Win Ed Sheeran Tickets - LISTEN TO THE CHRISTIAN O'CONNELL BREAKFAST SHOW
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Would you like to win a pair of tickets to see Iron Maiden? You could see them perform live on their Book Of Souls tour in Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Sheffield, Glasgow, Aberdeen or Nottingham. Enter now for a chance to win a pair of tickets right here! This competition ends at 23:59 on Monday 1st May 2017. This prize does not include travel or accommodation.
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Blossoms - Studio Session
Kaiser Chiefs - Hole In My Soul (Live)
Ed Sheeran - What Do I Know? (Live)
Blossoms - Studio Session
Kaiser Chiefs - Hole In My Soul (Live)
Ed Sheeran - What Do I Know? (Live)
Ed Sheeran - Castle On The Hill (Live)
Biffy Clyro - Live at St James's Church
Courteeners - Studio Session
Richard Ashcroft - Live at Absolute Radio
Coldplay at the London Palladium - Interview
Tom Chaplin - Live at Absolute Radio
Bear's Den - Live at Absolute Radio
James Bay - Live at Abbey Road
George on Florence + The Machine at British Summer Time, Hyde Park
British Summer Time, Hyde Park - it genuinely never disappoints. When this year's lineups were due to be announced, I really thought I'd struggle to top last year's evening with The Who, Johnny Marr, Paul Weller et al - but instead found myself properly spoilt for choice.
Legends like Massive Attack, headlining shows with PATTI SMITH (yes!) supporting, or Mumford and Sons playing with Wolf Alice, Mystery Jets and Kurt Vile - some of my favourite bands around - really stepped things up a gear.
For me though, one of the most interesting lineups by far, in terms of sheer variety, was Florence's night. Playing alongside Kendrick Lamar, one of the biggest names in hip hop right now, as well as DJ/Producer Jamie XX, Blood Orange and Todd Terje promised for a incredible clash of musical titans.
Working an afternoon show on Saturday for Absolute Radio meant that devastatingly, I missed Blood Orange, AKA Dev Hynes, a man I've been aching to see for a long time. However, I did make it in time for Jamie XX. He was midway through the Radiohead Bloom remix he did back in 2012 as I passed through the gates, and almost in time with the drop... the heavens opened. It was a beautiful moment, watching people lose themselves in the downpour to a mixed set of older EP releases, remixes and songs from his excellent debut album In Colour.
Up next, Kendrick and his live band took to the stage in an explosive outpouring of frustrated, built up energy. In case you didn't know, the man has a lot to say - from the state of the US Prison System to Wesley Snipes' tax evasion - and make no mistake, he tells the story so well with a storming set of crowd favourites like B**** Don't Kill My Vibe, Swimming Pools and These Walls.
It's as the sun is just about setting that Florence comes onto the stage, barefoot and dressed, as my friend Flossy put it, like "a beautiful medieval mermaid". This would be the first time I'd marvel at her stage presence first hand - and I'm still a little bit in awe. Sprinting up and down the stage, spinning and twirling yet hitting every note and barely skipping a beat, she had the crowd in the palm of her hand from the off. A mass sing-a-long to 'Shake it Off' and an incredible encore rendition of 'What Kind of Man' were just some of the highlights.
It was an incredible hometown show rounding of an 18 month tour and a night that Florence, the Machine and London won't forget anytime soon.
Coldplay - Live at Wembley Stadium
18/06/16 - By Sammy James
At the end of Coldplay's third night in front of a sold-out Wembley Stadium crowd, Chris Martin said "Sorry for all the stick you have to take for liking Coldplay". From the success of the Head Full Of Dreams tour, there seems to be a huge amount of people willing to take the flak.
Coldplay are masters of moving with the times. Chris, Johnny, Guy and Will may be celebrating their 20th anniversary but their new material is just as popular (if not more) as the classics.
Once again they literally lit up Wembley Stadium using Xylobands, wristbands given to each member of the audience which light up different colours in sync to the music. The result is a spectacular 360-degree light show which seems to bring the crowd together, bringing intimacy only normally possible in small venues.
Coldplay's music suits the big occasion - I've never seen a crowd so well-orchestrated and that is solely down to the captivating stage presence of Chris Martin.
The evening was anything but self-indulgent. There were touching tributes to Prince and David Bowie, plus a rendition of Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire.
Most importantly though, Coldplay make the audience feel like the stars of the show. Coldplay's uplifting and bright melodies brought a festival atmosphere to Wembley, uniting the best part of 100,000 strangers with colour, happiness and love.
Pete on Queen + Adam Lambert
at Isle Of Wight Festival 2016
To put it simply, I was blown away. I genuinely had no idea this was what Queen was now - I'd somehow missed this incarnation of Adam Lambert and co.
I wouldn't call myself the biggest Queen-head in the universe, so when I strode up the rocky path to the main stage with a plastic bottle of Heineken in my claws, leaving our radio show behind in the Absolute Radio tipi, I'll level with you, I wasn't expecting much. I'd just assumed it'd be some kind of tribute act with a karaoke singer from a telly show with a stick on 'tache.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
Lambert was measured yet erudite, he exuded confidence and made the role his own - maintaining a respectful distance, but still giving us the frontman an outfit like Queen deserves in 2016.
The theatrics were there without ever falling into the arms of parody, the pipes were very much evident - and those old blokes at the back can play a bit too.
Leona on AC/DC at The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
I first saw AC/DC in 1988 with my mate Andy, fast-forward 28 years and we were at a brand new venue and an altogether different line up.
AC/DC were the first band to play at the Olympic Stadium and it was a strange atmosphere at first, like a festival with walls. But there's nothing quite like the buzz you get when your favourite band comes on stage (and on time, even with Axl Rose!).
Axl didn't live up to his bad boy reputation; he sang every song to perfection and was clearly loving being there. His voice was amazing and much more raspy than with Guns N' Roses, particularly suiting the Bon Scott era of AC/DC.
Let There Be Rock led into Angus Young's solo, which saw him on a rising piece of stage on top of the Marshall stacks with glitter blown around him and the seething mass of rock fans at his feet. By now the crowd was really rocking and The Stadium was complete with flashing red devil horns that looked dazzling as the night drew in.
Next up, we saw a giant inflatable Rosie appearing on stage for Whole Lotta Rosie and then You Shook Me All Night Long was sung by just about everyone in the stadium.
My personal highlight was the encore of Highway To Hell into the cannon-assisted finale For Those About To Rock (We Salute You). And yes, of course I bought another AC/DC t-shirt!
Leona on Muse's Drones tour at The O2
I've been playing Muse singles for years but it wasn't until the Drones album that I suddenly took more notice. I like my music loud and gutsy so this was right up my street. I wasn't ready for how incredible it would sound live, when they opened with 'Psycho' it sent tingles down my spine. The explosion of sound was aural bliss. But the emotion got me too. I haven't felt like this since my first AC/DC gig.
I don't care too much for fancy screens and displays but Muse had the perfect balance. Huge drones circled alongside intermittent visuals on a screen that didn't dominate but enhanced the atmosphere and sound. I loved the combination of the loud heavy riffs in contrast to Matt's falsetto voice.
Because it was 'in the round' we had a great view and felt part of the experience together. Every time Matt or Chris strutted near my end I felt like a teenager again. This was easily my best gig in years.
I've since bought the entire Muse back catalogue and have spent almost every car journey blasting them out. My boys love to shout along to the 'Drill Sergeant' and at home we have a routine for 'Knights of Cydonia' using swords and shields marching round the house in dramatic style.
I always buy tour t-shirt's at every gig I go to, though made the mistake of going for the white one this time (considering we have a lack of white wash in my house). I think I might be their new no. 1 fan.
Radiohead - Live At The Roundhouse
28/05/16 - By Tom Cotton
When Radiohead suddenly put out their 9th album "A Moon Shaped Pool" at the beginning of the month, it wasn't met with the usual level of surprise that these instant releases usually receive. There had been several clues that new music was imminent, including a run of European dates with 3 nights at London's legendary Roundhouse.
For most bands a trio of gigs at a 3000 capacity venue would be pretty huge, but for Radiohead these shows felt very intimate. The equivalent of a band playing the basement of your local pub. Tickets for the show were so in-demand that fans from all over the world lined up outside in the faint hope of spare tickets. Although the relatively small capacity of these shows undoubtedly left some fans unable to get in, you can understand why the band choose to showcase their new material in such a way.
The laid back, and at times ambient, nature of Radiohead's new album is a perfect fit for the old fashioned theatre feel of The Roundhouse. Songs like "Burn The Witch" and "Daydreaming" (that you may have heard championed by Danielle Perry on Sunday Night Music Club in recent weeks) sound brilliant in front of this noticeably respectful audience. You get the feeling these intricate tracks just wouldn't sound the same in an arena setting. These new songs are paired with some of the more atmospheric moments from the band's classic record OK Computer. That album was voted the 21st Greatest Album of all time by you earlier in 2016, and when the band treat us to songs like "Lucky" and "Climbing Up The Walls" it is easy to see why nearly 20 years on, you still hold the album in such high regard.
Radiohead have always been a band that have divided people, and that may even be true in the audience this evening. The band shun some of their much-loved material from The Bends in favour of deeper electronic cuts from the latter half of their back catalogue. However when they finish their set with the epic "Paranoid Android", any disagreement over set lists is forgotten as the 3000 strong audience sing together as one.