LIVE: ELIZA AND THE BEAR – MANCHESTER ACADEMY 3 – 01/10/15 0 355

To maybe two dozen people, opening band Viola Beach take to the stage and do their best to engage the room and warm them up ahead of the main event. The drum beat and instrumentation is sharp and catchy and largely the best thing about the group as they move around the tiny space, so it’s a shame that the vocals are often lost in the sea of noise. There’s a hint of The ‘early years’ Fratellis about the band, and that in itself is a good thing, although the reception they receive after each number is far quieter than what they had likely hoped for. The long winded instrumentals performed at the end of some of their tracks is unnecessary as are the guitarists seeming to think they’re members of legendary rock bands such as Motley Crue as they all but hack at their instruments. Closing number and new single ‘Swings And Waterslides’ is quite possibly the best number in their set but regardless, they exit to polite, subdued applause and a growing crowd eager for the headliners to put in an appearance.

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The LaFontaines, hailing from Scotland, fare much better, despite it being almost impossible to make out the lyrics to EVERY song they perform. Front-man Kerr Okan regular interacts with the audience, which proves hugely beneficial as within minutes, he has the crowd in the palm of his hand, getting them to clap and jump around at his instruction. Also putting in a strong effort is Mike Cassidy, who is standing in for absent bassist and vocalist John Gerrard – with only twelve hours under his belt as a member of the group, he plays like he’s been with them from the beginning; not an easy thing to do but he pulls it off with aplomb. The only thing that doesn’t work so well is Okan calling for people to get down low (which in fairness they do), and then jump up again – it’s something bands such as Thirty Seconds To Mars have done in the past much better and tonight, it just doesn’t fit with the group or their set. Despite this, they are cheered and applauded warmly as they exit.

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By the time Eliza And The Bear make their way on stage, the small venue is packed and the excitement level has reached fever pitch. They begin with ‘Lion Heart’ and proceed to deliver a set which is energetic, poppy, catchy and downright fun to watch and sing along to. ‘Light It Up’ and ‘Brother’s Boat’ maintain the fun, upbeat style of things, while the crowd who have since edged forward, eager to get as close to the group as they can, smile, dance in whatever small space they can find, and thoroughly enjoy themselves.

The announcement that their self-titled debut album will be released in February of next year is met with wild applause and cheers and the band proceed to perform a number of tracks from the upcoming collection including ‘Make It On My Own’ which moves away from the cheery kind of songs the band are known for and instead shows off the more serious, gritty side to their music. It makes a refreshing break in the set and goes down particularly well. Meanwhile, ‘Talk’ proves just how far the band have come during their time together as the song highlights how they have matured in terms of their musicianship and song-writing – here are a band who are determined to get bigger and better, and tonight they do a really, really good job of it.

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“You know how this works,” says front-man James Kellegher. “We’re going to walk off after this song, you’re going to go mental and within two seconds we’ll be back.” The song he refers to is called ‘Cruel’ and is the most balladesque the band deliver which isn’t surprising as it was originally written to be played acoustically, but tonight, it’s played out full band style and it’s the highlight of the night by far. Sure enough, the band disappear off stage and the crowd erupts into cheers and shouts for them to return, which they quickly do to close out the night with two final numbers, ‘Friends’ and ‘It Gets Cold’. By the time the final note echoes around the tiny room, the crowd are cheering and whistling their appreciation and there’s no doubt Eliza And The Bear have put on a great show.

 

 

 

 

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BRITS 2020 NOMINATIONS REVEALED 0 18

The nominations for the 2020 BRIT Awards have been announced, with Lewis Capaldi and Dave leading the way as the most nominated artists.

London rapper Dave and Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis will compete for prizes in the same four categories – Album of the Year, British male, Best New Artist and Song of the Year.

