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March 2014

www.brumnotes.com music and lifestyle for the west midlands

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RIDING HIGH

INSIDE:

Franz Ferdinand Metronomy We Are Scientists Also: We look ahead to Flatpack Festival and Frontiers Festival PLUS: Juice / Is I Cinema / Capital Sun And your guide to March’s best albums, art, gigs and club nights March 2014

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Fri 28th Mar 6pm - 10pm

Five Finger Death Punch + Upon A Burning Body + Pop Evil

Sat 29th Mar • £10 adv 6pm - 10pm

10.30pm-3.30am • £4 adv

OVER 18S ONLY - PROOF OF AGE REQUIRED

Heaven’s Basement Fri 4th Apr • £12.50 adv 6pm - 10pm

Mon 3rd Mar • £20 adv

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

Emblem3 Mon 7th Apr • £14 adv

+ Old Man Markley + Dead Frequency

Halestorm

Tues 4th Mar • £16.50 adv

Thurs 10th Apr • £11 adv

Disclosure

+ The Word Alive + Cytota

Rescheduled • original tickets valid

Sat 8th Mar

Bombay Bicycle Club + Rae Morris

Sat 8th Mar • £11 adv

Angel Haze Sun 9th Mar

All Time Low

Memphis May Fire Sat 12th Apr • £20 adv

Matt Cardle

Weds 16th Apr • £20 adv

6.30pm - 10pm • Rescheduled - original tickets valid

Within Temptation Fri 18th Apr • £12 adv 6pm - 10pm

+ Tonight Alive + Only Rivals

The Summer Set

Sun 9th Mar • £16 adv

Sat 19th Apr • £8.50 adv

The English Beat

Ones To Watch

ft. original vocalist Dave Wakeling + very special guest Roddy Radiation + Tempting Rosie + The Bluebeat Arkestra

Tues 22nd Apr • £11.50 adv

6.30pm - 11pm

Thurs 13th Mar • £16.50 adv

The Selecter

35 Years of The Selecter

Fri 14th Mar • £12.50 adv 6pm -10pm

God Is An Astronaut Tues 18th Mar

OneRepublic Thurs 20th Mar

Kodaline + James Bay

Fri 21st Mar • £22.50 adv 6pm -10pm

Franz Ferdinand Sat 22nd Mar • £23 adv

The Stranglers 40th Anniversary Tour + Nine Below Zero

Mon 24th Mar • £20 adv

Moved from The Institute, Birmingham • Original Tickets Still Valid

Daughtry

Tues 25th Mar • £21.60 adv

NME Tour 2014 with Austin, Texas ft. Interpol + Temples + Royal Blood + Circa Waves

Thurs 27th Mar • £18.50 adv

Azealia Banks

5.30pm - 11pm

Sat 31st May • £27.50 adv

Sat 25th Oct • £15 adv Weekend ticket £25 adv

Graham Parker and The Rumour

1pm -11pm

Sun 15th June • £8 adv / £15 VIP

UK B-Boy Championships

Andy Jordan

Knock-Out Jam

Thurs 26th June • £15 adv

Sun 26th Oct • £15 adv Weekend ticket £25 adv

Heaven & Earth

3pm -11pm

Mon 7th July • £28.50 adv

UK B-Boy Championships

Sun 20th July • £13 adv

Thurs 30th Oct • £19.50 adv

+ M.ILL.ION

World Final

Extreme

John Newman

6.30pm - 10pm

Ultimate Genesis

Fri 7th Nov • £16.50 adv 5.30pm -10pm

Mon 21st July • £12.50 adv

Asking Alexandria

6.30pm - 10pm

Onslaught

Fri 5th Dec • £15 adv 6.30pm -10pm

Tues 23rd Sept • £15 adv

Graham Bonnet

Primal Fear

Catch the Rainbow Tour

Sat 27th Sept • £12 adv 8pm - 1am • over 18s only

Quadrophenia Club Night

Big Screen Film Show with DJ Drew Stansall (The Specials) plus The Atlantics (playing the movie hits) + The Coopers + The Birmingham Club A Go Go DJ’s

Fri 12th Dec • £11.50 adv 6.30pm -10pm

The Doors Alive FOR THE VERY LATEST LISTINGS PLEASE CHECK OUR WEBSITE

ft. Fortunes + special guests

Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats

Thurs 24th Apr • £10 adv

Blood Red Shoes + DZ Deathrays + Slaves

Fri 25th Apr • £11 adv 6.30pm - 10pm

The Smyths Celebrating 30 years since the release of The Smiths debut album, performing ‘The Smiths’ in full

Sun 2nd Mar • £12.50 adv

Hats Off To Led Zeppelin

Tues 14th Mar • £7 adv

Cypher16 & 61 Inch

+ Adust + Fliesch + The Reaper + A Mouth Full of Matches + Last Vendetta

Weds 5th Mar • £12.50 adv

Sat 26th Apr • £12 adv

Brody Dalle

Mon 28th Apr • £12.50 adv VIP tickets £24.50 adv

Patent Pending & People On Vacation Tues 29th Apr • £16.50 adv

Clutch

Mon 5th May • £17.50 adv

Andrew Strong

Sat 10th May • £19.50 adv

Embrace

Sat 17th May • £18.50 adv Rescheduled from 14th Nov 2013 Original tickets valid

Professor Green

Mike Peters

Declaration Tour 2014 Performing ‘Declaration’ in full

Thurs 6th Mar • £9 adv

6.30pm - 10.30pm

Octane OK + Bentley Park

Sat 29th Mar • £5 adv 6.45pm - 11pm

Valous

Tues 6th May • £8 adv

Bad Rabbits

Tues 13th May • £10 adv

Martin Stephenson & The Daintees + Helen McCookerybook

+ Balls Deep + Urgize + Ashes To Fall + De-Fault

Fri 23rd May

Thurs 10th Apr • £7 adv

The Upload Tour 3

The Last Carnival + Redshift + The Colliers + Room Service

Fri 11th Apr • £10 adv 6.30pm - 10pm

Novana

6pm - 10pm

ft. Emma Blackery, BriBry & Dave Giles

Thurs 29th May • £9 adv

The Riptide Movement

Brother and Bones

(Nirvana Tribute) 20 years of In Utero, performing Album in full + A Poetic Yesterday

Sat 31st May • £10 adv

+ Midnight Bonfires

Fri 14th Mar • £5 adv

Sat 12th Apr • £10 adv

Tues 9th Sept • £10 adv

Sex Pistols Experience

(Pearl Jam Tribute)

6pm - 10pm

Salopia

+ Dan Beckett + Spooky Wagons + Daniel Kirk + Mikey Marks

Sat 15th Mar • £6 adv 6.30pm - 10.30pm

Radio Charmers

+ Robert Craig Oulton + Static Irony + Ellie Dowen

Thurs 20th Mar • £10 adv

Monster Truck & Scorpion Child

Sat 17th May • £5 adv

Sat 22nd Mar • £7 adv

We Are Saviours

Natives

6.30pm - 10.30pm

Sun 23rd Mar • £5 adv

Rescheduled • original tickets valid

Rescheduled • original tickets valid

+ Tommy Gun

Mon 21st Apr • £9 adv

Sick Puppies + The Feud

Sun 27th Apr • £12 adv

Norma Jean + Life Ruiner + Night Verses + Branson Hollis

Fri 2nd May • £10 adv 6.30pm - 10pm

Kazabian

(Kasabian Tribute)

Metallica Reloaded Pearl Jem

Fri 19th Sept • £10 adv 6.30pm - 10pm

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute) 20 Year Celebration, Performing Definitely Maybe in Full

Fri 17th Oct • £10 adv 6.30pm - 10pm

The Modfathers

The UK’s Number 1 Tribute to Paul Weller & The Jam

Sat 8th Nov • £10 adv

Antarctic Monkeys

16-18 Horsefair, Bristol St, Birmingham, B1 1DB 2

Doors 7.00pm unless stated • Venue box office opening hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-4pm, Sat 11am-4pm • No booking fee on cash transactions Brum Notes Magazine ticketweb.co.uk • seetickets.com • gigantic.com • ticketmaster.co.uk


PRESENTS

T I C K E T S AVA I L A B L E AT K I L I L I V E . C O M

March 2014

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CONTENTS

Foals live at the O2 Academy. Read the review on P32. Photo by Andy Hughes Brum Notes Magazine Unit 12 The Bond 180-182 Fazeley Street Birmingham B5 5SE info@brumnotes.com 0121 224 7363 Advertising 0121 224 7363 advertising@brumnotes.com Distribution StickupMedia! 0121 224 7364 Editor: Chris Moriarty Contributors Words: David Vincent, Daron Billings, Dan Cooper-Gavin, Ed Ling, Ben Calvert, Jonathan Pritchard, Andy Roberts, Ivy Photiou New Music Editor: Amy Sumner Arts Editor: Dan Cooper-Gavin Food & Drink Editor: Daron Billings Pictures: Andy Hughes, Wayne Fox, Jonathan Morgan, Jane Williams, Chloe Myles Cover photo: Andy Hughes Style editor: Jade Sukiya jade@brumnotes.com Design: Adam Williams, Andy Aitken Connect Twitter: @BrumNotesMag Facebook: www.facebook.com/ BrumNotesMagazine Online: www.brumnotes.com

Regulars News6-7 Fresh Talent 10-11 Style28-29 Food & Drink 30-31 Live Reviews 32-34 Album Reviews 36-37 Hotlist: Gigs 38 Hotlist: Club Nights 39 Hotlist: Arts & Culture 40 What’s On Guide 43-46 Music and Features Behind the Scenes: Juice video shoot 8-9 Frontiers Festival 14-15 Flatpack Festival 16-17 Franz Ferdinand 20-21 We Are Scientists 22-23 Metronomy24-25 Bombay Bicycle Club 26-27 All content Š Brum Notes Magazine. Views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Brum Notes Magazine. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of content, Brum Notes Magazine will not be held liable for any errors or losses claimed to have been incurred by any errors. Advertising terms and conditions available on request.

March 2014

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psych stars temples added to bill for lunar festival Psychedelic newcomers Temples are the latest act to be announced for this year’s Lunar Festival. The Kettering outfit, whose acclaimed debut album Sun Structures hit number seven in the album charts on its release, will perform on the main stage on Saturday, June 7, before headliner Donovan. Lunar Festival runs from June 6 to 8 at Umberslade Estate near Solihull. Also on the bill are British Sea Power, The Polyphonic Spree, Pram, Tim Burgess, Toy, Wide Eyed, Goodnight Lenin, Victories at Sea and more, along with club nights from Sensateria and Magic Garden. Temples are also live at The Institute, Birmingham, on March 4 and the O2 Academy on March 25.

moseley folk to curate new pop-up village at st patrick’s parade

radio contest to complete line-up

A new pop-up ‘village’ will add an extra musical edge to this year’s St Patrick’s celebrations in Birmingham. The annual St Patrick’s Day Parade will take over the Digbeth area of the city on Sunday, March 16. And this year will see the unveiling of The Emerald Village, a new entertainment area inside The Custard Factory.

Bands in Birmingham are invited to apply for the chance to open up a special Amazing Radio gig taking place at the Mac. Jacky P & Amazing Radio Presents… is on April 4, with performances from Sylvia, The American Pilot and The Little Deaths. One more band is wanted to complete the line-up, with entries being played on the radio show to a panel of judges on March 26, and the winner being announced on air. To enter, email tracks to jackparker27@hotmail.co.uk. Tickets for the April 4 gig are £7 from www.macarts.co.uk.

Photo by Silver Leaf Photography

Music will be curated by Moseley Folk Festival, with the best in Irish and local folk music performed in the Emerald Village Garden in the Zellig car park, including a set from The Old Dance School. The Emerald Village, which will be open from midday to 6pm and be free to enter, will also feature an indoor market from Sutton Vintage Fairs and drinks tents run by The Old Crown, plus buskers, Irish food and more. There will also be an alcohol-free family zone hosting a variety of activities, including a drum workshop from Drum Together Brum and kids’ football activities from Footy Bugs. The main St Patrick’s Parade runs from midday to 4pm on March 16 (one day before the saint’s day itself), following the usual route from Camp Hill, along Digbeth High Street and up towards the Bullring. This year’s parade will have a theme of Irish Myths and Legends, with an Irish dragon leading the procession of floats, vehicles, community groups, pipers and drummers and more. For details visit www.theemeraldvillage.co.uk or www.stpatricksbirmingham.com.

female arts collective launches A brand new Birmingham-based collective celebrating women in the arts, music and the creative industries launches its first event this month. Alto, billed as a Creative Female Collective, will take over Cherry Reds in John Bright Street in the city centre on Sunday, March 23, from 3pm with a vast array of art and photography exhibitions, film screenings plus live performances from musicians and spoken word artists. To find out more and for the full line-up visit www.facebook.com/altocommunityuk or follow @altocommunityuk .

THE all american rejects to headline wolverhampon’s slam dunk festival Slam Dunk Festival will return to Wolverhampton in May, with The All American Rejects unveiled as the headline act. The one-day festival brings together the best in pop-punk, ska, alt-rock and more, and will take over the Civic Hall and surrounding area on bank holiday Monday, May 26. As well as All American Rejects making their only UK performances of the year, the line-up also include the likes of Letlive, The Ghost Inside, Goldfinger, I Killed the Prom Queen and Canterbury, plus many more. The action takes place across seven indoor and outdoor stages and will be the festival’s biggest instalment yet, after selling out on its debut in Wolverhampton last year. Tickets cost £35 or £39 including the after party, plus booking fees, and are available now from www.wolvescivic.co.uk. 6

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swans to headline intimate edition of supersonic Swans, Matmos and Wolf Eyes will headline the next instalment of Supersonic Festival, which returns to Birmingham in May. Supersonic Festival Ltd Edtn will be a more intimate offering than recent festivals, taking place at its original Swans home of The Custard Factory in Digbeth from May 30 to 31. The experimental music and arts festival, which first launched back in 2003, took a year off in 2013 while founders Capsule curated the opening season at the new Library of Birmingham. But demand for the 2014 event is expected to be higher than ever, with just 400 weekend tickets available. Confirmed acts include Swans, Matmos, Wolf Eyes, Ex Easter Island Head, Sleaford Mods, Agathe Max, Basic House and Jenny Hval, with more to be announced. There will also be a presentation and workshop from sonic explorers If Wet as well as Bill Drummond’s The 25 Paintings exhibition. Tickets for the event are priced at £45 for a weekend pass and are on sale now from www.theticketsellers.co.uk.

