Bad Sounds // The Bodega // 14.11.17

1Bath-based superstars Bad Sounds took over the Bodega for an incredible night that just seemed to get better and better. Over the past few months Bad Sounds have really begun to grow a large crowd of loyal fans – mostly notably Annie Mac, which has only served to secure their reputation as someone to listen to.

Brown Lion Zoo kicked off the night with their upbeat indie tunes. The right balance of indie pop and low-fi rock, they were definitely worth a listen. I’d never heard any of their music before, but I’d definitely recommend them to anyone looking for something new to listen to.

8Kyko was up next and I haven’t ever really appreciated Kyko’s music, it was always on my radar, but I’d never really paid attention. Seeing him live has actually changed my opinion so much. I thought he was so impressive live and literally loved everything he played. His music made me want to dance and put me in a better mood. Something about his chilled-out dance music was completely captivating and irresistible.

7Bad Sounds have really started to make a name for themselves, and for good reason. They are so unique, and their style is so different to anything I’ve ever heard. It’s weird, dreamy and I’m obsessed. Using the best parts of every era and genre with the combination of their funk based production and beautiful vocals has carved a signature style that you couldn’t directly pinpoint anywhere.

3Opening with the massive “Hothead Chippenham”, it became apparent just how much they love their own music. It was so great to see musicians on stage and actually obviously enjoying the music they’re making not just stood there playing instruments and looking like they’re not having fun. This means that their personality really comes through their songs and stage presence. The fact that they’re on stage being goofy and having a good time makes you want to join in, I honestly can’t describe what a joy it was to be somewhere like this where you were just having a good time and not really caring about anything else. Brothers Callum and Ewan are obviously close and it’s easy to see that they have a great time on stage together by the way they’re bouncing off each other the whole time.

5Introducing their new track “Are You High?” it felt like their music really takes you on a journey. The juxtaposition of their always-clever-sometimes-serious lyrics against their ever-funky melodies makes for something really fun to listen to. Everything they do has a personality which in my eyes makes them an easy contender to completely smash it in the next year or so.

I honestly debated not going after a pretty crap day, but I can honestly say I’m so glad that I went. Seeing them live properly shows that they’re just getting started, and with tunes like theirs it’s unlikely they’re gonna stop.2

 

Fickle Friends // Rescue Rooms // 25.10.17

On the penultimate night of their UK Tour, Fickle Friends took to the stage of Rescue Rooms to deliver an astonishingly beautiful show.22879362_322479638221294_1426676734_o

The night presented yet another chance for me to see one of my fave Notts locals, Mowbeck. They were honestly even better than any time I’ve seen them yet. They’ve grown in confidence so much and now they look so at home on stage. It seems that they’re just going further and further and I’m so happy for them.

Danish trio Off Bloom really stole the show for me. I knew that Fickle Friends and Mowbeck were going to be good, they always are, but Off Bloom were completely insane. Their electro-pop was absolutely intoxicating and listening to them honestly just felt like a massive party. I may now be slightly in love with vocalist Mette, not only is she stunning beyond belief, but she was completely mesmerising on stage. The way she sang, danced and interacted with the crowd just enhanced the performance. She had a voice that was to die for and that combined with the fact that the type of music they make is so different but so appealing is such a winning combo that I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they absolutely blow up over the next few months.22879388_322479618221296_1529741721_o

My god do Fickle Friends know how to put on a proper show. They came out on stage (after an incredible custom introduction) singing the ever-energetic Hello Hello. Something I love about Fickle Friends is that their songs are so happy and they’re so easy to just dance to. The way Natti’s voice just works with their music makes the whole show so amazing. Every detail of the show was thought out to perfection, there wasn’t anything that was last minute or just chucked together. Their whole look as a band is also just so cool. They all came on stage looking like they had just raided a vintage store and it just works when they’re all together.22879256_322479651554626_1101309971_o

Being in the crowd was so fun, it just seemed like everyone was having a great time. It was good to hear a mixture of their new and old songs. Hearing Velvet and Cry Baby alongside Glue and Hard to Be Myself meant that there was something for everyone whether they were a newer fan or had been there from the start.22850551_322479611554630_852944602_o

This has been a really successful year for Fickle Friends managing to rack up and impressive 3 million streams on Spotify in just a few months. People really love their upbeat indie pop, and what’s not to like really? I imagine as they release more and more songs – and their album, which is coming early next year – they’ll get more and more fans and rightfully so. It’s definitely worth keeping an ear out for what’s coming next from this fun-loving Brighton group.

