All Points East has now firmly established its place in the UK festival calendar having already brought some huge names to Victoria Park in London in recent years.
Those names included The Strokes in 2019 when their headline set was struck by sound issues. That perhaps is the reason for their relatively quick return this year, but fans also have the prospect of hearing material from 2020 release ‘The New Abnormal’.
But before we get there we have a lot more to get through, that is after we get through traffic issues outside of London which sadly means with miss both HotWax and FEET.
When we do arrive in the arena, we head straight to the East Stage (one of two huge outdoor main stages) for the reformed Be Your Own Pet. The band only reunited last year but they own the stage today as if they’ve never been away. With their fantastic performance, Jemina Pearl starts a theme of woman stealing the show today.
A brisk walk is then required to get over to the West Stage for another reunion! The Walkmen have recently returned and draw a good early crowd to the stage. The band return the favour with a career-spanning crowd pleaser of a set.
Soon though, it’s time for the woman to take centre stage again with Amyl and the Sniffers quickly making the West Stage their own. Frontwoman Amy Taylor already has the audience in the palm of her hand when an almighty downpour commences. For most acts this would kill their momentum, but the band are able to hold the crowd and ramp up the intensity, creating a moment that will last long in the memory.
Another short wait on the West Stage is all it takes for another incredible female artist to steal the show. The iconic Karen O leads Yeah Yeah Yeahs through a headline worthy performance which is absolutely enthralling.
By the time the band closes out their set with ‘Maps’, ‘Heads Will Roll’ and ‘Date With The Night’, they’ve proven themselves to be one of the best live bands on the planet. Captivating, dazzling and glorious, you start your walk back to the East Stage wondering how on earth our headline act can match that performance.
Sadly for The Strokes the fateful enemy has a say once again with sound issues somehow a problem once more. Many in the crowd complain that the volume is too low, something perhaps not helped by the meandering pace of the setlist.
That said, when the band do dig out the hits the crowd comes to life. The setlist features many of the same staples as 2019 but we do get ‘Ode to the Mets’ and ‘The Adults Are Talking’ from their latest studio effort.
Through their ninety minute set the band are able to evidence why they are one of the most acclaimed acts of the past two decades and it is far from a bad performance.
You just leave with the same disappointment as last time due to sound problems dampening the show. Perhaps that means the band will be back again in a couple of years, but either way All Points East continues to go from strength to strength and this year is another resounding success!
Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report!
We start this week by running through the best festival announcements made over the past week and up first we have Kendal Calling.
Topping the bill this year will be Kasabian, Royal Blood, Blossoms and Nile Rodgers & Chic! They are joined by the likes of Kaiser Chiefs, Frank Turner, Circa Waves, The Enemy, KT Tunstall and The Amazons.
Also across the weekend will be The Hunna, The Murder Capital, Vistas, We Are Scientists, Lottery Winners, Black Honey, Newton Faulkner, October Drift, Jack Valero and many more!
Glasgow’s TRNSMT has added some fifty new acts to the bill for this year’s festival. The events features headliners Pulp, Sam Fender, The 1975, George Ezra, Kasabian and Royal Blood.
They are joined by Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott, The View, The Kooks, Pale Waves, Hot Milk, Hamish Hawk, The Wombats, Nothing But Thieves, The Enemy, The Amazons, Bob Vylan, Dream Wife, Lauran Hibberd and many more.
Wales is also able to attract rocks finest with Steelhouse Festival leading the way. This week the festival announced that Black Stone Cherry will be topping the bill alongside already announced Saturday headliners Airbourne.
They are joined over the weekend by the likes of The Answer, Blues Pills, Kris Barras Band, Florence Black, When Rivers Meet, The Cruel Knives and Dead Man’s Whiskey!
Another rock event getting bigger this week was Slam Dunk Festival who have added more bands to an already packed bill. Probably a good thing then that they’ve also broken down the stage splits.
Added to the event were PVRIS, Sueco, Millie Manders and many more. They join the likes of Enter Shikari, The Offspring, Billy Talent, Bowling For Soup, Yellowcard,Creeper and far too many others to mention!
Live At Leeds: In The Park has added The Hives, DMA’s, gengahr and more to an already packed line up headlined by Two Door Cinema Club.
