RouteNote Sessions’ Top 5 Solo sessions of 2019

We’ve had many incredible artists comes through our studios for RouteNote Sessions this year. As we approach the end of the year, it’s time to reflect on some of the very best.

Over the past year and a half we recorded about 65 individual sessions, with roughly 3 tracks per sessions that’s 190 odd individual tracks!

We have done sessions with bands spanning all genres and backgrounds, rock, indie, reggae, folk, metal, punk, synth-wave you name it.

As an early Christmas pressy, over the next few weeks we are going to be releasing our top picks from particular genres, starting with our Top 5 Solo Session pick!

JAK JAMES – Wicked Game (Chris Isaak Cover) – 0:00
NANA – Crushed Velvet – 3:06
Sam Sweeney – Paragon – 5:51
Jess Clarke – Shadowlands – 9:30
Josh Curnow – Leave a Light on (Tom Walker Cover) – 14:30

These are our top 5 solo sessions. Keep your eyes peeled for many more of our 2019 favourites in the coming weeks!

AEG Presents teams up with Eden Project to launch Eden Sessions

The Eden Project plays host to some of the greatest artists each year and a new partnership will breed that experience further.

The Eden Project has become famed for its series of summer concerts bringing acts like Bjork, Blondie, Motörhead, Flaming Lips, Queens of the Stone Age, Elton John, and so many more. The gorgeous setting and formidable stage has cemented Eden Sessions as a true highlight of live music in the UK’s corner of Cornwall.

Now the Eden team are joining forces with live music organisation AEG Presents to launch a new Eden Sessions company. Together they will continue to run the concerts, which have been running each year since 2002 with the impressive backdrop of their illuminated biomes.

Chief Executive of the Eden Project, Gordon Seabright said: “In 18 years, the Sessions have established an excellent reputation in the industry and with concert-goers. Our exciting new venture with AEG Presents teams Eden with the global leader in live music. It will give us more national and international reach and help us spread Eden’s missions even further.

“Eden boasts a unique amphitheatre surrounded by beautiful gardens and spectacular Biomes. We are proud that there is no venue like it anywhere in the world and we know that many artists cite shows they have played here as being among their best ever.”

AEG Presents’ two CEO’s, Steve Homer and Toby Leighton-Poper, added: “People use the word iconic a lot but the Eden Sessions fully deserves that description. They are innovative and the roll call of artists who have performed at Eden speaks for itself.

“They stand for quality as do we and we’re both dedicated to giving music fans a brilliant gig experience every time. This partnership is a big moment for us and we’re sure it will deliver great things.”

Boomtown 2019 Chapter 11: The Radical City is much, much more than a festival (review)

Chapter 11 of Boomtown has closed. The Radical City opened it’s doors for 5 nights, introducing people from all around the world to the post-apocalyptic vision of wonder and amazement. For almost 1 whole week the town’s districts buzzed with the unique life that permeates through every inch of Boomtown.

The corporate empire of Bang Hai that once controlled the city has crumbled under the power of their own artificial intelligence, AMI. With her sinister eyes gazing down on Boomtown and overseeing its future, it’s inhabitants survive through the power of people.

The Daily Rag bring the scoop on the city’s new artificial intelligence overlord

Boomtown is like no festival I have ever been to. It was plain to see from the moment I stepped into the grounds and saw the cascade of convincingly intricate buildings lining the routes through the festival. It looks stunning, it looks so real that there are many moments you have doubts about whether you truly have transported to a new reality – a radical and exciting one.

Each building, each stage, each stall holds their own secret pocket where people dance, sing, they barter and brawl. They live on in Old Town and Copper County, capsules of the past teeming with old wooden buildings and corrupt law enforcement. They revel in the waterfalls and stone structures of the Lions Den. And they survive the nuclear wasteland of the new Area 404.

Each distinct district of the festival has it’s own theme which comes complete with unique architecture and musical stages. Throughout the day the stages played host to an array of bands big and small venturing through all genres available to the ear.

