LIVE REVIEW – Frank Turner + Arkells + The Homeless Gospel Choir at The UEA

Protest songs and punk rock rung through the LCR as Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls brought the the Be More Kind world tour to Norwich for it’s final show on the 17 date run all around the UK. There are just not enough superlatives in the dictionary to describe how good, from start to finish, this show was.

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The Homeless Gospel Choir

Kicking things off was The Homeless Gospel Choir, or Derek from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as he so regularly reminded everyone in the crowd. From the outset he captured the crowd with his quick wit and outrageous songs such as his opening song ‘With God on Our Side’ that has lyrics like ‘With God on our side, We can do whatever we want’ which as the song went on the lyrics became more serious containing themes such as slavery and homophobia.

Derek from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania managed to sing about serious themes and raise awareness but all along maintaining a light hearted demeanour that made each song more accessible yet thought provoking. He kept true to his beliefs whilst mentioning issues that are happening in America, sharing his thoughts on a Mr Donald Trump on several occasions as well as other topical issues currently happening.

To round off the set he took to a more personal outlook with his song ‘Normal’ describing how listening to Green Day’s ‘Dookie’ changed his life whilst bringing out fellow support act Arkells who helped with the song, ringing out the lyrics ‘You’re never gunna be normal, cause you’re a punk’ with the song talking about his discovery of music and punk rock.

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Arkells

Straight after finishing The Homeless Gospel Choir’s final song, Arkells claimed the stage, which is a little touch that I really appreciated. At near enough every show you go to, there will be a pause in between bands as their teams set up instruments and sound check lasting around maybe 30 minutes. This however, going from one support band to the other was such a clever way of linking the two, not allowing the energy for the room to dissipate.

Arkells soon erupted into their first song ‘Knocking At The Door’ with lead singer Max Kerman using every chance he had to dance and move around the stage, for the bands first appearance in Norwich, they really left a lasting impression with me just for their obvious passion and energy. Kerman in between songs mentioned that they are hoping to return in November and they are definitely a band to catch if you can.

As the band went into their second song ‘Private School’ they paused for a second half way through the song. With the lead singer mentioning that normally they would bring out someone who can play guitar to join them, but this time they found someone in the queue to get into the venue. Frank Turner himself soon appeared announcing himself as ‘Francis’ and grabbed an electric guitar to finish off the song.

The Arkells would then go on to finish off their set in an upbeat fashion with Kerman stating ‘All the best shows happen on a Friday, so as it’s a Wednesday lets bring up the energy to make it feel like a Friday’ and would then go on to play songs like ‘People’s Champ’ and ‘My Heart’s Always Yours’ with the lead singer not stopping to jump and move throughout. To even push things further, during ‘A Little Rain’ Kerman joined the crowd to get everyone singing to warm up for the headliners of the evening.

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Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls

After two superb support bands it was finally time for the man himself, First off was The Sleeping Souls individually taking up their positions on stage, before finally Frank making his second appearance of the night, running out on to the stage launching into a track from his latest record ‘1933’ before going into a couple of older tracks ‘Get Better’ and ‘The Next Storm’ which straight from the off got the crowds voices singing.

Not long after his first three songs he soon addressed the crowd, asking a couple of important questions. The first, the standard, ‘Are we having a good time?’ to then asking to ‘Put your hands up if this is the first time seeing him’. With a surprising amount of hands shooting up which seemed to take even Frank back, he then listed a couple of mandatory rules for his shows. ‘Don’t let your fun spoil others nights’ and ‘If you know the words to a song, you better sing them loud’. This last one definitely goes without saying.

For the set itself it was the perfect mix of old and new, playing songs from his latest album such as ‘Make America Great Again’, which had red, white and blue lights accompanying to playing songs like ‘The Road’, ‘Recovery’ and ‘Reasons not to be an Idiot’. Showing off songs from a range of his albums, not being afraid to mix the old with the new. He even addressed the fact saying ‘People always ask for old songs, well I say, if you want old songs, then we shall fucking play some old songs’.

