Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Hello, we're back from our Holiday. Did'nt get to see much live music in Scotland as we spent most of our time avoiding the big cities. I still have 2 reviews from before our holiday (Ikara Colt and The Trattenburg Family) and one from this week (Art Brut) to write up. Hopefully I'll get them all up by the weekend.
If you're interested in seeing Bloc Party then check out my eBay auction
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
A final word before we go on Holiday
We're off to Scotland for our hols tomorrow so no updates until the end of the month.
Before we go, I just wanted to point out how much Bloc Party's original singles are going for on ebay - £30 a pop, very nice.
If you buy one record this week...
... buy the latest single from Bloc Party. If not for the A-side, Little Thoughts - which picks up where May's Banquet left off - then for Tulips the B-side, a ballard with chiming guitars not a million miles from Waterfall by The Stone Roses.
Saturday, July 10, 2004
Play Louder Singles Club
If you're interested in hearing some of the bands I've been writing about then head on over to the Play Louder Singles Club, join up and start downloading your free MP3s.
Glastonbury Festival, Sunday Evening
Belle And Sebastian used to be one of my favorite bands. And then they moved record labels, decided to go pop and let Trevor Horn loose as producer of their last album. It was the production on this album that made it difficult for me to listen too (why all the silly noises in the mix). B+S also used to be a risky prospect playing live – some gigs could be beautiful others could be mired by sludgy sound; sometimes both of these could happen at the same gig as the band were notorious for playing to the first few rows. I’m pleased to say that today they sound great and, whilst they play a greatest hits set (including the sublime Lazy Line Painter Jane and Boy With The Arab Strap), the songs from the new album sound so much better played live. They even have the confidence to start with Fought In a War, a song about dying in the trenches. When the rain starts pouring down Stuart Murdoch jumps off the stage into the photographers pit to join the kids at the front – it’s an act of solidarity as he later explains to us. As they play on through the rain a rainbow appears over the green fields. That’s the magic of B+S.
Suzanne Vega is a Glastonbury regular and always closes the Acoustic Tent on a Sunday night. This year she has a full band with her and this is one of the dates on her UK tour to promote her new greatest hits record. She plays all the greats – Soldiers on The Wall, Liverpool and closes with Toms diner. In between she constantly plugs her web site. By The Way, why is the stage in the acoustic tent at the top of a hill? It makes it really hard to see the stage (even for those of us over 6 feet tall). If I could change Glastonbury in any way I’d move the stage to the southern, bottom end of the acoustic field.
Orbital are also Glastonbury regular, but they’ve decided to call it a day and this is their last gig in the UK. We arrive at the other stage in time to see them play through Doctor Who and Chime, and from our position, the light show is pretty amazing. The end of an era and they go out with a huge crowd sending them off.
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
Glastonbury Festival, Sunday Afternoon
Sunday morning we are up in time to see Razorlight run through a midday set that sounds frighteningly like a greatest hits show – how can this be? Well it has something to do with the charisma and arrogance of Johnny the lead singer and songwriter for Razorlight. It also helps that he has an ear for a fine tune and the band tight enough to work the dynamics of the stop start songs. There are a huge crowd (for the time of day) that have turned out to see the band, so I suspect that the word about Razorlight is out.
The Zutons are a sure fire hit for a sunny festival afternoon and they don’t disappoint. Today they troop on stage wearing matching yellow boiler suits. Actually, Abi the only girl in the band appears to have a tailored, fitting boiler suit made out of higher class material than the oversize paper suits worn by the boys – you can imagine the discussions that went on when somebody suggested the boiler suits. They actually look like a bunch of bond villains. Combine this attitude to the slightly off the wall sound and you have a band to rival legendary Other stage bands such as Dodgy or Super Furry Animals. Let’s hope their career follows the path of the latter rather than the former.
