Biffy Clyro: Live @ Newcastle Metro Radio Arena 02/12/16

Biffy Clyro UK Tour 2016

Ever get the feeling you should just sign up for a season pass with certain bands? I had a slight twang of deja vu at the Metro Radio Arena last Friday when Biffy Clyro's intro music hit. Seeing a band for the third time in the space of a year will do that to you. Little did I know the trio had a surpise in store for those in attendance.

Tonight is not just a night to perform your standard set consisting of 15 tracks, oh no. Tonight they step things up a gear and perform a mammoth 27 songs for those in attendance.



Yes, it turns out Simon Neil and the boys had decided for this arena tour, it was time to unleash their back catalogue in all it's glory. They haven't got much of a choice in truth, their last four albums have all been hits, leaving them with a plethora of material to choose from...and it would be a shame to leave some of those crowd pleasers out.

And so they arrive, on an LED entrenched stage, surrounded by thousands of adoring fans, and they look like they're in their element. Biffy Clyro 2016 are a force to be reckoned with.

Whilst new album Ellipsis wasn't necessarily a heavy album, the new songs sound particularly vicious this evening. Opener Wolves of WinterHerexAnimal Style and On a Bang in particular prove that whilst they maybe seven albums deep, the scots still have some riffs left in the tank.

Elsewhere in the set, there's plenty of cuts from previous albums. The decision to bring back Infinity Land's Wave Upon Wave Upon Wave as well as Blackened Sky's monster anthem Justboy, ensures the long term fans have their moment and opens the door for new fans to discover what their new favourite band used to get up to back in the day.



But of course, the adoration lies mostly with the tracks taken from Puzzle and Only RevolutionsMany of Horror envokes a deafening singalong, That Golden Rule sparks riotous mosh pits and Mountains triggers...well, yet more adoration from their besotted public!

So what's next for Scotlands premiere rock trio? With this performance they've proven they can comfortably slay arenas, and provide a setlist boasting a treasure trove of hits. The band have said they like to keep it fresh, and whilst Ellipsis showcased their ability to do that in a musical sense, will the band be willing to throw out the rule book in a performance sense?

They've already headlined Reading and Leeds festivals this year and performed their biggest ever show at Glasgow's Bellahouston park. Do they dare go bigger, or is it time to retreat and go back to the intimate stages of old?

Whereever they decide to go from here, you can bet there'll be plenty of surprises in store and who knows... maybe release a season ticket for those of us who keep on coming back for more.

Setlist:

- Wolves of Winter
- Living Is a Problem Because Everything Dies
- Sounds Like Balloons
- Biblical
- Spanish Radio
- Howl
- In the Name of the Wee Man
- Justboy
- Bubbles
- Herex
- Black Chandelier
- Friends and Enemies
- That Golden Rule
- Folding Stars
- Re-Arrange
- Wave Upon Wave Upon Wave
- Medicine
- Different People
- Mountains
- On a Bang
- 9/15ths
- Animal Style
- Many of Horror
- Machines
Encore:
- The Captain
- People
- Stingin' Belle
Panic! At The Disco: Live @ London Alexandra Palace 20/11/16

Panic! At The Disco Alexandra Palace Review 2016

Panic! at the Disco. They've been around for over a decade now and are eponymous with feelings of teenage angst for anyone over the age of 21. 

A Fever You Can't Sweat Out was the piece de resistance during the mid noughties "emo" movement, causing the sweepy fringe and top hat combo to dominate the fashion in secondary schools everywhere. Whether that's a good thing or not, is certainly up for debate. What I'm trying to say is that they made an impact.



And they didn't stop there! P!ATD have released five albums, their latest Death of a Bachelor has spawned several successful hit singles and lead to their biggest UK shows ever, including two dates at London's famous Alexandra Palace, the second of which I was lucky enough to attend.

Beginning with the Rock Lobster sampling Don't Threaten Me With a Good Time, it's immediately clear that this isn't a nostalgic trip down memory lane for the band, this is a celebration of their recent output with a sprinkle of the classics for good measure.

The new songs are performed with a full brass band back up, giving them added impact which really does make them them the stand out tracks of the night. Crazy=Genius is even given an extended drum solo battle, within which singer Brendan Urie hops on to a second kit and shows off his percussive abilities.



The classics are received just as you'd expect. The Ballad of Mona LisaNine in The Afternoon and new single Hallelujah all trigger mass sing-alongs from, what I have to say, is one of the most diverse crowds I've ever been part of. Time to Dance is a nice throwback to 2005, and is appreciated by the, now not so angsty, 20 year olds in attendance.

I really must give special mention to their cover of Bohemian Rhapsody, which is flawless. To have the balls to cover it in the first place is something, but to go ahead and smash it in the style they do is next level. Well played lads.

