#EventSpeaks: This Wild Life & William Ryan Key @ The Haunt, Brighton – 09/02/19

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On Saturday 9th February 2019, William Ryan Key and This Wild Life arrived in Brighton in support of their recent EP and album releases. They were supported by Brighton-based OKTOBA. It was a magical evening, particularly as it was the last night of their month-long tour. Here’s what we thought of the evening…


OKTOBA

Chris Athorne (better known by his moniker, OKTOBA) performed a wonderfully haunting set with his unique brand of alternative folk. His vocal melodies are powerful and ethereal. He’s clearly a very talented songsmith – a great artist in the making and one to watch.


William Ryan Key

As a wonderfully atmospheric introductory soundtrack blasted through the speakers, William Ryan Key (best known for his days as the singer and guitarist in Yellowcard) took to the stage, with just his acoustic guitar, before launching into his first song.

There is something melancholic about seeing this singer performing without his former band mates, but equally something beautifully vulnerable and honest about his latest penmanship, making this performance something special.

It wasn’t long before Ryan (as he’s affectionately known by his family and friends) was joined by Anthony Del Grosso (from This Wild Life) on the drums, making for an even larger sound.

Though Ryan is keen to promote his new material, it was nice to see him pay homage to his Yellowcard days, performing a range of songs from the band’s back catalogue, with some anecdotes thrown in, along the way.

William Ryan Key has a powerful and distinctive voice and though it’s sad that his former band are no longer around, it’s great that he’s still making music and hearing his voice in this new light is mesmerising. He even said he hopes to be back next year, with a full album…what great news! I highly recommend going to check him out live – you won’t regret it.

Highlights:

  • It was really great to get a candid insight into some of the stories behind his new, solo tracks and also how he coped (or didn’t) with the ending of Yellowcard.
  • It was hilarious when he got the audience pumped for This Wild Life by saying, “Their set is a lot more audience participation, a lot less VH1 Storytellers, like my set.” Great humour!
  • The incredible use of backing tracks, perfectly in time with his live performance made his set sound huge, even though it was just him and Anthony on stage.

Setlist

The Same Destination
Mortar and Stone
Only One (Yellowcard)*
Vultures*
Old Friends
Great Unknown
The Bowery
Downtown (Up North)
Keeper (Yellowcard)
MSK (Yellowcard)
Fields & Fences (Yellowcard)
Ocean Avenue (Yellowcard)*
Virtue

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


This Wild Life

Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grosso took to the stage to perform their 12-song set consisting mainly of new songs from their latest album, Petaluma, with some older offerings in the mix too.

For an acoustic rock duo, their sound is remarkably full, and similarly to William Ryan Key, make incredible use of backing tracks and clever blends of their talents, with Anthony even playing the guitar and singing, whilst using his feet to play the bass drum and hi-hats all at the same time – an amazingly talented individual!

One thing that I found pretty funny was that about 95% of their songs ended with Kevin shouting out, “Very cool!” to the crowd – it comes across, almost like a comfort saying and it’s quite humbling that he’s clearly very appreciative of the audience’s reaction. It’s kind of sweet really.

The energy the band gives off is contagious – having never seen the band before or heard much of their music, I found myself completely drawn in by them and moving, even participating, along with the rest of the crowd and for this reason alone, I can’t recommend seeing them, highly enough.

It’s perfectly clear that the pair have a loyal following over here in the UK drawing in a packed house and it’s easy to see why – their interesting blend of rock elements with mainly acoustic instrumentation and a rather feel-good sound (even if some of the songs themselves are self-confessed to be pretty negative) make for something truly special. I’d definitely like to see them play live again – if you haven’t already, you should check them out!

Highlights:

  • It was pretty adorable when Kevin Jordan explained that they’d been out on tour for a month and he was really missing his dog, so asked the audience members to get up pictures of their dogs and show him, whilst performing ‘Puppy Love’.
  • Before performing ‘Hold You Here’Kevin looked for couples to dedicate the song to – when he found one, he got the audience to clear a space for them to slow dance to but then hilariously got out a torch to shine on them – very funny.
  • The combination of many different instruments and backing tracks the pair used throughout the set was awe-inspiring. Their vocal harmonies are awesome too!
  • Kevin‘s on-stage banter is super witty too – making those between-songs moments light-hearted.
  • Whilst Anthony moved some bits around the stage, Kevin performed a great little mashup of 3 massive blink-182 hits (‘What’s My Age Again’ / ‘All The Small Things’ / ‘First Date’) which got the crowd going even more!

