Category Archives: Reviews

The Jacksons Bring The FUNK to Glasgow!

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Motown legends The Jacksons recently celebrated 50 years since their debut as The Jackson 5 touring the UK at a number of different events including the highly anticipated Glastonbury Festival. Brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon alongside the late Michael Jackson made musical history as The Jackson 5 and have dominated the charts as a band and solo artists in the years following creating a lasting legacy. Stopping by for a one-off Scottish show as part of Glasgow’s West End Fiesta which saw a number of big time names perform in the city including Chic & Nile Rogers alongside Kool & The Gang, The Jackson’s took to the stage at Glasgow’s O2 Academy for one night only!

Being a Jackson family fan since the age of 9 I saw the brothers perform live during their previous UK tour in early 2013 so undoubtably catching them this time round was an absolute must! Adding to the fun of the evening they had guest DJ ‘The Reflex‘ who played a mix of 70s/80s disco numbers followed by BBC radio presenter and Coronation Street star Craig Charles with his fabulous Funk & Soul Show. Having seen other DJs open other gigs I’ve attended this was much more appealing to me personally and so refreshing to hear DJ playing genres such as disco/funk and soul!

Those of you have seen The Jacksons live in past will agree that there is nothing quite as magical as the opening of number of their gigs. As darkness descends upon the stage and a video of old footage from as far back as the days of The Jackson 5 alongside clips of fans sharing their love for the band, it really sends a tingle up your spine! Opening the show with Can You Feel It standing still like statues soaking up the lively atmosphere for a few moments they proceed to slowly remove their signature black aviator sunglasses in unison before bursting into song. Words can’t quite describe it but the impression is lasting.

No sooner than Can You Feel It ends, Blame It On The Boogie a personal favourite of mine begins. This was followed by a cover of Michael’s 1979 hit song Rock With You alongside other classic Jackson hits including Show You The Way To Go and Lovely One filled with impressive energy from each of the brothers!

Exiting the stage for a short break, a video was shown featuring commentary from Joe and Katherine Jackson as well the founder of Motown Berry Gordy telling their accounts of the brothers incredible journey to stardom. Footage of the brothers visiting their old house in Gary, Indiana ironically located on Jackson Street was also shown as they reminisced of their childhood. It was a special and personal touch that warms the heart.

Of course, this served as the perfect introduction to the early Motown classics such as I Want You Back, ABC, The Love You Save and I’ll Be There done ‘the old fashioned way’. Notably these were the groups first singles, all of which reached No.1 in the charts. Hearing those classics is what can only be described as a ‘pinch me’ moment. It’s like being transported back in time to an era that I wish I could have experienced. The brothers recreation of their early performances are on-point as they bring just as much enthusiasm to the stage today, as they did back in the 70s! Amongst the mix of oldies was also hit songs Never Can Say Goodbye and Dancing Machine; famous for Michael’s incredible dance move ‘The Robot’.

Taking a few moments to reflect on their brother Michael, Jermaine performed Gone To Soon in a breathtaking tribute. It proved an emotional song for both the brothers and audience alike as together we celebrated the life and music of a true musical legend.

Taking centre stage, Tito performed two songs from his solo releases; a song called When The Magic Happens followed by another named Get It Baby. Remarkably, despite having been in the music industry for a whopping 50 years he was the only Jackson sibling not to have released solo music. The new releases sounded great live and carried that infectious upbeat and funky sound made famous by the Jackson family.

As the set reached its final few songs The Jacksons introduced their band who helped keep the Glasgow grooving during a jam to brother Michael’s 1991 song I Cant Let Her Get Away. Before long the first notes of what I thought was the final song the ever so popular Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) began to play. Over the years this has proved a fitting closing number and I must admit after seeing them live back in 2013 I always feel a sense of nostalgia upon hearing it. Despite being a pernament fixture in the groups setlist over the years, they continue to perform it with just as much love, perfection and enthusiams as they did in the 80s.

Leaving the stage after what appeared to be one last bow the Glasgow crowd went completely wild. Let’s face it! There’s nothing quite like a Jackson party! Following a few moments of what can only be described as complete Jacksonmania, the brothers reappeared for an unexpected encore of another hit song; State Of Shock a 1984 collaboration between the band and Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger. Never in a million years did I expect to hear it live and it certainly didn’t dissapoint!

