Some artists become part of the soundtrack of your life and if you were around in the early 1980s then there’s every chance that Belinda Carlisle is an essential part of your musical memory of the era.
Having risen to fame in the early 1980s as the lead vocalist of the Go-Go’s, one of the most successful all female bands ever, (they sold 8 million albums in just three years), she went on to have a successful solo career with hits such as Mad About You, I Get Weak, Circle in the Sand, Leave a Light On, Runaway Horses, We Want The Same Thing, Live Your Life Be Free and of course, Heaven Is A Place On Earth.
She’s back on the road with a very special UK tour this Autumn – the Heaven 30th Anniversary
Tour – performing a selection of tracks taken from her 1987 solo album Heaven On Earth, which in the opinion of many critics sets the gold standard for slickly produced power pop.
There’ll also be room in the show for material from other albums and with her impressive back catalogue to choose from fans are promised a great show.
Belinda Carlisle plays Manchester Academy on October 6th. Tickets via the Academy box office on 0161 8321111 or www.manchesteracademy.net
Roland Gift, charismatic front man of the Fine Young Cannibals, is returning to the pop arena with a new solo album, the self titled Roland Gift and he’ll be making a return to the city where he went to school when he plays the Welly Club on Saturday 2nd December. Gift’s career has expanded in recent years to include film acting and musical score work but this album marks a triumphant return to pop music’s front line, where Gift’s talents and unique style have long established him as one of the genre’s trailblazers. A great voice never goes out of style, and Gift’s trademark vocal prowess is both timeless and strikingly ahead of his time.
During the making of the new album, Gift (whose film resumé includes Sammy And Rosie Get Laid, Tin Men and Scandal) took time out to work on the latest entry in his other career, appearing in the forthcoming The Island of the Mapmaker¹s Wife, directed by Michie Gleason. Roland put recording on hold for two months, while on location in Amsterdam with the production and readily admits to aiming for a happy balancing act between the two disciplines.
“When I first started, I wanted to be an actor. That’s one of the reasons I came down to London from Hull. But most people I know have been in a group sometime in their life. The first punk band I was in [the Acrylic Victims] got a bit of notoriety, released a couple of singles,my music focus grew from there.”
Roland Gift was recorded at a variety of locations, from demo studios to front rooms to Mayfair Studios, with producers David Z and Ben Barson. The album is reminiscent of the sparse, classic appeal that typified Roland’s work with the Cannibals, a sophisticated blend of pop and soul with jazz and even gospel flavours, with Gift’s own new spin for the 21st Century.
“The Cannibals sort of officially dissolved in 1996 so, in a way, up until then we were trying to do our third record. Then we came out with The Finest, which was a greatest hits set plus three new tracks that didn’t have a home to go to, but, it’s better to burn brightly for half as long than to be a dim lingering light, and I get a lot of good will from people – they say they still play the albums and they’re looking forward to hear what I’m doing next. I was asked to join Jools Holland and his a big band as a guest singer touring with them for a year, it was a lot of fun and made me want to take my own group out to play”.
Gift looks forward to more live shows, where he will perform the new songs from Roland Gift and some classic fan favourites. “There are a lot of people who liked the Cannibals who never saw songs like She Drives Me Crazy in concert, and since I wrote them as well, I’ll definitely do some Fine Young Cannibals songs.”
“It’s a great feeling when you’ve got a big record and you go out on stage and thousands of people have come to hear you play for them. It’s like having a party and loads of people come because they want to have a party with you.”
“Right now as well as the live shows I’m working on a stage musical called Return To Vegas with Bob Carlton who created the show Return To The Forbidden Planet. I’m well pleased by the way the Return to Vegas songs have been received in the live set sitting nicely alongside the FYC classics”.
Tickets can be purchased
via The Welly box office
Call 01482 221113
Grimsby Auditorium plays host to an evening of the music of the legendary Stevie Wonder.
Stevie Wonder is one of the most successful performers of the century, selling over 100 million records worldwide in a career that has spanned nearly sixty years.
If you love the man and his music then you’ll love Signed, Sealed delivered – A Tribute To Stevie Wonder.
