Archive for the Upcoming Events Category
When considering what constitutes a modern band of the 21st century, look no further than Alt-J. The alternative indie rock band have been a massive hit despite their unique music style, and with their previous two albums of An Awesome Wave and This is all Yours having been significant successes, we can only be excited by the release of Relaxer on June 2nd.
We’ve had a decade of Alt-J, but where did it begin?
With Alt-J only having been in existence for a decade, the band really have progressed at an astounding rate, with their upcoming tour featuring venues such as the O2 Arena and Glastonbury. So, how did this progression come about, and ultimately, where did the quirky quartet start out?
It all began at Leeds University, kind of cliché when you consider the amount of good bands which have formed at Universities in the northern half of the UK. However, nothing was clichéd about the music that the band went on to create as Gwil Sainsbury, Joe Newman, Thom Green and Gus Unger-Hamilton all brought new and individual ideas to the table.
Newman revealed that a large reason behind him choosing to study fine art was to find like-minded friends who would start a band with him. As a result, having met Sainsbury, the two started to recorded some songs in their halls rooms based on songs that Newman had written, previously inspired by his guiter-playing Dad. Their unique sound comes from the noise restrictions that came with their halls-based lifestyle, where they were unable to use bass instruments.
An Awesome Wave
With the quartet forming over the remainder of their time at University, the bond they forged was strong enough to keep them together through the move to Cambridge where they were signed by Infectious Music, four years after meeting in 2007. In their first EP, the band released songs that have since gone on to become fan favourites in Matilda, Tessellate, Breezeblocks and Hand-Made.
With some success, new song Bloodflood and Tessellate were released as singles in late 2011, with An Awesome Wave finally being released as full album in the summer of 2012.
The album went in at an impressive No.13 as the band’s debut, later being released in the US, going on to win the Barclaycard Mercury Prize. However, they weren’t done with this one in the UK just yet. Throughout 2012 the band promoted the album, playing as the supporting act to Wild Beasts, and also played a whole range of famed British music festivals including Latitude, Bestival, Reading and Leeds and T in the Park.
Due to a multitude of good receptions and a growing following, Alt-J went on to be nominated for three BRIT Awards including British Breakthrough Act, British Group of the Year, and British Album of the Year.
An Awesome Wave also received a significant amount of traction in Australia, where three songs from the album made it into Australia’s 2012 Triple J Hottest 100, with Breezeblocks featuring second, a chart conducted by a listener poll by a national radio show.
This is all Yours
With their first success mounting as time went on, Alt-J really began to attract a lot of attention from fans of all different genres due to their strange sound and intriguing lyrics. However, it wasn’t all good news for budding followers of the band, as they revealed in January 2014 that Sainsbury had taken the decision to leave the group. This was not in bad taste, just a personal decision, and the remaining three revealed that the music would continue, as would their friendships with Sainsbury.
As a result, two years after their first album, Alt-J announced their second dip into the market with the release of This is all Yours on 22nd September 2014. With An Awesome Wave having gradually brought the band more and more traction over the two year period, this album went straight in at number 1 in the UK Official chart.
This album proved to just as popular as their first. It features the likes of Left Hand Free and Every Other Freckle, and was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album at the Grammys and for Impala’s European Independent Album of the Year Award. With even more success the band went on tour again, headlining their first ever festival at Boston Calling.
Since their release of This is all Yours back in 2014, the band were on a three-year spell of having not released a new work. However, this changed on June 2nd with the release of their third album, something which excitement has hugely grown for over the past few weeks with the trio having released teasers in their new songs 3WW, In Cold Blood (shown below), and most recently with Adeline.
Alt J Relaxer Tour Concerts: 16th June – London 02 Arena, UK
Arcade Fire have not been on the live circuit much in recent years. In fact, the last time the band toured was back in 2014 whilst promoting their latest album Reflektor. However, since then, they went a whole two years between 2014-2016 without playing a full live set.
Thankfully though, with fans worldwide likely to be celebrating, this year Arcade Fire are back under the spotlight. Having announced performances at a number of top European festivals, The band have announced performances at number of top European festivals and also a flurry of select gigs in Germany, Ireland and the UK.
Where it all began
Arcade Fire formed at the turn of the millennium, with classmates Win Butler and Josh Deu acting as the founding members. The duo were later joined by Regine Chassagne, quickly recording some basic demos of their ideas and began performing on the small time stage.
In 2003, two years after formation, with the collaboration of Richard Reed Parry who would later go on to become part of the band, Arcade Fire released their first EP. They played a packed out show in Montreal only for Butler and Reed to have an argument on stage where both then quit the band, something that was announced on stage.
However, despite the rocky start, and although it looked as the band had broken up, Butler’s brother William and Tim Kingsbury were brought in to replace the two quitting members so that Arcade Fire could continue. The new members continued to work on the music side and released a second EP, attracting the attention of a relatively small time record company, Merge Records.
With the band now signed, Funeral was quickly released in 2004. The record was quickly acclaimed and intensely popular for such relative newcomers to the scene. NME, for example, named Funeral as the 2nd best album of 2005. The reception that the album got was pretty astonishing to everyone involved, as this young quirky indie band with their small time record deal sold 500,000 copies worldwide on their first release.
The band took to the road to promote their album throughout 2005, often having to change venue due to a much greater demand than expected. In September 2005 they even played on the television special Fashion Rocks where they were joined by David Bowie of all people in performing their single Wake Up.
Due to their popularity, the band were able to support U2 on their Vertigo tour, something which really boosted their brand in the indie rock market.
The band did not hang about following the end of their tour and immediately began working on their second album in a church that they had converted into a recording studio, just south of their hometown Montreal.
Intervention was released as a single for the upcoming album Neon Bible In December of 2006. Although this didn’t really break too much new ground, the Album as a whole did, making it to No. 2 in the UK and US album charts.
This album too, was critically acclaimed, being nominated for the Polaris Music Prize. The brand continued to tour, this time up until Februrary 2007, having played a total of 122 shows in 19 different countries.
Arcade Fire took three years out before coming out with their next album named The Suburbs in 2010, an album which allowed them to take the headline spot at one of the UK’s biggest festivals; Reading and Leeds Fest.
With fans having been given a glimpse of the bands new work at said festivals, their curiosity was satisfied in August 2010 where the full album was released. The album became an instant hit, debuting at number 1 in the US, Canada and the UK, relatively unseen heights for the Montreal group.
With the album having done so well, the band were asked to perform live at the 53rd Grammy Awards in February 2011 where the band were also nominated in three separate categories. That night they won the award for album of the year.
This was not the only recognition, however, as the album also went on to bring other successes such as Best international album and group at the BRIT Awards, as well as being honoured at the Juno Awards in the same year.
Hereafter, the band went on to do their first movie work, where they recorded Abraham’s Daughter, a soundtrack for The Hunger Games. It was released 20th March 2012, and debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200, becoming the 16th ever soundtrack to do so.
Since their debut album in 2004, the band took their longest break to date following the success of The Suburbs, with their next album coming three years after. This album, released in late 2013, was named Reflektor, Her Soundtrack.
Although the album itself once again won a whole host of awards, as to be expected by this point, their tour came under some scrutiny as they enforced a dress code of ‘formal dress or costume’ to the irritation of fans. However, the album itself had the likes of David Bowie contributing.
And here we are at the present. Arcade fire have not released an album for some time now, with Reflektor being their most recent release. No doubt fans are eagerly awaiting release of the next album scheduled to drop on July 28th. Though they can’t have Everything Now, the title track has already been pushed out, together with the following video:
Go here for: Arcade Fire European Tour Tickets
Adele has undertaken a huge tour across the globe throughout the past year performing a total of 107 shows across a period of 10 months, something which ended in March 2017. With the singer having announced four more dates at Wembley come June/July, many who get the tickets to see the singer will be lucky in the fact that it may be the last time that she performs on the big stage to the general public for a while.
Adele’s huge global tour through 2016/2017 saw her receive both quite the praise and the criticism. Whilst fans all over the globe got to see one of the world acclaimed stars of the modern generation, many who have missed the chance may not have the opportunity again, as Adele recently announced she will likely not tour again for at least ten years. Whilst the news has saddened many, the reasoning behind this is understandable. Adele has revealed that she is both uncomfortable on stage and that her confidence has not improved over time, and she has also stated that she wants to concentrate her time on her son – something that I think we can all appreciate.
As a result, Adele’s Finale shows should be something that us fans should all celebrate together, and what better way to do so to have a brief look back at her career, and admire her life’s work; something pretty fantastic considering the singer is only 28 years old.
Adele: age 15 to debut album, 19
As cliché as it might sound, Adele really did spark her interest in music and singing from a young age and throughout her childhood. Born as a Londoner through and through on 5th May 1988 and raised by her single mum, Adele followed in her Mum’s footsteps through on a path on the more artsy side of life, as she was enrolled in the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology.
From the age of 15 she was listening to music from the 40s, having been inspired by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Etta James. It was plain to see that the young singer had talent, as during her time at the school she wrote and composed the likes of Hometown glory, something which later caught the attention of XL recordings who found and recognised tracks on her MySpace page.
The result was her signing just four months after graduating from the arts school in 2006 and the ensuing months of work going into her debut album named ‘19’, the age that she began recording on the album. Released two years later in 2008, two tracks in particular in her original song Hometown Glory and Chasing Pavements became instant hits, and the album ended up reaching number 1 in the ITunes chart. Apart from commercial success, the album was widely acclaimed in 2009 with the number of awards it received. The BBC named the album the Sound of 2008, whilst Adele also won best new artist at the Grammys and the critics’ choice prize at the BRITS.
Following the success of her first album, Adele took two years out before she started working on the next one, which would be called, 21. The album was heavily influenced by a hard break-up, apparent in songs such as Someone Like You, yet another song which went on to become a huge success.
In terms of its musical influence, Adele put a more personal touch on her second album which notably had influences of jazz and R&B throughout in songs such as Rolling in the Deep, something which again was acclaimed.
Both Rolling in the Deep and Someone Like You ended up being simultaneously top 5 UK chart hits, making Adele the first artist to achieve this since the Beatles. By the end of 2011, the year that the album was released, Adele had sold 3.4 million copies in the UK alone. This was the first time that any album had sold over 3 million copies in a single year, becoming the best-selling album of the 21st century at the time.
However, Adele had not only taken the UK by storm but also the US, winning three separate categories at the American Music Awards in November 2011.
Unfortunately, the next chapter for Adele had not run as smoothly as the rest that had gone before it, as received a scare in the fact that she required throat microsurgery. However, with the success of this, she bravely made her comeback to singing swiftly in 2012, performing live at the 2012 Grammys. As well as performing, Adele won the entire 6 categories that she was nominated for, with only Beyonce having outdone her in the history of the ceremony. In the same year, Adele revealed that she had been chosen to do the track for the newest James Bond film Skyfall in collaboration with Paul Epworth. Later released, the song sold 2 million copies worldwide, winning the golden globe for best original song, also winning her 10th Grammy for the single.
Adele then took a couple of years out to focus on her own personal aspirations, before returning with her album ‘25’ in November 2015. The singer announced that the album would be the last of the numbered albums, believing that it would mark the end to her trilogy of work.
Hello was released as a stand-alone single one month before the release of the entire album, and within 24 hours of its first release, the song was viewed 27.7 million times in 24 hours, breaking the record for this, taking it from Taylor Swift’s bad blood which had 20.1 million views in the same time frame.
Upon release, ‘25’ in the first week sold 800,000 copies in the UK and 3.38 million copies in the US, both breaking records. Since then, we are back to the present, where Adele has been on her 10-month tour, a fitting end to the trilogy which has seem her fame and popularity be bound by no limits. This era in Adele’s career will certainly one that will be looked back on in years to come, and so if you are lucky enough to be going to her concerts this month, it is something that should be cherished.
Adele Wembley ‘The Finale’ Concert Tickets:
With one of the greatest musicians returning to the stage in the Not Dead Yet tour coming this June, what better time to look back at the life and achievements of the genius that is Phil Collins?
Phil Collins is a name that even the younger generation will be familiar with, as it is a dead cert that he will go down as a great in the eyes of many in the musical world. The London born singer, now 66 years old, really did take the world by storm in the 1980s with his solo career, becoming one of the most profound musicians of that decade.
Unknown to many, Collins didn’t start out with his heart entirely set on singing, growing up with a taste for all things in the performance industry. In his younger years, Collins did have some successes on stage, beginning with his enrollment in the London production of Oliver as the Artful Dodger. This naturally led to more opportunities, and Phil did in fact feature in a few famous pictures including the Beatles’ A Hard Days night at the age of 13, also making an appearance in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when he was 18.
