Saturday, 9 December 2017

WHAT WOULD WILLSON WEAR: 36 Hours in The Capital

This past three days have been an absolute whirlwind from start to finish. I saw Lany in Bristol, Blackbear at Shepherds Bush Empire, and spent yesterday walking round The V&A, Harrods and South Kensington with my uni course. As the Blackbear gig was the night before my course trip, I decided to have a mini adventure and stay the night in the capital. Here are some snaps of what I wore round South Kensington. 

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Absolute Bangers: OCTOBER/NOVEMBER


Hiya peaches, just like September these past two months has been jam packed with gigs, new releases and all sorts of indie goodness. To kick off October I went to The Joiners (I've been there so much lately, what a great venue) to see Superfood for the third time this year. After going to their sold out show at The Dome in London and on the Festival Republic stage at Reading Festival, hearing them in a venue with a capacity of just under 200 was a completely different dynamic, yet they still had the intimate but dedicated crowd in the palm of their hands. Even though every time I hear the new set it sounds like the first time the support bands are what really stuck out for me at this gig. One band in particular, who I also saw supporting Get Inuit and The Big Moon and The Loft a week later, were 'Nu-eyed-Soulful', psychedelic funk trio Barbudo (more about them later).

I hadn't listened to Get Inuit a lot before The Loft and I was so surprised at how animated the lead singer was (honestly he's just like a coming of age cartoon character from the 80's (does that make sense?)). As much as I now adore the band, I can't stand the new name change. I'm sorry but Indoor Pets is genuinely a wank name. I rate 2/10. Of course The Big Moon completely sold the show, playing all their bangers from their Mercury Prize nominated album Love In The 4th Dimension, as well as a drunken cover of Total Eclipse Of The Heart. The one thing I didn't enjoy about this gig, even though the crowd were game for it, the venue wouldn't allow crowd surfing or getting on shoulders; which rather spoiled my experience considering I'm a 5"2 gal surrounded by giants.

Next on the agenda was another trip to The Joiners to see Inheaven who I also saw at Reading and blew me away. The crowd was surprisingly small considering the sizes they pulled in at this summer's festivals, but still the small amount of fans who were there made it a gig to remember (especially the drunk guy who climbed on stage, knocked over the rose decorated mic stands and passed out behind the drum kit mid song. Also happy birthday to who ever that was). Wrapping up the tour that night, they were supported by Bloxx and  gritty rock quartet who I actually forgot that I'd seen before, King Nun
I went back home to Cambridge for the first time since moving to Southampton for a particularly special gig. Thank you to everyone who came to see Violet Flares at The Blue Moon in which we travelled from literally all over the country to play. Hosted by R*E*P*E*A*T Records and Fanzine, we supported The Baby Seals and Beverley Kills for their joint flexi-disc launch. It was pretty convenient that this was also the same weekend as Cambridge Oxjam Festival which meant I was able to see Maverick debut two new tracks at their ARU set, as well as Deep City who have just released their new single L.O.V.E with a new EP coming soon.  

Coming back to Southampton I got off the train and went straight to see Pale Waves with support from (again) King Nun. Seeing them again within the space of a week just cemented them as one of my favourite bands at the moment. It was a sell out gig, but I have to admit Pale Waves didn't really do much for me. Even though I've loved the tracks the have online, it felt rather repetitive and their extremely short set felt like it wasn't worth it. 

The next gig was a free one at The Loft which was full of bands that I'd never heard of before, and purposely went in not having a pre-listen so I could get what they were all about first hand. Gladly, I was not disappointed. Both female fronted, Yonaka and Anteros had 100% stolen my heart. I can't recommend enough how good free gigs are even if you don't have clue is playing. 
Fast Forward to November, and I had such a blast at Girli @ Purple Turtle, Reading on her HOT MESS Tour. This was the first time I'd been to the city out of festival season so it was rather strange everyone around me being, normal. At the gig I ran into Josh, the bassist from Anteros which was super cool considering they've been on my repeat since their October gig. Comparing to when I'd seen her in April this year, the new songs, routines and her unique energy that she brings to the stage was as jaw dropping as ever. Also Purple Turtle is now one of my favourite venues whether that be for a gig or a mad night out after (the drum and bass cellar was an absolute mad one).


Barbudo - Sxc

It's a band like this that I could imagine playing in the background of a romantic dinner date in the heart of the city (I'm more of a beer and Wetherspoons kinda gal to be honest but never mind). From south coast town Havant, these guys are the apex of soul-fuelled funky/sexy beats. They released their six track EP Pleasures in September and sounds just as good live as it does on the record. Sxc is silky smooth and sensual, and sounds a little like a tasteful soundtrack to an erotic film. 

25th Nov - The White Rabbit, Bristol
28th Nov - The Shacklewell Arms, London
2nd Dec - The Victoria, London

Yonaka - Bubblegum 

This Brighton based dark-alt-pop band released their new EP 'HEAVY' at the start of October and has been exceedingly popular, featuring on the Spotify Hot New Bands playlist. Just finishing a tour of Europe, they came back halfway through October to do a five date free tour with Anteros and Stereo Honey. The entire EP is moving yet relentless with heavy riffs and riotous vocals from front-woman Theresa Jarvis. Bubblegum uses creative sculptured sampling throughout, blding with punk-esque guitar riffs. This is currently my get-ready song for when I need to get pumped for the sesh. 



King Nun - Sponge

This four piece from London who signed to Dirty Hit last year have mastered the gritty alt-indie banger with their most melodic single Sponge. The track has a beaut blend of clean/distorted guitar rhythms and lethargic vocals about constantly transforming into someone else and accidentally picking up unwanted character traits (essentially, soaking it up like a sponge). This band have really stood out for me this month due to how energetic and dynamic their live performances were, recovering effortlessly from broken guitars to 'technical difficulties'.

Links Soundcloud

4th December - DIY Class of 2018, The Borderline, London
11th December - Supporting Indoor Pets (Get Inuit), The Old Blue Last, London

Deep City - L.O.V.E.

After seeing this guys multiple times over the past year and hearing them finish their sets with this track, I was so happy when they finally released it even if it is one of their oldest songs to date. L.O.V.E. is the first track off their highly anticipated upcoming EP 15:16 which is out on the 15th of December. The track is dreamy and synthy and like an cinnamon bun in music form (does that make any sense at all ???), taking influence from the likes of The 1975 and Pale Waves. The track is currently at number three in the NMG Unsigned Chart so vote for them HERE to keep them in! 

Links: SoundCloud

8th December - The Corner House, Cambridge
15th December - Fiver @ The Junction, Cambridge
26th January - BurySound 2018 Heat One, The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds

Anteros - Bonnie

I must admit, when I ran into Josh at the Girli gig and realised who he was, I had to use all the restraint in my midget bod not to start fan girling. Anteros are just one of those bands that I'm making everyone i know listen to right now. The track Bonnie came out at the end of last month and is an ode to girl power, pushing the idea of working together instead of against each other. It's super upbeat and always puts me in a great mood, kinda like a love child of Blondie and The Cure but more of their own thing entirely, although it definitely has the NEW new wave sound to a T. Last week they released the music video which includes gorgeous contemporary choreography, the iconic Repton Boxing Club, a shit ton of roses, and front woman Laura Hayden's adorable pug Frida in a chicken costume (what more could you want?!) 

Links Soundcloud

4th February - Jimmys, Manchester

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Oriental Inspired Lookbook

Hiya peaches! For our uni coursework, Kirsten, Marta and I created this lookbook using orientalism and the style of people tree for inspiration.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

WHAT WOULD WILLSON WEAR: Gig Nights @ Nambucca Live

Hiya peaches. This is a look I wore last weekend when I went to Nambucca Live on Holloway Road, London. As the venue is ran by Jack Rocks and is quite an edgy getup, I wanted my outfit to match the setting. The main focus of this outfit is for sure this long sleeved fishnet top which I layered over a teal bralette top. To contrast I wore my favourite pink leather mini skirt to make it a little girly. I paired this outfit with my trusty black converse as I do love to have a boogie at a gig. You canny ever go wrong with a plain black velvet choker and black hoops to match. 

Mesh Top - Urban Outfitters 
Bralette - Miss Selfridge
Skirt - Vintage 
Shoes - Converse
Choker - H&M

Friday, 29 September 2017

Absolute Bangers: SEPTEMBER


Wagwan peaches, the past month has been a rather busy one. This month I moved to Southampton and started uni; only halfway through freshers events, I've only died twice this week. 
Since the last AB post, I went to Reading Festival which was quite easily one of the best experiences to date. Even though I went Wednesday to Monday, I had to go home for the day on Friday and cover bass for Maverick at Reaper Fest at The Melbourn Rock Club (even if it did mean missing The Big MoonMarika Hackman and Two Door Cinema Club. But at least I caught the last 20 minutes of Kasabian). 
The majority of my Saturday was spent running between the BBC Radio 1/NME and Festival Republic stage. The first band I saw (properly) that weekend was Wolf Alice's secret set and left halfway to catch the end of King No One. After KNO I stayed at NME for Blaenavon and saw InHeaven for the first time. I spent the rest of the day at Festival Republic and saw my favourite band for the second time, Superfood, who I'm also seeing again next month at The Joiners in Southampton. The Japanese House were the best mid afternoon comedown band as I was completely mashed at this point and was in desperate need of some chilled out vibes before Black Honey. This was easily one of my highlights of the weekend as Izzy Baxter held my hand during Corrine and signed my white Doc Martens after their set. 

I started off my Sunday with VANT on the main stage and honestly it's the worst band I've seen live. I love their studio album however their stage performance was piss poor. Maybe it was due to the fact they were on the main stage at 2pm however I was expecting so much more from them. This didn't ruin my day though as the next band I saw was possibly the best band I've seen live to date. Prior to Reading I'd never actually listened to Pond even though multiple friends have recommended them to me. From Perth, this Psychedelic rock band are the side project of Tame Impala with a revolving lineup. It was rather nice having comedy to just mong out to in the afternoon, I've been a fan of Katherine Ryan for years now so seeing her grow in popularity over the past year and at Reading was the absolute best. I started the Sunday evening with Blossoms followed by Liam Gallagher which was indie heaven. When it came to the headliners, I had the conundrum that i told myself id see the first 15 minutes of Muse then bounce over to Haim on the other side of the arean. However I managed to get a perfect front and center spot for the main stage, so I had no option but to crowd surf my way out of there if I was going to make it in time for the NME stage (dw I did with time to spare). I'm so glad I finished my weekend with them as they were one of my gateway bands when I was a tiny ickle music connoisseur.  
A few weeks after, there was an end of an eara. It saddens me so much knowing that there isn't gonna be anymore Staycations for a while as of their farewell for now gig last fortnight. It was a rather emotional gig as after four years they're all off to uni. And also for me, it was my last Cambridge gig before I moved to Southampton. Even though they have no more gigs planned for now, all their music is on their Spotify and soundcloud. 
Last week I went to Nambucca on Holloway Road for the first time to see my pals Maverick at their first London gig. The event was hosted by Jack Rocks and I managed to stick around for some great bands like Sophie & The Giants, Kevin & The Vandals and The K's from Manchester; all of which I highly recommend. 
Lastly I went to my first Southampton gig at The Joiners this week. I didn't stay right till the end of the night (had freshers to get to) but two acts that really stuck out for me was singer-songwriter Matt Bialas and grungy/funky four-piece Lost Or Stolen. 


