BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend Hull Recommendations 2017

BBC Radio One’s Big Weekend marks the beginning of festival season for me and has been a significant event on the music industry calendar for years. Its star studded line-up features some of the hottest, hugest and perhaps even most exclusive artists and bands that the music industry has to offer, as well as a whole host of up and coming bands championed by BBC Introducing. Typically the artists found on the bill are those who get played on Radio 1, but, with an ever expanding audience and increasing interest in what would once have been hailed “niche” genres, the line up now crosses multiple genres and appeals to the masses, with grime becoming a big part of the two-day festival.

This year’s BBC Radio One’s Big Weekend is being held in Hull, at Hull’s Burton Constable Hall, on the 27th and 28th May 2017. The bank holiday weekend event is fully sold out now, with 50,000 tickets up for grabs across the two days, however Radio 1 have been running competitions to win the last few tickets. The event, as usual, will be streamed online, played live on BBC Radio 1 and the red button, and highlights will be shown on BBC 4 and on the BBC iPlayer. This year’s event is headlined by US pop sensation Katy Perry (who will also play Glastonbury Festival next month) on Saturday and BST headliners and alternative icons Kings of Leon. The festival is free ( apart from a very small booking fee)- yes, that’s right, FREE- and is currently Europe’s largest free festival, with some of the most successful artists in the world filling out the huge line-up. This is extraordinary in itself (especially when you look at the line up).

I was lucky enough to attend last year, on the Sunday, in Exeter and it truly is a world class festival. It was a gloriously hot weekend in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK I’ve ever had the privilege to visit. The sets are the perfect length of time- probably around half an hour per artist, with an hour for the headliner, meaning the bands really only play the hits (with is good when the line-up is so diverse)- and there’s backing dancers and confetti galore! It set me up for festival season perfectly. Not only is Radio One’s Big Weekend a FREE event (and last year I was lucky enough that I got to see some of my favourite artists perform, let alone Coldplay, who I went on to spend over ¬£70 trying to get tickets for at Wembley and saw again at Glastonbury), it also showcases some of the UK’s most wonderful places by bringing world class music to somewhere that doesn’t get much live music. It’s professionally curated and managed and is a brilliant family day out. You’d be a fool to miss it if you ever got the chance to attend.

This year’s line up is jam packed full of headliner worthy artists, spanning three stages- the Main Stage, the newly named ‘Where It Begins’ Stage and, of course, the famous BBC Introducing Stage (which even features some returning acts from the prestigious alumni). This year is set to be unmissable with artists from Biffy Clyro to Little Mix to Kasabian and Lorde all set to perform at the event over the weekend. I’m lucky enough to be attending on the Sunday again this year and I truly cannot wait.

Here are my weekend recommendations:

SATURDAY

Katy Perry (Main Stage headliner)– Pop-princess Katy Perry brings her bubblegum pop hit fuelled back catalogue to Hull for what promises to be an unforgettable headline set.

Biffy Clyro (Main Stage)– Scotland’s undeniable rock God’s are returning to Big Weekend, having headlined the In New Music We Trust Stage last year, in Exeter. Their set is obviously going to be brilliant, if their co-headline slot at Reading Festival last year is anything to go by. The band will surely play all the hits- from “Mountains” to “Bubbles” to the anthemic classic that is “Many of Horror”- as well as a whole host of songs from their latest album, Ellipsis.

Imagine Dragons (Main Stage)– If you haven’t seen an Imagine Dragons live set you’re missing out. The atmosphere- especially at an outdoor event- is not comparable to anything. The atmospheric drumming live in their hit single ‘Radioactive’ is phenomenal and never fails to excite a crowd. Their live sets are encapsulating and engaging.

Kasabian (Main Stage)– Reading Festival 2017 headliners are set to perform the Hull event amongst a whole host of equally as huge artists. Kasabian’s expansive back catalogue- spanning over 10 years- is sure to provide the weekend’s biggest sing-a-longs, not to mention their brilliant later releases, such as ‘I’m in Love With a Psycho’.

Lorde (Main Stage)– New Zealand’s finest talent Lorde is back and better than ever. The ‘Royals’ singer has released her first new music since 2013’s stunning Pure Heroine. Lorde has matured over the last few years and her songs are more sophisticated and catchy than ever. She’s set to steal the show at Big Weekend, especially after seeing¬†her own Coachella earlier this year.

Zara Larsson (Main Stage)– She’s been part¬†of the last year’s biggest and best collaborations, from ‘Symphony’ with Clean Bandit to ‘Girls Like’ with Tinie Tempah and even had one of the biggest songs of last summer with ‘Lush Life’. She’s one of pop’s most exciting up and coming artists.

