Audio Addict Smile Edition
elcome and wonder at the Audio Addict Special Edition SMILEfest 2011. Produced as part of the SMILEfest’s magazine in a day challenge, we’ve been working fervently to bring you this bun in our oven and we’ve been knocked over with the uncommon but necessary hourly deadlines of our challenge. We’ve been bringing you issue after issue every month and not to worry, they’ll still be coming on time. SMILEfest is the highly anticipated dream us journalists experience every year where we get the chance to talk and learn from ‘high ups’ and hard workers in the industry. Not to mention this year especially, working with legends Carl Loben and Iestyn George. I would like to personally thank these fellas for coming in and giving their two
bits and helping us out. We’ve brought you the latest in this week’s SMILEfest antics. We’re featuring Alan McGee, the big cheese who founded Creation Records. Punk band Gallows are also coming in this week to give a talk, as is Jon McClure from Reverend & The Makers, and we’ve got the inside scoop on how the week came together from one of the live event organisers herself. So sit back and have a good old gandalf at the Audio Addict SMILEfest 2011 Special Edition! Regards, Carl Gwynne Audio Addict Editor
P4/5- SMILE Week:
What’s happening this week?
Album in a day challenge
Inside scoop from the Live Events Organiser
P8-Magazine in a day challenge: The making of the issue P9- Wednesday evenings events: Soul Cellar/Pop
P10- Thursday : Soton Unstaged; Historic gigs with magical bands
P11-Greasy Lips Friday: Alan McGee showcase
P12/13- Alan McGee: Feature on founder of Creation
Hanging around for a chat
Editor: Carl Gwynne
Photographic Editor: Rachel
Chief Sub-Editor: Susa
Contributors: Mikaela Osborne,
Production Assistant: Rob
Eloise Woodward, Nick Pollard,
Sarah Eustace, Shadene Lewis,
Co-Production Editor: Emma
Rebecca Ortelsberg, Alex
Creative Director: Elliot
Designers: Tara Perera, Sunida
Webb, Peter Smith
Co- Creative Director: Rachael
Editor in Chief: Carl Loben
Audio Addict Smile Edition
The Reverend preaches
P16/17- Friday Day:
Industry Day Programme
PMP Level 3 showcase
P19- Hamptons AllDayerP20-After Party:
What happens next?
Back for its third year, SMILE (Solent Music Industries Live Event) festival is bigger and better than ever! The festival, happening across five days organised by students from across the music scheme at Southampton Solent University features
workshops, gigs and guest speakers from industry experts across the week of 28th February – 4th March. Audio Addict caught up with executive producer Martin James to hear his thoughts on the event itself and what this year has in store. “It’s a really exciting festival within the University as it gives students from all over a
Audio Addict Smile Edition
range of music courses the opportunity to showcase their talents and get involved with the music industry itself.” Last year we had guests such as Bestival curator Rob da Bank who gave students an insight on how a festival works and subsequently how to kick start their career within the industry.
â€œBy branching out in these different areas of the industry, it enables students to have a clear and concise idea about how work within the music industry operatesâ€? Also providing a sense of intimacy, Foreign Beggars provided the music and
turned what was an industry talk into a chaotic get up and join in gig where they proved why theyâ€™re one of the finest hip-hop pioneers of modern times. One of the major things that SMILEfest prides itself on as an event is the variety of talents that the students focus their energy into all across of music such as journalism and promotion. By branching out in these different areas of the industry, it enables students to have a clear
Audio Addict Smile Edition
and concise idea about how work within the music industry operates. In addition to all of this, the opportunity to raise the profile within the wider context of the industries is an exciting prospect for students alike, just one reason why 2011 is the biggest SMILEfest to date.
Words: Emma Farndell Photos: Solent SMILE
The Stone Roses took five years to create their second album but a team of bands and DJs in Southampton got their SMILEfest compilation together in just under 24 hours. Bands include a variety of Southampton-based former Solent University artists including King Of Hearts, Sky Marshals, Dawn Gone and Michelle. SMILEfest had a chat with Steve Middleton, project supervisor, who told us, “I was sceptical at first, I’ve never known anyone pull off something like this before”. 6
However it wasn’t all plain sailing. “We got in at 08.30 am to find out that one of the bands had dropped out which meant we were lacking material”, Steve recalls.
