#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
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#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: The Darkness @ Brighton Dome, Brighton – 17/11/21

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On Wednesday 17th November 2021, The Darkness arrived in Brighton to perform a set in support of their upcoming album, Motorheart. With support from Massive Wagon, the band performed a set packed with both hits and a few new offerings too! Here’s what we had to say about the show…


Massive Wagon

This band were not my cup of tea at all. There was lots of hair tossing, leg kicking, microphone stand twirling and screaming… to the point of distraction! They are like a garage band – not particularly polished in places but still seemed to be a crowd pleaser nonetheless!


The Darkness

As the bagpipe-esque intro played through the speakers, The Darkness took to the stage as the crowd cheered wildly.

Unfortunately, compared to the last time they played at Brighton Dome (review here), their stage design was considerably stripped back but nevertheless, they came prepared to wow their audience.

There were moments of pure guitar solo delight from Dan, Justin’s trademark falsetto vocals, bass riffs galore from Frankie and even a moment when the lead singer stood on his head in front of the kick drum.

The frontman particularly knows how to interact with and captivate a crowd. There were a couple of occasions where he had the audience calling back every note he sung and another moment when he had them repeating something deeply poetic and was frankly just chatting shit but it was hilarious!

Part way through the set, Justin made his apologies for the band being a bit rusty after their break in performing due to the pandemic and it’s true, they weren’t perfect, in places. However, they still put on a performance packed with energy and played a selection of the band’s biggest hits, fan favourites and some tracks off the new album too!

Some of the best songs performed can be seen on the YouTube playlist below – ‘It’s Love, Jim’ and ‘Motorheart’ were particular favourites from the new album, whilst you can’t go wrong with old hits like ‘Givin’ Up’, ‘Get Your Hands Off My Woman’, ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ and of course their Christmas hit, ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)’.

It was a set that despite their imperfections was fun, energetic and pure The Darkness brilliance! If you haven’t seen them before, be sure to try and check them out on this tour – they promise not to disappoint!

Highlights:

  • Justin’s crowd interactions were witty as ever and he fed off the heckles perfectly too.
  • Justin’s costume changes also added variety to the set.
  • Justin‘s live vocals are powerful and flawless, whilst his charisma oozes with dry humour and a stage presence like no other.
  • The band themselves performed with high energy and their individual talent for each of their instruments is spell-binding.
  • Justin doing a headstand in front of the kick drum during a song, before casually returning to the microphone to finish the song, was pretty damn impressive!

📷 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

Welcome Tae Glasgae
One Way Ticket
Growing On Me
Eastbound
Open Fire
Sticky Situations
Givin’ Up*
It’s Love, Jim*
Black Shuck
Heart Explodes
Friday Night
Love Is Only A Feeling*
The Power And The Glory Of Love
Solid Gold
Motorheart*
Barbarian
Get Your Hands Off My Woman*

Encore
I Believe In A Thing Called Love*
Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)*

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


Finally, I want to say a BIG thanks to Warren and Aoife from Chuff Media for organising this review for us!


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

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#Review: Paloma Faith @ Brighton Centre, Brighton – 16/10/21

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On Saturday 16th October 2021, Paloma Faith arrived in Brighton to perform a string of her biggest hits, fan favourites and cuts from her latest album, Infinite Things, with support from Josef Salvat. Here’s what we had to say about the show…


Josef Salvat

Josef Salvat is an Australian singer and songwriter, who graced the stage with his wonderfully quirky shirt and trouser combo and thrilled the audience with his unique brand of pop music. The performer had a diverse vocal style and even did a rendition of Rihanna‘s ‘Diamonds’.

Highlight: Closing the set with his latest single, ‘I’m Sorry’, was a brilliant ending to his performance; the song is upbeat and catchy as hell so really worked the crowd up before Paloma Faith.


