THE DRUMS THEIR RAPID RISE TO FAME BAND OF SKULLS
LIVE REVIEW FROM “TALKING HEADS”
PHACE & MANISTHROPE
THE BRAND NEW ALBUM
DEATH OF VINYL
IS THE DJ AS WE KNOW IT, DEAD?
AND MUCH MUCH MORE!
A Word from our Editor
CONTENTS p. 4 -
- Death of Vinyl - Festival Line-ups Announced
p. 5 -
-Rage Vs The Machine
p. 6 As we have hopefully seen the last of the snow, and as the cold weather begins to desist, our spirits can now be further lifted with summer on the horizon. The Brit awards have been and gone, Festival headlines announced, and there is a wealth of new music to get really excited about. We are on our way out of recession and once again ‘the times, they are a’changin’, and in what more perfect way can you greet these new times with a mind-full of musical knowledge than diving headfirst into this, the 3rd edition of our magazine. This latest issue of AUDIO ADDICT is brimming with exciting news, reviews and features from both recognised names and local artists alike. Read about exclusive interviews with Drums and Band of Skulls’ see what new music is for you with our latest album reviews, and maybe brush up on your trivia skills along the way. This is HQ for all things musical, local, national or international, the AUDIO ADDICT team have all bases covered. I hope you enjoy this magazine, and hope it gets you a little closer to that summer we are all now craving! Enjoy
- No Shows
p. 7 -
- Free Parties - A Day in the life Of... - Unsung Heroes
p. 8 -
p. 10 - Review - Band Of Skulls
p. 12 - Review - Shout Out Louds - Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip
Bryn Your Editor
- Good Shoes
p. 13 - Review - Phace and Manisthrope - Le Martells AA Masthead Editor - Bryn Jones Features Editor - Cecelia Delporte Reviews Editor - Nicola Elliott News Editor - Andrew Sheppard Sub-Editor - Jonathan Howley Production Editor - Marie-Louise Cooper Contributors - Ian Easton, Ines Punessen, Carl Gwynne, Ally Lyons, Claire Rollins, Paul Ward, Liam Martin, Paola Maniscalco, Chris Parker
p. 14 - Addicted - Recommendations - This Shouldn’t Happen to a Rockstar
Audio Addict is produced by students of the BA (hons) Popular Music Journalism course. Disclaimer: All the views and opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily representative of the University. Southampton Solent University cannotbe held responsible for the individual views in this magazine.
Will Panasonic hang Vinyl out to dry?
ver the last six months devastating rumours have emerged. Word on the street (or rather on the net) is that Panasonic will no longer be producing the Technics SL-1200s or the SL-1210s. If these rumours are true, it may mean the beginning of the end for vinyl. The ‘digital vs. dubplate’ debate has been going for years, but now it seems it may finally be over. Technic SL-1200s are industry standard equipment for clubs, studios and radio stations. They’re also the number one choice of turntables for hundreds of thousands of DJs, from bedroom to superstar. ‘The wheels of steel’ have been around for nearly four decades and are widely considered as a seminal piece of musical technology. The popularity of the SL-1200s has been due to the fact that they’re pretty much indestructible. Team this with their high torque (which means the platter will spin at the desired speed almost immediately, 0.7 seconds if were being pedantic) and insulation to reduce acoustic feedback go to show why these turntables are every DJs best friend. We know these rumours came from somewhere down under, but we don’t know where. Some websites and articles state that these whisperings started on the dance floors of Australia. But others claim the rumours came from a DJ shop in New Zealand called DMC World, claiming on the product page of its website: “Panasonic (the manufacturer of Technics) have announced that production of the world famous Technic SL-1200 and SL-1210 DJ turntables will stop at the end of February 2010” Here at Audio Addict we like to stick to the facts, so we tried to get into contact with Panasonic to get to the bottom of these rumours, they did not get back to us. However, it seems they haven’t got back to a lot of people. We’ve trawled the internet and found the only official statement. Panasonic told pocket-lint.com: “As a major global business, Panasonic keeps all of its operations under constant review. However, there are no current plans to discontinue the Technics Brand”. This, unfortunately doesn’t really tell us anything at all. ‘The Technics’ brand manufactures many different products, including but not limited to, the SL-1200 and SL-1210. So the beloved model of turntable could easily be given the chop from the range even if the only official statement proves to be true. Audio Addict have managed to attain the only other official statement released on the matter. Audio Addict was later sent the same statement by Panasonic that was featured on the ‘Pocket-lint’ website, proving their reluctance to expand on the matter at hand. Anyone for a petition? By Nicola Elliott
Festival line-ups announced
lthough you wouldn’t think it now amid all this cold weather, this year’s summer festival circuit is already filling up and so far it looks as if we’re in for a whale of a summer. It seems to celebrate the closing end of the credit crunch, festival organisers have pulled out all the stops to make this year’s summer one to remember. A number of the biggest festivals including Glastonbury, Download and Global Gathering have already announced some of the artists that will be taking the highest positions on this year’s bill. Whether it’s Indie, Death Metal or Dance you’re into, it’s almost a certainty that there’s something for you. Here are just some of the festivals and acts that we can look forward to this summer. Download 11 - 13th June Veteran rockers AC/DC and Aerosmith top this years line up along with Rage Against The Machine, who claimed the 2009 Xmas no.1 spot due to a well publicised Facebook campaign to beat the X Factor winner Joe McElderry. Also on the line-up are Motorhead, Lamb Of God, and super group Them Crooked Vultures. Fans can also look forward to Megadeath, Stone Sour and Deftones amongst other well known favourites in Hard Rock. Glastonbury 23 - 27th June Glastonbury is possibly the biggest festival in the UK and has even spawned other festivals from within it. This year they have already confirmed headliners to be Irish rockers U2 and the multitalented Stevie Wonder. With his melodic touch Jack Johnson is set to appear along with the winners of the Emerging Talent Competition, My Luminaries. In addition to this American singer Andy Williams also self-confirmed whilst performing at Cheltenham Literature festival.
NOISE O2 Wireless 2 - 4th July Taking place over three days in Hyde Park, this year’s O2 Wireless has only confirmed a few acts so far, however, it appears at this stage they have chosen quality over quantity and have contracted Jay-Z as headliner. Other acts confirmed so far include The Ting Tings, with their errrr… ‘original’ brand of Indie pop, The Gossip and The Temper Trap. Global Gathering 30 - 31st July Having already confirmed Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss and Rollo - the Dance legends that are Faithless and also Dizzee Rascal who has just released his fourth full studio album, this year’s Global is set to be immense. With a plethora of other big names such as Danny Savage, Sigma, Plastician, Pete Jordan and Shabba all self-confirming via MySpace it would be crazy not to get yourselves involved. Benicassim 12 - 19th July Although all the British festivals have made a fantastic effort to get the biggest artists of the generation to sign a piece of paper, the Spanish festival Benicassim looks to have come out the obvious choice for variety. Having already confirmed Drum & Bass pioneers The Prodigy, Grime superstar Dizzee Rascal and Two-Tone specialists… The Specials. Other acts set to appear over the 9 day marathon festival are Ian Brown, Kasabian and John Lydon’s PiL. So that’s Punk, Drum & Bass, Grime, Indie, Ska and whatever it is you class Ian Brown as.
Glade 15 - 18th July Originally being what you could describe as a spin off show from Glastonbury, Glade, over the last 10 years has proven its credentials as a festival in its own right. 2009 being a great success with some of the biggest artists and DJs on the scene has meant that there is a big buzz around this year’s event. Only 3 acts are so far confirmed; Orbital, Simian Mobile Disco and Tricky, but if these three are anything to go by this year should be booming. Southampton Solent University have their own stage which showcases upcoming talent from the university. These are just a few of this years festivals with hundreds in Britain and thousands across the world. Already confirmed at some of the biggest festivals are some of the most popular and talented artists on the scene at the moment. With festivals such as Oxygen in Ireland still to announce and Reading and Leeds starting announcements at the end of March, the only problem you should have is fitting it all in! By Jonathan Howley
Rage versus the Machine
ver the Christmas period, certain circles within the British public embarked on an internet campaign to claim back the festive number one spot. This week Rage Against The Machine released thousands of tickets for the free gig they promised upon their victory. Was this a petty corporate fight with a win/win outcome for the music industry or an anarchistic stand against the bubblegum pop business by fans of ‘real music’? As promised by the band, free Rage Against The Machine tickets went out to the general public this week for a performance arranged at Finnsbury Park in London for the 6th of June. Users were asked to upload a passport sized photograph to the website to prevent touting, and register a few days later to claim their free tickets. All 40,000 tickets were claimed within one hour by the UK fans, and lead guitarist Tom Morello wrote in a statement regarding the gig, “A historic grassroots rebellion made our song Killing In The Name the number one [UK] Christmas single of 2009. The people of the UK toppled the X factor giant, raised a great deal of money for homeless charities, and shocked the world. “As a thank you to our UK fans and freedom fighters we promised to play a free show. Well ... here we come ... The celebration/party/revolution is on!” They also promise a full bill of artists, none of which have been announced. However Morello did suggest McElderry should play the gig, with Simon Cowell hosting. Neither party has commented on the subject. Rage Against The Machine astonished UK music fans by beating
Simon Cowell to the coveted Christmas number one spot. Rock music fans Tracy and Jon Morter started a campaign using the most widely accessible tool known to man – the Internet. They started the group ‘Rage against the machine for xmas no.1!’ on ever growing popular social networking site Facebook, and have received a gargantuan amount of support from the general public for the petition, which recently hit the million members mark. After people started joining, the online group grew to the point where you could barely open a magazine or switch on the TV without seeing something about the story. Cowell was quoted a lot on the issue, stating “It feels like a spiteful campaign aimed at an 18-year-old who won a talent competition” to The Sun. Meanwhile, fellow X Factor judge Cheryl Cole branded the campaign ‘mean’. It wasn’t limited to the Internet and the press though; radio stations also took an interest in the charts battle, most notably radio 5 who rigged up a phone call with the band straight to their rehearsal space in LA, California. During the call, Morello told Radio 5 ‘This has tapped into the silent majority, and the people of the UK are tired of being spoon-fed one schmaltzy ballad after another, and they wanna take back their own charts.’ Rage Against The Machine fan and contributor to the forum, Dan Humphrey agrees saying “This is a message to the UK public - stop buying rubbish music; we are losing all talented bands in the charts!” Figures show that this was the biggest seasonal chart battle for a decade since the Spice Girls battled it out
against comedy single Chocolate Salty Balls in 1998. Selling 200,000 copies to McElderry’s 50,000, Rage dwarfed the competition and won not only the top spot in the charts but also broke the world record for the biggest download sales total in a first week ever in the UK charts. Some fans were worried about the money going into Simon Cowell’s pocket as both RATM and McElderry are on labels that come under the Sony umbrella, however Rage state that all the proceeds for Killing In The Name will go to a homeless shelter. By Andrew Sheppard
“No Shows” are no pro’s
eter Doherty, a free spirit? Enigma? A throwback to rebellious rock stars of years gone by? All of these he may be, but after another ‘no show’ at the “Joiners” live music venue in Southampton questions about professionalism and dedication to such a fickle business must be raised! For a few years now, journalists and theorists alike have tussled backwards and forwards in regard to educational courses in ‘how to be a rock star’ arguing that such traits cannot be taught. You can’t take Joe Bloggs off the street, cast him into a ‘Popular music’ scheme and expect him to come out as the next Elvis Presley. However these courses can be beneficial to the next generation of budding musical superstars.
“Without context, it is very easy to get lost in such a vast and harsh industry.” (Wilson explains the importance of education)
Southampton Solent University offers the chance to study “Popular music Performance”, a course that has exploded in higher education across the country.
Photo Credit: Geoff Weedon Photography
I spoke to the head of the course, Peter Wilson to find out how it both encourages the creativity needed to be successful in the industry, while striking a balance with teaching history, context and professionalism. An accomplished musician in his own right, Wilson acknowledges the importance of musicianship first off. He said, “…anyone can strum an E chord, but we encourage the creativity that takes a good musician and turns them into a professional musician”. He described how the course’s participants should aim to be ‘polished professionals’ by the time they graduate, yet stressed the importance of the theoretical side. “Without context, it is very easy to get lost in such a vast and harsh industry. Artists in the past have lost their way, and have taken the opportunities they have for granted”. He highlighted the importance of hard work and punctuality in an academic and a habitual sense. “If one has the drive to study a course for three years and turn up on time day in and day out, it becomes habit, they get the most out of what they put in, and as it is true in most walks of life, those who work hard reap the rewards!” The University of Westminster has seen great success from their Commercial music performance course with acts like The Feeling and Paper Heroes. Matt Weedon, Paper Heroes’ lead singer has reaped the rewards from the course,
having a song featured on Channel 4’s ‘Skins’. “… The course taught me so much about the industry and introduced me to like minded, ambitious young mu- Peter Wilson (Head of Popular Music Porformance at Southampton Solent sicians.’ University) No one is saying you can create a pop star from dust, or that you should mould musicians and strip away their creativity. Courses like theses are designed to encourage creativity, but a strict set of ground rules and guidelines to ensure their talent isn’t wasted. A bit of professionalism, charm, wit and good manners can still go a long way towards success; maybe some of today’s ‘stars’ could do with getting back in the classroom, instead of leaving an empty stage that could be filled with someone who appreciates it. By Bryn Jones
Paper Heroes met on the commercial music performance course at The University of Westminster
Special K: The new free party atmosphere.
Free Party or festival, involves a gathering of anywhere between 20 and 2000 people turning up to an arranged destination, taking drugs and listening and dancing to, often, illegally loud music.
Free parties began in the late 1980’s as acid house parties and soon became part of an underground rave scene. The parties can last from one to three and sometimes more days at a time and you can only find out about these parties via word of mouth and party phone lines. Sophie Cash, 21 from Gloucestershire, who recently went to one of these free parties, said, “It was a completely mind-altering experience. Everyone there was in a different world; on a variety of drugs, mostly ketamine or
A day in the life of...a PR Manager
ver wanted to work in the music industry? Thought about managing some of the biggest names in music? James Sherry, a PR manager for Division Promotions, gave me an insight into his world. So, what is a PR manager? “My job is to make sure an artist or band gets the right amount of exposure in the media. We send the music to various contacts to find out what they think,” says James. James, who has been co-running the company for five years works on the print side of promotions. “I make sure our bands gets featured wherever they can, promoting tours, gigs and getting people to listen and review their music.” As a company they work with some of the best in the business, Calvin Harris, Mark Ronson, Placebo, The Stone Roses, Black Sabbath, Bowling for Soup and more. Between the five people that work alongside him, they divide the artists up and each person works with performers who are more suited to their individual taste. James went on to comment about how advancements in technology have changed his role. “Since the revolution of the Internet, the music industry has changed immensely. You can now access information, news and music
pills, but the atmosphere was amazing.” Similarly Josh Jordan, also 21, from the Isle of Wight, recalled, “The music was sensational, ranging from d‘n’b, dubstep, jungle and techno to break beats and reggae.” In the earlier years, the chosen drugs of choice for such parties were uppers, such as MDMA and ecstasy. However, over the last decade, the increase in the popularity of the drug ketamine has made it a more popular choice, particularly in the free party and festival scene, where ketamine has been said to destroy the original atmosphere. Ketamine is a disassociate drug which turns the user into a zombie-like state, rendering the user incapable of dancing, engaging in social interaction and having a good time, therefore, you can see why it has helped bring apart this scene. Ellie Coombs, 24, from Cheltenham, added “The parties just aren’t as a fun anymore. It doesn’t feel like everyone is on the same level, ketamine has taken the fun out it.” Audio Addict’s Nicola Elliott added “ I personally don’t like to take drugs at free parties, I like to have contol and know whats happening. However it’s part ad parcel with the scene and it all goes towards creating an atmosphere. As long as there’s good music and happy
people you can have just as good a night at a free party or rave without the help of drugs.” ‘Frank’, the online drugs advice site lists some of the main side effects of ketamine as, causing panic attacks, it
much quicker, instead of waiting for an issue of NME to come out in the shop.” He finished by saying, “We’ve just done a lot of work for Alberta Cross and Flood of Red, who are sure to be two artists to look out for in the next few months.”
How many people in clubs do you know that put their finished drinks somewhere sensible? No, we just chuck them on the floor. If it wasn’t for our ‘flash-lighted’ friends there would be a lot more accidents and a lot less dance space. 3. The Toilet Attendant. The attendants in the super clubs, we salute you. Not only do you direct the spewers to the empty toilets, but you clean up after them too, and we love you for it. 2. The Sound Engineer. Ever wondered why your favourite DJ sounds a bit shabbier in your local club compared to when he plays at the biggies? Well the answer is a skilled sound engineer. The sound engineers know their venue, they know the dynamics and the acoustics of every inch of their club. A DJ can’t possibly set their gain accurately in a packed club from behind the speakers, so when that bass starts distorting our guy is on hand. 1. The Lighting Engineer. Colours and patterns fill the room from every angle, this doesn’t happen on it’s own. These wonderful people know how to precisely match the lights to a tune and can completely change the mood of the night with some flicking of switches and twisting of knobs. This is why the Lighting Engineer is the King (or Queen) of the unsung clubbing heroes.
By Marie-Louise Cooper
The unsung clubbing heroes
e all know about the DJs, and to some extent we know about the promoters, but how would we cope without the help of club-land’s secret service. Here’s our Top Five: 5. The Cloak room staff/ The Bar staff. Now I know what your thinking “don’t give those moody buggers credit.” Yes they are moody, but we need them. Who else can tell the difference between a drunken slur of “2 WKDs” or “2 double JDs”, or make out the numbers on a cloak room ticket after it’s been screwed up, ripped and undoubtedly been drenched with either your spilt drink or sweat. 4. Those annoying people with flash lights you think are security but are really just picking up glasses. Yes they scare the s**t out of you when their beady little lights shine around your pockets, but they’re on your side.
can surpress breathing and heart function, and absence of pain. The latter can be attributed to many Ketamine related accidents, as victims often suffer more severe injuries than they are aware of. When mixed with other drugs, the results can be catastrophic with long term health issues and in some cases death. By Marie-Louise Cooper
By Nicola Elliott
Close To Being Classic The Drums import “exports” with their individual stamp By Ines Punessen
any bands, mainly of British origin, have shared Factory Records´ inheritance over the years. Once more, there is another band that has the ability to claim this legendary label for themselves.
Photo: Ines Punessen
The Drums are a foursome from New York who have gathered handfuls of good critics from the British music press for their recently released mini album ‘Summertime’. Having incorporated influences like Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths and Orange Juice, the band convey a ‘50s summery feeling with insightfulness; making them the pioneers of the first melancholic pop songs of 2010. Singer Jonathan Pierce describes his band´s main source of inspiration; “Having listened to something so much it is really hard to get away from it when you´re actually writing your own songs. Even if we had made the decision to not sound like Joy Division or The Smiths, those influences still would have shone through and they did”. On their self-titled debut album out in June, The Drums adopt both a more serious tone and a darker vibe. The lyrics are written from a more introspective point of view, presenting more personal issues. ‘Books Of Stories’, according to Pierce, is the most private song he has ever written; “It is a song about trying to move on and realising that you just can´t. You make a change in your life and then you´ll realise how it all crumbles. You notice that the thing you thought you didn´t need is what you actually need. It is one of the songs that I really feel every time we play it”. “The Factory” influence is still prevalent on the record; especially in the song ‘Forever And Ever’ where the percussion has a characteristic of “Factory”. “It´s got a dark Joy Division type drumming pattern with some of the synth lines in it. However, it’s a little bit more upbeat and hopeful”, says drummer Connor Hanwick. The Drums don´t deny their origins, the songs that have changed their lives, what probably sets them apart from the majority of New York based artists. Hanwick stresses that the latter are in a constant competition to be hip, so that it seems that they have forgotten where their songs were actually rooted. With the intention of not jumping on this band wagon, writing fads, The Drums moved to Florida to find originality and create something pure in isolation. They stopped listening to modern music and turned off the TV. They didn’t have the internet nor cars, so that they were stuck in an apartment, focusing only on their music. “For us, the tried and true recipe for making something original is that you have to make decisions to cut out influences. We don´t want to be a flash in the pan”, says Pierce. Apart from their beautiful pop effusions, this band has values. They love the idea of anything that can be considered to be a classic. Regarding their influences, it is apparent that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. However, when revealing that their number one rule is to do whatever they want, it jogs the memory of their association with Factory Records. At first glance, it is quite tough to contain the urge to call them ‘naive’, considering the restrictions other artists are facing in today´s music industry. Surprisingly, this young band has managed to be a living model of this idea. Although technically being signed to a major label, The Drums retained rights to do everything themselves. They are in control of all their design and art work, flyers and t-shirts. They also produced and mixed the album themselves and directed the music video for their next single ‘Best Friend’. “I think the only way to do anything creative is to make sure that you trust yourself and to surround yourself with people that are gonna be willing to put up with and trust you”, explains the drummer. The first single of their upcoming album could not be more original. ‘Best Friend’ is heavily influenced by the song ‘Pale Spectre’ by The Wake, a lesser known “Factory” band. Pierce comments on his favourite track; “We wanted to write something that didn´t sound exactly like it but something that gives us the same feeling that this song gave us. It´s untouched from the day that we wrote and recorded it. No one else had a hand on it. It´s us trying to sound like The Wake but we´re landing somewhere else”. Pierce´s greatest desire for the band is to be taken seriously and to always be relevant in some way. Listening to his words, his aim seems so easy to achieve; “Everything needs to be stripped down, you cut away the fat, until you just have the bare bones of a beautiful song with a simple lyric and a simple melody and there is nothing better in the world”. A simple approach to a successful career.
Band of Skulls: Turning on the style in hometown Southampton Band Of Skulls Returned To Southampton For One Night Only
Band Of Skulls
LIVE! The Talking Heads Southampton 13th February 2010 By Ian Easton
After a whirlwind year of nearconstant touring, Band of Skulls return to their native Southampton as conquering heroes, whilst throwing in a blistering show for good measure.
o, the time so many people have been waiting for has arrived. Band of Skulls are back in their native hometown - back where it all started. Yet, before the nostalgic Talking Heads becomes inevitably packed to the rafters, Audio Addict has the exclusive pleasure to watch them sound check, and have a beer and a chat with them to boot. Let us tell you one thing– these guys have a special aura about them, they are the real deal. “That sounded good, but we don’t want to peak too soon, this is a big gig for us” says Russell Marsden of the sound check, walking into the dressing room, visibly animated and excited by the prospect of this evening’s coming events. Having gone from playing club nights in their hometown to touring America, with a few gigs in Moscow and Tokyo in between, the music of Band of Skulls has travelled from Southampton to iTunes at breakneck speed. The hook-driven “I Know What I Am” was single of the week on iTunes in April 2009, and exposure of their track “Friends” on the Twilight saga’s New Moon soundtrack has also helped things along nicely. You could say it has been a good year for the band. They return to their hometown as conquering heroes, exhibits of fame and fortune to the lesser privileged, proof that local bands really do make it into the big time. Having confessed to playing the Talking Heads “Over a hundred times”, the band return to their first ever and favourite venue, yet are still humble enough to hang with old friends and acquaintances before the show. “We’ve been touring now for a whole year, playing
Photo: Claire Rollins
Photo: Claire Rollins
out almost every night.” explains bassist Emma Richardson before the show. “I think we’ve had about 2 weeks off in total since last April including Christmas, so it’s been a pretty hectic year for us.” Guitarist Russell Marsden continues, “This feels like the end of the tour because we’re back in town. But no, tomorrow we’re back off again, we’ve pretty much moved into our suitcases. But it’s good for a band to do that, because touring so constantly and playing in so many different countries has given us a chance to get our show together and make it work consistently.” With three songwriters in the band, BOS have access to endless melodic possibilities, and their album and honed live show sure is an exhibition of that fact. “We all write separately, and the rule is that we’re not allowed to finish a piece of work until we’ve all had our say on it,” explains drummer Matt Hayward. Emma continues, “We have quite a healthy competition between us; we all kind of want to outdo each other in the song writing stakes.” Russell finishes, “Often it’s the case that I’ll write a song, and Matt will completely strip it back, steal (Richrdson tells us of the intro, and write another song with the hectic schedule) it. I think that it’s good that we are able to bow down to the better ideas.” Their live repertoire certainly shows off this fact – as each song is crammed with hooks lush harmonic overtones, we feel like we are dragged back in time on the end of every blues lick, every warm valve-overdriven chord, and it’s a pleasure. As for the show itself, wow. Never before have we witnessed such unashamed support from local bodies, never before have I experienced such anticipation before a gig in Southampton. With steam rising from the audience, tonight this is the place to be - the atmosphere is electric as the guys take to the stage, and from the first track it’s clear that they mean business. However, it’s not a case of gloating, mutual backslapping and showcasing what they’ve become - Band of Skulls let their airtight live show do the talking, they just simply let rip, no holds barred. It is pure rock ‘n’ roll. Raw, badass, sexy, and melodic. At times it’s euphoric and powerful foot-stomping bliss; at others it’s whimsical and unkempt. At all times it’s brilliant, with the duo vocals from Russell and Emma reaching some spine-tingling moments in standout tracks Fires, Patterns, I Know What I Am and Honest. Band of Skulls repertoire reads like a who’s-who of classic rock/ alternative influence, yet each live song is wax-stamped with their own unique identity and a modern twist. This is certainly one to lock away in the memory bank. As the deafening gig winds to a boiling close, the cauldron that the Talking Heads has become is awash with exultant shouts of “We did it! We did it!” from friends in the front row –they are right, Band of Skulls did it, and they did it with style.
“We’ve been touring now for a whole year, playing out almost every night.”
First Hear Shout Out Louds - ‘Work’ Merge Records
Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip - ‘The Logic Of Chance’ Sunday Best Recordings
aturity in music, it’s something that every band claims to achieve by writing more considered songs. Perhaps they have used darker undertones, perhaps the lyrics are more personal, in fact it seems to be a decision made by the band/record label in a bid to reach a wider audience. Occasionally though an artist reaches a mature sound in less intentional manner. Shout Out Louds haven’t written their latest LP in a bid to push the boundaries, it’s more a case of the band coming into their own. The biggest difference is the perspective of the music, whereas before the lyrics were gazing outwards at the people and places around them such as Shut Your Eyes’, these days the majority of the lyrical content is directed inwards including on the initial single Fall Hard, where Adam Olenius desperately cries “If You Fall Hard I Fall Harder” or the free download ‘Walls’ where we find Olenius exasperated and exclaiming “Whatever they say we’re the ones building walls”. The emotion conveyed isn’t necessarily raw but personal and intimate, especially towards the latter end of the LP as the music remains at a midtempo pace. One of the biggest mainstays of the album is the prominence of the guitars throughout. Most of the time they are at the forefront of the music and unlike previous releases they aren’t typically chord based giving a far more angular stance. A lot of time and thought has gone into the composition. The new lyrical style combined with the new approach to the guitar makes for a heartfelt album. Containing tracks memorable enough to stand alone, the whole experience feels insightful yet accessible. Olenius truly sounds like he is confronting himself and therefore translates to the audience in a similar fashion, creating what can only be called an introverts dream. By Liam Martin