“We thought this was going to be a problem but we could still hear each other through microphones and headphones so we could still all play the music live” Audio Addict Smile Edition
The four acts linked up with a group of students from Solent Uni’s Urban and Electronic Music course. They produced an additional seven remixes fleshing out the album and providing a diverse sound. Teams of recording, mixing, mastering and remixing specialists were divided up, working on layers of each track in four different studios in the basement floor of Solent University. “We were completely separate from each other,” explains Sander De Vries, bassist of King of Hearts.
“The drummer, bassist and the pianist were in one room, there were two guitarists in another and the singer was in a vocal booth. We thought this was going to be a problem but we could still hear each other through microphones and headphones so we could still all play the music live, without any visual cues. This way it sort of felt like we were playing along to a live backing track.” As each song was recorded it was uploaded to the network
to be remixed by members of the music production course. “It was great to work with such talented people”, continues De Vries. “It was amazing to see so many people come together and create one exceptional product in one day.”
“Everyone involved was superb,” concludes Steve Middleton. “Sometimes working with bands, egos get in the way but this was not the case. There were great vibes and all the students demonstrated outstanding commitment” says Steve Middleton.
All the tracks featured consisted of the band’s own material. It’s a multiheaded beast of musical genres, featuring variations of rock, pop and funk.
The release date of the album is yet to be confirmed but will be available to download online early next month.
University is the Lead Events Coordinator for SMILEfest 2011. She’s been having a whale of a time organising events for each SMILE evening with stunning artists such as Alan McGee himself, Gallows, The Widowmaker and many more. We at Audio Addict are stoked at the idea of SMILE every year. It’s like Christmas has come early. People from all over the industry come in and tell us students about our bright and full future in the music industry. Only to quietly remind us that it doesn’t come easy. Alice Cantillon Ings, a third year FMAS Promotions student at Southampton Solent
“I mainly liaised with the venues, the promoters and the bands,” says Alice, “The bands are pretty easy going but promoters can be difficult of course. I had to ensure the SMILE logo got around though. Level 2 Promotion students also needed this event for a unit on their course so I liaised with them in order to use their events for SMILEfest 2011. Working with them
Audio Addict Smile Edition
Words: Hannah Morgans & Emily Ford Photos: Alex Paterson has been a great way to help organise this week, without them we’d have no events or the after party!” “SMILEfest has definitely given our promo team a lot of experience,” Alice continues, “it’s a very real world experience despite the fact that it’s part of our final year at university. Working to deadlines and organising everyone highlighted the importance of organisation and communication. Overall it raises the profile of the university, we’ve had interest from BBC Hampshire and this demonstrates the prolifacy of the music scheme.” Words: Carl Gwynne Photo: Alice Ings
Magazine in a Day A mighty SMILEfest challenge The third day of SMILEfest 2011 brought an impressive opportunity for students at Southampton Solent University. Popular Music Journalism course leader, Martin James, organised a workshop that allowed students from FMAS to come together to take on a testing feat – make a 20-page magazine in one day. Wednesday’s workshop was a prominent example of what SMILEfest has to offer. Organiser Martin James, has evolved the week to ensure students have the best experience possible: “It’s a major achievement that it’s gone from one to six days, incorporating live speakers, workshops and inspiring students to work regionally
and beyond elements.”
Carl Gwynne fully engaged in his role as Editor and ideas were quickly flying, with students using their growing experience to order pages, discuss possible design features, page furniture and the sourcing of images. The pressure was on, with the freelance writers being assigned their individual features and reviews. The groups then paired off and scattered around the university campus to dive into research to create some outstanding journalistic pieces. The students all regrouped and pushed on with writing their pieces, the sound of
keys tapping furiously filling the room and with the first deadline looming all students did their best to get their first pieces finished. With a quick pitstop to ensure everything was still working well and pieces were on form, it was apparent that the magazine was going to be a success and the students felt a fresh wave of excitement as they edged to the finish line. With the task finally reaching the end, all the students involved could feel a well-earned sense of achievement. Editor, Carl, said: “You begin to realise just how much work goes into making a magazine. It’s been hard work, but everyone has done a hell of a lot.” By working as a tight and dedicated team, following the rules of a high-powered magazine environment, these students managed to make the impossible possible. Words by: Mikaela Osborne Photography by: Alex Paterson
Audio Addict Smile Edition
Wednesday 2nd March Soul Cellar and Pop: Two different venues offering new music from local and up and coming bands.