Haim (Where it Begins)– Haim are well and truly back- having cancelled a load of festival performances last summer in order to finish their new record. The band have recently released the new single ‘Want You Back’, as a follow up from 2013’s Days Are Gone.

Lana Del Rey (Where it Begins)– Lana Del Rey isn’t as common a UK festival find as many of the artists on this list. This rare appearance is set to be something special, as the ‘Video Games’¬†singer gets ready to release her latest album, Lust For Life, which is due out in July.

Rag ‘N’ Bone Man (Where it Begins)– I’ve been saying it for the last year now, but if you haven’t seen Rag ‘N’ Bone Man you’re most definitely missing out. The 2017 Brits British Breakthrough Artist award winner (which was voted by BBC Radio 1 listeners) has a phenomenal, almost gospel voice that can draw crowds of thousands in. I expect Rag ‘N’ Bone Man will pull out all the hits of his debut album, Human, including the title track, which is sure to be a memorable sing-a-long moment.

The Amazons (Where it Begins)– The Amazons release their self-titled debut album the day before they conquer the Where it Begins stage (26/05/17). The Amazons are a band who have been supported by the BBC since the beginning and also made it onto my bands to keep an eye on in 2017 list.

Two Door Cinema Club (Where it Begins)– Two Door Cinema Club sing all the songs. Their sets are full of songs that you undoubtedly know, but don’t know how or why (and they’re bloody brilliant live). Their set promises to be huge, with songs from their impressive back catalogue of indie classics. You’d be daft to miss them play on a stage as small and exclusive as the Where it Begins stage; they could quite easily be headlining!

You Me At Six (Where it Begins)– Ahhh, You Me At Six. I listened to a lot of You Me At Six when I was in my early teens and it was a brilliant time of my life. The band knows how to push and play with the genre of pop-punk to create massive pop-rock records that are infectiously catchy and brilliant. They’ve just released their fifth record- Night People– which is full of bangers.

Declan McKenna (BBC Introducing)– Declan McKenna is returning to the BBC Introducing stage for a one-off return treat. He’s set to dazzle the audience with songs such as ‘Brazil’ and ‘The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home’ ahead of his debut album release, What Do You Think About The Car?, which is due out in July. This could be your last chance to catch the indie-rock king that is Declan McKenna before he becomes huge and continues to play increasingly large stages over the festival season.

Superfood (BBC Introducing)– Superfooood. They’ve been around for a while and have put out some brilliant records over the last few years, but it’s finally becoming real for the band. They’ve signed to Dirty Hit Records- who are the record label of Wolf Alice, The 1975 and The Japanese House- and are starting to release new music and, with the help of BBC Introducing, they’re set to make a comeback to remember. Superfood could easily play the bigger stages, so seeing them play the BBC Introducing stage is a treat.

SUNDAY

Kings of Leon (Main Stage)– ¬†Kings of Leon headline the Main Stage on the Sunday of the festival. The band will play hits from their 14 year+ career, hopefully including the likes of ‘Sex on Fire’ and ‘Use Somebody’, as well as songs from their hugely successful latest album Walls, which was released last year. It promises to be big.

Bastille (Main Stage)– ¬†Bastille played the festival last year and they were one of the acts people talked about for ages. Their first album- Bad Blood– is full of memorable, sing-a-long classics and it’ll be great to hear some of their 2016 latest album- Wild World– at the festival. Bastille have been touring a world tour, which saw them play nights at the O2 Arena.

Clean Bandit (Main Stage)– Clean Bandit could wheel out the special guests, due to their many collaborations with huge artists, which could potentially be exciting. I always end up in weird places watching Clean Bandit and I don’t know how or why but they’ve always been a treat. They’re brilliant live.

Little Mix (Main Stage)– Little Mix are opening the Main Stage on the Sunday. They’re set to bring a healthy helping of guilty pleasure, girl-band hits to the party to get it underway. The band- undeniably- have some absolute bangers and I’m fully expecting fellow Sunday performer Stormzy to join the band for their latest single, ‘Power’. Watch this space!

Shawn Mendes (Main Stage)– Shawn Mendes is another guilty pleasure, gloriously unapologetic pop act. He’s on a UK tour and this set in Hull is set to impress the pop hungry crowd. It’s hard to forget the catchy choruses and hooks of songs like Stitches and Mercy.

