Somehow it’s already been almost a year and a half since Bullet For My Valentine released their self-titled seventh album. The record arrived in late 2021 and we now find ourselves in early 2023! Time has certainly flown by, but finally the band are getting to head out around the UK in support of the album.
WATCH ‘DROWNING’ FROM ATREYU ON YOUTUBE
Tonight that sees the band kick off the UK leg of the tour at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge. Opening up proceedings are revamped Californian metallers Atreyu who receive a huge reception as they take to the stage.
The band of course has a long history and clearly many in the room are fully aware; soon enough though even those that weren’t already familiar with the band are on board as well. Drummer turned front man Brandon Saller orchestrates the crowd superbly as the group run through the likes of ‘Becoming the Bull’, ‘Save Us’, ‘Drowning’ and ‘Blow’. By the time they exit the stage, the reaction is even greater than when they arrived.
WATCH ‘VORTEX’ FROM JINJER ON YOUTUBE
Anticipation is clearly high also for our next act, Ukraine’s much hyped Jinjer. Led by singer Tatiana Shmailyuk, the group instantly command the attention of the packed venue and show just why they’ve had so much attention in the last few years.
The time that the band spend onstage tonight feels short, which is usually a good sign; and it’s evident from the confident performance that the band feel at home and indeed belong on big stages. As far as their job tonight is concerned, by the time that they leave the stage they’ve got the crowd riled up and ready for our headliners but they’ve also left them wanting more Jinjer – which is precisely the outcome needed from their main support slot.
WATCH ‘KNIVES’ FROM BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE ON YOUTUBE
By the time Bullet For My Valentine hit the stage, the crowd have already been treated to a fantastic evening and to an extent the pressure is on for a band who have been much maligned by metal fans in recent times.
Each of their last three albums have been hailed as a return to form, but surely that actually indicates that the band have been delivering consistently good music? Their live shows have certainly continued to deliver the goods and despite being under the weather tonight is no different.
‘Knives’, ‘Over It’ and ‘Piece of Me’ get the audience on side from the beginning before ‘4 Words (to Choke Upon)’ steps things up a notch. The pace of the set from here is relentless with a good mix of old and new material on offer from the band.
There is a nice surprise with the inclusion of rarity ‘Hearts Burst Into Fire’ which does a good job of getting those phones up in the air. There is also plenty that gets the crowd moving as well with the likes of ‘Scream Aim Fire’ and the final run of ‘Your Betrayal’, ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ and ‘Waking the Demon’ all sounding absolutely massive tonight.
Whilst the career trajectory for the group may have slowed down, through their recent releases and shows like tonight, Bullet For My Valentine have shown that they still have plenty left in the tank!
Anticipation is high around Wembley tonight, and not just because the League Cup final is tomorrow! Tonight, the famous Wembley Arena in London plays host to a sold out show from alt rock anarchist YUNGBLUD, and it’s his fans that make their mark around Wembley Way.
Soon enough the hordes of brightly coloured fans file into the venue and await their hero. First up though they are treated the special guests Neck Deep, who could under the right circumstances probably make a go of headlining this venue themselves.
The mission for the Welsh rockers this evening is to win over a new cross-section of the rock audience and make a load of new fans. Through openers ‘Motion Sickness’ and ‘Lowlife’, it’s clear that whilst there are some existing fans in attendance, the work will need to be done to get the whole arena on board.
Thankfully for Neck Deep, they are a well rehearsed touring machine and they are well versed in winning over audiences. As their time on stage progresses the audience becomes more engaged and by the time we get to mid-set sing-a-long ‘December’, they have an open goal to score in.
While they round out their set with the hat-trick of ‘Can’t Kick Up the Roots’, ‘Gold Steps’ and ‘In Bloom’, it’s obvious that it’s victory and mission achieved for Neck Deep. As singer Ben Barlow delivers his final team-talk to the crowd, the response is affirmative and perhaps soon the band will be on their way to Wembley for their own show.
Attention is then turned back to YUNGBLUD who is set for his biggest headline show to date following his meteoric rise over the past few years. If we are sticking with the football analogies then YUNGBLUD has been fast-tracked from the youth team to the first team and is now making his international breakthrough. As such anticipation is at a fever-pitch as the packed Wembley wait to see if he can deliver the goods!
If there are any doubts in this venue, which you get the sense there isn’t, then it only takes mere moments for YUNGBLUD to dispel them. Kicking off with ‘21st Century Liability’, ‘The Funeral’ and ‘parents’, the crowd are instantly in awe of the raw talent on display.
The quality of the music is great tonight, but it’s the incredible stage presence of YUNGBLUD and the stunning presentation of the show which makes this an elite level concert. All the bells and whistles are here as the likes of ‘fleabag’, ‘California’ and ‘mars’ are interspersed by some dramatic imagery.
To his credit YUNGBLUD is able to make this rather large venue feel as intimate as possible. His charisma has many of the audience members zombified as they take in the spectacular experience that is created tonight. Even an enforced break due to an emergency in the crowd can’t dampen the atmosphere.
By the time the show closes with ‘Loner’, you’d think YUNGBLUD had just won the World Cup! Even if we strip away the football theme, what is clear on tonight’s showing is that YUNGBLUD is here to take over the world as one of rocks next superstars!
Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report!
We start this week with a handful of festival announcements and one of the line-ups that got a little bigger this week was the above, belonging to Bearded Theory!
Fresh names include Pretenders, Billy Bragg, Jealous Nostril, Witch Fever and more.
They join a packed line-up including Interpol, Primal Scream, Gogol Bordello, Flogging Molly, Gary Numan, Yard Act, The Mysterines, Pigs x7, The Undertones, Beans On Toast, Grace Petrie, Skinny Lister, Millie Manders and the Shutup, Pet Needs and many more.
