The Making of Familiar Strangers (EP – 2020)

By James Blyth and Ciéra Cree – Hi, I’m James – just another little singer / songwriter from Norfolk with the stupidly big dream of someday “making it” in music. I live in Great Massingham…

By James Blyth and Ciéra Cree

Hi, I’m James – just another little singer/songwriter from Norfolk with the stupidly big dream of someday “making it” in music. I live in Great Massingham and have done so since literally day 1. I’m 100% sure that if I hadn’t have lived here I would never have gotten myself involved in music. 

It was in this village at school where I fell in love with it. In fact, I remember at primary school we had a guy come in with guitars, drums and keyboards. All of us sprinted to the drums because we thought that they were the ‘coolest’ thing to play. I even went as far as to get a Grade 4 in drums! But then I discovered the guitar and that’s when I knew music was for me. 

I used to look at the likes of McFly, All Time Low and Green Day, thinking “I’d love a chance to do that”. Not because of the whole 50,000-to-one-show-to-see-me, but for the chance to play my music. To play my music and see people not just hearing the lyrics, but relate to them too, to sing them back to me. That’s what I wanted when I first started and I feel so lucky to now be at a point in my life where I’ve seen that begin to happen.

Now that my background is covered, I think I should give you a little insight into the real reason that I’m writing this today, and that is to talk about my new EP ‘Familiar Strangers’.

It’s safe to say that this EP has not only been by far my favourite to make but it also means the most to me. Each song connects to me differently and I believe that the EP itself tells quite a magnificent story. So, let me start at the beginning and to do that I need to talk about my previous creation, ‘The Next Step’.

So, it’s April 2020 and my EP is nearly ready to release, ‘The Next Step’. I had 4 songs ready and I remember sitting on my bed with my guitar and coming up with the riff for a song that later became ‘Losing You’. The same thing happened again with another riff for what became a part of ‘this is a song from me to you’ before writing ‘17’ which made it onto that EP. 

The Writing Of Familiar Strangers 


2 months on and I was in the mood to start writing again for the next EP, as yet untitled. So I jumped on a call with my good mates, Alex Venthem and James Jude. The previous night I had come up with the riff/hook for the song and they both liked where it was going. Myself and Alex quickly worked out a structure for it and a few of the lyrics. James J really helped with filling in the blanks and created the entire bridge section which I am forever grateful for! Once this had all been done, I immediately got to making a demo for the song that had been titled ‘Anywhere Can Be Home’, although after the final recording I renamed it ‘Home’. This song will always be in my top 5 songs that I have ever written. Upon piecing together the final recording I asked my good friends from college, Frazer Stanford and Oscar Mason to help out with the drums (Frazer) and keys (Oscar), and without those two helping this song wouldn’t sound half as good! 

The song is a love story about a couple who look back on the times that they had together and how it doesn’t matter how much or how little you have. You are able to make a ‘Home’ out of anything, so long as you surround yourself with the right people. I think that we successfully captured this in the song. 

Familiar Strangers

I knew that I wanted to have a song with this title. I liked the way it sounded and the meaning of it. Alex and I had talked about writing a song, although on the day that we had planned to write with Ciéra Cree he was busy. But nevertheless, we carried on.

Ciéra and I wrote what I think is a very good song. I went on to demo it and to then start the final recording. Alex and I recorded the song in my bedroom where I recorded the majority of the EP and then for Ciéra we spiced it up a little by going to Charlie’s place. 

Mr Charlie Bernardin is a fellow member of my band ‘Frett 28’. If you asked Charlie to describe himself in three words he wouldn’t actually manage to; you’d get something like “Well, how would I do that?”, and from there he has already exceeded the limit. He’s a perfectionist and that is why he is BRILLIANT at music production (and why my song ‘On Our Side’ that we started to create last November still isn’t finished). 

I decided it would be a good idea for Ciéra’s vocals to be recorded with Charlie as I knew that he wouldn’t get it wrong and well, he definitely didn’t!. Her vocals fit the song perfectly and without them, again, the song wouldn’t work! 

Frazer Stanford also joined in on the song and added a brilliant drum part to the track.