Stormzy (Main Stage)– Stormzy played the event last year and was undoubtebly one of the most talked about acts of the event, along with fellow grime artist Skepta. As grime continues to make waves in the music world, it’s especially significant that artists like Stormzy are getting the chance to dazzle such mainstream audiences on hugely accessible platforms. He will no doubt be talked about a lot this year again.

The Chainsmokers (Main Stage)- They’ve come along way since the “lemme take a selfie” days back in the Flappy Bird days of early 2014 (a time best forgotten). They’re responsible for some of the biggest collaborations of the last year, including ‘Something Just Like This’ with last year’s headliner Coldplay, which was debuted at the Brit Awards this year.

Royal Blood (Where it Begins headliner)– ¬†Royal Blood are back with the first new music since their phenomenal self-titled album was released in 2014. Again, their music is probably something you’d recognise, even if you didn’t know they sung it. The Brighton duo are already huge and this set is set to be very special and I, for one, can’t wait.

Alt J (Where it Begins)– Alt-J’s incredibly atmospheric, ambient music is coming for Hull on Sunday afternoon. It’ll be great to finally hear songs such as ‘3WW’ and ‘Cold Blood’ played live, nestled between the songs that made they the band they are today. Here’s praying for Ellie Rowsell from Wolf Alice to join them for 3WW.

Christine and the Queens (Where it Begins)– I’m told she’s unmissable. 2016’s Chaleur Humaine¬†was one of 2016’s big albums and her dancing is something to behold. The French performer’s incredible stage presence and brilliant songs are set to make this set something to remember.

Twin Atlantic (Where it Begins)– Twin Atlantic are undoubtedly one of the greatest bands that I’ve ever seen live (and the most down to earth, lovely band that I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet). The Scottish band are Sunday’s answer to the magnificent Biffy Clryo and they’re set to tear the Where it Begins stage up with huge rock riffs and loud lyrics. They’re something else live. It’ll be great hearing songs from their latest album, GLA, live, finally.

Circa Waves (Where it Begins)– Circa Waves are another great indie-rock band. Their sun-kissed sounding, glorious first album,¬†Young Chasers,¬†could soundtrack the perfect sunny Sunday, whilst their brilliant latest album- Different Creatures– brings a slightly heavier vibe. Here’s hoping for ‘T-Shirt Weather’.

Blossoms (Where it Begins)– No festival would be complete without Stockport’s finest export Blossoms. Blossoms bring their continuing tour to Hull to play songs from their debut album, Blossoms, as well as songs from its extended edition, which was released late last year. The band played a triumphant set as a returning guest on the BBC Introducing stage last year, which was brilliant, so this is set to be a treat.

Pale Waves (BBC Introducing)– ¬†Pale Waves are label mates with the likes of Wolf Alice and The 1975. Their new music is The 1975 produced, too. What more could ¬†you want? They’re about to hit the big time, so catch them playing intimate stages whilst you can!

The Big Moon (BBC Introducing)– The Big Moon return to the BBC Introducing Stage after the release of their debut album, Love in the 4th Dimension, which was released earlier this year. The band have been championed by Huw Stephens for years.

Of course, there’s so many other huge artists playing across the weekend who I haven’t named here- including Anne-Marie and Mura Masa- but these are my picks. You can check out the whole line up on the BBC Radio 1 website (https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/eppp6q) and it’s useful for more information if you’re going. You can keep up with the event via their Facebook page or via Twitter (@BBCR1). Below I have linked their own playlist of artists playing across the weekend for you to get hyped about, or pretend you’re there to, if you’re not going.

If you’re going I hope you have a great weekend and have a brilliant time. Let’s hope the summery weather holds like last year!

 

 

 

 

 

BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend Hull Recommendations 2017

Blossoms, Brighton Dome (23/03/2017)

Blossoms played the Brighton Dome on the 23rd March 2017, as part of the 2017 NME Awards Tour, supported by Stockport’s Rory Wynne and the (in)famously outspoken Cabbage. The band played a brilliant set featuring songs off of their self-titled debut album and rereleased extended edition.

The band walked on stage- all dressed in white shirts- to a roar of applause. Blossoms don’t disappoint, as they continually prove by playing to huge audiences both nationally and internationally. The band opened with ‘At Most a Kiss’, from their debut album Blossoms, which was released last summer. This was a good opener because the audience knew it. The audience particularly enjoyed hearing songs from their debut album and sang along word for word, whilst dancing (with the odd mosh-pit… No, I’m not sure how you mosh to Blossoms). The atmosphere was buzzing. They played most of the songs from their debut album- including the single ‘Honey Sweet’, ‘Get Away’ and ‘Blown Rose’- as well as some b-sides.

