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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Milky Chance Review


A couple of weeks ago I headed over to O2 Shepherds Bush to see Milky Chance live. I have been a fan of this band for the last year and a half, and so I was ecstatic to get my hands on tickets.

Milky Chance, made up of Clemens Rehbein (on vocals) and Philipp Dausch (DJing), are a reggae psychedelic folk band (i.e. folk mixed with reggae electronics) from Germany.

Milky Chance has achieved great success from the very beginning. Their first single "Stolen Dance" was released in April 2013 and went straight to number 1 in many European countries such as France and Hungary.

The pair released their debut album "Sadnecessary" back in October 2013. If you haven't done so yet, I would highly recommend you checking it out. Personal favourites of mine include "Becoming" and "Down By The River."

Due to work commitments I sadly missed the support act: Kafka, a three piece band from Southampton.

So onto the main event; Kicking things off, the boys came out onto the stage in complete darkness and performed a 5 minute intro song. I thought this was great way to start - the dramatic, electric track mixed with reggae guitar beats seemed to really build up the atmosphere of the venue. After a 2.5 minute instrumental intro, the feeling of anticipation from the 4,000 strong band was finally answered when Clemens delivered the first vocals of the evening. And boy was the build up worth it! A man with such a distinct and raspy voice, Clemens, with his mass of wild hair, looked  completely relaxed and at ease out on stage.

For me another highlight was when the third man on stage (not entirely sure who he was) played a harmonica solo during two of their tracks (Loveland and a single that has yet to be released). The harmonica went down a treat and had the crowd going crazy. For me, the harmonica just added something extra to their already feel good tracks.

I will add this gig did leave me feeling a little unsure. There is no question these guys are talented - just listen to their album if you are not sure! No, what was missing for me was the signs of a fine tuned/ well oiled gig. The transition between songs were at times quite poor, with the stage often falling into complete darkness between tracks. Also, it wasn't until after the third track that Clemens  actually even said anything to the crowd. Don't get me wrong, I had a great night of live music. I just felt it took a good hour for Milky Chance to really get into their performance and get the party started. Negatives aside however, I did think the lighting and staging set up was brilliant. The two were completely on theme and further exposes the reggae influences in their tracks.

The set list for the evening was: intro, Stunner, Fairytale, Sadnecessary, Flashed Junk Mind, Given, Nevermind, Loveland, Sweet Sun, Indigo, Feathery, Running, Stolen Dance and the Encore: Down By the River.

Although I talk about some finer tuning needed to be made, I found the gig to be highly enjoyable. Going by their new track, these boys have kept to what they know, and for that reason I am excited to hear what new music they will be treating us to later in the year.


Upcoming tour dates: 
Sat 28th March. Music Hall of Williamsburg - Brooklyn, NYC
Tues 31st March. Webster Hall - NYC
Wed 1st April. Webster Hall - NYC

To see more dates for their North American tour check Tour Dates and tickets

For more information about Milky Chance check out their Twitter

Friday, February 6, 2015

Sofar Sounds (Secret Gig number 2)


Back in November you may remember me posting about a secret gig I attended courtesy of Sofar Sounds. If not, here is a reminder: Review

This week I was fortunate enough to get my hands on another set of tickets to another secret gig at another secret location in London.

On Tuesday, with my friend in toe, we headed to Swiss Cottage to see three local/talented acts, and boy were we in for a treat. Not only were the three acts completely different from each other but they were all awesome!

First off was Miss Baby Sol. What can say? Sassy, fun and uber cool, this girl sure can sing. With orange hair, impressive heal boots and a black jumpsuit, Baby was the perfect pick to start the night off. Baby, along with her guitarist, soon had the whole crowd swaying and clicking along to her soulful tunes.

Baby sang a number of her own singles including She Cries, Always and No No. Although bashful between songs, this girl oozed confidence as she sang her way through her set.

Miss Baby Sol (picture from @marina111288) 

With the support of Paloma Faith behind her, it is clear the Sofar crowd are not the only ones who think she has talent. To hear more from Baby check out her website: http://www.missbabysol.com/

Upcoming gigs: 
Sat 7th Feb. Passing Clouds - London

Next up, were the Irish foursome, The Riptide Movement .
Riptide Movement 
Riptide Movement, made up of lead singer Malachy Tuohy, drummer Gar Byrne and guitarists John Dalton & Gerald McGarry, are an irish rock band from Dublin. Having never heard of them before I was impressed to hear their album "Getting Through" went to number 1 in the Irish Charts last year.

I must say, as a huge fan of folk rock music, this band were right up my street. Having already supported The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park, it comes as no surprise these boys looked relaxed and comfortable performing to a living room full of 50 strangers.