Paloma Faith

As the lights dimmed, Paloma Faith took to the stage to perform ‘Last Night On Earth’ with an eruption of applause and cheering from the audience. During the first song, she addressed the crowd and spoke about how after the pandemic we should focus on the here and the now as we don’t know what tomorrow might bring; truly meaningful words from the singer-songwriter.

She performed the first song in front of a curtain for the majority of the track before it came down to reveal a rather simplistic stage set (for her). Accompanying her, was a largely female-dominated group of musicians and backing singers; all of whom were incredibly talented in their own right.

Dressed in an edgy, backless leather dress and a vibrant red pixie wig, the singer wowed her crowd with not only her superbly powerful vocals but wonderful anecdotes behind some of her songs and of motherhood and getting older too. She even made reference to her skin’s elasticity having gone and it being perfect in a plane crash to help her land safely.

Paloma‘s set was engaging on an interactive level, as her personality and charisma shone through, plus she packed it full of songs not only from her latest album, Infinite Things, but a massive selection of fan favourites and huge hits were spread across the duration of the show too.

At one point, she tells the crowd that her latest album is her favourite as it’s more personal than others she’s put out and reveals it’s probably the only one she’s released that she’d actually buy herself. That said, she knows how to have fun with a lot of her older material too, stunning the audience with cuts all the way back to her first album.

She even performs a cover of Chaka Khan‘s ‘I’m Every Woman’ and tells us how she was once invited to share the stage with the iconic singer but knew none of the words, bring her to face her fears and perform the song herself.

The great thing is that from about half way through the set, no one is sitting down any longer as the singer encourages everyone to get up and dance and you can see people are truly living in the moment.

Paloma is a character, that’s for sure, but her powerful voice only adds to the enjoyment of the show. She is someone who needs to be seen live as she not only knows how to put on an incredible show, but she will have you singing and dancing in no time. If you haven’t caught her on this tour, then grab yourself some tickets for her 2022 tour, ‘Age of Optimism Tour’.

Highlights:

  • The between-song interactions with the audience were wonderful; they were genuine and truly witty, making the crowd feel closer to her as a person.
  • Getting everyone out of their seats and on their feet and dancing made for a great experience.
  • ‘Gold’, Crybaby’, ‘Picking Up The Pieces’, ‘Changing’ and ‘Lullaby’ were definitely some of the highlights from the set.

📷 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

Last Night On Earth
Gold*
Crybaby
Infinite Things
Guilty
Beautiful & Damned
If Loving You Was Easy (with Josef Salvat)
Stone Cold Sober / Stargazer / 30 Minute Love Affair / New York / Upside Down
Picking Up The Pieces*
Monster
Can’t Rely On You
I’m Every Woman (Chaka Khan Cover)*
Changing*
If This Is Goodbye

Encore
Better Than This
Lullaby*
Only Love Can Hurt Like This

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


Finally, I want to say a MASSIVE thanks to Warren from Chuff Media for sorting out this review for me.


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

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#Review: Zebrahead @ Patterns, Brighton – 18/01/20

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On Saturday 18th January 2020, Zebrahead arrived in Brighton to perform the first of three, intimate UK shows, whilst on a break from their tour with Sum 41. The band were supported by Welsh rock band, Maddison. Here’s what we had to say about the show…


Maddison

Welsh rockers, Maddison, put on one hell of a show with their heavy guitars, powerful vocals and superb production (with some pretty epic backing tracks, which truly added to the atmosphere).

Their sound is massive – it’s stadium metal meets melodic rock and their onstage chemistry radiates throughout their performance.

The only criticism is that their onstage banter sometimes became tricky to hear when they talked over each other. Other than that, despite not knowing any of their songs, I thoroughly enjoyed their set.

Highlight: It would have to be the incredible use of backing tracks to create a wonderfully full sound – a real quality production.


Zebrahead

As always, Zebrahead arrived on stage to an epic intro – this time it was the Team America theme song – before bursting into their first song, ‘All My Friends Are Nobodies’.

