Live Review: The Stone Roses (Wembley Stadium, 17/06/17)

There’s something special about gigs. You know it, I know it and chances are if you’re reading this, you’re fascinated by that something special, that change in atmosphere that can lead to tens of thousands of people blending into a single beast of flailing limbs, excitement and physical contact in a way incomparable to even the most important football fixture. It’s also a moment in which any number of ordinary people pile into a single venue to look up at people who at any other moment are ordinary themselves but with the presence of instruments become God-like figures in the eyes of the eager audience.

There’s something special about The Stone Roses. You know it, I know it and chances are if you’re reading this, you’re fascinated by that something special, in which Northern lads become psychedelic pioneers pulling genuine musical poetry and fascinating prose from the doldrum images of a working class existence. They’re also the band in which each member becomes his own figure, commanding the crowd with riffs, a general sense of brilliance, perfect beats or bass-lines that defined a generation, or two.

Of course then, Stone Roses gigs are that monumental kind of special, fluctuating between smooth, romantic feelings of unity and the stomach dropping excitement of being in the same room as those idols who have shaped your life in some, spiritual way. Imagine then this is coming off of the reunion that nobody ever believed could happen, the release of two successful singles and the gig is at Wembley, in front of 90,000 people, the band’s first London performance in four years. That is the level of magnitude that lead to me and so many other fans descending from the nearest tube and turning the Wembley Walk into a sea of bucket hats and cans of lager. 

The support bill for this event was incredibly strong, Sleaford Mods spat at a crowd of bemused onlookers either appalled or enthralled, The G.O.D left little to no impression and Blossoms were typically crowdpleasing with a selection of perfectly pleasant melodic ballads. In between these sets was a DJ who looked incredibly like Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and played a selection of anthems from Friday Night, Saturday Morning by The Specials to Weekender by Flowered Up. This political doppelgänger was nothing more than coincidence and yet felt somewhat symbolic as positivity and optimism flowed through the Wembley atmosphere and, for the first time in years, the political landscape also. These choices ultimately, and predictably, concluded with Stoned Love that lead to a sinking in my heart and presumably that of those around me also as we all knew that within moments The Stone Roses would grace us with their collective presence. 

The band entered the stage in typically impressive fashion with amazing outfit choices and football chants from every area of the overwhelming arena. Within moments, Mani’s iconic bass line swam through the air and things changed for good. The slow, rhythmic rise of this track is as goosebump inducing as any other in history and it’s effect on a crowd is immeasurable and unparalleled, in these few moments, anything seems possible, the world reaches harmony and every member seems to shift in nature: Brown’s persona grows ten feet, Squire’s hair flows in a non-existent wind, Mani’s smile lights up the screens projecting across the venue and Reni’s loops fill the ears of adoring fans. It sounds hyperbolic but any fans know, this moment is a revelation no matter how many times you are a witness of it. 

And from there, the set list goes from strength to strength as The Roses’ every track is backed by the sound of eager audience accompaniment across every beat and note. From the otherworldly jangle of Elephant Stone, the beloved wails of Sally Cinnamon, the band cruise their way through a selection of greatest hits, slowing down for the balladic cascades of the psychedelic beauty that is Where Angels Play, making room for the surreal Beggin You and of course concluding with a sure fire double hit of This is the One and I Am the Ressurection, both of which move a crowd in ways that no other band seem to have quite mastered. 

With this near flawless setlist, the band seeming truly comfortable and the fans all pleased, The Stone Roses at Wembley Stadium was another perfect arena date from the band that continue to surprise us. However, on a deeply personal level, this concert holds within it possibly my fondest memory, the memory of mine and Ian Brown’s interaction. Any fans of The Roses will know, I am sure, that at many points in most Stone Roses gigs, Brown throws tambourines out to members of the crowd. Towards the latter half of this particular set, having previously made eye contact with him, Brown strolls over to our side of the impressive stage and looks around for someone who deserves the privilege of his own tambourine and by the time he has reached us I am already halfway thrust over the barrier that separates me and the band, pleading for the tambourine and after some teasing, Ian does oblige and throws it to me, however it is snatched by a man just to my right: a devastating moment and yet one instantly redeemed by Brown’s promise that he will get me one regardless. And two songs later he did. As if something out of my most fantastical dreams Brown, in front of 90,000 other fans, passes me, through security, the blessed tambourine and the treasure I now most value. It is needless to say that following this, my night turns into a single stream of euphoria passing through my every fibre intensifying particularly during This is the One in which the genius of the track and my own searing glee begin to truly amalgamate. 


