The Band Who Put Reading On The Map!

The Amazons: MTV LIVE STAGE

The Amazons, I’d heard a few of their songs on the radio and always found myself turning the volume up especially during the that electrifying guitar riff in ‘Black magic’. So, when I won tickets to their MTV Live gig I was intrigued to find out what all the fuss was about.

First things first, let’s talk about the stage. I’ve never seen anything like it, there’s a normal stage but it’s inside what can only be described as what looks like a huge metal children’s climbing frame. The audience where scattered around the platform with no room to swing a cat, no more than fifty people could fit.

MTV Presenter Becca Dudley starts the shows by introducing the Reading foursome and the band don’t waste any time, they’re straight into a song from their number one album ‘The Amazons’. The audience seems to be pretty young a fusion of die-hard fans and people who like myself, are pretty new to the group of rockers.

Watching their performance, it is crystal clear that the members of the band have a great relationship. Their interaction with one another really showcases this. At times, it was almost as if they’d forgotten they were onstage in front of an audience. Front man Matt Thomson soon engages the young mob of fans hurling his wonderful pumpkin orange hair around.

Mid way through the gig, microphones are passed around and questions are asked to the band directly from the audience. When asked about the cover of their Album which includes a picture of a torched Ford Transit van located in Reading. The boys laughed the question off admitting that they had an idea to set their tour bus ‘Big Suze’ alight… and so they did. When asked why their answer was simple, “Reading’s a commuter town. It’s the kind of place that people want to get away from. We want to celebrate it… put Reading on the map”.

amazons

The band seems ridiculously enthusiastic and you can almost smell the passion for future success in rock and roll. It would seem that British guitar based music is in trouble at the moment, whether it’s the eternal feud of the Gallagher brothers and Blur or Kasabian saying that they’re the only ones who can “save guitar music from the abyss”. Matt and his band of progressive music members seem to be rocketing through this rough patch gaining fans from bands like Cat fish and the Bottlemen.

The music was good. Really good! This band has riffs in buckets and their performance of ‘Ultraviolet’ seemed to bring energy to the crowd. At the time, The Amazons were looking forward to festival performances at the likes of Glastonbury, Isle of Weight and Reading and Leeds. These boys are going head first with the big dogs. Watch this space, they’re here to make some noise!

Watch The Amazons – Back Magic music Video

Video from Youtube: The Amazons

 

 

 

Liam Gallagher: Ally Pally

LIAM GALLAGHER: SHOW OF THE YEAR

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Oasis fans seem to be overloaded with opportunities to witness the dysfunctional bands top hits once again, as both Liam and Noel Gallagher have risen to the ‘Top of the Pops’ this year. Both with number one albums and sell out tours, the Britpop believers can put away their ‘Supersonic’ shrines and dig out their 90’s attire because Oasis is back! … Kind of.

As the private hire busses branded LIAM GALLAGHER pull up to Alexandra Palace, the boozy punters finish their sing along of ‘She’s Electric’ and head to the amnesty bins to dispose of anything Liam would have happily taken out of those bins, be it was the 90’s. The courtyard at Ally Pally is full of bucket hats, Adidas Gazelles and the phrase ‘As You Were’ is fluttering around. There’s a cool vibe in the courtyard, an acoustic band adds to the atmosphere and people seem to be in no rush to get into the main room, queues form at every bar and merchandise stall.

RAT BOY warm up the alcohol fuelled crowd until a DJ takes over playing a typical Liam like playlist. It’s clear to see that the former Oasis frontman has influenced his own fans with his music taste. The indie-rock mob know every song word-for-word on this pre-set playlist, after a finale of a 10,000 man crowd singing ‘I Am The Resurrection’ , ‘Fuckin’ In The Bushes’ begins to sound. Plastic cups are being hurled across heads and the parka loving crowd are drenched in beer without a care in the world. The strobe light is in full force and the cool cagoule king swaggers on stage greeted by the roar of North London.

There’s no messing around as Gallagher heads straight to the microphone, scarf in hand and kicks the gig off in his usual way of reciting the chorus from The Beatles classic ‘I Am The Walrus’. The crowd are immediately in his control as he storms ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Star’. Throughout the song the Mancunian’s anger levels rise and he slams down his tambourine during the instrumental, the guitar riffs electrify the room as he sauntered across the stage arms swinging and sprays water across his band… Oh so Rock ‘N’ Roll.

The ‘Wall of Glass’ singer gives the pretty green-apparel wearing crowd exactly what they want with ‘Morning Glory’. Liam’s voice is raw and rocky and his mad fer it audience definitely don’t ‘need a little time to wake up’ as they’re echoing the 1995 anthem straight back to him. He goes on to perform five of his newer tracks from his number one album ‘As You Were’ including ‘Greedy Soul’ with the opening lines being ‘’I’m going toe to toe, with a greedy soul”, I wonder who he’s referring to here? Liam also digs at the ‘Holy Mountain’ singer saying “Thank you very much. I’d like to dedicate this one to my brother” before he goes on to sing ‘Paper Crown’. The chorus could be interpreted as Noel fearing Liam doing better than him with his solo music (“Now you’re feeling the fear”).

