Posts Tagged ‘pop’

So it was announced today that Kings Of Leon will be playing a summer UK stadium tour. Honestly, it was a bit of a shock. When you think of bands that do stadiums, you don’t exactly think of Kings Of Leon.

The question is can they really fill out and play a memorable stadium show?

Look at all of the bands we associate with stadium shows….

Muse who played two incredible nights at Wembley and had a giant UFO flying over the crowd.

U2 who manage to play the hits that get everyone singing along while they play under a giant claw costing around £10m.

For a band who famously had a little breakdown whilst headlining Reading festival, it does make you question how they’ll cope playing such big venues where there will be lots of people who only know Sex On Fire. And isn’t that the thing that makes them REALLY angry? Should be interesting.

All of the stadium bands mentioned above have huge stage presences that make the crowd go “Oh my god! I can’t believe i’m seeing them!” or “Oh My God! Did you see what he just did – isn’t he amazing?!”. As much as we all love Kings Of Leon – they just don’t have that stage presence for it yet. During their live shows, there is hardly any interaction with the crowd – they just play for almost three hours. But can they really do that at Sunderland or in Hyde Park? As great as they are musically, you want that extra oomph to say “wow I saw Kings Of Leon and they were incredible”.

Don’t get me wrong, they are a great band who write amazing songs, it’s just puzzling as to who came up with the idea that they can play stadiums. Last Summer they played a show in Hyde Park, London which got mixed reviews, lots of people loved it but even more people were critical of the way Kings Of Leon played without really seeming to care….

All we know is that Summer 2011 could be a massive test for KOL, whether they’re ready for it or not, they’re going to have to get used to people only knowing Use Somebody and Sex On Fire and they’re going to have something memorable to make seeing in a stadium worthwhile. Let’s hope the Tennessee boys are up for the challenge.


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The Killers have always been my favourite band since I was got given Hot Fuss for Christmas at the grand age of 15. I liked it. A lot. So much so that it jumps at almost every track. I went to the shows, saw them grow into the band that they are today. Hell, I even went to Hong Kong to see them (and it got cancelled *cough*). I’ve made some of my closest friends from seeing The Killers on their Day and Age Tour. So I guess i’ve got a lot to thank the band for.

Enter talk of the hiatus. I was at V festival watching them when Brandon said those words that made every Killers fan FREAK OUT! “We’re going away for a long time but we will be back”. Personally it was a bit of a relief – my bank account had taken a bit of a hammering thanks to the Day and Age tour. But it was sad all the same.

But then…what was this?! Brandon Flowers going solo?! Never! Well he did. I liked Crossfire as a single. It worked really well. Then came along Flamingo – half of which I liked – Only The Young, Magdalena, Hard Enough and Right Behind You are really great songs. The album got some good reviews from Q and NME. So I decided to join the mass of fangirls outside Birmingham Academy and see what Brandon had to offer.

Transfer, the support act were amazing. They had that American feel to them infused with the bluesy Jack White bass lines. The crowd weren’t sure what to make of them but Transfer seemed to win them over in the end. I even bought their CD after the show I was that impressed – Go Transfer!

And now we get to the man himself. Brandon Flowers. Of course by that point in the gig I already knew his name thanks to all of the wonderful fangirls behind me screaming his name at every available point. Believe me I was not like that when I was 15 and i’m definately not like it now! And so the dude from Las Vegas came onto the stage and started with On The Floor. Beautiful. Stunning. The fact that it’s so simple and so raw makes it so perfect. Best song on the album by far. Then we’re hit with Crossfire. As I mentioned before it is a great single. Everyone here knows all of the words and all of the actions – yeah Brandon does that on his solo tour too.

