I think for most of us 2016 has been a pretty bleak year; marred by death, destruction and division. One of the few guiding lights to lead us through the darkness has been the exemplary music gifted to us by rising stars, and left behind as a final swansong by dearly departed legends. As we move on into an uncertain 2017 let us look back on the year’s lows as chances to learn and grow, and revel in the highs that show the potential majesty of the human spirit. Here’s Belwood Music’s brief picks of a few of the brightest musical beacons of the past twelve months: Continue reading
The time has finally come for Belwood Music’s first ever interview! I caught up with former guitarist and founding member of Catfish and the Bottlemen Billy Bibby to find out more about his influences, the quest for hit singles and his new solo career alongside his backing band The Wry Smiles: Continue reading
The former founding member and guitarist of Catfish & the Bottlemen has struck out on his own and is rapidly growing a following just as passionate and loyal as that of the band he helped propel towards stardom. With being a key player on one of the best debut albums of the decade already under his belt it’s hardly surprising that his solo career boasts some of the best indie hits of the year. A self assured musician with talent beyond his years, Billy has gathered a top notch band to help bring his vision to light. Tracks like ‘Don’t Fall’ and ‘Waitin’ For You’ blend together the intricate and impassioned indie rock that made him famous with a subtle hint of Americana. Billy and his Wry Smiles are masters of anthemic choruses and summer ready “sing your heart out” hits. With some top tracks at his disposal it won’t be long until this ex-bottleman and his burgeoning fanbase are selling out venues across the UK.
Fans of Noel Gallagher, Kurt Vile, The Maccabees and (of course) Catfish & the Bottlemen should check out the latest single ‘Are You Ready?‘
Catfish and the Bottlemen – The Ride
Britain’s foremost music awards have drawn to a close once again. Adele was far and away the big winner, picking up Best British Female, Best Album, Global Success and Best Single for ‘Hello’. There were some well deserved wins from James Bay and Tame Impala who won Best British Male and Best International Group respectively. Sadly Coldplay won Best British Group and Justin Bieber won Best International Male, continuing his meteoric rise from sinfully awful to plain mediocre. There were some pleasant surprises as Bjork won Best International Female and Catfish & the Bottlemen beat James Bay and Jess Glynne to win British Breakthrough Act (even though technically speaking they shouldn’t have been nominated as they didn’t release any new music in 2015). Top actor Gary Oldman gave a stirring speech in memory of his close friend David Bowie and Lorde gave a rendition of ‘Life On Mars?’ with Bowie’s backing band. Although not an obvious choice for a tribute, it was arguably the finest performance of her career and one of the highlights of the night.
These four Llandudno lads have quickly become the hottest indie band in the world. They have toured relentlessly in support of their debut album ‘The Balcony’, including delivering one of the stand-out sets at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. Even their harshest critics can’t deny that they are one of the best live acts around and the band have one of the first ever BBC Music Awards sitting proudly on their mantelpiece. Every stop on their latest UK tour was sold out, but I managed to squeeze in to a packed venue to see them in their element. Continue reading
It’s been a bumpy ride but the world’s biggest and most important music festival has concluded for another year. Thankfully for those of us who live too far away, those who can’t afford a ticket and those who don’t fancy trying to scale the Great Wall of Glasto; the BBC have provided tireless coverage across the major stages. The next best thing to seeing the greatest show on earth in person is to watch it warm and dry at home with a cup of tea. Here are my highlights of the festival coverage from across the weekend: Continue reading