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Damien Rice at The Albert Hall, Manchester 11.06.15

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So, after an eight year wait the day finally arrived for me to once more enjoy an evening in the company of – in my opinion – the greatest singer-songwriter of my lifetime.

Damien Rice performed at the Albert Hall, Manchester (June 11th, 2015), with support from Lucy Rose. It would be fair to say that I was pretty ecstatic at having got tickets for this show; one of only three to be performed in the UK.

Rice released ‘My Favourite Faded Fantasy’, his third studio album, late last year to critical acclaim. The album contains just eight tracks but they each showcase Rice’s literary and musical genius. I have a couple of standout favourites: ‘The Greatest Bastard’, ‘Trusty and True’ and ‘I Don’t Want to Change You’. I struggle to seperate the eight however as they all feature different elements that I love. I’ve always found Rice’s work to almost mirror my own life experiences, particularly in relationships. Perhaps that’s why I relate to them so much and find his live performances such a cathartic experience.

Rice doesn’t use set lists, so each live show is truly unique for his fans. In Manchester he performed a selection of old and new tracks, with classics such as ‘Cannonball’, ‘The Blower’s Daughter’, ‘Volcano’ and ‘Nine Crimes’ thrown in for good measure and to great applause from the audience. Having been to see Rice three times now, I definitely witnessed a visibly more jubilant and chatty performer who was trading jokes with the crowd, recalling funny stories from previous gigs and his personal life and just generally seeming more upbeat than ever before. I have always found Rice’s personal brand of intensity and broodiness particularly appealing and quite seductive…yes I have a major crush on the man, just putting it out there! He reflected on the possible reasons for his downbeat demeanour in the past; the pressure of artistic expectations, relationships, money etc, but said that after “speaking to someone who specialises in these things“, he found that by stripping all of these things away, he was left with a much happier person who discovered that it might actually be nice to let people in and not shut yourself off so much. Who knew?!

It was great to hear some of Rice’s more recent tracks performed live, including ‘The Box’ and ‘Long, Long Way’. I’d have personally preferred less of the old and more of the new, but that is simply due to how much I love his latest album. With a new record in the pipeline, I’m sure there will be other opportunities to catch a live show and hear those tracks that he didn’t get chance to perform this time round.

All in all, one of the top 3 live shows ever for me; with Rice occupying 2 of those positions now.

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂


Written by shelleyhanveywriter

June 15, 2015 at 2:20 pm

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Lipstick, the male Lana, Little Boots and Lucy

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It would be fair to say that I am engaged in a rather intense and quite beautiful love affair with Taylor Swift at the moment, so much so that I would be utterly miffed if I were not the subject of her next country-infused love ballad.

As a writer, I am quite in awe of Swift’s natural skills as a lyricist; at 14, she was the youngest songwriter ever hired by Sony/ATV Music publishing and has since gone on to be honoured by the Nashville Songwriters Association and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. But putting all that aside – her songs are just so catchy, she wears great lipstick and she seems really cool!

Taylor Swift ‘s fourth studio album, ‘Red’,  is out now.



Josef Salvat is an Australian singer-songwriter, who has been described as the male Lana Del Rey. I can definitely see the similarities in melancholic delivery and sepia-prone music video backdrops, but I think that Salvat has a more ironic, almost comical in part, demeanour which appears lighter in shade than Del Rey. I would define Salvat as classic soul-tinged pop and I look forward to hearing more from this artist.

‘This Life’ is released on March 25th, 2013.


‘Motorway’ is the first track taken from Little Boots’ second studio album, ‘Nocturnes’ (set for release on May 5th, 2013) and is available now as a free download from her website. I really like this track, which has a darker electro-dance feel than previous releases from the platinum-haired Blackpool native. I’ve always likened Little Boots to Kylie, particularly during the ‘Light Years’ era and the similarities are especially evident on this track. ‘Nocturnes’ is said to celebrate “90s house, seventies disco and futuristic electronics” (Hesketh) – sounds good to me.


Lucy Rose is a folk singer-songwriter from Surrey, UK, who I first saw live in March, 2012 when she supported Noah & The Whale on their UK tour. Rose’s debut album, ‘Like I Used To’, is out now and ‘Shiver’ is the latest track to be released from the record. The combination of Rose’s delicate, emotive vocals playing out over the romantic reminiscences of the video is quite touching and works really well. Plus, any video with a beach location is always a winner for me; the song ‘I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’ could well have been written about me. / / / /

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

February 26, 2013 at 1:26 pm

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