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Dom Taylor

LIVE: Saint Raymond @ Gorilla

WORDS BY: DOM TAYLOR

After nearly 4 years since his hit debut albumYoung Blood Callum Burrows, AKA Saint Raymond, is back and better than ever.

With a new album promised to be on the way, Saint Raymond embarked on a mini tour of the UK, playing his classic brand of sing-along-able, upbeat, indie tunes from his debut record, interspersed with the singles he released in 2018. His time away from gigging seemingly didn’t lose him any fans, as he performed to a loving crowd at a packed out Gorilla.

 

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finally got to see my favourite song live after 5 years 🎉 thanks 4 the anniversary present @mr_ticklee love u x

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Going through his discography from breakout hits such as Everything She Wants, to the more recent crowd favourite Nightcrawler, his and his bands infectious enthusiasm resonated with everyone in attendance. Throughout the set the crowd knew every word to every song, and blasted them out with beaming joy.

In the encore we were treated to a solo performance from Callum – an intimate interlude which saw him perform some of his slower jams, with the audience once again passionately singing his lyrics back to him. A truly beautiful and heartwarming moment of the night. His band returned for the last few tunes seeing out the night the way it started – up tempo and high energy.

Considering his music is arguably hard to dislike, with its catchy melodies and easy to remember lyrics, Saint Raymond has his fair share of critics. Cynics argue his music is safe and forgettable. Of course like anything, his music is not to everyone’s taste, but to label it safe and forgettable takes away from the quality with which his music is produced.

 

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Bristol and Manchester, you were a dream. Thanks so much to everyone for coming out on this tour. I’ll be back very soon 😛

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Every song is slick and fun, most of which you can see yourself sat on the grass at a festival with your mates and a pint. Saint Raymond isn’t trying to be the next Morrissey and he doesn’t need to be. His songs are made with passion and that comes shining through when seeing him perform. His music mirrors his personality – authentic, fun and carefree.

If the reaction and turnout for his gig is any indication of his future success, expect a big comeback from Saint Raymond.

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SINGLE RELEASE: Jack Conman – ‘Easy Xo’

WORDS BY DOM TAYLOR

20-year-old Humberside native Jack Conman already has a lengthy discography and a wealth of experience under his belt and since his first ever gig at just 12 years old, Jack has not stopped grafting.

His debut EP Euphoria Springs reached Number 5 on the singer/songwriter iTunes charts back in 2016, sharing space with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Jamie Lawson. Since then he was handpicked to perform at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Hull in 2017, as well as appearing in session with Colors Berlin, performing what he called a “slappy acoustic version” of his tune Greatly Hasty, which has garnered over 258,000 views. He’s also released a slew of dreamy singles showing off his talents through mature, intricate, honest lyricism, with guitar playing prowess that anyone 20 years his senior would be jealous of.

This new single Easy Xo is the fifth single from his upcoming LP Seventh Sense Libido, and is another smooth slow jam showcasing his production proficiency, letting the music do more of the talking than the lyrics on this occasion, with it all being handled by the man himself. Making a name for himself as a more than competent guitarist, Jack flexes his multi-instrumentalist muscles with some beautiful accompanying piano, and an undeniably toe-tapping inducing drum beat to tie it all together.

 

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UK Tour in June What other cities should we play? Xoxo

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His sheer and unwavering passion for all thing’s music shine through this single and through his sheer work ethic. Before moving to Manchester in 2017 he was gigging up and down the country, and since being at University nothing has changed. Keep an eye on your local gig venues wherever you are in the UK, Jack Conman is probably fast approaching. Now in Manchester in his final year at BIMM, his debut LP is on the way and the hype is warranted. At such a young age, Jack Conman is a talent that is only going from strength to strength, and you’d be silly take your eyes off him.

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LIVE: Jeremy Loops @ Roundhouse, London

WORDS BY DOM TAYLOR       PHOTO BY ANNE BETTMAN

Jeremy Loops is an infectious pop/folk singer songwriter who is arguably one of South Africa’s most famous musical exports. He brought his sell out Critical as Water tour to London, his only UK date on this excursion. Situated in the beautiful Roundhouse venue just north of the buzzing Camden Town, people lined the streets in anticipation, many donning South Africa flags with beaming pride. Jeremy is the first South African to sell out the venue in its history, a particularly impressive feat for an independent international artist who said himself “the British media don’t pay much attention to.”

