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Friday, June 12, 2015

The Wombats Live Review

On Sunday, whilst streaming music and absentmindedly checking all social media outlets, I came across an absolute gem:

@thewombats "London! We’re playing an intimate guest list only show Wednesday night. RSVP here: "

Of course as someone who saw The Wombats live at the O2 Academy Birmingham over seven years ago I couldn't help but feel this free gig was well worth going to.

So, with my friend in toe, we darted North to Nambucca on Holloway Road to ensure we could get entry. In hindsight there was absolutely no need to rush, but hey you never know what to expect when things are offered for free!!

As a very brief bio, The Wombats are an indie rock band from Liverpool. First hitting the music scene in 2003, the Wombats have released a number of great tracks, including the popular "Let's Dance to Joy Division" and "Moving To New York." To date they have released three albums, the most recent being "Glitterbug" which came out in April of this year. For more info on them, check out their website

Similar bands/styles to the Wombats are The Pigeon Detectives, The Kooks and Two Door Cinema Club.

Arriving on stage at 9.45 the crowd were well and truly fueled up on beer and ready to be entertained. And entertained we were. Playing a mixture of songs from their old and new albums, lead vocalist Matthew Murphy had the crowd well and truly pumped. In the hope of not coming across too 'old' it has certainly been a while since I have been on the cusp of such a wild/frantic mosh pit.

It is no surprise the crowds biggest reaction and cheers came when The Wombats played their two biggest (and most recognised) tracks, as mentioned above, Lets Dance for Joy Division and Moving to New York.

Overall for a last minute free gig I had an absolutely brilliant time. I would certainly pay to see them live...again! Despite it being over seven years between the two gigs I attended by the Wombats, both times I was treated to an excellent night of live music. Currently touring around Europe and then Australia, the Wombats will be back in the UK for Summer festivals (T In The Park, Reading & Leeds). I would certainly recommend seeing them live - their upbeat tracks and energetic set are the perfect mix for a fun night out.

Tour dates: 
July 4th. Godiva Festival - Coventry, UK
July 10th. T in the Park - UK
August 28th. Bramham Park - Leeds, UK
August 29th. Reading Festival - Reading, UK
August 30th. Leeds Festival - Leeds, UK
September 15th. Terminal 4 - NYC
September 28th. Rock City - Nottingham, UK
September 30th. Guildhall - Southampton, UK
October 1st. Alexandra Palace - London, UK
October 2nd. Cardiff University - Cardiff, UK
October 21st. Apollo - Manchester, UK
October 23rd. Mountford Hall - Liverpool, UK

For more information on tour dates please check out:

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Fleetwood Mac Live Review

So far this year I have managed to tick a number of things off my bucket list - one being 'see Ryan Adams live in concert.' Check.

Despite being a huge Ryan Adams fan however, there is one band that pips him to the post in my eyes; Fleetwood Mac - one of the best selling bands of all time. 

Anyone who is unaware of this band, I am sorry, but I have to ask, where have you been hiding for the last forty years? Forming together back in 1967, the story of Fleetwood Mac has been no means plain sailing. The core line up made of Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and John McVie has been constantly changing. With  stories of marriages, affairs, break ups, feuds and divorces plaguing the band, it is no wonder the core four have not remained constant over their 40+ year journey. There is one member however that has been present from day 1:  Mick Fleetwood. 

To date this band has released seventeen albums, the most successful one being Rumours (1977), which stayed at the number one spot in the US album charts for 31 weeks, and included 4 Top 10 US singles.

Although tickets to their show were easily the most expensive I have ever had to pay for a gig, it was 100% worth it. With no support act beforehand, Fleetwood Mac hit the stage and delivered a cracking show of their best singles for a solid 2.5hrs.

The evenings music was split out in several sections and included the following singles: The Chain, You Make Loving Fun, Dreams, Second Hand News, Rhiannon, Everywhere, I know i'm not wrong, Tusk, Sisters of the Moon, Say You Love Me, Big Love, Landslide, Never Going Back Again, Over My Head, Gypsy, Little Lies, Gold Dust Woman, I'm So Afraid, Go Your Own Way, World Turning, Don't Stop, Silver Springs and Songbird. 

It should come as no surprise these guys are awesome live. With over 40years behind them, they have had enough time to practice and get it right. Saying that, what impressed me the most was their fabulous stage presence and endurance. Aside from a very cool digital screen behind them which complimented their music entirely, the band kept things simple by ensuring the basics were right - it was obvious they put everything they had into each track. This in itself is phenomenal since they are all aged over 65. So yes, Fleetwood Mac, you've definitely still got it. 