Despite the venue being smaller than some they might be used to, the band used the space to their full advantage. They worked the crowd into a frenzy by performing a string of their hits – both old and new – and getting everyone in the place involved!

They certainly know how to have a good time too – the band have a pair of guitar techs who dress up as aliens and come on stage intermittently, getting involved in a variety of hilarious antics – from doing a drinking competition between the two of them, to one of them crowd-surfing on a giant rubber ring (as can be seen in the ‘Hello Tomorrow’ live video below). Possibly the most fun part of their set though, was their cover of ‘Baby Shark’ but changed to ‘Let’s Do Shots, during which the aliens passed shots around the band (see the video below).

The band members are tight – their performance is strong, well-timed and they clearly have a great relationship on stage – the chemistry between them is light-hearted and jokey and they just look like they’re having the best time.

If you haven’t had the chance to see Zebrahead live yet, then frankly you haven’t lived yet – they always deliver a high-energy show and regardless of whether you know many of their songs or not, they never fail to get the audience involved.

Zebrahead are a must-see!

Highlights:

  • During one song, Ali asked the crowd to see how many people they could get crowd-surfing during one song – security did not look happy, but it was manic and hilarious.
  • During ‘Worse Than This’, the band brought up two people in the crowd to try and out-drink each other, causing chaos on stage, followed by getting the pair to stage dive off the stage, after the song.
  • ‘Let’s Do Shots’ (‘Baby Shark’ cover)…enough said!
  • The aliens’ antics were pretty funny – in particular the crowd-surfing on the rubber ring.
  • Ali’s powerful scream/rapping is incredible to witness live and Matty (although sometimes not always pitch-perfect) has a great live vocal too.
  • Dan’s moustache!
  • The way the band include the audience and get a real crowd interaction going means that whether you know their material or not, you will always feel swept-up and included at one of their shows.

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 📸 All of the photos in this post are credited to Elliot McRae  📷
Please go and give him a follow on Twitter and Instagram.


 Setlist

All My Friends Are Nobodies
Call Your Friends
The Perfect Crime
Drink Drink
Save Your Breath
We’re Not Alright
Mike Dexter
Seven Nation Army / Wake Me Up
Sirens
Worse Than This*
Hell Yeah!
When Both Sides Suck
Hello Tomorrow*
Let’s Do Shots (Baby Shark)*
Keep It To Myself
Rescue Me*
Party Party

Encore
Falling Apart
Anthem*

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


Finally, I want to say a massive thanks to Zebrahead and Maddison for putting on a killer show, and to Lout Promotions for enabling the review to happen!


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#Review: The Darkness @ Brighton Dome, Brighton – 10/12/19

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On Tuesday 10th December 2019, The Darkness brought their Easter Is Cancelled Tour to Brighton Dome! The event was packed with people and full of fun, with support from Rews. Here’s what we have to say about the event…


Rews

This duo (accompanied by a drummer) are a riotous, girl-powered pair that are unafraid to pack a punch! For just three instruments and a butt-load of distortion, they sure bring about a lot of noise – they kind of reminded me of a more serious, angry-sounding Pink Slip (remember them from Disney’s remake of Freaky Friday, with Lindsay Lohan?!) Although they’re quite the raucous act, the vocal harmonies between them are nothing short of immense and clearly must have been rehearsed for hours! The bassist is full of charisma too, working the stage with conviction, at times, capturing the most attention. An interesting act with some fairly catchy tunes – they made for a good support.

Highlight: The vocal harmonies – honestly, they were awesome!

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The Darkness

As The Darkness took to the stage, dressed all in white, the crowd errupted with excitement, to see the rock band strike out the first notes of Easter Is Cancelled‘s opening track, ‘Rock And Roll Deserves To Die’. After a couple of songs, Justin explained that on this tour, the band were playing the entirety of their latest album, from start to finish, before doing a selection of their greatest hits…and it was awesome! He made a joke about people only coming for their Christmas single or their older songs but people were lapping it all up – both the new and old material.

