Monday 30 January 2017

LIVE: Hudson Scott, Catgod and Coldredlight for IVW at The Cellar (28/1/17)

On Saturday night I attended my second gig of the year, a show for Independent Venue Week in one of Oxford's best indie venues, The Cellar, located underground down a little alley-way right in the centre of town. In the day, the venue hosted their first ever panel discussion, intriguingly entitled The Dos and Don'ts of Live Music, aimed at musicians, promoters and those with an interest in what is a pretty lively music scene here in Oxford. The speakers on the line-up (which you can find more about on the event for the discussion here) had a lot of really interesting things to say and the venue was rammed - perhaps helped by the fact they opened up the bar - it was lovely to have such a visual, physical reminder of all the great people who work in music or have an interest in it (I think I fit somewhere in the middle) around the city, a few of whom I've had the pleasure of meeting through Tigmus and Sofar Sounds.

After emerging from the venue whilst it was still light (a bizarre moment), I headed home for a bit, trekking back to the venue later in the night for their IVW gig, which was just as busy as the talk earlier in the day! Opening up the night were Coldredlight, a local female-fronted duo who I've been hearing about a lot recently but hadn't caught live yet. There was a lot of support for them in the room and an air of celebration as they had just released their new track Bloom, which you can listen to below!

Next up, one of my favourite local bands, Catgod took to the stage to carry on the party. The album launch for their wonderful debut record Ready When You Are was my last gig of 2016, and it feels as if they're just getting better and better as time passes. Cat and Evie deliver beautiful vocals and there's a really exciting and infectious energy as Robin, leading the band on bass and vocals, dances his way around the stage, whilst Henry and George, on guitar and drums respectively, offer impressive solos. I'm excited to hear that Catgod are supporting at an upcoming Tigmus show, Holly Redford Jones' EP launch at Fusion Arts on 18th Feb, and I highly recommend coming along if you can! I'd recommend a particular track but I'm a big fan of the whole record so I'll leave it below for you to do as you wish...

Finishing up the evening, Hudson Scott, who I'd seen supporting Foals back in November 2015... I remember really enjoying their set and being gutted that I couldn't find them on any social media (perhaps I wasn't looking well enough!) But all solved now - they've got a little three track EP up online (below) and recent release Panning For Gold is pretty fun too. Their set went down a treat - who doesn't love a trumpet solo?! The lead singer (who I think I'm right in saying *is* Hudson Scott... though I want to say that they're a band, and not a soloist with a backing band) has a pretty unique voice which sets the tunes apart, and on stage he reminded me a little of Ed Macfarlane of Friendly Fires (not that I've seen them live, personally, but what else is Youtube for?)

It was a great evening and a brilliant showcase of local talent, with a really lovely atmosphere, a feeling that we were all there to support local music. So that's it for this year's Independent Venue Week, but in truth, every week should be IVW! It's a little like the "a dog is for life, not just for Christmas" notion... if you don't want to see music venues closing, get out and listen to live music locally! 

Saturday 28 January 2017

LIVE: Sofar Sounds Oxford at The Ashmolean Museum (27/01/2017)

Yesterday was my first gig of the year, helping out with the Sofar stage at Oxford's Ashmolean and running the social media. I've been living in Oxford on and off since September 2014 but it's only the second time I've visited the museum, the first time being another Sofar show almost exactly two years ago, both shows being part of the museum's Live Friday events. This time the event was Linguamania, a celebration of languages, so we had four different acts who were all born elsewhere or grew up in another country, singing us tunes in various languages.

Josh Savage, Anna Zed, Count Drachma and The Fusion Project
First up, somebody who is no strange to Sofar, having set up Sofar Winchester and having played the most Sofar shows of anybody - I believe yesterday was his 49th. Josh Savage is in the midst of a living room tour at the moment, and shared some tracks in French as he grew up in Paris... check out his The Living Room Tour documentary below!

Next up was a set from Anna Zed, who was born in Athens and studied in the UK. She played with an electric guitar and sang in a mixture of Greek and English, and I really enjoyed her set, particularly the track Holiness - see a video from a London Sofar below!

Next up, Oli Steadman's project Count Drachma treat us to some Zulu Maskandi music. Oli actually set up Oxford Sofar a few years ago, and there's a video below of Count Drachma performing at a Sofar years ago with percussion, bass, and violin, but this time around there was Oli and a violinist. It's actually almost exactly a year since I started off my uni placement with Oli's company Tigmus who haven't been able to get rid of me since - the year has flown by!

