Tuesday, 30 September 2014

THE GOOOD THINGS - EP REVIEW

The Goood Things - The Goood Things EP (33 Records) 
The Goood Things - The Goood Things EP

Do not adjust your sets people. Tokyo crazies The Goood Things decided that things were clearly so good that they needed an extra 'o' and who are we to question their decision? Nobody, that's who. This EP from the popular beat combo kicks off with  'She Called Me Baby' kicks off with the laid back, West coast beach grooves of Weezer or the Lemonheads as well as being slightly reminiscent of the hugely underrated Holy City Rollers. 'Back Porch' has a lo-fi, low-slung feel that is part slacker and part life of the party with its rolling bass line and bouncing guitars that make me want to put on a Hawaiian shirt and dance on the beach as the sun goes down. There's an almost Mersey beat feel to the organ slathered 'Here I Come' but the vocal delivery is more like something Cake would come up with. Final track 'Save The Day' is a perky indie-pop number with a slightly sleazy edge that makes it slightly more grown up than your average bouncy, guitar based ditty but without losing its sense of fun. The more I hear from the Tokyo scene the more I want to check out the bars and clubs where the guitars rattle, the basses roll and the drums beat out like a call to arms. And I want The Goood Things to be there keeping the crowd bopping and the beer flowing.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/theGooodThingsJP


Listen/Download Here: https://thegooodthings.bandcamp.com/ 

Monday, 29 September 2014

VENTENNER - ALBUM REVIEW

Ventenner - Distorture (Sonic Fire Records) 
Ventenner - Distorture

Are you ready for some dark, oil covered rock with an industrial tint and some seriously heavy boots? Ah go on, you know you want to. It'll be fun, I promise. Quartet Ventenner have a whole new album for your enjoyment and it all kicks off with 'Rise', a song that is somewhere between Depeche Mode and Tool as well as possibly being the darkest start to an album I've heard in a very long time. 'Six Blood' is up next, continuing the doomy theme with some industrial rhythms and desperate, almost tortured vocals before 'Wave' swaggers in to the room in slow motion looking like an extra from the Matrix as imagined by Tarantino in one of his darker moods. The drums that herald 'Unaffected' are of Viking origins but the song itself is more like Nirvana or System Of A Down at its heart.

Let's face it, this is not music that's ever going to trouble the Top 40 or get covered on the X Factor by a 17 year old boy with acne and a sob story. What this is going to do, however, is allow you explore all those dark places in your mind and your soul that you don't have time to recognise while you're queuing to pay for your cheese sandwich in Tesco. Album title track 'Distorture' is up next, all Black Rebel Motorcycle Club riffs and atmosphere before 'Skin Ritual' begins like the Cooper Temple Clause with a darker heart and retains a malevolent heart throughout. 'Begin Again' is the soundtrack to the sunrise on the day of a battle to save planet earth while 'Metacell' is a full on, diesel fuellled, snarling beast of a song that will chew you up and spit you out before you have time to form an opinion on it. The industrial swirl and churn of 'Fallout' is the stuff of dark rock fantasies and just makes me want walk everywhere in entirely black clothing with a look that says "I enjoy chaos" on my face. I also want to wear an eye patch. Don't judge me.

As album's go this is an absolutely huge slab of rock in every sense of the word and I like what I see chiselled in to its weather worn face. The final section begins with 'Cast', a track that is more about atmosphere than it is about a song and could easily feature on the soundtrack to a bloodily violent computer game. 'Undone' has a funereal tone to it while 'Shade' builds in to a window shattering, ear bleeding climax. Final track 'House Of Ten' is what's left when all the good in the world has been destroyed and the devil is left playing Jenga with Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan. So go on, indulge your dark side and let this album seep in to your soul while you're sleeping. You might just like it..you might just love it.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/Ventenner?fref=ts


Watch the video for 'Six Blood': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXnVoLFuktQ 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

MOLLY CALE - SINGLE REVIEW

Molly Cale - Sweetheart 
Molly Cale - Sweetheart

I don't get many classically trained flautists come my way but Molly Cale is just that and she certainly knows a thing or two about music. The Stoke-On-Trent born musician has the charmingly titled 'Sweetheart' ready for you as a musical calling card and it starts with a gentle, Sunday afternoon piano riff with a jazzy, soulful bent. The tune then develops in to a light, reggae rhythm which doesn't quite have the soul or swing to cut it as a full blown ragga tune. There's no denying that there's some fine musicianship in this song and some slick composing as you might expect but there is a certain passion, edge or grit missing from this tune that would have made it a real contender  on the indie-pop scene. There's better to come though, I hope.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/mollycale

MELODY SAYS - SINGLE REVIEW

Melody Says - Bang Bang 
Melody Says - Bang Bang

Parisian girl, big acoustic guitar and a debut single called 'Bang Bang'? Yeah, I'm pretty much sold already and half way to being in love. Melody Says, aka Alix, has a world weary feel to it but blues and jazz influences drifting out from the acoustic strums and walking bass line. The vocals are predictably sultry but there is an edge to them, a certain 'whatever!?' cool that is nigh on impossible to resist. Stylistically this takes in everything from the Kinks to the Libertines with a whole host of 60s pop references in between. There is something a little bit magical about Melody Says and something a little bit mysterious that 9 out of 10 cats will fall in love with. Every one of them a hip-cat at that.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/melodysayspage/


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty9plbH_XpY 

THE NAYSAYERS - ALBUM REVIEW

The Naysayers - Hope 
The Naysayers - Hope

Now before we get in to this, I must point out that if you click through to this band's Bandcamp page they do look a little like an early 80s group of serial killers from the backabeyond in Canada. I'm fairly sure they're not serial killers but I thought it only fair to warn you. In real life, the Naysayers are from Canada, from the remote Yukon peninsula next to Alaska to be precise, and they have been out on the road for quite some time. The album opens up with the fast paced folk'n'roll rattle of 'Cant' Love You Anymore' before 'Family Farm' brings a darker, moodier lilt with a mocking chorus that cries from the shadows as you walk down the deserted street with your collar up. 'C'mon C'mon' has a wild west feel albeit with a bleak, wintry feel while 'Hearts Parts' has a rich tone with the heart of Bruch Springsteen and more than a little Frank Turner behind the scenes.

