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Live Reviews

Alter Bridge

O2 Arena, London

Monday 12th December 2022

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ALTER BRIDGE – LONDON – LIVE REVIEW

As the year draws to a close, music publications such as us turn our attention to our end of year lists. There will be nods to the best albums, singles, festivals and gigs as December progresses towards it festive finale. The only problem is that 2022 isn’t quite done yet!

Tonight for example the O2 Arena in London welcomes a fantastic package tour with three incredible acts set to grace the stage. Perhaps then those engravers should hold fire on etching the award winner’s names just yet!

This evening is the final night of a tour that has hit five other UK and Irish arenas already this month having first made its way around Europe, and there’s an end of tour / end of year atmosphere in the venue.

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Mammoth WVH – ‘Epiphany’

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The first band up is Mammoth WVH led by Wolfgang Van Halen who showcases his natural talent and feels right at home on this massive stage. Playing a blistering set of material from their self-titled debut release, the band finish with ‘Don’t Back Down’ and leave the stage with many more fans than when they arrived.

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Halestorm – ‘The Steeple’

Read our review of ‘Back From The Dead’ from Halestorm

Next up are a band who debatably should be headlining arenas themselves these days, as the screams of Lzzy Hale welcome Halestorm to the stage. Opener, ‘The Steeple’, sets the theme with new album, ‘Back From The Dead’ taking centre stage. That’s no bad thing though as it’s a fantastic album as demonstrated by the likes of ‘Wicked Ways’, ‘Mine’ and the title track.

All the usual Halestorm fun is packed into an abridged set where we still get crowd interaction, over-sized drumsticks and massive rock songs such as ‘Love Bites (So Do I)’ and ‘Familiar Taste of Poison’. ‘I Miss The Misery’ closes out the short but sweet set and leaves you thinking surely a Halestorm arena headline tour must be next on the cards.

WATCH ‘SILVER TONGUE’ FROM ALTER BRIDGE ON YOUTUBE
Alter Bridge – ‘Silver Tongue’

A band very familiar with headlining arenas at this point though is our headline act tonight, Alter Bridge. Another band with a new album to show off, the huge ‘Silver Tongue’ gets the ball rolling as the group once again demonstrate their obscene talents.

A musically sublime performance features their debut album more than recent tours with ‘Shed My Skin’, ‘Burn It Down’ and ‘In Loving Memory’ all highlights. The set list weaves between albums and highlights the musical dexterity of the band along with the commitment of their fans that stand in awe through hits and deep cuts alike.

‘This Is War’ and title track ‘Pawns & Kings’ show that the band remain very much on form as far as new material goes, but naturally it’s favourites such as ‘Metalingus’ and ‘Blackbird’ that elicit the best audience responses tonight.

An encore of ‘Rise Today’ and ‘Open Your Eyes’ seals the deal and sends the crowd into the wintery embers of 2022 happy and thoroughly entertained. It’s tours like this that remind us what we’ve been missing in the past couple of years, and serve as grounds to hold back on those end of year awards until all the entries have made their case!

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Live Reviews

Shinedown

Wembley Arena, London

Thursday 1st December 2022

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SHINEDOWN – WEMBLEY ARENA – LIVE REVIEW

Shinedown fans have long wondered why the band had yet to progress to Arena’s in the UK. Having grown exponentially in this region over the past decade, recent tour expectations had been larger venues for the group, only for the band to opt again for academies. Not this time though, welcome Shinedown fans to Wembley Arena!

The final date of their first full arena tour, tonight feels like a big moment for the band and the atmosphere in London echoes this. Outside may be a Christmas wonderland but inside the venue rock fans are more than ready for an evening of entertainment.

Opening proceedings on this run of dates is rapper Zero 9:36 who does well to warm up the early attendees with his brand of rock. Next up, Asking Alexandria get a hero’s welcome as they arrive onstage and they return the favour with a solid set featuring a number of clear fan favourites which really ramps up the energy levels.

