Saturday, 26 September 2015

L'ASSASSINS - SINGLE REVIEW

L'Assassins - Fire Of Love (Pinata Records) 
L'Assassins - Fire Of Love

Release Date: Out Now

If you like pounding drums, raucously seductive vocals and dirty guitars then you're almost certain to love the new single from Minneapolis quartet L'Assassins. The Garage-punk fun of 'Fire Of Love' is part the Stooges and part occult with fire, whips, chains and a whole lotta leather in both the vicuals and the sound. A more patronising reviewer would pigeon hole these ladies as the perfect backing band for Jack White's new project, whatever that may be, but in all honesty I think they would eat lily livered Jack alive and only leave his smouldering leather boots as a reminder to the rest of the world. L'Assassins mean business but there sure is space for a little devilish fun along the way, make no mistake about that.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGBmyRKe85k&feature=youtu.be

Live Dates:

27th September - Foo Bar, Nashville w/The Tip + Deadly Lo-Fi
29th September - Brass Rail, Fort Wayne
30th September - The Wisco Bar, Madison w/The Rotten Tommys + Skizzwhores
17th October - La Divan Orange, Montreal


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

BERNACCIA - SINGLE REVIEW

Bernaccia - Power To The Hills 
Bernaccia - Power To The Hills

Release Date: 26th September 2015

Aside from being a Hilary Clinton campaign anthem, the new single from Geordie boys Bernaccia is also an atmospheric, cinematic piece of wild-west inspired wondrousness. 'Power To The Hills' is underpinned by thundering, galloping drums and guitars that shudder in the midday sun like melting tarmac. Frontman Jonny Noble's vocals are pure Jim Morrison as they seep seductively from the speakers and seduce you as much as they lead you astray. If you heard this tune drifting out of a tent at Burning Man or just in your ears as you drove a beaten up convertible in to Vegas on the fumes of the last remnants of gas then you would feel at home. How it fits in on the banks of the Tyne I don't know but I'm sure if you pop your collar against the winter wind and strap your headphones on then this will be guaranteed to warm your cockles.

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

Live Dates:


10th October - Mining Institute, Newcastle

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

ANTIMATADOR - SINGLE REVIEW

Antimatador - Find Your Way 
Antimatador - Find Your Way

Release Date: Out Now

Antimatador are one of my new favourite bands. Fact. Why you ask? Well, they've got an ace name for starters. Then there's the music, a blend of funk, soul, agit-pop and rock that takes parts of Rage Against The Machine, Rudimental and early Incubus to make an uplifting and infectious sound. Latest single 'Find Your Way' has been around for a little while but it's worth taking time to get to know it as the smooth keys and soulful vocals ooze in to the gaps between the spiky beats and jagged guitars. The rhymes of MC Vegas give proceedings an edge and provide the perfect counterbalance to Myron Riley's super soulful pipes. The single also features the Fjokra remix which takes the essence of the song and turns it in to a slightly menacing but ultimately relaxing late night chill out tune. There is also a live version of 'Right One' from a performance at Plymouth's Palace Theatre which shows off the bands more relaxed Reggae Dub side. All in all, Antimatador are the kind of band that will show you a good time and give you some good chat in between dances which works for me. More please.

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


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgeulfDfs7c&feature=youtu.be

Sunday, 20 September 2015

LOOE FESTIVAL - HIGHLIGHTS REVIEW

Looe Festival, Cornwall - 18th-20th September 2015

FRIDAY
I first came to the Looe Festival a year ago as a carefree, child free fella on a mission to drink cider and see bands. Now, 12 months on, I arrive at this tourist and fishing haven with my partner and 11 month old son in tow for my first experience as a 'family' at a festival. Negotiating the winding streets and trying not to be too tempted by the many and varied food stalls we found our way to the beach just in time for my son to officially record his first festival experience as watching the legendary Buzzcocks working their legendary punk rock magic . OK, they're getting on a bit and I'm not sure a beach is necessarily the right environment for punk to really work in but there's no denying the timeless value of songs like 'What Do I Get?' and 'Ever Fallen In Love?'. That said, it was during the latter of these two songs that the mini-Monger fell asleep so I guess being a critic is in the genes.

Lost Dawn - Cornish dandies
Spinning ourselves around to check out the BBC Introducing Tent, we are greeted by the hugely exciting Lost Dawn who hail from the Falmouth scene. The psyche-rock trio have been on my list of bands to check out for a while now and they didn't disappoint with their mixture of tight bass lines, punchy beats and wailing blues riffs all infused with a sense of unpredictability. There were no introductions, no fan fares and the lighting was so bright that you could almost the bones of the band but these don't need to hide behind anything or from anything, they just get to be themselves and we get to watch. Bliss.

Wandering back through the streets it was a delight to hear guitarists playing away in cafes, bands cranking it up in pubs and there was even a guy in a red top hat playing a mean penny whistle at a blistering pace outside a fudge shop. A highlight of these smaller performances was the excellent Real Steel performing a loose, funky and infectious steel band set outside the Cornerstone to an increasing  crowd of massed and dancing onlookers. Some pulled pork and a short walk past a guy play a sousaphone and we were on our way home - not a bad start to the weekend.

