Live Review | Idles live show + meet & greet @ Record Junkee, Sheffield – 5/9/2018


IDLES Prove Live Why They Are a Must See Band!

I slowly make my way through the sea of people; the place is packed, yet the atmosphere is weirdly calm. My eyes still haven’t adjusted to the extreme contrast in darkness within the venue, compared to the daytime sunshine from outside; and with blurry eyes I’m beginning to wonder if a matinee show at half one in the afternoon, where people are clutching coffee cups, will in any way live up to the energy produced from your typical, alcohol-fuelled evening gig. But then I remember who I’m about to see.

This is an Idles gig, and I’m surrounded by fellow Idles fans, or ‘AF gang’ members, who in my eyes, are some of the most dedicated music fans out there at the moment….who cares what time of day it is – this is going to be amazing!

This statement was quickly confirmed in the time it took Idles frontman Joe Talbot to finally make his way onto the stage to join his fellow band members, who had already been blasting the intro to ‘Colossus’ (the first track off their new album) for a little too long. Well, just enough time for us all to really appreciate the rumbling guitars, while simultaneously being tortured by a painful suspense.

This is it.

Talbot takes his place and ‘Colossus’ continues in all its glory, eventually ending in the first mosh pit of the day. The inevitable energy has officially been created and it is here to stay; flailing limbs, sweat, spilt alcohol (and coffee) are all continued into the next massive tune from Joy as An Act of Resistance. Already a favourite with fans, ‘Never Fight a Man with a Perm’ thunders throughout Record Junkee; with people screaming ‘CONCREETE AND LEATHEER’ until they’ll all be needing a much smaller packet of Tunes; but these ones for soothing their poor (but never bored) throats (other sore throat lozenges are available).

As people recover from what has just occurred, the scene of the next 45 minutes or so is set when Talbot announces that this will be a request show. A beautiful, light-hearted energy diffuses throughout the crowd as Talbot appears to channel his inner Cilla Black, greeting various members of the crowd and retrieving their favourite Idles songs. Even though one of my faves – ‘Date Night’, was never played, I guess we got to experience bit of Blind Date instead – “What’s yer name, and where’dyer come from?” echoed numerous times throughout the venue, accompanied by Talbot’s comedic style; “Do you know any Idles songs?

Fans from all over; Rotherham, Nottingham, Selby, and even Edinburgh, got their chance to request their favourite tracks – ‘1049 Gotho’, ‘Television’ and ‘I’m Scum’ were the first to shape this very special and intimate gig, followed by an ambitious yet ‘stunning’ rendition of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas is You’, because why the hell not?

Talbot made his way into the bouncing crowd to round off Brutalism’s ‘White Privilege’ perfectly, with some audience participation; AKA taking it in turns to shout “YEAHH!” down the mic. “How many optimists does it take to change a lightbulb?” was never more apt when a light fixture was later accidently ripped from the roof during a mad crowd surf (with no butler in sight to change it.)

The explosive throwback ‘Queens’ from their 2015 Meat EP was just as explosive as the next request ‘Mother’ where Idles once again mingled with the crowd. While face to face with guitarist Lee Kiernan as he manically played off-stage, it was at that moment I realised how lucky we all were to experience this unique and unforgettable gig. Idles are a band who care about their fans, there is a mutual level of appreciation.

Another stand out moment was during the break down of ‘Exeter’, when guitarists BoBo and Lee summoned the crowd that circled them to crouch on floor; we obliged, everyone mesmerised by their performance. Boundaries were blurred between the fans and the band, we were all in it together. ‘Samaritans’, the penultimate request, was met with adoration, then everyone began to wonder who Talbot would pick to request the final song.

But after selecting someone who claimed to only know one Idles song, Talbot asked if it had already been played – ‘ohhh yes’, meant that the pressure was placed onto some other lucky person. ‘What would you like us to play?” Talbot enquired for the last time. It just had to be ‘Danny Nedelko’.

He’s made of bones, he’s made of blood
He’s made of flesh, he’s made of love
He’s made of you, he’s made of me

Never had I attended a gig and left feeling such a sense of unity and optimism, until now.

