LIVE REVIEW. Jones at Hoxton Hall

Date: 3rd May 2017
Venue: Hoxton Hall
Genre: Soul-pop with electro
Words & Photography: Victoria Ling – victoria@137imaging.co.uk

Ever had an idea that looks perfect on paper and then when it happens you just think “this is actually crazy!” Well, I have had a few moments like this in my time. but on crazy scale this is near the top.

Tuesday 2nd May 23:50 hours, bus leaves Newcastle. It runs a little late and arrives into London 8:30am on the Wednesday.  This was fine by me as I had a whole day ahead of me. Fast forward to 7pm though and there I am at Hoxton Hall. From the outside it doesn’t seem like much, however I did not realize it had a floor and two tiers. Seeing as I had been on my feet for most of the day I went for Tier 1 above the stage. The only downfall was that the whole band was not in view, but to look down at the whole venue was a beautiful thing and we had the lady of the night, Jones center stage and that was all that mattered.

After waiting for nearly too long, the night began with Australian duo Geowulf and their dreamy pop sounds as people were still fluttering in deciding on if they had chosen the right place to enjoy the rest of the show.  The sounds of Geowulf, and their uplifting engagement with the crowd are sounds you can happily just put your feet up and enjoy.

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For Jones’ scheduled time the room was at capacity and you could feel the anticipation in the air. After a further 20 minutes of waiting not-so-patiently, it was a sigh of relief when the band of Jack Lawrenson (guitars) and Kieran Guy (drums) started playing and then when Jones herself stepped on the stage. A much-deserved rapturous applause welcomed her and the opening of ‘Rainbow‘ gets our hearts racing, with that big letter ‘J’ shining bright behind them all.

This night in May was dubbed as an ‘acoustic’ show but Jones tells us a few tracks in that during rehearsals herself and the boys got a bit carried away and that the rest of the night was going to be that little louder than previously advertised. We were treated to songs from her debut album ‘New Skin‘, released last October as well as a couple of new numbers from February’s ‘Acoustic‘ EP and recent collaborations. One of the biggest cheers of the night went to ‘Hoops‘ and a surprise mash-up of Zara Larsson’sLush Life‘ and Years and Years ‘Eyes Shut‘ took a lot of the audience by surprise and even had us pretty overwhelmed.

Seriously, is there anything Miss Jones cannot do?

13 copyLast year she put her own unique twist on Calvin Harris’s ‘How Deep Is Your Love‘ (and actually made me like the song!) As a songwriter, Jones is simple but poetic. As a performer, Jones mesmerizes you.  She’s one of those rare gems that could sing the phonebook and you would be in awe and her deliverance in the majestic Hoxton Hall adds that extra bit of magic. And just when the set could not get any better, we are graced with a choir for a few numbers. I am dumb founded like I am sure the rest of this sold-out is too as ‘Becoming, Walk My Way‘ and ‘Waterloo‘ are given to us.

Handful Of Gold‘ is Jones’ latest release in collaboration with Cazzette.  It’s a stomper of a track that takes you on another high. We are basically in a state of euphoria that when Jones leaves the stage and returns with just Jack for ‘Indulge‘ it was the perfect ending, that people were smiling as they were leaving and many waited around to make sure Miss Cherie Jones knew what a stellar job she did. I was on the verge of leaving the building as although people had trains to catch down the road, I had run for a coach back up to Newcastle and the next one was not due for another 8hours if I missed it. And as time had been on my side for the whole day, it would do so again that as I turned to leave, Jones came to see her fans and I got to thank her personally for a brilliant day in the Big Smoke and made it with 15minutes to spare and back to the day job not long after stepping off the coach.

 


Check out Jones’s ‘Acoustic’ here

Jones is also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

 

Through the eyes of Lil Vik

LIVE REVIEW. Samuel Jack at the Slaughtered Lamb

Date: 10/02/17

Venue: Slaughtered Lamb, London

Genre: Soul

Words and Photography by: Victoria Ling
Samuel Jack returned to Slaughtered Lamb to celebrate the release of his single ‘Surrender’ on the back of his last visit here last October – come show time, there was a buzz in the air as this artist is slowly but surely making a name for himself with all of the radio airplay he has been getting.

Giorgia-May, a petite Neo-Soul Jazz artist with a big personality kicked off the night and got most of the crowd fixated on her set. In fact,  at one point, the eager listeners at the front had to silence the late-comers joining the night, as May is someone that, given the chance, will stop you in your tracks to take note, especially with her song ‘I Want You,’ that has a Corrine Bailey-Rae vibe to it. Besides this niche comparison, May definitely stands out on her own and in her short support slot impressed the audience leaving the room full of even more anticipation for tonight’s headliner.

cAs the room fills, and the first notes on the keyboard start, the audience are ready and as Samuel steps onto the stage, his band are already in full swing. ‘Making It Rain’ is a tremendous opener. As the title suggests, it is quite the stormy affair, and the audience were now pretty much huddled in for the rest of the night. A few new numbers make the set list, such as ‘Refugee’, which Samuel describes as a tale about current issues of the world. Hearing this live really does cut into the soul, you can really feel the message within these passionate vocals especially when he sings, “where are you now?”.

fIf you have been to a Samuel Jack gig before, you’ll know a certain cover song always seems to make the set list, and despite him wanted to steer away from them, the opening chords of Coolio’s ‘Gangster’s Paradise’ always sends the audience into hysteria. During this moment, the audience are singing word for word and at one point are even stealing the lead vocal spotlight. This passion and crowd engagement is what makes every Samuel Jack performance so memorable. If it is not for a sing-along, they engage with your mind, body and soul. This is also reflected in the moment when he finally performs what we’ve all been waiting for, ‘Surrender’. And, boy, is the crowd ready to SING. When the chorus kicks in, it’s like the choir has come to town as the audience are immediately on their feet and clapping into euphoria. When ending a set on such a high, there has to be an encore and of course, Samuel cannot resist as he sings two numbers including last year’s EP title track, ‘Let It All Out’ which only escalated the audience’s choir-esque flow, leaving us all with a sense of satisfaction for the night.

 


Give Samuel Jack some love on FacebookInstagram and Twitter

Check out his music here.

 

 

Through the eyes of Lil Vik

LIVE REVIEW. Norma Jean Martine at The Servant Jazz Quarters

Date: 8 February 2017

Venue: The Sevant Jazz Quarters

Genre: Country

Words and photographyVictoria Ling

 


After Norma Jean Martine’s show at Servant Jazz Quarters in January SOLD OUT within hours of going on sale, a second date was added for the following month which unsurprisingly also sold out due to the venue’s intimate close quarters perfect for a peaceful evening such as tonight.


Liverpudlian country singer Laura Oakes opens  the show immediately and her distinct echoes around the room draw in the early comers to the front. She was accompanied by a fellow guitarist and the onstage chemistry between the two echoed to her interaction with the crowd. How can you not be taken in with a Laura Oakes performance? Originals like ‘Better in Blue Jeans’ and ‘Snakes & Ladders’ had the audience captivated, as did the wonderful rendition of Elton John’s classic ‘Rocket Man’ as she induced her unique country twist onto it.

There was a very relaxed atmosphere as Martine took to the stage. Many people gathered like they were having a reunion -this is the beauty of music. This is the beauty of Norma Jean Martine – bringing many people together for just a few hours while witnessing her brilliancy as she opened her set with the stomping ‘Animals’. When she performed the track ‘Angels On My Shoulders’ there were whoops from the audience as this was a live exclusive, although a few similar faces from her January date nodded knowingly as they knew this was happening for the second time. Such a heart-warming song and definitely one of hope considering the direction the world is taking! These first two numbers have Martine centre stage with the mic grasped tightly in her hand and her band lending their support with Gary on cajon, Rick on guitar and Eddie on keyboards, but for ‘I Want You To Want Me’ and ‘Hang My Hat’ the lady of the night showcases her own keyboard talents Norma2.jpg and steps into Eddie’s place bringing the audience to a standstill. She then turned to the guitar for ‘Only In My Mind’, the title track to her debut album.  Martine seems very relaxed on this night and makes the audience laugh with her heartwarming stories, including that this song is about her crazy thoughts that are only in her mind. As she introduces ‘Welcome Stranger’ she jokes for those of us not on dates maybe we actually are but we do not know it yet. Could Norma Jean Martine be anymore endearing? The answer is more than likely yes as she takes back to the keyboards running through the rest of the set before the penultimate ‘No Gold’. An encore is penned in but she jokingly points out that Servant Jazz Quarters is so small that there is no point is stepping off stage for it. No Gold was, as with the whole night, performed to perfection, with the audience singing as well as moving along too, with every centimetre they could find to move around.

I’m Still Here’ was the final track and as soon as she got up from behind the keyboard the audience jokingly chanted for more. Gary and Rick get up to exit the stage and Eddie rejoins on keyboards and after a few introductions and giggles, the crowd finally settle back down as she sings this ‘special’ song about her Dad after a song-writing session with Burt Bacharach. The room is silenced during ‘I’m Still Here’ as the audience hang on her every note ,bringing a close to a most intimate but relaxed gig.

 


Check out Norma Jean Martine on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also let Norma serenade you here, you won’t regret it

 

Through the eyes of Lil Vik

INTRODUCING. ArchiveX with single ‘Hard Times’

Regardless of tastes and preferences, ArchiveX will prove to be one of the most intriguing and alluring artists on your radar right now. You will understand why when you listen to the anonymous artist’s most recent single (released last week), ‘Hard Times‘ (link below).
This California-based artist is a tough cookie to crack: is he a gospel angel? Is he hip-hop? Is that a bit of mowtown thrown in there? No one knows. But we want more. The most recent single, ‘Hard Times‘ is making its rounds and being picked up by people all over the place, it is the perfect introduction to the powerhouse of soul that is ArchiveX. We begin with a very old-school piano melody being set down as the foundations of this track, it’s then continuously build upon with bass bringing the depth needed to suck us in. Then all of a sudden, just when you start to fall into a daze due to the artist’s irresistibly soulful vocals, telling us heartbreaking tales we get thrown into a reverb-heavy bass drop out of nowhere as the vocals go to the next level of crazy.

On the other side of the spectrum, upcoming single ‘Drink The Water‘ is a whole different story. With classic blues vocals reminiscent of the likes of Percy Mayfield and Ray Charles, and a sharply contrasting bassy undertone to the whole affair, you begin to wonder how one artist is capable of plucking themes and sounds from a melting pot of influences to create such a varied repertoire. If these completely distinct singles are anything to go by, ArchiveX’s debut album ‘Some Ungodly Hour‘ set to be released later this summer should be something very interesting and distinct from anything else.

 


 

Give ArchiveX a listen and make up your own mind here:

Music Video of latest single ‘Hard Times‘ here

 

Some more ArchiveX magic:

ArchiveX is also on facebook and twitter

 

Baker out.