Seconds Apart – The Asylum Venue – April 21st 2017

  So it’s been a very long time since I last reviewed a gig and what better way to come out of this mini retirement I fell into, than to review a gig that was full of versatility and well brilliance! And what a perfect time to mess with titles/writing styles then creepin’ back out of mini retirement! 

  Friday, April 21st I took a trip down to The Asylum Venue in Birmingham, a venue that has been a mini home for me over the years, to watch the boys; Marx, Led by Lanterns, The Real Cool and Seconds Apart. And boy was it something! I entered the venue only knowing who Led by Lanterns were and with the tiniest bit of research in regards to the other bands. Now this is my favourite thing to do with gigs at intimate venues. I love going into the unknown and experiencing the whole thing from discovering who a band is to watching them live to getting to know them. And its from this experience that, before we get to the nitty gritty, I just want to say all of these lads are absolutely the sweetest people you will ever meet! I haven’t been to a gig in a long time where all bands and all members of the bands, were as humble, appreciative and well sweet as all of these boys!

Now the nitty gritty…

… First onto the stage at this intimate venue was Marx. Marx is a rap artist who has also, in the past, dabbled into metal. Standing solo Marx worked the stage with utter confidence, interacting with the crowd and exclaiming his appreciation for being there and to all the other bands (especially the headline act). That alone was lovely to see, but Marx overall was ticking lots of boxes. Now as I said Marx is a rap artist, and that brought a massive twist to the night as the main genre was alternative. And besides his banter on stage, Marx performance was filled with some serious hard work! With well timed and placed beats, song transitions, and some serious lyrical work, Marx filled the venue with a refreshing set. Marx showcased fast lyrical production as well as some more slower paced lyrical build up adding depth to his songs. But he also showed some great music build up too with great use of strings into some of his songs, bringing a classical aspect within his hip-hop sound. As I mentioned at the begin Marx has previously worked within Metal and Pop Punk bands, so with that background you can appreciate that this guy has some serious potential, as he is versatile and talented. With that being said I can honestly say I can’t wait to see more of him and that he is doing a great job.

   Second onto the stage were Led by Lanterns, a four piece midland based band who are smashing it! Led by Lanterns consists of Welsh and Brummy lads who are not only great musicians but musicians who are also fronting a great cause, which I will explain towards the end. With their pop punk vibe, the lads fit well into the overall Alternative scene of the night.
  Now Led by Lanterns have three very strong vocalists who all have unique voices, this is something that could put them as a band at risk. However, these guys arent short of music knowledge or background. Each member has previously been in a different band, and with that combined with the fact they are each incredibly music savvy, the lads have managed to put themselves together and eliminate the risk of outshining/drowning out each others vocals. But they have also managed to showcase each vocalist’s talent and uniqueness too. This has been achieved by well placed harmonies and solo slots, which are visible throughout all songs and was incredible to watch live. Despite all vocals being amazing I will mention that the lead vocalist has something about their voice, thats hard to pinpoint exactly the right way to describe. He’s got what I can only describe as a twang to his vocals that just stands out, and makes it different to what you’re used to and honestly, I just cant get enough of it!
  The body of music itself was just as talented as the vocals. The drums were intricate, provided a great beat throughout and even though they were loud and booming, they just felt right! There was no beat missed (at least none visible to the ear or eye), with the drummer showing that they have talent and skill. But the drummer also displayed through the set crowd interaction too in the form of what I can only describe as drum communication, for example that drum roll that’s used at the end of a joke, that was visible a few times throughout the set. And it was nice to see the drummer interacting with the crowd, alongside the other band members too. Now with guitars and bass, the tune was incredible! Bass was well heard, never faint in the background and provided more depth to the beat or the songs.
  The boys performed their two released singles and it was amazing to watch. They sounded exactly how they were recorded, displaying that these guys 100% do not need help from technology enhancing. Their first released single was Recovery, and hearing the guitar riffs and executed bass, that builds the main body of the song live was a great experience. Their second release was Save a Life and it was even more astonishing to hear that live.
  Now as I mentioned previously, the lads are working alongside a great cause and have produced a song to help with the campaign. The campaign in question? Well the Led by Lanterns boys are working alongside the ‘Save A Life Surrender Your Knife’ Campaign. A cause that is unfortunately needed in this day and age, as knife crime is a serious problem. Now with heart touching lyrics and soft yet powerful riffs, and a dominating bass and drum beat, Save a Life is the official song fronting this campaign alongside the incredible work of Artist Alfie Bradley’s 27ft Angel (made of knives). This is such a beautiful cause and seeing the lads join in the campaign just highlights how lovely these boys are. For more information on the campaign and the lads song please check out the links below attached to their name. All in all, I absolutely loved the Led by Lanterns set, and it was great to finally get to watch them properly and not just hear them singing walking around their house.

  Third to the stage were The Real Cool, a three piece band from Birmingham who brought the second twist of the night to life, by bringing a well balanced mix of synth and 80’s pop influence to their dream pop/indie vibes. Now that may not be the best description of this band, to which I can only apologise, however once you hear them and you start to sway to their dancey yet mellow beats you will get the vibe I am referring to.
Starting out first with their stage presence I was absolutely digging them. The Real Cool are great to watch visually, as you can see they are enjoying themselves. With cheeky smiles flashed all round, dancing by the lead vocalist and bassist, and the head bops by the drummer. You can’t not enjoy watching them. Now the drummer was actually one of my favourite aspects of the set. While smashing out well executed beats, the drummer looked completely at ease. Like he generally looked like he was at home, that being on stage didn’t faze him. Hey for all we know, he may even have been thinking about what he was going to have for dinner! But I absolutely loved it! I loved how at ease and relaxed this guy was, I couldn’t stop watching him (apart from when my eyes were drawn away by the lead vocalists dance moves and bassists cheeky smile that is). This to me shows this guy knows what he is doing! He is confident in his performance and with his band members. This lad is talented! And he was doing nothing but displaying this throughout the set.
Getting back to the music, audio wise the band are just as great! Vocals, string, drums and synth were all balanced well within each song which was refreshing. Vocals were dreamy, powerful but not in an overbearing manner as they were still quite soft and gentle feeling. Drums, as mentioned before, where were great! The beat was steady, consistent, nothing missed and very well timed! Bass was strong, clearly heard and provided a lower version of the main tune within songs. Guitar was subtle, provided the main tune but was not always consistent which added a quirky depth to their songs. Synth was subtle, provided further depth and added more tune build up, and tangled in nicely. Having the mix of strings, vocals, drums and synth allowed for the lads to truly layer up their songs with intricate slots so that their there was never once one instrument heard longer than the other, never anything overshadowed and an overall great performance was achieved.
The overall set of The Real Cool was amazing, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t wait to catch them again!

