BPREVIEW: Don Broco @ O2 Academy 15.02.18

Don Broco @ O2 Academy 15.02.18

Words by Eleanor Sutcliffe

On Thursday 15th of February, Don Broco will be performing at O2 Academy Birmingham with support coming from Japan’s ambiguous animal headed rockers Man with a Mission, and Brighton’s brightest dark stars Yonaka.

Doors open at 7pm, with tickets priced from £22.50 (plus booking fee) – as presented by Kilimanjaro Live. For direct gig information, including venue details and online ticket sales, click here.

Don Broco have stolen the spotlight recently, and for good reason. Since the release of their debut album, Priorities, in 2012, they’ve been steadily climbing up the ranks of the alternative rock scene. The further release of their sophomore album in 2015, Automatic, secured them tours with You Me At Six and 5 Seconds Of Summer, plus a signing to Sharptone Records who house metalcore bands such as Attila and We Came As Romans.

However, it’s their latest album that’s been causing waves in the scene at the minute – Technology has been hailed by Rock Sound as ‘a monster of a modern rock record’. Don Broco’s aesthetic and style has morphed over the years, and it seems only for the better.

They’ve come a long way from the days of their debut and older material, that’s for sure – Google ‘Thug Workout’ from their Big Fat Smile EP and you’ll see exactly what I mean. But having seen these guys for the first time in Cardiff Student Union in 2015, it was always clear they were destined for bigger stages.

The last time this band swung through Birmingham was at Slam Dunk 2017, where they delivered a stellar show to a packed out Genting Arena. And with Technology currently on repeat in every alternative bar and club I visit, Birmingham seems to be primed for the return of Don Broco in 2018.

‘Come Out to LA’ – Don Broco

Don Broco perform at the O2 Academy Birmingham on Thursday 15th February, with support from Man with a Mission and Yonaka. For direct gig info, including venue details and online ticket sales, visit www.academymusicgroup.com/o2academybirmingham/don-broco

For more on Don Broco, visit www.donbroco.com

For more on Man with a Mission, visit www.mwamjapan.info

For more on Yonaka, visit www.weareyonaka.com

For from Kilimanjaro Live, visit www.kilimanjarolive.co.uk

For more from the O2 Academy (Birmingham), including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.academymusicgroup.com/o2academybirmingham 

THE GALLERY: PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17

PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review

 

 

 

Words & pics by Eleanor Sutcliffe

I doubt I’ve ever seen O2 Academy this busy. As we are filed into the venue, I’m truly surprised and slightly overwhelmed at the number of people who’ve come to see PVRIS tonight. In hindsight, this shouldn’t have been surprising – with frequent airplay on Radio 1, they’ve become a staple in the alternative rock scene and are gaining more and more fans by the minute.

First up was Tyne, a 19-year-old chill pop artist hailing from Cambridge. She set the bar exceedingly high for the evening – if you’re a fan of the likes of Lorde, Halsey and Gabrielle Aplin, then you’ll love her stuff. Tracks like ‘Crawl’ and ‘Girly’ crept under my skin and had me yearning to hear more, while her cover of Bring Me Horizon’s ‘Avalanche’ was executed to soul splitting perfection.

Tyne has the ability to combine meaningful lyrics with electronic rhythms without beating the life out of it like so many other artists do. She’s clearly destined for great things; I’d highly recommend catching her at a show and giving her a listen.

The next act couldn’t have been further from the last. COIN owned the stage for the next thirty minutes or so, belting out track after track of indie pop perfection. Their energy was intoxicating as singer, Chase Lawrence, cavorted across the stage, jumping on and off the drum kit to thrash out melodies on the synthesizers. The crowd adored it, dancing along to the summery beats of tracks like ‘Talk Too Much’. If the Arctic Monkeys and Circa Waves were to have a lovechild, then Nashville based COIN would be the result.

Then, finally… PVRIS. I’d heard mixed views of their live performances from friends and through work, and was really hoping for a show I could rave about for hours on end.

And to an extent, I could. Visually, the setup was stunning – strobe lights lit the stage while large screens projected flickering flames and embers as Lynn went to town on hits such as ‘St Patrick’ and ‘My House’. PVRIS’s setlist was varied enough to have a taste of their newer material from their latest release, All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell, while still recalling back to tracks from White Noise.

However, Lynn’s gospel-like voice seemed to struggle at times against the heavy crescendo of guitar and drums from bandmates Alex and Brian. And although many members of the crowd were happy dancing at the front, I’d have enjoyed the show much more if I was sat up in the balcony of O2 Academy.

PVRIS more than made up for these few flaws, as I truly am nitpicking here. Their interaction with the crowd was heartfelt and genuine too, with Lynn exclaiming how, apart from at festivals, this was the largest crowd they had ever played to.

 

 

 

PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review

PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review

PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review

PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review

PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review

PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review

For more on PVRIS, visit www.pvris.com

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COIN – supporting PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review

COIN – supporting PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review

COIN – supporting PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review

COIN – supporting PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review

For more on COIN, visit www.thisiscoin.com

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Tyne – supporting PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review

Tyne – supporting PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review

Tyne – supporting PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review

Tyne – supporting PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review

For more on Tyne, visit www.officialtyne.com

For more from the O2 Academy Birmingham, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.academymusicgroup.com/o2academybirmingham

BPREVIEW: PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17

PVRIS @ O2 Academy Birmingham 23.11.17

Words by Ed King

On Thursday 23rd November, PVRIS come to the O2 Academy Birmingham – with support from Coin and Tyne. 

Doors open at 7pm, with standard tickets priced at £19.50 (+bf) as presented by Live Nation. For direct gig info, including full venue details and online ticket sales, click here.

Formed in 2012, PVRIS began life as a metalcore five piece – hailing from the New England state of Massachusetts, in North East America. Leaving two band members and two names behind them, the now three piece PVRIS have carved a clear path for themselves in the land where rock meets electronica. Fronted by Lynn Gunn, with Alex Babinski and Brian Macdonald on lead and bass guitar respectively, their sound incorporates a tough pop tinged rock punch – with Gunn’s ferocious vocals leading a dark charge across the band’s brooding yet atmospheric and uplifting melodies. Imagine Ellie Goulding and The xx got in a bar fight with 30 Seconds to Mars…

PVRIS released their debut album, White Noise, through Rise Records in 2014 – with the bulk of material coming from Lynn Gunn, alongside Blake Harnage as the album’s producer. White Noise was a significant shift in sound, with a backbone of electronica behind the debut from a band that cut their teeth on the hardcore and metalcore circuits.

But it worked. White Noise received widespread thumbs up from the rock and wider music press and saw PVRIS booked on to several high profile tours as support, with their own UK headline gigs confidently selling out – one of which was at the O2 Academy Birmingham.

Now on the road with their sophomore album, All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell, PVRIS return to Birmingham venue on Thursday 23rd November.

Released in August 2017, All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell has already garnered a deluge of positive reviews – with the album making the top 20’s on album charts in Australia, New Zealand, North America and the UK where it peaked at No4. The album’s lead single, ‘Heaven’, was premiered on Radio One on 30th August 2017.

‘Heaven’ – PVRIS

PVRIS play the O2 Academy Birmingham on Thursday 23rd November, with support from Coin and Tyne. For direct gig info, including full venue details and online ticket sales, click here. 

For more on PVRIS, visit www.pvris.com 

For more from the O2 Academy Birmingham, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.academymusicgroup.com/o2academybirmingham

BREVIEW: J Hus @ O2 Academy (B’ham) 09.11.17

J Hus @ O2 Academy (B’ham) 09.11.17 / Cameron Goodyer - Birmingham Review

 

 

 

Words by  & pics by Cameron Goodyer

Arriving at the O2 Academy and seeing the expected throngs of people congesting the street eager to see J Hus was a pleasant, but unsurprising, Thursday night experience.

Over the past few years, J Hus, the young Londoner, has made a strong impact on the grime scene. His particular style of African influenced pop/grime collaboration has driven his success to a near sell-out Common Sense European tour and this occasion is no exception as the evening was sold out well in advance.

It’s common to expect a familiar format of support-act, support-act, headliner at these sorts of events but the old saying ‘expect the unexpected’ still holds true as the typically interminable waiting was cast aside in favour of a DJ set kicking straight in, energising the crowd and offering a ‘taster session’ for the rest of the evening. A selection of hip-hop, grime and R&B set the mood very nicely as the sound system pushed out hits and classics alike and the crowd began moving.J Hus @ O2 Academy (B’ham) 09.11.17 / Cameron Goodyer - Birmingham Review

With the DJ still in mid-flow, the first official act of the evening took to the stage; a man going by the name DC. DC, sporting a striped orange t-shirt, offered the crowd a friendly welcome before diving into his act; a machine gun spray of lyrics, faster than anyone I have seen before. The crowd seemed on-board with this and impressed with his skill and I found it frankly memerising to behold. As well as speed, DC has good annunciation and the clarity of what he was saying wasn’t lost, something that would have been noticeable in the slower parts of his balanced set.

DC was set to be followed by an act called NSG and at their allotted time, first one man took to the stage, then another. And another. And another, and so on until the stage seemed packed full of bouncing energetic bodies. Too many to keep an eye on all at once by far. Unfamiliar with NSG’s music (I had only heard of them in a VICE/ID article), I found their strong afro-beat sound very fitting to the evening and it was clear to me they were a good support for J Hus’s set.

J Hus @ O2 Academy (B’ham) 09.11.17 / Cameron Goodyer - Birmingham ReviewThe flow of the evening was broken slightly following NSG as the next act, Young T & Bugsey, were unable to attend. Rather than move the timings for the evening, the decision seemed to be made that two men would take the stage and fill the time hyping up the crowd.

Unsure of how long a slot they were set to fill, it certainly felt long and rather than any set songs being played, the DJ seemed to play sections with the two men onstage belting out the odd word here or there. Passable at first, but soon it became clear the momentum of the evening was being lost and I could hear people in the crowd beginning to question when they would stop and the main act of the evening begin. Not something I could blame them for as my own energy, alongside all of the build-up from NSG, slipped away.

Luckily, without further delay or interlude, J Hus took to the stage; exactly what was needed and seemingly that had been noticed by J Hus or his team. His appearance turned the atmosphere back around and the crowd became elated, screaming loudly as smoke flooded the stage and blue and red lights (imitating police lights) flashed.J Hus @ O2 Academy (B’ham) 09.11.17 / Cameron Goodyer - Birmingham Review

One of the key features of this staging shift was the DJ’s booth. For the first part of the evening this had seemed like an overly large dark space now the black cloth covering the area was removed to reveal that J Hus had brought two gleaming private number plate adorned Mercedes Benz cars onto the stage, seemingly working, with headlights streaming through the smoke.

Fittingly, J Hus himself walked out to the strains of the tour and album namesake track ‘Common Sense’, diving straight into his set with his biggest hit of the moment. With the sell-out O2 Academy audience drowned in smoke J Hus’s stage presence was impressive and it felt like he had instantly won over the 3000-odd people and made the night his own. Never was this more clear than, when asking for everyone to hold up the torches on their phones, the venue became bathed in the soft light that only a small lithium battery can provide. J Hus @ O2 Academy (B’ham) 09.11.17 / Cameron Goodyer - Birmingham ReviewJ Hus himself made for an impressive sight, suited as he was in an array of jewellery firing the already strobing lights in even more erratic and interesting ways.

J Hus moved through his set and began to bring out the bigger hits in his arsenal. As ‘Bouff Daddy’ began, he told the crowd to “mash up the place” and mash it up they did, including J Hus’s own hype-man who had returned to the stage and was seemingly having the time of his life. It was fantastic to look around and see everyone on the outside edges of the room moving and counterpoint to the crush closer to the stage, in those areas many people had space to move freely and were really expressing themselves, dancing with great enthusiasm.

J Hus @ O2 Academy (B’ham) 09.11.17 / Cameron Goodyer - Birmingham ReviewThis continued until the instantly recognised introduction to one of J Hus’s earlier hits began; ‘Lean & Bop’. As this reverberated around the room, it became clear that many people knew what to do and they had stopped dancing in their own way, instead following the signature dance to this well-known song, smiling broadly as they did so.

As the evening began to wind down and the end was approaching J Hus announced to mixed reaction that he would be performing a new track that the audience would never have heard before. The mixed reaction of the audience to this was down, I feel, to the fact that while many of them were happy to be part of this new experience, the audience as a whole were keen to be singing along and to have set dances in mind for the tracks, something not offered by a new song.

After this, J Hus hit the audience with two of his biggest tracks to date – ‘Fisherman’, a song that got a much bigger more positive reaction than I had expected, and ‘Did You See’. ‘Did You See’ is the bigger of the two and undoubtedly a track that most people had been waiting for. It was worth the wait. Taking everyone by surprise, mid-song J Hus left the stage and headed into the crowd. Before you could blink, everyone in this main section of the room rushed forward, lyrics on their lips, clamouring for a piece of the main man himself.