When they played, I was reminded a great deal of a more upbeat and cheery version of Kodaline and The Coronas. Their set included singles "You & 1," "Glor" and "Skins & Bones." They are due to release their debut UK single "All Works Out" on March 9th, and I for one will be definitely downloading it.
Malachy Tuohy - Riptide Movement (picture from @marina111288)
Although Riptide Movement have no upcoming gigs, they have just played a sold out three day tour at the Islington. Watch out for these boys, I'm confident this is not the last we have seen of them. 

And finally, from soul, to folk-rock to....beat boxing. The last act, and by no means least, was Reeps One

I have one word; Wow! As someone who only ever finds herself listening to dubstep when out on the dance floor on a night out, I was completely mesmerised by the whole thing. Harry Yeff, or otherwise known by his stage name Reeps One, made beatboxing look a breeze. Joking with the crowd, Reeps One showed off his vocals, dubstep sounds and versatile beats. Having played at Glastonbury three times, supported the likes of Chris Brown and won the Vauxhall UK Beatbox Championships two years in a row, I am thrilled to have got the opportunity to see this guy live - it was like nothing I had seen before. 

Reef Ones website is currently under construction but here is the link anyway; http://reepsone.co.uk/

Overall I had an absolutely superb night of live music. Three very different acts, all known for their own style and genre, I was spoilt. I had a cracking night, and couldn't thank the brilliance of the Sofar Sound group enough. Again, if you haven't signed up, you are missing out. Here is the site if you are interested: http://www.sofarsounds.com/

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!!!



Happy New Year to you all. 

First off, apologies for the lack of reviews & posts recently. Due to a combination of living, working and travelling gig attendance has been low...but alas, that is all about to change.

Upcoming gigs include Milky Chance, Fleetwood Mac and my absolute all time fav, Ryan Adams. 

In the meantime please feel free to take a look around my blog. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sofar Sounds



For those of you who are unaware of  Sofar, than I urge you to check it out NOW!!

Sofar Sounds first began in North London in 2009, when three artists played to a room (usually a living room) of music lovers. Since its launch, Sofar has gone on to achieve great success - not only hosting events in London and other UK cities, but in 37 countries around the world (incl. Turkey, brasil, US, Ireland and Australia).

Such a great concept, it is not surprising Sofar has become so popular. The set up is very simple; after you register via their website and select the dates you wish to attend, you just have to wait for an email confirming your place. It is important to note that although Sofar try to give as many people the opportunity to attend  an event, they are hugely popular and so don't expect to get an invite after your first attempt.

If you are successful Sofar will then send you an email, two days before the event, with the address of the venue. What is exciting about this is you have no idea where this venue is (since it is someones house) or who is playing.

Previous  well known artists who have played at Sofar include: Dry The RiverBastille and George Ezra.

At the beginning of this month I was lucky enough to get tickets to attend a Sofar event in Hackney. A very cool venue (a warehouse converted into a home), myself and 100 other die hard music fans sat together and watched three great live acts - Beans on Toast, Too Many Ts and Gorgeous George.

A night full of live music, laughter and sing alongs, I really can't stress how fun the evening was. Check it out. I can promise it will be well worth your time.



Sunday, October 5, 2014

Alt J - Music Review




On wednesday 25th September I headed to Ally Pally (Alexandra Palace) to see Alt j live.

I am a huge fan of Alt j and was absolutely ecstatic when I got tickets to see them. Alt J is an English indie rock band who first formed together in 2007. In 2012 Alt J had a fabulous year, winning the Mercury Prize and releasing their debut album "An Awesome Wave." Their follow up, and highly anticipated second album "This Is All Yours" was released last month (september) and went straight to number 1 in the UK album charts.

Starting the night off was british singer/songwriter Marika Hackman. Although she has a lovely voice, I will say all her tracks seemed a bit samey. Very sombre and chilled out I felt her style was a strange choice for the opening of an Alt J gig. One of the tracks she performed was Bath Is Black - check it out Here.

After hackman came Alt J - and boy was the 10,000 packed out crowd excited to see them. Arriving on stage surrounded by a haze of smoke, the guys started the evening with the lead single from their new album 'Hunger of the Pine."

The evenings set list included: Hunger of the Pine, Fitzpleasure, Something Good, Left Hand free, Dissolve Me, Matilda, Bloodflood, Bloodflood Pt.2, Ripe & Ruin, Tessellate, Every Other Freckle, Taro, Warm Foothills, The Gospel of John Hurt. Encore: Lovely Day. Nara and finally Breezeblocks.

I must say I was thoroughly impressed with the live performance of Alt J. Keeping things simple and singing both new and old tracks from their albums, the crowds attention was kept from start to finish. It was clear that Joe Newman's unique yet instantly recognisable vocals were just as strong live than they are on record. Accompanying the music was also an impressive light arrangement. The lights changed in time with the the music and seemed to perfectly reflect the theme of each song. Combine the lights, the music, and the four boys from Alt J and you have yourself the ingredients for a perfect live show.

