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Archive for the ‘Electric Live’ Category

First published in Clash Magazine

Tonight’s gig at Shepherds Bush is The Boxer Rebellion’s biggest headline show to date. Known for their appearance in chick flick ‘Going The Distance’, there’s always been more to the band than meets the eye.

Starting with the atmospheric ‘No Harm’, Tennessee-born Nathan Nicholson’s voice is stunning as he builds up tension before the band go straight into more energetic ‘Step Out Of The Car’.

The band has possibly the most excited look on their faces as the crowd jump along and wave their arms with serious enthusiasm. Lead guitarist Todd jumps around as if his life depends on it, leaping over to play on the barrier every now and then.

And then there’s the point where it’s about time they played that infamous song. “We’re getting tired of this one,” says Nathan, as the starts to strum the intro to ‘If You Run’. It’s beautiful, as always, but you suddenly realise that the band have so many better songs, and it’s pleasing to see that it gets less of a good reception than the likes of ‘Locked In The Basement’.

The Boxer Rebellion return for an encore and surprise the crowd with a stunning acoustic cover of Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy The Silence’, which shows off Nathan’s unique and beautiful voice.

They finish with ‘The Gospel of Goro Adachi’ and then it’s time to leave the stage. It’s pretty clear that they don’t want to, but they can leave knowing that tonight’s show was possibly the best gig they have ever played. With a new album in the pipeline, there are still greater things to come.

 

 

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This was first published on Clash Magazine’s website. 

When you think of Brighton, you think of bright sunshine, deckchairs, candy floss and walks along the pier. Tonight, however, Brighton is bracing itself with blustering winds and howling rain. It’s up to Tall Ships and We Are Scientists to use their powerful synths and comedic charm to turn this evening around.

Tall Ships are playing to a home audience, and they certainly feel at ease playing at the Concorde 2. Throughout the whole tour they’ve been getting a good reception, and tonight is no exception as the crowd applaud appreciatively and offer cries of “We love you!” between songs.

With an authentic sound of their own, Tall Ships use synths and guitars to create songs that wouldn’t be out of place in an arena capacity. The melody of ‘Books’ is so catchy that all you can see are lines of people nodding their heads along to the music throughout the room. Set highlight of the evening has to be their rendition of ‘Snow’, which sees band members exchanging instruments to create a wonderfully atmospheric composition.

As the lights dim and that well-known Dirty Dancing soundtrack ‘Time Of My Life’ starts to play, those cheeky New Yorkers We Are Scientists enter the stage dancing along. From the start it’s clear that this is going to be an entertaining show, with the band beginning their set with ‘Nice Guys’ followed by old favourite ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’. As soon as the first few notes are played, the whole venue starts jumping up and down. Chris Cain’s bass lines and Keith’s guitar riffs are infectious.

It wouldn’t be a We Are Scientists show without the typical banter that they are well known for. Tonight, Chris sports a hilarious t-shirt with the phrase “Murray Up and Get Drunk” with Keith’s head embossed in the middle. Andy seems to enjoy sitting back and watching them roll out the laughs – even he can’t help chuckling to himself.

WAS play a mixture of songs from ‘With Love and Squalor’, ‘Brain Thrust Mastery’ and ‘Barbara’. Songs such as ‘This Scene is Dead’ and ‘Inaction’ get a brilliant response, as do newer songs such as ‘Jack & Ginger’ with its upbeat tempo and sing-a-long chorus.

Finishing their set with ‘After Hours’, the lyrics “Say won’t you stay” ring throughout the Concorde. With what they offer in entertainment value, the only problem is that there are not enough hours in the day for We Are Scientists shows. The only resolve is that there will be plenty more to come in the future, I’m sure.

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After what can only be described as a triumphant set at Glastonbury, U2 were ready to rejoin their final leg of the US tour. While the band were headlining the pyramid stage, people had begun to queue in Nashville for a concert that was going to happen days later.

U2 had only played Nashville once before on the Joshua Tree, when they were starting to turn into the massive band that they are now. There was a lot of anticipation for this gig, people had waited for over 20 years for the band to return and now it was actually happening. the venue was vanderbuilt University stadium, the same venue they had played on their debut performance in Nashville. According to a local, they had wanted to play a bigger venue that belonged to the Tennesee Titans however the Titans declined as they didn’t want their pitch ruined. Honestly I am thankful, it was the smallest venue I had seen the band play in for years, it seems fitting that their most intimate gig would be in Nashville.

