#EventSpeaks: Tom Walker @ Green Door Store, Brighton – 28/11/17


   

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Fresh after being added to the Longlist of BBC Music’s Sound of 2018, Tom Walker came to Brighton on the penultimate date of his UK tour. He was supported by up-and-comers, Tors, at The Green Door Store, on Tuesday 28th November 2017 and it was not a night to be missed!


Tors

This band were incredibly exciting – a trio of brothers, born in Brighton and living between London and Devon, they had a very polished sound!

The vocal harmonies the brothers used were remarkably tight and it’s clear that they have worked hard to Perfect this.

The songs themselves were well written and their on-stage presence and chemistry was excellent (I guess being brothers helps). The best way to describe their sound is ‘warm’ – it gives you a great feeling just to hear their beautiful melodies and intricate instrumentation. Definitely check out their music online and catch them live if you get the chance.

Highlight: It was amazing just how full the trio’s sound was, using just 3 guitars, sample pads and a few live drums – I particularly enjoyed the combination of sample pads and live drums.


Tom Walker

It is without a doubt that Tom Walker has already built himself up a very loyal following, which was evidenced by the fact that the show was a sell-out and virtually everyone in the place was singing along to every word.

I have to admit that I myself didn’t know too many of his songs prior to going and those that I did know, were along the more mellow lines but I was (pleasantly) surprised to find that his set was packed with quite a few intense, rock-fuelled tunes and some rather insane guitar solos too! The audience were revelling in his heavier songs, skanking out like crazy, whilst his mellower efforts provided an opportunity for the crowd to flex their vocal muscles.

One thing is for certain; this event was definitely something special – it truly felt like we were witnessing the beginning of this guy becoming a big household name and I have to agree with the BBC; I predict big things for him in 2018 – I can’t wait to see what next year holds for this talented artist!

Highlights:

  • The perfection of the set was immense – it was incredible to see how just three people could create such a full and all-encompassing sound.
  • ‘Angels’ was something really special – I reckon this could be a massive, hit single for him – you need to see this live! You could tell that this song gives Tom a buzz too as he was grinning from ear to ear after performing it.
  • Tom got the crowd to shout back, “Fuck it,” during his performance of ‘Rapture’ and the sheer intensity of the crowd’s enjoyment at doing this was a marvel to behold.
  • Whilst the stage at Green Door Store is relatively small, Tom and his band sure made the best of it and I loved the use of his lighting tubes to bring a bit of diversity to the visuals.
  • The bassist’s facial expressions were hysterical – I couldn’t tell whether he’d smelt something unpleasant but was sadistically enjoying it, or he was just lost in the moment, but it sure had some of the crowd amused. Jokes aside, a great musician!
  • The amalgamation of backing tracks and sample pads as well as the live instruments was sensational – kudos to the drummer for his use of the sample pads and blending it with the drums.
  • Straight after the show, Tom took the time to chat to his fans and take photos with them outside the venue – he seemed like a really genuine guy, who was grateful for everyone’s support. It was out here that I heard him mention his debut album would be quite a bit heavier than some of the previous songs he’s released – this was reflected in his live set but I left the show with a real excitement to hear it!

Tom Walker & Matt Wright.JPG


 Setlist

Sun Goes Down
Fly Away
Just You & I
Blessings
Angels
Karma
Play Dead
Heartland
Rapture
Leave A Light On

Encore
Me, Myself & I


Finally, I want to say a massive thanks to Jake Tasker for helping to make this review happen and to Tom Walker himself for the incredible show he put on; it was truly amazing!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#EventSpeaks: T’Pau @ Concorde 2, Brighton – 24/11/17


   

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On Friday 24th November 2017, T’Pau came to perform at Concorde 2 in Brighton, in celebration of their Number 1 hit, ‘China In Your Hand’, 30 years ago – back in 1987! The band performed a string of hits, perfectly, with support from Scarlet and John Adams.