eturning after their massive first album ‘Angles’, Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip release their second effort ‘The Logic Of Chance’. From the drum and bass influenced album opener Sick Tonight, to the beautiful ballad Cowboi, complete with a haunting and striking set of strings, this album has the ability to draw in its listener. It makes them take notice of the important subject matters Pip is putting across. With more of a dance feel, the mix of Pip and Le Sac together are an unstoppable force, providing the same addictive style that was represented on their debut. The lyrical themes are just as fresh and explicit, with Pip being able to create a political charged song Stake A Claim and express his views on social matters in Great Britain. You can sense that he has improved even further in his song writing. ‘The Logic Of Chance’ is definitely an improvement on their first album, with both Pip’s vocals and lyrics being the standing out, combined with Le Sac’s mix of beats make this album even fresher and more thrilling. By Ally Lyons
Albums coming soon 8th March - Gorillaz - ‘Plastic Beach’ 9th March - Ludacris - ‘Battle of the Sexes’ 15th March - Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - ‘The Logic of Chance’ - Eminem - ‘Relapse 2’ 22nd March - The Dillinger Escape Plan - ‘Option Paralysis’ - Goldfrapp - ‘Head First’
Good Shoes - ‘No Hope, No Future’ Brille Records
ith this second album, Good Shoes have moved in a slightly different musical direction to ‘Think Before You Speak’. Most of the songs have retained that classic, upbeat catchy sound as before. The songs are heavier and although it is still very much in the perspective of a young man in a city suburb, there is more experience in the lyrics and the music. This album is very much a break up album, but Good Shoes, much to the elation of their loyal fans are not splitting up. All the songs seem to follow the same pattern of being about a love had and lost. The song Under control at the admission of Rhys Jones (lead singer) is the dirtiest song he could write and you only have to listen to the first few lines to hear exactly what he wants to say. Before we get to that though we must mention the opener The way my heart beats. It seems to say, ‘well here’s what we’ve done before’ and then launch into the new sounding material. Everything You Do is completely different to any Good Shoes songs previously released. Do You Remember has an interesting drum/ guitar intro that reels you in early on. With Times Change, the band has made what would be a very depressing song, into a very memorable and upbeat tune. The album closer is a gentle song, in keeping with the break up theme of the album. A great effort from the South London boys and we’ll have to keep our eyes and ears peeled for what they come out with next. By Jonathan Howley
FIRST HEAR Phace & Manisthrope - ‘From Deep Space’ Neosignal
he ‘From Deep Space’ album is an exploration of the deepest, darkest corners of the broken beat universe where Phace & Misanthrop discover new and indulgent sonic, sci-fi landscapes. With over 17 years of combined experience in the world of D&B Phace and Misanthrop are certainly no ameteurs and this album has been hailed as some of the best work they have produced to date. “These guys are pushing the boundries once again with this LP, people take note! Always got some Phace and Misanthrop in my record box” Friction. Over a year in the making, ‘From Deep Space’ sees two of Germany’s leading Drum and Bass artists collaborating to create an album that has been highly anticipated by fellow DJs and producers. The past seven years have seen Phace ascend to the most prominent production duo in Germany. And with Misanthrop’s 10 years of musical expertise and an almost obsessive love for the dark side, there was no question that these three men would make one exceptional album. The CD and digital version consists of seven Phace tracks, four Misanthrop tracks and three collaborations. The album will be released on vinyl as well as CD and Download. However there will only be 500 vinyl copies pressed, so wax purists will need to get their mitts on these quickly before its too late. Deep sonic soundscapes are the main order of this LP, however each track is stamped with it’s own individual flavour. From Channel Feel’s downbeat vibe to Generation For Sales’s funky feel this LP has something to satisfy anyone’s taste. The production skill of these guys stands out more than their creativity. Each and every track’s beats are clean and crisp and have been mixed down with perfectionist precision. “If you’re anywhere interested in drum & bass and the exploration of sonic logic and depth you cannot miss this album. Nobody goes where Phace and Misathrop go.” Nosia. One on the albums highlights is Misanthrop’s Going Down Slow. This
six minute mantra evokes three different feelings in one track. As the track starts you are transported to cockpit of a submarine with glitches, gloops and digitalised bleeps, you’re left wondering where the track’s going to take you next. On the first drop, walls of sonic sound and sub bass engulf your entire soul, teamed with the speedy beats, you feel like your part of some type of underwater military mission. Enter the piano, with the collection of chords used to compliment the bass, breaks and beats completely chills the track, bringing you the satisfied feeling of ‘mission accomplished’. Another highlight of this album is Phace’s You Keep on Talking. Fast paced break beats layered with an absolutely disgusting rumbling sub. This is one of those tracks that deserve a good pair of headphones and some concentration to fully appreciate it. However that’s not to say it won’t tear up any dance floor. The LPs title track is an absolute banger. ‘From Deep Space’ is the first of three collaborative tracks on the album. The slow start acts as a magnet to the ears that draws your entire attention to the sounds. Rolling beats, tight kicks and of course the staple array of sounds from the sub sonic spectrum. If you’re any type of Drum and Bass, Break Beat or Broken Beat fan this album is not to be missed. If you’re into sonic soundscapes and sci-fi scenery, this experimental album is not to be missed. If you’re any kind of music lover at all this is one album defiantly not to be missed. By Nicola Elliott
Live music in Southampton 13th March Jethro Tull - Guildhall 14th March The Stranglers - Guildhall 18th March You Me At Six - Guildhall 23rd March Turin Brakes - The Brook 25th March Paloma Faith - Guildhall 29th March The Computers - Joiners Arms
Le Martells...Live at The Hamptons!
t was the sticky floored, dimly lit ‘Hamptons’ venue that would see indie outfit Le Martell’s took to the stage with support from ExperimentalRock band Apollo’s Arrows. An electronic burst of musical energy was felt throughout the crowd as Apollo’s Arrows took the stage and soon sent out waves of Post-Rock euphoria, seasoned with Math ladled interludes and all round great musicianship. Near musical perfection, fused with a vast amount of stage presence made for a great opener for the night and a hard act to follow. Think - Fall Of Troy, Minus The Bear and Pele. Monumentally epic are the only words to describe these three young lads from Exmouth. Next up on the bill was the clean cut, pop riddled Indie-Rocksters Le Martells. There seemed to be a lot of energy and anticipation leading up to the band that night and it was definitely justified. Le Martell’s did what they do best, with their fast paced, catchy Indiefuelled mayhem. A strong performance from every band member was felt and they seemed to really get the crowd going, even if the John Mayer esque jams weren’t appreciated by some members of the audience. Catchy songs about getting the girl, getting drunk and texting seemed to be the main themes, but regardless, the music definitely made up for this and showed a certain sense of maturity and progression in their musicianship. Be sure to keep an eye out for both of these bands in the upcoming months. Big things are definitely on the cards for these guys. By Chris Parker
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ADDICTED This Shouldn’t Happen to a Rockstar! Fast cars, big houses and brimming bank accounts. We all know the positives of being a music star, but what happens when it all goes wrong on stage? 1. Power cuts - What happens when someone hasn’t paid the electricity bill? Thomas Cullen, “Our monitor cut out on stage at the astoria to 2500 people. Not a good look.” Jake Stewart, DJ, “I had a power cut during a set, I was doing a set in Fluid, then the music cut, then the lights, everyone started boo’ing. I got pretty scared, but I recovered.” 2. Equipment failure - Reasons why you shouldn’t buy your equipment from a market stall! Lee Stratton/Mister Lee - The Brass Monkey DJ, “The Laptop switching off mid set...New Years Eve...happy party goers throwing booze about cutting off all the music...Happy New Year!” Jonny daw, Aeroplane Arcade, “Snapping strings... I seem to do this repeatedly. I now always take a spare set.” 3. Being Drunk on stage - It may make you more confident, but sometimes you look like a fool! Hudson, “One drunk drummer plus one staircase behind a drum kit equals a disappearing drummer during last song of set!” Mike. G, Music student, Southampton “My old guitarist snapped his guitar mid-gig. That sucked. He was too drunk, did a guitar flip then tried a second and the guitar hit the stag, SNAP!”
4. Crowds - They pay to get in, so what happens when they ‘express themselves’? Crowds can pretty much make or break a gig. Even if the music is downright awful, as long as the crowd is cheering and dancing all is well… but there are times when the crowd can be… well, w*****s. Tez from Wearwolves, “Okay How about being discriminated against for wearing glasses. Being told to “GET OFF THE STAGE YOU FOUR EYED C**T!” . Paul Ward, Guildhall staff, “The number one thing that shouldn’t happen is scene kids practising karate moves in pits.” Hudson, “Hecklers, We love hecklers! Anyone who turns up to a show just to try and have a go at the bands deserve to be belittled in front of large crowds. But what happens if they take too much offense? Well they sometimes get violent.” 5. Embarrassing moments on stage - Even rock stars hit banana skins! Jake Lewis, “My friend was singing and did that knee bending thing that Leona Lewis does and her sanitary towel fell out.” Hudson, “Our official EP launch gig, with hundreds in attendance, the tension was high as we were about to take to the stage. The crowd were loud and the atmosphere was electric! Cue Damo’s entrance! Cue Damo tripping over onto the stage with his guitar! Possibly the least cool entrance ever made.” Robin Jonson, DJ, “The worst thing for a DJ is when the beats don’t match - it doesn’t happen to me a lot apart from when I managed to catch the stylus with my sleeve and drag it across the record that was playing, scratching it up in front of a couple of hundred people at a Gatecrasher night in London.” By Paolo Maniscalco
Photo by Louise Morrell