Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats- “Don’t You Weep, Don’t You Worry”: The Filmore (Jan 27, 2016)

The Filmore, San Francisco
Written by Erica Andreozzi

***

Happy to have gotten Mark and Luke to sign my poster!

How lucky was I to have seen THIS Britney Spears IN THE FLESH last night at The Fillmore in SF?!! It’s a shame he didn’t shake those lovely locks loose, but at least we saw Nathaniel Rateliff SHAKE THOSE BOOTS quicker than Britney could (seriously). “HIT ME BABY ONE MORE TIME.”¬† ūüėõ

It’s been a RECORD YEAR for Nathaniel, and to have witnessed his evolution from a somber (but still SUPERB), seasoned singer/songwriter playing at tiny bars in London to a budding blues/rock/folk band playing at smallish chapels in San Francisco to a BREAKTHROUGH ACT (critically acclaimed record and hit song on the radio charts) SELLING OUT at the FAMOUS FILMORE, has been SUPER SATISFYING and DELIGHTFUL, to say the least. I always knew Nathaniel had a special something something that separated him from the rest (check him out in the music documentary, Austin to Boston), and I’m SO GLAD that he didn’t “throw the towel in” (his words) after some disappointment with his solo career and some frustration with record labels. He found his SWEET SPOT in the Night Sweats, and we have been craving that sweet goodness ever since!

***

“I NEED NEVER GET OLD!” Eternal youth. Get it. I honestly believe that making the heart play and the soul sing is INDEED what keeps us from from getting old. that being said, a daily dose of Nights Sweats would DEFINITELY do the trick. ¬† ūüôā

Look it here baby I’m coming out, On my knees begging please yeah…” (Trust me, we are ON OUR KNEES begging more for you, Nate!)

When all else had been failing me, THIS SONG hadn’t.
“I said don’t you weep and don’t you worry
Don’t you weep and don’t you worry…” (instant strength)

I’ve surely shouted this chorus OUT LOUD down the freeway LIKE THE GOSPEL. Might as well be my Hail Mary.

This one starts out all sweet with a bit of a Motown beat, but then turns all NAAAAAASTY (in the best way imaginable) with Nate breaking it down HARD for us on guitar half-way through.

“Come on and just
Shake baby
I love it when you
Shake baby

NEVER GONNA STOP…FEEL WHEN IT’S HOT…No more…” (yaaaas)

Impossible to NOT SHAKE to this one, especially with Nate and Luke’s gnarly guitar jam sesh towards the end. I even got to shake a bit harder cause I had the front railing to hold on to… Always helps!

“I just want to thank you…Sweet baby for getting me through.” I just to THANK YOU, Nate and the Night Sweats, cause swaying to this sweet ditty has definitely helped with “getting me through.” ‚̧

“Think of all the hours I spent in constant reflection
Well it gets you down but it don’t make it right
…..(love the perfectly timed “f*ck yeah! holler in the background)
I made it my personal intervention
What a waste of time time time time time.”

Aside from hauling my hips to this hooky beat, I couldn’t NOT join Nate in belting out my favorite verse:
“You’re filling it up just to turn out on empty
God damn I know just how it feels
I’m gonna tear out all that’s inside me
Look away from here
Cause nobody cares
And they’re trying so hard not to know…”

We ALL KNEW what was coming up next, and the eager anticipation pervading the crowd nearly gave my heart an arrhythmia! Words just can’t describe the ENDLESS EUPHORIA that transpired in each and ever person in the audience that night. I don’t think there was ONE PERSON that did not join Nate as he vehemently vented, “SON OF A BITCH!” after his this powerful preacher goodness:

“I’m gonna need someone to help me
I’m gonna need somebodies hand
I’m gonna need someone to hold me down
I’m gonna need someone to care…”

The steady stream of hand-clapping, combined with the catchy cadency of the continual “Whoa-oa-ooo…Whoa-oa-ooo…Whoa-oa-ooo-ooo’s” had the WHOLE VENUE beating to the same powerful pulse. I instantly felt a connection with EVERYONE IN THE ROOM, including those echoes reverberating off the back wall. It was at that very moment that I remembered why I find music to be such an addiction, and why I make it an essential NECESSITY in my life. It‚Äôs my fuel when energy levels are low, and it‚Äôs my meditation when my mind is muddled. No matter what baggage people (myself included!) may have been carrying with them through the door that night, you better believe it was been dumped by the doorstep upon leaving. Music IS the ultimate medicine, especially when its side effects include NIGHT SWEATS like the ones you feel with Nate and his Seven, SUPER-talented Sweats. ‚̧

And OF COURSE they teased us (made us think they were finished) before they quickly resumed the song for Part 2.

Mark plays a meeeeeeeeean organ (don’t be fooled by that gitty grin) and I loved being right in front of him to embrace the madness. Glad the sax and trumpet player also got in on some of the solo action!

