LIVE REVIEW: Il Divo, L.G. Arena (Birmingham), 14.04.2012

Classical man-band Il Divo have exceeded all expectations. Formed by Simon Cowell almost nine years ago to cash in on the popularity of the pop-opera wave, led by Andrea Bocelli, the multi-national quartet are clearly counting their blessings. As they take to the stage accompanied by a 35 piece Orchestra to perform for the sold out Birmingham audience, they launch into a standing ovation worthy rendition of “Come What May (Te Amara)”, which is met by rapturous applause by their hungry audience.
While they initially veer away from chit chat, with somewhat awkward explanations interjected between songs, they build steadily to the opening act highlight-a chillblain inducing rendition of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”.
With the audience eating out of the palm of their hands, they draw act one to a close with their first standing ovation of the night.
As they return to the stage for the second act, their general demeanour is far more relaxed and it is clear that they are determined to enjoy the second half as much as their audience. The relaxed presence of the performers prompts raucous screams for a wanting audience, who are thrilled by the new banterful approach.
With the second half acting as a celebration of their finest release to date, 2011’s “Wicked Game”, the evening takes on a very personal feel-with proud new Daddy (for the third time) Sébastien Izambard enchanting the audience with nursery rhymes-and most importantly a birthday cake to celebrate David Miller’s 38th birthday.
With the audience interaction crescendo-ing, the boys evoked the full spectrum of emotions from their attentive audience as they journeyed through “Crying”, “Mama” and “Hallelujah” before concluding proceedings with a clear fan favourite “Somewhere”.
With the audience stomping for an encore, their wish is granted as the quartet  return with a rousing rendition of the Bocelli classic “Time To Say Goodbye (Con Te Partirò)” that induces the first sing along of the evening as the loyal fanbase bid farewell to the musical maestros.

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Anna Brown

The Kaje Sessions: The Static Jacks

The Kaje Sessions presents The Static Jacks. New Jersey quartet The Static Jacks (singer Ian Devaney, guitarist Henry Kaye, guitarist Michael Sue-Poi and drummer Nick Brennan) started out life as Waterdown Clockwise, but have been performing under their current name since 2007. With their debut album ‘If You’re Young’ finally unleashed for public consumption back in August, the boys visited the UK with current single ‘Mercy, Hallelujah’ in hand and ready for attention. Here at The Kaje we were very lucky to bag this sensational rendition…

Where did you record The Kaje Session?

We recorded The Kaje Session in the showroom of The Social in London.

What made you choose to use this location?

We had just arrived at the venue to load in for that night’s performance, and we really liked how dead and metallic the whole place looked.  I felt like we were in a butcher’s freezer.  If only there were frozen meats hanging from the ceiling.

What is the most unusual live date you have ever played?

Our first date opening for The Wombats in Washington D.C., USA was pretty strange.  We were running extremely late due to van issues.  And we arrived two minutes after our scheduled set time had started.  We literally ran on stage, the venue crew grabbed all of our grew, threw it up with us and suddenly we were playing in front of 700 people.  I remember just running in the back door on stage with my guitar not really knowing what to expect, and stopping dead in my tracks as suddenly there was a room full of people screaming that we had entered.  It was wild.  I felt like The Beatles in “A Hard Day’s Night” or something.

What made you choose “Mercy, Hallelujah” for the session?

“Mercy, Hallelujah” just came out as the AA side of our single release in the UK with Laissez Faire Club!

NEWS: Alexandra Burke Announces Her First UK Tour

The UK’s pop goddess Alexandra Burke is set to light up the UK as she announces her debut UK tour will take place at the start of 2011. The ‘All Night Long’ tour will see the songstress play a massive 18 dates around the country starting in Glasgow on 20 January 2011 and visiting Harrogate, Ipswich, Swindon, Bristol, Plymouth, Cardiff, Birmingham, Nottingham, Sheffield, Newcastle, Manchester, Blackpool, Liverpool, London, Bournemouth, Brighton and Wolverhampton.  Alexandra Burke will hit the road to bring her fans a spectacular gig with show stopping routines and sensational performances of all her much loved songs and hit singles!

