Live Review: Martin Harley Band / Andy Ruddy (The Boileroom, Guildford, 27/2/2015)

martin harleyI love seeing musicians progress in leaps and bounds – and Andy Ruddy has done exactly that. The last time I saw him live, Andy Ruddy seemed reserved and nervous – but both qualities have now been completely eliminated, replaced by a confident and strong yet still warm and approachable presence. With a strong stage show, great songs in the singer-songwriter vein, and an album on the way, 2015 is looking very good indeed for Andy Ruddy.

Martin Harley is a local legend, and it’s almost criminal that Continue reading

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Live Review: Cavalier / Bridges / Red House Glory (The Boileroom, Guildford, 25/2/2015)

Although I enjoyed Red House Glory‘s Foo Fighters-esque radio-friendly rock songs and decent vocal harmonies, and Bridges deserve recognition for their frontman’s emotive vocals and their unorthodox harmony guitars, I have a few things to get off my chest not only about Cavalier, but bands who come from a music-school background in general.

First off, I should say that I come from that background too – I did four years at ACM, and although when I put it that way it sounds like a prison sentence, it really Continue reading

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Grumble Bee – ‘Disconnect’

11025350_10203910477067134_927652912_oNine Inch Nails. Tesseract. You Me At Six. Strange stylistic bedfellows maybe, but Grumble Bee (aka ex-PaperPlane man Jack Bennett) has succeeded in welding them all together and creating something you absolutely have to hear immediately.

Two of my favourite TMMP genre categories are “Genre Terrorism” and “Complete Batshit Insanity” – and few acts fit those labels quite as snugly as Continue reading

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Live Review: Naomi Scott / Fifi Rong / Geovarn / Princess Slayer / Jungle Doctors / Bella Figura (Under The Bridge, London, 26/2/2015)

music week radarAs a music venue embedded into Stamford Bridge (the stadium called home by Chelsea F.C.), Under the Bridge was an appropriately unique venue for this unique show. An industry showcase set up by trade paper Music Week, networking hub MusicConnex, promoters ILUVLIVE, and south coast music school BIMM, it goes without saying that the high-profile nature of this show inevitably brought its own special set of performance pressures. A quality showcase set has the potential to push an act to the next level, while a duff performance can see a band crossed off “Ones To Watch” lists in the blink of an eye.

On top of the potential for mind-freezing attacks of performance anxiety, this was not Continue reading

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