Archive for May, 2009

30
May
09

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 36

Decisions have been made here at The Recommender. We now have our American writer on board, located in Austin, Texas, she should prove to be well placed at the heart of one of the best US cities for new music. We welcome Olivia with open arms as The Recommender’s reach continues to spread around the world.

FLASHGUNS

Brighton surprises keep peeling out of the woodwork, with the likes of Mirrors blowing us away at the recent Great Escape Festival, and yet here we are with another. Well we say Brighton, but half the band are from London. However, the edges have always been blurred between the two cities over the decades, despite the actual geographical distance. This band do not have many sounds in common with Mirrors mind, so we’re not looking at a new scene or anything. Brighton has always been good for new music, but it’s the high quality of the recent acts that seems to be the finest factor. These guys unashamedly jump from the pages of The Smiths songbook, with their jangly, flicking guitar riffs and coo-ing vocals. It’s all backed by some sweet, chiming sounds and a rattling beat that fires rapid shots over the bow. They’re getting releases through the Blue Flower and Pure Groove labels, including the ‘Matching Parts/Similar Hearts’ EP which is due for release in mid-July. Around that time you can see them live at The Underage Festival, which seems befitting seeing that these guys aren’t even in their twenties yet. Should you plan to see any of their gigs we’d suggest taking along a bunch of daffodils accordingly.

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here:        FLASHGUNS – LOCARNO       (ysi)

NEW VILLAGER

This two-piece come from both coasts of the States and it shows. You get the sunny layered West Coast vocals paired with the more edgy, styled East Coast magic. With beats that sound like they’re being played on broken drums and delicate synths alongside warped singing that wafts back and forth, it’s alluring stuff. Mantra’s sung over and over are instantly catchable and beautifully constructed. It’s got a tight production, but sits just the right side of self-indulgent. Who knows how they will repeat this sort of sound when playing live, as we read they didn’t do so well at SXSW, but we always reserve judgements on live performaces until we see them for ourselves quite frankly. Singles are getting released through the Mood Gadget and Two Syllables labels. We list our favourite tune of theirs to date below. We suggest grabbing a cold one, heading out into the garden and kicking back as we think that you’ll enjoy this at your most lazy.

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here:        NEW VILLAGER – RICH DOORS       (ysi)

GOLDHAWKS

There’s been plenty of pretenders to Arcade Fire’s throne since the massive success of our favourite Canadian kings. As with any commercially successful bands, there’s bound to be a stream of followers as A&R men get busy chasing down the future dollar-making-machines, but in most cases these bands are, well, just pretending. And as you get to the point where you wanted to write off any more carbon copies, in step Goldhawks with their Springsteen-inspired sounds and Arcade Fire size. If anything it’s too similar, but they’ve certainly captured a lot of the magic. The rattling pace, the loose jamming, the echoing, layered vocals, all sounding like it’s been recorded in a derelict church. It’s all there. Accomplishing such a huge sound is no mean feat, so we take our hats off and recommend them to you today. It may lack the religious experience that comes with Arcade Fire, but it’s early days and this cult has plenty of time to trap you.

01670008_reduced.jpg image by iBoyrobot

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here:        GOLDHAWKS – WHERE IN THE WORLD        (ysi)

We are edging ever closer towards our 100th post and should get to it at some point in June, so to celebrate this landmark we may include a nice little surprise for all the loyal Recommender fans. You make this blog worthwhile, so thanks as always.
Mike

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26
May
09

THE GIG LIST – NUMBER 27

We have a couple of strong, female leads arriving on our pebbled shoreline for you today. Both are guaranteed to shine, bringing with them their gorgeous packets of star quality. Proper frontwomen that garner all the attention on stage, with bright futures ahead of them. Grab the tickets on Ebay or elsewhere if either gigs are sell outs, as it will be worth it.

