#Review: Fickle Friends @ Chalk, Brighton – 13/01/22

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On Thursday 13th January 2022, Fickle Friends kicked off their UK tour at Brighton’s Chalk, in support of their second studio album, Are We Gonna Be Alright? The band were supported by Foxgluvv and Valeras, before taking to the stage to play a packed set. Here’s what we have to say about the evening…


Foxgluvv

Stemming from London, support act Foxgluvv, aka Imogen Davies, showcased her unique pop style to early arrivals, in anticipation of the long-awaited Fickle Friends album tour.

You can see her influence from the likes of Madonna and even a touch of Kate Nash within her song writing – very 80’s inspired. She stood confidently on stage, singing songs about relationships, anxiety and identity in a sincere manner. Foxgluvv only had a handful of songs, as a debut album is still on the horizon. One standout song of the evening was the disco banger, ‘1:00AM’, with foot-stomping bass and synths, showing true potential, on par with Charlie XCX, for more exciting things to come in the future.

Michael Hundertmark


Valeras

Valeras were an interesting pair (I say pair, because they’re technically a duo but come accompanied by two other touring members). They packed a punch in terms of sound and the singer’s voice was great too – both raw and powerful. The singer, Rose, did a great job of captivating the audience too – especially when she revealed that she is part of the LGBTQ+ community and performed a personal song about this. There was another point in the set, where she stepped down from the stage and into the crowd, really capturing everyone’s attention. It was a great set and they’re certainly an act to keep an eye on.


Fickle Friends

Fickle Friends took to the stage and the crowd burst into applause and cheering as the band performed their incredibly catchy single, ‘IRL’. From there, the set was packed with a superb combination of songs, both new and old – some from their debut album, You Are Someone Else, some from EPs and some from their recently-released second album, Are We Gonna Be Alright? It was a fantastic showcase of their catalogue!

The band’s use of their instruments and backing tracks interwoven throughout the set was seamless and they demonstrated just how good they are at live performances…even after some time away from performing due to the pandemic. Singer, Natti’s voice was impeccable throughout too – effortless and powerful in all the right places.

The stage design was humble, with their second album cover as backdrop and some cool light towers on the stage to add interesting effects, but otherwise is was over to the band to wow their audience, and wow they did; the crowd were loving every second of the band’s performance, dancing and singing along throughout.

The set was split into some of their most upbeat pop tunes, then “rock hour” (as the band called it) and then “the home straight”, which consists of songs the band know inside out and have performed for so long they don’t have to think about it. Natti took a sip of her “home straight juice” and explained the layout of the set to everyone, making people laugh. “Rock hour” consisted of some of the tracks from their second album, one which they experimented with a heavier sound, in places (read our review here).

Possibly one of my favourite moments though, was the performance of second album title track, ‘Are We Gonna Be Alright?’ The song was very different from the rest of the set and really showed off the talent in Natti’s voice, as she played guitar with fellow band member, Jack – it was beautiful.

Their crowd interactions were short and sweet but kept the show moving nicely.

One thing’s for certain; the band are polished in terms of their live performances and know how to entertain a crowd in all the right ways! If you haven’t seen them live yet, I strongly recommend catching them on this tour, especially as they’ve hinted that it might be a while before they tour again! Grab a ticket and dance and sing the night away.

Highlights:

  • The diversity of the setlist made for a truly brilliant show.
  • The energy that oozed out of the band was superb and made for a great set.
  • Favourite performances included ‘Glue’, ‘Not Okay’, ‘Love You To Death’ and ‘Say No More’.
  • ‘Pretty Great’ was a brilliant end to the set too as a vocoder was used in one part, Natti played some keyboard, Jack took centre stage and shredded the guitar, it was wonderfully chaotic in the best way and made for an outstanding close to the show.

📷 All of the photos in this post are credited to Michael Hundertmark 📸
Why not give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter or check out his website.


