JAWS a Band With Bite!

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Indie Pop Rock band JAWS are definitely ones to watch. Hailing from Birmingham the band are clearly influenced by the B-Town scene, touring with other Birmingham based bands such as Peace.

The band are played the Institute in Birmingham on the 7th of March and I was lucky enough to see them at their London show at nightclub Heaven. They started off the show with an interesting entrance, coming onto the stage to ‘In Paris’ by Kanye West and Jay Z, hyping up the already energetic crowd.

The lights go dark and Donut plays; one of the bands first ever songs. The twang of guitars and happy-go-lucky tune is at odds with the self deprecating lyrics. Another classic from their first EP, Surround You has familiar aggressive synth driven beat causing the audience to chant the opening of the song, the chorus falls into dreamy indie at it’s finest with an underlying dance pop theme. From their album they played the single Swim, the start to the song can only be described as the sound of raindrops- if rain with a synth sound. The chilled vocals from Connor Schofield the bands frontman make this a perfect lazy day listen.

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Even though the bands debut album has been out for less than a year JAWS let us know they have been hard at work in the studio making new music, so much so that they then continued to play us not one but two new songs.

The first being Bad Company which sounded very unlike a typical JAWS song which confused the crowd momentarily as it was rather slow without their trademark synth sound. The second was Simplicity, very bass driven perfect easy listening music and had the crowd nodding and swaying in time.

To bring the end the night to an end JAWS played Be Slowly their album’s title song. It is even more furiously upbeat and guitar driven than previously heard tracks, with synth sounds taking a backseat for this one. The last song of the night was crowd favorite Gold a mix of hard-hitting guitars and building drumbeats turning the fans into a frenzied mass and almost knocking me down! The boundless energy from the audience and music alike make JAWS a band with an added bite.

Ed Sheeran Gig Review

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One-man band Ed Sheeran hit up the LG Arena in Birmingham three nights in a row from the 18th-20th of October. I was lucky enough to see him on his final Monday night appearance with folk and roll acoustics; turning the crowd into his very own “gospel choir” plus rapping skills even the likes of Jay Z would be impressed by.

The night kicked off with the first of two opening acts Jamie Lawson, relatively unknown Irish singer-song writer. His striped down acoustics and love related lyrics match those of Ed Sheerans even managing to get the crowd to sing along to the chorus of one of his songs ‘Dig A Little Deeper’. As the night went on the highly anticipated Saint Raymond aka Callum Burrows singer-songwriter and his band took center stage. His glittering indie pop rock sound mixed with catchy lyrics won the crowd over, having them sing along in minutes. This might have something to do with the fact Saint Raymond earlier that day came out to greet queuing fans and acoustically sing a few songs. The spanglely guitar sounds and ringing tingling drums in catchy chorus of the song ‘I Want You’ had the crowd thoroughly warmed up, just like a support act should do.

Then Ed Sheeran promptly appears on stage casual as ever opting to walk from side stage and immediately start playing ‘I’m A Mess’. Without any build up or overly compacted entrance Ed Sheeran continues to be his humble self later he explains this is his third and finial night playing the LG Arena and how privileged he felt. Particular highlights of the show were when Ed did an impressive mash up of his hit single ‘Don’t’, Chris Browns ‘Loyal’ and RnB classic ‘No Diggity’, managing to combine his love of RnB music with his own acoustic set. Ed also managed to get the crowd to put an arm in the air and bounce a hand up and down during the chorus of Bloodstream where he explained it’s “like the rappers do” and will “look really cool” which too his credit it did.

A sea of phone lights swarmed the arena during ‘A Team’ (undoubtedly his most famous song). Thus making all 14,000 of us look like little twinkling dots. Ed’s eyes misted over and smile graced his face letting everyone know how much of a special moment it was for him before stating that this was his last song before clarify ‘technically its not my last song, I have two more but pretend it is’ then walked off stage to await an encore.