And then there are the people. Each district has its own set of characters and their own world in which to play with. With the fascinating array of eccentric persons occupying every area comes your role in this parallel universe. Whether you’ve come kitted up to truly be a part of it or just want to revel in the show – you are part of the theatre that exists in every pore of Boomtown’s body.

You may find yourself convincing the Bank of Boomtown as to why they should give you a loan to prop of your nefarious ideas. You may be dragged to one side by an enraged Copper County local after they’ve threatened the townspeople with a gun. You may very likely find yourself taking on a role in the bizarre yet thrilling virtual theatre of it all.

Highlights from the music side of things – well there’s too many to name every incredible act. There is a churning plethora of artists throughout the weekend. But there were definitely some stand-out shows.

A raucous show from Gogol Bordello in the Town Centre saw flame throwers light up the sky as Eugene Hutz sprayed wine on the crowd backed by his gypsy punk orchestra. On the same stage Slaves blasted the crowd back with classic British anger, channelling it all through crunchy guitars and scathing lyrics.

Isaac Holman from Slaves gives Ed his ‘Photo Opportunity’

The pure energy from these two sets represented the motif of all artists performing at Boomtown. Each act plays their part in the story of the festival with pure force that blew crowds away and sent them off dancing into the night. No matter what time they were playing and who it was to, whether it be traditional folk, dreadlock-fulled rock, or hard techno – everyone seemed to be in on the story.

Boomtown favourite Beans On Toast performed to “possibly the most people I’ve ever played to” as he returned to Boomtown for the, who even knows how many times at this point. With tales exploring his own escapades at festivals, the people he’d meet and the substances consumed it was the perfect fuel to get the crowd cheering.

Over at the Lions Den stage an incredible set from Groove Armada saw the valley fill with crowds ready to superstyle. Waterfalls erupted from either side of the stage which looked like it had been carved out of an ancient Mayan ruin. Later that evening those waterfalls drenched Mike Skinner during an impassioned performance with The Streets, after Skinner climbed the walls of the stage to christen himself with Boomtown’s holy water.

When the evening comes around the bands make way for an incredible line-up of DJs and producers filling the National Park with electronic music. To one side of the festival you had ex-Bang Hai stage – The Relic, a monumental creation that towered above the crowd. Huge screens on the stage displayed artificial intelligence AMI scanning her watchful eyes over the audience.

On the other side in the nuclear wasteland of Area 404, and beyond the wonderful and fluorescent Psy Forest, lay the Nucleus. Acting like a sister stage to The Relic it was another post-futuristic grand design of major engineering with electrical astonishment. Once again AMI loomed, peering over the tens-of-thousands of dancing night-wanderers.

Boomtown’s opening ceremony took place at midday on the Lions Den stage on Friday. With an ecological focus the show was a mesmerising display with grand animal puppets surrounded by dancers, inspiring talks and blooming red smoke throughout. It was a fitting introduction to such a monumental festival.

That ecological focus rippled throughout the festival with Extinction Rebellion marches carving through the crowds throughout the weekend. Leading an Extinction Rebellion wagon into the festival, activists half playing/half deadly-serious spread their messages of ecology through sheer powerful presence.

Boomtown 2019 was filled with signs and symbolism asking attendees to think about the future; our future. As part of their ongoing process to make a bigger and better festival each year but reduce their impact, this year the organisers worked with a network of environmental and wildlife organisations to work towards a greener festival.

The eco-message permeated throughout the site with compostable toilets, zero-waste camping sites right in the centre of the action, bottle schemes to eradicate plastic and much, much more. Boomtown will also plant an impressive 66,000 trees, 1 tree for every person at Boomtown this year. That would be an amazing yearly tradition for them to commit to.

The 5 days of music at every corner, astonishing costumes playing a part in the world and stunning settings finally drew to it’s triumphant close at midnight on Sunday. Taking place at both sides of the festival in The Relic and at the Nucleus, ‘The Assimilation‘ saw Boomtown Chapter 11’s narrative reach its conclusion.

