The Staves at Leeds Beckett SU – 27/10/2015

When I heard The Staves were to be performing at my very own Student Union I remember squealing from excitement and I found myself eagerly counting down the days on my calendar.

Support came from Gabriel Rios, a trio that I had heard of before, but never payed much attention to. Yet the beautiful mix of tones from the cello, double bass and thick acoustic guitar created such an impressive sound that I couldn’t wait to go back home and listen to him some more.

With the welcome addition of violinist of Hudson Taylor,Tadhg Walsh-Peelo, there was a much bigger depth to The Staves’ live sound compared to last time I had seen them headlining at Barn on the Farm over summer. The addition of the full band suits the girls’ new style perfectly, and as they broke into an updated version of Mexico, I really began to appreciate how much a few extra instruments can transform a beautiful acoustic song to an impressive venue filler.

Yet it was their cover of Feel by Bombay Bicycle Club that stood out across the night for me. What can I say, when your favourite band covers your other favourite band, you know that you’ll love it before they’ve even started playing. Well I certainly did, and their imaginative twist of the track sent my little fan-girling mind into overdrive. Their charm was so welcoming that it made you feel as though you were just chatting in a room as they spoke to the crowd. Before launching into Make It Holy Jess admitted that any song fitted to the chords, and began singing audiences’ requests of 00’s classics over the three simple yet beautiful chords, going from Kylie, Destiny’s Child and S Club 7, much to the audiences’ and bands’ enjoyment, as it took a while for the giggles to die down.

There’s definitely no lie when I say that The Staves are immensely talented, as there isn’t a single part from each song from the album that they missed, going from the subtle backing vocals in Horizons to the impressive loop pedal harmony section in Let Me Down.

FRONT

If I Was is now available to download on iTunes.

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2015 Festival Picks

Just like any camping and music lover, I’m a self-proclaimed festival guru. Which is, of course, completely untrue. But I have attended a small handful of festivals over the summer, and I’m here to share with you some of the incredible music I’ve watched, and the underground gems that I’ve found. With Ramsbottom Festival looming ahead I thought I would reflect on the brilliant sounds that I’ve heard over the summer, before I go and forget them all and marvel at the brilliant Joseph Lofthouse, Tales of Two Counties, Delamere and Jela.

One of my favourite all-time festivals is called Barn On The Farm. The festival itself is so small that it fits just into the courtyard of Over Farm, Gloucester; but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in vibe and talent. Festival organiser, Josh, always manages to book incredible artists on the brink of stardom, such as: Gabrielle Aplin, Bastille, James Bay, Ed Sheeran and Ben Howard (and that’s only to name a few!). This year I was lucky enough to hit the right stage at the right time, seeing the likes of Jack Garratt, Sam Henshaw, The Staves, James Bay and Sunset Sons. There is such an intimate feel to the festival that you leave feeling so immersed in music and each musicians’ lives that you can’t help but feel part of their journey to becoming radio and TV regulars.

Ones to watch:

Sunset Sons

These guys have been tearing up playlists on XFM for a few weeks now, but I have to admit, at first I wasn’t completely won over by them. Having listened to them a bit prior to the festival I thought ‘they seem like fun, but not my cup of tea’, but they completely changed my mind! Mixing pop with a little bit of indie-rock influences, these guys have completely nailed the suffer look and sound, so you couldn’t get a band more perfect for the heat of summer! There’s nothing I love more than a band that changes my opinion of them for the better, and I bet they do the same for you!

Seafret 

I’ve been a huge fan of this duet for around a year now, so I was unbelievably excited to finally see them live, and they didn’t disappoint! They have already had small radio airtime, but I can definitely see that extending soon!

Martin Luke Brown

I also managed to catch his set on the BBC Introducing stage at this year’s Leeds Festival, and I just fell in love with him all over again! This singer-songwriter has such a smooth and rich tone that makes his voice so irresistible.

Leeds Festival has got to be named here for obvious reasons. It felt like we were seeing all the success stories from out Barn On The Farm favourites, watching like proud parents as a few hundred people shouted lyrics that were new to us a year ago. Here I saw some of my all-time favourite bands: Bear’s Den, Drenge, Alt-J and Mumford and Sons. But there were also some acts that I’ve never really fancied that I now love, and it’s all thanks to Leeds!

Eliza and the Bear

These anthemic guys have been featured on countless adverts. You’ll probably know at least one of their catchy songs without realising, which is what makes them so perfect and so full of potential that I can almost guarantee that they’re going to keep growing and won’t stop until they play on huge stages!

Jake Isaac

I was a little unsure when I first listened to Jake Isaac a few years ago. Your typical acoustic singer-songwriter strumming a gorgeous Taylor guitar in a forest. Though his incredible talent was as clear as day, he just wasn’t for me. Yet after seeing him on the lineup, I thought: why not? And I’m so glad I did! His fingers are still glued to his acoustic guitar, yet there is a much more upbeat quality to his new sound. Listen to ‘Long Road’ and you can definitely understand why he is now, and will continue to be, a huge crowd pleaser. I’m expecting to hear lots of exciting things from Jake Isaac’s new sound!

Have you been to any festivals or concerts this summer and discovered a new gem that you’ve completely fallen in love with? Let us know in the comment section or on our Chameleon Productions Facebook page- we’d love to hear them!