Tag: Gerry Rafferty

New Video: Oxford’s Premium Leisure Releases a Breezy and Infectious Visual

Chris Barker is an Oxford, UK-based singer/songwriter and guitarist best known for playing in Wille J. Heasley’s backing band. Barker is also the creative mastermind behind the rising British recording project Premium Leisure. And with a handful of Premium Leisure releases under his belt, Barker has enlisted a rotating cast of Oxford’s music scene, including Gas Coombes’ and Saint Etienne’s Mike Monaghan (drums) and Palace’s and Razorlight’s Harry Deacon (bass), who contributed to the Oxford-based artist’s latest single “Ready For Forever.”

Centered around shuffling, feel-good vibes, strummed acoustic guitar, Barker’s plaintive vocals and some razor sharp, infectious hooks, “Ready For Forever” sounds as though it draws from 70s AM rock — in particular, I can’t help but think of Man Who Sold The World-era David Bowie and a bit of Gerry Rafferty. “The song describes characters drifting about without any burdens or liability; asking me to give up the guilty conscience and loosen up,” Barker explains.

Directed by Lawrence Pumfrey, the recently released video for “Ready For Forever” begins with Barker waking up from a nap in his car, and stuffing a backpack with necessary provisions — a bong, some flowers and a few other things — before heading into the forest with his guitar in hand. He encounters three ballet-like dancers, who dance to his playing — and their dancing is full of a goofy yet uninhabited freedom that’s infectious.

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstay Sam Fender Covers Amy Winehouse’s “Back To Black” on BBC Radio 1’s “Live Lounge”

Over the past two years or so, I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of virtual ink covering the 
Newcastle, UK-born and-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and JOVM mainstay Sam Fender. Last year, was a breakthrough year for the Newcastle-born and-based artist: 
his Bramwell Bronte-produced full-length debut Hypersonic Missiles was a critically applauded, commercial success. Fender also made several nationally televised late night appearances — and went on a successful international tour that saw him play across North America twice. He then closed out the year with the release of “All Is On My Side,” a propulsive track that was sort of synthesis of Gerry Rafferty and Billy Idol, complete with a Eric Clapton Slowhand-era like guitar solo.

Although the year was full of momentous, life-changing achievements for the young singer/songwriter the year ended on a frustrating note with Fender having to postpone a handful of sold-out UK live dates with Fender having to reschedule them. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was looking bright for the JOVM mainstay: he was hand-picked by the legendary  Elton John to play at his annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Party — and much like last year, was gearing up for this year’s BRIT Awards, in which he received a nomination for Best New Artist. 

Desperate to prove that he’s not a one-hit wonder, Fender has an urgent desire to improve upon his critically applauded debut. Musically, he started the year with “Hold Out,” a slow-burning 80s inspired anthem with an enormous, arena friend hook and shimmering, reverb-drenched guitars that further established his reputation for crafting earnest yet ambitious material with a novelistic attention to detail. Earlier this year, Fender made an appearance on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge series, and the appearance including a a haunting and achingly bluesy cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back To Black.” After a persistent fan campaign online, Fender officially released the cover — and the footage from the live session. 

“‘Back To Black’ is such a long-standing favourite of mine, and Amy remains a national treasure,” Fender says in press notes. ” I love that album too. I hopefully did the track some justice. You’ll all be the judge of that…”

Over the past couple of years, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink cover the Newcastle, UK-born and-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and JOVM mainstay Sam Fender. Now, as you may recall last year was a breakthrough year for the Newcastle-born and-based JOVM mainstay: his Bramwell Bronte-produced full-length debut Hypersonic Missiles was a critically applauded, commercial success. Fender also made several nationally televised late night appearances — and went on a successful international tour that saw him play across North America twice.
The rapidly rising British artist closed out last year with the release of “All Is On My Side.” The song has been a regular fixture of his live set for the past few years and a fan favorite that he released after a committed online campaign by his fans to release it. And while centered around the sleek and slick production and arena rock friendly hooks that has won him international acclaim, the propulsive song finds Fender crafting a synthesis of 70s AM rock along the lines of Gerry Rafferty and 80s New Wave and rock reminiscent of Billy Idol, complete with a Eric Clapton Slowhand-era like guitar solo.
Although most of last year was full of momentous, life-changing achievements for the young singer/songwriter, the year ended on a frustrating note with Fender having to postpone a handful of sold-out UK live dates as a result of illness. Those shows have been rescheduled for later this month and during the Spring. (You can check out the rescheduled tour dates, along with some European Union and UK Summer festival dates below.)
So far, 2020 has continued much of the momentum of last year: Fender was hand-picked by Elton John to play at his annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Party — and much like last year, he’s gearing up for this year’s BRIT Awards, but this time, he’s received a nomination for Best New Artist. Interestingly, “Hold Out,” is Fender’s first single of this year, and while it doesn’t actually signal the start of a press campaign for his sophomore album, it’s meant to act as another statement of intent for him. Desperate to prove that he’s not a one-hit wonder, Fender has an urgent desire to better his critically applauded effort. Centered around shimmering, reverb-drenched guitars, “Hold Out” is slow-burning, 80s inspired anthem with an enormous, arena friendly hook — and the track will further cement the Newcastle-born and-based JOVM mainstay’s reputation for crafting earnest yet ambitious material with a novelistic attention to detail.
Tour Dates (Tickets at samfender.com):
February 17 – O2 Academy, Newcastle SOLD OUT
February 19 – O2 Academy, Newcastle SOLD OUT
February 24 – La Cigale, Paris
February 25 – Ancienne Belgique, Brussels SOLD OUT
February 27 – Palladium, Cologne
February 28 – Columbiahalle, Berlin
March 1– Halle 622, Zurich
March 2– Paradiso, Amsterdam SOLD OUT
March 5– Docks Club, Hamburg
March 20 – O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester SOLD OUT
March 21 – O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester SOLD OUT
March 23 – Barrowlands, Glasgow SOLD OUT
March 24 – Barrowlands, Glasgow SOLD OUT
March 26 – Alexandra Palace, London SOLD OUT
March 27 – Alexandra Palace, London SOLD OUT
March 31 – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff SOLD OUT
April 2 – First Direct Arena, Leeds SOLD OUT
April 3 – Utilita Arena, Newcastle SOLD OUT
May 1 – O2 Academy, Bristol (rescheduled show) SOLD OUT
May 16 – O2 Academy, Birmingham (rescheduled show) SOLD OUT
May 17 – O2 Academy, Brixton (rescheduled show) SOLD OUT
May 23 – Warrington, Neighbourhood Festival
May 24 – Newcastle, This Is Tomorrow Festival
June 3 – De Montfort Hall, Leicester (rescheduled show)
June 13 – Isle of Wight Festival
June 16 – Malahide Castle, Dublin (w/ The Killers) SOLD OUT
June 17 – Malahide Castle, Dublin (w/ The Killers) SOLD OUT
July 8 – Madrid, Espacio Mad Cool Festival
July 10 – Glasgow, TRNSMT Festival
August 19 – Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht SOLD OUT

Over the past 18 months or so I’ve written quite a bit about the Newcastle, UK-born and-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and JOVM mainstay Sam Fender. During that same period of time, Fender has received attention nationally, internationally and across the blogosphere for crafting rousingly anthemic material with a broad focus on hard-hitting social issues that generally draw from his own experiences growing up in Northeastern England.
Now, as you may recall, this year has been a breakthrough year for the Newcastle-born and-based JOVM mainstay: his full-length debut Hypersonic Missiles, which was recorded and produced at Fender’s self-built North Shields-based warehouse studio, with longtime friend, producer and collaborator Bramwell Bronte was released to critical applause earlier this year. Adding to a momentous year that included several American late night nationally televised appearances, and a wildly successful international tour that saw him play across North America twice, Fender’s debut album recently topped the British Album charts.
Interestingly, the Newcastle-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist closes out a huge 2019 with his latest single “All Is On My Side.” Although the song doesn’t appear on his critically applauded and commercially successful debut, “All Is On My Side” has been a regular fixture of his live set for the past few years — and a fan favorite. Interestingly enough, Fender officially released the stand-alone single after a committed online campaign by his fans to put it out. While centered around the sleek and slick production and arena rock friendly hooks that has won him international acclaim, the propulsive song finds Fender crafting a synthesis of 70s AM rock along the lines of Gerry Rafferty and 80s New Wave and rock reminiscent of Billy Idol, complete with a Eric Clapton Slowhand-era like guitar solo.
“’All Is On My Side’ is a real live favorite for me,” Fender says in press notes. “It’s been a mainstay in the set for a couple of years now and it’s nice to release this as a bit of a thank you to all the fans at the end of the year.”
Fender closes out the year with a sold out series of shows across the UK and Ireland. He goes back on the road in March with a series of sold out shows. Hopefully, he’ll return to the States next year. But if he’s in your town, catch him before he blows up — and say you saw him way back when. Check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates 2019:
10th December – O2 Academy Brixton, London SOLD OUT
11th December – O2 Academy Brixton, London SOLD OUT
13th December – Great Hall, Cardiff SOLD OUT
14th December – O2 Academy, Bournemouth SOLD OUT
16th December – Dublin, Olympia SOLD OUT
17th December – Ulster Hall, Belfast SOLD OUT
19th December – O2 Academy, Sheffield SOLD OUT
21st December – O2 Academy, Newcastle SOLD OUT
22nd December – O2 Academy, Newcastle SOLD OUT
Tour Dates 2020:
20th March – O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester SOLD OUT
21st March – O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester SOLD OUT
23rd March – Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow SOLD OUT
24th March – Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow SOLD OUT
26th March – Alexandra Palace, London SOLD OUT
27th March – Alexandra Palace, London SOLD OUT
30th March – De Montfort Hall, Leicester SOLD OUT
31st March – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff SOLD OUT
2nd April –First Direct Arena, Leeds SOLD OUT
3rd April – Utilita Arena, Newcastle SOLD OUT