BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend Hull 2017 (Review)

This year‚Äôs BBC Radio One‚Äôs Big Weekend was held in Hull, at Hull‚Äôs Burton Constable Hall, on the 27th and 28th May 2017. The free music festival was jam packed with the biggest and hottest names in the music industry and was a huge success. ¬†Katy Perry and Kings of Leon headlined the two day bank holiday weekend event, with acts like Two Door Cinema Club, Bastille and The Amazons playing across the weekend. It’s always one of the most fascinating and exciting music festivals of the summer, for where else can you watch Kings of Leon, Little Mix and Twin Atlantic all within a matter of hours?

I was lucky enough to attend the festival on the Sunday this year and the day was full of glorious pop music and all things Radio 1. Bands and artists played short hit fuelled sets (exactly the sort of thing you’d hear on the radio) with the station’s DJs playing in-between sets.

Here are my highlights (a very small selection of them)-

Little Mix opened the main stage on the Sunday. The X-Factor winning girl group played a phenomenal confetti filled set, full of all the hits (that you’d know even if you don’t- or rather won’t admit to- like), dancing timed to the second and huge, captivating graphics. It was totally feel good and empowering and distinctly awe-inspiring for the many families in the crowd. Little Mix are very clearly the biggest girl group in the music industry currently and what they’re doing for music is very significant, even if you don’t like it personally. The set felt special and unifying (especially considering the huge amounts of families, mainly children, in the crowd) after the tragic events in Manchester, which happened a matter of days before.

Bastille brought their worldwide tour (in support of their latest album, Wild World) to a sunny Hull and played an energetic afternoon set. The band played sing-a-long hits from their first album, Bad Blood, including ‘Flaws’ and the iconic ‘Pompeii’, as well as a whole host of songs from their UK number 1 2016 second album, Wild World. The highlights of the set was definitely when the single ‘Good Grief’ was played to a backdrop of post-modern, satirical, futuristic collage graphics.

Pop sensation Shawn Mendes brought illuminations to Hull with his Sunday set. Mendes brought all the hits to Burton Constable Hall in what transpired to be a huge sing-a-long spanning all ages. He played a selection of songs from his new album Illuminate, including the singles ‘There’s Nothin’ Holding Me Back’, ‘Mercy’ and ‘Stitches’. It was the Radio sensation’s first ever festival performance and he performed it with ease.

Brighton’s brilliant rock duo Royal Blood played a huge set headlining the Where It Begins stage at Radio 1’s Big Weekend. The band played what could’ve been an arena show to a packed out tent, just before the release of their second album How Did it Get so Dark?¬†(June 16th 2017). The band played a blend of stunning instrumental and memorable hit, including ‘Two Tonne Skeleton’, ‘Little Monster’ and ‘Figure it Out’ (from their 2014 debut album Royal Blood). The band also played new single ‘Lights Out’, which was met by applause from the eager crowd.

Scotland’s finest Twin Atlantic played the Where it Begins tent on Sunday afternoon to a captivated audience. The band played a riff filled set featuring songs from all four of their albums, including the latest album GLA (which was released last year). Frontman Sam McTrusty was full of energy as he leapt into the crowd and crowd surfed at the end of the set. Twin Atlantic are one of my personal favourite live bands ever because the energy their shows give off is just electric. You just have to experience it.

Alternative icons Circa Waves brought sun-kissed tunes and an overdue dance session to the sunny Hull festival. The band, who are consistently brilliant live, played a short set filled with songs from their 2015 debut album, Young Chasers, including ‘Fossils’, ‘Stuck in my Teeth’ and the fan favourite ‘T-Shirt Weather’, as well as a handful of tracks from their latest 2017 album, Different Creatures, including the mosh-pit inducing ‘Fire That Burn’s, ‘Goodbye’ and the single ‘Wake Up Call’. It was definitely one of the highlights for me.

Stockport’s finest Blossoms brought their huge debut album tour to Hull, one year on from their return to the festival as special guests on the BBC Introducing Stage in Exeter. Blossoms played a set filled with crowd pleasing hits, including ‘Blow’, ‘Blown Rose’ and ‘At Most a Kiss’. Like at ever Blossoms show, the band dedicated acoustic hit ‘My Favourite Room’ to a member of the crowd who had “recently been dumped”, an appreciated gesture. Lead singer Tom Ogden effortlessly merged the ending of the song into an impromptu mash-up of Babybird’s ‘You’re Gorgeous’ and Oasis’s ‘Half The World Away’, which the crowd loved. The band played latest single ‘This Moment’ (featuring Chase and Status) at the end of the set, before ending with the indie anthem ‘Charlemagne’, which never fails to excite a crowd.

The day was headlined by American rockers Kings of Leon, but their set was slightly lack lustre, bar the handful of iconic anthems the band have, which the audience and atmosphere made entirely. The band, whilst still sounding brilliant in instrument, played a 50 minute long set, which saw the audience consistently disintegrate throughout the set. The band’s iconic status made their headline set fitting, but their lack of connection to the mainly young, radio listening crowd seemed uncomfortable and awkward in part. It seemed as though the set was a year too late, as the hype for their latest album, Walls, had somewhat fizzled out. The band are set to headline British Summer Time in July though.

Overall the weekend was brilliant with plenty of huge sets. I’d like to mention how brilliant the tail end of Anne Marie’s set was (with the singer performing hits such as Christmas number one single, ‘Rockabye’, which was originally sung with Clean Bandit and latest single ‘Ciao Adios’), how fascinating Christine and the Queen’s captivating dancing was and the star filled Clean Bandit set, which was perfect for a Sunday afternoon dance.

BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend Hull 2017 (Review)

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

Circa Waves- Different Creatures (Album Review)

Different Creatures is the second studio album from Liverpool indie-rock band Circa Waves, following 2015’s Young Chasers. The album was released on the 10th March 2017, on Virgin EMI Records, having previously released the brilliant singles ‘Wake Up’ and ‘Fire That Burns’. The band toured with the album throughout the UK in March/April.

The album opens with the energetic lead single ‘Wake Up’. It’s a bold opener. It’s one of a number of catchy, loud songs on the album, which feel somewhat ‘heavier’, less ‘sun-kissed’ than that of their debut album. I like the ‘no-frills’, mature sound of these songs; it exudes a confidence that they’ve gained over the last few years of constant touring and writing. Songs like ‘Fire That Burns’, the future single ‘Goodbye’, ‘Stuck’ and title track ‘Different Creatures’ signify a boldly subtle change in direction that appeals to old and new fans alike.

Songs like ‘Without You’ are fascinating with slow breaks between upbeat, loud choruses and catchy guitar riffs. Similarly, songs like ‘A Night On The Broken Tiles’,which has a bold bass line, are catchy and fit well within an album of strong tracks. The album does, however, have a few less raucous songs nestled within the brilliantly strong upbeat songs, for example the almost balladic ‘Out On My Own’ and the beautiful acoustic ‘Love’s Run Out’.

“She text me during that” are closing the words on the album, as Kieran Shudall (lead singer) laughs to end a recording of perhaps the most notable song on the album, “Old Friends”. The closing track is wonderfully reflective and tells tales of longing. It stands out on the album and is an undoubtable highlight.

The album’s like a more grown up version of the last. It’s brilliant to hear how the band have matured and changed over the last couple of years and how they’ve produced such a strong record filled with songs that I can’t wait to hear played on tour/at festivals over the summer.

 

Circa Waves- Different Creatures (Album Review)

Circa Waves, Banquet Records, The Hippodrome (16/03/2017)

On the 16th February 2017, Circa Waves played the first of two shows for Banquet Records, at the Hippodrome, Kingston. The band played an all ages set at 7pm, followed by a New Slang show later in the evening. The band signed copies of their latest album, Different Creatures, in the record store before the signing, as the show was in support of their latest album release.

The band played a mixture of songs from both of their albums to an audience of enthusiastic young fans. Fan favourites- such as ‘Fossils’ and ‘Stuck in My Teeth’, from the band’s 2015 debut album, Young Chasers– were nestled between songs from their new release- which had been out nearly a week before the shows. Notably, the band played singles from their new album, such as ‘Wake Up’, the lead single from the album, and ‘Fire That Burns’, their latest single, to eager fans, who knew the songs word for word.

Of course, no Circa Waves gig would be complete without the sun-kissed, indie-rock anthem that is ‘T-Shirt Weather’. It’s a timeless song which continues to shape festival seasons and summers for many. The band played it last and it’s uplifting lyrics and tune juxtaposed the stuffy, dark nightclub they were playing it in. The atmosphere was buzzing. It’s a song which creates¬†a great atmosphere,¬†no matter the size of the crowd or venue- from Glastonbury Festival to the 100-or-so audience of the Hippodrome, in Kingston. The song was the perfect way to round off the triumphant, yet short set.

The Liverpool lads couldn’t have played a more brilliant set. The fans seemed to love the show, singing word-for-word and dancing throughout the 30 minute long set. The album’s pretty great, too. Banquet Record shows are always a treat, but this one seemed something even more special.

Circa Waves tour the UK throughout March/Arpil and Europe throughout April, before embarking on a string of festival dates both nationally and internationally, including Glastonbury Festival, Reading Festival and TRNSMT Festival.

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Circa Waves, Banquet Records, The Hippodrome (16/03/2017)

Two Door Cinema Club- Alexandra Palace (10/02/2017)

On the 10th February 2017, Two Door Cinema Club played the second of two sold out shows at London’s prestigious Alexandra Palace to top off the end of a triumphant sold out UK tour. Support for the show came from the next generation of indie-rock flag flyers, Sundara Karma (who were also on/about to start a UK tour at the time, in support of their debut album) and London exclusives Circa Waves (seemingly as ‘warm up’ shows for their upcoming UK tour in support of their upcoming album release in March). The band played songs spanning their extensive back catalogue, including many from their latest album, Gameshow.

The band played a similar setlist to that of which they’d be playing for headline sets at festivals and was, of course, fueled by fan favourites and new hits.

The band opened with ‘Cigarettes in the Theater’, from their debut album Tourist History. They quite often open¬†with this song as it’s a good strong way to get the crowd hyped up ready for a night of class music and dancing. They followed¬†it up with the instantly recognizable indie classic ‘What You Know’. The set was laced with those classic songs that audiences love, like ‘I Can Talk’, ¬†‘Sun’ and the sun-kissed ‘Something Good Can Work’. The audience went wild and the atmosphere was especially incredible because of Ally Pally’s all standing, compact, sold-out audience.

They played plenty of songs from their latest album, which was released last year. They sung the singles ‘Bad Decisions’ and ‘Are We Ready? (Wreck)’, which excited fans new and old. They played other songs from the album, too, including ‘Gameshow’, ‘Lavender’ and ‘Ordinary’. It’s incredible finally getting to hear these songs live after their release, especially when the atmosphere’s buzzing.

Overall, the night was brilliant. The evening was laced with a killer line-up, which played host to some of the finest new and established artists in the industry, plenty of crowd singalong hits and an atmosphere you’d want to save for a rainy day. I can’t wait to see what Two Door Cinema Club do next and look forward to seeing them at many festivals this summer, including headlining¬†Boardmasters and at Reading and Leeds.

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Two Door Cinema Club- Alexandra Palace (10/02/2017)

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