Both bands have done a great job, but tonight is really about one band and there isn’t long before Shinedown make their big entrance. The band have a new album out, ‘Planet Zero’, which is incidentally their highest UK charting album; so it’s fitting that they open with new track, ‘The Saints of Violence and Innuendo’, as they begin their biggest UK show to date.

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Shinedown – ‘The Saints of Violence and Innuendo’

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‘Devil’, ‘Planet Zero’ and ‘How Did You Love’ all follow as they band stamp their authority on the stage. For their biggest UK shows, they’ve brought their biggest ever production to these shores and the visuals tonight are just as stunning as the music.

Amongst the newer material of the last decade or so, we get a splattering of early material such as ‘45’, which is up next and helps elicit just one of many huge sing-a-long moments.

The band have amassed a seriously deep back catalogue and the setlist tonight is well curated to showcase all the talents of the group from the heavy to the heartfelt. The juxtaposition of ‘Cut the Cord’ straight into ‘Second Chance’ really highlights their dexterity.

By the time ‘Sound of Madness’ brings the show to a close, there can be no doubters that Shinedown absolutely belong on the biggest stages. There are many Download Festival t-shirts in the audience tonight and it’s fitting because this was a performance worthy of headlining the UK’s premier rock festival!

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Live Reviews

Evanescence / Within Temptation

O2 Arena, London

Monday 14th November 2022

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Evanescence / Within temptation – london – live review

In many ways the world is broken, but in others the world is now healing after the previous two to three years. All regular gig attendees had their carefully curated schedules wiped out by the pandemic. Cancellations, postponements, uncertainty, changed plans, travel and hotel arrangements in tatters; it’s not been easy for music lovers.

Most of those tours have now finally taken place, but tonight is another where digging out the tickets reminds you just how long ago you actually brought them! So, understandable then that anticipation is high and the venue is full early.

Of course the opportunity to catch both Evanescence and Within Temptation together in the same night may well be a big reason for the atmosphere in London’s O2 Arena. Before that though we get our support act Veridia, who instantly look at home on the big stage.

The group are a fitting opening act and get the crowd suitably warmed up for what’s to come. A tender performance of ‘I’ll Never Be Ready’ with Amy Lee gets those mobile phones up in the air, but there is enough in the set as a whole to warrant further investigation from new fans.

Our co-headliners are rotating the closing slot on this tour and tonight that will be Evanescence, so up next it’s Within Temptation who take to the stage complete with stunning production.

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Within Temptation – ‘Faster’

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If the stage show wasn’t headline worthy alone, the moment the band arrive their presence and energy is truly off the charts. ‘Faster’, ‘Paradise (What About Us?)’ and ‘Stand My Ground’ all help to build on that early atmosphere and create a real moment.

The fact that singer Sharon den Adel is clearly under the weather makes the beauty of their performance even more incredible. The final run of ‘Ice Queen’, ‘What Have You Done’ and ‘Mother Earth’ provides a superb climax to the set and leaves you wondering just how Evanescence can top it!

Soon enough it’s time for them to try, albeit with a much simpler stage show. Evanescence are a rarer proposition on these shores and them going on last feels right in many ways, but as the show gets going it’s clear that the energy levels have dropped.

Their latest album, ‘The Bitter Truth’, is very good and deserves the spotlight live, but tonight following Within Temptation’s huge show it’s clear the audience are after the classics. The atmosphere therefore feels a little flatter, only rising again for the likes of ‘Going Under’, ‘Call Me When You’re Sober’ and ‘Imaginary’.

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Evanescence – ‘Wasted On You’

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New tracks like ‘Wasted On You’ do sound epic tonight however and showcase where the band are very well. Amy Lee reminds everyone what an incredible talent she is and their finale of ‘My Immortal’ and ‘Bring Me to Life’ is probably the highlight of the night.

Having waited for years for this tour neither band disappoint and with two headline worthy performances the show represents great value for money. Both bands have just been announced as returning at Download in the summer, so do the right thing and get them noted on your clashfinder now!

