Tag: Live Reviews

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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Sigur Rós Mesmerise At Hammersmith Apollo

Young children can be mesmerised by almost anything: ants, mud, the rain, a man in a purple dinosaur costume singing songs. Adults, not so much. Between all the Snapchats, news alerts, and seeing what’s happening everywhere but here, there’s just no time to focus. Something’s always pulling us out of the present, to the extent that mindfulness, a potential antidote to all that distraction, is now a £4-billion industry. But there are still a few things other than meditation apps that can cut through the clatter of life. Like Sigur Rós. Not only can the Reykjavík trio entrance and...

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Live: Community Festival @ Finsbury Park

Community Festival has found its home in Finsbury Park and if Saturday was any indication, the inaugural trip to North London has supplanted itself as a festival to watch going forward. Having just two stages, the Main Stage and the N4 Stage, made it pretty easy to find your away around and it was pretty clear from the moment walking in that Community has found its niche, tailoring itself for a young audience who are interested in nothing more than electric, thrashing sets of indie rock and pop goodness. I arrived just in time to see RedFaces, a foursome from Sheffield who...

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Live: Midnight Oil @ Hammersmith Apollo

“We spent more time on this setlist than most people did thinking about how to vote on Brexit,” says Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett towards the beginning of the band’s first London show in 20 years. Initially it seems like a throwaway joke from the former government minister and lifelong activist. But he’s clearly not kidding. Like crafting the perfect mixtape, they’ve picked the right songs in the right sequence for the biggest impact. Blistering set opener Redneck Wonderland easily fulfils its purpose, getting the punters up and and out of their seats within the first 15 seconds. Originally...

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Photography: Joe Bonamassa @ Royal Albert Hall

Joe Bonamassa – two-time Grammy-award nominated guitarist and vocalist – does not need an introduction. This year he is back in the UK to promote his twelfth studio album Blues Of Desperation. The album was recorded in just five days in Nashville’s Grand Victorian Sound Studios (previously known as RCA Studio A) under the watchful eyes of Bonamassa’s longtime producer Kevin Shirley along with drummers Anton Fig & Greg Morrow, bassist Michael Rhodes and keyboardist Reese Wynans.  This combo is a simple recipe for success. As expected, Bonamassa’s new proposal is the kind of material that redefines the blues-rock genre. Blues Of Desperation appears to be...

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Live: Mallory Knox @ Bristol Academy

Excitement looms over Bristol this evening. Mallory Knox received their second top 20 album last week, and tonight, they’re debuting some of their hotly discussed tracks for the first time on date number one of the Wired tour. To begin the evening, they’ve brought along Fatherson, a Scottish three-piece with an enveloping quaint folk-rock sound. Their sound is crisp, with a faultless performance that’s been perfected to a “T” and though filled with powerful melodies that are nicely boosted by singer, Ross Leighton’s voice. Following on, Lonely The Brave, deliver a particularly varied performance, keeping the audience on their...

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Live: Bush @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire

You’d be forgiven for thinking 1990’s rock outfit Bush were an American band, given both their sound and enduring success across the pond. Their 1994 debut studio record Sixteen Stone was certified 6x Platinum in the U.S., it’s follow-up peaked at #1 in the U.S. album charts and many of their singles hit #1 on the U.S. Alt. Rock charts for a decade. But Bush are, in fact, a British band. So much so that they’re named after the area in which tonight’s gig takes place – Shepherd’s Bush! The original line-up of frontman Gavin Rossdale, drummer Robin Goodridge,...

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Live: Band Of Horses @ Troxy, London

What a great night. Before the enigmatic Band Of Horses adorn the East London stage, I’m not surprised to see that folk have arrived early to witness a warm-up from Israel Nash who would quite rightly on another occasion command a headline slot in his own right. The fellow American, whom RockShot Magazine met in Notting Hill last month, was joined on stage by friend and musical partner Eric Swanson for a stunning 6-song support set. Nash’s highly personal song-writing and powerful vocals compliment perfectly the headline act, and it is easy to see why he has joined them throughout the UK and European leg of their tour. Through a thick...

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Live: Green Day @ The O2 Arena

With the recent controversial U.S. presidential appointment seemingly the only thing I’m forced to read about these days on the news, it seems that rockers Green Day have ample inspiration for new material coming hard and fast. With the announcement in September 2016 that the band would be playing at London’s O2 Arena for the first time since 2009 in support of 12th studio album Revolution Radio, British fans were abuzz with excitement. Being a hardcore fan of the band since I was 14, I knew that this was certainly going to be a show to remember. They hadn’t been in...

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Live: Pete RG, Staticland & Candlebox @ Underworld, Camden

Living in London means one thing, you are always surrounded by live music. If you’re lucky and choose correctly, you could have a decent feast almost every night. If your choices fail you might end up in a need of ear plugs in a pub that charges you more than a fiver for a beer. So choose wisely. If you notice Pete RG is playing in your town, do not hesitate, grab a ticket, take your mates and experience real music at it’s finest. American singer-songwriter Pete RG came to London’s Underground venue in Camden to support fellow American band...

