Otherkin- Uncontrollably Addictive

Being invited along to see a band play is special at any time but for me to be offered the chance to watch Otherkin headline their own show was incredible.


The last time I saw these guys play was at this exact same venue, The Boiler Room, where they supported The Amazons in March and at the time I described Otherkin as “Uncontrollaby addictive” and this is now ten-fold. Solo-gigging is a new one for me but when Otherkin so kindly invited me along I had to attend and I was so pleased I did.

Grabbing a quick chat with Conor Wynne (guitarist) before the show, we spoke about life for Otherkin over the past couple of months including the set slots at Victorious Festival and Download festival already confirmed aswell as the support gig they have got for Guns n Roses at Slane Castle. Conor decribed how insane it was to be playing Slane Castle and that they are opening the show which at full capacity will be 80,000 however they expect a good 20,000 to be in attendance when they take to the stage. Since meeting them earlier this week, the Guns n Roses show took place and having read the reviews already the Dublin based Punk Rock band appear to have smashed it once again! I wouldnt have expected anything less to be honest!

The summer for Otherkin is looking rather impressive with other big news due out soon I am sure we will see a lot of these four. We are all now eagerly anticipating the album which Conor said is hopefully going to be ready for release later this year.

Back to the gig and on a warm May evening, I made my way to the infamous Boiler Room in Guildford where I was met with ever familiar poster clad place. I have said it before and I will say it again, this is such a great venue and a fantastic oppotunity to see great bands just like of Otherkin up close and personal.


Supported by Inca Roads and Bad Nerves, we were treated to some real talent before the headliners made their way on stage. Both bands gave the performance of their life and got the audience warmed up and ready. These two bands are definately worth following and I look forward to hearing more from them both soon.


Very quickly the Boiler Room started to live up to its name with temperatures rising rapidly but as the audience grew so did the hype for Otherkin. As soon as Luke, Conor, Dave and Rob took to the stage and started to play the show started. I cant get over how brilliant their shows are and the energy they put into their performaces. The Punk Rock foursome performed their tracks like true professionals including Ay Ay, I was born and their recent single Bad Advise. 

I was blown away by their set, their energy, their charisma and of course their impeccable way of captivating their audience. Solo gigging to a punk rock show wasnt something I would have seen myself doing yet I am so pleased to have been there to witness this incredible performance. Looking forward to seeing and hearing more from my favourite irish lads over the coming months.


https://www.victoriousfestival.co.uk/buy-tickets/

http://downloadfestival.co.uk/tickets

http://www.leedsfestival.com/tickets-0

http://www.readingfestival.com/reading-festival-2017-tickets

Advertisements

Streets of London charity gig- Bastille

Homelessness is a concern that is close to my heart and with Bastille easily being one of my favourite bands out there, when the news came of an intimate gig to raise money for Streets of London (registered charity number 1155242), I knew this was going to be special. 

  
An intimate gig to no more than 800 people, it was held in Union Chapel, Islington, a breathtakingly beautiful working church boasting impeccable architecture. The space is multi functional as it is also an award winning venue welcoming tens of thousands of visitors a year aswell as the home of The Margins Project for those homeless and in crisis in London. Streets of London hosted the event in order to raise vital funds which are needed to support the various projects that they work with, one being the Margins Project at Union Chapel whereby training is offered to those who have been homeless and over a 4 month course learn skills in working in a café aswell as serving gig attendees. The project also gives these individuals counselling and employment mentoring and provide an essential support network however all of this comes at a price and Streets of London rely on donations in order to function. The projects are amazing and really help the people who need it the most and with ambassadors such as Dan Smith (Bastille), Ellie Goulding and Justin Young (The Vaccines) any shows they get involved with will be incredible.

22nd May 2017, with temperatures reaching 25C in London, I made my way cross town to Highbury and Islington station where I was met with the incredibly imposing chapel overlooking the area. Making my way past the ever growing queue of fans, I went through the side entrance to the bar and Margins Cafe where there was a small gathering of people waiting patiently. The atmosphere was calm but with a simmering of excitement as most people had seen the teasers on social media from Bastille. At 6.30pm I went into the chapel and took my place on the beautiful pews, centre stage and only 1 row from the front. Ideal spot as far as I was concerned.

The gig was opened by musician Jamie Lee (Money Band) who stood boldly in front of a highly anticipated audience and read a poem which had hard hitting messages in but with an ounce of humour to lighten the mood, and this was then followed by a short set with him singing alone on stage with a guitar and relatable lyrics. Billy Bragg then took the second support spot. With a roar of applause Billy took to the stage again a single performer. I haven’t heard of Billy Bragg before however when looking online he is clearly an very influential singer/ song writer with music that mixes folk music with protest songs and lyrics that incorporate political theme with beautiful melodies. His view on the world is very clear and he is open and honest about his beliefs however he doesn’t preach but instead says what we are all thinking and this forward way of communicating is so admirable.

