Tag Archives: music

Song of the month, December

Really like this song, and this band.

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Keane Manchester Arena 2012 – Review

Having already seen the likes of Muse and the Killers this month already, it was nice to finish the month with a breathtaking end. Keane are one of my favourite bands, so I am not going to pretend that this is acompletely unbiased review. I am sure as I mentioned Keane, there were some music snobs out there that will be tutting, shaking their heads or some more foul mouthed telling me to fuck off with my shit taste in music… Well I won’t and don’t use that type of language with me.

Already the gig was set to be something very different, it was being performed “in the round”. Now I’ve never seen band that has played in the round, and I was very interested to see how this would work or might not work. Another major difference to this gig, was that the standing area on the floor, was changed so that they were seats there instead. Now even though this would sacrifice some of the attendance, it made sure that those lucky enough to be on the floor (me) would get an intimate atmosphere in an arena setting.
Before the show started.

Before the show started.

Support was provide by Wolf gang, who I thought sounded excellent. Annoyingly their lead singer, decided to stick to only to two ends of of the stage. We managed a quick glance at the side of his head at times but that was it. This only added to the anxiety that we’d be the unlucky one, and end up having to look at the back of Tom Chaplin’s head for the majority of the performance. There wasn’t long for me to worry about this though, as soon the lights was turned off. A wonderfully atmospheric walk on music played as Keane walked through the audience on to the stage; a nice touch. Soon thankfully, the fact this was a seating ground floor lost all meaning as the crowd stood. This was great, it struck me at the time as how rare this is, I could stand so close to a stage, and have so much room.

The show got straight in to full steam with the soaring (expect that word a lot, he has a soaring voice) You are young. The show carried on with always popular Bend and Break, before moving on to On the Road. On the road, is a song that can quickly warm up a crowd, and Tom Chaplin did his best to get the appreciative, but quiet crowd going. On the Road is a song with plenty of “Ohhh ohhh” moments for the crowd to sink there their teeth into. Soon any fears that I would be stuck seeing the back end of the band for the entire gig, had ended. After 3 songs; Tom had already done 100 laps of the stage, giving everyone a good view, we had seen Richard on the drums revolve round on a turn table, Tim on Keyboard change to a piano on the other end of the stage, and Jessie on bass, had done a few laps around also. This carried on throughout the whole show, the planning and rehearsal quality could clearly be seen. There was a real effort by the lads to make sure everyone got an equal amount of the view.

I had seen Keane live earlier this year, at the 02 academy in Leeds, it was great show. But comparing it to this arena version, would be unfair. It was a superbly designed set. Now It didn’t have the wow factor of bands that the likes of Muse have. But never-the-less, it looked great. It was a simple design to the one in Leeds just bigger, but the real difference was in the lighting. It was perfectly suited to each song. And from what I hear, it looked even better from further away from the stage.

KEANE 030

Once they played Everybody’s Changing, the set was in full swing. Slightly disappointingly though, was the lack of the audience’s going all in, when singing the song with the band. Though a deafening applause after the song showed how much the crowd appreciated the band. Half way through the set, there was a slow down in the pace of the performance, as Keane (and one song with just Tom Chaplin and a guitar) played two beautiful acoustic songs. Then the pace soon sped quickly back up with Disconnected.

KEANE 020

Tom Chaplin’s vocal were great as usual

Soon Keane pulled out the big guns, playing Is It Any Wonder, This Is The Last Time, and Somewhere Only We know. During which the stage took another slight transformation as huge spiralling pillars of light appeared from above the stage and came down. The main set ended with Bedshaped, I have mentioned before this is my favourite song, and it was great to hear the audience sing a long with this. Tom was great in getting the crowd involved, in a very Freddie Mercury way. He talks to the crowd through the whole set, and lets them feel that they are a part of something special and unique.

A little lighter of a shot

A little lighter shot

Of course as usual there, was a quick pause as the band took a few minutes to do the traditional encore. Once they came back on they played the emotional Sea Fog, the rousing and addictivly catchy Sovereign Light Cafe, and they finished on the rocky Crystal Ball. During Sovereign Light Cafe, 3 large disco balls descended. And of course these disco balls stayed for crystal ball.

This was an absolutely amazing gig, and if you see Keane are touring your town (or just close by) sometime soon, I would whole heartedly recommend seeing them. Even if you are not the biggest fan of the music itself, you won’t be disappointed with the performance.

Till next time Keane….

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Song of the month November 2012

Skyworld is a demonstration album by a music production company “Two steps from hell”. Being honest, I didn’t really know what demonstration album even was… but the album came recommend. So I gave it a listen, and all in all it is pretty good, it is like a soundtrack to a film… but the film doesn’t exist. So I can only assume this is a basically like an advertising pitch to film company’s. There is a few hit and miss songs on there, but I really enjoyed the first song.

Also I would like to see the film that skyworld could be the soundtrack too.