John Adams

Unfortunately I just caught the end of John Adams‘ set – a great singer-songwriter from what I saw with quite a distinctive voice (similar in some ways to James Blunt). I will be checking out more of his stuff.


Scarlet.

Scarlet. are a very polished band – their performance flowed smoothly and their timing was superb. I was particularly captivated by the singer’s fairly unique voice, though it does have some similarities to Avril Lavigne just with a slightly more indie/punk vibe. The bands energy was high and their songwriting style was rather brilliant. It’s not all too often that I enjoy support bands but these guys were definitely worth watching and certainly knew how to get the crowd pumped up.

The only drawback I found with this band is since I’ve come home… I can’t seem to find much of their music online. They had a PledgeMusic campaign for their debut album and there is a BandCamp account but I can’t seem to find their album to listen to, which is a real shame. Great sound though!


T’Pau

Carol Decker and the rest of T’Pau took to the stage, with a rapturous applause from the audience and a massive smile on her face. The audience’s diversity was impressive, from first-time-round fans to families, sharing their love of the band with their children – what struck me was just how much of a good time everyone was clearly having.

It’s a great shame that the band had a very strict curfew (as Carol Decker explained) which meant that some of their set was actually cut out prior to the show and there was less crowd interaction than she would have liked, but what between-song banter there was, was pretty hilarious.

There’s no doubt about it that the band have truly perfected their live performances; the vocal harmonies were unbelievably tight, the use of the different instruments was clearly audible across each song and the energy was electrifying. I particularly loved ‘Sex Talk’‘Secret Garden’‘Heart And Soul’ and ‘China In Your Hand’.

In honesty, I personally didn’t know a lot of the songs they performed, before the show, but I sure had a fantastic time and I would defy anybody to go to one of T’Pau‘s shows and not come out with the biggest grin on their face, having danced to their heart’s content – they truly are one of the biggest feel-good bands I’ve ever seen. I will certainly be listening to them a lot more from now on!

Highlights:

  • Carol’s voice was simply epic – I mean completely flawless and full of power.
  • The vocal harmonies between the majority of the band members (used in some of the songs) were unparalleled – I don’t think I’ve quite heard anything like it, ‘Secret Garden’ was one of the biggest highlights for me.
  • I loved Carol’s shameless plug of the band’s merch, suggesting that their latest album would make a great stocking filler and then pointed to one of the audience’s t-shirts, stating that it was now 30 years old and they needed a new one…hilarious!
  • The glances and subtle, glancing interactions between the band members was heart-warming and showed that their relationships were genuine and that they were having fun.

 Setlist

Thank You For Goodbye
Sex Talk
Island
Monkey House
Valentine
I Will Be With You
Secret Garden
Road To Our Dream
Walk On Air
Say You Will
Whenever You Need Me
Read My Mind
One Lesson In Love
The Promise
Bridge Of Spies
Heart And Soul*
China In Your Hand*

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


Finally, I want to say a big thanks to Richard Coates and Tony Cradock for setting up the opportunity for me to review this show. Also a massive thanks and well done to Carol Decker and the rest of T’Pau for putting on one heck of an incredible performance!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#WildCardWednesday: YONAKA – ‘Bubblegum’


   

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YONAKA are a fantastic Brighton-based band who consist of Theresa Jarvis (Vocals), George Edwards (Guitar), Alex Crosby (Bass/Keys) and Robert Mason (Drums). The band refer to themselves as ‘Dark Alt Pop with heavy riffs’ and I couldn’t agree more; their latest track, ‘Bubblegum’ fuses electro-pop vibes with grungy guitars and it’s all topped off with Theresa‘s vocals (which I find have similarities to Charli XCX).

The video has just been released and it really depicts just what YONAKA are all about – it’s visually intriguing and oddly artistic; what more can you expect from a Brighton-grown band eh?!

You must check out this wonderful song and accompanying video – it’s well worth it!

