1980’s music – the decade that music forgot?

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1980’s music  – Throwaway pop, or the beginning of something new?

It’s easy to remember 1980’s music for its throw away pop. The Stock Aitken and Waterman formulaic money-making machine seemed to dominate the airwaves. Hit factory stars dominated Top of the Pops, such as Kylie and Jason, Sonia, Mel and Kim, Sinitta and Rick Astley.

1980's music disco ball

You would be forgiven for thinking that this was all there was to offer. It’s easy to call 80’s pop shallow and throw away, but it sold plenty of albums, people loved it and one or two of the Hit Factory pop starts of this era have gone on to have fantastic music careers. It definitely worked for Kylie, and Rick Astley has made a comeback! After all, he was never going to give it up, let us down, run around and desert us. Not all 1980’s music was produced this way – who can forget Wham? No disco could be with out ‘Wake me up before you Go Go’! Madonna did her very best to completely shake up the pop world, bringing controversy with Like a Virgin and Pappa don’t Preach, into what had always been a sparkly, squeaky clean, extremely uncontroversial genre.

It’s not all about P1980's music thrillerop!

Don’t be fooled though into to thinking though it was just about Pop, some hugely iconic and popular albums came out in the 80’s that helped establish some of the biggest bands in music history. This decade delivered us some amazing albums with singles that still stand up today –

 

Michael Jackson – Thriller 1982 (I know it’s pop, but still an iconic album!)

Singles – Thriller, Beat It, Billy Jean (I could go on!)

Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run 1984

Singles – Born to Run, Thunder Road

Prince – Purple Rain 1984

Singles – Purple Rain, When Doves Cry, Let’s go Crazy

U2 – The Joshua Tree 1987

Singles – Where The Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, With Or Without You

All of these artists and albums had a massive impact on the music world and helped shape many of the bands that came after them.

It’s starting to smell like teen spirit

The end of 1980s music saw a pretty rapid turnaround in musical fashion. The backlash to hair metal and formulaic pop saw grunge find its way into the mainstream. Rock music became a vanity contest in the early 80’s and the down to earth, meaningful and rebellious nature of the grunge movement contrasted that. The start of this shift in culture began with Guns ‘n’ Roses’ ground-breaking debut, Appetite for Destruction. The album tore apart the rulebook when it came to metal, merging the blues-based hard rock of AC/DC with the arena metal sound of Mötley Crüe. This change in style helped to pave the way for the rising popularity of indie rock. Sweet child ‘o’ mine became an instant classic. Whilst alt rock bands such as Jane’s Addiction and R.E.M were entering the mainstream, the Seattle grunge scene was blooming. The release of Nirvana’s Bleach, Soundgarden’s Screaming Life, and Mudhoney’s Superfuzz Bigmuff amongst others on the now iconic sub-pop label introduced the world to the sound of Seattle. This represented a shift in rock music from commercial arena bands to counter-culture scenes.

All in all then, the 80’s represent a decade where music was really finding it’s feet, and laying the foundations for the golden era of music that would emerge in the 90’s. Watch this space.

Find our selection of great live bands-for-hire here.

 

Covid-19 and the Music Industry

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Covid-19 and how it has affected the music industry

As the response to the covid-19 pandemic has forced live music venues closed across the country and indeed the world, the music industry finds itself in limbo as it attempts to adapt to the new and unexpected situation. This is not the first time the music industry has had to do this. The recent popularisation of the internet has forced the industry to rethink music sales and distribution, with streaming prevailing. The industry now faces a test even more challenging than the last. Live music venues, musicians, and promoters alike are in search of new ways to make money in a post-covid world.

An Industry Innovating

With 50% of income coming from live performances, the industry has again turned to the internet for this missing revenue. You can read an economic analysis of the situation here. This has been successful, with millions across the world watching live streamed concerts such as “one world: together at home”. This is a model which has been replicated successfully on many occasions since. However, only large and established artists with a substantial online following benefit. Smaller artists and bands-for-hire are unable to rely on the internet for the same income. Many smaller artists have been able to recoup some through merchandise sales, but this is simply not enough for most. If music venues and promoters cannot legally host live music events, there is no source of income at all. This has resulted in widespread venue closures throughout the last 6 months and sadly it seems many more will follow.