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 Setlist

Concrete
Positively Negative
Puppy Love
Westside
History
Hold You Here
Ripped Away
What’s My Age Again? / All The Small Things / First Date (blink-182 cover)*
Catie Rae
Headfirst*
Pull Me Out
No More Bad Days

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


Finally, I want to say a massive thanks to Andy Snape and Xavier Candelaria from Raw Power Management for making this review happen! Also an even bigger thanks to OKTOBA, William Ryan Key and This Wild Life for putting on such an awesome show!


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

Muzik Speaks Live Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

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#EventSpeaks: Tom Odell @ The Brighton Centre, Brighton – 04/11/16


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On Friday 4th November 2016, Tom Odell came to Brighton to perform at The Brighton Centre with support from indie singer Johnny Lloyd and soulful soundhouse Rag’n’Bone Man.


Johnny Lloyd

Johnny Lloyd was the lead singer of a band called Tribes for 3-4 years but since the band split in 2013, has gone solo. He released his EP, Dreamland, back in June this year and is doing a string of support slots on a variety of tours, to promote it. This was his first night on Tom Odell‘s tour and he was clearly pleased to be there.

He performed all of the songs from his EP, but in particular, ‘Pilgrims stood out for me – it was a point in the set that got the audience moving – it has a very funky groove to it with it’s guitar sounds hooking you in; it’s clear to see why this was released as a single. The band were fantastic too – I particularly liked the addition of a female bassist – her voice harmonised beautifully with Johnny‘s. If you haven’t already, try to catch Johnny Lloyd on one of his upcoming tour dates with The Fratellis.

johnny-lloyd3


Rag’n’Bone Man

Unfortunately I missed a significant amount of Rag’n’Bone Man‘s set as I was off interviewing Johnny Lloyd, however I caught the last 3 songs or so and he was awesome! His voice is so soulful and unique that it offers a certain wisdom and story-like quality, like no other voice I’ve heard. The few songs I did catch were fantastic – they had good beats to them and were made even more interesting with the use of synths/pads, all topped off with Rag’n’Bone Man‘s powerfully melancholic voice. He’s definitely an artist I’ll be keeping an ear out for!

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Tom Odell

Tom Odell began his performance 15 minutes late, but took to the stage, in a single spotlight, to explain that his drummer had dislocated his arm just a few minutes prior, so they were trying to work out who’d replace him. Thankfully, his drum technician, Graham, was able to step in to raucus applause from the audience. For the rest of the show, there were occasional chants for Graham, and Tom kept thanking him for stepping in to save the show.

The concert was fantastic; Tom Odell showed that his voice is incredibly dynamic and powerful, in equal measure and he has the audience in the palm of his hand. Everyone was singing along to every word, whether it was a single or an album track.

His stage design was simple but effective – he had a projected image, at times, of a cheetah on the back of the stage. His selection of band members was interesting too – obviously he had the usual; a guitarist, drummer and bassist, but I loved the addition of a backing singer (who had a stunning voice) and a percussionist – it added a nice depth to the performance.

One thing is clear, he likes to bring a song to an almost-finish before bringing it back to life, for a second round – he did this on several occasions. However, he clearly knows what he wants to do, as he’d often go round and talk to the band members whilst they were playing (presumably to tell them how long to keep looping sections), so he could maximise on crowd interaction and keep them on the edge of their seat for what he’d do next. He was a really brilliant performer though!

Highlights:

  • I loved it when he lept on top of his piano at one point during a powerful instrumental section of a song – it showed his passion for the music.
  • The impressive vocal range he showed off during quieter sections of the songs.
  • His ability to almost end a song, taking it right down to the quietest point, but then bringing it back into a chaotic but intense instrumental, giving it a second round.
  • When Tom came off the front of the stage, up to the front of the audience – great fan interaction!
  • “Graham! Graham! Graham!” – Graham saving the show and doing a sterling job!
  • His piano playing was amazing and the song he dedicated to his nan (for paying for his piano lessons) was beautiful.

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 Setlist

Still Getting Used to Being on My Own
I Know
Wrong Crowd
Concrete
Can’t Pretend
Sparrow
Here I Am
Heal
Constellations
Grow Old With Me
Hold Me
Another Love

Encore
Till I Lost
Somehow
Magnetised


Finally, I want to say a great big thanks to Thom for setting up this review and organising an interview with Johnny Lloyd (coming soon) and to Tom Odell for his awesome performance – what a great event!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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