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:


When two become… Trapped in your head because they're bangers!

   This post is a little different to the usual. I’ve picked two new songs that have recently been released, to break down and explain why I think they’re so good, and can’t stop listening to them! 


Ellie Goulding – Something in the way you move.

   Goulding has released ‘Something in the way you move’ quite recently and I can safely say I love this song already! It’s very catchy, with great lyrics that just stick in your head. The upbeat style sounds similar to that of Years and Years, but when you really listen to the lyrics properly, it’s actually a song about heartache, learning from mistakes and knowing better. Obviously about a lover of hers (I wonder who?!). 

   In the lyrics, Goulding talks about the situation we all know well; of having feelings for someone when you deserve much more. Having feelings for someone who hurts you repeatedly, and will keep doing so, but not having the power to stop. She talks about the fall and the knowing (but also unknowing) desire of these situations. The fact that these lyrics are so conflicting to the happy dance sound of the track makes this song just that little bit better. Gouldings unusual and well recognised vocals are as cheery as the tune and in some ways sugar coat the harsh topic, making the song more ‘pop’ and less ‘love ballad’. It’s a little bit different to what’s floating around at the moment and I think it’s a great song.

Naughty Boy ft. Beyoncé & Arrow Benjamin – Running. 

   Naughty Boy has teamed up with the one and only Beyoncé and what a beautiful song they have made. When it comes to Beyoncé, I think she’s a wonderful artist; with an amazing voice, a body to die for and amazing versatility in her music. When you hear Beyoncé’s voice with Arrow’s, it’s a combination you’ll wish had been done sooner. 

   The song itself features Naughty Boys amazing production skills. Piano keys blend beautifully with beats that build and build, creating a beautiful piece of music, even before vocals. Starting off the lyrical side of this song is Beyoncé, singing about missing someone and losing yourself. As the chorus builds into a strong “I can do this, I am strong” sense it’s time for Arrow. He matches Beyoncé’s power with his strong vocals and continues to sing about being strong and carrying on then bringing his own to the second chorus. They then take it in turns to sing one single line on repeat. This message can be interpreted differently by people, but is certainly a meaningful one. Their voices blend beautifully together and I cannot wait to check Arrow Benjamin out as a solo artist after this amazing introduction to his talent. 

   I shall end this post with that one simple line.

   If I lose myself, I lose it all.


Thank you for reading, Leanne xo

Ellie Goulding – Something in the Way You Move:



Naughty Boy ft. Beyonce & Arrow Benjamin – Running:


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. 
 

Album Review #2

Released August 15th 2011.

   2011 was the year I left school and began preparing for college. This summer was vital. I was preparing for the rest of my life, following the plan I had so carefully pieced together in my head (or so I thought I had). I’d always been a fan of Charlie Simpson – from Busted to Fightstar, so I was very excited by the release of his solo album. It was refreshing. So different to both Busted and Fightstar, I felt Charlie was really showcasing his musical talents and with three separate genres now under his belt, Charlie’s album fascinated me. Truthfully it still kinda does now. I love the husk in his voice, his guitar playing throughout the album is skillful yet matches each vibe given by each individual song and it’s story. I feel like this album is raw, gets right down to it. I not only mean his voice, which always has that air to it, but the feeling and emotion featured throughout.

   I can listen to this album whatever mood, however there are certain songs I listen to specific to my mood. For example, when I’m feeling vulnerable and reclusive Riverbanks is my choice. I think because it’s lyrics read “just open your eyes, something beautiful is happening” makes me stop and think. Sometimes we all need a little reminder of that whether it’s because the world seems cruel, life seems too hard or everything seems to be going wrong, there is actually something beautiful out there. Something like a baby taking its first steps for an exhausted parent, someone accomplishing something they were told they wouldn’t ever do, or even a siblings beautiful smile on a rainy day. As much as the music feels deep and down Riverbanks builds a little bit of hope in me, that helps me feel I can make something, or appreciate something beautiful at least once on that day of reclusive feelings.

   Young Pilgrim has helped me through many things in the last four years and I can’t wait to continue to listen to something so passionate and skill-fully put together for another four or more years. If you haven’t already I recommend you check out this album; it’ll be more than worth it.

Graphic minds

   So this isn’t actually a post about music, but more about graphic design and the revamp of this blog! 

   We see graphic design work everywhere; from every day logos, to car designs, to account profiles/avatars such as YouTubers profile pictures. Why am I talking about graphic design? Because I’ve recently had some work done to the blog, by a very talented graphic designer, who also happens to be one of my closest friends. I’ve known him for many, many years; he is super talented and incredibly sweet. Ladies and gents, for my new title, header and background (plus all the finishing touches done throughout) a HUGE thank you to Adam. I honestly can’t thank him enough, especially as he’s busy with university, work, band life and much more. 

