Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Several months ago we saw what looked like photo campaigns pop up in social media of each member of the band, standing in front of various structures holding cards with the hashtag #thishouseisnotforsale. From this we knew that a new album must be on the horizon.

As soon as the new album was released I purchased it as I have done with every other album ever created by this iconic band (yes, I have been a fan that long). This time however it was also to my relief. Where I felt the previous album “Burning Bridges” was insinuating perhaps a break or finale for this band, and with the exit of Richie Sambora the flagship song “Burning Bridges” did leave a lot of us wondering. According to our friends at Wikipedia who sourced an interview with Jon Bon Jovi, the reason behind Burning Bridges was the band concluding their 32-year relationship with Mercury Records, and its parent label Universal Music Group. The reasons for leaving the label are described in the lyrics of “Burning Bridges”. Jon Bon Jovi was quoted to say: “This hits it right in the head and tells you what happened. Listen to the lyrics because it explains exactly what happened. And that’s that.”

So the guys are back with the new album ‘This House Is Not for Sale’. It is the thirteenth studio album by Bon Jovi and it was released on 4 November 2016, by Island Records.

As with many other Bon Jovi tracks, these are also based around a theme. This time it was to do with the home, new beginnings and if you listen there are a lot of symbolic and personal references by the band.

In previous years we have witnessed the band deliver songs aimed at particular points in time such as “Work For The Working Man”, which was to do with the government and economy status in the US at that time. The new album has a fresh stance while at the same time taking us back to the rhythm, instrumental compositions and storytelling lyrics we have grown up with. I hate to say it, but with this album you don’t actually notice Richie Sambora’s absence, but it was very apparent with Burning Bridges as seemingly there were a few incomplete songs, but this is a new beginning.

My person favourites from this new album are:

  • Roller Coaster‎ – This has the powerful beats of Bounce, It’s My Life and Have a Nice Day. It will certainly get you moving and will definitely put a smile on your face.
  • The Devil’s in the Temple – This is cleverly crafted, and some of the lyrics will make you laugh. It has a similar beat to Someday I’ll be Saturday Night.
  • B‎orn again Tomorrow – This is due to be released soon and is very upbeat with the unique melody composition that only Bon Jovi can deliver. You will find yourself foot tapping and singing along to this.
  • Scars on this Guitar – not as heart string clenching as Always (my all-time personal favourite), ‎but tells a very personal story and is sung with a lot of meaning, not saying that the other tracks aren’t sung with meaning, but you can tell by the tone of this one that every lyric has been born from true events.
  • ‎Knockout – the power of Livin’ on a Prayer and It’s my Life, this one will really get you going especially if you are having a bad day and need some release at the gym.

My not so favourite track is ‘Labour of Love’, even though it has a story I can relate to (currently in the middle of a house project), it does become a tad monotonous in places but you can’t love them all – wait this is Bon Jovi of course you can!

Every song has a hidden meaning which is clearly personal to each band member, like any good author(s) these songs will not only relate to everyone on a personal level, as well as giving everyone ample enough chill-out time, but also they leave you thinking about them afterwards.

Another excellent and highly recommended album, by a band that has proven time and time again their determination to succeed no matter what is thrown their way. The last few years have seen a lot of changes, but the quality of the music and the originality tracks still keep coming and we hope they do for many years to come.

All we need now is just to see them back in the UK!

The new album can be purchased from Amazon and all good retailers.

Sourced from and

“Had a great, and very cultural evening with the wonderful Arani at the Barbican. I would tell you what the show was about but a drone stole my program…. And it was wearing feathers!”

This was my Facebook post following a performance I saw on Friday 12th September. My friend Arani and I embarked on a bit of culture after completing our working week in the city. Well I say “completing” for some of us Friday’s can mean taking a break and then going back to work either that evening or Saturday morning.

Arani had sent me an email the week before asking me if I wanted to go and see a show. Arani has an eye for gigs so I knew that I could always trust her judgement, however I was not expecting this type of show.

