2018 We’re Expecting You

 

Who to look out for this year!

Stereo Honey

The growing popularity of Stereo Honey comes by no surprise. Their indie rock modulations that express pensive sadness has clearly touched the hearts and minds of many, their music is very easy to listen too. With a similar sound to Wild Beasts the London-based foursome have just released ‘Monument’ an EP that they’ll be performing songs from in upcoming shows and festivals. Including Great Escape Festival and the Neighbourhood Weekender alongside the likes of The Courteeners and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Watch this space!

Video from Vevo Youtube

Black Honey

The Brighton based indie foursome have actually been around for some years, very under the radar, just the way they like it according to lead vocalist Izzy Baxtar “If it was my way we’d still be a secret band”. However, their songs are too good to be kept in the dark. The band released two EP’s in 2017 ‘Somebody Better’ and ‘Dig’ and have been touring and supporting Royal Blood across Europe, including dates at Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds and London’s Ally Pally. The frontwoman quotes that she feels “like [she’s] really coming into [her] own with a new direction concerning hip-hop drums,” citing Canadian documentary ‘Hip-Hop Evolution’ as one particular influence. The latest single ‘Dig’ which honours the last moments of a relationship before everything falls apart has been a great hit across mass audiences of indie fans. You can catch the band in the UK this June at the huge Finsbury Park.

Video from Vevo Youtube

 Isaac Gracie

Not only 2018 but if this kid can put his worries aside he could take the up-coming years by storm. His acoustic work is addictive to listen to, it has that head-bobbing, foot-tapping thing going on. In his 2017 EP ‘The Death OF You AND I’ in particular the song ‘Since the Death of You and I’, takes on more rocky riffs in between melodic versus. It really takes you by surprise. For an awkward anxiety riddled artist the talent seems to pour out of his lyrics. In a previous interview with NME they quoted Gracie to [be causing the biggest ruckus the UK’s music scene has witnessed yet]. After the release of ‘Terrified’ in November Isaac is jumping into 2018 with European dates. The long-haired bedroom-songwriter will be back in the UK on 27th January.

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 Brooke Bentham

21-year-old Brooke Bentham was popping up in all places during 2017. Talk about breaking the festival scene, the singer-song writer performed songs from her debut album ‘The Room Swayed’ at the likes of Latitude, Reading and Leeds and Green Man. Listening to her music you almost feel a blanket of sadness cover you as she brings heaps of emotion to light in the songs ‘If I Was Dead’ and ‘Have to Be Around You’ Her lyrics seem to be ahead of her times, almost as if a wise woman with words of wisdom has spoken. It’s easy to forget that’s she’s only just entered her twenties. Bentham has a Northern Soul about her, being from just outside Newcastle and I personally think this adds to the sentiment of her symphonies. Brookes music is a classic mix of alternative rock mixed with Angel Olsen moody vocals. After releasing ‘Loosing Baby’ in October you can look forward to a tour kicking off late January.

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Yonaka

The band who describes themselves as ‘dark alt pop with heavy riffs’ who supported Drenge throughout 2017 has four up-coming UK dates starting this month! The four-piece from Brighton dropped their EP ‘Heavy’ in October and with their mix of rock, hip-hop and pop, their songs have aspects that most people would enjoy. The band is building a reputation of having incredible live shows that are oozing with energy.

Video from Yonaka Music Youtube

Sam Fender

I think Fender has managed to fill a gap in the indie music scene as you can forget about love songs. His material includes topics such as government issues, fake news and harassment. His self-released single ‘Play God’ entered the market in early 2017 and the best thing about the single is that it was recorded in his own garden shed… you’d never know. Sam Fender clearly understood that any show is worth a shot and after gigging in local pubs, he ended up supporting the likes of Hozier and Catfish And The Bottlemen. Later in 2017 he released the single ‘Millennial’, I’m pretty sure millennials can relate to this song on many levels, it’s a response to the media’s negative portrayal of youngster in this century. Expect more brilliant songs from this 21-year-old as Barny Barnicott (previoulsy worked with Arctic Monkeys) has been mixing his music and oh how radio-ready it is!

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Coldplay: Tour of The Year

COLDPLAY AHFOD – TOUR OF THE YEAR!

*****

Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams tour was quite possibly the Tour of the year! As the British alternative-rock band stormed 124 shows across five continents, starting in Buenos Aires and ending there just over two weeks ago. It’s no wonder that the tour is the third highest-grossing concert in tour history.

