LIVE REVIEW: Hayseed Dixie + Emma McGrath live at The Waterfront

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If you are uninitiated to who Hayseed Dixie are, the only way to make sense of what you are about to read is to go listen, pick out any of their songs you find on Spotify, you might recognise a name that sounds familiar like, 7 nation army, Ace of Spades or Walk This Way, give it a listen and enjoy. That’s what the evening was all about, pure fun, enjoyment and some bloody good music.


Emma McGrath

First up of the night was support act Emma McGrath, if talented acoustic music is your thing, then definitely give Emma a listen. Walking into the show as an almost unknown McGrath and drummer made the stage their own, displaying that she is full of personality just bursting to get out and a very talented performer who sings and can play multiple instruments.

The only downfall for Emma is the show itself, having her as a support artist to a band like Hayseed Dixie is just an odd combination and not one you would expect. Much to her credit though, she addressed the issue, simply laughing at the fact that they wouldn’t be the sort of band you would expect to see in support and pushed on to introduce herself to the crowd and show off exactly what she can do. If i’m ever to catch Emma McGrath live again I would hope it would be in a more suitable tour, either way though, the reception at the end of set was a signal that she won a fair few members of the crowd over. Keep an eye out for the name Emma McGrath, i’d expect and hope you’ll hear it again soon.

P.S. Train circumstances meant I wasn’t able to take photos, hopefully this can be corrected sometime soon.

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Hayseed Dixie

Well, where do I begin with these guys, it has to be one of the more casual, uncaring entrances to a show I have ever seen from a headline act. Most of the time you’d expect to see all instruments set up perfectly and have some dramatic music hit over the speakers as the band come out. Not Hayseed though. One by one they came onto the stage, the only thing set up before was the microphones, first up was lead singer John Wheeler and then gradually the rest, all with instruments in hand, placing their cases and alcohol to the back of the stage and one by one setting up their instruments. Something about how nonchalant this was just made me smile from the off.

Instantly their personality shone through, even before they started playing, as the rest of the band were setting up, singer Wheeler was just happily miming away to what ever country hit was playing over the speakers. They soon busted into their first song of the night and the talent on display was quite impressive, it didn’t take long before mandolin player Hippy Joe Hymas was off, I would easily equate him to being the Slash of the mandolin, that guy can play and he didn’t stop moving the entire set, he was going from pulling faces at members of the crowd to then just about giving the finger to everyone he made eye contact with.

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As they were roaring through their set, it was amazing to see how seamless they could go from one well known rock song to another, I couldn’t keep up with the amount of songs they fit into one, they would go from Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody to Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On to Rolling Stone’s Paint It Black in a flash, and it all fit marvellously in with one another, this happened so often this reporter just couldn’t keep up with all the different songs they steamed through one after another, fitting it all in together.

On the rare break in between songs, there was plenty of comedy on offer to, Lead singer John Wheeler just loved to chat away, interact with the crowd, one part in particular is making the entire audience whisper ‘F*ck yeah’ every time he said ‘THE America’ as well as casually took the piss out of both England and America. It’s a testament to the band that as this year will be their 18th birthday as they quickly pointed out ‘you can buy guns and have debt, but you can’t drink in America’ that they seemed to have this much enjoyment and energy on stage, if Hayseed Dixie are in town near you, I fully recommend going to one of their shows and just seeing it for yourself.

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An acoustic evening with Liam Gallagher


Liam Gallagher has had a hell of a 2017 and 2018 looks much the same as he prepares to headline festivals touring his hit solo album that was released last year. Last night however, Radio X and Global hosted a special, intimate, one-off show with Liam on the roof of their Leicester Square headquarters and one of our writers, Sam Dawes, was lucky enough to get tickets to the show.

First a thank you, Radio X put on something brilliant, this will be a memory that i’ll hold dear, I grew up to the sounds of Oasis and this was truly amazing.

Walking up to the show, it almost didn’t feel like it was real, with such a name like Liam Gallagher, if you were to go see him anywhere else, it would be a given that it would be sold out, you would expect to see crowds of fans piling in to whatever venue he was at. Last night however, was very different, there were no long queues to get in, there was a couple of brave fans hoping to get a spare ticket in, I have also since read there were a few fans listening from outside the building, it felt almost cruel to only have one spare ticket, but it is what it is.