Finishing up the night with a couple of sets for two separate audiences - there was a constant queue outside our gallery for the whole evening - Oxford's The Fusion Project. They fuse together Indian Classical music with Western music, performing their covers of Ed Sheeran and Adele tracks last night and performing in Arabic, Urdu, Hebrew, English (and probably more!) They sold out a Tigmus show at Oxford's Sheldonian Theatre last year and are doing so well for themselves at the moment, so it was lovely to catch them live again! Check out their most recent cover of The Chainsmokers' track Closer below.

Personally, my next gig is tonight at The Cellar in Oxford, an Independent Venue Week show with Hudson Scott (who I saw supporting Foals at the end of 2015), Catgod and Coldredlight - tickets for that here. The next Sofar Oxford in Feb is sold out, but there's a special show for International Women's Day on 8th March with a bunch of the best local female artists (apply for tickets here.)

Tuesday 24 January 2017

WATCH: King Charles - 'Find A Way'

It's flown by - it's been around a year since King Charles released his second record, the beautiful Gamble For A Rose, which Marcus Mumford produced and on which a bunch of brilliant musicians including Tom Hobden, Charlie Fink and Winston Marshall played. Towards the end of last year Charles toured pretty extensively across the US (and recently moved to NYC!) and released new track Find A Way during the tour - yesterday we were treated to a new video for the track featuring footage from the tour!

If you enjoyed the video, it's making me pretty reminiscent of the Ivory Road video, showcasing footage from Charles' previous US tour years ago with the Mumford guys. 

Sunday 22 January 2017

TOUR NEWS: Harry Pane (March-May 2017)

I first heard of Harry Pane through Tigmus last Summer, when he played a couple of hugely successful shows for us - I caught him play a set on his Coffee House Tour and was suitably impressed, so I'm excited that he's heading out on tour in a couple of months to support the release of his new EP. To get a taster of his last EP, here's a video from Sofar Sounds London of Cold Light Of Day - the whole Changing EP is pretty sublime though so do take a listen if you've got a little time to spare!

Harry plays the likes of London, Oxford, Winchester, Coventry, Cardiff, Birmingham and Brighton on his upcoming Wild Winds EP Tour - check out all the dates and grab tickets here!

WATCH: Biffy Clyro - 'Flammable'

They may have played a bunch of acoustic sessions and shows lately, bizarrely (for them) fully clothed, but in their new music video for Flammable, Biffy Clyro are back to their usual selves, having lost their shirts and rocking out at full volume. The track is one of the highlights of their recent record Ellipsis for me and this video is not at all disappointing, with the band playing inside a see through box as a bunch of pyrotechnics (is that the right word? Fireworks didn't feel like it did the video justice) are shot towards it... pretty spectacular stuff, and it seems they got out unscathed, phew!

In case you missed it, Biffy are up for Best British Group at the Brit Awards, see all the nominees here! While I'm on the topic, a bunch of artists are playing shows for the awards in a few weeks, including Jack Savoretti playing an intimate gig at Hoxton Hall - tickets for most shows have sold out but you can try your luck in a £5 ballot here.

Monday 16 January 2017

LISTEN: Johnny Flynn 'Raising The Dead'

The title of this post doesn't quite do justice to the excitement behind it... not only were we treated to a new Johnny Flynn track on Friday, but also details of his upcoming record Sillion which is going to be released on 24th March, and he's touring the UK with his band in March to support the release! I haven't caught Johnny live yet and the London show falls just after my dissertation deadline so it's certainly quite a temptation - I did see him in a play back in September 2015, Hangmen at Royal Court where he put in a stunning performance! Check out the track and then the tour dates at the bottom of the post...

Johnny Flynn plays Brighton, Leeds, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Bristol and London in March to support the release of Sillion - dates and tickets here

Friday 13 January 2017

LISTEN: Dan Croll 'Away From Today'

New Dan Croll! Woo! I forgot to actually post about the Communion Christmas show I went to in December (which was pretty incredible) where I caught Dan and his band for the second time in 2016, but the first proper set as the other was an acoustic set. Aside from a group of people in the crowd doing their best to ruin the end of the night for me, Dan's set was a bunch of fun and though I came pretty late to his music I'm pretty excited for this second track from his upcoming new record! Take a listen...

If you're enjoying the track, go and check Dan out live as he's touring, playing lots of new tracks in May including a show at London's Heaven. Tour dates and tickets are here!

Wednesday 11 January 2017

LISTEN: Seramic - 'I Got You'

Feel like I'm saying this more and more but another of my favourite discoveries of 2016 (hooray for new music!) was Seramic. It's the new project of Marcus Foster, and is incredibly funky and would make even the most dance-averted of us do a little jig when witnessing one of their shows! I caught them at the two Communion Christmas shows at the end of the year, and I am digging the Found EP tons and tons. Seriously, go listen. Then take another 3 minutes to listen to this new track I Got You,  which debuted yesterday. 

