Posts Tagged ‘The Green Room

17
Mar
10

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 78

THE TINS

This latest find is the direct result of a little blog scanning, so credit where credit is due for one of our self-nominated parallel blogs, Pretty Much Amazing, with whom we share many ideals.  They in turn located the band from We All Want Someone, another excellent kindred journal.  You see, there’s this kind of primeval hunter/gatherer service that’s going on for you with us bloggers.  We love music, we go out and get music, we bring back music, you devour it.  Well, I guess in this case, we let others go out and grab it, then we devoured it ourselves and we’re now handing you the already digested leftovers.  Um, not quite so nice.  We digress.  Where were we?  Oh yeah, The Tins are bloody fantastic!  A three piece out of Buffalo who might just have wandered into our new favourite band category with ease.  They’ve been together for several years, having formed at college, and they’ve clearly spent that time properly tackling their instruments and more importantly wrestling their sound into a perfect submission, that’s now ready to be released as a self-titled five track EP.  Tight, masterfully layered jams, that build and fold into honest, captivating tracks such as these are actually very rare.  Spending a little time gliding through the tracks available on their Myspace was as about as rewarding as a Californian road trip in a soft top, as full of sunshine and musical vistas as you’re likely to find anywhere this year.  There’s several enjoyable sections within the songs, that work hard at not only finding a fantastic refrain, but keeping it going as long as the listener wants it to.  Oh just another eight bars of this please, Yes!  It’s not just the high standards on show that impresses, but the sheer consistency that’s so astonishing.  High praise for a band that’s totally aiming high.  Let’s hope for some more blog regurgitation to help raise awareness of this awesome find.  (MB)

Find them here:           Myspace

Hear them here:          THE TINS – THE GREEN ROOM

TinyRedLineForBlog.jpg picture by odelaybradford

TO MY BOY

We never got to hear of these guys when they had their first punt on the industry back in 2007, releasing their debut album, Messages, on XL Records.  The album launched into it’s pacey 80s synth tirade from the outset, rolling through various catchy but ultimately prosaic hooks. The ‘trying too hard’ signs were flashing, but within their neon walls there was evidence that life could still be located.  So after a brief hiatus, they’re back and this time seemingly not struggling quite so much, which initially looks like it’s allowed their tunes to improve.  The synth glitz is toned down and the 80s references, although still abundant, aren’t quite so sickly.  Keeping the punches and the hooks that previously worked, the tracks now have more variety and range, with a clever maturity and plenty to enjoy in each song.  It seems it was perhaps a worthy hiatus then.  Well, before we leap into a barrage of adjectives, there’s a couple of minor irritations.  The lyrics are in a generous need of repair, never talking about anything much, with dull subjects such as horizons and pylons (!).  However, lyrics are often harder to attack as we’re sure they mean something to the writer, just not the rest of us.  It’s also worth noting that this isn’t music that aims for your inner intellect, it’s for your smile, or your feet.  Tracks such as Us & The Wind, certainly blow enough breeze to drift in through an open window, while tunes such as The Grid turn it up and will turn you on as a result.  This seems to be a band with ideas and the odd clever trick, but who equally fall into the cliché trap when they try too hard.  A classic case of learning how enjoyable it is to cruise when you take your foot off the pedals a little.  Their new album, The Habitable Zone, is due out in May.  Whether they learn to go for the smooth ride, or continue to put their foot down, at least the signs now suggest they’re driving in the right direction.    (MB)

My Photos | To My Boy

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here:         TO MY BOY – US & THE WIND

TinyRedLineForBlog.jpg picture by odelaybradford

GAMBLE & BURKE

At first glance this is yet another slice of the synth pop cake that blogs serve up until you vomit.  Indeed this isn’t going to be for anyone who’s tired of this current trend, but there’s actually a lot of soul found on show here and that should hold your attention.  We should also mention that anyone reading this who was a teen or older during the 80s will likely feel this is a little too familiar, with it’s direct Lionel Richie descendancy.  A bloodline that doesn’t quite get the edgy, artistic, experimental side of our brains fizzing in all honesty, but who cares if all you want to do sometimes is indeed dance upon the ceiling.  The synths are on show and the cartoon basslines, although sticky as a spoon lost in the sugar jar, reliably jump the tracks along from one hopped beat to the next.  We notice that this new duo, born from one half of the double act BoyGirl, are from Boston, which makes us think of Yes Giantess and the whole Neon Gold crew, who always adored that distant Miami-fuelled decade, as if the 1980s were one long, fantastic cocaine party with Kevin Bacon.  The music on show with these two, although as defiant as Yes Giantess’ sexually-charged synths, is actually more akin to Kinema, who come from, um, our home town of Brighton, UK.  Oh well.  This is strawberry milkshake pop music, with songs that select the only subjects that this style could: partying and girls.  The more you hear the track, Let’s Go Together, which usefully just got picked up by Kitsune for their latest tastemaking compilation album, (number 9), the more you are lured in.  Resistance is pretty much useless and, like all the best forays into the 80s, the second you hold back from enjoying it the sharper your pretentiousness comes into focus, and that’s never nice.  Put on your most fearless smile and enjoy this simple, but entrancing piece of funky, soulfully-vocalised pop.

gamble/burke | Gamble and Burke

Find them here:          Myspace

Hear them here:         GAMBLE & BURKE – ISOLATED (WITH YOU)

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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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