Wednesday, 23 September 2015
Though affiliated, and often lumped in, with the current emo resurgence (it's not a revival, it never really went away), Connecticut's The World Is A Beautiful Place & I'm No Longer Afraid To Die are a band far more three dimensional than such labels would have you believe.
This review was originally written for Subba Cultcha. Click here to read in full.
Corporate, vacuous, soulless, all words that can be used to describe Manchester Arena. Housing a cool 21,000 when at full capacity, it's difficult to imagine any artist being able to make such a room feel intimate, yet that's exactly how the venue feels almost from the first moment Florence Welch takes her first barefooted step on to the stage.
When well-known funk and soul fan Craig Charles was caught in a taxi buying numerous jazz mags and smoking crack cocaine almost ten years ago, he wouldn’t have been listening to No Hot Ashes. We like to think, however, that should a similar scandal erupt now it would be the band’s latest double A-Side that would soundtrack such a downward spiral.
This review was originally written for Louder Than War. Click here to read in full.
Though the nights might be slowly drawing in, those who aren’t quite ready to relinquish their grip on summer could do far worse than spending an afternoon awash in the melodious haze of The Glow, the debut release from Oslo-based three-piece Gold Celeste.
This review was originally written for Line of Best Fit. Click here to read in full.
Tuesday, 8 September 2015
With Sunday morning comes familiar feelings that go along with any festival, dull aches and deflated air mattresses. Thankfully the weather has been kind to us this year, and spirits are high (and in full flow) when we head to the Main Stage to catch the first band of the final day.
Still on a high from the previous evening, Saturday begins with a liquid breakfast and a trip to the Main Stage to catch LA's Mariachi El Bronx, who cheekily introduce themselves as “The Bad News Bears from Reno, Nevada” before immediately launching in to a short but perfectly executed set of Mariachi music.
Walking through the campsites at Leeds Festival, one would be forgiven for thinking they'd stumbled head-first in to a kind of post-modern Last Days of Caligula - the heady scent of perfumed Roman's replaced by piss and Lynx Africa; the Italian wine by Somersby Cider; the opium by some questionable MDMA bought from a bloke called 'Greg'. It's horrific. It's eye-opening. It's beautiful.
Sunday, 6 September 2015
Despite murmurings of the band beginning as far back as 2013, Manchester's False Advertising took things slowly. Very slowly. Unlike most bands who strive to record and release almost as soon as they're able, False Advertising built on their insider knowledge of the industry, bouncing ideas back and forth, finely tuning their sound in to something they were happy with, then ripping it up and starting all over again. A painfully drawn out process it may have been, but the result is a debut album of intense slabs of fuzzy grunge, wonky slacker riffs and poppy vocal melodies that somehow manage to never once feel at odds with the overall weight of the record.
Hindsight can be a fickle thing. A little over ten years ago, I saw The Offspring on the very same stage they’re about to take to this evening, and whilst the glasses I wore that night were clearly rose-tinted, I remember the snotty 14 year old I was thoroughly enjoying himself. As such, it’s with a cocktail of nostalgia and apprehension that we approach the doors of Manchester’s Apollo this evening, just as Pennsylvania’s The Menzingers plug in and allow the feedback to wash over the throng of people already in attendance.
Given his vocal involvement with the campaign to allow the venue to retain it’s music licence, it seems only fitting that Frank Turner should once again grace the stage of Manchester’s iconic Night & Day Cafe. No stranger to the venue’s narrow confines, it’s an almost-annual haunt for the man who regularly played here to just 60 people in the formative years of his solo career. Unsurprisingly, tonight is a little different, and the vast majority of those in attendance had their names drawn in a lottery, finally giving them the chance to see Turner in a venue that’s a far cry from the “soulless corporate circus tops” of his Academy and arena tours.
There’s something inherently romantic about the image of the lone musician, they who leave behind their home in order to live hand to mouth, gig to gig, sofa to sofa. Arguably it’s the sense of freedom such a life suggests, the almost-primal notion of experiencing, to a degree, the unknown and the idea of having nothing tying you down.
This feature was originally written for Louder Than War. Click here to read in full.