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Friday, 13 December 2013

Early Morning Manchester

My friend Chris Townsend has recently made a fantastic film for Manchester TV titled 'Early Morning Manchester'.
Check it out on vimeo here

I know this isn't a music post, but I really like this film and there will be even better things to come from Chris. He is a really talented videographer and also a sound engineer. Check out his vimeo account here.


Saturday, 23 November 2013

Stereophonics - 14th November and KT Tunstall - 16th November

Apologies for a late post about these gigs, I don't know where the time goes, but I'll crack on anyway. 



Last week I saw two incredible gigs; the first was Stereophonics at the Manchester Arena on the 14th November, I have only recently got into Stereophonics because Tom is a massive fan, before I met him I'd hardly listened to them, but now I'm very much a Stereophonics fan, so, thanks Tom!

The show was really great, they began with 'Catacomb' and they played a super long set of around 23/24 songs, including many from their latest album 'Graffiti On The Train' and many old hits. They had a very special guest join them to sing 'Mama Told Me Not To Come' - the one and only, Tom Jones. He is the epitome of cool and he sounded incredible singing with Kelly Jones. The show ended with one of their biggest hits 'Dakota'.



On the 16th I saw one of my hero's for the fourth time, the one and only KT Tunstall at the gorgeous Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. I got to go home for the weekend too which was so nice, it felt so good to be back in my city! KT was outstanding as usual. She used to play with a full band as well as utilising her loop pedal, but on this tour, she was solo (plus the famous loop pedal - the wee bastard as she calls it). I was in awe of her throughout the whole show, she began with 'Invisible Empire' and played an incredible set of new and many old songs, as well as one of my favourites 'Through The Dark' from her first album. I can't describe how much I admire this woman, her voice is beautiful, she showed her range and skill finishing with 'Chimes' from her latest album "Invisible Empire//Crescent Moon"

Monday, 11 November 2013

Orla Gartland


Orla Gartland is an 18 year old singer/songwriter from Dublin. Today saw the release of her first EP; 'Roots EP'.

Orla started out making youtube videos and posting her versions of many different songs and quickly gained popularity, her youtube has had over 9 million hits.

Her sound is quirky acoustic-folk-pop and very easy listening; with catchy hooks and bursting with personality, her music is guaranteed to make you smile.

You can buy her EP from iTunes now, and she will be heading out on tour next February.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

You don't know...

(picture from pinterest)

I worry far too much about what I do and if it will affect other people, the smallest things I do or say can make me think horrendous things about what people may or may not be thinking about me. 

What I am trying to do is change how I deal with those feelings and it is really hard. I'm feeling them now and I want to just get into bed and disappear.

Don't judge people, we're all guilty of it, me included; but we should all try to not judge. You don't know how someone is feeling on the inside, you don't know why they're acting like they are. 

This is a ramble and I apologise if it makes no sense.

It's one of those weeks if I'm honest.. I've been ill for it and that's probably not helping. Worrying about a deadline a week on monday too.

I just want to keep things simple and I feel like I'm getting lost.


Thursday, 31 October 2013

Bloglovin'

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Lissie - Manchester Academy 2 - 27th October


Apologies for not posting for a while, internet was down in my flat for about 3 weeks (thanks BT) and life has taken over a bit, but alas, I am back for a post about the fantastic gig I went to last Sunday. 

As I've said in previous posts, It was Lissie who me and my boyfriend were going to see. We caught her at Hard Rock Calling this year and we had to see her again. Her support act was Bruno Major, another act we had caught on one of the smaller stages at Hard Rock Calling. He was just signed to management this summer and has recently got a record deal with Virgin. He is a really talented musician and has a voice like velvet. Tom and I were lucky enough to meet him after his set and he was so lovely and down to earth, and really appreciative of us buying his EP. Bruno only had a drummer and bassist who also sang backing vocals, but that was all he needed, their harmonies filled the room and his lyrics were beautiful; one of his songs 'Home' made me cry.



Lissie's set was fantastic. Her and her band opened the show with 'Bully' and closed with the brilliant cover of 'Pursuit of Happiness'. 