 

Sat among authentic wooden pews, with the fantastic stained glass windows around the chapel, high vaulted ceilings and a magnificent font, you would be hard pushed to find a more beautiful venue. The set that Bastille had promised was a stripped back show full of acoustic and that was exactly what we got. Bastille came onto stage with a host of brass and string musicians and the most incredible choir. Despite saying how nervous they were, they sang songs from both albums, Bad Blood and Wild World, and the chapel was full of the most beautiful vocals mixed with such impeccable music. You were left mesmerised throughout the entire show as lead singer Dan Smith, really showed everyone what he is made of with a range that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up on end. The choir were pitch perfect and complimented the band in the finest way possible. They opened with a beautiful version of “Pompeii” in acapella and set the scene for this magical show. What was amazing was how silent the chapel was during the set so that when a note finished, you could have heard a pin drop. Having been to many gigs before and in particular I have been to a Bastille gig before, this was very different to the usually highly energetic sets full of jumping and dancing but equally it was so fitting for the venue and the cause.

  

Other songs including Warmth, The Currents, Laura Palmer, The Weight of Living (Pt 1), Flaws and Things we Lost In The Fire and even though the audience was in the control of the band, they sang along and the voices echoes across all walls in Union Chapel.

   

We all leave a show with high feelings on how amazing it was however I can hand on heart say this was the most magical performance I have ever seen and have ever had the privilege to see. Everyone involved should be so proud of what they achieved, the effect that this had on the audience was inspirational and something I do not feel can be accomplished by many. I left the venue and couldn’t stop smiling and talking about what an amazing experience it was to not only witness Bastille and the amazing supporting musicians and vocalists but to be part of a charitable cause which makes such a difference to so many people.

 

Music is a form of escapism and people attend gigs and concerts to enjoy the lyrics, the atmosphere and to have an memorable evening. Last night, after experiencing my own amazing evening, we heard of the most horrific news coming from Manchester where evil ruined the end of what would have been the most amazing day for many adults, teenagers and children when seeing Ariana Grande. We must not let these cowards win, we will unite and show that good can overcome evil. My thoughts and prayers are with every single person affected by last nights horrendous attack.

  

Tom Grennan- Raspy yet soulful

If you are looking for new music inspiration then look no further as I introduce you to the amazing talent that is Tom Grennan.


Born in Bedford, the now London based singer songwriter has had an exciting couple of years but this is about to accelerate through 2017 and the success will no doubt bring his name and music streaming into the ears of the world.

Having originally been set to embark on a professional football career, Grennan only discovered his musical talents following a few drinks at a party as a teenager and subsequently joining a band in school who covered the likes of the Artic Monkeys. Turning his back on a prosperous sporting career could well have been the best decision of his life after posting music to his Facebook page and receiving a message from his now Manager asking to meet for a chat.

Now signed to Insanity Records, Grennan first found fame after appearing on the Chase and Status track “All goes wrong.” The drum and bass track demonstrates an incredible bassline which paves the way for Tom Grennan and his raspy, power house vocals. 

Grennan released his debut EP “Something in the Water” in October 2016 and with a sound that slots neatly into the blues and soul genre, he is drumming up a decent fan base already having sold out most of his recent headline tour including Bush Hall in London. Having already been likened to the easily identifiable Maverick Sabre and Paulo Nutini, 21 year old Tom Grennan is a performer in his own right and his live sets are full of energy, excitement and engaging musical performances. 

Suffering from dyslexia, Grennan can at times struggle with writing and spends most of his time piecing bits together and I can hand on heart say that however he does it, we do not want him to stop! He takes inspiration from the lives of people around him aswell as himself which means the songs are relatable. You only have to see the videos from his recent gigs including the incredibly beautiful Union Chapel, London, to see how much he connects with his audience. 

With a summer full of live shows, Tom Grennan will be performing at many incredible festivals including Truck Festival (21-23 July), Y Not Festival (27-30 July) and Victorious Festival (25-27 August) to name but a few. His sets will no doubt include the beautiful “Sweet Hallalulah” and we also hope to hear more from his album which is due for release later this year.

http://www.tomgrennanmusic.com/

Truck Festival- truckfestival.com

Y Not Festival – http://www.ynotfestivals.co.uk/2017-tickets/

Victorious Festival – https://www.victoriousfestival.co.uk/buy-tickets/