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Live: Train @ Islington Assembly Hall

American pop rock outfit Train have hits that will, no doubt, bounce off your subconscious and reverberate whether you want them to or not! For this is the band that were a mainstay of the Billboard charts and alt. rock radio waves of 1999 with hit single Meet Virginia, who bettered that effort just two years later with Drops Of Jupiter and continued their whimsical journey of chart staying power in 2009 with Hey, Soul Sister. This month, the Patrick Monahan-led six-piece is back with eighth studio album A Girl, A Bottle, A Boat (if you discount a Christmas...

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Live: The Blue Aeroplanes @ The Leadmill, Sheffield

The Blue Aeroplanes – punk poets from Bristol – once more came to Sheffield to mesmerise the audience with their unique blend of folk, rock, punk, poetry and dance. But before the Aeroplanes could dazzle everyone, support act Harri Larkin performed solo material from her latest EPs. Harri Larkin, who usually performs as a four-piece, took to the stage by herself, armed only with an acoustic guitar. It is always great to see young female artists keeping alive a long tradition of British singer-songwriters. Larkin seemed a little tense, sometimes muffling her words, which made it difficult to get into her songs fully....

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Live: The Hunna @ O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

Last time I photographed The Hunna was in front of a couple of hundred people at a sold-out Boston Music Room in London’s Tufnell Park. Nine months later, they’re back promoting their debut album 100 at a sold-out Shepherds Bush Empire. This time around, the venue capacity has multiplied ten-fold, ticket resale sites are asking stupid money, and touts are out in force patrolling Shepherds Bush Green. It was obvious from the outset that this band were going places and the evidence displayed in and around this splendid West London venue seems to speak for itself. The Hertfordshire four-piece...

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Live: Chase & Status @ Alexandra Palace

Alexandra Palace started filling up with red-lit smoke just seconds before Saul Milton aka Chase, Will Kennard aka Status, MC Rage and drummer Andy Gangadeen appeared on stage. I expected the venue to be busy but wasn’t at all prepared for how rammed it actually was. Ten thousand people gathered in one of the most iconic venues in London on Saturday 26th of November. They all came to see one of their favourite bands – they all came to see the world famous Chase & Status, the excitement and the party-like anticipation were palpable. MC Rage welcomed the crowd letting...

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Live: Biffy Clyro @ The O2 Arena

Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro are back, and bigger than ever, with the release of seventh studio album Ellipsis. And to support the record, frontman Simon Neil along with his rhythm section of twin brothers James and Ben Johnson on bass and drums respectively, hit up some of the biggest venues across the country, ending up with a stop at East London’s tent-venue – The O2 Arena.   The rock trio suffered from a split of their fan base following their mainstream success with Only Revolutions in 2009, seemingly sounding too light and commercial to some when compared to their...

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Live: Nothing But Thieves @ Brixton Academy.

Finally Nothing But Thieves are getting their just deserts with a sold out headline show.  This band have been marked for greatness from the start, their talent has afforded them amazing opportunities and what they have lacked in experience they have made up for in fearlessness.  A lesser band may have been tempted to pause first in the hope of readiness, but this young band have been quick to take the challenges. They often admit on stage and social media how nervous and overwhelmed they are to be highlighted with radio play, to be invited to support bands like...

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Live Review: Pixies @ O2 Academy Brixton.

In a bizarre but welcome decision, Pixies chose to play a rotation of UK dates and then loop around again and play another round.  Each time this resulted in a sell out show, maybe not so bizarre? Gig goers are crammed into what feels and looks like an over capacity venue.  People are pushed up against the edges of the walls and are unable to move past without pushing the shoulders of bystanders and turning them like revolving doors.  Looking at the crowd tonight it seems like there is a large student presence, but this being 2016 it seems...

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Live: The Temperance Movement Acoustic Set @ Bush Hall

I’m lucky enough to have stumbled upon The Temperance Movement whilst they were still playing tiny venues; when much of the set was acoustic and vocals were performed from in front of the microphones. In the last couple of years and on the back of two critically acclaimed albums, they have progressed to share stadium stages with The Rolling Stones and now sell out some of our largest venues. Whilst nobody would wish to deny them their success, a significant part of the fan base (myself included) miss the intimacy of those early days and those very special gigs....

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Live: Electric Six @ O2 Academy Islington

With twelve albums to their name, Electric Six are remarkably prolific for a band primarily known for two hit singles. Danger! High Voltage and Gay Bar were an essential part of the noughties soundtrack, but as loyal fans crow-barred into a sold out O2 Academy Islington tonight will testify, there’s much more to this band than that. This is a weird venue. Purpose built in a nondescript thirteen-year-old shopping centre, it has all the ambience of a nondescript thirteen-year-old shopping centre. As functional as it gets, service ducts and pipework dangle from the ceiling – it’s kind of like...

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Live: Highly Suspect @ Night And Day Café, Manchester.

In years to come when people talk about Oasis playing at the Joiners in Southampton, The Arctic Monkeys’ gig at the Frog and Parrot in Sheffield, and Highly Suspect’s Night and Day Café concert, I can say “I was there, man!” One of the traits that make Highly Suspect such an endearing and lovable band is that, despite their fame and their current album topping the Mainstream Rock Song Billboard Charts, they embrace the proximity to their fans by playing in small venues. It is in venues like the Night and Day Café, with capacities in the low hundreds...

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    May 5
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