Prime Circle Kirstenbosch Concert Review 10.01.2016

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I arrived to  a sold-out 6000 capacity crowd. It was heart-warming to see the support local music has gained. I have always wanted to watch Prime Circle at Kirstenbosch as I view it as their “home ground” of sorts.

Jono Grayson welcomed the crowd and played two songs. The crowd seemed enticed by Jono’s unassuming, humble nature. He has a charming voice and great potential if he continues to gain exposure and experience.

The Wintyr was up next and their music has an interesting ethereal vibe to it. It is a unique sound, especially for a South African band. I was really excited by the percussionist, the way he played took my breath away. You can view the band’s latest music video for their song “The Water” below.

It was time for Prime Circle to come on stage!

Prime Circle played their inspiring single “Doors”. They changed up their song “Out of this Place” accompanied by “Wild Lettuce” playing the australian didgeridoo, a really interesting take on a classic Prime Circle song.

View the performance here:

One of my favourite songs from the band’s “Let The Night In” album is “I Am”, a really upbeat and aggressive chorus interlaced by groovy verses. Their song “My City” was dedicated to Cape Town and I became really emotional seeing the massive crowd in front of me with bubbles floating through the air framed by the mountains in the background. The radio-friendly “Gone” and the romantic “Satellites” featured on the set list. “Blame It On Me” was performed by the band accompanied by an amazingly talented young lady, Jasmine Minter, who turned 16 years old on the day.

Watch a snippet of the performance here:

Her father Gavin Minter joined the band on percussion during a few songs. Dave Ferguson featured during a few songs and played the harmonica to perfection.

The band treated the crowd to a rare live performance of “My Inspiration” one of their albums off their debut album released in 2002. In my opinion this song shows off the strength in Ross’s voice.

View a few minutes of the performance:

Probably one of the most popular Prime Circle songs is the fiery “She Always Gets What She Wants” and it ALWAYS triggers a sing-along from the crowd. The band is gearing up for their first international release, which is well-deserved and a long-time coming. “She Always Gets What She Wants” will be the first single from the internationally released album and I hope it goes above and beyond what the song has achieved in South Africa.

“Consider Me” is a social and environmentally conscious song reminding us to be less selfish. “Time Kills Us All”, another crowd favourite and a truly ethereal experience. At the end of the set the crowd sang along to a lyric sheet and the band recorded the crowd singing.

The band accompanied by guest artists provided an exceptional evening of entertainment. Ross was in a lively mood and Dale was in beast mode on the drums, a treat to watch!

Follow Wild Lettuce on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WildLettuceZA

Follow Jono Grayson on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JONOGRAYSON12

Follow Natasha Meister on Twitter: https://twitter.com/natashameister

Follow The Wintyr on Twitter: https://twitter.com/thewintyr

Follow Prime Circle on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Prime_Circle

Huge shout-out to Bizcommunity Lifestyle for the tickets!

Follow Bizcommunity Lounge on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Biz_Lounge

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

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One Republic Cape Town Concert Review 21/06/2015

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In November of 2014 I purchased Golden Circle tickets for One Republic’s concert on the 21.06.2015. There was no real build-up to the concert, because I had purchased the tickets so long ago. I normally do some research before a show, so I didn’t know what to expect which can sometimes be a good thing.

Gangs of Ballet was the support act for One Republic’s South African tour. The band started their set at 08:00 and performed their live staples such as “Hello Sweet World”, “Don’t Let Me Go” and “House and Money”. Gangs of Ballet hail from Durban and the band consists of Brad Klynsmith (Vocals/Electric Guitar), Jono Rich (Keyboard) and Josh Klynsmith (drums). All three musicians have studied Music at University level. Their sound is difficult to attribute to one genre, but they experiment with an eclectic mix of alternative, melodic, anthemic, electronic and dance music. Their musical influences include; Coldplay, Radiohead, Muse, The Killers, Civil Twilight and Isochronous. The band delivered a passionate performance, but I struggled to hear some of the vocals which might be due to where I was standing in front of the speakers which was very LOUD at times much to my delight! I was pleased that the support act was a well-known and experienced band, because it demonstrates the talent that South Africa can produce.

