#EventSpeaks: LAUREL @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton – 01/10/18


   

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On Monday 1st October 2018, LAUREL came to Brighton in support of her debut album, Dogviolet (check out our review here). Since her last, solo performance in Brighton, the songwriter returned with a full band to delight her audience with offerings from her recent record. She was supported by Another Sky and her guitarist, Polly Money.


Polly Money

It always amazes me how someone with just an electric guitar and their voice can produce such a big sound but Polly Money certainly achieved this with her performance. Just funky guitar riffs and her sugary-sweet vocal (somewhat similar to that of Leah McFall or NAO), wowed the audience. A very humble performance with some lovely melodies.

Polly Money Instagram


Another Sky

This band truly blew me away (and I believe the rest of the audience too!) – they have an incredibly full-on sound with excellent use of backing tracks as well as their live instruments. Each song of theirs was pretty unique – for example, the opening to their set was ambient and airy whilst their next song brought about a huge wave of excitement due to its intensity and just how tight their performance was. The vocalist’s voice is incredibly diverse, whilst mainly quite low-pitched, is capable of a wide range. The guitarist had some funky little moves too. Another Sky are definitely going to be a band to watch out for, and certainly recommend catching them live!

Highlight: The biggest highlight, was this one note the vocalist did, towards the end of one of their songs; it was so loud, high-pitched and perfect that it was all-consuming. It sent shivers down my back.


LAUREL

Having seen LAUREL play a solo set at The Green Door Store (review here) back in 2016, it was amazing to watch her performing with a full band. Although it was a relatively short set, it was amazing to see her playing songs from Dogviolet, with a full sound.

Some of the best songs were: ‘All Star’ for its wonderful guitar riff; ‘Lovesick’, which is just a catchy track to get the audience going, ‘Sun King’ which was beautifully intimate – just LAUREL with an acoustic guitar and ‘Life Worth Living’ – it’s just a downright tune!

Of course I won’t be the first person to say it, but there are great similarities between LAUREL and Lana Del Rey, however there is something much more vulnerable about LAUREL and it feels like she has more integrity about her.

It was also interesting to find out that she has recently released a book called, The Mutterings of a Laurel, which is a journal she kept during the writing and recording of Dogviolet – definitely worth checking out.

Having seen LAUREL perform twice now, I can assure you that she puts on a show you don’t want to miss. You really need to catch her now before she’s selling out bigger shows, especially since she just filmed her appearance for Later… with Jools Holland the morning of the Brighton show…sounds like the start of something big for this little star.

Highlights:

  • LAUREL is a very humble artist with an endearing awkwardness about her audience interaction, you can’t help but love.
  • The hilarious names she has for her guitars, which her manager proudly embarrassed her by announcing. It’s not my place to share them, but go see her live and you might find them out! 😂
  • Her ability to perform songs with such passion that you are drawn in by her every word – she’s a real star.

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Setlist

All Star
Lovesick
Hold Tight
Sun King (Solo Acoustic)
Same Mistakes
South Coast
Adored
Blue Blood
Life Worth Living*

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


Finally, I want to say a big thanks to Chris (LAUREL’s manager) and Henry (in LAUREL’s PR team) for enabling this review to happen. A big thanks also to Polly Money, Another Sky and LAUREL herself, for putting on such an incredible, intimate show.


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

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: David Ford @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton – 22/06/18


   

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On Friday 22nd June 2018, David Ford came to Brighton and performed a sold-out show at The Hope & Ruin in support of his new album, Animal Spirits. He was supported by the angelic-voiced Beth Rowley.


Beth Rowley

Beth Rowley put on a fantastic set, supported on guitar, by David Ford himself. The songstress delivered a flawless set of her trademark sound, which combines elements of soul, gospel and jazz. It was wonderful to see this accomplished singer and songwriter at a modest-sized venue, performing a raw and stripped-back set.

Highlight: It was great to see the two artists collaborating for her set and her voice was simply stunning.


David Ford

As David Ford took to the stage, applause erupted as people eagerly anticipated the talented songwriter’s first song, which was ‘Downmarket’, taken from his new album, Animal Spirits.

The set consisted of a real mixture of new and old songs, intertwined with Ford’s crowd interaction which is laced with his incredibly dry sense of humour (as can be seen in the ‘State Of The Union’ video below).

The multi-instrumentalist used his loop pedal to perfection, crafting entire songs, by himself, showing that it is entirely possible to be a one-man-band, if you’ve got the talent. This is something he’s developed since his debut solo single, ‘State Of The Union’ (the video for which was shot in one take), but it’s still impressive to see done live!

He doesn’t overuse this though, as certain songs were performed solely on one instrument, such as ‘Song For The Road’, for which he brought but Beth Rowley to collaborate on.

