Dingwalls.

Just over two years on from releasing her well-received debut album Like I Used To, Warwickshire folkster Lucy Rose Parton is back with follow up Work It Out, due out in July. In anticipation of her forthcoming release, Rose and her band have hit the road this month for a series of intimate shows across the UK with two stops at Camden’s Dingwalls venue. I last saw Rose buying records at Brick Lane staple Rough Trade Records while supporting friend and fellow female solo artist Rae Morris as she played a short in-store set to celebrate the launch of...

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Live: We Were Promised Jetpacks @ The Garage

Following a pre-release tour of the UK and Ireland in late 2014 which teased tracks from their forthcoming third studio record Unravelling, Glasgow-based indie-rockers We Were Promised Jetpacks have hit the road once more in 2015 with a string UK and European dates supporting the new album with full steam.   Following a kick off show at the famous King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in their adopted home town, the Scottish rockers took their tour on the road around Europe before landing in England, with their second UK show on the tour at Islington’s Garage venue. The original four-piece...

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Live: The Unthanks @ Roundhouse.

In a pop-rock world where the introduction of folk elements is seen as somewhat gimmicky and often contradicts the real origins of bands, there lies the true folk music subculture that continues to progress forward. And none is a better reflection of the genre’s current state than traditional Northumbrian folk group The Unthanks who continue to innovate with their newly released eighth studio album Mount The Air. Growing from the all-female line up of original group Rachel Unthank and the Winterset, The Unthanks current line-up consists of Rachel and her younger sister Becky Unthank along with the group’s manager,...

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Live: Grant Nicholas @ Bush Hall.

For any band to continue full steam ahead for twenty years producing album after album every couple of years is rare. But Welsh rockers Feeder made it through eight studio albums before taking a break. However, the band’s front man and sole songwriter Grant Nicholas seemingly required simply to escape into his own, quietened-down world and write for himself rather than his band or the legacy of Feeder fans during the band’s hiatus. The result was 2014 record Yorktown Heights, a more stripped-back effort featuring material Nicholas has suggested correlates to Feeder’s 2002 effort Comfort In Sound which itself...

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LIve: Afghan Whigs @ Koko.

After a recording break of some 16 years, the Ohioan men of Afghan Whigs returned with their 7th studio album Do to the Beast in 2014, quickly followed by the 21st anniversary remastered reissue of their major-label debut, Gentlemen. Being one of few non-Pacific North-western acts signed to Seattle-based indie label Sub Pop in the late 1980’s, Afghan Whigs became synonymous with Grunge after touring with pioneers Mudhoney but they always brought a unique blend of influences to their sound with their frontman often sporting a crisp suit on stage to counter the plaid shirt and jeans look of that counter culture movement. Following North...

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Live: Katzenjammer @ The Lexington.

With eclectic, folk-driven, collective groups making their mark on the British music scene for some time, it’s a wonder why Norwegian folk-rockers Katzenjammer weren’t leading the wave rather than seemingly following it as they release their third studio album Rockland. The all-female four-piece are nothing if not unique, something very evident as they took the stage at North London’s Lexington venue. Anne Marit Bergheim, Turid Jørgensen, Solveig Heilo and Marianne Sveen rotated around the stage, sharing lead vocal duties and changing up instrumental parts throughout the show as they tore through a blisteringly energetic set featuring tracks from 2008’s...

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Live: Ellie Goulding & Friends @ Streets Of London.

English singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ellie Goulding hosted a unique evening of acoustic music at West London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire, sharing the stage with a host of acts from rockers Band Of Skulls to the delicate-voiced Birdy in aid of the homeless awareness charity Streets Of London. Never one to shy away from putting her talent forward for philanthropic causes, Goulding has been a staple at Jo Wiley’s similarly-themed and aptly-named Little Noise Sessions in years past, playing quietened-down and acoustic versions of big hits in smaller environs whilst raising awareness as well as money for Mencap. Goulding also...

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Live: Augustines @ Roundhouse

Brooklyn-based indie rockers Augustines, formally We Are Augustines, played their final show of a short European tour at Camden’s Roundhouse in support of their eponymous second studio album. Starting the show with tracks from their debut Rise Ye Sunken Ships, the Billy McCarthy-led trio opened with Headlong Into The Abyss before launching into fan-favourite Chapel Song which featured in Curt Morgan’s 2011 hit snowboarding film The Art of Flight. Although the roots of this band come from the ashes of Billy McCarthy and Eric Sanderson’s former band Pela (and a battle to get out their debut record the way it...

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