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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Christmas

(picture from Pinterest)

So, university has finished for Christmas (stupidly early might I add...) and I am now off for the holidays!! First term has been very tough, the commute to uni is absolutely fine as I hardly have any hours of teaching, but the work load got on top of me a little, it is a massive increase from second year, I always had friends tell me 'third year's your hardest' but no matter what people tell you, you can never be prepared for what will happen! I managed it though, I got my work in for the deadlines while enduring the dreaded winter lurgy- throat infection, sinus infection, ear infection and a whopper of a cough...!
January is a scary prospect, 5 months of university and then I'll (hopefully) be a BA Music graduate! What next? who knows, I'm just taking it one day at a time, I'm really the happiest I've been in a long time, so I'm going to enjoy seeing friends over the Christmas period and taking an exciting trip over New Year to one of our favourite cities with my favourite person! 
I've been hearing of loads of new exciting music recently, I will try to feature as many as I can on my blog over the coming weeks/months, and of course in January we will find out the winner of the Blog sound of 2015! James Bay has already won the Brits critics choice award, 2015 will definitely be his year!
I hope everybody has a wonderful Christmas time!

Livvy x

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Results of the UK Blog Sound of 2015 poll


As you know, I was asked to take part in the UK Blog Sound of 2015 poll, an alternative to the BBC sound of 2015 poll. Here are the results in a long list, with the winner to be announced in January!! Here they are!

All We Are

Black Honey

Chloe Black

Coasts

Deers

Fickle Friends

Flyte

Halfrican

Honne

Lapsley

Prides

Shura

Soak

Sophie Jamieson

Tei Shi

Have a listen to all the acts here! 



Monday, 3 November 2014

Standby...


I have been asked to vote in the UK Blog Sound of 2015 by the wonderful @BMWavesBlog (http://breakingmorewaves.blogspot.co.uk/)... how exciting! watch this space for updates! 


Livvy x

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Be Back Soon


University work is getting on top of me at the moment, I'm not leaving my blog forever, but I just wanted to update as I've not posted in a while. I am just having to concentrate on my work at the moment, but I will most definitely be back soon..!


Livvy x

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Sunday Sessions #11 - James Bay

(James Bay performing at LFW Burberry Fashion Show)


I've recently discovered singer-songwriter James Bay, after he played at this season's London Fashion Week Burberry show, there were many articles surrounding his performance. 

This singer at the age of 23 has released two EP's and has supported the likes of Tom Odell and John Newman. 

Bay's music instantly makes you listen, he has a voice like velvet; his pop melodies are very soulful, similar to that of James Morrisson. Bay hasn't stopped gigging this year, playing the festival circuit and last year playing before the Rolling Stones at their record breaking Hyde Park gig. He tours the UK in November and it is almost completely sold out, act now if you want a ticket!

His latest EP was released in June this year, titled Let It Go. My favourite track? 'If you ever want to be in love'.

Definitely download his EP if you haven't already, you will not be disappointed.


Livvy x

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Back To Uni - Year 3

Yesterday was my first day back as a third year, and apart from my tutors constantly putting pressure on by telling us "this is the year that counts", I'm really excited to get into my work. 

I decided to live at home and travel in to Uni, as I'm only in 5 hours a week and I live a 45 minute drive away. 

I've taken lots of writing modules this year and I'm so excited to get into reading more of the broad subject of popular musicology. Every now and then I do get a sense of panic as to just HOW am I going to write a coherent dissertation?!?

I'll get there, one way or another, I hope... 

How are you feeling about Uni? Maybe you've just started this year? or are you thinking of applying for next year? 

Let me know!

Livvy x


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Sunday Sessions #10 - The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger


The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (the GOASTT) recently finished their UK tour, the band have been touring most of the year since the release of their first record 'Midnight Sun' in April.

The track listing is as follows;

  • 01 - Too Deep
  • 02 - Xanadu
  • 03 - Animals
  • 04 - Johannesburg
  • 05 - Midnight Sun
  • 06 - Last Call
  • 07 - Devil You Know
  • 08 - Golden Earring
  • 09 - Great Expectations
  • 10 - Poor Paul Getty
  • 11 - Don't Look Back Orpheus
  • 12 - Moth to a Flame

While they have been established since 2008; they consider this as their first real release. The band is led by couple Charlotte Kemp Muhl and Sean Lennon. 