Featuring back to back number ones including the Grammy award winning Signed, Sealed, Delivered as well as Superstition, Higher Ground, Master Blaster, Sir Duke, Part Time Lover, Isn’t She Lovely, and the biggest international hit of all time – I just Called To Say I Love You, plus many, many more!
To ensure audiences are dancing in the aisles the show features American singing superstar Lejaune André who will be joined on stage by a fabulous seven piece band, outstanding backing vocalists and top dancers.
So get ready for the wonder that is Signed, Sealed, Delivered.
To book tickets call
Box Office: 0300 300 0035
Book on line www.grimsbyauditorium.org.uk
Or book in person at the Grimsby Auditorium pay cash for no booking or transaction fees
Or call into the Cleethorpes TIC
*Booking/transaction fee may apply
Restoration levy included
Texas are one of the most successful British bands of the past thirty years. They formed in Glasgow in 1986 and since then they’ve released a string of hit albums and singles. They’ve sold 40 million albums, have had thirteen UK top ten singles, three UK number one albums and eight UK top ten albums.
Their debut album Southside, released in 1989, reached number three in the UK and number 88 in the US and in 1997 White On Blonde became their biggest success to date, entering the UK Albums Chart at number one. To date it has been certified six times platinum.
Follow up The Hush (1999) was also successful, topping the album charts again and certified triple platinum. The band’s Greatest Hits album, released in 2000, was another big seller, again debuting at number one and also being certified six times platinum.
Singer Sharleen Spiteri has enjoyed a successful solo career, releasing her debut solo album, Melody, in 2008.
The band’s ninth studio album, Jump On Board was released in May this year. Written and produced by Texas stalwarts Johnny McElhone and Spiteri herself, it’s the first new Texas studio album since 2013’s The Conversation and has been acclaimed as a pop classic.
The new single is Work It Out, with a great video featuring Thierry Henry and there’s another video to watch out for, for Tell That Girl, which features Rory McCann (who plays the Hound on TV’s Game Of Thrones) on drums.
Texas play Grimsby Auditorium on September 20th.
For more information on the tour and on Texas go to their website at www.texas.uk.com. For tickets go to www.grimsbyauditorium.org.uk.
Barton Bike Night, the highlight of East Coast motorbike culture, is usually held on a Wednesday but this year it took place on a Saturday, (July 8th to be exact) and we went along to take a look at the show.
There were, of course, motorcycles of all kinds on show, from vintage bikes to the most up to date, racers and scrambles machines, Harleys dripping with chrome, goth trikes decorated with skulls and even a motorbike and sidecar kitted out for delivering milk door to door.
The weather was gorgeous and thousands of riders and spectators descended on the town for a fantastic celebration of everything two wheeled and even a few three wheelers in the shape of classic Morgan three wheelers.
We’re not expert enough to tell you much detail about was on display so suffice it to say that everyone had a great time and here’s to next year. We’ll get our motors running for that.
The Flaming Lips
Zebedee’s Yard , Hull
25th May 2017
Hull’s newest music venue is Zebedee’s Yard, close to the quayside. a car park by day, hemmed in by the backs of Victorian warehouses and office buildings. It might sound unglamorous but in practice it works just great, and while it’s probably destined to be a one summer only thing for the City of Culture celebrations it would be nice if it could continue to be used for the future because the city needs an pop up venue like this.
It certainly makes a great and slightly disorientating backdrop for The Flaming Lips,a band for whom great and slightly disorientating are the rule rather than the exception and they give us a show that certainly makes it into my top ten ever, an explosion of music, colour and joy whose psychedelia is only enhanced by the venue’s anachronistic red brick bowl.
Everybody’s favourite young fogeys, Public Service Broadcasting, are the main support, equipped with tech and traditional instruments in equal measure and dressed as if they knew the yard’s buildings when they were young.
It’s the first time I’ve seen them live and I’ll admit to sometimes harbouring grave suspicions about bands that play computers on stage. I’ve vented them in QRO reviews on occasion, so I’m ashamed to admit that I have relatively low expectations of PSB. In my defence I’ll just say that it takes about fifteen seconds to realise that they aren’t what I’m expecting at all. No crouching over the decks gesticulating like they’re communicating in some sort of sign language for the constipated. No dancing on tables. None of the shouting “Come on Hull make some fucking noise” which usually passes for literacy for players of the Apple Mac and related instruments.
Their complex weaving of live music and samples is completely thrilling and even if I’m not dancing, (which puts me very much in the minority), I am completely mesmerised. No good asking me about the first few songs because I’m busy with cameras but I spend the rest of the set getting my head round their sound, which takes some time.
It’s not until The Other Side, which deploys samples from the Apollo 8 mission, that I start to pick the threads from the complexity sufficiently to understand what’s going on. It’s a great track with the tension rising throughout,like a hundred heartbeats woven into one until it reaches a massive crescendo.
Favourite tracks are hard to call because it still all felt very new but Everest, which closes the set, is incredible and when Public Service Broadcasting leave the stage I have a new favourite band.
And then we’re all set for the main event. As a prequel nets filled with huge balloons are manoeuvred into the gangway at the side of the stage but so bijou is Zebedee’s Yard the crew are unable to get them past the scaffold structure. After several minutes of effort, filled with the sound of popping rubber, they give up and the balloons are distributed to the crowd by way of a human chain. It’s an impressive piece of work.
It’s my first live encounter with The Flaming Lips, a band whose shows have achieved legendary status. The previous night they were at Glastonbury, closing things up on the Park Stage. Tonight it’s a car park in Hull. It might seem like a bit of a come down but you have to remember that this year Hull is the official UK city of real, proper culture, and Glastonbury is, as ever, the home of middle class beardy weirdy wannabe culture.
It’s difficult to know how to approach a Flaming Lips review. If you’ve seen them before you won’t need a description. If you haven’t then you probably won’t believe me.
The balloons having been pretty much eliminated by the end of Race For The Prize, Wayne Coyne, dressed in crimson velvet, is joined on stage by several large inflatable manga characters for a glorious Yoshimi. For the first time ever I miss loads of shots because I am too busy singing along. When There Should Be Unicorns trots in Coyne rides a ten foot luminous equine monocerous into the crowd. It’s a dangerous thing to attempt and the only safety gear with which he is equipped are some inflatable rainbow wings and a pair of fluffy green crocodile feet. If it all sounds a bit predictable then all I can do is promise you that it’s great. The unicorn completes a full circuit of Zebedee’s Yard and Coyne dismounts.
After that it all gets a bit weird.
The hamster ball comes out for a strangely poignant Space Oddity and there’s a giant rainbow, more confetti cannons than you can shake a stick at, and a large inflatable Fuck Yeah Hull sign which has a much more pleasing symmetry than the previous night’s bottom heavy Fuck Yeah Glastonbury.
What’s most important though is that at no point in the whole bizarre process does the quality of the performance ever slip below fantastic. There may be a lot of nonsense in the air but it isn’t allowed to compromise the music.
The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song is a huge singalong and Coyne seems pleasantly surprised at how many people are able to join in with verses as well as chorus. The show winds up with a storming She Don’t Use Jelly and a tender and lovely Beatles tinged Do You Realize, which has the crowd singing as they leave.
Sometimes you leave a show with a review almost written in your mind already. Sometimes you can’t think of a word to say. And sometimes you just leave shaking your head gently and thinking did I really just see that and how am I going to describe it to people who weren’t that lucky.
The visit of Jeff Lynne’s ELO to the KCOM Stadium in Hull on Saturday July 1st was one of the latter kind, not just great music but a light show that would have been worth going to see in its own right plus excellent support from the Shires and Ben Chaplin, formerly of Keane.
The good people of Hull turned out in force to welcome a man who has become synonymous with a sound, achieving a celebrity not unlike that of Brian Wilson, as the guiding light and chief creative force behind one of those bands who had maybe slipped our minds for a while but for whom the zeitgeist has returned so that they’re probably bigger now than they ever were in their heyday.
Nostalgia? We’ll leave that for another night. This was simply a joyful celebration of everything that’s fine about great pop music. Yes the hits kept coming. Yes mums and dads, and some of their mums and dads too, were up and dancing away, (in many cases pretty well) but there were plenty of kids and grandkids present and many times the biggest cheers were for lesser known songs from the ELO canon, such as Rockaria or Can’t Get It Out Of My Head.
When I Was A Boy from 2015’s Alone In The Universe wass well received, as were The Travelling Wilbury’s Handle With Care and Xanadu, which most of us remember as an Olivia Newton John song (although ELO wrote and played the soundtrack and Lynne provided paranthetic vocals on the original).
Technically it was a masterpiece. How do they get the music to sound almost exactly like the original album cuts in a football ground? Heaven knows, but they do. As for the staging, well what can you say. One of the widest stages I’ve ever seen, so much so that they set it along one side of the stadium and not a the goal ends, equipped with huge davits full of lights, screens that towered into the night sky, and surmounting it all the red, yellow and blue disc of the ELO spaceship which emitted lights and clouds of steam as appropriate during the course of the evening.
Of course the hits are what people have come to see, and why not, and there are plenty of them from Evil Woman, near the beginning of the show to closer Mr Blue Skies, for which we all stand singing ‘the sun is shining in the sky’ into the blackness and while it’s true that there isn’t a cloud in sight that’s because it’s too dark.
By the end of the show Lynne and the band have done just about enough to remind us what a unique sound they have/had and so they finish with a neat and dirty version of Roll Over Beethoven. It’s like saying “Look I fooled you all. It’s just rock and roll really.” And it may well be, but it’s great rock and roll.
Imagine the best party you ever went to. Perfect venue. Great music over four stages. Excellent food. Add in some fairground rides and your favourite radio personalities to make the whole thing go with a swing. Arrange it so it’s free admission (albeit with some minor ticketing and transport expenses).
Then arrange for the sun to shine like it’s never going to stop.
Add that all together and you’ve pretty much got the Radio 1 Big Weekend which this year came to Burton Constable Hall, just outside Hull, as part of the City of Culture Celebrations, and in the opinion of many, the highlight of the whole cultural shebang.
The Peoples was lucky enough to get an invite and we were treated to fabulous performances by the likes of Little Mix, Rita Ora, Lorde, Kasabian, Imagine Dragons, Rag’n’Bone Man, Haim and of course the headliners, Kings of Leon and Katy Perry. What more could you wish for?
Well Alt-J, Biffy Clyro, Emeli Sande, Clean Bandit and Stormzy would be a start.
The line up offered something for all tastes, from synth beats to rock, from pure bubblegum to grime and hip hop, and from electro-folk to seventies disco (that last one courtesy of the extraordinary Christine and The Queens, all the way from France and absolutely brilliant).
Of course with such a line up spread over a huge field you can’t see everything and you can be sure that everyone missed at least one of their favourites, but hey that’s festivals for you, and at least at this one you could be sure that whoever you were missing them for was probably pretty great.
Of course it was all happening within the week of the Manchester attack and while no-one was going to let it dampen their spirits it was ever present, the elephant in the field. People were cautious and surprisingly well behaved. I didn’t see any trouble at all during the whole weekend and police reported no arrests. Security was tight at the perimeter but once you were in it was unobtrusive and everyone was helpful and the minutes silence was incredibly moving even to an old cynic like me. I felt really sorry for the guy near me who didn’t realise it had started and who suddenly laughed and swore loudly, only to be angrily shushed by everyone around him.
It was a day dominated by pop and all the better for it. I don’t get to shoot a lot of chart acts. I see a lot of punk and heavy metal and lo-fi and alt-country but pop just seems to pass me by so seeing the likes of Little Mix, Lorde and Clean Bandit was a big thrill.
In the end it was the women what won it. Some I’d seen before like Anne-Marie who played her own set early in the day in the Where It Begins big top and then came onto the main stage to join Clean Bandit for Rockabye. She gets better every time I see her. Some, like Dua Lipa and Charli XCX were new (or even news) to me but they were great and real ear openers.
Highlights? Well it seems a bit redundant to even talk about them because it was one highlight after another all weekend.
Best new (to most people) band: Life who I could only hear and not see from my position backstage. A great Hull band on their way to the top and with a new album out. The Amazons were good too.
Best new (to me) band: Alt-J. How did I manage to go this long without listening to Alt-J? I remember all the praise heaped on An Awesome Wave but for some reason our paths never crossed. I’m ashamed to admit that with the keyboard reference for a name I think I assumed they were another of those techno acts that play laptops and dance on tables. Anyway the good thing is I now have a new favourite band.
Best playing laptops and dancing on tables: Galantis and The Chainsmokers – joint winners. Impressive balancing skills.
Most awesome vocal: Rag’n’Bone Man. The man is a genius.
Best dancing: Lorde. I’m going to practice till I can do it too. Lorde also gets the most photogenic performance award. I could photograph Lorde all day and never get bored.
Nicest surprise: Little Mix. Little Mix pretty much sum up the kinds of bands I don’t get to see but they were great, even if they did get themselves temporarily thrown off the iPlayer. Ah, the exuberance of youth.
Best bubblegum bubble blown live on stage: Nathan Followill, drummer from Kings of Leon. Impressive size and symmetry and great breath control, blowing, bursting and retrieving all in perfect time to the music.
And the highlight of the weekend? Well that has to be Katy Perry. She brought the set from her world tour with her and just lit the evening on fire. It’s a fact that some performers don’t give it a hundred percent for festival stages, but Katy Perry gave it everything. Sensational. I can’t remember ever seeing a performance so perfect.
So thanks to Radio 1 for arranging the best party Hull has ever seen and if you could arrange to bring it back next year that would be just great.
You could have been forgiven for thinking you were seeing double when a group of local mums and dads took their babies on a sponsored walk from The Discovery Centre to the Meridian Line on Sunday 4th June.
The walk was organised the Grimsby Twins group, a social support group for parents of twins.
Leanne Raynor, mum of 21 month old twins Willow and Myla, said: “The neonatal unit is close to all our hearts. We want to help other parents, who like us, have spent time on the newborn intensive care unit with our babies. We spent nearly 10 weeks there so it feels like home.”
Ryan Harper, father of nine week old twins Pippa and Harriet, said: “You don’t know what goes on behind the doors until you need the services. The nurses are there throughout. One day, Kirsty, my wife was really poorly so was not able to see the girls so the nurses took photos and printed them out to show her at her bedside. The little things they do mean a lot.”
The group is calling on other parents whose children have been cared for by the unit to get involved and help raise money.
The twins group meets every Wednesday at the Riverside Surestart Centre, Sorrel Road, Grimsby between 11.30am and 1pm. Anyone wanting further information about the group can call Leanne on 07710 619456.
Money from the event will be donated to The Health Tree Foundation (HTF). Its Little Lives fund gives money to the newborn intensive care unit to help make a difference to local parents and their babies by granting wishes. If you would like to organise your own fundraising event please contact Lauren Alexander on 03033 304514 or firstname.lastname@example.org
There was lashings of lovely tea and of course some superb homemade cakes at The Pelham Suite on Sunday June 4th when the venue hosted an afternoon tea to raise money for the Rear Into Gear appeal in aid of bowel patients.
Everybody had a splendid afternoon and plenty of funds were raised at the event which was organised by Teresa Jackson, Louise Salt and Anne Appleton (photo above right).
The Health Tree Foundation, the official charity of Scunthorpe and Grimsby hospitals, has launched the appeal aimed at raising money for new keyhole surgery equipment.
The money will be used to buy two new state of the art laparoscopic theatre stacks for Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital and Scunthorpe General Hospital enabling surgeons to perform the latest and most complex keyhole procedures for patients undergoing bowel cancer and bowel related illnesses. The camera systems on the new equipment will deliver extremely high quality images for surgeons.
Louise Salt, colorectal specialist nurse, said: “This will be the first of many events we have planned to raise money for this appeal. We are also hoping local people will back us and hold their own fundraising events to support us.”
There are lots more events on the way in aid of the Rear Into Gear campaign but you can also donate through their Just Giving page which is at www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/nlagcharitablefunds/rearintogear
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