Jeremy Tuplin // The Slaughtered Lamb // Live Review

Live Reviews, Uncategorized

Jeremy Tuplin and his band (The Ultimate Power Assembly) took to the stage in what was an overcrowded and intimate affair in the candle-lit basement of the iconic folk circuit venue, The Slaughtered Lamb.

Opening with the more autobiographical ‘Can We Be Strangers’, the set-list continued with all the songs from his latest album, Pink Mirror, alongside older classics such as ‘O Youth’ and ‘Albert Einstein Song’.

Significantly, the placement of the opening, middle and closing tracks were punctuated by the social commentary on the modern world from new tracks such as ‘Love’s Penitentiary’ and ‘Pandora’s Box’, with ‘The Machine’ placed somewhere in the middle, before closing the night with one of my favourites: ’The Beast’ allowing Jeremy’s own vulnerabilities as a writer to come through structurally in balance to exposing human natures dark sides.

Tuplin’s crowd interactions were nothing short of sharp commentary in-between songs, framing his understated and dry humoured character, levelling that of his singer-songwriter personality. Sharply astute to the trajectory of his laconic lines upon his listeners; we followed his poignancy with equal measures of laughter, often double taking what we heard, re-considering our interpretations before digesting hidden irony.

We fed off his idiosyncrasies and were all here tonight in what Jeremy described to us as an “album awareness concert” for his second album: ‘Pink Mirror’ (officially released: 5 April). We watched on as band and solo performances were separated by the non-performing members covering themselves with white sheets, like little ghouls upon stools. Tuplin even donned a pair of rose-tinted shades for ‘Pink Mirror’, “these are meant to be pink, but you can’t really see that. Well worth 15 quid” he jested.

As the evening developed it was really intriguing how Jeremy engaged with his audience – it was not only the familiar warmth, “It’s great to see so many of you, loads of music people, my friends and family, and strangers too, soon to be friends, I hope” but that role he takes as a performer and writer. His deadpan baritone delivery and half rhyming poetry navigated its way to our hearts. Essentially identifying that we are all flawed human beings, and making light both lyrically and through stage props, offering his performance as a both a piece of art – a gift conjured from dreams – and a sharp depiction of reality.

It is songs like ‘Bad Lover’ where art imitates life; lyrics hint towards his role as a songwriter: “Here we go again yet another account. Whatever’s inside me I’m gonna twist around and spit it out.” Whether that be “..astronaut dreams intended for your escape..or detail all the pieces of my poor broken heart” Jeremy writes to address various issues, either escapist dreamlike stories or personal accounts of heartbreak, for our benefit, and agreeably “altering minds one lyric at a time.”

In reverse, life imitates art with the song: ‘The Machine’; in his day-to-day life as a writer something begs him to question and reflect upon his life and profession: “Then I think of everything I do, think feel or see, it barely contributes to the economy” and yet we do also “suffer these same internal dialogues”.

Whether life imitates art or his art imitates life itself, Jeremy, however consciously, has developed a voice of his own and narrates the chaos of life and the intimacy of desire, vanity and representations of love in a way that is both pensive and witty. He is without doubt one of the most subversive songwriters and performers of our generation.

Pink Mirror is out on 5 April 2019 via Trapped Animal Records & Cargo Records

Follow Jeremy Tuplin on: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Words: Rachael Crabtree (@eccentric_eejit)

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The False and the Fair Whelans, Dublin Live Review

Live Reviews, Uncategorized
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The False and The Fair; EP launch at Whelans, Dublin (18-11-2018); photo credit: imagery.by.ro

Despite the late switch to the larger venue tonight, there wasn’t much room to move in Whelans for The False and The Fair’s EP launch. Ahead of the main event, we were treated to fantastic support from Aisling Jarvis and a solo performance from Vernon Jane.

The False and The Fair arrived on stage to the ambient glow of a projector showing off their new EP artwork, kicking off with their always popular “Blue Bottles Blues”. The catchy riff helped set the tone for the evening as they passionately launched into their ever increasing and established repertoire.

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It’s hard to pin down a genre for The False and the Fair, they play their unique and brand of hard rocking blues-folk but they are not afraid to branch out into different styles with the likes of “Psychedelic Smile” (which features on the new EP) that wouldn’t be out of place on a Radiohead album.

 

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They were joined by a host of guests on the stage during the night, including the familiar face of Emily Jane from Vernon Jane who jumped in to lend her vocals to the fan favourite: “Bald Apes” (just as she had done on the recorded version).

