Jammin’ In July: My Musical Alphabet

Greetings readers,

Today I’m taking inspiration from fellow music-blogger Daria, from The Music Wonderland, who created her own musical alphabet. I thought it was a great way to share your favourite artists, so I asked if I could upload my own version and she said yes. So, I’ve combed my ITunes, album collection, and previous blogs to bring you my favourite artists for each letter of the alphabet – complete with some throwbacks in there too.

(There are a few gaps towards the end though, sorry!)

 

A – Against The Current

One of my favourite bands at the moment, New Yorkers Against The Current also dropped one of my favourite albums of 2016 with their debut release, ‘In Our Bones’. They have a lot of different elements to their sound, from danceable pop-driven tracks to dark, brooding rock vibes, which all combine to make something undeniably addictive.

To see my review of ATC’s debut album ‘In Our Bones’, click here.

 

B – Bring Me The Horizon

BMTH have been around since my early teens but, admittedly, I have only really gotten into their music recently. Whilst I liked the rough and raw screamo sound of previous releases, I couldn’t listen to it for too long; I couldn’t understand the lyrics, I couldn’t sing along, it just didn’t hit me in the same way that bands like Bullet For My Valentine did at the time, with their darkly twisted debut album ‘The Poison’. However, with their newest release ‘That’s The Spirit’ came a new sound that I’m totally into. Gone are the undecipherable lyrics and discordant arrangements, to be replaced by a melodic stadium-rock vibe. Their trademark ferocity is still there, but has evolved into something different – a change for the better in my opinion.

To see my review of Bring Me The Horizon’s newest release ‘That’s The Spirit’, click here.

 

C – Cassadee Pope

If you were into the pop-punk scene in early 2007 when the female fronted era exploded, then you may recognise ex Hey Monday front woman Cassadee Pope. Having been a fan of the band since their formation in 2008, I was crushed when they decided to go on hiatus with only one album to their name – 2008’s ‘Hold On Tight’. Following their short-lived time as a band, I was beyond intrigued when I found that Pope went on to become a contestant on The Voice USA; following her journey through the competition, which ultimately saw her crowned the winner. She has since released her debut album ‘Frame By Frame’, which reached #1 in the US Country music chart.

To see my article on Cassadee Pope following her win on The Voice USA, click here.

 

D – Demi Lovato

Quite simply, I absolutely adore Demi Lovato. From her musical ability and captivating power-house vocals, to her confidence to speak candidly about her personal struggles, I think that she is someone to be admired.

For more about why I like Demi Lovato, and why she is #1 on my ‘Top 10 Interview Wish-List, click here.

 

E – Ed Sheeran

Simply put? Ed Sheeran is amazing. I truly believe that he is one of the biggest icons of my generation. He has gone from strength to strength within the industry over the years, not just with his own albums but working behind the scenes on hits for other artists, including Justin Bieber, Major Lazer and One Direction. Everything he has done, to this day, has been absolute fire; with one chart hit after another. And, since the release of his newest album ‘Divide’, 2017 has so far been another massive year for our favourite red-head – already having made history by occupying both the #1 and #2 spot in the charts with ‘comeback’ singles ‘Shape Of You’ and ‘Castle On The Hill’ respectively. He gets better and better with each album.

To see my review of ‘Shape Of You’ and ‘Castle On The Hill’, click here.

 

F – Francheschi (Elissa)

I’ve been a fan of Elissa Franceschi’s music since my late teens. Introduced to her after she did guest vocals on You Me At Six track ‘Always Attract’, I then went on to check out her solo music – and fell in love. The soulful songstress has a beautifully delicate, yet powerful, quality to her vocals and her music is always mesmerising; full of honesty and overflowing with poignancy. She is currently on a musical hiatus, as she has been for the last few years, but there have been some little signs online that could hint at a possible return to music soon – here’s hoping! It’s been far too long.

To see my review of Elissa Franceschi’s EP ‘Devoid of Rue’, click here.

 

G – Green Day

One of my first favourite bands back when I first discovered rock music, Green Day were a huge part of the soundtrack to my early teens. Admittedly, I don’t listen to them nowadays, but there will always be a special place in my heart for them.

 

H – Hobbie Stuart

Honey-voiced heart-throb Hobbie Stuart, is a pop singer-songwriter and vlogger. Having built an online following via YouTube over the last six years, Stuart uploads both cover videos and original material to his channel. His smooth, r’n’b-tinged vocals seem to be able to wrap themselves around any song; leaving their own stamp on existing tracks and giving life to his own songs. Having seen him play a short set in Brighton, where he also turned on the town’s Christmas lights, it’s fair to say that he’s just as good live as he is on record – a rare quality nowadays. As well as his hypnotising vocals, Stewart’s hilariously candid personality also comes across in his vlogs, making them even more entertaining. You just can’t help but love him, really.

