Category Archives: Reviews

Review :: The Great Escape Festival 2018

For music industry professionals, the annual trip to Brighton for three days of drinking, schmoozing and live music feels a lot like Christmas. With no Glastonbury this year and a sunny forecast, it seems everyone was ‘OOO’ for The Great Escape Festival.

Stepping off the train, Brighton’s sea breeze instantly lifts your spirits. The colourful city comes to life in the sunshine as crowds of delegates and media flock towards Jubilee Square. After breezing through accreditation and dropping our bags at a quirky Airbnb, we head straight to the end of the pier where Scottish punk band LUCIA are serving up a frantic set, with a punchy attitude.

The Beach. Credit: Victor Frankowski

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REVIEW :: DMA’s @ Manchester Academy {28.04.2018}

Sydney trio the DMA’s blew up the music scene in 2014 with the release of their debut single ‘Delete’, and continue to build a growing fan base throughout the world with their eclectic rock n roll vibe and guitar heavy, alternative tunes.

Following the success of Delete, the boys released their self-titled EP with Australian label I OH YOU, and later went on to sign with Infectious Records (also home of Local Natives, RY X, Cloud Control) to prompt the release of their first studio album.

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REVIEW :: Vance Joy @ O2 Ritz Manchester {25.03.2018}

Australian singer-songwriter James Keogh, better known as Vance Joy, released his first EP God Loves You When You’re Dancing back in 2013, and has gone on to create two remarkable albums and a growing fan base who continue to support him with sold out shows all over the world.

His lyrically lead folk-pop music is honest and somewhat comforting  – listen to Vance on a rainy day or during a sunny drive and he’ll completely satisfy both moods. His lyrics are intimate and real as he writes about relatable topics such as romance.

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REVIEW :: Lewis Capaldi @ Manchester Club Academy {16.02.2018}

Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi found overnight success in 2017. After uploading his first single ‘Bruises’ on Spotify, Lewis supported Rag ‘N’ Bone Man on tour, travelled the US with his music, and played major festivals including TRNSMT in Glasgow.

Capaldi dropped his first EP towards the end of last year – an incredibly heartfelt, raw collection of songs, somewhat unexpected from a guy in his early twenties.

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REVIEW :: Tom Misch @ The Jazz Café {AMP Sounds 2018}

Celebrating all the music that Annie Mac loves, AMP SOUNDS encompasses nine shows over the course of one month in three venues: The Jazz Café, The Roundhouse and KOKO.

Last night saw the launch of Annie Mac’s AMP SOUNDS at The Jazz Café. The evening followed the theme of the more recently established AMP Collected nights, showcasing some of the best live acts of the moment in one of London’s most intimate venues.

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REVIEW :: The Hunna @ O2 Apollo Manchester 10.01.18

After years of dedication to their pure love for music, British boys The Hunna signed to High Time Records and are now embarking on a worldwide tour to promote the release of their second album.

It’s the second January show at the O2 Apollo in Manchester and The Hunna are hyped for another big night. Fans rush through the doors of the O2 shouting the lyrics to huge hit, She’s Casual.

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Review :: LANY @ O2 Ritz, Manchester {13.12.2017}

LANY’s beautiful and effervescent lyrical content combined with Paul Klein’s stage presence left fans mesmerised at Manchester’s O2 Ritz show; Klein threw himself into the crowd as he sang his heart out to a bunch of love struck fans who were holding red roses and wearing band merchandise.

Los Angeles based babes LANY launched the first wave of their dreamy, electro-pop sound in 2014 after uploading a batch of songs to the internet.

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LANY @ O2 Ritz, Manchester 13.12.17

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Review :: Neighbourhood Festival 2017

Neighbourhood have done it again for an incredible second year running. The festival spreads across central Manchester, ranging from smaller venues such as Deaf Institute and Thirsty Scholar to the renowned O2 Ritz and Albert Hall.

Tickets for Neighbourhood Weekender 2018 on sale here.

A surprise announcement from huge local band Blossoms a few days earlier left a bunch of very happy fans. Blosssoms kicked off the day nicely, performing an acoustic set with Joe Duddell and RNCM Ensemble.

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Blossoms

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Review :: Bestival 2017

Well, we hate to say it but as it gets colder and darker, the U.K. Festival season is truly coming to a close. But what better way to send us off than Bestival?

Having changed venue from the beautiful Isle of Wight to the equally gorgeous Lulworth Estate, Dorset, the journey was certainly easier and cheaper than the ferry, but the festival was noticeably smaller than before.

