London Grammar return to Manchester’s O2 Apollo for a second sold out show this week and the atmosphere is already electric as the trio head on to stage.
Throughout their set they have a perfect balance of tracks from their debut and recent album Truth Is A Beautiful Thing. But judging by this crowd you wouldn’t think it was released just over four months ago, because they know every single world. Frontwoman Hannah Reid herself notes that Manchester has been the loudest of the tour so far and it’s believable.
They play a stunning version of the album’s title track which sees Reid head to the piano and showcase her huge vocal range in an emotional performance before playing fan favourite Hey Now, which sees the group visibly impressed by how loud the audience are. Continue reading
The Big Moon‘s tour comes to a conclusion next week, with the intrepid foursome having been on the road for almost a month. Conor Giblin caught up with Juliette Jackson and Celia Archer from the band back at the start of their run of dates to chat about their Mercury Prize nomination, the experience of touring with Marika Hackman and plans for the future… Continue reading
We like to pay fair attention to new bands here at Sync, and they don’t get much newer than Fire On The Roof. The Cardiff four-piece formed earlier this year and have just released their self-titled debut EP.
Luke Prior fronts the show, He is flanked by ‘crazed Lithuanian axe wielder’ (their words not ours!) Artūras (Guitarthur) Eidukas, and Conor Kelly from the darkest depths of North Wales. Welsh Cypriot Tony Haralambos keeps the beats on drums.
Hearing how polished they sound after just a few months as a band, we simply had to find out more about these chaps – thankfully they were happy to oblige with a chat… Continue reading
Steadily gaining profile, Avante Black have been on our radar for a good long while now. Former tracks Drug Money and Make A Mess have both featured on past Sync Lists and it’ll come as no surprise to know that latest single Acid Love will be appearing on the next one when our latest playlist is unleashed upon an unsuspecting world next week.
This four-piece London-based collective – fronted by Swede Ottilia Zimmerman Kjulsten – clearly have that knack when it comes to catchy yet slightly leftfield pop, and they’ve struck gold again with this one. It’s delicately and neatly produced, with smooth, confident vocals, and strong earworm-quality hooks.
Don’t miss the chance to catch them for an intimate show at London’s Servant Jazz Quarters on 11 December – tickets here.
Avante Black – Acid Love
This new tune from French producer Darius (aka Terence N’guyen) is our Friday vibe this week. Lost In The Moment is the lead single from his debut album Utopia, out on 24 November.
Darius – Lost In The Moment (ft. Wayne Snow)
Midway through a huge month-long European tour, Australian group Tora came to London’s Lexington for a sold-out show full of sublime tunes from start to finish.
The quartet from Byron Bay – Jo Loewenthal, Jai Piccone, Thorne Davis, Shaun Johnston – are entirely DIY in their approach, seamlessly blending electronic production with organic instrumentation to create an immersive and wholly engaging sound.
There’s a soulful groove to what they do – something that comes through loud and clear on listening to their debut album Take A Rest. But the live proposition elevates things further still, enabling you to feel as much as hear the music. Continue reading
It has been a pretty incredible 12 months or so for 22-year-old Londoner Dua Lipa. Her rise from relative unknown to major recording artist has come quickly, helped in no small part by an album packed with material that ranks among the most accomplished British pop music of recent years.
Her current ‘Self Titled’ tour – so named since her debut album is indeed self-titled – has seen her packing out venues around the UK with most dates sold out soon after going on sale. In Bournemouth, the clamour was clear, with the queue to get in going around the block. Once the show started, it became clear that the hype had plenty of substance behind it. Lipa was super-energetic, putting plenty of oomph into her performance throughout and transmitting that energy to the audience.
Her set saw her perform most of the tracks from her debut LP, including opener Hotter Than Hell, Blow Your Mind (Mwah), Be The One, and the collaborative tracks that have helped her raise her profile so effectively this year, namely Scared To Be Lonely, and No Lie.
This was a high tempo, superbly polished display, with Lipa’s wide range vocals flawless throughout, and a visual spectacle emphasised by a slick lighting set-up. It’s all a far cry from when we first saw her live back in 2015, performing at Bristol’s tiny Start The Bus venue (now HY Brasil Music Club) in front of a modest crowd of around 100. Although there was nothing lacking in her performance that night, she has certainly grown in stature and as a performer, with her strong material and powerful live show elevating her to the big league.
She wrapped things up with New Rules, arguably the best pop track of the year so far. It was also Dua Lipa’s first UK number one… and almost certainly it won’t be her last.
Photos: Becca Egerstrom
This year marks the 10th anniversary of The Hoosiers’ debut album The Trick to Life. They returned to Bournemouth to play at The Old Fire Station as part of their massive 27-date tour to mark the occasion.
Though the band’s line-up may have changed over the years – now the core being Irwin Sparkes (lead guitar) and Alan Sharland (drums) – this doesn’t stop their energetic performance or ability to interact with the crowd. The duo and their touring band took to the stage dressed in a range of bright colours with the crowd cheering in excitement, before opening with the classic Worried About Ray.
This was followed by Worst Case Scenario, where frontman Sparkes got the crowd involved, clapping along. The band rattled through their debut album in its entirety, with fans of all ages singing along to all the hits, including Goodbye Mr A and Cops & Robbers. Continue reading
Here’s one for the jazz cats. Glowrogues are a Manchester-based group of phenomenally talented musicians, led by drummer and composer Jim Molyneux, bringing together jazz, hip hop and funk, with tight horns and serious grooves.
Drawing on their inspiration from artists such as The Cinematic Orchestra, Snarky Puppy and The Robert Glasper Experiment, the band is made up of budding talent from Manchester and Birmingham’s jazz scenes, featuring members of Cinematic Folk Septet The Old Dance School, the Beats & Pieces Big Band, as well as members of experimental jazz fusion trio Apes Grapes.
To mark the release of their new live album, they’re hitting the road. Do catch ’em live if any of these tour dates are anywhere near you: Liverpool (10 October), Manchester (12), Newcastle (16), Leeds (17), Durham (18), and Edinburgh (19). Ticket details here.
Glowrogues – White Lie (Live)
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
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.
Another beauty of a track from Bristol-based duo Meadowlark is latest tune Sunlight.
The video was directed by Meadowlark’s own Dan Broadley who, as well as playing in the band, has produced videos for the likes of Don Broco, Lower Than Atlantis, Mallory Knox, as well as the majority of Meadowlark’s catalogue. Continue reading
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
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
Brand new from Montréal-based duo Haute is Shut Me Down, a suitably slick vibe for the onset of a weekend we feel.
Haute – Shut Me Down