Award winning singer/musician eLAY from Birmingham, England is making a comeback after a terrible illness. He has put his energy (amongst many other interesting projects) into releasing a brand new EP.
If you are a fan of musical genres which include funk, indie or rock, then you should find eLAY appealing.
This 2 Track EP really shows eLAYs individuality and creativity. It is actually produced by eLAY himself at Production Boudoir studio and consists of the tracks ‘Crazy’ and ‘I Want You’ and I have been lucky enough to have had a sneak preview of it:
‘Crazy’ has a 70s/80’s funk appeal to it. It is extremely catchy, very original and is about seeing someone you know from afar and not having the guts to approach them and tell them how you really feel.
‘I Want You’ is actually the opposite to ‘Crazy’ in the sense that it is about getting straight to the point and saying how you feel. It is a more bold and direct song and is slower and smoother than ‘Crazy’ (although both tracks highlight eLAYs cool and distinctive vocal technique.)
This EP is out from 31/3/18 and is a must listen!
Having not seen the Tom Cruise film version of ‘Rock of Ages’, I wasn’t really sure what to expect when it came to a live production of it by the WBOS at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, but I had a feeling I would at least love the 80’s rock soundtrack.
To call this production “amateur” once again would feel like an almost uncomfortable insult. The set is impressive, as are the costumes, choreography, and acting; and credit must be given to the band “Arsenal” who flawlessly provided the soundtrack to the story.
As a very big fan of The Kinks, I was looking forward to Sunny Afternoon, a musical based on their music.
What surprised me was how as an audience member, you get really absorbed into the ups and downs of the wild rock n roll lifestyle The Kinks led!
It is quite apparent that Ray Davies wrote this and it is definitely written from his tongue in cheek perspective. There is some very clever and ironic humour which the audience appreciated as they did with the less subtle visual characterisation of his brother Dave!
I was lucky enough to see Who’s Who last Saturday at the Robin 2.
The tribute band to the legendary Who were formed in London in 1996. The band are widely respected by members of, and those close to, The Who. Famous fans of the band include Simon Townshend and Kenney Jones.
Who’s Who were supported by Robin 2 regulars , the excellent Jack Fletcher Band.
(You very quickly get caught up in the electrifying atmosphere Who’s Who create, it's very easy to run out of superlatives to describe the performance!
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I have to say the production of Aladdin at the Wolverhampton Grand is absolutely spot on.
Aladdin has the perfect blend for a pantomime, a great story, spectacular sets, lighting and and props; wonderful music, choreography and costumes; but what has really set it apart this year is the writing (by Michael Harrison and Alan McHugh) and the perfect pantomime cast! It is the best pantomime I have seen in years, and that goes against some strict competition!
It is so difficult to pick a favourite, but Wishee Washee (Adam C Booth) was actually the character that I warmed to and laughed at the most, without wanting to give too much away, his scenes are hilarious!
‘Reflections’ is the first album release from Harper n Hubble music (HnH). HnH music is made up of Paul Harper and Andy Hubble who are two friends that got together to combine their musical ideas.
Paul has previously worked for other musicians and vocalists and has seen his songs released by these artists, and Andy has produced several albums for Relax Listen.
Backing vocals are provided by Sharon Vennall who as well as being an experienced vocalist with Jazz bands, is writing her first book.
This is my review of the album ‘Reflections’:
The album mainly has a theme of couple relationships, sometimes loving and sometimes not! Here are my own personal recommendations::
As I am a big Madness fan, I was looking forward to seeing ‘Our House’ at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. Not knowing that much in advance about the story, other than it was based on the songs of Madness, I expected a sort of light ‘Mamma Mia’ type show. I was also looking forward to some fantastic dancing as I have seen Bilston Operatic Company productions before.
The story was actually a lot more intense and intelligent than I expected. It is briefly a kind of ‘Sliding Doors’ idea about a young man (Joe Casey) who turns 16 and to impress a girl (Sarah) breaks into a house to shelter from the rain. He then has to make the choice of whether to do the right thing and hand himself over to the police, or to follow in the footsteps of his late father in a life of crime.
Echo & The Bunnymen have always been one of the cooler bands associated with the 80’s, resisting ‘cheesy’ songs and somehow blending underground, punk, psychedelia, rock and pop with an air of mystique and elegance.
The song that led me to discover them in the first place was their cover of The Doors’ ‘People are Strange’ from the epic ‘Lost Boys’ Soundtrack. I was therefore looking forward to hearing this performed live at the Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall, but unfortunately it wasn’t part of their set-list!
That minor disappointment aside though, Echo & The Bunnymen still gave out a fantastic performance. If anything, Ian McCulloch’s more rugged vocals suit their style of music even better now and he still has kept great pitch and power.
I have seen a couple of Doors tributes before, many years ago, and whilst I enjoyed them at the time I have to say that none can possibly compare to The Doors Alive!
They are musically and vocally flawless! As a big Doors fan the gig at the Robin 2 Bilston was more than just a show it was a whole experience and you felt like you had been actually transported back to the late 60’s when The Doors were in their prime!
The lead singer was remarkable as Jim Morrison, there is no way he can improve! The set was an impressive 2 hours long and included a wide range of Doors songs, the better known ones being ‘Riders on the Storm’, ‘Break on Through’, ‘LA Woman’ and of course, ‘Light My Fire’. (My personal favourite though was ‘People are Strange’ as it is was hearing this song that got me to discover The Doors in the first place.The Doors Alive more than did it justice!)
The age range of the crowd was from late teens to mid 80’s and there was a great atmosphere which increased more and more throughout the night!
It was nice to see a few people dressed up in 60’s clothes which also enhanced the atmosphere.
“Jim” stayed in character throughout the performance. He gave off a likeable vibe and myself and the crowd warmed to him.
The musicians were breathtaking too. I fully recommend The Doors Alive as they are absolutely amazing! Look out for them at The Robin 2 next June.
(Images through Helen Bennett & Natasha Ince - New Era Photography)
As a fan of the 1980 film ‘9 to 5’, I have been lucky enough to have caught a live version at the Wolverhampton Grand once before, so I suspected myself and the audience were in for a treat with the South Staffs Musical Theatre Company version. I did wonder a little bit though if it would be up to the same standards, especially as one of the main characters, Violet Newstead was to be played by a different actress (Zoe Wiltshire) at very short notice due to illness.