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CONVERSE GIGS: HOW TO DRESS WELL REVIEW

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

For April’s Converse Gigs @ 100 Club show we partnered with tastemaker independent radio station NTS to bring a truly all-star line up to the club.

Headlined by ethereal US R&B singer How To Dress Well with support from Koreless plus Laura Groves and NTS’s Bullion, the evening’s proceedings were well worth the queue that snaked down the street before doors had opened.

The last time How To Dress Well played in the UK was at East London’s Field Day festival in 2013. Almost one year on, and two months away from the release of his third LP What Is This Heart?, central London’s ‘intimate’ 100 Club seemed a more fitting location for Tom Krell to perform some of his new music. His songs, which are heartfelt and explore his deepest, most conflicting emotions, require an audience that is brought physically as close to him as the songs themselves allow people to be.

The headline act was preceded by two excellent supports; Bradford singer-songwriter Laura Groves and Welsh electronic producer Koreless. The former was accompanied by a full 5-piece band, the latter stripped back and solo with an array of brightly lit midi controllers.

When How To Dress Well took to the stage he was illuminated by moody neon-coloured projections from all angles. The sultry lights were an extension of the tone of the music. “I wrote this song because I’m basically a teenager when it comes to exploring my desires”, he said about the evening’s second song ‘What You Wanted’, taken from the new album.

Midway through the set, following a captivating showcase of another new song ‘Very Best Friend’, the slightly confused 100 Club crowd were evacuated up on to the street due to a fire alarm.

After a brief ten minutes spent in the evening air we were safely back inside. What could have been the night’s lowest point soon became the overall highlight as How To Dress Well treated the audience to a special a cappella rendition of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ whilst his band set themselves back up. “Don’t tell anyone about that!” he joked afterwards.

‘Words I Don’t Remember’ – the first single from What Is This Heart? – received the biggest reaction of all new material from the night, as the post alarm section of his set drew to a close. The song, which builds and builds into crescendo, showcases just how good How To Dress Well’s craft at constructing a modern take on an R&B slow jam really is. Enthused audience members now lost in his world within a song only broke silence to give rapturous applause.

Another month, another fantastic show, another name etched into the 100 Club infamous dressing room wall.

CONVERSE GIGS: BLOOD ORANGE REVIEW

Friday, February 21st, 2014

The Converse Gigs @ 100 Club series is known for hosting some of the brightest and most exciting talent in music and this month’s edition was no exception.

NTS DJs kicked things off and began working the already packed room, providing everything from soul to reggae, setting the mood with their eclectic choice of cuts. 

Support on the night came from the hotly tipped Stay Bless, AKA George Cassavetes who delivered his modernist take on R&B complete with power ballad guitar lines and intimate lyrics taken from last years Faded EP, before building up to single Always. George admitted that this was his very first show, something that was hard to believe from witnessing his seemingly natural display of confidence throughout. 

By the time Dev Hynes and co took the stage, London’s oldest music venue was about as busy as it’s ever been. With this being his first visit to the UK in 3 years, the room full of Blood Orange loyalists were clearly eager to hear tracks off 2013′s critically acclaimed Cupid Deluxe. Beginning with album opener, Chamakay, Dev’s charming charisma was made clear from the offset, as the 28-year-old flamboyantly moved around the stage in what’s quickly becoming his own signature dance style. Collaborator and girlfriend Samantha Urbani was also in tow, providing mesmerising vocals for You’re Not Good Enough, as well as other Cupid Deluxe favourites, including Always Let You Down and No Right Thing.

After momentarily jumping back to Costal Grooves’s Sutphin Boulevard, Dev was joined on stage by surprise guest Skepta to perform their track High Street, much to the excitement of the audience. With energy levels at an all time high, by the time the funk guitars of Uncle Ace began to ring out for the evening’s penultimate song, people needed little encouragement to join Mr Hynes on stage as he began to invite gig goers from the crowd to dance with him. With what seemed like the entire venue’s capacity now in Dev’s chorus line, the evening ended with a rousing edition of the soulful ballad Time Will Tell, rounding off what was a truly special 100 Club performance.

CONVERSE GIGS: JOEY BADASS REVIEW

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

The excitement that surrounded Wednesday night’s Converse Gigs was understandable. Joey Bada$$, one of the most prolific and exciting young hip-hop artists to emerge in recent years was in the country for one night only, to play only his 2nd official gig in the UK at the 100 Club.

The night began with London’s favourite hip-hop DJs Greenmoney who got the party started with some choice cuts; sound tracking the endless flow of fans entering the venue.

Support act, 19-year-old Rejjie Snow then took to the stage and promptly introduced himself “My name is Rejjie Snow and I’m a black rapper from Ireland!” Formalities out of the way, he then instructed people to “let the music absorb their brains” as he took them on 30 minute journey through his unique hypnotic hip-hop and lyrical wordplay that has earned him notoriety on both sides of the Atlantic, performing tracks from his Rejovich EP.

Well and truly ready for the main event, the 100 Club’s tightly packed crowd were kept on their toes with some more favourites from the Greenmoney boys until DJ Statik Selektah jumped behind the decks to introduce the man of the evening.

