Reading Festival 2015 Review

Events, News

September 9, 2015

Reading Festival is a very strange thing. Young people from across the UK congregate on the muddy grounds of Reading like battery farmed chickens, cooped up in a cage of music, drug dealers and beer bongs.

It’s hard to believe that anyone could fully appreciate the music when everywhere you look there’s an underage girl passed out from too many shots, an eighteen year old boy grinding their teeth furiously after too much MDMA, or someone else young doing something stupid after having too much of some other dangerous substance. If one can put down the water bottle full of vodka or plastic baggy containing some sort of mysterious pill for even a minute (I know, it’s hard), the range of talent available for your sober-or-otherwise viewing pleasure last weekend was better than ever before.

The Libertines’ Sunday headlining set convinced me that, while I’ve never been a fan of their music itself (boring pop rock for old people), Pete Doherty and co (because that’s what I think of when I think of The Libertines. Sorry) can still put on a hell of a show. Music that I would never sing along to at home had me singing at the top of my lungs, newer track ‘Gunga Din’ a personal favourite live, even though I would still hesitate to download onto my phone.

Easily one of the best acts from the weekend was Jamie T. Still in his glory days, the punk poet enraptured the festival crowd with a perfect mix of old favourites and newer ballads. ‘Sticks n Stones’, while a cop out favourite, displayed perfectly the kind of feeling you want to get from a festival. Being completely sober for his entire set was one of the best decisions I made on that weekend (and I made a lot of bad ones.)

Indie kings Peace and (indie princes? Yeah) Swim Deep rivalled for the best set over on the NME stage. Swim Deep’s fantastic opener ‘To My Brother’ conjured up best crowd excitement from the weekend, and Peace’s ‘Lovesick’ continued to be a brilliant crowd pleaser. Equally, Circa Waves and Catfish and The Bottlemen put on fun, energetic shows that put them in good stead to headline the NME stage in future.

In terms of smaller bands, I was quite disappointed in Twin Peaks’ set for the sole reason that no one in the crowd really seemed to be enjoying themselves. This probably had something to do with the fact that everyone was too busy gearing up to see the surprise act, Foals, to pay any attention to the Chicago rockers. Personally, I came to the stage for Twin Peaks and left right after, so I was happy to see that the crowd’s lack of enthusiasm didn’t put them off, and that they played with as much oomph as ever before. Stones-esque ‘I Found a New Way’ enticed a few half-assed mosh pits, but fingers crossed that next year they’ll have gained the fans they deserve and the crowd will enjoy their set as much as they (and I) did.

The Bulletproof Bomb were equally impressive on the Festival Republic Stage. Electric track ‘Suitcase’ showed how well the Surrey boys’ songwriting can translate onto the festival stage, and closer ‘Five Green Bottles’ left no doubt that they’ll be moving up both in the world and on Reading staging – last year had them on BBC Introducing; who knows where they’ll be next. (Higher up on Festival Republic, probably.)

Tips for anyone going next year, or to any other festival for their first time: make sure you catch the bands mentioned above if given half a chance, don’t drink too much, and make sure you know what substance you’re taking before you take it. Trust me.

Article by Amy Eskenazi

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Concert Review: Frank Turner at The Hippodrome, Kingston

Editors Choice, Events, Folk, Rock

August 18, 2015

Whether you’re a die-hard fan or yet to experience him, you may well have heard of Frank Turner’s incredible prowess as a live performer. It’s not rare to hear musicians described by their fans as “even better live”, but in Frank’s case it really is true. His recorded tracks are already excellent, but they’re brought to a new, explosive life when Frank, often backed by his band The Sleeping Souls, as he was at The Hippodrome, break out their matching white shirts and black jeans and hit the stage.

This performance was a particularly special one for Frank and co., as they played past midnight into 7th August to ring in the release of their latest album, Positive Songs For Negative People, in perfect style. After some excellent support from “lyrical genius” Chas Palmer-Williams and Americana/folk-punk acoustic singer songwriter PJ Bond, Frank and the band burst onto the stage of the intimate venue with “Get Better”, the meteoric first track released from the new album, which got the highly-anticipating crowd fully pumped from the first chords.

