#Review: Bastille @ Brighton Centre, Brighton – 18/04/22

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On Monday 18th April 2022, Bastille arrived in Brighton for the closing night of their 2022 UK tour, in support of their fourth studio album, Give Me The Future. The night was incredible, with support from BIM and The Native. Here’s what we had to say about the sensational event…


BIM

Following a last-minute line-up change, due to singer, Dylan, being unable to perform, long-time Bastille backing singer, BIM, stepped up to perform as first support of the evening. Whilst she only performed 2 songs, she wowed the audience with her incredibly powerful, and soulful voice. Songs, ‘O.T.R.’ and ‘Cinematic’ both had sexy vibes to them, the latter of which makes references to a selection of films, which BIM invited the audience to guess which ones she was singing about. The singer was candid with the audience about being alone on the stage and asked for the support of the crowd, which they gave readily. A great singer, with some incredibly dynamic vocals – definitely one to look out for.


The Native

This band were an interesting act – they’re clearly young but quite experienced. Unfortunately for the singer, he was having trouble with his guitar which threw him off slightly, however they remained professional throughout the show delivering a flawless performance. That said, they could have used a little more personality, energy and smiles in their stage presence and whilst they have well-written songs, if I’m honest, they were not the most captivating tunes. That aside, they did manage to get the crowd excited for Bastille and their song, ‘In My Mind’ was a real stand-out performance.


Bastille

From the moment the band took to the stage, there was a huge surge of excitement and cheering from the anticipating crowd, particularly when singer, Dan Smith, emerged at the back of the stage, on a high platform in front of a white rectangular backdrop.

From start to finish (of the 100-minute set), this was a truly captivating experience; probably one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen! The production was instantly impressive with a cool stage set-up, that saw crossed-shaped lights dance across and above the stage, whilst a massive stage-wide screen displayed a variety of stunning visuals at the back of the stage, throughout the set.

Much as with their fourth studio album, Give Me The Future, the entire set was broken up by audio-visual interludes that made the whole performance feel as if you were part of a wonderful cyber experience.

The set was packed with an impressive amount of songs and featured both new and old tunes that had the audience singing along with every word! Even some of the deeper cuts from previous albums as well as those from their latest, had the audience ecstatic.

Despite the nearly seamless flow to the set, the band were truly considerate of their crowd too, stopping the performance a couple of times whilst people who had passed out were carefully lifted out of the crowd.

The band were highly energetic and showed off just how refined they have become at performing in a big concert venue. They’re true professionals and giants in their genre, who deserve their every success.

Without a doubt, this band are a phenominal live act to watch and will have you jumping and singing along within seconds of taking to the stage. Whilst this tour may have now drawn to a close, I’m sure the band will be back and touring again, having said they missed performing during the Covid pandemic, and I cannot recommend watching them, highly enough – they will not disappoint!

Highlights:

  • When singer, Dan Smith, jumped off the stage and into the crowd, during the band’s performance of ‘Happier’, it created a massive buzz throughout the audience and had everyone hyped up (watch the video below as I came face-to-face with him in the crowd!)
  • The appreciation for their fans just being there was evident and the love for enabling their latest album to reach Number 1 was felt by all.
  • The diversity of the set was really thrilling, with a combination of new and old, fast and slow songs, meaning the crowd were kept on their toes throughout.
  • The stage design was amazing – it enhanced the performance without detracting from the band themselves in a wonderfully immersive way.
  • ‘Things We Lost In The Fire’, ‘Happier’, ‘Of The Night’‘Future Holds’ (due to BIM‘s stunning vocals!) and ‘Pompeii’ were definite highlights of the show.

📷 All of the photos in this post are credited to Michael Hundertmark 📸
Why not give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter or check out his website.


 Setlist

Stay Awake?
Distorted Light Beam*
Things We Lost In The Fire
Laura Palmer
Oblivion
Those Nights
Quarter Past Midnight*
Back To The Future*
Plug In…
WHAT YOU GONNA DO???
survivin’
Good Grief*
Promises
Give Me The Future
4AM
No Bad Days
Happier*
Run Into Trouble*
Of The Night
Future Holds (with BIM)
Pompeii*

Encore
Hope For The Future
Shut Off The Lights (with The Native)

These songs can be viewed in the YouTube playlist, below.


