GIG – Stomzy at Portsmouth Guildhall – Saturday 12th March 2016

stormzyMichael Omari (born 26 July 1993), better known by his stage name Stormzy, is an English rapper and MC. He won Best Grime Act at the 2014 MOBO Awards and was named as an artist to look out for in the BBC’s influential Sound of 2015 list.

After garnering attention on the UK underground music scene via his Wicked Skengman series of freestyles over classic grime beats, Stormzy released his debut EP Dreamers Diseaseindependently in July 2014. On 22 October, Stormzy won Best Grime Act at the MOBO awards. Later that month he became the first unsigned rapper to appear on Later with Jools Hollandperforming the song “Not That Deep” from Dreamers Disease.

In November 2014, Stormzy collaborated with rapper Chip and Shalo on the track “I’m Fine”, also appearing in a video for the song. The track is part of Chip’s upcoming Believe & Achieveproject.

On 7 January 2015, Stormzy came number 3 in the BBC Introducing top 5 on Radio 1. In March 2015 he released the single “Know Me From”, which entered the UK Singles Chart at number 49. In September 2015, he released a final instalment to his “WickedSkengMan” freestyle series, “WickedSkengMan 4”, onto iTunes, along with a studio version of his “Shut Up” freestyle over XTC’sFunctions On The Low instrumental. The track debuted at number 18 on the UK chart dated 24 September, becoming Stormzy’s first top 40 hit and the first ever freestyle to reach the top 40 in the United Kingdom.

On 12 December 2015, Stormzy performed “Shut Up” during British heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua’s ring-walk for his fight versus Dillian Whyte. Originally, “Shut Up”, released as part of the “WickedSkengMan 4” single EP in September 2015, charted at number 59. Since the performance, it began climbing up the iTunes chart and into the top 40. As a result, Stormzy launched a Christmas number 1 campaign to get the song to number 1. It generated a large amount of support which made it enter the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart on 18 December 2015 at number 8, a week prior to the Christmas number 1 week, succeeding the chart position of “WickedSkengMan 4”. It has become Stormzy’s highest-charting single.

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GIG – Example at Portsmouth Guildhall – Tuesday 11th November

exampleElliot John Gleave (born 20 June 1982), better known by his stage name Example, is an English singer, songwriter signed to Epic Records and Sony Music. His name arose due to his initials being E.G., which is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase exempli gratia (“for example”). 

Example first found success with the release of his second studio album, Won’t Go Quietly, which peaked at number 4 on the UK Albums Chart and peaked at number 1 on the UK Dance Chart. and followed his debut album “What We Made” which was heavily hip-hop influenced due to Gleave only knowing a hip-hop record producer at the time. The album had two top 10 singles, “Won’t Go Quietly” and “Kickstarts”. 

His third album Playing in the Shadows was released on 4 September 2011. The album topped the charts with two number 1 singles, “Changed the Way You Kiss Me” (produced by Michael Woods) and “Stay Awake” (produced by electronic duo Nero). His fourth album, The Evolution of Man was released on 19 November 2012 and peaked at number 13 on the UK Albums Chart and also peaked at number 1 on the UK Dance Chart.

Since The Evolution of Man, Gleave has released the lead single from his next album, entitled “All the Wrong Places” which was produced by Alfie Bamford and co-produced by Gleave and Steve Hill. It was the first song to be released through Epic Records and did so on 8 September 2013 peaking at number 13 on the UK Singles Chart. Then, “Kids Again”, was released on 16 March 2014 and hit number 13 in the UK Single’s charts. The fifth album, Live Life Living, was released on 7 July 2014.

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GIG – Kaiser Chiefs at Portsmouth Guildhall – Tue 21st Feb 2012

Kaiser Chiefs are an English indie rockband from Leeds who formed in 1997. They were named after the South African football club Kaizer Chiefs. The group’s debut album, Employment, was released in 2005. It was primarily inspired by New Wave and punk rock music of the late 1970s and 1980s,and enjoyed international success with over three million copies sold.

In 2005, the album was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize.  Kaiser Chiefs’ second album, Yours Truly, Angry Mob (2007), yielded “Ruby”, a number one single in the United Kingdom.They released their third album, Off with Their Heads, in October 2008. After a three-year hiatus, they released The Future Is Medieval in June 2011.

Following a long hiatus (since 2008), Kaiser Chiefs announced that they expect to release their fourth studio album in mid-2011. The album was recorded over a period of eighteen months at various locations including drummer Nick Hodgson’s self-built east-London studio.The album’s producers included Tony Visconti, Ethan Johns and Owen Morris, in addition to Nick Hodgson himself.

The band have been confirmed to play at Germany’s Hurricane and Southside Festivals in June, Switzerland’s Gurten Festival, Pinkpop in The Netherlands, Belgium’s Rock Werchter, Portuguese festival Optimus Alive! in July, V Festival in August, Hard Rock Calling in June, the Isle of Wight Festival in June and at Terres Rouges Festival in Luxembourg in September. They recently confirmed they will be playing at Tennants Vital in Bangor, Ireland and in September they will play two sold out home town shows at Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds. They will also be playing in October in Festa das Latas, Coimbra – Portugal.

Kaiser Chiefs have also established their own record label, entitled Chewing Gum Records. Their first signing was The Neat, a band from Kingston upon Hull, who were featured on the BBC6 Music Playlist.

On 30 May 2011, Ricky Wilson appeared on BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe show and announced a new song which was called “Little Shocks”. It was played on the show and was streamed on the band’s official website.

On 3 June 2011, Kaiser Chiefs launched their new album from their website. However, instead of simply allowing fans to download the pre-made album, the band instead employed a new policy of allowing fans to “create their own albums”. Using this technique, fans are able to choose 10 out of 20 songs to create “their album” for 7.50; the band provides streams of roughly one minute to preview each track before selection. Furthermore, after the creation of some albums, by early customers, later customers could be able to select an already created album if they desired, with the original creator being reimbursed one pound for each copy of their album downloaded/sold. Many celebrities including, Radio One DJ Chris Moyles, The Guardian Newspaper, and frontman Ricky Wilson, created their own version of the album, donating the £1 reimbursement for each copy sold to the Alzheimer’s Society.

On 27 June 2011, Kaiser Chiefs released an official tracklisting for the album, featuring 12 of the 20 available tracks and including a previously unheard track ‘Kinda Girl You Are’ which did not make the initial launch as it was not ready in time.

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