At 09:00 it was One Republic who finally took to the stage or so we thought?? We were treated to the band’s shadows behind a white sheet which really amped up the anticipation. They opened with “Don’t Look Down” and went straight into “Light It Up” which was fitting.

As soon as the sheet came down the crowd went crazy and wholeheartedly sang along with “Secrets”.

The band went off stage for a few minutes when the on-screen choir started singing the intro to “All The Right Moves”. It was really remarkable the amount of variables evident on each song that One Republic produces and you only realise that once you see them play live. You tend to take it for granted when you are listening to their albums. Each band member is capable of playing four instruments or more depending on the demands of each song, additionally they use their hands as instruments as well. They slowed it down with the song “What You Wanted” and played a crowd favourite followed called “Stop and Stare”. The popular song “Something I Need” didn’t disappoint at all.

The band moved their set to the middle of the runway with a cool acoustic setting. Ryan introduced “Apologize” on the piano to a very receptive crowd. A real treat was when Ryan did a cover of George Ezra’s “Budapest” with a twist. The band went on to play “Preacher” a really emotional song which will ring true to a lot of people, I was surprised how much I liked this song when I first heard it while listening to “Native”. Next up was “Good Life” accompanied by imagery of the band and all their adventures during their world tour including the places that they visited. Among the shots were images of Cape Town which was a proud moment for all of us.

The band went off stage except Zach Filkins who stayed behind,  to treat us in playing witness to his extraordinary guitar skills with a Spanish guitar medley. It was jaw-dropping! The band re-entered to play “Counting Stars”, one of my favourite songs. They continued with “Can’t Stop”,  “Au Revoir”, “Feel Again” and the current hit “I Lived” a very emotional song layered with a catchy melody.

The encore started with the anthemic “Love Runs Out” during which Ryan came over to our side of the stage, looked me right in the eyes and took my hand, (*faints*) I don’t remember much after that 😀 .

[I have a ring on with red cross with blue background and he grabs my hand first, view below:]

Ryan took us by surprise when he did a rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful Life”. The last song was Alesso’s remix of “I Lose Myself” during which the crowd was showered with confetti. I’m so glad that they decided to play the remixed version, because it took the energy of the crowd to another level. View the video of the performance here:

Ryan is a very energetic frontman affecting everyone around him and I was in awe of his exceptional vocal delivery which was on point the entire time!

I really appreciate the production that went into setting up the venue and the ambience of the show. I can understand why I paid the asking price, which is really important for the band(s) and production team to take into account. As a concert goer you NEVER want to feel ripped off. I had a fabulous time and I would love for the band return to South Africa ASAP.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Follow One Republic on Twitter: https://twitter.com/OneRepublic

Follow Gangs of Ballet on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GangsOfBallet

PS: Thank you to my fiance for all the photos and videos he took, so that I could just enjoy the show.

OneRepublic Setlist Grand Arena, GrandWest Casino, Cape Town, South Africa 2015, Native World Tour

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Me patiently waiting for the show to start!

Me patiently waiting for the show to start!

Thirty Seconds To Mars Cape Town Concert Review – 23/11/2014

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I purchased tickets for the concert on the 13th of December 2013. I was super excited about it, because I missed their last concert in Cape Town in 2010 and I was REALLY looking forward to it.

Fast forward to May 2014, when the band announced that they would have to postpone their tour due to medical reasons concerning one of the band members. I was devastated as I had put in leave especially for the concert and I had looked forward to it for so long. I had to wait until the 23rd of November 2014 to see them perform.

On the 21st of November 2014, 30 Seconds to Mars had a scheduled concert in Johannesburg. I found out over social media that Shannon Leto was not present, due to him taking ill. I was really disappointed, because I wanted to witness the chemistry between the band members on stage. The band consists of three members and it made the set-up lopsided if one band member was absent.