In fact their cover of Aretha Franklin and George Michael‘s ‘I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)’ closed the show and it truly sent people away on a high; it’s so nice to see that a wonderful songwriter isn’t afraid to do a cover when they like a particular song!

David Ford is honestly someone you need to see live at least once in your life. He is captivating in many ways; from his ability to play various instruments and construct songs with a loop pedal, to his quick wittedness and dry interaction with the crowd…it truly will be an evening to remember!

Highlights:

  • David Ford‘s impeccable use of a loop pedal means he can cleverly build a song to sound like a full band, all by himself.
  • He’s an incredibly talented musician too, playing multiple instruments; it’s truly a marvel to behold.
  • The chaotic end to ‘State Of The Union’ was loud and dramatic but oh so brilliant!
  • The balance of new and old songs was great; it gave a flavour for the new album but paid homage to previous releases.
  • The duet of Aretha Franklin and George Michael‘s ‘I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)’ was stunning.

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 Setlist

Downmarket
Isn’t It Strange
Waiting For The Storm
Animal Spirits*
Why Don’t You Answer Your Telephone?
To Hell With The World
Real Damn Slow
One Of These Days (with Beth Rowley)
Song For The Road (with Beth Rowley)
State Of The Union*
I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) (Aretha Franklin & George Michael cover) (with Beth Rowley)

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


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to David Ford himself, for being so accommodating and allowing me to come and do this review; it was a fantastic evening!


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#EventSpeaks: Will Joseph Cook @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton – 29/10/16


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On Saturday 29th October 2016, Will Joseph Cook performed his first headline show in Brighton and it was fantastic! With two awesome supports, Hot Dreams and George Taylor, the whole evening was just incredible.

We also had the opportunity to catch up with Will before the show – the interview will be coming soon, so keep your eyes and ears peeled.


Hot Dreams

Hot Dreams are an indie quartet from London, who have recently changed their name from Pocket Money. The band were incredibly tight and played a great, engaging set. Their sound is rather unique; there are euphoric and melodic highs within a calm soundscape and intense, hard-hitting moments of organised chaos that really pack a punch. There was one song in particulary that flipped the whole performance on its head, when the drummer performed lead vocals, and then the other 3 came in with the most immensely beautiful harmonies, it was joyous to watch. I’m predicting big things for these guys…just remember the name, Hot Dreams.

Hot Dreams.JPG


George Taylor

George Taylor was next to take to the stage and he is clearly a very gifted songwriter, topped off with an amazing voice. Within the first few bars of his set, the microphone failed, which is a nightmare for any performer, but he handled it really well; a real professional.

The set consisted of some light-hearted happy songs amongst a sea of melancholic anthems. The guy’s voice is able to depict pain in the most stunning way but he also writes in really interestingly. There was one particular song that involved his voice being in constant use and led into a great chorus; I’d love to hear a recorded version of it, with a full backing band. Here’s another artist I think we’ll be seeing big things of in the not-too-distant future.

Highlight:

  • George‘s talking to the crowd was ace! There were a couple of one-liners that were hilarious…in particular I liked his joke about his missing band whilst nonchalantly tuning his guitar; “I normally perform with a band but I can’t afford it right now… …blame Brexit”
  • His voice is remarkable – such passion and rawness to it; it’s reminiscent of David Gray but with more umph to it!


Will Joseph Cook

Will Joseph Cook was awesome – for such a young guy, he exudes great talent! He put on an excellent show with a mixture of uplifting, fun and funky songs and then mellower moments when he performed by himself.

There is no doubt that Will Joseph Cook has been hard at work, crafting a set that will really please his audience as he had pretty much everyone dancing and/or singing along throughout the set or watching in admiration at his acoustic offerings.

The band he had were fantastic – they provided great backing vocals and they looked like they were enjoying themselves too!

He showed off an impressive array of songs from his EP releases, so far, and some new, unreleased tracks too; the audience were lapping it up. He clearly has a loyal following and the guy hasn’t even released an album yet!

Big things to come from him when he drops his debut album, hopefully around the beginning of next year, he said…can’t wait!

Highlights:

  • The passion and energy he puts into his performances is awesome – he looks like he’s loving what he’s doing!
  • He got the audience dancing their socks off to songs like ‘Girls Like Me’ and ‘Sweet Dreamer’.
  • Amazing songwriting – he’s clearly taken a lot of time perfecting his set and working on his songs.
  • He offers good interaction with the fans – he told them all where they could find him after the show so they could come and meet him.

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 Setlist

Streets Of Paris
Take Me Dancing
Hearse
Toothbrush*
Daisy Chains
Message
Alive
Waters Gone Cold
Sweet Dreamer*
For Thursday
Girls Like Me

Encore
Beach*

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


Finally, I want to say a BIG thanks to Isobel from Whiteboard PR for setting up both the interview and guest list for me and to Will Joseph Cook for agreeing to be interviewed and putting on one heck of a show!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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