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Angel Haze live at the Academy in Dublin

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It was by chance I discovered one of my favourite artists Angel Haze was playing the Academy in Dublin.

There was very little publicity about the tour (and later I found out why) and I only realised when it popped up on Spotify.

I was so keen to go that I used my emergency credit card (well this was an emergency!)

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Angel Haze burst onto the hip-hop scene with the debut album Dirty Gold.

The rapper, who identifies as agender and uses the pronoun they/them, has since split from her label and released her new mixtape Back to the Woods.

I only began listening to this a few days before the gig as I knew these songs would be featuring. I loved Dirty Gold which is a deeply personal album. At the time I was listening to it I was having some personal problems.

I can honestly say this album really helped me, music is the best form of therapy. When I was feeling bad I would either go for a run listening to it or listen to it at night when I couldn’t sleep.

Back to the Woods is quite different but very easy to listen to. Even though I’d only listened to it a couple of times I knew most of the songs before the gig.

Following the acrimonious split from Island Records, Haze said they “hate” some of the Dirty Gold songs so I guessed they wouldn’t be featuring in the show!

(Plus they favourited my tweet saying I was listening to Back to the Woods..almost died!)

The intimate surrounds of the Academy’s Green room played host to Haze and her support acts Californian rapper Devmo and Cork indie act Talos.

Devmo was the ideal warm-up act and it was great to see a female rap artist as support.

Her cheeky personality really comes across well on stage. I particularly enjoyed her rendition of “Take me to Church.”

Talos seemed very subdued compared to Devmo’s energy yet singer Eoin French’s falsetto vocal is incredible.

 

Tk Kayembe who produced Back to the Woods took to the stage as DJ and hypeman around 9pm as Angel Haze almost sneaked on stage, all dressed in black.

“The more energy you give to me, the more I’ll give to you!” she announced to the crowd.  As I’d speculated, the set was dominated by Back to the Woods songs.

“Moonrise Kingdom” is one of my favourite songs from BTTW.

For “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Detox” Haze selected two girls from the crowd to dance and flirt with on stage and also hopped down into the crowd at one point.

“The Woods” was a visceral powerful performance which details Haze’s was abused by a brother and how their mother turned a blind eye to it.

This song shows off both Haze’s singing ability and rapping. “Impossible” and “The Eulogy” were also impressive performances.

Haze’s most famous song “Battlecry” was the only “Dirty Gold” tune that they performed to the rapturous crowd.

“Would I be a dick if I didn’t play Battlecry?!” Haze asked the audience. The answer was a resounding yes!

“Werkin Girls” also produced by Kayembe had the entire crowd rapping along.

Haze then thanked the crowd saying a lot of people doubted their ability to undertake the tour and told the fans they were here because of them.

Haze is playing 40 cities across Europe without the support of a label hence the lack of publicity.

In fact, when I read the Academy’s listings in the paper, the gig didn’t even appear which is a travesty!

Haze signed CDs after the gig but I was too broke to buy one! From what I saw on social media, lots of lucky people got take a photo with them. Haze seems really appreciative and very gracious.

The gig was really reasonably priced with tickets only €20 including booking fee. Money well spent in my opinion. 🙂

Hope you all enjoyed this post, let me know if you were at the gig or if you’re an Angel Haze fan.

I have lots of exciting posts coming up, my next one will be one the sneaker trend.

Thanks for reading as always, if you’re having any difficulty leaving a comment, just click the grey speech bubble in the bottom right-hand corner.

Don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Longitude 2015

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I’d agonised for days over what day to go to Longitude. Friday with Hozier or Sunday with Tove Lo? In the end I decided to go on Sunday and it was a great choice, the weather gods were on my side for once! It was a beautiful day in Marlay Park, surrounded by the woods and decorative flags dotting the edges of the grounds.

We arrived early and it was really laid-back and chilled out. Amnesty International were offering free face-painting whilst encouraging festival-goers to sign their petitions. I got silver glitter and face jewels also.

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I wore my trusty cowboy boots, John Lennon t-shirt, denim dungarees and a suede jacket. Sunglasses and feather earrings also made an appearance. I attempted to make French braid pigtails but they were a disaster… Let’s face it, I just can’t do girly things!

