NEWS: Rumer Announces Special St. James Church Concert

Rumer has announced a special London show at St. James Church on 24th May 2012. Tickets will go on-sale at 9am Friday 20th April and are available from www.livenation.co.uk and www.ticketmaster.co.uk. A brand new single, ‘P.F Sloan’, will be released via Atlantic Records on May 21. It is the first taster from a new record, ‘Boys Don’t Cry’, which is due on May 28, but has already gone Top 10 on Amazon’s pre-orders.

‘Boys Don’t Cry’ follows the breakthrough success of Rumer’s debut album, ‘Seasons Of My Soul’, which has sold over a million copies, earned Rumer two Brit nominations and also saw her scoop the Mojo Award for Breakthrough Act. Still, she is in no mood to rest up. With sessions dating back to 2007 (before she was even signed) and completed amidst touring worldwide, Rumer has spent the last year or so quietly completing work on a new album, ‘Boys Don’t Cry’: a stunning collection of lesser-known songs from the 1970’s, all of which were originally sung by men.

And it is the mysterious ‘P.F Sloan’ – of the album’s first single, and opening track – who arguably unlocks the meaning of ‘Boys Don’t Cry’. Sloan was a huge songwriter in his own right throughout the 60’s, penning Barry McGuire’s ‘Eve Of Destruction’ and composing the riff that would go on to become the Mamas & The Papas’ ‘California Dreaming’. Desperate to sing his own material, however, Sloan gave it all up to record as a solo artist, but failed to sell any records. He disappeared into obscurity, only to be remembered by Jimmy Webb’s own song, ‘P.F Sloan’: one songwriter’s bittersweet tribute to another, documenting the costs of being a true artist. “It’s a song about the great writers who have been forgotten, or sidelined by a commercially-driven music industry,” summarises Rumer. “I think ‘P.F Sloan’ sums up the whole album, and I love the idea of it being on the radio in 2012.”

As ‘P.F Sloan’ demonstrates, by using her nascent intuition, and applying a mixture of detachment and interpretative nous, Rumer may be poised to cast a generation of songs into a new light. The cast of characters included across the record is nothing short of formidable, spanning the likes of Todd Rundgren, Townes Van Zandt, Ronnie Lane (and Ronnie Wood) and Tim Hardin. Even the more well-known artists – Leon Russell, Isaac Hayes, Neil Young – have had their relatively forgotten tracks re-imagined.

Outside of their original context, though, the songs of ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ have proved timeless, and timely. For as the recording process unravelled, Rumer realised that a lot of the stories contained in the record had deeper, more personal echoes for her. Clifford T. Ward’s ‘Home Thoughts From Abroad’ and Paul Williams’ soaring ‘Travelling Boy’ were both about “this idea of the musician away from home, and the nostalgia that comes with that.” Other tracks, albeit via another author, touched upon those pressures of the last year or so. Rumer rightly describes tackling these songs as “like going into the heart of darkness.” And like ‘Seasons Of My Soul’ before it, ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ is a gorgeous listening experience, but one that contains layers of emotional impact, which emerge upon every revisit.

Describing ‘Boys Don’t Cry’, Rumer summarises: “this project is about passion, and paying respect to other people’s work. I went on a journey and this music tells that story.”

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NEWS: BONJAH Finally Hit The UK!

BONJAH are due to hit English shores for the first time as the band announce two London shows for 2012 – Nambucca on June 15th & Underbelly on June 16th.

The year started with a bang as the band saw in 2012 at Pyramid Rock Festival, joined the East Coast leg of the Big Day Out Australia and sold out their national summer tour.

Multi award nominated BONJAH formed in 2006 when the now much-loved four piece moved from New Zealand to Melbourne. Since then BONJAH’s powerhouse performances have earned them a reputation for being one of the most talked about bands in Australia. With a handful of EP’s and 2 albums under their belt BONJAH have sold over 20,000 units, performed at many of Australia’s premiere music festivals and relished in a flurry of street buzz earning them numerous nods from the industry including nominations for APRA’s blues n roots album of the year.

Don’t miss your chance to see why Rolling Stone Magazine nominated BONJAH for the ‘Artist to Watch’ award in 2011.

Their latest record ‘Go Go Chaos’ is out now on iTunes (worldwide).

