A brand-new project, Side by Side, launched at the weekend with the aim of providing a platform and exposure for typically underrepresented communities within music.
The special compilation album has been curated by record label Come Play With Me (CPWM) and is entirely compiled of songs by women and LGBTQIA+ artists in the area. And amongst the artists involved is Manchester-based Tyron Webster.
A graduate from the Leeds College of Music, Tyron has already become an exciting name within the Manchester scene, with performances at Manchester Pride and a headline show at The Castle.
He’s set about using his music and experiences of the industry so far to show why it’s important for projects like Side By Side to exist.
“I wanted to get involved as a black queer artist as I really do understand that importance of representation,” he told Audio.
“CPWM have always been pioneers of a fair music game and they really do want to rep people so genuinely and not in a tokenistic way which is why I was so keen to get involved as they’ve always shown me love.
“Representation is so, so, so important. It’s good for the young musicians that are woman, people of marginalised gender or part of the LGBTQIA+ community that think the industry isn’t for them.”
Looking back at his own experiences, Tyron says underrepresented communities such as these are often overlooked and usually have to work that bit harder to be seen and heard. So much so, he’s found himself questioning his own place in the industry in the past because of who he is.
Not wanting others to go through the same, Tyron hopes the project will restore a sense of self-assurance for artists and prove to everyone that they have the right to be there just as much as the next.
Naturally, it’ll unlock opportunities and build a new level of confidence for them to express themselves and have their music heard by the masses.
With a multi-ethnic background, Tyron grew up with all kinds of musical influences. From a young age he was surrounded by all the wonderful Caribbean sounds with the reggae, calypso and ska that were played at family gatherings. Meanwhile, pop, rock and R&B were always at the forefront of his own music tastes.
But without being able to really pin down a moment that he knew music was the career for him, he recalls it just being a part of him for as long as he can remember.
“I used to watch Prince – Purple Rain movie on repeat all day, every day when I was little. Music has always been an escape for me, so I’d sing for family and in school shows,” said Tyron.
“Then I took it seriously from college where I studied it and then when I went to university to do music is where it really became a career. So, I can’t really recall a time where I thought this is it, I’ve always just done music.”
Regardless of his influences, Tyron’s own music is packed with soul and personal experience, making it pretty easy to connect with.
His track on the Side by Side compilation – ‘Love Ya, Pt. 2’ – is a sequel to ‘Love Ya Pt. 1’ that he wrote with his producer Chris Durkin earlier this year.
Themes of heartbreak, break ups and pain set the tone for both instalments. But overall, Tyron wants the message that ‘love is love’ to come across loud and clear. Because no matter what our sexual orientation, love is the same for us all. This is something absolutely everyone will have in common. So for inspiration, Tyron draws on that common ground to show we’re all human.
“The song is a self-love, self-discovery song,” he said.
“I felt at the time there was so much pressure to be in love and find your ‘soul mate’. I met a guy who on paper was great, amazing and perfect for me, but I knew I had work to do on myself for me to be able to let him in and to be able to genuinely love him.
“I know too many people that will just settle – especially in the gay community due to the pressure from society so I took inspiration from that. All of my songs are written on personal experiences. Part. I is more of an R&B production, while Part. II is a ‘sad boi’ violin stripped back moment to really bring the message and emotion of the song across.”
Elsewhere on the album there’s a healthy mix of genres, with all kinds of pop, R&B and hip-hop productions making up the 12-track collection. But also on there is Manchester-based The Elephant Trees, whose track ‘Day 42’ is an ode to the repetitiveness of lockdown and the mental health implications that come with it.
To add to the occasion, CPWM have made 500 vinyl copies of the compilation using repurposed wax from the pressing factory that would otherwise be binned. Not only does this make them more eco-friendly, but means each one is completely unique using different colours.
Side by Side is out now where you’ll find Tyron’s track ‘Love Ya, Pt. 2’ at track one. Check it out below and drop Tyron a follow here.
Kings of Leon announce HUGE Manchester Co-op Live gig on 2024 world tour
Kings of Leon have announced a new run of UK shows as part of their 2024 world tour, and they’ll be coming to visit us here in Manchester.
Following on from the announcement of their brand-new album, as well as a headline performance at BST Hyde Park this summer, the beloved American rock band have now revealed details of their long-awaited Can We Please Have Fun World Tour that’s kicking off later this year, and are set to take to the stage at several major UK cities.
The multi award-winning Tennessee rockers’ UK and Ireland tour will officially open in Leeds on 20 June, all before they head on over to Birmingham, Bristol, London, Glasgow, Dublin, and Nottingham along the way.
Not only that, but alongside these shows, they’re also set to play down at Silverstone for the British F1 Grand Prix on 4 July too.
But what better way to end a show-stopping summer than here in Manchester?
After taking in the sights of the rest of the country, the Followill clan will be stopping off in our city for a major gig at Co-op Live this July, and tickets are set to go on sale this week.
