Ben Haenow / One Night Tour / Special Tour Review! – Tuesday 19th April 2016

As the Croydon-born talented musician, also the winner of The X Factor 2014, Ben Haenow, kicked off his One Night Tour on the 15th April 2016, which ran until the 23rd April 2016, everyone was full of excitement, including myself, as he came back to his hometown, Croydon, on the 19th April 2016, to perform his One Night Tour at Fairfield Halls / The Ashcroft Theatre, which promoted his self-titled debut album, Ben Haenow, which was released on Friday 13th November 2015.

As I waited for this night to arrive since I purchased my pre-sale ticket in November, I knew from the moment I purchased my ticket to see him perform that this night would be the best night I would ever have. The last time I saw him perform was at his homecoming just outside the HMV store in Croydon, connected to the Whitgift Centre, when it was chucking down with rain, and he performed Jealous Guy (originally by John Lennon) and Come Together (originally by The Beatles).

The One Night Tour was out of this world. Ben instantly took the roof off of Fairfield Halls off and everyone in the auditorium stood up, and hearing him perform on tour gave me goosebumps, as I knew that this night was the night I waited for, and not just that, but on the closing song that he performed, which was his X Factor winner’s single: “Something I Need (originally by OneRepublic)”, everyone at the front of the stage got up on the stage to sing with him, and I did too. None of us got into trouble at all because he wanted us to join him on stage, and I won’t lie to you, it’s my first ever time going to see a musician perform on tour.

After the tour ended, I was able to get a photo with Ben’s brother, Alex Haenow, the Opening Act, James Plimmer, including the main man himself, Ben Haenow!!!!! Tuesday night was absolutely worth the wait, and I would do anything to go back to that night. Ben Haenow is such a down-to-earth guy, and it is an absolute honour to have met him.

Below are the best photos I took at Fairfield Halls before, during and after the One Night Tour, including some photos with Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and James Plimmer. I have also got video footage from the One Night Tour which will also be included as a YouTube video, documenting parts of the tour as it happened.

Opening Act: James Plimmer

Ben Haenow & Alex Haenow!!!!!!!!!!

Below is the video of the 18 video clips I recorded at Fairfield Halls during Ben Haenow’s One Night Tour, featuring James Plimmer and Alex Haenow. These small clips, which are combined into a 12-minute video give you a taster of what Ben performed on his One Night Tour on the 19th April 2016 at Fairfield Halls / The Ashcroft Theatre, in Croydon, opposite Croydon College.

To Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and James Plimmer, thanks so much for a perfect night, and I hope to see you guys perform again in the future 😉👍👌

Alex Smithson

© Ben Haenow 2016

Music: How Are We Able to Relate Our Lives to Songs?

Music. It’s always the first thing we make sure to listen to everyday, whether any of us are travelling to school, to college or even to work, but there is something about music that makes us feel connected.

How does music relate to our own lives? Well music can relate to our own lives in many different ways, as there may be certain events in our life where we may have lost someone close to us, or that we may have gone through a difficult time in our lives, but sometimes, music can relate to the good things as well as the best things that may have happened in our lives.

For instance, with an album like Rebel Heart by Madonna, her album has more of her vulnerable spots to life than that of the rebellious side of her life, as Rebel Heart was based more around how she may have felt about it all, and I felt that with this album, I could relate to it, because it’s like the way Madonna has done it, it’s like she is speaking out language, like as if she knows that we all go through moments of heartbreak in life, but with the album track, Rebel Heart, it’s like she is trying to say in short that it’s time to stand up for what you believe in and it’s time for you to just be you and do whatever makes you feel happy in this world.

Other albums like 19, 21 & 25 by Adele have that appeal to life as those albums create different emotions, but the kind of different emotions that you can relate to. With Adele’s music, she’s has managed to create a mood in that song where you can feel at home, where you can feel like you have something in common but most of all where you can feel a sense of relief knowing that the kind of emotions you have are kind of emotions that other people like Adele may have.