LG manages to weave in another three Oasis tracks ‘Our Kid’ doesn’t need any pyrotechnics or dancers, the 45 year old keeps his all-to-familiar stance during the night, you know, puffed out chest, arms behind his back and head tilted to the microphone. The energy is radiant and all eyes are fixed on the man of the moment, he simply creates drama by pulling his hood up, causing the devotees to erupt in cheers and a mosh pit the size of a football pitch breaks out.

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The stage is sandwiched between two enormous monochrome screens of which close ups appear of the ‘Slide Away’ star. Observing those screens, you can see the man lost in lyrics and the attitude in every moment. Gallagher is back and I don’t think we’ll be saying goodbye any time soon. It’s as if he hasn’t been away from the lime light, Liam’s new material almost has the same feeling as the 20-year-old bangers that are entwined within the set.

There’s a younger crowd at Ally Pally however, the behaviour at the gig seemed to mirror the golden days as a fan launches a shoe on stage hitting the Rock ‘N’ Roll star. Who in return shouts abuse into the crowd and gives out that Gallagher glare which seems to rumble the already rowdy crowd. The chant of ‘LIAM LIAM LIAM’ and ‘As You, As You, As You F*cking Were’ ends each song. This added to the electric guitar riffs which are loud and the drums that rage around probably the only man who can pull off maracas, makes this show quite easily the show of the year.

As the gig is ending, fans explode to a triple encore of ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ followed by all-time favourite ‘Live Forever’ and of course ending with probably the most well-known song to ever grace this planet ‘Wonderwall’. Gallagher definitely broke that fourth ‘Wall of Glass’ causing an emotional, physical and social response in the army of parka monkeys. The three Oasis tracks were undoubtedly the main crowd pleasers of the night, leaving the lyrics circling in the heads of fans as Alexandra Palace cleared.

Well done Gallagher Junior.

As You Were.

Watch the crowd go crazy for Morning Glory (What’s The Story) at Alexandra Palace

Video: Kenny Davies via Youtube

Coldplay: Tour of The Year

COLDPLAY AHFOD – TOUR OF THE YEAR!

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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

Liam Gallagher: Electric Brixton

LIAM GALLAGHER GOES SOLO

After waiting years for the Rock and Roll star to return he RETURNED! Loudly, wrapped up in an iconic coat and as Liam-like as you can imagine! Even before the man of the evening entered the stage, the atmosphere was incredible. Different generations were all hands in the air and singing/shouting along to the likes of The Stone Roses and The Sex Pistols.

Then the lights go down and the electric guitar begins to strum, instantly I’ve lost a shoe, my friends and half the crowd is covered in SUPERSONIC (gin and tonic). The chant from the 90’s ‘LIAM LIAM LIAM’ starts to surge through Brixton and the familiar angry persona of Liam Gallagher opens the night shouting the lines from a Beatles classic ‘I am he, as you are he, as you are me, and we are all together’ (I Am The Walrus).

I felt like I’d been hurled back into 1996 as Oasis classics were bouncing off the walls! Not one person was seated nor did they have closed lips.

The Venue suited Gallagher, he may not have sang about a women who’s in a family full of eccentrics but he sure managed to make the night Electric. Electric Brixton was a small venue but it felt HUGE! Liam was back and everybody in that room knew it, was Oasis back too? Maybe not but that Oasis revolution had certainly risen from the dead and awoken that indie rock star in every member of the Parka loving audience.

Along with ‘What’s The Story Morning Glory’, Liam belted out new music from his at-the-time upcoming Album ‘As You Were’. Fans around the room were singing back the lyrics to ‘Wall of Glass’ which had merely been available for 24 hours. The kitted out in Pretty Green crowd settled during the unreleased songs which created a fantastic contrast throughout the night.

Gallaghers voice struggled slightly with some of the newer material, in his up-coming song ‘For What it’s Worth’ saw Liam move away from his normal portrayal of being a rock ‘n’ roll star to a sensitive songsmith. Very uncharacteristically vulnerable was Liam as his song had more tender moments. It wasn’t until back-to-back Oasis tracks played that the cool-cagoule wearing gent showed his effortless and manic side which predictably caused the crowd to charge forward with applause and excitement.

The Manchester bombing at the MEN Arena had not long happened and as the iconic frontman’s solo gig was coming to an end, fans started to chant for the 22 and for Manchester in general. The whole night was an emotional rollercoaster! The Brit-pop legend dedicated an acoustic version of Live Forever to the families of those effected. Even though this gig was in London, the North-South divide was diminished. At the end of the day those people effected were concert goers and everybody deserves to come home after what should have been one of the best nights of their lives!

This gig was up there on my long list of highly- rated live concerts. Probably one of the best gigs that I’ve experienced, from the music to the atmosphere to going to a pub with new pals after. This night was emotional and moving but what a fantastic show!

Watch Liam Gallagher dedicate Live Forever to the MCR victims at Electric Brixton.