My review for the last-ever MacMillan Fest in Nottingham for Whats On UK, have a read, share and enjoy.
My review for the last-ever MacMillan Fest in Nottingham for Whats On UK, have a read, share and enjoy.
At 1pm on Saturday afternoon the crowds gradually poured themselves into the infamous music venues, Rock City Basement, The Albert (formerly Spanky van Dykes), Stealth, the Red Rooms, Tap ‘n’ Tumbler and the Rescue Rooms. Saturday the 7th September 2019 marked the day that the legendary MacMillan Fest put on its last ever event. The MacMillan Fest is a charity gig for the MacMillan Cancer charity cause and had been running since 2010 and had quickly become part of the fixtures for popular music events in and around Nottingham. Over the course of its 9 year the event had attracted the attention of some of the biggest names in the music industry such as Eyre Llew, Bleed from Within, Evil Scarecrow, Shapes, Black Peaks, Jet Black, Savour the Kill and many, many more.
In terms of you got a fair amount of rock variety rock metal, acoustic, electro and a bit of screamo thrown in for good measure. Overall, an avid rock fan’s paradise
This year saw the return of band favourites such as With Tripper, Lycan, Vanity Box, Patriot Rebel, Matthew Moore and Cotton Mouth as well as new artists making their first (and sadly their only) appearance, Joey Collins, Myles Knight, Invisions, Wilted Flower and Widows.
Music fans who came from all areas Nottingham, even those from further afield, were treated to a selection of stalls offering alternative clothing courtesy of Hit or Miss and Alibi Clothing, whisky stalls and jewellery. There was even a food stall offering sweet and savoury crepes, yum-yum. I had 3, bit greedy I know but I was hungry. For the festival goers who like to dare two of the stalls consisted of henna body-art and another where you could either have your hair shaved or body waxed using wax-strips. Yes, there was a fair few brave individuals who braved a waxing for charity.
Going around each of the venues was a bit like going on a musical merry-go-round, a tiny trek between venues but totally worth if to go and see new bands come and perform. In each one the rooms were full of people and some there were fists flying in the air and the blood, sweat and adrenaline was going to the roof. Going to other areas the hype was less intense and you could sit down to enjoy the performances. If you went up the Red Rooms which were above the Tap & Tumbler you got the odd gig where the lead singer occasionally took the performance into the crowd.
Starting the musical extravaganza off Matthew Moore in the Rescue Rooms along with sets by Witch-Tripper, Eyre Llew and SHVPES. No shortage of crowds in the building.
Over at the Rock City Basement, which underwent an impressive refit since my last visit was Widows, True Colours, Lotus Eater, Invisions and Oceans Ate Alaska. Seriously, they knew how to get the crowds going. Blood, sweat, adrenaline and crowd-jumping ahoy.
Upstairs in the Red Rooms Take 96, My Pet Favxes and Ava Saint entertained the room. Some great artists there.
Halfway across the building in Stealth as Lycan, Veridian, The Five Hundred and Street Solider. Seriously, that venue has hosted some incredible bands.
Around the corner at The Albert’s was Cotton Mouth, Patriot Rebel, Crosslight and The Kut. Both levels of that place were one huge rock metal and adrenaline ride from start to finish.
In the main acoustic bar people were treated to solo musicians such as Wilted Flower, Joey Collins, Myles Knight and George Gadd. Matthew Moore, who had performed with his band in the Rescue Rooms took a slot at the last second and performed an incredible solo set. No matter where you went, there was always something worth catching.
However, by 9pm much the crowds gathered for one of the big finales at the Rescue Rooms where Nordic Giants put on an amazing, show-shopping performance. One of the best ways I can probably describe it as is a sweeping, sci-fi electronic landscape straight from an ahead-of-its-time film/novel. The opening sound was of an apocalyptic feel where you just know something big is coming.
Overall it was a fantastic day that was absolutely jam-packed with music, food, drink, henna and trinkets and fun for all. That just leaves me to say thank you to MacMillan Fest for some incredible weekends and everything you have both done and achieved, all in the name of charity. Sad to see you go
At 7pm the crowds gradually gathered in small masses into the Bodega Social on Nottingham’s Pelham St and straight up the stairs to the main venue area. The Bodega Social, better known as The Bodega, has played host to several local and nationwide artists and has even provided a platform to new up-coming artists. The main lights went out, colourful spotlights lit-up the main stage, even the mirror-ball which hangs from the ceiling helped build up the atmosphere, then the excitement of the crowd began.