Between every few songs Frank wasn’t scared to let his personality come shining through, from welcoming everyone to show 2173, to talking about the struggles of reaching the top spot in the charts. Going off into a bit of a tangent he would go on to mention that when he released one of his albums, Michael Buble knocked him off the top spot, to then have the following record be knocked off by Dr Dre, which he goes to admit, they completely forgot about Dr Dre. This time however, Be More Kind is being kept from the top spot by ‘Hugh Fucking Jackman and Zak Efron’ as he so eloquently put it, with the soundtrack to ‘The Greatest Showman’. Although he mentions that the charts doesn’t matter, you could tell that this one may annoy him a little bit. A quick look on his social media feeds definitely confirms this.

All in all, this may have been show 2173 for Mr Turner, he treated it like show number 1, with his clear passions for music and performing being left all out on the stage for everyone to enjoy. To truly enjoy a Frank Turner show, knowing a few of his songs will work in your favour, because this is a show you just want to sing until your voice breaks just to join in and fully enjoy it.

 

LIVE REVIEW: Barenaked Ladies + Boothby Graffoe at the UEA

The party was back in town last night, as Barenaked Ladies took to the UEA stage for the first time in what is far too many years, promoting their new album ‘Fake Nudes’, alongside the fantastically amusing Boothby Graffoe.

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Boothby Graffoe

Opening the night was Yorkshire-born comedian James Rogers, whom you may also know by his alter ego named after a Lincolnshire village, Boothby Graffoe. A man of many talents and years of experience behind him, Graffoe had the whole crowd in stitches within the first few seconds of him being on stage. He performed a brilliantly planned out set, with a clever mix of joke telling and comedic songs, touching upon the surreal side of an imaginary animal kingdom in songs like ‘Baseball Playing Spider’ and ‘Polar Bear’.

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As somewhat a jack of all trades, Graffoe wasn’t shy to burst into laughter and admit he’s tripped over his own teeth during the song ‘Hartlepool’ and with a fair bit of improvisation, he was constantly engaging the crowd to sing along as well. Before the end of his set, he was joined by Kevin Hearn and Jim Creeggan for an outstanding performance of ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’

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Barenaked Ladies

Headlining the Norwich UEA was a a now four-piece Barenaked Ladies, however this did not affect the great energy and feel-good atmosphere this group can create. Starting off their 6-song acoustic set with ‘Thanks that was Fun’, all members were set up in line at the front of the stage – Tyler with a small drum set, Kevin on guitar and keyboards, Ed on guitar and last but not least Jim on double bass. The acoustic set made for a slow and relaxed start as they were building up to the main set, which mainly meant getting rid of Tyler’s ‘ridiculously tiny drum set’, as Ed described before they went off stage for enough time to ‘buy a drink if you’re already at the bar’. In between songs, lead singer Ed shared their experience from that morning as him and Kevin went to explore Norwich town, had breakfast at the Waffle House and were mislead by the crazy April weather.

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As they moved on to the main set, which included tracks from both their new album ‘Fake Nudes’ as well oldies-but-goldies that everyone knows and loves. This has also marked Jim’s switch from double bass to an electric guitar and he was absolutely loving life with the freedom to move about on stage. Backed by years of experience and knowledge, there is no doubt that these guys are not only insanely talented but also know how to put on a proper show! While Tyler and Ed stuck to drums and acoustic and electric guitars, Jim switching back and forth from an electric guitar to a double bass and Kevin was almost playing a different instrument in each song, including an acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, piano and even an accordion.

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When the main set finally kicked in it suddenly got the crowd moving and singing along to tracks such as ‘Brian Wilson’, ‘Canada Dry’, and what was definitely one of the highlights and the greatest songs of the night – ‘Be my Yoko Ono’ where they were joined by Boothby Graffoe. Of course, having saved the best for last, the end of their performance was becoming more imminent once we were singing and dancing along to the fantastic ‘Big Bang Theory’ theme song and the songs that followed after that.

