#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.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Panic! At The Disco – Pray For The Wicked 🙏


   

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Panic! At The Disco is an American band notable for its combination of alternative rock, synth-pop and emo lyrics, creating a very unique sound. After the huge success of the band’s debut album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, back in 2005, they have had a string of albums, continuously kept their sound fresh and built up a very loyal following. Now, in 2018, and with only Brendon Urie in the official line-up, the now-solo project is releasing a sixth studio album, Pray For The Wicked. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Panic At The Disco - Pray For The Wicked

Let’s just start by saying that this album couldn’t be further from their 2005 debut but somehow still manages to have a distinctive Panic! At The Disco sound… mostly due to Brendon‘s instantly recognisable vocals!

Throughout the band’s life, they have had many incarnations, from the cabaret-infused emo-pop of their debut, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (2005), to their Beatles-inspired, Pretty. Odd (2008) and even their remarkably elaborate 2016 offering, Death Of A Bachelor. Well, Pray For The Wicked is no different…it’s another eccentric overhaul of the act and with that, brings a new and exciting sound.

It all opens with the show-stopper, ‘(Fuck A) Silver Lining’; an all-out, overly-extravagant anthem that oozes an air of success about the guy. The production is top-notch and unapologetic about its use of heavy drum fills and lavish symphony instrumentation. I particularly love the use of the one-off beep where a “fuck” should be – a great little production addition.

This is a theatrical record that doesn’t hold back in any way, shape or form!

As with any Panic! album, there is a great deal of sass behind the lyrics but this record also serves as an honest reflection on certain aspects of his life; his religious upbringing coupled with his rise to fame but rather than focusing on him living the high-life (as was the case on 2016’s Death Of A Bachelor), delves further into the journey to get there. This is a theatrical record that doesn’t hold back in any way, shape or form! It could easily be the soundtrack to a film like The Greatest Showman or feature on Broadway.

Some of key tracks to listen to on this record include, the quietly catchy, ‘Hey Look Ma, I Made It’; the pop-infused ‘High Hopes’ which you can’t help but sing at full pelt; the aptly-named ‘Dancing’s Not A Crime’ – which is a bloody good thing, as you’re unable to hear this without busting out some moves; and the beautifully heartfelt ‘Dying In LA’.

There is a real amalgamation of sounds on this album, from the superbly-integrated brass sections throughout (which add a certain class and almost seem to flaunt the budget that must have been spent making it), to the urban flourishes, such as gritty vinyl sounds, ballsy trap beats and even hip hop-tinted, high-pitched vocal samples. There’s no escaping the fact that Brendon sounds like he had a friggin’ great time making this record and at the same time, was not afraid to push some boundaries.

One thing’s for sure; fans of label-mates, Fall Out Boy‘s, newer sound, as well as die-hard Panic! fans, will undoubtedly love this record…but I have a feeling that with this new direction, he might well be picking up a whole new army of fans too! There are moments here and there that I could give or take, but on the whole, this is an outstanding, current and contemporary album that I would just LOVE to see performed live!

Rating


‘Pray For The Wicked’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/pray-for-the-wicked/1361152002


Pray For The Wicked on Spotify

Hey Look Ma, I Made It (Official Video)

Say Amen (Saturday Night) (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this band’s sixth album? Are you a fan? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment below or via our social media.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Weesp


   

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Weesp are an electronic/alternative rock band from Minsk, Belarus, that have formed their own unique style. Since 2008, the band have received numerous publications and performed many concerts around the world, including festivals in Belarus, Russia and Poland. They’ve taken time out of their busy schedule to chat to us about their upcoming album, Black Sails, and here’s what they had to say…


Hey Stak, how’s it going?
We all are in great mood and can’t wait to share our news with you!

That’s awesome! What future plans have you got? Any new singles or an album in the pipeline?
We’ve already written a new album named Black Sails. Right now we are finishing the mastering, and pushing out new music videos, to support the release of this album. It is going to [be released] 24th March 2018. We released the first single, ‘Illumination’, and three more are coming!

Where do you take inspirations from when making your music?
It comes from everyday. All the events and people around. We like catching a mood, a condition of mind, a feeling – you know, all that short moments when you feel alive. All our songs are created from feelings, emotions, experiences that guided us. Each song has some kind of history or strong experience under it – this is the main source of musical inspiration. When we just started we also found an inspiration in such bands as Tool, Deftones, Nine Inch Nails and this kind of stuff.

What’s your usual process for writing/recording?
We divide the process of writing and the recording process very much. Often there is a long enough time between composing a track and recording it. Maybe a couple of months, maybe a year! Writing music from track to track always goes differently. Sometimes it starts from a jam, sometimes everyone composes his own part at home, sometimes we all get together and do the musical brainstorm.

As for recording, for the second time we recorded an album at the magnificent studio ‘Hertz’ in Poland. We lived there for a few weeks until all the instruments were recorded.

If you could do a collaboration with anyone, who would it be and why?
On the LP, The Void, we made two tracks featuring Cory Brandon of Norma Jean as guest vocals. We really like these tracks and we are very happy with how they turned out. For the new LP, we decided not to invite guests, although there were very interesting options. And of course, I would really like to get a feature with Jonathan Davis.

That would be cool! So what music have you been listening to most recently?
I use Last.FM Scrobbler, so it will not be difficult to answer this question – I just have to look…so, this is Lil Peep with album Hellboy.

If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
I’m thinking about ‘Triple Beam’ by Machine Head or ‘Less Than’ by Nine Inch Nails. These songs are pretty new and absolutely amazing. I don’t know about positions in any charts, but I don’t give a shit about charts anyway.

Haha! Fair enough. So what makes a great show for you?
Of course, first of all it is a crowd. The mood of the audience is quickly transferred to the musicians. And to play a show with a good mood is what makes a great show.

Do you have any pre-show or post-show rituals?
Before the show our singer Lex always drinks 4cl of brandy, and everybody does a lot of sport exercises. And after the show – we bow, as in a fucking theatre.

Haha! I love it! Has anything scary ever happened to you on tour?
Returning from the last tour, we’ve got in a car accident and have seriously damaged the rental bus, and all because the car-rental forgot to give us a bus without a working ABS. This was really scary, especially since I have never been in a traffic accident before.

Yeah, that sounds really scary! Do you have any other passions outside of music?
Each of the members of course has other interests besides music. Mi, our Bassist, is fond of super low cars and builds his STANCE project. I like to humiliate enemies in the Call of Duty playing online on my PS4, and Lex is a big fan of drinking =)

What really grinds your gears?
You know, nothing grinds my gears worse than some chowderhead that doesn’t know when to keep his big trap shut… like that movie said!

Haha! What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
For sure it’s ‘The Greatest Showman’ with Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron in the main roles. We’ve even decided to add some musical dances to one of our new videos, inspired with this film!

Wow, that’s pretty cool! I wasn’t expecting that answer either. I’ve still not seen it but heard amazing things about it. If, in say 20 years time, a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
I would say – young Jackie Chan, but I’m too fat to pretend…so I’ll choose Sammo Hung!

Ha! If you could be any chocolate bar, which one would you be?
Because me and my brother (he plays bass in our band) are twins, so it’s going to be delicious white chocolate Twix!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Stand your ground whatever is happening! And listen to Weesp!

Haha! Love a shameless plug! Well thanks very much for taking the time to chat to us today.
Thank you.


Weesp‘s releases are all available:


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