Last Sunday, December 9th, The 79th Royal Variety Performance aired on ITV in the UK. The show took place in Liverpool at the Empire Theatre, in the presence of HM Queen Elizabeth II. One of the standout performances of the night was by Seal …
Last Sunday, December 9th, The 79th Royal Variety Performance aired on ITV in the UK. The show took place in Liverpool at the Empire Theatre, in the presence of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
One of the standout performances of the night was by Seal. He opened the show with a great version of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”. The other performers on stage along with Seal were quite interesting – there was a lot going on. Stilt walkers, acrobats, a choir and more, all with a Beatles-esque ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ feel about it.
For information, and more acts that performed on the show, including Bon Jovi, Teatro and Joan Rivers go to: 79th Royal Variety Performance on Band Weblogs.
Seal also performed his positive and uplifting single, “Amazing” off of his fifth studio album, ‘System’. It’s good to see Seal back on the scene. He really is a class act, no doubt about it. With his white suit and scarf that night, he looked like a million bucks.
It’s no surprise that “Amazing” was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Male Pop Vocal Performance category!
Watch Seal and Heidi Klum video – People Magazine Shoot with “Amazing” as background music:
Seal has a blog! His website is in blog format and features entries and videos. Seal’s wife, model Heidi Klum is in some of the videos that are posted as well – like the People Magazine shoot. The blog is a great place for fans to keep up to date on Seal’s music, news and everyday life.
For some, it’s not cool to like Justin Timberlake. For others, he’s the one. The Prince of Pop. The ‘it’ guy. The more singles that Justin Timberlake releases, the more he’s growing on me. His voice, the harmonies, the feel of the mix and the production on his songs are quality …
For some, it’s not cool to like Justin Timberlake. For others, he’s the one. The Prince of Pop. The ‘it’ guy.
The more singles that Justin Timberlake releases, the more he’s growing on me. His voice, the harmonies, the feel of the mix and the production on his songs are quality. When I first heard “Cry Me A River” I thought, “What is this?” It’s got to be one of the best pop songs that I’ve heard so far in the 21st century.
Also, people want to work with him. His collaborations with other singers, producers and musicians confirms to me that there is ‘something there’ when it comes to not only his music, but his character as well. Established names in the music industry like 50 Cent, Missy Elliott, Beyonce, Nelly Furtado, Timbaland, Rick Rubin, Reba McEntire, Duran Duran and Snoop Dog are just a few of the names that he’s already worked with.
On November 25th, 2007 Channel 4 in England aired FutureSex/LoveShow, Justin Timberlake’s August 2007 concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City. I just happened to turn on the TV just a few minutes into the 2-hour show. I didn’t plan on watching the whole thing, but that’s what I ended up doing.
I can’t recall ever seeing live footage of a Justin Timberlake concert like the FutureSex/LoveShow before. I was impressed. The concert came across as a great party atmosphere that included a spectacular light show with songs from the ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds’ album and more. The dancers were fun to watch – dressed in casual clothes most of the time – with the exception of the strippers/dancers for one of the songs!
At times Justin would dance on his own, which takes some nerve and a lot of confidence. The backup singers sounded and looked good. Timbaland made a guest appearance and for some songs, Justin played the piano/keyboard. His voice sounded great when he was dancing and he seems to be at the top of his game.
The word Future in both the title of his show and his album seems appropriate. With all that he’s done so far, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for Justin Timberlake. It seems for him, the sky is the limit.
The FutureSex/LoveShow that aired on TV didn’t include all that is available on the DVD that has just been released. It mainly showed the live performances with just some backstage footage.
Here’s a track listing that I found for the Australian DVD release…not sure if this is the same track listing for the US and UK release:
(Unconfirmed Track Listing)
1. DVD1: Opening Conversation
3. Like I Love You
4. My Love
6. Sexy Ladies
7. Until The End Of Time
8. What Goes Around…/…COMES Around
9. Chop Me Up
10. Intermission – Jt & Timbaland
11. Rock Your Body
13. Take It From Here
14. Last Night
15. Damn Girl
16. Summer Love
17. Losing My Way
18. Cry Me A River
19. Lovestoned / I Think She Knows
21. (Another Song) All Over Again
22. Goodnights & Credits
1. DVD2: 1 On 1 With Jt
2. The Making Of FutureSex/LoveShow
3. Open Mic
4. Under The Stage
5. Lovestoned/I Think She Knows (Justice Remix)
Despite mounting pressure to make their lives easy with all of the desirable lunches and dinners A&R expense accounts bought Enter Shikari, in November 2006 this band from St. Albans, England took it upon themselves to make the (possibly reckless) decision NOT to sign to a major label …
Despite mounting pressure to make their lives easy with all of the desirable lunches and dinners A&R expense accounts bought Enter Shikari, in November 2006 this band from St. Albans, England took it upon themselves to make the (possibly reckless) decision NOT to sign to a major label. Instead, they took a loan from their distributor, Vital/Integral, and announced they would be releasing their debut album on their own Ambush Reality label.
Enter Shikari’s debut album ‘Take To The Skies’ was released in the UK, Europe and Japan in March 2007 and quickly slammed into the Number 3 spot on the UK album charts – not to mention two singles hitting the number one spot.
Then, in true punk form, Enter Shikari rejected US label options and partnered with label imprint Tiny Evil Records (Jimmy Eat World, Brand New, AFI) for the October 30th, 2007 stateside release of ‘Take To The Skies.’ The main benefits of this route are that Enter Shikari has never had to listen to anyone else’s advice but their own. They have taken themselves from ‘one man and his dog’ to capacity crowds. All without ever having to wait for a ‘tastemaker’ deem them this afternoon’s ‘next big thing’. Not bad for a bunch of St. Albans lads.
Edges that were once rough (and would surely have been smoothed over and dulled by advice from those with an interest in shifting product) have instead been sharpened by the road, turning Enter Shikari into one of the most exciting, brutal and explosive live bands on Britain’s screamo / post-hardcore / whatthefu**ever ‘scene’ to this date.
After playing a packed to rafter tent at 2006’s Download Festival and then opening up for My Chemical Romance, the loyal “Army of Shikari” was steadily growing at a rapid pace. Validating all their hard work, perseverance and a no compromise attitude, the lads went on to sell out the London Astoria, being the second band ever in the world to achieve such a feat without a record deal or album out.
How do they feel about being asked to play [the Give it a Name Tour]?
“We’re very excited about playing. And it’s some massive venues, with like seventeen thousand people. It’s a crazy line-up. I mean, we’re above Senses Fail, which is just incredible because we love them…I’m looking forward to seeing bands like Thursday and Brand New…AFI…HIM” – Big Cheese
When the late and greatly missed Tony Wilson walked into the Manchester Lesser Free Trade Show town hall one evening back in June 1976, he stumbled across a little known band called Sex Pistols, playing to a half empty room consisting of a bunch unenthused northern union workers and overeager junior industry folk. At that very moment Wilson knew he’d just discovered a band so utterly groundbreaking, exciting and ultimately inspiring upon that stage. A band that had credible music critics baffled and scratching their heads, ranting what a joke they were. Yet soon became genre defining icons, symbolic of a subculture that still resonates in various forms to this very day.
Last summer Tony Wilson himself, was ranting away to many about another band he’d also found in the UK in the summer of 2006. In came Enter Shikari…
Two parts post-hardcore, the other half synth-rock trance. With obvious nods to the 90’s UK rave scene along with another to punk and hardcore, they’ve managed to rally up even the most stoic of fans to mosh like madmen and wave their hands in the air like the most dedicated of ravers!
Enter Shikari has been called everything from punk to trancecore, trance emo to flat out screamo. UK Press labeling aside, what we have here is another groundbreaking and genre defying band. They’re the only band who walked away with 2 prestigious Kerrang Magazine Music Awards this year for Best British Band, and The Spirit of Independence Awards.
In true Keith Moon fashion, Rolfe is quite possibly the wildest member in the band, he is blatantly unable to physically stay behind his drum kit through out the set, continually moving stage front during (the) synthesized parts of songs – he’s a key element into what gets the crowd excited and what makes this band so utterly unique in their performances.
“Rou Reynolds’s snarled verses give way to choruses that are literally choral-unison vocals whose sustained notes and purity of tone uplift the spirit like sunlight pouring through stained glass”. – Blender
“We want to do things differently”, says Reynolds, “we always have. We want to do things ourselves and we want to take responsibility for the things we do. We want to make something that’s personal, because otherwise how can people be expected to relate to it? How can they be expected to like us?”
Finally bowing to pressure from the fans they’ve collected online, this past spring they embarked on their first ever US tour. This was without any label behind them, they managed to wow the crowds in North America all on their own, with a short run of dates in Anaheim, Pomona, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Toronto, Worcester and New Jersey to start.
When they recently played in NYC at an all ages Bowery Show, over 300 kids who moshed and raved, then broke out the windmills, oozing the angst so familiar to audiences who went to see the Pistols back in the late 70’s. The enthusiasm of the Bowery crowd is a testament to Enter Shikari’s loyal fan base and, importantly, their ability to put on a kick-ass live show. The live performance this band delivers is supreme – complete with glow sticks and a heart-felt rapport with the audience.