Credit: Bestival

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Review :: The National @ O2 Apollo Manchester {22.09.2017}

Ohio based rock and roll band The National have built up a loyal following with their consistent delivery of seven epic albums since the late nineties. From the release of The National (2003) by their own label, Brassland Records, to most recent Sleep Well Beast (2017), Matt’s dark, deep lyrics combined with the band’s intimate live shows leaves them seriously under rated.

It’s night one of two in Manchester and the O2 Apollo is full to the brim. The band are sneaky, building up fan anticipation by displaying a peak of backstage onto the big screen, before revealing themselves by opening with Nobody Else Will Be There from brand new album (Sleep Well Beast). The lights go down and the piano intro echoes through the venue.

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Outlook Festival 2017 :: Photo Highlights

Outlook Festival’s tenth edition was always going to be a special one, and the Outlook family have once again proved why it is the worlds biggest, baddest and most monumental bass-led event the world over.

Started all those years ago by a team of promoters set to change the festival game, Outlook is now a globally revered event still ran with real heart and soul by the same crew. Not even the rain could dampen the spirits of the crowd who came together across the four festival days.

Credit: Dan Medhurst

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Review :: Boomtown 2017, Chapter 9

Having heard great things about Boomtown, nothing could prepare us for the diverse landscape of arts, immersive theatre and incredible production we experienced this weekend (10-13th August) in Winchester.

This year brought the ninth chapter in Boomtown’s history, as its storyline developed with Bang Hai Industries taking over the districts. Headliners included The Specials, Skindred and MIA, as well as Sugar Hill Gang, Ziggy Marley and Frank Turner.

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Review :: Standon Calling 2017

There’s a lot to like about Standon Calling. The sweeping fields surrounding the boutique festival add a picturesque quality as you arrive deep within the centre of Hertfordshire. Well-directed and easily accessible, campers immediately feel at ease as they approach the site and unpack, with the festival itself only a stones throw away with access to showers and fully functioning toilets that are secure and routinely checked.

Priding itself on its family friendly attitude, Standon offers an experience that caters for all ages. Perhaps also being one of the most dog-friendly festivals in the UK, it was pleasing to see a number of four-legged canines parading around the fields. Though maybe limiting certain areas would have been advisable as festival goers run the risk of accidentally treading on a few paws whilst shuffling through the crowds.

Credit: Giles Smith

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Review :: Truck Festival 2017

Rain, mud and paint ruled supreme at this year’s Truck Festival, with sets from Will Joseph Cook, Maximo Park and Jagwar Ma among the musical highlights as the festival returned for a triumphant 20th year.

The award-winning festival, which first took place in 1998, has grown exponentially in recent years, now spanning three days and eight different stages. Tickets sold out way back in March, and anticipation was high, with fans queuing for up to two and a half hours to get into the Oxfordshire-farm site.

Credit: Entirety Labs

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Review :: Glastonbury Festival 2017

A field where Blur reunited in 2009, pregnant Beyoncé closed The Pyramid Stage in 2011 with a Destiny’s Child medley, David Bowie performed ‘Changes’ for the first time in 1971 and Johnny Cash revived his career in 1994 – Glastonbury Festival is a magical place where anything feels possible.

Realising Glastonbury is the best festival in the world, makes returning to life pretty difficult. You can’t listen to music because it’s not the same, you keep finding forgotten memories on your camera roll and your contagious smile from all the positive energy and love soon disappears when you remember Theresa May is still Prime Minister.

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Review :: Primavera Sound 2017

Primavera Sound excels not only as a vibrant, cultural reflection of Barcelona, but also as a favourite on the international festival scene. Boasting one of the summer’s best musical line ups, Primavera Sound attracts a worldwide audience.

Despite belonging to one of Europe’s largest coastal cities, Primavera Sound is a concrete jungle. Wedged between the city skyline and the beach, the expansive urban site offers four unique areas packed with remarkable stages.

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Field Day 2017 :: Image & Video Highlights

Aphex Twin brought Field Day’s 11th outing to a close as thousands descended on Victoria Park for one day of live music, electronic DJs, street food and more.

This summer saw the arrival of The Barn, an indoor arena where Nina Kraviz, Moderat, Nicolas Jaar and more delivered sets throughout the day before Aphex Twin made his live return with an unforgettable, two hour audiovisual spectacular.

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Review :: Uncovering Tomorrow’s Headliners at The Great Escape 2017

With 450 performances held across forty venues; for 20,000 festival goers and delegates – navigating The Great Escape festival in Brighton is no small task.

The Great Escape Festival plays a vital and relevant role in forecasting future trends in music business, and more importantly, uncovering tomorrow’s headliners. Read on for the five main acts from this year’s festival we’re tipping as future headliners.

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