Monthly Archives: November 2013

Hashtag Music

Week Commencing 2nd Dec

Single of the Week OUT 1st Dec


After seeing Dan wow the crowd at his headline show at Dingwalls, Home had to be Single of the week.

Back on home turf after touring with Imagine Dragons and Bastille this song must be exactly what Dan has been missing. Tatty carpets, rugs and leaving shoes at the door are just some of the references to remind us that nothing beats “Home Sweet Home”. Being a British artist expecting lyrics about putting the kettle on or making a brew is a given, right?

Fear not.. Dan is saved by this critic if you watch his official video. Milk two sugars please.

Album of the Week: OUT 2nd Dec

leona xmas album

2006 Xfactor winner Leona Lewis is back with her first official Christmas album. Christmas with Love is exactly as the title suggests; filled to the brim with love, Christmas cheer and heavenly vocals that we could easily mistake Lewis for the  angel Gabriel.

Leona has had her fair share of critics stating she is boring but One More Sleep is far from dull.  Mixed with sparkling saxophone tones, jingle-bells, bitter-sweet lyrics and countdown hook, this could become a new festive favourite for years to come.

Gaining positive responses online from her soundcloud previews Leona continued to surprise fans with heavenly versions of both new and classic material.  The Ave Maria cover is simply breath-taking and is enough to leave any critic shell-shocked. This hackney lass is up there competing with other Christmas albums from Mary J Blige and Kelly Clarkson. For me  personally Leona’s shines the brightest.  So if you are struggling for gift ideas, Christmas With Love is the perfect stocking filler

 Video of the Week: OUT NOW

Time to Stan!

7 consecutive number one albums in the UK it is safe to say Eminem is no Rap King but a Rap God.  Eminem raps 97 words in 15 seconds making this his slickest punchiest lyrical performance to date.  This 6 minute video directed by Rich Lee (previously directed Not Afraid & Lighters) pays reference to 80s TV host Max Headroom as Eminem takes on his persona against a colourful backdrop. Scenes shot in Russell Industrial Centre in Detroit shows Eminem wired up like someone from the Matrix.

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Dan Croll

Dan Croll

Dingwalls Camden, 27th Nov 2013




It was a Turn First Management Takeover in Dingwalls, Camden last night as Laurel opened up for headliner Dan Croll.  Unaware of a second support act, FYFE sandwiched these two artists with an overtly lavish vocal range with all the trimmings.  Undeniably FYFE can belt out a track – the delivery was not one of solace.

19 year old Laurel has been crafting her music slowly following hype around her Demo Blue Blood reaching 100,000 plays on Soundcloud. Nicknamed London’s last sweetheart her voice reflects just that as she gave a delicate set showcasing her new free download Fire Breather and the B-side The Desert. A cross between a happier Lana Del Ray and a less raspy Diana Vickers, Laurel has an endearing nature with a sense of mystery that will leave you wanting more. Until then Fire Breather will be on repeat.

First time seeing an artist is always an exciting cherry-pop experience but with the crowd cheering for Croll’s arrival it seemed most of the crowd already had cherries popped!

Dan’s head-bopping toe-tapping delights had everyone in the room fully engaged from start to finish. Performances included the infectious tambourine tune In/Out along with tracks from his debut EP From Nowhere. Under-estimating this folksy-pop singer was a mistake as Croll’s kooky beats and humble personality had the room in awe; so much so that when Dan dedicated Compliment Your Soul to a female in the crowd her partner followed with a proposal. (She said yes!)

Big news continued when someone yelled “When’s your album?” keen to spill the news he replied “10th March.” Looking like a date plucked from the air it wasn’t until the later this was confirmed.

Ending the set on his latest single Home seemed like the obvious choice but there was a surprise encore. He announced that Sweet Disarray, the track he was about to sing, would be the title of his debut album out March 10th.  After this spectacular sell-out event, a marriage proposal and album news the name Dan Croll will be popping up a lot more in 2014.

Anyone who is still blissfully unware of Dan Croll’s music I urge you to head over to his Youtube or Soundcloud now and starts popping those cherries!!

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Hashtag Music

Week commencing 25th NOV

Single of the Week OUT 24th NOV


Bad 4 U produced by MNEK is the latest urban smash hit from London girl Tanika!

Currently supporting Naughty Boy on his Hotel Cabana Tour, slick performances of Daft Punk Get lucky are undoubtedly getting her noticed for all the right reasons. An single enriched with bad girl attitude,  Bad4U shows that it won’t be long until Tanika gets herself exactly where she wants to be. 2014 will see an LP for this rising star but meanwhile Bad 4 U has enough goodness that you just can’t help but buy into!

Album of the week: OUT 25th Nov


If Dido’s surprise appearance at this year’s Reading festival to perform Eminem’s Stan isn’t enough, jog your memory of discography maybe a copy of her Greatest Hits will! This double compilation CD spans over 15 years of material, dating back to her first single No Angel.

Selecting an array of past material across all four studio albums, CD1 includes some of her most faithful’s including Here With Me, Thank You and White Flag. CD2 features a few remixes along with her new dance track NYC that was released last month.

Video of the week OUT NOW

Big names Jessie J and Katy Perry both dropped emotional charged videos this week but let’s not forgot that Kent Singer-Songwriter Leon Else also premiered his first ever music video.

Tall, Dark and Handsome and a voice comparable to Drake; Leon really has go the swoon appeal turned to the max! Protocol is an intense love/hate situation about leaving your heart at home and just having some fun  but one of you finds yourself getting a little too attached.

