Interview & Gig Review: Bear’s Den, The Cluny

The Cluny’s intimate feel was the perfect setup to emphasize Bear’s Den music. When entering the gig, the room was packed, with fans spilling into every corner and lending their eyes and ears to the magic of the bearded trio. They opened with one of their most popular songs “Elysium”, where the prominent use of the trumpet created a sense of nostalgia that echoed throughout the entire set. Though the banjo and trumpet where noticeable, they did not overpower the unique guitar playing; creating the perfect balance between indie folk and country. The songs “Don’t let the Sun Steal You Away” and “Agape” brought the energy out of the crowd and highlighted the bands ability to guide the audience throughout; as we felt part of the whole experience, rather than detached viewers. The gig as a whole was an artistic piece, with their songs flowing seamlessly as their album “Islands” does. The bands main personal love of Lenard Cohen is main influence to their sound, which is comparable to such bands like Of Monsters and Men and Mumford and Son’s, who they have previously supported. The bands lyrics tell various meaningful stories, which many artist today lack in. The trio’s unity was outwardly seen when they would interact with each other mid song. This did not separate the crowd from the band but alternatively did the opposite and drew us in more. Not only did they connect with us on a musical and lyrical level but on a physical one too. This was shown when they joined us in crowd and played an acoustic version of “Bad Blood”. They finished the promising set with the song “Sahara” from their original album “Without/Within”, which highlighted their incredible songwriting skills from the get go as well as finishing the show on a high.

Andy Brown and Lottie Bovill

NSR Meets Bear’s Den! by Newcastle Student Radio on Mixcloud

NSR Meets… The Kaiser Chiefs!

Two weeks ago, the Kaiser Chiefs played the Metro Radio Arena, a show that gave so much and more. Kaiser Chiefs are one of those bands that you will have a vivid memory of growing up, it’s hard to believe it’s been almost 10 years since ‘I predict a riot ‘was released. Eventhough they’ve been round for such a long time, they’re still very much down to earth and still love to impress their fans. As expected they played a mixture of singles from their newest album Education, Education, Education & War and some of their classics, such as Ruby, Never Miss A Beat and Oh My God; we were even surprised to hear a cover of The Who’s Pinball Wizard, which they had performed at the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony, a performance of their new single Falling Awake and even a video sketch from Dave Grohl.

Starting off as pioneering a new style of indie rock in the noughties, they definitely haven’t forgotten their roots and their complete spirit on stage demonstrates this. In particular, Ricky Wilson is not just simply the calm and collected guy he may appear on ‘The Voice’, he is first and foremost a Kaiser Chiefs frontman, and he approaches his stage with limitless energy, jumping off anything in sight and a complete daredevil when it comes to a swinging, hangover microphone. It’s obvious they are a band who loves to connect and interact with their audience, and this is exactly what they did throughout the gig. At one point Ricky was even brave enough to run through (the almost sold out) standing crowds to get to a stage at the back of the arena. Also included was a Q&A type format to the show, bringing keyboardist ‘Peanuts’ centre stage, after first announcing that he had actually studied at Newcastle University, to answer a couple of questions from fans in the audience. Being the fun loving guy he is, Ricky even replied to one fan asking the question ‘do you like cats?’ with the response ‘well that’s a shit question’.

Overall, the gig consisted of endless energy from all five members, humorous interaction with the audience, fun and a whole lot of unexpected surprises. The Kaiser Chiefs are amazing not only for their Northern charm and passionate music, but for their ability to interact with a crowd, even in a venue the size of the arena, and actually get them involved with the show; even screening a backdrop of images from the Quayside during their final song Coming Home to bring in that Newcastle home spirit. The relentless energy and trademark ambition that each member brings to the stage is truly mesmerising, it’s like they’d never been away from us.

Hannah Maloney.

NSR Meets… THE KAISER CHIEFS! by Newcastle Student Radio on Mixcloud

Gig Review: Postmodern Jukebox, The Sage

If you’re not the type of person to troll YouTube for new and different things then it might be that you haven’t come across Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox before. And that would be a great shame. Starting off as a small band on YouTube who do weird and wonderful covers to all your favourite chart songs (plus the awful ones – they even make Justin Bieber sound like a lyrical God), recipe they have skyrocketed, health demonstrated by their expansive (and ambitious) European tour of 17 countries in 2 months! This tour is just a small representative example of their huge support with well over a hundred million views of their YouTube channel. Known for their eccentric outfits, sildenafil musical adaptations and promotion of the best and brightest new singers, they are (in my incredibly biased view) the best thing to happen to the music in a long time.