As we reach 'Hope', the Dawson City quartet start to show their more tender side with a country infused acoustic ramble that gets beefed up in the choruses before the imaginatively title 'Hope Pt. 2' rolls around with a blend of Indigo Girls, Beautiful South and Michelle Shocked to the music. The moody, brooding lilt of 'Go' is only increased by the introduction of some booming drums and space between the guitar notes. You won't be surprised to hear that 'Wrecking Ball' is not a cover of the Miley Cyrus caterwauling but is in fact an organ smothered 50s rock ballad. 'Things', on the other hand, has a Mexican border kinda feel as each word to spat out through gritted teeth and years of frustration. The tenth and final track (perfect album length, well done) is 'Strike' which rattles and swaggers like Patti Smith jamming with Grinderman in an abandoned East End pub as a riot goes on outside the window. This album is the very epitome of music made by people with bigger horizons 
than the ones they were born within sight of. Music to escape your surroundings to, if you will.

More information: http://thenaysayersmusic.com/

Listen/Download: http://naysayersmusic.bandcamp.com/releases

Live Dates:

29th September - The Brownstone, Orillia
1st October - 180 Projects, Sault Ste. Marie
3rd October - The Speakeasy, Sudbury
8th October - The Rainbow, Ottawa
9th October - Brasserie  Beaubien, Montreal
10th October - The Cellar, Fredericton
11th October - The Capital, Fredericton
15th October - CBTG's, St. John's
16th October - CBTG's, St. John's
17th October - The Levee, St. John's
18th October - The Back Lot, Corner Brook
20th October - Reflections Cabaret, Halifax
22nd October - Callahan's Pub, St. John
25th October - Eventide Art Hub (Early), New Glasgow
26th October - PEI - Baba's, Charlottetown
27th October - The Ward Room, Halifax

29th October - Plan B, Moncton

KLANGKARUSSELL - ALBUM REVIEW

Klangkarussell - Netzwerk 
Klangkarussell - Netzwork

It must be one of those quirky twists of fate that two of my favourite albums of the year are dance albums that have come out of Austria. Parov Stelar's 'The Art Of Sampling' is still an ever present in my car stereo and has recently been joined by Klangkarussell's new long player 'Netzwerk'. The Salzburg duo kick things off with 'Eistee' and immediately you're transported to a trancey, dubby, blissed out dance tent somewhere at a festival around sunset as the instrumentals and bird noises mingle in the air waves. 'Netzwerk (Fall Like Rain)' is more of an uplifting, arms in the air dance tune with some gorgeous tribal vocals and chord changes that make you want to rip your shirt off and dance in the rain. The vibe on 'Berlin' is slightly more subdued but again the melodies kick in and you realise we're dealing with slick, professional dance heavyweights. It is on 'We Want Your Soul', however, that the deal is sealed as the Baz Luhrmann-esque electronic vocals drill in to your brain and convert you to an alternative religion. A religion called dance.

'Sonnentanz (Sun Don't Shine) [Feat. Will Heard]' is, quite frankly, a Faithless sized dancefloor filler while 'Symmetry' has a rhythm that is impossible to resist and a synth chord melody with enough edge to make the silky smooth vocals sound slightly sinister. The track that probably sums Klangkarussell up best is 'Celebrate' with its blend of dirty grooves, good clean melodies, soulful vocals and an uplifting vibe that you just can't help but get swept up in. 'Sternenkinder' is up next with a return to the tribal style vocal melodies and then 'Moments' goes and gets all funky on our asses. As the album approaches the climax we are treated to 'All Eyes On You', a tune which takes us down a road of dark, Trainspotting style electro melodies that soundtrack the comedown like nothing before. The bonus track at the very end, 'Sonnentanz', is a six minute instrumental remix of the earlier track with the same name that, unusually, actually has some worth on the album. As I said, this is not only one of the best dance albums of the year or one of the best Austrian albums of the year, this is probably going to be in my top 10 by the end of the year. Simply superb.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/klangkarussell

Live Dates:

3rd October - Fabric, London
4th October - Warehouse Project, Manchester
10th October - Loft, Barcelona
7th November - Iceland Airwaves, Reykjavik
10th November - Docks, Hamburg
11th November - Gibson, Frankfurt
12th November - Muffathalle, Munich
14th November - Volkshaus, Basel
15th November - Bierhuebeli, Bern
16th November - LKA-Longhorn, Stuttgart
17th November - Arena, Bezrik Landstrasse
19th November - Live Music Hall, Cologne

21st November - Astra Kulturhaus, Berlin

APOLLO GETS THE GIRL - SINGLE REVIEW

Apollo Gets The Girl - Strange Girl 
Apollo Gets The Girl - Strange Girl

If what you are missing in your life is some downbeat, cinematic synth pop with a touch of campness and some sweeping melodies then I might have just found what you are looking for (unlike U2, they still haven't found what they're looking for). Glasgow trio Apollo Gets The Girl have a new single out in the form of 'Strange Girl' which has the intentions of My Life Story, the heart of Depeche Mode, the swagger of the Killers and has spent a year travelling in Europe to pick up some juicy synth sounds. The drum sound is huge which is something that gets overlooked in this genre at times so, y'know, props. All in all this is a sumptuous and decadent piece of music that you should only ever listen to while rolling around on a pile of money while someone sprays expensive and rare alcopops all over you.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/apollogetsthegirl?fref=ts

Live Dates:

18th October - The Garage, Glasgow
19th October - The Cluny 2, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

6th December - The Head Of Steam, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

THE RUNGS - SINGLE REVIEW

The Rungs - Confluence Of Anomalies 
The Rungs - Confluence Of Anomalies

On paper, The Rungs are possibly the coolest prospect out there - a male and female duo from Brooklyn playing synth guitar pop. This ticks two of the biggest cool boxes going at the moment (and by cool box I don't mean something to take to a picnic to keep your food fresh). This new single by Mandy and Diwas, as their friends call them, is the marvellously titled 'Confluence of Anomalies' and by God is it gorgeous!?!? Sure, we're talking lo-fi with an element of shoe gaze in the vocal delivery but the throbbing synth bass line along with the Orientally influenced melodies make this an instantly appealing prospect. Think Dubstar, St Etienne and a more relaxed Bis (i.e. after the sugar come down) all produced by Beck and E from Eels, if you will, and you'll be getting close to the truth of The Rungs. The gorgeous truth.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/therungs

Live Dates:

3rd October - Lot 10 Ithica, NY

4th October - ZiNK Tees, Oswego NY

Saturday, 27 September 2014

ZENA KITT - SINGLE REVIEW

Zena Kitt - Requiem 
Zena Kitt - Requiem

First of all, this is a fantastic name. A name that is meant to belong to a pop star. Other than that, I don't know an awful lot about Zena Kitt so we'll just have to let the music do the talking. New single 'Requiem' starts with a confusing mix of bird noises, a throbbing bass line and the muffled sound of someone leaving a painful message on an answer machine. Then the harp ripples, pounding rhythms and lazer synths kick in under a voice that is somewhere between Lorde and Florence Welch. There is a dark, treacly sexuality to this song that is simultaneously enticing and distancing which is a fine line to hit but if you get it right then you've got something pretty special. So, special sound and the perfect pop star name. Big things people, big things.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/zenakitt?fref=ts

