Category Archives: Live Reviews

Live Review: Teddy Rocks Festival 2017

The Bottom Line

Teddy Rocks Festival totally blew me way last weekend, some of the most UK’s up and coming and renowned bands came together all for one special cause. Just to put it in context, the festival started with a small gig in 2011 to raise money for Teddy20, a children’s cancer charity founded by Tom Newton and his family after he lost his 10 year old brother Ted to a very rare bone cancer. Now Tom has brought together a family of rock to help him achieve the charity’s dream and this year was their best year yet as they raised an incredible £76,659! Despite the festival being fairly small, it created an amazing community and I managed to make so many friends which I struggle at times at festivals.

Home Wrecked

The first band I managed to check out on the Friday was pop punk band Home Wrecked who completely owned the Vocalzone stage. The South Yorkshire band played Common Ground and from the start you could tell that these guys had plenty of potential! They finished on Anxious Minds Think Alike which was another great track from the guys and they certainly kicked off a great evening of rock. Check out a recorded live stream of the band below!

Next up, I managed to catch New Forest pop rock band Natives as they played one of their upcoming singles Pray which was a real treat for everyone who turned up to watch them on the Ted Newton stage. They also played a classic of theirs which was Passion and lead singer Jim Thomas started to rule the stage. We managed to catch Chasing Lions which you can check out below.

Then for me, the best band on the night then took to the same stage as lead singer Sammy Clifford and WSTR showed the festival exactly what pop punk was and knew how to get a crowd going. They played Featherweight from their latest album Red, Green or Inbetween. 


Sammy summed up the festival in three words which was ‘Fucking Great Cause’ as they then played their shortest song Gobshite before playing Graveyard Shift from their debut EP SKRWD What more they even gave Teddy Rocks Festival an exclusive with the first time playing Eastbound & Down live. And you can check out Graveyard Shift live below!

As Oasis tribute act headline Oas-Is finished at the Origin Stage, which was also home to a great bar, Twin Atlantic then took to the Ted Newton stage in style after fellow Scotsmen The Xcerts entertained a lively Teddy Rocks crowd. As a big crowd started to gather the main stage, lead singer Sam McTrusty, put on one hell of show alongside Barry McKenna on guitar, Ross McNae on bass and drummer Craig Kneale. As they played  songs from their latest album GLA and played their classics Crash Land  and Hold On. The flame managed to warm the crowd up as the Scottish alternative rock band played their hit song Heart and Soul which was a perfect way to end the Friday.

Twin Atlantic

Of course Friday wasn’t totally finished as the unique silent disco then came to life as the enclosed area was surrounded by trees and played some classic tunes on the earphones. What more I was surrounded by some really nice people which was the main theme of the festival.

As I slowly woke up and took a bus down to Blandford Forum for an amazing price of a £1 donation (many gave more) each way, I knew I was in for a real treat throughout the day. I managed to catch The One Hundred at the Ted Newton stage which created a real big crowd for their set. Not only that but it created a sick mosh pit which I think the festival was lacking on Friday. With the flames flowing out of the stage, The One Hundred managed to bring their catchy songs with a mixture of metal and I can honestly say I was impressed by these guys. The band then played their new song Monsters before the amazing Kingsmen and Downfall which you can check out below!

After that great set, I decided to check out The Vocalzone stage once again as Metalcore outfit High Rise took to the stage. The band played Memories and then Reborn off their latest EP Left It For Everything. Despite not having many people watching at first, lead singer Jovic Staddon totally owned the stage by the end as people walking past began to see how much energy these guys had. Check out the band below!

Now a very special pop punk band The Bottom Line then took to the Ted Newton Stage and got everyone on their feet with the festival organiser Tom taking to the stage on guitar. With lead singer Callum also helping Tom organise the event, it was a very special and emotional moment for the band and the crowd. The pop punk band played one the first Teddy Rocks Festival  which was merely in a pub, and to see it grow so much, it was an amazing feeling to part of.

A cheque being donated to Teddy20 live on stage

They also played a great cover of Smash Mouth’s All Star as they played songs from the latest EP I Still Hate You and of course their debut album Role Models. A kid called Tyler then walked on the stage as the band introduced him and revealed that he raised an incredible £515. Check out their All Star cover below!

Next up was Long Island band Patent Pending who just finished their UK tour and it was certainly a perfect way for them to end it. Patent Pending played their classic song Psycho in Love as lead singer Joe really got everyone on their feet and singalong to their songs. What was great was that everyone just had smiles on their faces and this takes a very special band like Patent Pending to do so.