10th birthday celebrations for the rainbow Adventurous clubbing complex The Rainbow in Digbeth celebrates its 10th birthday in style next month with a weekend of street and warehouse parties. The full line-up is being kept under wraps for now but expect some of the most exciting names in dance music, alongside a strong lineup of local talent on the decks performing across the weekend of April 19 and 20. Acts already revealed include Adam Shelton, Alex Arnout, Bastian, Jordan Lott and Knicker Bocker Corey. Some of Birmingham’s most respected house, underground and alternative clubbing brands are also joining forces for the huge weekend, including Bigger Than Barry, Below, Dolce Vita, FACE, Seedy Sonics, Shadow City and many more. Celebrations will take places across all the spaces that make up The Rainbow Venues, including a daytime street and warehouse party on Sunday, April 20. Tickets start from £10. For more details and line-up announcements see www.facebook.com/therainbowvenues. March 2014

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The first track to see sunlight from local Brit-guitar act Juice, Sugar was a Valentine’s Day gift to the world, uploaded to YouTube where it notched up over 2,000 views in its first week. Guitarist Tom Holloway tells us about the hazily psychedelic video. “We shot it at local all-girl run arts collective STRYX in Digbeth, opposite the famous ColdRice HQ. The shoots consisted of smoke, lights, a toy prism lens, oil lamps, friends and drinks. We shot the video for a grand total of £50 and edited it ourselves with close friend Mike Smith. “The idea for the video came from those psychedelic warehouse parties in the 60s that would go on for 12 hours. We wanted something to hit you in the face...hard. “The song can only ever be what you think it’s about in your own head...we’re not saying a word.” Sugar is streaming on YouTube now at www.youtube.com/btownjuice1.

Photos by Andy Hughes

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Words by Amy Sumner

Capital Sun

facebook.com/capitalsun

THE PLAYLIST youth man Wide Awake A five-and-a-half minute progression of a song which slows to a stand around the two minute mark before driving to its malevolent crescendo. Perfect 80s American punk but with the trio’s post-punk menace stamped all over it. www.youthmanband.com

bLack dollar bills “Our album [debut record Mr Nobody which is set for release later this year] was recorded semi-live with Grammy-nominated producer Chris Tsangarides – bass, drums and a few acoustic guitar tracks, all live with no click track,” explains vocalist and guitarist Glen Boden, getting us up to speed on his band Capital Sun. “We wanted the album to have that live feel and Chris nailed that sound for us. I suppose when we play those tracks at a show we take more musical risks, because if we stuck to the recorded version note for note, we wouldn’t enjoy it and if we didn’t enjoy it, we would be really boring to watch...which we’re not,” he explains. “I started writing acoustic songs and going out and gigging at open mic nights. I asked my friend Andy Smith if he wanted to join me, then as my songwriting got better, I thought of putting a band together for a bigger sound. I asked family friend (who I also went to college with) Luke Weston if he wanted to play bass, and we auditioned Chris Taylor for drums, as recommended by my uncle. It didn’t take us long to gel both as a band and as friends after we discussed our personal musical influences.” Their formation in late 2013 seems a long time ago now considering what they’ve 10

achieved in between, including support slots with both The View and The Enemy. “We got our debut album Mr Nobody all finished at the end of last year and we are now getting all the final bits like album art and promotion tied up and ready for release.” Capturing a late 70s Brit-rock style and combining with modern indie rock hooks, the band namecheck Supertramp, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young as influences whilst describing themselves as “Crosby Stills and Nash and Led Zeppelin’s illegitimate child”. “Luke and I both love harmonies,” continues Glen, “we have been playing music together for over 12 years so we can read each other like a Roald Dahl. The harmonies come very naturally, and it’s something people seem to like about us.” A flurry of recent live shows culminates with a free show at The Loft in Moseley on March 28. “Expect excitement,” says Glen, “we’ve never played at The Loft before and we have a new song called Hands Off Time, so we’ll be playing that!” Capital Sun are live at The Loft, Moseley, on March 28. Entry is free.

Stolen Slice of dirty garage blues from the rock’n’roll quartet, who combine BRMC with The Vines to create their catchiest yet – fast paced and sleazy in all the right quantities. soundcloud.com/blackdollarbills

victor Pork Six minutes of deliciously distorted heavy grunge noise which mounts to what we’re fairly sure the end of the world sounds like. Ascribe your own meaning to the title. soundcloud.com/victorband

jump the shark There’s Always One Carefree and youthful fun from female-fronted Wolverhampton four-piece, with an average age of just 17. Jubilant vocals, indie-pop guitars – it’s a catchy little thing indeed. soundcloud.com/jumptheshark-1

Follow us at soundcloud.com/ brumnotes for more

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Is I Cinema facebook.com/is.i.cinema.band “Playing fewer gigs has been a bit of a blessing for the brand of the group,” says lead singer Dom Fletcher of Is I Cinema’s choice selection of live performances over the past couple of years. “We’re seen as old timers offering a rare treat now.” Like putting on your best party dress or when your mum gets out her good plates. Formed in 2007, Is I Cinema put in the hours on the local circuit to establish themselves on a level where bagging shows with various flavours of the month was a happy reoccurrence. Their word of mouth reputation for an entertaining live repertoire began to bubble away. Professing to have taken their name from a droll exchange which took place between Dom and a Tube-traveller (‘what you looking at bruv? Is I Cinema?’) and with a stalwart penchant for performing live readings from whatever book happens to be lining their pockets at the time (past hits include The Observer’s Book of Freshwater Fish and the Westlife biography – “it’s performance and it’s meant to be fun and entertaining. People say the readings undermine the intelligence of the music, but it’s important to have a sense of irony”), Is I Cinema have the side-story sorted. Musically, they tempt comparisons to post-OK Computer Radiohead with dashings of experimental fusion and prog rock and an exacting balance between mellow and its contrast. Apocrypha’s hostile progression, which begins with beautifully picked guitars and develops into extended synth-backed menace, is genuinely disconcerting; The Unnamed is softer, dripping in its beautifully harmonic lament whilst the driving guitar/drums combination of Testarossa sits somewhere in between with its reinforced moniker ‘Deliver us from the

weekend, I’ve had my fill of leisure’. “The longer we go on, the more vital I’m beginning to think our sound is getting,” says Dom. “I used to be really worried that we didn’t seem to have a guiding aesthetic, but now I see that as a major blessing, especially with so many bands sounding like carbon copies of some vaguely remembered past. If you think we are pretentious, you’d be surprised at the heavy bits. If you think we’re shoegaze, you’d be surprised by the melodic clarity. If you think it’s all about tunes, we’ve brought two drum kits – we’re full of contradiction.” Is I Cinema like to poke more than a little fun. In terms of the future though, well, there is one! “I’ve been drawing up plans for a new EP,” Dom explains, “more fully realised and, hopefully, more home produced [than 2010 EP, You Are Physics]. It’s in its infancy, but there are a number of songs that haven’t been set in stone yet that I’d like us to get out there. I want to create something that’s

consistent and that we really feel ownership over.” It’s a hard slog, creating something that justly represents both your interests and your capabilities, let alone one which accurately embodies a period of over four years together. There’s something rather final-feeling about a record – it’s just that, a record of creative output embodying a particular period in time. The transient moment of the live show is something a little easier to address however, and they’ll be doing that at The Bull’s Head on March 6. A final thought to finish? “Always vote in elections, even if you spoil your ballot paper. There’s nothing cool about being abstinent. Gove has to be stopped at any cost.” Is I Cinema have your back. Is I Cinema headline the Brum Notes March Issue Launch Party at The Bull’s Head, Moseley, on March 6. Entry is £3.

ONES TO WATCH anima

ohboy

The Ándales

women

With influences from Smashing Pumpkins to Placebo, ANiMA are an abrasive punk rock force to be reckoned with. But with a psychology-inspired name they’re a contemplative lot too. Energetic, concentrated rock. Watch them: March 7, The Wagon & Horses, Digbeth

Just four months old, the XFMchampioned Northampton fourpiece are set to release their debut EP this month. Specialising in short blasts of indie pop noise, a flurry of upcoming shows accompany the release. Watch them: March 25, The Actress & Bishop

Born out of admiration for Sergio Leone, Love and Pixies, Coventry quintet The Ándales craft hook-laden guitar music. A notable bass funk underlies Chilean rhythm and is carried off with a swagger. Watch them: March 5, The Coal Vaults, Coventry

Bass-less rock and punk trio citing influences as “nothing with the word ‘core’ on the end of it”. Heavily dynamic EP Sleepin’ Blues is available now and their live show has a reputation for being fearsomely frenetic. Watch them: March 6, The Bull’s Head, Moseley

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Give It All Tour Luke CONCANNON (Nizlopi) JIMMY DAVIS

“Two major influences on me” Ed Sheeran A night of soul fired Folk, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Spoken Word & Soul. Two of the MIdlands finest artists bring music that speaks to the hunger in the world for meaning, community and joy. Music with passion, heart & fire!

HARE & HOUNDS KINGS HEATH

BIRMINGHAM

Thursday 13th March 2014 Tickets - www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk

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Transatlanticism This month marks the beginning of a mind-expanding musical journey, with Birmingham taken over by the avant-garde sounds of downtown New York. Dan Cooper-Gavin looks ahead to the Frontiers Festival. Elliott Sharp

Some of the featured works are quite highconcept – tell us more about, for example, the Robert Ashley piece with 42 laptop artists.

For two weeks this month and next – with a third week to follow in June – the Frontiers Festival presents a scintillating programme of leadingedge music and art, with Birmingham Conservatoire and Third Ear combining to showcase the swashbuckling titans of the Big Apple’s experimental scene. Among the many highlights, electronic pioneer Pauline Oliveros is in town, performing a live telematic improvisation with collaborators across the Atlantic, as well as leading a Deep Listening Meditation at the Ikon Gallery. There’ll also be a 24-hour Thelonious Monk marathon, a new piece for 1,000 vocalists by David Lang, a big-band improv take on Elliott Sharp’s graphical score Foliage, and the first ever fully-realised performance of Robert Ashley’s 1972 work String Quartet Describing The Motions Of Large Real Bodies, in which live sounds from the Elysian Quartet will be processed in real time by 42 laptop artists. Alongside the aural delights will be SCORE, an exhibition at the Library of Birmingham exploring the visual representation of music, displaying a range of creative notation systems.

Robert Ashley

We spoke to Frontiers’ curator, Third Ear’s Ed McKeon, to find out more. It could be said that Birmingham and New York make for unlikely bedfellows – do you see similarities between the cities? You’d be surprised. Many people have been drawn to Birmingham because it has a history of free 14

Elysian Quartet

thinking and nonconformist living. It’s one reason so many migrants have settled here and find a home that isn’t “home”. When you look into the radical arts scenes in New York, very few of the artists were native to the city. There are also musical connections. Henry Cow’s drummer Chris Cutler, who played an important role in New York from the late 70s, is the uncle of Joe Cutler, the Conservatoire’s Head of Composition. There’s a reason why the composition department here is probably the most radical and open-minded in the UK. And Rhys Chatham, whose A Secret Rose for 100 guitars we’ll be presenting at the Town Hall in June, references Tony Iommi’s guitar playing and detuned technique as an important influence on the direction he took with his Guitar Trio that shook up no wave and alternative rock from the mid-to-late 70s. Perhaps Alexis de Tocqueville, the French political theorist and historian who first observed the US in the 19th century, might still be right in his assessment of Birmingham as “intelligent, but in the American way”.

Robert Ashley has been ahead of his time, it’s as simple as that. The crazy thing is, though, that it’s not at all arcane. If anything, it’s profoundly human – his music has always been about the experience of it, as much about the social situation as the sounds involved. It’s no different with the piece with 42 laptop artists. What counts is how the networks of players are not singly in control, but create a kind of community in which the sound changes through collective awareness and cooperation. No solo heroics!

Carl Stone

The string players have possibly the most radical score ever written for quartet – they have to bow at high pressure, as slowly as possible, aiming for about one bow every ten minutes. That’s about 1/30th of the ‘usual’ slowest bow speed. When we usually hear a violin, we might be attracted

How difficult was it to entice everybody to come and perform in Birmingham? It wasn’t particularly hard. Having partners like the Library of Birmingham, Ikon, Flatpack and others on board certainly helps – after all, not many cities would have the courage and foresight to create the library that we now have.

Rhys Chatham

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Crimson Grail

by the smooth violin sound, but what we completely miss are the harmonics and resonances of the instrument itself that go into making the sound. And here, we’re invited to listen to these, just as the laptop artists have to.

Is it fair to say that, with a lot of the works, the concept and methodology are just as important as the sonic end product? Is this what makes the SCORE exhibition such a good fit for the festival? Music is simply socially-embodied sound. In that sense, the sonic end product is absolutely an expression of the concept, methodology and culture that go into making it. I’m so happy with this exhibition. Musical notation as we’ve come to know it attempts to represent sound. But if you accept the idea that sound is, peculiarly, only part of our experience of it – for example, a G above middle C played by an electric guitar in a club is simply not the same as the same G played in a concert hall – then you begin to realise how little information notation contains. That opens up the field to other ways of imagining music, using imagery, poetry, text, colour, shape and structure. In particular, this way of making music invites musicians to really think about the music and let it get under their skin. After all, as long as musicians simply play what conventional notation tells them, there’s little obligation on them to think about what the sound is doing, or what they’re really doing. Is it fair to consider Frontiers a niche festival? Was there an attempt to appeal to a relatively broad audience, or is it intended for the already-initiated? One of my first musical loves was Blondie, and at the same time I’ve found myself drawn to music that seems ‘out there’. Over time, what I’ve come to appreciate is how intimately connected ‘out there’ is to the ‘mainstream’, whatever that may be. It didn’t surprise me when Debbie Harry worked with Elliott Sharp, for example. I hope there is something in the festival for most people, and that, given a little patience and respect, you might find that something which seems ‘out there’ is actually much closer to home, and much more of an experience, than you might think. And that means taking risks. But then if you want to live a little, you have to take a few…

Oliveros

Frontiers begins on March 22. Visit www.frontiersmusic.org for details. March 2014

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arts & culture

Adventures in Film

It’s that time again – the peerless Flatpack Film Festival returns for an eighth year, showering Birmingham with an abundance of off-kilter cinematic gems for 11 days and nights. Dan Cooper-Gavin picks out the highlights.