FLORENCE & THE MACHINE

Ms Welch and her music making machine will be in full tilt on the below date at the Concorde 2 venue. She’s a true master of the student population up and down the country, as she pens catchy, hook-laden Indie-Pop tunes. You will find there is a touch of Regina Spektor in her sound and there’s been a million female soloists appearing in 2009, with front-runners such as Little Boots, V V Brown and La Roux all doing well, but Florence still packs in a unique fashion and music style all her own. Songs with excellent wordplay, sung with her personality packed in the vocals, play over the beat-rattle. Away from her many fine slower ballads you can expect choppy guitars and dutiful singalongs to her singles, as they bounce along to their build-to-a-crash climax.

ARTIST:                     FLORENCE & THE MACHINE
VENUE:                      CONCORDE 2, Marine Parade, Brighton Seafront
COST:                        £10.00
DATE:                         Tuesday 2nd June 2009
WEBSITE:                  Myspace
TRACK:                       KISS WITH A FIST (ysi)

THE JOY FORMIDABLE

Got any cobwebs? Consider the pixie-like frontwoman, Ritzy, to pack a power-punch that’s the perfect cobweb remover, as she blows not only the cobwebs, but they entire crowd away. Just like their songs she’s jammed with explosive energy, often throwing the guitar at the amps as the gig closes. The real star of the show, she has a great voice and plays a mean lead guitar as she’s doing it. Their power-indie, (or are they the first steps to a grunge revival?), comes at you like a tumbling tower block. It’s mesmerising to see live and you won’t be disappointed. Underneath all their buzzing voltage you will find a box full of outstanding, addictively-memorable songs, with strong chorus’ and prize-winning riffs. One of the best finds of 2009.

ARTIST:                    THE JOY FORMIDABLE
VENUE:                     AUDIO, Brighton
COST:                       £ 6.50
DATE:                       Thursday 11th June 2009
WEBSITE:                 Myspace
TRACK:                     WHIRRING (ysi)

The two gigs above show that there is life in Brighton after the mammoth Great Escape Festival, as we continue to see wonderful showcases of the UK’s talents. Talking of festivals, you can see the Glastonbury line up in full here.
Mike

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22
May
09

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 35

With my liver well and truly reversed over, having now stomped off to a health farm for the weekend in a terrible mood and my mind feeling like it’s been electrified by a thousand eels, we bid farewell to the whirlwind that was Brighton’s Great Escape Festival. We promise to stop talking about it soon. Except perhaps to, ahem,  immediately break that promise as we located a trio of bands that we felt deserved their own Recommender posting, so promises aside, here you are…

MIRRORS

Never before have we witnessed such dramatic gossip and building hype as we do with this new Brighton band. Having only played their first live gig a couple of weeks ago at Brighton’s New Hero club, as a warm up for their triumphant Great Escape Festival slot, the label bosses were already in competition to sign them up. Rumours bounced around about a million pound contract, but only time will reveal all. What we do know is that they are by far and away the most interesting and complete act to appear out of Brighton in ages. And that’s saying something from this city. The 4-piece perform there dramatic, emotional, darkly electronic tricks with a great show when seen live. All four of them wear identical grey suits and stand dead-still with straight, emotionless faces between each track. It’s all in marked contrast to their sublime, pounding, intelligent, layered music that creeps out towards you from the shadows. It’s stolen a little from Kraftwerk, Gary Newman and Depeche Mode, but there’s still a magic 2009 ingredient in there too. Totally addictive and truly powerful.

IMG_2372.jpg Mirrors picture by odelaybradford

Find them here:       Myspace

Hear them here:      MIRRORS – LOOK AT ME (ysi)

THE INVISIBLE

Is there a limit to the amount of  new music you can fall in love with? I feel like I’m having about 50 affairs at once, but I must add that this lot are worth keeping the secret for. Yet another band that we were able to catch at the recent Great Escape festival, this 4-piece’s amazing music drifts into your head in a cloud of funky, but gentle basslines. Frontman Dave Okumu, with his crazy clothing and giant stature actually provide a surprisingly smooth and breezy vocal. It’s sophisticated, charming and attractive in equal parts. Skipping along with tasty beats that come towards you at a summery pace, it’s going to be a perfect seasonal soundtrack over the coming months. If comparisons help they’re like a more soulful TV On The Radio. We also are giving you a bonus track, a remix by Headman, because we love it so much. They released their self-titled debut album back in March on the Accidental label so it’s strongly suggested that you go hunt it down. They return to Brighton for the excellent Loop Festival in July, so looks like we will get a second helping this summer. We were hungry for more anyways…


Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:       THE INVISIBLE – LONDON GIRL (ysi)
Bonus track:             THE INVISIBLE – OK (Headman Remix) (ysi)

PANAMA KINGS

It’s been a little while since the last good Indie Rock band popped out of Northern Ireland, but the wait was worth it. This excellent 4-piece play out decent synth hooks over some loose, but energetic guitaring and a pounding beat. Don’t let their token Rock-black clothes diffuse away from the amount of funky, buzzing sounds that back their big-scale Indie music. It’s just one of those looks OK – we deeply suspect that they wear sunglasses at night. The singer has a lazy swaggering lilt, which makes for an unpolished and endearing finish to the tunes. Their new single, Golden Recruit, is out on Broken Records this week. They’ve received the useful inclusion on the Xfm evening playlist and also coverage on 6 Music, which may have pushed them past your ears in recent weeks. All this has got them noticed enough to support fellow Northern Ireland giants, Ash, on their upcoming UK tour. Perhaps that tour will be a true case of the Northern Irish rock baton finally being passed?

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:       PANAMA KINGS – GOLDEN RECRUIT (ysi)

Competition time – If you want free guest pass tickets to see the Ash show in Brighton’s Concorde 2 venue on 3rd June, in which Panama Kings support, then email us at therecommenderblog@gmail.com, or leave a message in the comments box and we will enter your details into the prize hat.
Mike

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18
May
09

HOW GOOD IS THIS!!!??? – NUMBER 28

THE GREAT ESCAPE – REVIEW – DAY 3

This last post on one of the best festivals we’ve ever experienced is dedicated to Derek Davies and the whole Neon Gold crew – the American label, blog and all round kings of cutting edge Indie cool. Following the last day’s mammoth gig-hopping we ended up at their after party at The Ocean Rooms. It was one thing seeing Yes Giantess play us a great after-hours set, meeting the band alongside the label owner and taking photo’s, but that was nothing compared to meeting up with this blog’s current favourite artist, Marina (& The Diamonds). She posed for photo’s and knew our blog. We really couldn’t have topped off the weekend in more style. Perfection.

1.) TIN CAN TELEPHONE

IMG_2886.jpg Tin Can Telephone picture by odelaybradford

Experience –We were here to see The Joy Formidable in reality, but whilst leaning against the bar our ears attention was eventually dragged towards this cute 6-piece. As we looked over we found one of the guitarists on his knees banging the floor with sticks as if playing an invisible drum kit. It was an image that flew in the face of a very introverted sounding Indie band. Although the vocals were a little bland, with some pretty basic lyrics, it was still a mesmerising performance with many strengths. We caught them occasionally eye rolling, as in Robert Smith from The Cure, which is always annoying, but the arrangements were clever and never tied down for long. Songs built from delicate, chiming ditty’s to then crescendo in an energetic burst. There were definite signs of life here.

BEST TRACKSPAK ATTACK (ysi)

2.) THE JOY FORMIDABLE

IMG_2991.jpg The Joy Formidable picture by odelaybradford

Experience –As lead singer, Ritzy, stepped onto the stage to tune her instruments and sound test it became immediately apparent that she is absolutely fucking tiny! Barely a minuscule 5ft I’m guessing. Pretty and sporting a cuter-than-cute dress and killer blonde bob haircut, they then kicked into gear. My ears may never recover from the atomic sized sound that this little figure produced. Clearly the energetic star of the show and centre of attention, it mustn’t go unnoticed that she both sings and plays lead, proving to also be the big talent in the 3-piece. Smashing her guitar against the amps at the end of the wonderful show-closing song, Cradle, it was confirmed that Kurt Cobain has been reincarnated as a tiny woman! Stunning.