Of course, no Blossoms performance would be complete without “slowing it down” for the acoustic ‘My Favourite Room’, whereby Tom Ogden (lead single) asks if anyone has¬†“been dumped” recently and dedicates the song to them. The first time I saw them do this was at Reading Festival and I can’t listen to the song without imagining “me, Martha and Jamie in my favourite room” (not me, but Ogden), then again at the O2 Kentish Town Forum, with yet another estranged couple. You’d have thought the novelty would’ve worn off by now and yet I find myself eagerly awaiting Ogden’s search for his next heartbroken teen. Then you have the ending of the song, which, again, I find myself waiting for. ‘My Favourite Room’ leads seamlessly into Babybird’s ‘You’re Gorgeous’, then into Oasis’s ‘Half the World Away’ and- weirdly- Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’, which the audience loved.

Late last year Blossoms (“from Stockport”) re-released their debut album with a sparkly, gold “extended edition” featuring all the b-sides from their previous EPs, hence why they’ve gone on tour again. The band played a handful of these tracks- including ‘Across the Moore’, ‘Polka Dot Bones’ and ‘Madeleine’. This proved a treat for those who had been following them from the beginning, which seems like a long time ago now. It’s exciting getting to hear these songs played again as the band’s sets get longer.

“ABBA won the Eurovision song contest in this very building” Ogden said when the band came on to perform a short encore. The band ended with ¬†‘Deep Grass’ and then ‘Charlemagne’. A man kept asking me whether or not they’d played ‘Charlemagne’ yet, it’s become their ‘big’ song. There’s something undeniably catchy and anthemic, especially live. I love the added “Joe looks like Jon Snow” bits that you only get when you hear it live.

I’ve been lucky enough to see Blossoms multiple times over the last year (and lucky enough to see them grow and become more popular) and they’ve never disappointed. Yes, the setlist has been more or less the same (give or take the odd b-side) each time I’ve seen them, no, that’s not a bad thing. The band continue to gain popularity and each time they play they play to bigger sold-out audiences of loyal and new fans. Their production gets bigger everytime, too. More lights. They continue to give class, memorable performances and they clearly now how to put on a good show. They’re dedicated, hard working and clearly love what they’re doing.

The band play Coachella in April (and tour the states) and they’re set to play a whole host of UK festivals this year, including Reading and Leeds and Glastonbury Festival.

 

Blossoms, Brighton Dome (23/03/2017)

November 2016- What I’m Listening To

It’s been a long time. Too long. I’ve been busy lately, hence the distinct lack of blog posts, so this could be a bumper post. Brace yourselves.

Where do I even begin? Everything seemed to happen in November 2016!

Firstly, The Big Moon have finally announced details of their debut album. I can’t wait to hear the album because it has been a long time coming. I remembering hearing them for the first time about a year ago (when I found out they were supporting The Maccabees) and have been obsessed by their huge indie anthems and grungy guitars. The album is called Love In The 4th Dimension and includes songs such as “Cupid”, “Sucker” and “Silent Movie Susie” and is available to pre-order now, before it’s released on the 7th April 2017.

VANT took to the streets of London to play various anti-Trump shows in early November. The band played in various secret locations in London for #DontDoABrexit¬†shows, such as Brixton station and Oxford Circus. They aimed to “encourage the idea of bringing important conversations back into the real world”. Despite the Trump win, I admire VANT for doing this. VANT are politically fuelled and inspired, in a real punk kind of way, which we don’t get so much anymore. There’s definitely a rise in this ‘punk-laced’ music, with artists like Slaves and Cabbage taking the world by storm, but there’s a distinct lack of activist and protest music about. We should be talking about things like this collectively. It only helps.

Blossoms have also announced a Spring 2017 tour, where they’ll play venues such as the London Roundhouse (!!!!) and The Brighton Dome. This announcement went hand in hand with an extended album announcement, which features all their previous EP tracks AND the latest album all in one album! I usually hate deluxe albums and extended editions, but this one is particularly stunning. All this was announced during the band’s latest sold out UK tour, where they played their biggest ever sold out show at London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

November was an unexpectedly big month for Circa Waves. The band announced details of their second album Different Creatures and announced the song ‘Wake Up’ as the lead single. The single is similar to their older material, however it’s seemingly less sun kissed than the last. I can imagine it being an absolute banger live, too. It’s a brilliant song. The record is out on 10th March (and co-produced by Alan Moulder, who has been a producer for bands like Arctic Monkeys and The Killers) and hopefully this means we’ll see them at a string of festivals next summer. The band have also announced a March/April UK tour, which includes a date at the O2 Kentish Town Forum.