The evening drew to a close with one encore, the lead (and personal highlight) track lifted from their EP: “The Space in Between”. The band were joined on stage by a trio of backing singers which enhanced their already expansive sound, giving an edge fans hadn’t seen before. All in all, it was yet another great set from the South Dublin band which certainly piqued interest here tonight – there’s really no limit to how far these guys can go!

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Their new EP: ‘The Space In-Between’ is out now!

FOLLOW THE FALSE AND THE FAIR ON: SPOTIFY // TWITTER // FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM

WORDS: Niall McDermott: @NiallMcDermott7

Photos: Róisín: Imagery By Ró

Feng Suave // Sebright Arms // Live Review

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Feng Suave; Spiral Magazine

Amsterdam-based psych-soul band ‘Feng Suave’ at The Sebright Arms (05/12/18)

When you see a band mid-week amidst the hustle and they not only unhinge you from your daily life, but in their wake, completely re-adjust your focus, that’s something beyond the control of the many. Feng Suave’s lo-fi psychedelia blends silky bass and reverb’d guitar wrapped around soulful vocals. And when paired with their sensitive lyrics, you cannot help but be encouraged to reconsider what we otherwise take for granted; the stars above our heads and the earth at our feet is all we need. Keeping grounded and in touch with the harmony to be had with natural world is the result of Feng Suave induced daydreaming.

Tonight (5th Dec), was the third night of their first tour, the final UK date and, as one half of Feng Suave, Daniel De Jong, told me after the show, was without doubt the “highlight of the tour so far”. Being their first tour, De Jong wasn’t too sure his vocals would last the duration, a question that had never entered my mind, especially given tonight’s established performance. His lead singer duties required his every vocal range and tone, even the soft croon and hushed notes were used to their full capacity – and you had to hand it to him, his pitch-shifting vocals were mesmerising. As an outfit, the keyboardist, drummer and guitar trio were cool and collected. They gifted us with their grace and warmth.

The evening may have been just as intimate as De Jong went onto compare with the Servants Jazz Quarters (their last London show) but there was definitely something magical about tonight. The interaction from their sold out crowd in response to their every track must have felt pretty rewarding, with the greatest audience chorus arriving with ‘Sink Into The Floor’. Their latest single: Venus Flytrap (an instant hit with BBC 6 Music) and the encore: Notre Ochre were personal highlights.

On the back of a successful year, amassing millions of streams for their eponymously titled debut EP, this tour for the Dutch duo (and touring ensemble) certainly cemented them as ones to watch here in the UK. There’s also a pretty good chance everyone went out into the night floaty, finding “…solace in just noticing the stars above..” It might be momentary but it’s all that we need, truly.

Follow Feng Suave on: Spotify // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook

WORDS: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

 

The Great Escape 2018 Review

Live Reviews, The Great Escape 2018, Uncategorized

Brighton 2; Spiral Magazine

The UK’s biggest and brightest showcase of new alternative music was enhanced this year by the irrepressible rays of sunshine – Brighton was grinning from ear-to-ear; everyone was glowing, rooms were gold emblazoned and the streets were so chilled you had to pinch yourself to remind yourself of the time.

Meandering in and around the sun-kissed seaside streets to over 30 venues, from pubs, nightclubs, street stages and beach marquees to catch a glimpse of as many of the 450 bands across 3 days where there were natural challenges in deciding who not to miss and the unavoidable gamble of clashes.

By the Saturday afternoon we felt we let in as much magic as we could manage and set-off on the long voyage home, as to recover from pre-festival (ill-timed) viruses. Our highs however, were unforgettable and without doubt Ireland found it’s way to everyone’s heart by it’s peoples innate charisma, wry wit and warm spirits.

THURSDAY’S highlights…

Moncrieff 

Moncrieff 01; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

This Irish Singer-Songwriter took the theatre by storm. It’s no exaggeration that his raw and commanding stadium-sized vocals never mind filled, but could be heard outside, the Sallis Benney Theatre, and without a microphone on many occasions to boot too! We were drawn in from the first powerful note; with bluesy and effortless vocal ranges certainly giving Hozier a run for his money!

His heart- wrenching lyrics were delivered with so much punch, we felt the pangs to our gut, particularly on standout tracks: ‘Symptoms’ and ‘Serial Killer’. Suffice to say this Dublin artist is an emerging soul-pop artist to watch, in fact, you’ve got to join us in seeing him headline London in July!

George Taylor 

George Taylor; Elizabeth Andrade; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

This was one of those most tender and sensitive sets that you needed in-between some sketchy shows that afternoon. George’s soulful delivery was effortlessly supported by the tight band. The emotive energy combined was palpable in Jubilee Square – the frontman called to mind Tom Odell, particularly on ‘Come Follow Me Down’. Their set garnered the attention of every passing punter, we reckon these are serious contenders to watch in the upcoming months!