SATURDAY
Looe was packed. The streets were full of day trippers enjoying the food, the sun and the music onRaikes playing a blinder in the BBC Cornwall Introducing tent. The Liskeard quartet were doing a fine job of warming up the sun toasted crowd with their indie leanings and complex, intertwined melodies. Over on the main stage, though, something altogether more powerful going on as Plymouth based Antimatador were whipping the crowd in to a frenzy with their mix of Rage Against The Machine power, early Incubus funk and a liberal smattering of good vibes. They did pause to make a point about the current Syrian refugee crisis as an introduction to the fiercely infectious 'Mad As Hell'. There is always a moment at any festival where you think you might have found a new favourite band and this time, Antimatador might just have ticked that box.
Antimatador in selfie mode

Back in to the tent for LWM favourites Sound Of The Sirens. I've championed this Exeter duo for some time now and I almost thought their moment had passed and then I walked in to that tent. How two musicians with just an acoustic guitar and a mandolin get a packed crowd to both listen intently and jump for their lives is beyond me but they did it. Last year this pair played to a relatively indifferent Marquee tent but they've worked their socks off over the past 12 months and it has clearly paid off. Next year, the main stage? The Dodge Brothers brought their brand of Bluegrass Americana to the main stage with eagle eyes spotting film critic Mark Kermode on Double Bass but the eagle eared noting that the performance was slick, authentic and driven by the excellent Mike Hammond on guitar, vocals and American drawl. Plenty of banter, audience participation and impromptu dancing in the audience made for a thoroughly enjoyable set as the sun set behind the stage and the fishing boats returned from a day's work to top up the chip shops for the evening rush.

The Retro Gents lived up to their burgeoning reputation as one of the hottest properties on the Plymouth scene (and beyond) with their unique brand of indie with a twist of Arctic Monkeys tightness, Reef style groove and the swagger of Catfish & The Bottlemen. The only thing that let them down was a slightly bass heavy mix on the PA which left everything sounding a bit muddy inside the steamy tent. One of my highlights of the 2014 festival was the discovery of madcap Tankus The Henge so it was a delight to see the band back for another year. As a topless Jaz Delorean (yes, really) and his rag tag bunch of troubadours bounded on to the stage, there was a prickle of anticipation within the crowd and it was instantaneously satisfied as the band launched in to the kind of performance that most bands reserve for their finale. The septet have retained their gypsy pop roots but have added a new level of funk and a slightly heavier, beefier sound to some of the new songs that only makes for a more eclectic and impressive show. Not a new discovery but clearly one of the highlights without a shadow of a doubt.
Tankus The Henge - you wouldn't cross them.

Another day done at the marvellous Looe Festival, then, and an honourable mention must go to the Steampunk Morris group who were wowing and terrifying passersby in equal measure as they carried out some traditional Morris dancing on the harbour side dressed in full Steampunk garb - including one guy in a black face mask that would make Michael Myers whimper. Nothing a tasty Pad Thai for the long walk back to the car can't solve though!

SUNDAY
The weather and the mood was far more subdued today as Looe cranked up for another day of music and what better sight and sound to rouse the audience from their slumber than The Normals playing their bright and breezy brand of indie-ska-pop atop their minibus. A Beatles cover got the crowd bouncing and the only interruption was a few stubborn motorists trying the edge their way through the crowd amassed on the narrow street. Heading on over to the BBC Cornwall Introducing tent, we caught the tail end of Cornish quintet Flashes. Strangely, the programme had these guys listed as 'pop' but anyone expecting bouncy melodies or a Britney Spears cover would have been quickly corrected by the grungy wall of noise that these guys create which possibly stunned a few of the still hungover crowd.

Now, Duke Special  is a name I have seen and heard a lot over the years but never actually got around to actually checking which, as it turns out, is a crying shame. With a stage set up that comprised a humble piano and a percussive set up that is anything but humble, these guys set about blending the tones of Tori Amos, the creativity of Ludovico Einaudi and the moroseness of Tom Waits. Once you get in to the same headspace that they occupy, these guys are a joy and their stunning version of 'Old Man River' absolutely slayed a crowd that was lapping it up as the sun started to dip in the sky. Oh, and it's probably the first time I've ever seen anyone 'play' a cheese grater as an instrument which is not something you say every day. Burgeoning Cornish folk combo The Changing Room played to a packed out tent at the other end of the beach with a harp, an accordion and horns all adding to great tunes that were slightly let down by a muddy sound mix.

Over on the main stage, the eagerly anticipated Ferocious Dog  took to the stage in a drone of
Ferocious Dog - you REALLY wouldn't cross them
Didgeridoo and fiddle strains with a politicised spoken word track. When the band finally took to the stage they had a swelling crowd eating out of their hands as their brand of folk-punk that puts them in the same league as Mad Dog McRae, Crazy Arm and Flogging Molly. Some audience participation, a few displays of furious finger work on the frets and some genuine appreciation of the crowd and location from front man Ken Bonsall all made for a great party vibe. But for all the jigging and reeling, Ferocious Dog have songs with weight, meaning and messages which makes them that rare thing in a band - entertaining and enlightening. Enterlightening if you will.

So, another summer falls away and as the flocks of geese fly over towards warmer climes we are left with beautiful music ringing in our ears and another three days of memories in our heads. Looe Music Festival is quickly becoming the perfect book end to the festival summer season but if I had one message to all the fabulous bands that come in from outside the Southwest it would be this: don't forget this part of the world for the rest of the year. There are some avid music fans down here who have to go without for the Winter before bingeing on music in the Summer so don't forget about us, OK?

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

Buzzcocks - https://www.facebook.com/buzzcocksofficial?fref=ts
Lost Dawn - https://www.facebook.com/lostdawnrock?fref=ts
Real Steel - https://www.facebook.com/realsteelband
Raikes - https://www.facebook.com/raikesuk?fref=ts
Antimatador - https://www.facebook.com/AntiMataMusic?fref=ts
Sound Of The Sirens - https://www.facebook.com/SoundoftheSirens?fref=ts
The Dodge Brothers - https://www.facebook.com/The-Dodge-Brothers-166791935082/timeline/
The Retro Gents - https://www.facebook.com/TheRetroGents?fref=ts
Tankus The Henge - https://www.facebook.com/tankusthehenge?fref=ts
Steampunk Morris - https://www.facebook.com/groups/steampunkmorris/?fref=ts
The Normals - https://www.facebook.com/thehomeofthenormals?fref=ts
Flashes - https://www.facebook.com/flashesband?fref=ts
Duke Special - https://www.facebook.com/DukeSpecial?fref=ts
The Changing Room - https://www.facebook.com/thechangingroommusic?fref=ts