For me, the highlight of the evening was hearing the guys perform my personal favourite track "Taro." Check out the video below for more...


video

This was easily one of the best gigs I have been to in sometime and I would definitely urge people to check them out. Later this year Alt J will be performing at the O2, and I can't stress enough, if you are interested then grab tickets soon because you can bet they will be sold out in no time.

Tour dates: 
16th Nov - Beacon Theatre, NYC
24th Jan - The O2, London    http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/AltJ-tickets/artist/1684909

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ben Howard - Live review


So its no secret, I am a huge fan of Ben Howard. On Thursday 4th Sept I headed to Hackney Empire to see Ben Howard live, for what would be my fifth time.

With his highly anticipated second album "I forgot where we were" due to be released on the 20th October, a lot of fans (myself included) were eager to hear what new material Ben had in store for us. While it was unknown whether Ben would play many of his popular hits, such as 'Keep your head up" and 'The fear," I was hopeful the new singles  "I forgot where we were" and "End of the affair" would make the set list.

The evening started with support act Nick Mulvey, who singles include "Fever to Form," "April" and "Meet Me There." As someone who is relatively unknown to the wider crowds, Nick did a great job of warming up the crowd.

Next up was the man himself, Ben Howard. Having already seen Ben Howard live 4 times, I can honestly say this was the most different of all the shows. Accompanied by his usual side kick India Bourne, Ben Howard was also supported by a band. With a lot more electronic elements thrown into his songs, it somehow felt less  personal and stripped back than previous performances. Still, I can't knock him, the delivery and vocal talent Ben Howard has remains brilliant, and an absolute pleasure to watch.

The set list was made up entirely of new singles from his upcoming album, apart from the encore which included the popular hits "Everything," "Black Flies" and "The Fear" -  a risk many artists would feel is too great to take. Ben Howard however can relax, if the cheers and shouts were anything to go by at the end of each song, the fans were in favour of the new material. In addition to playing "I forgot where we were" and "End of the affair," other songs included "Conrad," "In dreams," and "The Small Things." For me, The Small Things was a definite highlight - sang with conviction, it reminded me a lot of previous songs which we have all grown to love so much.

After hearing a preview of the new material, it is clear Ben Howard has kept to what he is good at - dark, highly emotional melancholy tracks. Overall, I had a great chilled night and can say without a hint of uncertainty I am stoked for the release of the new album. I will say though, if I am being entirely honest, I have preferred previous performances more. I found the extra band accompaniment  and stage flash lights were just unnecessary distractions - a man with an unbelievable voice that evokes that much emotion is more than enough to keep the crowd captivated.

For previous post and reviews on Ben Howard, check out: Ben Howard live @ Hammersmith Apollo or Ben Howard live in NYC or Ben Howard live in Dublin

Ben has recently announced a tour in december - check out for dates and ticket info: http://www.benhowardmusic.co.uk/  (please note all UK tour dates are now sold out)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Belinda Carlisle - Review


So I understand the demographic for Belinda Carlisle is not really that of the people that typically check out this blog but alas, I went, I saw, and as a result I will review.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Belinda Carlisle let me enlighten you. Belinda is an American singer who achieved great success in the 80's with the all-famale band 'The Go Go's.' In 1985 the Go-Go's ended, and as a result, Belinda forged out a hugely successful career as a solo artist. With hits including 'Heaven Is a Place on Earth,' 'Leave a Light On' and 'I Get Weak,' Belinda Carlisle is still performing and releasing material today.

Back in May, a day after I saw the Augustines, I headed to Indigo at the O2 (with my mum!) to see Belinda Carlisle live. Unsurprisingly the average age of the crowd was in their 50s - however don't think this meant the crowd were by any means quiet. By the end of the set it was safe to say every person (with the exception of the very old) were up on their feet singing and dancing along to Carlisle's most popular hits.

The set list for the evening included: Runaway Horses, (We Want) The Same Thing, Sun, I Get Weak, In Too Deep, California, Circle in the Sand, Valentine, Vision of You, La Luna, Summer Rain, Mad About You, Big Scary Animal, Live Your Life Be Free, Leave a Light On, A Woman and a Man, Our Lips Are Sealed, Heaven Is a Place on Earth, and finally Goodbye Just Go.

What I liked about Belinda Carlisle and her show, was unlike some of the acts today, she left it all very understated. Coming out on stage with just a tambourine and wearing all black, Belinda was able to sing and deliver her hits in a way that enraptured the crowd without being controversial, or inappropriate in any way. Miley Cyrus take note.

Overall, although I will be honest and say there are some more exceptional bands and artists currently touring, I did have a thoroughly enjoyable evening singing along to the hits that I grew up listening to with my family.