ELLIE GOULDING. Hammersmith(Eventim) Apollo. 16th October 2013.

17 10 2013

 

 

I woke up at 6am yesterday morning with a pain in my head that made me want to cry. However when I cry, I get a headache. I didn’t want to disturb my girlfriend from her slumber. I took some tablets and hoped the pain would go away. I went to the sofa and slept for an hour. A bout of nausea took over. Being sick terrifies me. A migraine has never made me throw up before; until yesterday morning. I immediately thought, “I’m not well enough to go see Ellie.”

Nothing gets in the way of me and music. I napped it off, saw a pal in town and I was alright. To Hammersmith we went!

I’ve seen Ellie go from playing to 200 people to now, venues like Hammersmith Apollo. To see someone who seemed so shy on stage around 3/4 years ago to a person in complete control of their performance and crowd is just beautiful to watch. In the crowd you can see her manager and brother look on with such pride. Imagine being that proud of your best friend/family member like that. It is just a magical thing to witness.

There is no denying that Ellie has a magnetic stage presence. The second she walks on stage this insane noise erupts. It sounds like a pack of hyenas being let loose. This noise happens quite a few times throughout the night. What is beautiful about the whole thing is that there is no “typical” fan here. Everyone is of various age, race, sexuality, everything. Music is freedom, and that is pretty much reinforced here.

I was pretty sad that Under The Sheets is no longer on the set list, but watching her sing Guns And Horses with just an acoustic guitar, and having the crowd sing every word back to her was a glorious thing to witness. Her voice is evidently the strongest it has ever been, and her distinctive vocals is exactly what makes her stand out. From songs like I Know You Care to Animal you really do pick up on how strong her voice is. When she sings I Know You Care (a song about her dad) I’m immediately reserved back to that early early morning in 1995 when I was told my dad had died. A wave of numbness hits me, and to an extent watching her sing this song is like a brief hit of healing.

The set list now predominantly consists of new songs. Lights was a tame record with delicate subjects, but Halcyon although does stay with similar subjects the songs are bigger and truly come to life when Ellie and her fantastic band perform live. They all perform with everything they have, and the crowd fully get that. What is so good about seeing Ellie live is that she is so happy to be on stage. It doesn’t seem like “just another show” to her, and that’s why I’ve probably seen her six times so far. Each time has shown how much she has grown as a performer, and you sort of feel like a proud parent looking on. The way she slays the guitar on Burn at the end, the way she dances on stage and how she drums like a woman possessed is incredible to watch. To see someone put their all into what they do is always a brilliant thing to watch.

As much as I love bands that are made for dark and creepy basement bars, there is something really special about seeing someone you’ve been a fan of from the start go from small venues to places like the Hammersmith Apollo. The atmosphere was magical, and every time I see Ellie live I claim that time as being the best show I’ve seen of her’s. This was the first time I’ve seen a London crowd actually move, all too often they seem afraid to move and sing along; this show was the complete opposite. Also, her backing singers unleashed some excellent moves last night and of course putting the Bassnectar remix in the middle of Lights is always going to be a highlight. The drop is amazing. Ellie Goulding is someone who everyone needs to see live..once or even six times!





ELLIE GOULDING. iTunes Festival 22nd September 2013.

23 09 2013

 

If you ignore that I won Jessie Ware tickets last week, I actually never win anything. I never won anything in school and the like; but that’s alright. If you win tickets to see two of your favourite singers, it pretty much means more. I’ve never been to the Roundhouse, I’ve walked past it a few times wishing I could go in to see something magical. Last night I got to see Ellie Goulding for the fifth time. For free. I like free stuff, who doesn’t! Anyone who says they don’t is nothing but a liar.

We were stood right at the back, but although I’m awfully short- I had a pretty good view. I could rest my tired bones against the barrier and generally have the time of my life. I sang, did some little movements and had a nice time. It was a really special moment seeing Ellie; I first saw her on her very first tour and there were about 200 people in the room- to see her play venues like the Roundhouse was truly beautiful. When I first saw her, her shyness was somewhat holding her back, but her voice was more than enough. Now? Now she moves about on stage like a person in complete control. A woman with a vision that is hopefully inspiring others to do the same.