To check out my initial ‘One to Watch’ on Hobbie Stuart, click here.

For my live review of Stuart’s short set at Brighton’s Christmas light’s switch on, click here.

 

I – Issues

I discovered this metalcore six-piece after recommendation from a friend of mine, and I’m so glad I gave them a listen. Their thrashing yet melodic sound draws on a multitude of different genres, from heavy rock to electronic, and even some R&B. There is a brutal heaviness running through every track, which is lifted by honey-voiced vocalist Tyler Carter’s melodic tone as it drizzles over the gravelly sounds of Michael Bohn’s aggressive screams. This provides a great contrast and incorporating elements of other genres also brings something different to the table, keeping things interesting.

To see my introductory ‘One To Watch’ on Issues, click here.

 

J – Justin Timberlake

Sorry, I’m not sorry. Justin Timberlake is up there with some of the best male vocalists in the pop scene. From the curly-haired kid in boyband Nsync to the suave pin-up that girls fantasize over, JT and his music continue to stand the test of time – his smooth brand of r’n’b drenched pop still winning hearts, and awards, worldwide.

 

K – Kelly Clarkson

Again, another artist whose vocals continue to always cause a stir in the pop charts, fifteen years after she became the first ever winner of American Idol. Kelly Clarkson has an amazing voice; strong, bold and powerful, both on and off record. The majority of her music centres on themes such as heart-break, self-empowerment and independence, much of which really speaks to me. Her second studio album ‘Breakaway’ was a big part of the soundtrack to my early teens, with its pop-rock sound and dark undertones.

 

L – Luke Pickett

Luke Pickett is an artist that, I don’t think, gets as much recognition as he should. I discovered Pickett’s music 10 years ago, thanks to my friend using his track ‘Empty Corridors’ as her profile song on Myspace – remember those days?! I fell in love with it and soon became addicted to other songs such as ‘Going Down With This Ship’, ‘Dream Love Cure’ and ‘Cruel Love’. I even came close to interviewing him for this blog at the very beginning, after emailing his management, but somehow it fell through. I still go back and listen to those old songs from time to time, and I’m always keeping an eye on his new stuff. With his level of talent, impeccable, addictive vocals and ability to craft a captivating, poignant song, I can’t understand how he’s not a mainstream artist!

 

M – My Chemical Romance

The mouth-piece for an entire musical movement, and responsible for starting a conversation about the misunderstanding of subcultures, My Chemical Romance became the voice of a generation of misfit teens and in the process became revered; seen almost like heroes. Their music spoke to so many people (including myself) and created a community. Over the years, and the many colours/styles of Gerard Way’s hair, they created so many iconic moments that will always be remembered. I’m so glad I got to see them live before they split; it still hurts my heart a little that they’re not together anymore.

 

N – Nirvana

Another band that I, admittedly, don’t listen to anymore, but who influenced my music tastes back in the day. When I started listening to rock music in my mid-teens, Nirvana were a band that I inevitably came across; I say inevitably because you can’t have not heard of them if you’re into rock, I mean everybody knows who Kurt Cobain is, right? I loved the overall vibe of their music, (I used to be into the heavier stuff!) Kurt’s gruff and gravelly vocals, and I’ve always been interested in their/his compelling story. It’s not at all surprising to me that their music continues to influence musicians and have an effect on people, to this day.

 

O – Out Of Sight

Having disbanded quite a few years ago, you might think it’s weird that I chose to include pop-punk band Out Of Sight. However, after seeing them supporting You Me At Six live back in 2009, they were a band that left a lasting impression and I loved their music. Luckily, when I did work experience for Kerrang! that same year, I was given a copy of their demo CD by Katie P after I told her how much I liked them. To this day, I’m still so thankful to her for that because, if she hadn’t, their music would be 100% lost to me – and I’m so glad that it isn’t. I still listen to it from time to time and it never fails to put a smile on my face.

 

P – Panic! At The Disco

Another band that were a big part of the 2007 explosion of ‘emo’/pop-punk artists in the rock scene, you couldn’t not like Panic! At The Disco. Their single ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ is now a cult favourite among people of that era – there was a time when everyone was singing along to that chorus!. Over the years they’ve headlined the likes of Reading Festival and gained national airplay on Radio One, and continue to sell out arenas to this day.

