Live Review: Lanterns on the Lake, Rescue Rooms Nottingham, 21st Nov 2021

I don’t know about you, but the pandemic has completely messed up my understanding of the passage of time. With so long spent where the days just bleed together, it’s hard to get your head around it again when for a while it lost all meaning. At times the whole thing feels like a blur, and you’re surprised to discover a moment that felt like yesterday was nearly two years ago. And yet sometimes you register just how long you’ve waited to see some light at the end of the tunnel, how much you’ve yearned for some normality, that you can scarce believe when it finally arrives. There was certainly a lot of the latter at play when it came to this gig. I was already long overdue to catch Belwood favourites Lanterns on the Lake when I first bought the ticket, and that day feels like an age ago. Now, after being rescheduled so many times I actually lost count, came the surreal experience of actually seeing them live and in person when for so long it felt like it was never gonna happen. Continue reading

Live Review: Megan Dixon Hood, The Deaf Institute Manchester, 28th Oct 2021

Wow. It feels like a lifetime since I sat down to write a review of some genuine, real life, live music. Hopefully I still remember how! Hopping on the train to a different city, gathering in a venue with actual people, that buzz of anticipation that ripples through the crowd as the artists take to the stage – experiencing it all again after nearly two years apart is a strange sensation. In some ways it felt alien compared to this odd new normality we’ve become all accustomed to, but after a while it felt like stepping back into your old shoes like things had never changed. I guess when live music charms your heart that feeling never really goes away. Fingers crossed though that theory need never be put to the test again, and that this marks the triumphant return of live music in our lives. Where better to get reacquainted with the glory of gigs than the heart of Manchester, and surely there’s no better artist to jump back in with than one of the last performers I saw before everything kicked off – the wonderful Megan Dixon Hood. Continue reading

Top Tracks: Steve Rondo – Afternoon Rebellion

It’s startling to think that we’re just a few months away from 2022 when most of us are still trying to process 2020. The days just seem to race by like grains of sand slipping between your fingers, and with each passing year seem to flow faster and faster. But by the time you realise just how caught you are within the relentless swirl of the hourglass, it’s already too late. With his new single ‘Afternoon Rebellion’, Boston based songwriter and producer Steve Rondo shares the fear and frustration that comes with wanting to stay awhile longer in each fleeting moment. It’s something that effects us all eventually, and is a phenomenon that has left its mark on many songs over the years, but on this track Steve really captures the anxiety that comes with looking too hard in either direction. Looking forward you realise all those dreary days spent wishing for the weekend have finally caught up with you. All those lingering fears of what the future holds that you pushed aside, those bridges that you left to cross some other day, those milestones that seemed like some distant dream – all now loom large and unavoidable in the path ahead of you. Looking back you catch a glimpse of each cherished memory, before it too falls from your grasp to become just another grain buried by all the days wasted, much as the song’s haunting delicate folk intro becomes eclipsed by the ever-growing arrangement to leave you lost in something both grand and bittersweet.