#EventSpeaks: Brighton Pride 2018 @ Preston Park, Brighton – 04/08/18


   

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On Saturday 4th August 2018, Preston Park was brought to life with the UK’s largest, annual Pride Festival and this year was especially huge, with over 57,000 people partying the day away. This was, in part, due to the presence of the one and only Britney Spears, headlining the main stage. Also performing were Louise, MNEK, Mabel, Pixie Lott and Ella Eyre. The afternoon was utterly incredible and people had a truly unforgettable time…the best Brighton Pride yet!

Relive the whole thing with our Brighton Pride Weekender playlist.


Mabel

Mabel‘s performance was great – considering she’s not released an album yet, I still knew most of the songs she performed (through their online presence and radio airplay), such as ‘Fine Line’‘Ring Ring’‘My Lover’ and ‘Finders Keepers’ (which can be seen in the YouTube video below). However, even those I didn’t know were captivating to watch due to her excellent live vocals and high energy. A lot of her songs have clear R&B and reggae influences which means her debut album (that she is currently working on) should be really interesting!


Pixie Lott

It’s been a while since Pixie Lott‘s last album (the self-titled Pixie Lott in 2014) but she sure showed how sensational her voice and just how many massive hits she’s had with this fun-filled performance. Some of the stand-out performances included ‘Mama Do (Uh Oh, Uh Oh)’‘Boys And Girls’‘Turn It Up’ and ‘All About Tonight’ (which can be seen in the YouTube video below). I’m just gutted she didn’t perform her summery 2017 collaboration with Anton Powers‘Baby’. Regardless, her vocals were flawless and she looked like she was having the time of her life…let’s just hope it won’t be long until a new album emerges!


Ella Eyre

Considering she’s only had one album, Ella Eyre has had a lot of hits, not only through her own tracks but also through her incredible collaborations. The set was packed with notable performances and in fact I could mention them all for different reasons…she was just truly remarkable.

‘Good Times’ followed by ‘Together’ really got the crowd going; ‘LOV(E)’ had some great audience participation elements with a real Caribbean feel to it; her cover of Jermaine Stewart‘s ‘We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off’ was pure perfection and then her final tracks were all some of her most notable collaborations – ‘Waiting All Night’ (originally with Rudimental), ‘Answerphone’ (originally with Banx & Ranx) and it all came to a close with the monster hit ‘Came Here For Love’ (originally with Sigala). Her vibe is very dancehall meets drum & bass topped off with a touch of soul…it was the perfect summer sound to bop around to at this year’s Pride and get everyone warmed up for Britney!

Highlights:

  • Her vocals were flawless and crowd interaction was top notch.
  • The songs she performed were perfect – the audience pretty much knew them all and if they didn’t, she taught them to us.
  • Her use of audience participation was brilliant, particularly on ‘LOV(E)’.
  • The energy she pours into her performance is truly contagious and certainly got people moving!

Setlist

Good Times*
Together
LOV(E)
Ego
We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off (Jermaine Stewart Cover)*
Waiting All Night
Answer Phone
Came Here For Love*

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


Britney Spears

BRITNEY. WAS. AMAZING! Sure, she didn’t sing a word live, but when you look past that, her performance was out of this world!

It had everything you could want from a superstar of her calibre; it was fast-paced with high energy, superb choreography, several costume changes, interesting set pieces and video backdrops, a live band and it was packed to bursting point with hit after hit. Including some off her most recent album, Glory, which I was really pleased about!

Her set was further diversified with different versions or intros to some of her hits, such as ‘…Baby, One More Time’ and Toxic’.

With someone like Britney it’s very difficult to pick out favourite performances of tracks as it’s just one big, epic show that you can’t help but enjoy from start to finish but if I had to pick some; ‘Work Bitch’ was an incredible way to start the set and had the audience going wild, ‘Me Against The Music’ had some amazing set pieces just like the music video (cracked walls), ‘Slumber Party’ as the choreography was sexy and the song is just sensational and ‘Till The World Ends’ as the audience were loving every second of it and at the end, the confetti canon exploded with rainbow colours…it was magical!

It is a shame that Britney doesn’t really sing live but there are so many other ways she makes up for it and I still can’t believe she headlined Brighton Pride…it was certainly a performance you did not want to miss!

Highlights:

  • There really are so many highlights to choose from; the colours, the lights, the sounds, the movements; she is just a sensational performer that puts her every effort into what she does – she’s remarkable!
  • Oh and Britney getting someone out of the audience to chain up and be a part of the choreography for a song was hilarious!

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Setlist

Act I
BRITNEY (Introduction)
Work Bitch*
Womanizer*
Break The Ice/Piece Of Me*

Act II
Darkness (Interlude)
…Baby One More Time/Oops!… I Did It Again

Act III
If I’m Dancing (Interlude)
Me Against The Music*
Gimme More
Clumsy/Change Your Mind

Act IV
Scream & Shout (will.i.am Interlude)*
Boys
Do You Wanna Come Over?
Work It/Get Ur Freak On/WTF (Where They From) (Dance Interlude)

Act V
Get Naked (I Got A Plan) (Interlude)
I’m A Slave 4 U
Make Me…*
Freakshow
Do Somethin’

Act VI
Magic Circus (Interlude)
Circus
If U Seek Amy
Breathe On Me
Slumber Party*
Touch Of My Hand

Act VII
Jungle Fever (Interlude)
Toxic
Stronger/(You Drive Me) Crazy*

Encore
Till The World Ends*

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


Finally, I want to say a massive thanks to the Brighton Pride organisers for putting together such an incredible line-up for this year’s Pride…it was amazing! Now…how the hell are you gonna top Britney next year?!


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

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: David Ford @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton – 22/06/18


   

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On Friday 22nd June 2018, David Ford came to Brighton and performed a sold-out show at The Hope & Ruin in support of his new album, Animal Spirits. He was supported by the angelic-voiced Beth Rowley.


Beth Rowley

Beth Rowley put on a fantastic set, supported on guitar, by David Ford himself. The songstress delivered a flawless set of her trademark sound, which combines elements of soul, gospel and jazz. It was wonderful to see this accomplished singer and songwriter at a modest-sized venue, performing a raw and stripped-back set.

Highlight: It was great to see the two artists collaborating for her set and her voice was simply stunning.


David Ford

As David Ford took to the stage, applause erupted as people eagerly anticipated the talented songwriter’s first song, which was ‘Downmarket’, taken from his new album, Animal Spirits.

The set consisted of a real mixture of new and old songs, intertwined with Ford’s crowd interaction which is laced with his incredibly dry sense of humour (as can be seen in the ‘State Of The Union’ video below).

The multi-instrumentalist used his loop pedal to perfection, crafting entire songs, by himself, showing that it is entirely possible to be a one-man-band, if you’ve got the talent. This is something he’s developed since his debut solo single, ‘State Of The Union’ (the video for which was shot in one take), but it’s still impressive to see done live!

He doesn’t overuse this though, as certain songs were performed solely on one instrument, such as ‘Song For The Road’, for which he brought but Beth Rowley to collaborate on.

In fact their cover of Aretha Franklin and George Michael‘s ‘I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)’ closed the show and it truly sent people away on a high; it’s so nice to see that a wonderful songwriter isn’t afraid to do a cover when they like a particular song!

David Ford is honestly someone you need to see live at least once in your life. He is captivating in many ways; from his ability to play various instruments and construct songs with a loop pedal, to his quick wittedness and dry interaction with the crowd…it truly will be an evening to remember!

Highlights:

  • David Ford‘s impeccable use of a loop pedal means he can cleverly build a song to sound like a full band, all by himself.
  • He’s an incredibly talented musician too, playing multiple instruments; it’s truly a marvel to behold.
  • The chaotic end to ‘State Of The Union’ was loud and dramatic but oh so brilliant!
  • The balance of new and old songs was great; it gave a flavour for the new album but paid homage to previous releases.
  • The duet of Aretha Franklin and George Michael‘s ‘I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)’ was stunning.

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 Setlist

Downmarket
Isn’t It Strange
Waiting For The Storm
Animal Spirits*
Why Don’t You Answer Your Telephone?
To Hell With The World
Real Damn Slow
One Of These Days (with Beth Rowley)
Song For The Road (with Beth Rowley)
State Of The Union*
I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) (Aretha Franklin & George Michael cover) (with Beth Rowley)

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


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to David Ford himself, for being so accommodating and allowing me to come and do this review; it was a fantastic evening!


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#WildCardWednesday: Vanessa Carlton – ‘Dreams’


   

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Vanessa Carlton is probably most notable for her 2002 smash hit, ‘A Thousand Miles but she is so much more than that!