Phono Cinema Theatre

Prepare to have your mind opened and your imagination set ablaze, as 2014’s Flatpack Film Festival is bursting at the seams with forgotten classics, global oddities, live performances, animation for all ages, and so much more besides. Here’s what we’ve circled with our highlighter pen…

March 20 DVD Bang

They Took Us to the Sea

This year’s festival opens with events across the city centre, including Fleapit Cinema in the Great Western Arcade, where you pick the films of your choice via your smartphone, a Street Photography documentary and exhibition at 6/8 Kafé, and a dinner-andfilm night at Opus on Cornwall Street, with a seasonal market meal followed by Clark Gable in 1934’s It Happened One Night – the first film to win all five major Oscars. There’s also the enchanting delights of the Victorian Magic Lantern Show at Winterbourne House and Garden, while BIAD hosts Now You See It, Now You Don’t, featuring the mind-melting music-video work of Jared Raab.

March 21

Yorks Bakery Café is the venue for the annual Video Jukebox, showcasing the most inventive music promos of the past 12 months. From there, it’s a quick jog over to the Electric Cinema for The Punk Singer, Sini Anderson’s documentary about riot grrrl icon Kathleen Hanna. Afterwards, Cherry Reds on John Bright Street will be spinning tunes from Hanna’s various projects. Meanwhile, the Birmingham and Midland Institute hosts

The Sound Of Mind, a revelatory combination of film, animation, readings and live foley from The Cabinet of Living Cinema.

March 22

Start the day at the Ikon with Water-Mirror Of Granada, an improbable, ahead-of-itstime audio-visual trip from Franco-era Spain, before heading to 6/8 Kafé for an afternoon of light painting, with Slow Light rounding up a range of long-exposure experiments, before Japanese duo Tochka lead a Light Painting Workshop. The Old Joint Stock has a triple bill of Charlie Chaplin shorts in Chaplin: A Century On Screen, while the evening’s highlights include The Last Laugh, FW Murnau’s landmark silent film, showing at Hotel du Vin, and The Strange Colour Of Your Body’s Tears at the Electric Cinema, a visceral cinematic rollercoaster from Belgium.

March 23

The Electric Cinema welcomes Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley to present a Pop Double-Bill, two films about near-forgotten teen sensations – the young Paul Anka and the Jimmy Osmond-alike Darren Burn. Meanwhile, the Barber Institute has Phono-Cinéma-Théâtre, extraordinary short films that wowed visitors to the 1900 Paris Exposition and which have lain in obscurity ever since. Later, Birmingham Cathedral hosts one of the festival’s marquee attractions, a screening of the restored Murnau classic Nosferatu, with live accompaniment provided by members of Pram and Misty’s Big Adventure.

This World Made Itself

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Brum Notes Magazine


Flatpack Palais hosts Solipsism Cinema, an optical feedback performance from Stephen Cornford. Bill Morrison will be at the Mac to introduce a screening of The Great Flood, his film compiling archive footage of the Mississippi bursting its banks in 1927. Viva VHS presents two obscure horror flicks from the video-rental era at the Custard Factory Theatre, while Channel 4’s experimental shorts series Random Acts pitches up at the Flatpack Kavarna for a party, with DJs playing alongside the films.

March 30

This World Made Itself

March 24

Today marks the opening of DVDBANG at the Custard Factory. An import from the streets of South Korea, it’s a booth big enough for eight people at a time – lying within is a choice of over 30 Korean films, plus all manner of local snacks and drinks to guzzle on.

March 25

It’s a fine day to check out Swipeside, Flatpack’s brand new strand, which takes place at Birmingham City University’s new Parkside building. Today’s Swipeside highlight is Pärnography, a selection of striking shorts from the Estonian cartoonist and director Priit Pärn, followed by a talk from the man himself. Meanwhile, the Library of Birmingham screens Baal, a rarely-seen early 80s TV drama starring David Bowie.

March 26

The Electric Cinema hosts Evolutionary Road, the annual round-up of animation from across the globe, while Ort hosts The Magic Cinema, a celebration of DIY filmmaking in which local practitioners are invited to present their work.

March 27

Another festival highlight arrives in the form of This World Made Itself at the Library of Birmingham – Miwa Matreyek’s take on the history of the earth, as realised through animation, shadow puppetry and music from Flying Lotus. Meanwhile, the Custard Factory is the place to be for an intriguing

double bill of local interest. Year Zero: Black Country explores the arrival of migrants into Sandwell in the 1960s, while Some Day I’ll Find You is a fascinating tale concerning mysterious sketchings of Mario Lanza found in pubs across the region.

March 28

There’s plenty from the wonderful New York director Bill Morrison in this year’s programme, including his moving film The Miners’ Hymns, charting the decline of the industry in the north-east of England. Elsewhere, the atrium at Millennium Point will be transformed into the set of early-70s sci-fi flick Silent Running, with the screening of said film preceded by a re-edit of Peter Fonda’s contemporary time-travel movie Idaho Transfer, complete with live soundtrack. Meanwhile, the Custard Factory hosts a mind-bending evening of video essays in Smoke And Mirrors, followed by a fascinating look at the USSR’s electronic age in Elektro Moskva, while the recentlyrevived cult psychedelic night Sensateria features a performance from Swedish band The Orange Revival.

Handsworth poet Roy Fisher is the subject of the documentary Birmingham’s What I Think With at the Mac, while the Custard Factory Theatre hosts the latest Post Avantgarde Animation from Austria. The Flatpack Palais has Occupy Music, a documentary about Brazil’s revolutionary indie music scene, followed by More Canals Than Venice, a film chockfull of fascinating facts about Brum. And at the Electric Cinema, there’s the final Bill Morrison screening – his debut film Decasia, in which the main feature is the decaying celluloid itself – before Lost And Refound pays tribute to Morrison’s assemblage of archive footage by rounding up the irreverent work of other splicers. Flatpack Film Festival runs from March 20–30. For full details, visit www.flatpackfestival.org.uk.

Silent Running

March 29

In the afternoon, stop by the Mac for 70s children’s oddity Hugo The Hippo, before calling into the Custard Factory for Sidewalk Poetry, a selection of pieces from experimental filmmaker Henry Hills. Later, the Electric Cinema has Mirage Men, examining the American intelligence services’ relationship with UFO conspiracy theories, while the This World Made Itself

March 2014

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Bright Side Music

2014 Season

Spiers & Boden - Farewell Tour 18th March Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton

Martyn Joseph

10th May Rowney Green Village Hall, Birmingham

Boo Hewerdine

14th May Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton

Rodney Branigan & Tim Snider 15th May Hare and Hounds, Kings Heath

The Riptide Movement 29th May Academy3, Birmingham

For more about gigs and tickets visit www.brightside-music.co.uk or see us on Facebook or follow on Twitter @Bright_Side_ 18

Brum Notes Magazine


March 2014

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Scottish art-rock heroes Franz Ferdinand are back in action and back to basics. “What did they expect? Fifteen minute prog drones?� asks drummer Paul Thomson. David Vincent listens in.

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Brum Notes Magazine


With 2014 marking the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, Franz Ferdinand – who took their name from the archduke whose assassination was the spark for the global conflict – found themselves with an unexpected invitation. And it was one they were quick to decline. “We were asked by members of Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s extended family, his distant ancestors, if we’d like to play in Sarajevo on the anniversary of his death which…” cries band drummer Paul Thomson, “…is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard! Especially the way the world is now, you’d be asking for it! “We’d be going out there with targets on our t-shirts,” he laughs, still horrified by the invite. The ill-advised and questionable call to play a concert to mark the centenary of the war coincides with the return of Franz Ferdinand as a well-oiled fighting force. A decade on from their self-titled debut and lauded indie dancefloor anthem Take Me Out, Thomson, frontman Alex Kapranos, bassist Bob Hardy and guitarist Nick McCarthy are back with Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, an upbeat, jaunty, critic-pleasing collection that finds the band recharged after 2009’s Tonight. “We toured the album for 18 months,” says Thomson of the four-and-a-half year gap between Tonight and Right Thoughts. “After being that close for so long, you just need a break from each other, to go back and deal with normal life. And then there’s the process of getting back together again.” That process was measured, with the band keen to avoid repeating Tonight’s chequered gestation – cancelled sessions, various producers and so on. “We started to hang out socially first, and then we started playing each other things we’d written, so it came about gradually. Eventually there was the four of us in the same room together, and we’d identified all the pitfalls of the previous record: we didn’t want to spend hours in the recording studio with this record, we wanted to do it quick. So we did three or four songs in a weekend, then the next weekend did three or four more, and we could go away and look at them. All the songs had their different strengths, and we could cherry pick the ones we wanted.” Previous albums saw the Glasgow quartet dip into a catalogue of unrecorded songs penned over a period of time. “Even the third record, Tonight, we pulled in songs that were written from before the first album to record – Can’t Stop Feeling was written for the first record, but not used,” Thomson says. But Right Thoughts was a blank slate. March 2014

“Was it daunting having a blank slate?” Thomson ponders. “Not really, no. I really liked having the freedom to do what we wanted, that year zero approach to songwriting, it can be liberating. It was like the way the first record came about, it was like being a new band again rather than the touring monster that we’d become.” Reviews of the album, which was recorded at band studios in Scotland and London, and also in Scandinavia, have praised the band’s back-tobasics approach, a response which Thomson is initially unsure about. “Back to basics…what do they mean by that? I don’t know. But I guess we kept it to the point. The songs are succinct, we work within the structure of the classic pop song – but we’ve always done that, that’s the format we’ve tried to work with, the three-minute song. “What did they expect? Fifteen minute prog’ drones?” he laughs. “Umm…we have been known to jam endlessly…so think yourself lucky the songs are just three minutes.” While there’s clearly a certain economy and consistency to Right Thoughts, Thomson admits stranger, more challenging and different sounding tracks were recorded during sessions but held back. “The way you hear the album, there’s a coherence that comes about when you pull together the tracks. They were pulled from 20 very different songs. When we came to decide what to [choose] we decided on a succinct tracklisting, and we jettisoned the weirder songs. “I guess they were stylistically weird,” he says of the rejected tunes. “People have said Right Thoughts is a guitar record that sounds a lot like our first one, but that was not planned. We had a different method for different songs, different tempos…those songs will come out in some form, I’m sure, maybe this year. They’re great songs that we want people to hear.” With a strong visual identity, previous Franz releases have been influenced by early 20th century Russian artists, such as Alexander Rodchenko, and (with Tonight) New York crime photographer Weegee. For Right Thoughts the vibe is more 50s/60s film credits and legendary graphic designer Saul Bass. “That wasn’t the plan, but I guess the sleeve before was a high resolution photo and we wanted to move away from that, we wanted something handmade, put together by hand. A few people have mentioned Saul Bass, but that wasn’t what I was thinking about. I just sat there with a scalpel, coffee fuelled…”

In these days of instantly downloadable fonts and Photoshop, it seems a rather lengthy process. But Thomson loved the old school approach. “It was fine, you’re just focussed on the task at hand. I had a way of doing it, listening to records, on my own, cutting out the text – it was a zenlike approach. I didn’t want the sleeve to look ‘Photoshopped’. It takes time, but it was ultimately rewarding.” Though there are already plans to begin working on their fifth album in the late summer/autumn, the foreseeable future is Franz Ferdinand: Touring Monster. “That’s how it goes. You spend ages making a record and then tour it for two years. That’s the way it works for bands nowadays, as record companies don’t get the same returns as they used to, in this age of renting music rather than buying it, so the returns are lower.” However, Thomson admits he’s looking forwarding to getting back out on the road. “I quite enjoy touring,” he says. “We just did a tour of Asia in late November/December, and that was really good. We did Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea…and the audiences were super appreciative when we got there. My return luggage had doubled in size with all the gifts from fans, which was really sweet. The way they react to music, they’re excitable audiences, and the food is amazing. I love to do gigs out there.” Gifts from fans? Sounds intriguing. “I don’t follow other bands so I don’t know if only we get fan art, but we get TONS of it, drawings of us, a lot done in this Manga/anime style so we all look like 15-year-old boys,” Thomson laughs. “I don’t know why the fans infantilise us, do we put ourselves over like cartoons? I guess we are four distinct characters, so they must be disappointed when they see us in real life, these four middle-aged men… “People fill entire sketch books, they’re amazing, and I keep them all, every one. Some of the work that goes into them…fabric embroidered badges! Fans must have spent weeks doing some of this stuff, and then they give it to us. They’ve spent so long on them, put so much into them, I feel an obligation to keep them.” Sounds like the ‘right’ thing to do.

Franz Ferdinand are live at the O2 Academy Birmingham on March 21.

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Science and Progress We Are Scientists first burst onto the scene nearly a decade ago as cheeky young indie-rock upstarts. Renowned for their on-stage wit and with the sharp tunes to match, they’re back with a fourth album and a full UK tour. Frontman Keith Murray talks curries and Tom Cruise with David Vincent. Crickey! Time flies. We Are Scientists’ singer and guitarist Keith Murray is reminiscing about the band’s first UK tour, waaaaaay back in the spring of 2005: Tony Blair was PM, Prince Harry wore a Nazi uniform for kicks, Christopher Eccleston rebooted Doctor Who, the Ricoh Arena opened in Cov, and Editors were the hottest new act in the country. “Editors were the headlining act on our very first tour in the UK, so in some ways we’re more dramatically bonded to them than to any other act,” Keith recalls. “They showed us the ropes, held our hands and lent us their spare amplifiers when the powerful British current fried our own. “Editors were pretty fiercely proud of Birmingham, and constantly demanded that, upon our first visit, that we simply had to indulge in a Brummie curry. Over and over, it 22

was all about Brummie curries for them. We got a recommendation on a good restaurant from Russell, their bass player, and ended up walking about 45 minutes from the venue to get the meal. It was entirely worth it.” Over the subsequent nine years, Keith and fellow Scientist co-founder Chris Cain (bass) have joined the NME tour (with Arctic Monkeys, Mystery Jets and Maximo Park), played with Kings Of Leon, posed with kittens, had an MTV series, and released a consistently pleasing run of singles and albums shaped by such influences as Bowie, Eno-era Roxy Music, and Fleetwood Mac. Always ones to surprise, last year’s Business Casual EP saw them reimagine Berlin’s Take My Breath Away, adding some sweet slide guitar sounds to the theme from 80s flyboy classic Top Gun.