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The first act we saw was Swedish/Argetinian crooner Jose Gonzalez. Many of you may remember his Heartbeats single from a few years ago. It was lovely to hear him again after all these years. His music really suited the relaxed mellow vibe early in the day. He played his two hit songs “Crosses” and “Heartbeats” as well as an acoustic cover of “Teardrop”.

We took a wander around to the other stages, walking through the woods. Close to the Heineken stage was a fun area with a DJ, ping-pong tables and karaoke.

The day passed by really quickly and before I knew it, it was almost time for the act I was dying to see, the incredible Tove Lo. There was just enough time to enjoy a dinner of delicious home fries before we headed to the Heineken tent.

The tent was packed to capacity with eager Tove Lo fans. Many people were sitting on shoulders and one guy even managed to climb up part of the stage rigging (so safe!)

In my opinion Tove Lo would’ve been a better act for the main stage as it was really crowded in the tent and hard to see her until I squeezed further up. This was her first Irish show and it was high-octane from the beginning.

She opened the show with “That’s My Gun”.

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She followed with a string of hits “Not on Drugs” “Talking Body” and of course “Habits”. Recent hit “Talking Body” got the best response from the crowd but all of her songs were well received. I was thrilled to see her first Irish show and loved every minute! I had thought there weren’t that many Tove Lo fans but I was proved wrong! I’d been asking people prior to the gig “Do ya know Tove Lo?” and they nearly all said “Who?!” However the gig proved I’m not the only Tove Lo fangirl in Ireland. 😛 She has a great fan base here and I hope she will be back.

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After Tove Lo, we headed to the main stage to see James Blake. I have to confess, I really wasn’t familiar with his music but enjoyed nevertheless! However his act didn’t really command the main stage.

After James Blake, headliners The Chemical Brothers came on. It’s been a long time since I’d heard any Chemical Brothers songs but judging from the atmosphere when “Superstar DJs” came on, they are still very popular! Also people were still singing it on my bus home, thanks for that Chemical Bros. 😛

It was an amazing gig, everyone was dancing and jumping around enjoying the energy.  At one point I persuaded a guy to put me on his shoulders and seeing the crowd from the air at night was unreal. The atmosphere had completely changed from chill and subdued earlier to party central. Lights, laser beams and visuals accompanied the beats to make an incredible sensory experience.

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I’d ran out of storage towards the end of the gig hence the lack  of James Blake/Chemical Bros. pictures! However The Last Mixed Tape have great pictures of all the acts from all three days.

With a combination of the sunny weather, great acts and atmosphere, I’d say Longitude’s the best festival I’ve been to yet. Here’s to 2016 ! 😉

If you were at Longitude on Sunday, I’d love to hear your opinions. Leave me a comment below. Thanks for reading as always.

Foxes live at the Academy

Foxes kicked off her “Glorious” UK and Ireland tour last week at the Academy. With tickets only €22.50 it would’ve been a crime not to go.

Considering the fact that she is a comparatively new artist, I didn’t know what to expect. However I was completely blown away!

Pic: Foxes Youtube

Electro-pop outfit Ariana and the Rose were the support act first on stage. I’d never heard of the New York singer-songwriter but she had a great stage presence and got the crowd warmed up. She also had an awesome outfit including light-up runners!

Even though I hadn’t heard her music before she is probably one of the best opening acts I’ve seen at a gig. At most gigs people are looking at their watches and phones during the support act and grumbling but she interacted well with the crowd and made it easy to want to watch her.

I really enjoyed “In Your Bed” which you can listen to here.

Foxes didn’t take the stage until 9.30. My phone battery conveniently died before she even appeared so I don’t have any pictures of her! She pirouetted on dressed in a baseball jacket, black sports bra, pink sequin joggers with rhinestone details and white 90’s runners with white socks. Foxes stylist I salute you! Foxes or Louisa Rose Allen (her real name) looks very young in person and in this sporty 90’s outfit and pigtails could almost pass for a teenager.

At first I thought she might be over doing the dancing and mincing around but I soon realised it’s part of the act.

Foxes sings with a live band and no backing singers. I was seriously impressed by the quality of her voice live. While I really admire her as a singer/songwriter I also love her aesthetic. Her videos for Youth and Let Go For Tonight are amazing and she has great fashion sense.

