#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: 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: Tom Walker – What A Time To Be Alive

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Tom Walker is a Scottish-born, singer-songwriter that has continued to grow and rise to fame over the past 12 months or so. Aside from relentless touring, he started gathering mainstream attention with the BBC putting him in the running for their Sound of 2018 accolade. Then came the release of his massive single, ‘Leave A Light On’, which received heavy radio airplay, leading to a performance on X Factor. Now 2019 has kicked off with in style, with him winning the Brit Award for 2019’s British Breakthrough Act…and all of this has happened before the release of his debut album! Well, it’s finally here, What A Time To Be Alive and here’s what we have to say about it…

Tom Walker - What A Time To Be Alive.jpg

Passion. Power. Personal. Three words that can’t help but swim through my mind as I listen to Tom Walker‘s debut album, What A Time To Be Alive. All three qualities are beautifully and intricately interwoven too – there is passion and power behind his vocals – both in what he sings and the way he sings it – and the personal songwriting leads to their prominence…and this wouldn’t be such a remarkable record without even one of those elements.

We’re catapulted into the album with ‘Angels’; a track starting out raw and edgy but endlessly continuing to build to a huge crescendo, complete with bells and strings, becoming an intricately layered behemoth of a track by the end, topped off with Tom’s intensely passionate and gritty vocals.

This is soon followed by the hit single, ‘Leave A Light On’, which despite being such a massive single, is interestingly, probably one of my least favourite tracks on the album. It’s a great song lyrically and thematically and I can see exactly why it was such a hit but I honestly preferred the original version, before the off-key synth sounds became so prominent. Also, there’s so much more to love about the album!

He has successfully crafted an outstanding debut album that takes elements from many different genres and styles, mashing them up into the perfect concoction of contemporary pop.

The biggest tracks on the record have to be: ‘Not Giving In’ – haunting wind chimes trickle delicately into the intense track, where echoing vocals and programmed drums lead the verses into the passionate chorus that seems to swirl around you, engulfing with its honest emotion; ‘How Can You Sleep At Night?’ is vocally one of the most diverse songs on the album – quiet, low tones in the verses are pushed by thunderous drums to a chorus of what could be described as vocal hoots and a downward zigzagging of his voice. Melodically, it’s a rather playful track, even though it’s about an intimate subject.

‘My Way’ is a real genre-bender; hip-hop-style drum beats, oriental-tinted synths, a repetitive hook and wonderful production trills, such as subtle, underlying female vocals, make this one of the best songs on the record. An effortless breakdown calms the mood right before bursting back into the repetitive, yet highly addictive chorus. Think EDM elements meet rock with a slightly Asian-flavoured edge.

And of course there’s ‘Fade Away’ which has a very Tom Odell-sounding melody, in places. It’s an emotionally devastating, piano and string-led track, that honestly brings tears to the eyes. Naturally, in its more heightened moments, Tom’s signature, raspy vocals shine through but during the quieter parts, his interesting annunciation and poetic lyricism make this track truly bewitching.

This is a stunning, diverse album that is sure to make massive waves throughout the industry and I’m certain will be a benchmark album for years to come.

‘Now You’re Gone’ featuring Zara Larsson is very electronic in tone with laser-like bass notes and a broken-up rhythm, ‘Blessings’ has an Ed Sheeran vibe and takes a candid look at the modern lifestyle, whilst ‘Dominoes’ is a very political track and another honest take on the state of the world right now, becoming wonderfully chaotic and grungy by the end.

Intrigue doesn’t stop there either, ‘Cry Out’ is like a dark western soundtrack (somewhat reminding me of the Peaky Blinders theme) with chain-clinking sounds giving it a laborious edge and ‘Just You And I’ is an old fan favourite – a big, positive love song. Possibly the most captivating track on the record has to be ‘The Show’ – a story-like track about London that really gives the sense of physically moving through the city streets, just listening to it. It has a real jazzy feel which sound effects weaving throughout the storytelling.

One thing’s for certain, Tom Walker has a very unique blend of styles throughout his music; reggae and urban vibes, with subtle hip-hop undertones are met by electronic synth elements and drum pads, combined with real instruments and rock-tinted vocals all underpinned by sincere, heartfelt (and even occasionally political) lyrical themes. I think I can even detect Bob Marley influences in places – reggae sounds and political themes…or is that just me? Sure, at times his voice is quirky and high-pitched but that is met in equal measure by the grittier, growlier and more powerful moments.

You can’t help but want to compartmentalise him as a singer-songwriter or a pop star but he truly breaks every mould you try to apply him to. He has successfully crafted an outstanding debut album that takes elements from many different genres and styles, mashing them up into the perfect concoction of contemporary pop. Despite being an eclectic collection, it still manages to be entirely cohesive. This is a stunning, diverse album that is sure to make massive waves throughout the industry and I’m certain will be a benchmark album for years to come.

It can only get bigger for him from here and I can’t wait to see what new heights Tom Walker soars to next…I’m just pleased I got to see him at The Green Door Store in Brighton (review here) before it all took off.

Rating
5


‘What A Time To Be Alive’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/what-a-time-to-be-alive/1435094194


What A Time To Be Alive on Spotify

Leave A Light On (Official Video)

Just You and I (Official Video)

Angels (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of Tom Walker’s stunning debut, What A Time To Be Alive? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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