Thursday, 29 September 2016

The Shires | My Universe - Released Friday 30th September

Image result for the shires my universe album review
The Shires are back with their second studio album My Universe released tomorrow. The duo are leading a surge in youth interest in country music (Music Week). According to a new CMA (Country Music Association) study, 47% of 18-24 year olds now identify themselves as country music fans. The reception of country music has changed rapidly over the past few years, Taylor Swift brought country music to the masses and now with UK stars such as Ward Thomas and The Shires, the popularity of the genre will continue to grow. 
Last year The Shires became the first UK country act to have a top 10 album and they were the biggest selling country music act in the UK (this includes US country artists),  
Their first single Beats To Your Rhythm sounds almost as if it was tailor made for Radio 2 with it's catchy chorus and stomping drum beat. The pair are much loved by the station, they have had 5 A list singles and are the album of the week this week.
This second album showcases their trademark harmonies, their voices blended together are perfection. This is shown especially on track 3 - Not Even Drunk Right Now.

This record also includes some beautiful ballads showcasing Ben Earle & Crissie Rhodes' songwriting talents. 
Naked is a beautiful love song evoking much emotion through Crissie's gorgeous vocal. Daddy's  Little Girl is a real tear jerker - written by Crissie about her late father.
Everything You Never Gave is a heartfelt story of the absence of his father and what he's learned not to do with his own son. Ben has recently become a father, in fact he almost missed their slot at Glastonbury as he was at the birth of his son just hours before they were due on for their heatline slot on the acoustic stage.
As well as ballads, the album includes some great up beat tracks - A Thousand Hallelujahs is a great country anthem featuring a cracking catchy chorus and of course a banjo throughout.
The success of The Shires is set to continue and I can imagine this album will be a contender for a spot in the top 5 of the album charts, if not number 1.
My Universe is released tomorrow on Decca Records.
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Thursday, 21 July 2016

Lissie - Live Session BBC Radio 2 - Wednesday 20th July

Hi everyone, 

Lissie was on Jo Whiley's Radio 2 show last night, we all know she is one of my favourite artists. 
She played some songs from her new album My Wild West and she also did a fantastic cover of The Bangles classic Eternal Flame.

Have a listen by clicking on the link below, it was a fabulous session and a great interview with Jo Whiley. The show also featured a really interesting interview with Keith Richards.

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Friday, 1 July 2016

Carole King

On Sunday, I am seeing arguably one of the greatest singer-songwriters ever. Carole King. For the first time she is playing the whole of her seminal album, Tapestry
I'm so excited! Have a look at this great article below written by Bob Stanley

Carole King's Tapestry feels like a comfort blanket, until you hear the anxiety within it

There she is, a picture of domestic bliss, a cat curled up beside her, relaxed in a baggy jumper, her hair uncombed - free at last. Tapestry looks like an album of restfulness and contentment. On the reverse side of the cover are the song titles and lyrics, printed on a muted brown that looks like parchment.


Thursday, 30 June 2016

KT Tunstall | Evil Eye, EP and Tour

My absolute hero is BACK. She's back with a new single, EP, album on the way and a TOUR! I couldn't be more thrilled. I didn't think it was even possible but she sounds better than ever. It's the one and only, the epitome of cool, KT Tunstall. 

Her first release is the rocking tune Evil Eye. She hasn't strayed from her usual rock and roll style. Take a listen to the cracking tune by clicking HERE!

To top it off, KT is going on tour in October and November! I've already got my tickets to Manchester! Check out if she's coming to a town near you below

Her EP Golden State is available to download on iTunes now, with a new album to follow soon!


1 - Evil Eye
2 - All of Nothing
3 - The Healer
4 - Evil Eye (Django Django's Mad Drums Remix)
You can pre order her new album, plus get a whole load of other cool things including a signed polaroid of KT herself on Pledge Music.

Monday, 13 June 2016

The Other Side of Mi-Dnight Photographic Exhibition - Old Granada Studios - till 20th June

On Thursday I was invited to the opening of the Other Side of Mi-dnight exhibition, celebrating the moments we got lost in the music.

Old Granada Studios have teamed up with Print Space, the producers of the successful Lost in Music exhibitions in London to bring us an even bigger and better exhibition celebrating the moments when we got lost in the music. 
The images span over six decades and they feature work from Andy Carroll, Matt Squire, Brian Cannon and many more. 

