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Live Reviews

PET NEEDS

Portland Arms, Cambridge

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PET NEEDS – CAMBRIDGE – LIVE REVIEW

The community that surrounds PET NEEDS is quite extraordinary. Their fans, or ‘fractured party people’, passionately support the group in their endeavours and recently assisted the the band in defying the odds by reaching number 17 in the UK Albums Chart.

Tonight, finds the group partway through a tour which acts as a victory lap for that album – ‘Intermittent Fast Living’.

PET NEEDS

Through all their achievements though, the fact that PET NEEDS cultivated that fanbase through a number of support slots isn’t lost on them. Indeed frontman Johnny Marriott identifies the importance of these opportunities tonight whilst explaining that tour support Generation Feral is running late.

Instead of cancelling the support slot however, Generation Feral is racing to the venue and rather than leaving fans waiting, Johnny and brother George open the show with an acoustic set of favourites and rarities including ‘Pavlovian’ and ‘Primetime Entertainment’.

GENERATION FERAL

Soon after, Generation Feral arrives and without a soundcheck takes to the stage to deliver an incredible virtuoso performance.  Hitting important subjects in a frank and down to earth manner, Generation Feral is able to showcase her strong songwriting capabilities through the likes of ‘hide your knees’, ‘political climate’ and ‘newborn adult’.

The fans in attendance reciprocate her energy and together an uplifting experience is created, where both audience and artist are grateful of the efforts taken for the set to take place.

PET NEEDS

It again isn’t long before PET NEEDS then return to the stage in full complement and raise the roof with new favourites ‘Separation Anxiety’ and ‘Trip’ from their heralded third album. What is instantly obvious as they do so, is that the fans present already know every word and that the songs already feel at home in the setlist.

That observation is true of all ‘Intermittent Fast Living’ tracks that follow and is a testament to the quality of the record. When you then factor in songs from their first two albums, a PET NEEDS set is now structured – banger after banger after banger!

A final run of ‘Fear for the Whole Damn World’, ‘Tracey Emin’s Bed’, ‘Lost Again’, ‘Sleep When I’m Dead’ and ‘Get on the Roof’ is perhaps the strongest evidence of that theme.

With a new look line-up in place and momentum fully on their side, there appears to be no slowing down from one of the best young bands around. The band have a plethora of festival slots booked for this summer and on this showing tonight, you’d be a fool not to highlight them on your clashfinder!

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Magazine

Full Pelt Magazine

Vol. 24

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The latest issue of the Full Pelt Magazine is here, and you can download your copy for free below!

Volume 24 features our cover stars IDLES as they celebrate the release of new album, ‘TANGK’, which we review inside. We also review ‘Intermittent Fast Living’ – the new album from PET NEEDS. On the live side of things we catch Enter Shikari in London, IDLES in London and Noah and the Loners in Norwich!

Our News Report has all the latest music news including live announcements from AC/DC, Pearl Jam, Gary Numan, Gaffa Tape Sandy, Boston Manor and Willie J Healey!

Plus all the best new releases including Pearl Jam, REWS, High On Fire, While She Sleeps, Boston Manor, Gaffa Tape Sandy, Bears In Trees, Seasick Steve, The Dandy Warhols, Mad Caddies, Stand Atlantic, Greywind, Gun, Blackout Problems and The Longest Johns!

Finally, we round up the latest additions to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist including Cosmic Ninja, Exploring Birdsong and paradise fell.!

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Album Reviews

PET NEEDS

Intermittent Fast Living

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PET NEEDS – INTERMITTENT FAST LIVING – ALBUM REVIEW

‘Intermittent Fast Living’ begins with singer Johnny Marriott gently asking, “alright? how are you?” as he welcomes us into the chaotic world of PET NEEDS. The band have been living a full throttle life since signing with Xtra Mile Recordings, with this being their third album in as many years.

What this album represents however is the balance between life on the road as a touring, recording artist and the quiet family life that separates the chaos. Whilst the subject matter is autobiographic, the themes are purposefully relatable and as Marriott asks us how we are, we are instantly engaged into a conversation of sorts.

