Tuesday, 21 June 2016


It's that time of year again. The time of year when everyone gets their brightly coloured waterproofs out of the closet, the time of year when wellie sales go through the roof and the time of year when festival goers all around the world make their way to a field in Somerset to embark on one of the biggest music events of the year. Of course its time for Glastonbury! As usual, we will talk through those who are lucky to have a ticket, and to those who will be camping in front of their TVs, the best acts to look for whilst watching the magic of Glastonbury 2016 unfold. 

Sunday, John Peel Stage, 16:00

After releasing their new album 'Why Are You OK', this American rock band's set promises to bring folky and atmospheric vibes to the John Peel Stage. 

Friday, Pyramid Stage, 16:30

Jess Glynne's rise to success has shown no signs of stopping, having achieved a double platinum selling album in 'I Cry When I Laugh', her performance will definitely not be one to miss. 

Saturday, John Peel Stage, 20:30

The notorious raver from Brighton has been the soundtrack to party animals across the globe for decades. If his set is anything to go by from last year with the sound and lighting system, then you will certainly be in for a treat. 

Sunday, The Park Stage, 20:30

The front man of the world-famous Elbow is worthy of being categorised as one of the best song-writers of his generation. Guy Garvey's set will make you feel a mix of emotions, but he will leave you speechless for sure. Do not miss this one! 

Saturday, Pyramid Stage, 18:15

Turner and Kane. That's all that needs to be said really. Make sure you do everything possible to see two of the UK's best indie rock products perform together on the world's biggest stage. 

Friday, Other Stage, 12:30

Fresh from their support slot for The Stone Roses at the Etihad in Manchester, Blossoms will make their first Glastonbury appearance. Tipped as one of the bands to look out for in 2016, this lot from Stockport will smash it. 

Saturday, West Holt Stage, 22:15

A worthy headliner of the West Holt Stage, the Mercury award winner is sure to deliver an outstanding set.

Saturday, Pyramid Stage, 16:30

This is certainly one to witness. Madness have so many great hits from 'Our House' to 'Baggy Trousers' which earned them a spot on top of Buckingham Palace during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee back in 2012. 

Friday, The Park Stage, 15:30

UMO have found a perfect balance of psychedelic rock, garage rock and R&B to create their interesting sound. Make sure you catch them at the Park Stage on the Friday! 

Sunday, Other Stage, 18:20

Catfish have quite rightly shot to success following their impressive debut album 'The Balcony', but their second album 'The Ride' shows they're not just a flash-in-the-pan band. Make sure you don't miss their set on the Other Stage. 

Friday, Other Stage, 11:00

Another strong act for the Other Stage, James are set to open Glastonbury in classic festival style. The Manchester band will set the tone for the whole weekend with an energetic, powerful and, overall, happy performance. 

Monday, 25 April 2016

Travis Q&A

Ahead of their UK tour and new album release, we caught up with Dougie from Travis to talk recording and life on the road.

So, the new album ‘Everything At Once’ is coming out next week and with the single ‘Magnificent Time’ to follow, what would you say has been your inspiration behind it and how did it all come about?

It’s kind of strange, the process is always the same as far as writing goes. We do it the old fashioned way.  It’s not like we’ve got a gang of writers all sitting in a room going what about this and you know... We tend to write separately, so we’ll go off and just dig away and try and find some little nugget of melody or something that catches the ear, and that you can then kind of extrapolate out into a song, that has a kind of magnetism or something that attracts the rest of the band to it.

We just go song by song, we don’t really think about grand schemes for albums. You start to work out ‘oh, well that song is connected to that song, and these ones have common themes’ and you start to work out what maybe the record is accidentally about. It’s fairly accidental and all fairly, I hate the word but, organic. As far as things being in styling for the record – I think recording in Hansa Studios was really important to the record because it’s a legendary place, Bowie recorded there, U2, Depeche Mode.

Had you recorded there before?
We actually did the very end of the last record ‘Where You Stand’, we did about five days there, just B sides, but it went so well that two of those songs ended up going on the last record. So we thought ‘oh this place is great’. It’s got such a peculiar atmosphere. It’s a strange combination of a heavy, dark atmosphere and it’s really creative. You can kind of feel the history coming out of the walls.

I think working with Michael Ilbert again was really important, he is a fantastic producer. He did a great job for us on ‘Where You Stand’.  I think with this record it’s a continuation and building upon that relationship. The working relationship is just fantastic and he really pulled a lot out of us and pulled a lot out of the songs actually to make them really stand out and make them really be as good as they can be.