Also making several line-up additions this week was Suffolk’s Latitude Festival which will see headliners Pulp, Paolo Nutini and George Ezra take to Henham Park in July.
This week has seen James, Yard Act and more join a bill that now includes The Kooks, Paul Heaton + Jacqui Abbott, The Big Moon, Lightning Seeds, The Proclaimers, The Murder Capital, Bob Vylan and many more.
Live At Leeds: In The Park has this week revealed the final acts joining their 2023 line-up set to be headlined by Two Door Cinema Club.
New additions Maximo Park, Kate Nash and Lottery Winners join a bill featuring DMA’s, The Hives, Black Honey, Gengahr, Low Hummer and many more.
Speaking about joining the Live At Leeds: In The Park lineup and Live At Leeds memories of years gone by, Lottery Winners said:
“Live at Leeds is always one of my favourite festival line ups. It’s always crammed with all of my favourite bands, so I’m almost more excited to just go than to play. But I am proper excited to play – might even do a crowd surf.”
Speaking about the final names added to Live At Leeds: In The Park, Festival Promoter Joe Hubbard said:
“Can it be May already? We’re delighted to add even more names to the Live At Leeds: In The Park 2023 lineup – really bringing together an amazing array of names from across Live At Leeds’ history whilst remaining true to that core belief we all have to champion and support the most exciting new names in modern guitar music.
Having the likes of Maximo Park and Kate Nash (who have soundtracked countless memories and influenced a ridiculous amount of artists) alongside the likes of acts like Lottery Winners, James Marriott and Medicine Cabinet really nails what Live At Leeds is all about – and these names joining an already packed bill makes me very excited indeed. All coming together on one day, it’s going to be a special party indeed. We’ll see you there!”
A new festival is coming to Chelmsford as Hideaway Festival reveals its inaugural line-up including headliners Clean Bandit and Bastille.
They’ll be joined by the likes of James Bay, Texas and Jake Bugg.
Speaking about the first ever Hideaway festival, organiser Roy Trickett said: “Everyone on the Hideaway team is so excited to bring this family friendly, boutique Festival to Chelmsford. Headliners have all been hand-selected for their unmissable performances and the venue provides a perfect escape in a central Essex location. We’re very proud to be hosting the first ever music festival in this unique space – and have a few surprises in store for our festival guests!”
Tigercub have just announced that their third album, ‘The Perfume of Decay’ will be out on June 2nd. You can listen to their brand new single, ‘Play My Favourite Song’, below.
The also revealed a full UK tour set for this autumn.
Speaking on the single, frontman Jamie Hall says, “I realised that without music I am alone, without sounds to occupy my brain intrusive thoughts begin to swirl and unease and sadness rises within me, so play my favourite song because silence makes me feel low.”
The next tour announcement in our News Report comes from the iconic Glenn Hughes, who will be hitting the road this October. The special shows will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of classic Deep Purple album, ‘Burn’.
This week Blood Red Shoes revealed that they will be playing a run of club shows including a date at the famous 100 Club in London.
The band said: “We decided it ain’t right that we’ve never played the 100 Club in London. So we booked it! And then it spiralled and we turned it into a 25 date tour of smaller punk venues, in 9 different countries”.
Our News Report heads now across to the best new releases from the past week and we begin with Blind Channel.
Following the release last year of their ‘Lifestyles of the Sick & Dangerous’ album, Finland’s Blind Channel are kicking off 2023 with their new standalone single ‘FLATLINE’.
“This is the beginning of the next chapter of our career,”say the band.“Flatline is Blind Channel on steroids. We captured the energy of last year’s 130 shows into one song and threw it to a Berlin rave. The song was written with songwriting duo Blyne and it’s one of the heaviest tracks we’ve ever made. This is pretty unique from scratch. If you’re sick and tired of ups and downs, this song might help you.”
Next up in our News Report are Canadians Softcult, who this week shared their latest single, ‘Love Song’, which you can check out above. The single comes ahead of new EP, ‘see you in the dark’, which is out on March 24th.
“This is an anxious love song,” Mercedes explains. “It’s about loving someone so intensely that you find yourself in constant fear of losing them. Sometimes love and happiness can feel like these unattainable things that are too good to be true. Once we’ve finally found something our hearts have been yearning for, it’s hard to shake the thought that we will inevitably have to let it go. But these gnawing thoughts can get in the way of us allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, or enjoying our relationships for fear that they won’t last.”
On the video Mercedes says, “We wanted the video to tell the story in a different way, focussing more on getting carried away with our own imaginations when it comes to falling in love. We filmed in a small legion hall and tried to make the ambiance a little depressing and mundane. Our main character is an elderly man who’s sort of given up hope. He’s there having a beer alone while everyone else is playing bingo. When he lays eyes on Gina, his co-star, he gets lost in fantasy, imagining not only the love they might have together but the type of person he could be if he had love in his life.”
Alternative Horror Rock band ANGER PARTY are back with their sophomore single ‘Had Enough’!
“Everyday we wake up and have the same conversations, with the same people, on the same subjects, with no purpose or profound effect on our lives. We create a state of perpetual monotony and anxiety, while wearing masks to hide our every emotion. All this is done to make prying onlookers think that everything is fine. ‘Had Enough’ reflects on the deepest, darkest ways to break this cycle and exercise our true feelings on the world. It shows our desire to remove the mask, wipe away the make-up and reveal our true fears, frustrations, aggressions and vulnerability” –Lead Vocalist, Ashley Wilson
Militarie Gun – ‘Do It Faster’
Los Angeles’ Militarie Gun share a thrilling new single in ‘Do It Faster’.
