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Posts Tagged ‘Laura Marling

Thank you for the music – Noah and the Whale say goodbye

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A piece of news has made me somewhat glum today.

One of the original bands in the British folk revival scene, Noah and the Whale, have decided to call it a day.

The band made their announcement via their official Facebook page:

“Dear Friends

Noah and the Whale have decided to call it a day.

We have had an incredible eight years together and are immensely grateful to everyone who has helped us along the way.

There are too many people to mention in this short message but we would like to take this opportunity to give special thanks to all of our amazing fans, who have supported us so magnificently over the years and made everything possible.


Noah and the Whale are the reason I started listening to folk music back in 2009. They introduced me to Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn and Emmy the Great and brought two albums in to my collection which are both examples of pure lyrical and melodic perfection: ‘Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down’ (2008) and ‘The First Days of Spring’ (2009). The band later took a more alt-rock path which, whilst I still appreciated, I did prefer their earlier folk work.

‘Rocks and Daggers’ and ‘5 Years Time’ are two of my all time favourite songs.

So, Charlie and the boys – Thank you for the words, the sounds, the amazing live shows and the memories.

I’ll always be pretty happy when I’m just kicking back with you. / @noahandthewhale

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂



Written by shelleyhanveywriter

April 1, 2015 at 4:04 pm

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BRIT awards; and the nominees are…lacking

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The full list of nominations for this year’s Brit Awards have been announced this week. The always eventful, albeit recently rather predictable ceremony (Laura Marling, aside) will be held at London’s O2 Arena on February 21st, 2012 and will be broadcast live on ITV1. I feel that the event organisers have made one rather startling omission – that of Will Young in the British Male Solo Artist category. For me, Young is the best British male solo artist around and his latest album ‘Echoes’ was typically brilliant, both vocally and creatively. For shame that he has been overlooked in such a way! I greatly doubt that it will have any kind of detrimental impact on Young’s future career or popularity with the British public, but recognition should be paid all the same.


The nominees are as follows:

British Male Solo Artist

Ed Sheeran / James Blake  / James Morrison  / Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds / Professor Green

My tip: Ed Sheeran. Sheeran has been enjoying a soaring popularity of late and is very much the ‘in-thing.’ He’s also rather good and deserves to win against the other nominees.

British Female Solo Artist

Adele / Florence + the Machine / Jessie J / Kate Bush / Laura Marling

My tip: Adele. I would like Laura Marling to make it two in as many years, but I don’t think Adele’s star power and recent worldwide record of achievement will be overlooked this year.

British Breakthrough Act

Anna Calvi / Ed Sheeran / Emeli Sandé / Jessie J / The Vaccines

My tip: Jessie J. I enjoy a bit of Jessie J, but am not particularly wowed by this category in all honesty. Apart from Calvi, I find the nominations to be too commercial…not sure what I was expecting here.

British Group

Arctic Monkeys / Chase & Status / Coldplay / Elbow / Kasabian

My tip: Coldplay. I’d have liked to see Snow Patrol here and Noah and the Whale, but I would concede that Coldplay are probably the biggest and most consistently high-achieving band to come out of the UK in recent years.

British Single

Adele: ‘Someone Like You’

Ed Sheeran: ‘The A Team’

Example: ‘Changed The Way You Kiss Me’

Jessie J feat B.o.B: ‘Price Tag’

JLS feat Dev: ‘She Makes Me Wanna’

Military Wives and Gareth Malone: ‘Wherever You Are’

Olly Murs feat Rizzle Kicks: ‘Heart Skips A Beat’

One Direction: ‘What Makes You Beautiful’

Pixie Lott: ‘All About Tonight’

The Wanted: ‘Glad You Came’

My tip: Jessie  J. ‘Price Tag’ would be my favourite of the above tracks, though I am partial to a bit of JLS and I’m not afraid to show it.