What a CUTE and CLEVER way to end this EPIC EVENING…
Within only a few minutes of the crowd unanimously uniting for “Whoa-oa-ooo…Whoa-oa-ooo…Whoa-oa-ooo-ooo’s” to get the band back on stage, Nate and the Sweats successively slip back on stage, one by one, each breathing life back into their instruments as they do. The procession started with Mark (the organ), then Patrick (the drums), then Wes (the trumpet), then Luke (lead guitar) and then eventually the NUCLEUS, Mr. Rateliff. I can’t think of a better way to make us feel loved and “a part of their family,” which was Nate’s ONE WISH from the beginning. ūüôā

Emilie & Ogden (amazing harpist!) had us “never going out of style” at The Independent (Jan 16, 2016)

The Independent in San Francisco
Written by Erica Andreozzi

Having recently come back from a UK tour with Half Moon Run, Emilie & Ogden was set open for them at The Independent last Saturday. The was the first trip to San Francisco for Emilie and her harp, Ogden, and she surely left her SF audience YEARNING FOR MORE that night.  This Montreal-based harpist STUNNED the crowd after only ONE SONG, dropping jaws and bringing the room to a complete silence. With vocals reminiscent of Emiliana Torrini (one of my favorite Icelandic/Italian singers) and harp healing powers of Joanna Newsom (love love love), Emilie surpassed any and ALL initial expectations. You better believe I purchased her CD (signed of course!) after the show. Looking forward to her return! 

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Emilie STOLE OUR HEARTS with this GORGEOUS COVER of Taylor Swift‘s popular hit, ‘Style.’ I don’t listen to the radio or to Taylor Swift, but I had heard this song before riding in the car with my friend Sarah who loves her. I definitely prefer THIS VERSION! ‚̧

Then she reeled us in with a beautiful gem called ‘What Happened‘ off her debut album, 10,000.

Although I was definitely tempted to capture all of her stunning songs on video, I pumped the brakes and instead just made sure to capture the title track (‘10,000‘)of her debut album. In a recent facebook post, Emilie had said that song was meant to evoke her inner hypochondriac and secret fear of one day waking up blind. Would never have guessed that but it’s super interesting!

 

 

West Coast (playlist: Dec 10, 2015)

West Coast

Compiled Dec 10, 2015

Following up on my previous playlist — ‘Coming Home — I’ve launched a new playlist called ‘West Coast,’ as this title track by the Seattle-based band, Hey Marseilles, embodies the essence of WHY I moved back to California. This song reminded me of WHY it was ALL WORTH IT, and I can’t help but RAWR along with the catchy chorus, “Meet me on the west coast… We’ll make it our own.” I was lucky enough to see Hey Marseilles live for the first time in September, and I look forward to seeing them again at The Independent in March for their new album launch.

Aside from Hey Marseilles, other bands I’ve recently seen that inspired this playlist are Nathaniel Rateliffe and the Nightsweats, City and Colour, Boy & Bear, Doe Paoro, Little May (who’s song ‘Bow and Arrow‘ was another track I had on CONSTANT REPEAT),¬† Aero Flynn (as an opener for Minus the Bear), Of Monsters and Men, Youth Lagoon, and Penny and Sparrow.

New discoveries that I have yet to see live and are very much on my radar, are Tow’rs, King Charles (recently on tour with Mumford & Sons), Julien Baker, El Vy (I LOVE Matt Berninger from The National), Max Frost, Seoul (opener for We Were Promised Jetpacks at The Great American Music Hall last month), and This is Koa (recently featured on Noisetrade).

Although the Staves are not a new discovery — as I have LOVED THEM ever since watching Communion’s Austin to Boston music documentary —I have YET to be SEDUCED by these SOOTHING SIREN SISTERS in the flesh, and I can’t wait till they come back for another US tour (hopefully for US summer festivals!). Having been produced by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Volcano Choir, their new album — If I was — is a MAGICAL MASTERPIECE and was one of the only things keeping my sane during recent rough times. ‘No me, no you, no more,’ was a standout track for me, and was one I frequently sang to in order to calm my nerves and soothe the soul. Finally, I’m excited to see one of my FAVORITE ICELANDIC BANDS — Kaleo — again this spring after first discovering them at Iceland Airwaves last year. It’s SUPER EXCITING to see them breaking new ground with their new songs and becoming quite a INTERNATIONAL HIT, just as I thought they would. Now, if you shall MEET ME ON THE WEST COAST… ūüôā

Here’s a Spotify playlist with most of the songs (some still missing):