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Live Reviews

Biffy Clyro

O2 Arena, London

Saturday 12th November

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BIFFY CLYRO – LONDON – LIVE REVIEW

Biffy Clyro had just announced a UK Arena Tour when the world shut up shop in March 2020. Since then they’ve released two albums, headlined Reading & Leeds and Download Festivals and played an intimate run of UK dates. Now, two and a half years later the band finally gets to grace again the largest indoor venues the country has to offer.

Tonight that places them at the monstrous O2 Arena in London in front of a packed Saturday night crowd. Anticipation is high, and not just for the Scottish heroes, but for special guests Architects fresh from an arena tour of their own back in May.

Both bands will be hoping the crosspollination of their audiences will earn new admirers and for Architects up first there is clearly is mixture of diehard fans and trepidatious unfamiliar audience members.

Focusing on their more accessible recent material is a clever move from the band and tracks such as ‘deep fake’ and ‘tear gas’ ease inhibitions and start to win over those starting out on the fence.

WATCH ‘ANIMALS’ ON FROM ARCHITECTS ON YOUTUBE
Architects – ‘Animals’

A smooth and effortless run through of the likes of ‘Dead Butterflies’, ‘Doomsday’, ‘when we were young’ and closer ‘Animals’ ensures many new fans will have been found tonight. A random introduction from Joel Dommett stated that Architects are one of the best bands in the UK, and whilst our headliners have a major stake in that argument, tonight our guests have ensured that they are in the conversation.

Anybody that has seen Biffy Clyro live however will know that they are one of the most consistently impressive live forces on the circuit. Tonight, to the surprise of nobody, they are once again a level above the competition.

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Biffy Clyro – ‘Who’s Got A Match?’

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Opening trio ‘DumDum’, ‘A Hunger In Your Haunt’ and ‘Tiny Indoor Fireworks’ perhaps provide a slow start to the set but from ‘Who’s Got A Match?’ onwards the venue comes alive as the band produce the proverbial banger after banger.

The composition of the setlist is well balanced with a good mix of new, old and the return of a couple of even older pre-mainstream Biffy Clyro numbers ‘57’ and ‘Glitter and Trauma’.

The stage is simple but effective with the music the focal point tonight, and with the likes of ‘Instant History’, ‘Mountains’, ‘Wolves of Winter’ and ‘Biblical’ on offer that’s all that is really needed.

Just watching the crowd reactions to the likes of ‘Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies’, ‘The Captain’, ‘Bubbles’ and ‘Many of Horror’ makes is so obvious that Biffy Clyro are now fully established as an elite tier act. Mon the Biff!

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Creeper

Roundhouse, London

Friday 4th November 2022

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CREEPER – LONDON – LIVE REVIEW

The last time Creeper played a show like this in London, they “broke up” and vanished for a year. In advance of tonight there have been teases of some vampiric happenings in Camden, so it’s no surprise that the band’s dedicated fanbase sold out their biggest ever headline show at the iconic Roundhouse.

The theatre starts early with opening act Zetra. The gothic synth-gaze group are a fitting start to the evening and get the early attendees into the spirit for what is to come.

Main support act Bad Nerves are more of a straightforward proposition, blasting out their rough and ready punk rock anthems to the enjoyment of the audience.

Realistically however tonight was always going to be about one band and one band alone, our headliners Creeper. Before then however the vampire theme is played out again with clips from legendary vampire movies projected onto the curtain protecting the stage.

When that curtain finally drops the band burst onto an appropriately decorated stage with early fan favourite ‘VCR’, much to the delight of the packed venue. The opening guitar riff of ‘Born Cold’ then cuts the atmosphere in two and the crowd truly erupt.

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Creeper – ‘Born Cold’

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Big hitters ‘Suzanne’ and ‘Annabelle’ follow and you already know that tonight is going to be special. From here on out, it’s a true career-spanning setlist from the band with a surprising amount of early material finding its way back into the set, which again helps to feed that special feeling this evening.

Over the past year or so, Creeper have taken major leaps forward sonically and visually, on record and live. All that early promise is being fully realised and tonight feels like a celebration of everything they’ve done to this point. Both albums and all major EP’s are represented.

