LoudAndQuiet Zero pounds / Volume 03 / Issue 19 / 100 percent BESPOKE
+ Flats Golden Grrrls Becoming Real Bitches Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster Young And Lost Club Memory House Glastonbury
Rip It Up And Start Ag a i n
The End >
So, that new budget sucks, aye comrades?! Still, if the end of the world starts here, at least we’ve got the perfect house band to soundtrack our curb-crawls around dystopia. Factory Floor have been cross-pollinating fine art with finer experimental noise for a couple of years now. Recently though, as the trio retreated to the countryside to record their debut album, their motorik, rhythmic jams have taken more of a ‘dancey’ form. It’s meant that they’ve managed to show up Liars with noted ease (whilst touring with them in May) and they’ve give nightmarish duo Fuck Buttons a run for their money too. And yet, while their darkly psychedelic no-wave disco is a ‘must have’ for any semi-credible apocalypse, for their continual rejection of mediocrity, and the euphoria hidden within them, Factory Floor are no nihilists. For that, this month, we’ve got Flats Flats [page 22]. Flats are simpler, angrier protagonists in the modern Armageddon story. When the end comes they’ll be thinking, about fuckin’ time! They’re the newest old punk band around, tormenting anyone who doesn’t care for sub-two-minute hardcore blurts that could have easily been recorded in 1976. Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster [page 18], meanwhile, spent 6 years looking directly into The End, sloshing about in a myriad of woes (breakdowns, drugs, personnel flights) and ‘thug pop’ twosome Bitches [page 16] hardly make the kind of FM hits suitable for the sunny days we’ve been burning in since the driest Glastonbury ever [page 38]. Dark music for dark times; as is often the case when rulers play the tyrant, it’s all vital, resisting stuff.
C o n t e n ts
08 | 10 LOUD AND QUIET ZERO POUNDS / VOLUME 03 / ISSUE 19 / 100 PERCENT BESPOKE
+ FLATS GOLDEN GRRRLS BECOMING REAL BITCHES EIGHTIES MATCHBOX B-LINE DISASTER YOUNG AND LOST CLUB MEMORY HOUSE GLASTONBURY
RIP IT UP AND START AGAIN
Photography by LEON DIAPER
07 .................. . Gorillaz / Vs / Glastonbury 08 .................. . Bedpan-Shaped / Indie / Piss 10 .................. . Singles / And / EPs 12 .................. . Girls / Of / 2005 14 .................. . A / Model / Student 16 .................. . Thug / Pop / Bitches 17 .................. . The / Chillwave / Slur 18 .................. . Breakdowns / With / EMBD 22 .................. . Flats / Hate / Mods 24 .................. . Fun / Grrrls / Play 26 .................. . Apocalypse / Music 34 .................. . Wavves’ / Massive / U-Turn 38 .................. . Shakira / Strip / Tease 42 .................. . Preeety / Good / Cinema 46 .................. . Barlow / Fights / Williams 04
email@example.com Loud And Quiet 2 Loveridge Mews Kilburn London NW6 2DP Stuart Stubbs Alex Wilshire Art Director Lee Belcher film editor Ian Roebuck Editor
Bart Pettman, Chris Watkeys, Daniel Dylan-Wray, Danny Canter DK. Goldstien, Dean Driscoll Eleanor Dunk, Elinor Jones Edgar Smith, Frankie Nazardo, Holly Lucas, Janine Bullman, Kate Parkin, Kelda Hole, Gabriel Green, Lisa Wright Mandy Drake, Martin Cordiner Matthias Scherer, Mike Burnell Nathan Westley, Owen Richards Polly Rappaport, Phil Dixon, Phil Sharp Reef Younis, Sam Little, Sian Rowe Sam Walton, Simon Leak,Tim Cochrane Tom Goodwyn,Tom Pinnock This Month L&Q Loves
Andy Fraser, Chris Stone, Merlin The views expressed in Loud And Quiet are those of the respective contributors and do not necessari ly reflect the opini ons of the magazine or its staff. All rights reserved 2010 © Loud And Quiet.
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08 | 10
Monkey Bizzle Gorillaz’ Glastonbury set was only disappointing to the deluded, says Danny Canter
As our Glastonbury coverage [page 38] will attest, those at Worthy Farm a few weeks back would have struggled to be less impressed by Gorillaz’ Friday night, headlining set. The people that had cheered as Bono put his back out sluggishly sloped off to the Healing Fields and beyond; those who considered the cartoon band a sizeable upgrade from U2 grumbled into pints in paper cups. The appearance of Lou Reed managed to momentarily perk them up, but it turns out that he doesn’t sing on ‘Clint Eastwood’, so it was soon back to the grumbling. Perhaps inadvertently – due to the public’s distain for Bono more than his music – Glastonbury goers had wished away the biggest band in the world, with the most hits to offer. And, as it happens, hits were all they wanted to hear. It seems like a fair demand of any band headlining any festival, and yet not of Gorillaz, and not of
Glastonbury. They are a band with two hits [‘DARE’ and ‘Clint Eastwood’], after all, and if there’s one festival where you should be able to get away with self-indulgently grooving out world music, lyric-less interludes it has to be the only one sat atop the cosmic laylines of Pilton. Glastonbury is about expression and freedom and discovery, above mass sing-alongs to FM smash hit number ones. Isn’t it? Gorillaz’ failing wasn’t in that they didn’t play the hits; it was in the fact that they didn’t write them. They weren’t ready to top a festival, and people weren’t ready to admit that they only knew a handful of their songs. So instead of trying something new between the tracks they’d already heard, they moaned, turned to their friends and whinged, “I was expecting something… more.” I was saying the same thing to a friend in 2006. We were at Coachella Festival where Madonna
had made her first (and to date only) festival appearance. The high witch of reinvention was then pushing her ‘Confessions Of A Dancefloor’ album (the grandmain-a-leotard record) and had deemed it fit to spend half of her allotted stage time in her trailer, a quarter of it playing ‘Hung Up’, ‘Sorry’, new album fillers and “an oldie”, which nobody knew, before a premature exit back to the Winnebago. For the twenty minutes that Madge was in front of us she was booed, which fucked her right off, but not as much as a stray bottle that flew past her ear. The mutton dressed as lamb was now playing the toddler, stamping her feet at us ungrateful lot who’d dared express our disappointment. And with that she was gone. She – a woman whose ‘Immaculate Collection’ is the most justifiably titled record of all time – had no excuse for her shit show of a festival debut. Her set could have shamed all
others for a very long time, but diva-ish stubbornness prevented all of that, as we all sloped off and grumbled into pints in paper cups. So I know how the people of Glastonbury felt as they fled The Pyramid Stage and Gorillaz, but I fail to see how the disappointment wasn’t inevitable for all of those who wanted a typically epic end to the day, or a carnival party before going mental in the fire-breathing Shangri La area of the site. Gorillaz weren’t the band for either of those eventualities, and for those who stuck around to be suitably amazed by the countless special guests, it was a far better show than expected, characteristically ‘Glastonbury’ in its sense of fun and spontaneity as Snoop Dogg missed his cue for the eventual arrival of ‘Clint Eastwood’ to uncontrolled laughter from Damon Albarn. At least three of us were having a good time.
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By Janine & Lee Bullman
Richard By Ben Myers (Picador) The story of one of indie’s most missed geniuses --------------------Ben Myers’ new novel is a fictional retelling of the life and maybe death of one Richard Edwards, aka Richie Manic, lyricist, guitarist and masthead for The Manic Street Preachers. Edward’s story unfolds against the backdrops of London, America and Wales over two decades as the unhappy young man trying anything to quiet the nagging destructive voice in his head. So he joins a band, which then duly goes on to make it big. But not big enough, it seems, to hush those voices. Myers’ treatment of his subject is sympathetic and sensitive, his prose subtle and poetic throughout and the result is a book that is a true gem.
The Not So Magic Roundabout “Don’t believe the hype,” says a Reef Younis sick of fly-by-night bands Low Life By Ryan David Jahn (Macmillan) Quick. Quick! Ah, you missed it. Sorry. If you’re not on the scene you’re not in it because in the time it’s taken you to read this short opening sentence, an infinite number of bands and artists have hit the headlines, created a movement, quarrelled, disbanded, reformed, owned the covers and imploded all in the space of a £65 haircut, a single recorded and cut in a bedroom and a debut 15 minute set with the pound-perminute value of a premium rate sex line. One of them might even have released an album. It’d be easy to point the finger at social media and the ever spewing blogosphere, but the thing is, the music press (both online and print incarnations) are just as horrifically culpable, and capable, of lighting the torch paper. Put bluntly, it’s a bit of an orgy; a big swinging dick contest to prove who can blow their load the quickest, and blindly, repeatedly spunk into the dark with relatively little care for what’s going to emerge
from dimly lit corners (nu rave take a bow) or devolves into an incestuous wankfest – I’m just going to run with this analogy now – where our buzz culture has been heightened to such levels of lazy apathy that Florence and the Machine can claim a glossy cover residence off the back of a recycled Evanescence warble and an increasingly meaningless Mercury nomination. We’ve gone from the real to the reactive; the serious to the sensationalised; the must-own to the increasingly meaningless in the relentless skirmish for ‘likes’ and unique hits with the goading acceptance that being first equates to respect and relevance, and that if you weren’t “it” the first time round, you haven’t amounted to anything remotely worthy since. Hindsight, apparently, isn’t such a wonderful notion after all. I mean, most people would want to forget the pointlessness of Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong; the bedpan-shaped indie piss of Keane; the eternal mindnumbing blandness of The Kooks and The Twang and the clouded
mumblings of Babyshambles after their front page flirtations, but in this hollow vacuum of quantity over quality and hope and hyperbole, we’re locked into a hasty, vicious cycle of boom and bust where every depression has to be filled with instant gratification. In an accelerated world where activity is king, it makes Elbow’s gradual rise to richly deserved prominence all the greater; it vindicates The National’s slow-burning acclaim; Caribou’s consistency and commitment to evolution; Fuck Buttons’ stomping reaffirmation and Errors’ return from the dead after a 6 month ice age where they dared to record an album. But they’re proof there are some anomalies - trilobites defying the logic that if you step off, things don’t necessarily cease, they just move a little more leisurely, and somewhere, amidst all this meaningless kitsch and bloated trash, you will find a band you’ll love and possibly even cherish. Well, until next week at least.
A smart, gritty psych drama to make L.A. noir proud --------------------Lowlife opens when our lonely, existential, antihero Simon Johnson is assaulted on his ratty mattress at home in the dark. Once he’s managed to fight off his attacker and turn on a light he realizes he’s just killed his own double. Then it gets weird. Johnson has murdered a man who looks exactly like him in every single way. Indeed, so marked is the likeness between murderer and victim that Johnson is able to assume the dead man’s identity and step right into the stranger’s life. Almost. A smartly plotted, uncompromising gritty psych drama, Jahn’s novel proves that L.A. noir is alive and kicking.
s i n g les & E Ps
01 Dignan Porch / Colours / Cheatahs / Not Cool Split 7” (Marshall Teller) Out July 19
Marshall Teller is a new imprint and this 4-way split is their very first release. It features four no-fi bands that we’ve quickly come to expect good things from, and a solid collection of snappy, hazy tracks it is. As its double-exposed, desert sleeve suggests, this is a release that owes a lot to nostalgia, analogue ways and lost summers, making its release perfectly timed. It’s Cheatahs (aka Nathan Ernest Hewitt) who most overtly sings about the season of light evenings and “shooting hoops as it gets dark”, on ‘Froshed’. His acoustic guitar gently buzzes like an electric fan slicing through the thick air while his detached vocals wither under the
heat, hypnotically. Colours have a similar floaty thing going on on ‘Kick This’, but it’s a different kind of flight - while Cheatahs calmly bobs along, the Dalston fourpiece soar into the horizon to the sound of their best song yet, which still takes it’s reverberating lead from No Age, but when is that ever going to be a bad thing? Before Dignan Porch cool things down once again with ‘Surge’ (a sub-two-minute track that sounds like Empire Of The Sun on a couple of acoustic guitars), Not Cool are the prickliest customers here, presenting ‘Way South, South East’, with its acute riffs and post-(art)school angst. It sounds like a good summer
Truth Sets In
(Sub Pop) Out Aug 16 on download only -----
(Polydor) Out July 26 -----
(Moshi Moshi) Out Aug 16 -----
The Fresh & Onlys Impending Doom / Troubling Vision
The line between hormonal, amateurish garage and doe-eyed, too-naïve-to-be-embarrassedright-now folk has been wibbly and blurred since Dylan went electric. With Avi Buffalo – a one-man teenage project-comequartet from California – it’s smudged further as pinched harmonics dance over the sweet his and her vocals of Avi himself and keyboardist Rebecca Coleman. As vile as it is, ‘lush’ sums up ‘Truth Sets In’ perfectly - a track that sounds like that of a hopeful Elliott Smith sloshing around the summer with pals, due to Aaron Embry’s production and Avi’s ear for hormonal, joyous melodies.
When Crystal Castles released their second self-titled album in May we gave it 4/10, which may not be as bad a fencestraddler 5, but it’s far worse than 3, which means you’ve at least narked a few people with your new, difficult offspring. ‘Baptism’ was pretty much what scored all of those four points, and it could have been more if the rest of the record wasn’t so uninspired. From its stuttering trance synths, through its popcorn pips, to Alice Glasses banshee cries, it’s brilliantly aggressive brat pop for any club worth wasting your time in. Forget the album - buy this and play it ten times over.
Bands that ravey trio Teeth have shown up on tour include New Young Pony Club and – far more impressively – Crystal Antlers. Live they do it with singer Veronica shouting, drummer Simon being very unforgiving to a half electronic, skeletal kit, and programmer Ximon snaking his hips while holding a MacBook. On this first release they’re a lot more subdued, and carry with them a synth hook that you’ll no doubt presume is sampled, either from the Royal Philharmonic or maybe The Verve. It’s euphoric stuff for what is also an angelic electro pop song. And if it winds up being their ‘hit’, it’s way better than ‘Ice Cream’.
(Agitated) Out Now ----If The Fresh & Onlys have passed you by, swept along in the melee of US garage bands, it doesn’t take too much chasing to see that these San Franciscans are more than purveyors of rickety guitar fuzz. Tracks like ‘GreyEyed Girl’ may have us believe otherwise but as ‘Impending Doom’ tells it - over four and a half minutes - this quartet are as keen to ‘go-psych’ as the many other Bay Area-dwellers. It’s a speedy wigout, played too fast and telling of how the band take on tired formulas with often unnoticed originality. So, naturally, ‘Troubling Vision’ is ‘Pretty Woman’ sung by the hippest church group ever.
Reviews by D. Canter, M. Drake
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Still Young but As Sara Jade and Nadia Dahlawi celebrate 5 years of Young And Lost Club Records with a bumper compilation, you have to wonder how theyâ€™ve gone from micro label to major-backed prophets. No one else has.
Not So Lost Photographer: TOM COC K R A M Writer: STUART STU B B S
Something was clearly going on in 2005. Boredom, perhaps. It was the year that Loud And Quiet first went to print. And Stool Pigeon. It was when garagelovers Tough Love Records came into existence; when Latitude Festival began; when DIY seemed to be an epidemic rather than an ethic. Of all those that have weathered the last half decade though, none have made more headway than Young And Lost Club. Whilst hosting parties until they couldn’t get any bigger (parties like weekly club night PUSH), they’ve chalked up 52 releases from 37 different artists, been welcomed into the Universal family and managed to hold on to their independence from within the biggest record corporation in the world. Theirs is a rise that all other ‘bedroom labels’ seek to emulate. Can you remember 2005 and what it was like to start the label? Sara: “We were really disorganised. We thought we knew what we were doing and that everything was ready and then there’d be something that we had no idea we were meant to do.” Nadia: “Like barcodes. We soon gave up on that and have never put a barcode on anything. We still distribute ourselves so we can keep track of that.” How has releasing records changed over the past five years? Sara: “It’s quite a lot different because not as many people did 7-inches back then so you were guaranteed more press and more interest, and you could press more and they’d definitely sell. It was more of a
collector’s thing back then. It is tougher now.” These days you’re involved with Universal. How did that happen and just how involved with them are you? Sara: “We’d been doing singles for two years and there were so many bands that we really liked enough to do albums with but so many of our bands would go and sign big deals for that, which seemed like a bit of a shame. We’d known [Vertigo A+R man] Richard O’Donovan since we were sixteen so we went and spoke to him about a label deal and he was really supportive. He gave us a budget for our singles and let us go away and do our singles how we always have and then if we want to sign an album deal they help us with that. The only one we’ve done so far is ‘Noah & The Whale’, which went really well. Yes it did. ‘5 Years Time’ went top ten. Nadia: “It went top 5!” Sara: “…and stayed top 10 for ten weeks, I think. It felt really surreal. That’s one of our favourite releases. That one and Vincent Vincent And The Villains.” That [‘Blue Boy/The Boy who Killed Time’] was your first release. How do you feel about it now? Sara: “Vincent really got us to start the label. They were the ones that said if we set it up they’d put out a single with us, and it really helped us because other bands loved them so much. Like, Larrikin Love and Good Shoes straight away wanted to do singles with us because they loved Vincent, and it snowballed. We were really lucky
“7 inches was more of a collector’s thing when we started. it’s getting tougher, releasing records now”
that they were our first single. It would have been harder if it had been, ‘let’s try this with the only band we can get to test the water.’” Do you have a most memorable moment of the last 5 years? Sara: “When we went to DJ in Japan, that would have only happened because we’d started the label. It was really funny.” Nadia: “Yeah, it was in a record store that was like Rough Trade. I think it’s gone bankrupt now but they stocked all of our records so they wanted us to go out and DJ. They did a night where it was vinyl only, where you could only DJ records. We’d only released about five singles, otherwise we would have only taken our own releases.” You’ve got a free digital download club now as well. Tell us about that. Sara: “I’m glad we got that up and running when we did, because that now looks after itself. We love iTunes and digital music but we’ll definitely always be into vinyl. You learn a lot more about a band when they’ve done the artwork of a physical release.” Have any of your artists ever submitted artwork that you’ve hated? Sara: “Yes, a lot!” Nadia: “In the end we compromise and someone else does the artwork.” Sara: “The whole point of the label is that we let the bands do whatever they want, but sometimes we have to say, ‘are you sure this is what you want to do?’, and then they say, ‘yeeaaah, okay, you’re right.’” Tell us about the 34-track compilation you’re releasing? Nadia: “It’s all our favourite songs we’ve released so far. We know that not all of the bands are going now, or went on to do well, but the songs are all our favourites. And we’ve been waiting to do it after five years. Now just seems like a good time to do it.”
The YALC dos and don’tS to starting a record label Do learn your trade Nadia “Our first tip is to do as much work experience around music as you can before you start. We did loads and it really helped.” Sara ““We’d both done PR, we’d promoted, we’d worked in record shops, we’d been radio pluggers. It really helps to understand what everyone’s doing and how everyone’s jobs work, because how do you know if someone is working as hard as they should be or doing the right thing if you don’t know what they do?”
Do be as fearless as possible Sara “Don’t be afraid to fail because you are going to make mistakes when you start.” Nadia “The Vincent single sold really well but it was three months late, and we used the cheapest place we could find in Czechoslovakia, and they didn’t speak any English or know about artwork. The Good Shoes single came back as a white label.”
Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ Sara “Sometimes saying ‘no’ is the hardest thing to do but you can’t not say no for an easy life.” Nadia “And you can get swept along with what everyone wants you to do. You need to be stubborn.”
Don’t be rude, dear! Nadia “Always be polite. You never know when it’ll come back around.”
A model electronic student Photographer: T I M COC H R ANE Writer: I AN ROEBUC K
“My new one’s charging at home,” Toby Ridler says, making a move for the iPhone doubling up as a Dictaphone under the blazing Southbank sun. “I like the idea of it having a GPS thingy – it’s pretty cool always knowing where you are.” Clearly Toby is impressed with technology and it comes as no surprise – he’s been making forward-thinking, technosavvy music for some years now, producing himself under different guises and remixing others. The guy obviously knows his way round a piece of kit. Amiable and chatty, we’ve caught Becoming Real at a good moment. Having just finished his degree in fine art at Kingston University, and with a long summer ahead, there’s probably no better time to ask him the sensitive question about his modelling days. “Oh Jesus not this again,” he cringes. “Well, I’d say they span for all of two weeks and it was more to do with uni and the fashion department, nothing else.” No catwalk in Milan, then? “Without a doubt, no, that was…them days.” Toby laughs it off but he’s definitely more relaxed discussing his music. Uncompromising, exhilarating and very much the sound of summer, Becoming Real sits perfectly alongside the likes of Blondes, Dam Mantle, Joy Orbsion and everything else that’s good about today’s genredefying dance scene. His breakthrough has been on the cards for a while. Making music under Wolf Tracks he travelled the country. “Yeah, we did a UK tour with the most fucked geography,” he says. “My fault as I booked the whole thing! North, South then North again with K Records’ Tender Forever. Great fun but I was very naive and didn’t ask about money. This band came over from the States and asked why they’d only been paid a fiver, they were really angry! Quite a learning curve but I came out of it a bit more thick skinned.” So he’s got a more
substantial layer of flesh now, but is it more comfortable now that he’s Becoming Real? “I don’t remember Wolf Tracks as being my project,” he says “it was just something I did when I was younger. The Becoming Real thing, coming at the end of my art degree and listening to more avant-garde stuff, has made me realise what I can do with music as a medium. Wolf Tracks and Becoming Real are worlds apart, the mindset back then was it’s a hobby whereas this is something else. I’ve got my head round a few more ideas.” Recent times have seen the genuine article emerge, Toby already with a few releases under his new moniker’s belt. “We’ve got the 12 inch on Ramp that’s just come out – they got in touch with me and asked, it was really simple, just chatting together on the Internet sorted it out.” Drawn towards labels of a passionate persuasion, Toby has also had records out on Tough Love, who now manage him aswell. “They do it with heart,” he smiles. “I can’t think of the phrase but there’s one for that lot, they’re lovely guys.” ‘Insular’, ‘private’ and ‘reticent’ are all stereotypical personality traits that Toby manages to crush as a homebody producer. Outgoing and perceptive, he’s not your average hermit, and yet exporting his sound from the four walls of a Surbiton pad to a crammed venue has been a continuing struggle for Toby. Encouragingly, he says that early signs are now positive. “It’s been going really good. We’ve been getting a really good reception. It’s weird though, playing live. I spend so long making the music in my bedroom then when I’m on stage it’s hard to be subjective about it as once you are up there all you remember is getting on stage and then getting off again, so it’s hard to separate yourself.” Due to his tracks being so personal, playing them in front
of a live audience is one thing but repeating them on stage lends itself to a more social arrangement – Toby needs outside help to create his vision. “I’ve got a friend called Rob helping out right now,” he explains. “We share keyboards and some percussiony bits so it’s a lot more of a live thing rather than a laptop. The songs are all reinterpretations of stuff.” Pretty soon there could be numerous Rob’s running around then? “It’s way too early to tell where this is going. I have so many stems of Becoming Real, so many projects, so I feel like this is one right now (playing live), the music I’m making at home is very different though, so I don’t know how it’s going to evolve. It’ll probably just be me with an MPC in 5 months time!” There’s something of an existentialist bent to Toby’s take on work, which he’s willing to accept with an arch of his brow and a philosophical stare into the distance. He is called Becoming Real after all. “It sounds cheesy but it feels like you leave yourself on stage, that’s the funny thing about being an artist. Take doing these one on ones, I’ve only done a few but I’m quite aware of how the finished article is very different to the actual conversation. With the music too, I feel I’d sometimes prefer to make it for myself. When a song is finished I clip it up and put it aside – that’s where I get the enjoyment. I don’t mind all these interviews and things and playing live but the enjoyment is most definitely making the music. Then I become Becoming Real for the other stuff.” The talented Mr Ridley it seems, multiple personalities with some to spare, and he needs them for the other strings in his bow: remixing (he’s done tracks for TEETH and Comanechi) and Djing. “Good point, I guess
Djing is a fun side of things,” he says. “I play a mixture of stuff, sometimes it’s full-on minimal house and sometimes it’s…” All of a sudden there’s a lot of noise and Toby’s knocked off his stride by a rather brazen and talkative passer by that just so happens to edit this very music paper, a short confusing conversation later we’re back where we started, well almost… “I had no idea what was going on there,” he laughs. “ I thought he was trying to nick your phone so I was ready to jump him!” Fight avoided, Toby’s back in the groove. “Errr, yeah more recently I’ve been listening to and playing out Footwork from Chicago, it’s come out of the House scene there. I don’t know much about the history but the repetition and vocal snippets are familiar to me – they use similar polyrythms to myself as well. I think Footwork and Grime are two parallel interpretations of a city to me, there’s a connection, Footwork is Chicago and Grime is London.” Toby’s next move is to wind his way up the Thames from suburbia to city life, something that inspires and excites him. “I can’t wait to move up here,” he enthuses. “I’ve been doing walks with an A to Z, which is quite sad. It’s fun though, trying to put A to B and just strolling about. It’s an incredible city and too many people don’t know their way about.” Someone like Toby must have a soundtrack to such journey’s, something to match his outlook and soak up the surroundings. “I listen to grime as I’m travelling about as it’s music that’s spawned from London; it is the city. There’s a real psycho-geography connection there.” Explorative, intelligent, groundbreaking, even; Becoming Real is just like his new phone charging at home.