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You can download all of the songs (out of order) from my link on Box.com

https://app.box.com/s/fccew2dnpyvacio4xfrps8d2fpj3qhhv

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No Me, No You, No More-  The Staves
Wasted Love- City And Colour
Helm- Tow’rs¬†¬†¬†
West Coast- Hey Marseilles   
Where’d You Go- Boy & Bear¬†¬†
Bow & Arrow- Little May   
Return To The Moon- El Vy  
Hypotheticals- Doe Padro   
I Need Never Get Old- Nathaniel Rateliff And The Night Sweats   
Killing Time- City And Colour   
Dk/Pi- Aero Flynn   
No Good-  Kaleo
Hollow Ground- Boy & Bear   
Northern Blues- City And Colour  
Love Lust- King Charles   
Home- Little May   
I’ve Been Failing – Nathaniel Rateliff And The Night Sweats¬†¬†¬†
Walking Backwards- Doe Padro   
Just Dumb- Boy & Bear   
White Lies- Max Frost   
Everybody Does- Julien Baker   
Woman- City And Colour   
LoveBlood- King Charles   
Paul Is Alive- El Vy   
Trying So Hard Not To Know- Nathaniel Rateliff And The Night Sweats Twist- Aero Flynn
Breakdown Slow- Boy & Bear  
The Brightest Lights- King Charles  
Damn It All- The Staves
Highway Patrol Stun Gun- Youth Lagoon  
What Now- This is Koa
Stay With Us- Seoul
Wolves Without Teeth- Of Monsters And Men  
Duet (Feat. Stephanie Briggs)- Penny And Sparrow 

Passport to Stockholm: “Don’t tell me that we can’t try, Our imperfections define us.”

Passport to Stockholm– Communion’s Bushstock, London

(June 14, 2014)

You MUST CHECK OUT this talented London-based folk-indie quartet (Chris, Tom, Sophie, Henri) that turned heads at Communion’s Bushstock and Barn on the Farm festivals back in June: Passport to Stockholm. Despite the name, this band is NOT from Sweden, and you will just have¬†to ask Chris what inspired it…(I certainly did!). Chris ‘Barny’ Barnham’s vocals are slightly reminiscent of¬†Bastille’s¬†frontman (who certainly did well for himself), and Henri’s percussion and glockenspiel remind me a bit of Freelance Whales¬†(one of my favorite bands from back in the states). Also, I fall weak at the knees for any band with a cello, and Sophie’s bowing/plucking of this beautiful instrument gives this band extra depth, adding fullness to their sound. Of course we can’t forget about Tom, who’s guitar and loops serve as the band’s backbone. Everyone’s talent shines through, and their chemistry is something we can’t ignore. Luckily you CAN’T ignore this if you buy their debut EP, which happens to be CALLED¬†‘Chemistry.’¬†I have already put some of my favorite tracks (What Have We Done, Chemistry, Reality, Carousel) on a recent playlist titled¬†‘What Have We Done,’ but there some other unreleased gems that you can only pocket LIVE,¬†when you see them IN THE FLESH…which you SHOULD and CAN at¬†upcoming summer festivals:¬†Brownstock, Weyfest, Feastival, Southsea fest. Even though I’ve been lucky¬†enough to see this band THREE TIMES in ONE MONTH (Bushtock, Soho House, Hoxton Square Bar & Grill), ¬†there’s not doubt I’ll be at their next¬†gig in a heartbeat.¬†They continue to impress me the more I see them, and now that I finally know their entire catalogue of songs, I can finally sing along!..(not TOO loud, of course). Here’s a near perfect¬†indie-folk track (Imperfections)¬†that they just announced and will have a launch gig for at the Barfly on Sept 16th. SEE. YOU. THERE. https://soundcloud.com/passporttostockholm/passport-to-stockholm-imperfections

First off, I can never get¬†ENOUGH¬†glockenspiel¬†in my life, and so their peppy opener¬†of¬†Wanted It More¬†made for a pretty powerful first impression. Go Henri! The¬†catchy melody and glockenSPEEK leaves you WANTING IT MORE just as Barny wraps up the last verse:¬†“All that we are left with is the bittersweet taste of of life, love and lust…”¬† Glad I now¬†know it’s “wanted it more” instead of “once you need more.” Oh, that BRITISH ACCENT…

Next up was¬†the STELLAR title track (Chemistry)¬†of their debut EP. ¬†A beautiful mix of cello, percussion, and vocals, that will have you¬†swaying along and soon chiming in on the chorus: ¬†“And you wanted, to reason, an escape route, to leave in…was I selfish,¬†letting you choose, when you had everything to lose.”¬†Not only does Barny’s voice SOAR in this one, but Sophie (the cellist) adds some lovely backing vocals toward the end.¬†See the videos below.

Then came Carousel, which I teased Barny about being such a HARD WORD TO SPELL. He totally disagreed, saying it was “soooooo easy,” but we all know he just spent too much time the carnival as a kid, haha. This one is another lovely track off Passport to Stockholm‘s debut EP, and the chorus is very fun to belt out¬†(esp. the first line):

“You get what you want….but not what you need
Cause you tear my soul and you spin me around…
What a man to do?”

