#Review: Bastille @ Brighton Centre, Brighton – 18/04/22

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On Monday 18th April 2022, Bastille arrived in Brighton for the closing night of their 2022 UK tour, in support of their fourth studio album, Give Me The Future. The night was incredible, with support from BIM and The Native. Here’s what we had to say about the sensational event…


BIM

Following a last-minute line-up change, due to singer, Dylan, being unable to perform, long-time Bastille backing singer, BIM, stepped up to perform as first support of the evening. Whilst she only performed 2 songs, she wowed the audience with her incredibly powerful, and soulful voice. Songs, ‘O.T.R.’ and ‘Cinematic’ both had sexy vibes to them, the latter of which makes references to a selection of films, which BIM invited the audience to guess which ones she was singing about. The singer was candid with the audience about being alone on the stage and asked for the support of the crowd, which they gave readily. A great singer, with some incredibly dynamic vocals – definitely one to look out for.


The Native

This band were an interesting act – they’re clearly young but quite experienced. Unfortunately for the singer, he was having trouble with his guitar which threw him off slightly, however they remained professional throughout the show delivering a flawless performance. That said, they could have used a little more personality, energy and smiles in their stage presence and whilst they have well-written songs, if I’m honest, they were not the most captivating tunes. That aside, they did manage to get the crowd excited for Bastille and their song, ‘In My Mind’ was a real stand-out performance.


Bastille

From the moment the band took to the stage, there was a huge surge of excitement and cheering from the anticipating crowd, particularly when singer, Dan Smith, emerged at the back of the stage, on a high platform in front of a white rectangular backdrop.

From start to finish (of the 100-minute set), this was a truly captivating experience; probably one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen! The production was instantly impressive with a cool stage set-up, that saw crossed-shaped lights dance across and above the stage, whilst a massive stage-wide screen displayed a variety of stunning visuals at the back of the stage, throughout the set.

Much as with their fourth studio album, Give Me The Future, the entire set was broken up by audio-visual interludes that made the whole performance feel as if you were part of a wonderful cyber experience.

The set was packed with an impressive amount of songs and featured both new and old tunes that had the audience singing along with every word! Even some of the deeper cuts from previous albums as well as those from their latest, had the audience ecstatic.

Despite the nearly seamless flow to the set, the band were truly considerate of their crowd too, stopping the performance a couple of times whilst people who had passed out were carefully lifted out of the crowd.

The band were highly energetic and showed off just how refined they have become at performing in a big concert venue. They’re true professionals and giants in their genre, who deserve their every success.

Without a doubt, this band are a phenominal live act to watch and will have you jumping and singing along within seconds of taking to the stage. Whilst this tour may have now drawn to a close, I’m sure the band will be back and touring again, having said they missed performing during the Covid pandemic, and I cannot recommend watching them, highly enough – they will not disappoint!

Highlights:

  • When singer, Dan Smith, jumped off the stage and into the crowd, during the band’s performance of ‘Happier’, it created a massive buzz throughout the audience and had everyone hyped up (watch the video below as I came face-to-face with him in the crowd!)
  • The appreciation for their fans just being there was evident and the love for enabling their latest album to reach Number 1 was felt by all.
  • The diversity of the set was really thrilling, with a combination of new and old, fast and slow songs, meaning the crowd were kept on their toes throughout.
  • The stage design was amazing – it enhanced the performance without detracting from the band themselves in a wonderfully immersive way.
  • ‘Things We Lost In The Fire’, ‘Happier’, ‘Of The Night’‘Future Holds’ (due to BIM‘s stunning vocals!) and ‘Pompeii’ were definite highlights of 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

Stay Awake?
Distorted Light Beam*
Things We Lost In The Fire
Laura Palmer
Oblivion
Those Nights
Quarter Past Midnight*
Back To The Future*
Plug In…
WHAT YOU GONNA DO???
survivin’
Good Grief*
Promises
Give Me The Future
4AM
No Bad Days
Happier*
Run Into Trouble*
Of The Night
Future Holds (with BIM)
Pompeii*

Encore
Hope For The Future
Shut Off The Lights (with The Native)

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


Finally, I want to say an enormous thank you to Jenny Entwistle from Chuff Media for sorting out this review for us and to BastilleThe Native and BIM for putting on a remarkable event!