But with music overall, it’s the emotive connections of music that bring us all together, as all of us are able to relate to what certain pieces of music are about, as well as how they impact on us all altogether.

I love listening to music as it’s my way of not just being able to come up with new ideas, but I love music mainly because a lot of the music I’ve heard over the years is music I can relate to, as music has always been a part of my childhood and music altogether will always be a part of my whole life.

Overall, I strongly believe that we can all relate our lives to the songs we hear, including the unlimited supply of music we all hear over the years.

If you enjoyed reading this article, please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

ADELE | 25 | Special Music Feature

With her third album becoming the number one most pre-ordered album, with her album still remaining number one just after it was released, Adele has finally delighted us all with her much awaited album, 25, which is the first album in a while since she last released music. In just the space of the first week alone, Adele has officially broken the sales records in the US with 3.38 million in sales, with her ‘Hello’ video spanning over 500,000,000+ views, also with the sales record in the UK showing that a whopping 800,307 copies of Adele’s 25 album were sold in the first week alone, which also beats the 18-year long record that the former music group, Oasis, once held with their 1997 album: “Be Here Now”.

Before the album was announced, Adele sent the whole of Twitter into meltdown after premiering a 30-second advert of her comeback record: “Hello”, which aired while The X Factor was on an ad break. In theory, she kind of did a Beyoncé moment, because the advert was completely unexpected, but once I heard her voice, I thought: “Oh my god!!! It’s Adele!!! She’s finally back!!! At last!!!! Welcome back Adele, we missed you!!!”, which just goes to prove that none of us knew what type of new music was to come.

On the day of Adele’s 25 album release, I listened to Adele’s new album after it arrived through the post, and I must admit, I thought it was absolutely fantastic, because her voice has matured and she appears more and more relaxed now given that she spent a two-year long hiatus from the music industry altogether to focus on bringing up her son, Angelo, who she gave birth to on the 19th October 2012.

This new album brings with it a new kind of sound that is absolutely enjoyable and also happy, but also at the same time, absolutely heartwarming, because you can listen to Adele all day and never get tired of her music, because her music and her voice are timeless, and her music will never date, which just proves that if she has managed to get three albums out in her time, and have all three of them become chart-topping albums as well, including winning 2 Ivor Novello Awards, 10 Grammy Awards, 4 Brit Awards, 1 Academy Award, 1 Oscar Award and 1 Golden Globe Award, including many more other various awards, then that just indicates that a musician doesn’t have to prove themselves in order to have a big success, and Adele has sold 3 albums, 25 involved, with massive successes across the board without needing to prove herself to anyone, and that is why I love her music because she has the bubbly personality and a powerful voice that go well together with absolutely no problem at all.

Since the release of 25 on the 20th November, Adele’s album, at the end of the first week, became the Official Number 1 album on the Official Charts, as well as being Number 1 on iTunes.

Adele most recently said that she was inspired by Madonna’s 1998 album, Ray of Light, which was the main influential album that inspired her to write 25.

Below is the Official Album Artwork for Adele’s third album, 25:

© Official Album Cover - ADELE & XL Recordings 2015
© Official Album Cover – ADELE & XL Recordings 2015

Below are two of the latest music videos released by Adele from her 25 album: “Hello” and “When We Were Young“:

What do I think of the whole album overall? I absolutely love 25, because Adele has taken all of the much needed time to make this album, in order to produce the perfect sound possible. I love this album as well mainly because it is heartwarming, and 25 is completely open, as Adele has explored so many emotions from so many different perspectives and aspects, but the different kind of perspectives and aspects that we are all more familiar with.

The album is like a story, because it shows her mature from her 19 and 21 days into the 25 days, when she was at that age, even though she is now 27. Overall, I absolutely love the album, and I believe that Adele’s 25 album and her “Hello” video, including her live rendition of “When We Were Young” will certainly keep her album in the Top 10, the Top 20, the Top 50 and the Top 100.

Overall Rating for the Official “Hello” Music Video: 10/10

Overall Rating for the Official “When We Were Young” Music Video: 10/10

Overall Album Rating for 25: 10/10

Alex Smithson

© ADELE 2015

© XL Recordings 2015

© The Adele Logo, the 25 Album Logo, the Official 25 Album Artwork and the wide-scale Featured Image have all been used courtesy of the record labels and the artist. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

XSCAPE: Celebrating Michael Jackson’s Life + Deluxe Album Review

As today marks 5 years since Michael Jackson sadly passed away, I wanted to celebrate Michael Jackson’s life for who he was, and how I have come to love the music of someone who was famously known for the famous dance, the moonwalk.

For Michael Jackson, you can definitely say he was the King of Pop, as his music, despite the ongoing claims, allowed everyone to understand what he loved to do the most. As he grew up with making music since the age of 5, because he was with the 5-piece Jackson 5 group, this meant his career, despite it being too early for him to start out, actually proved that he would later on become one of the most successful solo artists on the music scene. Now I know that being forced into the music scene at the age of 5 is not right, given the kind of life Michael went through, but, by making his own music at the age of 20, this gave Michael Jackson the biggest chance to break away from a childhood that was pretty much taken away from him, considering what Joe Jackson did to him in his young years, whipping him regularly if he sung one note out of tune, which is the thing I have come to hate about Joe Jackson.

The albums Michael Jackson did when he became a solo artist was where he made his first proper big break, for example, Motown, because when Motown celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 1985, Michael performed the classical tune that will always be played to this day, which was Billie Jean. This song was overall the best highlight of his solo career.

When I found out he died on this day five years ago, it was an awful lot of time for me to take in the news, in honesty, I was actually crying because he was a talented artist, and was mainly the global figure in popular culture which made his career entirely spread over four decades. Everyone paid their tributes, even days, months or even years after he died, and even I, and everyone around the world will always think about him, despite some negativity, he will always remain in my heart and everyone’s hearts, as he was a kind man who gave up something of his own to provide for others around the world that may have been suffering during a difficult period. His foundation: “Heal the World” was a way of raising money for those who were less fortunate than himself, which I thought was the nicest thing he’s done for everyone, because he was giving something back that he never got from his own father, and I admire Michael Jackson for all the hard work he has done. His legacy will live on for many years to come.

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XSCAPE (Deluxe) – Album Review

XSCAPE (Deluxe)
Credit: Michael Jackson, Epic Records, Michael Jackson’s Estate and Rodney Jerkins ©. —XSCAPE Logo Cropped Out to Prevent Copyright Infringement—

When I first heard Michael Jackson’s new posthumous album “XSCAPE”, it blew me away, as this was music that defined the true image of the King of Pop himself. This album was like a journey back in time, as his music overall up to this recent posthumous album defined and enabled me to re-live the experience all over again. It felt like a journey where music would never age, and for Michael Jackson’s albums, even XSCAPE, his music will never age. Despite the 8 tracks that have been contemporised (enhanced to prevent confusion), his music will always be available for many generations to come.

This album, as a whole, was almost unlike the music he would normally make, but this album retain’s his crown as the King of Pop, and will always be the album I listen to. I gave this album its first ever listen on the music-streaming service, Spotify, and now, I have the physical copy of the Deluxe album, which I am over the moon to have as it was a birthday present for my 16th birthday last week :-).

As part of the hard work Michael Jackson has done, I want to give this posthumous album a rating of 10/10 as I believe that for those of you who haven’t heard it yet, you will be blown away, and it will make you want to keep the album on loop.

To your right of the blog page, I have put up the Spotify playlist of Michael Jackson’s XSCAPE (Deluxe) album for your viewing comfort (will remain permanent for this blog) :-).

Thank you for viewing this blog post, this blog post is a fitting tribute to mark the celebration of Michael Jackson’s life, as he has inspired me and everyone around the world to do better, and I thank him for his inspiration. He will always be forever remembered in our hearts for as long as we shall all live.

-Alex Smithson