LIVE: Seafret, The Old Fire Station, Bournemouth (29/9/17)

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Seafret, Bournemouth, 29/9/17 (photo: Phoebe Reeks)

Acoustic duo Seafret returned to Bournemouth, this time to support Amber Run at the Old Fire Station as part of their current tour. Though it wasn’t a headline gig, they had a large number of dedicated fans singing along to songs including Give Me Something, Atlantis and Wildfire.

The majority of songs came from their debut album Tell Me It’s Real released in 2016. Their set also included unreleased track, Monsters which was well received by the audience. Continue reading

LIVE: Nick Mulvey, Lemon Grove, Exeter (2/10/17)

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Nick Mulvey, Exeter, 2/10/17 (photo © Sync Music Blog)

For the second night of an extensive schedule of UK, European and worldwide dates over the next couple of months, Nick Mulvey brought his show to Exeter, showcasing songs from his second album Wake Up Now.

As he promised when we chatted with him recently, the full band he worked with on recording the album transfers brilliantly to the live stage. For this show at Exeter Uni’s Student Union venue, the small, atmospheric space was packed out with a crowd drawn from across an incredibly wide age range, underlining the broad appeal of Mulvey’s unique sound.

Often categorised as folk, such a label doesn’t really tell the full story of this artist. Mulvey’s time spent living in Cuba a few years ago significantly impacted his creative leanings, with a somewhat exotic lilt to his phenomenal guitar craft. Right across his repertoire, there are hints of folk, sure, but there is also a real air of world music, along with touches of radio-friendly pop thrown in for good measure.

Among the set highlights were Unconditional, Myela and Imogen from the new album, while old favourite Fever To The Form, from his 2014 debut album First Mind, got the kind of enthusiastic reaction you would expect for what is one of his signature tunes. But he sent everyone home bouncing with Mountain To Move, the upbeat track that features the lyric from which the album Wake Up Now takes its name.

What Mulvey is particularly good at is conveying an on-stage demeanour that is as soothing, approachable and reassuring as his faultless vocal tone. That is one aspect of a winning combination – along with his meaningful songs of substance and highly accomplished musicianship – that sets him apart as one of the most creative contemporary talents around.

 

UPCOMING: The Hoosiers

The Hoosiers will celebrate the 10th anniversary of their debut album, The Trick To Life, with an extensive autumn tour across the UK.

The indie-pop outfit will play the album in full when they take in a stonking 26 dates between now and 6 November, including dates in Canterbury (3 October), Bournemouth (4), Guildford (5), Stoke (6), Coventry (7), Leicester (11), Oxford (12), and London (13). Full list of dates and tickets available here.

The Hoosiers – Goodbye Mr A

LIVE: Amber Run, The Old Fire Station, Bournemouth (29/9/17)

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Amber Run, Bournemouth, 29/9/17 (photo: Phoebe Reeks)

As part of their current tour, Amber Run took to the Old Fire Station for their first ever gig in Bournemouth. The band arrived on stage to a packed-out venue, full of committed fans who sang along to every song on the setlist.

The energetic and catchy Pilot opened the set, which got people pumped for the rest of the night. Following this was Spark, a clearly well-loved track from their debut album, with everyone screaming the lyrics. Fickle Game highlighted the musical bond between the band, as they performed together in what seemed their own little world. Continue reading

Caswell – Dance Sober

Caswell2Caswell has released new tune Dance Sober today. The track is taken from her forthcoming EP The Shadow Aspect, which is available for pre-order ahead of its release on 26 October.

Dance Sober follows Caswell’s previous single Animal. Showing a sonically lighter side to Caswell’s music, the track is a fresh slice of brooding pop though remains juxtaposed with her characteristically darker lyrics. The track is built on a slow burning groove that really gets under the skin.

Caswell grew up in Tulse Hill, South London, surrounded by music. Armed with her first microphone at just two years old, she subsequently taught herself the piano and began to formally study music. Drawing from influences as wide as Kate Bush, Jeff Buckley and Nina Simone, to Bjork and Erykah Badu, the singer-songwriter has honed a signature sound that is a cool blend of downtempo electronic soul and pop mixed with a hint of jazz.

Caswell – Dance Sober

GALLERY: SeptemberFest 2017

There was an eclectic mix of artists at the first ever SeptemberFest held at Donington Park in Derbyshire last weekend. Here’s a selection of some of the acts who performed during the event, including both emerging talents as well as big names from the past…

Photos: On Track Media UK

 

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INTERVIEW: Nick Mulvey

Nick Mulvey hits the road again next month. He spoke to Sync about latest album Wake Up Now, the pursuit of free expression, and how his new band has enabled him to open up a whole new set of possibilities…

NickMulvey-ApprovedTo say it has been a hectic year and a half for singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey would be something of an understatement. As if relocating from London to the countryside and becoming a father for the first time wasn’t enough, this month has seen the release of his second studio album – and a packed schedule of global tour dates in support of that album are about to kick off on 1 October.

