UNPLUGGED SPECIAL FESTIVAL EDITION
PRESENTING British Newcomer
QUESTION TIME WITH MUSIC LEGEND FRANK TURNER Meet Birmingham’s
And Cheshire’s featuring
PULL OUT AND KEEP YOUR GUIDE TO THIS SUMMERS BEST MUSIC FESTIVALS
UNPLUGGED, MAY 2011
SPECIAL FESTIVAL EDITION
EDITORS LETTER ALL THINGS FESTIVALS As summer creeps up and the nights get lighter one thing that springs to mind is - FESTIVAL SEASON! Britain is renowned for hosting a brilliant variety of festivals, catering for all musical and entertainment tastes and with a Glastonbury and Creamfields ticket scheduled to arrive any time soon this summer, I believe festivals really are celebrating the best of the British summer. This year sees massive headliners and starstudded lineups up and down the country. But, the question on everybody’s lips is which one hosts the best lineup overall? Whilst the organisers at Glastonbury have booked in massive headliners and we see U2 back on the lineup after Bono’s unfortunate injury last year that meant the band had to cancel the likes of V Festival and Isle of Wight are strong contenders for best lineup and headliners this year.
Queuing for Beach Break Live, 2009
V Festival has American rapper Eminem billed to headline their Saturday night, which is quite an achievement considering the rap star is not known to do many shows this side of the pond. However, Glastonbury bagged world famous Beyonce. The organiser at Isle of Wight have managed two huge American rockbands - Foo Fighters and Kings of Leon who are renowned for putting on electrifying shows. It really is hard to decide which festival hosts the best line-up. One thing I do know is, whichever festival you’re at, big or small, the atmosphere and mutual consensus to have a good time ensure you’ll have the time of your life.
Leeds Festival - Bramham Park 2008
4 UNSIGNED ACTS: SIREN CITY 5 UNSIGNED ACTS: THE BRITISH KICKS
10 QUESTION TIME WITH FRANK TURNER
THE BEST OF NEW BRITISH TALENT
6-7 PULL AND KEEP FESTIVAL GUIDE
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: IAN CURTIS
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: RADIO 1’S BIG WEEKEND
10 IN THE SPOTLIGHT: MASSIVE ARENAS VS INTIMATE BARS
THIS MONTH’S ALBUM REVIEWS
UNPLUGGED, MAY 2011
UNPLUGGED’S PICK OF THE BEST OF NEW BRITISH TALENT
IMAGE COURTESY OF WEARESUNDAYGIRL.COM
Singer songwriter Jade Williams, better known as Sunday Girl hails from Broxburne, Hertfordshire. The name Sunday Girl was formed from when Jade worked in a pet shop throughout her teenage years, nobody knew her name and as she only worked on a Sunday she was given the name Sunday Girl, which stuck. With no professional training in her musical background, city girl Jade was just a normal teenage girl with a stunning voice, unheard of until she got over her shyness and allowed people to hear her voice. Since debuting her first single and producing an album with help of Diplo and Jim Eliot Sunday Girl has had musical success. Her songs have been played on mainstream radio, she has even accompanied bands in Radio 1’s Live Lounge, remixed well known records, worked as a backing singer and late last year supported Ellie Goulding on her massive UK tour.
Many may not have heard of Sunday Girl, if you’ve been unlucky to miss her hypnotising and soulful vocals on the radio. But we are proud to present her in this issue of UNPLUGGED. Ever the magazine to back new and different music, Sunday Girl stands out from all of the other artists out there. Many may say 2009 was the ‘year of woman power’ when the UK Charts were prominantly dominated by female singers like Florence and the Machine, Ellie Goulding, Marina and the Diamonds, Lily Allen, Adele and Laura Marling but Ellie has a fresh sound, a funky vocalist that sounds new and exciting. Her debut single was titled ‘Four Floors’, her second single is titled ‘Self Control’ and she has most recently released a song early this year by the name ‘Stop Hey’ Get yourself on Itunes, or even youtube and check out the singing sensation.
OTHERS TO WATCH OUT FOR LABRINTH
Since featuring and co-producing on Tinie Tempah’s chart dominating and hit single ‘Pass Out’ and his memorable appearance at the Brit Awards this year where Tinie was awarded best single with ‘Pass Out’ and would not accept the award until Labrinth was on the stage, the London born artist has gone from strength to strength.
Birmingham based Clare Maguire took the nation by surprise earlier this year with her epic single ‘The Last Dance’, her soulful and powerful ballad voice gripped the attention of people all over the UK as it stormed the radio stations.
Jessie J shot to fame with her attention grabbing and head turning single ‘Do it like a Dude’ - The first line ‘Stomp stomp i’ve arrived’ makes the song easily indentifiable and therefoe, made it a massive hit in the UK.
Clare can since be heard on Chase & Status’ album, released earlier this year on the track ‘Midnight Caller’ although not released as a single as of yet, the song really stands out from the rest of the album due to the fact that Clare offers a haunting and mesmorising vocal, even spine-chilling.
Not only did she celebrate the success of that, the talented singer was awarded Critics Choice Award at this year Brits and has since had success with single ‘Price Tag’.
His debut single ‘Let the sun shine’ was released last year and peaked at no.3 in UK Top 40 Charts and has since collaborated with well-known artists such as Professor Green and Devlin. With his second single in the works, Labrinth is one to watch out for this year.
She has been massive so far this year and we are excited for what she comes out with next.
UNPLUGGED, MAY 2011
SHOWCASING THE BEST OF UNSIGNED TALENT...
much as they should have. This is mainly due to the fact that they haven’t been totally happy with the demo’s they have produced so far. In early June they will be recording again. “Hopefully, with a more hands-on approach in the recording process, we can create an EP that we are content with, then we can push that forward for even better gigs and perhaps even radio play.”
NORTHWEST A band that formed when a group of musical driven students wanted to fulfil their dream to play live, Siren City have been playing all over the North West since they got together three and a half years ago.
drunken night out. Having all been in previous bands in our hometowns around the country, it was easy to get together and to start making music”
“I think it’s hard these days as an unsigned band, purely because of how many good bands there are out there. Its difficult to create a new and interesting sound that is different from Although all everything else. Getting gigs members had “I think it’s hard hasn’t really been UNPLUGGED spoke to County been in issue for these days as an un- aus.major Durham born frontman Nick previous bands Our guitarist signed band, pure- Stu is pretty moti- Proudlock about where he and are would like to go with the band, experienced ly because of how vated in finding the difficulties getting heard and in playing live many good bands gigs, and quite his experiences playing gigs. to different often gigs tend to there are out there.” find us.” crowds of “We all met during university, people Nick believes it’s still through a mixture of househard for an unsigned band to be Nick says that in terms of mates, course mates, and the heard. pushing the band forward, the drummer we acquired from a band havn’t promoted demos as Location Chester, North West Influences The Strokes, Jimmy Eat World, The Doors, Bob Marley, Aracade Fires
Despite not pushing demo’s forward the band still have an extensive list of varied venues that they have played and recently supported up and coming star, Ed Sheeran. They have played venues in Manchester, Liverpool, Chester and Preston. However, some of the gigs have not always gone to plan. “Least favourite was a gig we played in Leeds. Everything that could have went wrong, went wrong. Strings were snapping, pedals were breaking, the sound was bad...but I guess we learned from the experience” Their music is a mixture of Arcade Fire and Elbow, yet alot more rock and roll so if that is to your taste then these guys are definitely worth a quick internet search. Don’t forget to take a look back early June when they plan to have some new songs. Members Nick Proudlock - Vocals Martin Driver - Guitar, Vocals Jack Bicknall - Bass, Vocals Chris Towner - Drums Stuart Browne - Guitar
GIVE IT A LISTEN www.myspace.com/sirencityuk UNPLUGGED’S PICK OF TRACKS Flo Burning Bridges II (Lacey) Ordinary Call Your Ride
UNPLUGGED, MAY 2011
BELIEVE EVERY ASPIRING MUSICIAN DESERVES A CHANCE MIDLANDS Miss classic Arctic Monkeys lyrics and savvy Libertines riffs? Hailing from the Midlands, indie rock trio ‘The British Kicks’ offer an array of cleverly composed and produced tracks.
