Friday, July 31, 2009

A pleasant Thought Forms


WEST Country post rockers Thought Forms should become a big noise with their eponymous debut album.
Because on the post rock scale, three-piece Thought Forms are more full-on roomshakers a la Amusement Parks On Fire than Sigur Ros-style soundscapers.
Two thirds of the time, their music is drenched in reverberating feedback - for the best part listening to their debut offering Thought Forms is like curling up into a foetal position and lying inside Kurt Cobain's speaker stack.
There's a quieter side too to their music, which waxes and wanes pleasingly across the course of the entire album, although the biggest influence creeping in is of grunge.
So if you're going record shopping next week - keep Thought Forms in mind.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Juice is loose


WHAT should have been a mouthwatering prospect from Juice Aleem is sadly rather dry.
Jerusalaam Come, the anticipated first album from the UK rapper, should have been a showcase for a brilliant talent.
And in a way it is - with Aleem non-stop throughout with a flow that's half-Roots Manuva, half-Saul Williams, double speed.
When his deep dextrous wordplay is coupled with decent backing tracks, such as on Higher Higher or First Lesson, Aleem is up with the UK's best.
Sadly the sought-after MC is too often let down by staid, predictable backing beats and production which has left his obvious vocal talents buried.
That said, while this LP is unlikely to convert the masses, for hip hop heads there's plenty of reasons to turn on the Juice.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm against Gay Against You


I NEED structure in my life.
I make lists.
I make lists of the lists I have compiled.
For that reason, the anarchic computer abuse that is Gay Against You is just not for me.
The eclectic eccentric electro punk duo's second album, Righteous Signals, Sour Dudes, is a constantly clashing landscape of wildly differing sounds running into one another.
It's no surprise to hear that band members Lachlann Rattray and Joseph Howe don't really get on - making them perhaps the only band in the entire history of bands to form over "artistic differences".
The other day, while looking for my The Best Of The Jackson Five CD, a teetering stack of albums taller than me on tippy-toes fell onto my head.
And listening to the Glaswegians' LP I'm reminded of that sickening moment once again.
Because if you're after the musical sensation of finding fragments of a lifetime's music in a muddled, broken heap, this is it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Live Xcerpts


LISTENING to The Xcerts' rough and ready debut album In The Cold Wind We Smile, you could tell that the Scot rockers would have been taking to the road.
Because in a studio setting, the energy and enthusiasm of their Idlewild-meets-Snow Patrol rock was barely restrained.
Whereas at the famed King Tut's venue, the group can let it all out, with tracks like Aberdeen 1987 taking on an extra emotional edge.
The quibbles of their LP remain, such as the need for a little polish - but I imagine if you remedied them you'd be taking out the very charm of The Xcerts.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Feelings Gone to arrive

THE second single from the forthcoming Basement Jaxx album Scars will be Feelings Gone.
The Sam Sparro-sampling single, the follow-up to Raindrops, will be available from September 21.

Y Not see Young Knives

YOUNG Knives are set to headline the Y Not Festival.
The local band are top of the bill on Sunday night at the festival, which is being held in Matlock from July 31-August 2.
Also appearing at the festival are Noah And The Whale, Nine Black Alps, Frank Turner, Beardyman, The Whip and more.
A spokesman said: "For one weekend a year, the gorgeous Peak District countryside is home to the Y-Not Festival.
"Y Not is an intimate music festival steering away from the huge corporate events so many others have become.
"At Y-Not you can see great live music, party the night away or watch the sunrise from your campfire.
"Whatever you want from a festival you will find it here and have a fantastic weekend... so why not?"

