Category Archives: Reviews

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reviews

Honest reviews and photo highlights from festival season.

Find out the artists we’re rating, the festivals you might wanna avoid, and the ones you’d be silly to miss.

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. Check out the official highlights video below.

The Great Escape 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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Live Review :: Becky Hill @ Scala {05.04.17}

Becky Hill’s second headline solo gig is less polished than her first. After a false start and an intro built from 2016’s singles Warm and Back To My Love, the 23-year-old goes straight into Afterglow — from her favourite genre.

Moving on, Becky debuts plenty of new material across the evening, including Unpredictable, an upbeat dance number likely to be the next single she puts out on her own label Eko Records.

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Live Review :: Temples @ Electric Brixton {30.03.2017}

As the band many claim are at the very forefront of Britain’s psychedelic-rock revival, Temples certainly have big shoes to fill. Early comparisons to the likes of Flaming Lips and The Beatles may have been somewhat premature, but returning with a new album and a meatier, more visceral sound, the Kettering quartet show no signs of slowing down as they blast through a spellbinding set in front of a sold out crowd at Electric Brixton.

Tousle-haired lead singer James Bagshaw cuts a dashing figure as the band stroll leisurely onto the stage. Dressed in a figure hugging attire, the frontman wastes little time with pleasantries, delving straight into the kaleidoscopic All Join In from the band’s latest release, Volcano.

temples electric brixton review
Credit: James Beeson

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LIVE REVIEW :: Glass Animals @ O2 Academy Brixton {16.03.17}

When graffiti neon pineapples sprayed on Brixton’s sidewalk pave your way to the O2 Academy, you know Glass Animals are in town. With a set list split fairly evenly between their two albums, the Oxford band pull out all the stops for their biggest show to date.

Though the project started while they were still at university five years ago, Glass Animals have toured extensively — using these tales as inspiration for How To Be A Human Being. On stage Glass Animals are theatrical performers, embodying the life of each song.

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LIVE REVIEW :: Will Heard @ The Courtyard Theatre, London {08.03.17}

“I once saw Will Heard at The Courtyard Theatre”, is going to become a very cool thing to say in a couple of years. The charismatic multi-instrumentalist showed fans more of what to expect from him as a solo artist.

A set composed mainly of tracks from Will Heard’s debut EP Trust, highlights included brand new single I Better Love You, along with the smooth and groovy Beep Me.

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Credit: @jumpinsounds

Continue reading LIVE REVIEW :: Will Heard @ The Courtyard Theatre, London {08.03.17}

LIVE REVIEW :: The Orwells @ Scala {07.03.17}

The last night of The Orwells UK tour was marred by controversy, with lead singer Mario Cuomo involved in several alterations with the bouncers at London’s Scala.

Famous for their rambunctious and boisterous live performances, the Chicago garage-rock band severely tested the patience of the King’s Cross venue’s security on several occasions during a frenetic and occasionally electrifying set.

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LIVE REVIEW :: Milky Chance + Témé Tan @ Omeara, LDN {13.02.17}

Milky Chance set the bar in London, on the opening night of their international tour. An interesting choice in venue, Omeara — owned by Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett — served as an extravagant sweat-box.

Warm-up duties belonged in the capable hands of Congo native Témé Tan. Language barriers to one side, Témé is quick to connect with the crowd using his tribal, afro-pop beats. Songs about romance, tigers and swimming in Lake Mai-Ndombe — Témé brings colours of the Congo to London’s damp underground.

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Milky Chance

Continue reading LIVE REVIEW :: Milky Chance + Témé Tan @ Omeara, LDN {13.02.17}

LIVE REVIEW :: The Orwells @ Tuffnell Park Dome

Every so often a band comes along that just force you to sit up and pay attention. A performance so electrifying that you simply have no choice but to acknowledge it. On Wednesday night, Chicago garage-rock band The Orwells did just that, with a blistering show in front of a sold out Tufnell Park Dome.

Playing their first gig in the capital for two years, Mario Cuomo and co. sledgehammered through an hour-long set, playing hits from their Remember When and Disgraceland LPs, as well as a smattering of tracks from their new album Terrible Human Beings, due to be released in February of next year.

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LIVE REVIEW :: White Lies @ O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

“Keep on running, keep, keep on running, there’s no place like home,” crows White Lies frontman Harry McVeigh, hands cupped to his ears, urging the crowd to join in the words to ‘Farewell to the Fairground’. For the Ealing-based five piece, London is where home is, and there is no place like it on Tuesday night, as the band complete a jubilant homecoming gig in front of a sold-out Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

Kick-starting their UK tour, White Lies are in a buoyant mood as they fire off ‘Take It Out On Me’ – the first single from new album Friends ‘There Goes Our Love Again’ and ‘To Lose My Life’ in quick succession. “It’s so good to be back in our home town,” McVeigh says with a smile, before joking with the audience that they “might even share the bus home” together after the show.

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LIVE REVIEW :: Jamie T @ O2 Academy Brixton

Good things come to those who wait, and those disappointed by Jamie T’s postponement of his third night at O2 Academy Brixton in October, were finally rewarded for their patience by the Wimbledon singer-songwriter on Wednesday night.

