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
The first in a new series for Whats On Guide. This one’s with Nottingham’s Tori Sheard, have a read and enjoy.
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
This is a review of the album, Colour of Sound, I did a Derby-based band called Fionas Run a while back. Sadly, according to their twitter page they disbanded earlier this year but I thought I’d share this so as to share their musical talent with everyone. Have a read and enjoy
A fresh new album by a fresh new Nottingham/Derby band, Fionas Run, full of ten brand new tracks to listen out for. They may well still be in the early years of their band but there’s been a lot of interest in these guys; Ben Boulton, Luke Wheatley, Robert Manrique and Jamie Pickering, all four of whom make Fionas Run. With musical influences from bands like Snow Patrol, Frank Turner and Mumford and Sons try these guys out and see, or hear, how they sound. Ben, Luke, Robert and Jamie are as talented musicians as they are singers, their song-writing can only be described as melodic and they are as diverse as their musical talents.
Also, they look like the type of band that wouldn’t look out of place at either Glastonbury or the Splendour festival, and they have played to packed crowds. Not hard to understand why there’s a big buzz about them right now. They sound like the sort band that could you could hear doing a live lounge-style performance on The Beat on Radio Nottingham.
If you like your music mature and melodic but with an edge and yet still packing all the rock riffs to your ears and hearts content, then this may be the album to put onto your playlist this year. With fresh original tracks’ such as Left at The Alter, Dragonfly and Summer Feeling you’d be forgiven if you easily thought of them as ‘just another teen rock-pop band’.
Wouldn’t be at all surprised if they appeared on the stage at next years’ Splendour Festival.
Birds of Prey and Colour of Sound are at least two of the tracks that we would recommend that you need to listen out for. The band’s new album Colour of Sound is available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play right now. Download and enjoy. Keep an eye out for them when they come to a music venue near you.
Another from the MusicNotts series, this one’s with Krzysztof Bledowski, a DJ/Producer who’s better known by his stage-name Kikki Error. Have a read and enjoy
The night was young, the stage lights lit up and main stage, the night was young (ish) and the crowds gathered in the masses with pure excitement. Blood, sweat and adrenaline was rising, apart from the summer temperature. 80’s rockers, The Cure made a much anticipated return to Glastonbury, some 29 years since they last headlined back in 1990. And it’s worth noting that they headlined some fours years before then back in 1986, making them the second (or third) band to have headlined all THREE DAYS. Impressive. Front-man Robert Smith opened the set with Plain Busy before continuing their set with numerous hits such as Never Enough, Disintegration, Push, Love Song, The Walk. Between some songs Robert found the time to talk to both the crowd and fans alike. What is fantastic about the band and tonight’s performance was that they appealed to fans and music lovers both old and new. Even after all this time the band are as on-top and incredible now as they were back in the 80’s and early 90’s. The Cure can do no wrong and Robert Smith can still pull off his infamous long. Towards the end of their set they performed two of their biggest hits to date, Friday I’m in Live and the ever well-known tune Close to Me. The band ended the night on Boys Don’t Cry. All I’ll say is that The Cure were definitely worth the wait and you can forgive these guys for a long absence.
Other live performances on today were Maverick Sabre who never fails to impressive, Christine and The Queens who, quite frankly, is always welcome, as is Friendly Fires. A welcome addition to the live line-up was Billie Eilish who impressed the crowds with her latest track Bad Guy.
Look forward to you next year Glastonbury
The sun was setting, the adrenaline was rising as was the excitement and anticipation. It was the moment that everyone had been waiting for, American rock/indie band, The Killers, made their return to Glastonbury Festival and it was their second time headlining since their first appearance back in 2007. It was definitely worth the wait. Crowds screamed and chanted as the band, led by front-man, Brandon Flowers finally made their appearance before a crowd of hundreds of thousands. The band opened their set with the song Jenny Was a Friend of Mine, then they sang hit after hit after hit. Throughout the entire set Glasto fans were treated to an amazing light-show fest. Seriously, you could’ve gazed at it for at least 10 minutes and not got bored of it. If anything it helped build an incredible atmosphere. The Killers knew what both the crowds and fans wanted and wasted no time giving it to them. Armed with an incredible voice, guitar backing and drum beats they treated the people to songs such as The Man, Shot at The Night, Runaways, Read My Mind, Bling (Confessions of The King), Spaceman. Popular hits such as Somebody Told Me, always a crowd pleaser. During the set, and for some unknown reason, Jimmy Carr, appeared on stage on janitorial duties. I’m not going to bother asking. Towards the end of the set The Killers were joined onstage by Pet Shop Boys to perform a duet of Always on My Mind, they even stayed to sing a Killers hit, Human. Not bad going seeing as both bands are complete musical opposites. As the awesome night drew to a close Johnny Marr joined the band whilst they did a cover version of The Charming Man. I’ve heard the original and the Killers cover was quite good.
Other performances during the day were from Tame Impala and Lewis Capaldi as well as Hot Chip. Overall, another fantastic night
UK grime rap music saw history being made today as British grime rap artist, Stormzy, made his headline debut on Glastonbury’s headlining slot tonight. The night was getting dark, the stage was a awash the incredible lighting effects in preparation for what was about to happen. Stormzy at last made his much anticipated debut on the main stage. Every potential headliners dream and for him it certainly was. He opened his set with Know Me From, even donning a union-jack bullet-proof vest (nice touch, I think). Fists were in the air, adrenaline was rising and anticipation was going sky-high. Stormzy churned his way through is set which by all accounts was absolutely epic to say the least. The first four songs of his set were solo, no-one on the stage but him though between Mr Skeng and Cigarettes & Cush the crowds were treated to a fluidic set by a ballet dancing duo. You don’t see that every year at Glastonbury, at least not on the pyramid stage anyway. By this point the blood, seat and tears were simply oozing as Stormzy continued his way through his set performing fresh songs such as Cold, Crown, Bad Boys, Shut Up. During his set he was joined by Chris Martin from Coldplay to perform Blinded By Your Grace pt 1. Part 2 was done later on with gospel backing. Whilst performing he even did a cover version of 00’s hit Sweet Like Chocolate. The crowds just couldn’t get enough, it it liked Stormzy couldn’t either. In keeping with the charts he was joined by other rappers to perform Funky Friday which made history by becoming the first British rap song to top the UK charts. Like all musical greats he ended his set on his epic track, Big For Your Boots. Towards the end of his set he paid tribute to several other grime/rap artists who helped pave the way for him and many others waiting in the wings such as Ms Banks. All I can say is that today/tonight musical history was made by having the first-ever British rap artist headline Glastonbury. TRULY EPIC!!!!!
Also performing today were Two Door Cinema Club who performed all their hits including Satellite and George Ezra who wowed huge crowds with his hits including Shotgun and Paradise.
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