Stick In A Pot stuck in a rut

AS FAR as Stick In A Pot's debut EP When The Monsters Arrive is concerned - stick in a pot, and leave there.
The Brighton-based band's five track outing starts with a Jan Hammer-esque intro, Splinter, that really jars with the rest of the listing, before launching into two painfully plodding second rate indie tracks, Acclimatising and Plinky The Alien that sound like a sedated James.
With dodgy lyrics about beards and aliens, the whole affair smacks of a group that's trying just a bit too hard.
And when the tempo ups with Our Inert Inmate, it only goes to show that the tortuously-low beats per minute was the only thing that seperated them from the crowd.
Closing track Luterin (Victoria's Side Of The Story) is alright.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Franky panky


TO BE Frankmusik must be a lot of fun.
His debut album, Complete Me, is a turbocharged collection of synth pop that is bouncier than a spring made from jelly.
The dancey backing tracks sound like Erasure on steroids, while Frankmusik - real name Vincent Frank - sings over the top like a straight-laced Mika.
When it's good, it's pure pop perfection.
The problem is for every gold-plated track, there's two that have been soaked in cheese, and as a result the LP is inconsistant.
But it matters not.
The Stranglers-sampling When You're Around, In Step, Three Little Words, Better Off As Two - if there's any justice, Frankmusik should have complete chart domination with Complete Me.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sleepy Sun shine


ALL this recent Mercury Prize talk has got me in the mood to look back at the past year of releases - and one album that demands a mention is Sleepy Sun's dawning.
Akin to last year's In The Future by Black Mountain, one of my Albums Of The Year no less, their debut LP Embrace sees classic rock and stoner rock coming together.
And into this mix, the San Franciscan band - whose motto is "let's get weird" - add a covering of acid-soaked, spaced-out psychedelia.
It's a heady feedback-drenched mix - especially as most of the tracks on the album, which was released back in May, are seven-minute epics.
If you want to fly your freak flag high, Embrace is definitely one to hang on to.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Do not cross The Bridge


SOULFUL new singer Melanie Fiona, who aims to link classic soul with modern R&B with her debut album The Bridge, makes the crossing to the UK on Monday.
The neo soul album's keystone, the Zombies-sampling lead single Give It To Me Right, starts the LP off to a promising start, followed with the poppy Bang Bang and the toe-tapping Monday Morning.
Sadly things get rickety for Fiona, real name Melanie Hallim, quite quickly after this.
From Please Don't Go (Cry Baby) onwards, the whole affair is largely forgettable, a bit cheesy, and hardly likely to leave the listener in a state of suspension.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Classic thirty five - Princely Fresh


SLY And The Family Stone's 1973 masterpiece's title Fresh remains as apt as ever.
Because despite more than 35 years passing since the funk LP's release, the album still is.
When you think of funk, you think of irrepressible grooves like Funkadelic's One Nation Under A Groove, Parliament's Up For The Down Stroke, Sly And The Family Stone's Dance To The Music, and just about anything by James Brown.
But Fresh takes that base and builds on it.
From opener In Time with its brooding basslines, to all-time classic tracks like If You Want Me To Stay and Skin I'm In, the funk here grows from a groove, and lives and breathes fusing with elements of soul and jazz.
Put simply, if you want an album that stands the test of time, you want to get Fresh.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Crimea X rated average


CRIMEA X play disco-flecked house music - if it was a house that just happened to have been built on the moon!
That's right, they play deep house - deep space house, that is!
In fact you could say that the Phoros EP is house music that's out of this world!
You get the idea.
The Italian dance outfit's debut, which is a meeting of minds between creators DJ Rocca and Jukka Reverberi of glam post-rock band Giardina di Miro, is a steady flow of house laced with piano and 1970s sci-fi sound effects they describe as "cosmic disco".
And backed by a set of Seaside Resort remixes - on the Sea Of Tranquility I'm guessing - there's more than enough here for an enjoyable short break to their hedonistic house world.
Spacious rather than insistent, while Phoros isn't exactly going where no dance act has gone before, you can rest assured that you'll be jetting off to a good place.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mercury Prize fighters

THE 12 album shortlist for the Mercury Prize 2009 has been revealed.
Contesting the competition this year are -

● Bat For Lashes - Two Suns
Florence and the Machine - Lungs
● Friendly Fires - Friendly Fires
● Glasvegas - Glasvegas
● The Horrors - Primary Colours
The Invisible - The Invisible
Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Aslyum
● La Roux - La Roux
● Led Bib - Sensible Shoes
Lisa Hannigan - Sea Sew
Speech Debelle - Speech Therapy
● Sweet Billy Pilgrim - Twice Born Man

From the list, I'd like to see Kasabian walk away with the gong.
What are your thoughts? Comment below or head over to Sound Off and let me know.

