Thursday, 30 July 2015

LIVE: King Charles at Bush Hall (29/7/15)

Yesterday I ventured to London for my first gig in just over a month - and what a gig, seeing one of my favourite artists King Charles play an intimate show at Bush Hall. With a setlist spanning the hits such as Bam Bam, Loveblood, Lady Percy interspersed with tracks from the upcoming second record, and a great crowd singing at the top of their lungs, the show was superb. Then add the fact that producer of the second album, Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, and Tom Hobden of Noah & The Whale played alongside the band for the whole set, and you've got a pretty epic show. Support came from Londoners Hidden Charms, whose music I hadn't had chance to listen to before the show but I was really impressed by their energy (and scared the stage might break) and found elements of The Black Keys in their live sound. 

A couple of weeks ago I had actually tweeted saying I hoped that Marcus and Tom would perform at the show (called it!), and these additions, as well as how much the band and crowd were enjoying the show, made it my favourite King Charles show and one of the best gigs I've been to. A particular highlight was the closing track, Lady Of The River. A 'new' song, the track really has it roots back when Charles was touring the US with Mumford, and seeing them perform it together was a great experience. 

A new version of old track Tomorrow's Fool was another highlight of the show for me, as well as a beautiful Charles and Marcus duet of Beating Hearts, performing the slower version of the track that features in some Youtube sessions (such as this) compared to the more upbeat album version. I had heard all but one of the new tracks on his recent 28 show February tour, and they were as great as I remember, with Bright Thing certainly standing out. The calibre of the new material is really high and with Marcus producing the record I only have high hopes and can't wait for it to be released, most likely some time at the beginning of next year. 

Overall the gig was fantastic and it was great to see everyone again, with Charles' band and team being some of the most welcoming people I know - and also to meet a lot of his fans who I know through social media. Always love chatting to Charles, and especially lovely meeting Marcus Mumford to top off a great evening!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

WATCH: new videos from George Ezra and Nick Mulvey

Loving these two new videos, both from artists who have links to the wonderful people at Communion Music. The first is for George Ezra's new single Barcelona, taken from his chart topping debut record Wanted On Voyage. After first hearing his music a couple of years ago I'm chuffed with how well he is doing in the mainstream charts and would recommend getting along to a gig of his if you can, his London headline date in February at O2 Academy Brixton was superb.

The second is this video to support a reworked version of Nick Mulvey's beautiful track Cucurucu by Frédéric Lo. I saw Nick back in October mainly because Sivu was supporting, but after seeing his captivating live set and listening to his record I've fallen for his music. Recently I saw him playing a secret set in a tiny wine bar in Shepherd's Bush for Communion's Bushstock Festival, a brilliant surprise and a highlight of the day for me!

Monday, 27 July 2015

WATCH: Mumford & Sons - 'Ditmas'

With their UK Gentlemen Of The Road stopover in Aviemore, Scotland coming this weekend, folk rockers Mumford & Sons have just released their latest video, for Ditmas, off of recent record Wilder Mind. One of the most energetic tracks of the record, with drums and electric guitar taking prominence and signalling the change in the band's sound. 

Following a run of American and European shows, the band have upcoming shows in Australia and the US, including a headline slot at Reading and Leeds Festival. Hopefully it won't be long until they bring the tour to the UK, but for now, those who are lucky enough to be going will have brilliant weekend at the Aviemore Stopover, with the line-up featuring such artists as Ben Howard, The Maccabees, Rachel Sermanni and a particular favourite of mine - King Charles, whose upcoming second record was produced by Mumford frontman Marcus. 

Friday, 24 July 2015

WATCH: Dizraeli 'It Won't Be Long' for Sofar Sounds

Love this video just published of Dizraeli (of Dizraeli and the Small Gods - who have an upcoming farewell tour) performing at the last Sofar Sounds Oxford show I attended back in April. I can't wait to get back to attending the shows when I'm back at university in September, if you haven't heard of Sofar then you can find out about it on the site here

With hints of an artist such as Nick Mulvey, Dizraeli played a great acoustic set, a highlight of which was a comical improvisation (alongside Bellatrix's beatboxing and double bass) made up from a combination of random shouted out words (old people, clouds, sex and ping-pong to name a few...) The lyrics and style of his performance conveyed a passion that, joint with the unique, quiet and intimate setting of the gig created a really enjoyable set! 

Saturday, 18 July 2015

WATCH: Baio - 'Sister Of Pearl'

Baio, aka Chris Baio, the bassist of Vampire Weekend, is releasing a solo record entitled The Names on 18th September through Glassnote Records. Following the track Brainwash Yyrr Face is this, the new single Sister Of Pearl which is incredibly catchy. The video celebrate's Baio's love of dancing (anyone who's been to a Vampire Weekend concert will be familiar with this!) and was filmed in London, where he's been living for the past two years after his move from the US. 

You can pre-order the album, and get the two singles now on iTunes hereBaio plays London Fields Brewery on September 3rd (tickets.)