Friday, 26 September 2014

DANIEL WILSON - SINGLE RVIEW

Daniel Wilson - Heartbreaker (Zip Records) 
Daniel Wilson - Heartbreaker

Ahh, I do love Daniel Wilson. He just has such a way with a melody and a rich, smooth voice to die for that is all in perfect evidence on this latest single. The Motown pianos mixed with 80s pop vibe on 'Heartbreaker' make for an utterly delightful tune that you will want to dance to, without a doubt. As songs go this is the sunny Saturday morning when you wake up with no hangover, more money than you thought you had and the sun has finally come out after weeks of rain. This is fresh-start stuff and I can tell you know, if I ever make a fresh start then Daniel Wilson is exactly the kind of buddy I want by my side. Style AND substance in abundance.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/danielwilsonzz

MIGHTY OAKS - EP REVIEW

Mighty Oaks - Brother EP 
Mighty Oaks - Brother EP

A German, a Brit and an American walk in to a bar in Berlin. They pick up their instruments and makes organically gravel toned indie-folk which should get huge acclaim and following. No, it's not a joke (largely because it's not funny), this is actually the true story of how Berlin based trio Mighty Oaks came to be and this new EP is the powerful punch line. 'Brother' opens up proceedings with a sound that is somewhere between Mumford & Sons and Passengers which is the main reason I think they have a chance at broad, mainstream popularity in the no to distant future. On the other hand, 'Just One Day' is a mellower, more muted affair but still with a recognisable folk chug and gypsy rhythm. There is a smoky, wood fired pub vibe to 'The Great Northwest' while 'Shells' has more of a country twang full of wistful regret and remorse like an old cowboy looking back on the teams he put his cows first instead of his woman....until the day he came to find her gone. The EP finishes up with 'Back To You' which has a Brother & Bones spirit inside it although it never quite hits the same dramatic power levels. These guys have got a lot going for them, not least their songs, but I just hope they get the chance to play those songs to a big enough audience. They at least deserve that.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/mightyoaksmusic

Live Dates:

25th November - Oslo, London
26th November - Soup Kitchen, Manchester

28th November - Coalition, Brighton

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

THE WATANABES - EP REVIEW

The Watanabes - Draw What You Like (Favourite Tree Records/Boom Boom Records) 
The Watanabes - Draw What You Like

It's not often you receive a parcel from Japan containing a CD and even less often that the band in question is part British and part Japanese. The Watanabes are an anomaly, that's for sure, but  the biggest anomaly is just how much these four gentleman have made me fall in love with their music. You see, for the past few weeks every journey in my beaten up car has been sountracked by this EP and the delightful range of styles these guys display. The EP opens up with 'There's Something Wrong' and from the first few notes of the daintily lively organ riff you can't help bit fall for this tune. The energy and freshness of the likes of the Coral, the Thrills, the Magic Numbers and the Zutons is there in full force but there's something else, something more edgy that reminds more of the Doors or the psychedelic movement. And that's just the first song.

On '28 Years' the lyrics take a depressingly early look back at life from a particularly young vantage point - "It's been 28 years and I'm full of existential fears. Is that normal for my age?" they sing atop a Badly Drawn Boy-esque melody with acoustic bounce and a sense of wry fun. 'Make Things Better', in all seriousness, ought to come with a health warning. So delicate is the melody and so entirely touching is the lyrical sentiment that this song still makes my eyes well up even after 100 listens. This is the song Coldplay were trying to write when they coughed up 'Fix You'. Up next is 'Yuriko Yuriko', a tune of lightness and whimsy despite the lyrical content which is a bitter-sweet tale of love and loss with gentle keys that lilt and sway beautifully.

The EP closes up with 'Drench You In Sun', an uplifting track that could feature on a Feeder album and leaves a gorgeous, sun drenched flavour in the mouth as these guys drift gently out of the door and off to flutter around another unsuspecting blogger's ears. What I love most about these guys  is the delicate, intricate and labour-of-love construction of these songs that makes it feel like they were made just for you. And that is the way music should feel. All the time.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/thewatanabes?fref=ts

PETITE MELLER - SINGLE REVIEW

Petite Meller - NYC Time (Night Beach Records)
Petite Meller - NYC Time

Hotly tipped pop starlet Petite Meller is back with another single and some remix action to get your feet moving and your hipster asses shaking. 'NYC Time' starts as sprightly, sprinkly, tinkly melody before Meller's impish voice joins in and the light keys, bass line and beats all swoosh in. There's a child like quality to this but, equally, a level of sophistication that many a current pop beau would be happy to achieve. Having said that, the song never really achieves that spin tingling, euphoric moment that would make it a smash day-time radio hit. The additional remix, courtesy of Beatablock3rs, is a little more lively and brings Ellie Goulding and La Roux to mind before it goes all 80s game show theme tune. Including the saxophone solo.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/PetiteMellerOfficial?fref=ts

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

MAX VON SYDOW - SINGLE REVIEW

Max Von Sydow - Ugly Girls Ugly Boys (INGRID) 
Max Von Sydow - Ugly Girls Ugly Boys

Swedish recluse Max Von Sydow is a bit of a rarity in that he's a musician and producer who has had no intention of gaining fame and fortune through his talents. In fact, it was only the determination of label INGRID to track this guy down that means we are now hearing this stuff around the world. 'Ugly Girls Ugly Boys' is a delightful pick'n'mix of beats, electronic melodies and some processed vocals that is a whole lot of fun. Elements of Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers and a tonne of other 90s electro pop acts are present and that is no bad thing in my book. This is how popping candy would sound if you could record it more closely and I can only applaud the folk at INGRID for tracking this down.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/MaxVonSydowMusic

Monday, 22 September 2014

LOOE MUSIC FESTIVAL REVIEW

Looe Music Festival - 19th-21st September 2014, Looe, Cornwall

Friday
So here it is, my local festival at the end of the summer and one of those that is growing in reputation. For those that don't know Looe, it's a sprawling, labyrinthine Cornish fishing village full of bars, odd shops and the constant smell of fish. I love it. For this one weekend of the year, however, Looe is turned in to a maze of tents, marquees and pubs with musicians squeezed in to the tightest of corners which makes it even more charming. Arriving on the Friday my companion and I were full of anticipation and ready for a string of live bands - a feeling that was slightly tempered by the queue to pick up wristbands which was a little excessive. Nevertheless, we soon got our wristbands and then it was time for the music....