Following this, rumours of The Roses imminent split turn to truth as Brown confirmed to the Hampden park audience that we should all “be happy it happened.” And how I was, my favourite band of all time had reunited, released two brand new and utterly terrific singles and on my second time seeing them had provided me with a memory I shall never forget, nor will I ever want to. 

One love. 

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Track of the week: Lie Low – Fox Chapel

Dark noise quartet Fox Chapel have made their first release of 2017 with brand new track Lie Low.

A mixture of psychedelic hooks and dark lyrics, Lie Low portrays a dystopian, post-punk vibe from the start. The track is a 3 minute slice of mysterious, electric instrumental combined with husky, ethereal vocals which – much like their previous track Ice Cream – hint toward influence from 80s and 90s punk.

Lie Low is an A-class tune and it is clear Fox Chapel have a firmly developed sound which will see them go far; I can’t wait to hear what’s next to come.

Check out the music video which was written and directed by Benn Veasey:

Make your way down to the single launch on July 18th at The Lock Tavern in London.

The lads told us they’ve been demoing loads over the last few months and are hoping to make another release around October.

Keep an eye on their Twitter for updates on new music and gigs:

Feature image courtesy of: Sam Farmer

FAVOURITES TO SEE AT Y NOT FESTIVAL 2017

At the end of July Y Not festival returns to Derbyshire, with previous years having seen the likes of Noel Gallagher, The Wombats and Circa Waves. As part of our recent series we thought we’d talk about 5 of our favourites to see at the festival which is gaining more and more popular by the year.

Stereophonics

As the Saturday headliners at Y Not, Welsh rockers Stereophonics are still going strong after more than 20 years. They’ve released 9 studio albums, with hints of a 10th being finished already. Responsible for some massive tunes including Local Boy in the Photograph, A Thousand Trees and C’est La Vie; as a band I’ve always wanted to see, these are top of my list for the weekend.

Oddity Road

Hailing from Sheffield, the quartet released their debut EP Handshake last year and have since racked up over 2,500 monthly listeners on Spotify; they even landed support with fellow Sheffield lads The Sherlocks on many of their UK dates. As one of the brightest bands coming onto the indie music scene this year, be sure to catch these in The Quarry on Friday.

Black Honey

Brighton born Black Honey take to The Giant Squid stage on the Sunday of Y Not. The female fronted quartet released catchy single Somebody Better in March this year and with a string of other infectious tracks under their belts I’m certain they’ll put on a fantastic show.

DMA’s

The Sydney trio gained recognition from tracks Delete and more recently their cover of Cher track Believe which gained positive speculation across social media. The band – who’s sound has led them comparison to Britpop legends Oasis – did a headline UK tour earlier on this year. If their performance in Liverpool was anything to go by, these guys sure know how to get the crowd bopping. Catch them on the Big Gin Stage on Saturday.

Happy Mondays

The Madchester icons take to the Big Gin Stage as the penultimate act on the Sunday where I’m sure we’ll hear some massive tunes from Step On and Kinky Afro; to Hallelujah and 24 Hour Party People. Get practicing your Bez moves!

Give our Y Not playlist a listen, including all these artists and a bunch of others from the lineup!

Preview: Benicassim 2017

You’ve got your passport at the ready, you’ve had a look at The Garage Flower guide to Benicassim, and you’re all set. This time next week you’ll be in sunny Spain looking forward to a brilliant weekend. So, what’s in store in terms of music?

Festival Thursdays usually see a handful of acts warming you up for the rest of the weekend, but not at Beni. For many people, Thursday night will bring one of the festival highlights as it serves up a real treat. 4 acts that will be popular are Stormzy, The Courteeners, The Weeknd and The Jesus and Mary Chain. With a little bit for all tastes, it’s set to be a perfect start to Benicassim 2017.

Friday will kick off for many people as soon as the arena gates open for The Sherlocks. Blossoms, Foals and Deadmau5 will all appear on the Las Palmas main stage on Friday evening. If you do fancy a look elsewhere, you’re not short of acts to see, Temples and Theme Park will also be popular away from the headline acts.

