#EventSpeaks: Tom Walker @ Green Door Store, Brighton – 28/11/17


   

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Fresh after being added to the Longlist of BBC Music’s Sound of 2018, Tom Walker came to Brighton on the penultimate date of his UK tour. He was supported by up-and-comers, Tors, at The Green Door Store, on Tuesday 28th November 2017 and it was not a night to be missed!


Tors

This band were incredibly exciting – a trio of brothers, born in Brighton and living between London and Devon, they had a very polished sound!

The vocal harmonies the brothers used were remarkably tight and it’s clear that they have worked hard to Perfect this.

The songs themselves were well written and their on-stage presence and chemistry was excellent (I guess being brothers helps). The best way to describe their sound is ‘warm’ – it gives you a great feeling just to hear their beautiful melodies and intricate instrumentation. Definitely check out their music online and catch them live if you get the chance.

Highlight: It was amazing just how full the trio’s sound was, using just 3 guitars, sample pads and a few live drums – I particularly enjoyed the combination of sample pads and live drums.


Tom Walker

It is without a doubt that Tom Walker has already built himself up a very loyal following, which was evidenced by the fact that the show was a sell-out and virtually everyone in the place was singing along to every word.

I have to admit that I myself didn’t know too many of his songs prior to going and those that I did know, were along the more mellow lines but I was (pleasantly) surprised to find that his set was packed with quite a few intense, rock-fuelled tunes and some rather insane guitar solos too! The audience were revelling in his heavier songs, skanking out like crazy, whilst his mellower efforts provided an opportunity for the crowd to flex their vocal muscles.

One thing is for certain; this event was definitely something special – it truly felt like we were witnessing the beginning of this guy becoming a big household name and I have to agree with the BBC; I predict big things for him in 2018 – I can’t wait to see what next year holds for this talented artist!

Highlights:

  • The perfection of the set was immense – it was incredible to see how just three people could create such a full and all-encompassing sound.
  • ‘Angels’ was something really special – I reckon this could be a massive, hit single for him – you need to see this live! You could tell that this song gives Tom a buzz too as he was grinning from ear to ear after performing it.
  • Tom got the crowd to shout back, “Fuck it,” during his performance of ‘Rapture’ and the sheer intensity of the crowd’s enjoyment at doing this was a marvel to behold.
  • Whilst the stage at Green Door Store is relatively small, Tom and his band sure made the best of it and I loved the use of his lighting tubes to bring a bit of diversity to the visuals.
  • The bassist’s facial expressions were hysterical – I couldn’t tell whether he’d smelt something unpleasant but was sadistically enjoying it, or he was just lost in the moment, but it sure had some of the crowd amused. Jokes aside, a great musician!
  • The amalgamation of backing tracks and sample pads as well as the live instruments was sensational – kudos to the drummer for his use of the sample pads and blending it with the drums.
  • Straight after the show, Tom took the time to chat to his fans and take photos with them outside the venue – he seemed like a really genuine guy, who was grateful for everyone’s support. It was out here that I heard him mention his debut album would be quite a bit heavier than some of the previous songs he’s released – this was reflected in his live set but I left the show with a real excitement to hear it!

Tom Walker & Matt Wright.JPG


 Setlist

Sun Goes Down
Fly Away
Just You & I
Blessings
Angels
Karma
Play Dead
Heartland
Rapture
Leave A Light On

Encore
Me, Myself & I


Finally, I want to say a massive thanks to Jake Tasker for helping to make this review happen and to Tom Walker himself for the incredible show he put on; it was truly amazing!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Laurel


   

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Before Laurel‘s recent show at The Green Door Store, Brighton (check out our review here), I had the opportunity to meet and interview her, in person, before she took to the stage. It was a real pleasure, as she was such a witty, humorous and down-to-earth person! Here’s how it went:


Hey Laurel, how are you?
Good thanks…cold.

So what’s new with you at the moment? I know obviously you released your new EP, Park, like a week or so back, how’s it been? What have fan reactions been like?
Yeah great, it’s really nice to have a new record out actually because I haven’t had an EP or anything out for quite a while. I’ve got a vinyl; you could get a vinyl player.

Obviously the tour kicked off yesterday, how was the first night?
Yeah good, good. I was really nervous actually. I’ve never been on my own headline tour before so it’s quite nerve-racking. I was guzzling wine before I went on stage and that’s not really like me. Haha!

So, where do you take your inspirations for songs from?
Just kind of life, I guess. They’re quite…quite truthful songs. You should search up the lyrics and you’ll know exactly what’s going on inside my head.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
Probably Tyler, The Creator, because I just think he’s sick and I just think the production on his music is so cool and just interesting…and he’s an angry…(Can I swear? I can’t swear. Can I swear?)…

I don’t care.
…an angry motherf**ker!