On Sunday the 23rd of November 2014 I started preparing for the concert, in a despondent mood. I was sad that Shannon wasn’t going to be there and I was feeling a little ill myself.

My sister and I arrived at the venue and we got a relatively good spot in the golden circle. I sat down waiting for Beatenberg to start their set. Beatenberg consists of Matthew Field (vocalist, guitar), Ross Dorkin (bass guitar) and Robin Brink (drums). The band started at 7:30 sharp, which was pleasant. They opened the set with their hit “Chelsea Blakemore” and continued to play some more songs from their debut album which included “Beauty Like A Tightened Bow”, “Rafael”, “Southern Suburbs” and “Cavendish Square”, closing their set with “Pluto”.

Beatenberg ended their set at 08:00 and then the wait began for the band we have all been waiting for. The lights went down, and the pulse-inducing opening sequence started. It took a few minutes before Tomo appeared and another minute or so before the enigmatic Jared Leto appeared with a crown adorning his captivating locks. My ears started buzzing from all the loud screams that filled the arena. I could barely breathe when Jared Leto appeared. For four years he only existed on my laptop screen, on a television screen or on the silver screen. If there is one thing that Jared Leto knows how to do is market himself. He had the audience in the palm of his hand for the entire show.

Anyone who has been to a concert and bought Golden Circle tickets knows that you have to take ownership of your spot on the floor or the other concert-goers might just take the chance to nab your spot which is located closer to the stage. During Jared Leto’s acoustic set he asked the audience to move closer to where he was standing at the walkway in front of the stage. At first everyone was indecisive, but when he insisted the audience obeyed. We moved closer to him and found ourselves in a better place than before.

It was fascinating the amount of interaction that Jared maintained with the audience throughout the show. The band released colourful balloons which reflects the artwork on their latest album cover and they floated around during the majority of the show, additionally streamers were blown into the air to the crowd’s delight.

The band’s opening song was “Up In The Air” and at first Jared’s voice sounded a bit sharp, but it warmed and softened more with the songs which followed. The crowd chanted along with “This Is War” and I loved their performance of “Conquistador” one of my favourite songs. Jared came up close and personal to the crowd during “Kings and Queens”, by the looks of where I was standing he seemed a bit nervous when the audience started tugging and pulling at him. The crowd bounced and danced through “Do or Die”. Jared gave a beautiful and touching performance of “City of Angels”. Things started heating up when he started to sing “End of all Days”. He pulled and tugged at his clothing suggestively to the delight of the female audience. Besides that distraction he delivered the vocals for the song perfectly.

The frontman then started his acoustic set singing a song which his grandfather used to sing to him called “Save Me”. The audience performed the intro for “Alibi” and Jared sang his heart out. The crowd were delighted when he went into a performance of “The Kill (Bury Me)”. During his acoustic set, the hormones of some ladies’ was at its peak. An indication of this, is the amount of suggestive and daring signs members of the crowd were holding up.

The mood turned romantic when the intro to “Bright Lights” started and everyone got their cellphones and lighters up.

After the song ended Jared started calling audience members up onto the stage, which obviously resulted in a lot of excitement. It was a great end to an amazing night and it went by so quickly.

After the show Jared and Tomo were signing Mars’ shirts and if you paid a fee, they would sign it for you. The queue for their signatures was insane! There were about 600 people if not more who got their merchandise signed. The wait wasn’t long though (no photos allowed) and concert-goers passed the time by chatting about the concert and thinking about what they were going to say to Jared when they got to the front. Most people fantasies’ were never realised as everyone went quiet when they saw him. 😀 I was one of those people, I was wracking my brain trying to think about what I was going to say. When I finally got to the front all I could manage was “Thank you, Tomo” and “Thank you, Jared”. Jared was busy signing when I spoke and he made a point to look up at me with those icy blue eyes and said “Thank you very, very much”. He hardly spoke to me, but the look on his face was one of endless gratitude for his fans and his lifestyle/career. My sister was waiting outside for me and was in a place where she could see Jared, she noticed that he made an effort to look up at each and every person when the alternative was to sign as fast as he could without looking up and finish up earlier.