What are your thoughts on Berlin as a city in general, and the culture? Is there any favourite part?
I really like Berlin, a lot. We spent a lot of time there over last year. We’d go to the studio for three or four weeks and then go away and write again and then go back to the studio for another three or four weeks. We did this about three times so we ended spending about three months or so there.  

It’s got a great feel to it, the way the city has dealt with its history is incredible. I think it’s quite moving to be there and the way it deals with the monuments, its relationship with art and it does it really well. It feels like quite a young city in a way.  It’s very forward looking and I think it’s an exciting place to be at the moment.

So you did some intimate shows in January at London’s Lexington - how was that for you? How was it playing the new tracks?
We did just two shows in one night at the Lexington in London. We had an amazing time and we came off after the first show and we just thought ‘that was amazing, oh my god, we’re never going to be able to do that again, oh my god, that was so great’ and then we went back on and the second one was even better. So it was really great night and it was like I say, kind of like breaking the seal on the new stuff.

All band start playing in little pubs and little clubs and so it’s kind of, in a way, your natural home if you’re a proper band. So, it was great and it’s nice to play hot and sweaty little venues having the crowd right there, right in your face. Also, it was exciting to be playing new stuff in that kind of environment because it’s unforgiving. You have to be able to do it, it’s kind of like proving yourself.

So going on tour in May, what can the fans expect from these new live shows? Plus what new tracks will you be playing? Is it going to be a mix old and new?
Well the cool thing about this record is the songs are really short. We deliberately had that in our minds because on the last record the hardest part, actually, was once we finished the whole thing and we were like ‘oh it’s perfect’ you then take things to radio and they go ‘ah, yeah, we love this, definitely play that but you’ll have to take a minute and a half off it’. So for days, Fran, myself and Michael, the producer, would be emailing each other radio edits and it was so hard because you spend months making this thing that you think is absolutely as it should be and then suddenly you’ve got to start hacking away at it.

So a lot of the songs are three minutes or less, so with that in mind, for playing live it’s great because it means we could play the whole of the record and loads of hits in the time it takes to do a normal set. We just did our first full show in Tokyo, last week. I think we played eight out of ten of the new songs and they sounded great live and they went down really well.

There is going to be a movie and lots of aspects to the show, so if it all works out it should look really interesting as well because we’ve never really had that before.  We’ve never really taken that into account. It’s always been set up the amps and play. 

Which city or show are you most looking forward too on this run? Anywhere you’ve got particular fond memories of in the past?
I love Manchester. I think Manchester is a great city and I always really look forward to playing there, and the show is sold out so that’s really exciting as well. And obviously, Glasgow as it’s our home town.  It’s the first show on the tour so that’s going to be a moment I think.

The thing is, it’s kind of nice because it’s the most extensive UK tour we’ve done for a while. For the last record we did probably half as many shows in the UK so I think this is kind of good to get on the bus and just get to these places and get playing so the whole thing should be good.

As a seasoned live performer what are your touring essentials?
That’s the tricky part is keeping yourself healthy on tour. It doesn’t lend itself to healthy eating or a regular lifestyle. Obviously, you walk into a dressing room and it’s just full of booze! The touring essential is to keep your head when it comes to indulging after shows, we don’t drink before shows anyway because that never ends well. As far as things to take; running shoes –  when you get to our elder-statesmen like situation you’ve got to get yourself match fit.

Really, as far as essentials go, there’s a thing that I always take is Vocalzone Throat Sweets because because there is a lot of high backing vocals! I have this habit of wearing the same thing on stage every – so at the moment I have to take a lot of t-shirts, and I decide on jacket at the start of the tour and that me, it’s kind of like putting on a football strip – you feel ready to go once you’ve got it on.

So you’re playing loads of festivals all over the world – is there any you’re looking forward too?
All of them, I love doing the festivals because you get to catch up with people you haven’t seen for years and it’s always really nice. You get to see bands you would never ordinarily see. I think I really like the festival circuit it’s a fun way to spend the summer. Fuji Rock in Japan is one that I really enjoy because it’s just an amazing setting for a festival. T in the park is obviously very close to our hearts, I think this is our tenth time playing T so, that’s quite exciting for us. And I actually really like V Festival as well, I think that’s a great festival and a lot of fun and it’s an interesting bill this year - very pop.