They join amongst others, The Big Moon, Black Honey, The Beths, Skinny Living, Deadletter, Ellur, Low Hummer and Opus Kink.
Speaking about their appearance at Live At Leeds: In The Park 2023, The Hives’ frontman Pelle Almqvist said: “Some festival names just have a ring to them don’t they? Live At Leeds. It sounds like some upper echelon rock shit and if this year’s edition wasn’t before, now it is. The Hives are very proud and happy to join this upper echelon. They are coming for your money and dignity and in exchange they will deliver however long a show you will let them of life-affirming record-breaking rock ’ ‘ roll music. If you have never seen them before. imagine a rock show but to the 3rd power. Too much of everything. If you have seen them before, you know you will have to again.”
Skinny Living said: “Live At Leeds is one of our favourite festivals in the UK! The line up is always top class, so to be able to play the main stage as a local band this year is a proper moment for us and our people.”
Looking ahead, Festival Promoter Joe Hubbard said: “It may be chilly outside, but we’re already incredibly excited about returning to Temple Newsam for an unforgettable summer festival celebration – with even more favourites and new faces joining the party at Live At Leeds: In The Park this year.
DMA’s and The Hives may just be some of the best festival bands going right now, and having phenomena like Cavetown and Crawlers join the party is truly special. At Live At Leeds, we always look to bring unmissable live titans together with fans’ next favourite bands – and this year’s In The Park is the perfect example of that. All coming together on one day at Temple Newsam, there’s nothing quite like it – and we can’t wait to see everyone this May!”
Next in our News Report is the latest single from Willie J Healey featuring Jamie T. Listen to ‘Thank You’ above now.
The track comes from forthcoming album, ‘Bunny’, which is out August 25th.
Willie comments on the new single: “I was tired and flat and didn’t know what to make & then my friend Jamie said ay willie I’ve got this drum machine it might inspire you.. I picked it up and wrote ‘Thank You’ the next day, it was my way of thanking Jamie for being a good friend. I dedicate it to anyone trying to do their own thing.”
Mimi Barks concludes this portion of our News Report with the new video for her track, ‘SAW’, which you can watch above!
The track features on their recently released mixtape, ‘DEADGIRL’.
Barks had the following to say, “SAW, the third song on the DEADGIRL Mixtape, marks the resistance, rage, and anger I experienced while seeking my identity and self-worth on an emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental level.”
She continues to mention – “Working independently on set with a micro team—just me, and my videographer, and his camera—it takes me back to my roots. No crew, no lights, and no screenplay. It’s raw, industrial and dirty – with the walls of the derelict buildings captured in the music video reflecting the wrath and backlash of my internal war.”
Blondshell will release her self-titled debut album arrives April 7th and is preceded by new single, ‘Joiner’.
Describing the new single, Blondshell explains, “I was listening to a lot of Britpop when I wrote this song. A lot of those bands like The Verve, Pulp, Suede, and Blur channelled dark subject matter, drugs, and all this dirty stuff, but with a fun acoustic guitar under it. I was listening to The Replacements, too. That’s what this song was inspired by sonically. I wanted it to feel like you’re watching HBO, where even though it’s heavy, it’s still a good time.”
BLACKGOLD – ‘Boogeyman’
Masked Misfits BLACKGOLD are back at it again with new single ‘Boogeyman’!
The band comment, “‘Boogeyman’ is about that person that haunts your dreams. They have full control over you within your subconscious and it feels like you can’t escape.”
Riyah – ‘Perfect’
Riyah is ready to unleash her first single ‘Perfect’, showcasing what is to come from her hands and lungs.
She comments, “I’m excited to see this new chapter roll out with this new EP. I’ve spent almost two years figuring out which way to go, and these songs might feel like baby steps to some, but for me it’s gigantic leap into my passion”
Welcome one and all to another edition of our weekly music News Report! This week we are starting with the latest tour announcements, so where else to begin, but with Volbeat!
This week saw the group announce a huge UK and European Tour that is set to take place later this year with the UK portion happening in December.
Volbeatcomment, “Finally, after so much time away, we’re thrilled to be able to bring a proper Volbeat headline tour to our friends across mainland Europe and the UK. We are so excited and cannot wait to see everyone out there! We’re extremely lucky to be able to bring Skindred, Napalm Death, and Bad Wolves along for the ride and share this experience with three incredible bands that we are fortunate enough to call friends.”
