#EventSpeaks: T’Pau @ Concorde 2, Brighton – 24/11/17


   

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On Friday 24th November 2017, T’Pau came to perform at Concorde 2 in Brighton, in celebration of their Number 1 hit, ‘China In Your Hand’, 30 years ago – back in 1987! The band performed a string of hits, perfectly, with support from Scarlet and John Adams.


John Adams

Unfortunately I just caught the end of John Adams‘ set – a great singer-songwriter from what I saw with quite a distinctive voice (similar in some ways to James Blunt). I will be checking out more of his stuff.


Scarlet.

Scarlet. are a very polished band – their performance flowed smoothly and their timing was superb. I was particularly captivated by the singer’s fairly unique voice, though it does have some similarities to Avril Lavigne just with a slightly more indie/punk vibe. The bands energy was high and their songwriting style was rather brilliant. It’s not all too often that I enjoy support bands but these guys were definitely worth watching and certainly knew how to get the crowd pumped up.

The only drawback I found with this band is since I’ve come home… I can’t seem to find much of their music online. They had a PledgeMusic campaign for their debut album and there is a BandCamp account but I can’t seem to find their album to listen to, which is a real shame. Great sound though!


T’Pau

Carol Decker and the rest of T’Pau took to the stage, with a rapturous applause from the audience and a massive smile on her face. The audience’s diversity was impressive, from first-time-round fans to families, sharing their love of the band with their children – what struck me was just how much of a good time everyone was clearly having.

It’s a great shame that the band had a very strict curfew (as Carol Decker explained) which meant that some of their set was actually cut out prior to the show and there was less crowd interaction than she would have liked, but what between-song banter there was, was pretty hilarious.

There’s no doubt about it that the band have truly perfected their live performances; the vocal harmonies were unbelievably tight, the use of the different instruments was clearly audible across each song and the energy was electrifying. I particularly loved ‘Sex Talk’‘Secret Garden’‘Heart And Soul’ and ‘China In Your Hand’.

In honesty, I personally didn’t know a lot of the songs they performed, before the show, but I sure had a fantastic time and I would defy anybody to go to one of T’Pau‘s shows and not come out with the biggest grin on their face, having danced to their heart’s content – they truly are one of the biggest feel-good bands I’ve ever seen. I will certainly be listening to them a lot more from now on!

Highlights:

  • Carol’s voice was simply epic – I mean completely flawless and full of power.
  • The vocal harmonies between the majority of the band members (used in some of the songs) were unparalleled – I don’t think I’ve quite heard anything like it, ‘Secret Garden’ was one of the biggest highlights for me.
  • I loved Carol’s shameless plug of the band’s merch, suggesting that their latest album would make a great stocking filler and then pointed to one of the audience’s t-shirts, stating that it was now 30 years old and they needed a new one…hilarious!
  • The glances and subtle, glancing interactions between the band members was heart-warming and showed that their relationships were genuine and that they were having fun.

 Setlist

Thank You For Goodbye
Sex Talk
Island
Monkey House
Valentine
I Will Be With You
Secret Garden
Road To Our Dream
Walk On Air
Say You Will
Whenever You Need Me
Read My Mind
One Lesson In Love
The Promise
Bridge Of Spies
Heart And Soul*
China In Your Hand*

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


Finally, I want to say a big thanks to Richard Coates and Tony Cradock for setting up the opportunity for me to review this show. Also a massive thanks and well done to Carol Decker and the rest of T’Pau for putting on one heck of an incredible performance!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#EventSpeaks: Starsailor @ Concorde 2, Brighton – 25/10/17


   

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On Wednesday 25th October 2017, the massive post-Britpop band, Starsailor arrived in Brighton on their All This Life Tour in support of their latest album, All This Life (check out our interview with James Walsh here). The band put on one heck of a high-energy show, packed to the brim with many of their hits as well as tracks from their new album. They were supported by Paradisia and Tom Speight.


