Music

16 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Our Best Bits from the Brits

Last night the nominees for the 2015 Brit awards were announced, with some more surprising than others. English singer-songwriter Sam Smith is up for an impressive five awards, closely followed by Ed Sheeran who has been nominated for four. The rest of the nominations can be viewed on The Brit Awards 2015 website, and the winners for the ‘Best British Video’ and ‘Best British Breakthrough Act’ categories can be voted for there as well.

Historically, the Brits has been a celebration and commemoration of great British pop music, with a host of famous acts performing throughout the years. This year’s show will see Paloma Faith, George Ezra and Royal blood give memorable performances.

However, the flurry of fabulous outfits, emotional acceptance speeches and fantastic performances aren’t the only memorable moments of the Brits. We’ve listed five of our favourite controversial, entertaining and funniest clips of the ceremony throughout the years.

5. Harry Styles misses collecting his award.

At the Brit Awards in 2014, One Direction went on stage to collect an award for Best British Video and one member was missing. About halfway through the speech, Harry runs up towards the stage and apologises claiming he was late because he had to go to the bathroom!

4. A little known DJ thought he had won a Brit.

This also happened in the 2000 show. During the presenting of the award for ‘Best  British Sound Track’. The winner was Notting Hill; however a DJ named Brandon Block had a little too much to drink and was convinced by a friend that he had won. Let’s just say it was fairly awkward when he climbed up on stage, and nobody had any idea why he was there. He then attempted to start a fight with Ronnie Wood before being escorted off stage by security.

3. Liam Gallagher throwsIn  his Brit into the Crowd.

You can always count on Liam Gallagher to cause a stir . In 2010, Oasis won  Best Brit Album of the Past 30 Years and Liam came to collect the award. After thanking everyone in the band, except for  his brother who was the cause of the band splitting the previous year, he threw his microphone and then his award into the crowd. Host Peter Kay was less than impressed.

2. Russell Brand Hosting the Brits

It’s hardly surprising that Russell Brand caused controversy in the 2007 Brits, they must have known what they were getting themselves into as ITV received over 300 complaints about his bad taste jokes and Ofcom received another 100.

 

1 Adele’s performance of Someone Like You

This is perhaps one of, if not the most memorable performances in Brit history. In 2011, Adele performed her song ‘Someone Like You’ with just a piano accompanying her. This emotional performance caused sales of her single to skyrocket, leading to her securing a British number 1 for the song.

Make sure you watch 2015’s Brit Awards hosted by Ant and Dec and scheduled to air Wednesday 25th February, and let us know via Twitter and Facebook who you want to win.

 

 

 

 

 

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05 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

We Are The Ocean Review

WATO1

 

Boy Jumps Ship starts things off with a thunderous sounding set. With three voices melding together in harmonious wonder, they really know how to pack a punch. With songs like ‘Black Hearts Don’t Beat’ and ‘Call To Arms’ (off their EP which was released back in June), it’s a wonder as to why they’re opening support on such a small gig. It’s unfortunate for the band that the crowd are mostly hanging at the back, round the bar, and not enjoying the incredible set being played. For those who are paying attention, the band put on a show that could make other bands jealous.

Taking to the stage next, the Bath boys from Decade bring about a mix of pop-punky vocals set to a rock backbeat. With the crowd having almost doubled in size since doors, people are drawn towards the stage by Alex Sear’s easy charm and charisma – but it’s the power of his voice that truly steals the show. Every song they play sounds bigger than the venue, as if unable to contain the sheer energy coming from the band.

Opening with the epically sounding ‘Nothing Good Has Happened Yet’, We Are The Ocean really know how to put on a show and with a string of tours behind them since forming back in ‘07, they have a solid sound and an even more solid fan base. When vocalist, Liam Cromby, admits that his voice is worn out, we could be lead to believe he’s put on a half-hearted performance. Well that’s something that just isn’t true of him. His voice is strong and clear throughout the set, though he does ask for audience participation when he just can’t maintain it. Even if his voice does shake and crack in places, it doesn’t deter from the passion and raw power he possesses. The venue is electric, from the people pressed against the stage to the ones leaning at the bar, there doesn’t seem to be a single person not having an amazing time. New song ‘Sweet Little Lies’ (if I caught the name correctly) gets us all excited for what’s to come on the new album. With ‘Confessions’, Alfie Scully really comes into his own and shows us all just how accomplished a guitarist he is. The acoustic ‘Chin Up Son’ brings the set a much calmer, more intimate feel, with Cromby taking to the stage alone. This gets possibly the biggest sing-along of the night, with the crowd matching him word for word and even drowning him out in places. Seriously, if this is when his voice is less than perfect, I can’t wait to see them again when it’s not because his off day matches most vocalists’ good ones.