I stand corrected, but from what I could tell and a few audience members would agree with me, but Thirty Seconds To Mars is the only international band to visit Cape Town thus far to take time out of their schedule to do a signing session.

I was sad that Shannon wasn’t there, but at the end of the night Jared and Tomo as well as the rest of the crew made up for it. It was one of the happiest moments of my life and I enjoyed every second of their concert. When they return I will fight tooth and nail to get a ticket if it comes to that.

Thank you to Thirty Seconds To Mars for making such an effort to come and perform for us as often as you can.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

 

Thirty Seconds to Mars Setlist GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World, Cape Town, South Africa 2014, Love Lust Faith + Dreams

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Beatenberg This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

Beatenberg
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Me being stupidly happy. This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

Me being stupidly happy.
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The Fray Concert Review @ Grand Arena in Cape Town

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I had purchased tickets for The Fray in March 2014, so I couldn’t believe how time had flown when the 20th of September 2014 rolled around. It was the first time that I had purchased seated tickets for a show at the Grand Arena and the view wasn’t bad at all. The Golden Circle and general standing sections filled up quite quickly the closer it got to 20h00.

Jeremy Loops kicked off the show in his unique way, a true one man band and excellent multi-tasker I might add. He played all of his singles, which was a real treat. He played “Mission To The Sun (Howling)”, “Down South”, “Power”, “I Wrote This Song For You” and “Skinny Blues”. It was a great performance and he even pulled out a kids toy to create the unique sound effects in one of his songs.

Here is a great video for you to watch if you are not familiar with Jeremy Loops’ music.

We had to wait about 45 – 50 minutes for the band to start, but at least the wait was worth it in the end. The Fray started with a bang, playing “Closer To Me” and “Heartbeat” followed shortly after.  Isaac Slade explained where he wrote the song Heartbeat and it was right here in Cape Town atop Table Mountain! The band was really complementary about South Africa, which the locals really appreciated. Isaac was so enthusiastic that he got down from the stage ran through the Golden Circle crowd right to the passage between Golden Circle and General Standing and made his way back to the stage. It seemed like it was a spontaneous decision which made it all the more exciting. I was really jealous of all the people in that section who got to get up close and personal with Isaac. Here is a great video of the concert posted by Ian Landsberg on YouTube.

The band consists of Isaac Slade (lead vocals, piano), Joe King (Rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Dave Welsh(lead guitar) and Ben Wysocki(drums). Dave Welsh really impressed on the guitar and I was in awe watching him. I never knew that Joe had such a beautiful voice and his performance on “Ungodly Hour” really impressed the audience. Ben looked so at ease and relaxed as if he was playing to an audience of 50 people. It looks like Joe King had a blast in South Africa, just by the looks of his Instagram account! (http://instagram.com/p/tL5a_Hs1SO/)

The anticipation in the air was palpable as the audience was waiting for the band to start playing “How To Save A Life”, the audience erupted when they heard the first few unmistakable notes.

Here is the set list of the concert:

The Fray Setlist GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World, Cape Town, South Africa 2014, Helios Tour

It was a really enjoyable and special night and I never imagined The Fray will come and play for us in South Africa, but I’m really glad that they did!
You can follow the band on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheFray
Thank you!
Rock Regards,
Lauren K

Prime Circle Concert Review @ GrandWest, Cape Town

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The band signing autographs at the merch stand.

The band signing autographs at the merch stand.

The stage, Grand West Arena.

The stage, Grand West Arena.

The stage at Grand West Arena.

The stage at Grand West Arena.

 

I haven’t been to a concert since I saw Nickelback last year in December and I was getting some serious concert withdrawal ;). I was so happy when the time came to go watch Prime Circle for the first time. I’m really sad that I haven’t had the opportunity to see them sooner, but I decided to let bygones be bygones. Prime Circle has become a South African staple over these past few years and they produce quality content time and again.