The song is about a couple falling in love with each other and the entire ‘first move’ concept. Two people who like the look of each other, who see each other every day, but they still don’t know each other’s name. A Familiar Stranger.

Hopefully Ciéra will tell you about working with me!

“I remember being contacted one day by Alex and James about the opportunity to feature on ‘Familiar Strangers’. Immediately I recognised that doing this would be something outside of my comfort zone as I hadn’t sang behind a mic in over 4 years. However, I knew that I wanted to do it. The funny thing was that I really wanted to produce a song that could be on streaming platforms such as Spotify this year but I wasn’t sure about how to approach it all by myself. It’s almost like this opportunity was perfectly timed so there was no way that I was going to turn it down.

At first I felt extremely nervous during recording but, over time, I could feel myself getting more comfortable. James and his friends made the process fun as well as professional which is something that I really appreciated. I’m incredibly grateful to have been able to become a part of this EP and hope to potentially feature on some more tracks in the future!”Ciéra Cree (ARU – Media Studies BA (Hons) Year 2)

Losing You

I’ve had the concept for this song since ‘The Next Step’s’ writing process. I wanted to write a song that led on from ‘Home’ as a relationship hits rocky waters. The idea of thinking back to what things used to be and how you used to love each other was always something I felt the need to write about after previous relationships of mine. 

I never thought I’d say this but Facebook saved the day! I joined a page called ‘Norwich Musicians Network’ and asked for a singer to help me out on the track. I found a guy called Andy Knight from the band Uprising. He is an incredible singer and a pleasure to work with. After I had sent him the song he was very happy to help out and be a part of the record.

This song also helped me to move up a step in my music production as I began to understand Logic Pro and how to use it for all of its features. 

The drums again were by Frazer, and this time the bass was done by a friend of mine – Maddie from the band Pink Lemonade.

this is a song from me to you

This is the song that I hold closest to my heart and find myself proud to say I wrote. It has a few hidden meanings behind it but deep down it’s a song that carries the message that there is someone out there for you. After seeing my parents separate a few years back and how it tore my family apart, seeing my mum happy again in her new relationship really puts my mind at ease. It was the same case when I was single; I hit record lows for myself until finding my girlfriend who picked me up and taught me that things do get better.

‘Sometimes a goodbye is as good as a hi’ is the first line of the song and it aims to capture the sense of letting go to find someone or something new. I didn’t write this song to be part of an EP or to be released until I decided to see what would happen if my friends got involved in the song. Frazer did the drums, Gary Leonard (the country and line dance musician, and a fellow work mate of mine) did the bass and Oscar did the keys and strings. The song went on to reach a whole new level, a level at which I thought no song of mine would ever go. After that I felt that I had to release this song to people in the hope that others will relate and connect to it. I love this song so much and see it as the best thing I have ever written.

Don’t Play The Fool

This is the final song on the EP. I wrote it to a friend, a friend who felt lost and alone. I’m not very good at talking so I wrote this for them instead as a way to get my feelings across. The song itself consists of a quite simple tune but it’s accompanied by very deep, meaningful lyrics. It’s the only song on the EP that is 100% created by myself. 

I’m releasing this song so that anybody who may be in the same situation that my friend was in may find comfort. 

And that’s the EP! It will be released on every music platform as of November 27th and I really hope those who listen to it enjoy what they hear. This EP means the world to me and anybody who supports me I am so so grateful for. 

Well that’s me! 

Thank you

Main image: Caught In Joy on Unsplash
Body images belong to Jame Blyth
Article edited by Ciéra Cree


Dermot Kennedy & Lilla Vargen (UEA, 2019) – Concert Review

By Ciéra Cree – On Friday 6th of December, I made my way back to the UEA LCR to go see Dermot Kennedy perform as part of his ‘Without Fear’ tour…

By Ciéra Cree

On Friday the 6th of December, I made my way back to the UEA LCR to see Dermot Kennedy perform as part of his ‘Without Fear’ tour. I started off that morning bright and early, though I had stayed up a little later than intended the night before so, although the day was going to be a long one, I’d soon discover that it was going to be one made memorable for many reasons.