The stage presence of the band has come so far and seeing frontman Will Gould at the peak of his powers, and Hannah Greenwood own the stage like never before is incredible for fans that have been with the band since their humble beginnings.

Every word of every song is sung back by the passionate audience at the top of their lungs. There is a connection in place here between band and fans that is hard to describe, but we’ll attempt to with the word magical!

Stunning moments such as the live debut of ‘All My Friends’ ensure this evening is the spectacle it promised to be, but it’s what transpires after ‘Misery’ brings tonight to a beautiful close that will be talked about forever in Creeper folklore.

After a vampire beheads Gould, a video announces that the band has signed with Spinefarm Records and new single ‘Ghost Brigade’ has just been released. As one chapter closes, another begins and Creeper remain on course for greatness.

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Sum 41

Alexandra Palace, London

Friday 21st October 2022

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SUM 41 – LONDON – LIVE REVIEW

Outside the venue its wet, miserable and 2022 is kicking our ass. Once inside Alexandra Palace in London however, well, its summer 2001, we’re with our friends and we don’t have a care in the world!

Yes, tonight the venue plays host to not just headliners Sum 41 but also special guests Simple Plan as we all get to relive our youth. But up first, some fresh blood and local artist Cassyette, who has been busy making a name for herself over the past couple of years.

With tonight’s show sold out well in advance, there is a decent crowd in early for her to impress and impress she does. Owning the stage like a seasoned veteran, she is able to stir up that early crowd and get them engaged fully in proceedings.

Tracks such as ‘Dear Goth’ and ‘Mayhem’ sound huge in this large venue and intimate that hers is a name that will become more familiar for the masses in the future.

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Cassyette – ‘Dear Goth’

After a short gap, Simple Plan are ready to launch into a barrage of pop punk goodness. With a full production behind them, and the audience lapping up every moment, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Simple Plan were the headliners tonight.

All the fan favourites are present as the band commence our journey back in time. This is an immensely fun show that reinforces just how iconic Simple Plan are in their field.

Finally it’s time for headliners Sum 41 to arrive on stage to huge levels of expectation. With the band celebrating the anniversaries of their first two albums, ‘All Killer No Filler’ and ‘Does This Look Infected?’, fans are ready for a party.

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Sum 41 – ‘War’

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And it’s a party that they get with barely any lull in pace or atmosphere. Fan favourites such as ‘Motivation’, ‘The Hell Song’, ‘We’re All to Blame’, ‘War’ and ‘Underclass Hero’ dominate the setlist.

Whilst those two early albums are focused on, it’s a career spanning set from the band. Add to this pyro galore and you have a sensational show. ‘In Too Deep’, ‘Pieces’ and ‘Still Waiting’ all feature later in a relentlessly good set.

By the time the evening ends with ‘Fat Lip’, the band have succeeded in removing all our cares and have done their legacy justice.

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Ash

O2 Forum Kentish Town, London

Sunday 18th September 2022

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ASH – LONDON – LIVE REVIEW

Disillusioned and close to bankruptcy, it is fair to say that 2001’s ‘Free All Angels’, was a make or break record for Ash. Whilst debut album, ‘1977’, had hit the number one spot and made the band a household name, sophomore release, ‘Nu-Clear Sounds’ had seen the bands momentum stall.

Having seemingly hit rock bottom, a refreshed approach saw the band write and record what would be their saving grace, ‘Free All Angels’. Returning the band to the top of the charts, and serving as a springboard to greater success, it is again fair comment to say that the album rescued the group’s career.

This week has seen the band celebrate the 21st Anniversary of the album with three very special shows. Rejoined by guitarist Charlotte Hatherley, who departed the band in 2006, Ash have played the album in full first in Manchester, then Birmingham and finally tonight at the O2 Forum Kentish Town in London.

On the eve of the funeral for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, there is a perfectly observed minutes silence at 8pm.

Shortly thereafter opening act The Gulps take to the stage and do a suitable job of raising spirits and getting those in attendance ready for our headliners.