Ferocious Dog - https://www.facebook.com/FerociousDog?fref=ts 

Thursday, 17 September 2015

SWEET WHITE - SINGLE REVIEW

Sweet White - Tides 
Sweet White - Tides

Release Date: Out Now

Peterhead kids Sweet White are back with a new single ahead of a fresh tasting EP that is due to hit our ears in October. 'Tides' is the latest missive from the 5-piece and after a slightly ambient, shoegazey intro, a tide of Madchester inspired indie comes washing over us. Taking in elements of the Stone Roses, Dutch Uncles, the Verve and Ride, these guys manage the seemingly impossible feat of creating a tune that is slow in pace but unrelenting and unpredictable in momentum. Guitars scratch and drone in equal measure, the drums bounce around and throughout it all a persistent but non-threatening voice pervades. This is a little rough around the edges and it's certainly not polished but that's all part of the charm and it's so good to hear a band releasing music before they've been through the industry mill too much.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sji0-cuGCz4&app=desktop

Live Dates:

8th October - Buskers, Dundee
9th October - Harry's Bar, Montrose
11th October - The Tunnels, Aberdeen
14th October - Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
15th October - PJ Molloys, Dunfermline
16th October - The Green Room, Perth
17th  October - Eagle Bar, Inverness

24th October - The Harbour Lights, Peterhead

FEROCIOUS DOG - SINGLE REVIEW

Ferocious Dog - Slow Motion Suicide 
Ferocious Dog - Slow Motion Suicide

Release Date: Out Now

You would be forgiven for thinking that a song called 'Slow Motion Suicide' was a Radiohead-esque anthem to misery full of sighed lyrics and long, drawn-out notes. Nottingham combo Ferocious Dog, however, don't do misery or introspection, instead they do anger, rage and defiance with a side portion of mischief. Menacingly chugging guitars and clear-as-day vocals get things going before the thud of a bass drum joins in and then the story unfolds of a man fallen on hard times despite a normal childhood and upbringing. It's an all too common story projected on to a backdrop of music inspired by the likes of Levellers, the Pogues and Mad Dog McRae. The fiddles join in and before long you can hear this being sung in an old Irish pub on a street corner in London as the most boisterous of all wakes kicks off around a pool table. Feisty and rowdy but never miserable and always a lot of fun.

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

Live Dates:

20th September - Looe Music Festival, Looe
10th October - Great British Alternative Festival, Skegness
15th October - Rainbow, Birmingham w/ Gaz Brookfield
16th October - O2 Academy, Bristol w/Mad Dog Mcrea + Gaz Brookfield
17th October - The Factory, Barnstaple w/Sound Of the Sirens
22nd October - The Brudenell, Leeds w/Gaz Brookfield
23rd October - The Cluny, Newcastle w/Gaz Brookfield
24th October - Old Firestation, Carlisle w/Gaz  Brookfield
29th October - The Owl Sanctuary, Norwich w/Gaz Brookfield
30th October - Esquires, Bedford w/Gaz Brookfield
31st October - Zanzibar Club, Liverpool
6th November - The Victoria, Swindon w/Gaz Brookfield
7th November - The Garage, Swansea w/Gaz Brookfield
12th November - Dingwalls, London w/Mad Dog Mcrea + Gaz Brookfield
13th November - Talking Heads, Southampton w/Gaz Brookfield
14th November - The Haunt, Brighton w/Gaz Brookfield
15th November - Westcoast Bar, Margate w/Gaz Brookfield
19th November - The Haygate, Telford w/Gaz Brookfield
20th November - Deaf Institute, Manchester w/Gaz Brookfield
21st November - The Grand, Clitheroe w/Gaz Brookfield
26th November - The Full Moon, Cardiff w/Gaz Brookfield
27th November - Subscription Rooms, Stroud w/Gaz Brookfield

28th November - Rock City, Nottingham w/Mad Dog Mcrae + Gaz Brookfield

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

LIONFACE - EP REVIEW

Lionface - Battle EP (Hunted Records) 
Lionface - Battle EP

Release Date: 24th September 2015

Bristolian quartet Lionface always make me think of Alan Partridge for some reason but that's more down to their name than their music. On this forthcoming EP, there is no room for messing around as they hit the ground with an ominous stride on 'Vampire' treating us o the musical bastard child of Skunk Anansie, Florence + The Machine and Tool. 'Living' keeps the pace up with striding guitars, soulful vocals and a mechanical sounding beat that is as relentless as it is infectious - not to mention the creepy child like backing vocals and epic, Faith No More-esque chorus. Lazy journalists might call this Ellie Goulding with a heavy rock band behind her instead of electro pop chirruping but this is more than that, more soulful and more substantial.

On 'Eclipse' Lionface take things to a more electro spectrum with a sound that Clean Bandit would be too scared to approach such is the visceral, high octane energy behind the brakeless juggernaut that is ploughing remorselessly towards some bastion of corporate control. The EP comes to a close on 'No Hope State' which is, by all accounts, a more slow and morose number, like a ballad sung by some sexy alien in the bar in Star Wars to a heartbroken Han Solo. All in all, Lionface do everything a lion does - the terrify with their roar, entice with their beauty and inspire awe with their grace.