Samba Kernow in full flow
Thirst was paramount so we hit the bar and once we stepped outside we were immediately faced by the sight of a dozen pounding women of varying ages with a couple of gents in the back row. Rather than the hen party we originally thought it to be this was actually the local phenomenon that is Samba Kernow (https://www.facebook.com/SambaKernow?fref=ts). The rhythm this group produces is infectious, tight and irresistible which would normally be enough to keep my interest by coming to a festival with someone harbouring a raging hangover has it's downsides. So, we moved on to the beach where the main stages are located to check out the action. There we found 3 Daft Monkeys (https://www.facebook.com/3daftmonkeys?fref=ts) who were in full swing, entertaining a packed ten with their gypsy-folk-punk. The blend of fierce acoustic guitar, smooth bass, lively violin and tight drums was a heady combination and the dance floor comprised entirely of sand made for an intriguing if not entirely stable folk-mosh.

Back to the front of festival area - largely to avoid the Brand New Heavies - where we caught the tail end of the entirely sparkly and slick Falmouth Soul Sensation (https://www.facebook.com/falmouthsoulsensation?fref=ts). The Cornish collective shook their tail feathers and did the alligator like true soul kings and queens with the crowd lapping up every soulful, sweat drenched note. A quick about turn saw us facing the opposite stage where Mod legends The Lambrettas (https://www.facebook.com/TheLambrettas?fref=ts) launched straight in to their set which, although tight, was a little lacking in punch due to the quiet soundsystem. The quartet worked through their late 70s mod revival hits and had the crowd lapping things up. We wandered over to the Portbyhan Hotel to catch Black Friday (https://www.facebook.com/blackfridayplymouth?fref=ts) but a combination of a long week and a delayed start time meant we couldn't hack it and the first night ended there. Weak, I know.

Saturday
Wandering through the afternoon sunshine drenched streets of Looe there was a palpable excitement in the air as people danced in every corner and music poured from the bars. A man playing a cigar box guitar in the doorway of a shop has a gaggle of enthralled listeners young and old but we don't have time to hang around - we have a date. Down on the beach, the Adrenalin Quarry stage is playing host to a rag tag bunch known as Tankus The Henge (https://www.facebook.com/tankusthehenge) and the crowd are lapping it up. Imagine, if you will, a bunch of classically trained Jazz musicians who have run away to join the circus and, on the way to the big top, they picked up some tapes for the journey. Those tapes influenced their sound with like of Madness, Chas'n'Dave, some East European folk, Jay Kay's dress sense and then they got to the circus where they added in the performance element. The horns, the piano, the dancing, the megaphone, the guitarist with a broken foot, the shouty bassist and a drummer trying to keep them all swinging to the same beat - it's a heady mix and one that the crowd on the beach absolutely lapped up.

Lucie Marie Closier + Guitarist
A sashay in to the Beach Bar tent was predominantly for the purpose of getting a beer but while we were there we caught Lucie Marie Closier (https://www.facebook.com/lucieeofficial), an Essex based singer who recently appeared on the Voice. Now, I don't want to knock the ambitions of a 17 year old but it did seem odd that this girl was put on the second biggest stage at the festival so sing cover versions accompanied by some muted acoustic guitar. Vocally, Closier obviously has talent but hasn't found her channel yet and when the biggest cheer of your set is for the guitar being properly plugged in half way through then you know you've got a way to go.

Wild Food Kitchen
Turning our attention back to the main stage we find Toseland (https://www.facebook.com/OfficialJamesToseland) in full rock swing with the band covered head to toe in black leather and a whole lot of hair. If you like your rock on the soft metal side of things with an 80s tinge then these guys might just be for you but we needed something with more meat so we went a-wandering. On said wanderings we came across the glorious Wild Food Kitchen (http://www.wildfoodkitchen.com/) who are, strictly speaking, not a band but do a mean pulled venison burger and nettle falafel that is worth mentioning along the way.

Sound Of The Sirens











With full bellies and the sun firmly out of sight we made our way to the Harbour Marquee to catch the highly rated duo Sound Of The Sirens (https://www.facebook.com/SoundoftheSirens). These ladies are firm LWM favourites but this is the first time I've seen them live and I was not disappointed. The tight, two part harmonies are the perfect juxtaposition to the fierce, agitated acoustic guitar playing and rib shaking bass drum rhythms. Sadly, the inebriation of the crowd and the sound check of the band at the other end of the marquee didn't quite give the pair the respect their intricate and imaginative melodies but nevertheless I'm glad to have finally seen them live. Although the slick and groove based Blues of Kris Dollimore (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kris-Dollimore/145892765585961?fref=ts) and has band were tempting we headed back to the main stage to catch a bit of headliners Squeeze (https://www.facebook.com/squeezeofficial) instead. The London legends didn't disappoint and rattled out the hits including 'Take Me I'm Yours', 'Up The Junction' and fan favourite 'Cool For Cats'. The crowd on the beach lapped it up and, despite a slightly weak soundsystem, the night was capped in fine style....or so we thought.

Tankus The Henge @ Zute Bar
Ambling back in to the heart of Looe we remembered that our friends Tankus The Henge were due to play a second, more intimate set at the Zute Lounge so we thought we'd pop in for a closer look. What we found was a venue full to bursting, a mob of people 5 rows deep clamouring to get in and a couple of bewildered security guards doing a great job of trying to manage the situation. Inside, the jazzy, New Orleans infused tones of the band started to seep out and they drew me in despite the throng. Squeezing between the masses it really felt like a moment was occurring that people would talk about for a long time to come as saxophone and trumpet were played awkwardly, wedged in around the drummer and the singing could be heard even if the singer could not be seen. This is what festivals in cities, towns and villages are all about and will surely be one of the highlights of the whole weekend. Surely....

Sunday
OK, I'm going to hold my hands up and apologise to the majority of the Sunday bands right now but I was flagging a bit so I didn't get to see as much as I ought to. Nevertheless, I did catch a few key performers and what I did catch was largely good. The big pull of the day for me was over on the Adrenalin Quarry stage were Kernow boys Crowns (https://www.facebook.com/crownsband) took to the stage to treat the crowd to their unique brand of rock'n'roll mixed with a Cornish folk style that makes you want to dance or at least jig on the sandy dance floor. Rumours were abound that this would be the last performance by the band which would be a great loss if true but a clever marketing ploy if not. Only time will tell*.

DfunK @ The Beach Bar
Shuffling over to the Beach Bar we find an unlikely pairing of a young lad with an acoustic guitar and what appears to be Terry Pratchet on bass. This is, in fact, a stripped down duo version of Exeter band DfunK (https://www.facebook.com/dfunkdevon) but don't underestimate them, they have the power of the funk. Despite some fairly persistent technical issues, the pair persevered through a set that included funk, blues, jazz and soul but at the core was some superb guitar playing, a rich bass and smooth vocal style. I'd love to see the full band but these guys did a powerful job on their own and converted a good number of the audience in to fans with many a nod of approval visible among the crowd.