I have been in to Lennon's previous solo albums for a long time, so when I was given the opportunity to see him (by my lovely boyfriend can I add.. :)) I couldn't have been more thrilled and grateful. 

We saw them on September 9th at Liverpool's Kazimier, and it was honestly one of the best shows I've ever seen. Their musicianship was a joy to watch and I was in awe the whole time. 

Obviously Sean is probably constantly compared to his father, and their were quite a few clear John fans at the gig (their t-shirts gave it away) but he has most definitely gained respect as himself as an artist. 

Their sound is very psychedelic rock, and you can't help but listen when you hear it. 

The GOASTT are currently finishing up the French leg of their tour, I hope we will be treated to another release from them in the near future. 


Livvy x


Sunday, 7 September 2014

Sunday Sessions #9 - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood


This week Jamie Cullum announced his 7th studio album 'Interlude' is to be released on October 6th. The lead single is a song first sung by Nina Simone - "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood". Cullum collaborates with Gregory Porter for a great version of this track. 

For a song written in 1964, Cullum and Porter give the song a new modern lease of life, while also not straying from its New York jazz roots. 

Laura Mvula is also a special guest on 'Interlude', singing Good Morning Heartache with Cullum, a song first sung by Billie Holliday. 

Someone I know claims that Cullum steals all of his ideas from past jazz musicians, and generally doesn't think Cullum is original or good. I completely disagree, I feel he is influenced by any kind of music, with roots in jazz he also crosses over to hip hop and rock. He is original and an outstanding artist. There's only one Jamie Cullum. 


Livvy x



Sunday, 24 August 2014

Sunday Sessions #8 - Taylor Swift


This week, former country singer Taylor Swift announced her fifth studio album titled 1989. Swift herself says it is her first official pop album. The first single from the album 'Shake it off' is a big step away from her country music routes. If I didn't know it was the 'Love Story' singer, it would be hard for me to tell if it was her singing. 


She has come a long way from her days as a country singer singing about the teardrops on her guitar. 

I'm all for artists growing and changing their sound, KT Tunstall subtly changed her sound in her last 2 albums, for some reason I can't warm to Taylor's new single. 

In the wake of Miley Cyrus' drastic changes to her look and sound, could Taylor Swift be heading a similar way? 

Let me know your thoughts!

Livvy x


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Sunday Sessions #7 - Stevie Nicks

Hear we are for the second Sunday Session, featuring a favourite of mine, Stevie Nicks. 

I have recently found out that we are going to see another solo album release from Stevie Nicks in the autumn, titled 24 Karat Gold. 

Stevie has collaborated again with Eurythmics star Dave Stewart and the great Waddy Wachtel.

The lead single from the album is a track titled 'The Dealer', an emotional song which looks back at past mistakes, perhaps from love.



"Most of these songs were written between 1969 and 1987. Each song is a love story... They represent my life, the secrets, the broken hearts. These songs are the memories - the 24 karat gold rings in the blue box. These songs are for you" - Stevie Nicks

The album will be released October 7th. 

Livvy x

Sunday Sessions #6 - Once The Musical

Stand by for two Sunday Sessions today as I was galavanting around London (again) last weekend!

I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, my boyfriend (Tom) and I spent two nights in a hotel in Kensington, near to Bayswater tube station, which was perfectly placed to explore West London. We explored Notting Hill and a very busy Portobello Road, Knightsbridge (Harrods!) and Exhibition Road, as well as central London, Covent Garden and Leicester Square. 

We managed to get Day Seats for the musical 'Once' at the Phoenix theatre. Tip for when you want tickets for a show, if you know the specific show you want to see - queue up before the box office opens on the day of the performance you would like to see, we got there about 9:25 and it opened at 10am. The theatres commonly do 'Day Seat' tickets, they are normally priced at around £70 and on the day of the performance, they are going for around £25!

The show was fantastic, it was originally a film starring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, with the soundtrack composed by themselves. 

If you don't want to read any spoilers then skip the next couple of paragraphs! 

All I knew about it was it was set in Ireland, and it was about music. The male lead is a musician, who has lost his motivation to play anymore, and the female lead is also a musician, who helps him get his spark back for playing again. 