Will Joseph Cook // Dryden Street Social // 24.10.17

After the well-received release of his debut album Sweet Dreamer earlier this year, Will Joseph Cook arrived in Leicester for the final night of his tour to make his mark for the first time.

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Supporting Will on this tour was the phenomenal Indigo Husk. These guys have exactly what’s been lacking recently, the combo of them with WJC honestly made for such a sick night. They have a full-of-energy-super-low-fi-garage-but-indie-rock sound (ah yes, that well-known genre). Their songs seem to pull a lot of elements from different styles together 22812852_322094724926452_1761154126_owhich makes them an interesting and proper enjoyable listen all round. On stage, they have a fully infectious, fast-paced energy that you’d be hard-pressed not to love. You know when you’ve been listening to a song for a while but never really made a connection with who the artist is? Yeah, I’ve been doing that with Religion (which is a dirty lil banger) for what must honestly be months, but I guess now I know. These guys have gotta be worth keeping an eye open for.
There’s something completely lovable about Will Joseph Cook’s indie-pop anthems, to the point where it’s actually hard not to dance. Sweet Dreamer is packed with a variety of songs all sprinkled with a lil bit of WJC magic just so you can’t forget who made them. The fact that songs he wrote years ago, like Daisy Chains, still shine through now when he sings them on stage, just further to goes to show how talented he is.

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He has an overwhelmingly positive and playful energy and this really radiates through the crowd and it makes everyone so happy. Not to mention the fact that his voice is really sick live n all. Starting the show with the lively, feel-good Biggest Fan was such a good choice to really get everyone watching on side. He then went on to play a few songs from his new EP (out this Friday btw – go n cop it asap) and closed his set with the absolutely electric Girls Like Me, which was bound to have everyone in the building moving.
As I mentioned, his new EP is out this Friday (27th October), it’s definitely worth checking out – as are all his other songs really. He has real potential to be fair, I think his music would definitely appeal to a lot of people and I gotta wish him all the luck in the world.22831189_322094704926454_1489388291_o

Declan McKenna // O2 Academy Leicester // 21.10.17

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After the release of his debut album in July this year, and almost a year solid of touring, Declan McKenna and his band seem to have their live shows down to a carefully perfected fine art.

A bit of Déjà vu here as support came from my fave Coventry boys – Feet.  After seeing these guys at Neighbourhood, I can’t seem to get enough of them. I genuinely think these guys are so good, they have so much energy on stage and the variety in their songs is so nice to hear. I just wish there were more of their songs available to listen to, and I also wish that I didn’t sound like a bit of a perv when I say, “I love Feet”.22790142_320917265044198_449190267_o

2017 must have felt like such a whirlwind for Declan, the release of What Do You Think About The Car definitely secured his place as one of the most exciting new artists around. I don’t want to go on about it (yet again) but I can’t really get over the intelligence and thoughtfulness that these songs were written with. I think there’re a few reasons why I find this so impressive all the time, firstly I’ve not met many 18-year-old boys who have the emotional maturity to write like he does and his songs aren’t all about being in love and loving someone. Not that it’s a bad thing if someone’s songs are all about love, but it just makes him really stand out to me that his songs are about other issues and I think it’s what appeals to so many people.22768271_320917225044202_1022409207_o

I love what a calm, chilled out guy he is and that he doesn’t really seem to care what people think of him. He came out on stage in a suit, and was covered head to toe in a light layer of glitter. Declan is such a natural-born performer, so much so that it’d be hard to imagine him doing anything else. It wouldn’t be right for him to be doing anything else, it seems as though he was born straight onto the stage. He has an incredible voice, which only serves to make his songs even better live than recorded. He comes across as such a nice, normal guy and because of this he can effortlessly build a rapport with the crowd.

His band are also all so talented, and it’s nice to see them all having fun together on stage, and not looking like they’re just being forced to play song after song even though they don’t want to. It feels like they all genuinely want to be there which makes for a lovely atmosphere. I love seeing a proper bond between people on stage, it makes me so beyond happy.22751263_320917221710869_1647292994_o

This year, as it stands Declan McKenna is past the stage of being “the next big thing”. His time is now and the only way is up now. He’s amazing live and I’d recommend seeing him to everyone.

 

Neighbourhood Festival // Manchester //07.10.17

22323812_315682008901057_1432625898_oA rainy day in Manchester didn’t even slightly put a dampener (no pun intended) on this day. I managed to persuade my best pal to come to Neighbourhood, due to the fact it’s in her hometown and she was desperate for a trip home. I’ve only been to Manchester once before, and that was for a swimming competition, so I didn’t really get to see much of the city at all. Of course, Manchester is renowned as a breeding ground for musicians and bands, Oasis, The Smiths and The Stone Roses to name probably the most iconic three. Before it sounds like I’m just saying nice things for the sake of it, I’d like to preface this with the fact that I chose the bands we were going to see, so I knew they were all good live and that I liked them.

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Putting a start to our day was Judas. This London-based band were a welcome, high energy start to our day. After walking across the city in the rain (because neither of us had any idea where we were going), we finally managed to find Refuge and hear the last three songs of Judas’s set, and it was worth it. Despite the fact that not many of the crowd knew their songs most people were still moving and enjoying the music which is a really good sign for these guys as they start to go on to bigger and better things.

 

22369071_315684775567447_543726301_oWe walked around the corner to Revs to see Oddity Road next. Now, I thought Oddity Road were pretty good and I do know a few of their songs. I think they’re a fab band with pretty solid prospects for the future. What really struck me about this was 1. The age of the crowd – there were honestly kids that can’t be much older than 13 who were absolutely loving it and 2. The size of the crowd – we were all completely packed into the venue which just shows how much these guys appeal to people and how their energetic indie rock is welcome to everyone.

22375150_315684788900779_181687790_oWe managed to find our way to Factory to see Outlya pretty easily. I’m pretty much always going on about Outlya, I honestly think they’re fab and I knew they were a band that Katie would love too. I honestly don’t think there’s anything that someone could dislike about Outlya. Their music is so positive and feel-good I can’t imagine anyone having a negative feeling about them. They’re particularly good live because a lot of their songs have easy-to-learn parts that the crowd can join in with even if they’ve not seen them before. I think they’re such good performers and I’m desperate for them to get more recognition for how good they are.

To my surprise, we actually managed to squeeze into the back of Bad Sounds, who – contrary to what their name might suggest – Make no bad sounds. I’m so glad we managed to get in, and I’m now beyond excited to see them in Notts next month. They were so good, they’ve got this kind of energy and sound that’s so individual which I absolutely adore. I love that there isn’t really anyone doing what they’re doing at the moment, which makes them really stand out. Everything they make has this kind of groovy sound to it, which is always a bit strange but it just works on every level imaginable.

22375342_315684798900778_1799614943_oI wouldn’t compromise on the fact that we were going to see Trevor Sensor. Since he’s US-based, I didn’t know when I’d next get to see him and this seemed like a perfect opportunity. I was so glad to see it was just him and his guitar because that’s how his songs sound best. He has such a cool voice and overall sound, it’s nice to just hear that completely stripped back and just hear his voice. Both of us were so impressed with him and I’m just so glad that I got to see him in such a small venue because I’ve no doubt he’ll soon move on to bigger and better things.

We stayed in the same venue to see Sam Fender and he was just as fab to be honest. I knew he was good, but he honestly surpassed my expectations and really impressed me. He’s not been playing with his current band long – or releasing music for that matter. He has a cool voice and I am obsessed with his overall sound. Greasy Spoon is just such a tune and seeing it live just confirmed it for me. As well as his incredible voice, I’d like to compliment him on his beyond amazing cheekbones, which I found equally impressive.

