Thursday, 18 August 2016

Throwback Thursday - V Festival Over The Years

A Thursday wouldn't be a Thursday without a Throwback. As we count down the hours until the gates open at V Festival, we take a look at the headliners from all stages over the years. 

Virgin Media Stage 2011

Our first throwback goes to Eminem headlining 5 years ago. Coming off the back of his seventh studio album "Recovery", which featured hits such as "Not Afraid" and "Love The Way You Lie", Marshall Mathers took to the Virgin Media Stage for the first time to deliver a knock-out set. 

Justin Timberlake
Virgin Media Stage 2014

This year may mark Bieber's first V Festival appearance, but he's not the first Justin to headline. Justin Timberlake made the Virgin Media Stage his own in 2014, performing tunes off his third studio album "The 20/20 Experience" which included the smash hit "Suits & Ties". 

Kasier Chiefs
4Music Stage 2008

Back in 2008 the boys from Leeds headlined the 4Music Stage. After 2 albums which boasted an already outstanding catalogue of bangers like "Ruby", "I Predict A Riot" and "Oh My God", the Kaiser Chiefs played a legendary set. This weekend will mark the 8th anniversary since that performance, and what better way to mark it than a headline slot on the MTV Stage?

Virgin Media Stage 2003

They may have just headlined Glastonbury for the second time in their careers this year, but Coldplay headlined V Festival some 13 years ago. Chris Martin and co had only released two albums by this point, but what big albums they were. 

Virgin Media Stage 2013

Queen B headlined V Festival 3 years ago and certainly did not disappoint. Coming off the back of her self-titled fifth studio album (which earned her a fifth consecutive number 1 in America) Beyonce's performance lived up to her name. Performing tunes such as "Drunk In Love" and "Single Ladies" to her adoring crowd, the Queen's set went down a treat.

The Killers
Virgin Media Stage 2009, 2012 and 2014

How were we supposed to finish this blog without an anthem to blast out? Three-time headliners The Killers always put on an excellent show, with what seems like big-tune after big-tune. "When You Were Young", "Somebody Told Me" and "Human" are all anthems which must be shouted and not sung. 

Monday, 15 August 2016


Haley Reinhart is one of the most talented singers on the planet right now and her performances with Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox is evidence of that.

Haley was always going to be a musician, its in her blood. She grew up in Chicagoland and started singing at the age of 7 after joining her parents' band of 30 years. From there, Haley went on to tour Europe with the Wheeling High School jazz band in 2009, performing at the world renowned Montreux Jazz Festival and Umbria Jazz Festival. 

Two years later, Reinhart went on to compete on the tenth series of American Idol where she ended up with a third place finish and earning a deal with ole and red dot, enabling her to work with the best writers and producers across the globe.

In 2012 Haley Reinhart released her critically acclaimed debut album 'Listen Up!' which debuted at #17 on the Billboard 200 chart, while her single "Can't Help Falling In Love With You" achieved 19 million Spotify streams and reached #1 on Spotify's Global viral chart in 2015.

Recently, Haley Reinhart recorded with Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox, releasing covers of Radiohead's 'Creep' and White Stripes 'Seven Nation Army' which have been viewed over 28 million times on YouTube combined. 

Haley Reinhart is set for a very busy couple of months with her own headline European tour from September to October. She will be visiting the UK in mid-September, playing Glasgow on the 15th, Manchester on the 17th, London on the 18th and Birmingham on the 19th. 

Wednesday, 10 August 2016


With so much happening over the past couple of months, this year's summer seems to have flown by. From the muddiest ever Glastonbury to fully grown adults charging around the streets catchhing Pokemon. Its been pretty mad, and now entering the last few weeks of summer, it seems like its only just beginning. As we prepare to celebrate V Festival's 21st birthday, we will take you through this year's must see artists. So if you've got a ticket then listen carefully, and if you don't, then try not to get too jealous as we take you through V Festival 2016. 