Back on the main stage and there was excitement in the air as the sun started to set and a bunch of men in red kilts appeared to roars of approval. Red Hot Chili Pipers (https://www.facebook.com/redhotchillipipersofficial?ref=ts&fref=ts) were the party band of choice with their brand of soft rock covers featuring a trio of pipers where a vocalist would normally be. The shtick was entertaining for a song or two but I've never been a fan of the bagpipes as an instrument so we decided to leave the masses and head for the back streets. What we found was a particularly tasty pulled pork sandwich, a seat by the harbour walls and the last few songs of a bearded folk singer who we affectionately named Blind Seamus Maguire on account of his lilt and white stick. As the stars began to spark on the water this seemed like the place to leave the festival.

There are myriad festivals around the UK and the South West has more than its fair share but Looe Festival is something a little bit special. The whole town opens its arms and doors to the public and all you have to do is open your ears and minds to ensure you have a great time. I'm already looking forward to next year when I will plan better and catch more of the music. Possibly...

*sadly the official Crowns Facebook page has confirmed that this was the band's last ever show. I will take off my hat and bow my head in respect.


More information: http://www.looemusic.co.uk/  

Saturday, 20 September 2014

GITTA DE RIDDER - SINGLE REVIEW

Gitta De Ridder - Mr Yesterday (Little Memories Records) 
Gitta De Ridder - Mr Yesterday

Dutch singer-songewriter Gitta De Ridder has played all around Europe before settling on the musical Mecca that is London town as the place to seek her fame and fortune. This new single and video, 'Mr Yesterday', are both delightfully wistful pieces of art in their own right. The video is a sepia toned slow flick through a photography album full of bittersweet memories of good times long since gone. Musically, the song mingles rolling acoustic plucks with long held piano notes that warm the heart and bring a tear to the eye. De Ridder's voice has an undeniably European twang but it's breathlessness and cracks around the edges just add to the beauty and emotion of the song. This is an understated by simultaneously powerful introduction to what I hope will be a fruitful musical career for Gitta De Ridder.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/gittaderidder?fref=ts

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qfv9XyKuSwM

Live Dates:

25th September - 013, Tilburg
27th September - Wim's Muziekkelder, Doetinchem
28th September - Platenzaak't Oor, Almere
2nd October - Cafe Hofman, Utrecht
2nd November - The Finsbury, London

27th November - The Brunswick, Hove

Friday, 19 September 2014

PAUMA - SINGLE REVIEW

Pauma - Sink Or Swim 
Pauma - Sink Or Swim

Release Date: 10th November 2014

They're a mysterious bunch are Pauma. Not a whole lot of information exists on the web, they have very few followers on Twitter and I don't even know where they come from. What I do know, however, is that new singe 'Sink Or Swim' is a piece of gorgeous indie rock infused with Motown rhythms and bluesy emotions. The guitars are pure Black Rebel Motorcycle Club but the chorus is all about the Killers while the vocals are as snake hipped and sleazy as you could possibly hope for. These guys may just be pulling off one of the best PR stunts in a while by letting the music do the talking and then following it up later with what I would imagine will be a string of incendiary live shows, model girlfriends and illegitimate children named after obscure German cars. This is a big tune and by God I hope there are more to come.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/paumauk/info


Listen Here: https://www.facebook.com/paumauk/app_190322544333196 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

PALE FIRES - EP REVIEW

Pale Fires - Mammoth EP 
Pale Fires - Mammoth EP

Release Date: 29th September 2014

Pale Fires are a bunch of Camden lads with something a little bit special about them that I can't quite put my finger on. They aren't full of bombast or tunes that necessarily make you want to get up and dance. What they have, however, is a sense of cool and the ability to write a tune that keeps you on your toes from the first beat to the last chord. Opening track 'River' features hypnotically swirling guitars, skittish drums and smooth vocals that are dripping in smoke and whisky. 'Mammoth' is up next with a swagger and some seriously sexy guitars slathered in distortion and sweat before 'Peace Of Mind' grinds in to view with a pulsing bass line and Marc Bolan-esque vocals snaking through the midnight air.

Pale Fires are certainly ill fitting for a time where speed and instant gratification are kings but that's what makes them so utterly fulfilling and satisfying. 'The Boat That Is Rowing Slow' makes that point beautifully as the melodies struggles to emerge from within the murky psyche swamp but emerge they do like the many tentacles of a lonely octopus. On 'Howl' the quartet take a turn for the more moody and atmospheric with some subtle vocal harmonies washing over the sinister guitar notes before the song explodes in a burst of rock'n'roll excess, sexual energy and leather trousers. This six track EP closes with 'Earth Mother', a song placed somewhere between Led Zeppelin and Radiohead which is a new place on me. Like I said at the beginning, there's something special about these guys and I can't put my finger on it but that just makes it all the more exciting.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/palefiresuk?fref=ts

Live Dates:

19th September - The Lock Tavern, London
27th September - The Shrubbery Recording Studio, Bury Saint Edmonds

7th November - The Macbeth, London

PET SUN - SINGLE REVIEW

Pet Sun - Feel Like I'm Going Away 
Pet Sun - Feel Like I'm Going Away

Release Date: 27th September 2014

These bums are from Hamilton in Canada (is there another Hamilton? Did I need to define that with a country?) and they describe themselves as Psychedelic Sandwich. Go figure. This new single and the accompanying video for 'Feel Like I'm Going Away' is, admittedly, a little bit bonkers with the video looking like an interlude from an episode of the Mighty Boosh. Musically, this is a mess of jangly, distorted guitars, clattering drums and drawled, Evan Dando-esque vocals. This is a lot of fun and would probably be a huge load more fun in a small, dark, sweaty venue with a pack crowd and the speakers turned up to 11.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/petsunrocknroll?fref=ts

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXyGaxPVwTo&feature=youtu.be

Live Dates:


25th September - The Phoenix Theatre, Toronto w/The King Khan & BBQ Show + The Black Lips

SAINT AGNES - SINGLE REVIEW

Saint Agnes - A Beautiful Day For Murder (Energy Snake Records) 
Saint Agnes - A Beautiful Day For Murder

