Monday, December 24, 2007
9. MAVIS STAPLES We'll Never Turn Back [BUY]
8. THE DECEMBERISTS The Crane Wife [BUY]
7. OKERVILL RIVER The Stage Names [BUY]
6. ARCADE FIRE Neon Bible [BUY]
5. ART BRUT It's A Bit Complicated [BUY]
4. BEIRUT The Flying Club Cup [BUY]
3. THE NATIONAL Boxer [BUY]
2. THE BROKEN FAMILY BAND Hello Love [BUY]
1. BISHOP ALLEN The Broken String [BUY]
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Electrelane have announced that they are to go on hiatus after releasing new single 'Berlin' on November 26, possibly making this their last ever gig in Manchester.
Writing on their official website Electrelane.com they explained: "We have decided that the upcoming gigs will be our last for the foreseeable future. After ten years of much fun and hard work, we have realised that we all need a break and time to do other things. This was a tough decision for us to make, but ultimately a positive one.
"A big thank you to everyone who has come to our shows, put on our shows and bought our records over the years. It means a lot to us. We're really grateful to have had the opportunity to play gigs all over the world and to meet so many lovely people.
"This last year has been especially enjoyable and we feel happy about moving on with all these good memories to look back on. At the moment we haven't made any band plans for the future, but we're going to have a break and see what happens."
Plus Anni Rossi & Lonelady
Wednesday 28th November
Manchester Academy 3
Doors 7.30pm. Tickets £12 adv. From Ticketline 0161 832 1111 Ticketline 0161 832 1111 [BUY]
Saturday, November 10, 2007
This was the only date I could get to this tour so expectations were high. Arriving at Tan Hill on Friday night in the dark with rain threatening and a side wind so strong you had to lean into it even just to walk, I started to wonder if it was such a good idea. But just stepping over the threshold into the warmth and welcome of the Tan Hill Inn dispelled the concerns. They were further dispelled by the Black Sheep bitter which slipped down with velvety smoothness. Tan Hill Inn has three rooms with one main bar and then a 'barn' has been built at the back which you can walk straight into from the pub. The barn was a square room, built of white-washed breeze block with a small stage at one end. The word 'functional' comes to mind.
Wild Things were support. The first song was a curious mix of folky chorus, falsetto vocals and guitar played like a banjo. The second song was the same. The third was different - with hints of A Certain Ratio or Postcard records jangle. A very curious experience, still not sure what to make of it.
The barn and the stage were so small, BSP didn't make an entrance so much as appear and tore straight into Remember Me. The next three songs were equally fast and furious and the reaction from the crowd was great. I reckon there was about 175 people in the barn and the atmosphere and the intimate setting were great without ever feeling packed in.
Towards the end of the set there was plenty of crowd-surfing and a couple of people somehow managed to get on to a high wooden beam that went across the breadth of the barn. It was odd without the usual closing madness around Lately/Rock in A. Instead BSP have adoped a surprisingly traditional approach of playing encores. So after a short break they came back on and played How Will I Ever Find My Home, Carrion and Spirit of St Louis. This was sublime: the energy of band and crowd were terrific and St Louis ended in predictable chaos with Noble playing on the shoulders on an audience member and then crowd surfing (see this great set of photos).
I think the set finished about 11.30am but the evening wasn't over because Tan Hill Inn is open until "whenever we feel like it" and most people weren't going anywhere. So the pub filled with a really chilled bonhomie as band and fans mixed and drank even more. There was a charity auction of a signed single (went for £50 - good effort whoever bid that) and then following a further whip-round for charity there was "sing-along-a-BSP" around the piano.
