Live Review: The Lumineers, Manchester Arena, 24th Nov 2019

IMG_20191124_205353-01The Lumineers are a band that have consistently surprised me. I wrote them off as a Mumford clone and they came back with a brilliant second album. I wondered whether they may have bitten off more than they could chew by releasing a hard hitting concept album, only for it to be one of the stand out releases of 2019. Last time I saw The Lumineers it was in a much smaller venue, but this latest tour in support of III finds them setting their sights on arena crowds. The old me might have questioned this big leap and had doubts about whether they were really arena material. If I’ve learnt anything these past few years however it’s that you should never sell this band short, and this gig only served to prove that point further. Continue reading

Live Review: Foy Vance, Albert Hall Manchester, 20th Nov 2019

IMG_20191120_212126-01__01If you’re a regular visitor to Belwood then you’ll know that my all time favourite artist is Foy Vance. He’s the artist I’ve seen the most, and the first time I saw him still remains the best gig I’ve ever been to. Several brilliant shows later and I was unsure of what to expect from my latest live experience. Firstly down to it being in the Albert Hall; while it’s one of the most beautiful venues in the country, it was a much less intimate setting than I was used to. Secondly in terms of the setlist; Foy released two albums in 2019, one I loved and one that I really couldn’t connect with, and I was curious to see which record would take precedent. The only way to find out was to take my place front and centre and see what Foy had in store this time around. Continue reading

Live Review: Hozier, Sheffield City Hall, 20th Sept 2019

LRM_EXPORT_283021641608284_20190921_135320950-01What artist most exceeded your expectations when you saw them live for the first time? For me it was Hozier. I saw him live in London just as the hype surrounding ‘Take Me To Church’ was reaching a fever-pitch, after following his meteoric rise right from his first EP. In a sold out show in Shepherd’s Bush there was an electricity in the air which I’ve only experienced a handful of times, the kind that makes just another date on a tour feel like something special and unique. To this day it remains one of my favourite gigs. Several years down the line, and with a new album under his belt, I decided to see if the magic was still there. Continue reading

Live Review: Barn on the Farm Festival 2019

IMG_20190704_143638-01 (2)A lot can happen in ten years. People change, trends come and go, and a small gathering of music fans in a wooden barn in Gloucester can become the best festival in the world. After building up a reputation over the past decade for championing new music, breaking down barriers, and being the most warm and welcoming festival family around, Over Farm found itself at the centre of a very special birthday. With Barn on the Farm celebrating it’s tenth anniversary (and Belwood returning for a fifth year), expectations were high that they would pull something special out of the bag. And, in spite of a few big names pulling out last minute, they did all that and more.  Continue reading

Live Review: Glen Hansard, Barbican Centre London, 16th April 2019

LRM_EXPORT_112745519479385_20190418_135803273-01They say you should never meet your heroes as they never live up to expectations. Leading up to this gig I was worried that the same principle applied to seeing one of your favourite artists live. After discovering Glen though the usual method, falling deeply in love with the movie Once, I’ve become a deep admirer of his artistry. Although not always captured by the studio versions, the energy of his live performances that I’ve seen online are just in a whole other league. He sings with such passion, as though music were his sole purpose and he is giving away his very life-force to his songs. Some of these have proven to be some of my favourite live performances of all time, videos that I watch almost religiously. That is an awful lot of expectation to live up to, but when Glen announced a new tour I decided it was a risk I had to take. Continue reading

Live Review: Árstíðir, Rebellion Manchester, 25th Jan 2019

arstidir mancGenerally the start of a new year is a time for looking forward, but I thought it would be an equally good time to momentarily look back. Surely there’s no better way to spend my first gig of 2019 than checking out the band behind one of the best releases of 2018. We stumbled across Icelandic indie folk outfit Árstíðir shortly after they released their latest record Nivalis. It impressed us so much that it snuck its way into our end of year list, and also ensured that I would be in attendance for one of their UK dates. Continue reading

Live Review: Caligula’s Horse, Star & Garter Manchester, 5th Nov 2018

Caligula's horseThough Bonfire Night is traditionally celebrated with fireworks, I spent mine with something just as exciting and vibrant, albeit even louder; the brilliant Caligula’s Horse on their first headline European tour. Though I was a bit late to the game regarding their latest record, 2017’s In Contact, it has quickly become one of my favourite releases of recent years and has been one of my main go-to albums. So naturally I wasn’t going to miss out on seeing them, along with a few of their friends from back home, for an all out Australian invasion on the penultimate stop of their tour. After all, if anyone knows how to have a good time it’s the Aussies.  Continue reading

Live Review: Joe Russell-Brown, Cafe INDIEpendent Scunthorpe, 10th Aug 2018

DSC_0050-01This site is all about supporting new music, but contrary to what my inbox tells me, great music doesn’t just come from London and LA. Wherever there are creatively minded people with a message to share there is great music to be found, and if we all did more to support our local scenes maybe so many of them wouldn’t need to move to those big cities to stand a chance of following their passion. Breakthrough is a scheme that understands that all great bands and artists have to start somewhere. This new artist development program, working with Yorkshire and the Humber’s finest up-and-coming talents, decided to put on a series of three showcase gigs, in the hopes of sharing that message and getting people involved with their local scene. I dropped by Cafe Indie to bask in what this first batch of the area’s best and brightest rising stars had to offer.  Continue reading

Live Review: Iron Maiden, Genting Arena Birmingham, 7th Aug 2018

eddie-01All music fans have a “list”, a selection of bucket list bands that you have yet to see live. Though I’ve been through some wildly different music phases over the years, Iron Maiden have always been near the top of my list ever since first hearing ‘Fear of the Dark’ as a teenager. Few bands can match the scale and spectacle of the mighty Maiden in their live shows. Gutted to have missed out on their last tour, I eagerly snapped up tickets for their Legacy of the Beast world tour and made my way down to Genting Arena… on what turned out to be Bruce Dickinson’s 60th birthday of all days! Continue reading

Live Review: Humber Street Sesh 2018

DSCN0713-01When Hull was named the UK’s city of culture for 2017, I’m sure there were more than a few raised eyebrows, but even as someone on the outside looking in the city’s rejuvenation was staggering. Whether Hull pulled off a miraculous reinvention in the space of a year, or whether it was always a cultural hub somewhere beneath the surface and is just now sharing it with the world remains to be seen. I sadly missed last year’s Humber Street Sesh, which I’m told was one of the highlights of the summer, so I was interested to see how that passion for art and culture carried on into 2018… and of course see some great bands and artists too!  Continue reading