It is a heartbreaking love story, you see the two fall in love, but never do anything about it because of their own different situations. 

The show features a beautiful score, featuring the Oscar winning, painfully beautiful song 'Falling Slowly' which is reprised as the finale. The whole cast are musicians too instead of having an orchestra in the pit, they all play on stage; and the harmonies they sing together are fantastic. 

The cast were all brilliant, but the two leads Jill Winternitz and David Hunter were incredible. 

No doubt we will be going back to London soon, and hopefully seeing another musical! 

Livvy x

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sunday Sessions #5 - King Creosote, From Scotland With Love


I have been a fan of King Creosote for a while now, since I saw him supporting KT Tunstall when I was about 13. Kenny Anderson is his real name, and he comes from Fife, Scotland; (if you couldn't tell he was Scottish from the accent he sings in!) I absolutely love the way he sings, too many people these days sing in a forced American style accent, whereas KC sings so effortlessly and naturally in his mother tongue. 

The album is delicate and easy listening, and seems like it was released very patriotically in the same week as the Commonwealth Games began in Glasgow. 


The track listing is as follows; 

1 Something To Believe In
2 Cargill
3 Largs
4 Miserable Strangers
5 Leaf Piece
6 For One Night Only
7 Bluebell, Cockleshell, 123
8 One Floor Down
9 Crystal 8s
10 Pauper’s Dough
11. A Prairie Tale
Have a listen.

Livvy x

Sunday Sessions #4 - Vinyl Revival

During my last weekend in London, I visited the East End branch of Rough Trade, a fantastic vinyl store just off Brick Lane. 

I got two records on this visit, the first was Laura Marling's third album 'A Creature I Don't Know', one of my favourite Laura Marling albums, the only one of her four albums which wasn't nominated for a Mercury Music prize. With a similar singing style to that of Joni Mitchell, her voice sounds even more perfect being played from a vinyl. 


The second - 'Cold Fact' by Rodriquez. The 'Sugar Man''s first album was which made him famous and more popular than Elvis in South Africa in the 1970's. The album features the hugely catchy 'I Wonder' which I remember hearing on the radio when I was younger and loving it completely. As he originally wasn't very successful in the US, he was dropped by his label after his second album, but he began producing his long awaited third album in 2013. Rodriguez's first two albums got re released in 2009 and he has achieved very belated success in the USA. 

Livvy x





Thursday, 10 July 2014

Sunday Sessions #3 - Travelling playlist

So, it's the summer time and of course you will be travelling, either on days out around your own country or jetting off to another.

I always have a playlist for travelling, if I'm driving in my car or on the train, it is a must. 

So I thought I'd give you a selection of my playlist (it's quite long!)

At the moment I'm in London for the BST concerts in Hyde Park, when this post goes up, I would have seen Neil Young!

KT Tunstall - White Bird

Stevie Nicks - Think About It

Bruce Springsteen - Growin' Up

Haim - Forever

Lissie - Bully

Lissie (Kid Cudi cover) - Pursuit Of Happiness

John Mayer - A Face To Call Home

John Mayer - Why Georgia

Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way

Fleetwood Mac - You Make Loving Fun

Fleetwood Mac - Silver Springs

Stereophonics - Just Looking (I LOVE this song, when I first met my boyfriend, he always played it and its what got me into them)

Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer

James Taylor - (I've Got To) Stop Thinkin' 'Bout That

Tracy Chapman - Give Me One Reason

She & Him - Why Do You Let Me Stay Here

She & Him - London

Jamie Cullum - Save Your Soul

R. Kelly - Ignition Remix (I love singing in the car to this)

Drake - HYFR - (same as above)

En Vogue - Don't Let Go (same as above!)

Wilson Phillips - Hold On (and again ^^)

Rod Stewart - Tonight's The Night

Tell me your favourite songs to listen to when travelling!

Livvy x

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Sunday Sessions #2 - Glastonbury Special

I'm back with a bigger playlist today, so have a read and maybe a listen and let me know what you thought of Glastonbury.

Last weekend was the famous festival at Worthy farm, Glastonbury; and while it was a great mud fest, it didn't dampen the spirits of the festival goers and performers.

