Kiefer Sutherland @ Cambridge Junction 26/02/2020

Wednesday February 26th (a rather chilly evening), well known venue Cambridge junction welcomed Canadian musician and actor Kiefer SutherlandSutherland is extremely well known for some major movie roles as well as playing the unforgettable role of CTU agent Jack Bauer in the very popular TV series 24.  However he isn’t just known for his acting career. As you may or may not know, he is also a dedicated and talented musician with many of his songs relating to his personal experiences in his lifetime. His musical style is primarily that of traditional country music however there is a great mix of rock and roll too.  

Of course that evening, he wasn’t the only act to perform in J1. The night of music was kicked off by the country music all female trio The Adelaides. The band is made up of  Paris Georgia, Alicia Alba & Abi Phillips and are originally from Birmingham, UK. They are gaining more and more recognition and growing their fan base with each performance ever since their first tour with The Only Way Is Essex beauty turned country star Megan McKenna back in 2017.  The ladies took to the stage around 8pm  looked radiant dressed in somewhat stereotypical but fabulous boho/country chic attire including the infamous ‘cowboy hats as they performed their hits while playing their own acoustic instruments.  

The ladies had a great stage presence as they interacted well with the audience as they flew through their set. During their time on stage they performed a number of their singles including their first release “Leave” as well as their latest record “I’d Do It Again”, “Sweet Temptation” (which was actually recorded in Nashville,USA, the home of country music) and not forgetting the song that had me in hysterics with its memorable lyrics“Jelly Baby” which by the way is the perfect song to listen to after a break up to see the funny side of things during a difficult situation. The Adelaides also performed a number of cover songs which included “Hit The Road Jack”, “Sweet Dreams” and the infamous “Jolene” which we all know from the ultimate country queen Miss Dolly Parton.  

These Birmingham country sassy lasses are definitely worth checking out.  

As expected after the finale song of the first act of the night there was a short interval where ticket holders were left to mingle and keep their cups topped up. Speaking of cups, the venue has recently moved to a more eco friendly option when it comes to purchasing from the two bars in the room. Attendees are encouraged to purchase a plastic refillable drinking cup for a small fee to save on waste and more than likely finances too. A lot of music venues and festivals have now adapted to this idea, so it’s great to see that Cambridge Junction have jumped on board too rather than using single use materials for beverages.  

Around 9pm the lights dimmed, instrumental music played and band members walked onto the stage. The last person to make their appearance was of course the night’s main act. Kiefer Sutherland! 

The actor/musican was hidden for most of his opening song by his wide brimmed hat, however that really didn’t matter. The music was great, the lighting was colourful and the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement. Now I knew that the man had stamina going by his numerous acting roles that I had previously seen him in but I really didn’t expect as much energy as I had seen from him that evening. Just amazing! The musician performed a wide variety of genres, country, rock and heartfelt ballads. Before he performed each song of the night he would take a few moments to tell the audience a story or a history of just how the song came to be. I’ve not seen an act with such great communication with their audience as much as Kiefer showed during his show. He would often talk to the fans in front of him as if he had known them for years, he had also shared many personal stories about himself and his family. One of the most prominent ones was about his mother becoming incredibly unwell and him rushing to be by her side only to arrive and find her happy and filling the room with her lovable humour. It was definitely a story that tugged on the heartstrings. He also expressed his fondness for country music legend Johnny Cash 

The recording artist performed his hits “Shirley Jean”, “Going Home”,  “I’ll Do Anything”,  “Saskatchewan” and many more. He finished the evening with the energy fused “Agave” where Sutherland was seen regularly interacting with his band and making good use of the space on stage while generally just rocking out like the awesome guy you’d expect him to be.  

On a personal note, this is the first live music event I had attended in the last year due to the fact I was expecting my second child. Now here and being rather sleep deprived I was apprehensive about feeling too tired to go to this show despite desperately wanting to go. Honestly I am so, so glad that I did. Not only did I get to stand in the same room as Jack Bauer (being a total ’24’ fan)  which was awesome in itself but the music I heard that night was definitely what I needed to hear to introduce myself back into the writing game. If you ever get the chance to see either The Adelaides or Kiefer Sutherland live then I highly recommend that you take up such an opportunity.  

Review by Kimberley-Anne Simmons

Photos by Kane Howie

 

The Hu @ Electric Ballroom 11/02/2020

A few years ago, one evening I started browsing through music videos on YouTube and came across Mongolian rock band The Hu. I remember thinking how different these guys were and that I doubt they would ever tour the UK, but i was proven quite wrong. In 2019 they played in the UK and then announced a Spring European and UK tour for 2020. All the shows had sold out.
I was lucky enough to attend their show at the legendary Electric Ballroom in Camden, London on Tuesday 11th February. It was a cold evening in which I was warmed up when entering the venue to a packed out room with eager fans awaiting for the music to start.