Tonight they are headlining a charity event in Kidderminster. Their set was electric and the crowd were impressed. We caught up with frontman, TJ after the show to find out just what it’s like to play in an unsigned band and his thoughts on the difficulties getting signed.
With musical influences includ- scene was pretty dead, but after ing Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, playing with numerous bands The Libertines and The Beatles from around this area, I’ve reathe band have spent the past lised that are some good bands year trying to get their name knocking around. They, like us, The three lads haven’t been gig- out there and gigging around the just need to be heard! To be ging long, but are quickly building Midlands, hoping to expand their heard in the Midlands, you need up a list of venues that they can tour over the summer. to play Birmingham and try and tick off and a great track list. get your name about locally, the For TJ and Alex the two had not academy is the best shout to try The British Kicks “Least favourite had experience in and get your name about.” have experienced a band before. gig? The Queens They difficulties trying to met at The band have a few local shows get heard and have Head, Redditch. We school and have coming up and are headlining made the most of the o2 Birmingham Academy for got asked to leave been friends social media sites: for being too loud.. since childhood. a second time in July. They also “It is tough because However, in have a few mini festivals in the Rock and Roll” 2010 started to pipeline around the Midlands. nobody wants to listen when you’re a brand new write music. If you’re music taste is good, band, promoters are in it for the money, so it’s hard to find a legit ““We then wanted to start a venue” said TJ. band. Obviously, we needed a Location drummer so we got in contact Redditch “In order to get new fans, you with this lad we knew (Jake) have to make sure your always and asked him if he would like Members updating your songs, getting new to play with us, thankfully he TJ Kearns - Vocals, Guitar recordings out there and trying to did” Alex Regan - Bass keep people constantly aware of Jake Yapp - Drums your band name.” TJ and Alex started the band with the premise that there was Influences Despite their drawbacks whereby not much going on musically Arctic Monkeys, Libertines, venues have often let them down, in that genre in the Midlands: The Strokes, The Beatles once having to cut their set short “I thought the Midlands music due to volume complaints: “Least favourite gig? The Queens Head, Redditch. We got asked to leave for being too loud... Rock and GIVE IT A LISTEN roll” the band have managed to www.myspace.com/thebritishkicks rack up an impressive gig archive. “Our favourite gig was probably headlining the o2 Birmingham Academy, the crowd were great and not a thing went wrong. It was quite a special moment”
UNPLUGGED’S PICK OF TRACKS The Finest Example of Living Wise Words Get It Off Your Chest Brand New Story
dynamic indie rock then these lads are definitely worth checking out. “We have access to our material on our Facebook and myspace, whilst we also have a store/shop to order EP’s and other memorabilia (accessed from the myspace). If you email the band at any point, we are always willing to email ‘fans’ back with free songs etc.” The band are currently participating in a competition to win a lineup slot at international festival, Benicassim. They are currently 7th out of 1800 bands.
YOUR GUIDE TO THIS S 6
UNPLUGGED, MAY 2011
We have put together all you need to know for this summer’s most popular summer music festivals.
READING & LEEDS
Date: 22 - 26TH JUNE
Date: 26 - 28TH AUGUST
Location: WORTHY FARM, PILTON
Location: RICHFIELD AVENUE, READING & BRAM -HAM PARK, LEEDS
Headlining: U2, COLDPLAY, BEYONCE Also playing: ELBOW, MUMFORD & SONS, FLEET FOX ES, TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB, JESSIE J, LABRINTH, EVERYTHING EVERYTHING, TINIE TEMPHAM
Headlining: MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, THE STROKES, MUSE Also Playing: PULP, THE OFFSPRING, INTERPOL, FRIENDLY FIRES, FRANK TURNER, SEASICK STEVE
Date: 7 - 10TH JULY
Date: 26 - 28TH AUGUST
Location: COUNTY KILDARE
Location: DARESBURY, CHESHIRE
Headlining: BLACK EYED PEAS, COLDPLAY, FOO FIGHTERS
Headlining: TIESTO, DAVID GUETTA, PAUL VAN DYKE
Also playing: THE SCRIPT, PAOLO NUTINI, ARCTIC MONKEYS, THE STROKES, SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA
Also playing: AFROJACK, CALVIN HARRIS, EXAMPLE, ANNIE MAC, CHEMICAL BROTHERS, SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA
WHAT TO EXPECT.... Each year music festivals are becoming more and more popular, selling out quicker and quicker each year. This year the likes of V Festival and Glastonbury sold out in a matter of hours.