Although his acting career had somewhat taken off, Collins never let music go, and his passion here flourished, particularly throughout his college years, forming his first band. Although Collins had never previously made much out of his musical career, this all changed in 1970 when he joined the band that most of you reading this will know; Genesis. This was his first big break.
The Genesis Years
Over the next five years the fourpiece based in Surrey worked away at building their profile to some considerable success. Releasing their 3rd album in 1971, Nursery Chryme, the album snuck into the UK top 40 three years later in 1974. Soon after, their progress was noted in the release of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, with this album reaching as high as number 10 in the UK charts, and showing signs of popularity in America, reaching No. 41. However, 5 years proved too much for lead singer Peter Gabriel, who left the band for a solo career leaving Collins as the face of Genesis from 1975 onwards.
Hereafter both the music and appearance of the band began to change without Gabriel’s influence, and with Collins as the figurehead. The trio went on to create more radio-friendly work, something which undoubtedly played to their advantage. Their next album released in 1978 went Gold, and their sequel to this released in 1980 had similar successes.
However, it was hereafter that Collins began to experiment in the solo artist sphere. In 1981 he released, Face Value, his first solo album. The single In the Air Tonight in particular was a huge success, reaching number 2 in the UK charts and going on to become one of his all-time greatest hits.
Collins hit gold again with his second solo album released just a year later which featured two more massive hits; You Can’t Hurry Love, which became his first number 1 hit in the UK, and I Don’t Care Anymore. The winter of 82/83 saw Collins tour Europe to both bolster and celebrate his successes with the album, something he had been yet to do as a solo artist.
A year later saw another of Collins great works released, as he sang the theme for the 1984 film Against All Odds. The single went on to become a power ballad and attracted a wider audience to his work, with the song being more pop-based than much of his previous work. Collins was awarded with his first Grammy as a result, winning the men’s Best Pop Vocal Performance.
Working off the back of his successes in the previous few years, Collins did not peak here, going on to release arguably his most successful and famous album, No Jacket Required, in 1985. Four songs on the album were released as singles, with 3 of them reaching the top 20 in the UK charts, whilst the record also held the No.1 spot in the US for total of 7 weeks. The album itself won 3 Grammys, and became 6x platinum certified, since selling 25 million copies worldwide.
Despite his successes outdoing that of Genesis, Collins never left the band in the wake of his solo career taking the world by storm, and he continued to work in the trio throughout his career. More surprisingly, Collins returned to acting towards the end of the 1980s, something which he had seemingly left behind in the 60s.
This was marked by his appearance in the film Buster in 1988 alongside Julie Walters. However, ironically, the most successful part of the film was the soundtracks which featured both A Groovy Kind of Love and Two Hearts, both written by Collins.
But Seriously Successful
In 1989 Collin’s returned to his own music career, releasing his 4th solo album, But Seriously. This became both his first US number 1 album of the 1990s and also the best-selling album in the UK in the year 1990. A year later in 1991, Collins recorded his final album with Genesis before leaving the band in 1996. What was created in We Can’t Dance was some impressive work, winning the band favourite pop/rock band/duo at the American Music awards in 1993.
Since leaving Genesis, Collins formed The Phil Collins Big Band back in 1996 with himself on drums, showcasing his other talents. However, unfortunately both due to age and suffering from partial deafness in one ear due to an infection, his music became rather less frequent following the turn of the millennium. He released his 7th solo album back in 2002, but this was seen as some of this worst work, only selling 140,000 copies in the US. Otherwise, Collins only really worked with Disney such as on the films Tarzan and Brother bear until 2006 where he reunited with Genesis for a reunion tour.
His final real work to date was the release of a Motown covers album which was released back in 2010, but since then, until recently, Collins had been taking time out from the music industry to focus on both himself and his family.
In this sense, although Collins is past his prime, his legacy is more than enough to warrant tickets to the Not Dead Yet Tour this year. 2017 could potentially be the last possible time that Collins will tour in such a way, and so the opportunity to see one of the all-time greats on the stage once more is a real treat, and something that Collins fans will be cherishing.
June 2nd 20:00 – Echo Arena, Liverpool
June 4th to June 9th 19:00 – Royal Albert Hall, London
June 25th 18:00 – Aviva Stadium, Dublin
June 30th 14:00 – Hyde Park, London