What are your thoughts of this up-and-coming band? Have you got a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or chat to us about it via social media, using the #WildCardWednesday hashtag.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Bubblegum’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/bubblegum/1289319076?i=1289319088


#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with James Walsh from Starsailor


   

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When Starsailor visited Brighton’s Concorde 2 on their All This Life Tour, I had the great privilege of chatting to James Walsh, backstage, before the show (check out our review).

We chatted all about the inspirations behind the band’s latest album, All This Life, who he’d most like to collaborate with and discussed the weirdest question he’s ever been asked. It’s all here…



Starsailor‘s releases are all available:


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#EventSpeaks: Starsailor @ Concorde 2, Brighton – 25/10/17


   

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On Wednesday 25th October 2017, the massive post-Britpop band, Starsailor arrived in Brighton on their All This Life Tour in support of their latest album, All This Life (check out our interview with James Walsh here). The band put on one heck of a high-energy show, packed to the brim with many of their hits as well as tracks from their new album. They were supported by Paradisia and Tom Speight.


Tom Speight

This singer-songwriter was an interesting performer with a well-crafted sound – apparently he had recently been writing with James Walsh (of Starsailor). His lyrics were meaningful and the addition of a backing singer (complete with shakers!) added a nice diversity to his live performance (instead of the often uninspiring, “guy with a guitar” sound). He and his backing singer had clearly spent a lot of time rehearsing as their vocals were very tight. The only thing which struck me as slightly odd is that considering he is a solo performer, he gave quite a bit of time to his backing singer to take lead vocals; more than you might expect, however there was a certain depth to his performance.

Highlight: Tom entering the crowd with just his backing singer and his guitar to perform a song, unplugged, in the centre of the audience was definitely a highlight and quite a unique performance idea.


Paradisia

From the moment you see a harp on stage, your interest is instantly peaked – not many bands use one, so it was something quite unique from the offset. This trio of ladies didn’t disappoint either; they are remarkably talented musicians, songwriters and performers. Their songwriting style was incredibly individual and their vocal abilities were simply stunning – to harmonise the way they did, takes a lot of practise. The only criticism I had was the lead singer’s sincerity when talking to the crowd and expressing their excitement to be there, or lack thereof – I heard others make comments about this too. However, that aside, I was utterly enthralled throughout their set and have spent time listening to them since – they are undoubtedly fantastic!

Highlight: The perfection with which the trio performed their vocal harmonies was a stunning thing to behold and I highly recommend anyone to check them out. Regardless of your taste in music, anyone can and will appreciate this band’s pure talent and the hard work they clearly put into perfecting their live performances.


Starsailor

The crowd erupted with massive applause as the band’s intro music blared through the PA system…and from there the volume only got louder – both the audience’s screams as the band appeared on stage and the band themselves as they began to play! Undoubtedly, this was one of the loudest shows I’ve ever been to (in fact two days later and I still have a very faint ringing in my ears).

Starsailor are clearly very professional at what they do – they’ve been in the business for over 15 years and toured the world – their set was flawless. They have clearly mastered their live performances, getting the right balance between not talking too much between songs (as sometimes happens with some bands) and playing a good ratio of new and old material. The audience were delighted to hear a string of the band’s biggest hits, including; ‘Alcoholic’‘Poor Misguided Fool’‘Four To The Floor’ and ‘Good Souls’ as well as some tracks from their new album, such as; ‘Listen To Your Heart’‘All This Life’ and ‘FIA (F**k It All)’.

Some of the standout performances for me, were: ‘Listen To Your Heart’ – as the band took to the stage, they made a massive impact on their audience straight away; ‘Take A Little Time’ which although I wasn’t overly familiar with it, was both catchy and a brilliant song to dance to – I’ve actually had it on repeat since the show; ‘Four To The Floor’ which had everyone pumped up and singing along and ‘Silence Is Easy’ as this track is just a real belter – the band played a slightly heavier version than the one they released but my god it was good!

The crowd loved every second of this show and I did too – the passion in the band’s performance and the vigour of the audience made it a truly special evening – one to remember. I highly recommend watching this band live; they will not disappoint…just make sure you bring earplugs – they’re LOUD!