Our parents has Paul and Linda, we’ve got Blake and Staz Photographer: OWEN R I C HAR DS Writer: S I AN ROWE
Some couples get married, some get a cat, some adopt a tiger at the zoo. Blake Ivinson and Stacey Owen chose Bitches. Veterans of noise and metal bands around Oxford – Blake danced and screamed in The Walk Off while Staz played drums for Harlette – they formed two years ago when they realised it was easier than going it alone. “I wanted to be in The Walk Off but he wouldn’t let me,” says Staz, as the duo sit together in a north London burrito shop, something of a second home to them. “I went to one of their practices but they decided to just use a drum machine instead.” Blake can’t help but set the record straight. “But we didn’t have any songs! Basically, I just shouted and danced. Sometimes there was a melody but not really. Bitches started because Staz and I were together and it was just easy. We hung around together anyway.” Sound smushy? It isn’t. They describe their sound as Thug Pop that mixes the best bits of pop music’s hookish choruses and a sense of fun with a driving drum beat and ferocious vocals supplied by both members. “We started to write songs
about every day things,” explains Staz. “I just picked up the bass because it looked easy. Less strings you see,” says Blake. They don’t sing about girls or boys, or funny little emotions. Bitches love storytelling and currently boast 3-minute smashes about the time that Blake lost his wallet or how he sleepwalks and what Staz thinks about Vampires (the latter featuring an impressive squeal of “I will suck your blood”). “One of my friends says we could write a song about anything,” says Blake. And could they? There seems to be a certain kind of song lacking in Bitches’ 29 minute set. Where’s the slow jam? Surely every band should be able to get emotional? Could they write a ballad? “I told him it was rubbish,” continues Blake. “I tried to sit down and write a love song the other day and I couldn’t do it. Sad songs too. I just can’t do it.” It’s a good job they attract a tough crowd, then. At their shows, usually in London’s darkest pubs and venues, fans and friends lap up the “get involved” Bitches set. Blake enlists audience members to hold
his microphone and banters back and forth with anyone that dares to speak up. He’ll just miss the heads of the people at the front as he swings his bass. “My bass is on infinite loan from my best friend,” he laughs. “I can’t get too wild with it or anything. It’s had a few nicks and the guy went a bit mad.” Staz keeps a safe distance, elegantly yet ferociously hammering the drums. “One day I performed from the middle of the Stag’s Head,” she explains. “That’s why we like playing in small venues and close to the audience. Even if it’s half empty there is a good atmosphere.” So they wouldn’t take a fancy stage show if they were offered it? Not even something with lasers? “Oh, I’d take it in a second,” Staz backtracks “but you know, we’d just let the lasers do their thing and perform on the floor like usual.” In America they’ve had an even better reception. On their recent tour in the states, the second one they’ve undergone with the guidance of LA label Deathbomb Arc, things were taken to the next level with some Staz-inspired nudity. “I thought it would be fun if
I told everyone to get into their underwear,” she says. “I didn’t expect them to do it! Imagine if that happened in London!?” At The Smell they played with notorious LA nudist jumpstyler and freak-musician Captain Ahab, one of their heroes and inspirations. Blake explains how everyone at The Smell is 50% wilder when Ahab plays and how they want to make an album using narrative and comedy, just like his last record ‘The End of Irony’ or 2006’s ‘After the Rain My Heart Still Dreams’. “I don’t like showy things but I’m a show off,” says Blake. “So I’m definitely drawn to things like that. Maybe it will be a bit like something Adam Sandler would do.” Along with the album, collecting their previous selfreleased ‘Winner’ and tapes with Deathbomb Arc and Scotch Tapes, Bitches will tour with Shearing Pinx this September. Just one more thing, though – Bjorn and Agnetha, Sonny and Cher, Stevie and Lindsey... do they worry about their relationship, like, breaking up the band? “We don’t take coke,” says Blake, looking sternly at Staz. “So no, I think we’ll be fine.”
A band fighting hard again the slur of ‘chillwave’ Photographer: E DWAR D B I S H o p Writer: Nathan Westley
“Denise and I just met casually at a concert back home,” begins Memoryhouse instrumentalist Evan Abeele. But though the band grew from this simple framework, the simplicity of the meeting was not mirrored in the band’s initial objectives. “We originally wanted to do some sort of multimedia project that combined her photographs with my ambient classical music,” he continues, clarifying that the fruits of these early collaborations “definitely wasn’t pop music, it was the opposite of that.” “At some point, really late at night and in the middle of winter, I somehow coaxed her into singing a cover of Jackson Browne’s ‘These Days’. It was cool and I think she was surprised by the results; so over the next two months I was writing a lot of music and kind of gradually tricked her into singing more and more, crafting songs that meant something to us and which luckily found an audience online.” As tempting as bolting the door and bathing in blog buzz was, the Ontario duo soon gave playing their washy organ pop live a go. “If you asked us a year ago if we were ever going
to play live, then you’ll have found that it wasn’t a thought that had even registered with us,” explains Evan. “I don’t know how we got to the point where we were like, ‘Yes, we want to do this!’ but we went on a mini (headline) tour of the US at the end of April and kind of felt things out. It felt right, it felt like we needed more. “You can only tread water so long before you actually have to fully submerge yourself in what is going on. The truth of the matter is it was probably moving faster than we were perhaps ready for, but it got to the point where it was either go all the way, go on this tour and try to be a ‘real’ band, or just stay as a recluse, stay in the bedroom and be happy that you have some kind of audience. We both felt confident that we could translate it into an enjoyable live experience – it was a new challenge that definitely took us out of our comfort zone.” In order to help conquer some of the problems that presented themselves during the transition from bedroom artists to touring band, recent live performances have been fleshed out with the addition of guitarist Adrian Vieni to help add an extra human
layer to Evan’s atmospheric electro and Denise Nouvion’s soulfully calming lyrics. “We didn’t want to just play with sample’s,” insists Evan. “We don’t want to be one of those bands that just presses a computer button down and then just sings over the top of it. We want to really genuinely connect and have people feed off what we are playing” And some of this keenness to prove yourselves as a live band may have been partly born out of many people’s tendency to characterise Memoryhouse as being purely ‘chillwave’, no? – a new generic tag shared and disliked by like-minds Washed Out, Memory Tapes and countless other minimalist lo-fi types swishing about to Casio tones. “I don’t have anything wrong with people interpreting our music as chillwave,” says Evan before going on to suggest otherwise “but I don’t particularly think it came from that space and it doesn’t really suit us. The other artists are awesome but I think that scene, for us, is a little overstated – we’re not that electronic, we have a really organic core and though there are some synth work and electronic aspects to it,
those elements don’t overwhelm that part. For the most part it is just really guitar and vocalheavy songs with stray electronic elements. If only because we recorded it in our bedroom and we didn’t really have a budget for it, we couldn’t get nice live drums or a real orchestra so we created some of that on synthesisers.” So when the chance arose to remedy that situation, by transferring a recent recording to a new environment, it was instantly grabbed. “The recent single was the first time we had recorded in a studio, a converted church. I can say that I was very conscious about how we went about writing and recording it; we didn’t want to be pigeonholed as a chillwave artist so we do have acoustic drums, real strings - they’re very guitar-based and not lo-fi in the slightest. We’re not trying to obscure anything and these songs are our way of showing people that we are not limited to the bedroom aesthetic and that we can and are willing to move out of our comfort zone in order to progress naturally and organically. Hopefully people will at least appreciate the effort we make to do that.”
