23 year Norwegian born Sigrid seems to have been around forever, and that’s meant to be a compliment!
Since her first release back in 2017 with ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ she has been steadily releasing singles since then, with a total of 10 now out there, including the wonderful ‘Home To You’ released in Nov 19.
It was earlier this year that she released her debut album ‘Sucker Punch’ and it would be fair to say that this has shifted a considerable number of units on a global scale. Oh and did I mention that she also picked up the BBC Music Sound of 2018 along the way!
Sigrid, has and is, achieving that rare thing in music. Based on the capacity crowd at the O2 in Leeds, her tunes appeal across the full age range. From the young to the (ahem!) more mature audience, she seems to have managed to achieve the holy grail of appealing to everyone!
It’s not hard to see why either. Take some time to listen to her music and there’s a maturity on display that belies her years. Check the writing credits and whilst other names have been involved, she has had a hand in every song released.
Check out her most recent release ‘Home To You’ featured in the movie ‘Aeronauts’ for evidence that this girl possesses a wonderful voice and can certainly write some great lyrics.
Club night at the O2 means that bands start a little earlier than usual, and so just after 8, on bounced Sigrid to receive an ecstatic welcome from the Leeds crowd. Dressed in a simple pair of jeans and white T shirt, she proceeded to work the stage for the full set, dancing and bounding around constantly. (It was exhausting just watching her!)
Opener ‘Mine Right Now’ set the tone for the night with its huge singalong chorus which the audience were only too happy to join in with.
Musically you would describe her style as a sort of pop/electro/dance crossover style, but frankly whatever it is. Her undoubted vocal ability was on display during the ballad ‘In Vain’ which also highlighted just how good her backing band were.
Whilst Sigrid may still be at the ‘paying her due’s’ stage of her career, it’s clear that arena tours aren’t far away, and her engaging intersong banter only ensured that the crowd adored here even more.
Infectious tunes like ‘Business Dinners’ and debut single ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ turned the venue into one big party house, but for me one of the highlights was when the band left the stage and left Sigrid on stage to deliver solo version of ‘Dynamite’ and new single ‘Home To You’, whilst accompanying herself on keyboards.
You could have heard a pin drop during this section, and this was a truly mesmerising part of the gig for all.
Of course, no Sigrid gig would be complete without the Bangers, and she didn’t disappoint.
The place erupted as soon as the magnificently uplifting ‘Strangers’ kicked in and closing out with ‘Don’t Feel Like Crying’ ensured that the crowd headed out into a rainy Leeds knowing that they’d just had a great night.
There’s little doubt that Sigrid is heading for great things, and she may not be playing the smaller venues for much longer. She is a genuine talent and people of all ages seem to love her.
At the time of posting this review there are still a few dates left on the UK tour, and if you can, you really should get yourself along to see her.
· Mine Right Now
· In Vain
· Plot Twist
· Sight Of You
· Don’t Kill My Vibe
· Level Up
· High Five
· Fake Friends
· Business Dinners
· Sucker Punch
· Home To You
· Never Mine
· Don’t Feel Like Crying
As up and coming artists go, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who’s enjoyed such a meteoric rise in 2019 other than Sam Fender.
His debut album ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ was released earlier this year to major critical acclaim, and in addition he also picked up the Brits Critics Choice Award. Next year he is scheduled to undertake an arena tour, and he will be back in Leeds again for that one. Plus, he will also be the support for the Killers on their 2020 UK tour.
So, all in all, things are looking pretty rosy in the garden of Sam Fender right now.
Needless to say, the gig at the O2 in Leeds was as expected a complete sell out, and the crowd went nuts when he strode out on stage and straight into ‘Will We Talk’ from his debut album. Crashing drums and staccato guitar immediately remind me of The Strokes ‘Last Nite’ and the 100 mile an hour start sets the tone for the rest of the evening, and this is quickly followed by ‘Millenial’ and ‘Start Again’.
His band are in fine form tonight and since I last saw him on stage, his vocals have also matured and sound pretty good to this reviewer.
Known for his socially aware and incisive lyrics, ‘Dead Boys’ a poignant song about mental illness and male suicide and is a real high point of the evening in terms of showcasing just how good a songwriter he is, and the appreciative audience reaction underlines this.
Throughout the gig Sam Fender was warm and engaging with the crowd, and they didn’t let him down when he asked if they were ready to form a mosh pit, but I was just glad I wasn’t caught in the middle of it!
Tracks from the new album featured throughout, with the crowd singing back the lyrics and set closer ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ was just one of the many highpoints of the gig.