One artist who I was looking forward to watching (alas, only the BBC coverage, I am yet to attend Glastonbury!) was Paul Heaton. The former Housemartins and Beautiful South star has reunited with former band mate Jacqui Abbott for a new album. I was really impressed with their acoustic set on Mark Radcliffe's coverage of the festival where they performed their hit 'Moulding Of A Fool' and Dolly Parton's 'Islands In The Stream'.

Everyone is loving the fact that they are reunited, the 'Perfect 10' singers haven't disappointed with their latest release.

I also caught Lily Allen's return to Glastonbury, and her performance was brilliant, her latest album 'Sheezus' is one of my favourite releases from this year. It has quite a hip-hop vibe, and she's a great hook writer. I was glad to hear her performance featured old songs as well as new. 'As Long As I Got You' is one of my favourites.

The big talk of the festival was the debut of Dolly Parton. She played the 'unofficial headline' slot of 5pm on the pyramid stage, and apparently she brought the biggest audience ever to the stage as she played.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding her performance and whether she was singing live or not. She has said herself here that her voice is real, as well as her heart.

Personally it did look as if she was miming at the beginning, but I've never seen her perform live before, I think we all underestimated how good she is and was going to play. As cliche as it sounds 'I will always love' Dolly! Her new album 'Blue Smoke' is brilliant, a favourite of mine is the title track.

Livvy x

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Sunday Sessions #1

Here's the first in my favourite music, new and old. Relax with a cuppa and the Sunday papers and listen to my few picks of Sunday Sessions.

The first song is the new release from First Aid Kit, you will probably have heard the brilliant'My Silver Lining' being played a lot on Radio 2. This new single is from their second album 'Stay Gold'. Their songs are really catchy with harmonies written and sung to perfection. They've taken the catchy sound of euro pop and put a folky twist onto it. 

Another favourite song of mine is Gary Barlow's 'Let Me Go' from his first solo album since 1999. To the typical music snob, they may have many judgements as he is a member of Take That and a common TV personality, but don't judge his music until you have listened to it, there is a reason he has achieved the amount of number one's he has done. 'Let Me Go' is musically, a happy song, but listening to the lyrics and as he said himself, it is a painfully sad song written about his daughter who was still born. It is a sad song, but uplifting at the same time. Barlow writes the most catchy pop songs, another brilliant song from his album is 'Since I Saw You Last' a great f*** you song to the people who dropped him from his first solo record deal. 


A small look at my music picks

Stand by for next weeks

Livvy x 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Where Have I Been?

Apologies for the sporadic posts of the last few months, but anyway, I am back with updates and ideas!

As well as finishing second year at university and having essays coming out of my ears, I was lucky enough to go to Paris with my boyfriend for 3 days at Easter, we travelled by eurostar so we managed to get an extra day into the holiday in London and visited Tom's brother and his girlfriend, it was a magical trip all round and we're thinking of going to Paris again in the winter.

Just before Easter, lessons finished at uni, very early I know! so after jetting off (on the train) to Paris, I returned to write 3 essays to finish my work off. I have just got my results and I achieved a 2:1 for second year which I'm happy about. I just have to work really really hard for final year, I know it's going to be really hard, but I can't wait to finish uni. 

Being home for summer I have returned to my job I had before I moved away, I'm so lucky to walk back into work and get hours! 

A week ago I returned from a huge family holiday, we went to Florida! My parents, my sister and me went to America for 2 weeks and having never been before I was quite nervous for the long flight, and the heat! But I loved the heat! We visited all of the Disney parks, Universal and Sea World. Me and my sister even went back to the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios twice! 

I'm going to be doing a regular post on my blog, every Sunday I will post Sunday Sessions, my favourite songs of the week, old and new; so look out for the first post on Sunday!  

Speak soon!

Livvy x



Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The Swapsies Interview

With a band name that comes from the trading of football stickers, Liverpool band The Swapsies fall into and place themselves into the not-so-well-known genre that is ‘Indie-Pop’. Singer and guitarist Huw Spink describes the genre as “essentially it is the pop punk DIY thing, but with pop music instead of rock music.”
“I hate genres personally. We call ourselves indie pop - just cause we’ve gotta call ourselves something”.

