#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:

Muzik Speaks Live Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#ThrowbackThursday: Gabrielle – ‘Rise’

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Soulful singer and songwriter, Gabrielle, relesed her single, ‘Rise’ in January 2000. The song (written by Gabrielle, Ollie Dagois and Ferdy Unger-Hamilton and produced by Jonny Dollar), was the second single to be taken from her third, studio album of the same title, Rise.

The track became notable for the rare, authorised use of a Bob Dylan sample (taken from his 1973-song ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’. Apparently, Dylan liked ‘Rise’ so much, that he allowed Gabrielle to use the sample for free, while receiving a co-writer credit for providing the song’s chord progression and vocal sample.

The song reached number one on the UK Singles Chart and stayed there for two weeks, acroos January and February 2000, becoming her second chart-topper.

This is such a soulful song that for the era of mainstream pop, it actually stood out quite significantly for her different vibe, making her stand out as an artist in that era. Subsequently, this track has a rather timeless feel to it.

The music video (Directed by Kevin Godley) sees the singer singing whilst spectating at a boxing match – a nice visual metaphor to accompany the song.

What are your thoughts of this soulful singer’s 2000 hit? Are you still a fan 20 years on? Do you have a #ThrowbackThursday 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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‘Rise’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/rise/1440911935?i=1440911940


#WildCardWednesday: Misha B – ‘Letter To My Sistars’

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Misha B is finally back with her latest single, ‘Letter To My Sistars’, and I couldn’t be happier to see her return!

The latest song from the ex-X Factor artist has a definitive, old-school R&B / Hip Hop vibe with an understated beatbox intro, vinyl-tinted beats and clean guitar melodies throughout, topped off with some wonderfully raw and effortless vocal harmonies.

‘Letter To My Sistars’ is a strong departure from her post-X Factor days yet still remains polished and true to herself. It’s a female empowerment track about looking out for each other (Don’t mess – “If you put a finger on my sister, guaranteed your head pop, pop, pop just like blister”); an urban anthem at its best.

The video for the track is fun too – seeing Misha B performing alongside strong female characters in and around the urban environment but also has narrative segments depicting Misha as a child, with one of her “sistars”, as referenced in the track. Go check it out, below.

I’m super excited for this return and hope that maybe this will signal an upcoming debut album?! We can only hope!

What are your thoughts of Misha B’s latest release? Are you as pleased to see her back, as we are? Do you have a #WildCardWednesday 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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‘Letter To My Sistars’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/letter-to-my-sistars-single/1467045615


#Review: Siamese – Super Human 🦸‍♂️

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Siamese are a 4-piece metal-pop band from Denmark (read our interview with Mirza here) who made serious waves on the scene with their 2018 album, Shameless. Since touring with that album, the band have once again, been busy in the studio and now return with their latest record, Super Human, alongside a mini UK tour too. Here are our thoughts on the album.

Siamese - Super Human

At times, Siamese have found it difficult to be taken seriously within the genre and it’s easy enough to see why – they are not just a straightforward metal band, and Super Human is no exception. They merge Metal with genres like Pop, R&B and Dance and for die-hard fans of metal, this just doesn’t cut it. However, the band have stuck to their guns with their unique take on the genre and that shows conviction for what they believe in…and it’s a good thing!

From the opening track and lead single, ‘B.A.N.A.N.A.S’, with its reference to Gwen Stefani‘s, ‘Hollaback Girl’, on top of an intense metal instrumental – the pace for the record is set.

Other tracks that really stand out, include ‘Ocean Bed’ – an intensely emotive song with a grungy, heavy metal breakdown; the incredibly unique ‘Super Human’ – an urban-tinted affair with powerful lyrics about inner strength and guest vocals from Olivio Antonio and ‘Unified’ – a very personal track on which Mirza opens up about his background as a refugee.

Super Human is a good album and certainly isn’t lacking in musical diversity throughout. Siamese have managed to successfully amalgamate different genres to create a really cohesive body of work.

There are other moments to enjoy throughout the album though; ‘Animals’ begins with a church-like organ and builds like a Dance track would before launching into chugging metal; ‘You’re Not Alone’ is an uplifting song not only lyrically but reflected in the instrumental too, plus there are great vocal harmonies at the end (even if they are heavily autotuned) and ‘Give Me Up’ has Asian-tinted drums to open and a monasterial gang-vocal breakdown at the end – it’s very confessional in tone.