Speaking about the song, vocalist Ian Shelton states: “It is about my overall impatience with life. The agonising wait for things to materialise… so before resigning to do it myself, I’m imploring the world to just move faster.”
De’Lour – ‘No One
South Wales based band De’Lour share their staggering new single ‘No One’.
“No One was one of the first songs we wrote together as a band in a room and not remotely. We got together at the first opportunity we could when lockdown was lifted in 2020. When we wrote No One, we wanted to express our thoughts on society’s lack of self reflection. We all worry about what everyone else thinks of us, but when you boil it down, no one is paying attention, no one really cares. People are only really concerned with what’s going on in their world, inside their own heads. So we wanted to express the feeling that we shouldn’t care about what other people think, we should just go for it if it’s what we want or what we think is best.” – De’lour
In December, folk favourite Beans On Toast broke with tradition slightly and instead of releasing a new album on his birthday, released a collection of well received children’s stories! Well, another tradition for Beans On Toast is touring and as per his latest single, that tradition is intact with the singer now ‘Back out on the Road’!
The road this evening leads to Norwich Arts Centre, a fantastic venue in the heart of the city and tonight is all but sold out. Early attendees are treated to a delicate and delightful opening performance from Ann Liu Cannon. You could hear a pin drop as the crowd absorb the tender words of a talented young songwriter.
BEANS ON TOAST
Soon enough it’s time for Beans On Toast to take to a stage complete with new backdrop, lighting and a table! Yes, Beans has gone big for this tour and even has a loose setlist written on the table.
The loveably unpredictable nature of a typical Beans show remains however with the singer regularly going off-piste with audience requests and stories from the road. Beans has always impressed with his ability to improvise and tonight he deals with some rather inebriated fans with veteran aplomb.
As for that setlist, there is a good mixture of old and new as you’d expect from a musician constantly churning out topical content. New songs include anti-war protests, odes to fabled venues and considerations of an AI future. The packed crowd hang off of every word and note, as Beans On Toast demonstrates his natural ability to hold an audience’s attention.
Old favourites are present too with the likes of ‘The War on War’, ‘The Chicken Song’ and set closer ‘On & On’ enticing some of the bigger sing-a-long moments. All in all, tonight is yet another successful show for a musician who has long since established himself as an underground national treasure!
Tonight is a sell out and anticipation is high for one of rocks brightest prospects as Nova Twins commence their UK Tour at the Waterfront in Norwich! This was already a hot ticket, but the added attention the band received at the Brits recently has raised the bar further.
Entering the venue, you know full well that this will likely be the last time Nova Twins are playing venues this small. A rocket has been strapped to their backs and rightly so, because they fitted it themselves. Everything coming their way has come from their own DIY ethics, their own creativity and their own natural talents.
Fittingly, the band has selected two more acts that fit that bill to open on this tour. Up first are Uninvited, who on their showing tonight will be invited to many more shows in the future. Not previously on our radar, they very much are now after an assured and intense opening set. Quickly winning the packed crowd over with their blistering pace, keep an eye on this band, we certainly will be!
Next up are a band further down their career path as it were. Opening slots with My Chemical Romance last summer may have placed Witch Fever on many people’s maps, but the group has been making a noise for a little while now with a steady stream of increasingly impressive singles.
Tonight, they are clearly playing to a crowd in the know and that creates a fantastic atmosphere as the band demonstrate the raw power that has been the base of their early work. The likes of ‘Bloodlust’, ‘Congregation’ and ‘Blessed Be Thy’ sound absolutely massive in this relatively small venue and you again would expect Witch Fever to be moving on to headlining these sized rooms in the near future.
Nova Twins have quickly established themselves on the scene through two very well received albums and a string of support slots and festival appearances. Having caught them play a number of these shorter sets, our main question tonight is how do the band translate over a full headline set. The answer, as was expected, is very well indeed!
Starting off with the likes of ‘Fire & Ice’ and ‘Cleopatra’, the band quickly asserts their ferocious energy on the stage. Audience participation comes naturally and at times it feels like the band and audience are in fact one with each other.
The likes of ‘Taxi’ and ‘Play Fair’ still go hard and the likes of ‘Sleep Paralysis’ simply leave you in awe of the majesty emanating from the stage. Even we opened this review by calling Nova Twins prospects, but that isn’t the case, no, this band are the present and they are ready to take over the world!
An encore of ‘Antagonist’, ‘Undertaker’ and ‘Choose Your Fighter’ is just the cherry on top of the cake. Tonight has shown the sheer quality of new rock acts out there at the moment, with all three bands clearly set for bigger things.
Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report!
We start this week with the 20th Anniversary of Download Festival which just got a whole load bigger! Yes 40+ new acts have now joined headliners Metallica (x2), Bring Me The Horizon and Slipknot across the special four day event.
Newly announced acts include Alter Bridge, Halestorm, Neck Deep, Bob Vylan, Jinjer, Hot Milk, The Amity Affliction, Empire State Bastard, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Deaf Havana and more!
Also on tap will be the likes of Architects, Evanescence, Within Temptation, Pendulum, The Blackout, Nova Twins, Disturbed, Placebo, Ghost and so many more!
Our News Report moves now to the best new releases from the past week and we get things started with the latest single from Bury Tomorrow!
‘Heretic’ featuring While She Sleeps frontman Loz Taylor debuted this week and you can check it out above. It was also revealed that Bury Tomorrow will join WSS at their huge Alexandra Palace show in September.
The track comes from upcoming new album, ‘The Seventh Sun’, which is out March 31st!.
Speaking on Heretic, lead-singer Dani Winter-Bates states “Heretic is here, and we knew from day one of recording that this song was something we wanted the world to hear immediately. It’s right up there with the most aggressive and visceral tracks on the album, with an inherently dark feel, both lyrically and musically, which allowed us to delve into some of the more brutal elements of The Seventh Sun. All in all, we’re extremely proud to showcase this track and can’t wait to see what people think.”