With only two records out (if you ignore the re-released versions), Ellie has this presence on stage that is found in the likes of singers that have been around for decades. This was my first time seeing Ellie in London, and as she’s a London resident- it was fair to say that this is the best performance I’ve witnessed of hers so far. I suppose in a couple of weeks when I see her at Hammersmith I’ll declare that as the best time I’ve seen her. There is something truly special about seeing a band/singer play to their home crowd.

From a personal point of view, when she sings songs about her dad I just go to bits. Not because I’m sad for her, but because I know what it’s like to have that loss. My loss is different to hers, but the songs cut to the very core. Fortunately this time I’m able to not cry at all because I’m just in awe of Ellie’s voice and how far she’s come. The thing is, she is able to write about these heartbreaking events in a way most would struggle with. To unleash them in this way and to not be afraid of being so open is a bloody brilliant trait to have. A trait most wouldn’t know what to do with. People are afraid to be vulnerable but there’s really nothing wrong with it. There is something wrong with thinking everyone is going to fuck you over. Ellie’s music, when she does songs like these, are a form of healing. The way she sings the songs that break your heart are sang with so much passion (obviously the same goes for her other songs, but you know what I mean.)

For me, Under The Sheets is always going to be the song I look forward to the most during her sets. It’s the song I remember seeing the video to on TV in late 2009. And she’s hitting this drum with glitter flying off and I was hooked. I’m not a fan of glitter, it must be said. There was something about Under The Sheets that, when I first heard it, I knew I was listening to someone who was going to be massive. I’m rarely right, but with this, I was! When I see her perform this live, it is pretty much the song that causes me to injure myself if I’m near a barrier as I like to use it as a drum. Did that happen last night? Yes. Is my hand really bruised and a bit swollen? Yes it is. If I’ve not got a minor injury after a gig, I’ve probably not had a good time. The bass drop during Lights is electrifying, I mean the whole set is. But the drop during Lights (Bassnectar remix) is amazing to see live.

Ellie’s band (Max, Joe, Chris and Simon) are amazing. Each of them makes you wish you had even a tiny amount of musical talent. All of them play with such love, and the energy all of them has is infectious. You cannot help but move your limbs around in a questionable fashion as you watch them play with all they have. Ellie and her band are tight; the musicianship they have should be enviable by others- making them want to be as tight as they are.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t really taken by her current single, Burn but after seeing it live. And yet again witnessing Ellie slay the guitar, I was blown away. She does it all. Her shy charisma on stage makes her easy to love because there is no pretentious vibe about her. She’s simply someone living out her dream, and to have watched her go from playing to 200 people to this was just magical. If you’ve never seen her live, let it be known you are truly missing out.





Arousing Sounds: Songs of 2012.

25 11 2012

You have good years and bad years with music, well life in general. Last year was alright but this year was pretty damn good. I bought more records this year than I did last year. I never have any money, but the money I do have spare goes on music. Rather on stuff I need. Such as clothes, as most of mine are a bit worn out. Or some new boots as my Docs are hanging on for dear life. They’ve been through a lot, but I think I can drag them through hell a bit longer.

This year for all reasons possible was rather good. Ignore all the crisis in the world and how society at times is fucked, then you’re okay. It’s been alright. And there have been some rather wonderful songs to go with it. Now, if this was a list of SONGS THAT MADE OLIVIA HAD A HERNIA WHEN PLAYED IN A VEHICLE, then Call Me Maybe would be my number 1 choice. Quite possibly one of the best pop songs to have been released in a long time. But did it come out last year? I’m not sure. But that song makes me happy, and I don’t even care. We’ve all made our own versions of it. Probably full of smut, but who cares.

So, here’s my list of songs that brought all kinds of joy and various emotions into my ears; and everywhere else. There are so many songs I know I have missed out, but I’ve got a really bad memory and I’ll want to change my mind after writing this. As always.

10. The Creeping Ivies- Ghost Train.Music should have elements that just freak you out. It should make you feel as if spirits are haunting you (I don’t mean a bad glass of whiskey.) It should fill you with sinister vibes that you just cannot shake, but the thing is- part of you doesn’t want to get rid of them. The haunting chills you get from Ghost Train are just stunning. My love for Becca and Duncan is ridiculous. They make me feel I am anywhere but in this time. That’s something that is entirely rare. I have woken up many a mornings where this song is in my head, and stays there for the duration of the day. That’s when I have my good days. The Creeping Ivies just make perfect eerie music that just reinforces my love for music.