Finally, I want to say an enormous thank you to Jenny Entwistle from Chuff Media for sorting out this review for us and to BastilleThe Native and BIM for putting on a remarkable event!


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: James Morrison @ Brighton Dome, Brighton – 04/04/22

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On Monday 4th April 2022, James Morrison arrived in Brighton as part of his Greatest Hits tour! With support from Casey McQuillen and the incredible Newton Faulkner, it was an evening not to be missed! Here’s what we had to say about the main act himself…


James Morrison

With loud applause from the already hyped-up crowd after the two support acts, James Morrison was greeted on to the stage with everyone here to witness the masterful performance of this great songwriter. James Morrison walked on stage in a confident yet casual and calm way and started his set with ‘Precious Love’, ‘Feels Like The First Time’ and one of his first big hits, ‘Undiscovered’.

With high anticipation, the Brighton fans were certainly in for a treat with this Greatest Hits tour – plus, it’s the first time he had toured in two and half years!

The singer/songwriter is originally from Rugby in Warwickshire and his 2006 debut single ‘You Give Me Something’ became an instant hit in Europe and as far afield as Australia and Japan. James Morrison‘s influences stem back from his early childhood, listening to his parent’s record collection consisting of folk and country songs.

Banter was high with the audience, who loved every minute of it, especially when the singer told everyone down the front ‘…you know the songs, they are here to cheer you up even if you’ve had a shit day’. He played a variety of songs, both new and old, including ‘So Beautiful’ and ‘Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?’.

It may have been a fully seated show, but with the crowd pleasers played to perfection by the former Brit Award winner, he still managed to get everyone up and dancing by the time ‘Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?’ was belted out, with everyone rocking back and forth, even on the balconies above the stage.

The show was closed off with encore songs ‘Power’ and ‘Wonderful World’.

Overall the night was an engaging experience with James Morrison truly showing of his vocal talents and his masterful guitar playing, nicely accompanied by the backing vocalists and band members, that he thanked earlier on and introduced to his beaming fans.

He left the stage humbly, with a big wave and smile. Brighton will certainly welcome him back again and again for a great sing-along!


📷 All of the photos in this post are credited to Michael Hundertmark 📸
Why not give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter or check out his website.


 Setlist

Precious Love
Feels Like The First Time
Undiscovered
So Beautiful
Don’t Mess With Love
Please Don’t Stop The Rain
Nothing Ever Like You
Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?
This Boy
Broken Strings
I Won’t Let You Go
Up
The Pieces Don’t Fit Anymore
My Love Goes On
Beautiful Life
You Give Me Something

Encore
You Make It Real
Power
Wonderful World


Finally, I want to say a HUGE thanks to Rhian at the Brighton Dome Press Team for sorting out this review and to Michael Hundertmark for writing the review. Plus a massive thanks to James Morrison and the support acts for putting on an incredible evening.


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Michael Hundertmark
https://www.michaelhundertmarkphotography.com
https://twitter.com/mikeDH71

#Review: Placebo – Never Let Me Go

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Placebo are a British rock band who formed in London back in 1994. The band has had several line-up changes over the years, but currently consists of founding members, Brian Molko (vocalist and guitarist) and Stefan Olsdal (bassist and guitarist). Since their 1996 debut, the band have released seven full-length albums, but 2022 sees the band releasing their eighth studio album, Never Let Me Go. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Placebo - Never Let Me Go

It’s been 9 years since the band released their last studio album, so needless to say, excitement surrounding this release has been incredibly high…and rightly so!

The band have produced a record of epic proportions, packed to the brim with big songs and an extensive use of synths that has added a new-found diversity to their sound.

Never Let Me Go launches with the guitar-heavy and eerily synthesized ‘Forever Chemicals’ that instantly demonstrates the rock giants are back and mean business! It quickly flows into the epic single, ‘Beautiful James’ with its continued, heavy synth use and typical Placebo vocal from Brian Molko; yet the boundaries are clearly being pushed in respect of their musical style.