Myself (Kieran James) and lead singer Joe of Patent Pending checking out the bands before

The band usually play a game of International Crowd Swimming as Joe challenged organiser Tom to a race to the stage from the crowd. This is something Joe won but really the true winners was the festival. Patent Pending managed to create a mosh pit with the lively crowd as they then played one of their more well known songs Let Go. These guys have been going for a fair bit of time now and it wasn’t surprising that Joe managed to get everyone doing jazz hands. What was even greater about their set was that Joe took around two minutes of his time to talk about how great the festival and cause was and spoke very fondly of organiser Tom which brought a fair few to tears.  The band ended on Hey Mario and Douchbag. Check out some crowd surfing as they played I Already Know (She Don’t Give A Shit About Me)

I went back to the Vocalzone stage after this as Southampton band Our Hollow Our Home set to completely dominate the stage as a rowdy crowd went on to mosh throughout. Also on the stage beforehand saw the brilliant I, The Mapmaker and Griever who were fairly local to the festival coming from Bournemouth. Lead singer David Seymour certainly used his powerful force to get the crowd behind him as the band played the likes of A Pure Heart and others.

Our Hollow Our Home

David also joined Our Hollow Our Home on stage which was awesome to see and the heavy metalcore band played songs from their new album Hartsick which went down a treat and created a lot of buzz throughout the festival.  You can catch a snippet of their set below!

Dubstep and electronic band Modestep finished off the night on the Ted Newton stage as they knew how to get everyone into the festival mood with classics such as Another Day and Sunlight. There were a lot of people there, the crowd was just constantly on their feet dancing a long to some of the sickest beats the festival has every heard. Despite not being a huge fan of the band before they managed to convert me and I can honestly say I enjoyed every minute of it. As Saturday began to close, I managed to catch a little bit of Sunday’s wet weather before going home.

With Sunday seeing the likes of Fort Hope, VANT and Pop Rock band Scouting For Girls, it was a shame I had to miss it. Despite this however the festival was one of the best experiences I personally have ever had and it with being so intimate, I predict this festival getting bigger and bigger. Teddy Rocks Festival certainly deserve some national acknowledgement and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are to win a national award for the three days. This festival is an emotional roller coaster with an inspiring story so make sure you donate to Teddy20! Check out a gallery of the festival below!

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Live Review: Patent Pending at Southampton’s Joiners

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Patent Pending (photo by Ben Smith)

Pop Punk Rockers Sweet Little Machine started off the night with full of energy as a packed Southampton Joiners enjoyed every single track from the Sheffield based band.. Bass player Lucie Patrick was particularly awesome alongside lead singer and guitarist Alex Lantrua Kissack who provided great stage presence throughout . Alex was so energetic and engaged with the crowd throughout the show, and you could really see an influence of Green Day  many more to his style. The singer got the whole crowd clapping with their catchy songs and got a one word singalong track as the crowd repeated the word ‘world’. These guys are certainly one to look out for in the world of rock. The band then played Dickwad Prick Face’ which was about hating someone and they normally sing about love songs. They played a brand new track called Hurricanes as well Monsters  for their second to last song which was awesome to see and provided a lot of fun and energy once again. The last song they got the crowd singing like they did all set by shouting the words ‘Na Na Na Na’ and it was a perfect way to send a really great set.

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Sweet Little Machine  (photo by Ben Smith)

Boy Jump Ship were up next and they really had a punk element to them. Seeing they only joined Patent Pending on tour the evening before, it was great to see how natural they were and it looked they had been touring for the whole duration. Lead singer Si Todd’s vocals was on point and really got the crowd going as they played songs from their debut album Wake UpSi announced it was just over a year since they released their debut album and recently they went to the studio for a few weeks and recorded new songs. On the night the band had 100 printed CDs of these song which are not out until later this year. The band played Make you Proud this was a real anthem. Lead singer Joe Ragosta from Patent Pending joined them on stage for the song and it was a truly memorable experience. 

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Boy Jumps Ship  (photo by Ben Smith)

Patent Pending were insane from start to finish as they interacted with the crowd and lead singer Joe dived in straight away. The singer announce that last time they played Southampton it was one of their worse shows because of their equipment failing but after the first two songs, it was already way better. The Long Island band then played I Already Know (She Don’t Give a Shit About Me) as they showed off their weird and wonderful lyrics which was a true treat for all fans. 

The Whiskey, The Liar, The Thief  then followed and you could tell that Joe does love a stage dive and this was another song he had interacted with his sweaty self as was as described as a cabbage patch kid when getting back up again. He really was hilarious throughout the show and in between songs and get the crowd to do Jazz hands with Let Go. 

