XFM Winter Wonderland @ O2 Academy Brixton, 17/12/2014

XFM Winter Wonderland is always the best Christmas party of the year if you’re into music. But this year’s line-up was a real seasonal treat: Royal Blood, Billy The Kid, To Kill A King, Catfish And The Bottlemen, The Horrors, Billy Bragg and Frank Turner.

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Royal Blood were a surprise opening act, and boy what a surprise it was! Having seemingly come out of nowhere in 2014 the hard-rock duo set alight the stage of Brixton’s O2 Academy. You can tell they will absolutely smash it in 2015, and I can’t wait.

Although Billy The Kid is still fairly unknown in the UK, I strongly believe she deserves all the respect. Billy is one hell of a talented girl with a guitar from Canada. Not only does she write and sing amazing songs, she paints beautiful arts as well. Seriously, if anything si to be taken away from this post: Check her out! Her new album Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, produced by none other than Frank Turner, just dropped. And of course to everyone’s joy, Frank Turner joined her for a live rendition of their duet ‘This sure as hell ain’t my life’.

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Catfish And The Bottlemen are one of the up and coming Brit bands and the Welsh rockers have huge potential and we shall see what 2015 brings for them.

The Horrors was not entirely my cup of tea, just a little too emo, but talented nonetheless. They were followed by the XFM Inspiration award winner of the evening and English classic – Billy Bragg. I saw him a year ago for the first time busking away with Frank Turner and was in awe. Billy Bragg is classic folks music with a touch of busking. And the good old “A New England” just never seizes to be a great live song.

Just one day after officially finishing the recording of his new album Frank Turner drew the Christmas festivities at O2 Academy Brixton to a close. You can always trust Frank and The Sleeping Souls to be a dynamite headliner with everyone belting out the chorus and knowing just when to sit down for ‘Photosynthesis’ – and when to jump up. It never gets boring, he’s a born showman.

Happy Christmas everyone, have a rocking one!

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