Riley Pearce 

Riley Pearce 02; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)This talented Perth-based singer-songwriter from the Melbourne-based management: Lemon Tree Music (which already boasts the likes of Tash Sultana, and Pierce Brothers) was everything we hoped for live – the guitar work was impressive to watch, let alone listen – picture Ben Howard in his early days!

He harnessed calming ambiance and had the ability to silence One Church very casually through voice and guitar alone. A slow burning musician that draws parallels to Jose Gonzalez. Playing his latest dreamy single ‘Elephants’ not forgetting his classic ‘Brave’ and ‘Misplaced’ that was every bit as moving in person.

Blanco White 

Blanco White; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright).jpgThere was no disguising the momentum behind this gig, genuine panic was in the winding queues eyes around Unitarian Church that it was to much relief we were admitted a pew seat. Effortless sensitivity oozed from the strings of the guitars, violin and soft percussion. Every musician’s precision within the five piece intrigued and sent us to goosebumps.

All that was needed was the lead vocalist to provide us with the passionate literary lyrics to give us moments of reflection: “We’re confined to be apart, To take sides in divided cells. We collide when we depart, Don’t ask me what’s the cost, I don’t know myself”. It’s music to make you feel as though you’re the leading role in a romantic drama.

Frontman, Josh Edwards began as London-based solo musician before studying guitar in Spain and the Andean (mini-classical guitar) in Bolivia to bring home together authentic influences and elements of Andalusian and Latin music and is every bit the entrancing artist you imagine he would be live.

FRIDAY’S highlights…

Ten Fé 

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Generating an epic wave at TGE was the alternative London via Birmingham five-piece, Ten Fé, who have really come into their own and hinted to even greater things with their very subtle teases of new music – we cannot wait for them to drop their second album! At a capacity, Black Lion, these brought colour to everyones cheeks.

 

Clearly meant for bigger stages and with only a snapshot of set, it was moments like these where you could feel impressions were being made; turning heads as they glided from song-to-song seamlessly and between lead vocalists, framing their varied influences and styles, with hints of Americana (‘Elodie’), Gospel (‘Twist Your Arm’) even a Middle Eastern vibe (‘Make Me Better’).

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Get familiar with Ten Fé’s debut album: ‘Hit The Light’ this summer before you plunge into their much anticipated follow-up album released ahead of their biggest ever headlining UK tour this autumn.

Gengahr 

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To see out the evening we caught the ‘special guests’ Gengahr steal the hearts of The Haunt. Everyone was webbed into a lair of dreamlike haziness of their sunshine soaked guitar-rock enhanced by Felix Bushe’s haunting falsetto vocals.

Their garage-rock anthems from 2014 album, The Dream Outside such as ‘Fill My Gums With Blood’ and ‘Heroine’ felt nostalgic and no doubt got the crowds joining in harmony. It was soothing lo-fuzz guitar-rock that reminded us of forgotten gems – their latest album of which, we’re currently tuning into!

Gengahr 01; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

 

SATURDAY’S highlights…

Marsicans 

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Never mind adjusting to the darkness of Komedia as the Marsicans were beaming, attracting the crowds with their vibrancy. This Leeds four-piece radiated with relentless energy and were so genuinely elated, bouncing about the stage that no-one could keep themselves from smiling and basking in this indoor sunshine. The kind of festival band that are aware of their power in projecting their buoyant chemistry onto crowds.

 

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Fontaines D.C 

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The gnarly wit of this Dublin quintet livened everyones soul with their ferocious set at Marlborough Theatre! Their strong Dublin dialect and ode to the city ensures everything Irish runs through your blood (if it doesn’t already) twinned with the perfect amount of nonchalance akin to Shane MacGowan and Mark E.Smith.

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The edgy, gritty drawl from lead-singer Grian provides hypnotic rhythm up against the kraut-rock influenced guitars and manic drumming creates infectious iridescence.

Having garnered early support from Steve Lamacq (BBC 6 Music) and being the feature of every major Irish publication these have picked up real momentum in their very early days. News came in last week (24/05/18) that they have signed to Partisan Recordings – everyone can see these lads are on the up!

 

 

Joshua Burnside

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The Belfast musician who recently released his debut album, Ephrata which sits somewhere between, as Joshua told the Irish Times: “…somewhere from Belfast to Chicago via Bogota” is able to transcend this interesting suffusion of styles live.

