Category Archives: Music

Foo Fighters – Live at The O2 Arena, London

Tuesday 19th September 2017

You wouldn’t expect to have such a great concert in the middle of the working week, but Dave Grohl and his band of merry men shook The O2 with a near 3 hour set of hits that wowed and amazed the crowd throughout.

The band begin their set with a rocking rendition of ‘I’ll Stick Around’ and then quickly blister through ‘All My Life’ before wowing the crowd with the almighty ‘Learn To Fly’. This show, as well as being part of the 10th Birthday Celebrations for the Arena, was to promote the release of Foo Fighters ninth studio album CONCRETE AND GOLD. Yes, there was plenty of new songs too…

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‘The Sky Is A Neighbourhood’ was slotted into the setlist early and it was amazing to see almost everyone singing this. Along with some other new tracks, we do get a version of ‘Rope’ with a greatly extended outro and ‘My Hero’ which begins as an intimate performance between Dave Grohl and the 16000 fans inside The O2.

Fancy a cover? ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ was performed by the rock band, and it was played in the presence of Roger Taylor and Brian May who were in attendance. Want another cover? How about ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ with Rick Astley singing on stage with them? This was indeed so damn good, you couldn’t help but rock out to it.

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The night continued with a great blend of tunes from all nine albums, I can’t think of many songs that were left out, this was a real collection of hits! When you get to ‘Best Of You’ and ‘Everlong’ at the end of the show, this is where the ultimate conclusion comes in. I will say I sung hard with every song that came on. Never have I known so many tracks by one band at a show.

For a one-off show in the UK, this was done with incredible precision and sounded fantastic throughout. Playing on stage for nearly 3 hours, the guys didn’t seem to beat a single drop of sweat. Dave Grohl was as usual on top form and could out-sing every single person in that arena. Then you have the awesome Taylor Hawkins on drums and then guitarists Nate Mendel, Pat Smear and Chris Shifett and not forgetting Rami Jaffee on keyboards. The whole band were tight and controlled without hitting a duff note.

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I loved this gig, the Foo Fighters met all my expectations and more. I was unable to see the guys in 2015 when Dave broke his leg, but this surely was the best concert I have ever attended. Can it be topped? Only when the Foo’s return to these shores!

Final rating: 10/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Interview with Abby Holden

So I just posted my review of Abby’s latest album TIME ON MY WRIST, and I was lucky enough to chat to Abby about her new music and what she has been up to. It has been a while since we spoke, but as usual, it was a treat!

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JC: Congratulations on the new album, what helped inspire Time On My Wrist?

AH: Thank you! Usually I write from what I think another persons perspective is. This album, I wrote from my own. It was more challenging and more rewarding. The inspiration for it? Life. Good old crazy life.

JC: How does the new album compare to the previous releases?

AH: One thing I’ve noticed is that I come at songs from different angles. During the writing and recording processes – which can mean that they sound worlds apart. This happened a lot during the earlier recordings. I’m working on creating more flow with an album, and I’m getting closer with this current release.

JC: You seemed to go very quiet for a while, did this help with the album?

AH: it’s good to take a step back and look at things from the outside. Have a breather so to speak. It meant I had more energy returning to the studio and my passion for music is bigger than before.

JC: The variety in music genres is rather expansive in the album, did that come naturally or was that purposely done?

AH: Completely natural. I did scrap a few songs from the album as they did not fit well (that was me trying to improve the listening flow). The average album length still sits above 12 tracks – but then I noticed Bruno Mars’ latest offering is 9 tracks. So I beat him with 8.

JC: One song I would love to see on an album (and maybe a few other people) is ‘Ginger Pubes Are Amazing’. Would you ever look at officially releasing that as a song?

AH: Everyone says that! So I’m going to listen this time. I feel it would be a single release. Not sure how that gem would fit onto an album of ‘serious’ songs. You know what, I’m taking it back into the studio to polish it up. Apparently there is a national red head day. I could perform it there.

JC: I enjoy the music videos you made before, is there any songs on the new album you would like to record a video for?

AH: Thank you very much. Jukebox will be the first video from the album. Out very soon …..possibly in two days. Primrose Hill was the back drop for dragging a jukebox down the street. Every resident loves an early Saturday morning music video wake up call right? After that the next video with either be ‘Long way to go’ or ‘It’s you’.

JC: With the album now out, will you be doing any live shows in the near future?

AH: At the end of this week, I head to America for a few weeks. Will definitely be trying out the tracks live in New York. Here’s the thing….I need to learn them on the guitar or piano in a way that translates. Doable, but it’s the hardest part of performing an album solo. Maybe I’ll put a band together in New York! Joking. Kind of.

JC: You do perform some great covers of hit songs, is there a particular track you would love to incorporate into your live show?

AH: I love playing acoustic versions of hit songs. Yesterday I was talking with Jay Picasso – producer at Starcity Studios – about that very thing. We were discussing how covers of older songs sometimes take off, rather than covers of what’s on the charts. There is an old Kylie song that I want to do a cover of….fully produced…..studio style. I think it could work. It’s not one of her famous ones either – but I guarantee all Kylie fans will know of it.

JC: Have you already got plans for album five? And what would you like to do for the album?

AH: Yes I do – it’s more of an interlude album. Then album 6 will be from scratch again. The ‘interlude’ will be a dance album. Using a couple of pre released dance tracks, and remixing tracks from Time On My Wrist. I expect this to be ready by September 1st. An album to play while getting ready for a night out.

JC: Finally, if you could choose anyone to record a collaboration, who would you choose and why?

AH: Sara Bareilles. Her construction of a song is superb. Sara majored in communications at University – which possibly explains why her lyrics suck you into a track. But maybe it’s just raw word smith talent. Something that can’t be taught in the classroom. You can hear her talent with words and melody progress through the albums. Her wordplay with my weird take on the world will produce an awesome song. I must tell her that.

TIME ON MY WRIST is out now! Here is the music video for Abby Holden’s song ‘Jukebox’

And here is a photo taken by Hanlan of Abby from the video:

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Abby Holden – Time On My Wrist. ALBUM REVIEW

It was nearly 5 years ago when I first heard the fantastic Abby Holden, it’s fair to say I was hooked on her music within moments. The New Zealander is one of the few artists that can master both the stripped-back tunes and the club bangers in equal measure (plus her cover of Crowded House classic ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ is marvellous!). It was the remix of ‘Strange Affection’ which got my attention immediately and I still see this as a favourite of mine. I could talk about Abby’s past music for a long time, but I want to speak about her brand new album. TIME ON MY WRIST is the 4th album from Abby (I hope I got that right) and it again is filled with some incredibly varied tracks.

Opening with ‘Long Way To Go’, the first track is a mellow intro to the album. One thing I can say is that Abby can always surprise me, and that is no easy feat. After swaying side to side to this ballad, I then find myself suddenly in dance mode. The next song reminds me of Coldplay’s ‘True Love’, ‘It’s You’ is a slow build to upping the tempo for what is about to come. ‘Jukebox’ features some great lines being dropped by Abby Holden and we get some solid Hip-Hop/R&B vibes from here. The title track again evolves the sound and ‘Time On My Wrist’ feels like homage to the 90’s/00’s R&B acts while making its own mark as a catchy and addictive song.

Moving on to ‘Play’, the mood to dance is still there from an electronica style, and this only continues with ‘Over Turning’ which itself just provides yet another edge to this portfolio we are experiencing. ‘Run’ feels like a more serious track with a truly wonderful beat. I am sure many people will look to a deeper meaning to this tune, but the same can’t be said for ‘Say Ha Oop’ which is just a fun groovy cut that concludes this album. All I will say is that if Haim need a bit of help with some tunes, Abby has them covered. How can so much variety be in one album?

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This is a great album, but it is over incredibly fast. Eight songs are really not enough, but there is plenty more music from Abby Holden that you can get your teeth into. Need I say more? Treat yourself to this great piece of pop/electronica/dance/R&B and all the other genres that come to life.

Final rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

TIME ON MY WRIST is available now to buy on iTunes and listen on Spotify!

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Katrina Marie Interview!