Token Four - Look out for The Invisible


MIXING the ecleticism of jazz with elements of alt-rock, electronica, soul, funk and countless others, supergroup The Invisible's self-titled album is not one to be overlooked likely.
The work of jazz singer Dave Okumu, Polar Bear bassist Tom Herbert and Hot Chip drummer Leo Taylor, The Invisible is as hard to pin down as Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
The group have been labelled as a British TV On The Radio - imagine if you nobbled Bloc Party and Prince with horse tranquilisers, tied them all up in a big sack, and threw said sack into a canal, you'd be halfway there.
As a result the LP, released back in March to little fanfare, is probably too far removed from trad jazz to constitute a token inclusion - but in a few hours we'll find out...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Late Of The Pier dates disappear

CASTLE Donington rockers Late Of The Pier are taking a break from playing live shows.
But in the meantime the band plan to concentrate on running their own label, Zarcorp Inc.
Band member Andrew Faley said: "We're going to take some time out from Late Of The Pier live shows for a while. Figure things out properly. Do it bigger and better next time.
"In the meantime we're going to be working on a heap of other projects, one of which is dedicating a lot of time to setting up our label Zarcorp Inc, something that'll allow us to present other records and artists we're involved with, love, wish we'd made or simply just honest music we feel deserves to be encased in time.
"It'll also be the way we release all physical copies of future LOTP records.
"We're doing everything from our bedrooms, completely DIY, meaning we have complete quality control, selling it entirely via paypal on the MySpace - and a few copies will be stocked in Escalator Records in Tokyo - and processing/posting them all from home."

Token Three - Acoustic Ladyland land


MOVING away from folk, another group I'd like to see on the shortlist would have to be the ever-amazing Acoustic Ladyland.
No strangers to the Mercury Prize, having seen their alter-ego oufits Polar Bear nominated in 2005 for the album Held On The Tips Of Fingers, the group's fourth album, Living With A Tiger, was released earlier this month.
And the album is a electrifying return to the riff-based jazz of their sophomore album Last Chance Disco, which was one of my Albums Of The Year 2005.
Combining a punk ethos to making music with funky sax riffing and deliciously manic grooves, Living With A Tiger is beast of an album.
● You can grab a copy of Glasto, one of the tracks from the new LP, by clicking here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Token Two - Lau is wow


WITH the Mercury Music nominated albums due next week, I figured the time is nigh to finally blog about some albums already out there that could sneak onto the shortlist
Every year the Mercury's 12 picks invariably include token albums from the worlds of folk and jazz - last year for example saw nominations for Rachel Unthank And The Winterset's The Bairns and Portico Quartet LP Knee-Deep In The North Sea.
For 2009, from the world of folk I'm tipping Jim Moray, whose album Low Culture came out last year and is my Token One, and Manchester trio Lau.
The group, who brought their fabled live skills to Loughborough Town Hall just over a week ago, are surely in with a shot.
Their current album, Arc Light, is a glorious slice of 21st Century folk music - which welds together trad warmth, sizzling musicianship and irrepressible rhythm.
In folk terms, Lau is now.

Pictures provide backdrop

FORMER Hefner frontman Darren Hayman has put out a new live LP recorded with Wymeswold band The Wave Pictures.
Madrid was recorded by a technician unknown to the singer and band at a gig in Madrid in 2007.
The 12-track release also features one Hayman track, The Genesis Rock, that is previously unreleased.
Hayman said: "
I had a tour to do in Spain and Sweden and because they were Hefner fans I thought I could get them to be my band for cheap.
"They said 'yes'. The tour certainly had its ups and downs. Hard drives, some sparse gigs.
"They made me feel old, with their energy and optimism.
"One night I was watching their set and I realised that they were really, really good.
"This show was recorded by the desk engineer on the Madrid show of that tour, a happy accident. It has its faults, that's why it's cheap."
To order a copy click here.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shaping up nicely