One thing’s for certain, the style of the album, whilst a comprehensive body of work, also offers a diversity throughout that is bound to prick up listener’s ears everywhere and have them coming back for more – there’s so much to take in, that you can’t help but revisit it, time and again.

Some of the standout tracks from the record include, ‘Happy Birthday In The Sky’ – a sombre and emotional song that reflects on the loss of people loved and sees a calm breakdown lead into a chaotic ending. ‘The Prodigal’ has regal-sounding and cinematic strings that remind of some sort of film soundtrack, whilst ‘Try Better Next Time’ focuses on the state of emergency the environment is in, on top of an anthemic, radio-friendly melody.

Never Let Me Go clearly demonstrates that the band are back and have used their time away to craft a masterpiece.

One of the best tracks on the record though, is the incredibly upbeat ‘Twin Demons’ that is just begging to be danced to live, at one of their upcoming UK tour dates! It has captivating melodies and all-encompassing instrumentals that are sure to draw in every listener.

Other tracks not to be missed, are the marching beat and grungy guitar-led ‘Hugz’ with its sincere lyrics – a very anarchic song. ‘Surrounded By Spies’ is sinister-sounding with its almost industrial melodies and bass-led breakdown that kick back into double-time drums and a chaotic descent to the end. Whilst ‘Chemtrails’ features shimmering synths and echoing guitars that ascend the melodies throughout, whilst singing about getting away from it all.

The ending of the album is a little more unique: ‘This Is What You Wanted’ is an aching, piano-led track that never fully kicks in, as you might expect; ‘Went Missing’ is very “spoken verse” – it’s poetic, repetitive and almost foreboding with echoing guitars that give it a sense of inner reflection, whilst closing track, ‘Fix Yourself’ borders on confrontational, choosing to focus on things that annoy Molko. It’s hypnotic and moody with processed beats that fade to the end.

Despite being nearly an hour long, the album does well to keep the listener’s attention as it navigates interesting soundscapes and controversial topics, whilst intertwining that familiar Placebo charm throughout. Never Let Me Go clearly demonstrates that the band are back and have used their time away to craft a masterpiece. It’s achingly beautiful and deeply thought-provoking. It’s an album that shows the band have what it takes to push themselves to continue growing their sound, over a quarter of a century into their career! Who knows what direction they will take next, but whatever it is, it’s bound to be captivating.

Rating
4.5


‘Never Let Me Go’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/never-let-me-go/1592498059


Never Let Me Go on Spotify

Beautiful James

Surrounded By Spies


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of the band’s eighth album? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Dashboard Confessional – All The Truth That I Can Tell

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All The Truth That I Can Tell is Dashboard Confessional‘s ninth studio album. It poses as both a reinvention and a rediscovery of what made the band the big emo hitters. Returning to work with James Paul Wisner (The Swiss Army Romance, The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most), have Dashboard Confessional reignited the flame that lit so many fans over the past 20 years?

Dashboard Confessional - All The Truth That I Can Tell

It’s not always common for a reviewer to pin their colours to the mast about the band they are reviewing, but for the sake of clarity and sense I will declare that I’ve never been a huge Dashboard Confessional fan. Many of my friends loved them, but I just didn’t get the hype at the time of their breakout years. However, times have changed. I have matured (don’t laugh), or at least my tastes have, and I wanted to give Dashboard Confessional’s ninth studio album a try, to see if I can work out why they are a band that has managed nine studio albums. I’m going into this blind… (or deaf?!) having not really listened before…

All The Truth That I Can Tell is a very complete album that requires your full attention.

Initially I was surprised to find that the whole album is based on acoustic and it is all the better for it. It’s a mixture of acoustic rock like ‘Pain Free In Three Chords’ but mostly straight up ballads like the single ‘Burning Heart’ and the beautifully crafted ‘Young’. Having the whole album as an acoustic affair allows for the lyrics to steal the show and gives the record a very mature feel. Despite this, there are still some wonderful guitar flourishes such as those in the ‘The Better of Me’ to add some colour to the music, alongside the well-crafted lyrics.

