Thursday, 31 July 2014

TRACKS ON TOUR: Benjamin Booker

TRACKS ON TOUR: Benjamin Booker

21 year old New Orlean's resident Benjamin Booker is without doubt one of the best new talents to cross the pond and hit our speakers. He comes across as a traditional soul man but calls his unique blend of indie, punk and blues 'punk fuzz blues' and I don't think we could come up with a better title if we tried. You can easily see why Rough Trade Records have snapped him up and lucky for us he will be embarking on a UK tour including a special XFM Xposure show in Manchester. Tickets HERE

His brilliant generally fast paced live show sees him move through early Strokes-esque guitar riffs with punky fast paced tunes featuring heavy bluesy undertones. A truly unique style that is being embraced by many. Praise has poured in for Booker's live shows, so much so that he was asked to join Jack White on tour across the US which he is currently half way through.

So with such an eclectic sound, we thought we would ask Benjamin to tell us which tracks he is currently listening to while on tour and he has not disappointed, offering us a diverse collection of music. Listen below or on our Spotify profile HERE.


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

V Festival 2014: Ones to Watch

V Festival returns this summer for it's 19th edition since it's inception in 1996. The festival is held across two sites with the line-up on alternate days. The mahoosive line-up features across 5 stages including the Glee Club Comedy Stage. This year the festival features an American double-headliner with one of the biggest solo performers in the World Justin Timberlake. The other headliner will be one of the biggest rock bands in the World, The Killers, highly praised for their previous V Festival performances. JT however puts on his suit and tie and makes his V Festival d├ębut in his only UK festival appearance this summer.

So aside from the headliners, we thought it's about the right time to give you a helping hand on creating your unmissable list of artists for the weekend. Especially since there are still some tickets left (HERE) meaning if you have been feeling festival-envy so far this summer it's not too late to grab a ticket for this crown-jewel in the festival calender.

V Festival are also offering the chance to win the ULTIMATE festival prize including luxury on-site accommodation, tickets and arrival by helicopter! Yes helicopter. Enter HERE


Virgin Media Stage

Virgin Media Stage

The Futures Stage

Arena Stage

Futures Stage

Virgin Media Stage

Arena Stage

Futures Stage

MTV Stage

Virgin Media Stage

MTV Stage

Virgin Media Stage

Futures Stage

MTV Stage

MTV Stage


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Introducing... Fat White Family


Introducing The Fat White Family, a band originally from Peckham and Brixton in London. Fat White Family were the winners of the Quietus' Tomorrow's Cult Star Today honour at the BBC 6 Music Blog Awards. Their debut album, Champagne Holocaust, released back in 2013 marked them down as a brilliantly bilious rock'n'roll band, alive with wit and tension. 

Fat White Family have launched their own record label, named Without Consent. The band will not only release their own music on the label but will also put out records by other artists as well as re-releasing some "old blues classics", reports Music Week. The label's first release will be the band's next single this summer. 

The group's second album, the follow up to 2013's 'Champagne Holocaust', will be released in 2015. 2014 sees them performing at various festivals across the UK, including Reading/Leeds, Glastonbury, Bestival and Beacons. 

You can also catch them in Manchester at Sound Control on 17th September. Tickets available here:

Monday, 14 July 2014



PopShack, the UK’s fastest growing music network, celebrates the end of the school year with a massive teen party at the Indigo at the O2. PopShack Live will give the country’s 5 million teenagers a unique chance to get together, scream, dance and sing with all their friends & celebrate the start of the summer holidays.
This unique event will be hosted by award winning Radio 1 DJs Dan and Phil and headlined by “X- Factor” finalists and chart topping boy band Union J and fellow “X Factor” alum Amelia Lily. They are joined by loads of other established stars including Luke Friend, Loveable Rogues, Kingsland Road and Nickelodeon heart throb Brad Kavanagh plus Elyar Fox, Hollywood Ending, Loveable Rogues, Kingsland Road and Ebony Day! 