With AMI taking in the crowds for full assimilation the stages roared with intense bass and rapid electronic music. Dancers emerged with strobing lights covering their bodies, spinning illuminated hoops around their bodies in front of and atop the stage. It felt like a jawdroppingly intense doomsday apocalypse.

boomtown Ami AI assimilation fails
AMI’s assimilation failed and the people were safe, but what did it all mean?

As AMI came close to full Assimilation suddenly the counter stopped and terrifying screams from the artificial intelligence erupted throughout the site. Something had gone wrong in her merging of the population. AMI’s tyrannical overseeing nature had been disrupted and now the people could look towards a new future: A New Beginning.

The message ended with another take on it’s ecological perspective. Clips representing nature reclaiming it’s rightful heritage and taking back man-made structures and technology flashed before us in a strobing flash, imprinting the images in your mind as powerfully as possible.

Boomtown Chapter 11: A Radical City was over. But it promised a New Beginning next year. An even bigger, better, more exciting and more impressive festival from what is already the most astonishing and thrilling event of the year. I will definitely be returning to see the new chapter in Boomtown’s amazing story.

Boomtown festival AI AMI assimilation at the closing ceremony chapter 12 new beginnings
See you at Chapter 12 for a New Beginning at Boomtown

RouteNote heads to Boomtown festival Chapter 11: The Radical City

The UK’s most ambitious festival returns in just under 2 weeks time and RouteNote will be there to bring the music, the madness, the myriad of life that is Boomtown back to you.

We are very excited to taking part in the 11th iteration of a festival like no other. Boomtown erupts onto the UK once a year to build an entire town’s worth of music and entertainment from the ground up.

Amazing acts like Ms. Lauryn Hill, Prophets of Rage, The Streets and more will take to the big stages providing a weekend of world-class music. Beyond the major players the festival is lined with smaller tents, venues and stages laying the foundations for a seemingly endless amount of bands, artists and entertainers to imbue every inch of the festival with life.

Along with Ed, of RouteNote Sessions fame, we will be documenting the craziness. Join us after the festival for a deep dive into what makes Boomtown so special and why 66,000 people are heading there to become part of the story.

We’ll also be following the notorious Boomtown Bobbies on their lawless, vigilante escapades throughout the festival. Capturing the chase, the disorder, and showing you a very unique and special side of the festival from the perspective of this crazy bunch.

Keep your eyes out for a special mini-documentary on the Bobbies as well as much more showing off this truly special festival in all of its wicked glory.

Watch LiNDiGO spread the joy of music at Tropical Pressure Festival (video)

Tropical Pressure is a vibrant festival along the coast of Cornwall. The RouteNote Sessions team were there this year to capture the unique and beautiful festival.

One of the many great bands taking to the stage were LiNDiGO. Coming from Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean they imbue a native and sacred form of Patois – Maloya – into their music taking their powerful energy to another place.

Watch some of their set below and understand why Tropical Pressure was blown away by the wonder of LiNDiGO.



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Samson Sounds mash up fat bass and big brass to smash up Tropical Pressure Festival (video)

The RouteNote Sessions team took to Tropical Pressure festival to soak up the sun, colour, and magical music from all over the world.

We captured some of Samson Sounds passionate performance that saw the entire valley bumping. The boys hail from Scotland but they channel their music from around the world.

Join in the fun and have a dance along as we present to you: The Mashup.

Samson Sounds


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Mixhalo raise $10 million to play live music in your ears at events

We all love live music, but sometimes it’s hard to love the quality of the sound in a packed hall from old PAs. That’s where Mixhalo come in.

Mixhalo is a startup that is aiming to improve the audio quality of live music but in a way that you might not expect. The company, founded by Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger and his wife Ann Marie Simpson-Einziger, have just raised over $10 million to do it.

How do they plan to improve the sound quality at gigs though, better infrastructure in venue speakers? No, with a unique technology set up which takes the music feed straight into your ears. Mixhalo’s technology sends a live feed from the sound mix which you can pick up on smartphones to plug straight into headphones.

Since launching only two years ago, Mixhalo have found their technology used on tours with major artists like Charlie Puth, Metallica, Aerosmith, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Incubus. If it can work in the supersized stadiums of massive acts then who knows how far-reaching the potential is for Mixhalo.

