Tag: Gig Photography

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Placebo Bring 20 Years To Brixton

When Placebo appeared on the music scene some 21 years ago, their rise wasn’t overnight. But by the time they released the fifth single from their self-titled debut – Nancy Boy – they were peaking in the top five of the UK singles charts. Not bad for a group of unassuming lads led by the 5’6” tall androgynous frontman Brian Molko. They went on to have an instantly recognisable sound and were quickly noticed both by the general public and those in the industry, such David Bowie, who took them under his wing and even contributed vocals to 1999...

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St. Vincent Dazzles Her Masseduction At Brixton

The proceedings tonight at London’s famous Brixton Academy kick off with a screening of The Birthday Party, a directorial debut for Annie Clark, better known as musician extraordinaire St. Vincent. The film is part of female-driven horror anthology feature XX which was released earlier this year and adds co-writing to Clark’s résumé alongside Roxanne Benjamin. St. Vincent has been making waves the music world over, first hitting the scene as part of choral rocksters The Polyphonic Spree and going on to become a part of eclectic indie-folk man Sufjan Stevens’ band. But it was her solo debut Marry Me...

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Lady Antebellum, Superstar Trio Bring Country Heart Break To London

With the rising popularity of Country music in the UK, it’s no surprise that more and more acts are making the trip across the pond, from up and coming acts playing smaller venues to the heavy hitters playing the UK’s largest stages. And this week it was the turn of Country trio Lady Antebellum, comprised of Nashville native Hillary Scott alongside Augusta, Georgia boys Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood. While they may not be known as an arena-topping act to most outside of the US, they have still managed to reach the top 10 of the UK album charts...

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Foo Fighters To Bring Concrete And Gold To UK Stadiums

American rockers Foo Fighters have announced a trio of huge UK stadium shows in Manchester and London to bring latest record Concrete and Gold to our shores following the release of the group’s ninth studio album last month, which had the six-piece drop by the UK to open an East London pub for a week, play a massive O2 Arena show as well as help Jools Holland celebrate 25 years of his Later… programme with a special show at London’s Royal Albert Hall. This comes after Dave Grohl’s men finally made it back to headline Glastonbury Festival’s Pyramid Stage...

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Kelsea Ballerini, Country’s Newest Starlet at The O2

They don’t come much more Country than rising Nashville born and raised star Kelsea Ballerini, even though the 24-year-old grew up on a diet of pop, only delving into Country later on. And that might explain her catchy, hook-laden pop-country tunes that had her named CMT’s Next Woman of Country back in 2014. Appearing on stage in a star-spangled blue cut-off dress, silver hot pants and sparkly heels, if we didn’t already know that Lady Antebellum where the main act tonight, Ballerini could easily have been mistaken for the headliner, breaking straight into her first single and biggest hit...

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Placebo, 20 Years Strong

21 years ago, an unassuming alt-rock trio brought their teenage angst to the forefront of rock music with a blistering debut record, which took flight in 1997 with the release of fifth single Nancy Boy, catapulting the outsiders to the top 5 in the UK singles charts, a similar feat achieved with their eponymous debut. But if, like me, you also picked up both copies of each of Placebo’s singles, you were exposed to an even richer extension to that debut with incredible tunes such as covers of Syd Barrett’s Dark Globe and The Smiths’ Bigmouth Strikes Again alongside...

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Third Eye Blind Soak Up The Love At Roundhouse

The equation’s simple. Albums aren’t selling like they did a decade ago. But gig tickets are in higher demand than ever. Therefore, mark the anniversaries of those unit-shifting LPs by playing them live from start to finish. In the past year alone, U2, Manic Street Preachers, Interpol, and even The View have all done it. Now celebrating the 20th anniversary of their six-times platinum self-titled debut album, Third Eye Blind could rightfully add their name to the list. But they haven’t. The slick quintet are so keen to dispel notions of nostalgia that they open their Roundhouse performance with...

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Amy Macdonald Takes Over Omeara

When Amy Macdonald released debut album This Is the Life some ten years ago now at the tender age of just 19, it was both critically acclaimed and commercially successful in the UK and Europe, landing at number one and winding up three times Platinum in the UK and five times in Germany. With few independent female solo artists breaking through in the UK at the time, mixed among the ever-increasing output from TV talent shows, hers was a sound unlike others, her distinctive Celtic voice adding another dimension to clever yet hook-laden songs. Ten years on, Macdonald is...

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Maddie & Tae Bring Country to Koko in Camden

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Country Music is the new pop music. And over the past few years, people have been starting to look up and take notice not just in the genre’s heartland – the Southern United States – but both across the US and across the pond in the UK. And I firmly believe this is due to the quality of Country song-writing and it’s broader appeal, something duo Maddie & Tae addressed point blank with hit anti-Bro-Country debut single Girl In A Country Song, the sub-genre epitomising Country music stereotypes. Tonight, the...

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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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Weezer, The Pacific Daydreamers Return

L.A. rockers Weezer have announced their eleventh studio album Pacific Daydream on Crush Music/Atlantic Records due out on October 27th. The non-self-titled or colour-themed record continues the Rivers Cuomo-led four-piece’s titled-albums following their self-titled, feel-good hits of the Californian summer-tinged White Album which was only released last year. The summer theme seems to continue thus far with Pacific Daydream, first single Feels Like Summer hitting the airwaves in March. But to accompany the news of their new record, the rockers have released their latest single, Mexican Fender. Check out the video here:   Following the release of their self-titled...

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