There are photographs of many well known artists including Stone Roses, The Smiths and David Bowie. They also show intimate photos of fans and audience members getting lost in the music.

The exhibition is only on until 20th June, so be quick if you want to see it. It's at Old Granada Studios, Manchester - open daily 12 noon - 7pm, best of all it's free entry.

The venue space is perfect to host the exhibition, I was very exited to visit the Old Granada studios where so many television programs have been filmed. 

The exhibition is in partnership with Scotts Menswear, City Life and Old Granada Studios.

Pictures by Tom Carroll Photography

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Thursday, 9 June 2016

Why I've been away...

Here I am again with excuses why I haven't been posting. I know, I know, forgive me!

The past couple of months have been really strange, and I'm still in a lot of shock. Last week we lost my lovely Nana. I still can't really believe it. We found out she had cancer just 5 weeks before she passed away, there is so much I want to say to her and thank her for, and now I can't. 

Please please please, make the time count with your loved ones. There is so much I should have said to her in her final weeks but for some reason I was too scared, I didn't want to upset her and probably I didn't want to face the fact that we were losing her, and now it is too late. 

I just wish I could give her one last hug, and say thanks for all the fun times we had when I was growing up. She did so much for my sister and me, she was fantastic.

I am glad she isn't in pain anymore and she is reunited with my Granddad. They had a wonderful 60 years of marriage together before he passed away last November.

So, apologies that I haven't posted in a few weeks, I'll be back with a post soon, I promise!

Sunday, 15 May 2016


I haven't done a personal post for a good while, so I thought I would update you all on a few things. 
I have a new job! My first job out of uni really wasn't doing it for me, I won't go into it but I really wasn't happy there, but I stuck it out till I found something better and boy, have I found something better now! 
It has been exactly a year since I handed in my dissertation - I don't know where that time has gone! I am thinking about publishing it somewhere online. In case you don't know I wrote it about the popularity of Stock, Aitken and Waterman and as I found when I was writing it, there isn't a lot written about them so maybe it could help someone else's research? Please let me know if anyone would like to read it!
I just celebrated my 23rd birthday and the lovely Tom took me to Dublin, safe to say I have fallen in love with the whole place! I am already planning when we can go next! We went to the Guinness storehouse, wandered around O'Connell street and Grafton Street and of course drank in almost every pub in Temple Bar. We stayed at the gorgeous Temple Bar Hotel and it was fabulous, it definitely should have more than 3 stars!  
Here's a picture of us by the River Liffey after a few pints!

For the past week I have been playing Roisin O's new single non-stop, it is fantastic. Check out the great video below. She is a fantastic talent and deserves all the success, I hope to see her hit the charts in England very soon. 
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Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Gregory Porter | Take Me To The Alley Review - Out 6th May

This Friday (6th May) sees Gregory Porter release his 4th studio album Take Me To The Alley. 

The man in the hat is back with the follow up to his platinum selling album Liquid Spirit, which last year became the most streamed jazz album of all time. 
Porter's music and vocal talent has led him to connect with audiences of all ages; he even had hits in the dance world last year with the Claptone Remix of Liquid Spirit, and with the Disclosure track Holding On. The album opens with the original version of Holding On

Porter says that some of the inspiration for the record came from the energy the Pope brought to New York when he was visiting New York at the same time Porter was in town making the album. The record has many hints of Porter's religious roots as his Mother was a minister back in his home town of Bakersfield, California. What always stands out on Porter's records is his incredibly smooth vocal, which gets even smoother when he reaches down to his lower vocal register.

This record shows that Porter can sing almost anything, from the upbeat bluesy Don't Lose Your Steam and the groovy French African Queen to the slow ballads More Than A Woman and the title track Take Me To The Alley. Commercial success is very rare for albums released in the jazz genre, but this album is sure to be as successful as his last, maybe even more.

