Thursday, 20 October 2016


Black Honey- one of the biggest bands that you've probably never heard of. The four piece from Brighton have been killing recently with songs such as 'Madonna' and new hit 'Hello Today'. In the few weeks alone they've earned their place on BBC Radio 1's playlist, been publicly praised by Zane Lowe and completely sold out their UK tour. It's hard to believe that they haven't even been signed yet. 

I was very excited when I was offered tickets for their sold out Leeds show at Belgrave Music Hall. A new band and new venue- I was in my element. London/ Icelandic trio Dream Wife were supporting Honey, and MY GAWD they were incredible. Music, style, stage presence- everything was spot on, oozing edgy pop and girl power. I predict big things for these girls- so check them out ASAP. 

Black Honey graced the stage around 9.45pm- a crowd already full of energy, with mosh pits having started during Dream Wife. There is obviously some massive Honey fans here, which really picks up the energy of the place (that I feel may have been lacking from the band). There's non denying that Black Honey have amazing musicality, there's no argument for that considering the success they've had over the past year. Lead singer Izzy Phillips has an incredible voice, described as a 'Lana Del Ray Indie' blend.  Their music oozes so much sass, yet they don't shy away from a simple melody. They're going places, fast.

 Now, I have huge respect for bands that try and be different, however I felt that she was trying to be so quirky and unique it came across as a little desperate. However a least there was a little personality there; seeing photos and interviews of Black Honey in the past I was expecting them to be so cool and charismatic- giving a proper show. Unfortunately I just didn't feel this. Now I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say they're bound to be tired, as it was their last night of the sold out tour. However I just didn't connect with them and enjoy their show as much as I had anticipated, and I wasn't the only one to feel this way after speaking to people afterwards. Sorry Honey, maybe next time. 

What made it all the better, we were lucky enough to be graced with a parking ticket outside the Belgrave as we arrived back to the car. Thanks Leeds x

Sunday, 2 October 2016


I had never really listened to Sunflower Bean when my dad text me one day saying he had bought us tickets to see them- little did I know he had bought us tickets to the Newcastle show, as well as Leeds and Manchester; I was a little apprehensive at the time about going to all three (and I was still recovering from jet-lag), yet after seeing them perform for the first time, I knew I had to go and see more.

What I learnt about the Brooklyn trio over the three shows is that they thrive off a energetic crowd, each member brings a complete sense of individuality to the show, and they're all very humble and appreciative of the support from their fans. I was lucky enough to meet the band on all three nights, as they took time out after the show to come down and meet everyone as we lingered by the merch stand. While I was beginning to feel a little bit 'stalker-ish', they were all very friendly and spoke to us about the upcoming shows and took interest in where we were from.

NEWCASTLE // THINK TANK? // 06/09/16

The crowd were already pretty pumped when Sunflower Bean arrive on stage; there's a strong ratio of a younger crowd, yet there's a strong presence of older folk here; that's the great thing about Sunflower, their music appeals to such a wide range of people. Nevertheless it is evident that every person in the crowd is full of energy, with a mosh pit and a lot of crowd pushing from the get go. Sunflower thrive off this kind of show, and it's not long before they're interacting with the crowd and Julia (vox/bass) confidently jumps into the pit during her solo. If I do say so myself, Newcastle did set the bar and it would have been hard to overtake such an enthusiastic crowd- that were even complimented by the band.


Let's be honest here- Leeds disappointed me a little. This is not a critique of Sunflower at all, but rather I expected much more from the crowd, especially as we were in the student centre of the Leeds. To put it lightly, Sunflower played fantastically as usually, however it wasn't a show, and unfortunately it just didn't give me (or the band) the enthusiasm that we had experienced in Newcastle. It is true what they say, a band will feed off the energy that the crowd gives them- which Sunflower just was not getting; which is evident as there was sadly no encore. On a more positive note, it proved a very interesting choice of venue and Sunflower smashed it with their phenomenal music abilities.


Just when I thought I had experienced all the weird and wonderful music venues of the North, I visited The Deaf Institute; I loved the historic feel and intimacy of the building, which made it the perfect place for my last show with Sunflower Bean. When I spoke to Sunflower after their Leeds show, they had told me that they were very psyched up for their date in Manchester, and boy did Manchester deliver. I can't say it matched the same level as Newcastle, but they did a pretty good job. Nevertheless, Sunflower thrived off the crowd's energy, and Julia even made her way into the pit, which simply made the crowd explode. Big props to the guy who was obviously a die hard Sunflower fan (although Nick and Julia were far from impressed when they were, I'm assuming by accident, hit by your shoe).