 

Q – Queen

Not a band that I listen to regularly, but Queen is an absolute classic – there’s no doubt about it. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, ‘I Want To Break Free’… everyone knows at least one of their songs, and they’re great to dance to!

 

R – Room 94

I discovered Room 94 thanks to Twitter back in 2012, and they quickly went on to become one of my favourite bands at the time. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you may know that I tried for an entire year to get an interview with the boys and, after meeting them at multiple shows, luckily got that chance at the Brighton date of their 2013 ‘Three Brothers and One Kit’ summer tour. It’s still one of the most fun interviews I’ve ever done and they’re really lovely and funny guys – I’d interview them again in a heartbeat!

To see my interview with Room 94, click here.

 

S – Set It Off

This Floridian foursome have been one of my favourite bands for a few years, after discovering them when I was invited to interview them at a show. I’d never listened to them, or seen them live, but their stage presence and show changed that irrevocably. So taken was I that I went straight to their merch desk after their set and bought their debut – and at the time, only – album ‘Cinematics’, which I listened to in its entirety for months. I’ve kept up to date with their releases ever since, and seen their sound evolve from dark and twisted orchestral pop-rock, to something lighter and increasingly pop-based, all whilst retaining that certain Set It Off something.

To see my review of Set It Off’s second album ‘Duality’ click here.
I’ve also done short reviews of a handful of their songs from newest album ‘Upside Down’. To see those, click here (Uncontainable), here (Something New) and here (Crutch).

 

T – The Summer Set

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, then you’ll know that The Summer Set are one of my Top 5 favourite bands ever! I try to see them live every time they come to the UK and each time is always more fun than the last; they never fail to put on an amazing show, it’s like a party that nobody wants to end. I love their unique brand of inspirational, poignant, summery, feel good pop-rock, made even more distinctive by Brian Dales’ original vocal tone. I’ve bought every album they’ve ever released and their music just gets better and better over the years. Their newest release ‘Stories For Monday’ was one of my top albums of last year and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next!

I’ve actually been lucky enough to chat to John Gomez, Jess Bowen and Brian Dales on separate occasions and they’re all lovely (the latter I even managed to interview before a show at Kingston Peel, despite him being a little worse for wear!)

To see my review of the band’s newest album ‘Stories For Monday’, click here.
And, to see my review of the last time I saw them live, at Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms, click here.

U – —–

 

V – Versaemerge

Another great band that, sadly, aren’t together in this format currently, Versaemerge were part of the second wave of the pop-punk/emo scene. When the likes of Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco were established they paved the way for similar bands to breakout, one of them being Versaemerge. After being signed by the front-running label of the era, Fuelled By Ramen, Versaemerge released their debut – and sadly only – album ‘Fixed At Zero’. Over the years they battled a lot of obstacles, including significant line-up changes, as well as the long wait between releases. By the time a second album looked to be forming it came with a change of sound, gone was the dark melodic rock, in favour of an electronic vibe; times and the scene had changed. Shortly after, remaining members, Sierra Kusterbeck and Blake Harnage decided to reinvent themselves as Versa, an entirely new entity. However, the status of the band is unclear as no new material has been released, and vocalist Sierra now fronts new musical project ‘Neaux’. One thing’s for sure, I hope they revive Versa at some point because I’d be so sad if they just faded away.

As a female, Sierra was one of my main inspirations of that time, and while I was at university I was actually lucky enough to interview Blake Harnage for an article I was working on about fan-funding. To see that article, click here.

 

W – Waltzz

A young aspiring rapper that reached out to me for a review back in 2015, Waltzz is now a name that you’ll definitely be familiar with if you follow my blog regularly. Full of passion and unrivalled drive, Waltzz – real name Liam Stewart – is an artist that I really admire. From his music (and his passion for it) to the overall message he tries to convey, he is definitely worth checking out. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting him and he’s a really great, down to earth guy too – which is always a plus!

To see my review of Waltzz’s most recent single ‘I’m Alright’, click here.

 

X – —-

 

Y – You Me At Six

You Me At Six have been one of my favourite bands since I was seventeen and, now in my mid-twenties, they still are. Over the years I’ve seen them grow with their music and, in turn, I have grown up with it. So many of their songs serve as a reminder of many different events and happenings, and I have nothing but fond memories of seeing them live – all 10+ times! They have yet to make an album that I dislike, and my only hope is that they continue making music for a long time yet!

To read my review of You Me At Six’s latest album ‘Night People’, click here.