The only thing which bothered me about the show was the audience. The room must hold around 600 people and most of them where just standing there, not moving or dancing and hardly singing along. Lissie herself said "You're very well behaved". I just feel like it wasn't her target audience, as Tom and I and a few other people were getting very funny looks as we danced and sang a long. Maybe its that we are not her target audience, but who knows. 

The show was incredible none the less. Her voice sounded exactly like her recordings and her band were brilliant. She even stayed to do a signing after the show but we unfortunately couldn't stay.

She's touring the UK again in March, I would really love to see her again but she isn't playing anywhere around Manchester or Liverpool. I'm very disappointed but hopefully she will announce some more shows! 

Has anyone heard the news that John McVie has entered treatment for cancer? Fleetwood Mac unfortunately cancelled the New Zealand leg of their tour. I'm hoping John pulls through and is back with his bass on stage soon.

Livvy x

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Open Mic


Last night I played at my first open mic in almost a year, it was a massive step for me. I haven't played live for a while for various reasons, but mainly confidence. But a pub in my boyfriend's village was the perfect place to get me started again. In a really relaxed setting a fair few people played some songs on the couch by the bar, I was then told to play and surprisingly, I wasn't scared anymore, I just played like I hadn't stopped. It was so relaxed and I actually had fun, something I was terrified of turned out really good.

I've been in a massive battle with anxiety for a while now. Feeling out of control is terrifying and I build up a shell to try and cope with it. I know it is easier said than done to feel better instantly or forget about something which is getting to you. 

Things can get better in time, it can take weeks, months and sometimes years. Sometimes you'll have great days, and sometimes you'll have utterly crap days where you want to stay in bed all day watching re-runs of Gavin and Stacey on the iPlayer, and that's ok. Allow yourself time to recover till you are ready to face the world again. I know I have days like that often. 
One of the most important things (as well as lots of chocolate, tea and cuddles) is to have friends and people close to you that you can trust, and you feel comfortable with, where you can show yourself and not hide away from it.

I'm trying to keep positive, at least right now I am, and I am looking forward to seeing Lissie a week on Sunday. I got to see her at Hard Rock Calling this year and she was fantastic, her music is infectious and the lyrics to her latest single struck a chord with me today. 



Livvy x



Friday, 11 October 2013

Guitar..


I spent most of my day playing my guitar, learning a couple of new songs to hopefully play at an open mic soon. 
I lost all of my confidence in playing last summer due to various things, but I'm slowly getting it back, it's taken a while.

Livvy x

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Fleetwood Mac - Manchester arena - October 1st



Tuesday night proved that Fleetwood Mac have still got it. Three words - they were incredible.

Fleetwood Mac played from 8:20pm to around 11:10. Without a break. I had been wondering if they would still have the power as 60 somethings that they had in there 20's/30's, and they certainly did. They prove that age, it's just a number.

Stevie Nicks' voice is still as haunting and powerful as ever. John McVie and Mick Fleetwood's rhythm section is still faultless, and Lindsey Buckingham still has a rocking voice and unbelievable guitar playing.

This tour is their 'Rumours' 35th anniversary tour, so without a doubt they opened the show with track one of 'Rumours' - "Second Hand News".

The show was outstanding, playing their hits from 'Rumours', 'Tusk', 'Tango In The Night' and a couple from their newest EP, they rocked the whole night away, ending with two of my favourite songs - "Silver Springs" and "Say Goodbye".

Honestly, I'm finding it hard to find the words that can describe how I felt seeing my favourite band, I cried, danced, cheered and sang with the rest of the 18000 seated arena. I know I'm only 20, but for years I have been saying that I have to see Fleetwood Mac and Bruce Springsteen one day before I die; and this year I have been lucky enough to see both of these outstanding acts. 

Livvy x

Monday, 30 September 2013

What's going on...

So, second year has started, and I think its gonna be a tough one.

I only have seven and a half hours teaching a week, now, you may be thinking "What are you paying £9000 for?!" but I'm two weeks into second year and I am already thinking about the books I need to be reading and what I need to be researching in my spare time. My modules are all written based for this semester, so I have three, 3000 word essays to write for submission in January and a twenty minute presentation for November. Cue panic mode.