Burnside knows exactly how to constantly keep the listener on their toes with incredible textures and experimental folk paths with elements of Irish Country and Latin Folk. It was delicately dark and romantic, touching on deeper questions about time, love and death up against the modern age. Tipping on the poetic on our favourite track ‘Hologram’: “So love glows, like the moon, Swinging low above the Atlantic, Sparkles on the choppy days, I don’t care what they say, If I have to dance alone I will”.

Joshua Burnside 03; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

 

David Keenan 

David Keenan 01; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright).jpgChurches are synominous with an serenity and when paired with the acoustic artists, whether that be solo or band, there is always a distinct feeling of privilege.

I hasten to use this hackneyed turn of phrase, but this very unassuming singer-songwriter from Dundalk, Ireland, is the finest example of a chap wiser beyond his years. We were completely taken in by Keenan’s worldly and poetic storytelling. His Dylan inspired socio-political commentary was no doubt enhanced by the lilt of his Irish tongue. So much maturity was expressed through the way Dublin was referenced, new and old, standing testament to his wisdom, hinting also towards a character born in another era altogther. The rising singer-songwriter shared with us a quiet understanding of the world, navigating us through the streets of Ireland’s capital “…meeting underneath the GPO tower at sunset”.

When Keenan entered the stage he began with a humble reference to that day’s gigs across Brighton’s churches; “I’m not sure what He’s trying to tell me up there..” glancing up wistfully to the heavens. Everything was very natural and wry, not least mature; referencing his travels across on the boat to live in Liverpool for some years, that taught him a lot; stories gained from busking shaped the man he inevitably is, whilst remaining distinctly and proudly Irish; “…Sorry there, just had me passport sticking in my backside…” as he patriotically hit it to the floor the golden harp gave him his spotlight.

Words: Rachael Crabtree (@eccentric_eejit)

Photography: Rachael Crabtree and Elizabeth Andrade (@LizzyEA)

 

Bellevue Days // Live Review // Brighton

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Bellevue Days; Will Steadman

Bellevue Days at Green Door Store, Brighton, 24/11/17

We left London’s 229 on a high last October after seeing the Croydon-based four piece, Bellevue Days combine their elements of grunge, punk and post-hardcore in ear-pleasing anthemic glory.

Tonight, nestled under Brighton’s train station at The Green Door Store the beer soaked cobble stone floors and damp air sets the perfect scene for their dark, emotionally charged sound. Opening with Let’s All Be Friends from their debut EP, 2015’s The Sun Came Up When We Were Young, it’s satisfying to see how their original material still has a place live. They introduce newer songs, including Jack and I, with its themes of self-loathing, fear and denial: ‘I’ll just blame myself for everything and get drunk…lay in the park and pretend everything’s OK’, and new track Shotgun is a preview from their upcoming album.

Over the past year Bellevue Days have been recording and promoting the release of their third EP, Rosehill, and writing new material for a debut album planned for 2018. Live, they’ve made festival appearances over the summer and have been on a UK tour throughout October and November; it’s their second appearance on the South Coast in recent weeks.

As well as keeping busy with touring and recording, it’s clear that they’ve come on leaps and bounds creatively since first catching our attention. Polished and confident, they are experts at using dynamics intelligently; the relentless shifts of mood take the listener on a boisterous journey akin to a joyride. This is most evident in recent single: Faith, which they deliver live with both rawness and sensitivity. You can feel genuine pain in Dan Lukes’ vocals, which are almost whispered in parts, before it erupts; the band return, smashing back in with the force of a juggernaut! They continue with perhaps their most celebrated track, Ripped Jeans, before finishing their slick set with Black Sleep Baby.

A band to keep your eyes peeled for next year…we’re very much hoping 2018 will be their year.

Bellevue Days // Soundcloud // Twitter // Facebook

Words and photographyWILL STEADMAN (@STEADMAN_WILL)

Foy Vance // Union Chapel // Live Review

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Foy Vance; Union Chapel; Spiral Magazine; Will SteadmanFoy Vance turned the Union Chapel into his living room last Friday night, entertaining a 900-strong crowd with his commanding, modern blend of Americana, folk, roots, and blues. Leaving his band at home in Bangor, Northern Ireland; a piano, acoustic guitar, and a ukulele is all that was needed to bring a warm glow to this corner of North London on a brisk Autumn evening.

Opening powerfully at the piano with Unlike Any Other, the audience falls pin-drop silent. Eager grins radiate through the pews like a mini Mexican wave of awe. Vance establishes an immediately casual, intimate atmosphere, drawing the crowd in with his dry wit, self-deprecation and off-the-cuff approach to the set, almost like we’re all sat round a big camp fire. Making use of loop pedals and plenty of chorus effect, he switches between instruments and segues between songs with ease.