BEST TRACK CRADLE (ysi)

3.) MARINA & THE DIAMONDS

IMG_3071.jpg Marina & The Diamonds picture by odelaybradford IMG_3150.jpg Marina & The Diamonds picture by odelaybradford IMG_3147.jpg Marina & The Diamonds picture by odelaybradford IMG_3124.jpg picture by odelaybradford IMG_3152.jpg picture by odelaybradford IMG_3146.jpg picture by odelaybradford
IMG_3107.jpg Marina & The Diamonds picture by odelaybradford IMG_3105.jpg picture by odelaybradford IMG_3103.jpg picture by odelaybradford

Experience – As we waited in the packed crowd the time ticked by and Marina didn’t show, so we duly panicked. Had we incorrectly read the schedule and gone to the wrong venue!? We checked the schedule, then double checked it. We definitely had the right place, it’s just that it’s running behind – phew! We didn’t want to miss the hottest new female Pop sensation around. A few minutes later our patience was rewarded – on a massive scale! She bowled onto the stage wearing a striking combination of a glittering leotard, complete with love heart over the crutch, killer heels and a leather corset. The shoes were immediately kicked off and she struck the first pose of many, as she gave us the opening track, ‘Girls‘ (which she’s subsequently released for free download today). Victoria Hesketh, aka Little Boots, was in the crowd next to me and must have wondered how she could possibly compete, with her own set due in an hour or so. The performance here was knockout as she moved from covering Gwen Stafani‘s ‘What You Waiting For’, to the excellent ‘Obsessions‘ and outstanding show-closer ‘Mowgli’s Road’. Best performance of the festival so far.

BEST TRACK – MOWGLI’S ROAD (ysi)

4.) THOMAS TANTRUM

IMG_3231.jpg Thomas Tantrum picture by odelaybradford

Experience – Due to Marina & The Diamond’s set running late we found ourselves running around the corner to catch Little Boots, but the crowd’s queueing had swelled, as expected. Even the delegates queue was going to be impossible, so we had to cut our losses and make a detour to Thomas Tantrum. We found a packed out and sweaty Hector’s House venue and this meant getting vitually on stage as we took our photo’s with this Rock Pop 4-piece, fronted by Megan’s twee voice. With upbeat tunes full of catchy hooks and witty lyrics, this was decent stuff, but perhaps in reality it felt a little like a time-filler between other bands. Suffice to say we got in the mood by the time they finished with the excellent track ‘Shake It, Shake It’, which indeed we did just before heading onto the Neon Gold after-party.

BEST TRACKSHAKE IT, SHAKE IT (ysi)

5.) YES GIANTESS / NEON GOLD AFTER-PARTY

IMG_3333.jpg Yes Giantess picture by odelaybradford IMG_3359.jpg Yes Giantess picture by odelaybradford

Experience –You couldn’t imagine a better closing ceremony for our amazing festival than that provided tonight by the world’s hottest talent-spotting Indie record label and blog, Neon Gold. On show tonight were debutant’s Wolf Gang, who were excellent, but it was Yes Giantess that stole our hearts. The label had previously released tracks by the brilliant Passion Pit and so it seems a most natural evolution for them to now have Yes Giantess on their books. With their party-Indie-Pop, they charmed the crowd. We had the chance to meet with the label’s boss, Derek, who in turn introduced us to tonight’s bands, and perhaps more impressively still, Marina (& The Diamonds)! Cue impromptu photoshoots and plenty of back slapping. Perhaps most surprising was that they ALL knew of The Recommender blog, proving that even the New York scenester fraternity cannot escape this Brighton blog’s reach. Nice.