 

Z – —-

 

And there you have it – if you got this far, to you I give the biggest of high-fives. I hope that I inspired you to give some of these artists a try, if you’ve not heard of them. What did you think of my choices? If you’ve got any recommendations for the letters I missed feel free to let me know in a comment.

As always, thank you for reading! I’m uploading twice a week throughout July so, If you like what I do here and you want to keep up to date with my upcoming posts, feel free to come and join me on:

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My Top 10 Interview Wish-List

Greetings readers,

Today’s post is one that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I originally planned to upload it as a video, but that proved to be a bit of a faff, so I decided to write it instead and…well, here we are.

I’ve always said that interviewing is my favourite aspect of what I do; it’s always exciting for me to interview an artist because I’m just little ol’ me who started a blog at university, I don’t have the added benefit of an established magazine behind me, it is just me. As a result, there are people I’d love to interview that I’ll probably never get the chance to, so I thought I’d compile a Top 10 wish-list of my dream interviewees.

Firstly though, I’d like to talk a bit about my interview style and what inspired my particular approach. The reason I interview anyone is because I admire their work, so when I get the opportunity to talk to an artist my goal is to make them feel as comfortable as possible. By doing this the interview becomes more conversational, which makes for a better experience; let’s face it, uber-formal, stilted interviews aren’t a comfortable watch, or read, and you’re less likely to get the best responses.

I watch a lot of interviews and the person that always sticks in my mind is Ellen DeGeneres. If you watch The Ellen Show, you’ll know that it looks like a hugely fun environment – from being in the audience to being a guest – and you can tell that there’s a genuine admiration or friendship between Ellen and the majority of her interviewees. The fact that the likes of Taylor Swift and Gwen Stefani have been on the show multiple times is testament to the warm and welcoming environment Ellen creates, and it always makes for a great watch. This down-to-earth, semi-informal, atmosphere is what I try to achieve with my own interviews.

‘So who’s in your Top 10?’ I hear you ask… continue reading to find out.

 

#1 Demi Lovato

I think Demi Lovato is an extremely inspiring young woman. I’ve reviewed many of her songs on this blog and I think, musically, she’s a powerhouse. Outside of her music, Lovato has been very vocal in regards to her struggles with mental health, including discovering she was bi-polar and conquering an eating disorder. She has since spoken out about the controversy’s that have surrounded her and has chosen to become a positive influence to others, stating that she wants to be the difference for people who think they have to look, or be, a certain way to be considered cool. I watched an MTV documentary on Lovato, ‘Staying Strong’, which gave an insight into her struggles and treatment, and it moved me to tears at points. I think often we forget that people in the public eye are just that – people, and it takes a strong person to be able to admit so publicly that they have done things they aren’t proud of, and change their ways. It’s for these reasons, and more, that I’d love to talk to Demi Lovato about her career, life, aspirations for the future and everything in between.

Click here to see my review of Lovato’s single ‘Confident.’

 

#2 Alex DeLeon

If you’ve read my blog before then you’ll definitely recognise this name. Alex DeLeon is the lead vocalist of The Cab – a band I was fortunate enough to interview back in 2012, via email, after contacting their manager. However, DeLeon has recently unveiled a brand new solo project under the moniker Bohnes. Having released a number of singles it’s clear that the singer’s newest venture is a world away from the pop-rock sounds of The Cab, favouring a more synth based, pop/dance sound. So, does this mean an uncertain future for the band? It’d be great to sit down with DeLeon to chat about this new project, the status of the band, and what he has coming up.

Click here to see my review of DeLeon’s debut single as Bohnes, ‘Guns and Roses.’

 

#3 Sketch & Stevie P

If you’re a fan of E4’s hugely popular TV show ‘Tattoo Fixers’ then you’ll already be familiar with half of this duo. Let’s be honest, I feel like I could talk to Sketch about tattooing (and a mutual love of Sloths) for ages, but outside of his work in tattooing, he also makes music. I first became aware of this after stumbling across a 30 second clip of a song called ‘I Walk With’, featuring Stevie P, that the tattooist shared on Twitter. With its heavy rock sound, complete with raw scream vocals, it came across as very Bring Me The Horizon-esque; I definitely wanted to hear the full track. Following this, the lads released a song called ‘Everything (Part 2)’, and what I was met with totally caught me off guard; it was rap, totally not what I was expecting. However, the song is undeniably beautiful, and you’d have to be made of stone not to be moved by it.