WATCH ‘SHINING LIGHT’ ON YOUTUBE
Ash – ‘Shining Light’

A mighty roar greets Ash and particularly Hatherley to the stage and the band proceed to play the entirety of ‘Free All Angels’. The quality of the record is borne out with opening trio, ‘Walking Barefoot’, ‘Shining Light’ and ‘Burn Baby Burn’, with even frontman Tim Wheeler commenting on the run.

The singles, naturally, played a large role in the success of the album but it is the overall quality that ensures that remains as revered today as when released in 2001. ‘Candy’, ‘Someday’, ‘Sometimes’ and ‘There’s A Star’ are all glorious before ‘World Domination’ brings the run though to a close.

This doesn’t end the evening however as Wheeler quips about making the most of their time with Hatherley, before introducing the first song that they worked on together, ‘A Life Less Ordinary’.

Ash are a fine live act, but tonight the addition of Hatherley really ratchets things up a notch or two. The added layers and intricacies level up the band and the likes of ‘Goldfinger’, ‘Orpheus’ and ‘Clones’ sound absolutely huge tonight.

Towards the end of the night the band break out tracks such as ‘Numbskull’, ‘Kung Fu’ and ‘Girl From Mars’ much to the delight of the audience.

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Ash – ‘Burn Baby Burn’

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Tonight has been a reflection of a period of time not just for Ash but in British music. It’s an evening drenched in nostalgia but for those in the venue it’s all about the immediacy of the performance. It’s only fitting that a final airing of ‘Burn Baby Burn’ closes out what has been a successful celebration of a truly great album.

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All Points East

Victoria Park, London

Friday 19th August 2022

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ALL POINTS EAST – FESTIVAL REVIEW

All Points East is once again taking over Victoria Park in London for a series of huge shows and community activities. The event which debuted in 2018 has brought some of the most critically acclaimed acts in the world to London over the years, and this year will include performances from The Chemical Brothers, Kraftwerk, Tame Impala, The National, Disclosure and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

Night one plays host to iconic ensemble Gorillaz, but first fans have to battle transport issues created by strikes affecting buses, overground, underground trains. Coldplay’s show tonight at Wembley Stadium is postponed to support fan attendance, but All Points East decide to press ahead with little acknowledgement of the issues.

Almost certainly some fans will have thought twice about the journey, however as we arrive at the festival site around dinner time it is clear that many thousands have managed to navigate the issues. Attendance today is far from full, however is far greater than we perhaps expected given the challenges.

This is a highly corporate festival and this comes across in the atmosphere. There are plenty of music fans in attendance but also more than enough people clearly just looking for a very expensive place to drink in the sun with their friends! With only cans of beer available from most bars, I’d suggest a 24 pack from the supermarket, a decent stereo and a garden would’ve been a better option for some.

Watch ‘Kerosene!’ from Yves Tumor on Youtube
Yves Tumor – ‘Kerosene!’

Upon arrival we force ourselves through the picnic benches and corporate sponsors to the ‘West’ Stage where Yves Tumor is strutting their stuff much to either the delight or bemusement of those in attendance. Tumor’s eccentric electronic rock is a great way to get into the festival spirit and helps to remind us that we are actually here for some live music!

There are many stages of varying sizes at All Points East, but for tonight we need to dart between the two main stages. These are at opposite ends of the site, but we are able to get between them in under five minutes with the utilisation of a power walk.

Watch ‘TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION’ from Turnstile on Youtube
Turnstile – ‘TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION’

It’s therefore to the ‘East’ stage next for us and American hardcore punks Turnstile. This is a group making noise both literally and figuratively with latest album, ‘Glow On’, bringing new eyes and bigger audiences for the band.

The critical acclaim achieved by ‘Glow On’ has certainly helped the band grow, but their live shows have ensured that once you take a look at them, you don’t want to look away. Today the band feel at home on the big stage and their performance is once again captivating and engaging.

The setlist is dominated by ‘Glow On’ tonight which is no surprise, and once their time is finished fans are left in awe of what they have just witnessed. So would we be if we didn’t now need to race back to the ‘West’ stage for another incredible live act, IDLES!