With 5 studio albums now under her belt, she has certainly been busy writing and recording music and touring the world. She is also now beginning to prepare a new album. However, until then, she will begin to release one cover song a month (starting with a cover of Robyn‘s ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ in March 2018), while she continues work on her upcoming sixth album.

April 2018’s cover is the huge, classic Fleetwood Mac song, ‘Dreams’. This is a very close rendition to the original but with much more haunting vocals and instrumentals, created by the subtle reverb on Carlton’s voice and the guitars. Whilst covers tend to divide opinions and people often state that they “don’t live up to the original”, this is a superb modernisation of the track and pays a brilliant homage to the original; well done Vanessa Carlton! I can’t wait to see which cover you do next!

No music video has been released, but the audio video can be seen and heard below.

What are your thoughts of the latest cover from this incredible singer-songwriter? Got a #WildCardWednesday track or cover song to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or hit us up via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Dreams’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/dreams-single/1370083158


#EventSpeaks: Jake Bugg @ Brighton Dome, Brighton – 13/03/18


   

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On Tuesday 13th March 2018, Jake Bugg concluded his acoustic, UK tour at Brighton Dome, in Brighton. The set was packed with a string of hits and supported by up-and-comer, Georgie (interview here).


Georgie

Georgie took to the stage with quiet confidence and launched into her first song, which by the end, had the audience in the palm of her hand and breaking out into waves of cheers. Her voice is beautiful and powerful and her inspiration from the likes of Sheryl Crow, really shine through. Her songwriting is honest and humble. She is a raw talent that is surely headed for big things.

Highlight: The sheer power and tone behind her voice was something very special to watch. ‘Too Much TV’ (her latest single) was great to see live too!


Jake Bugg

By 9pm, the audience were ready for Jake Bugg to take the stage, and he did so to massive applause and cheering from the crowd.

I must confess that I only knew a couple of his tracks prior to this show (namely ‘Lightning Bolt’) but this show proved he is SO much more than that! His songwriting is exceptional and considering this was an acoustic tour, each song really held its own as a stripped back version.

His voice is incredibly distinctive with a real stamina behind it and he was note perfect from start to finish; not something to brush off, considering he was so exposed by doing an entirely acoustic set. Some of the intonation and speed of his vocals is impressive too.

His guitar-playing was sensational too and by doing this stripped-back show, really allowed you to marvel at how talented you have to be (and he is), to sing and play the guitar at the same time. I actually came away wishing that he would put out a live album of the show, or even just an acoustic studio album, of all the versions he sung; something I really think he should do.

If you haven’t seen this guy live before or only know a couple of his songs, I can’t recommend going to see him, highly enough; he doesn’t disappoint and you’ll come away waning to hear more.

Highlights:

  • The sheer stamina and speed behind Jake’s voice were remarkable.
  • Variation between the songs was remarkably dynamic, considering it was solely him and a guitar.
  • The tones, rhythms and volumes he produced on his guitars added further diversity to his set.
  • About half way through the set, Jake asked the audience what they wanted to hear but from then on, whenever there was an opportunity, people shouted out requests. His responses to some of the calls were witty and well handled.

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


Setlist

How Soon The Dawn
Saffron
Strange Creatures
Slide
Indigo Blue
Taste It
Two Fingers
Bigger Lover
Someone Told Me
Old Man (Neil Young Cover)
Simple As This
Me And You
Country Song
Trouble Town
There’s A Beast And We All Feed It
Broken
In The Event Of My Demise
Slumville Sunrise
Seen It All
Waiting
Lightning Bolt*

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


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to Thom Williams for setting up this review and arranging the interview with Georgie. Also, massive thanks to Jake Bugg and Georgie for putting on a fantastic show – the crowd loved it!


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#EventSpeaks: Erasure @ Brighton Dome, Brighton – 19/02/18


   

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On Monday 19th February 2018, Erasure arrived in Brighton, on their World Be Gone Tour, performing at Brighton Dome. The duo were supported by Welshman, Rod Thomas‘ moniker, Bright Light Bright Light – it was an incredible show!


Bright Light Bright Light

Rod Thomas and his band mates took to the stage and put on a fantastic show, performing his own unique brand of electro-pop – it’s a combination of contemporary pop music, with an 80s tint to it; clearly inspired by bands such as Scissor Sisters and Erasure themselves. The use of modern technology produced a really full sound to the performance and filled the concert hall. The songs were well written, but there were a couple of songs that I felt blended into one. Undoubtedly Bright Light Bright Light has a big following and has worked with some incredible people but I was looking for a couple of stand-out tracks that I wanted to come home and listen to, which unfortunately I didn’t really find.