Five months on, the guys have yet to release a follow-up but have teased that new single ‘Street Lights’ is in the pipeline. Stevie has said via Twitter that the duo are currently facing ‘a few minor issues,’ and Sketch has also previously tweeted that he’s unable to release music at the moment, so there are obviously bigger things at play here. Having said that, it’d be great to chat to the pair about their music at some point and see what they have planned. I bet they’d be a really interesting pair to have a chat with too.

I’d also just like to say that I know ‘Tattoo Fixers’ has been getting a lot of negative press over the last few weeks, mainly over how the show is made, allegations of plagiarism concerning designs, and its implications on the tattooing industry as a whole. These aren’t things that I feel qualified to comment on, however, I can say that as a viewer I really enjoy the show and I like each of the artist’s different styles (I’ve actually emailed both Sketch and Alice about possibly getting pieces done by them.) Personally, I’d love to hang out on-set for a day to see for myself how things are done, so I could say from experience ‘this is what goes on’.

Click here to see my review of ‘Everything (Part 2)’.

 

#4 Vicky Pattison

I don’t know about you, but having never watched Geordie Shore, I had no idea who Vicky Pattison was until she appeared on last year’s ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.’ However, I see that as a good thing because I had no preconceived notions of her going in; as I’ve said elsewhere in this post, it’s all too easy to judge someone based on their media coverage. I thought she was absolutely brilliant, hilarious and a lovely, down-to-earth girl. She gave an interview on Loose Women following winning ‘I’m A Celeb’, and I was even more struck by how eloquent and candid she was. Again, it takes a strong person to hold their hands up and admit their wrong-doings and I have a lot of respect for her for doing that and changing her ways  – and with it the public’s perception of her. I think she’d be great fun to talk to about how she, and her career, have grown since Geordie Shore (and I daresay she’d be brilliant company on a night out as well!)

 

#5 Zoe Sugg & Gabriella Lindley

If you don’t know who Zoe Sugg and Gabriella Lindley (AKA Zoella and Velvet Gh0st) are, then to you I ask, where have you been? The two are huge hits on YouTube, with their beauty tips as well as follow-me-around style videos, having racked up millions of subscribers between them. One of the first videos I saw of Zoe’s was one about dealing with anxiety, and I had huge admiration for her taking on that subject because it takes guts to discuss that sort of thing so publicly. Similarly, Gabriella is also very candid and open about her struggles with the same issues, and knowing that both the girls suffer with anxiety is one of the reasons why I’d like to interview them together. I feel like they’d be more comfortable because they’d have each other for support, rather than it being a one-on-one situation which might make them feel more pressure – which totally isn’t what I’m going for. I watch both the girls’ videos regularly and I love their personalities and the way they come across onscreen, so it’d be awesome to chat to them about their internet presence and being in the public eye. Gabriella has also started posting covers among her video content, click here to check out my review of her most recent cover of Ariana Grande’s ‘Leave Me Lonely’, featuring fellow YouTuber Hobbie Stuart.

 

#6 Taylor Swift

As I said in my previous review of Swift’s fifth studio album, 1989: ‘whatever your opinion of the darling of pop music, you can’t deny that Taylor Swift is slaying the industry at the moment.’ From taking on the likes of Apple and Spotify, she seems to be everywhere. I’ve been a fan of Swift’s since the early days of ‘Love Story’ back in 2008, and since then we’ve seen her grow into the artist that she is today who looks set to take over the world. As with the majority of people in the public eye, everyone has an opinion on Swift, be it positive or negative there will always be one, and I think it would be great to be able to have an opinion based off of actual personal experience rather than media sensationalism.

Click here to see my review of Swift’s album ‘1989.’

 

#7 Ed Sheeran

There is one simple reason for this pick: I love Ed Sheeran. From his magnificent music to his endearingly down-to-earth nature, he comes across as a genuinely nice guy – and those are always the best kinds of people. He has said things in previous interviews that I whole-heartedly agree with, and his passion for what he does is undeniable. Sheeran is currently taking a break from social media, but has said that he’ll be back in the autumn with a brand-new album. It would be absolutely amazing to be one of the first to speak to him about his new music and what makes it “the best thing [he has] made thus far.”

Click here to see my review of Sheeran’s most recent album ‘X.’

 

#8 Simon Cowell

I know this will seem like a controversial choice, but that’s exactly my reasoning. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll know who Simon Cowell is and, whether you love him or loathe him, everyone has their own opinion of the music mogul. It’s safe to say that the majority of these opinions will be based on media perception and what we read – unless you’re a close personal friend of Mr. Cowell that is. Personally, I like to judge people based on my own experience of them as opposed to hearsay, (remember the old saying ‘don’t believe everything you read’?) and I would just love the chance to talk to Simon Cowell about the industry, and discover for myself what the big man in music is actually like.