Watch ‘Never Fight A Man With A Perm’ from IDLES on Youtube
IDLES – ‘Never Fight A Man With A Perm’

IDLES are one of the most visceral and enthralling acts to emerge in the last decade. Four stunning albums into what promises to be a legendary career, the band attract a big crowd to the far end of the festival site.

It’s also an impassioned crowd as they let go with their heroes to the likes of ‘Mother’, ‘Never Fight A Man With A Perm’, ‘A Hymn’ and ‘The Wheel’. IDLES are a force of nature once they hit the stage and they somehow manage to make an enormous corporate field feel like a tiny little club show.

Their performance tonight is headline quality with closing duo ‘Danny Nedelko’ and ‘Rottweiler’ eliciting a rapturous response from the crowd. The connection between IDLES and their fans is a beautiful thing to witness and surely soon enough they will be the final act of these sized events.

It’s a hard thing for any act to follow IDLES, but that is exactly what Gorillaz must do next. Thankfully for them they are the brainchild of Damon Albarn who has a natural ability to control a festival crowd.

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Gorillaz – ‘Clint Eastwood’

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Albarn is joined in Gorillaz by a collection of extremely talented musicians who together bring the vision to life. For over twenty years now the music of Gorillaz has pushed boundaries, experimented and brought together collaborators from all walks of musical life. Tonight the group showcase this to an expectant All Points East audience starting with ‘M1 A1’ and ‘Last Living Souls’.

The overall setlist tonight is heavy on the ‘Demon Days’ and ‘Plastic Beach’ albums, but it is a career-spanning set with early favourite ’19-2000’ arriving early in the show.

As you’d probably expect the bigger hits elicit the biggest reactions today, perhaps more noticeably so with this cosmopolitan crowd. Another influence on the crowd reaction measuring scale is the plethora of special guests that Gorillaz are able to bring out. The biggest surprise comes with Tame Impala joining Gorillaz and Bootie Brown on new song ‘New Gold’.

We are also treated to Shaun Ryder and Rowetta on ‘DARE’, Paul Simonon on ‘Plastic Beach’ and De La Soul on ‘Feel Good Inc’, not to mention appearances from Popcaan, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Moonchild Sanelly, Mos Def and Sweetie Irie. Yes there is a real party feel to the show tonight as Gorillaz parade their friends.

All this makes for a very memorable evening that draws to a close with ‘Clint Eastwood’. In just a few hours we’ve witness four fantastic acts all presenting their art in their own unique ways. All Points East may feel overly commercial at times but nobody can doubt their ability to curate some of the most eclectic and quality line-ups on offer by UK festivals.

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Pearl Jam

British Summer Time Hyde Park

Friday 8th & Saturday 9th July 2022

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PEARL JAM – BST HYDE PARK – LIVE REVIEW

It’s hot, hot, hot! It’s British Summer Time and the hot ticket this year is a two night stay from Seattle icons Pearl Jam. Oh yes, Hyde Park in London is packed in like a giant sweaty sauna with a delicious soundtrack on offer so let’s dive straight in.

This is another event to have suffered multiple COVID postponements but finally the gates upon on a sweltering hot Friday and diehard fans man the barriers and merch stands as they await the arrival of their heroes.

Whilst the Pearl Jam name sits atop of the banner this weekend, there is actually a packed undercard to enjoy as well. First up for us is Simon Townshend on the main stage who plays a decent opening set despite appearing more concerned with the fact Eddie Vedder was going to join him for a song, but couldn’t. When not awkwardly obsessing on the matter, Townshend showed why his own musical pedigree was actually sufficient. Very odd!

Townshend is followed on the main stage by The Murder Capital, who turn the intensity up a little. This is a band that has been winning man plaudits since their 2018 inception, and with performances like this you can see why.

It is then over to the ‘Hard Rock Rising’ stage where the fantastic Daytime TV make an early bid for performance of the weekend. Our recent ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast guests stop early attendees in their tracks, as they pause to savour the likes of ‘We Can’t Be Friends’, ‘Ugly’ and ‘Zombie’. Expect big things from this group.

