As Manchester Arena slowly began to fill with music fans looking to enjoy a good night, and warm themselves up, it was left to relative newcomer Roe to get them ready for the main event a few hours away and she did so with considerably aplomb. Her excitement and pride at playing such a big venue, in support of such a well known band, was palpable and her new single “Down Days” proved to be particularly popular.
Things have been pretty quiet in the Kodaline camp lately, but that didn’t stop the band from turning up the energy as they began their 8-song set with “Follow Your Fire” and from there delivered strong performance after strong performance. The rather balladesque “High Hopes” meanwhile saw the now vastly grown crowd begin to warm up their own vocal chords as those familiar with the song joined in. Ending their time on stage with “All I Want,” the quartet disappeared from view knowing they’d done a good job and hearing the applause to prove it.
Roughly six years since their last tour, when Snow Patrol finally emerged on stage, to applause that this reviewer for one has heard on a much stronger and louder scale, they did so with what appeared to be a renewed sense of familarity with venues and crowds, and kicked things off with “Take Back The City.”
From there, they continued with “Chocolate” and “Crack The Shutters” but it wasn’t really until “Empress”, the rousing anthem from their latest album Wildness, began that the tempo and feel of the evening – for Snow Patrol at least – began to vastly improve. With that said, it wasn’t until the seventh track of the night, “Run” started up, that the band finally hit their stride, Lightbody and his band-mates playing and singing their hearts out to what will forever be one of their biggest hits.
As the set went on, “”Shut Your Eyes” and Set Fire To The Third Bar” were good – albeit far from strong – and, turning things over to the audience, Lightbody on more than one occasion all but had the crowd sing for him as he dipped in and out of verses and choruses. Had the crowd been in full voice – and not probably still trying to un-thaw themselves from the biting cold outside – it might have worked, but tonight, even when it came to “Chasing Cars”, the performances were considerably lacklustre.
The band then closed out their close to two hours on stage with an encore that consisted of “What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get?” and chose one of their strongest songs, “Just Say Yes” to end the night with. There’s no denying that Snow Patrol are a talented bunch, but tonight, perhaps largely hindered by their many years away, they struggled considerably from the outset and certainly judging by the somewhat half-hearted cheers they received from a large portion of the crowd as the final notes played out, they’ve delivered much stronger sets and performed a lot better.
Having earned considerable attention
and a strong following on the back of his debut single “I Don’t”, which to date
has been streamed more than 35,000 times on Spotify alone, the latest song by
Florida born artist Jon Davis, AKA LX Mason, addresses the desperate attempts
so many people make to forget long-term relationships. With plans for an EP in
the pipeline, LX Mason chatted to ThisIsTheLatest
about song-writing inspiration, his thoughts on social media and his long term
TITL: What makes LX Mason different from all the other
acts out there? What’s your unique selling point?
LX Mason: I think I’m unique in the sense that I’m an African
American pop artist who isn’t doing R’n’B or rap, but I don’t think that
defines me. I think we’re all just out here trying to make what’s true to us.
So my unique selling point is, I’m me. Get to know me a little.
TITL: Is there a particular story behind your new single
“Drink Me Goodbye”?
LXM: Of course! My songs are a way of coping with things that
happen in my world, so you can always count on there being some type of story.
I had a falling out with a really close friend of mine years back, and it
wrecked me for a little bit until I bounced back. However, I saw from a
distance how that person was trying so hard to forget me and I’d say that was
the part that hurt the most. We eventually mended things but if we’re being
honest, a lot happened during that time and it hasn’t been the same.
TITL: How did you come up with the concept for the video and is
being creative in that way something you enjoy?
LXM: I LOVE directing. For some reason I always have. And since
I was a little kid, I’ve always loved music videos. I bounced some ideas off of
my mates, and my co-director Jason Denison. We wanted to portray a story of the
depths that someone has to go to in order to forget someone and actually
recreate these happy memories but without the other person being there.
TITL: In terms of your lyrics and general song-writing from who
or from where do you find most of your inspiration?
LXM: Real life situations inspire me. There are some pop artists
whose writing I definitely appreciate – Julia Michaels, Lauv, Lennon Stella to
name a few – but I try not to let that influence my writing because I want to
be as authentic to the story, and the emotion, as possible.