Track Listing
1. Holding On (Gregory Porter/James John Napier/Guy William Lawrence/Howard John Lawrence)
2. Don't Lose Your Steam (Porter)
3. Take Me To The Alley (Porter)
4. Day Dream (Gregory Porter/Craig Dawson)
5. Consequence of Love (Porter)
6. In Fashion (Porter)
7. More Than A Woman (Porter)
8. In Heaven (Darlene Andrews, Gregory Porter’s cousin)
9. Insanity (Porter)
10. Don't Be A Fool (Porter)
11. Fan The Flames (Porter)
12. French African Queen (Porter)
Take Me To The Alley is released Friday 6th May on Decca Records. 

Check out this great video of Porter singing Don't Lose Your Steam


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Sunday, 24 April 2016

New Faces | Who's On The Tour?

Tonight sees the New Faces tour hit the Ruby Lounge in Manchester. Here is a little bit of information about each of the artists on the bill. 
The Beach

The Beach (real name George Morgan) is one to watch over the next year. His powerful vocals remind me of Tom Odell, but his fascinating melodies make him stand out from the sea of singer-songwriters we have at the moment. 

Watch this great acoustic video of him below.
Adam French

This 22 year old comes from Congleton, so tonight's show will be almost a homecoming for him. French has been heavily supported by BBC Introducing and played their stages at Reading and Leeds last year.
Check his song Euthanasia out below
Rukhsana Merrise

Rukhsana released her debut EP September Songs last year and it was very well received. She has been supporting James Bay on many of his shows so the New Faces tour is a great opportunity to see her in some small venues. 
Listen to the great track So They Say below

Matt Woods

He has just released his debut EP In The Dark. He is actually a classically trained chorister. His music is full of soul and he has a great vocal talent. Matt has a love for vocal harmony, check out his amazing technique below.
Tickets can be bought from the Communion Music website - CLICK HERE
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Thursday, 21 April 2016

New Faces Tour

This weekend sees the start of this years New Faces tour from Communion Music - a very highly respected independent promoter and record label. Previous acts on this tour have included Frances, who was shortlisted for the BRITS critics choice award this year and was nominated in this years BBC Sound of poll. 
This is a fantastic opportunity to see four fantastic up and coming artists who are definitely ones to watch over the next year. 
It begins on Saturday at Liverpool's East Village Arts Club and carries on through next week finishing in Bristol next Saturday. 
Stand by for a profile of all the acts. 
Here's a taster of what you will hear when you see the show
Rukhusana Merrise
Matt Woods

Adam French

The Beach

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Sunday, 10 April 2016

Corinne Bailey Ray | Stop Where You Are

Please check out this stunning new video from Corinne Bailey Ray for her new single Stop Where You Are. 

This song is sure to be a hit, every release of hers is like a breath of fresh air. The song is different to her previous releases Been To The Moon and Green Aphrodisiac as it is in more of a pop, Radio 2 playlist friendly style. Nonetheless the song is still terrific, the poetic lyrics are heavenly and her voice is seraphic. The slow jam vibe when the chorus kicks in really hits you in the heart. 
Corrine tweeted about the video - 
"I love how my SWYA video gets you to see the beauty in the mundane, the everyday, the concrete" 

As you know her third studio album The Heart Speaks In Whispers is due for release May 13th.
Corinne is supporting Lionel Richie on his UK tour in June, I'm sure some more headline shows will be announced soon. She played London's Tabernacle last week, check out the Guardian's review here.
Live Shows

(Supporting Lionel Richie)
14th – Eden Sessions, St Austell
15th – Eden Sessions, St Austell
18th – Liberty Stadium, Swansea
19th – Eirias Stadium, Colwyn Bay
22nd – Sheffield Arena, Sheffield
25th – Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester
26th – Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester
28th – Manchester Arena, Manchester
29th – Manchester Arena, Manchester

2nd – The O2, London
3rd – The O2, London
6th – The O2, London
7th – Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
Further Corinne Bailey Rae live shows in the UK
30th April – Live At Leeds (headline)
1st May – Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Cheltenham
9th June - Cornbury Festival, Oxfordshire

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Thursday, 24 March 2016


From Milo: 'As predicted The Wonder Stuff's opportunity at appearing in the official UK album chart this Friday is...
Posted by The Wonder Stuff on Wednesday, 23 March 2016
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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Gregory Porter | Don't Lose Your Steam | MUSIC VIDEO

"A voice to bathe in” - Independent

Soul Sensation GREGORY PORTER premieres video for new track 

Inspired by his son Demyan, lyrics describe “the energy and the legacy I want to give him to carry on through his life."