Mastercard British Album Of The Year

Adele: 21 / Coldplay: Mylo Xyloto / Ed Sheeran: + / Florence + the Machine: / Ceremonials / PJ Harvey: Let England Shake

My tip: Ed Sheeran. A tough category as record sales would stand some nominees head and shoulders above the rest, but for achievement; both musically and commercially, I would have to say Sheeran.

International Male Solo Artist

Aloe Blacc / Bon Iver / Bruno Mars / David Guetta / Ryan Adams

My tip: Bruno Mars. I like Mars’ style and work, but Bon Iver would be my personal favourite of the bunch. I’d be surprised if he were to be acknowledged in this setting though.

International Female Solo Artist

Beyoncé / Bjork / Feist / Lady Gaga / Rihanna

My tip: Firstly, Britney Spears, (‘Femme Fatale’)? I would say that Beyonce might walk away with this one, in light of her Glastonbury spectacular.

International Group

Fleet Foxes / Foo Fighters /  Jay Z and Kanye West / Lady Antebellum / Maroon 5

My tip: Jay Z and Kanye West. A fan of neither, but I think their combined pulling power will prove victorious.

International Breakthrough Act

Aloe Blacc / Bon Iver / Foster The People / Lana Del Rey / Nicki Minaj

My tip: Lana Del Rey. The Brits have always hopped in to the sidecar of whatever is current and buckled up for the ride, so Lana Del Rey should walk away quite easily with this one. Glad to see recognition for Foster The People though.


British Producer: Paul Epworth /  Flood /  Ethan Johns

Critics’ Choice Emeli Sandé

Outstanding Contribution To Music Award: Blur

Fear not Will, you remain and forever shall be, the rightful Red Rum of the British male vocalist steeplechase. /


shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

January 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm

UK Festival Awards 2011 @festival_awards ; out with the old and in with the new?

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The 2011 UK Festival Awards were announced last night, in a suitably snazzy ceremony at London’s Roundhouse. There were a few surprises amongst the winners; perhaps a glimpse of the shift that’s set to come this year from folk choosing their festival allegiances more carefully, in light of the current economic climate. For me, size and status are irrelevant; if you have what I want, I’m there.

Following acclaimed performances at Glastonbury, Reading, Bestival and Jersey Live, Ed Sheeran was named ‘Best Breakthrough Artist’ (in association with Brothers Cider), beating off competition from Bruno Mars, Jessie J and The Vaccines.


‘Headline Performance of the Year’ (in association with Jagermeister) was awarded to Paolo Nutini at Latitude Festival, Nutini’s fellow nominees included Metallica, Magnetic Man and Chase & Status. Chase & Status didn’t go home empty- handed however, as they walked away with the award for ‘Anthem of the Summer’ for ‘Blind Faith.’

Rob Da Bank’s ever-popular Bestival was honoured in a new category for 2011: ‘Fan’s Favourite Festival’. This year, the festival welcomed some of the biggest names in music, consequently drawing the biggest crowds, and featured artists such as Bjork, The Cure, PJ Harvey, Brian Wilson and Public Enemy.

The awards for ‘Best Major’ / ‘Medium’ / ‘Small’ Festival, ‘Best Metropolitan’ Festival, ‘Best New’ Festival and ‘Best Family’ Festival were decided upon by a judging panel of journalists and reviewers. The winners included: ‘Best Major Festival’ (in association with The Ticket Factory) went to the godfather of festivals, Glastonbury, whose headline performances from Beyonce, U2 and Coldplay dominated our TV screens over the summer. ‘Best Medium-sized Festival’ was awarded to Secret Garden Party, which this year featured acts including Marcus Foster, Yasmin, Leftfield and Ghostpoet. End of The Road was awarded with ‘Best Small Festival’ (in association with Doodson); the North Dorset event featured live sets from Laura Marling, Joanna Newsom and Mogwai this year. This is definitely one which I would like to experience some time soon.


‘Best Metropolitan Festival’ was awarded to Sheffield’s Tramlines, which beat off competition from The Great Escape, Dot to Dot and Gaymer’s Camden Crawl.