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

Live Dates:

25th September - The Louisiana, Bristol w/Nasty Little Lonely + Towers

26th September - Sebright Arms, London

Monday, 14 September 2015

RICHARD LOMAX - SINGLE REVIEW

Richard Lomax - Hotel X 
Richard Lomax - Hotel X

Release Date: Out Now

It's not often I get to write the phrase 'Richard Lomax is a Manchester based Omnichord player and songwriter' but Richard Lomax is a Manchester based Omnichord player and songwriter. Twice! Ha! Lomax's latest single 'Hotel X' is about so much more than the Omnichord though. Positioned somewhere between Jim Noir, the Zutons and Richard Hawley, the agitated, brooding and slightly itchy spirit of this track doesn't rest for long before turning on its heels and heading off in a new direction. This music has an attention deficit disorder of the most appealing variety but the strand that runs through the core is Lomax's smooth, baize-like vocal which could croon the pants off a many panted lady. High praise indeed, then. Watch out ladies of Italy, he's coming for you and he's bringing his Omnichord. I mentioned that he plays an Omnichord right? Good.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uw12RP7vdU&feature=youtu.be

Download/Listen Here: https://soundcloud.com/richardlomax/hotelx

Live Dates:

8th October - Pomopero (Breganze), Viterbo
9th October - Giardini Luzzati, Genoa
11th October - Tetris, Trieste

18th October - A Carefully Planned Festival, Manchester

HER - SINGLE REVIEW

Her - Five Minutes 
Her - Five Minutes

Release Date: Out Now

Ready for a bit of sexually overactive sophisti-pop? Horny duo Her (Victor and Simon to their, frankly, disappointed mothers) have a knack for pulling together sparse but sexy tunes and 'Five Minutes' is a great example of said knack. Pulling the essence out of Duran Duran at their peak, mixing it with a little Marc Almond and then getting the XX to hand feed them some oysters, these two guys will have you hot under the collar before you can avert your gaze. Smooth synths, perky guitars, a groovy bass line and subtle finger clicks for a beat is all they need. All this in less than five minutes which surely leaves them space to light a cigarette and pass you the toilet roll to clean yourself up. Classy to the end.

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

Live Dates:


22nd October - The Old Blue Last, London

SPEAK, BROTHER - SINGLE REVIEW

Speak, Brother - Lions Roar 
Speak Brother - Lions Roar

Release Date: Out Now

Sports related songs are always hit and miss, with waaaay more misses than hits over the years (for every 'World In Motion' there's a 'Come On You Reds'). So, when Rugby Borough Council decided to commission a song to celebrate the Rugby World Cup coming to the UK they were putting their reputation as musical taste makers on the line. Local lads Speak, Brother took up the mantle and came up with the aptly named 'Lions Roar', a song steeped in rousing emotions and English summery vibes. The video could be an advert for Pimms or Richmond sausages but if you close your eyes and listen in then you'll hear a tune that would sit comfortably between Mumford & Sons and Passenger. Most importantly, they've got the mix just right of a song that works on its own right but could also be chanted out by a proud and boisterous Rugby crowd at Twickenham. Now, hands up, I'm more of a football fan that a Rugby follower but I have to say that this track knocks most football songs in to a cocked hat. Well played lads. Touchdown! Or whatever it's called....

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbGktVcmg10

Live Dates:


20th September - St Swithun's Institute Halls, Worcester

SECULAR GHOST - SINGLE REVIEW

Secular Ghost - The Bystander Effect 
Secular Ghost - The Bystander Effect

Release Date: Out Now

If I were to launch a musical career as a solo artist then Secular Ghost would be the kind of name I would plump for although this has clearly already been pinched by the trixy Ryan James, straight outta South Wales. This first release under the Secular Ghost title is a two track single that opens with 'The Bystander Effect', a dark, stormy night of a track that demands a large wheeled vehicle with better than average speakers to play this out of. Early 90s computer game sound effects mix with Roni Size sized bass drones and some moody, breathy vocals just to add to the ambience of a track that should surely feature on a TV series like Gotham at the very point that someone swears bloody revenge. 'Wormhole #1' is the B-side and comes in at just under two minutes of swirling, fluttering ambient synth noodling which would make a fantastic mid album palate cleanser or the intro to a much bigger, club slaying tune.

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


Listen/Download Here: http://secularghost.bandcamp.com/releases 

BODDHI SATVA - SINGLE REVEW

Boddhi Satva feat. Declaime & Georgia Anne Muldrow - When The Lights (Offering Records) 
Boddhi Satva - When The Lights

Release Date: 18th September 2015

Boddhi Satva, for those that don't know (which included me until about 5 minutes ago), is the Godfather of Ancestral Soul, a new genre that is sweeping across the clubs of Africa at this very moment. This latest single, 'When The Lights', features some guest talents but what is immediately apparent is that this is something very different. The initial keyboard melody has a childlike quality but then the layers of vocals, rapping, beats and trippy vibes all start to build up and you're left with something between hip-hop, trip-hop and electro-psychedelia. If I was to imagine this music coming from a group of established artists it would look something like Moby producing Outkast with the Fugees and Parov Stelar sprinkling their magic all around. Eclectic, multi-layered and a little bit crazy but with a big fat groove running through the middle of it. You can't argue with that.


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

Sunday, 13 September 2015

IN HOODIES - SINGLE REVIEW

In Hoodies - She Got Caught 
In Hoodies - She Got Caught

Release Date: Out Now

In Hoodies is the marvellously titled project for the music of Turkish songwriter Murat and his collected cohort of musicians. 'She Got Caught' is the first video from this artist and the first thing to notice is the stunning artwork which could easily be the cover art from a critically acclaimed Japanese anime film. The second thing to notice is the warmth and expanse created by the simple strumming and plodding beat that herald the beginning of this song. Elements of David Kitt, Badly Drawn Boy and Snow Patrol are all in there which is not remotely what I was expecting but it seems to work. The video is straight outta left field but is enthralling and matches the mood of the music perfectly. A strangely understated debut but, like the man arriving at a party on his own and sitting in the corner staring at the floor, this will get noticed....eventually.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA4tqdwl6HQ

Listen/Download Here: https://inhoodies.bandcamp.com/releases

Live Dates:

25th October - Byzantion Fest #4, Dorock XL
5th November - Bagimisz! Festival #5

19th December - Salon Iksv

FRANK TURNER - SINGLE REVIEW

Frank Turner - Josephine (Xtra Mile Recordings) 
Frank Turner - Josephine

Release Date: Out Now

Winchester's finest Frank Turner is back with another track from his latest album and, whilst his voice is unmistakable, something has changed in his sound. 'Josephine' is still a triumphant, chest beating, life affirming sound but Turner is toying dangerously with a new MOR sound that centres around a washed out guitar sound. The arty black and white video shows Turner in full front man mode as you might have expected from Brandon Flowers but the thing that always set our Frank apart was that he stood alone, not in just in front of a group that were diluting his ideas. 'Josephine' is still better than most other songs out there but I do hope this doesn't herald the start of frank falling down the all too common well of artists taking their foot off the throttle when they achieve a certain level of success.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STRG4tOUARw

Live Dates:

19th September - Mr. Smalls Theatre, Millvale
20th September - Riot Fest, Toronto
22nd September - The Lost Horizon, Syracuse
23rd September - Higher Ground Ballroom, South Burlington
25th September - House Of Blues, Boston
26th September - House Of Blues, Boston
28th September - Irving Plaza, New York
29th September - Irving Plaza, New York
30th September - Irving Plaza, New York
2nd October - The Fillmore, Philadelphia
3rd October - Rams Head Live, Baltimore
4th October - 930 Club, Washington
6th October - House of Blues, Chicago
7th October - Varsity Theater, Minneapolis
9th October - Ogden Theatre, Denver
10th October - The Boulder Theater, Boulder w/Beans on Toast
12th October - Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City
13th October - Knitting Factory, Boise
15th October - The Neptune Theatre, Seattle
16th October - Knitting Factory Concert House, Spokane
17th October - Roseland Theatre, Portland
19th October - Ace of Spades, Sacramento
20th October - The Fillmore, San Francisco
22nd October - Mayan Theater, Los Angeles
23rd October - House Of Blues, San Diego
24th October - House of Blues, Anaheim
25th October - The Press Room, Phoenix
27th October - Emo's, Austin
28th October - House Of Blues, Dallas
29th October - House Of Blues, Houston
5th November - Venue Cymru, Llandudno
6th November - O2 Guildhall, Southampton
7th November - O2 Guildhall, Southampton
9th November - Princess Pavillion, Falmouth
10th November - Princess Pavillion, Falmouth
13th November - Barrowland, Glasgow
14th November - Newcastle University, Newcastle
15th November - Rock City, Nottingham
16th November - Rock City Nottingham
18th November - O2 Academy, Birmingham
19th November - O2 Academy, Sheffield
21st November - Colston Hall, Bristol
22nd November - Colston Hall, Bristol
23rd November - Manchester Academy, Manchester
24th November - Manchester Academy, Manchester
26th November - Alexandra Palace, London

18th March - Salty Dog Cruise, Miami

Saturday, 12 September 2015

FRIDA SELANDER - SINGLE REVIEW

Frida Selander - Jesus As A Girl (Amasonora) 
Frida Selander - Jesus As A Girl

Release Date: Out Now

The gentle, beachy guitars that herald the beginning of Frida Selander's new single instantly transport you to the top of some grassy dunes in a hot, dry breeze staring a hazy horizon. From that vantage point, 'Jesus As A Girl' sashays along the beach with an aura of lightness but also supreme weight. Swedish singer-songwriter has a wonderfully direct approach to her song writing that takes the country feel of First Aid Kit, mixes in the no-nonsense vibe of Patti Smith and polishes it off with the spirit of PJ Harvey in her more introverted moments. Moving music with a thought provoking message, what more could you want?


More information: https://www.facebook.com/Frida-Selander-147498451533/timeline/

KING NO-ONE - SINGLE REVIEW

King No-One - Constellation 
King No-One - Constellation

Release Date: Out Now

York teenagers King No-One are playing the music industry game but on their own terms and a healthy dose of honesty which is hard not to be charmed by. New track 'Constellation' starts with a frantic and paranoid ripple of synths which is soon explodes in to a sexy, snaking, slinky guitar riff and some indie-disco swagger. King No-One mixes some marvellous indie influences from Ian Brown, Arctic Monkeys, Shed Seven and  Swim Deep to the Killers, Franz Ferdinand, the Strokes and Vampire Weekend. They've got the style of a young Suede and the kind of confidence that only comes with teenage bravado amplified by strapping on an electric guitar and turning it up to 11. This song is great indie fodder and has enough of a hook to draw you in so they just need some heavy rotation to get out in to the public domain. It's just a matter time before these boys become men.

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

Live Dates:

19th September - Deaf Institute, Manchester
26th September - O2 Academy, Sheffield
31st October - The Factory, Manchester

21st November - Fibbers, York

Friday, 11 September 2015

CROWDED HOUSE - SINGLE REVIEW

CROWDED HOUSE - SINGLE REVIEW 
Crowded House - Help Is Coming

Crowded House - Help Is Coming [Save The Children]

Release Date: Out Now

This blogging game, as much as I love it, can feel a little futile at times and none more so than at the moment when you can't move for images of Syrian refugees struggling against European red tape and bigotry. So, when the opportunity arose to help raise some awareness then I felt obliged to spread the word about this charity song. Kiwis Crowded House have teamed up with Save The Children and got a nice little intro from Benedict Cumberbatch so that 'Help Is Coming' can be released to the world to raise some money for those that need it most. The song is beautiful and sad in a way that only Crowded House can do but really that's completely irrelevant. When watched in conjunction with the video only the coldest of hearts could fail to be moved. The images and words of displaced children coming to terms with issues that most adults would struggle to take on are striking to say the least. This is a crisis the likes of which most of us have never seen in our lifetimes so it falls on us to take some responsibility and open our arms, hearts, minds and borders to those who can no longer call their house a home. Watch the video, hear the stories and let the music create a backdrop to this nightmarish situation. And then donate. If you do nothing else today, send that text and donate. It could save a life.

