Chester Bennington, frontman of popular nu-metal act Linkin Park, has apparently committed suicide at the age of 41, confirms TMZ.
Bennington founded Linkin Park in 1996 and led the band to massive success after their debut album Hybrid Theory, which was granted multi-platinum status in 2005.
Bennington has been in a long battle with alcohol addiction and recently lost a close friend in rock legend Chris Cornell, who tragically hung himself only months ago. Bennington sung “Hallalujah” at Cornell‘s funeral last month.
The band released a critically panned album One More Light which was led with the band’s fresh pop style which was taken with a mixed response by fans.
Bennington also fronted a newer version of grunge icons Stone Temple Pilots when original vocalist Scott Weiland was fired. Weiland passed away tragically in 2015.
The legendary synth-pop act Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark have released the third single off their upcoming album “The Punishment of Luxury“.
The Wirral outfit have proven yet again that they’re not out of the game just yet with the latest batch of singles from their 13th album The Punishment of Luxury and today debuted the title track of the album that condemns materialistic society in the classic OMD way.
On the track, OMD shows off their effortless brilliance with their nostalgic and pure synth-pop sounds fused with their consistent sublime harmonies while lyrically showing their critiscm for modern fascination with luxury pleasures.
The album The Punishment of Luxury will out on White Noise Records on September 1st 2017. The band will embark on a huge world tour which includes a homecoming date at the Empire Theater on October 29th.
The wonderful electro-pop favourites Stealing Sheep have announced a very special intimate album preview show at the Buyers Club next month, and we can’t wait.
The trio come fresh from their art residency at the Islington Mill in Manchester along with their performance during Manchester International Festival last week and are looking to showcase their new sounds on their adoring hometown audience.
Advanced tickets for their intimate show at the Buyers Club on August 17th are on-sale now.
Their latest album is due to be released next year on Heavenly Recordings.
Liverpool International Music Festival is once again upon us, while it may be another bill filled with possible hit-or-miss main stage sets, the glowing It’s Liverpool Stage is a place to be.
It’s that time of Summer again when the brilliant concerts keep coming, among these is the annual massive free festival based out of the beautiful Sefton Park, the Liverpool International Music Festival which takes place 20th July to 23rd July 2017.
While this year’s bill is topped by Gorgon City, Corianne Bailey Rae, Naughty Boy and Cast, it’s most definitely the It’s Liverpool Stage that is once again shining the brightest.
5. Hooton Tennis Club
The Heavenly Recordings indie-darlings Hooton Tennis Club play their first Liverpool show since their grand homecoming show at the Invisible Wind Factory last December.
The well-crafted slackers will bring their rock n’ roll to the It’s Liverpool Stage on Sunday from 16:30 to 17:00.
4. Mary Miller
Mary Miller will bring her sublime sounds to LIMF this year as a hotly-tipped talent, and she’s proved over the last year why she is.
Backed with her sequences and loops and hoisting a guitar that bleeds haunting nods to past-years, Mary Miller creates sharp atmospheric indie-pop filled with individuality. She plays the Academy Stage on Saturday from 18:40 to 19:00.
3. Slick Rick The Ruler
Of course, Slick Rick is one of hip-hop’s legendary figures and a pioneer in the golden age of hip-hop. This year, Slick Rick takes to Sefton Park to celebrate the history of New York‘s club nightlife, along with DJ Stretch Armstrong.
The arrival of Slick Rick is surley unmissable as he plays the Sefton Park Palm House on Sunday during the No Sleep event (which will cost £19.80).
The Liverpudlian newcomer Zuzu has been on the tip of a lot of tongues this year so far, after standout sets across the country and even at the likes of Sound City, she has showcased her pure, angsty guitar rock that should be seen by as many as possible.
Her angsty swagger and catchy-hook based indie-rock songs bring Zuzu straight to your eye in a captivating manner, we’re very sure you’ll love Zuzu and her band at LIMF‘s It’s Liverpool Stage from 18:45 to 19:05 on the Friday.
Lillium are one of the best live bands we’ve seen in recent memory, their energetic performance backed with their authentic melodic sounds just leave us in awe each time.
The Deathly Records band are playing LIMF twice this year, so there’s no reason to miss the best young band on the bill. Catch them on Saturday at the Bandstand Stage from 14:30 to 15:00 or the Academy Stage from 16:00 to 16:20.
LIMF takes place at Sefton Park from the 20th July to the 23rd July 2017 and is FREE. There are Presents shows throughout the festival that are priced, but the main Sefton Park event is free to all.
For more information on the festival visit http://www.LIMFestival.com.
With the pop-punk titans in town once again, it was time for SFN‘s self-professed Blink-182 superfan Pip Johnson to join the fray at Echo Arena. Here’s his review of the night.