Overall, Sunflower Bean were incredible- I love their album but they're a type of band that just bring something completely new when they're playing a live show: so much charisma, energy and even a more enhanced sound in comparison to their album. While still a pretty new band to emerge in the UK, it is obvious they have found their sound perfectly, rightfully earning their place on radio playlists such as BBC Radio 1, smashing it with tracks such as 'Wall Watcher' and 'Easier Said', just to name a few. I believe what makes Sunflower unique, especially in their performance, is that you can see the distinct individually of each band member, while still blending perfectly together. It has been obvious from following Sunflower Bean on tour that they greatly appreciate their equally appreciate audiences, that they will be coming back bigger and better, and I can't wait to see what's in store for their future. So don't worry if you missed Sunflower on tour this year, they did promise me that they'll be returning to the UK on tour in 2017. See you then.

Monday, 2 May 2016


"Mallory Knox headlined the Newcastle O2 Academy this week and it turned out to be wilder than I had expected. Half an hour before the doors even opened the queue to get in was practically circling the O2 and everyone seemed so excited. Since the release of their new album Asymmetry a couple of weeks ago, the band has grown ever more popular than they already were, landing 16th place in the UK album charts.
The crowd were already geared up after the support acts, especially Frnkiero- a band that a lot of people in the crowd went wild for. Though, lead singer of Mallory Knox, Mikey Chapman, is the king of encouraging an audience, and that’s exactly what he did from the word go. They graced the stage, inevitably beginning their show with a few songs from the new album, QOD IIShout at the Moon and Getaway. Though to the crowd’s delight Mallory Knox were keen to perform some of their older stuff like Lighthouse and 1949. It was clear these weren’t here to promote an album, but to play a kiss-ass show. The climax of the night came in the form of a wall of death, encouraged by Mikey- there is nothing more appealing to their fans than to be thrown about in a mosh pit, and with good reason. The crowd was mental, but it was exciting
Mallory Knox are a band that like to play with your emotions- sure they can throw down a head banger, but they can just as equally stand there with one guitar and play a slower, more emotional song. These boys thrive off a crowd’s reaction, which is what makes them so amazing live and they’ll keep ever growing. To think that they were once playing the smallest room upstairs in the O2 is unbelievable."

This interview and review was originally posted on 13th November 2014 on

Wednesday, 27 April 2016


The Live at Leeds line up is once again phenomenal. There's so many amazing artists and bands to catch on the day that you are going to be spoilt for choice. Spread out entirely across Leeds City Centre, including stages at the O2 Academy, Leeds Beckett University, a Dr. Martens stage and even a stage in a church- it promises to be an exciting day with some many incredible performers to catch. So to give you a quick low-down, I've give you the artists you need to catch on the day...

Circa Waves

These boys have been killin' it recently! The indie-rock band from Liverpool have had a very successful year following the release of their debut album Young Chasers last year, with songs including T-Shirt Weather and Fossils. Last summer they played Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds Festivals; I was recently left devastated when I was unable to get tickets to their sold out Newcastle gig.

You can catch Circa Waves at the LUU Refectory, 9.30pm. 

Cape Cub

I fell in love with this guy as soon as I heard his music- which only increased once I discovered he was from my neck of the woods. Cape Cub's indie-pop combination, with such singles as Keep Me In Mind and Swim, have vibes of Bastille and The 1975, yet has his own unique tones intertwined. He is definitely one to look out for in 2016.

You can catch Cape Cub perform at the Faversham, 5.30pm. 

The Hunna

It's pretty hard to believe that this band was only formed back in 2015, as they sound like they're totally there already! Which is reflected by their 14 date SOLD OUT UK tour. With a combination of exciting music, quirkiness and fresh ambition, the indie-rock four piece have successfully managed to craft their own sound in such a short time. So far this year they've already been added to the Reading and Leeds and BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend bill.  I can't wait to see the future of this band, I know it's going to be big!

You can catch The Hunna at the Leeds Beckett Second Stage, 8.15pm.

Natalie McCool

Let me tell- she's definitely cool. In fact she oozes everything I love in a female singer: a quirky style, a unique lyricist and a rough touch to her voice that compliments her music completely. Her alt-pop sound mirrors that of an old kind of pop, but with obvious modern influence to create this alternative- electronic crossover. Her work as been continously adored across the blogging platform, whilst she has also been recognised by BBC Radio 1, appearing on their Introducing Playlist and credited by Huw Stephens.

You can catch Natalie McCool at the Nation of Shopkeepers, 1pm. 

Sundara Karma

Already establishing themselves as one to watch in 2016, having already toured with the likes of Wolf Alice, The Wombats and Circa Waves. Sundara Karmas's honest music, passion and style is exactly what defines the fresh and exciting music coming out of this genre in 2016. With a string of festivals already planned for the summer, including Reading and Leeds, Kendall Calling and the Secret Garden Party, we are sure you'll be hearing a lot more of these guys in the near, distant future.

