Tag: Concert Photography

Fallen Angels Offer Smoke Signals to the Ancient Gods:  Fields of the Nephilim Live

With few commercial releases in the last decade Fields of the Nephilim have relied on their status as one of the original and most influential British goth rock bands to maintain their fan base.   From their musical style to their carefully cultivated look, they set a standard, a feel and a design for the entire goth subculture.  The motifs and symbols of their band logo and artwork, the uniform theatrical costume, and of course the themes in their music of romanticism, mysticism, and the occult.  They do also share some of the goth tropes which are often mocked by...

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Extreme Get The Funk Out Live At Brixton Academy

Extreme formed an essential part of the soundtrack to my youth. Their debut album may have looked (and let’s be honest here) sounded like an offering from a formulaic late eighties hair metal band, but with the release of Pornograffitti and III Sides To Every Story, the Boston four-piece cemented themselves as artists of real creative integrity. Their amalgam of hard rock, pop and funk – cemented by creamy harmony vocals gave them a sound that was uniquely theirs. And then there was Nuno. Nuno Bettencourt, born in the Azores of Portuguese descent quickly established himself as one of...

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Kobra And The Lotus Guitarist Jasio Kulakowski Prevails

Kobra and the Lotus were back in the UK in December, as part of their world tour supporting their album Prevail I (released in May 2017 on Napalm Records). Gunnar Mallon caught up with the band’s very chilled-out guitarist Jasio Kulakowski before their show at Corporation in Sheffield to interview him and talk about  exploring cities on tour, their next album, and the success of single TriggerPulse. Hi Jasio, many thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us. How has this Kobra and the Lotus tour been so far? It’s been good, it’s been good. This is the first...

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Stone Sour Are Fabuless At Brixton Academy

Corey Taylor was 24 when he joined Slipknot. Now he’s 44 and wondering out loud in interviews how much longer his body can meet the physical demands of fronting metal’s most energetic live band. Based on his performance with his other band, Stone Sour, the singer won’t be packing away that Leatherface mask just yet. From the second he bounds on to the sound of 5,000 people chanting “Corey! Corey! Corey!” he’s like an adrenaline shot to the heart. Whether he’s racing across the stage, leaping up onto the platforms dotted around the set, or preaching about the unifying,...

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Robert Plant Shifts Space And Time At Royal Albert Hall

Like every well-worn rock ‘n roll story, Robert Plant’s has definite touchstones. He possesses one of the genre’s finest voices. He’s the original golden god who, with Led Zeppelin, defined what it is to be a rock star. He’s not one for nostalgia, turning his back on lucrative reunions to focus on creating music that pays no heed to genre. He loves Morocco, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and having a pint in his North London local . But he could also be considered something of an anthropologist or musicologist. Clearly fueled by an innate curiosity, Plant is well versed in the...

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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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The Pretty Reckless Run Wild At Brixton Academy

The stage is what makes or breaks a band. There are no do-overs, no overdubs, no ProTools to iron out those imperfections. It’s just you, your songs, and (especially if you’re an opening band) an audience to win over. The Pretty Reckless, who’ve been doing this since 2009, know the score, especially when they’re playing to fans as rabid as Stone Sour’s. So, no time for ballads like You and House On The Hill. Instead, the 50-minute opening set is packed with a succession of their heaviest songs, each performed with a matter of life or death intensity rarely...

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The Age Of Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons: Live @ Sheffield Academy

It is not often that rock legends make a stop in Sheffield, but this Monday in November a guitarist, his three sons, and singer Neil Starr rolled into town to raise the roof of the O2 Academy, supporting Aussie-rockers Airbourne. It was therefore no surprise that the venue was packed even on a school night. However, before Phil Campbell and his Bastard Sons went on stage, hillbilly rock’n’rollers from Canada, The Wild! made sure that everyone knew that jeans vests are back! In a patch-covered sea of jeans on jeans, the four heavy hardrockers took to the Academy’s stage...

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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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Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour Goes Large

It’s been two and a half years since pop’s biggest touring star last played in the UK, closing out the UK leg of her massive 1989 tour with a huge show in London’s Hyde Park as part of the British Summer Time festival. With Taylor Swift’s latest offering Reputation going straight in at #1 on the UK album charts, as well as many other territories, it was only a matter of time until she returned to our shores. Following an announcement that Swift would be returning to London’s O2 Arena as part of Capital FM’s Jungle Bell Ball this...