New album 'Take Me to the Alley, released on Decca Records 
on 6th May

The hotly anticipated follow up to the Grammy-winning, million-selling album Liquid Spirit

This generation’s most successful jazz and soul singer-songwriter, the man in the hat, Mr Gregory Porter, today announces the release of a new video for his new single ‘Don’t Lose Your Steam’.

The video, set in an LA barber shop launched today, providing visuals for the arresting and bluesy track, which Porter wrote with his three-year-old son Demyan in mind. Propelled by a stomping, organ-enhanced groove, Porter lyrics speak of staying committed to one’s goals, regardless of hardship. ‎

Gregory stated: “This song is about my son, the energy and the legacy I want to give him to carry on throughout his life, don’t lose your steam boy, don’t lose your steam. Demyan is 3 years old and he is already a great cat, very musical! He beats on everything. We gave him drumsticks but we tape socks to the head of it. Most of the furniture is ruined already."

Gregory’s new album 'Take Me To The Alley’ is released on Decca Records on 6th May and is the eagerly awaited follow-up to Porter's sensational modern classic, the Platinum-selling 'Liquid Spirit', which took the UK by storm last year as it broke into the Top 10 and became the most streamed jazz album of all time. The record quickly grew into a global phenomenon, selling a million albums worldwide, and positioning Porter as the voice of the moment. ‘Liquid Spirit’ took Porter from being the biggest name on the jazz scene to being one of the most sought-after singers around today, performing sell-out shows at such venues as London's Royal Albert Hall, the Roundhouse and Shepherd’s Bush Empire, and being invited to perform on high profile TV programmes including Graham Norton, Strictly Come Dancing and the BBC Music Awards.

Gregory Porter’s meteoric rise and breakout from the jazz world didn't stop there. The singer has time and again demonstrated an innate ability to transcend genre and connect with audiences from all walks of life. Porter was asked to be the guest vocalist on electronic duo Disclosure's lead single 'Holding On' from their 2015 album ‘Caracal’. BBC Radio 1 listeners were finally introduced to this voice and Gregory was invited by the station to perform in Ibiza, where not only the Disclosure track but his own – Liquid Spirit Claptone Remix – became the most popular tracks on the island. He had become the dance scene sensation of the summer.

Porter said of the new album: "With this record I continue to condense life experience into melody and most of all put love in the air. Very excited to share the music with my fans or anyone within the sound of my heart”

To see Gregory in action is a life experience and next month Gregory returns to the UK for an extensive headline tour, including two London dates. This demand, and level of public affection, has seen Porter become an adopted national treasure in the UK, having performed for the Queen multiple times, and graced the stages of the UK's best summer festivals, with a show-stopping performance at Glastonbury last year. 

A moving and passionate record, 'Take Me to the Alley' reveals even more about this unique artist, reminding us of the sheer talent of “golden-voiced” Gregory Porter.

Track listing for Take Me To The Alley: 

1. Holding On (Gregory Porter/James John Napier/Guy William Lawrence/Howard John Lawrence)

2. Don't Lose Your Steam (Porter)
3. Take Me To The Alley (Porter)
4. Day Dream (Gregory Porter/Craig Dawson)
5. Consequence of Love (Porter)
6. In Fashion (Porter)
7. More Than A Woman (Porter)
8. In Heaven (Darlene Andrews, Gregory Porter’s cousin)
9. Insanity (Porter)
10. Don't Be A Fool (Porter)
11. Fan The Flames (Porter)
12. French African Queen (Porter)

2016 UK Headline Tour Dates: 

04 APR London Royal Albert Hall
05 APR Southend Cliffs Pavilion

06 APR Bristol Colston Hall

08 APR Manchester Bridgewater Hall

09 APR Sheffield City Hall

10 APR Edinburgh Festival Theatre

11 APR Aberdeen His Majesty’s Theatre

12 APR Perth Concert Hall

14 APR Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

15 APR Sage Gateshead

16 APR Leicester De Montfort Hall

17 APR Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

19 APR Brighton Dome

20 APR Cardiff St David’s Hall

21 APR Poole Lighthouse

22 APR Plymouth Pavilions

24 APR Birmingham Symphony Hall

28 APR London Eventim Apollo

'Take Me To The Alley' is produced by Kamau Kenyatta

Reinforcing their well-honed rapport is the return of Porter’s core accompanying musicians – pianist and music director Chip Crawford, bassist Aaron James, drummer Emanuel Harrold, alto saxophonist Yosuke Sato, and tenor saxophonist Tivon Pennicott. Singer Alicia Olatuja, trumpeter Keyon Harrold, and organist Ondrej Pivec also make appearances throughout.