Albeit a little cliché, that the song focuses on the girl’s heart being involved, the video is effectively done with a tasteful touch of sexual desire.

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Hashtag Music

Week commencing 18th Nov

Single of the Week: OUT 17th Nov


The idea of reworking two 90s dance sensations sounds like a musical car crash but Bastille has managed to strike gold with Of the Night.  This modern twist of Rhythm of the Night and Rhythm is a Dancer has given these dance favourites a new lease of life.  This is an impressive and fun mash up taken from their 2012 mixtape Other People’s Heartache.

Album of the Week: OUT 17th Nov


It’s been 20 years since Gabrielle Dreams reached No1 in the UK and now she’s back with her compilation album Now and Always: 20 years of Dreaming written by a smorgasbord of producers. Gabrielle shines with her kindhearted ballads as she uses both new and old songs to remind us how impressive her discography of work really is.

Say Goodbye is the lead single from this beautiful comeback and will be released on Nov 25th.

Video of the Week: OUT NOW 

Making a spectacular comeback Lily Allen’s single Hard Out Here is a backlash about sexism in modern culture, particularly the music industry.

Spawned on an operating table about to undertake liposuction Lily hits back honest lyrics that her figure is not the same now she’s had two children.

A sly dig to Robin Thicke’s smash hit Blurred Lines she also used balloons to give reference to her ‘baggy pussy’. Not afraid say it how it is, it’s this feisty attitude what’s got her where she is today and we are delighted she’s back on the scene.

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Naughty Boy

Naughty Boy

Electric, Brixton 13th Oct 2013


Wednesday night The Electric in Brixton transformed into Naughty Boy’s very own Hotel Cabana featuring a cast of musical talent. Rising stars Chasing Grace, Tanika and Ella Eyre all opened up the hotel before the crowd were greeted by Naughty Boy at a late check in of 10pm.
Mirroring the album’s welcome to cabana message the set opened with a stand-in backing singer dressed in office attire. Tinie Tempah and Emeli Sande absent for the intro meant that although the stand in proceeded to sing Emeli’s parts the execution was flat. In hope to build the energy up quickly, earlier guests were welcomed back to the stage to perform their collab pieces.
16 year old Ella bounced around the stage with her luscious curly locks as she performed Think About It. Grasping a strong performance style and  her early feature with electronic group Rudimental is an impressive start to her career. However recently Parlophone signed artist Becky Hill also has the same Rudimental connections and a voice on par could mean Ella and Becky could be in competition in the near future.
Tanika graced the stage again but refreshed her look with an eye catching trouser suit. Capturing the crowd’s attention she broke out into a stunning rendition of Daft Punk’s No1 single Get Lucky.

The interaction was at a minimum from shy naughty boy as he worked the beats from behind his desk but as the next act Chasing Grace arrived on stage he soon had plenty to say. He explained that So Strong was the first project for Hotel Cabana and he was looking forward to their future. An average performance by this upcoming duo the atmosphere still remained flat.

It wasn’t until special guest Emeli Sande performed that the mood completed changed. Oozing soul and singing her most powerful ballad of positivity to date it’s no wonder this song was the stand out performance of the set.

Overall it was a mediocre visit to Hotel Cabana but upgrades are needed to give a more concise set. Hats off to the talent that performed and I think we will be seeing more from them all in 2014.

If you do plan on checking out his Hotel be warned there many not be the same guests on other dates of the tour!

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Hashtag Music

Week commencing 11th Nov

Single of the Week: OUT 10th Nov


Girls Aloud made their massive comeback at last year’s Children in Need (CIN) with their new single Something New. Although a staggering £26.8 million was raised last year there are high hopes that Ellie Goulding’s track  How Long Will I Love You will raise the bar. This campaign focuses on helping young disadvantaged children across the UK.

This beautiful cover of the Waterboys’ song is featured on Ellie’s re-packaged album Halcyon Days. Alongside becoming the official CIN single this song has also been featured as the soundtrack to promote About Time, a British romantic comedy starring Rachel McAdams. There is no doubt this ‘Burn’ songstress will score her 2nd number one with this tear-jerker but what really shines here is how perfect this song supports the cause and focuses on the importance of loved ones.


Album of the week: OUT 11th Nov


Dion’s three year residency in Vegas has meant Caesars Palace has welcomed 70 shows a year from the Canadian Diva. Ready to tackle the UK market Dion is due to release her first English language album in 6 years. Loved Me Back to Life radiates Dion’s strength and class during the first 6 songs but the latter few songs lack substance.

The collaboration with Neyo is well worth a listen that we are left wondering why this wasn’t the lead single for this album. Complete with a pop hook, delicate soulful tones and the contrast of Dion’s high notes this song what is exactly what is says on the tin, Incredible.  Although  Dion has some beautifully crafted tracks this album they can’t touch the biggest selling single of the career, My Heart Will Go On.


Video of the Week: OUT NOW 

Written and produced herself, Tori Kelly’s track Dear No one is not your average love song. Full of optimism this little cutie is seen walking through the streets of Brooklyn trying to chase the love of her life who she is yet to even met!

No cliché love ending, this video swaps the traditional kissing shot with an image Tori’s dream man dissolved into dust, implying her dream man is still yet to be found. This infectious song is something we all can relate to and often find ourselves daydreaming about from time to time.

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