Woman celebrates her 100th gig by seeing the band Blossoms at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge

By Shreeya Vaja

An avid gig-goer celebrated her 100th concert by seeing the band Blossoms at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge on Tuesday(NOV15).

Happy: Daphne at the Blossoms gig

Daphne Fields, 25, saw her landmark 100th concert in her home town of Cambridge, after her adoration for music, mainly Indie-rock, had encouraged her to travel throughout the UK and attend at least one gig every two weeks.

She said her love for live music came from when she saw UB40 at the age of 11, and since then she has loved every form of live entertainment.

Daphne sees going to watch live music as a way of self-care. She said: “Some people go to therapy but I go to gigs.”

Blossoms will be Daphne’s last concert of 2022, which she attended with a group of five friends, after going to over 30 gigs this year alone.

The pandemic put a halt to her live music hobby,. She said: “The pandemic made it difficult to not be able to do what made me happy for over a year but the first gig back was the best experience.”

Since the pandemic, Daphne has tried to attend every indie-rock live music event she can find. She sets aside money at the start of every month into what she calls her ‘gig fund’ and uses this money to get tickets for any artist or band no matter their popularity.

Blossoms started playing at 9pm and stayed on stage until 10.30pm.

Afterwards, Daphne said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better 100th gig, the vibes were amazing.”

TV Priest live at Firebug, Leicester: a raw, orchestral post-punk trip

Review by Shaikha Rahimi

Gone are the days where rock gigs are only about hair whipping and top-of-the-lungs screaming. From chest patting to the lyrics to swinging the microphone stand across the stage, Charlie Drinkwater draws a line between the audience and the band through emotion. And, above all, by being quintessentially TV Priest.

TV Priest’s debut album showcased who they are as a band as well as their versatility, and their second album hammered down their sound. Uppers was an unapologetic political statement and the predeceasing album seems to have traces of that, too. The earsplitting guitars and drums combined with Drinkwater’s vulnerable and honest lyricism created juxtaposition like no other.

Drinkwater, whose artistry is not limited to music, was profoundly immersed in the lyricism throughout the show. He did not stop at satisfying the audience’s ears; he brought the visuals into it. His stage presence is theatrical in a sense, and he almost innately feels the urge to act out his lyrics. “Life only comes in flashes of greatness,” he exclaimed, with his hands over his head. 

TV Priest on stage at Firebug. Image by Shaikha Rahimi.

One Easy Thing, one of TV Priest’s most known tracks, had to make it to the setlist, and the band’s ability to immerse the audience into the lyricism shone through once again as Drinkwater said: “And when you used to laugh, rooms used to open for you .. like a mother weeping.” 

He does it once again as he repeatedly patted his chest while building up the crescendo: “I need to sleep, so very, very deeply. But I am on the call, and I am waiting.” This moment was the highlight of the night. TV Priest put on a show that is well-rounded and strikes a balance between theatrical elements and rock music. I would not have been surprised to see curtains closing the show. 

With the size of Firebug’s venue in mind, it already felt like an intimate gig. But Drinkwater took the artist-fan interaction up a notch by sitting at the edge of the stage during Limehouse Cut, one of the many profound moments during the show. Contrary to the studio version of the track where Drinkwater’s vocals are low-pitched and sonorous, he howled and quavered: “Won’t you follow, follow me?” into the crowd without a microphone. Drinkwater is certainly au fait with sustaining fan interactions. “You can find us around our merch stall after the show selling T-shirts to pay for petrol,” he said mid-show. It seems transparency is not limited to his lyricism.

For the audience, this is a rollercoaster with consistent highs and no lows. It encapsulates meaningful lyricism, with zestful stage presence, and timeless sound. Drinkwater’s commitment to the vulnerability of his lyricism carried the audience through a plethora of emotions. He was clearly submerged in the guitar, bass, and drums. You could just see it in his face, and you cannot help but surrender to the intensity of their marvellous crescendos. Nothing held TV Priest back. This show was incised with energy, sensational vocals, and unparalleled stage presence.

The support act were London-based alternative-rock band Modern Woman. Their music is hard to label and is mysterious in its intent: post-folk-meets-art-rock. The layered instrumental excellence of the violin – yes, a violin – and the electric guitar with the rhythmic cymbals created a goosebump-inducing sound.

