Sunday, 23 August 2015

Island Beats

On Friday I went to Thorpe Park as once again they were doing a series of Showcase Live/Island Beats gigs. I went last year with my friend Mim to see Concept and Canary Swing and enjoyed so much that I just had to come back again.

This year they have had unsigned artists perform every single day in the park for free, as well as special headline shows on Fridays and Saturdays with a chart topping act performing. Conor Maynard was the headline this week, with support from Cahoots, BB Diamond and Concept (who were the main attraction for us!).

Without Mim in tow, I was my usual rollercoaster-phobe so as soon as we arrived, we just headed straight for the gig area. There were two gigs, one for the support acts, and then the main gig in the evening.

The first act were an English/Spanish three piece called Cahoots. Their name was familiar to me but I'd never heard their music before however they were absolutely brilliant! Made up of Tom, Matt and Curricé, they sang a mix of covers and originals and built up a good crowd outside. Their cover of Uptown Funk was amazing, the only instrument they used was a guitar as a cajon and it sounded so different to most covers of that song!

Next was a female singer called BB Diamond. Now I have a history of not liking female artists but she was actually very good! She mainly sang her own songs, all of which were catchy by the end, as well as a cover of the 90's song Finally which is a jam of mine!!

Lastly were my faves Concept. It's been around a year since I last saw them live, but my gosh I didn't think it was possible for them to keep improving so much! I fell in love with them when I saw them for the first time in Reading in 2013 and ever since then they just keep stepping it up.

They performed five songs, made up of three covers and two originals. They opened with their rendition of Uptown Funk, which was again so different to what Cahoots had done. They went straight into a cover of Walk The Moon's Shut Up and Dance which was one of the first times they'd performed it live. They followed with an original song called Last Man Standing which is fantastic - I've never heard it in full so it was nice to be able to hear them perform it live. They also performed one of my favourite covers, Radioactive by Imagine Dragons. I love Karim's rap that he adds into it! Finally they ended with another original, Young and Rebellious. I first heard this song last year and instantly loved it because it's so catchy and the boys get the crowd involved too. Their sets are always so full of energy and they drew a massive crowd, it made me so proud to be a fan of theirs!  

Shut Up and Dance

Afterwards, they stayed to meet all of their fans, took pictures and chatted with everyone.  Even when Scott's dad was trying to rally the boys for dinner, they still didn't want to leave!  This is one of the reasons why I love Concept - they are extremely grounded and always make time for their fans, whether they know them well or not.  I've only met them a handful of times so they don't know me like I know some other artists yet they had so much time for both me and my mum!  We spoke about their great set, how excited we were that they were finally coming to Wales to perform in September as well as how much I was looking forward to the cinema date me and Mim won through our fan account for them.  It was so nice to speak to them properly and I managed to get pictures with Scott, Matt and Ben.  

Scott, Matt and Ben

The main gig wasn't due to start until 6pm so we wasted some time by having dinner, people watching and playing games in the arcade.  At 5pm we headed over to the queue for Island Beats to try and get a decent spot as we only had standard tickets. People always laugh at me for queuing for a gig, however sometimes being keen pays off as at 6 o'clock the steward came round and gave the first 50 people in the queue a free upgrade for VIP!  Instead of being half way back in the venue, we ended up being in third row.  


We had a great view of Cahoots, BB Diamond and Concept, who all performed fantastic sets once again.  After their performance, Concept came to stand in the VIP area so everyone went to have group pictures with them.  This was the first group picture I had with them and tbh I really love it! (Karim's got the perfect arms for selfie taking haha).

Afterwards we stood at the back of the VIP area ready for the headline act, Conor Maynard.  I'll be honest, I'd forgotten how much I loved his music!  He was absolutely incredible, he got the crowd bouncing and everyone was singing along to his classics like Can't Say No, Vegas Girl and Turn Around.  He did a medley of covers including Trap Queen and Gotta Get Thru This which was just amazing, before finishing off with my favourite song R U Crazy.  His whole set was insane and so feel good!

I hope Showcase Live continue to put on shows at Thorpe Park every year as they're always really enjoyable.  They're ideal for people who like to combine music with theme park thrills, but even if you're a wuss like me, it's a fantastic setting to get to listen to some incredible music!

Hwyl am y tro ✌️