  Finally the Yorkshire boys were on the stage getting ready to show Birmingham what theyve got. And boy was I not prepared for what was to come!
  Deep moody tones filled the now pitch black room whilst three spot lights scanned the room like mini lighthouses, before the lead vocalist proudly broke the suspense with an arena styled announcement. A little further suspense built before the band broke all silence and blasted some serious talent. If you closed your eyes during that very moment I assure you, you would have felt like the venue was your local arena. Which was incredible to witness as unfortunately there are bands out there that see smaller more intimate venues as only what they are. So the music is playing, with incredible drums, amazing guitar riffs, great bass and then this loud strong booming vocals fill the room. Honestly these boys are incredible.
  After the first song is over we get an introduction to who these boys are and get a hint of cheekiness from the lead vocalist when a little sneaky comment is made about Yorkshire being the home of the best tea. From here, their performance gets stronger and stronger.
  Now Seconds Apart are an alternative band, with some serious and I mean serious potential! Each member is super talented and its displayed throughout the set, however the overall package as a band is just bliss! The drummer throughout produces very in time beats, with intricate and fast paced moves that see him using every inch of his drum kit. There is not a single beat missed, there is no hesitation and frankly I wish I had more words to use other than incredible, amazing and great, because he was all of those things. What I loved about the drums in this band was how abrupt they could sound, like hello I’m here, and it truly helps to build on the alternative angle they’re going for. Guitar and backing vocals, well, they were fascinating! Slightly distorted riffs build up that alternative aspect of their music, however that’s not where the guitarist’s skills end. With fast changes from rhythm to lead and back again constantly, the guitarist showcases how incredible he is with his guitar. And that’s not where it ends for him either. His vocals are a slightly deeper tone than the lead vocalists, and he is also able to provide that alternative “scream” vibe during some of their songs. Now with this it creates another layer to their music, as it produces a natural harmony as well as backing and variety. As a vocalist he is also super talented. Now the lead vocalist is also the bassist. So again there is another multi-tasker in the band, and he is also extremely talented. With an unusual and very unique voice, the lead vocalist is able to fully utilise this within their songs and his performance. Being able to hit the high notes as well as he does is also very beneficial! The vocals throughout were breathtaking, there was no slip up on lyrics, no heavy breathing through the microphone and everything was clearly sung, which meant you weren’t left trying to figure out what the lyrics were. In terms of the bass, it was also very well timed, providing depth to the main beat of the songs but also strengthening the rhythm created by the guitarist. Overall, again, the lead vocalist is a very talented lad and just adds to the fact that the whole band is just marvellous!
  Visually, the band were a delight to watch! The drummer was very animated, the guitarist used his space well and showed off some dance moves including some head bops and headbangs, and the lead vocalist was like a typical bassist and vocalist! Moving round the whole stage fully taking advantage of the space he had and the fact he’s got very long legs, he was everywhere! Including at one point in the audience, on a chair and just loving performing. What made them all the more delightful to watch was each member was also having a great time. Inbetween songs when they were interacting with the crowd and introducing songs they were all smiling genuine smiles, making jokes and you can tell they really put their heart into their performance. For me that made it better.
  So, covers. They can either be great or they can be just pure cringe. When the lead vocalist announced they were going to do a cover of a song they felt was going to be good for a little sing song, I’m not gonna lie I was hit with nervous. Well this was one of those great ones and I can safely say I’ve never heard anything like it before! Starting off with Clean Bandit – Rather be, the lads put a quirky spin on the dance/indie number by throwing some alternative vibes all over it. But then it swiftly turned into Rage Against the Machine, and then to Craig David and then, my personal favourite, into R Kelly – Bump n Grind and then swiftly back into Clean Bandit – Rather Be. IT WAS INCREDIBLE! The transitions were swift yet slid perfectly into each other, the alternative aspect on these popular R’n’B/Pop songs and the including of iconic tracks was just intensely creative, clever and pure genius! I was gobsmacked yet in awe of that very moment! If I hadn’t already found a likening to this band I definitely was appreciating them now.
  Seconds Apart were as you can tell, to me, great. I loved every aspect of their set and I highly recommend you check them out if you haven’t already. They have got some serious talent and some serious potential, I can see these guys going places and when you see them live you’ll see it too.


  I will take this time now to say thank you to Marx, Led by Lanterns, The Real Cool and Seconds Apart for such a wonderful show, and for being so welcoming. Thank you for taking the time to speak to me inbetween interacting with each other and the audience. Thank you for being humble, gracious to one another and for showing what music is about. 

  If you haven’t already go check out these guys and their Facebook pages, they’re all incredible and you won’t be disappointed.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read my post filled with my opinions and thoughts. I honestly means more than you could imagine!
 
If you’d like to leave any feedback or comments, please do so in the comments box below.
 
Thank you,
 
Leanne xo

Gleam – Suki10c, Birmingham – 29.07.16

  Apathy was the first to take on the stage at Suki10c in Birmingham, UK on Friday 29th July 2016. The two piece band from Birmingham started their set with vibes and sounds similar to that of The Pretty Reckless and The White Stripes. Husky vocals, heavy drums and a strong I’m here presence. Apathy played their set to the venue showcasing themselves by both performance and intelligence, as their set list was planned out strategically to keep you intrigued.
  Unfortunately some songs appeared to have rushed drums, and an unusual vocal technique (that I can only describe as dragged out/laugh styled melodies), that just weren’t my cup of tea. But when they started to play Snake, I was shocked by the drastic change of vocal technique. Snake in general saw Apathy completely loosen up and become more confident, which illuminated their performance! But the main thing about Snake that will always stand out to me is the vocalist’s voice! She sang so beautifully and so different to all the other songs, it automatically shocks you and draws you into their music more. The placement of this song in their set was perfectly done.
  Apathy are a strong band performance wise, as they stand strong and focused. But they also hold talent too; the vocalist as a woman will stereo typically only be pictured as being able to performer more of the higher pitches. For Apathy, that’s not the case. The vocalist can reach many pitches and uses them well within the songs performed. She carefully builds the tension required between pitch changes and doesn’t drag out the high notes too long, which means she didn’t sound drained. The drummer can move quickly, which is great as he is covering a wide range of beats provided to fill out the songs as well as providing the steady beat throughout the set. He’s skill is very noticeable and works well alongside the vocalists guitar. The guitar playing is very rhythmic and throughout the set is quite low and steady, which is what alongside the drums, provides that similarity to The White Stripes.
  Personally I think that by adding a little more depth and structure to their songs, it might make them stand out a bit more than they already do, as already they are unique especially within the Birmingham/West Midlands area. But this is solely being said due to them being a two piece. As a two piece, it can often bring a few downsides to musical performance for many who try it, as often there are is no bass structure. With Apathy, I can see the potential. They show passion which is a strong attribution to making music, but they also have a vocalist that can sing quite low notes which utilised further, with the addition of her beautiful melodic notes and some higher tones, could provide more structure to their songs and really showcase what they’re made of.
  Apathy’s overall performance was really good and their music is very enjoyable. They simply ooze everything required for success as well as you can visually see them feel the music, they are not just playing it. I really rate these guys and can’t wait to see what more they have to offer, as I know that they will produce/perform more wonderful things!
  Oceania was the second band to grace my ears and boy did they! The three piece band started of really strong, which sometimes isn’t a good sign as the band can become tired and restless towards the end of their sets. Not with these guys! Their whole set was incredible, solely down to their music too as there was very little stage movement.

