#EventSpeaks: LAUREL @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton – 01/10/18


   

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On Monday 1st October 2018, LAUREL came to Brighton in support of her debut album, Dogviolet (check out our review here). Since her last, solo performance in Brighton, the songwriter returned with a full band to delight her audience with offerings from her recent record. She was supported by Another Sky and her guitarist, Polly Money.


Polly Money

It always amazes me how someone with just an electric guitar and their voice can produce such a big sound but Polly Money certainly achieved this with her performance. Just funky guitar riffs and her sugary-sweet vocal (somewhat similar to that of Leah McFall or NAO), wowed the audience. A very humble performance with some lovely melodies.

Polly Money Instagram


Another Sky

This band truly blew me away (and I believe the rest of the audience too!) – they have an incredibly full-on sound with excellent use of backing tracks as well as their live instruments. Each song of theirs was pretty unique – for example, the opening to their set was ambient and airy whilst their next song brought about a huge wave of excitement due to its intensity and just how tight their performance was. The vocalist’s voice is incredibly diverse, whilst mainly quite low-pitched, is capable of a wide range. The guitarist had some funky little moves too. Another Sky are definitely going to be a band to watch out for, and certainly recommend catching them live!

Highlight: The biggest highlight, was this one note the vocalist did, towards the end of one of their songs; it was so loud, high-pitched and perfect that it was all-consuming. It sent shivers down my back.


LAUREL

Having seen LAUREL play a solo set at The Green Door Store (review here) back in 2016, it was amazing to watch her performing with a full band. Although it was a relatively short set, it was amazing to see her playing songs from Dogviolet, with a full sound.

Some of the best songs were: ‘All Star’ for its wonderful guitar riff; ‘Lovesick’, which is just a catchy track to get the audience going, ‘Sun King’ which was beautifully intimate – just LAUREL with an acoustic guitar and ‘Life Worth Living’ – it’s just a downright tune!

Of course I won’t be the first person to say it, but there are great similarities between LAUREL and Lana Del Rey, however there is something much more vulnerable about LAUREL and it feels like she has more integrity about her.

It was also interesting to find out that she has recently released a book called, The Mutterings of a Laurel, which is a journal she kept during the writing and recording of Dogviolet – definitely worth checking out.

Having seen LAUREL perform twice now, I can assure you that she puts on a show you don’t want to miss. You really need to catch her now before she’s selling out bigger shows, especially since she just filmed her appearance for Later… with Jools Holland the morning of the Brighton show…sounds like the start of something big for this little star.

Highlights:

  • LAUREL is a very humble artist with an endearing awkwardness about her audience interaction, you can’t help but love.
  • The hilarious names she has for her guitars, which her manager proudly embarrassed her by announcing. It’s not my place to share them, but go see her live and you might find them out! 😂
  • Her ability to perform songs with such passion that you are drawn in by her every word – she’s a real star.

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Setlist

All Star
Lovesick
Hold Tight
Sun King (Solo Acoustic)
Same Mistakes
South Coast
Adored
Blue Blood
Life Worth Living*

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


Finally, I want to say a big thanks to Chris (LAUREL’s manager) and Henry (in LAUREL’s PR team) for enabling this review to happen. A big thanks also to Polly Money, Another Sky and LAUREL herself, for putting on such an incredible, intimate show.


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

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#EventSpeaks: Rae Morris @ Concorde 2, Brighton – 25/03/18


   

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On Sunday 25th March 2017, Rae Morris arrived in Brighton to play a show at Concorde 2, in support of her latest album, Someone Out There (review here). Her performance was superb, her vocals flawless and she was supported by PAULi and Saskia Maxwell.


Saskia Maxwell

The haunting songstress, Saskia Maxwell produced a solid set of interesting songs, merging folk and country sounds with her almost Celtic vocals, making for a truly interesting blend of music. She also performed superb and very intricate guitar work, added to some Newton Faulkner-esque beating of the guitar, to create her rhythms. Considering she was performing alone, with just a guitar and her voice (and a stomp box for her last song), she managed to create a really full sound.