To avid gig-lovers it may sound like sacrilege; the surrounding of sound and booming speakers are a vital part of live music. Headphones at a gig could easily be seen as putting a wall up between you and the music, like watching the gig through a camera screen.

But Mixhalo has a number of benefits. For a start, people who have tried the stream at concerts testify that the quality of the audio is impressive. There is also the ability to control volume individually for each person, so those with sensitive ears can take it down and those who want to rock it can bring it up.

Marc Ruxin, who led music discovery startup TastemakerX, was so impressed with the quality and potential that he joined the company as CEO to lead it onwards to venues across the country and potentially beyond.

He argues people don’t realise how poor live audio quality is until they compare it, saying: “We’re definitely solving a problem in music that people don’t realize they have.” He goes on to say that people didn’t think standard TV quality was poor until they watched HD – very true.

Will this method stand up with concert-lovers though? It’s doing well so far and with a new chunk of funding they should be able to push this further and see how it’s received. The applications go far beyond concerts with potential to enhance theatre shows, musicals, seminars, museums, conferences, and so much more.

RouteNote Sessions at Tropical Pressure Festival: Kongo Dia Ntotila

Last week the RouteNote Sessions team took to the magical celebration of music around the world that is Tropical Pressure. We got to see many amazing acts, and even capture a few to bring the grooves back to you.

The first session we have for you is the phenomenally vibrant and colourful Kongo Dia Ntotila.

Kongo Dia Ntotila were so full of energy that even the sun had to come out and watch the show. Their action-packed set had the whole festival jumping and here they are to get you moving too.

Kongo Dia Ntotila


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Viagogo ticketing company has been blocked by Google for advertising

Google are making a stand against ticket touting with the suspension of Viagogo as an advertising partner.

Ticket touting has become a serious problem with ticketing companies online. Viagogo are often at the centre of that controversy and with the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) going after them again, Google have dropped their advertising slots with the ticket sellers..

On Wednesday Google said in a statement: “When people use our platform for help in purchasing tickets, we want to make sure that they have an experience they can trust. This is why we have strict policies and take necessary action when we find an advertiser in breach.”

Viagogo have been accused of misleading their users with hidden fees and not providing information about ticket sellers, particularly in the case of ticket touts. Last November the CMA were victorious in court against Viagogo, forcing them to reveal the identities of ticket sellers to enforce better rules against ticket touting.

The CMA are now taking the ticketing website to action again saying that they haven’t done enough to change their business practices despite warnings and court actions in recent years. Viagogo say they are “working with the CMA” to improve their services and make them more transparent.

In response to Google ending Viagogo’s adverts on their platforms, the ticket company responded saying: “We were extremely surprised to learn of Google’s concerns today. We are confident that there has been no breach of Google’s policies and look forward to working with them to resolve this as quickly as possible.”

The company have a long line of criticism that isn’t being properly resolved despite legal action enforced against them. Last year one unlucky mother spent £1,421 unknowingly on tickets advertised for £263 due to the company’s hidden costs and misleading business. This resulted in a UK minister warning against using Viagogo.

When will they learn?

Tropical Pressure Festival brings world culture to a weekend of pure joy

RouteNote and the Sessions team made their way to the Cornish coast to spend a weekend with artists from around the world amongst one of the most magnificent festival celebrations around.

Music festivals are the light that keeps so many of us going, waiting year round for the season to begin when you roll out the sleeping bags, load the car with cans, and make the journey to the field becoming your home for the weekend. Every now and again a festival stands out amongst the crowds of great festivals and goes beyond the music and dancing to become something so much more – encapsulating you in a pop-up community for 3 days.

What the Tropical Pressure team creates every year is without a doubt one of those stand-out festivals. Imbued with the passion and creativity of every single person involved, Tropical Pressure lights up the north coast of Cornwall with a blazing array of colour that sets the stage for a plethora of incredible and unique artists coming from the far-reaching corners of the world.

The festival is all about celebrating world culture by bringing music and people from some of the planet’s furthest corners to join the people of Tropical Pressure. Each day is unique and fascinating in their own right.