  Now usually I would make a comparison of the whole sound, but that’s just not possible here. Their sound is very unique and not being able to make a major comparison is an amazing quality for the band to have. The only comparison that can be made in my eyes is around the guitar/bass riffs. In some songs; guitars have that quirky Two Door Cinema Club twang, with the simple bass beat to match. Yet drums would be fast and super clean cut, showcasing the drummer’s skills. In other songs; the drums are vividly heard and stand out against the tone the strings are producing. The bass would become faster in tempo, which would in turn make the guitars switch to a deep and hypnotic melody technique that completely contradict everything else. The vocalist provided pitches that would conflict perfectly against the riffs he was playing. Which worked very well for the band, as being a band of three, it meant there was more tonal coverage. What’s spectacular about this band is the fact they all bring something different in style, yet produce something quite beautiful that cannot be pinpointed to a single genre at all.

  Oceania are a talented group of lads and to be honest, I can’t wait to see them again! Especially as I managed to speak with their vocalists and he is the most humble and down to earth guy ever! So I can only assume that the other two guys are just as nice! Being a humble band will go in their favour, as you don’t want to be knocking down or winding up the people who will help you achieve and build.

Third to the stage were Half Asleep. Standing proudly ready to introduce this new vibe to the crowd the drummer kicked off the set, with guitars not too far behind. The band sounded tight, were clearly heard and well to be honest they sounded great! Guitars were clear and crisp, bass was heard perfectly and drums were there usual high standard. However, with Half Asleep’s terrible luck, I was a little anxious as to whether or not we’d be graced with vocals. So as the vocalist got into the music and opened his mouth, the intensity I felt was unreal! FINALLY out of nowhere this voice radiated round the room so clearly, it was pure heaven!

  Now being able to hear the vocalist meant that finally I and the many spectators could see exactly what Half Asleep have to bring . This perfectly pair with the introduction of their new sound (following their name change), meant that now each members talent was showcased and able to be witnessed. I must admit I am totally digging this shoe-gazey sound so much more!

  Showing that they still respect their roots and that they are all about originality, the band performed a new stripped down version of Narcotics which was tastefully and beautifully done. The usually heavy grunge styled number was more toned down, filled with dreamy riffs. Utilising the slowness of this stripped down version, the guitarists were able to perform structured and dragged out chord changes, whilst the bassist was able to stand out and showcase deep tones that added depth to the song. The drums were much lighter enabling the technique to be appreciated, whilst the vocals were softer and had a slight poetic feel to them rather than the husk they usually are. 

  Ending their set with the ever so energetic Relax and Distill, the band filled the room with their passion. Everyone watching was bouncing along to the beat. All in all it was another great performance from the Birmingham (UK) based five piece.

  Finally the headline band Gleam took to the stage and filled the room with their excellent playing and stunning music! But that’s all you’re going to read from me about this set. I thought we’d try something new…

… I’d like to introduce you to an all round nice guy named Perry. Perry is one of the guitarists from Half Asleep, who is also a fan of Gleam. From talking to Perry at the gig, we decided to try something new. So through extensive emails (sorry Perry!) we managed to get an interview done solely around him watching Gleam in the perspective of a support act and a fan. I am very happy with the results and well, take a look for yourself below!


So you’ve just played as support for Gleam, how does it feel playing with a band like Gleam?

P; “Playing with a band like Gleam was pretty cool, being as there aren’t many shoegaze bands in Birmingham, so it was nice to join up with a band on the same bill as us. It was also a pleasure to play with them, considering they are some of the nicest guys I have ever met, and a great band. I mean Gleam are the kind of band you always nod your head too.”

Gleam have a different sound to you guys. So what is it about their sound, in your eyes, that makes them so popular?

P; “Gleam are fairly similar to us, however they do have some key differences. For example, they have a real chilled indie vibe to that really adds to that shoegaze sound they bring. Not to mention the keyboardist very cool, and it adds a sick twist to their music.”

What was your favourite part of the set?

P; “My favourite part of gleams performance was them playing their hit “believe” everybody seemed to know this tune so a lot people were bouncing and nodding their heads.”

As someone in the crowd, what do you think Gleam does best to captivate the audience?

P; “From a crowd point of view the most captivating thing from their performance would of been the music itself. It worked really well with the intimate venue and just sounded huge yet so chilled. As a live performance overall, its so energetic and they really know how to please the crowd.

I did noticed during their set, that one of their guitarists was having some technical difficulties. He really dealt with the issue well and was super calm, I mean to top it off he was a master with the keyboard too.

My all time favourite was when they played, a favourite of mine, Believe. The whole room seemed to know this track and there was so much energy, everyone was bouncing along.”


What do you think of their overall sound?

P; “Their overall sound is mad! The three guitars really adds a cool vibe to the shoegaze sound they are going for, as well as adding a lot of depth to their music. As for the drums and bass, they add that real nice bouncy vibe, yet hold the music together by producing the beat that holds the timing together, and adding that indie vibe. All in all this mix in their music goes together really well.”

And finally, anything you want to add or say?

P; “Just that from me and the rest of Half Asleep, thanks for the opportunity to play with you guys!
Hopefully in the future I’ll get to play with them again, but I will definitely be going to catch them at their next local show. Oh and make sure you check them out and make sure you get down to their local shows.

Big up Gleam!!”



  As always thank you for reading this, it means a lot to me! I have had so much fun writing this!
I also want to say thank you to the bands for allowing me to write this, and a massive thank you to Perry for letting me torture you with a ridiculous amount of emails! 

  Oh and well the bands are great, and you better go check them out! 