I’ve spent the last few years wanting to go to Scotland’s iconic T in the Park Festival because I honestly believe it has the best line-up going. It’s line-up is an eclectic mix of the highlights from Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds and V Festival (amongst others) and I’m envious of those who get to go. Sadly it was announced late November that T in the Park would be cancelled in 2017, however reports suggest that the festival organisers will, however, host a similar (but separate) event in Glasgow next year instead. They’ve had problems over the last few years (mainly since the move to Perth) with site and traffic issues, drug related deaths, the stealing of an ATM at this year’s festival etc. and with the added pressure of financial issues the future remains uncertain for the festival. I was in Scotland- Edinburgh or Aberdeen- when the news broke and spoke to many local music fans about the news and many were sad about its cancellation (and countless suggested how great festivals in inverness are). I hope T in the Park pulls it back in the next few years because the line up is always class and I hope to go!

November was an incredible month for live music. I’ve been really, really bad at writing reviews though due to college and work experience. I think it’s probably a bit too late to write reviews now, however I’ll do some quick summaries now:

  • I saw Jake Bugg play at the O2 Academy Brixton on the 1st November. Bugg played a full band set with brilliant little solo, more stripped back songs. He played a mixture of songs which spanned accross his impressive three album back catalogue, yet managed to showcase the best from his latest record- On My One– which was released this year. ‘Broken’ remains poignant and one of my favourite songs to hear live. Everyone sings along and it feels very intimate and personal to many. Of course, the crowd were eagerly anticipating ‘Lightening Bolt’- Bugg’s breakthrough hit- as well as current chart singles, such as ‘Love Hope and Misery’ and ‘Gimme The Love’. I also loved how varied the age of the crowd was. I love seeing people of all ages enjoy music because I think music should be enjoyed by all and it’s now so easily accessible.
  • A few days later I saw Tom Odell play at the Brighton Centre (4th November). Tom Odell is a fascinating live act, who I love to watch. He ventured away from the piano at points, especially during songs from the latest album Wrong Crowd, and at one point he was even stood on the piano. The drummer dislocated his arm before going on stage and so the drum tech had to fill in for him at the last minute to save cancelling the show. There was plenty of on stage banter and support about this. Odell played songs from his first album, Long Way Down, too, such as ‘Another Love’ and ‘Grow Old With Me’. Odell’s voice is so brilliant that the room was silent when he sang, so much so that you could hear people’s movements and hushed chat around us. Tom Odell was supported by Rag ‘N’ Bone Man and Johnny Lloyd- neither of which I’d particularly want to follow. Rag ‘N’ Bone Man was actually in danger of stealing the show because of how brilliant he was. Keep a look out for him. He’s definitely the next big thing.
  • ¬†Catfish and the Bottlemen played a sold out show at Wembley Arena on the 15th. It felt as much a showcase as to how far they’ve come in the last few years and a celebration of their new album success as it did a ‘normal’ show. The band played for nearly two hours. It didn’t seem as though they didn’t want to be there and it felt that they were genuinely grateful and wanting to share their music with fans. The band played songs from The Ride and The Balcony¬†to a sea of singing fans, mosh pits and crowd surfers. It was huge.

Two Door Cinema Club released their latest album Gameshow. The album features the huge singles ‘Bad Decisions’ and ‘Are We Ready? (Wreck)’. The whole 80s inspired album is brilliant, fast paced and full of hits, which I can’t wait to hear live next year at Alexandra Palace. They’re a band with the capability of headlining- or at least co-headlining- festivals and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them topping bills soon.

I haven’t written a lot on here recently because I’ve been so wrapped up in my week’s work experience on tour with Black Grape. It was an incredible if not eye opening experience, which I’m sure I’ll remember forever. It was hard work, but it was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes, which, as a punter, you don’t get to see. Everyone was really friendly, normal and very skilled and good at what they do. It’s a whole other world and I did manage to see a bit of Scotland/Newcastle over my week away, too. If you haven’t heard of Black Grape then I think you’re missing out (although I might be slightly biased, I don’t know). Black Grape formed after the Happy Mondays disbanded in 1992, with Shaun Ryder as the front man (with Kermit from Ruthless Rap Assassins on vocals too). Ryder and Kermit still tour, however the other instrument players are (incredibly, incredibly talented) session musicians (who are incredibly skilled at what they do). They released their first album, It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah, in 1995- which went straight to number 1. Their music is so diverse, which I love. The music has grungy, brit-poppy undertones which are intertwined with hints of rap, tracks laced with samples and incredible instrumentals. I’d definitely have a listen to them. If you’ve not heard of them, listen to: In The Name Of The Father, Tramazi Party and Kelly’s Heroes (as a starting point). Enjoy!

