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Live Review: Joshua Radin at Oxford Academy – 22nd July 2009

 
By on Thursday, 23rd July 2009 at 12:27 am
 

Meiko (side)When choosing what gigs to go to, two things come into mind for me: do I like their music (i.e. Does it make me feel something / make me want to dance), and live would they offer something more than a CD would? Joshua Radin firmly ticks both these boxes, with a great range of (mostly sad) story telling songs, and live he is funny, witty and engaging – just what I like in a live show.

I’ve only see Josh twice, and both times his support act has given him a good run for his money in terms of talent and entertainment. Last time it was Maria Taylor, tonight it was the rather lovely Meiko (pictured right).

Clearly nervous, she got the applause worthy of a headliner, and had tunes to boot – we’re talking the heart-rending stuff that producers of One Tree Hill, Greys Anatomy and the OC so love. Indeed, her second song, “” was featured on Grey’s Anatomy. Quick witted (her beer fizzed over – “oh well, 3 minutes and it’ll go down. Ohhhh! That’s what she said!!” to much laughter). She had the crowd on side immediately, and seemed genuinely touched at the reaction she got – think a one woman Tegan and Sara, mixed with a hint of Tom McRae and you’re halfway there

Joshua Radin (london live)Then the stage was set for Ohio’s Josh Radin, who, needless to say, did not disappoint, feeding off the audience from the start to give a blistering show. Giving us exactly what we’d come to see, he was both amusing, entertaining and on top musical form. Treating us to some new tracks he’s been writing on the road these past few weeks, they sounded fuller, almost happier than the majority of his two albums. Taking full advantage of the backing of a full band, Josh and the band wasn’t afraid to stretch their legs musically, offering a welcome break from the sometimes morose subject matter.

A quick cover of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” was a personal highlight – completely acoustic, unplugged (a la Tom McRae’s 2007 rendition of Bloodless in London), along with welcoming Meiko back for “Today”. There’s so much I could talk about, but if I’m not careful I’ll descend into crazy fanboy mode, so just take my word when I say that it was absolutely fantastic.

Finally, it was time for Josh to leave, but not before delivering the great news that he’ll be back in October, playing another UK tour, including a show at London’s Koko and somewhere in Manchester, which will be great to catch him again.

Please note: in a moment of stupidity, I forgot my camera at last night’s gig, so there are unfortunately no pictures (other than some very dodgy phone pics which I won’t be inflicting on you). Apologies. After the jump is the setlist.
Continue reading Live Review: Joshua Radin at Oxford Academy – 22nd July 2009

 

Live Review: Lovebox 2009 – Saturday 18th July

 
By on Sunday, 19th July 2009 at 2:41 am
 

Dan Black (side live)Now in its 7th year, Lovebox has firmly established itself as a key fixture of the London summer festivals. I was fortunate enough to be invited along to check out the first day of this year’s two day event, catching the likes of Dan Black, Frankmusik, Florence and the Machine and Friendly Fires.

After a hideously long journey, I only just made it in time to pick up my tickets, which meant that I’d missed such great bands as The Temper Trap, VV Brown, Rumble Strips and tommy Reilly, all of which I was quite keen to catch. Diving straight in with a trip to the Gaymers stage (or the “other” stage to you and I), I caught Dan Black.

I’ve been raving about Dan for a while now, really loving his unique, accessible electro-pop, so I was keen to finally catch him in the flesh. Ploughing through a tonne of material from his new album, ((un)), both him and the crowd really enjoyed his set, with most people knowing the words to the bigger tunes. After “Symphonies”, Dan joked “right, I’ve done something intellectual – now time for something for your inner thug!” before launching into “I Love Life”. Playfully batting a giant inflatable apple around the crowd, Dan finished his set with “Alone”, commenting that “normally people can’t clap in time to that – I guess you’ve all done music GCSE!”. Well received,

Next I took a trek over to the main stage to catch Florence and her Machine. In fine form, she was doing her usual trick of keeping the security on their toes, running down front of the crowd, and giving it her all. When the heavens opened, she was anything but dampened, if anything it just gave her more energy as the umbrellas came out.

