26 October 2008

Did You Catch This?

So... did you manage to catch thecocknbullkid on Later the other night? No? Not matter, here's a video anyway:

24 October 2008

Feeder Review

Newcastle Carling Academy
Thursday 23rd October

With many influential rock stars having milestone birthdays this year, few people actually remembered that Feeder frontman Grant Nicholas turned 40 – not that getting older has stopped his band from thrashing out an exhilarating set to a packed-to-capacity crowd.
The stage was packed with blinding lights and flashing displays that would accompany the band through their packed set and add to the wonderful atmosphere.
There was hardly time to take a breather between each song, tracks coming harder and faster than the last. Starting with their latest single “We Are The People” from their latest album “Silent Cry”, from which they performed many songs, the Welsh band stormed through all their hits including “Just The Way I’m Feeling”, “Come Back Around” and “Feeling A Moment”.
By the time the band played the first chords of “Buck Rogers” the crowd was going wild; one of their most famous songs really got the temperature cranked up to boiling point. During another song Grant encouraged the audience to sing a rendition of “All My Life” by Foo Fighters and declared the attempt to be the best of the tour so far – pretty impressive considering that I struggled to remember all of the words!
In their encore they played “Seven Days In The Sun” from their 2001 album “Echo Park” and then the crowd exploded again when they finished with “Just A Day”, perhaps their most successful sing-along moment.
So what if they getting “old”? Feeder can still put together a wonderfully fun experience that leaves you with ringing ears and temporarily blind – who says that you can’t rock over a certain age?

21 October 2008

Introducing: La Roux

This is La Roux, a synth-pop star in the making I think. In the latest edition of the Observer Music Magazine Brighton-based postrel Little Boots said that the only people carrying on the tradition of quirky and eccentric British pop were Hot Chip - well if all goes well then our friend La Roux will be able to join them.

Her real name is Elly Jackson, she's based in London and writes odd songs that don't have a clean-cut meaning with fuzzy vocals and brilliant synth hooks - far better than some of the other pretenders we have out there at the minute! An added bonus to all this? Unlike a lot of female artists coming from London lately (I'm looking at you Adele, Kate Nash, Lily Allen etc.) she's not singing in a horrible cockney accents. And she can bend her voice really well, willing it to stretch it to its limits, a bit like Camille singing that bit on "Money Note" when she takes the mick out of Mariah Carey and Celine Dion's faint weak voices then bursts into harmonic screaming, only more British! What a breath of fresh air...

Yep, it really is that good - at the minute she only has just over 2000 friends on MySpace which is nothing so maybe I've picked up on something good here. There's only a minute and a half worth of her single "Quicksand" but it's all you need to get hooked. Then again you can listen to "Reflections Are Protection" and a new mix of "In It For The Kill" in full which is a blessing! It's really a one for people who like singing and not talking, Hot Chip's odd take on electro and a good dollop of eccentricity!

Check out that page anyway, I'll leave the link right... here: http://www.myspace.com/larouxuk

Oh. My. God - This Is Terrible!!

Well I've just learned that the Long Blondes have officially split up! What a shame, I really enjoyed both of their albums, even the supposedly "dodgy" second album. The reason behind this was because their guitarist Dorian (the one in the red shirt) had a stroke in June and they didn't want to put any pressure on him.
He seems very young to be having a stroke so my heart goes out to him since I bet it was a real shock, and hope you recover soon Dorian!
In the meantime singer Kate Jackson says that she's still writing songs and getting around to writing music for the first time since they broke up. She's thinking about pursuing a new solo career, which should be interesting. I hope it still keeps all the little quirky, Blondie-esque elements of the Long Blondes.
*Sigh* what's a girl to do? I must have cursed them in June when I said that they had no reason to split despite receiving some suspect reviews from some people who probably just thought they were a joke band - fact was, they didn't really sound like anything else out there at the time! When they released "Someone to Drive You Home" in 2006 it was a breath of fresh air from lad-rock and the limited musical scope that it had - at least they were airy and light-hearted with their songs.
Hmm... good luck with everything. I will still have a wonderfully warm and fuzzy feeling when I listen to what you produced in two short years.

19 October 2008

Grade E: This Blog Is Rated Excellent

... by Diva! This is perhaps the only time when an E grade is rated as being great, so I might print this off and show it to people if and when (heh heh) I screw up a bit. Hmm... stickers to paste on work....

And apparently I rock. Nice!

Anyway enough of those ramblings! I need to nominate some people to give this lurvely award to:

  1. Rozella
  2. Brett
  3. Noelia
  4. Popin
  5. Laurie

So there we have it. I've only just got back and I'm already getting awards... Sniff... I feel so privileged.

