Posts Tagged ‘Hear It In The Cans




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…


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.



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!



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.



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.



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.



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!



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!



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!


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…

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We first fell in love with this band in 2008 after hearing the tune ‘OH!’. It’s a wonderfully strong tune, with it’s layered vocals, stop-start beat and it’s true originality.

And this is the key with them; originally arranged songs. That’s such a tough task in this day and age. Yes there’s influences in there, thousands of them, but they arrange their songs in a fascinating way.

The following track that we came across was ‘Hear It In The Cans’. It sounds like an impossible song, with two sets of vocals overlapping it’s really two tunes in one. There is a gentle, atmospheric  build up that sweeps in at 2 minutes and 43 seconds in, upon Darren’s echoing call of “we were thrown together” – with music this good, surely it was destiny?

This is a band truly experiencing lift-off and The Recommender excitedly managed to catch them live in Brighton last week and we had a chance to meet and speak with the band. It was at this point they agreed to do the following Q&A. We found them in a good spirits.


1.) Before we begin lets introduce the band members – Who is who and what instruments do you each play? Also, there’s a married couple in there somewhere right? Where do you all come from?

Hello. This is us. Thomas WP –  Vocals/Guitar/Bass/. Programming. Dede WP – Vocals/Percussion/Sampler. Darren Bancroft – Vocals/Drums/Percussion/Sampler. Dede is from Manchester and Thomas and Darren are from London. I think you can guess who the married couple are. Although we’re all in a marriage of sorts with each other!

2.) OK, to the beginning, in fact before the beginning, as you guys have a back story don’t you? Tell us about working for EMI and when and how you came together?

Indeed we all used to work there. It was fun. We got to listen to loads of music and go to loads of gigs which was nice. Thomas and Dede started the idea of a band and then we were all out one night and talked about it together and then a few weeks later we met up and wrote and recorded a song in a night and loved it and just kept going.

It’s an odd one because the three of us weren’t that close at work and we honestly cant really understand how we got this far. Dede had never stepped onto a stage before our first gig and never wanted to and that first night we didn’t have a clue about what sound we’d make or what we wanted to do. We just listened to the ESG‘s  ‘South Bronx Story‘ album, which we all adore, while having dinner and we knew we wanted to make something with that much energy and staying power. But then we just wrote songs for another 6 months before doing a gig. That was never in the plan, we were just having fun and then we did it and it snowballed to where we are now. We’re all very happy though.

3.) Bad grammar – great name. How did the name come about?

Thank you. That was Dede’s doing. It just came out and it felt powerful and direct and there was never an option for another name. We all loved it immediately.

4.) There’s a lot of original arrangements in your songs, with layered vocals and samples, so we would like to know what and who influences your sound? Who inspires you? How would you describe your sound?

Our personalities have a lot do with what we sound like. We’re all pretty opinionated and we like lots of different things and when we write its like opening the top of your head and fishing around for whatever comes out. We all write the melodies and lyrics and so I guess if you gave an instrumental song to 3 songwriters you’d possibly get a mad mix. We happen to really like that mix so we just run with it. We always write in the same room with each other and we’ll just layer and layer and all throw ideas in with no limits or rules and then we edit the latter.

We describe our sound with great difficulty.

5.) What singles are currently available to people? You’ve recently had releases through the awesome French fashion/record label, Kitsune right? How did that come about?

We’ve only had one single released which was ‘Oh!’ on a label called 50 Bones at the end of last year and we had a track called ‘Hear It In The Cans‘ on the Kitsune Maison6 compilation that came out around that time too. Kitsune found us somewhere which was an amazing suprisebut they’re very good at that. We were really pleased to be involved with them. We’re not signed to them though as it’s sometimes said. We are very much unsigned.

6.) Is there a debut album ready to release yet? Will that also be through Kitsune?

This is the question that keeps us awake at night. Seriously. We’ve written it but now we’re just now deciding who, if anyone, we want to produce it and then we want to find the right label to release it. We’ve self-produced everything so far so its going to be hard to let go of things unless its really the right person. The door would definitely be open to the right person.

Label wise, we have no idea yet, we’re talking to various people. To be honest we’re really proud of what we’ve done on our own and how far we’ve gone so we want to share that with a label that will respect that and that genuinely wants to move forwards with us, not just latch on and take their percentage.

7.) Have you decided on a name for the debut?

Yes. But we cant tell you what it is.

8.) What’s been your favourite live performance to date?

Paris is always crazy, we love it there. We were in Russia last week playing in Moscow and St Petersburg and that was insane. It was surreal being so far from home with a room full of people singing ‘Oh!’ back at us, it was very special. It’s a bit standard to bang on about how useful the internet is ‘these days’ but for us it really is great. We haven’t got any money to promote ourselves but our music has traveled really far, really quickly. Blogs and indie radio are great for that too. We’re very, very grateful to the forward thinking people involved with these things. And brave live promoters.

9.) You were recently rather busy at this years SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, and the reviews were very positive across the board, so how was the experience for you?

It was very hot and totally mental. We did 9 shows, an acoustic gig and a radio session. We got off the plane at 1pm and had our first show at 4pm. A mad 4 days. It was awesome.

10.) Are you planning to do any festivals this summer? You recently won the Glastonbury ‘Emerging Talent‘ contest, so does this guarantee you exposure at the festival?