And so on a hot Summer’s evening, the familiar Space Odyssey starts to play and the lights dim. the crowd are about to be treated to one of the biggest shows on earth. Starting with Even Better Than The Real Thing, the crowd are captivated as the claw comes to life and those mega Irish rockers go straight into the hits, following on with The Fly and Mysterious Ways. It is almost the same set as Glastonbury, but in this case, the crowd had already been won over.

There can’t really be a gig in Nashville without paying tribute to Johnny Cash and tonight, Bono pays a fitting tribute by performing The Wanderer, a song the band have never performed live before. It is beautiful and the crowd are loving it. there have been a couple of gigs that I have been to where Bono’s voice hasn’t been the best but tonight it is ultimate perfection. there’s a big cheer as he finishes the song and talks about the time he spent with Johnny and June.

Surprise songs included Miss Sarajevo which was highly impressive, everyone whooping and cheering as Bono hits those high notes and of course the oh so beautiful Stay which almost acts as a nice intermission between all of the energetic, well known hits.

They return to the stage and start with a snippet of Amazing Grace. as a visitor in  this part of the world it felt amazing to be stood in a stadium with 40,000 Americans singing their heart out. In my mind, there was no where else I would rather be.

The band then hit us with ‘with or without you’. when they play that song you know the gig is coming to a close. It always gets me when you heard everyone singing along to the ohs at the end. Bono and co feel this too as they all look like they don’t want to leave.

Just as you think it’s over, you see Bono point at someone in the crowd and ask “what do you want to play?” and yes for all those u2 haters it sounds hillarious but Bono gets a blind man up onstage. Apparently he wants to sing a song for his wife Andrea. the rest of the band have already gone offstage but come back looking somewhat bemused. The man is given bono’s guitar to play and so he starts to strum. Bono gets him to keep going and so he begins to sing along, Larry gets back on the drums and Adam puts his bass back on and the audience are treated to all I want is you by u2 and their special guest with his face beaming. The song finishes and bono shocks everyone by saying to him “you can keep the guitar.”

And so the night ends with that really, what an amazing band, what an amazing crowd and what an amazing town. The band give one final wave and promise they won’t leave it long until they are back again. And this time, no one seems to doubt them.

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Hey you! Yeah you! Haters! Stop hating! Why? I’m about to tell you why!

You all probably groaned when you heard that U2 would be headlining Glastonbury. I guess it wasn’t really a surprise that U2 would be headlining the well known festival and let’s face it U2 and Coldplay are hardly controversial headliners.

People always complain about U2 mainly because of Bono. Yeah he’s a bit of a wally and he can go on a bit from time to time but you’ve got to remember he donates loads of money to charity and helped set up the aids charity RED. Which if you think about is pretty good. When Hurricane Katrina came along, U2 and Green Day made that massive record which helped generate a lot of money for the area. So they’re pretty much all round good guys.

Enough about them. They also make pretty amazing songs too. There’s something anthemic about their songs especially their older songs from The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby. Just imagine over 100,000 people singing along to With or Without You. Doesn’t it make you want to squeal with excitement just a little bit?

Also, they’ve got so many songs to choose from. Okay, they’re going to have to do some of their new stuff but bearing in mind they’re performing to some people who have never seen them before, it’s pretty much going to be a greatest hits set. But even then, there’s still a lot to choose from so their set is really unpredictable!

Last year when The Edge appeared with Muse it was one of the most talked about performances of the weekend. The moment that familiar riff started and the rather small man with a hat on walked onto the stage and the crowd started to cheer one of the biggest cheers I have ever heard. AMAZING. Just think, that was for one band member, imagine what it would be like for all four!

It seems the band are really looking forward to it especially after having to cancel their appearance last year. It’s the band’s first ever festival headlining slot and could be their only. The crowd will get to see their show cut back to the traditional four guys on a stage instead of a giant claw and it will be interesting to see how that comes across live. You know what i’m looking forward to? I Still haven’t found what i’m looking for. I bet you a tenner the crowds will be singing it all the way back to their tents.

 

 

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So I have moved to Hong Kong for almost 6 months as part of a university exchange. Needless to say i’m having the time of my life making new friends, seeing new things and er singing in Karaoke bars.

But if someone asked me if there was anything I missed about home apart from my family it would be the British music scene. Now when we’re there we complain about R&B music taking over the charts and the rise of Simon Cowell. But does it really matter when we have such an incredible music scene? A place where Arcade Fire can win two Brits, Muse can play on podiums above crowds and Kasabian can tell Kings of Leon to ‘eff off.