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08 December 2014 ~ 0 Comments

New Music Mondays – The Maine

Capture

With the gig downgraded from Academy 2 to Academy 3, the bands could feel a little disheartened but they don’t. Everyone onstage seems to be playing the gig of their life. With energy flowing and music playing, Academy 3 is electric.

Nick Santino’s set is rock’n’roll mixed with a country twang. Never have I seen one man and his guitar win over a crowd so quickly. He plays songs about love, loss and heartbreak – something we can all relate to. His voice sores around the venue, sounding like the perfect combination of broken glass and spun gold. As each song finishes, more and more people are watching in awe – with a few misty eyes spotted too.

For a band that are enjoying their first time playing here, Lydia certainly seem shocked by the amount of fans they have in the crowd. Leighton Antelman is an unlikely frontman but wins everyone over with his awkward charm and amazingly powerful voice. Keyboardist, Matt Keller, is a captivating man to watch. He seems to be playing like a man possessed. With ‘This Is Twice Now’, the crowd are completely hooked and singing along. This is a band that I cannot wait to grace our shores again.

With a crowd rushing towards the stage before you’ve even started, applauding the roadies, and generally becoming more impatient with every passing second, you know you’re onto a winner. The Maine are a band that have certainly grown with every album they’ve put out, and tonight’s show goes to prove it. Playing old songs with a new spin, showing just how much they’ve progressed. They are definitely a band that proves that you can stay true to your roots, without being scared to take chances and try new things. Unfortunately for the band, the venue’s sound quality starts off shaky and just doesn’t match up to their talent, leaving them sounding muddy in places – not that the rabid fans seem to mind, they’re clambering at the stage as if their lives depend on it – thankfully though, this seems to resolve itself after a few songs and it’s all good from there on out. The Maine are a band that really know how to captivate an audience. Everyone in the venue is dancing and singing along – even the parents waiting at the bar can’t resist tapping their feet along to the music. ‘Vanilla’ certainly has the crowd in the palm of their hand – even I can’t stop myself from dancing to it. Having played this venue 7yrs ago with The Academy Is…, the band play an amazing set filled with songs that other bands wish they’d written.

Check out http://shop.81twentythree.com/ and grab a copy of all three artists’ albums.

By Megahn Keene, SSR Music and Creative Industries Student

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20 October 2014 ~ 0 Comments

New Music Mondays – Me Vs Hero

 

Kicking things off are Simmer who run into technical difficulties straight away. This leads to an atmospheric instrumental number to fill time. When things are up and running, the band struggle to gain the crowd’s attention but soon hit their stride, around the third song in, and the reaction to their set is pretty good.

Landmarks_Photograph by Ben Sheridan

Next up are hometown boys, Landmarks (image on right) who show Sound Control exactly what pop-punk should be –loud, passionate and energetic enough to get the crowd bouncing. The vocal work between lead singer, Brad Shea and bassist, Adam Long is a beautiful combination of passion and power. The band manage to play catchy tunes without falling into the easy trap of sounding too much like every other band within the genre, bringing about a Set Your Goals feel to this side of the pond without losing their own identity as a band. With them taking to the studio in November to record their album, I have high hopes for what the finished product sounds like.

If I was giving an award for most energetic front man, Roam’s Alex Costello would win hands down. He’s a tiny powerhouse onstage and has the crowd lapping it up from the very get go. His stage presence reminds me of a younger Bert McCracken (The Used) with the way he blurs the line between band and fans. The band themselves bring out a different, little more aggressive , side of pop-punk with Charlie Pearson’s pounding drum beats shaking you to your very core (in the best possible way). Naivety seems to be a crowd favourite–with fans all clamouring to get closer to the stage. I just hope that when the band, inevitably, gain more exposure they don’t lose this intimacy with their fans.

Having released their long awaited second album ‘I’m Completely Fine ’just over two weeks ago, the Crowd is understandably raring to go when Me Vs Hero storm the stage. Sing-alongs, stage invasions and crowd surfers kicking the lighting rig (health and safety nightmare but the fan’s delight)….and it’s only two songs into their set. These guys show everyone just what the whole pop punk scene is about. A sense of community, of comradery, all wrapped up in a bouncy beat and a whole lot of fun.

Picture Credit: Ben Sheridan

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11 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Barclaycard Mercury Prize

mercury card

Last night the nominations for the 2014 Barclaycard Mercury Prize were announced. The Mercury Prize is an annual music prize awarded to the best album in the United Kingdom. The shortlist is selected by an independent panel of musicians, music executives and journalists. All genres of music are eligible for the prize as can be seen by this year’s nominations which showcase a variety of different music.

There are seven debut albums shortlisted this year, and five more established acts. The nominated albums include artists such as Bombay Bicycle Club, Nick Mulvey and previous nominee Anna Calvi. If you want to take a listen to those up for the award have a listen to our PureConnect Playlist.

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08 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Bestival – The Summer Festival Finale

bestival

This weekend played host to Bestival, one of the UK’s top summer festivals which takes place annually on the Isle of Wright. It’s seen by many as the finale of summer festivals and boasts a huge line-up. This year was no exception with a theme of ‘desert island disco’ which saw thousands of revellers don wacky costumes. With a multitude of live entertainment, dance stages and parades, Bestival really is a wonderful way to end the summer. Here were our favourites from the weekend:

Foals

Saturday night headliners Foals are recognised as being one of the UKs top live acts and they did not disappoint! Playing a steady 75 minute set, they hinted that their Bestival performance will be their last show for a while. Listen to them here.

Outkast

Legends of hip-hop Outkast also headlined at Wireless. They closed the main stage on Friday night, bringing out all their old hits such as ‘Hey Ya’ and ‘Ms Jackson’. The duo is considered one of the most successful hip hop groups of all time, selling in total over 25 million records. Listen for yourself, here.

 

London Grammar 

londongrammar

The melancholic London Grammar are relatively new in the music world with their debut album If You Wait released in late 2013. They have rocketed to success, their album selling over 356,000 copies and securing many spots in festivals all over the UK, including Glastonbury. They claimed their Bestival performance was the biggest crowd they have played for yet. Listen here.

 

Basement Jaxx

Electronic pair Basement Jaxx drew in the largest crowd with the audience taking up most of the field. They have been around for years, rising to fame in the 1990s and still going strong. They have just released their 7th album, Junto. Check it out here.

 If you’re missed out this year, don’t worry. We’ve have put together a playlist of all this summer’s top festival tunes so you can relive all the best moments of 2014.

What was your favourite festival song of the summer? Tweet us @PURE_insider, and we’ll pop it on our playlist!

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01 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

No Devotion – Sound Control

Cardiff-based, Samoans start things with a strange but wonderful mix of prog and math-rock, a genre that emerged in the late 80′s and that was influenced by both the intricacies of progressive

and avant-garde rock – King Crimson, Frank Zappa and 20th century composers such as Steve Reich and John Cage. With intricate guitars and extensive drum beats, they sound something like the lovechild of

No DevotionBiffy Clyro and Deftones.

With everyone gathered upstairs in Sound Control ,waiting with baited breath, No Devotion have a lot to live up to and even more to prove. With six amazing, accomplished, musicians it was never going to be a hard thing to  do. With this being only their second gig as a band, they start off a little shyly, but soon the nerves are shed and they play a tight set.

’10,000 Summers’ is hook central, and will certainly be one the fans will favour singing along to. The set does have some shaky parts, but that is to be expected with such a brand new project. With ‘Stay’, one of two tracks already heard by the public, Rickly spills his heart out to the world. The instrumental section really allowed the band to show off just how talented they are, with Luke Johnson drumming like part man, part machine. The band have strayed away from much of their older sound, but there’s still that catchy rock feel to them, bringing influence from The Cure as well as Rickly’s hardcore background. Everyone that managed to catch them on this tour should feel incredibly lucky, as I don’t see them playing venues this small again.Geoff Rickly is a solid frontman, having been around the scene for over 15 years, his vocals have a raw energy that just isn’t found in enough singers these days. Stuart Richardson’s pounding bass and the often, almost, duelling guitars of Mike Lewis and Lee Gaze sound like a harmonic war.

 

More of No Devotion’s music can be found here:

Follow No Devotion on Twitter 

All images © Meghan Keene

 

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01 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Conor Oberst – Manchester Cathedral

 

 Conor Oberst - CREDIT Butch Hogan

On first glance, Manchester Cathedral doesn’t look the most likely place to put on gigs. One girl in the queue actually asks, “would God approve of this?”, but with music bringing about a sense of belonging and community, it isn’t such a far stretch from religion in my mind.The crowd is an odd mix of people, ranging from middle class suit wearers just out of work, hipster students trying to outdo each other, and musicaficionados just wanting to hear the bands. But one thing does unite everyone, the love of music and the near desperation for Conor Oberst to play.