It’s Sunday afternoon and we’re at the Pyramid stage to see Joss Stone play the second of her appearances this weekend. She runs through all of the tracks from her Soul Sessions record and, as is traditional for Sunday afternoon bands, people bop along. The camera man and director responsible for placing stage footage on the screens either side of the stage (and presumably the BBC footage) seem to have a fixation with Joss’s midriff and rear end. No idea why ;-)
Monday, July 05, 2004
Glastonbury Festival, Saturday Afternoon/Evening
The Scissor Sisters are on the Pyramid stage and sun is shinning. This is the first of two sets that they’re playing at this years festival – they’ve also got an X-rated show in the dance tent later this evening. Actually the line between the two sets (we see both) is pretty slim. Both are filled with lots of innuendo and outright smut (Anamatronic telling Jake to turn around she wants to take him from behind). Perhaps the only difference between the two sets is the amount of clothing warn my Jake and Ana’. For both sets they draw a huge crowd and we suspect that they have successfully made the move from leftfield disco oddballs to mainstream pop royalty.
Our next band of the day is British Sea Power, who we’ve heard a lot about and who’s debut CD we picked up but has been sitting in the ‘too be listened to’ pile. Well, BSP are a revelation with a sound close to Gene and David Bowie. They also seem to have brought the countryside to the stage with trees, birds and animals (from our position we can’t tell whether these animals are plastic or stuffed) as part of their stage set. All very bizarre.
The Killers are playing the New Tent and unusually for this tent they can be considered to be new. They’ve drawn a huge crowd to the tent proving that every year there is a band that plays the New tent that should be on one of the lager stages – last year it was Kings of Leon. The set is good enough to keep us interested and we’ll try and get to see them in London later in the year.
And so to the daddy, Paul McCartney. Before the gig we’re not sure whether we should see him, after all there are plenty of other bands on. But then you realize that this os your chance to see one of the Beatles playing Beatles songs. And yes it does play Beatles songs, probably more than he does Wings songs and the whole of Glastonbury sings along to every line. You really do realize that you are witnessing a living legend. He plays Eleanor Rigby, which I studied as a piece of poetry at school. When he plays Yesterday and Hey Jude grown men melt and there isn’t a single dry eye in the house. And I haven’t mentioned the pyrotechnics and fireworks during Live And Let Die (which bares a resemblance to the Guns N Roses version).
Friday, July 02, 2004
I'm going to take a break from the Glastonbury review today because I have a really heavy cold and whilst the snot keeps running the creative juices won't.
I've spent some of my time today listening to the new Razorlight album Up All Night, which you should consider buying. It's the most perfectly formed debut album since Definately Maybe with lyrical influences that streach from Dylan to Bruce Springsteen. The Boss is back in the shape of Johnny Borral.
Thursday, July 01, 2004
Glastonbury Festival, Saturday Morning
Saturday morning we awake to the sound of rain and remember the weather forecast that 20mm of rain would fall today. Do we let this get us down? Well, yes, until we manage to buy some waterproof trousers and have a healthy breakfast. And then it’s time to head to The Other stage with enough lager to see us through the morning.
First on are The Duke Spirit, who have the sexiest lead singer since Justine Frischmann and a sound reminiscent of The Velvet Underground. We rustle along in our waterproofs and it starts to rain again.
The Subways, an unsigned band who won a competition to play this slot, are on next. They’re a three piece from Hertfordshire with some OK songs and a sound that’s much older than their years (they can’t be much older than 16 any of them) which makes us think of Ash. They look freezing as the rain comes down again but they lap up every moment of playing on such a large stage. I suspect we’ll be seeing more of this band.
The 22-20s played a similar slot last year, which is a mark of how their career has stalled over the last year. It was very brave of them to put out a live mini-album as their debut, but we’re hungry for some more songs and today they play pretty much the same set they’ve been playing for the last year. Don’t get me wrong, this band are good but they’re going to be left behind by the younger kids (OK, so they’re not much older than The Subways but they’ll wonder were these years went one day).