Frank Turner @ The Engine Shed

 Photo (This was not taken at the gig): Nicole Kibert /

Since going solo 7 years ago, Frank Turner’s had a pretty exciting ride. He’s toured in countries across the world, played over a thousand shows, and this year – he sold out Wembley. As well as this, he also played a part in the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony. And now, he’s touring before the release of his fifth studio album next year. TREMORS went along to his sell out gig at the Engine Shed.

 Jim Lockey & the Solemn Sun opened the show, and it wasn’t long before their music created a buzz in the crowd. They’re an alternative folk and rock band from Cheltenham. To start with, it did feel as if the energy and electric atmosphere they were trying to create wasn’t really reaching the audience. But after a couple of songs, the audience loved them. It’s easy to see why, too. Their performance was so full on and powerful and uplifting. It made you want to get up and just dance like no one was watching, and their energy was contagious – once the audience had caught it, there was no going back!

American singer/songwriter Tim Barry graced the stage with his presence next, and his performance was truly wonderful. He was the perfect support act for Frank. He sang songs that told the most beautiful, passion filled stories, and made you feel a connection with him so fast. When he sang, it felt like he’d put every single member of the audience into their own little world. They were completely involved with his performance and the interesting things that he had to tell.

It’s actually the second time Frank Turner has ever gigged in Lincoln. Last time was 2008, and you could tell most of his fans had been waiting a long time his return. Just before he finally appeared on stage, the anticipation was building to extremities in the audience. Several cheers occurred when people mistook the tech crew as Frank, but when he finally appeared, the cheers and roars that erupted were completely deafening. And as he started to sing, silence fell amongst the awing crowd.

He sang lots of his most popular songs, like I Still Believe and Superstition, as well as some older classics like The Road and Romantic Fatigue. But one of the highlights of the show had to have been the songs that Frank sang from his new upcoming album. They sounded fantastic live, and if they sound even half as good on the album, it’s guaranteed that it’s going to be an absolute cracker. It’s obvious that Frank knows how to work the audience, and it’s even more obvious that it’s in the live performance environment that he belongs. He’s been praised for the inclusiveness and friendliness of his gigs, and this was proved entirely here. Everyone was forced to be involved and forced to swallow up the atmosphere, and it’s a technique that works, clearly.

Something really unique about the gig that gave it a really inclusive and unique feel happened about half way through. Frank started telling a story about a dance competition that he was doing with the audiences during the tour, and encouraged to join in, with a potential spot at the top of the leader board up for grabs. This was an excellent idea, it totally encapsulated the crowd and brought together a group of completely random people who’d never previously met, which could technically be argued as one of the main points of a gig – it lets everyone share in the music they love. It got everyone dancing and allowed everyone to get the most out of it!

An encore led him back to the stage, saying he felt like Lincoln deserved a few more songs because he’d not been here in so long. He went on to sing Photosynthesis and then invited Tim Barry back to the stage, where they covered his track,On and On. He hit every note he needed to so well and sounded just as good live as he sounds on his albums – It was almost like watching a music video.  It would be insane if things didn’t continue to get better and better for Frank. He’s a super talented guy with some genuinely incredible songs and he deserves all the success that he gets. If you get the chance, go and see the man because he’s superb!

This Week’s Top Picks – 23rd November

Olly Murs –Troublemaker

This image shows Olly Murs stood against a bright blue background whilst holding his hat.He’s been pretty successful over here in the UK over the last couple of years, and now, as with most artists, he wants to try and crack America. And with a voice as unique and as catchy as his, he probably wouldn’t have much difficulty doing it alone. But in this new record, he’s teamed up with Flo Rida.

To be honest, it’s quite difficult to see why he’s done this. The majority of the song is typically Olly – it’s catchy, upbeat, and packs a punch of personality that gets you drumming along with it. Olly’s obviously still in the limelight with this one, but when Flo Rida comes in, it almost seems kind of pointless. I can see why you’d want to put someone into a song who’s already famous across the pond to try and crack it yourself, but this song is already so perfectly structured and loveable that it just seems unnecessary and waives the attention away slightly from Olly’s style. Still an amazing tune though!


Girls Aloud – Something New

This image shows the five members of Girls Aloud stood in a line, wearing purple dresses and against an orange background.

It seems like an age since Girls Aloud announced they were taking a yearlong break, but now they’re finally back and arguably better than ever. Whilst the vocals on their comeback single ‘Something New’ still aren’t perfect, the catchiness and typical Girls aloud style make up for that!

For the first few listens, it’s likely to sound rather undesirable. As a definite grower, you really will have to listen a few times before it hits you. But when it hits, it’ll hit hard, and it’ll swallow up your head for the rest of the day. It stays true to their older stuff, with a poppy and light tone, but you can also see how they’ve all developed since they took a break. They’ve adapted their style ever so slightly, so that if fits in pretty much perfectly with the current charts. It’s definitely something new, and is brilliant!


Example – The Evolution of Man

This image shows Example's album cover, which is of him holding a photo of himself as a child, whilst facing a huge crowd of peopleAs his fourth studio album, progression and development as an artist would of course be expected. And there’s definitely a lot of this. The album in general seems to have taken a slightly new angle, and when comparing it to his previous album, Playing In the Shadows, this change is in vision.

Far from being electric and quite uplifting, it actually seems more vapid and stripped back. Not in an extreme way though, in fact, there are sections where you’d probably not notice at all. Whilst it does sound really familiar, and tunes like Perfect Replacement are super clubby, it’s much deeper and his personality is glowing through in a way that’s almost blinding. The title of the record refers directly to Example himself, and the way in which he’s moved on from things like drugs. As you’d expect, it’s catchy. Very catchy, and the transitions between singing and rap are perfect. There’s just something really special and friendly about his voice that makes it impossible not to listen.

It easily sounds as good as his last couple of albums, and might just be his greatest one to date.

This Week’s Top Picks – 2nd November

Ben Howard – The Burgh Island EP

This image shows the cover of Ben Howard's The Burgh Island EP, which is a black and white stormy image. You’d be forgiven for thinking Ben Howard had been around for years if you listened to his music. But he hasn’t. In fact, he only really started to hit it off with fans just over a year ago. His debut album, Every Kingdom, reflected this new popularity, peaking at number 6 in the UK and doing almost as well countries across the world.

His newest EP deserves just as much success.  It (an in particular Esmerelda) has a much darker tone. Its stormy and eerie melodies encapsulate you in the world of Ben perfectly, taking you to a place that’s super relaxing, yet a tad weird. The music has clearly grown and developed too, with instruments being used to blend and mould with his spine tingling vocals in the most interesting of ways. Sections are reminiscent of Every Kingdom, and this is particularly relevant to To Be Alone. It’s not quite as dark as the others and shows that this EP is a brilliant way of bridging his debut album with whatever is coming next. If winter had a sound, it may very well be this collection of tracks. And it works beautifully. It’s almost ironic too, that an EP which seeps with spooky and mysterious melodies should have been released on Halloween!

He’ll be playing at Lincoln’s very own Engine Shed later this month, on the 20th. You can check out his Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.

Lower Lands – Socialise With Closed EyesThis image shows the cover of Lower lands' single cover. it shows two cartoon skeletons against a purple and green background

Lincoln’s alternative rock band Lower Lands have been going from strength to strength since their debut a couple of years ago. They’re fresh off a tour with Hawthorne Heights, and in the past have shared a stage with bands like Deaf Havana. This year also saw them getting signed to I Am Mighty Records.

They released their newest single, Socialise With Closed Eyes, on Wednesday. And it’s an absolute cracker. The guitar riffs at the start are an awesome way to kick it off and set the upbeat tone of the song, and when they starts belting out their vocals, they’re nothing short of beautiful. They entwine some light, catchy melodies with some proper rock voices in a superb way to produce a tune you’ll instantly fall in love with. It’s really upbeat, feel-good rock and is a definite improvement on their older stuff, with a slightly less heavy tone that makes it super friendly to willing ears.

It could easily be mistaken that they’d been making music for much longer than the short time that they actually have been, and whilst they are fairly unique, it’d be fair to say they produce music to the quality and style of bands like Lostprophets.

You can read our new interview with the band here. Alternatively, check out their Facebook, or follow them on Twitter


Matt Cardle – The Fire

This image shows Matt Cardle looking away from the camera against an orange background. After what could only be described as a whirlwind of year following the release of his debut album, Letters, X-Factor winner Matt Cardle has released his second album, The Fire. He parted with his original record label earlier in the year, but this has had nothing more than a positive effect on his music. He sounds happier and almost less restrained on this album, and that’s probably because he was given full control of the writing and production.

Lead single It’s Only Love shows this. It’s catchy and quite different to the Matt we heard in Letters. You can tell instantly that this is the music he’s meant to make. It’s flooded with passion and attention to detail to a degree that makes for listening heaven. There’re also a few slightly more emotional and deep sounding songs on the album. All that matters, for example has a very sad feel to it, with lyrics like ‘I just pray somebody loves you, somebody somewhere, cause I can’t hear you cry, not one second more, it’s killing me.’ Yet because of the notes that Matt can reach, it’s hauntingly nice, and in an odd way, soothing. Another track worth mentioning, because of the rocky turn taken, is bonus track Your Somebody. Matt’s voice is really raw and heavy in this track, and it doesn’t rely on his high notes in the way many of the others do. This just proves how diverse of a singer Matt really is, and also how much he’s grown and come on since his X-Factor days

For more info on Matt, you can take a peek at his Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.

Quickfire Interview: Lower Lands.

Image: Lower Lands/Robert Dumbell

Benji Inkley, Paul Howells, Jacob Jarvis and Sam Girling make up Lower Lands, an alternative rock band from Lincoln who, since forming in 2010, have had a pretty exciting ride. Not only have they shared a stage with the likes of Deaf Havana, but they’ve also recently become signed to I am Mighty Records and released a new single. Now, fresh off supporting Hawthorne Heights on a leg of their UK tour, Tremors caught up with them about the band, what it’s like to tour, and their plans for the rest of the year.

The four guys from Lower Lands stand in a line, facing the camera, and their logo has been imposed above their head.

1.Can you tell me a bit about the band’s past?

We formed at Lincoln college on the music course, made a lot of mistakes, learned from those mistakes and became more of a ‘real’ band.


2.Where did the band’s name come from?

It’s a bastardisation of the name of a local football team ‘Lowlands FC.’


 3.How would you describe your musical style for people that have never listened to you?

Poppy grunge rock for cynical 20-somethings.


 4.Do you write your own lyrics? And if so, why?

Yeah, we all write collaboratively about whatever’s bugging us at the current time or what’s on our minds.


5.Which band or singer would you dream of collaborating with?

Reuben, without a doubt!


 6.How has it been supporting Hawthorne Heights and getting to travel to so many different places?

It’s been great, we love playing shows and the Hawthorne guys made us feel really welcome on the road.


 7.Was it nice to return to familiar ground in Lincoln for your show on Friday?

Yeah, it was really nice to get a good warm, homecoming reception.


8.How did the show go? Did you enjoy it?

It went great, the crowd were really up for a laugh and it was really well attended!


9.Are you currently working on any new music?

We’ve got heaps of new stuff in the works, keep your ears to the ground!


10.What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Write, demo, tour and promote our new single ‘Socialise With Closed Eyes,’ which is out now.

Tremors  featured Socialise With Closed Eyes in this week’s top picks – take a look here. For more info on the band, check out their Facebook, or follow them on Twitter

Marina & The Diamonds @ The Engine Shed

Picture: Dave Lichterman

Half Welsh, half Greek singer Marina Lambrini Diamandis began to taste fame in 2009, following the release of several EPs and singles. But it wasn’t until a year later, in 2010, when Marina & the Diamonds really hit it off with fans. Hollywood and I Am Not A Robot sported  quirky yet soulful sounds, and this combined with some catchy relatable lyrics was  the perfect recipe for a super songstress. And that she is. Her first album, The Family Jewels, hit an impressive number 5 in the UK charts, and the follow up, Electra Heart, took a more poppy turn, but shot to number 1 regardless.

Marina Diamandis is stood on a stage, wearing a white outfit, whilst singing. In the background is a bright blue light. She's standing away from the microphone stand, but is gripping it tightly with one hand.

Picture: Dave Lichterman

Now on a UK tour for her second studio album, Electra Heart, Marina is venturing to venues she didn’t go on the first leg of her tour earlier in the year. One of these was in Lincoln. The Engine Shed is a rather

large venue, and whilst the gig wasn’t a sell out, the atmosphere was electric. Even before Marina came on, the crowd was alive with excitement, screaming and chanting her name for several minutes before she actually appeared. Cheeks covered in little hearts, it was clear that most of the audience idolised Marina, and she idolises them just as much (the diamonds in her stage name actually refers to her fans, not the band as you might expect.)She performed an equal blend of Marina classics and Electra Heart songs alike. Starting the gig in a shiny wedding style dress (veil and all) she belted out an incredible rendition of Homewrecker, a tune which depicts a woman who can’t fall properly in love due to being content with breaking hearts. This was followed by some true bubblegum pop in the form of Oh No! and Mowgli’s Road, which work beautifully together to express Marina’s goals and fears of failing at these.  Other fan favourites like Shampain, Power & Control, Lies and Hollywood also made an appearance during the gig, much to the delight of the singing audience.

After an encore, she graced the stage with her presence one final time, closing the show with How To Be A Heartbreaker. Marina’s fixation with the so called American Dream shone throughout the whole performance. Her lyrics express this desire too, seeping with emotion, sadness and dreams gone wrong.

Another major part of the performance was the visuals and props. Varying from a toy dog called Marilyn (which she “rescued” in America and sang Primadonna with) to a proper old school style TV, she completely captured the crowd with her creativity and inventive unique ideas.  It can easily be argued that Marina thrives in this environment. Singing directly to her diamonds, she sounded better than ever whilst live. She hit every note perfectly, and seemed to develop more soul and vibrancy as the gig went on. Reacting to various things said by members of the crowd, she made it obvious that she was paying attention. She’s incredibly talented, and after the success of her newest album, it’s clear that she’s loved by many.  Go Electra!