Back from nowhere It’s been a decade since Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster came into being, and six years since their last album. ‘What the hell have they been doing?’ seems like a fair enough question to ask. ‘Being in the band’ comes the unexpected answer. Photographer: Phi l Shar p Writer: D. K . Go ldstei n
Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster are sat around a small pub table in Brighton, their knees cramped against the underside of it, giggling like school boys about their lead guitarist Tristan McLenahan’s search for a latte while the England vs. Germany game was on.While various camp voices mimic Tristan, it’s hard to believe that the five, greying men -– bar their 21-year-old rhythm guitarist Dominic Knight – have two record deals, three albums and two EPs under their belts, especially when Sym Gharial, the bassist and oldest member of the quintet, is introducing everyone by his selfinvented nicknames. “This is Fistin’ [Tristan],” he says, grinning. “That’s Guy [McKnight, vocals], Dominique Young Unique aka Dan Sartain and that’s Shuttle Shit [Tom Diamantopoulo,
drums].”They all erupt in laughter while Tristan pokes in with, “Are you bored of this?”, before Guy tells everyone to settle down. As a frontman, Guy isn’t as loud and opinionated as you’d expect. He sits at the back in his smart braces/shirt/suede shoes combo, quietly forming his words in his head before speaking, the cogs clearly turning behind his furrowed brow. It’s been five years since the band were dropped by label giants Universal, but last month their unexpected third album, ‘Blood and Fire’, was finally released – so we’ve come to find out what exactly has been holding them back for so long. “We were reorganising and restructuring,” says Sym, leaning forwards on his elbows with his pint cradled in both hands. “Seriously, it’s like being in a battle, that’s what life’s like. It
doesn’t have to be violent, it’s just hard and we didn’t want to put out some fake-plastic bullshit that’d be a radio hit.” Soon after the guys lost their first record deal their original lead guitarist, Andy Huxley, left to pursue a different sound, and shortly after that his replacement Rich Fownes left to join US industrial rock titans Nine Inch Nails. “It was just a constant barrage of shit we were dealing with for five years,” adds Tom before Guy continues the thread. “These things are sent to test you,” he utters, his grey streaks giving him the sense of a not-quite-so-old wise man. “If you really think it’s just suffering then you begrudge it, but if you genuinely believe it’s an opportunity to get up and pull out your potential you grow beyond your limitations. “I think that with some of the most dire
points in this band I can look back on them now and say with conviction that they were some of the greatest times of my life.They made me a lot stronger and happier and I’m really grateful to everyone in the band for pissing me off so much.” He laughs and explains that “it’s the people who are closest to you who really help you to grow and there have undeniably been growing pains, but I wouldn’t be the man I am today if it wasn’t for that.” Where the first LP (‘Horse of the Dog’) was a primitive hurricane – the kind of fast and agitated music teenagers make – and the second (‘The Royal Society’) showed the band growing into their psychobilly mould, ‘Blood and Fire’ is more mature, a little darker and more “personal” says Guy. “I still think we’re finding the music, still
trying to find the G-spot,” counters Sym as they chuckle around him. “Seriously,” he defends. “I feel really proud of it,” beams Guy. “It’s physical proof – a testimony to our perseverance because, you know, with two guitarists leaving, splitting from the management and our publishing deal, getting dropped and all our personal obstacles, we still carried on against all odds.” The personal obstacles he’s referring to are the year long benders and break downs they shared. “We went through far too many drugs and we were all cunted and we all fell out at some point and then in 2006 me and Guy had a massive party – seriously fucking incredible – no one wrote any songs and I basically thought ecstasy and speed were the future and then it was 2007,” Sym spews his
description in one enthusiastic gust. “Time flies when you’re losing your mind.” It was perhaps Tom who felt it hardest, however. “I had a nervous break down,” he admits. “I don’t know if it’s directly because of being in this band, but something happened and I just went mental. I was watching the TV and suddenly I started to freak out. From that day onwards it was just three years of absolute glee and joy,” he says somewhat sarcastically, the words drawn out and deadpan. “Panicking every day but still carrying on with the band, because I’d sit at home writing whilst having a panic attack. It’s a good source of inspiration.” He goes on to describe the great sinking feeling he felt when he realised he and Guy had to make that desperate trip to the Job Centre. “It was about six months [after we
were dropped], once we’d run out of money that we were in the dole office and I just thought, ‘Oh my God’. It was a mad experience because you get so used to being on tour and suddenly you’re in the dole office with some not very nice person asking what you’ve done to look for a job.” “We had money and I had a great time for about a year,” Guy joins in “but the drugs stopped working and I wasn’t having fun any more.You just have to hit rock bottom a few times [before you’ll] do something about it.” “But it’s not really about the money,” Sym interjects, to ensure that we understand something he feels so passionately about. “If it was then I would have probably stopped in 2004 and just got a job.” He may not at the moment, but the others still hold onto day jobs because, as Tom puts it, “money is yet to www.loudandquiet.com
be made, six years on.” But it wasn’t all doom and gloom as the garage-punksters worked themselves back to form. Guy played the leading role in F. J. Ossang’s French film ‘La Succession Starkov’ (Starkov’s Succession) while the band provided the soundtrack, which came about a few years after Ossang saw them play in Paris in 2003. “I went and did a bit of an experiment in Russia,” Guy explains, after Ossang contacted him. “A short film in Vladivostok and he was obviously mad enough or convinced by what I did to offer me the lead role in this feature-length film. I don’t speak French so it was quite difficult, but I learnt the script and went to the Azores and Portugal last year to film. “I had a French friend in Brighton who went through the script with me a few times and I listened to a CD of it with another actor saying the lines and I used to put it on just before I went to sleep so it would somehow go into my subconscious and it seemed to work. All in all I had to take a few months out to get to grips with the script and then shoot the film.” The Brighton five-piece also spent some time at Tristan’s parent’s house in Limoges in the south of France recording ‘Blood and Fire’ – a record that the band saved up for and funded themselves and from which a lot of the songs date back as far as 2005. “Tom was writing straight away from when we got dropped,” Guy informs us “and we’ve all been writing over the past five years. I guess we weren’t a buzz band any more, but we’ve been touring, we didn’t break up.” “Basically we decided to put an album
“It was a constant barrage of shit we were dealing with for five years. Time flies when you’re losing your mind.” out even if we had to hand it out to people,” adds Sym. “But it was a long process, going through things like firing our manager because he was funny about money and people were leaving left, right and center, and when you don’t know which way you’re looking half the time it’s quite hard to get an album together. And of all the people I could have gone to France with and made a record that amazing with no money, no jobs, nothing – I think it’s amazing.” At the end of 2007/start of 2008 the band supported Queens of the Stone Age, which was preceded by a System of a Down tour, before declining The Hives because they couldn’t afford it. “We went on tour with QOTSA but obviously at the time the press were talking about Mumford & Sons. What do I say? We went to some fucking incredible parties and wrote some incredible songs, we just didn’t release them, that’s the thing,” Sym clarifies. So, it wasn’t so much that they went away, more that they stepped out of the limelight for a while. And while they were out they focused on making a real team play to pull an album together and all the writing duties were shared out. “This album is more of a collection of everybody’s efforts than
anything previously,” puts in Guy. “He tells us what to write,” jokes Tristan, his long, wavy red hair beginning to match the blush in his cheeks as he grins. I ask Guy if it’s weird having to sing someone else’s songs. “Well, if I don’t like it, then yeah, but most of the time that’s not a problem because I like most of the stuff that these people write.” “I think the vibe is that everybody’s there,” Sym enthuses. “I was about to say if one person left it wouldn’t be the same, but…” he trails off, spotting his error just as the other four begin sniggering. “If one more person leaves it just won’t be the same,” mimics Dom, laughing while Sym ploughs on regardless. “Well, if people want clockwork they should go and see Snow Patrol.” “They should see a horologist,” Guy timidly teases from beneath the wide brim of his big brown hat, pleased with his quick wit even though no one seems to have cottoned on. “I read a review today that said we’re not over-rehearsed, droll…something,” Dom continues. “What did they say? That it was like a…sexual execution.” “My son’s in a band called Sexual
Execution,” exclaims Sym with a look of delight on his face. With an air of the school room about the place, constant distractions, jests and veering off topic are unsurprising, but Guy manages to keep his head by telling us about his view on things now. “I felt too close to [‘Blood and Fire’] to really be able to look at it objectively, but when you do a tour and play it live and people really enjoy it and then someone says that it means something to them it feels really great. I think that’s when you’re able to enjoy it more, to believe in it more.” He talks as if this light has only recently been shed on his thoughts. Perhaps they took things for granted before? “Yeah,” Guy agrees. “I heard this quote about being spoilt and it says that too many good meals at a young age spoil a man, so I think we were very young [when we were signed]. It’s very easy to lose perspective, take it for granted and become ungrateful. So I think the last five years have been a fertile ground for us to gain perspective, put some roots down and not be blown around by the winds of fame and fortune.” As cliché as it is to say, Eighties Matchbox have had a roller coaster ride of a decade and when they hopped off to play a label showcase at the 100 Club last year, after which they were signed to Black Records, they decidedly kept their feet on the ground to see through their blood, sweat and tears of the well-rounded, third LP. “At the end of the day we’re all on the same ship, aren’t we?” Sym begins “except we’re all on the edge crapping our pants.”
A real humdinger Photographer: Phi l shar p Writer: Stuar t Stu bb s
fucking hate mods,” says Flats front man Dan Devine. “There’s a club called Mouse Trap and it’s just fucking dirge. Everyone in there shops at Shelley’s on Carnaby Street. They’re all estate agents in the day and then go off and spend all their money on vintage dresses off Ebay, and you go to any of those clubs and you walk behind some girl in a dolly dress and white tights, and you think, ah, who’s this?, and they turn around and it’s some sixtyyear-old battered hag with a face like a leather wallet. It’s horrible. Everyone there has the exact same records, the exact same outfits, you’ll see ten people in the exact same shoes and they all act like they’re contemporary… argh, they’re all c*nts!” Dan – pale and thin beneath a mop of wiry curls – looks far more frail than his visceral opinions prove him to be, and his distain for Mods has given Flats their best track yet. ‘Rat Trap’ (see what they’ve done there?) is primitive UK hardcore played by a very angry Buzzcocks. In one-minute-fortysix-seconds it obnoxiously slams the scooter crowd, pulling at their bowl-cuts and spitting on their Shelley’s shoes. “Rat trap/Rat trap/I hope you all fuckin’ die!” goes Devine’s petulant vocal hook. “I hate Paul Weller!/I hate The Jam!/I hate Roger Daltrey!”, he continues to a guitar so prickly and overdriven that it sounds like an electrified killer wasp in DM’s. “I don’t know if we can talk about it, actually,” says guitarist Luke Tristram. The band all look at each other across the Thames-side pub table. “Well, there’s a line in it that has now been covered by noise,” says bassist Craig E. Pierce. “There was a chance that we could have been sued and we didn’t want that hassle.” “My mum actually said, ‘be careful that you don’t get sued for that,’” adds Devine. “I haven’t got much anyway, but what I have got I want to keep.” After Weller, his band and Daltrey, it’s Pete Townsend who Flats turn on, although, due to the threat of legal action, you can now make out little more than “Peter Townsend is a f…”, followed by a heap of static and feedback. It’s safe to say that beneath the noise Devine is not singing the guitarist’s praises.
Flats formed some months ago having known each other from “around town and all the same shows.” Luke could be found onstage with his other concern, Advert; drummer Samir Eskanda behind the kit of Blue On Blue; Devine at the decks of Dice Club and others; Craig throwing parties, including Jamboree’s Cable Street Riots, which he hosted with Samir. “When we told our friends that we were forming a punk band, they laughed at us,” says Luke. “Yeah, it was because we were all involved in music in some way,” explains Craig “so there was a lot of talk about what we’d be like, and then people came to see us and were like, ‘fuck, you’re actually really good!’.” While some bands spend a lifetime buffing a sound and a perfecting a live set, Flats played their first show with three songs in them. “It was all over in five minutes,” says Samir. Dan: “I cut my face on the first song so there was blood everywhere. I’d hit my lip on the mic. It was a mess but it was fucking… punk! Y’know?” ‘Punk’ has rarely seemed like a more fitting label – not in recent years, anyway. Not ‘punk pop’. Not ‘garage punk’. Not ‘skate punk’. Simply ‘punk’. With the word ‘fucking’ in front of it. Flats formed, tells Craig, “because there was nothing vile and exciting”, and now there is. Their tracks are constantly shy of two minutes (in ‘Flats Waltz’’s case by well over sixty seconds) and played with the kind of un-sanitised ferocity that makes The Sex Pistol look like The Feeling. “I want it to be heavier,” says Devine to nods from Samir “like, from total dirge to hardcore blast beats – I’d like to do something like that. And there’s a couple of other covers that I wanna do. I’d like to do a Sabbath track.” “The songs seem really short to people,” says Samir “but when you’re drumming them it feels like they’re going on forever.” It’s not a take on Black Sabbath but Flats’ debut EP (called ‘Flats’) does feature a snotty cover version that the band have snatched for themselves. ‘Mucky Pup’ was first recorded by Puncture – a widely unknown gang of London punks – in 1977. Featuring the opening line “I pick my nose and then I
eat it up/I’m a real humdinger/ I’m a mucky pup” it’s always been a grotty little song from punk’s genesis. Now, played at double speed and shrieked by Devine while his band thrash through it as aggressively as possible, it’s an antagonistic bruiser. “It’s just a great track,” says Craig “and it’s cool to get it out there to people who don’t know it. Not many people know that song and it’s like, ‘right, you think you know about music – and y’know, maybe you do, but everyone’s got the same records – well, have a listen to that!’ That’s why we put it on the EP.” In their early days, The Horrors thought along the same lines, covering Screaming Lord Sutch and, even more obscurely, 60s garage band The Syndicats, not Candi Staton’s ‘You Got The Love’, or other sure-fire hits. Sonically, the two bands have less in common – especially these days – and Flats are resolute in their rejection of ‘fashionable bands’ (“We’re fed up of bands that are just posers, with shit dyed black hair,” sneers Dan), but the excitement of first hearing ‘Mucky Pup’ or ‘Rat Trap’ can’t help but remind us of the first time we heard ‘Sheena Is A Parasite’. Flats’ confrontational, unapologetic arrival is as unquestionably exciting as it is well-timed, and, like The Horrors Mk I, the band have the support of Loog Records who are co-releasing ‘Flats’ with Craig and Dan’s own imprint, Sweat Shop. “We’ve had a lot of interest from labels already,” says Dan “so it’s not like it’s make-orbreak time but we’re in the studio next week recording another single or EP and it is time to take it up a gear.” Of the current musical climate, Dan scoffs, “We’re the only good band in it,” before adding that they’re maybe kept company by Brighton duo The Sticks. Craig says, “We’re the only band who are for real, out there smashing it.” “Don’t put that in,” says Dan to laughs from the band. But even though Craig defends what he means, there’s no real need to. Flats are a band powered by anger and simplicity, so it’s fitting that un-minced words sum them up best. This is the return of unpretentious punk. Fucking punk.