The album bursts to life with lead single, ‘Separation Anxiety’ which digs into the juxtaposition of two distinct realities further. The enriching experience of touring is paralleled with the angst of leaving loved ones, whilst there are jabs at bands preaching one thing whilst practicing something quite different with Marriott observing, “I’ve been trying to love myself, because I’ve been told to love myself by every single self-destructive indie band”.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR SEPARATION ANXIETY
PET NEEDS – ‘Separation Anxiety’

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Each track develops on the overarching themes whilst clearly establishing the bands appreciation of their current situation and their gratitude for the community that surrounds them. There are plenty of tongue-in-cheek easter eggs in amongst the lyrics and the fans will revel in dissecting each gem.

Sonically the album follows the path laid by ‘Fractured Party Music’ and ‘Primetime Entertainment’, whilst offering an expansion on their uniquely catchy punk sound. The band somehow manages to once again create a mighty noise whilst harnessing some truly pop sensibilities.

‘Fingernails’, ‘Sleep When I’m Dead’ and ‘The Optimist’ will be live favourites for years to come, but the real magic comes from the more off-piste moments such as the superb album closer ‘Buried Together’ which ends the album on a note of acceptance and love.

Over the course of the eleven tracks, PET NEEDS are able to connect with the listener and share the struggles and joys of modern life. ‘Intermittent Fast Living’ continues the group’s insatiable momentum and is undoubtedly their most well-rounded collection yet.

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Magazine

Full Pelt Magazine

Vol. 20

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The latest issue of the Full Pelt Magazine is here, and you can download your copy for free below!

Volume 20 features cover stars Enter Shikari as they prepare their arena tour with a new collaboration with Jason Butler! We also have album reviews for Green Day and Neck Deep, an EP review for Jarki Monno and a live review of Bring Me The Horizon in London.

Our News Report has all the latest music news including live announcements from Gaz Coombes, Robert Plant, Resolve, Cassyette, Cro Cro Land, Maid of Stone, Steelhouse, Burn It Down, Takedown and Brits Week!

Plus all the best new releases including James, Emily Barker, The Sleeping Souls, Yard Act, IDLES, Greywind, Yours Truly, The Dandy Warhols, Chelsea Wolfe, Mad Caddies, The K’s, P.O.D., NOTHING MORE, Neck Deep, PET NEEDS, Joanne Shaw Taylor, DragonForce, LANDMVRKS, South of Salem, Mother Mother, New Model Army, Saxon and Cassyette!

Finally, we round up the latest additions to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist with Comastatic, Crushed By Waves and Noah and the Loners!

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Full Pelt Magazine

Vol. 18

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The latest issue of the Full Pelt Magazine is here, and you can download your copy for free below!

Volume 18 is a special edition in which we preview 2024 including highly anticipated albums, the most exciting tours, the hottest festivals and our ones to watch list!

Our News Report is still here also covering the latest from Liam Gallagher & John Squire, Mouth Culture, Nicko McBrain, Frank Turner, PET NEEDS, YONAKA, Normandie, Troy Redfern, The Lemon Twigs, Bring Me The Horizon, Cast, Green Day, Casey, Any Given Day, VENUES, Smash Into Pieces and Alkaline Trio!

Finally, we round up the latest additions to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist with Chloe StarWhere Oceans Burn and Grieving!

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Full Pelt Magazine

Vol. 15

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The latest issue of the Full Pelt Magazine is here, and you can download your copy for free below!

Volume 15 features cover stars Slipknot as they announce a new tour celebrating their 25th Anniversary. We also catch PET NEEDS at their ‘Fractured Party III’ event and review Ocean Colour Scene on their current UK Tour!

We have our News Report rounding up new releases from Sum 41, Lauran Hibberd, Kid Kapichi, BLACKGOLD & Hyro The Hero, Kite Thief, Blackout Problems and The Intersphere!

Plus new live announcements from Takedown Festival, Outbreak Festival, Latitude Festival, Five Finger Death Punch, ZZ Top, Lottery Winners, Twin Atlantic, Ferocious Dog, Ugly Kid Joe, Bryan Adams, Microwave, The Dirty Nil, Editors and Sylosis!

Finally, we round up the latest additions to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist with FLOYArlyblonde and State of You!