An eager silence swept across the room as Olly Hensby took to the stage to perform his acoustic set. He is an incredible artist who music is a fusion of blues and jazz and has an amazing voice that strikes all the right notes. The man sounds like an American export and has a smooth melodic voice and he’s only 21, yet he sounds ten years older. During his set he did a mixture of originals and covers which impressed the crowds. There was a lot of love for him and he was a treat on the ears. At the end of his set he did a duet with a musician buddy which combined R&B and rap can Underwater. An amazing song, with a political underlying message to it. For some reason those sorts of songs always manage to hype the crowd, and this one certainly did. Up next was Nottingham’s very own Kelsey and The Embers
An interesting two-females-and-a-male-trio, and you don’t get many of them around today. The lead singer took a few moments to let the crowd know that they are in fact a four-piece band but their fourth member’s currently in America. Crowd anticipation was steadily rising as was the adrenaline and the crowd was getting even closer. Non-the-less they got the audience going by starting with a cover-track. Covers aren’t always an easy thing to do especially when done live but these guys pulled it off with hardly any effort. Kelsey and The Embers impressed the crowd with their set which of original material and they absolutely loved them. Eventually it was 9 pm and the moment had come, crowd anticipation was on the rise and you could smell the adrenaline getting higher. The moment had now come when Nottingham’s own Tori Sheard came onstage and made her presence felt the crowd went wild and cheered in excitement for her
This was the first time that Tori had ever headlined a gig in her life and tonight she lived up to the expectations. As a female artist she has an incredible voice and sounds older than her years, and she’s only 21 years old. To have a voice like that at her age is just amazing and she can both command the stage and wow the audience with complete ease. If it can be said freely, she has an almost rock-goddess quality the moment she takes to the stage. Tori treated the crowd to a mixture of fresh original material including songs from her current EP, ‘Edge of the Earth’. Her music is a perfect blend of ambient, folk and rustic mixed with some indie undertones. Tonight, was a superb night and all three of the artists on tonight were just sensational and put on an amazing set, absolutely brilliant.
Other photos from the night
Down on the basement ground the doors opened at 6pm and a small crowd poured into Studio 1 at the Metronome, ready for their gig with upcoming Nottingham musician, Bria Buxton. Better known by her stage-name, Bria. She has been active in the local music scene for the three years now writing, producing and making her own material. Crowds of 30+ gathered themselves to hear her new single Strangest of Lovers which is out on EP/LP right now, courtesy of Denizen Records. Bria is a musical gem in Nottingham’s music scene and has the voice that can cut straight through the crowds. She is a talented songwriter and singer, as a musician she has the incredible ability to bring her words to life through music.
Bria’s voice oozes melody, carries pure emotion and her performance grabbed the attention of the entire room. The entire room was just completely enchanted by her and there was no shortage of love for her. As an artist her vocal ability is of the same quality of the likes of Christina Perrie and Adele and sounds like the type you could hear as the official soundtrack in a hit film. She has worked with the musical great, Gareth Jones, who has worked with Depeche Mode and Madness. Judging by the sound of her music and official single, they have both worked and produced an absolute corker of a song.
Can definitely see this doing well on the download. Since 2017 she has been gracing audiences with her beautiful voice, she takes musical influences from First Aid Kit, Jake Bugg and Phoebe Bridgers, all of whom are from Nottingham and have acquired massive followings. When it comes to music, Nottingham is the place to see fresh, new emerging talent. Keep your eye on Bria Buxton, she is an incredibly talented singer and songwriter and is on the road to bigger things. 2019/20 is to be her year. Have a listen and see what you think
The doors opened at 6pm and the people gradually poured themselves in for to one of Nottingham’s night spots. Live music and beers all round for everyone. Colt 48, who are nearing the end of their current tour with Cotton Mouth, 10 Gauge and Down in One. The night was held at The Albert, formerly known as Spanky Van Dykes. The name of the venue may have changed but the general vibe of the place hasn’t. No introduction was needed for Cotton Mouth, mainly cos they did it themselves, but these guys let their music do the talking for them. Local lads, and all from Nottingham, they’ve been around for at least three years but are showing promise and definitely know how to get the crowds going. They are a fusion of rock, metal and grunge along with strong vocals and energetic presence and took the stage with ease. Now 10 Gauge, I’m just going to go out there and say it sound like legendary pros and even their lead man who is from our side of the Atlantic sounds like he like an American export.