THE dance music on Rec Tangle's Heavy Maple is not the sort to get you throwing shapes.
Instead, the Brighton-based Frenchman's debut album has a Kid Loco-style lushness to it more suited to soundtracking someone lying prone on their bedroom floor than someone on the dancefloor.
There are uplifting moments, here, granted, but it's when Tangle - real name Adrien Rodes - colours the air with his brooding, threatening palette that Heavy Maple shines.
With an organic feel that surely comes from playing nearly all of the layers live, tracks like opener Square One, Anima's Lament and The Meadow Green flower into swirling, threatening beasts of chillout tracks.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sparks fails to ignite


I MUST point out first that I've made my feelings on American Idols abundantly clear previously, here and here.
That in mind, I really tried to give Battlefield a fair crack of the whip - but sadly Jordin Sparks failed to spark a change in my opinion.
Sparks straddles a line between being a 'big' singer, doling out a emotional ballads a la Mariah Carey or Leona Lewis, but there's also a fair amount of dancefloor diva too, competing with the likes of Rihanna and Ciara.
And when these two combine - such as on the majestic Battlefield or Let It Rain - Sparks is on fire, it's just sadly not balanced right on most tracks.
So while Sparks may have won several battles over my prejudice here, for me Battlefield is a failed campaign.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wave hello, North America

THE Wave Pictures are set to tour North America as part of a birthday bash.
Record label Moshi Moshi, home to the Wymeswold band, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
To mark the milestone, a tour of American and Canadian cities will take place next month, with The Wave Pictures alongside Slow Club and Casiokids.
You can see the Wymeswold troubadours playing in Toronto on August 5, Montreal on August 6, New York on August 7, Los Angeles on August 8 and San Francisco on August 10.



IF YOU only listen to one gospel album this year, then Christ almighty, make sure it's this one.
Although What Have You Done, My Brother? is Naomi Shelton And The Gospel Queens' debut album, there's clearly a lifetime of music spilling forth here.
Shelton has a rasping lived-in quality to her voice, and although the basis of the collection is organ-and-choir gospel, a large swath of the LP has been soaked to the core with a Motown soul groove.
Out of a genre that most people would consider a stagnant backwater, Naomi Shelton And The Gospel Queens have delivered an album that's uplifting, optimistic and worthy rather than an homage to the past.
Amen to that, I say.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Forum back up

SOUND Off is now back online - apologies to everyone for the downtime.

Technical difficulties

THE Sound Off forum seems to be down - although I have no idea why.
I apologise for the problems, I shall try to sort them out as soon as I can.

Never forget Elephant Stone album

EARLIER this month Elephant Stone, ex-High Dials guitarist Rishi Dhir’s new band, released a first album, The Seven Seas.
And you can sample a slice of the group's jangle pop by clicking here to download the cheery I Am Blind.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Awash with Basement Jaxx

DANCE duo Basement Jaxx have recorded an album of "bath-time music" to be released after Scars.
While working on their long-awaited new LP, the pair also recorded a second set of material which is less dancefloor orientated.
Former Loughborough schoolboy Felix Buxton said: "There's some Pink Floyd-y, more ambient-y stuff.
"That's going to come out as probably a mini LP afterwards. It's for bath-time music."

Foot Village kick ass


WHO'D have thought a band who sum up their own sound as "drum-n-shout" would turn out to be hard to beat?
Los Angeles group Foot Village's new LP, Anti-Magic, may sound like a shambles at first listen, but their strictly percussion-and-gibbering sound is spell-binding stuff.
From the welcoming Energy Hunters, through tracks like the harrowing Grace's Death and the rhythmic Crybaby, the LP is consistently as inventive, original and affirming as a group of people "all on acid" banging a bunch of drums can be.
In fact, Foot Village's Anti-Magic should be a shoo-in for any discerning listener's collection.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Classic thirty four - 's good