The first thing that stood out to me was the queues, which despite the fact that I had arrived early, were huge. It was a rather cold night out, so we were all eager to make our way into the relative warmth of the venue, which was filling up rapidly. I knew that the tour tickets had sold out fast, but I seemed to have underestimated just how many people could fit into the LCR – by the time everyone bustled their way to a spot, there was barely room to move.

This was the first time I had attended a gig by myself, so it felt a bit overwhelming initially. But after I had managed to settle into a place where I could see the stage, I had started to become accustomed to the excitable atmosphere. I ended up in a position with a very good view of the stage, although there were a couple of taller people in front of me throughout most of the opening act. As the night progressed, I had managed to slowly make my way to somewhere else, still five or so rows from the front.


At 8 PM, the lights shifted, and the remaining noise of the crowd began to dwindle. We were then greeted by Lilla Vargen, a Northern Irish singer-songwriter, accompanied by two band members. The stage set-up consisted of simplistic lighting, mics, a piano and a guitar which complimented her opening act beautifully.

Her voice echoed through the room, weaving its tales of love, strength and solidarity in the purest and most touching of ways. Her lyrics provided this indescribable sense of connection as if for those fleeting minutes you were alone with her and seeing the world from only her perspective. My favourite song was one called ‘Blueprints’ which I currently can’t find online to listen to, but in a way that makes the fact that I had the chance to hear it in person all the more special. I hope to be able to hear it again one day, but some of the tracks she performed will be available from her new EP ‘We Were Thunder’.


After Lilla’s opening came to an end, the audience waited with anticipation for Dermot Kennedy to take to the stage. And when he first appeared at 9 PM, he received more than just a warm reception. The crowd cheered and clapped incessantly, so much so that it moved the soloist, as we later found out that this was his debut trip to the LCR venue.

He started off with ‘An Evening I Will Not Forget’ which I’d thought was such a fitting choice considering it was his first time there with us. One thing about Dermot’s music that really stood out to me as a poet was the quality of his words. He’s such a talented lyricist who pays close attention to every detail and creating worlds of meaning for our hearts to explore with him. Though my favourite part of this particular song goes:

Island smiles and cardigans,

The nights that we’ve been drinking in,

We’re here to help you kill all of this hurt that you’ve been harbouring,

Confessions should be better planned,

Alone, that night, I’m surely damned,

Runaway, I’ll understand.

There’s something so beautiful about the way he phrases things, and the mixture of vocals and rap takes it to another level.


Two other tracks Dermot’s well-known for are ‘Young and Free’ and ‘Outnumbered’. Although he didn’t perform the former, the latter went down well with the crowd who sang along to every word. ‘Outnumbered’ is probably my favourite song of his, again largely because of the lyrics:

I could have shown you all the scars at the start,

But that was always the most difficult part,

See, I’m in love with how your soul’s a mix of chaos and art,

And how you never try to keep ’em apart.

 I wrote some words and then I stared at my feet,

Became a coward when I needed to speak,

I guess love took on a different kind of meaning for me,

So, when I go just know it kills me to leave.

There’s something about this song, in particular, that occupies a special place in my heart. It’s a feeling that I struggle to put into words, but I am none-the-less grateful for feeling it. And listening back to it again now after seeing him live makes me love it even more. It’s amazing to have been just a few rows away from the front and having made eye contact with the artist responsible for these touching lyrics.


The screens on stage matched the vibe of the songs being played. There were silhouettes of birds and trees, and stars followed by raindrops as he performed ‘After Rain’. Lights that flashed in time to the beat of the songs and matched the intensity of the drums. Overall the night felt very open and down-to-earth, echoed by the way Dermot performed his set in casual attire.

I would say to anyone that if you get a chance to see either of these artists live, grasp the opportunity with both hands. Their lyrics transform you for the duration of the concert. They lift you up and transport you to another place entirely, and that’s rare to find in music today. Highly recommended.

Images: Ciéra Cree

Kodaline (UEA, 2019) – Concert Review

By Ciéra Cree – On Sunday 10th of November, I made my first trip to UEA LCR to see Kodaline on their tour. I’ve always been a person with a huge passion for music but I had never been to a smaller venue like that place before so I was curious to find out…

By Ciéra Cree

On Sunday 10th of November, I made my first trip to UEA LCR to see Kodaline on their tour. I’ve always been a person with a huge passion for music but I had never been to a smaller venue like that place before so I was curious to find out how it would feel.

Upon arrival, I was surprised to see just how small the venue was – a good kind of surprised. The doors opened at 7 PM, I got in line relatively early and so when I actually entered the place there were very few people inside.

As time went by the crowds began to flood in and I realized getting in line early was a great decision. Especially as a shorter person, being nearer the stage would later work out in my favour as the view was incredible.


It was around 8 PM when the main lights went down and the one’s on stage lit up. When I bought the event ticket it didn’t mention who the opening act was going to be but a man called Patrick Martin walked out, warmly greeting us all.

I had never heard of him before but after that night, one thing is for certain – I won’t be forgetting him any time soon. His vocals, accompanied by live piano and guitar, were amazing and the way he kept the audience engaged really highlighted his abilities as a performer. He told us the meanings behind his songs so we could relate and become sutured into his lyrical worlds, and he came down into the crowd after his set finished to enjoy the rest of the show with us.

‘Do you believe in cinema love?’ is a line that will be stuck in all of our heads for quite some time, as well as many others from his upcoming EP ‘Wonder Years’.


9 PM was when the stage turned red and a piano tune I knew like the back of my hand kicked in. I had been listening to Kodaline for years so to be there a few rows from the front with my favourite song as the night’s first was rather surreal.

The crowd broke out into claps and cheers as the gentlemen entered before us, singing along to every word. Kodaline’s music definitely has a high sing-a-long factor to it which made being in a more intimate venue feel all the more special.

The stage set up combined with the mixture of beautiful ballads and old favourites was undeniably captivating and intelligent. As a viewer, you could clearly see how much thought and attention to detail had been displayed throughout the entire night.


‘Follow Your Fire’, the band’s first song, was such a clever starting point. As a group who sings ballads, for the most part, this song stands out as more upbeat and served as a great way to kick things off.

The stage lights were bold and fun yet faded into more delicate hues seamlessly. They didn’t overpower the songs nor performance space, or the performers themselves. They came to put on a show and they definitely more than succeeded.

Songs from their latest album ‘Politics Of Living’ were mixed in with those old and loved such as ‘All I Want’, offering a little something for everyone.


At the end of the performance, the group departed before shortly returning for an encore, which again was deliberately planned out. This group is most known for two songs – ‘All I Want’ and ‘High Hopes’ – which were what most people would have come for, and they hadn’t played either before this point. It couldn’t do anything except make people want more, and of course, it was delivered.

We ended the night with ‘High Hopes’ to which the crowd knew every word. It’s lyrically beautiful and the group’s quality live vocals more than did it justice. How their voices could be so crystal clear and their harmonies be so on point was simultaneously baffling and astounding.

This is a night I won’t forget and a memory I’m grateful to be able to hold.


Do You Listen to Music Whilst Studying?

By Demi Marshall – Many University students listen to music whilst studying. The choice in music among students reaches various genres and styles. I wanted to investigate this further, and see what ways students find music whilst studying to be beneficial…

By Demi Marshall

Many University students listen to music whilst studying. The choice in music among students reaches various genres and styles.

I wanted to investigate this further, and see what ways students find music whilst studying to be beneficial. I was also curious as to what genres students prefer while studying. To collect some of my own data, I created Instagram polls and conducted a few interviews with University students.

A 2013 study analysed pros and cons of studying with music. After having students take a variety of tests both with and without music, the study concludes:

“The use of music as a companion to studying was shown to be quite individualised.”

After analysing my Instagram poll results and interview responses, my data also reflects this conclusion. Results show a majority of students find music while studying to be beneficial for their concentration, but not all.

When conducting a poll on Instagram, followers first answered whether or not they listen to music while studying. For this question, 75% answer yes, while 25% answer no.

The majority of students who said they do listen to music answered another question, asking whether the type of music changes based on what homework they are doing. Responses to this question show 61% answer yes, and 39% answer no.

The participating students prefer listening to music while studying. However, this is not exclusively genres they typically listen to.

The final question on this poll asks whether students find they concentrate better listening to their favourite music, or a different genre. 47% say their favourite genre, while 53% say a different genre.

Music not only motivates these students, but as they tailor the style to what homework they are doing, find improvement in their concentration.

When interviewing some University students about music and their studying habits, both students prefer listening to music whilst studying. Ellie, age 21 studying Music Education, describes how the style of music changes depending what homework she’s doing, “It depends more on how long I’ve been working- once I get bored or tired, I have to turn on pump up music”.

Ellie notes that music is distracting for her while studying if it has lyrics, “I find that music with words makes it more difficult to study, so I mostly use instrumental music”. When asked the benefits of studying with music, Ellie finds music helps improve her focus, “It provides good background noise so that the back of my mind can focus on something and I don’t get as distracted by random thoughts”.

A student named Emily, age 21 studying Creative Writing, also provides some insight into her use of music while studying. Emily discusses how she concentrates listening to her favourite music, “My favourite music changes quite frequently depending on my mood…but when I’m doing email stuff and writing…then sometimes I’ll listen to my current favourite genre.”

Emily links the benefits of studying with music to the way she takes in information:

“I know that I am a very auditory learner and processor, so I need to have music playing to block out any other noises, voices, or music. I think putting in my headphones and playing my music has also become a part of my homework and studying routine.”

The students interviewed, as well as those who participated in the Instagram polls, give an idea of some benefits that studying with music provides.

Not only do a majority of students find it helps them concentrate, but many also agree that it is an important part of their study routine.

What artists do you listen to while studying? Leave a comment in box below! 

(Image from )

Monthly Gig Listings: December (2018)

By Josh Robins – 16th December – The Trials of Cato Album Launch Party. The Portland Arms, doors open @ 7:30pm…

By Josh Robins

16th December – The Trials of Cato Album Launch Party 


The Portland Arms, doors open @ 7:30pm

You may see them on Saturdays in town busking and think- what in god’s name are they doing on the street? They shouldn’t be buskers. They should be fully a touring band with golden reviews from the BBC and have an almost sold out EP launch at the Portland in Cambridge.  Well, they’re that too.

16th December – Christmas Carols with Kahuna Karols

6 bells, @ 7pm

Come get festive in the cosiest music venue in Cambridge, drink something mulled, and don’t mess with their harmonies. Kahuna Karols are serious and dedicated professionals. You can’t just join in, don’t even think about it.

20th December – Skindred


Cambridge Junction @ 7.30pm

The unstoppable Skindred have released yet another fantastic headbanger of an album and are touring round the country for everyone to hit their mates to.  No new musical developments to note, they are still awesome, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

21st December – He knows When You Are Sleeping,

Blue moon @ 6pm

If you’re in the mood for a weird Christmas.. One massive, wacky event with multiple artists to celebrate the festive season, their own promotion piece says it better than I ever could-

Gracie Casey – Singer song writer from Cambridge. Expect low fi beats, sultry vocals and a hell loada of sass.

The Junkoactive Wasteman and his Tinphonia – An ex binman who drowned in a barrel of toxic waste and was saved by tin cans which fused to his body. No longer a binman, but part Man, part Tin Can. Playing chopped up samples and live breaks.

Acid Tea – One man mega band! Loads of wires, pedals, guitars, keyboards, synths, drum machines, wires….did i mention wires? and pedals? yeh loads of them!!! Playing groovy funked out squishy future music from another planet . . . DID SOMEONE SAY GUITAR SOLO!?

22nd December – José Son Comes Home for Christmas

Earl of Beaconsfield @ 7:30pm

Local legend Tom Petie leads one of Cambridge’s musical darlings- José Son. The name born from a joke told at the very venue they are playing in. Every fan is a best friend, and you can guarantee the place will be packed. Go and ask them where they got their name from, it’s a long story.

28th December – Flint Moore (support form Oscar Corney)


Portland Arms, doors open @ 7pm

Grungy Rockers Flint Moore have won all the rock competitions East Anglia has, sold out the Portland before and are by far Cambridge’s biggest unsigned rock band. They are going from strength to strength at an alarming rate. Go and see them before they get to Wembley.

K-Pop Society: Karaoke Night Takeover

By Blessing Raimi – Running the K-Pop Society alongside the other committee members has been a great and rewarding experience so far. Initial planning for the karaoke night event began over the summer, which involved taking over one of the…

By Blessing Raimi

Running the K-Pop Society alongside the other committee members has been a great and rewarding experience so far. Initial planning for the karaoke night event began over the summer, which involved taking over one of the Chill Out Tuesday events that is a regular feature on The Academy calendar.  This then led to the event taking place at the end of October.

The society was founded in autumn of last year and since then, has grown in popularity with our involvement in wider university events such as Global Week. Our presence at Fresher’s Fair gave us more visibility to new and returning students who attended.  An Erasmus student studying Sociology said that she joined after: “Seeing the society at Fresher’s Fair and attending the taster sessions with my roommate”, proving that the opportunity of the society being at Fresher’s Fair raised more awareness about it and the trial period assured students of what they could look forward to if they became an official member.

At the start of the semester, taster sessions were offered for students in order for them to gain an idea of the sort of activities that would be taking place over the forthcoming year. Events such as:

  • Korean traditional games
  • Snacks
  • K-Pop dance workshops.

An MSc student studying Biomedical Sciences stated: “It’s a very friendly environment and I joined because I enjoy K-Pop and wanted friends with the same interests.” It was encouraging to see new and returning students interested in signing up and getting involved with the society and our taster sessions. These sessions were very successful with members.

When the event finally took place, there was a great turn out and everyone had a great time. There were a  mix of society members and those who were just interested in having a go at karaoke. There were different Korean snacks available to try and a variety of performances in different languages – Portuguese, Spanish, English and Korean to name a few. What made the night great was the encouragement from students during the performances. It didn’t matter how people sung  or if the song was well known or not, the focus was on having a good time in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

One of the attendees gave a review of the night:

“I think the karaoke night was a success. It was a perfect opportunity to belt out our favourite songs among the people who really appreciate the true value of the music. Not to mention the fan chants for Fake Love. It was truly a moment of pure happiness, bliss and fun.”

Find out more about the K-Pop Society, their events and what activities they get up to at

Coasts Farewell Tour at Cambridge Junction

After 10 years, the five-piece English rock band have decided to split. An Instagram post was written announcing the split and their tour dates saying, “It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to end Coasts. This is one of the…

After 10 years, the five-piece English rock band have decided to split. An Instagram post was written announcing the split and their tour dates saying, “It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to end Coasts. This is one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make but we ultimately feel that it is a positive one.”

The members of Coasts, Chris Caines (Vocals), Liam Willford (Guitar), James Gamage (Bass), David Goulbourn (Keyboards) and Ben Street (Drums), met at University in Bath. Shortly after they moved to Bristol where they formed their band. They achieved two UK  Top 40 albums as well as Zane Lowe’s ‘Hottest Record’ in October 2014.

Coasts performed at Cambridge Junction on Wednesday 24th October, alongside Only The Poets as support. I feel as if I have been late to the party with this band, having only discovered them this summer, but their show certainly did not disappoint. They performed singles such as “Stay” and “Oceans” and despite being their smallest audience so far, the atmosphere was incredible.

In their announcement post, the members concluded it by saying, “We started this band as five best friends and we’ll finish it as five best friends. Coasts has been our lives for the past 10 years and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.”.

A Band to Keep Your Eye On – 

only poets

Only the Poets joined the stage to support Coasts on their farewell tour. Although the venue wasn’t necessarily packed out, the crowd filled out the empty space with double the noise which created an exciting atmosphere.

The indie pop band from Reading made this their first major tour and they filled the room with their catchy tunes and had everyone moving. Their set included songs from their EP such as ‘Even Hell’ and ‘CeaseFire’. As someone who has never heard of them before, I’ve found myself listening to their EP on repeat since the gig and they are definitely a band to watch out for. You can find them on Spotify and they have some upcoming tour dates available for sale now. 

Photo Credit: Tyla Brine

Written By: Tyla Brine

Monthly Gig Listings: November (2018)

After an immensely successful year, including taking Cambridge folk festival by absolute storm ( I was there, man), Cambridge’s current legends are kickstarting their UK tour on their Home turf at the Portland. This modern-day Fleetwood Mack…


morganway pic

November 4th– Morganway

Portland Arms – doors open @ 8pm

After an immensely successful year, including taking Cambridge folk festival by absolute storm ( I was there, man), Cambridge’s current legends are kickstarting their UK tour on their Home turf at the Portland. This modern-day Fleetwood Mack are only going in one direction, if they are not signed within a year, there is no god.

max Bianco pic

November 9th– Max Bianco and The Bluehearts Ep Launch

The Flying pig, doors open @ 8pm

He looks like Pete Dougherty, He sounds like Bob Dylan, Cambridge’s best folksong writer has recruited the local cool kids to release this long-awaited Ep, despite the fact that many already know every single word on it.

Lexi Green Pic

November 8th– Lexi Green

The Flying Pig, Doors open @ 7:30pm

Critically acclaimed country darling Lexi green is promoting her latest and greatest ep- Indigo Blue, not to be missed.


November 10th Josh Robins – Royston songwriters showcase

Old Bull Inn, Doors open @ 7:30pm

Witty, observational folk songs for the millennial generation” – Rockshot magazine


November 30th – Camisayo

Darry’s Liquor Loft, Doors open @ 7:30pm

This band is born from the famous Earl of Beaconsfield open mic night, smooth acoustic sounds, a band to take your date on, in a venue to certainly impress them. 


Ska Fest 2

November 9th – Cambridge ska, reggae, and soul festival, 50th anniversary of Trojan Records

Cambridge Junction, Doors open @ 8pm.

 Let’s review those words- Cambridge. Ska. Reggae. Soul. Festival. Trojan records. If these are not amongst the list of your favourite things on this planet, you are not worthy to attend.  


November 15th – Reef

Cambridge Junction, Doors open @ 8pm

 Dust off your older brother’s CD and try to remember that song you always hear at the indie night in Fez. Reef are back, and better than ever.

John cooper clarke

November 15th– Dr John Cooper Clark

The Corn Exchange, Doors open @ 7:30pm

‘Punks not Dead’, and neither is this world famously strange punk poet. The man is already studied in universities as part of the 20th Century music renaissance. Go now, to tell your kids you saw him.

self esteem

November 22nd– SELF ESTEEM

The Portland Arms, Doors open @ 7pm

The Famous Rebecca Taylors brand-new project, under a brand-new name. Critics say it’s a complete change to the original sound that made her famous, who knows what is going to happen at this gig.


Cambridge Jazz Festival

Cambridge Jazz Festival. 13th – 27th November.

Written by Josh Robins

Maximo Park (Cambridge Junction, 2017) – Concert Review

By Elle Haywood – Maximo Park stormed the stage in Cambridge on Monday 15th May ’17 with a sold-out venue for the launch of their new album: Risk to Exist…

By Elle Haywood for Cam FM 97.2 – Head of Publicity

Maximo Park stormed the stage in Cambridge on Monday 15th May ’17 with a sold-out venue for the launch of their new album: Risk to Exist. The Cambridge Junction was tightly packed with fans in anticipation of the new record, as the edges of the crowd fringed with new listeners: making the atmosphere exciting and intense.

The English Indie-Rock group have had 4 Top Ten albums since their formation in 2001, with the first two albums reaching Gold and winning a Mercury Prize. The new album definitely has a new euphoric vibe, married with powerful vocals and pounding bass.

The quartet began their set in a fairly relaxed manner with the 700 or so fans happily bopping along to tunes, echoing vibes of The Libertines and The View. The top tracks of the evening included their well-known single ‘Books from Boxes’, the electronic-fuelled ‘Velocity’ and the poignant ‘The National Health’. They became more dynamic as the evening progressed, with frontman Paul Smith’s confidence showing no signs of wavering. They were clearly incredibly comfortable in front of the audience, as they dominated the stage with a sense of familiarity.

The band, which also includes guitarists Duncan Lloyd, drummer Tom English and Lukas Wooller on keys, suggest that they make music to promote unity, protest crumbling political systems and expressed their love of performing.

With the bold multi-coloured lighting and a show that captivated the whole room, I highly expect the band to receive a lot of praise for the new album. Their singles have also been played on a few of Cam FM’s indie-genre shows over the years. They are scheduled to perform in various European festivals this summer including Germany and Switzerland.

Image Credit: Elle Haywood

‘After Laughter’ by Paramore (2017) – Album Review

By Hollie Luck – Paramore’s fifth studio album After Laughter was released on May 12th and for long time fans, the sound of this album is definitely far removed from their older tracks…

By Hollie Luck

Paramore’s fifth studio album After Laughter was released on May 12th and for long time fans, the sound of this album is definitely far removed from their older tracks. I must admit, the first time listening to it I felt underwhelmed. At first, I thought that all the tracks sounded pretty similar, a techno beat under Hayley Williams’s vocals, which weren’t sang as heavy or brashly as they were in albums such as Riot!. However, after listening to the album through again a couple more times I was hooked.

The vocals and drums may not be as heavy and alt-rock as they used to be, however, the lyrics are still classic Paramore, as angst about Hayley’s relationships and her take on life have always been a massive influence on each album. She may not shout as many of the lyrics anymore, but you can still feel the emotion in her voice. After Laughter explores feelings of anger, loss and hopelessness after losing someone who was an important part of your life, as the band recently experienced when Jeremy Davis left the band in late 2015.

The synth-pop feel to the album comes at the perfect time for summer, and tracks such as Rose-Colored Boy and Fake Happy have such a peppy upbeat tune that if you’re only half-listening you might mistake them for happy songs. However their lyrics bring a very cynical and pessimistic view to life with lyrics such as ‘You say “We gotta look on the bright side”, I say “Well maybe if you wanna go blind”‘.

The older ‘classic’ Paramore sound comes through in tracks Idle Worship and No Friend as Williams cranks up the anger and desperately shouts lyrics about not wanting to be put on a pedestal or seen as a saviour. The emotional rollercoaster continues in tracks 26 and Tell Me How as the tone becomes more sombre and you can hear Williams struggling with feelings of hopelessness and wondering if she can let go of those feelings in order to move on.

For me, the juxtaposition of the upbeat tunes and downhearted lyrics is for me what makes the album special. Yes, this album may be sleeker and more pop than punk but it definitely still has the hallmarks of Paramore. For old fans of the band, I’d give it time to grow on you as it is different but I would highly recommend giving After Laughter a listen!

Imaged Credit: Paramore

‘Morphine’ by New Atlas (2017) – Song Review

By Ben Smyth – If you haven’t heard of New Atlas yet, get on the bandwagon now so you can say you listened to him before he was famous…

By Ben Smyth

Artist: New Atlas
Track: Morphine
Released: January 2017
Perfect for fans of the music of Two Door Cinema Club
Perfect for fans of the lyrics of Twenty One Pilots

If you haven’t heard of New Atlas yet, get on the bandwagon now so you can say you listened to him before he was famous. The musical production and performance outfit of Northern Irish lad Eoghan O’Hagan (Owen if you’re not up to a challenge), New Atlas is known to deliver bright, airy, heartfelt synth-pop, laced with honesty and self-introspection, and the latest track is true to form. Morphine is a raucous and rhythmic ride through emotions we all know too well; sitting on the edge of both falling in love and living life to its fullest and, having to decide quickly which way you’re going to fall.

These themes are beautifully packaged in a brash and upbeat track that is sure to get feet on floors. Apprehensive verses and an excitable pre-chorus build to a euphoric chorus that fans will be singing long after the track is over. Overall a very well and appropriately produced track, music reflective of the message and vice versa, resulting in a listening experience that is simultaneously a full-fat feel-good vibe and also a brief moment of positive reflection.

Image Credit: New Atlas