If you got through June without cursing the heat, then praise to you, friends. As most of us basked in the sunshine, a whole bunch of iconic acts appeared at venues around the country, making this one of the sweatiest months for live music we’ve ever experienced. Here’s what went down in June.
Six years on from their farewell shows at O2 Academy Brixton and Canadian post-hardcore band, Alexisonfire made a one-off return to the stage following an almighty performance at Download Festival. Kicking things off with a triple threat of ‘Young Cardinals’, ‘Boiled Frogs’ and ‘We Are The Sound’ the venue erupted with arms in the air, tears on faces and over 300 bodies crowd surfing their way to the front. Cramming in as much as they could into their set, they even dropped covers of Prince and Tears For Fears into the works, which shouldn’t have sounded so good, but it did. Emotions were high from beginning to end and we can only hope that we won’t have to wait another six years to see them again.
Legendary indie icons, Kasabian came to O2 Academy Bristol a few days before their headline performance at Isle Of Wight Festival for a very special show, which unsurprisingly sold out in a matter of minutes. The rock ‘n’ roll energy was delivered in abundance and the evening was packed full of their classic hits, including ‘Shoot The Runner’ and ‘Club Foot’, as well as some of their newer material, all of which sounded huge within the O2 Academy Bristol walls. The sweat and the smiles on everyone’s faces at the end of the night was evidence enough that it was one of the most memorable shows of the year.
WHO WE BE
What better way to celebrate the UK urban scene than with a night at O2 Academy Birmingham and performances from some of the hottest young talent around right now? Mabel, Nines, Ms Banks and local artist Jaykae all put on outstanding sets, amongst many others from the impressive underground scene and overall it was a spectacular audio and visual representation of the UK movement and the talent on offer.
After an unfortunate plumbing issue caused Don Broco’s original show to be postponed earlier this year, it’s fair to say the anticipation for their return was off the scale. Known for their unmeasurable energy live, the band wasted no time in getting everyone jumping to the roof and causing absolute carnage with the sweat-drenched crowd. Performing much of their meaty new album, Technology, they also treated fans to old favourites such as ‘Priorities’ - and of course it wouldn’t be a Don Broco show without throwing ‘Thug Workout’ in, it was madness from start to finish.
Playing O2 Academy Brixton as your first headline show is no easy task, but one that Camila Cabello had absolutely no problem with. Fans were queuing outside from 6am and the singer was met with screams of love upon her arrival. The stage setup, costumes and performance were mesmerising, with flawless dancers and Camila herself putting on a stunning display. Alongside the summer-ready anthems on her debut album, she also performed a handful of covers, including ‘Rockabye’, where she brought out Anne-Marie (ahead of her own headline performance at O2 Academy Brixton) for a duet fans won’t ever forget.
MY BLOODY VALENTINE
Proving that they’re most definitely still a force to be reckoned with, My Bloody Valentine provided a total feast for the senses with their one-off headline show at O2 Institute Birmingham. Unbelievably it’s been 30 years since their debut album was released, so to hear some of its tracks in all their glory again was a truly magical moment. Their live sound completely blew everything out the water with all its epic, loud goodness and the entire performance was just a reminder as to why My Bloody Valentine have got such a respected reputation in music.
It’s not often you get one of the biggest rock superstars to walk the planet through our venue doors, but that’s exactly what happened when Lenny Kravitz stopped by O2 Apollo Manchester recently. The iconic guitar player and performer kicked things off in style with ‘Fly Away’ and continued to wow audience members with each song. One very lucky family also got an experience they never expected, as Lenny pulled their child up on stage to help him finish one of his songs! Rounding things off with not one, not two, but THREE encores, he even ran round the building to join fans in the upstairs circle, a moment that will go down in history for both the venue and those in attendance.
Making a highly-welcomed return to the stage this year after 16 years away, was British post-punk band The The, who took to O2 Academy Brixton’s stage amongst a string of sold out headline performances in the capital. There’s no denying that this performance was going to be a big deal and they definitely made up for their absence with a 24-song set crammed with fan favourites from across the years. Vocalist Matt Johnson even brought his son on stage to be a part of this unforgettable night, adding just the right amount of emotion to an evening that was special for so many reasons.
DAMIAN "JR. GONG" MARLEY
Continuing the theme of living legends hitting our venues (it’s been a GREAT month) – Damian Marley, son of reggae icon Bob Marley, headed to the UK for a bunch of headline shows in support of latest album, Stony Hill. Bringing June to a close at O2 Academy Birmingham with one of the most uplifting nights of the year, he certainly brought the sunshine from outside and filled the room with it. Plenty of groovin’, movin’ and boomin’ happened throughout the set and it was the most glorious way to round off what’s been another incredible month.
We're well and truly in summer now and we all now that summer deserves its own soundtrack. With so many acts coming through our doors who are just bursting with sunshine vibes, we thought it'd make sense to pop them all in a playlist for you, so grab a nice cold drink and turn this one up!
With so many huge bands in and out of our doors, it’s easy to forget those bands that are out there, tirelessly working their way up to the top who deserve your attention. This month, we’re putting the spotlight on Dermot Kennedy.
Want to keep up to date with all our features, interviews and more? Why not sign up to our newsletter?