FESTIVAL REVIEW: NOS Alive 2016

From the 7th – 9th July 2016, the music and arts festival NOS Alive in Lisbon, Portugal, celebrated its 10-year anniversary. With the beautiful weather and location, the festival has grown considerably over those 10 years, evolving into an event popular not just within Portugal but across Europe and the world. It now attracts both local and international visitors, as well as widely spread big and upcoming artists from a variety of musical genres. Having been fortunate enough to attend the festival this year, I had the opportunity to see headliners including Radiohead, The Chemical Brothers and Arcade Fire as well as other big names from a range of genres, such as; The 1975, Years and Years, Biffy Clyro, Two Door Cinema Club, Band of Horses, M83, Wolf Alice, Tame Impala, Foals, Pixies and Grimes. The list is endless and it was awesome!

As it was my first festival ever, I was a little anxious at the prospect of going to one abroad instead of remaining within the UK. However, following the three days I can confirm that the festival combined everything that I love about music in an environment that was both safe and organized but also just the greatest fun! From the moment you arrived following the 4pm opening, whether by car, train or bus from the local campsite, there was live music as well as people handing out lanyards and colorful cowboy hats, ready to greet you. Entering the festival area with the sea on one side and beautiful cultural landmarks on the other, it was evident that the light-up sign along the edge that said, “The Dream is Real” could not have been more accurate. From there, the music, starting officially at about 6pm on one of the three main stages (NOS, Heineken and Clubbing), continued non-stop through to the next morning’s sunrise.

With a line up that continues to get better every year, it was hard to pick just a few stand out performances. The Chemicals Brothers however, packed the main NOS stage, with the entire crowd hanging onto every beat of the intense bass, enjoying their endless drop teasing. The incredible light show and addition of two giant robots also helped to create an atmosphere of communal excitement. Two Door Cinema Club, who were very well received on the Heineken stage, also deserve a mention and were a personal favourite, with their ceaseless collection of indie rock hits that got the entire crowd jumping and dancing. It was this feeling of celebration and enjoyment that was evident in each crowd across the course of the festival and what really made the few days. With the range in age of the audiences, from the most adorable 6 year olds all the way up to seasoned festival veterans, the collections of friends and families were open, enthusiastic and respectful. Evident particularly, in the mosh pits of Foals and Biffy Clyro, the voluntary nakedness for the big screens during Tame Impala and the presenting of a bra to Father John Misty! As well as, of course, the non-stop insane dance moves throughout the nights.

The festival was also home to many independent food stands serving a range of items ranging from wraps to burgers, pasta, pizza, and churros. The bars set up around the arena also sold endless Heineken beer along with a mix of many other drinks and I feel the need to mention that the bathrooms were also surprisingly adequate! Overall, I have only positive things to say about my experience at NOS Alive 2016! With a capacity of only about 55,000, the festival combined the joys of being a part of an amazingly excited crowd whilst maintaining a community feel and intimacy with the artists. The line up speaks for itself and I know the festival will only continue to grow from here based on its past success. If you are at all interested in exploring alternatives to just UK festivals, NOS Alive is one of the firsts you should consider!

*For more info visit: http://nosalive.com/en/

Album Review – "Smoke + Mirrors", Imagine Dragons

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The difficult second album. It’s one of the great challenges in the career of any band with aspirations to reach the top of the mountain, particularly if they’ve put out a debut as well received as Imagine Dragons’ ‘Night Visions’ was. With singles as immediate and anthemic as “Radioactive” and “Demons” it could only ever have been a resounding success, but inevitably gave the young band a mountain to climb when it came to crafting a follow-up. Not that it seems to have deterred them – ‘Smoke + Mirrors’ is a supremely confident collection of songs that lives up to and surpasses the best of the Imagine Dragons back catalogue.

 

Far more nuanced and unorthodox than many critics have given it credit for, the album spans myriad genres often within the context of single songs. There are times when this means the record feel’s a tad lost, and the folkier elements of admittedly huge-sounding single “I Bet My Life” and deeper cuts “It Comes Back to You” and “Trouble”. But at its peak this is an enthralling experience; on the one extreme there’s the hip-hop-sass of “Gold” and crunching oriental pulse-charger “Friction”, on the other the lovely ballad “Hopeless Opus” and immaculately produced title track. Producer Alex da Kid indeed deserves plaudits for drawing out the best of the group again and again.

