My last ever live review for Redbrick… no, you’re crying.
Having listened to Craig David as a child and watched his career fade into the abyss, it is a surprise to both you and I that I found myself attending his most recent tour at the O2 Academy. Who would have thought we would see the return of Craig David? In his own words, ‘that Miami thing was long, but I came back to the UK and everything changed’.
When Jack Garratt descended on Birmingham’s O2 Institute on his latest tour, the entire evening became a celebration, both of the music and the man behind it. Or should I say, the man behind the drum machine contraption set up on stage. Seeing a master of his craft perform live is a delight, and this was no exception: from the minute Garratt stepped on stage and assumed his position – drumsticks in hand, snapback in place – we knew we were witnessing the start of something special.
One only has to utter a single name and everyone is aflutter: Adele. The last few years have been wonderful for Miss Adkins, having received critical acclaim from every outlet possible the minute debut album, 19, was released in 2008. It is not that often you get to witness true talent on a firsthand basis, so thank heavens she visited Birmingham for four exceptional nights on her live tour this week. Attending the second night of these dates, it was pandemonium from the outset, with people queueing for an age just to get to their seats.
On his latest tour, James Morrison descended on a slightly more unusual venue: Birmingham’s gorgeous Symphony Hall. Considering how on previous occasions, the singer-songwriter has sold out academies and arenas across the country, it was a surprise decision, but one that worked surprisingly well.
It seems these days that it is the ‘in thing’ to hate The 1975. Before NME were splashing their photos on their front cover, they named them the Worst Band of 2014, with indie Twitter seemingly awash with berating of the band and their material. Be that due to their outspoken frontman Matt Healy, their ever-so-slightly irritating // M A R K E T I N G C A M P A I G N S // or simply that you don’t like their music, there is one thing you have to give them credit for: they are an extremely talented live band. Having formed over 14 years ago in Manchester, it is clear from witnessing them play ‘the biggest show of [our] lives’ at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena that they have truly honed their craft.
Rounding off his tenth year as a solo artist with a sold-out UK tour, Frank Turner shows no signs of slowing down. Playing to a packed out crowd at Birmingham’s O2 Academy, the excitement buzzing around the room was impossible to ignore (as were the masses of previous tour tees).
With the release of their second album Moth Boys, it is becoming impossible to pigeonhole Spector into a specific musical genre. Not just your average ‘indie pop’ band, their second LP is particularly influenced by the ‘80s. Speaking to frontman Fred Macpherson ahead of their gig at the Institute’s Temple, he spoke of how during the recording process “[the band] were all listening to different music… ‘80s pop bands and stuff… but also really emotional, modern stuff like Drake, anyone who gets overly emotional in their lyrics.” It seems that despite being a band that, as a collective, listen to very different music, this has helped rather than hindered their musical direction following on from debut Enjoy It While It Lasts. “I guess there’s stuff that we listened to growing up like Depeche Mode that’s in there but we wouldn’t all sit down and listen to it together now, I think it’s just in the blood of our music.”