Sunday, 25 October 2009

Everything new about Bon Jovi right now!

Well it has been an INCREDIBLY exciting week for me and everything going on in Bon Jovi land. It all started with a special live event at Bon Jovi which featured some scenes from their documentary When We Were Beautiful. And then, a live stream, again online, as they announced the start of their new tour from the parking lot of the new Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey before performing a secret gig. And THEN as part of that tour, the band announced their ONLY European dates; a 5-night residency at the o2 Arena in June in London (see picture above)!

The new album, The Circle, is out here before anywhere else, on Monday 2nd November, but I learned ALSO tonight that the band will be performing their new single We Weren't Born To Follow on the X Factor next weekend! On Tuesday 3rd November, they'll be recording a live session for BBC Radio 2 and the book to partner the documentary is out this day too.

It is one very special time to be such a huge Bon Jovi fan right now, and I have tickets for their final show at the o2 on the 13th June 2010!

In other news: Uni is going great and I'm keeping on top of the work well, I had a full on intensive training weekend ahead of becoming a mentor for school kids in the Isle of Whight, and am going to see Green Day in Birmingham on Wednesday next week!

Hope you're all well in bloggy land :)

Saturday, 17 October 2009

All at Sea

Jools Holland has restored my faith in Popular Music. I think there must be some kind of criteria for performing on his show, something along the lines of 'no regurgitated junk'. But when I had almost lost faith in our current chart-ranking wannabes and the music movement of today, Jools came along with a cracking line-up on his weekly show; a show I've always dreamed of one day performing on.
Tonight's show featured such an eclectic mix of musicians, each with totally differing backgrounds and styles but each with the same levels of appreciation for one another's perception on music today. Paloma Faith for example, is a breath of fresh air for the female vocal market. She sounds like an American songstress, a showgirl from the 40s with an image to match, and even talked about regularly playing music through the decades at her shows, starting in the 1920s and working her way up. Her brand of motown-pop is catchy yet inspiring, displaying a great awareness of writing a modern song whilst capturing the sparkle of age-old magic. The riff-tastic Wolfmother also played, not a band I'm aware of much but certainly worthy of their spot on the show; they have a great sound with bags of energy and a greatly unique sounding front-man. But the real saviour tonight was living legend Seasick Steve. He manages to strip music down to its very core, the very genuine foundations on which popular music is built on, yet with all the passion and feeling of now. His simple soapbox songs are probably note-perfect to those he used to sing around the fire when travelling in his Gypsy caravan, of which he still lives in, and I love that this, let's face it, old man has been given this shot so late on in life. The very fact that he has sold so many records and is performing at all kinds of events, from Glastonbury Festival to Later... prove that there is hope for anyone with any dash of creativity and any glimmer of hope. I can only imagine the culture-shock he gets when thinking back to how different life used to be as he sips champagne at award ceremonies, but he tips his cap to anyone with a dream, living proof that you don't need to 'know the right people' or, more accurately, 'line the right people's pockets with Daddy's money' to get somewhere in this fickle business. As an aspiring musician still in education, I love what I do and know that one day I WILL make a living making music, whatever form that might take, but I also know that this is the hardest thing to get into and it's going to take nothing but hard graft, a topic all too familiar in Seasick Steve's songs. The man is fantastic, a real awe-inspiring performer with so much originality and awareness of timbre and texture in his delicate yet foot-stomping songs. If I had a hat likes yours Steve, I'd be tipping it.

Friday, 2 October 2009

New Bon Jovi Album Art

Well this is something that I just have to share. There is literally nothing better than when your favourite band has a new album coming out and, with the months leading up to it, the tiniest little hints at its greatness leak out one by one. I steer clear of anything that isn't on the official website, but a few weeks back the tracklisting for The Circle was released. Imagine my sitting down at a computer routinely checking when I see suddenly it has been redesigned and, after no hints at all, a new single is waiting for me to hear. And of course, I was in an internet cafe, when I first moved to Southampton, and had no way of listening to it without headphones, which I did not have on me. That was excruciating!
Anyway, tonight, the album art has officially been shared and its looks FANTASTIC! What do you think?! The tour dates can't be far behind! Unfortunately I cannot share the image directly here as it does not show up when I save it from the source, but you can see it officially HERE!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

What MORE Bob Dylan?!

Today at uni we had our first real music workshop. We have these once a week and they are seperate from the other stuff I was telling you about before (John Mayer and James Morrison) although we are playing in the same bands. These are workshops where we're given a song each week and we have 2 hours to listen to it, work it out, perfect it, and then perform it to the other 7 bands on the course. It's all good fun, and today we started with Positively 4th Street by Bob Dylan. Now, I'm not the biggest Bob Dylan fan in that I don't own any of his records, but I can totally appreciate his song-writing and the depth of his career. It's just that we spent a very many months performing Bob Dylan songs at College thanks to an avid-Dylan fan who also served as our teacher!
Anyway it was the first chance we had to really see and hear each other play, although it's such a simple song that there's not much room for embellishment. But we nailed it pretty quickly and all went well. Next week is Come As You Are by Beverley Knight which I've just had to Youtube!
So that's uni over with today, as the week goes on my timetable becomes more and more sparse. Next week we are given our assignment briefs so I'll have a real feel of what I'll be doing for the next month or so.
Well the flat needs a clean because the Estate Agents are coming round tomorrow, so I've got an hour of hoovering and polishing with Dylan going round in circles in my head. Not literally of course, that would be mental. Imagine that, on a bike and everything.