Tom Speight

This singer-songwriter was an interesting performer with a well-crafted sound – apparently he had recently been writing with James Walsh (of Starsailor). His lyrics were meaningful and the addition of a backing singer (complete with shakers!) added a nice diversity to his live performance (instead of the often uninspiring, “guy with a guitar” sound). He and his backing singer had clearly spent a lot of time rehearsing as their vocals were very tight. The only thing which struck me as slightly odd is that considering he is a solo performer, he gave quite a bit of time to his backing singer to take lead vocals; more than you might expect, however there was a certain depth to his performance.

Highlight: Tom entering the crowd with just his backing singer and his guitar to perform a song, unplugged, in the centre of the audience was definitely a highlight and quite a unique performance idea.


Paradisia

From the moment you see a harp on stage, your interest is instantly peaked – not many bands use one, so it was something quite unique from the offset. This trio of ladies didn’t disappoint either; they are remarkably talented musicians, songwriters and performers. Their songwriting style was incredibly individual and their vocal abilities were simply stunning – to harmonise the way they did, takes a lot of practise. The only criticism I had was the lead singer’s sincerity when talking to the crowd and expressing their excitement to be there, or lack thereof – I heard others make comments about this too. However, that aside, I was utterly enthralled throughout their set and have spent time listening to them since – they are undoubtedly fantastic!

Highlight: The perfection with which the trio performed their vocal harmonies was a stunning thing to behold and I highly recommend anyone to check them out. Regardless of your taste in music, anyone can and will appreciate this band’s pure talent and the hard work they clearly put into perfecting their live performances.


Starsailor

The crowd erupted with massive applause as the band’s intro music blared through the PA system…and from there the volume only got louder – both the audience’s screams as the band appeared on stage and the band themselves as they began to play! Undoubtedly, this was one of the loudest shows I’ve ever been to (in fact two days later and I still have a very faint ringing in my ears).

Starsailor are clearly very professional at what they do – they’ve been in the business for over 15 years and toured the world – their set was flawless. They have clearly mastered their live performances, getting the right balance between not talking too much between songs (as sometimes happens with some bands) and playing a good ratio of new and old material. The audience were delighted to hear a string of the band’s biggest hits, including; ‘Alcoholic’‘Poor Misguided Fool’‘Four To The Floor’ and ‘Good Souls’ as well as some tracks from their new album, such as; ‘Listen To Your Heart’‘All This Life’ and ‘FIA (F**k It All)’.

Some of the standout performances for me, were: ‘Listen To Your Heart’ – as the band took to the stage, they made a massive impact on their audience straight away; ‘Take A Little Time’ which although I wasn’t overly familiar with it, was both catchy and a brilliant song to dance to – I’ve actually had it on repeat since the show; ‘Four To The Floor’ which had everyone pumped up and singing along and ‘Silence Is Easy’ as this track is just a real belter – the band played a slightly heavier version than the one they released but my god it was good!

The crowd loved every second of this show and I did too – the passion in the band’s performance and the vigour of the audience made it a truly special evening – one to remember. I highly recommend watching this band live; they will not disappoint…just make sure you bring earplugs – they’re LOUD!

Highlights:

  • The genuine, appreciative grin that occasionally spread across James Walsh‘s face every now and then – clearly showed he was grateful to be there and was enjoying the crowd.
  • James Stelfox‘s facial interactions with the audience were hilarious.
  • The high-energy impact and faultless nature of their set was remarkable – it was a truly special show to behold.
  • James Walsh asking the names of three fans at the front of the crowd who’d sung along to every word and danced without a care in the world, and then dedicating a song to them was a lovely touch of appreciation.
  • I liked Barry Westhead‘s use of different keyboards for different tracks – there was a great diversity with him switching between piano sounds on one keyboard and an organ.

📷 All of the photos in this post are credited to Damon Peirce 📷
Go and give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter.


Setlist

Listen To Your Heart
Alcoholic
Poor Misguided Fool
All This Life
Take A Little Time
In The Crossfire
Lullaby
Blood
Fever
Sunday Best
Caught In The Middle
Tie Up My Hands
Best Of Me
Tell Me It’s Not Over
Four To The Floor
Silence Is Easy*

Encore
FIA (F**k It All)
Good Souls

This song can be viewed on YouTube, below.


