Album Review #3

So I’ve always thought this girl group were talented, however over the years they caught my eye for how they stand together showcasing that they are all different and still all as beautiful as each other. How they’ve made a stand against bullying and encouraging young girls to be them and live how they want to, not to worry about their appearance and that its okay to be them is also a massive reason behind me liking and respecting the girls in this band. Well this time they’ve caught my eye (and my ears) with their latest album!
 
After being the first ever group to win the X-Factor, I expected these girls to fade into the background of the music world. And boy was I wrong!! They’ve now got; 4 albums, 15 awards and 4 number one singles! So who is this group?? It’s only Little Mix, like you didn’t already guess!
So Little Mix have released the album Glory Day which features the very well known and recognised Shout out to My Ex. Now this album is something else! Across the album a multitude of genres being crossed; from dance to pop to a Hiphop vibe and even an old school traditional pop/swing vibe! The way these different vibes and genres are incorporated and mixed together to create an album is incredible! So congratulations Little Mix and the production team on that one! But as well as this genre mix, you’ll notice that the big discussion points throughout the album are; independence, love and heartbreak. So not only is it a multi genre album filled with emotions and empowerment but it also oozes sassiness! The album also showcases each individual vocal talent the ladies hold, and this is done by not only showing that they can harmonise with each other, but that they can each over power one another effortlessly.
Now in regards to the songs, I do have a few favourites! So naturally have picked my top 3 and below I’ve explained why they are; 
  1. FU – This song has an old school vibe to it but is mixed with some electronic features as well as sassy lyrics. Its title itself explains the exact extent of sass it holds, however the lyrics themselves are quite funny. Lets not lie here, woman are tarnished with the psycho brush and this song just plays on that perfectly with lyrics such as “take my key to your benz”. Now why I like this song so much is because it reaches out to the part of a relationship where you both really hate each other and are driving each other mental, but you just cant stay away from each other. Its that toxic relationship that many of us have or will encounter in our lives. But its discussed in such a soft musical way that its not a power ballard and its not a dissing match song either. And with how the song sounds old school but has lyrics that include modern day terminology, just appeal to me! Its different and its refreshing, but its also real.
  2. Down & Dirty – This song just oozes dance hit! It also pushes the boundary of the label they’ve been given due to having a large younger fan base. This song its age appropriate yet brushes over the fact they are woman and not teenagers. Its clever as it never mentions the things its referring to. Im also not going to lie, but the GoT reference is also a killer move! Who doesn’t love GoT right?! This is a song I can see being blasted loud during the summer period and maybe even be a killer club song! Its repetitive beat will definitely get stuck in your head and make those feet move!
  3. Touch (Acoustic) – Now love the original version of this however, the acoustic one has made it in my top three purely for the vocal talent. The song itself in both versions is a great song, with beautiful lyrics that you cant help but sing along to. The original is also a floor number! I cant sit/stand still when its on, I just feel like dancing. However, acoustically you will fall in love with the voices of Little Mix. The acoustic version has been slowed right down, has soft piano keys and very strong powerful lyrics. You hear each individual woman sing their section so beautifully and then when they come together it is just simply mesmerising. High harmonies to perfectly pair the strong bearing solo voice during the chorus. Its just such a beautiful piece of music and I could honestly listen to it over and over. Goosebumps.
So if you haven’t already, it is definitely worth giving this album a listen to. You will be shocked! Its definitely something I never thought id enjoy and well I’m not ashamed to say I do!

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

"I try to make the worst seem better…"

