Tag: Live Reviews

The Sheepdogs Are All Breeds Of Rock N’ Roll

Canadian quintet The Sheepdogs are an eclectic bunch. Visually they sit somewhere between 1970s Lynyrd Skynyrd and a Clint Eastwood western. Musically they offer a fun, modern twist to the classic southern rock of The Allman Bros. Yet, similarities aside, if there’s one thing the band can truly deliver, it’s a live show. You’d think after six studio albums, over a decade of touring and regular appearances at the biggest festivals across the world, The Sheepdogs wouldn’t really unleash any surprises. Well, we were certainly wrong. This show is probably best described as a performance that oscillated between a...

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The Fratellis Have A Sweet Time @ Kentish Town Forum

The Fratellis have been a band I’ve always admired. They seem to have released album after album and I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every one of those songs. Their upbeat tempo can get you out of a rut and leave you feeling in a great mood. Whistle For The Choir was the chosen song for the first dance at my wedding. Fortunately my love for the Scottish trio lasted longer than my marriage! It was great to get the chance to catch them perform live again. I last saw them over ten years ago at the now demolished...

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Bay Breathes New Life Live @ The Electric Brixton

He was the UK’s favourite pop artist of 2015. He was adored for his long hair, his sexually alluring voice and (of course) ‘the hat’. But the James Bay that was, was no longer. Adamant to change his identity, Bay has, for the past few years, focused on an evolutionary journey that would allow him to not only remain relevant, but true to himself. This year, he took this notion from concept to reality with the release of his latest album Electric Lights. And so Thursday night was the 27 year old Hertfordshire man’s opportunity to prove himself as a...

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The Hold Steady Show London A Really Good Time

The Hold Steady wanted to do something special to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their breakout album Boys And Girls In America. So, in December 2016, they played a run of four shows at an intimate Brooklyn venue. Fans travelled from as far afield as New Zealand to see the band up close and hear a different set each night. The residency was such a success that last year the group took it to Chicago and back to New York City. Now they’ve brought it to London, a city that, frontman Craig Finn acknowledges, has welcomed them with open...

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The Guitar God Robin Trower Plays Hometown Show @ Islington Assembly Hall

As London braved snowmageddon and getting anywhere was a case of determination and luck, a living legend, Robin Trower, was headlining a sold-out gig at Islington Assembly Hall. Despite the weather, or should I say, transport conditions, the fans came out in their masses and filled up the venue to capacity. Some diehards even waited outside in the cold for any last minute ticket returns. The Sari Schorr Trio opened the night for Robin. The American singer-songwriter was accompanied by the exceptional blues guitarist Ash Wilson and Hammond organ wizard Bob Fridzema, who’s known from his previous work with...

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Shakey Graves and Cat Clyde Live @ The Garage Highbury Corner

I agreed to review this gig without listening to either band and using the old school method of just really liking Shakey Graves name and imagining him as a young blues singer with dark troubled lyrics, yes I had been sent a couple of songs to listen too but chose to go in blind as it has always been a good way to judge new bands for me, he delivered on that promise in part. The fact this gig was sold out well in advance and tickets were changing hands online for 3 or 4 times face value suggests...

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The Bad Flowers, Jared James Nichols & Stone Broken Prove Rock Is Alive And Well

Just days after Muse frontman Matt Bellamy announced the death of rock ’n’ roll, and guitars in general, three bands playing Islington Assembly Hall prove how wrong he is. Midlands hard rock trio The Bad Flowers are first to take the stage. The band, who recently released their first studio album Starting Gun, have already grabbed the attention of Planet Rock, scoring a nomination for The Rocks 2018 Awards in the Best New Band category. A sold-out headline show at Islington Assembly Hall will soon be a reality for these talented men. For the moment they’re first on the...

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Man With A Mission: The Wolves From Japan Devour London’s Dome

Japanese chart-topping band Man With A Mission recently visited London for a sold-out headline gig at The Dome. Straight from Shibuya, Tokyo, the five-piece compromising of Tokyo Tanaka (vocals), Jean-Ken Johnny (guitar and vocals), Kamikaze Boy (bass), DJ Santa Monica (DJ), and Spear Rib (drums) brought a mix of rock ’n’ roll, ska, and electro to London. All dressed up as wolves, and even wearing masks, Man With A Mission are a joy to watch and hear. Braving the heatwave generated by hundreds of jumping and sweating fans, the band perform in style, in full costume throughout. There are no...

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Legendary Mod Icon Paul Weller Delivers A 31 Song Set In Leeds

What can I say about spending over 2 hours in the company of a British Music legend, spanning more than 40 years of music history, it was such an accomplished performance of some of the best music from the 70’s right through to his present record. That’s the difference between Paul Weller and his peer group, whilst many have fallen by the wayside or sadly departed, others have plumped out, lost their energy and hair, and are doing random festival slots or a Xmas showcase tour each year. Weller meanwhile has kept himself trim, still holding a strong political...

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Jamie Lenman Is A Bright White Blaze Live @ Academy Islington

It is a rare musician who can escape being labelled.  There is no simple description for an artist like Jamie Lenman. He has created whole albums of folk and blues, of hardcore (especially with his former band Reuben) and, most recently electro-pop.   What kind of music does he perform live?  Will he whip out a banjo, bop along to a drum machine or rock out with a full band? Nothing could prepare me for this show. Jamie Lenman arrives on stage to the ticking pulse of electro-pop single Hard Beat.  Live drummer Dan Kavanagh lays down the beat.  There...