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Patent Pending

Patent Pending then played Psycho in Love and during the song Joe played the 2017 crowd swimming championship where Sweet Little Machine drummer Joel Elsom and th lead singer crowd surfed to the stage and Joel beat him again and got a kiss for his troubles. 

Shortly after the band played a very personal song for Joe as he has ADHD as they played  Started in my Head which they got the crowd to shout ‘Here We , Here We Here We Fucking Go’. With a new cover album set to be released titled ‘Other People’s Greatest Hits’, the band then played Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up for one of first times live and it went down really well with the crowd.  Patent Pending played classic songs such as Hey Mario and Douchebag on a night where the Southampton crowd clearly enjoyed every single minute of it.

Live Review: Torcoda Fray at Southampton’s Joiners

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Torcoda Fray

Eastleigh band Torcoda Fray played their first ever gig at Southampton’s Joiners last night (26th April) as they released their debut EP Ace. The night started of with duo Marty Mayhem and The Liabilities, King and Conqueror and singer songwriter Ten Tonnes (Ethan Ezra, brother of George Ezra).

Torcoda Fray’s guitarist Matt Geer, bassist Callum Waldron, lead singer Tom Farmer and drummer Ben Smith then took to the stage as over 100 fans swarmed towards the stage to check these guys out for the first time. The band started with Cheap Thrills which is a brand new song that doesn’t feature on Ace. The song was a solid addition to the set and certainly gave a taster of what Torcoda Fray had in store for their fans. You could tell all four members of the band gave 110 % as they looked to get everything right for their first show. Tom’s vocals were on form throughout the evening as they played Addicted To Your Sting, which was more familiar to the crowd with it featuring on their debut EP.

Torcoda fray
Guitarist Matt Geer (left) and lead singer Tom Farmer

Another two songs from Ace was then performed as the band sung Cassie and Change in Me that really got the Southampton crowd excited and created a real buzz with Tom, who announced he was getting married this weekend,  getting the crowd to clap throughout. Drummer Ben Smith was fantastic throughout and added his own twist at the end of each song and perfectly created a great rock atmosphere. With guitarist Matt and bassist Callum adding some killer riffs, you could tell that Torcoda Fray are one of those bands with plenty of potential. They played Trick which was another new song before they played Bullpit which lasted a little over two minutes but within them two minutes, The Joiners experienced a more heavier side from the band. As soon as the track played, fans tried to begin a mosh pit and they succeeded after a while and this happened once again with their new track Harlott. With the band already releasing Lions At The Gate last month, you could tell that this song was well received when they played it and this was the penultimate song on the night. The evening ended with Lift Up The Sky which although does not feature on Ace, it was a nice addition to the set and ended a really good starting gig for the lads.

Live Review: While She Sleeps at Southampton’s Talking Heads

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I had the opportunity to experience an atmosphere so extraordinary and unforgettable with the adrenaline was being so alive as I caught While She Sleeps at Southampton’s Talking Heads – By Imogen Dana Morris.

Fizzy Blood (from Leeds) and In Hearts Wake (from Australia) opened the show to excite the crowed before everyone waited for the moment.

The moment everyone had been waiting for was when While She Sleeps started their set which got everyone all excited. And in that moment music started playing and the band walked on stage and lit up the room with excitement.  By that time the room got so hot!

The band members went to the front of the stage and the crowd moved forward to try and touch them. I felt very sorry for the people in the front who got squashed!

Vocalist Lawrence Taylor or simply ‘Loz’ jumped into the crowd and went crowd surfing as he had big smiles on his face.

He started saying about his new album release You Are We and did other songs from earlier albums including Four Walls and Brainwashed.

Near the end of the show While She Sleeps started playing Four Walls and Loz stopped the song almost immediately because one of the fans had an incident, we won’t go into too much detail, but as soon as the fan got carried out from the hall, they re-started playing the song and it was amazing.



Live Review: You Me At Six at Bournemouth’s Solent Hall

You Me At Six Bournemouth
You Me At Six (photo by Abbie Webster)

I recently received an invite to go and see You Me At Six perform at Solent Hall in Bournemouth on 11th April for their tour, Night People – By Abbie Webster. At first I was a little apprehensive as I had never listened to any of their songs before let alone been to a rock concert but I thought, ‘what else am I going to do on a Tuesday night?’ so I went. I can honestly say it was probably one of the best gigs I’ve been to in a long time. Where to begin? In preparation for the concert I downloaded all of You Me At Six’s albums to get familiar with their style and songs. Within the first 10 minutes I already had a few favourites which I was hoping they would perform.