More information: http://helpiscoming.org/


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gWLQhCSv2I&feature=youtu.be 

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

FREEZY - SINGLE REVIEW

Freezy - Boom 
Freezy - Boom

Release Date: Out Now

Freezy Boom sounds like something a toddler would say when being hit by a snowball but when you separate the words out, this is actually a London based urban music artist (Freezy) and his new single (Boom). 'Boom' starts with a mêlée of synthesized vocal sounds and some clicky, processed beats before Freezy himself starts spitting out some rhymes and name checking the Black Eyed Peas in the opening lines. There is a sinister meance to this track which is perfect for being pumped out of a shiny Benz with tinted windows while cruising through LA streets as the sun goes down. This is slick stuff with its chest pumped out and a seriously big chain hanging around its neck. Freezy is that rare thing in UK music in that he is coming at the industry with confidence and an attitude that he will make it whether the labels and money men buy in to him or not. Go forth, Freezy, go forth and lay down your grooves.

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

STORNAWAY - EP REVIEW

Stornaway - Bonxie Unplucked  EP (Cooking Vinyl) 
Stornaway - Bonxie Unplucked EP

Release Date: 18th September 2015

Everyone's favourite Oxford folk combo Stornaway with a trixy little six track EP and we should all be very excited about it. The entirely acoustic 'Bonxie Unplucked' EP opens up with 'Between The Saltmarsh And The Sea' which opens cautiously like a forlorn sea shanty before unfolding in to a Divine Comedy meets Belle & Sebastian on an uninhabited island kind of indie-folk ditty. On 'Get Low' there is a more jaunty feel driven by a punchy acoustic rhythm and enveloped in some tight and sugary sweet vocal harmonies that would the Beach Boys or Teenage Fanclub a run for their money. There's a lovely bit of muted Banjo on 'Man On Wire' and a gentle rhythm that creates the perfect tune for walking down a dusty track in a Summer drenched field of corn.

Rippling guitar strings and some perfectly dissonant harmonies are liberally splashed with a wash of cymbals for 'The Road You Didn't Take' and you are transported to an otherworldly place at dawn as the fanciful creatures scatter in to the shadows when the sunlight creeps in to their twilight world. 'Lost Youth' has an almost cheeky cockney feel about but that lyrical content has bigger horizons and greater ideas to wrap you up in. The EP comes to an end with one of the best reworkings I've heard in a very, very long time. Stornaway's treatment of Yazz's 80s classic 'The Only Way Is Up' infuses an emotion and deep sense of feeling in to a song that I've always enjoyed but only now fully understand. So with just the use of acoustic instrumentation these boys have transported us to other worlds, created beautiful pop harmonies and changed the face of the 80s. Not bad for a cheeky little EP, eh?


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

Monday, 7 September 2015

DUA LIPA - SINGLE REVIEW

Dua Lipa - New Love 
Dua Lipa - New Love

Release Date: Out Now

London based singer-songwriter Dua Lipa has an exotic feel about her. From her intriguing name to her mysterious looks, Lipa certainly has something different about her and her new single, 'New Love', is just as intoxicating. Chanted vocals and tribal rhythms are soon illuminated by Lipa's stunning voice which is somewhere between Lana Del Ray, Amy Winehouse, Robyn and Kimbra but with a very distinctive soulful quality. In fact, what we have here is potentially the launch of a genre in alt-soul as this track combines Hoxton edginess and cool with some serious Soul chops. Dua Lipa has got one of the freshest new sounds that I've heard in a very long time and that is a wonderful thing to discover on a Monday night.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/dualipaofficial/timeline


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz-dPOjK1gQ&feature=youtu.be 

DEXTERS - SINGLE REVIEW

Dexters - Stay Strange (Acid Jazz Records) 
Dexters - Stay Strange

Release Date: Out Now

London quartet Dexters are, in the words of Zoolander, so hot right now. The band's new single, 'Stay Strange', is riotous fun with drums pounding from the get-go and a squall of feedback teasing you until the guitars and bass come crashing in with full force. When the song settles in to its stride, there is no doubt that we are experiencing pure indie anthem stuff that should see crowds jumping until their heels bleed at venues up and down the UK this Autumn. Elements of Interpol, the Killers, Pulp and the Kaiser Chiefs are all on display but with a greater sense of rebelliousness and carefree abandon as demonstrated by the superb video largely filmed in what appears to be a soft play area. I can only recommend that you get your eyes and ears around this single before hot footing to the nearest ticketing website to buy tickets for their imminent tour. You would regret it.

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

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

Live Dates:

17th October - The Cookie, Leicester
4th November - The Bodega, Nottingham
5th November - PJ Molloys, Dunfermline
6th November - Ku Bar, Stockton
7th November - The Rocking Chair, Sheffield
11th November - Sugarmill, Stoke
12th November - Studio 2, Liverpool
13th November - Mad Ferret, Preston
14th November - The Garage (Attic Bar), Glasgow
15th November - The Tunnels, Aberdeen
16th November - Electric Circus, Edinburgh
17th November - The Keys, Middlesborough
18th November - Brudenell Games Room, Leeds
19th November - The Venue, Derby
20th November - The Joiners, Southampton
21st November - The Lanes, Bristol
24th November - The Boileroom, Guildford
25th November - The Rafters, Maidstone
26th November - The Horn, St Albans

27th November - The Lexington, London (SOLD OUT)

Sunday, 6 September 2015

THE HOLLYWOOD KILLS - SINGLE REVIEW

The Hollywood Kills - Who Is Your Daddy? 
The Hollywood Kills - Who Is Your Daddy?