The weekend begins with Latin American day on Friday. Tropical Pressure has become renowned for its ability to bring the sun out no matter what the week before has brought. Though the sun had a long lie-in before peeking out on the first day this year, the festivities began in riotous fashion. As the gates opened and the music started it was clear to see the festival was in for another incredible weekend of whirling to tunes with far-reaching smiles.

  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review
  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review
  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review
  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review

The crowds near the main stage found themselves parted by a line of drums. Led by dancers in beautiful dresses, the drumming waved its way through the audience and made their way on stage to perform as the incredible DakaDoum. Truly a roaring introduction to the incredible sets to come from the weekend.

As Friday went on, so did more and more artists hailing from Colombia to Japan, Malaysia and further. Highlights taking to the beautifully decorated main stage include the raucous La-33, the very talented Malphino, Mira Mundo, Penya, and many more amazing acts.

Take a walk up the sensory overload of the food alley, sitting just up from the main stage, and you find delectable delights of delicacies spanning the continents. There are too many food stalls to try in just one weekend, which is a true shame as it’s all delicious.

After passing through the tasty temptations a secret pathway transports you to the other side of the festivities. Here you can go up the hill to the gorgeous amphitheatre where bands take to a more intimate yet none-the-less exciting stage to jump around under canvas or sit on the hill and look out over the gorgeous surroundings.

Africa is the culture of choice for Saturday and saw artists from all over busting out incredible poly-rhythms that no sensible feet could resist moving along to. Amazing performances included the jumping bass playing of Kongo Dia Ntotila, the wow-ing stage presence of Pat Kalla, and fantastic shows from
Têtes de Pois, The Scorpios and many more.

Move into the night and glowing mushrooms erupt from the ground, projections light up walls and ceilings and the tunes evolve into a mixture of psychedelic greatness made for dancing long into the night.

You can travel between the fabled Fandangos dancehall, swimming through a hall of glowing jellyfish as incredible DJs like Nickodemus and Edna Martinez sparking up the sound systems. Head back to the amphitheatre for a transformed experience with an awning covered in the lights of trippy paint effects and lose yourself to a selection of psych-beats to keep you waving until the early hours.

  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review
  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review
  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review

Once the evening’s acts have died down there’s no rest for the wicked, unless you want to head back to your tent and drift into the quiet of the night. A campfire by the main coffee site keeps burning into the night with an unlimited stream of chilled reggae beats and enough hot drinks to keep the festival moving to the sunrise.

The final day awoke with sunshine falling down across the entire grounds. Where Fandangos had been pumping in the shadows, it was now a bright musical room that became the setting for a variety of dancing workshops. Groups huddled together to follow the rhythms and learn traditional African dancing, salsa and more over the weekend.

Outside Fandangos there was even more to discover on the Sunday as stalls lined the walls. From quirky creations from waste, fitting the heavy ecological focus Tropical Pressure has, to unique foods from the cultures on display – it was a mini-market of many mystical manners.

  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review
  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review
  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review

The order of the day for Sundays at Tropical Pressure is the bright music of the Caribbean. This year saw acts like Samson Sounds who, despite their Scottish origins, find their musical roots from across the ocean. The amazing L’indigo brought the ethnic history and traditions of Reunion Island to the Cornish Isles, dub-fuelled Royal Sounds had the crowd pulsating, and The Bongo Hop were among many of the sounds that had the coast bouncing to top the festival off.

As L’indigo brought the day to a close the sun moved down the sky and dropped into the sea between the cove that sits below the festival. The beautiful sight eclipsed the feeling you get from a festival that is so passionate about creating something amazing.

Tropical Pressure is a festival that cares about the music, the people, and the culture. There’s no more to it and every cell of the weekend breathes the creative inspiration and pure passion that has been put into every element of this truly unique weekend.

Tropical Pressure is something you have to experience yourself to really understand and once you do, you’ll feel the draw back to it every single year.

Keep your eyes on the blog and RouteNote Sessions Facebook page and YouTube channel for more Tropical Pressure 
content coming very soon.