#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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ūüď∑ÔŅľ All of the photos in this post are credited to Damon Peirce ÔŅľ ūüďł
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.


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

Muzik Speaks Live Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#WildCardWednesday: Dan Stevens – ‘Evermore’ (from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast)


   

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There is no doubting that Disney’s re-make of their classic tale,¬†Beauty and the Beast, is a huge success and being adored by fans, the world over. As such, it seemed a fitting time to feature one of the songs from the soundtrack for #WildCardWednesday.

I love Disney’s original animated version, in fact it’s probably one of my favourite Disney films, particularly the soundtrack. As such, I was dubious when I heard they were remaking it, with the original songs and felt even more anxious to hear that they were adding new songs too! However, the team have done a sterling job of not only reimagining such classic songs but incorporating new music, without it seeming out of place.

I have deliberately featured¬†‘Evermore’ today as I felt this was my favourite song from the soundtrack – it’s filled with passion and all the finesse a good musical song should have!

The soundtrack and film were stunning in just about every way; I left the cinema not only wishing that I could re-watch it immediately, but excited to see and hear the other remakes Disney have in the pipeline!

Which song would you choose for #WildCardWednesday? Let us know your thoughts, either in a comment or via our social media, using the hashtag.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Evermore’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/evermore/id1200768483?i=1200769499


#Two4Tunesday: Khalid – ‘American Teen’ & Alessia Cara – ‘How Far I’ll Go’


   

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Khalid – ‘American Teen’

Khalid has just released his debut album, American Teens. The title-track from the album is also his most recent single and its got a very 80s movie feel to it with its twinkling, phasing space-like synths.

His voice is sorrowful and soulful at the same time – this track is not your standout pop track but is subtle in its approach. It’s a great song taken from a fantastic debut album. This looks set to be the start of a beautiful career.

Watch the music video below too – artistic and film-like in its own way.


‘American Teen’¬†is¬†on¬†iTunes for downloading now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/american-teen/id1200868601?i=1200868616



Alessia Cara – ‘How Far I’ll Go’

Taken from Disney’s¬†Moana,¬†Alessia Cara‘s version of¬†‘How Far I’ll Go’¬† is a superb take on the song from the film. It’s not like the old R&B versions they so often used to roll over the credits of 90s Disney films – it’s very current with a tropical house vibe to it.

The song is great and still performing well on the Spotify charts, and whilst I thoroughly love the tune, it’s got a slightly disjointed feel to it as it appears to speed up and slow down. Nevertheless a great song, it is!

‘How Far I’ll Go’¬†can also be downloaded from iTunes now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/how-far-ill-go-alessia-cara-version/id1169181309?i=1169182769


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MellowMonday: MAX – ‘Lights Down Low’ featuring gnash


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If you haven’t already heard of him, MAX (Max Schneider)¬†is a singer, songwriter, actor, dancer and model from New York, who has been in a variety of Disney and Nickelodeon shows.

One of his latest singles,¬†‘Lights Down Low’, is a¬†great love song that is a blend of pop, R&B and acoustic songs and features guest vocals from¬†gnash.

A great song for #MellowMonday to kick off the week!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Lights Down Low’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lights-down-low-feat.-gnash/id1164236809?i=1164236889


#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Laurel


   

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Before Laurel‘s recent show at The Green Door Store, Brighton (check out our review here), I had the¬†opportunity to meet and interview her, in person, before she took to the stage.¬†It was a real pleasure, as she was such a witty, humorous and down-to-earth person! Here’s how it went:


Hey Laurel, how are you?
Good thanks…cold.

So what’s new with you at the moment? I know obviously you released your new EP, Park, like a week or so back, how’s it been? What have fan reactions been like?
Yeah great, it’s really nice to have a new record out actually because I haven’t had an EP or anything out for quite a while. I’ve got a vinyl; you could get a vinyl player.

Obviously the tour kicked off yesterday, how was the first night?
Yeah good, good. I was really nervous actually. I’ve never been on my own headline tour before so it’s quite nerve-racking. I was guzzling wine before I went on stage and that’s not really like me. Haha!

So, where do you take your inspirations for songs from?
Just kind of life, I guess. They’re quite…quite truthful songs. You should search up the lyrics and you’ll know exactly what’s going on inside my head.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
Probably¬†Tyler, The Creator, because I just think he’s sick and I just think the production on his music is so cool and just interesting…and he’s an angry…(Can I swear? I can’t swear. Can I swear?)…

I don’t care.
…an angry motherf**ker!

Have you got any weird habits?
(Laughs) Well, I have no idea. I think you’d have to ask everyone around me because I guess I would probably not know if they were weird or not. I imagine there’s quite a lot of weird things about me; I’m told that often.

What really grinds your gears?
I dunno…I’m quite a chilled-out person I think.

That might be the first response I’ve ever had like that, so that’s good.
Really?

Most people are like, “Well this and this and…”
What does really piss me off? It’s probably relating to food. Or, do you know what I really hate…when I get a thin coffee. I hate that! That’s a really rubbish one isn’t it? I could go more in depth into the type of person I hate, that really grinds my gears but I won’t do that.

Is there anything other than music you’re really passionate about?
Poetry. I love poetry. That’s about it; I’m kind of simple.

What music have you been listening to most recently?
Um…most recently…I’ve been listening to a lot of¬†Morrissey recently because one of my friends really likes¬†Morrissey. And then I guess the¬†Talking Heads a lot and¬†Mac DeMarco. I don’t usually listen to a lot of new music; I’m one of those people that finds like three people they like and they’ll just replay it forever.

What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
Do you know what, maybe not the best film, but the craziest film I’ve ever seen recently, was called¬†Green Box or something. It was mental. Someone’s face got gnawed off by a dog, someone’s arm got shut off in a door. It was basically about neo-Nazis. It was mental and I’ve never ever had to like turn a film off and leave but I was watching round a friend’s house and had to leave; it was horrible!

OK, I’ll make sure I avoid that one!
Good. Yeah, don’t watch it! Or do watch it coz it’s quite a shocker!

If a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Me probably. Can I play myself? If I’m still alive, then I might as well play myself.

That’s a good one; might as well! What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Someone said to me once, “Don’t push the river,” which is from like some sort of weird, ancient proverb and I really like that; it’s kind of my mantra in life, just let things flow, don’t push to do anything that doesn’t feel natural, just kind of let life go as it goes, it will end up in the right way.

I like that! Well normally I end my interviews with a game of ‘Would You Rather…’ are you up for that?
Yeah, why not!


Would You Rather…?

TAME

Would you rather have a third eye or third arm?
I feel like…oo, they’re both quite handy aren’t they? Handy…arm!

(Laughs) I see what you did there! Pun!
I feel like I would rather have an extra arm because it would be handy for me to be able to play a drum whilst I played the guitar or a piano at the same time as playing guitar, on stage. Then I really could be a one-man-band.

Would you rather be super strong or super fast?
Super fast definitely…or invisible, can I just be invisible?

(Laughs) OK, just change the question.
I’ll be invisible.

Would you rather go through life and be unable to ask any questions or unable to answer any questions?
(Laughs) I reckon I probably am the asker anyway. I can’t answer a lot of things but I definitely, sure ask people a lot.

Would you rather live in a Disney universe or a Looney Tunes universe?
Disney, yeah! Who wouldn’t?

AWKWARD

Would you rather always speak your mind or never speak again?
Oh my gosh…Oh I don’t know about speaking my mind. That’s dangerous.

Would you rather have to listen to ‘Gangnam Style’ or ‘Harlem Shake’ for the rest of your life?
Be deaf!

WTF?!

Would you rather eat a live slug or drink a pint of gone off milk?
Milk. Ugh, I hate both those things! I hate milk but I’m so scared of slugs, more than I’m scared of anything in the world, is slugs…or ghosts actually. Probably the milk, although I’d be sick wouldn’t I?

Yeah
I hate slugs. No slugs!

Would you rather use sandpaper for toilet paper or vinegar for eye drops?
Ugh! So unpleasant! Vinegar, I guess.