I can’t wait to see the Courteeners next month at Banquet Records and also to see The 1975 play their biggest ever (sold out) headline show at The O2 Arena. Mad.

This month’s playlist features a lot of Black Grape, Two Door Cinema Club, (the incredible) Declan McKenna (who I absolutely love this month- check out Brazil and Bethlehem) and Catfish and the Bottlemen. I’ve added Catfish’s ‘Glasgow’ because Black Grape played Glasgow’s O2 ABC, which I believe is where the song is written about. I found this exciting.

 

 

 

 

November 2016- What I’m Listening To

What I’m Listening To- October 2016

As Winter ‘creeps’ up, it’s time to get cosy with some new music and golden oldies.

This October Dirty Hit announced that they had signed King Nun, a fantastic up and coming band which I’ve liked for a while now, with a debut single, ‘Tulip’. I saw the band last year (for free!!!!) in the middle of Kingston for a Banquet Records summer show type thing, along with the equally talented Jungle Doctors. I remember thinking that they were good and now they’re back with this! The single is loud and frantic and I love it. It’s all over the place- in a nice way. It’s raw and heavily guitar laced. Keep an eye on the London lads.

VANT have just finished touring with You Me At Six and have announced details of their debut album. I am so excited about this, as I’ve been waiting so long for it. Their debut album,¬†Peace and Love, is due on the 17th February. ¬†It’ll feature all the current faves and a whole host of new ones- how exciting! VANT, from planet Earth, are on a UK tour currently.

Ahhhhh, this is a weird and exciting thing that happened over the last few months which I haven’t previously been able to talk about. Way back in August, in a time before Reading 2016, I was called by the BBC to take part in a ‘Music Focus Group’, which didn’t end up being a ‘Music Focus Group’ after all (and, for your information, they don’t actually exist, which I was most upset about). I don’t want to give too much away because I don’t know if it’s a format they’ll do again in the future, and there’s no fun in spoiling it for others, but somehow I ended up getting stuck in a lift with Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs reassuring me it’d be alright and then, in a really odd turn of events, having the Kaiser Chiefs sing ‘Ruby’ in front of me… literally. in. front. They also played their recent single ‘Hole In My Soul’, too, and it was all filmed! It was an odd, but nonetheless brilliant experience which I was very grateful to have been able to take part in. Luckily for everyone, I think there’s still a few days of it left on the old BBC iPlayer to be enjoyed: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03xkg0j/episodes/player – thank me later!

Glastonbury organisers have announced Radiohead as the first confirmed headliner for Glastonbury 2017, via a large Radiohead crop circle type thing. The band will headline Glastonbury Festival on the Friday. The air is rife with rumours of who else will be joining Radiohead, with many reports indicating it could be The Foo Fighters, Lady Gaga, The Stone Roses or Ed Sheeran. Robbie Williams has announced an interest to headline and Cliff Richard is also rumoured (help us)! Obviously, these rumours will keep coming thick and fast before anything is officially released. Either way, I can’t wait for the full line up release next year eeeee. The thought of summer festivals is giving me hope through the relatively festival free winter.

The Courteeners released their album Mapping the Rendezvous this month, too. It’s an album that I can’t wait to review shortly. The band tour in November, with Liverpool beauties Clean Cut Kid, and also play two shows at Banquet Records in December.

Two Door Cinema Club released their brilliant disco fuelled album,¬†Gameshow. The band also announced a tour which includes a couple of dates at Alexandra Palace in the new year, which I’m so excited for.

This month’s playlist includes a lot of Two Door Cinema Club because I’ve been craving the summer vibes all throughout ‘the changing of the seasons’ (I hope you appreciated that Two Door Cinema Club reference), M√ł (because ‘Final Song’ is a good song) and Blossoms, as always. I had a nostalgic evening listening to Lily Allen too.

In November I’ve got so many concerts coming up. From Catfish and the Bottlemen to Jake Bugg to Tom Odell, it’s a busy month! I’ve also got a week on tour with Black Grape for work experience, which I am beyond excited for. I can’t wait to see what the next month brings.