GREAT googly moogly!
The prolific Frank Zappa's back catalogue can seem a little daunting to the uninitiated - after all, there's at least 60 studio albums to work through.
But if you'd like a place to start, then Apostrophe, his most commercially successful venture, is the best place to start, full stop.
It has all the hallmarks of classic Zappa - not least some of highest standards of funky classic rock set to tape, played by virtuosos including Cream bassist Jack Bruce.
And on the first half of the album - side A in old money - Zappa's renowned creative comic nonsense is showcased in an absurd yet brilliant 'concept album' narrative spanning six tracks.
So I urge you, pick up Apostrophe and do the funky Alfonso - you won't regret it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wired video out

QUORN born popstar Miss Lynsey, of Electric Dolls, has a new video out.
Check out the Wired promo below.

Bird Names not one to crow about


I REALISE that this may be a cheap shot as it is essentially the basis of music making - but to me Bird Names' latest fledgling Sings The Browns is just some people making noise.
I understand that there's method to the obviously-cuckoo Chicago band's freeform madness, which even sees the group's five members swapping instruments mid-song during live gigs, but overall their studio efforts are a sprawling mess.
That said there's something to love in every track - think of the LP as like the nest of a magpie, with a few glittering treasures hidden amongst a nest-full of unwanted, erm, nest.
Perhaps I'm just too chicken for music this far out.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Joey Negro no go


JOEY Negro And The Sunburst Band's latest LP sees last year's collaboration Moving With The Shakers revisited.
And while the sunkissed soulful house groove with a hint of funk - and I stress just a hint, funk fans - is retained, I have reservations about this double album.
Now I have no problems with the intentions of this collection of remixes from the likes of Dennis Ferrer, Milton Jackson, Audiowhores, Yam Who? and more - it's happy, smiling and laid back.
However as a result there's a tendency towards cheesy vocals.
In addition the beats are pedestrian, obvious house beats, and not one of those on remixing duties mixes this up throughout.
As a result, especially as each track at least hits the five-minute mark, the effect is a cumbersome, slow and unwieldy album.
The Remixes is not a bad album - but for the most part only as a backdrop.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pwr off


PARTY punks Ear Pwr - which means "Ear Power", and is not a remote Welsh village - release their album Super Animal Brothers III into the wild on Monday.
And the Asheville duo's album is likely to find itself its home among electro disco house party-type habitats, with its throbbing synth-and-megaphone sound.
However the problem with Super Animal Brothers III is that it's a simple pleasure - okay in short bursts, but so simple that over the course of an album, even a short 34 minute one, listening soon becomes an infuriating chore.
The lyrics are inane as well as repetitive - a prime example would be Sparkley Sweater, a song about owning a sparkley sweater - it's no surprise that the best songs here, such as Mexican Newspaper, are instrumental ones.
Simply, it's not big, and it's not clever.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Boom Boom Boom

BREAKING news - according to Twitter, so I'd be more than a little dubious about this announcement, The Outhere Brothers are playing in Loughborough in October.
More news on this sensational coup for the town will follow...

VV good


ROCKABILLY popstar VV Brown, real name Vanessa, certainly brightens up the charts with her debut album Travelling Like The Light.
The singer and model's musical bow is a refreshingly different collection of songs which straddle old school Elvis style rock and roll and modern soul and R&B.
Northampton's Brown, who turned down both P Diddy's Bad Boy Records and Oxford University en route to this release, sounds vocally assured, matching the conviction to tread her own path.
So while the album does inevitably descend into doo wop shtick, there's enough on Travelling Like The Light - not least surefire hits like Leave! and Shark In The Water - to indicate a promise that could go a long way.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Land a Ladyland track

ISAAC Ashe's Sound Advice favourites, the punk-funk-jazzsters that are Acoustic Ladyland, have a new album out on Monday.
Sadly I have not been able to scrounge a copy of the group's fourth album Living With A Tiger to say if it's any good - but the group have been kind enough to put out some of the tracks as freebies, so I'll forgive them.
Click here to download a copy of Glasto, one of the tracks from the new LP.

Isis is the biz


MY RECENT appeal for Albums Of The Year 2009 to date - which I posted here, on the Sound Off forum and on the Facebook page - saw double figures of recommendations for me to try and work through.
Mastodon, White Lies, Gallows, Wolves In The Throne Room, IAMX, Marilyn Manson, the list went on and on.
I'm still listening through the suggestions posted, but I just had to thank Sound Off member Oakenthrone for bringing Wavering Radiant by Isis to my attention.
The album, the group's fifth studio outing, is a post-metal masterpiece that was originally released in April this year.
With more than a hint of Tool, the group work their way through a slow-burning collection of mesmeric metal tracks that are subtle and hypnotic rather than heavy and confrontational.
It's an engrossing, cerebral experience that'll drag you back for repeated listens - in fact, don't expect me to work through the rest of your recommendations any time soon, I've got Wavering Radiant on heavy rotation right now.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Rumble Strips need shaking up


DESPITE the insinuations of the band's name, this latest album from The Rumble Strips failed to rouse me.
In fact the Tavistock-based Rascals-style indie band's second album, Welcome To The Walk Alone, is a pretty smooth ride from start to finish - as you'd expect from an assured producer such as Mark Ronson.
However what is unexpected is the lack of acceleration at any point on the album - for a group that spawned six singles from their debut, Girls And Weather, it's hard to pick out this LP's killer track.
So while the overall quality is high, it's a plateau from start to finish, meaning as a listener Welcome To The Walk Alone has barely registered before it's saying goodbye.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Play with Basement Jaxx

DID you know that Basement Jaxx's comeback single Raindrops is one of the first of a new type of "interactive" single?
Not only can you pop down the shops and pick up a CD, you can now log on to the web here and not just play the music, but play with the music.
You can do things like add lyrics to the visuals, remix the song by adding or removing elements such as vocals and basslines, and down the line even mash-up the track with other interactive singles.
Albin Serviant, CEO of the technology's creators MXP4, said: “This is a very exciting time for MXP4.
“These are clear signs that the industry is beginning to see the potential for MXP4 to revolutionise the music experience for consumers by allowing them to play with the music, whilst opening up new promotional and revenue possibilities for artists and labels alike.”

Kong kings


MANCHESTER trio Kong, who sound like a spinosaurus tearing through Middlesbrough with predictably madcap results, are a strange beast.
Ferocious in their approach to making music on debut album Snake Magnet, they rip the still-beating heart out of traditional straightforward punk, before toying with it like deranged madmen.
Although the order of the day is brutal punk, there's an almost prog rock-like amounts of changes and shifts within songs, as well as extended electronic freakouts such as on Good Graphics.
But the group go so far with their art, the results are at times rendered incoherent - and I must confess I was at first unsure whether to love it or hate it.
But then I thought to myself, would I listen to it again? And I would, extremely loud, whilst drunk - and I don't believe endorsements can come much more ringing than that.
● You can pick up a copy of the track Sport as a free download here.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

A budding talent

DAISY Dares You, who may or may not have taken her name from the Daisy Dares You section of classic children's TV programme-meets-comic ZZZap!, is being tipped as a potential chart topper with her brand of pop with an extra rocky edge.
Think of her as the square to other budding pop stars' triangles.
And you can grab a free track, Daisy Dares You, from the feisty 15-year-old by clicking here to hear for yourself.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Florence's pop machinations


WITH a Brit award already under her belt as well as more hot tips than a porcupine in an oven, Florence And The Machine's debut effort Lungs has been waited on with baited breath.
And although not exactly a breath of fresh air, there's no denying that Lungs doesn't see Florence welshing on showing off her talent.
On superb tracks such as Dog Days Are Over, Kiss With A Fist and The Source cover You Got The Love, we see why Florence And The Machine is predicted to rise higher than peers such as Alessi's Ark and Laura Marling.
In fact with a melodramatic Kate Bush flair throughout Lungs, she reels off moody folk-tinged indie pop epic after moody folk-tinged indie pop epic seemingly as easily as breathing.
It's almost as if she's some sort of one-woman moody folk-tinged indie pop epic writing machine...