Support for the UK dates comes from Skindred and Napalm Death.
Killing Joke announced this week that they will be taking over the Royal Albert Hall next March to play their first two albums live!
“We are living in the most dangerous period in human history in which extinction from nuclear war could happen in the next twelve months. If we make it, then Killing Joke at the Albert hall in 2023 will give great meaning and comfort to all of us. Come share a moment in history with the prophetic and legendary Killing Joke.” – Dr. Jaz Coleman
Next, we move onto the new releases section of our News Report, and this week we start with Bad Wolves.
The band have debuted their latest track, ‘The Body’, which you can listen to above.
“When we were writing this song we had a goal of trying new things,” said drummer John Boecklin. “The slap bass and clavichord instantly was new territory for Bad Wolves. It feels good to know this track sounds like nothing we have ever done before. It’s a fun track that feels like a mix of Faith no more with a dash of Daft Punk. Enjoy!”
Fusion metal pioneers Dub War have released a new single titled, ‘Get Back Up’, the fourth track to be taken from their first album of all-new material in over 25 years, ‘Westgate Under Fire’.
Speaking on the new single, Webbe says, “I’ve always wanted to empower and lift those who are going through a tough time, and in days like this, who isn’t.. This is what ‘Get Back Up’ was created for.
I called Mike Bordin about him playing on this particular Dub War track. Mike has been a Dub War fan from way back. He eventually called me back and, with passion, said “I’m in”…
Together with us, Mike really set the pace for all the other drummers on the album. The style and sound of Bordin strikes hard and shines though on ‘Get Back Up’.”
Also speaking on the track Mike Bordin says, “In this time of isolation/alienation, it was such a pleasure to be able to groove and flow with my old friend, the mighty Mr. Benji Webbe. Welcome back Dub War, and thanks for bringing me along on your ride.
Webbe’s lyrics are on time and strongly on point, encouraging and inspirational in a time when we can all use a lift. Being asked to play on this Dub War song ‘Get Back Up’ couldn’t have come at a better time. This album ‘Westgate Under Fire’ is truly bringing the fire…”
You can listen to the track above, and pre-order your album here.
The final new release in this week’s News Report comes from form Delain vocalist Charlotte Wessels. Wessels has debuted new single, ‘Against All Odds’, which you can listen to above.
The track will feature on new album, ‘Tales From Six Feet Under Vol II’, which is out October 7th.
Wessels states: “Since May 2020, I’ve been writing and recording a new song every month down in my basement “Six Feet Under Studio”, fueled by – and released to – my tight-knit Patreon community. This album wouldn’t be there without them. I’m excited to team up with Napalm Records again to release a new collection of these tracks with a wider audience.
With ‘Tales From Six Feet Under’, I released my favorite tracks of the first year of this endeavor onto the world in 2021, and ‘Tales From Six Feet Under Vol II’ is its counterpart, with my favorite tracks from the second year. There are definitely differences between the two, with the second leaning more towards the heavier side, but they do belong together.
Together they represent a time of introspection and solitary songwriting in the basement. A time that has taught me a lot and has been very meaningful to me, but also a time that, as I started this project in the middle of Covid quarantine, has already – thankfully – started changing. Not because I won’t be writing and recording Six Feet Under anymore, but because as the world is opening up again, I too will come out of the basement and out of my shell again with live concerts, and collaborations are on the horizon.”
France based pop/rock trio, Oakman have shared their brand new single, ‘Murder’.
“The meaning of this song is deep and quite tricky to explain. It’s about sexual abuse and everything that is related to it,” says lead singer, Marine.
“I know that ‘Murder’ is a strong word, but I wanted to represent through it the hatred, anger and sadness that the trauma of rape or sexual abuse can leave on a life. The character in the song finds herself constantly imprisoned by her traumas, which end up killing her from the inside.
So in her dreams, she hopes to kill her abuser the same way that he ‘killed’ her. Very often, the extent of such acts is underestimated or even ignored for the abuser, while the victim will have to live with it all their life. I think this song can speak to anyone who has experienced a traumatic situation where they were the victim. The topic doesn’t matter. It’s your life, your experience. We all have dark times in our lives.”