What lovely guys, what a lovely day.

Words By Meg Wood

Live Review | Josh T Pearson @ Glee Club, Birmingham – 16/05/2018

Josh T Pearson tears up Birmingham Glee Club in Unique Fasion

If it looks like we’ve been up drinking all night, it’s because we have” confesses John T Pearson in his Texan drawl. And he does. Big time. He looks clammy and drawn. I’d been expecting a pristine white suit and a Stetson. Instead, he slouches on stage in 501s, an Urban Cowboy t-shirt and a red Straight Hits baseball cap which he removes to reveal a bleached mullet. He looks more redneck than cowboy. He’s also clean shaven. This unexpected image change was for a video he explains (indeed the ‘Straight At Me’ video will have hit your screens by the time you read this). But the sartorial u-turn isn’t the only change. For Josh’s new album The Straight Hits, he wrote a set of rules: the songs must all have a verse, a chorus and a bridge, the lyrics should be 16 lines or less, the titles should be four words or less and they must all have the word ‘straight’ in them. He also decided these would be lighter than his previous work; he’s done with being a sad bastard and he’s done with performance art.

By the time Pearson takes to the stage, we’ve already met his touring band (including the drummer from Pearson’s previous band Lift to Experience, Andy Young) since they’d joined the stunning support act Erika Wennerstrom for a couple of her numbers. Erika’s swirling and swooping voice reminds me of Kristen Hersh. And her astounding guitarist (Lauren Gurgiolo formerly of Okkervil River) transfixes and beguiles as she plays her guitar whilst simultaneously manipulating a Boss delay (in warp mode she explains to curious enquirers after the set) and an expression pedal like it’s some new form of tai chi.

Pearson’s set opens with the first three songs of the album: the rocking ‘Straight to the Top’, the aforementioned redneck video soundtrack ‘Straight at Me’ and the almost Goofing on Elvis ‘Give It To Me Straight’. But the aching really starts as he plays two songs, Sweetheart I Ain’t Your Christ’ and ‘Women When I’ve Raised Hell’, from his first solo album the heartbreakingly confessional Last Of The Country Gentlemen. His guitar picking is exquisite, his vocals fragile. But when he really lets loose with his voice, oh how it soars. So beautiful and vulnerable. In places it reminds me of Jeff Mangum but way way cooler.

Though he’s clearly buoyed by playing with a band for this tour despite occasional fuck-ups (the bass player has played only three gigs with them, being a member or Erika’s usual band rather than Josh’s), the songs in the solo section of the set, ‘Whisky Straight Love’ and ‘Damn Straight’, somehow make more sense this way than they would with his ensemble and are more potent than they are on the album. When he introduces ‘Whisky Straight Love’, he can’t believe that none of the country boys had ever come up with that line before (drinking whiskey straight to love) “They’re not the sharpest tools in the box” he laughs. Welcoming his band back on stage after the acoustic numbers, he declares they’re going to make some real noise and they launch into a cacophonous and heady rendering of ‘Loved Straight To Hell’.

But the previously hirsute Pearson (clean-shaven for the first time in 15 years) has some apologies to make to the audience. He says he’s sorry if he’s pissed off all the guys who thought they stood a better chance with the girls before they realised how good looking he is without the beard. He’s sorry too if the girls are pissed off now because previously they thought they stood more of a chance with him. The funnies keep coming and he admits he never knows what’s going to come out of his mouth next. To prove this, he tells us a joke: What’s the difference between a chickpea and a garbanzo bean? I wouldn’t let a garbanzo bean on my face. We laugh despite ourselves.

Luckily the swooning, yearning ‘A Love Song (Set Me Straight)’ with its gorgeous trumpet solo and a cover of Neil Halstead’s ‘Yer Feet’ with words almost as beautiful and heartbreaking as Josh’s own (“I was drunk when I met you, I was drunk when you walked out the door”) make me forget all about his awful jokes.