TITL: How easy or hard do you find the song-writing process? Can
it depend on the subject you’re wanting to write about or your frame of mind at
LXM: Yeah definitely depends on what song I’m writing. And if my
head isn’t in the right place for it, I have to really push past everything
that I’m feeling to get a song out.
TITL: Is there an EP or album in the works?
LXM: I’m working towards an EP! But definitely a couple more
singles out first.
TITL: Do you have any performance or tour plans you can tell me
LXM: At the moment, it’s all about the writing and recording. But things could definitely change, and I’m always keen to perform.
TITL: If you could put together your dream show with four bands
or artists, living or dead, who would you choose and where would you
LXM: WHOA. Uhm. I would completely disregard genre and just have
a really selfish line-up of people I love.
TITL: Given that your debut single has already achieved in
excess of 35,000 streams, what are your thoughts on social media? Are you
someone who believes it to be a powerful and necessary tool in your business,
and society in general, or can there be/are there downsides to being so
“online” all the time?
LXM: There’s no question that the abuse of social
media has had an effect on mental health. We’ve seen it, and Instagram/Facebook
has done a little bit of work to improve it for the user, but I don’t think
it’s there just yet. I think there is an aspect of it where it is effective for
business, and societally it does increase your world a bit – I’ve met some
wonderful people through social media. But if -or when – it crashes, it
wouldn’t bother me. Half the time whenever I post something I think about my
caption for half a second, post it, and throw my phone across the room because
I don’t care.
TITL: What does the rest of the year have in store for
LXM: More music! Releasing some more of my own, as well as
writing for other people’s projects and potentially featuring on some tracks as
TITL: Finally then, given how “full” the music
industry is now with both new and established talent, how do you plan to make
yourself stay current in the years ahead? What are your long-term aspirations
as an artist and where do you see the music industry going/ being in terms of
its shape and longevity, as time goes on?
LXM: I think, more importantly, I want to stay true to myself.
If that’s current, then great. What’s “current” changes so frequently that if I
were to base my artistic identity in that, I wouldn’t know who I am anymore. My
long term aspirations is to get where I want to go making the music I want to
make whenever I want to make it. I think for the music industry, there’s more
of an inclination towards independence and honesty in music that can bring
people the music they want to connect to.
Check out the video for “Drink
Me Goodbye” below and for more information on LX Mason, visit his website, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.
Heavily influenced and inspired by Taylor Swift but with music tastes so varied she loves Sam Cooke, Madonna and Cyndi Lauper to name just three, Bailey Tomkinson has an undeniable passion for music. After releasing her EP Hey Ace last year, she’s recently dropped her new single “7 Minutes In Heaven” and with plans to head back in the studio soon to work on new material, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with her to talk favourite songs, upcoming performance plans and proudly supporting other female artists.
exactly is Bailey Tomkinson?
Bailey Tomkinson: Hi there! I’m Bailey, I’m a 19
year old singer/songwriter from sunny St Ives in Cornwall. I like to write
country melodies that hopefully even people that don’t normally like Country
Music will want to sing along to! I’m signed to German Indie Label FBP Music
and when I’m not performing you can usually find me in the surf!
what age did you first realise you wanted to make music a career and what
did those closest to you think of said realisation?
BT: I’ve always known that I wanted to pursue a
career in music, I watched the movie ‘Selena’, based on the life of the singer
Selena Quintanilla, when I was about 4 and from then on all I wanted to do was
The first time I played one of my songs in
public was in front of about 300 people in an auditorium, it was a school rock
concert in Brussels where we were living at the time, I was about 13. You could
have heard a pin drop when I started to play and I just got the bug. I’ve never
wanted to do anything else. I think
there is a video of it on YouTube somewhere actually! My family have never been
anything other than massively supportive.Their attitude is that we all only get
so many trips round the sun, why not spend them doing something you love?
artists and bands are you most inspired and influenced by, and what is it
about the music they make that you like so much?