relax and enjoy your time there. Also, we’re sure you will want to probably set your things down at the nearest possible place to avoid carrying them all through the campsites.
UNPLUGGED have put together a guide for first time festival goers and anyone else who is looking for a few hints and tip. So, what should you expect at any festival? Number one - expect to queue, whether travelling by car, by train, by coach or any other form of transport expect there to be hundreds of other people doing the same. Also, expect to queue on the way in - the best way to make the most of this is to make the best out of a bad situation. Noone likes a person who pushes in front, so bear with the crowds and take the chance to meet a few new people on the way in.
Whether, you opt for the open air toilets in the campsites or the portaloo’s in the main arena’s going to the toilet usually isn’t a pleasent experience. Our best advice is to pack some wetwipes and tissues with you as you cannot always guarentee there being toilet roll left.
Once you have entered the festival, pick a spot to camp as soon as possible - the sooner your tent is up and ready to go, the sooner you can
So far, there has only really been negative points about festivals but after the queuing, pitching of the tent and getting used to the toilets a festival really is the place to either kick back and relax for the weekend or have the time of your life partying in the main tents and stages. From huge open air stages to one off intimate performances there really is a variety for a festival for all to enjoy. Especially if your off to the likes of Glastonbury, which plays host to a circus
and a kids area.
One thing you will notice a mood about the fields. Eve reason only - to have a goo next lots of strangers it’s a friends and people from a d
Don’t expect to stay lookin week though, noone at a fe as well just embrace the ca stuck into the activities and offer.
UNPLUGGED hopes this g that, more than anything, y experience.
Looking for tickets? seetickets.com - the trus office
SUMMER’S FESTIVALS UNPLUGGED, MAY 2011
OUR ANNUAL PULL OUT AND KEEP GUIDE
V FESTIVAL Date: 20 - 21ST AUGUST Location: HYLANDS PARK & WESTON PARK Headlining: ARCTIC MONKEYS, EMINEM, PLAN B, RIHANNA Also playing: THE SCRIPT, DIZZEE RASCAL, PENDULUM, KAISER CHIEFS, DURAN DURAN
ISLE OF WIGHT Date: 10 - 12TH JUNE Location: Headlining: KINGS OF LEON, FOO FIGHTERS, KASA BIAN Also playing: KAISER CHIEFS, PULP, BEADY EYE, COURTEENERS, THE SCRIPT, PLAN B
at a festival is the general eryone is there for one od time and with camping a great place to meet new different walk of life.