The gig was, of course, a celebration of the new album release, and so the set list was full to the brim with almost every track from the new release. However it wouldn’t be a Frank Turner gig without a few classic favourites, and that’s exactly what came next in the form of the hopeful, patriotic “If I Ever Stray” and “Long Live The Queen”, a grief-ridden but beautifully spirited lament to a deceased friend. Beloved classics – all of which were from Frank’s collection upbeat, anthemic offerings, in keeping with the celebratory tone of the evening – often came sandwiched between new tracks (each and every one of which was as brilliantly written, gloriously performed and gratefully received as the next); after newbies “Demons” and “Josephine” came “Peggy Sang The Blues”, followed by fast-favourite “Glorious You” and top-tappingly rosy “Love Forty Down”.

Perhaps one of the best-received highlights of the night was “The Ballad of Me and My Friends”, a constantly firm fan favourite from Frank’s first album, Sleep Is for the Week, that he’s only recently started to perform again – to everyone’s joy – after several years of leaving it out of his set lists. And, of course, a night in a Frank Turner audience would never have been complete without “Glory Hallelujah”, the perfect singalong track “The Road” and the illustriously raucous anthem “I Still Believe”, of course featuring the tradition of the crowd sitting on the ground a leaping up into a dancing frenzy on drummer Nigel‘s cue. Accompanying these to close the show were “Mittens”, the latest, already hugely popular track to be released from the new album, and “The Next Storm”, a powerful song of hope and anticipation.

An encore quickly came, of course, opened with new track “The Angel Islington” and followed by three hugely popular older numbers; the slightly calmer “The Way I Tend To Be”, the fail-safe dance-inducing “Try This At Home” and the stridently vitriolic and effortlessly fun “Four Simple Words” to close the show on the ultimate high note.

This being the fourth of five Frank gigs I’ve attended, this show had an atmosphere like no other; Frank ran on pure happiness, joyful anticipation and adrenaline as the new album he was clearly (and deservedly) so proud of was released to the world, and the crowd were raised to ceiling vicariously through his elation. Every live performance by Frank is pure glory, but there was something so wondrously unique about this night in Kingston that made it one of the best gigs we, as Frank Turner fans, have ever witnessed.

Article by Amie Bailey

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Review: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ed Sheeran // Growing Up (Sloane’s Song)

Events, News, Pop

August 14, 2015

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have re-emerged with their new single “Growing Up (Sloane’s Song)”. It’s a sweet tribute about *shocker* growing up; a touching open-penned letter to his daughter.

It’s cute, but not special. Ed Sheeran’s vocals on the chorus is what makes the song worth a listen. My eyes started to glaze over after he rapped “wear a helmet don’t be stupid” “camp, fall in love, and dance” because it started to feel like a clichéd teen movie. I’m sure everyone else will fall in love with this song. It’s nice, but it’s not something I would ever buy, or go out of my way to download. The only part that sets itself apart is Ed Sheeran’s jazzy chorus, complete with horns and a choir. Macklemore should stick to what he does best; anthemic raps like the ones that thrusted him into the spotlight and won him Grammys. That is the kind of music I want to hear more of. If I wanted a song like this, I’d listen to a different artist. But none the less, the world will be watching as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis poise themselves for a comeback of Thriftshop-esque proportions.

Article by Natalie Harmsen

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Opinion: Gig etiquette? WTF?

Events, News

August 11, 2015

A sweaty, crammed, beer-stained punk show where the average age is twenty-one is the last place that any of the sweaty, crammed, beer-stained twenty-one year olds want there to be a set of rules, so why must we impose list after list of so called “gig etiquette” on these poor souls whose main aim is making sure they don’t puke on the person standing in front of them? If a rock gig is a place for rebellion, why is there even an “etiquette”at all?

If you type anything along the lines of “gig etiquette” into Google, you’ll get the same thing. Don’t constantly take pictures, don’t take pictures at all if you’re at the front, don’t make out with someone in the middle of a pit, don’t get so drunk you wet yourself on someone’s shoulders (I’ve seen this happen). Basically the same thing that would come up if you typed in “how to not be an asshole at a gig”, or, why not just, “how not to be an asshole.”

If you’re going to a gig and you need someone to tell you not to take a camera the size of a semi-detached house and stick it above everyone’s heads when you’re not even a professional photographer – you don’t need to learn about gig etiquette. Get off the website you’re on. Close the internet. Shut down your laptop. Take a step back and realise that no “10 things you shouldn’t do at a concert” list is going to help you. You are just an asshole.