Following the “hard to spell song” was a track¬†(All I Seek) that Barny introduced as¬†his “personal favorite,” and I COULD NOT AGREE MORE.¬†The drum part in this one is WICKED, and¬†reminds me a bit of Bastille (which is not a bad thing!)…What’s also wicked is Sophie’s¬†gnarly picking of her cello. Tom furiously strums, Barny vehemently vents:¬†“All I see, all I need from you, is TRUTH.” (indeed) ¬†I can’t wait when they finally release this gem so I can have it in the palm of my hand….All I seek, all I need…is THIS TRACK. x

Passport to Stockholm are¬†new band discovery that I’m REALLY PROUD and EXCITED¬†and about, and who I know are destined for bigger stages and bigger carousels. Besides having awesome CHEMISTRY (literal and song)¬†with each other, they have awesome chemistry with the crowd, and are some of the most genuinely appreciative and humble bunch of music makers that I know. Do yourself a favor and CHECK THEM OUT. You’ll thank me later! ¬†ūüôā

VIDEOS:

Wanted it More:

Chemistry:

Carousel:

What Have You Done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LdrTQR78LA

All I Seek:

PICTURES:

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Passport to Stockholm– Hoxton Square Bar & Grill, London

(July 11, 2014)

VIDEOS:

Chemistry:

Carousel:

All I Seek:

Wanted It More:

PICTURES:

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Passport to StockholmРThe SOHO House, London

(July 7, 2014)

PICTURES:

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Jack Garratt: “Let me be something you use up for one night…Burn the remnants of my youth.”

Jack Garratt– Oslo, London

(July 22, 2014)

If you’re a fan of the talented¬†Alex Vargas, then you’ll sure to be a fan of¬†Jack Garratt. They have slightly¬†different¬†vocal ranges and musical styles, but are both are¬†some of¬†London’s finest. They also just HAPPEN to be roommates and very good buddies. Having played with few jazz/funk bands before flying solo,¬†Jack Garratt¬†threads alot soul and funk into his ambient melodies, and it’s a bit tricky to describe his genre.¬†Delicate keys, soulful vocals, rippling beats, and funky guitar…all served up fresh by this multi-taleneted (hilarious and humble) BEARDY BRO. ¬†I remember¬†Alex Vargas¬†specifically telling me that I had to check Jack out at¬†Communion’s Bushstock, and since I missed his performance because of a clashing artist, I figured I would have to catch him at his sold out EP¬†(‘Remnants‘) release ¬†gig at¬†The Waiting Room. Funny enough, Jack gave a shout-out to Alex, telling the crowd that he felt like greeting them the same way that his buddy (Alex) did at his Lexington gig a few months back:¬†“What the hell is everyone DOING HERE?!”¬†Jack kicked¬†off the set with¬†his EP’s title track,¬†Remants, and¬†I enjoyed watching him first ATTACK THE BASE at 15 sec in, and then smooth it out with delicate chords right¬†after:¬†“Let me be something you use up for one night…Burn the remnants of my youth.”¬†¬†Next up was¬†Water, which happens to be one of my favorites. I love the quivering, trippy sounds at the beginning, followed by the wobble base¬†FLOODING¬†IN (perfect timing) when Jack¬†sings¬†“Drown me in the water…Drown me in the sea…Let your water, wash over me.”¬†Right after¬†Water, Jack panics because he realizes that he did not have his Macbook charger up on stage with him, and he would need it for his next fews songs. At first he joked that¬†“everyone could go home now,”¬†but then soon begged someone help him find his charger. While Jack was waiting for one of his buddies to save the day, he added levity to the situation by teasing himself and saying things like,¬†“If I look down, you are all NOT HERE.”¬†Haha.

Armed with the Macbook charger, Jack continued on with set, playing three songs that are not yet released or on his EP:¬†Youth, a cover (whose name I’m not sure), and¬†Grow Older. I remember really liking the Grow Older song, and I hope he releases it as a single soon. He followed these songs up with¬†I Wouldn’t Want You Anyway, the first track on his Remnants EP.¬†¬†It’s¬†a slow one, but the POWER OF HIS PIPES at 6 min in is sure to¬†KEEP YOU AWAKE. His voice in this one reminds me a bit of¬†Hozier, one of my favorite new artists of this year. Plus, the intro line is definitely one to entire:¬†“Bad times are coming…And good friends are gone.”

Right before wrapping up his set, Jack¬†thanks a good lot of people, including a music producer could came all the way from Denmark, as well as his parents, who “make it to almost every gig.” (I LOVE THAT.) After hearing his encore of¬†Worry, I confidently say that¬†Jack Garratt¬†has nothing to WORRY¬†about…A KILLER PERFORMANCE all around. Not only does this trak commence with¬†a siiiiiiick opening line (“My nights are broken up by then sounds of women I’ll never meet…”), but it follows with a hot, cheeky jab that you can’t help get chills from:¬†“You came around to say, that you’ve been away, like I hadn’t known…¬†As if I haven’t felt your breathe in every step when the wind blows.”¬†Then, all of this tension and “worry” brewing in the first 4 min just suddenly EXPLODES, and Jack cuts all hell loose on his electric guitar.¬†“DON’T YOU WORRY ‘BOUT IT…”¬†He definitely unleashes the beast on this one, and you can definitely see how he used to be ripping in jazz/funk band before this.

