As The Summer Season Starts, So Does A Massive ‘Shockwave’ In The Music Industry

As last summer came to a close, it seemed so did Liam Gallagher’s solo career. Since releasing ‘As You Were‘ in October 2017, the Gobby Gallagher brother seemed be a on a wave of never ending thrills performing around world on his first solo tours, to various festival headlining and 2 of his most massive shows to date in the summer of last year, Finsbury Park in London and Emirates Lancashire Cricket Club in his hometown of Manchester.

After all that carnage, nothing but a couple of tweets to keep fans occupied. Many people believed he had his run and there was nowhere else to go for this superstar, likewise there were many fans which believed there could be something still on the horizon. 61079382_441537553332520_4233143042372430510_n

Toward the end of 2018, he tweeted saying he had been with ‘an army of songwriters’ in LA. However, nothing seemed to come of it. Earlier on this year, he revealed there would be a film released later on in the year documenting his life with exclusive performances included called ‘As It Was‘. It may not have been quite what we were asking from Liam but fans were still satisfied.

As winter became spring, we had finally got the news all fans had been eagerly waiting for, a tweet simply stating ‘Album 2 in the bag Dya want some LG x’. Finally our prayers had been answered. lggggg

On the 6th of June, his documentary was released into cinema’s, the day after it was available to rent as a digital copy and finally available to purchase in stores on the 10th of June.

Despite all that, the key date in all this was June the 7th, the day his new single ‘Shockwave‘ was released. A track which shows his obvious swagger but a mix of his old style from Oasis with parts of his new solo style too.liam-gallagher-shockwave.jpg

This new tune by LG is very different to the previous tracks from his first album ‘As You Were‘. The opening is extremely powerful like many of the rock n roll ballads from Oasis’s first album ‘Definitely Maybe‘, I can hear ‘Slide Away‘ within the guitars starting slow building into something immense. However, the pace of the track is similar to ‘Greedy Soul‘ from his previous album. Vocally, I hear very similar tones to ‘She’s Electric‘ from ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory‘. That’s one of the things that makes this track so perfect, we have the parts of the cocky young man who was in oasis but it’s paired which a much more mature demeanour experimenting but not straying from what makes him great. Lyrically, this is one of his better solo tracks too just because of how visual some of the lines are ‘And the pain you feel, is washing over me‘. It is essential artists leave us guessing and give us chance to interpret the lyrics and with lyrics like theses, that’s exactly what Liam Gallagher has done.

Three days ago, the cheeky Mancunian got us all very excited once again sharing with social media his second solo album ‘Why Me? Why Not‘ will be released the 20th of September.

If it’s anything like ‘Shockwave‘ I for one, cannot f**king wait.

 

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The Balance – Album Review

Ahead of their massive World Tour, Catfish and The Bottlemen release their third studio album, ‘The Balance‘.

As NME said, ‘Sometimes the formula just works’. I say, if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.

Earlier this year, January the 8th to be exact, the welsh indie rocker’s gave us a taste of what was to come of their next 11 track masterpiece, releasing the single ‘Longshot’ which features as the opening track for this album. A simply sublime opener.

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Track number three, another single which was released before the album, ‘2all‘, is also a fantastic song which deserve much praise and credit. It opens with simple vocals and the strumming of a guitar building to an immense riff like many of Catfish’s tunes. The chorus- a chant of ‘They said, “I give my love to all, all the ones that stuck around, the ones I counted on, when I needed to get out”‘ which I imagine will be bellowed out by fans in stadiums around the world as this track not only unites everyone but is a massive crowd pleaser too.

Very much like Catfish and The Bottlemen’s usual ‘formula’ they always include the more stripped back, acoustic tracks on their albums. ‘The Balcony‘ gave us ‘Hourglass‘, ‘The Ride‘ gave us ‘Glasgow‘ and ‘Heathrow‘, likewise their latest album gave us ‘Intermission‘. A simple track with dark and mysterious chords, only lasting 1 minute and 48 seconds. Throughout you feel as if there may be a massive guitar solo arising or something drastic but as the track fades out, the lyrics finish with ‘Keeps me hanging round‘ which completely describes how it makes the listener feel.

When looking for the definition of an ‘Intermission’ many words which allude to it is ‘interval’ and ‘interlude’. This song gives us a break from the heavy rock tracks we have heard before. However, the next track, appropriately name ‘Mission‘, smashes it out the park and shows us exactly what the previous track was warming us up for. Uplifting, complicated, perfection. Every part of this song is equally special as it is compelling with the lyrics even from the first verse ‘Simple things, get them right and you’ll have enough to last your life‘ paired which intricate beats, chords and rhythms.