The Swapsies embraced the punk/post punk DIY ethic of fanzines with their last EP release in December 2013 titled ‘Sparrows’. The EP featured a zine made by Manchester duo ‘Young Explorer’. Half of the EP was recorded in their rehearsal studio, and the other half was recorded at Liverpool’s Mello Mello during the campaign to save the cafe and music venue.

Their release previous to this featured a set of stickers of football scarves and hats; and in their latest quest to find a bass player, they produced an ‘attractive handmade flyer complete with rainbow graphics’ bassist Matt McCall recalls.

After Huw, singer and guitarist Andy and lead guitarist Sean originally met as volunteers in Oxfam in central Liverpool, "over time we realised we all played - it took years - eventually we played songs together” They advertised on GumTree to find a drummer and in comes Elaine Kinsella - “I’d  just finished drumming for another band, Jo Bywater and The Cool Waves and wanted to get back in to it again, a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook which took me to GumTree’s site for bands looking for musicians and The Swapsies advert was short, simple and sweet.” “I listened to the music and fell in love with it.”

The group say that they found most commonly when there are adverts for musicians looking for new additions, the are many heavy metal adverts saying they're into ‘Cradle of filth and Satan’ Matt remarks “I can’t grow the hair for that anymore”.

Huw talks about covers bands and says that you can make a living if you are a good covers band, but he feels there is no art in playing covers music. ‘We are trying to make pop music and we hope that’s what we’re doing”.

The bands influences come from many different areas of music, their influences include artists such as The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Joan Armatrading and Nick Drake, but Elaine says “The list is just endless when you start to think about it”. She jokes “oh and I like One Direction”. She likes what Joan Armatrading has done with music, and the fact she is a multi instrumentalist and records her albums herself. 

The Swapsies themselves are multi instrumentalists, all of them having talents in guitar, bass, drums, vocals, ukulele, glockenspiel, melodica and accordion there’s probably not an instrument that they can’t play. 

Huw says that “people doing stuff is so inspiring”. “You always want to make songs like your heroes, but you can’t, so you get jealous” he jokes “and I hate them now”. 

When asked ‘Is there a typically ‘Scouse' sound?’ they were keen to deny the question

“There isn’t a common Scouse sound - maybe back in the 80s and 90s there was a defined sound but today, anything goes” 

Elaine says that one night in Liverpool you could be at a ragtime show, and another night you could be at a rave.

Huw says that you will always get people copying successful music “but there is also so much stuff that is not successful, thats the interesting stuff”.

“We need to make the distinction between what is popular in the media and whats going on in the bars and clubs” says Sean.

The ‘Get Into This Awards’ showed that there definitely isn’t a typical ‘Scouse’ sound - “I don’t know what that was about” says Huw. The awards began in 2012 and it was dubbed the ‘Scouse Mercury music prize’ and featured rap, pop and rock artists from Liverpool and the surrounding area. 


The band have known each other for approximately 6 years but they have been as The Swapsies for 2 ‘and a bit’ years. When asked if it was hard to get into the Liverpool music scene, Sean replies - “Surprisingly, no. it wasn’t hard to get out there. People are very supportive of new bands”. “It’s not competitive, it’s very supportive.”

Elaine gives her opinion - “There will always be a good connection between bands in liverpool, no matter what type of music it is - its kind of a small community - you pretty much know if not everyone - you always know someone who knows someone.” 

Huw says that it is about finding confidence “and then it’s all there for you, and thats the hardest part, finding the confidence.”

The Swapsies have had no interest from UK record labels, but have been approached numerous times by record labels overseas. The first was by, the now defunct, Manic Pop Records.
Huw tells me how they were discovered by labels overseas “Manic Pop offered to put out a record by us in America - this is the crazy thing, we’ve talked about the scene in Liverpool and he was from Minnesota, it shows that the world really is small, he decided he liked us based on the two songs we had online and he wanted to release a single for us on vinyl.”

They weren’t able to release that record as the label went under, but Huw goes on to tell me how they came into contact with their current record label February Records “I think it was at New York Pop Fest - we were spoke about and they found out about us and got in touch, and they are from Boston - so the world feels really really small, it’s weird.”

“This kind of music is pretty big in different places.”

“We released the last EP ourselves - but the one previously we released on February Records, and while they’re essentially the same thing- the one with the record company got a lot more response - it’s a thing releasing with a label, even if it is a small one - it just gets more attention - I think it feels more real.” says singer Huw.