  I am one for enjoying a song that makes you feel the emotions behind it, whether thats empowerment or even like crying into a tube of Haagen Daz ice cream. One of my favourite examples of this currently, is the recent release by Lady Gaga – Million Reasons. This song is just brilliant as its filled with emotions from the very beginning right down to the end. And its not just built up through the lyrics, the whole overall piece is incredibly done to portray these emotions that Ms Gaga must have been feeling when she wrote this masterpiece, and maybe still even feels every time she performs it or even sits at home in her pjs.
  So firstly I’m going to talk about the physical music side of this song. Something all songs will have is layers, this is the different instruments used and the different aspects that they bring to a song. In the case of Million Reasons the instruments used are; vocals, piano, cojan and acoustic guitar. The way in which these instruments are played and layered is key to how the song sounds when played together. Now when the song starts we are introduced to the soft keys of the piano and strings of the acoustic guitar. Playing similar styled tunes they build a romantic setting for the song. Then when the vocals begin, it is originally only Gaga herself, who’s voice brings more of a harsher tone to the gentleness of the piano/guitar. It is then joined at intervals by further vocals that add depth to specific words, illuminating the emotions behind them. Then we are also introduced during the vocals to the soft yet depth filled beats of the cojan. This layering builds an aspect of romance yet pain, especially with the depth of the cojan and the layering of vocals on specific lines. All in all the musical aspect of this song is strong and powerful but it such a delicate way, like a flower strong and vibrate to the eye but delicate to the touch, this song is strong on the emotions but delicate on the ears.
  Now, I’m going to talk about the lyrics and what my interpretation of them is. The song starts off with “You’re giving me a million reasons to let you go”, something no person wants to have to say or hear in a relationship. A sentence that admits defeat and heartache. This on its own is filled with raw emotion, emotion that is real. Then from here the lyrics become deeper and the way you feel becomes sadder. Now the emotion overall behind this song is quite clear (in my eyes). It is that feeling of painful desperation and desire that springs to life when, for whatever reason, your relationship seems to be falling apart with no obvious reasons to stay together. Despite it all, you deeply desire just one singular reason to pop up and prove why you should stay. A reason that you need to come from them. You can’t find it, or even you do know what it is, but it just needs to escape from the lips of your partner. “But baby, I just need one good one to stay”. For me, this song is that calling out for hope. It’s that acknowledgment of knowing that even the tiniest thing, will give you all the hope you need.
  This song is about heartbreak. It’s about loss. It’s about pain and desire and everything hanging on one thread. This song is real life and Lady Gaga has smashed it. Lady Gaga has beautifully mastered what is her own heartbreak into something thats not bitter, thats not nasty, but honest. No matter how the relationship ends, you will always face this stage. It’s horrible. But knowing that these celebrities who’s lives we admire and desire so much are facing them too, due to the openness of Gaga, just proves how human we all are. Overall this song is a masterpiece! It has been carefully integrated with layers, has tonnes of talent oozing throughout, and is easy to listen to because its gentle. This song deserves awards! It’s beautiful produced, beautifully written and to be completely honesty… It’s just about the best break up song I think i’ve heard! Huge congratulations to Gaga and team for creating such an incredible piece of music.





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
 

Takeover Post #4 “Don’t tell me you’re okay…”

Hey guys, here she is again the lovely guest blogger Kirsty! xo



   Once upon a time, in an old college in Walsall, 4 guys came together and started making music…

   I say once upon a time, but it’s all happened very quickly. Since October Boots, Chris, Shaun and Brad, have moved out of their family homes into a huge new place together. Fitted with a recording studio, a corridor you can skate in and the home of Band Pads; it’s pretty hectic, with something always happening. Boots and Chris have come the long way from a tiny town in Wales near Aberystwyth, while Shaun and Brad were just down the road in Cannock.

   In July 2015 Boots, Chris and Brad were on a European tour with their former bands; My Favourite Runner Up and Leokai. It’s safe to say that on that tour, something special happened. On returning home, Brad made the decision to leave Leokai and join Boots and Chris in My Favourite Runner Up, after the sad departure of their drummer and bassist. Brad having to travel 100 miles to the other boys and the MFRU base in a tiny Welsh town wasn’t ideal, so the idea came to move to a new place; central and with a big music scene.

   October came and they settled into their new home. But as time went on, the boys realised that something wasn’t quite right. The old, MFRU feel wasn’t the same with half the band being new members. They wanted to write new music, as a new group of friends, in a new place.

Łed By Łanterns.

   Still just the 3 of them, they still needed a bassist… Enter Shaun. Previously a member of The Always as lead singer, Brad introduced Shaun to Boots and Chris. He quickly decided to join them, moved in and bought with him a lot of talent; it was time to make music.