If you haven’t already heard it, their latest record (Easter Is Cancelled) is great – it’s packed with the usual The Darkness lyrical wit, falsetto vocals, incredible musicianship and powerful rock anthems and is probably one of their best albums in recent years – so it was amazing to be able to see it all performed live.

The stage set was visually stunning too – with three, church window-shaped screens, surrounded by flashing lights, the backdrop for each song was unique, diverse and sometimes just outright bonkers (think cartoon dancing cows moshing!)

After finishing the run-through of their latest album, the band retired for a very quick costume change, before coming back to perform an array of their back catalogue, to much enthusiasm from the crowd. They performed a selection of tracks from nearly all their albums, from ‘Japanese Prisoner of Love’ and ‘Solid Gold’ (from 2017’s Pinewood Smile) to ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ (from their 2003 debut, Permission To Land).

It didn’t matter whether they were playing new or old material, people were singing along with every word, jumping around and having the best time! They perform with high energy, good humour and flawlessness, ensuring their audience come away from the show feeling euphoric. The Darkness are a lot of fun to watch live and whether you know all their songs or not, you are guaranteed to have the best night with them – I really can’t recommend them highly enough!

Highlights:

  • Justin‘s live vocals are powerful and flawless, whilst his charisma oozes with dry humour and a stage presence like no other.
  • The band themselves perform to perfection with impeccable professionalism and high energy and their individual talent for each of their instruments is spell-binding.
  • Justin doing a headstand in front of the kick drum during a song, before casually returning to the microphone to finish the song, was pretty damn impressive!
  • There was one point that someone did something to make Justin laugh at the start of a song, which was touching to see.
  • During the set, Justin brought up that it was Dan‘s birthday coming up and the audience spontaneously burst out with a round of ‘Happy Birthday’ which Justin then led into ‘For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow’.
  • The ad-libs between songs, like a funky riff and vocal melody Justin bust out with before ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ (in the video below) and some of the between-song banter is pretty amusing.
  • I just highly recommend watching them live – already, I would love to see them again!

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


 Setlist

Easter Is Cancelled
Rock And Roll Deserves To Die*
How Can I Lose Your Love
Live ‘Til I Die
Heart Explodes
Deck Chair
Easter Is Cancelled
Heavy Metal Lover
In Another Life
Choke On It
We Are The Guitar Men

Greatest Hits
One Way Ticket*
Barbarian
Growing On Me*
Japanese Prisoner Of Love
Love Is Only A Feeling
Solid Gold
Givin’ Up*
Street Spirit (Fade Out)
Get Your Hands Off My Woman
I Believe In A Thing Called Love*

Encore
Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)*

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


Finally, I want to say a massive thanks to The Darkness and Rews for putting on a great show as well as Warren and Charleigh from Chuff Media for enabling this review to happen.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: John Newman @ Concorde 2, Brighton – 15/10/19

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On Tuesday 15th October 2019, John Newman arrived in Brighton, to play a sold out show at Concorde 2, to promote his new EP, A.N.i.M.A.L. He was supported by sibling trio, Tors. Here’s what we have to say about the show…


Tors

I remember being fascinated when I first saw Tors support Tom Walker a couple of years ago, so was pleasantly surprised to see the trio of brothers return to Brighton. They still amaze me with just how full their sound is, despite there just being three of them, partially due to the (standing) drummer and his clever use of drum pads.

The three-piece sibling outfit produce some captivating sounds and somehow evoke a sense of nostalgia – they could easily fit on an emotive film soundtrack. If you haven’t seen them; I would highly recommend at least giving them a listen on Spotify, or heading to a show of theirs, near you.

Highlight: The three-part vocal harmonies produced by the guys is remarkable and adds a really interesting depth to their performance. It’s a wonderfully special thing to hear done live.