“I think that the original idea came because I was absently strumming an acoustic guitar, when I realised that the chords coincidentally coincided with those of Take My Breath Away,” explains Keith. “It seemed pretty funny to us to perform an earnest, countrified version of the song.” Does that mean WAS are big fans of Maverick, Goose and Iceman? “Of course!” Keith cries, recognising the lead characters’ nicknames. “As children of the 80s, we’re huge fans of Top Gun, but, for my money, Tom Cruise is bested in the Male Lead In A Naval Pilot-centric Action Film category by Josh Lucas, whose turn in Stealth is nothing short of underrated genius.” Sadly, there’s no other unexpected juicy cover versions in the current WAS repertoire, making Take My Breath Away a one-off. Brum Notes Magazine


FACEBOOK.COM/SUNATTHESTATION - TWITTER: SUNATTHESTATION “We’re not really huge fans of cover songs, to be honest,” Keith reveals. “For us, songwriting is the best part of being in a band, so covering someone else’s songs just seems like we’re depriving ourselves of one of our favorite, hard-earned rights.” The EP has paved the way for the duo’s delayed fourth official album, TV En Français. “We did tour for about two years, and actually completed the recording of TV En Français in January, 2013,” says Keith, adding that the arrival of new management, the look for a new label, and their desire to complete the record “without any outside input or interference” added to delays. “Unfortunately, the search, negotiations, and general administrative work that had to be done to those ends meant that the album had to wait a full year before it was released. We killed the time in the interim by releasing our Something About You/Let Me Win 7ins and our Business Casual EP – both of which were written and recorded after the completion of TV En Français. The music business can be funny, that way.” Reflecting on his own highlights from the new(ish) full length album, Keith continues: “My favorites change every day, to be honest, but because we’re currently traveling Europe to promote the Make It Easy single, which is out on the same day as the album [March 3], I’ve really been reminded about how much I loved that song when I initially wrote it. “We did a demo of the song in Brooklyn several months before we started recording the album proper, and I remember walking away from those sessions feeling unusually confident in that song. I’m normally a pretty self-deprecating character, so my satisfaction with that song in particular stands as something of an anomaly.” Another key track is Dumb Luck, which is accompanied by one of the goriest (and funniest) promo vids you’re ever likely to see. “That was our goal, yeah,” Keith confirms of their desire to make the goriest ever promo. “We’re longtime fans of movies like Evil Dead and the Final Destination series, so the video was just our excuse to make a short film of that ilk. “Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to us that the incredibly gory nature of the video meant that most television channels wouldn’t be able to play it at all. Oh well. I still love it.” Back on the drum stool (and adding vocals and keyboards) for the album is none other than Andy Burrows, the multi-instrumentalist, soundtrack writer, solo artist and Tom ‘Editors’ Smith cohort, who sharpened his talents with Razorlight before joining We Are Scientists (WAS) for fourth album Barbara. So will Mr Burrows be joining them on tour? “He is, unfortunately, not joining us on the UK dates, no. Although Andy is officially part of the Brotherhood of Scientists, he’s got a songwriting career of his own to look after. Sadly, it means he can’t make it out on our pretty extensive touring schedule, but he’s got an invitation to play with us any time he likes...” We Are Scientists are live at The Institute, Birmingham, on March 15. New album TV En Français is out on March 3. March 2014

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digital love

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Brum Notes Magazine


Electro adventurers Metronomy have a shiny new record to show off and head out on their biggest tour to date this month. Frontman Joseph Mount tells Amy Sumner why it’ll be a bit like the Royal Variety Performance.

“After the last record and talking about it in terms of a concept, I kind of didn’t want to do that again,” says Joseph Mount, discussing the band’s forthcoming fourth album, Love Letters. “So there is a bit of a feel, it’s about distance and communicating at a distance, but there’s nothing much more to the name than that Love Letters is quite a nice title and nicely summarises some of the songs and feelings on the album.” That “last record” in question was the band’s third, 2011’s gold-selling, Mercury-nominated The English Riviera, which was set around reimagining the place where the Metronomy main man grew up, Totnes in Devon. Released on influential French label Because Music, the artwork paid homage to Surrey-born graphic designer John Gorham who had created the iconic palm tree motif to promote the South Devon coastline in 1982, and the sounds within the grooves explored a sun-drenched narrative delivered in a quintessentially English channel (no pun intended), set against sounds with an altogether wider feel. It, in itself, was a work of art. Fundamentally the brainchild of Mount, Metronomy the concept was born in 1999 in Devon. Relocating to Brighton and joined for live performances by bassist Gabriel Stebbing and Oscar Cash on keys, they accrued modest success through their first two records before Stebbing moved to Liverpool with his girlfriend (“It’s all very amicable and he’s assured me he doesn’t think he’s fleeing a sinking ship,” Joe wrote on the band’s Myspace page at the time). The band’s current guise with Anna Prior on drums and Olugbenga Adelekan on bass took shape surrounding the third record. Having built a name for creating forward-thinking electronic music which follows no blueprint, the back catalogue is awash with intriguing and voyeuristic instrumentals, moments of stripped bare taciturn beauty and electronic pop explorations which venture into disco so catchy it’s no wonder their forthcoming tour calls into some of the biggest venues they’ve ever played. Putting it bluntly, in a time where it’s nigh on impossible to create anything even vaguely unique-sounding, Metronomy have continued to evolve and currently stand almost alone in their impressive singularity. March 2014

The band released I’m Aquarius, the first single from Love Letters and a slinky lament to incompatibility, via The Night Sky App in which fans were invited to hold their phones up to the Aquarius constellation to download it. Dismissed by some as a tad pretentious, it was still a novel exploration of the technology of the release. “I didn’t want the release to happen in any particular way,” explains Joe, “but when we knew that I’m Aquarius was going to be the first single, the label asked us what we thought about releasing it on this app where people had to find it in the sky. I thought it was funny and when else are you going to be able to do that kind of thing? When is anyone else going to be able to do that kind of thing – surely we’ve exhausted the only opportunity? I didn’t really think much about it but people see it in the wider context of how bands are releasing music these days. Really I just thought it was a funny idea. If you’re cynical, you see it as a slightly desperate way to get people interested in what you’re doing, but if you’re not, it’s just a bit of fun.” Love Letters was recorded at Liam Watson’s analogue Toe Rag studio. Celebrated for their digital explorations, it was an interesting move for a band like Metronomy. “It wasn’t because I don’t like digital things or anything like that,” Joe says, “but I had a deadline – my girlfriend was expecting our first child. The problem with doing stuff digitally is that you can muck around with it forever and I really needed the opposite of that – I needed to be focussed and to finish the record. If you record in an analogue way, you have to be very prepared and make sure that when it comes to recording the four minutes of the song, you know exactly what’s going on. It was more to make me write stuff a bit differently than for any other reason.” The title single from the record is an Abba disco stomp. It also has a wonderful accompanying video for which the band worked with French film director, producer and video maker Michel Gondry. Responsible for iconic music videos including Daft Punk’s Around the World, The White Stripes’ Fell in Love With a Girl and multiple Bjork masterpieces, it was filmed in a single take (of which they did about 12) and sees the

band once again dabbling with impressively creative visuals. Ostensibly, Metronomy always have been and are today, fundamentally, Joseph Mount. Irrespective of whatever it says on paper, the rest of the band do not give interviews and play on less than 10 per cent of the new record – Metronomy is Joseph Mount’s futuristic and maverick machine. That said, keyboardist Oscar Cash is Mount’s long term musical collaborator and each player has contributed more this time around than last. “I started playing in bands and I love bands. I love the idea of it and I love what they are,” Joe said in a recent interview with NME and, live, they’ve all become pretty integral to the Metronomy aesthetic. The release of the Love Letters album is accompanied by a European tour, a “greatest hits kind of thing” during which the band will also be modulating their live performance. Throughout their various infancies and even alongside The English Riviera, the band performed adorned with electronics and flashing LED lights. Never ones to stand still, this time around they’re experimenting more with live instrumentation and leaving the illuminations on their bedside tables. “We have a new stage set, we’re trying to make it a bit more...” Joe begins. “At Christmas there were a lot of programmes on about the Royal Variety Performance and I really like those kind of set ups where it looks a bit like TV, so I think we’re going to try and be a bit classic!” And so what’s in store in Birmingham? “I’ve been to Birmingham a few times but – I’ve never had a night out there because every time I’ve been recently it’s been playing gigs. We’ve always had fun though, because all those venues that we’ve played have been around the Digbeth area. I’ve walked to the Bullring and I went to meet my cousin in The Irish Centre. I always enjoy the gigs in Birmingham but the one thing I’m missing is a proper Birmingham experience...” Any offers anyone? Metronomy are live at The Institute, Birmingham, on March 21. New album Love Letters is out on March 10. 25


LIFE IN THE FAST LANE With a number one album under their collective belt and a sell-out tour ahead, it’s fair to say that Bombay Bicycle Club have ridden their way into the hearts of the nation. David Vincent talks to frontman Jack Steadman about their journey to success. It’s been a while coming, but Bombay Bicycle Club are finally celebrating their first UK number one album after So Long, See You Tomorrow crashed into the top spot on its week of release, outselling nearest rival Aviccii’s True by more than 6,000 copies. Frontman Jack Steadman is, understandably, chuffed. Having released three albums in three years, it’s been a two-and-a-half-year wait for long-player number four, which the North London quartet opted to produce themselves. “It’s certainly very exciting,” he cries. “I’ve never been so excited about a release before, but I’ve also never been so involved before. There’s so much at stake with this album, because of the nature of how we produced it. And that’s partly 26

why it took so long, we were incredibly hard on ourselves. If we thought something wasn’t working [we said] let’s scrap it and start again. We got through a couple of producers, it just wasn’t working for us, so we said, ‘let’s take the plunge and do it ourselves’.” Taking over production duties himself was not as surprising a move as some people might think though, as Jack explains. “Some people will probably look at the back of the album sleeve and see ‘Produced by Jack Steadman’ and think ‘Wow! That seems sudden!’ But I’ve been producing music since I was 13-14, which is 10 years ago now. I’ve always written music on computers, I enjoy getting involved with crafting sounds, the

technical side. I love it. That’s how I make music, it’s very much on a laptop, and I think you can very much hear it on this record as it’s very loop based. “I have a set way of doing things, which is why I wasn’t satisfied with what we’d been doing with other producers,” he continues. “My set-up in my studio is very humble by comparison to other studios. But when you’re working with someone else you have to put things into words. When the producer asks, ‘what do you want the drums to sound like?’, what do you say? I have an idea, but how do you put that into words? When you do it yourself, the sound can take shape as you go along, you don’t have to explain what you can hear or want to hear.” Brum Notes Magazine


“There’s so much at stake with this album, because of the nature of how we produced it.” The best example of the Club’s newfound sense of experimentation and confidence is the album’s six-minute title track. “The song I’m the most proud of is the final one – So Long, See You Tomorrow. That’s something we’ve never done before, that song takes you on a journey. It’s not verse, chorus, verse, chorus, ends, it’s almost impressionistic. I’m really happy with how that has turned out.” Material for the collection was initially started by Jack while travelling. “I was very wary of coming off the back of the last tour and just going straight into the studio in London,” he continues. “That’s been done before. I have to add something new to make it interesting, there has to be something new in the mix to make it interesting,” he says of his sojourns through India, Turkey, Japan and Europe. “Having no experiences [of travelling in those countries and regions] made me feel instantly energised, and that energy makes you feel creative. “When you listen to these songs you can tell the person was feeling positive as travelling makes me feel positive.” The sounds of those foreign locations clearly seep into the songs – hence the tabla sound heard on recent single Luna.

Jacks sees the album as musically unlike predecessors I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose, and top 10 releases Flaws and A Different Kind Of Fix. It needed, not to be the equal of earlier releases, but to be better. Therefore, new approaches needed to be embraced – hence the world music and electronic influences – and quality control needed to be stricter. “We probably had 20 ideas, just snippets, melodies and samples. Before, we’d have done 10 tracks and they would have all gone on the album, but the bar was set so high [this time]. We were so aware of the position we were in and the importance of this record. “What was really difficult was maintaining perspective,” Jack reckons. “So I’m happy how streamlined the album is, not just how the songs are structurally, but how the songs are so succinct. When you’re doing it all yourselves, it’s easy to get carried away, so you have to be careful, look at how you edit it.” March 2014

“A number of the songs have an Indian influence,” Jack says. “I like to go record shopping when I travel, it’s a fun thing to do. In India I was trying to incorporate these sounds I’d found on records into songs as an experiment. I thought the guys [in the band] would laugh at it. But if you get past the stereotype [of Bollywood music], it’s impossible not to like it, it’s so infectious.” Armed with laptop and six-string, his trips were not without incident. “There was one fantastic rain storm in Turkey,” he recalls. “I was feeling very self-conscious about the noise I was making – I was in a house with a family – so I went out for a walk with my guitar and found this rural house. It was in a state of ruin, but very atmospheric. Suddenly, the heavens exploded and there was this insane rain storm. “I thought the family I was staying with would start to worry about me going off, so I hitchhiked back. I got into this car soaking wet with a guitar and there was this dad with two kids in the back, and the look they gave me was priceless! They looked at me like I was an alien,” he laughs.