A stamping of feet and screaming fangirls lead to Ed’s reappearance. Strolling on to center stage with ‘You Need Me I Don’t Need You’ showing off his rapping prowess and the crowd impressively matching him word for word. The night ended with Ed Sheeran’s first number 1 ‘Sing’ where he instructed the crowd “do not stop singing” and to “scream it out”, which they did. The infectious chorus had people singing long after the show ended proving that Ed Sheeran even though seemingly plain on exterior can really put on a spectacular show with just his raw talent.

McBusted Gig Review

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On the 2nd of May at the LG Arena Birmingham self titled super group McBusted performed to a sold out venue full of people from all walks of life. This was surely the most eclectic group of people I had seen at one gig in a long while, from little kids from as you as 7 to middle aged mums to you’re average barely teenager like myself seeking to relive a bit of their childhood. The extended band brought us all together for one last hurrah for Busted with a helping hand from Mcfly.

A weird combination? Think again actually both bands are weirdly intertwined Tom Flectcher lead vocalist from Mcfly was briefly the fourth member of Busted in 2001. But just two days later, the band made the decision to be a trio and gave Tom the boot. As we know not all was lost for Tom as he found his current Mcfly band mates; Dougie Poynter, Harry Judd and Danny Jones. The Mcfly boys also opened for Busted back in 2004 so really their bands have been intertwined long before Mcbusted became a reality. All the original members agreed to take part in the venture apart from Busted front man Charlie Simpson who is focusing on a solo career. 

The show gets underway with a short video on screen showing a mock up on the two remaining Busted stars Matt Willis and James Bourn announcing Busted’s split and deciding to go back in time to stop that from happening in turn meaning Mcfly never exist and the four lads careers lose focus (are you still with me??). Long story short going back in time means you need a time machine in the form of the car from Year 3000 undoubtedly Busted’s biggest hit. Matt and James fly on the stage in said car and 2394506 smoke machines causing the crowd to go crazy followed by the Mcfly boys to popping up from the stage.

The show was lively and fee good with an interesting stage setup meaning some lucky fans were positioned literally in the middle of the act called my ‘OMG zone’ and honestly I would be screaming OMG too if Danny repeatedly spat water on me!

All the classic Busted and Mcfly songs were played including ‘Glad I Crashed The Wedding’ featuring Matt Willis in a very fetching wedding dress and Star Girl featuring a massive floating UFO they band performed on. The lads seemed like genuine friends, buddies just enjoying their job and mucking about in the process it was really lovely to see. The few touching moments came from James Bourn’s solo rendition of Sleeping With The Light on which had the whole audience doing the modern day version of putting a lighter in the air aka turning your iphone on torch mode and sway your arms.

The show ended with the song everyone had been waiting for Year 3000 and Im sure making childhood dreams were fufilled that night with laughs and even more laughs from the superest of groups McBusted!

Gig review: The 1975 live in Brixton

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On their last London date of they’re sold out tour The 1975 have come along way from being just four teenagers playing in punk bands in Macclesfield. They themselves were virtually unknown for 10 years; until their smash hit Chocolate hit the airwaves soon followed by a number one album. Currently on the biggest tour of their lives the lads had to give the dedicated fans what they were asking for.

The show kicks off with the first of the warm up arts Wild Cub from Nashville. These lads were eager to please the crowd on their first ever show in London. Their sound was similar to those of Phoenix and with a small mix of The Naked and Famous; very euphoric sounding. They managed to get the crowd moving and clapping to the beat especially during their song Thunder Clatter. Altogether a great warm up act that did exactly what it said on the tin. The second warm up act to hit the stage in the form of  Wolf Alice who weren’t as skilled at getting the crowd moving. This could be to do with the more haunting songs played leaving the crowd slightly more impatient for who they really wanted to see.