It’s been over five years since pop-punk legends Blink-182 last played Liverpool, now they have finally returned for a night of mayhem, backed with a UK #1 album and a new member behind them along with some killer support.
First up was New Jersey indie rockers The Front Bottoms who started the night off with a bang, with a 30-45-minute set featuring loud thunderous drums and energetic songs such as “Maps and Skeleton”. The Echo Arena does however seem far too larger of a venue for a band of their size, but that didn’t stop them having a blast playing to the crowd who loved every second of it.
After a short break Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls took the stage (for their 2071st show, as Frank exclaimed after the first song), who we have previously caught at the Guild of Studentsback in November. Frank had the audience captivated from the second he brought his folk-punk sounds to the stage. His set was full off energy with the entire band moving and dancing on the stage as they played.
Frank brought a huge stage presence and held the audience in the palm of his hand, opening up circle pits left, right and centre, crowd surfing towards the end of his set and even bringing a member of the audience up on stage to play the harmonica during “Dan’s Song”. (Ironically the member of the audience he brought up was called Dan themselves). Frank’s set lasted around 45 minutes to an hour and it left the whole crowd hot, ready and waiting for the main event of the night, Blink-182.
Blink-182 came onto the stage to the sound of the Stranger Things intro and burst right into “Feeling This” seconds before the flag dropped to reveal them and their infamous flaming “FUCK” sign to their crowd. They powered through their set featuring a mixture of classics and songs from California, sadly no Neighborhoods songs made the set, other fan favourites also were missing, stopping occasionally to interact with the crowd during a guitar change. The most notable of which was a brief cover of the Ramones classic “Blitzkrieg Bop” before jumping right into “First Date”.
Anyone who was expecting dick and fart jokes every other song would’ve been disappointed as the band barley made any jokes and the few that they did weren’t that funny, with Mark making a bad joke about legendary MancuiansOasis being from Liverpool and his “English accent” which was just him saying Alright in weird voice.
The Tom Delonge fanboy inside of me wants to rip into Matt Skiba but there isn’t much that I can complain about, while he is not Tom, Matt still had a great stage presence and chemistry with Mark. It is clear that he has now grown to be a lot more comfy playing in Tom’s spot and does a good job. The only things I didn’t like are minor nit-pics involving using a different guitar and his voice not suiting some of the songs.
Despite the lack of jokes which they are known for and odd nit-pic the show was a highly enjoyable experience and made up for the lack of jokes, especially when they decided to swap out “Happy Holidays You B***ards” for “Family Reunion” towards the end of the set. It is truly an experience which you must experience at some point during your life.
Words by Pip Johnson, featured photograph by Robert Noise. Twitter links credited to their owners.
For a weekend full of space, science, brilliant music and pure imagination, Sounds From Nowhere delved into the world of Bluedot for its 2017 festival.
It’s only the second year for the wonderous Bluedot Festival, based out of Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, where astronomy and music collide and we excitingly set off to enjoy the weekend.
The first band we caught while on site Friday, after arriving and setting up our camping, we’re the exciting semi-fictional rockers The Moonlandingz. Their outlandish performance kicked off our weekend in style, with the band on fine form.
However, less of their blurred fun stage antics was a bit of a letdown. The band have made a name for their twisted shows, yet their Bluedot set was tame compared.
Halfway through their set, leader Johnny Rocket exclaimed “you lot fucking off to see Leftfield yet? I don’t blame you, we’re here for the money” in his sarcastic manner, however that only reminded us.
Over in the packed Orbit Stage tent, the iconic electronic band took stage for possibly the most anticipated performance of the weekend.
The band preformed a pummelling set filled with classics from their era, of course including the likes of “Release The Pressure“, “Space Shanty” and others with an hour and a half of pure electronic mastery.
After reuniting seven years ago without founding member Paul Daley, their current line-up fearing originals and Hadouken!’s Nick Rice, certiently won’t be running out of steam or hype anytime soon. That’s not bad for a band who peaked over two decades ago.
The night time began drawing in, we waltzed around the absolutely beautiful Jodrell Bank Observatory site, which is a heavenly place for a festival like Bluedot. With DJ sets and bands preforming everywhere, the atmosphere was electric, even in the Contact tent where they showed the most recent Star Wars film, Rogue One.
We reached the main stage to witness the opening headline performance of the weekend by the iconic Pixies.
The band struck quickly with opening number “Gouge Away“, instantly proving their power especially with follow-up “Debaser“. Pixies are a band who have been around so long that it’s now effortless to amaze.
The band’s setlist encompassed almost all of their work, from Surfer Rosa to Head Carrier with frontman Francis Black making up the setlist on the spot, creating one hell of a performance.
Highlights included appearances of “Monkey Gone to Heaven“, “Here Comes Your Man“, “Where Is My Mind?“, a cover of The Jesus and Mary Chain‘s “Head On” and a late appearance of “Crackity Jones“.
Their encore included a masterful exit, as smoke machines engulf the sky and cover the stage, the band ends with “Into The White“. The disappearing trick by one of the most important bands ever.
Following this, we decided to end our night with something to eat and by watching the showing of 1997 classic Contact in the Contact Tent.
Early rise on Saturday allowed us time to pot around the site, admiring all that was offered by Bluedot. Over at the Orbit Stage, we caught our first act after 1pm in Horsebeach. The band preformed just half an hour of their indie-pop sounds similar to their Sound City set in May.
Shortly after on the main stage, Post War Glamour Girls confidently take to the stage with their powerful rock full of attitude and angst, in the best way.
Over in the Nebula Tent, new Manchester act W.H Lung brought their fresh hypnotic sound to Bluedot. For a half and hour, the band showcased their rhythmic noise to a great crowd.
Following them in the same space, the dynamic London band Virginia Wing bring their throbbing, glitchy vibrations to a tiny crowd. Becoming one of the weekend’s most underrated acts, the electronic duo push the boundaries of pop further than we’ve seen.
Over on the main stage, upbeat electro pop artist Shura brings her stunning live set to the weeeknd. From opening with her brilliant track “Nothing’s Real” to joking about feeling like Jane Fonda in Contact, Shura captured the crowd in the palm of her hand.
Shura has always pushed the stereotypes of pop since day one and has done it with pure refined beats and passionate lyrics while her live set shows are no different.
Down at the lovely Roots Stage, Howling Bells‘ frontwoman Juanita Stein plays her lucid songwriting to a small, relaxed audience. While her solo work is fresh, Juanita has been on the live circuit for over a decade and confidently performs.
Juanita‘s set intimately saw her preform the entirety of her upcoming debut album and what a blissful performance it was.
While after on the main Lovell Stage, the Saturday headliners Orbital take stage. The return of the symphonic electronic legends attempts to live up to the hype with a set filled with the band’s textured hits.
Shining bright with dance classics such as “Wonky“, “Halycon” and “Belfast“, the brothers bring a sincerely special performance to Bluedot, especially with main set ender, their adoring tribute to the ultimate British sci-if show “Doctor?” with guests The Radiophonic Workshop.
Their magical performance got better with the triple headed encore of “The Box“, “Chime” and finally “Where Is It Going?“, proving Orbital may have been the best headliner for this night.
It’s not over however, at the Nebula Stage, the ever-brilliant Dream Wife appear in the best form we’ve seen from them, striking with the best songs in their young catalogue and collectively shining more brightly than ever. Their brand of dreamy punk rock is simply intoxicating and a wonder to see live time-and-time again.
To end Saturday night, we rush to the Orbit tent to experience Soulwax in their glory. Their modern set-up, appreciating drums and machinery, is a bold hypnotising wonder that needs to be seen to be believed.
The lights slam up as the stage hands reveal Soulwax‘s three drummers as they smash into “Do You Want To Get Into Trouble?” and the crowd erupts into a pleasurable euphoria of sweat, driven with a loud dancing crowd.
The band’s set is invigorating, the highlight may be the newest material by the band much like the throbbing “Missing Wires“, “Conditions of a Shared Belief” among others that took up most of the setlist.
Soulwax tore Bluedot apart with their mesmerising set, the highlight of the weekend indefinitely, especially ending with “NY Excuse“.
Sunday began very slow, everybody recovering from the wonderous night before.
Later on Sunday, The Whyte Horses Experience took to the Lovell Stage to show their unique psychedelic-pop sounds that made them one of the most perfect, newer pop bands on the planet.
Their Exploding Plastic Inevitable inspired performance sees the fascinating Mancunian band joined by Josefin Ohrn along with members of both Badly Drawn Boy and The Go Team.
Following the experience, we see the always amazing Warpaint take centre stage, treating Cheshire to an hour of their best material, mostly led by their latest album.
The crowd adored their set, especially with the final appearance of “New Song” to close the set.
Instead of stopping at the main stage for Alt-J, we took a brash decision to catch the legendary Hawkwind instead, sorry.
The band tightly showcase their legendary brand of psychedelic prog-rock with a crowd of Hawkwind fans and only some newbies, it seems that most only bought a ticket for Hawkwind itself.
Their set included some of the band’s best material, “Vegan Lunch“, “Steppenwolf” and “Into The Woods” but due to a very short stage time, the hits were missing.
Hawkwind surely are brilliant and are still a powerful live entity, but just forty minutes is far too short to hear the likes of “Silver Machine“, “Master of The Universe” or even “Brainbox Pollution“.
That’s the end of our weekend, Bluedot is surly the grandest, most pleasent festival we’ve been to and simply can’t wait for next year’s.
Photography by Jack Cinnamond and Jess Sharpe. PIXIES photo by Scott Salt curtesy of Bluedot. Featured photograph by Jess Sharpe.