NEWS: Madonna Adds Birmingham Date To World Tour

The Madonna Dance party keeps getting bigger with sell-out performances confirmed in Amsterdam, Berlin, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, New York City, Los Angeles and more. Confirmed today by Live Nation, UK fans have a third chance to see the Material Girl when she performs at NIA Arena on 19-July. Tickets go on sale Friday, 30-March, 9am.
The Madonna 2012 World Tour begins May 29th 2012 will stop in 26 European cities before starting in North America in August.   The shows will include arenas, stadiums and special outdoor sights and a return visit to South America as well as Australia where she has not performed in 20 years. A complete tour schedule follows this release.
Madonna’s newest release “MDNA” is already getting rave reviews as fans gear up for the world’s biggest dance party.
Still The Queen of Pop”  London Times
“Madonna is back at her absolute best with the biggest all-out dance album she’s ever made.”  The Daily Star
 “The album should be the spine of an incredible live show – just what her army of followers will want to hear.” The Sun.
MADONNA UK DATES
 
JULY
Tue                  17th                        London, UK, Hyde Park                                
Sat                   21st                          Edinburgh, UK, Murrayfield Stadium       
Thurs               19th                      Birmingham, UK,  NIA                              
Tickets will go on sale beginning March, 30. Tickets prices starting at £55.00 (Subject to booking fee) will be available atwww.livenation.co.uk
 
Madonna’s World tour 2012 is produced by Live Nation Global Touring

NEWS: Lauryn Hill Announces First UK Show In Five Years

Live Nation are excited to announce that Ms. Lauryn Hill will be playing a rare, one-off show in the UK this April 14th at the Indigo2 in London. This special show will see Ms. Lauryn Hill perform on UK soil for the first time in 5 years and will go on sale Friday 23rd March at 9am, available from www.livenation.co.uk
 
Ms. Lauryn Hill the American singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, academician and actress established herself in the music world as the lone female member of The Fugees, whose record sales would make them the second biggest selling R&B act worldwide since Michael Jackson. Lauryn launched her solo career with the release of the commercially successful and critically acclaimed album ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’. This album earned Ms. Hill a record breaking five Grammy Awards including ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best New Artist’.
 
Ms. Hill grew up in a home where the sound of music was a household staple and this love affair with music would extended in many different ways from jazz, to soul, to reggae, to rock and classical. These influences in turn would dramatically shape her approach to self expression and see her establish a powerful hybrid of musical influences.
After a four year hiatus post the release of ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ and a five year gap since her last UK performance it is a rare thing indeed to see Ms. Hill perform a headline show and truly something not to be missed.
 
Saturday 14th April                   Indigo2, London
 
 
Tickets go onsale 9am on 23rd March priced at £47.50 / £42.50 / £38.50 / (Limited £100.00) (subject to booking fee) and are available from www.livenation.co.uk

The Kaje talks slow burn success with Black Diamond Bay

Black Diamond Bay founder Jesse O’Mahoney is sat in a coffee shop in central London pondering his band’s recent good fortune. What had started out as just a musical experiment with close pal Tom Sidebottom, has mutated through the years and is currently a five piece Slo Mo House Band (Sidebottom is no longer in the live band, but still produces the group). Having just garnered their first spin on Radio 1 (“I Dreamt We Were Bank Robbers”), O’Mahoney is aware that everything might suddenly be jumping up to the next level – but he remains modest about their good fortune…

Can you tell us a little about how Black Diamond Bay has evolved through the years…

Me and Tom were in Leeds about four years ago, where we grew up together. We sat in Tom’s bedroom and wrote an album of songs which were originally intended to be an easy listening album. It was a sort of joke between us and it turned into something quite unexpected. It was kind of a slowed down dance music, using the digital elements of dance music. It has a more classical musicianship from Tom, who is a classically trained violin player and pianist. We were sort of surprised by the collection of songs we had created, so we decided to start playing them live. We soon realised that playing live as two people sat behind a laptop was as boring for the people watching as it was for us. So we decided to put a band together.

Tom taught at the music college in Leeds, Leeds College of Music, and so he had ready to access to some of the finest musicians around. So we essentially cherry-picked the best musicians we could find. We looked for people who we got on with, but were also great musicians. As a result they come from very different backgrounds musically, which I think has really helped the band overall. We have got an avant-garde jazz bass player, who is also a heavy metal man. The drummer who is heavy into cut-up electro and dubstep. The guitarist comes from a pop – Prince and Quincy Jones style background. Tom is classically trained. Agne comes from Lithuania and brings a touch of mysticism and magic with her. I came from a Bob Dylan/Neil Young, singer/songwriter area. That is what I listened to when I was writing stuff. I haven’t quite obtained their dizzy heights.

Once we had these musicians in place, we brought them in with the intention of playing what we had written. It took us a while as when we learnt to play those song, they evolved into something new – an album which we put out last year – but it was not until we got rid of those songs that we really came into our own. We are not trying to emulate something that Tom and I had done, we are doing something that works as the band. There is a lot more collaboration within the band.

How would you define the project in its current state?

