#EventSpeaks: This Wild Life & William Ryan Key @ The Haunt, Brighton – 09/02/19

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On Saturday 9th February 2019, William Ryan Key and This Wild Life arrived in Brighton in support of their recent EP and album releases. They were supported by Brighton-based OKTOBA. It was a magical evening, particularly as it was the last night of their month-long tour. Here’s what we thought of the evening…


OKTOBA

Chris Athorne (better known by his moniker, OKTOBA) performed a wonderfully haunting set with his unique brand of alternative folk. His vocal melodies are powerful and ethereal. He’s clearly a very talented songsmith – a great artist in the making and one to watch.


William Ryan Key

As a wonderfully atmospheric introductory soundtrack blasted through the speakers, William Ryan Key (best known for his days as the singer and guitarist in Yellowcard) took to the stage, with just his acoustic guitar, before launching into his first song.

There is something melancholic about seeing this singer performing without his former band mates, but equally something beautifully vulnerable and honest about his latest penmanship, making this performance something special.

It wasn’t long before Ryan (as he’s affectionately known by his family and friends) was joined by Anthony Del Grosso (from This Wild Life) on the drums, making for an even larger sound.

Though Ryan is keen to promote his new material, it was nice to see him pay homage to his Yellowcard days, performing a range of songs from the band’s back catalogue, with some anecdotes thrown in, along the way.

William Ryan Key has a powerful and distinctive voice and though it’s sad that his former band are no longer around, it’s great that he’s still making music and hearing his voice in this new light is mesmerising. He even said he hopes to be back next year, with a full album…what great news! I highly recommend going to check him out live – you won’t regret it.

Highlights:

  • It was really great to get a candid insight into some of the stories behind his new, solo tracks and also how he coped (or didn’t) with the ending of Yellowcard.
  • It was hilarious when he got the audience pumped for This Wild Life by saying, “Their set is a lot more audience participation, a lot less VH1 Storytellers, like my set.” Great humour!
  • The incredible use of backing tracks, perfectly in time with his live performance made his set sound huge, even though it was just him and Anthony on stage.

Setlist

The Same Destination
Mortar and Stone
Only One (Yellowcard)*
Vultures*
Old Friends
Great Unknown
The Bowery
Downtown (Up North)
Keeper (Yellowcard)
MSK (Yellowcard)
Fields & Fences (Yellowcard)
Ocean Avenue (Yellowcard)*
Virtue

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


This Wild Life

Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grosso took to the stage to perform their 12-song set consisting mainly of new songs from their latest album, Petaluma, with some older offerings in the mix too.

For an acoustic rock duo, their sound is remarkably full, and similarly to William Ryan Key, make incredible use of backing tracks and clever blends of their talents, with Anthony even playing the guitar and singing, whilst using his feet to play the bass drum and hi-hats all at the same time – an amazingly talented individual!

One thing that I found pretty funny was that about 95% of their songs ended with Kevin shouting out, “Very cool!” to the crowd – it comes across, almost like a comfort saying and it’s quite humbling that he’s clearly very appreciative of the audience’s reaction. It’s kind of sweet really.

The energy the band gives off is contagious – having never seen the band before or heard much of their music, I found myself completely drawn in by them and moving, even participating, along with the rest of the crowd and for this reason alone, I can’t recommend seeing them, highly enough.

It’s perfectly clear that the pair have a loyal following over here in the UK drawing in a packed house and it’s easy to see why – their interesting blend of rock elements with mainly acoustic instrumentation and a rather feel-good sound (even if some of the songs themselves are self-confessed to be pretty negative) make for something truly special. I’d definitely like to see them play live again – if you haven’t already, you should check them out!