Dani continues “from the off, we knew this song merited a guest vocal spot, and Loz Taylor of While She Sleeps sprang to our minds straightaway. Already an absolute legend in our eyes, working with him on this track has only confirmed that status further. His voice incorporated perfectly and has undoubtedly taken the song to the next level – we couldn’t be happier.”
The Raven Age have announced that their third studio album, ‘Blood Omen’, will be released on July 7th. To coincide with that announcement, the band unveiled their new single, ‘Parasite’, which you can check out above!
‘Parasite’ is bolstered by a blistering solo from guest guitarist Andy James of Five Finger Death Punch. “I’ve known the lads in The Raven Age for years now,” says Andy. “I really like the direction they are heading with this third record and enjoyed doing a guest solo for ‘Parasite’. It’s a heavy but memorable track that hits you right between the eyes.”
For the Essex quintet’s “all-important third album”, as George Harris puts it, they have expanded on every level.
This motivation is written into the album’s concept. Following the theme of its two predecessors, the raven motif looms large, this time centering on the overthrowing of old masters, with the band’s Raven King character coming to prominence. Even in the artwork, things are bolder, a close up of The Raven King, says George, “taking his rightful place on the throne.”
The theme weaves itself throughout ‘Blood Omen’, kicking off with ‘Parasite’ as MJ explains, “There’s the legend about the ravens in the Tower Of London, that if they were ever to leave, the monarchy falls. Without being too political, ‘Parasite’ is hinting at these dark notes of the hierarchy, the bottom feeders that tend to run everything and then screw everything up. Our Raven King, he’s basically ascending to the throne to bring down the monarchy, bring down the establishment, weed out the parasites, as it were.”
“It’s a heavy track,” MJ continues, “We knew we wanted to come back with a real punch between the eyes. It’s the full introduction to our Raven King, and it touches on elements of everything to come. It really shows where we’re going on this album.”
The album also sees the recorded debut of new guitarist Tommy Gentry, the prodigiously talented axeman – whose previous work includes stints with Marco Mendoza and former Judas Priest six-stringer KK Downing.
“Tommy was in our sights from day one,” says George. “He’s, without doubt, the most talented musician I know. Not only is he an amazing guitarist, he’s a grade eight pianist, he can score orchestral music, and all that brings something to the table.”
‘The Price of Progress’, the latest album from The Hold Steady is out on March 31st. This week the band continued to preview the record with new single, ‘Sixers’, which you can check out above.
“‘Sixers’ was written in the first days of the pandemic,” says frontman Craig Finn. “It’s basically a song about knowing your neighbors. Two young professionals meet up in their building late on a Friday night and spend the weekend partying together. They try to find a love connection, but it’s not quite there. It’s hard to make friends when your job is so demanding. Tad and Steve chime in with some beautiful guitar harmonies.”
This week saw The View return with news of their first new album in eight years! ‘Exorcism of Youth’ will be released on June 9th and was preceded this week by the single, ‘Feels Like’, which you can check out above!
Frontman Kyle Falconer says, “Working with Youth on our third album ‘Bread and Circuses’ was one of the best experiences of my career so we jumped at the chance to revisit the opportunity with him in Spain. To be able to go into the studio again as a band with added experience was just magical.”
On the single Falconer adds, “This one felt anthemic from the get go. Even though under the surface it’s about somewhere everyone’s been in their life before: regret of losing someone amazing due to your inner demons and seeing them moving on with their life, when you’re stuck in a ‘nightmare not a dream.’ When I first sat down to write it I had Holden Caulfield from ‘Catcher in the Rye’ in mind. It’s playing out in his mind and it’s his own paranoia destroying him from the inside out when in reality she’s the perfect woman.”
Texan singer-songwriter Ryan Hamilton has shared his latest single, ‘Asshole’, which you can check out above. The track comes from upcoming album, ‘Haunted by the Holy Ghost’, which is out March 10th.
A music video for the track features World Champion Barrel Racer, Ryann Pedone & Conor the badger. Ryan says, “It’s not everyday you shoot a music video with a badger! Why a badger? Because badgers are assholes. They’re adorable assholes. Haha. So proud of this song. The self sabotaging title will keep it off most radio stations… which is a shame, because it deserves to be a big hit.”
The Dollyrots have released a brand new UK single titled ‘Still Holding On’ to kick off their first ever UK co-headline tour with Don’t Panic and special guest Royals.
You can listen to the track above!
““Still Holding On” is the first song we’re releasing off our newest recordings, from the first full album sessions since 2019! It’s a hint of a flavor for the next LP to be released later this year. Since we’ll be touring the UK this month we thought we’d give our friends here a treat and release it exclusive to the United Kingdom.”” says singer Kelly Ogden.
This week saw Millie Manders and the Shutup share their new single, ‘Rebound’, on Valentine’s Day! You can of course listen to the track above!
An ode to toxic online dating, as Millie explains: “Rebound reflects my experience with online dating, but most people I have spoken to have had similar and worse experiences with it. I wanted to write a song that was in solidarity with those on the receiving end of a rebound relationship and let them know they were never the problem.”
The comes ahead of the bands upcoming UK Tour in April.
The steady stream of fantastic new music in our News Report continues to flow from iconic Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett. You can check out his latest solo effort, ‘Black Top White Lines’, above now!
This week also saw Pet Needs revealed as the special guests on Lottery Winners upcoming UK Tour. That wasn’t the only news for Pet Needs this week however, as they also debuted their video for ‘Ibiza in Winter’, which you can check out above!
New album ‘Primetime Entertainment’ available here.
