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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Spyres

Scottish band Spyres haven't been a band (in their current form) for very long but they have been doing incredibly well. If you haven't already, you need to hear them! 

I spoke to Jude from the band to find out a little bit more about them.



How are you?
Jude (Spyres): Good.


Can you tell me how you started as a band?
Jude (Spyres): It was actually just Emily and Keira [as an acoustic duo]. They got me and Alex to make it a fuller band, that was about February.

Can you tell me about your latest single 'Otherside'? [It's also their debut single.]
Jude (Spyres): 'Otherside' was actually written by Keira, about this younger generation. Quite a lot of people can relate to it. 

How does it feel to get played on Radio 1?
Jude (Spyres): It feels ureal, it's mad actually. It's mad. We're been Track of the Week on Radio X and Radio 1's Indie Show. Complete madness. [We've been supported by] different local radio stations.


Who are your musical influences?
Jude (Spyres): Wolf Alice, Courtney Barnett, Sonic Youth. Also female acts. We feel that maybe female acts aren't really [represented in the music industry]. We look up to them.

Do you have any live shows coming up?
Jude (Spyres): We' [supported] The Dunts [last Saturday] at The Garage, which sold out. We've got a Hopscotch gig on January 24, which is run by Jack Saunders. Our first headliner is on 17th Jan 2020. Tickets are already running out.  

What's next for you?
Jude (Spyres): We've got the gigs. Ne single coming out on Jan 24 called 'Fake ID' about being young, from a young band's perspective.



EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The Roly Mo

You may have heard achingly cool band The Roly Mo's new single 'I'll Be Happy When You Die' on Radio 1's Indie Show with Jack Saunders. It's where they first caught my eye (ear?).

I had a chat with the Joe, Jack and Lewis from the promising Glasgow band to find out more about them and their love of The Spice Girls.




How are you?
TRM: Good.

Can you tell me about how you started as a band?
TRM: We basically met each other mutually. We met at a festival (T in the Park). We got talking and that was it.

Can you tell me about your latest single ('I'll Be Happy When You Die')?
TRM: We don't really know what it's about. We wanted to grab people's attention. It's not as cold as it sounds to be honest.

How does it feel to get played on Radio 1?
TRM: Kinda surreal. We were sitting waiting for it to happen. It was more nerve-wracking than any gig [but now we're] absolutely buzzing.

Who are your musical influences?
TRM: For all of us, it's all quite different. We all bonded over The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys. Also, the Glasgow scene gave us a lot of drive, like The Dunts. The Spice Girls are brilliant.


Do you have any live shows coming up?
TRM: We [played] with The Dunts at The Garage [last Saturday]. It sold out. We've got a surprise coming up in the new year. 

What's next for you?
TRM: We've got an EP coming out next year, around summer time. [And] gigging all over the place.




EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: CHILDCARE

CHILDCARE are one of my favourite bands (and they should be yours too).

They're one of the best live acts I've ever seen and, it just so happens, they're currently on The Sabi Tour. They've been touring Coventry, York and Liverpool (among others) and play Leicester's The Cookie tomorrow night (12/12/09).

They're also playing a massive show at London's Scala on the 17th December.

Photo: @CHILDCAREBAND (Twitter)

I caught up with frontman Ed to talk all things touring.

How are you? 
ED: All fine. Having a good time on tour.

How is The Sabi tour going?
ED: Yeah, fun.

Are you excited for the Leicester show?
ED: Yeah, absolutely. I think we all had a good time playing there before [during Handmade Festival]. We liked [The Cookie] with the low ceilings.

Which tracks should people listen to first, if they're not familiar with CHILDCARE?
ED: Sugarcane's a good one. It's very accessible and fun. It captures some of the spirit of what we're about.

What was it like supporting Bastille on tour?
ED: Fun. We only really did one date unless you mean back in [2016]?

How was it recording a session at the Maida Vale studios?
ED: Really, really enjoyed that but it was hard work too. We had to really concentrate.

Who are your musical influences?
ED: Some of our favourite bands are The Pixies and Radiohead.

What's next for you?
ED: We've got another tour, which we're going to announce soon. We're doing second album demos.




LIVE Review: Razorlight @ O2 Academy Leicester - 6.12.19

Razorlight had been away for a decade but they made a triumphant return at Leicester's O2 Academy last Friday - complete with black skinny jeans and long hair. 




They had support from Indian Queens.

Razorlight started their set with 'Back To The Start' before playing nostalgic anthems like 'In The Morning', 'Golden Touch' and 'Somewhere Else'. 

They came back on stage for a 3-song encore, finishing with 'America'. 

