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Pop Icons Duran Duran Deliver Pop Perfection at The Piece Hall [Photos]

’80s pop icons Duran Duran treated fans to a dazzling night of pop perfection at The Piece Hall in Halifax. Check out Graham Finney’s photos from the show here.

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Over the last five days, there has been a stunning array of pop and rock acts wowing sold-out crowds in the beautiful surroundings of The Piece Hall in Halifax. The weekend saw Tom Grennan, pop queen Paloma Faith and the Modfather himself, Paul Weller, playing stunning sets, but what better way to wrap up this varied buffet of live music than with the Kings of British Pop, Duran Duran?

“We had bought tickets for this gig,” laughs Nicole Hope Smith, vocalist with Yorkshire pop duo Eevah, recalling how they turned down a gig on the same night only to discover the gig in question was going to be supporting Duran Duran at the same gig they had tickets for. Judging by the reaction from the crowd, it all worked out well in the end with the electro-pop of tracks like “Take Me To Bed” going down a storm with this hardcore Duran Duran crowd before their cover of revitalized Kate Bush hit “Running Up That Hill” getting even those who were only here for the headliners up and dancing.

It would appear that the five thousand or so hardcore fans have been waiting a long time for Duran Duran to finally come to Halifax judging by the banner draped over the barrier. When that moment finally arrived with the band storming into opener and huge ’80s pop hit “Wild Boys,” it felt like nothing was going to stop these fans from enjoying a night of ’80s pop perfection with their heroes.

Powering through a hit-laden set this is a band that has a set that has just got better with time. Hammering through a plethora of hits like “A View to a Kill,” “Notorious” and “Hungry Like The Wolf,” there wasn’t a single fan not singing along. Judging by the beaming smiles on their faces, the band was enjoying this long-awaited trip to Yorkshire as much as the fans with frontman Simon Le Bon in particular lapping up the adulation from these fans.

Of course, this wasn’t just a trip down memory lane, with the band still promoting their fifteenth studio album Future Past as they included a selection from the album including “Invisible,” “Give It All Up” and “All of You.”

However, as much loved as the new material is, it was the smash hits which got the biggest reaction from the crowd. Unsurprisingly, the band was happy to delve into the mammoth collection for crowd-pleasing renditions of “The Reflex,” “Girls on Film” and set-closer “Rio,” the track which brought this night to a dazzling pop finale.

Duran Duran Set List:

1. Wild Boys
2. Invisible
3. All of You
4. A View to a Kill
5. Notorious
6. Union of the Snake
7. Come Undone
8. Give It All Up
9. Hungry Like the Wolf
10. Friends of Mine
11. Ordinary World
12. Anniversary
13. Planet Earth
14. Hold Back the Rain
15. The Reflex
16. White Lines (Don’t Do It)
17. Careless Memories
18. Girls on Film / Acceptable in the ’80s
Encore:
19. Save a Prayer
20. Rio

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.

Alternative/Rock

Glixen – “foreversoon” [Song Review]

On “foreversoon,” Glixen created a song where youthful exuberance clashes heavenly with the established shoegaze sounds of yesteryear,

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Glixen “foreversoon” single artwork
Glixen “foreversoon” single artwork

It’s been less than a year since Glixen released their debut EP, She Only Said, on Julia’s War Records. Still, the Phoenix shoegazers have already dug their heels into the DIY music scene and are heading out on an extensive US tour this year alongside the likes of Interpol, Softcult, Glitterer, and fish narc. Appearances at SXSW and Treefort will only further cement their reputation as a new band worthy of note.

To herald the busy year ahead, the band has released a new single, “foreversoon,” via the AWAL label, and it’s well worth a listen.

Says lead vocalist Aislinn Ritchie:

“‘foreversoon’ represents blissful moments of new love and intimacy. The song harnesses melancholy chords, layered with fuzzy red melodies and gliding guitars that pull you in deeper. I wanted my lyrics to feel like a conversation that expresses my infatuation and sensuality. Time is relentless and memories are fleeting, this song encapsulates those emotions forever.”

It’s a fair summation. Its youthful exuberance clashes heavenly with the established shoegaze sounds of yesteryear, think Ride, Curve and Slowdive, but with the fuzz cranked up possibly higher. Ritchie’s vocals certainly share that dreamlike quality of Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, and with many of those bands back on the road this year, perhaps the time is ripe to inject fresh blood into the genre.