Is there any particular track that you love to perform or does it change on a regular basis?
There is two things that go on; you really enjoy playing the new stuff because it’s new and you have this extra nervous energy that goes with playing new stuff that you don’t have the muscle memory for that you have with the old stuff. But, another thing, which is the best thing about shows, any show is crowds singing along and because singing is a funny thing.

People are really shy about singing, in general, because it’s giving yourself away, and your voice is you to a greater or lesser extent, you’re giving yourself away when you’re belting out a song but you have the protection of a crowd. It’s an amazing thing to see people absolutely feeling at liberty to belt it out and to feel that energy coming off people is incredible. So, with that in mind it is never boring to play the songs that people know, so you play Sing, Why Does It Always Rain or Drift and the things that makes those things come alive every night is not us, it’s the crowd singing along and that creates an extraordinary circuit of energy.

What music are you listening to at the moment, new artists or whose on the iPod?
I’ve been really enjoying the new Field Music record, it’s absolutely brilliant. I don’t think those guys have ever released a bad album but this one is a belter. I really love the new Iggy Pop record. I think Josh Homme has done an amazing job on that. It’s brilliant because his backing vocals on that just sound like Bowie, it’s so great. That record fits perfectly with Lust For Life and The Idiot, it’s like the third part of that trilogy, its absolutely a great record, really enjoying that one.

And the Mystery Jets album is really good. We did a funny thing for Virgin Radio with those guys. We were asked to do a cover and so Fran and I decided we’d do Like A Virgin because it was for the launch of Virgin Radio and it was on a Virgin Train going out live and the Mystery Jets were there and The Feeling were there and this guy, Gavin James, an Irish singer-songwriter, and so they were like ‘oh, you’re doing Like A Virgin? Can we join in?’ So all the bands joined in and did a kind of mass jam version of Like A Virgin which was hilarious.  

I’ve been listening to a lot of The Who, going back really. My eldest son who is 8 is obsessed with Baba O’Reilly, he wants to be Keith Moon… Which is a worry!

Finally, any message for the fans?
Just that we are really excited to release the record, we hope you like it when it comes out and we are very excited to get on tour and play the new stuff for you. So we, hopefully, will see you all at the shows.

Tickets for Travis' tour are on sale here
The new album 'Everything At Once' is out on 29th April, pre-order it here

Friday, 15 April 2016

Record Store Day 2016 - our picks

It’s that time of year again where we dust off our record players and head down to local record stores to rediscover the lost beauty of vinyl. We’ve picked our top releases for this year and put them all together in a handy list!

Guy Garvey
Having supported Record Store Day regularly with Elbow, this year, frontman Guy Garvey has offered up his single Unwind as a limited edition 7”. Taken from his debut solo ‘Courting the Squall’, which was met with critical acclaim, ‘Unwind’ has been described as “some of his strongest work in years” (Drowned in Sound).
See Guy Garvey on 1st July at Castlefield Bowl. Tickets here

Justin Bieber
Proving Record Store Day is no longer just for hipsters and unsigned bands, Justin Bieber has release a limited edition picture disc of current album, Purpose. Converting even the most devout music snob with his recent run of popular hits, Bieber has shown even mainstream pop has a place on vinyl!
See Justin Bieber at V Festival. Tickets here

A heady mix of grunge and punk, VANT’s radio hit Fly-by Alien has been released as a special luminous vinyl edition. Drawing comparisons with bands such as The Strokes and Pixies in the music press, VANT’s Record Store Day offering is as melodic as it is energetic.
See VANT live. Tickets here

Unreleased until now, this 12 track acoustic performance at the Greenpeace Palace Concert was recorded in 1992. The limited edition 2LP sleeve features a portrait of the band, details from the tour booklet and a review written for the ‘James’ fanzine.
See James in May. Tickets here

Howard Marks
An unplanned tribute to the late, great Howard Marks, Do Not Go Gentle is a touching spoken word homage to Dylan Thomas’ poetry, performed over an evocative composition, a poignant nod to two legends.

Medlar, one of the three WOLF resident producers has offered up this very limited Record Store Day Release, complete with a hand stamped label and old school promo feedback sheet.
See Medlar at Wild Life Festival. Tickets here

Share your #RSD16 buys with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Rich Kids Q&A

Ahead of their UK joint headline tour with The Professionals, we chatted with Glen Matlock of reformed new-wave outfit Rich Kids. Here's what happened!

How’s it going? Have you been up to anything interesting recently?
Loads but that's for me to know and you find out but basically, playing all over the world this year already - the States, Australia, Europe, so looking forward to doing a show on our home turf.