Lyrically, the album has a very narrative feel. As someone who is approaching their mid-30s it did speak to me and again I was surprised. It’s touching on the usual stuff you would expect; love, loss and everything in between, but it also pulls on more mature themes such as becoming a parent (‘Me and Mine’) and letting go of the trivial past and appreciating the little things in life (‘Here’s To Moving On’). It shows that Dashboard Confessional are avoiding what many bands from the 2000s have failed to do, and that is keep themselves relevant to their ageing (and sometimes maturing) fans.

Chris Carrabba is writing about what I can only assume is his here and now. This is the aspect of the album I loved the most. I found myself going back to tracks that I wasn’t paying full attention to on the first listen so that I could delve deeper into the narrative. And that’s just it. No clumsy metaphors, just a long stream of thought written out over beautiful acoustic melodies. It’s very descriptive story telling over music that, as I already said, draws you into to listen more intently.

Overall this album should be appreciated as a whole, but there are some standout tracks that are worth their own mention here. Firstly, ‘Everyone Else Is Just Noise’ is a great example of how acoustic tracks can have a great dynamic range even when just a few instruments are utilised. Also, ‘Sunshine State’, a song about regrets and letting go of the past, has a great singalong factor, it’s simple chorus which is now living rent free in my head.

If I could have one small criticism of the album, it is that the stripped-back nature of an acoustic setup feels like it removes some of the emotion from the music. A good example of this is in ‘The Better of Me’, where there is a great build up in the music and some raw vocal emotion pushing through, but it feels a bit flat as it hits it’s climax. I feel that a full band on some of the tracks would really help to hit home, the emotions that Carraba is trying to get across in his vocals. But you can’t have it all and having a full band in other tracks would have the opposite effect of ruining some deeper emotional meaning from the lyrics.

All The Truth That I Can Tell is a very complete album that requires your full attention. It has great attention to detail in both the lyrical content and in it’s musicality. It needs your full attention because it’s trying to tell a story through a straight narrative, rather than setting a tone of emotion. It feels very direct in that sense and if the lyrics speak to you then you will love this album, if they don’t you’ll probably still enjoy some stand-out tracks.

Rating
4


‘All The Truth That I Can Tell’ is out 25/02/22 and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/all-the-truth-that-i-can-tell/1580384081


All The Truth That I Can Tell on Spotify

Coming 25/02/22.

Here’s To Moving On (Official Music Video)

Burning Heart (Official Music Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of Dashboard Confessional’s ninth studio album? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

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Rob Manhire
http://www.twitter.com/RobManhire
http://www.instagram.com/robmanhire

#Review: Frank Turner – FTHC

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Frank Turner is an English punk and folk singer/songwriter who started out his career as a part of the band, Million Dead. Since the band’s split in 2005, he has released a whole string of albums, EPs, compliation albums and more. Now, 2022 sees the release of his ninth studio album, FTHC (initials for Frank Turner Hardcore). Here’s what we have to say about it…

Frank Turner - FTHC

Frank Turner is actually not an artist I’ve listened to much (if at all) over the years but when I was invited to review this album, I thought I’d give it a listen and have to admit I was pleasantly surprised and utterly captivated by the record.

Turner is a very listenable, relatable and matter-of-fact lyricist. He’s poetic and whimsical yet not in an over-complicated way – he uses interesting language to convey his stories but in an easily understandable capacity. He’s punk meets folk, with even a bit of a country vibe in between.

The album launches with the high-octane, punk track, ‘Non Serviam’, that sets the pace for the album perfectly, before quickly flowing into ‘The Gathering’ – an epic track all about coming together after being kept apart through lockdowns for so long, following the global Covid pandemic.

Some of the best tracks on the album have to be some of his most personal ones; ‘Haven’t Been Doing So Well’ reflects on his mental health (something I gather he’s always openly struggled with) – it’s a folk-like tale with an almost ska-punk vibe to it…plus some great harmonica use too! ‘Fatherless’ (as the title suggests), is a story about not having a good relationship with his father, almost like growing up without one, whilst conversley, ‘Miranda’ focuses on his father’s transition to a woman and how they’re working on their relationship now, on top of an almost country-style backing track.