For me the highlights were Stevie Nicks acoustic performance of landslide (a personal fav track of mine), Lindsey Buckingham giving it his all during his rendition of Big Love and finally Mick Fleetwood starting the 1st encore off with an impressive drum intro to 'World Turning.' 

The 20,000 strong crowd was treated to a great night of live music. The majority of the crowd were up on their feet and singing and dancing for the entire set. For me, what was so apparent, is how successful Fleetwood Mac has been in attracting fans of all ages. There were young kids, twenty somethings, and even the oldies - further highlighting why this band so rightly deserves the label of one of the biggest selling bands in all time.  

The reality is, after this tour (from the UK they are due to fly to Aus), who knows what Fleetwood Mac will do next. Have they got another album in them yet? I really hope so, but i'm not willing to place any bets on it just yet. With that in mind I am just so pleased I managed to see them live - and even better, all the core members were present. Without a margin of doubt, I would give this gig 10 out of 10. The overall vibe, stage presence, quality of music, and lighting effects were all flawless. So all I would say is if you do find yourself faced with the opportunity to see this band live, take my advice, buy the tickets. You can bet it will be well worth your time. 

Upcoming tour dates: 
8th June. Genting Arena, Birmingham - UK 
9th June. Genting Arena, Birmingham - UK
12th June. Manchester Arena, Manchester - UK 
14th June. Isle of Wight Festival - UK 
16/17tth June. SSE Hydro, Glasgow - UK
22/24/26/27 June. O2 Arena, London - UK 
30th June. First Direct Arena, Leeds - UK 
1st July. Manchester Arena, Manchester - UK
4th July. Genting Arena, Birmingham - UK 
5th July. First Direct Arena, Leeds - UK 
8th July. SSE HYDRO, Leeds - UK 

For more information regarding tickets and tour dates check out:

Sunday, April 19, 2015

X Ambassadors

When I used to live about 30minutes from NYC I regularly blogged about bands and artists who were playing in the city (my fav venue being at the Mercury Lounge). It has come to my attention however, most of my recent posts and recommendations have been on bands playing in the UK. So, in an attempt to rectify this, I have posted about a band who are currently touring around the US, and who I also happen to absolutely love!

I introduce to you the X Ambassadors.

X Ambassadors is an American rock band from New York. Made up of Sam Harris, Casey Harris, Noah Feldshuh and Adam Levin, X Ambassador first hit the music scene in 2009 when they toured with a number of bands including LIGHTS.

You may find you have already heard a number of singles by X Ambassadors, since their work has featured in many popular american seasons such as Orange Is The New Black, Supernatural and One Tree Hill.

To date, X Ambassadors have released a number of EPs; self titled 'Ambassadors,' 'Love Songs Drug Songs' and 'The Reason.' The Reason is my personal favourite due to the tracks Free & Lonely, and Unsteady.In terms of albums, in 2012 they released their debut album 'Litost' and are due to release a second one (name yet to be disclosed) later this year.

I have yet to see this band live, but will most certainly be keeping an eye on their upcoming tour dates. If you are still on the fence, I should probably mention their touring alongside with the brilliant Milky Chance

Upcoming tour dates: 
22nd July - NYC. Summertage - Central Park.

For more of their American tour dates check out:

Previous Mumford and Sons Review (with current tour dates)

 An album launch party like no other.

Three times I have now seen this band, and they just keep getting better and better. In a previous post I wrote:

"I love everything about Mumford and Sons; their songs, their charisma, their attitude, and their voices. I have been fortunate enough see Mumford & Sons live twice, once at Glastonbury Music Festival and once in New York. They definitely didn't disappoint! Each gig was performed flawlessly."

After seeing them last night perform at the Roundhouse in Camden, London for the iTunes Festival, I can safely say this band is in my top three best live performances I have seen to date. As well as performing some of their well known and popular singles (Little Lion Man, The Cave, Roll Away Your Stone), Mumford and Sons performed many tracks from their newly released album (24th Sept) "Babel."

The evenings set list included:  Lovers' Eyes, Little Lion Man, White Blank Page, Not With Haste, Below My Feet, Timshel, Roll Away Your Stone, Lover of the Light, Thistle & Weeds, Ghosts That We Knew, Awake My Soul, Whispers in the Dark, Dust Bowl Dance.
Encore: Where Are You Now? I Will Wait, The Cave.

For me the highlight of the night was seeing Mumford and Sons do a stripped performance of Timshel (see short clip below). As soon as the four guys began their acoustic performance the crowd were in complete silence. It was incredible to watch the band at its simplest: just voices and emotion.


Another highlight for me was when they performed the new single "Where are you now" from their new album "Babel."   It was the first time I had heard this track, and I personally fell in love with it instantly. I found it to be an immensely emotional single that anyone could relate to.