Speaking about indie-pop again, “If someone sees the words Indie pop on a record and they like indie pop - they will go to it - regardless of where it is in the world. There’s not much love for it here as a genre but there is in other parts of the world - they will look for it, and there is a definite scene, it’s so underground and spread out, but its there and it does exist” Elaine tells me.

The genre of ‘indie-pop’ is generally for a niche market, there are many festivals dedicated to the genre though, such as Indie tracks in Derbyshire, Wales Goes Pop, and New York Popfest to name a few.

“By definition it [Indie-pop] is small, if you really want to do something with the music you have to break away from it a little bit. It can be supportive up to a point but if we wanted to play one of these festivals we’d have to get of our arses and go to it, they wouldn’t pay us to go, we’d have to do it ourselves.”
When asked about the critics’ response to their recent EP release - Sean remarks “me (sic.) dad loved it.”

“We’ve been reviewed on blogs - but it’s mostly in Spanish - so we can’t read it!” 


So what’s next for this indie-pop five piece; among more releases and gigs- making a sticker book is on their list of things to do, “that’s the dream” says Huw. “Now we have a fifth member, it has given us a new lease of life.”

“We’re going to try and do everything we’ve done, again” Joint lead singer and guitarist Andy joins the interview late from his day job and replies to Huw’s comment “25% bigger.”

Huw tells me about how important collaboration is for the Swapsies - “If you put on a gig or make a record - it’s nice to get other people involved, which is what we are going to do now. It gives you an extra kick up the arse.”

The next release for The Swapsies is on a Norwegian net label ‘EardrumsPop’ and they are collaborating with Steve from Young Explorer, he is an artist himself called ‘Jam on Bread’ - “he wrote a song with Andy and it is being released on a collaboration compilation album called ‘Between Two Waves’” Huw tells me. “The idea was to create a new band, and we’re called Green Land Sea - and I think its the best song we’ve done, its really exciting.”


There is no stopping The Swapsies. Doing It Yourself is a huge element of the band’s ethic, and this will only work in their favour in their quest to spread The Swapsies love.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Coming Soon...

Interview with The Swapsies


The Swapsies talk about the Liverpool music scene, the broad genre of 'indie-pop', collaborations and how they found their new member...

Coming soon to aworldofmusicandmadness!

Livvy x

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Life

I attended a funeral yesterday of a work colleague,  I had known him for about 3 years, and he was just 5 years older than me. 

I'm lucky that this was the first funeral I had been to, I was too young to remember my mums mum and dad passing, I didn't get taken to their funerals.

Safe to say it was a great shock, as it was for everybody there, seeing his family and hearing them cry, hearing his girlfriend's speech, seeing another friend from work carry his coffin, it was so heartbreaking.

I didn't know what to say to anyone, what do you say at a time like that? I don't know what to say about it now, I can't put it into words how heartbreaking it is. 

It's terrible but positive at the same time that such a horrible event has given me a massive shake, I am going to do my upmost to enjoy every day and not regret. I am going to try even harder to stop my chronic worrying and just live. Life really is too short.

Rest In Peace Lyam, I hope we can meet again some day.


Make the years count.


Livvy x

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Lovelypool




Liverpool Town Hall


I was inspired to post about my home city after watching this video in response to the awfully embarrasing 'This Is Liverpool' 'reality' show trailer.  

Albert Docks

As the video says - Liverpool can't really be summed up in one sentence. 

I saw the comedian Russell Kane at his Liverpool show last year and he said that when someone says they are from Liverpool, its the only place where it's not followed by the words 'it's a shit hole'. 

It's hard to explain how good the city is, how great the city is. You have to visit it to understand -  as the video says, it has the 'We'll look after you mate' kind of attitude. 

I know people think that the accent might be a bit harsh on the ear sometimes, I have thought that myself before - but its the accent and whole personality of the city and the people in it, the architecture and the hidden gems of the city, the endless music scene, the great nights out, the coastal spots which could be mistaken for a holiday destination (on a sunny day!) which make it 'Lovelypool'.


Livvy x

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Jade Ann - Manchester academy 3 - 8th March

On International Womens Day, Jade Ann stood her ground on an all male bill in her support slot at Black Lights' headline show at Manchester's Academy 3. 