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Introduced to his music five years ago by a friend who insisted I listen to a then, little-known B-side called: Indiscriminate Act of Kindness, which he said, is such a perfect example of a well-crafted song, that he teaches it as part of the songwriting degree he runs at a renowned London music college – I’ve seen Vance go from a relative unknown jobbing songwriter to a respected veteran with a top 30 album and a recent tour with Elton John under his belt. Despite all this, he has retained an air of exclusivity about him, and is backed tirelessly by a loyal fan base.

As the night progresses he showcases songs from 2016’s: ‘The Wild Swan’ including Coco and Upbeat Feel Good; favourites Guiding Light and Closed Hand Full of Friends; several shrewd covers including a divine version of Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ on grand piano and a sprinkling of newer material including Moonshine.

Vance is an artist bold enough and free enough to create precisely the music he wants. Authentic, genuine and committed to his craft, while many contemporaries at his career-stage creatively stagnate or decline, he has matured as a writer and performer. Live he excels. Natural, relaxed and oozing with confidence; playing unaccompanied tonight elevates Vance and provides him the space to showcase his (quite frankly) outstanding voice, which resonates around the Chapel’s gothic interior, filling every dark nook and cranny. Its intricate and rich timbre warms you like a well-aged bourbon.

Performing for well over two hours in total with no encore, capping it off with a moving a capella rendition of The Wild Swans on The Lake, inspired by W.B. Yeats’ poem The Wild Swans at Coole, with the audience dutifully humming the drone.

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Vance sold-out the Union Chapel across the three nights, Thursday to Saturday (2nd-4th Nov). His outstanding album, The Wild Swan, is out now.

Follow Foy Vance on Twitter // Facebook

Words and Photography: WILL STEADMAN (@STEADMAN_WILL)

 

Acid Baby Jesus // Live Review // London

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Acid Baby Jesus rocking The Victoria, Dalston (13/09/17)

It’s not often you discover a band that aligns with both a local show of theirs, plus an album release and, most importantly, happen to be one of the best modern bands out there. Acid Baby Jesus, a psych-garage-rock four piece from Athens, Greece, exceed (my already great) expectations onstage The Victoria, Dalston that it’s impossible to take your attention away from them; they have the audience in the palm of their hand. Playing to a sold out London crowd, up front everyone has just about enough room to bounce off one another, becoming comfortably close and sweaty, lead singer Noda plays off the audience and vice-versa, wanting to get “..everything loose and groovy” from the get go, the crowd’s response to throw some acid out, launches into the familiar footing of ‘Vegetable’ where audience participation comes easily. Tonight, older material is mixed with songs from the latest album ‘Lilac Days’ (29/09/17) which guitarist Tili eagerly wants to share with us and everyone can’t wait to get a piece of, by their set’s closure: “We only just got our hands on it today and it’s available to buy over there from our very much fifth band member, Kris”. IMG_3661

The experimental moments are tonight’s highlights, and when you attempt to pair their sound to another you’re left with so many cross references and contradictions – 60’s psychedelia to garage-punk to 70’s prog-rock, they even throw in a bit of glam-rock; comparisons to Marc Bolan’s aesthetics are natural with frontman Noda’s effervescent stage persona along with his silver glittered eyes, just about distinguishable under masses of curly hair.

There are so many off the wall moments and stand out guitar solo’s that everyone here tonight is left completely satisfied and speechless by Acid Baby Jesus’s departure. Speaking just days beforehand with drummer, Marko, he offered us a very valuable point in how modern music is so fortunate to have such an timeless back catalogue of ‘greats’ to reference: “…it’s the first time a whole generation grows up with all the history of recorded music at our disposal”. When you consider the concept of Rock n’ Roll, akin to an artist emulating another movement through their painting, Impressionism for instance, yet distinctly follows a path of their own making; as Marko continues “…rock n’ roll as an art form has strong roots in certain traditions and sounds. We try to continue on that path while bringing our own sensibilities to it”, all comparisons to other musicians becomes almost irrelevant. Acid Baby Jesus are exceptional artists in their own right, one’s that are set to become a legacy of our generation; long live Rock n’ Roll!

Acid Baby JesusWebsite // Facebook

Words and photography: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

Lucy Rose // Live Review // Rio Cinema

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There’s not many gigs where you find yourself sitting in cinema seats and with the own artists brand of tea in hand, then again, Lucy Rose is a different cut of jib altogether. Tonight, headlining Rio Cinema, Dalston, on the day Lucy’s latest (impressive 3rd) record: ‘Something’s Changing’ made BBC 6Music’s Record Of The Day, we were treated to an evening of heart-warming stories and songs, accompanied by a showreel of her South American documentary. The endearing footage comes back full circle to her latest record which was shaped by these life changing experiences of living in the homes of her South American fanbase and performing at gigs booked on their behalf. The journey moved her to feel challenged by a surge of emotions incomparable to any other life experiences, bringing to light the desire to want to continue music. Music has been a challenge as of late, Lucy share with us tonight, and how it “has been a huge beacon of hope that labels like Communion exist”.