It will be great writing practice though, and as long as I keep on top of everything, I hope I will be ok. (fingers crossed)

I had a great lecturer today who really got me thinking and because he was enthusiastic, so was I. There is nothing worse than a lecturer just reading off a piece of paper in the same monotonous tone.

I have recently started writing for www.seatcapital.com , on a volunteering basis, but it's a really good platform for starting out and I think the website will get a lot bigger.


Livvy x

Friday, 27 September 2013

Christine McVie returns to the stage


(From left to right: Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks and friend of the band and one half of the Eurythmics, Dave Stewart)

Earlier this week (September 25th) Christine McVie joined her former band mates for their second show at London's O2 arena. She hasn't played with the band for 15 years, and after much speculation, she returned to the stage to perform their classic "Don't Stop".

Nicks had previously told Rolling Stone in 2012 that there was more chance of an asteroid hitting the earth than Christine McVie to return with the band. 

Watch a video of the performance HERE from NME.

She also is rumoured to play at their final London show tonight. I'm guessing that she won't be performing in Manchester, but I'm extremely happy that she's got back on stage with the band.

Livvy x


Thursday, 26 September 2013

Kate Rusby - Stockport Plaza - 21st September


I recently saw Kate Rusby live for the third time, this time at Stockport Plaza; the show was (for want of a better expression) like a big warm hug. She has been in the industry for 20 years now, Kate and her four piece band never seem to stop touring, and I hope they don't stop for a long time to come.

Her versions of traditional folk songs are simply beautiful, as are her own works as a songwriter. Story telling of her life and of the songs she sings are a big part of her shows, and they are the reasons she is so likeable, and why she continues to fill out theatres across the country.

Kate's tour continues until 21st December.

http://www.katerusby.com/


Livvy x

Thursday, 19 September 2013

You've Got To Hold On



I saw Alabama Shakes at Hard Rock Calling this year, they were out of this world and sounded better than their recordings. Their music is uplifting and empowering blues and rock and roll. This song is especially, and I'm listening to it on repeat at the moment.

You've got to hold on.


Livvy x

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Rachel Waters



www.facebook.com/IAmRachelWaters


Rachel Waters is an up and coming singer/songwriter from Kelso, Scotland. As a recent graduate from Salford University with a degree in Music, she is currently performing in and around Manchester with a full live band.

 I was inspired to post about her when just a couple of days ago I woke up with one of her songs, 'Alibi' stuck in my head. Her music is pure pop and her songs would fit right in on Ken Bruce's show on Radio 2.

She is a storyteller with a velvet voice, and her songs of heartache and dreams are to the tune of unforgettable melodies.

Check out her acoustic session HERE. You definitely will be hearing more from her.


Livvy x

Saturday, 14 September 2013

My Ultimate Favourite Band



Fleetwood Mac. Unforgettable lyrics, mind blowing music, and a history that wouldn't seem out of place in a soap opera.

I am lucky enough to be seeing them on October 1st in Manchester. Christine McVie is confirmed to play a couple of shows on this tour, read about it HERE. I am hoping she will be at Manchester. 

I will definitely be posting my thoughts, maybe a review, as soon as I can after the gig. I seriously cannot wait!

Who are your favourite band? And Why? 

Livvy x

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Upcoming Gigs

I am seeing so many different people this winter, I really can't wait:


Kate Rusby - 21st September

Fleetwood Mac - 1st October

Lissie - 27th October

Stereophonics - 14th November

KT Tunstall - 16th November


I'll possibly have a few more coming up too, who knows, but live music, isn't it great? Do you have any shows coming up soon? or who do you want to see live? Let me know! 

Livvy x

Friday, 6 September 2013

THAT Miley Cyrus performance



You'd have to have been living under a rock to have not heard about this performance of "We Can't Stop" and Robin Thicke and Pharell's "Blurred Lines".

There is no doubt that this girl is talented, years of being in the limelight has clearly made her knowledgable of what makes the music, and celebrity industry tick. Many people have been saying she's 'doing a Britney' and she's 'another disney star gone off the rails', but I think she knows just exactly what she's doing, and she is going about it in the most surprising ways possible.

