My thoughts on episode one of The Voice UK

My thoughts on episode one of The Voice UK

Popular TV talent show “The Voice” returned to our screens this weekend, bringing with it some new rules and new coaches as well as the return of fan favourites Will I Am and Sir Tom Jones.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this season so I sat down with an open mind. I have to be honest, I was very very underwhelmed with the standard of contestants within this first episode. None of them really got my attention or got me excited, and to be frank, some of them were awful!

There was one contestant that got my attention and made me excited and that was the final contestant “Mo” performing “Iron Sky”. I could just tell that he really wanted a turn and he really deserved it, his passion during his audition was like nothing I’d seen in a while and certainly blew the other contestants out of the water, I predict a bright future for him on the show.

The same can definitely not be said for his friend Max Vickers who performed “You Can Call Me Al”. I use the term performed very loosely.. It sounds harsh but he just couldn’t get ahold of himself or his vocal technique during this performance, he genuinely sounded and looked like he was having a fit on stage! Remarkably, he got a chair turn from of the new coaches Gavin Rossdale.

Over the last few years, the standard of performances on The Voice UK has been shocking, the American’s, Australian’s and all the other countries are blowing the UK out of the water, we don’t have a leg to stand on at the moment and we haven’t for quite some time. The shows should be about showcasing genuine talent, not about sticking someone diabolical in front of millions of people to make good TV, they’ll only end up showing themselves up in the end.

Overall, I am completely disappointed and underwhelmed by the first show, even the coaches performance (bar Jennifer Hudson) was mediocre. I hope that in episode two, things improve drastically.

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The Musician’s Muse – Episode 2 – Social Media and The Music Industry Rant, Music from Pacific, Justin Bieber Walk Off

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In this episode, Gary talks about social media within the Music industry, plays you music from one of his favourite unsigned bands and gives his two cents on the recent Justin Bieber stage walk off.

LISTEN TO EPISODE 2 HERE

Links

Pacific’s feature on the blog

Justin Bieber walks off stage 

Pacific on Soundcloud 

The Musician’s Muse (Podcast)

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I’ve decided to create a podcast guys! It’s called The Musician’s Muse and is essentially an audio version of this blog! Here it is:

https://www.podomatic.com/embed/html5/podcast/5489041?style=square&autoplay=true

I hope you enjoy the show, it’s going to be a weekly show, published on Tuesday’s. Episode 1 has already been published, feel free to go and have a listen and share around with your friends!

My biggest issue with The X Factor

XFactor-logo.jpgThe X Factor is probably one of most well known reality TV shows in the world these days. For those of you that don’t know, it is a televised singing competition produced by music mogul Simon Cowell. The aim is of course, to win and then go on to receive a record deal from Simon’s label “SYCO”. Some of the most successful UK X Factor contestants are: Olly Murs, One Direction, Little Mix and recently Louisa Johnson and James Arthur.

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Recent X Factor Winner Lousia Johnson Credit: WENN.com

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with this show in particular if I’m honest. I’ve had friends that have competed on the show (and won it) so naturally, I can’t argue that the show doesn’t create that leap to fame that most musicians crave . However, there is one huge thing about the show that I absolutely cannot stand.

That thing, is that the show allows bogus acts through above actual talented people, and it is all in the name of “entertainment”. This is especially the case in this years X Factor. Take “Honey G” for example,  a supposed “rapper” who can’t sing for toffee but is being allowed through to the live shows above actual singers.

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Honey G on X Factor live shows  Credit: Metro.co.uk

Some news sites are saying that Honey G is always being put through because her gimmick is “saving The X Factor”. It’s no secret that the ratings for the long running talent show have been at an all time low in recent years, with the possibility of it being cut from our airwaves completely, it is possible that Mr Cowell has decided to go to extreme lengths to give the British public a reason to tune in.

Many industry stars, including Little Mix, have dubbed Honey G a fake and an actress, could this be true? If so, I wonder how much Simon is paying her to make a fool of herself in front of millions? After her Linkedin profile (holding multiple degree qualifications) was un-earthed, the authenticity of the rapper from “South Weezy” has been truly called into question.

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Anna Gilford A.KA Honey G on Linkedin Credit: Thesun.co.uk

However, I do believe that if the show focused on actual talent, that people would tune in for that too. I personally would rather watch an hour of exceptional musicians give it their all for a record deal than watch people like Honey G try to rap ( and therefore make me struggle not to scream at the top of my lungs)

As a musician, it really does sicken me to the core that untalented people are being given airtime whilst I know singers that have auditioned this year and got turned away that are on another level, it makes no sense and to me, ruining dreams of hard grafting musicians in favour of bogus acts in order to apparently “keep ratings up” defeats the object of a TALENT competition.

I really hope that Cowell starts to realise that he doesn’t need fake acts in order to create a successful show, before it’s too late and acts like “Honey G” leave a black mark all over his hard work.

 

Review: Work. Home. Bed – Hummer

hummerHummer are a Punk/Alternative band from the North West UK, and does what it says on the tin.

Will and Joe originally formed as stereotypical noisy high school punk band “S.F.R” in 2004, with college classmate Cainy coming on board in 2008 at which time they also changed their name; after going through 3 drummers in 7 years, Cainy moved from guitar to drums in 2011, with the lineup remaining the same ever since.

Following an extended spell of general inactivity brought about by a combination of education, work, other bands, writer’s block and general bone-idleness they came back at full-throttle in late 2015, now armed with a raft of new songs plus the occasional oldie.
I have to say, after listening to their latest release “Work. Home. Bed (released on Horn &Hoof Records in July 2016) , I have officially been blown away! From track one, these guys grabbed my attention and sucked me in for the rest of the album. I love the high octane energy that has been thrown into each track, they haven’t dropped in their commitment once!
I could definitely tell that these guys had worked really hard on this release and I have to say that Hummer are possibly one of the best bands I’ve ever had the pleasure of reviewing on this site!
The one thing I instantly fell in love with was the brilliant use of harmonies and how tight the band were, I could definitely tell that these guys have been working together for a long time. I will 100% be adding these guys to my playlist! Check them out and you’ll fully be able to understand how good Hummer are!
Work.Home.Noise is available on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/album/0yP83J9mCOVWj0FivvcOf0
Hummer on social media

Review: Xander & The Keys – The First Marker

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Xander & The Keys are an indie-rock band based in Bournemouth, they have been together since late 2013. Since then, they have experienced lots of success as their time together continued and they are now signed to MBM Management.

Today, I will be giving my thoughts on their latest release “The First Marker.” Overall, I think that the record is really solid, the band are very tight which is to be expected giving how long they have been working together, the lyrics and the riffs are extremely catchy and it is clear that each member of the band is very skilled on their instrument.

I can certainly see why MBM have chosen to work with Xander & The Keys and I must say that considering how much work the band did whilst they were self-managed, I can only imagine what’s going to happen now that they are under the wing of a fully fledged management company!

The First Maker drew me in instantly from the first note, I was expecting great things and I can safely say that I was not disappointed. However, I do feel that some of the lyrics are too repetitive, this could be down to personal taste but, for me, there is a very thin line between creating catchy songs and just repeating the same line over and over again and calling it a chorus. This is not to say that the songs aren’t brilliant, I just feel that this is something that the band should work on for their next release.

Listen to The First Marker HERE:

Follow Xander & The Keys on social media

www.xandkeys.com