‘Best New Festival’ (in association with Access All Areas) went to Wilderness, a new ‘celebration of the arts and outdoors’ in Oxfordshire, which The Observer described as a ‘bohemian haven’; Oxford and bohemian – sounds right up my street!  ‘Best Family Festival’ (in association with Showsec) was awarded to Beautiful Days.

‘Best Dance Event’ (in association with Peppermint Bars) perhaps predictably, went to Creamfields, with this year’s event featuring fan favourites Chemical Brothers, Katy B and Kissy Sell Out. I’m not sure that any other festival could beat Creamfields in this genre, there certainly does not appear to be any strong contenders to its crown at the moment. Croatia’s Outlook was honoured with ‘Best Overseas Festival’.

Finally, ‘Line-Up of the Year’ in association with XL Video was awarded to Sonisphere, for a staggering bill in 2011, which saw the Big Four – Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth unite for what was widely described as, ‘heavy metal heaven’.

Congratulations to all the 2011 UK Festival Awards winners and let’s hope that the 2012 season exceeds those highs and lessens the lows. /

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Laura Marling’s new single ‘Sophia’; a track worthy to be premiered amongst divine surroundings

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Brit award-winning folk wonder Laura Marling has premiered the first single to be released from her third solo album. The track, ‘Sophia‘  will be available to download instantly (in the UK), to those who pre-order the album on iTunes from July 26th, 2011, as well as an individual download. The 4:54-second track begins gently with Marling’s unmistakably reflective and hushed vocals, before she is complemented and accompanied on her journey by acoustic strings and ethereal background vocals. When the bell tolls 3:00, the track takes a marked shift towards a perhaps more  traditional folk sound, with definite country elements creeping through. ‘Sophia‘  could be described as a musical antonym to the terms, ‘repetitive’ and ‘predictable’. It would be fair to say that I am somewhat in love with this track at the moment.

The track is taken from upcoming album, ‘A Creature I Don’t Know which is released on September 12th, 2011 in the UK and September 13th, 2011 in the US.

Marling has also announced a new Autumn 2011 tour to support the album. The ‘When The Bell Tolls Tour’ kicks off in the US and Canada, as follows:

  • September 17 – San Francisco, Bimbo’s 365 Club
  • September 18 – Los Angeles, Masonic Temple
  • September 20 – Los Angeles, Troubadour
  • September 22 – Chicago, Lincoln Hall
  • September 23 – Toronto, The Great Hall
  • September 24 – Montreal, Corona
  • September 25 – Boston Brighton Music Hall
  • September 27 – Washington DC, Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
  • September 28 – New York, Webster Hall

The UK tour is as follows:

  • October 14 – Exeter, Exeter Cathedral
  • October 15 – Winchester, Winchester Cathedral
  • October 17 – Guildford, Guildford Cathedral
  • October 18 – Gloucester, Gloucester Cathedral
  • October 21 – York, York Minster
  • October 22 – Sheffield, Sheffield Cathedral
  • October 24 – Manchester, Manchester Cathedral
  • October 25 – Bristol, Bristol Cathedral
  • October 26 – London, Westminster Central Hall
  • October 28 – Liverpool, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral
  • October 29 – Birmingham, Birmingham Cathedral

I reviewed Noah and the Whale at Manchester Cathedral last year and it will probably go down as one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to; the venue was sublime as was to be expected, but the atmosphere and reaction to the band were just as heavenly. I can’t wait to see Marling perform tracks from what I’m sure will be her equally as successful third album, in such peaceful and serene surroundings.