The highlights of the show for me were “Glorious”, “Holding onto Heaven” and especially a medley cover combining Destiny’s Child “Say My Name” and The Artful Dodger’s “Movin’ Too Fast.”

I absolutely LOVED the Foxes rendition, it was gorgeous. She performed it sitting on the side of the stage with her guitarists, it was lovely to hear an acoustic song like this in contrast to the high energy numbers.

I think she may have changed the lyrics of “Movin’ Too Fast” but that’s artistic licence. 😛

During my time in a former job I always heard a dance song called “Clarity” being played.

The song itself irritated me BUT I loved the vocalist and have only recently discovered Foxes sings on it! When I heard it sung live, I immediately liked it a lot more.

Likewise I never realised Foxes featured on Rudimental’s “Right Here” which she also performed. Her vocals on these dance tracks are what made her well-known but her own music is equally worthy of recognition.

This track really seemed energise the crowd, everyone was dancing and singing along to it. Her voice sounds most authentic on plaintive tracks such as “Right Here” and “Youth” and the audience seemed to connect with this.

She also performed a mashup of Pharrell’s “Happy” and Massive Attack’s Teardrop. This is a slow arrangement completely different to the Pharrell version, you can hear it on Youtube below.

She appeared to get a little emotional during “Teardrop”.  She continued in this vein on “Youth” telling the crowd “This is the first song I wrote, on the train to London. I wanted to be a singer and I never thought I could be a singer.”

 I was really looking forward to “Let Go for Tonight” which I knew would be the encore. (Also I could read the set list from where I stood. )

This was the only song she sang over a backing track and as the crowd were so loud, it was hard to hear. However it was still a triumphant finale. I think she was especially excited as it was the first gig of her tour and it was an enthusiastic performance.

I kept my gig outfit casual, denim shirt, patterned leggings and a gold necklace.

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For more music, fashion and fun stuff, check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Edel

 

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Lykke Li in Vicar Street -An Enigma Come to Life.

 

After ridiculously excessive deliberation I bought last-minute tickets to see Lykke Li in Vicar Street last Sunday. Unlike many of my impulsive decisions, this was a good one!

Lykke Li AKA Li Lykke Timotej Svensson Zachrisson has been bobbing around the indie pop music scene for years yet it has taken some time for her to reach wide acclaim. For some

For some reason, Scandinavian artists don’t seem to get as much publicity as their American and UK counterparts. Robyn is another excellent example of a female  Swedish singer/songwriter who is hugely underrated despite being on the music scene for years. For a long time, I merely knew her as “that girl with the funny name.”

 

 

Li released her first album in 2008 but it wasn’t 2012 when The Magician remix of Li’s “I Follow Rivers” made created a frenzy in clubs worldwide and introduced her music to a wider audience.  It was pretty much impossible to go to Lost Society and not hear this song at least twice at the time!

She compounded this success with a third album released earlier this year “I Never Learn.” On hearing  “No rest for the Wicked” the lead single during a very difficult time when there was a bereavement in my family, it really struck a chord. I began listening to the album nightly and the nights when I couldn’t sleep (which were frequent), the songs became lullabies. Li’s songs are compelling tales of love, heartbreak, loss and pain. The nearest she comes to upbeat is crooning “Dance cos you can, dance cos you must” on “Love out of Lust.”

On hearing  “No rest for the Wicked” the lead single during a very difficult time when there was a bereavement in my family, it really struck a chord. I began listening to the album nightly and the nights when I couldn’t sleep (which were frequent), the songs became lullabies. Li’s songs are compelling tales of love, heartbreak, loss and pain. The nearest she comes to upbeat is crooning “Dance cos you can, dance cos you must” on “Love out of Lust.”

I began listening to the album nightly and the nights when I couldn’t sleep (which were frequent), the songs became lullabies. Li’s songs are compelling tales of love, heartbreak, loss and pain. The nearest she comes to upbeat is crooning “Dance cos you can, dance cos you must” on “Love out of Lust.”

Needless to say, I emotionally invested in Li’s music and when I saw she was playing Vicar Street, I knew I had to go.