PAULi

Next to take to the stage was PAULi; every so often you witness a performance by an artist or band and get the feeling that you just witnessed the start of something very special and unique and PAULi‘s performance was most certainly one of those times. When his first song began, uncertainty and almost amusement crept through the audience with a real sense of, “What the hell is this we’re listening to?!” but very quickly that moment passed and a huge amount of excitement flooded through the audience. What’s more, as his performance went on, he had the crowd right in the palm of his hand.

His sound is incredibly chaotic (almost off-beat and deliberately off-key in places) as he mixes together vibes from London’s urban music scene, with the funk and soul of Prince, but somehow it all works.

Highlight: ‘WAITING (Getting On This Train)’ was a massive song that just filled the room with a wave of excitement and an energy that I’ve not felt in a while. Also, PAULi‘s dancing and crowd interaction was sublime.


Rae Morris

One thing’s for certain, Rae Morris knows how to put on a show! With highs and lows in all the right places and a sound that hits you with full force, I would defy you not to come out having danced to your heart’s content or at the very least singing one of her catchy melodies, all the way home!

From the start of almost understated ‘Push Me To My Limit’ to the danceable ‘Do It’ and ‘Atletico (The Only One)’ this was a show that had something to offer everyone. The audience was truly filled with people of all ages, showing just how diverse her audience is; this must be due to the quirky, credible nature of the pop music she creates and whose appeal spans several generations.

The passion behind her performance shows just how much effort goes in to planning it; some of her more subtle dance moves sync up perfectly with her backing singer, whilst her more elaborate ballet-like, interpretive dances are perfectly calculated and flow effortlessly.

She also manages to play piano whilst delivering her flawlessly powerful vocals and at one point even gives a hand on the synths, all the while, demonstrating just how talented she is.

Some of her most standout performances were ‘Wait For The Rain’ due to the storm sounds and lightning effects, immersing the audience and the story behind ‘Dancing With Character’, accompanied by her ballet-like moves was enough to bring a tear to the eye.

I can’t recommend seeing Rae Morris highly enough – her energy and passion for the music she creates is infectious and whether you’re already a fan or not, you’ll certainly come away wanting more.

Highlights:

  • Rae‘s cute speaking voice with its almost whispery quality is adorable…and the complete opposite to her powerful singing!
  • The dance moves she busts out are incredible; everything from reggae skanking to ballet – a real treat to behold!
  • The backing vocalist’s voice (and twerking!) was sensational and the instrumentation created by the drummer and synth player were brilliant throughout. The duet she did with her drummer was great too!
  • I liked the part of the show where 2 or 3 of the songs all flowed into one another – great transitioning!
  • The genuine appreciation for her fans’ support was beautiful; she is certainly very modest.
  • The fact she made time to meet her fans to chat after the show and sign merchandise, was a really lovely touch.

📷All of the photos of PAULi and Rae Morris are credited to Damon Peirce  📸
Why not go and give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter.


 Setlist

Push Me To My Limit
Reborn
Morne Fortuné
Physical Form
Do It
Cold
Wait For The Rain*
Love Again
Dancing With Character
Dip My Toe
Under The Shadows
Rose Garden
Atletico (The Only One)*

Encore
Lower The Tone
Don’t Go (Short Version)
Someone Out There

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


Finally, I want to say a MASSIVE thanks to Harriet for sorting out this review and to Rae MorrisPAULi and Saskia Maxwell for all putting on incredible performances and taking the time to chat after the show – it was a fantastic evening!

PAULi & Matt Wright


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#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!


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

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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: Chicane @ Concorde 2, Brighton – 19/05/17


   

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On Friday 19th May 2017, Chicane came to Brighton to perform a full-band set (which is a very rare thing!) It was an absolutely incredible night, with support from Chris Hopkins, who did an hour and a half DJ set.


Chris Hopkins (DJ Set)

One of Nick’s friends, Chris Hopkins did a great DJ set to get the evening started, playing a range of dance anthems as well as some remixes of classic songs by Prince and others; it was non-stop tune after tune.

Highlight:

  • The dedication made to Robert Miles before playing ‘Children’ was touching and had the crowd cheering and dancing along.
  • Also playing a Chicane song (not on the set list), right before he took to the stage, was a great way to get the crowd going.