I had listened to snippets of their latest album on iTunes and watched a few videos to psyche me up for the show. I normally like to know every single song that will be played at a concert, but everything happens for a reason, so I bought the album before the show. I entered the arena and was surprised to see that the Golden Circle featured seats, this gave me the impression that it will be a more chilled/acoustic type of show.

Jesse Clegg performed as the support act and displayed some impressive guitar skills and entertained us with some acoustic songs. It was a pleasant surprise and really refreshing when Prime Circle opened their set straight after the support act. At previous concerts that I have attended the crowd had to wait 30-40 minutes for the main act to start playing.

The introduction was amazing, the band opened up with some amazing graphics displayed on an enormous screen. The stage design was really impressive and on par with international acts. The band kicked off with the title track off their latest album “Let The Night In”. From the get-go my belief that this will be a chilled show was shattered, which I was delighted to discover.

I speak under correction, but I believe the band treated us to each track on their latest album “Let The Night In”. The band combined that with some good old crowd-favourites like “Hello”, “As Long As I’m Here”, “Out of this Place”, “Breathing” etc.

I’m listening to their latest album as I write this and I feel like these earphones are definitely not doing it for me right now, compared to how deafeningly loud the band was on Saturday. My ears were still ringing on Sunday!! I was dancing and singing in my seat the entire night, it took all my strength not to get up and go crazy.

After a lengthy set, the band said their goodbyes and left the stage. The crowd inevitably wanted more and Ross Learmonth (vocalist) took to the stage alone to deliver an amazing rendition of their song “Batten Down The Hatches”, it was delivered with such sincerity that the crowd was captivated. The full band re-entered and things got REALLY loud from there on out. The band performed “She Always Gets What She Wants”, which Ross didn’t even really have to sing, because the crowd was doing it for him. They played “Consider Me”, Never Gonna Bring Us Down” and “I Am”.

My favourite songs off the album are “Let The Night In”, “I Am” and “Yeah”. I was amazed by the texture of Ross’s voice and I don’t know how he manages to sustain it. It really is something to behold. Dale Schnettler was really energetic behind his drum set, so much so that he put it out of commission for a few minutes. 😀 The rest of the band, really put in a solid performance and you could clearly see that they were enjoying every minute of it. My only regret was not being in the Golden Circle, but maybe next time. 😉

I’m so happy that I finally got to see the band in action and I can only hope it won’t be the last time!

You can follow the band on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Prime_Circle

You can follow the band members’ personal accounts here: https://twitter.com/RossLearmonth

https://twitter.com/NeilBreytenbach

https://twitter.com/DaleSchnettler

https://twitter.com/Marco_S_Gomes

https://twitter.com/dirkbisschoff

I was so lucky to get my album autographed by each band member and I was reluctant to ask for photos, so my fiance did it for me, I’m really happy he did.

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Check out The Rock Riff’s Band of the Month series ft Prime Circle: https://therockriff.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/band-of-the-month-prime-circle/

Thank you for reading.

Rock Regards,

 

Lauren K

 

Band of the Month – Prime Circle

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As a South African and as a South African rock music blogger I believe that I should feature some local talent. So this month I’m honoured to present to you, Prime Circle. A band that has changed the landscape of the rock music industry in South Africa. When Prime Circle formed in December of the year 2001 in the mining town of Witbank, Mpumulanga the South African rock music industry was very different to what we experience at the moment. Finding talented, dedicated musicians was a challenge to say the very least. Prime Circle is currently based in Johannesburg and was originally signed to The David Gresham Record Company. Since early 2008 Prime Circle has been signed to EMI Music South Africa.

Prime Circle consists of Ross Learmonth (vocals&guitar) , Dirk Bisschoff (Guitars), Marco Gomes (Bass Guitar) , Neil Breytenbach(Keyboards) and Dale Schnettler (Drums & Backing Vocals).

