Issue 3

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April 2010 Issue 13• •january

soundcheck w o l v e r h a m p t o n

Diana Vickers: The Little Voice

Stereophonics // Beach Break Festival // Liberation Works // The Volte Gallery // Hairy Bikers & More…

Editor: Contact:

Glenn Rossington


GR Creative

Advertising: Contact:

Kate Farrell


Glenn Rossington Kate Farrell Glenn Rossington Bex Dobson


Published By: GR Creative

Contributions: Article and photo contributions are welcome. Prints and transparencies are sent at the owner’s risk and although every care is taken, soundcheck accepts no responsibility for loss or damage. Please email photos to editor@glennrossington. (all images must be at least 300dpi) or post them to our address

Legal Bit: Copyright Š2009 Soundcheck. All rights reserved. Nothing in this magazine may be reproduced in part or in whole without the express written permission from Soundcheck. Information on events, products, reviews and anything else does not nessicarily imply recommendations by Soundcheck. We have done our utmost to make sure all the content in this magazine is correct and accurate, but would emphasise the we, Soundcheck, accept no responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. All opinions expressed in this magazine are that of the individual contributor and are not nessicarily shared by Soundcheck Magazine 02


News 05 06 - 09

Editor’s Thoughts Music, Art & Food News

Features 10 - 13 15 - 17 18 - 19

Diana Vickers Ultimate Student Festival Liberation Works

Spot Light On 20 - 21 22 - 23 24 - 26 27

Reviews 28 - 29 29

New Albums New Singles

Live Music 30 - 31 32 - 33 34 37 38 - 39

Stereophonics Chris Helme Diana Vickers Editors Gig Listings

The Volte Gallery Food Special: Hairy Bikers Cinema Dvds 03


editor’s thoughts

Right, so Issue 3 is here and well, I won’t lie to you… this one has been a bit of a struggle! Not in actually getting the content, that is overflowing so much that we’ve had to keep some things back until the next issue! The slow part was slicing it all together. Along with the usual bits, we’ve had a very small redesign in the news section, and also brightened the colours of the ‘Spot Light’ section to make it all bolder.

embarking on a solo career. We spoke exclusively to her and asked her a number of questions about everything and anything!

Right so this month we have a small piece of news about the new Bus Station redevelopment, and also we can exclusively reveal who is starring in the annual Panto at The Grand Theatre this year.

This month’s gallery is the excellent Wolverhampton based Volte Gallery. Set in the former station house of Low Level station, it is certainly unique to say the least.

In the last issue I spoke briefly about a new venture we are working on, this is in association with Beach Break Live - the student festival. You may remember a BBC3 program on it a couple of years ago: It was based in Cornwall and spawned from an idea that was submitted infront of the Dragons on ‘Dragon’s Den’. After a few problems, the festival has now relocated to South Wales and we are working with them for an exclusive competition in a future issue - so keep an eye out!

We also have a food special on TV’s Hairy Bikers duo Dave Myers & Simon King when they came to visit Wolverhampton on their ‘Big Night Out’ cookery show.

Also in this issue we have a wonderful interview with former ‘X Factor’ contestant, Diana Vickers. Once famed and mocked for her ‘claw’ and her unique vocal talents, the young starlet is now

This month’s local band to be featured is the excellent Liberation Works. Currently promoting their new e.p, we had a quick chat with them about what to expect and their hopes for the future.

In the live section we have been to see amongst others, Stereophonics, former Seahorses frontman Chris Helme, Diana Vickers and Editors. We also have the usual round up of what is going on in the area over the next few weeks. So please, take a seat, relax and enjoy Issue 3. See you in Issue 4 next month!

Glenn Rossington (Editor)


Idlewild Will Be Slade Scottish legends Idlewild are taking time out of their hectic schedule to play a rather intimate date in the city this month. Playing the newly opened Slade Rooms on Broad Street, this will be the biggest band it has held since it reopened back in January. Last year saw the band release their seventh studio album much to critical acclaim, on their own record label. This run of smaller intimate dates is to showcase that record aswell as older hits and maybe even a new song or two. Playing on Thursday 22nd April, tickets are on sale now and available from all usual outlets

Lostprophets Date Welsh rockers Lostprophets are certainly keeping themselves busy! With the imminent release of 4th single ‘For He’s A Jolly Good Fellon’ off their album ‘The Betrayed’ due this month, they follow it up with a string of dates across the country including one in our very own Civic Hall venue on 21st May. Lostprophets full tour dates are: April 28th 30th

O2 Academy Bournemouth Leas Cliff Hall Folkestone

May 1st 2nd 3rd

Cardiff International Arena (CIA) Camden Roundhouse, London Civic Hall Wolverhampton

Tickets for the Wolverhampton date are on sale Friday 9th April priced £22.50. Available from all usual retaillers.

Kate’s Hare Rasing Hot in anticipation for her new album due later this month, Kate Nash is set to play a rare intimate gig in Birmingham’s Hare & Hounds pub based in the city’s King’s Heath suburb on Saturday 17th April. Road testing new material before it’s official release, this will be a prime opportunity for fans to get ‘up close and personal’ with the ‘Nashster’. Within minutes of tickets going on sale, the event sold out. Keep an eye on the official website for returns though. With her comeback single ‘Doo Wah Do’ being Number 1 in the NME Charts, the Indie record charts and being playlisted on BBC Radio 1, she is set to hit the high end of the charts yet again. Meanwhile, the tracklisting and artwork for her album, cheekily titled ‘My Best Friend Is You’ has been revealed, along with details of a limited edition fan version of the record. Released on 19th April, the full tracklisting for the album is: Paris / Kiss That Grrrl / Don’t You Want To Share The Guilt? / I Just Love You More / Doo Wah Do / Take Me To A Higher Plane / I’ve Got A Secret / Mansion Song / Early Christmas Present / Later On / Pickpocket / You Were So Far Away / I Hate Seagulls A full scale UK tour is set to be announced around the time of the album release. Kate Nash has also been confirmed to play this year’s V Festival taking place over the weekend of 21st - 22nd August.

RIP Malcolm McLaren As we went to press, it was announced that Malcolm McLaren, former manager of The Sex Pistols had died aged 64. He died after a long battle with cancer in his New York apartment. An unashamed self-publicist, McLaren gained notoriety as manager of the Sex Pistols who were propelled to No 1 in the charts with God Save The Queen in 1977. He continued to be involved in the culture and arts scene up until his death


A round up of all things musical, artistic, food and fashionable…


This is the vision of a revamped Wolverhampton with a new bus station, offices and shops, that has been put forward by developers.

The City’s Temporary New Bus Stops

Details About The Redevelopment

People in Wolverhampton will need to catch their bus from temporary stops in the city centre from Easter Sunday (4th April 2010) to make way for the redevelopment of the existing bus station into a new state-ofthe-art passenger facility.

As part of the redevelopment historic links between the city centre and the train and bus stations will be maintained and enhanced with a new footbridge built over the ring road. Pedestrian access to the Birmingham Canal will be enhanced as part of a public realm strategy that will see a series on new squares and landscaped areas opened up.

Bus stops and shelters are being installed on Queen Street, Pipers Row, Stafford Street, Tower Street, Princess Street and Darlington Street to provide drop off and pick up points for the bus and coach services that normally use the bus station. A special Wolverhampton Map & Guide has been produced for passengers giving details of where all buses will stop in the city centre while the bus station is closed for redevelopment. It is available to view now from libraries, the Travel Shop at the Bus Station and the Visitor Information Centre in the Art Gallery from 22 March 2010. Preparatory work on the interchange scheme started in November and it is hoped that the new bus station will be open for business during 2011. 08

The Phase One proposals include rebuilding the bus station as well as removing the modern additions to the Queens Building and changing its use to a café/bar. Pipers Row House will be demolished and the new development will accommodate a state of the art travel shop, retail, leisure and offices. Phase One also includes building a new pedestrian footbridge across the Ring Road, improving access to the railway station and directly linking it to the new bus station. The Cornhill Bridge across the Birmingham Canal is also to be widened to improve access to the station.