It does indeed. We actually may have a few gigs over the weekend. All the finalists play the Queens Head stage on Thursday night and then as we won we’ll be doing a main stage show too. And then we think may have another little show planned somewhere else.

Apart from Glasto we’re also doing Hinterland, Isle Of Wight, V, Stag & Dagger, Great Escape, Loop, Liverpool Sound City, Secret Garden, Standon Calling, Montreau Jazz Festival, Donau Festival in Austria, Calvi On The Rocks in Corsica and there’s more to be confirmed in the UK and elsewhere soon.

11.) We ask everyone we interview to become an honorary Recommender, by asking if you know of any new bands/acts/DJ’s that have recently caught your eye that you would like to recommend to us?

Hmm. We like Wave Machines and Post War Yearsand Micachu and Plugs. We’ve had the pleasure of playing with all of them several times.

12.) Lastly, what is immediately next for We Have Band?

We’re off to tour in Germany, Austria and Switzerland next week. Festivals all summer. Our next single which is a double a-side of ‘You Came Out‘ and a cover of ‘West End Girls‘ is out on June 8th on Kill Em All. We’re doing some fun remixes at the moment too. Don’t think we’re allowed to say who yet, but we’ll tell all soon!

WE HAVE BANDHear It In The Cans (ysi)

So that’s it for another Q & A session, with yet another fabulous bunch of musicians. Hope you all enjoyed getting to know them a little better. As always, click on the links and if you can catch them live at some point too, then rest assured they come with our stamp of approval.

Remember there’s the comments box- we would like to know if any readers have seen them live before, or if you have any other interesting links to them?

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And so we’ve finally got past the post and we can now wave goodbye to 2008. A year in which The Recommender blog began and in which it soon blossomed into the gorgeous monster it is today. It proved to be an awesome year of music to begin such a task and so looking back through the archives there’s now a treasure trove of gems to plunder. 2009 is already looking like it’s going to burst with brilliance as Pop, Disco, Electro and Indie continue to evolve. The Recommender’s in a great position to evolve right alongside them.

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

This is one of my favourite finds of 2008 and they look to be heading into your stereo/ipod/club/head, ( – delete as appropriate), throughout 2009. A female two-piece that hail from Vancouver, Canada, and who are produced by none other than the Electro godfather himself, Erol Alkan. As we well know, anything he tends to pick out, (like a Monty Python-esque hand reaching out from the clouds), is always totally awesome and Fan Death are no different. He has also remixed them to brilliant effect. These girls have also been busy remixing, producing a notably decent version of Ladyhawke‘s ‘My Delirium’. They are a delight to hear. For when this duo go all disco, they bring along handclaps and strings like a 70’s blur. When they slow it down, they chime with layered vocals and simple chords. Either way, it’s always tuneful and fantastically melodic. Catchy and brimming with classic pop, they seem almost timeless.

Find them here:   Myspace

Hear them here:   FAN DEATH – VERONICA’S VEIL (ysi)

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

Now over to my new favourite band. I love love love them. And with good reason. Us bloggers always ignorantly consider ourselves something of a set of tastemakers, but even we have to have a source. I don’t quite know how they manage to do it, but the awesome French label, Kitsune, always manage to plug into the latest ‘cool’ at it’s very freshest and best. Us blog writers may well be music journalists, band members, DJs or scenesters etc, but the true feed of all things new and incredibly cool often seems to involve Kitsune somewhere in the mix. Once again they’ve produced another true diamond of a band. The 3-piece from London tick all our boxes, with their blend of electronic, melodic funk. It’s upbeat, joyous stuff, with the flick of a guitar, the buzz of a synth and the overlapping vocals making it a great, layered sound. It has that DIY feel of a LCD Soundsystem tune, which is about as spot on as we need things to be here at The Recommender. I’m in love.

Find them here:   Myspace

Hear them here:    WE HAVE BANDHEAR IT IN THE CANS (ysi)

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

We have loved all the guitar-led, pop-funk Indie sounds coming out of Australia through 2008, (often from the Modular Record label), in the likes of Midnight Juggernauts, (see Recommender 3 from way back) or Empire Of The Sun(see future Recommender posts), but sadly there’s something missing from them all that until now I haven’t managed to put my finger on…Well, now I get it – it’s the ‘UK factor’! Official Secrets Act are precisely what’s helped me find the UK difference. Their sound is not quite the same as these Australian Modular bands, oh no, and perhaps that’s the point, but they represent an ingredient that I’d overlooked. It’s something only bands from the UK seem to produce. A little sharpness, a little edge and a little less over produced than their Indie cousins across the waters. It’s a sound that’s still upbeat Indie guitaring, but it has more variety and depth to it and of course there’s something about an English accent that’s simply less glam, but that’s a good thing. A change of pace here, a singalong chorus there. This London 4-piece do it so well. This post is dedicated to that UK factor. Long may it reign.

Here them here:    Myspace


REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

That’s a fair bit of cool fucking music in one post you lucky buggers! If you want to share the love back, then comment away, or message me etc.

2009 will see us going from strength to strength. We are on the lookout for any budding blog writers who may wish to contribute to The Recommender, so drop me a line if you think you have what it takes to get involved. It may be just the thing you were looking for right?


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CLUB SMITH (Previously known as THE HAIR)


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