They also played songs from their latest album 'Olympus Sleeping'.

The entire band and crowd had so much energy during the set. The crowd were jumping up and down. The band were jumping up and down. Everybody was having fun! 

Frontman Johnny's vocals were distinctive while playing familiar songs from our teens. The newer songs sounded great too. 

Around halfway through, Johnny takes his jacket off to allow him to move more freely and continue the enthusiastic performance. He wasn't very chatty during the show, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It meant he was focused on the performance. 

The entire night was fantastic and loads of fun; a great time to be a Razorlight fan. 

The band are also playing Margate, Oxford and London on this tour.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Eliza Shaddad

Eliza Shaddad is BAE. There, I've said it. Her voice is stunning, her songs are gorgeous, she's amazing live...And I was lucky enough to speak to her recently about the new music she is releasing. (Can you imagine how hard it was for me not to fangirl?)




We started off by speaking about Eliza's current single; the confessional 'Girls' and the inspiration behind the track. "'Girls' was written about an old friend and we went to an all girl's school together. [It is about] a friend feeling lost and trying to help them overcome that." 

'Girls' is such a deeply emotional song and it is true that Eliza's songwriting follows this trend. "I struggle to finish a song unless it feels honest and personal," she told me. This leads to many unfinished songs and sometimes a slow process but she says, "It's the only way I can write really".

"'Girls' was the first single from [an upcoming] EP. There is new music later this week and a new album." All this talk of new releases is very exciting. In fact, 'One Last Embrace' is getting it's debut on John Kennedy's Radio X show tonight (so check it out). 

Eliza recently played a show at Pop Brixton and described it as "Brilliant, sold out, cold" and also "emotional". It's also where the music video for 'Girls' was shot. She also said, "Luckily, it was really vibe-y". 

If you'd like to see Eliza play live, you're in luck because she has announced a March 2020 UK tour, for which she is "very [excited]". One of the venues she is playing in March is London's Scala and she appreciates how it is "dear to people's hearts".

See Eliza Shaddad live at the following dates:
9 Bristol Crofters Rights
10 Birmingham The Cuban Embassy
11 Manchester The Eagle Inn
12 Glasgow The Hug & Pint
17 Brighton The Hope and Ruin
19 London The Scala




LIVE Review: Bastille @ Warwick Arts Theatre, Coventry - 29.11.19

To celebrate the release of their third album, 'Doom Days', Bastille are currently on their 'Doom Days Club Nights' tour. The tour takes place across locations like Coventry and Bradford where the band don't usually get to play. The shows are quite intimate too.

With Coventry being less than an hour away from me, I couldn't *not* go...and I'm so glad I did!

Credit: @bastilledan Twitter


There wasn't a support act, unless you count Bastille (but more on that later). To start, there was a DJ set and it was amazing. They played upbeat tracks from the 90's and were basically songs I grew up listening to, like Madonna, for example. It was so much fun.

Then it was time for Bastille to grace the stage. They began their set with 'Quarter Past Midnight' (my favourite) and played the album in its entirely. Dan was jumping around and was as energetic as ever, which is always nice to see. Charlie's vocals could be heard more than in the album, which was also great. 

The lighting and production was all well thought out so that the songs sounded slightly different, which was appreciated. For example, I think it was during 'Doom Days' that Dan's voice was autotuned. I personally didn't love that but it's great to see that they put effort into their performances. 

During '4AM', Dan went into the crowd, which was a nice moment. He was really good at interacting with the audience throughout the show.

The band then left the stage and when they returned, we saw that Chaos Planet were also back (Chaos Planet are basically Bastille's alter egos). 

They opened their set with a cover of 'Can't Fight This Feeling' but a rock-ier version than from the John Lewis Christmas ad. They then performed a new song 'Admit Defeat' (I believe for the very first time) and announced that a deluxe version of the 'Doom Days' album would be released soon (Friday, in fact). 

'Happier' raised loads of cheers but not as many as 'Pompeii' which they ended on.

It was a really enjoyable night and one of the best shows Bastille has put on. 

SINGLE REVIEW: 'Boots' - Greyson Chance

'Boots' by singer-songwriter Greyson Chance is a playful track, written from an interesting perspective, “’Boots’ at its core, is a narrative addressing pop culture’s current usage of Western imagery. When I was writing the song, I found myself imagining what Johnny Cash would be like if he were around and making music in 2019. I thought about what he would wear, how he would act, and what he would write about. My conclusion was that it all would look and feel considerably different than these stars wearing cowboy hats these days. Being from Oklahoma, I understand that being ‘Western’ isn’t all about the style, it’s about an attitude, an obsessive loyalty and an unwavering wildness. ‘Boots’ is truly just an observation of what I see in pop culture currently, and what I think about it.”

