Matt Wills

Fresh from the eastern European leg of Bastilles world tour, Matt Wills has been promoting his new single Emily and getting set for his headline show at Londons Omeara on 25th May 2017.

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The Kent born lad moved to London to attend drama school at 16 however after a series of unfortunate events for him and his family, he found himself sofa surfing while writing lyrics.

Raised on music from the likes of Estelle and having a particular interest in hip hop and grime, his influences mirror those of many new artists including Rag n Bone man and in the same way as others Matt used the beats of his favorite artists and write over them with his own lyrics.

A self confessed addict to falling in love with people and possessions, Matts lyrics are his way of talking about his feelings and therefore the songs he has written do stem from personal experiences. His first EP, Chloe, is about his ex girlfriend and although this is not her real name, the experiences and feelings are true.

When writing ‘Hurricane’ Matt knew from the off that he wanted the infamous Devlin to feature on the track. This is one of my favourite Matt Wills songs with a beautiful mix of wonderful vocals against the smooth lyrical approach of Devlin. If you havent yet heard it, you need to!

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Although he has been around a few years now, Matt Wills has only recently come to my attention and I am addicted to his voice. He has an amazing talent for putting thoughts into lyrics which I believe any listener can relate to. Having supported incredible talent such as Sigala, Halsey and Bastille, his talent has obviously not gone unnoticed and his fan base is ever growing. A vibe described as acoustic with an essense of electronic, and a lyrical style that rivals the likes of Ed Sheeran, Matt Wills has become my new infactuation and the clips of his performances on social media prove that what people are saying about him are correct and I cant wait to see him live!

http://www.seetickets.com/event/matt-wills/omeara/1078115

 

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Boiler room by name, boiler room by nature! The Amazons Live! 16th March 2017

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Appearing on the long list for BBC music sound of 2017, it was blatantly obvious The Amazons were going to have an incredible year. Being hyped by the likes of Radio 1s Greg James, the Reading lads popularity has grown immensely and amidst their sell out U.K. Tour, have earnt themselves bookings at U.K. festivals this summer such as Isle of Wight and Reading and Leeds.

I pride myself in my love of all music genres and Indie Alternative is fast becoming a firm favourite. Having streamed many of The Amazons tracks, and finding out they were playing reasonably local for a mere £8 a ticket, I was definitely going to go!

I have never been to The Boiler Room before but everyone I spoke to said what a great venue it is and that they have some of the best live music playing there. They were right!The Boiler Room consists of one room with a bar and stage, all perfectly located to see what’s going on and getting a beer doesn’t mean you miss any of the gig! Lined with posters of previous shows and fairy lights, this venue creates the perfect atmosphere for a rock show.

The gig was opened by support act The Dabhands.  The Guildford based alternative rockband are fronted by Katie Camp Bell with guitarist Ryan, bassist Liam and drummer Lewis. Today was the release of their single “Maybe I” and I would urge you to take a listen… it’s good!

Next support act are was the uncontrollably addictive “Otherkin”

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The Dublin based garage punk group killed it last night and a night of moshing and crowd surfing together with hard, loud, energetic performances was exactly what made this set so electric! Luke Reilly is a showman and with the support of the ever talented David Anthony (bassist) , Rob Summons (drummer) and Conor Wynne (guitarist), it is no wonder they smashed UK and European festivals last year and have been pipped as one to watch by some of the best music industry people.

From the moment they stepped on the stage, Otherkin had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hand. The interaction was spot on and the daring barrier climb made Reilly get up close and personal with those who going nuts for him!

“I Was Born” was the opener to their set and was a crowd pleaser. With the temperature rising in the venue, it did not stop the jumping commencing. The Amazons frontman even joined them on stage during the show which only added to the excitement.

The lads played their new single  “Bad Advise” which has only this week debuted on Radio 1 on Mistajams evening show and received amazing feedback.

Otherkin were amazing to watch and will go far! They have certainly gained a new fan in me.