Highlights:

  • The genuine, appreciative grin that occasionally spread across James Walsh‘s face every now and then – clearly showed he was grateful to be there and was enjoying the crowd.
  • James Stelfox‘s facial interactions with the audience were hilarious.
  • The high-energy impact and faultless nature of their set was remarkable – it was a truly special show to behold.
  • James Walsh asking the names of three fans at the front of the crowd who’d sung along to every word and danced without a care in the world, and then dedicating a song to them was a lovely touch of appreciation.
  • I liked Barry Westhead‘s use of different keyboards for different tracks – there was a great diversity with him switching between piano sounds on one keyboard and an organ.

📷 All of the photos in this post are credited to Damon Peirce 📷
Go and give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter.


Setlist

Listen To Your Heart
Alcoholic
Poor Misguided Fool
All This Life
Take A Little Time
In The Crossfire
Lullaby
Blood
Fever
Sunday Best
Caught In The Middle
Tie Up My Hands
Best Of Me
Tell Me It’s Not Over
Four To The Floor
Silence Is Easy*

Encore
FIA (F**k It All)
Good Souls

This song can be viewed on YouTube, below.


Finally, I want to say a BIG thanks to Rob Kerford from Sonic PR for setting up this review and interview with James Walsh from the band and to Starsailor themselves for putting on an incredible show and taking the time to talk to me.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#EventSpeaks: Will Joseph Cook @ The Haunt, Brighton – 17/10/17


   

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On Tuesday 17th October 2017, Will Joseph Cook, came to Brighton to perform a set in support of his debut album, Sweet Dreamer, as well as play a couple of new songs from his upcoming EP. He was supported by Indigo Husk at the popular Brighton venue, The Haunt.


Indigo Husk

The band took to the stage with their grungy, give-a-damn appearance and although the crowd seemed a bit reticent to begin with, after a couple of songs, they had been worked up a treat, with the band’s funky brand of grunge-pop. The lead singer’s occasional ‘whoops’ and sarcastic quips were amusing, whilst the drummer was possibly one of the most engaging band members I’ve ever seen – he was witty, enthusiastic, provided great backing vocals and oozed personality through his crowd interaction. Sadly the same can’t quite be said for the bassist, who barely cracked a smile throughout and the concentration on Flynn’s face looked almost uncomfortable for him, at times. That’s not to say it was a bad performance or that they’re not a good band; it makes them who they are and they were certainly fun to watch.

Highlight:

The drummer – he was captivating and I particularly enjoyed the moments he stood up whilst drumming, taking every opportunity to interact with the audience.


Will Joseph Cook

Will Joseph Cook is a fantastic performer and his unique blend of indie vibes, electronic synths and pop hooks make for one heck of a funky, dance-infused performance.

The moment he appeared on stage, the audience burst into rapturous applause – one thing’s for sure, Will Joseph Cook has worked incredibly hard to build up a dedicated and loyal following, evidenced by the fact that the show had sold out.

His vocals were on point and his working of the stage was controlled and at times even mesmerising. I like that he is able to switch between playing the guitar and singing (which can be quite static) on some songs, whilst on others, he ditches the guitar and works the crowd – it’s great to see this diversity in his performance.

The songs he played sounded just as good as his recordings and at times, Will and the band added a nice leading intro into a song, adding something unique that you could only see and hear if you watch him live.

Not only has Will Joseph Cook produced an incredibly strong debut album (Sweet Dreamer) but his performances are remarkably captivating too. He is definitely worth watching live – make sure you catch his show next time he’s near you.

Highlights:

  • Usually I like it when there’s a lot of between-song banter from the band or artist, but Will kept this to a minimum, playing song after song, keeping the audience dancing and singing along.
  • Getting to hear a couple of his new tracks, live, was great!
  • His performances of ‘Plastic’‘Girls Like Me’ and new song, ‘If You Want To Make Money’, all really stood out to me.
  • Will and the band’s abilities to make the live renditions sound just as good as the recordings.