It had been years since I last walked through the doors of the Barbican in London. Thirteen years prior I worked in a building opposite it at my very first job.  The venue itself had not changed; it was still as confusing to find anything as it was several years before.

When on our way to the theatre on the ground floor, we passed an interest exhibit which consisted of clear rubbed tubes hanging like elephant trunks, connected to a flat base from the ceiling. The trunks were moving by themselves.

Being a former artist I know that a captivating piece can spark the imagination of most, but in completely different ways. You see what you want to see. I looked at the tubes like they were elephant trunks and what good toys they would be for the prospective ferrets my husband and I are planning on getting. As they moved they then reminded me of some of the scenes from War of the Worlds (Tom Cruise version), when the tripods were scoping people out of the water. Arani saw this too.

We made our way to the bar to get a few ciders, and then entered the theatre to take our seats. We were near the front and in the centre so we had a great view, the attendants pointing people to their seats were insistent that we switch our mobiles phones off and that there was no photography of any kind. I cheekily turned to Arani and said:

“What type of show have you brought us to?”

She just laughed.

As I sat in my seat waiting for the show to begin, I noticed that the audience was covered in thick black netting. Literally there were nets in front and over us, with further netting covering the higher tiers of the audience and the actual stage.

“Seriously Arani, what type of show have you brought us too?” I repeated.

“They need the netting there just in case…. For the drones!” She said interpreting my look.

“It’s like we are in an episode of Doctor Who. The attendants are here to lead us into a holding area while we wait for the stage to open and cybermen to appear to convert us.”

Flickr - law keven - Resistance is futile...

“Turn your imagination off.”

“But you think about it, it would be the perfect way to do it. They have lured us into a netted area and told us to turn our phones off…. Not that mine has any signal in here anyway…. See that’s confirmed it, what type of show have you brought us too?”

“Turn your mind off! What did you think you were coming to?”

“I don’t know, I didn’t open the link you sent me.”

The show began by the stage opening up at the centre, with the horizontal wooden doors exiting upwards and downwards, but alas there were no cybermen standing behind, just a band. To be more precise it was John Cale and Liam Young’s LOOP>>60Hz: Transmissions from The Drone Orchestra.

John Cale 2010 Urban SimpleLife Festical

The performance was described by Cale himself as a ‘Drone: a bleak tapestry of unholy noises, searing into the listeners ears and – with any luck – transporting them to a place they’ll not want to leave for long while’. If you had never seen a performance by this team before, it wouldn’t take you long to realise that these individuals were multi-skilled instrument players, where several of them began with a guitar, for example, and then moved on to something else.

Accompanied by their laptops, the powerful and moving composures featured inaudible vocals which contributed to the darkness of the pieces more. I have seen over the years a lot of musicians try this style in their music but be unsuccessful each time. That was not the case here. The band, digital effects and instruments worked in harmony together and complimented each track.

But wait, there is more.

The drones, when the first soared into the air above our heads (this was a rather large one with florescent tubing coating its exterior), I did comment to Arani:

“You see, now they are stealing our secret thoughts with the distraction of music,”

To which she replied;

“Switch off your imagination”.

Unfortunately as the music continued and a variation of different drones took flight, it just made my imagination go into overdrive. However this is a good thing, for only true artists can inspire the creativity of others.

For just over two and a half hours we sat through what could only be described as musical genius. It may not have been for everyone but no one could deny that the compilation of digital music, and drones was an act of bravery – especially as they were hovering over the audience and let’s face it the UK is renowned for its health and safety. In fact, Cale actually commented when leaving the stage “Thank you – and no casualties”.

So what was the reason for the drones?

The conclusion is based on musical frequencies and how the technology has been structured into the performance to enhance the melodies. Not only that but they look quite cool too, particular the one with feathers, and from a practical point of view (though this may have been accidental), the fans elevating the machines provided an amazing cooling method for the audience below, which I was really happy about.

Described on the Barbican’s event listing as ‘unusual tunings and unorthodox audio delivery. Liam Young’s collection of drones escape their associations with surveillance and the military, becoming instead choreographed, disembodied instruments which take flight in the auditorium to create a profoundly immersive live music performance’.