BEST TRACKTUFF N’ STUFF (ysi)

OK, to wrap up our monster coverage we will give you our TOP 3 performances of the weekend. If you were there then we’re sure you will understand our choices. Some bands let the music speak for itself and others show off with a lightning bolt of star quality, but for me it’s the variety and fantastic standards that have been most astonishing…

DAY 1 – MIRRORS
DAY 2 – CHEW LIPS
DAY 3 – MARINA & THE DIAMONDS

We really hope you’ve enjoyed this spell of festival highlights and our photo’s. If you have any thoughts on it, or obviously if you were there and want to share some of your experiences, then please add a comment.
Mike

IMG_3340.jpg Marina & The Diamonds picture by odelaybradford

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16
May
09

HOW GOOD IS THIS!!!??? – NUMBER 27

THE GREAT ESCAPE – REVIEW – DAY TWO

It’s just impossible to catch each and every band that’s on the lengthy schedule. Sadly, there are plenty of great acts that have times that clash and even working out the logistics of getting between all the venues is a task in itself. Still, yet another mind-numbingly exciting day was had by us all for day two…

1.) WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS

IMG_2536.jpg We Were Promised Jetpacks picture by odelaybradford

Experience– And so we begin again at The Honey Club for today and immediately the phrase “start as you mean to go on” comes to mind, but frankly it would be nigh on impossible for us to maintain the standards we witnessed with this band’s performance! This Scottish 4-piece blew away any cobwebs gathered by the previous nights partying. My expectations were high having heard the handful of tracks available from them, but they surpassed them with ease. The raw energy that chimes out from their outstanding power-Indie is exceptional. Particularly impressive was the voice of frontman, Adam Thompson , especially on Ships With Holes Will Sink. Stunning.

BEST TRACKSHIPS WITH HOLES WILL SINK (ysi)

2.) TEMPER TRAP

IMG_2599.jpg Temper Trap picture by odelaybradford

Experience– Possibly having travelled the farthest of all the acts on show this weekend, the Melbourne 4-piece were deserving of our attention. Playing straight after the energetic We Were Promised Jetpacks at the same venue, they had a task on their hands, but they burst straight into it. Playing live they had a thunderous beat and a louder sound than expected, particularly from what we’ve previously heard on their Myspace. The trademark sailing, whirlwind of echoing guitars soared high and the confident vocals from frontman Dougy tied up an entertaining set. The clear highlight was their best track to date, Sweet Disposition, as it’s U2-like riffs had us all hypnotized.

BEST TRACKSWEET DISPOSITION (ysi)


3.) CHEW LIPS

IMG_2655-1.jpg Chew Lips picture by odelaybradford


Experience
– Having missed them at The Hope the previous evening our appetite for this Camden 3-piece was even greater. We braved the pouring rain and driving coastal winds to race over to the Audio venue to catch them. We were to witness two examples of true star quality in the bands tonight and frontwoman, Tiggs, was the first of these. Climbing the amps, posing for the cameras and bouncing around the stage, in way not seen since Lovefoxxx, she stole the show. Closing on the excellent tune, Solo, this was a performance that left everyone in the venue with a positive, broad smile on their faces. Contagiously brilliant.

BEST TRACKSOLO (ysi)

4.) MASTER SHORTIE

IMG_2750.jpg Master Shortie picture by odelaybradford

Experience– Lesson number two in star quality was immediately upon us around the corner as this South London MC launched himself onstage. What a talent this fella proved to be. He’s got the image, the energy, bags of confidence and perhaps most importantly true crossover appeal. Indie kids will love the guitars and hooks and singalong chorus’ and fans of Hip Hop will enjoy the rapid-fire lyrical assault that he spits out so well. His energy and enthusiasm was infectious. There was plenty of engaging the audience between songs, showing us a young man truly at ease on stage. He even got warm up act, RIZ MC, back on stage to improvise some lyrics, providing us with a genuinely special touch. Electric.

