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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ellie Goulding Review


Ellie Goulding is an electroacoustic/ pop singer whose distinct, wispy and pretty unusual voice helps differentiate her from other aspiring singers of today. In 2010 Ellie Goulding won the Critics Choice at the Brit Awards which gained her a lot of positive attention, causing her already large fan base to grow. 

In March 2010 Ellie Goulding released "Lights" which went straight to number one in the UK album charts. The album includes many great songs such as Starry Eye, Guns and Horses, and The Writer.

With the success of "Lights"  Ellie Goulding re-released the album in November and renamed it "Bright Lights." The new re-released album includes six new songs and proves to be just as popular as Lights. Ellie Goulding recently revealed she would be releasing a second "more emotional" album sometime in 2013.

I was lucky enough to catch the end of Ellie Goulding's set at Glastonbury Music Festival and was pleasantly surprised how good she was live. Although she seemed pretty overwhelmed by the large crowd and said very little between songs, she still managed to give a great performance.

Since seeing Ellie Goulding live, she has gone on to headline at a number of big venues/festivals and even been chosen to sing for the White House and at Prince William's and Kate Middleton's Wedding.


Tour dates:
2nd March. Odyssey Arena Belfast - Belfast.
5th March. Nottingham Capital FM Arena - Nottingham
8th March. Liverpool Echo 2 - Liverpool
9th March. London the O2 - London
12th March. Theatre at Madison Square Garden - NYC
13th March. Theatre at Madison Square Garden - NYC

For more information about tickets and tour dates (European, Australia, New Zealand and N.American) check out: http://elliegoulding.com/live-dates/

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Augustines


Augustines, made up of Billy McCarthy, Eric Sanderson and Rob Allen, is an American indie rock band from Brooklyn.

With an upcoming tour due to start in the next couple of weeks - it kicks off in Phoenix - and the recent release of their second album "Augustines" this band are certainly making an impression on the current music scene.

Their debut album "Rise Ye Sunken Ships" was a great album, featuring an array of good songs including "Chapel Song," "Strange Days" and "New Drink for the Old Drunk." The first single released from the album was "Book of James." When listening to this album it becomes evident that the boys have been through some pretty dark times, however what is good is their ability to use these painful experiences and convert them into great songs.

Their second album "Augustines" was released on February 3rd and although it is not quite on the same level as their debut it is still very good. Songs from this album worth checking out are "The Avenue," "Weary Eyes" and "Nothing To Lose But Your Head." Despite their great songs I have to admit the main driving force to liking this band is because of lead singer Billy McCarthy. His voice is something else - raspy and raw, he sings in a way that leaves you utterly convinced he means every word. If I was to compare him, in terms of performance style and voice I would straight away say Brian Fallon from The Gaslight Anthem.

This band have received a string of great reviews from their previous tour dates and I would seriously urge you to check them out. If you are keen to see them I would advise buying tickets sooner rather than later as their shows often sell out.


Tour dates: 
3rd March. Bowery Ballroon - New York
7th March. The Club at Water Street - New York
10th April. Cockpit - Leeds
11th April. The Arches - Glasgow
12th April. The Sage 2 - Newcastle
14th April. KOKO - London
16th April. Academy 2 - Manchester
17th April. Trinity Center - Bristol
10th May. Plug - Sheffield
11th May. Rescue Rooms - Nottingham
12th May. 02 Academy - Oxford
14th May. East Village Arts - Liverpool
15th May. The liquid Room - Edinburgh
16th May. Institute - Birmingham

Check out their website for further information on tickets and tour dates (incl. European) http://www.weareaugustines.com/tour/

Twitter: @WeAreAugustines

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Miner


After listening to this band on repeat for the last week I have decided it is time to spread the word.

Although I would love to say I found this band purely on my own, alas this wasn't the case. No, I sadly have to give all the credit to the american TV show 'Hart of Dixie' which featured this band in last weeks episode.

So who are they? Well, Miner are a six piece folk band from Los Angeles who formed together last year (2013). Made up of mostly family members, the line up consists of Justin & Kate Miner (husband & wife), Jeremy Miner (brother), Amanda Koosed (cousin), Justin Krook and Dave Schechtman.

When it comes to their sound, Miner reminds me a great deal of The Lumineers and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetics. Their upbeat, stomp-and-clap, catchy music is the perfect answer to providing that all important feel good factor. With a highly anticipated  debut album 'Into The Mountain' set to release on February 25th, I urge you all to check them out.