'Boots' is a confident and catchy pop track.



Oklahoma's Greyson has just finished the 'portraits' World Tour. 


SINGLE Review: 'The Prey' - Nowhere To Be Found

'The Prey' is the brand new single from alternative four piece Nowhere To Be Found.

'The Prey' has had support from Planet Rock and Amazing Radio.

The track showcases a heavier sound for the band, especially compared to their previous releases.



The band are also being featured on CBS show 'Sounds of the Underground'.

"The prey in me will be the death of you," lead singer Tiago Duarte growls.

It’s a song about limits, about frustration, about being fed up. “Sometimes you're just doing your own thing, living your own life, minding your own business, and these things/forces/people just get in your way, and try to change you. And usually that's when you become dangerous, when the prey becomes the hunter,” says lyricist Tiago.

If you're a fan of bands like Bring Me The Horizon, this could be for you. 


NEWS: Wombats join Neighbourhood Weekender Line-Up

As if I haven't been posting enough about The Wombats already (see my previous post), they've been announced as Very Special Guests at May 2020's Neighbourhood Weekender.

Photo credit: NME.com


This is very exciting news and they join an amazing line-up: headliners Ian Brown and Catfish and the Bottlemen, as well as Sam Fender, Miles Kane and Sundara Karma to name a few.

Neighbourhood Weekender is on 23rd and 24th May 2020, with The Wombats playing on the Sunday.

Tickets are on sale as of this morning, from www.nbhdweekender.com (go, go, go!).

NEWS: Love Fame Tragedy Announces New EP And Tour

I'm already obsessed with Murph from The Wombat's solo project, Love Fame Tragedy. His EP 'I Don't Want To Play The Victim, But I'm Really Good At It' is so freakin' good, you guys!




I'm yet to see him live and I'm so jealous of those who have..because the shows so far have been so intimate and looked amazing! Luckily, he has just announced a new EP 'Five Songs To Briefly Fill The Void' featuring Bastille's Dan Smith among others.

The EP will be out in February 2020.

Alongside the EP release, there is also a second UK/Paris tour, which has also been announced (dates below). 

If that wasn't enough exciting Love Fame Tragedy news, he's also released a new single 'Body Parts' today and the video is also below.

Five Songs To Briefly Fill The Void Tracklist:
1. Riding A Wave 

2. Body Parts
3. Hardcore 

4. Please Don’t Murder Me (Part 2)
5. Multiply

Love Fame Tragedy Live Dates:
25th February — The Cluny, Newcastle upon Tyne
26th February — King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
27th February — Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
29th February — Manchester Academy, Manchester
2nd March — The O2 Institute, Birmingham
3rd March — Heaven, London 

4th March — Thekla, Bristol

SINGLE Review: 'What U Do' - ONUR

ONUR's 'What You Do' is smooth and seductive ("Baby, I'm yours"). It's also bold and exciting.

It follows his debut EP 'A Millenial Rhapsody'.

"The whole idea of this video was to capture the good parts of what makes a special bond between two people. I really wanted to portray it in the simplest and most organic way as I could so that everyone could relate to the sentiment behind the song", says ONUR. 



The track has a real 'feel good' vibe. 

You can watch the official music video below.


ALBUM Review: 'Blood Rush Déjà Vu' - Sunset Sons

Following their previous album 'Very Rarely Say Die', Sunset Sons have released second album 'Blood Rush Déjà Vu'. This time they have worked with producer Catherine Marks (Foals, Wolf Alice).



The first single to be taken from the album, the upbeat and energetic 'Heroes', has already been highlighted as Zane Lowe's World First on Beats 1. Speaking of 'Heroes', "it's nostalgic but also joyous" explains drummer Jed Laidlaw.

Opening track 'Superman' is a soaring track, but one which carries a warning ("You better run when the wolves start howling").

"Say Hi" is quite a cheerful tune, whereas "Problems" is passionate and equally as catchy.

'Blood Rush Déjà Vu' is a great album and I highly recommend you take a listen (below).

NOVEMBER TOUR DATES
20th Bristol, Thekla
21st Falmouth, Princess Pavilion
23rd Glasgow, SWG3
24th Newcastle, Riverside
26th Manchester, Academy 2
27th Birmingham, O2 Institute 2
28th London, Electric Brixton


EP Review: 'A Glossary of Broken Human and Beating Hearts'- Yard Arms

Yard Arms are a duo from Bristol who have just released their 4-track EP, 'A Glossary of Broken Humans and Beating Hearts'.



The opening track 'Idea of Me and You' is upbeat and features raw vocals.

Another track from the EP 'Keep On Laughing'  inspires hope, despite sombre lyrics ("Still I can't see a way out from there"). The overall message is one of positivity.

The lead single 'Comfortable' is emotive and candid. It was released in September and has received support from BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio.

This EP is a heartfelt and passionate body of work. Their sound will most appeal to fans of bands like The National. 

Listen to the EP below.


SINGLE Review: 'Now You're Moving'- Drug Store Romeos

Ethereal vocals against the backdrop of a hypnotic beat, the debut single from Drug Store Romeos, 'Now You're Moving', is really something special. 

The song is almost 3 minutes of pure bliss.

Drug Store Romeos formed when childhood friends Jonny and Charlie placed an ad for a bassist for their new band, but they found a vocalist in Sarah instead. Charlie then took up the bass and Jonny stayed on drums.

I'm excited by this track and for what's to come from this band. To me they sound like the love child of Laura Misch and Lana Del Rey. They definitely have a distinctive sound. 

The band have already had airplay on BBC Radio 1. 

Make sure you watch the video below.

SINGLE Review: 'Boy Toy'-Sarah Khatami

'Boy Toy' by Sarah Khatami is a fun, cool track.

Sarah expresses her disappointment and frustration at being messed around in a relationship ("If you wanna play with my feelings, then Baby I'mma play with you right back"). 





Sarah is a singer-songwriter from Pittsburgh and she is the daughter of Muslim Iranian immigrants. 

Her vocals on 'Boy Toy' sound great! 

It features rapper Myia Thornton and was produced by Lu.E. 

SINGLE Review: 'Less Than Lovers' - XO


XO is a Midlands-based R&B artist who had a smash hit earlier this year with 'Shut It Down' and has now released 'Less Than Lovers'. 

It's a modern, refreshing R&B track, with a seductive side.

The chorus is catchy and infectious. 

 “Less than lovers but more than friends, that’s the only way this makes sense…, " XO is honest about his intentions. "You and I know the situation, baby".

The vocals are mesmerising and layered over guitars, a punchy bassline and an Indian vocal sample. In this way, he fuses both eastern and western influences.

At only 24, he has received praise and support from A-listers such as Diplo, Tyga & Majid Jordan - and it's easy to see why! 

You can stream 'Less Than Lovers' below.



LIVE Review: Ralph Pelleymounter @ Moth Club, London - 20/10/19

You may know Ralph as the frontman of To Kill A King, or you may have seen him on his recent solo UK tour.

He recently released his debut solo album, Dead Debutante's Ball. And also spoke me to about his new music here

I went to see Ralph's show at Moth Club London which was a lovely, yet tiny venue for a very special intimate show. It was also the only show of the tour which had a full band (with TKAK's Josh Taffel and Grant McNeill featuring).

Charlotte Carpenter took our breathes away with her stunning vocals, as the support act.



Then Ralph took to the stage and played songs from his album such as 'La De Da' and his latest single 'AWOL', as well as the To Kill A King classic 'Letters To My Lover The Dylan Fan'. 



Ralph is also one half of Annie Oakley Hanging (the other half being none other than Dan Smith from Bastille). He played a version of their song, 'Cut Her Down' which always evokes the utmost sadness in me, by the way (so thanks guys!). 

Charlotte also came back on stage so sing a couple of songs with Ralph.

The entire evening was so much fun and great to see Ralph perform as part of his exciting new project.

I believe he is touring Europe soon so be sure to check out his website for tickets and merch and all that good stuff. 

NEWS: Bastille and Alessia Collaborate on 'Another Place'

Alessia Cara lends her vocals to Bastille's 'Another Place' but also adds her own twist to the song by reworking it and adding her own chorus.

Alessia joined Bastille on stage when they recently played in her hometown of Toronto.

The video was also shot in Toronto. Watch it below.

NEWS: Marika Hackman Announces New UK Live Dates 2020

Marika Hackman has announces new UK live dates for 2020, which go on sale Nov 1 at 9am.

This includes a headline show at Manchester's Gorilla on Monday 24th February.



Tickets can be found here: https://www.gigsandtours.com/tour/marika-hackman/




NEWS: HONEYMOAN Play The Castle Hotel Manchester

South African band HONEYMOAN are going to play The Castle Hotel in Manchester on November 17th.



They are bringing their infectious groove and dream-pop elegance to the city.

The four piece are influenced by Tame Impala and St. Vincent.