In December 2007 they embark on a West Coast tour from Portland to San Diego to celebrate the long-anticipated release of ‘Take To The Skies’. But if this tour is anything like their previous New York show, fans will be screaming every lyric back at the band, despite an official album release duration of only one month.
Enter Shikari formed while still in school in 2003. As soon as the summer came around, they climbed in the van and hit the road. They’ve pretty much never come home since. It seems nothing will stop them and they have no plans of doing such a thing. Catch the intensity and infamous notoriety that is, Enter Shikari.
Read what some people are saying about Enter Shikari:
“Genuine musical phenomena” – The Guardian (UK)
“Enter Shikari bring a fresh twist to the frequently botched dream of rocktronica. Where the Prodigy merged rave dynamics with cartoon punk tantrums, Shikari mesh hacking guitar riffs with serenely celestial synth-ripples…As fervent about dance culture’s hands-in-the-air rituals as punk and metai’s moshing and stage-diving…Shikari are all about the release of constructive aggression.” – Blender
“An immeasurably thrilling proposition, tonight Enter Shikari ruled – in front of their own crowd they’re going to slay” – NME
“Enter Shikari…have become the figureheads of a new anything-goes generation…Their marriage of both types of hardcore (techno and punk) and a flirtation with the trappings of rave culture have resulted in a unique combination that fuses the hard-hitting wide-eyed delivery of the Prodigy with the proto-screamo dynamics of Refused…” – Alternative Press
“One of the most inventive UK bands in years” – Uncut Magazine
“It’s as if the Prodigy got eaten by Muse’s crazy younger brother” – Observer Music Monthly
Winter 2007 North American Tour Dates:
Dates could change! Go to Enter Shikari’s Official Website for the latest tour dates and information.
November 30th – Portland, Oregon – Satyricon
December 1 – Vancouver, Canada – Plaza Club
December 2 – Seattle, Washington – Chop Suey
December 4 – San Francisco, California – Bottom Of The Hill
December 5 – Los Angeles – Troubadour
December 6 – Anaheim – Chain Reaction
December 7 – San Diego – Soma
As a fan of multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow, I can tell you that the new ‘Sheryl Crow Hits and Rarities’ double disc set is a welcome addition to my CD collection. Opening track “All I Wanna Do” is a reminder of Sheryl’s first big hit …
As a fan of multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow, I can tell you that the new ‘Sheryl Crow Hits and Rarities’ double disc set is a welcome addition to my CD collection.
Opening track “All I Wanna Do” is a reminder of Sheryl’s first big hit, from her 1993 debut album ‘Tuesday Night Music Club’. She’s come a long way since then, releasing numerous hits and she continues to be one of the most active and hard working performers in music today.
The first CD is jam packed with 18 tracks that includes some of my Sheryl Crow favorites like “My Favorite Mistake” (The Globe Sessions), “The First Cut Is The Deepest” (The Very Best of Sheryl Crow), “Strong Enough” (Tuesday Night Music Club), “Run Baby Run” (Tuesday Night Music Club), Sheryl’s cover of the Guns N Roses hit “Sweet Child O’Mine” (C’mon C’mon) and the rare addition of her James Bond theme song “Tomorrow Never Dies”.
The bonus CD includes “The Difficult Kind” and “Riverwide” live from Budokan, a great acoustic version of her Aimee Mann-esque “Where Has All The Love Gone” (Wildflower), “Everyday is a Winding Road” acoustic version from AOL Live and “Keep On Growing”.
The one song missing that I would have liked included would have been “Home” from the ‘Sheryl Crow’ album, but it’s just a matter of reaching for my CD case for that one.
The bonus disc also features live tracks from the Japanese venue Budokan, non-album tracks, radio sessions including Sheryl performing an acoustic version of “Steve McQueen” on live radio Portugal and an excellent live performance of “Run Baby Run” with Eric Clapton & Orchestra.
I arrived at the Carling Academy Oxford just in time to grab a beer and see Manchester, UK based band Northern Uproar take the stage. I like their positive, upbeat punk influenced sound. They look good on stage together and it’s always good to see a bass playing vocalist […]
I arrived at the Carling Academy Oxford just in time to grab a beer and see Manchester, UK based band Northern Uproar take the stage. I like their positive, upbeat punk influenced sound. They look good on stage together and it’s always good to see a bass playing vocalist.
I enjoyed the burly guitarist’s Steve Jones/Mick Jones influence. There was also a bit of a Jam style to their music. All around, I think that Northern Uproar is a good band to look out for.
The Coral are one of my favourite bands on the scene at the moment, so it was great to get the chance to see them play live in Oxford. I wasn’t disappointed after listening to their new album ‘Roots and Echoes’. They weren’t shy in promoting said album and why not because when they played “Who’s Gonna Find Me” it sounds a million times better standing in the same room as the band, hearing it live.