Highlights:

  • It was pretty adorable when Kevin Jordan explained that they’d been out on tour for a month and he was really missing his dog, so asked the audience members to get up pictures of their dogs and show him, whilst performing ‘Puppy Love’.
  • Before performing ‘Hold You Here’Kevin looked for couples to dedicate the song to – when he found one, he got the audience to clear a space for them to slow dance to but then hilariously got out a torch to shine on them – very funny.
  • The combination of many different instruments and backing tracks the pair used throughout the set was awe-inspiring. Their vocal harmonies are awesome too!
  • Kevin‘s on-stage banter is super witty too – making those between-songs moments light-hearted.
  • Whilst Anthony moved some bits around the stage, Kevin performed a great little mashup of 3 massive blink-182 hits (‘What’s My Age Again’ / ‘All The Small Things’ / ‘First Date’) which got the crowd going even more!

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 Setlist

Concrete
Positively Negative
Puppy Love
Westside
History
Hold You Here
Ripped Away
What’s My Age Again? / All The Small Things / First Date (blink-182 cover)*
Catie Rae
Headfirst*
Pull Me Out
No More Bad Days

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


Finally, I want to say a massive thanks to Andy Snape and Xavier Candelaria from Raw Power Management for making this review happen! Also an even bigger thanks to OKTOBA, William Ryan Key and This Wild Life for putting on such an awesome show!


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

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Matt Maltese – Bad Contestant


   

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Muzik Speaks Loves Atlantic Records - SmallerMatt Maltese is a piano-led, 21-year-old, singer-songwriter, who pens songs that are both emotionally intelligent and satirical at the same time. Having recently toured with Isaac Gracie (review), he is now releasing his debut album, Bad Contestant, through Atlantic Records. Here are our thoughts…

Matt Maltese - Bad Contestant.jpg

Matt Maltese‘s debut, Bad Contestant, is jam packed full of wisdom beyond his years but served up with equal doses of cutting humour, hilarious irony and pure over-exaggeration. This is an artist who merges, at times, understated yet sultry melodies and retro sounds with stunning lyrical craftsmanship to create his own unique style.

Album-opener, ‘Greatest Comedian’, begins with an unassuming introduction before launching into a fantastic set of back-handed compliments topped off with some intriguing instrumentation and beautiful higher-pitched vocals in the chorus; very similar to something by label-mate, Will Joseph Cook.

Title-track, ‘Bad Contestant’, has some seriously funky synth sounds and sees Maltese take on the character of an overly honest and confessional yet fruitless game show contestant.

This is very much an album where jazz and a touch of britpop meet funky, organ-led soul.

Meanwhile, ‘Nightclub Love’ is deeply satirical look at how Maltese sees the realities of clubbing and finding love there, whilst ‘Less & Less’ is an extremely saddening break-up song that is both beautiful and also attempts to put a positive spin on the situation. Of course we can’t go without mentioning the wonderful track, ‘As The a World Caves In’; a hysterical tale of the unlikely hooking up of Donald Trump and Theresa May, watching the nuclear destruction of the world as they do it; genius!

Other key tracks worth taking note of, include; ‘Sweet Sixteen’, an organ-led track taking a twisted look at a modern relationship – the sound is very much somewhere between Kaiser Chiefs and Blur, ‘Like A Fish’ which sounds like the opening to an old, 80s, British TV show and ‘Misery’ which is a dark and intense track with some reverse-sounding vocals on the chorus. In fact, the latter half of the album appears to get darker as it goes on.

The album features production and collaboration by a combination of Jonathan Rado, Hugo White (Maccabees) Alex Burey.

This is very much an album where jazz and a touch of britpop meet funky, organ-led soul, all dressed up in a hipster outfit and sung with a deep, crisp and crooning vocal. Picture BlurPulp and Jamiroquai creating some sort of spliced-together lovechild that’s been brought into the modern, contemporary age and you get Matt Maltese‘s debut, Bad Contestant. A truly alluring debut that is sure to pave the way for an exciting career ahead.

Rating
4


‘Bad Contestant’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/bad-contestant/1365077870


Bad Contestant on Spotify

Greatest Comedian (Official Video)

As The World Caves In (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this singer-songwriter’s uniquely captivating debut album? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment below or via our social media.


