Rogue Orchestra presents: Drive

When your favourite movie has such an iconic soundtrack as “Drive” does it’s impossible not to get excited about ANY event and even more so seeing it performed live by an Orchestra in London.

The Drive soundtrack has long established itself as something special developing quite the cult following. So much so that Radio 1 took the chance to completely remaster the soundtrack with new performances from bands such as The 1975 and Foals to give it an update in 2014. Having seen all this it’s fair to say I was expecting big things from Rogue orchestra.

The event was in XOYO club in Shoreditch in the basement bar and despite the ticket outlet I used advertising it as an unreserved seated event it was very much a standing event. Moreover the event actually ended up starting late. My high expectations were lessening by the second.

The “Green” room in XOYO

Anyone who has seen the movie would recognise the opener in a heartbeat with its perfect electro-pop beat. Rogue orchestra only highlighted this more by showing the opening credits to the movie alongside the performance; a very thrilling touch.

The orchestra continued on through the soundtrack with lead vocalist performing on maybe one in every three tracks. It was clear they didn’t have the licensing agreement to show most of the movie but rather repeating a lot of the same clips over and over. With a soundtrack that Drive has and the amount of instrumental only songs this felt like an oversight. It quickly killed the atmosphere and took a vocal performance to pick it back up momentarily before it only dropped again at the next track. They ended the first half with probably the most well known song on the album “Real Hero”. As the most well known it did seem a strange decision to end the first half on this.

The opening song accompanied by some movie clips

The second half seemed to only cover off a few more songs on the album before moving into more generic and general synth-pop songs from the likes of Eurythmics. None of which were familiar to me and ultimately I was left generally disappointed with the whole event. If it had been sold as a celebration of synth pop I might have understood but it was an orchestral performance of the Drive soundtrack which didn’t include eurythmics. Overall I feel like they had the opportunity to do A LOT more with this than they did. I would have much preferred a theatre venue with the orchestra on stage and screens at the side relating the scenes of the movie to the music. Even though it’s my favourite film I’ve only seen it a handful of time so it was difficult for me to match the movie to the music which felt like a shame (and has subsequently made me watch it again).

I’d certainly return to another orchestral performance though I may choose to read up in future first exactly what I’m attending!

NG x

Northern Girl reviews… Skinny Living

On Wednesday me and Tom had managed to secure ourselves tickets to see Skinny Living live at an event – we would eventually discover – put on by Sony music. The gig was held in an intimate, basement venue in town just off Tottenham Court Road and with free drinks and canapes we were set for a dream evening out. The venue honestly couldn’t have been more perfect with sporadic glass tables and candles and the stage protruding into the audience it felt like it was made for such an event and I hope I get to return! 

Free drinks and sliders!

So I’ll swiftly move on to the band. If you haven’t heard of them already then shame on you. If you were at #BSTHydePark when Bieber was there then they may sound familiar (they were a support act after all) but if not they’ve featured more recently on BBC Radio 1 as well as being featured in Spotify’s viral top 50. I’ll hold my hands up and admit apart from hearing “Why” on Spotify and their beautiful acoustic video from their time in Hyde park, I was relatively new to their work but I know a lot of people back home who are huge fans and I trusted their judgement entirely.

So onto the music itself. I was already pretty familiar with why so it was no surprise this was their opener but I was blown away actually seeing it performed live and the lyrics resonate around the room so much more. 

Their next was a funky, acoustic vibe and then we got into fade. The band worked the crowd and got us to sing along. By this point in the gig I hadn’t stopped dancing and I was grinning from ear to ear. I don’t know if it’s the Irish lilt of the lead singer but fade almost reminded me of The Script in their early days. It’s perfect, bounce-along pop with amazing instruments thrown in and my inner indie girl from my teens fell in love with the band. 

The next song was an emotional one and I enjoyed it just as much. Messiah is a truly beautiful song with the most beautiful lyrics and story and the perfect balance to fade.

There is literally nothing not to love about Skinny Loving. You only have to spend 5 minutes listening to the lead singer talk about the band to know how much it truly means to them and yet there’s almost that air of disbelief that all of this is happening to them (they quite clearly deserve every inch of success). They have an insane amount of talent and yet seem like this band is where they are meant to be.

So what’s next from the band?

Well from what I can gather from speaking to the band, they have a string of festivals in the summer, an EP imminent and an album on its way which I quite simply can’t wait for. There wasn’t a single fault I could pick with any of the songs I heard and I have no doubt that their album will become one of those where you literally listen to it from start to finish – no skipping required, the sign of a truly good album. I’ve been to a string of gigs recently but it has been so long since I last saw something where I literally couldn’t stop grinning like a Cheshire cat all the way through. The music is refreshing whilst familiar all at the same time and it is something the charts are so desperate for right now.

You can find the band on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Spotify.

NG x 

Northern Girl’s Money Diaries – Week 3 with David!

Hi I’m David, and you can normally find me at www.daveygranger.co.uk. I’m an intern working and living in central London and this is my money diary…

Monthly spends:

  • Rent/Mortgage – £560
  • Bills – £70 (£20 phone bill, utilities £50)
  • Gadget insurance – £12
  • Subscriptions – £10 (Spotify Premium)
  • Socialising/Leisure – £250
  • Food £130
  • Travel £60
  1. What does an average week look like for you? I work full time Mon-Fri in London. I’m pretty lucky that I live close enough to work that I can just about walk it, though this does take about an hour so I don’t live THAT close. In the evenings I’m often working on my blog and other projects, running, doing boring adult jobs like food shopping, or off to a concert or socialising with friends! It’s hard to stay in when you live in such an amazing city.
  2. What are your usual guilty spends, what can’t you resist buying over and over? Money is pretty tight, as I’m an intern renting in London. However, I buy tons of concert tickets. I love live music more than anything and it feels like I’m always planning to go to more. I love to travel too, I’ve been trying to fit in some trips with my busy schedule/tight budget, it seems like it’s working!
  3. What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought? Physical thing, my Canon 60D. I’ve had it now for 2-3 years and bloody love it, though it was second hand to begin with so now it’s dying a little. Otherwise, it would be the month I spent in Japan. Kinda spent a bit too much on that, however it had been my lifelong dream to travel around Japan.

    Me with my beloved camera

  4. Are you saving for anything at the moment? I don’t have too much money leftover at the end of the month. I don’t really have any left to be honest. This isn’t what forever will be like, just whilst I’m an intern I hope! However I am careful not to dip into savings I already have, I usually end up in them every single month but I’m briefly out after payday! Definitely not the healthiest way to deal with money but it’s what I’m doing for the time being!
  5. If you won the lottery what’s the first thing you’d go out and buy? One of those fancy round the world plane tickets. I’m off for a long time.
  6. If money was no object, where would be your dream travel destination? South America is the trip I’m going to start planning. I’ve been dreaming of Peru for years. I’m going to do this trip anyway, but it’s currently my dream travel destination, so if money was no object I’d probably just spend longer on the continent!
  7. And finally… What’s the best money advice/tip you’ve received. Honestly, it’s been not to worry so much. I worry a lot about money, a massive amount. Being told to relax with it and not let it dominate my life has been the best thing for me. I’m still very careful, but I don’t let it ruin my day.

Thanks David for contributing! If you’d like to be featured in a money diary. Leave me a comment and I’ll send you the info. 

NG x