The 1975 are currently on their sold out UK Arena tour, their biggest to date, and I got to catch their show on Saturday 19th of January. It was very good.
After great support sets from Dirty Hit alumni No Rome and Pale Waves, The 1975 took to the stage to a ridiculously loud, and excited o2 Arena that was packed to the brim. As soon as that big screen lit up the crowd were relentlessly noisy through till the last song. Kicking things off with a double helping from their latest album ‘Give Yourself A Try’ and ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’ were received as if they were greatest hits.
Each song had it’s own amazing set of visuals, with the stage morphing and transforming; at one point Matty entered the screen and it became a phone, and a treadmill was in use for a few of the songs alongside massive floating cube screens and some really great backing dancers who added an extra level of spectacle to the show.
The visuals were stunning at times, making the show seem even larger in spectacle than it already was. Opening act No Rome returned for the stage for his recent track that featured The 1975 and even that had got a full visual treatment, dancers and all.
The 1975 played a varied selection of tracks from their 3 albums and a few from their earlier EPs, even being brave enough to play the ambient ‘How To Draw/Petrichor’ from their latest.
This was a massive show, with amazing visuals and it’s inspiring to see a relatively new band shoot up to this level of production without losing their personality.
Ariana Grande – 7 Rings: Borrowing the melody from ‘My Favourite Things’ from the Sound of Music while also using a trap-infused beat and riffing off Travis Scott’s smash hit and meme ‘Sicko Mode’ and putting it all into a coherent banger is very impressive. 80%
Rozi Plain – Symmetrical: A calming but in no way boring folky new single from Rozi here. It’s just really, really pleasant but the occasional synths and extra harmonies make it a good, developing cut. 90%
Guest Singer – New Experience: A groovy, synthy track from Guest Singer here with rings of Mystery Jets and British Sea Power. Showing real potential on his first single proper. 75%
Sigrid – Don’t Feel Like Crying: A decent new pop single from Sigrid here with a nice positive message & a catchy chorus. She’s like Jess Glynne but actually good. 70%
Little Simz ft. Cleo Sol – Selfish: Little Simz continues the great run of singles she has been releasing in the build up to her upcoming album ‘Grey Area’ with ‘Selfish’, a smooth, funky cut with a great bassline and a great feature from Cleo. 92%
Loyle Carner ft. Rebel Kleff & Kiko Bun – You Don’t Know: More great stuff from Loyle; any time he teams up with Rebel on a song you know it’s going to be a cut with great chemistry and solid bars, and this is no different. 90%
The Japanese House – Maybe You’re The Reason: Another great track from Amber here, with the shimmery production and catchy chorus making this one of her poppiest tracks yet, but also one of her strongest. Very excited for her upcoming debut now. 90%
The Killers – Land Of The Free: Brandon and co have one of the best songs they have released in years here, openly tackling racism, gun control and the prison problems in the U.S with a Springsteen-esque ballad. 90%
Product placement with heart takes centre stage in this Disney sequel.
The original Wreck-It Ralph was a heartfelt tribute to the world of gaming with really vibrant worlds bursting with colour and lovable characters, both new and those well known from the past. The sequel goes digital, losing some of that character in the process but still managing to get it right most of the time.
In this movie, Ralph and Vanellope have to travel to the internet in order to get a new steering wheel for Vanellope’s game in the arcade, Sugar Rush. The new characters that the duo encounter in the world wide web are well fleshed out and very likeable, especially the sleek racer ‘Shank’ voiced by Gal Gadot, and head of BuzzzTube, ‘Yesss’ who is voiced by Taraji P Henson, who both really add to the movie and avoid stereotypes that easily could have been forced upon their characters.
There are a LOT of real life internet sites and apps in this movie. Upon first glance it may seem like pure product placement and advertising, with a barrage of well known names and apps hitting you when you are first shown the internet. However, they are all handled with humour and the use of these real sites such as eBay really do make it seem as if they are in the internet, and there are a lot of visual jokes and puns to be made too.
The much talked about section in the trailer where Vanellope encounters all of the Disney princesses does live up to the hype, and is a great moment in the movie.
Overall, Ralph Breaks The Internet is a fun, nice looking movie with lovable characters and some genuine messages about friendship even if it doesn’t have the heart or the excitement of the original.