BT: I’ve grown up listening to Taylor Swift so
she’s a big influence, obviously very relatable to a teenage girl. But I also
admire her for willingness to experiment and innovate across genres; that she
wanted to expand the ‘box’. I really admire Kacey Musgraves for the same reason. I
listen to Sinatra. I love John Denver because he’s my Grandad’s favourite. Also Sam Cooke, Madonna, Abba,
Cyndi Lauper, Jewel – honestly, I just love music.
there a story behind your latest single “7 Minutes In Heaven”?
BT: It was a
combination of things really. I love movies like ‘Dazed and Confused’ and ‘Nick
and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’ for the sense
they have where in one, crazy night anything can happen. I thought it would be
interesting to try to capture that feeling in a song. I’m 19 years old, so you
know, I love a good party and we have some GREAT parties down here in St Ives,
we’ve got the beach, bonfires, surfers and guitars so I thought why not write
about some of them!
or what is your biggest inspiration when it comes to music and song-writing?
With that in mind, could you choose what you feel is the greatest song
BT: That’s such a difficult question and if you
asked me that 100 times, I’d probably give you a 100 different answers. Today,
I’d go with “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. The song structure is a work of
genius; it somehow manages to link multiple songs into one. Freddie Mercury is
I think at the end of the day, I wouldn’t say I
have a biggest inspiration as I’m quite fickle with the music I listen to, one
minute it’s Sam Cooke and the next it’s Guns N’ Roses. However, that said, I’m
pretty sure that if you ask people that know me, they’d tell you it’s Taylor
Swift. Hell, at school I was nicknamed ‘Baylor’ Swift.
a fairly new artist who made their mark on the industry last year, following
the release of your EP, do you ever worry about how you compare to so many
of your artistic counterparts?
BT: No, success isn’t cake. Just because someone
has some doesn’t mean there’s none for me. There’s plenty for everybody. I have
nothing but admiration for people who say, I’m going to follow my passion for
making music and if they manage to carve out their own niche then more power to
them. It’s hard enough for women in music, we’re all seeking to get equal
airtime, festival slots etc, without turning on each other. We all experience
the same thing…radio stations happy to put our faces on their posters or Facebook
pages but then not spinning our records…I make a point of supporting other
female country singers out there, we all want the same thing, a bigger industry
and an opportunity to thrive within it.
you have any performances/tour plans in the works?
BT: There’s lots going on. I’m making my London
debut at Luna Lounge in April and in August, I’ve been lucky enough to get a
slot at Boardmasters Festival which is one of my favourite festivals. I really
want to play the length and breadth of the country, so if any one reading this
has slots available, hit me up!
that we live in such a technology obsessed/dependent society, what are
your thoughts on social media? How have the likes of Facebook and Twitter
impacted your ability to reach an audience, and do you believe that
artists can become successful without it?
BT: I don’t know that I have any new startling
insight on the subject to be honest. It’s a mixed bag. Social media can be
horrible, it amplifies hate and lies, it can make people insecure and
antisocial I certainly think it’s important to remember that like television, a
lot of it isn’t real. But the flip side is that it can connect people across
oceans, across continents in ways we’ve never been able to before.
In terms of the music, so far my experiences on social media have been incredibly positive, I’ve had other artists reach out with encouragement and advice, I’ve had folks contact me saying how much they’ve enjoyed a certain song and share my stuff with their friends etc. everybody has been really welcoming. Can an artist become successful without it? It depends on how you define success…for some it’s filling stadiums, which I don’t think you can do without a strong social media presence; for others it’s being happy, doing something you love on a local stage. If we were all the same, life would be boring wouldn’t it?
TITL: What does the rest of the year have in store for you? Will you be working on some new material at some point?
BT: Yes, I’ve been in the studio recently to record another single. Then after Boardmasters and festival season, I’ll probably do another EP. I’m writing constantly and definitely want to capture those songs properly. Later in the year, I’d like to do a bigger tour.
then, what advice would you give to anyone looking to make their mark on
the music world as you have? Is there anything you’ve learnt in your short
time in the business you’d pass on?
BT: I’d say, make the music you want to make and
then surround yourself with as many good people as you can. It really does take
Check out “7 Minutes In Heaven” below and for more information on Bailey, visit her website, give her page a like on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.