But it was TV Priest’s night: a show that felt like a raw, orchestral post-punk trip that gave the audience a thrilling adventure that was all about screeching guitars, pounding drums, and authenticity.

TV Priest’s current European tour takes in France, Belgium and Switzerland and concludes in Köln, Germany on Friday, November 25. Buy tickets at https://www.tvpriest.com.

TV Priest to play Leicester show

By Shaikha Rahimi

The post-punk band will play in Leicester’s Firebug at 8pm tonight.

London-based rock band TV Priest will play Leicester’s Firebug Bar tonight. The post-punk band are touring in support of their second studio album My Other People.

TV Priest are best known for being signed by Sub Pop Records, a Seattle-based record label that achieved fame for signing central players in the grunge movement such as Nirvana, Mudhoney, and Soundgarden.

Frontman Drinkwater said the band enjoys travelling to refine the sense of community while playing shows for their fans. “We’re lucky to be out doing all of this and meeting our people. It’s the reason you get in a band, really,” he said.

“We have been all over Europe so far – and have been to Amsterdam for the first time, which is amazing. We just came back from the US and Canada in August, so we’ve been busy. It’s been a busy last couple of months.”

The band premiered One Easy Thing on February 15 as the lead single for their second studio album.

“The suit of armour [in the music video of One Easy Thing] is metaphorical in lots of ways in terms of how I interpret music and how music is so rooted in emotion.

“I always strive for an element of honesty in our performances. I like to bring a range of emotions. When you go to a show, you go through so many different feelings – one minute being more combative and angry, the next minute tender, and then maybe funny. I try to be as open and honest as possible in the way I am on stage by letting the emotion of the song be the conduit,” said Drinkwater.

This UK and Europe tour is the band’s second tour after they have toured their debut album Uppers.

“The first time we toured we were very keen to shake out and shake off a lot of the frustration we’ve had from being separated for two years. So, the nature of that tour was quite intense, punky, visceral, and loud. It’s not to say that we moved away from all that, but this album has got a few more tones by the nature of it. We’re very keen on showing that and playing with a bit of light and dark.

“We play loud music most of the time, but this time I want to show it’s not just who we are as artists. We’re capable of showing emotions other than anger,” said Drinkwater.

And, he added: “[On this tour] I’ve allowed myself to be more of a singer in lots of ways and to have moments where I draw melody. It’s really strange because sometimes when you listen to a song you sort of disassociate a bit, and for me, that’s really special. Even for the rest of the band, we try to play around with the technicalities of a song to expand the kind of sound we’re producing. The boys invest a lot of time learning about different sounds to create something that feels more considered than just back-to-back noise.”

“We play loud music most of the time, but this time I want to show it’s not just who we are as artists. We’re capable of showing emotions other than anger.”

The band kicked off their tour in Diksmuide, Belgium on October 23 and will continue touring the UK and other European cities before finishing in Cologne, Germany on November 25.

Doors will open at 7pm and the show will start at 8pm at Firebug Bar. Tickets are priced at a face value of £9.

Tickets are available for purchase at https://www.seetickets.com/event/tv-priest/firebug/2312962.

The band will play 13 European shows and 12 UK shows to include Leicester.

Download Festival 2022 – A review from a staff member

By Kira Gibson

I dreamed of one day going to Download Festival. My dream came true this year when I was able to arrive at Donington Park, ready for Download 2022 in June. 

I wasn’t expecting to walk nearly three miles just to get to the arena, where I would be camped out with the rest of the merchandising staff working the event. 

The site was massively spread out, with the village being another mile or two away from the arena in the opposite direction to where I’d originally come from. Another mile away from the arena was the RIP area where they had their own stage and stalls (a perk of being able to afford to camp in that area). 

The day I turned up, I was dropped off at 6:30am at the blue gate and had to walk for what seemed like forever in a straight line, unsure if I was going in the right direction to get to work. Instead of it being forever, it was more like an hour, along three miles on a straight road, carrying and pulling a suitcase and my tent, along with my bedding and other things needed for the week (June 8-12). 

I’d never been camping alone, had no idea how to put up a tent and yet I still pushed myself with excitement that I was finally here at the festival I’d dreamed about for the last 19 years of my life.