This is why these lists are so ridiculous – the people who make out with their significant other for fifty minutes and then take two million selfies are the same people who cut in line at the supermarket or drive through red lights. They’re just assholes. Or, more realistically, they just don’t care about the people around them. And why should they? Perhaps if you’re at a small acoustic gig in the middle of the day then screaming out lyrics so loud you can’t hear the singer probably isn’t the best idea. But if you’re at a rock concert, why the hell would anyone expect your main concern to be for someone else? Yes, these people can be annoying, but if you start seriously imposing all these rules on them, you diverge so far from the original concept of a rock or punk show that the very point of one becomes obsolete. Just let people do what they want and shut up about it.

Do not fear, conservative gig goers, as this not-caring attitude (or should I say etiquette?) works both ways. Recently I was at a FIDLAR gig where people jumped on stage and tried to take selfies with the singer, who proceeded to bat the phones out of their hands. The band later tweeted “i have no problem breaking your iPhone 6 if you jump on stage and take a selfie while we are playing. please, give me something to break.” Obviously, their opinion is that it is bad gig etiquette to take selfies on stage, while the selfie takers were probably just a bit drunk and trying to have fun. Both had a right to do what they did – the selfie takers wanted to take selfies even though it would obviously annoy the band and it is obviously an assholic thing to do, so they did. The band didn’t like them doing it, so they swatted their phones away. No gig etiquette guide would have stopped the selfie takers from doing what they wanted to do – it’s an asshole thing to do, but they did it away, because they’re assholes. No guide on how to be nice to your fans’ possessions would have stopped FIDLAR from breaking the selfie takers’ phones.

Please, disagree with me. That’s the point. Do what you want to do at a gig, but accept that no list is going to help anyone whose first and foremost priority is having a good time, and the notion of imposing rules on a situation that was made to not have any is absurd. One thing I think we can all agree on is the etiquette of not groping girls (or guys) who crowdsurf. But then again, if you seriously need me to tell you that, you’re just an asshole.

Article by Amy Eskenazi

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Concert Review: Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros

Editors Choice, Events, Folk, Singer/Songwriter

July 19, 2015

This week I had the amazing opportunity to see Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (ESMZ) live. I had high expectations for this concert since the day I bought the tickets but I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the marvellous show that the Magnetic Zeros gave me that night.

To start, the crowd was like nothing I had ever witnessed. The sheer diversity of the people in the hall alone was a sight in itself and the atmosphere was something from another world. There were people of all ages and walks of life, from kids I went to high school with, the girl that works in the LUSH at the mall and even the grade 8 teacher from my elementary school were all there waiting for the vision that was the concert to begin. During what seemed like a years worth of waiting, people talked with one another, others were singing together, everywhere you looked every single person around me was happy to be in the company of each other and soon the company of a band they all love.

After the aforementioned wait was finally over, the lights went dim, the volume went up and the fever dream began. Lead singer Alex Ebert danced onto the stage, clad in his trademark white linen jacket and messy top-knot ready to bring the house down, and that he did. Lights began to flash on the bands back drop and a psychedelic video show began to play in rhythm with the music and it was time to begin.

The massive group brought a show I could have only imagined was real if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. I thought I knew what I was getting into considering I had seen close to every live concert video they have ever been posted online and probably account for a third of the views on their NPR Tiny Desk Concert video by myself. But I was wrong, I knew nothing.

The tiny stage of the London Music Hall was jam-packed with people and instruments galore. There were two full drum sets, two pianos, and abundance of guitars, trombones, trumpets and what seemed like everything in-between. It was hard to concentrate for the first few minuets between the lights, the people and the total awe of the fact that this day had finally come, but as I started to come back down to Earth my eyes were glued on Alex and it was hard to drag them away. He danced and sang with amazing stamina and the rest of he band followed his lead in a sync that was both fluid and robotic at the same time.

The singing, playing and dancing wasn’t where it ended either. On more than one occasion Alex jumped into the crowd, dancing and handing the mic off to fans to sing and tell stories with him. At another point he reached into the crowed for a girl’s cellphone (who coincidently was named Emily as well, but sadly was not me) which was recording and he sang and spoke to create a video for her before handing it back to her. He dragged people on stage held hands with close to everyone in the first three rows and even had fans pick the set-list at different points in the show. Somewhere in the middle of the show as well the music just stopped, not for an intermission, but to grab joints from fans in the crowed to take a quick puff and pass, and the sold out show roared the a freight train.