When I used to present on radio, Katrina Marie was one of the first musicians to agree to an interview. Coming from the United States, Katrina has seen her music presented to thousands of people over the years. Her album ‘Wake Up’ was a favourite of mine and I still enjoy hearing it today, but now I am pleased to say that Katrina has agreed for another chat today to see what has been happening recently…

JC: Its been a few years since we spoke and now you are fronting your own band, how is life leading a band?

KM: I love being in a band. I always felt so lonely playing by myself. I used to ask audience members to come up and sing with me so I wasn’t up on stage alone. Its way more fun being part of a team. The group I’m working with is made up of a bunch of pros who have had a ton of experience performing so they have taught me a lot. They are supportive of my original music and genuinely love playing the soul/blues/rock genres so I’m lucky to work with them. The only thing I might add is a female member. The guys are awesome but it would be nice to have another girl around!

JC: I remember when I first heard your music was when I heard the song Wake Up, still a favourite of mine. How did you come to write that track?

KM: Hate to spoil any magic for anyone but “Wake Up” wasn’t a personal song. The hook just kind of came to me. I rarely write songs with instruments so this one just popped into my head and I wrote it very quickly, just kind of humming along. Once I realized what the song was about, I wrote verses that completed the message. Typically I write lyrics and melodies at the same time.

JC: The album Wake Up featured a great collection of tracks, do all the tracks have a special and/or personal meaning to them?

KM: Back when I wrote the album “Wake Up,” I was trying to promote myself as a songwriter. I just wanted to be behind the scenes getting a high off of writing exciting songs for well-known artists. The idea of fame sounded terrible to me. I just wanted my songs to be famous. Does that make sense? Most of the tracks were not personal, just written with other vocalists on mind. But since I didn’t have a dime to my name I decided, “Hey, why not just sing my own songs and shoot some videos so I don’t have to pay for promotion.”

JC: The new album When There Is No Color is out now. How does this album compare to the previous releases?

KM: My new album is different in that it is 100% raw and personal. I’m not sure if I did it because I was owning who I was as a mature songwriter or if I just needed to get shit out. Probably a combination of the two. I remember taking the song “Not Afraid” to my writing buddy Dave Cohen. He listened to it and said “Sounds like we’re heading in the direction of a blues album.” Never thought I would end up singing the blues, but I guess life takes you there sometimes.

JC: What was the biggest challenge when making the new album?

KM: Recording! I hate recording. I get stressed out when singing doesn’t feel natural. I think there’s two songs on the album that we ended up doing in one vocal take. It’s a lot easier pretending to sing live.

JC: Many musicians have some strange ways to help them relax and keep their vocals in check, is there anything special you do to keep yourself in check (not saying you do anything strange)?

KM: I’m literally the worst when it comes to taking care of my voice. I’ve had very minimal vocal training and I used to work as a teacher so I’ve had every cold known to man. Possible reason for why my voice can be so gravelly. My saving grace is hot loose leaf green tea. As far as relaxing goes…um…bourbon.

JC: With the new album out, are you going to be out performing any shows soon?

KM: Yes! We’re gonna be playing at an outdoor summer concert series in Westford, MA on August 6th. Come hang with us. You can keep up with future shows on our website KatrinaMarieBand.com

JC: Is there any songs you didn’t get to put into the new album, and will ever be revealed?

KM: Just one song that we decided wasn’t cohesive enough to put with the others. It was about a loved one who helped me get on my feet after trying times. It’s been hanging out on my computer for a couple years. Perhaps one day I will let it loose. I’ve also got a bunch of new songs hanging out in my head. I think I will write my next album with the audience in mind. Next mission: How can I show my band and our audience a good time?

JC: Last question, who in music today would you like to collaborate with and why?

KM: Would love to collaborate with Paul McCartney. Or maybe I just wanna rack his brain over a drink or two. Some of the first songs I ever heard were written by him. It would be nice to learn from his experiences. He must have a lot of crazy ones.

 

You can see Katrina Marie on YouTube and her latest album ‘When There Is No Color’ is available to download on iTunes now https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/when-there-is-no-color/id1189187067! Also look her up on the website http://www.katrinamarieband.com

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MY INTERVIEW WITH KRIGARÈ

Starting off 2017 with a bang, KRIGARÈ is definitely one of the greatest singer-songwriter’s to come onto the scene. Previously releasing music under Kennedy Noel, Krigaré has proved to be a strong presence and a great change from her previous persona. With songs such as ‘Falling Apart’ making me want to punch the air and ‘Sleeping Awake’ taking my breath away, I knew it was time to finally have a catch up with Kennedy/Krigaré to see how everything was going and find out more about that EP.

