January 28, 2019


Music › The ei8htball blog ›

Track Of The Week: Working Men’s Club – Bad Blood

By Live4ever - Posted on 26 Jan 2019 at 6:24am 

Rosie Butcher

The Track Of The Week is Working Men’s Club‘s debut 7″ single Bad Blood.


The single was confirmed earlier this week for release in February, and is a great start from singer and guitarist Sydney Minsky-Sargeant, guitarist Giulia Bonometti and drummer Jake Bogacki. “We grew up in northern towns trying to get in to pubs in social clubs because that’s all we had,” Minsky-Sargeant explains. “The name is an ode to that. Our surroundings and their differences has influenced us a lot on these tracks.”

“The songs are based on the culture of walking round Manchester every day then going back to the countryside each night and how the contrast of going back into the hills made us sane.”

Look out for a Live4ever Presents feature with the band coming up next week.

Live Review: Al Moses & This Feeling’s Big In 2019 tour at Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

By Live4ever - Posted on 26 Jan 2019 at 7:33am 

Andrew Cooper

Wales continues to obtain high scores for the quality (and quantity) of guitar bands it produces, and 2019 also marks the year when Cardiff gets to host its first ever This Feeling ‘Big In…’ gig.

A sold-out show at the iconic Clwb Ifor Bach venue tonight (23rd Jan) puts Bute first up; their latest single Rest Assured shows their aptitude for catchy riffs combined with steady drum beats. The combination works, showing how far they’ve come, there’s confidence and presence. Similarly, The Rotanas’ infectious Rolling Stones-encounter-Oasis riff-ridden tunes are executed well. Frontman Harry Watton and guitarist James Wilson entertain the crowd and deliver their intense indie rock and roll with energy and vigour.


Following exposure on UK local and national radio, Newport’s indie kid Jack Perrett has been at the receiving end of acclaim for songs which take their inspiration from The Stone Roses and Oasis. Tonight, tracks such as Like A Fever and Drunk And Stoned are a great indicator of Perrett’s knack for measured songwriting, it’s an impressive performance highlighting the style and consistency of his music.

The Pitchforks, meanwhile, continue to impress with songs like Afflictions and Waste Of A Day demonstrating their gift for writing melodically without losing energy and pace. Having gained respect for the high-intensity of their live shows, it’s a strong delivery here too inviting moshing, diving and singing, and leaves no doubt about the band’s strengths.

But headliners Al Moses’ performance is something else entirely. The release of debut single I Want More created a buzz, the loud guitars, catchy riffs and melodic-writing forced a traditional genre into new territory. What they do feels fresh and new. What’s delivered live is special. It’s loud but refined, super-forceful yet adapted. It’s individual and exciting. The chemistry between the two frontmen, Jack Shephard and Daf Thomas, is fascinating; think of Carl and Pete, or Liam and Noel. It’s on that scale of intensity.

Taking ownership of the stage from the start, they kick things off with infectious confidence and self-belief whilst exercising their rock mannerisms effectively. The first track is the throbbing punk-rock feel of Taxidermy, followed by Gutter Rock Moxie, both tracks induce energy and excitement in high doses.

Am I So Vulgar and Bad Brother British Empire, followed by Ametuer Pornography and Taragonna, keep things sublimely sweaty with en masse moshing and crowd-surfing, while completing the set with I Want More and He Truly Is The Son Of God creates still more euphoria. It’s chaotic and insane, in a good way, and they conclude events by giving their instruments a good kick.

Al Moses project youthful rock and roll spirit and attitude. Considering the pace things are moving at, it’s unlikely to be more of the same next time.

(Susan Hansen)

January 23, 2019


Album Review: Night Beats – Myth Of A Man

By Live4ever - Posted on 21 Jan 2019 at 8:14am 

Night Beats may sound like some vapid Franco-Swiss EDM outfit, but the truth is a little more interesting.

Nominally a trio, it now seems to be a temporary solo project for singer/composer Danny Lee Blackwell as of the other members, James Traeger has only played intermittently with the band since 2016 and bassist Jakob Bowde appears to have left in 2018.

Their fourth album, Myth Of A Man, emerges from a period Blackwell describes with some understatement as ‘particularly destructive for the band’, but this adversity has not only heightened his sense of songwriting drama, it’s forced a change in direction which may, whoever’s wearing the t-shirt, elevate them beyond a niche concern.


Lacking personnel, Blackwell not only drafted in ‘a murderer’s row of battle-worn session musicians’ with experience of working with ‘every legend from Aretha Franklin to Elvis’, but also revered Black Key Dan Auerbach. The transformation is sensational; with its roots in the acid-fried psychedelics of Roky Erikson and The Red Krayola, 2016’s Who Sold My Generation was alien and freakscene, and whilst its successor is no less dark, the singer has zeroed in on a rich seam of 60’s alt-pop for inspiration.

The finished product benefits hugely from a stripping back of the material to its bare bones and a simple collection of motifs which ensure the careworn background players have a free reign to do what they do best. Heartbreak lurks everywhere, whether on the sinister cabaret soul of opener of Her Cold, Cold Heart, the cracked flamenco of I Wonder or Stand With Me’s plea for faith in a modern world where it’s bought and sold by the click.