Justin Bieber
Virgin Media Stage
Sat 20 Aug - Hylands Park, Chelmsford
Sun 21 Aug - Weston Park, Staffordshire

It was around this time last summer when Justin Bieber turned his Beliebers from screaming 12 year old girls to clubbers who dance the night away every weekend. With 4 UK number 1's, 10 UK top 10's and a combined total of 428 weeks in the top 75 charts, Justin Bieber will most definitely be a highlight of V Festival. 

Virgin Media Stage
Sat 20 August - Weston Park, Staffordshire
Sun 21 August - Hylands Park, Chelmsford

There's only one pop-star on the planet sassy enough, sexy enough and worthy enough to match Justin as a headliner, and Bad Gal RiRi is that one. After dropping her massive single 'Work' featuring Drake, the video has gone on to reach for than half a billion views on YouTube! With this song, and other countless hits, Rihanna is certianly set to but on a breathtaking show. 

Virgin Media Stage
Sat 20 August - Hylands Park, Chelmsford
Sun 21 August - Weston Park, Staffordshire

Making her V Festival debut appearance, Sia has earned a spot on the main stage after a massive 7th studio album. Although already a prolific song-writer, writing with artists such as Britney Spears and Beyonce, Sia has earned massive success with songs like 'Cheap Thrills' and 'Titanium' in collaboration with David Guetta.

Little Mix
Virgin Media Stage
Sat 20 August - Weston Park, Staffordshire
Sun 21 August - Hylands Park, Chelmsford 

Little Mix are the liveliest girl group in music today, and with the release of 'Hair' in April this year, they have certainly showed they can still release top tunes after last year's number one hit 'Black Magic'. If this year's performance at V Festival is only half as good as their performance at the Brits back in February, then we're in for a massive treat. Don't miss Little Mix this year! 

Troye Sivan
MTV Stage
Sat 20 Aug - Hylands Park, Chelmsford
Sun 21 Aug - Weston Park, Staffordshire

The past year or so has been absolutely manic for the 21 year old Australian singer. After releasing his first album 'Blue Neighbourhood', which features the hit singles 'Youth' and 'Wild', Troye Sivan's first performance at V Festival will be new, exciting and one not to miss. 

Craig David's TS5
Dance Arena
Sat 20 August - Weston Park, Staffordshire
Sun 21 August - Hylands Park, Chelmsford

The legend himself is back with his brand new TS5. Craig David is a multi-talented musician and his current life as a DJ has proven that. He's sold over 13 million albums worldwide and boasts 13 top hits, and with his latest singles 'Nothing Like This' and 'One More Time', he has certainly proved why he was named as the headline act in the Dance Arena. 

Rick Astley
MTV Stage
Sat 20 August - Hylands Park, Chelsmford
Sun 21 August - Weston Park, Staffordshire

Rick Astley is a name at V Festival that everybody will know. Whether that's because of his timeless classic 'Never Gonna Give You Up', or because of his latest album '50' which earned a number 1 spot in the UK top charts, Rick Astley is sure to have a blinder of a performance. So please don't turn around and desert us until you've seen him on the MTV Stage at V Festival... Sorry, couldn't resist! 

V Street Stage
Sat 20 August - Hylands Park, Chelmsford 
Sun 21 August - Weston Park, Staffordshire

Having sold over 8 million albums worldwide, JoJo's new album 'Mad Love', which is to be released later this year, is one of the most highly anticipated of 2016. The Massachusetts born singer has recently released 'F*ck Apologies' in collaboration with Wiz Khalifa which has already received a lot of praise from her adoring fans. She's definitely one not to miss at V Festival this year. 