First at the pulpit is Dawes. Their soaring guitar solos remind me of ‘My Morning Jacket’. Although there are a few die-hard fans singing along, the rest of the crowd just doesn’t seem to be won over. This is a band with power and energy but they just don’t seem to be connecting with the majority of the crowd. Not sure if the lack of atmosphere is anything to do with the band personally, or if it’s down to the venue itself.

With the crowd so eager to see him, Conor Oberst has them in the palm of his hand before even stepping foot onstage. Within the first song he manages to whip the crowd into a frenzy. They clamber closer to the stage, clinging to each other, in hope of being nearer. His voice sounds like heart-breaking desperation, occasionally cracking on notes and tripping on words in his haste to get his feelings out. The feeling and presence is there in abundance though.

The atmosphere is almost tangible with the crowd swaying back and forth, singing every word at the top of their lungs. Some even begin to cry, overwhelmed by everything. This is clearly not just a gig but an emotional rollercoaster for some. Oberst himself plays like a man possessed, writhing around as if the music is too much for him to bear and must get it out in any way possible. The whole things seems suitably fitting for the venue; with the lighting bathing him in an eerie shadow, Oberst looks like a preacher commanding his congregation. His voice reaches every corner and echoes throughout the cathedral leaving everyone captivated.

‘Desert Island Questionnaire’ sounds akin to a battle cry, the words being almost spat out into the world for all to hear. With ‘Lua’ bringing the audience to a standstill with everyone silent as it’s delivered similar to a sermon. The members of Dawes, who are Oberst’s band for this tour, give the set such a grand and sweeping feel that it’s hard not to get caught up and go along with it.

His latest album, ‘Upside Down Mountain’, is out now on Nonesuch Records.

*picture credit: Butch Hogan

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06 March 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Pure and 7digital bring stereo back to the home

SXSW 2014 LogoSouth by South West (SXSW) is arguably one of the biggest events on the music industry’s calendar. The first conference was held in Austin in 1987 and ever since then has been a tool for creative people and the companies they work with to develop careers, to bring people together, to meet and share ideas. To give you an idea of how big the event is it started with 700 registrants with numbers now reaching 16,000.

Noam MeppenThis year Pure’s director of sales for the US, Noam Meppen, will be joining President of 7digital – North America, Vickie Nauman, for a panel to discuss the return of the home stereo.

The home is arguably the most natural listening environment for music, so how important is the return of the home stereo? As the digital age has advanced many technology innovators have prioritised connected mobile devices and services meant for people on the go. Households have found themselves neglecting their home stereo to make do with portable alternatives such as MP3 players, iPods and the like. However, as more connected speakers emerge, such as the Pure Jongo multiroom music system, listening is returning to the home.

As well as Noam, Vickie will also be joined on the panel by industry experts, Tim Grimsditch, Marketing Director for Spotify and John Hamm, CEO of Pono Music.

If you’re attending SXSW there are some great artists taking to the stage. As well as thousands of up and coming new acts and established artists, you can also see the likes of Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, London Grammar, Soundgarden, Pitbull and Keith Urban who are all playing the iTunes Festival at SXSW. If you can’t wait until then you can find these artists on Pure Connect now!

 

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02 December 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Jongo Bells, Jongo Bells, Jongo all the way……….

House party series – part 4

Jongo family with app

The countdown really begins now that we have a matter of weeks to go until the Christmas season is upon us. Want to invite friends around and liven up your living room with a few heart warming tunes?

The Jongo multiroom system is the perfect companion for throwing a party. You can’t be in all the rooms all of the time rigging up a wired sound system for a house party- this can prove messy.NEW

If you have a pair of T2, T4 or T6 speakers, why not separate them and have one in the kitchen and another in the living room?  You can even control the volume of the speakers individually. For example, lower the volume in the kitchen where most people congregate to chat and play it louder elsewhere. No more will the host have to stand by the music system for the duration of the party and stop what they’re doing when a request is made. They can simply tap their phone and select a track from wherever they are in the house. Your phone or tablet is the remote control.

To blast out those Christmas favourites why not try Jongo’s built-in stereo pairing feature and take advantage of the perfectly synchronised audio? By adding more speakers into the mix, an S3 on the stairs, a T2 in the bedroom you can really get the party started. Of course the S3 is portable too so there’s always the option to take the speaker outside.

So come on –  IT’S CHRISTMAS……!

For 10 reasons to choose jongo check out our why choose Jongo page…

 

 

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