For the first part of the obligatory encore, this featured a solo acoustic version of ‘Leave Fast’ and then the band were back on stage to finish off with Springsteens ‘Dancing In The Dark’ with the evening rounded off by an excellent version of Oasis ‘Morning Glory’.
He may have only been around for a couple of years, but one thing I know for sure is that Sam Fender is a genuinely talented songwriter, musician and performer, and if his live performances and debut album are anything to go, this is someone who’s going to be around for a long time, and his career is only going one way.
At the time of posting this, Sam Fender is still on his UK tour, and will be back early next year. Full details are at the link below.
· Will We Talk
· Start Again
· Greasy Spoon
· All Is On My Side
· The Borders
· Dead Boys
· Play God
· Hypersonic Missiles
· Poundshop Kardashians
· Leave Fast
· That Sound
· Dancing In The Dark
· Morning Glory
The newly renovated St Georges Hall in Bradford welcomed Bastille on their current Doom Days, Club Nights UK tour following the release of the ‘Doom Days’ album in June of this year.
The set was split into two halves with the first part featuring all of the tracks from the album, which turned the capacity venue into one massive house party.
From the start, frontman Dan Smith bounced around the stage barely pausing for breath, and it was exhausting just watching him do his thing.
Opening track ‘Quarter Past Midnight’ set the tone for the evening with Dan in fine form and the 4-piece band sounding as tight as ever.
The stage was quite a sight as well, with a revolving platform and sofa being used throughout as props. Dan didn’t confine himself to the stage either, at one point he headed up to the gods for one track and towards the end of the evening also went on a walkabout into the crowd front of stage.
It has become something of feature for many bands to tour and play old albums in their entirety, but Bastilles set was unusual in that on this tour they were playing their new one.
But it’s clear that their loyal fans have embraced the new tracks to their hearts already, and they sang back virtually every track throughout the evening.
The second half of the set was made up of a ‘Greatest Hits’ package, and opening track was the old REO Speedwagon tune ‘Can’t Fight This Feeling’ which they have reworked and is now the current tune for the John Lewis Christmas advert.
There was more audience participation, when the band asked everyone to choose the track they would like to hear, either ‘Hangin’ or their Craig David collaboration ‘I Know You’, and the Craig David collab won that one.
The old Corona dance classic ‘Rhythm of The Night’ again turned the venue into a huge party, and of course no Bastille gig would be complete without their first huge hit ‘Pompeii’ from the debut album ‘Bad Blood’.
Bastille are a band who are very much at the top of their game, and their distinctive rock/synth/dance crossover style has ensured that they are big hitters in terms of quality of their album releases, and their live performances.
They are still touring throughout the UK but tickets going very fast. If you’re going, you will enjoy this one. If you’re not, try get yourselves a ticket, you’ll have a great night.
Full details of the remainder of the current UK tour below
· Quarter Past Midnight
· Bad Decisions
· The Waves
· Million Pieces
· Doom Days
· Nocturnal Creatures
· Another Place
· Those Nights
· Can’t Fight This Feeling
· Good Grief
· Good Lesson
· I Know (Audience Choice)
· Of The Night
The Libertines have embarked on a December tour across the UK. With the band putting the final touches to a new upcoming album this is the bands first headline tour for over two years and it is clear based on this performance The Libertines are still absolutely the kings of indi rock.
First up on the stage was Ed Cosens. Perhaps best known as the guitarist of Reverend and The Makers Ed delivered a fantastic acoustic set which displayed his talent as a singer song writer. As Ed informed the crowd he has a new album scheduled for release next year and given this performance Ed is definitely one to keep an eye on.
Next up on the stage was Cruel Hearts Club. The London based trio delivered a fantastic rock fuelled set and with the venue filling up fast dd a great job of warming up the crowd or the headliners.
Following the Cruel Hearts Club it was time for the headliners. The Libertines took to the stage to a storm of noise and a packed out o2. Messrs Doherty, Barat, Powell and Hassall wasted no time powering through their opening songs ‘The Delaney’ ‘Heart of the matter’ and ‘Horror Show’ with massive energy which got the crowd jumping from the very start.
As is to be expected at a Libertines gig there were mosh pits a plenty and sweat flying everywhere from the packed out bouncing crowd, but The Libertines have some absolute indi anthems such as ‘Cant Stand Me Now’, ‘What became of the Likely Lads’, ‘Boys in the Band’ and ‘Vertigo’ to name a few and whenever one of these tunes was played this was the cue for the beer to fly, the crowd surfing to begin and on few occasions the clothes to be thrown.
The Libertines powered through the rest of their set with Barat and Doherty regularly sharing the central mic and keeping the crowd bouncing and the beer flying throughout. The band Closed their set with ‘Time for Heroes’ and then left the stage to a thunderous noise.