ALBUM NEWS: The Hoosiers - 'The Secret Service'

The exciting news of the day is that (my favourites) The Hoosiers yesterday announced details of their fourth studio album, The Secret Service, which is to be released on 9th October. After asking fans whether they wanted to wait for a full album or for multiple EPs, the band compromised and are releasing two EPs prior to the album release, the first of which was released yesterday. Both EPs feature two new tracks from the album, two live recordings from the last tour and an acoustic version of an unreleased track. 

The first EP, The Wheels Fell Off, features two new tracks - The Wheels Fell Off and Pristine, as well as live recordings of Fidget Brain and Worried About Ray, and this beautiful acoustic session. 

You can find out more info and pre-order the album in several formats (download, CD or vinyl) and with various bundles, on the band's website here, and with any of the pre-orders you'll receive the first EP immediately and the second EP, Up To No Good when it is released on 28th August. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

LISTEN: Fred Abbott - 'Serious Poke'

With the new Friday release day for new music, Fred Abbott releases his solo record, aptly entitled Serious Poke, next Friday, 24th July. Previously guitarist and keys player of Noah & The Whale, Fred says of the new album tracks, "if you attended a Noah & The Whale soundcheck at any time in the last five years then you probably heard me, Urby, Mike and Tom jamming some of these songs." With the band on hiatus last year Fred took the opportunity to record the tracks with some Noah bandmates and other musicians, and following the Noah split "the time seems right to put this stuff out there", says Fred.

The record was co-produced by Fred and Martin Hollis (The Rolling Stones, Take That), with recording sessions over the past year taking place at British Grove Studios in West London. It is being released through independent outfit Lojinx, and an album launch is taking place at London's The Borderline on 31st July (see my post about that show here for more info.)

After a few listens, I'm feeling pretty lucky to have found the album in my inbox to review. It is a superb ten track rock record, with distinctive vocals, catchy choruses and plenty of brilliant guitar solos. Overall a refreshing record, the pace varies throughout, with the tracks mostly touching on themes of love. The striking lyrics of Don't Look Like Him are particularly memorable, highlighting the serious issue of domestic violence and offering empowerment to victims. For me, a highlight is Awake, with the wonderful guitar solos that span the record intertwined with beautiful string action from Noah-bandmate Tom Hobden bringing a certain elegance to the track.

For a preview of the record, you can view blog posts featuring the first track released from the record, Funny How Good It Feels, here, and the video for the second track, Adrenaline Shot, here

Most importantly - you can pre-order the record through Lojinx here.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

WATCH: Twin Atlantic - 'Fall Into The Party'

As I'm currently watching the coverage of Glaswegian rockers Twin Atlantic headline set at T in the Park, thought now was a good time to share the new video for their track Fall Into The Party. When catching up with sets from Glastonbury on the iPlayer, I loved their set - while the crowd was nowhere near as big as they deserve, the band were really great at interacting with them and played a great set with a mix of tracks across their records including their latest, Great Divide. This new video shows performance footage and behind the scenes fun from the band's last year of touring. 

You can buy Great Divide, the latest record from Twin Atlantic, on iTunes here.

Friday, 10 July 2015

LISTEN: Everything Everything - 'Get To Heaven'
A couple of weeks since its release, I'd hope that anyone and everyone would have bought and listened to the latest offering from Everything Everything already. In case you haven't I thought I'd write a little post encouraging you to. This year's Glastonbury coverage reminded me of where I first listened to the band, trawling the online streams of the festival in 2013, where I was impressed by the band's set. I shortly bought their second record Arc which became one of my favourite albums for a while, followed by their debut Man Alive

The latest record, Get To Heaven, features the singles Distant Past and Regret, and is an absolute triumph. Barely off of my turntable for the week following its release, the record was worth the wait, and captured the energy and talent of the band, held together by the unique lyrics of the band's main songwriter and frontman, Jonathan. Back in April I saw the band play a relatively small comeback London show at Oval Space, where they premiered many of the new tracks (as well as playing the hits such as My Kz Ur Bf, Photoshop Handsome and Kemosabe.) Live, the tracks sounded fresh and exciting and gave me really high hopes for the record, which have most certainly been realised. Highlights of the record for me include the title track, and the almost chant-like Spring/Sun/Winter/Dread, as well as No Reptiles for its quirky lyrics, but there isn't a single track on the record that I'm not enjoying. 

To summarise the record is definitely, in my eyes (and from what I saw of its reception on Twitter, those of many others) worthy of a nomination for the Mercury Prize, and one of my favourite's of the year.

GIG NEWS: Fred Abbott (31st July 2015)

With the impending release of his solo record, Serious Poke, through Lojinx, Noah & The Whale guitarist Fred Abbott has just announced an album launch show at The Borderline in London on 31st July. The show will be the first outing of the new record, with Fred and an 'all star band' playing tracks from the record. I've heard the record and will be writing a review of it in the next few days, it's a brilliant record featuring a superb bunch of musicians, I'd highly recommend getting along to the show if possible!

Source:, photo by David Secombe.
You can find the Facebook event for the show here, and buy tickets through Ticketweb here.

