February was another huge month for the music industry and it was a leap year!
Firstly, there was the tragic death of Viola Beach and their manager Craig Tarry. The band had just played their first overseas show, in Sweden, when their car was plunged into a canal having missed the warning signs that the bridge was actually open. They were on tour with Blossoms at the time and were due to play The Boileroom, in Guildford, the night of the accident. Blossoms played a recorded version of the band’s set where they would’ve played at each show. The band also entered the UK charts at number 11, with “Swings and Waterslides”, following an online petition supported by huge artists and bands, like the Courteeners. I’ve spoken about the band before (they even featured in my playlist of last month) and was looking forward to seeing them at various festivals and concerts over the next year. They were extremely young, promising and genuinely talented. They had an admirable dedication to the band and the music industry and in time I believe they would’ve grown to be hugely successful and highly influential. They were truly amazing.
Also, JAKE BUGG IS FINALLY BACK. For the last year or so I’ve been waiting for Jake Bugg’s return and he’s finally back. Jake Bugg is back with two new songs, “On My One” and “Gimme The Love”. “On My One” is a short and simple track which retains a sound true to Jake Bugg and his previous records. It’s worth the wait and fulfils the crave for new music from the 21 year old. The acoustic song is stripped back and Bugg’s voice is so potent and powerful with forefronted themes of fame, God and his roots. Bugg has matured his sound, but still has this raw and unique quality which makes his music so irresistibly good and interesting. On the other hand, there’s “Gimme The Love”. “Gimme The Love” is a lot different to some of his other material. It’s upbeat and reminds me a bit of Saint Raymond. It’s undeniably catchy but seemingly more ‘commercial’ sounding. I look forward to hearing what else he releases, especially knowing he was influenced by hip-hop artists. He revealed that he’s releasing a new album on the 17th June this year called “On My One”.
This month has also seen the release of The 1975’s stunning second album, “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It”. It’s so incredible and I was fortunate enough to have seen them play live for the first time since its release on the 29th February. The album is an eclectic masterpiece filled with beautifully composed and brilliantly written songs. The album almost seems as though it has been curated for vinyl as it works best when listened to as a whole and requires that dedication to be listened to the whole way through.
Catfish and the Bottlemen released their latest single, “Soundcheck”, last month too, as well as a short, small venue tour and a string of festival dates. They’re playing venues like The Brighton Dome, O2 Kentish Town Forum and The Doncaster Dome. Tickets sold out within 5 minutes and proved they could sell out larger venues. Their latest song is exactly as you’d expect from the band. It’s catchy, anthemic and guitar solo heavy. Van McCann is sounding better than ever! I can’t wait to hear them play it on their upcoming tour.
In February we were treated to the annual Brit Awards, hosted by Ant and Dec. Adele won almost everything, obviously. James Bay won Best Male Solo artist, Coldplay won Best British Band and Tame Impala won Best International Band (which I was so pleased about). The highlight of the evening for me was Catfish and the Bottlemen winning Best British Breakthrough Artist. It’s so well deserved and they had the most shortest, to the point acceptance speech ever. They were up against Wolf Alice, who I love too, James Bay and Years and Years (among others). Wolf Alice, having just got back from the Grammy’s having been nominated for Best Rock Song, were sad about the lack of representation of the Grime genre at the awards and talked about how they wanted to walk down the red carpet with grime artists like Stormzy and Skepta. There was also an incredibly touching tribute to the late David Bowie which saw Lorde, who Bowie was a fan of himself, sing with his band. It was incredibly moving and reinstated just how much of an impact he has made on our world.
Also last month Glastonbury Festival released its Friday night and Sunday night headliners. On the Friday night at Worthy Farm Muse will headline and on the Sunday night it will, of course, be Coldplay! They join the likes of Jeff Lynne’s ELO (for the coveted Sunday afternoon tea-time slot) and P J Harvey.
Rat Boy, too, has new songs. Following the release of “Move” in January, he has released “Tracks” ft. Casso Clay. Jordan and co are currently unstoppable. Tracks is an angsty, teenage fuelled song which features Casso Clay. It’s heavily 90s influenced rap but has a catchy chorus. It’s different to their other tracks, like “Fake ID” and “Wasteman”, but I can’t wait to hear it played live in May and see how the audience reacts.
In February we also saw the annual NME awards. The highlight of the evening, obviously, was Oli Sykes of Bring Me the Horizon standing on Coldplay’s table, screaming, whilst it collapses. Whether or not it was an act of revenge or just a spur of the moment impulse act, it was absolutely hilarious and worth a watch! Big winners of the night included Rat Boy, The Libertines, Glastonbury Festival and Wolf Alice (who’d been to two awards ceremonies in something like less than 48 hours, one of which was The Grammys).
February was a brilliant month for live music. I saw Foals play a triumphant set at The SSE arena, Wembley, as part of their first ever arena tour. I saw Sundara Karma play the small underground venue “Patterns” in Brighton. I also saw, on the 29th February (leap year day, how exciting), an incredible evening of live music at The O2 Kentish Town Forum for BBC Radio 1 Presents as part of Annie Mac’s radio show. There was live music from the incredible Jake Bugg, hugely talented Lady Leshurr and the ever brilliant The 1975. I’ve been very lucky this month. In March I have The 1975 and Wolf Alice to look forward to.
On this month’s playlist there’s also songs by The Wholls (who I’ve been loving this month), Superfood, Jamie T and Blossoms.