9. Swim Deep-King City. I know I could have picked Honey, but King City mentions Jenny Lee Lindberg from Warpaint. That alone makes this song brilliant. It gives you a Summertime feeling, even if we are in the murky depths of November. I remember first hearing it and just being blown away. They have this gentle, euphoric tone to their music that just soothes you. It is like your being swayed. Your worries and troubles mean nothing when you listen to Swim Deep.

8. Jack White-Love Interruption. Anything Jack White does is just a piece of musical heaven. A stroke of genius. He has this way of creating something so insane yet pure. The lyrics to Love Interruption are mighty strange, yet you relate to them. You won’t let love corrupt you in any way, anymore. The music is so simple and stripped back but you can hear such frustration in his voice. A hint of longing just purifies the song. Ruby’s delicate and quivering vocals makes the song a lot more honest and vulnerable than it would be without. It’s just a gorgeous song that sums up everything love should be, and all you won’t let it be.

7. Ellie Goulding-Figure 8. This song pleasantly smacks you in the chops. I wanted to pick Only You, but that’s because I’m obsessed with the drums in it. A tribal feel to it, but I’ve gone with Figure 8 because there is something about this song that makes you feel a bit alive, yet sad at the same time. I think you can take the “And lovers hold on, to everything” in many ways I suppose. In a way, it is like Ellie is telling lovers to hold onto anything and everything. Or maybe she is saying lovers cling onto anything because they do not want to be without. Her second record is nothing like her debut, and that’s why I adore it and why I adore Ellie’s music. She still has such honesty to her songs, and the lyrics are darker; which is probably why I love them.

6. Beach House-New Year. Very nearly picked Wild, but I’ve gone with New Year because it means a lot to me. So does Myth. Myth just breaks my heart. New Year is 5 minutes of hope. In fact, the Bloom record is just a collection of songs that give you hope. It is like Victoria and Alex are giving you life lessons. Words to provide comfort and hope to those who listen. Everything about their music makes you feel as if they are cradling your soul. Soothing and swaying you as you face things you wish you could turn from. It is hard to turn away from some things and some people. Sometimes we can bring ourselves to do so; sometimes we can’t. I make life so difficult for myself (and probably others) but when I listen to Beach House, especially New Year, it is almost as if nothing really matters for that moment. New Year just makes you think about everything in a way you’ve never done before. It opens up your eyes and soul. It heals your heart.

5. Tamaryn-Heavenly Bodies. As Warpaint didn’t release anything this year, I’m declaring Tamaryn responsible for making the most ethereal song of the year, and the most tranquil record of the year also. Heavenly Bodies makes you feel as if you are drifting towards the most perfect and relaxed place possible. It makes you feel alive, even as your eyes become sleepy as you listen to this gorgeous song. You fall in love with everything surrounding it. You notice different layers to Heavenly Bodies as you listen to it through headphones. It is like a magical journey to something so divine as you listen to it. I adore the line, “She’s a fool but time is a thief.” I cannot explain why, but I just do. The song brings out a true sense of inner peace, and guides those gently, who feel slightly lost.

4. Crocodiles-Endless Flowers. The perfect opener to my favourite record of the year. I hold this song, this band and this record very dear to my heart. Their lyrics are romantic. Even when dark, they still have a romantic feel to it. No Black Clouds For Dee Dee is my favourite love song of the year. Yes, it reminds me of the one I love and adore. Endless Flowers is another song that gives you hope. I love the line, “I’ll bide my time swimming in your eyes, on some faraway screen.” It is easy to lose yourself in the one you love, and their eyes. Endless Flowers is a taste of devotion. A wonderful song that makes you wish you could create your own kind of ode to love.

3. Dum Dum Girls-Lord Knows. I’m going to try keep my ramble about this song as brief as I can. Lord Knows offers redemption and comfort in those who have hurt others. “I want to live a pure life” is such a vulnerable line. What I adore about Dee Dee is her vulnerable lyrics. She isn’t afraid to be so open with her words. That takes courage and strength that most shy away from. The intro to the song feels like the sun rising, giving you hope for another day. A chance to be better. The repetition of the chorus is like a chant, a mantra to stop you from hurting those you love. I love love love the line, ” ‘Cause every time you think of me, the black covers what might be.” Lord Knows offers so much solace, much like most of their songs. It is pure and truthful. It oozes out everything you wish you could. I guess next time you mess up, play this song. You’ll be alright. You always are.

