After featuring on BBC Introducing festival, I have been a fan of the duo, THEY. The duo are from Los Angeles: Drew was an R&B writer for artists like Chris Brown whilst Dante worked with artists like Kelly Clarkson and won an award for her ‘Mr. Know-It-All’ track.
The duo are described on Spotify as a “blend of R&B, hip-hop, rock and pop”. After listening to their first few tracks after Future Festival, I would agree with this however the release of their new album is more focused on the R&B/hip-hop aspect.
Nü Religion: HYENA was released on the 24th February, a long time coming for some fans but I think it is safe to say, definitely worth the wait. The album reminds me of a mixture, of Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd with the odd pop/rock influence appearing. Some albums, especially debut albums can be hit and miss, but I like every track on the album – it has a nice flow, all the tracks connect perfectly. It is the sort of album you could listen to in most moods.
The duo have released their US tour, but have promised a UK tour this year.
However you know the well known Canadian rapper, I think it’s fairly safe to agree that he deserves all the credit he is given. But, was Drakes show really worth his ticket prices? A lot of people who I have spoken to did not get tickets for his gig purely based on price and Drake probably doesn’t care because he’s sold out but did he justify the prices?
The only other artist I paid that much for was Beyonce and she proved why we should pay that much; it wasn’t a show it was a production. When you think about a gig like that, then you can justify the amount but Beyonce show was on a much larger scale than Drake. Saying that, I have also been to shows for a lot less that have also put on a fantastic show – Kings of Leon, Biffy Clyro, Fall out Boy, Jack Garratt…
Unfortunately, I missed the first support act on Saturday due to my ticket not scanning but I was incredibly lucky to be upgraded so sat right next to the stage!
By the time I got into the arena, DVSN was on and I was pleasantly impressed; with more of a chilled RnB vibe it was a nice start to the show. However, the next act, Young Thug were not a good enough pre-Drake act. In fact, I could barely understand what they were saying. I paid £30 to see Two Door Cinema Club and they had Sundara Karma supporting, I paid £80 to see Drake and Young Thug were not worthy.
Drake is a hype man, and he is good at it. He put on a good show, singing a variety of old and new; with a production of purple balls floating up and down with the music. There is no question that Drake is a great artist and he deserves all the adoring fans he has. Although I enjoy his dancing and jumping around because it is part of his show, I do wish he sung a bit more than he did.
I really enjoyed Drake and I don’t regret spending the money because it was a really good evening, especially as I got upgraded. I also saw him with, Rihanna back in June and I thought he was really good then but, would I pay £80 to see him again? Probably not.
The reason why I wouldn’t pay that much to see Drake again, isn’t a personal thing to Drake because I probably wouldn’t pay it to see Beyonce either. Yes, Beyonce was AMAZING but so was Rihanna and I paid £45 to see her. I have seen a lot of artists in my time that have put on amazing shows – like Take That’s circus tour and they all managed to do that, without charging their fans a fortune.
At the end of January, Floral Scene played their third gig in Manchester at Gullivers, NQ. They supported Blooms along with The Showers and Fox Glove. This followed on from shows at smaller venues: The Zombie Shack and Night & Day Cafe in the latter month of 2016. I first saw Floral Scene at the Zombie Shack and although I really enjoyed the first gig, with new music and more gig experience as a band, Gullivers was better with more confidence.
Floral Scene an Indie Pop, from Warrington, released their first track on SoundCloud two months ago called Sand. The track is a chilled indie-pop track with similarities to bands like Viola Beach and Sundara Karma’s ‘Happy Family’ track. Floral Scene played a selection of new material at their Gullivers gig which will hopefully hit Soundcloud soon!
The band is made up of Joe King, Louis King, Adam Catterall, Ellis Cullen.
Last Friday, I went to the O2 Apollo to watch Two Door Cinema Club. Although I have seen them already at Reading Festival, I knew to expect a great show and they definitely did not disappoint. Having sold out the Saturday, Two Door added an extra date on the Friday but considering their last UK tour was in 2013, it is hardly surprising. The tour was for their new album called ‘Gameshow’ which if you haven’t already, you should definitely give it a listen. Personally, Tourist History will always be my favourite album of theirs but I would say Gameshow is pretty close.
When I think of Two Door Cinema Club, I think of a band with a few great songs but seeing them live makes you realise how many incredible songs they actually have and how many songs I knew the words to. It was clear that Gameshow has gained them a new following of a slightly younger generation. Tourist History came out when I was 15 and I instantly loved it, which is obviously what has happened to 15 year olds now as there were a lot in the crowd that clearly were not as familiar with their older songs – I’m hoping they take time to listen to the older stuff.