Saturday must compete with the best main stage lineup of any festival in Europe this year. Liam Gallagher, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Biffy Clyro come one after another as Beni hits its peak. If that’s not enough, Libertine Pete Dochery is on the Visa stage, clashing with RHCP! I’ll leave that one to you, we’re spoiled for choice…

Sunday sees another tricky decision for some, with Declan McKenna and The View playing at the same time. That’s before Slaves, Years and Years, Crystal Fighters and Tiga! And the small matter of Kasabian, on the back of their hit new album they’re bound to be a festival highlight on the final day.

You can find all the set times here!

If you’re not listening to music, in the arena there’s always South Beach; the internationally famous pool party that is always packed throughout the night. Its the place to be away from the main stages to really get that full Beni experience.

Te veré en la parte delantera.

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TRACK OF THE WEEK: You Wanna Know – YVES

This week’s track of the week comes from noise-pop Swindon trio YVES with their latest track You Wanna Know.

You Wanna Know is a punchy and dynamic tune. It combines indie-rock with punk-pop giving off similar vibes to the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen, Circa Waves and Drowners. As a band who have clearly got their sound developed down to a tee, YVES’ material puts me in mind of festivals, romance and lush weather, and You Wanna Know is no exception.

The track racked up over 13,000 plays in just 24 hours, you can give it a listen below.

 YVES are playing three UK dates (18+ entry) this month:

  • July 6th – Sebright Arms, London (Free Entry)
  • July 7th – Green Store Door, Brighton
  • July 8th  The Victoria, Swindon

 

Find YVES on social media:

Twitter

Facebook

FAVOURITES TO SEE AT TRUCK FESTIVAL 2017

 Truck Festival is now just a matter of weeks away and it will see some huge acts take to the stage including The Libertines, Franz Ferdinand and The Wombats. We took a look at the lineup and picked some of our favourites to see over the course of the weekend.

Sundara Karma

Potentially the most exciting indie-pop band around at the moment, Sundara Karma released their debut album back in January and have since done a headline tour, and landed support with the likes of Two Door Cinema Club. The Reading lads take to the Truck Stage on the Saturday of the festival, never failing to put on a crowd moving set; you won’t wanna miss out.

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Sundara Karma @ Manchester Albert Hall | 16/2/17

The Wombats

Inevitably, The Wombats are one to fit in to your festival schedule. As the penultimate Truck Stage act of the Saturday, these will sure get you hyped up in time for headliners The Libertines. If you’ve seen them before you’ll know just how good of a show the Scouse trio put on; blasting out indie-anthems such as Let’s Dance to Joy Division, Moving to New York and Tokyo. 

Jaws

Synthpop quartet Jaws are an unmissable part of the Truck Fest lineup. Since forming in 2012 they’ve blessed our ears with two albums filled with dreamy tunes like Stay in, Gold, and 17. As one of the best live acts I’ve seen, these guys are definitely ones to look out for over the weekend.

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Jaws @ Sound Control | 30/11/16

The Big Moon

The London quartet who formed in 2014, released their debut album earlier this year; filled with numerous feel-good tracks. Anticipation to see their performance will certainly be high.

Get Inuit

The Kent quartet will headline The Barn stage on Saturday. Throughout their material there is an energetic theme with the lads describing themselves as ‘surf inspired pop’. Upbeat, breezy tracks like Pro Procrastinator and Teriyaki will give you that summer feeling.

Check out my Truck Festival Playlist filled with tracks from all of these acts, and more!

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Live Review: The Stone Roses (Hampden Park 24/06/17)

“Super Glasgow!” Ian brown walks onto the stage in a city that has always supported him and The Stone Roses. Glasgow Green in 1991, and again in 2013, this time Scotland’s national stadium hosted the band.
From their reformation; the famous 3 gigs at Heaton Park in 2012, The Roses have had their third coming. But with rumours of a potential split surfacing after dates at Belfast’s SSE arena, Wembley and two nights at Leeds Arena, the gig itself was to be far more iconic than first thought.

Supporting them, Primal Scream, the Glasgow rockers have been around a similar length of time to The Stone Roses, give or take a 18 years in the middle, but Bobby Gillespie has aged well. Bright red flares and a flowery top he is Hampden Park’s focal point, ‘Movin’ On Up’ sees him ask the crowd to replace the gospel choir on the recording. “Enjoy the Roses”, he says in his recognisable soft rock and roll voice. 

They look after their own in Glasgow, this was no Hampden Old Firm clash, the stadium is full to applaud Primal Scream off, and there’s barely anyone moving from their space in the front circle as the clock ticks towards nine. 