oisy fuzz pop trio Golden Grrrls have just rolled into town. They’ve been driving all night, having played Leeds yesterday and Newcastle the day before, and after tonight they’re off to Manchester, then home to Glasgow. They’ve just had a whirlwind setup and soundcheck, and – bar the odd furtive glance out the window to make sure guitarist Ruari’s car is parked okay – the three of them seem remarkably relaxed and cheerful. Has it been a good tour so far? “Newcastle was great,” enthuses guitarist-come-keyboard player, Lorna. “We had fantastic support.” All three Golden Grrrls burst out laughing. It was that bad, eh? “Me and my fella, we started a new band,” Lorna explains. “We’ve never played music together before, so we just wrote six or seven songs the day before the show and played them. It’s boogie woogie guitar to a little Casio keyboard drum machine. We’re called Boy’s Bedroom – big plug for Boy’s Bedroom!” She’s also in a group called the National Jazz Trio of Scotland, which is comprised of four people. “At first I was on drums for them but now I’m just on vocals, which is really good because you don’t have to take any equipment with you, just a packet of Lockets.” Lorna started out playing drums in a band called Park Attack for about five years, and when they split up the guitarist ended up in a band with Ruari playing drums. “I’ve been in more obnoxious bands before, more noisy bands,” says Ruari. He met drummer Eilidh when she was working in a record shop in the café where he was working (incidentally, Lorna had worked in the same record shop prior to going to the US). Ruari had started playing guitar and, as Eilidh played drums, they started discussing the concept of doing something together. “It sounded pretty different before,” says Ruari. “I started on my own, when I started to play guitar, and I could play drums, so I found a keyboard, recorded all of that… It was really simple, because I couldn’t really play. Then I started playing live with Eilidh on drums and our friend Kate played keyboard, initially. The sound changed because we’d start making stuff up in practice, it wasn’t just me recording on my own, and then Kate had to leave and Lorna joined in February/ March, and it changed again because Lorna contributed a lot. She can play a lot of things. It just sounded like crap to begin with,” he laughs. “My bad guitar playing and bad recording… It’s a bit more polished now.” Neither of the girls bother acting flattered by that semi-
“It’s just fun music. I think that sums it up!” Photographer: gab r i el g r een Writer: P o lly r appap or t
backward compliment, however, everyone agrees that the music is shaping up nicely; the tunes are more melodic and the sound is filling out more, with Lorna playing both guitar and keyboard, and all three members singing. Ruari puts it down to a balance of approaches; unlike him, the girls come at things from a melodic, pop sensibility. “Most of our set now is stuff we’ve written since March,” he says “so the stuff on our MySpace page is, well, not outdated, something that’s three months old can’t be outdated…” But since the band have been playing together for the last three months, they’re beginning to get an idea of what Golden Grrrls’ sound is. “I don’t think about it like that though,” says
Eilidh. “I don’t ever think, ‘This is the kind of music I want to make.’ I like to take different elements and see how they work together. I can only play the way I play.” “I don’t mean that I’m like, ‘let’s write a sad song’, or anything like that,” Ruari explains “but you can analyse how things come together. I mean, before it was just obnoxious keyboards and three notes in every song, just bashing all out, and now it’s getting more complex.” A lot of their progress has taken place in the past few weeks, just from playing and touring together, bonding as a band and getting comfortable with the scuzz/pop balance. “I really enjoy playing pop music,”
Eilidh says, sounding slightly surprised at her own statement. “It’s weird, I’ve only ever been in folkier bands and it’s quite novel to be rocking out to pop.” “We’re a party band,” beams Lorna. “I think that’s great, it’s so much fun.” “Seeing you play the drums now, in practice,” says Ruari to Eilidh “it’s totally different to the bands you were in before – you used to just sit there and play and now you’re smashing the kit up!” “I’m just trying to be heard over your amp!” Eilidh laughs. So, is this new, solid sound of theirs going to end up on a record any time soon? Ruari insists that, as with the tracks on the band’s MySpace page, all their current tapes and CDs are
outdated, even the split tape with La La Vasquez/Teen Sheikhs supergroup Boredom Boys, which he says was still the stuff he’d recorded on his own. “I once put out three seven-inches really close together,” Ruari recalls. “It was really underwhelming, it just took so long – the artwork alone took about three months, it was crazy. But now that we’re happy playing music together, it would be good to put something out, but we’re not going to do it ourselves – we don’t have any money,” he smiles, ruefully. “We’ll have to wait for someone to ask us.” All three agree that there is a good bank of songs building up, and they’d quite like to lay them down on a tidy little seven-inch, but, despite being approached a few times, they’ve yet to get a definite offer. “I think this band has been quite lucky, and the progress we’ve made has been so natural,” says Eilidh “but there’s these depressing times when you feel like you’ll be waiting years for an album to come out.” Oh, come now, where’s your Sellotape and scribbles DIY sensibility? Can’t you just bung it all on a spool of Tesco Value CDs? “It takes a lot of time and effort and commitment,” says Ruari. “Eh… and some finance.” “Distribution as well,” adds Lorna. “We have the ethic that we know we want to get something done, we know you don’t necessarily need expensive equipment to make a good recording, we could do the recording on a four track or a laptop and we’re happy, it sounds quite good, but it’d be nice to have good distribution.” There’s also the slight stigma of the aforementioned brand of DIY, they feel the concept of Doing It Yourself has been hijacked to a certain degree – that it can get a little too earnest and is more about the things you can’t do than what you can, and it’s not so appealing. “I’ve read that we have a DIY ethic, or aesthetic,” says Ruari “and that’s true, we do do it ourselves, we made CD-Rs for the tour, and we even organised the tour ourselves. It feels good,” he smiles. “We’ve done alright.” DIY they may indeed be, but Golden Grrrls are not about to settle into a cubbyhole next to the more trendy, earnest lo-fiers. They don’t take themselves seriously enough for that sort of thing. After all, this band started when a guy, on his own with a keyboard and debatable guitar skills, called himself ‘Golden Grrrls’. “It’s just fun music,” says Ruari. “It is fun,” agrees Eilidh, “Fun,” Lorna laughs. “I think that sums it up!”
The patient rise of Factory Floor: a trio obsessed with art, escapism and lawless music making Photographer: LEON D I APER Writer: EDG AR SM I TH
ou only have to watch TV for ten minutes to realise that the purpose of life, for your average Jen or Eric, is to ‘shine’ – an abstract that neatly bypasses the ‘more rich and famous than anyone else’. It’s like, having sat and thought about it after nearly a decade of the whole Pop Idol thing, we’re all joining hands to become a race of shiny-skinned sales execs at Me Inc., unified in our ambition to slip into the well-greased machine. Meanwhile, the biggest-selling records and primetime ad space are hi-fiveing each other over a cultural apocalypse that’s shifted effortlessly into third gear, found its prescription-strength X-Factor in the glove box and driven off to the party shop for streamers. If you subscribe to this kind of glasshalf-endless void media take on the Mayan calendar and you’re expecting everything to go bang right in time for London 2012, then you should stop necking those tablets you found on the bus and return ‘The Bible Code’ to the library. But hey, we’re not your mum, and if the Everything Is Going To Shit Theory works for you then knock yourself out.We’d only recommend that while looking for something to drown-out the hum of colliding galaxies, super-volcanoes and alien invasion (seriously, it’s all on this website, man), you’d consider Factory Floor as the ideal soundtrack to The End.They’re a London three piece that deal in monolithic loops, acid-casualty vocals and motorik beats, usually turned up punishingly loud, and here’s why you should give a fuck. “I’m sure before the Olympics they’ll splash a bit of paint on it,” says Dom Butler. Responsible on stage for keeping FF’s synths
pounding, he’s lashing the ground with a piece of cable, underneath the railway arches of the new East London Overground line. A large-ish rock gets thrown at him by Gabe Gurnsey (drums), it misses breaking his foot by inches and is hurled back while guitarist and singer Nik Colt watches smiling.The photo shoot is over and they all look quite glad to be out of the lens. Above them the trains, tricked-out imaginatively in horizontal strips of orange and white, inspire a bitch about the missed chance to create a convincing kinetic spectacle. Scoring low on both form and function – roomy, airconditioned and almost permanently empty – they’re diametrically opposed to this band. Factory Floor have started finding this sort of comparison to urban spaces and industrial production lines a little overbearing.Though it springs inevitably from the propulsive, metronomic and dissonant quality of their music, not to mention the name, if you sit them down (as we do minutes later in a pub down the road), it turns out they’ve more of an affinity with the countryside. “I love London, man,” says Gabe “it’s good, but I like getting into open spaces and that inspires me more, really. My Dad used to take us fucking walking and all that, a lot of the outdoors kind of thing.” Dom: “I think as a person it’s really important not to become familiar with where you are.We’re all really lucky that we can go to the seaside or wherever, we’ll take ourselves out of the city to maintain that kind of… hmm.” He searches for the right word as Nik jumps in: “We’ve always recorded out in the country ‘cause you can totally detach yourself from the reality of your own life. If you record in the middle of nowhere, it does mean that you’re sleeping on the studio floor and you can’t go and get a packet of fags, Gabe... unless I drive you.” Dom: “We did go and get fish and chips, didn’t we.” Gabe: “It’s a bit like camping but recording at the same time” Dom: “It was a bit surreal this time weren’t it? Cause we were there in this kind of space… and there was… Stephen Morris.” Gabe: “Hahaha! Lovin’ it as well” Dom: “He loved it didn’t he? He had a real good time and we’re all sat there eating our chips and curries in the middle of nowhere.” The Joy Division drummer agreed to remix ‘Wooden Box’ after the band’s manager posted their ‘Untitled’ EP [Blast First Petite] to ‘Stephen Morris, Macclesfield’ in a moment of marginally insane optimism. Dom: “Yeah, he didn’t have his address, did he? He just sent it – Ha!”