 Setlist

IRL
Glue*
Not Okay*
Hello Hello
Not In The Mood
Brooklyn
Write Me A Song
Yeah Yeah Yeah
Love You To Death
Hard To Be Myself*
Are We Gonna Be Alright?
Say No More*
Swim
Pretty Great

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


Finally, I want to say a HUGE thanks to Kat from Deidkated PR for arranging this review and to Fickle Friends themselves, for putting on an incredible evening.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: The Darkness @ Brighton Dome, Brighton – 17/11/21

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On Wednesday 17th November 2021, The Darkness arrived in Brighton to perform a set in support of their upcoming album, Motorheart. With support from Massive Wagon, the band performed a set packed with both hits and a few new offerings too! Here’s what we had to say about the show…


Massive Wagon

This band were not my cup of tea at all. There was lots of hair tossing, leg kicking, microphone stand twirling and screaming… to the point of distraction! They are like a garage band – not particularly polished in places but still seemed to be a crowd pleaser nonetheless!


The Darkness

As the bagpipe-esque intro played through the speakers, The Darkness took to the stage as the crowd cheered wildly.

Unfortunately, compared to the last time they played at Brighton Dome (review here), their stage design was considerably stripped back but nevertheless, they came prepared to wow their audience.

There were moments of pure guitar solo delight from Dan, Justin’s trademark falsetto vocals, bass riffs galore from Frankie and even a moment when the lead singer stood on his head in front of the kick drum.

The frontman particularly knows how to interact with and captivate a crowd. There were a couple of occasions where he had the audience calling back every note he sung and another moment when he had them repeating something deeply poetic and was frankly just chatting shit but it was hilarious!

Part way through the set, Justin made his apologies for the band being a bit rusty after their break in performing due to the pandemic and it’s true, they weren’t perfect, in places. However, they still put on a performance packed with energy and played a selection of the band’s biggest hits, fan favourites and some tracks off the new album too!

Some of the best songs performed can be seen on the YouTube playlist below – ‘It’s Love, Jim’ and ‘Motorheart’ were particular favourites from the new album, whilst you can’t go wrong with old hits like ‘Givin’ Up’, ‘Get Your Hands Off My Woman’, ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ and of course their Christmas hit, ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)’.

It was a set that despite their imperfections was fun, energetic and pure The Darkness brilliance! If you haven’t seen them before, be sure to try and check them out on this tour – they promise not to disappoint!

Highlights:

  • Justin’s crowd interactions were witty as ever and he fed off the heckles perfectly too.
  • Justin’s costume changes also added variety to the set.
  • 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 performed with 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!

📷 All of the photos in this post are credited to Michael Hundertmark 📸
Why not give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter or check out his website.


 Setlist

Welcome Tae Glasgae
One Way Ticket
Growing On Me
Eastbound
Open Fire
Sticky Situations
Givin’ Up*
It’s Love, Jim*
Black Shuck
Heart Explodes
Friday Night
Love Is Only A Feeling*
The Power And The Glory Of Love
Solid Gold
Motorheart*
Barbarian
Get Your Hands Off My Woman*

Encore
I Believe In A Thing Called Love*
Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)*

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


Finally, I want to say a BIG thanks to Warren and Aoife from Chuff Media for organising this review for us!


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Paloma Faith @ Brighton Centre, Brighton – 16/10/21

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On Saturday 16th October 2021, Paloma Faith arrived in Brighton to perform a string of her biggest hits, fan favourites and cuts from her latest album, Infinite Things, with support from Josef Salvat. Here’s what we had to say about the show…


Josef Salvat

Josef Salvat is an Australian singer and songwriter, who graced the stage with his wonderfully quirky shirt and trouser combo and thrilled the audience with his unique brand of pop music. The performer had a diverse vocal style and even did a rendition of Rihanna‘s ‘Diamonds’.

Highlight: Closing the set with his latest single, ‘I’m Sorry’, was a brilliant ending to his performance; the song is upbeat and catchy as hell so really worked the crowd up before Paloma Faith.


Paloma Faith

As the lights dimmed, Paloma Faith took to the stage to perform ‘Last Night On Earth’ with an eruption of applause and cheering from the audience. During the first song, she addressed the crowd and spoke about how after the pandemic we should focus on the here and the now as we don’t know what tomorrow might bring; truly meaningful words from the singer-songwriter.

She performed the first song in front of a curtain for the majority of the track before it came down to reveal a rather simplistic stage set (for her). Accompanying her, was a largely female-dominated group of musicians and backing singers; all of whom were incredibly talented in their own right.

Dressed in an edgy, backless leather dress and a vibrant red pixie wig, the singer wowed her crowd with not only her superbly powerful vocals but wonderful anecdotes behind some of her songs and of motherhood and getting older too. She even made reference to her skin’s elasticity having gone and it being perfect in a plane crash to help her land safely.