Release Date: Out Now

Two things to note about The Hollywood Kills before you even hear a note is that they have a member called Johnny Angel and another member who, based on looks, could easily be a modern day reincarnation of the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This is a tantalising combination so let's dive in to the latest release from this Nashville quartet. 'Who Is Your Daddy?' opens with  a dirty, drunk guitar groove and the kind of swaggering vocal that should only be sung by a man with at least 50% of his body showing, a good collection of tattoos and worryingly tight trousers. There are a few moments when this flies a bit close to the Funk sun and sounds like early Red Hot Chili Peppers or Maroon 5 being egged on by Buckcherry but on the whole the rock'n'roll is strong in these four swashbucklers. Fun times ahead but, just to be on the safe side, keep your kids inside.

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


Listen Here: http://www.purevolume.com/news/PREMIERE-The-Hollywood-Kills-Who-Is-Your-Daddy 

NATURAL ANTHEM - SINGLE REVIEW

Natural Anthem - Paranoid (Mystery Egg Records) 
Natural Anthem - Paranoid

Release Date: 11th September 2015

Natural Anthem are a Texas duo made up of Jake Murphy and Daniel Slatton and, on the evidence of latest single 'Paranoid', they make geek-indie of the highest melodic order. The lazily strummed guitar is pure Teenage Fanclub or Magic Numbers while the bass line pops along with more pep than it has any right to. The beat is straight from the 60s protest songs via Redd Kross and the vocals suggest someone has been on a 5 days acid trip that has left them confiding in a standard lamp while picking individual strands of hair out of their head until they are completely bald on one side. This is soothing and unsettling in equal measure which is an impressively perfect balance for any record to strike. Oh, and the video will leave you feeling more than a little spaced out too so don't watch it before operating any heavy machinery, capiche?

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


Watch The Video: https://vimeo.com/136712533 

TIJUANA BIBLES - SINGLE REVIEW

Tijuana Bibles - Ghost Dance 
Tijuana Bibles - Ghost Dance

Release Date: Out Now

Glasgow boys Tijuana Bibles mean business. First of all, look at that gig list!? There's not let up there. Then listen to the riffs that roar in to action at the opening of 'Ghost Dance'. Still no let up. And then then look at the array of jackets they're wearing in the video - denim, leather, suede. Any thoughts of letting up are long gone. This is the music Kasabian wish they had the balls to make with huge industrial sized riffs built on a foundation of grooves, drums that sound like they're being played with sledge hammers and such booming vocals that I had to take a pregnancy test after listening to this song the first time but (FYI - results were inclusive, being a bloke I found it hard to pee directly on to the stick). What I'm saying is that Europe looks to be in for a bit of a treat over the next few months and, if they haven't been arrested or killed by the end of the tour then I would expect big, sexy things to come from these guys.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea7AITiwli4

Live Dates:

9th September - Tonellis, Leipzig
10th September - Alligator Club, Poznan
11th September - Pusis, Alytus
12th September - DEPO, Riga
15th September - Zoccolo 2.0, Saint Petersburg
16th September - Theatre, Moscow
17th September - Black Hole, Nizhniy Novgorod
18th September - Harats Pub, Ulyanovsk
19th September - Harats Pub, Samara
20th September - BarDuck, Saratov
22nd September - Divan, Kiev
23rd September - Maydan Club, Lutsk
24th September - Route 66, Rzedow
25th September - Travellers, Cesky Krumlov
26th September - Reeperbahn Festival, Hamburg
27th September - Cafe Amelie, Giessen
30th September - Kulturcafe Lichtung, Koln
1st October - Altstadt, Eindhoven
2nd October - Rock Classsic, Brussels
3rd October - Wiedenbruccker Kirmes 2015, Wiedenbruck
5th October - The Waterhole, Amsterdam
9th October - Emscher Dam, Oberhausen
15th October - The Old Fire Station, Carlisle
16th October - This Feeling, Leeds

17th October - Factory 251, Manchester

FINE, IT'S PINK - SINGLE REVIEW

Fine, It's Pink - Young Burns 
Fine, It's Pink - Young Burns

Release Date: 25th September 2015

This may well be the first release I've had from Romania to review on this blog which means I need to update my blog map (after I buy a blog map and some tiny flags). Nevertheless, the intriguingly named Fine, It's Pink have a new single coming our way in the shape of 'Young Burns' so listen up and listen good. The single opens with a gentle menace of strained guitar notes and the ethereal voice of Ioana Lefter giving Florence Welch and Kate Bush a run for their collective money. There are elements of Radiohead and Swim Deep in the way the tune avoids any conformation to standard structures and the way vocals and rhythms drift in and out of prominence is truly a delight. With a perfectly suited video that is as complex and multilayered as this song is, Fine, It's Pink present a a thoroughly engaging package that really ought to be gaining them more attention. I can't help but feel that this tune would go down a storm on late night 6Music and might even cross over to day time if the DJs are brave enough.

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


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/user/fineitspink  

PEARL CHARLES - SINGLE REVIEW

Pearl Charles - You Can Change (Burger Records) 
Pearl Charles - You Can Change

Release Date: Out Now

From the get go, the influences of LA woman Pearl Charles are writ large in the faltering lights above the theatre doors. The Doors, Janis Joplin, the Black Keys and the White Stripes are all in there on the glorious blues-psych of 'You Can Change' but Charles' own modern stamp is there, snaking hypnotically in between the organ stabs and jerky guitars. Our retro-heroine has a gorgeously soulful voice which really sells this song and you can hear it being used in the next Vietnam war film to come along with either a drug taking or mind-losing montage. Sumptuous stuff from another time that sounds fresh and inviting - now that's a talent.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/pearl.charles.3?fref=ts