Chicane

Chicane took to the stage with the recent, ambient, ascending track ’38 Weeks’, accompanied by his band (Karlos Edwards on drums and Simon Small on guitar and bass) and singer, Rosalee O’Connell. The set was then packed with his biggest hits from the past 20 years, in celebration of his recent album, Twenty. I particularly enjoyed the live performances of ‘Poppiholla (Anniversary Remix)’, ‘Fibreglasses’‘Don’t Give Up’‘Nite On Shore’ and ‘Saltwater’.

The set was diverse, mixing his more upbeat, club anthems (which had the audience going wild; jumping up and down and singing along) and the more mellow, ambient tracks; at times joined by either of the two singers (Rosalee O’Connell or Gavin Conder) accompanying and others with just the musicians; it all flowed perfectly.

It was great to hear these tracks live and the combination of Nick’s synth tracks and keys alongside live instrumentation was a really unique way to experience his music.

The performance was about an hour and a half long and people loved every second of it (myself included); we could quite happily have gone on listening, watching and dancing all night. There was genuine disappointment when it came an end but an encore led to rapturous applause before closing the show with ‘Stoned In Love’, with Gavin Condor on vocals.

If you haven’t ever seen him play with a full band, you must! I’m already itching to catch him live again!!!

Highlights:

  • The set list was crammed full of hit after hit.
  • Nick mixed the sounds to perfection and whilst the quality sounded like the studio versions, the subtle changes to the track made them unique to that performance.
  • The bass sounds were so heavy and loud, you could feel them reverberate through your chest.
  • The guitarist was incredibly talented, particularly on the track, ‘Nite On Shore’ when he showed off some impressive acoustic guitar skills.
  • The superbly powerful vocals of both singers were stunning to witness.
  • The drummer’s use of both drum kit and samples pads added a diverse edge to the performance.

All of these excellent photos are credited to Elliot McRae.
Go on, give him a follow – @EMcraePhoto


 Setlist

38 Weeks
The Bridge
One Thousand Suns*
Poppiholla (Anniversary Remix)*
Saltwater (Kryder Remix)
Hiding All The Stars
Still With Me
Fibreglasses
Carry Me Home
Don’t Give Up*
Nite On Shore
Saltwater*

Encore
Stoned In Love

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


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to Louis for organising this review and backstage interview (here) and also to Chicane (Nick) for putting on such an immense evening; I loved every minute of it.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#EventSpeaks: Marianas Trench @ The Haunt, Brighton – 13/05/17


   

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On Saturday 13th May 2017, Marianas Trench arrived in Brighton to conclude their tour around the UK and the band blew me away. With support from Club Drive, the evening was full of fun, laughter and much dancing.


Club Drive

Club Drive were an excellent support band – they have a unique blend of pop, funk and rock that sure know how to pack a punch on the stage. They captivated the audience well and really got them pumped for Marianas Trench. It was clear to see just why the BBC Introducing team have decided to add their song, ‘Spare Time’ to their playlists.

Highlight:

  • The fact that the band really knew how to get the crowd warmed up and had everyone jumping.
  • When Josh (from Marianas Trench) came on stage to give the band drinks to down was brilliant.

Marianas Trench

The band’s set began with the blasting of Michael Jackson‘s ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ which got the audience dancing their socks off right away. As the song drew to a close, the band took to the stage with their album opener, ‘Astoria’. Josh was dressed with a hood up so you couldn’t see his face. Part way through the opening song, he whipped back the hood to a rapturous applause from the crowd. It was instantly clear that this lead singer knew just how to work a crowd.

The audience was also one of the most diverse-looking crowds I’ve ever seen at a show – you had a blend of older rocker types; younger scene kids; geeks; even trendy folk – they are evidently a band for misfits and that can’t be a bad thing.

The set just produced hit after hit and had the audience going crazy throughout. Everyone danced and sung their hearts out, knowing the lyrics to every song.

The between-song banter was great too – Josh expressed his gratitude and shock at how the audiences throughout the tour have been so supportive and known so much of their music despite very little promotion over here.