Watch Episode 11 of The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guests Pet Needs!
Glasgow four-piece Spyres return with their new single, ‘Sleep Forever’.
Vocalist/guitarist Keira McGuire explains:
“Sleep Forever is a song about blocking out the realities of life and living in your own world, not wanting to grow up, becoming an adult which puts an end to teenage daydreams and fantasies.”
FUDGE. release their new single, ‘YOUR FALL FROM GRACE’, taken from their forthcoming ‘THAT’S JUST IT, THIS IS NOW’ EP!
Commenting about ‘Y.F.F.G.’ singer Cam says: “It’s different to our usual songs but it’s a fan favourite and shows a very atmospheric, abstract vibe and I see it as a rebellious love song. The feeling I get from this song is the same as the almost surreal sensation you get when you’re on your own late at night or early morning. That may sound strange but some of you might get what I mean.”
Guitarist Otto expands: “I call this our quiet song. I wrote it whilst someone was sleeping in the same room as me, so I picked something sweet sounding and played it with compassion. Luckily, the outcome was one of our most palatable songs for the listener and, honestly, one that I never meant to write but am grateful that I did.”
Drummer Angus adds: “You get to hear Cam’s sensitive side on this song, which is usually hidden behind his radginess. It’s a lot smoother in its ebbs and flows and playing drums to this is actually quite a relaxing experience because, for once, I can sit back and let the song do the work. For that reason, it’s bigger than its constituent parts. A bit of a banger in other words.”
IKONIK – ‘Wall of Stone‘
‘Wall of Stone’ is the debut single from IKONIK, the brainchild of Copenhagen’s Katrine Wachmann.
“‘Wall of Stone’ is a song about commitment issues and being stuck in a relationship that is going nowhere, though knowing that vulnerability might be the only way to make a relationship work. Whatever the listeners get from this song I’m just truly humble, amazed and excited that IKONIK is off on its wings and ready to fly out into the world”.
Ipswich isn’t a regular touring stop, especially for rock acts, so it’s a nice treat to get this three band bill in town. There is certainly an opportunity for growth in this area for live music and hopefully the Corn Exchange in Ipswich can pick up some more shows like this.
Opening the evening are Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons, who work hard to get the early attendees warmed up. Consummate professionals the band are slick and tight, the proverbial well-oiled machine if you will!
New singer Joel Peters seems to have fit in very well with the Campbell clan and handles material from their first two albums extremely well. The best crowd reactions may be reserved for Motörhead classics ‘Born to Raise Hell’ and ‘Ace of Spades’, but the highlights tonight are the likes of ‘Freak Show’ and ‘Dark Days’. With two quality albums already under their belts, it’ll be interesting to see what the band has up their sleeves next.
Our second act is Michael Monroe, who has undoubtedly influenced many over the course of his career and who the fans in attendance welcome warmly. Monroe though is an act that has passed me by over the years and tonight it’s hard to see what the fuss is about as he calamitously stalks the stage like a rock n’ roll Jar Jar Binks!
A health and safety nightmare waiting to happen Monroe manages to get stuck in a scarf, hit himself in the head with his mic, spill drink over the stage and causes many band, audience and crew members to duck for cover with his various escapades.
During all of this there is some classic rock by numbers played by a competent collection of musicians but the cartoon caricature strutting the stage proves more of a distraction then a centrepiece. Again, though there are those in the audience that lap up the performance, so Monroe must be doing something right! A niche act perhaps, and whilst not mine, many others would be (and were) delighted by this performance.
BLACK STAR RIDERS
Finally, it’s time for our headliners Black Star Riders who are celebrating both the past and the future with their set tonight. First, there is their fantastic new album, ‘Wrong Side of Paradise’ and arrival of new guitarist Sam Wood. Then, there is the small matter of their 10th Anniversary and return for this tour of original members Scott Gorham and Jimmy DeGrasso.
The first portion of the show focuses on the new with main man Ricky Warwick leading Wood, DeGrasso and bassist Robbie Crane through the likes of ‘Pay Dirt’, ‘Better Than Saturday Night’, ‘Riding Out the Storm’ and ‘Wrong Side of Paradise’. This early selection showcases the future of the band and confirms that there is still plenty in the tank. Wood fits the mould and helps to breathe new life into the group.
Soon enough though the iconic Scott Gorham strides across the stage to take position for the next hour or so of celebration. Seeing Gorham and Warwick side by side again is a treat and it’s nice that the band throw in a couple of Thin Lizzy numbers in a nod to the roots of the band.
Throughout the set though you are reminded just how good of a back catalogue that Black Star Riders have amassed in the last ten years. ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’, ‘The Killer Instinct’, ‘Before the War’, ‘Testify or Say Goodbye’, ‘Kingdom of the Lost’ and ‘Bound For Glory’ all sound huge tonight as Warwick and co prove that they were right to believe in themselves and the new music they could create together when faced with such criticism a decade ago.
Closing the evening with Lizzy classic ‘Jailbreak’ and Black Star Riders favourite ‘Finest Hour’, the rock fans of Ipswich are sent into the mild evening having witnessed one of the most consistently good bands of the past decade at their finest. The past decade has been sublime and thankfully the next decade looks just as good!
Enter Shikari recently announced their upcoming new album, ‘A Kiss For The Whole World’, will be out April 21st, and this week saw the band share the latest taste.
You can listen to new track, ‘It Hurts’ above. Of the track, Lead vocalist and producer Rou Reynolds explains:
“It Hurts came to me in a dream. Literally. Melody, chords, and fully-formulated chorus were all part of a dream that, thankfully, remained with me when I woke up. I was hiding under the duvet at 3AM, singing it into my phone, much to the bewilderment of my girlfriend.