My role in the event meant I was able to access anywhere on the site, and I could enjoy the premium showers and toilets that were only allocated for RIP ticket holders. All of this added to my happiness about working at the event I’d only ever wished I could be a part of. 

During the lead up to the event, I added many groups on social media to figure out what to expect during the festival, something of which came in handy on the job. Posting on social media about what I was selling brought ticket holders to my stall and sent rumours flying around the site about what was being sold at the stall I worked for the majority of the week. 

Previous years Download RIP memorabilia (Photo credit Kira Gibson)

I was able to see what bands I wanted to see, as I was given breaks during the day to go and watch bands and get something to eat. Shifts varied depending on where you were stationed and if you wished to work more hours after you finished working after the stall you were on had closed, you were given that choice. 

However, the week wasn’t without challenges. The festival was a cashless event which caused major issues for me when buying my lunch. I was being paid for lunch during the day with cash. Thankfully, there was a co-op shop in the village which took cash on a couple of tills so I was able to have something to eat other than Pot Noodles and snacks that the company provided. 

Another issue that had arisen during my time at the festival was multiple brushes with security guards that challenged me on my staff status and on my disabilities. 

I was challenged on the second night at the festival due to forgetting my hi vis at the stall where I was working for the weekend. I was informed I wasn’t allowed to access my tent due to not having it, because I wasn’t allowed in the arena without it. I did end up being able to go to my tent without it, because another guard talked to me about it and we sorted the issue, but it didn’t stop a few people eyeing me up and wondering whether I was staff or not despite having the wristband. 

The biggest problem I had with security was on the Saturday night after Iron Maiden. I came back from the village after they had finished and the crowd had been funnelled out to the different campsites across the park. I came to cross the crowd and when they stopped for a minute to let a vehicle through, I crossed the busy street. I was confronted by a security guard who, despite me having a hoodie saying I was staff and the wristband, did not believe I was staff and certainly didn’t believe I was disabled. 

The guard wanted me to walk the long way round, back to the village to get to my campsite… which was in the arena and the complete opposite direction to where they were sending me. I told them I was disabled (not even a day before this, I was struggling to walk) and they looked me up and down, and said with a hint of disgust in their voice: ‘I’ve heard all of that before.’

I was able to resolve the issue by talking to one of their superiors after the particular security guard had walked away, but it highlighted a bigger problem across the site. Some people only decided to enforce the rules when it suited them. Others were around me at the time that weren’t staff and hadn’t been approached by anyone. 

An ex-security guard at Download who attended as a normal attendee this year with his family, Stephen Hemphill said: “We had our autistic children searched on Sunday evening which we have taken to the head of Festival Republic and the matter has been settled. The days before we were never searched at all.

“The matter is resolved and I have full respect for Festival Republic on how they handled it.

“We have had this issue sorted for everyone as my kids’ disability isn’t visible so some staff will be trained a lot better.”

His experience, along with mine and many others, shows that sometimes not everything goes to plan. Whether it’s staff or members of the public, something can always go wrong. However, it’s the way that people handle it that can show how well a festival is run. 

The experience I had working at Download 2022, was one of the best weeks of my life. I was able to see bands I had wanted to see for a long time, and meet some amazing people who I am still in contact with nearly two months later. 


New Leicester band plays first concert

by Kas Ellis

An up and coming Leicester band played their first concert on Saturday, March 12th. 

Robbie Childerhouse, the bassist for Leave Your Body Behind, performed with his two other bandmates at the SoundHouse. 

After only a month together, the band took to the stage with their seven song setlist, featuring six of their original songs. 

“It was nerve-wracking,” Robbie said. “It was extremely intense.” 

Robbie had never played with other people before Leave Your Body Behind, but once they performed a few sound tracks, his nerves went away. 

Despite a few mistakes, Robbie said the performance went well, and was enjoyed by both the performers and the audience. 

“It couldn’t have gone much better,” Robbie said. 

With all the excitement from the event, Robbie said it has taken a while to come down from the rush, saying it’s the ‘only thing he can think about.’ 

If you want to listen to psychedelic rock band Leave Your Body Behind, their music has been uploaded to Spotify, and they are planning on performing another concert in mid-May.