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Full Pelt Magazine

Vol. 13

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The latest issue of the Full Pelt Magazine is here, and you can download your copy for free below!

Volume 13 features cover stars Holding Absence as they hit the road in support of ‘The Noble Art of Self Destruction’. We also catch Skinny Lister as they take ‘Shanty Punk’ to the stage. Plus we review the latest album from Beans On Toast!

We have our News Report rounding up new releases from Bruce Dickinson, CJ Wildheart, Alkaline Trio, Trash Boat, P.O.D., Atreyu, Normandie, Oakman, Chelsea Wolfe and LØLØ.

Plus new live announcements from Lytham Festival, Slam Dunk, Wild Fields Festival, The Killers, As December Falls, Pet Needs, Indoor Pets, Nickelback, IDLES, Avril Lavigne, You Me At Six, Taking Back Sunday, Don’t Panic and Thomas Nicholas Band!

Finally, we round up the latest additions to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist with Where Oceans BurnBreak Fifty and fakeyourdeath!

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Full Pelt Magazine

Vol. 9

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Our weekly music News Report has evolved into the Full Pelt Magazine, and you can download the ninth issue now for free!

Volume nine includes an update from cover stars The Hunna and exclusive interview with The Pale White. Plus we review Fall Out Boy live in London and album reviews from The Cadillac Three, The Struts, WARGASM and Black Water County!

We have our News Report rounding up new releases from Green Day, Chelsea Wolfe, Beans On Toast, Dead Poet Society, Casey, Mother Mother, The Beatles, New Model Army, Pet Needs, Pendulum, Therapy?, Normandie, Bob Vylan, Amongst Liars, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard and Kid Kapichi!

Plus new live announcements from 2000trees, Isle of Wight Festival, Takedown Festival, Radar Festival, Bearded Theory, Bruce Springsteen, Hayseed Dixie, Feeder, Delain, Saint Agnes, Chris Shiflett, Black Honey, The K’s, Lake Malice, Kaiser Chiefs, King Nun and Blossoms!

Finally, we round up the latest additions to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist with Tropic GoldInterlaker and Jock!

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Live Reviews

2000trees

Upcote Farm, Cheltenham

5th to 8th July 2023

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2000trees festival review

Festival season is in full swing and rock fans once again descend on Upcote Farm in Cheltenham for 2000trees! A true music fans festival, this year there is an absolute smorgasbord of the best new and established acts to savour across three full days of relentless entertainment.

However, before the event proper begins though those with early entry have an additional evening of music on tap in the beautiful forest area. The ‘Forest Stage’ has always been a unique and special feature of this festival which is now on its fifteenth iteration.

Wednesday

The privilege of opening the festivities this year goes to Snayx who, despite playing whilst many are still pitching their tents, still attract an eager and excited crowd. The band are able to seize upon this excitement to whip the crowd up even further with their brand of punk rock. A benchmark is set for the weekend early here and thankfully the organisers have a bill curated to ensure that the quality never drops!

The other stage in operation today is the small ‘The Word’ stage which over the weekend will host various activities such as further bands, live podcasts, comedians and more. Over the next few hours we are able to catch delighted spots from B-Sydes, Masca, Polyanna and Gaz Brookfield.

Over on the ‘Forest Stage’ though, the handful of selected bands combine to deliver a highly memorable evening. Delaire the Liar are up next and are able to continue to build their growing reputation with another assured performance.

A real special moment follows as one of the most talented yet underappreciated bands of the last decade Press To MECO play their final show. Such a moment really deserved a bigger stage and longer setlist but those present are able to bathe in those glorious riffs one more time with an emotional ‘A Test of Our Resolve’ a highlight of the whole festival.

https://twitter.com/PresstoMECO/status/1678107191750844418

Next are a band just getting started. Saint Agnes are tipped as the future of rock music by some, and again on the evidence of their set tonight those people are very much correct! Debut album ‘Bloodsuckers’ can’t arrive soon enough; thankfully we only need to wait on July 21st!

The latest Tigercub album is already out and next up the band bring ‘The Perfume of Decay’ to life with a solid showing as the forest area begins to fill up in anticipation of the nights two headline acts.