Panto’s Biggins As this year’s panto Cinderella opens in Wolverhampton the Grand Theatre is delighted to announce that next year it will be presenting Aladdin, starring panto legend Christopher Biggins as Widow Twankey. From the company behind this year’s Cinderella, Aladdin will be another sensational combination of comedy, music and stunning special effects. Biggins first came to our screens as regular character Lukewarm in the popular TV comedy Porridge with Ronnie Barker. He then went onto to perform in the cult film The Rocky Horror Show; a role that led him to perform as the narrator several times in the stage version. In 2007 he was crowned “King of The Jungle” winning the popular ITV show I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. This year he appeared on Channel 4’s popular programme Come Dine With Me, along with Philip Olivier with his dinner party crowned overall winner. Biggins has appeared in Pantomime for nearly forty years and is looking forward to performing at The Grand: “I am delighted to confirm that next year I will be treading the boards (and donning Widow Twankey’s frocks) in Wolverhampton! This won’t be my first performance at the Grand, but it is my first pantomime there so I’m incredibly excited to be performing in one of the country’s biggest and best-loved venues.

Marston’s Easter Egg Customers with a taste for real ale and good food helped Banks’s brewer Marston’s ring up strong Easter sales, it was revealed today. The Wolverhampton-based brewing and pubs giant said premium ale sales had increased by four per cent, while food sales were also up. “Trading over the whole Easter holiday period, including Easter Sunday and Monday which fell in the second half-year, was good and slightly ahead of last year. Operating margin continues to improve versus last year, in line with our plans,” the group said in a trading update.

Jimmy’s Appointment Hot on the heels of his current award winning tour ‘Rapier Wit’, Jimmy Carr announces a brand new show for the Winter of 2010 title ‘Laughter Therapy’. ‘Laughter Therapy’ is his ninth solo show. It’ll be an evening of none stop jokes, gags and banter. If you’ve got a sick sense of humour then maybe laughter is the best medicine. “Not to be taken if you have a sensitive disposition or an overactive moral compass.” Two dates on this new outing are to be held exclusively at Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall. These will be sure to sell out very very quickly. The Wolverhampton dates are on: Friday 6th & Saturday 7th November. Tickets are priced at £25 available from all usual outlets, onsale Friday 8th April at 9.00 am 09

Diana Vickers By G.Rossington


I did indeed! I was just really flattered to be nominated let alone win it, I couldn’t even believe it! I was just over the moon, there is just no way I could have done that without such a great cast, I was just very lucky! Overwhelming then I guess would be a word to sum up the whole thing then? Yes! Definitely, it was just incredible. Working with people like Mark Warren and Lesley Short, having them acting infront of you every night I was just like “oh my god!! This is insane!” So do you feel this has now set you up to kick off your solo career? Has it given you the confidence to go out there? Yeah! Definitely! It’s given me the taste again, the live action and being on stage the intensity of it, and it’s made me grow so much more as a person. I just want to go out there you know and give it to the fans! Give it some welly, it was definitely great for me. In the final months of 2008, the nation was gripped on the ‘X Factor’ and watched as Alexandra Burke won the annual competition ahead of boy band JLS. One other contestant who seemed to cause a buzz was Diana Vickers. Famed at the time for her stunning yet distinct vocal style and her infamous ‘claw’ whilst performing on the show. The teenager has since made her way onto the West End stage playing the character ‘Little Voice’ and subsequently won the 2010 ‘London Newcomer of the Year’ Award in the ‘Theatre goers Choice Awards’ at the ceremony in February. During breaks in the West End, Diana put the finishing touches to her debut album ‘Songs From The Tainted Cherry Tree’ and is all set to unleash her debut single ‘Once’ upon the nation. Prior to going out on a mini tour in support for her single and album, we caught up with the young starlet over the phone on a rare day off to discuss all things from the West End to her fans and Chris Martin. Hi Diana! How are you? I’m good thank you how are you guys? Pretty good thank you, are you enjoying a good day off? Yeah I am thanks. I’m always having a good day but today its raining and pretty miserable but yeah it’s been a good day so far! Thank you for taking the time out to speak to us today Oh it’s fine not a problem at all, infact it’s a welcome distraction! Ok so you’ve just finished doing ‘Little Voice’ in London’s prestigious ‘West End’, how was it for you? Can you sum up the experience for us? Yeah it was incredible, that’s the main word for it, it was just such a learning point for me in my life and my career and stuff, and I made some absolutely amazing friends for life doing that play and I worked along side some incredibly talented actors and actresses. It certainly taught me a lot about performing. It was just amazing being on that stage every night, and you know being in the west end it’s sort of every young performer’s dream I guess, and at the age of 18 I’m very lucky, I’m very lucky for that to have happened to me. It was a lot of hard work don’t get me wrong, It was 129 shows that we did and I only missed 1 because I was ill but you still have to power through. Be the best you can be, and deliver every night, it’s a really big challenge. You obviously enjoyed the experience, and on the back of that you won the ‘Theatregoers Choice Awards Best Newcomer Title’ aswell...

You have got some hardcore fans, I’ve seen on your forum and fan forum that they can get very protective over you… Oh god yeah I love them all, they are mad but I wouldn’t have it any other way really! I love them! So the single ‘Once’ has been playlisted on radio 1 and is now out there, unleashed on the nation, are you pleased with the reaction you’ve got from it? I am! You know it’s an absolutely incredible reaction, I just did not expect it. Well obviously I had such great faith in my record personally and stuff, but I’ve had some really amazing feedback, I’m just really dead chuffed with it. Like yesterday afternoon I was in my kitchen and Fearne Cotton played it on the radio and I was like “OH MY GOD!” This is just like totally insane! It must be a bizarre feeling... Yeah! She was just so lovely about it too, I was just really really flattered. So so far so good! I’m just sort of knocking on wood, and hoping for the best really! So what is the single about, can you enlighten a little? Well I didn’t write this one, I wrote a lot of the album myself, but this one was written by Cathy Dennis and Eg White. It’s basically just about heartache. It says in the song ‘I’m only going to let you kill me once” and basically it is saying: I am only going to let you hurt me once, break my heart once and that’s it. It’s about showing the boy or girl that you are stronger and what they are missing and that I’ve conquered it and I’ll be fine. It’s a good motivational song! On the album, the tracks ‘The Boy Who Murdered Love’ & ‘You and me’ seem to have quite deep personal attachments. Is this another side of you that we’re going to see? Yeah definitely! ‘The Boy Who Murdered Love’, I wrote that and it’s a very deep meaningful song. It’s got an aspect about it, its sort of edgy I guess, and there is certainly a lot more of that where that came from! It’s certainly a ‘fresh’ sound, something that’s missing from the charts at the moment... Thank you very much!!! I was just sort of in a bad mood that day and it just sort of gave it some all in the studio! A lot of good things in the past have developed out of people being in bad moods I believe! Oh definitely, definitely yeah! You sort of feed off it don’t you! 11

So the album is called ‘songs from the tainted cherry tree’, where did the title come from? Its actually a line taken from the ‘The Boy Who Murdered Love’ song, I wrote it and it says “you’re a tainted cherry tree”. Its like basically you can tell I loved the line because I just had this whole image of this beautiful cherry tree that just glistens like diamonds but its tainted. It’s like Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, when you can’t eat the fruit but it looks so beautiful and edible. It is just so tainted and it just has that sort of magical effect on you like a wonderland. That was it, like songs about the tainted cherry tree! I don’t know, it’s just so magical! It paints a very poetic image in your mind as soon as you hear the title. Ah yeah, oh thank you! I think it was well chosen! So from the record, do you have a favourite song? Or do you love them all equally? I love all of them, I really really do, but ‘The Boy Who Murdered Love’ and ‘Once’, I love the song called ‘My Hip’ I think that’s great. One of my favourite songs that I wrote is called ‘N.U.M.B. I think its just such a beautiful song! That came from really deep within me, and I well, I just love that song! So probably ‘N.U.M.B’ and ‘Once’ and ‘The Boy Who Murdered Love’... Oh everything! Right, so we’ve been following you on Twitter and you only just auditioned for the band. So is the line up complete now? Yeah it’s now complete and I’m seriously excited about it! It was awesome, like we took a full day out and it was really really intense, I felt like I was a judge on the X Factor! It’s amazing, I’ve not rehearsed with them yet or anything, but I’m just really excited to get cracking on it and play with a live band! So what can we expect on tour from you? Any ideas you’re playing around with in your head? Is it going to be purely album-based songs or a cover or two interpreted in your own way? Well we haven’t looked at it yet, we have been discussing set list ideas this week, but I really just want to concentrate on songs from the album and making them the best they can be. I really want to get everyone really excited for the album and just make it sound amazing with the live band behind me! I have thought about choosing maybe one cover that I love and giving it my own spin, but purely for me it’s all about the album, and showing everyone what it’s all about! As soon as the fans walk into the venue I want them to feel a good atmosphere in there, just like the ‘Songs From The Tainted Cherry Tree’ album. Sounds fantastic! We’re coming to see you in Birmingham, and we cannot wait to experience the whole vibe, I’m sure it’ll be fantastic! Ah great! Thank you! It should be! Fingers crossed! I see that your fans are already hyped about it, guessing what you’re going to play and there is certainly a buzz around now! I know! I’m excited just thinking about it! So do you plan on doing any of the festivals this summer? There is definitely talk! I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that but there is definitely talk! Hopefully I will be doing some festivals this year that I am really excited about, because you know! That’s just where it happens it’s just buzzing! So hopefully in the summer we’ll get some good sunshine and do a couple of festivals!