According to Wikipedia, Saint Agnes was a 13 year old girl who was the patron saint of chastity, gardeners, engaged couples, rape victims, virgins and, well, girls. This is a lot of responsibility for a young teenage girl and, apart from the gardening thing, is pretty weirdly sexual as well. This has nothing to do with the band's music, necessarily, although there is a darkly sensuous tone to this new single from the London combo. 'A Beautiful Day For Murder' takes the sexuality of Goldfrapp and blends with the spirit of a Tarantino movie and the raw energy of the White Stripes at their moodiest. The twang-heavy guitars and rolling drums are glued together by the thick, sticky organ and sultry, smoky vocals of the appropriately named Kitty. This is music to murder to, for sure, but if murdering isn't your thing then why not use this number to make a move on someone you've got the lusts for - if they can get off to this then you're in for a good night and no mistake.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/wearesaintagnes

Live Dates:

20th September - Southsea Fest, Portsmouth

12th November - Upstairs at the Garage, London

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

UNCLE LUC - ALBUM REVIEW

Uncle Luc - Humblebrag (Super Fan 99 Records) 
Uncle Luc - Humblebrag

Release Date: 22nd September 2014

Luke Barham is from Surrey. That's a fact. I'm not disputing that. Why would I? But what confuses me is that his minimalist, lo-fi approach to songwriting should, by rights, be coming out of downtown Manhattan or nowhereseville Sacramento. Regardless of geography, however, the man that goes by the stage name of Uncle Luc is something of an understated genius. This debut album opens with 'Leader Boards', a tune so understated that it barely gets out of bed despite some well placed piano notes and muted guitar plucks that are pure early morning delight. 'Farewell Monsoon' has a Sufjan Stevens meets Lemonheads feel to it with a touch of the Flight Of The Conchords about it which, in my book, is all thoroughly good stuff. There is more energy and bounce on 'I Write' with a beautifully thwacked double bass line and some spritely acoustic guitar before 'Happy Too' strides in like Snow Patrol with a sense of humour.

Barham has such a laisez faire attitude mixed with a wry sense of humour that I am not entirely convinced I didn't spend three years knocking around with him at Uni as these seem to have been the main qualities I looked for in a friend - as well as a willingness to buy a round and listen to obscure 90s indie. 'New Illusions' is up next and Uncle Luc is in intimate mood with soft, rolling acoustic notes and near whispered vocals that could be considered creepy if I wasn't utterly sure that this is a recording and there isn't someone sitting next to me. On 'Rainbow' there is a bit more pop swagger along the lines of the Magic Numbers or the Zutons while 'Oldest Friend' is a reflective number which owes a certain amount to the likes of the Kinks or Cat Stevens (or whatever name he goes by these days). The optimistic acoustic tones are slightly at odds with the tragic lyrical tones of 'Frankenstein's Monster' but then 'Still A Country Song' has a spaced out, Flaming Lips meets David Bowie feel to it, neither of whom are particularly renowned for writing country songs. The man is obviously a little odd in the head but then all the best creators are and final track 'Quarter Past Dead' seals the reputation with a dissonant children's orchestra from your nightmares accompanying the acoustic strumming. Bonkers stuff but presented in a gently comforting way - like slippers made of live badgers.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Uncle-Luc/309371199215768?fref=ts

Live Dates:

20th September - Southsea Festival Fringe, Southsea
20th September - Southsea Festival, Southsea
23rd September - The Islington, London
1st October - Westend Centre, Aldershot
3rd October - The Flapper, Birmingham

15th October - The Boileroom, Guildford 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

DEAR LEADERS - SINGLE REVIEW

Dear Leaders - Find Me
Dear Leaders - Find Me

These guys have been around for about five years, emerging from the Bristol swamp and spreading their tentacles out through London and Manchester like a some kind of indie-pop squid. The latest inky discharge from the quartet comes in the form of 'Find Me', a new single with electro-pop style and a dispassionate cool that generally only comes from British and German bands. There are elements of the likes of Electronic, Saint Etienne and the XX about these guys but the minimalist approach is quite, quite unique and is something pure that you really ought to experience at least once in your life. 

More information: https://www.facebook.com/dearleaders

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S4OvDoHPWU&feature=youtu.be

Live Dates:

30th October - The Finsbury, London

THE EXHIBITION - EP REVIEW

The Exhibition - Carry To The End 
The Exhibition - Carry To The End

Barnsley boys the Exhibition are unleashing their new EP, 'Carry To The End', on an unsuspecting public so I thought it was my moral duty to warn of what you should expect. You can thank me later. The dark, Interpol-esque tones of 'Artery' starts things up with Tarantino guitars and the kind of malevolence that the Cooper Temple Clause had in their prime. 'Here I Begin' is more of a morose, self pitying tune which gradually develops a groove and swaggers with subtlety in the way you might expect Franz Ferdinand or Editors to. A little known fact about LWM is that we don't have much time for the Smiths which is a shame for the Exhibition because 'Starting Over' sounds like a particularly dull song by Morrisey and co. Closing and title track 'Carry To The End' is a quiet, dead of night song that is reminiscent of Ultravox at their 80s best. If you like your music with a miserable side and a sense of the dramatic then these guys might just be up your street. A street that features no street parties.....ever.


More information: http://www.the-exhibition.co.uk/ 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

THE DIAMOND AGE - SINGLE REVIEW

The Diamond Age - Seas Happen 
The Diamond Age - Seas Happen

Release Date: 15th September 2014

Southampton duo The Diamond Age are back with a new single and a whole lot of accolades from the great and the good of the music industry. 'Seas Happen', the aforementioned new single, is a polished, perfectly crafted piece of sparse electro-pop with a throbbing bass line and the feel of bands like Delphic, New Order and Disclosure which is not bad company to keep. There is a certain sense of soul missing from this but the melodies ebb and flow with precision and Kraftwerk never worried about having soul so who am I to judge?

More information: https://www.facebook.com/thediamondageuk/

Free Download: https://www.facebook.com/thediamondageuk/app_190322544333196

Live Dates:

25th October - Club NME @ Unit, Southampton

7th November - The Good Ship, London

BILLY THE KID - ALBUM REVIEW

Billy The Kid - Horseshoes and Hand Grenades (Xtra Mile Recordings) 
Billy The Kid - Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

On this humble blog I have covered a huge number of Canadian artists. More than any other country apart from the UK, in fact, but from all of those artists it is Billy The Kid, a Vancouverite, who is top of the pile (closely followed by the Dirty Nil, since you asked). Billy The Kid is actually Billy Pettinger, a woman with talent, passion and a wry sense of humour who is currently touring her home country and the USA with her namesake and likely hero, Billy Bragg. This, Billy's fourth album, opens with 'Phone Bills' which hits you straight between the eyes without warning and immediately you're on a rollercoaster of triumphant melodies perfectly blended with reflective lyrics. 'Riverbank' takes things slightly slower like a Springsteen power ballad before 'The Satellites + I' fuses a folk melody with some pop-rock chords and a voice that could be one of the Bangles but with more sincerity.