Tickets for the tour go on general sale at 10am local time on Friday, July 29th, 2011 at / @lauramarlinghq

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

July 26, 2011 at 11:31 am

New tracks I like from: Sea of Bees, Hurts, Katy Perry and Ladytron

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It’s somewhat of a pop-fest this week with my favourite chosen tracks; perhaps I’m still high on the sweet fumes of The Brits and Grammys. Saying that, I have to admit that I very much enjoyed the latter more than the former this year; I just don’t enjoy watching a man perform whilst covered in fake blood and surrounded by even faker scenes of violence and Police brutality…call me old-fashioned! I always prefer the more diverse and often slightly bizarre events that unfold stateside at the annual ceremony, organised by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. I’m honestly not intending to be unpatriotic here and I am very much in support of British musical talent, I just didn’t think that this year, apart from a few notable exceptions (Adele‘s performance, Laura Marling‘s win) was as memorable as others.

Moving on however; the first of my chosen four tracks this week, is Sea of Bees, ‘Wizbot.’ Julie Ann Baenziger (or Sea of Bees) released her debut album this month, entitled ‘Songs for the Ravens‘ on Heavenly Recordings. Even the name evokes a feeling of mystery and otherworldliness, which combined with Baenziger’s spine-tingling and at times awkwardly eerie vocals, is a surefire recipe for indie chart success. I find this artist very mesmerizing; I found it very difficult to take my eyes away from the screen whilst watching the video for this track, every contortion and expression seemed to send a million mixed messages. I think she would be fascinating to watch live, so I hope to see some dates released soon.

I have been a big fan of Hurts since their first single and subsequent debut album ‘Happiness, so the recent release of album trackSundaywas of great delight to me; not least because it also happens to be my favourite from the record. Closely followed byStayI have to add; to be fair though, I can’t really fault any of the tracks from this band to date. This song is classic ’80s electropop for those of us who missed it the first time round and I for one, am eternally grateful for the re-run. 

Now, I have a confession to make…I haven’t always been a huge fan of Katy Perry‘s music. I found ‘I Kissed A Girl‘ rather obvious and just trying that little bit too hard, consequently, also trying my patience; however, with the release of her second album ‘Teenage Dream‘ my opinion completely changed. I love this album and never tire of singing along to each sun-drenched and sassy single or potential; Max Martin and Dr Luke working their producing magic yet again on this one. Every track could be a chart-topping contender and I don’t think we’ve heard the best this has to offer yet. ‘E.T’ is every bit as hypnotising and magnetising as the lyrics convey and I expect to see a trademark seductive screen offering courtesy of Perry when this track is released shortly.

Ladytron are much admired and imitated by our electro-loving musical friends in the U.S; often cited as a major influence to the work of, amongst others, Christina Aguilera and Nine Inch Nails. ‘Ace of Hz‘ is taken from their upcoming album ‘Ladytron 00 – 10‘ and showcases precisely what they do best. A great introduction to the synthpop quartet for anyone who enjoys more than a dash of psychedelia sprinkled atop their electropop.  

That’s all for now 🙂

The Sunday Times – Best Rock and Pop albums of 2010

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The Sunday Times – Rock and Pop albums of 2010

For any interested parties; The Sunday Times published its list of the best Rock and Pop albums of 2010, this week. In order to view the list online the publication has now introduced a subscription-only service; but fear not my fellow pre-yuletide cash-strapped friends, for I have secured the goods and bring them to you below:

Hailed by the weekly title as ‘the most original songwriter in Britain‘ , folk and festival favourite Laura Marling tops the list with her second album ‘I Speak Because I Can.’ Justifying her billing, critics said that:

…(Marling) made a second album on which classical myth and wartime love letters served as wellsprings for lyrics of unrivalled insight and ambition. Musically, the palette was broadened to take in Americana alongside a haunting pastoralia rooted in the ancient soil of England.

It is these very hallmarks of the folk genre which fuel my love for it; particularly the ever-growing nu-folk breed of artists from across the UK. Marling’s songwriting and vocal talents cannot be denied and I like to imagine that she learnt a thing or two in this regard from one-time partner and music collaborator Charlie Fink, of Noah And The Whale. I’m sure the learning process was also a reciprocal arrangement. So, congratulations to Laura on this fine achievement which hopefully, in some way might make up for missing out on the Mercury Prize this year.