What I’m Listening To- October 2016

Blossoms, O2 Kentish Town Forum, 29/09/2016

Blossoms played a sold out show at the O2 Kentish Town Forum on the 29th September 2016 as part of their sold out Autumn UK tour. They were supported by the raucous, angsty, politically lined post-punk band, Cabbage, and the brilliant up and coming Declan McKenna. Both bands are leading the way in the new alternative scene and so this line up was particularly exciting for me. Blossoms played this tour in support of their debut album’s, Blossoms, release.

The band played an effortlessly cool and brilliant set, which featured many songs from their debut album. They played 11 songs from their 12 track debut album (the only song they didn’t play was ‘Onto Her Bed’), including ‘At Most A Kiss’, ‘Getaway’ and ‘Texia’, with ‘Across The Moor’, from the Charlemagne EP nestled in there, too.

The set was not without its personal touches though, meaning every show is different. The band dedicated ‘My Favourite Room’ to a newly “dumped” man in the crowd and changed the names in the song accordingly. This acoustic break felt intimate and the crowd loved it. The addition of “Joe looks like John Snow” in ‘Charlemagne’ was also hilarious and special. It proved how legitimate they are as a band and how authentic they are live. They seem to be a bunch of Stockport lads with lots of determination who genuinely seem as though they were having the time of their lives.

There was no ‘encore’ as such, which is seemingly an increasingly popular decision. An encore wasn’t even necessary though because the audience were enjoying it so much that band played to continued roars of applause the whole way through. The band ended with their, arguably, biggest hit, ‘Charlemagne’, having followed ‘Deep Grass’, the longest track on the album, which you could tell the band enjoy playing live. ¬†The crowd went wild when ‘Charlemagne’ was played and many sang and danced.

I’ve seen Blossoms play a few times recently and it’s been great to see them play on tour because they’ve been playing tracks which they haven’t been playing at festivals. What I love about Blossoms is the fact that, similar to bands like Catfish and the Bottlemen, they’re consistently good with no frills. The actual stage set up and lighting was simple, but Tom Ogden’s (lead singer) vocals proved that they don’t need a fancy set up to be incredible. There was still crowd interaction though, which again helped give an intimate feel, with Ogden asking the crowd who’d been to Stockport before, to which he informed us that “there’s a Tesco”. It’s this kind of chat which prove fame hasn’t gone to their heads and that they’re still very proud of their hometown. It’s admirable.

The band embark on another sold out UK tour later on in the year (November/December), but are currently ¬†on tour in America. The tour includes a sold out show at The O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Blossoms are a band which continue to grow, not only in popularity, but in stage presence and set lists. They’re one of my favourite live bands as their sets are¬†jam packed full of hits and lacking, but not lusting for, frills- which I like. ¬†I can only hope to see them again soon and if you haven’t seen them yet you’re missing out, but you ought to be quick because their tickets sell like hot cakes!

Blossoms, O2 Kentish Town Forum, 29/09/2016

What I’m Listening To- September 2016

September saw festival season draw to an end, with festivals like Bestival and Always the Sun drawing the season to a close. This year’s Bestival had mixed reviews, whilst Guildford’s first Always the Sun Festival was a great triumph.

This month saw various releases from Jamie T (and his incredible new album, Trick) and Bastille (a review is on the way, but it’s taking forever, sorry). Mystery Jets also re-released their latest album, Curve Of The Earth, in a special ‘The Whole World’ edition, which includes five new tracks (including the brilliant ‘The World is Overtaking Me’, which I love).

I have been so in love with Mystery Jets this month. I’d seen them at Glastonbury, ¬†where I’d fallen in love with ‘Two Doors Down’, and I was so excited about seeing them at Always The Sun festival, earlier this month. Having seen them at Always The Sun festival I’ve been listening to them constantly since. I’ve especially loved ‘Flash a Hungry Smile’, ‘Alice Springs’ and ‘The Hale Bop’, but there are so many other brilliant ones. Twenty One¬†has been on repeat since.

Wolf Alice announced that they are part of a brilliant film project this month. The film On The Road¬†is directed by Michael Winterbottom with Wolf Alice and their busy touring schedule the subject of the film. It follows the band on tour and there’s even cameos from bands like Swim Deep. The film premieres as part of the London Film Festival at BFI South Bank on October 9th.

This year’s Mercury Prize Ceremony took place in September. The award was won by Skepta for his formidable album Konnichiwa, which was released earlier this year. Other artists up for the award included Radiohead for A Moon Shaped Pool, David Bowie for his last album Blackstar and The 1975 (who won the people’s choice vote, the first time they’ve ever done it) ¬†for I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It (which no one could say), which was released in February. Skepta’s Konnichiwa was definitely a worthy winner.