FB Links;

Apathy – https://www.facebook.com/apathybirmingham/?fref=ts
Oceania – https://www.facebook.com/oceaniatheband/?fref=ts
Half Asleep – https://www.facebook.com/HalfAsleepUK/?fref=ts
Gleam – https://www.facebook.com/gleeeam/


Leanne xo


Ellie Goulding – The Barclay Card Arena, Birmingham – 21.03.16

In 2010, the single ‘Starry Eyed’ graced our ears. It was this moment I felt a magical feeling, that has not left me yet. I can safely say that purchasing ‘Lights’ was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made! Okay, maybe my mom brought it me, I’m not sure but still!!Of course 2010 saw the blossom of Elena Goulding’s music career, or as you may know her best, Ellie Goulding.

Over the years Goulding has teased and pursued different styles and genres, resulting in each album being almost polar opposites. Displaying her musical talents to the max, Goulding has nabbed herself; two number one albums, two Brit awards, over 20 million sales and so much more! Not to mention recognition worldwide for sound tracking brilliantly the 50 Shades of Grey film (which created its own phenomenon), paired with a equally captivating video. With all this credit and the fact I practically love every song of Goulding’s or one she has featured in, I have always wanted to see her live.

Six years later… On Monday 21st March after finishing my first day at what was my new job (now my current and it’s great) I was on my way to meet Kirsty because we were going to see Ellie Goulding at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, UK. To say I was excited was an understatement, I mean it was my birthday a few weeks before and I swear I was more excited for the gig than my birthday. I know its pretty sad but I was seriously fan girling and not just because I was seeing Goulding. Goulding had two support acts, unfortunately due to misprints on the tickets we missed the first act. Which I am gutted about as all I’ve seen on twitter about LANY is how amazing they were on this tour and are in general. It’s safe to say this three piece band have a massive fan base already, which is only getting bigger since they formed in 2014. The second support was someone who I have wanted to see since they graced the scenes in 2012. That someone was John Newman!

 In 2012 there was a voice that everyone was hearing, but a face that wasn’t really known, that was until 2013. 2013 saw the release of ‘Love me Again’ sky rocketing John Newman further into stardom. He’s second single release was ‘Cheating’ which proved even more so that this guy has serious talent! Newman is a breath of fresh air to the music scence as he is massively influenced by Northern Soul in his music, performances and style. He simply oozes talent and I can’t get enough of him. Newman’s album ‘Tribute’ followed shortly after his second single release and it is absolutely brilliant. His talents don’t end there either, he has featured on tracks with Rudimental and Calvin Harris where he’s voice is matched to very different genres. It’s very clear to see that Newman is versatile with his vocals. Which is why I think he was a great support act for Goudling.

Now, standing in the crowd staring at Newman’s backdrop of his latest album, ‘Revolve’ the lights dropped and the music started. Backing vocalist and band came out in a cheographed routine and outfits fit with Newman’s style, the excitement became oh so real. Newman joined the stag bouncing with energy in white trousers, black shirt and shoes raring to go. Performing songs from both albums and his own version of Rudimental’s ‘Not Giving In’, Newman filled the stage with his presence and arena with his beautiful voice. I must point out that the musicians on stage with him were phenomenal! I haven’t heard backing vocals like it before and the technical talents from guitars, drums and keys were amazing! Everything paired with neatly pieced choreography and Newman’s northern soul moves, nothing about this performance was dull. And let’s face it the whole arena lit up when Newman finally played ‘Love Me Again’ ending his set perfectly for Gouldings turn.

 Gouldings stage was intense, dark and yet bold. Her face flickered across the screen as her band poured onto the stage and backing vocalists took their spots proudly. All perfectly balanced to ‘Intro (Delirium)’ the stage was now ready. Goulding entered the stage on a podium behind draped material that was being played with ever so gracefully by very strong and mischievous looking male dancers, whilst the backing music to ‘Aftertaste’ began where Goulding and co kicked off their set. The stage throughout was filled with energy from backing vocalists, to guitarists, to dancers and Goulding herself. Goulding went on to have three costume changes, to play a floor Tom and even guitars (multiple times), as well as perform dance routines alongside her badass dancers!

Songs played throughout included; ‘Figure 8’ & ‘Explosions’ from Halycon/Halycon Days, Outside & I Need Your Love (Calvin Harris covers), Keep on Dancin’/Army/On My Mind from Delirium and of course Love Me Like You Do from the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack. All of which sounded like they were being blasted through the speakers straight from CD’s just made at the studio, they were performed that perfectly. However, Goulding was not the only talent to be seen. The whole band were incredible including backing vocalists, but visually the dancers really caught my eye. Something I absolutely loved was the contemporary piece that two of the dancers performed during a costume change. It was powerful, domineering and quite “fighty”, yet so graceful and elegant. I couldn’t stop watching them.

Something that made Goulding’s performance that bit more personal was her interaction with the audience and what she was saying. Yes there was probably stuff she says at every venue but there was just that little bit more too. She interacted that much, she tried desperately to have a conversation with a guy standing quite close to me, but apologised because she couldn’t hear everything he was saying. But what really caught me, was when she asked everyone to put their phones away. To now record or take videos but to simply enjoy the performance like those before us did before mobiles became so important to everyone. Unfortunately, not everyone in the arena listened, but seeing those that did made it more real. That this is what music is about, listening feeling and visually seeing the music enfold before you.

 From this gig I can safely say I wasn’t disappointed by Newman or Goulding, its safe to say that true talent is still out there in signed acts. That music artists that are signed and famous are not all made up from technology and auto tune. That talent is still there and it’s very real. That’s the magical feeling I got six years ago hearing ‘Starry Eyed’ for the first time. Talent is out there in the music industry and its also still out there to be discovered. Don’t be warned off by the “look” of music and focus on what music really is. Talent, passion and hard work.

  As always thank you for reading my opinions and thoughts. All comments/feedback are welcome, I’d love to hear from you! Don’t forget you can get in touch through the twitter page too, link is below. Again, thank you and I hope I didn’t bore you with my fan girling!! – Leanne xo

Light You Up – The Asylum, Birmingham – 13.11.15

Hey guys, December was a busy month with Christmas, New Year and family functions but here is the long and anticipated gig review of Light You Up! Hope you enjoy xo



   Light You Up were playing the Asylum: we had to go. Our close friend were on the tour with them, diving and doing sound, so it gave us a chance for a catch-up and a good gig in one of our favourite venues.

Beaumont:

   Beaumont were the first band to grace the stage in the grotty little upstairs room. We hadn’t heard them before finding out about this gig, but after giving them a listen beforehand, we were definitely digging their music; but we had our doubts. With the vocalists voice, we were slightly concerned it may not be the same live, but boy were we wrong; our worries completely obliterated. He was amazing; in fact the whole band were. The whole set was very well timed and well put together the only thing we feel could’ve been better was their movement but this was totally not their fault. They looked restricted, and it’s no surprise due to the positioning and size of the stage. They all moved the best they could, engaged with the crowd, performed well, played brilliantly and seemed to light up the stage and come alive to their own music.

