Leslie Grantham RIP

British actor Leslie Grantham, best known for playing iconic TV bad-boy Dirty Den Watts has died aged 71. He began his career in the 70’s with numerous TV roles and continues into the 80’s. It was in 1985 when he landed the role of Den Watts where he became an overnight star and was involved in one of Eastenders infamous plotlines; the identity if Michelle Fowler’s baby where he earned the name ‘Dirty Den’. Also his infamous televised episode where in December 1986 when he handed over the divorce papers to on-screen wife Angie Watts played by Anita Dobson which received 30 million viewers. He left the show in 1989 but returned years later in 2003 for two years before leaving again, for good, following an online sex scandal. He continued his career in panto and appeared in the Bulgarian TV series The Good Neighbour. He’ll also be forever remembered for his infamous catchphrase “Ello Princess”

RIP LESLIE GRANTHAM AKA DIRTY DEN WATTS

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Years & Years on The Graham Norton Show

Olly and his band band are back after three years with their new single If You’re Over Me and it has has upbeat feel to it, sounds quite chirpy to. I’ll be openly honest about it and say that I wasn’t overly impressed by it as I prefer his earlier work such as Desire and King Under Your Control. The performance itself wasn’t too bad as it was basically Olly singing and dancing with 5-6 backing dancers and his choice of dress was a bit intriguing. Black and yellow. As an artist he’s got a really good voice and wide vocal range and it suits his style of music. Unfortunately I won’t joining the masses to download this track anytime soon.

Also on the sofa was the entire cast of the hit Ocean’s 8 which was a laugh and minute. Seriously, it was. If they weren’t laughing they were talking, more than Graham I think.

Florence and The Machine on The Graham Norton Show

Just been watching a rerun of Florence and The Machine with their new song Hunger and it’s brilliant. Florence Welch, the band’s front-woman has got an incredibly soothing voice which just cut right through the song and the melody, and the line ‘We all have a hunger’ is a cleverly written lyric. Florence just seems to be able to glide effortlessly around the stage whilst performing in an almost ghost-like way (or like a dalek pending on your preferred descriptions). All I can say is that as a performer she has an earthal quality whenever she performs and has a full-bodied voice. Just incredible

Liam Payne on The Graham Norton Show

Just been watching former One Direction-er Liam Payne perform his single Familiar, and I have to admit even though it was ever-so-slightly addictive I couldn’t say that it did anything for me. Liam had a mixture of male and female backing dancers on-stage with him, unfortunately I felt as though they didn’t do much to make the performance any better. I admit that the slight R’N’B Latino sound did make it sound interesting but sadly I won’t be rushing to buy this from the shops or download it anytime soon, or ever. I openly admit I was never a fan of One Direction so this is to some degree bias-ness, the rest of it is that I sadly grew out of teeny pop music years ago

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Radio 1’s Biggest Weekend: Coventry

It’s the last day of the Biggest Weekend, and certainly the biggest one that the Beeb have pulled off and what a musical extravaganza. What’s definitely been great about it, especially in Swansea, was the number of female artists performing and not long after the 50/50 Gender Pledge was promised. The female artists taking part was no exception; Rita Ora, Stefflon Don, Clean Bandit, Demi Lovato who was joined by Puerto Rican star Louis Fonsi who is equally as incredible and definitely has the voice to match. The day continued with Hailee Steinfield, Camila Cabello, formerly of Fifth Harmony who managed to win over the crowds and prove herself as a solo artist. Other ladies to storm the stage were Jessie Ware, Anne Marie, Jax Jones who was joined by another sensational female artists Raye and our very one Jess Glynne.

What’s great about this is that at a time when the lack of female artist on band bills has been mentioned on the news earlier this year is that having several female artists can actually work can that it’s capable of pulling big crowds. After todays’ band lists in Swansea there’s very little excuse for a lack of female representation at any major festival.

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Over in Coventry there were some incredible performers by Snow Patrol and veteran rockers The Selector who still know how to put on a show, even now.

Liam Gallagher, the other half of the Gallagher brothers closed the night with his new band Beady Eye mixture but still did performed songs from his Oasis days. Rock ‘N’ Roll Star, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory, Greedy Soul, Wall of Glass, Bold, Some Might Say, D’ Ya Know What I Mean, Come Back to Me and You Better Run. No matter you might think of him, and admittedly he might not be your cup of tea, Liam has proved himself to be a worthy musician, singer and songwriter and that he can survive post Oasis (and Noel). Even now he still has his loyal fanbase and can still knows how to attract a new generation. Now I openly admit that I’m not actually in the Liam Gallagher fanbase but even I have to admit that he knows how to get a crowd going, and he definitely breathes rock ‘n’ roll and the crowds like him.

Live links courtesy of Greg James, Alice Levine, Clara Amfo and Jo Whiley

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Radio 1’s Biggest Weekend: Perth

Over in Swansea on the second day of Radio 1’s Biggest Weekend Wales saw its enormous share of festival madness, oh you lucky people. Ed Sheeran opened up the day with Don’t, A-Team, Blood Stream, Happier and Perfect but to name several. Now what’s very likeable about Ed is his very down-to-earth nature when he performs as it’s just him and the fans, no manic in your faceness. This man is literally a one-man-band as he’s armed with just a guitar and a loop-station. Though he did take a few moments to explain what that actually was. All that I can say is the he’s got a soothing voice that just pierces straight through the music and if anyone can come second to Sam Smith in the vocal department it’s this guy.