Up first was support act , the American heavy metal band, Fire From The Gods who put on a great performance full of energy and built up the crowds anticipation for The Hu. Fire From The Gods will be performing Download festival this year on The Dogtooth Stage so make sure you check them out.

During the interval the crowd were mingling, drinking and loudly chanting ‘HU! HU! HU!’ When the time had come for The Hu to enter the stage the four main band members stood along the front of the stage with a backing band behind. The band had initially formed back in 2016 and have since gained a huge following online with 624k subscibers on Youtube alone! The members are Jaya, Gala, Temka and Enkush. The band were dressed in Mongolian attire with leather and top knots.

The traditional Mongolian instruments were amazing to see with the horsehead fiddle, Mongolian guitar, Jaw Harp and the Monglian flute. The craftsmanship on the instruments were quite incredible. The band bring together traditional Mongolian music with their throat singing and combine it with heavy metal.

The opening song is Shoog Shoog followed by other songs off their debut album The Gereg. The band also performed Black Thunder which has become widely recognisable after being featured on the hugely successful 2019 Star Wars game Jedi: Fallen Order.

The members didn’t appear to have a good grasp of the English language knowledge apart from “Thank You”, but honestly it really didn’t matter as the audience could still relate to the band during their set.

They are one of the most intriguing bands I had ever seen as they have created such an unusual yet enjoyable style of music based on throat singing. They put on a great show and I can highly recommend checking them out if you have not already.

Review and Photos by Kane Howie

The Darkness @ Cambridge Corn Exchange 6.12.19

On Friday 6th December in the remarkable city of Cambridge, we waited in anticipation outside the doors of the Corn Exchange. A fantastic venue to which has played host to many events including music artists, theatre productions, comedians and more. The reason why we were there was to attend another awesome event The Darkness live!
The Darkness are an alternative rock band originally from Lowestoft. The act formed back in the year 2000. The band consists of musicians Justin Hawkins on vocals and lead guitar, Dan Hawkins on guitar, Frankie Poullain on bass and last but not least Rufus Tiger Taylor on drums and percussion.

Upon entering the venue, our photographer and I came into the foyer, which inclued a bar at either side and also a merch stall selling products for both The Darkness and also the evening’s support act Rews. The venue filled up fairly quickly with eager and excited fans.

First, to take to the stage, were Rews, a female fronted alt/rock band that formed in Northern Ireland back in 2014. Shauna Tohill, Ele Lucas and Scott Hislop really got the night off to an energetic start! Their first realeased albums were titled ‘Pyro’ and ‘Your Tears’. The band were so full of energy filling the stage with jump kicks and lots of dance action. They sang a total of eight hits, including ‘Shake Shake’, ‘Can You Feel It?’ and their latest single ‘Birdsong’. Their music had a great variation in style, so there was something for everyone, including a mix from heavier rock to softer more ballad like tones. A great all rounder. The band showed great interaction with the crowd and you could tell the audience really loved their musical styles. Their new album is due for release in 2020, so make sure to be on the look out for that!

After a short interval, the band members of the night’s headline act, The Darkness entered wearing white suits and Justin Hawkins donning his expected flamboyant and show stopping attire. The band had performed two sets on the night in which they played the whole of their lastest album ‘Easter Is Cancelled’ and then the second half of their show featured their older well known hits. The audience was a wide range of ages, from older generations, to younger ones. Their was one young lad in the crowd who looked only around six years old, who was clearly having the time of his life, sitting on his parent’s shoulders wearing a sleeveless denim jacket with band patches on. His parents must be so proud!

There were 3 arches decorated with lights at the back of the stage in which cartoon clips were playing during the band’s set, this included cows in a field and also characters from the James Cameron’s infamous film Titanic. On the last song of the first half the band all except Justin left the stage. Justin was left on stage with just an acoustic guitar in which he sung ‘We Are The Guitar Men’.

After another short break, Frankie came back on stage with a cow bell and got the crowd to clap along with the beat of the bell. After a quick costume change the band returned to the stage once more. Justin wore a festive red jumpsuit with the front uncovered showing his tattoos and all kinds of nipple.