Flitting back to the Gaymers stage, I caught Frankmusik who I last saw supporting Keane at the O2 in London back in February. He’s moved on a fair bit, more comfortable with his songs, more banter – even offering to re-create the video to “In Step” if anyone had a hula hoop he could borrow. Short and sweet, his tunes are perfect pop bliss – danceable yet still fairly intelligent, just how I like my music.

Gang of Four were up next, and frankly I wish I hadn’t stayed for them. A bunch of past-it oldies who think they are still cool led to 50 minutes of shambolic dad-rock. Definately the odd ones out of the festival.

Finally, Friendly Fires headlined the Gaymers stage. My plan was to catch Friendly Fires and then wander over to check out Duran Duran for their last hour. However, yet again Friendly Fires blew me away, with an amazing light show to boot. The crowd was much nicer than the Roundhouse one of a few days ago, lots of dancing and no moshing, which was appreciated by this ageing 21 year old! “Kiss of Life” sounds bigger each time I hear it live, however the highlights are undoubtably Paris and Jump in the Pool, and I think they will be for some time to come.

After closing with Ex-Lover, I dashed over to see Duran Duran. After a so-so rendition of “Ordinary World” that seemed to appeal to the fans of reminiscing, and a front-man that tries a bit too hard to be cool in the shape of Simon Le Bon, I called it a night and headed back to the tube.

After the jump: some setlists, some photos.

Continue reading Live Review: Lovebox 2009 – Saturday 18th July

 

Live Review: Silversun Pickups – Oxford Academy 2 – Monday 6th July 2009

 
By on Tuesday, 7th July 2009 at 12:43 am
 

Silversun Pickups (side)I’m going to keep this short, as I’m no expert on the Silversun Pickups and their music. I caught them tonight at Oxford’s Academy 2, thinking they’d provide a nice 45 minutes or so of music. Instead, they provided an amazing soundscape for almost 100 minutes, merging material from their two albums with a decent sized bit of banter from Brian Aubert and co.

The material from their debut album, Carnavas got the biggest cheers of the night, however their new stuff manages to sound bigger and filled the hot and sweaty venue. Playing over their curfew, it was clear from the off that they were having fun and enjoying their time in the UK.

Support came from Animal Kingdom, who offered a blend of Editors / Athlete / Thirteen Senses stuff, all of which were capably delivered, but a bit bland. Possibly ones to watch once they’ve found their niche.

After the jump: pictures. Silversun Pickups’ UK tour finishes tomorrow night at London’s Heaven.
Continue reading Live Review: Silversun Pickups – Oxford Academy 2 – Monday 6th July 2009

 

Latitude 2009 just gets better…

 
By on Thursday, 25th June 2009 at 4:00 pm
 

Mew (side)I’ve ranted and raved about just how good Latitude 2009 is looking (here and here), and quite honestly I thought that that would be the last of it, announcements wise. Oh no.

Thom Yorke (of Radiohead fame) was announced to be playing at midday on the Sunday a few weeks back, and now they’ve announced Red Light Company, Phoenix, The Gaslight Anthem, Rumble Strips and Mika, alongside some huuuuuuge names from the world of comedy (Jo Brand? Dave Gorman? Ed Byrne?), books and theatre. This is on top of the already announced ace lineup featuring Pet Shop Boys, Grace Jones, Editors, Doves, and although they may be a bit lower down the bill, Danish guys Mew, who I simply adore.

Much like Hydro Connect had one of the best lineups of the summer last year, quite honestly, I think that in the absence of Connect that Latitude has the best lineup of all the festivals this summer.