 

#9 Gerard Way

The My Chemical Romance frontman was a huge inspiration to me growing up, aside from the fact that I loved the band’s music, I watched a lot of interviews with Way and I was always struck by his way with words. He would always put his points across eloquently and with such honesty; which I think is what gained him the unwavering respect of a generation of music fans, including me. A lot of people took Way to their hearts and revered him, almost like a hero, and I am proud to say that I grew up in a time when the band existed. They had their fair share of negative attention, but I have nothing but fond memories of their music and being inspired by them. I’m so glad I got to see them live before they split; it’d be a dream come true to catch up with Gerard Way and chat about his career after MCR and what he is up to at the moment.

 

#10 You Me At Six

Again, my teenage self wouldn’t be happy if this Surrey-based quintet didn’t make an appearance. You Me At Six have been one of my favourite bands since I was 17 and, now in my 20s, I feel as though I’ve grown up with them and their music. They have yet to make an album that I dislike, and they always put on a killer live show; I’ve seen them play 10 times and the last time I went I felt like one of the oldest people in the room (long gone are the days of me wearing brightly coloured fishnets, a tutu and home-made t-shirts.) Being that YMAS are one of my longest standing favourite bands it’d be great to speak to them about their career to date, and what their next move is.

Click here to see my live review of You Me At Six at Brixton Academy.

 

And there you have it, there are some artists I’ve interviewed before that I’d love to follow-up with, but for this list I decided to just include those that I’d probably have no chance of ever interviewing.

Who would be your dream person to interview? Are there any from my list that you wouldn’t mind having a good ol’ chin-wag with? Feel free to let me know in a comment :).

 

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So True: Inspirational and Genuine Artists in the Music Industry

Ok so this blog has been a long time coming on a subject I have always felt very strongly about.

And that is the fact that I LOVE and have so much respect for bands who love and appreciate their fans as much as their fans love and appreciate them, and actually take the time of day to reply to tweets, stand and sign autographs and take pictures with fans before/after shows.

A lot of the bands that I like have this attitude and that’s what makes them all the more likeable and loveable, because you can see that they are genuine people who love what they do and are thankful for their fans. I feel that these are the artists who deserve their fans and their place in the music industry, whereas when artists don’t really appreciate their fans I think that they don’t deserve those fans, because the fans are the people who buy your records and put you where you are, without people to listen to your band or music you wouldn’t be able to continue and I just find it so heartwarming when musicians and bands realise that, remain completely grounded and think themselves not above or below anyone else and are all round genuine people.

There are so many bands I could name that I get that vibe from, and I think it’s even cooler when the bands WANT to do so rather than feeling they HAVE to. Likewise when I met You Me At Six at HMV in London when I was 17 and they were all nice enough to give me a hug and Josh stood and chatted with me and asked if I was going to their Astoria show and stuff.

I was actually inspired to write this particular blog today after reading a blog post by Alex DeLeon from Las Vegas band The Cab, which spoke about how he is grateful for all the fans and just reading it brought tears to my eyes as you can feel the sincerity and that sincerity has always meant a lot to me, I don’t know if it’s because of what I do but I have always felt that the music and the people who create that music go hand in hand a little bit. I think if I hear a song that’s so beautiful and emotional, and then the artist doesn’t reflect that and is ungrateful and a bit of an asshole then I wouldn’t be able to listen to their work in the same way again, as I think why should I spend my money on your records or my time trekking to get to your shows when you seem to take it all for granted? Because you are helping to build that band up to give them opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise had and they don’t seem to care. Though there is always the argument of ‘Does that make the music any less beautiful?’ and in my opinion I do think it taints it a little bit because it isn’t real and it isn’t honest. And maybe it is because I’m so into music that I care so much because I want to know that the bands I invest my time and love enough to wait outside shows for pictures and to chat to deserve it.

[Alex Deleon’s blog] I hope one day I will get to meet this man because I think he would be amazing to chat to, chat to about music and hang out with,  perhaps even interview in person if I’m lucky. *Keep your fingers crossed for me!*

But like I said I have always felt strongly about this and have always felt inspired when artists show a genuine attitude offstage, to their fans as well as onstage. Here are some other videos that inspired this blog:

 

I think Gerard Way is amazing, after so many years being a fan of MCR and seeing how Gerard has said things like “We all fit in this world” (in the video below) and even to go so far as to stop shows mid song to get someone in the crowd who is getting crushed picked up, or when I went to see them Gerard actually tapped a security guard on the shoulder and gestured for him to remove someone from the crowd as she had nearly passed out. I just love the fact that he and the band care so much about the fans.