John Newman

The lights went down as an evocative instrumental and rhythmic lighting got the crowd pumped up for John Newman to take to the stage. As the track came to an end, he arrived to great applause and did something quite unexpected and unusual, performing the first part of ‘Not Giving In’ as just him and an acoustic guitar – upbeat but not a full-on sound to arrive on stage to…but it worked so well! It really showcased his incredible talents, before the full band joined him on stage to finish the rest of the track.

He proceeded to play a range of his biggest, most well-known tracks, including his collaborations with the likes of Rudimental and Sigala, all the while, getting the crowd singing and dancing along. He sure likes to move himself too, as he constantly puts his utmost energy into every song, including busting out his rather quirky yet distinctive dancing.

His vocals were fantastic as well – although a little raspy in places (however this is somewhat part of his trademark sound). He was accompanied by two brilliant female, backing vocalists and a tight band too.

However, possibly one of the best bits about the show, was his candid sharing of anecdotes and opening up about his feelings. He talked about his recent struggles with his physical health, as well as issues with his mental health too; making promises that he will get stronger and never allow people to take control of his creative processes again (which comes after a couple of songs he released that he felt were not true to himself). He also shared how he is coming out of himself a lot more now and wanting to perform more intimate shows and chat more to fans, than he did in the past – showing a great deal of growth.

One thing’s for certain, John Newman could quite easily pack a small, local venue or a huge stadium but regardless, he would have everyone in the place dancing and singing like mad, the whole way through. His energy is relentless and set list is packed with upbeat songs which you can’t help but lose yourself in. You must go and see him live when you get the chance!

Highlights:

  • The sheer energy John Newman gives the audience is highly infectious and his vocals are incredible to hear live!
  • The set list was sensational and packed with hits to get the crowd moving, constantly!
  • His honest and open approach to interacting with the crowd is refreshing and to talk about his own struggles makes him very relatable – and he clearly has a lot of love for it, as people constantly call out, “I love you John!”
  • It may sound odd, but the stage lighting really made the performance stand out too – Concorde 2 is a great, local venue with about 600 capacity but the lighting could easily have worked in a stadium, but it was amazing to see that work at a smaller venue.
  • The backing band and vocalists just make the experience even better – it would be quite easy for him to use backing tracks but it adds something for him to vibe off.

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


 Setlist

Intro
Not Giving In
Give Me Your Love*
Feelings
Cheating
Losing Sleep
The Hardest Word Is Goodbye
Forever’s Not Long Enough
Mama
Animal
Tiring Game
Come And Get It*
Blame
Feel The Love*

Encore
Without You
Stand By Me
Love Me Again

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


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to John Newman and Tors for putting on incredible performances and to Warren Higgins from Chuff Media for setting this review up for me.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: IDLES @ Brighton Dome, Brighton – 29/03/19

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On Friday 29th March 2019, IDLES arrived in Brighton to play an excellent show, following their Brit Award nomination and in support of their second album, Joy As An Act Of Resistance. The band were supported by Crows. Here’s what we thought of the show…


Crows

There’s something instantly hypnotic about this band with their heavy, repetitive and dare I say, almost monotonous drone of sound that sits somewhere between Editors and something much darker. They’re definitely sat on the less pure side of indie and not necessarily for everyone but they’re stylistically edgy and even though the singer’s vocal is quite bland, it is intentionally done to fit with the style and somehow it just works…really well!

Highlight: I particularly loved the singer’s use of two different microphones – one for more crisp vocals and the other for shouts and harmonic wails that have tons of reverb on – it’s a pretty unique element to the performance. What’s more – he knows how to get lost in the music and really let loose!

Setlist

Silver Tongues
Demeanour
Wednesday’s Child
Empyrean
The Itch
Hang Me High
Whisper
Chain Of Being


IDLES

A hum of anticipation rang through the crowd as the lights went down and IDLES took to the stage. Surrounding the band, were a ring of strobe-like lights which continuously circled the band, getting progressively faster, as they launched into opening song, ‘Colossus’.