While Dave won last year’s Merucry Prize for his Number 1 debut album Psychodrama, Lewis scored the year’s best-selling album with his chart-topping collection Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent. Lewis also topped the Official Singles Chart with Someone You Loved and scored a string of Top 10 hits including Bruises, Grace and Before You Go. View Lewis’s Official Chart history in full.

The both face strong comeptition on the Album of the Year category, where they will go up against Stormzy, Harry Styles and Michael Kiwanuka. Stormzy is shortlisted for three awards in total, including Song of the Year with Vossi Bop, where he will compete against tracks by Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber, Sam Smith & Normani, Mark Ronson ft Miley Cyrus, Calvin Harris & Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Tom Walker, Dave ft Burna Boy, Mabel, Lewis Capaldi and AJ Tracey.

2018 Critics’ Choice nominee Mabel is also up for three awards – Song of the Year, Best New Artist and Female Solo Artist, which also includes nods for Freya Ridings, FKA Twigs, Charli XCX and Mahalia. This year’s Critics’ Choice winner – renamed Rising Star – is 25-year-old R&B/soul/blues singer Celeste.

Several acts pick up their first ever BRIT nomination this year, including Lizzo and Billie Eilish, who are up for the International Female Solo Artist award alongside Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey and Camilla Cabello.

Meanwhile, Dermot Kennedy, Tyler The Creator, Bring Me The Horizon, Freya Ridings, Aitch, AJ Tracey and D-Block Europe all receive debut nominations.

The BRIT Awards 2020 with Mastercard take place Tuesday February 18 at The O2 Arena in London, broadcast exclusively on ITV and hosted by Jack Whitehall.

The 2020 Brit award nominees in full

GROUP OF THE YEAR
Coldplay
Foals
Bring Me the Horizon
D-Block Europe
Bastille

FEMALE SOLO ARTIST
Mabel
Freya Ridings
FKA twigs
Charli XCX
Mahalia

MALE SOLO ARTIST
Harry Styles
Lewis Capaldi
Dave
Michael Kiwanuka
Stormzy

BEST NEW ARTIST
Aitch
Lewis Capaldi
Dave
Mabel
Sam Fender

SONG OF THE YEAR
Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – I Don’t Care
Mabel – Don’t Call Me Up
Calvin Harris and Rag’N’Bone Man – Giant
Dave ft Burna Boy – Location
Mark Ronson ft Miley Cyrus – Nothing Breaks Like a Heart
AJ Tracey – Ladbroke Grove
Lewis Capaldi – Someone You Loved
Tom Walker – Just You and I
Sam Smith and Normani – Dancing With a Stranger
Stormzy – Vossi Bop

INTERNATIONAL FEMALE SOLO ARTIST
Ariana Grande
Billie Eilish
Camila Cabello
Lana Del Rey
Lizzo

INTERNATIONAL MALE SOLO ARTIST
Bruce Springsteen
Burna Boy
Tyler, the Creator
Dermot Kennedy
Post Malone

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Stormzy – Heavy Is the Head
Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka
Lewis Capaldi – Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent
Dave – Psychodrama
Harry Styles – Fine Line

VENTRESCA UNVEILS THE VIDEO FOR HER NEW SINGLE “CRAVING” 0 81

Now aged seventeen, Ventresca has long since known that music would be a key part of her life. Having started out as a member of the Canadian Dance Unit, who together won multiple awards, she then decided to stretch her wings and began to experiment with song-writing and exploring her vocal abilities.

With a mini tour of Germany and with a steadily growing fan-base to her name, Ventresca is proving herself to be a real talent with a bright future, and her latest single “Craving,” the video which ThisIsTheLatest are delighted to premiere, offers fans a brilliant pop track that blends both funk and disco with powerful lyrics.  

Asked about the video for the single, Ventresca says:

“You’re really gonna get 2 videos in one, and your gonna get to decide what video you want to see. In our video, you’re literally going to enter a dream world. Lets’ put it this way, people are going to be having a lot of cravings for my music.”

Check out “Craving” below and for more information on Ventresca, visit her website.