WATCH: Charlie Fink - 'My Heartbeat Lost Its Rhythm'

Premiering yesterday, watch the fun new video for the first solo single from Noah & The Whale frontman Charlie Fink, My Heartbeat Lost Its Rhythm'. After a few more listens I'm loving the track and finding it difficult to shake its catchy lyrics, and I can't wait to hear more of Charlie's solo work. 

Monday, 6 July 2015

WATCH: Dawes - 'All Your Favourite Bands'

Released a few weeks ago, the latest Dawes records is probably my favourite of theirs yet. One of the highlights for me is its title track, All Your Favourite Bands, which highlights not only the band's great skill musically but the fact that frontman Taylor Goldsmith is one of the best songwriters out there at the minute. I love this wonderful session performance of the track live at WFUV Radio.

In other news, Dawes recently added some dates to their European tour, including a date at London's Oslo Hackney, which you can buy tickets for here. After seeing the band support Mumford & Sons at an arena show I can't wait to see them again in this intimate venue!


Saturday, 4 July 2015

WATCH: Fred Abbott - 'Adrenaline Shot'

Previewed a couple of days ago, here is the video for Adrenaline Shot, the upcoming single from Noah & The Whale guitarist Fred Abbott, taken from his solo record Serious Poke. The performance video features Fred's Noah bandmates, Urby and Michael, as well as singer songwriter Tom Figgins, and was filmed on the roof of Wax Studios in Dalston. 

Serious Poke is set to be released through Lojinx on 20th July, its trackless is as follows -

Adrenaline Shot
Funny How Good It Feels
One Hot Night
Learn About Love
Don't Look Like Him
Still Told A Lie
Lucky People

You can preorder the record here.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

WATCH: Jack Savoretti - 'Written In Scars'

Following from the announcement yesterday of an October UK tour, check out the new video for the title track of the latest record from Jack Savoretti, Written In Scars. A different, slightly more upbeat version of the track than that on the record, the energetic, choreographed video reflects this. Worth a watch and a listen - I'd also recommend catching Jack on his tour if he's playing near you, a brilliant performer playing with a great band too.

Check out my post about Jack's upcoming UK tour to see dates and more info here.

LISTEN: Charlie Fink - 'My Heartbeat Lost Its Rhythm'

Following my recent flurry of post-Noah & The Whale related posts, with solo projects from guitarist Fred Abbott and bassist Matt Owens, today comes news of the first solo offering from the band's frontman, Charlie Fink. The track, entitled My Heartbeat Lost Its Rhythm features Charlie's brother Doug Fink on drums. With his vocals and lyrics such a prominent feature of Noah's music, the track is naturally going to remind listeners of the band's work, but the sound showcases an extension or slight departure, whilst keeping the catchy charm of the band's music. The new track is certainly fun, though lyrically the opposite, and leaves positive promise of Fink's further solo work.

In other news, Fink is also composing the score for an Old Vic production of Dr Seuss's The Lorax, with more information about the production, and tickets, here.

You can download My Heartbeat Lost Its Rhythm and keep updated on upcoming music on Charlie's site here.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

GIG NEWS: Half Moon Run at Oslo Hackney (21st September 2015)

The past couple of days have been awash with brilliant news relating to some of my favourite artists and this evening is no exception. Canadian band Half Moon Run, have a new album coming later this year, the follow up to the stunning first record Dark Eyes. I've been wanting to see them live since first hearing them, and now (providing I get a ticket successfully) I'll be able to, as they've just announced an intimate show at Oslo Hackney on 21st September. If you need persuading that they're any good, check out this video of them performing track Call Me In The Afternoon in a session for BBC Radio 1.

TOUR NEWS: Jack Savoretti (October 2015)

Source: Jack Savoretti mailout.
The incredibly talented and charming singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti has this morning announced a UK tour for October of this year, taking in cities up and down the country and a huge show at London's Roundhouse on the 15th. The tour follows the release of Jack's fourth album, Written In Scars, earlier this year - one of my favourite records of the year and definitely worth a listen if you haven't already heard it. I'll be happy to finally see a gig of Jack's, though I was lucky earlier in the year to see Jack perform an instore at HMV Oxford Street, read my post about it here.

You can buy presale tickets for the tour here.

ALBUM NEWS: Spector - 'Moth Boys'

Following some teaser videos, indie-rockers Spector yesterday announced details of the follow up to their beautiful 2012 record, Enjoy It While It Lasts. The new record, entitled Moth Boys, is to be released through Fiction on 21st August 2015. Featuring a mix of previously released and unheard tracks, the track listing is as follows: 

All The Sad Young Men
Stay High
Don't Make Me Try
Cocktail Party/Heads Interlude
Bad Boyfriend
Decade Of Decay
Kyoto Garden
West End
Lately It's You

In support of the record, the band head out on a UK tour with support from from Bill Ryder Jones and Spring King. The band will be starting off in Bristol and taking in cities around the UK (luckily for me they're playing Oxford when I'm back there for university - will be great to finally get to see them live), with the tour culminating in a London show at Heaven. 

You can find out more info about the tour and pre-order Moth Boys through Spector's official site here.