CAT SFX – ‘Binman’
CAT SFX tread toward more infectious territory with their latest single ‘Binman’.
Of the new single, the band’s lead vocalist Cat Speranza explains:
“”Binman’ is about a toxic relationship: the one between me and alcohol. It’s about the fights that you have with your loved one because you’re so drunk again and have caused carnage, and you’re trying to pick up the pieces the next day. And you make up all these excuses, to yourself, to others. So I’m the Binman. I’m the trash that needs taking out.”
Grave Goods – ‘Come’
Grave Goods share new single ‘Come’ which is a song about revolution.
Singer Lois Macdonald says on the track, “This is one of the first tracks we wrote, and for me the one that helped to cement the feel of the music we make. I wanted to use the guitar in a percussive way, and I wanted the track to feel stressful and furious.
I felt frustrated at the time and had so much to express. I wanted the lyrics to reflect all this, and to come from the gut. The best noise I could imagine for this is ‘Ugh’ which I use towards the end – it represents frustration, disgust and sex.”
THE HELLA MEGA TOUR – LONDON STADIUM – LIVE REVIEW
The mass hysteria of excitement over the initial announcement of The Hella Mega Tour was something to behold. Of course, multiple unpredictable delays have occurred since then and these shows take place now almost three years later.
That initial excitement naturally dimmed by the events of the past few years soon returns however as you approach the impressive London Stadium in Stratford. Spirits are high as fans funnel into the venue ready for three iconic acts.
Before then though, they are greeted by opening act Amyl and The Sniffers who christen the stage with their unique brand of punk rock. Punk was built on rebellion and spite so it’s refreshing to see a band going back to those roots after the genre has become somewhat safe over the last decade.
WATCH ‘SECURITY’ FROM AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS
Some fans get it, others look on in bemusement, but one thing is sure and that is that playing a potentially poisoned chalice of a support slot, the group deliver something memorable.
Any opening band was always going to be overshadowed by what follows on The Hella Mega Tour. It’s soon time to start the feast of music on offer today, and the crowd has piled in early for the first of our three headlining acts Weezer.
What makes The Hella Mega Tour special is that each of the three main acts get not just a headline set length but also full production. Weezer take full advantage of that with a stunning stage setup, but for me the appeal of Weezer live has always been the music, and today the fans are treated to a stunning setlist.
Opening with ‘Hash Pipe’, ‘Beverly Hills’, ‘My Name Is Jonas’ and ‘Pork and Beans’, the band instantly have the packed audience in the palm of their hands. The band proceed to mix old, new and covers. By the time they take their leave with ‘Buddy Holly’, the band have set the bar very high for their contemporaries to follow!
Thankfully for both those following bands and the fans in attendance, both are more than capable to keeping pace with the very best. Next to grace the stage are Fall Out Boy who again waste no time in plying the crowd with huge hits.
‘The Phoenix’ sees the band flex their muscles with pyro galore and the extravagance of the band never really fades with their set designed to tell a story. There is no real lull in pace by the band today as they blast out hit after hit; the only short respite coming due to an issue in the crowd.
Fall Out Boy are slightly younger than their tour buddies but with their performance today they show that they have reached that iconic status already. You really could go home happy at this point following three great performances, but that’s the beauty of The Hella Mega Tour, it’s mega and there is a final performance remaining from global superstars Green Day.
WATCH ‘BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS’ FROM GREEN DAY
By this point anticipation from the crowd has reached a fever pitch and after years of delay and hours of acts behind us, fans are ready to explode. Imagine the response then when the band open with ‘American Idiot’ and ‘Holiday’!
Yes, it’s clear that the band are prepared to make up for lost time and it’s an old fashioned rocker of a show from Green Day. Perhaps they are trying to keep up with Fall Out Boy or justify their position on top of the bill, but their performance is slick and removes some of the bloatedness of latter year Green Day.
Of course, the band has the hits for a situation like this and hearing a packed stadium sing every word of the likes of ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’, ‘Minority’ and ‘Basket Case’ just shows what we have missed over the past couple of years.
We may have had to wait an awful long time for The Hella Mega Tour but wow was it worth the wait. Every band brought their A game, and the show as a whole will become a thing of legend from here on out!