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Another extremely common theme within Catfish and The Bottlemen’s songs is Van McCann’s ability to make us all a bit weak when he hear him singing more closely and intensely into the microphone. Track number ten ‘Coincide‘ is a perfect example through the hook ‘And that’s when we start considering the side door dart, you text me saying save me ’cause they’re trying to fill my head with all the same shit‘. One of Indie Rock’s most admirable men has us believing he’s really got our back when he sings in that intriguing tone.

This album may not stray away from their previous two albums but they are the band we know and love, and overall it’s a very solid album with various great tracks and I, for one, cannot wait to see them on their upcoming tour.Image result for four out of five stars image

 

Perfect Pick-Me-Up’s

Sometimes in life we all need a bit of a pick-me-up for those times when we don’t always feel 100%. Whether I feel up or indeed down, I always turn to music because I know they’ll always be a track to fit whatever mood I’m feeling.

These are 5 songs that give me good vibes which I feel should be shared with anyone who needs a few joyful jams in their life.

1. Smile – Lily Allen

This song opens with an upbeat instrumental, like in many of Lily’s tracks, which puts most in a good mood to hear and hopefully even a grin from ear to ear too. The lyrics are not only genius but relatable and some what reassuring too. ‘At worst I feel bad for a while, but then I just smile, I go ahead and smile’ to let anyone who needs to hear it know, you will smile again. It’s also a big f*ck you to whoever the song reminds you of because ‘when I see you cry, it makes me smile‘ bringing out all our petty sides!

2. Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen

The opening line, ‘Tonight, I’m gonna have myself a real good time’, just explains why this song is so not only amazing but so positive. I believe this song gets you pumped up with the banging drums and crazy guitar solo but also transfers you to a completely different place with all the references to space ‘floating around in ecstasy’, ‘defying the laws of gravity’ etc. When the bridge hits, when Queen chant, ‘Don’t stop me, don’t stop me, don’t stop me (Hey, hey, hey!)‘ you cannot help but join in and enjoy yourself. A superb track I hope you’ll agree!

Named Number 1 on the Telegraphs 10 Most Uplifting Songs.

3. Hey Ya! – OutKast

How to describe this track in one word? Funky. It’s not only a floor filler, a 00’s classic but lively, cheerful song too. It starts off with fast rapping about love, which either makes a song very happy or very sad, but in this case it’s very humourous. ‘Hey Ya!’ is not only a song that elate’s a listener but contains lyrics that can make even the grumpiest laugh too. ‘Don’t want to meet your daddy…just want you in my caddy’ ‘Don’t want to meet ya mamma…just want to make you cumma…I’m just being honest‘ And of course not forgetting mine and probably everybody’s favourite part when the refrain hits ‘Shake it like a Polaroid Picture’ which is bound not only to make you move your feet but perk you up too.

4. Dancing Queen – ABBA

Sublime disco instrumentals and melodies, brilliant lyrics, oh well it must be an ABBA track then. Whether you’re an ABBA fan or not, there is no denying that this a fabulous, joyous song. Being sang ‘You are the dancing queen’You can dance, you can jive‘ and indeed ‘having the time of your life‘, literally, by the 4 Swedish sweethearts would boost anyone’s mood. It’s like disco going off in your ears! An outstanding, uplifting track.

Named Number 2 on the Telegraphs 10 Most Uplifting Songs.

5. Valerie- Mark Ronson (Featuring Amy Winehouse’

A (lets face it) far better cover of ‘Valerie‘ which was previously released by The Zutons in 2006. This version is a funky, soulful track with the use of a wide range of instruments paired with perfect vocals not only makes the record moving and a boost for the soul but one of the best in musical history. The opening, Amy’s speech ‘Sorry Charlie Murphy I was having too much fun‘ not only makes you laugh but for those who need a cheerful form of wit is provided too. This is definitely a song that unites mates in a sing-song for sure.

Named Number 2 on ’20 Happy Songs to Play When You Just Want to Feel Good’ on The Oprah Magazine website.

For more tracks to boost your mood or match your feelings check out the ‘Mood‘ tab on Spotify.

30 Years of Citrus Sucking Sunshine Songs. The Stone Roses Debut Album Review.

This year, on the 2nd of May, marks 30 years since the release, by one of British music scenes biggest and most memorable bands, debut album, self titled, The Stone Roses. (Band Members- Frontman/Singer Ian Brown, Guitarist John Squire, Bassist Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield, Drummer Alan ‘Reni’ Wren).