After the jump: read an interview with Mew’s Jonas Bjerre about the festival. Tickets are on sale now for Latitude 2009 – weekend tickets are £150 plus booking fees. Day tickets for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday are £60 each plus booking fees. Weekend tickets prices include car parking and camping – day tickets include car parking only.
Continue reading Latitude 2009 just gets better…

 

Joshua Radin / July 2009 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 3rd June 2009 at 10:00 pm
 

Ahhh, Joshua Radin. Friend of Scrubs’ Zach Braff and all round top notch singer/songwriter. After catching him in London back in March, he’s decided he loves England so much he’s coming back for a proper tour, supporting Jools Holland on some dates and then some other shows on his own.

Tickets are already on sale. If you want tickets for the London date, they’re going quickly but the code word is “California”

Make sure you go get your tickets as he is one of the funniest, nicest and best singer/songwriters of the moment. You can catch him at:

Friday 10th July 2009 – Shrewsbury The Quarry (Supporting Jools Holland) (See Tickets)
Saturday 11th July 2009 – London Kew Gardens (Supporting Jools Holland) (See Tickets)
Monday 13th July 2009 – Sheffield O2 Academy 2 (Ticketweb)
Wednesday 15th July 2009 – Newcastle O2 Academy 2 (Ticketweb)
Thursday 16th July 2009 – Rochester Castle (Supporting Jools Holland)
Friday 17th July 2009 – Brighton Komedia
Saturday 18th July 2009 – Saffron Walden Audley End (Supporting Jools Holland) (Tickets)
Tuesday 21st July 2009 – Bristol O2 Academy 2 (Ticketweb)
Wednesday 22nd July 2009 – Oxford O2 Academy 2 (Ticketweb)
Thursday 23rd July 2009 – London Madame JoJos (Ticketweb – use the codeword “California”)

 

Athlete / June and July 2009 UK Tour

 
By on Friday, 22nd May 2009 at 4:00 pm
 

Prize for the biggest tour of 2009 possibly goes to Athlete, who are embarking on a huge tour in just over two weeks time. For some reason I thought I’d written about this, but clearly not. Make sure you get out and check these lads out on tour – I hope to be able to make the Oxford date.

Tickets are available from WeGotTickets, Ticketweb, See Tickets and Ticketmaster.

Monday 8th June 2009 – Norwich Waterfront
Tuesday 9th June 2009 – Northampton Picturedome
Thursday 11th June 2009 – Gloucester Guildhall
Friday 12th June 2009 – Birmingham O2 Academy 2
Saturday 13th June 2009 – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Tuesday 16th June 2009 – Brighton Concorde 2
Wednesday 17th June 2009 – Southampton University
Friday 19th June 2009 – Cardiff University
Tuesday 23rd June 2009 – Newcastle O2 Academy 2
Wednesday 24th June 2009 – Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire
Thursday 25th June 2009 – Inverness Ironworks
Friday 26th June 2009 – Fort William BA Club
Sunday 28th June 2009 – Dundee Fat Sams
Monday 29th June 2009 – Aberdeen Lemon Tree
Tuesday 30th June 2009 – Glasgow Oran Mor
Wednesday 1st July 2009 – Liverpool O2 Academy 2
Friday 3rd July 2009 – Wrexham Central Station
Saturday 4th July 2009 – York The Duchess
Sunday 5th July 2009 – Manchester Ruby Lounge
Monday 6th July 2009 – Leeds Cockpit
Wednesday 8th July 2009 – Bristol Fleece
Thursday 9th July 2009 – Exeter Phoenix Rooms
Friday 10th July 2009 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Saturday 11th July 2009 – Guilfest 2009
Monday 13th July 2009 – Cambridge Junction
Tuesday 14th July 2009 – Sheffield O2 Academy 2
Wednesday 15th July 2009 – Derby Rockhouse
Thursday 16th July 2009 – Oxford O2 Academy 2
Friday 17th July 2009 – London Somerset House

 
 
 

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