A week later, I had the fortune of seeing Jack again because he happened to be opening (3 nights in a row)¬†for¬†The Temper Trap, for which I already had tickets.¬†I was able to get some great videos from this gig (see below), even those I was a bit close to the speakers. I suggest that everyone¬†check out his debut EP (‘Remnant’s) and see him whenever he rolls into your town. He’s sure to leave memorable REMNANTS that will leave you wanting MORE. x

VIDEOS:

Remnants:

I Couldn’t Want You Anyway: [e/bed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lSQkVAePTk[/embed]

Worry:

PICTURES:

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Jack Garratt– The Waiting Room, London

(July 16, 2014)

PICTURES:

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Boy & Bear: “Cause the love that keeps me sane, Is killing me all the same”

Boy & Bear– Village Underground (Feb 25, 2014)

Aside from Augustines and Wild Cub, Boy & Bear make the cut as one top new bands I saw live in 2014. Boy & Bear KIIIIIIILED IT a few months back at their SOLD OUT Village Underground gig. They played a hearty set of 16 songs, the first of which was MY FAVORITE: Three Headed Woman: 

“Cause the love that keeps me sane, is killing me all the same
It’s killing me, it’s killing me oh….
It’s just one of those days, I can’t stop thinking
I’m as heavy as my hangover, and I woke up in a sweat

Cause I’m aware of consequence,
and I’m aware of pain now too.”¬†(YES. Line KILLS ME every time).

Another favorite from the set (also on their new album ,¬†Harlequin Dream) was¬†Old Town Blues, and it was really fun to watch Dave embrace his lil’ dance solo (guitar free song) while¬†trying to keep a straight face. It kept me smiling the whole time.¬†I really¬†love the last verse of lyrics when he talks about wanting to teach his kids how to love. I noticed that he sings about kids in a few of his songs even though he doesn’t have any of his own (but Tim of course joked that he had like 5):

“Cos I wanna be an old man too
I wanna be a role model to my kids
I wanna teach them how to love
But you gotta show me how to live.”

Another one I really enjoyed was Bridges, and the last line in the intro verse always makes me laugh:

“Get up and dance girl
I’m in a rock and roll band
That makes me more of a man
Didn’t you know?..” (love this)

The encore of¬†Southern Sun¬†(no surprise) fired everyone up and had¬†us “losing out mind out there.” SO GOOD. I’m sad I wasn’t able to capture this one in full…JUS missed my favorite verse:

“I saw the light from a kettle gun
Sixteen days under a southern sun
And there were times when I thought that
I wouldn’t mind it if I lost my mind out there…”

Even with a few of my other favorites (Blood to Gold, Mexican Mavis) missing from the set, the whole gig still PACKED A PUNCH. This band is ACE and both albums are stacked. I am so thankful that my friend from Melbourne (Cara) recommended them to me a few year back!  

 

VIDEOS:

Southern Sun:

Bridges:

A Moment’s Grace:

Back Down the Black:

Old Town Blues:

Harlequin Dream:

Three Headed Woman:     (one of my favorites!)

PICTURES:

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Bear’s Den: “I didn’t know when I started runnin’…I’d be runnin’ my whole life.”

Bear’s Den– Nice N’ Sleazys, Glasgow

(Feb 10, 2013)

I first saw this London-based indie/folk trio¬†(Andrew Davie, Kev Jones, Joey Haynes) with my friend¬†Mairi¬†at a popular, tiny venue in Glasgow¬†called¬†Nice N’ Sleazy’s. We we pretty much ON STAGE for that gig (super close up), and simply mesmerized by their beautiful folk ballads, especially¬†Bad Blood,¬†Pompeii,¬†A Year Ago Today, and¬†Don’t Let the Sun Steal Your Heart Away.¬†When I first heard Bad Blood that night, I knew it would become one of those few (and very powerful) LIFE ANTHEMS that I would revisit on a regular basis. An then to later hear a stripped down reincarnation of it at the Village Underground (see video below) with no amps or mics was pure divinity. Brutally honest lyrics that I can remember always remember in a heartbeat:¬†“Forgive me for I am not acting myself, I’m just trying to rid all this bad blood. All this baaaaad blood.”¬†

It was at this Glasgow gig¬†that I first met the¬†Bear’s Den¬†drummer, Kevin Jones, who also happens to be the¬†founder of the record label and music community¬†Communion¬†(along with Ben Lovett of¬†Mumford and Sons). I saw him again at their next London gig (St. Stephen’s¬†Church) a month later and ended up sitting next to his cousin! Haha. It really is a small world when you consider the loyal fan base of many UK bred bands.¬†

I later went on to see¬†Bear’s Den¬†SIX more times, my favorite gig being the one at¬†Village Underground. This¬†was right after the release of their new EP, ‘Sahara,’ and¬†¬†the title track was my anthem for a good month. Sooooooo freaking good.¬†Opening as a slow, mournful ballad, this song suddenly breaks out into a joyful, folk-drive shuffle that oozes all sorts of empowerment. YES. Hands down my favorite track on the new Bear’s Den EP, ‘Without/Within.’

“All of my life
I wasn’t honest enough
and I thought I would never get over you.
I’ll never get over you.

You said that I’d always feel alone
Well it’s the life that I chose
You said I could never be happy with anyone
Well I found looooove. 
I found looooooove.”

