Posts Tagged ‘Wolf Gang




There’s a lot of useful music blogs around.  We should know, being a proud Charter Member of the Strangers In Stereo blog collective, a set of like-minded bloggers, with whom we interact on a daily basis.  However, away from this collective there’s still a massive bunch of incredible music blogs, so many in fact that it’s hard to know where to start, or indeed where to return to, but today we want to focus on saying thanks to one in particular.  It’s written by two guys, Carl and Tom, and they both consistently hammer out original and exceptional selections for coverage.  It goes by the name Illegal Tender and aims its arrows of taste right at the heart of The Recommender on a regular basis.  They perfectly manage the balancing act between uncovering an artist with true alternative roots, but who’ve also got real overground potential – a rare trick that only the busiest of bloggers can spot.  Credit where credit is due, as once again they’ve uncovered a gem, with the band Evryone (sic), who formed at the end of last year.  It’s a three-piece who have helpfully(!) informed me that they’re from “outside London” and who jam out songs that stretch glossy, glamorous style over a melodic piano – an instrument used in way that does just enough to allow each tune to breathe.  This is in evidence none more than on the track, Do You Understand, with a contrast that splits between the wilder edges of Roxy Music‘s vocal madness and Wolf Gang‘s melodic pop.  It has the stage and theatre injected throughout its dramatic four minutes.  Like many bands aiming high, it’s at its worst when they stretch it to breaking point, bringing to mind the likes of Maroon Five in particular, but at it’s best its Big Top pop, with grand ambitions and a unique confidence.  Their songs ooze talent from every orifice, particularly with the likes of Flamingos and Thrill Seeking, both of which stomp through a wonderland of well-crafted popness.  All the songs are tight and shiny, hinting at an underlying dirty thought, but always remaining polite – it’s the musical equivalent of the butler explaining Elton John rock to the king.  Before any of them disappear up their own arses they break and hand you an enjoyable piano refrain to wash it all down, none more so than 2 minutes and 25 seconds into Flamingos, which soars to heights even the hardest of nuts would crack a tear to, before it slams on its lipstick finish.  If you like your pop to bang and crash, but blow you a kiss at the end of it, then pucker up for this excellent discovery – but thank Illegal Tender, not us.  (MB)

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here:        EVRYONE – FLAMINGOS

Hear them here:        EVRYONE – THRILL SEEKING

Hear them here:         EVRYONE – DO YOU UNDERSTAND



As bad as hangovers are, and they only get worse as you age, they somehow don’t seem to hold us back when you wake up in a good mood, at a festival, with a day of exciting treats ahead.  The same thing happens when you’re on holiday.  Those hangover blues seem to wash away that bit faster.  The glorious sunshine we had helped too, but as we stepped out for day 2 of our mammoth new music festival we noticed the buzz around Brighton was palpable, as the swarm of industry and fans alike we swimming in the streets of our seaside city.



EXPERIENCE – We saw this Brighton four piece the previous night, but that was our Recommender vs Source after party, which, although an awesome show, became a far more drunken and raucous affair.  This time we fancied catching them in an altogether different situation, with it’s own challenges for the band.  We now found ourselves at 15:00, in broad daylight, in a tucked away courtyard in the centre of our city’s maze-like South Lanes area.  It was delightful to catch a breeze as we watched this OMD-saturated electro pop as part of the festivals many daytime shows.  These afternoon open air performances were to throw us some of the weekend’s biggest highlights, but more on that in the next post.  We chatted with Mirrors frontman James as he was setting up and he suggested that they wanted to play during the daytime in preparation for festival shows, to see how it went down.  This time the band were in Skint Records open garage, which couldn’t be less matched with Mirrors dark, clean, synthetic music, but they turned out yet another thrilling performance.  The unrelated sign on the wall read ‘Massive Masters’, which although is not quite how we would describe them, is perhaps the kind of adjectives they should get used to if they fulfill the promise on display, daylight or otherwise.


TinyRedLineForBlog.jpg picture by odelaybradford


EXPERIENCE – A couple of beachfront beers in this sunshine were quickly scoffed, before we headed off to The Foundry pub to catch this Welsh five piece. Although their Idolise LP is out, this group is unsigned and roaming up and down the country, as part of Dead Young Records mini UK showcase, where a collection of bands are playing their home towns together. This tour takes in Leeds, Bangor and this show in Brighton, before heading up to Liverpool. We chatted with Dead Young Records at the bar, who were indeed very young, but ultimately enthusiastic and refreshing with their many plans, setting their base in Leeds and aiming their sights on bringing fresh music to the UK. The band jammed through their garage rock sound, which seemed backwards when you consider that I’d just come from a performance that was inside an actual garage, but this was just as enjoyable. Powerful riffs and punched beats crunch out, with just enough keys to lift it, while the vocals garner the focus, sung with guts, style and gravel in equal parts. We spoke with the frontman, (who’s name we think is Cynyr), after the performance and he confirmed that they’d only been together since December, which is remarkable considering they’ve already churned out an album. You might be able to catch them at the Radio One showcase in their hometown of Bangor this summer.


