Music: We Are FSTVL, Upminster ~ Saturday

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Award-winning, We Are FSTVL returned for its third successive year this weekend, bigger than ever and booming electronic dance music across the countryside.

The two day event in Upminister, Essex, brought in crowds from all over Europe as festival goers were offered 150 artists across 15 stages on Saturday and Sunday.

A short commute from London, We Are FSTVL has been dubbed the Best New Festival in 2013 and Best Medium-sized festival in 2014 at the UK Festival Awards.

Festival goers had high hopes this year would continue to amaze, and it did just that. Crowds began to gather early for the 10:30 start, with queues of over two hours in the morning.

Weekend and Saturday day entry tickets had already sold out by Friday evening.

Excitement has been stirring for weeks as the rabble awaited some of the most prolific electronic acts from across the world. The main stage proved to be where it was all happening, with house dominating throughout the day.

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The fun, fast and friendly atmosphere made for an intense day and evening. Leaving revellers sidestepping and shuffling on a sea of nos canisters, plastic bottles of beer and broken sunglasses.

The Main Stage continued to be graced with the best energising dance acts including the likes of Gorgon City, Hot Since 82, MK, Monki, Solomun and Secondcity, among others.

An exhausted Seth Troxler flew in from Berlin, to perform his hour and a half set. Followed by superstar Carl Cox’s penultimate performance, wowing the horde with his anthemic mix of house and techno, alongside an impressive light and fire show throughout, finishing with a brilliant fireworks finale.

However, the festival left a few with higher hopes. The outdoor stage didn’t prove as eclectic an arena, with the sounds of thumping house far better suited to a club environment, the open space proving to take off the edge of the bass.

In relation to the Sunday line-up, Saturday failed to satisfy some with its lack of electronic dance music accompanied by vocals. Constant repetitive beats proving to not be the taste of some.

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The Used + Abused stage, an impressive aircraft hanger venue, featured the likes of Noir, Oliver Dollar, Sam Divine and Masters at Work. Steam and confetti cannons filled the air as rammed revellers remained dancing to the flashing lights until the end.

Thankfully, drum and bass pumped through The What Hannah Wants stage, featuring the prolific DJ herself, alongside Cyril Hahn, Redlight, Friend Within, My Nu Leng and Waze & Odyssey.

The Defected in the House stage presented Loco Dice, Adam Beyer, Tale Of Us, Yaya and Enzo Siragusa.

The VIP area allowed ticket holders to enjoy an additional stage with exclusive performances by Mark Knight, Wankelmut, Weiss, Shiba San and Dosem in the ‘VIP Village’.

Only in Essex would you find GHD stands and an outdoor spa lurking in the VIP area. In regards to this area, it failed to overly impress with its exclusivity meaning an additional stage (Toolroom Live), an outdoor spa, and access to viewing stands at the Main Stage.

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Although an amazing weekend for the majority, the lack of space for camping proved disappointing to many who faced ‘chaos’ leaving the site once the festivities concluded.

Many reported struggling to find travel back home, of shuttle buses not being efficient and of an immense difficultly in getting taxis home, with many opting to walk along the dark roads the 2.3 miles back to the station.

Although mental and a tad exhausting, Saturday proved to be a non-stop party, filled with renowned acts and a consistently upbeat atmosphere.

We Are FSTVL should definitely be in the running to receive further rewards at this years UK Festival Awards.

Keeping the party going at Everywhere Festival, Nottingham

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Everywhere Festival, Nottingham review

An indoor playground for electronic enthusiasts, Everywhere Festival, the largest multi-venue dance event in the East Midlands returned to Nottingham clubs for its third successive year.

On May 3rd, an eclectic selection of artists and DJs catered for many tastes. Dollop presented acts to satisfy the most passionate electronic, house, techno, grime and garage lovers.

Alongside hardened veterans of the electronic and dance scene such as chart-topper Route 94 and Leeds’ Hot Since 82 performing at Forum, came newcomers such as garage and grime goddess Flava D adding a sense of rhythmic bass to Rescue Rooms.

International talent in Nottingham

International talent came from Cyril Hahn at Rock City and Motor City Drum Ensemble at Stealth.