With all of this interaction within the crowd you think that people would become aggressive as most people do in a mosh pit concert situation, but it didn’t. In all the concerts I have attended at the Music Hall this is the only one where no one pushed, no one shoved and everyone seemed generally happy to just be there with this band. It was all good vibes and through the concert it seemed they only got stronger.

As the set started to come to a close the band took a pause, gave each other small nods and then Alex proceeded to sit on one of the stage speakers as the lights dimmed. Everyone in the building seemed to know what was coming and as the band stood silent Alex slowly belted out “ALABAMA” and the crowed responded “ARKANSAS” Alex then responded to his patrons “I DO LOVE MY..” and again the crowd responded “I DO LOVE MY MA AND PA”, then the band started the tempo picked up and it was like a religious awakening has started.

As the bands most popular song ‘Home’ bled trough every wall and bounced off of every surface in the hall, it was like the Magnetic Zeros had truly brought me home. They reminded me why I love them and why I love music; especially live music as much as I do. I looked around the at what was no longer a crowd but a congregation, staring and stinging along with Alex who had become their preacher and I was truly home. As I’m sure everyone in that building was too. Sadly the concert ended one song later and for a few days afterwards I had what felt like a small hole in my soul because I had to go back to real life.

But in the words of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros themselves, “Holy-Moly-Me-Oh-My” what a show, what a night, it was worth the wait and a great big thank you for reminding me why this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Article by Emily D’Orazio

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Robbie Boyd set to perform with Katey Brooks this evening

Editors Choice, Emerging Artists, Events, Events, Featured News, Folk, TEAfilms Live Sessions

June 28, 2015

published-via-LS-finalRobbie Boyd, long time Live Sessions artist and 2015 hotly tipped Singer-songwriter will be performing this evening in Central London – at the Old Queen’s Head in Islington. In his Instagram post earlier today he announced that he’ll be duetting with Katey Brooks before going on to play lots of his own brand new material.

If you haven’t heard Robbie’s brand new 2015 album ‘So Called Man’, have a listen below! And make sure you pop along to his gig this evening – it’s free entry!

Article by MusicDash

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Win a Pair of Guest List Tickets to Misty Millers Next Show

Emerging Artists, Events, Events, Featured News, Rock, TEAfilms Live Sessions

June 26, 2015

Featured Image Photo Credit: Michael Lockheart

published-via-LS-finalMisty Miller has announced that she’ll be performing at New Shapes in London this coming Wednesday 1st July. Supporting her will be Puma Rosa, an exciting new London band consisting of members Isabel Munoz Newsome, Henry Brown, Tomoya Suzuki, Neville James and Peaches Owen. They define their genre as ‘Industrial Spiritual’ and you have a chance to see both artists by winning a pair of guest list tickets that Misty Miller is giving away on her Facebook page! Click the link to enter the contest: Facebook Competition 

New Shapes had this to say about the upcoming event:

“Kick off your July with the driving guitar pop of London’s Misty Miller. New single Happy is a shot of adrenaline melody with lyrics from the heart that will hook straight into your subconscious. Support comes from one of London’s most exciting new bands, PUMA ROSA. Much hype has been starting to grown about these guys so make sure you catch their stunning live show. If you’re a fan of Warpaint or War On Drugs then these guys will be your new favourite band! New Shapes hosts the hottest bands from around the planet at Notting Hill Arts Club on the first Wednesday of each month. All brought to you by the sexy folk of Chess Club, National Anthem, and Neon Gold.”

Click the link to enter Misty Millers contest: Facebook Competition

Article by MusicDash

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Artists that you might have missed at Bonnaroo but shouldn’t have

Editors Choice, Emerging Artists, Events, News, Pop

June 22, 2015

With roughly 150 artists performing at Bonnaroo 2015, it’s easy to get swept up in the madness and to miss some pretty great acts. Here’s a list of some of my favorite performances (and songs) that I think you’d be sorry that you missed.

1. Moon Taxi

Moon Taxi was one of the first bands that I saw at Bonnaroo. All that I can say is that they made a LOT of people shake their groove thang. Their music is just plain fun (and perfect for your summer playlist).

