Ben Howard: “So happy hearted in the warmth…Free as a bird that flies.”

Ben Howard– The Independent (May 31, 2013)

Ben Howard, one of my FAVORITE singer/songwriters of all time who I discovered waaaaay before (from my buddy in the UK) he was known in the states (now a global icon). So glad I got to see him twice (Sasquatch music festival and The Independent) before he blew up in the states. His story is very much a Cinderella one, and it’s cool to think the he was a hard-core surfer (Cornwall’s coast) that never thought his campfire guitar sessions with friends at the beach could ever lead to global RockSTARDOM. We have London’s independent record label, Communion, for scooping him up early and helping him develop international success. He’s now already headlined many major festivals (Bestival, Latitude, Green Man, GLASTONBURY…) and has won many critically acclaimed awards all over the world. His fan base has grown IMMENSELY since seeing him back in the states (May 2012), and so seeing him a year later at Summer Stampede (London) and Green Man (Brecon Beacon, Wales) was a much different experience. In fact, I met two girls up at Sumer Stampede who came all the way from SWEDEN to see Ben (since their Peace and Love festival was cancelled). People from ALL OVER THE WORLD to become “so happy hearted in the warmth….free as a bird that flies.”

VIDEOS:

Only Love:

Promise:

Black Flies:

Old Pine:

PICTURES:

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Ben Howard– The Independent (May 31, 2013)

Ben Howard had been on my radar for over a year and so to see him TWICE IN ONE WEEK at Sasquatch and The Independent was absolutely SURREAL. He is seriously one of the most TALENTED and unbelievably HUMBLE musicians I’ve seen. Last night was even further confirmation that I am in love with his music, and everything he represents. And better yet that I got to share it with Jen!  🙂

He opened the show with Depth Over Distance, an unreleased song that showcases his lap top percussion-style guitar skills. (SO GOOD, and wish I got a video!)….Another unreleased song that I love of his is called Soldier. MAGICAL, just magical…

VIDEOS:

Old Pine:

Only Love:

“Untitled”:

The Wolves:

Everything:

Black Flies:

Keep Your Head Up (Part 1):

Keep Your Head Up (Part 2):

Promise:

The Fear:

PICTURES:

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Lucy Rose: “And if we could back time, could we learn to live right?…”

Lucy Rose– Sebright Arms, London

(June 26, 2104)

I first saw/met Lucy Rose when opening for Bombay Bicycle club at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco back in Feb 2012 (see pics and videos below). I’ll never forget that she tapped me on the shoulder to get up onto the stage! My jaw dropped then, and later dropped even further when I first heard her hauntingly beautiful ‘Night Bus‘ ballad (video below). Her voice pierced me right away, bringing tears to my eyes (sounds dramatic but it was true). I remember saying hi after the show and being so lucky enough to snag a pic with the scarlet beauty (see below). I also remember her distinctly being shocked/surprised that anyone in the states even followed her music and knew who she was. WHAAAAAT?! (of course we did!)

 

Almost 3 years later, I see Lucy Rose again at a tiny, intimate (150 people, sold out in 4 min) pre-Glastonbury gig (she was picked to play the same stage as Metallica!) at the Sebright Arms in London. Talk about FULL CIRCLE. Now with a backing band and a much bigger/intense sound, her music has come SUCH a long way from those solo acoustic days which we all know and love. I was getting all emotional that night as she embraced her fans and teared up watching us enjoy the new tracks. Even with over 100,000 likes on Facebook, she’s still one of the most humble, down-to-earth, ADORABLE female artists I know. She makes EVERY FAN feel like they count, and that’s HARD TO DO. Not only did SHE REMEMBER ME from that San Francisco gig 3 years ago, but she told me that I couldn’t leave to go back and that I had to stay in London for the music scene. Difficult choice, girl! I do love the MUSIC MECCA that I London but one’s things for certain: I definitely “left my heart in San Francisco…” ❤

 

On the topic of traveling and living in different cities, I was teasing her when I mentioned that most of her new, unreleased songs (Sheffield, Koln) were named after different cities (see set list below). She laughed and in response was like, “Well, we travel ALOT! Haha.” This is very true, as they had been touring around the world for almost a year before stopping in Manilla (the Philippines) to play some gigs and take a bit of a band holiday. I told her that I loved the new songs, especially the one (‘Cover Up‘) that she recently posted online as a free download; I didn’t exactly take to it the first time I heard it recorded, but when I saw it live (TRIPLE DRUMS, maracas), and saw how much Lucy was embracing this ROCK OUT style, I couldn’t help but smile and rock out too. You could tell she was a bit nervous about how her fans would receive the new songs, so she really appreciated this postiive feedback. I also made sure to tell her she was she was very impressive on the keyboard (check out the video of ‘I Tried‘ below) even though she said it was an insturemnt she was only just learning. Maybe she got some private lessons from her good buddy, Rae Morris (who knew?!), another female artist I really enjoy..(Rae’s brother is Lucy’s manager!)…The music scene really is a SMALL WORLD when you think about how all the artists/bands are all linked! xx

VIDEOS:

Red Face:

Shiver:

I Tried:   *new, unreleased!

Bikes:

Watch Over:

PICTURES:

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Lucy Rose (supporting Bombay Bicycle Club):

The Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco (Feb 15, 2012)

VIDEOS:

Night Bus:

Red Face:

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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