Tuesday, 28 June 2011

New Artist Alert: The Reserve

The latest recruits added to the I Am Mighty Records family alongside labelmates The City Calls are The Reserve, another energetic pop-punk outfit from Newport, South Wales. The guys cite their influences to include Four Years Strong and New Found Glory and will be releasing their forthcoming EP in the summer with a subsequent tour certain to follow.

Check out the video for their debut single 'Rewind' here:

Lots of fast and furious fun I'm sure you'll agree, with strong vocals and catchy hooks. The pop-punk train is showing no signs of slowing as yet and these boys are sure to do well. Be sure to check them out on Facebook and catch them live soon!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

New Artist Alert: Vintage Trouble

A friend of mine introduced me to these guys a month or two ago but I've been holding off posting about them since I found out they were to be supporting Bon Jovi at my Manchester show 2 days ago. I have seen them on Jools Holland, had a good listen to their album but figured it would be cool to hear them live too before I passed comment.

Vintage Trouble are a soul/blues/funk quartet from LA, who happen to be managed by Bon Jovi's ex-manager Doc Mcghee which is how they got the support slots for some of Bon Jovi's UK summer shows. They were definitely a breath of fresh air to hear; obviously not an original-sounding band, they wouldn't have really stood out in the 70s but now it's refreshing to hear something a little retro that not many other people are reviving. The thing I love about these guys is firstly their song-writing capabilities, the harmonies and everything going on is really quite simple but it's so effective. As a band, they draw you in live, cramped together on a large stage, each great musicians in their own rights. But also, to watch them live, whether on TV or in the flesh, they put on such a fun and enjoyable show. Front-man Ty is so much fun to watch as a front-man because he's so charismatic; not in a 'running about the stage' kind of way but his dance moves really add another dimension to the music whether he's swaying or spining or using the mic stand as a dance-partner. He has a real natural soulful quality to his vocal which really soothes the listener, which is evident in the slower Nobody Told Me:

Also great is the more upbeat 'Pelvis Pusher', recorded live here in Edinburgh:

Another track worth checking out is Nancy Lee, written about Ty's Mother and Father when they first met at a barn dance, written from his Father's perspective.

I definitely urge you to check these guys out if you're a fan of any sort of blues, funk or soul music as they're bound not to disappoint. Also, they're back performing at tiny venues in the UK later in the year even though they're currently opening stadiums for Bon Jovi; I can't help but think this will be your last chance to see them in such intimate settings!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Bon Jovi - Manchester L.C.C.C. 24th June 2011

Today is not a good day. The day after a Bon Jovi show never is, because I've no idea when they'll be touring again next and I've got withdrawal symptons already. But last night in Manchester was the best time I've seen them yet. I'll get the negatives out the way first; unfortunately I still didn't get to hear Something To Believe In live. I even made a small banner, which Jon and Richie both read and that was quite special in itself, but my hopes to influence the encore were in vain. Richie pointed at it and smiled and Jon took ages to try and read it frowning then just smiled, so that in itself was very cool. The other slight negative (I'm picking at straws here) was the sheer height of the stage! I was right on the barrier, right in front of Richie which was perfect but I could only see Richie, from the knees up of Jon and Hugh on his riser! Tico, David and Bobby might as well have not been there, as I only saw them either on the screens or when they took their bow at the end unfortunately. I'm sure it improved the view for people nearer the back but I've got neck-ache this morning and only saw half of the band!

Anyway, slight negatives over I just wanted to share a bit of my experience and a couple of highlights for anyone who might be interested. Firstly, I only took two photos because it started to rain when the second support act were on and it just got heavier from then! I don't take a lot of photos at concerts but would have loved a couple of Richie posing just feet from me, although I don't think my phone would have agreed with the driving rain! So the snap at the top of this post was one of them, the other of the white mic stand after it had been placed in its usual spot. We were queueing since 8am and luckily it stayed dry all day; the experience was fine and, as we were numbered, were able to use the loos etc without losing our place in line. We went in at 3pm and I couldn't believe there was a big gap at the barrier on Richie's side, so we sat there until the first act went on. I was expecting some got-lucky, average College band but in fact 'Xander & the Peace Pirates' were fantastic; passionate, talented and grateful. Vintage Trouble, the main support were brilliant live, they're a funk/soul/blues quartet with a very dancey frontman and great songs. Bon Jovi came on at 7.30 (I was expecting it to be 8) and played an awesome 2 1/2ish hour show. Here's the set:

Blood on Blood
Bad Name
Born To Be My Baby
We Weren't Born To Follow
In These Arms
Lost Highway
It's My Life
Raise Your Hands
We Got It Goin' On
Captain Crash
Bad Medicine/Roadhouse Blues/Shout
When We Were Beautiful
Bed of Roses
I'll Be There For You
Who Says You Can't Go Home
Sleep When I'm Dead
Work For The Working Man
Have A Nice Day
Keep The Faith

Dry County

Dry County was fabulous and very epic in the driving rain and heavy clouds. Jon had a little angry rant about being in the band that really plays, without tape-recorders and fancy prancy backing dancers and DJs and 50 other mother-fuckers up on the stage with him which was amusing. I'll Be There For You was very special; one of the night's highlights was singing along with 45,000 like-minded people as Jon and Richie just smiled. They were really enjoying themselves, Jon talked of how he couldn't remember a colder, wetter show in Manchester where the crowd didn't want to go home (it's late June, it should be beautiful weather here!). Him and Richie did their joint-stance at the end of IBTFY and it felt like a lifetime as they stood their and absorbed the reaction, surveying the crowd and smiling at each other. And there were definitely a couple of 'oh my god he looked at me' moments with Jon and Richie too :)

Sure you get used to the staple quotes Jon throws in and, if you follow all the set-lists, could probably write the skeleton for the show but last night's gig was the best yet. I was cold, wet, tired, had a 4 1/2 hour drive home ahead of me in the middle of the night but I can honestly say it was my favourite Bon Jovi show yet. And if they place Something To Believe In at one of the other UK shows I think I'll scream!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Towers by The Joe Public out on iTunes Today!

Today's the day, head over to iTunes now to purchase your copy of The Joe Public's latest single Towers or click HERE.

I recently featured the track with its accompanying video which you can check out here to get a preview of the song but if you like it, be sure to support our rising talents and aspiring young musicians and download your own copy. Enjoy!