The band however did not stay off the stage for long and returned to the stage to finish their set in style. The Libertines finished their set with the same high energy as they started and closed their gig with the epic ‘Don’t Look Back into the Sun’ keeping the crowd bouncing until the last.
The Libertines are well and truly back with this being their first tour in over two years and the band putting the finishing touches to a new album it is an exciting time to be a Libertines fan.
One thing however is clear and that is based in this performance The Libertines are still well and truly the kings of indi rock.
· The Delaney
· Heart of the Matter
· Horror Show
· Fame and Fortune
· Boys in the Band
· You’re my Waterloo
· The Saga
· Can’t Stand Me Now
· Last Post
· The Ha Ha Wall
· Dead for Love
· Gunga Din
· Bucket Shop
· What Became of the Likely Lads
· Death on the Stairs
· Time for Heros
· Music When the Lights Go Out
· What Katie Did
· Up the Bracket
· The Good Old Days
· Don’t Look Back Into the Sun
The mighty Primal Scream rolled into Leeds on their current ‘Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll’ tour and as the capacity crowd expected, they emphatically delivered the goods to a capacity audience who loved every minute of it.
And so it was that as The Clash and ‘London Calling’ was playing, out strode Primal Scream fronted by Bobby Gillespie, resplendent in all pink outfit including shoes, and it was straight into ‘Don’t fight it’ from their epic Screamdelica album, with its laid back groove, 90’s house vibe and deep bassline provided by Simone Butler, this was an epic start to the night. This was quickly followed with the pounding Swastika Eyes, and Gillespies vocals were on point as always.
A glance around the audience confirmed that whilst there were many people old enough to remember Primal Scream when they first started, there were also a lot of people there who frankly weren’t even born when their first album came out. This is always a good sign of a bands longevity and was good to see.
Whilst Gillespie prowled the stage throughout the night, the band made up of Andrew Innes, Martin Duffy, Darrin Mooney and Simone Butler were in fine form with Innes delivering some blistering guitar breaks throughout the set.
As they were touring on the back of their ‘Maximum Rock ‘N Roll’ singles album released earlier this year, this was a wonderful stroll through their extensive back catalogue and of course featured their classics!
Proceedings were slowed down only just a little with the wonderful ‘Cry Myself Blind’ and had the audience singing along in appreciation. But it would be hard to beat the sheer euphoric feel of ‘Loaded’ which turned the venue into a huge old schoolhouse party with its earworm chorus and deep groove which got even the most leaden footed moving.
From then on it was all 100mph, and Movin’ On Up simply brought the house down. This tune may be almost 30 years old, but a good tune is a good tune no matter when it was written and with its huge gospel style singalong chorus, this was just one of the many highlights of the evening.
‘Country Girl’ and ‘Come Together’ kept the party going and of course the evening was rounded off as expected with ‘Rocks Off’ which sounded as brilliantly as ever.
I’ve seen Primal Scream 4 times now, and to be honest, like fine wine, they simply get better and better.
For me this was one of THE gigs of the year, and this is a band that really should be on your bucket lists to see live.
I promise you will not be disappointed.
Details of remaing tour dates below, get yourselves a ticket NOW!!
· Don’t Fight It, Feel It
· Swastika Eyes
· Miss Lucifer
· Can’t Go Back
· Kill All Hippies
· (I’m Gonna) Cry Myself Blind
· I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have
· Velocity Girl
· Dolls (Sweet Rock And Roll)
· Burning Wheel
· 100% Or Nothing
· Movin’On Up
· Country Girl
· Come Together
· Rocks off
Where do you start with Mondays? Well probably one of the most influential bands of recent times may be a good start.
At the forefront of the ‘Madchester’ musical revolution along with The Stone Roses, tonight saw them call into the Leeds O2 on their current Greatest Hits tour, and the capacity crowd loved every single minute of it.
Preceding their set, a DJ played some great old and new acid tunes which ensured that the crowd were ready to go as soon as The Mondays took to the stage.
As soon as the opening refrains of Kinky Afro played, the crowd roared their approval and then Rowetta, Shaun Ryder and Bez arrived front and centre. Shaun chose to spend much of the set very much at the back of the stage with his baseball pulled down, but this is I suspect down to the testosterone injections which has resulted in the temporary loss of all his hair.
In his own words, he looks like Uncle Fester at the moment.
I therefore falls to Bez who prowled backwards and forwards with his distinctive dance and of course maracas in hand to be front and centre on stage.
