Sunday, 30 October 2016

The 1975 | Unforgettable Performance at Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton by AB Marshall (Solace)

By Austen Blake Marshall (Solace)
Photo Credit: Austen Blake Marshall
Photo Edit: CA Marshall
CONDITIONS OF USE: Photos remain ©Starlight Music Chronicles 2016 Strictly no re-use, cropping, editing or publishing without prior written consent. Sharing 'as is' is always welcome:)

English based, Pop/Punk/Rock band ‘The 1975’ brought more than just "Chocolate" to "The City" this time around at Edmonton, Alberta, Canada’s Shaw Conference Centre on Monday, October 24th, 2016. Followed by an eerie ambiance at the start the show, highlighted by vapour clouds and pink lighting (suggestive to the band's latest album, "I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It"), the band emerged onto the stage to an eager crowd in front of them, ranging anywhere from preteens to senior admirers of their art.

The band first lit up the stage with one of their latest hit singles, "Love Me", delivering an unforgettable performance bringing more fire to a venue that has 'seen it all' in previous years. Speaking of which, The 1975's own Matt Healy, has seen quite a bit himself: having been in and out of numerous bands before finally settling with The 1975, (previously named, "Drive Like I Do", "Bigsleep", "The Slowdown" and other various unique names), he's experimented as a solo artist in the past and had quite significant success on his own. He brings passion for music into his stage performance through both the emotion expressed physically and vocally during live shows and this was very apparent during this show.

Though, Healy isn't the whole show. Drummer- George Daniel, Bassist - Ross MacDonald & Lead Guitarist - Adam Hann formed The 1975 together with Healy in 2004, covering punk-rock and pop songs during their high school tenure before eventually moving on to create their own material; further rising to the level of success they're at today.

The band has performed in prestigious festivals such as Lollapalooza, Coachella & England's own, Leeds Festival. Spreading their name worldwide for hipsters to enjoy.
Their performance at Shaw Conference Centre was their second time in the capital city, as they've also brought their talents to Jasper Avenue's, 'The Starlite Room' three years prior after their breakout debut album, "The 1975". For the Shaw Conference show, fans waited in line for upwards of eight hours to see their beloved British heartthrobs take to the stage. It was the first-time experience for most (The Starlite Room is an 18+ venue), and the band came through delivering an unforgettable musical experience for their fans to remember years to come. Within their target demographic, The 1975 bring more than enough to the table and keeps their pop-punk followers intrigued at all times.

The 1975 continue their world tour for the final leg before heading back to England for a much-deserved break. Until then, Edmonton fans will await the next album and show by this iconic band who know how to make 'their sound' (and mark), just right! 

Friday, 14 October 2016

Mint: Looks to Break the Mold and Rise Above - Oxjam Leeds Takeover Festival October 22, 2016

By Rebecca Singer

Let it be said, Mint is a band that knows how to have a good time. From what I can tell, a concert with the Grimsby, England band is more like a giant party -- the more out of control, the better.

Featuring Zak Rashid on vocals and guitars; Adam Shaw on guitar; Andy Maidens on bass; and Sam Chapman on drums, the music of Mint is loud (with quiet sections too, it should be noted), rambunctious and entertaining.  It's perfect candy floss for the ears. Their new EP, "Happiness is Heroin," is filled with four quality songs.

"Elise" is a lively, brilliant tune, with a great sing-song chorus and melody -- it's hard not to get sucked in to this delight. "Living And Dying For" starts off with manic notes, then settles down before taking a manic tone again. "Wolves" is a high-strung cracker that dances around the room in wicked spastic grooves. "Wonderland" is an autobiographical tune about their hometown -- more on that in a bit.

After finding out the lads would be playing at the Oxjam Leeds Takeover Festival on Oct. 22, I couldn't wait to have a chat with them about the band and the show. Zak Rashid was able to chat recently with me.


RS - Great, so tell me about this band you are in ... When did Mint start?
ZR - Mint started around a year ago? Maybe a year and a half? Three of us met at college and we met our guitarist at a party and just went ahead and did it!

RS - Did you just instantly click with each other?
ZR - Kind of … We are all dead similar people really, but at first, we all come across dead different!

RS - Explain ... Do you have similar taste in music? In fashion? Etc.?
ZR - We all are dead similar people, but we all like different stuff. We don't particularly dress similar or listen to the same stuff, we are all just mates.

RS - A variety of tastes brings a lot of diversity to a band, for sure ... What kind of musical influences do you have?
ZR - Personally, I love so much music, like one minute I'll be listening to Simple Minds, and then I'll have Bieber on. I just don't discriminate where a song comes from -- if it's a good song, it's a good song. I guess that's probably cause I'm the song writer. But my biggest influences are always old, they're what started me off!

RS - Oh, I'd never be one to judge ... So who did you first listen to? The Beatles? The Rolling Stones? T Rex?
ZR - Surprisingly, I only got into that gear at about 12 or 13. I started off with AC/CD and Queen. Just for their frontmen! They did it for me. But, as I grew up, I never started to dislike anything I previously liked, I just listened to more and more.