Have you got any weird habits?
(Laughs) Well, I have no idea. I think you’d have to ask everyone around me because I guess I would probably not know if they were weird or not. I imagine there’s quite a lot of weird things about me; I’m told that often.

What really grinds your gears?
I dunno…I’m quite a chilled-out person I think.

That might be the first response I’ve ever had like that, so that’s good.
Really?

Most people are like, “Well this and this and…”
What does really piss me off? It’s probably relating to food. Or, do you know what I really hate…when I get a thin coffee. I hate that! That’s a really rubbish one isn’t it? I could go more in depth into the type of person I hate, that really grinds my gears but I won’t do that.

Is there anything other than music you’re really passionate about?
Poetry. I love poetry. That’s about it; I’m kind of simple.

What music have you been listening to most recently?
Um…most recently…I’ve been listening to a lot of Morrissey recently because one of my friends really likes Morrissey. And then I guess the Talking Heads a lot and Mac DeMarco. I don’t usually listen to a lot of new music; I’m one of those people that finds like three people they like and they’ll just replay it forever.

What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
Do you know what, maybe not the best film, but the craziest film I’ve ever seen recently, was called Green Box or something. It was mental. Someone’s face got gnawed off by a dog, someone’s arm got shut off in a door. It was basically about neo-Nazis. It was mental and I’ve never ever had to like turn a film off and leave but I was watching round a friend’s house and had to leave; it was horrible!

OK, I’ll make sure I avoid that one!
Good. Yeah, don’t watch it! Or do watch it coz it’s quite a shocker!

If a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Me probably. Can I play myself? If I’m still alive, then I might as well play myself.

That’s a good one; might as well! What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Someone said to me once, “Don’t push the river,” which is from like some sort of weird, ancient proverb and I really like that; it’s kind of my mantra in life, just let things flow, don’t push to do anything that doesn’t feel natural, just kind of let life go as it goes, it will end up in the right way.

I like that! Well normally I end my interviews with a game of ‘Would You Rather…’ are you up for that?
Yeah, why not!


Would You Rather…?

TAME

Would you rather have a third eye or third arm?
I feel like…oo, they’re both quite handy aren’t they? Handy…arm!

(Laughs) I see what you did there! Pun!
I feel like I would rather have an extra arm because it would be handy for me to be able to play a drum whilst I played the guitar or a piano at the same time as playing guitar, on stage. Then I really could be a one-man-band.

Would you rather be super strong or super fast?
Super fast definitely…or invisible, can I just be invisible?

(Laughs) OK, just change the question.
I’ll be invisible.

Would you rather go through life and be unable to ask any questions or unable to answer any questions?
(Laughs) I reckon I probably am the asker anyway. I can’t answer a lot of things but I definitely, sure ask people a lot.

Would you rather live in a Disney universe or a Looney Tunes universe?
Disney, yeah! Who wouldn’t?

AWKWARD

Would you rather always speak your mind or never speak again?
Oh my gosh…Oh I don’t know about speaking my mind. That’s dangerous.

Would you rather have to listen to ‘Gangnam Style’ or ‘Harlem Shake’ for the rest of your life?
Be deaf!

WTF?!

Would you rather eat a live slug or drink a pint of gone off milk?
Milk. Ugh, I hate both those things! I hate milk but I’m so scared of slugs, more than I’m scared of anything in the world, is slugs…or ghosts actually. Probably the milk, although I’d be sick wouldn’t I?

Yeah
I hate slugs. No slugs!

Would you rather use sandpaper for toilet paper or vinegar for eye drops?
Ugh! So unpleasant! Vinegar, I guess.

At least you could wash it out, I suppose.
Yeah, I’d do some vodka after.

(Laughs)
Get boozy.

Excellent! Well good luck with the rest of the tour and for taking the time…
Thank you for the interesting ‘Would You Rathers’.

Cheers.


Finally, I need to say another huge thank you to Laurel for taking the time to talk to me before her show and another thanks to Chris, her manager, for arranging it for me. It was a real honour to chat with Laurel and I had such a laugh doing so.

Make sure you check out one of her shows and listen to her music below.


Laurel‘s releases are all available:

  • To purchase on iTunes –  Laurel
  • To listen to on Spotify –


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

Muzik Speaks Interviews


#EventSpeaks: Laurel @ The Green Door Store, Brighton – 24/11/16


   

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On Thursday 24th November 2016, Laurel arrived in Brighton, as part of her first headline tour. She was supported by bands Honey Moon and Blush.


Blush

This band’s sound would’ve fit well as the soundtrack to an indie film or one of the original teen movies, like 10 Things I Hate About You. The sound was atmospheric and filled with interesting instrumentation between bursts of vocals. The singer’s voice was light and almost didn’t fit with the songs, but it actually works really well – it really stands out! Good band but a little static on stage.

blush


Honey Moon

Honey Moon are a self-described psychedelic croon pop band who are reminiscent of an original brit-pop band merged with crooner rock. The singer’s voice was entralling and showed off a dynamic range. I liked his occasional hand gestures too. The band’s sound was euphoric and so big that it would’ve fit perfectly in a stadium – you could just picture them in an arena. The bassist’s facial expressions were interesting – like he’d taken a leaf out of Jack Black’s ‘School Of Rock’ book; quite amusing!

Highlight: The band was atmospheric and had the crowd captivated by their unique sound and the singer’s powerful, crooning vocals.

honey-moon


Laurel

Laurel was utterly amazing; I found myself completely sucked in by her performance. Each song told a story with her well-crafted lyrics and was filled with personality and raw emotion.

Considering she was unaccompanied by a band, her songs still sounded full and she had the audience in the palm of her hand. There was an innocence about her performance too; she told us how she was recommended not to wear a jumper on stage but ignored the advice to look cool and was regretting it so had to remove it; it was highly amusing.

Her voice and song style is fairly similar to the likes of Lana Del Rey but with its own originality to it; I actually preferred it to Lana‘s sound.

If you haven’t already had the opportunity to see Laurel perform, I highly recommend it – you will not be disappointed at all!

Highlights:

  • Laurel‘s between-songs chat was very witty and filled with an endearing vulnerability.
  • Her voice is superb; the sheer power and range of it is excellent and the slight cracks in it are perfection!
  • The lyrics and meanings behind each song are captivating and personal.
  • The simplicity of the performance (without a band) actually enhanced it and showed off her talents brilliantly.
  • After the show, Laurel took the time to meet with her fans, take pictures and sign LPs; great fan interaction!

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 Setlist

Too Far
Killing Time
Hurricane
Adored
Goodbye
All Star
Disturb The Claim
San Francisco
Life Worth Living*

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


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to Chris for setting up this review and interview with Laurel, and of course Laurel herself for having me at her show and taking the time to chat to me.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#EventSpeaks: Natalie McCool @ The Green Door Store, Brighton – 29/09/16


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On 29th September, I was lucky enough to get to see a rather intimate gig with Natalie McCool, who is currently on tour, promoting her new album, The Great Unknown, and she really blew me away! She was supported by Lu’Ami and Tiger Lion.


Lu’Ami

Sadly, I didn’t make it to the venue in time to catch this act, but you can find out more about her here – http://luamimusic.squarespace.com/


Tiger Lion

This act was not my sort of thing, however I can completely appreciate their talent and understand just why people would like them. For me, they gave off an air of coming from some sort of hippy commune where they make noise all day until it forms a sort of song. There were parts that felt like we (the audience) were being inducted into a cult, as the instruments made loud, nonsensical noise, however there were other parts that were beautifully melodic. I realise this might sound scathing however there definitely is a market for an act like Tiger Lion, it’s just not for me. Sorry.

Highlight: The use of the lead singer’s handheld synth pads and the drummer was incredibly talented too. The merch was beautifully crafted and I imagine the twinned art project will capture people’s attention too.


Natalie McCool

Natalie McCool blew me away with her set! It was so perfectly timed and brilliantly crafted – she was a real joy to watch! Her sound is so big and consuming that you could have picked it up and popped it into an arena and people would’ve been going crazy for it…however I was lucky enough to see her at a rather intimate venue and for that I am grateful.

I have no doubt that this songstress will be making big waves over the next couple of years as she takes pop music to a new, mature level. Her sound is huge with the use of synths, guitars, drums and pads – it just draws you in. Not to mention, her voice is fantastic! There were small things, like making the last letters of words really harsh so they stand out and off-beat drum fills that just made her set interesting and kept me constantly gripped.

I strongly implore anyone to watch Natalie McCool live, as you’re in for a real treat! Not only that, but she is a genuinely lovely person too; staying behind to talk to people at the merch stand and making time for her fans.

Having seen the show and getting a copy of the album there, I’ve had it on repeat ever since – I guarantee anyone will have an amazing time seeing her live and you should definitely get a copy of her new album, The Great Unknown, it’s ace! She reminded me a little bit, at times, of MUNA.

Highlights:

  • Her rather awkwardly endearing banter with the crowd – I mean that in a nice way.
  • I liked her explanations of the meanings behind some of the songs.
  • The good chemistry between her and her band.
  • The energy and life behind her performance.
  • Fantastic craftsmanship of the set and the way it flowed.
  • The list could go on…just go see her live!

 Setlist

Natalie played the entirety of her new album, The Great Unknown, (although not in order) which includes the songs Magnet*Dig It OutCardiac Arrest and Fortress*.

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


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to Phil from Sonic PR for setting me up with this review and to Natalie McCool herself for doing the interview for us and  taking the time to chat to me after the show! Good luck with the big, official album launch later in the year.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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