10pm and the greatly anticipated headliners took to the stage.The Amazons are fronted by Matt Thomson and with his long ginger locks giving every female actual hair envy, are really making a name for themselves. The crowd went mad for them as they opened  with “Stay with me” with the vast majority of the audience singing along and rocking out. Being one of the most hotly tipped bands for this year and beyond, the hype surrounding them is growing daily and with frequent radio airplay of “black magic” it sounded as though every single person in the Boiler Room knew every single word. Recent singles “In My Mind” and “Little Something” were also part of the set list and having written all of the tracks themselves, The Amazons appeared humbled by the fact they had sold out the venue that they have performed at 3 times before. The audience savoured every lyric which would have originated from Matts home on his acoustic guitar before the rest of the band input their musical knowledge to create the bangers that were being performed in front of me.

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I can not get over the energy that went into the show and the atmosphere was incredible. With their tour going into April and ending in their home town of Reading, these lads will be increasing their following as they go along. The festivals they are playing are huge and the perfect promotion in time for the release of their debut album on 2nd June.

Loud, electric, energetic, hot and sweaty! Everything you could ever want from a gig in a perfectly appointed venue.

 

Rag ‘n’ Bone Man

This years BRITs Critics Choice award winner Rag n Bone man had an incredible end to 2016 and is set to take 2017 by storm.

Born Rory Graham, Rag n Bone Man has beautiful bluesy tones which do not mirror the image of the 31 year old. At 6ft 5in tall, bearded and covered with tattoos, Rory has been met with criticism regarding his appearance which he has shrugged off and disregarded even saying he blocks trolls on social media who do not have anything nice to say.

Coming from a musical family, he has been surrounded by talent from a young age so it was without doubt that Rag n Bone man would be a shining star. Originally from Uckfield, a small Sussex village, he was frequently in trouble as a child due to there not being much for him to do however he did get involved with pirate radio stations to kick start his interested in Hip Hop and Jungle genre. Brighton became his home from 18 where he started the open mic scene with the support of his father. Having spent his youth wanting to be a rapper, it was at this point his confidence grew as a singer following fantastic feedback from old time crooners who had been working the scene for a number of years.

His impeccable voice is one you would expect from the Deep South of America rather than a seaside town in England however this 21st century blues man has blown many other artists out of the water. His collaborations have created complimentary tracks whereby the listener literally stops what they are doing to listen. My favourite is Remains which he sings with Bastille and Skunk Anansie however I absolutely love his duet with Gregory Porter alongside Jools holland and his rhythm and blues orchestra. This performance was outstanding and I would recommend checking it out online! The infectious blues genre grabs the attention of its audience immediately and having been influenced by the likes of Muddy Waters, Rag n Bone man will certainly have you stop in your tracks. Surprisingly he has received no vocal training or lessons and the sound we have grown to love is 100% natural and developed over time by singing along to his favourite music.

Rory has completed many interviews over the past few months and journalists are keen to understand his influences for his lyrics. He has said that when on tour your life is boring and as such he takes inspiration speaking to people about their lives and writing lyrics accordingly. Having said that there is a lot of personal lyrics that are making there way onto the songs and these are easily related to by the listener.

His debut record, Human, has been released and shot to the top of the charts. Rag n Bone man wanted to ensure that the album isn’t as expected by fans and includes a track called Life in Her Yet which was written in 2013 and appeared on the Wolves EP at the time. Life in Her Yet is a very personal song to Rory and his family having been written about his Grandma and he was really keen to get this out there and on the album with the support of his family. Human was written following a friend asking for advise to which he didn’t have the answers and the track is about admitting that you do not always have the answers however media and fans have given it more of a connotation surrounding humanity which also fits well especially given the way of the world at the moment. The album references all of his influences and takes you on a musical journey which becomes your vice however the sheer force of his vocals really make the record what it is.

Rag n Bone man will be performing at a number of live events this year including Wildlife festival, Common People, Isle of Wight Festival and Lovebox to name just a few and I am very much looking forward to catching him.

https://www.ragnbonemanmusic.com/
http://www.wildlifefestival.com/
http://oxford.commonpeople.net/
http://isleofwightfestival.com/
http://loveboxfestival.com/#
http://www.bestival.net/
 

 

Bastille

From initially making music in his bedroom, frontman Dan Smith and fellow band mates Will Farquarson, Chris Woody Wood and Kyle Simmons are without doubt UKs favourite Indie band making up the impeccable talent Bastille.