This is an album with many twists and turns and it certainly has a little something for everyone.

Possibly my favourite track on the record though, is the deeply emotional tribute to the suicide of his friend, Scott Hutchison (of Frightened Rabbit), ‘A Wave Across A Bay’. The song is honest and has the air of an open letter to his dearly missed friend – it must have been truly emotional to write and record.

Other tracks not to be missed are the fast-paced punk track, ‘My Bad’, the playful yet very talk-sung, ‘The Resurrectionists’, that looks at various people he knows and what they’ve done with their lives…and what they want to do to relive their lives going forward, as well as ‘Perfect Score’ – an upbeat song that apologises for past mistakes and looks at making amends.

It’s so hard not to mention each and every track on the album, as they are all so unique with something great to offer; ‘Punches’ is a great rock song with gang vocals in all the right places, ‘The Work’ is simply a nice little song with some wonderful vocal melodies, while ‘Little Life’ is a charming and airy folk song.

This is an album with many twists and turns and it certainly has a little something for everyone – it doesn’t confine itself to just one genre, but instead plays with punk, rock, country, folk and more. Whether you’re a long-standing Frank Turner fan or new to his work, FTHC is well worth a listen, from start to finish…time and again. It’s left me intrigued to check out his back catalogue and looking forward to what’s to come next.

Rating
4.5


‘FTHC’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/fthc-deluxe/1584829782


FTHC on Spotify

I Haven’t Been Doing So Well (Official Lyric Video)

The Resurrectionists (Official Audio)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of the singer/songwriter’s ninth album? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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Matt Wright – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: James Blunt @ Brighton Centre, Brighton – 03/02/22

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On Thursday 3rd February 2022, James Blunt arrived in Brighton to kick off his The Stars Beneath My Feet Tour, seeing the artist perform a whole bunch of his greatest hits to a packed crowd. With support from Irish singer, Gavin James, the event was incredible from start to finish. Here’s what we have to say about it…


Gavin James

The singer took to the stage and instantly wowed the crowd with the beautiful, falsetto-driven ‘Nervous’. Starting out as just the singer and a guitar, he proceeded to be joined by a keys player and drummer, creating a deeply rich sound. The set was packed with more rock-like tracks such as the guitar solo-laden ‘Coming Home’ to the piano-led ‘Always’ (before he switched back to guitar, mid-song!) The singer really drew the audience in with his witty crowd interactions and ability to get everyone singing parts of his songs, along with him. He is a really interesting artist and someone to definitely keep an eye on!

Highlight: The beautiful falsetto notes and powerful full-on vocals Gavin James can create with his voice is truly astounding and wonderfully captivating!

 Setlist

Nervous
Heaven
Coming Home
Tired
Circles
Always
Hearts On Fire
Only Ticket Home


James Blunt

Say what you will about James Blunt, the guy is a fantastic performer and comes with a massive, loyal fan base.

From the moment the intro music blared through the speakers and the TV screens descended to cover his entrance, before slowly rising again to reveal Blunt himself, the crowd were cheering in anticipation.

Known for his sense of humour on social media, he was also just as quick-witted in person, making jokes about singing ‘You’re Beautiful’ 22 times, performing his “greatest hit” tour (saying because he only has one) and telling people to sit tight as he took to the piano before belting out a series of sad songs.

This was a truly wonderful show, that demonstrated the amazing talent he has, not only as a songwriter, but a performer too and showcased a diverse collection of songs (after all, this is a greatest hits tour), making it a performance to remember.

Whilst the screens above the stage added some diversity, the visual effects used were at times a little corny but did add to the arena feel of the show.

If you get a chance to catch James Blunt on this UK tour, I highly recommend it – whether you know him for his obvious hits, or are a long-term fan, he will not disappoint with his showmanship! I loved every second of it, despite not knowing every song, and would love to see him again.

Highlights:

  • James Blunt‘s banter with the crowd was on point and always had the audience in stitches.
  • The performance was faultless – he was a true professional at his art…as were his band.
  • There was the perfect combination of uplifting tracks, sad songs and even rockier elements, showing just what a great collection of music he has created over his career so far.
  • The way he held the crowd in the palm of his hand was something amazing to behold too, and there were people who clearly knew every word to every song, showing just how much more he is than ‘You’re Beautiful’.
  • ‘Wisemen’, ‘Love Under Pressure’, ‘Postcards’ (particularly for the use of the ukuleles), ‘OK’ and ‘1973’ were among some of the best songs of the show.

📷 All of the photos in this post are credited to Michael Hundertmark 📸
Why not give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter or check out his website.


 Setlist

Breathe*
Wisemen*
Carry You Home
Adrenaline
The Greatest
Goodbye My Lover
High
Smoke Signals
I Really Want You
Love Under Pressure
Postcards
So Long, Jimmy
Same Mistake
Monsters
Coz I Luv You
You’re Beautiful*
Stay The Night*
OK

Encore
Where Is My Mind? (Pixies Cover)
Bonfire Heart
1973*

These songs can be viewed in the YouTube playlist, below.


Finally, I want to say a HUGE thanks to Tom Pearce from Good Soldier for sorting out this review and to both Gavin James and James Blunt for putting on such a great show!


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other live reviews here:

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Years & Years – Night Call 🧜🏻‍♂️

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Years & Years is the now solo project from singer and songwriter, Olly Alexander. It originally started out as a band back in 2010, who found great success with two remarkable pop albums before Alexander decided to continue the project as a solo venture in 2021. Now, 2022 sees the release of Years & Years‘ third album (and first as a solo project), Night Call. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Years & Years - Night Call

The album launches perfectly with the funky-bass driven, ‘Consequences’ that aptly repeats the track title with a quirky robotic vocal. It’s an upbeat track which opens the album up in the way it means to go on.

From start to finish, Night Call is an album packed with massive, electro-pop tracks that has a wonderful diversity to its sound. From massive pop singles, like ‘Starstruck’ and the club anthem, ‘Sweet Talker’, with Galantis, to more ethereal and oddly satisfying tracks like ‘Strange And Unusual’, there’s a bit of something for everyone.

There are a couple of pretty sexy tracks on the record, including ‘Intimacy’ which is sexy in both lyrical content and the beat too and ‘Muscle’ with its rumbling bass notes underpinned by a shuffling drum beat. Both songs are growers and could be overlooked but on second and third listens, have a lot to offer to the diversity of the record.

This is undoubtedly a major pop record through and through… this is the new Years & Years.

Title track, ‘Night Call’ is a fun, upbeat song with a cool, telephone dial tone used throughout whilst hit single, ‘Crave’, sees club beats meeting drawn-out and altogether hypnotic vocals.

Some of the best tracks on the album include, ’20 Minutes’ with its falsetto, dreamy vocals atop a modest beat (probably my favourite track on the record), ‘Make It Out Alive’ which has catchy chorus vocals on top of shimmering synths and ‘Immaculate’ a superb, Arabian-esque sounding song, complete with funky guitars and a truly danceable chorus. It’s easy to get lost in these tracks, with their wonderful production quirks and interesting styles.

‘Reflection’ is an unusual close to the album, it has an eerie-sounding beat with some funky aspects to it and the vocals sound different than usual too. It’s not a typical Years & Years song and whilst it’s possibly not the best close to the album, it’s still a good song nonetheless.

This is undoubtedly a major pop record through and through and whilst it’s not quite the same style as the old Years & Years records, it’s an amazing first solo effort from the singer/songwriter. It shows just how much he’s developed as an artist and clearly demonstrates that he has what it takes to stay relevant and one of pop’s biggest hitters.

This is the new Years & Years and I can’t wait to hear what he has to release next.

Rating
4.5


‘Night Call’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/night-call-deluxe/1586653480


Night Call on Spotify

Sweet Talker (Official Video)

Crave (Official Video)

Starstruck (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of the singer’s latest album? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Fickle Friends @ Chalk, Brighton – 13/01/22

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On Thursday 13th January 2022, Fickle Friends kicked off their UK tour at Brighton’s Chalk, in support of their second studio album, Are We Gonna Be Alright? The band were supported by Foxgluvv and Valeras, before taking to the stage to play a packed set. Here’s what we have to say about the evening…


Foxgluvv

Stemming from London, support act Foxgluvv, aka Imogen Davies, showcased her unique pop style to early arrivals, in anticipation of the long-awaited Fickle Friends album tour.