Highlight: The incredible harmonies Rod performed with himself (using his pads) as well as the brilliantly vibrant suit he wore.


Erasure

Erasure were incredible! Having been in the public eye since the 80s, this duo are clearly professionals at what they do, but it seems to come so naturally to them; Vince Clarke, although almost a silent partner when it comes to fronting the duo, clearly puts a lot of effort into his performance and production of the backing tracks, whilst Andy Bell is the camp, extroverted individual, fronting the outfit. Somehow though, it just works – whilst they might appear to be polar opposites of stage personality, I loved it…and so did the audience!

The pair were accompanied by two sensational backing singers who produced some incredible vocal harmonies alongside Andy and altogether, they performed a string of hit after hit.

The stage lighting was excellent and felt a bit like a club and the different combinations of light movements and colours helped add some visual diversity to the set. Andy‘s gradual removal of his clothes, down to his catsuit was very funny and lead to screams and cheers throughout the building.

Naturally, performances of songs like ‘Chains of Love’‘Phantom Bride’‘Sometimes’ and of course, ‘A Little Respect’, brought the house down, but they made sure to not only pack out their setlist but fill it with a wide range of career-spanning tracks to ensure there was something for everyone.

I can’t recommend seeing Erasure highly enough – whether you know just a track or two, or their whole back catalogue, they do not disappoint. You are guaranteed to have a fun-filled evening of dancing, singing and laughing.

Highlights:

  • Andy Bell‘s sassy, between-song banter, was on point! He knew his audience and was hilarious from start to finish.
  • The sheer tightness of their performance just highlighted how professional this duo are.
  • The vocal harmonies between Andy Bell and his backing singers was marvellous.
  • The string of hits they performed has the audience singing and dancing throughout the show.
  • Andy Bell‘s gradual removal of his clothing, down to his catsuit, was hilarious – it certainly made a statement.
  • Lastly, the set design was pretty cool too – the lighting was amazing and I particularly loved that Vince Clarke was able to do his thing from an elevated platform throughout the set.

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 Setlist

Oh L’Amour
Ship Of Fools
Breathe
Mad As We Are
Just A Little Love
In My Arms
Chains Of Love
Sacred
Sweet Summer Loving
I Love Saturday
Victim Of Love
Phantom Bride
World Be Gone
Who Needs Love Like That
Take Me Out Of Myself
Blue Savannah
Atomic (Blondie Cover)
Drama!
Stop!
Love You To The Sky
Always
Here I Go Impossible Again
Sometimes*

Encore
A Little Respect*

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


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to Thom Williams for setting up this review and to both Erasure and Bright Light Bright Light for their incredible performances. Oh…and Alan Carr for taking the time to have a couple of selfies with me!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#FeelGoodFriday: Nevada – ‘The Mack’ featuring Mark Morrison & Fetty Wap


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Jon White (aka Nevada) has just dropped his debut single which features samples of Mark Morrison‘s Return Of The Mack along with an added verse from Fetty Wap.

We featured ‘Return Of The Mack’ earlier this year, as it’s been 20 years since its release, but this remake serves as an homage to mark the track’s 20th anniversary. It’s fresh, modernised and still as funky as it ever was!

I look forward to hearing more from Nevada in the future but for now, this needs to be cranked up, skanked out to and enjoyed to its fullest!

What are your thoughts of this remake? Has this modernisation worked well? Please let us know your thoughts or own #FeelGoodFriday suggestions in a comment below or via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘The Mack’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/mack-feat.-mark-morrison-fetty/id1154454977


#MellowMonday: Conor Maynard – ‘Stitches’ (Shawn Mendes Cover)


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Conor Maynard has recently been hard at work, recording a whole bunch of covers for a special album released, cleverly titled, Covers.

The YouTube sensation found fame by uploading cover videos to YouTube, and as such, continues to do so.

This version of Shawn Mendes‘ Number 1 hit, is stripped back and ballad-like – it’s a beautiful stance on an incredible track and has given a different feel entirely. This re-imagining, also goes to show just how amazing Conor Maynard‘s voice is…and also, how much we need a new originals album from him!

What are your thoughts on this cover? Do you like Conor Maynard’s voice? How badly do you want to hear a new originals album from him? Please share the link and post your own #MellowMonday choices in a comment below.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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