The MTV VMA's are notorious for history making, and shocking performances; Madonna has performed numerous times and her performances always hit the headlines, not to mention the 2003 performance of "Like A Virgin" and "Hollywood" with Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Missy Elliott.

We've seen this happen before, young stars emerging into notable women of the pop music industry, from a 'Good Girl' image to one which screams "I'm grown up now". Look at Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears and how respected they are now, and their back catalogue has included many a shocking, raunchy performance.

She collaborates with great writers and producers, she writes catchy music and that's what people are interested in, isn't it...  ?

Miley did make history, sure, it was shocking, people are still talking about it now and after all - 
"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." - Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray.




Livvy x


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Lissie



Her latest single Further Away (Romance Police) could be mistaken for an early Fleetwood Mac demo. With similar lyrical styles to Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Nicks, she could have been the love child of the two American rock music veterans. Lissie has been on the scene since 2006 with her early songs providing soundtracks to many American TV shows. She is signed to the Sony Music UK's Columbia Records and has collaborated with many UK music stars including Snow Patrol and Robbie Williams.

Radio 2 can't get enough of Lissie, Simon Mayo described her cover of Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven "breathtaking".
I caught the end of her set at Hard Rock Calling this year, as she was finishing with a cover of Kid Cudi's Pursuit of Happiness and I instantly wanted to hear more from her, in October this year she will embark on her first headline UK tour, only playing Manchester, London, Glasgow and Dublin.

 Having released four EP's and an album, Lissie is about to release her second studio album Back To Forever (14th October 2013)



Livvy x

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

KT Tunstall



KT Tunstall has been my hero since her first album "Eye To The Telescope" was released in 2004, this year she released her fifth studio album "Invisible Empire//Crescent Moon" and she has yet again created an utterly magnificent sound. NPR Music had a great interview with her HERE and she describes the inspiration behind the album and her personal struggles over the past couple of years.
The sound of the album is different to the rhythmic empowering folk/rock she produced on the past four albums, it is melo, haunting but still as empowering. Recorded to reel to reel tape machines, and the majority of it recorded live, she creates a new, intimate sound. 
There aren't many words that can describe how inspiring this woman is to me, I could only dream of writing music like her.


Livvy x

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Its hard

Its hard, isn't it. It's hard living in fear of the unexpected, fighting uncontrollable bad thoughts, but also wishing and wanting your life to turn out in a certain way. Feeling out of control is very scary, I and many other people in the world fight that every day. I'm seeing a lot of waiting rooms at the moment, doctors and psychological therapy places. I either have an illness, or I have an extreme need to be told to man up. But it is true, 1 in 4 of us will suffer from mental health issues in our lives. The important thing is talk about it, talk and if you feel you need help, try to get it sooner rather than later. It's hard, believe me I've been there before, and I am there again. But just trust you can feel better, and music is one of the greatest therapies, even if it can stop your bad thoughts for the duration of the song. 

KT Tunstall - Heal over. This always gives me a tiny bit of hope. 

Jamie cullum - Save Your Soul

Dolly Parton - Better Day


Livvy x

Monday, 22 July 2013

People always ask "Why?"

I'm studying Music at Salford University, and I'm always asked "Why?" when I am asked if I study performance, and my answer is no. I love playing my guitar and singing, it is one of the very few things I find easy in my life, and I enjoy doing it for fun, but getting assessed for my performance and being graded for my degree, it just isn't for me. I do admire my friends and people that do it though. There is always a disapproving look when I explain my reasons. I want to write about music, music and people fascinate me. How certain songs and pieces of music make people feel, how music is a way to express deep emotions, why certain pieces of music make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck? Gender, Sex and Politics in music, Popular culture, and the 'Celebrity' phenomenon. The list is endless.
This blog will be probably sporadic, but I aim for it to document completing my degree (If that does ever happen), maybe getting a career, reviews, opinions, maybe a book review here and there, dreams of mine and probably the odd outlet of anxiety filled panic. So read away if you want to...


Livvy x