The show was opened by Eliot Sumner, daughter of Sting and her band. Such is Li’s enigma that a few people (maybe me too :P) mistook her for Lykke Li..and it’s not hard to do! Li spends much of her videos hiding under dark cloaks  (I Follow Rivers) and veils (I Never Learn album cover) and her album covers are often bereft of her image.

Example A

Eliot Sumner looked ridiculously good despite no make-up, greasy hair and wearing boys football shorts and socks. I wish I could pull off this look!

She was very energetic and her voice sounded great. Sumner formerly sang under the  band name I Blame Coco but is now going by her own name. I wasnt familiar with her music but found myself enjoying it, especially “Information.”

Li finally emerged later at 9.45, preceded by her band all dressed in black to match. Li is rarely seen wearing anything other than black or without eyeliner. She herself wore flares (yes real flares, they are back and Lykke Li wore them first ) and a massive glittery baggy jumper.

She launched the show with “I Never Learn.” She belted out an impressive total of 14 songs, see setlist here.

Among my favourite songs were “Sadness is a Blessing”, “No rest for the Wicked”, “Get Some” performed in a duet with Eliot Sumner and a cover of Drake’s “Hold on We’re Going Home.”  It may seem hard to fathom an alternative female artist covering this song, however, Li’s version is profound and shows off her voice. It seems that whatever Li sings, she manages to make it sound heart-rending.

She is a consummate performer, concentrating on singing, playing the guitar, tambourine and at one point using the mic stand for percussion effects. She uses a lot witch-like hand gestures similar to her mysterious videos. Her haunting vocal sounds amazing live but anyone hoping for a lot of interaction or smiles would be left disappointed. Li mentioned on the night and on social media that she was finding touring difficult but added ” a crowd like you makes it worthwhile.” Personally I felt the crowd was quite subdued…Li quit her tour due to exhaustion shortly after this gig so I’m happy got to see her when I did!

“I Follow Rivers” seemed an obvious choice for an encore but Li instead performed this towards the end. She followed with a self-proclaimed “power ballad” for the “broken-hearted” “Never Gonna Love Again” and “Rich Kids Blues.”

The “Get Some” duet with Eliot Sumner was unexpected and definitely would’ve ended the show with a bang. (If you check out the video from her Manchester gig, both of them are wearing the same outfits as they wore in Dublin, definitely a diva free zone) 🙂

Li chose “Heart of Steel” for an encore which I have to say was a little lacklustre. I would’ve preferred to hear “Jerome”, “Youth Knows No Pain” or even “Love out of Lust.” But I was more than thrilled to see her live, she’s just amazing.

With U2 choosing her to feature on their new album and join their tour, Li’s future looks extremely bright. If you have a chance to see her live, go! You won’t regret it!

Thanks for visiting my blog and take a listen to her U2 duet below.

Thanks for reading and check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

Edel

 

 

 

Daytripper Festival Waterford 2014

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So I went to the gig of the year a few weeks back..no not the Garth Brooks tribute… instead I went to a car park in Waterford. Now when I heard about the Daytripper festival in Waterford I imagined it took place in some large outdoor space…Then I saw the venue online “Bolton Street Car park”…sure it’s the whole street I thought or a really massive car park. But when we got there it was just a regular sized car park. The festival took place over 3 days with Kaiser Chiefs, David Gray and Paloma Faith headlining. Considering the size of the venue, I think they got pretty good acts. We decided just to go Saturday and Sunday so we didn’t see the Kaiser Chiefs.

Saturday evening arrived and we were taking in some of the local warm-up acts and who do I see beside me? Only Jerry Fish! He was looking very suave and enjoying the local act Susan O’Neill and The Low Standards. I also really enjoyed them, they were having a good time despite the small crowd early on.

Jerry Fish is legitimately Ireland’s coolest person

The venue had two stages, the Waterford Credit Union stage which hosted local acts and the main stage. The first act on the main stage was The Booka Brass Band. Now my appreciation of brass is limited to the guy who plays sax in Grafton Lounge on Saturday nights..but the guys were good as far as I can tell! And easy on the eye 😉 Check out the guys playing Crazy in Love below. Brass is alive and well! 🙂

I really enjoyed their set from their instrumental version of “Talk Dirty ” by Jason Derulo, a guest vocalist in the form of Jerry Fish and “Bad Touch” by the Bloodhound gang cover (complete with rapping!) It was really energetic, fun and not at all what I expected.

