Get me to the gig!
Official page of the band/artist
GetToTheFront.com – i’ve used this site
Official social media sites of the band/artist (Facebook/Instagram/Twitter) – i’m not going to lie, I am a serial follower of bands/artist both unsigned and signed.
Being signed up to marketing with ticket providers i.e. Ticketmaster – I get emails from Ticketmaster constantly about shows, yes I’ll admit at times it’s annoying but I’d never unsubscribe
Being a member of O2 Priority
Who do I want to see? – Drake, Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters or even Little Mix?
Where do I want to see them? – My home town or do I want to travel?
Do I want to sit or stand? – Do I want to dance? Could I really last in a moshpit?
How much is my overall limit? – Can I afford to see them and travel? How much are my bills this month?
Can I make it that day? – Have I got holiday allowance left at work? Do I have an exam the next day? Is it a school night?
Ticketmaster – I use this website nearly every time I purchase online
Ticket Factory – I have used
Links direct from the official pages of the band/artist – I have also used this opinion as lets face it the band/artist isn’t going to promote dodgy tickets, they want their fans there.
Direct link from the venue – O2 Academy/ O2 institute will often have a direct link to the ticket sales provider from their website. You click ‘Buy’ and it takes you there. This is also another way I have personally bought tickets.
Extremely high prices
Ticket sale starts hours after all other sites
The site hasn’t been published on the venue’s site
You haven’t heard of that ticket sales provider before
Do research on them- if you find chats/reviews and they state dodgy activity or bad past experience, I really recommend you don’t use them.
If an individual seller, and they refuse to communicate with you
Check the news – The Guardian newspaper reports on this, Coldplay and YouMeAtSix are highly involved with bettering the experience for fans in regards to purchasing tickets. They have wrote open letters to the government and even set up petitions. All of which you can find and even sign the petition (I have).
Research the law – Metropolitan police have released a document that is available online for the public to read.
Check social medias, read blogs, speak to friends and family – I’m pretty sure you will know or at least follow someone who is interested in this, and if you just bring it up in conversation you could be updated a lot around it. You may even discover you know someone (either directly or of them through common friends) who has been subject to a dodgy ticket sale and they can advise which site to not use.
But seriously check the news, simply Googling “illegitimate ticket sales” will bring up news report after news report. Google search “Josh You Me At Six” and that brings up tonnes more, I mean he has even personally sold tickets in a shoe retailer in London he is that passionate about it.
Casual dip into Merseyside
Now I could go on forever about Liverpool and its people and history and architecture, but I will stop here. I will however, recommend strongly you go visit this beautiful city! I can also state that I cannot wait to go again!!
Gleam – Suki10c, Birmingham – 29.07.16
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!
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/
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
'Watching Sextapes whilst Half Asleep'
The act of doing something that involves danger or risk in order to achieve a final goal.
Its something we all do throughout our lives that’s unavoidable. However, something I love is creative risk taking. This is when you put something you love to the test to push yourself and those around you further; and that brings me to this post…
Now you may have heard of a Midlands (England, UK) based band with a rather unusual name that have previously featured on this blog. I am of course referring to the five piece band Sextapes.
Sextapes’ sound was a mixture of grunge styled heavy/shouty vocals, entwined with melody driven riffs perfectly due to the balance of upbeat “happy yet moody” drums and soft mellow toned bass.
Full of energy, Sextapes performances were always captivating, displaying their passion for music. This made watching them a joy rather than a task and their music more enjoyable.
As you’ve probably guessed from the past tense language and talk of risks, that Sextapes are no more! They now go by the name Half Asleep, which also brings through a new sound. This sound is quite different to that refreshing tinge to the hardcore scene that they brought through as Sextapes, but is equally as refreshing to the Midlands current music scene.
The Midlands is very heavily yet proudly displaying pop punk, punk and hard-core bands at the moment; all of whom show some serious talent!
Half Asleep however, consist of what you would expect from bands breaking through the Midlands scene over the last few years such as Peace and Swim Deep, whilst maintaining individuality by drenching their songs with shoegazey guitars and hypnotic dreamy vocals.
With their first single released, Half Asleep have further proved they have an endless amount of talent to display. By breaking down this new single, it makes understanding their new sound as well as get a real feel for why I truly believe that Relax & Distill was a very clever choice for breaking that Sextapes barrier.
When listening to the vocals it is clear to hear the change that has undergone immediately. The vocalist has transformed his vocals from harsh to a much softer approach which displays different tones compared to previous releases as Sextapes. When speaking with the vocalist about this change of technique he said “I can get much more melody into my words and it feels more natural”, something which is a key for vocalists to feel as strain to vocal chords can be damaging for careers.
Guitars have managed to keep their powerfully catchy riff technique but have now teamed them up with soft distortion and carefully structured “cheery” chords that bring a nice aspect to the music. By having two guitarists and different tunes throughout, there is a more structured and empowering vibe built in rather than just a sense of melody being played throughout.
Drums used in Sextapes were heavy, big and powerful; perfect for that grunge influence they were playing with. However, drums have now been switched up to a combination of fast paced and slow paced dynamic beats that work well against the shoegazey guitars and mellowed vocals. In this new single you can hear the drummers use of cymbals is not overbearing, but that he has incorporated them nicely against the new sound so that that previously edgier aspect is not heard.
Bass is structured and well blended within the song, keeping that basic structure within crisp and clean, whilst also with a touch of off balance enabling you to hear it.
All in all, Relax & Distill is a brilliant song that’s well structured and displays brilliantly that the boys really have thought about their music. This goes on to show how they want to progress, that this is not a hobby, but something they are all passionate about. Showcasing their talents for writing and producing, I can honestly say Half Asleep are some talented guys! I mean pulling off their breath-taking performances is a talent in its own, let alone being able to make tracks that stick in your head for all the right reasons.
Something I really like about the Half Asleep boys is that despite all this change, they are still humble to how they started. There are no bitter feelings towards the origins and being Sextapes, so much so that when it came to releasing their EP it only seemed fitting to incorporate something a little Sextapes with it. As best described by one of the guitarists as “an ode to Sextapes”, they cleverly titled their EP ‘Watching Sextapes whilst Half Asleep‘. Even better, to keep up with this quirky and individuality that they bring, you can purchase their EP on either standard classic CD or a retro cassette tape! Yes, you can purchase ‘Watching Sextapes whilst Half Asleep’ on cassette tape that has been beautiful crafted to keep Half Asleep in your mind (images of both CD and cassette tape can be found below). But honestly, trust me when I say I truly believe you will not be disappointed in this EP, as it features a few songs that were crafted whilst the boys were Sextapes enabling you to hear and feel the growth they have undergone as a band.
You will also find below a video that’s been crafted by talented artist Georgia, this video features the new single as well as some clips from past gigs the boys have performed. This is a great way for you to understand what I mean by their hectic performances and how much enthusiasm is displayed at each gig. Especially as Georgia has managed to capture and entwine different gigs into one beautiful video similar to that of a tour video!
Now whilst checking these videos out you can also go over to their official Facebook page and give them a cheeky little like, which will help you keep updated on any exciting news or even check out their merchandise over on their Big Cartel site. Which to be honest, we know you’re going to do all these things because that’s what I’ve done!!
Official Facebook of Half Asleep
As always, its an absolute pleasure to have you read our blog. It means way more than you can imagine to me! Thank you for reading my thoughts and opinions, best wishes! Leanne xo
Happy New Year wonderful people of the world!
I hope you’ve all had the absolute best celebrations and hopefully you aren’t hurting too much after partying! I just want to say a big ol’ THANK YOU to you all, as without you guys the blog would be nothing.
Last year was awesome, and I hope this year is even better. I have a tonne of stuff lined up for 2016 and still a couple of things to post from 2015! Look forward to festivals, big gigs, little gigs, ranting and raving, take-over’s/guest posts and a load more…
I honestly can’t wait to fill your heads with some more of my thoughts and opinions, here’s to 2016!!
Thank you as always, best wishes and love, Leanne xx