This month’s playlist features a lot of Mystery Jets and Spring King. Other artists on this months playlist are The Hunna, Blossoms (who I saw this month and they were insanely brilliant, as always) and The 1975.

Next month I look forward to seeing Jamie T and for the release of Two Door Cinema Club’s latest album, Gameshow‘s release.

 

 

What I’m Listening To- September 2016

August 2016- What I’m Listening to

What a month August was- complete with break ups, plenty of festivals and many an announcement.

During August, this year’s Mercury Prize nominations were announced with The 1975, Skepta, Radiohead and David Bowie all in the running. This year there was the first ‘public vote’, where members of the public could vote for their favourite album among the shortlisted to go straight into the final five. It’s weird writing about this in retrospect, as it’s already happened, but more to come in next months post!

This year’s AIM awards took place in August. The AIM awards celebrate everything indie in the music industry. From independent bands, artists, labels and record stores, the AIM awards showcase the best in independent music around. Christine and the Queens won the Independent Breakthrough Artist of the Year award, Oscar won¬†Independent Video of the Year for ‘Sometimes’ and Adele, of course, won Independent Track of the Year for ‘Hello’. Stormzy was hailed with the Innovator Award and, none other than Banquet Record’s, Jon Tolley won the Indie Champion Award- because that’s what he is. The full list of winners at this special awards ceremony can be found here.

Blossoms released their absolutely incredible debut album, Blossoms, this month. The album has been played on repeat throughout the month and has easily become one of my favourite albums of the year so far. It’s so easy to listen, doesn’t get tiresome at all (and I’ve played it a lot) AND every song is an absolute banger. You don’t get many albums like this- especially debut albums- and a follow up could be a mammoth task. I was lucky enough to see Blossoms play an intimate album release show at The Hippodrome, in Kingston, with Banquet Records. Not only do Blossoms produce albums and EPs where every song is a hit, they’re also an incredible live band too. The band are on tour in September and October, as well as later on in the year, where they play their largest show to date- at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

And from one Blossoms set to another! Reading Festival took place over August bank holiday weekend. Like every year, the festival was full of incredible live acts, new discoveries and a lot of surprises (including a Blossoms BBC Introducing set). My favourites across the weekend included The 1975, The Wombats, The Vaccines, Two Door Cinema Club, Twenty One Pilots, Foals and The Wholls. Reading Festival is a festival especially close to my heart, as I’ve been going for a few years now, and it’s one that I look forward to every year. I can’t wait to see what next year’s line up brings; I’m sure it’ll be brilliant. You can find this year’s review here.

Frank Ocean has resurfaced with new album Blonde. The album was released on the 21st August and was available with a magazine, Boys Don’t Cry, from pop-up shops across the world- and it was given away free. The album has 17 tracks and features appearances from huge artists like Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar.

Slaves, too, are back. The duo announced a new album earlier this month, along with two tours. The band will tour the UK on a 15-date tour in November, as well as on a small venue “Back in the Van” tour in September. All the tickets for the latter sold out within an hour of being on sale- and all tickets were ¬£2.99. The latest album, Take Control, is released on the 30th September.

BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge month happens throughout September. The names for this year’s Live Lounge month include Christine and the Queen, Bastille and Biffy Clyro, among many others. The 1975 are set to finish off the month of live music with a stunning set at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom (yes, the one off of Strictly), accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets are all sold out now and it’s set to be beautiful.

Sundara Karma also announced their debut album, Youth is Only Fun in Retrospect, in August. I’m beyond excited, as I’ve been loving Sundara Karma for what feels like ages now. The album is set for release early next year, on the 6th January, via RCA / Chess Club Records.

Finally, there’s The Maccabees. I’m devastated. After 14 years The Maccabees have called it a day and I, along with what seems as ¬†half of the world, am devastated. The band have had a huge impact on the music industry, with some of their albums and songs going down ¬†as classics. The band released a statement, which you can read here.

This month’s playlist features a lot of Blossoms, The Maccabees and bits and bobs from Reading Festival, along with Will Joseph Cook (because ‘Take Me Dancing’ is beautiful), Blaenavon (because ‘Let’s Pray’ and ‘I Will Be The World’ are tunes) and Twenty One Pilots (I’ve been pleasantly surprised by their latest album recently).

Next month there’s lots to look forward to in terms of Always the Sun Festival, in Guilford, more of Blossoms and album releases from Bastille and Jamie T.

 

 

 

 

August 2016- What I’m Listening to