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Daytime TV – ‘ugly’

Perhaps it’s the sunshine, or the atmosphere and sense of occasion but there are some great sets this afternoon. Both White Reaper and Cat Power entertain the masses on the main stage, whilst sandwiched in between over on the ‘Birdcage’ stage are LIFE. LIFE attract a big crowd to the small stage and certainly make the most of their time on stage as they showcase their upcoming release, ‘North East Coastal Town’.

The quality of the line-up shines through next with a run of Fatherson, Pixies and October Drift before our headliners Pearl Jam. Fatherson first deliver a superb set on the ‘Birdcage’ stage which spotlights latest album, ‘Normal Fears’ with airings of ‘Better Friend’, ‘Dive’ and ‘Love For Air’.

Pixies are a major draw over on the main stage and they don’t disappoint playing a crowd pleasing set featuring ‘Gouge Away’, ‘Where Is My Mind?’, ‘Monkey Gone to Heaven’ and closer ‘Debaser’. Stood in the early evening sunshine, this is surely the definition of the perfect festival set.

Tucked away on the ‘Birdcage’ stage however is perhaps the perfect opportunistic festival set. That is in sense of a band grabbing their opportunity and their audience with both hands and dragging them kicking and screaming into a moment.

One of those moments that you walk away from and say, “wow”, that you tell your friends about. The band in question is October Drift who deliver a typically visceral experience for the audience, not least when singer Kiran Roy climbs a literal tree mid song.

WATCH THE FULL PELT MUSIC PODCAST WITH GUESTS OCTOBER DRIFT
The Full Pelt Music Podcast – Episode 10 – October Drift

It’s then finally time for Pearl Jam to take to the main stage much to the delight of those diehard fans still stood stoically. BST is typically a very corporate event with an often stagnant atmosphere, but the Pearl Jam fans help to bring some life this year.

There are upsides to these highly polished BST events such as the good facilities, but a downside can be the various VIP sections sucking the life out of the crowd. Thankfully they have minimal impact this weekend with fans clearly desperate to catch their heroes after a two plus year wait.

Pearl Jam for their part do exactly what they need to do, which for the most part is just play. Vedder does regularly take time to engage the audience but it’s the music that really does the talking tonight.

Friday’s set list is well received and features the likes of ‘Even Flow’, ‘Jeremy’ and ‘Alive’, before a finale of ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ with guest John McEnroe!

WATCH ‘ALIVE’ FROM PEARL JAM ON YOUTUBE
Pearl Jam – ‘Alive’

There can be no complaints from fans with the band on form, the weather absolutely cracking and the undercard on fire. It’s good then that we get to do it all over again on Saturday!

The weather is again relentless hot as we arrive on day two. There is a sense of déjà-vu with fans again getting in early to stake out their spots and pillage the merch stalls.

Today is different however as we have a wholly different undercard, which starts for us today on the ‘Hard Rock Rising’ stage with Tigercub. The Brighton band help to blow off any cobwebs and get the day started right, with a good rocking!

We are then back down to the main stage for The Last Internationale who have proven themselves to be an incredible live act. Today is no different with vocalist Delila Paz orchestrating the performance from the front. The band’s tight bluesy rock goes down perfectly as the mid-afternoon sun beats down, and day two is already picking up where day one left off.

It’s another day of darting between stages today due to the excellent booking across the stages. Both The Wild Things on the ‘Hard Rock Rising’ stage and Imelda May back on the main stage continue the streak of solid performances next.

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James and the Cold Gun – ‘Seven’

Next we head back to the ‘Birdcage’ stage for another recent ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast guest, Welsh rockers James and the Cold Gun. The band has been honing their craft supporting various acts over the past year and recently undertook their debut headline tour. Each show that we’ve caught from the band has been better than the last, and again today they hit new heights with a hard hitting show.

Johnny Marr belatedly takes the main stage next and rattles through a set mixed with solo material and Smiths classics that go down very well with the baying audience.

