gig reviews

Live Review: Green Day @ Hyde Park - British Summer Time

Artist: Green Day

Venue:  Hyde Park, London, UK

Date: 1st July 2017

Rating: 10/10

Pyro! Flames! A t-shirt gun! Mass sing-a-longs! Chants of “fuck you Donald Trump!” Hey Ho, Let’s Go – it’s Green Day in Hyde Park and it doesn’t get better than this! The Oakland three piece have the tendency of turning the most enormous venues into the most intimate of settings and tonight is no exception; in reality we’re in a massive park in central London surrounded by 60,000 people but Billie Joe Armstrong and co work their socks off to create a spectacle that befits filling a vast space but with the unique feeling you could be crammed into a tiny basement club.

It’s the way in which Billie Joe Armstrong commands the gathered masses in-front of him that creates such an event – throughout the 2 hour-plus show, the consummate frontman has the London crowd eating out of the palm of his hand – instigating constant call and response chants, huge sing-a-longs and general pandemonium. Even before the trio finish their first song ‘Know Your Enemy’ – Armstrong is pleading to Hyde Park for someone to get up on stage to belt out the final verse. A plucky punter is pulled out of the heaving throng to enthusiastically yelp through the dying moments of the track. Classic Green Day song ‘Longview’ will see another lucky fan hauled onto the stage to confidently strut their stuff, whilst rubbing shoulders with their idols. For those Green Day diehards out there, they know when the Californian’s crank out Operation Ivy’s ‘Knowledge’ this is the point where Armstrong will amass a band from the crowd to blast out the old school punk belter – tonight is no different…well, with a twist – we only just about get someone who can play guitar. Upon getting a plucky guitarist on stage, it appears the willing volunteer doesn’t quite know her fretwork, so Armstrong has to drag out another fan to do the business. It’s not quite the same as past fan versions of ‘Knowledge’ but that matters not – blurring the lines between band and fan is where Green Day excel.

Green Day are appearing in Hyde Park as part of series of gigs under the banner of British Summer Time and today’s rosters pays homage to London and UK punk – the kind of music that helped fuel Green Day’s lust to pick up instruments in the first place. Joining the LA band are punk stalwarts The Damned, Stiff Little Fingers and The Stranglers, along with current touring buddies Rancid. It’s not all about those that have helped form Green Day’s sound though – fledgling groups such as The Orwells, Culture Abuse and Armstrong’s son’s outfit SWMRS are also part of Hyde Park line up. The latter two do a sterling job earlier in the afternoon, putting on their own incendiary performances. Culture Abuse straddle the lines between pop-punk and hardcore and pull a good size crowd at 1pm, just as doors open. SWMRS surely have been taking notes from Billie Joe Armstrong’s outfit, as frontman Cole Becker sure knows how to whip up a crowd. At 3pm on a little side stage, there’s crowd surfers, circle pits and lung bursting sing-a-longs – headliners in the making? Time will tell but given this mid-afternoon slot, SWMRS cut the shape of a confident outfit with killer songs to boot.

Given the title of Green Day’s 12th LP ‘Revolution Radio’ and previous records ‘American Idiot’ and ‘21st Century Breakdown’, Armstrong will make a handful of political statements during his band’s headlining show but he also calls for unity too – in amongst the “Fuck You Donald Trump”s, the pintsized punk troubadour urges us all to embrace love and diversity – no matter your skin colour, sexual orientation and religious beliefs, the message is clear and simple – choose love over hate.  You would expect a show with pockets of societal and political diatribes to dampen the party spirits but this doesn’t happen – there are guffaws a plenty especially when the band delve into the fancy dress box to adorn silly hats and wigs to sprint through ‘King for a Day’ and a melody of ‘Shout/Always Look on the Bright Side of Life/Teenage Kicks/ (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction/Hey Jude”.

