Live Review: Pale Waves @ The Joiners, Southampton (23/10/17)

This article was first published to The National Student on 30th October 2017

For Pale Waves to sell out even a small venue such as Southampton’s Joiners on their first headline tour, with just two officially released songs, says more about the precision quality of their record sound than it does about the actual live show.

Granted, those two songs (‘There’s A Honey’ and ‘Television Romance’) are deliciously addictive pop gems, with the uncertainty, longing, and relative sadness of their lyrics all coated in the sugary tones that brought us The 1975. Yet with just those two songs, you maybe can’t blame the mixed age crowd for being shy to engage in sing-alongs. Not that they were asked to.

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Live Review: Superfood at The Joiners, Southampton

This article was first published to The Edge on October 11th 2017

Given how nonchalant many of Superfood’s songs sound, you woud be forgiven for having no set expectations for their live show. Surely, to create a memorable experience, more would need to be done than just amplifying the sound? Even in the enthusiastic environment of The Joiners, there’s still the question as to how exactly the more out-there grooves and rhythms of Bambino would play to the crowd; little did I know that the roughly 100 people in the Joiners’ crowd came to play. And, so did Superfood.

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Review: Noises Off at the Nuffield Theatre

This article was originally published to The Edge on 8th June 2016

Explosions and physical comedy surpass language barriers. While Noises Off contains no explosions, for almost all of Act 2 of Michael Frayn’s farce, there is some of the best, most complex physical comedy to be seen on stage. It’s at this point that the play reaches its apex – while the rest of it, for me, proves how different types of comedy appeals different people.

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Live Review: Lonely The Brave @ Talking Heads, Southampton – 23/11/2015

This article was originally published to The National Student on 26th November 2015

Following the re-release of their debut album The Day’s War, summer spots at several festivals including the main stage at Reading and Leeds, and several months in the studio, Cambridge rockers Lonely The Brave returned to Southampton gig spot Talking Heads midway through their November tour. Continue reading

Review: Orlando at The Mayflower Theatre

This article was originally published to The Edge on 23rd October 2015

Opera Seria may translate directly as Serious Opera, but it’s hard to imagine Opera as funny, particularly with how melodramatic it may get – and good God does Orlando go for melodrama! Telling the story of war hero Orlando’s fall into mental illness, madness, and delusion after his recovery from the very physical wounds of war. Every element of the story is comparatively small, played to the biggest possible extent – billowing out of all proportion with superbly entrancing music to back it up. Continue reading

Review: Samm Henshaw and Elle King at Bournemouth International Centre

This article was originally published to The Edge on 22nd October 2015

Given the fact that the major criticism constantly levelled at James Bay has been his middle-of-the-road act as another solo British male with an acoustic guitar, he certainly chose two distinct acts to support him, even if they aren’t themselves pushing the boundaries of their musical genres. Continue reading

Review: James Bay at Bournemouth International Centre

This article was originally published to The Edge on 20th October 2015

One thing to take away from James Bay’s set at the Bournemouth International Centre: he knows how to make an entrance.

As the time after his support acts had left the stage stretched on, the crowd at the Bournemouth International Centre had swelled enormously. The large and unadorned semi-square swiftly filled out, and the crowd stretched to the doors at the side. Tech hands rushed about on stage checking the equipment and the crowd lights seemed to get brighter, with no end in sight to the waiting. The stage was simple: a backdrop with his name above a sketch of him with the already emblematic hat and shaggy hair. Several asterisk shaped lights lined up, and the places for the rest of the band comfortably arranged to give all the central space to Bay… when he turns up. Then, without warning, all the crowd lights went straight to black; less than a split second later, the eager crowd roared with excitement, cheering and applauding. Eventually Bay is revealed at the back of centre stage, hat, hair, and a guitar. Launching straight into rhythmic strumming, tempo ratcheted up high, he bounced down towards the microphone, ramping up the audience’s anticipation like a master. Continue reading

Review: Party

This article was originally published to The Edge on 8th October 2015

If Aaron Sorkin were to take up writing a new TV series about idealistic and politically minded university students attempting to create a political party, the pilot would probably look a lot like this. Tom Basden’s 2010 script sees just that happen, as five students work in a shed to flesh out their bare manifesto, elect a leader, and name themselves. There’s also the promise of cake. Which, for their fifth member Duncan, seems to be the only reason he agreed to come to this ‘party’. Continue reading

Review: Dara O’Briain’s Crowd Tickler Tour at the Bournemouth Pavilion (22/05/2015)

This article was originally published to The Edge on 26th May 2015

When Dara O’Briain walks out onto the large stage of the Pavilion theatre, without any support or warm-up acts, he strides straight to the front and centre of it all. Then, for the next two hours of his show, excluding a short 20 minute interval, he holds the attention of his audience. One man on one very big stage. Continue reading