November went really fast, didn’t it? But before we start listening to nothing but Christmas songs for the next four weeks and living off a diet of tiny chocolates, let’s take a look back at the shows we managed to squeeze into the penultimate month of the year.
O2 Academy Brixton | Monday 12 November
Sigrid first burst onto the pop scene with the fierce and fabulous, ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ back in March last year and ever since has been dropping bangers left right and centre. Despite not having yet released a full album, the tickets for her headline UK tour sold fast and judging by the show she put on at O2 Academy Brixton, it’s not difficult to see why.
Bouncing onto the stage in her now iconic get-up of jeans and a plain t-shirt, ponytail swinging from her head, the Norwegian star kicked things off with the outrageously infectious, ‘Sucker Punch’. From then on, we were on a rollercoaster of twists and turns, as she performed the huge, radio hits like, ‘High Five’ and ‘Schedules’ as well as offering a softer, more vulnerable side with ‘Dynamite’ and ‘In Vain’.
The biggest treat of them all, was getting to witness what’s still to come. Premiering a wealthy selection of newer material, it was clear to see there are plenty more sassy, sensational and sing-a-long anthems on the way, and we can’t wait.
O2 Academy Newcastle | Thursday 8th November
Since the release of his album, Staying At Tamara’s, George Ezra has accomplished things beyond his wildest dreams and the UK has fallen head over heels for the humbled songwriter. Already ticking off a number of our venues earlier this year, he was back for another round to leave his mark at O2 Academy Newcastle, a show that will probably be one of the smallest he’ll play for a while.
Kicking things off with, ‘Don’t Matter Now’ there was a sense of warmth and happiness throughout the venue as his sunshine-filled indie anthems saw everyone bouncing and singing along with the biggest smiles on their faces. ‘Paradise’, ‘Budapest’ and song of the summer, ‘Shotgun’, were standouts from the performance and for a short while, it made us forget about the depths of winter waiting for us outside.
O2 Academy Sheffield | Tuesday 13 November
Johnny Marr may be a Manchester boy at heart, but it’s clear that he has a soft spot for Sheffield. Taking to the O2 Academy Sheffield stage in support of his new album, Call The Comet, he spent much of the evening waxing lyrical about how much he loved the city, the venue and all the hazy nights out he had there way back when.
The crowd absolutely lapped it up, too. The adoration for Johnny himself is as big, if not bigger than his love for the city the audience call home. Packed full of people who have followed him since his days in The Smiths, they were treated to much of the brilliant newer material as well as a healthy dose of Smiths classics, which went down an absolute storm. Safe to say that Johnny is welcome back in Sheffield whenever he fancies it!
O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire | Tuesday 13 November
The recently announced BRIT’s Critics Choice Award Nominee, Lewis Capaldi, has an absolute whirlwind of a year and what better way to round it up than with his biggest headline tour to date?
Taking to the grand O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire for the final night of the UK run, we had a feeling he wasn’t going to keep things low-key and we were right, because from the very beginning it was clear this was going to be the most extra, over the top performance he could deliver.
Kicking things off with recent single, ‘Grace’ (yep, the one with that video), Lewis’ voice bellows around the room and instantly your lost in the words he sings… that is until four topless, greased-up dancers strut onto the stage and quite honestly we didn’t know where to look. This then followed by Lewis thrusting sparks into the air and a full dance routine and we could’ve ended the show and gone home happy there and then.
The rest of the performance included new, unreleased material, a string quartet for ‘Someone You Loved’ and an absurd amount of confetti for ‘Tough’ – making this, and we’re not exaggerating here – one of the best shows we’ve seen this entire year. Bravo Lewis Capaldi.
YOU ME AT SIX
Various Venues | 21 November - 9 December
What do you do when you’ve just released a new album, but also want to celebrate the 10th anniversary of your debut? You tour them both at once, obviously.
Taking in seven of our venues throughout November and the beginning of December, You Me At Six played multiple, sold out dates, performing both Take Off Your Colours in full and a decade worth of hits for a crowd happily hopping aboard the nostalgia train with a destination set for 2008.
It’s not always easy for a band to look back on the songs they wrote when they were still in their teens, but You Me At Six take it all in their stride. Backed by epic production and colourful screens, they performed old favourites such as, ‘Save It For The Bedroom’ and ‘Jealous Minds Think Alike’ as if they were brand new, whilst the crowd sung at the top of their lungs to every word.
To make it extra special, the venues each came up with some You Me At Six-themed cocktails and O2 Academy Newcastle also got to enjoy the leftovers of guitarist, Chris Miller’s birthday cake!
THE CAT EMPIRE
O2 Academy Bristol | Sunday 18 November
The Cat Empire have become somewhat of a festival staple over the past 17 years, with their genre-bending grooves causing frenzied dancing in fields and venues across the UK and beyond.
Playing their ninth (and tenth) sell out shows at O2 Academy Bristol, no other band has even come close to beating the record The Cat Empire hold at the venue. First appearing on the stage in 2006, each time they return they put on an incredible show and these performances were no different.
A bountiful set full off jazz, reggae and hip hop fusions kept people on their feet from beginning to end and one glance around the room saw everyone having the best time of their lives, laughing as they danced their troubles away. This is just how a Cat Empire show goes, though, it’s all about having fun and we’re already looking forward to their return.
Fan of the band? Keep an eye on the O2 Academy Bristol Instagram, as you could WIN a special signed piece of memorabilia to mark this momentous show.
WAR CHILD: SAFE & SOUND
O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire | 25 - 27 November
In aid of War Child UK’s Learn To Live campaign, the charity took over O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire for three amazing shows. Headlined by expert producer, Jon Hopkins, British indie darlings, Everything Everything and jazz-pop artist, Tom Misch, the intimate venue came to life each and every night.
With an array of special guests joining the acts across the three nights, including Audiobooks and Tom Misch’s multi-instrumentalist sister, Laura Misch, the series of shows were not only a huge celebration of the talent harboured in our country, but also an incredible way of raising awareness of what’s happening overseas and a celebration of all the work the campaign has achieved.
O2 Academy Leeds | Thursday 29 November
Miles Kane made a welcomed return this summer with his first album in five years, Coup De Grace and November saw him take it on the road, hitting up six of our venues along the way.
Compiling a set of favourites from his debut album, Colour Of The Trap, 2013’s Don’t Forget Who You Are and the new album, there was something for everyone throughout his performance. If that wasn’t enough, though, Miles even threw in a cover of Donna Summer’s ‘Hot Stuff’ – a curveball, yes, but he gave it a fresh twist and performed it with finesse.
Cover aside, Miles’ performance was a true return to form for the artist, with the newer songs going down just as well as the earlier hits with the audience and him looking more at home than ever.
We've been fortunate enough to have a number of acts come and perform acoustic sessions for us this month, including State Champs, Trash Boat and more. There aren't many things better than hearing your favourite songs stripped back, so head to our YouTube channel to keep up to date with who drops by and get a taster with the Deaf Havana video below.
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