Prime Circle has played at most major concerts and they have opened for US based band Live during the South African leg of their Birds of Pray world tour. In 2005 the band performed at Nelson Mandela‘s 46664 concert. In 2006 the band played alongside Metallica, Seether, Collective Soul and Simple Plan at the Coca-Cola Colab events in Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria. Prime Circle was invited to join 3 Doors Down on the European leg of their tour and they performed in Berlin, Hamburg and Stuttgart on the 7th, 8th and 10th of June 2011. Both bands were joined on stage by Alter Bridge.

In 2003 Prime Circle released their debut album Hello Crazy World, which reached Gold Status in South Africa. The singles off of this album “Hello”, “My Inspiration” and “Live This Life” was in heavy rotation on South African radio stations. They started building a solid fanbase that has stood by them for over a decade. I still consider these singles as rock classics, because when I listen to it now, it still makes me feel the same way I did when I first heard it…in awe.

In October 2005 they released their second album “Live This Life” which reached gold status in 12 months solidifying their position as South Africa’s biggest selling rock act of 2003/2004/2005/2006. In July 2006 a DVD of their performance at The Function in Johannesburg was released and it was called Living in a Crazy World. In 2007 David Gresham Records released a CD/DVD Best of… box set which followed the success of the previous two albums. The CD featured 17 tracks including acoustic, live and remixed versions of previously released favourites including a new track called Moments which reached number 1 on numerous local radio charts. I was slightly baffled by the release of the Best of… box set at the time it was released, because the band had only released two albums up until that point. Initially I didn’t know different versions of the tracks were included. My personal suggestion would have been just to give the box set a different name.

After signing with EMI the band released the album All or Nothing in 2008. This album in essence was just a taste of things to come, it was the most important step in the band’s evolution. The album was recorded at Bellville Studios in Cape Town the album changed their musical direction from post grunge to a more anthemic rock sound. The band was nominated at the South African Music Awards for Record of the Year and Best Rock Album for All or Nothing. With the success of All or Nothing the band released a live DVD of the same name in early 2009 which coincided with the international release date of the album. The first single off of the album called “She Always Gets What She Wants” is a really special song and received 810,932 views on Youtube to date. You can view the video below:

It is the most viewed South African rock song on YouTube. Follow-up singles from the album include “Consider Me” and “Out Of This Place” which are listed among my favourites.

In mid 2010 the band started working on their 4th album “Jekyll and Hyde” which had a lot to live up to. The album was mixed in Los Angeles by Kevin Shirley who has worked with the likes of Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Silverchair and Journey. Mastering engineer George Marino who is famous for his work with Guns ‘n Roses and Ozzy Osbourne added some final touches to the album. The first two singles released from Jekyll and Hyde was the power ballad “Breathing” and the thoughtful “Turning In My Sleep”. Both of these songs were nominated for the SAMA MTN Record of the year. In March 2011, Prime Circle won the Best International Breakthrough Act at the MK Awards. Both singles from Jekyll and Hyde still enjoy heavy rotation on South Africa’s regional radio stations.

In July 2012 the band entered the studio once again to tackle their fifth studio album called “Evidence”. Their first single off of their latest album is the title track. On the 11th of January 2013 the Official music video for the track was released and its pretty intense. Check it out!

Here is an alternative link if the video above doesn’t work: http://vimeo.com/57280650

After being part of the music industry for the past 11 years Prime Circle has cemented their brand and they have put their stamp on the South African music industry. I just wish them all the success in the world and I believe they will only grow from strength to strength in the future. Ross Learmonth’s voice has become one of the most recognisable voices in the South African music industry, but the band still remains humble and continues to be dedicated to their fan base.

German fans are in for a treat, because Prime Circle are busy finalising some German tour dates which should be released soon, exciting things to come for Prime Circle fans.

You can follow Prime Circle on the following social media sites:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/Prime.Circle (Like)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/prime_circle (Follow)

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/102173999209147308575 (+1)

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/primecircleofficial (Subscribe)

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Please note, I do not own any of the photos listed below and these photos were sourced from Prime Circle’s official Facebook page, credits go to the photographer respectively.