Thursday, 30 June 2011

BBC Review Beverley Knight's Soul UK

"The covers album is a noble tradition: a chance for an artist to pay tribute to their roots, to avoid writing any new material, and to present their listeners with songs that everyone knows they like already, because they’ve heard them. From Bowie to George Michael, John Legend to Paul Weller, a covers set is a chance to tell people where you’re coming from and, often, to pause for breath while you work out where you’re going to next.

Beverly Knight is a brilliant soul singer, who grew up at a time when black British music wasn’t as united as it is in these days of grime riding high in the pop charts. High quality dance and soulful pop acts struggled to have more than one hit single, and very few – Rod Temperton’s Heatwave and Jazzie B’s Soul II Soul are notable exceptions – were able to maintain albums success and international fame.

Both those acts are referred to here on Soul UK. ‘Soul’ in this insistence is a fairly broad church, referring to the (generally brilliant) soul pop made in Britain over the last 30 years. As a testament to the often-overlooked music made in the days when RnB still meant Big Joe Turner, not BeyoncĂ©, Soul UK is remarkably effective. The songs covered here are wide-ranging, from the Prince-like rock pop of Roachford’s Cuddly Toy to Heatwave’s gorgeous ballad Always and Forever. Knight’s memory and taste are impeccable – it’s nothing but a joy to hear Junior Giscombe’s Mama Used to Say or Princess’ Say I’m Your Number One again.

If there is a criticism of this album – which is certainly a record you’d be enormously hard-pressed to dislike – it’s that Knight doesn’t always find it easy to impose her personality on these well-known tracks. On the great Apparently Nothin’ – and despite an excellent rap break – she doesn’t add anything particular to the Young Disciples original. But when the arrangements and the vocals are given a touch of freshness, as in the Motown’ed-up cover of Cuddly Toy, Knight’s version breathes and her versatility is given room to roam. More of that (and a cover of Linx’s awesome Intuition) would have been nice here, but this is a good record"

Click here to see the review on the BBC website reviewed by David Quantick.

Visit Beverley's website here, become a fan on Facebook here, and follow her on Twitter here.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Stonefield Featured On Sourmash

"Have you ever wondered what classic Rock ‘n’ Roll would sound like performed by four young sisters from Australia? Just me then! Well Stonefield are exactly that and a powerhouse of a band they are too. This is their debut EP entitled ‘Through The Clover’ and it has to be one of the more fascinating releases I have encountered this year.

Stonefield are Amy Findlay (Lead Vocals and Drums), Hannah Findlay (Guitar), Sarah Findlay (Keys) and Holly Findlay (Bass).
In 2010 they won triple j’s Unearthed High competition, which led to two songs ‘Through The Clover’ and ‘Foreign Lover’ being played on high rotation on the J’s. An invitation to play at One Movement in Perth saw the band play in front of thousands of industry folk and fans and has led to a spot on the 2011 Glastonbury and The Great Escape line ups. For the last year they have gained critical acclaim in their native Oz, but are making their way around the globe one small step at time.

So what of their debut release, well ‘Through The Clover’, their title track, was the first thing I heard and a big part of why I am writing about them today. Considering their age they seem to encapsulate that true 70s Soulful Rock n Roll spirit to a staggering degree, its mind-blowing! ‘Through The Clover’ is a colossal homage to the old school greats. Powerful shredding guitar solo’s, simple but engulfing beats and mesmerising sultry vocals from the eldest Findlay sister, Amy. Put it this way, I could listen to it non-stop, for days on end, it’s that damn good. It leads on to the smooth sounds of ‘Foreign Lover’, which is what I imagine a magic carpet ride would sound like. Wrapped up in these wonderful ‘Doors’ inspired organ sections and scaling captivating vocals, that weave in and out through a sublime wall of sound..."

Continue reading this feature on Sourmash by clicking here, this is just an extract

To become a fan of Stonefield on Facebook click here, to follow them on Twitter, click here

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Chakras Live Review On Entertainment Focus

"Irish band The Chakras came down to Hoxton Square supporting Royal Bangs tonight and managed to garner a decent crowd for their set. We'd noticed that lead singer Rocky was sporting a striped sailor style shirt which the lead singer of Sydney band The Holidays was also sporting. We're not sure if that fashion faux pas was planned but that was the only hiccup of the night as the band delivered a really rousing set of anthemic rock music.

The five piece barely had room to move around on the tiny Hoxton Square stage but lead singer Rocky was on fire. The band played a great set of anthems that included Beautiful Sorrow and current single We The People. We particularly likedBeautiful Sorrow which had a huge rocky sound and a great driving drumbeat and spacey keyboards whilst We The People was a dramatic piece with a big chorus.

Lead singer Rocky has a real charismatic presence onstage as he belts out each song, engrossed in his performance. His voice has a real strained edginess that reminds us of fellow (now defunct) Irishman JJ72.

The band played a few more songs to end their set and again provided some great rock material and we have to heap praise on their keyboardist also for providing some of the lush keyboard layerings on their songs. Their sound certainly filled the tiny Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen with ease and we feel they're destined for much bigger venues than this.

This band might not be all that big yet but we think they have a sound that will catapault them into the limelight very soon"

See this excellent live review in all its glory on Entertainment Focus right here. To find out more about The Chakras visit their website like them on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter here @TheChakras

Lovelle Featured On New Look Daily

"20-year-old Londoner and New Look employee Lovelle, is set to become one of the hottest new names in British music this summer with the release of her debut single ‘Uh-Oh’. Lovelle is already building a huge buzz within the music industry with supporters including the likes of Trevor Nelson on 1Xtra. She also happens to look super cool too! We caught up with Lovelle to find out more about her personal style..."

Click here to see Lovelle featured on New Look Daily plus an interview

Find out more about Lovelle on her website and follow her on Twitter @LovelleOfficial just back there.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Digital Spy Exclusive : Beverley Knight Unveils 'Mama Used To Say' video

"Beverley Knight has unveiled her new music video for 'Mama Used To Say' online. The 38-year-old singer released the clip for her new single - a cover of the 1982 hit by Junior - which appears on her upcoming album Soul UK.

'Mama Used To Say's video was shot at the Porchester Hall in London back in April and features footage of the one-off intimate concert Knight played. Knight recently announced that she will embark on an 11-date UK tour later this year.

Beverley Knight's 'Soul UK' tour dates are as follows:

November 14 - Liverpool, Philharmonic
November 15 - Leamington Spa, Assembly
November 16 - London, Royal Albert Hall
November 18 - York, Barbican
November 19 - Preston, Guildhall
November 20 - Manchester, Bridgewater
November 22 - Wolverhampton, Civic
November 23 - Nottingham, Royal Centre
November 24 - Salisbury, City Hall
November 26 - Gateshead, Sage
November 27 - Bristol, Colston Hall

Soul UK is due to be released on July 4. Watch the video for Beverley Knight's new single 'Mama Used To Say', which is out on June 20, below"

Click here to see the feature Digital Spy