Finally, I want to say a BIG thanks to Rob Kerford from Sonic PR for setting up this review and interview with James Walsh from the band and to Starsailor themselves for putting on an incredible show and taking the time to talk to me.

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: 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: Careless Sons @ The Prince Albert, Brighton – 08/04/16


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In support of their new EP, Heartbreak MajorCareless Sons came to Brighton to play a show at The Prince Albert in Brighton, with support from Hickory Signals and The Wondersmiths.


Hickory Signals

Hickory Signals are a Brighton-based duo consisting of Laura Ward and Adam Ronchetti. The pair are an incredibly talented, multi-instrumentalist folk act. The singer, Laura has a very powerful voice which she uses to belt out some incredibly hard-hitting notes. She also played the flute and used a little box which emulates the sounds of the Indian sitar (I think!). Meanwhile, Adam sat on top of a cajon, tapped a tambourine with his foot and played the guitar, all at the same time. Some of their songs consisted of poetry which they had put to music, old Irish folk songs and original tracks. They were a marvel to behold and I thoroughly enjoyed it – they’re not my usual cup of tea, but they certainly won me over!

Highlights: The way some of their songs start off low-key and calm and ramp up to an energetic, entrancing crescendo. I personally liked their original track, ‘Take The Window’ best!


The Wondersmiths

Next up were The Wondersmiths; I’ll be honest, I started off definitely not a fan – there was an air of arrogance about this band’s frontman which made me feel slightly scathing towards them, however as the set went on, I actually found it rather endearing and was most definitely entertained by them! Apparently one of their songs was recently featured on This Morning too.

Chris Horncastle (the lead singer) was actually quite comedic and certainly put a lot of energy into the performance, at times jumping into the crowd to get them singing along. The bassist was in fact a stand-in (due to their bassist having an injury) and for only 2 weeks practise in the band, you wouldn’t have known at all! Some of the harmonies provided by the guitarist and keys players were phenomenal too!

I have to say, this band have something unique going on and if you’re into electro-indie music, they’re definitely the band for you.

Highlights: The energy this band put into their performance is commendable and their harmonies were tight! I liked the fact that they got the audience involved too.


Careless Sons

Careless Sons were the headline act and were playing in support of their upcoming EP release, Heartbreak Major. I have only recently discovered the band, after they gave us a follow on Twitter and subsequently managed to get myself invited to their Brighton show.

I was rather impressed by them as they have really honed their skills pretty perfectly – their sound is incredibly tight and they play their instruments with precision timing. They have all the makings of a very successful act!

The harmonies offered by the band were great and it was refreshing to see that while there is clearly a lead singer, the guitarist and bassist took their turn at lead vocals on some songs too. There are some great songs which have been written by the band and it is clear that they must’ve spent quite a long time crafting their sound. While it might not be everyone’s cuppa tea, their abilities and dedication to their art should be admired and if you’re an indie-rock lover, then these guys will definitely be up your alley!

There were a range of dedicated fans and newcomers to the band at the show and it appeared to be enjoyed by all. The guys were all very friendly and made sure to stick around both before and after the show to chat to people. What a great bunch of guys putting on a great evening!

Highlights:

  • High energy in some of their songs.
  • Sharing of lead vocals across several members of the band.
  • The perfect timing with which the members play their instruments.
  • Great vocal harmonies.
  • Clear conviction about what they play.

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All of the great photos in this post are credited to Elliot McRae.
Go and give him a follow – @EMcraePhoto


 Setlist

Don’t Make Me Do This Again*
Up To My Eyes
GBH
Rosary*
Couldawoulda
That Was Love
It Was Only A Matter Of Time
Bring Out Your Dead
Heartbreak Major
Wasted Avenue
Betty
Carbon Dating*
The Bitter End

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


Thanks so much to Careless Sons for putting myself and Elliot on the guest list, so we could come and do this review and take snaps! Keep up the great work guys!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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