 📷 All of the fantastic photos in this post are credited to Elliot McRae. 📷
Go on and give him a follow – @EMcraePhoto


 Setlist

Biggest Fan
Alive
Sweet Dreamer
Treat Me Like A Lover*
Plastic*
Habit
Take Me Dancing
If You Want To Make Money*
Fish*
Daisy Chains
Beach

Encore
Message
Girls Like Me*

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


Finally, I want to say a MASSIVE thanks to Isobel Williams from Whiteboard PR for setting up this review and to Will Joseph Cook and Indigo Husk for putting on a great evening.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#EventSpeaks: Kate Nash @ Concorde 2, Brighton – 08/08/17


   

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This year, Kate Nash celebrates the 10th anniversary of her debut album, Made Of Bricks, and as such, she’s taken the album on tour, to mark the occasion. On Tuesday 8th August 2017, the tour came to Brighton, where she put on an incredible show at Concorde 2, with support from American-based rock band, Skating Polly.


Skating Polly

Skating Polly are a captivating band to watch – they are uniquely talented and have clearly worked hard on crafting their sound and perfecting their performance. I love the way Kelli and Peyton swap between taking lead vocals – it is brilliant and adds a certain diversity to their stage presence. Also, for the last song, Peyton and Kurtis swapped guitar and drums, further wowing the audience. A great display of talent from this band! As for their songs, they clearly don’t conform to current trends but rather make music that suits them and aren’t afraid to be themselves, which is great. This band may be fairly small in stature but they certainly pack a punch with their sound – be sure to check them out.

Highlight: One of the biggest highlights was when Kate Nash joined the band on stage for their performance of ‘A Little Late’.


Kate Nash

Kate Nash‘s all-girl band took to the stage with rapturous applause and a performance of ‘Play’ just before Kate herself arrived (complete with a huge dress), teasing the audience with just a small part of ‘Foundations’, after which, she moved into ‘Mouthwash’ causing everyone to continue singing along at the top of their voices.

Kate proceeded to play her debut album, Made Of Bricks, in its entirety. It was wonderful to see the audience singing every word of every song, making this 10th anniversary tour all the more special; her fans have clearly held this album dear for the past decade and the fact that the concert sold out, shows how they are still loving it, all these years later.

Her style of performance is enthralling – she works the stage, and her fans with vivacity and vigour, jumping around, tossing her hair and at the end of her set, even playing her piano with her bum! Her confidence exudes in masses and she has crafted her performance to perfection. Her interaction with the crowd is perfect; she’s playful, funny and humble – as an independent artist, her gratitude towards her fans was a beautiful thing to witness and in return she made sure to put every ounce of her energy into putting on an incredible show for them.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to see Kate Nash live yet, make sure you do – you’re in for a treat!

Highlights:

  • Kate’s ability to work the stage and captivate her audience is second-to-none.
  • Teasing the audience with part of ‘Foundations’ early on, got the crowd going mad. I also loved that she played the Made Of Bricks album in order, really celebrating the 10th anniversary of its release.
  • Playing a couple of her more recent tracks as well as B-Sides from the era of the Made Of Bricks album, brought another element of intrigue to the end of her set.
  • The stage design was really unique and great for the size of the stage – it made for a great performing environment. Also, the use of video visuals projected at the back of the stage further enhanced the show.
  • Her style was fantastic and a quick costume change or two made the set all the more interesting.

All of these photos of Kate Nash are credited to Damon Peirce.
Go and give him a follow on Instagram – @damonjpeirce


Setlist

Play
Foundations (Tease)
Mouthwash
Dickhead
Birds
We Get On
Mariella*
Shit Song
Pumpkin Soup
Skeleton Song
Nicest Thing
Foundations (In Full)
Little Red

Encore
Agenda / Model Behaviour
Musical Theatre
Merry Happy

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


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to Sinead Mills at Practise Music for setting up this review and to Kate herself for putting on an incredible show!


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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