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#EventSpeaks: Isaac Gracie @ The Haunt, Brighton – 25/04/18


   

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On Wednesday 25th April, Isaac Gracie arrived in Brighton to play a headline show, in support of his self-titled debut album (review here) with support from up-and-comer, Matt Maltese. It really was a fantastic show!


Matt Maltese

The singer took to the stage, dressed in a retro-looking brown suit, and performed a string of songs taken from his upcoming debut album, Bad Contestant. His songwriting is quite politically-charged and certainly has a folk/indie vibe to it. There’s an excellent power behind his vocals and a real satire to his between-song banter.

Highlight: The hilarious concept behind the final song of his set, ‘As The World Caves In’; the idea of Donald Trump and Theresa May having a final night of lovemaking as they click the red button, destroying the Earth.


Isaac Gracie

Isaac Gracie took to the stage in front of his sold-out audience, to a deafening applause, launching straight into the thought-provoking, ‘All In My Mind’. Isaac is certainly a brooding artist and for the first few songs, you could hear and feel the aching anxieties he pours into his songwriting, with little audience eye contact, show-casing his artistic vulnerability perfectly.

It wasn’t long before he warmed up to the audience, cracking some jokes during his between-song banter, making reference to ‘Terrified’, saying that maybe he is cut out for it after all. He also fed off a couple of audience members calling out, superbly; it brought the audience closer to him and let them in on his dry, almost geeky sense of humour.

You can’t help but marvel at the passion behind Isaac’s voice and lyricism; he is someone who has clearly worked incredibly hard, crafting their songwriting and made every effort to create a collection of songs that are brilliantly diverse yet still remain true to him, as an artist. His show was impeccable! Some of the most stand-out performances included, ‘Terrified’‘One Night’‘The Death Of You & I’‘Running On Empty’ and ‘Last Words’.

At one point, he made reference to the last time he performed in Brighton, at this very venue, when he supported The Japanese House in February 2016 (see our review here) – it was great to see how he’s gone from being a support act, to headlining his own show in such a relatively short space of time, and much deserved too!

This is an artist who is only just scratching the surface of their career, with their honest and genre-blending music; I truly can’t wait to see what he does next.

Highlights:

  • Isaac’s
  • The fact he came straight out after his set, to meet the fans, taking time to have photos with them and sign merch – it’s fantastic when an artist gives back to their followers!

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 📸 All of the photos in this post (except me with the band) are credited to Chloe CZH 📷
Go and give her a follow on Twitter and visit her website.


 Setlist

All In My Mind
That Was Then
Terrified
Telescope
When You Go
Love (Ain’t Always So Good)
All The Burning Lovers
Silhouettes Of You
One Night
Darkness Of The Day
The Death Of You & I *
Running On Empty *
Reverie
Hollow Crown

Encore
Last Words

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


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to Hannah Braid for setting up this review and to Isaac Gracie and Matt Maltese for putting on a fantastic show. It was also great to have the chance to meet Isaac too!

Isaac Gracie & Matt Wright.JPG


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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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#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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#EventSpeaks: Patent Pending @ The Haunt, Brighton – 04/04/16

Here’s our review of the incredibly talented, energetic and fun, Patent Pending’s show in Brighton.


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On Monday 4th April 2016, I was given the great opportunity to see Patent Pending perform at The Haunt in Brighton, and they were “off da hook” incredible…as usual! The support was Boy Jumps Ship.


The VIP Treatment

I was lucky enough to attend the pre-show VIP experience which honours Patent Pending’s fans with a private, acoustic performance of some of their songs, alongside a meet and greet, photos with the band and even some free merchandise!

It was a unique experience and really does treat the fans to something extraordinary and rewarding! The band then hung around to chat to their devoted “Second Family” (Patent Pending’s fans) and really did make it an exceptional occasion – I was honoured to be a part of it and witness just how dedicated to their fans they are, as the fans are to them!


Boy Jumps Ship

This 4-piece took to the stage and warmed the crowd up a treat, performing a whole range of songs, including their recent single, Burn.