   He has a graphics blog up and running, so head over to it now >> vvooreviscom.tumblr.com . Also you can access his portfolio which is here >> www.behance.net/vvoore

   So, I just want to say thank you Adam for sorting out my blog. Keep up the good work and I can’t wait to see more. 

   As well as graphic design, Adam also plays guitar (very well) in a band called Sextapes so check them out on YouTube, or even try to get down to a gig!

TAKE OVER… #2

Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening!

   Once again, it’s not Leanne, I’m Kirsty.  Hey.

   So, Leanne asked me to write something quick about musical stuff for her blog (this brings me a lot of anxiety as I can honestly say I am the least musically talented person you will ever encounter. Even with listening. I float through genres not sure what’s going on. Terrible.) And it took me agesssssss to decide what to write, so I went with my favourite song at the moment: Miniskirt by BRAIDS. Then I though hey, they’re far too good to write about just one song…

   So that brings me onto their 2015 album – Deep in the Iris, and bloody hell is it good. 
There isn’t a single song on it that I dislike in ANY way. The whole album is full of meaningful, stick-in-your-head-for-days lyrics that I cannot get enough of and TONNES of catchy beats I can’t help but shimmy along to. The lyrics are poetry and I can’t make this post without mentioning some favourites:
    ‘Make believe I am in touch with myself, do the kind of things I watched from someone else’ – Sore Eyes, 
    ‘We experience the love we think we deserve, and I guess I thought I didn’t need much from this world, so I left you’ – Taste, 
    ‘And everything he touches is for him, my mother soul he devours with a grin’ – Miniskirt. 
   
   Not only are the lyrics meaningful and really touch home at some points, but her voice is like an angel, I could listen to her sing/speak all day. Having mentioned some lyrics of songs already I feel I need to add a video for more than just one song… So here is the FULL ALBUM on YouTube! (Please if you like it buy it afterwards!) 

   Thanks for reading my little attempt! Hopefully I’ll be back soon!
(LY LEANNE XXXX)

BRAIDS – Deep in the Iris:


Baby if I'm half the man I say I am…

I always have (and always will have) a HUGE amount of love for Paramore. Right now, I’m sat in work, on lunch, with Proof playing in my ears. Fighting the urge to sing really loudly (and terribly) in the staff kitchen.

Proof is one of those songs that’s got a cheery up beat tempo, but is secretly a bit of a love song. The lyrics refer to missing someone, and wanting to see them, while having a slight fear about what they’re doing. There are definitely some hints of that stereotypical ‘psycho side’ that every girl has, but deny and fear. Ending the chorus with “the only proof that I need is you” brings back the cheeriness in the song.

This is definitely a song I love, can listen to whatever my mood and can relate to on some levels.

I hope you enjoyed, and look out for whats to come! Leanne xo

Paramore – PROOF:




Hello…

Hello!

   Welcome to my blog. My name is Leanne and this is technically my second blog. My first blog was completely music based and is still live, so it can be checked out (musicmainstream.blogspot.com), I focused on the Reading Festival and even did an album review of an album by The Rise of The Broken. Unfortunately due to the time I started the last blog, I was unable to keep it up to date and ended up just leaving it behind in the past.

   Now I’ve aged and matured and can balance things better, I’ve decided to start a fresh and that’s how Music and What Not was created. Theory behind the name is, I am very passionate about music. However, I am passionate about many things, such as science, tattoos, art and animals. So this blog will heavily be music related but will feature other things too.

   So that’s my blog life. Back to me, I am crazy because I am studying, working and blogging! I absolutely love Tim Burton. He is one of my favourite directors and artists! I love how his films always have a creepy feel to them but, always have a powerful message behind them (unless they are a very known fictional story like Alice in Wonderland or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Which also makes sense for my love of Halloween! It is my favourite holiday and I love seeing people getting into the Halloween spirit with pumpkins and decorations.

   I also mentioned I love animals and tattoos. Well over my years on this planet I have owned four dogs, multiple fish and a bunny. I would love to have more animals, but me and my family don’t have the same like in pets (I would love a lizard, chinchilla, another dog, bunny, ferret, the list is endless) or they aren’t actually allowed to be pets like I absolutely love Raccoons!!. I also have a fair few tattoos which include meaningful family related ones and Tim Burton ones.

   So that’s it really. I love music and have an opinion on it that I thought I would share, expect lyric judgements, album/gig reviews and pretty much anything really.

I hope you enjoy,

xo