Glixen, photo by Jesse Beecher

Glixen, photo by Jesse Beecher

Run Time: 3:43
Release Date: February 9, 2024
Record Label: AWAL Recordings

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Dance/Electronic

Mieko Shimizu Premieres Music Video for “Unworldy” Single “My Tentacles”

Get stoked, cause radical multi-instrumentalist Mieko Shimizu premieres the video for the reworked single “My Tentacles.”

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Mieko Shimizu, photo by Ruta Zemmere
Mieko Shimizu, photo by Ruta Zemmere

Radical, nonconformist Japanese singer and multi-instrumentalist Mieko Shimizu recently re-released her offbeat, unworldly single “My Tentacles.”

The single is the offbeat, unworldly title track of Mieko’s soon-to-be-released album. It is be-thronged by chimeric fusions, dysfunctional beats and startling mutations. The single is unaccompanied by an equally radical video created by diz_qo.

Speaking about the track, Mieko tells us:

“‘Emergence,’ the book by Steve Johnson, fascinated me; a colony of ants, a sprawling metropolis, and human brain cells, are all features of the unknown science of self-organisation. I wanted to cut down into society and sing a simple song about people as single cells.”

The multi-instrumentalist explains further:

“They interconnect with the multitude and conjure up a whole that is wiser together than we are individually. When my tentacles reach out and touch you, communicate with you then we become something else, something more than just an individual.”

For those who aren’t familiar with the name, Mieko has played at Sonar alongside Kraftwerk, as well as support for Goldfrapp and Massive Attack at their Melt Down Festival. She is currently an artist in residence for Wonky Plonky Electronk, an experimental, electronic live event which is touring the UK throughout 2024, the next show being on 28th March at The Cinema Room at All Is Joy in London.

Mieko has worked with an extensive range of artists, including Japan’s Mick Karn, Nitin Sawhney, Riz MC, David Cunningham, Robert Lippok and has also remixed the likes of Coldcut and Haruomi Hosono of Yellow Magic Orchestra.

For more information on diz_qo, check him out online here. To check out more of Mieko’s work or to pre-order the upcoming album, click here.

Mieko Shimizu ‘My Tentacles’ Album Artwork

Mieko Shimizu ‘My Tentacles’ Album Artwork

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Folk

Morning Bear Reveals Latest Single “A Simple Understanding”

John Runnels unveils the revival of his indie folk project, Morning Bear, with the release of new single, “A Simple Understanding”.

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Morning Bear

Denver raised and now Copenhagen based singer/songwriter John Runnels unveils the revival of his orchestral indie folk project, Morning Bear, with the release of a deeply personal and emotionally charged single, “A Simple Understanding.” Marking the band’s return after a six-year hiatus, Morning Bear’s latest offering provides an intimate glimpse into the mind of its creator, navigating through the profound challenges of loss, resilience, and self-discovery.

Characterised by highly dynamic compositions, Morning Bear’s music weaves together the calm and delicate stylings reminiscent of artists like Bon Iver and Jose Gonzalez, while embracing the complexity and depth akin to the Fleet Foxes and Sufjan Stevens. Featuring soaring vocals and unconventional arrangements, including cello, violin, piano, and more, Morning Bear crafts a textured landscape behind pop-influenced hooks.

The catalyst for Morning Bear’s resurgence lies in the transformative journey of band leader John Runnels, who, after facing a series of devastating events and losses, found solace and inspiration amid the chaos. The global pandemic, the loss of three close friends in separate tragedies, a severe injury, and battles with anxiety and depression marked a period of uncertainty for Runnels, but he emerged stronger and more resilient.

“A Simple Understanding”, a continuation of the first releases from Morning Bear after a long hiatus, showcases Runnels in an intimate and vulnerable performance, accompanied only by his acoustic guitar. Released at the time of year where it is most difficult for mental health, John recorded this in a single, live take during a rainstorm in a small garage in a village outside of Andover, UK, and the song captures the raw emotion of Runnels’ struggles and experiences. The lyrics delve into themes of self-loathing and finding hope in the darkest moments of life.

He says “People are often their own worst critic. ‘A Simple Understanding’ speaks to the self-loathing you feel when you have hit rock bottom. How do we find something to hold onto when we’re in the darkest points of our lives?

Morning Bear invites audiences to join them, to embrace vulnerability and share the power of music to heal and connect. With echoes of early Bon Iver in its acoustic performance, ‘A Simple Understanding’ is a brutally honest and delicately executed piece of songwriting that is sure to resonate with listeners, John Runnels bears all in this captivating and emotionally charged offering that sticks.

Morning Bear "A Simple Understanding" single artwork

Morning Bear “A Simple Understanding” single artwork

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