 

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Krigarè – Sleeping Awake. Single Review

How great is this girl? Bringing her third some under the Krigarè moniker, Kennedy brings another fantastic addition to her collection with this banger!

‘Sleeping Awake’ is surely a pop-influenced track compared to the first two songs, but this still hits hard. What I always enjoy about Kennedy is that she doesn’t shy away from singing about her experiences, this track is brimming with personal nods to her own life and what she has been through.

I never tire from hearing Kennedy’s music. Truly one of the nicest musicians on the planet and a soul which you need to hear as she pushes the boundaries of music by crafting these brilliant tunes. Hopefully we aren’t too far away from the eventual E.P. due for release later this year.

Final rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

You can hear the song on Spotify and buy now on iTunes!

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Charlie Fink – Cover My Tracks. Album Review

It’s been over two years since Noah and the Whale disbanded and all the members went their own way. Charlie Fink was initially keeping a low profile, but then released the song ‘My Heartbeat Lost It’s Rhythm’ in 2015 to give us a taster of what Charlie was going to later unleash onto the world…then we got COVER MY TRACKS which is indeed a fantastic and well-rounded album with plenty of offer, but a different direction to what I was expecting.

The album kicks off with the quaint and chilled ‘Firecracker’. The album opens with a relaxed melody which then carries on to ‘Anywhere You’re Going Is On My Way’ which is a very enthralling track that is so laid back, you could listen to this one song a million times over.

This is not to say the whole album is mellow, especially when track three kicks in. ‘I Was Born To Be A Cowboy’ will definitely get your foot tapping and the song will sit in your head all day. From this point, there does seem to be a lot of reflection (plenty of first person lines too) and it’s always nice to have that unique perspective which Charlie has always incorporated into his music.

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As the album goes on, there are certainly more peaceful, chilled-out tones with a few peaks along the way. As with many works by Charlie, there is a very personal feeling towards many of the songs. ‘The Howl’ and ‘Here Is Where We’ll Meet’ definitely keeps the album grounded.

It would be unfair to compare this to Noah and the Whale, but a couple of tracks were bound to get inspiration from the work that came before. That is the strength in this album, Charlie Fink has stuck to his roots and knows exactly what works for him. It would have been nice to see the more electronica side come out as teased from a few years back, but hopefully that will be for the next album.

Overall, I really enjoy this album. It works well as a complete story told from a female perspective, which is different to come from a male singer-songwriter, but that is the hook as you don’t expect it. After doing work on the stage adaptation of The Lorax and music for the film A Streetcat Named Bob, I couldn’t be happier to see the former NATW frontman back to making music!

Final rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

The album is available now through Amazon, iTunes and can be streamed on Spotify!

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Single Review: Harry Styles – Sign of the Times

By Joanna Cosgrove

Background
Harry has been a quiet, secretive man recently, head down in writing music and finishing the filming for his (technically) acting debut in Christopher Nolan’s war flick Dunkirk, but now we have seen what musical talent he has left over from his One Direction days. But now it’s him, and him alone, and he has taken himself down a different route.

With a post of a photo from a possible album shoot, stating the title “Sign of the Times” and today’s date (7th April) – and now we got that song! It’s been a long time, so let’s see how this re-introduction has been.

The Song
The song, straightaway, you can feel this isn’t the Harry Styles from One Direction. This man has matured, grown, and he has experienced his fair share in life; you can feel it all from the slow piano-led introduction.

Styles’ vocals have changed and honestly, improved. Not that he had a horrific singing voice prior, but it’s a lot stronger and much more confident. The song quickly builds up to a strong verse, as the percussion comes in, and if vocals can overshadow the drum beats, you’re doing something right – and Styles definitely is!