Whilst this is not a band I would normally enjoy, I can appreciate the energy that emanates from their performances, bringing punk into the modern, contemporary age.

The band don’t let up for a minute with their passionate, in-your-face and downright ballsy demeanour, fronted by Joe Talbot, who, throughout the show, makes references to now being sober and how he’s recently become a father. He also shares little anecdotes and passes comments on what he’s passionate about, like the importance of looking after each other, when you “argy-bargy” in the crowd.

This is shouty, grungy and lyrically dynamic punk that has picked up fans of all ages – a truly diverse crowd watched in awe as the band members got progressively more pumped up and not once, let the energy in the room, drop.

Even if they’re not your sort of thing, I still recommend checking them out; they put on a great show and they just continue getting bigger, so try and catch them at a more intimate venue, before they’re selling out arenas!

Highlights:

  • When both Lee Kiernan and Mark Bowen got off the stage and worked their way through the crowd to perform amongst the audience, sitting on the floor, before being crowd surfed back to the front…epic!
  • Joe Talbot’s energy throughout was infectious, particularly as he pumped himself up, punching his arms up and down in front of him, like he was operating a pneumatic drill!
  • As the band started their set, the circling lights were mesmerising and quite hypnotic and the audible chaos, the end of their set descended into after Joe left the stage, was equally amazing.
  • The genuine care Joe showed for his fans and the audience by looking out for them and also sharing anecdotes, really engaged the crowd.

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


 Setlist

Colossus
Well Done
I’m Scum
Queens
Great
Danny Nedelko
Divide & Conquer
1049 Gotho
Love Song
Never Fight A Man With A Perm
Mother
Faith In The City
All I Want For Christmas (Is You) (Mariah Carey cover)
Benzocaine
Samaritans
Exeter
Television
Rottweiler


Finally, I want to say a big thanks to Rob from Sonic PR for making this review happen and also to both IDLES and Crows for putting on a great show!


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: As It Is @ Concorde 2, Brighton – 15/03/19

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On Friday 15th March 2019, As It Is arrived in Brighton for the final date of their The Intimate Depression Tour, in support of their latest album release, The Great Depression. The band were supported by Modern ErrorBellevue Days and Klae. It was an extra-special evening, not only because it was the last night of the tour, but it was a return to the city they started in! Here’s what we thought of the evening…


Klae

Klae are five-piece, female-fronted band from Brighton, who kicked off the evening with their blend of gritty pop rock. They have a tight, commercial sound to them, and clearly a loyal following is already building for them. They’ll be a local band to keep an eye out for with their atmospheric, airy guitar melodies and honest lyricism…though at times, some of the dancing seems a little contrived.

Klae


Bellevue Days

Next up, was the rather slick Bellevue Days – their performance was flawless and they have obviously honed their songwriting skills to perfection, with little fills and quirks in all the right places; whilst it makes their songs stand out, at times they change pace a little too often, meaning you can’t quite get into the groove, or the song appears to end, just as it seems to be building up to something more.

Personally, I preferred the backing singer’s voice, when he took the lead on ‘Faith’ and think he should definitely take the lead a little more, however, between the three vocalists, their harmonies are sensational!

They’re very much Weezer meets Brand New with a little Blur thrown in…one song in particular was almost like a carbon copy of Brand New though. All round, they’re a great live band and certainly have a good stage presence…even if the drummer did look petrified throughout the performance.


Modern Error

The last support to take to the stage was the intense, high-energy, Modern Error – an in-your-face, scream-metal band with solid production (in the form of atmospheric backing tracks) interwoven seamlessly with their skilful performance.

The band are nicely topped off with the lead singer’s screaming vocal which seems to come so effortlessly – though his attempts at more melodic singing weren’t quite as strong.