There were other performances throughout the day by Sigrid. Seriously for a woman who’s not been around the music scene that long she’s definitely making a huge name for herself. Swedish duo First Aid Kit were an incredible breath of fresh air and were simply incredible. At this rate you’d have to give Sweden some serious credit for the artists they’ve produced over the past 5 years.

Over in the 6Music Recommends Stage new artist Hollie Cooke put on an incredible set and is someone to keep a look out for in the very near future. I detect great things from her. Towards the end of the afternoon and going into the evening our very own Emilie Sande performed in Swansea and reminded everyone of the powerhouse of a performer she is. Whenever she’s on stage remember to never underestimate her. Sam Smith, the only male artist I can think of who can equal her vocal talents ended the night and reminded us why one of the best performers we’ve got today. Sam performed his amazing hits including Money on my Mind, Lay Me Down, Too Good at Goodbyes, I’m Not the Only One. Seriously, this guy got the best vocals in town and that’s not something you can say everyday.

Up in Perth Noel Gallagher’s High-Flying Birds headlined the night, and my god what a performance. This man’s a musical genius and he came from one of the biggest bands of the 90’s. The former Oasis front-man, and as some might argue the better half of the Gallagher brothers (some might say, pardon the pun) treated the Scottish crowds and fans alike to some amazing songs. It’s a Beautiful World, Holy Mountain, Fort Knox, In the Heat of The Movement, Dream On, Little by Little, The Importance of Being Idle, She Taught me How to Fly, Half the World Away, Wonderwall and my own favourite ever, AKA… What a Life. That’s the one song that would be hard to tire of. Noel Gallagher is quite arguably one of the musical/song writing geniuses of both our time and generation and tonight’s performance proves just that.

Live links courtesy of Greg James

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Jake Shears on The Graham Norton Show

Just finished watching the former Scissor Sister front-man, Jake Shears sing his new single Creep City and all I’ll say is that his performance has something very Moulin Rogue about it. Creep City has a slight retro sound to it and uses a nice addition of jazz-sax and has a happy upbeat vibe about it. I could happily listen to this a few times over and not tire of it. Jake Shears in one of those guys who definitely brings new term to the meaning ‘Showman’ and has got the voice to match it. Move over Hugh Jackman, I think you’ve got a serious contender for the Greatest Showman crown.

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Radio 1’s Biggest Weekend: Belfast

It’s day 1 of Radio 1’s Biggest Weekend and what a day it’s been so far, and all the way from Belfast. The day was a music-packed extravaganza filled with some of the hottest acts from both the British music scene and beyond. Public Service Broadcasting, a band who need no singer and always seem to pull off a great show had the crowd in their hand were just incredible. They’re were some lively performances courtesy of 6Music Recommends that look set to provide a breath of fresh air this year. They’re were amazing to watch, the crowds were just loving it.

Now this is one performance you couldn’t miss, the indie legends that can’t to do wrong, Manic Street Preachers, just stole the show and sang several of their classics including International Blue, Stole The Sun, Tolerate, You Love Us and treated both the fans and crowd to their new single Hold Me Like a Heaven. Just awesome viewing pleasure to say the least. They did however pay tribute to band-member Nicky Wire who had to pull-out due to family reasons. The Manics bring back many memories of the Brit Pop era.

Whilst the Manics owned the stage it was legendary duo it was the DJ duo, Orbital, who owned the night. Phil and Paul Hartnoll effortlessly manage to create an ever-changing musical landscape which just gets the crowds energized and pumping with adrenaline. The brotherly duo treated the crowd to hits such as Lush, Impact, P.H.U.K, Wonky, Tiny Foldable Cities, Satan and even treated the audience to a special track named after the city, Belfast. They did do a special number for the audience, The End is Nigh. It makes seriously additive listening after just a few seconds. Now, there’s only a small handful of DJ/Dance duos who can create an energetic, hypnotic, musical landscape with sheer magnetism using very few words in-between, Orbital is that group and long may they rule.

Live links courtesy of Lauren Laverne and Colin Murray.

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Leon Bridges on The Graham Norton Show

Now I’ve only ever heard Leon Bridges a few times in passing conversation but never actually heard any material from this guy until now. What a voice!!! Seriously this man has an incredible voice which is absolutely soothing and packed with melody. Beyond is one of those songs is the perfect blend of smooth R&B and soul with a little bit of acoustic. I’ve caught a performance of his on TV a few moment ago with his band and he just oozes charisma and is hypnotic to say the least. Leon has just got a loving voice which unless you’re a fan of Soul it’d take you a while to truly appreciate. Seriously, America definitely knows how to create some great artists. 

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Joan Armatrading on The Graham Norton Show

Just been enjoying the musical legend that is Joan Armatrading on TV a few moments ago singing her latest single I Like it When We’re Together. This is one woman with two fantastic talents; a soulful voice and a guitar, and knows how to combine the two to perfection. As an artist she is a pleasure to watch and can’t get bored of her. She is one of those artists who need very few people with her on the stage as her presence and performance alone are enough to command an entire crowd’s attention. Her new single of from her new album Not Too Far Away. and I’m solely tempted to buy a copy. Joan is someone who’s music I’ve enjoyed listening to growing up and she just does no wrong. She amongst one of the top musical talents that this country has produce

Also on the sofa were Vanessa Kirby along with Josh Brolin, David Beckham and Ryan Gosling who provided some jokes and gossip, as well as beefcake/man-candy (oh come on you were thinking it as well)