TinyRedLineForBlog.jpg picture by odelaybradford


EXPERIENCE – It was a relief to move back out into the fresh air once more, having seen a sweaty show in the tiny backstreet Foundry Pub and the next daytime performance on show was Ghost Poet. We can’t write too much about this as we only stopped for half of their set as we walked past. We also simply don’t know much about them either, short of researching. It’s worth giving them a mention as this is precisely the kind of unknown show (it wasn’t even on any listings) that crops up between your plans. We turned a corner on our way to meet friends at another bar and came across this lyricist chucking out his poetry. Simple, lowered beats with minimal basslines and keys stay in the background while his expressive vocals are delivered in his lazy haze style. Having subsequently checked out the Myspace, he rolls out an interesting, dark urban set of lo-fi tunes that are well worth your investigation. He’s clearly linked one of the tracks up with Micachu too, so with a bit of luck he’s perhaps around the (more important) metaphorical corner of the public’s wider conscience.

TinyRedLineForBlog.jpg picture by odelaybradford


EXPERIENCE – Starting our first shows of the evening, we had planned to catch 1,2,3, but it was a waste of time as once down in the basement, it was so rammed we couldn’t even see the stage. We decided to leave and had a choice between seeing Warpaint and Darwin Deez. It turned out Darwin was also rammed and the queue was suffering from the common one-in-one-out policy that you sadly get at many of the tiny venues around The Great Escape. It’s even worse if you only have a standard ticket. Thankfully Jonny Cassell, this venue’s Promotions Manager, was outside and kindly allowed us indoors, but we knew he couldn’t do this all weekend as it’s simply unfair. Inside Darwin was halfway through his set, which didn’t particularly concern us, as we had seen him at the NME Radar Tour the previous week. We had urgently tried to book him when Velo pulled out of our Recommender party at the last minute, but their agent informed us that he planned to stick to just his scheduled Great Escape shows, as the NME Tour had knackered him out. This isn’t surprising considering how active they are onstage, with their busy dance routines, to tracks such as Walk Like An Egyptian, that are squeezed inbetween their own works. The crowd loved it, particularly the killer single, Radar Detector, which we’re glad we witnessed, even if it was from the back of the room.


TinyRedLineForBlog.jpg picture by odelaybradford


EXPERIENCE – The great thing about being at the back of a crowd is that you’re able to leave first, which we happily did at the end of Darwin Deez’s show. Virtually next door is another large, decent, beach-fronted club, Coalition, where Wolf Gang (The Recommender’s booking for our end of June party) was due to play. It was still busy but the dancefloor area is broader and stepped so you can’t fail to get a good view. We headed to the photographer’s pit between the crowd and the stage so were in great position to watch him close up. Max McElligott is a talented music machine, with many singles in the bag, such The King And All Of His Men, or Pieces Of You, but watching the rest of his catalogue on show today, he isn’t relying entirely on them. Don’t get us wrong, they are the stand out tracks on this performance, but there’s a clever craft on display. Comparisons to David Byrne, Bowie and Duran Duran are a little over-bearing on anyone, but they also hint that this is a broad, but inventive musician at work, who’s aiming for the charts.

BEST TRACK – PIECES OF YOU (Remix listed below…)

TinyRedLineForBlog.jpg picture by odelaybradford


EXPERIENCE – We’ve written up plenty on HURTS before now and discussed them on other forums, as they are fast becoming a bit of a marmite band. In a nutshell their problem is that they’re easy to hate, but that misses their talent and abilities to pen a tight, timeless pop tune. Randomly bumping into The Recommender’s partners in crime, Matt Allfrey and George Nunn, always helps lift our mood, only for HURTS to come onstage and do their very best to lower it. Their songs soar and their show is tighter than an Olympic swimsuit, complete with that silly, out of place opera singer at the back of the stage. We had seen them headline the NME Radar Tour where the room continued to empty the more they played, which seemed a little harsh, but thankfully that wasn’t the case here. So planned out and so delicately constructed is every tiny detail of their set that you get a carbon copy of the NME show. One hand is placed in the pocket. Out comes the comb which he never actually uses. Even the frowns seem deliberate during what should be a genuinely emotional section. Herein lies the issues. With so many excellent, moody, emotive, often dark, but often equally uplifting tunes, they seem to have removed the integrity. Emotion cannot be this contrived and work for long. The fear is that with all their shunning of the blogs and the kind of planned control more common with the US President or Royalty, this spin will lose momentum. Good songs will get you far, but the really successful bands, who they constantly compare themselves to in interviews also have character and a humanity to them.