There’s no denying the fact though that it’s Rowetta who is the vocal lynchpin for the evening, and she does a great job throughout keeping the set together. It’s good to see Shaun’s brother back in the band after his solo work in movies and TV, and whilst this band has never been the tightest in their live performances, the occasionally messy style was, and still is of course one their greatest assets as far as I’m concerned.
Tonight, for many of the crowd it’s a trip down memory lane, but it’s good to see that there are a fair number of people there who clearly weren’t even born back in 89 enjoying the set.
Donovan and Gods Cop sound as good as they’ve always done, and Bobs Yer Uncle was as risqué as ever.
Of course, it tracks such as ‘24-hour Party People’ and the mighty ‘Hallelujah’ which raise the roof. Naturally the brilliant ‘Step On’ with its distinctive opening chords is the cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake.
Technically they aren’t the greatest band live, but to my mind, they were always about more than that. They were amongst the leading lights of the Madchester movement, and their influence can still be felt and heard today with new bands coming through.
They may not be producing much new stuff these days but The Happy Mondays legacy will live on for ever more, and it’s heartening to see that they are attracting new audiences all the time.
Off to play Thrills, Pills and Bellyaches now, and do my Bez dance…..
So should you!
· Kinky Afro
· Gods Cop
· Loose Fit
· Dennis And Lois
· Rave On
· Bobs Yer Uncle
· Clap Your Hands
· Tart Tart
· Mad Cyril
· 24 Hour Party People
· Step On
· Wrote For Luck
You can usually tell that Christmas is just around the corner. The coca cola trucks engine roars into life, Wham reappear on every radio stations playlist and the secret Santa draw in the office leaves you in a cold sweat about what you could possibly buy Betty in accounts for a fiver that she won’t find offensive! (surely everyone loves chocolate shaped genitals?) There is though a new addition to that list, Shedcember! The now customary biannual tour of Britpop favourites Shed Seven, which as the name suggests is now as synonymous with December as any advent calendar, whatever the shape of the chocolate!
This year however there is some rather special icing on the Shedcember Christmas cake for the Yorkshire homecoming leg of the tour. After 2 sell out shows at Leeds O2 Academy venue in 2017, this year sees an upgrade! The Sheds are well known for packing out intimate venues and turning in live performances that send crowds into a frenzy of excitement. But how would they fare at the Leeds 02 Arena, a venue that includes Rod Stewart, The Who and Diana Ross amongst its upcoming artists. Let’s find out..
The scale of the event clearly required a little more than just your normal offering, and in recognition of this the band added an extra name to the supporting cast tonight, joining the tours regular support act; The Twang on the bill were another of Yorkshires finest ‘Reverend and the Makers’ who set about getting everyone in the mood for what was about to follow. This they did in their typical energetic style treating those who made the effort to get in early to a great warm up set including their biggest hit to date ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World’ which had everyone bouncing into the main event!
So onto the eagerly awaited headliners, opening up with ‘Room in My House’ and to a crescendo of noise from the huge crowd, we were off and running. Shed Seven always bring an energy and enthusiasm to their performances which is infectious, watching them genuinely makes you feel like you are part of the show and not just an onlooker waiting to be entertained. This is helped by the sheer volume of anthem-esque songs the band have produced over the years that are just belted back at them by packed crowds wherever they play. This is impressive enough when you are one of 1500 or a couple of thousand punters but tonight this was taken to another level. Whether it be ‘Mark’ from debut album Change Giver, or ‘Better Days’ from Instant Pleasures, the bands most recent offering from 2017 the response was the same, every tune, every word, every note, harmonised by Rick Witter and a backing group of thousands.
We could be pogoing to ‘She left me on Friday’ or serenading to ‘Better Days’: things were ‘Getting Better’ by the minute and we all definitely had ‘High Hopes ‘for a great night. To be ‘Going for Gold’ was of course a forgone conclusion and by the time we were all ‘Chasing Rainbows’ the bands traditional closing number the deal was well and truly sealed. The Sheds were now a bona fide arena band.
25 years ago I attended my first ever live music event in my hometown of Harrogate, as one of around 150 people watching a young band from down the road in York. Tonight, from my seat up above the masses I took a moment to stop, turn and watch 10,000 people, every single one standing, dancing and singing along to ‘Bully Boy’ yet another crowd favourite. It was a moment that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, I felt an incredible sense of pride that this was a journey I had shared and it was a real privilege to witness and be part of this wonderful, exhilarating and generally bat shit crazy night!