With a track listing pushing nearly 30 songs, picking a stand out moment is a tough task but special mentions need to be paid to a blistering version of ‘Basket Case’, ‘Hitchin’ a Ride’s grating stomp, ‘St Jimmy’ spirals like a firecracker hurled down an elevator shaft, ‘American Idiot’ takes on a new resonance with Trump now in office instead of George Bush – swapping one incompetent buffoon for another one – albeit with a bad toupee and a spray tan, and ‘Jesus of Suburbia’ is a fitting end to the first encore. Out of the newbies, ‘Young Blood’ and ‘Bang Bang’ prove to be future classics and the double whammy of ‘Still Breathing’ and ‘Forever Now’ close the main set – propelling them to almost cult status.

With ‘Jesus of Suburbia’ still fizzing in our ears, Armstrong will grace the stage once more, for 3 acoustic renditions of ‘Ordinary World’, ’21 Guns’ and of course the sublime ‘Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)’. Although stripped of all the theatrics, bells and whistles of the full band set up – Billie Joe still commands his gathered masses with just a guitar and his voice, just going to show that all the extra facets aren’t smoke and mirrors, when it comes to the power of Green Day’s songs, the barebones are just as alluring as fireworks and water cannons.

They came, they saw, they won hearts and they fuckin’ well conquered – Green Day, London 1st July 2017, kings for a day. Give ’em the keys to the city.

Photography by Naomi Abbs-Williams

Photo of the Day (NEW Photoset Preview Edition): Commander Meouch and Doctor Sung of TWRP (The “Live Action Tour”) — The Fillmore Silver Spring — June 22nd, 2017

(Gig review is on the way in less than 24 hours!)

Review - Reggie Watts @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire

By the time Reggie Watts hits the stage of the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, everyone in the crowd has already heard his voice – introducing both his opener, and himself – but in an accent so unlike his own that most audience members don’t realise it’s actually him. 

But there’s no mistaking the guy when he comes out, even with his hair up and with a considerably smaller beard than we’re used to. From the moment he steps out, the crowd, delighted by his mere presence, are with him. He makes it impossible not to be with him, as he’s such a likeable and charismatic performer. Throughout his improvised monologues, he makes nonsense the funniest thing imaginable with his deadpan delivery. “I know you guys like fish here. But just take a suggestion: try chips with it. I know what you’re thinking: ‘No!! Boo!’. But it’s a good source of starch”, Reggie says with an earnestness that makes everything doubly funny. He throws out nonsense names of people and places in a Tim and Eric-esque manner, and discusses how certain political parties lost in the UK because they didn’t build efficient enough spacecrafts. It’s him turning typical stage banter on its head and making you think about how dumb everything really is. But in a smart way.

The songs, which the evening is centred around, are genuinely thrilling and spontaneously hilarious. Hearing his skills on his looping recorder, as well as his beatboxing is exciting beyond belief, especially with the knowledge that what you’re hearing has never been heard before, and won’t be heard again. He gets into brilliant flows where he can bring the house down simply by talking gibberish in exaggerated voices (it’s impossible to ignore that he is genuinely a brilliant R&B vocalist though), while occasionally dropping in bits of actual words – like when a piece segues into his love of spreading marmite on toast. It’s his musical ability that makes everything funny. To hear his amazing voice and from-scratch acapella backing tracks driving such ridiculous ideas is nothing short of ingenious – it constructs, then deconstructs the modern pop song, the satire being especially sharp when he perfectly mimics particular vocal styles, or wonders why we call women girls in songs instead of women.

His skills alone are stupendous, but they’re doubled when he brings out the incredible Thundercat to jam with him on bass. They play a few songs with impeccable skill, which the audience are audibly riveted by – I usually hate people talking during shows, but to the guy behind me who repeatedly said “Oh my god. He is so, so talented” - I agree. The duo were amazing together and the audience were happy to let terrific musicality take the spotlight from the comedy in this stretch. Thundercat was a complete surprise and I definitely did not keep my composure when Reggie called him to come out, I was far too excited.

Reggie is also surprisingly current this night, when he talks in earnest about the attack on London Bridge last week, before apologising for Trump and later, performing a great, Reggae-tinged song about Hung Parliament. The laughs in these segments were laughs of catharsis and warmth, whether he was waxing philosophical about how weird and wonderful it is to be a person (his bit on how you will never objectively be able to see yourself is kind of beautiful) or how weird governments are as a concept. 