   (It’s also worth mentioning, their merch is AMAZING, I couldn’t help but get the ghost tee – Kirsty)

WSTR:


   Next on stage were WSTR and instantly they screamed fun. If you’ve ever watched their music videos you can tell that they are full of energy and charm. As soon as they started, two giant inflatable balls appeared, floating above the crowd, bouncing around the place, encouraging everyone in the room to interact with each other and really get the crowd involved and excited, in the right mood for a gig. In terms of their music they sound exactly like they do on the tracks they’ve released, everything was tight and to a high standard. These guys were not afraid of the tiny stage and went absolutely mental, jumping around, moving constantly and really entertaining. Their set was great, keeping everyone in the best moods, warming everyone up for the headliners: Light You Up…

Light You Up:


   Gliding on stage with the biggest smiles on their faces, smiles that were contagious, Light You Up began their set. Not only was their whole set fantastic, all perfectly timed, never missing a beat, their stage presence was out of this world. They spoke to the crowd consistently, not only hyping them up and creating a great atmosphere but talking about things that mattered to them. Each member showed amazing talent, consistency and love for what they were doing; sounding exactly how they do recorded. Towards the end of their set, they did a little acoustic session, keeping it chill but still an amazing atmosphere. You really got a feel of the vocals, the lyrics and the passion they’ve put into their art during this little session. Even better than this, was watching them come back together and really get back into things, leaving their set on a complete high, working as one to bring the crowd back up; powerful and magical. We managed to speak to Light You Up after their set, and also watched them interacting with their fans. They were humble, genuinely interested, and thankful for everyone who attended. Although they are a well-known band, they’re just as genuine as smaller bands, with less of a following. These boys are not only crowd pleasers, entertainers, but also all round lovely people, which is always wonderful to see. A gig full of good vibes and warm hearts.



   Something we want to mention is the relevance of the date of this gig. While out, enjoying ourselves, surrounded by amazing musicians and good friends, a few hundred miles away, something terrible was taking place. People who went out with the exact same intentions as us had their world collapsing around them. We found out about the terror attacks in Paris just after the show. It’s tragic to think that a venue was targeted, somewhere people were meant to feel safe and at home. We had friends with us who knew of people at the show, or in Paris at the time and it was truly terrifying. Luckily everyone we knew was okay, but too many people weren’t, and even more were affected by this tragedy. Our hearts go out to everyone not only in Paris, but also in Lebanon were more attacks took place that night, and also to anyone who was affected by this awful event. A huge amount of recognition needs to go to the bands that played that night, because throughout everything that was going on, and the terrible atmosphere that seemed to pour into the venue, they stayed. Willing to talk to people, sticking around and being lovely to anyone and everyone.

   This gig was one we will never forget, for the amazing performances, the amazing people we met and the events that took place around the world. Below are links to music videos for all 3 bands, they’re really worth the watch!


Thank you for reading and thank you for supporting me as always – Leanne ox
Hi guys its Kirsty, I featured as a co-writer on this one (I know very exciting and different to being a guest blogger), thank you for reading mine and Leanne’s opinions it means a lot – Kirsty xx


Beaumont – Boys and Girls:



WSTR – Graveyard Shift:


Light You Up – It’s About Time:




Sextapes – Subside, Birmingham – 10.12.15

   I’m going to start this post off by stating a few things about this gig. Firstly, the venue this gig took place at was brand new and this was the first show they had put on. So, as expected, some technical problems did arise. Secondly, a lot of the technical problems did appear to only affect the one band, this cannot be explained other than they were the more active band regarding stage presence. And finally, I was invited along by Sextapes, who are some lovely boys and very chatty. But I also got to speak to some of the Outlander boys who also seem very friendly. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to speak to Brass Tongue, but I did get to see their set. 

Brass tongue

   They were first band on and they made lots of noise. By noise I mean the good kind! Featuring harsh vocals and good strong guitars, Brass Tongue started the gig off brilliantly. Throughout their set; Bass was clearly heard and wasn’t drowned out by over powerful guitars or drums, backing vocals were minimal yet well placed within their songs, and the drums were also in time and clean with no mistakes from the drummer. 
   Something I wasn’t a fan of was when the one guitarist, who was also providing some backing vocals, became quite aggressive with his performance, however it worked well with their sound due to the harshness of the vocals. I don’t know, however if it was down to sound problems or what, I just wasn’t keen on the additional vocals. Due to the harsh quality provided by the lead vocalists I felt it was enough. Sometimes soft vocals work well against harsher ones, sometimes slightly different pitched harsh vocals go well against other harsh vocals, but I just wasn’t feeling it. As mentioned previously though, the backing vocals were very neat and perfectly placed. 
   This doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the set because I did, they were lively and provided a show, and their talents were displayed throughout. I always love a good concentration face too, and I certainly loved the drummers! Trust me if you watch closely, most drummers and often a bassists/guitarists will pull a strange face whilst concentrating and it’s always beautiful. And I just love it so much because when there’s a weird face being pulled through concentration you can almost guarantee there is passion behind what that person is doing.

Outlander:

   The second band to grace this new venue with their sound. A sound that is very clear, with a light tempo to start with which was brought through by the guitars. After a beautiful intro clear, clean cut drums grace your ears. These drums however you cannot help but feel should sound out of place because of the beauty/soft tones brought through by the guitar riffs, in reality worked so great with them! They really bring the piece of music together well. 
   Throughout the rest of their very music orientated set, the bass was perfectly blended in with the guitars and not overpowering, displaying that each piece has been very carefully thought about. Each musician is super talented, there were no errors present whatsoever and changing from one song to another was very swiftly yet smoothly done. Outlander have a small similarity to that of Mansionair, but feature their own unique touch to the music world. Outlander are a band producing music how many Indie bands wish they could, fresh, new and exciting. 
   They’re different, they’ve got an edge and it just feels so right. I literally feel like I’ve been waiting for this style of music for awhile and now it’s finally here I’m quite excited. I can’t wait to here more of them and their ambient post rock sound. 
   As you may have noticed, I haven’t mentioned anything about a vocalist, because Outlander don’t have one. Here I would usually say something about how I’d like to see what lyrics could be matched to the music, or even what way the sound would turn with a vocalist present within the band. However, I just love it as it is, because the music makes you feel everything that I believe lyrics would. 
   The four piece band display the minimalist amount of stage presence, which consists of gentle sways and head bops, that work perfectly against their sound.  Again stage presence is something I love to discuss and don’t like not seeing, but Outlander are contradicting everything I thought I loved about live performances! 
   Something that really stood out for me was when they switched up the tempo to something a little more faster and “upbeat”, they still managed to keep it to that new edge that they’ve created. I can safely say I am a fan of Outlander and certainly would see them live again.

Sextapes

   Sextapes as usual were lively from the get go, with the vocalist filling the tiny “stage” area with his movement. Guitarists showed more stage presence than what I’ve seen before, which brought this set together a little more. They also had their new bassist with them who seemed to fit in well with the rest of the band, and wouldn’t have been known to be new unless you actually knew like I did. Due to microphone problems, the vocalist could hardly be heard, due to what I believe was a faulty lead as he was the only one to use a slightly longer lead as he is prone to moving round frequently and quickly. As well as the stage being so tiny all musicians were closely packed together making drums a little too clearly heard. Even if the drums were clean cut and very well played. Guitarists played very strongly with riffs that stick in your head for the rest of the night. Their music is catchy and full of rhythmic melodies that are very remember-able. 
   What was a massive thing that stood out to me was how they just handled the fact people were running round like loonies trying to fix things and that things were going badly, and carried on performing to the high standard that they do. The vocalist continued to perform all vocals even with knowing his mic was suffering serious tech problems, guitarists and bassist stayed calm and continued to play showing no worry of a bad performance being lumbered upon them. Drummer managed to keep his cool during songs despite symbols falling over and his bass drum slipping off the stage. All in all they showed the up-most professionalism that they could in such an awkward situation. Which is something bands aren’t often credited for. 

Thanks as always for the kindness you show by reading my opinions and thoughts. Leanne xo


P.s. A quick something that isn’t to do with the performances of the bands above or the bands themselves; big up to our good pals who were helping to try and keep the drum kit in the right place, refitting the mic wire when it disconnected and to the guy who helped me get the attention of the sound guy when things needed turning up. You guys really helped and Sextapes are very thankful for your help!! xo

Closure in Moscow – The Rainbow Venues, Birmingham – 08.11.2015

Surprise You’re Dead Music always get a good line up, and this was no exception. In one of my favourite venues, an amazing night unfolded…

Rubio –

Rubio were the first band to play and they were really something else, with a soft rock indie vibe and a style I’d never heard before. A totally unexpected pleasure. A band of few words, that provided beautiful music without lyrics. Yes; without lyrics. It was great watching them as you got to appreciate the instruments on their own, raw talent with no vocal distractions. This band had a feel similar to Two Door Cinema Club, sometimes leaning more towards You Me At Six in songs where the feel was overall heavier, more rock than indie. These parts seemed in place of a defined vocal chorus, but in my opinion worked just as well, if not in some ways better.
The bass was simple, clear and clean throughout their set but worked well, a nice change from the usually heavy bass feature in bands I’m used to seeing. There was minimal stage presence, which I’m not the biggest fan of because I love when personalities shine through, but in this case it really helped you to get a feel of the music and enjoy it. The drummer was the most expressive, really enjoying himself. I love a good expressive drummer the faces they can’t help but pull amuse me no end, and this guy was no exception. Something I loved about them being instrumental was that it would’ve been obvious if anyone messed up, guitarists especially, but not once did this happen during their set!
The experience overall was good and I’d happily see them again. Although it obviously isn’t their style, I’d love to see the kinds of lyrics these guys could write and fit in with their music, I think it’d be very interesting. The hard work and effort they obviously put into their music has paid off no end and it shines through when they perform.

Atlas: Empire-

The second band to play were Atlas: Empire and they were a BIG change from what we’d just heard with Rubio. They had vocals, screaming and a much heavier feel. The first thing I noticed with this band was their stage presence. Because of the lack of stage presence in Rubio, it was good to see this band really making themselves known and being interactive, it felt like the gig atmosphere I am used to; a performance.
Every member of this band is extremely talented, without a doubt. Throughout their set their strengths shone bright and they were fantastic. The bassist and guitarists have amazing voices, one of the guitarists being the screamer, all delivering amazing sound. Now, I want to give a special mention to the drummer of this band. He was in time, powerful (but not overwhelming), no noticeable mistakes were made and he was fantastic. I’m giving this special mention because an announcement the band made caused his talent to stand out over the rest; he’d been in the band for only 7 weeks! Already on tour with them and performing this well, it emphasised his talent even more.
Everything to do with their sound was balanced, clear and well done. These boys are from Glasgow and throughout their set there were moments where their lovely accents came through, bringing a twist to their sound vocally. Overall these guys were very good, I loved their set and their songs are both written and performed very well.

Icarus the Owl-

Well, Icarus the Owl. One word: Animated. This band’s stage presence was fantastic and they are all INCREDIBLY talented. The main vocalist and the bassist are the two who really bring the performance. Both fill the stage with movement, bringing the stage to life, making themselves seen. The guitarist on the other hand, although doing some movement and clearly enjoying himself, he also put his back to the audience a lot; which strangely bought an air of mystery to the performance and really works quite well!
Instrumentally, every member bought something special and they were all absolutely spot on. The drummer was very neat, very fast and everything sounded clean and clear; the guitarist provided second vocals and played mainly on the neck of his guitar rather than the body, something that I always think looks super cool and must take A LOT of practice; the vocalist, playing guitar as well as throwing out fantastic vocals, one again playing on the neck of his guitar for some parts (SO cool).
The vocals of this band were awesome, nothing particularly quirky stood out but they were so strong and harmonised throughout it was powerful. The main vocalist had a sound similar to a vocalist I’m very fond of, Brendon Urie from Panic! At the Disco. Thinking about it, the music as a whole was also a strange mix of Panic! At the Disco and Enter Shikari.

Closure in Moscow-

Closure in Moscow were the headline band and very rightly so! They were absolutely amazing and their set was a total work of art. From stage presence to the way their interacted with each other they were wonderful. This band are a bundle of energy; pure and uncontained. The front man and lead singer was simply brilliant, jumping around, hyped and animated – a performance on its own. The movement was constant, the stage presence was IMMENSE and they genuinely lit up the room with their personalities. Their crowd interaction was spot on throughout with loads of banter and jokes, keeping the crowd entertained in the best way. One of the best parts of this gig has to be the obvious bromance between the bassist and the drummer. Now, I love a good bromance, but this was beyond good. It was funny and well-timed and yet another source of humour from these boys.
The music side of this band was also incredible, they’re clearly all very talented. The lead vocals consisted of catchy fast temp and talk-singing; which I love, it can bring a whole new element to a song. Back-in vocals were perfectly harmonised with the lead and made their snazzy dance moves even better. The guitars were quick, skilled and perfectly in time, the bassist was always in time, clearly giving his all.
Every member of this band screamed talent and they bought an amazing end to an amazing gig.