When I arrived there were two supporting acts, Black Foxxes and Tonight Alive who were both really good however you could tell the crowd were really pumped for You Me At Six. As soon as they came on stage the atmosphere in the room completely changed, it was insane. They started with a song from their new album which is also the title of it and their tour, Night People. They then went on to play Underdog, one of my favourites and apparently the crowd’s as everyone started to jump and go a bit crazy. It was during this song I realised this was going to be one hell of a show.

Between songs lead singer, Josh Franceschi, was really good at interacting with the crowd which was quite refreshing as you don’t always get this at a gig. They then went on to play Loverboy and Stay With Me, another one of my favourites. I can honestly say that Stay With Me was probably one of the best songs played throughout the whole night. Franceschi’s vocals were absolutely outstanding and the music just gave you chills. The lighting set throughout the song was also on point, right in line with the music.

The Swarm then followed along with Spell It Out and Bite My Tongue minus Ollie Sykes (which I can say I was quite happy about as I am really not a fan of the whole Slipknot thing)! As fascinating as it is when someone can change their voice into the sound of a daemon it just freaks me out?! Anyway back to You Me At Six. I didn’t really know any of the songs that followed however the music was so good I still found myself jumping along with the crowd. Franceschi then announced they were moving onto an all time favourite, Reckless. I was looking forward to this as it is one of my favourites out of all of the albums however as much as I hate to say it I was a little bit disappointed with the performance of this one. I completely appreciate that it is extremely difficult to keep your vocals top notch when you’re performing so many songs one after the other, but it was as if the music was too loud that you couldn’t hear the vocals. This was very disappointing although the crowd did help out and sing along which was great.

Now the next song, Save It For The Bedroom, was very interesting. Franceschi wanted to know where all the crowd surfers were. This instantly made me nervous as I know for a fact I am not strong enough to hold anyone up but luckily I was positioned near the side of the crowd. Throughout this song there were loads of people jumping from the back of the crowd and being carried all the way to the front. This was pretty amazing and is something I hadn’t seen at a gig before however I was just so happy I was not in the middle of the crowd as I witnessed a lot of people get booted in the head.

Before the last song of the night was performed Franceschi decided to do a little bit of a speech. Now although I didn’t know much about You Me At Six before the gig, I knew that they were an English band so it was certainly surprising to hear Franceschi go on about Donald Trump being elected President of the USA. The speech then took the ‘racism is wrong’ angle which I 100% agree with however why does this need to be brought up at a gig? We all agree racism is wrong but we’re here to listen to music not about the problems of the world. The band then proceeded to perform Take On The World as their finishing song which did seem to fit into the motivational speech that was forcefully spoon-fed to us beforehand. Take On The World is another one of my favourite songs however the vocals again weren’t 100% on point. When the song was over the crowd continued singing for an encore in which the band came back on.

The final 3 songs of the night were by far the best, Lived A Lie, Give and Room To Breathe. The atmosphere in the room was electric which seemed to have an effect on Josh Franceschi as his vocals were suddenly spotless. Everyone was bouncing and going mental, it was great and a massive step up after Take On The World. The atmosphere throughout the whole night certainly made it which really brought on the band. I can honestly say I will definitely be going to see You Me At Six again.

Live Review: Carcer City at Southampton’s Engine Rooms

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Progressive metalcore five-piece CARCER CITY are currently on their tour with Atlanta party metal bruisers ATTILA and Phoenix metalcore mob THE WORD ALIVE.  They recently played their last UK leg of the tour in Southampton on Sunday 9th April as they now head to the likes of Antwerp and Berlin. The band opened up the night at Southampton’s Engine Rooms as the floors started to move and the heavy music started to flow. The crowd was trying to get warmed up for Attila but it was surprising how many fans these guys had themselves. But right from the off you could tell these guys had a lot of energy about them! The band played songs of their latest album Infinite // Unknown which was a real treat to anyone into this genre. The circle pit began to open as the guys really started to put on one hell of a show! Path had a ferocious voice on vocals as Lewy and Yacka complimented him with their killer riffs throughout the evening. Bassist Ollie also put in 110% with every song as drummer Karl knew exactly what he was doing and provided a really sick beat. Overall it was a killer set from Carcer City who still have a very bright future ahead!

Live Review: Mallory Knox at Portsmouth’s Pyramids

A picture taken from Mallory Knox and uploaded on their Twitter page after.