RS - Haha, wow ... There is a big difference between Brian Johnson and Bon Scott and Freddie Mercury ... What struck you about these frontmen -- what did you learn from them?
ZR - Freddie just didn't give a fuck. He proper owned every stage he got on, I loved that. And Bon Scott and Brian Johnson just had them voices that could just make a bloke go gay!

RS - Hahaha! That's awesome ...So you've just put out your debut EP, Happiness is Heroin ... It is a brilliant cracker of a debut too -- how long did it take to record?
ZR - Time spent in the studio was about two weeks, but we did it over the course of the year so we could gradually build a fan base.

RS - How did the song writing go? Is it as a group, or does someone take the lead?
ZR - I write the chords, lyrics, melody and structure, then the guys rip it to bits and we all rebuild it. But generally, it's a group thing.

RS - Do you get to play live a lot?
ZR - Yeah, we try our hardest to either be on tour, or in a studio or rehearsal room all the time!

RS - How is the music scene in Leeds? It looks to be a very happening place, based on the number of quality bands I keep discovering ...
ZR - We love Leeds loads. There's loads happening there and we tend to have a decent following in Leeds which is a bonus! Great venues, good food, it's all we like!

RS - I am excited that you are to play the Oxjam Leeds Takeover on Oct. 22 -- and I will be there to see it! What can I expect to see and hear?
ZR - A guess -- just us? Us being us? I don’t know, I think we have a few new tunes in the pipeline for next year and I reckon we may play ‘em just for you!

RS - Oh, that would be wonderful! I would love to be among the first to hear future hits. Have you played many festivals this summer?
ZR - Yeah, we did a few actually! Our favorite so far, we think, was either Tramlines or Party in The Pines. Both we spent thoroughly drunk with our friends’ bands all just being brotherly!

RS - Sounds like a great time was had by all. I've got to ask about “Wonderland” ... It was written about Grimsby? What prompted it?
ZR - The thing is, no band from Grimsby has REALLY done it, a few did okay, but there isn't a "Grimsby Band" to make Radio 1 consistently. We get told what it used to be like all the time, we get told how great it used to be and how it's a shithole now, but you can't ever leave because it's too hard, to give up. So “Wonderland” is just about that -- how no Grimsby band will ever make it if they don't leave and travel and graft. So I want Mint to do just that. We should be allowed to dream and do cool shit!

RS - Well, I think you lads are well on your way to shattering that myth and doing just what you want. What is next for you?
ZR - Touring all November with a few different bands we are into, and just before that, we are releasing a music video for our new track "Elise" from the EP.

RS - "Elise" is a wonderful tune. Actually, I can't find a fault with any of the four! I liked the "fly on the wall" style of your video for “Living and Dying For” ... what will “Elise” be like?
ZR - It's going to be a live kind of feel to it! That's all I can say.

RS - Oooh, sounds good! So to wrap up, I asked a big fan of yours (Faith) if there was anything I should be sure to ask .... So ... Tell me why you are such a cool dude? Enquiring minds want to know ...
ZR - Hahahahahaha, been working on my perfect personality for years now, Rebecca, so it's nice that it's finally getting the recognition it deserves! I'm obviously joking. Hahahahaha … I don’t know, I'm just dead simple. I like food and wine and sleep. Keeps the mind clean.

RS - But you really do seem like a lovely bloke, very friendly and easy to get on with ...
ZR - Yeah, I'm not dead hard to get along with I guess. I hate talking about myself.

Mint Social Media Links (Click to view):

Star Studded Guest Appearances at Jasper Canada 'Dark Sky Festival' | October 14th - 23rd 2016

George Takei - photo courtesy Tourism Jasper
By CA Marshall

It comes as no surprise that have recently opened up our website ( to many facets of the entertainment industry and felt that a 'travel' component was missing. Over the course of a couple years, we have networked with many world-known and seasoned individuals on social media (such as Mr. Scott Eddy - who we feel are the connection between the SMC platform and the destinations that our readers and followers love. We are excited to open this door in order to connect with many celebrity travel bloggers in effort to build the bridge between entertainment and amazing destinations/venues, etc.

We begin our Starlight Travel component by diving right into The Dark SkyFestival in Jasper, Alberta, Canada that kicks off today, October 14th and runs all the way until October 23rd 2016. (see the website to find out more about the festival here: This annual event has been attracting people globally for three years and this time around, there's a star studded line-up which includes: Bill Nye (The Science Guy), George Takei (celebrating Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary), Jeremy Hansen (Astronaut), Alan Nursall (Canadian Scientist), Nadia Drake (Science Journalist), Bobak Ferdowsi & Ross Lockwood (NASA). With a star studded cast of guest speakers, this is an event Tourism Jasper can proudly boast about!
We recently interviewed Lauren Graham, Specialist/Media/Public Relations for Tourism Jasper for this event and here’s what she had to say:

Bill Nye (The Science Guy) - photo courtesy Tourism Jasper

Dark Sky Festival
Lauren Graham | Specialist, Media & Public Relations | Tourism Jasper

SMC - Lauren, can you tell us what your role is for this event?
LG - I work for Tourism Jasper, the destination marketing organization that has helped organize and facilitate the Dark Sky Festival since its inception.