Bill Bailey
The Glee Comedy Tent
Sat 20 Aug - Weston Park, Staffordshire
Sun 21 Aug - Hylands Park, Chelmsford

One of V Festival's funny guys this year, Bill Bailey will be sure to make your sides split. He is a natural born performer. He's an actor and a musician as well as a stand up comedian, and his vast knowledge of all things musical is cleverly intertwined with his comedy mind, making him one of the most most entertaining comedians in The Glee Comedy Tent. 

Zara Larsson
MTV Stage
Sat 20 August - Hylands Park, Chelmsford
Sun 21 August - Weston Park, Staffordshire

The Swedish born singer has become one of the world's biggest pop-stars after winning Sweden's version of 'Got Talent' at just the age of 10. 8 years, 3 top 10 hits and nearly half a billion views on YouTube later, Zara Larsson has a spot at V Festival and is one of our top picks for the weekend.

Dance Arena
Sat 20 August - Hylands Park, Chelmsford
Sun 21 August - Weston Park, Staffordshire

This deep house duo from Bristol are sure to make a big impact in the Dance Arena at this year's V Festival. Making hits with artists such as Melissa Steel, Craig David and Alex Newell, Blonde have become a big name on the house music scene. Their set will require you to bring your best dancing shoes, so get to the Dance Arena and don't miss Blonde! 

The Sugarhill Gang
V Street Stage
Sat 20 August - Hylands Park, Chelmsford
Sun 21 August - Weston Park, Staffordshire

I said a hip-hop... and that's about all I know. Anyway, The Sugarhill Gang are masters of old school hip-hop and disco, and their hit single 'Rapper's Delight' is one which everyone knows. So get your flairs on, perm your hair, and get down with The Sugarhill Gang at V Festival on the V Street Stage this year. 


Photo: [God Is In The TV

For many people, the Mercury Prize is the most exciting and interesting award for British and Irish music and art. It digs deeper beneath the surface than most other awards, focusing primarily on the music. This award exposes music from all genres to wider audiences, sparking debates and discussions, and giving the real musicians and producers who made the music all the credit and recognition they deserve. Winners of the Mercury Prize often go on to make their stamp on music history (if they haven't done already), with examples being Primal Scream, The Arctic Monkeys and Elbow. We take a look at this year's shortlist and explain why they are all worthy winners of the Mercury Prize. 


The first nomination for the Mercury Prize's most notorious award 'Album Of The Year' is Anohni's 'Hopelessness'. This album is a dance anthem which is focused on protest and educating people on the harsh realities of real life which we don't see. With Pitchfork explaining the album as "dealing in the atrocity of post-9/11 America" as well as giving the album a 9.0 rating, 'Hopelessness' is definitely a strong contender to earn Anohni's first Mercury Prize. 

Bat For Lashes
The Bride

As the album title might suggest, Bat For Lashes' fourth studio album is about 'The Bride'. However, not a love album that most would expect. Natasha Khan, AKA Bat For Lashes has written an album about a Bride who is getting to terms with the tragic loss of her Groom who died in a crash on the way to their wedding. This deep and touching album makes us feel the grief of the Bride, as well as her reflection on life. NME have rated 'The Bride' a 4/5 and is certainly a worthy winner of this year's 'Album Of The Year'.

David Bowie

A genius who needs no introduction. David Bowie's 25th studio album 'Blackstar' was his way of saying goodbye to the world, leaving us with this gift from him to us. When Blackstar was released on January 8th earlier this year, little did we know the album was explaining to the world that he has been ill and he had not long left. His eerie music videos and haunting lyrics became so clear when he was sadly taken away from us on January 10th. For a man who gave the world so much and changed the way music was created since first appearing in 1967, the Mercury Prize would be a fantastic tribute to one of the most iconic figures in British music. 

Jamie Woon
Making Time

Jamie Woon's second studio album 'Making Time' is a true reflection of how good an artist he actually is. However, with his "late night soul" music becoming increasingly popular, 'Making Time' has hit the heights many thought Woon should achieve, therefore earning himself a spot on the shortlist for Mercury's 'Album Of The Year'.

