Will the rain ever end? That’s the main question we’ve been asking ourselves as we head into autumn. September saw us clutching onto those last moments of sunshine, some of you moved to university and some of you raced to pick up your pumpkin spiced latte faster than the leaves could fall. Here’s to you, September, and all the wonderful memories you gave us, including this selection of outstanding live shows.
FIREBALL FUELLING THE FIRE TOUR
Various Venues | 19 - 28 September
September saw the fourth year of the Fireball Fuelling the Fire Tour ignite our venues across the UK. This year we welcomed ska-punk favourites, Less Than Jake, SoCal rockers, Goldfinger, Save Ferris, Fireball’s Hottest Band for 2019 - Thieves of Liberty, and all the great local competition winners.
It’s hard to pick out all our favourite moments from the tour, but one of them would be Goldfinger frontman, John Feldman surprising the crowd and Save Ferris frontwoman, Monique Powell, as he jumped on stage to join in with their cover of Reel Big Fish’s ‘She Has A Girlfriend Now’ at O2 Academy Birmingham. Elsewhere, at O2 Academy Bournemouth, Less Than Jake frontman Chris Demakes celebrated his birthday with cake, a happy birthday song from the crowd and, many, many inflatable penises organised by their tour manager, as you do.
Each night on the tour Goldfinger also nailed a cover of the Friends theme song, ‘I’ll Be There For You’ and Save Ferris did a killer cover of ‘Too Drunk to F**k’ by the Dead Kennedys, whilst Less Than Jake had some incredible inflatable air dancers on stage, which really added to the whole vibe, if we’re honest. Oh, and let’s not forget DJ Matt Stocks’ fancy dress costume, as for the whole tour he was in character as Raoul Duke from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, because of course. Until next year, Fireball!
TYLER, THE CREATOR
O2 Academy Brixton | 16 - 18 September
Having led fans on a wild goose chase around London earlier this year, the time had finally come for Tyler, the Creator to grace the O2 Academy Brixton stage. Not once, not twice, but for three performances in a row. Adorning a different coloured suit for each night and with a simple sparkling silver backdrop behind him, this was fans’ chance to welcome in a new era for the rapper, and celebrate his return to the UK.
Amongst tracks from new record, IGOR, he pulled from his six album-strong catalogue to deliver a set that truly flaunted his work, as well as showcasing his part in the cover of Frank Ocean’s ‘Biking’ and inviting Rex Orange County on stage for ‘Boredom’. Rex wasn’t the only celebrity in the building though, as Jess Glynne, Jorja Smith, Kendall Jenner, Slowthai, CeeLo Green and the biggest of them all, Tyler’s mum, all showed up to show their support across the three-day spectacular.
RED RUM CLUB
O2 Academy Sheffield | Thursday 26 September
What happens when you cross rock and roll with a slice of Mexico? Red Rum Club is your answer. The Liverpudlian collective have been making waves on the live circuit over the past year, with the release of their debut album, Matador, only accelerating proceedings. After a summer jam-packed with fiery festival performances, it was time for the band to show what they’ve got as headliners and boy, they did not disappoint!
Their Mariachi-infused sound vibrated round the O2 Academy Sheffield walls, as the shrill of trumpets rung loud and clear and frontman, Francis Doran, swaggered around the stage, commanding the crowd like a true matador. The energy was electric and the fans lapped up every second, chanting back the huge choruses the band are getting quite the reputation for. Firmly cementing their status as a band to watch, make sure you add Red Rum Club to your must-see list, because you won’t regret it.
Various Venues | 16 - 22 September
Pixies hit a number of our venues throughout September, but none of the shows were the same as each other. As a band with such an extensive and highly adored back catalogue, it can be hard to choose the songs that fit in a setlist, so Pixies did things differently on their UK stint.
Playing an improvised set each night, the band decided which song to play next on the spot, making their picks based on the atmosphere and the loud chants from the crowd in front of them. As they watched the clock countdown, they squeezed in as many songs as possible, including a handful from new album, Beneath The Eyrie. A truly unique experience and a gamechanger for the future of setlists, it was something very special to watch, knowing that you might hear a song one night that nobody else on the whole tour will get to see, and that is why Pixies are still one of the greatest bands in the game.
O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire | Tuesday 24 September
Undisputedly one of the most exciting voices in recent times, Snoh Aalegra took to the O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire stage for an authentic and raw sold out performance. A one-off UK date, the R&B singer delivered a completely flawless vocal and three outfit changes in total, blowing the crowd away as she performed tracks from her 2017 breakthrough album, FEELS and its recent follow up, -Ugh, those feels again. A particularly special moment from the night came from her cover of Bobby Caldwell’s 'What You Won't Do For Love', which left fans in awe of the Swedish star’s stunning vocal abilities.
THE FLAMING LIPS
O2 Academy Brixton | Saturday 7 September
The Flaming Lips rode into O2 Academy Brixton atop their shiny unicorns at the start of the month and if there’s one thing we can always rely on, it’s that Wayne Coyne and his band of merry men and women will deliver a live event that you will never forget!
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of their ground breaking and critically acclaimed album, The Soft Bulletin, the band got to work playing the album in its entirety, kicking things off with the thunderous drum intro from Race For The Prize. From then on, it was a 90-minute adventure full of good vibes, party balloons, the now infamous hamster ball and glorious production dominated by the dazzling mirror balls. Ending their set with one of the most heartbreakingly uplifting songs of all time, Do You Realize, the crowd came together to sing joyously as one, proudly displaying their enduring love for the band who stood before them.
RADIO X PRESENTS: LIAM GALLAGHER ft. SAM FENDER
O2 Ritz Manchester | Saturday 21 September
Manchester’s favourite icon returned home in September for a very special, extremely intimate headline show for Radio X. Liam Gallagher is seen as somewhat of a king in these parts, so it was no surprise to see it sell out within seconds, and they also threw in a set from rising indie lad, Sam Fender for good measure.
A week on from the release of his debut album, Hypersonic Missiles and Sam Fender was buzzing as he powered through the Springsteen-esque anthems found within his first full-length effort. Warming the crowd up a treat, it offered fans just a taste of what to expect from his upcoming headline tour.
Before long, though, it was time for the king to take to his throne, but first he popped down to the front row to say hello and welcome everyone to his birthday party, (he turned 47 the same day). Kicking things off with ‘Rock And Roll Star’, Liam then performed a selection of tracks from brand-new album, Why Me? Why Not. as well as some choice Oasis classics, which left fans practically flying off the walls. A mass chorus of happy birthday rung through the venue mid-set, before he then rounded everything up with an a capella version of ‘Live Forever’. A completely unforgettable moment in Manchester music history, this night will be talked about for years to come.
TINY MOVING PARTS
O2 Academy Islington | Saturday 28 September
After hitting a few cities around the country, the Tiny Moving Parts tour culminated in London for their biggest headline show to date at O2 Academy Islington. After a blistering set from support band, Microwave, Tiny Moving Parts took to the stage with their usual endearing enthusiasm and a setlist that dipped into the best of their back catalogues to produce over an hour of non-stop sing-a-longs.
Performing tracks from their brand-new album, breathe, as well as older favourites like ‘Caution’, ‘Applause’, ‘Headache’ and ‘Sundress’, each and every track was met with a frenzied response, but nothing compared to ‘Common Cold’, which saw a special appearance from Microwave frontman, Nathan Hardy. Once their incredibly cohesive, high-energy performance was complete, Tiny Moving Parts still had enough in them to venture off stage and shake hands with pockets of fans who were still around, whilst Microwave were spotted happily chatting to gig-goers near the merch table. Nice guys all round, if they aren’t on your radar yet, they definitely should be.
O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire | Tuesday 10 September
Established rapper, activist, actor and poet, Common, took to O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire for an exclusive headline show in the capital, supporting his new album, Let Love. Joined by a live band of exceptionally talented musicians, including Taylor McFerrin (son of jazz vocalist, Bobby McFerin), and the highly in-demand keyboard player, producer and live director, Junius Bervine, the show was a coming together of many musically gifted minds, which only added to the magic of the evening.
Perhaps a standout moment from the night, though, was Common’s delivery of ‘Come Close’, where he was accompanied by a powerful female vocalist for the romantic anthem, which swiftly turned into an ode to London. Freestyling about Shepherd’s Bush, Morley’s chicken shops and going for a cheeky Nando’s, it had the crowd cheering at unheard of levels as Common’s grin was the sign of a man who had completely captured his audience and left them all on their feet in applause.
On Monday 23 September, we officially stepped into autumn, so as the night’s draw in and the weather leaves you hibernating in the cosiness of your home, why not stick a playlist of all the seasonally-appropriate songwriters that are heading on tour soon. We've got you covered:
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This summer has been packed full of festivals and we were lucky enough to attend some of the biggest and best in the country, whilst also chatting to the acts who played. If you missed out on any, you can get the full lowdown right here.
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