Highlights:

  • Josh’s vocals were so spot-on – he demonstrated really impressive control over his voice and the sheer power he has is remarkable.
  • The interaction with the crowd was great and you could see just how pleased the band were to have such a supportive and loving fanbase.
  • The Haunt has a massive pillar on one side of the stage which was blocking out Matt but the jokes about it were fantastic – Josh told the crowd Matt suggested putting two iPads on either side of the pillar and FaceTiming between them so the crowd could see him.
  • All the fans knew that during the song ‘One Love’ they were to produce paper hearts with the song title written on and hold them up – it’s one of those great moments that only a band and their fans know about. True fan loyalty.
  • Josh getting the fans to do some impressive vocal acrobatics was hilarious – he taught them how to vocally warble before getting carried away but at the same time demonstrated just how diverse his vocals are.
  • Josh’s rather camp and extroverted gestures are brilliant to behold – he’s such a good frontman.
  • When Matt and Mike took lead vocals on the track ‘This Means War’.
  • Josh taking time to do a solo performance to really draw the crowd in to his world.
  • Club Drive returning the favour and rushing the stage to tip shots down the band’s throats. Josh then responded mid-song by singing about how gross the shot was, was genius.

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 Setlist

Astoria
Yesterday
Celebrity Status
Burning Up
All To Myself
Here’s To The Zeros
One Love
This Means War (Matt and Mike on Lead Vocals)
Desperate Measures
Fallout
Stutter
Pop 101
Who Do You Love*
Cross My Heart

Encore
Good To You (Josh Ramsay Solo Performance)
Haven’t Had Enough
End Of An Era

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


Finally, I want to say a big thanks to Steve from EMMS Publicity for hooking me up to review this show and thanks to Marianas Trench for putting on such an amazing live show; you guys were awesome!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#EventSpeaks: Aquilo @ Patterns, Brighton – 22/10/16


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On Saturday 22nd October 2016, I was lucky enough to see Aquilo performing live at Patterns in Brighton, with support from Meadowlark. The event was brilliant and both acts were fantastic. If you haven’t seen either act live; I strongly recommend it!


Meadowlark

Having only recently heard of Meadowlark and done an interview with the band (which you can read here), I was excited to catch their live performance!

The pair were thrilling to behold – their songs are well crafted, the production was perfection and their performance was flawless. I imagine that a long time has been spent writing, recording and rehearsing and this shows, since their performance was remarkable.

I found myself enjoying every song they played; even the ones I didn’t know and from a support act, this is rare.

I strongly recommend watching them live and listening to their music online…they’re ace!

Highlight:

  • Fantastic use of synths, pads and vocal harmonies.
  • Captivating songwriting and big energy from both members.
  • A very full-on sound; production was top-notch.

Setlist

Paraffin
Sunlight
Body Lose
Pink Heart
Quicksand
Fly
Eyes Wide
Headlights


Aquilo

Aquilo were stunning! Their performance was captivating, full-on and brimming with high energy and placid moments, all in the right places – it was thoroughly enjoyable.

The band’s songs are such a powerful soundscape that the whole performance was like a journey, a story, it was almost a shame when the band spoke between songs. That being said, some of their anecdotes were witty and you could tell that they truly appreciated the audience being there to see them.

The pair confirmed that they have completed the work on their album and that it will be coming sometime at the beginning of next year, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for this.

Highlights:

  • The vast soundscape created by the band.
  • The couple of songs performed without the backing band – especially their song, ‘Sorry’ – this showed their raw talents off well and their songs were filled with power and emotion.
  • The beautifully intricate harmonies created by both of their voices together.
  • Stunning songs and brilliant songwriting shown off in a fantastic live setting.

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 Setlist

Calling Me
I Don’t Want To See It
Never Seen You Get So Low
Human
You There
I Gave It All
Losing You
Waiting
Sorry
You Won’t Know Where You Stand
Good Girl*
Better Off Without You

Encore
Silhouette

This song can be viewed on our YouTube, below.


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to Phil from Sonic PR for organising this show and to Meadowlark and Aquilo for their epic performances!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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