The album also sees the band – guitarist Jamie MacColl, drummer Suren de Saram and bassist Ed Nash – reunite with Warwickshire lass Lucy Rose, who they first worked with for the acousticbased album, Flaws. Though she’s now joined by a new collaborator, Rae Morris. “Lucy sings on It’s Alright Now, Carry Me, Home By Now and Eyes Off You, and Come To, and Rae Morris is on Overdone, Luna and the last track,” Jack reports. “It’s a lovely tool to have these two singers – it depends on which one suits [the song] best which one we go to. “Lucy, the first time we sang together, you could hear our individual voices actually forming a new instrument. She’s our go-to girl when I need that variation in texture. “It all started with Flaws,” Jack expands, “which is where I really got into folk music – the harmonies are so powerful. I’m one of those people who’s always singing different harmonies to things. “Sometimes I go really overboard with the harmonies and Jamie says, ‘take one off…’,” he chuckles. After two top 10’ers, Bombay Bicycle Club saw So Long, See You Tomorrow as the album that could potentially push the band into a different league. “Of course, all our records have been important to us, but three records in, this is the moment where things happen or they don’t, so we were so hard on ourselves, the guys had to be really critical of the songs. Some songs would have made it onto the last record, but this time it was ‘no… we won’t let you in!’ “I think it’s our catchiest album, the melodies are really memorable, but are people going to listen to what’s around the melodies instead? I don’t know. I want to make pop music and new music, whether this hinders that…” Jacks wonders, leaving the sentence hanging. But at the end of the day, while a chart-topper is a great thing, Jack confesses he measures success slightly differently. “For me it’s about the travel aspect rather than the sales – whether we get to travel to places we haven’t been before.” Sounds like it’s time to get out that atlas and tick off a few more exotic countries. Bombay Bicycle Club are live at the O2 Academy, Birmingham, on March 8. So Long, See You Tomorrow is out now. 27


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Brum Notes Magazine


birmingham street style KS photography by Chloe Myles

CHARLES, 24, STUDENT Charles is wearing a pink pair of Nike ‘Flyknit’ trainers, Levi jeans and an oversized black fleece jacket from Selfridges. His style icon is South Korean rapper G Dragon, and his favourite retailer in Birmingham is Autograph.

ELIZA, 22, MODEL AND CHARITY WORKER Eliza is wearing a pair of tan Dunlop trainers, a delicate floral Topshop jumpsuit and a tan vintage fur coat. Her style icon is Paloma Faith and her favourite retailer in Birmingham is COW.

MONICA, 23, STUDENT Monica is wearing an oversized fur jacket and monochrome patterned trousers from COS and her black jumper is from Reiss. Her style icon is Alexa Chung and her favourite retailer in Birmingham is Selfridges.

JAKE, 21, HAIRDRESSER Jake is wearing an All Saints leather jacket, a blue polka dot shirt from Junco with black jeans and brogues from Primark. Jake’s style icon is Wolverhampton’s own Ricki Hall, and his favourite retailer is All Saints.

March 2014

YOUDI, 23, STUDENT Youdi is wearing a pair of Nike Air Force trainers, a Kooples blazer jacket, COS trousers and a pair of striped monochrome American Apparel socks. Her style icon is Cara Delevingne and her favourite retailer is Selfridges.

GEORGE, 20, SALES ASSISTANT George is wearing a pair of Nike Cortez trainers, vintage Levi jeans and a plain black Russell jumper. His style icon is Kanye West and his favourite retailer in Birmingham is Foot Asylum.

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balcony brasserie Selfridges, 4th Floor, Bullring B5 4BP 0121 600 6869

Another new outlet from Searcys (who’ve done a fine job of revitalising The REP’s dining experience recently...highly recommended) this time perched at the top of WAGs’ favourite Selfridges. There’s something unmistakably glam and cool about Selfridges, from its bulbous hubcapclad exterior through to the slightly scary looking dudes who DJ in the men’s clothing department on Saturdays and just strolling through the place makes you feel at least 17 per cent more affluent (even if you ain’t). Happily, the prices of most of the dishes on offer at the Balcony Brasserie won’t send you hurtling back to Wetherspoons in a cold sweat, with main courses from a modest (by Selfridges standards at least) £8. Perched up on the fourth floor you’re away from the throng but still part of the buzzy atmosphere of the Bullring. A cool mural adds a little extra hipness to the place and there’s a feeling of space that some city eateries lack. Suitably chilled, we started

Cuisine:

British(ish)

Price:

Around £25pp for three courses

Service: Atmosphere: Food: Overall:

off with a shared Charcuterie platter, delicious little cuts of chorizo, salami, ham and Rosette de Lyon (a cured French sausage) served with fresh crusty bread, capons and intensely flavoured sunblushed tomatoes. As you’d expect here the ingredients are first rate and whilst it’s not the world’s most complicated dish by any means, the balance of flavours between the cuts of meat and piquant accompaniments were well considered. For mains, the line-caught monkfish, lemongrass and quinoa green curry was a rave for the tastebuds, fresh and fragrant with a decent punch of

heat. The Lake District cheeseburger was also a superior specimen. Serving it on a brioche bun with caramelised onions added a little extra sweetness, whilst the fresh red onion and lettuce provided a fresh crunch. The cheese topped burger was small but perfectly formed, clearly hand crafted and cooked to perfection. Loved the dinky little bottles of ketchup, mayo and mustard too. If you still need a reason to make it up here pay attention...ORDER THE SNICKERBOCKERGLORY. Is this the best pudding in Birmingham? Could be. A deconstructed Snickers bar sundae, it’s a chocoholic’s wet dream. The Oreo Cookie Cheesecake came a credible second but frankly you’d be nuts to order anything else...unless you’re anaphylactic of course, in which case it’s probably best avoided. Ideal for a cool date or a pre, mid or post-shop break, Balcony Brasserie is an unexpected oasis of calm right in the heart of shopping central.. Daron Billings

bar WATCH: chErry reds Kings Heath York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 7RZ A small, independent café-bar with friendly staff, Cherry Reds is located on York Road, off the bustling Kings Heath High Street. Upon entering this little oasis, you are greeted at the door with a smile and a folky-kitsch display of tempting cupcakes. The menu is small yet perfectly formed. There are maverick touches to modern, homely food that cater to the tastes of flesh-eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike. Cherry Reds specialises in strong US and European bottled craft beers that are guaranteed to open your eyes and tastesbuds to a plethora of 30

cherryreds.com

flavours beyond the usual pub-standard lagers. There’s always a local ale on hand-pull too. The cocktails (2-4-1 from 4pm-7pm) are original and alcohol-fuelled, like ‘Jamaica-Me-Crazy’: a shot of premium Kraken rum, a shot of Appleton rum, then topped up with ginger beer and lime. With retro décor and intimate dimensions, it invites the informal feeling of being in a house rather than in a public place. It’s a relaxing place to be. The unique ambiance is that your friend is having an open house and that you and those in the know are always very welcome. Ben Calvert Brum Notes Magazine


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March 2014

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LIVE FOALS O2 Academy, Birmingham 11/02/14 Photo by Andy Hughes

Oxford’s favourite mathletes rocked up at the O2 Academy ready to cause havoc and left a little to be desired. There is no doubting the talent that Foals have. Their ability to mix funky riffs and melodic, moody tunes has made them one of the best bands in the country at the moment. But on a cold Tuesday night in the Second City, they seemed a little stale. All the songs were there, Prelude set up Hummer perfectly but a lot of the tunes, such as Blue Blood and Olympic Airways were strung out a little too long. At one point it was clear that the audience were starting to get restless and the chatter of the crowd could be heard over the brooding, sometimes haunting music. Frontman Yannis Philippakis promised the crowd they were going to be savage but once again, their penchant for extending songs and showing off their skills took hold, and had good parts of the crowd losing concentration. However, Foals are arguably the kings of the crescendo and for all the build up, as always, there is something quite epic at the end. Spanish Sahara itself has a beautiful crescendo which picked the crowd up, while Red Socks Pugie and Inhaler had much of the crowd bouncing, even if it was to get in on one of Yannis’ many forays into his baying fans. It was back to basics with the encore. The 32

tuneful, chanting French Open was a perfect set-up for Two Steps Twice, which they gleefully smashed down the middle of the court. Yannis was on his travels once again, this time up to the balcony where he threatened to jump before he was brought down by a steward to boos of the crowd, but after what seemed like an age, the beat dropped, Yannis screamed and all was well with the world once again. Maybe some of the crowd were a little impatient or had wanted to hear more of their favourite songs rather than long, drawn out solos, but on a frosty night – Foals still blew more hot than cold. Jonathan Pritchard

RX Bandits Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath 04/02/14

RX Bandits have been around for a while, emerging from the same late-90s ska incubator as Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake, this tour being a 10-year celebration of their signature album, 2003’s The Resignation. And the place was packed. First, though: Layers…did what Layers do. Frontman Lance was a fireball of energy and lungs, and the boys alongside shredded and bridged like pros. This band so need to be smashing the tent stages at some festivals

this summer. Then: Astpai. Representing for Austria. Tight and thrashy, Ramones-esque, skinny-leg garage punk. There’s a world of awesome punk happening in Europe right now. This being a good example. And finally: RX Bandits. Not ska-punk, but definitely ska, these are the band Vampire Weekend think they are. Featuring some spectacular musicianship, they also defy lazy classification. Sometimes mellow as hell, sometimes harder end of the spectrum alt-rock, sometimes straight-up white boy reggae...there was a definite Police/Sting thing going on, Matt Embree’s honeyed vocals not least. Their sound was commercial, almost (but not) MOR – set closer Only for the Night being a radio-friendly pearler. I suspect the reason this band haven’t got massive is a combination of unfavourable industry trends and that they appear to have sincere principles. They also have a beast for a drummer. That guy hit his kit like it was a man that had just run over his cat. Nice. Ed Ling

Toy The Rainbow, Birmingham 21/02/2014

Touring with The Twang has been extremely beneficial for The Grafham Water Sailing Club. A year ago today (okay, a year minus Brum Notes Magazine


Toy Photo by Wayne Fox

a day), they played their second ever show at the same venue supporting now-defunct North East quintet, The Chapman Family. Since then they’ve noticeably tightened their (incidentally bass-tastic) set, refining their live instrumentals and transitioning fluidly between their songs. As a band they’re moving more, they’ve finally turned up those vocals, and they’re evidently more comfortable with enjoying themselves. As ever, Feelin’ Blue and the wonderfully and jubilantly extended 90° are highlights and they close on the superb The Butcher of Barcelona. Tour support The Proper Ornaments follow. The ‘other band’ of Veronica Falls’ James Hoare, it’s lo-fi 60s guitar pop which flits from The Byrds to The Free Design, from whom they took their name. It’s a good choice of support for Toy who probably share many of the same reference points, but it isn’t massively interesting and by contrast, Toy are more interesting than ever before. Now able to pick from their two full length albums (2012’s eponymous debut and 2013’s follow up, Join the Dots), they begin with the intricately crafted majesty of Conductor and Colours Running Out. It’s a 13-song set which carries their pop moniker Endlessly in the centre and which traverses mechanical motorik and krautrock until Join the Dots at the close. The sound is a little off, making it difficult to pick out the individual instrumentation which has obviously been pored over, however, it’s more coherent than ever before and overall it’s a performance their obvious influences Syd Barrett and Neu! wouldn’t have much contention with. The Horrors were right to shout about this lot. Amy Sumner

The Orwells Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath 20/02/14

The Orwells kicked off their sold out UK tour in the second city at the Hare & Hounds. Boy did they hit it hard, likening it to two stags March 2014

in rutting season, opener Other Voices started a riot right there and then. Lead singer Mario Cuomo lead from the front, literally embracing the crowd at every possible opportunity. The motion and wave after wave of crowdsurfer came over when the band broke into the second track Righteous One, and indeed Mario epitomises some of the greatest frontmen – a young Iggy Pop combined with the swagger of Mick Jagger, this lad has charisma by the bucketload. Dirty Sheets took the pit to another level with people hurling themselves at the barrier, and eventually when the band got to Mallrats, Mario had torn off his vest flinging it into the gaggle of baying young girls at the front. ‘Godlike’ could be the only description of his next move with water and wine decanted into his adorning followers’ mouths. He called out ‘the Geezers’ from the back of the room and pointed out they like to call them “old f*****s back at home – we came to rock n roll.” They end with an encore of I Wanna Be Your Dog by The Stooges. If this band steamroller in and out of your town, you’d be a fool to miss them. Andy Hughes

Speedy Ortiz Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath 13/02/14

delivered with the indie pop of Allo Darlin’ and channelled effusively through lead singer Alanna McArdle. Standout track is their opener, Madison. They’re as energetic as they push through the crowd to get to the front as Speedy Ortiz take to the stage – there’s a lot of mutual band love in the room. Ostensibly the project of Sadie Dupuis who writes frank, forthright and youthfully depressive lyrics nowhere more beautifully crafted than on the band’s July debut full-length, Major Arcana, the Massachusetts outfit play a short set of their American college rock. It’s Sonic Youth and Deerhunter and it’s the superbly articulated struggles of youth. Towards the end of the set, noir slow-burner No Below (‘True I once said I was better off just being dead / But I didn’t know you yet’) is a highlight. Throughout the show there are a few ‘technical difficulties’ (snapped strings precede prolonged periods of slightly uncomfortable chat and Sadie’s guitar amp is a trooper towards the end), but these bands encompass a kickass independence and a fuck you attitude so it’s pretty perfect really. Amy Sumner

Tom Odell Civic Hall, Wolverhampton 09/02/14

Tom Odell strolled onto stage at the Civic Hall to the screams of young girls but the 23-year-old showed maturity beyond his years during his enjoyable set. In what was a surprisingly upbeat, sometimes raucous show, Odell laid out the talent that won him the BRIT Critics Choice Award last year for all to see. While banging out tunes on his trusty piano like it was the easiest thing in the world, his voice was what really hit the spot – his vocal abilities are given chance to really shine on the live stage. Kicking off with Long Way Down and Hold Me, he set the scene straight from the off. But even with the drone in the background it was that stunning voice of his that rose

Tonight we’ve not only Speedy Ortiz and Joanna Gruesome in the building, but there’s also Birmingham’s Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam on the decks and Burning Alms opening up. The latter are pretty shambolic, playing a forward-bounding frenetic set including recent single So The Orwells Unreal. Singer John Photo by Andy Hughes Biggs makes way for drummer Tom Whitfield to address the audience on the mic before furiously hurtling into Matadors. Cardiff’s Joanna Gruesome are next. Within their walls, they’re part MBV and part The Wedding Present,

33


above the din to impress the crowd. Songs such as Grow Old With Me and Sense took on a new shimmer as his pure, unadulterated talent was thrust into the ears of the adoring crowd. After throwing in a few new songs that Tom Odell he has been writing with his band in New York, and having banter with the crowd, Odell had set everything up perfectly for the killer final song. Somewhat predictably that was Another Love. The song is so much better than everything else in his armoury that it almost took the shine of how good the rest of the gig was. The crowd seemed somewhat bemused as to how he could follow it up for his encore but he once again turned up the volume for a piano-thrashing, guitarriffing finale. The five-song encore, which included a cover of Etta James’ I Just Want To Make Love To You, seemed more like a giant Jools Holland jam. Impressive as it was, the sheer beauty of Another Love lingered in the background and a number of the crowd started to filter out as he played less well known songs such as Cruel and Parties. Take nothing away from Odell though, he could have just played his album as it was, but has obviously made an effort to make his live shows more interesting – and he has done it to aplomb. Jonathan Pritchard Photo by Jane Williams

Cate Le Bon

current UK jaunt sees the Gruff Rhys-championed songstress spoiled by her own abilities in picking a set from her three full-length records, 2009’s Me Oh My, 2012’s Cyrk and 2013’s Mug Museum. The latter naturally predominates the performance allowing the room a glimpse inside its perfectly balanced components; soft and straying from it, tightly measured and deliciously wandering, and the contemplations concerning her mortally maternal role (‘I know well this space I fill, I know the drill…I hold the baton’) aside the record’s quirky preoccupation with death. Dazzlingly sleepy-eyed I Can’t Help You and the beautiful folk mooch of Are You With Me Now drip with Le Bon’s exacting intonations, yet the oddball twists and turns of Wild and Sisters, offset by menacingly gothic keys, are just as alluring. Cate Le Bon is more often than not paralleled to Nico. It isn’t hard to deduce why and from the second she walks on stage until the second she steps off it, she is completely and overwhelmingly captivating. A writer, a performer, an artist in short she’s an inspiration. Photo by Jonathan Morgan Amy Sumner

Drenge Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath 19/02/14

As pretentious as their name, Kagoule are thoroughly uninspiring and look about as invested in their own set as the room’s muted reaction to it. TRAAMS are a different kettle of fish. Taking the krautrock meets post-punk aesthetic of Parquet Courts, distorting it, extending it, and sheening some of it with a Buzzcocks layer of pop, they’re rife with conflictions yet simultaneously perfectly balanced. ‘I don’t even know your number and you don’t even know my name’, roars lead vocalist Stu Hopkins on Flowers – here’s a band capitalising on the opportunities afforded them. They’re a great support for Drenge, the duo from Castleton in Derbyshire, from where their raucous garage punk is the vehicle out. A mirror of the stage, the crowd tonight is young and full of sprite, there’s a circle pit and a crowd surfer within the first two songs. The Loveless brothers’ set is made up of material from their eponymous 2013 debut, scurges of sludgy noise and grunge riffs. Musically their best moments are Bloodsports and Nothing, although there are also some beautifully crafted lyrics lurking within Backwaters (‘I’ve never seen blood and milk mixed so divine...I’ve never seen such beauty so maligned’) and the mournful lament of Let’s Pretend, and the playful interaction between the two (if not the crowd) is a pleasure as they dare one another to take a breath. After such an impressive slot from TRAAMS, you do mourn the bass and the boys could do with a couple more tunes. It’s still early days though and with such a dedicated fanbase already built up, there is plenty of time for that. Amy Sumner

Drenge Photo by Andy Hughes

Cate Le Bon Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath 18/02/14

Cate Le Bon makes an arresting sight on stage, eyeliner, cheekbones and jutting jolts; idiosyncratic movements that match her haunting vocal and accompanying gothic instrumentation, which at times veers wildly into beautifully crafted psych and at others sits wistfully beneath her, stripped back, beautiful. Le Bon is joined on stage tonight not only by the exquisitely talented and deliciously jumpsuited Stephen Black (AKA Sweet Baboo) on bass, but also by boyfriend, exacting guitar-picker H Hawkline. Even sharing the spotlight with such talent, she commands it – this is her thing. The 34

Brum Notes Magazine


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35


album reviews

Eagulls Eagulls Out March 3 (Partisan)

You probably won’t impress many of your mates if you go around telling them you’ve been listening to ‘the Eagulls’. But they’ll soon get over the obvious pronunciation issues, all will be fine. Because, the Leeds-based band are set to tear up bedrooms aplenty once their album gets into the mainstream. Despite being from ‘oop norf’ the band actually shout 00s New York. Or should that be scream? The album is packed with thumping drums and

Johnny Foreigner you Can Do Better Out March 10 (Alcopop! Records)

The lazy journalist inside me was hoping for a mediocre offering from Johnny Foreigner so that this review could neatly close with a fatally hilarious play on the title about the band needing to do better – or something equally droll. Unfortunately for your correspondent there’s no such luck here. The first two seconds of Junior Laidley’s drums on opener Shipping make it apparent that this record doesn’t merely demand your attention, but waggles its big hairy nethers in your face, forcing you to submit to its abrasive majesty. Long-time artwork collaborator Lewes Herriot joins the ranks for this album, his guitar tying knots with Alexei Berrow’s, tangling like dog-fighting planes bent on wreaking 36

versatile riffs, while all the time maintaining a level of tuneful soul that gets in deeper than actual music. There is something you can’t quite put your finger on. Opener Nerve Endings sounds like a loud din and not much else on first listen, but after a few you realise it’s got real verve to it. The swagger continues through Hollow Visions and into Yellow Eyes, with snippets of Parquet Courts and The Strokes dripping into view. This album gets under your skin and while you may think you have been listening to it in the background, you’ll find that you know all the words when you listen again. And you’ll be singing it as you walk around, without even knowing it. Possessed and Opaque provide the sort of

destruction before embracing in longing clinches of melancholic arpeggios. Countless more clunky metaphors could be used to describe how the agitated duets of Berrow and Kelly Southern wrap around and then bounce off each other fantastically in Le Schwing while guitars collide behind them, but the band deserve a better standard of review for this exhilarating effort. Andy Roberts

Architects Lost Forever, Lost Together Out March 10 (Epitaph)

With five albums down, nearly 10 years of touring the globe behind them, and just about every permutation of the hardcore/mathcore/metalcore sound model run and tested, Architects’ sixth full-length studio release

one-word chorus that gets you bouncing around your car/shower/bedroom/wherever. It’s the sort of album that restores faith in music. There is aggression, attitude, noise, swearing, shouting, grit, determination, and catchy tunes. The final track is called Soulless Youth. And it’s hard to think of a better way of describing the sound of this band than that. Jon Pritchard

has been eagerly awaited. And on balance, these vegan Brightonians do not disappoint. A seething mass of apocalyptic slamming, cleverly pulsating guitar work, scream-a-rama vocals, blastbeats and the occasional burst of harmonic bridging – Lost Forever, Lost Together is as dark and punishing as you like. And has some interesting things to say. In amongst the slamming – and slamming is perhaps the defining quality of this, so much so it’s almost like listening to the industrial printing press of the Norse Gods – there’s also febrile millenarianism cutting through proceedings. A somehow “Elizabethan-era alchemist ranting in tongues about the end of the world” aesthetic. Check out the album artwork and some of the lyrical turns of phrase (Naysayer, The Devil is Near) and you’ll see what we mean. This all helps to lift this clear above their peers like Issues and Honour Crest, who, pokey as they are, are a little light on individuality and emotional content. Genuinely raging post-metalcore. Veritably filled with passionate intensity. Ed Ling Brum Notes Magazine


Metronomy Love Letters Out March 10 (Because Music)

Metronomy’s exquisite appeal has always lain in the ability of Joseph Mount and co to continually metamorphose. Steadfastly refusing to stick to any one blueprint, they’ve handcrafted progressive and well-respected records comprising blippy and layered instrumentals, catchy disco pop hooks and heck, even a concept album. Love Letters is a step backwards. Perpetually fond of easing into their records, on opening track The Upsetter, Mount mourns ‘And back out on The Riviera it got so cold at night’, warning that what’s to come on the follow-up to 2011’s jubilant The English Riviera is going to involve a little less glitz. Love Letters’ title track is its finest moment – preceded by an instrumental lullaby, drummer Anna Prior’s vocals burst forth reinforcing that some of their best-sounding songs are aided by the fairer voice (ditto following track, Month of Sundays, plus TER’s Everything Goes My Way, which featured Veronica Falls’ Roxanne Clifford). However, Boy Racers and Call Me (which falter into one another disjointedly) hark right back to their first record which, at times, became too wrapped up in its drum machines and synths. The Most Immaculate Haircut (purveying to be about Connan Mockasin) doesn’t go anywhere fresh (and failing that, even catchy), and closer Never Wanted, as far as one can make out, is just a list of bathroom items. Whether it’s because the band were working to a deadline (the arrival of Mount’s first child), a lull in creativity or just that the Toe Rag analogue studios in which it was recorded didn’t suit their sound after all, the offering falls a little slow and a little flat. Which is not to say that it’s a bad record – measured against anybody else, you could get along with it fairly easily. However they’ve shot themselves in the foot with their past output to the point that, armed with the knowledge of just what this band is capable of, Love Letters is a disappointing blow. Amy Sumner

MØ No Mythologies to Follow Out March 10 (Chess Club / RCA Victor)

Bikini Daze left countless critics and pop lovers giddy with excitement of what was yet to come from the deserving talent in Denmark’s MØ. Since the energetic strut of Pilgrim and catchy brass hooks of Diplo-collaborated XXX 8 graced our ears last year, No Mythologies to Follow couldn’t have come too soon. As predicted, it doesn’t disappoint, making the eager March 2014

anticipation surrounding it totally justifiable. Captivating from the beginning, opener Fire Rides is grasping from its first pulse of booming drums, all while MØ’s distinct, sultry vocals whirl perfectly amongst the glitchy guitars and spacey electronic melodies. The eerie, party-dynamic ambience of Waste of Time is followed by bitter-sweet love song Dust is Gone, a stunningly lulling and elegant play underpinned by heart-wrenching vocals and vaporous instrumentation. It reflects the dreamy, 50s-like vocals of Lana Del Rey, reminding us that MØ can break your heart as well as free it on the dance floor. The mixture of style in No Mythologies to Follow is a demonstration of MØ’s dissimilar strands of identity, tied together to create an explosion both dynamic yet subtly sublime. It jumps from pulsating pop, to icy electro, to soulful high-note heartbreak with breathtaking effortlessness, setting the Danish talent remotely apart from other pop contemporaries and ending with a piece of art that is very nearly close to perfection. Ivy Photiou

Withered Hand New Gods Out March 10 (FortunaPOP!)

Edinburgh troubadour Dan Willson has been steadily nurturing a dedicated horde of followers, drawn in by his lo-fi charm and songs that are laugh-out-loud funny and unbearably melancholy – often at the same time. As an indicator of his ascending star, second album New Gods features appearances from a who’s who of Scottish indie, and sees Willson recording in a ‘proper studio’ for the first time. But rather than being Willson’s crowning glory, the album smooths out the rough edges that made Withered Hand so appealing in the first place. New Gods is still a solid record – Willson’s distinctive high-pitched voice remains as beguiling as ever, and his melodies still offer plenty of raw emotion. Of the more rabble-rousing numbers, the new recording of Heart Heart is pleasingly frantic, and the jangly Black Tambourine more than serviceable, but the pick of the bunch is King Of Hollywood, the irresistible recounting of a night out in Los Angeles with King Creosote. Yet it’s the album’s more introspective tracks that highlight the regression to the mean. The moody California is uncharacteristically ponderous, while the defanged radio-friendliness of Fall Apart is only recognisable as a Withered Hand song thanks to those unmistakable vocals. Criminally, the trademark anarchic sense of humour is almost entirely absent throughout. On King Of Hollywood, Willson sings, ‘I fell asleep watching a buzz band.../ Please let me be misunderstood’. But that spirit of otherness runs in direct opposition to the rest of New Gods, the sound of a gifted eccentric toning down for a wider audience. Dan Cooper-Gavin

Superfood MAM EP Out March 3 (Infectious)

‘You always get away with words, you always sing the same,’ accuses Dom Ganderton on Bubbles – “a discordant, vile, beautiful mess about people not having anything important to say but saying something for the sake of it”. For those who have followed Superfood’s ascent from the start, MAM EP comprises three out of four songs the band has already released – a tad disappointing. In a wider context though, it’s solid stuff. Superfood are early Pavement, Britpop at its most astute and American college rock – their calculated appeal is that right now they’re making the music to accompany the look so many try so hard to pull off. They’re clever. They’re also talented in a way that transcends ephemeral scenes. TV sounds like it begins in the corridor with the lockers in some US high school while it documents that modern life is rubbish (‘How am I to dream without the TV on?’). And as the tumbling, off-kilter guitars in Bubbles trickle into Melting and subsequently new track, Houses on the Plain (Oasis, Supergrass, but ultimately, uniquely, Superfood), they’re dallying deliciously with pop. On this record Superfood are tapping up those Britpop glory days and they’re having bounding, star-jumping fun while they’re at it. Unheard material it may not be brimming with but there’s an album for that yet. AS

Hoopla Blue Mother EP Out March 22 (FOMA)

The beauty of music lies more often than not within the beauty of its creators. Hoopla Blue are a band remarkably aware of the importance of interaction and of the immediacy of relationship. Their debut EP begins with the haunting vocal echoes of lead singer Adam Tomes accompanied by Thomas Hewson before bounding forward into chiming guitars which carry through to Oranges, a track on which Tom takes up the vocal leadership. These songs are dripping in folklore, whispers and hints of stories that compel you to immerse yourself inside them entirely. Rituals is a restive multilayered refrain dripping in intrigue (‘Send for my lovers when I’m not around’), which builds beautifully to Seams, the record’s gemstone. Mother displays Hoopla Blue as completely entrancingly as they appear live – the work is a glorious study of the intricacies of instrumental interplay and the accomplishments of the voice as further to this instrumentation. AS 37


gigs

Jungle

PICK

Hare & Hounds, March 20 Producing ‘world music for run down inner cities’ (The Guardian), mysterious London outfit Jungle only formed at the beginning of 2013 but already the two fantastic videos for tracks The Heat and Platoon (which they co-directed themselves) have notched up an impressive number of views on YouTube. Following the likes of Wu Lyf and MS MR in their faux-anonymity and crafting tribal soul beats with smatterings of 80s hip hop and dance sensibilities, the big reveal is on March 20.

your hair clean off,” begins Eagulls’ open letter to their peers via their blog. It’s longer, angrier and ruder than that, we thought we’d exercise some caution. So Eagulls got attitude. Having supported the likes of Parquet Courts and Merchandise, and themselves playing ramshackle thrash punk noise, see for yourselves whether they have the accompanying tunes. Interpol

Nick Mulvey

Glee Club, March 3

NME Awards Tour 2014 ft Interpol, Temples, Royal Blood, Circa Waves O2 Academy, March 25

Former hang-player in the Mercury-nominated modern jazz act Portico Quartet, Nick Mulvey’s debut solo album was released last May. Having moved to Cuba to study music before returning to the UK to study Ethnomusicology, Mulvey’s knowledge and interest in African music informs his own output. Catch him in this intimate setting.

Debuting new material amongst classic tracks, New York post-punk rockers Interpol headline this year’s NME Awards Tour. On main support, Kettering psych four-piece Temples present songs from their debut number 7-charting album, Sun Structures, whilst Brighton garage rock duo Royal Blood and Liverpool’s Circa Waves open up. Variety is the spice of life.

Eagulls

Temple Songs

“To all beach bands sucking each others’ dicks and rubbing the press’ clits. I am going to cut

“We’re a pop group,” declare the Manchester band on their Facebook page. Never ones to argue,

Hare & Hounds, March 4

38

The Sunflower Lounge, March 27

lo-fi Beach Boys and 60s influences mingle with superficial hints of Supergrass to present something pretty tasty indeed. Make them feel welcome on March 27.

Saint Raymond

The Institute, March 27 Like Bastille before him, 18-year-old Nottingham-born Callum Burrows blurs the boundaries between solo artist and band. Synth-driven in its majority and with evident Police, Tears for Fears and Simple Minds influence, it also encapsulates a wonderful pop appeal. His Young Blood soared into the charts at number three – catch him while he’s still playing rooms this size.

Bipolar Sunshine

The Institute, March 30 Bipolar Sunshine is the solo project of Adio Marchant, former vocalist of Manchester six-piece Kid British. Combining honest and heartfelt poetic lyrics with upbeat synth-pop, his four track EP Drowning Butterflies premiered as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in the World in September last year. Adio’s A Dream For Dreamers UK tour promises to be special. Brum Notes Magazine


club nights

FACE presents Four Tet

PICK

The Rainbow Warehouse, March 29 An event which has been three years in the making, FACE and Four Tet (AKA Kieran Hebden) curate what promises to be a very special night at The Rainbow Warehouse. Featuring a DJ set from the world-renowned producer and remixologist himself, alongside a carefully selected line-up of special guests to be announced, plus FACE’s resident DJs, this one will be packed to the rafters. Energy drinks at the ready too, as it’s running right through until 6am.

Sensateria

a battle of the beatmakers and a night not to miss.

Green Street Warehouse, March 28

Zombie Prom, Silent Noize & Killerwave’s Parade Day Party

Beginning in the back streets of Digbeth in 1984, 60s psych club night Sensateria housed parachutes, strobes and impressive visuals as well as a mix of classic and obscure retro sounds. Returning to Birmingham last year, the next instalment will also feature live performances from Velvet Texas Cannonball and Swedish outfit, The Orange Revival.

Spotlight & Next Door, March 16

An after-party for the St Patrick’s Day Parade, the reincarnated Zombie Prom’s cross-venue party takes place from 2pm. With free-flow access across Spotlight, Next Door and the Spotlight car park (which houses a three-channel silent disco), there’ll be projections and visuals as well as the usual mix of garage, house, pop, hip-hop and indie alt tunes.

Habit

Hare & Hounds, March 22 Celebrating seven years of Habit nights, there’s a big line-up for the birthday bash, which features sets from James Holroyd (Back to Basics, Bugged Out and Chemical Brothers tour regular), Jack2Front, Tiger Collective and Jim Ryan.

Moschino Hoe, Versace Hottie Spotlight, March 1

Think 90s R’n’B, house and soul for this one under the arches at Spotlight. With sets from Stu Bo, Jordan Lott, Busst, Sneeky Fox and Gum Sole, it’s March 2014

an intimate space. Expect jazz, funk, soul, disco, house and everything in between.

Mr Scruff

LEFTFOOT PRESENTS Mr Scruff & Floating Points, Hare & Hounds, March 14 & 15

A marathon six hour back-to-back DJ session with Mr Scruff and Floating Points brought to you by Leftfoot. There are two nights on offer, each a rare opportunity to catch two legends in their field in

Cirque Du Soul, FACE & SHADOW CITY PRESENT GROOVE ARMADA (DJ SET) The Rainbow, March 1

Travelling Moulin Rouge extravaganza Cirque Du Soul calls into Birmingham for a night of colour, magic and dance. Described as a ‘burlesque meets bass’ themed event, expect house, techno, hip-hop and disco. Oh, and an appearance from Groove Armada DJs. 39


arts & culture

Bill Drummond: The 25 Paintings World Tour

PICK

Eastside Projects + various venues, from March 13

For his remarkable new project, the KLF iconoclast will base himself in a different city around the world for three months of every year from now until 2025. Drummond’s global odyssey begins in Birmingham on March 13 with the construction of a sculpture, 400 Bunches Of Daffodils, underneath Spaghetti Junction. For the following three months, Digbeth’s Eastside Projects will be his HQ, exhibiting The 25 Paintings, which will offer updates concerning his ongoing work, alongside videos, maps and photographs – though the real art will be found in Drummond’s activities around the city.

Flatpack Film Festival Various venues, March 20-30

Flatpack’s eclectic celebration of cinema, now in its eighth year, is firmly established as a highlight of Brum’s cultural offering. We’re promised a typically diverse, mind-expanding programme that’s as accessible as it is challenging, with highlights including This World Made Itself, Miwa Matreyek’s immersive mix of shadow puppetry and animation, featuring music from Flying Lotus. There’s also the UK premiere of restored short films originally screened at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in the year 1900.

Frontiers Festival

Various venues, from March 22 Birmingham Conservatoire and Third Ear combine to present outer-limits sounds from downtown New York. Amongst the highlights, the first-ever fully-realised performance of Robert Ashley’s String Quartet Describing The Motions Of Large Real Bodies, in which music from the Elysian Quartet will be processed in real time by 42 laptop artists. Also on the programme, a telematic improvisational piece from the legendary Pauline Oliveros, which will see her collaborate in real time with musicians across the Atlantic.

40

John Cage – Indeterminacy and The Conspirators Of Pleasure CBSO Centre, March 18

A touring show from London’s Usurp art collective featuring performances of two John Cage pieces, each exploring the concepts of chance, listening and humour. Indeterminacy will see comedian Stewart Lee reading 90 one-minute stories, accompanied by pianists Tania Chen and Steve Beresford. The Conspirators Of Pleasure, meanwhile, is an improvisation between the augmented sitar of Poulomi Desai, the modified toys and electronics of Simon Underwood and the Persian frame drum of Seth Ayyaz.

BP Portrait Award 2013

Wolverhampton Art Gallery, from March 1 A last chance to see the finalists from the prestigious portrait competition. Artists from 77 countries entered, with the 55 best works on display in Wolverhampton through the spring. Included will be Susanne du Toit’s winning portrait Pieter, an oil painting of her eldest son, as well as the runner-up, The Uncertain Time by Coventry painter John Devane.

The Threepenny Opera The Rep, from March 27

The venue’s Epic Encounters season continues with this anarchic staging of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s iconic musical. Victorian London is a deprived, corrupt, lawless place, and the backdrop for the influential Mr Peachum’s pursuit of the charismatic criminal Macheath. All of Weill’s famous songs will be present and correct, including Mack The Knife and Pirate Jenny.

How To Occupy An Oil Rig Mac, March 20

Daniel Bye returns to Edgbaston for this engaging, thought-provoking and downright funny show about protest and revolution. Bye’s inspirational works boil big ideas down into palatable chunks, fuelled by his conviction that it is within our gift to change the world.

The Believers

Warwick Arts Centre, March 11-15 The aptly-named Frantic Assembly company bring a marked physicality and vivaciousness to Bryony Lavery’s latest work, a tale of two feuding families thrown together by circumstance. Following the startling successes of their previous collaborations, Stockholm and Beautiful Burnout, this one is not to be missed. Brum Notes Magazine


March 2014

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Brum Notes Magazine


WHAT’S ON

KEY TO LISTINGS: M = LIVE MUSIC CN = CLUB NIGHT C = COMEDY

BIRMINGHAM: O2 Academy, Horsefair, Bristol St B1, 0844 4772000; The Institute, High St, Digbeth B5, 0844 2485037; NIA, King Edwards Rd B1, 0121 7804141; LG Arena, NEC, Solihull B40, 0121 7804141; The Flapper, Kingston Row B1, 0121 2362421; The Victoria, John Bright St B1, 0121 6339439; Hare & Hounds, High St, Kings Heath B14, 0121 4442081; The Actress & Bishop, Ludgate Hill B3, 0121 2367426; The Sunflower Lounge, Smallbrook Queensway B5, 0121 6327656; Symphony Hall, Broad St B1, 0121 7803333; Town Hall, Victoria Sq B3, 0121 7803333; Kitchen Garden Cafe, York Road, Kings Heath B14, 0121 4434725; Alexandra Theatre, Station St B1, 0844 8472302; Bull’s Head, St Marys Row, Moseley B13, 0121 2567777; Island Bar, Suffolk St B1, 0121 6325296; The Jam House, St Pauls Sq B3, 0121 2003030; Ort, Moseley Rd, Balsall Heath, B12; The Asylum, Hampton St, Hockley B19, 0121 2331109; The Rainbow, High St, Digbeth B12, 0121 7728174; Adam & Eve, Bradford St, Digbeth B12, 0121 6931500; The Rose Villa Tavern, Warstone Lane, B18, 0121 2367910; The Yardbird, Paradise Place B3, 0121 2122524; The Glee Club, The Arcadian, Hurst St B5, 0871 4720400; MAC, Cannon Hill Park B12, 0121 4463232; Nightingale, Kent St B5, 0121 6221718; Scruffy Murphys, The Priory Queensway B4, 0121 2362035; The Wagon & Horses, Adderley St, Digbeth B9, 0121 7721403; Lab11, Trent St B5, lab11.co.uk; The Moseley Arms, Ravenhurst St B12, 0121 7668467; Air, Heath Mill Lane B9, 0121 7666646; Suki10c, Bordesley Street B5; Gatecrasher, Broad St B15, 0121 633 1520

M M M M M M M M M CN CN CN CN CN CN CN CN CN CN C C

Saturday, Mar 1 Louise Petit + Rhiannon Mair Luke Wylde & The Japes Mike & The Mechanics Huskies A Suitcase Full Of Owls Spirit Bomb Acoustic Blues House Party Jam Hott Glitch Hop Awards ft William Breakspear Black Stone Cherry

Ort

Balsall Heath

O2 Academy 3

Birmingham

Symphony Hall

Birmingham

TALK

Birmingham

The Actress & Bishop The Wagon & Horses Artrix

Birmingham

M M M M

Birmingham

M

Bromsgrove

M

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

M M

Wulfrun Hall

Wolverhampton

Tommy Trash

Gatecrasher

Birmingham

MHVH

Spotlight

Birmingham

Drum & Bass Awards 2014 Cirque du Soul ft Groove Armada DJs Liquid Sessions presents BCee + Deeper Connection Shift

The Institute

Birmingham

The Rainbow Warehouse

Birmingham

The Rooftop

Birmingham

Unplug

Birmingham

JuQebox

The Rose Villa Tavern Hare & Hounds

Hockley

Bruk Up with Kwai + Lord Byron Hot Wax

Kings Heath

Bull’s Head

Moseley

Blast Off

The Slade Rooms

Wolverhampton

Marlon Davis

The Glee Club

Birmingham

Silky + Kevin Dewsbury

The Slade Rooms

Wolverhampton

March 2014

M M

M M M M M CN C M M M M M M

Sunday, Mar 2 Ghouls

Want your gig or club night listed in our monthly guide? Send details to: info@ brumnotes.com  All details correct at time of going to press. Check with venues before setting out.

The Flapper

Birmingham

5 Seconds of Summer Voodoo Kings

The Institute

Birmingham

The Roadhouse

Birmingham

Harry J Hudson

The Yardbird

Birmingham

János Balázs Jr

Town Hall

Birmingham

Geroge Ezra + Soak John Lennon McCullagh Josienne Clarke + Ben Walker Sunplugged ft. 6-5 Specials Monday, Mar 3 Me First & The Gimme Gimmes Svart Crown

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Kitchen Garden Cafe The Sun At The Station

Kings Heath

O2 Academy 2

Birmingham

The Flapper

Birmingham

Nick Mulvey

The Glee Club

Birmingham

R5

The Institute

Birmingham

Diana Jones

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

The Carrivick Sisters Jam Jah

Kitchen Garden Cafe Bull’s Head

Kings Heath

Comedy Night

The Roadhouse

Birmingham

Tuesday, Mar 4 Disclosure

O2 Academy

Birmingham

Cypher 16

O2 Academy 3

Birmingham

Temples

The Institute

Birmingham

Fairport Convention Eagulls

Town Hall

Birmingham

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Liam Williams

The Slade Rooms

Wolverhampton

Kings Heath

Moseley

43


CN C M M M M M C M M M M M M M M

C C M M M

Gatecrasher

Birmingham

Diamond Dallas Page Wednesday, Mar 5 Mike Peters

The Glee Club

Birmingham

O2 Academy 3

Birmingham

Anais Mitchell

The Glee Club

Birmingham

CN

Straight Lines

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Michael Chapman

Kitchen Garden Cafe Wulfrun Hall

Kings Heath

CN CN

The Noise Next Door Thursday, Mar 6 Brother & Bones

Bramall Music Building

Birmingham

O2 Academy 3

Birmingham

10:04s

The Flapper

Birmingham

Paradise 9

The Roadhouse

Birmingham

The Brumbox

The Shakespeare

Birmingham

Blackberry Smoke

Boy Jumps Ship

Hare & Hounds Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Traditional Song Session Is I Cinema + Victor + Women + Ghosts of Dead Airplanes DJs Andy Robinson

Kitchen Garden Cafe Bull’s Head

Kings Heath

The Glee Club

Birmingham

Paul Sinha

The Slade Rooms

Wolverhampton

Friday, Mar 7 So Called Enemy

O2 Academy 3

Birmingham

Kevin Figes Octet

Symphony Hall

Birmingham

None So Blind

Birmingham

Birmingham

Thomas J Speight Sour Scarlet

The Rainbow

M

The Dublin Legends Velvet Texas Cannonball Freestyle ft Keziasoul Gucci Pimp

M M CN

The Starries

Karma Corner

CN

Hivve presents Clive Henry B2B Alex Arnout Artful Dodger

CN

Hospitality

CN CN C C

Goldie Blast Off

Birmingham Birmingham

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Bull’s Head

Moseley

The Loft

Moseley

Newhampton Arts Centre NextDoor

Wolverhampton Birmingham

The Rainbow Courtyard The Rainbow Warehouse Hare & Hounds The Civic

Birmingham Birmingham Kings Heath Wolverhampton Birmingham

The Slade Rooms

Wolverhampton

The Ganders

CN C C M M M M M M

C C M M M CN M M M M M M

The Glee Club

M

CN

Birmingham

Joel Dommett

M

44

The Wagon & Horses Town Hall

Moseley

Dan Nightingale Saturday, Mar 8 Bombay Bicycle Club Hilum

M

Kings Heath

Get The Blessing

M M M

M

Wolverhampton

CN

The Actress & Bishop The Glee Club

M

M M CN

The Game

O2 Academy The Actress & Bishop The Sunflower Lounge

Birmingham Birmingham Birmingham

M M CN C M M C C M

The Hot Heads

The Loft

Moseley

The Assist

Numa Bar

Wolverhampton

Cream Tours ft Tall Paul + Matt Darey + Sonique 10.31 ft Hannah Wants Heroes Of House

The Institute

Birmingham

The Rainbow Warehouse Warehouse

Birmingham

Seedy Sonics Resident Party Yo! MTV Raps Tribute 2nd Anniversary An Evening With Knicker Bocker Corey (5 Hour Set) Blast Off Closing Party Dan Nightingale

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Bull’s Head

Moseley

Civic Hall

Wolverhampton

The Glee Club

Birmingham

Ruby Wax

Town Hall

Birmingham

Sunday, Mar 9 All Time Low

O2 Academy

Birmingham

The English Beat

O2 Academy 2

Birmingham

IDIOM

The Flapper

Birmingham

Dar Williams

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Carlo Mahalo & The G Strings Bohemian Jukebox Sunday Social ft Bonfire Radicals + The Railway Social Club + AC Thomas Richard Herring

Kitchen Garden Cafe Bull’s Head

Kings Heath

The Glee Club

Birmingham

WitTank

The Slade Rooms

Wolverhampton

Monday, Mar 10 Chvrches

The Institute

Birmingham

Comedy Night

The Roadhouse

Birmingham

Camel

Town Hall

Birmingham

Jam Jah

Bull’s Head

Moseley

Tuesday, Mar 11 Rodriguez

Symphony Hall

Birmingham Birmingham

Breed 77

The Actress & Bishop The Institute

Lissie

The Institute

Birmingham

A Suitcase Full Of Owls The Telescreen (ft Frankie Cocozza) Lady Maisery

The Roadhouse

Birmingham

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath Kings Heath

Polar

Kitchen Garden Cafe The Slade Rooms

Nuvo Masquerade

Nuvo Bar

Birmingham

Alun Cochrane

The Loft

Moseley

Wednesday, Mar 12 Architects

The Institute

Birmingham

The Kate Gee Band

Bull’s Head

Moseley

Rich Hall

The Glee Club

Birmingham

Laughing Cows

Kitchen Garden Cafe

Kings Heath

Bramall Music Building

Birmingham

Friday Club

Thursday, Mar 13 Holly Thomas Quintet

Birmingham

Moseley

Birmingham

Wolverhampton

Brum Notes Magazine


M M M M M M CN CN CN CN C C C M M M M M M M M M CN CN CN CN CN M M M M M M M M M M CN CN CN CN CN

God Is An Astronaut The Selecter

O2 Academy 2

Birmingham

CN

O2 Academy 2

Birmingham

CN

Eagles Born Vultures Salopia

O2 Academy 3

Birmingham

O2 Academy 3

Birmingham

Luke Concannon + Jimmy Davis Atlas

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

The Loft

Moseley

Lucha Libre with DJ T4BLES Dr Jekyll’s Potion with Missy R Dr Jekyll’s Potion with Richey Taylor Freestyle

Bodega

Birmingham

CN C

Jekyll & Hyde

Birmingham

M M M M

Jekyll & Hyde

Birmingham

M

Bull’s Head

Moseley

Kerry Godliman

The Glee Club

Birmingham

Rob Deering

The Glee Club

Birmingham

Rob Deering

The Glee Club

Birmingham

Friday, Mar 14 Nocturne ft Katherine Priddy Ella Eyre

M M CN C

Ort

Balsall Heath

The Institute

Birmingham

M

Maximo Park

The Institute

Birmingham

Cassiopeia

The Rainbow

Birmingham

Ghosts of Dead Airplanes As Elephants Are

The Victoria

Birmingham

M M M

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Atlas

The Loft

Moseley

Slam Cartel

The Slade Rooms

Wolverhampton

Miles Kane

Wulfrun Hall

Wolverhampton

Portal launch night

NextDoor

Birmingham

Killjoy + Adjected Deleted Shadow City presents Jackmaster Mr Scruff & Floating Points Freestyle

The Rainbow Courtyard The Rainbow Warehouse Hare & Hounds

Birmingham

Bull’s Head

Birmingham Kings Heath Moseley

Saturday, Mar 15 Perspex Flesh

Muthers

Birmingham

Radio Charmers

O2 Academy 3

Birmingham

She’Koyokh

Symphony Hall

Birmingham

Kill The Romantic

Birmingham

Bona Fide

The Actress & Bishop The Institute

Soilwork

The Institute

Birmingham

We Are Scientists

The Institute

Birmingham

Weatherbird

The Sunflower Lounge Hare & Hounds

Birmingham

The Samuel Rogers Band Toolroom Knights

The Loft

Moseley

Gatecrasher

Birmingham

FACE Allnighter ft Ellen Allien United Nations Of Dub Trancecoda 3D

The Rainbow Warehouse The Rainbow Warehouse The Tunnel Club

Birmingham

Amine Edge + DANCE

The Warehouse

Birmingham

Lovats

March 2014

Birmingham

Kings Heath

Birmingham Birmingham

M C C M M M M M M M C C M M M

JuQebox with Funk Fusion Mr Scruff & Floating Points Uber Social

The Rose Villa Tavern Hare & Hounds

Hockley

Bull’s Head

Moseley

Rob Deering

The Glee Club

Birmingham

Sunday, Mar 16 Stu Larsen

The Flapper

Birmingham

Beth Morris

The Yardbird

Birmingham

Marika Hackman

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Martha Tilston & The Scientists The Coal Porters

Kitchen Garden Cafe Kitchen Garden Cafe

Kings Heath

Monday, Mar 17 OneRepublic

Kings Heath

Kings Heath

O2 Academy

Birmingham

We Caught The Castle Jam Jah

The Flapper

Birmingham

Bull’s Head

Moseley

Rob Beckett

The Glee Club

Birmingham

The Rainbow

Birmingham

Tuesday, Mar 18 Rainbox ft Only Shadows Gregory Porter

Town Hall

Birmingham

Chelsea Grin

The Slade Rooms

Wolverhampton

Spiers & Boden

Wulfrun Hall

Wolverhampton

Wednesday, Mar 19 Love/Hate

The Slade Rooms

Wolverhampton

John Fothergill

The Glee Club

Birmingham

The Midnight Beast

The Institute

Birmingham

Thursday, Mar 20 Kodaline

O2 Academy

Birmingham

Red Fang

The Institute

Birmingham

The Brumbox

The Shakespeare

Birmingham

Gabrielle

Town Hall

Birmingham

Jungle

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

The Misers

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Secret Eye

The Loft

Moseley

Junior Simpson

The Glee Club

Birmingham

Hal Cruttenden

The Slade Rooms

Wolverhampton

Friday, Mar 21 Pete Yelding

Ort

Balsall Heath

Franz Ferdinand

O2 Academy

Birmingham

Equanimity

Birmingham

M M M M

Banks

The Actress & Bishop The Institute

Loveable Rogues

The Institute

Birmingham

Metronomy

The Institute

Birmingham

GBH

Birmingham

M M M

Forest

The Wagon & Horses Hare & Hounds

Hot Club De Swing

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Freestyle ft Dubcherry Secret Eye

Bull’s Head

Moseley

The Loft

Moseley

Lucha Libre with DJ T4BLES Dr Jekyll’s Remedy with Steve Jones

Bodega

Birmingham

Jekyll & Hyde

Birmingham

M CN CN

Birmingham

Kings Heath

45


CN CN C C M M M M M M M M M M M M CN CN C C M M M M CN C M M M M C M M M M M M M M M M 46

DR. Jekyll’s Remedy with Steve Jones Enter The Dragon

Jekyll & Hyde Bull’s Head

Moseley

Sarah Millican

Symphony Hall

Birmingham

Junior Simpson

The Glee Club

Birmingham

Saturday, Mar 22 Abie Budgen + Samantha Lindo The Stranglers

Birmingham

M C C C

Cafe ORT

Balsall Heath

M M M M M M M

O2 Academy

Birmingham

Natives

O2 Academy 3

Birmingham

Octane OK

O2 Academy 3

Birmingham

Pretend Best Friend Johnny Foreigner

The Actress & Bishop The Flapper

Birmingham

Obscure Pleasures

The Flapper

Birmingham

Only Real + EKKAH Hoopla Blue

The Sunflower Lounge The Victoria

Birmingham

Sunplugged ft. Ben Drummond And Also the Trees

The Sun At The Station The Loft

Kings Heath

CN

Moseley

Tyketto

Wulfrun Hall

Wolverhampton

C C

Bigger Than Barry present Roy David JR Habit 7th Birthday ft James Holroyd Kane Brown

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Birmingham

Birmingham

M M

M

Sleaford Mods

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Mostly Comedy ft Masai Graham + Dan Nicholas Craig Hill

Ort

Balsall Heath

The Glee Club

Birmingham

Robin Ince

The Glee Club

Birmingham

O2 Academy

Birmingham

Friday, Mar 28 Five Finger Death Punch Howler

The Institute

Birmingham

Katy B

The Institute

Birmingham

Framed

The Rainbow

Birmingham

Foes

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Youngsta

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Freestyle ft Kastella Capital Sun

Bull’s Head

Moseley

The Loft

Moseley

Miles Hunt & Erica Nockalls Sensateria

The Slade Rooms

Wolverhampton Birmingham

Craig Hill

Green Street Warehouse The Glee Club

Comedy Night

The Roadhouse

Birmingham

Ort

Balsall Heath

O2 Academy 2

Birmingham

O2 Academy 3

Birmingham

The Actress & Bishop The Wagon & Horses Hare & Hounds

Birmingham

Kitchen Garden Cafe The Loft

Kings Heath

Boxxed

Birmingham

NextDoor

Birmingham

The Rainbow Warehouse Hare & Hounds

Birmingham

Bull’s Head

Moseley

The Glee Club

Birmingham Birmingham

Mc Devvo

The Actress & Bishop The Flapper

Bipolar Sunshine

The Institute

Birmingham

Sunplugged ft Steady Hands Craig Hill

The Sun At The Station The Glee Club

Kings Heath

Monday, Mar 31 Dom Kennedy

The Institute

Birmingham

Klaxons

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Jam Jah

Bull’s Head

Moseley

Comedy Night

The Roadhouse

Birmingham

Saturday, Mar 29 Lily and Meg + Matthew Edwards Heaven’s Basement Valous

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

M

The Glee Club

Birmingham

Patrick Monahan

The Glee Club

Birmingham

Sunday, Mar 23 Dan Croll

M M

The Institute

Birmingham

M

China Shop Bull

Heartbreaker

The Roadhouse

Birmingham

Ugly Duckling

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

M

Monday, Mar 24 Daughtry

O2 Academy

Birmingham

Jam Jah

Bull’s Head

Moseley

Comedy Night

The Roadhouse

Birmingham

O2 Academy

Birmingham

Freelance Mourners Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin Vic Godard & The Subway Sect Base Defence League Jonas Kopp

Tuesday, Mar 25 NME Awards Tour ft Interpol The Double Happy

Birmingham

Tinie Tempah

The Actress & Bishop Civic Hall

I Am Giant

The Slade Rooms

Wolverhampton

Jonny & The Baptists Wednesday, Mar 26 Goldfrapp

The Loft

Moseley

Symphony Hall

Birmingham

The Webb Sisters

The Glee Club

Birmingham

The Retrospectives

Hare & Hounds

Kings Heath

Emily Macguire

Kings Heath

Tinie Tempah

Kitchen Garden Cafe Civic Hall

Thursday, Mar 27 Azealia Banks

O2 Academy

Birmingham

Yung Lean

The Flapper

Birmingham

Saint Raymond

The Institute

Birmingham

Temple Songs

The Sunflower Lounge Hare & Hounds

Birmingham

Polar Bear

Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton

Kings Heath

M M CN CN CN

Against the Wheel

C

FACE presents Four Tet Digs & Woosh + DJ Jack + Jock Lee Leftfoot Sessions Sexy Beck’s Naked Birthday Bash Craig Hill

M

Sunday, Mar 30 Bella Diem

CN CN

M M M C M M CN C

Birmingham

Birmingham Kings Heath

Moseley

Kings Heath

Birmingham

Birmingham

Brum Notes Magazine


March 2014

47


48

Brum Notes Magazine


Brum Notes Magazine - March 2014