Nik: “And it got to his house!” He promptly joined Throbbing Gristle’s Chris Carter, alterno-stalwarts Liars, Gavin Russom, No Age and Fuck Buttons on a growing list of leftfield bigwigs who count themselves as Factory Floor’s friends, fans and collaborators. A far cry from a cold filesharing endeavour, the new single and the preceding remix series were the product of Morris leaving the Mac for the creatively immersive environs of the ‘middle of nowhere’, namely the Sick Room Studios in Norfolk. “It’s this really organic space,” explains Dom “and the guy, Owen, he and maybe a few other people have built this studio and it’s grown and grown and wrapped around it is… it’s like a small-holding in a way, there’s a river that runs through it, it’s an amazing place. It’s very inspiring and very DIY.They built a bridge across the river which was really… we stood on it and it was wobbling but it was from an old railway and they’d brought it in.” Nik: “It’s a nice juxtaposition ‘cause you’ve got the country and stuff which is really calm and then you’ve got DhjuhDhjuhDhjuhDhjuhDhjuhDhjuhDhjuhDhjuh going on in the Studio for twelve, fourteen hours a day.” Gabe: “They’re the same thing to me man, like an endless sea of fields is the same to me as an endless arpeggiator rhythm” Nik: “It’s a natural order, isn’t it? And our music’s a natural order.” Dom: “Everything falls into that… If it’s a wave hitting a fucking pebble, everything falls into that natural order eventually… Fractal, thank you! That’s exactly… I didn’t want to say it, haha! ‘Cause it sounds pretentious but everything, you know the edge of that table, if you looked at it, would be a fractal, which is the same as a guitar feeding back, which is the same as… you know, it’s all there and Sick Room really fucking pulls that out of us.” If you hadn’t guessed already, Factory Floor have a little more between their ears than the usual collection of soundbites and tired default answers.The standardised preset for recording artists follows a pattern drawn by the corporate hi-jacking of punk’s DIY origins, a regrettable coup that’s left us with thousands of woefully tacky, major label-aping band Myspaces, the Hacienda Apartments (thanks) and delusional, tonedeaf postmen degrading themselves on telly. For this lot, like the best musicians, it won’t do. Instead they’ve overhauled it and written their own one; true Rip it Up and Start Again-types for the digital age. Dom: “We don’t follow a formula every time, if you’re that kind of person you can’t deny that in yourself can you?”
Nik: “Definitely, since I got into Factory Floor, I’ve thought of a different way of approaching an instrument, like the guitar. I’ve been playing for years and used to play in a more traditional way, but then it’s like ‘nah, get rid of that – I don’t want to play a chord series anymore, I want to make noise and sound and use bows and drumsticks and make a different sound with it’.You can end up getting into that formula where you try and play like other people have played, especially if you teach yourself – and I think we’re all self taught, I don’t think we’ve been to music school?” Dom [mock-erudite]: “I trained at Mu… No.” Gabe: “Hahaha! I am grade eight…” Dom: “…On the piano.” Nik: “You look to other people to teach you about the instrument you play but I got fed up and disregarded all that and started again and it’s really good, it’s like developing your own skill.” Dom: “It’s like your own language, innit?” Nik: “Yeah definitely, like the guitar is predominantly a male instrument and it felt like I was playing like a guy for however many years and now I don’t want to play like a guy.” Dom: “Hehehe.” Nik: “Shut up.Well, it is, it’s quite a fucking, it’s quite a phallic thing isn’t it? And sometimes I think I hate it, I don’t wanna play this anymore, but then...” Dom: “No, it is, totally. If you look at guitar heroes they’re all men aren’t they? Jimi Hendrix…” Nik: “Yeah, absolutely, and any female guitarists are kind of looked at as being quite masculine, so yeah I just changed my path a bit.” Dom: “It’s a real brave thing to do isn’t it, to shake off.. it’s really hard to do, it takes…” Nik: “It takes a nervous breakdown or something – haha!” Dom: “I was gonna say, it takes something… if you’re working with an instrument or a material or a media, it’s really easy to slot into ways of working and you have to be quite severe with yourself to crack out of it.” Nik: “Even more well-known artists, like Picasso or anyone, before they’re painting brilliant life-like pictures and
then suddenly, ‘fuck that, I’m going to paint with a line, it’s more expressive’… I think there’s a point where that just happens.” It’s startling how often the band diverge from musical analogies to bring in examples from the other arts – intertextual hopping is as easy for them as crossing the road.They see the art and music worlds as organically conjoined and, having spoken to us last year about their multimedia outlook, it’s positively life-affirming to see they’ve no desire to streamline themselves into a one-trick pony.The Untitled EP comes with ‘Solid Sound’, an hour-long audio/visual headfuck on DVD and a refreshingly accomplished development of their video art (you can find other examples scattered online). As with their music, their attitude in this department is defiantly independent and their time in art school (they all went) sounds like Usain Bolt running the Pac Man maze. Dom: “I kind of did an art education bullshit kind of thing but it carried me from Lincoln down to London, basically – I grew up in a small seaside town called Weymouth, left when I was sixteen and did an art foundation in Lincoln. I felt I wanted to get as far away as I could and Lincoln was the furthest that I got offered a place.Then I moved to Cambridge, did a degree and ended up in London.To be honest, I’ve always done art and I went into education doing art and actually felt very disillusioned with it. Studying art is weird because people are artists, it’s a bit like someone saying, ‘yeah, pay me to do a course about studying about being you’, you know, and actually I can do that myself. I could have spent the same amount of money on a studio somewhere and done the same amount of work.” Gabe: “Yeah, cause if you’ve got the drive to do it anyway…” Dom: “I spent most of my nights at home making music so I’d be up ‘til like five in the morning then have to go into college and play the fucking student. Any creativity, if you’ve got someone looking over you marking it, it fucking kills it. It’s like someone pissing on it.” Gabe: “I think art’s the same as music, you’ve just got to do it, get in there and get on with it. I mean, there are colleges for bands aren’t there and all that shit, which is terrible, fucking shocking…” Dom: “It’s bullshit, teaching you to tune your drums...” Gabe: “And that just draws all the fucking spontaneity out of it, it’s a shocking way to go, just get in and do it yourself.” Dom: “If you put like five technically fucking amazing musicians in a room, they will come up with…” Gabe: “Shit” Nik: “Hold on a minute, you can’t, you can’t… do that! Everyone’s an individual, you can’t just pigeon-hole people!” Dom: “No, I agree, that was generalising” Nik: “I had a really good experience at art-school. I went to Norwich. It was good. It was a new, conceptual art course
and there weren’t any rules and it was down to yourself to experiment.There was a lot of industry that surrounded it so I could go out to these industries and ask them to weld stuff.There was freedom to explore and that’s what’s good about what we’re doing, we’re exploring, we’re not just writing songs to play live. Did you see how I switched it round back to talking about Factory Floor?”
ike anyone who breaks ranks from the line of pie and chips indie bands, you’d expect these three to be looked at askance from some quarters as elitist, pretentious art freaks. Sixteen months on from the last time Loud And Quiet interviewed them, and with the chainsaw-like buzz returning, you still can’t find a Factory Floor keyring anywhere. It’s partly to do with the band refusing to court the hype (“Longevity, isn’t it? It’s important to not just exploit
yourselves.” – Gabe), but, in their myriad of interests, their reconstructive approach and severely modern sound, are they too awkwardly shaped to be digestible? Are they, frankly, too inaccessible? Well, no. In fact, their top priority is to make people dance – something that ranks with fucking, eating and sleeping in the list of fundamental, universal human pastimes. Gabe: “I think it’s turned into a predominantly dance sound, there’s a lot of dance rhythms. Basically, that’s where we want to go with it and where we’re heading with it already.Whatever people think of it, they can put it where they want, but it is dance music.” Dom: “You could apply that [reformulating approach] to say, like, the whole 303 being used in techno.The Roland 303 was designed to replace a bass guitar and, uhh, some scientist was sat in a little engineering hut thinking ‘how do we make a drum machine of a bass guitar?’.You’ve got a 303 and an 808 but people didn’t use them as pretend bass guitars and pretend drummers, they used those tools to make something psychedelic, something very expressive. I think we’re taking the gear that we’re using and we’re trying to kind of push it, we’re really trying to stretch these instruments. Nowadays, you hear good dance music and – lo and behold – they’re using old analogue synths and drum machines but they’re pushing them a little bit further with the technology that’s about now. Back in the late ’80s, there was a limitation to what you could do with recording techniques but now you can do stuff in your bedroom, you can open it up like a spectrum of colour.That’s where we’re striving to, taking a sound and pulling it apart.” Gabe: “It’s like we’re deconstructing
dance, it’s like a primitive dance thing, you know?” Along with the acid sounds and beatdriven odysseys, Factory Floor share with the Balearic generation a desire to escape the bleak surrounds of an austerity-phase economy and conservative social environment. Depending on which side you fall in the glass-half-whatever debate, they’re either a hedonistic expansion pack for reality or a 140bpm funeral march. Nik: “I think there’s a lot of tension at the moment… people are finding it really hard, no one’s got any money, there’s so many rules and stuff.The thing that we can give to that is that people can just hopefully forget about that and just lose themselves.” Gabe: “It’s escapism, innit?” Nik: “It is escapism and I feel it when I’m playing as well, I kind of blanket all that out.” Gabe: “It’s progressive, you can get immersed in it, it is a form of escapism for us too and a lot of people have said, it’s a cheap… narcotic… apparently – hahaha!” Nik: “It’s just getting a point across, isn’t it, and opening people up to thinking differently towards something. But I think with art and music you’ve always got an audience unless you know, you keep everything to yourself and it gets discovered after you die but, essentially, because we base our music on life-experiences… I’ve lost my train of thought…” Dom: “It would be hard to do that when you’re dead.” Gabe: “That would be fucked up.” Dom: “I bet there’s some way of doing it.” Gabe: “Just keep the arpeggiator running mate, just laying there.” Dom: “You could just rot on top of a sequencer, it would change the LFO as you dripped into it.” Gabe: “It’s a possibility.” Dom [gremlin voice]: “Sprinkle my dust on an 808…” L&Q:What do you think happens when you die? Dom: “I think you rot.” Gabe: “I don’t know man, I’ll let you know, I’ll give you an email… I was knocked out once, when I was punched in the face. I was unconscious for five minutes and I couldn’t remember fuck all so I think it’s like that.” Nik [stoned earth-mother voice]: “I think you go back into the earth and y’know, start the whole recycling thing.” Dom: “Turn into shit.” Gabe: “You go down into the ground… then come back up again…” Nik: “I think you might feel a real sense of happiness when you die, just getting out of your own presence, you know… ‘free’ – haha! Not that I want to just yet, you know.” Dom: “You know when you’re really tired and you’re just nodding off to sleep and you’re fighting it and then you’re finally like, aahhh, I’m going to go to sleep.” Nik: “That’s really sad.” Gabe: “It could be really terrible, It could be series of really bad dreams with fucking all of your life being played over for the same amount of time, you know what I mean? I don’t know, just all your memories would probably play really slowly like an old VHS cassette tape…” Dom: “In the sky.”
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Baths Best Coast Betty And The Werewolves Devil Sold His Soul Drum Eyes Fabulous Diamonds Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan Melpomeni Menomena Midnight Juggernauts Minus The Bear Mount Carmel PVT Skream Sky Larkin Tony Da Gatorra vs Gruff Rhys Ty Segall Wavves Woven Bones
Live 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09
Delorean Dirty Projectors Glastonbury Festival Kele Midlake Mystery Jets Please The Get Up Kids Throats
Wavves King of The Beach (Bella Union) By Stuart Stubbs. In stores Aug 2
In 2009, Nathan Williams’ constant diet was a cocktail of hype and drugs. So, plonked in thick weed fug while garage fans labelled him The New Messiah of DIY indie, he, unsurprisingly, went mad. At Primavera Sound he publicly melted down onstage, finally convincing the still deluded that he was in fact ‘a very naughty boy’, not the chosen one. Anyone could have simply glanced at Williams’ debut album to figure that out though – the disappointment of the year (admittedly so because of the hip media’s unfounded expectancy); an album too woozy and happy to stew in lazy reverb rather than work at developing the half decent melodies and ideas within it. ‘King Of The Beach’, then, is a Horrors-sized U-turn. Bigger even! It’s a defiant record of garage pop that’s pretty, excitable, fuzzy, miserable, brattish and youthful to all the right extents; wholly successful in its
attempt to make sure that Williams isn’t forever known as ‘that dude who got done over by his drummer in Spain’ (sticks man Billy Hayes poured a beer on him and left the stage to add to and finally end all the silliness in ‘09). “You’re never gonna stop me!” yells Williams on the opening, title track, which sees the Californian sing from outside a mire of reverb for the first time and stomp from clean guitars to distorted ones and back again. He says the whole record is about inspiring people and the sense of “you have this much but you could have so much more, so go and get it”, and while the two certainly aren’t mutually exclusive it sounds like he’s settling a few scores too, with those that built him up and wrote him off. ‘Super Soaker’ is pure youthful exuberance – unaffected and undeterred – while ‘Linus Spacehead’ features Pavement-ish whoo-awhoos and the refrain, “I’m stuck in the sky, I’m never coming down”, which could either be a lament or a boast. Most of ‘King Of The Beach’ is open to interpretation, in fact, simply because
you can finally hear what Williams is singing, along with the swathes of added subtleties that make this record worth far more than one or two listens – the lightly flanged guitars, the varying amounts of overdrive, the grooves of new bassist/occasional-co-writer Stephen Pope. It’s something that perfectionist producer Dennis Herring has no doubt brought to the hazy party, having coaxed melodies out of Modest Mouse before now. And melodies have always been within Wavves, which is what made his previous record such a frustrating wasted opportunity. Here, the inspiration he takes from The Beach Boys and 60s girls groups is bent into the dream-like ‘Baseball Cards’, while layers of sunny backing vocals are a recurring theme that gives ‘King Of The Beach’ its unmistakable Californian feel, even if it was recorded in Mississippi. Ultimately though, bar wacky pop dud ‘Convertible Balloon’,Wavves still charges around to melodious grungy garage like a man on a cocktail of drugs and hype. Only this time the songs are so perfect it’s justified.
Church With No Magic
In and Out and Back Again
(Siltbreeze) By Laura Davies. In stores July 19
(Warp) By Daniel Dylan Wray. In stores Aug 2
(Hozac) By Danny Canter. In stores now
(Wichita) By Reef Younis. In stores Aug 9
(City Slang) By Polly Rappaport. In stores Aug 2
Pop round to this trio’s house and you’d probably find faded trunks filled with ripped Hendrix and Zeppelin outfits.They like good old-fashioned rock’n’roll, y’see. Launching into ‘Livin’ Like I Wanna’, the Ohioan rockers wail like a credible Wolfmother. ‘ZZ Breakers’ rocks a smoky drawl, singing “Please, please, don’t bring your troubles to me, yeah!” It’s addictive enough, if nothing new, until the rock indulgence creeps in. ‘Hear Me Callin’ features an epic drum solo, clocking in at just under ten minutes, and no one needs that. ‘I Work While You’re Sleeping’ continues the drum marathon (please, enough boys, you’re not Phil Collins), but brings in a jazz-bass riff worthy of an underground 1970s blues joint. There’s a time and a place for Mount Carmel, it’s just unfortunate for them that the time is 1969 and the place is Woodstock.
‘Church With No Magic’ oozes tone and seeps ethereal textures like a leaking roof. In parts there are pure, undeniable nods to Suicide, even down to Alan Vega’s wobbly and fragmented vocals that seem almost equally as haunting as they do textural.The synth’s are thick and pulsate like a pneumatic drill reaching for the earth’s core. So it’s a dense a record – so dense that it feels like it has a thick mist running through it, which is so successfully executed that there’s a real sense of atmosphere that can almost make you feel wet, the foggy air clinging to your face as you trek and plunge into PVT’s dark depths.The synthesisers are part John Carpenter/part Martin Rev and certainly ‘Low’-era Eno, and the production is glistening but never overshadows the strength and core of those bulky, omnipresent synths. A hit from dystopia’s jukebox.
Austin trio Woven Bones are, for want of a better word, very ‘Austiny’. Like Dixieland Jazz can be pinpointed to New Orleans on a map of the States, the drawling, twangy garage that these Texan’s peddle could have only come from the backyards that play host to SXSW every year. It’s more devilish than garage punk from other areas of the country and world, made extra menacing by Woven Bones’ clear love for The Stooges and The Velvets. It feels like a more authentic brand of scuzz rock, even if they do do very little with the three chords they know - just play them round and round to either the more successful ‘prowl’ speed setting (‘Guess You Already Knew’/ ‘Creepy Bone’) or the amped-up ‘ravish’ cycle (‘Couldn’t Help But Stare’). And yet you’ll be hard pressed to take an ear off of Andy Burr’s Iggy whine. Simple yet compelling stuff.
If we learnt anything from Sky Larkin’s debut, it was that they aren’t a trio who deal in the extravagant. Sure, they’ve got the wholesome, take-home charm down to a tee with Katie Harkin’s vocals pushing Kate Nash-esque whimsy but now, two albums in, not much has shifted to change that perception. ‘Spooktacular’ briefly rollicks the album with a possessed grunge spirit and slamming percussion, ‘Guitar and Antarctica’’s down-temp growling guitar chug lends a languid, desert session spirit and ‘Coffee Drinker’ is an almost isolated moment where the trio are unleashed to wail and pound to their hearts’ content. It’s hardly the twee, identikit indie but ‘Kaleide’ is still nothing more than a perfectly acceptable, amiable way to spend an easy 40 minutes. It still feels like we’re being restricted to the sparklers at a firework spectacular.
After a three-year release gap, the Portland indie madmen are back, and they remain on form. As was the case with the Grammynominated ‘Friend And Foe’, the tracks have been built up, layer by layer, packed with loops and piled high with an array of instruments, from eerily tinkling chimes to the blast of a bass sax. Opening track ‘Queen Black Acid’ starts in a deceptively stark vein but eventually tumbles into euphoric choruses about falling down a rabbit hole.The trio’s psychedelic pop base, washed by waves of piano and strings, and bombarded by crashing drums, can feel claustrophobic and it’s tempting to gasp for oxygen between each immersion of dense, complicated – though beautiful – sound, but the artfully placed sonic ebbs always swoop in, just before your senses drown. But only just. It’s an exhausting listen, but well worth it.
Skream Outside The Box (Tempa) By Sam Walton. In stores Jul 26
With Ollie ‘Skream’ Jones and Burial the only dubstep producers to have enjoyed mainstream success recently, Jones may feel he has something to prove here. And on that score, ‘Outside The Box’ does its job. On the centrepiece of ‘Fields of Emotion’ and the Jocelyn Brown-sampling ‘Love The Way’, the cavernous arrangements offset the potentially cheesy synth melodies, and the results are as bowel-shakingly brilliant as his La Roux remix from 2009. His ear for pop is bent into perfect shape too, on ‘Where You Should Be’, a futuristic take on new jack swing that melds Blackstreet with The Streets and comes out with one of the classiest RnB tracks of recent years. Unfortunately though this debut’s dub is far stronger than its step, most embarrassingly on the terrible junglist dross ‘The Epic Last Song’. It’s regrettable, because the majority of the album is brilliantly executed, compellingly dark stuff, and proves Skream to be far more than a one-remix pony. www.loudandquiet.com
Al bums 08/10
Betty and The Werewolves
Devil Sold His Soul
Blessed & Cursed
The Crystal Axis
(Goner) By Polly Rappaport. In stores now
(EMI) By Matthias Scherer. In stores Aug 12
(Siberia) By Nathan Westley. In stores Aug 2
By Daniel Dylan Wray. In stores Aug 2
For those worried that garage music had degenerated into little more than an excuse to bark tuneless semi-lyrics whilst abusing some instrument you never really learnt how to play, drowning the whole lot out with levels of distortion that could melt a Boeing 747,Ty Segall has often been a sound for sore ears. He retains the gratifying scuzziness of the genre but errs on the side of simplicity, with lashings of punk and pop. On ‘Melted’ - the San Franciscan’s third album - things have fleshed out a bit, with screamy hip-shakers that positively stink of the 60’s – ‘Sad Fuzz’ has a quasi-‘White Album’ deliriousness about it, which totally works – and the trashy, sweaty hooks are virtually relentless. He’s even thrown in a few jangly piano layers. Finally Segall has gone beyond guy-witha-guitar, and it sounds like there’s no turning back.
Say what you want about ‘Blessed and Cursed’ – the second album by a band rising from the ashes of apparently hugely influential posthardcore outfit Mahumodo – but it doesn’t beat around the bush in its intentions. Song titles like ‘Drowning/Sinking’ hint at emotionally explosive content, albeit somewhat musically onesided, and this is pretty much what we get. Singer Ed Gibbs’ contributions oscillate between the pressed screams common in this genre and almost radio-friendly, tuneful singing reminiscent of Underoath, creating a kind of vocal narrative that keeps things interesting while the guitars pound out yet another larger-than-life breakdown. Extensive, atmospheric intros and string sections underline the album’s aim of packing an emotional punch, but there will be few people over 18 to whom these songs will mean something.
If the music industry adopted a FIFA-like approach to ranking a country’s musical output, Australia would largely appear in the top quarter due to the ever-continuing global success of one Kylie Minogue. In that instance, the emergence of Midnight Juggernauts’ sophomore effort, ‘The Crystal Axis’, would serve as a positive-yet-modest contribution; for they have factored together an album that has a habit of sounding like Giorgio Moroder at the controls of the Hadron Collider with Depeche Mode loaded in one end and a tribute to them in the other. In essence, this album sounds remarkably like the Basildon goths at their most notable, awash with plenty of heavy, brooding synths and dark lyrics that, while more stylish then your everyday eighties-influenced chart botherer, ultimately lacks imagination.
People seem to be using the words ‘chill wave’ a lot at the moment (just take a look at our Memoryhouse interview on page 17) and if I didn’t find the term so utterly repugnant I may well call this album that. Instead of using a term that conjures up images of Ibiza chill out albums with tracks from Groove Armada on, I’ll accept this album for what it is – a harmonious, hazy and delicate record that deals equally in oddities as it does in beauty.The album is sparse and elusive, yet it’s filled with layers of synthesised textures and samples, which, amalgamated with the piercing yet subtle beats that drive the album, results in a reserved yet rewarding experience, not unlike the latest offering from Flying Lotus. It’s a bewildering juxtaposition – for an album that sounds like most of it is played in reverse, it’s frighteningly progressive.
Teatime Favourites (Damaged Goods) By Sam Little. In stores now On the face of it, Betty And The Werewolves are as twee as a knitting party (read: gathering) sat in front of The Royal Tenenbaums and other quirky indie flicks. Eating cupcakes. Reading Virginia Woolf. Platting hair. Urrgh! But while the quartet’s debut album is certainly gooey and ‘nice’ in parts, it’s hard and nasty in others, which is a welcome surprise.The opening ‘Euston Station’ sounds like an unsatisfied Long Blondes, for example, and ‘Purple Eyes’ is even more disdainful under Lisa McMahon’s saccharin vocals, which ask, “The Libertines? Who the fuck are they?”. And the band’s Sleeper-ish, Britpop nonchalance is peppered all over ‘Teatime Favourites’. It’s still twee indie pop, but Betty have an almost punk bite and attitude at their cutesy core. They probable don’t even cut the crusts of their sandwiches.
Best Coast Crazy For You (Wichita) By Wichita. In stores Aug 2
After an endless run of 7” releases, Bethany Cosentino, aka Best Coast, has produced an album that will find its way onto many a Spotify playlist soundtracking drunken BBQs. Her early singles merely hinted at her talent for penning fuzzy, snappy love songs and often hid amateurish playing behind noisy production. ‘Crazy For You’ rectifies this by offering a generous use of Doo-Wop backing vocals (The Ronettes are a favourite of Bethany’s) and a sound that allows the vocals to lead the songs rather than the other way round. Highlights are the 60s pop of ‘I Want You’ and the more punky ‘Happy’ and the album’s length (29 minutes) ensures it doesn’t outstay its welcome, which, considering the limited variety of the material, could have been a real risk. Lyrically, things mainly revolve around smoking weed and boys (mean boys, nice boys, boyfriends, friends who are boys etc.), but that just makes it easier to sing along to when you’re drunk on summer and Fosters.