When I first became a fan almost 10 years ago I never dreamt it would be possible to see The Jacksons live even once yet alone twice and I’m only 18 years old! That’s an experience I will forever be grateful for and will truly treasure forever and more! Their stage presence is captivating as is their music and dance. The Jackson legacy is iconic and to have been apart of the magic is pretty darn cool! 

Jeff Lynne’s ELO Hit Glasgow’s SSE Hydro!

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Recently, I was lucky enough to catch the legendary Jeff Lynne’s ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) as they stopped by at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro Arena on 28th June 2017. Following their first tour in 30 years last year and the release of a brand new album ‘Alone In The Universe‘ the band are back and better than ever! Unfortunately I missed out on tickets last year but successfully managed to bag tickets this time round ticking off another band in my list of dream gigs!

Opening the evening’s show was Tom Chaplin of British band Keane performing a number of songs from his solo career as well a number of songs from his days with Keane. An impressive performer indeed, with an excellent voice and equally as great songs. Aside from the odd Keane song this was my first introduction Tom’s music and I left the show intrigued to check out more of his music and would definitely be keen to see him live at a headline show. Definitely an artist to keep a close eye on!

Before long ELO had hit the stage and immediately had the Glasgow audience in the palm of their hands. Kicking the set off with Standin’ In The Rain; a spectacular opening both musically and visually complete with immersive and captivating imagery on the screens behind the band. I remember sitting there in awe of the music and the fact that I was lucky enough to see a legendary artist like Jeff Lynne who’s made such an impact on music and I’m only 18 years old!

The setlist was filled with countless iconic numbers from the very word ‘go’ including Evil Woman, All Over The World and Livin’ Thing to name just a few. But that’s the thing; bands like ELO have made so much of an impact on music that every song is a hit! For me personally, I was most excited to hear one of ELO’s most recent releases When I Was A Boy a song in which I’d fallen in love after hearing it on the radio following its release a few years ago and have since played it countless time on my weekly radio show. Hearing it live was an absolutely phenomenal experience, it’s serene yet powerful Beatle-esque sound brought to life in the arena was truly incredible!

Taking a turn for some upbeat disco inspired tracks came Last Train To London with a fabulous funky groove and a pungent bass riff! Following suit was Xandau the title track for the Olivia Newton John that ELO contributed a number of songs to. Can’t Get It Out Of My Head displayed a stunning vocal performance illuminated by the face of a full dreamy full moon. Need I say any more?

A colourful display of laser lighting illuminated the room during Twilight. It’s amazing to think just how simple things like lighting and video can really bring to life a piece of music and ELO is prime example of this! They don’t need props, fireworks, glitz and glam to create a dramatic and spellbinding performance; the music certainly speaks volumes on its own. Combine that with some lights and the right back drop and the show is complete! Honestly, I can’t begin to describe just how magical a sight it was!

Towards the end of the show came a selection of songs from the band’s most iconic album Out Of The Blue; the songs that made history, the songs that everyone loves! We’re talking songs like Wild West Hero, Sweet Talking Woman and Turn To Stone with the few exceptions of Telephone Line and Don’t Bring Me Down; both of which are equally as iconic. But the highlight was without doubt Mr Blue Sky, a song I never dreamt I’d be lucky enough to hear live but somehow as I’ve learned in recent years even my wildest dreams can come true! I first fell in love with the song 10 years ago, aged 8 when I heard it in the Disney film ‘The Game Plan‘ it was a song that really stuck out at me as something very unique and extremely special. Hearing it live proved beyond expectations sounding just as incredible as the original recording with that magical flare that never fails to strike me when listening to that song.

Following a quick selfie to commemorate the evening with the Glasgow audience the band left the stage leaving room in darkness. Progressively the audience became more lively until ELO returned once again for one more song; a cover of Chuck Berry’s Roll Over Beethoven which went down a real treat with the crowd! An upbeat and vibrant ending to the show in true rock n’ roll style!

All in all an incredible performance from ELO, I love the array of musical genres in which they bring to their music! ELO need no dramatic production to shine, their music truly speaks on its own and evidently it continues to reign!

Adam Lambert Returns With The Release of New Single ‘Two Fux’

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US singer and former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert returns to the music scene two years following his previous album ‘The Original High’ with the release of his brand new single ‘Two Fux’ and it’s totally fab!