   After announcing the end of MFRU in January, the boys needed to create the hype needed to launch a new band. YouTube covers were filmed, songs written and ideas scribbled all over the place. Fitting in all this hard work around their busy work schedules and family lives was sometimes testing, but by the start of February the boys had announced their new band, their new single to be launched on the 15thFebruary.

   ‘Recovery’, their debut single, was written and the demo recorded in their home studio in Walsall, went on to be recorded in CDS Studios with Mike Curtis in Essex, finally to be sent off and mastered at the one and only Abbey Road Studios in London. Once recorded, it was time for the video. Filmed all over the place – in family homes, local pubs and video studios, James Embrey and Chris Benningwood of Rolling Vision once again worked their magic and created something beautiful.

   Sending off their single to BBC Introducing seemed like a good place to start for the boys and on 6th February ‘Recovery’ was aired on BBC Introducing West Midlands alongside one of my favourite bands, Beaumont. With our radios on, 8pm came and I sat waiting for it to play. Half an hour in, my brain filled with new music and bands to check out, my wait was over. Saying that they were a great new up-coming band from Walsall, mentioning their awesome YouTube covers and saying that the single was incredible, it seemed to have gone down well. The reaction from followers of the new band was great, and old fans from previous bands loved it too.

   Creating enough hype to get a debut single off on the right foot is hard work. Hours and hours of sharing the page on Facebook, creating Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr accounts paid off, with almost 1,000 likes on the Facebook page and a load of followers across the rest of social media, they were almost ready for the official launch.

   At midday on the 15thFebruary I sat with Boots in the old college in Walsall, were it had all began, waiting for the minutes to pass until it was up. Within seconds there were responses, shares, from old fans and new. His phone and lap-top were going absolutely crazy and I’m sure it was the same for the other guys. Watching the video, it is so professional. The filming is amazing, the idea and story-line relatable and the single just so catchy. The lyrics are beautiful; it is well played and fits well alongside other bands of their genre.

   I’m incredibly excited to see what is to come in the future for these guys. I know they have a couple of gigs booked, which of course I will be going to, and these will be announced and tickets will go on sale for these shortly. I have a good feeling about these guys, they’re absolutely committed to what they’re doing and it is already paying off. Definitely one to keep an eye out for.

   Below I have linked all 3 cover videos by the boys along with the DEBUT single ‘Recovery’. Their social media pages are also linked below. Be sure to check them out on Youtube, like all their pages, show them some support and get to a show whenever they may be! 

   Thank you for reading my third guest post on this blog! All comments and feedback are welcome, thanks again – Kirsty xx


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ledbylanterns/or @ledbylanterns

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LedByLanterns or @LedByLanterns


Shaun – Justin Bieber / Love Yourself


Chris – One Republic / Counting Stars


Boots and Brad – One Direction / Perfect


ŁED BY ŁANTERNS – RECOVERY

Takeover Post #3 CHVRCHES / Mansionair – O2 Acadmey Birmingham – 25.11.2015

  Hey guys, quick message from me first (Leanne)! So I felt it was time to spice things up again and well I would like to introduce a Guest blogger to the blog! You may already have noticed the name floating around a bit already but here you go! Be nice and meet the lovely Kirsty! xo


   My obsession with CHVRCHES started with Mother We Share. From then I listened to them all the time, every song being a favourite. So when I found last minute tickets to see them at the O2 Academy, one of the best local venues FOR ONLY £17, I couldn’t say no. Messaging Leanne begging her to come along, we booked them a week before the gig. I didn’t bother checking out who was supporting, I trusted they would be amazing if they were supporting my favourite band… So the day came around and I couldn’t focus on ANYTHING accept getting to the O2 on the evening!

   Arriving an hour before doors, the queue was already down the road and around the corner, we were somewhere in the middle, in the freezing cold, dying for the toilet! About 10 minutes after doors – we were in!

Mansionair:

   I’d never even heard of these guys, so had no idea what to expect from them. A 3 piece from Australia, recently signed to CHVRCHES record label, Goodbye Records. Coming on stage calmly, like it was no big deal; these guys were instantly one of the chillest bands I’d ever seen. Shy, quiet, oozing that cool vibe that makes you want to know more. 

   They went straight into their first song and I was completely WOWED. Jack the guitarist and lead vocalist had a voice like an angel, one of the best I’ve ever heard. I can’t even begin to describe their music; it’s a mix of many genres, a light techno feel, slow and fast with no major drops, but with an indie vibe in there somewhere. Lachlan certainly had his work cut out for him, playing guitar along with back-in vocals and keyboard, his voice was amazing and his talent shone through throughout the whole set. Alex was amazing, never missing a beat and really setting the tone for the band, he played a little shaker along with drumming and he’s incredibly talented.

    Now I’m a sucker for in our face stage presence and interaction with the crowd, but this band just didn’t give a lot in those departments. They were shy, with minimal swaying and movement while playing. But hold fire, it’s not bad, it fitted their music PERFECTLY. If they had been jumping around, lots of movement and loads of talking, it would’ve almost seemed wrong. Lachlan spoke to the crowd more than Jack and seemed more confident but I think that was just their personalities, not part of the performance. They said thank you, made the crowd feel appreciated and generally were absolutely mesmerizing. Their cool vibe stuck with them and I was in a trance, watching them intently not able to look away through their whole set.

   They were an amazing fit for CHVRCHES, warming the crowd with beautiful music, captivating the audience. They seemed to really enjoy themselves, super into what they were doing and they came across as such sweet, lovely people. As soon as I left I bought and downloaded their EP (Pick Me Up) and it chills me out so much, absolutely breath-taking.

CHVRCHES:

   It seemed strange having only one support at a gig, but it somehow made it feel more intimate. It felt like the little hometown shows I love so much and made me forget just how much of a big deal CHVRCHES are to me.  After being so excited about it, I wasn’t let down…

   Bouncing on stage and filling the room with an electric energy that’s rare to experience, CHVRCHES went straight into Never Ending Circles, the first song from their 2015 album; one of my favourites! While swaying along to this amazing piece of music, only one thing was going through my mind: Lauren is so tiny. Of course I knew that already, but in real life she looks even more like a tiny, little pixie than she does in photos/videos! Bouncing back to the gig from my day dream about fairies with glittery faces and gem stones stuck on their cheekbones, the lights bought me back to reality.

   I am an absolute sucker for lighting at gigs, but this was something else. Honestly, the lighting was on another level! Clever use of strobes, beautiful colours that worked well with the dark venue and went well with the mood of the songs; a huge well done is in order to their light tech, what a great job they did!

   Back to the music – CHVRCHES sound exactly the same live as they do on their records. Lauren’s voice is the same if not better, Martin’s vocals are equally as amazing and what he does on that synthesizer is something else and Iain’s skills as a bassist as well as on the sample board/synthesizer are absolutely astounding. Honestly, the sounds that these guys make are on a whole other level to any live music I’ve heard before; there was just SO MUCH SOUND. As well as singing, Lauren played a small drum set that appeared in some tracks throughout their set, multi-tasking and running around like it was nothing to her, just another day at the office!

   The stage presence that they have is amazing; they have such a great tact with interacting with the crowd. As soon as Lauren spoke she made us feel welcome, like it was a joy to be in front of us when really we were the ones there to see her and the guys! She was charming, funny and just so adorable. When she wasn’t speaking to the crowd she was running around the stage dancing, encouraging the crowd to move around and get involved. It wasn’t just Lauren who made her mark on the stage, Martin and Iain although obviously busy making their music, danced around, jumping and waving and getting involved.

   Mid-set for a couple of songs, Martin and Lauren swapped places. Martin assumes the role of lead vocalist in a few CHVRCHES songs, Under the Tide being a favourite, and while the atmosphere in the venue was already at a high he took it even further. His movements made Lauren look like she was standing still! He was bouncing, running, moving more than should be possible for a person executing such awesome vocals! Iain as always was fabulous keeping the beats going strong, alternating between instruments. Lauren took over Martins half of the instruments and had her drum kit with her. There was so much to look at it was hard to keep track of what was going on.