Once we were in and up, we walked through the door to the rooftop venue, and it blew me away just how intimate this show was going to be, it was a reasonably sized stage, an assortment of instruments for his band mates, but about two meters away from the edge of the stage was the barrier of the balcony. Cameras were set up all over the roof terrace as well capturing every angle the legendary singer would possibly stand in, Radio X was making sure they were capturing it all, which they have already teased to be releasing soon.


After collecting drinks and trying to keep covered up from the cold as much as possible, Johnny Vaughan soon took to the stage, to announce Mr Gallagher. During Mr Vaughan’s opening speech, he mentioned ‘Seeing a big name in a small venue is the holy grail, you would trade in any stadium show to see Liam in a small venue is right’, I think everyone would agree that this was pretty spot on.

With the sheer amount of video cameras around set up by Radio X, there was a strict no photography or filming put in place by Liam, something I am quite thankful for actually, phones in gigs now just are such a disconnection from the music, people record their favourite songs live, never to watch them again and it’s just something that’s in the way, some people end up watching more of the show through their phone while recording it then actually watching and enjoying, it’s a shame but that is how things are now.

Liam soon came out and kicked things off with ‘Wall of Glass’ this was just about a stripped back set, acoustic guitars, piano, synths and a snare drum and pad were set up, with his band members all in synch to make it an acoustic set, but it was more than just Liam and a guitar, it was still a proper show.

Click here to watch Liam perform ‘Some Might Say’

The venue although small, was almost it’s own downfall, it was on the verge of awkward, there were around 50 people along this roof terrace, half were competition winners who won tickets through Radio X, the other half was a mix of Global staff and people that come with Liam, so it felt that it was a struggle to get a real atmosphere on the go, it was on the cusp of awkward, but not quite, what I think held that together was Liam, if it wasn’t him on stage, it may have slipped to awkward, especially in the position that I was in, along the terrace railing, directly in front of the stage.

Mr Gallagher soon rattled on through his set, starting with a few songs from his solo album such as ‘Greedy Soul’, ‘Bold’ and ‘Paper Crown’ and then mixed in some Oasis classics in like ‘Some Might Say’, ‘Rockin Chair’, of course ‘Wonderwall’ and finishing off the set with ‘Live Forever’. All in all he was on stage for 9 songs, and they went by so quickly, there was a few calls for him to stay on longer, but once the maracas were down, that is where they stayed, I was personally hoping for a little Q&A or even for him to chat more as we all know he has such a big personality, but alas, I can’t complain too much, to attend such a gig was special, a word I can’t stop saying to describe last night.

The set list that I managed to retrieve from the stage:


LIVE REVIEWS: Alien Ant Farm/SOiL/Local H – The Waterfront – 10/2/18

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Local H

Opening the show emphatically, was Chicago natives, Local H, without any previous knowledge about the duo, from the get go I was quite impressed with the energy that they brought to the stage, for a band with a modest following and relatively unheard of this side of the pond, they didn’t waste time opening the show.

Much to the bands disadvantage, the venue was in the process of filling up so ultimately there wasn’t much feedback from the crowd and at the start, if anything, it seemed like the grungy, garage band style of Local H hasn’t quite convinced the Norwich public yet. A couple of tracks in, vocalist Scott Lucas quickly introduced themselves in between songs, and I do appreciate that time was of the essence but there could have been a bit more interaction with the public, it is never easy opening the show however, so they can be forgiven for cracking on with their set.

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As their set was coming to an end however, the crowd seemed to have picked up and a quick glance around revealed a few hands up in the air as well as a bit more movement down in front of the stage.

All in all, there is room for improvement, however, Local H’s performance has exceeded my expectations and although it is a shame that the public didn’t seem as excited at the time, I’m certain that the group has gained a few more followers and interest regardless.

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Continuing the night, Soil have started off with what seemed like a mashup of their most well-known songs, teasing ‘Halo’ to the delight of the audience. By this time, the venue was significantly more crowded, and I even spotted a few dedicated fans wearing Soil t-shirts from tours previous.

After doing some research I found it surprising that although Soil came to life 10 years after Local H, they seem to have far more experience and charisma when it comes to the public. During their performance, there was far more chat and banter and lead singer Ryan McCombs was funny and engaging. At one point, laughing of his trousers nearly falling off during one of the songs.

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Fan favourite ‘Halo’ rounded off their set and the crowd came alive, especially as McCombs got off stage and amongst the fans as everyone crowded to get selfies and sing along to a track that still holds up well today.

Personally, Soil was the best performance of the night, bringing personality and energy to the stage with a feeling of the band genuinely being happy and humbled to the turnout for the evenings events.

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Alien Ant Farm

Finally it was time for the headlines of the evening, Alien Ant Farm, to take to the stage. Sadly, unless you are a die-hard AAF fan that knows their every song, you might be slightly disappointed. Their sound crosses over quite a few genres from alternative metal to pop punk and while, on the one hand, this may not seem like such a bad thing as you could say they have a something for everyone, on the other hand comes the disadvantage of this as was the case at The Waterfront last night.

While lead singer, Dryden Mitchell, has plenty of charisma and kept the crowd engaged throughout the night, there was a noticeable difference in the feedback of the public during their well-known hits and not-so-well-known songs, unfortunately the mix of songs within their set struggled to compliment each other, leaving the energy within the room to feel awkward and almost lethargic.

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Probably the most interesting thing that happened during their performance was when the bouncers had to get someone out from the front row who was causing trouble being told to ‘F*** off out of here’ by the lead singer of Alien Ant Farm during their performance. Regardless of the troublemaker, the group continued their show uninterrupted and were determined to give their fans as much as they could during their hour and a quarter long set.

Although I wouldn’t class their performance as one of their best, Alien Ant Farm are without any doubt one the most beloved groups of the 00s, however, sadly, they just seem to have not evolved from that era.


SMOKEHOUSE REVIEWS: Darko / Actionmen / PMX / Pessimist – 02/02/18


The Smokehouse in Ipswich brought everyone an evening of rock goodness from fast skate-punk madness to hardcore moshing on Friday night as Darko, Actionmen, PMX and Pessimist put on a show that filled out this tiny venue.

And first things first, an apology to Pessimist, we were only able to catch the last two song of your set and couldn’t quite cut our way through the room to get some snaps, from what we heard was decent and sounded well rounded enough and left us intrigued to hear more, hopefully we can make amends and review and take photos of you guys in the near future.

Check out Pessimist –


For us the night properly kicked off when PMX entered the stage as the Scottish punk band brought us their Melodic Punk and personality and relaxed attitude which was infectious throughout the venue as they ran through their set and feeling relaxed enough to take advantage of the snacks and beverages behind the scenes to the side of the stage as well as often getting interactions from the audience in between songs.

Considering they only just performed in Manchester the previous night the four-piece band didn’t show any signs of a long days travel as they finished up their set and soon joined in with the crowd for the rest of the evenings entertainment.

Check out PMX – 


Legends Actionmen have been making crazy hard rocking noises since 2000, and Friday night wasn’t any different from the Italian trio, with surprisingly heavy sound mixed in with melodic playing and just about every other style you can think of. It’s hard to nail down who Actionmen are as each song took an unexpected twist going from heavy to melodic sounds to then flipping it entirely to a jazzy kind of sound that only makes sense by listening and experiencing Actionmen.

No mater the mash up of styles within their songs the tightness within the band and their music is truly understated as with each switch of tone and sound, it was in perfect harmony with each other which was a pleasant surprise to the evenings music.

Check out Actionmen –


The night finished off with Darko who brought us their shredding hi-octane hardcore punk rock, this was clearly the crowd favourite and the timing of the set was perfectly in time with the night as it didn’t take long for the room to turn into a mosh pit feeding off the energy who i’m sure, the bassist did not stop bouncing and moving the entire set.

Darko was the perfect finish to the evenings hard rocking feast of an evening that leaves you having a good time after seeing some good music played loud and hard. The bands each stood out and were the perfect example for what an evening of local music can bring.

Check out Darko – 






Gallery – The Amazons and Pale White – The Waterfront – Norwich

Photos by Sam Dawes Photography