 

Set to top the bill at some of the country’s vastest arenas on their upcoming tour, Imagine Dragons have filled their arsenal with songs of the appropriate enormity with this new album. ‘Smoke + Mirrors’ may very clearly be geared towards accessibility, but has enough of an edge and significant textural shading to avoid vanilla banality. In other words, the band could have become just another Coldplay clone and laughed all the way to the bank. Instead, they’ve cemented their own identity and recorded a damn good album to boot, and it’s hard to not respect them for that.

 

~ Michael Bird

128.7 Hours Most Played Songs

 

It’s been a truly fantastic week at Insanity Radio in the past week – we pulled off our 128.7 Hour Marathon broadcast, which raised a whopping £1640.66 for Teenage Cancer Trust and Mary Frances Trust, marked the end of our transmission on 1287AM and brought together the most amazing team of presenters and producers in a truly fantastic feat of physical exhaustion, hysteria and a hint of Insanity. With all this in mind, I thought it might be interesting for everyone to know what our top played songs were during this marathon broadcast and the play count. Most of these should come as no surprise to anyone who was involved or who listened in, but it’s good to know nonetheless! Take a look here:most played 1287

Songs:

Am I Wrong? – Nico & Vinz

Hideaway – Kiesza

Waves (Robin Schulz Radio Edit) – Mr. Probz

Turn Down For What – DJ Snake & Lil Jon

Don’t Stop – 5 Seconds Of Summer

Don’t Look (Feat. Tanya Lacey) – Matrix & Futurebound

Fear & Delight – The Correspondents

Nobody To Love – Sigma

Extraordinary – Clean Bandit

Sinking Suspicion – We The Ghost

A Sky Full Of Stars – Coldplay

Gecko (Overdrive) – Oliver Heldens & Becky Hill

 

~ Adam

 

The Insanity Playlist, 5/5/14

Good afternoon and welcome back to another hectic term at Insanity radio! Hope everyone’s had a great holiday and is gearing up for exams nicely (or procrastinating hardcore!) With the arrival of the new schedule, it was about time for a new playlist – and to mark the new term it’s out with the old and in with the new! No seriously, we’ve had such a massive clearout of great tunes – gone are the days that you’d find “Rather Be” or “Hey Now” looping on repeat at the top of the A-list. There’s so much new music to showcase here that it’s pretty much impossible to give you my top picks… I’ll just point you in the direction of Indila’s “Dernière Danse”, Asgeir’s amazing cover of “Heart-Shaped Box” and new tracks from Feed The Rhino and ZOAX as my personal favourites… but there really is too much to choose from!
What are you waiting for? Dive in and explore!

A-List:
* Aloe Blacc – The Man
Calvin Harris – Summer
*Clean Bandit – Extraordinary
*Coldplay – A Sky Full of Stars
*DJ Snake and Lil Jon – Turn Down For What
*Ellie Goulding – Beating Heart
*Embrace – Follow You Home
*Foxes – Holding Onto Heaven
*Indila – Dernière Danse
Kiesza – Hideaway
*Lana Del Rey – West Coast
*Linkin Park – Until It’s Gone
*Mr. Probz – Waves
Secondcity – I Wanna Feel
*Shift K3Y – Touch
*Sigma – Nobody To Love
*Tiesto – Wasted

B-List:
*Asgeir – Heart-Shaped Box
*Florrie – Free Falling
*I Heart Sharks – To Be Young
*Jake Evans – This Is Life
Katy B – Still
*Natives – Ghost
*Rae Morris – Do You Even Know?
*Rebecca and Fiona – Holler
*Spring Offensive – Bodylifting
*Such Sights – Seeing is Believing
*The Correspondants – Fear & Delight
*The Used – Cry
*Three Days Grace – Painkiller
*We The Ghost – Sinking Suspicion

C-List:
*Circle Of Reason – Sea of Voices
*DZ Deathrays – Reflective Skull
*Eliza Shaddad – Waters
*Feed The Rhino – Give Up
*George Merk – The End
*Humbug Free Art – Hawaii
*Jimi Raine – Rock’n’Roll Band
*Mungo’s Hi-Fi – Serious Time ft. YT
*Phoria – Emanate
*ZOAX – Jekyll Meets Hyde

* denotes new entry

Most Played Songs on Insanity 17/03/14 – 24/03/14

 

It’s time for another round-up of the most played songs on Insanity Radio – where we reveal what our presenters have been playing most, so you can see exactly which tracks we love! Once again, there’s a great diversity of tracks here, ranging from the hard rock of Royal Blood to the chilled out vibes of London Grammar and Clean Bandit (which should come as no surprise to be included here!) Other noteworthy tracks include “Magic” by Coldplay, “Can’t Say No” by Natives and the official Sports Relief Single “Word Up!” by Little Mix. As for the rest, see for yourself!