Overall, this was a fantastic performance, and one I would happily see again. Good job chaps!

First of all, I apologise for being tardy as of late. I have just started a new job and so still trying to get my rhythm back.

It was 12 June 2013, and my mother and I were heading off to Cardiff to see Bon Jovi. It was the first time in 2 years that the boys had toured in Europe and I was eager to get going.

Normally we would be happy seeing one of their concerts in London, but there was a delay in the release of the London date for this tour, which we later found out was due to negotiations with Hyde Park Calling.

Personally I am not a fan of Hyde Park Calling. Two years ago was the last Bon Jovi concert there, and I don’t find that environment the best setting (for example, a drugged up crowd with no coordination). Like my ex-colleague said “this is not Woodstock!” It is also not the best scene to take my mother to.

Previous experience dictated to me, that we should not wait for the London date and book up with the next best place. We knew that it would be highly unlikely that there was no London date, but frankly that was a chance I was not willing to take, so we chose Cardiff.

The idea was to take mum back to her roots, and go further afield than the smoky city of London. We could go sightseeing (to the Dr Who museum perhaps) beforehand, spend the night there and may our way back slowly the next day. This would have worked had my mother not done her usual thing of delaying us on the day.

Now I will say that my mother does work extremely hard and I don’t blame her for wanting to take a slower pace on her days off, but when we actually reached the Cardiff City stadium, Bon Jovi were literally entering the stage. However, before that happened I will detail the journey, which I am sure many can identify with.

It was a weekday so the chances of traffic being high was minimal, however never say never and bearing in mind that we did have to get into the capital of Wales with potentially a lot of other people who might be having the same idea as we were, so I wanted to make sure that we left early.

Well I suppose we did leave earlier, but not what I would call early. Ideally I wanted to get to the hotel and settle before having to rush back out the door to the stadium, but alas that was not going to be the case. We left Kent at 2.30pm and by this time I was getting very anxious. I with haste made it to the motorway and stopped for fuel on the way, and by 3pm we were heading towards the M25. The route was to go clockwise via the south, and then feed on to the M4 and keep going until we got to the end. Simple!

Well I had planned that the journey would take 3.5 hours which was fine providing that we did not take a wrong turn or get stuck in traffic jams or accidents etc. Looking at the time we left being 2.30pm we would be looking at getting to the hotel at 6.00pm – Bon Jovi were coming on stage at 7.00pm! As I mentioned to my mother in a not so subtle tone, we did not have any margin for error.

Well as the journey progressed, so did the traffic jams and my evasive driving. We only made one wrong turn when crossing the bridge into Wales but that was quickly rectified. Well until we hit another traffic jam!

Cutting this section of the story short we got to the hotel a little before 6pm and I was amazed. Of course it didn’t help with my mum saying “I told you we would get here on time”. Seriously how could anyone have known that short of owning a crystal ball – the odds were against us!

We were staying at the Churchill hotel and I must say (and I don’t say this very often) but I was extremely impressed. The hospitality, the rooms, it was very homely and the man on front desk had very good initiative, “would you like to brave the weather and walk, or can I call you a cab?”

We reached Cardiff City Stadium at around 6.30, went into KFC to get some food and then we entered the stadium.

As with Twickenham 5 years ago, we were standing right at the foot of the stage, the best view and you saw so much. We managed to scoot to the front of the crowd just as Bon Jovi came on stage with “That’s What the Water Made Me”.
The set was amazing, it was the front of an American style car with the true to form lighting effects that always accompany this legendary band.

Jon Bon Jovi

The setting was electric, as they belted out the next few songs, “You Give Love a Bad Name”, “Born to Be My Baby”, “Raise Your Hands” and “Lost Highway”.

The energy at these concerts is always high, Jon Bon Jovi was on top form, the vocals as brilliant and clear as always and the rest of the band were also flawless. I still stand by what I have said for many years, the band are better live than on recording, and they just seem to get better every time I see them in concert, hence the reason why so many fans keep going back.