 

 

Sean Smith (of The Blackout) was also nice enough to let me ask him a question for this blog when I met him and I thank him for taking the time out to speak to me, when he’d just played a show and could’ve easily said he couldn’t be bothered or he was too tired, but no he was absolutely lovely and took the time to speak to me as well as everyone else and I respect him enormously for that.

 

 

 

 

So I think that’s enough of me rambling on and I don’t even know if I could ever fully explain how I feel, as it is a personal thing, but if you love a band and are lucky enough to meet them and they show you respect and are just as happy and appreciative that you are there to support them, how does that make you feel? Because for me, it makes liking and supporting that band all the more worthwhile.

My Chemical Romance, World Contamination Tour, Wembley Arena 12/2/11. KILLJOYS MAKE SOME NOISE.

Continuation of last blog. Part 2 of 2. HEADLINERS!

After a very lengthy set change – During which pictures relating to the Killjoys album we’re shown on the big screen to wet the audience’s appetite, which they certainly did – more screams erupted as the lights went down and the voice of Dr. Death Defying with the albums opening track Look Alive Sunshine Filled the room.
A screen had been put up to cover the stage, this stayed in place until the explosive opening refrain of Na Na Na to which the crowd screamed and chanted along with, many times frontman Gerard Way – easily identifiable with his new bright red hair – holding his mic into the air inviting us to sing it.

 
The second song of the night was Give ’em Hell Kid from 2004’s ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge.’ They played a mix of songs that spanned across every album, also playing tracks from their first record, 2002’s ‘I brought you bullets you brought me your love’  and 2006’s multi platinum ‘The Black Parade’.

One thing that is noticeable is the break from ‘…Parade’ in the lack of theatrics involved; no props, no costumes, no makeup, just a wicked light show and the boys, which to be fair, is all it really needs: The emotion and rawness, crowd reaction and the connection between the crowd and the band was what made it a great show.
Gerard proving he is a fantastic and captivating frontman who gives 110% in every single song and is hard to take your eyes from, whilst still being able to play around with the audience, at one point playfully standing sideways on and smacking his ass, and introducing Destroya in a Dracula-esque funny voice. The band didn’t really have much to say between songs either, rather, letting the songs speak for themselves and the audience take what they want to take from it.
And the crowd certainly didn’t mind, collectively punching our fists in the air to the likes of Sing and singing along to songs such as I’m not ok and Welcome to the Black Parade – during which Gerard made a face when singing the lyric I’m not a hero, as if to point out, he wasn’t.

During the set Gerard made it clear how much the band loved London, at one point saying  “I think we’re going to have to move here.”
At one point a crowd member threw a union jack print jacket onstage, which Gerard proceeded to pick up and thank the person for it. He then asked the crowd “Do you think it’ll fit?” then hung it on a piece of equipment saying “I’ll find a place for this.” However, the crowd were having none of that and began to chant ‘Put it on’, to which Gerard ran and collected the jacket and put it on, saying “I think that’s kinda nice” and proceeded to play Teenagers with it on, before taking it off saying that it was too hot to wear it.

Not that you can see it very well but he’s wearing the jacket!

Gerard also enlisted the audience’s help leading into set closer Helena by way of “Tradition”, inviting the audience to repeat him. (video below, Not my video.)

 

However, us crowd members wouldn’t quite let them go yet and so they re-emerged to play a 2 song encore.
Gerard walked back onstage in darkness whilst the keyboard played the first bars of the beautiful and extremely moving track, Cancer. Alone, illuminated by one light behind him, the audience singing along to every word. This song demonstrates what good song writers My Chemical Romance are and the emotion that they pour into every song. It was beautiful, in every sense of the word.
The same can be said for when they played The Ghost of You earlier on in the set, using the keyboard to create a slower, more sombre and even calmer version of the song until the explosive ‘Woah’ ‘s during the middle.
The second encore of the night was the explosive Vampires will never hurt you.

The band then made a no frills exit, simply walking off stage, Gerards last words being: “LONDON WE’RE MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE!” That, they certainly were and that’s why I love them.