2. The Long Wives-Judas Hex. I play this song nearly every day. I listen to The Long Wives a lot. Brandy’s voice is easily one of the best around. Discovering her music this year made everything a bit easier. We all have shit days, and how we get through them should make us tougher. I try to be tough, but I don’t think I have it in me. I don’t see it as a bad thing anymore. I’d rather be sure of how I feel rather than be emotionally numb. Judas Hex is so dark and simple. Just her voice and a guitar. Her voice is so so haunting. It isn’t overpowering at all. You don’t need a grand voice to be heard. Her voice is quietly powerful. I know it sounds like a contradiction, but she has something that no other will ever have. Or has ever had. Judas Hex evokes such devilish imagery in your mind, but they aren’t enough to scare you. You just embrace it, go with it. There’s no harm in it at all. Brandy’s voice lures you in, and once you are there- no part of you can leave. You just don’t want to. She is easily my favourite solo artist of the year. She’s just beautiful in all ways possible.

1. Saint Lou Lou-Maybe You. This song breaks my heart. This song makes me happy. This song is the best song of the year. It is gentle, it is delicate and utterly sad. I do like sad songs, but I don’t like obviously sad songs. Only when you pay close attention to the lyrics do you notice how heartbreaking this song is. What drew me in at first was the music. It felt like being on a bed of water, floating towards a state of bliss. Then I listened very closely to the lyrics and such sadness crept up on me. Since I first heard Maybe You, I have played it every day. I just have to always hear it. I have no idea what their record will sound life, but if it has the same elements as Maybe You (dreamy, blissed-out with shades of sadness) then they will probably become responsible for creating a sound that hasn’t been done before, and is of course, much-needed. I’ve mentioned before in previous posts the line I love the most in this song, but I adore “And if you’ve got an emptiness inside, you should let our worlds recollide.” The song offers reassurance and reconciliation. It’s just beautiful. There’s nothing else I can say about this song that I haven’t already said to anyone who may listen to me.

 

*I’d also like to add that Inhaler by Foals is bloody brilliant and I reckon their new record will be a massive highlight of 2013.





“No longing for the moonlight, no longing for the sun. No longer will I curse the bad I’ve done.”

8 08 2012

If you feel like you belong in this world, that you were born at the right time then you are so lucky. If you don’t feel empty when you see what your generation are into, then you are lucky. If you can relate, then man..how do you do it? Reality shows are fake and pointless. Books are being turned into devices. Record stores are closing. And I don’t understand why people use Instagram. Why do people take photos of their food? If I wanted to know what you ate, I probably would’ve asked if you wanted to go for dinner. I don’t get it. I don’t hate everything around me; far from it. I just don’t really hold much hope, love or like even towards modern life. I hate that I was born when I was, and grew up to see cultures turn cold and reliant on things that can break instantly.

Some bands are hell-bent on recreating a sound that was done in the 70s/80s. Some do it really well without making it obvious. However some just look silly. It’s like that time everyone thought neon paint and “bringing back” the 80s was a good idea. I guess current times are so shit, we must stay in the past. Again, I don’t get it.

I don’t really understand people who claim to only listen to music that isn’t current you know? Do you have ANY idea what you’re missing out on? From 2:54 to Crocodiles to King Dude to Warpaint and all in-between. There’s so much good music that you’re missing out on. I know, I know we will never have an album as powerful as Psychocandy or as creepy as Seventeen Seconds or as wonderful as Viva Hate. It’s okay. Trust me, it’s alright.

But modern life (aside from some music) is a drag. It’s a chore to get up and carry on, I know. I fully understand. If I didn’t force myself to go to the gym every morning I’d probably stay in my room and not go out. Not because modern life is toss, but for many other reasons. You have to force yourself to carry on and do what you can. You just have to. The alternative isn’t exactly something that appeals.