Her set was around 45 minutes long and consisted of six of her own compositions and featured ambient percussion from a talented drummer Matt Wheelton. 

Jade Ann is currently studying Music at Salford University and is getting very well known in the Manchester and Greater Manchester music scenes. 

Looking nervous as she tunes her guitar, as soon as she is stood in front of the microphone and begins playing her guitar, you know she belongs there. 

With a great range of vocal ability, you could compare her to the likes of Joni Mitchell and Kate Bush. But with her individuality, in my opinion she isn't really like anyone else, she is completely and totally herself, bursting with humility and full of mind blowing talent. 

I expect huge things for Jade Ann. 

She ended the set with her recently released single titled 'Midsummer'. Catch up with Jades gigs and recordings on her Facebook page here 





Thursday, 6 March 2014

Save Our Libraries!

Libraries are at the very heart of our communities, but many local authorities are being left with no choice but to close them due to the depth and frontloading of cuts being made to local authority budgets by the Tory-led Government.
The effects will be felt across the country – reports suggest that up to 400 libraries could be facing closure, potentially resulting in up to 6,000 librarians losing their jobs.
Closing and reducing access to libraries will remove or reduce Internet access for the 25% of Britons who do not have it at home, place more strain on already stretched school library services and impact on adult education.
This just isn’t right.
 As Alan Gibbons, the children’s author and founder of the Campaign for the Book says
“Libraries are indispensable community hubs, places of education, browsing, culture, reading for pleasure and for self-improvement. They have computers, e-books and traditional books. They bridge physical and digital reading and provide access to information technology to those who might be excluded by lack of money. They are a place to meet and they are most heavily used by the young and the elderly. They are so effective that one of the top performing countries in education libraries, South Korea, is building 180 more. Any society that permits the decline of its library service is committing cultural seppuku and if you don’t know what that means, you definitely need a library!”
Reading for pleasure in early years is of direct benefit to literacy levels. Often, a love of learning begins in the library. It is an non-threatening environment that has the power to diminish disadvantage. And not everyone has access to the internet or can afford books. It is also a haven for those with nowhere to study at home.  With guidance, learners can develop the ability to find, recognise and analyse information that significantly improves their cognitive ability. Information literacy is a skill for the workplace. 
Libraries can be real hubs in communities and help them to flourish. Reading has to be at the heart of the mix (I do not buy for a second the idea that books are obsolete). This is all the more important at a time when four million children in the UK do not own a book, and when as many as one in six adults have trouble reading; illiteracy is thought to cost our economy up to £81bn a year. 
Get involved!
Write to your local MP’s 
Sign the petition 
Send in your photos of world book day, 
Tweet us with quotes,
@SalfordLabStud #saveourlibraries 
Thank you!
Collaboration with CWPTMedia - check out his blog here!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Bruno Major - Manchester Deaf Institute - 15th February 2014




Last night on a cold and rainy evening in Manchester, there was nothing better than to chill out in Manchester's Deaf Institute main bar with friends, have some drinks and listen to some brilliant music. 
Yesterday was the first stop on Bruno Major's solo tour, the venue had the atmosphere of an east London club, Hoxton perhaps - fairy lights, a minimalist disco ball, lights dimmed and never a quiet moment at the bar. After a soundcheck half an hour before his stage time, in comes Bruno Major, carrying his baby blue Fender Stratocaster, he plugs in and begins his set with his song about his father 'Old Man'.

Bruno told short stories about the songs he has written and the covers that he played, he noticed Tom and I singing along to his song 'Just Cos Your Beautiful' and he was very surprised and grateful. As he was rounding up his set we shouted for more and Tom requested his cover of Ray Charles' 'Losing Hand' and he was more than happy to play his fantastic version.  



He played two extra songs as we shouted for more, and ended playing his keyboard, giving us his beautiful love song 'Home'.

There aren't many artists who can play a set solo for 45 minutes and still have the same amount of attention from the audience as he did when he first walked on the stage, but he did. The only people I've seen that can do that are Bruno and KT Tunstall. I've seen him play solo twice now and with a band once, and its his talent in his musicianship which shines through each time he plays. 

After the set we shook his hand, spoke a bit and told him how great his set was. He told us about visiting LA with his record label and the process of recording his album. It's only the beginning for Bruno Major, just watch, in a few years I can see him with a session on BBC 6 Music, album released and another on its way, and an even bigger fan base.