Lyrically, It Hurts is about perseverance, and the importance of reframing failure as a fruitful and, in fact, pivotal route to progress. Society teaches us we should avoid and criticise failure, when defeat and honest mistakes can actually present us with insights that light our way forward.
In reality, we should be taught that simply to try makes us more than enough.”
This week saw the return of Gengahr as the band shared their brand new single, ‘A Ladder’, which you can listen to above.
Frontman Felix Bushe comments: “A Ladder is a fun, trippy little song soaked in cartoon-like imagery. Essentially it’s about the power of true love and its ability to not only change the way we feel but also the way we see and interact with the whole world around us.”
Dream Wife have announced details of their next studio album with ‘Social Lubrication’ set to be released on June 9th.
This week the group preceded the release with new single, ‘Hot (Don’t Date A Musician)’, which you can check out above.
‘Social Lubrication’, in the band’s words, is “Hyper lusty rock and roll with a political punch, exploring the alchemy of attraction, the lust for life, embracing community and calling out the patriarchy. With a healthy dose of playfulness and fun thrown in.”
Vocalist Rakel says, “Dating musicians is a nightmare. Evoking imagery of late night make-outs with fuckboy/girl/ambiguously-gendered musicians on their mattress after being seduced by song-writing chat. The roles being equally reversed. Having a laugh together and being able to poke fun at ourselves is very much at the heart of this band. This song encapsulates our shared sense of humour. Sonically it is the lovechild of CSS and Motorhead. It has our hard, live, rock edge combined with cheeky and playful vocals.”
“Music is one of the only forms of people experiencing an emotion together in a visceral, physical, real way,” says Alice. “It’s cathartic to the systemic issues that are being called out across the board in the record. Music isn’t the cure, but it’s the remedy. Calling the record Social Lubrication harks to that. It’s the positive glue that can create solidarity and community.”
“The album is speaking to systemic problems that cannot be glossed over by lube,” says Bella. “The things named in the songs are symptoms of f-ed up structures. And you can’t fix that. You need to pull it apart.”
Our News Report looks now at the best festival announcements made over the past week and we start by the coast with Portsmouth’s Victorious Festival.
Jamiroquai and Kasabian are already announced to headline with one more headliner yet to be revealed.
They will now be joined in August by the likes of The Charlatans, Jake Bugg, Circa Waves, The View, Newton Faulkner, Blossoms,Alt-J, Kaiser Chiefs, Amyl & The Sniffers, The Coral, Pale Waves, Shame, The Vaccines, Sea Girls, Johnny Marr, The Enemy and Hard-Fi!
UK metallers, Electron, draw a line in the sand with their explosive new single, ‘Sick and Wrong’, which is out now!
On the single, frontman Jason Payne discusses: “The track symbolises solitude, melancholy, madness, anxiety and fear. The persona in this song (inspired by “The Scream, E. Munch”) is suffering a lot of pain. In the beginning, this person has hope that they will escape from the terror of its own mind – however, as the song evolves, they grow aware that the melancholy is eternal, and revolt with their agony.”
This Dying Hour – ‘Age of the Coward’
Modern metalcore 4-piece This Dying Hour have shared their blistering new single ‘Age Of The Coward’.
“‘Age of the Coward’ challenges the way we see ourselves – how we can either perpetuate or abolish the feelings of nihilism and guilt through the way we understand personal accountability. Over the years I have personally battled with self-identity and purpose. I don’t think these things are exclusive to me, but a journey we all must take. This is why we shouldn’t settle with your shortcomings, but instead with discipline and hard work we can lace their linings with gold. You can’t make the world a more meaningful place, until you see through who you truly are.” – Vocalist Steve Kerr.
Creature Cult – ‘poster boy’
With just one single out in the world – the powerful and rousing, ‘ughly’ – Creature Cult have shared new single ‘poster boy’ – another message delivered loud and clear: in the face of bigotry and hatred, be uncompromising in your self-expression.
Commenting on the new single, Connar says: “Poster boy is my hate letter to homophobia. It takes all the disgust and discrimination from vicious people and spits it right back at them. It’s basically saying I’m going to be the fucking biggest and loudest version of all the things you hate about me because I really don’t care what you think and I know that scares you. Being able to express yourself and love who you want to love should be treated by everyone as the basic human right that it is.”
Wollaton Park in Nottingham will once again host Splendour Festival this July. The festival this year will be headlined by Madness and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Also playing will be the likes of The Kooks.
The fantastic Cambridge Folk Festival has also revealed their names this week with The Proclaimers, Rufus Wainwright, Imelda May, Grace Petrie, Kiefer Sutherland, The Longest Johns and Stornoway all set for Cherry Hinton Hall.
We move our News Report over now to the best tour announcements from the past week. First of all is the above mix of dates from The Who.
The iconic group will be accompanied by an orchestra and support on most dates will come from UB40.
Performing with The Who and an orchestra had been a long-held ambition for singer Roger Daltrey “Having not toured the UK for six years, it’s great that at this time of our careers we have the chance to go to places that are not on the usual touring map Edinburgh Castle and Derby, as well as the other cities across the country that we haven’t been to for decades, will make this very special for me. This opportunity will give our UK Who fans the chance to hear our current show, which, with the addition of an orchestra, takes our music to new heights.”
Pete Townshend “Roger initially christened this tour with an orchestra Moving On! I love it. It is what both of us want to do. Move on, with new music, classic Who music, all performed in new and exciting ways. Taking risks, nothing to lose. I’m really looking forward to bringing this show to the UK.”
Another musical icon, Gary Numan, will be playing three very special shows at the Electric Ballroom in Camden this April.