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At this point in the day, our feet were well on their way to being dead so we decided to take a bit of a break in one of the quieter pubs for a bit of chill time and some rest. We found our way to watch Dan Stock, who was really nice to listen to whilst we had a rest and a drink. He just had a lovely voice which we really appreciated for a half hour chill.

22345215_315684805567444_996206368_oI was excited to see Flyte, however I’ve just realised that I have a ticket to see them on Monday too, so maybe I should’ve branched out a bit and seen someone I didn’t know, but I knew Flyte were good live, so at least we’d definitely have a good time, which we did. After just releasing their debut Album, they graced us with a few of the songs from it. I loved hearing Cathy Come Home live, and it’s just made me even more excited to see them again. They were definitely worth seeing and everyone watching was absolutely loving them.

22375250_315684808900777_625780667_oSomeone else hot off releasing their debut album was Zak Abel. Now, at the start of this there were a few technical difficulties at the start of this set, which meant he had to cut his setlist short, and ended up cutting out Deserve to Be Loved, much to my heartbreak. However, that didn’t decrease the absolute quality of his performance. Zak Abel is a literal ball of energy and it’s so fun being in the audience at any of his shows, there’s no way not to have fun. I was hoping for a few of his old songs, but I guess in the short amount of time he really wanted to showcase the newer songs from the album, which is understandable. His voice really shines through live, and it’s so magical to see someone enjoying performing this much, it just fills your whole body with so much happiness it’s unreal. I really hope he’s doing more shows soon, he’s genuinely one of my favourite people to see live and I’d recommend it to literally anyone.

22368766_315684815567443_872041049_oNow, next we saw Feet, who neither of us had heard of but at this point, we didn’t think we’d be able to get into any of the other venues and quite frankly we didn’t fancy walking anywhere either. I’m so glad we stayed to watch Feet because they were so bloody good (also meant that one of us said something along the lines of “yeah, I’m so into Feet,” which is always funny). They had so much energy and their songs were all fab, it’s just a shame that there isn’t more of their music available to listen to regularly. I’ll definitely be looking out for these guys over the next few months because I had such a great time watching them.

22369081_315684835567441_2028234178_oThe big decision for me was whether we went to see Rat Boy or Declan Mckenna because I have tickets to both of their upcoming tours, so I’d get to see them both either way. I decided on Declan McKenna because I was meant to be going to see him in May, but I had to miss it for a competition (which turned out to be my last, so I probably should’ve just gone anyway like). I have nothing but love for Declan McKenna, I think he’s completely great. He’s got a great voice, great stage presence, and he’s just great (10/10 for variety of language). This has to be a highlight for me, because of the way every single person watching reacted. Everyone seemed to be captivated and loving it and even though they let on that there were some technical problems, if they hadn’t mentioned it, no one would’ve known. This was the first time I’d seen any of these songs live, and it seems that he’s really come into his own on stage, he looks so comfortable that it’s hard to imagine him doing anything else. All of his songs are so intelligently put together and I really admire the way he’s worked for this for so long. As a final flourish, he also brought out Tom Ogden of Blossoms for the end of Brazil, which was a pretty much perfect end to the night.

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I had a few worries about the way this festival was going to work after reading a few complaints online about people not being able to get in to any of the venues or anything, but for me Neighbourhood didn’t disappoint at all and was well worth the journey to see all these acts in one place and to experience as many people enjoying them as possible.

 

Tom Grennan // Rescue Rooms // 26.09.17

Nottingham was the first night of an almost completely sold-out UK tour, and for good reason. Tom Grennan knows how to put on a bloody show.22068980_311765645959360_915977368_o

Supporting Tom on this tour is Lily Moore who, unfortunately for anyone not seeing her on this tour, has no music available at the moment. There’s something about getting older that makes it seem like emerging artists are getting younger. At 19, Lily is my age and there’s nothing like seeing someone your age with an incredible talent. I mean, no joke she has a stunning voice, that’s somewhat reminiscent of Duffy, and I can’t wait to hear what she does next.22092549_311765729292685_846963623_o

Tom Grennan is an unstoppable force with a voice second to none. Tom’s rise in the music industry has been pretty impressive, as he put it it feels like he’s grown an inch each time he returns to play in a city. I’d say this is pretty accurate, he seems to be going from strength to strength. I’ve been able to see growth in him in only a few months, already since I saw him at Barn on The Farm I can see he’s more at home on stage. I find the journey of his career so impressive, after singing at a party with his friends, he taught himself guitar in a year (!!!) and started gigging on his own at weekends. That takes insane dedication and I have nothing but respect for him for that.