I feel a bit of a Beach Boys vibe off them in a slight way and do believe that The Coral will be with us for a very long time. It’s always good to watch a band mature in front of you.
So definitely go along to a live Coral show because they make you forget about what’s going on outside and they get you wobbling from side to side with a smile on your face for an hour or so!
This October and November 2007, Robbers On High Street will be making their rounds across the US with Great Northern (Eenie Meenie Records) in support of their new album ‘Grand Animals’ […]
This October and November 2007, Robbers On High Street will be making their rounds across the US with Great Northern (Eenie Meenie Records) in support of their new album ‘Grand Animals’, available now via New Line Records.
See what people are saying about ‘Grand Animals’:
“Soulful and tight like the Jam but with a more laid-back 1970s AM radio feel.” – Playboy Magazine
“Robbers On High Street return with a fresh crop of melodically driven, 60s-centric gems … the Robbers elaborate on their pop throwbacks by blending assertive lyrics with balladeering instrumentation for a big and funky final product.” – CMJ
“A shining amalgamation of what good rock can be.” – URB Magazine
Robbers On High Street 2007 tour dates:
Dates could change! Go to Robbers On High Street’s Official Website for the latest tour dates and information.
with Great Northern
October 23 – Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC
October 24 – The Village Tavern – Mt. Pleasant, SC
October 25 – The Bottletree – Birmingham, AL
October 26 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA
October 27 – Jack Rabbits – Jacksonville, FL
October 28 – The Social – Orlando, FL
October 29 – Beta Bar – Tallahassee, FL
October 30 – House of Blues Parish – New Orleans, LA
November 1 – The Mink – Houston, TX
November 2 – Club Deville – Austin, TX
November 3 – The Cavern – Dallas, TX
November 4 – Opolis – Norman, OK
November 6 – Modified – Phoenix. AZ
November 7 – The Casbah – San Diego, CA
November 8 – Echoplex – Los Angeles, CA (Great Northern headlines)
November 9 – Bottom of the Hill – San Francisco, CA (Great Northern headlines)
November 10 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR (Great Northern headlines)
November 12 – The Crocodile Cafe – Seattle, WA
November 15 – Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO
November 16 – The Jackpot Saloon – Lawrence, KS
November 17 – 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN
November 18 – Schubas – Chicago, IL
Robbers On High Street’s ‘Grand Animals’ is available online and in stores now.
Last night I went to the King Creosote and Ruarri Joseph gig at the Carling Academy in Oxford. It was a great night of entertainment. Read the review! […]
Last night I went to the King Creosote and Ruarri Joseph gig at the Carling Academy in Oxford. It was a great night of entertainment.
First to address the new Carling Academy Oxford. This was the first time that I had been back to the venue since the renovations that took place over the summer were completed.
Some people that I’ve spoken to about the new ownership of the club still refuse to call it anything other than The Zodiac. I can understand that, since it had been “The Zodiac” and locally owned for a few years.
It always takes time to adjust to change – especially when a large establishment “takes over” a venue and local bands might be affected by the change. Hopefully there will be plenty of nights that will cater to local bands there, as well as opportunities for them to have support slots for bigger acts that come through.
The show was held upstairs with half the room closed off, which made for an intimate evening of music and entertainment. I’m not sure if it’s always closed off up there now, but either way, there was enough room to move for a Monday night out in Oxford.
Cornish based singer/songwriter Ruarri Joseph opened the night with an acoustic set which included singles, “Patience” and “Blankets” off of his latest album, ‘Tales Of Grime And Grit’ out on Atlantic Records.
Ruarri has a very soulful voice and his stage persona is charming. I enjoyed his banter in between songs and there were a few times when he was singing that I thought of Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens). The crowd was receptive – and seemed to enjoy his music, as did I.
I was quite excited to see King Creosote, or Kenny Anderson as he’s known. Maybe the fact that his brother Gordon, who was a founding member of The Beta Band, and is currently in one of my favorite bands The Aliens, had something to do with it. I love musical connections and this is a pretty cool one.
The songs varied from slow ballads to rocking out as a four piece band. The musicians were good – the banter was funny. You could tell they were having a good time. Anderson mentioned he had a late night out on the lash in Oxford the night before and ended up in some hotel room – which would have been an interesting night, I’m sure. The audience laughed quite a bit at his humor and honesty when he mentioned low record sales. He’s certainly not shy and it’s easy to warm to him immediately.
There were times when the music was tinged with an American folk feel – and when Kenny put down his guitar to play the accordion, it added a nice layer to the set.
The closer of the night was – go figure – a cover of The Aliens’ high energy single, “The Happy Song”. I loved it.
King Creosote will be playing a few more gigs in the UK on this tour. Go see them if you can!