Next was one of my favourite songs, “It’s My Life” which was then followed with “Because We Can”, then “What About Now” and “We Got It Goin’ On”.

Then there was an old faithful, literally – “Keep the Faith” (with “Let Me Entertain You”) and “(You Want to) Make a Memory” followed by an oldie but certainly a goody “I’ll Be There for You”.

Then some of the more recent tracks “We Weren’t Born to Follow”, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home (With “It’s Only Rock N Roll”)” and going back in time to “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” and “Bad Medicine”.

One thing I found this year was that the backing set always features some sort of visual animation, this year it was skeletons, which seemed a bit obscure.

The concert was full on with no breaks, the only break was to do the fake goodbyes followed by the inevitable encore and they definitely saved the best until last.

We heard a new song from their Because We Can album “I’m With You” and I was over the moon that they chose to perform this. I have fallen in love with this track since purchasing the new album several months ago. It tells a story as with most Bon Jovi tracks, and the words can make you feel a bit down if you relate to them, but at the same time when the chorus is sung, it is so uplifting and empowering that along with the bitter comes the hope.

I truly believe that this latest track will go into Bon Jovi hall of fame with “Always” and “Diamond Ring”. Those who have heard these tracks will know what I mean.

This track was followed by “Superman Tonight”, “Wanted Dead or Alive”, “Have a Nice Day”, the classic 2Blaze of Glory” (With “Never Say Goodbye” snippet and of course the renowned “Livin’ on a Prayer”.

Now to address the elephant in the room, the absence of Richie Sambora. I won’t lie I think we all noticed he wasn’t there, and even though the concert was as unblemished as ever and Phil X standing in was phenomenal, it wasn’t the same. I hope this won’t be the beginning of the end, as I, like many of the other fans know there is a lot more to come, let’s just hope that whatever is going on, it is resolved soon so that everyone is happy.

Well that was the latest instalment, another brilliant concert, and I can’t wait until the next one.

To see the video of “I’m with you”, please click on the following link:

Interview with Amer Ali Shihab of the band Cruelty Circuit – Lotus Magma.

Check out the new review of My Silent Bravery

Review of musician My Silent Bravery – Lotus Magma.

I remember the first time I heard the music of Avery Watts, he either followed me on MySpace or he popped up on my radar and I followed him, either way since the first moment his music blasted through my computer speakers I was hooked.

While I am not going to turn this in a review of his music (you can find an older version of that by clicking this link), I will take the advantage of using my blog to completely rave about him and his work.

Also if anyone is doing a charity run, swim or anything that requires an immense amount of energy and endurance (basically if you are a glutton for punishment like me), then I highly recommend The Takeover EP.

We all get to that point in our training regime where we are perhaps in doubt, where we don’t think we are going to complete the course on the day as well as other self- demotivating feelings normally from an onset of fatigue. If you are feeling like that, then this EP or better yet the album, will give you the ‘pick-me-up’ you need.

It is long overdue, but I downloaded The Takeover EP over the weekend, uploaded it to my Speedo Aquacoach, put my headphones in and swam like the wind. Never underestimate the power of a good tune.

The EP includes the following 5 tracks:

1. It Begins (Intro)

2. A Cut Above

3. Our World (Feat. Day-shawn)

4. Stand

5. The Takeover

Like I said before, I have been a fan of his music, in particular of the track “A Cut above the Rest” for a while now, mainly because it is powerful, loud, motivating and above all if you listen to the words, it is very inspirational. What more could you ask for when you are training towards a goal.

And adding a bit of the ‘Watts wisdom’ here, when I say train for a goal, this does not have to mean working yourself into an aerobic stupor; this level of inspiration can apply to anyone who is currently working hard toward their dreams.