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#Review: James Morrison @ Brighton Dome, Brighton – 04/04/22

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On Monday 4th April 2022, James Morrison arrived in Brighton as part of his Greatest Hits tour! With support from Casey McQuillen and the incredible Newton Faulkner, it was an evening not to be missed! Here’s what we had to say about the main act himself…


James Morrison

With loud applause from the already hyped-up crowd after the two support acts, James Morrison was greeted on to the stage with everyone here to witness the masterful performance of this great songwriter. James Morrison walked on stage in a confident yet casual and calm way and started his set with ‘Precious Love’, ‘Feels Like The First Time’ and one of his first big hits, ‘Undiscovered’.

With high anticipation, the Brighton fans were certainly in for a treat with this Greatest Hits tour – plus, it’s the first time he had toured in two and half years!

The singer/songwriter is originally from Rugby in Warwickshire and his 2006 debut single ‘You Give Me Something’ became an instant hit in Europe and as far afield as Australia and Japan. James Morrison‘s influences stem back from his early childhood, listening to his parent’s record collection consisting of folk and country songs.

Banter was high with the audience, who loved every minute of it, especially when the singer told everyone down the front ‘…you know the songs, they are here to cheer you up even if you’ve had a shit day’. He played a variety of songs, both new and old, including ‘So Beautiful’ and ‘Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?’.

It may have been a fully seated show, but with the crowd pleasers played to perfection by the former Brit Award winner, he still managed to get everyone up and dancing by the time ‘Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?’ was belted out, with everyone rocking back and forth, even on the balconies above the stage.

The show was closed off with encore songs ‘Power’ and ‘Wonderful World’.

Overall the night was an engaging experience with James Morrison truly showing of his vocal talents and his masterful guitar playing, nicely accompanied by the backing vocalists and band members, that he thanked earlier on and introduced to his beaming fans.

He left the stage humbly, with a big wave and smile. Brighton will certainly welcome him back again and again for a great sing-along!


📷 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

Precious Love
Feels Like The First Time
Undiscovered
So Beautiful
Don’t Mess With Love
Please Don’t Stop The Rain
Nothing Ever Like You
Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?
This Boy
Broken Strings
I Won’t Let You Go
Up
The Pieces Don’t Fit Anymore
My Love Goes On
Beautiful Life
You Give Me Something

Encore
You Make It Real
Power
Wonderful World


Finally, I want to say a HUGE thanks to Rhian at the Brighton Dome Press Team for sorting out this review and to Michael Hundertmark for writing the review. Plus a massive thanks to James Morrison and the support acts for putting on an incredible evening.


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Michael Hundertmark
https://www.michaelhundertmarkphotography.com
https://twitter.com/mikeDH71

#Review: James Arthur @ Brighton Centre, Brighton – 12/03/22

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On Saturday 12th March 2022, James Arthur arrived in Brighton to perform an incredible show in support of his latest album, It’ll All Make Sense In The End. With support from Sonia Stein, the evening was one packed with excitement and stunning performances. Here’s what we had to say about the show…


Sonia Stein

Sonia Stein was an interesting performer – she seems to eloquently blend funk and soul with contemporary pop, making for a really interesting sound. Think somewhere along a similar vein to Nao and you’re along the right track. She graced the stage in a bright yellow jacket, accompanied by just two band members, however between them, they produced a fantastically full-on sound. Between songs, she displayed an almost shy demeanour, yet her vocals were powerful, well-controlled and confident. If you’ve not checked her out yet, you can catch her live throughout James Arthur‘s current UK tour, or listen to her recordings on all streaming platforms.


James Arthur

He may have done something amazing simply by winning X Factor in the UK, but James Arthur demonstrated that he is so much more than just a talent show winner at his Brighton Centre show.

The singer/songwriter took to the stage to monumental applause from the packed crowd as he showed off not only his incredible vocals but his great guitar skills too, on opening track, ‘4000 Miles’.

From there, the artist proceeded to wow the audience with a mixture of his well-known hits, old cuts from previous records and some album-tracks from the recently-released, It’ll All Make Sense In The End.