The Staycations - Why Can't You Make Up Your Mind

In their blazing glory, Staycations have left the Cambridge music scene for now with three brand new tracks on the EP Just Before It Falls, including their hit Ophelia. Why Can't You is darker, edgier and shoutier than ever, and is a massive leap from their first original tracks like Dust Beneath Our Feet which had a lot of Mumford and Sons influence. But this new EP has for sure nailed the unique sound that is theirs. 

 Links: Soundcloud
            Off The Chart

Superfood - Where's The Bass Amp?

I'm so excited to be seeing Superfood for the third time next month, especially now that their swaggering wonky indie second studio album Bambino is out. This song is an absolute super happy bop, a downright funky strut, and like many other tracks on the album, has a hazy yet creative use of sample-heavy highlights. The entire album is giddily infectious and also as a bassist, I've never related to a song title so much in my life. 

Links: Dirty Hit

4th Oct - Thekla, Bristol 
5th Oct - The Joiners, Southampton
6th Oct - The Garage, London
7th Oct - Neighbourhood Festival, Manchester
9th Oct - Think Tank, New Castle
10th Oct - King Tuts, Glasgow
11th Oct - Mama Roux's, Birmingham
12th Oct - Bodega, Nottingham
13th Oct - Dryden Street Social, Leicester

Pond - Don't Look At The Sun Or You'll Go Blind
Even though this some was released back in 2009 on their debut album 'Psychedelic Mango' (only 500 copies were printed), it was this song that captivated me at Reading Festival. Hearing it for the first time in that atmosphere with the right people really made it stick, and was just as good when i searched it up online after the festival weekend (it was harder than I thought, but the best audio i could find of it was the KEXP Live Lounge session on youtube which you can find here. I think it's the driving bass line that keeps the whole song together and going. Their new album 'The Weather' is out now.

Links: Soundcloud

The K's - Sarajevo

These Merseyside lads made a debut onto to spotify this July with Sarajevo, which was one of my favourites during their set at Nambucca this month. Front man Jamie Boyle has this 'textbook Jack the Lad' style with his stage presence and audience awareness but their songs are well crafted indie-drunk-sing-a-long bangers. Even though they had the quality PA system and the whole venue bopping along, it honestly felt like Nambucca wasn't big enough for their songs to thrive. 

Links: Soundcloud 

30th Sep - Double Denim Live Leeds, Verve Bar
16th Dec - The Deaf Institute, Manchester 

Tom Copson - High Hopes

This track is quite sentimental to me as Tom Copson and I had the same guitar teacher growing up (big up John). I haven't seen/heard any new stuff from him since 2013, so when he released the High Hopes this month I was absolutely thrilled. Like his influences of Damien Rice and Sufjan Stevens, this song is a perfect omnichord acoustic ballad with stark but genius lyricism about his own experiences and the future. His first Live @ The CB2 EP was one of the first locally produced albums I ever bought, so listening to his sound develop over the years to such a special quality really hit me hard. 

Links: Soundcloud

3rd Oct - The Troubadour, London
24th Oct - Seedling Sessions, Bristol
28th Oct - BBC Introduction Live Lounge, BBC Radio Cambridge
16th Nov - The King's Head, Guildford

Friday, 18 August 2017

Absolute Bangers: AUGUST (ft. new music from Lacuna Bloome, GIRLI and Bedroom / Boredom)


Image may contain: 2 people, people on stage and people playing musical instruments
Photo via Catherine North
Yet again we've got another Absolute Bangers, this month wasn't as full gig-wise as last month however the few I have been to have been pretty intimate as they've all been with pals. Right at the end of July I did my first solo gig in over a year at The Portland Arms, supporting a whole bunch of great musicians all thanks to Mark McGivern who organised the event (and also organises the Cambridge's infamous music and poetry nights, Sunday Night Lives). One act that stuck out for me from the evening was a dark blues trio called Murder Ballads, fronted by Anna Knight who has the most incredibly distinctive voice which you can find right HERE
I finally lost my Cambridge Junction Fiver virginity this month. For those who don't know what the Fiver is it's basically five local bands, on a friday, for a fiver (what a concept). The fiver nights always have the best that Cambridge has to offer in young talent and I'm not dropping any hints or anything but Violet Flares may or may not be doing a fiver in the near future. This months lineup consisted of Maverick, The Lost Volts, followed by Deep City, The Hemingways and Oscar Corney who also played at River Town Festival in St Ives the next day hosted by Tom Lumley
Photo via Local Distortion Official
As I was recovering from the night before, I only stayed for a few sets at River Town (which I later regretted as Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles were one of the headliners) but thankfully I caught Searching Grey who have been on my gig list for ages. 


Lacuna Bloome - Only One 

Lacuna Bloome are a relatively new on the scene Brighton based four piece who are heavily influenced by Wolf Alice, Foals and Oasis; however for me they have a fresh resemblance to the likes of late 2000's indie bands like Pigeon Detective, early Arctic Monkeys and even Viola Beach. They sent me their brand new track Only One last week and is released today! For me the track is so contagiously catchy and anthemic and has been on my repeat on my lazy days (lmao everyday is my lazy day). 


16th September - The Camden Assembly, London
18th October - The Prince Albert, Brighton

Redwood - Aster

This alt-rock five piece from Hertfordshire have just finished a three week European tour supporting Drawstrings. They released their latest double A-side Night Garden/Aster back in May. It's super dreamy like Warpaint, but has this prominent post-rock drive mixed with fragile and thought-provoking lyrics from Alex Birchall. 


The Big Moon - Sucker

I'm definitely a SUCKER for all gal bands (sorry shit puns). This band has been a fave of me and the Violet Flares gals for a while and I'm planning to see them again on their upcoming tour in September/October (although where I see them is dependant on where I end up in September). The one thing about Sucker that I love is the 6/8 time signature which you don't usually hear often or at all in typical indie rock music. It starts off kinda sad but then progresses into one of those super happy feel good bangers. 


list on their whole uk tour dates here

JUICE DIGITS - No Interruptions

This five piece from Cambridge made their debut at Strawberry Fair this summer on the Love Music Hate Racism stage. Their bassist Billy was first to introduce them to me and they have their first demo out on soundcloud. It could easily pass for a Hills boy rapping about random shenanigans over a funk jam (hang on a minute), but the simplicity of that concept is what makes it so damn appealing and an absolute banger. Their main influences are ATCQ, Parliameny Funkadelic and John Mayer, and over the course of the next few months they'll be doing gigs in Cambridge pubs, house parties (think Libertines in a London flat style) and are set to play The Portland Arms on the 2nd of December. 


2nd December - The Portland Arms, Cambridge

Girli - Hot Mess

I reviewed Girli's track 'So You Think' a few months ago after I saw and fell in love with her at the Cambridge Junction supporting Declan McKenna. Fast forward to now, she's released her brand new track 'Hot Mess' that made its radio debut on the Huw Stephens shows on BBC Radio 1 on Wednesday night (was literally the perfect way to wind down before the results day madness) and is now out TODAY! It starts off sounding like a bond track motif if 007 was an anime character until she starts rapping about being, well, a hot mess in her North London accent. Like a lot of her tracks, her lyrics are very tongue in cheek and sarcastic as fuck which makes it such a pleasure and refreshing to listen to. 


30th August - XOYO, London

Bedroom / Boredom - Shuteye

Will I ever stop raving about this six piece from West London? Probably not. Their brand new EP 'Reefs' came out today and is just as feel-good and exciting as the first. The last track on the EP, Shuteye, is really sticking out for me as it has such a fun carnival/festival vibe with a really prominent sax riff which is perfect to get me into the pre Reading Festival hype. As much as I adore their first EP 'I Wouldn't Worry', Reefs definitely sounds a lot more experimental within their unique sounds n vibes. You can buy the new release, as well as other cool merch like t-shirts handmade by the band and tape cassettes on their bigcartel store.


14th September - Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London