The Heart and The Heart at Latitude Festival- Live Review

Festivals, Live Reviews, Music Reviews

With festival season well underway, Latitude came upon us promising a weekend in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nothing other than woodlands, pink sheep and lots of good music.

Heading down to the BBC Music Stage on the Saturday were the folk pop creatives, The Head and The Heart. After having a break to fulfil other motives they came back with their latest release Signs of Light which is a compilation of all the inspiration found during their time apart.

The crowd that gathered for their set was a mass of all ages from the front to the back, all ready to wave and sway to the uplifting yet appeasing set. They definitely received back every ounce of energy they were giving out, in particular the raw emotion coming from vocalist Jonathan Russell who was clearly loving every moment just as much as us. Of course a popular favourite was “All We Ever Knew” which with its call and response vibe allowed even complete novices to feel a part of the community within the evasion they created away from the main stage.

A set full of songs came to an end only too soon with a whole array of applause from everyone there who were now feeling re-energised and prepared to go back to the craziness of the festival. Their time in the UK was all too short but I have no doubt that they will be back for us after they’ve taken over America later this year.

 

Words by: Louise Tindall

Photography by: Louise Tindall

[PREVIEW] JUDAS AND LITTLE GRIM @ UCA, EPSOM

Features

JUDAS are a four piece from London who have already nailed the stadium rock sound despite only having one EP under their belt. For evidence of this look no further than the surging guitars in the euphoric track Sister or the crashing percussion in the anthemic Call Me. They play UCA at the start of a string of UK dates which sees the band visit Camden’s Barfly before the end of the month and Liverpool and Sheffield in February. Hopefully their recently uploaded, poignant and heartfelt cover of David Bowie’s Let’s Dance makes an appearance too.

Support on the night comes from local boys Little Grim. The four piece formed in 2013 and have been making beautifully bruising and bass heavy songs ever since. It’s a sound that has been getting them noticed a lot recently and the band have featured on various music blogs and performed a live session for The Clubhouse as a result.

Catch both bands at UCA Epsom’s SU on 22nd January.

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Words by Shannon Cotton

[LIVE REVIEW] CARLY RAE JEPSEN @ ISLINGTON ASSEMBLY HALL, LONDON – 07/12/2015

Live Reviews

Carly Rae Jepsen has had one hell of a year. The album E MO TION remains one of 2015’s most interesting success stories, purely because of how unsuccessful it was, yet how amazing it really is as a body of work. No one bought this album, yet this album has made nearly every end “Best of….” from the likes of Rolling Stone to TIME magazine. If one things for definite, this cult following that Jepsen has gathered in this past year are loyal and she knows that, so she brought this album to the UK for her first ever headlinE UK show.

Before Jepsen took to the stage, the fans were treated to a quick opening set from rising musician HUNTAR, who delivered a production heavy performance that left the crowd cheering and pumped for what was about to happen. After a quick 30 minute wait and stage setup, it was time for Jepsen to hit the stage. Who knew that one saxophone could cause such loud screams from an excited audience.

Run Away With Me – the smash that never was – was the song to open this 80’s pop evening and what a choice to open a show. This collection of dedicated fans were left spinning and dancing with each other chanting away to the infectious chorus and it really set the tone for the rest of the night, it was going to be a fun evening. She then burned through a few more tracks – both new and old – from the likes of the title track to the Owl City collaboration and summer classic from years ago, Good Times.

Boy Problems was a stand out of the night, with Jepsen sounding on point, having fun with her also on point backing vocalists. The crowd yelling “I think I broke up with my boyfriend today, but I don’t really care” at each other was such a euphoric moment and ironically you could feel the love in the room. This was also the case for new single Your Type, the energy in the room from not just Jepsen, but from the love the crowd was giving off – it was such a surreal moment.

Towards the end of the set she toned it down with songs like Favourite Colour and a stripped down version of a track from her previous album Kiss, Curiosity, which saw Jepsen seek audience participation leaving a nice forwards and back action with both Jepsen and the crowd.

Closing the show however was back to back pop classics, starting with the forever infamous and most digitally downloaded song of all time, Call Me Maybe. This song live is the definition of fun, with on point vocals and an energy as powerful as the crowd and band combined – and the glitter ball hanging high in the air – it’s just a high energy ball of fun.

When you think it’s over, she closes the show out with I Really Like You and what a way it was the close the show. A fan also threw a Christmas hat on stage, which I guess makes up for the lack of her newly released Christmas cover on the stage.