BEST TRACKDEAD END (ysi)

5.) METRONOMY

IMG_2850.jpg Metronomy picture by odelaybradford

Experience– We’ve never caught the Brighton adoptees live before. There’s always been something that’s got in the way, so it was with relief and marked delight that we finally had a chance to see their famous show tonight. In the weekend’s biggest venue so far, at the Corn Exchange, we witnessed them blast out their inventive pop to a packed house. Following the recent departure of bassist Gabriel Stebbing to the band Your Twenties, we met with with the new bassist and female drummer. The dance moves they’re famous for were absent, so perhaps they need to rehearse some more before they work new ones out. Otherwise, the songs still stood tall and the crowd’s love affair was still very much in evidence.

BEST TRACKA THING FOR ME (ysi)

We watched the second half of Metronomy, alongside Neil from the band Club Smith, who explained how he once supported them way back when they were brand new. It brought into perspective how bands can grow from the tiny beginnings we are witnessing all over town this weekend to the heavy hitters that we saw in Metronomy tonight. On our way home we bumped into Tim, lead singer for the Brighton band Maths Class, who informed us that they’re playing a secret gig at The Hope pub at 1pm Saturday and so we depart from tonight in the knowledge that the next day already guarantees more exciting entertainment.
Mike

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15
May
09

HOW GOOD IS THIS!!!??? – NUMBER 26

THE GREAT ESCAPE – REVIEW – DAY ONE

We are waiting for someone to wake us up as we walk through this dream festival.  Imagine a blog writer compiling his ideal festival: Sprinkle generously just about every new Indie band he knows and a few he doesn’t around town (check). Then stir in a handful of top industry people to fluff and a gaggle of celebrities (check). Mix them all into dozens of the finest small and personal venues so you can get so close you can actually touch them without prosecution (check). Finally dollop the entire thing on your very own doorstep! (check check check!).

As Dorothy pronounced there really is ‘no place like home…’, but this ain’t no dream and we’re loving Brighton to bits! And so we are going to do our best to find the time to report back, day by day, the comings and goings from Brighton’s streets, as we pound them in this new music theme park. We’ll add pictures, mp3’s, reviews and links. Enjoy…

1.) PANAMA KINGS

IMG_2119.jpg PANAMA KINGS picture by odelaybradford

Experience– An impromptu gig on the beach during the afternoon seemed a perfect way to begin the weekend and allowed us a chance to stuff our lunches down. Many gigs will be occurring throughout the festival that aren’t in the listings. Linking up to the text service and twitter feeds looks set to provide us all with plenty of hidden gems, particularly in the afternoons before most official schedules begin. This 4-piece from Northern Ireland whipped us in the mood, with their summery, bouncing, power-Indie. The chatter seems to suggest everyone fell for their charm. An ideal start.

BEST TRACKTOE THE PARTY LINE (ysi)

2.) CLUB SMITH

IMG_2162.jpg CLUB SMITH picture by odelaybradford

Experience –Old friends of The Recommender (see our Q&A and previous posts about them), this 4-piece from Leeds and York, bring us a new name, a new drummer and refreshingly a new sound. It’s no re-write of the rules here, as they’ve kept all the original charm they had in their previous incarnation, but added a little weight and intelligence to their upbeat music. As we stood chatting in the crowd with Storme, former tour manager of  Bloc Party and Kaiser Chiefs, we noticed that the keyboards had stopped working! Turned out that the famous Rock photographer, Danny North, had accidentally pulled the plug out by standing on the lead as he snapped away in front of them. It turned out to be a charming moment in what was an enjoyable set. We also managed to get introduced to Huw Stephens, of Radio One fame, so dutifully extolled the virtues of reading our blog. Hope he takes note eh!

BEST TRACKTHE GREEN ROOM (ysi)

3.) FANFARLO

IMG_2195.jpg FANFARLO picture by odelaybradford

Experience –With their Clap Your Hands Say Yeah sound and Arcade Fire inspirations (or should that be aspirations), this turned out to be a fantastic choice on the schedule as we entered the rammed Honeyclub venue. We bumped into Jason Clark, the organiser of Brighton’s Loop festival which kicks off later this summer. We all enjoyed the set that built and built and left everyone wanting more. With their numerous band numbers you aren’t sure where to look, but what struck me most was the amount of different instruments on display and the way they all swapped them around. Real craftsmen playing out charming, atmospheric Indie-Folk.