As Manchester‘s newest – and soon-to-be the UK’s largest – live entertainment arena nears closer to officially opening its doors and welcoming visitors, Co-op Live has been slowly revealing the music acts set to grace the stage as part of its huge launch season jam-packed full of events.
Bolton comedian Peter Kay will open the arena with a special show this April, and countless other major world-renowned artists have all been announced as performing throughout the rest of the year – including Eagles, Olivia Rodrigo, Jonas Brothers, Eric Clapton, Take That, Simply Red, Niall Horan, and so more.
And now, it’s Kings of Leon’s turn.
Kings of Leon will be taking to the stage at Co-op Live on Wednesday 10 July as part of the Can We Please Have Fun World Tour tour.
They’ll be joined by British indie rockers The Vaccines as the support act in Manchester.
Kings of Leon – UK and Ireland Tour 2024
20 June: Leeds – First Direct Arena
22 June: Birmingham – Utilita Arena
23 June: Bristol – Ashton Gate Stadium
30 June: London – Hyde Park BST
2 July: Glasgow – OVO Hydro Arena
4 July: Silverstone – British F1 Grand Prix
6 July: Dublin – Marley Park
8 July: Nottingham – Motorpoint Arena
10 July: Manchester – Co-op Live Arena
Tickets officially go on sale this week, with fans able to pre-order the album from the band’s store before 5pm tomorrow (Tuesday 27 February) to get early access to tickets, and Co-op members given additional presale access on Wednesday (28 February) at 9am, all before the rest go on general sale this Friday (1 March) at 9am.
Hello Cosmos wow Stockport on a night where the venue shone just as bright as the music
We had the pleasure of going along to see Hello Cosmos play a special one-off show at none other than St Mary’s Church in Stockport town centre on Friday night, just the gig the building has ever seen and given how incredible an experience it was, we hope there’ll be many more.
Picture the scene: it’s a frosty Foodie Friday night in Stockport with people wearing beer jackets and sharing hot street food to keep warm as the tunes ring around the marketplace; then you spot some light off in the background and notice the windows of the old town centre church glowing.
Not only was that our signal to get a move on, finish our scran and head over to the intimate gig, but it was also a beacon of light for other punters to go and check out as they looked for any excuse to come in from the cold.
And that’s pretty much how it happened. Our three-man party was full of SK natives who wanted to see what it would be like to have a church we grew up with turned into a gig venue, so we were always on board, but plenty of other locals had the pleasure of simply stumbling upon tickets at the door.
We don’t think we’d be putting words in their mouths to say they will have been glad they did, as within a few seconds of walking into the oldest parish church in Stockport, we had never seen the already ornate and historical site look so stunning.
This wasn’t just a case of plonking some speakers and some drums near the altar like some half-arsed church fête, the roof, windows, pillars and various arches were all lit up by various multi-coloured projectors and strobes and it all felt pretty surreal.
If you’ve ever watched any kind of performance at Manchester Cathedral or a similar venue, you’ll know this kind of set-up is nothing new per se, but it did feel like something different for Stockport, especially when one of our party’s last memories was standing at the pulpit to read the Christmas story.
Then the music kicked off and we have to start by saying we were pretty impressed by the two support acts, Fondabath — fellow Stopfordians who were probably just as surprised to be in St Mary’s as we were — and Big Society, also local lads, both of which gave plenty of reason to go away and listen to more.
Then came the main event, Hello Cosmos, spearheaded by frontman and bass player Ben Robinson, who along with his jumpsuited bandmates wasted no time in transporting the crowd to what felt like a little pocket of space in some alternate reality.
Having had a few drinks and being given kaleidoscope glasses on arrival certainly helped, but it really was a truly audio-visual experience, from the various coloured jumpsuits and neon hula-hooping to the truly mesmerising light show that lit up the church throughout the set.
It all felt rather fittingly though when you take into account that Robinson is not just a musician but the founder of both Kendal Calling and bluedot Festival — I mean, even their sophomore album Golden Dirt has a glowing spaceman walking through a sea of sunflowers.
If you’ve never heard them before, think post-punk spoken word and almost Yard Act vibes, only if Christopher Ecclestone was on vocals instead. But their sound is truly sprawling, with ‘Fuse’ from their debut record giving the harder-hitting sounds and ‘Loud is Beautiful’ showing how they best intertwine electronics, keys and those oh-so-good horns from sax player Elara.
Be it jumping up and down in unison as the electric violinist played or Ben dropping to his knees to scream his head off, hopping off stage to walk around the crowd with a megaphone or releasing a sea of balloons from above for the big finish, this ‘Live at St Mary’s’ one-off special had a bit of everything.
It went from a little gig on a random winter evening in Stockport to an unforgettable one that SK-born gig-goers like us never thought we’d see in this particular borough of Greater Manchester whose culture and music scene are clearly thriving.
We really hope this is among the first of many — Hello Cosmos helped make it a success and we can seriously see the Live at St Mary’s series taking off if it continues to get the backing.