It was safe to say the crowd had a great night too. The crowd was of all ages, but that is irrelevant, for as soon as the four men walked onto the stage the whole crowd went wild. The jam packed Roundhouse had an electric atmosphere - people singing, screaming, applauding and dancing along to all their songs (old and new) for the duration of their show.

Overall it was a brill night. If you get the chance you MUST see this band.

Tour Dates:
2nd June. MCU Park - Brooklyn, Coney island, NY (US)
3rd June. MCU Park - Brooklyn, Coney island, NY (US)
5-6th June. Gotr Seaside heights, Stopover, New Jersey (US)
28th - 30th Aug. Reading & Leeds Festival (UK)

For more information on their tour dates check out:

For more reviews on Mumford & Sons click on the following links:
Gentleman of the Road Review (2013)
Mumford & Sons (2012)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sofar Sounds Secret Gig #3

As you may be aware I have been fortunate enough to attend a number of secret gigs at various locations around London, courtesy of Sofar Sounds. On 11th February I was once again lucky enough to go to a strangers (very cool) house in Stoke Newington and watch four fab bands play.

First up was Honey Blood. This Scottish duo, made of Tina Tweeddale on guitar/vocals and Shona McVicar on drums, classify their music as 'crunch pop' - a "blend of blustery vocals and swirling guitars."

These girls were actually due to perform at another venue later that evening, however before they dashed off we were treated to a three song set.  To hear their music check out their self titled album "Honeyblood." Tracks featured on the album include Killer Bangs and Super Rat.

For more information check out their Twitter page:

Next up were Elliot Galvin Trio. The great thing about Sofar Sounds is the opportunity to see a wide range of artists and bands of all different genres. This couldn't have been more true for the next band. 
Elliot Galvin Trio were fabulous. These three very understated lads took to the floor with their instruments and performed an absolutely flawless set. Elliot Galvin on piano, Tom McCredle on bass and Simon Roth on drums, incorporate classical, jazz and art into their music. The mastermind of this band, Elliot Galvin, composes all the bands material. To highlight how good these guys are, in 2014, they won the European Young Musician of the Year Award. 

Regardless to whether you listen to classical music or not, these tremendously talented guys are definitely worth your time. 

For more info about this band check out their Twitter page:

Next, and my personal favourite of the night: Jay Brown. Although Jay Brown, a singer from Northampton, usually sings with a band, she performed solo on this occasion. She played a number of tracks including Sun Comes Up, We Are The People and my personal fav, Diamonds.

Brown has already played at a number of large venues including Glastonbury in 2013 on the BBC introducing stage. She is definitely someone to keep an eye for in the future.

I thoroughly enjoyed her set. Again, very understated, Brown's raspy/gruff vocals oozed rawness and emotion. If you, like me, are a fan of stripped back/acoustic music, than you will be a fan of Jay Brown.

For those of you who are Bastille fans, you may also recognise Brown from when she featured on the track "Forever Ever" with Kate Tempest.

For more info on Jay Brown, check out her website:

And finally but by no means least, Rozi Plain. This girl is hilarious - I loved her! Originally from Winchester, Rozi in an indie singer who has previously supported KT Tunstall and played at a number of festivals including The Green Man and End of the Road Festival. To date Rozi Plain has released two albums "Inside Over Here" and "Joined Sometimes Unjoined." During her set, Rozi sang Actually and Jogalong.

Rozi played a great set. Her dry sense of humour, accompanied with her upbeat and catchy tunes was the perfect finale to a brilliant night of live music. When listening to Rozi I was reminded a great deal of Tegan and Sara, for their similar music styles and distinct vocals.

For more info on Rozi Plain, check out her website

Overall I had a great night of live music. If you haven't signed up, you are missing out. Here is the site if you are interested:

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Damon Albarn live

So it has occurred to me I had yet to review the gig I went to whilst on my travels in Australia....

On 16th Dec, I managed to get hold of free tickets to Damon Albarn's show at the Sydney Opera House, courtesy of my sister. I had already seen Damon Albarn live when he headlined at Glastonbury with Gorillaz. However, I was eager to see what he would be like going it alone

Just as a quick summary, Damon Albarn first ht the music scene in 1988 with his band Blur. It was not until 1990 however that blur got their big break. Despite their success, Blur have found themselves in the middle of media spats, bust ups, and rivalries (both in and out of the band). Saying that after taking a hiatus, Blur are due to release their eighth album "The Magic Whip." Another successful band Albarn has been a central force behind is the 'virtual band' Gorillaz. Working alongside Jamie Hewlett, Gorillaz released their self titled debut album in 2003. To date, they have released four albums, the last being 'The Fall' in 2011.