The opener set the tone for the rest of the show as he energetically (for a man for whom this was his last show at the end of a world tour) leapt onto stage with a microphone and harmonica in hand, and a loop pedal at the ready. Thanks to the likes of Ed Sheeran the art of the loop pedal has become somewhat overused, and is seldom taken that seriously anymore. Jeremy Loops however is a master of the art as his name suggests, and he gets the Roundhouse bouncing with his looped beat-boxing and harmonica rhythms.

The rest of the set saw him and his impressive band jumping between tracks from his 2014 debut Trading Changes and his most recent release, all of which were received with rapturous enthusiasm from the crowd. He also brought along frequent collaborator and fellow South African Motheo Moleko, a fan favourite who’s been on some of Loops’ biggest tracks. The set was filled with his classic brand of upbeat folk pop bangers which no one could help but shake a leg to. His raspy vocals accompanied with intricate melodies are even more impressive live, and the chemistry he has with his band-mates is palpable and heart-warming.

 

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A Great Crowd of People! London by size is only just over 1500 square kilometers, and within that space lives approximately 8.8 million people. Put that into perspective, and it is guaranteed that you will almost always be in a crowd. There are bad crowds, these are the ones you get consumed by during rush hour. Good crowds, these are the ones you encounter in pubs, at restaurants, and littered across parks and recreational areas, they are in places you kind of choose to be! Then sometimes there are great crowds. The crowd at the @jeremyloops concert at the @roundhouseldn was a truly great crowd. It was a crowd you wanted to be a part of. A crowd that consumed you, inspired you, and truly just enjoyed you. There was an atmosphere that was electric, accompanied by absolutely amazing performances. It was the kind of crowd you wanted to be a part of in a city full of crowds. In a city full of people. #JeremyLoops #LevitationTour #RoundhouseLondon #London #Camden #Photography #phonephotography #iphonography #Crowds #Inspire #MyPeople #Travel #Adventure #Tour #LoveTour #EuropeanTour #RushHour #Inspired #Smile #ExploreMore #ExploreLondon #DiscoverLondon #VisitLondon #POTD #concertphoto #Concert #LivePerformance #moodygrams

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Not having the most in depth knowledge of Jeremy Loops’ discography allowed me to take a step back and really see the adoration his fans have for him, and it’s not surprising. An indication of the Loops squads dedication is one fan named Dianne for who this Jeremy Loops gig was her 19th. She has travelled the world just to watch him perform, and watching his performance I can understand why. His charm and his positive outlook on life shines through his music, but seeing him live is a truly heavenly experience which brought some much needed South African sunshine to a cold London night. You can listen to Critical As Water as well as the rest of his discography on all major streaming platforms.

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SINGLE RELEASE: Pond – ‘Daisy’

WORDS: DOM TAYLOR

Australian outfit Pond are a band who never seem to stop working. Their newest single Daisy is from their upcoming album Tasmania, their eighth studio album to date since their conception just over 10 years ago. It’s said to be the sister album of their more poptastic 2017 album ‘The Weather’.

Daisy  is the opening track of the album and the third release before the record is unleashed on March 1st. The band continues to prove that you can have both quality and quantity in music. The sublime switch-ups and serene soundtrack carry lead singer Nick Allbrook’s eccentric vocals as smoothly as ever. This song along with the rest of the album was masterfully produced by a friend of the band and fellow Australian Kevin Parker.

The lyrics, however, seem disjointed, hinting at a theme or message which is challenging to grasp even after multiple listens. The accompanying music video shows the band roaming around the Kulin and Nyoongar Nations land in their native Victoria, and respect to the Indigenous peoples who inhabit it is paid in the opening title. In the press release, the band described the album as a “dejected meditation on planetary discord, water, machismo, shame, blame and responsibility, love, blood, and empire”. If you’re hoping the video will shed some light on the meanings and feelings they’re trying to evoke on the song, you may be disappointed.

Arguably however this is all part of the charm of Pond. A band who clearly truly love the art of music producing and songwriting, getting all of their thoughts and feelings about the world onto paper with no ulterior motive other than to entertain, accompanied with timeless, ethereal soundscapes which never fail to disappoint. Pond play Primavera Sound this summer as well as the French festival We Love Green in June. You can catch Daisy and the other two singles Sixteen Days and Burnt out Star on all major streaming platforms, and the album ‘Tasmania’ from March 1st.

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