The brand new song features legendary members of British rock band Queen whom Adam Lambert has been touring extensively with over the past number of years. With that in mind the song has evidently taken influence from the iconic band and could easily have fitted amongst the band’s classic releases. There is definite aspects reminiscent of Queen classics such as ‘Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy’ and ‘Killer Queen’ both of which bear a similar classic rock meets jazz sound. In fact I’d even go as far to describe it as a modern day Queen song!

At the same time it has that unique and vibrant flare that shines through Adam Lambert’s previous solo releases but with a theatrical twist. Considering Adam’s background in musical theatre which saw him perform in a number of popular productions prior to American Idol such as ‘Wicked’, ‘Brigadoon’ and ‘Hair’ to name a few; he has an extremely strong and powerful voice which paticularly shines in such genres. Adam is by far one of my very favourite vocalists due to the spectacular tone, crisp perfection and diverse vocal range which he displays in each performance. Simply stunning to say the least!

The actual content and lyrics within the song are extremely personal to Adam as he shares his feelings and story within the LGBT community. It’s honest and poignant but at the same time oozes that quirk, sass and attitude that I admire him for. The song’s message is clear and something we all should take on board ‘Be ourselves and don’t give Two Fuxs (as Adam would say) about what anyone thinks of us!’

 

A fabulous new release from Adam Lambert and Queen who debuted the brand new song during an exciting performance on The Jimmy Kimmel Show ahead on their upcoming US tour. An exciting glimpse into upcoming music from Adam, I for one cannot wait to see what he has in store for us!!! 

Check it out & let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!!!

ITUNES

SPOTIFY

AMAZON MUSIC

 

 

Take That Bring Their 2017 Wonderland Tour to Glasgow!

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Just over a week into their 2017 UK tour Take That brought their highly anticipated Wonderland tour to The SSE Hydro in Glasgow for 3 sold out shows. Somehow, I was fortunate enough to get hold of tickets for the Saturday night show considering just how crazy the disabled access ticket lines were, we spent over 2 hours glued to the phone constantly redialing the number. Thank goodness a third show was added or I might not have been so lucky!

Kicking off the show was the newly reunited girl band All Saints who are accompanying Take That as special guests throughout the 2017 UK tour. The group performed an energetic set filled of with all their hits including ‘Never Ever’, ‘Bootie Call’, ‘Lady Marmalade’ as well as one of their most recent numbers ‘One Strike’.

Take That are known for their spectacular and theatrical concerts and somehow manage to out do themselves in each tour so one couldn’t help but wonder what the ‘Wonderland’ tour would have in store. When you think of ‘Wonderland’ you think of colour, eccentricity and theatrics so how would Take That embrace the theme?

Unlike most tours the stage was situated in the centre of the arena giving it a more intimate feeling where everyone was at the centre of the action. Opening the show with a mysterious and mystical middle eastern vibe they told a story using spectacular video and animation combined with theatrics building on the audiences anticipation. As the title track of their latest album ‘Wonderland’ filled the arena three illuminated spotlights revealed each member of Take That on mini stages situated around the arena. Wonderland’s upbeat and funk groove proved a fitting first number which seriously had the audience grooving from the word go!

Following on from this was arguably one of Take That’s most popular hit ‘Greatest Day’ which saw the arena blasted with golden confetti. ‘Giants’ the first single from the new album again proved a real crowd pleaser showing just as much love for the new music as well as the older releases. However, ‘Kidz’ from the bands 2010 album release ‘Progress‘ took a more dark and gothic approach filled with theatrics, dance, drums and spectacular costumes featuring dancers on stilts and Mark Owen’s incredible steam punk inspired top hat.

Continuing with ‘Relight My Fire’ another upbeat and infectious number that had everyone in the room up on their feet dancing and singing along. ‘Hope’ on the other hand saw the use of aerial techniques through a stunning display of contemporary dance. Truly a breathtaking display of emotion using body and movement.

Taking a journey down memory lane the band revisited a number of songs from the earlier days some of which making their live debuts having never been performed on tour until the Wonderland tour. The medley consisted of songs such as ‘Beautiful World’, ‘Satisfied’ and ‘Lovelife’ as well as the ever so popular cover of the Bee Gees classic ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ which went down a real treat with the Glasgow audience.