The singer is undoubtedly a true professional, having spent 10 years in the industry, performing countless shows and releasing 4 albums to date, and his show appeared seamless throughout.

One thing that truly stands out in his performances though, is just how incredibly powerful and achingly beautiful his voice is live. Of course this is something you’d expect from having heard his studio recordings but it translates so well to his live performances as he shows off just how technically impressive his voice is…and it’s all done so effortlessly.

James Arthur engages with the crowd well telling little anecdotes here and there but particularly shows his gratitude to the crowd for their decade of support since winning the X Factor and how grateful he is to the show for allowing him to pursue his dreams, before launching in to the incredible single that started it all, ‘Impossible’.

Four albums in and nearly a couple of handfuls of tours down, it’s easy to see why this singer/songwriter has picked up such a fantastic following and just how wonderful his shows are. Whether you know each and every song or are relatively new to his music, I can’t recommend highly enough, seeing him live whenever you get the chance. He will not disappoint.

Highlights:

  • His vocals – I said it earlier, but his voice was truly remarkable – powerful and dynamic; something mesmerising to behold live.
  • The cruel joke he played on the audience by welcoming out Anne-Marie to perform an acoustic rendition of The Greatest Showman cover, ‘Rewrite The Stars’, before admitting she wasn’t actually coming.
  • The renditions of ‘Happy Birthday’ he sung to a couple of members of the crowd were hilarious, particularly when he couldn’t hear the name of one of them and had to keep getting them to repeat their name numerous times.
  • The addition of a section of ‘Ready Or Not’ in the middle of ‘Sermon’ made for a great crowd-pleaser.

📷 All of the photos in this post are credited to Matteo D’Ambrosio 📸
Why not give him a follow on Instagram.


 Setlist

4000 Miles
Medicine*
Sermon (including a snippet of ‘Ready Or Not’)
Falling Like The Stars
September
Can I Be Him
Rewrite The Stars (Acoustic)*
Safe Inside/Empty Space/Emily (Acoustic)
Naked (Acoustic)
Last Of The Whiskey
Always
Sun Comes Up*
Impossible*

Encore
Train Wreck
Lasting Lover*
Say You Won’t Let Go*

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


Finally, I want to say a HUGE thanks to Simon Blackmore for arranging this review for me and to both James Arthur and Sonia Stein for putting on such incredible performances.


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

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#Review: Bastille @ Chalk, Brighton – 12/02/22

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On Saturday 12th February 2022, Bastille arrived in Brighton to perform an intimate show in celebration of the release of their fourth studio album, Give Me The Future (out now – read our review of the album here). With support from singer/songwriter, Jacko Hopper, they wowed their crowd with a selection of both new and old songs. Here’s what we have to say about the show…


Jacko Hooper

This singer/songwriter performed with just a guitar and his voice (and at times was accompanied by a female singer by the name of Rebecca). The vocals were raw and powerful and had a folky feel to them. He had the crowd warmed up nicely however at times it felt a little awkward as he tried to “rock out” with just his guitar, which in a stripped back set, didn’t always feel right. That said, he was a good performer, solid songwriter and held the crowd’s attention well. I imagine with a full band, he’d be a really interesting watch.

Highlight: The harmonies provided when he was joined by fellow singer, Rebecca, created a nice depth to his sound.


Bastille

The band performed a short, special stripped-back set of songs, both new and old, to a select, sold-out crowd at Brighton’s Chalk. The band had just scored their third Number 1 album with the release of Give Me The Future and were clearly grateful for all their fans’ support.

Despite being a stripped-back performance, the band came accompanied by a lot of gear to create a unique sound for their set, including touring member Charlie Barnes, who used a lot of looping equipment to build the sound for each song. Lead singer and songwriter, Dan Smith, took the opportunity to interact well with the crowd between songs and came across as a very humble person.

This was something very different from their usual live performances (so I’m told), as Dan remained seated for large parts of the show, instead of jumping around the stage. Additionally, they had come up with interesting renditions of their songs and announced that they were actually going to be performing slightly different sets on each night of the tour.