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Royal Blood Have It All Figured Out At Alexandra Palace

Following At The Drive-In takes balls, especially when the Texas quintet finish their 45-minute assault with a rendition of One Armed Scissor that’s the sonic equivalent of a napalm attack. But Brighton-based Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher certainly aren’t lacking in confidence. And rightly so. In the five years since forming Royal Blood the duo have taken their crunching blues riffs and titanic choruses from open-mic nights in Worthington to headlining London’s Alexandra Palace three nights in a row. It’s been a rapid rise, certainly, but gradual enough for the singer-bassist and drummer to scale up their production and...

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Michael Chapman & Julie Byrne Combine At The Union Chapel, London

Venues and artists don’t always make happy bedfellows, but the combination of Michael Chapman and Julie Byrne playing at London’s Union Chapel on Monday 13th November was a rare occasion of an acoustic match made in heaven. Billed as a ‘special guest’, legendary guitarist Chapman took to the stage under the church’s rose-tinted windows, appearing in his trademark baseball cap, illuminated by a spotlight, through occasional billows of dry smoke. Delivering a mesmerising performance to a hushed audience, his finger-picking playing style and stony voice cut through the room, while occasionally interspersing his set with tales of more than...

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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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Black Star Riders Bound For Glory @ Academy Sheffield

In their short lifetime, Black Star Riders have managed what few bands achieve in a career and that is to create a dedicated fan-base who will travel many miles to see them perform their cheerful blend of good-mood hard rock – many of whom made their way to the O2 Academy in Sheffield last week. Listening to Black Star Riders, I sometimes wonder if this is what Springsteen would have sounded like if he was Irish. Giving emerging bands a shot, Black Star Riders were supported by the fantastic Dirty Thrills from London, Bristol-based Tax The Heat, and Swedish...

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Rock Medicine With The Blues Pills @ Sheffield Academy

Earlier this week, my favourite band from Sweden stopped over in Sheffield, as they joined Black Star Riders for the UK leg of their European tour. And no, Agnetha and Björn hadn’t decided to stage their comeback in South Yorkshire. With big grins on their faces, the five Blues Pills took to the stage, clearly there to have a great time. With her boundless bouncy energy powerhouse frontwoman Elin Larsson did not hang around long to get the show started. Kicking off with the title track of their second studio album, Lady in Gold, Blues Pills launched right into...

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Maren Morris Lights Up The Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Country Music’s latest rising star Maren Morris brought her Nashville sound to London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire last night, the third date on a six-show UK and Ireland tour following on from her appearance at London’s O2 Arena in March as part of the 2017 edition of C2C, the UK’s Country to Country music festival which is growing year on year as demand for Country acts both from the U.S. and home-grown continues to rise. The night opened with Morris’ fiancé, Country songwriter-turned-singer Ryan Hurd, playing the Shepherd’s Bush Empire a few of his own tunes including the massive You...

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Alice Cooper Hot & Hip Live At Leeds

 I’ve seen a number of artists recently that are passed their normally ‘used by’ date, but tonight the usual careful hiding of wrinkles and disguising of chins isn’t needed, because it all adds to the image of the Godfather of Shock Horror Rock. Alice Cooper approaches his 70th Birthday (Feb 2018) with the same vim and vigour as he would have done at his 30th – 69th, bringing along a hot new band and some old friends for company. Looking around the Leeds Arena tonight we have a big collection of old relics, ok that’s a bit harsh, let’s...

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Magic Wands Were Out On Guy Fawkes Night

The Picture House Social in Sheffield has long been known for being one of the cities “in” places when it comes to amazing niche music, so it came as no surprise that Magic Wands chose it as the venue to stop off at on their Abrakadabra tour. Supporting Magic Wands were Sheffield’s own dream-pop five-piece Grigio, who have slowly been making a name for themselves in the local music scene. From the start Grigio’s sound reminded me of the old dusty Velvet Underground tapes that are still hiding in my basement somewhere, but updated to the 21st century. With...

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