And then of course there's the big one, I Write Sins Not Tragedies. Not earmarked as the set closer, perhaps a sign from the band that one day they'd like to not play it, it is the most celebrated song of the night. That violin riff...so good.

All in all, the emo scenseters turned pop rock heroes turned out a joyful performance, one that was much needed after all the hoopla going on at the moment. Now, where did I put that top hat

Setlist

- Don't Threaten Me with a Good Time
- Vegas Lights
- The Ballad of Mona Lisa
- Hallelujah
- Time to Dance
- Emperor's New Clothes
- Girls/Girls/Boys
- Ready to Go (Get Me Out of My Mind)
- Nine in the Afternoon
- Crazy=Genius
- Miss Jackson
- Golden Days
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- Death of a Bachelor
- LA Devotee
Encore:
- I Write Sins Not Tragedies
- This Is Gospel
- Victorious

Bring Me The Horizon: Live @ Birmingham Barclaycard Arena 04/11/16

BMTH UK Tour Poster 2016

It's no secret that Bring Me The Horizon have pulled off a reinvention in terms of musical style over the past few years. From underground death metal moshers to UK alternative scenes poster boys, the change in direction has reaped great rewards for the Steel City quintet.


Latest album That's The Spirit epitomised the bands rise to the upper echelons of the rock world, and so it was no surprise when they announced their debut UK arena tour shortly after the album shot to number two in the charts.

And so we arrived at the Barclaycard arena in Birmingham, awaiting a night of raucous rock n' roll on a colossal scale. That's exactly what we got.

BMTH Live NIA 2016

The set is a celebration of their latest output, with Suicide Season's Chelsea Smile the only inclusion from the bands first three albums. It's quite a statement to make, especially for a band with such a dedicated fanbase. The band fully believe in their new material, and why wouldn't they? Every song is met with a rapturous ovation, Oli Sykes' lyrics screamed back at him at twice the volume. From the opening bars of Happy Song, to the electronic vibes of main set closer Throne, it's a deafening room.

The staging is special, the backdrop decorated with 50 FT HD screens, projecting imagery amplifying each tracks energy, creating a sense that something special is happening. We are witnessing a band at the height of their powers.


BMTH Live 2016Riffs, choruses as big as the room and a shed load of great pop tunes. Bring Me The Horizon have become a mainstay of the UK rock circuit and by the time Drown draws the curtain on the bands performance, it's clear that their first forays into the arena world has been a resounding success.

With an output as varied as theirs, it's impossible to say where the band will end up next. But with a taste for arenas and a track record of writing massive rock tunes, they may very well be unstoppable. Just don't expect too many old tunes. Forward ever, backwards never.

Setlist

- Happy Song
- Go to Hell, for Heaven's Sake
- The House of Wolves
- Avalanche
- Shadow Moses
- Chelsea Smile
- Follow You
- Sleepwalking
- Doomed
- Can You Feel My Heart
- Antivist
- Throne
- True Friends
- Oh No
- Drown
DMA'S Perform Cher's Believe - The Best Cover Of The Year

DMA's Cover Cher

Dressed like they've stepped straight off the set of Shameless, Australian indie heroes DMA'S have recorded the best cover version this year with their rendition of Cher's Believe.

On paper it shouldn't work. That's not to slight the band in any fashion, they're quite obviously a bunch of talented lads, it's just a strange marriage of musical styles. 

It does work however, and how. Originally the track was known for it's questionable production style, Cher's vocals at times sounding like they were recorded whilst gargling water. DMA'S however decided they didn't need such water based studio tricky, instead deciding to attack it with just two acoustic guitars, and to great effect.

The bands debut album Hills End was released earlier this year via Infectious records to wide critical acclaim, catching the attention of the British media including  a Radio One A-List addition, support from Radio X, 6 Music and ‘Record of The World’ from Zane Lowe.

If this cover doesn't make their upcoming set lists it will be a crime.



If you can't get enough of cover versions, an honourable mention has to go to Slaves with their cover of The Streets, Fit Buy You Know It. Have a listen below, it's great. Starts at 17:49.

Introducing: Bayonne

Bayonne Living Room

Introducing Bayonne, AKA Roger Sellers, an electro pop artist from Austin Texas who is currently invading the homes of millions through his last single Appeals, which has been included on football sim FIFA 17's soundtrack. That's exposure you can only dream of!

He's quite the artist, creating music that exists within it's own dreamscape. It conjures images of alien landscapes and environments which will have you entranced from start to finish.

With a handful of European shows beginning this October, he's marking the occasion by releasing a video for his latest single Living Room.

In the words of the man himself... "Living Room sounds different than anything else I've released…it’s much more sporadic and wild. I wanted the video to be different as well and I love the way the animation makes it feel so playful, bizarre, and cartoonish."