One interesting part of the show was the performance of ‘Give Me The Future’, during which the band shared stories of people’s weird dreams they had been told about by fans from around the world.

Whilst parts of the set included auto-tune (as with some of their latest album), this was done for effect and to tie in with the futuristic tone of their latest record, however this didn’t detract from how wonderfully powerful and truly talented Dan’s live vocal was.

At one point, the band shared how someone had left a long and rambling negative comment about their stripped-back set from the night before, on their social media, and that they found it hilarious. They particularly liked the part where their use of auto-tune was compared to that of Cher‘s ‘Believe’ and went on to include a snippet in their performance of hit single, ‘Pompeii.

The show was modest and gave intimate access to the band, outside of their usual arena tours. It was a great set that had everyone singing along and provided a unique take on their usual sound. Whilst I loved every second of the show, and am grateful to have seen them in such an interesting way, I still hope to catch them on their full UK tour, later this year.

Highlights:

  • The special adaptations of both their new and old songs was a wonderful thing to have witnessed.
  • The energy of the performance, despite being more acoustic in nature, was captivating.
  • The crowd interactions were open, honest and often heartfelt, bringing the audience closer to the band.
  • The very nature of the show was unique and the fact that each night of the tour is set to be slightly different, meant you were a part of something special, just by being there.
  • The intricacies of the set were well-crafted, despite the band saying they were rusty from having two years away from performing.

📸 All of the photos of Bastille are credited to Chloe Hashemi 📷
Go and give her a follow on Instagram and Twitter, and visit her website.


 Setlist

Intro
Future Holds*
Happier
Power / Haunt
Warmth
Give Me The Future / Dreams
No Bad Days*
Distorted Light Beam / Good Grief
Pompeii (with a snippet of ‘Believe’ by Cher)*
Shut Off The Lights*

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


Finally, I want to say a huge thanks to Jenny Entwistle at Chuff Media for sorting out this review and to Bastille themselves for putting on an incredible set.


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

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#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
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#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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📷 All of the photos in this post are credited to Damon Peirce  📸
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:

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#Review: MUNA @ Concorde 2, Brighton – 02/12/19

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On Monday 2nd December 2019, MUNA arrived in Brighton to perform the first date of their Saves The World Tour – their first ever headline UK tour. They band were supported by Fake Laugh. Here’s what we had to say about the incredible evening…


Fake Laugh

Armed with a fellow band member and a laptop of backing tracks, it’s incredible how Kamran Khan (aka Fake Laugh) creates such a full sound – as if he had an entire band with him. The set was filled with original tracks that could easily sit well in an American teen drama (think maybe The O.C.?!) due to his interesting brand of dreamy indie-pop. That said, he also pulled out a couple of excellent, more rocky guitar riffs that added another interesting depth to the set. Although he is somewhat awkward with his crowd interactions, that doesn’t stop him from getting the crowd moving.

Highlight: There was one particular song towards the end of the set, which I don’t believe is online, but the guitar riff and melody, paired with Kamran’s smooth vocal, was a tremendous thing to watch and dance to.


MUNA

Following a beautiful, instrumental intro, MUNA took to the stage and launched straight into ‘Number One Fan’ to rapturous applause from the crowd! They proceeded to play a string of songs, both old and new, from their debut (About U) and sophomore (Saves The World) albums.

Their Saves The World Tour marks the first headline, UK tour for the band and the Brighton show was their first date of the tour. To say the set was outstanding would be an understatement – the band really were jaw-droppingly brilliant, from their tight performance and engaging stage presence to Katie’s incredible, powerful vocals and they played to a room filled with nothing but love!

It doesn’t matter if you are a massive MUNA fan and know all the words to every one of their songs, or if you are new to them, because the vibes from both the band and the crowd are electric and every single person is able to feel welcome, accepted and a part of something special.

The relationship between the trio is genuine and packed with honest banter – at one point Katie made a small mistake and the others joked with her about it openly to the crowd but it was all taken in good fun and the audience found it hilarious too.

What possibly struck me most about seeing this band perform is the live interpretations of their tracks and just how genre-bending they really are! On some songs you can hear an almost country twinge to their style whilst on others they rock out, with one track even having a metal-style moment to it, which sent the crowd cheering. However at their core, this band are still a dark pop powerhouse with an 80s throwback feel to them.