For someone who previously sang such sad sad songs, Pearson is way more entertaining and insightful than I expected. “An unexamined life isn’t worth living. But an over-examined life isn’t worth shit” he tell us. “Nietzsche, infinite loops and all that bollocks”. He promises this is a new positive chapter for him. And that he’s going to release more records. It’s all about the smash hits. The straight hits. I sure hope we can hold him to that promise because this man is worth listening to. Damn straight.

Words + Photos by Tracey Bowen @INeedDirection



Live Review | Peaness @ The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham – 24/4/2018


Peaness give a delightful performance at The Sunflower Lounge

“Hi. We’re Pea-ness. Penis. Whatever.” announces Jess as they take to the small Sunflower Lounge stage. Well at least the elephant in the room has been addressed early on. It’s not easy telling people you don’t know well about this band. But tell them, you must. In the best last minute decision I ever made, I arranged only the day before to attend when a friend excitedly told me they’d won two tickets and did I want to come. Previously, I’d only heard talk around the playful name but not actually the music so this was a perfect opportunity to put right my oversight. And they don’t disappoint; what follows is sheer joy.

“We’re from Chester, but Rach is from Birmingham” [crowd cheers]. “Dudley, actually”, Rachel protests [crowd boos]. The local tribe feeling is obviously strong tonight but, double entendres aside, there’s a lot of love in the room for these girls. One part punk drums, one part Orange Juice guitars and one part super-sweet Miki and Emma Lush harmonies; Peaness are pure and unadulterated pop. Shiny shiny pop with an infectious energy and tunes as sharp as their fringes.


‘Seafoam Islands’ is a perfect example of the above, sugary vocals with a catchy post-punk riff. And there are so many other highlights of the set. The wonderfully wonky ‘Skin Surfing’ gives me goosebumps of desire (“You’re so perfect. I’m getting restless to say yes”). The beguiling ‘Oh George’ (not quite the love song you might imagine it to be, it’s actually about George Osborne) is played with a dedication to Morph, the Sunflower Lounge promoter currently to be found sitting on the door with the cashbox and a big grin on his face. But it’s ‘I’m Not Your Problem’ where they shine brightest. Perfect stop-start interweaving guitar and bass melodies underpin the sweetest chorus imaginable. This song, this band, is radio ready. Well, if they can get past the correct pronunciation of the name anyhow.

It’s no surprise to learn part way through the set that the CDs on heavy rotation in the Peaness tour van are Abba, Avril Lavigne and Green Day. They’re an intriguing blend of all of these and more. Songs about love, heartbreak, life and even war are given the same breezy, bouncy treatment that’s impossible to resist.20180424_220126.jpg

A new song with the working name “Breakfast” that’s really about Brexit is introduced towards the end. An audience member shouts out “Brexit at Tiffany’s”. “Why didn’t I think of that?” Jess laughs and re-introduces the number using the newly suggested moniker. Crowdsourced song titles; it’s the way forward. And it’s obvious the only way for this band is forwards. And perhaps Upwards and Onwards.

Peas and love!

Words and Pictures by Tracey Bowen  @INeedDirection

Live Review | Yonaka @ The Garage, London – 28/02/2018


Yonaka played one of their biggest headline sets to date in a sold-out and snowed-in Garage courtesy of NME. With the addition of some previously un-played tracks, a Post-Malone cover featuring one of The Amazons and the usual great atmosphere that Yonaka’s gigs are becoming known for; this was not one to miss.

Guildford punk outfit BlackWaters kicked off proceedings with some riotous noise perfect for building up some crowd energy. Singles “Let The Good Times Roll” and “Fuck Yeah” provoked a lot of headbanging and singing along, the riffs were loud and heavy while the swagger and eclectic dress sense of their lead singer gave off some very Fall-esque vibes. Most punk of all though was the lanky bassist performing shoeless in Mr Men socks.

After BlackWaters left the air fizzing with the feedback of their guitars, Manchester born Natalie Findlay and her band played a funkier more chilled out set mostly of tracks from her debut album “Forgotten Pleasures”. The mix of sounds here was more eclectic and much harder to categorise than the obvious no holds-barred punk of BlackWaters, but the music was no less enjoyable and got everyone dancing. They’re a tight band and “Electric Bones” stuck out particularly well for being the funky alt-pop that bands like Anteros and in fact Yonaka are championing, as well as being a catchy track that I’m sure I’m not alone in saying stuck in my head and made me want to check out more of their stuff.


