REVIEW: Kodaline at O2 Apollo, Manchester

SOFT alternative rock quartet Kodaline performed at the O2 Apollo Manchester last night for thethird night in their ‘Coming Up For Air’ tour, was there to review the evening as a Quays News reporter.

Read what I had to say here:



REVIEW: Twin Atlantic at Old Granada Studios

Scottish rock quartet Twin Atlantic hit the stage to give fans an intimate, free, performance courtesy of the Budweiser Live ProjectRae Coppola was there for us…

REVIEW: Fall Out Boy at Manchester Arena

FALL Out Boy’s ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’ tour hit Manchester Arena last night. As a Quays News entertainment reporter, I was there to review it…

Check out what I had to say about it:

Is the ‘14+ age restriction’ too low for children at concerts?

Is 14 a reasonable age to let unsupervised children attend gigs and concerts?

In my opinion, no.

They are unable to drink themselves, and usually turned down from pubs after 9pm, so why is it acceptable for them to be in a crowd surrounded by adults drinking, dancing and jumping around?

All in all, I suppose it depends on the genre of music being played, as a rock concert will undoubtedly be more rowdy than a classical one.

18226_558985737462026_134456651_nAdmittedly, I attended my first concert at 14. It was for alternative rock band Kids in Glass Houses at the late Cockpit ( I thought I was invincible and remember pushing my way through the crowd and even throwing myself into an attempt at a mosh pit. In hindsight, it’s worrying that someone of my age and petite statue was able to do so without having an of age adult with me in the standing area to ensure I came home unscathed.


In my opinion, there should be a rule that no one under 16 should be able to attend a concert where they will be in unreserved standing, unsupervised. This is because although some under 16’s are deemed sensible enough to venture out alone or with friends their own age, the vast majority are not, and trying to filter out the children is an arduous task.

Sitting of course, is the safer option, which I’d say is allowable for an unsupervised 14 year old, as no crowds will be putting concert goers at risk by pushing people back and forth, drinking or doing drugs.

I’d rather the youth of today be safe, than sorry.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Rae Coppola

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ALBUM REVIEW: Darren Ellis (Self-Titled)

Taking influences from Paolo Nutini and Damien Rice, Darren Ellis strips back the songs on his self titled debut album making the focus good riffs, clear vocals and relatable lyrics. With catchy potential singles such as Make Your Own Luck, Twenty Something, and Let Your Hair Down, it’s no surprise that Alan Raw, of BBC Introducing West Yorkshire, snatched up his tracks to be played live on their radio station after listening to them, before booking him for the radio show. He played two tracks live, and another from the album.  Ever humble, Ellis publicly thanked him, demonstrating that he has manners of gold as well as talent.

Based in West Yorkshire, the musician performs to his audiences content all over the place, with upcoming gigs located in Batley, Bingley and even Halifax’s very own Fake Festival.

Vocalist, guitarist, producer, song writer, it really seems like indie folk musician Darren Ellis can do it all. With dedication and a humble personality paired with all the latter attributes, he’s one to watch.

Ahead of its release, here’s my review of his self titled album:

aalbumcoverOne of the tracks played on the radio, and my personal favourite Let Your Hair Down, has a catchy riff that acts a motif throughout the track and consequently throughout the day of anyone who listens to the song. Believe me, I can’t get it out of my head. But that’s bonus, it’s a feel good song about an individual who forgets all their cares and lives in the moment, and for the four minutes it plays, the listener gets a chance to escape into a world where they can do the same. I especially like the part in the track where most of the instruments fade out, faintly leaving the guitar motif and the light ping of the ride cymbal, so that the verse lyrics really stand out. Afterwards, both instruments continue to get louder raising to a crescendo before a drum beat announces the penultimate chorus.

Close second, Limelight will undoubtedly make any listener bop their head along with the tune. The bass line is genius, the lyrics catchy, and the whole track has a jazzy feel to it. It carries an important message about doing something for yourself rather than the attention it will gain you, and makes listeners think about their own experiences and what the case is for them. Positioned seventh on the album listing, I feel it is underrated by the artist, and that’s what makes it an original hidden gem.

Make Your Own Luck, is another feel good track with a summery vibe to it. The lyrics are relaxed, with the occasional rocky twist thanks to on/off rough vocals that really stress the opening line and chorus.  Like the latter, it features catchy riffs, however the rhythm differs from verse to verse, making the track more complex to tap your foot to. It’s a track that should be taken as it comes and just enjoyed without thinking too much into. Perfect for listening to in the car with the roof down on the way to the beach or a campout.

Twenty Something will be a hit, as Darren Ellis’ song writing picks up on the relatable scenario of getting older and having to worry about having to “get a house, get a job, get a car, [and] get a wife”, and in doing so sacrificing opportunities and having dreams stunted. The lyrics suggest that the latter may not be the end game and that there’s always time to change your life. It’s something listeners, especially of that age range, want to hear, and that’s why I believe it will be extremely successful as a single in its own right as well as on the album.

Fully Grown then slows down the tempo of the album, demonstrating Ellis’ versatility as a musician, and changes the tone to one of reflection rather than careless fun. It is heartfelt and personal, and I’m sure many listeners will be able to relate to it. It’s one of those songs that people should listen to on the way home from a fun outing just to make the come down more reflective than sad, and maybe send the passengers into a gentle sleep, remembering their day but dreaming of the future.

Folk song Jack is disjointed and seems to me that it features too many clashing instruments. However, the song reminds me of confessional poetry so I imagine that’s what the artist was going for. Jack’s life being homeless is described as disjointed in the lyrics so it would not have made sense to tackle the tracks subject matter any other way. The song is not necessarily my cup of tea, but I applaud Daniel Ellis for the cleverness in what he was attempting and hope that other people appreciate it.

