Saturday, 15 August 2015

#490: Festival Coverage: Y-Not 2015 - Sunday

Though Sunday starts much like Saturday, an overcast gloom shrouding the festival site, the clouds soon dissipate and we find ourselves sticky with sun-cream and sweat and in front of the Main Stage early in order to catch Bedforshire's CC Smugglers, a six-piece band who make “original music from nostalgic influences”. They may not be our usual fare, and had we caught them in a different environment our opinions might be somewhat different, but for an opening, their swing/jazz/blues combination makes for a gentle beginning to the final day. That doesn't mean to say that the band lack any energy mind you, they clearly thrive on a sense of traditional band camaraderie, and though they're in no way unique, they're delightfully inoffensive and prove dance-able enough to get a few pockets of the early crowd jiving.

This review was originally written for Muso's Guide. Click here to read in full.

#489: Festival Coverage: Y-Not 2015 - Saturday

With Saturday comes the only threat of bad weather of the entire weekend; a thick fog enveloping the hills that surround the site bringing with it sporadic pockets of light rain. For some, there's no such thing as bad weather however, just the wrong clothes, so with last year's thunderstorms playing at the back of our mind, and making sure we're dressed accordingly, we venture to the Giant Squid stage for some early afternoon technical wizardry in the form of Alright the Captain.

This review was originally written for Muso's Guide. Click here to read in full.

#488: Festival Coverage: Y-Not 2015 - Friday

With Friday morning comes the inevitable sound of a main-stage sound-check, the repetitious “One-Two, One-Two” and the seemingly perpetual thud of a bass drum being mic-ed up. In normal circumstances this would be a horrific way to the start the day, but with the beating sun and the prospect of a whole day of class acts proving too much to resist, we start the day early with questionable bacon and less questionable beers.

#487: Festival Coverage: Y-Not 2015 - Thursday Evening

There's something uniquely liberating about the first evening of a festival; inhibitions are cast off and comedowns are yet to set in; respective sites aren't yet sullied by beer cans and half-eaten burgers, and the toilets aren't something you enter at your own risk. It's a rare twelve hour window where people still look and smell their best and there's no-one wandering around pallid and sweaty, bedecked in a sleeping bag whilst trying to shake off last night's Jager haze. Couple this with the rural idyll of Pikehall in the beautiful Peak District, not to mention a couple of quality opening bands, and Thursday's at Y-Not Festival are an absolute winner.

This review was originally written for Muso's Guide. Click here to read in full.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

#486: Catching Up With...Simon Berridge of Bromide

Now five albums and twenty years in to their career, Bromide have proven themselves to be a band all about quality over quantity. Now approaching the release of I Remember, the title-track from their latest album, Dave Beech chats to front-man Simon Berridge.

#485: The Decline - Resister

Ten to fifteen years ago, it was almost impossible to turn on an alternative music channel, watch a film, and even in some cases play a video game, without being assaulted by skate punk from the likes of Bad Religion, Pennywise and Lagwagon. Such is the nature of the music industry however, that the third wave of emo was just around the corner, and soon black eyeliner and bad dye jobs pushed skate punk out of the limelight and into, at best, the periphery.

#484: Jingo - The Ghost in the Machine (single review)

Keeping true to their reputation as being one of the most prolific acts doing the rounds at the moment, Jingo have released their second track in almost as many months. Following swiftly off the back of A.D.D, the band’s latest single Ghost In The Machine is interested in whether science and logic have it right by saying trial and error have allowed both society and the individual to flourish, or whether there’s unseen, unfelt forces at play behind the very human machinations that allow us to thrive.

This review was originally written for Louder Than War. Click here to read in full.

#483: White Fright - Turning Pt 1 (single review)

Forming from the remnants of Bury St Edmund’s band King Blood, White Fright are much like the proverbial phoenix, rising from the ashes in a burst of heat and crashing cymbals. Though there’s definite similarities between the two, the latter emerged from the flames reborn, cleansed and stripped of any reservations that plagued their earlier iteration.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

#482: La Luz - Weirdo Shrine

For better or worse, there are many bands at the moment that attempt to encapsulate the way their music sounds on record. Now without taking in to account the way a live setting can breed improvisation, and the way in which the occasional fuck-up can endear us to a band (after all, musicians are only human, despite the pedestals some are placed on), there’s still a whole host of variables within a gig scenario that make mirroring recorded output all-but impossible. And this is where Seattle ‘surf-noir’ band La Luz and their second LP ‘Weirdo Shrine’ really turns things on their head.

#481: Catching Up With...Queen Kwong

Having been discovered by Trent Reznor, LA’s Queen Kwong, otherwise known as CarrĂ© Callaway, is fast making a name for herself as one of the most visceral performers around. The band, whose members include Limp Bizkit’s Wes Borland on guitar as well as former members of Marylin Manson and AWOL Nation, performed a sold out four show residency in London earlier in the year, which, when coupled with regular airplay on Radio 1, has allowed the band to build a solid reputation even before they’ve released an album. All that looks set to change change however, as Queen Kwong are scheduled to release their debut album Get A Witness on the 28th August…’ as well as appearances at this year’s Reading and Leeds festival in support of the release.

#480: Landmarks - Fighting Gravity (EP Review)

Whilst pop-punk will always be ubiquitous with the warmer climes of California, and indeed America as a whole, anyone with even a slight interest in the genre can tell you that over the last few years the UK has formulated a scene of its own. Unlike the country’s provincial indie scenes which spring up like questionable rashes – brief and somewhat irritating –  pop-punk here feels like one big party as opposed to several more elite and overly-dressed ones. Because of that, there’s a sense of real solidarity and union behind all the pizza and partying, which allows bands from across the UK to really come together, regardless of region.

#479: Catching Up With...Matthew and Me

Based out of Totnes in Devon, Matthew and Me are a five-piece band who, for the last twelve months, have been striving to distance themselves from the material of their earlier releases, capitalising on both improvements in gear and a more thorough musical understanding of each other and the band as a whole, in order to create a sound that’s distinctly theirs.