It is the passion and, at times, anger with which Pettinger delivers her songs that puts her a cut above the rest and the added slickness of the musical backing makes for something pretty special. 'Science' is up next with a sweet'n'sour, Indigo Girls-esque tone while 'The Quarry' is somewhere between the quiet determination of Peggy Seeger and the mysterious qualities of Laura Marling which is a beautiful place to be. The wonderfully titled 'This Sure As Hell Ain't My Life' has a real end of the night in a dive bar feel to it as the guitars slither around the whiskey soaked bar to rouse the drunk in the corner and make him or her reconsider their life choices. Pettinger's lone voice at the beginning of 'Chelsea Rose' are stop-you-in-your-tracks beautiful and the simple acoustic riff that soon joins in only serves to emphasise that beauty. Before you get too comfortable, though, the ramshackle rock'n'punk of 'Back To You' rolls in reminding me of label mates Crazy Arm mixed with a non-descript American road trip movie from the late 80s.

There is a steam train shuffle to the drums on 'Virginia' are wonderful subtle but provide the perfect foil for the gently bouncing guitars before 'Lord Let Me' bounces in to view all punk spirit, folk heart and rock'n'roll energy. As the album starts to wind up we are treated to the delicately fragile 'Thoroughfare' which leads in to the Johnny Cash inspired 'Walkin' Round The Hotel Blues' complete with some wailing harmonica and a sense of yearning for being at home. Album number four closes with 'Young + On Fire' which has elements of Bryan Adams singing with Kings Of Leon and builds to a lump-in-the-throat inducing climax, not through power or overblown instrumentation but through raw, honest emotion. Billy The Kid is enormously talented and has paid her dues so I think her time is now, her place is here and her direction is up.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/BillyTheKid?fref=ts

Live Dates:

15th September - Music Box Supper Club, Cleveland
17th September - City Winery, New York
18th September - City Winery, New York
19th September - Suffolk Theatre, Riverhead
20th September - Opera House, Bellow Falls
22nd September - Port City Music Hall, Portland
23rd September - The Playhouse, Fredericton
24th September - PEI Brewing Co., Charlottestown
25th September - NS Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Halifax

27th September - Cochrane United Church, St John's

LUCKY ELEPHANT - ALBUM REVIEW

Lucky Elephant - The Rainy Kingdom (Sunday Best Records) 
Lucky Elephant - The Rainy Kingdom

It is a repetitively hypnotic bassline that introduces this album from London AngloFrancs Lucky Elephant. 'Old Kent Road' has a charming, Elbow-esque quality to it which eases the listener in to the album beautifully like a comfy sofa on a bitter autumnal evening. Things get a whole lot less comfortable on 'The British Working Man' which fuses Gilbert and Lemon Jelly with some old pathé sound recordings to create a Heath Robinson style melee of sounds. By the time we reach 'All The Streets I Have Known', the band have settled in to some kind of stride but it seems to be the stride of a man with legs of different lengths and a spring in his step. 'Emperor' is a chilled, hillbilly infused acoustic lope with a country feel to it while 'Buckets & Spades' is a gentle, end-of-the-night waltz that is just perfect for some cheek to cheek dancing.

Things get altogether funkier on 'The Flipside Of Spring' as the guys blend the Black Keys and White Stripes with a sense of 70s French cool that comes riding in on a moped on cobbled streets wearing beige corduroy and vintage Ray Bans. The key to the beauty of Lucky Elephant is that they keep melodies at the heart of everything they do but that doesn't prevent them from experimenting with different styles and directions. 'The Girl I Love', for instance, has its roots deep in the Jazz world but also brings in the cosy familiarity of Badly Drawn Boy so it doesn't feel to alien to the listener. 'Mercy' is a funky beast with lashings of organ chords and some scratchy, bouncy guitars while 'Helen' is a chilled out, South of France beach bum of a song with floaty guitars and some wonderful charms. The album is brought to a close with 'Little Darlings' which bobs and weaves like a uncle at a wedding with slightly better moves than you'd given him credit for, making you see him in an entirely different light. I think I love everything about Lucky Elephant but not in a lustful, passionate way. No, this is a band I want to go on long walks with and stay up all night listening to records with while we drink red wine and have tangential conversations.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/luckyelephantmusic

Live Dates:


17th September - Lee Valley Velo Park w/Iron Horse

Saturday, 13 September 2014

ROSCO & THE DIRTY PLAINS - SINGLE REVIEW

Rosco & The Dirty Plains - GoldMine 
Rosco & The Dirty Plains - GoldMine

We're off to a strong start with this one as the band name and song title are both pretty cool so that's a bonus before we've even heard a note. Once the opening strains of 'GoldMine' begin you could be forgiven for thinking that this is going to be an introspective acoustic number throughout....but you'd be wrong. The gravelly vocals give this a wild west feel from the outset but as the tune builds with some slightly over-egged guitars you start to recognise this for the rock ballad that it is. This is the kind of song that belongs on a Smirnoff advert and, while it is necessarily pitch perfect or beautifully mixed, there is a raw energy and enthusiasm that is tangible which almost certainly stands for something.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/RoscoMcCabeOfficial

VELVET MORNING - SINGLE REVIEW

Velvet Morning - Green Whale (RIP Records) 
Velvet Morning - Green Whale

OK, I like this song and the band's psyched out, mellow noodlings are perfect for a Saturday night chill out. The video is pretty trippy and the guitars jingle and mingle around in the air above my head like thick, sweet smoke. The only problem is that for all the cool overtones - and they are cool, super cool - there's something about 'Green Whale' that really reminds me of Neil the Hippy from the Young Ones singing 'Hole In My Shoe'. Now don't get me wrong, I love that song, but when a song starts to sound like a pastiche of the genre it is trying to exist within then world has gone a little bit wonky. Maybe that's the point, a post modern take on the psyche genre in the digital age. Maybe I'm over thinking it. Either way, I can thoroughly recommend that you bang this tune on and let it wash over you.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/Velvet.Morning.band?fref=ts

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTjO94beslM

Live Dates:

28th September - The Railway Hotel, Southend-On-Sea w/Holy Wave + Christian Bland & The Revelators
11th October - Kraak, Manchester w/Tomorrow's Tulips

31st October - The Castle, Manchester w/Theo Verney

BROOKE BENTHAM - SINGLE REVIEW

Brooke Bentham - We'll Be Ghosts (Trellis Records) 
Brooke Bentham - We'll Be Ghosts