Something that really stood out to me about Tom is how completely lovely he seems. He comes across so humble, funny and sweet, which can be hard to do on stage sometimes and it just shows how charismatic he is. He was so chatty and he seems so grateful for the support that people are showing him He also has a cracking fashion sense, which I think every time I see he’s put a photo on Instagram.22070251_311765662626025_1386294168_o (1)

The first time I ever heard one of Grennan’s songs I got a feeling I’ve only ever felt when listening to one other artist, and that’s Amy Winehouse. This could be because of the soulful, but individual nature of their voices. It’s that feeling where all the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and its spreads throughout your body from there, now this doesn’t sound like a good feeling but I promise it actually really, really is.

As well as some new songs from his upcoming album, he played some of his older songs which was so amazing (not to say that I don’t love the new songs, because I bloody do). I was over the moon to hear him play Sweet Hallelujah, because it’s such a beautiful song and it was just incredible live. Hearing a few more of the new songs from the album has really made me buzzing for it, and I don’t want to wait until March to hear those songs again. They were so good, and I was so happy to hear Barbed Wire and Run in The Rain again, and I just wanna be able to listen to them all again now.22050623_311765659292692_1344059752_o

If I had to pick a negative part of the night, (without sounding like a dead cheesy-Suck-Up) it would be that it ended. I kind of wanted to just live surrounded by their voices forever, if that’s possible. I think that everyone needs to go and see him because I would say that it’s 100% worth it. I can’t wish him enough luck and know that he deserves all the success in the world.

Vega Bay & Short Weekends // Rescue Rooms // 25.09.17

So I was meant to be writing this about King No One, but there was a whole drama where the last train home was cancelled so I had to run across Notts at 9pm to get the last train (which I then missed, so I sat on the floor and cried for 20 mins – a perfectly reasonable reaction). This obviously meant I had to leave before King No One’s set, so it’s gutting that I missed that but I couldn’t not write about last night because Vega Bay and Short Weekends are so damn good.22068623_311275209341737_128836735_o

I overheard some people in the queue talking about how excited they were but saying that they were just gonna go to the bar until 9:30 because “you’re never gonna hear anything good at a gig before 9” NAAAH MATE. That’s just so wrong, and it seems so illogical to me. All bands had to start somewhere, everyone has been a support act at one time in their life and it’s people coming down to support them that keeps them going. It’s so important to go and see the support acts because a lot of the time they’re local bands and it gives you access to all your local bands. I don’t know, it just really annoyed me that comment, because most of the time you find a new band that you really like, and well I guess their primary goal is to get you ready for the gig and in the mood. Anyway, rant over I guess but I would always urge people to get down to gigs early to see the support acts.22050431_311275192675072_616751156_o

Seeing Vega Bay was incredible, they have this sort of energy and love on stage that is infectious. You can tell that they adore playing live and that really passes on to the crowd which is so nice to be a part of. They’ve got some amazing songs. In particular, I really like Sometimes It Rains, it’s just such a pretty song and I love how guitar heavy it is, it makes it quite different from a lot of other music around at the moment and is something that really makes them stand out. I was struck by how actually talented they all are and Sam has a really beautiful voice (and has really cultivated the 90s Leo look and I can always appreciate that). They’re the kind of indie music that just grabs you and is good for your soul.22047292_311275206008404_1773199730_o

Short Weekends really bring it with their upbeat indie pop tunes and I’m so into it. Their music has really grabbed me over the past few weeks and I love love love it. Going Nowhere and Make it Easy are really great songs lead with absolutely gorgeous vocals making them just a treat to listen to. Live they were so energetic and the whole crowd loved them, so I think there’s only good things to come from these guys.

It’s so so nice to see some local bands really finding their feet on stage and getting used to performing. They’re all such talented boys and I really hope people continue to support them and they get the chance to expand and get bigger and bigger.

 

The Sherlocks // Rock City // 16.09.17

 

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Tipped by many people to have a Catfish and The Bottlemen style blow up in popularity, The Sherlocks took to the stage to give an incredible show on the sold-out Nottingham leg of their tour.

First, early support came from local boys Mowbeck. As I’ve written about Mowbeck a few times now, everyone knows I think they’re fab. It’s so nice to be able to watch as a band get better and better live, they seem to be getting more and more confident every time I see them, and developing their own stage presence. I’ve seen them a total of three times now, and the Rock City crowd all seemed to be super into them too, which is a good sign for these guys. I even heard the people around me talking about how much they liked them and they were trying to find their music as soon as they finished, which was lovely to hear.21845494_308627689606489_868210512_o

The next support came from Ashfields, I’d never listened to these guys at all before and I’ve gotta say they really stole the show. They were bloody amazing, and I’m so glad I saw them. They all had brilliant energy, and their songs, now they were just too good. Especially Is it Alright Now? was probably my favourite one I heard. I just think they seemed like such absolutely lovely guys.

After actually seeing The Sherlocks live in person, I can see why people draw the Catfish and The Bottlemen comparison. Yeah, their music is somewhat similar, but the crowd is what makes it seem like you could easily be at a Catfish gig. The love for their music was actually something you could feel. Kieran came out repping (can I pull off repping? Propably not) their new merch. It’s crazy to see him performing on stage because of the voice that comes out of him really isn’t what you’d expect. When he sings, this massive, deep voice comes out which is so amazing, and is so much a part of their signature sound. I found that I couldn’t take my eyes off drummer, Brandon, I thought he was so talented and what he was doing on stage was so, so impressive. Normally (at the risk of sounding super ignorant) I often forget that a drummer is there, and just take for granted that of course there is one, but I don’t know what it was that really made him stand out on the stage.21769494_308627706273154_2011596692_o

It’s so crazy how much hearing a song live can change your perception of it. I’d never really paid much attention to Motions, and I definitely didn’t think that it was one of their best songs – I’ve always been an escapade girl – but after seeing it last night it’s definitely one of my favourites. It was so lovely live and just bloody beautiful if I’m being honest. After seeing them for myself I think The Sherlocks are even better live than recorded, when they’re performing live, they have a rougher, less polished sound which I think works with their music so well.

After releasing a debut album which charted in the top 10, and a UK tour where most of the dates sold out, this is obviously just the start of many successes to come.21684654_308627719606486_1935901197_o

Barn On The Farm

I’ve thought a lot about how to write about Barn on The farm to do it justice and not bore people with repetition of my love of it (and the word amazing) and I think I’m going to have to split it up into a few posts because otherwise, it’s going to be one long-ass piece of writing that no one will read. So, there’ll be a few more posts about Barn on the Farm, 19807741_279497229186202_187881431_obut I promise you they won’t be boring!

Barn on The Farm is a small, independent festival held on a farm in Gloucestershire. Established in 2010, it has only grown and got better and better every year as a whole. I first went with two of my friends the year after I got my GCSE results, and whilst I’m not close with the people I originally went with, there are people I’ve met there that are like genuine friends. For example, the first year we went we were sat in our tent when we had a spare few minutes and from the tent next to us we heard people singing (shouting) along to Beyoncé. Now, anyone that knows me knows that my love for that woman and anything she does is so real, so I had to go and introduce myself to these people that were on my wavelength. One of those people was my friend Jake, who is now not just a “festival friend” but is someone who I would consider a true pal that I can rely on.19532492_279498445852747_1865568728_o

That’s what I love about going to BOTF, there’s no judgement, or like bitchiness if you just go and talk to someone or whatever. There’s a welcoming and friendly atmosphere because everyone is so happy and they all love being there and they love the music as much as everyone else. Sometimes when you go to a gig there’ll be some unpleasantness or someone pushing (I know you can’t really help that) but you don’t get that here and it’s just so great (and I need to think of some new adjectives because I think great and amazing are probs getting a bit old now). There’s something about being in those barns and listening to the artists perform that is completely magical and I’m really struggling to get this across because until you’ve been there it’s not something that you can just tell people about.

