This weekend has been a lovely mix. Friday night found myself and Poppy interviewing Young Guns and Tonight Alive- very lovely chaps. Passionate, talented and both lots with HUGE sets of lungs. Where does that noise come from!?
Hugely talented and very meticulous thinkers, we talked tours, chart positions, Albums and The Hills (don’t ask- it did not go down well with Tonight Alive- who very much dislike popular culture) Young and opinionated, I felt I needed to test the waters and when I did they bit, my first slightly confrontational interview was thoroughly enjoyed by both parties!
Thos crowd was insane. More than insane. The room was awash with sweaty, moshing (no smoshing this time!- it would have been more dangerous than romantic!) and when Gus Young Guns threw himself in, carnage ensued. Worried he wouldn’t come out alive I left the venue glad I’d only witnessed a snippet of the carnage and had myself my earliest night yet. 11.30- It was bliss.
LAST NIGHT What a winner. Labrinth, Stooshe and Tanya Lacey. Right up my street and such an excellent line up. Jazz cafe packed to the rafters, we were literally balcony hanging in the best spot as the artists had to load on and off stage right where we stood. Much to the delight of Dave hmv, he touched Labrinth and almost totally got in the way of his stage entrance to which he mumbled ‘I’m in the way. I’m in the way. I’m in the way!’ , but all was fine (I think Labrinth saw him press up hard against a wall to avoid anymore inappropriate touching and general awkwardness).
Tanya Lacey and Stooshe- what ladies. Bootylicious and total gangsta’s they brought exactly what we all wanted. Fierce cheeky lyrics, short shorts, short skirts, a whole lotta bling, some flouro bobble hats and some thigh high pvc boots. We could have been in Brooklyn and we all loved it. Amazing voices, amazing make up and performances that made us all grind, smile and laugh at the right times. Winner.
Now now now. Labrinth (or Lab as I now call him..) What an absolute doll! So lovely, he was way too modest about his talent when myself and the lovely Lauren got to chat with him afterwards (much to my girly delight!) This guy has the skills. A fab voice, fab guitar/ keyboard tricks and he produces EVERYTHING himself- which many people don’t know. The Jazz cafe packed, people going nuts for Earthquake and Lab kicking over his mic stand many a time and almost blinding our photographer tells you how nuts it was. This guy is totally going places. BIG places.
All you guys need to know is in my interview with him- which will be up soon. Keep your eyes peeled.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed any NBT gigs you may have been to this week.
Just about to get ready for the final instalment and it’s all very sad - although I wont deny I’m looking forward to a nice day off after 11 days of gigs, blogs, interviews and avoiding a very tempting Red Stripe- but that’s NBT. EPIC.
From a previously very soulful evening on Night 7- Night 8 was no less of a disappointment. Meeting and chatting with the lovely Josh Osho (a personal highlight!) and Emeli Sande, I was blown away by this night’s talent. Again- being immersed by music that I would never usually listen to- I was so taken aback by the sheer talent these guys had.
Josh, I’m more than happy to start here..
This guy is amazing. An absolutely adorable personality. Gorgeous, more than gorgeous and a phenomenal voice. All about learning- the forthcoming album L.I.F.E (learning is forever) is all about learning from the past and growing from the experiences you’ve had- not once was there a chance this man was dwelling on the past. Jamming in his dressing room- myself and Poppy-hmv felt more than guilty knocking on the door! But this jamming was brought to life beautifully on stage where Josh broke about 200 hearts. The ladies wanted him and although the men may not admit it- wanted to be him.
I loved it. The set was beautiful, stunning and being met by a ‘I cannot believe you met Josh Osho!!’ the following morning back at the hmv offices, I knew I wasn’t the only one who had seen something really special. Watch this space.
Emeli Sande, Emeli sande! What an absolute genius. The voice of an angel, the writing capability of something even more special than an angel. This lady is insanely good.
I spent most of the set speechless and smiling dreamily in her direction, it felt totally humbling being part of such a passionate crowd in a small venue- witnessing the Critics Choice Award Winner belt out some amazing tunes. Dressed casually in a mulberry coloured blouse and skirt, Sande didn’t need the stage costume, crazy make up or anything else fake. The songs carried themselves, along with her genuinely lovely personality (proven when she agreed to an interview with me AFTER Midnight- very tired and exhausted from a long day of press). Genuinely ecstatic that I got to see this set and meet these people. Too lovely and phenomenal talent.
Wow. That’s about it.