Friday, July 03, 2009

Duo to Jaxx it in?

BASEMENT Jaxx might jack it all in after their forthcoming album, according to reports.
The group return after a three-year hiatus with a new LP, Scars, in September.
However talking to The Star, former Loughborough schoolboy Felix Buxton, one half of the top dance act, said: "Our record deal is up after the next album and I'm not sure what we'll do.
"If you are in a pop band you can go on and be a grown-up band but dance music is different.
"We want people to be into what we do, we feed off the audience response."



HAILING from London, and not India, Bombay Bicycle Club are a wheely good band.
Their debut album I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose, whose name is taken from an A Tribe Called Quest lyric, is a promising collection of jangly indie rock tracks which could easily see them following similarly sounding act The Maccabees into the mainstream.
The only thing that's missing here is the standout single to firmly establish the group.
Instead the album is a solid, steady ride - the sound of an act that's slowly but surely moving up through the gears.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Get Lau'd in Loughborough

TOP folk trio Lau are bringing their much-vaunted live show to Loughborough Town Hall on July 10.
Town Hall spokeswoman Libby Aldrich said: "Lau are a formidable trio of three of the finest and most innovative exponents of modern traditional music in Britain today.
"Famous for their incredible live shows, a Lau concert is a must-see experience, brim full of spellbinding energy and musicianship."
Tickets for their concert cost £14 or £12 concessions, available at the Town Hall Box Office on 01509 231914 or online here.

Mando Diao mean business


SWEDISH sensations Mando Diao release their first foray into the UK, Mean Street, on Monday - and I urge you to welcome them with open arms.
Because the group's The Hives-meets-The Libertines sound is a real class act.
Honed over the course of five albums which have gained a cult following in Scandanavia and northern Europe, this testing of the water EP, Mean Street, is an assured stomping slice of ramshackle blues rock.
Hopefully Mean Street will pave the way for a full release of their current album Give Me Fire soon.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Teal returns

JAZZ singer Clare Teal returns to Loughborough Town Hall on Friday, July 3, to celebrate the release of her new album Get Happy.
Spokeswoman Libby Aldrich said: “Blessed with a stunning voice, Clare has the ability to write songs that promise to be classics, while demonstrating a wonderful warm humor and terrific showmanship.
“Clare is that rare commodity - in every way the major star.”
The show begins at 8pm and tickets for the show are £15, available from Loughborough Town Hall Box Office on 01509 231914 or online here.

Half time report - Albums Of The Year 2009 so far

TODAY is halfway through 2009 - my hasn't time flown - so I thought the time was right for a recap.
Because, on average, around half of my Albums Of The Year 2009 should have been released by now.
But however much as I'd like to be some sort of omniscient music resource, I'll wager a lot of damn good albums have already passed me by this year.
So here's my plea - if I seem to have missed any releases you really think I should have covered by now, drop me a comment below or visit the Sound Off forum and let me know your favourites so far.
For your reference, here is a list of my five-out-of-five-rated releases from January through to the end of June -

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - The Century Of Self
Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve - Re-Animations Volume One
Bronx - Bronx III
Daby Toure And Skip McDonald - Call My Name
Daniel Merriweather - Love And War
Decemberists - Hazards Of Love
DJ Food - One Man's Weird Is Another Man's World
Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream
Fighting With Wire - Man Vs Monster
Fink - Sort Of Revolution
Frightened Rabbit - Liver! Lung! FR!
Future Of The Left - Travels With Myself And Another
Grammatics - Grammatics
Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
Jo Webb And The Dirty Hands - Acrobat
Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Killswitch Engage - Killswitch Engage
Marmaduke Duke - Duke Pandemonium
Mulatu Astatke And Heliocentrics - Inspiration Information
Prodigy - Invaders Must Die
Qemists - Join The Q
Spokes - People Like People Like You
Wave Pictures - If You Leave It Alone
We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls
Yppah - They Know What Ghost Know

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