Tickets go on sale on Friday 10 September priced from £25 – £30 (excluding booking fee) and are available from / 08444 775 775.

Full tour dates:

20     Glasgow   Clyde Auditorium
21    Harrogate   Centre
22     Ipswich    Regent
24    Swindon   Oasis
25     Bristol    Colston Hall
27     Plymouth   Pavilions
28     Cardiff    Arena
29     Birmingham  NIA
31     Nottingham   Royal Centre

1     Sheffield   City Hall
3     Newcastle   City Hall
4     Manchester   Apollo
7     Blackpool   Winter Gardens
8     Liverpool   ECHO
10     London    HMV Hammersmith Apollo
12     Bournemouth  BIC
14     Brighton  Centre
15     Wolverhampton  Wolves Civic

Having won the fifth series of The X Factor, Alexandra Burke released her A-list produced debut album ‘Overcome’ in 2009.  The album went straight to Number One in the UK and has already born four huge chart hits including her tour’s title ‘All Night Long’, ‘Broken Heels’ and two number one singles ‘Hallelujah’ and  ‘Bad Boys’ featuring Flo Rida. Created with the help of perhaps the industry’s most in-demand production houses (Roc Nation and Jay-Z, The Phantom Boyz, Red One, Ne-Yo and Stargate) the album has already sold in excess of 600,000 copies in the UK alone, already making it a double platinum selling album. Her success doesn’t stop there. Having been nominated for a BRIT Award for Best British Single in 2009 and 2010, Alexandra Burke picked up the coveted Glamour Women of the Year Award for Best Newcomer in 2010.

After ruling the airwaves for weeks with her last Top Five hit single, Alexandra Burke delivers her next, all new smash ‘Start Without You’ released this week. Fusing traditional reggae influences with dancehall beats and power-pop melodies, the track has already caused a long-lasting heat wave when it hit the radio playlists…

…And the heat wave will continue into 2011 as pop-deity Alexandra Burke sets off on her first ever UK tour that will have venues around the UK blazing ‘All Night Long’!
For more information visit:

What is wrong with a little cover??

It’s a well known fact that just because you know how to sing, carry a tune on a guitar and have some spare time on your hands, you shouldn’t launch yourself into the art of the song cover. 

Just to prove our point we have picked out some prime examples of this law, even going as far to locate the evidence (just click the links to see the covers):- 

  • Celine Dion and Anastacia’s take on AC/DC’s classic “You shook me all night long” which will forever have us questioning the crowd – why did you cheer?! Peer pressure maybe?
  • Avril Lavigne taking on System Of A Down’s “Chop Suey“, granted this was some time ago and never made it past her gigs, is a special one – we really had to think about what the song was as it’s not immediately obvious.
  • Snoop Dogg taking on Metallica’s “Sad but true” leaves us with a  few words to say on the subject, “it certainly is sad but true”. Metallica’s own Lars Ulrich is front and centre nodding along at the time, and we can only think he didn’t notice the verbal typos from everyone’s favourite rapper.

There are many others, and the above are not the top 3 we hasten to add – just amusing/cringeworthy! And so, just in case you were giving up the faith, we have gone and tracked down some covers which we feel actually has some backbone to them. First up, Kina Grannis, the US singer-songwriter with a beautiful, emotional version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. Stripped back in the Jeff Buckley fashion she stamps her own mark on a classic. For a singer-songwriter who typifies her music as “both sweet and melancholy, but always filled with hope. She’d want you to know that she saves drowning honeybees from pools whenever she gets the chance”. 


If you think that covers are something of a fad of late, then you would be wrong. One of the greatest covers, in our humble opinion, would have to be The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s 1968 version of “All Along The Watchtower”. Bob Dylan’s 1967 track was turned into a track of anthemic proportions. 


Both Grannis and Hendrix have shown that at different ends of the musical scales, a good cover is possible – you just need to work to your strengths. 

OK, so not everyone will agree with us – that’s fine – but think about it…can you remember the last cover you heard and really enjoyed? That’s a good cover!

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