Joey Bada$$ swaggered through the room and onto the stage, jumping right into track “Alowha” followed quickly by the clear crowd pleaser “Waves” from his critically acclaimed “1999” mixtape.

For the next hour the 100 Club was treated to one the most energetic hip-hop performances it has ever seen, with Mr Bada$$ well and truly surpassing the bar set by previous alumni Nas and Ghostface Killah. Taking us through his extensive catalogue of mixtape classics including “FromdaTomb$”, “Hardknock”, and “Survival Tactics” Joey exuded presence well beyond his 18 years, with his audience of peers rhyming every one of his lines back at him.

Ending on a high note, special guest Maverick Sabre joined Joey on stage to exclusively perform their brand new remix of “My Yout”, bringing to an end quite possibly the best Converse Gigs @ 100 Club of the year.

GET LOUD: BRING ME THE HORIZON INTERVIEW

Monday, August 19th, 2013

This week, Bring Me The Horizon are playing The Circle tattoo parlour in London for the third and final instalment of our Get Loud music series.

We caught up with front man Oli Sykes to talk tattoos, crowd surfing and Hillary Duff…


1. On Thursday you’re playing the basement of The Circle tattoo parlour in London…what’s the strangest venue you have ever played in?

The Rave in Milwaukee is pretty weird.

2. The Circle holds around 100 people. How does playing intimate gigs compare to big venues and festivals?

They both have their highlights! I personally love smaller shows because the interaction with the crowds is one of my favourite things about playing live. 100 people though – that takes us right back! Gonna be interesting!

3. What’s the craziest thing to happen during one of your gigs?

Uhhh, we’ve had plenty of moments! Wheelchair crowdsurfing, Charlie Simpson in a raft, someone once got their eye punched out, I was shot at 3 times, Pink was once skateboarding while we played.

4. What’s your favourite song to play out live and why?

Probably Shadow Moses right now. We open with it and the sing along gives me goosebumps.

5. Tattoos are clearly a big part of your lives, what first got you into them?

I just always wanted tattoos for as long as I could remember – my mum wouldn’t let me get them til I was 18 so when I turned I just went mad!

6. If you had to get a tattoo of your musical icon, who would it be and why?

Hilary Duff, dunno why.

7. Why do you think tattoos and heavier genres like metal seem to coexist so well?

For me getting tattoos meant I could never have a normal job, because no one would employ me. I guess you just give a sh*t less when you do this job, you got no office to go to. They say your body is a temple, but why not paint the walls?

8. Musically, what are you into that people would not expect?

Hillary Duff.

9. Lastly, what can fans expect from your gig at The Circle?

I couldn’t tell you if I wanted to mate.

Bring Me The Horizon play The Circle tattoo parlour as part of our Get Loud music series this Thursday 22nd August 2013. Today is the last day to apply for tickets. Full info HERE.

GET LOUD: PURE LOVE INTERVIEW

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Pure Love; one half ex-Gallows frontman Frank Carter and one half ex-The Hope Conspiracy guitarist Jim Carroll have seen much success since their formation in 2011. During this time they have spawned a series of headline shows, supported the likes of Paramore and Biffy Clyro and released their debut album “Anthems”.

We caught up with them ahead of their unique gig in the basement of The Circle tattoo parlour to talk music, tattoos and their special love of a particular Nickelback song…

1. In July you played your first US show, how was it? If any at all, what are the differences between US & UK fans?

The first US show was amazing. We had both been wanting to play at home since we started but we were unable to do so because our backing band was so spread out.  Once we got some local musician friends involved it came together quickly.  It was much needed.  As far as fans go there was no major difference and that was actually sort of surprising.  New York audiences can definitely be hard to crack at times and our UK fans have set the bar pretty high in terms of rowdy shows.  We didn’t know what to expect but it was just as wild as some of the gigs we’ve played over last few years.

2. Your music has taken some turns creatively, where are you drawing inspiration from at present?

Psychedelics and cute pictures of puppies…

3. You’re playing a gig in a tattoo parlour, is this your first show in a venue like this? What other interesting venues have you played in?

Yes, first show in a tattoo parlour. Years ago I played a hardcore show on a street corner in San Francisco.

4. Why do you think music and tattoos seem to coexist so well?

I actually like to think that music and tattoos have a rivalry similar to the Bloods and the Crips.  Constantly battling for supremacy of the block.

5. How does the craft of music compare to that of tattooing, do they cross over?

People in prison sometimes use guitar strings to tattoo. I’ve never been to prison but that’s what the National Geographic Channel told me.

6. What do you think differentiates Pure Love from other bands out there at the moment?

I’m going to say our songs. No other bands writes the songs that we do. Take for example our song Handsome Devil’s Club, we wrote that. Nickelback didn’t write that song.  If they did it wouldn’t be our song. Although, Nickelback write some pretty good songs too. Have you heard Burn it to the Ground? That song f*cking rules.

7. When coming up with the name Pure Love, were there any other working titles that you’re glad didn’t make the final cut?

We really wanted to call ourselves Nickelback but that was already taken by the band Nickelback. They wrote the song Burn it to the Ground. Again, that song f*cking rules.