We want to see your best #PopshackFanSelfie!
Tweet us a selfie using the hashtag #PopshackFanSelfie of you showing some love to your favourite Popshack artist! It can be either you wearing some merch, holding a photo of a popshack artist or showing off your tunes.
The winner will get 2x tickets to Popshack Live with a Meet & Greet package so you can meet some of your favourite Popshack artists plus Popshack merch!

Competition closes at 9am on Friday 18th July and winners will be notified by 2pm on Friday. 

Friday, 4 July 2014

Introducing... Josh Record

Born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, but based in Brixton for the past decade, Josh Record is an alternative British artist. His first release on indie label ‘National Anthem’ in 2012 made it to number 2 in the Singer Songwriter charts on iTunes in the UK. He then followed this with the release of two EPs ‘The War’ and ‘Bones’ which both became Zane Lowe’s Hottest Records.

He has been working on his debut album ‘Pillars’ with Mike Crossey, who has previously worked with Arctic Monkeys, Foals, The 1975, Jake Bugg and Two Door Cinema Club. His dramatic, lush music features a voice that recalls Tom Odell, Chris Martin and even the heightened melodrama of Jeff Buckley.

This last year saw Josh Record play shows with Lorde, Bastille, Michael Kiwanuka and London Grammar. He most recently toured as support for Sam Smith across the UK.

Now with the anticipated release of his debut album, Record is set to perform at a number of festivals across the UK including, T in the Park, Wilderness and V Festival.

Josh Record also plays a special headline show at St. Philips Chuch in Salford on Friday 10th October. Head HERE for tickets. 

Check out the release of his latest video for his first single off the new album ‘Pillar’s called ‘Wide awake’...


Expect to see big things from Josh Record!

Thursday, 3 July 2014


Liverpool quartet Circa Waves are hot property right now. The indie band have had a great week having played a blinding set at Glastonbury and scoring Track of the Day on Radio 1 for their brilliant new track Young Chasers (out now).

The band recently announced that they will embark on an 11 date nationwide tour starting Thursday 6th November in Glasgow and ending, fittingly, in their home town of Liverpool on 20th. Tickets on sale HERE. With numerous festival appearances and a support slot for Two Door Cinema Club on the horizon, we wanted to delve into the musical minds of the lads and find out which tracks they listen while on tour. So here is the playlist they put together for us:


Wednesday, 2 July 2014


We caught up with one of pop musics greatest vocalists Tony Hadley ahead of his 10 dates in October performing hits of Spandau Ballet..


Tell me about the new tour...

Last year we did an orchestral tour with the Southbank Sinfonia and the Tony Hadley band on stage. It was 50 musicians all on stage together and from a singer’s point of view it was just the most brilliant experience you can ever have. To have the Strings, the Violas, the Flutes, the Timpani and the brass section all playing together is just awesome.

We did a small tour of three venues, Birmingham, Manchester and ending at the RAH in London. It was so successful that we decided to do a proper tour.

We start the tour on the 7th Oct in Ipswich and finish on 19th October at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London. I feel like a real thesp now, ‘Theatre Royal Drury Lane darling, wow!’ The great thing about the show is that we have orchestrated Spandau’s greatest hits, and that just gives a different meaning to all of those great songs and that’s the second half of the show. The first half is songs I particularly love, like ‘Jim Croce’ – Time in a Bottle’ it’s just literally me and the strings which sounds really beautiful and intimate. ‘New York Minute’ by Don Henley – wow what a song that is. Then there is a few bits and pieces from the new album in the show and more music that I love.

You have the film that’s out at the same time can you tell us a little about that?

The film is about Spandau Ballet, everyone will be happy to know were all now friends again. We have been working on a documentary for some time now and it’s a real honest, (warts and all) kind of documentary. We have recovered film footage from places we just didn’t know about like people’s cupboards, attics, and other footage from TV. There was 450 hours of film in total and our director George Hencken went through it all. She then interviewed each of us to get our story of events. It’s all going to be a little bit different, my event and Gary’s event are obviously going to be slightly different maybe. But then from each our stories and all the footage she was then free to completely edit the film as she saw fit. There are parts in it that maybe individually we are wishing weren’t in there, but we had to give her that control so that it wasn’t sugar coated or sanitised in any way, we did not want that.