I am finally writing about my official Week landmark for hmv Next Big Thing. I’ve been so busy, I’m struggling to define reality and hazy fantasy at the moment. One thing I can remember is the AMAZING all girl line up we had at The Borderline on Wednesday (which now feels like a lifetime ago!)
Arriving from a hectic day at work- I spotted a very timid and huge maned lady who was the lovely (more than lovely- so adorable I wanted to put her in my pocket!) Rae Morris. Very young (19?) Rae was super nervous before her set, but after some special hummus and Maltesers - which she gushed over during her set (it was her first dressing room and first rider- very exciting) she took to the stage, perched at her keyboard and BLEW EVERYONE AWAY. Her beautiful and very unique voice had everyone in a mini trance- of which we were only snapped out of when Rae would speak very shyly ‘Thank you all for listening honestly, this means so much’ she uttered many a time in a very cute Blackpool accent. This lady genuinely had no idea how good she was (is) and after a short set, quickly shuffled off stage (after thanking us all for listening again!) and left everyone speechless, a good thirty seconds went by before anyone spoke. And that was it. Little did she know it, but Rae Morris had left her mark.
Now, The Staves- these girls were hilarious. Very cheeky under their clean cut and mature exterior. Muttering sisterly jibes at each other during their set ‘She can’t read- ignore her’, ‘I can read actually!’ - these guys had the crowd falling in love with their mini quips at each other, followed by beautifully delicate folky harmonies and insightful romantic lyrics.
These ladies have the sound. The look. The beautiful silky hair (yes I got hair envy again) and a devilishly dark side- pointing out rude graffiti in the back corridors at The Borderline- we all cackled like witches and I wondered where their innocence had gone, but it was their meticulous noticing of misspelled insults and bad grammar which showed me just how precise these girls were. Leaving to tour Dublin we talked drinking, accents and the necessity for a red pen to put these ‘angry idiots’ as labelled by The Staves in their place. Did I hear ‘Girl Power’. Hell yes.
And possibly one of my favourite people so far, the beautiful Lianne La Havas. SO adorable, very delicate and nymph like with a more than cute hot pink lampshade skirt and a bit of vintage sequin, Lianne needed nothing but a guitar and her beautiful voice to keep a packed out venue engaged. Giggling nervously in between songs, Lianne’s wonderfully sincere engagement with the crowd made everyone in the room feel genuinely special (and a little fuzzy) and it was her wonderful sense of humour- speaking of older men, rubbish men, wonderful men and everything in between that showed all us girls that she was on the level.
Making it look so effortless, her talent definitely knows no bounds. After leaving the stage to a more than enthusiastic round of applause, feet stamping, wooping (genuine wooping!) Lianne tottered back on stage (in wedges bigger than my own) and treated the crowd to ‘Age’ - one of my favourites. Believe you me, this lady was just as sweet and lovely off stage- watch this space people!
So.. that’s what happened if you missed it. A very emotional evening for me, the oestrogen overload got me and something happened. But the positive- Girl Power all round, and we didn’t even need Posh or Sporty.
Where have I been!? Sorry I’ve been lost in a very fuzzy NBT haze for the last few days and I’m sad it’s all drawing to a close this weekend!
Firstly I want to thank everyone who’s come and been MASSIVELY involved in the singing/ dancing/ moshing/ smoshing and general noise making at the gigs. Just seeing you guys having an amazing time has made it so worthwhile (Along with meeting all of the amazing bands and artists .. obviously!)
I will be updating my blog for THREE WHOLE days worth of Next Big Thing when I get home from Young Guns and AWOLNATION this evening. Very excited! Lots to tell you all and lots to try and remember.
For now I’d like to send a HUGE thank you to the lovely Lianne La Havas, The Staves, Rae Morris, Josh Osho, Emeli Sande and Delilah.. for making nervous interviewing go very smoothly over the last two nights!
I’ll keep you posted! If you’re around at any NBT gigs tonight do tweet and tag #hmvnbt or @lucyhmv for chats :)
Where have I been recently!? No idea. It’s now Day 7 and I am officially powering through for the remaining few!
What have I not told you guys? SO much!
So, I was covering downstairs at The Garage on Monday night. I had The Virginmary’s, The Trews and Mad Dog (now Born Mad, I’ll explain..)
All three bands were too lovely (as they have all been so far! No Divas as of yet – bar King Charles’ diva click.. I will also explain this..)
The Virginmary’s were quite a serious bunch, very dark and brooding (I melted a little I’ll admit!- one can meet so many bands and yet never tire of the dark brooding musician!) but this was perfect on stage. Ladies in the crowd wanted them and men in equal measure wanted to be them. Big guitar, big voices, it was all very big. I’m not talking my favourite’s Reckless Love hair big. It was just BIG and when the guys walked off stage they knew it had been so.
