Live Review: The Killers, Doncaster Stadium, 24th May 2022

Sometimes when you have something extra special jotted down on your calendar it ends up feeling like a lifetime away. Still just a distant speck on the horizon no matter how far down the road you seem to go. Never has that been more the case than over the past couple of years. So many events being pushed back and rescheduled over the course of the pandemic; you’d go from thinking “at least I’ve got something to look forward to when this is all over”, to wondering if the day would ever come. But eventually there was light at the end of the tunnel, and all those adventures that felt like a distant dream started barrelling into view one by one.

Over the past couple of months I’ve been slowly working down the pile of gig tickets dated ‘2020’ that’s been gathering dust on my shelf – until only one remained. Saving the best till last some might say. What better way to celebrate putting covid firmly in the rearview mirror than with The Killers gracing Doncaster of all places, bringing with them a dash of Vegas glitz and glamour, as the band kick off their long overdue Imploding The Mirage tour in earnest. Continue reading

Spotlight!: Kitty Perrin

It feels like far too long since I’ve wholeheartedly promoted a new artist and sung their praises to the world – you know, the whole reason this blog exists in the first place. For whatever reason it’s become harder to find new music that excites me. So much out there just feels too familiar; scores of talented artists drawing from the same inspirations and chasing the same trends only to inevitably arrive at much the same destination. It’s hard for an act to stand out from the crowd, and even harder for me to put a finger on a way for them to do so. After all, it would be too much to reasonably expect every act to continually put out something new and unique, right? But in listening to the debut EP from Kitty Perrin, the answer suddenly reveals itself. Each of us is already unique; we all face our own trials and triumphs, viewed through our own perspective. Every artist has a story, one only they can tell, but it’s only those special few like Kitty Perrin that manage to so resoundingly imprint their identity into their work. Continue reading

Live Review: The Dear Hunter, Night and Day Cafe Manchester & The Bodega Nottingham, 5th/9th May 2022

Well here’s a Belwood first for you: a live review double feature! There are plenty of bands and artists which I will happily see time and again, tour after tour, but until now I can’t recall every seeing someone twice on the same tour. I feel like there’s a line there, crossing a threshold from casual fan into something deeper. As much as I may admire and envy the old hippie Deadhead lifestyle of following a band on tour in a VW camper, it requires a level of devotion that I (and indeed most people) would struggle to muster for just one special band.

While I’m not at the point of following them around the country in a campervan (those things are expensive!), The Dear Hunter are definitely the band that comes closest. Their five Act concept album series is one of the most compelling musical rabbit holes I’ve ever dived down, and the one I most wish I could forget for the purpose of hearing it for the first time all over again. So, after waiting what felt like forever for one of my all time favourite bands to make it back to the UK, I knew just one gig wouldn’t be enough. Continue reading

Top Tracks: Étáin – At Least One

If the loneliness of lockdown taught us anything, it’s that while absence may make the heart grow fonder, that does nothing to dull the pain of being apart from the ones we love. There’s a special kind of sanctuary that comes from just being present in the moment with someone you love, and knowing someone you care about is struggling and yet being unable to hold them close is an awful burden to carry. For most of us life is now returning to normal, but for those trying to keep love alive in a long distance relationship that is normal. ‘At Least One’, the debut single from Irish singer/songwriter Étáin, details the intense longing to be there for the other person when times get tough, in ways you know you can’t, as well as the determination to keep love burning in spite of it all. Étáin’s wistful folk arrangement and ethereal, bittersweet vocals host a haunting warmth that feels like the last vestiges of sunlight clinging on to the world as the inevitability of sunset looms. While so much of what we cherish feels fleeting, here is a dreamy moment of comfort to share and revisit time and again.

Top Tracks: Deathcruiser – Life Number Two

It’s never too late to turn your life around. To take an honest look at your past mistakes, destructive habits and obstructive mindset, and decide that it’s time to leave that version of yourself behind and start anew. That’s not to say it’s an easy task, it takes an immense amount of reflection, determination, patience and ultimately forgiveness, but no one is so far gone that they can’t become a better version of themselves, so long as the will to change is there. And it’s that push for a clean slate that we find so aptly captured in ‘Life Number Two’. This debut single from Deathcruiser, the new project from Grizfolk’s Adam Roth, is a gorgeous slice of Americana that celebrates the strength and goodwill inherent in the human spirit. Awash with warmth and romanticism, rather than erase the old self and reduce it to ashes, it is a song that offers encouragement and a helping hand to waltz your way into a better state of being. As both a soundtrack to the new you, and as a first taste of a forthcoming EP, it’s one deeply charming new beginning.