 SMC - There are a lot of big names attending as speakers for this event (October 14-23, 2016)! How were you able to acquire their presence for this magnificent event?
LG - We work directly with a speaker’s agent or through partnerships to help bring our line-up to Jasper for the festival.

SMC - Which guest speaker are you most excited to see?
LG - It’s impossible to pick one! With Bill Nye, astronaut Jeremy Hansen, George Takei, Canadian scientist Alan Nursall, science journalist Nadia Drake, NASA’s Bobak Ferdowsi and Ross Lockwood each event is going to be amazing, yet different.

Jeremy Hansen - photo courtesy Tourism Jasper

Alan Nursall - photo courtesy Tourism Jasper
SMC - What can one expect from their stay during this festival as far as accommodations and bookings? I would say it's safe to assume Jasper would receive and influx of visitors for this occasion! Is it too late for people to book now?
LG - Definitely not too late to book! There are still accommodations and tickets available for both Dark Sky Festival weekends. has a list of accommodations and activities in the area to assist with this planning process.

SMC - What is the long-term vision for this annual event say, 5 and 10 years from now?
LG - We want to continue to inspire explorers of all ages to power down and look up. It is our intention and mandate that the Jasper Dark Sky Festival continue to grow for many years to come, attract visitors to experience a true dark sky, learn about the universe, and visit Jasper at a time of year they perhaps hadn’t considered before.

SMC - Who are your sponsors for this event?
LG - We’ve been extremely lucky with businesses being interested in participating in the Dark Sky Festival this year. Rocky Mountaineer has joined us as Official Festival Partner and Subaru became our first even Exclusive Automotive Sponsor. CN came on board as Official Tent Sponsor, and CTV joined us as Exclusive Media Sponsor. The Official Festival Sponsors are: Sundog Transportation and Tours Ltd. and Servus Credit Union. But there are many businesses who have helped create the Jasper Dark Sky Festival Presented by Rocky Mountaineer. For a full list of sponsors, please check out

SMC - I have personally been a frequent visitor to Jasper since I was a teen and there's no doubt that our National Park is one of the most beautiful places on earth! What makes it so different/special to be there at this time of year as opposed to the summer and winter months?
LG - As a dark sky preserve, Jasper National Park offers a special experience to those visiting in the fall. With night falling a bit earlier each night, visitors are invited to power down and look up at the sky to experience the awesome power of the universe in a way that is only possible in one of the world’s largest dark sky preserves. With hiking and some summer activities still available (like hiking, camping, etc.), fall in Jasper offers both an opportunity to venture beyond and explore as well as to sit back, cuddle up with a warm blanket and hot drink and revel in the natural beauty of the night sky.

Bobak Ferdowsi - photo courtesy Tourism Jasper
 SMC - We are happy to post your advertising on our website over the course of this event on our event calendar as well as help promote it further in this feature on 'The Chronicles', our latest 'news' blog that is the origin of Starlight Music Chronicles. How do you feel about the media reception to this event such as we are offering?
LG - The media reception for the Dark Sky Festival has been increasing every year as the festival continues to grow. This year, we’ve seen media interest from across Canada, into the US and even overseas into the UK. The Dark Sky Festival is spreading out and reaching new audiences each year, and we couldn’t be happier. Tourism Jasper is so grateful to everyone who has helped and continues to help us share the Jasper Dark Sky Festival Presented by Rocky Mountaineer.

SMC - Lauren, can you tell us about the kinds of other community events that will be hosted during the festival aside from the guest speakers?
LG - It’s definitely a jam packed weekend with something to do at any time of day. There are numerous stargazing events to consider with the Jasper SkyTram, Sundog Tours, and the Jasper Planetarium, brew tours at the local brewery – Jasper Brewing Co., photography workshops, fireside yoga, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, the Big Bang Expo where there will be hands on scientific demonstrations and experiments to explore.
For a full list of events, please visit

Nadia Drake - photo courtesy Tourism Jasper

SMC - We would definitely be interested in running a segment on our website for next years’ festival in 2017! Where can media partners register for this and what are the kinds of credentials that they require?
LG - Media can submit themselves for consideration for next year’s Dark Sky Festival HERE. Because of the increasing popularity of the festival, we’ve already begun receiving requests for 2017. We’ve realized that it’s most effective to organize full media weekends with a coordinated itinerary to ensure that our visiting media experience everything that the festival has to offer.
We encourage any media interested in the festival to submit a request for consideration, our recommendation is to submit all information possible. Give us specifics about your interest in the festival, your media platforms and your following on each. The more information we receive for your request, the more we have to consider.

SMC - Lauren, I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Last question: how do you feel having this event featured on the same website where many entertainment industry high caliber profiles globally have also been featured? This will be our first ever travel feature too! What are your thoughts on that also?

LG - Thank you for the opportunity to share the Jasper Dark Sky Festival Presented by Rocky Mountaineer. We’re thrilled to be included on your website among various high caliber entertainment profiles and we are honoured to lead the travel feature.