Myth Of A Man’s ancestry lies as deep as it does public, traces of Carlos Santana, Lee Hazlewood and Bill Withers hauled into a room by old hands and scarred hearts. Blackwell responds both to the heirlooms and the pressure of his cast by upping his game considerably, his voice one moment taking on the mantle of a salty bar-room crooner on One Thing, next a weary bluesman on the stand out Wasting My Time.

One of the most comforting parts to all of this is the scratchy otherness, a feeling even on tracks like Eyes On Me with its swinging, authentically gutsy R&B that none of the temporal distortion is being done as a project, but more on gut feel. Closer Too Young To Pray is Blackwood’s parting shot in more than one way, an airy MOR ballad on the road straight out of Laurel Canyon that passes his own judgement on an artisan craft barely evidenced before.

Applying some post-modern gloss to rock n roll is hardly trickery, but Blackwell’s ‘fallen angels, blood-sucking wanderers and vindictive lovers’ are sketched with a fondness which is roundly complemented by some uncomplicated virtuosity.

Myth Of A Man may not have been made by a band, but whether Night Beats as a collective or otherwise will ever surpass its superlative quality is a question for the man who found something inside from somewhere deep – and with a little help from his friends made it sing like a bird.

(Andy Peterson)

New Order, Hot Chip join Kraftwerk as headliners for this year’s Bluedot Festival

By Live4ever - Posted on 22 Jan 2019 at 7:20am 

2018 Bluedot Festival (Gary Mather for Live4ever)

New Order and Hot Chip have joined Kraftwerk as confirmed headliners for this year’s Bluedot Festival, which is due back at Cheshire’s Jodrell Bank Observatory site for a fourth year in July.


They join a line-up which already includes Jon Hopkins, Kate Tempest, Anna Calvi and Gruff Rhys, as well as John Grant who’ll be at the event with his 2018 album Love Is Magic – one of Live4ever’s top picks of last year:

“John Grant’s fourth solo album seems straightforward enough on the surface,” our review opens. “‘Love is magic’, he sings on the title track, his dreamily smooth baritone steering the casual listener towards a typically sentimental – and hopeful – perception that merely being in love is a life elevating panacea for the beholder that makes all the bad stuff go away.”

“So far, so fifty-year-old man that’s stepped away from a mid-life that featured drugs, emotional laceration and the disintegration of The Czars, a band he fronted who also made sensationally beautiful and melancholic songs in an era when repression was a just another word for the life of being a guy.”

January 14, 2019


Music › The ei8htball blog ›

Octavian leads BBC’s Sound Of poll for 2019

By Live4ever - Posted on 11 Jan 2019 at 7:20am 

Photo: Paul Bachmann

“That’s lit,I don’t even know how to feel right now,” Octavian has said after becoming the first rapper since 50 Cent in 2003 to top the BBC’s Sound Of poll.


Octavian heads the list above other longlisted acts such as Sea Girls, King Princess and Grace Carter. “From the very first moment I heard his music I was hooked,” Radio 1 DJ Benji B has said.

“The first couple of tunes he released – Party Here and Hands – were some of the most futuristic, forward thinking, raw and inspiring tunes to come out of the UK in the last two years.”

While these industry start-of-the-year lists often closely resemble one another, this time the BBC has differed more greatly from the BRITs Critics’ Choice with only Mahalia making both final cuts, while the BRITs’ overall winner, Sam Fender, was not highlighted at all by the BBC.

“Being nominated was crazy enough, never mind winning it,” Fender said upon his win. “I’m so grateful to everyone back home for believing, and to my band and team for all their hard work.”

Alias Kid back in February with new single, Manchester gig

By Live4ever - Posted on 11 Jan 2019 at 10:23am 

Alias Kid are back with a new single ahead of a hometown gig at The Deaf Institute in Manchester on February 2nd.


Inglorious will come out a day earlier and is available to pre-order now for the band who were featured by Live4ever in our Presents series back in 2015. “We have so many influences it’s impossible to tie down,” they told us then. “Sean’s into the Sex Pistols and that, I’m into Lennon but loads of other stuff. Nick and James are pretty much into the same as me in the main, Col is well into his punk. But there is loads of cross over for us all.”

“We get tagged with the ‘Oasis thing’ because we’re signed with McGee and from Manchester; I don’t think me or Sean would have picked up a guitar if it wasn’t for them, but truth is we aren’t the ones saying that, we say we’re Alias Kid.”

January 07, 2019


Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, Nirvana among UK’s best selling vinyls albums of 2018

By Live4ever - Posted on 04 Jan 2019 at 5:06am 

Arctic Monkeys headlining TRNSMT Festival 2018 (Photo: Live4ever)

Albums from Arctic Monkeys, Oasis and Nirvana were among the UK’s best sellers on the vinyl format last year, reports the OCC.


Now well established as one of music’s key markets, it was Arctic Monkeys’ 2018 LP Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino which proved the most popular on vinyl, followed by the Greatest Showman official soundtrack which so dominated the UK’s main album chart during the last twelve months.

