One of the world’s best singers performed in Manchester last night, but despite ranking alongside the likes of Taylor Swift and Harry Styles, this phenomenal talent flies a bit further below the radar.
Her latest album And in The Darkness, Hearts Aglow from 2022 smashed the review boards with a metascore of 88/100 which usually indicates ‘universal acclaim’.
If you haven’t guessed already, I’m talking about American singer-songwriter, Weyes Blood, who was recently voted by The Times as the fifth-best solo singer of this century behind other huge artists like Beyoncé and Amy Winehouse.
Also known by her real name, Natalie Mering, she’s been performing under the moniker Weyes Blood since 2003. Back in the day, you could find her in a noise-rock band called Jackie-O Motherf***er but it wasn’t until much later that she found success performing solo and releasing her last two albums on the massive American record label SUB-POP.
It was the latest 2022 album though which came with widespread praise, scoring a 5/5 with NME and the Telegraph. It also got into nearly every ‘top album of 2022’ list and was usually in the top 20.
All this combined is probably what led her ‘In Holy Flux’ tour to sell out nearly everywhere in Europe, including Le Trianon in Paris, Paradiso in Amsterdam… And last night in Manchester.
It was a massive show and even Weyes knew it as she told the crowd that ‘[She was] standing on the shoulders of giants’ and ‘she loves music from Manchester’.
The O2 Ritz was quickly slammed, even before she had come out, and when the support, Sam Burton, was wooing the crowd.
The moment Weyes walked on stage though she had the crowd captivated. She came on to a sea of candles in old Victorian candleholders, in a long white robe which felt almost ethereal. It was like we had just walked into the church of Weyes Blood, and oh my god did she blow us all away.
As she started on her first song, the opener of her latest album, It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody, a complete understanding of why she was voted one of the top solo singers of all time washed over me. Even during the long, slower, quieter songs there wasn’t any of the usual chatter and hardly anyone was filming, it just seemed like everyone was in pure euphoria at her voice and presence.
She played a bevvy of new songs and some from her previous album Titanic Rising, like fan favourite Andromeda. It was all so amazing, her set was heavenly and with strings and organs being key instruments in her band the whole show felt angelic.
The last time she played in Manchester was four years ago in 2019 so who knows when she’ll be back to grace our stages. All I know is that you’ve got from now until then to get listening. 👇
We’ll see you at the next one!
Featured image: Publicity picture
Manchester rapper Aitch is doing a charity skydive for Down Syndrome awareness
Aitch is to brave a whopping 15,000ft free fall as he takes on a charity skydive in the name of Down Syndrome awareness.
You may remember that the chart-topping rapper – real name Harrison Armstrong, who proudly hails from Moston in North Manchester – became an ambassador of the Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA) back in October last year in honour of his sister Gracie, who has Down Syndrome.
The 23-year-old’s role as an ambassador came after he made a generous donation from the budget of his music video for his track ‘My G’ – which is dedicated to his little sister, affectionately known as ‘G’ – to the charity, with the rapper describing the song as the most important track on his debut album, Close to Home.
Aitch said at the time of becoming an ambassador that there was “nothing more important in the world” to him than Gracie, and that’s why the role meant so much to him.
And now, he’s taking his support one step further – and a big step at that.
As this week is Down Syndrome Awareness Week here in the UK, the BRIT Award-winner has decided to take the leap and will be bravely free falling in tandem with an instructor from a plane that’s 15,000ft above the ground this month, all to show just how important Gracie is to him and his family.
Down Syndrome Awareness Week aims to raise awareness about what Down Syndrome is, what it means to have Down Syndrome, and how people who have Down Syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.
Aitch will be skydiving alongside his Dad, and successful influencer and former Love Island contestant, Joanna Chimondes – who is also an ambassador for the charity.
“I’m buzzing to jump out of a plane for World Down Syndrome Day,” Aitch said.
“My Dad will be doing it with me, and we’ll be raising awareness for a cause that’s close to me and my family”.
Carol Boys – Chief Executive of the DSA – says that she’s “extremely grateful” to Aitch for agreeing to take on such a big challenge, adding: “Aitch has already done a fantastic job of raising awareness and understanding of Down Syndrome among his fans and followers.
“But to actually jump out of a plane to raise money to help us continue our vital work, is just amazing.”
Then on Friday 24 March, the degree show will head over to Spirit Studios, just past Piccadilly, where guests can explore a range of sound installation, soundscapes, and multi-genre live performances in their very own studios and live venue.