Revealing the dates, Numan said “In my career I have played, so far, 997 Gary Numan shows. To celebrate reaching the 1,000 milestone I’ll be playing three shows, 998, 999, and 1,000, at the Electric Ballroom in London on April 13th, 14th and 15th. These will obviously be special nights for me, but made all the more so as my daughter Raven will be the support. Raven has finished writing her first album which is currently being recorded with, and produced by, Ade Fenton. For me to be able to celebrate these three momentous shows with the fans who have made it all possible, and for those same nights to be Raven’s first ever three shows playing her new music, is almost more than my tiny heart can stand. I hope to see you there.”
Jamie Lenman had a big news week with details of a Spring Tour accompanied by the news that a new EP, ‘Iknowyouknowiknow’, is set for release on May 5th.
That news has included the debut of new single, ‘Words of Love’, which you can check out below.
Commenting on the new track, Lenman says: “‘Words Of Love’ is a very old song that I’ve been trying to get on a record since some time between the second and third Reuben albums, but it never fit anywhere until now. Even so, I still had to shave off a few of the post-hardcore edges to make it fit with this project, so if you think you can hear a little mid-noughties vibe in there, that’s why. For a long time this was on rough track listings for the album, but in the end we decided it would be nice to give it a starring role on the EP instead—otherwise it would have been fighting for attention.”
“Thematically it’s about somebody’s reaction to a past infidelity, their inability to get over it or even recognise their own culpability. In that way it’s very much the flip side of ‘Let’s Stop Hanging Out’, where the person is reacting to the same situation in a much more accepting way. In fact, I wrote the middle eight section at the same time I wrote LSHO, when I was in college. So they share some of the same DNA.”
The new single comes with a new video, once again directed and filmed by Lenman live band guitarist and visual collaborator Jen Hingley.
“The video came out of nowhere, because we’d had the tour and then Lenmania and then Christmas to deal with,” explains Lenman of the concept. “Suddenly it was the first week of January and we needed it the next week. I said to Jen on the Sunday night: ‘We’re gonna drive up to Manchester on Tuesday morning and drive back home the same day—we’ll have about six hours in between, so let’s just book a room, fill it full of lights and instruments and see what happens!'”
Pre-orders, tickets and all things Lenman are here.
The final tour announcement in our News Report this week comes from the unstoppable October Drift! As the band continue to celebrate the release of their sophomore album, ‘I Don’t Belong Anywhere’, the group have revealed a fun of dates in April/May.
The band said, “Over the moon to announce our Spring headline UK tour dates and our first ever headline shows in Ireland and Northern Ireland. This is going to be our biggest an best tour yet”.
Hundred Reasons will imminently release their first new album in 15 years as ‘Glorious Sunset’ arrives on February 24th.
This week the band shared the final pre-release single, ‘So So Soon’, which you can check out above.
Frontman Colin Doran who had the following to say about the sentiments behind their latest song:
“My 7-year-old son has Cerebral Palsy and goes to a mainstream school. The school he attended at the time of writing this (he’s at another school now) was pretty bad and hid information, lied, and generally did a terrible job of looking after my son and his needs. They always gave the impression that things were fine but effectively were just making sure they were OK by covering up issues. My son is the light of my life and beyond incredible every single day and I wanted to draw light on how people with disabilities are still treated terribly in society by people who should just be better educated, more understanding, thoughtful, and kind.”
Next up in our News Report is ‘kill[h]er’, the brand new track from Stand Atlantic, and of course you can listen above!
“Self sabotage is a bitch,” states Bonnie Fraser. “Self doubt kills and denying good and genuine parts of yourself because you’ve been conditioned to think they’re not good enough is a form of murder. it’s a reminder to myself not to give in to that shit. personal growth is important but don’t deny who you are. sometimes i find myself thinking back to who i used to be and missing that person.”
Ahead of their upcoming UK Tour, Dub War have shared the video for their track, ‘Celtic Cross’, which you can check out above. Their latest album, ‘Westgate Under Fire’, is out now!
The band comment:
“”Celtic Cross” sends out a message of defiance and hope, and features the amazing drummer Tanner Wayne, who many of you will recognise from the Swedish heavy metal band In Flames. From 1st March, we will be touring England and we’ll be hitting some great intimate venues – come and see what we got to say!”
Continuing the slew of great new releases in our News Report this week is ‘Nightmare’, the latest single from From Ashes To New, which you can check out above.
The track comes from their as-yet-titled fourth album due out this summer.
“Betrayal by someone we trust happens to the best of us,” says Danny Case. “We befriend someone, let them in, build a connection and then all of a sudden they turn into someone unrecognizable. Someone you once trusted and cared for so deeply is now a backstabbing enemy. In a heartbeat, the person you once thought you knew is now gone. There aren’t many things in life that cut quite as deep as betrayal. Erasing that person from your life and moving forward is the only way to wake up from the nightmare.”
Slow Readers Club share new single ‘Lay Your Troubles On Me’
There was also new music on offer this week from Slow Readers Club as they shared their latest single, ‘Lay Your Troubles On Me’, which you can check out above.
The band commented, “‘Lay Your Troubles On Me’ was born out of a jamming session in our rehearsal room. We were jamming around the verse idea at rehearsals and then went for a brew break. When we came back we started on another idea but soon realised it was the same notes but with a completely different groove and feel. We didn’t want to lose either version and we loved the idea of the tune getting progressively louder and intense so we combined them. Working on this one in pre-production Joe helped us make the crescendo work well with a cool synth sound.
Lyrically it’s a song about recognising someone going through difficulties, reaching out and offering support. The vocal melody mostly came in the practice room but the high melody ‘hold on for dear life the ones you love’ over the crescendo came in the studio.”
The track features on upcoming album, ‘Knowledge Freedom Power’, which is out February 24th.