Despite being released in the year of 1989, the record is still loved and listened to by many this very day. Many agree this album was one of the biggest in the ‘Madchester Culture’ movement and changed not only a lot a lot of people’s lives, but the music industry too and the stereotype of a rock star.

Before the release of this album, the band may have started to really break out into the industry and their fame was rising, but when the public got a hold of this record, things really changed for this band. Young minds were captivated.

It’s very important when releasing an album that the opening track is right. When I say right, I mean it’s got to set a tone and an expectation for the rest of the songs, it’s got to blow people’s f**king minds and make sure they keep listening on. That’s exactly why the Roses got it so right with ‘I Wanna Be Adored‘.

It starts off with the slow progression of a guitar building as the song develops, as the drums are introduced we hear the ever so well-known guitar riff which makes the song so recognisable. The lyrics are so simple, yet so right, ‘I don’t have to sell my soul, he’s already in me‘ sung by Brown. There are various interpretation of the songs meaning, one being that it was an apology to the true, early fans when the band signed for a record company. However, it’s been said Brown described the song as a representation of our need for fame and ‘how individuals will do anything to be idolized‘. Whatever your view, we can all agree the song is one of their best.

The second track lives up the expectation set by the opening track, maybe even exceeds them. ‘She Bangs The Drums‘ is fantastic in every way possible. Squire and Mani’s guitars sound perfect together. As for Reni’s drums, a dream come through, superb. Paired with the famous lyrics sung by Brown ‘The past was yours but the futures mine‘. The whole track from start to finish is memorizing. It’s no shocker to find this is one of their best and most well-known songs, streamed 30, 264, 290 times on Spotify up to date.

I couldn’t do this album review without mentioning of course, ‘I Am The Resurrection‘. The song opens with the sound of Reni’s drums clashing and smashing together to create an excellent beat. We then hear the rumble of Mani’s base and Brown’s chant-like vocals. Each lyric sung with pure enthusiasm and passion so different to Brown’s chilled exterior but self-assured demeanor. Each verse in this track is like a teaser for the big finale when the ‘I am the resurrection and I am the life‘ hits which makes it all so satisfying. Critics describe Brown as taking on a christ like role during the track. The song is so is unique and their has never been anything quite like it since, not to mention it’s rumoured that it was recorded in one take.

The whole album is agreeably unreal and I believe theirs nothing else out there that compares. ‘Elizabeth My Dear’ about Brown’s hate for the monarchy and the queen mother who he alledgly said he’d offer to put a bag over her head. There’s also the iconic ‘(Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister’ where ‘Every member of parliament trips on glue‘. It is essential I also mention the funky ‘Fools Gold‘ and the phenomenal ‘Waterfall‘ both make an appearance on this album too.

If you haven’t heard this album before (for some very strange reason) I am sure I will have convinced you to listen. If, like me, you’re already a Roses lover, go and give em’ a listen, you can’t get enough of good music.

The album is available on Spotify and Apple music. Happy listening!

It Once Seemed Like a ‘Longshot’, But We Are About to See The Second Coming of Catfish and The Bottlemen.

Remember back in 2013 when a band we’d never heard of (even though they formed in 2007) released 3 tracks which are now some of the biggest in modern-day Indie Rock, ‘Rango‘, ‘Homesick‘ and ‘Pacifier‘. In 2014, the same band then released more (now) massive tracks such as ‘Kathleen‘. Followed, by a debut album, ‘The Balcony‘ and a UK wide tour, 4 lads from the Welsh town of Llandudno were recognised by the big guns such as MTV and rose to fame. I am, of course, talking about Catfish and The Bottlemen.After hundreds of live performance including festivals and tours, and the release of their second album in 2016 ‘The Ride‘, in 2017 it was rumoured the band, consisting of Van McCann, Benji Blakeway, Robert Hall and Johnny Bond, had decided to split up. Being a big fan and an active twitter user myself, I can confidently say everyone lost their f***ing minds.

Odd random international festival performances and tours over an 18 month period gave us no real hope they would ever do much again, till the start of 2019 when we finally got our Catfish fix we so desperately needed.