Both Holding Absence and Bob Vylan will play two sets over the weekend but before gracing the main stage, they both thrill those packed into the woods! Holding Absence are first and they captivate the crowd with a cleverly selected mix of rarities and fan favourites. This band continues to grow and evolve and it’s scary how good they could be.

Bob Vylan also continue to elevate the game with their headline set tonight they bring carnage to the forest! A spectacular off the cuff collection of on point punk rock more than whets the appetite for their main stage appearance, even showing that they aren’t too far away from being able to headline the biggest stage next time they play the festival.

THURSDAY

Each night the now infamous silent disco takes over the site as the party continues into the early hours, but come Thursday morning the arrival of the rest of the attendees ensure even the first act of the day, Blush Puppy on the ‘Forest Stage’ get a good turnout. The duo perform a delightful run-through of adapted favourites which starts the first full day off perfectly.

With the outdoor stage, three tented stages and the ‘Forest Stage’ all rotating throughout each day an avid music fan can fill their boots with live music and literally catch non-stop music for nigh on sixteen hours a day if they wanted to. We don’t quite have that stamina but we give it a good go and are rewarded by great sets from Kite Thief, Beach Riot and Gaffa Tape Sandy.

Following that run we then head to first catch recent ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast guests CARSICK over on the ‘NEU Stage’. The group proceed to smash through their set to the delight of those present with the likes of ‘Anaconda Frank’ showing real bite.

Another act to impress early in the weekend are Lake Malice in ‘The Cave’. The group have been winning over all who see them this summer and their future appears to be very bright indeed.

Lambrini Girls, Graphic Nature and the official debut of new group Unpeople who have formed from the ashes of Press To MECO all follow and continue to hot run of great sets. Unpeople in particular are able to really tease what is to come and make a fantastic first impression.

The main stage soon literally takes centre stage as first Kid Kapichi and then Bob Vylan deliver two of the sets of the weekend. Kid Kapichi are effortless in their delivery of impassioned punk rock which sees an endless sea of crowd surfers on an inflatable burger! Bob Vylan then reinforce the message that their headline set sent last night, that the duo are as advertised – the most important band in the world!

We then head back to the two larger tented stages, firstly for Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun who preview their upcoming new album ‘Colour’. The record will arrive on July 28th and the band really do a good job of convincing those in attendance that despite the decade plus wait for a new album, the wait will be worth it. All the new material this evening sounds absolutely massive. Then in ‘The Axiom’, The Joy Formidable deliver a delightful little set that evidences the eclectic mix of rock music presented at 2000trees.

Soon enough it’s time for the final run of bands that will close out day one. Skindred are well established as a great live act and tonight they have the crowd at their whim. The Newport Helicopter needs no introduction either as the crowd make the most of the groups big finale.

Back in the big tent next for Eagles of Death Metal who give a festival friendly, crowd pleasing set including the likes of ‘I Only Want You’, ‘Complexity’, ‘Cherry Cola’ and ‘I Want You So Hard (Boy’s Bad News)’.

Finally it’s over to the returning Soft Play (the artists formerly known as Slaves) to close out the day. The duo pick up where they left off and play as if they’ve never been away. It’s great to have the band back and fans revel in the likes of ‘Cheer Up London’, ‘Feed the Mantaray’ and ‘The Hunter’.

FRIDAY

Friday begins with an early run of Beauty School, RXPTRS, The St. Pierre Snake Invasion, BLACKGOLD and New Pagans all of whom play their rules well and make the most of their short sets.

After an overcast first couple of days, today is a scorcher and the heat is intense as LostAlone arrive on the stage. The band don’t let that phase them though as they pull out all the stops to get the crowd engaged. It’s mission accomplished by the time they deliver the double header of ‘The Final Call For Forever’ and ‘The Last Drop Of Forever’.

2000trees do very well to bring together the best new music from home and abroad and the next run of Militarie Gun, Zulu, Microwave and Kublai Khan TX shows the keen eye for upcoming talent that the organisers have.