Enjoy? Go and see Seramic headline OMEARA in London on 1st March and have the time of your life! No supports announced yet but as it's a Communion show it's pretty likely to be somebody with a load of talent and not a show worth missing.

Sunday 8 January 2017

WATCH: The Invisible, Sivu and London Contemporary Voices - 'Life On Mars'

With it being David Bowie's birthday I reckon it's pretty timely to share this new session video recorded at In The Woods Festival last Summer. It's The Invisible, the totally incredible London Contemporary Voices choir and Sivu on lead vocals, covering Life On Mars. Get listening...

Sivu's debut record Something On High is one of my favourite albums of the last few years, so good that I had to get it on both CD and vinyl... he's been busy working on he second record and I'm pretty sure we should be hearing new music soon, the wait is almost over! For now if you haven't listened to Sivu before, check out the record, and the tons of sessions on Youtube, including a couple of my favourites, his performances of Cold Hands for Crypt Sessions and Sleep for Watch Listen Tell.

Friday 6 January 2017

LISTEN: Martin Luke Brown - '65 Roses'

Last November at Sofar Sounds in Oxford I made one of my favourite musical discoveries of the year, the mega talented and super lovely Martin Luke Brown (check his track Shadow and Light), who has debuted new track 65 Roses today.

It's a really beautiful and emotional track with just vocals and piano, about the loss of his ex-girlfriend to Cystic Fibrosis. Here are some words on the track from Martin...

Check out more tracks from Martin Luke Brown on Soundcloud and watch out for him when he's next touring... he's a really impressive live act!

Thursday 5 January 2017

LISTEN: Get Inuit - 'Barbiturates'

'We make dirty pop music and we come from Kent.' - that's how indie band Get Inuit describe themselves on their Facebook page. They toured last year with the likes of Spring King and VANT, and were tipped as one of Annie Mac's Ones To Watch for the year. I'm pretty sure I've actually only listened to their track My Oh My before as a friend went on tour with them and made a music video/tour video for the track, but yesterday I finally got round to listening to their new track Barbiturates (after it sitting in my inbox for a couple of weeks, shamefully!) 

A little Google search later and I can tell you that barbiturates are addictive drugs... and yep, I'm going there... the track is pretty addictive! Frontman Jamie Glass gives a really refreshing vocal performance, and from the energy of the couple of tracks I've heard I'm pretty keen to catch them live soon. They're actually playing in Oxford next month at one of my favourite venues, The Bullingdon, supporting Spring King on tour, but I'll be in Bristol seeing Busted that night. If you're in London, they're also playing a headline show at The Lexington, a lovely venue down the road from King's Cross on 25th Jan - I won't be back at uni so not sure I'll make it but sounds like it'll be a fun night!

Monday 2 January 2017

WATCH: Jack Savoretti 'Only You' on The Graham Norton Show

It may be a new year but I haven't quite changed the record and I'll be rambling on about how brilliant Jack Savoretti is for a while yet. Why not see for yourself (if you didn't catch it when it aired a couple of weeks ago) and watch his performance from the Graham Norton Show just before Christmas. He was on the show earlier in the year and performed a relatively new track at the time, Catapult, and the performance did just that and was certainly one of the factors which helped to propel him into another level of fame, leading to more touring, a re-release of the record and lots more adoring fans. It's pretty exciting that they asked him back, and the video below sees him performing Only You from the recent record Sleep No More with his incredible band!

If you like what you hear, here's another recently released video of Jack and his band playing the track at their Eventim Apollo show back in November. The more I think about it, the more I'm pretty certain the show was my favourite of the year (quite a claim..) and the video gives you just a flavour of what it was like to be part of Jack's biggest headline show yet! They kicked off the encore with this song, with the lights coming up and Jack appearing at the back of the stage on the piano - a lovely surprise! 

If you'd like to see Jack live, he and his band are touring the UK again in March, tickets and all the info here.

Sunday 1 January 2017

WATCH: Jack Garratt performs 'Weathered' for Mahogany

Happy New Year folks! It's been a while but now that the festive season is drawing to a close and I've got a month before uni starts up again, I'm going to try to post more regularly. For now, here's a treat for this dreary, drizzly Sunday morning, a stripped back Mahogany Session from Jack Garratt.

His debut record Phase was one of my favourite releases of 2016 (I can't bring myself to say "last year" just yet..) and I can't wait to see what he's got in store for us in 2017!