The air was then thick with anticipation for the headliners. Despite the snow maybe affecting the odd person’s plans to travel in for the gig had sold out well in advance so was full and buzzing before Theresa and the crew took to the stage. Showing their power and incredible stage presence which their gigs always showcase, they opened with a trio of their most stellar tracks; Ignorance, Gods and Lovers and Run. Within seconds of the opening guitar parts the crowd was alight, many people singing along wordperfect. When the first chorus dropped there was yet more energy with a pit or two opening up, which seemed to thrill lead chanteuse Theresa who grinned throughout. For Gods and Lovers in particular she kicked about the stage with in her usual badass manner, lapping up the adoration from the crowd which the band wholeheartedly deserve.

After this blistering opening it was time for fans to hear a brand new song “Real Love” which showed their fresher take on their usual sound. Next their grittiest older track “Drongo” brought back the raw power and stomping noise that Yonaka are best known for. The stand-out moment of the gig though came courtesy of the stellar cover of Post Malone’s best known track “I Fall Apart” with added vocals from The Amazons very own Matt Thompson; the mixture of Theresa’s more sombre but still powerful vocals harmonising with Matt’s made the song their very own. Three more new tracks including the slower and more toned down “Better Than This” brought yet more treats for fans who have been yearning to hear what new things they have to offer.

After their new banger of a tune “Fucking With The Boss” it was time to close the night with their indomitable track “Bubblegum” which brought the energy and the love in the crowd to an all-time high, as it usually does. After pausing for a breather having leaped offstage to skip in front of the barrier and to hug a couple of crowd members once the song had finished they left fans cheering and clamouring for more before satisfying them with their break-out single “Wouldn’t Wanna Be Ya”.

For a crowd to enjoy brand new tracks and a cover as much as they seemed to takes real skill on the part of the band involved, skill which Yonaka clearly have. They’ve always put together tight and enjoyable performances but for me the energy last night was something else; more electric than it has ever been before.

Words By Oscar Rees @SkeletonOscar 

Live Review: Peach Club @ Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham – 06/02/2018


Peach Club made their Birmingham debut at The Sunflower Lounge a few nights ago, and what a debut it was. With their new EP Cherry Baby still fresh in everyone’s ears, it was clear the crowd were chomping at the bit to see the band perform it live.


The night was packed with music, with 3 support acts before the main event and they all covered a different end of the music genre. Pool took to the stage first, and regardless to the band being a bassist down they still turned out a strong performance. With dirty fast-paced guitars, you got a slight taste of grungey garage-rock and I couldn’t help but think if they had a full complement they would have been that much better.


IMG_0266After the crowd had settled slightly, Miss World toned the night down with an impressive acoustic performance. Both of their vocals were outstanding, with each note being pitch perfect and meshing so well together. Their setlist was also quite cool as they offered acoustic renditions of ‘Beggin’, Lana Del Rey’s ‘Cola’ and then finishing it off nicely with ‘Champagne Supernova’


IMG_0274.jpgFuture Fires then burst onto the stage vowing to take the night up a notch. The performance was filled with confidence and high tempo songs. Although they’ve only been at it for a year, they’ve packed their setlist out with some great tracks, as well as a solid cover of The Beatles’ ‘Hey Bulldog’. Also the lead guitarists performance across the setlist was something to behold, as at times it looked like his hand wasn’t attached to his body it was moving that fast.




Finally the time had come for the Norwich Riot Grrrl band to take to the stage, and as they were setting up it was clear that they were more than ready for it. Considering it was their first time playing Birmingham, anyone who didn’t know would’ve thought they played there regularly as the crowd welcomed them with open arms. Their setlist was packed out with high energy, kick you in the teeth songs and each of them were delivered with poise. Kicking off with ‘Bad Bitch’ was perfect, as it gave the chance to for the audience to get involved by clapping, it also provided lead singer, Kat, the perfect platform to go mental.


