“Let’s Do It For Queen Victoria!”


Review:

Example Live @ The Royal Albert Hall For Teenage Cancer Trust

Friday 30th March 2012

Support from Fenech-Soler & Baller B

It’s fair to say I’ve seen a few Example sets – last night happened to be my 6th, and as much of a cliché as it will undoubtedly sound, each one gets better and better. Last time it was at Radio 1’s Student Tour at Hertfordshire Uni, so this time promised to be very very different. I’d never been to the iconic Royal Albert Hall, so I really didn’t know what to expect. I did laugh before I even got in, however. Greeted by the ticket woman, who whilst processing mine, asked, “Is this Example guy from America?” I took my wristband and replied, “Er, nah, Hammersmith.” But as you take the steps up into the standing area, you can’t help but strain your neck to see the unbelievably high galleries towering over you. This was going to be special.

With Fenech-Soler opening, they showcased just why they’re picking up a lot of attention. It may have just been me, but I couldn’t helped but think of them a turbo charged, darkened, electric Coldplay. If you hate Coldplay, then you’ll despise that comparison, but well, that’s what came to mind. Anyway, the ridiculously catchy hooks, mixed with the brilliantly produced, occasionally dark, beats, and proper energy exerted from the band, made for a great start to the night. You could really tell they were enjoying it, and there were emotional ties with the charity for them, after what happened in 2011. If you don’t know much about them, make sure you do soon, their second album will definitely be one to watch!

With it being Teenage Cancer Trust’s week of entertainment at The Royal Albert Hall, the evening took a few moments to watch a very moving video on the sort of people the amazing charity can, and does help. Then followed by another moving moment, this time from a live speech on stage from another person who thanked everyone for donating, and explained all the brilliant work Teenage Cancer Trust did for her and others.

Then on came Baller B, Example’s tour DJ, who played a pretty amazing mix of tracks, from Knife Party, to Jay Z and Kanye, to Flux Pavilion. To be honest, the longer I think about it, the more amazing tracks I remember him playing. Without saying a word, just hand and hair movements, he got everyone, let’s just say a little excited to see the main man himself, Example.

As Sheldrake, Johnny Drum Machine and David Stewart all took to The Albert Hall stage, amid a more post-puberty One Direction screaming environment, then opening track began playing out, ‘Skies Don’t Lie‘. Elliot ventured onto the stage, a stage which had only the night before, hosted Paul McCartney, and un-surprisingly began giving everything, as always.

Through a mix of the old tracks like the mentally ravey ‘See The Sea‘ and ‘Hooligans‘, including the Spor remix of that classic track, and the newer tracks like ‘Never Had A Day‘, ‘Midnight Run‘, and ‘Playing In The Shadows‘, Example and the band got the typically  bouncy crowd response to whatever was heard. All but two people near me, who offered very occasional muscle movement, but who cares about them.

I don’t need to go through each song in the set, and tell you why it was amazing in its own way. Because it’d take ages, and you’d get bored, and or, jealous for not being there. But that was the one of the best atmospheres I’ve seen at an Example gig, closely behind his huge one at V Festival in the summer just gone. The atmosphere was obviously helped by all the energy put in by the 4 guys on stage, added to Example’s unique way to get everyone lightened up, at one point shouting, “Let’s do this for Queen Victoria!” Cue massive bouncing from everyone in the standing to the very top of the galleries.

At one stage, Elliot brought up The Sun’s comments about how he should be worried, with being in the shadows of Paul McCartney’s performance from the night before, they said “You wouldn’t want to be in Example’s trainers at London’s Royal Albert Hall tonight…” He noted that Paul is an undisputed legend, but said he thought we as a crowd could do better. Clearly I wasn’t at McCartney’s show, but I can’t imagine that at any point there was a crowd reaction like there was with ‘Changed The Way You Kissed Me‘.

The whole atmosphere of the night was what made it so unique. You could tell it meant a lot for all of them to be on that famous stage, giving off such a positive vibe, which suited the charities evening very well. It wasn’t a ‘guilt trip’ like Comic and Sport Relief can be on occasion. Obviously there  were moving mentions of the brilliant work they do, but it felt just like a proper uplifting gig! The charity is a fully meaningful one, and the more the money they make, the more lives of people around my age that suffer from cancer, will be improved, without comparison. It was made clear how effective their work is, so much so that I ended up emptying my pockets into the donation buckets at the end.

To Capital FM, NME, American Airlines and all the other companies involved in supporting the shows Teenage Cancer Trust are throwing on at The Albert Hall, well done. So, yeah, everything about last night was pretty much perfect, and if you’re off to see Example on his upcoming huge arena tour, then seriously, you’re in for such a treat. It really is “opera at its finest.”

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Flux Pavilion & Example ‘Daydreamer’ Dropped Live!


(UPDATED, NEW, STUDIO VERSION OF ‘DAYDREAMER’ UP HERE: https://willackrillmusic.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/flux-pavilion-ft-example-daydreamer/)

I’ve been excited to hear this track ever since I heard about the collaboration for Flux Pavilion’s album. Example will forever add to the type of amazing work artists like Flux create!

How it sounds good when recorded off a phone at a live venue, gives me the sign that it will sound huge!

Enjoy:

Can’t wait for this release + I’m assuming it will at some point be a single?

Who Does 2011 Belong To?… Ed Sheeran.


(continued from the post below, I know it may not be continued, as this will appear before the first post, but yeah, read the one below first please…)

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I remember thinking after the BBC released their Sound Of 2011 longlist, ‘Oh, yeah, you’ve really missed someone out from that!’. They really did, didn’t they. Ed Sheeran. What a year he’s had! He stated his musical intentions, maybe indirectly in the charts too – with the release of his No. 5 Collaborations EP in January – featuring the likes of Sway, Random Impulse and Wiley. It shocked everyone, seeing it climb peak at number 2 in the iTunes charts – especially considering he was still an independent artist! Well, he was, but not for much longer, as on January 12th, Ed signed with Atlantic Records and it went from strength to strength from there on in.

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His first move after the record signing, was a good-willed one, as always. The ‘One Take’ EP was released for free, featuring a version of ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’, a Jamie Woon cover of ‘Wayfaring Stranger’, and a version of ‘UNI’. And like anything he’s released, it went down a storm with his ever growing fan base – with over 10,000 downloads in the first 12 hours.

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These were just a few highlights of the year for Ed. There’s so many I could write about. The free Camden Barfly gig being one. It attracted over 1,000 people, and if you’ve never been to the Barfly, you’ll know that, as great a venue as it is, it couldn’t hold 1,000 people. Not letting that stop him, Ed played 3 times inside the venue – until it shut. Then once more outside in the nearby car park for anyone that still hadn’t seen him.

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Also, Sheeran performed ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ and debut single, ‘The A Team’ on ‘Later … With Jools Holland’ in April. With nothing but his vocals, acoustic guitar, and a loop pedal. The performance was stunning, proper goose-bump stuff!

Then the release of ‘The A Team’ just 6 weeks later. Things were moving quick, as his debut single charted at number 3 in the UK – selling 58,000 copies in the first week! It was the lead single from his debut album, ‘+’, released in early September. It showed, not just the progression throughout 2011, but the progressions since Ed started performing, writing, singing, and being around music. ‘+’ went straight in at number 1, the week after Example’s album had done just the same – and both were full of joy for the other one!

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From that last bit, it seems like Ed did nothing between April and September? Very wrong. Notably, he performed a headline set at Glastonbury on the BBC Introducing stage. This was one of many summer festival performances, Bestival and Reading Festival to name a couple others.

He also released his second single in the run up to the album release. ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’, and although it charted lower than ‘The A Team’ (number 4), it still sold more first week copies. But to be frank, this release wasn’t really about chart position. Obviously it was intended to promote the album. But it had much more meaning than that. ‘You Need Me…’ was the first introduction many people had to Ed – due to Jamal Edwards and SBTV. The song has changed through the years, with many new and retracted verses. So to see a final single was brilliant for Ed fans, even if they didn’t like the new beat put in, they understood it had to be done.

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‘Lego House’ was the next single, and the first off the back of ‘+’. I’m proud to say that I was there on Ed’s sell-out Autum Tour, when they filmed the iconic video – at Herts University Forum, with Rupert Grint. It was also my 17th birthday that day. So, yeah, it was a pretty good day really. Anyway, ‘Lego House’ peaked at number 5. Why it didn’t chart higher was because it was available from the album, so people just couldn’t wait to buy the single version. So to peak at number 5 is absolutely massive!

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There’s so much I could write about Ed Sheeran. I am one of the people that knew of him before ‘The A Team’ release, and I’ve actually met him a couple of times. Not that he’d, one; read this, or two; remember me, but even so. However, I don’t think when you discovered his music matters. As long as you support him, go to gigs, buy the singles, watch the videos, then why should it matter who saw him first?

It’s also strange to see an artist break through, and still manage to maintain their backgrounds. He’s kept the same support artists through the year close to him. Ryan Keen, Lester Clayton to name a couple.

It’s also shown by the No. 5 Collaborations EP (talked about earlier) – which came out in January 2011. Many artists would have left it behind. But not Ed. Because, as I’m writing this, I’m preparing to hear the specially recorded Live Lounge for the No. 5 Collaborations, featuring Wretch 32, P Money, Devlin and Mikill Pane for Trevor Nelson’s show on BBC Radio 1xtra. This is around 11/12 months after the release. What more could Ed do to show how committed to his music than this. (Listen and watch the whole sessions here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/sessions/2011-12-21_edsheeran)

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I think Ed is the perfect middle ground I mentioned earlier. He’s actually broken through – without having a big backing of influential music people at the start, like Jessie J. He was an independent artist at the start of 2011. He ends 2011, with a number 1 album – which sold over 102,000 copies in it’s first week, and was the most downloaded debut album in history, singles charting 3, 4 and 5, with live festival and TV performances as well. But most importantly, with a religiously following fan base, stronger than anything that could have been imagined. The future looks pretty good for him really.

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Who Does 2011 Belong To?


2011 has been one of the best years for music in a very long time. With so many artists finally ‘making it’, how can you say who has had the better year? Do you base it purely on chart positions? If so, it counts out some artists. Do you base it purely on breaking through? Again, that counts some artists out. So you have to try find that middle ground. This post is effectively like a ‘BBC Sound Of’ post, but for the year just gone. So often we’re caught just looking forward, rightly so on occasions, to the new, fairly unknown, exciting artists. However, we need to hand out some credit to the people responsible for the music that shaped 2011. Shaped it in the good way, by the way. (Don’t expect to see a section on LMFAO.)

In terms of charts, it’s hard to look past Adele. ‘Someone Like You’, off of her ’21’ album took the worldwide charts by storm – number 1 in 24 separate countries! ’21’ also overtook Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back To Black’, as the highest selling album of the, funnily enough, 21st century. I mean, that’s quite a good year, I guess.

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But so many artists have had a really good 2011. Calvin Harris, with the massive summer anthems, ‘Bounce’ and ‘Feel So Close’, not forgetting his Rihanna earworm collaboration, ‘We Found Love’. Also, Chase & Status, with the massive singles, like, ‘Let You Go’ and ‘Blind Faith’, off one of the biggest albums of the year, ‘No More Idols’. This list is endless! (Obviously it isn’t endless, but yeah, you get the idea.) There’s just been so much great music in 2011! Image It did seem to be some of my favourite music was finally getting recognised, Professor Green finally getting a massive number 1, with ‘Read All About’, Example smashing the summers festivals, with 2 number 1s, ‘Stay Awake’, and possibly many peoples’ favourite single of the year, ‘Changed The Way You Kiss Me’ – not to mention the number 1 album spot, with ‘Playing In The Shadows’. Image Rizzle Kicks have really grown in the past 6 months. Their rise to success was fairly sudden. I met them outside the Barfly in Camden ahead of their gig. This was in July – just 5/6 months ago. This was around the time ‘Down With The Trumpets’ took off, not long after this, ‘When I Was A Youngster’ was released, and also their feature on Olly Murs’ number 1 single, ‘Heart Skips A Beat’. Their newest single, ‘Mama Do The Hump’, off the back of their brilliant album, ‘Stereo Typical’, features James Corden in the video. Just another example of their progression. They’re now one of the hottest duos out there. Image An album which went fairly, and annoyingly, unrecognised, in terms of acclaim, was ‘Black And White’, from the supremely talented Wretch 32. For me, it’s one of the albums of the year. It flows together better than any other album I’ve heard in a long time, let alone 2011. ‘Traktor’ hit number 5, bringing in a wide range of new fans, as well as touring with Example in early 2011 – it set out where Wretch was going. The second single release followed – ‘Unorthodox’ feat. Example. In my eyes, this is one of the best tracks of the year. (Oh, and Adele agrees with me.) Unfortunately though, it only charted at number 2. I remember the first set I saw at V Festival, was Wretch 32’s. It was also the weekend that the beautiful ‘Don’t Go’ feat. Josh Kumra, charted at number 1, and you could tell from the performance he gave that he was enjoying all this success so very much. Soon after the album followed, but for some reason, it didn’t have the success that other artists were rightly getting around that time, and even more strangely, Wretch didn’t receive any MOBO Awards. But even so, he’s definitely had one of the best years imaginable. Image As I’ve mentioned, many artists have broken through in 2011. But Nero have been influential in the break through of a whole genre. A year ago now, Nero were included in the BBC’s Sound Of 2011 longlist. But no-one could really have imagined how they’d progress. They brought Dubstep to number 1. Single charts with, ‘Promises’, and album charts, with ‘Welcome To Reality’. Even Lupe Fiasco featured a couple of Nero’s tracks on his latest mixtape! Image There’s almost too much choice! Jessie J was the eventual winner of the ‘Sound Of 2011’, giving her much deserved acclaim. ‘Do It Like A Dude’ was released in 2010, but Price Tag’ was one of the biggest singles of the 2011! In fact, it was the biggest collaboration single of 2011, with B.o.B. As well as that, her album, ‘Who You Are’ is the biggest selling debut album of the year! Image Obviously, you’ve got the likes of The Vaccines, Katy B, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Jay Z + Kanye, who have all had good years as well – and I’ve probably left a few out, but there really has been so much success this year in music! Image

Tell you what though, 2012, will be even bigger! Maverick Sabre, Emeli Sande and Delilah are definitely three to watch out for. But you should probably know that by now.

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But there’s one artist I’ve significantly left out of this review so far. Ed Sheeran…

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