Rescue Rooms set off Everywhere 2015 with a day party from 2pm. Finally switching at night to a line-up with an urban edge. Melé concluded the evening with a bass-fuelled set, contrasting the infectious house and techno pumping throughout the other venues.

Rock City’s main hall attracted the largest crowds of the evening, as the masses crammed themselves onto the dance floor and along the balcony.

Anthemic beats throughout the night

Redlight gave a sterling performance with anthemic beats. Popular hits such as Gold Teeth & 9TS ensured the crowd continued to beat the air throughout his set.

“Notts was sick,” he said, posting a picture of the audience post-set on Instagram.

Hannah Wants steals the show

Finally, the highlight of the evening, Hannah Wants. She kept the masses of 20-somethings shuffling on their feet with a cleverly driven DJ set. In essence, a seamless mix of renowned original work such as Rhymes alongside clever remixes of old-school classics such as Renegade Master. Her bold determination towards the end of the night left many a sweltering and heaving mess.

Aggravated bar staff and bouncers tried to stay optimistic as dawn approached and sweat began to drip from the booming speakers upon the waning crowds.

Stealth offered a wind down from the smoke machines, flashing lights and visuals. Survivors swayed to the calm beats of Chunky, Paleman and Loefah.

A night to remember

With bass pumping through the mind, bodies and souls of revellers for eight hours straight, most will still have a ringing in their ears today.

Finally, for the partygoers of the Midlands, it’s a good thing it’s a bank holiday weekend.

As seen originally for the Nottingham Post in print, and online for the Summer Festival Guide.
 

Madina Lake @ Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

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Goodbyes are often difficult, especially when the band departing still have so much potential and have proved to be so popular.

It’s been five years since Madina Lake have graced the music venues of Nottingham and their first and last visit to the intimate and excitable conditions of Rescue Rooms.

With a mix of older and younger generations, the venue proved chatty and friendly as the alternative rock quartet from Chicago leaped into action amidst masses of fans.

They have grown a lot since their debut (and still well loved) album ‘From Them, Through Us, To You’, opening energetically with the classic track ‘In Another Life’.

The songs that followed were a mix from their other released albums ‘Attics to Eden’ and ‘World War III’ with favourites such as ‘Never Take Us Alive’, ‘One Last Kiss’ and ‘House of Cards’.

This choice ensured screeching girls, routine jumping and amplified applause in the small venue, as the crowd instructionally clambered closer and closer to the stage.

They were split as ‘Here I Stand’ began, encouraging screams, dancing and the occasional feeble mosh with the band absorbing every moment of rowdiness.

Lead singer, Nathan Leone, certainly knew how to work the crowd and his adoring female fan base. The interaction was impressive, emotional and truly personal. Waving arms, held hands and crowd surfing made it a farewell to remember.

An unusual encore of three songs followed the spirit of the evening, with the band finishing with the empowering ‘Me vs. The World’ before profusely and genuinely thanking the crowd as they frantically leapt forward past the barrier to say their final goodbyes.

Alas, Madina Lake will sadly not be returning to the UK with Nathan concluding: “you’ve been extraordinary. Just do what you love and be happy. We just can’t thank you enough.”

As originally featured and edited on the Nottingham Post website.

Chase & Status No More Idols

Chase & Status No More Idols - The LDN Gal

Introducing No More Idols

No More Idols is a skilled album, enabling us to see exactly what drum and bass duo, Chase & Status can achieve. After the release of their debut album, More Than Alot, Chase & Status have been looking to hit a more global market.
Firstly, No More Idols plays on their typical genre and features numerous collaborations. The most well-known track on the album is the notorious ‘End Credits’ with Plan B, featured last in the track listing which came as a bit of a surprise considering its popularity.

Famous collaborations

Other famous collaborations include ‘Heavy’ featuring Dizzee Rascal, ‘Hitz’ featuring Tinie Tempah and ‘Brixton Briefcase’ featuring CeeLo Green. The album also presents a collaboration with the up and coming Claire Maguire.
The boys have roped in some pretty big names in the business. It does make one wonder though if perhaps they are compensating for something. The introduction of other genres also supports this. Do the boys believe they cannot go it alone on their raw talent? Such as the great DnB artists such as Pendulum manage to do.
There is no doubt the album is superb but it is hardly a solo act for Chase & Status. These big names are definitely a support to the boys. Ah but we have been here before with ‘More Than Alot’, the help of other musicians helped to boost Chase & Status into the mainstream. A place where they are desperate to stay.

