Westlife, Westlife really Westlife? When I was given the tickets I didn’t know how to react, it was a present from my brother for my sister, mother and I, clearly I couldn’t say how I felt so I smiled and thanked him. However, on the inside, all I could think of was the cheesy, stereotype boyband with crying fans of which Westlife consumes itself. My type of gig that I would choose to go to would be a lively atmosphere with masses of bass and a good beat, which we all know is the opposite to the night I was going to endure.
On arrival of the O2 arena I could tell how this night was going to go. All I could see was hormonal women who were overwhelmingly excited about the night ahead. My sister and mother clearly needed a t-shirt to sit in for the night so we joined the grossly long line to purchase such an item. They changed as we made our way to our designated seats, to my delight I was sitting only three rows from the front and was surrounded by dedicated fans of the group. The supporting groups made their way to the stage and to my surprise were extremely good. Vanquish who were very alike to The Saturdays kept me entertained for half an hour, they sang well and interacted with the audience.
… Continue reading
There’s something about acoustic sessions that makes live music all the more exciting, for both audiences and musicians. It’s when you start to strip away the layers of distortion on guitars or a reliance on studio made samples that you can really begin to appreciate the skill of the musicians and the craft of songwriting that musicians have to develop if they want to be seen as credible. It gives you an opportunity to see how closely a group of musicians can work together to create a tight sound and whether they rely on gimmicks to impress the fans.
On Thursday evening I headed to the Stongroom Studios in Shoreditch to catch The Branco Heist in such a stripped back session. The band are a three-piece based in London, who are very focussed on songwriting with vocal led hooks and rock riffs. This session provided them with the opportunity to slow their songs down and for all three members to sing harmonies on each song, something that drummer Ross never gets the chance to do as his usual drumming routine is too energetic to sing at the same time.
… Continue reading
Last Friday night saw Foster the People, supported by We Barbarians and Mini Mansions, stage one of their biggest UK headline gigs to date.
With only one hit (granted a world-wide hit) and a few other well known songs under their belts, I wasn’t sure how this gig was going to pan out. And after being almost bored to death by the “warm up act” my hopes were fading for the night.
After what seemed like a lifetime, a smartly dressed man appeared a couple of times on stage to get the crowd going before LA based FTP made their appearance, but as soon as they came out you realised this wasn’t actually necessary as they could clearly do this for themselves.
The whole set from start to finish was filled with more energy than I’ve seen from a live band in a long time. With frontman Mark Foster’s high vocals and funky dance moves across the stage, and his people flitting between drumsets, guitars and percussion. Even if you weren’t really into the songs they certainly know how to put on an explosive show. The light show itself with the glitter cannons and foam was entertaining enough and although they didnt have hard acts to follow they were great to watch.
They pleased the crowd with their songs ‘Call It What You Want’, ‘Helena Beat’, ‘Don’t Stop’ and ‘I Would Do Anything For You’, before doing the usual disappearing act leaving the crowd waiting impatiently for the big hit. And it didn’t disappoint, they returned to deliver an incredible rendition of ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ turning it into a bit of a dubstep remix at the end which was pretty cool.
A great live show by a band I’m sure won’t be a one-hit wonder for much longer.
- Katy McAlister
Ben Howard, supported by Daughter, on the second of a two night sell out gig at London’s O2 Shepherds Bush Empire.
After reading a few reviews before hand I must say my expectations were pretty high, but Ben certainly more than lived up to them, delivering a truly captivating performance. To open, the three piece, Daughter, took to the stage for a moody and atmospheric six song set, with songs from their two EPs ‘The Wild Youth’ and ‘His Young Heart’.
Ben is part of a group of extremely talented musicians, who clearly have a love for folk music, and it showed throughout their set. Ben’s voice, mixed with the atmospheric touches of India
Bourne’s cello and bass playing, supported on drums by Chris Bond (and a fourth guest musician at times) showed their true passion for what they do.
… Continue reading
The NME Awards Tour rolled into Brixton Academy last night for it’s final show and filled the historic venue with four strong acts. Azealia Banks, Tribes, Metronomy and Two Door Cinema Club made up the bill. Azealia Banks took to the stage first and confidently belted out her tunes at breakneck speed, she delighted the audience mid-set with an a cappella version of Amy Winehouse’s version of The Zuton’s ‘Valerie’ and rounded up her time on the stage with an enthusiastically greeted version of ’212′ before ending with a cover of The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’. Azealia Banks exemplifies the rapper with attitude role perfectly, right down to the continuous steam of expletives, but delivered with the sense that she is enjoying herself. Which makes her more of a joy to watch than many of her peers.
… Continue reading
The NME Awards tour recently rolled into Brixton with French dance music pioneers, Justice, bringing their live show to London. Justice is made up of two guys with a healthy (or unhealthy, depending on your point-of-view) love of techno and prog-rock and these two seemingly disparate musical genres were blended by the duo expertly throughout the evening. They took centre stage surrounded by all their electronic gear as if manning a giant spacecraft and were flanked on either side by a wall of Marshall amplifiers.
They opened with ‘Genesis’ from their 2007 debut ‘Cross’, which melted effortlessly into ‘Civilization’ from their last album ‘Audio, Visual, Disco’, whilst a giant electric crucifix pulsated in front of them. In fact the entire setlist blended expertly from one-track to the next with new takes on the classic ‘We Are Your Friends’ and ‘D.A.N.C.E.’ added to the sheer delight of the audience. The set was loud from start to finish, loud enough to vibrate the whole of the Brixton Academy in time to their future sounds. The accompanying light show was a blinding blend of wizardry that gave a nod to the French electro pioneer, Jean Michel Jarre.
It is easy to see how Justice were one of the most talked about live acts at Reading and Leeds in 2008. They will be on the festival circuit again this summer, make sure you catch them.
Electric. This is just one of the words that spring to mind when thinking of Example’s concert. The atmosphere at the young rapper’s concerts was indeed electrifying, strobe lights flashing left right and centre, the crowd; jumping and raving, echoing the movements of the entertainer on stage.
The band travelling round the country with Elliot Gleave (Example), went by the name of Fenech-Soler. I, along with the rest of the crowd, went into the concert wanting Example and Example only, so when this support band came on I groaned simultaneously along with the audience. After one song, Fenech-Soler had us bouncing like never before. The song that the band started with was called ‘Stop and Stare’ and it was brilliant! The crowd moved like a human wave machine, synchronised with the beat like a colossal metronome. Then the music died and the band said their farewells.
… Continue reading