Archive | Events

Venkman, Greg Bird, El Burro, George IV, Lichfield, Sunday, April 8. Free entry.

Tags: , , , ,

Venkman, Greg Bird, El Burro, George IV, Lichfield, Sunday, April 8. Free entry.

Posted on 05 April 2012 by Mizzle

Off-kilter funksters Venkman mark a return to the stage with an Easter Sunday fun-fest in Lichfield this weekend.

The band’s taken a live hiatus since the end of 2011, after recruiting two new members on keys and guitar. The gig on Sunday, April 8, will be their first with the new line up.

Venkman, which also features ex-Mr Nobody bassist James and diminutive diva Kate McQuaide, are currently working with local producer John Sambrook, from Dusted Productions, on their first EP, scheduled for national release later this year.

Venkman have hand-picked their support slots for Sunday’s show, plumping for two of Birmingham’s brightest hopes – noisenik duo El Burro and Sunset Cinema Club soloist Greg Bird.

Bird plays a mix of synth-driven Prince-pop, interspersed with sexy bass and smooth guitars, whilst El Burro create Cardiacs-inspired cartoon soundscapes punctuated with intelligent lyrics and hilarious costumes.

George IV, Lichfield, Sunday, April 8. Free entry. Doors open at 7pm.

Teenage MC crowned Open Mic UK winner!

Tags: ,

Teenage MC crowned Open Mic UK winner!

Posted on 24 January 2012 by Mizzle

A sixteen year-old MC from Coulsdon has been named as the winner of the national Open Mic UK competition at The O2 in London!

Shak was crowned champion in front of a capacity crowd in the Indigo2 on Saturday night taking home a recording and development contract.

The sixteen year-old A-level student admits it still hasn’t sunk in; ‘I’m still shocked. I hoped I’d win but didn’t expect it. I woke up on Sunday and thought “what happened last night”, I still couldn’t believe it’!His own take on Mac Miller’s Best Day Ever won over the judges making him the winner of the 16 and Under category and the overall winner.

Shak has now won a management contract with investment towards a single release and a comprehensive consultation package including social marketing, image and brand with Future Music.

The judging panel for the Grand Final included names such as Radio 1’s Annie Nightingale, Pete Cunnah, Shola Ama, BGM’s Michael King, Chris Grayston from Future Music and E Plus from Choice FM. Also picked by them as winners were Sham from Brixton who won the 17-22 category, and Sheena McHugh from Coalville who took home the 23’s and over title.

Shak studies Politics and Philosophy and a BTEC in Music at Central Sussex Haywards Heath, but his life took a big twist when he was announced winner of the prestigious Open Mic UK at The O2. Other previous winners include Birdy who has enjoyed chart success at the age of just 15, and Hatty Keane who has gone on to support the likes of Ed Sheeran, Wretch 32 and Tinchy Stryder since her success a year ago.

The towering performer, who stands at 6’6”, says the Open Mic UK competition has transformed him as an act; ‘It’s been amazing. At each stage of the competition I didn’t expect to go through, but I’ve improved at each show. The experience has helped my confidence no end, now I want to be an artist, I want to work in music and perform, and it’s all I want to do.’

For more information on Shak follow him on Twitter @ShakWeef – or check out his music on his YouTube channel YaBoiShak.

More than 9,000 acts signed up to Open Mic UK this year and Shak has proved himself to be best of the lot. For your chance to play at The O2 and win next year’s competition enter now at www.openmicuk.co.uk.

www.LiveandUnsigned.uk.com

An Epic Night with Chase and Status (and Delilah)

Tags: , ,

An Epic Night with Chase and Status (and Delilah)

Posted on 09 January 2012 by Mizzle

The night started with a beautiful set by Delilah. When ‘Go‘ started we knew it was going to be a good night. We also realised that there was only one way this evening was going to end and that was with it being one very sweaty mess.

The packed crowd at the Birmingham O2 Academy waited eagerly for Chase and Status to come on stage, looking around the crowd you could see the excitement on everyone’s faces as they were all eager to get there rave on!

It was time, the music started and there was Chase and Status, kicking it off with the opening track ‘No Problem‘ from their latest album ‘No More Idols’, the crowd bounced from wall to wall, and this did not stop for the hour and 15 minutes that they commanded the stage!

When ‘Eastern Jam’ kicked in, the crowd was at an all time high, everyone had their arms up in the air and were jumping around including everyone who had seats on the balcony.

MC Rage was prowling around on stage menacingly all night whipping the crowd into a frenzy and making them shout out for more.

Take Me Away‘ literally took me away! That was the moment when I let myself go with the crowd and we ended up somewhere in the middle of a very energetic crowd of happy ravers, then ‘Pieces‘ delighted our ears, everyone started singing along, would of loved to have seen Plan B there, but yet again he didn’t appear, maybe next time?

Then Delilah returned to the stage for the song ‘Time’. The energy and aggression thrown into the track was truly immense!

After disappearing off stage they returned for their encore accompanied by Liam Bailey for a note perfect rendition of ‘Blind Faith‘, which almost brought the house down.

Leaving the venue all you could see was steam coming off everyone and big smiles, it felt like we’d be raving all night little did we know it was just after 10.

As always Chase and Status treated our ears and soles to an epic night of immense tunes. I can’t wait for the summer festival season to begin, so we can see them again.

Check out the Photos from the event on our Facebook : Smashed Music.

Beverley Knight in her ‘Home Town’ – Wolverhampton

Tags: ,

Beverley Knight in her ‘Home Town’ – Wolverhampton

Posted on 05 January 2012 by Mizzle

What a great night … Where to begin … It was a great privilege to see Beverley in her ‘home town’ as she kept referring to it. Before the gig I was unaware that Wolverhampton was where she had grown up, and what a home coming it was. With 4 costume changes from the patriotic union jack and leather trousers (with diamante seams on the outer leg – what a treat for all) to the rocking hot pants outfit and then the seductive little off the shoulder red number.

The whole gig was meticulously organised, and arranged with great lighting effects and great thought to the order of songs. The whole audience loved it and sang along, and when the 3 ladies on the front row were asked to it down by security (as the people behind could not see) they waved their arms in fury and passion saying NO NO WAY!!! and got everyone standing and capping long and waving the security people away.

Not only was Beverley on top form – frequently shouting back at the crowds, encouraging clapping and singing – but also the backing singers 1 guy and 2 girls – need to be recognised for such beautiful harmony’s and real passion for the music.

The highlight of the show was definitely the classic “shoulda wuda cuda” bringing everyone to their feet once again. But as a whole it was a great night. The music was as good now as the classics were years ago when first released, and the new album looks to be a real success as so much of her music is so ‘easy listening’ that fans new and old will all enjoy.

Well chosen gig Smashed Music! I know doubt believe we will be seeing more of miss Knight at music festivals and music concerts in the near future.

Lily Bowron

Little Boe Peek: Smashed Music Ventures into the World of Classical

Tags: , ,

Little Boe Peek: Smashed Music Ventures into the World of Classical

Posted on 21 December 2011 by Neil Paterson

Tuesday 13th December, Birmingham Symphony Hall

Before I begin, it’s important to know something about Alfie Boe. And that thing is – he is huge. Massive. An absolute superstar in his field. And whilst a large swathe of the country have never heard of him, a generous middle-aged dollop of the UK owns an album by ‘The Bad Boy of Opera’. Over 400,000 this year alone, to be precise.

However, it is with some trepidation that I approach this concert. After all, my musical diet has for 10 years consisted of 90% standard-issue indie-rock, 10% other modern toss. But rarely have I ventured towards the classical option, especially that of the operatic-musical variety.

It seems to me though that Mr Boe would empathise entirely. He goes to great pains to ensure the stuffiness so often surrounding classical music is not present as his shows. “To prove how informal this concert is,” he states after the opening number, “Here’s some chocolate!” Cue the throwing of Quality Street into the audience. (The number of missile-related deaths is not known at this point.)

Throughout the show, Alfie treads a difficult line of between-song banter and seriousness musicality. But it’s a line he treads with remarkable ease, his audience by turn in raptures of laughter then tears of emotion. It helped that sound produced by Boe’s Band was simply sensational, accentuated by the sublime acoustics of the hall. His rendition of In My Daughter’s Eyes was particularly moving, and his signature tune – Bring Him Home, from the musical Les Miserables – was met with an instant standing ovation.

And Alfie himself proved his musicianship, with a turn on the drums for his encore.

As an newcomer to the world of classics, I felt it would be hard to find a more fun, and fine, introduction. 4/5

Wax:On Vs Metropolis – Leeds – Review

Tags: , ,

Wax:On Vs Metropolis – Leeds – Review

Posted on 12 December 2011 by Mizzle

Saturday the 26th of November saw the two heavyweights of the dub step, electro house and drum and bass events scenes combine to go head to head for the last time in 2011 and the final part of a trilogy of events, with some of the biggest line ups you’re not likely to see outside of the major UK festivals. The setting as per the previous two events was Leeds Student Union Complex, although not a purpose built nightclub in parts, the venue does not disappoint. Split over 3 rooms there is one main room, The Terrace and Stylus downstairs in the basement, this place is a labyrinth of corridors, double doors and stairs. The only negative point of the night was the amazing inability of most of the security to know what room is where and how to get there when asking for directions. So exploring it was then!