Clad in leather and oozing with confidence, Treays blasts through hits from his first three albums and a smattering of tracks from his new album, Trick, released in September. The 30-year old delivers an explosive hour and a half set at breakneck speed, demonstrating his versatility and blistering talent.

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LIVE REVIEW :: Courteeners @ O2 Academy Brixton

You could wait for a lifetime, to spend your days in the sunshine,” drawls Liam Gallagher over the deafening roar of the exuberant, alcohol-fuelled crowd as his namesake Liam Fray struts onto the O2 Academy Stage.

The Courteeners might not own as many bona fide sing-along’s as their Mancunian predecessors, but there’s definitely a similarity in the way the four-piece go about their business. The band rattle through 90 minutes of hits, peppered with tracks from their new album Mapping The Rendezvous, released last month.

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Festival Review :: 10 Things We Learned at ADE 2016

ADE 2016 presents a serious case of FOMO. Undoubtedly the biggest, if not the best, event of its kind in Europe all year, Amsterdam Dance Event connects people from all ends of the EDM stratosphere.

Celebrating its 21st year,  ADE 2016 welcomed over 35, 000 festival goers, with more than 2,500 artists performing at the city’s unique nightclubs. Remember nightclubs? We used to have them in London.

Fear of missing out stays with you as you race between canals trying to pack everything into your schedule. It’s impossible to cover everything. Here’s ten things we learned…

ade 2016
Credit: Willeke Machiels

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Festival Review :: Hackney Wonderland 2016

Returning for its third year and expanding across two days, Hackney Wonderland 2016 provides the perfect antidote to post-summer festival blues.

With the sun setting earlier and a cold autumnal chill in the air, the summer festival season feels an increasingly long time ago. However, wet weather fails to put a dampener on an electric weekend of live music featuring Swim Deep, Mystery Jets and Lucy Rose, as well as a host of new and upcoming artists.

Swim Deep

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Live Review :: White Lies :: Kamio, London

Brushing off the cobwebs after over two and a half years away, White Lies deliver a near-masterclass of a comeback ahead of their forthcoming album Friends, due to be released this Friday (October 7th).

Despite their long absence from the capital’s music circuit; this being their first show in London for almost three years, The Ealing-based five piece show no signs of rustiness as they rattle through hits new and old.

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Festival Review + Photo Highlights :: Bestival 2016

Thousands of hedonist ravers, three sassy alpacas and one epic spaceport. Committed to the pursuit of happiness, no other festival will ever sign off festival season like Bestival does. The sense of adventure and escapism that getting on a ferry and crossing over water gives you, makes Bestival impossible to resist.

Musically, rules get broken. And that’s what makes Bestival stand-out from the rest of the UK’s major festivals. Mixing dark with light, DJs know they are playing to a crowd driven by change and impressed by risk. With the music industry where it is now, there’s much less focus on the main-stage.

Bestival 2016 review
Credit: Tom Martin

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Festival Review :: Glass Butter Beach 2016

In the famous words of Bob Marley: Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet. Welsh music festival Glass Butter Beach kicked off under the moonlight on Thursday with charming wakeboard competition Quadra Crown. But things were about to take a turn for the worse…

Friday morning began with strong wind and heavy rain, meaning a delay to the opening of the main arena by an hour. This lead to closure of the Main Stage and Surf Shack. In an effort to keep things running, organisers turned the Dance Arena into the Main Stage.

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Credit: Tom Lear Photography

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Festival Review :: V Festival 2016

Away from the Virgin Media Stage, Jodie Abacus took to the MTV Stage as one of the opening acts at V Festival — with a soulful set that earned a delightful start to a festival heavily criticised, for its lack of musical substance.

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Jodie Abacus. Credit: Matt Eachus

Little Mix rose to the occasion representing females to celebrate the 21st birthday of the festival at Hylands Park, Chelmsford. After a fierce opening, the set descended into something more of a pantomime.

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Little Mix. Credit: Kennerdeigh Scott

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Festival Review :: Way Out West Gothenburg 2016

Armed with arguably one of Europe’s most impressive musical line-ups, it was business as usual for Sweden’s Way Out West. Known for booking talent from both sides of the Atlantic, this year’s festival played host to three days of unforgettable performances.

The first day saw revered heavyweights Daughter, M83, Chvrches, The Last Shadow Puppets and Gothenburg’s Anna Von Hausswolf set the bar. While former Smith’s frontman Morrissey delivered a world-class performance. The musical icon was backed by harrowing visuals of police brutality for Ganglord and animal slaughter for Meat Is Murder, an apt song choice in the meat and dairy-free setting of Way Out West.

way out west
credit: Olle Kirchmeier

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Festival Review :: Kendal Calling 2016

Just when you thought Kendal Calling’s 10th anniversary celebrations couldn’t be topped last year, the Cumbrian music festival proved yet again that good things do come in small packages, as artists and festival-goers alike helped to celebrate their best year yet.

Home to over 20,000 people for the weekend, the serene surroundings of Lowther Deer Park were the perfect setting for four days of glorious sunshine and music. Bringing an eclectic mix to the fields were Manc favourites The Chartalans, Everything Everything and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Along with indie rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen and drum and bass quartet Rudimental.

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