Release Date: 29th September 2014

South Shield lass Brooke Bentham is a straight down the line, no messin', no foolin' Folk singer and it's a breath of fresh air. The 18 year old has a single coming our way by the end of the month in the shape of 'We'll Be Ghosts' and it is heart stoppingly gorgeous. The delicately picked notes of Bentham's electric guitar provides a rich, warm bed for her soft vocals to sprawl out over in the coldest part of the night. There's a maturity and pure beauty to this song that, I hope, signals more to come from an artist with time and talent on her side. A real treat.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/brrookebentham?fref=ts

EATON CAGE -ALBUM REVIEW

Eaton Cage - The Curve 
Eaton Cage - The Curve

2014 has been the year of the duo as confirmed by the huge success of Royal Blood and the ongoing popularity of The Black Keys. So there's no blame attached for the glut of duos that have followed in the wake of these acts but it is getting harder to tell them apart. Nevertheless, Derbyshire lads Eaton Cage deserve their turn and this, their debut album, seems like a good place to start. Starting with 'So Young And Out Of Love' you can immediately hear that Black Keys sound in the thick, groove based guitar riffs but there is something different in the drumming which is more Black Sabbath. 'Firestone Hill' has some seriously heavy guitars but the vocals seem to fit more with the 80s indie of Joy Division or the Fall. 'By Every Hour' is a more laboured, plodding affair while 'You Should Be Here' has a sinister tinge to it and 'Lens That Sold Them' is a Led Zeppelin meets Johnny Cash ballad which could do with some better vocals effects but works otherwise.

Things get back to the dirty grooves on 'No Fences In Little Eaton' which has a great riff and vibe but the vocals just don't quite match up as they come out a bit flat, tuneless and lacking in power. 'No Heart' has a great White Stripes-esque quirkiness to it while 'Drunken Dutch-Door' is relentless in its pursuit of the spirit of rock'n'roll. There is a lighter feel to 'Sweet Valley' but the vocal melodies don't really cut it before the album closes with 'Three Hundred Miles Away' which could be the entrance music for a particularly evil wrestler or the theme tune for a documentary about a brothel in Soho. I like these guys and they've got some great ideas but I think they're best bet would come in breaking the duo mould and employing a bassist with a dirty rock'n'roll voice to give them that extra kick. There must be swathes of bassists just wondering the streets at the moment so I'm sure one of them can sing.


More information: http://www.eatoncage.com/

BROTHER & BONES - VIDEO REVIEW

Brother & Bones - Kerosene 
Brother & Bones - Kerosene

LWM favourites Brother & Bones have been working hard over the summer with a string of high profile dates and a tweak to the line up followed up by recording their eagerly anticipated new album in the good old U. S. of A. Now, I don't normally review videos but when it's the first new material by one of your favourite acts then you kinda have to take a peek. And anyway, this isn't really about the video. 'Kerosene' is unmistakably a Brother & Bones tune with the huge riffs, rib-cage pounding beats and those mind blowing vocals in full effect. But something's changed, something is different. It took me a few listens but I think I've worked it out - where the quintet were previously surviving on scraps and dealing in the raw end of rock'n'roll there is now a slickness and a professionalism to go with that raw energy. The guys are stadium ready now and if they rocked up as main support to Kings Of Leon or Bon Jovi they really wouldn't look or sound out of place. The album drops in 2015 and if you've got a tenner to spare then I'd put it on these guys to hit the big time next year. 'Kerosene' is just waiting to be set alight.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/brotherandbones?fref=ts

Watch the Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLqkr52CQrw

Live Dates:

17th September - 100 Club, London
1st October - 100 Club, London
16th October - Hedon, Zwolle
17th October - 013KZ, Tilburg

18th October - De Kelder, Amersfoort

HONOURS - SINGLE REVIEW

Honours - Bulletproof 
Honours - Bulletproof

I do love it when a band comes along and they manage to retain an element of enigma about them. All I know about trio Honours is that they're from London, one of them is called Conkey and they are influenced by the pop side of 80s and 90s music. And they like cricket, that's how I can differentiate them from 10CC. 'Bulletproof' is pure and unadulterated pop with light, 80s guitars and some contemporary beats puncturing the cheesy 90s synths with gorgeous regularity. Are they the Brother Beyond or Bros of our generation? Probably not but they are a lot of fun and with the right video and promo this could go a long way. This is the kind of song that cries out for the return of Saturday morning TV like Going Live or SM:TV/CD:UK so the band could have a mainstream platform to launch from.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/honoursband?fref=ts

Friday, 12 September 2014

SINGTANK - ALBUM REVIEW

Singtank - Ceremonies (Parlaphone France Records) 
Singtank - Ceremonies

Release Date: 22nd September 2014

There are a butt load of duos out there at the moment but very few are made up siblings and even fewer are made up of a brother and sister combination from Paris. Alexandre and Josephine de La Baume make up Singtank and they are an eclectically inspired pair as this album demonstrates with aplomb.  'Here We Go Again' gets things going with a blend of a Spanish lament and Vampire Weekend set to a Hip-Hop beat before 'Frida' pops up sounding like something half way between Sleigh Bells and a late 90s Nokia ringtone which is way better than it sounds. There is a real 80s electro feel to the duo's version of 'Suspicious Minds' which gives it an incredibly cinematic feel while 'Can You Hear Me?' sounds like a UB40 tune being played on a cheap keyboard and Foals on production duties. Are you following me on the eclecticism yet? Good.

On 'We Are' the range of tastes takes a turn for the downright crazy as it blends Grandaddy and Elbow style indie with panpipes of the Andes. Panpipes of the indies anyone? 'Tete Brulee' is a gorgeous piece of lo-fi electro indie with roots in Stereolab or Pulp's earlier stuff while 'FOMO' has a sinister vibe about it that reminds of the likes of Beck and Eels in the best possible way. Normally people blame the parents but in this case I can only assume that Mr & Mrs de La Baume have an awesome record collection....and it was probably all on vinyl too. The simple piano melody on 'Looking For My Sister' is steeped in Motown style before giving way to the laconic and thoroughly French ballad 'Old Tunes'. 'La Vie En Octets' has a sparkling, early morning feel to it with rippling keyboards and dreamy vocals creeping in with the gentle rising of the sun. Then again, 'Coming Down' has more of a contemporary down tempo indie feel with those luxurious vocals playing off against each other beautifully.

As the album reaches its unpredictable climax, 'When' rolls around the corner with a breathy, euphoric and optimistic feeling before the album closes with 'Ursus' which is an epic modern pop ballad in the style of Lana Del Ray. The beauty of this album lies in the range of styles, genres and moods taken in by this duo as well as the way their voices contrast and combine so beautifully. Ceremonies is sublime and constantly surprising stuff.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/singtank?fref=ts

Live Dates:


23rd October - Le Nouveau Casino, Paris