Needless to say though Carly knows how to put on a show and hopefully it wont be too long until Jepsen is gracing English soil yet again.

Words and photo by Connor Spilsbury-Brown

[LIVE REVIEW] THE VACCINES @ BRIXTON ACADEMY, LONDON – 26/11/2015

Live Reviews

The Vaccines are the juggernauts of the British indie rock genre. They released their first album, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? back in 2011 and, after gaining overwhelming success at a rapid rate, second record Come Of Age followed shortly after in 2012. A brief EP appeared in 2013, but since then the quartet have been mainly under the radar, taking a break before recording new material in New York.

The band are three albums deep now and this is their third appearance at Brixton this week on a nationwide UK tour in support of their latest LP English Graffiti. Tonight is in fact their tenth appearance at the South London venue in their career as lead singer Justin Hayward-Young informs the crowd during his first interaction, and it’s an evident sentiment as the band take to the stage like they own it.

Opening with English Graffiti’s lead single Handsome, the band storm the venue with the vibrant energy that has been there since day one, with Hayward-Young reciting the ballsy lyrics: “Lonely, bored and bad thank God I’m handsome.”

Continuing straight into Teenage Icon the London band showcase the electrifying and infectious guitar riffs which have propelled them all along.

There is a healthy amount of tracks from the four-piece’s first two records in tonight’s set, with album tracks like Wetsuit, Wolf Pack and Bad Mood proving to be immediate hits with the Brixton crowd. While third album tracks like Dream Lover and 20/20 get just as much of an enthusiastic reaction as original singles Post Break-Up Sex and If You Wanna.

As the band depart from the stage, their frontman returns shortly with just a bright, white acoustic guitar for a slower, solo rendition of No Hope.

After a frenzied and faultless performance of We’re Happening, the four-piece charge into their final track, Norgaard. The audience erupts with flailing limbs everywhere as confetti streams out from either side of the stage. It’s the perfect end to the show and a perfect end to three nights at one of London’s most prestigious venues.

Words and photo by Shannon Cotton

[LIVE REVIEW] CATFISH & THE BOTTLEMEN @ BRIXTON ACADEMY, LONDON – 06/11/2015

Live Reviews

From the ticket wielding fans at Brixton station to the merch-clad teens milling around outside the venue, there is no getting away from the exciting atmosphere surrounding Catfish & The Bottlemen’s first of two sell out shows at Brixton Academy.

They’ve had a meteoric rise to success over the past two years after grafting away since their early teens, and the release of the four-piece’s debut album The Balcony propelled them into the mainstream.

Tonight is the seventh night on a mammoth 12 date, sell out tour sweeping the UK and is no doubt another milestone achievement for the quartet.

Opening with Rango, the band set the pace for the rest of the energetic and atmospheric evening. It’s the perfect beginning to the Catfish story – a song about escaping from a mundane life to pursue your dreams of being in a successful band, (“As soon as I get out of here I plan on coming back for nothing, but then again there’s you.”) They then proceed to spend the next hour proving just why they are so remarkable.

Segueing straight into Pacifier, at only two tracks in, the vibe in the room is electrifying. Swiftly moving onto Sidewinder, it’s just as sultry as ever with frontman Van McCann purring “I want to endorse you, I want you to exhaust me.”

Over the course of the evening every track from The Balcony is played, with each one receiving an overwhelming sing-a-long. This is understandable with tracks like Kathleen and Fallout with their stadium rock sound and blistering guitar riffs which helped the band break through, but even Business and 26 gather just as much crowd participation, with the whole room shouting: “All your friends they can fucking do one, I’ve had a rough night.”

7 is the only new song to make an appearance in the 12 track set. It’s the first time that McCann puts his guitar down, instead opting to stalk the stage while howling: “I’d beg you, but you know I’m never home, I love you but I need another year alone.”

The climax of The Balcony and the climax of this evening is Tyrants. The pulsating drum beat is a slow builder before exhilarating riffs tear through the entirety of the Brixton venue.

Catfish & The Bottlemen’s songs have always been anthemic with a sound big enough to fill stadiums, now it seems the band are closer than ever to reaching that potential.