“Remember, you are not defined by your government”, Reggie says towards the end of the show. Everybody needed to hear that. It’s a silly, human and loving show, one that felt like a relief for a bunch of people after a few weeks of awful, horrible news. Reggie’s art surpasses the label of being musical comedy tonight and hits somewhere a bit deeper, and the deserved standing ovation at the end of it is proof that this was a very special night indeed.



Note - A few fans waited by the stage door to meet Reggie later, and luckily for us he came out to meet us, and luckier still, he’s about the nicest man you’ll ever meet. Learning everyone’s names, shaking hands, giving hugs, paying attention to questions, he’s as kind offstage as he is on. He’s the real deal.

TOMM¥ €A$H

He’s a new wonderchild of Estonian hip-hop and after seeing him perform at our national music awards on TV, my friends and I decided to go see him at our local hipsterclub here in Tartu, which sometimes hosts cool gigs. We figured that the night could turn out in two ways: 1) he is cool and everything is great, 2) he is so odd, that it’s funny and everything is still great. Both ways, it would be 3 euros well spent. (Yes, 3 euros for a gig.)

We were all getting wound up on a few ciders/beers and the indietronic beats in the room that when Tommy took the stage, it was already a party. Hot and a bit sweaty, everybody getting into a “gangster for a day” vibe. 

I put all of my crowdpushing skills to work and ended up right in the middle, surrounded by people seemingly crazy about that odd-looking rapper on stage. The last time I went to Genklubi for a gig, it was Mimicry, and then the crowd was slightly exited. This time it was like somebody was throwing cash from the stage (yes, pun deifnitely intended) to the hungry-looking people below. Everybody was so eager for.. something. And he was giving it to them. 

There’s something about him, which I can’t really put my finger on. It’s like everything about him is so weird, that it’s ultimately cool. He has the voice of a bad russian wannabe viral video star. He looks like he’s been shopping at the ugliest underground thrift stores with his Grimes-fringed girlfriend for as long as he can remember. He speaks English, despite being Estonian. It has so much potential to be awkward, but he makes it cool. Everything is so wrong, it’s right. 

Come on, I like his music and it is WAY out of my comfort-playlist-zone. I’ve been listening to his songs on repeat the whole day and I don’t know what’s gone into me. I’ve never been (and hopefully never will be) the “bitches-money-yoloswag” kind of girl, but damn, he’s so cool!

If you’re interested in more, then
https://soundcloud.com/iamtommycash

Guez whoz bak?

What a night..they did it again ;)
My 5th gig and after heard the last song live i want more and more.
Huge thanx goes to the crowd and of course DM,Martin’s voice is so unique and Dave will never get old ,more energy than ever,damn you king Dave!
A day before gig in Warsaw was a demonstration against polish goverment , main place was outside DM’s hotel and they observed everything.
Revolution is here! CYA in 7months .

When in need of a quick “Translation” sheet for the beginning (or even the “experienced”) front-of-house engineer, this is still one of the best and quickest to reference charts out there.

And, this one has the nifty bit of “Musician Translations”, because musicians and artists in general shouldn’t have to be expected to communicate on an engineer’s terms when they’re busy trying to actually perform. It is great when they can, but these ranges for common terms seem to be quite right on, and are strangely universal no matter where you mix.

I still keep this graphic on whatever tablets I am using for A2′s or students who may have question during a gig. Never hurts to review either, no matter how much you’ve done this.

That Gorillaz Fanzine
Call for submissions

Deadline: Friday 4th July 2014
Launch: Saturday 19th July 2014 @ Manchester MCM Comic Con

Please send Gorillaz illustrations, fan comics, cosplay photos, articles and gig reviews. You can feature the animated characters or any of their living collaborators such as Little Dragon, De La Soul and Bobby Womack.