War Song too has a unique sound with its arrangement of clashing instruments and warped guitar riffs. Again, it’s clever, as the song is anti-war, and the clashing seems to represent the conflict of interests that causes war in the first place, hence in a way mocking it. It’s a song that tells listeners to look within themselves and test their morals about whether they see war and whether they view it as a positive or negative.

Potential fast paced free track Strobelight sees Darren Ellis collaborating with rapper Jay Parch. The contrast in their voices did the song justice, with the harmonies and rounds sounding on point. It’s different to the usual rap songs due to the unusual pairing of rapper and vocalist, and that gives it a leg up in the competition. The song in my opinion should definitely be used as a bonus track, as not only does it sound good, but it will also bring a new audience to the album.

The album is set to become available to the public via iTunes in June, with additional yet-to-be-finished track See You On The Other Side so keep your eyes peeled.

You can hear his tracks on his Soundcloud, but the full album is available to buy on iTunes and Google play for a small yet reasonable price. Like Darren Ellis Music on Facebook for his latest updates.

Rae Coppola


Four piece Bradford band The Rook always impress with their original take on then classic rock and blues music genre. Their composing combines tight rhythms with unique vocals and strong lyrics, all of which work together to create a foot tapping, head bopping, tune that captures the attention of the audience. The consistently good performance by singer Dane Vear, guitarist Jacob Briggs, bassist Andrew Collinson and drummer Sam Shepherd, means this is a space to be watched. Until then however, The Rook continue to play local gigs and get good feedback from venues, audiences, and even the newspapers.

 “This 4 piece band are one of the favourites around this bar” – Delius Lived Next Door, Bradford.

“Indie rockers who sounded like they have been a band for years despite their young age” – Telegraph and Argus.

1397223_810514572344108_762170961625646092_oEveryone and anyone that has the pleasure of seeing them will instantly get the impression that all members of the group are down to earth, simply from the inevitable banter between songs. The occasional broken string, dropping of an instrument, or funny concentration face can be forgiven, as they are simply four normal young men still learning and hoping for a break in the music industry, and having the time of their life in the process. As of this, regardless of the positive feedback and comments, the four piece remain modest and humble, always thanking the audience for their participation and the venues for allowing them to play.

After seeing the four piece perform numerous times and hearing them played on BCB Radio, I’ve found ‘Apollo’ to be my personal favourite, with ‘Own Blues’ acting as a close second. Punk rock tune ‘Apollo’ can get anyone dancing with it’s catchy yet slick rhythm thanks to a tight guitar motif that adds a groovy swing to it, whilst ‘Own Blues’ features catchy riffs that build up to a crescendo before pausing and letting the chorus lyric really stand out. The latter takes confidence as both the band and singer, Dane, have to trust each other to stop and start in time, or risk messing up.

The quartet continue to work on creating individual music to fit in with their sound, and have a recording session booked with hopes to release a new EP soon. While you’re waiting, recently released song ‘Whistle in the Wind’ is available on iTunes for download, thanks to the band winning the Amp Awards 2014 competition after impressing professional judges in variety of ‘battle of the bands’ heats. “It’s been a real buzz winning the award,” says guitarist Jacob Briggs, 20. That and the rest of their tracks are available to listen to for free on their SoundCloud page (see below).

The Rook have truly made a name for themselves on the Yorkshire gig circuit and have showcased their talent in top venues including: Sheffield O2, The Cockpit, St. George’s Hall and Brudenell Social Club. Their all time favourite performance, according to bassist Andrew Collinson, was their first time playing at the now close down, Leeds Cockpit supporting The Vendettas, due to the scale and atmosphere amongst the crowd.  Catch them next, again, playing alongside The Vendettas, at Double Denim Live, Verve Bar Leeds on the 24th April ( It’s no lie when I say you’ll be in for a treat.

To keep up with the latest band news and gig announcements you can follow them on Facebook – and Twitter –

Rae Coppola

Fall Out Boy Support Acts – American Psycho/American Beauty 2015 Tour

Previously, on their 2014 tour, The Pretty Reckless were chosen as the support act for Fall Out Boy. The female fronted support band, who pride themselves on defining rock and roll, were perfectly suited to the concert and warmed up the audience instantly. After Taylor Momsen’s incredible performance I was pumped for the headliners and even tempted to buy tickets to her next headlining gig. The latter ensured I had high expectations for the next Fall Out Boy tour, and I was quick out the bat to buy priority tickets for the American Psycho/American Beauty shows.

Much to mine, and other fans surprise and disappointment, the support acts announced were not up to last years standard. After much anticipation they were released, and I for one could not think of a more contrasting line up for the show. The acts were named to be Professor Green and Matt and Kim. The acts, albeit good in their own right, just do not seem suited for the tour. Fans of the band generally enjoy rock music, not a mix of rap nor an unknown indie dance duo. Although Pete Wentz and the band are big Hip-hop fans who I assume want to share their interests, it just seems odd to subject fans of rock music alone out of their comfort zone, especially after they have paid for tickets, and like me, may feel cheated.

Personally, I think the bad decision will ensure the late arrival of many concert goers, a very busy bar during their performances, or a very quiet audience with little participation that are not pumped up for the headliners. The lucky few, however, whom happen to be fans of all types of music I’m sure will have the time of their life hearing everything in one place. The artist seems like he’s out to impress, already planning a heavier set that will hopefully win over the audience.

Allow me to be cynical though, since I have never been a fan of the artist and therefore did not attend his concerts. Therefore, I am not particularly impressed to have one forced onto me. I’ll be sure to review the concert after I’ve attended, but for now I am judging the gig by the support and do not have high hopes. Fingers crossed I’m wrong and Professor Green prevails meaning I haven’t wasted my time and money.

Rae Coppola