This whole experience was something else, such diverse and new musicians making seriously wonderful sounds. If you haven’t already, go check out their music on YouTube (there’s some videos below!) or even better, get yourself to a show!

As always, thank you for reading guys, see you next time, Leanne & Kirsty xxx

Sadly Rubio seem to be invisible online! If anyone finds a link to a video or ANYTHING, let us know in the comments!

Atlas : Empire – Long Live The New Flesh

Icarus The Owl – Skysweeper

Closure In Moscow – Seeds Of Gold

Turbowolf, Beasts & Loom – O2 Academy Birmingham – 13.10.2015

   October 28th I and Kirsty (who will be doing some guest posts) took another trip to the O2 Academy in our local town to watch our boys in Beasts whilst they were on tour with Turbowolf and Loom.

    Due to events before-hand causing travelling issues for us, we unfortunately only caught ten minutes of Loom’s performance. They sounded good, everything was performed well that we saw and after checking them out on YouTube afterwards their music sounds great.

BEASTS:

   Beasts performance was something of professionalism. Their music is different to most artists in his scene, their style is somewhat old rock. We’re not referring to old school rock like Kiss and ACDC but more the style you hear from Nirvana and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. It’s got a slight grunge feel but is so much better.
   Unfortunately during Beasts performance they had some technical difficulties that resulted in a fair few mishaps during the first few songs, their TM having to literally hold their shit together. However, this did not damper their spirit or their performance. Jaco the bassist interacted with the audience, charming them and cracking out jokes helping to lighten the tension formed from the tech problems. Joe the vocalist/guitarist carried on throughout all difficulties performing to a very high standard, including continuing to play his guitar throughout the end of a song even though there was no sound coming from the amp. Woody, the drummer, remained cool, calm and awesome. His drum skills radiated throughout and the tightness and precision with each song was very strongly displayed.
   Their stage presence was brilliant! Jaco certainly doesn’t keep still during songs and reminds us of Flea with how he comes to life with music when he starts to play. Before tech problems, Joe moved around as much as singing and playing guitar allows (fair play to the guy for doing both fantastically, simultaneously). Unfortunately with the TM knelt before him, his movements became restricted and you could tell it was NOT how he wanted to be playing, but he champed on through the set. His movement became more sways and bops rather than the heavier head banging and filling the stage with his presence we’d seen beforehand. As a drummer it can be difficult to not just show movement from playing your instrument, Woody however, displayed large arm movements creating drama with every beat and some of the best head banging I’ve seen a drummer do! Considering this performance suffered technical difficulties, which almost made it destined to fail, it absolutely didn’t suffer anything in talent being displayed. There was no sign of panic on the stage, even with the TM running around solving things, the sound engineer keeping as much as he could at its best and even other crew acting as sound check, running round the venue ensuring sound quality from all areas was perfect, as well as doing their own job (photographer and merch guy). But most of all, they still found time to enjoy themselves, they made jokes about the situation and lightened the TM’s worry by introducing him to the audience and joking about him kneeling before the singer for the rest of the set. The whole team worked super well under pressure and the band themselves were great.

Turbowolf:

   Turbowolf were animated to the max! From sparkly in your face jackets to the best stage presence you’ll ever see. The whole band were dancing, bouncing and enjoying it. We mean, the drummer stood up throughout a whole song and still killed it.
   They certainly had the whole package, visually, musically and in showing their own characters. In between songs, the audience were made to feel like friends, with the singer and bassist interacting with them. Interaction included stories about recent trips to America, realisations they’ve had as a band and even encouragement to join in. Now trust me when we say the audience needed no encouragement at all, they were certainly in their element. I’ve not seen such a small room so filled with energy from the very start of a bands set. Even people at the very back of the room were dancing to their hearts content, with the front of the room like a human Tetris game due to how close everyone wanted to be to the stage.
   Turbowolf is definitely a band full of talent. Each song consisted of tight riffs, heavy drum beats and insane vocals.

   This gig just goes to show the skill of these people. No matter what happens (and this gig, a LOT happened) you’ve gotta keep going and give the people who are there for you what they want. All bands had incredible talent.

Below are YouTube videos of all 3 bands, show them some support, we promise you won’t regret it!

Thank you as always for reading my opinions and thoughts, it means so much to me! All comments and feedback are welcome – Leanne xo

 This post included some editing by guest blogger Kirsty


BEASTS – My Girl Is A Serpent:


LOOM – YOSOKO:

 

Turbowolf – Rabbits Foot:



Ghost Town & Palisades – O2 Academy Birmingham – 21.10.15

   One of the perks of having this one great friend of mine, is she’s great for gigs. You wouldn’t understand even if I did try to explain, so I’ll leave a little mystery.
This is another review of a gig I went to recently. Ghost Town headlined, Palisades were their on-tour support and a local band supported too. I’ll be mentioning the music, the performance, and how the behaviour of a band can really add to the experience and give you faith in success.

   On October 21st I went to my second gig in a week; which is crazy as I hadn’t been to a gig in so long before hand, now it was one after the other! When I was first invited, I didn’t realise who my friend was talking about, but then it clicked and I got VERY excited; Palisades! The gig was at the O2 Academy in our local area, and what a gig it was!
The local support was on first but we arrived a little late and sadly didn’t catch their set.
   
Ghost Town   

   I’m going to start with the headlining band, which is a little strange, I know. Now, I must admit, I didn’t know who Ghost Town were, a bad move considering they were the headliners, so had no idea what to expect from them. Although I’d usually try and give a band a listen before a gig, I find that sometimes it’s nice to be thrown into the unknown and get a first impression of them live and unedited. Again, the venue was quite intimate; a small, dark room with not too much floor space and a small capacity of around 250. Ghost Town came onto the stage full of energy and ready to perform, and a performance it was.    Filling the stage with movement, they certainly put on a show. The first song they did was good, something I’d heard before (at this point I realised I did know who they were, if only vaguely). It was very well played, everything timing and talent wise was of a very high standard and the rest of the set continued with this, knowing how to please the crowd, with great interaction. The thing I enjoyed the most was when the singer and guitarist left the stage and the drummer performed an AMAZING solo. The fast beats and quick movement were absolutely mesmerizing. Another thing that really stood out to me in this performance was the fact they are a 3 piece (no bassist!) and the guitarist and vocalist swapped mid-set for a song, it was excellent and the guitarist can really scream! Overall it was a great performance. 