All in all, it was a fantastic night filled with laughter brought by the surreal sense of humor of Boothby Graffoe, and a greatly energetic atmosphere created by the unmissable Barenaked Ladies.

LIVE REVIEW: The Islas + History & Lore + Pedro at The Waterfront Studio

Last night, we were given the opportunity to meet three amazingly talented artists at The Waterfront Studio in Norwich.

Pedro

Starting the night off with a moderately filled studio, was a young artist called Pedro.

Very much at the beginning of his musical career, Pedro took to the stage, only himself, his guitar and tons of charisma, stating that he wants to create as much energy as whole band would.

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Pedro played a selection of his own songs, all guitar based, easy listens and instantly likeable which was also obvious from the crowd’s reaction. Naturally, simply being on stage by yourself can be quite an intimidating task, however, throughout his entire performance, there was no awkward moments whatsoever and, as promised from the beginning, Pedro did indeed deliver by creating a fun and enjoyable atmosphere, bringing lots of energy with his songs, friendly banter as well as his easy going and bubbly personality.

This was a memorable performance from an extremely talented artist who we’re confident will go on to become much more popular.

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History and Lore

The second support act of the night was History and Lore, a melodic-indie 5 piece from Cambridge.

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Their set started off slowly and with a few technical difficulties, however this didn’t spoil their performance as, soon as they hit the breakdown point within the first track, it made for a fantastic show. Although their tracks might seem slightly heavy at first, they are without a doubt very enjoyable. It was clear to see that the group has a strong friendship at its core and they were loving every single moment of their time on stage. Their student-like upbeat vibe was ridiculously contagious and this was also reflected in the crowd’s feedback.

History and Lore brought the small venue to whole new level of liveliness, which was helped along by their highly energetic music, as well as the passion that the band members were showcasing during their performance. We absolutely hope to see them back in Norwich and East Anglia very soon!

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The Islas

Last but certainly not least, headliners The Islas, Norwich’s own four-piece pop/indie rock band.

Still a relatively new band, as it was only formed in 2016, The Islas have achieved an amazing amount in these past 2 years, from having caught the attentions of some of the biggest radios in the UK, to supporting Fickle Friends a few weeks ago, and, last night, they were headlining one of the finest music venues in Norwich and they did not disappoint!

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After two brilliant support acts, The Islas have absolutely raised the roof with their energetic atmosphere and fantastic selection of tracks. Inspired by certain things or moments in their lives, each song they played was their very own, as stated by lead singer Nathan in a ‘School of Rock’ reference – ‘This one was written by our very own Zac Mooneyham’ pointing towards guitarist Ross Allen. Their setlist consisted of songs of the highest quality, extremely likeable and all original bar one – this was The Islas’ take on Dua Lipa’s ‘New Rules’, which, at first, one would think is an odd choice, but The Islas have definitely made it much better!

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Near the halfway point, the crowd was treated to a love song, which wasn’t exactly a crowd favourite as lead singer Nathan hasn’t set the best tone for when he said ‘Let’s just get past it and get on with the better ones’ – can’t really blame him, The Islas definitely don’t strike you as ones for cheesy songs.

All in all, The Islas have put on an absolutely fantastic performance, and we have no doubt they will go on to gain more following and popularity in the next coming months, as these four very talented and charismatic guys can easily win over anyone’s heart. In the meantime, we will definitely keep on the lookout for them and hopefully see them again very soon!

LIVE REVIEW: Walk the Moon + Flor at The Waterfront

Last night we got the chance to see two fantastic and pure fun filled sets at the The Waterfront, who hosted the likes of headliners Walk the Moon and support act, Flor.

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Flor

Originally from Oregon, US, these four young artists, seem like a group of school friends who got together and created a band. Their fun and laid back vibe followed them as they entered the Waterfront, through the main entrance, stopped at the side of the stage for a very quick pre-show ritual and then finally went up onto the stage and started their set. While other artists tend to have their stage entrance very thoroughly planned out, like you will read about Walk the Moon further down, Flor made it all seem so genuine as though they were randomly passing by this venue and thought they would pop in and play a few songs.

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Opening the night with two upbeat tracks, the crowd instantly liked their catchy and easy to listen to songs, which you just cant help but enjoy. Two tracks in and problems seemed to arise as the bass guitarist, Dylan Bauld, couldn’t hear anything but bass in his ear piece, but this was quickly sorted by their crew. This caused barely any disruption though and lead vocalist, Zach Grace just laughed it off at the end of the song and then got on with the rest of their set. On the third track, a chilled atmosphere takes over the Waterfront and energy levels decrease for a moment and then kept at a steady pace throughout the rest of their set, building up to the craziness that was going to be Walk The Moon.

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Very talented and charismatic young lads, although unknown to the Norwich crowd they managed to put on a perfectly enjoyable show, so much so that as they were walking off the stage, someone shouted “You are so good, I love you!” – No doubt they will go on to win the hearts of more fans throughout the country and we hope to see them again soon, hopefully as headliners!

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Walk The Moon

Complete darkness, an empty stage, jungle noises and suddenly, the very famous chant from the beginning of Lion King’s ‘Circle of Life’ song as Walk the Moon emerges from the dark corners of the stage and get right into their set with the track that also titles their tour, Press Restart, a song quite different from their very well known Shut Up and Dance.

A simple set up behind them, these guys can raise the roof simply with their presence. Surrounded by an atmosphere of fun and relief, Walk The Moon have definitely made you forget about everything, lose yourself in the music, and just have fun.

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A few songs in it was finally time for a little banter with the crowd, lead singer Nicholas Petricca confirming that this was their first time in Norwich. Before moving on to the next song, to the request of the crowd, they sang Happy Birthday to one of their fans, definitely a birthday to remember!

Nearing the halfway point of their set, things are slowed down with Aquaman, and so begins the build up to Shut Up and Dance, a track which, without a doubt, was the highlight of the night. One could say, they certainly made the Norwich crowd dance… and sing along!

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Although the hardships that caused their last tour to be cancelled and the band members nearly going their separate ways for good, Walk the Moon have come back more than fighting, with a brilliant album, released back in November and their great energy that is simply contagious! We will keep an eye out for their next move and look forward to seeing them back in East Anglia!

 

100+ incredible artists join The Great Escape line-up!

Kicking off in less than 6 weeks, The Great Escape festival brings the best mix of artists together from all around the world and is truly one event you do not want to miss out on! With over 100 more artists added to this year’s already generous line-up, Rory Bett, MAMA CEO says ‘the level of talent is undeniably the best this festival has seen and we’re so excited to help break the next generation of musicians.’

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Joining the line-up are some of the hottest properties in rock at the moment, underground punk rockers from Bristol IDLES, Edinburgh’s own indie rockers Vistas, garage rockers The Regrettes, and local talent Demob Happy and The Magic Gang who will ensure wall-to-wall commotion with their fantastic debut album, shooting straight to number 12 in the charts upon its release.

Amid a host of new additions, other highlights include Nashville’s Soccer Mommy Sophie Allison, NOW NOW, Izzie Gibbs, Chris and Charlie, The Nectars, Cuckoolander, Dancing On Tables, Naomi Scott, Danish rapper K-Phax, Insecure Men, Voodoo Love Orchestra and local jazz artist Connie Constance and many more in the full line up below:

3RD LINE BUTTERFLY / 47 SOUL / A FESTIVAL, A PARADE / Æ MAK / AERIS ROVES / AK/DK / ABQ / ALL OUR EXES LIVE IN TEXAS / ALMA / AMAROUN / APRE / ARI ROAR / ART SCHOOL GIRLFRIEND / BC CAMPLIGHT / BENIN CITY / BLACK FUTURES / BLACK MIDI / BLANCO WHITE / BLIND BUTCHER / BLOSSOM CALDARONE / BRIGITTE LAVERNE / BROOKE BENTHAM / BRUNO MAJOR / BÜLOW / CARI CARI / CASSIA / CHE LINGO / COLONEL MUSTARD & THE DIJON 5 / CREWEL INTENTIONS / DAY FLY / DECLAN J DONOVAN / DEEP THROAT CHOIR / DELGRES / DELILAH MONTAGU / DIDIRRI / ECCA VANDAL / FABRIZIO CAMMARATA / FOREVER CULT / FRANC MOODY / GENTLE STRANGER / GIDEÖN / GINGER SNAPS / GIZMO VARILLAS / HAIKU HANDS / HAMMER / HANGMANS CHAIR / HARVEY CAUSON / HATIS NOIT / HELLO PIEDPIPER / HÖGNI / HOMEBOUND / HOWL AND THE HUM / HUSKY LOOPS / ILGEN-NUR / JACK RIVER / JANICE / JIMOTHY LACOSTE / K TRAP / KIRKE KARJA SOLO / KOJEY RADICAL / LADY BIRD / LE BOOM / LILLA VARGEN / LILY MOORE / LITTLE DESTROYER / LOTTO BOYZZ / LUKE MARZEC / LUNA BAY / MADDY STORM / MALENA ZAVALA / MARSICANS / MAX FROST / MELLAH / MILK TEETH / MR BONGO X DISCOJUICE / MS BANKS / MURPHY / NANA ADJOA / NIA WYN / NINA NESBITT / NOBLE JACKS / ODETTE / ORCHARDS / PALE SEAS / PIP BLOM / PLAZA / POLO / PRETTY VICIOUS / PUPPY / PVMNTS / QUEEN ZEE / RINA SAWAYAMA / ROSS FROM FRIENDS (LIVE) / RUTHANNE / SCUFFLE / SELF ESTEEM / SHADOWPARTY / SIMONE TANG / SOHAM DE / STEVIE APPLETON / SUN ACARNA / SUPERPARKA / SUSPECT / SWIMMING GIRLS / TELEMAN / TEN FÉ / THE BEAT ESCAPE / THE ESKIES / THE GARRYS / THE GENTLE GOOD / THE GO! TEAM / THE RHYTHM METHOD / THE TESKEY BROTHERS / TRIXIE WHITLEY / VERONICA FUSARO / WHITE ROOM / WHYTE HORSES / XAVIER DARCY / YUSUFLA/AADAE / AIVERY / ALBERT AF EKENSTAM / ALEX HEPBURN / ALICE BOMAN / ALLANA VERDE / ANAIS / ANNABEL ALLUM / ASHLEY HENRY / AU/RA / AUÐUR / AVEC / BEARCUBS / BREATHE PANEL / CALL ME LOOP / CARMODY / CATHERINE MCGRATH / CHAPPAQUA WRESTLING / CHARLES WATSON / CHRIS & CHARLIE / CLUB DRIVE / CONNER YOUNGBLOOD / CONNIE CONSTANCE / CUCKOOLANDER / DANCING ON TABLES / DAVID KEENAN / DEMOB HAPPY / DON’T PROBLEM / DRAHLA / FAERS / FLOHIO / FONTAINES DC / FRAZER / G FLIP / GEORGE TAYLOR / GOD ON MY RIGHT / HALEY HEYNDERICKX / HALLOUMINATI / HOLIDAY OSCAR / HOT DREAMS / HUNGRY JOE / IDLES / INSECURE MEN / IZZIE GIBBS / JEALOUS OF THE BIRDS / JOAN / JOE TAYLOR / KAI WHISTON / KALPA / KAWALA / KIOKO / KOATES / K-PHAX / KYLE CRAFT / LADY SANITY / LAURIE MANN / LE MOTEL / LIFE / LILLY AHLBERG / LISA MORGENSTERN / LOCKS / LOVE SICK / LUCA / LUCIE BARAT  / MARY MILLER / MEN I TRUST / MINA ROSE / MMNQNS / MOSS KENA / MOTHER’S CAKE / NADIA NAIR / NAKED ELEPHANT / NAOMI SCOTT / NATIVE SUN / NOW, NOW / ODD COUPLE / ONIPA / PHANTOM ISLE / PILLOW QUEENS / POLO & PAN / PSYCHIC MARKERS / PSYCHO COMEDY / REWS / RVG / SAINT RAYMOND / SAMANA / SONNY / SILVERLAKE / SLUGABED / SNAIL MAIL / SOCCER MOMMY / SOPHIE AND THE GIANTS / SORRY / SPORTSMAN / SUNSTACK JONES / THE MAGIC GANG / THE NECTARS / THE NIGHT CAFÉ / THE REGRETTES / THE VRYLL SOCIETY/ TOWKIO / TRILLERY BANKS / TUVABAND / VIDA / VISTAS / VOODOO LOVE ORCHESTRA / XTRM TOUR / ZAPATILLA / ZUZU

The Great Escape will take place in Brighton, between the 17th – 19th May and tickets are selling fast, so make sure to get yours as soon as possible, here.

21 more bands added to the ArcTanGent line up!

Taking place between 16th – 18th August, the ArcTanGent Festival returns this year, bigger and better, with a further 21 acts added to their already stellar line-up.

Although limited to a capacity of 5000 people, this is one of the festivals that guaranteed will not disappoint connoisseurs of Math-Rock, Post-Rock, Noise-Rock and everything in between! With previous acts including the likes of Russian Circles, LITE, Cult of Luna, MONO and returning bands such as one of this year’s headliners, And So I Watch You From Afar,  ArcTanGent are filling their stages with a carefully selected variety of only the best acts of the genres they’re representing.

 

Having announced this year’s headliners in early February and March respectively, And So I Watch You From Afar, GlassJaw and Shellac will be joined on stage by another twenty one fantastic acts, including Japan’s own Mouse on the Keys, Plini, Coldbones, Death and the Penguin, mølNatalie Evans, Only Echoes Remain and a special collaboration between Pijn and the Conjurer that they’ve named ‘Curse these Metal Hands’. Below is the full list of their latest wave of acts:

Mouse on the Keys / Plini / Tides of Man / OHHMS / Poly-Math / Jean Jean / Pijn & Conjurer: Curse These Metal Hands / Conjurer / Blueneck / Boss Keloid / møl / Orchards / Halo Tora / Bad Sign / Natalie Evans / Death and the Penguin / Coldbones / Black Futures / Seven Colour Drive / Codices / Only Echoes Remain

Of course, the above will also be joining the rest of the previously announced acts, which includes La Dispute, Black Peaks, math-rock pioneers on their first ever European show – GIRAFFES? GIRAFFES! and Rolo Tomassi to name a few. Full list of bands for you below:

 

ArcTanGent Festival takes place at Fernhill Farm, just outside of Bristol and tickets are on sale now, so if you want to be one of the lucky 5000, make sure to get yours quick here.

Mike Shinoda unveils two new songs and details of debut solo album

Capturing a ‘journey out of grief and darkness’, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda returns to the scene neither along Linkin Park, nor as Fort Minor, but with a debut solo album called ‘Post Traumatic, which will be out on the 15th June.

Immediately following January’s three-song ‘Post Traumatic’ EP, which was his first release since the passing of Chester Bannington, Mike also trumpeted the arrival of the new LP with videos for two of the album tracks, ‘Crossing a Line’ and ‘Nothing Makes Sense Anymore’, which you can listen to below.

 

The ‘Post Traumatic’ EP and LP capture a tone of confliction and redemption during Shinoda’s experience with loss and grieving as well as the healing process. In a statement about the debut solo album, he says: “It’s a journey out of grief and darkness, not into grief and darkness. If people have been through something similar, I hope they feel less alone. If they haven’t been through this, I hope they feel grateful.” You can pre-order the album here.

On top of this announcement, Mike Shinoda will embark on numerous solo shows this summer, in support of ‘Post Traumatic’, including UK’s own Reading and Leeds Festival, where he joins the Main Stage roster along side Kendrick Lamar, Sum 41, Skindred and Dua Lipa, to name a few.