The resurrection of The Stone Roses has been somewhat soundtracked by one song in particular, and as the tones of The Supremes swirl around Hampden the band take to the stage, Mani first, then Reni. John tunes up for a final time, Ian enters from the left. Super Glasgow.


Then, Mani’s bass, and it comes as flares ignite in the crowd (not Bobby Gillespie’s). A sea of colour, adoo-oo-oo-red. An early highlight is ‘Elephant Stone’, the way the band have altered versions of their hits has been fascinating and this song sounds like the child of ‘Sally Cinnamon’ and ‘Fool’s Gold’ more than ever. The lyrics of ‘Where Angels Play’ are those that were featured on the original demo, a hell of a long time ago.


But something seems different, and as Ian monkey-mans across the stage during the set, he is not waving to the crowd like usual, but waving as if to say goodbye. Then he mutters a comforting few words.

“Don’t be sad it’s over, be happy it happened.” – Ian Brown

Exactly as I thought, the set grows more and more significant, each second of ‘Fool’s Gold’ is savoured. 2016’s ‘All For One’ is followed by 1994’s ‘Love Spreads’, then what will surely be a moment to remember forever, ‘Made of Stone’.


The Stone Roses are untouchable, and before I was born had already combatted any criticism that would ever follow. Ian’s voice? No new tracks? Split, rows, reunion, they remain the band I’ve always known, and since Ian sat at a press conference and said, “our plan is to shake up the world”, they have kept their legacy pristine and given so many like me that chance to enjoy moments like this. Should last night be the last night, they have bowed out in style.

‘This Is The One’, this is the one, the last one? The end of the song sees Ian Brown on a pair of African drums next to his microphone, an extended introduction to what may be the last song The Stone Roses ever play. It is an intro that has always been bittersweet, one the one hand you know you’re about to hear one of the best songs of all time, on the other, the set is coming to an end. The chorus is roared back to the stage, the bridges that cross the Clyde in the city centre shake, The Stone Roses are in their last seconds.

The final words that Ian Brown sung at the front of The Stone Roses are those from their final recorded tune, ‘Beautiful Thing’. If you know, you know. 


Mani takes a last look at the crowd and covers his face, his emotion has always been there, from walking onto Glasgow Green punching the air, his tears will be the image of the end of a band that has given so many so much.

As the stadium empties, the white floor of Hampden becomes visible, the June sky is still light, faces are still smiling, still singing. 

The Stone Roses may be no more, but they’re not gone, they never will be. They’re alive every time the needle drops on that debut record, every time ‘She Bangs The Drums’ comes on a pub jukebox, every time you remember climbing into a minibus or squeezing onto a MetroLink carriage on the way to Spike Island or Heaton Park or Glasgow Green. The Stone Roses might have come to an end, but they’ll never really be finished.


Pictures: Lewis Ridley

Who To See At Community Festival

As festival season begins to rear its big, beautiful head once again, it’s time to start planning who you’re going to see. Coming up on the 1st of July, Community Festival is offering a small but select line up of bands, from indie bread and butter like The Wombats to relative new kid on the block Rosborough. If you’re heading off to Finsbury Park this summer, make sure to check out these great acts.

Catfish And The Bottlemen

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An obvious choice, yes. But they’re the headliners for a reason. Having quickly established themselves as one of the rawest and punchiest live bands around at the moments, it’s guaranteed that their headline slot at Community will not be one to miss. If you’ve seen them before, you’ll know how good they are. If you haven’t, this is definitely not an opportunity to pass up.

The Wombats

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One of the founding fathers of indie pop, The Wombats are still going strong and are definitely set to be one of the best slots at Community this year. With old school tunes like Let’s Dance To Joy Division and newer hits such as Your Body Is A Weapon to play you through the summer sun, The Wombats are probably the most unmissable act of the festival. Don’t miss out on your chance to see the Liverpool three-piece.

Slaves

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If their 2015 Glastonbury set is anything to go by, Slaves are a band with stage presence for days. For just two people, the noise they create is immense and are also another unmissable act at Community. Whether you’re a fan of Are You Satisfied? or not, Slaves are very much a live band and a bona fide crowd pleaser. If you find yourself at Community, searching for a heavier, louder, angstier interlude, head to Slaves’ set – guaranteed not to disappoint. 