Justin was brilliant at getting the crowd involved with the show. He was getting them to try and reach the same pitches that he can even chanting out “F**k’. The whole room filled with amusement and ended up singing throughout the whole performance. When the initial bars of their infamous 2003 hit ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ were played everyone was elated and sang along. The night was brought to a close in the only festive way that it could have been, the band ended with their Christmas song ‘Christmas Time (Dont Let The Bells End)’, this was great as Christmas is only a few short weeks away.

Both bands were highly enjoyable to watch live and a definite must see if you get the chance.

Review by Ellie Siemianowicz

Photos by Kane Howie

Bears Den @ Shepherds Bush Empire 24/04/2019 Review

London based band Bears Den stopped off on their ‘So That You Might Hear Me’ tour at the legendary venue Sheperd’s Bush Empire, in which is a very important place for them as noted during the show as one member was formerly an employee at a local pub just along the same road as the venue. Both London shows were sold out and it was their last UK show before jetting off to play all over Europe.

Arriving at the venue with a capacity of 2000, the room is filled with excitement from the crowd. Whilst patiently waiting for the first act Tusks to arrive on stage, people were sipping at their beverages , chatting amongst themselves with many also observing the merch stall.

The stage was lit with blue lighting with a gentle haze of smoke while two vintage styled rugs were seen covering the floor. Around 8:00pm, the lights began to dim and support act Tusks took to the stage. Tusks is actually the stage name for performer Emily Underhill. Her style of music is most suited to an electronic indie pop genre. Her sound can be likened to that of London Grammar. The artist expressed that she was very grateful to be supporting Bears Den and especially for two consecutive nights as it is a venue she has always dreamed of performing in. Her set showcased a total of six songs including the single ‘Be Mine’, which is featured on her new album that is due for release in June. She was well received with the crowd who were now really looking forward to the headliners.

The stage was cleared quite quickly and was all set up for Bears Den. With guitars all ready and also a little wooden piano. As the lights dimmed they had the most nostalgic sci-fi style intro as the Terminator theme tune played them in. The duo walked on with four supporting musicians. It was still pretty dark with just a few white lights that focused on the band from below as they played their first song ‘Fuel On The Fire’. Shortly after, their second song of the evening saw singer Andrew Davie said how great it was to play the venue again and that we do have more songs to play.
The crowd swayed and danced during the performance. When playing ‘Sophie’ the band turned off all equipment and came to the front of the stage and asked for complete silence and kept it simple with an acoustic rendition of the song. They also performed an unplugged song in the crowd later on in the show which was ‘Blankets Of Sorrow’.

When performing, ticket holders enjoyed singing the lyrics along with the band. Bears Den played a wide range of new and classic songs which included music from their latest album which was only released this month (April 2019). The album is due for release just a few short days after this gig at Sheperd’s Bush. Band member Andrew toasted the show with a shot and expressed a huge thank you to everyone who has supported them over the years.

At the end of the evening the band brought their show to a close with probably one of their biggest hits to date. ‘Agape’. It was the perfect way to end the evening.
You can catch the band on their European tour and also at Citadel Festival in London on 14th July 2019.

Review and Photos by Kane Howie

 

Little Boots at The Deezer Bandwagon Tour

Seeing someone perform inside a soundproofed box isn’t the usual thing you’d expect when attending a gig. It was actually quite a surreal experience when you weren’t wearing the headphones given to you at the door. Normally silent discos are played by DJ’s, so you don’t really expect to be able to hear the music, however when confronted with a band that you can’t hear it’s a completely different story. Once I put on the headphones given to me at the gate however, I was engulfed by the crisp, electro pop sounds of Little Boots as if she was performing at a normal gig.

Having never seen Little Boots before I couldn’t wait to hear what she had in store for this one-of-a-kind show. Alongside her crowd pleasing classics such as ‘Stuck On Repeat’ and ‘Remedy’ she played a number of new, as of yet unreleased tracks that went down a storm with the crowd of all ages. Towards the end of her hour-long set time Little Boots fittingly played ‘Headphones’ which added to the slightly comedic performance. Being perfectly honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Little Boots, however her live performance completely blew me away and fitted perfectly with the first signs of spring sun.

Before Little Boot’s final few songs we were all told that we could take our headphones off as the 400 strong crowd had been tweeting about the show so much we’d ‘unleashed the music’, and Little Boots finished her performance in style with a couple more new songs. Once Little Boots’ show was over Russ Jones, AKA Hackney Globetrotter, took to the decks and took the party into the night with an eclectic set of chart toppers and funky house beats. The Red Gallery Car Park proved to be the perfect venue for a relaxed evening of free drinks and great tunes hidden away in the heart of Shoreditch, with plenty of sofas and benches to soak up the evening sun on.