The film is set against the backdrop of the 80’s which was filled with massive political and economic change, Live Aid and the birth of charities as I see it. It’s a really honest documentary about friendship, falling out and not being quite so in love. A 20 year period of certainly not being so in love and then we all fell back in love again. I said the other day all we need now is for Lassie the dog to walk on and that would be the Hollywood ending.

What was your favourite gig as Spandau Ballet and you’re favourite as a solo artist?

Favourite gig as Spandau has to be Live Aid. I know a lot of people say that but it truly was one of the most amazing days of my life. Prince Charles and Princess Diana were there, Geldof going on at everyone to raise money and meeting your heroes like David Bowie, McCartney and Queen. As a young singer in a band, to meet all your heroes and to hang out with them it really was a special day. To perform in front of 80,000 people and however many millions across the world, that was particularly beautiful.

As a solo artists the Royal Albert Hall last October with the orchestra has to be my favourite. It was a sense of seeing you name ‘Tony Hadley at the RAH with the Symphony Orchestra’ and having 50 beautiful musicians on stage with you all sounding awesome. Anne Dudley was conducting and it was just the actual serge of appreciation we received which I never expected when I walked on stage to perform the first song ‘New York Minute’. It was just like wow, the crowd were so loud it really was unbelievable. I got quite choked up to be honest, I just thought this is really beautiful. The reviews that we had afterwards, that feeling that I got and all the comments about what a good show it was. Definitely the Royal Albert Hall with the orchestra was the best show for me.

What’s your favourite song to perform live?

My favourite to perform with the orchestra has got to be ‘New York Minute’. I’m a massive Don Henley and Eagles fan so that was really special. We also did a song from the new album called Killer Blow. It’s a little bit quirky and a little bit out there, but it sounded fantastic with the orchestra.

From the Spandau Ballet material, my favourite was the song ‘Toys’ from the first album ‘Journeys to Glory’. I always thought it should have been a single. It sounded so fantastic with the orchestra and obviously Gold, True, and Through the Barricades - they were always going to sound fantastic. Also ‘Musclebound’ actually, that was a song I was never going to do again but we worked with the orchestra and it does put a different emphasis on all the songs, they can be treated in a much more subtle way.

Can you tell us about the new record, who are you working with and what we can expect?

The new album I have been working on for so long now in between the tours and everything. But then I keep writing new songs which is really dangerous but it is nearly finished now. The first two tracks are now mixed and I have been working with Gary Stephenson recording up at his studio and with my Tony Hadley band. Chris Sheldon has been the guy that I wanted to mix the album. He has been really great and really has brought something else to the mix. He has worked with bands like Foo Fighters, Skunk Anansie, and Therapy. I thought it would be a really interesting combination of the TH band with this kind of quirky, pop rock, dance and with his input from a rock perspective for the album. The first time I heard the mix of the first song ‘Take Back Everything’ with my friend Dave Tench who is the MD of The Voice it just blew us away. So he will definitely be mixing the rest of the album and it will be out as soon as I can finish it!

Who are your favourite Dance artists at the moment?

I was into a lot of Techno in the past and I have written in the past with some Techno guys in Germany and Holland. I love Avicii and Swedish House Mafia. I like John Newman too, I think he has a very quirky and unusual voice. Going back a bit, The Killers and Kaiser Chiefs are still two of my favourite bands. I try to keep up with as much new music as possible, it can be difficult with two young kids and touring all the time. As much as everyone goes on about the past I think there is some fantastic music out there today. I’m up for anything that’s new.

What are your plans for the summer and the tour?

I’m turning 54 on June 2nd, I really don’t know where that time went as I still feel like I’m 28. Now that it’s festival season we will be doing a lot of them throughout the UK like Henley, Rock the Moor and various other ones. Then we have the tour and were also off to Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Italy, Spain and Germany.

Tony Hadley and the Southbank Sinfonia orchestra will be on tour in October 2014.