Hello and welcome to Shepherd's Bush Empire in London.
This romantic venue will hold today a very special concert - a Lovefest! 22 different artists, of various sizes and styles, will be here to perform several love songs for you. Plus, personally I finally get to release my biggest project (yet ), and one that I've been working on for a long time!
We have a lot of songs, so let's begin! Click the visualizer picture to download the custom
Custom by Dash Riprock
"This Kiss" is a song written by Beth Nielsen Chapman, Robin Lerner, and Annie Roboff and recorded by American country music singer Faith Hill. It was released in March 1998 as the first single from her album Faith. The song became a crossover single, reaching number one on the U.S. and Canadian country charts and peaking in Top 10 on both the US pop and Adult Contemporary charts. It also reached the Top 10 in Australia and the Top 20 in the United Kingdom. The song was nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song, losing both to "You're Still the One" by Canadian singer Shania Twain.
Custom by MrPrezident
The original "Forever My Queen" is a live rehearsal recording from February 2, 1973, at the American Mailing warehouse in Alexandria, VA. Only a handful of fans heard this version of the band play this material, before break ups and reformations occurred numerous times over the next three decades. The original song was not available on any authorized recording until 2001 on the compilation record "First Daze Here".
Singer Bobby Liebling recalled in an interview "I received a Dear John break-up letter from my high school sweetheart, from Morocco, whose parents had sent her there to get away from a bad boy - which was me. I ain't shit for bad boys, but, you know, I did wear a leather jacket."
Custom by RealCheese
This song tells the tale of a man who knows his lover is basically the devil, but regardless, he can't stop loving her. If you've never heard this song or this band, give it a chance. It's a lot of fun.
Custom by TheFrisk
Custom by RealCheese
From their most popular (and debut) album, comes Stay With Me. A pretty simple punk-ish love song, including the cliche line "There's something in the air tonight"
Custom by TheFrisk
Custom by RealCheese
Commonly misinterpreted, this song was written about how Rob Thomas thought he would feel if his girlfriend (now wife) ever left him. He acknowledges how unhealthy these feelings are in the song, but also acknowledges that he can't change them. And they're still rockin' the married life 20 years later. That's pretty awesome if you ask me.
Custom by MrPrezident
Singer and frontman Neil Fallon is the "Charles Dickens of Hardcore" and "Incarceration" is a classic example of Clutch's trademark powerhouse blues-rock style, tightly constructed riffs and flawless execution.
Custom by IMMCTNTJK
Bass and Harm1 by GreenPanda12
Custom by Kueller
The opening track to Love's 1967 album Forever Changes. Coming right after the Summer of Love in California, it puts together the feelings of loneliness and heartbreak with the feeling of free love that defined the year.This classic features amazing harmonies, a very fun acoustic guitar line, and even a trumpet solo, for a very majestic track that covers love beyond just the romantic.
And now... time for the project I've been working on:
11 Songs of Love… and One Song of Disappointment!
A Valentine’s Day pack… with a slight twist.
So let’s start with the songs of love… because of the wall of text, each one of those have a short description, along with a longer one if you’re interested.
Note: some preview videos show errors that were fixed in the final version.
TL;DR - A kickass, female-fronted rock tune, with strong 70’s vibes, brilliant vocals, great drum fills and a nice twin-guitars solo at the end.
If you liked indie music in 2016, you probably didn’t miss Angel Olsen’s album “My Woman”, one of the best and the most acclaimed records of that year. Olsen is influenced by 70’s rock and folk, the like of Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young, and she’s a great songwriter. “Shut Up Kiss Me” is pretty much pop-rock perfection - a kickass tune, a love song with a hint of aggression (as the title implies), it’s so cool and also emotional at the same time. Instruments are all pretty fun - lots of drum fills, cool guitar solo at the end - and it’s a great one to sing along to.
TL;DR - A romantic moment from the iconic indie slacker, “My Kind of Woman” is a touching love ballad that’s also really fun to play, featuring Mac’s signature guitar playing.
If you like indie music, you’ve definitely heard of Mac DeMarco. Combining a goofball public persona with a distinctive songwriting style and production sound, the Canadian rose to the higher reaches of indie fame unexpectedly quickly. While his image projected a charmingly laid-back slacker prone to occasional antics but never taking anything too seriously, his songs ironically often hid mature themes like aging, commitment, and morals under layers of chorus and reverb. “My Kind of Woman” is, in my humble opinion, his best song. A gentle, touching and ultra-relatable love ballad, that’s also brilliant to play in Rock Band and fun in all instruments
TL;DR - Dark alternative country masters 16 Horsepower offers a fresh and surprising take on a lost Bob Dylan tune.
16 Horsepower are one of those small, unknown gems that will blow your mind. The Denver-based alternative country band made its name with music that combined rural backwoods kitsch with edgy, off-kilter country-rock, often with a dark twist, similar to Nick Cave or the Gun Club. Certainly not an obvious fit for a Valentine Day’s pack. But nevertheless, their classic album “Secret South” includes, among all the dark country tales, this sweet gem - a brilliant cover of Bob Dylan’s “Nobody ‘Cept You”, which wasn’t included in any of his albums (but released as a part of the “bootleg series”).
16 Horsepower completely transformed this song, and made it into this huge, positive love anthem. Frontman David Eugene Edwards is also known as a devoted christian, which leaves the song open to interpretation - is it a love song to a woman, or to God/Jesus - but than again, that’s part of the charm. It’s a great addictive tune, I’ve had a lot of fun working on it and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too.
TL;DR - Brit-pop master Suede delivers an epic, grandiose and absolutely beautiful love ballad that’s an absolute joy to play on any instrument, with a particularly awesome guitar track.
In my humble and somewhat controversial opinion, Suede were the best britpop band of the 90’s. The brilliant British band fused glam decadence with dark romanticism, and left us with a few unforgettable albums. “Dog Man Star” probably sits on top of that list - it’s among my top 20 albums ever. And this is the first song to off this great album to be released in RB - and if it’s up to me, definitely not the last!
“The Wild Ones” is a particularly epic and beautiful love song from that record, and considered a favourite among fan. Singer Brett Anderson has said on numerous occasions that he regards this song as not only the high-water mark of his writing partnership with Bernard Butler, but his favourite of all Suede songs. It’s a song of absolute beauty.
But even more, it’s an amazing custom. My personal favorite of this pack - it’s really one of those “shine on every instrument” song. Just look at the preview video! Guitar has almost constant beautiful licks and riffs, bass is melodic and great, lots of drum fills, and the melody is amazing to sing. There’s even a great harmony voice too! Seriously, check this one out.
TL;DR - The beautiful baritone voice of Richard Hawley, reminiscent of Scott Walker and Frank Sinatra, delivers an upbeat, beautiful and uplifting romantic anthem.
With a melodic baritone anguish that falls somewhere in the neighborhood of Scott Walker and Frank Sinatra, Pulp touring guitarist and former Longpigs member Richard Hawley is a songwriter, guitarist, and producer whose responsible for a line of beautiful and critically acclaimed solo albums. He has been nominated several times for the Mercury Prize as well as a Brit Award, and collaborated with the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Manic Street Preachers, Elbow, and Paul Weller, among others.
‘Tonight the Streets are Ours” is among his finest moments, a beautiful, elegant and uplifting romantic anthem, with a slight Christmas-like feel. It was chosen as the title track for the Oscar nominated 2010 Banksy film “Exit Through the Gift Shop”, and now it marks Hawley’s RB debut - it’s a joy to sing and play on any instrument.
(Note: the video includes an issue with the harmonies in the chorus, it is fixed in the final version).
TL;DR - A beautiful piano ballad reminiscent of the Beach Boys, it was named “the most romantic song I’ve ever written” by singer Michael Stipe.
Legendary band R.E.M. surely needs no introducing. This particular song comes from their 1998 album “Up”. The chord progression reminded the band of the Beach Boys, and songwriter Michael Stipe, whose used to write more cynical or “clever” lyrics, has challenged himself to be “fearless” and write a straightforward, honest love song. It wasn’t an easy task - he came up with the opening line (“I found a way to make you smile” - another homage to the Beach Boys “Smile”), but it took him an entire year to write another lyric for the song, as he struggled to follow up the line.
Once he did, it was delightful - “At My Most Beautiful” is a honest, romantic and well, beautiful song - unlike anything he’s ever written. Musically, instead of shying away from the Beach Boys influenced, the band embraced it, by making a Pet Sounds style arrangement, including some famous harmonies. It’s just an absolutely lovely song, and while some of the charts are kinda basic, I’m sure key players, singers and anyone who likes R.E.M. will enjoy this custom.
TL;DR - a sweet britpop anthem about fate and the randomness of meeting your romantic partner.
Britpop legends Pulp with yet another hit from their legendary 1995 album “Different Class”. After “Common People”, “Mis-Shapes” and “Disco 2000” - “Something Changed” is a lovely, romantic tune about fate and how our life would be entirely different if not for random events. What would happen if you’ve never met the love of your life? “I could have stayed at home and gone to bed/
I could have gone to see a film instead/You might have changed your mind and seen your friend” - and everything would have been different.
Musically it’s just a sweet song, great strings charted to kiss, nice guitars and drums, and a joy to sing. A lovely tune and a great fit for Valentine’s Day.
TL;DR - Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner delivers a dramatic, old-school 50’s-style love ballad, with a brilliant vocal performance and great arrangement.
I don’t even like the Arctic Monkeys that much. I don’t listen to their albums, I’ve seen them live once and I was pretty bored. So Alex Turner doing a big, ambitious Sinatra-like 50’s love ballad? Sounds like exactly something I’ll hate. But this song is so damn good, it broke into my heart and stayed there.
The Last Shadow Puppets are the side project of Turner and Miles Kane - though in this particular track, Kane isn’t really doing much, it’s all Turner. In my opinion, they’re a hundred time better and more interesting than the Arctic Monkeys. “Sweet Dreams, T. N.” is the pineapple of their latest album, “Everything That You’ve Come to Expect”, and in my humble opinion, the best song Alex Turner ever wrote. And he delivers it with a huge vocal performance that shows his great singing qualities. Instruments are all great, maybe other than guitar which is repetitive - but drums are full of marching beats and snare rolls, bass is melodic and keys include an entire string arrangement. It’s a gem of a song and hopefully a great custom!
TL;DR - A huge festival anthem from Elbow, a bright, beautiful, optimistic love song with a tricky drums pattern and an Hey-Jude style singalong at the end.
The Manchester-based alternative band is known for their socially relevant lyrics, steeped in the British experience, over atmospheric, epic rock. But “One Day Like This” is different - it’s one of those special, just plain beautiful and happy songs. It’s shamelessly huge and anthemic, it’s been made for stadium singalongs - and it just nails it. If you’ve been to an Elbow concert, you know this song is always a special moment.
It starts off as a beautiful, optimistic and uplifting tune, with dominant strings echoing Guy Garvey’s voice, who repeatedly sings “It’s going to be a beautiful day”. The song explodes and builds, with Garvey famous “Holy cow I love your eyes” line, before becoming a huge, Hey-Jude like repeated singalong of the outro. It’s fun to play and quite tricky on drums (no it’s not overcharted - check out live performances of the song to see the drums) and great on most instruments. And of course, to sing along!
TL;DR - Folk lost legend Nick Drake, possibly the man with the most beautiful voice in music history, with this beautiful romantic masterpiece, with some insane piano by John Cale.
Nick Drake is one of the saddest stories in musical history. The genius guitarist and songwriter, with an unbelievably beautiful voice, was also a shy, quite men who suffered from depression and possibly schizophrenia. He died at the age of 26 from an overdose of antidepressant, still unclear if by suicide or accident, a complete unknown with his 3 records all complete flops. His music was somehow discovered after his death, at first by other musicians (The Cure were actually named after one of his lyrics), and slowly gained popularity. He’s now regarded as a folk legend, and his three albums are all regarded as masterpieces - particularly his last, “Pink Moon”, which is my 4th favorite record of all time.
Most of Drake’s songs were solo acoustic pieces, sometimes with strings or a piano, and would not work in RB. However, his second record “Bryter Layter” was a full band effort, and this is where this gem is for. “Northern Sky” is an absolutely beautiful, heartwarming love song. It was described by NME’s magazine as the “greatest English love song of modern times”. Lead by Drake’s beautiful voice and guitar, it is produced by Velvet Underground legend John Cale, who also added a brilliant piano part - which means keys on this custom are brilliant (and were very difficult to chart!). Drums and bass are also entertaining and more complex than they seem.
Honestly, this is the one song that made me start this whole project. It’s a magical song from a magical artist that deserved to be in RB. Hopefully my custom does it justice.
TL;DR - A Springsteen classic, originally written by Tom Waits, and a beautiful love ballad with entertaining instruments by the legendary E-Street Band.
It’s weird when two of your favorite musicians collide, but sometimes it yields wonderful results. “Jersey Girl” was a Tom Waits song on his 1979 album “Heartattack and Vine”. But you’ll be forgiven if you didn’t know that - because Springsteen’s version has completely taken over the original, and with his association with New Jersey, many people are shocked to learn it’s not a Springsteen original. This, despite the fact that Springsteen never recorded it in the studio - it was only played live. The 1981 performance from New Jersey was chosen to close the live triple-album, “Live 1975-85”, is the only version Springsteen ever officially released, and is the one charted here (complete with crowd cheering for every mention of New Jersey).
The song is an absolutely beautiful romantic ballad. Springsteen’s version has added additional verses, where the love interest is revealed to be an hard-working single mother, which ties in to his usual interest in the working class. The E-Street Band performs it beautifully, and with 2 guitars and 2 key players, charts are varied and fun to play. And of course, enjoy singing this classic tune!
So that’s it! 21 beautiful, sweet and romantic love songs were performed. But I kept thinking… what about all the singles here? What about the ones who currently can’t relate to this sickeningly-sweet celebration of love? And besides, I promised one song of disappointment, didn’t I? So step forward…
TL;DR - Nick Cave’s noisier, garage side project deliver an amusing and yet relatable song of sexual frustration and rejection, with the most ridiculous guitar chart I’ve ever done.
Grinderman are Nick Cave dirty, experimental and noisier side-project. With heavily noise-based, mostly improvised song, this is Cave recapturing his early wild trouble-maker self. They’ve released two brilliant albums, but “No Pussy Blues” is probably the single most representative tune of what they’re all about.
A noisy song about sexual frustration (as the title implies), it tells the tale of the narrator’s attempts to convince a girl to have sex with him - which includes, but aren’t limited to doing her dishes, writing her songs, cursing her and even “petting her revolting little chihuahua” - only to be told, time after time, that she “simply didn’t want to”. It’s a song full of humor, but also probably quite relatable to many. Musically, it’s lead by a bass and drums groove, before exploding into huge, noisy instrumental sections, with extreme guitar noise, here charted as a solo - which makes it quite a ridiculous, and extremely difficult, guitar chart. It’s probably the weirdest and most out-there custom I’ve done - and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
So that's it! We hope you've enjoyed tonight's show! Have a great Valentine's Day, and see you next time!