SINGLE Review: 'Pieces' - Navina

Navina is a producer, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and has released her brand new single 'Pieces'.

It's an uplifting track which is piano-based and has the message that progress in life comes in pieces, like in a jigsaw.


“I wrote pieces inspired by the concept of jigsaws and patience. I think more so than ever, we can try to display a life which has everything figured out on our online highlight reel. We try to find the answers in many different things when in reality, true contentment comes from looking above ourselves and the situations we find ourselves in, towards something greater. If we look back on where we’ve come from, we most often realise that we’ve come much farther than we need to go. Being content is merely just piecing together the good things that each day brings.”



Photo credit: Sara Lincoln
Navina's previous singles have been played on BBC Radio London as well as BBC Asian Network and BBC Radio Music 6.





NEWS: FOALS 2020 Tour Announced

Foals' album 'Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 2' was released on October 18th. To coincide with this release, Foals have announced a major UK tour in 2020. Tickets went on sale today at 9.30am.

Furthermore, Foals have partnered with Twickets to prevent ticket touting.




SINGLE Review: 'Past The Evening' - Michael Baker

Brighton-based artist Michael Baker's retrospective love song to music is soothing and showcases his songwriting talent.

The Anglo-French musician presents this serene song which tells of his deep connection to his craft.
“I wrote Past The Eveningafter I'd finished producing and recording my second album 'Salt ', in one of those wonderful bolts of inspiration that seems to happen after finishing an album.Ishowed some friends and my manager the track and we decided it had to go on the record. It’s the first track I have ever written about how hard the music industry can be, and how thick skinned you have to be in it. I'm 30 years-old and always thought I would have got used to the business by now and yet here I am, and the music industry still just makes me want to hide away and 'just make music man'.”

'Past The Evening' follows 'Baby Books' and fans of artists like Ben Howard will enjoy this song.




LIVE Review: Miles Kane @ Rescue Rooms Nottingham- 10/10/19

Miles Kane gigs are notoriously good fun. I went to see him play an intimate, yet rowdy show in Nottingham's Rescue Rooms as part of his new tour. 

Photo credit: James Kelly



Rescue Rooms is across the road from the Nottingham Trent University campus (my old haunt) so I was expecting a mostly student audience, however the crowd was a mixture of ages and people. 

Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, who I've wanted to catch live for a while, were supporting.

I'm so glad I got there early to see their performance because they were spectacular! They had a definite 70's sound, so I can see why Miles chose them as his support act. They have a similar vibe.

They played self-proclaimed "fan favourite," 'John Lennon Is My Jesus Christ' amongst other bops.

Then, a newly blonde Miles Kane took to the stage. It was fantastic to see him in a more intimate setting; a real treat. He played the energetic title track from his latest album, 'Coup De Grace' and songs 'Can You See Me Now?' and 'Telepathy'. 

His sound is retro and so very cool. His 'Coup De Grace' was mostly written with pal Jamie T and parts of it with Lana Del Rey.

Next for Miles Kane? He's supporting Liam Gallagher on his UK and Ireland arena tour. Be sure to catch his live performances! 


SINGLE Review: 'Memories' - Maroon 5

Maroon 5 recently released their latest single since 2018's 'Girls Like You' - 'Memories'.

The three time Grammy Award winning multi-platinum band have created a nostalgic sound with 'Memories' and Adam Levine pays homage to a loved one who has passed away ("“Here’s to the ones that we got/ Cheers to the wish you were here, but you’re not/ ‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories of everything we’ve been through/ Toast to ones here today/ Toast to the ones here today/ Toast to the ones that we lost on the way"). 

It's a heartfelt and mellow song.

The official music video is out now. It was directed by David Dobkin who also worked on the 'Sugar' and 'Girls Like You' videos. 


LIVE Review: whenyoung @ Bodega Nottingham - 30.09.19

You may remember I spoke to Drew from whenyoung recently, here.

Last Monday was the start of indie Irish trio whenyoung's tour. They played an intimate gig at Nottingham's Bodega which is one of my favourite venues. Abbie Ozzard was supporting. 





Their set included songs from their debut album 'Reasons To Dream'. 

The fact that it was a Monday evening did not deter the audience from being incredibly energetic. It was a really fun show.

whenyoung frontwoman Aoife Power took the stage wearing a blazer and stunned the crowd with her unique vocals. The first song they played was 'Future'. It sounds like an upbeat song but is actually inspired by a friend who had passed away.

They also played a song about Limerick, where they are from, about "finding inspiration where there is none" and also using that to your advantage-'Pretty Pure'. 

The band put on such a great show in such an intimate space. Catch them on their UK tour.