You can catch Sundara Karma at the Faversham, 9.30pm.


Alt-rock three piece Fatherson are probably one of the biggest bands of their genre who you've never heard of- until now, so keep listening. Not only do they produce some amazing melodic anthems, notably I Like Not Knowing and Lost Little Boys, they also put on a hell of a show. I particularly love the rough tones of lead singer, Ross Leighton's voice (not to mention his stunning Scottish twang). Their growing popularity can only be demonstrated by their successes, gaining fans such as Kerrang and Rock Sound, as well as significant airplary fromRadio 1, XFM and Amazing Radio. Fatherson have also supported some of the countries biggest bands, such as Panic! At The Disco, Enter Shikari and Twin Atlantic- not to mention they will be supporting Biffy Clyro the night prior to their performance at Live At Leeds.

You can catch Fatherson at Leeds Becketts Second Stage, 9.30pm. 

You can catch all of these as well as so many more incredible bands at Live at Leeds, Saturday 30th April.


Friday, 22 April 2016


Catfish and the Bottlemen are an amazingly underrated band. With their second album 'The Ride' lingering in the distance, I can guess these boys have so much more to give past our expectations.

I finally managed to catch them at the Doncaster Dome, after weeks of trying to track down tickets for their sold out tour. I must say it wasn't the most glamorous venue I've ever been to; I mean if you're needing a swimming baths, kids soft play, ice skating rink and music venue all in one, then this is perfect for you. But being greeted by the smell of chlorine isn't exactly how I start every gig off. Nevertheless, the Bottlemen have played many unique venues on their tour- certainly many away from the mainstream cities and venues that these types of bands would typically play. Yet I believe this says a lot about the band themselves- they are unique and they are passionate about their fans, even those in smaller cities would not usually catch a glimpse of bigger musicians such as these; which is of course what led them to sell out every single one of their dates.

The boys started their show with one of their best singles 'Homesick', along with a lot of jumping around and passion from lead singer 'Van' McCann. You can see his humbleness to play in front of such a lively, jam-packed crowd, whom throughout the show you can regularly hear chant 'YORKSHIRE' (which is expected at any gig held in the county of Yorkshire).

One thing I was wary about, with the gig being so close to their album release date, was being bombarded with lots of new, unknown songs. I love to sing and dance and jump around at gigs, which is a little more tricky when you haven't a clue about the music. Luckily enough, the Bottlemen played near enough their entire set from their debut album 'The Balcony'- one of my absolute favourite albums from 2014, including 26, Cocoon, Fallout and eventually finishing on an extended version of Tyrants. Nevertheless we were fortunate enough to hear a couple of their new tracks to get us excited for that ever close release date. It's obvious to anyone that this band is incredibly passionate and grateful to their fans; Van McCann even stopped the set at one stage to tell his fans to essentially fuck the bouncers and crowd surf to the front, proclaiming "it's your gig not theirs".

My motto is, if you leave a gig very hot and sweaty then you had a good time. And this was definitely a night to remember. Next stop for the Bottlemen boys is an album release and then a hell of a lot of festival spots this summer. So if you get chance to catch them playing near you, make sure you do!

'The Ride' is out in the UK on May 27. 




 This month I've really enjoyed some of new music music being released, and very excited about some upcoming albums I've had to put in iPhone calendar! First and foremost I'm particularly excited for the new Catfish and the Bottlemen album that is due to be released May 27. I have a lot of love for these boys, which grew ever more after attending their recent tour (gig review: coming soon). Their new song '7' is phenomenal, and I expect great things to come with their upcoming release. On that note, I was reeling to find out the release date of Beartooth's new album; if you're a fan like me, you'll understand how exciting this news is. I first discovered the band when I took a trip to Slam Dunk Leeds last year, and since them, I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little obsessed; but after listening to their debut album one too many times, it's very exciting to know some new material is on its way- and just in time for their spot at Download Festival.

It can't just be me super excited for the Travis comeback, right?! After only a couple of years away, it feels like they've been gone forever! There's just nothing not to love about their new single 'Radio Song', they've definitely not lost their spark, and it's a song that will get stuck in your head for days on end.

I've been lovin' 'Cool Me Down' by Margaret this week. If you've never heard of her, check her out. As of yet she doesn't have many songs streaming on Spotify, but I predict big things for her. Such a catchy tune that you'll be bopping along to in your car, shades on driving to the beach- it's definitely a tune for the summer.

Last but not least I could not not include a Prince song into APRIL'S PLAYLIST. I, as I'm sure many others, were left devastated to hear the news of his passing last night. The world's music has truly lost an icon and a prince, let's make sure his legendary music lives on.
© rocktails

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