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

Thursday, 3 September 2015

FRANKIE LEE - SINGLE REVIEW

Frankie Lee - Where Do We Belong (Loose Music) 
Frankie Lee - Where Do We Belong

Release Date:  4th September 2015

Frankie Lee is the kind of guy who was born on the banks of the Mississippi, rides around with topless girls on the back of his motorbike and plays his guitar whilst looking as smooth as shit. He's the kind of guy you either hate or want to be which makes him prime for being a rock star. New single 'Where Do We Belong' is, therefore, a bit of a surprise when it comes along sounding like Midlake, the Magic Numbers or the Treetop Flyers with a light country tinge but more than a little soul running through the heart of the tune. The video is also a marvellously lo-fi piece of 'things-to-do-in-Mississippi-when-you're-bored' film making featuring cows, horses, cigarettes, karaoke, motorbikes, the American flag and the aforementioned topless girl. This is beautifully chilled and thoughtful music so I am putting my flag in the ground - I am firmly team Frankie Lee.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8pV-gdctdc&feature=youtu.be

Live Dates:

5th September - La Chambre Photographique, Santa Barbara
8th September - Doc's Lab, San Francisco

15th-20th September - Ama's, Nashville

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

THE LIBERTINES - ALBUM REVIEW

The Libertines - Anthems For Doomed Youth (Virgin EMI Records) 
The Libertines - Anthems For Doomed Youth

Release Date: 4th September 2015

I have to admit that, much like the Smiths, I never really got all the hype around the Libertines. A couple of good tunes and some eccentric behaviour, sure, but nothing to suggest the kind of living legend status they've been afforded. Still, they are one of the most enthralling bands of a generation so a new album will always be met with a certain sense of excitement and expectation. The return is heralded by the opening tune 'The Barbarians' which has those signature rolling drums, atmospheric guitars, gang harmonies and 60s chord progressions. Recent single 'Gunga Din' is up next and takes a slower run up at that Libertines sound and, dare I say, a slight cod-Reggae vibe which is thankfully overridden by a more standard indie chorus. It is on 'Fame And Fortune', however, that Carl, Pete and the rest really return to form with London running through the centre of the song like a black tie against a crisp white shirt as the quirky guitars duel with Albarn, Suggs and Dury inspired lyrics.

Album title track of sorts 'Anthem For The Doomed Youth' sees the band casting a lonely, disconsolate shadow while they compare Cromwell and Orwell for lyrical convenience and croon as though it's the end of a Brit flick about the end of some era. The piano opening to 'You're My Waterloo' could come from the smoky backroom of a prohibition bar after hours but that voice is unmistakable in all its fractured glory as they name check Tony Hancock and sing like there is nothing left to hope for. Things pick up on 'Belly Of The Beast' as the military drumming of Gary Powell soon gives was to a skiffley scuffle and lyrics mumbled from behind a coat collar with a half smoked fag loitering between those lips. There is a pent up energy that is almost restrained, held back on this album and you want it to explode but maybe they're keeping that back for the live shows.

The Libertines - flag hags
'Iceman' starts slowly with a dirty acoustic riff emerging from the shoreline of a murky city river and stumbles on to a city street to bump in to all the workers heading to their towers of high finance while 'Heart Of The Matter' is a typically fast paced ramble through and indie disco stomper. Track of the album for me is 'Fury of Chonburi' which has the beef and menace that is a little lacking on the rest of this collection as John Hassall's popping but dirty bass keeps the tempo relentlessly high throughout. The mellower approach to 'The Milkman's Horse' (possibly a euphemism, not sure) shows a side of the band that perhaps nods to another direction while the intriguingly titled 'Glasgow Coma Scale Blues' is the bastard son of the Kinks and the Stones being looked after by Josh Homme for the afternoon.

The album closes up with 'Dead For Love' and that smoky piano is back again to create a more epic backdrop than the Libertines have any right to provide for a song as it approaches Bond theme proportions if they ever filmed a Bond film in the East End with Ray Winstone as the villain. This is a good album, there is no disputing that, there are some cracking tunes and lyrically there is a lot to give. What I'm not sure of is whether this is a great album or even an album worthy of existing under the shadow of the Libertines legend. It'll still shift mega units though and there a few songs here that will fit nicely between the classic anthems during the live shows.

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

Live Dates:

6th September - O2 Academy, Glasgow

7th September - Rock City, Nottingham

8th September - O2 Academy, Bristol

10th September - Electric Ballroom, London

11th September - Ritz, Manchester

12th September - Tempelhof Airport Lollapalooza, Berlin

21st November - Festival Corona Capital, Mexico

JAKE MORLEY - SINGLE REVIEW

Jake Morley - Allegorical House 
Jake Morley - Allegorical House

Release Date: Out Now

The wondrous Jake Morley is teasing us back in to life for the Autumn with this latest single ahead of his new album. 'Allegorical House' features Morley's signature rapid fire vocals with original lyrics and a slightly skewed view on the minutiae of the universe. The rippling guitar strings, humming bass and trickling percussion all build beautifully, nourished by the vocal harmonies and the passion and purity in that voice. That voice. Jake Morley has one of those voices that hits some part of my brain smack dab in the middle and makes me feel joyful and tearful at the same time. It's the musical embodiment of huge relief sweeping through every part of you and to be able to recreate that emotion with a few strums'n'hums is a powerful talent indeed. Like Derren Brown, though, Morley will surely only use his powers for good so open up your ears, unshield your heart, close your eyes and feel the smile spread from your lips to every part of your body. Enjoy.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr-VOal1lZg

Live Dates:

4th October - Castle, Manchester
5th October - Basement, York
7th October - Rocking Chair, Sheffield
8th October - Moon Club, Cardiff
9th October - Louisiana, Bristol
11th October - Phoenix, Exeter
17th October - Railway, Winchester
18th October - Latest, Brighton
21st October - St Pancras O.C., London

23rd October - St Peter's, Ipswich