Vocally he just hits all the right notes. By this point the adrenaline was rising, as was the sweat from the excitement of people punching their fists in the air. He got everyone to get on the floor at one point. Down in One were as game for a laugh as they were for creating riffs, the lead singer made a couple of jokes about their drummer being the next 007. Now that’d be interesting. Front-man, Gon, was literally a whirlwind of energy as he just wouldn’t stop moving from either side of the stage.
Colt 48 closed the night by singing a mixture of original songs as well as a Gotye cover, ‘Somebody That I used to Know’, just in case you were wondering. I admit it’s always interesting when bands pull-off song covers as you never know where they’re going to take it. Throughout the gig he switched between two microphones and was just a ball of energy throughout and the crowds got up close and personal by this point. Lead singer, Adam Jerome, closed the set on ‘Enemy’, a track so new it’s not even been recorded yet. Overall, a great night. Keep your eyes on these guys, they’ll be coming to a music venue near you.
The crowds slowly gathered themselves into the main room the moment the doors and continued to pour in over the next half hour till there wasn’t much floor space left to fill. As the crowd got more and more hyped with excitement enthusiasm you could practically smell the adrenaline, then the lights suddenly dimmed-down and the show was officially started.
First to take to the stage was Liverpool’s own Death Blooms. These guys were just incredible to see live on-stage and oozed sweat, energy as well as powerful guitar riffs and front-man Paul effortlessly owned the stage and had the crowd in his hands. Seriously, these guys could re-define metal madness they’re that intense when performing. Nottingham’s own metal pleasers, The Five Hundred, took the stage and put on an amazing set. I wasn’t disappointed, yet again they delivered and I absolutely loved every minute of their set. The Five Hundred definitely know how to get the crowds going and all the energy put into it was practically bursting at the seams. By now not only was the heat rising but so was the enthusiasm and love from the crowd.
Finally, SHVPES took to the stage to finish the night, however cos there had been an 8 – minute delay things had to be rushed a little, either way they were definitely worth the wait. Now I openly admit that I’ve never seen a band like SHVPES before but glad I stuck around a while as they were fantastic. One of the ways I can sum them up is the UK’s equivalent to Rage Against The Machine. Full-on, completely manic, full of energy, oozing adrenaline and excellent rap skills courtesy of front-man Griffin Dickson. Within moments of them starting fist were flying into the air, everybody was jumping and the Griffin had everybody in the palm of his hand s. An amazing night, three fantastic bands.
Crowds gathered in their masses on Saturday the 8th September for the annual Derbyshire Pride event and it was an occasion that just wasn’t to be missed. Hundreds of people gathered on Curzon Street for an all-day party which wasn’t just about celebrating the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, it was about the people of Derby and Derbyshire celebrating differences. As was also traditional was the Great British weather, cos let’s face it the weather doesn’t know what it’s doing from one moment to the next.
Many organisations came together to help celebrate the day, the LGBT+ community and its allies and reminded everyone that the special day was about inclusivity to everyone, from all walks of life. The message couldn’t be any clearer; it doesn’t matter who you are be it your sexuality, gender, disability, race or ethnicity we are one big community and that’s what should be celebrated.
Hosting duties were taken by Galaxy Radio’s Soraya Vivian and Derby’s own Trudy Knight and Miss Davinia
Several performers helped put on an amazing show, drag Queens, DJ’s, singers and even tribute acts including Mizz Pink, Livin Joy, Danny Beard and Kirby Frost. Also making an appearance were Ross Alexander, members of Studio Storm Fitness, Sweet Female Attitude. Also making an appearance were stars of Channel 4’s Gogglebox and The Property Boyz Derbyshire Police, ambulance crew and the local fire services came down to offer their support along with other organisations such as The Samaritans and members of the Derbyshire LGBT+ Network and many more. Even special hair and make-up treatments were available.
The event stared with the annual parade which began on St Peter’s Churchyard which began at 11:15 am and went on till 12pm and ended at Curzon Street which is where the celebrations continued. The party went on till 3am at The Crown Inn, which isn’t just an LGBT+ venue, but also one of Derbyshire Pride’s sponsors as well. Looking forward to Derbyshire Pride 2019.
A review piece I did for MusicNotts on the recent Steven Page gig at the Rescue Rooms on Saturday last week (18/8/18), have a read and enjoy 🙂
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.
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
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