It’s this mix of new with the established acts that perfectly balances out the line-up and Hell Is For Heroes are a great nostalgic party next on the main stage. The quality overall is again on show when you can then head immediately to the ‘NEU Stage’ for an excellently run set from As Everything Unfolds, before returning to the main stage for a very enjoyable Dinosaur Pile-Up show and then jumping straight to the always intense Cancer Bats in ‘The Cave’!

Bullet For My Valentine are the act who close out the night with a huge headline performance. Attracting one of, if not the biggest crowd of the weekend, the band are in confident mood as they showcase their headlining credentials. Older tracks such as ‘Scream Aim Fire’ and ‘Hearts Burst Into Flames’ naturally receive big reactions, but it’s telling newer tracks also are well received.

A surprise AxeWound reunion with Liam Cormier is another festival highlight before ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ and ‘Waking the Demon’ ensure that come the next morning everyone is talking about how great Bullet were tonight!

The festival has been a whirlwind as per usual for 2000trees and it’s a testament to the quality of line-up that to this point there hasn’t been a bad performance. Of course some ultimately standout more than others such as that headline set last night or Bob Vylan destroying the forest but the chilled out atmosphere amongst attendees is reflected by the respect the bands pay the crowd. The reciprocal ambience creates a synergy that elevates every aspect of this event.

SATURDAY

Come Saturday the crowd may be sapped from the previous days heat but over on the ‘Forest Stage’ Xtra Mile Recordings acts (and previous ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast guests) Hannah Rose Platt and Guise are serenading the early crowd with their beautiful music. They are both well received despite the heat being supplemented today by a lot of the wet stuff!

Xtra Mile Recordings has a great relationship and past with 2000trees and new Xtra Mile favourites (and double Full Pelt Podcast guests!) PET NEEDS attract a big crowd to ‘The Axiom’ next. This is no doubt due to some guerrilla advertising from their fans, but everyone that ventures into the tent leave hailing the band as one of the bands of the weekend.

One of the elements that makes the ‘Forest Stage’ so special are the sets from acts playing on the biggest stages which are often acoustic and unique. Next, Electric Six frontman Dick Valentine does a great job of distracting the audience from the deteriorating weather with a highly fun acoustic set.

After catching Dead Poet Society and Enola Gay strutting their stuff we are then able to catch Electric Six themselves who attract another big crowd to the main stage. The crowd lap up the likes of ‘Gay Bar’ and ‘Danger! High Voltage’ as you’d expect, and the band do their job with aplomb.

One Step Closer then cement their hype in ‘The Cave’ before Black Honey demonstrate why they are one of the best newer live acts in the country. Tracks from new album, ‘A Fistful of Peaches’ sound massive as the band achieve another of those more memorable sets of the weekend.

The reshuffled Dream State then show that they still have a big future ahead of them in ‘The Cave’ before Deaf Havana battle through a torrential downpour which decimates their crowd at the main stage. We brave the rain until the end before heading into the forest for a short but very fun set from Lynks.

Talking to people across the site, the opinion is unanimous that this has been a spectacular weekend. You feel as the weekend comes to a close that it can’t get any better, but then Hundred Reasons deliver perhaps the best set of the weekend. The band get the audience onboard from opening number ‘I’ll Find You’ and never lose them despite more heavy rain. One of the moments of the weekend comes when Enter Shikari man Rou Reynolds joins the band for a superb ‘Silver’.

Jamie Lenman then plays his latest masterpiece ‘The Atheist’ in full over in the forest before Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes come out of hibernation to finish the festival with a welcome career-spanning set.

Whilst the band may lack a certain volatility of their early days they don’t lack in swagger or controlled ferocity when required. The final run of ‘My Town’, ‘Devil Inside Me’, ‘Juggernaut’, ‘Lullaby’ and ‘I Hate You’ is the perfect way to bring an incredible weekend of music to a close.

2000trees has established itself at the heart of the summer as a trusted and respected event. From their humble beginnings to now fifteen events later, the festival lays on the infrastructure but the audience makes the event the special weekend that it is!

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Live Reviews

Xtra Mile Recordings 20th Anniversary

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
Guise – ‘Don’t Come Back’

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
BERRIES – ‘We Are Machines’

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
Pet Needs – Get on the Roof’

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
Frank Turner – ‘Recovery’

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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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