Anyway back to the gig.

Starting the evening off with Spitting Out the Demons, Damon Albarn had the 2000+ seated crowd immediately up on their feet.  He has such a stage presence (laughing, smiling and jumping around) it is easy to see how he has become such a name in the music world. Saying that, I was relieved I wasn't sat too near to the front - Albarn had a tendency to sprout water all over the first few rows throughout the gig.

Albarn sang tracks that spanned across his 20+ year career by also performing tracks from his Blur and Gorillaz days.

For me the highlight was having De La Soul come out on stage to perform Feel Good Inc. As a huge  Gorillaz fan, it was awesome seeing the original guys rapping and singing it out on stage. Going by the crowd around me, my feelings were definitely shared.

The set list for the evening included: Spitting Out the Demons, Lonely Press Play, Everyday Robots, Tomorrow Comes Today, Slow Country, Kids With Guns, Three Changes, Hostiles, Photographs, Kingdom of Doom, You and Me, Hallow Ponds, El Manana, Don't Get Lost In Heaven, Out of Time, All Your Life. Encoure: End of a Century, Mr Tembo, Clint Eastwood, Feel Good Inc (ft De La Soul) and Heavy Seas of Love.

Overall I had a great night of music. If I am being honest, before the evening I was more excited about the venue itself, however, Albarn proved to be a great performer and delivered a hugely energetic and exciting show.

Damon Albarn currently has not upcoming live shows, however for more information please check out his website:

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Ryan Adams Live

On Friday 27th February, for my birthday, I headed to the Evertim Apollo. After years of being a Ryan Adams fan (and close monitoring of his UK tours via google alerts), I was finally able to see him live.

For those of you who are not aware of Ryan Adams - and yes, I do mean Ryan and not Bryan - he is an American singer/songwriter from North Carolina. Ryan first hit the music scene in the early nineties, and has to date released a staggering 14 albums and five EPs.

My particular favourite period of Adams' career thus far is when he sang with the Cardinals and released two albums "Cold Roses" and "Jacksonville City Nights." In terms of singles, Ryan Adams has had a number of great tracks, however the one that branched out to the largest audience was his cover of Wonderwall by Oasis. His cover even proved popular with Oasis lead singer Noal Gallagher who said "I never got my head round this song until I went to [see] Ryan Adams play and he did an amazing cover of it."

Anyway enough of the bio - lets get back to the gig. With any artist that has been around for over 10 years, the fan base was vast and diverse! There were young'uns and oldies, all wearing their leather jackets and excited for the performance ahead.

Supporting Adams that night was American singer and songwriter Natalie Prass. Natalie is a relatively new face to the music scene, only having just released her debut album in January of this year. Despite Prass' soft yet strong distinct vocals, her songs did very little to enrapture me. Overall I feel her performance did not do a great job in warming up the crowd. However saying that, I did feel Prass sang very well when she performed two duets with Ryan later in the evening.

It was clear by the cheers and applause from the crowd, they were ecstatic to see Ryan Adams. Dressed in his denims and standard mass of wild hair, Adams welcomed the crowd "That's right, its the weekend. Time to get sad." A man with a dry sense of humour, Adams seemed more than happy to take the mic out of himself and his 'depressed' fans! Even when a minor fight broke out near the end of his set, Ryan was able to keep up the banter and question how anyone could get so riled up to his music. Not one to be distracted, Ryan Adams soon got the show going again and announced 'Right, lets try another f***ing miserable song." Cue rapturous applause from the sold out crowd.

The set list for the evening included: Gimme Something Good, Let It Ride, Stay With Me, Dear Chicago, This House Is Not For Sale, Everybody Knows, My Winding Wheel, Dirty Rain, Magnolia Mountain, New York, New York, Kim, Two, My Wrecking Ball, I Just Might, I love You But I Don't Know What To Say, Your Fool, Oh My Sweet Carolina, La Cienega Just Smiled, Trouble, When The Stars Go Blue, I see Monsters and Come Pick Me Up.

What was great about this gig was seeing Ryan Adams perform some of his best singles for a solid two hours. The combination of great songs, banter and talent (vocals, guitar and harmonica) meant Ryan Adams was able to deliver a flawless night of bloody brilliant live music. He even was able to demonstrate his musical talent by singing an improv song "I ate something off the street" after overhearing a conversation from the crowd. A pure genius.

I am well and truly thrilled I can now scratch "see Ryan Adams live" off my bucket list. I would urge all fans out there to GO and see him live.

Upcoming gigs include: 
5th June - The Governors Ball Music Festival - NYC
4th July - Calling Festival - London

To see the rest of his tour dates check out: