Weekly Digs: James Bay

This week’s tune comes via a London billboard… yes, I was on a bus and I saw this gigantic ad for this chap with long hair who resembled a young Jack White.

So I investigated and I came across his song ‘Hold Back The River’ .. and I liked! He has a really strong, beautiful voice and is also a very talented musician. He toured with Hozier last year and he won the Critics Choice Award at the Brit Awards this year. He reminds me a little of James Morrison… definitely one to watch!

This song appears on his debut album Chaos and the Calm.



Weekly Digs: Jack Savoretti

This week’s offering comes from Jack Savoretti… Italy’s answer to Chet Faker.

He has a beautiful voice that has a raw, edginess to it that shows his passion. This track ‘Home’ is one of those songs that will get stuck in your head, in all the right ways and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be humming it all over the place!

This is featured on his album Written in Scars. 



Weekly Digs: Mini Mansions

Mini Mansions formed back in 2010, (a side project for bassist of Queens of the Stone Age, Michael Shuman). They brought out their debut album and it was highly praised amongst industry heavies, and then they disappeared off the face of the earth. Now they are back and their single ‘Vertigo’ features my favourite front man, Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys.

It’s Turner’s collaboration with the group that has shot them back into the spotlight, but I must say, they earn the spot themselves. I love this track, but I would still love it even if he wasn’t a guest vocalist. Anyway, I think Mini Mansions have a long career ahead of them, and I really dig this track.. I hope you do too!

‘Vertigo’ features on their album The Great Pretenders 


An Audience with The Queen


Last night I was very fortunate to have experienced the marvelous production The Audience, starring Kristin Scott Thomas.

The Audience is a very intelligent play, written by Peter Morgan. It revolves around Queen Elizabeth II’s weekly meetings with the Prime Minister, in the Private Audience Room at Buckingham Palace. The story weaves in and out of the decades, showcasing all twelve Prime Ministers who have served Her Royal Highness. The switch between decades is made seamless by her three assistants or perhaps ladies in waiting. At the end of the scene we see three ladies dressed in black surround her while she sits at her desk, and a mere 20 seconds later, the Queen emerges fully changed, hair colour and all!

Kristin Scott-Thomas is simply brilliant in this role, which was first played by Dame Helen Mirren back in 2013. (she is now reprising the role on Broadway in New York) She portrays the Queen with a very real sense of vulnerability, strength and good humour! I have to admit, humour was not something I was expecting from this production, but I actually laughed so hard… it has been written in a very cleverly way, incorporating each prime minister’s attributes into a witty joke on the Queen’s behalf. You can gain a real sense of her relationship with each, some more favourable than others.

In terms of the prime ministers, I will admit my knowledge of British politics is limited and therefore some of the jokes went over my head, but the ministers I did recognise; Churchill, Thatcher, Blair, Brown & Cameron were uncanny in appearance and mannerisms. The dialogue between HRH and PM was written in such a way that by them just having a casual conversation about their weekends, you were able to pick up on the era they were living in. It wasn’t too politics heavy that you became bored within five seconds, rather it was a different insight into each’s personality, and their behaviour towards the Queen told much of the story by itself.

A nice quirk at interval was having two members of the Royal Guard standing in front of the curtain for the full 20 minutes. Every few minutes changing positions and then swapping posts, it really helped to set the scene and remind us who’s life we were watching intently.

My view of the stage

My view of the stage

The Apollo Theatre is another of London’s many beautiful theatres. Full of ornate mouldings along the balconies. The roof is a convex shape, covered in stars and clouds, very etherial themes. You may remember back in 2013 the roof here collapsed during a performance of The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night. The roof is now fully restored, you wouldn’t even know it had happened!

If you find yourself in London in the next few months I highly recommend it. It is only running for a limited season, so get in quick!


Weekly Digs: Gang of Youths

I stumbled upon this band a couple of months ago via Triple J’s Like A Version podcast. They covered LCD Soundsystem’s All My Friends – which happens to be one of my favourite songs.

Benevolence Riots is from their debut album The Positions

It’s Australian Indie Rock at it’s best. The lead singer’s voice is so swoon-worthy and velvety (a little like the lead singer from The National) that I am instantly drawn into anything these guys play. This song in particular is a bit of a builder, but it flourishes by the end. I think it would be a great track to add to any playlist, especially running or roadtrip.



Weekly Digs: Florence and The Machine

It’s been a couple of years since Florence and her machine have graced our ears with new tunes! Finally, she’s back with a new album due out in June and this single ‘What Kind of Man’ is awesome.

With the signature ethereal vocals, it wreaks of Florence and the catchy guitar licks are conducive to head shaking goodness. It’s a refreshing step away from the orchestra and harp infused songs on her last album, a back-to-basics rock song.

It is from her forthcoming third album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful 

* this clip is a mini movie.. takes a few minutes to get to the song!



An Evening With Laura Marling

I didn’t think it was possible, but last night I fell more in love with Laura Marling.
She played a sold out show at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, a great space with some of the comfiest seats I have ever encountered in a theatre. I couldn’t have been more than 50m away from the stage, perfect view.
The atmosphere was so serene to begin with, everyone waiting with baited breath for her start, and when she did the entire audience was captivated. There were no mobile phones waving in my way, no flash photography, no one pushing me out of the way or standing in front of me. Perfectly civilized.

She began her set with the opening track from her latest album ‘Howl’ which then blended perfectly into what has been referred to as,  the 15 minute mediation, the four tracks that open her fourth album; ‘Take The Night Off’, ‘I Was An Eagle’, ‘You Know’ & ‘Breathe’. Her set also included favourites; ‘Rambling Man’, ‘Goodbye England’, ‘Devil Spoke’, and new material ‘False Hope’, ‘I Feel Your Love’, ‘Walk Alone’, ‘Strange’, and a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Blues Run The Game’.

I can honestly say, this was one of my favourite concerts ever. She is such a good performer live, flawless really and her band of guitar, double bass and drums complimented her perfectly. Some songs it was just her on an acoustic and the double bass, so beautiful. In fact, a grown man sitting next to me actually cried! (I’m amazed I didn’t) Can you believe she is only 25 and already has 5 solid albums under her belt?!

My view..

My view..

I did take a couple of videos but alas I am not able to upload them here, so I will try and add them to the Facebook page… in the meantime you can get the gist of it via this clip… Laura channels a bit of Dylan in her song Strange;

And she goes electric for the first time on her new album, this is ‘I Feel Your Love’

I am so glad I got to see her live, and I am really liking her new material. She’s branched out in a new direction which is incredibly brave and shows how much she has grown as a musician.

Pretty sure I will love her until the day I die.

N (a.k.a one satisfied customer)