Fickle Friends

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Deffo a summer band if there ever was one! This Brighton quintet have been making waves since 2013 and are finally recording their debut album. No need to wait for that though, because their many singles are more than enough to put you into a full summer trance. Let the twangling guitars and HAIM style vocals of Brooklyn and Play elevate you to your best summer self. Make Fickle Friends a top priority for you at Community.

Darlia

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A fan favourite and a band who already has an impressive back log of big tunes and crowd-pleasers, Darlia should definitely be on your Community list! They’re cool, they’re catchy and they’re not going to disappoint this festival season. Well at home alongside other similar indie rock bands such as Catfish and Slaves, Darlia is helping Community to become one of the most unmissable festivals of the season.

Harriet x

Disclaimer: I own none of the pictures in this post

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Top indie picks for Reading and Leeds 2017

With just a little over two months to go until the annual party kicks off, I’ve chosen what I think may be my five best indie highlights of Reading and Leeds festival 2017!

 

The Magic Gang

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The Brighton-based four piece have proven themselves to be one of the most remarkable bands in indie music this year, supporting Circa Waves back in April and also embarking on their own headline tour. The band broke through in 2016 with support slots with Wolf Alice and Swim Deep securing them a large fan base and a reputation as Britain’s best up and coming live band.

See them on the Friday at Reading and the Saturday at Leeds

 

VANT

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I was lucky enough to catch these guys supporting You Me At Six back in October. Their politically fueled lyrics promise to inspire thoughts on the general self-destruction of mankind and the issues affecting the majority of us today. VANT are definitely one to watch if you like some meaning in your music, coupled with killer vocals and an urge to jump in the moshpit.

See them on the Sunday at Reading and the Friday at Leeds

 

The Japanese House

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Amber Bain is some serious inspiration. The solo artist supported current indie legends The 1975 on their arena tour back in December. Since then I can’t get enough of Bain’s sparkling, shoegazey sound. The Japanese House is fairly enigmatic, inciting mystery around the meaning of the name and a possible collaboration with The 1975. If you’re into a more distinctive, individual vibe then The Japanese House is not one to miss.

See them on the Saturday at Reading and the Sunday at Leeds

 

Declan McKenna

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Its hard to find a bigger breakthrough act than Declan McKenna. The 18 year old sky-rocketed to fame after winning Glastonbury Festival’s emerging talent competition back in 2015. Despite his age, McKenna has amassed a huge following, fans admiring his raspy vocals and sharp-tonged stage humour. His songs feature potent deeper lyrical meaning, capturing the hearts of hundreds and thousands of teens worldwide.

See him on the Friday at Reading and the Saturday at Leeds

 

INHEAVEN

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I caught INHEAVEN supporting Circa Waves back in April and I have to admit, these guys are insane live. A combination of some killer guitar tone mixed with an overall gloomy indie-rock vibe – INHEAVEN are a haze of distorted guitars and are not one to miss this year.

See them on the Saturday at Reading and the Sunday at Leeds

 

Reading Festival will occur on the 25th to the 27th of August at Richfield Avenue and Leeds Festival at Bramham Park

Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.readingfestival.com/reading-festival-2017-tickets http://www.leedsfestival.com/tickets-0

(Cover image by Getty, Images of The Magic Gang, VANT, The Japanese House and INHEAVEN by Lucy Kingsford, Image of Declan McKenna by Meg Firth.)

This is what it looked like when Royal Blood rocked Cambridge!

Back in April, Brighton rockers Royal Blood announced an intimate four-date UK tour during May. The band look set to smash this year with the upcoming release of their second album How Did We Get So Dark? and a massive UK arena tour lined up later this year.

I headed down to the Cambridge Corn Exhange to join in with the hype

Personally, I find Royal Blood nothing short of remarkable, the band consists of only bassist, Mike Kerr and drummer, Ben Thatcher. However, despite only being a duo the band are able to create some seriously killer sounds which set Cambridge alight with the flames of pure and gritty hard rock.

This was reflected in the audience; a mix of the young, possibly attending their first concert and the old(er), proving that Royal Blood have managed to rack up a massive fan base in the mere 4 years they’ve been together. The atmosphere at the concert was wild with people relentlessly moshing and singing along to every lyric.

Royal Blood have succeeded in igniting immense anticipation in as to where the band will go next. I cannot wait to see what new heights the upcoming arena tours will bring to them!

Words and photos by Lucy Kingsford

keeping you in the know about your favourite bands.