This was a regular occurrence throughout the show, and regardless of how tired Kat informed the crowd she was, her performance never waned. Throughout the madness of ‘Oh My God’ and ‘My Best Friend’ the crowd started to loosen up and lose themselves along with each of the band members.  After all of the chaos they did slow it down with another track off the Cherry Baby EP, ‘Venus’  which was cool as you saw a softer side to their performance – however the venom was still in each word. ‘Cherry Baby’ was a great highlight as well, just to see that story told live along with the screaming vocals of the words “Cherry Baby“.



The final song ‘Mission Impossible‘ was a unique way to end the show. Kat provided a backdrop for the song with a story which only made the song that much sweeter. As she burst into the middle of the crowd singing away, she never missed a beat as every note was hit with perfection, you could see this going down well at live any show.

Overall the night was filled with great music and great moments, putting several bands higher on the radar. Peach Club will continue to do this at any venue they perform at, purely because of the sheer confidence, quality and conviction they have throughout their set. I will be sure to see them again this year!

Words by Alex Wise @AJWise

Live Review: DEAD! @ The Flapper, Birmingham 31/01/18

The Golden Age Tour made its way to Birmingham January 31st 2018 to tear the roof off of The Flapper. With four incredible bands and an atmosphere as energetic as ever, the whole building was moshing, dancing and singing along. Blank parody started the night off with a bang, introducing the crowd to fast paced tracks such as ‘Under Achiever’, inviting the audience to bounce along with their ever so catchy songs. Blank Parody really roughed a sketch on a blank canvas that was the very beginning of what was to come.

Photo Courtesy of P A C Photography – Paul Andrew Crutchley

A Promise To Forget followed edging the audience into a pop punk tornado, pleasing the crowd with heavy riffs and charged them up for what the whole night had planned. Supporting Dead! previously, they really blended well with the current vibes already set by the previous support act, Blank Parody.

The Kenneth’s exploded onto the stage storming the crowd with manic guitar riffs, tonnes of audience interaction that had one member of the crowd becoming a mic stand and plenty of upbeat drums that would rattle through the building. With the audience riled up, battered and bruise from mosh pits and eagerly awaiting the headliner, the mood had been set. The support acts had created such a fantastically frantic atmosphere, the build up was intense.

As the crowd waited patiently, the house music had been lowered and Guitars were tested. Crowd members were bursting with excitement. The atmosphere ignited into flames as Dead! opened with the title track off the debut album, ‘The Boys The Boys’, mosh pits erupting from every side, people climbing on top of each other’s shoulders narrowly missing the ceiling screaming their hearts out. Dead! have a following like no other, with everyone taking care of each other through the immense pushing and shoving and stage diving. Majority of the tracks off the new album were played, storming through chaotic songs such as ‘Enough Enough Enough’, ‘Skin’ and ‘Up For Ran$om’, then mellowing out the night with ‘Jessica’ and ‘W9’ before the big send off with tracks like ‘Something More Original’, ‘The Golden Age Of Not Even Trying’ and finally finishing their set off with the infamous song ‘You’re So Cheap’.

Photo Courtesy of P A C Photography – Paul Andrew Crutchley

Before the lads even had chance to tease the crowd with an encore, the entire room chanted “one more song!” Until guitarist Louis muttered “ah you know we’re gonna do another so let’s get on with it!” And without a second thought, Dead! began to play the famous song ‘My Generation’, ripping through the venue like an electrical storm, crashing cymbals and a loud statement sure put these five men on the map and gave the entire crowd something to remember for the rest of their lives. With a stage invasion to end the night, you couldn’t say a band like this will fall into the unknown.

Dead! have really pushed to get where they are today and it shows at every gig they play. The Golden Age Of Not Even Trying tour continues throughout the month and I’d recommend going to a show near you.

Words by  Amelia Saunders @youthscreams 

Live Review: The Cribs, Demob Happy, Peaness @ Gorilla Manchester 09/12/2017

Last night marked the second time of seeing The Cribs this year; although it would’ve been great to join them throughout this residency tour sometimes money doesn’t stretch that far. After seeing The Cribs many times before, it’s become quite clear they can’t have a bad show. However with this being residency tour and opting to play in more intimate venues the gig had the chance to be very memorable. The barriers were not in use here so every fan had a chance to get up close and personal with the acts, which is something that lost in a lot modern day gigs that intimate feeling, which means so much to fans.

