Friday, 23 April 2010

Young Rebel Set - Lennons Southampton 17th April

The seven piece band from Stockton-on-Tees stepped up onto a very small stage barely leaving a single member with any room to move.

The immediate thing that was striking about this band besides the seven of them stood up on stage was the voice of their lead singer. He has a strong voice and sung with his northern accent, creating a similar voice to that of Liam Fray.

Their music was definitely lively and offered a folk feel, which naturally led to a lively crowd bobbing up and down to the bouncy bass lines to songs such as ‘Rosie’. The folk influences that the band have shone through in this song and scratchy sounds of the acoustic guitar that were played in sync with the bass and mandolin made it stand out.

As well as creating bouncy lively songs with punchy drumming these young rebels have the ability to create a song with a much more meaningful edge to it. ‘I won’t get up again’ was one of these songs – with catchy lyrics and forceful drum beats, it had the feel of a ballad, slowly building up to the big sing-a-long, which made this song one to stick in your head – no wonder is it set to be released.

The band managed to show us a softer side with ‘If I Was’, which came across as a gentle love song. The guitar during the intro was parallel to something from Bright Eyes. This song immediately came across as a wonderfully wrote love song and could easily something you’d hear on Valentine’s Day swapped between many couples. Lyrics like, “If I was a betting man, I would bet you loved me too, I’d bet everything I had for chance to be with you”, paint an image of a song wrote for a loved one.

Listening to the lyrics in more depth there seems to be more to the song. “I wish I never learnt a chord” and “I wasted so much time” could have led the audience to believe that the song may be about love lost due to music.

A fantastic performance from Young Rebel Set containing something for everyone.

Rating: 4/5

Review by Craig Thomas

This has been published on Southsonic's website.

Save 6 Music

Save “6 Music”!

For many years I have been listening to BBC 6 music radio station after discovering it one Sunday morning when I found myself bored with nothing to do. I was immediately hooked on the music that they played and the quirky presenters they had to go with it. After recently this year discovering that the BBC have plans to take the station of air I was saddened and like many others couldn’t see why they wanted to do this.

For myself and I am sure for many other people BBC 6 Music has been a great source for discovering new music from the various selection of music they play on the show. It’s probably the only radio station in the UK that plays the music that they do. Mix the music with the quirky presenters and there is not much else more that you need for a great radio station.

A story reported in the Times said “The BBC has failed British musicians and their fans by deciding to shut the digital radio station 6 Music, record industry chiefs said at the weekend.” The story goes on to say “In a strongly worded letter to Mark Thompson, the Director-General, representatives of the music industry said they were “surprised and alarmed” by last week’s report in The Times that the broadcaster is to close the alternative music station as part of an overhaul of the corporation’s size and scope.” The BBC in my opinion fail to realise the popularity of the show and how it is so important for new small bands to get radio coverage as it is a lot harder for them to get played on radio 1. As nowadays we have no Top of the Pops by having “6 Music” it’s where a lot of bands are showcased to the public for the first time.
Some people have been arguing that the BBC needs to take “6 Music” of the air so that they can save money. I feel that it would much more sensible for the BBC to cut the salaries of their “Stars” like Jonathon Ross. I have also spoke to people and heard people say that Radio 1 is a good hub for introducing new music and to be honest this idea annoys me as I don’t think anyone can compare Radio 1 and “6 Music” for playing and introducing new music. Radio 1 always has been and always will be a much more commercial radio station and they have set playlists as to what they have to play whereas 6 Music plays a much greater variety of music. They allow for much more personality for their presenters who reflect this with the music they play.

I really do hope that Mark Thompson and the BBC come to their senses and realise that 6 Music is far too important to the public and to the music world to be taken off air. They should look at other ways to restructure the BBC without damaging the music sector.


Monday, 19 April 2010

Joshua Radin - Bristol Thekla - 15th April 2010

Joshua Radin pleases his fans in a very intimate and cosy venue with fantastic support from “The Staves” and “Lissie”.

The Staves were the first to grace the stage on a warm Thursday evening in Bristol – three young girls with very melancholic voices leading to a beautiful start to the night. With a one guitar and three stunning voices they created a sound comparable to Laura Marling. Each and every song was greeted with a very appreciative applause by the audience.

Lissie followed The Staves and certainly the expectant crowd. A very charming American gal singing with all she had and she seemed extremely grateful to be in the UK. The performance was folk, blues and country all in one. It was a very strong performance and most of the audience found themselves foot tapping along with songs such as “In Sleep” and “Little Lovin’”. No wonder they received such a great reception from the Bristol crowd.

Joshua Radin didn’t leave the crowd waiting long and entered the stage with his band and “The Staves” providing the backing vocals.

Joshua started his set with “No Envy No Fear” and had the crowd gazing at him in wonder. During the song Joshua even stepped away from the mic and closer to the crowd, still not losing the impact of his wonderful voice. The self proclaimed “whisper-rock” style from Joshua Radin shone through in this song and throughout the night.

One thing about this performance that stood out was that he constantly kept the crowd involved whether it was just by telling them a story or by asking questions. There was constant inclusion of a story before every song he sang – why he wrote it and where he wrote it etc. The stories gave every song that much more personal meaning especially in the case of “One of those days” which he wrote after seeing his ex-girlfriend everywhere he went.

“Sky” which was performed by Joshua and The Staves lead singer was a very intimate acoustic performance with the pair sharing a mic and singing in perfect harmony as the rest of band exited the stage to leave the spotlight on the pair.

Joshua took time to perform some new songs with which he got the whole audience involved in. He had the crowd shouting out lyrics to the chorus in one and clapping along to the rhythm in another.

All in all a fantastic intimate performance by Joshua Radin.

4 out of 5

Craig Thomas