* “golden-voiced” - The Independent 
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Sunday, 20 March 2016

The Wonder Stuff 30th anniversary tour | Liverpool o2 academy 11th March 2016

Picture by Tom Carroll Photography

Last Friday saw The Wonder Stuff's 30th Anniversary tour hit Liverpool, and luckily Tom and I managed to see the fabulous show.

Established in 1986, Alternative rock band The Wonder Stuff penned hits such as 'Give Give Give Me More More More' and 'The Size Of A Cow'. With this year marking 30 years since the band was formed, they have been touring the UK throughout March and have released a new album '30 Goes Around The Sun'. 

The crowd was packed out at the O2 Academy, the lights went down and the band began with their track 30 Years In The Bathroom. 

When lead singer Miles introduced a song from the new album he was met with some boos from the crowd, to which Miles replied "You can boo all the fuck you want but just make sure it's in tune!!!". The whole show was full of banter from the charismatic lead singer.

Erica's violin playing was really mesmerising to watch, particularly on the track Mission Drive.  

The night showed that even after 30 years, they are still sounding fantastic. The show was full of energy; Miles finished their set with saying "Liverpool, it's been a fucking pleasure to play for you".

Picture by Tom Carroll Photography

Catch The Wonder Stuff on tour this year... 

24 MarGlasgowO2 ABCLink
25 MarNewcastleO2 AcademyLink
26 MarLeedsO2 AcademyLink
02 AprNottinghamRock CityLink
15 AprTokyoThe Liquid RoomLink
28 MayManchesterGigantic Indie All Dayer FestivalLink
29 MayNorwichDown By The River FestivalLink
9-12 JunNewportIsle of Wight FestivalLink
18 JunCheshamBuryfields FestivalLink
24 JulLeicesterSimon Says FestivalLink
27 AugThameTowersey FestivalLink

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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Emilie & Ogden | The Castle Hotel | 2nd March 2016

Midweek in a rainy, cold Manchester, I had the opportunity to see a brand new indie folk act I'll admit I had never heard of before - Emilie & Ogden. 
Before I get into Emilie & Ogden's set, I'll let you know about the fantastic support acts. 
(Zoe Stirling)
First there was Zoe Stirling, a former student of the Royal Northern College of Music. She's an acoustic, folk act with a really sweet voice. A few songs in, she shyly told us the crowd at the castle might be the biggest crowd she has ever played for. Zoe was very warmly welcomed and I'm sure we will see her more on the Manchester music scene.  
(Shauna Mackin)
Second was Shauna Mackin - already very well known on the Manchester Music Scene. She is a music graduate from The University of Salford - (where I graduated from as well!) Shauna usually plays with a full band but for this set she was only accompanied by an acoustic guitar. Her music is drenched in soul with hints of indie folk. She has a gorgeous soulful and strong voice, all of her songs are performed with passion and an endearing Irish charm. 
The Castle Hotel was absolutely packed for a Wednesday evening, you would have thought it was a Friday night! 
Now onto Emilie & Ogden - a truly unique act. Ogden is her harp which she accompanies her singing with. The second Emilie began playing and started to sing, she brought a very mystical aura over the room. 
(Emilie and Ogden)
It is very obvious when watching her perform, she is an immensely talented musician. Halfway through her set, Emilie explains to us how the harp is diatonic, like a piano. Throughout the set I was fixated on the way she played Ogden, you could see how much her music means to her with each string she plucked. During the performance there was total silence in the room as everyone was entranced by her sweet voice and musical talent, until the end of each song were the crowd erupted into applause.
Her set was filled with songs from her new album, 10,000. She also played a song every man and his dog knows - Taylor Swift's Style. 
I had never heard anything like Emilie & Ogden, I am grateful I had the opportunity to as it is introduced me to a brand new, unique indie folk act.
Pictures by
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