Whether you’re a long-time MUNA fan or only just hearing about them, I cannot recommend highly enough, to try and catch them live – they will not disappoint and you will not stop moving throughout their entire set!

Highlights:

  • The stunning vocal performance from Katie (Gavin) throughout was breath-taking!
  • The chemistry between the trio (and their touring drummer and bassist) was electric – their actual performance was impeccable too!
  • The energy coming from the band was reflected throughout the crowd, filling the room with love, excitement and a truly euphoric energy.
  • The undertones of various genres being blended together, makes the band a real pleasure to watch – and as Naomi even said at one point, she “really believes [they] are the best f**king band in the world!”
  • It was a really nice touch that the band requested the venue make their toilets gender neutral for the event, to ensure everyone feels comfortable – a really caring touch for their very diverse fanbase.

 📸 All of the photos of MUNA are credited to Chloe Hashemi 📷
Go and give her a follow on Instagram and Twitter, and visit her website.


 Setlist

Number One Fan*
Stayaway
Crying On The Bathroom Floor
Around U
Never
Navy Blue
Everything
Winterbreak
Taken
Pink Light
Good News (Ya-Ya Song)
Hands Off
Loudspeaker*
I Know A Place*
It’s Gonna Be Okay, Baby

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


Finally, I want to say massive thanks to xyz and also Chloe Hashemi for her incredible live photos of the show!


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

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Snow Patrol @ Brighton Centre, Brighton – 24/11/19

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On Sunday 24th November 2019, Snow Patrol arrived in Brighton to perform a wonderful show at Brighton Centre, on their Reworked Tour. Due to performing two sets, the band opted to have no support act. Here’s what we had to say about the show…


Snow Patrol

As a way of celebrating 25 years of Snow Patrol, the band recently recorded new versions of some of their biggest tracks, on their latest record, Reworked. To accompany the new release and further celebrate their milestone anniversary, the band embarked on the Reworked Tour, stopping for a date in Brighton.

The set was split into two halves – the first with a mellow, stripped-back ambience whilst following a short interval, the second half picked up the pace with a more full-on, upbeat vibe. However, throughout both sets, the band stuck with the “reworked” style, breathing new life into some of their best-loved hits and deepest cuts from their back catalogue.

What actually made the night even more special, was the fact that quite a few of the “reworked” versions of the songs they performed, were not even on the new album (Reworked), so just by being at a show on this tour. you get to experience something very special – these one-off gems may never be heard performed or recorded in the same way again.

The audience diversity at a Snow Patrol show is very interesting too – whilst there are typically middle-aged listeners who have undoubtedly followed the length of the band’s career to date, there are also children being accompanied by their parents, equally pouring their lyrics back to them. It’s quite bewitching to see such a range of fans, across a few generations, and is testament to the timelessness of the band’s work. That, and/or perhaps the newer versions of the band’s back catalogue have picked up a new generation of fans on the way. Either way, they are a band that can be enjoyed by everyone.

The effort and craftsmanship that went into the band’s performance was a wonderful experience and whilst they could easily sell out huge arenas, it was nice to see them playing the smaller scale of (still) big venues without compromising the quality and production of the show. The addition of both string and brass sections as well as an additional percussionist to the lineup, really added an interesting new depth to the songs too.

If you haven’t had the chance yet, there are only a handful of shows left on this incredible tour, to experience this unique take on the band’s long-standing career and I would highly recommend trying to catch one of them, if you can.

Highlights:

  • The banter between songs from Gary Lightbody was pretty dry, honest and hysterical. One of the best moments was during the start of ‘Run’ when someone screamed, “I love you,”, completely throwing him off by making him laugh. He then restarted the song but not before telling a witty anecdote about how he once ruined a television performance of the song, after which one person on Twitter had a go at him for, for “ruining Leona Lewis’ song.”
  • The addition of string and horn sections as well as a percussionist really added an interesting depth to the performance. Furthermore, having the two main producers of Reworked performing on the tour with them was quite a unique idea too.
  • Gary Lightbody took time to introduce all of the various extra instrumentalists on the stage with him, really showing his gratitude for their skills and performances with the band.
  • The energy and new life to the band’s back catalogue of songs was invigorating to watch, demonstrating that even after 25 years, this band are still enjoying performing to audiences…and still have so much to give!