Made in the Manor

Grime has boomed in the UK in recent years and many are dubbing Kano's 'Made in the Manor' the first classic album of grime revival. The raw energy of the album is evidence of Kano's passion for grime music. Listen for the subtle nods of approval to his fellow Grime MCs, including Tempa T and Lethal Bizzle, throughout the release. Grime is one of the many exciting new genres in British music at the moment, and a Mercury Award winning grime album would definitely prove to everyone the genre is not just a flash-in-the-pan. 

See Kano live in Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham & Newcastle.

Laura Mvula
The Dreaming Room

Laura Mvula's second album 'The Dreaming Room' has earned her a second Mercury Prize nomination. The soulful church-singer songwriter rarely fails to write music with twists and surprises. The strings and other rhythm instruments in some of the songs on this album are angelic, clearly under the influence from her church-singing days, but the beats are as modern and punchy as any produced today, especially in "People" which features UK grime rapper Wretch 32. If her first album missed out in 2013, 'The Dreaming Room' could well be the album which snags the prize. 

Michael Kiwanuka
Love and Hate

Michael Kiwanuka's second album 'Love and Hate' is a modern day masterpiece in the world of soul music. This album tackles the sensitive subjects of racial identity and modern-day religion. "A lot of this album was grappling with the insecurities that I'd learned... I've accepted that it comes and goes, and now I'm left with myself" is what Michael had to say about 'Love and Hate'. NME rated his work a strong 4/5, and his opening song 'Cold Little Heart' alone could be worthy of the award. A must listen album. 

See Michael Kiwanuka live this October.

A Moon Shaped Pool

One of the most iconic bands in British rock history, Radiohead are back with a brand new album 'A Moon Shaped Pool'. Going in a completely different direction from what the band and their fans are used to, the new-look, new-feel Radiohead haven't disappointed with their latest album. Despite sounding like a completely new band, Thom Yorke is still writing songs which people can relate to. That is one of the many things which is so appreciated about this album. No matter how much the band have changed, their fans can still enjoy and relate to their music. Something which the Mercury Prize is all about.

Adore Life

Savages are a hard-hitting post punk band from London. Their second album 'Adore Life' has been nominated for this year's 'Album Of The Year' and it's easy to see why once you hear the fast distorted guitar, the loose yet frantic drums, and the waily vocals of Jehnny Beth in the opening song 'The Answer'. The rest of the album is as energetic and moody as the opener, making it worthy of a nomination for the Mercury Prize.


Another grime artist in the running, Skepta is up for the award this year, which proves that this genre should be taken seriously. His growly political vocals are typical of grime as they speak to his fans like a natural-born leader speaks to their followers. The Mercury Prize for Skepta's 'Konnichiwa' would be as deserved as any other nominations. 

See Skepta at his Ally Pally show in December.

The 1975
I Love It When You Sleep, for You're So Beautiful yet So Unaware Of It 

After bursting onto the scene in 2013 with their self-titled album, The 1975 are back 3 years later with a second album to match the first. The album title may be a mouthful to say, but it's certainly easy to listen to. 'Love Me', the first single they released off the album, pays a massive tribute to 70s/80s disco which is one of their many influences. Hailing from Cheshire, Matt Healy has become one the world's most identifiable pop-stars, and his image, combined with the band's distinctive sound, has earned them a nomination for the Mercury Prize.  

See The 1975 live in December.

 The Comet Is Coming
Chanel the Spirits

Certainly one of the most dynamic on the list. The Comet Is Coming have released their debut album 'Chanel the Spirits' and earned themselves a nomination for the prize. The three piece band are very difficult to label under one category. Their punchy rhythms and synth basslines would captivate any dance music fans, but the jazz trumpets and jazz chords used as the accompaniment would capture the imagination of more than the average jazz music fan. The Comet Is Coming may not be the most well known name on the list, but their debut album is as worthy as others to take the Mercury Prize. 