ng perfect for the whole estival does so you may amping lifestyle and get d live performances on
guide comes in handy and you enjoy your festival
stworthy festival ticket
Festival goers enjoying a live performance by band Vampire Weekend
FESTIVAL SURVIVAL GUIDE Packing for a festival can be hard, on one hand you do not want to overpack as we all know have much of a pain it is to carry a rucksack full of clothes/supplies as well as a tent, a sleeping bag and whatever else you may have to carry but on the other hand, you want to prepared for all situations and weathers, as this is England, afterall. Our best tips is to take lightweight summer clothes and a pair of wellies and a waterproof mac just in case. You won’t need anything heavy weight in the crowds, anyway. And remember, don’t take anything you don’t want to get ruined. Below is a list of what we feel are the essentials for festival survival. CAMPERS... DONT FORGET... - YOUR TICKET (most importantly) - WELLIES (just in case) - WATERPROOF MAC - SLEEPING BAG - PROOF OF AGE DOCUMENT - WET WIPES - .... TO HAVE A GOOD TIME
- LIGHTWEIGHT SUMMER CLOTHES - TOILET ROLL - ANTI-BACTERIAL HAND GEL - MONEY - BOTTLES OF WATER - FOOD TO KEEP IN YOUR TENT
UNPLUGGED, MAY 2011
IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS MONTH JOY DIVISION A TRIBUTE TO IAN CURTIS (July 15th 1956 - May 18th 1980)
“Existence is... well... What does it matter? I exist on the best terms I can. The past is now part of my future. The present is well out of hand.” Ian Curtis As we focus on the month of May we remember the untimely and melancholy death of Joy Division’s front man, Ian Curtis and the brilliant records the band produced. Curtis tragically died thirty one years ago this month and the details of his life still intrigues people and critics to this day. He is most often remembered for his unique charismatic presence and vocal style and the suffering he experienced toward the end of his life. Joy Division was a successful English rock band, formed in the 1970’s and hailed from Salford, Greater Manchester. Curtis joined the band in 1976 alongside guitarist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook and drummer/percussionist Stephen Morris. Despite not having much commercial success at the time, the legend of Ian Curtis and Joy Division lives on today. There have been two movies produced that retell the life of Ian Curtis. Curtis tragically committed suicide at his home in Macclesfield, reportedly following family, music and health pressures. He suffered epilepsy and had to cancel many shows due to being hospitalised after epileptic fits. Although some people now only remember Curtis’ suicide, we want to remember his involvement in a talented band which thrived in an eccentric musical era. At times rife with soulful and chilling vocals and lyrics, Joy Division’s album debut album ‘Unknown Pleasures’. However, it can be argued that their most renowned and popular single is ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ written in September 1979, months before Curtis committed suicide. Many may recognise it from the film Donnie Darko and it has been named high up within the top songs of all time
in many other publications. The reason the song has stayed so prominent and rememorable in people’s lives is possibly to do with the fact that there is an air of honesty and truth within the lyrics, which at that time reflected Curtis’ marriage to his wife. The song is still popular within British music today. Joy Division were a special band, although they were not together long, afterall Curtis joined in 1976 and tragically passed just four years later. They have still managed to stay so well known. Many believe it’s due to the tragic events of Curtis’ life coupled with the
honest and melancholy lyrics of their songs. As well as ‘Love will Tear us Apart’, other well known songs are Transmission, Words that often appear throughout the songs are “coldness, pressure, darkness, crisis, failure, collapse and loss of control” Each song has a sorrowful undertone, heartfelt but beautifully crafted. If you have not listened to much of Joy Division’s music we recommend doing an internet search as the songs really are a great listen and a great testiment to a talented songwrited and musician, who is inspiring people today.
THOUGHTS FROM OUR SITE
“No band can compare to Joy Division, so unique and enigmatic in resonance, you can listen to them 30 years later and they still sound like something not from this earth.” Dave Eddy, Cheltenham
“British music doesn’t get better than the likes of Joy Divison, The Smiths, The Rolling Stones and The Stone Roses. We need more music like that and less nonsence on the radio.” Tiffany Bevan, Preston
“After growing up listening to 80’s tune on the old man’s jukebox, one song that always stands out... ‘Love will tear us apart again.’ Great cult British music” Ollie Arundel, Birmingham
“Curtis’ lyrics inspire me, he was a brilliant lyricist and it is evident his heart and soul went into many of his songs, especially ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ - that song will forever be on my ipod” Stephen Coombes, Redditch
UNPLUGGED, MAY 2011
RADIO 1’S BIG WEEKEND Happening: 14th - 15th MayWhere: Carlisle, Cumbria
Image courtesy of the BBC Press Office
Every year Radio 1 hosts a weekend music festival in a different location. The details of the location were kept secret until late March, when it was revealed that Carlisle was the lucky city to host this years. Showcasing arguably the best line up the event has ever had, the weekend is set to be full of excellent live music. With huge international names like Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, Foo Fighters and The Strokes on the bill it appears the team behind the weekend at Radio 1 have really outdone themselves. Not forgetting, if you are lucky enough to snap yourself a ticket up, it is completely one hundred percent free. Neil Wyatt, Editor of Live Events, BBC1 Radio1 says: “I’m really excited to be bringing Radio 1’s Big Weekend to Carlisle this year. Working alongside Carlisle City Council and Carlisle Tourism Partnership we’ve found a great site
and should be able to deliver a fantastic event. I believe that this is our best line-up to date - we’re bringing some huge international and UK artists to the city and it should have a huge impact on the area.” It is known as the first major festival of the summer and this years really does start it off the summer with a bang. Also on the line up is Tinie Tempah, one of our festival favourites
from last year Plan B, lady of the moment Jessie J, Ellie Goulding, Professor Green and The Script to name a few. The festivals plays host to four stages: The Main Stage, In New Music We Trust Stage, BBC Introducing Stage and Outdoor Stage. This years is set to be good with the Radio 1 DJ’s going head to head on the stages. We are jealous of anyone who got a ticket.