Let’s discuss that beautiful falsetto, that appears a fair few times throughout the tune. Styles puts his heart into every reach of a high note, and it doesn’t sound forced or pushed; it feels natural, and it feels passionate, and matches the change of key perfectly. Styles has always been known in his old boyband for having one of the best range of vocals, and when you give him five minutes for himself, you can tell that is 100% true. It tugs at the listeners’ hearts as his lyrics speak out, discuss how tears are just “a sign of the times”, which suggests a yearning to leave the anger and sadness behind to move forward into a better and easier environment.

This story can speak to a wide range of people, young and old, men and women. That’s how you know your song’s story is worthy: when a whole population of different people can hear it and picture a moment in their lives when they felt they had to sit and ask “why be here when I am not getting anywhere?”

Styles’ debut solo gives the feeling of a classic power ballad from the 1990s, and as he stated in interviews (particularly from the BBC Radio 1 interview with Nick Grimshaw), he had to work his own influences from songs he learnt and loved from his childhood, listening to what his parents enjoyed. That is evident when you hear the instruments work together, along with Styles’ strong but sensitive lyrics and voice, to give those older listeners a nostalgia trip. I’m sure they would sigh, lean back, and remember.

To conclude, this song is a great step towards a successful solo career, and I will support Harry as he continues this new and scary journey as I have and will with the other members. He knows his former 1D audience have grown and matured with him, and in a way, this song shows that he sees the fans are no longer the boy-crazy teenagers they once were. They have changed, their music tastes have broadened, and Harry is no stranger to change himself so he is welcoming them all.

Adults: don’t groan and shake your head! Give this a listen and I swear you will listen to it again. And again. And again.

Rating: 4/5

Noah and the Whale’s Charlie Fink announces solo album

It’s been over two years since Noah and the Whale brought their tenure as a band to an end (on April Fools Day! It still stings!). But, where we had Fred Abbott release his debut effort SERIOUS POKE, Matt Owens doing some solo work and with his band Little Mammoths, Tom Hobden joining Mumford & Sons and drummer Michael Petulla taking part in multiple projects…Charlie has been keeping busy with doing shows at The Old Vic and contributing to the soundtrack to the hit film ‘A Streetcat Named Bob’ (which was bloody brilliant!). Charlie Fink has made some great steps as a musician, and it will be fantastic to finally see him release his debut record.

COVER MY TRACKS will see Charlie Fink release his first album since 2013 with Noah and the Whale’s fourth album HEART OF NOWHERE. The album is to be released on Friday 2nd June, so not too long to wait. Then we have the theatre production at The Old Vic of the same name, which will see Charlie Fink and actress Jade Anouka take the stage from June 5th-17th. So not only is there a new album, but you can go for a night of live music pretty soon to see it performed before your very eyes.

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First track ‘Firecracker’ has been released and it sounds great. Similar to the 2015 track ‘My Heartbeat Lost It’s Rhythm’, the song has a significantly different style to the days of Noah and the Whale and their folk-rock melodies. Which is a good thing as this establishes the development in Charlie Fink’s musical production in the 10 years he has been releasing songs. While there is little known about the rest of the album, I think this will be a great release.

COVER MY TRACKS is due for release Friday 2nd June 2017 and is available through Amazon, iTunes and on www.charliefink.co (yes, that is the website. It’s not a typo!)

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Harry Styles’ Solo Debut “Sign of the Times” Coming 7th April

By Joanna Cosgrove

We thought he was gone. We didn’t know when he was gonna come back into our lives. But now, it’s finally been revealed what Harry Styles has been working on during his career silence.

We know he is to appear in war flick Dunkirk (which in turn will teach a lot of teenagers about the war, while they support their favourite boyband member), and he has been writing songs with and for other artists here and there, but finally it has been revealed that out of nowhere, Harry is coming back to our ears with a solo single. His very first!

Styles announced on his Instagram account (@harrystyles) recently that his first single, titled “Sign of the Times”, is coming – this Friday!

Yes, on Friday 7th April, Harry Styles will be releasing his debut solo single. This announcement was accompanied by a promotional photo, suspected to be the single cover when it’s released.

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I personally cannot wait until Friday, so we can all hear this. Will it be different? If so, how different? Where will his influences be coming from?

I’ll keep you all updated and I can assure you, a full single review will be uploaded as soon as I hear the song.

Let’s all wait together!

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