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Vive La France

Photo: [deviantart

France has always been a nation of art, music and culture, and despite recent events, that hasn't changed. So we're going to spread some positivity across the internet by looking back on some of the fantastic and multi-talented musicians France has produced in modern times.

Christine and the Queens

One of the standout breakthrough artists of the year, Christine and the Queens showed the British audience what French people are all about after her performance on Later... with Jools Holland.  Her voice seems to flow over the music which is replicated by her unique choreography. As you can see in the video above, her performance was topped off with a fitting tribute to Prince. Her debut album, 'Chaleur Humaine', was released in the UK in February and boomed after her performance at Glastonbury this year, making her one of the most exciting French exports to arrive in Britain since Anthony Martial. Heloise Letissier, AKA, Christine and the Queens is certainly one to look out for.

See Christine and the Queens live - tickets here.

Jean Michel Jarre

Jean Michel Jarre is a living legend. Every single one of his 18 studio albums has been iconic and his latest one, 'Electronica Vol 2: The Heart of Noise' is no different. With impressive collaborations with artists such as Primal Scream, Gary Numan and Hans Zimmer (to name a few), Jean Michel Jarre's electronic art form will always be a defining factor in music as we know it today. 

See John Michel Jarre live - tickets here.

Caravan Palace

A sold-out show at London's Somerset House and a main stage performance at Glastonbury this summer followed performances on Later With Jools and The Jonathan Ross Show and the release of their latest album <I°_°I>. Caravan Palace fuse hedonistic house, hip-hop and beats with old school jazz and jive to euphoric effect. The musical virtuosity of the Parisian seven-piece band combined with their panache, flair and genuine joy in performing live guarantees a riotous good time. Be prepared to party.

See Caravan Palace live - tickets here.


The psychedelic pop rockers from Versailles are back with a bang and have earned headline spots at UK festivals Secret Garden Party and Bluedot Festival. Their latest release, 'Music for Museum', is as ambient as ever. So ambient in fact, only 1000 copies were made available in the format of a dual clear vinyl. Make sure you catch them round this summer.


The electronic duo of Gaspard "Microloisir" Auge and Xavier de Rosnay have been wowing audiences across the nation since 2007 after the release of their first studio album 'Cross'. Since then, they've gone on to tour the world. Recently they seemed to have dropped at new track at the Ed Banger House Party at Sonar Festival. Fans tried to Shazam the song, but it came up as an untitled track by Justice. Ministry of Sound have since announced the track is called 'Safe and Sound', making us all excited for a potential third studio album. 

David Guetta

And finally, how could we forget the French superstar DJ David Guetta? Labelled as "Godfather of EDM" and voted as the number 1 DJ in DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs, he is certainly a popular figurehead across the globe. Having worked with an endless list of megastars (Rihanna, Sia, Akon, Nicki Minaj, Usher, etc. etc. etc). as well as having sold 9 million albums and 30 million singles worldwide, David Guetta is certainly an iconic figure in French music history. 

See David Guetta at V Festival - tickets here.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Neighbourhood Festival 2016


The first ever Neighbourhood Festival is edging ever closer. On 8th October 2016, the streets of Manchester will be filled with avid music fans trying to catch a glimpse of their favourite artist or scoping some of the city's coolest venues in search of their new idols. As we count down the days until #NBHD16, we take a look at a couple of the bands which are set to play Neighbourhood Festival. 

Stuck In My Teeth

After the release of their first album 'Young Chasers' back in 2015, Circa Waves have enjoyed national success. Their catchy melodies and twangy guitars make for perfect feel-good tunes. Catch this Liverpudlian band on the headline slot of the festival. 