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Tracks:

“Odds Are” – Barenaked Ladies

“Can’t Say No” – Natives

“Our Time” – Lily Allen

“Word Up!” – Little Mix

“All Of Me” – John Legend

“Can’t Rely On You” – Paloma Faith

“Little Monster” – Royal Blood

“Rather Be” – Clean Bandit

“Hey Now” – London Grammar

“Diamonds” – The Boxer Rebellion

“Magic” – Coldplay

“Arabella” – The Arctic Monkeys

 

The Insanity Playlist 24/03/14

As many a student slogs through their end of term deadlines, we at Insanity attempt to keep spirits up via music. Cue this week’s playlist! The playlist has once again been given quite a big update, aiming to keep everyone going with the best new tracks around. So, what to look out for? Well, we’re looking at new entries from Calvin Harris, Neon Jungle and the increasingly popular Duke Dumont on the A-list, while we welcome Marmozets, Haim and The Orwells back to our B-list. Last, but certainly not least, our C-list is once again the centre of new talent; personal favourites here at Insanity being tracks from Making Monsters, Davidge and Zella Day. But enough talk: go ahead and listen to the tracks for yourselves!

 

A-List:
5 Seconds Of Summer – She Looks So Perfect
*Calvin Harris – Summer
Clean Bandit – Rather Be
Coldplay – Magic
*Duke Dumont – I Got U (feat. Jax Jones)
Florrie – Seashells
John Legend – All of Me
John Newman – Out Of My Head
Kiesza – Hideaway
Krewella – Enjoy The Ride
Kylie Minogue – Into The Blue
Little Mix – Word Up!
London Grammar – Hey Now
*Madeon – Cut The Kid
*Martin Garrix & Jay Hardway – Wizard
*Neon Jungle – Welcome To The Jungle
Patent Pending – Hey Mario
Pixie Lott – Nasty
Route 94 – My Love (feat. Jess Glynne)
*Secondcity – I Wanna Feel
Skrillex – Recess

B-List:
Babymetal – Gimme Choko!!
Barenaked Ladies – Odds Are
Chromeo – Jealous (I Ain’t With It)
Filter – Surprise
*Haim – If I Could Change Your Mind
Katy B – Still
Lily Allen – Our Time
*Marmozets – Why Do You Hate Me?
Natives – Can’t Say No
R3hab & NERVO & Ummet Ozcan – Revolution (Sunship Mix)
Royal Blood – Little Monster
RUFUS – Take Me
Showtek & Justin Prime – Cannonball (Earthquake) (Kryder Remix)
The Boxer Rebellion – Diamonds
*The Orwells – The Righteous One

C-List:
*Asgeir – Going Home
Autoheart – Beat The Love
Bags Of Rock – Ramming Stone
*Davidge – Gallant Foxes
*Making Monsters – Limits
*Rmours – Cash Machine
*Twin Forks – Cross My Mind
Walking Relic – Every Little Thing
*Zella Day – Sweet Ophelia

* denotes new entry/promotion

Most Played Songs on Insanity – 10/03/14-17/03/14

Want to know which tracks our presenters love playing the most? Look no further: this handy bar chart will explain all!

As always, the songs you’d expect to appear, such as “Rather Be” by Clean bandit and “Arabella” by The Arctic Monkeys show great presence on our airwaves. However, most interesting on this list are the new tracks that are receiving a lot of attention, and the diversity of genres that this list brings. This week, people have mostly been playing rock songs – “Stuck In My Teeth” by Circa Waves and “Coming Of Age” by Foster the People are great examples. Perhaps our presenters are feeling the weight of the oncoming university deadlines? “Late” by Issues seems to sum up many students’ current mindset right now! But enough chatter, see the results for yourselves!

most played songs march 10 - 17

 

Tracks:

Hey Now – London Grammar

Rather Be – Clean Bandit

Air Balloon – Lily Allen

Arabella – The Arctic Monkeys

All Of Me – John Legend

Can’t Rely On You – Paloma Faith

Coming Of Age – Foster The People

She Looks So Perfect – 5 Seconds Of Summer

Stuck In My Teeth – Circa Waves

Heaven Knows – The Pretty Reckless

F For U – Disclosure

Late – Issues

The Insanity Playlist 17/03/14

If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt in the past few weeks at Insanity, it’s that sleep is for the weak! With that in mind, here’s a playlist to brighten your (very early) Monday morning playlist!  SO, what to look out for this week? Kylie’s back with an awesome new track, as are Skrillex, Pixie Lott and also Little Mix, with the official single for Sports Relief. Lily Allen’s new single “Our Time” also makes an entry, and keep your eyes peeled on the C-List for the most inventive use of the bagpipes ever…