   All of a sudden it was what seemed to be the last song and the gig had flown by without me realising and I was so sad because I didn’t know if I’d missed it, or if my favourite song just hadn’t been played; the song that made me fall in love with CHVRCHES – The Mother We Share. Of course, we’d been deceived and the encore followed. Coming back on to a slower song, Afterglow, which was received well by the crowd and was totally overwhelming after such an upbeat gig.
Suddenly, Mother We Share was booming through the sound system and I was screaming at the top of my lungs with the rest of the people in the venue.  Over too soon, CHVRCHES left the stage for the final time and I ran to the cloak-room, bought some merch and went on my jolly way home on a total high after one of the best gigs of my life.

   This gig was one of a kind. It’s worth mentioning that these guys had all been on tours for MONTHS before this gig but still seemed to be on top of their game and showed no signs of wearing down after such a long tour. Not being the sort of music Leanne is usually into, she came away with a band she now loves; Mansionairs. I came away with a new love for them, and also an even more burning love for CHVRCHES. There is nothing more rewarding than going to see a band you really are passionate about and I’m glad to have ticked these guys off the long list I have. Every musician on that stage had insane talent and radiated good vibes and happiness; I’ll definitely see them again.

   Please go and check out both bands on YouTube, Spotify, anywhere you can! Buy their music, support them and show them lots of love!


   Sorry that this blog has taken 2 months to write, Christmas is always a busy time! Thank-you for you patience and I hope you enjoyed it. This is my second ever guest post so your comments would be absolutely amazing – Kirsty xx

Mansionair:

(Jack (centre), Lachlan (left), Alex (right))

CHVRCHES:

(LEFT – Lauren (centre), Martin (right))

(BELOW – Martin (centre), Iain (left), Lauren (right))

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:




2016!

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

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

Good can come out of the bad…

   I’m not a huge fan of meeting new people, but one of the reasons I deal with it and even enjoy it is getting to know their music tastes. I am one for everyone deserves an opinion, and mine are strong when it comes to music and it is SO refreshing being able to sit and discuss music, with the ability to say “actually, I don’t agree, I don’t like it much” and not feel like you’ve hurt someone. The point to this is you will meet many people throughout life and one thing you’ll always remember is their music taste. 
   Case and point right here: I’d heard of this band through someone I went to college with but never listened to them. Then a boyfriend of the time listened to them and I got to hear them quite often and well, they’re and good band. They are also a good example of don’t judge a book by its cover as I didn’t expect the singer to look how he does (we’re all guilty of making images in our mind before seeing them, admit it).

   This song is possibly my favourite at the moment though, as even though it’s based on a lads point of view; many girls can relate too. It’s a song that’s cheeky, full of banter but also lots of truth! It’s upbeat throughout but there is also a more mellow section to the song, and lyrics that just get you thinking “damn I’ve wanted to say this before” or even “man, what have I been playing at?”. Unwritten rules of life bought to realisation, in this song by the one and only…

Don Broco – Priorities:

Singing of Sex, Drugs and Harmonies

   Most of the time, my posts are about rock and indie bands, and today I’m going to stray from this blogs norm i’ve accidentally created and tell all about another band I’ve got some big love for at the moment!

   I got onto the topic of this artist recently in the office with my colleague, after hearing a kid shouting the lyrics outside. We were both just saying how lovely this artists voice is, how we’re feeling every song we’ve heard so far. What I love about this artist is the power in the voice, even though they speak-sing most of the time (which is another thing I love). The harmonies are wonderful, the instrumentals of the track are spot on and they’re all really feel good tunes… On the surface.

Listening to these songs properly, you realise what the lyrics are about; much darker subjects – drugs, sex. I was then asked if I’d heard the older stuff they’d done; I hadn’t. Of course, I went and listened and instantly realised a difference. The mood was still the same, the songs still catchy, but you didn’t have to listen very well to realise that they were about the subjects I previously mentioned. With words that are totally unfit for kids ears (I say this because I left them playing in my room and my little brother heard: DISASTER!) but surprisingly still very good songs.

   If you haven’t all realised who I’m talking about already, another clue is HE was first bought to my attention when he collaborated with Ariana Grande on one of her songs, but then more so when his song was released for 50 Shades Of Grey. Got it yet? It’s The Weeknd!

   If you haven’t already checked him out guys I highly recommend you do; whether that’s Spotify, YouTube or going and buying his album – it’ll be worth your time!

Thanks as always guys for reading and supporting, Leanne xx

Here’s the video for Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd

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