Saturday, April 30, 2005
Just a couple of words about last nights Babyshamles gig.
Firstly, Pete now looks to be fully "recovered" from his problems and looks to be pretty sober and, well, a bit chubby. Patrick still looks like a skeleton with a thin skin stretched over the top, so we can only assume he is still smoking something a little stronger than Benson & Hedges.
It looks like the recent studio time the band have had recording their album has paid off – with several new songs in tonight’s set (or at least songs that we haven’t heard before) and thoughts that Pete may loose his muse along with the crack pipe can be put aside.
However, tonight’s show won’t go down as one of the most memorable ‘shambles gigs and I just don’t know why – there just seems to be something lacking. Pete moves around the stage like he used to in the old Libertines days; the crowd go nuts for everything he and the band do and the whole stalls area of Koko becomes one massive moshpit; Pete still seems as anarchic as ever – throwing his mic into the front row (which results in a cringe-worthy eulogy about Pete being the King of our generation from the kid who catches it), only for the cable to emerge sans mic.
No, I just can’t place why this gig just feels a little wrong and it’s not that it’s all over by 9:45.
Hard-Fi, 100 Club
Straight out of west Lond-on, just like a loaded gun.
As a statement of intent, this lyric from Hard-Fi’s current single, Tied Up to tight, is unarguable. The suburbs of London have thrown up some great bands over the years, including The Jam and now Hard-Fi. And if a 19 year old Mr Weller were to form a band today they would probably sound like Hard-Fi - a band who draw on a history of rock, soul and rap.
So, swap Woking for Staines, a 3 piece for a 4 piece, update the lyrics to make them applicable to the 21st Century and there you have it. Songs about living for the weekend, just to piss your minimum wage away by Tuesday; or about finding out that your girlfriend is pregnant.
The only downside is the thuggish crowd element that the band seem to have attracted already. I guess it’s to be expected from a band with the arrogance/self-belief of early Oasis (tonight all four swagger on stage like 4 little Liams). We’ve seen the same brutish element at recent Razorlight and Kasabian gigs, but never at a gig as small as this.
If you haven’t heard Hard-Fi yet then head over to their website and watch the video for tied up too tight.
Support was from Boy Kill Boy who are not much more than a Libertines tribute band who don’t hold our attention for very long. And we’re not on our own – NME editor Connor McNicholas, who is standing next to us, starts fiddling with his phone during the 3rd song before heading off to the bar.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Nine Black Alps - Not Everyone
I've just heard the next single by Nine Black Alps, which is called Not Everyone, played on XFM. It rocks! I can't wait to see them next Monday.
Also next week we're off to see the hotly tipped Battle.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Pure Reason Revolution, Barfly Camden
PRR are possibly the most audacious new band at the moment. How many bands have you seen in the last couple of years who have the confidence (or maybe arrogance) to play a 45 minute set that starts with a 10 minute instrumental and segues each song into the next? If this is what they’re like when playing the Barfly, imagine the show they’ll put on when they make it The Brixton Academy.
Bloc Party, The Astoria
It’s almost a year to the day since we saw Bloc Party and The Rakes play the Metro Club, just around the corner on Oxford Street. For both bands the last 12 months have been busy to say the least. The Rakes have been touring consistently and are about to release their 3rd excellent single; Bloc Party are now proper pop stars known by the average punter on the street, with a top album under their belts, a re-release of their brilliant Banquet single and an NME cover story.
Unfortunately, we arrive late and only get to see The Rakes play the last half of 22 Grand Job. Bugger. Why were they on first, with the decidedly average Pretty Girls Make Graves further up the billing?
Fortunately, Kele and the boys more than make up for our disappointment. They really are every bit as good as the first time we saw them play last year, even when scaled up to to these top-end venues. I feel so lucky to have seen them grow – and to watch the faces of people seeingt them for the first time. Do I really need to tell you all over again how good they are? OK – they are amazing. If you haven’t seen them yet then go and see them at the summer festivals or the autumn tour or on their forthcoming tour of the US, Europe and Australia.
However, things are not all ripe-n-rosy in Bloc world. Kele tells us that he’s had a really bad day and seeing us makes it better; and Matt (Tong, Drummer) tells us that we’ve made it all worth while. It looks like the constant touring and promotional work (19 days in America in the month before this gig) are taking their toll. I guess it’s the same for all new bands in the period between the release of their first record and the point at which they can become big enough to dictate their own terms. I just hope Bloc Party are strong enough to make it through and get some time off over the summer – it would be a real shame for them to get this far and then fall apart.