No Sleep

Possibly Glasgow's hottest prospect, and follwoing the release of their new single 'No Sleep', Twin Atlantic promise to bring a performance of energy, passion and great music. Their guitar riffs are crunchy and their lyrics are edgy, the perfect combination for a headline slot at #NBHD16

Dust & Bones

Lonely The Brave will also be playing at the first ever Neighbourhood Festival. Off the back of the release of their second studio album 'Things Will Matter', the boys from Cambridge are set to take Manchester by storm.


She's edgy, she's cool and she's back. Kate Nash will be performing at Neighbourhood Festival 2016 bringing her cockney swagger and upbeat tunes, Kate Nash will be one not to miss at #NBHD16.


Rationale brings his relaxed electronic sounds to the festival, following the expected release of his eponymous debut album at the end of September.

Love Again

The perfect artist to compliment Rationale, Rae Morris' performance will blow you away. Her vocals will captivate you while her beat will force you to move to the music. Rae Morris' performance will be one not to miss. 

Violence Out Tonight

If you're into your indie music, there will be no doubt you'll be into Little Comets. They epitomise the indie music scene and are the perfect fit for Neighbourhood Festival 2016. 


Among the second wave of artists to be announced, Black Peaks certainly created a buzz when their name appeared on the line up. Their raw energy on stage will generate one hell of an atmosphere at the first ever Neighbourhood Festival.

Hell Of A Girl

19 years old and a top spot at Neighbourhood Festival... Not bad for the Australian singer, eh? Her performance will be emotional, moving and damn-right outstanding. Get down to Neighbourhood this year to witness the amazing Grace. No pun intended. 

Tickets for Neighbourhood 2016 are available here.

Monday, 18 July 2016

The Main Level Q&A

Ahead of their first ever UK show, we caught up with Norweigan boy band The Main Level.

You will be playing your first ever UK show at London O2 Academy 2 Islington on Thursday 18th August. How are you feeling about this?
Playing in the UK is a dream come true for us! We have played several hundred shows but some how this has made us a little nervous! Hahaha but we are totally ready!

What can your fans expect from the show?

It's going to be an awesome show! We got the best band and musicians lined up! We will try our best to make this a night to remember! We will play songs from our album "We Are Who We Are". A secret: there mighty be twerking. 

What’s the best part of being on tour?

The best thing about being on tour has to be all the beautiful places and people we meet! Even though we are friends from way back we still find out different things about each other on tour, mostly annoying things.

How did the band form? Have you been friends for a long time?

As we said we have known each other for a long time. The band actually got started in a studio in Bergen Norway, where we were first demo singers for different songwriters!  We thought why not start a band together! The Main Level is actually the name of a button on the mixer in the studio.

Tell us about your current single ‘A Million More’?

A Million More is a summer song! We learned how to play the ukulele this year so we thought why not have it in our song! The song is dedicated to our fans, and the sentence "after a million years I love you a million more" is just us saying we will never forget them! 

You guys have a massive online presence and fanatical following on the massively popular app Can you tell us a bit more about the app? is no doubt one of our favorite apps! It allows you to be super creative and just have fun with your favorite songs! We get so much love from other musers (that's what we're called) every one on is a muser! 

Last summer you played the biggest outdoor festival in Scandinavia, with over 100,000 people! This must have been a big moment for you? 

That was just INSANE! So many people. It's the best feeling in the world! We kinda had a moment where we looked at each other and went "is this really happening"!

You will be performing at V Festival in August, what other plans have you got for the summer?

V-fest is going to be unbelievable we are really looking forward playing there! We are doing some shows in Sweden and Norway! USA is on the list, and hopefully many other places. We wanna meet everyone!

What is the most exciting thing you’re looking forward to this year?

There is so many things we are looking forward to this year! The best thing has to be meeting the fans, and traveling. There are also some things that we can't say just yet, but this is going to be a big year for us.

Have you got any messages for your fans?
We love you guys, and we will never let you down! Without you none of this would be possible! From our hearts we thank you! Se you soon. 

Alex, Laurent and Sander – The Main Level

Tickets available from