#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:

Muzik Speaks Live Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#EventSpeaks: Leah McFall @ Komedia, Brighton – 16/04/17


   

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On Sunday 16th April 2017, Leah McFall arrived in Brighton for the penultimate date on her 2017 INK Tour, which was entirely promoted by herself, selling out 4 of the dates, without any promoters backing her; a truly incredible feat. She was also supported throughout the tour, by local artists, including Taylor Barker (singer of band La Plage) and singer-songwriter, Callum Stewart.


Taylor Barker (singer of La Plage)

Taylor Barker took to the stage rather modestly, yet her voice was a sonic powerhouse. Usually part of the band, La Plage, tonight she performed alone with her guitar but she showed off some impressive skills. The sounds she made with the guitar, backed up her vocals beautifully – it certainly didn’t feel like she was performing alone. A thrilling opener for the evening.


Callum Stewart

Next to grace the stage with his keyboard, was Callum Stewart, a Brighton-based, Northern Ireland-born singer songwriter.

Although his performance got off to a bit of a shaky start, with a dodgy pedal, he quickly recovered, putting on a rather impressive display of self-penned songs, alongside a country cover I’d not heard before. His chats with the crowd were, at times, humorous and he’s definitely got a sound I’d like to hear more of. A talented guy who’s definitely going to be one to watch!


Leah McFall

Leah McFall took to the stage with a roar of excitement from the crowd, singing her debut single, ‘Home’ mashed-up with Aaliyah‘s ‘Try Again’ – instantly letting the audience know they were in for a treat with her show.

She then went on to perform a couple of tracks from her recent EP, INK‘Happy Human’ and ‘Bottle It’, having the crowd singing along to every word. She continued by performing some new songs to see what the crowd would make of them, insisting that she wanted to try them out and feel the audience’s reaction.

Her humorous banter with the crowd was fantastic and felt like a truly personal interaction, keeping the crowd laughing. Her cover of Gloria Gaynor‘s ‘I Will Survive’ had people singing along, however her closing song (a unique version of her infamous cover of Minnie Riperton‘s ‘Loving You’ from her days on The Voice) had everyone held in the palm of her hand, waiting for those trademark whistle notes.

The whole show was a treat to behold – such a powerfully effortless voice; it is undeniable, Leah McFall has got serious talent and you must catch her on her next tour.

Highlights (Watch out, there’s many!):

  • Leah’s incredible vocals just captivated the audience, keeping them hanging on every note.
  • Each time she performed a whistle note, the audience burst into rapturous applause, and she did them so perfectly, she made it look almost easy.
  • Her between-song banter was so on point and witty that she had the crowd in hysterics.
  • Her songs were incredible – the band were superb and her voice was impeccable – it’s definitely given people a taste of more original music to come.
  • My favourite song of the night was ‘Weird To Wonderful’ – I need a studio version of that song!
  • Leah’s genuine and, at times, rather emotional appreciation of her fans was endearing; you could tell she meant every word of gratitude for their adoration and support.
  • Her insistence to meet and greet every single fan (who wanted to meet) her after the show, really demonstrated a reciprocal dedication to her loyal fanbase – needless to say, the queue was epic!

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 Setlist

Home/Try Again
Happy Human
Bottle It
Rubber
Fair Trade
Language
Weird To Wonderful
No Ordinary Love
Colours At A Funeral
I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor Cover)*
Wolf Den
Solid Gold
INK*
Loving You (Minnie Riperton Cover)*

* Parts of these songs can be viewed on the YouTube playlist, below.


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to Leah for putting on such an incredible evening and all without any backing of promoters – it was a true testament to the power of her fanbase.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Leah McFall – INK (Mini Album)


   

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Leah McFall first came to the public attention as a runner-up on the second series of The Voice UK, back in 2013. Since then, she’s been busy crafting her sound and has finally released her first mini album, INK, which she will be touring throughout the UK, this month.

Leah McFall - INK

The title track, Ink’, is also the opening track of the mini album; it’s a subtle, laid-back song with haunting melodies and incredibly well-placed backing vocals that add a interesting depth to it. The song (and several others on the record) has strong resemblances with NAO.

‘Happy Human’ is an uplifting, full-on track with a positive message. ‘Bottle It’ stands out for it’s edgy sound – similar to the current tropical house trend but with her own, unique interpretation. ‘Colours At A Funeral’ is a raw, emotional song that has a deep soulfulness to it and is followed by another stand-out song, ‘Language’; the latter is a great song, probably the most poppy song (and my personal favourite) on the record. It’s a quite a blend of late 80s and 90s pop sounds and has that feel-good factor about it.

The closing track is Leah‘s first, independently released single, ‘Wolf Den’, which boasts an upbeat, quirky sound and really showcases just what she can do with her voice; whistle notes and all. It’s the perfect end to the whole mini album.

The production throughout, is what I’d describe as subtle yet intricate – it doesn’t scream out pop and it can’t easily be pigeon-holed, but that’s what makes it such a fantastic release. It’s very dreamy with seemingly simplistic production (although that’s most definitely not the case); it’s been impeccably well produced and each song makes an impact in a different way. Leah‘s powerful vocals and delicate ad libs have been layered beautifully and weave stunningly around the instrumentation, creating euphoric highs and emotionally-driven lows throughout the entirety of the record. It is an honest offering and almost exposes a vulnerability about the singer. This is undoubtably something fans will appreciate; an insight into her world.

In summary, this mini album has a lot to offer and is a very strong independent release that’s currently charting highly on the UK iTunes charts. Although she may not have won The Voice UK, her talent definitely outshines any other contestant to have graced the show previously or since. This release is a symbol of what fan power, self-belief and determination can achieve and her every success is deserved! Let’s hope a full-length album follows, and soon!

Rating
5


‘INK’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/ink-ep/id1206458926


INK on Spotify

INK on YouTube

Wolf Den (Official Video)

Bottle It (Official Video)

Happy Human (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of Leah McFall’s release! What do you think of the mini album? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Leah McFall

Matt interviews Leah McFall and finds out all about her latest single, ‘Happy Human’, her upcoming EP, ‘INK’, and asks a whole bunch of fans’ questions. It’s all here…


   

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Having just released her latest single, Happy Human‘ (click the link to watch the video – if you haven’t heard/watched it yet, you must!), I had the privilege of talking to the stunningly talented singer, Leah McFall.

During our interview, Leah discussed her upcoming mini-album, ‘INK’, her plans for the approaching INK Tour (BUY TICKETS HERE), the best film she’s seen lately and she even shared some of her most embarrassing moments, including Chris Brown and a can of Coke! She also took the time to answer a whole host of fans’ questions too…It’s all in the video below!

I really hope you enjoy watching this interview as much as I enjoyed doing it! Please show your support for Leah by sharing the link to this post on all of your social media accounts!



Leah McFall‘s releases are all available:


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Muzik Speaks Interviews