Starting point — “Mercury”

2. Kacey Musgraves

Kacey’s was one of my favorite performances of the weekend. Everybody was singing along (especially to her hit “Merry Go Round”.) Kacey and her light-up cowgirl boots definitely lit up the stage.

Starting point — “Dime Store Cowgirl”

3. Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Admittedly, I went to see this band because A. I had some free time and B. their name sounded really cool. I’m really glad that I did. Their sound was one that I really appreciated. And even though I didn’t stay for the whole set, I was bopping around the whole time that I was there.

Starting point — “When You Get Back”

4. Priory

Yes, I had never heard of this band before either. But they had one of the more memorable performances of the weekend. And seeing the girl next to me sing every word to their song “Weekend” made my entire day.

Starting Point — “Weekend”

5. Catfish and the Bottlemen

Catfish is one of my favorite bands and I totally fan-girled when I saw them in the artist hospitality tent (I kept my cool, I promise). Naturally, I was front and center for their performance on Saturday. I was in the little artist section, and that was the fullest I’ve seen the section all weekend, except for the main artists. Lead singer Van McCann could not stop thanking the audience. Their set was definitely the highlight of my weekend.

Starting point — “Fallout”

6. Grey Season

Grey Season played the Who Stage, which is a smaller stage that is for “up and comers.” Their music was so folky and beautiful. Their team gave out free download cards and CDs, which was a great promotion idea. You’ll definitely be hearing a lot more of them, mark my words.

Starting point — “New Kind of Dirty”

Article by Kaitlyn Midgett

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Mangoseed to Perform at The Birds Nest venue tonight

Editors Choice, Events, Events, Featured News, R&B/Hip-Hop, TEAfilms Live Sessions

June 19, 2015

published-via-LS-finalLive Sessions artists and music masters ‘Mangoseed’ will be performing at The Birds Nest venue this evening in Central London. If you haven’t heard these guys perform yet, check out the videos below. We sat down with them during Volume One to hear them perform their brilliant cover of The Beatles ‘Here Comes the Sun’ and original song ‘All This Time’.

Mangoseed are a band comprising of a Trinidadian, a Jamaican, an Irish and a Australian. Formed in 2008 by frontman Nicholai La Barrie and guitarist Karlos Coleman, Mangoseed fuse funk guitar riffs and rock bass with a poetical hip hop lyrical delivery to create their own unique sound. They are known for their highly energetic live shows and their electric sound, drawing from genres that range from reggae to funk.

Make sure you don’t miss their show tonight. If you’re in the area, head to The Birds Nest from 7-11pm where you’ll be greeted with FREE entry! –

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Frank Turner Announces New Album Release and UK Tour Dates

Editors Choice, Events, News, Rock, Singer/Songwriter

June 18, 2015

After long and heavy anticipation from fans, punk-folk singer songwriter Frank Turner has announced the release date for his 6th studio album, as well as a string of UK tour dates.

Since announcing the album’s title – ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’ – and cover art just over a month ago, fans have been eagerly awaiting more news of the Wessex boy’s latest release (especially after Frank told followers on Twitter and Instagram on Friday to “watch this space”); a date has finally been set for August 7th, just over two years after releasing his highly-acclaimed 2013 album ‘Tape Deck Heart’.

At around five o’clock on Monday Frank tweeted: “It’s with great joy that I can now finally give you what everyone has been waiting for”.

Alongside the album’s release date comes news of eleven UK tour dates throughout November – after six weeks of dates in the U.S. – including gigs in Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester and London’s Alexandra Palace.

This first single from his new album, ‘The Next Storm’, was premiered on Radio 1 earlier this week. The album will also feature an appearance from singer-songwriter Esmé Patterson on a song about Christa McAuliffe, a primary school teacher who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster of 1986. Whilst The Angel Islington will pick up where ‘Broken Piano’, the closing track of ‘Tape Deck Heart’, left off.

Frank will be breaking records at Reading and Leeds at the end of August by playing the festivals for the ninth consecutive year, playing a solo set (without his band The Sleeping Souls) that will no doubt feature tracks from the new album. From the sounds of The New Storm and Get Better – which was released on YouTube back in March – ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’ is set to be a hit amongst old and new fans alike.

For more information, click here

Words by Amie Bailey

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