The only track which feels slightly out of place is ‘Party Monster’. It makes almost tongue-in-cheek jibes at vacuous pop songs however it feels like it might be trying to be serious too – it just doesn’t quite land.

The album is brought to a close by ‘Not Coming Home’ – 90s/00s-style Prodigy-esque Dance opening and drum beat that ends in chaos, leaving the listener wanting more.

Super Human is a good album and certainly isn’t lacking in musical diversity throughout. Siamese have managed to successfully amalgamate different genres to create a really cohesive body of work, mostly self-produced, allowing them freedom to create what they want. However, there are moments when the integrity behind the lyrics is not always sincerely delivered, focusing more on the style than the substance. Plus, one or two of the songs sound fairly similar – overall though, it’s a pretty solid record. The artwork is unusually well-matched to the album too, with several of the songs having an underlying religious or spiritual undertone to them, even if, in parts, it’s just in the musical composition rather than the lyrical content.

This album is surely going to further cement the band’s place within the genre though and demonstrates that they are seriously players on the scene. Personally, the genre-bending brings something interesting to the table, meaning they stand out from the rest, and it’s intriguing to see where they take their style next!

Rating


‘Super Human’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/super-human/1455133470


Super Human on Spotify

B.A.N.A.N.A.S (Official Video)

Super Human featuring Olivio (Official Video)

Animals (Official Video)

Ocean Bed (Official Lyric Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this band’s latest album? Is Super Human going to be your soundtrack to 2019? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MellowMonday: Drake – ‘Don’t Matter To Me’ featuring Michael Jackson


   

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Having recently released his new album, Scorpion, Drake has made a huge impact once again, this time by using an unreleased Michael Jackson sample on track, ‘Don’t Matter To Me’.

The critical reception for the track has been great and it has been hailed as one of the standout songs on the album. It has a distinctly stripped-back, R&B flavour to it with Drake singing rather than rapping and falsetto vocals from MJ on the chorus.

The posthumous vocals from Michael Jackson are taken from part of a unreleased session between Jackson and Canadian singer-songwriter, Paul Anka in 1983.

The track has reached Number 2 in the UK Charts, making it Drake‘s 15th UK Top 10 and Michael Jackson‘s 44th! A remarkable collaboration, in our opinion and it’s great to still hear something new from the King Of Pop!

No music video has been released for this track yet.

What are your thoughts of the unreleased Michael Jackson sample on this track? Is this a good collaboration? Have you 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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‘Don’t Matter To Me’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/dont-matter-to-me-feat-michael-jackson/1405365674?i=1405366968


#Two4Tunesday: Jason Derulo – ‘Colors’ & Janelle Monáe – ‘PYNK’ featuring Grimes


   

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Jason Derulo – ‘Colors’

Jason Derulo is one of those artists who is instantly recognisable! Often just from the start of a tune, you can tell it’s by him, and then again when his voice kicks in.

This isn’t the first time Derulo has teamed up with Coca-Cola (remember 2012’s ‘Undefeated’?). Now he’s back with Coca-Cola’s anthem for the FIFA World Cup 2018.

‘Colors’ is certainly a world anthem, promoting pride and patriotism for your county but at the same time, celebrating everyone else’s, not seeing rivalry.

This is a positive, uplifting track that is sure to get people going and excited for the tournament ahead. Also, the video is pretty fun too!


‘Colors’ is on iTunes for downloading now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/colors/1356224861?i=1356224875



Janelle Monáe – ‘PYNK’ featuring Grimes

Janelle Monáe has just released her third album, Dirty Computer, and ‘Pynk’ is one of my favourite singles from the record.It’s a collaboration with Canadian art pop artist, Grimes and is a song all about female empowerment, self-love…and there are certainly strong references to female genitalia! This can be seen from the music video too (see below).

The track actually interpolates parts of Aerosmith‘s ‘Pink’, and as such, are credited as writers of the song.

This is a strong song to kickstart your Tuesday, so turn it up loud and enjoy!


‘Pynk’ can also be downloaded from iTunes now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/pynk-feat-grimes/1350021308?i=1350021466


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MellowMonday: ZAYN – ‘Let Me’


   

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Probably one of the most musically diverse artists to come out of One Direction, Zayn is back with the follow-up to 2017’s ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ collaboration with Sia with his latest single ‘Let Me’. Undoubtedly, this second single means his sophomore album must be on its way.

The track is beautifully simplistic with its easy-going R&B tempo and electric guitar sample, topped off with Zayn’s powerful falsetto vocals.

It’s a track that shows real maturity and promises an even more diverse set of songs for his second record. Lyrically, it’s about taking care of a partner for the rest of their lives.

The music video was directed by José Padilha and acts as a sequel to the video for ‘Dusk Till Dawn’. Featuring actor Steven Bauer (as a gangster kingpin) and model Sofia Jamora (who plays his girlfriend), Zayn‘s character, Roko tries to escape the kingpin’s henchmen, when it’s discovered that he has slept with the girlfriend, meaning orders on his life are given. It ends on a cliffhanger, suggesting that another video will continue the story where this one left off. It’s fantastic to see a modern artist taking the artistry of a music video seriously, to create something interesting and more complex than a simple performance video…especially across a few videos.

What are your thoughts of Zayn’s latest single? Do you have your own #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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‘Let Me’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/let-me/1370174624?i=1370174633


#FeelGoodFriday: Shawn Mendes – ‘In My Blood’ & ‘Lost In Japan’


   

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March 2018 saw the return of Shawn Mendes, who brought us not just one, but two brand new singles, both of which vary greatly in style but have equally brilliant Feel-Good Friday vibes. We just couldn’t decide which one to share, so figured, why not share both?!

‘In My Blood’ is a (pop)-rock ballad that transcends from a soft, despairing beginning into a thunderous, passionate anthem by the very first chorus and continues to soar from there. This track shows off just how incredible Mendes’ vocals are with their raspy tones that show just how intensely meaningful this song is.

Meanwhile, ‘Lost In Japan’ is a melting pot of contemporary funk with R&B and pop flavours too; it’s very reminiscent of something by Justin Timberlake. This track is also passionate but in a very different way; lyrically the song expresses how Mendes would happily travel the globe just to be close to his lover, all of which sits atop a heavy bassline and groovy guitar rhythms.

Sadly, no music videos have been released as yet, but as soon as they do, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

What are your thoughts of Shawn Mendes’ two new singles? Are you as much of a fan as us? Have you got a #FeelGoodFriday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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Shawn Mendes – ‘In My Blood’


‘In My Blood’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/in-my-blood-single/1359906692



Shawn Mendes – ‘Lost In Japan’


‘Lost In Japan’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lost-in-japan-single/1360548138


#WildCardWednesday: PAULi – ‘WAITING (Getting On This Train)’


   

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Having seen PAULi support Rae Morris at Concorde 2 recently (review here)…I have been utterly obsessed! This is an artist who delivers a live performance which is both exciting and captivating; he has crafted something truly unique!

‘WAITING (Getting On This Train)’ is an intense blend of London’s urban music scene, with chaotic dance elements and a certain quality to his voice that is somewhat reminiscent of something Prince would have done, in his more recent years.

PAULi is an artist that has worked hard to produce a complete package; artistic music videos, quirky single/album artwork and a unique genre-blending sound. Unfortunately, no music video exists for this track but if you ever get the chance to see him live, there’s something in the energy of this song that is just astounding!

This is most definitely an artist to watch out for; I’m predicting big things for him!

What are your thoughts of this incredibly unique artist? Have you got a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or hit us up via our socials.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘WAITING (Getting On This Train)’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/waiting-getting-on-this-train/1180156800?i=1180157170


#MellowMonday: Brunswick – ‘Know No Better’


   

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Brunswick is the moniker of a 19-year-old up-and-comer, who is making some seriously edgy, fusion music. This single, ‘Know No Better’ merges R&B and hip hop with rock and pop to create a unique blend, self-described as “Rhythm & Grunge”. It’s a great sound that is almost like crossing G-Eazy with Conor Maynard and topping it off with some Nirvana; it really is something special.

Very little is known about this artist right now, other than from his Instagram and SoundCloud pages, but a little mystery isn’t always a bad thing.

No music video has been released for the track yet, but as soon as one emerges, we’ll keep you updated.

What are your thoughts of this mysterious artist? Got your own #MellowMonday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or hit us up via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘Know No Better’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/know-no-better-single/1361721586