TinyRedLineForBlog.jpg picture by odelaybradford


EXPERIENCE – This was our last showcase of the day and was to be found at one of Brigthon’s largest venues, the Brighton Dome. We arrived, half cut by this point, but buzzing like a power station, to a find another massive queue. We approached the front to see if our press passes were able to jump the queue when we noticed another, even longer queue, snaking away in the other direction. Turns out that was the non-press pass queue! Fortunately we secured photo passes too, so the doorman let us in. Anyway, once inside we witnessed an enormous climax to the day, with a show so spectacular and special that we will never forget it. Delphic are going to be massive and ruled the stage from the outset. We would even go so far as to state they are the new Bloc Party, with the their emotional, thumping set. The strip lights created a gorgeous look as their thundering indie dance tunes spun the crowd into a jerking frenzy. Their album takes a step up, no make that one giant leap, to a whole new level when played live. The drums punch right through, even breaking off for a monster drum roll for periods, like some kind of 70s drummer, but the real trick is their ability to properly jam. The songs are extended into seven or eight minute leviathans that build and build to a close. If that’s not a metaphor for our perfect Friday at The Great Escape then we don’t know what is!




Here we are with another lip-smacking fumble of new artists for you to indulge yourselves in. They range from brand-spanking new, to a rare treat from a more established fellow. All are worth a turn of your head…


And so yet another somewhat outstanding act plonks out the other end of the amazing Neon Gold record label machine. How they achieve it is beyond us, but suffice to say, keeping up with the number of awesome Indie bands they spit out is almost a full time job in itself. We first found Wolf Gang playing at an after party held by said record label during the recent Great Escape festival. They play delightful, sweeping soundscapes, with epic Pop proportions. The similarity of the voice of the main music maker, Max McElligott, is so close to David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame) that he will be sick of the comparison before long. It’s no bad thing however, as just like David Byrne they are equal parts creative and charming. Their first track, ‘Pieces Of You‘ is available from here. It’s perhaps their strongest track to date, but we attach below the song that initially hooked us, ‘Night Flying‘, in it’s demo form prior to any production. Here’s hoping it hooks you too.   (MB)

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:       WOLF GANG – NIGHT FLYING (ysi)


We would be doing you a disservice to compare this lot to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and in particular Karen O’s frontwomanship, exactly as a queue of critics have taken to doing in regards to this London 4-piece. OK, so they are fronted by a pretty and stylish female singer, who packs in the attitude and goes by the name Ali Cat, but the Indie-Pop music is a far less slick and lacks the same emotional depth. We would suggest they’re more of a Ting Tings for 2009, with their Pop hooks, simple chords and clap-your-hands-pace. Sadly, as enticing and fun as their creations are, they lack the true connecting punch that they clearly long for, with horrific lyrics, “everybody on the dancefloor“, and pointless swearing “put your mother fucking hands up“. It’s Yeah Yeah Yeahs for thirteen year olds. All this aside, they fizz with energy and Ali’s pulse is definitely plugged into her teen punk band roots. Her killer looks, (she used to model for Glamour and Elle shoots), will get them noticed, but only time will tell if it’s a more a case of style over substance.  (MB)

Find them here:        Myspace

Here them here:       GHOST CAT – THIS IS A BUST (ysi)


Here on The Recommender we rarely write about acts that are well beyond their debut material, except for those that we either shamefully missed first time around, or that are now producing music on a level that’s impossible to ignore with their second outing. Well Tiga has become the latter with his album, ‘Ciao!’. Whilst always being someone we were well aware of, we often found the Montreal DJ/Producer to blow hot and cold. With a circle of friends that include the likes of Soulwax and James Murphy it would be foolish to dismiss him entirely. He’s a busy guy, managing to produce many remixes for a wide variety of people from Scissor Sisters to LCD Soundsystem, whilst also owning the Turbo Recordings label. Although his latest album continues his hit/miss inconsistency, at it’s best his trademark minimilist Electroclash sound moves your feet with far more vocals and groove than we ever heard on his first album, ‘Sexor‘. It’s far better for it and lifts the tracks from the often repetitive nature of his older work. We list below a shining example in the funked-up track, ‘Shoes‘.    (MB)

Find him here:        Myspace

Hear him here:        TIGA – SHOES (ysi)

So that’s it for another bout of punchy rounds. Hope you enjoyed the knockout tracks just as we did. See you back here soon for more right hooks in the near future…

The Recommender's Flickr Photos

January 2021



The Hype Machine




Part of Vice blogging network




Add to Technorati Favorites


mp3 blogs


Loaded Web - Global Blog & Business Directory








CLUB SMITH (Previously known as THE HAIR)


Mike Bradford (MB) - Creator and Contributor (UK)

Olivia Gable (OG) - Contributor (Austin, USA)

Matt Allfrey (MA) - Contributor (UK)

Natasha Ryan - Photographer (New York, USA)