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Sound Like Joy: Back to the Island 2023

I Got to Go Back to the Island I was last on the island in 2020 - it was my sixth stint as an ‘islander’ and my fifth time in Jamaica. You can see where this is going: a few weeks after we got home, the Covid pandemic hit and travelling became a distant dream.  Before Covid was even a thing, though, I was all set for skipping 2021: as I wrote in this blog post , BTTI 2020 had left me a little cold. I found the resort run down, the activities uninspiring and the concerts phoned-in. Little did I know that in less than a month, the whole world was going to shut down for a long, long time. Even when things began to reopen and BTTI 2022 was announced, I still found travel too daunting, and seeing pictures of people wearing masks at the resort stopped any possible FOMO in its tracks. I let the presale for 2023 come and go and focused instead on planning for Hanson’s extensive UK tour that summer. It was there, whilst doing what Hanson fans do best, i.e. sitting outside a venue, that I found
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Against The World or: The Post That I Nearly Finished back in 2021

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A Post I Almost Didn't Post: BTTI 2020

I wonder how much these flip flops have actually cost me, I thought as I looked through my merch pack from the Island Gigs desk on a hot January morning. It was hard to believe that 2020 was my sixth stint on the island and my fifth visit to Jamaica. The last couple of months had been rough to say the least, and I was looking forward to seeing some good friends, splash around in the ocean and drink cocktails by the pool, not to mention the main attraction: four days of Hanson shows. With no setlist voting this year, I was optimistic, trusting that the band would surprise us with something different. Check out those very expensive flip-flops THE MAIN SHOWS Friday - Welcome Show Setlist In keeping with the last couple of years, the event kicked off to the calypso rhythm of “Back to the Island” - the song that lends its name to the event. I was happy to hear “Already Home” - it’s one of my favourite Hanson songs and one that sadly seems to have been dropped fro

Is this In Real Life? A review of Hanson's 2019 Fan Club EP

I was in my hotel room in Tulsa when I first listened to the EP. I’d ferried my trusted seven year old MacBook Air all across the Atlantic, complete with an equally old and battered external CD drive, with the sole purpose of ripping that CD the moment it was in my hands and listening to it in religious contemplation. Compromise The first song in the EP, "Compromise" starts with a piano and guitar intro, and instantly puts me in a state of acoustic bliss that reaches its nirvana as Isaac’s voice comes on some twenty seconds later. Before you can scream ‘Isaac lead’,  Zac takes over vocals on the second verse,  with the final part going to Taylor. After my initial split second of disappointment, it made complete sense: it’s a song about compromise, shared among the three brothers and layered with their trademark harmonies in between each verse. What is that if not a perfect example of musical compromise? Thematically, my first thought was that the lyr