You twist, you turn. You fight with yourself, you fight with anyone who will listen. You declare you’re not good enough. You know why? Because your surroundings make you believe that you’re worth nothing. Thing is, we’re all worth something. Maybe not to ourselves but to one person for sure. I know I should pay attention to what I write; but I just can’t. I don’t think I could ever fully believe in myself and not carry some self-doubt you know. I just think, if I ever thought I was good at something I would never do it again. If I thought I was a decent Music Writer, I’d stop. I’m not looking for a pat on the back or for someone to say I’m any good. Far from it. This is my venting my frustrations at life and how we are becoming more numb to all we see, and all we are. People are caring less and less. My problem is that I probably care too much. I don’t care what people think about me because 1 or 2 people truly know me. As you get older, you realise what matters. You slowly see that people are as cruel as school kids in the playground. They will stab you in the back, and through the heart too. Whilst trying to fuck with your mind. People aren’t as loving as they once were.

Where I live everyone looks the same. I try not to look up when I leave the house. If I look up and around, my self-hate will go through the roof. Eye contact just doesn’t happen. The pavement is my friend. The cracks are the tales of fury. They cracked because they couldn’t take it anymore. I fully understand.

I hate where I am, and the harder I try to get out; the further I am knocked back.

So I play music as loud as I can in my ears. Just to drown out everything, and everyone. It’s working. I’ll get out, even if I have to fucking crawl.

I’m using music to drag me through.





Ellie Goulding- Starry Eyed (US Version.)

2 08 2011

 





My Singles Of 2010.

19 12 2010

Again, in no order aside from the last track.

Marina And The Diamonds- Shampain- I would have picked Oh No! due to my love for the lyrics. However, I have gone with Shampain as it reminds me of roadtrips to Manchester with my friends and singing a long very loudly, providing amusement for other drivers. Then again..Oh No! reminds me of dancing to it and reciting some of Marina’s moves in the video.

Zola Jesus-NightSo bloody eerie and mind blowing. The album is stunning. This song is just fucking out of this world. The intro just..I don’t know, the song leaves you paralysed- unable to move- in awe of what you’ve just heard.

New Young Pony Club- Lost A Girl- Sounds very 80s- but they do it in a good, credible way. It isn’t ripping anyone off nor are they copying any other 80s band.

Ou Est Le Swimming Pool- The Key- This band are mine and my best friend’s band. When we heard about Charlie we were inconsolable for ages. We went to Chazzstock in London and it was so moving. So sad. OELSP will always be one of my favourite bands, and luckily I saw them live. I have no idea what they’ll do now..it’s just a shame.

The Vaccines- Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)- They also played at Chazzstock and were joined by Faris and Tom from The Horrors. Yes, I had a massive fit of excitement during that. This song is the shortest song performed on Jools Holland- FACT! It is also one of the best songs of this year. I hope they’re massive in 2011.

CocknBullKid- Hold Onto Your Misery- Everyone knows how much I adore Anita Blay. She’s amazing. Her album is FINALLY out in February. I’m aware it’ll be one of my favourites of 2011.

Florence & The Machine- Cosmic Love- I know Lungs came out last year, but this single was released this year..so I can list it :p My love for Flo is massive and..yeah, you know. She’s THE ONE isn’t she. This is my favourite Flo song. Live is just tears me apart. I cannot describe it.

Ellie Goulding- Guns And Horses- I loved the demo of this, and I’m sure the video cured me of my phobia of horses slightly. I say it’s a phobia- I just really dislike horses. I could’ve listed Starry Eyed but I only like it when it’s done live. Under The Sheets was last year so…I’m going with Guns And Horses. She looks beautiful (as ever) in the video.

Warpaint- Undertow- This song lyrically blew my mind. Did you see them do this acoustic on BBC3 during Reading/Leeds Festival? That was something. Stella drumming on a box. How many would do that, and do iut well? This band were the best band of 2010. I love Jenny’s bass playing on this, it’s so relaxed. Theresa kills the guitar and Emily’s vocals are stunning. Stella is the best drummer around. Easily. And Undertow shows exactly why.

SONG OF THE YEAR.

Foals- Spanish Sahara- The build up in this song is beautiful. Yannis’ voice on this song is gorgeous. The lyrics are stunning. It lasts just over 6 minutes, perfect to play on repeat when on a long train journey.





My Albums Of 2010.