It’s clear that this band have found inspiration in the likes of Underoath‘s album, They’re Only Chasing Safety, as far as synth sounds merging with post-hardcore or metal sensibilities go.

The band’s octane-infused set really ignited the audience into a frenzy, creating swirling circle-pits and people manically moshing around. Modern Error are a well-rounded band with a clearly well-rehearsed stage presence and really know how to work a crowd; the only criticism…a little too much reaching out with one hand.


As It Is

Finally, As It Is took to the stage! Although each of the supports were well-rehearsed and their performances polished, the quality of this band is truly next-level impeccable, instantly demonstrating just how professional they are at this.

It might well have been the last night of their UK tour, and by their own admission, they were exhausted, but you definitely couldn’t tell…the energy they brought was magical, captivating even. The band are very much at home on stage – standing on speakers, thrashing round wildly, swinging the microphone round, for some perfectly-timed manoeuvres and Ronnie Ish even pulled off a little crowd-surfing…simply put, they owned that stage!

Having started out in this very city, the band shared their gratitude (a few times) for finally being able to headline their own show at the iconic Concorde 2, having watched some of the bands that inspired them, performing on that very stage. It was special thanks that went out to their fans, throughout the show, for getting them to where they are today and you could tell, their appreciation is genuine.

They may have visually changed their style since their last record, and their sound may have got a touch heavier than before, but at their core, they’re still quite the pop punk band they always were – they just have a little more ’emo’ edge to them now. They’re writing and singing about more taboo subjects, like anxiety, depression, self-harm, etc. but are managing to do so with sincerity and integrity. You can tell that their fans admire it too, singing back every word with equal the passion that Patty Walters sings out to them.

Watching this set, truly felt like watching the early days of the iconic punk rock/pop punk/emo bands I used to love, growing up – the likes of Good CharlotteNew Found GloryMy Chemical RomanceThe Used, etc. It was really something special and I’m certain that if this show was anything to go by, this band are only going to continue to grow to new heights in their career, from here. I would highly recommend seeing them live – they’ll draw you in and have you moshing around in an instant!

Highlights:

  • The way the band use the whole stage, to jump and spin around, interact with each other and even swing the microphone round, made the show something spectacular to behold.
  • Whilst the set was predominantly filled with material from their latest album, The Great Depression, there was also a good deal of older songs to please fans old and new.
  • Patty Walters‘ honest out-pouring of emotion and sharing of personal anecdotes with the audience, let them know that this is more like a family than just a band and their fanbase, even referring to them as family. His speech around mental health, and the way talking about this is sometimes perceived within the genre, was actually very touching and heart-felt – things like this can so often be cringey, when delivered by someone in his position, but actually, I found myself hanging on his every word, and if this is enough to save even one life, then it can only be a good thing!
  • The audience’s love for this band is raw and emotionally-driven too, making the atmosphere in the venue, electric. A few people were even brought to tears by their presence, their lyrics and the passion the band pour into their art.
  • It was actually a highlight in itself, just to see this band (who could so easily sell out a larger venue) performing to a smaller audience, in a more intimate setting, but without compromising any of the quality of their set and stage presence. It was a truly marvellous event!

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📸 All of the photos of As It Is are credited to Chloe Hashemi 📷
Go and give her a follow on Instagram and Twitter, and visit her website.


 Setlist

The Wounded World
The Two Tongues (Screaming Salvation)
The Great Depression
The Reaper
The Handwritten Letter
No Way Out
The Fire, The Dark
The Haunting
Cheap Shots & Setbacks
Such Great Heights (The Postal Service cover)
The Truth I’ll Never Tell
You, The Room & The Devil On Your Shoulder
The Question, The Answer
Winter’s Weather
Patchwork Love

Encore
Okay
Dial Tones
The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry)*

This song can be viewed in the YouTube video, below.