 

When I found out they were touring the U.K again (after I missed out seeing them last time due to a friend’s 21st – *angry face*) I was ecstatic. Especially seeing as I managed to snag one of the last seats of their sell out gig at the Sage in Gateshead. Whilst I had at the back of my head a slight worry that the band might not be able to live up to my gargantuan expectations of them my mind was quickly eased. Known for rotating a wide array of artists I wasn’t sure who would be appearing on the tour but the line up was incredible with the one and only Scott Bradley, key singers – Morgan James, Kiah Victoria, Ariana Savalas and Mykal Kilogero including my absolute favourite Casey Abrams and tap dancer Christopher Erk.

 

Not only was the singing just as good, if not infinitely better than their YouTube videos, what made the gig so memorable was the stage presence of the singers. From the lively and encouraging compairing of Mykal Kilgoreto the sultry and flirtatious manner of Ariana Savalas you really felt like the band wanted you to be there, and not just for the money you would spend on their merchandise. This was substantiated by the fact that they all stayed after the show (including the underappreciated but excellent band) to sign posters and tickets – not making you stand in the cold outside for hours like many a band would. Further than this they stayed true to form with a jazzed up show full of costumes, tap dancing, audience participation and fantastic music.

 

Whilst all the songs were great my personal favourites from the night HAD to be The Greatest Love of All, Blank Space, Take Me Church and my all time favourite All of Me. To feel my joy you can see all of these covers on YouTube and on their Spotify.

 

All in all it could not have been a better gig. Especially seeing as we got to meet my one true hero Casey Basey after the show for a ginger hug & selfie. What else can you ask for really?

 

Annie Preston

 

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Gig Review: Hudson Taylor, Riverside

It’s hard to believe that this is Hudson Taylor’s first ever headline tour; they know exactly what they’re doing. As you look further however, link it comes as no surprise, drug for a band that have been performing on the streets of Dublin, pills as well as touring with the likes of Jake Bugg and Kodaline, they know how to take the stage.

This brotherly duo’s chemistry radiates the venue as they exhibit pop folk in its greatest form, though revamping it for the modern audience. Influences such as Simon and Garfunkel and the Everly Brothers shine through. It would be wrong to deny them their place amongst the Irish indie movement, currently experiencing success within mainstream pop. Singles “Battles” and “Chasing Rubies” succeeded all expectations, which was then complimented well with new tracks off their soon to be released album “Singing For Strangers” that all sounded like hit after hit, particularly “World Without You”.

We found ourselves singing along to songs that were completely new to us. While they have the feel of big hit singles they seem to flow together in a beautifully natural way lyrically and musically. Nothing summed this up better, than when Harry and Alfie broke away from their band and performed acoustically together, amplifying the true emotions behind their music. Along with this they knew how to keep us as an audience on our toes, ensuring we also took part in their prevalent melodic harmonies.

What makes this band so special is that the content and style of these brothers is so universal that any music lover can appreciate their sound. We would thoroughly recommend pre ordering “Singing For Strangers” which will undoubtedly be a success. One’s to look out for indeed.

 

Alex Mackenzie, Lottie Bovill, and Andy Brown.

NSR Meet Alfie from Hudson Taylor by Newcastle Student Radio on Mixcloud

DJ Legend John Morales Visits NSR!

Last Friday evening myself and Ricky had the immense pleasure of welcoming DJ legend John Morales into the studio for a chat about his life and his work.

John Morales is a pioneer in the mixing scene, beginning his career with a mix of Inner Life’s ‘Caught Up (In A One Night Love Affair)’, to his most recent compilation ‘Club Motown‘. He has influenced countless DJs, and remains as in-demand as ever in both the studio in the club. This weekend we had the privilege of watching him at work at the fabulous Hoochie Coochie on both Friday and Saturday night; your Heads of Music and Station Manager managed to dance away the full three hour set away.

John’s latest CD is entitled ‘Club Motown‘, and is a compilation of great Motown funk tracks featuring rarities, M&M mixes from back-in-the-day, and five brand new remixes of Teena Marie, Val Young, Tata Vega, Thelma Houston, and Diana Ross. For more information on John, visit his website: www.johnmoralesmix.com

We are so pleased to have had the opportunity to speak with John for an entire hour, and you can listen to it in it’s entirety below!

 

George Haffenden.