LIVE UK TOUR
12/5/2011 13/5/2011 14/5/2011 15/5/2011 16/5/2011 18/5/2011 19/5/2011 20/5/2011 22/5/2011 23/5/2011 23/5/2011 24/5/2011
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VISIT SEETICKETS.COM TO CHECK AVAILABLE TICKETS AND PURCHASE YOURS.
UNPLUGGED, MAY 2011
IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS MONTH FRANK TURNER’S UK TOUR: MASSIVE ARENAS VS. INTIMATE BARS Nevermind sold out arena tours and playing at Wembley, one of the most memorable gigs a band or artist can play is small intimate venues to a selection of people. Witnessing a musician play the songs that they personally composed and produced in small surroundings can be one of the most personal and breathtaking activities a person can experience. This is exactly what Frank Turner has got planned for his upcoming tour.
Image courtesy of the Greg Nolan Photography
This month will see Frank performing around the UK in some of the smallest and intimate venues available allowing him an up close and personal experience with his audiences. This comes as a change to the musician who is used to playing huge venues in places such as the US, UK and Australia.
Afterall, when an artist or band tours it is usually every couple of years after an album is released. So, in reality, the main priority should be ensuring a large amount of their fans have chance to apply for tickets and see them play live. However, you can’t beat the atmosphere and mood that consumes the room in a smaller venue. Even the most amateur bands can bring a small room alive. There was a little band called Mumm-ra who i was saw live in a seedy Birmingham bar, but it is one of the most memorable gigs to date. Being so close to a band and being able to feel the beats and sounds of the instruments rippling through the floor gives a great adrenaline rush.
This is of corse, great news for those lucky enough to get a ticket but with ticket availability limited due to the size of the venue is playing small bars and clubs really a good step for a musician to take? I’m inclined to say yes, although Telfords Warehouse, one of the small venues many people will disagree. Frank will play this month.
QUESTION TIME WITH FRANK TURNER We got in touch with the man himself and asked the importance of playing smaller venues and what his views are.
I don’t usually tour like this - the very large numbers of people complaining that they couldn’t get tickets for this tour attests to that.
Hi Frank, you’re playing smaller venues this year which is a change to the venues you usually play. Is there any reason for this? FT: I decided to do a different tour of the UK for my next outing. For the last few years, every tour I’ve done has been fewer shows (10 or so) in larger venues, 1500 or more. I enjoy those shows, but many fans have emailed to say that they miss the intimacy of smaller shows, and seeing me play without my band.
Will you continue to play smaller venues in the future? FT: I suppose I could continue touring venues at this size for 265 days a year to try and make sure that everyone gets into a show who wants to, but there are other parts of the world for me to play and sleep for me to chase as well.