A-List:
5 Seconds of Summer – She Looks So Perfect
Arctic Monkeys – Arabella
Avicii – Addicted To You
Clean Bandit – Rather Be
Coldplay – Magic
Florrie – Seashells
Foster The People – Coming Of Age
John Legend – All Of Me
John Newman – Out Of My Head
Kiesza – Hideaway
*Krewella – Enjoy The Ride
*Kylie Minogue – Into The Blue
*Little Mix – Word Up!
*London Grammar – Hey Now
Paloma Faith – Can’t Rely On You
Patent Pending – Hey Mario
*Pixie Lott – Nasty
Route 94 – My Love (feat. Jess Glynne)
*Skrillex – Recess
The Fray – Love Don’t Die

B-List:
Babymetal – Gimme Choko!!
*Barenaked Ladies – Odds Are
*Chromeo – Jealous (I Ain’t With It)
Filter – Surprise
*Katy B – Still
*Lily Allen – Our Time
Madeon – Cut The Kid
Natives – Can’t Say No
R3hab & NERVO & Ummet Ozcan – Revolution (Sunship Mix)
Royal Blood – Little Monster
*RUFUS – Take Me
Showtek & Justin Prime – Cannonball (Earthquake) (Kryder Remix)
*The Boxer Rebellion – Diamonds
The Pretty Reckless – Heaven Knows

C-List:
Autoheart – Beat The Love
*Bags Of Rock – Ramming Stone
Catfish and the Bottlemen – Kathleen
*Fear Of Men – Luna
George Ezra – Cassy O’
Heronshaw – Let Me Down Slow
Javeon – Intoxicated
REABO – Whatever May Come
Walking Relic – Every Little Thing

*denotes new entry/promotion

The Insanity Playlist 11/03/14

It’s late on a Monday night (Tuesday evening?) and what better way to celebrate being up at an ungodly hour than a playlist? We’ve had quite a clear-out this week, as we bid farewell to to the almost annoyingly overplayed “Happy”, the beloved “Timber” and “Settle Down” to name but a few. I’m sorry to see many of them go, but in avoiding being stagnant, it felt like time. But fear not! In their place we have a Myriad of new music (heh) for you to explore, with more on the way in the future.  Acts to keep an eye on here include Patent Pending, Florrie, Royal Blood and the bizarre Babymetal… but I’ll let you explore for yourselves! Oh and in case you were wondering, Earthquake was the first song the station ever played on 103.2 FM – 2 years ago last Friday!

A-List:
5 Seconds Of Summer – She Looks So Perfect
Arctic Monkeys – Arabella
Avicii – Addicted to You
Bombay Bicycle Club – Luna
Clean Bandit – Rather Be
*Coldplay – Magic
Ellie Goulding – Goodness Gracious
*Florrie – Seashells
*Foster the People – Coming Of Age
Gorgon City – Ready For Your Love (feat. MNEK)
John Legend – All of Me
*John Newman – Out Of My Head
*Kiesza – Hideaway
*Labrinth – Earthquake
Le Youth – Dance With Me
Lily Allen – Air Balloon
Paloma Faith – Can’t Rely On You
*Patent Pending – Hey Mario
Route 94 – My Love (feat. Jess Glynne)
Shakira – Can’t Remember To Forget You (feat. Rihanna)
*Showtek & Justin Prime – Cannonball (Earthquake) (Kryder Remix)
The Fray – Love Don’t Die
Tiesto – Red Lights

B-List:
*Amber Run – Spark
*Babymetal – Gimme Choko!!
Circa Waves – Stuck In My Teeth
Dead By April – As A Butterfly
Disclosure – F For U
Filter – Surprise
Issues – Late
London Grammar – Hey Now
*M.O. – For A Minute
Madeon – Cut The Kid
*Natives – Can’t Say No
*R3hab & Nervo & Ummet Ozcan – Revolution (Sunship Remix)
*Royal Blood – Little Monster
The Feeling – Fall Like Rain
*The Neighbourhood – Sweater Weather
The Pretty Reckless – Heaven Knows

C-List:
*Autoheart – Beat The Love
*Catfish and the Bottlemen – Kathleen
*George Ezra – Cassy O’
Heronshaw – Let Me Down Slow
*Javeon – Intoxicated
*REABO – Whatever May Come
The Allergies – Gather Around
The Boxer Rebellion – Diamonds
The Weeknd – Drunk In Love (The Weeknd Remix)
*Tieks – Cake
Walking Relic – Every Little Thing

* denotes new entry or promotion

Most Played Songs 24/02/14 – 03/03/14

Hello and welcome to a new feature at Insanity – we’ve compiled a list of our presenter’s most played songs of the week, so you can see exactly which tracks are our most beloved (some of which will surprise many of us!)