Two Door had two support acts, including Sundara Karma who formed in 2015, from Reading and they recently released their debut album ‘Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect’. The band actually played at HMV Manchester for their new album a few weeks ago but unfortunately I could not attend – they are also back in February but again, I am away so I am very happy they were supporting! If you’re into this kind of music, I would definitely recommend listening to their new album – ‘She Said’ is my favourite song.
Both bands were absolutely outstanding on the night and the atmosphere was fantastic but on a side note, if you see Sundara Karma keep an eye out for the bassist, Dom Cordell, managed to pull off an outfit I wasn’t sure anyone could: pinstriped black & white trousers, with a blue/white checked shirt and a grey cable knit jumper. Amazingly, he looked unbelievably cool although I don’t think I will be trying it anytime soon…
Musically, January started 2017 off pretty well. I was incredibly lucky to be invited to the NME Nominations Party as my friend won tickets via VO5s twitter competition and it was an amazing opportunity for the both of us. This year, NME kicked off the awards with an acoustic live set from Biffy Clyro, who just happen to be one of our favourite bands – we both saw them together twice last year.
The event was held at Omeara Studios in London, which in case you haven’t been is a very small space which meant we were able to get incredibly close to our favourite band – fan girl moments definitely happen, without any remorse! We managed to position ourself at the front of the stage to the right, which meant perfect shot of Simon ;).
As it was just a small acoustic set, Biffy Clyro played for about an hour which included a lot of their biggest hits such as: Friends and Enemies; Biblical and Rearrange. The atmosphere itself juxtaposed the “normal” vibe at a Biffy Clyro gig but equally as memorising.
During our time at the venue, we also got to take a picture with an NME Award and vote for this years nominees which include: Biffy Clyro, Blossoms, Years & Years, Kings of Leon, Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar and Drake! (Can you guess who I voted for?!)
To the event, I wore a metallic grey slip dress with a black roll neck and high knee black boots, with my suede aviator jacket.
Over the next few months I am off to see: Two Door Cinema Club; Blossoms and Drake, plus any I get to see with work – including Black Sabbath.
This week I have been very fortunate to see two of my favourite artists: Catfish and The Bottlemen and Jack Garratt. I saw both acts for the first time at Reading 2015 after following them from Zane Lowe’s section at the beginning of the year.
Jack Garratt was rumoured to be a real vision on stage, as you watch him do everything himself, all at once. I’ve now seen Jack four times and I can honestly say, it gets more incredible every time I watch. As a musician myself, I appreciate the skill that goes into any instrument and being able to perform, let alone all of them at once. I feel like I’ve been on a journey with Jack (although he doesn’t know it): the first time I watched him he was in a small tent at Reading, with a very small crowd and he was fairly timid; as the shows have progressed, the crowds have got bigger, more people are singing back to him and each time he becomes more interactive and honestly, fantastic. Last night, at the O2 Appollo in Manchester, he performed a selection of his album Phase – which is a great listen, but if you ever get the chance to see him live then do because I don’t feel like the album does the music justice.
Catfish and The Bottlemen, sold out all three dates at Victorian Warehouse Manchester and if you’ve seen them live, you’d completely appreciate why. Music always brings back memories and reminds you of a certain time in life; for me, Catfish really remind me of Reading 2015 because although again, I enjoyed their album, it was nothing on their live performance. To this day, I would still say Catfish were one of the best bands, I have ever seen live.
It’s amazing to watch a band or artist go from one small stage to selling out gigs in large venues after just such a short amount of time. So if you’re reading this and you haven’t already listened to either, pop them on the playlist (Breathe Life by Jack Garratt and Glasgow or Oxygen by Catfish and the Bottlemen are a few of my favourite)
Ps. Jack, if you ever see this… Please bring out a dungaree range.
Thanks to Will Joseph Cook RT a post by the Neighbourhood festival, I managed have one of the best days ever. I was a few weeks into university so homesickness had kicked in and it was perfect timing for a friendly face from home to arrive.
The line up for Neighbourhood definitely wasn’t everyones cup of tea, but I could not pass up the opportunity to see; Blossoms, Circa Waves, Will Joseph Cook and Rationale. As with any music festival, my favourite part always ends up being the new acts I discover.
Top new acts included: The Beach and The Pale White.
Blossoms as anticipated were amazing and their song choice for the after party, equally as good. Due to the huge fan base around Manchester, it was an extremely rowdy crowd and if you don’t want to mosh to Blossoms, I suggest seeing them elsewhere, although this did not detract from their music.