The quartet were powerful performers and took time to promote their upcoming debut album, Wake Up, which is released on April 22nd 2016!

Highlight: The powerful vocals of the lead singer and the great sound they’ve created!


Patent Pending

Where to start with Patent Pending…they’re just amazing!

Since discovering them, when they supported Zebrahead back in November 2015, I have been captivated by Patent Pending! They’re a huge amount of fun and their energy is just immense; it truly is on another level!

The band took to the stage with intensity, ‘Started In My Head’ which chants, “Here we, here we, here we f**king go!”, which had the crowd in the palm of their hands, instantly! They rolled, from there, straight into Let Go, which is just a huge amount of fun – especially when accompanied by Joe’s crazy-cool dancing! The show went on with hilarious moments, both old and new songs and even some emotional moments for Joe.

The Second Family are incredibly devoted too, to the point where some of them turned up in Mario, Princess Peach and Wario costumes and they are always part of the in-jokes and treated just like their name, a second family! One fan, Glen, was brought on stage for a song, which resulted in some hilarious consequences (see the video of ‘The Whisky, The Liar, The Thief’ below).

To tell you how awesome this band are live, is just an impossible task – they have to be seen to be fully appreciated! Coming from a relatively new fan of the band, knowing all their songs doesn’t matter, they just put on an amazing show and make you a part of their vision and their world, for the duration of their set.

This band has many things to offer live; good fun, great music, high energy, comedy, crazy dancing, Super Mario jumps and more! I urge anyone who hasn’t seen them, to do whatever it takes to get a ticket to a show…they’re just f**king AWESOME!

Highlights:

  • Joe’s ability to capture an audience with quick wit and crazy antics.
  • Joe’s awesome crowd swimming – complete with armbands and goggles!
  • Glen (a fan) coming on stage and attempting the Dirty Dancing lift…but in fact dropping Joe!
  • Rob and Marc doing some awesome dance routines!
  • Mario, Wario and Princess Peach on stage!
  • Joe’s awesome Mario jump!

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All of these photos are credited to Elliot McRae (an awesome, upcoming photographer!) – @EMcraePhoto


 Setlist

Started In My Head*
Let Go*
I Already Know (She Don’t Give a Shit About Me)
Valentine (Abridged Version)
Riot Hearts Rebellion
Psycho In Love*
Last Time That I Saw You
The Whisky, The Liar, The Thief (with snippet of ‘I Will Always Love You’)*
We’re Freakin’ Out (Map To Tahiti)
Spin Me Around*
Classic You*
Six Feet
Therefore, I Party
One Less Heart To Break*
Hey Mario*

Encore
Brighter*
Douchebag*

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


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to Patent Pending for putting me on the guest-list, so I could come and do this review and interview!

Check out our interview with Joe Ragosta, backstage at the venue –> here.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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Muzik Speaks: An Interview with Joe Ragosta from Patent Pending @ The Haunt, Brighton – 04/04/16

Here’s the incredible, live interview Matt did with Joe Ragosta from Patent Pending at The Haunt in Brighton on 4th April 2016.


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Here is the live interview I did with Joe Ragosta from Patent Pending, backstage at The Haunt in Brighton, before their show.

As with our previous interview, Joe was hilarious and such a genuine person! Unfortunately towards the end of the interview, the support band (Boy Jumps Ship) began to play and so it becomes harder to hear – if you turn the volume down (and maybe wear headphones too) you can actually make it out a bit more clearly.

Most of these questions were submit by Patent Pending fans (aka Second Family), which means this truly is one for the fans!

Finally, I want to say a MASSIVE thanks to Joe and the rest of the band again for their time and dedication to work with us – I couldn’t be more grateful and appreciative!

Check out our review of the show, complete with videos!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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Patent Pending‘s releases are all available:


Enjoyed this? Check out our other interviews with:

Joe Ragosta from Patent Pending
Ali Tabatabaee from Zebrahead
Lucy Spraggan
Frankmusik
Race The Horizon
Life Of Dillon
Platnum
David Ford