The Gorilla venue setup was perfect, it wasn’t that big so when everyone arrived it looked half empty, but it wasn’t so small that it struggles to fit everyone in. Also the merch area sat nicely above the bar in a little hut, so you could purchase with less hassle. So everything was set, how did the bands do?


First up was a three-piece from Chester called Peaness, who have taken on the 10 questions here at WFM! Which is a must read! But it was so cool to see them live after having their EP on repeat for several weeks. However it would’ve been handy to have brushed up on the songs once more, so I could’ve sang with a bit more confidence. They’re set list was packed with loads of fun songs that made much of their EP, so it was cool to hear it live.

Oh George’ was a personal favourite mainly because of the catchy chorus, along with the pacey drum part to partner it. Another song that really stood out was ‘Skin Surfing’, not only are the guitar parts really catchy but the change in vocal pitch for the chorus is sweet. Definitely need to see them again with an improved knowledge of their lyrics!

Demob Happy

Next up was Demob Happy, a band that I’d never heard before but all three completely looked the part especially the lead singer who looked like a metal version of John Lennon, very cool. They’re set was completely packed out with hard-hitting drums, erratic lead guitar and a heavy bass. They sounded like a heavier, more authentic version of Royal Blood.

You could tell each member of the band completely lost themselves while playing, as they were that into performing. ‘Be Your Man’ was an incredible song with some impressive guitar work around it, although the vocals were hard to hear at times the instruments were enough to hold everyone’s interest. ‘Wash it Down’ also stuck out on the set list, it was just so impressively put together and heavy, my head nearly came off with the sound. Finally although every member of the band was incredible, majour props have to go to the drummer who was impressive, the sheer energy that went into his performance was eye-catching!

The Cribs

Finally the time had come for The Cribs to grace the stage once again, and as they came on for another memorable night, out of pure instinct that burst of energy flowed through me.

They got some of the popular songs out the way early to get the crowd gripped, with ‘Our Bovine Public’ and ‘Men’s Needs’ being the chosen ones. Also ‘Martell‘  came out, which is a song that doesn’t get played enough for how popular it is, however I can appreciate keeping it special. Each brother was on form with not one of them missing a beat, and still giving it everything after what has been a grueling tour so far.

The setlist was a varied as it could’ve been, as they pulled out songs from each album and managed to make them all flow together making a great setlist. Also had the chance to hear Gary sing ‘Confident Men’ from In The Belly of the Brazen Bull which was a surprising to hear as I hadn’t heard the song in such a long time, reminding me of how underrated the song really is. Along with this from the first album The CribsBaby Don’t Sweat’ and ‘You Were Always the One’ came out to play from the first album which are always a pleasure to hear. However due to the unique circumstances of the show, these songs seem to have a different light, as if playing them so close to the crowd gave the songs a new lease of life.

It amazes me how after so many years the guys still have this same guttural feeling playing these decade old songs. It’s encouraging to see that no matter how many times they play ‘Another Number’, they still know how important it is to their fans.

From The New FellasHello? Oh’ appeared which was welcomed surprise was after never hearing it live before. Ryan played this near enough solo with his vocals isolated with just his electric guitar-it was amazing to hear as they crowd passionately sang with him. From Ignore the Ignorant ‘Hari Kari’ also got a run out which was special to see them perform, purely because of the way Ryan delivers that Hari Kari line which makes me scream it back.

Midway through the show Ryan launched himself into the crowd into a sea sweaty hands and haircuts with all of them catching the beloved guitarist. It’s here where I get to share that I managed to kiss his head as he was getting passed back onstage – it was a special moment that tasted of hairspray.

The show also gave me the chance to hear ‘Dead at the Wheel’  which was a song I was highly anticipating. Whether or not it was Ryan reliving some bad memories while singing the song, he genuinely looked very vulnerable when performing it. The song came across very real and you got the feeling it was very personal to him. It was interesting to see the show slow down for this song  and then pick back up, but it was great to hear.