I saw this gig was my friend¬†Belle, another music junkie who had first spotted the incredible talent of Andrew Davie when he was the frontman for a¬†Cherbourg¬†in 2010. Again, SMALL WORLD! Good music doesn’t just come and go. It sneaks back up on you with a vengeance! ūüėČ

Here are¬†some of my favorite Bear’s Den lyrics that still slay (or claw) me:

“Sever the ties, Cut me up. Fill up the hole that I tried and I tried and I tried to fill.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†
Forgive me for I am not acting myself, but these B’s in my breath have to come out…
I’m just trying to drain all this bad blood. All this baaaaad blood.”¬†¬† (soooo good)
*

“Don’t let the sun steal you away,
Don’t let your mind speak louder than your heart.”¬†¬†–Don’t Let the Sun Steal Your Heart Away

*

“I didn’t know when I started runnin’
I’d be runnin’ my whole life.”¬†¬†–Sophie
(very relevant to my  nomadic postdoc life right now)

*

Check out the live videos and pictures of the SEVEN¬† (insane, I know)¬†Bear’s Den¬†gigs I’ve seen¬†(Nice N’ Sleazys, St. Stephen’s Church, Great Escape, Bushstock, Village Underground, Green Man, Electric Brixton). You need to see these BEARS then they come GROWLIN’¬†INTO YOUR TOWN. ūüôā

 VIDEOS:

Brother:

Hard Life:

Stubborn Beast:

Pompeii:

Don’t Let the Sun Steal Your Heat Away:

Isaac:

The Writing’s On The Wall:

PICTURES:

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Bear’s Den– St. Stephen’s Church, London¬†(March 20, 2013)

 VIDEOS:

Bad Blood:

 PICTURES:

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Getting myself in the BEAR DEN. ¬†ūüėČ

Bear’s Den– Great Escape¬†(May 18, 2013)

 VIDEOS:

Bad Blood:

PICTURES:

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Bear’s Den– Bushstock (June 1, 2013)

 VIDEOS:

Davy (new song?):

PICTURES:

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Bear’s Den–¬†Green Man (May 18, 2013)

Mother: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jqn-wG2-fIg

Isaac: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qypTDZGHvSU

Bad Blood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXdNJyQwUyM

PICTURES:

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Bear’s Den– Village Underground¬†(Nov 6, 2013)

 VIDEOS:

Sophie:

Writings On The Wall:

Sahara II:

Bad Blood:

PICTURES:

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Bear’s Den– Brixton Electric¬†(May 13,¬†2013)

 

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Catfish and the Bottlemen- “I want to endorse you…I want you to EXHAUST ME.”

Catfish and the Bottlemen– The Barfly, London (July 23, 2013)

I first stumbled upon¬†Catfish and the Bottlemen¬†at a¬†Communion¬†event held at one of my favorite Camden venues, the Barfly. Other acts in the Communion lineup were¬†Sam Fender¬†and¬†Nick Mulvey,¬†both very talented singer/songwriters.¬†I was extremely impressed with what I heard, and predicted a HUGE FUTURE¬†for these Welsh lads. I met Billy and Van that night and told them all about the killer festivals in the states that I could see them doing. Van has killer frontman personality (HILARIOUS) that is perfect for engaging crowds and getting them on your side. As a loyal fan and buddy of this group from their early beginnings, I went on to see them a total of SIX¬†TIMES in London (Barfly, KOKO, O2 Islington Academy, the Macbeth, Sebright Arms, The Borderline). CRAZY, I know. They were always so immensely appreciative and humbled by my support, and it feels good when Rob (aka “Dr Bob”) asks you your opinion about the new songs as feedback for the debut¬†album. I always told them that¬†Pacifer, Homesick,¬†and¬†Sidewinder¬†(especially)¬†were my favorite of their early setlists, and that¬†Rango¬†and¬†A.S.A.¬†would be their next big hits. Sidewinder’s¬†pulsating¬†riffs and infectious energy stir up all sorts of madness, and some of the lines (“I want to endorse you, I want you to EXHAUST ME”)¬†are pretty hot.¬†Turns out my prediction was spot on, cause Zane Lowe of¬†Radio 1¬†deemed these songs (Kathleen) some of the “hottest record in the world”, and soon reached the top of the charts (as well as playlists for the epic footballers of¬†Manchester United!…Also, my wish for them to tour the¬†states came true, cause they got the opportunity to do¬†the¬†Governor’s Ball¬†and¬†Bonnaroo¬†this year, as well as a few other additional fests! Re-VANped (pun intended) by their American glory, they came back the the UK fired up for a whole slew of summer festivals: Ibiza Rocks,¬†Wakestock, T in the Park, Somersault, Tramlines, Kendal Calling, Belladrum, Boardmasters, Read and Leeds, Bestival…All BEFORE RELEASING THEIR DEBUT ALBUM. Mental! They also just SOLD OUT¬†a headline show at¬†KOKO¬†in November, but I’ll¬†be gone from London by then and I won’t get to be¬†HOMESICK with them one last time. The energy and charisma of this indie rock quintet is pretty rare, and their chemistry is hard to find; the all grew¬†up together in small-town Wales, and it SHOWS!¬†Glad I was at least able to catch those CATFISH before others CAUGHT ON! ūüėõ