Embracing changes

‘No More Idols’ represents this desperation. The album features more collaborations however and the diversity of genres could be looked upon in a positive light also. Sure the boys are leaving their original roots and developing to fit the appeal of today, but isn’t this what we demand? We should embrace these changes, opening up to alternative audiences means a little something for everyone.

Raw energy

Chase & Status are incredible live, where they can present the raw energy of their sets. The album merely lacks the masses dancing to it. The songs are made to be blown through club speakers.
‘Hitz’ is particularly impressive. The fusion of genres works extremely well, Tinie’s old school hip hop infuses perfectly with the boys cleverly manipulated sound. ‘Brixton Briefcase’ proves a bit of a disappointment but of no fault of Chase & Status, It is not the best performance by CeeLo and sounds like a very dodgy and simplistic club track. It lacks the soulful aura that CeeLo often presents.
Finally, one of the best songs however on the album has to be the opening ‘No Problem’, with an intense beat and sly vocals. It features tribal rhythms and sick trance beats that will ensure you get to and stay on your feet.’
Overall, the album is very good. With the intense beats, variety of featuring artists, and memorable lyrics this album fails to not impress.

No More Idols track list

  1. No Problem
  2. Fire In Your Eyes (Ft Maverick Sabre)
  3. Let You Go (ft Mali)
  4. Blind Faith (ft Liam Bailey)
  5. Fool Yourself (ft Plan B & Rage)
  6. Hypest Hype (ft Tempa T)
  7. Hitz (ft Tinie Tempah)
  8. Heavy (vs Dizzee Rascal)
  9. Brixton Briefcase (ft CeeLo Green)
  10. Hocus Pocus
  11. Flashing Lights (ft Sub Focus & Takura)
  12. Embrace (ft White Lies)
  13. Time (ft Delilah)
  14. Midnight Caller (ft Clare Maguire)
  15. End Credits (ft Plan B)

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An interview with Gabrielle Aplin

An interview with Gabrielle Alpin - The LDN Gal

Introducing Gabrielle Aplin

An interview with Gabrielle Aplin, an up-and-coming singer-songwriter whose dark pop and folky acoustics have impressed the UK music scene.

Hello  Gabrielle Aplin, how do you feel about your online success?

I’m really overwhelmed by how everything has grown so gradually and has all suddenly started snowballing. It’s honestly incredible and I’m really grateful and thankful for what I’ve achieved, purely by using the internet to connect with loyal supporters.

You’re only seventeen, isn’t the whole experience a bit surreal?

I’ve recently turned 18! Haha, but yes, it’s so surreal! Especially as I’m so young. But as I said before, I just have to stay grateful as it’s almost all down to people being loyal and wanting to listen to me. 🙂

What are the plans for, and what can we expect from your debut album?

I’m currently writing and demoing songs for my album. 🙂 We’re still having fun experimenting with sounds, but it’s definitely going to lean towards the darker side of pop with my acoustic and folky roots. 🙂

How do you feel about the amazing reaction to your rendition of Liar and the Lighter?

So shocked! It was uploaded for a friend and I honestly thought nothing of it, I didn’t even put it online intending on getting views. I’m so glad I did decide to do it now though!

What advice would you give to other young musicians?

To make the most of all of their resources. The internet has been the biggest platform for me in regards to building a fan base. But to also, interact with ‘fans’ and thank them as these are the people who help you and stay with you. 🙂

What hopes do you have for the future?

I want to continue with what I’m doing now. Writing, recording, touring and meeting followers. 🙂 I hope to release my album this year also. 🙂

How does it feel to be placed as MySpace’s number one unsigned act?

Ridiculous! haha but in a good way of course. 🙂 Must be boring as I keep saying it, but all I can honestly do is be grateful for it. 🙂

Can we expect a Gabrielle Aplin 2011 tour? 

You can! Although no dates are confirmed yet! There will definitely be shows all over the country, including festivals! Yay!

Sum yourself and your music up in three words? 

Optimistic, real and haunting.

Thank you for your time Gabrielle Aplin and we wish you the best of luck in the future!

Thank you! X
What is your favourite Gabrielle Aplin song?
Stephanie xox

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