Please note: If this project is too popular I might not be able to print everything submitted

How to submit
Please email sammyborras@gmail.com with the header ‘GORILLAZ SUBMISSION’ and include the following information
Name you wish to be credited as:
Website (optional):

Printed contributors will receive a copy of the zine as a thank you
Please let me know if you are interested in ordering more copies at the unit cost to sell on

Technical guidelines A5 148 x 210mm or 5.8x8.3in
Portrait
Black & white
300dpi
JPEG or flattened TIFF/PSD file

Photocopying means that your image cannot bleed off the edge of the page.
Please let me know if you would like someone else to illustrate a text based submission.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at sammyborras@gmail.com

The Queen of Rage and The Queen of Anguish

Story and photos by Gail Resch

Courtney Love was the ideal opening act for Lana Del Rey on the first leg of her Endless Summer tour. As soon as Courtney belted out the opening lyrics to Plump, everyone knew that they were about to experience something legendary. Alternating between reviving classic Hole songs and teasing the audience, Courtney Love made everyone comfortable real quick.

Setlist
1. Plump
2. Miss World
3. Skinny Little Bitch
4. Violet
5. Malibu
6. Reasons To Be Beautiful
7. Celebrity Skin
8. Doll Parts


Lana Del Rey’s performance was nothing short of ethereal. Besides maybe one technical difficulty, the show couldn’t have gone any better. Her band was outstanding, with Blake Lee’s guitar solos being the icing on each song’s cake. Lana’s fans worship her, so her performance felt like going to church. She brought back some unreleased songs from her early days, along with covers of Leonard Cohen and Peggy Lee, much to her fan’s pleasure. The Queen of Anguish is back, and this tour is going to be one for the history books.

Setlist
1. Sleepwalk
2. Cruel World
3. Cola
4. Blue Jeans
5. West Coast
6. Us Against The World
7. Born To Die
8. Ultraviolence
9. Summertime Sadness
10. Chelsea Hotel No. 2 (Leonard Cohen cover)
11. Brooklyn Baby
12. Shades of Cool
13. You Can Be The Boss
14. Serial Killer
15. Video Games
16. Why Don’t You Do Right? (Peggy Lee cover)
17. Off To The Races

Blink-182 at the O2 Arena, London, gig review: Energetic performance takes fans on a trip down memory lane

Last night, at the o2 Arena in London, marked a welcome trip down pop punk memory lane as California natives Blink 182 played the first of two sell out nights in the capital as part of the California European Summer Tour.

A new line up sans founder and former guitarist/co-lead vocalist Tom Delonge (who left the band for the second time to focus on… aliens?) and the addition of Matt Skiba of fellow pop punk royalty, Alkaline Trio, delivered a high octane, fun, stupidly loud and quintessentially Blink-182 performance that showed just why they sit in the upper echelons of the pop punk world.

The new look line up jumped straight into proceedings as a huge Union Jack flag adorned with the band’s logo dropped to the opening riff of “Feeling This”, before Skiba took to the mic to greet the London crowd to rapturous applause despite the notable absence of the unique voice that Delonge brings.

The tone of the night was well and truly set by this point as crowd surfers floated above the masses and empty cups were flung through the air whilst Mark Hoppus and Skiba proved that they could recreate the chemistry that served Hoppus and Delonge so well over the years.

Hoppus, playing the crowd like the pop punk veteran he is took to mic once more grinning, “hey ladies, this one’s for you” knowing full well the impact of emo classic “I Miss You” would have, before jumping back into the loud and brash with ‘Down’, ‘Dysentery Gary’ and ‘Reckless Abandon’.

The band closed the night with an encore consisting of anthem track “All The Small Things” and “Dammit:, by this point everyone in the arena was on their feet. I first saw Blink-182 15 years ago. Despite the band now being well into their 40s, slightly softer around the belly and with a few more grey hairs, they haven’t missed a trick, the energy on stage is as electric as ever.

Title: Mystify Me

Chapter: 2/?

Author: Lauren (crimson—petrichor)

Pairing/s: Eventual Joniss & Peenick

Rating: M/NC 17 for later chapters.

Summary: Modern AU, Katniss works at a local arts & culture magazine, Johanna is in a band. This is the tale of their meeting and how their lives entwine. In this chapter; Finnick & Johanna are being bros. Gale is playing cupid.