19724000_279497075852884_142942550_oThis year I managed to persuade two of my mates from Uni to come with me, and before we came I think they thought I was just being dramatic (as I often am) about how good it is, but both of them left having had an amazing time and I’m so happy that they loved it as much as I did (I also feel lucky to have friends that allowed me to dictate what bands we went to see because they’re the best). They both said how nice it was that the bands seem to enjoy it as much as the crowd, and I think that just shows how lovely it is if they noticed it.

Of course, the atmosphere is important, but what you really go to a festival for is the music (obvs) and this is where BOTF really excels. They always manage to find people who are just about to break through and do amazing things, this leaves past lineups (and every line up to come) dripping with talent and it’s crazy to think that such big names came from such a small festival and it makes you proud to be a part of it. Past artists at BOTF include Jack Garratt, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Ed Sheeran, Rag n Bone man and George Ezra to name a few. However, I think my favourite Barn on the Farm success story is James Bay, who played for the first time on the smallest stage when it wasn’t even really a stage yet, it was basically a small café and then he ended up headlining a few years later and winning a bloody Brit, so that was quite impressive.

This year’s line-up was no less impressive, boasting names like LANY, Amber Run, Zak Abel and most notably Tom Odell. Seeing these artists in these small, intimate situations gives their songs a special meaning and memory. Seeing this festival grow and change into an even more beautiful thing is always a pleasure and I would like to say thank you to Josh and the other organisers for truly creating a family and giving me yet another stunning weekend.

 

Jordan Mackampa // The Cookie // 02.06.17

Providing a really stark contrast to the crappy weather and my general day, it was so lovely to see The Tin Pigeons and Jordon Mackampa. After what probably going to be my worst exam of the year, to be honest, I was just desperate to do something that would take my mind off the overall failure of the exam.18901459_263981090737816_1141487776_o

It was a super last-minute decision to go to this gig, I only bought my ticket the day before. I found out about it via The Tin Pigeon’s twitter and I thought it would be a nice distraction (which it was). I’d not been to Leicester – or The Cookie – before. This meant that I first had to work out where the hell I was going, something that should be relatively easy, but the moment I left the train station it started tipping it down so I couldn’t hold my phone in my hands for that long (and it ruined my hair, which was what I was most annoyed about).

The Tin Pigeons (who were on first) are a band that I’ve seen a few times at Barn on the Farm (I realise that I mention this festival in like everything I write but it’s just such a great one) and really enjoyed. Their music is undeniably happy and I put it in most of my revision playlists to stop myself from crying every time I open my notes that I do not understand. As per usual, the guys looked like they were having an amazing time on stage, which just radiates into the crowd at a gig this size, which is what makes them so engaging live. The lead singer – Fraser – has such a unique voice, that it makes a song unmistakably theirs when you hear it. You can’t help but smile when they’re playing, and their songs make me feel incredibly summery too.18901744_263981010737824_674888119_o

Jordan Mackampa has a truly amazing voice. It’s impressive on his Eps and singles, but even more so in person. What really struck me was that you could physically feel his passion for what he was doing and that he truly meant what he was singing. He explained the meaning behind every song before singing it, which made it feel even more special. For me, a highlight was hearing Yours to Keep live, because it’s fully just such a gorgeous song and hearing it live felt so special. I’ll be making sure that me and my pals see him at Barn on the Farm this year for sure.

To me, small gigs like this are how music like his should be heard. In a small crowd like this, it becomes apparent that everyone can feel every word and every note, and it makes you feel special. I love the feeling when all the people in a room are sharing the same feeling of awe at the artist performing. The whole night just felt good for my soul, I literally felt like all the crap from that day dissolving away and I was getting happier. So, if you’re in need of some healing, I thoroughly recommend seeing Jordan Mackampa.