Words and photo by Shannon Cotton

[LIVE REVIEW] SUNDARA KARMA @ THE MACBETH, HOXTON, LONDON – 05/11/2015

Live Reviews

For the third and final night of the Community LDN Festival, Hoxton’s Macbeth venue has been taken over by Killing Moon. The all-round musical company has curated the stellar line-up for tonight’s show as part of the East London-based new music festival, which includes Beach Baby, Pale Honey and Vitamin with indie pop princes Sundara Karma on headlining duties.

Storming through set opener Freshbloom, the Reading band prove instantly why they been gaining success at a rapid rate this year. Back in February EPI (which featured Freshbloom) was released and since then the band have signed to Chess Club Records and released another EP – with an album expected to follow next year.

Older songs like Indigo Puff and Hustle make an appearance too. The former is smooth sounding with unmistakeable transcendent lyrics and alluring basslines courtesy of Dominic Cordell, while the latter sees frontman Oscar Lulu stalk the stage, mic in hand, as he delivers quite possibly the line of the decade: “I should have known right from the start, you’re the devil in a push up bra.”

Recent single Flame proves to be one of the biggest hits with the Hoxton crowd, and it’s a track which has had many live appearances with the band’s latest run of support slots with The Wombats and Circa Waves.

Tonight’s set also sees the inclusion of three out of four tracks from EPII. Vivienne is anthemic and relatable to the majority of tonight’s audience (“Wild eyes, skinny jeans, disengaged at just nineteen”) and Run Away is a youthful pursuit of escapism set to poppy guitar riffs. While Diamond Cutter, which Lulu describes as a “very personal song” is emotionally charged and vulnerable with soaring riffs and the thought provoking lyrics: “It wasn’t til I was cut that I could shine.”

Closer Loveblood makes this East London venue feel like a stadium. With roaring riffs and frenzied percussion, it’s a relief to hear that this is the sonic route the Reading natives are looking to take when it comes to crafting their debut album.

The full capacity crowd erupts into rapturous applause and cheers as the quartet leave the stage and, with a name meaning beautiful karma, it’s clear to see that these sundara charmers have the whole of The Macbeth in the palms of their hands.

Listen to Run Away below:

Words and photo by Shannon Cotton

[LIVE REVIEW] RAT BOY @ HOXTON SQUARE BAR & KITCHEN, LONDON – 03/11/2015

Live Reviews

It’s the first night of the Community LDN Festival, an event which has been organised by the Reading and Leeds big bosses Festival Republic. It takes place in various venues across East London and tonight Hoxton’s Square Bar & Kitchen is headlined by Chelmsford’s very own RAT BOY. The Essex native has built up an impressive following on social media, and after scanning the room it appears that following has transpired IRL too.

At just nineteen Jordan Cardy – who performs alongside his band under his rodential pseudonym – is no stranger to the live scene. After spending the majority of the year on the road supporting bands like Circa Waves, he embarked on his first headline tour, as well as a summer full of festivals.

The set begins with a selection of tracks from Cardy’s first two mixtapes. Knock Knock Knock, from the Neighbourhood Watch release, is frenzied and fierce with spiralling guitar riffs and blazing percussion while Sportswear, from the first mixtape, is one of the rare more mellow moments of the evening as tales are told of “Ed Hardy jeans and broken dreams.”

Midway through the set comes most recent B-side Wasteman. The song is filled with brassy samples to match the brassy exterior of Cardy and the lyrics he relays appear very relatable to the young but not disengaged audience: “Living in the modern day class war, the rich are getting richer, the poor are staying poor.”

Fellow B-side Left 4 Dead also gathers a massive crowd reaction as about twenty teenagers, dressed like extras from This Is England 90, mosh to the humorously honest lyrics: “I’ve just got to nip up the Co-op, it’s just down the road, I think they’ve got a working cash machine.”

Unemployment anthem Sign On is the penultimate track in the set, with the now trademark line: “Young, dumb, living off Mum, waiting for the right time to come” and some unmistakeable and seriously infectious guitar riffs.

Fake I.D. ends the gig and is in close competition with Sign On for the loudest crowd reaction. Lyrics like: “Where’s your iPhone 6? I ain’t stealing this shit” show that RAT BOY isn’t the most serious musician – although you only need to take a glance at his Twitter feed to establish that – but also that he knows what it’s like growing up in Britain at the moment, because he’s doing it too.

After witnessing the crowd adoration this evening, there’s no denying that Jordan Cardy’s voice is at the forefront of his generation, you only have to see the masses of teenagers hanging off of his every word to believe it.

Watch the video for Fake I.D. below:

Words and photo by Shannon Cotton