Showing posts with label live music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label live music. Show all posts

Monday, 20 February 2012

What's on at the Junction - April 2012

I've just finished writing the City View listings for an exciting programme of events at the Junction, Cambridge during the month of April. There's a fantastic line-up of music, theatre, comedy and clubbing to choose from.

Here are my top picks...

CAST - On Tuesday 3 April, I'll be reliving my teenage years by bopping along to original Britpop band Cast's anthemic hits, old and new!  

GOLDILOCKS (Little Angel Theatre) - I'm determined to borrow my 5 year old niece for the weekend and drag her along to a family theatre production on Sunday 8 April of one of my favourite fairy tales, Goldilocks ... with a twist.

You can view the Junction's full listings here: The Junction Cambridge 

Friday, 23 September 2011

Live Music: Hard-Fi at The Junction, Cambridge

Back in 2005, Staines based Brit-rock/pop band HARD-FI stormed the charts with debut album Stars of CCTV, packed full with popular indie anthems that received radio play long after the band stepped out of the spotlight. It feels like yesterday that my sister and I crushed up against the metal barriers in the Junction's main arena and sang along to front man Richard Archer's brooding, urban lyrics about "Living for the Weekend" and nights on the streets of Staines as the "Stars of CCTV", watching the red lights of Heathrow's planes.

Last night, after a three year break from the music scene, HARD-FI celebrated their long-awaited brand new third album with another exciting gig at the Junction in Cambridge. Six years older but still bursting with energy, the band were clearly pleased to be back. Performing old favourites, like opener "Tied up too tight" and "Cash Machine", the boys put on a polished, passionate show. With Richard Archer's fantastic stage presence and witty banter, the crowd were loving it. Far more than a one or two hit wonder, the band reminded their Cambridge fans of a whole range of hits - including upbeat "Gotta Reason", "Hard to Beat" and "Suburban Nights". Still sounding as fresh and unique as ever, the band wowed the crowd as usual with their musical talent, story telling songs and confidence.

Reminiscing the soundtrack to my student days would have been more than enough to send me home happy and humming about 'getting my boots on' and 'flashing blue lights camera action'. Yet, the best was still to come. New tracks "Love Song" and "Fire in the House" took the unmistakably HARD-FI indie anthem style to a whole new level - mixed-tempo, funky, bordering on dance music. I enjoyed the band's jerky and excitable moves almost as much as the original and fascinating new sounds they were blasting out. A cover of the Boomtown Rats' "I don't like Mondays" topped off the night - Archer's cheeky quips, humility and total inability to say a sentence without at least five F words made it even better.

The verdict? HARD-FI's music is indie pop for grown ups. And effortlessly making a comeback is the definition of cool. Buy the album!!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Review: The Pigeon Detectives Cambridge Gig

Up, Guards and At 'Em ... here come The Pigeon Detectives

I was lucky enough to pop along to J1 at the Junction in Cambridge last night to catch an amazing set from The Pigeon Detectives. The gig attracted quite a crowd of PD fans - young and old, groupies and parents, indie officiantos and hangers on - and what a crowd it was. The buzz of anticipation was contagious as me and my gig buddy weaved around the packed venue to scout out the perfect spot. As soon as the band appeared everyone went crazy. By the end of the opening song - the classic anthem I Found Out ("going out with, going out with..") - beer was flowing, water was flying overhead and hundreds of arms waved as the crowd pulsated in a bouncing, dancing mass of shouting lyrics and sweaty hair.

The performance was awesome - musically tight, exciting and featuring stage antics that made me smile, laugh out loud and gasp in awe. Okay, so I might be easily pleased (and shocked) but front man Matt Bowman's microphone spinning is amazing, if not a little dangerous (I was worried for the rest of the band, focusing intently on their own instruments as the mic skimmed their ears). Leaping energetically around the stage, blowing fountains of water into the air and never missing the chance to add a little gesture or well-timed grin, PD Matt was entertaining to say the least. Combining his strong vocals and spot-on lyrics with the mind-blowing musical skill of the rest of the band, the gig was definitely the perfect pick me up after a long Tuesday. Good humour, talented indie rock and a few hot sweaty pop stars always does the trick.

The Pigeon Detectives gave the best live performance I have seen in a long time. Highlights included uplifting and impressive renditions of some PD classics, my favourites being Romantic Type, This is An Emergency, I'm Not Gonna Take This and Keep on Your Dress. Having only seen the band at massive music festivals before, it was pretty cool to see them up close in a more intimate venue. Everyone was singing along and the lucky die-hard fans in the mosh pit got to share the band's water ... and to hold PD Matt up in a mid-performance crowd dive. The band showcased some new songs from the latest album, only released on Monday, called Up, Guards and At 'Em! (a treat for the ears as well as for the grammar pedants out there), which all went down well. We particularly loved She Wants Me, the ballad Turn out the Lights and What You Gonna Do? - an encore-extra to reward us for being such a fun audience.

The show ended with the amazing Take Her Back, from 2007 album Wait For Me - still clearly a firm favourite amongst fans, as we all gleefully sang along at the tops of our voices and marvelled at the band's unwavering enthusiasm and energy right to the bitter end. As a final encore, we were treated to the well-known hit I'm Not Sorry (also from their 2007 album) and the whole venue went crazy. We were buzzing so much when we left that we didn't even mind queuing to get out of the multi-storey car park for 15 minutes - it just added to the festival reminiscing I was indulging in... (except think quarter of a day rather than an hour!).

Another hit from the Junction - fab venue, fab band, fab atmosphere.
Find out more about The Pigeon Detectives album and tour here: