Alfie Boe & Michael Ball leave Manchester Arena with goosebumps

PERFORMING at the Manchester Arena last night, Alfie Boe & Michael Ball gave us West End classics, a Queen medley and some cracking one liners.

Different to most gigs we see at Manchester Arena, the floor area was crammed with seats for the crowd, but regardless of this, the classic tunes that the duo performed had the audience bopping around their seats.

The flawless voices of Michael & Alfie were mind blowing, with their angelic harmonies and impressive energy, backed by a very talented orchestral brought the show to life. It was as if you were at a West End show as they performed hits from Les Miserables, West Side Story and Hairspray.

The entire evening from star to finish was a great mash up of slow to ‘get up and boogie’ songs. The pair even did some solo’s and Ball’s classics from the show Hairspray were definite toe tappers.

The pairs chemistry and friendship was so clear on stage and their mix of humour had the arena chuckling, “I’m not really a miserable bastard”, laughed Boe, as he tried to maintain his straight faced persona.

It was clear that Michael was thankful to be working with Boe and was loving every minute of their tour: “I said it when we were here last and I’ll say it again, I love Alfie Boe…”

“I’m sharing this experience with someone I really admire and it’s a dream to sing to people like yourselves and thanks for making a dream come true…”

Of course the duo showed their love for the city of Manchester, performing in the arena where the tragic attack happened in May this year: “We remember the 22, my god do we remember them and it really brings it home what happened in this room…”

“Nobody showed the love better than Manchester.”

After both Michael and Alfie expressed their admiration for the city and the military services, Boe performed a cover of Snow Patrol’s Run: “I want you all to turn the torches on, on your phones, and each light will be a symbol of the soul of someone we have lost to war or to something tragic.”

The scene was beautiful and a hair raiser, the entire arena was lit by thousands of tiny lights, resembling a sheet of stars.

Photo credit: Lauren Wolanski-Bones

Michael ball left us some lovely words: “Keep dreaming big, because you never know when your dreams will come true. Keep dreaming the impossible dream”.

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Raver Tots comes to Manchester for raving fit for the whole family

RAVES are a thing of many peoples youths, dancing the night away in clubs, abandoned warehouses or on the beaches of Ibiza. They bring out the kid in many of us and as many of us age and start families, we do not want to sacrifice those exciting experiences of our youth. But imagine if you could share those raving memories with your children first hand? Well, now, its a thing, with thanks to Raver Tots! 

Raver Tots celebrates the notorious UK rave culture by allowing families to dance and play at events that simulate the iconic raves that sweep the British music scene. At their events, DJ’s play the best in Drum & Bass, House and UK Garage, including tunes which you will definitely recognise from your youth.

Resident DJ’s at the moment include Nicky Blackmarket, who plays Jungle and some iconic drum and bass tunes. Also behind the decks is chart-topping Garage legends Pied Piper, MC DT and DJ Luck & MC Neat as well as old school raving pioneers Slipmatt, Vibes and Druid.

Mike Pickets, the founder of Raver Tots explains it as a “brand new party, where parents can re-live some amazing times to the sound of their favourite DJ’s of the club scene, whilst the kids can have a genuinely fun day out with tones of entertainment”

 

Mike has been a club promoter for 10 years as well as being a father of two young boys. He ‘s always loved organising their birthdays just as much as his job organising club events, “I decided to combine my work and family life which is how I came up with Raver Tots. The response has blown me away and we are selling out in many cities.” The event now runs nationally and has been a huge hit with families across the UK.

“It is rare to find something on a weekend that the parents love as much as the kids, but we seem to fill  that gap.” Parents can expect to hear all of the dance classics from their youth, and experience an atmosphere full of smiling faces and hands in the air.

Mike has ADHD and as well as creating a raving atmosphere that parents and children can share, he wanted to make an event which was ADHD friendly, “I’ve struggled with it all my life. I wanted to create something for those with ADHD where they can work off some steam in a safe and really fun environment…

I wanted to make the ‘peace, love unity and respect’ ethos which is common in the raving world and highlight mental health with it.”

JK Photography

A large amount of money made from the Raver Tots events is donated to ADDISS, the leading charity for those struggling with ADHD. As well as this, £1 from every ticket sold is donated to the National Autistic Society.

There is activities from UV Face painting, face painting and a huge dance floor for the kids so there is no chance of them getting bored. Andy Riley took his daughter to one of the raves in Preston, “The atmosphere was great. I was honestly shocked at how good it was from start to finish.”

He plans to take his daughter to the next one, “We have already booked it! My daughter won’t stop talking about it to all of her friends so I think we’ll definitely have some extra little ravers with us next time…

“It is a fantastic way to show your children something from when you were younger that you loved. It was cool to experience it with them and see them enjoy it as much as we used to.”

Many parents have taken to social media since attending Raver Tots singing its praises and plastering photos of smiling parents and children all over the Facebook page. “There was definitely a sense of euphoria in the room listening to some of the songs. It was nice to meet people too…

“Everyone obviously had a mutual love for the rave scene and the music so conversation flowed and the kids all got on. I barely saw my daughter at some points because she was off boogying with the other kids!”

 

The Raver Tots team have been overwhelmed with the response from the public, with some of their promotional videos being viewed over 7 million times in the last four months, “We have been featured in various national newspapers, on television as well as our events selling out. This has enabled us to focus our energy and time on making our events great fun and memorable experiences for the families.”

The Manchester Raver Tots event took place at Gorilla, in Manchester which is a favourite for the team, “we feel this is a really magical space with a fantastic team of people running it. We have a great working relationship with them and the have done a lot for making the event what it is in the North-West.”

Mike’s love for dance music definitely helps with his passion for the fantastic event, “As a kid, I used to save up to buy jungle tapes and by the age of 17 I had played my first DJ set at Brixton Academy.” Mike’s focus lies very much now with his family life, but he still has a huge love for the music, “Raver Tots enables me to keep a hand in the music I love but still be in bed by 10pm with a cup of tea!”

2,000 limited edition Manchester bee baubles available this weekend

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MANCUNIANS will have an extra special reason to head into town this weekend, as Manchester Arndale is giving out exclusive Christmas Bee baubles in a festive-themed social media initiative.

The worker bee has been Manchester’s symbol since the 19th century but this year more than ever, it’s become a symbol of Manchester’s love and sense of community. After the tragic attack in May, many Mancunian’s as well as just lovers of the city got tattoos of the bee to show their support for manchester, as well as wearing clothing showing off the iconic symbol. Our little bee can be seen on bollard, plant pots and walls all over the city, but this christmas, you could also find them on your christmas tree.

This weekend, the Manchester Arndale are giving away 2000 bee baubles to christmas shoppers. The gold bauble features the notorious glitter worker bee in a display box that mancunian’s can add to their festive decorations for years to come.

These baubles will be available on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th, with 1000 to be given a way each day. All you have to do is snap a picture infront of the hard to miss 25ft Christmas tree, share it on social media using the hashtag #ARNDALEXMASBUZZ and show your post to the bauble collection point team to claim your free bauble. The collection point will be located on the upper mall near Next.

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Manchester Arndale’s Head of Marketing, Lisa Hawkins, said: “The bee has always been synonymous with Manchester, but this year it has been particularly important to the city as a symbol of our amazing community spirit and resilience. We’ve seen it pop up in lots of ways, with everything from tattoos and beautiful artwork, to unique jewellery and clothing. We hope shoppers who are enjoying the city over the weekend will share a picture of their festive day out and take home one of our special baubles to display proudly on their Christmas tree.”

The team have worked closely with the We Love Manchester fund recently and think the bee baubles are are perfect festive idea to show the sense of community spirit throughout the city.

The bauble collection point will be open 11am-6pm on Saturday 9th December, and 11am-5pm on Sunday 10th December.

Raising the roof in Factory, Manchester

Imagine going for a night out in town, for it to end with you holding the ceiling of a club up due to it falling through… That’s what Manchester party goers had to deal during the early hours of Sunday morning (February 12th) in a club called Factory.

The Factory night club in the centre of Manchester is a staple night out for students all over the city, with its ‘Quids In Mondays’ and three floors of different genres of music.

However, during the early hours on Sunday morning, students were left quite literally ‘raising the roof’ of the club when the ceiling on the first floor of the club caved in. As the panel of the ceiling fell through, dust and glass was scattered all over the floor and onto the clubbers below it.

Factory issued a statement on all of their social media platforms the morning after the event:

However, when contacted to give some information about what happened on the night they refused to give any quotes or any more information than that that could be found in the statement they provided to the public.

In 2014, ironically in February, the exact same thing happened to the ceiling of Factory and clubbers were left, once again, holding the ceiling up. As well as Factory being in the news twice for its faulty ceiling, last year a teenager was assaulted in the city centre shortly after being involved in a dispute inside the club.

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A student that was in Factory on the night it happened said, “We just felt this weight on our heads, it didn’t hurt but it was a bit of a shock.

“People started to scream and yell but after a few minutes everyone calmed down. You could tell that the staff and bouncers weren’t prepared, it took the DJ about 5 minutes to turn the music off and for them to start evacuating people.

 

“Lights smashed when it happened and I got dust and glass in my eyes. I don’t think anyone was injured but a good night out definitely took an unexpected turn.”

Factory say the will be open as normal after the event but the first floor will be shut until they fix the ceiling.

The Grammy Wardrobe

Not only has this week graced us with New York Fashion Week, putting us in the right frame of mind to appreciate and digest some quite bold and daring statement outfits, but the Grammys followed NYFW in suit. The Grammys is the perfect place for celebrities and artists to push the boundaries and test the limits of the red carpet. Before the musical acts for the night put on their stage costumes, we had a look at their entrance outfits and oh boy were there some ‘fashion statements’.

Adele

Wears Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci.

Once again, Adele absolutely slaying an elegant look which she took to the stage in to receive her award for album of the year. The dress is very flattering on her (slight Princess Fiona from Shrek vibes but it works) and the elegant style of the dress completely masks Adele’s party animal persona that was all know lies underneath that Givenchy gown.

#adele

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Rihanna

Wears an Armani Privé look with a Roger Vivier clutch and jewels by Chopard and David Webb.

Rihanna perfectly exposes her tattoos with her red carpet outfit this year. The orange and black combination could be quite halloweeny but Rhi Rhi makes it work. The skirt looks like she could be hiding people underneath it and her crop top is tailored strategically around her sternum tattoo.

😍😍😍 #Rihanna #GRAMMYs | 📷: Getty #RihannaNavy

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Lady Gaga

Wears a shiny leather ensemble with feather embellishments and plenty of underboob by Alex Ulichny.

Yes yes yes yes. Lady Gaga is notoriously crazy on the red carpet and her outfit this year was everything we wanted and more. Leather, chains, heels no other human could walk in and boobs. Also, take note of the chest area that is visible in Gaga’s outfit – apparently it was the trend this year to have outfits which exposed this area. Gaga looks like she’s just stepped off a motorbike and is about to rule your world with some insane sex.

Cee Lo Green

No one knows what the heck he’s wearing.

What why how who? We feel like Cee Le Green just thought ‘right, what ridiculous outfit can I wear this year?’. Is he trying to be the Trump Tower? A chocolate bar wrapper? Who knows.

#GRAMMYs 2017 cc: @iamgnarlydavidson @frazerkh

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Celine Dion

Wearing Zuhair Murad Couture

Absolutely owning the red carpet in this emerald, fitting dress – Celine is nearly 50 and still looks incredible no matter what she wears. The dress exposes her chest and the slit is subtle but sexy.

#celinedion #grammys #grammys2017

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Demi Lovato

Wearing a Julien Macdonald dress and David Yurman jewels

Obviously got the inner boob memo. Demi’s dress looks very classic and flattering on her. It exposed her curves in a perfect way and her long hair looks so effortless which works beautifully with the dress.

When your dress is completely see through…… 😈😇

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Carrie Underwood

Wearing Elie Madi Jimmy Choo Max platforms

New drinking game, every time you see a key hole cut dress on the red carpet, drink. But, Carrie Underwood looks on fire with this slightly sheer red gown. The sleeves of the dress are dramatic which sort of work but would have worked better if they weren’t there as they sort of take away from the rest of the dress and its detail.

#Grammys Red Carpet: #CarrieUnderwood and #KelseaBallerini

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Jlo

Wearing Ralph & Russo

Oh look, that special section of chest which almost every female celebrity had on show at this year’s grammys. I feel like we haven’t seen JLo this covered up on the red carpet in quite a while but somehow, she still makes it look sexy… HOW. We’re just not really sure about the creation that going on around her neck… Is it tissue paper? Is it a flower? Who knows but she still looks to die for.

Katy Perry

Wearing Tom Ford

Blonde Katy Perry we LOVE. Her red carpet outfit, not so much. She sort of looks like a very expensive paint brush… From the waist up everything works. The chrome top half of the dress goes perfectly with her makeup and hair, but as you move down, a Sesame street character emerges from her bottom half.

Laverne Cox

Wearing custom Bryan Hearns

Elegant leather goddess. Laverne either looks like she’s going to feature in some intense BDSM porn in the morning and be in a business meeting by noon. Her make-up is smoky and sultry and her hair is slick and her entire look works perfectly.

Skrillex

Rocking a plain white t-shirt, black pants and shoes, Skrillex looks like he does every single of day of the week. He is showing the beauty of the Grammy’s red carpet – there are no pressures, you can either go all out (Cee Lo Green with his take on The Trump Tower) or go back to basics, as Skrillex has shown us with his outfit choice.

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Charli XCX

Wearing Vivienne Westwood

Where does the red carpet start and finish? Charli literally looks like she is wearing the red carpet this year. She looks very elegant and the shape of the top of the dress is stunning.

#grammys 💃🏻🌹❤️ @viviennewestwoodofficial ❤️

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Tori Kelly

Wears a Badgley Mischka dress, Neil Lane jewels, and Edie Parker clutch.

Imagine the flamenco dancer emoji but in a green dress and with blonde hair and you have Tori Kelly at the Grammys. However, Tori owns that green dress and beachy blonde waves.

Self-defence for wheelchair users

A self-defence academy in Manchester opens its doors to wheelchair users, teaching them the art of Keysi to make them feel safer on the streets. Lauren Bones spoke to Chief of the academy Richard Lawrence about the new classes.

Established by Chief Instructor Richard Lawrence, Keysi NorthWest is a Keysi Academy specificially for the North West of England. They train in both Manchester and Liverpool for people of all abilities and from the age of 15.

Earlier this year, Keysi announced that they were going to start providing classes for wheelchair users to increase their safety on the streets and at home. “The wheelchair lessons are something that the owner of the Fighting Fit gym, Jay Cahill and I do as demonstrations to show people with disabilities what their bodies are capable of,” Instructor Richard explains. Before becoming the chief of Keysi NorthWest, Richard served in the army for 9 years in Iraq and Afghanistan, “Some of my comrades are now amputees. This and the fact that Jay is an above the knee amputee and is a brown belt in Brazilian jujitsu is what made me think about what is possible for a wheelchair user to be capable of, in the means of self-defence”.

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1. The images are from a demonstration Keysi Northwest performed at Manchester Metropolitan University.

They train individual wheelchair users on a need by need basis however classes aren’t regular as such, Richard explains that “It’s very difficult to get groups of wheelchair users together in one place at the same time for such a thing!”

“We train two things in essence – attitude and body mechanics” Richard explains that Keysi is a form of self-defence which is seen in big Hollywood films like The Dark Knight and Jack Reacher. It focuses on how the body moves during a fight and relies on recognising what the body is capable of which is perfect for wheelchair users.

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Advanced students of Keysi are able to learn ground work self-defence.

Wheelchair users will do a lot of work striking the focus mitts and this works on their timing, coordination and spatial awareness, as well as lifting emotional energy, “We also do some floor/ground work for the more advance students. Everyone has different capabilities and that is why the training is different from person to person.”

Richard states that “I’ve heard so many stories of wheelchair users being threatened but so far I’ve seen no evidence that wheelchair users are more likely to be attacked.” The classes take place to help wheelchair users feel less vulnerable and more safe in their everyday lives.

For more information about Keysi and their wheelchair classes visit: http://keysinorthwest.co.uk/ or Richard via Twitter @keysinorthwest

 

 

PREVIEW: Don’t Let Daddy Know at Victoria Warehouse

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Photo credit: Louis van Baar

Since its birth is 2012, DLDK has had insane success, with its unreal line ups and notorious venues. Not only are we lucky to experience DLDK in the UK but it has toured world wide and hosted festival stages at Creamfields and three times sold out Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam…

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DLDK is known for its crazy dance music, pyrotechnics, lasers and talented DJ acts. In February last year, 8500 clubbers gathered in the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh, and this year, DLDK can be seen in India, Macau, Spain and of course, Manchester.

This years line up for Manchester includes names like Show Tek, Blasterjaxx and Don Diablo. Another DJ playing on the night is Sem Vox, the founder of DLDK and I was lucky enough to ask him some question about the event and what can be expected.

“I love dance music and the whole industry around it” Sem Vox replied when I asked him why DLDK was set up, “It was always a dream for me to set up a concept like this.”

There’s quite the mix of DJ’s playing at DLDK, and Vox explained that “they all have their own sound which is important to attract different kinds of people, and of course no one wants to hear the same track more than once in a night.”

So far, Vox explained that “Everything is going really well. I’ve been to visit the venue and it looks huge”. Victoria Warehouse, where DLDK will be hosted this bank holiday Sunday, is famous for its Warehouse Project events which have been running September to new year since 2006.
“I love it. It’s small in comparison to venues we normally take DLDK too but I love the vibe in there.”

“The event will be sold out.” As it has been for the past 2 years at venues all over the world. “I love the UK crowd, they are WILD.”

With a name like DLDK, people are interested to know what its all about, “It’s a long story! We started the party in Ibiza, and now travel with it all over the world. The name says it all – Don’t Let Daddy Know what happened at the event.”

Other than the incredible music we can expect on the night, Vox explained he was excited for “the energy from the crowd, the flags, the love.” And not only is there a new venue but Vox tells of a “bigger production” this year.

And what can we expect from the night? “Madness!”

ALBUM REVIEW – Views

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We have waiting patiently and it’s FINALLY here.
Beyonce released Lemonade last Friday and now the 6 God has dropped Views (formerly Views from the 6). The 20 track album is currently only available on iTunes and Apple music and if you’ve not yet listened to it, you need to.

 

First track we are blessed with on the album is ‘Keep the Family Close’. The orchestral opening to the ballad is reminiscent of a Bond theme, with some big string stabs and stunning melody. I feel like trust issues are centered around the lyrics of this song, ‘All of my “let’s just be friends” are friends I don’t have anymore’.

The next track is ‘9’ and ohhhhh my. The beat to this song is disgustingly good (I highly recommend listening through headphones). “I turn the six upside down, it’s a nine now.” The lyrics are all about Drake’s home town and it’s a perfect follow up to the first ballad track.

‘U With Me?’ is one of my personal favourites. It sounds like it could have fit perfectly on his Take Care album. The track is a twisted love song about whether a girl is really with him or not, “it’s like a lot of games are being played, how’s it going down”

‘Feel No Ways’ has got a serious 80’s feel to it and is another one of my favourites. Another love focused track which I think we really hear Drake’s vocal ability. Feel like you can definitely feel the Majid Jordan influence on this track and we get another taste of that orchestral style at the end of the song.

A track with the name ‘Hype’ was only going to sound one way and that’s with fast hi-hats, heavy bass and Drake spitting hard. ‘Hype’ sounds very reminiscent of ‘Worst Behaviour’ or ’10 Bands’.

#VIEWS Tracklist

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There’s a huge contrast between the last track and ‘Weston Road Flows’. It’s a real throwback to the 90s so an appropriate track to be about Drake’s past.

‘Redemption’ is another ballad/slow track. It’s very reminiscent of Marvins Room and Drake goes for a more simple kick and snare beat.

The next track ‘With You’ features PARTYNEXTDOOR who I’m also a big fan of. It’s a real head-nodding track but still manages to be stripped back. I feel like this track is going to be huge in the summer afternoons, “It’s about us right now girl where you going?”

‘Faithful’ is another track with some filthy bass going on in the background. Again, we get to hear Drake’s gorgeous vocals mixed with Pimp C’s heavy style.

The intro to ‘Still Here’ is darrrrk, but, the bass and bounce is ridiculously catchy and gets your head nodding. Also the percussion that comes in at 2:22 is unexpected but soooo good.

So far, everyone who I’ve spoken to ‘Views’ about has said ‘Controlla’ is their favourite track and I can’t help but agree. It’s such a feel good song and is very reminiscent of ‘Hotline Bling’. Definitely another summer track.

Another song which Drake has managed to do some more beautiful dad dancing to, ‘One Dance’. I have tried my best not to overplay this track because it is so damn beautiful to listen to. The reworked stabs from Kyla’s ‘Do You Mind’ are stunning and fit perfectly.

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‘Grammys’ featuring Future will be heard a lot over the summer as they’re touring together. This track is a contrast from the last few, back with the heavy base and drilled hi-hats. Also the beat that comes in when Feature starts his verses is crazy heavy.

“I say bounce that sh*t like woah”, ‘Childs Play’ is a fast beat track, with that iconic bass and hi-hat beat coming in for the chorus. This song is another one of my favourites.

We’re all well aware of ‘Pop Style’ and its haunting sound. The track is dark and has the legends Jay Z and Kanye teaming up with Drake on the song. It’s not the strongest track on the album but its so different to anything Drake has ever released before.

I always love a Rihanna and Drake collab, and ‘Too Good’ is absolutely stunning. Although the hook isn’t strong, the beat and vocals work perfectly together. Rihanna’s vocals, as usual, gave me Goosebumps.

Not really sure what to make of the ‘Summers Over Interlude’… Sounds like the soundtrack to a really old school, porn soundtrack.

‘Fire & Desire’ has a smooth and gorgeous intro and I cannot get enough of it, (sampling Brandy’s ‘I Dedicate’.)

With a track name like ‘Views’ I think we’re allowed to expect big things and that’s exactly what this is. It’s an invigorating end to the album and I think it should have been the last track on the album as it would be a perfect finisher.

And then we’re greeting with the infamous ‘Hotline Bling’. Although it is a banger, and we all love to throw down a dad dance when it comes on, it feels like a weird end to the album, I know its supposed to be a bonus track but still, weird.

20 very different tracks are a lot to take in on an early afternoon but I am in love with this album. I feel like a lot of the tracks are unlike Drake has ever released before, but it works really well together.
My favourites on the album are ‘9’, ‘U With Me?’ ‘Too Good’ ‘Controlla’ and ‘Hype’.

If you haven’t downloaded it yet, Drake’s new album Views is available on iTunes now.

INTERVIEW | Lights

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Canadian musician Lights is currently touring the UK, blessing us with her electropop and synth music. Her upcoming album, Midnight Machines is set to come out on April 8th and I was able to catch up with her to ask about her current experiences and success…

Lights fell in love with creating music from a young age, as she explained: “I wrote my first song when I was 11, after my dad taught me my first chord. A couple years later I had saved up enough money to get an 8-track recording system and began making my own mixes and producing.”

Her musical family is what really got Lights into music, and she described how far her parents support went towards who she is today: “My dad is musical and is the reason I got into this in the first place. He enabled me to learn my instruments and both my parents encouraged me to chase my dreams. That kind of support goes further than people realize.”

Got a few shows coming up in the UK! Show me what's good I miss you guys

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Lights has performed at a few different sports around Manchester, and she shared her love for the city: “Manchester has always been a good vibe for our shows. It’s definitely a music city and I have some wicked fans there.”

Like most musicians, many different thoughts go through their heads before taking the stage and Lights shared what goes in her head before a concert: “I look at people and try to pick up on their vibe. Is that guy trying to hook up with that girl? I wonder if this girl has a crush on me? She’s cute. Is this guy super stressed and tired from work and here to let off steam, or are they on a whack ton of drugs? Lots of cool scenarios come up.”

Although Lights adored playing at Manchester’s Sound Control, she has dreams of playing at Wembley Stadium.

When it comes to inspiration for her very individual style of music, there was quite a variety: “I like listening to what sounds fresh from the newest innovators and producers to keep my ear on how the soundscapes are evolving. So sonically I’m looking to an evolving roster of talent.”

“For songwriting I usually look to the classics, Joni Mitchell, Supertramp, Bjork, and Cyndi Lauper to name a few.”

“I’d love to see what would happen in a session with Kanye” Lights revealed when asked which musician she’d love to work with in the future.

Not only is Lights a fantastic musician, but she also has a big passion for animation and comics, “I wasn’t making music, I’d probably be doing that.”
Her music video for her 2010 track ‘Saviour’ actually features some of Light’s animations and drawings.

Light’s upcoming acoustic album Mignight Machines features one of her favourite tracks which she has written, called Follow You Down and she briefly discussed the story behind the track: “It’s about the lengths you’d go for a real friend.”

We can be sure to expect huge things for Lights in the future as she revealed: “No lies, I have some insane stuff for you to look forward to over the next year. Prepare!”

Her acoustic album ‘Midnight Machines’ is available from April 8th on iTunes.

REVIEW | Carl Cox at The Albert Hall, Manchester

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Dilated pupils, lights & sweat.

Without a doubt, Carl Cox and Friends was the best event I have ever been to. The Albert Hall went from having several groups of people dancing calmly, to a point where you were unable to move due to gurning ravers throwing themselves all over the venue.

The night began with UK based DJ Jon Rundell warming up the crowd with some tech house.

Carl Cox explained Rundell as ” a jewel in the crown. He’s really great with the crowd and his music. He’s been a great support to me. Put him in front of 30,000 people and he really goes for it. He naturally warms the crowds up. We always discuss what we’ll both be playing and he goes out there and does it. At the moment he’s better than most top DJs I could mention.”

I feel like Rundell wasn’t the strongest warm up Albert Hall could have had that night, however, as Carl Cox said himself, he really did go for it with his set, and got the crowd hyped for the other DJ’s.

Yousef followed Jon Rundell and he absolutely blew me away. His set was argueabley heavier than Carl Cox’s, which I personally enjoyed more, He had the entire crowd in the palm of his hand from start to finish and no one stopped moving for the entirety of his set.

The Albert Hall also showed its true colours during Yousef’s set, with lasers and canons coming from every corner of the venue, making the night just that little bit more intense. It got to the point where I was struggling to take photos because I was being bumped into so much by sweaty, tranced ravers.

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Yousef is playing at two of the UK’s most popular dance/tech festivals, Creamfields and Parklife this summer and will be sure to be equally as fantastic as he was at the Albert Hall.

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And just as the crowd thought they couldn’t dance anymore, Britain’s most notorious DJ blessed us with some incredible tech house tracks.

Not only were the tracks Carl Cox was dropping fantastic, but his stage presence just made the experience even better. Cox is an absolutely timeless DJ and the crowd was filled with people from the age of 18 to 50.

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“Oh yes Oh yes Manchester!” Cox shouted his famous slogan to Albert Hall countless times during his set, making the crowd go mad.

Because of the heavy tracks Yousef was dropping, Cox’s set was equally as heavy and the entire of Albert Hall were dancing until they could not dance anymore. I think proof of a good rave is when you pull a muscle in your leg from skanking for just that little bit too long.

As confetti cannons exploded over the crowd, and everyone continued to throw their hands in the air, The Albert Hall was lit with strobes and blue lazers, making the night trippy and hypnotizing.

Carl Cox is gracing the UK with his prescence once again at Bestival and Wild Life festival in the next few months and I highly recommend that if you haven’t seen him yet, then you definitely need to.