You were amongst the first group of musicians to experiment with the post-punk ‘New Wave’ genre, which to many, shaped music forever, how do you feel about this?
Well good to be recognised for that at long last, but yes we did try and move on from the bog standard punk template a little bit and think we helped create a bridgehead between punk and new wave and even the New Romantics. Maybe a little bit before our time....

After your official split in 1979 and going off separately to achieve success in your individual careers, how does it feel to be back on stage and performing together at the London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire?
I think anybody who spends that much time going up and down the M1 in the back of a van and sharing hotel rooms must have some kind of affinity that, if they haven't throttled each other, is worth revisiting once in a while.

Many musicians say your work inspired them to create music, but which artists inspired you?
Cool. Loads - Kinks, Who, Small Faces, Bowie, Iggy, Kraftwerk, The Normal - the list goes on...

What are your thoughts on ‘The Professionals’, who you’re playing Shepherds Bush Empire with?
A fine rocking band with some tip top toe tapping tunes that should have done a lot more had their career not been curtailed by an horrific car crash in their first US tour.

Have you been to any decent gigs lately?
Not so many but have played a few!
I did dig Jonathan Richman and Tommy in San Francisco a little while back.

What have you got planned for the rest of the year?
Working on my own Glen Matlock project with some American chums - we have the best part of an album in the can already.
When chance permits, I will also be working on a good tan.

Do you think ‘Rich Kids’ will go on to do a couple more shows, maybe even a tour?
Never say never but let's see how Shepherds Bush goes first on the 19th of May

Finally, could you tell us what tracks you’re listening to at the moment?

Friday, 8 April 2016

Jack Pack Q&A

Britain's Got Talent stars Jack Pack embark on their UK tour in June - we caught up with them to find out what they've been getting up to!

Hello guys, how are you? What have you been up to recently?

We’re doing great thanks! Well, it’s been very busy indeed but we are having such a great Time-We have been abroad to South America, and also went to Venice to perform- That was an amazing City! We’ve also been working on our set for out tour which is going ahead in June. We all can’t wait!

It’s been 2 years since you received a standing ovation at your Britain’s Got Talent audition which you mentioned was your first ever public performance… Can you remember what it was like stepping out on stage together for the first time in front of a packed house, national TV cameras and the BGT judges?

That first audition was very surreal….It felt like we were stepping in a TV set! We had done a lot of work behind the scenes on out audition, and had also all given up our day jobs to dedicate out time to Jack Pack… As much as were felt confident in ourselves, it really hit us all that everything was on the line now, and if they buzzed us that would mean everything we has worked for would be for nothing…. So being nervous was an understatement! They also purposefully kept us waiting behind the stage where we could hear the other auditions taking place and the incredibly loud buzzers-which sounded like fog horns!! Once we got the standing ovation, it was extremely emotional for all of us. It was a moment we will never forget.

Could you ever have imagined how much your lives have change since then?

I think every singer has dreams of what their lives could be if they had a chance to ‘make it’, but when it actually happens… And every week you are doing the most amazing things, you step back go ‘is this really happening?’ After getting to the final of BGT, we signed to Syco, made our album with a 72-piece orchestra, We’ve performed at the Hammersmith Apollo, The London Palladium, Proms in the park to 40,000 people- been to many countries all over the world… And have also performed in front of Prince Charles… Its mind blowing to be honest…. These things just don’t happen every day! We still can’t believe how well it’s taken off to be honest, and all appreciate how fortunate we have been.

You released your debut album ‘Jack Pack’ in October last year which is a mix of cover songs and original tracks. Which is your favorite song off the album?

That's a tough question, as we love all the tracks for different reasons. The likes of ‘My Way’, which is a huge iconic song in itself, not to mention the emotional sentiment and connection it has with people, as a band, is one of our favorites. We also love Lazy River, which was actually Simon Cowell’s suggestion, as this track really shows off our chemistry and the fun we have with each other on, and off stage, it was a great suggestion. It pretty much typifies what we're about, lads, banter and fun!

You’re also touring the UK at the end of May, which city are you most looking forward to playing and why?

We are just looking forward to going on tour and performing for our amazing fans. They have been with us from day one on this amazing journey, through all our ups and downs, and we cannot wait to put on an amazing show for them all. We’ve put in many hours in the studio rehearsing with the band to make sure this show is amazing and Its now just a matter of getting on the road to see everyone and provide a night of entertainment they won't forget.