Words by Nick Pollard At 8pm, head to Pop, where Gem Promotions present Blitzed: a charity event for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Beatitudes, fronted by two brothers, combine 60s R&B and soul with ‘the essence of now’, creating perfect chemistry. Formed a year ago, they boast ‘fantastic live performances and song recordings’ and with such a claim, it’s well worth finding out what the fuss is about.
Also performing are The Silent Five, which is anything but quiet. Performing obscure covers such as Grease, with some ukelele for good measure, the band promise a peculiar sonic concoction.
From Portsmouth, No Falcons, an alternative rock band, are also taking to the stage, drawing influences from a spectrum of bands, from The Maccabees to Indie band, The Lost Boys grace the Elle Milano. second spot on the bill. With influences, including The Beatles, Together, the bands’ unique The Clash and The Jam, they sounds promise a great show, at a bagged a supporting slot with measly £3 for the privilege and with The Pipettes. free shots on the door, what is there not to love?
Get ready for 7:30pm - This event is to be headlined by Laurel Collective, with local support from Boxer,EtaoShinand Arp Attack. London-based Laurel Collective comprisessixmembersandhasbeen compared to the likes of Vampire Weekend, with an upbeat, folksy edge.
The members of the band come from all corners of the world, including Nigeria, Italy and Wales, which perhaps influences the unusual sounds. Providing support is local band Etao Shin, with quirky guitar riffs and fresh sounds complimenting the lead singer’s voice.
The band recently won the Boxer is also playing, adding to prestigiousRedStripeMusicPrizeand this exiting evening of fresh new has even performed a live session music. for BBC 6 Music. Arp Attack, formerly known as The sound consists of a-capella Jaciza, is electro-magic. The vocals with the use of strong female vocals carry the percussion that creates a electro vibes beautifully. The summery vibe, making the band songs are mesmerizing and will the perfect end to this diverse get you in the mood for the main event. act. Words by Aimee Williams Audio Addict Smile Edition
aw ounds R S
Southampton Unstaged is a chance to see new bands perform acoustically in unusual, intimate venues ‘Southampton Unstages is unique giving people a chance to see some great live music in an unusual environment’ says Carly Rockett, event organiser of Soton Unstaged.’ Here’s what’s happening on Thursday 3rd March at the following different venues.
Art House - Tucked across
the road from Southampton Solent University’s Sir James Matthews building, a great community feeling is felt in the Art House. Between 12pm and 2pm, we’ll see Talciza Stevens, an acoustic singer/ songwriter from Andover. Her soft folky voice will sound perfect in this small venue. She has recently released her first EP, “Owls and Nightingales”. Local Sam Ziggy plays with a reggae style. His voice is slightly reminiscent of Jack Penate, so if you’re into him, it’s yet another reason to pop in.
Oxfam Music Store -
You’ve probably spent a few hours flicking through old records and cassettes here in the past. But ever thought of watching a live music gig in Oxfam?! Playing here are The Cardinals, formed from Popular Music students from Solent, three in the third year and one from the second. A progressive sound runs through their music, with vocals running
Audio Addict Smile Edition
smoothly over the ambient feeling of the music. Billy Miles also plays, and Jackie Paper from Southampton, with his chilled out voice and folk style.
Quilters Vault - The Vaults
in Southampton, built in the 1200s, is one of the oldest merchant vaults in Southampton. Playing here is Anja McCloskey – her haunting voice will sound brilliant in this setting. Lonely Joe Parker plays just single chords, which makes his voice really stand out. Singing with summery tunes, The Lion & The Wolf make you wish for sunnier days to be upon us. Finally, Kaley Maxwell’s hypnotizing voice is passionate. It will sound beautiful in this setting.
All venues are free entry and any donations raised from the gigs will go to Oxfam Music Store and The Art House. Words By Aimee Williams
Words by: Shadene Lewis Photo by: Alex Paterson Preview: Soul Cellar - Friday 4th March 2011 Friday’s conclusion to SmileFest 2011 presents Alan McGee’s Greasy Lips Club night at Soul Cellar. The night will be filled with the freshest Solent-sourced talent and is set to be a feast for your ears. In the lineup is 24-year-old MC Influx, using a combination of entertaining beats and writing songs riddled with metaphors. Influx’s intellectual lexical lyrics take Hip-Hop to a whole new level. Receiving airplay from local, national and international radio stations, including the likes of BBC Radio 1Xtra, it’s clear this guy is one to watch. Also performing are math/ rock prodigies Cardinals. This musically sophisticated foursome are a band with that something special. These boys display the precision and potential to become the next Youthmovies or Foals. Cardinals seem to create an atmosphere that can only be described as trance-like, leaving you with a sense of awe.
based evening is the electronic duo Fly, Frankie, Fly. Radio 1’s Rob Da Bank has described them as ‘indescribable’. The duo, wellknown for their live shows, bring a tribal feel to the stage, painting themselves with feathers. “It’s good to get everyone involved, quite fun and adds to the whole experience,” says lead singer Frankie Cote. The Lost Boys is an exciting new band, having only formed in 2010, but has already started making waves. Songwriter Daniel Ash has been called “mature beyond his years” for his witty lyrics, while comparisons to their British music idols, such as The Beatles, The Jam and The Clash is a testament to the quality of the band’s classic indie sound. The press
and local radio have tipped them for ‘great things’. The final performer is one of Solent’s most established artists, The Widowmaker. Having already successfully produced an album and performed at Glastonbury, this young talent’s career is set to soar. Easily compared to the likes of Laura Marling and Johnny Flynn, The Widowmaker displays the same contemporary, acoustic, folk-rock vibe and there’s no wonder Rob Da Bank booked them for Bestival and Blissfields after last years SMILEfest. “We got a lot of gigs off the back of SMILE. I think it’s a good opportunity for students to meet people who actually work in the industry.”
Steering away from the rockAudio Addict Smile Edition
The Northern pop legend and industry guru drops in to SMILEfest to offload some of his precious wisdom Famous for discovering and signing Mancunian Britpop stars Oasis, Alan McGee has had a successful career within the music industry from record label owner to musician and manager. 2011 however sees the Scottish music blogger in a very different place. Promoting his Greasy Lips Club Night, he champions
the best in upcoming and unsigned bands alongside co-organiser Jamie Kelly. McGee will be speaking at the industries day at SMILE Fest before hosting a special Greasy Lips Club Night the same evening featuring some of Solent’s most loved artists.
I was only 24 when I became a manager and it was weird getting successthat early
Audio Addict Smile Edition
McGee’s interest in music began at 11 years. “When I was a kid I wanted to be like Mark Bolan” says McGee. The young musician played punk before making his own indie records in the 1980’s under the name The Laughing Apple. McGee learnt how to record, cut, master and release a record. 1983 saw McGee co find Creation Records with Dick Green and Joe Foster; it became one of the key labels in the mid 80’s indie movement. By 1984, McGee was managing The Jesus & Mary Chain growing massive within a year. “I never envisaged myself ever being a manager, I was only 24 when I became one and that was weird getting success that early in my life.” In its prime Creation signed the likes of Primal Scream and Oasis before suffering financial difficulties around 1992 when McGee sold part of the label to Sony. “Creation was a moment in
Even if you make a bad decision at least you learn a lesson
time, we were lucky that we came along at a moment, these days it’s really difficult for young bands ‘cos I don’t think rock’n’roll is in fashion. I think pop is - and very bland pop at that.” 1999 Mcgee left to go on and create Poptone. This saw many of Creation’s best people move on to Poptone, which was a success signing The Hives. He signed a deal with Universal and put a few records out but McGee realised it was the end of the road for him creatively: In 2008 McGee ‘quit music’ having become fed up with the corporateness of the business he decided to separate himself from that side of the industry, going on
to set up the Greasy Lips Club, a club night representing the best in untamed talent. McGee handpicks five bands for each night who perform and receive advice from the musical mogul, also DJing throughout the night. McGee wants it to be about the bands and as un-commercial as possible: “I do this thing with Jamie for fun and it’s great. But in life you don’t learn very much unless you try things,” says McGee, “I’d say the worst thing about business people is; make a bad decision rather than make no decision. Even if you make a bad decision and f**k something up at least you learn a lesson. That’s probably the best business thing I could ever tell you.”
Audio Addict Smile Edition
McGee has had a truly inspiring career, now that he’s taking a different direction with his Greasy Lips nights, he’s representing what music is about, finding genuine talent and showcasing it to anyone who wants to listen.
Words by: Rachael Anderson Photos by: Rob Ferguson
WELL HUNG Meet Gallows, Watford’s finest cultural export since Geri Halliwell. Watford-based band Gallows is renowned for its raucous, punk-enthused rock and roll sound, and its members have the personalities to match. Formed in 2005, Gallows now have two album releases under its belt, Orchestra of Wolves and Grey Britain. Established NME journalist, James McMahon, will be doing his best on Friday to settle the band members down and engage in a Q&A session at Southampton Solent University. After touring around the world and making themselves heard at several festivals, such as Download and Reading, the boys will be doing a 2011 UK tour and have a lot to discuss. And there’s no better person to take on this quintet, composed of Frank Carter, Steph Carter, Laurent Barnard, Lee Barrat and Stuart GiliRoss, than acclaimed writer James McMahon. With Gallows’ sound emulating pure traditional punk qualities and elements of the brutal, hard-paced noise of hardcore, the guys will no doubt bring everything their music incorporates to the interview. 14
The band has a reputation for being hard-faced, angsty and confrontational, all of which forms its antigovernment, working class, ‘fight for freedom’ identity. The combination of this full throttle vibe and thrilling, crushing live performances, has earned the band a solid reputation. With Friday being the penultimate day of SMILEfest, it is dedicated to a variety of exciting opportunities, interviews, live acoustic performances, gigs and an extensive range of venues situated within the city. Students are able to access high profile members of the music industry and witness some of their favourite bands and artists, but most importantly enjoy themselves. The interview will take place on Audio Addict Smile Edition
Southampton Solent University’s campus, in JM315 at 1pm on Friday March 4th. As a free event, with a first come a first serve policy, it is certainly worth getting there early. So as SMILEfest 2011 reaches its conclusion, Southampton Solent University students are once more given the opportunity to be involved in something special - and with Gallows no doubt making their presence felt, this event will be unmissable. Words by: Mikaela Osborne Photograpy courtesy Division Promotions
HIGH PRIEST So, what’s next for Jon Bob Marley and John Lennon, Reverend and the Makers, a McClure of Reverend & political representatives. Sheffield-based indie band, the Makers? climbed their way to fame, Jon McClure of Reverend & the Makers will be taking to the Solent stage on Friday for a live interview and performing a special, intimate set for a select SMILE ’11 audience. Renowned for his supreme confidence and being a bit of a loudmouth the interview is more than likely to be an entertaining event. Topics will probably vary from his music, co-workers and links with the rich and famous in the music industry to headlines he’s made involving drug busts and controversial statements. It may last a while too as McClure is very talkative and has many opinions to share with the world; his heroes are
Performance wise, although a small venue where there is limited space for an audience, this will definetely be something to witness. McClure, full of energy, is not one to sit or stand still so be prepared for strange antics - he has been known to shock audiences at live events.
Jon McClure’s first claim to fame was writing bits and pieces for the Arctic Monkeys website and song lyrics, although under various different names. He then became ‘The Reverend’ of Reverend & the Makers and as the band released their first album, McClure started out on a solo career.
starting with the release of their debut album “The State of Things” in 2007 which charted at number five in the UK. Their best known single at the time was ‘Heavyweight Champion Of The World’, which was a popular summertime tune. The single was performed to the delight of fans at many staged events, including T4 on the Beach. Reverend & the Makers’ second album “A French Kiss In The Chaos”, produced by Jagz Kooner (Primal Scream) and mixed by Dave Sardy (Oasis), was released in 2009 and got to number 19 in the UK album charts. The same year the group supported Oasis, Kasabian and The Enemy on their sold out summer tour. Jon McClure’s appearance at SMILEfest 2011 links in with the celebration of his new EP “Wife Her Up/Rude” released a few weeks ago on 14th February. Words by: Eloise Woodward Photography courtesy Charm Factory
Audio Addict Smile Edition
UNFINISHED BUSINESS Rumours of the Music Industry’s demise are greatly exaggerated as SMILEfest discovered. The SMILE is back! You can’t have enough of a good thing. That’s why SMILE decided to return and create an event even more mind-blowing than last year! With a programme that will satisfy all music addicts on every level: management, 10.00 am- Pat Pope has been a photographer for almost two decades, capturing some of the best bands on the music scene from Radiohead to David Bowie, via the Backstreet Boys. Not only is Pat successfully established in the music industry, he has also shown
photography, promotion, writers and fans… there will be something for you.
Don’t wait, the preview.
Not only will you have the opportunity to take part in a brilliant festival with plenty of original events, you will also contribute to raising money for charities such as Oxfam. extraordinary diversity in his work, snapping one of the most influential men in the world, former Prime Minister Tony Blair. For those looking into a career in photography or just want to hear tales about people Pat has worked with over the
years, then this is well worth coming to. 12.30 am- The Crave. Saying The Crave have been a busy band these past three years is an understatement. These live performance addicts have managed to complete three US tours sharing the stage with worldwide stars such as Bruce Springsteen and the Foo Fighters, and over 120 tour dates in the UK and Europe. These busy guys delight us with what they do best: being on stage and rocking their performance!
Audio Addict Smile Edition
INDUSTRIES 13.00 pm- James McMahon, who worked at NME for eight years, is the one to confess backstage stories to. After interviewing some of the most
influential musicians of the 21st century, such as Coldplay, Paul McCartney, Lilly Allen, U2 and Muse, to name but a few, it’s time for Gallows to face
the music. What is going to come out of this face-to-face interview is surely going to be exciting, quirky and brutally honest.
14.00 pm- Karen Piper is the creator of Radar Maker, an independent London-based digital marketing agency. Since its establishment in 2007, the agency has worked alongside Beady Eye, Bloc Party, The Bronx, The Cribs and The Streets. Having overseen the award-winning company going from strength
needs to be in the know about every branch of the music industry, so she’s sure to give advice relevant to all those
looking to become part of the industry.
dance troupe, The Prodigy, on the unsuspecting public. He more recently founded the Postiva record label, signing current sensations deadmau5 and David Guetta. To this day, he continues
to seek out new talents in the music industry, working alongside rising musicians. As a music industry lecturer at the University of Westminster, he also has extensive knowledge and will no doubt share his valued expertise with all those who attend.
to strength over the course of only four years, Piper knows better than anybody just how fast the music industry moves. Working in promotion, she 16.30 pm- Nick Halkes, one of the founders of XL Recordings, returns to SMILEfest for 2011 after a successful visit to last year’s festival. Halkes famously signed and unleashed multimillion-selling
Words by: Rebecca Ortelsberg & Nick Pollard Photography Coutesy of: Pat Pope, Press Counsel PR, Karen Piper & Solent SMILE
Audio Addict Smile Edition
JOINERS SHOWCASE Show-stopping showcase from five of Solent’s finest at The Joiners... Nowadays, a female-fronted pop/punk band is always going to be compared to Paramore. Survivors of Fortune City do nothing to stop the comparison, by having a cover of Paramore’s Ignorance on the set list. Away from comparisons SoFC have some fairly good covers, with Standing in the Way of Control and Poker Face, the highlight of which was the male guitarist taking obvious joy in singing the ‘bluffing with my muffin’ section. Second to the stage was the soulful, folk rock collective that is Caolin Clay. Unfortunately, even with flawless musicianship, they were overshadowed by the other artists on the night. The band could easily be mistaken for a solo artist and her backing group, as despite the overflow of talent from the other musicians, everything centered on lead singer Kimberleigh Kirby. Their music is a mishmash of genres blended together, creating confusion in the band’s identity. When it worked, it really worked. However, it was the execution of the songs that failed to display the band’s vision to its fullest potential. “I was walking down a street in Camden with my Blackberry…” starts Janine, singer of Where’s
Janine, mid set. A story of mistaken identity follows and it’s one of the few times she shows any enjoyment of being on stage. Solid covers of Use Somebody and You Got the Love are straight replicas and only with Katy Perry’s Firework do they change the original. Set closer, Price Tag, finally had the band looking comfortable on stage and the crowd joining in, but by then it was too late for any real impact. Tempting the audience to stay by promising to tell dirty jokes about Jack the Ripper and menstruation proved a winner for Identity Thief’s Gaby Ogilvie. Despite her sister giving birth at the time, Ogilvie put in a decent, yet patchy performance. The set list was all original songs and their blend of rock with funky bass lines worked, but is lacking any real punch.
Audio Addict Smile Edition
Performance of the night goes to headliners and only malefronted band, King of Hearts. Charismatic front man, Josh Middleton, owned the crowded stage as he danced and set the overall tone to one of fun. Imagine Maroon 5 mixed with ska, rock and other influences and you have King of Hearts – a danceable, interesting and above all, entertaining experience. The band has put together a great set list of memorable and upbeat songs, including Accidental Satisfaction, that sounded unique and original. One minute they’re the Maroon 5 you don’t hate and the next, the riffs could be from an Alice in Chains track. It’s a shame this is their last gig, as this band could’ve gone far! Words by: Sarah Eustace Photography: Tara Perera
HAMPTONSALL-DAYER Eight hours of live music almost constitutes a festival itself, but today, that was just the start of what was come from this year’s SMILEfest. Sitting by the candlelit tables, despite it being daylight, I ponder what lies ahead; for I had set myself the challenge of attending all ten SMILEfest events in just six days. To be honest, I’m not sure where the idea came from, I’ve always admired the gonzo journalism, putting myself in the story, and generally being a part of what’s going on. Whether that makes me nosy, or an aspiring socialite, I’m not sure, but boy was it a big challenge. When faced with an hour’s delay owing to a couple of bands pulling out, the eagerness of my nimble fingers led me to start tweeting about the culinary offerings at Hamptons, picking up on the smell of the Thai curry in particular. Perhaps a novel use for Twitter, or perhaps a waste of time; who knows? One can only note the annoying laugh of the first performer, Jenny, who although did a spiffing job of exchanging banter with the crowd, she largely annoyed most members of it with said laugh. Dig Up Her Bones, however, came close to Laura Marling-style haunting vocals, but led onto a tear-worthy rendition of No Woman, No Cry, and not the good kind of tears either.
The Guinness was now in full flow, as I had to get through four relatively dull acoustic singer-songwriters. Highlights included a very angry bloke who introduced two songs as “This is a song about how much I hate the X-Factor” and the second about “A complete bitch I met a few months ago.” Usually artists will state past chart-topping acts as their influences, but I would definitely say ‘anger’ would be one of his. High expectations were held for the brother and sister covers act, Angus & Julia Stone. Labels were ready to be pinned instantly onto the duo, but alas, from the moment he put his guitar behind the back of his head and played all the wrong notes on the solo of Kings of Leon’s Use Somebody, his rock and roll credentials were snatched away. Did I mention that was also their opening
track? Ha! I must say I rather enjoyed the cover bands on offer tonight, even if it was purely for entertainment value, and not musicianship. My hot tip for the cream of the crop for local cover bands will have the barely post-pubescent Red Skye. At the tender ages of 16 to 18, they showed real maturity in their playing, a delight to see after the abysmal displays earlier. By the time it comes to the last band, my presence finally gets the recognition it deserves “Who’re the troopers that have been here all day?” I wave excitedly and cheer. The fridges have just two cans of Guinness left, I am proud to say I almost drank the bar dry. And survived a shed-load of substandard singer-songwriters. Words by: Elliot Muharrem Photography: Tara Perera
...and we’re finished for the day! Audio Addict Smile Edition