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


 Setlist

First Set
You’re All I Have*
New York
You Could Be Happy
Warmer Climate
I Think Of Home
Crack The Shutters
Lifening
Take Back The City

Second Set
Spitting Games*
Chocolate
A Dark Switch
Run
Heal Me
Set The Fire To The Third Bar*
Empress
Called Out In The Dark
Shut Your Eyes
Chasing Cars
Open Your Eyes

Encore
What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get?
Just Say Yes

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


Finally, I want to say a HUGE thanks to Warren Higgins and Charleigh Egan from Chuff Media for sorting out this review and to Snow Patrol themselves for putting on such a remarkable show.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: John Newman @ Concorde 2, Brighton – 15/10/19

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On Tuesday 15th October 2019, John Newman arrived in Brighton, to play a sold out show at Concorde 2, to promote his new EP, A.N.i.M.A.L. He was supported by sibling trio, Tors. Here’s what we have to say about the show…


Tors

I remember being fascinated when I first saw Tors support Tom Walker a couple of years ago, so was pleasantly surprised to see the trio of brothers return to Brighton. They still amaze me with just how full their sound is, despite there just being three of them, partially due to the (standing) drummer and his clever use of drum pads.

The three-piece sibling outfit produce some captivating sounds and somehow evoke a sense of nostalgia – they could easily fit on an emotive film soundtrack. If you haven’t seen them; I would highly recommend at least giving them a listen on Spotify, or heading to a show of theirs, near you.

Highlight: The three-part vocal harmonies produced by the guys is remarkable and adds a really interesting depth to their performance. It’s a wonderfully special thing to hear done live.


John Newman

The lights went down as an evocative instrumental and rhythmic lighting got the crowd pumped up for John Newman to take to the stage. As the track came to an end, he arrived to great applause and did something quite unexpected and unusual, performing the first part of ‘Not Giving In’ as just him and an acoustic guitar – upbeat but not a full-on sound to arrive on stage to…but it worked so well! It really showcased his incredible talents, before the full band joined him on stage to finish the rest of the track.

He proceeded to play a range of his biggest, most well-known tracks, including his collaborations with the likes of Rudimental and Sigala, all the while, getting the crowd singing and dancing along. He sure likes to move himself too, as he constantly puts his utmost energy into every song, including busting out his rather quirky yet distinctive dancing.

His vocals were fantastic as well – although a little raspy in places (however this is somewhat part of his trademark sound). He was accompanied by two brilliant female, backing vocalists and a tight band too.

However, possibly one of the best bits about the show, was his candid sharing of anecdotes and opening up about his feelings. He talked about his recent struggles with his physical health, as well as issues with his mental health too; making promises that he will get stronger and never allow people to take control of his creative processes again (which comes after a couple of songs he released that he felt were not true to himself). He also shared how he is coming out of himself a lot more now and wanting to perform more intimate shows and chat more to fans, than he did in the past – showing a great deal of growth.

One thing’s for certain, John Newman could quite easily pack a small, local venue or a huge stadium but regardless, he would have everyone in the place dancing and singing like mad, the whole way through. His energy is relentless and set list is packed with upbeat songs which you can’t help but lose yourself in. You must go and see him live when you get the chance!

Highlights:

  • The sheer energy John Newman gives the audience is highly infectious and his vocals are incredible to hear live!
  • The set list was sensational and packed with hits to get the crowd moving, constantly!
  • His honest and open approach to interacting with the crowd is refreshing and to talk about his own struggles makes him very relatable – and he clearly has a lot of love for it, as people constantly call out, “I love you John!”
  • It may sound odd, but the stage lighting really made the performance stand out too – Concorde 2 is a great, local venue with about 600 capacity but the lighting could easily have worked in a stadium, but it was amazing to see that work at a smaller venue.
  • The backing band and vocalists just make the experience even better – it would be quite easy for him to use backing tracks but it adds something for him to vibe off.