 

Between songs Lucy allows everyone to feel at home, it’s her openness in confessing to occasional nervousness (“I tend to worry a lot”) almost welling up at certain song intro’s, and making jokes about her husband’s upcoming tambourine moment that “when practicing in the living room last night he wouldn’t stop moaning: ‘I don’t want to do it’,” made tonight a special footing for artist and audience alike. Lucy’s humility, sensitivity and quiet confidence rang true to our nodding and grinning faces, and it proved hard to ignore the warmth of familiarity that brought me back to Stornoway and their likeminded fanbase.

“This next song is called ‘Moirai’, named after the Greek Goddess of fate. The older I get I realise that it isn’t fate, it just isn’t fair”. The emotions are palpable as peoples stories and songs alike unravel, and it’s only having seen her documentary and when we hear these experiences tonight, that the latest material becomes unlocked. Track: “I Can’t Change It All’ is a testament to this: “…I couldn’t believe his story, his life. We took him on a train. Little things…I remember him saying how this was the best day of his life. I thought about saving up to help him but thought it was a bit weird. So I decided to write him a song. He was obsessed with London too, so we invited him to stay with us. I’ll never forget receiving this call from customs, explaining how they had a boy who was convinced he was living with a singer who he booked a gig for back home in Paraguay and that she had invited him to live with them for 2 weeks”.

Lucy delivers humour with a poignancy; laughable moments are simultaneously   pensive. Track: ‘Second Chance’ was written in light of her Aunt-in-Law’s line of thought: “Christmas, reminiscing over photos she said to me ‘I would never have thought that was a nice photo, yet as an old woman I can say that’ – that really stuck with me”. We complete the omission, and by the gig’s finale with old favourite ‘Shiver’, we walk away more self-assured and with a renewed sense of carpe diem.

Something’s Changing was released 07/07/17 via Communion Records.

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Lucy Rose: Website // Twitter // Facebook

Words: Rachael Crabtree (@eccentric_eejit)

Ten Fe // Live Review // The Great Escape

Live Reviews, The Great Escape 2017, Uncategorized

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At the stroke of midnight we were on countdown in the gardens of Wagner Hall, kicking back in the bar, preparing ourselves for our beach bound venture to Ten Fé, a band who one of the team hasn’t stopped rating since their recent sublime Hackney show. Since checking them out myself, they’ve literally been SoundClouding my life, so as you can imagine, I was fair to excited to catch them live.

DSCF0036newHitting the seafront at 1am, we bumped into the most friendliest drunks you could meet. It was at the point we mentioned “The Arch” to the flyer lady who attempted convincing us that Coalition was the place tonight for wristband holders to gain half price drinks the Swiss chap to much delight chanted “Yes, Ten Fé, Ten Fé!!” We were in mirrored excitement and between us, it felt so good to share this band love. As one friend apologised for the other’s drunkenness, the other began singing along to ‘Elodie’ as the accompanying YouTube video started…“So we’ll see you later, we’re just helping the lady hand out the leaflets”. We sadly never spotted them again, although we had an inkling they made it into the gig – as I filmed Ten Fé’s performance of ‘Elodie’ we could see Ben smiling as he sang: “…singing the lines that were meant for me”. There was so much love tonight amongst us in the tightly packed beach alcove, for a band very much on the rise, owing to the recent release of their stunning debut: ‘Hit The Light’ (February 2017).

 

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Possessing refreshing confidence without pretence and bravado and a sound that sites references from The Cure through to The War On Drugs whilst retaining that one of a kind sublimity achieved from the unique combination in having two very strong, and different, dual lead singer-songwriters, Leo Duncan and Ben Moorhouse, Ten Fé were all in all as engaging to watch, as to listen to; effortless guitar playing, expansive and harmonised vocals inhabiting an otherworldliness of high energy drama and contrasting poignant lyrics.

Often, when you build yourself up to see a band you almost lead yourself to a bit of a downfall for when that moment finally comes around, but I would be as bold to say Ten Fé were the band of the festival!

Despite delivering at least half their record, and it nearly hitting 3am, we were pumped for more; their high energy was palpable. But as we know, The Great Escape only permits a short lived showcase of each artist, providing no room for encores, so until next time, we’ll just be soaking up their LP: ‘Hit The Light’.

