Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Our 5 Favourite Take That Tracks

With everyone's favourite veteran boy band Take That hopping back on the road in 2015 we thought there was no better time to countdown our fave 5 dazzling concoctions from the undisputed kings of feel good pop. Tickets for the epic UK tour are on sale now and you can grab your tickets HERE. So without further ado here's a countdown of our most treasured Take That tracks. 

5. Patience
After 10 years of patience from the fans the band returned with their come back single. 2006 saw the release of comeback album 'Beautiful World' and 'Patience' peaked at the top of the UK Singles Chart. This number quenched the thirst the fans had been suffering from for over a decade and reignited Take That fever.

4. Greatest Day
Perhaps one of the greatest days for the Take That following was the release of this track showing that their fave boys were still on top and could still churn out the hits like they could in the good old days. Released in 2008 as part of the album 'The Circus', this single reached number 1 on the UK Single Chart and continued Take That's reign over housewives up and down the country. 

3. Shine
Perhaps Take That's most feel good number and also one of their biggest hits. This time it's Mark Owens time to shine as he takes the lead vocals and rocks a top hat and waist coat. We particularly like this live video as it really shows the thrills and frills of a live Take That show!  

2. The Flood
The one where Robbie came back... the emotion is just too much to handle, but it seems they've got a good handle on those oars. 'The Flood' from their 6th album 'Progress' spent 8 weeks in the UK Top 10, further continuing Take That's chart domination.

1. Rule The World
Performed as the light was extinguished on the torch at the 2012 London Olympic games this song is a firm favorite among Take That fans. The song spent 12 weeks in the UK Top 10, the longest of any Take That song. 

BONUS: These Days

The latest offering from the power trio is a poppy upbeat singalong tune, something that gives a taste as to the future of the newly scaled down Take That. This colourful tune is set to become a firm fan favourite, it's already one of ours!

Take That are extensively touring the UK throughout May and June 2013. Get you're tickets at

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Q Awards Winners!

The 25th anniversary of the Xperia Access Q Awards proved to be a worthy celebration of the year's best music, from classic favourites Pink Floyd to fresh talent Sam Smith, it was a night that recognised all the accomplished artists the UK have to offer. Kasabian took home the two most coveted gongs whilst Simple Minds and The Charlatans were deservedly honoured for their contribution to music. Pop newcomer Ella Eyre was also in attendance with fellow chart topper Foxes who you can catch on tour this December. The full list of award winners are as follows:

Q Best New Act
Sam Smith

Q Maverick
St Vincent

Q Best Track
Paolo Nutini – Iron Sky

Q Best Solo Artist
Ed Sheeran

Q Songwriter
Andy Partridge

Q Best Album
Elbow – The Take Off And Landing Of Everything

Q Best Video
Jamie xx – Sleep Sound

Q Best Live Act

Q Hero
The Charlatans

Q Outstanding Contribution To Music
XL Recordings, collected by Richard Russell

Q Inspiration
Simple Minds

Gibson Les Paul Award
Johnny Marr

Q Classic Album
Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon

Q Innovation In Sound
Jean Michel Jarre

Q Icon
Wilko Johnson

Q Idol
Culture Club

Q Best Act In The World Today

To see the likes of Paolo Nutini, Sam Smith, Simple Minds and The Charlatans on tour head to for more details. 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

ALBUM REVIEW: 'Gerard Way - Hesitant Alien'


It’s always hard to separate a front-man from a successful band post-breakup but even more difficult when the bands fans are still grieving the loss of their favorite emo rock band. My Chemical Romance is barely history for Gerard Way, yet instead of lurking in the shadows of the breakup he has made a jump back into the spotlight as a solo artist with his new album ‘Hesitant Alien’. Despite perfecting the formula for popular emo alt rock, Gerard Ways most recent and almost experimental venture is a far cry from his angsty eye liner filled former years.

Way’s most recent offering is unique blend of 70’s Glam Rock and 90’s Britpop with just a pinch of modern pop. This genre-blend paired with the use of the whole spectrum of the guitarists pedal board makes for magical listening. The Bowie-esque image Way has been rocking in recent years now finally matches the music he is creating as the 40 minute ‘neo-britglam’ concoction means business from the get go. The opening track ‘Bureau’ brings a screeching start to the record with a strong and at times bluesy build up to the main event. Songs like ‘Action Cat’ and ‘No Shows’ will clearly be crowd favorites in a live format as they brim with energy and sing-along ability. Renowned for his ability to carry a live audience, I am almost certain Gerard Way will push these songs to their limit in a live setting.
Don’t expect even a remote reference to his emo roots as this album is all about him. Gerard Way has bravely produced an album to please himself as well as his fans, and it seems the risk has paid off. Way has assembled a record that screams individuality, with poppy catchy hooks combined with funky lead parts this album emits personality. Whilst there may be perhaps slightly too much fancy shoegazing effects on this album for some, ‘Hesitant Alien’ is all in all an unexpected breath of fresh air.

After selling out his November UK tour, extra dates have been added for January, 2015. Grab your tickets HERE.


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

ALBUM REVIEW: New Found Glory - 'Resurrection'


East Coast American punk rockers New Found Glory are back with their new album Resurrection, with this release being their first release via Hopeless Records, the band have a lot to prove with this latest pop punk instalment.

With strong punky riffs, melodic hooks and solid harmonies New Found Glory’s latest offering packs a punch, encompassing energetic crowd pleasers like ‘Selfless’ and ‘Ready and Willing’ the punk rockers show they've still got what it takes to claim their place as leaders in the genre. Despite being a band for nearly 20 years this latest album sounds fresher and more energetic than ever, crushing doubts that the bands best days are over. Jordan Pundiks voice is still as cutting and as mighty as ever, he can still hit notes that no grown man should be able to and Cyrus Bolookis drumming is tight, fast and on point showing that the band are still strongly pop punk through and through.

Lyrically the band have moved away from their almost teenage moaning about flings and menial life tribulations to a more mature discourse centered around real heartbreak and perhaps the loss of a certain guitarist from the band. Throughout the record a real sense of personal growth is conveyed and it becomes clear why the record was dubbed 'Resurrection'.

Resurrection is a solid, lively and perhaps, most importantly, spirited addition to the New Found Glory discography and whilst it is by no means a revolutionary album, it’s a release that will more than suffice the average pop punk fans hunger for shouty and powerful ‘fists in the air’ rock music. If Resurrection proves anything, it proves New Found Glory are here to stay and that pop punk may not be quite dead yet.

You can catch New Found Glory on the Pop Punks Not Dead Tour all across the UK this November. Click HERE for last tickets!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Q&A: Simply Dylan

Liverpool based artist John O'Connell will be taking Simply Dylan - his personal exploration and celebration of the rich and diverse work of Bob Dylan along with band across the UK for the very time this November. 

Simply Dylan is as straightforward as the title suggests; no frills, no gimmicks, no pretense. However this is no ordinary interpretation of Bob Dylan, this is a remarkable and exceptional project which promises to delight Dylan fans young and old and to ignite a new wave of passion for one of the world's most prodigious songwriters.

We caught up with the man himself to discuss his exciting project and find out how it all came about...

You’re going on tour soon what can the audience expect?
I would like to think that people will be pleasantly surprised as we are going to deliver songs from Dylan’s repertoire that they will not be expecting. We try and cover some of his more challenging songs and although we stick closely to the original phrasing the delivery is not intended to be a sound alike look alike Bob Dylan Act.

Tell us about Simply Dylan and how did it come about?
When I worked with Graham Evans, former Groundpig band member, we would cover songs that we loved and enjoyed to play. It was a bit self-indulgent but we were lucky because it worked for us. We always had a number of Bob Dylan songs in the repertoire so the likes of Jokerman and Hurricane became anthems for us.  

It was back in the late 1990s when a good friend of mine, Dave Galbrith (who is a massive Dylan fan) suggested playing a Dylan only set. I suppose he planted the seed but it wasn’t until Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday was approaching that I took him up on the idea and secured a gig at the Cavern Club. I put an 8 piece band together, with some very talented musicians and the gig went on to sell out. We were then invited back a few months later to perform as part of the Liverpool Summer Pops and have returned every year since with each of the gigs selling out.

In 2011 a Spanish promoter bought the last ticket for the Cavern and then went on to secure Simply Dylan a 6 date tour across the country; it was then really when we started to play further afield and began to receive some positive feedback from the different Bob Dylan Appreciation Societies.

When did you start listening to Bob Dylan and which of his albums are you most fond of...
I was a late starter. The first Bob Dylan album I listened to was Street Legal; it belonged to my sister Valie. I then moved on to Shot of Love and Saved and eventually backtracked to Desire and Blood on the Tracks. I’m still discovering some real gems and one of the nicest parts of being in Simply Dylan is the recommendations from his avid fans.

What is your favourite song to perform live?
It would have to be Senor and Shelter from the Storm but then there are so many; Changing of the Guards is another.

When you’re not performing what do you do to keep yourself busy when you’re on tour / on the road?
When I’m not performing I actually enjoy spending my time practising my classical guitar playing. I studied classical guitar when I was younger and always love the challenge of playing intricate passages in a piece and developing my technique. Once a month I perform a recital at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral; I really look forward to these occasions as it is something totally different performing solo.

What was the first gig you ever went too?
My very first gig was watching Kate Bush at the Liverpool Empire. It was a spectacular gig, and you just knew it was a special occasion.

Which song do you wish you had written?
That’s a tough one as there are so many but three that spring to mind are Alone Again Naturally by Gilbert O’Sullivan, You Could be Happy by Snow Patrol and Covenant Woman by Dylan. Not only are they good structured songs with great melodies, but they are all emotionally charged with so much meaning in them.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
With Groundpig that would have to be Daleys Dandeloin which used to be right in the centre of Liverpool. It was an 11 o’clock start and absolutely packed out with people from all parts of the city who loved to watch Groundpig. These gigs were legendary. In fact the famous photographer John Stoddard came along one time and took some amazing pictures capturing the crowd and the electric atmosphere.
With Simply Dylan, it has to be the Galleon in Blackpool last November performing an acoustic set as 4 piece band. 

We attracted many of the Dylan fans who were in the town to watch the man himself perform at the Opera House. Just through word of mouth Dylan fans kept coming through the door, it was an instant success. We played to a packed house for 3 afternoons, the atmosphere was remarkable with people sitting on the floor singing every word. I suppose what made it so special and enjoyable was that we were playing to Dylan fans from all over the country who had probably never heard of us before. Stephen Pierre the owner of the Galleon admitted only a month ago when he travelled to a Simply Dylan gig in London that it was his best weekend of the year!

Which other artists are you listening to at the moment?
We are very lucky in Liverpool as there is a great music scene. Locally Rob Vincent and Laura James are two artists who I enjoy listening to and always try to catch one of their gigs whenever I can. On my ipod I’ve got David Grey, Gladys Knight and often watch Julian Bream playing the Lute on Youtube… so quite a mixed bag really!

Tell us about the latest album.
The albums have been taken from a live concert. I often record gigs via my mini-disk just to evaluate and reflect. I didn’t discover this particular recording until months after the gig and was really impressed with the balance and mix given than there was only a left and right line into the machine. People don’t really believe that it hasn’t been mixed or enhanced; but it was just pure luck and it’s a real treat to capture the true sound of the band.

Plans for the rest of the year?
To continue to work on my Dylan repertoire; we’ve got a new band member joining us next year. He’s an electric guitarist so this will enable us to cover more of Dylan’s repertoire such as Slow Train Coming. Also I plan to work on my original songs and finish recording my new album and then finally to relax and enjoy some time off at Christmas.

Check out Simply Dylan below and click HERE for tickets

Monday, 6 October 2014

Introducing: Rixton

Manchester four-piece Rixton have had one hell of a year so far. Their debut single 'Me and My Broken Heart,' came out in March and went straight to the No.1 in the UK and even stormed to success in America, charting in the top 20 of the Billboard 100 and top 5 of the Top 40 Mainstream charts. The video has also reached over 27 million plays on YouTube!

The band have been making serious waves in America and have even been confirmed to support Ariana Grande at her massive Madison Square Garden show as well as their own US tour, with the English music revolution going on across the pond at the moment, these guys are a definite tip for big success. 

On October 22nd, the band will kick-off their first UK tour in Oxford before playing another 12 venues in England, Scotland and Wales. This highly-anticipated tour is a good chance to catch the band before they start filling up arenas! Support for the tour also comes in the form six-piece indie newcomers Young Kato, check out their new video below:


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Alex Coogan Guest Blog: What My Pop Justice £20 Prize Shortlist Would Have Been...

Guest Blog: Pop Expert Alex Coogan

Now that the Mercury Prize album of the year shortlist has been revealed, it's time to choose our favourite British pop hit (or guilty pleasure to some) from 2014 as Pop Justice name their annual £20 Music Prize short list (see it here). Previous years have shown Girls Aloud reign supreme in the pop category winning five times in the space of six years but 2013 celebrated newcomers Chvrches with Example, The Saturdays and Will Young also taking the gong in recent years. Here is what my short list would have been:

1. Paolo Nutini - Scream (Funk Up My Life)

2. Ella Eyre - If I Go

3. Kwabs - Wrong or Right

4. Foxes - Let Go For Tonight

5. George Ezra - Budapest

6. Clean Bandit - Rather Be

7. Bastille - Things We Lost In The Fire

8. Calvin Harris - Summer

9. Sigma - Nobody To Love

10. Iggy Azalea Ft. Charli XCX - Fancy

11. Ed Sheeran - Sing

12. Sam Smith - Lay Me Down