In Slaughterhouse Rulez, the private boarding school attended by ‘rough Yorkshire lad’ Donald Wallace, has been taken over by frackers, whose digging inadvertently cause a lot of trouble. The Headmaster, played by Michael Sheen leads a crew of military-esque prefects that will go to extreme lengths to follow his lead.
It’s a fun movie for the most part if not being really predictable and unoriginal in parts. When introducing the different houses within the school, they did the stereotypical Mean Girls esque pan around the room to show them all, but never reaching that level of humour.
There are a few great, funny scenes in the film, with the ensemble cast all working well together especially in the tenser moments with all of the kids putting in believable performances with Asa Butterfield being patricularly great alongside Pegg, Frost and Sheen all being on their usual great form. At some points the humour just doesn’t work and there are a few long stretches where the movie can’t decide what tone it wants to have and it just comes across a bit messy.
Slaughterhouse Rulez is enjoyable despite its flaws and still manages to be charming and funny in spots despite never quite living up to its cast.
Dodie – If I’m Being Honest: A low key, pleasant sounding new single from Dodie, but the brutally honest lyrics and gradually developing (rather lovely) strings and drum beat give the song a soothing, but slightly uneasy feel One of her best songs to date. 85%
Sunflower Bean – Come For Me: Poppier than most tracks off their last album, ‘Come For Me’ is an upbeat, groovy glam rock esque track that weirdly reminds me of I’m Your Man by Wham. 78%
Carly Rae Jepsen – Party For One: This new single from CRJ is unfortunately bland and unforgettable, with the passion and enthusiasm of her recent material seemingly absent on this repetitive cut. 30%
No Fixed Identity – 123 Come Play With Me: An interesting track from No Fixed Identity, with an off kilter beat and loads of different little moments and instruments popping up; reminiscent of M.I.A and Little Simz. 70%
Clean Bandit ft Marina and the Diamonds & Luis Fonsi – Baby: A latin-infused new track from Clean Bandit. Marina’s smooth vocals fit this track perfectly and Despacito man isn’t used in a cringey or over the top way – this could be a big hit. 80%
Skepta – Neighbourhood Watch: Skepta continues his consistent run of great singles with ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ – a really good flow and a great feature from LD make this a real banger. 80%
Morgan Swann – Demons: Morgan’s latest track is based around fighting addiction and mental health. With a chill beat and a nice flow, this is a solid track. 70%
Maland2016 – Inner Demons: A great new EP from Maland – this new project has a consistent, slightly ‘spooky’ tone that gives each track a personality, and the whole project a solid feel without it being too over the top or cheesey. They all really slap too, and sound like a really good videogame soundtrack in the vein of Undertale. 90%
The Nottingham three piece’s second effort sees them grow in confidence and scale, with ‘Strange Entertainment’ being a confident, varied album. Every track on the album is different in pace and tone, but it still flows really well and feels like one coherent piece.
Opener and album highlight ‘Egg Hunt’ starts off with just vocals and bass before developing into a really groovy track with a great, catchy jangly riff that hasnt left my head in a few days.
‘It’s Not My Day’ is another fave off the album it being one of the heavier moments on Strange Entertainment, with very strong vocals from Lucy over a slow but punky backing, with brilliant creative drum patterns on this track.
Monsieur Automaton is another great track, and another change of pace with this being perhaps the fastest track on the album, and I love the harmonised vocals on the verses a lot here. Closer ‘Strange Was the Time’ is another growing, progressive track that shows off just how good the trio are musically.
With great production, variety and just banging songs throughout this is exactly the album Kagoule needed to make, and they pulled it off.
Kagoule have some upcoming UK tour dates:
Oct 31st – Leeds – Wharf Chambers
Nov 01st – Manchester – The Eagle Inn
Nov 02nd – Liverpool – EBGB’s
Nov 03rd – Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
Nov 07th – Margate – Tom Thumb Theatre
Nov 08th – Brighton – Prince Albert
Nov 09th – Portsmouth – The Loft
Nov 10th – Southampton – Heartbreakers
Nov 11th – Bristol – Rough Trade
Nov 19th – London – Moth Club