Discover our full photo gallery of Ten Fé via our Instagram: @spiral_magazine

In attempt to capture ‘Elodie’, here’s a video for you to enjoy/share, the sound isn’t as sharp because of my camera, but as you can see, these are exceptional live – go check them out this summer!

Ten Fé // Website //  Twitter // Facebook

Words and photography: Rachael Crabtree (@eccentric_eejit)

The Great Escape 2017 Review

Live Reviews, The Great Escape 2017, Uncategorized

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To say we were excited for The Great Escape was a bit of an understatement, the festival is of course a chance to vibe off some of the best new music out there, so what better excuse for a weekend away by the seaside, the rain just added to the beautiful backdrop, naturally. Just off the train with our cases in tow, we narrowly missed out on the first gig of the day, Crimsons, 1pm at the Hope & Ruin. Diverting through Jubilee Square for our ticket to wristband exchange, we began flicking through the guide working out our gig circuit; a maze that very quickly became a welcoming part of daily routine.

Despite the odds against Wyvern Lingo on this years ambitious outdoor Fender stage – the incessant, heavy rain and delayed sound check wasn’t felt by the audience, we huddled together and everything was kept light with the Dubliner’s sense of humour. We were even treated to an exclusive premiere of their new single ‘I Love You Sadie’.

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Flyte at The Fidlers Elbow; Photographer: Rachael Crabtree

A last minute secret show announcement via Flyte’s Twitter arrived in perfect timing for shelter – so we headed to a pub we wouldn’t have otherwise known – The Fidlers Elbow, home to a fantastic PA, and a quaint setting to boot. The lighting and mirrors gave a beautiful backdrop to the quartets quasi-acoustic set. The intimate space housed their unbeatable harmonies allowing us that moment of heart warming solitude. Warming us into their set with the best cover of Bowie’s ‘Five Years’ we’ve ever heard, followed by their timeless ‘Faithless’ before touching on some exciting new material, hinting to the hotly tipped upcoming debut.

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Our latter accidental find, L.A Salami at the Unitarian Church was invitation enough after several alterations in gig timings and venues, and such a pleasant surprise too. Having recognised the singer from a Burberry Acoustic session on YouTube, as ‘When The Poet Sings’ began…It was incredibly well received; the intimate setting was silenced by his political poetry – a pensive wordsmith we look forward to revisiting a future full length show of, no doubt.

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Penny Police; Will Steadman

Penny Police at The Marlborough Theatre; Photographer: Will Steadman

With a recent Line of Best Fit feature, and a storming Record of The Day piece under her belt, Nordic synth-pop wonder Penny Police (Marie Fjeldsted) took to the stage of the Marlborough Theatre with a warm wind of expectation rising around her, and she didn’t disappoint for a second. Accompanied by fellow Danes, producer Aske Bode and Copenhagen’s go to percussionist Asker Bjørk, Marie held the audience in the palm of her hand like they were a mountain of rare feathers. It was like witnessing a jigsaw’s final piece falling into place – it’s the second time we’ve seen Penny Police in the last 6 months, and the difference was astonishing. That she’s a writer and recording artist of upmost integrity has never been in question; but this was a 30-minute moment of an artist realising she’s about to hit bigger things. As one person put it, her delicate but captivating voice “could tease the hydrogen atoms from a teardrop” – melodies that flout gravity, and a personality that is so genuine, that it’s impossible to imagine her not making records for the next 20 years. As a fan of her earlier work, it’s a wonderful thing to see how this artist keeps getting better and better. New single ‘Fool Like Me’ is sublime. The song she closed the set with, ‘Don’t Ask Me About Love’, is crying out to be a follow up… fingers crossed!

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Ten Fé gave such sublime set at The Arch, check out our full review here!

Friday 

When we finally climbed the last stair to the attic of The Prince Albert, we could barely squeeze in the side staff door for the Irish Showcase. Unfortunately our entry was only permitted towards the end of Ailbhe Reddy’s set who was every part the singer-songwriter we had hoped for, such a distinctly powerful vocal range, we were in awe of tracks: ‘Distrust’ and ‘Relent’.

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In quick succession Marc O’Reilly arrived. Now we knew he was going to be great, but woah, when O’Reilly & Co arrived we were completely overwhelmed. We were talking about this set for days after. You genuinely can’t beat the Irish (not being biased or anything here) but from their innate homeliness that cushioned us at The Prince Albert coupled with their natural wit and earthiness and complete lack of seriousness. In-between songs O’Reilly shared his car hire mishap that Ryanair refused to refund, forcing them to rebook the three new dates with another. Later extending the Ryanair banter as he introduced us to the band…“So as you can see that’s my brother on keys, same receding hairline as myself, another thing to blame Ryanair on”. The trio’s synchronised drums, keys and guitar, maintained off the scale rhythms, impeccable timings which accompanied O’Reilly’s commanding bluesy voice!