The spine tingling vocals of Dan together with the lads collective musical dexterity have allowed Bastille to create songs with meaning which get people thinking but also up and jumping.

Their debut album “Bad Blood” was Britains biggest selling digital album when it was released in2013. “Pompeii” is a personal favourite of mine but at one point was the most streamed song of all time in the Uk and spent 92 weeks in the billboard hot 100.  Described as noirish and a mostly guitar-free take on guitar pop, Bad Blood threw the friends to global chart glory and propelled them to festival headliners in the process.

Dan, the self confessed Glastonbury addict, has even registered and purchased festival tickets to Glastonbury due to disbelief that the band would be playing there. It’s this humbled stance on life that makes Bastille one of my absolute favourite bands at the moment.

So with Bad blood being about growing up, Bastilles second album “Wild World” is about finding your place in the world. During a recent interview Dan told of how it’s about getting across that feeling of insignificancy in all crazy world and how you reconcile this by finding solace in human relationships. He went on to say that this relates to them as a band as well where they are going through this immense experience of fame and popularity but they have tried to maintain the same close relationships by keeping the same tight knit team and touring crew around them. By doing this they believe it brings a sense of normality in what can be a surreal and unreal situation. In all interviews with Bastille whereby the question has been asked about what inspired the Wild World album, you will see that this is the basis of their response. Whilst it is predominantly just coincidence, the release of the album and the subsequent arena tour have come at a time whereby there are surreal things happening all over the word and the message of finding solace in relationships is one to be treasured and taken on board.

Having been at the O2 arena in November 2016 to watch Bastille, I was able to see first hand how these lads can give off a more “infamous” persona. They give off a vibe whereby you want to be mates with them instantly and many journalists have said that it’s like speaking to friend of a friend when  you sit with  Bastille. Dan particularly is happiest talking about anything other than himself and his responses to journalists portray this immensely, they feel awkward and embarrased about attention but this make us love them even more. All members of Bastille are clearly extremely talented musicians and growing in popularity however even at music events they still say that they feel like competition winners rather than invited guests!

“Wild World” certainly features more guitar than the debut album and the genre is so varied that you feel disorientated when listening from start to finish. However this was the exact feeling they were wanting to achieve and even down to the playlist order, this is all part of the experience they set out to achieve. With the beautiful vocals, clever sting arrangements, horn riffs, trumpets and a guitar that at times leaps out of your speakers and smacks you across the face, Wild World has been one of the most listened to albums in my household and if I had it in CD or cassette I would have had to have rebought to several times as I have no doubt I would have played it so much it would have burnt out! The album resembles a mixtape whereby you go from the slow ballad style of Two Evils, through to the thought provoking and horn based Send Them Off to the heavy head and arm bopping The Draw.

Currently in Eastern Europe on tour, the band are certainly taking the world by storm. With a schedule for this year which make you tiered just by looking at it, Bastille are clearly highly dedicated to what they do and this shines through with the energy they put into every show. It’s unlikely we will see any more Chaos Planet style secret intimate gigs however I am still holding out hope. We are excited to see them in the Uk again very soon at Reading and Leeds festival and Isle of Wight Festival and waiting to see if any more live dates are announced over the coming weeks.

http://www.bastillebastille.com/

http://www.readingfestival.com/

 http://www.leedsfestival.com/

http://isleofwightfestival.com/
  

just keep going…

Oh my word have I had a busy few weeks. My day job is full on at the moment and taking up so much of my time. On the plus side, I passed my secondment so very happy!

I really do believe that good things come to those that work really hard for it and after 11 years of giving it my all, I can finally say I have reached the role I was aiming for! I am very proud of myself.

Equally this blog has been an incredible journey, I have really enjoyed seeing my views creep up daily. I have been over whelmed by the responses I have had from individuals within the music industry who have taken the time to offer me advise and guidance on how to achieve goals relating to music journalism. There are some people or organisations who haven’t even acknowledged me however I am very aware that these minor disappointments are potentially the start of many but it will not stop me.

I like to think my ambition is infectious and I can inspire people to push for what they want. I can generally spot a star a mile off and if they have goals and ambitions, I will put in all my effort to help them achieve those goals. 