Finally, I want to say a big thanks to Patrick Marsden at Lout Promotions for enabling this review to happen but also to As It IsModern ErrorBellevue Days and Klae for making the evening such a special one!


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

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#Review: Hold Close – Time 🕐

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Muzik Speaks Loves Hopeless Records - SmallerHold Close are a Pop Punk band hailing from Springfield, Missouri in the USA. To date, they have had a couple of EP releases through Hopeless Records, across 2016 and 2017 but now, 2019 sees the release of their debut album, Time. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Hold Close - Time

We’re eased into the album with title track, ‘Time’ – an intro-style song, which starts off calm and rather understated, with a nice little gang vocal, riding on top of the acoustic guitar. It has quite a wholesome sound to the opening, with the lyrics, “You know time will always heal,” but by half way, bursts into a chaotic moment and a slightly heavier tone, giving us a sense of what’s to come…before calming back to the way it begins. It doesn’t last long before swiftly leading into ‘Hang Tight’, dramatically picking up the pace.

‘Hang Tight’ has an intense beat, you can’t help but get swept up in, especially as there’s a huge sense of ecstasy in the calmer moments. Near the end of the track, there’s a note that’s almost screamed before a moment of calm that comes back round as if the track is starting again – it’s marvellous.

The best tracks on the record have to be: ‘Breath’ – a beautiful track about losing someone. It’s so stunningly passionate and heartfelt that you hang on every word. The line, “Sometimes I pretend like you’re still here,” really gets me; ‘Tropical Depression’ is deeply engrossing track due to the vocal effects and the metaphor of a relationship being a-likened to a tropical depression is wonderfully poetic; ‘Here Again’ depicts a longing for someone you miss. Subtle synths swirl around powerful vocals in the chorus, which makes for a touching outpouring of emotion; lastly, ‘Separation’ makes for an epic close to the album – hauntingly beautiful guitar melodies in the chorus are met with great instrument pushes and gang vocals to really hit it home, dropping into a long, synth outro and subtle vocals.

Other tracks include: ‘Cast Me Away’ which makes for a slightly more traditional pop punk track, ‘Absent To Reality’ has a much darker tone than most on the record whilst ‘Cloud9’ has something similar about the synth sound and melody to Keane’s ‘She Has No Time’ – it’s the lyrics that mostly resonate with me; “Will I ever learn to dream again, Escape from all the things I fear and then, Find my path to seeing clear again, Make my way through what’s to come from this.”

The only real drawback about Time is that 3 of the 11 tracks are pretty short, acting as intros/interludes – sure they are haunting and give the listener a few seconds to pause, but it would have just been amazing if there were more tracks.

There’s a real maturity to this record that a lot of bands can only dream of – it’s not quite pop punk, it’s not quite alternative rock – it’s just damn good!

The occasional echo effects on the vocals, interspersed throughout the album, alongside the diverse song-writing and instrumentation, induce real moments and feelings of euphoria – it’s the kind of album you can just turn up loud and get completely lost in – engulfed by the melodies and production.

There’s a real maturity to this record that a lot of bands can only dream of – it’s not quite pop punk, it’s not quite alternative rock – it’s just damn good! The instrumentation is intricate and well-crafted, with deeply considered, honest and relatable lyrics that must have taken a lot of self-reflection.

There is a lot of emphasis placed on memories of love and people lost, right across the album and a very clear theme of time passing, reminiscing and some degree of healing coming from that. “Time will always heal” is very much a repeated phrase. A mantra.

Time is very much like the record of a pop punk band who have already had a lengthy career and matured, going on to create an album of well-considered, thought-provoking and sonically captivating music to push the boundaries of the genre…it’s just that Hold Close have achieved it early on in their career than others. The band have produced something wonderful with this album and I truly can’t wait to hear what they create next.

Rating

4-5


‘Time’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/time/1437338395


Time on Spotify

Tropical Depression (Official Music Video)

Breath (Official Music Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of Hold Close’s album, Time? 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:

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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