Paloma‘s set was engaging on an interactive level, as her personality and charisma shone through, plus she packed it full of songs not only from her latest album, Infinite Things, but a massive selection of fan favourites and huge hits were spread across the duration of the show too.

At one point, she tells the crowd that her latest album is her favourite as it’s more personal than others she’s put out and reveals it’s probably the only one she’s released that she’d actually buy herself. That said, she knows how to have fun with a lot of her older material too, stunning the audience with cuts all the way back to her first album.

She even performs a cover of Chaka Khan‘s ‘I’m Every Woman’ and tells us how she was once invited to share the stage with the iconic singer but knew none of the words, bring her to face her fears and perform the song herself.

The great thing is that from about half way through the set, no one is sitting down any longer as the singer encourages everyone to get up and dance and you can see people are truly living in the moment.

Paloma is a character, that’s for sure, but her powerful voice only adds to the enjoyment of the show. She is someone who needs to be seen live as she not only knows how to put on an incredible show, but she will have you singing and dancing in no time. If you haven’t caught her on this tour, then grab yourself some tickets for her 2022 tour, ‘Age of Optimism Tour’.

Highlights:

  • The between-song interactions with the audience were wonderful; they were genuine and truly witty, making the crowd feel closer to her as a person.
  • Getting everyone out of their seats and on their feet and dancing made for a great experience.
  • ‘Gold’, Crybaby’, ‘Picking Up The Pieces’, ‘Changing’ and ‘Lullaby’ were definitely some of the highlights from the set.

📷 All of the photos in this post are credited to Michael Hundertmark 📸
Why not give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter or check out his website.


 Setlist

Last Night On Earth
Gold*
Crybaby
Infinite Things
Guilty
Beautiful & Damned
If Loving You Was Easy (with Josef Salvat)
Stone Cold Sober / Stargazer / 30 Minute Love Affair / New York / Upside Down
Picking Up The Pieces*
Monster
Can’t Rely On You
I’m Every Woman (Chaka Khan Cover)*
Changing*
If This Is Goodbye

Encore
Better Than This
Lullaby*
Only Love Can Hurt Like This

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


Finally, I want to say a MASSIVE thanks to Warren from Chuff Media for sorting out this review for me.


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

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Becky Hill @ Brighton Dome, Brighton – 11/10/21

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On Monday 11th October 2021, Becky Hill arrived in Brighton to perform at Brighton Dome in support of her album, Only Honest On The Weekend. She was supported by Richard Fairlie. Here’s what we have to say about the incredible event…


Richard Fairlie

Richard Fairlie took to the stage, giving rise to intrigue and applause from the audience, especially as he was accompanied by just a drum stick and pads that provided his instrumentation. His voice was captivating as it was raspy yet he could also show off some impressive falsetto vocals. He performed a mixture of rocky tracks, mellow, guitar-driven ballads and more urban-tinted songs. He has even been supported publicly by Becky Hill herself and so it made sense that he supported her on this tour.

Highlight: His set diversity is something brilliant to watch – from slower, falsetto-driven guitar ballads to up-tempo urban anthems, he is an interesting watch and one to keep an eye on.


Becky Hill

As the intro music rumbled through the speakers, Becky Hill took to the stage to rapturous applause from the audience. The energy was electrifying and she instantly had the crowd in the palm of her hand, and singing back every word of ‘Heaven On My Mind’.

Her outfit glistened beautifully too; one which she later told the crowd she had been saving specially for her Brighton show. In fact, it was this outfit that she revealed she was worried about tripping over in, due to the long legs, so took a quick break from performing to safety-pin it up (with a little help from her team).

The setlist comprised of a string of her well-known hits as well as cuts from her debut album, Only Honest On The Weekend. Her vocals were not only on point, but wonderfully powerful throughout, wowing the audience with every word she sung.

The set was brilliantly diverse too, with many up-tempo tracks performed to begin with (an excellent mixture of new and old songs) but what made it interesting was a break in the middle to perform some acoustic hybrid renditions of ‘Lessons’ and ‘Business’ (an INCREDIBLE duet with one of her backing vocalists). She even picked up her acoustic guitar to perform the track, ‘Perfect People’, which showed everyone just how talented a performer she is.