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Next up on the main stage were Paul Abbott and Jacqui Heaton of The Beautiful South plus band. By then a large crowd had gathered on the wall across from the park, some people even setting deckchairs up on the wall to take in the show. Paul Abbott ribbed these people saying “I bet you paid a good price for those tickets!”

Then the wait for David Gray began. Despite his huge chart success here I wasn’t aware he was still recording until this summer! We didn’t have too wait too long for him, he’s no diva.

David Gray came on with band, backing singers and very little fanfare. He didn’t look  half as old as I expected..considering the slightly older fan base that surrounded us. He began with a few of his new songs but I was waiting for the oldies! It was a really beautiful evening and bizarrely enough some kind of drone camera was flying over the crowd taking pictures….

This will give you an idea as to the size of the venue

David Gray has always enjoyed success in Ireland and the venue was packed. “Sail Away” and “Babylon” both got huge responses from the crowd but my favourite David Gray song is “This Years Love.”  It was amazing to hear it live and really gave me shivers down my spine! I remember hearing David Gray on the radio as a kid around the release of White Ladder and he sounds as good as he did then. I can’t say that about many other songs I listened to back then!

A camera malfunction meant I couldn’t take pictures but you can see all the photos in high definition from the weekend here. If you look hard enough you’ll definitely spot me in full fangirl mode on Day 2. 😉

The next night we went down to see an artist I  have admired for a long time-Paloma Faith. Paloma Faith has a very unique sound, style and character and I was very excited to see her!

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We stayed around the main stage awaiting the warm-up acts Cathy Davey and James. Cathy Davey had a really rousing set and seemed very chill on stage. I think Cathy is hugely underrated and really enjoyed her songs especially “Rueben” and “Sing for your supper.” Cathy’s whole band and back-up singer seemed really talented and the crowd loved their performance.

After a lot of fanfare Paloma eventually came on and I was dying to see what she looked like. She changes her hair a lot but she was blonde in Waterford.  She had on a skintight metallic dress, silver shoes and her trademark headpiece.

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 Paloma’s dress is by a designer called Hasan Hejazi. I thought she looked gorgeous although her dance moves in the dress threatened to reveal too much at times! She is certainly a born performer as she danced, jiggled, gestured and flirted her way through her set.  She twerked, crawled on top of the piano and lay on the ground at various points! Paloma has a dance and drama background its not surprising she puts such an emphasis on production.

She was very witty in her interactions with the crowd and self-deprecating saying “My record label wanted me to break America but now I’m playing in a car park in Ireland!” She also proclaimed  “I’m glad to see socialism is alive in Ireland ‘cos I’m a socialist and I’d be on the wall with you!” when she saw the onlookers on the wall.

Paloma performed a string of hits old and new. I wasn’t sure if I liked her new material but hearing the new songs live gave me a greater appreciation of them. Highlights included Only love can hurt like this which Diane Warren wrote.

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For someone who seems so fun loving  it’s hard to believe Paloma has so many sad heartbreak songs. As well as her theatrical antics, Paloma’s vulnerability in her songwriting is a large part of her appeal. Picking up the Pieces was another song I wasn’t as familiar with but once I heard it live I was hooked! (I couldn’t find a video from Daytripper so here she is performing it in the UK).

The one disappointment was that Paloma didn’t perform an encore and I was really hoping she would perform “New York” . 😦 I would’ve loved to hear New York live as its a personal favourite.

While I was down in Waterford and Wexford I did a little sightseeing. On the way down I saw Johnstown Castle and gardens in Wexford which was so gorgeous and only €5 entry.

The beautiful Johnstown Castle

The docks in Waterford and the Waterford Crystal shop are Waterford’s main attractions. The prices of items in the Waterford Crystal shop will make you hold your breath just walking around in case you break something! The crystal was slightly out of my price range but I did pick up a cute daisy necklace in River Island. 😉

All in all I had a great weekend down South! I hope this festival can get bigger and better as this is only it’s second year running. If anyone went on Friday I’d love to hear how The Kaiser Chiefs were-leave me a comment.

Thanks for dropping by!

Edel

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