Girls ‘dancing’ I don’t know how to describe it was chaotic shall we say- I’m pretty sure I watched a girl hit her head on the barriers while thrashing around- but I also saw her tell The Trews boys terribly after their set that she’d already had a bottle of Jack Daniels (in true rock n roll style).
My chat with Mad Dog was, wait, First I’ll explain. So this was the first gig for the guys under the new name Born Mad. Mad Dog wasn’t working for them. After proposing the name (with inspiration from Poppyhmv) be Mad Cats, they kindly declined and said that was in fact not mad enough. A LOVELY smiley bunch, we chatted DJ names afterwards and decided that the only name we’d go with were we DJs would have to be MENTAL MATE (no use of the letter T throughout) these guys were funny, very funny and very likeable and the crowd felt that for sure.
Last Night, let me refresh- OH yeah, that was it- KING CHARLES. WOW. Yes, I think I fell in love last night (along with the Made in Chelsea girls who attended, and every other girl not from Chelsea dancing in the crowd) and let me tell you there was a lot of dancing. Described by my sister who attended as a ‘Smosh’ she turned my head to the sexy mosh (it was a sight) going on down at the front- apparently that’s what ‘Love Lust’ does to couples I can only assume!
Charles himself was adorable, very funny and warm. Asking me more questions than I asked him, he was on top form and has his sights set on massive things. Quoting ‘Charles is an epic guy who’s too cool for the charts’, he accepted ‘epic guy’ as you would, but told me he didn’t want to be too cool for anything at all- especially not the charts and I don’t think he will be judging by the diversity of the crowd (and the fact people were spilling out of the room!) Perfect in everyway, Charles who said ‘King Charles? Well I am the King’ who did have a horrendous quacking duck ring tone (as I told him) Is totally destined for big things. Bigger than that hair.
My other fleeting meetings from the night included the lovely Matt Abbott of Skint and Demoralised, a little timid and unsure, but with a deep manly Yorkshire accent. I was sold before he started singing to be honest. Lyrics that are real and relatable ‘All we wanna do is get High’ and ‘She likes red lipstick, fish and chips, orange juice and trips to the seaside’- first I thought the song was about me, but alas not.
My middle act Dog is Dead were very charming and know exactly what they want- to find their sound for good (apparently they’re very close!) and were also easily convinced to power lunge for me in the middle of their set. It made it for me. Beautiful boys, playing what can only be described as beautiful music and powerlunge-ing- it was more than enough for little old me!
Tonight I’m off to The Borderline to see the lovely, Liane la Havas, The Staves and Rae Morris – very excited!
If you’re around (or at any other @hmvnextbigthing gigs tonight) tweet me for some #hmvnbt banter it’s @lucyhmv
@AtticusAnthem @SoRoParty @hmvnextbigthing DAY 5
So last night I managed to have a quick catch up with the headliners Upstairs at the Garage Atticus Anthem and what a lovely foursome they were.
Not only were they chuffed to bits about beng named AND HEADLINING a stage at HMV Next Big Thing but they were also sooo pleased for the turn out on a cold, Monday evening and even had seen some friendly faces from their hometowns. Great effort on everyone’s behalf.
Now, if anyone is unaware of Atticus Anthem, here’s the lowdown (I’ll do it in bullet points because I’m a lazy git)
- They go by the names of Bjorn, Johnny, Jared, and Rob.
- Named after Atticus Finch from ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ and apparently unlike any other band - this was their FIRST name, no embarrassing names like ‘My quilt must be feather’ or ‘Please leave the toilet seat down’ was ever mentioned in the naming process.
- 2012 tip: The People The Poet. Who recently changed their name from Tiger Please.
- HMV Next Big Thing Festival Tip: Little Comets at the Borderline 7th Feb (Tonight)
- Bands they love: Foo Fighters, NEEDTOBREATHE, Augustana, Death Cab For Cutie, Coldplay
- Last things bought from HMV: Boardwalk Empire, iPhone4 case, Grand Theft Auto 4 and A Beautiful Mind on DVD.
Cue a few Ricky Gervais quotes, a swift talk about Stephen Merchant and Bob’s your Uncle, we’re done!
My videos with Tellison and Channel Cairo will be up soon.
Tonight is a biggie! We have TOY, Little Comets, King Charles, New Look, Modestep, James Jay Picton and Exit ten (to name but a few) across the estate.