Haff & Ricky Meet DJ Legend John Morales by Newcastle Student Radio on Mixcloud

 

Live Review: Hybrid Minds, WHQ

At the end of last month I was lucky enough to go to World Headquarters in order to see Hybrid Minds play an extensive 2 hour set. For those of you that don’t know, cure Hybrid Minds are a two-man act, cialis comprising of Josh White & Matt Lowe, who have revolutionised the Drum and Bass scene, with their unique twist on the relatively new ‘Liquid Drum & Bass’ sub-genre.

Whilst ‘DnB’ is known for it’s deep, powerful bass-lines, contrasted against a hard hitting drum kit, it’s ‘Liquid’ counterpart places more focus on creating a soulful melodic sound; instead utilising gentle, rhythmic drums combined with a subtle ‘rolling’ bass line. This variation creates an easy going, yet energetic deviation from what can, at times, be an aggressive genre – and Hybrid Minds are a perfect example of this.

With a set built around their recent debut album ‘Mountains’, the intimate World Headquarters crowd were excited to get a chance to hear their new material, alongside some of their genre defining tracks – and they did not disappoint. The feeling of eagerness and anticipation I underwent as I heard the slow teasing intro to ‘Halcyon’ is an overcoming of emotions that is few and far between for me these days; as I find that few acts have that novelty factor left – however, Hybrid Minds is certainly one of them. I was not alone in this feeling, as the rest of the crowd danced along beside me, stimulated by the familiar ‘kick – snare’ pattern that we have come to know and love.

Their set continued to improve onwards and upwards, as they entered into their final hour, playing tracks such as ‘Meant To Be’, ‘Fade’ and ‘Summer Rain’, with each song providing perfect examples of the smooth, melodic yet emotional sound that Hybrid Minds have become famed for. As each song seemingly extracted more energy from the passionate crowd than the last, they geared up for their final track of the evening; the lead single from their debut album, ‘Trauma’. The song was met with an equally warm reception, and the familiar chant of ‘One more choon!!’ ensued, as they were escorted from the stage and out of the club.

I felt that it was unfortunate that the act were only allowed to play a two hour set, as I feel they had far more music to offer. However, with that said, the opportunity to see my favourite act for the first time – inside the four walls of my favourite club in Newcastle – is an event which I am unlikely to ever forget.

 

Nick Kinseythe celebrity dresses

Interview & Live Review: Mallory Knox

Mallory Knox headlined the Newcastle O2 Academy this week and it turned out to be wilder than I had expected. Half an hour before the doors even opened the queue to get in was practically circling the O2 and everyone seemed so excited. Since the release of their new album Asymmetry a couple of weeks ago, drug the band has grown ever more popular than they already were, here landing 16th place in the UK album charts.

The crowd were already geared up after the support acts, especially Frnkiero- a band that a lot of people in the crowd went wild for. Though, lead singer of Mallory Knox, Mikey Chapman, is the king of encouraging an audience, and that’s exactly what he did from the word go. They graced the stage, inevitably beginning their show with a few songs from the new album, QOD II, Shout at the Moon and Getaway. Though to the crowd’s delight Mallory Knox were keen to perform some of their older stuff like Lighthouse and 1949. It was clear these weren’t here to promote an album, but to play a kiss-ass show. The climax of the night came in the form of a wall of death, encouraged by Mikey- there is nothing more appealing to their fans than to be thrown about in a mosh pit, and with good reason. The crowd was mental, but it was exciting

Mallory Knox are a band that like to play with your emotions- sure they can throw down a head banger, but they can just as equally stand there with one guitar and play a slower, more emotional song. These boys thrive off a crowd’s reaction, which is what makes them so amazing live and they’ll keep ever growing. To think that they were once playing the smallest room upstairs in the O2 is unbelievable.

 

Hannah Maloney

 

Interview with Mallory Knox by Newcastle Student Radio on Mixcloud

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Legends of Soul and R&B on NSR!

This week we’ve been in contact with some legends here at NSR-HQ! First up, we had a chat with Gwen Dickey, the former lead singer with the group Rose Royce. Gwen sang on timeless classics such as ‘Car Wash‘, ‘Wishing On A Star‘, and ‘Love Don’t Live Here Any More‘. Take a listen to our chat below:

NSR Meets Soul Legend Gwen Dickey of Rose Royce! by Newcastle Student Radio on Mixcloud

And if that wasn’t enough, we also had a chat with Mary Davis from The S.O.S Band this afternoon, which you can hear below.

 

NSR Meets Mary Davis of The SOS Band! by Newcastle Student Radio on Mixcloud

The S.O.S Band, Gwen Dickey, and Loose Ends will be in London 21st November, Middlesbrough 22nd November, and Manchester 23rd November.

George Haffenden