VIDEOS:

Homesick: 

Sidewinder: 

Tyrants: 

PICTURES:

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Catfish and the Bottlemen– The Macbeth, London (Aug 29, 2013)

VIDEOS:

Rango: 

PICTURES:

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Catfish and the Bottlemen– Sebright Arms (Sep 16, 2013)

Rango: 

Kathleen: 

Pacifier: 

Heartbreaker: 

Sidewinder: 

PICTURES:

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Catfish and the Bottlemen– O2 Islington Academy, London (Oct 25, 2013)

VIDEOS:

A.S.A.:

PICTURES:

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Catfish and the Bottlemen– The Borderline, London (Feb 24, 2013)

PICTURES:

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Alex Vargas- “So hammer on my heartstrings, Come on get your fill”

Alex Vargas The Lexington, London

(May 23, 2014)

The Guardian recently cited¬†Alex Vargas¬†as ‚Äúone of the most impressive white soul voices since Steve Winwood and Robert Palmer,” and I could not agree MORE. His sold-out performance last night at¬†The Lexington¬†had you WEAK AT THE KNEES, despite his initial¬†remark to the crowd:¬†“It’s Friday night! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU ALL DOING HERE?!”¬†(very endearing). It’s Alex’s unique pipes and soulful HOWLIN’ that make him stand out above most troubadours his age, and it’s very fitting for ‘Howl‘ to be the title of his recent EP. He describes ‘Howl‘ as a collection of personal songs¬†“For my loved ones, and some lost ones.”¬†The title track WILL give you goosebumps. His howlin’ has ME HOWLIN’!¬†Raised in Denmark but of British/Uruguayan descent, Alex has been living in London for almost 10 years and is now finally reaping the rewards of his exhaustive¬†circuit of open mic nights. He recently had¬†two sell-out headline tours, and now is in high demand. It turns out he is very good friends and roommates with another London artist ( also fathered by Communion) who¬†was on the lineup for Communion’s Bushstock this year: Jack Garratt. I ran into Alex at Jack Garratt’s debut EP (Remant’s) launch at The Waiting Room last night, and he said that him and the band are working on recording and hope to have another headline gig in October. That might be the last one I see in London!

VIDEOS:

Solid Ground:

Winter Snow:

Howl:     (my favorite!)

Walking on the Wire:

PICTURES:

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Hozier- “The only heaven I’ll be sent to, Is when I’m alone with you.”

Hozier– Bushstock, London

(June 14, 2014)

I first heard about¬†Hozier¬†from a friend back in the states who saw him in Los Angeles (sold out gig) and¬†fell in love…with the music of course!¬†Andrew ‘Hozier’-Byrne¬†is from¬†Wicklow, Ireland, and¬†had been¬†exposed to Celtic, soul, jazz, and blues music growing up; he then studied music at Trinity College in Dublin,¬†teachingt himself¬†to play guitar and piano. Partway through¬†college, he dropped out to focus on his nourishing his craft full time. He realized that the best environment for writing music was at “home,” where he could properly reflect on the world and reflect THOSE REFLECTIONS back onto the world through song.¬†

When asked about this topic,¬†he¬†says:¬†‚ÄúListen to any song, from any era; and you’re looking through a keyhole into the artist’s world as seen through their eyes. Art is, in it’s simplest form, the reproduction of the world around us. All artists reproduce their vision of the world, and in doing so create a document that reflects the times they live in‚ÄĚ.

The first songs that¬†Hozier¬†ever released were through his¬†first¬†EP, ¬†‘Take Me To Church.’ This included¬†Take Me to Church¬†(the lead track),¬†Angel Of Small Death,¬†Like Real People Do, and¬†Cherry Wine. He apparently recorded all of these songs LIVE, meaning outside on a rooftop amidst nature (yes, that bird chirping in Cherry Wine is REAL), and played all of the instruments.

That ‘Take Me To Church’¬†EP alone had me itching to see him live, but then the release of his ‘Eden‘ EP…and from that point, I was head over heels. As a singer/songwriter,¬†Hozier’s¬†impressive¬†vocal range and his adroit guitar skills enable him to embody elements of folk, blues, and gospel.¬†Now, with a backing band (bassist, drummer, keyboardist, cellist), he is able to blur the lines between those music genres even more.¬†Within only a few months from releasing his debut EPs,¬†Hozier¬†was announced to headline¬†Communion’s Bushstock festival¬†on June 14. With him and Alexi Murdoch as the main acts, I IMMEDIATELY got tickets.

Having planted myself on the ground in front of the stage for¬†Alexi Murdoch, I had prime real estate¬†for¬†Hozier‘s set (immediately following Alexi). Hozier and his band¬†kicked¬†off the set with¬†Like Real People Do, a song that makes me melt like butter:

“I will not ask you where you came from
I will not ask you and neither should you

Honey just put your sweet lips on my lips
We should just kiss like real people do..”¬†(DYING)

The sound wasn’t the greatest for the first few songs (where was the sound engineer?!), but it was still AMAZING…(see video below)

Next up in the set was Angel of Small Death, another Hozier gem (video below) that has such a fun chorus to sing along to.