Called it a night about 2am. Some hardy folk were camping(!), we opted for kipping in the car in the sleeping bags. Truly memorable, despite all the Black Sheep. This should become an annual event. The only downside was the indisposition of Mr P and then the seven hour journey home the next day due to "massive signal failure". With a bad head.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
The National supported by St Vincent at Academy 2 [SOLD OUT]
Jackie-O-Motherfucker at Ruby Lounge [BUY TICKETS]
Beirut at Club Academy [SOLD OUT]
The Young Knives at Night and Day [SOLD OUT]
The Shins supported by Vampire Weekend at Academy 1 [BUY TICKETS]
Andrew Bird supported by Loney Dear at Academy 3 [BUY TICKETS]
Darren Hayman & The Secondary Modern supported by The Wave Pictures at Dry Bar [BUY TICKETS]
Fiery Furnaces at Night and Day [BUY TICKETS]
Kurt Wagner at Academy 2 [BUY TICKETS]
But due to a whole raft of commitments/excuses I'm missing it all. Instead on Friday I'm off the North Yorks Moors for my only gig of the week: British Sea Power playing Tan Hill Inn, England's highest pub. Can't wait. Just hope the weather stays mild as camping there after the gig. Well at £2 per person per night it's good value. Even for November.
MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS
I AM JOHN
Loney Noir [BUY]
Thursday, October 25, 2007
- a one-man (Graham Van Pelt) bedroom-production effort
- from Montreal (the 'new' New York/wherever)
- talked about all over the blogosphere
- the band name had the word 'Miracle' in it (see Miracle Legion, The Miracle Workers etc).
Good review/background from Stylus Magazine here but strangely does nothing for me. Maybe Lately is the one song that stands out - but for the wrong reason (now which 60s band does this sound like?!)
Five Roses [BUY]
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Things got off to a shaky start with a croaking Steven Adams announcing he had lost his voice. The band had been discussing whether it was only 'proper' bands who cancelled gigs. Anyway they went ahead despite this and with singer fuelled by Raspberry, Echinacea and Lemon tea laced with rum it was an excellent night.
BFB give this appearance of just turning up, looking as though they don't quite care what they are doing or where they are - but they then turn in a fantastically committed performance. OK the voice wasn't all there and this took away from songs like John Belushi but in others like It's All Over it gave extra bite. And as well as the music it's the banter and good-humoured vibe from the band that make the evening - some excellent digs at The Thrills who were playing "in the basement" whilst BFB were in the "lofty heights" of Academy 3.
IT'S ALL OVER
The Broken Family Band
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Shame I'm in Amsterdam all weekend then.
And what live music does Amsterdam have to offer? As far as I can see Amy Winehouse, Just Jack and Suzanne Vega. Hmmmmmm. Sure I'll find something else to do.
And is it just me or do certain LCD Soundsystem songs sound a bit like Heaven 17 circa 1984? Time for a revival?
SOUND OF SILVER
Sound of Silver [BUY]
FIVE MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT
How Men Are [BUY]
Friday, October 12, 2007
Yesterday's post on the Krankenhaus? EP made me dig out this old single by Consolidated. Industrial-dance-music combining hip hop beats and political sloganeering isn't normally my cup of tea but there was a point in the early 90s where I played this to death. Quick scan of the interweb and it seems Consolidated are still a going concern and putting on albums for free - see here. Still good with a slogan too: "Free Music! Stop America!". Indeed....
CRACKHOUSE (More Radio Mix)
Play More Music [BUY]
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
A slow and grey start to Sunday in all sorts of ways. But what ever the weather or state of my head I was determined to enjoy the third and final day of End of the Road - and without becoming maudlin at it all ending. Port O'Brien (who had played the Bimble Inn in the small hours of last night) were first up on the Garden Stage. Can't work out how to describe their music - sort of ramshackle Americana that moves easily from poignant to shouty. The final song, the faster version of I Woke Up Today, encouraged lots of crowd hollering. Just what was needed to clear the head and the skies.
COME ON FEET
Pete and the Pirates
Come On Feet 7" [BUY]
Back to the Garden Stage for Euros Childs and three piece band. They had a hesitant start to the set it felt (more bad heads?) but loosened up three songs in. Set included the 15-minute The Miracle Inn with Euros giving clear instructions not to clap right until the end.
Missed the beginning of Malcolm Middleton's set in the Big Top which was a shame because the rest was excellent. Simple set up - Malcolm on acoustic guitar, violinist and bassist - really brings out the best in his songs. Set covered everything from the first album (Loneliest Night of My Night Came Calling) to the latest (Fuck It I Love You, A Brighter Beat) and included a new song (Blue Plastic Bags I think) which was excellent. An acoustic album is due later this year....
WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE
A Brighter Beat [BUY]
Some more hopping about now. Squeezed into the Local to catch 3 songs of The Young Republic's covers set - It's All Over Now Baby Blue, Paperback Writer and ("a song written by a murderer...well not convicted yet") Be My Baby. Then ducked back to the Big Top for Misty's Big Adventure.
I've seen Misty's several times now and they never disappoint. Wherever they are playing they play as though it deserves all their energy and they never look as though they are having anything less than a brilliant time. Is there a happier band in the UK currently? Even selling copies of the new album at the end (not out until 5 November but "because it's our own label we can sell it when we want") but the finger puppets had sold out by the time I got there.
Left the Big Top feeling deliriously happy. Not maudlin at all. And even the early closure of the Pieminister shop could not dent the mood. From here after a food stop to a packed Bimble Inn for James Yorkston.
Here was another act suffering from a hangover but it didn't show. Well it did in a couple of false starts but when the playing is this good who cares? James on guitar accompanied by Reuben on accordian and Sarah (or Emma?!) on clarinet played a long set but utterly entrancing and moving. Admittedly by now the refreshment of choice had become 12 year old single malt whiskey (from a plastic bottle - no glass allowed on site) but this only added to the mellowness of the experience. Even James taking his shirt off to reveal a Adam and the Ants T-shirt (hey?) couldn't detract from the beauty of it all.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Richard said that Born Under A Bad Sign was about his coming to terms with drinking too much and rather than worrying about it he just accepted it. It has nothing to do with the Albert King song other than sharing the name. But you can't miss the excuse to play this classic.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Next up was the perfect Festival band and one of the 'up' moments of the weekend. I'm From Barcelona doing loony, energetic, sing-a-long anthems that left everyone smiling. Started with a solo rendition of Treehouse before the thirteen (or was it fourteen?) piece band joined the stage. Emanuel then crowd-surfed on an inflatable lilo, bags and bags of ticker-tape were thrown and everyone had a good time.
WE'RE FROM BARCELONA
I'm From Barcelona
Let Me Introduce My Friends [buy]
Then The Concretes. Another band I had not seen live. Difficult to follow the energy of I'm From Barcelona but worked really well as a mid-afternoon slot. By now the sun was shining strongly, the beer was slipping down nicely and I became a little too distracted by Lisa playing with her shoes to concentrate on the music too seriously.
In Colour [buy]
Next it was a dash to try and catch two band who clashed. First to catch some of My Sad Captains in the Local. Engagingly twee indie-pop of the highest order. Bought a copy of the Bad Decisions single on vinyl at end for the Archive.
My Sad Captains
Bad Decisions single [buy]
And then a sprint to the Big Top to catch the last four songs in Darren Hayman's set. Two solo songs and two Hefner classics (Hello Kitten and Pull Yourself Together) - both band and crowd really enjoying the occasion. Missed DH on recent tour - will not make the same mistake again.
King Creosote then played on the Garden Stage with backing band that included Fence regulars The Pictish Trail (guitar) and On The Fly (drums) plus a bassist who I didn't know. Solid set but a little too much reliance on the new (unfamiliar to me) album? Nice version of Twin Tub Twin though - starting acapella before the band kicked in.
NOW DROP YOUR BOMBSHELL
Sun was starting to set now. But no let up in the bands. Brakes played a typically tight-and-fast set on the Garden Stage including both Camper Van Beethoven songs from their repetoire and two encores - both Comma Comma Comma Full Stop.
Then on to the headlining act in the Big Top: British Sea Power. Opened brilliantly with Apologies for Insect Life and Carrion - and then just kept going, mixing new songs with live favourites. Joined by Phil from Actress Hands on cornet, the set finished with an epic version of Lately which included two battling robots, an ancient greek boxer and a giant bear on stage too. Perfect end to a perfect day. No photos but did manage to get a copy of the set-list (thanks Phil and stage crew).
British Sea Power