I suppose it could be claimed this was the biggest night of Shed Sevens 25 year career and perhaps a defining night in the history of a band who are enjoying a resurgence in the 2010’s that may have taken even them by surprise. Who is to say though that if they carry on like this then maybe Shedcember 2021 won’t be a full blown Arena tour. Whether it is or it isn’t, I can’t wait to be part of it.
Reviewer - Roger McGivern
It may have been ice cold outside, but that didn’t matter to the capacity audience tonight inside the Leeds arena, who welcomed Rod Stewart back on his current UK tour.
Now 74 years old, and with a back catalogue that many artists would kill for, he delivered a set of what was essentially his greatest hits and what a night it was.
Strolling onto stage, he went straight in ‘Some Guys Have All The Luck’ and it was clear that he still has that distinctive raspiness in his voice which is of course his trademark style.
Backed by his now regular band, including two drummers, it didn’t take long to get the crowd moving and everyone was on their feet as soon as the opening bars of ‘Having A Party’ kicked in.
Throughout the evening Rod Stewart left the stage to for pant and jacket changes which then gave his band and in particular the several female musicians and vocalists chance to provide the entertainment in the form of epic drum solos, and at one point Fleetwood Macs ‘You Can Your Own Way’.
‘The Killing Of Georgie’ sounded as good as ever, and was personally one of the highlights of the evening. I still think that track is one of the best things he’s ever done, and sadly in some parts of the world is still as relevant as ever.
Mid set was an acoustic section which he confessed was his favourite part of the show, and it showed with great versions of the old Tom Waits track ‘Downtown Train’, and ‘Dirty Old Town’ which the Leeds crowd were only too happy to sing along with.
At one point the huge video walls showed his now famous trainset which he has spent many years building, and as a non-train enthusiast myself, even I had to admit looked pretty damned impressive!
His most recent album which is made up of orchestral version of his tunes didn’t get much of an airing tonight, apart from the opening bars of ‘Maggie May’ but I have to say I was glad that it quickly reverted back to original rockier version, which to this reviewers mind is much better.
It was then straight into full cheesy party mode, and following another jacket change balloons cascaded from the ceiling it was straight into ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy’, although at that point, many in the audience seemed more interested in bursting as many balloons as possible!
Inevitably ‘Sailing’ made an appearance and again the audience were only too happy to join in with another epic singalong.
It was also good to see that the evening was brought to close with another personal favourite of mine, the old Faces standard, ‘Stay With Me’, which of course left the audience wanting more, which as any legendary performer will know if is precisely the time to exit stage left.
Time may be moving on, but it’s good to see that Rod Stewart still has the goods when it comes to live performances, and with a back catalogue of such strength and depth to rely on, he’s always going to be a big draw wherever he plays, and he’ll still be playing to packed out venues for as long as he likes really.
Nice one Rod!...
· Some Guys Have All The Luck
· Having A Party
· It Takes Two
· Rhythm Of My Heart
· You Wear It Well
· Forever Young
· The Killing Of Georgie (Parts 1 & 2)
· Baby Jane
· Tonight’s The Night
· Maggie May
· Downtown Train
· Dirty Old Town
· First Cut Is the Deepest
· I Don’t Want to Talk About It
· Have I Told You Lately
· Go Your Own Way
· Do Ya Think I’m Sexy
· Twistin’ The Night Away
Wall of Sounds opening gig for 2020 was the album launch gig for Snow Patrols ‘Reworked’ album released late last year which as the title implies is a new take on some of their old material.
Has to be said that the album is well worth a listen, and based on tonight’s 45-minute set, Snow Patrol are still a quality live band. Tonight’s gig was a stripped back set featuring frontman Gary Lightbody, Nathan Connolly on guitar and I must confess I’m not too sure of the name of the keyboard player, but no doubt someone will let me know!
Despite this being a short gig, and an album launch, the venue was still almost full to capacity and the band didn’t disappoint. A run through of some of their biggest tunes to date were warmly received by the crowd, and the between song banter from Gary Lightbody was warm and witty and built up an instant rapport with the audience. His story about their performance at the 2020 Olympics ceremony and the resulting twitter comments was genuinely funny.
Although there were only 3 band members on stage, they showed that even though they’ve had a six year, they’ve lost none of their musical abilities and showed why they have deservedly been critically acclaimed over the years.
Of course, huge tunes like ‘Crack The Shutters’ and ‘Chasing Cars’ were highlights of the show, and the audience took every opportunity to take over vocal duties.
In what seemed like the blink of an eye, the gig was over, but the good news is that Snow Patrol are back and touring with the full band this summer and current dates are at the link below.
You should get yourself along to see them!
· Crack The Shutters
· I Think Of Home
· You’re All I Have
· Heal Me
· Chasing Cars
· Open Your Eyes