19 12 2010

Attempting to put this down to 10 is going to be frustrating, and I will want to constantly change my mind. THIS IS IN NO ORDER. Apart from the last album I mention, that’s my favourite of the year.

Marina And The Diamonds- The Family Jewels.- This album means the world to me. Especially the song, Guilty which I was lucky enough to tell her this on the 31st October. Marina is amazing live. How she is with her fans is just lovely. She spent about 45 minutes with us. Just a lovely person. I don’t think this album got the recognition it fully deserved.  I remember first hearing about her well over a year and a half ago and just being in awe of her. Favourite track : Guilty.

Ellie Goulding- Lights/Bright Lights- I’ve mentioned Lights and Bright Lights because the extra tracks on Bright Lights are brilliant. She has to release Animal. The drum breakdown is mental. I love the production on this. Her and Starsmith are incredible. Her live shows are insane. I saw her play Academy 3 then 2 then 1 in Manchester…watching her gorw- you can see the transformation in her when she performs. During Your Biggest Mistake she just goes crazy. Not to mention her drumming during Salt Skin and Starry Eyed. I was a massive fan of Ellie before she got signed, like with Florence and to see her go from being a girl with a guitar with no record deal to a household name just made me feel so proud. A lovely person who I was lucky to meet at the start of the year. She’s just amazing. Favourite album track : from Lights : Salt Skin. from Bright Lights: Believe Me.

New Young Pony Club- The Optimist- Highly underrated. This album was amazing. Much better than their debut. The lyrics, the production- everything just sounded bigger yet darker. I love how dark the album sounds. Perfect from start to finish. Favourite album track: Chaos.

The Drums-The Drums– I love how they captured the dark lyrics over lively music. I love everything about this band. The way Johnny moves on stage reminds you of Morrissey mixed with Ian Curtis. Favourite album track : Down By The Water.

Mystery Jets-Serotonin- This year after  waiting so long to see them live, I finally did. I can safely say watching Flakes live was one of my favourite things about 2010. Stunning.  Making Dens and Twenty One are remarkable albums. Serotonin is just as stunning. Mystery Jets are one of the best UK bands around. Easily. Favourite album track : Alice Springs.

Best Coast-Crazy For You- For me, this album was the sound of the summer. Boyfriend was constantly on BBC 6Music, hearing it just made the day better. Anyone who owns or heard this album knows how speciual it is. It’s just got that summer vibe through and through. Favourite album track : The End.

Zola Jesus-Stridulum II- Haunting, sad, dark, remarkable. I fell in love instantly with this album. Everything about it is evberything I love about music. The lyrics made you want to break down and cry- but you couldn’t cry because you were in awe of how stunning this album is. When I bought his album, I played it whilst cooking and as I was giving my attention to the album- I nearly burnt myself. That’s how good it is. It requires all your attention. If you don’t own it- please go out and buy it. Favourite album track – I Can’t Stand.

Lightspeed Champion- Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You- Massvie fan of Dev and all he does. Whether it is as Lightspeed Champion or Blood Orange. He’s a musical genius. This album, along with a few this year, just did not get the recognition they fully deserve. Favourite album track- Faculty Of Fears.

Foals- Total Life Forever- VERY nearly was my album of the year- but most lists have claimed it to be the best album. By a UK band, yes it is. It’s an amazing album. Like all the albums I have listed- it catapulted me into a different world. Total Life Forever is sheer brilliance. I loved playing this album whilst on the train to work every day. It’s an album that I know I will listen in 10 years time and feel the same way about it as I did the first time I heard it. Favourite album track – After Glow.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR :

Warpaint-The Fool- When I first heard Undertow I knew that Warpaint would be putting out some of the best music of 2010. Their EP Exquisite Corpse (brilliantly titled) just left you wanting more. A year later and The Fool was released. I still want more. They were a pleasure to interview, probably my favourite band I’ve interviewed. They love what they do and they love each other. You can tell that music is their everything. They’re not in it to make money. They do it because music is that important to them. I remember listening to the album online (streaming not illegally downloaded) because as hard as I tried, I couldn’t wait a week to buy it knowing I could listen to it. The album broke my heart, made me happy, threw me into a different place. It did everything an album should do. I adore Warpaint, and have done for some time- so to see them become massive this year was amazing. Favourite album track – Majesty