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


 Setlist

Intro
Not Giving In
Give Me Your Love*
Feelings
Cheating
Losing Sleep
The Hardest Word Is Goodbye
Forever’s Not Long Enough
Mama
Animal
Tiring Game
Come And Get It*
Blame
Feel The Love*

Encore
Without You
Stand By Me
Love Me Again

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


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to John Newman and Tors for putting on incredible performances and to Warren Higgins from Chuff Media for setting this review up 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: ONE OK ROCK @ Roundhouse, London – 10/05/19

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On Friday 10th May 2019, the massive Japanese band – ONE OK ROCK – arrived in London. It was only the second date on their EU leg, of the Eye Of The Storm World Tour and they performed at none other than London’s renowned Roundhouse. The band put on a night to remember, supported by British pop outfit, Anteros.


Anteros

The band took to the stage with their vibrant personas and glitzy 80s synths, further reinforced by lead singer, Laura Hayden’s sparkly red dress. This band are a wonderful blend of indie, pop and new wave – think Blondie meets modern-day contemporary pop; along a similar vein to Fickle Friends. There are certain punk-like trends to Hayden’s stage presence, with her almost “don’t-give-a-damn” flounces around the stage, equally met with gusto – it’s quite mesmerising. The music is good and their energy was captivating to watch.

Highlight: The high-energy end to the band’s set made for a chaotic last impression, certain to leave people wanting more.


ONE OK ROCK

The band have only played in the UK a couple of handfuls of times but it was clear from their loyal fan base, just how much their performances are looked forward too, with a queue that lined up all round the streets, prior to the show.

As ONE OK ROCK took to the stage, the crowd whipped themselves up into a frenzy as the Japanese band launched into their opening track, ‘Push Back’. This was a set that despite the relatively small stage in comparison, felt just like an arena show…complete with pyros!

The set was teeming with a few older hits, plus a whole bunch of songs from their latest record, Eye Of The Storm (<— review here) – all of which had the crowd singing at the top of their lungs! Their energy was truly infectious from start to finish.

I was particularly impressed by Taka’s live vocals – so often you can hear little flaws in a singer’s voice when they’re performing live, but the power and effort he put into his performance was virtually flawless…even if he did keep fiddling with his in-ear throughout the show.

The quartet know just how to put on a show though; from Taka’s ability to capture the crowd by holding a particular stance and Toru’s rocking out with his guitar to Ryota’s powerful bass moves and Tomoya’s face poking up over the drums, as he beats away at them effortlessly – this is a band that you need to see live. It’s clear that they have spent a long time practising and perfecting their set – there isn’t too much between-song banter, but instead just packing in the songs, to give the audience a great time.

It was my first time seeing the band live and I had an amazing time – it’s so often that the UK send great bands and artists over to Japan to perform but it’s great to see a Japanese band coming over to the UK for a change! I strongly recommend catching this band live, the next time they make a rare appearance in the UK – you won’t be sorry, I promise!

Highlights:

  • Taka’s effortless vocals and stage presence alone, made the show thrilling to watch.
  • Having not heard too much of the band’s back catalogue, it was great to hear a lot of tracks from their most recent album, Eye Of The Storm.
  • There was an instrumental break during which Taka left the rest of the band to rock out on stage, demonstrating just how talented these musicians are – it was nice to see him let some of the other’s in the band have some of the limelight for a while, particularly a little drum solo from Tomoya.
  • The sheer polished-precision with which the band delivered their set, showed just how much rehearsing must have gone in to perfecting their live shows.
  • The loyalty of the crowd, singing back every word of every song, showed just how far-reaching their fan-base is.
  • PYROS! Pyrotechnics just make a show even better! It was great because they weren’t overused, just boosted a couple of songs when you least expected it.

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 Setlist

Push Back
We Are
Taking Off
Unforgettable
Clock Strikes
Head High
Take What You Want
Stand Out Fit In*
(Instrumental)
Giants
I Was King
Change*
The Beginning
Jaded
Mighty Long Fall

Encore
Wasted Nights

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


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to Robbie Peacock for enabling this review to happen and to both ONE OK ROCK and Anteros for putting on a fantastic show.


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

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks