Seen and Heard…

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1. Last Saturday, I saw the brilliant Duke Special live. There’s nobody quite like him; he combines pop, folk, cabaret, theatre and storytelling along with fantastic musicianship and a beautiful voice to make a great performance every time I see him play. And he has the best Belfast accent I’ve ever heard…swoon. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=queSqeVcLY4)

2. The week before last, I saw My Vitriol play their first gig in five years at Koko, London. While I was admittedly skeptical about the fact they are still touring an album 13 years old, they still sounded great and this week I can’t get enough of Finelines. It’s a true classic album that isn’t showing it’s age at all.

3. My band of the week this week, MS MR.

4. This week, I went to see the ridiculous Spanish comedy, I’m So Excited. It made me laugh out loud, a lot and I reviewed it here.

5. On Monday night, I went along to Longitude, a monthly night showcasing some of the acts that will be performing at this year’s Latitude festival. This month’s featured Luke Wright, an Essex lad turned poet with poetry covering subjects such as broad as the Essex Lion to Nigel Farage, Lucy Beaumont, a breaking female comedian with a host of witty one-liners, Pappy’s, one of the best sketch groups out there who had the whole audience in fits of laughter and Nick Mulvey, whose dreamy acoustic sounds provided a perfect close for the evening and made me dream of lying in a field. Hurry up festival season!
A busy week for me, what have you been watching and listening to this week?

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Band of the Week #3: Findlay

This weekend, I headed up to the North for Live At Leeds Festival 2013, which has given me plenty of inspiration for my band of the week. Although the main attraction for me was Everything Everything (by far my favourite band of the moment) it was a great opportunity to also check out some new artists in some of the city’s many great music venues. (More on them to come later…)

But for now, on to my band of the week. Findlay make classic sounding bluesy rock and roll, led by the husky, powerful vocals of Natalie Findlay. Her charm and charisma on stage was infectious and I soon found myself well and truly drawn in by their big riffs and punchy singalong melodies. I’m pretty sure the men in the audience were transfixed by her and most of us girls looked on in envy at her effortless style and great voice.

Admittedly, I don’t think there is anything particularly original about what Findlay do but not everyone can be an innovator and in my opinion, there’s always room for new, good quality rock and roll, particularly when it’s fronted by a girl with a big personality and even bigger vocal chords!

Have a listen, turn it up and enjoy, and have a great bank holiday!

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Band of the Week #2: Public Service Broadcasting

I’ve known about Public Service Broadcasting for quite a while and while I enjoyed their music well enough, they’ve never quite grabbed me and made me want to press repeat but, their latest release, Signal 30 and the B side New Dimensions in Sound have meant they’ve turned a corner for me. It’s not often you can honestly say a new band has a unique sound but PSB build  instrumental tracks around old samples they’ve drawn from radio and news archives and turn them into complex and often moving soundtracks. At first, I honestly thought this idea had little in the way of longevity but the more they release, the more I’ve decided that they offer substance as well as style and I’m really looking forward to the release of their LP, ‘Inform, Educate, Entertain,’ next month.

While ‘Signal 30’ is the lead single and the one getting radio play at the moment, I personally prefer the ‘B side,’ New Dimensions In Sound- I’m drawn in instantly by  the beautiful, dreamy beginning to the track which soon descends into rocky chaos.

If you like what you hear, they are just about to embark on a huge UK tour which is selling out fast, so check out the tourdates on their webpage: http://publicservicebroadcasting.net/

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