They closed the gig with ‘Broken Arrow’ which is the last song on their latest record 24-7 Rockstar Shit. The song definitely has the potential to grow into a show closer, but my ears longed for ‘Pink Snow’ off For All My Sisters. It was going to be a big ask as ‘Pink Snow’ was the closing song the previous night, and on a tour where they want to make each show different, it wasn’t going to happen. However credit has to be given because it’s pretty bold to be changing your set list up every night to give the reoccurring fans something different to salivate over.

Sorry for the long review but this show deserved it as The Cribs once again served up one of the few gigs that I will take to my grave. This band is genuinely very important to me, and has been a key part in me growing up over these last 5 years. Which is why it’s special to have these shows, where they clearly show how important it is to them and how much they love performing. I’m sure this won’t be the last time seeing them, but until next time guys, Be Safe.

Words by Alex Wise @AJWise

Live Review: Kirin J Callinan @ Hoxton Bar and Kitchen

Kirin J Callinan Live at Hoxton Bar and Kitchen
Photo Taken By Louise Tindall

Who eats salad on stage, swings from the lights and strips off mid set? Kirin J Callinan, that’s who.

It’s a Tuesday night in London so what else could I do with my evening than go and see what should have been one of the worst gigs I’ve been to. So here’s an article on how it surprisingly became one of the best.  

Arriving at the Hoxton Bar and Kitchen the crowd gathering was, as expected, a bunch of outsiders who had most likely stumbled upon this gem by accident or had been brought along by a friend who had no one else to go with. Wandering around by the bar we saw the man himself walking around in a skirt and cowboy hat combo chatting with his fans.

As everyone started filing in and support act Bea left the stage, it was time to see exactly what this guy had, that made people willingly part with their cash to see something that prior to this I had thought wouldn’t even get aired on the x-factor audition stage as fun (yes it’s technically THAT bad).

Alas, it’s the fact he knows he’s bad and does it anyway that makes it good and he knows exactly how to work it into something worth seeing. I mean the guy spoke about what he had for breakfast on stage after commenting that one of his song transitions had been way too smooth and questioned “how boring can we make this?” before playing his next track. Crouching down he asked a fan to unzip his vest before later offering her the rest of that salad I mentioned at the start. All of this was received warmly by the crowd before ending with quite possibly THE friendliest mosh pit I have ever seen.

So about the music –it’s actually quite, dare I say it, good? It’s definitely a grower and after seeing him fall off the stage and strip off to it, who the hell am I to say anything else.  

Words by Louise Tindall @louisetindallx 




After seeing The 1975 put on an impressive set at Reading that had girls screaming, crying and fainting the next step was to see the band in a more intimate capacity. Luckily the chance came sooner rather than later as they were playing one of best venues near my town, the Wolves Civic, which provided me with the best opportunity to see the lads exactly how I wanted to.

Manchester act Y.O.U were one of the support bands and they provided a great opening set as they slowly built the place up with energy as people began arrive and fill the room up. The band looked confident and comfortable which is good to see from a support act because it shows they’re not fearful of a crowd.

The crowd were then treated to Circa Waves as their other support act and they were treated because they put on a blistering performance which won a lot of the crowd over by the end. Their upbeat indie songs managed to get the crowd geared up for The 1975 as well as earn them some well-deserved likes on Facebook.

Once the Circa Waves vacated the stage the wait was on, and everybody was eager to see a glimpse of Matty Healy’s perm bouncing around on the stage.

The 1975 have one of the best build ups to walking on stage ever , the room gradually turns slightly darker and the walk-on music slowly builds up without you really noticing, then a beaming light shines through and long the wait is over. It doesn’t sound half as good when reading about it, but when you experience it, you will understand.

The band burst on to the stage like a bunch of seasoned veterans as they soak up everything the crowd have to offer before bursting into their opening song ‘The City’. The song is a perfect opener because it crashes in and you’re immediately taken back and ready for whatever the band have to throw at you throughout the night.