On the 9th of January, the band released the single ‘Longshot‘, which is set to be the lead single of their third album. This single is not only a brilliant track but stays true to the same style we know and love from them. Despite only being released a few weeks ago, it’s now the boys top song on their Spotify profile.Within the past few weeks they have now revealed the album name ‘The Balance‘, which will be released the 26th of April this year, and the track list via social media.Not only did we get that very unexpected surprise, but the most important and exciting news, the band are now preparing for a UK wide Arena tour this spring.For fans to bag themselves a ticket to the gigs they can either pre-order the album on the official store website with a chance to enter the pre sale or wait to the general sale on Friday the 1st of February, I imagine all the dates will be a very quick sell out.

So the long-awaited tour is finally happening and the third album is finally ready, for fans, it’s a dream come true. I cannot wait to see what 2019 has for one of the most popular Indie Rock in the past decade!

To listen to the band check them out on Spotify or if you want to see more about their upcoming gigs, check them out Instagram.

Three Spotify Session Singles that must be listened to.

spotifySpotify Sessions has created some amazing tracks from originals that are stripped back, which sound not only raw but deep and intense as well. However, it has also created some amazing covers too, some even better than the original tracks themselves. Below are some of my favourites which I have come across recently.

1.Blank Space/Stand By Me – Imagine Dragons

This song is mashup of Taylor Swift‘s massive chart topper ‘Blank Space‘ and one of the biggest songs in music history ‘Stand By Me’ originally by Ben E King but has been covered by various artists over the years. The song starts with Imagine Dragons lead vocalist Dan Reynolds expressing about how he loves the melodies in this song to the crowds amusement. It kicks off with the well-known soft melodies that are easily recognisable of that of ‘Stand By Me‘, until the vocals are introduced you cannot really tell it’s going to be a cover of ‘Blank Space‘ too, but some how it just works. The shift between one song to the next is so smooth and effortless, despite the songs being so different, the mashup together is just a dream for the ear.

2. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/ Helter Skelter – Paul McCartney

My second track is also a mashup, this single is of ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band‘ and ‘Helter Skelter‘ by The Beatles performed by one of the main former Beatles, Paul McCartney. It kicks off with an epic drum solo, later combined with an electrifying guitar, paired with Paul’s amazing vocals which appears to be a match made in heaven. Unlike the previous track the shift from song to song may not be smooth, instead we have Paul thanking the crowd for coming for the night and just after the smashing of the cymbals, we are introduced to ‘Helter Skelter‘ by the sound of a powerful guitar. I think the main thing this track is really saying to the listener is that McCartney has still bloody got it!

3. Leave (Get Out) – Anne-Marie

My final track is a cover of one of the 00’s biggest hits by JoJo, ‘Leave (Get Out)’. This version of the hit is much more stripped back and acoustic, rather than the original which was more of a Pop single. Anne-Marie‘s voice in this cover not only sounds angelic but in my opinion, better than any of the tracks I have heard her sing before. She simply doesn’t put a note wrong and puts her own spin on each verse, sounding not only perfect but powerful too, especially within the chorus where she sings every line with a great energy that expresses her heart is really invested in the song. It could genuinely be mistaken that the track is not a cover, but a song she has written herself.

If you want to check out any of the following, head to Spotify and check out the Spotify Singles tab today.

As the Colder Seasons Arrive, So Does the Return of Arctic Monkeys

Review of Sheffield Fly DSA Arena Gig 22nd of September 2018.

Last week on Tuesday the 18th, Wednesday the 19th, Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd, one of the greatest Indie Rock bands from across the world graced the biggest stage there hometown has to offer and I was lucky enough to see them Saturday night.

Arctic Monkeys started off the year by announcing a tour across the UK and America. In the following month of May, they released their sixth studio album Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino. Summer came and the Steel City superstars travelled around the world headlining massive festivals like TRNSMT and Mad Cool.

Pretty good from a group of lads from High Green.

This success is obviously amazing but for the band and fans alike, I’m sure the energy and pure enthusiasm from both sides cannot compare to like a gig in their hometown.

On Saturday night, Alex and the boys sord through the roof of the Fly DSA Arena playing an array of their hits from old ones such ‘I Bet That You Look Good On The Dance Floor‘ ‘Brianstorm‘ and ‘From The Ritz To The Rubble‘ to more recent numbers such as ‘For Out Of Five‘ ‘Star Treatment‘ and ‘One Point Perspective‘ as well as many other popular songs from their years in the business.

The whole gig for myself, and I can confidently presume other fans, was something never to forget. Some of the highlights include ‘Brianstorm‘ as the crowd literally went mental and the various moments inbetween songs where the crowd were singing back some of their most popular tunes such a ‘Mardy Bum‘ to the band.

Music is generally that something brings different individuals together and unites them and I can definitely say I got that sense at that gig.