After the quieter breakdown in the set, the tempo was then picked back up and had everyone partying right up until the very end; even those in the seats upstairs were all up on their feet, jumping up and down to performances of ‘My Heart Goes (La Di Da)’,‘Gecko (Overdrive)’, ‘Wish You Well’ and ‘Remember’. There was no encore to the set either as she said she will not do an encore until she’s selling out arenas.

If you haven’t seen Becky Hill live yet, I can’t recommend seeing her, highly enough! This was my first time seeing her live and it certainly won’t be my last – she is a pop/dance powerhouse of a lady that has been working incredibly hard to get to where she is. She puts on one hell of a show and creates a vibe throughout the audience that is thoroughly infectious and has everyone dancing from start to finish.

Highlights:

  • Becky Hill‘s energy throughout her performance was astounding and even when she performed slower songs, her voice was truly powerful and a wonder to behold.
  • The cool set design made for an interesting watch too – four colour-changing cubes were a great addition to the performance.
  • Her interactions with the audience were always genuine and heartfelt, especially when she talked about getting over the pandemic and all coming together in one room to celebrate live music again.

📷 All of the photos in this post are credited to myself, Matt Wright  📸
Why not give me a follow on my Instagram and Twitter.


 Setlist

Intro
Heaven On My Mind
Afterglow
Through The Night
False Alarm
I Could Get Used To This
I Got You*
Lessons (Acoustic Hybrid)
Business (Acoustic Hybrid)
Distance
Perfect People (Becky Hill on Guitar)
Lose Control
My Heart Goes (La Di Da)*
Gecko
Last Time (Biscits Remix)
Better Off Without You
Wish You Well*
Remember*

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


Finally, I want to say a HUGE thanks to Warren at Chuff Media for sorting out this review for me.


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 Hope & Ruin, Brighton – 29/10/16


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On Saturday 29th October 2016, Will Joseph Cook performed his first headline show in Brighton and it was fantastic! With two awesome supports, Hot Dreams and George Taylor, the whole evening was just incredible.

We also had the opportunity to catch up with Will before the show – the interview will be coming soon, so keep your eyes and ears peeled.


Hot Dreams

Hot Dreams are an indie quartet from London, who have recently changed their name from Pocket Money. The band were incredibly tight and played a great, engaging set. Their sound is rather unique; there are euphoric and melodic highs within a calm soundscape and intense, hard-hitting moments of organised chaos that really pack a punch. There was one song in particulary that flipped the whole performance on its head, when the drummer performed lead vocals, and then the other 3 came in with the most immensely beautiful harmonies, it was joyous to watch. I’m predicting big things for these guys…just remember the name, Hot Dreams.

Hot Dreams.JPG


George Taylor

George Taylor was next to take to the stage and he is clearly a very gifted songwriter, topped off with an amazing voice. Within the first few bars of his set, the microphone failed, which is a nightmare for any performer, but he handled it really well; a real professional.

The set consisted of some light-hearted happy songs amongst a sea of melancholic anthems. The guy’s voice is able to depict pain in the most stunning way but he also writes in really interestingly. There was one particular song that involved his voice being in constant use and led into a great chorus; I’d love to hear a recorded version of it, with a full backing band. Here’s another artist I think we’ll be seeing big things of in the not-too-distant future.

Highlight:

  • George‘s talking to the crowd was ace! There were a couple of one-liners that were hilarious…in particular I liked his joke about his missing band whilst nonchalantly tuning his guitar; “I normally perform with a band but I can’t afford it right now… …blame Brexit”
  • His voice is remarkable – such passion and rawness to it; it’s reminiscent of David Gray but with more umph to it!


Will Joseph Cook

Will Joseph Cook was awesome – for such a young guy, he exudes great talent! He put on an excellent show with a mixture of uplifting, fun and funky songs and then mellower moments when he performed by himself.

There is no doubt that Will Joseph Cook has been hard at work, crafting a set that will really please his audience as he had pretty much everyone dancing and/or singing along throughout the set or watching in admiration at his acoustic offerings.

The band he had were fantastic – they provided great backing vocals and they looked like they were enjoying themselves too!

He showed off an impressive array of songs from his EP releases, so far, and some new, unreleased tracks too; the audience were lapping it up. He clearly has a loyal following and the guy hasn’t even released an album yet!