But I tell you something. It felt wrong. I wasn’t enjoying it. I felt like a fraud. Everyone around me was transfixed by the man himself. When he came over to me I looked at him and then felt really awkward. I suddenly had to look away. I wasn’t as into it as everyone else I guess. I actually felt like I was betraying the other three. I looked at the guitarists and I actually missed moody Mark Stoermer bobbing about with his bass, I missed Dave wearing outrageous clothes and I missed Ronnie’s winks as he looked at people in the crowd. I suddenly realised that I loved The Killers for being The Killers and not because Brandon Flowers is hot. I mean he totally is…but The Killers are a team and the fan girls have seemed to miss that.

Brandon played more songs from Flamingo including the wonderful Only The Young. I even managed to remember the actions – see there is still a bit of a fan girl left in me! Brandon grinned at me at one point. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. And then they went into Losing Touch. it was different. The band decided to shake it up. Nothing too bad about it in fact it was a bit refreshed and sounded pretty good. I was beginning to warm to the show until *shudders* they finished with When You Were Young.

As soon as the acoustic guitar came out. I knew what was happening. Great. Those chords began and I actually felt angry. In fact i’m going to confess here….. I started to cry. For all of the wrong reasons. The fangirls around took their chance in the silence to yell ” WE LOVE YOU BRANDON!!!!!!!!” which I really didn’t appreciate. They are like 15. They love their Mum and Dad not some dude in a band. Anyway so he starts to sing…and the tears stream down my face. The Killers have rarely done acoustic versions of When You Were Young but they performed it at the White House and it was so beautiful and now I see some strange bearded man sat with Brandon playing it. It felt wrong. I’m sorry but it did.

I left that gig feeling more down in the dumps than when I left. Someone told me that I should look at the gig at what it is and not what it isn’t. But let’s face it guys, in the musical world of today, if Flamingo wasn’t by the lead singer of The Killers then we wouldn’t have liked it at all. Or he would have been a one hit wonder with Crossfire…either way – not the same is it?

My conclusion tonight? Bring the Killers back. And when they do come back, i’m going to the US to see them and taking my Killers friends with me. I’ve heard there’s less fangirling over there.

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Ok so this is a little contraversial but i’m going to say it. I prefer European gigs to UK gigs. There we go. Done it.

Everyone gives me a weird look when I say i’m off here or there to see this band. They usually reply “why don’t you just see them in the UK?” Or if you’re Keith Murray: “Is Wolverhampton not random enough for you?” Well no Keith it isn’t actually. You know why? Well here’s why actually:

European gigs are smaller than UK ones which means a lot more of the serious fans go. The past three times i’ve seen We Are Scientists in other countries i’ve been resting my drinks on the stage and been hit on the head by Keith’s guitar – ok well that’s not a benefit, actually it’s a little painful. There’s a sense that the band are playing to you and sometimes only to you. There’s better interaction between the band and the audience. Once WAS actually invited a crowd member onstage – you don’t get that at Brixton Academy do you?!

Europeans are politer. Sorry Brits. It’s true. In the UK, someone always has to try and push in front of someone who’s been queueing for hours which really rattles me. It’s wrong. Why do you deserve that place more than them? Well in Europe, people stand there and have a good time – no pushing, no fights. It’s so relaxed it’s unbelievable. In fact at one gig, a girl asked if I could go in front of her in the queue to get in because she didn’t want to go in first. Don’t mind if I do actually!

Europeans love to clap and sing. They get really involved. I have never seen Editors play a show like they did in Paris. It was so incredible I actually could have cried at the end. Maybe I did. The crowd were so ready for it and so up for it that Editors responded in a way I have never seen them play before. They didn’t want to leave the stage at the end. I didn’t particularly want them to either.

You’re on holiday. Yes funnily enough, getting on that plane or getting in the car means that  you’re automatically on holiday. If you love travelling then why not combine two loves music and travelling and experience completely new things and meet new people.

