Tag: Review

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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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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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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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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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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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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Live: Y Not Festival 2017

It looks like Y Not festival has finally found its answer and the operative word of the weekend was most definitely mud. Marred with problems from the start, the festival was cancelled on the morning of the final day, seeing only one out of the three main headliners perform, with other big names’ sets being cut short or reduced to DJ sets. The festival started with a bang with Feeder and The Skints headlining a Thursday set, drawing early crowds and getting what was a well-billed British summer festival on its way. In true British summer fashion, it didn’t...

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Live: Wildwood Kin @ The Islington

Wildwood Kin are on the verge of something very big. They’ve already had a single playlisted on BBC Radio 2, supported Ward Thomas on a national tour, played Glastonbury, headlined their first London shows, and signed to Sony. And that’s just in the past three months. Now, with their debut LP two weeks away and this momentum already behind them, tonight’s likely the last time they play a venue as intimate as The Islington. Which is as it should be: these songs, and the three young women performing them, deserve to be heard by as many people as possible....

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VISION: Just A Ride, I Wanna Know

Up and coming UK rock 4-piece Just A Ride have released their first video, I Wanna Know, taken from their debut self-titled EP. Sure, Rodney Henderson (vocals), Drew Lowe (guitar), Eddie Hoffman (bass), and Alex Bailey (drums) may not be topping the charts or filling the biggest venues yet. But it would be a huge mistake to think they won’t be there soon. The self-described rebel band, born out of frustration with the music industry, will hit your ears with the sweet sound of distorted guitars, heavy drums, and intriguing vocals. Want proof? Just take a listen to I Wanna Know, a tasty...

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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: Christina Martin @ The Sound Lounge

Nova Scotia singer and songwriter Christina Martin recently released her new single Lungs Are Burning and toured the UK, visiting ten cities from York and Cheshire to London and Brighton. I was lucky enough to catch her intimate performance in one of London’s smallest but newest clubs, The Sound Lounge in Tooting. Although Christina has released six studio albums and spent 15 years building her solo career, I discovered her music only recently. And, after the evening at Sound Lounge, I can’t stop asking myself why it took me so long. The night opens with Gabrielle Papillon who, with...

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Live: Foo Fighters @ Glastonbury Festival 2017

American stadium rockers Foo Fighters were finally confirmed for that historic first Pyramid Stage headline slot at Glastonbury Festival 2015, closing out Friday night, with Kanye West taking Saturday night and legends The Who closing the stage on Sunday. And then the unthinkable happened. Just weeks before that career-defining headline slot, frontman Dave Grohl took a misstep on stage while the group played a massive show in Gothenburg, Sweden and broke his leg. While Grohl returned to the Ullevi Stadium stage to continue the show, albeit sat in a chair, the rest of the group’s summer shows including that...

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Live: Sam Palladio @ The Water Rats

Sam Palladio might not yet be a household name, but his character on hit U.S. television show Nashville just might be – Gunnar Scott anyone? Since making waves when it hit U.S. TV network ABC in 2012, the Country music-driven drama set and filmed in Tennessee’s Music City has gone from strength to strength despite relocating to its more natural home on the Country Music Television (CMT) cable network for its fifth season. Strange to think that it was British actor and musician Palladio, hailing from Cornwall, that was the first regular cast member to be cast for the...

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Live: Simple Plan @ Kentish Town Forum

Simple Plan know what a noisy, sweaty old-school rock show needs. The psyched audience scream on command. The showman singer likes to leap off the monitors, continually whips the crowd up into a frenzy, and suddenly appears at the mixing desk. The wild drummer stage dives and crowd surfs. Fog blasters and streamer cannons go off with wild abandon. Bras are thrown up onto the stage. T-shirts and giant beach balls get lobbed into the crowd (complete with a “playing with my balls” joke from the frontman). And the band unleash one riotous punk anthem after another. Tonight the...

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Live: Mollie Marriott @ The Borderline

As a two-year-old, Mollie Marriott remembers seeing Chuck Berry perform. She was in the front row, “dancing like crazy” on her mother’s lap. Fast forward a few years and she’s still dancing like crazy, albeit on the Borderline stage in front of her own equally enthusiastic fans. Like Berry and the other rock ‘n roll greats she saw growing up as Steve Marriott’s daughter, she has real presence, personality, and power. She endears herself with disarming comments about being excited but frightened, getting hot and sweaty, the challenges of tackling an Aretha Franklin song, and the tightness of her leather...

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Live: Roger Hodgson @ Royal Albert Hall, London

For two and a half hours on Saturday night, Roger Hodgson encouraged a sell-out Royal Albert Hall crowd to momentarily park the bad stuff taking place in the world and concentrate instead on a collected shared love for music and humanity. It’s a speech he gives at every gig. At the time, I interpreted it as a sideswipe at the current incumbent in the White House – it’s a popular observation after all. Forty-eight hours later, Hodgson’s remarks now seem more prescient than ever. Roger Hodgson was the major song writing force of 1970s/1980s prog/rock/pop megastars Supertramp. He can...

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LIVE: Picture This @ Electric Ballroom, Camden

If there is one band you should be going to see this year, it could be an Irish duo with a sold out UK and Ireland tour who have already established a large fan base even before they “drop” their debut album, Who this? Picture This. If you have never heard of them it could be  because you are not following the latest trends on YouTube or Spotify. Or put another way you are not up with the kids. In a world where everything is easy to reach, simple to find and share, then bands like Picture This don’t need to have the...

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