So it was the fans that encouraged you to do more shows this year then? FT: Yes. Ever compliant, we booked a longer tour (20+ shows) in smaller places (average capacity 250 I think). Most of the tours sold out in one day, which was pretty awesome. Do you enjoy playing smaller venues? FT: I like playing in smaller places, it’s fun to get the variety of venues, and it feels good to be right in there with people. Having said that, there is a good reason why
Are you looking forward to your 2011 tour? FT: Yes, all in all I’m looking forward to it; I’m revisiting some old haunts and playing some cool places that are new to me. Lastly, for all of our interested readers, what have been your biggest influences throughout your career? FT: The punk rock genre has been a big influence. Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen have also influenced my music. Listings of Frank’s tour dates are available on his website www.frank-turner.com. Frank spends this month touring the UK and can also be seen at many festivals in Europe and here in the UK, such as the main stage at Reading and Leeds, Kendal Calling and The Great Escape Festival.
UNPLUGGED, MAY 2011
MAY’S NEW RELEASES ALBUM RELEASES BEADY EYE MILLIONAIRE- 2ND MAY 2011 After Noel Gallagher’s departure from Oasis back in 2009 English rock band Beady Eye was born, consisting of Oasis’ other former members. Their debut singer ‘The Roller’ was very ‘Oasis-esque’ but what else would you expect from a band whose only difference is one less member? The album is similar to the songs you would hear from Oasis, but are generally good. It will be hard for the band to ever shake off the Oasis name. 5/10 FLEET FOXES HELPLESSNESS BLUES - 3rd MAY 2011 Many may not be aware of this Seattle-based folk band but they are definitely worth checking out. ‘Helplessness Blues’ is the band’s second album, follow up to their first, ‘Sun Giant’ which received prominent critical praise. Although not a mainstream band fleet foxes are beginning to get more and more radio play. Their sound is soothing and melancholy and the album is filled of brilliantly composed tracks. 9/10 RADIOHEAD THE KING OF LIMBS - 9TH MAY 2011 What is Radiohead’s eighth studio album was released in February earlier this year as a download format, it was then released as a CD and on vinyl in March and now May see’s the release of a special ‘newspaper’ edition. Radiohead’s TKOL website says it will consist of: “Two clear 10-inch vinyl records in a purpose-built record sleeve, many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-colour piece of oxo-degradable plastic to hold it all together.” LADY GAGA
FRIENDLY FIRES PALA - 24TH MAY 2011 Friendly Fires were a massive hit all over festivals in 2009, with their hit singles ‘Photobooth’, ‘Jump in the Pool’ and best known, ‘Paris’ and this month sees them releasing their second album. The band have already released one single off it, ‘Live Those Days Tonight’ and the brilliantly constructed and flowing single is just a sample of good things to come. The album is full of fantastic songs, similar to their last album which is a breath of fresh air as a lot of bands often try a different sound on a second album, which usually, bar the likes of The Strokes is not as popular. The album track after track of pure brilliance, a real number from Friendly Fires. 7/10
BORN THIS WAY - 23RD MAY 2011 This woman needs no introduction - world famous Gaga is back with her second album ‘Born This Way’. The musician dominated the charts and achieved worldwide success with her debut album ‘The Fame Monster’ and this one promises the same magic that she cooked up before, delivering hit after hit. We have already been treated to the first single off it, similarily named ‘Born This Way’ which has been played on radio stations over and over again up and down the country. From what we’ve seen of Gaga before, whether it be music videos, live performances or award show appearances Gaga is always setting the trends and this album is well worth investing in. 9/10
CLAIRE MAGUIRE THE SHIELD AND THE SWORD - 9TH MAY 2011 Already mentioned in this publication as a hot new act, Clare Maguire is due to release her second single. Earlier this year Birmingham born Clare Maguire gave her fans to vote online for which one of her songs will be her next single from her debut album ’Light After Dark’ and ‘The Shield and the Sword’ succeeded. Quite a clever trick to play as the single is bound to well considering her fans have chosen it. However, the epic and soulful track would have been a big hit regardless with that incredible voice that Clare has. A great release. 9/10
Image courtesy of the BBC Press Office
RADIO 1’S BIG WEEKEND COMING THIS MONTH