AN: I know I said this would be up sooner. But Christmas happened.

Keep reading

3

okay so yesterday i saw troye sivan live for the first time ever and it was honestly one of the best concerts i’ve ever been to. i was already super exited for the concert since it was my birthday that day! me and my friends arrived at the venue around 10:30 and there were already about 20-30 people there waiting. so we got in line and a few hours later a girl we hung out with whilst waiting told us that troye would come outside in a few minutes to meet fans if there wasn’t that many - so we all got up and tried not to hurry and went to the tourbus and literally like one minute later troye appeared in a car and he got out and straight went to us and took the jacket me and my friends bought him and was like “you guys wanna take selfies????” and everyone was like DAMN YES and we made a line and there where literally only about 30 people there and i was so fucking nervous, my hands started shaking. then when it was my turn, troye hugged me and i hugged him haha, and i was like ‘its my brithday today!” (it was honestly so hard to speak because he looked so good was so nice and so real oh my god) and he was like ‘omg, happy birthday! how old are you?” and i was like ‘20′ and he said something like ‘thats so cool” and then i gave him the drawing i made him and he was so happy and thanked me and then my friend took three photos of us and i look like a freaking troll innit but he looks like a model i swear to god and then i thanked him and went to my friends and i was stil shaking so much andf so happy. then, about 7 p.m, we finally got inside the venue and it was honestly so pretty inside ahhh. about 15 minutes later the support act started and they were so frickin good, i absolutley loved them and the crowd was amazing because everyone cheered and screamed so much haha. then, finally around 8:15, troye and his band came on stage and everyone went absolutly nuts, he first played ‘bite’ and after that ‘for him’, which is probably my favourite song. when he finished the first 3 songs, he looked so happy and amazed by the crowd and said ‘i know artists and bands say this often but i really mean it; i’ve never had this much fun playing these three songs” (or something like that) and he just looked so happy all the time and talked about how he was vintage shopping that day and bought a turtle neck (which he was wearing) and he was sweating so much and then some fans threw a t-shirt on stage and he took off his jacket and turtle neck and put on the shirt!! another amazing moment was when he played ‘heaven’ (another favourite song of mine), everyone put up paper signs with rainbow hearts drawn on them (fans gave them other fans before the show) and the second he started playing the songs, literally everyone put up these hearts and he looked so godamn happy and my face hurt s much from smiling and i was so close to crying oh god. another thing that wa super cute was when troye asked if anyone in the crowd was on a date tonight or a couple and two guys in the crowd freaked out and screamed and troye noticed them and said something like ‘that’s so cute!!” and the crowd went nuts and then he started playing an acoustic version of ‘happy little pill’ and it was the most beautiful thing ever. he also played a cover of a amy winehouse and i swear to god his voice is so fucking beautiful, i can’t get over this. he also said we were his favourite show from this tour and that was so sweet. i also almost lost it when he played ‘lost boy’ because its such a good song and i felt like crying again. last but not least he played ‘youth’ and it was the best thing ever. i’m so happy that i got the chance to meet him & talk to him even though for only like five seconds - it was honestly the best birthday i’ve ever had. i can’t wait until i see him again, his music means so much to me and he’s such an talented artist and so fucking sweet and a wonderful human being. (i’m rambling hahaha). one of the best fucking days in my life

HAPPY KATE BUSH WEEK, EVERYBODY

Now that the only likeable manic pixie dream girl in the history of the world is playing live for the first time in 35 years, expect a lot of our music coverage to centre around her return. Just for a couple of days, mind.

If you weren’t lucky enough to nab tickets to her series of shows, live vicariously through Alexis Petridis’ five-star review (and Harriet Gibsone’s liveblog from night one, yesterday).

“You think of guys like Morrissey and Bruce Springsteen, and they just possess that magic. It’s something that’s handed down through the ages to a select few. You can’t choose it, but rather it chooses you. Often, we lament the lack of this magic within the current landscape. However, Las Vegas’s favorite son possesses it in spades. He’s got so much of it, in fact, that he can enchant and engage everyone within earshot.“ - j. nguyen