Here is the official video for their single 'Hey Love.'


Although they are only currently touring around the West Coast of America, I will be keeping a close eye on further tour dates and locations.

For more information check out their
           Web page: http://www.thisisminer.com/

           Twitter: @thisisminer

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Gaslight Anthem Review


Gaslight Anthem, an American rock band from New Jersey, are one of my favorite bands.

This band has released three albums. "Sink or Swim," my favorite "The 59 Sound" and their most recent "American Slang." They have also just announced that they have began recording songs for their fourth album which they hope to release later this year. I personally feel "The 59 Sound" is the bands most successful album to date, due to their ability to combine rock n'roll with definte elements of hardcore, pop-punk and classic soul.

If you are a fan of artists such as Frank Turner, Bruce Springsteen and Brian Fallon, than Gaslight Anthem are a band you should check out!

I saw this band last year at the 02 Academy in Birmingham, UK. The two support acts Shark and Twin Atlantic, were nothing special and did little to warm up the crowd. Despite this, when Gaslight Anthem finally came onto the stage, the crowd instantly warmed up and sang along to all their songs. I have to admit, I was pretty surprised to see the wide mix of people that turned up to see them live.

The set which Gaslight Anthem performed was very good. They opened their gig with American Slang and progressed with the songs Great Expectations, The 59'  Sound, Boxer and Stay Lucky. I must add they gave an exceptional performance of Queen of Lower Chelsea and Blue Jeans & White T-shirts.

My personal highlight was watching the lead singer, Brian Fallon on stage. He looks completely in his element and sings with so much confidence and passion that the entire crowd is left captivated. 

The gig was very good and I would certainly suggest people to go and see them live.



Tour dates:
26th July. Hudson River Park - NYC
28th July. Hudson River Park - NYC
31st July. Upstate Concert Hall - NYC
8th September. The Paramount - Huntington, NY

For information regarding tickets or the rest of their tour check out:  http://www.songkick.com/artists/550811-gaslight-anthem/calendar?page=1

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetics

Love this band.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetics are an American indie folk band from LA. What sets this band apart from all other indie folk bands out there is the pure number of band members it has! The band consists of; Alex Ebert (vocals, guitar, percussion, piano), Jade Castrinos, Stewart Cole, Josh Collazo, Orpheo McCord, Nora Kirkpatrick, Christian Letts, Seth Ford-Young, Mark Noseworthy and Aaron Arntz - yes that is 10 members!!! On top of the ten mentioned there are also 8/9 additional members who help with general percussion and instruments.

Whenever I listen to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetics I find myself smiling and jamming along to the beat. Their music is insanely catchy and uplifting, and leaves the listener with the impression of a band just having one big musical party. It is clear this huge band is doing what they love most - creating great folk music.

To date, this band have released two albums; "Up From Below," and "Here." Songs which have proven to be hugely popular from their albums are: 40 Day Dream, Janglin and Home. My personal favorites are Man on Fire, and Mayla.

In terms of live performances you can be sure of a great evening. Likened to being 'one big family' on stage, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetics all perform with such enthusiasm and passion it becomes impossible for the audience not to join in. Expect an active (sold out) crowd - i'm talking singing, clapping, stomping...oh and sweating!! Hey it's party!!!

So if Mumford and Sons and Alabama Shakes are your calling than you would be a fool to ignore this band.

For a recent review of this band, check out: http://musicgigsnfestivals.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/gentleman-of-road-mumford-sons-review.html



Tour dates: 
26th July.  Xponential Music Festival - Camden, NJ

For more information regarding tour dates and tickets, check out: http://edwardsharpeandthemagneticzeros.com/tour/

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Gentleman of the Road (Mumford & Sons) Review


So last weekend I was fortunate enough to travel over to Dublin, Ireland to see Mumford and Sons live at Phoenix Park.

The sun was out, the beers were in and to the credit of all the acts, the day was great! The days lineup consisted of Ham Sandwich, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetics, The Vaccines, Ben Howard, and of course the main act themselves Mumford and Sons.