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Strong Asian Mothers at Sticky Mikes; Photographer: Rachael Crabtree

By the evening, we were on edge to catch the iridescent genre hip-hopping R’n’B Strong Asian Mothers who filled a capacity Sticky Mike’s. They sure knew how to shake a few souls, delivering the festivals most danceable of sets with their refreshing brass and electronica. Opening with a Queen cover “because who doesn’t love a bit of Queen?” Bringing to the table sharp wit and unabashed tomfoolery was enough to win our hearts times over – highlight moments were: ‘Don’t Let Go’ and ‘Sober’.

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Skipping across to Jubilee Square, the Belfast trio, Beauty Sleep, drew us in with their dreamy pop brilliance on the BBC Music Stage. We loved their fuzzy bass lines and warming chorus effects on the guitar. Bouncing back when their keyboardist broke her cable and none-standing nailing their infectious melodies and psych-pop hooks!

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The Unitarian Church each time offered a sanctuary of momentary pause in time and on this time around a special mention goes to the zany and mythological H.Hawkline who gave a really delicate stripped back performance here tonight. His voice and guitar alone accentuated the coyly romantic Belle and Sebastian-esque lyrics. Concluding with a delicate finale ‘My Mine’ hinted to the masterpiece that awaits us; latest record: ‘I Romanticise’ is released via Heavenly Records today (Friday 2nd June).

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The Districts at The East Wing; Photographer: Rachael Crabtree

Somehow nearly missing out on The Districts at The East Wing, we scrambled in, weaving in-between the masses to get a piece of the visceral rock. It was a much needed moment to bask in some decent guitar rock since Ten Fé, maybe it was me, but scattered about the daytime shows there was a lot of music on the brink of commercial pop. The Districts harness heavy guitars, moody and terrifically lush reverb-riffs. After so much recent airtime on BBC6Music, of latest single ‘Ordinary Day’ it was stunning to see them smash it live!

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Saturday

Bryde at The Komedia was one of todays highlights for the sheer versatility in voice and guitar. Describing the artist as an folk singer-songwriter to the chap beside us, who popped by the venue on a whim, I quickly realised didn’t really hit the mark – Bryde is an exception to alt-folk, channelling more fiercer rock, and while at times, delicate, is far from the assuming fragile folk artist. The multiple textures created by the three-piece were as unpredictable as compelling.

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Flamingods were absolute legends, and very fortunately from Bryde’s set we could slip next door to catch them at an overflowing Komedia Studio. The contagious psychedelic vibes were wildly exotic and of their own magical making – as many alternating rhythms as interchanging instruments. Driving melodies that were constantly changing and effortless in their summery soundscapes, that had us on high for days after…

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Flamingods at Komedia Studio; Photographer: Rachael Crabtree

Early queuing was much needed for the treat of Babeheaven at The Haunt where the mesmerising vocals and sparse arrangements really stood them apart from the vast electronic acts that saturated the festival who had busy backing, that much brilliance was lost. These however, knew how to punctuate their synths, drums that were unfussy in approach and maintained distinct vocals, all the while subtle, soulful. ’Moving On’ and ‘Friday Sky’ were wonderfully hazy moments, rewinding and moving.

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By Saturday night we were in much need of our prog-rock hit, which came courtesy of the tropicdelica quartet, Black Peaches, an exciting new project of Rob Smoughton, best known as a member of Hot Chip. Unable to move past the coffee counter (not for want of coffee) at Cafe Plenty we found ourselves staring around the room and upon faces of those in awe of what we could hear, and just about see, in reflection on the glass window. Their set was relentless, unbelievably infectious grooves, literally one song glided simultaneously into another – it was one heavenly trip…Fire and Water Sign was a completely sublime set closer.

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Glass glided in to steal the night, giving us the best finale you could wish for. As flawless as ever, drawing everyone in with their spellbinding dramatic pop. It’s exceptional how much their sound has changed since their Union Chapel show, whilst that performance was light and synthy, tonight was underpinned by a darker undercurrent, shaped by the heavier, distorted guitars and a drummer in replacement of the synths. Lead vocalist, Jessica Winter, altogether wielded a punk persona close to Siouxsie and Banshees – seriously, we will never cease loving Glass!

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GLASS at The Cafe Plenty; Photographer: Rachael Crabtree

Writers: Rachael Crabtree: @eccentric_eejit Will Steadman@steadman_will and Elizabeth Andrade@LizzyyEA