BEST TRACKLUNA (ysi)

4.) THE INVISIBLE

IMG_2229.jpg The Invisible picture by odelaybradford

Experience –The largest room in the Komedia venue was packed out as it showcased this delightful 3-piece. It didn’t go unnoticed by the band themselves as they explained they’re not used to such a large crowd. They deserved nothing less than a busy room as they justified the time and effort paid by every punter in there by playing a crisp, tight set. Their funked basslines, smooth keyboard chords and the layered vocals of Dave Okumu were mesmerising. Frontman Dave is a sight to behold with his unique fashion and giant stature. We will more than likely give them a full Recommender posting in the near future.

BEST TRACKLONDON GIRL (ysi)

5.) COCKNBULLKID

IMG_2308.jpg Cocknbullkid picture by odelaybradford

Experience –Having found The Hope pub too rammed to even think about entering we decided to skip seeing Chew Lips, (they play another set on Saturday anyway), and moved straight over to The Ocean Rooms club to catch Anita Blay’s brilliant Electro-Pop. Being right at the front allowed an face to face, personal experience in this packed nightclub. Her commanding presence and dramatic gestures, as well as her mirrored cloak, allowed for a colourful, bright set. All the thumping singles were provided and the knowledgeable crowd sang along. The day’s highlight so far.

BEST TRACKON MY OWN (ysi)

6.) MIRRORS

IMG_2388.jpg Mirrors picture by odelaybradford

Experience –Having seen them earlier in the week at a warm up show at the New Hero club in town we knew exactly what to expect here. Namely the freshest and most exciting band to come out of Brighton in years! We will definitely be handing them their own post on a future Recommender, so more will be explained in due course. Suffice to say we met up with (The) James Kendall, editor of Brighton’s going out bible, The Source, and found him as excited as a puppy dog. We weren’t disappointed either. They had to play to a much bigger room with this set and their huge sound and irresistibly melodic, dark Electro-Pop seemed made for it. They’re currently enjoying a potential million pound raising bidding war between labels and on this evidence they’re worth every penny!

BEST TRACKLOOK AT ME (ysi)

7.) WE HAVE BAND

IMG_2462.jpg We Have Band picture by odelaybradford

Experience –Having had a no-show from Fan Death at the beachside club, Coalition, we cut our losses and headed further up the beach to the Concorde 2 venue. What a turn that ended up being as we once again found a brilliant selection of bands. Meeting up once again with Jason Clark and also Anthony Prior, manager of multiple bars in town and all-round-super-booker of bands to various venues in Brighton over the years, we caught the end of Milke. Immediately up next was We Have Band and we wandered back stage to get some photos and generally thank them for their involvement with this blog in previous posts (see the Q&A amongst other posts). As usual they played their lively, pounding bass-driven beat-Pop, with their excellent layered vocals and skillful arrangements. The most fun so far!

BEST TRACKHEAR IT IN THE CANS (ysi)

8.) DATAROCK

IMG_2521.jpg Datarock picture by odelaybradford

Experience – Finding ourselves backstage we were able to get up close and personal with them and they’re just as nuts off stage as on it. A truly wild bunch of characters that totally deserve their headline slot. In their signature red, hooded tracksuits they thumped through their Dance-Funk set. It’s impossible to know where to look when watching them and photographing them was no easier. Normally only a two-piece they multiply their numbers when playing live. Cue lots of running around on stage and lots of posturing. The tracksuit tops were duly thrown off as the set whipped the crowd into a frenzy. The encore was the longest I’ve ever witnessed as we lost track of how many songs, even playing one twice we think. They didn’t want to leave the stage, which was all good, because we didn’t want them to either. Outstanding!

