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