What/who inspired your love for ‘big band’ and swing music?

What we all have in common is we were all bought up in our households listening to swing. I remember being 10 years old. My father gave me a Frank Sinatra CD as a present, I listened to ‘Night and Day’ - I immediately fell in love with the genre… There was something about the grand orchestra with the thumping brass and smooth and effortless vocals which was both spectacular and also very cool… Since that day I became a fan, and that’s what gave me inspiration to sing. (Sean)

Who is the best artist you have ever seen live?

For me it has to be Michael Buble. I saw him at the O2 a few years ago and he was just mind blowing. He was my main inspiration for getting into this genre of music and I was actually very very lucky to perform with him on stage in London at a small intimate gig 4 years ago! This was an absolute dream come true, and seeing him perform again at the O2, was just the tip of the iceberg, given my journey since. (Alfie)

What is the plan for after your tour?

I think we will all have a few days rest and spend some time with our families, children and friends, and then, it’ll be back to work soon after. We have so many exciting things happening, at home, internationally, and in the studio, that we cannot wait to tell your all about and we are looking forward to the future of Jack Pack and our continued love we have for living this dream of ours.

Just how small is Dec compared to Ant in real life?

Haha they both seem quite similar in height in real life!! It’s not at all noticeable in person from what I remember!

Finally, could you tell us the songs you guys will be listening to whilst on tour?


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Ben Haenow Q&A

X Factor winner Ben Haenow is back! With a number one single and top ten album already in the bag, we caught up with him ahead of his UK tour...

How has your journey been since winning the X Factor?

It's been incredible, I've been living my dream since the day I won. Getting to sing for a living has been all I have wanted to do since I was a kid and now I'm heading out on my very own tour! I feel like the luckiest guy in the world.

What advice would you give hopefuls wanting to apply to shows like the X Factor?

GO FOR IT! You don't want to be sitting around in years to come thinking "what if" .. It's hard work but it was the best experience of my life. At worst you'll meet a lot of people who share your passion for singing and make some friends :) ...And it could just change your life forever.

How do you prepare yourself for going out on tour?

Lots of rehearsal, and making sure your voice is in good shape is key. Working out the setlist and getting all the songs together with the band has been fun!

What can fans expect from your live show?

Well we love a bit of audience participation, get the crowd singing/chanting along, maybe even on stage. I've got a band together so we're going for a bit of an old school rock vibe.

You’re writing material for a new album – what has your inspiration been behind it?

All sorts really. The last year has given me loads of inspiration, I've had some great and crazy experiences, but I think life in general gives anyone enough to write a song or two about.

I wouldn't say it is a concept album and I'm still in very early stages with it all but I am enjoying writing at the moment.

You’re playing a homecoming show on 19th April - what memories does the venue hold for you?

Fairfield Halls has a lot of history, I've been going there for years with friends and family to see shows.

Bands like the Rolling Stones have played there.. I've seen Joe Satriani play there.. And Carlos Santana .. I also saw the Sooty and Sweep show Live, so it's not all rock and roll!

We used to watch the Christmas pantomime there every year when we were kids so I have a lot of memories of Fairfield.

Me and my brother played there once before for a battle of the bands competition but I never imagined I'd be coming back to play my own gig.. It's an absolute honour!

Who would you like to collaborate with in future?

Justin Beiber... There I said it. His recent stuff has been pretty awesome, I'm not sure how it would sound...but it'd be cool to get in the studio and find out, and of course Mr Ed Sheeran! He is incredible!

What’s your favourite album of all time?

That's tough... Stevie Wonder - 'Songs in the Key of Life' is a banger. Great from start to finish!

What would you like to be doing in 5 years’ time?

I'd love to be doing a world tour in 5 years time! I love playing the live shows and it would be incredible to go around the world making noise and meeting people!

Have you got a message for your fans?

I literally have THE BEST fans in the world. I can't thank you guys enough for all the love and support you have shown me and for everything you have done. I am soooo excited to start the tour and I cannot wait to get out on the road and see you all!! Xx 

Ben Haenow is touring this April, for tickets visit


Thursday, 3 March 2016

Give the gift of tickets this Mother's Day!

Mother’s day is just around the corner, and if you're searching for the perfect gift for then look no further! Gigs and Tours provide a fast and simple solution for you to treat your mum to something truly special this year. With a vast selection of concerts from some of the biggest and best names in the music industry, you are guaranteed to treat her to the experience of a lifetime. All tickets are available from Gigs and Tours…hurry before it’s too late!