I quite like likening us to Rutger Hauer’s character Roy in “Blade Runner” – an android wrestling with human emotions and trying to discover what it is to be human. He is trying to fool Harrison Ford (as Rick Deckard) into letting him live. Our music has always been a coming together of analogue and digital.

Our name Black Diamond Bay is a Bob Dylan song about the way human beings create stories as a way of creating pathos. Until you create that story around someone, it is just a name you can’t relate with.

Our sound has always been about that battle between the analogue and digital. How we express ourselves in the technical age through computers and guitars. How they sometimes clash and sometimes work. We have that synergy that works, but it is always the battle between the guitarist and bass player. So we are Rutger Hauer.

You have just had your Radio 1 debut – how do you feel about the exposure?

The exposure is an incredible thing. But it is hard not to be wary of it. These days everyone is very well versed in the world of music and the ebb and flow of support and interest from different people in the industry. We were building up really well this live show, between Leeds and London. We now have people who know our songs and sing them back to us during our show, which is the best thing ever. Then the exposure comes along and in some ways it can derail your slightly, as you get ahead of yourself. But it has been great to be heard and to get the response, but we have to not allow ourselves to think we are now an enormous pop band.

What would you say the band’s intentions are?

We are actually planning mass intergalactic domination. We are planning an invasion of Saturn next, we have had it with this country. We have used up all the natural resources. There is nothing left to conquer. Agne chose it, she saw it in a poster. We all wanted to go to Mars but she made the decision.

But seriously, we didn’t have management or much of a team around us in terms of PR. We didn’t have much of a strategy beyond building our live show. So now we have a lot of that coming together. We are putting out a release early next year and promoting that, just hoping we get an audience. We’d like to use the exposure to get some festival slots next year, as we feel that is somewhere we can be very succesful due to our expansive sound.

http://www.blackdiamondbay.co.uk

Words and Images: Jeremy Williams

LIVE REVIEW: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, o2 Academy (London), 11/12/2010

Maybe it is because the Rebels hail from San Francisco, possibly one of the coolest music scenes and their reputation is mutually impressive – developing their sound fast and touring with bands such as the Dandy Warhol’s and quickly earned brownie points as the new hope for American Rock music.

 Maybe it is because recent album, Howl, is under my list of “most-played” items.

 But for whatever reason,I was a little bit disappointed with my night with one of the coolest rock bands to play Brixton 02 Academy. The night started well with Whatever Happened to My Rock and Roll to which a small pit of moshers broke out whilst most people stood enthusiastically head-bopping. I was not one of these sophisticated few, but rather leapt up and down like the floor was on fire. Another highlight was Shuffle Your Feet which did get some people doing just that.

 However, as the night progressed it seemed most of the tracks were loud and fast and I craved the more subtle tracks such as the Line. Much of the night I felt as though I had gone to see my friend’s band at a local dive bar and as talented as they were, I’d rather have listened to them playing in their lounge.

If you like your bands louder than logical, this is the band to see live.

Reviewer:Dominique Gozdawa
Rating:3/5

LIVE REVIEW: Imelda May, HMV Forum (London) 08.10.2010

Killer voice. Killer style.

I had not heard of Imelda May before I saw her. And when I say saw, I mean blinded by.

Dressed in a fierce yellow dress and speaking with a thick Dublin accent, I thought she must have taken the sunshine from Ireland with her when she left. In a way, she probably did.

The youngest of five, Imelda grew up listening to rockn’ roll and blues. I imagine the first chance she got she pulled herself into tight bad-gal jeans and leopard prints and picked up the bodhran.

Even if you hated the rockn’ roll that rocked the world and breathe a quiet “thank you” every day for the fact that it has passed, you can’t deny this woman has a style all her own.  Re-awakening the spirit of she-rockers like Roberta Flack and Wanda Jackson and integrating bluesy rock with the 21st Century takes some work. And if you can do it in heels and a tight yellow dress, more power to you!

Imelda’s hypnotic control of the audience and beguiling presence would be enough to catch a fly on the wall of London’s HMV Forum in her honey-trap. But backed up by a stellar band including double bass and drums, guitar and trumpets, it’s safe to say you are in good hands from the get-go. Much to the delight of everyone around me, gems included in the evening are “Johnny got a Boom Boom”, “Love Tattoo” and too-cool-for-school rendition of “Tainted Love”.

I leave the Forum and step out into the night feeling like I just attended my very own prom, circa 1957. Shortly after I am followed by a mass of people from girls to grannies, who probably did attend their own prom in 1957. Everybody has a smile on their face. Everybody looks like an extra from Grease and I breathe a quiet “thank you” to Imelda May.

She gave us all a boom.

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Dominique Gozdawa

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