Big things to come from him when he drops his debut album, hopefully around the beginning of next year, he said…can’t wait!

Highlights:

  • The passion and energy he puts into his performances is awesome – he looks like he’s loving what he’s doing!
  • He got the audience dancing their socks off to songs like ‘Girls Like Me’ and ‘Sweet Dreamer’.
  • Amazing songwriting – he’s clearly taken a lot of time perfecting his set and working on his songs.
  • He offers good interaction with the fans – he told them all where they could find him after the show so they could come and meet him.

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 Setlist

Streets Of Paris
Take Me Dancing
Hearse
Toothbrush*
Daisy Chains
Message
Alive
Waters Gone Cold
Sweet Dreamer*
For Thursday
Girls Like Me

Encore
Beach*

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


Finally, I want to say a BIG thanks to Isobel from Whiteboard PR for setting up both the interview and guest list for me and to Will Joseph Cook for agreeing to be interviewed and putting on one heck of a show!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#EventSpeaks: InMe @ Patterns, Brighton – 28/10/16


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On 28th October 2016, InMe arrived in Brighton for the final date of their 20th Anniversary Tour and it was amazing! Supported by Empire and Aaron Buchanan and the Cult Classics, it was a concert not to be missed!

We were fortunate enough to catch Dave McPherson for an interview before the show, which you can check out here…he gave some great responses to the questions we asked and an awesome game of ‘Would You Rather…?’ was played!


Empire

Empire are a high-energy, in-your-face, hard-hitting metal band who kicked off the show with a massive bang. I loved the singer, Joe Green‘s intensity when performing and his funky moves were captivating. This is definitely a band to watch out for!


Aaron Buchanan and the Cult Classics

Aaron Buchanan and the Cult Classics were next to take to the stage and they made a huge impact on the audience, getting them worked up for InMe. The stage presence exuded from the lead singer by the bucket load and his voice was impeccable throughout the entire performance. They had some great songs and good banter with the crowd. Great set guys!

Highlight:

  • The singer, Aaron Buchanan, had a great vocal range!
  • The band played a great drinking game with the audience called Buffalo.
  • There was a great stage presence by all the band members.

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InMe

After two great support acts, InMe took to the stage to raucous applause from the audience who clearly couldn’t wait to celebrate 20 years since the bands creation and they certainly didn’t disappoint.

Performing a whole host of songs from their debut album, Overgrown Eden, up to their most recent release, Trilogy: Dawn the band showed off an impressive array of tracks from a now, rather vast catalogue. Fans were particularly excited by performances of iconic tracks like ‘Lava Twilight’, ‘Firefly” and ‘Underdose’ from the band’s debut album and were chanting along to ‘7 Weeks’‘Safe In A Room’ and ‘Faster The Chase’ taken from the hugely successful White Butterfly.

Dave had the audience enraptured by not only his stage presence but his between-songs banter, telling the crowd the meanings behind some of the songs, thanking his fellow band members (in particular, drummer Simon Taylor, for “spending the last 20 years looking at my [Dave’s] backside”) and even telling the audience where they’d be after the show, so fans could come and chat/have a drink.

This band certainly deserve every success they have due to the loyalty they show their fans, fantastic craftsmanship behind their songs and their impressive, passionate and intense performances; here’s to another 20 years guys!

Highlights:

  • Dave’s incredible ability to switch between singing and screaming is just a marvel to behold!
  • The vocal harmonies between Dave and Greg McPherson were amazing; spot on!
  • The set spanned the length of their career (from Overgrown Eden to Trilogy: Dawn) and had the audience captivated throughout.
  • Good chat between songs and explanations about some of the reasons various tracks were written.
  • The band were very open to having fans come and hang out with them after the show, telling them where they were going for drinks – a really great, open and honest interaction with their fans.

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 Setlist

Myths & Photographs
Ferocity In Desire
7 Weeks
Lava Twilight
Nova Armada
Hymn: Ivory Elder
Safe In A Room
Her Mask (P.A)
Firefly
Reverie Shores
Legacy
Creation: Amethyst
Reverie: Aquarium
Underdose
Faster The Chase


Finally, I want to say a MASSIVE thanks to Jamie at Wall Of Sound for setting up this review and interview, thanks to InMe for putting on a great show and to Dave for doing the interview with me!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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