The gig flows through like a dream as there’s no dead space in the set because everything is covered so expertly. If it’s not a small instrumental it’s Matt addressing the crowd, if it’s not Matt addressing the crowd it’s the synth going off, and if it’s not the synth going off it’s the lads playing through a catchy number.

Each song received an amazing reception because everyone in packed their was just that into them, however fan favourites ‘Settle Down’, ‘Heart Out’ and ‘Girls’ received a heightened reception due to their prominence on the album.

They effortlessly switch the pace throughout the set and for most acts that wouldn’t work, but The 1975 have found a perfect blend for their setlist because it just flows due to the continuous quality in each of their songs. For example they would be playing through the slow-pace ‘(So Far) It’s Alright’ and then burst into the louder and faster-paced ‘TALK!’.

The set has this healthy blend of songs from their popular debut album and their less popular EP’s ‘IV‘ and ‘Music For Cars‘, which keeps the set fresh because a lot of people haven’t heard that material and they will actively go back and listen to it so they can be part of the communal singing.

For as long as the band go on, I can never see them finding a better combination of encore songs because ‘Robbers’, ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Sex’ are too big and far too good to be substituted. Those are the songs that keep the crowd anticipated because they’re gagging to hear those songs and when they’re played it’s like the entire crowd have forgot who they are because they’re just purely in the moment.

The 1975 proved to me once again that they’re not just hollow pop band that sing about girls, but they’re a serious band with some credible songs in their arsenal. Of course they will never get everyone on side because for some reason those people can’t get passed their songs like ‘Chocolate’ or ‘Sex’ ,but once you do get past those and listen to the other songs and find out the meaning behind them there’s something special and relatable there for everyone.

Words by Alex Wise @al4563


LIVE REVIEW: Alt-J – Wolverhampton Civic Hall – 22nd September



After a long wait the time had finally come for me to see one of the most interesting acts that’s around today, Alt-J. Missing their debut album tour was a huge mistake so after the announcement of their new album This is All Yours the same mistake was not going to be made again. Although they lost their talented bass/Guitar player Gwil Sainsbury their new album didn’t disappoint, as they still delivered nothing below par which piled the excitement on this gig.

Marika Hackman provided the music to warm up the eager crowd up for Alt-J, and they seem to do it like veterans. Each of the their songs were interesting and in a sense daunting, as they each had an eerie feel to them and both of these qualities kept the audience hooked as they continued to give the band a strong reception.

The lights went down and the crowd got louder as the Leeds band strolled onto the stage with calmness and composure embedded within each of their steps. The band started strongly with ‘Hunger of the Pine’ opening up the set and getting a huge response from the crowd immediately after the song. Straight after the opening they hit the crowd with some well-known hits with ‘Fitzpleasure’, ‘Something Good’ and ‘Left Hand Free’ with each of the songs earning an abundant reception.

Throughout the night it seemed that the biggest reactions came from songs belonging to the first album with the likes of ‘Matilda’ and ‘Tessellate’ getting people moving. Unfortunately it felt that their Second album hadn’t sunk deep enough into the minds of the crowd as it didn’t connect with the vast majority, however it was stilladmirable purely because of the performance of the tracks.

‘Every Other Freckle’ and ‘Warm Foothills’ was a joy to hear live because it was great to see them playing out with ease, it was difficult at times to understand how they were playing the songs because they seemed too complex to play between four people.

The encore was the highlight of the show as the band covered Bill Withers’ ‘Lovely Day’, played through the magical song ‘Nara’ and left the crowd drooling as they ended it with ‘Breezeblocks’. Being part of the crowd as they played ‘Breezeblocks’ was a magical experience, because it felt like it was just coming straight off the record because It was spotless.

Alt-J proved that they are still one of the most unique acts around as their set was filled with magic and bliss throughout, and there’s no doubt that they will continue this through their music career. Unfortunately it seems that their second album hasn’t captured the audiences like An Awesome Wave did, however there is still time for the album to sink in. Bottom line is, if you’re going to see alt-J, you’re going to see an excellent performance.

Words by Alex Wise @al4563