First up were Ham Sandwich. I can honestly put my hands up and say before seeing them live I had never heard of them. Ham Sandwich is a five piece indie rock band from Ireland. Like with any relatively unheard band at these one day gigs, the crowd can be pretty unresponsive and tame. Although the band did have a couple of good songs, in particular their final song of the set "Ants," there was little more they could do to warm up the crowd!

Next up were Edward Sharpe and the Magnetics. If you know little about this band check out my previous post: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetics. I loved their set, and was seriously impressed by how much stage presence the lead singer Alexander Ebert had. For me, and arguably the rest of the crowds favourite part of the set was their final song "Home." Everyone by the end seemed in great spirits, singing and dancing along with this american folk band. I for one will certainly be keeping a close eye on their upcoming tour dates.

Now for some British players - cue The Vaccines. Again for more information about this band, check out my previous post regarding them: The Vaccines. I was excited to see this band live after recently hearing how good they were at Glastonbury. I was certainly not left disappointed. Their hugely energetic performance was a nice mix to the relatively chilled out line up that played before them. They played a strong set, and included many of their popular singles which seemed to be a hit with the crowd.

Now for my fav - Ben Howard. Having seen him live in London three weeks ago, and twice before that, I knew I was in for a great set. His half hour set included the popular tracks The Fear, Only Love, Keep Your Head Up, Blackflies, Old Pine and his new single I Forgot Where We Were. Although it was evident that Ben Howard was a huge hit with the crowd, I must say from previous performances, he is a lot stronger when playing at smaller venues.

And finally, the headliners of the evening, Mumford and Sons. Again having seen these four times previously I was confident this was going to be good. Opening with their new single Babel. the irish crowd all seemed to go wild. Others song featured in their set included "I Will Wait," "Holland Road," "The Cave," "Little Lion Man," "Ghosts That We Knew," and "Hopeless Wanderer." I thought their set was truly brilliant. Not a band to ever let a crowd down, these four boys soon has the jam packed crowd on their feet, singing, swaying, jumping, dancing and cheering along. Although I thoroughly enjoyed their entire set, for me one song particularly stood out to me. For their final song of the night they made the standard move of inviting all the previous acts back onto stage to sing a cover together. Although this was predictable the song they chose to perform was not so much. Galway Girl. As someone who loves Dublin and frequently goes over to see friends, this song was perfect (i cant quite say my irish friends were as impressed however...).

So overall I have to say I had a truly fabulous day. Although Ben Howard was slightly disappointing I would still without a doubt go and see him live again (for a 5th time) and seriously can't stress enough how good his new album is going to be. Mumford and Sons proved again to many why they have become such a hugely popular band all around the world. For me though I was most pleased to have seen Edward Sharpe and the Magnetics -  Having never seen them live before and being such a big fan, I was truly stoked.

Mumford & Sons

Ben howard 

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetics 

Ben howard

Mumford and Sons 

Mumford and Sons and co. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bat For Lashes

This English indie singer and songwriter is certainly someone to check out.

Bat for Lashes first hit the music scene in 2006 with her debut album "Fur and Gold." It was during this time that Bat for Lashes was shortlisted for a Mercury Prize, and nominated for two Brit Awards; Best Breakthrough Artist and Best Female Solo Artist.

In 2009 Bat for Lashes released her second album "Two Suns" which once again got her nominated for Best Female Solo Artist at the Brit Awards, and shortlisted for the 2009 Mercury Prize. Although its been a while, Bat For Lashes has recently announced that she will be releasing a third album "The Haunted Man" on the 15th October. The first single to be heard from the soon to be released album is a beautiful heartfelt ballad called "Laura."

Natasha Khan, who goes by her stage name Bat for Lashes, has been likened to artists Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Cat Power and Annie Lennox.

Bat for Lashes' live performances have been described as being a "visual and sensual experience." If you can handle a lot of arm swaying and allow yourself to become detached and be drawn into the fantasy, than this gig will be right up your street.

Khan puts a lot into her gigs, something that has not gone unnoticed by her continually growing fan base. Check Bat for Lashes out, it will be worth your time!

Tour Dates
13th August. O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire - London
30th August. Webster Hall - NYC
31st August. Town Ballroom - Buffalo, NY
6th September. Barclays Center - Brooklyn, NY
8th September. Nikon at Jones Beach Theater - Wantagh, NY

 For more information regarding tickets and tour dates for the rest of her European tour check out: http://www.songkick.com/artists/130039-bat-for-lashes/calendar?page=1