Tag: London

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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REWS: Expectations High

Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time. The right place was the Hawley Arms during the Camden Rocks Festival on a glorious early June day this year. The right time was around half past four in the afternoon when a band of which I was previously unaware called REWS occupied the stage. They were excellent – to me, by far the most enjoyable act of the day. Ironically, Since the Camden Rocks appearance I’ve done little else but hear about REWS. Later in the month, they graced the John Peel Stage at...

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The Temperance Movement: New Tunes In A Small Room

  Malcolm Young died earlier this week. As I squeeze into a space at the front at Soho institution the Borderline, the PA soundtrack is non-stop AC/DC. It’s a good metaphor for tonight’s headline, The Temperance Movement. They’re both gravel-throat fronted blues-rock bands with emphasis on the rock. They’re both at home in front of a stadium crowd (‘The Temp’ – as TTM frontman Phil Campbell calls them, supported The Rolling Stones on their 2014 European and 2015 US tours). They’re both an absolute blast live. As Malcolm and Angus fill the pre-support void I’m left wondering whether there...

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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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The War On Drugs Live: All Show, No Showing Off

Adam Granduciel is a musical genius. But The War On Drugs’ singer, guitarist, songwriter, producer, and sonic mastermind is not a natural showman. There’s little time for pleasantries, just a few hurried “thank you’s” and one “I’m so psyched to be here”. There’s no waving of arms or pointing at the crowd, so even coming to the front of the stage during one of his fluid guitar solos is completely out of the question. Granduciel’s obviously aware of his self-restraint on stage, telling the Guardian just a few weeks ago he wishes he could “Bono it up a little...

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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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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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The Amazons: An Upward Trajectory

A year ago to the day, The Amazons struggled to sell 300 tickets to a show at OSLO in Hackney. Tonight, they’ve sold out The Forum. That’s 2300 people – and a year-on-year increase of 666%, if you’re counting. Chances are, nobody in this Kentish Town landmark is. After all, there are more pressing matters, like being blown away by four young musicians with a one-way ticket to The O2 Arena stage. A thrilling rock band with songs as hot as the van blazing on their debut album’s cover, the quartet’s success is definitely deserved, but certainly not overnight....

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The Soulful Charisma Of Zak Abel – Live At Koko

British singer-songwriter Zak Abel has the kind of voice that forces you to stop, listen, repeat and flood your music feed with his back catalogue. The 22-year old rising star and born and bred North Londoner first gained attention after lending his vocals to Gorgon City’s Top 20 Hit Unmissable in 2014. Since then he has carved out his status not only as one-to-watch but one-to-collaborate with. He played a sell-out gig at London’s KOKO this week, supported by winner of ‘Best Solo Male’ at the Unsigned Music Awards in October 2016, Mullally, who performed an edgy, neo soul...

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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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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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Glenn Hughes Interview: Trust, Openness & No Fear

Glenn Hughes may have lived in California for more than 40 years, but the Black Country will forever be his home. His birthplace of Cannock gave rise to the band Trapeze, which launched a five-decade-and-counting career for the singer and bassist. Stints in Deep Purple and Black Sabbath led to a successful solo career that’s included high-profile collaborations with the likes of Pat Thrall, Tony Iommi, and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith.   But even though he’d long since swapped the West Midlands for the West Coast, when Hughes, singer-guitarist Joe Bonamassa, drummer Jason Bonham, and keyboard...

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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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Third Eye Blind, US Summer Gods Head to The UK

There are some amazing records that defined the 1990s turning 20 in 2017, from Radiohead’s seminal OK Computer, Foo Fighters’ legendary The Colour And The Shape and The Prodigy’s The Fat Of The Land to Sarah McLachlan’s Surfacing and Natalie Imbruglia’s Left Of The Middle. But one record that pumped out summer hit after summer hit for a solid year, in the US at least, was San Franciscan alt. rock outfit Third Eye Blind’s self-titled debut. The Stephen Jenkins-fronted five-piece put out Third Eye Blind in April 1997 and followed it up with five massive singles, kicking off with...

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London Jazz Art Group AlaskAlaska With Groove Laden Video For Bitter Winter

ALASKALASKA is an art-pop 6 piece from London. They make beautiful, groove-laden music that seamlessly blends jazz, disco, funk and R&B into a bold and playful sound uniquely their own; synthetic beats play alongside live drums, delayed guitars and swirling saxophones to create something musically rich and delightfully intricate. Band leader and vocalist Lucinda twists brooding and introspective lyrics, maybe akin to the words of Arthur Russell, into infectious melodies reminiscent of Warpaint, Dirty Projectors or Talk Talk, which demand repeat listens and could as easily soundtrack a wistful evening alone as they could a party. They’ve built a...

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Live: Afropunk Fest London, Landing Firmly

As the wet weather continues throughout the UK, Afropunk Fest London lands and with improvements to boot. This year they took over new event space Printworks in Canada Water, London with two music stages, two marketplaces, a food court and various art installations. A great choice of venue with its industrial setting and in particular the upper-level with its edgy factory aesthetic. Afropunk’s second visit to London was already feeling like a well-needed alternative to the mainstream festival season, especially with its moral thread of protest for injustice. Raised in Hoxton, just 10 minutes away from the venue, young artist...

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LIVE: Blink-182 @ O2 Arena, London. Whats My Age Again?

Recently one of my Facebook friends posted an article about the appropriate age when you should stop clubbing. In wider context the appropriate age when you should abandon the dance floor or concert hall for the benefit of early nights in with kids and pyjamas. The magic age revealed by a new study which polled 5,000 Britons was 37. That is  when you are “officially” too old for gigs and parties. So here I am, another night at the O2 Arena, excited as a teenage girl, ready to go and photograph the band I love. What’s my age again?...

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Live: The Robert Glasper Experience @ Somerset House

‘Our gigs are open air and go ahead come rain or shine’ is a statement on the Somerset House website and the recent heatwave that blessed the UK ended abruptly, bringing the kind of rain that told you it was here to stay. This run of thirteen concerts of the Summer Series saw the Grammy winning composer, keyboard player and record producer Robert Glasper bring his “Experience” to the live stage. He is known for creating some of the most influential music of recent times. He has worked with an array of talented musicians and scored the soundtrack for the movie Miles Ahead, documenting the...

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