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Song of the Week: ‘Babylon’ by Normandie

Sweden’s best kept secret are back in glorious form. Spearheading stand-out track Babylon, it marks their sophomore album of Dark & Beautiful Secrets that was released earlier this year.

Despite sharing the name of that with a French city – despite being from Sweden – their music is a tactile missile of mystery, magic and a colossal head-bang for the ages.

Threading the line between the dark and the light of hope, Hostage, Jericho and Atmosphere lead the way in a cut-throat hard rock approach to a fine taste in music songwriting that the likes of Living in Fiction and Written by Wolves would be proud of.

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World of Music Licensing: Field Visit to London

Trepidation, fascination and in-depth insight, field visits for work within the realms of music licensing is certainly no easy feat – but they are exciting.

By fully understanding who we’re working with as venue owners, what we’re working with in terms of venue scale, allocation of music events and spaces, it is a marvellous idea to visit venues in-person. Not only for maximum efficiency in terms of client reports but maximum accuracy in terms of music licensing the venue to the best of our knowledge. All because we’ve seen the venue with our own eyes!

Quite simply, it puts a face, a name and an icon to the black and white data-entry accounts. Above all, it makes it personal, natural and far more enjoyable enjoyable in terms of what we do for music licensing – which really, is all about for the working musician.

For my first field trip as a Live Music New Business Advisor, it was extremely insightful. When we travelled past Knebworth and it’s mighty park – which was put on the map from Oasis’s iconic performance in ‘96 – before we headed into Central London, I knew I would be in for a treat. If such a staple in musical history is dotted just outside the capital of London, what cultural significance is tucked away in the centre of the capital?

First, we headed down within the shadow of the Shard via Amazing Grace, a newly refurbished church-now-turned bar nightclub, it had all the qualities of a fantastic and elusive venue for underplays and musical vibes perfect for a relaxing Friday evening. After that swell visit and a talk with the owners about everything to do with the music licence, we swiftly headed west to Hammersmith. An often quaint but equally illustrious as the glorious amphitheatre of Apollo greets you in the vast stretch of culture, as you step out of the underground station. At Hammersmith, we had the privilege of attending a tour at one Riverside Studios, a circular space for multi-art performances, theatre shows, cinema screenings and a magnitude of musical events. First popularised for its feature filming of Doctor Who during the first couple of series (and the use of stage doors as the noise for EXTERMINATE) it is now a Jack-of-all-trades swivelling circus of party tricks. If you’re around London between Christmas and New Year, I recommend diving in to check out the 360 AllStars variety show they have coming in.

Grabbing a mocha to go, we headed back to the realms of underground during dreaded rush hour. Fortunately, with working from home a viable option for many commuters, it didn’t necessarily seem that bad for a Friday.

Now here I am, lodging notes in my phone as the train heads back to familiar territory. My familiar territory.

It would be an advantageous decision to do more field visits in the future. Covering the scope of the UK, live music new business is ripe for the taking. Especially after the horrors of a pandemic, the opportunity for growth in live music and the entertainment sector is colossal. With ample drip-feedings being delivered from the Government, establishing the premise of music licensing via a friendly face is all-the-more-important for maximum efficiency and accuracy in today’s current industry.

More to come I hope. As always, thanks London.

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Bring Me The Horizon – DiE4u Single Review

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Tackling addiction seems to be an ever-present theme with Bring Me‘s music and this new addition to their dysfunctional family is no different.

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Lyrics with intent accompanied with a mammoth pack of intoxicating instrumentals – it’s all come full circle back to the Bring Me The Horizon we all know and love. Chaos inhabited with the devil, DiE4u is the next abbreviating tone from Bring Me – and is the next chapter post-POST HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR in 2020.

A bellowing Sykes screech matched with throttling synth and devastating drum kits kick off an adventurous return to a world of hope and anguish that was … actually not too dissimilar to POST HUMAN that was really, all about finding out when is it we’re free and that desirable itch for the cure.

Despite being a long way from the likes of Suicide Season, I do personally enjoy the direction the band took since That’s The Spirit in 2015. Although it careens the band away from the sovereign genres of hardcore and “heavy” metal (use heavy in the loosest of terms), it is still an emphatic turn of events that has drawn in a huge fanbase that do swoon over anything they create.

Oddly simply but all-the-more satisfying, I’m looking forward to more from the blood-sodden Sheffield quintet.

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POORSTACY – “Party at the Cemetery” Album Review

Cathartic works of the devil, POORSTACY’s latest stitch-in-the-vest is beautifully timed, and themed, all in time for Halloween weekend.

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Tilted and crooked in places, Party at the Cemetary has moments of heretics of the well-versed punk anthems with the self-titled and Jump. But then jumps to moments of gelatinous mess as walls of sound take over the mix. Although not nearly as rehearsed or thought-out as other comrades in the genre of punk, it still packs a mighty wallop and as always, is fun to listen to.

As if it is perfectly written for spooky season, the theme of album is perfectly poised around dancing demons and celebrating amongst the Day of the Dead. Although a disappointing result with some stand-out tracks awash amongst fillers, I figured it as a good blog discussion as any, considering it’s October!

Have a blast of this bad boy below and let me know your thoughts. *Also, don’t dig too deep into the lyric side of things … *

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Sam Fender – “Seventeen Going Under” Album Review

A competent, clean and coming-of-age tale for Sam’s sophomore album.

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Candid tellings with thoughtful lyric-work interlaced with anthemic guitar tonalities, Sam Fender’s journey to the promised land is a rarity in the fact that he had little resistance to the top. His artistry is yet another reason why being yourself and writing what you love goes a long way.

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Raw and slick in places, Sam’s self-affirmation of himself comes in top trumps through his lyrical prowess as he learns and reflects back on his growth.

“I was far too scared to hit him
But I would hit him in a heartbeat now
That’s the thing with anger
It begs to stick around”

Charting European tours with his ever-equivalent chart-topping debut, Fender has brought amass following along for the ride. First, the cascading of Hypersonic Missiles on the industry, now we have a more pertinent story drawn up from social and generational significance we face in the world right now – Seventeen Going Under.

With a more laid-back affair with self-titled issue, Seventeen Going Under, bitter-sweet fondness of Spit Of You and drawing attention to social affairs in the capital, Long Way Off, Seventeen Going Under is an eclectic blend of Fender’s best and most professional discussions to date.