I was lucky enough to bag myself tickets to one of the four sold-out nights at Wembley, which was originally their final date, just 15 Shows, psh! Of course Chris had more dates up his turquoise sleeves. Even just the journey across London, Coldplayers were everywhere! The atmosphere around the stadium was vibrant, a joining of older fans from the yellower era, to younger excitable first timers. Coldplay is the sort of band who can appeal to people of all ages, races and religious beliefs, the demographics could go on… Martin and his group of harmonious heroes have almost created a brand portraying themselves as world happiness advocates. I suppose this turns the stomachs of the more rock driven fans. But the good vibrations seem to be working and their popularity is ever-glowing … Ahem, I mean ever-growing.

Coldplay have always been a creative bunch from when the benevolent front man was able to sing every lyric backwards to more recent times were the band turns into unicycling elephants and dancing gorillas. Their tour reflected this creative streak with their use of pyrotechnics and laser visuals and of course the xylobands where back, creating an ocean of colourful waves each in tune to the beat of songs such as ‘Adventure of a lifetime’ and ‘Clocks’.

It would seem that the shows main objective was to get the audience as involved as possible and to remind us all that we’re part of something bigger on this planet. The night opens with Charlie Chaplin’s speech from The Great Dictator, in which he advises the human race to unite. That, added to touching tributes towards some of the stars we’ve lost in the past year created an intense emotional blanket over North London. Chris covered David Bowies ‘Heroes’, dedicated ‘The Scientist’ to Nick Caves, late son and with a tear-jerking performance of ‘Everglow’ video clips of Muhammad-Ali filled the screens and minds of some 80,000 people.

Throughout the show, an abundance of early material causes a major dose of sing-a-long with ‘Yellow’, ‘Fix You’ and ‘Viva la Viva’ being the greatest crowd-pleasers, the stadium wasn’t show-casing a four-man band but one huge band, were everybody was a member. The combination of a sold-out stadium, use of fireworks and confetti that is perfectly timed with the blue-eyed front man’s enthusiastic leap, brings an energy to the audience who join in on the jumping action with ‘Every Teardrop is a Waterfall’.

As the event is drawing to an end, body guards create a human-fenced path through the crowd as the fantastic four make their way to the C-Stage, taking song requests from fans on the gigantic screens. Only to return to the A-stage following a disguised Tom Cruise, to perform a remixed version of ‘Paradise’. If I’m going to be totally honest the new club-styled remix of the sensual song should have been left in a start-up DJ’s playlist, at least that’s where it sounded like it originated.

The evening came to a close with a jubilant version of ‘Up & Up’, oversized balloons in every colour that you could find on a paint pallet where bouncing around the stadium, Chris Martins limbs were being swirled around in every direction and the excitable entourage were raising their hands (like the song) up and up! The xylobands were enlightening the stadium giving a visual representation of ‘A Sky Full Of Stars’ and as they slowly started to dim the crowed encored the “OOooooOOOoo” of ‘Viva La Vida’ in one final standing ovation of applause.

Coldplay went onto perform their A Head Full of Dreams tour at ‘BBC R1 Big Weekend’ and ‘Glastonbury’, where again fans had tears rushing to their eyes. The band hints towards political views saying they’ve seen “the collapse of a country” after Brexit. Chris carried on with “We came here scared about the state of the world, but just seeing the vibe at Glastonbury makes me feel that people are great and together we can do wonderful things. Thank you for restoring my faith in the world”. The foursome also made the late Warrington band ‘Viola Beach’ headliners for the night singing their song ‘Boys That Sing’ as they compared the band to a younger Coldplay. Martin and co exclaimed “Let’s send it up the charts tomorrow” and before we knew it Viola Beach scored a number one album that week!

The tour included the half time performance at the 50TH Super-Bowl and appeared at the BRIT Awards with a sensitive duo/tribute to George Michael. The BRITs also saw a collaboration with The Chainsmokers with ‘Something Just Like This’. The band helped arrange the ‘One Love Manchester’ concert that was in aid of the bombing during Ariana Grande’s tour. Here they performed with previous enemy Liam Gallagher with ‘Live Forever’ and dedicated Oasis’s ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ in a duo with Arianna herself.

liam and chris

Image from: The Independent 

To think that the tour has come to an end is almost saddening, however a live album covering the tour, which was recorded during several shows, as well as a concert filmed in São Paulo, will thankfully be released and watch out for Coldplay at next year’s Grammys. They’ve managed two nominations their Kaleidoscope EP and Something Just Like This are up for awards!

Watch Coldplay – Fix you at Glastonbury

Video from Youtube