You will need to listen the above mentioned track before you can appreciate the description I am about to give. To appreciate the intro to this EP, you will need to be familiar with “A Cut above the Rest”, then when you hear this intro it instantly puts a smile on your face. It is the slowed down version of the instrumental to this track which enables you to hear every cord, and that definitive string underlying the empowering lyrics, and as with any good intro it teases you into the music with anticipation and then when it stops you know what is coming next – the full track itself.

If you watch the official video to this track you will hear a narration from Avery himself instead of this orchestral intro which is just as moving.

I cannot recommend this EP enough, if you are training or if you are working towards your goals have a listen to this, if you are feeling down it will bring you back up. Economically thought the full album is far better value priced at just £5.49 in the UK.

Those of you in the US you have a lot of places to download this EP and the album from, whether it be iTunes, Amazon or Avery’s website. If you are in the UK you can also find the EP on iTunes and Amazon.

The next stop for me I think is the full album which again if you are in the UK, it can be downloaded by clicking here.  All I need now is a Takeover t-shirt and I am sorted 😉

Janelle Monae For ESSENCE, Talks Body Image, ‘Showing My Skin Is Not What Makes Me Sexy…”

Check out this link by the Huffington Post – finally a woman acting like a lady again and it is such good news I had to share it.

I will say this first off that I am for equal rights not women’s rights, I believe that a man can do almost anything a woman can do and vice versa, however the way the female gender has been conveying themselves in recent years is just down right shocking – it has got to the stage where I have been ashamed to call myself a woman and have been appalled by the gender in general.

The trick girls, is not to join them, not to even beat them but stand up tall next to them and show them you have individuality without compromising your femininity and/or values just to get noticed. Contrary to what a lot of people say, it does actually work!

The use of the word ‘them’ is interesting here as it can mean everyone nowadays, not just the men.

Granted everyone is different with regards to values but I just think that in some respects you can’t deny that no matter what anyone one does to make themselves stand out from the crowd, nowadays the focus will be on the negative. Trust me I know, but that is the price of ambition, I have found people are very easily intimidated nowadays, but at the same time the onerous is not completely on them – it is also down to how the ambitious person conducts themselves. But this also doesn’t me we just sacrifice everything and go with the flow.

In true female form I deviate. Back to the point…..

From the beginning of time we have not done ourselves any favors – we started off pretty much equal in the caves and then took a back seat to the men shortly after – then there came the saying (which I really hate) “behind every good man is a good woman” or thereabouts.  Thousands of years later women were burning their bras (again why choose this method, I could have thought of much better strategies) to prove their equality.

When we finally got back our equality what did we do, pretty much degrade ourselves from there!

We turned into ladettes to prove that we could drive, even though our insurance premiums have alwas been lower on average.

We became cut-throat workaholics to prove to the men that we could do what they do, in turn sacrificing family and friends – yet men have always been able to do both.

As a result of being successful the trend grew where husbands were having affairs and leaving their high profile wives to their careers and become single mothers to their children, which meant women had to battle more with work life-balance while the men went to live with their mistresses… without the children.

In the music industry women became more liberal – no I am not talking about Woodstock, I am referring to the likes of Rihanna wanting to take her clothes off every time a camera is near and perform lap dances on stage, sing about sex and parade half naked in a field – a great example by the way to the younger generation I must say – isn’t it bad enough that they know the university fees will drown them if they choose a reputable career, let alone promoting basic prostitution.

We could argue that male artists have been bearing it all for years too, but that is funny not immoral don’t you know.

Then recently I read that certain clothes shops are introducing curvy manikins now instead of the stick thin ones that we have always seen just so young girls are not drawn into anorexia. Yeah, I have seen some of the younger girls walking around my area of residence and the word obesity comes to mind, also let’s look at the source here, what about parental guidance in these situations?

Each to their own, but I personally despise this new free and liberal world, decorum is at a minimum, self-worth is fading, narcissism is on the rise, not to mention lack of consideration, morality and just a basic level of respect to your fellow (wo)man.

For me personally I think it is refreshing to see the quote at the beginning of this post (or should I say reformed rant). Hopefully a lot more redefinition of what sexy truly is will follow.

Well done Janelle.