Back over on the ‘Birdcage’ stage Petrol Girls blitz their short time on stage leaving a trail of both awe and bewilderment. Those that get it, get it and those that don’t, don’t; either way the band make an impression, which is all they need to do both musically and politically speaking. Perhaps a little out of place amongst the BST elite, but an important set at a fragile time for this country.

Soon enough it’s time for Stereophonics to grace the main stage and showcase why they could probably headline this venue themselves with the right undercard. Stereophonics are national treasures that can still pump out quality new material. They are also of the best live acts around, so of course this performance was bound to be a huge success.

New material such as ‘Hanging On Your Hinges’ and ‘Do Ya Feel My Love’ more than hold their own amongst mega hits like ‘Have a Nice Day’ and ‘Dakota’. Sing-a-longs aplenty as the band set the stage for the grand finale.

WATCH ‘HANGING ON YOUR HINGES’ FROM STEREOPHONICS ON YOUTUBE
Stereophonics – ‘Hanging On Your Hinges’

Before Pearl Jam do their thing for a second time, we pop back to the ‘Birdcage’ stage one final time for Whispering Sons who are perhaps the only underwhelming performance of the weekend. Not bad for a festival whose undercards are usually a little tedious. Bravo to the booking team for these two days of fantastic acts.

To top it all off? Pearl Jam of course! Yes headline set number two from a band that always mixes things up. This weekend in London that means two nearly entirely different setlists, a real treat for fans.

Night two highlights include ‘Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town’, ‘Black’‘Yellow Ledbetter’ and an impassioned speech from Eddie Vedder on American gun culture prior to an airing for ‘Throw Your Hatred Down’ with Johnny Marr.

Closing out the double header with a cover of ‘Baba O’Riley’, Pearl Jam have reaffirmed their status as one of the most vital bands of the past 30 years. Their legacy is built and they have legendary status, but there still feels like there is more to come.

These two days have been a delight with quality performances from top to bottom, plus British Summer Time came through with not a rain cloud in sight – could we have asked for any more?

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Live Reviews

Jimmy Eat World

Brixton Academy, London

Wednesday 6th July 2022

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JIMMY EAT WORLD – LONDON – LIVE REVIEW

After two years of waiting, Arizonian emo icons Jimmy Eat World finally arrive at what Jim Adkins refers to as his favourite venue to play. That love is reciprocated as Brixton Academy is packed tonight as fans await their heroes.

Those in the venue early are greeted by opening act together PANGEA from Los Angeles. A promising start soon begins to plod as the heat takes hold. It’s been a hot one today and as this set continues, fans begin to wilt.

Anticipation rises again for our main support act, The Get Up Kids. The influential group are given a good forty five minutes to play with, but this may end of working against them. Again the set starts well, but soon becomes samey and tiresome, with the general lethargy of the audience not exactly helping to create an exciting atmosphere.

With a crowd devoid of vigour, and energy sapping, tonight needs a kick up the rear end. Thankfully for everyone Jimmy Eat World are ready to do just that and start off their performance with ‘Futures’, ‘Pain’ and ‘Bleed American’.

WATCH ‘PAIN’ ON YOUTUBE
Jimmy Eat World – ‘Pain’

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Suddenly the venue finds its voice and our headliners are able to revive the flagging audience. There is a connection between Jimmy Eat World and their fans and that means even new tracks such as ‘Criminal Energy’ from latest effort ‘Surviving’ are savoured.

The first two bands time on stage dragged, but our headline set flies past, which is always a good sign. This is a band that knows what the fans want, and they simply plough through their fantastic back catalogue.

Obvious highlights come from the sing-a-long moments such as ‘Big Casino’, ‘A Praise Chorus’, ‘Work’ and ‘Hear You Me’. The whole set tonight flows well though and by the time main set closers ‘Sweetness’ and ‘The Middle’ are aired the crowd are refreshed and able to let loose.

An encore of ‘Get It Faster’ and ‘23’ brings an end to what has ultimately been an enjoyable night which was well worth the wait!

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