I have spoken to a number of fellow bloggers and I have been inspired by their persistance! The quality of the blogs is fantastic and I have now got some incredible ideas.

I have learnt so much and can not wait to develop this in the coming weeks and months!
xxx

Thank you for the music

These last few weeks have been insane and highly anticipated with the release of some incredible music.

Stormzy released his debut album Gang signs and Prayer which rocketed to the top of the UK charts with a record number of downloads topping 20,000 in one week The Croydon born MC has bought Grime into mainstream music and the gentle giant has certainly made a name for himself. His surprise collaboration with Ed Sherran at BRIT awards was insane and I can guarentee there is more to come from Stormzy.

Speaking of Ed Sheeran, the countries favourite ginger haired singer FINALLY released his Divide album on Friday. Since taking a year out, Ed has been a clever cookie with regards to his PR surrounding his return and his new work. Using social media to announce single releases, he has dominated the singles charts and teasing us about the album including sharing the track list only but not discussing the sound.

Friday 3rd march I downloaded Divide as soon as it was released. As a long standing Ed Sheeran fan, I was keen to listen from start to finish on the release date and if his previous albums were anything to go by, I was going to be in for a treat and he did not disappoint. I had a 2 hour drive to Essex so I set off down the motorway to the starting sound of Eraser.

I am not known for my technical talents and even the use of Spotify can confuse me so I struggled to play the album start to finish however I had my trusted SHUFFLE button. So I listened to the album in a different order to the rest of the world but either way I heard it all. Music is my life and I love how it can make people feel. I have always had an immediate connection to a song and will generally know if Inlike it straight away or not. So firstly, I don’t like Barcelona, this was the only song on the album that made me want to lean for the button and skip forward after just 1 minute. I can’t quite explain why but it wasn’t for me. Literally every other song I love!

We are now all very familiar with Castle on the hill and Shape of you both of which are brilliant pop songs and the first two to be jointly released and went straight in at number 1 and 2 in the U.K. Charts.

Divide really homes in on the Irish folk sounds with Galway girl and Nancy Mulligan instantly making you want to start a jig! You can’t help but feel happy and jolly listening to either of these songs and I was certainly having a little dance in the car. The same goes for Bibia Be Ye Ye which gave me a feeling of being on a tropical island and my shoulders and head started to move and I was ready to party! A welcome feeling for a Friday morning. My shuffle next played for me Supermarket Flowers and I don’t think I can ever forget the feeling I experienced going from party vibes to such sadness. I’m a huge music fan and can honestly say that I have never felt such a huge shift in mood when listening to two consecutive songs. Ed is a genius!

For me my favourite album song is What do I know?  A catchy and highly relevant pop song that makes me smile when I hear it… love can change the world in a moment..but what do I know?

The emotional rollercoaster that I went on during my drive was incredible and this is exactly what I want from an album. From idealic love songs to toe tapping, Gaelic toned melodies, Divide has something for everyone and I challenge you to find me someone who can’t find something they like on this album. With each music style used Sheeran remains in control and each song oozes with nostalgia to really bring his memories to light in a way that everyone can relate.

If this kind of talent and work emerges after a year away from social media and being able to experience the world then we all have a lot to learn. Just incredible!

While Stormzy and Ed are ruling the charts we have a number of wonderful artists releasing new music to us. After 3 years, Lorde has returned with Greenlight. Her instantly recognisable tones bring us a song which starts slow talking about applying make up in someone else’s car but soon takes a turn and Greenlight becomes a dance anthem. I love this so much and so pleased she is back!

Following their appearance on BRITs, the Chainsmokers and Coldplay released Something Just Like This. They broke the YouTube record for the number of views received within 24 hours of debut hitting over 9 million views on that first day alone! A corker of a track which will certainly be blasted out of my car and will be a tune of the summer.

My list could go on and on with the fabulous music that has come out these past couple of weeks. However I have realised that in a world where we download any music we want at any time, we are missing out on the novelty of opening up to the lyrics to a new cassette or CD and learning songs word for word. Im going to start making a consious effort to go and physically purchase a CD from a music store just so I can do exactly that. 

Im so excited to see what else will come out this year……

 

xxx