Some nights and certainly some gigs are just special. Tonight is one of those!
For a start we are all here for a vital cause, War Child. The work that this organisation does is incredible and any time we can support them is important, but to do so through music is special. It’s an exchange in values, an exchange in love and it’s a sobering reminder that many of the activities we enjoy are being unjustly stripped away and denied from children all over the world.
Then, hey, those with tickets are getting that exchange. For their support by way of the cost of admission, they get to spend their Friday night in an amazing small venue tucked down a little London side street enjoying a phenomenal live act.
The venue in question is OMEARA and that act is Bob Vylan. The tiny venue is a thing of beauty and Bob Vylan are an act well beyond venues of this size now, so that recipe for magic is all set.
All that is left is for the duo to deliver the goods, and boy do they do just that. The intimate venue is somehow made to feel even smaller as the crowd unifies as one to bounce and move along to the ferocious music coming from the stage.
The set is a good mix between their two albums, with the likes of ‘I Heard You Want Your Country Back’, ‘GDP’, ‘We Live Here’ and ‘Phone Tap’, eliciting some of the biggest reactions, but in fairness the atmosphere just never drops!
Bob Vylan show that they can hold the audience in the palms of their hands and control a crowd as well as anyone else. A big part of this is the strong connection between band and fans and a mutual belief in the message this beautiful bond represents.
New track ‘The Delicate Nature’ sounds massive and builds excitement for what is to come next from the duo. The set is rounded off by ‘England’s Ending’, ‘Pretty Songs’, ‘Wicked & Bad’ and an obligatory stage invasion, which sends those lucky enough to be in attendance off into the cool London night beaming with joy at what they’ve just experienced.
In a world full of injustices, we need organisations like War Child, we need artists like Bob Vylan and we need special nights like this both to escape the cruelty of life but also to refocus our minds on the battles that need fighting!
For more information and to donate to War Child head here.
Xtra mile recordings 20th anniversary – london – live review
There are a number of Anniversary celebrations taking place tonight at Shepherds Bush Empire in London. This is a Brits Week show raising funds for the incredible work conducted by War Child, who this year are in their 30th year of action.
Secondly, it’s the 20th Anniversary of the brilliant Xtra Mile Recordings and finally later on in the evening we will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of our headliner Frank Turner’s stunning album, ‘Tape Deck Heart’!
WATCH ‘DON’T COME BACK FROM GUISE
Lots to dissect then, and lots of action to pack into a short space of time, starting with our first artist this evening, Jess Guise. Guise serenades the early attendees with a number of tracks from her debut album, ‘Youngest Daughter’ such as the fantastic ‘Don’t Come Back’. A short yet delightful performance from an artist who continues to develop into one of Xtra Mile’s hidden gems!
WATCH ‘WE ARE MACHINES’ FROM BERRIES
Following on from Guise after a short changeover are BERRIES, who released their stunning debut album, ‘How We Function’, last year also. Tonight London is treated to some of the fantastic tracks that make BERRIES such an impressive force such as ‘Copy’, ‘We Are Machines’ and ‘Spiral’. Again, their time onstage may be only fleeting but BERRIES make the most of it with a thoroughly enjoyable set.
WATCH ‘GET ON THE ROOF’ FROM PET NEEDS
Next up are Pet Needs who are fast acquiring themselves a fanbase as dedicated as our headliner’s. Yes, the usual swathe of Pet Needs t-shirts are present and from the opening chord to the last strains of feedback, every song is greeted with wild abandon from the packed crowd.
The quality of their songs combined with the energy offered onstage make a Pet Needs performance a real experience. ‘Ibiza In Winter’, ‘Toothpaste’ and ‘Get on the Roof’ are all superb tonight as the band are once again on fire.
Soon enough it’s time to focus on that final Anniversary as Frank Turner takes to the stage to play ‘Tape Deck Heart’ in full. An album that solidified Turner as somebody able to fill some of the UK’s largest venues, it’s a treat to see him play it in the relative intimate surrounds of Shepherds Bush Empire.
Mixing up the order of songs, Turner regales the crowd with snippets of insights into the record whilst delivering some rarer tracks like ‘Broken Piano’, ‘Good & Gone’, ‘Oh Brother’, ‘The Fisher King Blues’, ‘Tell Tale Signs’ and ‘Anymore’. The crowd savour these moments just as they do the plethora of favourites that the album created such as ‘Recovery’, ‘Plain Sailing Weather’, ‘Polaroid Picture’, ‘Losing Days’, ‘The Way I Tend To Be’ and ‘Four Simple Words’!
The evening doesn’t finish there though and ever the entertainer, Turner blasts though a selection of hits to close out the night. The sing-a-long for ‘The Ballad of Me and My Friends’ is spine-tingling as Xtra Mile’s most famous son honours the label in style.
It’s been a fantastic evening celebrating ‘Tape Deck Heart’ and Xtra Mile Recordings 20th Anniversary and we should be thankful for Xtra Mile sharing artists the calibre of Turner, Pet Needs, BERRIES and Guise.
What we should be most thankful for though is for organisations such as War Child and the incredible work that they are doing. For more information and to donate head here!
Welcome everyone to the final News Report for 2022! We hope that you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year! Our action packed News Report will return in January, but before then we have plenty of delicious music news to dissect!
Up for this week, we look at the best tour announcements from the past week and we start with Kiss. The band has revealed that their ‘End of the Road’ World Tour will continue into 2023 with a new UK Tour announced starting in Plymouth and ending up in Glasgow.
This *could be* your last chance to catch the band live! Tickets are here.
On Friday, Colchester’s Pet Needs played a huge homecoming show which served as the 2nd ‘Fractured Party’. As the show concluded, the band announced the 3rd instalment will take place on December 16th 2023.
Hell Is For Heroes share ‘I Should Never Have Been Here In The First Place’
New releases are up next in our News Report as we bring you the first new music from Hell Is For Heroes in 15 years. You can listen to their new single, ‘I Should Never Have Been Here In The First Place’, above.
On the week of her highly anticipated ‘DEADGIRL’ mixtape release fearless Doom Trap artist Mimi Barks has unveiled her new track ‘ASHES’.
Talking about the meaning behind ‘ASHES’, Mimi Barks shares, “Women who posed a threat during the dark ages were accused of being witches, intimidated, burned alive, and sentenced to execution. Today, ever since the Age of Enlightenment, a creative, strong-willed, and self-assured woman still gets burnt to the stake verbally by those led by their own anxieties.”
XL LIFE – ‘Baby Steps’
XL LIFE shared new single ‘Baby Steps’ featuring Bob Vylan!
On working with Vylan for the new single, vocalist Traxx says: “We always felt a kinship with Bob because of his message, his boldness, and his morals, so with this song we took the opportunity to have him on the album and co-sign each other’s work. We will support him to the end.”
Commenting on the relevance of the new single, vocalist Traxx says: “We knew this song had to be made, because we had all been going through some heavy stuff outside of the band. The band has been stop-start/stop-start the whole time, trying to prioritise our health and coming up against some really traumatic circumstances, so this song had to address that. The healing journey. Baby steps. Holding onto the promises.”
Fountain Island – ‘Pretty Little Nightmare’
Pop-punk newcomers Fountain Island reveal their contagious new single, ‘Pretty Little Nightmares’.
The band remark about its creation: “’Pretty Little Nightmares’ explores the bittersweetness of the first time with a loved one, and the realisation that one day it will just be a memory and can never be experienced again. The track takes cues from Blink182’s ‘I Miss You’, with its melancholy gothic tone whilst retaining the youthful pop feel.”