At least you could wash it out, I suppose.
Yeah, I’d do some vodka after.

(Laughs)
Get boozy.

Excellent! Well good luck with the rest of the tour and for taking the time…
Thank you for the interesting ‘Would You Rathers’.

Cheers.


Finally, I need to say another huge thank you to Laurel for taking the time to talk to me before her show and another thanks to Chris, her manager, for arranging it for me. It was a real honour to chat with Laurel and I had such a laugh doing so.

Make sure you check out one of her shows and listen to her music below.


Laurel‘s releases are all¬†available:

  • To purchase on¬†iTunes¬†–¬† Laurel
  • To listen to on¬†Spotify¬†–


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

Muzik Speaks Interviews


#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Meadowlark


   

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We recently had the opportunity to catch up with mellow, electro-pop duo,¬†Meadowlark, ahead of their performance at Patterns in Brighton, in support of¬†Aquilo. Dan (one half of the duo) told us about their upcoming album, his most embarrassing moment and what the pair do when writing and recording. Check out what he had to say…


1. How’s it all going with your music? Is there an album in the pipeline at the moment?
It’s going great thanks! We do indeed have an album in the pipeline, we don’t have a release date yet but rest assured it will be with you all in the new year!

2. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you, either through your music career, or in life?
I (Dan) head butted a pile of dog poo when I was a kid in front of a bunch of friends… that was a dark evening.

3. What really grinds your gears?
Music venues with no parking!

4. Is there anything other than music you’re really passionate about? What do you get up to in your spare time?
I (Dan) direct music videos in my spare time and make short films of all the trips I do to various places in and out of the UK.

5. What music have you been listening to most recently? Have you got a favourite song right now?
I’m not going to lie, every morning I’ve woken up on this tour I’ve heard ‘About You Now’ by Sugababes blaring out of Kate’s bedroom… on repeat!

6. Has anything really scary ever happened to you on tour? If so, what?
In Newcastle a drunk guy tried to invite himself into Kate’s room in a hotel whilst we were trying to load our gear in. It almost got violent, definitely not what we wanted at 2am!

7. Have you got any disgusting habits?
It’s not a disgusting habit per-say but I snore a lot which makes me very unpopular on tour.

8. What is your usual process for writing and recording? And where do you take your inspirations for songs from?
We wrote most of the last album at a beautifully secluded barn near Doncaster. It’s in the middle of nowhere, no signal, no distractions. We wrote and demoed the songs to the best of our ability, getting across all the important elements so that when we took the songs to a producer they would be a blank enough canvas to start carving from but had enough in them to get across their intended pace and genre.

9. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Never compare yourself to others.

10. Would you rather live in a Disney or Looney Tunes universe and why?
I think I speak for the both of us when I say DISNEY!


Meadowlark‘s releases are all¬†available:

  • To purchase on¬†iTunes¬†–¬† Meadowlark
  • To listen to on¬†Spotify¬†–


Enjoyed this? Check out our other interviews with:

Frankmusik

Prides

Lucy Spraggan

Joe Ragosta from Patent Pending

Ali Tabatabaee from Zebrahead

David Ford

Chris Bourne

Race The Horizon

Life Of Dillon

Platnum

Natalie McCool

Skip from Almost July

Tom Ryder


#FeelGoodFriday: Sheppard – ‘Geronimo’


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Sheppard are an Australian indie-pop band, consisting of 6 members; siblings George, Amy and Emma Sheppard, plus Michael Butler, Jason Bovino and Dean Gordon.

The group found its earliest formation in 2009 and by 2013, the line-up was complete. In 2014, the band released their first album,¬†‘Bombs Away’. The song¬†‘Geronimo’¬†was the second single taken from the album and really made its mark.

The song is the epitome of¬†awesome! It’s perfection in a pop song with its indie pop feel, catchy hook and intense tempo.

It has been featured in the Disney show, Girl Meets World, on the trailer for the film Paper Planes and is also in the film, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip.

What do you think of this monster of a track? Has it got you feeling good on this Friday? Please share it on your social media accounts and have a great weekend!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Geronimo’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/geronimo/id904594356?i=904594434