And lastly. I’m not weird honest. You get recognised by bands for making the distance. They’ll come over to you and ask you how you are or they’ll do the appreciative nod when they’re on stage. Or the roadie will chuck out a setlist or a drumstick for you – although watch out for any french fans that want to fight you for it. Yeah that’s a story for another day I guess. All you need to know is that I won. NICE. Plus at European festivals, bands wander around without a care. While we were watching Louis XIV we were there stood behind Editors and half of The Killers road crew. It’s just so relaxed.

So there you go. If i’m being honest i’m looking forward to seeing We Are Scientists a lot more in Oslo and Paris than I am say London or Newcastle. As much as I love my country and our music scene, the amount of idiots occupying the standing area is beginning to get frustrating and sometimes the only way to see that magical show is to make the distance  something that seems to be easy to do now thanks to the likes of Ryanair, Easyjet and my mum’s Honda Civic.

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U2 they’re like marmite, you either love them or you hate them. For some people they don’t understand how a band like U2 can be so popular or so famous and others just really don’t like Bono. But for the people who have been queueing in the September cold overnight, U2 are one of those bands that manage to create a spectacle that can never be matched by any other band no matter what.

Tonight U2 bring the 360° tour to Paris and with it comes the giant claw – each one being worth £12m each and taking almost three days to set up.

The doors open and eager fans are crushed as they try to fit their tickets through the automatic scanners on the gates. Then it’s a free for all, people running everywhere wanting to get to the places on the barrier that they’ve been hoping for. The Stade de France fills up quickly as darkness falls and Interpol step onto the stage to open up for the Irish mega rockers. It’s a shame that they just really don’t have the umph about them tonight, they just seem really uninterested about being there although to be fair to them, it must be really hard to interact with the crowd when everything feels so far away.

The tension begins to build as Interpol leave the stage and the big giant clock appears on the claw, counting down the minutes until U2 grace us with their presence. Time goes by and that familiar David Bowie song is played. It’s time. And the four Irish geezers enter the stage with a wave and smile. Here we go.

They start with a bit of jamming which is apparently called The return of the stingray guitar and then go straight into Beautiful Day which is a bit of a shock but fits perfectly with the evening and the occasion. Old favourites remain on the setlist such as I Will Follow and Sunday Bloody Sunday which prompt a mass sing along and jig amongst the 80,000 strong crowd. Newer songs off No Line On The Horizon are just as popular as the older songs.

They continue with a lot of upbeat songs such as Magnificent, Mysterious Ways and Elevation before slowing things down a little with classic I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. With a song like that it makes you wonder how anyone can really hate U2. Songs like these don’t grow on trees and hearing the whole stadium of European fans sing it word perfect in English is truly amazing.

Bono and co play Walk On in honor of Aung Sung Suu Kyi who is still currently under house arrest in Burma. It’s such a beautiful song anyway but now it seems to have more meaning and emotion to it.

The two big ones are left for the encore. With or Without You and Where The Streets Have No Name – both from The Joshua Tree album. Probably the best of all the U2 albums with it’s anthemic biggies like these two. There’s something emotional about this one because for every single person in the crowd there is a complately different meaning to these songs – for some they just like them because they are stunning musically and lyrically while for others they remind them of poignant moments in their lives. Tonight’s crowd show how amazing those songs are when they continue the choruses without Bono – they didn’t even need the band onstage!

The night draws to a close with Moment Of Surrender which has closed all of the 360° tour dates. It’s a slow one, calming the audience down and rounding of a magical night in Paris. As Bono hesitantly leaves the stage and says in his perfect French accent ‘ I will never forget tonight’ it’s clear that U2 are still the stadium mega stars to beat and aren’t willing to be pushed off their pedastool too soon.

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Keith Murray and Chris Cain are a musical duo that we’ve all come to know and love. Put them, I Am Arrows and a £5 face value ticket together and you’ve got the perfect combination for a great night out.
And so this great night out begins with competition winners Your Army who make an impact despite having just a twenty minute set.