Hamish Hawk will release new album, ‘Angel Numbers’ on 24th February and this week saw Hawk share new single ‘Rest & Veneers’ with Samantha Crain.
Hamish had the following to say about the themes behind the song:
“Rest & Veneers is a love song, in the softer, quieter sense of the phrase. It doesn’t deal in high romance, in grand gestures, or the movements of celestial bodies. It’s about the everyday kind of love and affection that shows itself in those small kindnesses, those spared thoughts and graces between friends. It’s new territory for me lyrically, and it takes me to a really good place when I listen to it, plus I’m in awe of Samantha Crain. The song is a relaxed moment on the record, and I’m so pleased its getting its own time to shine.”
Samantha Crain also commented on their collaboration:
“When Hamish sent me this song, I was absolutely floored. This is the kind of song I would have wanted to write. Such a simple subject matter but it really explores the complexity within that seemingly simple emotion. It’s my favorite song I’ve ever gotten to collaborate on a recording of.”
Closing out this section of our News Report this week is ‘Be Yourself’, the latest single from Stay Free, which you can listen to above.
The track is described as “an anthem about avoiding the all of the pressure the world and the media put on you to be a certain way and to just follow your own heart and be true to your authentic self.”.
Chappaqua Wrestling have announced their debut album, ‘Plus Ultra’, will be out April 14th and shared new single ‘Wide Asleep’.
The bands says, “Wide Asleep is a complaint to ourselves for being consumed by the echo chamber of social media. Our mobile phones are the portal which lead us to misread and miscommunicate stories and topics, often leaving us more confused than we were in the first place. Wading through muddled points of view, mistargeted ads, senseless airtime of the Royal family, weddings of friends you’d rather forget, addictively numbing reels, leaving us blinded by a little hand-sized screen. It makes us detached and unmoved by anything, all whilst being asleep to the world around us. Hopefully, our preaching will teach us something ourselves as we try to focus on the present.”
Continuing about the album they say: “Plus Ultra documents the journey through our friendship, from school to where we now find ourselves commenting on what is around us. Roughly translating to ‘Nothing Lies Beyond’, a Latin naval term adopted by those exploring uncharted waters, we present a collection of our best works to date, each lyrically distinct but venturing into new territories that life presents; mass media, Tory austerity, mental health, homelessness, the deprived NHS and the release that music gives you from it all. Come with us to make sense of what lies beyond in this world through questions, power and statements that we stand by.”
Gold Fever – ‘DB Cooper’
Gold Fever have shared their second single, ‘DB Cooper’.
Fronman Oscar JD Sault says – “DB Cooper is written from the perspective of someone who believes they’re destined for significance but misuses the present through hedonism. I wanted the track to feel precarious, like a train about to come away from the tracks. As if to mirror how one can wander too far from discipline towards indulgence.”
Bitter Kisses – ‘Pr*y’
Bristol’s Bitter Kisses have shared their debut single, ‘Pr*y’.
Reflecting on the inspiration behind the single the band state, “Pr*y was partially inspired by a fever dream in which Lady Gaga collaborated with Queens of the Stone Age to produce a new Earth Wind And Fire song.
When writing Pr*y we wanted to create a track which could ambiguously explore the difference in meanings of the words ‘prey’ and ‘pray’, and how they each apply to dangerous or unhealthy relationships. One person could worship another, while at the same time being preyed upon by the subject of their love. The meaning of the lyrics can change depending on which version prey/pray you want to hear whenever they’re used in the song.”
As Independent Venue Week continues we head to one of the country’s finest, the wonderful Colchester Arts Centre. Seriously though, those toilets will have you feeling like royalty – toilet-circuit indeed!
In town tonight are Holding Absence who are towards the end of a tour of the UK’s off the beaten track venues and the locals are clearly excited with the show a sell out.
Most of the audience are in the venue early to catch the support (always a wise move!) and up first the crowd are treated to the ferocious Your Misery. Controlling the stage as if they were seasoned veterans, the band are able to not just warm up the crowd but fully win them over. Certainly one to keep an eye on, Your Misery couldn’t have done any more tonight to make a statement.
Our second act, Australians Void of Vision, most definitely feel like a band that know how to make a statement of their own. The group burst onto stage and fill the venue with their huge sound. It’s an audio onslaught for the next forty-five minutes as the likes of ‘DOMINATRIX’, ‘THE LONELY PEOPLE’ and ‘INTO THE DARK’ leave the crowd desperate for more.
There may not be any more Void of Vision tonight, but you can expect to hear much more in the future. With a new EP coming soon, this could be a breakthrough year for the band.
Our headliners, Holding Absence, have felt like they are breaking out for a few years now. Certainly not ones to rest on their laurels; their touring schedule has been intense. The majority of those shows though have been support slots, so it’s refreshing to catch them at a headline show finally.
The core fanbase of the band appear very committed and there is anticipation in the air in this old church tonight. That anticipation boils over as the band arrive on stage and quickly run through ‘Monochrome’, ‘Beyond Belief’ and ‘Like A Shadow’ much to the delight of those fans.
The setlist tonight is a real mix of the bands releases with highlights including ‘Gravity’, ‘In Circles’ and new song ‘Aching Longing’. You’d perhaps expect a little more from a headline show, but I guess the old adage is to leave the audience wanting more.
After a finale of ‘Afterlife’ and ‘Wilt’, Holding Absence most definitely do just that. With so many sing-a-long anthems or bangers as the kids would say, and an engaging stage presence you’d hope that the band will live up to their early promise.
Three bands at different stages of their budding careers tonight all make a valuable impression. It’s worth remembering that nights like this are happening up and down the country, night in night out. It’s tough out there and venues and bands need your support, so perhaps think twice on spending hundreds of pounds on those Beyonce tickets and pop down to your local independent venue instead!