I went to see Jason Mraz last month at the O2 Arena when his world tour, whimsically named Tour is a Four Letter Word, hit the UK for its final night. The tour is to support his latest album, Love is a Four Letter Word, which has spawned various other "is a four letter word" themes, including a bonus album, Live is..... and then there's the tree planting scheme, Tree is.... well, you get the idea.
Talented live performer Gabrielle Aplin has released a new single, a cover of the 1984 Frankie Goes to Hollywood number 1 THE POWER OF LOVE. It is the theme tune for the John Lewis advert this Christmas and is doing nicely, currently number 5 in both the Amazon and I-tunes download charts. Production is rather simpler than the original with little more than Gabrielle's beautiful bell-clear voice and a piano played softly. As the festive season approaches, I predict that this will continue to sell well. Lovely, lovely version of a beautiful song.
Live albums can be a bit of an adventure. Some are great, but many don't work, not least because quite a few successful artists should really stick to the studio where there's a super powerful auto tune to edit out all those bum notes. They can be a good way to decide whether or not to pay money out to see an act live. As you listen, ask yourself this: are you making allowances for it being a live set, or are you bopping your socks off to an outstanding performance?
With his new album Matt Cardle has finally come out of his box and become his own man. He has a new recording contract with SoWhat? records that gives him the control he lacked with Columbia/Sony, a new album, "The Fire" and a sound that is totally, unmistakably Cardle. His three date album launch mini tour took place this week, setting venues alight in Birmingham, Brighton and culminating in the launch party at Scala, London. "The Fire" and lead single, "It's Only Love" are out simultaneously on the 29th October 2012. Take my advice and go straight for the album.
BRISTOL TERROR SCRIBES 5/5/2012, a Remembrance
By Sue Phillips
The Terror Scribes have never invaded Bristol before and so the town did not really know what to expect. It decided that the safest option was to keep its head down and pretend that this was just another ordinary day. A casual observer might have been forgiven for thinking that all was as usual. The quiver of fear that ran through the streets went unseen, unfelt... but it was there.
Here's a brief round up of many (not all) things Matt Cardle over the past few months.
So the Letters album went Platinum a while ago and Matt has been touring Britain promoting it. The warm up tour took in the Highlands and Islands, culminating at the legendary Koko. I was there and his voice was as good as I'd ever heard it. He kicked off with a new version of the title track Letters that was half acoustic, half rocking out and it set the mood for the whole show where soaring falsetto interspersed some belting performances. He was thrilled when the audience sang along to what were still new songs, not yet released, and left the stage exclaiming "Thank you Koko. Best night of my life!"
James Walsh has been a busy bee in recent times. It would take a long time to list everything the former Starsailor front man has been up to, but let's look at a few of the more interesting ones before he gets on and does another half dozen.
First he has an EP out and I can recommend giving it a listen. There is also the free track Man on the Hill to download from his website www.jameswalshmusic.com
Note: This is a personal rant. It is aimed squarely at the profiteers, not at artists or venues where artists perform.
Booking tickets for concerts has become a cross between a lottery and a game of 'fastest finger first' with events apparently selling out within minutes or hours of going on sale; and yet within minutes tickets appear on reselling sites or on Ebay. On the night, entire blocks of empty seats can be seen at some events. It's so annoying.
Do you remember the thud when, across the UK jaws dropped at the sound of Matt Cardle singing The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face? Well, tissues at the ready, because he has recorded a full version of the song that made even my X Factor hating husband tune in to the singer songwriter's subsequent performances.