Shepherds Bush Empire, London
Thursday 9th February 2023
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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.
WATCH ‘RECOVERY’ FROM FRANK TURNER
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!
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