Oasis’ first two studio albums, Definitely Maybe and (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?, both find places in the Top 20 once again, while Nirvana’s Nevermind was another popular one at #7.

Top selling vinyl albums of 2018 (UK):

1/ Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
2/ The Greatest Showman OST
3/ Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
4/ Queen – Greatest Hits
5/ Pink Floyd – The Dark Side Of The Moon
6/ George Ezra – Staying At Tamara’s
7/ Nirvana – Nevermind
8/ Oasis – (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
9/ David Bowie – Legacy
10/ Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
11/ Jeff Wayne – The War Of The Worlds
12/ Guardians Of The Galaxy, Awesome Mix 1 OST
13/ The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
14/ Ed Sheeran – Divide
15/ Guardians Of The Galaxy, Awesome Mix 2 OST
16/ Bob Marley & The Wailers – Legend
17/ The Beatles – The Beatles
18/ Arctic Monkeys – AM
19/ Oasis – Definitely Maybe
20/ The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

January 07, 2019


Noel Gallagher, David Bowie dominated the UK’s vinyl singles market last year

By Live4ever - Posted on 04 Jan 2019 at 6:34am 

Noel Gallagher playing the House Of Blues in Houston, Texas on March 3rd, 2018. (Lloyd Hendricks / Live4ever)

Noel Gallagher and David Bowie had between them seven of the UK’s ten best selling vinyl singles of 2018, according to the OCC.


Gallagher’s Who Built The Moon? track It’s A Beautiful World was the biggest seller of the year, with two more singles from that album – She Taught Me How To Fly and If Love Is The Law – also in the Top 10. The increased demand for David Bowie music on vinyl since his death in 2016 also continued, with Breaking Glass, Beauty And The Beast, Let’s Dance and Zeroes all in the Top 10.

Adding at least a touch of variety to the ten best sellers were Led Zeppelin’s Rock And Roll, Yellow Submarine from The Beatles and Arctic Monkeys’ Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino title-track.

Top selling vinyl singles of 2018 (UK):

1/ Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – It’s A Beautiful World
2/ Led Zeppelin – Rock And Roll
3/ The Beatles – Yellow Submarine
4/ Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – She Taught Me How To Fly
5/ Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – If Love Is The Law
6/ David Bowie – Breaking Glass
7/ Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
8/ David Bowie – Beauty And The Beast
9/ David Bowie – Let’s Dance
10/ David Bowie – Zeroes
11/ Cliff Richard – Rise Up
12/ Prince – Nothing Compares 2 U
13/ Morrissey – My Love I’d Do Anything For You
14/ Liam Gallagher – I’ve All I Need
15/ Twenty One Pilots – Jumpsuit
16/ Public Service Broadcasting – White Star Liner
17/ Morrissey – All The Young People Must Fall In Love
18/ Gary Numan – It Will End Here
19/ Dave Grohl – Play
20/ Kylie Minogue – Dancing

Doves’ 2019 live comeback continues with Bearded Theory confirmation

By Live4ever - Posted on 21 Dec 2018 at 5:26am 

Photo: Gary Mather for Live4ever Media

Doves‘ live comeback keeps expanding and has now been confirmed to include an appearance at Bearded Theory in May next year.


They join others such as The Cult, Suede, Oh Sees, The Orb and Editors at Catton Hall next year. Doves’ return is set to include a couple of outings with Noel Gallagher next summer and will start at the Royal Albert Hall for Teenage Cancer Trust, whose organiser Roger Daltrey said:

“I’m incredibly grateful to all of the artists who’ve given up time in their busy schedules to help young people with cancer get the specialist care they deserve.”

“Looking back, we’ve had so many unforgettable moments at the shows over the years and these moments are amplified by the wonderful young people with cancer I have met. I’m consistently overwhelmed by their positivity in the face of a life changing circumstance. They are the reason we strive to make these shows the very best we can and this year will be no different.”

December 28, 2018


dates › Music ›

The Good The Bad & The Queen arrange six UK dates for next year

By Live4ever - Posted on 18 Dec 2018 at 5:54am 

Pennie Smith

The Good The Bad & The Queen have arranged six UK dates for April next year.


The collective of Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, Tony Allen and Simon Tong will play shows in Norwich, Cardiff, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool and London after releasing their Merrie Land album last month. “This has been coming – Damon Albarn has been opposed to Brexit from the off,” Live4ever’s review opens.

“Back in 2016, on the day after the UK’s EU referendum vote, he was at Glastonbury performing with The Orchestra Of Syrian Musicians and addressed the subdued crowd: “Democracy has failed us because it was ill informed,” he said.”

“A reformation of The Good The Bad & The Queen (back in 2007 it was ambiguous as to whether or not it was a band, an album or a project – now we know) was the most likely of his various platforms to be an outlet for his thoughts on the subject.”

Tour dates:

April 2019
12 – Norwich, The LCR, UEA
13 – Cardiff University, Great Hall
15 – Sheffield, Octagon Centre
16 – Manchester, Albert Hall
18 – Liverpool, Eventim Olympia
19 – London, The Palladium