Marshmallow, The Borderline
I’ll start on a positive note – live, Marshmallow live up to the modicum of hype coming from the MOR music press.
They’re a Kiwi four piece formed around Ex Mutton Bird Alan Gregg, who appear to have formed in London, which is probably why our reader in NZ hasn’t heard of them. They’re big fans of harmonies, which some have likened to The Byrds and Crowded House. For me they sound like Hard Days Night era Beatles, which you know, is a pretty good.
Unfortunately, some of the lyrics are a bit, erm, transparent, so songs like Come Sunday about a “love affair that has to be conducted on Sundays because the participants live either end of the Victoria Line”, or Casting Couch about Holywood, are just a bit lacking. What Marshmallow lack in lyrics they make up for in between song banter (perhaps this is why they’ve been compared to Crowded House).
We picked up a copy of the eponymous CD hoping for something similar to the live show. Alas not. The album appears to have been formed with a revolving door policy in regard to the performers lending Alan a hand, and it’s what an ex girlfriend of mine would describe as insipid. Let’s hope they get a chance to lay down some tracks with the current line up, it would be a shame if they couldn’t capitalize on their current sound. It would also help to justify some of the sound bites and 5 star reviews on the cover sticker.
Support is from a family based country outfit (Dad on guitar and backing vocals; sons on guitar, vocals and banjo; mum selling CDs). Not really our thing, but an interesting way to spend the bit of time between arriving at The Borderline and the main act coming on.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Dido My Arse
I don't know why I do it. I alwasys promise myself that I won't watch the best album list shows, but then I end up with Channel 4 on screaming at the TV. Tonight I'm angry because Dido's very average album Thank You was about 10 places higher than What's Going On by Marvin Gaye.
I've got lots to talk about - we went to see Marhmallow and Bloc Party last week, but that will have to wait because tomorrow night we are off to see Pure Reason Revolution.
Monday, April 11, 2005
The Best 90 Minutes in Thurston Moore's Life
Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth fame has written a piece for Wired magazine (actually, it's adapted from a book he's edited) about his love of the mix tape.
Once again, we're being told that home taping (in the form of ripping and burning) is killing music. But it's not: It simply exists as a nod to the true love and ego involved in sharing music with friends and lovers.
The full article is here
And the book is available for pre-order here
Glastonbbury Line Up Announced
And it looks pretty good:
Should we go and see Razorlight or The White Stripes, Kasabian or Coldplay?
Sunday, April 10, 2005
More Sad News
NME.com are reporting that The Delgados, one of the most inovative bands to emerge at the end of the Britpop era, have split. That's a real shame. For some reason I never managed to see them live, despite loving all of their records.
Full news here on NME.com
Saturday, April 09, 2005
The Bright Ambassadors of Morning
Our favourite space cadet prog rockers, Pure Reason Revolution, release their epic Bright Ambassadors of Morning on Monday (the 11th April). There are more details on their web site and you can view all 12 minutes of the video here
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
It Was Fun While It Lasted
I just found out the rather depressing news that easytree.org, a bit torrent site I've been known to frequent has been forced to shut down. There is a full explination on their site and a thread on slashdot.
What is the world coming to. This site was for fans to share live (i.e. out of copyright) performances. I've even seen the site admins pull torrents off of the site on request of artists or because they may contain released material. I mean, its ludicrous to say that because I've downloaded a live show by Bloc Part or Ryan Adams. I'm not going to go and buy the album. I already own all of hte albums, and want something else usually recordings of gigs I've been at. It just seems to be a bit greedy.
Anyone know of another good live music torrent site?
Sunday, April 03, 2005
An interesting way to get into glasters
For people without tickets (and we have a couple of friends who missed out), this idea on ebay may just work ;-)
So I was thinking about how quickly Glasters sold out - 120,000 tickets in 2 hours, which is 1000 tickets a minute. Given that each ticket costs £125, that works out at £125,000 a minute and £1.5 million in total. Not bad.
Your order is to attend GLASTONBURY at Worthy Farm Pilton-Somerset on 24-26 JUNE 2005
We have tickets!
We have tickets, the order form is here
Right Then... Glastonbury Tickets Are Go
Best of luck to everyone. 45 minutes to go and the Aloud.com website seems to be OK. I predict a meltdown at 9am.