Yes i’m being nostalgic, some gigs can be full of complete twats who manage to irritate everyone else in the crowd, some bands are terrible, but when you go to a place that doesn’t really seem to care about music and the cost of a ticket to see MGMT is £48 you begin to realise how privaleged we really are. Bands seem to skip Hong Kong and head for Japan or strangely….Manilla. The last people to come here were Gorillaz and that was in December, there aren’t any UK acts coming to Hong Kong until at least May. Can you imagine not being able to see live music for months? The idea of that shocks me and i’m getting some serious withdrawal symptoms. HELP ME?

I didn’t get to see the Brit awards or the Grammys because they weren’t televised on here. And it seems that not many people watched the Brit awards in the UK – ITVs worst ranking of the awards ever with 4.8m people tuning into watch Adele burst into tears and Mumford wow the crowd with their acoustic performance. It makes you wonder if we really do take our music scene for granted or do we really care?

Honestly, as a music fan, blogger and kind of journalist I think we should take a look at all of the new talents emerging from Britain such as James Blake and the ever so powerful Adele and realise that we should be proud of our music scene –  place where you can see bands for free and you can see amazing bands for as little as a fiver. Next time your favourite band comes to your town and you think it’s a little expensive? Think of Hong Kong – a place where fireworks and lasers rule and music is lost.

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Right. You only need to watch the first thirty seconds of that video and then read this post to be just as confused as I am. So here we go. Everyone is being very hush hush about this issue but after doing a fair amount of googling it seems to be something everyone knows about but doesn’t want to speak out about.

Arcade Fire have been asking their die hard fans to move off of the barrier. Yes you are hearing me right. I am not making this up. It is being talked about on the forums of Coachella, Muse, MGMT and of course Arcade Fire. And quite rightfully people are outraged.

There hasn’t really been much reason behind it but management have mentioned that the band want to give other people a chance on the barrier. They gave the example of height which is pretty hilarious bearing in mind Win Butler’s height. Also the band feed off of the reaction from the audience and the show isn’t new when there are familiar faces on the barrier. Their view on the whole thing? “It’s what the band wants.”

I’m not going to say which gig it was and which venue it was but I was there on the barrier myself quite excited about the show. Someone came along the barrier as if looking for a particular person. She wandered over to the person next to me on the barrier and asked them if they could move as they had been on the barrier for a couple of nights. Honestly, it was cruel. The person was shocked and it was horrible listening to management asking them to move.

What right do they have? We as gig goers pay for our tickets, some of which the proceeds were going to the band’s chosen charity. We choose whether to get to the venue early and queue. Some of us for very good reasons. One perfect example is someone who gets claustrophobia. They decide to stand at the front because if they want to get out then there is an easy exit. Pretty plausible explanation. We all have different reasons as to why we want to get to the front.

But it gets worse. Fans of the band have been emailing management asking for answers. They replied in such a poor manner. They said that as the people emailing had nothing to do with the incident then they had no intentions of replying in full detail and listed the reasons I have already mentioned above for making fans move.

You may think that this is an isolated case but stories are beginning to come out. Someone was moved for being too enthusiatic, which brings me back to that video. Win is telling everyone they’re at a rock show? Well what kind of rock show is it when fans aren’t even allowed to stand at the barrier? The people at the front are excited for a reason. The crowd at the 02 Arena in London was apparently shocking – only the people on the front row seemed to be excited by anything. What would the show have been like without them?

Fans are worrying about this being a PR disaster for the band but let’s face it, management have handled this poorly and something needs to be explained to everyone about what is going on. Management need to talk to fans and tell them specifically why they were asked to move. We all need to know so that we’re not embarrassed by being  asked to move for being too ‘enthusiastic’ and putting the band off.

Don’t get me wrong Arcade Fire are one of the best live bands around but perhaps its time they showed their fans a little bit of respect and give them answers.

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So electric was invited along by the wonderful Drums to go and see them play at their small gig in Hoxton. Of course it was wild. No one was really sure what to expect as it was rumoured that they would only be playing a short set. However they actually played a bit more than a full set which made the evening even more special.

At one point the security guards thought the show was a bit too dangerous and decided to stand right in front of the stage meaning that everyone couldn’t see. The guys didn’t put up with this and refused to play until they got off of the stage. It was kind of funny to see.

Even after injuring himself by falling down some stairs, Jacob’s dance moves were pretty epic. Sadly though it will be a while until we see The Drums again. They’re taking a long break after non stop touring. They still love us though so that makes it alright.



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