Thank God For the Fires!

Did anyone actually catch the triumphant performance by Friendly Fires on Later... the other night? For those of you not in the UK I probably should take a little time to explain that Later... is a show that brings together lots of bands and artists and has them perform different songs together in one room (significantly smaller room than it used to be).

So in what was an absolutely dire show (sorry fans of anyone else on the show), Friendly Fires really brought some much needed life to proceedings. And what a breath of fresh air it was! Even though they only performed their singles it was still nowhere near as plodding and genuinely boring than the other acts - in fact it was about as far removed as possible from it!

So here's just a little reminder of why we all love the Fires, the video for "Jump In The Pool":

The Late Edition: Ladyhawke

Sending yourself back while keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground? It's what this girl does for a living

Hmmm, so I guess you could say that since this post comes about 3 weeks too late since that's when I actually got the album through the mail that I haven't been doing my job properly! Still, you could also say that it's given me time to fully appreciate the full length and breadth of the album and not just give a general overview.

But then I don't want to blab on forever (which is possible, believe me, but I really don't want to!)

Ladyhawke's album has a wide range of lyrics on it the more you listen to them. Sometimes you think she's just going to stick to the subject of love like on "Back of the Van" - who cares if it was written about a woman anyway!? - but then she veers on to the subject of bad dreams on "Dusk Till Dawn", and drinking and dancing the night away in everyone's favourite European captial on "Paris Is Burning".

Okay, maybe not as wide as some people might like but hey! This album is really about the atmosphere created on it. As my little opening paragraph suggests, she draws on great influence from her 80s icons but while you can hear this there's still an element of bringing this kind of pop right back into modern day. This is most evident when the album progresses into the second half and songs like "Paris Is Burning" and "Professional Suicide" (a great little malicious song attacking people who make comebacks decades after splitting, thus "you had a hit in '89/too bad we don't all age as good as wine"). The retro elements are there in abundance on tracks like "Another Runaway", "Love Don't Live Here" and brilliant "Better Than Sunday" but sometimes the best songs are the ones that give a nice blend between the two...

So step up "Manipulating Woman", probably the best song on the whole album. Can we all really relate to the story of a girl spreading rumours and breaking up friends for her own gain and enjoyment? Possibly yes, which is why I like the song. I think Ladyhawke gets her revenge in this song, singing "you must be used to the pain" as if she's stabbed this woman in the back with a sharp pencil. This particular song has obvious retro elements with the synths in the background but then the guitars and drums sound pretty up-to-date and so you get this wonderful mish-mash of old and new. A bit like the soundtrack to the clothes we're all supposed to wearing now. This version is a re-recording of the one she's had on her MySpace for ages now, and the first time I listened to it the dynamic difference and added malice blew me away. The extra time in the studio really paid off!

Poor Pip Brown probably won't get anywhere fast in the music biz right now - we're too bogged down in rubbishy American "starlets" to even give the slightest nod of recognition to this shy New Zealand girl. It's a real shame, but then the people at Modular Records should have a firm pat on the back for making sure that her album has at least seen the light of day. It's a real gem.

12 October 2008


I feel a bit weird saying this considering that I don't really like this band at all. Just see if you know who I'm talking about before I go any further:

1.) The lead singer was once a member of The Libertines
2.) The drummer released a thirteen-minute album of little ditties for charity
3.) I'm pretty sure they've headlined Glastonbury or T in the Park (maybe both, but a couple of yars back now)
4.) The lead singer was (I'm pushing this now) dating Kirsten Dunst

and... here's the one that'll give it away for most people

5.) Their biggest hit was with a song called "America"

Yep, congrats if you got it within a couple of clues, kudos if you got it at all. But Razorlight's new song is growing on me steadily. All of their songs are watered down mush really but I was compelled by "Wire to Wire" - it's a little bit different for them I suppose but not in the scary way that Keane (shudder) have gone all nu-rave on us.

Edit 19th October - Whey-hey! I've found a place where I can get the embed URL for the Youtube video! Enjoy!!

02 October 2008

Just Some Daft Fun

Actually I've nicked this idea from someone else, not that it matters! We've all probably heard of Brooklyn band MGMT (shame on you if you haven't long-time readers!) but what do these crazy initials stand for?

Now yes, I know that it's an abbreviation of Management but what I want is words to go with the initials. Here's my sensible one:

Moonshine Goes Musical Terrifically

And a not so sensible one (don't ask where I got this from):

My Greatly Misunderstood Turtle

But what does MGMT really stand for? Place your comments and make me laugh, or go serious! It's just a bit of Thursday Fun!