Then things step up a notch when Andy Burrows’ new project I Am Arrows entered the stage starting with Summery favourite Nun. They play songs from their debut album ‘Sun Comes Up Again’ which was released last week. There’s a fresh feel to their album which is great to hear live. A last minute decision meant that the Brighton crowd are treated to a Tears For Fears cover of ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ which is extremely well received and works really well with Burrows’ vocals. They finish with recent single Green Grass with its catchy chorus with everyone swaying along to the beat.

The Scientist Bros step onto the tiny stage and go straight into old favourites ‘Chick Lit’ and ‘Great Escape’ getting the 350 crowd jumping up and down, nodding their heads to the great guitar riffs of Keith Murray. And then the familiar banter between Keith and Chris begins….What’s the topic for today’s gig? Chilli Peppers. Yep. Bit of a strange theme for the lead in a rock band but that’s We Are Scientists for you.

During ‘After Hours’, frustrated with the lack of stage space, Keith steps off the stage and suddenly the barrier starts to move. Everyone wants to touch the Murray, everyone wants to get that perfect photo. Towards the end of the song, he raises his microphone in the air and aims it at the crowd. He may as well just stand there, there’s no need to sing at all. As he plays the final riffs and steps back onto his little stage something special is about to happen…

Andy Burrows takes his place on the drums for the last two songs ‘Jack & Ginger’ and ‘Nobody Move’. It’s clear these guys are the best of buds as at the end of the set, Keith and Chris pick up Andy and they all fall on a heap on the floor. Poor Andy, this always seems to happen to him – there’s always laughs when Keith and Chris are around.

We Are Scientists give a giant smile and say farewell to the Brighton crowd. No rest for those Scientists though as they head straight off for a DJ set in Portsmouth. Keith and Chris, possibly the busiest men in music at the moment! It won’t be soon before they’re back in November for their full UK tour.

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It’s been a while since Electric has introduced you to some newer music so here’s something completely new – Funeral Party.

I first heard of these guys in one of the most randomest ways possible – the lead singer’s mother. Yep I know, weird. She is a member of The Killers fan club, The Victims and she was always blogging about her son’s exciting new band. I took notice as soon as she said they’d been signed. I went straight onto itunes and bought thieir bootleg EP and I was quite honestly blown away.

And now if i’m honest, more music came along, my favourite bands announced tours and Funeral Party went to the back of my musical mind until the other day, a familiar tune came on Q radio. What was it? Yep. Funeral Party ‘NYC moves to the sound of LA’. I got excited about them all over again and now they’ve been featured in Q magazine twice and been given a lot of space in NME.

They’ve recently played a couple of dates in the UK including Download – which if i’m  honest I was a bit of a surprise as they’re not really a Download fest kind of crowd.

So the question is what are they like? Well firstly I think you should all purchase the Bootleg EP – Carwars is spectacular. People have been comparing them to The Rapture which I guess isn’t a bad thing but personally I think there is nothing like them anywhere – they’re a breath of fresh air and hopefully soon I will get to see them live and tell you what they’re like.

So all that’s left to do is re join the victims and thank lil for her advice on her son’s band. Cheers Lil!

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After much guessing about when we would hear the first single from Flamingo and a lot of teasing on thekillersmusic.com…someone obviously found it too hard to bear, leaking Crossfire to the world. And here it is….

Hmmmm. I know you”re probably a bit dubious about this as it isn’t really what we know and love from The Killers. But it is Brandon Flowers and if you think he is a major part of the Las Vegas band. On first listen it reminded me a bit of take that – there’s nothing wrong with a bit of that..but now i’ve had the chance to really listen to it again and again, it’s a brillaint pop song that couldn’t have come at a better time. Just think, it’s festival season, the sun will be shining and everyone wants that one song that remind them of their perfect summer. Well there it is guys…crossfire by Brandon Flowers. Who knows, he may even be a special guest at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. We can only hope.

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