BEST TRACK –  FA-FA-FA (ysi)

And so that’s the end of just day one! Can’t quite believe what an amazing experience it’s been. Roll on day two. Whether we will make it to day three is another matter. You’ll just have to come back to The Recommender to find out won’t you…
Mike

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12
May
09

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 34

We are close to deciding on the USA contributor so confirmation will be announced soon and we can look forward to a new flavour here at The Recommender. We’re also readying ourselves for the new music onslaught that is Brighton’s Great Escape festival, so we hope loads of amazing experiences will be had so we can share them with you all next week. In the mean time check through these three tidy bands…

HEADS WE DANCE
This Leeds 3-piece bring to the table robotic, throbbing, Electro-Pop with the kind of camp hooks not seen since Depeche Mode or Pet Shop Boys. There’s plenty of pounding Disco 4-beats and swirling French keyboards, but strangely it’s almost a little hard to admit you like it. It’s like a secret love affair that would make people change their opinion of you the second they found out, so it’s with some apprehension that we recommend them today. To swiftly pick up some remaining respect they’ve also received remixes of their tunes from the likes of Tepr, Don Diablo (who is never far from Hype Machine‘s Top 100!) and Frankmusik. They are about to release the album, ‘Love Technology’, and they are getting the single ‘When The Sirens Sound’ out on the This Is Fake DIY label. The B-side of which is listed below featuring none other than Little Boots. It doesn’t get much hotter than that. They will follow all this with a tour in the UK shortly and you can also often find them DJ’ing at Leeds Electro club night, Nailgun.

Find them here:       Myspace

Hear them here:      HEADS WE DANCE – WORK IT OUT (ft. Little Boots)       (ysi)

YOUR TWENTIES
There’s a little explaining to do with this group. Frontman Gabriel Stebbing used to be in Metronomy until April 2009, so you may have caught him touring with them in recent times. The reason he parted was to focus his time on Your Twenties. As much as we love Metronomy here at The Recommender, we also feel a little warm inside for Gabriel’s new group too. Their music has a lot brought to it from his former Brighton-based band, with their light, high-pitched vocal harmonies and melodies that seem to swim into your head. More Lo-Fi and less cute than Vampire Weekend, they use simply constructed guitars and keyboards that tap away in a soothing groove. Catchy and tripping along with neat beats and claps, it’s instantly loveable. Perfect for a summer and the sort of music that secretly puts you in a good mood, whilst never stepping out from the background. We list their recently circulated demo, ‘Sugar The Pill‘, which will hopefully see itself released through their DIY label, Germs Of Youth. It delightfully proves that the 4-piece are once again generating new music since having Gabriel’s focus firmly on board.

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here:        YOUR TWENTIES – SUGAR THE PILL (ysi)

MUSIC GO MUSIC
Speaking with Henron, (Promoter, DJ and scenester-captain from one of Brighton’s hottest clubs, New Hero),  we came to the subject of what’s next in the ever-changing trends of music. None of us can know for sure, but there’s a healthy amount of 70’s influence knocking at the door. Everyone’s still knee-deep in the 1980’s, so the next trend has got a bit of time yet, but with all the late-70’s Kate Bush-sounding female solo artists and Disco that’s around it’s getting harder to ignore. Music Go Music step into our lives at this precise junction, fanning the flames. Described brilliantly by the excellent Missingtoof blog as Creamy Disco, the LA 3-piece have ploughed the fields of music formerly worked so well by the likes of ABBA. One listen and we promise that you will agree. Layered vocals spinning over a funky, light bass riff that pumps along over the sexy beats. It’s very grand, no check that, it’s totally huuuge, like a Prog-Rock musical! It’s a risky step as they’ve basically pretended the last 30 years never happened. Only time will tell whether 70’s Disco ever makes it through the scenester doorway, but you can throw your Travolta shapes to this tune in the mean time.

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:        MUSIC GO MUSIC – WARM IN THE SHADOWS (ysi)

Creamy Disco? Pet Shop Boys? ABBA? Crikey, that has to be the campest post we’ve ever done!! Loads to enjoy though, so hope it worked for you. As always, comment, message us and generally spread the love around a bit…
Mike

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