My chosen selections from the list would include: The National, Ed Harcourt, Robyn, Field Music and Marconi Union.

The rest of the list goes as follows:

Robert Plant – ‘Band of Joy

Gorillaz – ‘Plastic Beach’

Arcade Fire – ‘The Suburbs

The National – ‘High Violet

Paul Weller – ‘Wake Up the Nation

Kanye West – ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

John Legend and The Roots – ‘Wake Up!’

Anais Mitchell – ‘Hadestown

Eels – ‘End Times

Robyn – ‘Body Talk Pts 1-3

Ed Harcourt – ‘Lustre

Yeasayer – ‘Odd Blood

Mavis Staples – ‘You Are Not Alone

Cee Lo Green – ‘The Lady Killer’

Phosphorescent – ‘Here’s to Taking It Easy’

Field Music – ‘Field Music

Marconi Union – ‘A Lost Connection

Take That – ‘Progress

Manic Street Preachers – ‘Postcards from a Young Man

Perhaps a few ideas for music lovers’ Christmas presents in that bunch?

shelleyhanveywriter x

New tracks I like: Robert Francis, Florence, Johnny & Laura, Hurts

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New tracks that I am loving this week  come from artists including:  Robert Francis, Florence & The Machine, Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling and Hurts.

Florence & the Machine, ‘Heavy In Your Arms’.

This chillingly cool track is taken from the soundtrack to the second ‘Twilight’ feature film installment,  ‘Eclipse. ‘ The track is released as a single on November 15th, 2010 and is sure to set the charts, as well as lovelorn teen hearts everywhere, alight in its dark intensity and just short of  taboo leanings. This is what Florence and her Machine do best, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that  the band are going from strength to strength in America at the moment; with a guest appearance this week on Saturday Night Live. Selfishly so, I just hope that the band don’t get too comfortable over there in their state of adulation and forget where they came from. I can’t see this happening, after all; who appreciates and does brooding and sullen better than the Brits?

Robert Francis, ‘Junebug‘.

Robert Francis is relatively new to the rock singer-songwriter scene in the UK; just about to hit our shores with a couple of live dates in London. ‘Junebug’ is taken from his second album and debut major label record‘Before Nightfall’ which is set for release in the UK on November 29th, 2010. Francis has been compared to Bruce Springsteen; high praise indeed, which I do think is justified when you hear this artist’s vocal skills. Francis’s debut album was the indie release‘One By One’, which at the age of 22 showcases some striking musical moments and a perfect take on classic American rock. Francis has been touring the US with my favourite band of the moment, Noah and the Whale and is about to embark on a series of live dates in the UK and Europe later in the year. If this stand-out track is anything to go by, both the album and the shows are going to be pretty memorable.

Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling, ‘The Water’.

I can’t adequately put in to words my love for both this track and the album from which it was taken. That album being Johnny Flynn’s ‘Been Listening.’ I am a huge fan of both artists, so a duet between nu-folk favourites Johnny and Laura was always going to sit extremely well and comfortably with me. It is a sublime track with some truly special vocal moments courtesy of Laura; I can only dream of a future collaboration between Johnny, Laura and Charlie Fink…hmm, may be waiting a while for that, methinks.

Hurts, ‘Stay’.

One of my favourite bands to emerge in 2010 would have to be Hurts. I think their album ‘Happiness’ is brilliant and I genuinely rate each and every track. After seeing the band perform live a couple of weeks ago, they just go from strength to strength for me and this latest single release also happens to be my favourite track from the album. A simple, yet classically ’80s synthpop sound; I could listen to this epic track on repeat for hours. After selling out their short UK tour in October, the band has just announced a Spring 2011 UK tour; I would definitely recommend that you pop by one night if you’re free. Hutchcraft is a wonder on stage, everything that a showman should be and much more besides.

That’s all folks, 🙂

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