And so ended the evening and with the lyrics of ‘Did You See’ resonating in my head I made my way out of the O2 Academy. J Hus’s post crowd-dive question ‘Did you see what I done?’ wouldn’t leave me and the answer is simply; yes. I saw you take a Thursday evening in the O2 Academy in Birmingham and turn it into an event people will talk about until the next one. Until the next one. 

For more on J Hus, visit www.jhusmusic.com 

For more from Birmingham O2 Academy, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.academymusicgroup.com/o2academybirmingham 

For full gig listings from SJM Concerts/Gigs and Tours, visit www.gigsandtours.com

BPREVIEW: J Hus @ O2 Academy (B’ham) 09.11.17

BPREVIEW: J Hus @ O2 Academy (B’ham) 09.11.17

Words by Cameron Goodyer

On Thursday 9th November, J Hus comes to the O2 Academy Birmingham. Doors open at 7pm, with the event billed as sold out at the time of writing – please check with the venue or respectable ticket outlets before purchasing. For direct gig info, including venue details, click here.

J Hus continues his headline tour across the UK with dates at the Manchester Academy (10th Nov), Rock City Nottingham (14th Nov), O2 Academy Brixton – London (15th Nov), Alexandra Palace – London (30th Nov) The LCR – University of East Anglia, Norwich (6th Dec). Click here for full tour details, as presented by SJM Concerts/Gigs and Tours.

Thursday 9th November marks the midpoint of the UK leg of J Hus’ European tour, following the release of his latest album ‘Common Sense’ which went straight to No3 on the iTunes chart and flew through the UK albums chart, being hailed as one of the best British Breakthrough albums of the year. This in mind, it’s unsurprising that every UK date, including this one, is sold out.

Booming out of rolled down car windows and out of almost every late night club won’t be the only places you’ll be hearing hits such as ‘Did You See’  & ‘Playing Sport’ as ‘The Fisherman’, as J Hus is more colloquially known, graces the O2 Academy in Birmingham this coming Thursday. J Hus earned this title through his considerable collection of ‘fisherman style hats’, an iconic accessory which became such a key part of his image he even wrote a song about it. And something that we may be able to see first-hand on Thursday 9th November.

J Hus was and is a true pioneer in the sound that, once unique, is now deeply rooted into the ideology of modern day grime. Although once is the key word as since his skyrocket in success many have tried to impersonate his style, his sound, his character. In some ways, you could say it’s been diluted down but for sure it’s becoming more and more noticeable to the point where it’s no longer just his style – it’s the style he shaped.

J Hus is as a born and bred Londoner with strong African essence flowing throughout his music most likely inspired by his, Gambian decent on his mother’s side.

After aspiring to take up rapping, it took the push of two friends (and later managers) to help him out and take the leap into professionalism, coming after the release of a few tracks online. Summer 2015 was the beginning of the boom for J Hus as he released ‘Lean & Bop’, a simple yet catchy song that makes your body want to jive. This one song, streaming six million times (double that now), and getting its own dance, soon became the summer club anthem being blasted everywhere and remixed countless times.

2016 was no slacking point following this success and proving he was no one hit wonder, J Hus released the single ‘Friendly’(receiving a nomination at the MOBO Awards) alongside, ‘Playing Sports’, ‘Liar Liar’ (remix) and ‘Solo One’ – not bad for someone whose career has, in some ways, only just begun.

Alongside an article about him in The Guardian and signing to Epic Records, this year has been full of hits and features for J Hus. Including a collaboration with arguably one of the biggest current UK artists and a godfather to the grime scene, Stormzy.

At present, J Hus’ name is scattered all over the UK charts, not only via his features but his solo single ‘Did You See’ coming in at No9 and  I’m sure the O2 Academy Birmingham crowd will give a very warm welcome to this new star in his highly anticipated headline show.

‘Did You See’ – J Hus

J Hus comes to the O2 Academy Birmingham on 9th November, as part of a UK wide headline tours – for full tour dates and details, visit www.gigsandtours.com/tour/j-hus 

For more on J Hus, visit www.jhusmusic.com

For more from Birmingham O2 Academy, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.academymusicgroup.com/o2academybirmingham 

For full gig listings from SJM Concerts/Gigs and Tours, visit www.gigsandtours.com

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