Finding the main room where Chase and Status were due to headline and where North Base were warming up and doing a good job of it at that. A mixture of dub step and drum and bass, dropping one of my favourite tunes at the moment Knife Party’s Internet Friends.

The venue was filling up and following on from a good set by North Base came Citizen. An innovative group with a live vocal PA who hyped the now packed out crowed in the main room. Midnight approached and Citizen left the stage in exchange of the headline act, Chase and Status. The excitement grew, a roar went up as they entered stage right, the lighting effects increased and the opening track boomed. No Problem! This sent the drunk student crowd into a frenzy, jumping, singing, drinks everywhere and a great atmosphere continued for the next hour. The set played all the big crowd favourites and some lesser known tracks giving it a good balance, Pieces, Fool Yourself, Nero’s Promises (Skrilex remix) and of course the new single Flashing Lights each sung back by an enthusiastic and vibrant crowd.

Wondering around the maze, Zinc was on form in the Terrace playing his usual Crack House style with a few well known speed garage tracks with a modern twist and bounce thrown in. Double 99’s Rip Groove doing the dance floor damage here! Next to the terrace room was also a large smoking area with benches all around where slightly shivering people sat taking 5 enduring the Leeds winds for a breath of fresh air or some nicotine.

One room was left on the agenda which was Stylus, venturing downstairs and then down some more stairs, via the all night curry take away (great idea by the way, all clubs should do this!) it was found. This was not a room but a large club in its own right. Holding close to a 1000 people at an estimate, a front stage, sunken dance floor encircled by bars and an engineering booth any pro would be proud of. Keeping the kids dancing at his usual best was Erol Alkan, playing a plethora of sounds from deep house, bass driving electro, proggy rises and some familiar drops out of the blue from Daft Punk and The Gossips Standing in the way of Control. The only flaw of the night was the DJ change over from Erol to Doorly. A technicians nightmare briefly followed, the club plunged into silence :O. Equipment was changed over and Doorly picked up the mic to reassure everyone that it would be sorted and he would be at his “absolute best” shortly. He was not lying. Playing an awesome ibizan style club set across three CDJs (now all working), came deep beats, scratching and pumping bass that got the room back jumping.

Over all a great night with some awesome varied styles of music, DJs and artists. Hats off to Wax:On vs Metropolis

Richard Chapman

Motorhead – Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wednesday 2 November 2011

Tags: ,

Motorhead – Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wednesday 2 November 2011

Posted on 23 November 2011 by Mizzle

Nice is a word rarely if at all associated with Motorhead, they don’t make ‘nice’ music, they don’t look nice infact they have built a formidable career on being rather…. ‘un-nice’

But what is ‘nice’ is how they can crossover into so many genres, can bring together so many different backgrounds, ages, philosphies all with one passion the music!  So perhaps it was little surprise to see the UK Subs & Anti Nowehere league on the bill delivering their own styles of anti nice music!

Motorhead are like Ronseel they do what it says on the tin, so does this make them predicatble? Well yes perhaps but you have to admire a band that stick to their princiuples never steer from what they love and never deliver anything less than 110% and its that sort of philospy that fits into the punk arena!

If its your first time seeing Motorhead then its an eye opener, it’s a bit like being in a train crash that lasts for about 2 hours – its relentless!.  So when they walk on stage and launch into Bomber you know theyre in the Building and by the time that’s finished theyre into the next melodic ballad ‘Damage Case’.  It’s a well rounded set with more hits to throw at you than Rocky.

When the green light descends upon Lemmy you know whats coming… ‘Orgasmatron’ still one of my all time favourites, his motionless stance and natural grimace adding to the sinister undertones.  So follow this with  a guitar solo a drum solo and an encore there can only be one ace left up their sleeves…yep you got it the ace of spades –  with ear drums split, bruises on order its ‘nice’ to have got out alive!!!

 

Reviewed By Chris Knight

Ricky who? Stephen Merchant shines in Hello Ladies

Tags: , ,

Ricky who? Stephen Merchant shines in Hello Ladies

Posted on 09 November 2011 by Neil Paterson

Wolverhampton Civic Hall, 5th November 2011

Like The X Factor without a twat, it’s hard to imagine Stephen Merchant without Ricky Gervais. And yet it transpires Smerch was a stand-up in his own right before he met the stubbly, stumpy saviour of British comedy.

So with Hello Ladies, his first stand-up since 1997, could the 6ft 7in Bristolian shine despite the shadow of his famous mate?

Any doubts were put aside in moments, the audience in raptures as he recalls his first appearance in the press in which his lofty frame was literally cut short. Whilst his style takes more than a nod and a wink from Gervais (ironic references to his fame, awards, etc), he comes across as a warmer, more personable act with laugh-til-your face-aches anecdotes and observational wit in spades.

Topics were loosely based on the idea of his inability to find a wife but in reality this was an excuse to give an unexpected masterclass in stand-up. And it included the funniest moment in pitch black since Alan Partridge met Jill’s chocolate mousse.

Avril Lavigne ‘The Black Star’ UK Tour Review

Tags: ,

Avril Lavigne ‘The Black Star’ UK Tour Review

Posted on 05 October 2011 by Mizzle

We geared ourselves up for Avril’s final stop on ‘The Black Star’ UK tour at Manchester’s O2 Apollo. After her awesome albums ‘Let Go’ and ‘Best Damn Thing’ we were excited to be finally bopping along to her songs at her show. We didn’t really know what to expect from her live set, would she sound as good as her CDs? We were pleasantly surprised to find that she does; manufactured she may be but she can certainly belt out a tune!

The concert began with the usual dramatic wash down of the lights, followed by the excited calls for the now 26 year-old starlet from expectant fans. And you can’t help but be stunned by how many there were and the range of ages and genders that she appeals to – from teenyboppers, parents to the gay crowd. So the music started, much screaming, Avril came on stage but due to an issue with her sparkling diamanté mic, she left the stage after the second song. She covered the problem well, with some quick technical intervention she came back onstage and began to sing again.

She kicked off with some of her newer songs, ‘Smile’, ‘What the Hell’ and ‘Wishing you were here’ from her latest album Goodbye Lullaby which was released earlier this year in March. She moved swiftly on to her classics like ‘Sk8er Boi’, ‘Complicated’ and ‘Girlfriend’. The crowd went wild and we were absorbed in the electric atmosphere.

However, it would perhaps do more justice to her musical talent if she left the covers alone. And for those that she did do, rehearse a bit more – she embarrassingly forgot the lyrics on her version of Coldplay’s popular track ‘Fix You’ and the cover sounded awkward. Perhaps she was uncomfortable with it – a song choice to appeal to the masses rather than in tune with her own more original recent releases. Who’s to know, but this brought in a sense of her early days label of manufactured-pop which was sad as her voice and guitar skills were outstanding throughout the rest of the concert.

The set lasted 1 hour 20 mins and despite the few slip ups we noted, the fans appeared to walk out happy and so did we.

What did you think? If you saw Avril’s latest tour live send us your thoughts below.

Samantha Thomas

Photos by Kevin Smith

Birmingham ArtsFest 2011

Tags: ,

Birmingham ArtsFest 2011

Posted on 07 September 2011 by Mizzle

Did you ever think you would not be able to go to a festival no matter what the reason, well if you did you where wrong. Birmingham ArtsFest is FREE for all to attend and the biggest in the country holding over 600 events and shouldn’t get you as dirty as a normal festival.

On the 10th and 11th of September in Centenary square and other destinations in and around Birmingham city centre, Artsfest is made up of performances from the up and coming to the old and loved in all aspects of performing arts. In the brochure they are all categorised so that you can easily choose the type of performance you want to see from music, dance, movement and martial arts, theatre, comedy and visual arts, there is something for everyone. You will also be a witness to the collaboration between the ArtsFest sponsors Kerrang and Q Radio.

This 2 day event also includes workshops, exhibitions, and talks discussing a range of topics including visual, digital and the performing arts. This whole event is to showcase as well as celebrate the West Midland’s most creative performers and artists.

Considering the recent troubles in and around Birmingham city centre and the West Midland’s region it is a great event to bring the whole community together and show the nation that not everyone can be labelled the same.

There are events, showcases and workshops for all ages and for all the family. If you want something fun and exciting for your children then Central Library is defiantly worth a stop on Saturday between 10am and 4 pm, or even take them to see The REP’s Happily Ever After – Sleeping Beauty, where there will be storytelling and arts and crafts workshops, this is due to take place on Saturday 10th at 11am at Chamberlain and Victoria Sqaures.

With various musical and dance troops to entertain the adults one thing to look out for on and around High Street is the Busking Spot, in addition to their main performances, these special performers will be bringing the entertainment to where you are, so make sure you stop and appreciate.

Artsfest was designed to allow anyone and everyone to be able to show off their skills whether you are an amateur, professional or even just part of a community or youth group.

If you want to learn more about this amazing event see: www.artsfest.org.uk and download the final brochure, also sign up so that you can be kept up-to-date about the event and all its happenings.

Samantha Thomas