How you can help

It is a time where the music industry needs our support more than ever. As well as buying your favourite artist’s merchandise, consider booking the band for your future event today. This keeps bands financially afloat and gives you something to look forward to! You can see our selection of incredible live bands here. It is also important to see this turbulent time as an opportunity. If you had a wedding or other event booked for this year that has been postponed, use this time for planning. Make sure you have the best band and DJ booked so when the day eventually comes, it will be truly unforgettable. Whilst the current situation may have delayed your big day, it doesn’t have to make it any less special.

What does it mean for the future?

Whilst one day, perhaps once a vaccine is readily available, music venues will once again be free to open their doors and return to normality, for now the industry must adapt. We may see socially distanced gigs appearing, giving people the opportunity to experience live music, if not like before. Whilst the near future may look bleak, live music is too big a part of our lives to be gone forever. It has helped us through the tricky times that this pandemic has posed, and will undoubtedly continue to do so, until we can walk through the doors of our favourite venues once again. Read our blog on the good, the bad, and the ugly of live music here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1970’s Music – A Turning Point

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1970’s Music

The 1970’s saw the emergence of new genres and artists which changed the music scene permanently. The days of rock ‘n’ roll, blues and R&B dominating were over, replaced with a wide and interesting spectrum of genres, with disco, funk, and soul becoming arguably the most popular genres of the decade. Despite typical Elvis style rock ‘n’ roll fading in popularity, rock was far from dead. Glam rock, progressive rock, hard rock, punk and early metal took to the stage.

Disco

Disco is often attributed to the African-American community, and whilst it arguably played the largest role in making the genre more mainstream, a disco scene had been emerging in the UK in the early ‘70s, known as Northern Soul. There were tens of thousands of professional DJs touring the UK, combining upbeat soul with the mod scene. However, it really took hold of popular western music during the years after 1974. American artists such as The Bee Gees, Chic and Diana Ross recorded several  hits, taking the music industry by storm.

Rock

Modern rock music was born in the 1970’s, emerging from the rock ‘n’ roll that came before. Some legendary bands made a name for themselves in this decade. This included Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Queen, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, The Who, AC/DC, Fleetwood Mac, The Clash, and The Ramones. The list is endless. Glam rock bands such as T-Rex and Slade also made themselves known in the 70’s. This helped build a platform for the glam rock of the ‘80s played by Bon Jovi and Van Halen.

However, the most influential rock artist of the 1970’s was undoubtably Pink Floyd, who subsequently became one of the biggest bands in history. They are known as the band who popularised progressive rock, a genre characterised by long, atmospheric rock tracks, using keyboard synths alongside guitars and drums to portray an emotional or psychedelic “vibe”. Listen to Pink Floyd’s Shine on You Crazy Diamond here. Bands such as King Crimson, Yes, and Rush also helped bring prog rock to the forefront of 1970’s music.

Overall, 1970’s music can be summarised as a turning point from ‘50s and ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, and blues to the modern music we know and love today.

Check out our amazing bands-for-hire here.

60s tape

1960’s Music – How History Shaped It

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Protest in 1960’s Music golden age of the 60's

Protest characterised 1960’s music, as well as the hippy scene, and a pretty successful band from Liverpool. The beginning of the decade began with a continuation of 1950’s music; rock ‘n’ roll, blues and jazz. However, with the assassination of President John F Kennedy, and the resulting escalation of the Vietnam war under Lyndon Johnson, a new movement began across the pond. Protest music often took the form of folk rock, famously sung by artists including Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel. However, the flourishing civil rights movement and widespread backlash to the Vietnam war made protest music common across the full spectrum of genres. A Change is Gonna Come by R&B and soul singer Sam Cooke and Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud by James Brown, who was also an R&B singer, became very popular. The rise of protest music resulted in perhaps the most famous music festival of all time – Woodstock ’69. The culmination of a decade of protest laid the foundations for the popular music festivals of today.

The British Invasion

UK music came storming onto the international stage in the early sixties, in a time known as “the British invasion”. Bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks and The Animals took American rock ‘n’ roll and made it their own, introducing their own influences and styles. However, one band from the UK took 1960’s music by the scruff of it’s neck – The Beatles.

It can be easily argued they are the most influential band of all time, including during the 1960’s. The Beatles were pioneers. They invented modern pop music as we know it today and began the trend of celebrity culture in the music industry, with ‘Beatlemania’ sweeping across the whole world. Listen to Hey Jude, one of the band’s biggest hits, here.

