Well what can I say; I eventually got to this gig after people kept letting me down. One minute I was going up by train, then next I was travelling by car with traffic around London.
So Emily wasn't on first, but girl on before her was really good. Needed to be a bit more loose with her performance, but on the whole she had a really good voice.
Onto Emily's performance.
Well the first song she played is one of my favourites. Breaking it down, her set consisted of her on vocals and acoustic guitar; Marco on electric guitar; and another performer on double-bass (completely forgot his name. I totally apologise for that). The performance was really polished compared to the other acts and she was very professional.
During "Magic" (a new song of hers that will appear on her new album) her vocal performance was amazing. Her voice was smooth with having an edge at the same time.
She played a few new songs that were really different from her previous release You Had Me At Goodbye.
I loved the set she did but felt she should've been on longer. She also should be headlining these gigs. This girl has got talent in a big way. I mean, there's been some stars who have played the Troubadour: from Jimi Hendrix to Led Zeppelin (and yes, I've done my homework on that one).
Emily phenominal. Her lyrica real; her performances are polished and enjoyable; she is also a true professional.
Emily finished off her performance with my second favorite track "Potential". She played a different version but it worked and I loved it.
I cannot wait to hear her name and be able to see her again. Believe me; if you haven't checked her out yet you should.
Anyway, I will keep you posted on this artist. And thank you Emily for a truely brilliant gig.
Duran Duran - Duran Duran's Red Carpet Massacre (4 stars) Christian Helwig
The Boys From Birmingham return with their thirteenth studio album blazingly titled Duran Duran's Red Carpet Massacre. Some would say that the number thirteen is unlucky. This couldn't be farther from the truth.
Duran Duran (with the help of Timbaland, Nate Hills, and Justin Timberlake) put together an album that sees the band change it’s sound yet again, with the finished product being a classic sounding Duran Duran album.
Starting off with the Electro-Rock sounding “The Valley”, it is a perfect starting point for this album. The Synth Bass riff that John Taylor grooves with is mesmerizing. The fluidity and structure of the song pulls you in. And as Simon belts out “I’ve been walking through the Valley/ Through the tall grass and the shadows/ I can feel it/ I can see it/ Yes I need it/ I believe it”, the adventure begins. The elongated bridge with John’s slapping highlight brings an added dynamic to the song.
"Skin Divers" is a throbbing dance floor anthem for 2008. This no doubt was the sexiest song of 2007 and probably will be of 2008 as well. “Skin Divers” is slated for a European single release and hopefully will land on the shores of America.
An actual perfect instant for ending the album is a lush track called “Last Man Standing”. The mood and lyrics of this song actually paints the picture in your mind line-by-line the way Simon sings; “When the hanging dust is clearing from the air/ You can just make out a lonely figure there/ He’s the last man standing on the track/ He does not look down he does like look back”.
Other notable tracks are the electro-pop “She’s Too Much” and a dance club terror “Tempted” (This track can be remixed 8 ways till Sunday).
The great thing about this album is every member of the band is in top form. The cohesiveness of the album, the inventiveness, and performances are right on. There is no question why this album shouldn’t appear in the band’s Top 3 of their career or even Top 5 for that matter. It all depends on your taste.
Also, session guitarist Dom Brown (who has actually been lead guitarist since 2005) fits in great with the recent styles of Duran Duran. He brings a smart sensibility to this album and the sound of the band. Seeing him perform live with Duran Duran shows you immediately why he is a fan favorite.
There are only a couple complaints I have on the album. The track "Zoom In" is catchy to a certain extent, but it lacks in the energy and creativeness departments of the other songs on the album. There is actually a great mix of this track called “Zoom In (Rock Mix)” making the rounds which is more of what should have been on the album. You can find it at Klaus’ Duran Duran Website.
The mixing is another. Though I like the new approach and overall result to this album; the guitars have been rendered almost non-existent. Anyone who has witnessed this band live during the promotion of the album knows what I'm talking about. It dilutes some of the energy on the record that can only be captured live. And it's the way to hear this album.
If 2004’s Astronaut was a return to form, then Duran Duran’s Red Carpet Massacre molds the future nicely.
Standout tracks: The Valley Nite-Runner Falling Down Skin Divers Last Man Standing
Andy Mac: The evening is full of doubt yet the brilliance permeates. The drums beat and the melody peeks through. It is a rather quiet evening at Mo' Pitkins; the crowd feels more like a gathering of old friends in a dark, eccentric space. It felt very intimate, almost sacred.
Andy Mac and his band are a fun, folky, and vibrant bunch. They are free spirits! A feeling of questioning and hesitation leers leaving the audience in suspense quite often throughout the evening making every moment precious. Andy is frighteningly intense at times, it's peculiar how much energy a human can exude. A sense of desire and full-on passion is most definitely felt in the room.
There is a unique sincerity that was critical at every moment throughout the evening. They make sure to interact with the gathering of folks in front of them consistently throughout the evening as they escalate their way through their set. The drummer/percussionist is quite impressive. There were moments throughout the evening where all eyes are focused on his extraordinary athletic ability with his instrument. His attention to detail is quite evident. His improve skills are simply beautiful; he is a gifted performer. His inventive and ingenious character really shines through as the evening progresses.
Andy is explosive and spontaneous, yet he is sensitive, almost frail to a degree. The harmonies are soothing, yet leaving a feeling of doubt. However, their humorous side is brought into play throughout the evening revealing a new and intricate facet of the band. The group is definitely colorful, which is important in this ever-changing world.
Kevin So: Kevin is without a doubt an energetic soul. He has an explosive sense of achievement which is definitely felt the second he hits the stage. The music is a concoction of different textures.
Kevin is a strong performer. He is solid, poised and decisive in his musical excavation. His stage presence is powerful. It's obvious he feels comfortable showing off his unique color palette. The audience is mesmerized by his versatile and animated character. He is able to really control the room's balance and change the dynamic at any point in time with just a subtle decrescendo. He is empowering yet in the same breath simple and graceful. He has such spontaneous comedic timing, it's quite refreshing since so many artists now a days take themselves way too seriously.
It's funny because one would never think that looking at his calm, cool demeanor, yet the sensitivity, oh the sensitivity of a young passionate soul. Now this is beauty. We all need love and Kevin So has really reminded us of how good it feels to be loved.