It should come as no surprise that the most played song of the last week is “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, a song which has dominated the airwaves since its release. Arctic Monkeys and Clean Bandit should also be easily expected among this list, but more interesting is the diversity in this list, with acts like The Pretty Reckless and London Grammar also seeing a large amount of airtime. Also a pleasure to see is local band Heronshaw gaining recognition for their excellent single “Let Me Down Slow”. See the full statistics below!Most Played Songs 24.02.14 - 03.03.14

Songs:

Pharrell Williams – Happy

Arctic Monkeys – Arabella

Paloma Faith – Can’t Rely On You

London Grammar – Hey Now

Rather Be – Clean Bandit

Lily Allen – Air Balloon

Bombay Bicycle Club – Luna

American Authors – Best Day Of My Life

The Pretty Reckless – Heaven Knows

Heronshaw – Let Me Down Slow

U2 – Ordinary Love

Ben Harvey – Drunk

 

The Insanity Playlist 03/03/14

This week on Insanity’s playlist, Pharrell Williams continues his never-ending reign of cheerfulness with his single “Happy” stuck firmly on our playlist, along with his track-buddies Pitbull, Clean Bandit and Ellie Goulding to name but a few. Avicii resurfaces with his new track “Addicted To You” and Lily Allen’s “Air Balloon” joins the ranks of A-list songs. In the B-list, more diversity emerges as Dead By April bolster the metal/rock pickings with new single “As A Butterfly”, balanced by Paloma Faith and London Grammar. New talent is also emerging rapidly as our C-List grows, with fantastic new acts such as Ollie Banks and Walking Relic joining the fan-favourite Heronshaw.

Any questions or suggestions for next week feel free to email [email protected]

(*Denotes new or rising entry)

A-List:

5 Seconds of Summer – She Looks So Perfect
*Arabella – Arctic Monkeys
*Avicii – Addicted to You
Bombay Bicycle Club – Luna
Christina Perri – Human
Clean Bandit – Rather Be
Ellie Goulding – Goodness Gracious
Foxes – Let Go For Tonight
Gorgon City – Ready for You Love (feat. MNEK)
Imagine Dragons – Radioactive (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
*John Legend – All of Me
Le Youth – Dance With Me
*Lily Allen – Air Balloon
Lorde – Team
*Matrix and Futurebound – Control (feat. Max Marshall)
MO – Don’t Wanna Dance
Pharrell Williams – Happy
Pitbull – Timber (feat. Ke$ha)
*Route 94 – My Love (feat. Jess Glynne)
Rudimental – Powerless (feat. Becky Hill)
Shakira – Can’t Remember to Forget You (feat. Rihanna)
*Showtek & Justin Prime – Cannonball (Earthquake) (feat. Matthew Koma)
The 1975 – Settle Down
*The Fray – Love Don’t Die
Tiesto – Red Lights

B-List:

Bring Me The Horizon – Go To Hell, For Heaven’s Sake
Camo & Krooked – All Night
Circa Waves – Stuck In My Teeth
*Dead By April – As A Butterfly
Disclosure – F For U
*Filter – Surprise
Foster the People – Coming Of Age
Issues – Late
Katy B – Crying for No Reason
Kiesza – Hideaway
London Grammar – Hey Now
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – White Walls
*Madeon – Cut The Kid
*Paloma Faith – Can’t Rely On You
The Feeling – Fall Like Rain
The Pretty Reckless – Heaven Knows

C-List:

Ben Harvey – Drunk
Grouplove – Ways To Go
Heronshaw – Let Me Down Slow
Karma Kid – Like I’m On Fire
*Ollie Banks – Back To You
The Allergies – Gather Around
*The Boxer Rebellion – Diamonds
The Neighbourhood – Sweater Weather
*The Weeknd – Drunk in Love (The Weeknd Remix)
*Walking Relic – Every Little Thing