Top 5 albums of the 2000’s

Since I don’t rate my music knowledge enough, and feel I haven’t listened to enough of the ‘classic’ albums of the past decades… so I only feel confident enough to give a list of the last 12 years or so. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, but this is only my opinion and I think, sorry know that many, many people will disagree with it. Hell sometimes I disagree with it…

5) Hopes and Fears – Keane

The first album in my very fluid list of albums, is the début LP by piano rock group Keane. Before people shout ‘boring’ and ‘depressing’ at me very loudly (you know who you are), people should give this a full listen. Hopes and fears is chocked full of emotion and feeling. Of course there are the tacks that most people will know ‘Everybody changing’ and ‘Somewhere only we know’ but some of the best tracks on the album are the lesser known ones. The song ‘We might as well be strangers’ really stand out; it is a track that builds up slow and ends in an almighty vocal permanences by Tom Chaplin(even better live). Talking of Tom Chaplin, his voice soars throughout. The album has a real maturity from a band who were then very young and new to the music scene and is a great indicator of what the band still had to come.

Best Song – Bedshaped

4) The Archandroid – Janelle Moane

A few years ago I would have been surprised as anyone to see this on my list, but times have changed. I think I have posted before how I first got to know about Janelle Moane, through her musical appearance on Stargate Universe so I won’t dwell on that. I absolutely love the whole sci-fi (look at that metropolis inspired cover) theme of the album, there is a concept and a story to Archandrioid something very few albums do. I love Janelle’s voice, it is full of funk and rock and roll, yet it has truth to it that allows a story to be told. It is as if she is both singer and a voice actor on it. But it is a work of music and so it can’t be all story, there is some amazing song on this 18 track album! I can’t wait for the her next work, for the continuation of the story as much as the music itself.

Best song – Cold war

3) Origin of symmetry – Muse

There are few bands that are as fun as Muse. Origin of symmetry their second album is not only fun but has an epic quality to it. The great thing about it, is that there is not one weak song on the whole thing. Origin’s is arguable what helped Muse break into the mainstream and you can hear why after the first song. You can’t go wrong with most tracks, but the song ‘Plug in baby’ and ‘Citizen erased’ are obvious highlights. Although there is real joy when you play the album from track one to eleven. This is something that I found out in one of the best ways imaginable, as I saw muse play live their special 10th anniversary show of the ‘origin of symmetry’ album at Leeds festival. It was one of the most special gigs I have ever seen. They played every track in order and it really struck home to me, what a special band/album this is.

Best Song- Bliss

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2) Under the iron Sea – Keane

Yes it is Keane’s second album on the list! After their multi million début album, Keane really needed to come back with their second attempt with something very, very good. I believe that they did this with a proper ‘classic’ album. Keane were known for being a trio that never used guitars (not the case now), but that didn’t stop them from making a keyboard distorted to the point in almost sounds like a guitar, a technique that is used throughout. This made sure that the album was much more up tempo to the last outing. Not only does the album have some of the more rockier songs that Keane have done, but it also has some great emotional song which ‘Hopes and Fears’ had in the bucket load. It is the perfect blend of Keane’s two sides and it really is the best album that Keane have ever done.

Best song – Crystal Ball

1) The Suburbs – Arcade Fire

Arcade fire are a great band, they have over 100 members in their band (perhaps a slight exaggeration) and they make some sweet, sweet music. Arcade fire have had two, ‘fine’ previous album but the Suburbs (the 3rd) was the first album that just clicked. It is slightly more polished album, yet still keeps the rawness of their music intact. However, I don’t think that this is only things that makes this album so much better than their previous attempts. I’m sure there is lots of different things that make the difference; I am just not musically talented enough to work them out .
You know I am not much of a dancer, in fact a bad dancer a very bad one, yet sometimes (not when anybody is about, I hope) I find myself doing a little dance; albeit with my head, to this album…. I like to think that this is good sign. Every track on the suburbs builds on the last, layers and layers (like each song) of music creates a deep thought process in the listener. I like an album that gets me to think. This is another band that when you hear the music being played live you immediately feel closer to each song and to the band. It is not number one on my list for nothing, you should check it out. Actually if you haven’t already check out all the albums…

The best song – Them all, but Deep Blue

Song of the month – September 2012

I haven’t been into this band for long (less than a month) but I have to say I very much like them, I’m slowly attempting to get through their very large discography. But Of Montreal is their name, and so far what I have heard has been really great. I can’t seem to get this one song out of my head, so it is my song of the month.

A metal gear song of the month

A special song of the month to celebrate, and to say a little ‘thank you’ to a video franchise  very close to my nerdy heart. Metal gear, which is now over 25 years old.  Annoyingly, as I forgot about it, this post is a couple of days late of the actually date of the – but never mind.

Here is some great music from the franchise, it sums up emotion, action and energy of the series.

 

It might be a little strange to think that a video game franchise, is older than myself. However, my earliest memories of playing video games (on my sister’s PS1) were of Metal gear solid. At the age of 7, I first saw the advert on TV. And in a way only a 7 year old can, I somehow persuaded my parents to buy me this game – which was age rated at over double my age (granted that might have been slightly irresponsible but they are great parents). Ever since that time, Metal gear solid has been a huge part of gaming life – sometimes to a point of obsession.

Happy Birthday Metal Gear!!! And thanks for all the games

Well I guess it’s another song of the month……

I hesitate to call this a “Song of the month” not because it isn’t one, it clearly is but because it seems to be all I post nowadays. I’ve pretty much done next to no writing for an age, and of course that means this blog has suffered. In the last few weeks, I have gotten a new Job, so along with the lack of writing my free time has gone down the pan. But I don’t want to let this blog completley die, I do plan on writing again, I just don’t know when that will be.

Anyway I can’t seem to get this song out of my head…….