The room goes silent as it fills with smoke from what seemed like fifty smoke machines and five recognisable light boxes start to glow. Members come on framed by their light boxes and the soft music begins to build the crowd await front man Matty Healy’s appearance. He appears and the crowd are electric.  Dressed head-to-toe in signature black but carrying with him a half empty bottle of red wine. Matty kicks off the show with The City which featured on one of their very first EPs also on the debut album. The heavy drumbeat worked the fans up into an immediate frenzy singing the words right back. This followed six other songs mixing between older EP classics such as Milk and Heads.Cars.Bending to the newly heard material such as M.O.N.E.Y and Talk!

An Encounter plays a hauntingly beautiful melody while the bands gather themselves for the next part of the show. Hitting us with 7 songs already where other artists would call it a day The 1975 came back with Settle Down a crowd favourite as the audience were bobbing, swaying and full on dancing to the pop rock beat plus the band themselves getting into the rhythm. Doing their signature moves with Matty taking the lead with headbands, hair flips and attempted acrobatics on George’s drum kit into the next two songs before things start to slow.

Still necking from his bottle of wine and even passing some to George who skilfully takes a swig while managing to play the drums in time the song Me begins. It is a new addition to their set list and is rarely heard, the crowd a in a daze hypnotised by the sounds. These were closely followed my two more memorising performances of Is There Someone Who Can Watch You, Fallingforyou and You tears were defiantly flowing.

HNSCC another lyric less track plays and the light dim even lower. When the lights return lead Matty is nowhere to be seen and the bringing of Menswear is in full swing as though the band aren’t aware of Matty’s disappearing act. After a good minuet of confusion there seems to be a disturbance up on the balcony section. Very few people turn to see what was happening but then the song starts up and Matty’s voice kicks in. Heads snap left and right trying to find him then spot him on the balcony looking down at the crowd below singing Menswear and the crowd singing right back. Security looked a bit more than shell shocked watching Matty weave into the balcony crowd and stop to take a few photos here and there all while singing on good form.

Running back to the stage below a little out of breath their newest single and another crowd favourite Girls was next on the list. As Matty served the crowd he noted that most in the audience were girls and that “we wrote a song about you” queue the screaming girls.

They finished with their most popular and well-known songs that put them on the map and made everyone stand up and take notice. The crowd scream the lyrics back and Matty comes down to crowd level touching hands and causing hysteria. The last song of the night was Sex the most rock influenced of their songs, heavily driven by electric guitar courtesy of Adam. To end with a bang the climax of the song was received with more smoke effect and the clear white lights throughout the show now become red. The band become more and more lively and animated with the crowds following suit giving it all they got for the last song on the night after playing an monstrous 21 songs in one night.

Gig review; Lawson- Everywhere We Go tour

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A week ago on the 12th of October I was lucky enough to attend Lawson’s Everywhere We Go tour at the London Roundhouse. The lovely lads: Adam on drums, Ryan on bass, Joel on lead guitar and Andy on guitar/lead vocals rocked their much-anticipated London show at the famous venue with so much energy I could of sworn they were glowing.

Naturally I didn’t want to be at the back of the venue, as I am not gifted with exceptional height queuing 6 hours before show time was my only option. The icy October wind mixed with the fact reams of people deciding to queue before me had me rather irritated and more than a bit chilly headed into the venue around 7:15pm. At this point I just was not in the best mood and just wanted to see Lawson not the one but two warm up acts still to come.  Managing to land slap bang in the middle if the venue around 5 rows in my mood was lifted slightly and the show began.

Kicking off the show was the oddly named band Paighton with lead singer Joe Atkinson charming the crowed with his dry wit and love of music. I was already won over by the band after the first song, switching gears from ‘I just want Lawson’ to ‘Wow I think I’ll get tickets to their own show’ in a matter of minutes. Hats off to the boys I would say I am a rather critical person and to win me over is a difficult job indeed. Finishing with their single ‘Drive’, which is a steal on itunes for the price of 75p (I should know I brought it) they made way for the second warm up act Room 94.