Hozier‘s band then left the stage for the next¬†one,¬†To Be Alone, and DAAAAAMN it felt good TO BE ALONE with the Irishman with PIPES THAT PULSE:¬†“It feels good, girl, GIRL it feels good…To be alone with you…”
His howling at 2 min in sent instant shivers down the spine. DAMN. What a VOICE. (the sexy guitar ditty was pretty hot too…)

The band came back and joined¬†Hozier¬†for what he¬†introduced as¬†Work Song, explaining that it was very much a “work in progress for a long time,” and “we couldn’t think of a better name.” Well, it was surely worth the wait. What a beaut.

“When, my, time comes around
Lay me gently in the cold dark earth
No grave can hold my body down
I’ll crawl home to her..”

BUT, the¬†song that had us PRAYING FOR MORE was the popular crowd pleaser, ¬†Take Me to Church:¬†“The only heaven I’ll be sent to,¬†Is when I’m alone with you.” SLAYED. Following up on this¬†was a cover of Amerie’s¬†One Thing.¬†Hozier¬†introduced this as something “fun” that they tried out for a radio show. Would have never expected him to cover a pop song like that! So funny!

Then, it was time for the magic to end.¬†Hozier‘s CHILLY ENCORE of From Eden left us all weak at the knees leaving St. Stephen’s Church. I was the googly-eyed chick¬†in front with my jaw dropped (and probably drool…)¬†I know for sure I wasn’t the only one!

“Babe, there’s something tragic about you
Something so magic about you
Don’t you agree?

Babe, there’s something lonesome about you
Something so wholesome about you
Get closer to me.”¬†(YES)

For this gig, I definitely got as close as I could (aside from being ON STAGE), and I don’t think¬†it will be easy to get this close again. His fan base is just going to keep EXPLODING more and more, ESPECIALLY¬†when he releases his first debut album. x

VIDEOS:

Like Real People Do:

Angel of Small Death:

To Be Alone:

Work Song:

Take Me to Church:

One Thing (Amerie cover):

From Eden:

PICTURES:


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George Ezra- “Give Me One Good Reason Why I Should Never Make a Change”

George Ezra– The Electric Ballroom, London

(June 18, 2014)

Ever since I saw George Ezra at last year’s Communion Bushstock festival, I knew this young chap was BOUND FOR STARDOM. With a voice very much beyond his years and a bit reminiscent of the legendary Johnny Cash, George and his guitar are enough to DROP JAWS and TURN HEADS. Following up on Bushstock, I was lucky enough to catch George at tiny venues (Queen of Hoxton, Nottinghill Arts Club) within the next few months, and even got to hang with him after the Queen of Hoxton gig (which was FREE and pretty much a personal gig since only a few people came!)…I remember telling him how much I enjoyed his recent performances and how I predicted that he would BLOW UP within the next year, especially after snagging a slot on the BBC introducing stage at Glastonbury 2013. My prediction proved to be SPOT ON, and within a year George was headlining SOLD OUT Europe/UK tours, and topping the UK charts. Just recently I saw George Ezra featured in the London Metro, and I couldn’t help but pat myself on the back a bit for spreading the word about him A YEAR AGO during his TRAVELING TROUBADOUR days. I remember him talking about not having a place to stay in Paris when his hostel was full and how he never wanted to HEAR THE RAIN again because he caught in a storm all night. I guess it’s ironic that his song, ‘Did You Hear the Rain?‘ is now a top hit on the radio and his other song, ‘Budapest‘ (one of my favorites), climbed to #4 on UK charts. I feel pretty lucky to have caught him when he was just starting out and I could watch him from arms-reach away in a tiny venue (see pics/videos below). And I must admit…I like his raw, Johnny Cash-esque style of his troubadour days much more than his studio produced/band-backed sound, but at least he’s GETTING THE CREDIT HE DESERVES. After George’s epic set (see full set list below) at the Electric Ballroom this month (June 18), We are all excited for the release of his debut album (Cassio) in August.

Set List: Blame It on Me, Drawing Board, List to the Name, Casio, Barcelona, Over the Creek, Leaving it Up to You, Stand By You Gun, Spectacular Rival, Budapest, Benjamin Twine, Did You Hear the Rain

PICTURES:

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George Ezra– NottingHill Arts Club, London

(Oct 8, 2013)

 VIDEOS:

Blame It On Me:

Drawing Board:

Did You Hear the Rain:

PICTURES:

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George Ezra– The Queen of Hoxton, London

(July 1, 2013)

VIDEOS:

Breakaway:

Budapest:

Stand By Your Gun:

Benjamin Twine:

Did You Hear the Rain:

PICTURES:


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George Ezra–¬†Bushstock, London

(July 1, 2013)

 

VIDEOS:

Stand By Your Gun:

Budapest:

Did You Hear The Rain:

PICTURES:

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