Mallory Knox put on one hell of a show at Portsmouth’s Pyramids on Sunday night as lead singer Mikey Chapman and the band proved why they are one of the best UK bands performing right now. The tour is to support their new album Wired and were joined by Lonely The Brave and Fatherson on the night who certainly knew how to get get a crowd going and created perfect atmosphere for Mallory Knox to come on stage to. The band played Giving It Up from their latest album first and it was refreshing that already so many fans knew the songs and started to sing along. It was a truly insane set and it was by far the best I have seen the band play since I first saw them in Portsmouth back in November 2014.

Mallory Knox then played Ghost in the Mirror which always creates so much buzz and as always fans started to mosh which was a fantastic experience to view and even be in. They then played the title song of their new album Wired followed by their older song Dying to Survive  which were both solid additions to the set. Another older song Getaway then followed as they engaged with every single fan throughout out the night with their amazing stage presence. The brilliant California and Beggars were next which also got everyone on feet jumping around. Mallory Knox are that kind of band that put 110% in to each and every song they play which is so refreshing to see at a packed out venue. The band played a total of 15 songs on the evening as near the end they played their classic and well known song Shout at the Moon which was epic to see live once again. An encore of Lighthouse and Better Off Without You was a perfect way to end their set as the incredible lighting faded out.

Live Review: The Dublin Legends at Eastleigh’s Concorde Club

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The Dublin Legends played at Eastleigh’s Concorde Club on Friday night as the guys rolled back the years with timeless Irish classics. Former The Dubliners members Sean Cannon, Eamonn Campbell, Gerry O’Connor and Paul Watchorn all entertained a packed out Concorde Club in Eastleigh. The legends played the likes of Whiskey In The Jar which went down really well with everyone in the venue as suddenly everyone’s Irish roots started to come alive again. Having played at this venue before you could tell that the band was well received with everyone as they played an old time classic Dirty Old Town with all the crowd at The Concorde Club getting in to the spirit of things. It was fantastic to see years of musical experience all under one roof and they sure knew how to get a crowd going after all these years. When founding member Barney McKenna died it was feared that it would be end of the road for The Dubliners.  Campbell joined The Dubliners in 1987 and from that time produced all the band’s albums. With the band touring all over Europe last year, one gentleman flew all the away from Holland for his 75th birthday, something that must of been a special moment for the man. In total there was two sets on the night that also included The Wild River and The Spanish Lady among many more. One song that was a highlight was Molly Malone as the set came to a close on a really pleasant evening.

Live Review: Ill Niño at Southampton’s Talking Heads

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Latin Metal legends Ill Niño took to the stage at Southampton’s Talking Heads on Wednesday as the band certainly knew how to engage with fans. It was the last leg of their UK Tour so you know they wanted to finish it with a bang.  With 1.3 million worldwide albums sales under their belts and still going strong, it was no wonder why the Talking Heads was packed out with head banging fans who started plenty of mosh pits. They started off with God Save Us with lead singer Cristian Machado putting everything into his power vocals.  Others on the night included Nothing’s Clear and I Am Loco which really got the crowd going. There was one point in the set where a fan tried to take a selfie which resulted in it being kicked out of his hands by one of the band members. The band finished on This Is War which was a great way to end a near perfect set for the guys. Their message was to ‘Fly The Black Flag’ and they certainly got that message across perfectly.

Live Review: Lewis Watson at Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms

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A picture Lewis Watson put up on Twitter before the show

Singer songwriter Lewis Watson kicked off his UK tour in Portsmouth on Tuesday as performed in a front of a packed out Wedgewood Rooms crowd. Lewis is set to release his new album midnight this Friday (24th March) as the singer showed off some of his new music on the night. Slowlights joined Lewis on the night as the band certainly managed to warm the stage up in style. They played their new single I Tried So Hard which had a hint of Coldplay to it among their original sounding voice. They also played A Dream I Had and So Far which really got the crowd in the mood and you could tell although not everyone would of heard of this band, they managed to win over a lot of fans. With a new EP set to be released in 2017 for Slowlights, there is certainly a lot of promise with this band.

Lewis Watson then went to the stage as he played song from his upcoming album including his latest songs forever and deep the water. It was also nice to see Lewis perform some of his older songs from his debut album the morning such as Bones and Stay. The lighting was superb throughout the evening which really added to this magical evening.  Julie Thorp joined Lewis on the keyboard during his set and her skills really shined through on the night and added to the softness of Lewis’ voice superbly. The singer has certainly got a bright future ahead as he managed to connect with the Portsmouth crowd so well and provided a great stage presence throughout.