Livvy x

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Bruno Major


Bruno Major is an up and coming singer songwriter hailing from North London, his voice has the sound of a man twice his age and he is the mixture of Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix and Jamie Cullum. 

I expect huge things for Bruno, in the past year he has been signed to Virgin Records, been on songwriting trips to LA, played at Hyde Park with Rolling Stones, played at Hard Rock Calling and as I have mentioned in previous posts, supported Lissie on her UK tour. 

Tom and I were lucky enough to catch his solo set at Hard Rock Calling last year and we were really impressed. His songs are most definitely suited to shows on BBC Radio 2 or BBC 6 Music. 

Bruno is about to embark on a solo tour across the UK beginning next Saturday at Manchester's Deaf Institute.



Livvy x


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The Past Couple Of Weeks In Photos



(L-R, Top to bottom)

I ordered new glasses - Givenchy! I splashed out as I was due an eye test and my eyes have got worse! I had the best experience at Optical Express, it is expensive, but it's worth it! 

I bought new stationary - Thanks to DollyBowBow's youtube, I found out about this really cute stationary in Wilkinsons, I wanted to buy all of it, but I thought £9 of it was enough...

I watched Matilda with my boyfriend - For the first time in probably about 10 years, we sat down and enjoyed one of the great films of the 90's, and we still enjoyed it as much as we did when we were children!

We booked a holiday - To Paris! I can't wait, easter weekend we jet off (on the eurostar), we  got a great hotel and train deal with Eurostar and for 3 nights we will be wearing berets, eating french bread, drinking wine and soaking up all of the culture.

We took Georgie for a walk down the canal - Georgie is Tom's dog, she is a gorgeous german shepherd and I love her! 

I got back to drawing - I used to love drawing when I was at school, so I began sketching again, I thought my first attempt was pretty good!

We got exited about Paris - Tom and I have experienced the WONDERS of Laduree in London, we've been to three out of the four in London, and we just can't wait to get to the Paris Laduree's!

I remembered our trip to London - At Christmas we had a really fantastic trip down to London, just for one night and a full day, and I loved it a lot, I took this picture at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, It was magical.

I missed home - Where I live back home is near to an army training camp, so near it you see many signs telling you to watch out for tanks! I'm at University in Greater Manchester, and I am finding it very hard at the moment and I miss my Mums cuddles. No matter how old you are, you always need your Mum.


Livvy x

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Swapsies


(Andy, Huw, Sean, El - The Swapsies)

The Swapsies hail from my native 'Lovelypool' (Liverpool) and are a four piece who play pop-folk-scouse-skiffle-lovely-great-just lovely music.

As you know I recently supported them at their EP launch in December, and they are a great bunch of people. 

Their EP 'Sparrows' was released on December 2nd and you can get it HERE.

The EP features brilliant harmonies and humorous lyrics, my favourite is 'Kisses Are Free' - a loveable love song which will instantly make you like them. 

There will definitely be more to come from The Swapsies. Like them on Facebook HERE for more info.

Livvy x

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Happy New Year

A lot has happened this past month, apologies for not posting, I'm in complete holiday mode at the moment, my typing isn't what it used to be.. but I am back for an update and a wish of a very Happy New Year to everyone. 

I had my first support slot gig last month, a friend of mine from work back in Liverpool and my old recording teacher (and friend!) from college asked me to support their band at their EP launch gig. I was terrified but I jumped and did it; it gave me a kick up the arse, I wrote a new song within a week, which is a record as I usually write half a song a year.


The gig poster (with my name on!!!)

It went really well and I felt so comfortable, one of my resolutions in this new year is definitely to get out and play more.

I finished uni for christmas, I did my presentation for one of my modules, I've stressed over my essays (and still stressing!) but I made it to the end of a very good year. I've spent the past 3 weeks having the time of my life, I went to London for a last minute Christmas shopping trip with my boyfriend, I spent Christmas seeing my family and I got to spend some of it with my lovely boyfriend and his lovely family, and I got to spend New Years getting very drunk and playing guitar till 4am with them! 

I love the end of a year, its like finishing a good book, what will happen in the next? we'll see...

Livvy x