Will Joseph Cook saved me – surviving on 5 hours sleep and midday festival-ing, I was in much need of a nap however his set was incredible and perked me up.
I would definitely recommend small festivals to anyone – I spent £30 on the ticket and got to watch such amazing acts.
It has only been two week since I set off for Reading festival, yet it feels like a distant dream. After getting stuck in rush hour traffic on the M25 the year before, we decide to set off early and get a good spot for the group – although most think White Camp is the “boring” one, we all really like it.. mainly due to the toilets being slightly nicer than the rest! Before I went, the people I was most excited about seeing was; Jack Garratt & Disclosure and although yes, they were in my top 6, I did discover a few gems as well.
Friday; the day I had anticipated to be the creme de la creme: Friday was a great day for finding new acts such as; Fickle Friends and The Neighbourhood, as well as solidifying my love for, Lion Babe, Nothing but Thieves and of course, Lady Leshurr (despite her sound quality being slightly worse than anyone else that day). When it came down to picking which headliner to see, there wasn’t really much competition; I would be spending my first evening at the main stage. We managed to get what we thought would be a pretty good spot for, Disclosure, but it turned out to be pit central and even though I’m not against a good pit, I do like to be able to breathe. For some around us, I think this may have ruined the set but Disclosure still met every expectation of mine. Foals had a pretty big taste following Disclosure and they did do a good job. For me, I think I preferred their secret set last year, but as you’d anticipate, they were still pretty amazing.
Saturday; the day everyone was excited for, the Chilli’s. I thoroughly enjoyed Saturday, due to two reasons: I got to the from of Jack Garratt and You Me at Six did a secret set. We had obviously heard the rumours about YM@6 and when we received the notification that they were on at 4pm, we could barely control ourselves. YM@6 definitely left me wanting more and I am really hoping I can get to see them in Bristol later this year but, there was a slight hint that they may headline next year (please Reading!). As a long term, Jack Garratt, fan I was keen to get as close as possible so we heading to the NME as Sigma were playing to get a good spot and I’m so pleased we did; Sigma were insane! They had a huge crowd and really built up a good atmosphere. We were buzzing.. YM@6, Sigma and then we got to the front of Jack Garratt. If I could recommend one person to go and see live, it would be Jack Garratt because I cannot put into words how good he really is. Last year, at Big Weekend, I saw, Imagine Dragons and they were really good, so when I got into the crowd at the main stage and could barely hear them, I was extremely disappointed, more so for the people who don’t realise how good they normally are. I was lucky enough to see, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, back in June so I probably wasn’t as excited as everyone else. But yes, they were incredible, as anticipated! Half way through, we decided to go and see, Two Door Cinema Club and honestly, I didn’t feel like I missed out not being at the Chilli’s and I really hope I get to see them again live!
Sunday; the day I anticipated to be an anti-climax. Sunday for me was an odd day, I had see a few of the people before and therefore wasn’t desperate to see anyone, however it turned out to be the best day for me. My friend took me to see, Will Joseph Cook and I’ve been listening to him ever since – he was on the festival republic stage and was amazing. We then saw, Deaf Havana, Tonight Alive and Half Moon Run who I’d also never really listened to but, again, I haven’t stopped listening to them following amazing live performances. There was a lot of running around towards the end of the day for us as we wanted to see half of almost everyone. It started with Fall Out Boy who stole the show for me – they had fireworks, dancers with fire, acrobatics and flames; oh and not to mention they were unreal! I was actually concerned for Biffy and how they were going to top this (despite knowing they are really fab live). We then ran over to catch some of the Wombats before heading back for Biffy Clyro. Last time I saw Biffy Clyro, they were at MK Bowl and I enjoyed them more than the Foo Fighters so I knew it would be good & safe to say they did not disappoint. We were really torn, Biffy were putting on an amazing show and I felt so sorry for them that they didn’t have a bigger crowd because I thought they were actually better than the Chilli’s. However, we did want to catch the end of, The 1975, so headed to NME for the last bit. I did enjoy The 1975 but I’m not sure they were worth missing Biffy – good job I’ve booked to see them again in December!
Sunday has a very exciting surprise for us; as we were walking passed the BBC Introducing stage during the day, we heard one of the best acts of the weekend: K.O.G and The Zongo Brigade (check them out on soundcloud!!) They were amazing and I’m very pleased we stumbled upon them!
And that was the weekend over! I also saw a lot of other incredible artists; Rag’n’Bone Man, Fatherson and The Hunna.
My life now consists of planning which gigs to go to next..