Remember to keep following myself and @lucyhmv for all the latest behind the scenes goss throughout the festival.
This will be my weekend diary then! With so much happening it’s so hard to keep up, but I am four (almost five days in) and loving it like I did Day1- bar the snow, because it caused far too much chaos!
This weekend I’ve been at Camden Barfly on Saturday night and The Garage sponsored by Relentless over to The Borderline on Sunday.
Who have I seen, well there has been the lovely Shake Tiger Shake, FOE and Florrie on Saturday- packed out venue, lots of dancing (some brilliant, some frankly made me feel a little uncomfortable) but all in all a wonderful evening of hot hot hot talent.
Never have I met a funnier bunch of people as STS, these guys have such great inter band dynamics and hilarious banter, interviewing them was a pleasure after some rock and roll Dolce and Gabanna suit trouser splitting, light bulb blowing and industrial washing machine perching- they knew how to work it! These guys have got some serious plans for 2012- I think these were headed up with taking over the world and replacing suit trousers.
If you haven’t, do do do check them out. Lovely 80s synthy sound is too addictive.
Foe- these guys were too cool, rocking out in a Tazmanian Devil tee and the same ring I was wearing- Foe looked totally comfortable and made it look effortless- gutted I didn’t get to catch them for a chat afterwards, the snow crisis prohibited anyone hanging around!
Check it - http://www.youtube.com/user/FOEmania
Florrie- now this lady knows how to work a crowd, great vocals, amazing dancing, stage presence, charisma and FACES. I had a serious girl crush going on! Florrie’s seemingly endless supply of energy was amazing and the crowd packed themselves to the front to not miss a thing.
Hugely successful night at Camden Barfly!
Yesterday, well that was a total change of scene and I started at The Garage for DJ Fresh. In person Fresh is so chilled, more so than I imagined, chatting outside he told me he’d forgotten a few bits and bobs for the set, but had ‘an excellent backup plan!’ this guy was amazing. Sinking into the sofa in his dressing room we talked all things Fresh; collaborations, the lovely Rita Ora (who was insanely adorable and had THE best nails I’ve ever seen) and joined him for the set (much to the surprise of the fans) and although I missed the set I have been hearing all over the place that the guys absolutely smashed it. So, Fresh/Live- this concept rocks, Fresh told me he’s hoping to get a Bassist in 2012 to add in, he said ‘you want people to experience how great it is in the studio, making that record. Not just a guy behind decks’ I love this and cannot wait to see him performing the festival scene this year!
Oh and for any Fresh fans, he has no plans to turn vegetarian this year- just one of the many pieces of insider info I got :)
Now onto my new best friend Sway! I will admit knocking on his dressing room door and sneaking in timid I was a little shy, but Sway was SO lovely, one of the most focussed acts who is so concerned with the science behind the music and the process, that immediately we began chatting about his lyricism and the fact that he’s a rather funny and extremely clever guy- if anyone knows what their doing in the industry it’s Sway and Fresh.
Now two lots of very very happy people were Citizen and Yasmin! Smashing their sets, both these guys had a little something in common last night- it was a first for both of them.. wait.
It was Citizen’s first London gig to which they were nervous/ unsure of what to expect, but once hearing the sound check I knew they’d be absolutely fine, these guys pull individually from such dofferent strengths and talents and wow does it work. You’ve got FAB vocals, MCing, Electro and everything else going on. Squeezing into the dressing room with them all, I felt like part of the band, laughing and enjoying the mancunian accents that I miss so much. Cannot wait to chat with these guys again on Thursday, becuase they’re playing the Garage with Delilah!
These guys are adorable, new and hungry for more follow them on twitter @citizenmcr
Now Yasmin, what a lovely lovely lady! And one of the only people to know my sister and I were related- very strange! perching casually on the sofa in her dressing room and talking NERD, Labrinth, Snoop Dogg, Ed Sheeran, she told me ‘I don’t know how I’ve met the people I have, but I have’- it seems so easy for Yasmin, she rolls with it and seems totally un phased by all the fame.
Asking for lighters to go up for ‘Light up the World’ the new single filmed in Cuba, a sea of flames were thrust up (this including non smokers phone screens) and Yasmin told me she was so overwhelmed and grateful that for her FIRST headline show, people knew her songs and were desperate for more, even her new material which she debuted last night was nuts.
Getting an endless supply of high fives from her people in the dressing room, you could tell Yasmin was chuffed with the performance and after telling me she wants to achieve world domination- I’m not going to put it past her. This is one lady on a mission.
Until tomorrow guys x