That’s brilliant! So at the magazine we love what we’ve heard from you so far, we see you as Diana MKIII. We’ve had: MKI the TV star, MKII the West End star and now MKIII the Solo star. So considering the different roles you’ve had, would you say there is more or less pressure on you now compared to the X Factor or being in the West End? Or does it all kind of blur into one? Ooh good question! Umm... well it’s very different... oh gosh! Haha! Well on the X factor it’s a competition its like fighting for survival, and you’re not singing with your own music, your doing somebody else’s music, you’re just a contestant on a TV show. You’re not really your own, well you are your own person, but not in the sense of being an artist, so that’s a lot of pressure in its own right! Like some weeks you can be perceived as being very weak but you get stronger and it’s a lot to take in, especially for someone so young like when I did it. In the West End, it is sort of less pressure because I was established, I wasn’t fighting every week, I was on that stage every night and I was doing a script, but it was very very hard and you could mess up and you didn’t have the power not to do that. It was challenging for my body aswell. But in essence I was just a character, I wasn’t Diana, I was somebody else, so I got to hide within that. But then doing an album, I guess there is a lot of pressure because I don’t know how it’s going to go, I’ve not got anyone else behind me, no contestants or a cast, it’s just me and sort of ‘see what happens’ I guess. There’s a lot of pressure there... I don’t know! They’re all very pressurised!

Erm gosh! I literally listen to so many people! I have the most oddest playlist on my ipod, I have the Spice Girls, Judy Garland, every Kings of Leon album, The Beatles, someone just got me into Bob Dylan so he’s on there, then I love people like Alicia Keys, a bit of Rihanna and Ellie Goulding, there’s loads there’s just loads so all of them! I just say open your mind; open your mind to everything! That’s the kind of attitude we like! Oh definitely, it’s just the best way to be in a lot of things! Well our time is up, you’ve been an absolute pleasure to speak to,! Ah thank you so have you! Thank you very much! We wish you every success with the album and single release and well just the future, and we hope that at some point in the future you will come back and say hello to us! Yeah definitely! Send everyone my love to the readers and all at the magazine! It’s been a pleasure! BYE!!!!! Diana’s single ‘Once’ is out on 19th April followed by her album ‘Songs From The Tainted Cherry Tree’ on 3rd May. Following her sold out mini tour in March, she plays Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall on 14th May. Tickets are on sale now via the usual outlets. Official website:

So you could say that you’re finding your own ‘Little Voice’ now then? Haha yes! That’s a very good quote, I like that! So going back to your album, you’ve co-written songs with a few people, who was the nicest person to work with? Oh god! Honestly everyone was just so nice! I had such a laugh with everyone; Ellie Goulding was just lovely to work with, and Guy Sigsworth. I had a really good bond with Chris Braide, he was amazing! He’s worked with all sorts of people and I definitely felt pretty comfortable when I was writing with Chris. Lightspeed Champion was lovely too... oh so many people! Everyone! Everyone was just a pleasure to work with really, and I just had so much fun. Is there anyone who you would love to work with at some point in the future? Ooh who would I love to work with? I’d love to work with Chris Martin definitely! That would be insane! That would sound amazing! I know it would, Yes! I just think he is incredible and an incredible writer definitely. It was mentioned in the office the other day that you seem to be like a younger female version of Chris martin, so we’re convinced as your confidence grows we can envisage you echoing Coldplay’s rise and selling out Arenas and World tours etc... Hopefully! I’d love that! Fingers crossed, oh wow that would be the icing on the cake! Thank you! See I’m knocking on wood here (knocks on wood down the phone) that would be incredible! So to finish off, we like to ask our interviewees this question… What are you currently listening to? Is there anything you can recommend to our readers that they may not have heard or they should hear more of besides yourself obviously!




Beach Break Live first made its appearance on the festival circuit in June 2007. With the success of the first festival under their belt the two young entrepreneurs behind BBL, Celia Norowzian and Ian Forshew both graduates of The University of Birmingham, appeared on BBC2’s Dragons’ Den programme in November 2007. They presented their plans and projections for the UK’s first student-only festival and won over all four of the tough Dragons and caused a bidding war to arise. Out of the four offers made to them on the show they chose to go with Peter Jones’ deal. However, in a bold move, the dynamic duo declined his offer and concluded a deal with Outgoing Ltd the student event and travel specialist best known for staging the infamous Snowbombing Festival in Mayrhofen. The couple were also the subject of a high profile BBC documentary shown in August 2008, tracking the making of Beach Break Live 2008 and the exciting twists and turns encountered along the way.

The festival has grown from 1000 students in its first year, to 5000 in its second, and doubling in its third year to 10,000 and is now looking to sell a mighty 17,500 tickets in 2010. Beach Break Live has not only become well established in the summer line up of festivals, but is now an award winning event having picked up two awards, ‘Best Promoter’ and ‘Best Small Festival’ at the UK Festival Awards 2009. This year’s festival will be bigger and bouncier than ever in terms of line-up and general shenanigans. So to welcome in the new 2010 Festival Season... the one and only student festival Beach Break Live have not only gone and bagged themselves a breath taking new site complete with 8 miles of pristine silky white sand and a woodland adventure park with its very own dry ski slope but they have also managed to pull a whopper of a line up out of the bag! Surfing on an eclectic wave of big beats, spoken word and ethereal pop, 2010’s line up is as diverse and unique as its crowd and is shaping up to be the biggest to date! We can exclusively reveal that synth pop’s finest (and tallest) Calvin Harris will be 15

switching his skinny jeans for a wet suit this summer as he heads down to the beach to headline one of the three fantastic days. Joining him on the beach bill will be drum and bass boys and rising stars Chase and Status who have seen a massive year tearing up the charts and dance floors around the country with their huge live show. Next up is electro pop starlet Ellie Goulding whose weightless Tracy Thorne-esque vocals and glistening synth pop beats have marked her out as a definite one to watch and after scooping the Brits Choice Award and following in the footsteps of Flo and Adel; the sky seems to be the limit for this starry eyed songstress. Also confirmed are London rappers potty mouthed lyrical genius Plan B and electro boy Example who will also be joined by Essex’s

freshest performance poet Scroobius Pip and his trusty comrade and Mac knob-twiddler Dan Le Sac. Rhyme- spitter extraordinaire, the legendary Beardyman will also be on hand to wow you with his jaw dropping performance. Flying the flag for the indie kids are Sunderland’s very own post punk rockers, the fabulous Futureheads. Expect high-energy super charged riffing with more hooks than a pirate’s convention as the boys treat you to a flawlessly tight performance you won’t forget in a hurry! Next in line are super sexy electro outfit and purveyors of cool, the fantastic New Young Pony Club. Strutting, sparkle and bags of sass are what this four piece do best and with a stunning brand new second album under their studded belts, put on your dancing shoes as this foursome won’t fail to get you bopping! They will also be joined by some brand new faces including 16year-old Daisy Dares You. Dubbed the British Avril Lavigne, expect bubble gum pink pop with plenty of attitude as this one to watch gives it some serious welly! And if pink’s not your thing then I Blame Coco (aka. Coco Sumner aka. Sting’s daughter) will be bringing her own blend of reggae tinged pop and a familiar husky voice to proceedings. 16

And as if this wasn’t exciting enough, Beach Break Live are also proud to announced a whole host of DJ’s to their bill including the likes of queen of the party set Radio 1’s very own Ms Annie Mac, Drum and Bass heavyweight Sub Focus, electro idol Fake Blood and Yorkshire big bass ragamuffin Toddla T along with old favourites, Scratch Perverts and Dub Pistols Sound system amongst others. We can’t wait! Growing from just 1000 students in its first year to 5000 in its second and 10,000 in its third, 2010 will see a whopping 17,500 UK students flock to the Welsh coast in their masses for four days of sun, sea, sand, surf and music. Think BBQ’s, sand castles, sun bathing, cocktail sipping and general beach side festival tomfoolery. Other amazing extras include some of 2009’s favourite venues, including the mighty

Main Stage, the infamous party palace that is the Residential Dance Home, the Bass Busting Dance Tent, the Ridiculously Hot Tubs, the Camped Up Camp Fire and Chai Wallah’s to name a few. Of course we couldn’t forget the infamous Moustache Bar - where facial hair is not only recommended but essential! The Beach Break ethos is a fair approach to the local community and ticket holders. Whether it’s running buses from universities to reduce carbon emissions, or working with the local community, suppliers, businesses and charities, BBL works to contribute to the local surroundings and the people they share it with! Early bird tickets sold out in record time but full price tickets are now available for the student friendly price of £89 per person with affordable boutique camping options available to those who fancy ‘splashing out.’ See you on the sand in the sun! For the first time this year, the festival has put a limited number of non student tickets on sale at the standard price of £89. Do not hesitate in getting tickets for this as they are likely to sell out extremely quick. Tickets are available from the usual outlets

Visit for more info. 17

Liberation Works By G.Rossington


lynched being a British band playing country. Supporting Conor Oberst would be ideal, he has done what we have done, taken country and put his own spin on it.

Finding a good local band is getting increasingly difficult these days. At the end of ‘Britpop’ in the 1990’s, and again in the ‘New Wave’ of ‘Britpop’ in the mid 2000’s, local bands were ten a penny. You could literally walk out of your front door and find a group proclaiming to be the ‘next big thing’ playing on your doorstep. These days with the emergence of reality TV shows and the explosion of the internet, there are even more bands out there vying for your attention. In order to stand out from the crowd, you need something unique. Cue Birmingham based Country, Blues ensemble Liberation Works. Made up of Russ Williams, Jack Clark, Gary Dixon & Michael Vousden, these 4 youngsters are taking the world of Country music and turning it on it’s head. Following hot on the heels of the London touted Mumford & Sons, they stand out above many of their contemporaries. Already bagging slots on BBC Local Radio and Sky Channel ‘Red TV’, they are highly successful on the local live circuit and manage to pull in decent sized crowds. The band have just launched their second e.p entitled ‘The Incomplete Works’ which is a complete masterpiece. We put some questions to Drummer & Percussionist Gary Dixon ahead of their official launch gig in Wolverhampton. How long have the band been together? As the current line up, we have been playing together for roughly 14 months now. How did you start? Jack & Gary originally started as a two piece back in 2007 focusing on the folk / country genre. As our music developed and changed we initially sourced a bass guitarist with Lead closely following. With these additions the sound progressed to what we are today with a kinda country pop feel. So with the new e.p being launched on 2nd April, was it difficult to capture your live sound on record? The result of the recording was very surprising, to be fair we had a fantastic producer who captured the sound and feel of our music very well. Where do you take inspiration from when writing your lyrics? Most artists, obviously Dylan, old country guys like Hank Williams. Mostly blues lyrics about rough and seedy women getting into all sorts of situations, don’t know why that is. haha Is there a full album in the pipeline? Dependant on the success and interest shown with this second e.p launch we all agree that a full album is something that we would all like to pursue. Watch this space!!! If you could support any band at any venue, who would it be and why? Would be some seedy country bar in Nashville, we’d probably get

So what surprises are on the new e.p? Dunno really, suppose it would be mastering, this is our first professionally recorded work by Andy Blackburn and the mastering has been done by Nick Brine who has worked with the likes of Seasick Steve, Oasis and Springsteen The record has an imaginative title (The Incomplete Works) – where did that come from? It’s about ourselves really; we have being moving our sound a lot, so it’s always never fixed on something, it’s always been evolving. I think now with this e.p we may be done. What do you think of the Midlands local scene? Its getting better. London is really the place as they have the entire industry down there so its difficult to get them to come up here. But In the midlands now there are a lot of hard working promoters that are bringing it back to life. How can people get hold of your 2 E.P’s? The incomplete works is available digitally at a variety of download sites including I tunes from (3rd May 2010) and also in CD format from the bands website from the 2nd April 2010 Do you think you have improved as a band from the first record to the new one? Definitely, from looking at every aspect of the writing process to the recording and moulding it round and idea of this genre we have found ourselves in. What’s your favourite show you have played to date? We supported Reverend Horton Heat at The academy Birmingham whilst they were on their UK tour. It was a fantastic experience and we were well received by their fans. What are the remaining plans for the band in 2010? Continue to promote ‘’The Incomplete Works’’ within new and existing venues. We are in the stages of planning a tour in June/July as well as several festival dates. Finally, what bands/artists would you recommend to our reader’s to check out at the moment besides yourselves? Well we are fans of people like First Aid Kit, Mumford and Sons, Frank Turner. Locally you have acts like Goodnight Lenin and Young Runaways, they are superb. Liberation Works launched their new e.p on Friday 2nd April at the new Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton. Check out the bands revamped website for future listings and also their MySpace page to hear samples of the tunes. But above all, make sure you catch these lads whilst you can as they will not be playing small venues much longer! The band’s official website is: 19

Spot Light: Galleries

The Volte Gallery: Wolverhampton *

It opened in 1854, although work on the station’s construction was not completed until late 1855.

• The station was initially called Wolverhampton Joint and was renamed to Wolverhampton Low Level in April 1856, at the same time as the nearby London and North Western Railway station was renamed as Wolverhampton High Level • The station was converted to standard gauge In 1869, and remained basically the same until 1922, when new booking office was built within the booking hall, and a new telegraph department was added to the stationmaster’s office. The platforms were extended and the passenger footbridge was replaced. The overall roof had corroded badly and was replaced with standard GWR platform canopies. • In July 1939, an Irish Republican Army bomb exploded at the station, wrecking the parcels office area. • The building was listed as Grade II on 25 March 1986. 20

The Volte Gallery is Wolverhampton’s newest gallery space and has only been open since September 2009. Based in the old Low Level station building, it is certainly a unique building in a contemporary setting. When it was announced that the old train station was to be knocked down for redevelopment, there was a lot of opposition. Now retaining the original station building, the site is also home to the Bluebrick Complex, aswell as a hotel. A strange surrounding for a gallery indeed, but yet so interesting and endearing too. When the Gallery made it’s grand debut, the art space was opened up to everyone thanks to the ‘Pretty Vacant’ group. People were given the opportunity to display their work on the opening night and for a limited period afterwards. The show was a success and the waiting list to display in the Gallery is now months long.

What’s On 16th - 30th April Outline - Collection (Curator Kathleen Fabre) A collection of artists presenting their representation of the word ‘Outline’ Open 10am - 6pm Mon - Fri & 11am - 6pm Sat


Spot Light: Food Introducing what can only be described as ‘The Hairy Bikers!’ by Katy Smith and Mark Shaw

It was a wet Saturday night in Wolverhampton, but that didn’t dampen our spirits! We were about to embark on a fantastical journey of cookery and comedy courtesy of the TV cooking supremos, the Hairy Bikers. For those unfamiliar with the concept they’re two northern bikers who cook and ride motorbikes; however for the tour they’re entering on rather more stage friendly machines... choppers!

career as one of TV’s most famous double acts. The need for the costumes was made clear when they showed us clips of them going to far away places like Argentina, Vietnam and Morocco. The show wouldn’t be complete without mention of the occasional accident, from Si’s multiple fracture of his left arm, to his shower mishap! Not forgetting Dave’s little accident that pushed the boundaries of friendship.

We sat in a packed out Wolverhampton Civic Hall awaiting the arrival of the two cheeky chaps. They entered to motorcycle engine noise aboard choppers, the laughs had begun. Amongst the ‘Hello’s’ and ‘Thank you for being here’s’, Dave said “It’s Friday night! We’re going to have a good time!” Cue Si with a fast one liner “It may be Friday in your head!” (It was Saturday night) The mood for the night was set.

More cooking ensued and another lucky couple were plucked from the audience for another culinary masterpiece. This couple were subjected to a taste bud test, in which they were blindfolded and fed various foods that they had to guess using only their sense of taste. They fared well, let down by the lack of deep fried dung beetle eating! Once they’d proven their worth they were seated and the cooking began. This time they were cooking a Tuscan Beef Supper and Courgette Linguine (for the unfussy veggies). Once again we were let into their kitchen secrets, most shocking of all they use a Ped Egg to grate parmesan! But we were warned not to mix the kitchen one with the one from the bathroom.

We were treated to an introduction to their beginnings, from the very beginning, which featured photographs from their childhoods. As ever this ensued more laughs as they told us anecdotes from their past. After whetting our appetites with clips of them cooking it was time for them to do some, live! They selected a couple from the audience and set them up on a small table to the right of the stage. They then remarked “Can you see?” To which we shouted “NO!” So on came a man with a camera, which solved the problem. Si has no issues playing up to the camera and as the camera zoomed in to his pursed lips Dave quickly inserted “Ooh, it’s like a wire haired terrier’s arse!” Well they’re not called the Hairy Bikers for nothing! Si descended from the stage scouring for a couple who looked hungry and took them back on stage where they awaited their meal! They cooked King Prawns with Coconut which smelled heavenly. Along the way they shared invaluable cooking tips. Once the lucky couple had been fed, we had a comfort break in which we were instructed to “get a drink”. We settled back in our seats in anticipation of what culinary delights the second half would bring. Once they re-entered singing and dressed in a cowboy costume (Dave) and an Indian outfit (Si) we knew we were on for more of the same laughs the first half had gifted us with! Once again we were given anecdotal recitals of their past. This time all about their 22

With everyone fed and satisfied they left the stage to thunderous applause. They returned for a closing song of Evita classic ‘Don’t Cry for me Argentina’ with Si on drums and Dave in sparkly spandex. This concluded the evening as it started, with many laughs and a hunger for more! Aptly titled ‘Big Night Out’ as this was certainly the theme of the evening and a good time was had by all. I would highly recommend this show to anyone looking for a relaxing, yet highly entertaining, evening. My advice to you is that you should go and catch them at any opportunity. With a clever mix of cookery and comedy it’s a night sure to please any palette. Leaving you with a hunger for more! The Hairy Bikers are next in the Midlands at the following dates and venues, tickets are available now from usual outlets: Coventry Warwick Arts Centre - 21st, Birmingham Alexandra - 22nd Dudley Town Hall - 11th June,


Spot Light: Cinema

Wolverhampton we has independent cinema) what is coming over the next few weeks. Please check with the institute itself or it’s website to find detailed timings and prices etc…


The Chubb Buildings, Fryer Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1HT

Bentley Bridge Leisure Park Wednesfield Way, WV11 1TZ

Bentley Mill Way, Walsall, West Midlands, WS2 0LE

T: 01902 716055 W:

T: 0871 200 2000 W:

T: 0871 220 1000 W:

Currently Showing

Currently Showing

Green Zone Crazy Heart

(15) (15)

Coming Soon Crying With Laughter The Habit of Art

(TBC) (PG)

Alice In Wonderland (PG) Alice In Wonderland(3D) (PG) Clash of The Titans (12) How To Train Your Dragon (PG) Kick-Ass (15) Nanny McPhee 2 (U) Remember Me (12A)

Currently Showing Shank


Shutter Island The Blind Side The Bounty Hunter The Spy Next Door

(15) (12A) (12A) (PG)

Alice In Wonderland (PG) Alice In Wonderland(3D) (PG) Clash of The Titans (12) How To Train Your Dragon (PG) Kick-Ass (15) Nanny McPhee 2 (U) Remember Me (12A)



Shutter Island The Blind Side The Bounty Hunter The Spy Next Door

(15) (12A) (12A) (PG)


Alice In Wonderland Reviewed by Andrew Gillard

Staring Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter, Anne Hathaway, Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas “In Johnny Depp We Trust” must surely be scribed upon Tim Burton’s family crest. 7 films the pair have worked on now, and who would wager against that number rising. Since 1990’s Edward Scissorhands, Depp and Burton have worked together on 6 other films, roughly every other film which Burton has directed. So was Burton about to let his “labour of love” film pass without getting Johnny on board? Of course not! Burton casts his long term film partner as the Mad Hatter, a split personality schizophrenic; think part bumbling Hugh Grant, part Groundskeeper Willie. Alongside Depp is Burton’s life partner, Helena “please don’t make assertions how she got this role” Bonham-Carter, Mia “the unknown” Wasikowska, Anne “no nickname” Hathaway and many British actors filling in the voice over roles. The story is set several years after Alice had returned from Underland; not Wonderland as Alice apparently used to incorrectly call it, and now Alice has had an offer of marriage, scared of replying she runs away and falls down a rabbit hole. What ensues is a journey of self-discovery, is she the “real” Alice? The one which has prophecies written about her slaying the Jabberwocky? As Alice ventures deeper into Underland we meet the characters we know and love from the Disney adaptation; Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry), the Tweedle’s (Matt Lucas), White Rabbit (Michael Sheen), the Blue Catapillar (show stealing Alan Rickman) and of course The Hatter. With such an amazing cast and such a renowned director at the helm, surely this will be the Fantasy film to end all Fantasy films?! Not quite. Whilst the acting is perfectly fine, Helena Bonham-Carter does a very good Miranda Richardson’s Queenie impersonation (Blackadder for those of you not in the know), Wasikowska is adequate in her first big movie lead, Anne Hathaway does a blatant impression of Nigella Lawson and Johnny Depp is this time imitating Willy Wonka (not the good Gene Wilder Willy Wonka either, no the inferior Johnny Depp

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

Nanny McPhee 2 Alice In Wonderland The Blind Side Shutter Island The Bounty Hunter Green Zone The Spy Next Door I Love You Phillip Morris Shank Avatar Movie Charts for Tuesday 23 March 2010 to Sunday 28 March 2010

Willy Wonka). Is it any wonder you come away thinking you’ve seen it before? The real issue with this film is the writing. The story is very weak, and lacks any real substance. Even to the extent that Burton tries to add a little flicker of Romance between the Hatter and Alice. It just doesn’t work. What Burton ends up with is a pastiche of his previous work. Burton claimed he had been salivating over the opportunity to make, so why didn’t he take more time over it? Wonderland appeared to be a film which Burton made to pass time between films which he really cared about, as though maybe he was contractually obliged, or maybe it was just Burton testing out what can be done with 3-D. May things have been said about the use of 3-D in film, but specifically in this one the 3-D brings nothing to the table. If you really are desperate to see the film, then I would suggest 2-D that way you may save a few pounds, and not get a head ache from seeing things which you can’t focus on properly whizz around the screen. The only real redeeming part of this film comes in the form of the voice actors, they are amusing, and plays about with our perception of the actors (Babs Windsor being a brash ready-to-fight Cockney, who’d have thunk it? Stephen Fry being a smarmy know-it-all, a genuine stroke of genius!) This film will be a big hit with the pre-teens, without a shadow of a doubt, but if you’re a fan of Fantasy movies then see Stardust, The Labyrinth or any of the Harry Potter movies. Rating - 6/10 25

Spot Light: Cinema what they would end up with would make the Studios want to come on board. This confidence paid off big for the pair, as the Comic Book series picked up rave reviews, the studios started to take notice. Kick-Ass is the story of Dave Lizewski (Johnson), a comic book reader who takes the step which every person who has picked up and loved a copy of Batman has ever wanted to take. Donning a homemade costume he has brought off the internet Dave hits the streets as Kick Ass, vigilante 3 nights a week, homework on the other nights. Whilst on these mean streets Dave meets other like minded people, Big Daddy (Nic Cage channelling the spirit of Adam West’s Batman), Hit Girl (adorable and lethal Moretz) and the duplicitous Red Mist (Mintz-Plasse McLovin’ it up).

Kick Ass

Reviewed by Andrew Gillard

Starring – Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Moretz, Nicholas Cage, Mark Strong Seeing a film which is based on already published work makes it very hard not to go in with an open mind, often to the detriment of the film. Just ask anyone who has read Harry Potter and seen the films whether they prefer the book or the movie, and 99.99% of them would say the book. However, Kick-Ass is a different entity all together. Rather than a studio waiting to see if the book was a success before deciding to Green Light a movie, Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman decided to write the film whilst Mark Millar was writing the book. Vaughn took this idea to the studios, but one look at the script of a 12-year-old girl slicing and dicing bad guys and using the C-word put them off immediately, knowing that the Daily Mail would have an aneurism over these shenanigans. But Vaughn and Goldsmith knew they were on to something, so persevered they did, knowing that 26

Big Daddy and his daughter Hit Girl are on a war path taking out Frank D’Amico’s (Strong) goons, to get revenge on what D’Amico did to “Hero Cop” Damon McCreedy (Big Daddy’s alter-ego). Big Daddy and Hit Girl enlist Kick Ass in their march to war, who in turn brings in Red Mist, like some kind of messed up Justice League. It is once Red Mist gets involved that things go south quickly for the trio of heroes. What follows is an incredible story of doing what is just and kicking ass, lots of it! Moretz and Johnson for their young years lead this film from another mediocre Comic Book film onto another level all together, and Nic Cage which hasn’t been since from him in over a decade. Vaughn and Goldman wrote a real-world fantasy film which everyone can identify with on some level, which is not surprising coming from the pair who wrote Stardust. Combining this with a “kick-ass” soundtrack, the film is entirely immersing and believable for the most, and even the moment which is far fetched creates the most memorable moment in cinema history – I won’t spoil it for you, but Elvis has entered the building. Please if you’ve read the book, don’t expect to see a film true to the letter quite like Sin City, and vice versa once you’ve seen the film do not expect the book to be a novelization of the film. They are two different beings, they may have the same start and end, but how they get from A to B is entirely different, but entirely enjoyable. Rating 10/10

Murray later enters in order to scare Columbus and Little Rock as a practical joke, but Columbus -- thinking he is a real zombie -- shoots and kills him. After a makeshift funeral, Columbus realizes Tallahassee has been grieving over his young son, lost to the zombies, rather than his pet dog as he had earlier led Columbus to believe. Wichita begins developing feelings for Columbus and fearing attachment, she leaves with Little Rock for Pacific Playland. Columbus decides to go after Wichita, and he and Tallahassee, who initially refuses, pursue the sisters in one of Murray’s vehicles.

Zombieland Starring – Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin College student “Columbus” (Jesse Eisenberg) is on his way to Columbus, Ohio to see if his parents are still alive. He loses his car in an accident and encounters “Tallahassee” (Woody Harrelson) who is on a quest to find Twinkies. They travel together and when they stop at a grocery store, they meet two sisters, “Wichita” (Emma Stone) and “Little Rock” (Abigail Breslin). The sisters con them into handing over their weapons and steal their vehicle. The two men walk and soon find a truck loaded with weapons. They then meet the girls again, who attempt to take the truck, their vehicle having broken down. Columbus proposes a truce and suggests they travel together. Columbus tells Wichita he is heading home to Columbus, Ohio. But she blurts out that it has been burned to the ground and is overrun by zombies. He decides instead to stay with the group. Wichita tells Columbus that she is taking Little Rock to “Pacific Playland” in Los Angeles, an amusement park rumoured to be zombie-free. On the way to the park, they pass through Hollywood and Tallahassee decides to take them to Bill Murray’s mansion. Tallahassee and Wichita meet Murray himself, uninfected but disguised as a zombie with make-up so that he can walk safely among the infected and play golf without being bothered. Little Rock is unfamiliar with Bill Murray so Columbus shows her the film Ghostbusters.

Wichita and Little Rock arrive at Pacific Playland and turn on all the rides and lights, attracting nearby zombies. A battle ensues, leaving the sisters trapped on a drop tower ride and running low on ammunition. Tallahassee and Columbus arrive just as the sisters’ ammunition is depleted. Tallahassee manages to lure the majority away, then intentionally locks himself in a game booth while Columbus goes after the sisters. Columbus saves the girls and in thanks, Wichita reveals her real name to him. The two share their first kiss. Tallahassee eliminates the remaining zombies single-handedly and gets a Twinkie that Little Rock had acquired. Columbus comes to the realization that this is the only family he needs, and the four leave Pacific Playland together. Movie Charts for Tuesday 23 March 2010 to Sunday 28 March 2010

THE UK’S TOP 10 DVDS: MARCH 2010 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

Zombieland Inglorious Basterds The Hurt Locker Harry Potter & The Half Blood… The Hangover The Fourth Kind Star Trek 11 Up The Penguins of Madagascar Cloudy With A Chance of Meat… 27

Album Reviews Plan B - The Defamation of Strickland Banks

(Atlantic Records) Having a Rap/Soul crossover seems to be a new trend in the current music scene. Plan B (or Ben Drew as his acting name) is definitely leading the way. Singles ‘She Said’ and ‘Stay Too Long’ are just two of the many highlights. Music needs a refreshing face on the scene at the moment, and Plan B may just be the guy to do this.


Kate Nash - My Best Friend Is You (Fiction Records) Kate Nash was the darling of the pop world when her debut was released,

then after over a year in the wilderness, she returned with a free track ‘I Just Love You More’ which showcased her wilder side, many were left wondering what happened. ‘Doo Wah Do’ brought back the poppyness. The album is a varied mix between the two, I’m just not sure it works.

6/10 Paul Weller - Wake Up The Nation

9/10 28

(Island Records) The ‘Modfather’ has returned with his first album sine 2008’s ‘22 Dreams’ and probably his most important record since The Jam’s ‘Sound Affects’. Opener ‘Moonshine’ follows on from the last album in a very upbeat and frantic mode. This record also marks history by seeing Weller reunite with his former Jam bandmate Bruce Foxton on the punky ‘Fast Car/Slow Traffic’. The intro bass riff is instantly recognisable as Foxton and marks an end to the 28 year feud. ‘Trees’ is an ode to Weller’s late father/manager who passed away last year. It brilliantly fuses Jazz and Rock and 3 other music stylings into 4 minutes of pure fun. It shouldn’t work but it does. ‘Aim High’ also finds the ‘Modfather’ in his Style Council mode using his falsetto voice for the first time since the 80’s. This album isn’t as instant as 22 Dreams, but after 2 plays they become embedded on your mind, it certainly does live upto the hype. Easily his best solo effort of the new Millennium, no hesitation. There are just too many highlights to choose from. Another modern classic without question.

James - The Night Before

(Mercury Records) Taking inspiration from Tim Booth’s time in hospital recovering from liver disease, it would be easy to assume this is going to be a dark and broody mini album, the truth is the exact opposite. As Tim’s distinct vocals kick in on opener ‘Crazy’ you know this is going to be special and fun! It is entirely upbeat and a pleasant joy to listen to. Forget ‘Sit Down’, James are coming back.


Single Reviews Ash - A - Z Volume 1

(Atomic Heart) Back in 2008 when Ash revealed they would no longer produce albums, no one believed them. This compilation I part one of their ground breaking A-Z series of 26 singles. Along with the classic slices of pop, we are even treated to 4 bonus tracks running along side the singles. Looks like the fire is still alive.


Darwin Deez Darwin Deez

(Lucky Number) The youngster known as Darwin Deez seems to have sprung out of nowhere. Although in the same mould as Erik Hassle, there is something about Darwin that stands him out slightly. His winey stringent vocals have a sense of both warmth and yet grates on you. Time will tell if this will become a success, an interesting effort.


Scouting For Girls - Everybody Wants To Be On TV

(Epic Records) Their debut album catapulted them into the hearts of teenagers everywhere. Now on the release of their follow up, Scouting For Girls appear to be aiming at that same market. They haven’t moved their sound on at all, and basically this is the debut album repackaged. I stand to be corrected, but to me this is a poor effort.



Kate Nash Doo Wah Do

(Mercury Records) Not strictly ‘Hole’ record, but a Courtney Love solo effort. It’s clear that

the former Mrs Cobain has rediscovered her ‘rock’ niche. Although failing in comparison to ‘Celebrity Skin’ the likes of tracks such as ‘Samantha’ and ‘Skinny Little Bitch’ show that there is at least potential for Love to have one final attempt at the music world with some dignity.


(Polydor Records) Kate is back to her old ways on this lead single from her new record. Telling it like it is has always been her strong point. “All the guys are checking out her thighs” she sings, as if she’s sat on the street watching every guy walking past. “I’ll just read a book instead” could almost be a reference to how bored she has become with everyday life. It’s good to have her quirkiness back.


Bullet For My Valentine - Fever

Lost Prophets - For He’s A Jolly Good Fellon

(Sony Records) Welsh heroes ‘Bullet’ are going from strength to strength with each record

(Columbia) The Californian retro lovers return with a bold new album. The hooks


(Sony Records) Diana’s debut single has already become an instant smash on Radio 1 and is looking to be a huge hit for her. The chorus packs a punch and certainly gets your foot tapping. It’s a happy go lucky song despite the negative content. Her vocals are suited to this poppy sound. I expect this to be massive and push her into the limelight.

Hole - Nobody’s Daughter

MGMT Congratulations

that got them noticed in the singles ‘Time To Pretend’ are still there, but they seem hidden slightly as the band are moving on and experimenting. An interesting record although does not capture the mind as much as their previous releases. Not instantly anyway.

Diana Vickers - Once

they release. Fever is the next in line and hopefully the one to gain them some recognition in the industry. Single ‘Your Betrayal’ is one of the many gems on this his record. Huge in America, someone needs to get them noticed back home so we can enjoy their sounds more.


(Visible Noise) Lost Prophets hit us with single 4 from their ‘The Betrayed’ album. Following hot on the heels of ‘Where We Belong’, it is not quite as instant. Releasing 4 singles today can be a risky business and this will not do well compared to previous efforts. It has great vocals and guitars, but that’s it. It is a good song, just not worthy of being made into a single.



Soundcheck: Live Stereophonics Pictures & Review: G.Rossington

2010-03-16 - Birmingham National Indoor Arena

Welsh stalwarts, Stereophonics were in the region to promote their 7th studio album ‘Keep Calm & Carry On’. Playing to a sold out, packed National Indoor Arena, this is a venue the band are used to playing with their eyes shut. Support act tonight is Glasgow’s ‘Hip Parade’. Warming up the arena with a short but perfectly polished set of pop/rock covers, they swiftly leave the stage vacant.

favourites. “Uppercut’ and ‘Trouble’ are instant highlights, but spookily, on of the album’s weaker tracks takes on a new life when performed live. ‘Beerbottle’ with its spooky off beat dub lines are played out filling the arena. Kelly’s vocals don’t sound too gravelly either. The band come forwards to perform it, standing on speaker stacks in front of the stage, making the area feel even more intimate. A surprising highlight.

As the lights fade, the screams from the front row show that Kelly Jones & Co still have it. They breeze on stage and hurl straight into recent single ‘Innocent’. A strange choice of opener, but they are a band who like to mix up the setlist. One of the first things I notice tonight is that the light show they have behind them is powerful. Quite spectacular and highlights the band perfectly. As the screams stop, Kelly addresses the crowd and says how nice it is to be back before launching into ‘A Thousand Trees’. This is played very sprightly tonight and they seem on fire as it slides into ‘More Life In A Tramp’s Vest’. The floor of the NIA is literally bouncing, so much so that you would be forgiven for thinking one on New Street’s train services had arrived unannounced!

We do get some classic gems though, a stunning ‘Superman’ and the gorgeous ‘Caravan Holiday’ both make their presence known. The latter being performed solo by Kelly. One highlight is a surprising ‘Same Size Feet’. Kelly introduces this reminiscing about how Adam Zindani joined the band. He explained that Adam used to follow the band in their early days as he was good friends with Kelly and the first gig he went to see was in Wolverhampton. I know for a fact that the actual venue was our very own Varsity. Who knew back then that one of the small crowd would eventually be playing with them? ‘Same Size Feet’ is dedicated to the ‘one’s who remember the early days’. The song then leads into a full band version of ‘Maybe Tomorrow’, something the band have not done live in 5 years. ‘Traffic’ causes the lighters to come out and you can’t help but swoon along with the others around. ‘Just Looking’ is halted halfway through as

The new record has taken a lot of flack from critics and fans alike, but tonight the new material sits nicely alongside the older 30

the tour manager tries to break up a fight in the front rows which unfortunately resulted in a young girl being carted off to A&E with concussion. Kelly cracks a joke to lighten the atmosphere before the band pick up where they left off. The main set ends on ‘Local Boy In The Photograph’ and yet the crowd is hungry for more. The band return and launch straight into the album opening track ‘She’s Alright’. This was one I had been looking forward to but I am left slightly disappointed as I didn’t feel it came across well live. ‘Bartender & The Thief’ gets everyone jumping and tonight it absolutely rocks the arena. Kelly thanks us for our continued support and promises to return again. ‘Dakota’ has turned into their swansong now and it still stands out. The house lights come on and you can see everyone enjoying themselves, even those seated are dancing away. For the final chorus, they bring out huge party cannons at both the stage and mixing desk, causing confetti to rain down over the arena. A nice little touch. The band seemingly don’t want to leave the stage tonight, Kelly stays on looking at the crowd before introducing the next track playing over the P.A system simply as ‘Ladies & Gentlemen… Mr Marvin Gaye’. He steps back from the mic and dances his way backstage as the lights fade and the arena roars. Tonight, Stereophonics proved that there is still life in the old dog yet. 31

Soundcheck: Live Chris Helme Pictures & Review: G.Rossington

2010-03-14 - Wolverhampton Varsity

Chris Helme disappeared off the radar when 90’s supergroup ‘The Seahorses’ disbanded. Little known to the masses, he went on to front a group called ‘The Yards’ for a number of years, before recently getting back into the mainstream and performing solo. Tonight he is headlining an evening of acoustic entertainment at the City’s own Varsity Venue. Billed as ‘The Voice of The Seahorses’ it is clear he has let bygones be bygones and let sleeping dogs lie. Starting with unfamiliar songs is always risky, but as soon as Chris comes on stage it is as if the 10 years he has been out of the limelight has never happened. Opening track is ironically called ‘Hello’ and sees Chris’s warm vocals fill them room completely. ‘Yellow Lights’ and ‘Last High’ showcase what a brilliant songwriter he is. Halfway through the set tonight we are treated to a random cover song, which also features on Chris’ solo e.p ‘Ashes’. It is a cover of The Soledad Brother’s single ‘Lorali’. This is followed by the first big singalong of the night. Showing that all the angst from the breakup is behind him now, we get The Seahorses hit ‘You Can Talk To Me’. It is so nice to hear these songs in a live arena again. It is not the only surprise, revealing that he 32

regularly get asked for this particular song, he treats us to a classic ‘b-side’ from his Seahorses days, the beautiful ‘Moving On’. It could be ironic that he’s playing this in particular given his new confidence, but all the same, it is a beautiful rendition and soothing on the ears to hear it live. Chris is in a very chatty mood tonight, and rightly so decides to talk about the songs and his future compared to history. We go more modern day next and get treated to more songs from his ‘Yards’ career, ‘Devil’ and ‘Pure’ are up next, but again the singalong is reserved for the set closer, ‘Love Is The Law’ is introduced and sung word for word in the intimate venue. The encore is three songs tonight. The epic ‘Rollin’ kicking it off. Another ‘Seahorses’ tune next, the brilliant ‘Blinded By The Sun’ gets another singalong. The most interesting is the closing song. ‘Be Your Husband’ is done acapella. No guitar, handclaps and foot stomping, you cannot help but join in. I hope Chris comes back when his solo record is released as he deserves to be known for his songwriting these days, not former glories. Tonight was a brilliant night out, if you see him advertised again. I strongly recommend you get a ticket!

5 minutes with…

Chris Helme •

So hi Chris, how are you? A little exhausted, but they were a good crowd tonight so I’m happy!

Do you still enjoy playing the old Seahorses songs? I do! It’s part of my legacy now and I’m happy to give the people what they want. Obviously I want to perform my new material too but I don’t mind playing them at all.

So what is next for you as a Solo artist? I’m currently producing my first proper debut record, so it’ll be a case of finishing that off then trying to plug it with more dates. Hopefully things will take off and I can get out there and play to more and more people!

You performed in bands both with The Seahorses and The Yards, Is it refreshing being solo now? It is in a way, I do miss having the band behind me, but right now, this is all about me, me and a guitar and my songs. So yeah, it is refreshing!

Thanks for your time Chris, I’m certain we’ll catch you again very soon! It’s been a pleasure! 33

Soundcheck: Live Diana Vickers 2010-03-22 - Birmingham Glee Club Anticipation for Diana’s debut tour has been high since this initial run of dates was announced. The queue for tonight’s gig was literally snaking around the building and back towards the Alexandra. In Glee terms, it was huge! The venue is intimate and the tiny stage is swamped by the crowd. The anticipation builds as equipment is moved and eventually Diana’s band takes to the stage. Chants start in the audience, and as the band kick into the opening bars of first track ‘The Boy Who Murdered Love’, Diana strides on stage and is greeted by squeals of delight from the sold out venue. There is time for a brief hello’ before she takes the mic and launches straight into the vocals. Her confidence has excelled since her days on the ‘X Factor’ and the training for the West End shows. ‘Remake Me And You’ and ‘Numb’ showcase her diverse vocal range and the musical stylings that are to be expected on the album.

Pictures & Review: G.Rossington

It is clear she is happy to be on stage and spends time explaining the history of the songs to the captive audience who hanging on her every word. ‘Four Leaf Clover’ is described by Diana as the first song she wrote for her solo career and came on the back of the tour bus on a rainy day when she was with the ‘X Factor Live’ tour. The song is stripped down and sung beautifully. It is clearly a song she loves, putting her all into it and avoiding calls from the rowdier members of the audience. ‘Jumping Into Rivers’ follows, a song which made it’s way online at the end of last year and had her fans oozing with excitement about what was to come. In it’s live form, the brushed acoustics come across rather subtle.


We do get an inspired cover next, a cover of Snow Patrol’s ‘Just Say Yes’. Having worked on a couple of songs with Gary Lightbody, it seems a natural cover for her to do. She adds a new spin on the song and even a touch more power vocally than Lightbody could ever hope to get. ‘My Hip’ is next, which features a stunning trumpet solo from Diana which is a complete surprise. The song ends on a jazz fusion with Diana ‘jamming’ on the spot. Her single ‘Once’ closes the main set. It sounds rather subdued tonight which is a slight disappointment. A one song encore of ‘Notice’ rounds off the night, a beautiful soft song. The whole night was a pleasure to watch. If you were curious on ‘X Factor’ I recommend you get tickets to her next Midlands show at the Wulfrun Hall in May. You’ll be amazed.

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Soundcheck: Live Editors 2010-03-30 - Birmingham Academy Tonight was the finale of the current UK tour, and it was all climaxing in Editor’s home town. I arrived as the 2nd support act was on stage. I didn’t catch their name, but to hear a song name checking every flavour of knickerbocker glory you could imagine was enough to make me thank that I hadn’t seen much more!

‘Lights’ and ‘An End Has A Start’ close the opening trio. The band seem in a fantastic mood tonight, smiling and playing upto the front rows. ‘Bones’ comes shortly after and gets one of the biggest reactions so far. The mix of classic hits and new tracks still seems to divide the older fans, but Editors have shown that a band can develop with so much precision. Needless to say that tracks such as ‘Blood’, ‘The Racing Rats’ and ‘Munich’ gauge the biggest cheers, but from the home crowd, it seems the new material is slowly winning them around. New favourites such as ‘Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool’ and ‘The Big Exit’ still have traces of Radiohead, but have developed so much since we reviewed them in October last year. There seems to be more focus now on the guitars, leaning back slowly towards their roots. We are given a treat tonight of a brand new track called ‘Last Day’. It seems to have found the ‘limbo’ between the newer electric sound and the raw guitar sound that got them into the mainstream. Tom has recently said that they will hit the studio when this tour has finished, so there is alot to be excited about. The encore compromises of four songs tonight, but notably, ‘Papillon’ and ‘Fingers In The Factories’ get roof raising reactions. Editors were home tonight, and showed exactly why they are one of the UK’s misunderstood groups. I just hope they get back on the road soon and continue to develop.

Pictures & Review: G.Rossington

Just after 9.20, the lights descended on a sold out Academy and the band arrive on stage. Tom coming to the edge of the stage and leaning forward into the audience before taking his rightful place at the piano. They launch into ‘In This Light And On This Evening’ which gets the audience clapping along waiting for it to kick in. As the song does kick in, Tom leaps up from his stool and dances around the stage. Arms stretched out wide he is a delight to watch as the music takes him. Picking up his guitar they launch into the second part of the track which shows their rockier side. The atmosphere is electric, this is going to be a good night.


Spot Light: What’s On This is a small round up of music events happening in the city over the next few weeks. If you have any gigs you wish to promote in these pages, please end us the details asap so I can print them in the next issue. Email: gigs@wlv-soundcheck April 01st 01st 02nd 02nd 02nd 02nd 02nd 03rd 03rd 03rd 04th 04th 04th 05th 06th 06th 06th 07th 07th 07th 07th 07th 07th 07th 08th 08th 08th 08th 08th 09th 09th 09th 09th 10th 10th 10th 10th 10th 11th 12th 12th 13th 13th 13th 13th 14th 38

Peter Andre Little Civic Comedy Club Liberation Works Suffocation Robots in Disguise Deluka The Dead Format Black Can The Smiths Indeed Sabotage Left Amy Macdonald The Molotovs Warrior Soul Leigh Mary Stokes Theory Of A Deadman There For Tomorrow Sonic Boom Six The Monobloggers King Adora N-Dubz Broadcast Electric Skyline Bowling for Soup The Soldiers So I Watch You From Afar Sean Lock Broken Again Generic Eric The Blockheads Decades Brokencyde Brutal Elite Showcase Mentallica Panic Cell Airbourne Hounds of Love Plan B Go West Copious Edwina Hayes A.F.I Joshua Radin Dara O’Briain Chapel Club Whitney Houston Deceptions Pocket Brian Kennedy

Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wolverhampton The Little Civic Wolverhampton The Little Civic Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham Hare & Hounds Coventry Kasbah Wolverhampton The Slade Rooms Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham The Flapper Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Wolverhampton The Slade Rooms Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham Hare & Hounds Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Wolverhampton The Slade Rooms Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham Hare & Hounds Birmingham O2 Academy 1 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham Symphony Hall Birmingham The Rainbow Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wolverhampton Little Civic Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham The Rainbow Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham Symphony Hall Birmingham The Flapper Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 1 Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Birmingham LG Arena Birmingham The Rainbow Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club

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Elliot Minor The Rivers Presley Set Cajole Cajole From The Get Go Stackridge Glamour of The Kill La Brass Banda Phil king Kevin Bridges The Union Thieves Like Us Fred Zeppelin Dropkick Murphys The Duke & The King Laura Marling BOTB – Grand Final Dogfight Revolution Versus The Volcano Roy G Hemmings Alesana The Hip Priests Kate Nash Horace Andy Justin Willis The Aurora Project Robyn Hitchcock The Strange Boys Jeff Dunham The Red Chord Rolo Tomassi Wud Got Wud Reef Audio Bullys The Inspector Cluzo Rufus Wainwright The Features Gordon Smith Chantal McGregor Larry Garner Shakespears Sister Oh Sleeper RASE The Alarm CBSO – Favourite Mozart Idlewild Tyler Mae: 2nd Coming The Saw Doctors

Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham Bulls Head Birmingham The Rainbow Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham Hare & Hounds Birmingham Hare & Hounds Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 1 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham Alexandra Theatre Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 1 Birmingham The Flapper Birmingham Hare & Hounds Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Wolverhampton Civic Hall Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham The Flapper Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 1 Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham Symphony Hall Birmingham Hare & Hounds Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Wolverhampton Little Civic Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham Hare & Hounds Dudley JB’s Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club

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Muchuu Stereo Decade N-Dubz From The Jam Sea Fields Eyes Of The Raven Livewire Brigade Ash John Bishop Jilted Generation Kick Up The 80’s Karma To Burn The Primitives Lucky Soul Jim Davidson The Primitives Armed For Apocalypse The Reasoning The King Blues Lost From Atlas Diversity Black Spiders LCD Soundsystem Powderfinger Arch Enemy Good Shoes Candi Stanton

Birmingham Hare & Hounds Birmingham Sound Bar Coventry Kasbah Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham Irish Centre Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham The Flapper Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wolverhampton Little Civic Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham The Flapper Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Birmingham O2 Academy 1 Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Wolverhampton Little Civic Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club

Box Office Details

To book tickets for any of the shows above, please use the following direct numbers, or contact them via the web Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Birmingham Flapper & Firkin Birmingham 02 Academy Birmingham LG Arena Birmingham Rainbow Birmingham Kitchen Garden Cafe Coventry Kasbah Coventry Warwick Arts Centre Dudley JB’s

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The Swellers The Lines Fools Gold B.R.M.C Ragnarok Matt Schofield Beardyman Rose Elinor Dougall Comedy Club Joyous Ring of Fire Anti-Nowhere League Darwin Deez Lyrebirds The Levellers Secondhand Story BOTB – Heat 1 E.L.O Scouting For Girls Thrash & Burn Glen Campbell

Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham The Rainbow Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham Hare & Hounds Birmingham Hare & Hounds Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham Hare & Hounds Birmingham The Flapper Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 1 Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham Symphony Hall

May 01st 01st 01st 01st 01st 01st 01st 02nd 02nd 02nd 02nd 02nd 03rd 03rd 03rd 03rd 04th 04th 04th 04th 05th 05th 05th 05th

The Jackdaws BOTB – Heat 2 Cathedral Attack! Attack! Joan Armatrading The E-Go’s Scratch Perverts Beres Hammond Mark Lanegan BOTB – Heat 3 Paul Curreri Russell Kane The Bluetones The Cheek Don McLean Wintersleep Give It A Name Little Comets The Temper Trap The Futureheads Doves Hammerfall 65 Days of Static Kiss

Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Varsity Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham Symphony Hall Birmingham The Rainbow Coventry Copper Rooms Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Varsity Birmingham Hare & Hounds Warwick Arts Centre Birmingham O2 Academy 1 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham Symphony Hall Birmingham Hare & Hounds Wolverhampton Civic Hall Bar Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Birmingham O2 Academy 1 Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Birmingham O2 Academy 1 Birmingham LG Arena 39

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