All In all, it was a WICKED set and an all together amazing night. My Chemical Romance are an amazing live band and Gerard Way is one hell of a frontman. They evoke so much emotion, beauty and passion in their performance and I think that transfers to the audience – or at least it did to me, and it made me love them all the more.
It’s something I wish that I could explain accurately with words but in truth, there are no words that will do it justice. But if you were there, or you’ve seen them live before, or you just love MCR you should get the gist of what I mean. 🙂

P.S. planetary is going to be the next single. Gerard told us when introducing sing 🙂
“This is our single at the moment, planetary’s gunna be the next single but this is our single at the moment, it’s called sing.”

x

My Chemical Romance, World Contamination Tour, Wembley Arena 12/2/11. THE SUPPORTS.

I’m going to split this blog into two: One blog for the support acts and one blog for the MCR set. This is because, looking back through what I’ve written, the section on ‘LostAlone’ and ‘The Blackout’ is pretty lengthy on its own. So to break things up a bit that’s how I’m going to work it. This blog is about the support acts.

So as you can probably guess from the title I went to see My Chemical Romance live at Wembley last Saturday, and let me say, it was F***ING AMAZING.

We managed to get there early so were in our seats well before the supports came on, and we were pretty close to the stage so I wasn’t complaining.

The first support were Derbyshire based outfit ‘LostAlone’. Now I will admit, I’d heard of LostAlone in passing but never listened to any of their stuff (and I hadn’t known who the support acts were, as on my ticket it just said ‘plus special guests’, otherwise I would’ve checked them out before hand) and I think the worst thing at a gig is to get roped into going and not knowing any of the words to any of the songs, otherwise it can just sound like noise.
Sadly this is what LostAlone’s set felt like to me. I could hardly make out any of the lyrics and the guitars and drums were very high up in the mix. As well as this the way they looked and conducted themselves was rather shambolic; lead singer Steven Battelle wearing an oversized white shirt and black trousers, with his black hair covering his face. However, Battelle did seem like a nice guy saying how he “Fucking love(s) it” in a room with so many “Like minded people”.
Though in all honesty, I think I would’ve enjoyed the set more if I’d have known the lyrics to sing along and be able to distinguish and identify what I was listening to, as from the stuff I’ve heard on youtube since, they’re not that bad. 🙂

The second and final support act were Welsh 6 piece, ‘The Blackout’.
Now this is the second time I’ve seen ‘The Blackout  supporting (they also supported YouMeAtSix on their last tour in December.) and they were AWSOME.
Screams errupted from the crowd as soon as the band emerged in darkness, and as the lights went up a very high-pitched ‘WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!’ was the greeting we got from Sean Smith before launching into their first song of the night.
Smith was hard to take your eyes from, playing to the audience and looking slick in his skinny jeans and leather jacket, ditching his trademark long fringe in favour of a shorter spiky quiff type do, almost making him hard to recognise.
Smith first demonstrated his cheeky nature spitting into the air and catching it either back in his mouth or in his hand and although that sounds gross, Smith is obviously a very charismatic and entertaining frontman who evidently knows how to work the stage and the audience, at one point jumping from the stage and into the crowd whilst singing. (Picture below:)

 
Similarly, Smith commanded the crowd to get on their knees to have them spring up when the beat dropped in exclaiming “If this works you’ll be glad you we’re a part of it” and “If you like MCR you will get down now!”

When showing support for and asking the audience to  ‘give it up’ for Lost Alone and My Chem, they playfully asked the audience to “Give it up for the worst band on the bill…THE BLACKOUT”. Despite this the audience cheered, so were stopped by the band who then asked us to boo and hiss at them, Smith joking “Fuck The Blackout”. Throughout the set the level of respect the lads have for the headliners was made apparent, thanking them multiple times and cheekily exclaiming to the crowd: “We know you’re excited, we’re all Fucking excited!”.

The band also did a cover of Willow Smith’s ‘I Whip My Hair’ leading into their single ‘It’s high tide baby’ (video clip below) which was both unexpected and completely genius:

 

and also played an exclusive new song from their new album ‘Hope’, entitled ‘Higher and Higher’, enlisting the audience’s help with a ‘woah’ refrain, Smith very ‘technically’ explaining to the crowd that there’s a bit that goes “JUM JUM” then he would point to us for us to sing “Woah”. The song had never been played live before and apparently London “set a very high standard” I’m guessing in terms of reaction to. 🙂 And if the crowd reaction was anything to go by tonight, ‘The Blackout’ should be very happy little chappies, the crowd united in punching their fists in the air and singing along with Smith and Gavin Butler (also on Vocals) throughout the set.
This is a band who know how to put on a good show and are clearly loved by their fans. What more could you want?

(MCR SET REVIEW COMING NEXT :):):)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

x