#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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#MellowMonday: Mumford & Sons – ‘Timshel’


   

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I love Mumford & Sons; their folky sound is so unique and refreshing in today’s saturated pop market.

That said, I also felt that I had to feature this stunning track today in honour of Marcus Mumford‘s incredible performance of it, to open last night’s One Love Manchester benefit concert, in aid of the horrendous attack in Manchester.

Although you probably saw his solo performance last night, I found this remarkable live performance with the full band, in a Melbourne side alley – it captures their harmonies to perfection.

What are your thoughts of this beautifully melodic track? Did this strike a chord with you at last night’s ‘One Love Manchester’ concert? Got a #MellowMonday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Timshel’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/timshel/id405482774?i=405482788


#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Chicane


   

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Having recently released his greatest hits album, ‘Twenty’ and performed a rare, full-band show at Concorde 2 in Brighton (check out our review), I had the real privilege of speaking to Nick Bracegirdle, aka Chicane, backstage, before the show.

During our interview, we discussed who he’d still like to work, how his newest album is progressing and what passions he has outside of music. It’s all here, in the interview video below!

I want to say a massive thanks to Nick for taking the time to chat to me and to his manager, Louis for making this interview happen. Big thanks to both of you!

I really hope you enjoy watching this interview! Please show your support for the band by sharing the link to this post on all of your social media accounts!



Chicane‘s releases are all available:


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

Muzik Speaks Interviews


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


   

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


Chris Hopkins (DJ Set)

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

Highlight:

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

Chicane

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

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

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

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

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

Highlights:

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

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


 Setlist

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

Encore
Stoned In Love

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


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

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


   

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


Club Drive

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

Highlight:

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

Marianas Trench

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

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

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

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

Highlights:

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

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 Setlist

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

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

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


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

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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