Overall, the 1960’s was a decade of innovation, ripping up the rule book and rebelling. If the teenager was invented in the 50’s, it really made it’s presence known in the 60’s.

Interested in hiring a band? Check out our fantastic range of bands here.

1950’s Music – The Genres that Defined the Decade

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1950’s Music

1950’s music.  It was the decade that fired rock ‘n’ roll into the mainstream and created the concept of teenagers. It was the decade in which the foundations of pop music were laid, to be built on in the years to come. For young people, the 1950’s was a cultural revolution. Popular culture made the jump into something a little more rebellious. Whether it be the raw rock ‘n’ roll of Elvis, the melodic country sound of Johnny Cash or the rhythmic blues of Ray Charles, the 1950’s was a decade full of musical innovation and variation.

 1950's Music Vinyls - Elvis VinylRock ‘n’ Roll

Rock ‘n’ roll music was born from a fusion of rhythm and blues and country. Emerging in the early 1950’s, the genre began the chain of events that would result in the creation of rock; metal, punk, indie, britpop, grunge and the rest. The pioneers of rock ‘n’ roll included the king himself, Elvis Presley, as well as Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry, to name a few. Classics such as Johnny B Goode (which at the time many people were not ready for, but their kids were gonna love it), Jailhouse Rock and Rock Around the Clock inspired teenagers worldwide and shocked their parents in equal measure. Listen to Chuck Berry’s Johnny B Goode here.

Country

However, 1950’s music wasn’t all swaying hips and gelled-back hair, as country music also evolved during this decade. Artists such as Johnny Cash and Hank Williams made their mark, introducing rockabilly influences and making dancing to country music possible. Finally. Cash was famous for playing to prison inmates, a trend which would continue beyond the decade and result in Cash’s famous live album At Folsom Prison in 1968.

Rhythm and Blues

Rhythm and blues also had a huge impact on 1950’s music. Emerging from the jazz and blues of the 1940’s, artists like Ray Charles helped inspire genres such as soul, Motown and funk. The upbeat bluesy nature of the music brought the New Orleans scene to the mainstream and inspired a new wave of jazz and blues fans.

Well, that sums up the 1950’s nicely. Tune in next week for a roundup of the swinging sixties! In the meantime, why not check out our amazing bands available to hire?

Live music

Emotional music: laugh, smile or cry?

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What does “emotional” music do for you?

There’s something about listening to emotional music that can touch us all deeply in very personal and different ways. It can perform miracles such as helping us to relax after a long day at work, or motivating us to hit the gym or run that extra mile. Songs evoke a vivid memory, stopping us in our tracks. They can change our mood entirely and cause us to shed a tear or two. So why do we allow music to make us laugh, smile or cry?

Research suggests that having a good cry to emotional music might enhance your mood and provide you with much-needed comfort. A study (https://www.dur.ac.uk/news/newsitem/?itemno=28329) of 2,436 people across the UK and Finland, undertaken by Durham University and the University of Jyväskylä, recorded how people responded to certain music. It concluded that, in feeling emotion whilst listening to sad songs, people often felt calmer and ultimately more in control – leading to an improvement in their mood!

Is Music a Drug?

Sad songs are great, of course, but music can also create a range of different emotions. It certainly has the power to make us feel happy, sad, reflective, anxious, thrilled, angry, excited or joyous! Scientists have proven that as a result of listening to the music we love, the brain releases dopamine. This is a chemical involved in both motivation and addiction, meaning that people are drawn to music for much the same reason that they are to alcohol, gambling and delicious calorific food. For me, motivational music is a huge part of inspiring me in everyday life. From inspirational and upbeat lyrics, to powerful rhythms and soaring melodies, music can radiate motivation.

If you want that feel-good buzz, without any of the side effects, put on some music and enjoy the moment! And what better way to do that than to watch some of our bands promo videos? Find them here: Our bands

Live Music – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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The Good

Everyone loves live music, right? There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere it can generate, bringing back fond memories, creating new ones and providing an escape from the pressures of everyday life. Whether you’re a foot tapper, a dancefloor regular or the off-key singer standing right behind me, the atmosphere that it can generate is fantastic! It helps you discover new music, allows you to see your favourite songs in a whole new light, and provides a healthy outlet for your emotions. In fact, a recent study by behavioural scientist Patrick Fagan and O2 (who of course sponsor a series of academy music venues across the UK) says that that live music can improve emotional wellbeing by more than 20 per cent! What more of an excuse do you need? If you’re interested in seeing who is playing at your local O2 academy, visit academymusicgroup.com/o2academyleeds/, and replace “leeds” with your nearest big city!

The Bad

Of course, nothing is perfect, and sadly live music is no exception. Concerts in large venues can lose their atmosphere, with people towards the back watching the spectacle on screens flanking the stage, losing the up-close-and-personal factor. Of course, the opposite can almost be as bad, as small venues can feel cramped and claustrophobic. Sometimes you go to the concert hoping to hear a band’s classic hits, and instead you’re hit with boring “new material”, leaving you unfulfilled and unimpressed. All of this, and we haven’t even mentioned that one tall guy who could stand literally anywhere in the venue, but instead chooses the spot directly in front of you. Humph.

These are, however, just bumps along the road to a fantastic experience. These hurdles are easy to jump and there is no reason why you cannot have a great time anyway. In fact, imperfections can add to the character of an event and make those memories even sweeter. There’s never a rainbow without a little rain.

The Ugly

The day that the camera phone was invented was a dark day for live music. Introducing: the social media zombie. If a band plays in a venue, and nobody has posted the gig on social media, have they even played? For the social media zombies, the band may as well not have played. They could have just watched it on YouTube!

However, for those at home unwilling or unable to pay an extortionate sum (sometimes upwards of £70) and go to see their favourite band, YouTube is a blessing, allowing them to soak up some of the atmosphere of a live performance from the comfort of their living room. Maybe zombies aren’t so bad after all.

The Verdict

At the end of the day, nothing completes a great party or night out better than a live band. Live music can provide a soundtrack to special moments in your life, helping to create lifelong moments to cherish. Ignore the bad and the ugly, live music is definitely good. If live music be the food of love – play on!

Live music is for everyone, and if you want to find a gig near you, whether it be in a pub, club, or arena, check out gig guide’s free search tool at Gig guide  and find the perfect show for you! If you want to book a band for your event, you’ll find loads of fantastic options here: Our bands

 

Wedding cake

Mr & Mrs Clegg celebrate with a live band

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Richard and Rebecca

aka Mr and Mrs Clegg

Wedding venue

On Friday 20th September our 4 piece party band ‘Sound’ had the absolute pleasure of playing at the stunning Tithe Barn, Skipton.
As one of the main music providers for The Tithe Barn it was another fantastic opportunity for them to see us in action again.
Hired to perform for Rebecca and Richards elegant wedding celebrations, we had an absolute blast. What a beautiful young couple full of love and admiration for each other.

The First Dance

So our party band ‘Sound’ performed the bride and grooms first dance which was our own version of ‘Dancing in the moonlightʼ by Toploader.
Richard and Rebecca had requested a version similar to Jubels cover.
Weeks before the big day I’d been asked to record a version of me singing and playing the song so they could get excited.
Their reaction to the recording was  – “We love it! Thanks so much, we are very excited to hear it with the band as it sounds amazing already.”
On the night I was told by Richard that Rebecca was in tears as soon as we started playing. Obviously this isnʼt something we aim to do but itʼs very humbling to see that our performance brings our bride to tears, in a good way hopefully 🙂

Live music

We continued to play throughout the evening, the set was a selection of songs chosen by our couple and their family and friends. A long list of requests was sent to us beforehand so we could ensure that everything we played would have people up on the dance floor. In between and after our live sets, the dance floor was never empty thanks to our fabulous DJ Martin. Martin also had a playlist full of requests from the wedding party which proved to be very popular.
The sound system at The Tithe Barn is brilliant and the tunes were pumping through all night long.

The cake

Clear travellers, our bride and groom had a very cool unique cake. Ace!

Wedding cake

The marshmallows

Random title I know but this had to be mentioned just for a laugh. The image below (taken of the wedding party) shows how to safely roast marshmallows on a fire! Our drummer Ian was in heaven roasting his marshmallows until he realised he was roasting them on a sparkler 😉

Wedding food

To perform at Rebecca and Richards wedding was an absolute pleasure and we wish both of them the very best for the future. It’s clear from their amazing review that they loved having live music at their wedding and we’re so glad they chose Live Band Entertainment to provide it for them.

Mr and Mrs Clegg’s review

Well what can we say?! We were so glad that we hired the 4 Piece ‘Sound’ band for our wedding at the Tithe Barn on 20/09/2019.
We have received so many compliments from our guests about how great the band and also the DJ were. The dance floor was never empty, and you could tell how much people were enjoying it, which was amazing to see!
Melody has the most amazing voice and the whole band were brilliant! The DJ even surprised us with some amazing saxophone playing.
On top of this, Melody and the band performed a slowed down version of Dancing in the Moonlight for our first dance song, which was exactly what we wanted and sounded so so good on the night!
We can’t thank Melody, her band members and LBE enough for what helped contribute to our truly brilliant evening. Not only was the band awesome, but Melody was so great and put us at ease throughout the evening. She is really friendly as well as being very professional!
Richard & Rebecca
Big thanks to Jenna Meeking at https://www.jennameeking.co.uk for the fabulous images used in this blog.

LIFE

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LIFE – Live Imagine Feel Enjoy

LIFE! It’s a funny one.

We laugh, we cry, we live, we die!

Maybe a little morbid for a Wednesday morning but true, oh so true.

So what are you doing with your life? Are you living it? Do you cry more than you laugh? Do you hurt more than you love?

Life; it throws so many frightening and sour experiences our way, but it’s also absolutely filled with beauty and love if you’re going in the right direction, guided by the right people.

If you’re lost, change direction! If you don’t like what’s happening, turn around. Go back and start again.

If your path is obstructed, jump! Move things out of the way, or better still, deal with them (in a positive manner of course).

Do you want to lose weight? Feel healthier? Get fitter?

Eat more fruits and vegetables! Eat less fatty foods and sugar! Get some exercise! Go for a walk, a run, jog on the spot! Seriously, stop with the excuses! Just do it!

I’m not saying these things are simple, I’m saying they’re possible! So possible and life changing!

Life is a gift and we need to start appreciating how lucky so many of us truly are.

What is life to you?

Life to me is about growing, learning, working together, sharing kindness and loving as many people and animals as humanly possible.

Stop your grizzling and look around you. Not at the darkness or the struggles but at the light, the possibilities!

The world seriously is your oyster.

There’s plenty more fish in the sea (that is if we quit polluting it with plastic but that’s another blog).

Your life really is your message to the world so make it inspiring.

It’s so easy to forget that this may be our only chance to live life so please start living it.

Live every day like it could be your last.

Spend more time with the people you love and celebrate living.

Embrace failure and be proud of who you are.

 

Inspirational speech done and every word of it true and from my heart!

 

 

 

 

DIY Festival Party

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Do you love festivals?

 

Ever tried creating your own DIY Festival Party?

 

That’s exactly what one of our clients has done recently.

With festival season in full swing and 50 years since the original Woodstock Festival.

An ambitious birthday boy set out to transform a field, into his very own Hobstock 2019.

The birthday celebrations were shared with the 25 year anniversary of their family business.

So it was smiles all-round as the guests enjoyed getting some use out of their wellies in true British summer festival style.

With 2 live music tents, an array of entertainment, and endless beverages, this was one party to go down in history!

And who did they choose to headline this unique festival? FuncTown of course, our fabulous popular party band.

A bit of mud doesn’t scare them- they were definitely up for the challenge to make West Yorkshire’s Ilkley stand alongside Glastonbury and Leeds Festival for 2019.

With three frontline vocalists, a three piece horn section and our outrageously funky rhythm section; once they started playing the festival burst its banks with energy!

Their 10 piece party band was the perfect option for the event. They made sure everyone was up on the dance floor in full festive spirit.

The evening came to a close with an unforgettable firework display which had everyone’s jaws on the floor as they gazed up into the illuminated night sky.

The perfect close to a perfect day.

After the event, FuncTown gave a big shout out to their favourite live music agency- Live Band Entertainment, saying ” a big thanks for helping make sure the event ran smoothly and effortlessly.”

Luckily for you, FuncTown recorded their performance live. Check them out there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7EwkBH3Oi0

Festival DIY Party

If you’d like to book FuncTown for your event get in touch here: https://livebandentertainment.co.uk/?bands=functown

Call 0782 8435 299