‘New Day’ one of my personal favourites from the new album saw the band venture beneath the stage wandering through a mystical jungle featuring afternoon tea and a white rabbit as they embraced the mysterious world of Wonderland! Remerging from the storybook maze beneath the stage, the room was transformed into an enchanted world of colour and costume. It was like the pages of a children’s fairytale had come to life before our very eyes!

Of course the hits such as ‘Shine‘, ‘Back For Good‘ and ‘Pray‘ could not go as miss as well as an impromptu performance of the Scottish anthem ‘Flower Of Scotland‘ courtesy of the enthusiastic Glasgow crowd enjoying a fun-filled Saturday evening. Only in Scotland! And there’s no forgetting the incredibly theatrical production during ‘It’s All For You‘ which saw a spectacular array fairytale-esque props carrying the band and dancers into the air.

Ending the show with arguably two of the band’s greatest hits ‘Never Forget‘ and ‘Rule The World‘ which again are real crowd pleasers. The arena becomes alive as the crowd passionately sang along in unison to ‘Never Forget‘ before the room lit up like a thousand twinkling stars in the night sky as the audience waved their phones high in the sky above them. A breathtaking ending to a magical show!

What can I say? Take That never fail to impress with sensational performances and incredible production! One genuinely can’t help but feel like they’ve been to Wonderland and back when leaving the arena-worth every penny! If you’ve missed out on tickets for the phenomenal sold-out UK tour be sure to catch Take That’s live screening of the Wonderland tour at the O2 arena in London next Friday evening in cinemas up around the country! Or if you’re in Australia and New Zealand catch them down under live on tour later this year (more details below). It’s a show you certainly don’t want to miss!

For more details regarding tour dates & cinema screenings click on of the following links:

TAKE THAT CINEMA SCREENING

TAKE THAT TOUR

TAKE THAT OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Buckingham McVie Release 1st Single ‘In my World’ Ahead Of Their Upcoming Album

Just weeks ago legendary Fleetwood Mac members Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham announced the anticipated release of a brand new album which they’ve been working on as a duo for the past couple of years. Set for release on the 9th June 2017 Buckingham McVie gave fans a first glance into the upcoming album with the release of its first single; a song named ‘In My World’.

Despite the new single solely featuring Lindsey Buckingham with the absence of the incredible Christine McVie’s vocals it most certainly doesn’t disappoint! At the same times creates an element of mystery and anticipation for fans as we await the album to hear new material from Christine. Being an avid Fleetwood Mac fan myself, I keep up with many of the dedicated fan-sites and related publications and have heard mixed reviews and decided opinions from fans. Some love it; some aren’t as keen but personally speaking it’s certainly got a thumbs up from me!

The track has that distinct Lindsey Buckingham sound that often arises amongst his recordings as both a member of Fleetwood Mac as well as in his solo material. It oozes that comforting acoustic folk rock sound; something that as a band Fleetwood Mac were renowned for in songs such as ‘Big Love’, ‘The Chain’, ‘Bleed To Love Her’ and ‘Second Hand News’ to name just a few-the list could easily go on forever!

For all the fans eagerly anticipating the upcoming Buckingham McvVie album, ‘In My World’ has served as an exciting insight into what to expect from the new music. If it’s anything to go by, I am sure it’s going to be good!

If you haven’t heard the new track already, go have a listen via one of the links below and let me know yours thoughts!

Buckingham McVie Official Website

Amazon

Itunes

Spotify

Bruno Mars 24k Magic Review

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Released late last year (2016) Bruno Mars returned with his first album in four years titled 24K Magic. Until now, I’ve never been much of a Bruno Mars fans solely down to the fact that I wasn’t into his music style however after the release of his collaboration with famous producer Mark Ronson on ‘Uptown Funk’ my opinions drastically changed. Uptown Funk is without doubt a modern classic, I love its throwback feel and infectious groove! Curious to see if the new album would continue down a similar path, I was delighted to discover a 80s funk and disco vibe to the music yet still very current to today’s music. After listening to the album on a number of occasions since I purchased it, I can honestly say that there isn’t a single track that I don’t like!