But the 32-year-old has been energised by a wholly positive reaction to his latest set of songs. “It’s been really, really lovely,” he said. “On a personal level, I’ve lived with this album for a long time in terms of the writing of it. The build-up to releasing an album is a long one too, in this case all the way through May, June, July and then into August, and so the pressure ramps up a bit. It’s funny, I almost forgot during some of the more intense moments that the whole goal is to release an album.

“For me, it’s been a really lovely and necessary release in more ways than one. These songs are naturally a bit more provocative and maybe even a bit more divisive in terms of the subject matter, so there has been an interesting complexion to the response from people since it’s been out. But people have been letting me know they love it.” Continue reading

LIVE: John Legend, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff (19/9/17)

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John Legend, Cardiff, 19/9/17 (photos: Becca Egerstrom)

You only have to consider his list of collaborations to get the measure of John Legend. The Ohio-born singer’s roll call of team-ups has seen him working with the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lauryn Hill, Britney Spears and Magnetic Man over the years – among many others.

His current Darkness and Light tour has seen him take his breathtaking showmanship around the world this year and he was in top form for this Cardiff stop-off. Of course, his well-known hits figured prominently in the set, including Used to Love U, Ordinary People and All of Me. A dazzling backdrop of graphics and illusions accompanied him throughout, sometimes using visuals to emphasise some of the more serious points he wanted to convey, including his support of the Black Lives Matter movement during Wake Up Everybody. Continue reading

LIVE: R5, o2 Ritz, Manchester (20/9/17)

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R5, Manchester, 20/9/17 (photo: Becca Arnold)

American pop-rock outfit R5 rolled into Manchester for one of many shows on their extensive New Addictions tour. Fronted by Disney’s latest heart-throb Ross Lynch, the group got the sort of reaction you might expect from an audience whose demographic leaned heavily towards teenage and female.

But whereas many of the similarly hyped pop-rock bands are all production and little or no substance, the difference with R5 is that they really can put on a performance, and one that is every bit about the musicality as it is the showmanship. Sure Lynch is the focal point for many of the fans, but the band as a whole is a tight unit that delivers a strong and engaging set. Continue reading

LIVE: The Sherlocks, The 1865, Southampton (21/9/17)

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The Sherlocks, Southampton, 21/9/17 (photo: Phoebe Reeks)

Indie rock band The Sherlocks returned to Southampton to play a packed-out show at The 1865. The packed-out venue was full of excitement from the moment brothers Kiaran and Brandon Crook, and Josh and Andy Davidson stepped on stage. Last Night opened their energetic set, which got the crowd pumped. This was followed by other singles Escapade and Blue which both also went down well.

They continued to play tracks from their recently released debut album, Live For The Moment. Frontman Crook thanked the crowd for coming and especially buying the album and helping it reach the top 10. Continue reading

TAKE 5: SeptemberFest, Donington Park, 22-24/9/17

SeptemberFestThere’s an eclectic mix of music coming to what must be one of the final festivals of the year, SeptemberFest at Donington Park, Leicestershire, this weekend. From the brand new – including loads of local up-and-coming acts – through to some unashamedly retro and very familiar names, it would be hard not to find something you love here.

We thought we’d pick out five artists not to miss if you are planning on heading along. Tickets available here. Continue reading

LIVE: Banfi, The Joiners, Southampton (14/9/17)

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Banfi, Southampton, 14/9/17 (photos: Phoebe Reeks)

Pop-rock trio Banfi took to the stage at The Joiners in Southampton as part of their September UK tour. We first caught these guys live at Dot To Dot in Bristol back in May and they were one of the real gems of the line-up, impressing with an accomplished live show, so their tour was one we had to catch.

The set opened with Where We Part, a song which immediately got a cheer from the crowd and everyone singing along and dancing. This was followed by Answers and newest release, June.

A cover of Peter Gabriel’s Mercy Street came next, perfectly suited to their style and the delicate vocals of lead singer Joe Banfi. The band then continued to perform their original material, including signature tune Happy When You Go and Sync favourite She Comes Home. Banfi closed their set with Rosedale House with the crowd singing along and clearly gutted when it was all over.

Banfi are visibly at ease on stage, smiling and interacting with one another as well as the crowd. The band mentioned they have an album scheduled for release next year. If their live show is anything to go by, it’ll be an absolute must-have.

Review & Photos: Phoebe Reeks

LIVE: Yonaka, Bestival 2017, Dorset (10/9/17)

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Yonaka, Bestival 2017 (photos: Phoebe Reeks)

Alt-rock band Yonaka were one of the first bands to play at this year’s Bestival 2017, with an exciting performance on the Invaders of the Future stage. Both the energy of lead singer Theresa Jarvis and heavy guitar hooks got the crowd jumping and moving along to a dynamic performance.

The band performed several unreleased tracks as well as Drongo and newest single Wouldn’t Wanna Be Ya. They drew a wide-ranging audience to this early set, including plenty of committed fans at the front who knew every word of every song. Towards the end of their set, Jarvis leapt from the stage and down into the pit, screaming lyrics from Ignorance to fans in the front row, before the band wrapped things up with final song, Bubblegum.

Yonaka’s set was high tempo energy at its best, and a great way to kick off a weekend of live music.

Review & Photos: Phoebe Reeks