Animated by Man Mantis for Gorilla Nun Creative, the Living Room video creates a colourfully magical universe to suit Bayonne's organic and intricate take on electronic pop.

 

Bayonne was kind enough to answer the know infamous 'Introducing Questionnaire". From exclaiming his love for indie rock duo Wye Oak to revealing himself as a bit of a pool shark, it's quite the insight into the artists world!

1. What is your favourite album and why?

One of my favourite albums as of recent would be Shriek by Wye Oak. It is one of the few albums that I can always go back to and never get bored of. From beginning to end, the album is so tastefully arranged and produced, plus Jenn Wasner has the voice of an angel.

2. If you had to describe your sound in three words, what would they be?


Dense, melodic, minimalist.

3. What made you start making music?

I grew up in a household that really loved music, so I was very exposed to it at a young age. Throughout my childhood and teens I was trying to imitate a number of different artists and musicians, which led to skills in instruments like the piano, guitar, and drums. I started writing and recording my own songs around the age of 14 and began exploring my own ideas and sounds.

4. Favourite swear word?

Shit. I tend to use the word often in my live performance.

5. If you could create a band from musicians, living or dead who would you choose?


Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak, Rob Crow of Pinback and Steven Drozd of The Flaming Lips.

6. Obvious musical skills aside, do any of you have any secret talents?

I’ve been told that I’m pretty good at playing pool. When I’m traveling, one thing I love to do is check out different pool halls in different cities. I also played a bunch when I was in college so I guess I’m pretty alright. 

7. What is your favourite childhood TV show?

Ren and Stimpy.

8. If you weren't making music, what profession would you like to attempt and why?
Any job that would allow me to travel often and not sit at a desk from nine to five would be a great gig for me. i’ve become so used to traveling, it would be difficult for me to imagine doing anything that required me to stay in one spot. 

And finally...if Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

Bottoms Up!

Bayonne's new album Primitives is out now.
A Peaceful Noise: A Concert to Honour those Lost in the Bataclan Attack

A Peaceful Noise: Bataclan Memorial Concert

Last year a terrorist attack during an Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan in Paris stunned the music world. It left many dead. A tragic, senseless act, the likes we hope will never occur again.

I attended an Eagles of Death Metal gig just one week before the attack happened, and the joyous atmosphere in Newcastle that night was a complete contrast to the terror and sadness gig goers would experience just seven days later.

To honour the music lovers that lost their lives that night, the family of Nick Alexander, a British music merchandiser who was tragically killed that night, are launching a special night of live music to mark the anniversary of the attack. The event will be called A Peaceful Noise.

A Peaceful Noise is to pay tribute to the Paris victims with a positive message of understanding, to celebrate music’s unique ability to unite people as equals, and to raise money for two music related charities paying forward the love and goodwill within the community.

The charities being supported are The Nick Alexander Memorial Trust and Josh Homme’s Sweet Stuff Foundation.

Zoe Alexander, Nick’s sister and A Peaceful Noise founder said: “Live music was Nick’s passion and it seemed only fitting that we mark the anniversary of his passing in this way. Everyone who lost their lives that night had a shared love of music and we’re thrilled to bring some of Nick’s favourite artists together for this celebration of unity, peace and rock and roll”.

A Peaceful Noise: Shepherds Bush Empire

The concert will feature performances from a whole host of Nick’s friends and contemporaries including alternative rockers Maximo Park, ex-Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes, Travis lead singer Fran Healy and Frank Turner, who will be playing his only London date this year.

There will also be DJ sets from Bloc Party’s Russell Lissack, Vicar/DJ Father Brian Ralph and Matt Walsh. More acts are to be announced in the near future.

Frank Turner commented: “Losing Nick in the horrible events in Paris was the worst part of last year; he was truly one of the good guys. Bringing people together in the spirit of peace and music for an evening is the least we can do for his memory, I'm honoured to be asked to play”.

The concert takes place on November 15th at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London. For more information, head to www.apeacefulnoise.com.

New Music: Tacocat - The Internet

Tacocat The Internet Music Video

After releasing their album Lost Time earlier this year, Seattle pop-punk outfit Tacocat have self-released a new music video for their standout track & anti-online harassment anthem The Internet.

Featuring visuals that are instantly recognisable and put together in a way that's both funny and unique, the video is the perfect accompaniment to the pop punk anthem which acts as a tirade against the online trolls that plague some of the most popular sites on the web.

From Microsoft Paint to the dating app Tinder, see if you can name every platform featured in this video. There's no prize for doing this mind you, apart from the self satisfaction of knowing that you have spent way too much time online.

Take a look at the video below!

 

Tacocat’s third studio album, Lost Time is out now via Hardly Art Records.