You can see her influence from the likes of Madonna and even a touch of Kate Nash within her song writing – very 80’s inspired. She stood confidently on stage, singing songs about relationships, anxiety and identity in a sincere manner. Foxgluvv only had a handful of songs, as a debut album is still on the horizon. One standout song of the evening was the disco banger, ‘1:00AM’, with foot-stomping bass and synths, showing true potential, on par with Charlie XCX, for more exciting things to come in the future.

Michael Hundertmark


Valeras

Valeras were an interesting pair (I say pair, because they’re technically a duo but come accompanied by two other touring members). They packed a punch in terms of sound and the singer’s voice was great too – both raw and powerful. The singer, Rose, did a great job of captivating the audience too – especially when she revealed that she is part of the LGBTQ+ community and performed a personal song about this. There was another point in the set, where she stepped down from the stage and into the crowd, really capturing everyone’s attention. It was a great set and they’re certainly an act to keep an eye on.


Fickle Friends

Fickle Friends took to the stage and the crowd burst into applause and cheering as the band performed their incredibly catchy single, ‘IRL’. From there, the set was packed with a superb combination of songs, both new and old – some from their debut album, You Are Someone Else, some from EPs and some from their recently-released second album, Are We Gonna Be Alright? It was a fantastic showcase of their catalogue!

The band’s use of their instruments and backing tracks interwoven throughout the set was seamless and they demonstrated just how good they are at live performances…even after some time away from performing due to the pandemic. Singer, Natti’s voice was impeccable throughout too – effortless and powerful in all the right places.

The stage design was humble, with their second album cover as backdrop and some cool light towers on the stage to add interesting effects, but otherwise is was over to the band to wow their audience, and wow they did; the crowd were loving every second of the band’s performance, dancing and singing along throughout.

The set was split into some of their most upbeat pop tunes, then “rock hour” (as the band called it) and then “the home straight”, which consists of songs the band know inside out and have performed for so long they don’t have to think about it. Natti took a sip of her “home straight juice” and explained the layout of the set to everyone, making people laugh. “Rock hour” consisted of some of the tracks from their second album, one which they experimented with a heavier sound, in places (read our review here).

Possibly one of my favourite moments though, was the performance of second album title track, ‘Are We Gonna Be Alright?’ The song was very different from the rest of the set and really showed off the talent in Natti’s voice, as she played guitar with fellow band member, Jack – it was beautiful.

Their crowd interactions were short and sweet but kept the show moving nicely.

One thing’s for certain; the band are polished in terms of their live performances and know how to entertain a crowd in all the right ways! If you haven’t seen them live yet, I strongly recommend catching them on this tour, especially as they’ve hinted that it might be a while before they tour again! Grab a ticket and dance and sing the night away.

Highlights:

  • The diversity of the setlist made for a truly brilliant show.
  • The energy that oozed out of the band was superb and made for a great set.
  • Favourite performances included ‘Glue’, ‘Not Okay’, ‘Love You To Death’ and ‘Say No More’.
  • ‘Pretty Great’ was a brilliant end to the set too as a vocoder was used in one part, Natti played some keyboard, Jack took centre stage and shredded the guitar, it was wonderfully chaotic in the best way and made for an outstanding close to the show.

📷 All of the photos in this post are credited to Michael Hundertmark 📸
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 Setlist

IRL
Glue*
Not Okay*
Hello Hello
Not In The Mood
Brooklyn
Write Me A Song
Yeah Yeah Yeah
Love You To Death
Hard To Be Myself*
Are We Gonna Be Alright?
Say No More*
Swim
Pretty Great

These songs can be viewed in the YouTube playlist, below.


Finally, I want to say a HUGE thanks to Kat from Deidkated PR for arranging this review and to Fickle Friends themselves, for putting on an incredible evening.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other live reviews here:

Muzik Speaks Live Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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