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Natalie Imbruglia Delights Union Chapel

When a 22-year-old Natalie Imbruglia broke onto the music scene in 1997 following her departure from hit Australian daytime soap Neighbours, the UK set their expectations firmly in the Kylie camp. But as big a hit as her debut single Torn was, Imbruglia’s style was very much planted in the pop/rock genre, a style that produced wonderful debut record Left Of The Middle which threw her out into the public domain and up there with the likes of contemporaries Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette. But Imbruglia wasn’t made for arenas and massive festival stages, her dulcet tones and delicate...

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Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind Rise Above The Chaos @ Dingwalls

I don’t like to start any review by moaning about things outside the bands control but sometimes it can’t be helped and this gig was one of those occasions due to the venue not handling the swap over between the early and late gig they had on at all well. Also Camden Councils efforts to take all the fun out of going gigs in Camden, the Council now insist everyone shows photo ID to get into gigs and are fully frisked and searched which goes against the spirit of a legendary venue like Dingwalls where such things have never...

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Kashena Sampson Showcase Provides American Sun On A Winter’s Night

Kashena Sampson, a new singer-songwriter from Nashville, made her London debut with an inspiring performance at Hackney’s Paper Dress Vintage. Despite the cold winter night, Americana lovers found their way to one of the city’s more unusual venues. Located above (and part of) a clothing shop, Paper Dress Vintage is one of those places you wouldn’t expect live music to be played. Yet it is, and the fully packed club proves there are times when first impressions couldn’t be more wrong. On the night of the Americana Music Association UK (AMA-UK) Conference Music Showcase, the venue becomes a home for...

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Dirty Sister Stir Up Water Rats

Showcase nights that throw together different groups of musicians spanning a mix of styles are always fun to go along to, opening your ears to a range of talent. And so tonight we bounced from the rocking tones of Doctor Da Vinci to the growling screams of metalers Rank Outsiders and onto the delicate, dulcet tones of solo keyboardist/vocalist Conrad before bouncing London duo Dirty Sister grace the Water Rats’ stage. The indistinguishable tones of a Bouzouki, a Greek stringed instrument for the uninitiated, kick off the duo’s set, the instrument’s imposing form and intricate detailing ensuring Tom Bridle...

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This Is The Kit Are Engagingly Enigmatic At Shepherd’s Bush Empire

There aren’t enough songs with whistling. Maybe that’s because most end up sounding either cloying (Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry Be Happy) or downright irritating (The Scorpions’ Winds Of Change). So when somebody does get it right, the effect is spellbinding. Like when This Is The Kit’s Kate Stables, plucking out the chords of Two Wooden Spoons alone, whistles the vocal melody. Together, the stark instrumentation and the haunting sound from her lips easily create a feeling of intimacy and vulnerability in a venue as vast as Shepherd’s Bush Empire. And this is even before she’s begun to sing or...

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Starcrawler “They Will Kill You” Live @ Omeara, London

Across their social media comes a strong message from young band Starcrawler, “We will kill you”.  A notice hangs on the wall of the entranceway of bijoux South East venue Omeara, ‘Warning:  Tonight there will be a potentially disturbing immersive performance’, now that’s a hell of a promise. Omeara is a gem of a venue, formed from a defunct railway arch and tucked into the ally, it is like a secret cave comprising of a small stage with a low gradient floor (complete with near invisible hazard marked steps), and a small corner bar selling cans of beer.  The...

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Ferris & Sylvester: Americana SW16 Style

With 2018 a blank canvas to paint with exciting new musical talent, Ferris & Sylvester’s modern take on Brit folk is a great place to start. The singer-songwriting duo release their forthcoming EP Made in Streatham on 2 February 2018 to follow up last year’s critically acclaimed debut The Yellow Line. Ferris & Sylvester are London-based musicians Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester. First meeting as solo artists, they navigated their way through London’s vibrant live music scene alone before realising that writing together would create an almighty partnership. The twosome swiftly made an impact, including on high profile producer...

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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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Reconciliation Of Love and Fury:  Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes @ Brixton Academy

Ex-Gallows and Pure Love frontman Frank Carter is one of the most exciting performers to witness live.  Never predictable, with hardcore punk band Gallows he was an explosion of vitriolic rage, lyrics streaming out of him to vent pain and nihilistic despair.  With Pure Love, the pendulum swung to the other extreme as Carter flirted with pop and found himself to be a brilliantly round peg in a square hole. Thanks to collaborator and band mate, former Heights guitarist Dean Richardson he may have found a successful carrier for his divided musical heart and a new sound.  With this...

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Upcoming Festivals

  1. Live @ Leeds 2018

    May 5
  2. Bearded Theory Spring Gathering

    May 24 - May 27
  3. Catfish & The Bottlemen @ All Points East

    June 1
  4. Field Day 2018

    June 1 - August 2
  5. Festival Of Voice Cardiff

    June 7 - June 17
  6. Download Festival

    June 8 - June 10
  7. Love Supreme Jazz Festival

    June 29 - July 1
  8. bluedot

    July 19 - July 22
  9. Cool Britannia

    August 31 - September 2

Long After Dark

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