Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Big Band night at XOYO – at least in size….

25th January 2012 – Q Now: The Sessions – To Kill a King supported by Jamie N Commons and Jodie Marie
From Q Now - The Sessions - To Kill A King, Jamie N Commons, Jodie Marie
The night started as the previous one had ended – with a talented female vocalist from a home nation – this time from Wales. While her voice is not as powerful as Emeli Sandé, Jodie Marie’s mixes R&B with rock – and steers way from the traditional pop sound. When I last saw Marie she was supporting Nerina Pallot and her backing band only had one member – since touring Europe it has grown to three – and that added depth to the songs, although the best ones featured Marie taking the lead on her own guitar.
Jamie N Commons’ backing band numbered four – spread across the rather wide but narrow stage at XOYO… They brought up the folk level in the night’s music while maintaining the rock element – with an American twang – which brought to mind Johnny Cash or some other 60’s voice out of the west of America – possible re-enforced by his choice of a wide brimmed hat!
The theme of the night was clearly – “how many musicians can you get on the stage” – with To Kill a King supplementing their number with members of Professor Penguin to add brass to their sound, bring their number to eight at times… The sound moved more in the direction of folk, and adding elements of Jazz when the Penguins where contributing. The highlight for my was when Ralph Pelleymounter turned to his keyboard for some of the closing numbers of the set.

XOYO was a little more chilled out than it had been the previous evening with none of the stars having yet risen as high as the star of the series of gig presented by Q Magazine so far on Tuesday night….

Set Lists

To Kill a King

Jodie Marie

  • Cold Skin
  • Wrecking Crew
  • Fictional State
  • Moon Envy
  • Gasp
  • Rays
  • I Work Nights
  • Wolves
  • Bloody Shirt
  • Funeral
  • Cannibal with Cutlery
  • Family
  • Numb
  • On the Road
  • Single Blank Canvas
  • I Got You
  • Greeney-Blue
  • Remember Me

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

1st of 2012 Brit Award winners play XOYO

24th January 2012 – Q Now: The Sessions – Emeli Sandé supported by Michael Kiwanuka
Michael Kiwanuka probably had the hardest job for a support act at this series of gigs – opening for Emeli Sandé, already highly recognised by being the Brit’s Critics Choice and nominated for the British Breakthrough Act – but his own placing of 3rd in the critics choice meant he came highly recommended. In a fairly low key set his mix of soul and folk enveloped the filling venue, preparing the audience for the upcoming vocal display.
From Q Now - The Sessions - Emeli Sanda plus Michael Kiwanuka
As the audience waited for Emeli, the anticipation built as the tempo of the tracks being played by the DJ increased… With a smooth backing band behind her and occasionally on the keys, Emeli’s vocals resonated through the venue – possibly a little too big for such a confined space – she could easily blow away a venue such as the Royal Albert Hall. The highlight of the evening, for me, was a medley of her collaborations with house hold names that has already seen Emeli in the charts for most of 2011. Surely the days of Emeli playing intimate venues such as XOYO and Borderline for the HMV Next Best Thing series in February are numbered – the larger venues that her voice demands beckon. Surely no one in the audience left without knowing they had been privileged to hear Emeli in such close proximity.

Has this series reached it’s high point? To Kill a King, Howler and the Rizzle Kicks will attempt to raise the bar again on the next three nights.

Set Lists:

Emeli Sandé

Michael Kiwanuka

  • Tiger
  • Where I Sleep
  • Suitcase
  • Lifetime
  • Clown
  • Next to me
  • Breaking The Law
  • Hope
  • Medley Montage!
  • Maybe
  • Daddy
  • Mountain
  • Heaven
  • My kind of Love
  • I’ll Get Along
  • I’m Getting Ready
  • Rest
  • Tell Me a Tale
  • “Lasan”
  • Home Again
  • I Don’t Know

Monday, January 23, 2012

Subtly rocking the XOYO for Q

23rd January 2012 - Q Now: The SessionsDry The River supported by Clock Opera & Rae Morris at XOYO, London

I returned to XOYO for the first time in 2012 – having experience a wide variety of great live music there in 2011 – as usual they were running late and the bands hadn’t finished sound checking when the doors should have opened… The cold chill of January in London wasn’t a problem as they now have a bar upstairs to wait in…

From Q Now - The Sessions - Dry The River, Clock Opera, Rae Morris
The first act on the programme was 18 year old Rae Morris – from Blackpool – offering to advise on the best places to get fish & chips in that locale should any of the audience be in the area… Rae appeared to be very nervous – but she had no need to be – it is acts like hers that are the reason to get to gigs for all the support acts. Rae opened without introduction with a new song Back to Front – then confessed she’d gone straight into that number otherwise she’d have not had the courage to perform it. Her set of six songs was perfectly formed – she filled the room with a mature sound that could have graced any venue in London and not been out of place – Q have definitely found a potential new star to join the group of great female vocalists representing the UK in the world of music.
Clock Opera certainly had a high bar set for them vocally… The foursome added guitars and drums plus a tray, tankard and what looked like a milk or sugar jar from a tea set!  As you’d expect from a band who have been performing for 3+ years the wasn’t any sign of nerves caused by selection by Q as one to watch this year – they took the sound up a level and filled the basement of XOYO with an eclectic mix of rock, electronic, indie and ambient sound – really hard to pigeon hole them into one genre. It certainly warmed the audience up after the relaxing opener from Rae.
From the appearance of Dry The River, I thought I was in for another night when the promoters haven’t managed to find a set of artist all of whom would appeal to the same audience – but that impression only proved that you shouldn’t judge a book/band by its cover/appearance – I’d just expected more of a rock/metal sound from a group of 5 guys sporting tattoos and long hair!  The give away should have been the presences of a violin on stage – always a good indication that you are going to get something more complex than the normal 4/5 guys with drums, guitars and a keyboard… That’s not saying that Dry The River didn’t have a number of songs in their set that would have been very at home during a night of rock/metal – they did – but they also have a repertoire songs that display subtly that you’d not expect from a “rock band” – particular impressive was when they choose to “go unplugged” – bring quiet to a venue far more used to the loud sound of a fully amped band…

Q have kicked of this short series with a great evening of music – the expectation have been set high for the other participants that follow this week – anyone looking to hear some of the likely new sounds of 2012 are highly advised to arrive early to make sure they catch the support bands as well as some of the better know headliners…

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sub Project 52

As part of my Project 366 I've also joined a number of groups on Flickr which are aiming for the apparently less taxing goal of 1 photo a week rather than a day throughout 2012... I'm not entirely sure that is much less challenging - I've already spent many brain cycles selecting my submissions for the first two weeks from the two sets of 7 candidates....
Winter Get Away?
Manful @ Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen

16 days into Project 366 and I'm almost up to date with all the "process" surrounding it - without the need to scramble for a subject at 11:55pm...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Project 366 – publish one picture a day for a year…

The new year brings me a new project – and possibly my first “new year’s resolution” – to take at least one photograph every day of 2012 – all 366 of them.

One challenge I’ll have to over come creatively is crossing the international date line – which means that I’ll actually only experience the normal 365 days this year, loosing the leap day to jet lag as I travel round the world….

I’ll be publishing one picture a day on a new blog I’ve created – 66photography99 – as regularly as internet access and time allows. I’m also uploading them to flickr and adding them to a number of groups on flickr.