Palisades:

   Now, Palisades. I’ve listened to this band a few times and I LOVE their sound. What I personally think makes it so great, is they don’t fit a specific genre. Rock, Pop and lots of Synthy samples make up their music and it mixes together so well, only made better by the amazing vocals and lyrics. Palisades came on stage raring to go, you could see they were ready to enjoy themselves and entertain. Song after song features get vocals, clean guitars and superb drumming, all in sync with one another, the timing always immaculate.      
   Interaction with the audience was present throughout; and obviously important to them. Whether it was through encouraging clapping along, or just telling us how much fun they were having they kept us involved. Their stage presence is what really stood out to me. There was so much movement, however it didn’t one interfere with the standard of music. Nobody collided, there were no errors made at all and they made it look easy. You always do better at something that you enjoy and these boys clearly were enjoying themselves! For me, that is SO refreshing, getting the whole package, great music and an amazing performance live. I was already a fan of Palisades, but what I love about seeing a band live is seeing what they can really do and honestly, they didn’t fail to impress. My biggest peeve is when an artist/band has abused technology and sound nothing like how they are portrayed though EP’s/albums, but this was 100% not the case with these guys.
   What adds even more to what makes them so great is the time they have for their fans. Standing at the merch desk they spoke to everyone they could, genuinely listening and having banter with everyone that approached them; talking to everyone with genuine interest and a smile on their faces. Many bands would charge a weeks rent for an opportunity like this, yet here they were, doing just that for nothing. Every time they spoke to a fan the first thing they said was “Did you enjoy it? Did you have fun?”, which is crazy when you think about how talented they are. I was lucky enough to have a good chat with them as they were staying at my friends house (if only I didn’t have work, I would’ve been there 100%… probably lucky for them I couldn’t be!). When talking to them it was great to see just normal people.
   They really are just a bunch of cheeky young lads who just love to have fun; they were all so sweet with great manners. When talking to Aaron it was chilled out, like talking to an old friend, super easy (he even read the Enter Shakari post on this blog!). When talking to Brandon it was full of laughter and flirting, just messing around. He really is so cheeky! Lou, you can’t help but smile and laugh with him, he’s so funny and outrageous, friendly and easy to talk to with a jaw dropping smile full of humor. I only briefly spoke to Xavier when we arrived, before they played, but he seemed super sweet and my friend said he’s just like the others, a ton of fun. I unfortunately didn’t get to speak to Matt but from what I hear, again he is wonderful. Dave and Chad (driver and TM) were great to. Chad is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, I did not stop laughing and Dave was lovely and friendly too. 
   I think what I liked most about meting these guys was how, when introduced, I got a handshake and a “Hey, lovely to meet you”, but goodbyes were friendly farewells and hugs! They really make you feel welcome and also very at ease, which is great, because you hear a lot about bad experiences between fans and artists (not always musicians of course).



   Overall, I absolutely loved this gig. The boys in Palisades were sweet, down to earth and brilliant. If you haven’t already you REALLY need to check them out and try to get to a show next time they’re in the UK. Until then, check them out on YouTube and watch their videos!
Thank you to Palisades for the warm welcome and also the other bands, Ghost Towns and the local support, for a great show!


Leanne x

Palisades – No Chaser:


Skywalker – The Rainbow Venues, Birmingham – 14.10.15

   As promised I have wrote a little review about the gig I went to last Wednesday (14th October) in my hometown. In this I’m not going to talk about individual songs but more the actual performances. The reason I went to this gig was to support my friends, but it was also the tour date for Skywalker (yes my friends supported Skywalker). This was a bit of a win for me, not only did I get to watch my friends perform and support them but I got to see Skies in Motion and Skywalker! What more could you want then to see good bands with your friends ay! 

 
   When I arrived there was a band called Hell and Home playing, but unfortunately I didn’t catch a lot of their set but what I heard had some potential. The second performance of the night was that of This Memory. I know a couple of these lads so I may be a bit biased here, but they did good! As always guitarists and lead vocalist were heavy movers around the stage bringing visual performance to their set. Performance wise musically is always good, in time and to a high standard. Can definitely tell this isn’t a “hobby” which some may presume with their age. Vocals range from screaming to singing and feature different members of the band, all of which are talented. Guitars including bass are clean and sharp, and interaction with the audience was good as it also included involving them with some of the lead vocalists movement within the performance. 
 
   Third to play were Sextapes. The majority of this band are my nearest and dearest friends, I’ve known them for years! So prepare for some biased views (I can’t help it they’re great lads). Sextapes have a vibe similar to that of Enter Shikari with that their lyrics aren’t always sung/screamed. Vocalist is a bit of a joker so communication with the audience can be entertaining too. Something that really stood out to me was the professionalism they all had, their was a mishap in that a strap on a guitar couldn’t be reattached as their was a broken item on the actual guitar (technical term is unknown to me I apologise) but the guitarist continued to play the set sat down to ensure there was no interference with the overall performance. The set continued with everyone being very unaffected by this lack of strap. 
 
   Thirdly, Skies in Motion stepped up and performed their set. They’re sound is good! Stage presence is such a key item with this performance as lead vocalists was moving around and interacting with the audience in this intimate setting (The Rainbow basement is a small room without an official stage). Guitarists were moving around, jumping and even dancing throughout the whole set. Their music is just as good! Clean, in time, well put together and performed, which always makes music that bit better. I think it would be intriguing to see a longer set and see what they can bring when they’re in a larger venue. Something one of my friends I went to the gig with picked up was the use of strobe lighting. Strobe lighting can always add something to a performance but what she found worked well was the way jumps were timed to the strobe so it created a more intense visual than that of just using a strobe or not having any lighting at all. What I find great about the use of strobe lighting is when a performance includes heavy head movement it just works so well with the strobe and makes it different to the head bang you normally see. Skies in Motions use of the strobe lighting was clever and tactful, we enjoyed. And finally, the last performance was that of the headline act Skywalker. 
 
   Skywalker’s performance truly finished the night off. A well put together performance including good interaction with the audience, it wasn’t just chit chat it included important beliefs and opinions. These lads are passionate and that radiates though their music and performance. Stage presence was amazing, not one member of the band was still and all genuinely seemed to be enjoying themselves. What I loved about this performance was it didn’t feel rehearsed, it felt fresh and raw. Sometimes, especially larger gigs, a performance can feel over rehearsed and you can tell that they do the set over and over as its perfectly timed to the second and sometimes band members can even look bored. This certainly wasn’t a vibe given off by Skywalker. From what I hear too these lads are super nice and real down to earth, which are such good qualities to have as a person anyway but even better when you’re in a band.