Paighton had completely brightened my mood and through to myself that the next band up would have a lot to live up to. Surprisingly enough a lot of the crowd knew who Room 94 were already and were greeted warming with many people in the crowd signing along to their songs. However they reminded me of all too many bands I had seen before but managed to win me over slightly by performing Kiss You by One Direction a well know song to get the crowd really moving.

After Room 94 left the stage the time was nearing when I would be graced with Lawson’s presents. I had thoroughly enjoyed the opening acts to the point were if I were to be sent home at this point I wouldn’t even have minded- the mood was electric and to add to that we’d somehow managed to move even further up the stage to 3rd row.

The lights dimmed and the curtain dropped. Lawson appeared accompanied by an infectious drumbeat and screaming teenage girls. They kicked off the show with their new single Juliet a rocky and energetic tune really got the crowd going, singing word for word even before the song was released at midnight that night. Following this were some classics from their album Chapman Square; Taking Over Me with the signature ‘oooooh’ (a favourite of mine; my summer of 2012 anthem actually).

Another of my favourite moments of the tour was actually the new songs the boys played from their reloaded version of the album Chapman Square; Chapman Square part 2.  The song Love Locked Out had a real retro feel with some old cool soul mixed in with heavy bass courtesy of Ryan Fletcher really got the crowd feeling the beat with heads bobbing and hips moving sounding very Justin Timberlake, this tune in particular really showed off the bands skill as musicians as they were each introduced by front man Andy and given a moment in the spotlight to show us what they were made of with killer bass, guitar and drum solos not to mention Andy’s amazing vocal adlibs and uncanny ability to hype up the crowd and get them to sing along to songs they’d never been heard before. Moving on to another new song that lads performed, Parachute had drummer Adam standing at the very top of the stage for a nice change with a two electric drums to give a real boom effect when preforming. The song was an epic, I could picture it in an action movie soundtrack for the finial battle scene, very dramatic almost hypnotic also tribal sounding as the crowed bobbed along to the heavy drumbeat.

An emotional part of the was show had Ryan, Joel and Adam exit the stage to leave Andy and a lone guitar to sing an acoustic of The Girl I Knew but before the intimate performance we were given an incite into what this song really means to Andy himself really opening up and letting us the audience in- I’ll admit I did well up a bit!

After a well deserved encore the lovely lads came back to sing tour titled song Everywhere You Go along with other hit singles including Brokenhearted in which the band took part in their first collaboration with rap artist B.O.B who didn’t join the band on stage but instead Andy took it upon himself to infuse a little urban twist into the song as B.O.B’s rap solo kicked in with signature rap motions and his incredible vocal adlib ability the crowed again sang along no missing a beat.

To end what must have been one of the best concerts of my life the guys presented us with one of their very first songs they had released Standing In The Dark. The light fell dimly leaving us with their silhouettes and the remnants of smoke signify the end. Andy broke the ominous silence with his acoustic chant the crowd repeated after him, building up each time with more and more feeling as we all knew this would be the finial song- the ending of something very special that only the people who were there will really understand.  As soon as the chant reaches its climax the crowd is emotional and ready for the last song. The band starts up in a frenzy and the crowd cheer and sing word for word giving as much as Lawson themselves gave.

Overall I would more than anything like to thank Lawson for putting so much thought and effort into their show. You could tell from their small and humble speeches how much-the roundhouse especially, meant to them as they reminisced about their small beginnings. You could really see them appreciate what us as an audience to see them and we enjoy what they love doing and I think at the end of the day what music should be about.

Reflection;

One of my passions is music and another is writing so writing about music seemed like a good thing to do. I wanted to write about this concert as it happened recently and turned out to be one of the best I’d ever attended. I prepare this piece I read a gig review about Two Door Cinema recent London show. I found that it was surprisingly more personal than I originally thought a review should be but liked that it was. I tried to order the piece chronologically so it was easier to follow and more realistic so people could envisage themselves there too as I wanted to share the experience not gloat about it. Watching videos I’d recorded at the show prompted my memory when writing also.