The album kicks off with its first single and title track 24K Magic; a track that oozes the same charisma and funky groove that we all loved Uptown Funk for! This is closely followed by ‘Chunky’ which reminds me of song named ‘Baby Be Mine’ from the classic Michael Jackson album ‘Thriller’; go listen to both tracks and you’ll see what I mean! ‘Perm’ goes a little further into time sampling that classic 60s soul sound made famous by the legendary James Brown. The further into the album you dive it becomes evident that Bruno has been heavily influenced by a number of iconic artists from across the decades and incorporated it into his own music.

Up until just a few weeks ago I’d been a stranger to the albums most recent single; a song named ‘That’s What I Like’ and I must say it’s become one of my favourite numbers from the album. A catchy number that’s proved extremely popular across UK radio; it’s perfect to jam along to in the car with its fun and infectious groove.

Thrown into the mix is a selection of slower to mid tempo numbers creating a perfect balance all of which feature that fabulous 70s and 80s sound which travels throughout the album. There’s some cool and calming ballad-esque numbers such as ‘Versace On The Floor’ and ‘Straight Up & Down’ in which Bruno performs to perfection. Completing the track listing is ‘Too Good To Say Goodbye’ which easily could have found itself amongst Mars’ chart topping releases in one of his earlier albums.

24k Magic has received mix reviews since its release; some love it others aren’t as enthusiastic, personally speaking it’s by far my favourite amongst the 3 albums released by Mars. One word that comes to mind when describing the album is a popular expression in today’s society and that is ‘throwback’. The influence of 70s/80s funk works well with a modern twist; it’s fun, it’s different and has great groove! So all in all it’s a winner in my book!

 

Check out 24K Magic today via one of the following links:

AMAZON

HMV

ITUNES

SPOTIFY

GOT7 Return With The Release Of ‘Never Ever’

K-pop group Got7 return to the music scene with their latest comeback; ‘Flightlog: Arrival’, a brand new mini album in the much-anticipated Flightlog series. Alongside Monday’s album release, came the group’s latest music video which accompanies a track titled ‘Never Ever’.

If you’ve been following the ‘Flightlog’ series since the release of the first mini album early last year, you’ll be aware of the series’ unique and developing storyline. The accompanying music videos serves as a visual insight into the story and has evidently caught fans of the groups’ attention as they attempt to piece the story together and search for conclusion. As a UK listener the concept of the trilogy is extremely diverse in comparison to anything I’ve seen over here; the storyline is gripping and leaves you searching for clues amongst the tiniest of details. It’s like combining a good book with music and in my opinion; you can’t get any better than that!

Without giving away too much about the trilogy’s concept as I urge you to go back in time and watch the videos; ‘Never Ever’ has a slightly different outlook to the previous videos. ‘Departure’ was notably lighter in both sound and image whereas ‘Turbulence’ much like its title was remarkably darker and more dramatic. From first glance ‘Arrival’ has seemingly familiar elements to its predecessor ‘Turbulence’ yet perhaps not quite as heavy?

The video is an exciting visual illustration of the albums opening track ‘Never Ever’ written by JYP Entertainment’s and Got7’s founder Park Jin-young. Looking at the song itself, it’s a catchy number with a unique sound that perfectly fits Got7’s image and style.

Serving as the final chapter, the video provides closure as it resolves unanswered questions from the previous instalments. Although not overpowering, the video’s setting  is effective and undeniably striking featuring a number of scenes situated in museum, underwater, hospital and industrial like locations.

As dancers ‘Never Ever’ allows each members Got7 to really shine. Despite having no professional knowledge on the subject, I have however been immersed into the world of dance as an onlooker at various events throughout my life and can certainly spot a good dancer when I see one. In my opinion one of Got7’s strongest points is without a doubt their dancing abilities which is apparent throughout the MV. The perfection in each move is impeccable as is the synchronisation of the group as they effortlessly bring the routine to life.

Never Ever proves to be a popular comeback with fans and feedback is positive across social media as listeners enjoy Got7’s latest release. Here in the UK the album is ranking in the iTunes charts and meanwhile Got7 were seen to be trending on the site. As a radio presenter I plan on airing the new track on my show later this week and look forward to hearing listeners feedback on the song!

What’s your thoughts on Got7s latest comeback and the brand new music video? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to show you support by checking out the new video and purchasing the new album!