8. Lastly…If you could travel back to any year to make music when would it be and whom would you like to have worked with?

I’d travel back to 2008 to hook up with my man Chad Kroeger so I could jam on a little tune called Burn it to the Ground.

Ticket applications for Pure Love at The Circle have now closed.

Converse Gigs @ The 100 Club: Delorean

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Delorean formed in the small basque costal town of Zarautz in 2000. Since then they have evolved from a hardcore punk group to become one of the most exciting electronic outfits in Europe. Their breakthrough 2010 album Subiza was received with critical admiration across the board and this year will see the release of their highly anticipated follow up. Expect Balearic beats and blissful Summer vibes when they hit The 100 club on 31st May. In advance of that date we spoke to the band:

Your music has come a long way from the hardcore sound that you embodied when Delorean formed. This has been linked to your relocation from Zarautz to Barcelona. What impact do you feel the city has had on your music?

I’m not sure if the city has had a direct impact. There must be some influence but I don’t really know which. I guess the environment itself helps but nowadays with the internet and all that it’s different, you don’t ‘need’ to be in a city to have access to interesting music.

What did you learn from being a Punk band?

It’s how we learnt to play music and to be in a band. But that’s the old days. Nowadays we just try to make good music.

To what extent do you think your musical identity has been influenced by your Basque heritage and the beauty of your surroundings growing up?

A friend told us he understood our music better when he spent time in the Basque Country. I guess it’s others who can judge that. We kinda tried to step aside from our local culture as we grew up, that’s how we got into the music we do now.

How important a role do computers play in your creative process?

They’re a basic element. I think a computer has ended up being a complement to the board or console. We work a lot with the computer but we tried to stop making music by clicking on a mouse with this album. We still do it but we think it’s important to learn how to deal with the hardware too, you get unexpected results.

Would you consider yourselves to be more like dance music producers than a traditional band?

Somewhere in between I guess. We’d like to know more about producing and we’d like to be a better band too. I think that the way we approach it being a musician is not only playing in a band, it’s about getting to know as much as you can of the whole process. I think that’s where we’re at.

Both Barcelona and London are recognised internationally for their vibrant music scenes. How do you feel the two compare?

London is a huge city compared to Barcelona. I mean, Barcelona has nice clubs and stuff but nothing as big as London. In Barcelona you get to go to the big festivals and all, but take a weekend in mid November, there’s not much here going on here (I imagine London doesn’t stop).

Who are your greatest music influences?

Dance music in a broad sense. And pop-rock in a broad sense too.

What other Spanish music acts should we be listening to right now?

We like Extraperlo a lot. You should check their new album produced by El Guincho who you already know in the UK.

Which country or city is your favourite place in the world to play in and why?

NY is special for us. We have a lot of friends and we always feel good when we play there.

What do you do to prepare for a gig?

Not much, we try to be relaxed.

If you could collaborate with any band or musician past or present, who would it be…?

Honestly, I don’t know what to answer. There are a few names in my head but I can’t pick one.

What else do Delorean have in store for us in 2013? We’re putting out the album in early September!

We’ll be touring Europe around that time, so hopefully we’ll see you in London!

Converse Gigs @ 100 Club’s 1st Birthday

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

It’s hard to believe it has been a whole year since the very first Converse show at the 100 Club, but it has, and that could only mean one thing: birthday party! After a day spent inflating gigantic one shaped balloons with the Loose Lips crew the time had come. Warming up the crowd was none other than ex-Metronomy member Night Works with an expertly curated selection of pulsing electronic rhythms.

First to take the live stage was Stefan Evan Niedermeyer better known to a rapidly increasing group of fans as Siren. Opening up is never an easy task but Siren and his band rose to it with a good line in stage banter and attention grabbing tracks like his stunning debut ‘Buckets Of Blood’.

At this point the venue was nearing capacity and very lively indeed so one man band Chad Valley had an eager audience for his blessed out and balearic brand of modern electronic pop. Using many gadgets he expertly layered vocal harmonies to dramatic effect and swept the audience away to a happy, hazy place.

Back on the wheels Night Works notched things up a gear to set the scene for the main event, the best Chicago-inspired house act to come out of Toronto since, ever? Suffice to say they did not disappoint, launching full speed in to a jacked-up version of ‘Hungry For The Power’ sounding every bit as crisp as it does on record but injected with magical live mojo. Vocalists Starving Yet Full and Fritz Helder married phenomenal vocal chops with very strong looks and serious dance moves, you couldn’t ask for two better front men.

They worked a fanatical crowd in to a serious sweat with other classics from their debut like the Green Velvet inspired ‘Manic’ reverberating round the 100 Club with its repitched vocals and woozy synths. The piece-de-resistance was, of course, ‘Reckless With Your Love’ but they surprised everyone by segueing straight in to a cover of Chicago classic ‘No Way Out’ by Adonis. A quick and unexpected chorus of happy birthday to Converse and it was all over, they disappeared in to the night to work their magic at the next club.

An amazing way to mark a year of amazing parties, as always keep your eye on converse.co.uk to find out what’s next.