Fabulous Diamonds (Siltbreeze) By Sam Walton. In stores now
Tony Da Gatorra Vs Gruff Rhys
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan
The Terror of Cosmic Loneliness (Turnstile)
If one were to write this review in the style of Melbourne noise artists Fabulous Diamond’s second LP, the write-up would be a single long sentence that shifted imperceptibly from short sharp one-beat words into elongated, undulating, improvisational literature and back to short words once more, the whole thing sustained by increasingly peculiar grammatical contortions, sporadic BEHEADED ROOSTER dada-ist exaltations BEETROOT! and linguistic repetitions and echoes, echoes and repetitions linguistics, all bouncing off one another while a deep, undulating and eventually very satisfying pattern slowly emerges – a pattern that would be tantalisingly interrupted by a choppy, illformed sentence, peppered with avant-garde word-play and highliterature gags, all of which would be great were it not so painfully self-aware of its own cleverness.
By Chris Watkeys. In stores Jul 26
Fabulous Diamonds II
After twenty years in ‘the business’, Gruff Rhys can do pretty much whatever he wants and still be respected for it. And what he wants just now is to collaborate with a mildly crazy-sounding Brazilian chap who builds odd sounding instruments he names after himself, then make an experimental album of buzzsaw guitars, anti-rhythms and blindly insane noise, some of which is sung in Portuguese. Sound good? Well, some of it is. ‘O Que Tu Tem’ is a cacophonous yet coherent piece of angry protest music, sounding like a reconstructed Fall song played in a phone box. Elsewhere there’s more conventional but no less energising fare, while Gruff taking vocals on some tracks lends the album a smidgen of accessibility.There’s some self-consciously ‘crazy’ and pretty dismal tracks here too, but overall you have to say ‘respect’.
Minus The Bear Omni
8 Tragedies, 2 Love Songs & A Breakdown (Lighthouse)
By Danielle Goldstein. In stores Aug 16
By Sam Little. In stores Jul 26
(Co Op) By Tom Goodwyn. In stores Aug 23
Where the previous two albums from this collaborative project were about revenge and forbidden love, ‘Hawk’ takes on a note of regret. ‘We Die and See Beauty Reign’ is the slow, difficult opener that’ll have you reaching for sharp things if you don’t hold out for the hootenanny of the title track, which livens things up with a cacophony of blaring saxophones. ‘Come Undone’ is the one to floor you though, as the beautiful strings paired with the abrupt guitar mirror Lanegan’s gruff voice grating evocatively against Campbell’s soothing whisper. There’s also a hint of the ’60s with a riff on on ‘Get Behind Me’ that screams The Animals, and closer ‘Lately’ echoes Lou Reed, which the gospel harmonies and Lanegan’s gravely vocals mimic. It’s a record that sells itself as a bluesheavy, country folk number, but is rich in retro pop tidings.
Melpomeni’s debut album is something akin to a musical version of that ‘find the lady’ back alley card scam - just as you think you’ve spotted the breakdown in amongst the 8 tragedies and 2 love songs it turns out you were wrong, and now your safety might be at risk. Because this dramatic, blackened-eyed piano pop gushes with all the melodrama of a scorn banshee on the Jeremy Kyle Show. It means that, on occasions (usually when it’s just Melpomeni and her piano), the ghoulish theatrics can tip toe past faux cobwebs and Kate Bush voodoo dolls into the realms of clichéd spookiness found on the Vampire Bat Ride at Chesington World of Adventures. Backed by a band though, on tracks like the possessed honky tonk of ‘I Need A Man’, which prowls and wails quite magnificently, Melpomeni will seduce you with vampish flare and pomp.
Seattle’s Minus The Bear have always been one of those bands whose fans absolutely adore them, but who’ve never grown into an act that sells many records. Despite this, they’ve steadily put out a vast number of albums and EPs over the last few years, each formed of sharply constructed riffs, off the wall lyrics and nagging choruses, described by those who know them best as the originators of math rock. New release ‘Omni’ is no different from their past endeavours – jagged guitars collide over a complex myriad of instrumentation. Opener ‘Summer Angel’ in particular captures the band’s ability to mix heavy riffage with a hum-able chorus.The rest of the album is much in the same vein, consistently excellent and very odd.The chances are that ‘Omni’ won’t win Minus The Bear any new fans, but let’s face it, they’re probably past caring.
Drum Eyes Gira Gira (Upset The Rhythm) By Edgar Smith. In stores Aug 9
This record starts like a pissed surgeon in a ‘Wake up to Rape’T-shirt carefully showing you his tools. Disconcerting to say the least, ‘50-50’ demonstrates, in a scattershot way, a taste of the kraut-disco grooves and psychedelic Gameboy flourishes that are to come. Not to be sniffed at, Drum Eyes have supported Omar Souleyman, shared a couple of stages with Damo Suzuki, and are essentially a supergroup comprising of ex-Boredoms drummer E-da, DJ Scotch Egg and a network of collaborating musicians that draw the dots between Brighton’s acid-folk, experimental and electronic scenes.The elements at play might be spun with less entropic elegance than their musical forebears (‘Future Police’ certainly feels like a step-too-far into minor-key Nintendo boss music), but once the record hits ten-minute standout ‘Future Yakuza’ it’s all plain (if fucked-up) sailing: think freak-outs reminiscent of the new Flying Lotus album and textures that shift from digital crunches into doom-laden trip rock. www.loudandquiet.com
Very, very hot!
Photography by Jason Bryant
It was whilst sat in the Park area of Glastonbury’s vast site that we realised no amount of posh kids could fully sap the festival’s life force, or discredit its good intentions.That’s Glasto’s cancer, y’see – horsey toothed girls slumming it in last season’s Miu Miu wellies and sneering at greebos with nameless macks and elaborate piercings you could pass a sausage through while Henry calls his dealer who takes cards and give receipts.That and a lineup that seems to be growing less alternative by the year, which in turn acts like a bit of a wanker magnet. Before our epiphany in The Park, we’ve seen a teenager apply fake tan on the train station platform, Stato’s Stag Fest party (easily spotted by their England football shirts) and the bendy one from T4. And then, in the far corner of the festival’s site, a little
west of The Stone Circle, we noticed that the bunting was made from children’s clothes (in a non creepy way), and that the poles hoisting them up were hand painted with flowers and stripes and stars. And that the wind chimes nearly matched. And other things. In short, we noticed – as one does while waiting for Henry’s dealer every year – the bespoke details that still reach every corner of Glastonbury despite it now being 900 acres wide and open to 180,000 people. So we stopped moping because we’d seen too much boxed wine already, forgot that even Bono had turned his back on Glastonbury and once again set about exploring what will be the greatest festival in the world for as long as the bunting is made out of children’s clothes and expressive, sloppy paint jobs are encouraged on just as many static objects as moving ones.
The top five musical sights we saw were…
01 thom yorke & johnny greenwood The Park, 8.25, Friday 25th There are two ‘official’ secret sets at Glastonbury these days, both at the picturesque, modestly sized Park stage as the sun sets on the Friday and Saturday of the festival.What with Glastonbury being a place for spreading rumours like muck in a Portaloo, there’s much speculation as to who it might be this year, with plenty of false leads that eventually disappoint Strokes and Coldplay fans. Anyone who doesn’t settle for a Thom Yorke set of solo highlights, followed by a handful of Johnny Greenwoodenhanced Radiohead hits might as well go home now, though.With this being Glastonbury’s 40th, there is a certain sense that anything could happen, and then, as we huddle around the stage and pray that it’s not
Pete Doherty, it does. Michael Eavis pops up in shorts so short that we really must be in his house, soaks up the “Eeeaaavis!” chants for a second, looks embarrassed and says, “I’m not going to name them but please welcome two complete legends of music.” Thom Yorke then jogs on in Royal Tenenbaums garb (well, a sweatband, at least) to cheers of relief and smug points of ‘I told you!’. He plays everything we wanted to hear from his ‘Eraser’ album, perfectly and poignantly, before Johnny Greenwood shows up to play on ‘Weird Fishes/Arpeggi’, ‘Pyramid Song’, ‘Idioteque’, a rendition of ‘Karma Police’ that makes people cry and ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out)’.Tomorrow night it’s Biffy Clyro – poor buggers.
The 40 Year Old Virgin As Glastonbury turned 40, resident disco chump Party Wolf went to his first ever festival to see what he’s been missing all these years PW on Glasto food Rip off springs to mind. By Saturday I’d definitely had one burger of eyelids and hoofs so I went to this place called The Green Fields where they only let you eat beans that have be killed humanely. Then they charged me five quid for a soup. Next time I’ll take my own thank you very much.
PW on The Speakers Forum
The Pyramid Stage, 6.45, Saturday 26th
The Pyramid Stage, 10.00pm, Friday 25th
If some women use sex as a weapon, Shakira is packing enough naughty semtex and saucy explosive charges to wipe out the Universe, which is fine by everyone in front of The Pyramid Stage, just as long as she finishes her set of south American carnival pop bangers first. For all the outrageous gyrating, the needless tossing of water on her chest, the speaker humping and simulated striptease every now and then, the Columbian too famous to go home for fear of being kidnapped is also brilliantly dramatic in song, courageously proud in her choice to sing five numbers in Spanish and wholly endearing as she cutely interacts with the crowd. She may be fit and know it, but she’s also charming and wide-eyed enough to
keep everyone on side. And she’s armed with ‘Whenever,Wherever’, which is let loose second in the hour-long set, the beastly disco throb of ‘She Wolf ’ that has us howling as one and ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ – the best pop song since ‘Toxic’ that rightly ends this passionate pop party before the lot of us go blind. The show is a credit to Glastonbury and it’s goers. If this had been Reading, Shakira would have been bottled by a crowd too afraid of having a good time in their HIM hoodies. Here she’s given the chance she deserverse and if this is the way Glastonbury is heading – with good-time world pop stars on the Pyramid instead of dreary indie bands who aren’t ‘indie’ in the slightest – it’s nothing but a good thing.
Some (well, most, from the sound of the grumbles around us on Friday night) will have you believe that Gorillaz’ headline set would have been more thrilling if U2 had in fact shown up to only play ‘The Sweetest Thing’ twenty times over... instrumentally… at half speed. Some, are clearly idiots. Damon Albarn always had his work cut out, not just stepping into Bono’s Fair Trade loafers but also following his Blur top spot of 2009. Then, everyone knew every word; tonight Glastonbury knows a bit of ‘DARE’, but soon gets bored of that, despite the nonchalant, caned cool of Sean Ryder’s appearance in Primark sunglasses, looking as unimpressed with the crowd as they do with him. He’s one of a million very special guests,
Because it was so bloody hot, I took cover in the debating tent. There, a lady called Anne (I think) and a knitted man told us how Glasto was going to be ‘greener’. Lovely Anne spoke for a bit and convinced me to re-use my bath water from now on (in soups and things) and then she opened the floor to receive questions when a man called Roy used the opportunity to plug his coach company from Brighton. Very poor form, Roy!
PW on nudity No thanks! Rod (Stewart) told me, “Glasto’s great, mate. Some girls get nude.” Rod’s standards are clearly slipping.
PW on the crowd I saw Reggie from Fearne & Reggie, and Fat Boy Slim, but I met some lovely people too. In an area called Arcadia – where people all wear Punky Fish and listen to ‘Fat of The Lands’ like it’s 1996 while swinging pois around – I became very close with a man called Monkey. He kept licking his lips, which I found funny.
05 the pet shop boys The Other Stage, 10.15pm, Saturday 26th
Glastonbury special Contintued...
and the truth is that anyone who has any interest in inventive new music played passionately and bravely to the last bongo tap (a stubborn ten-minute interlude of gentle Africa beats and strings sees the largest exodus of the evening) can appreciate just how brilliant and cosmically ‘Glastonbury’ Gorillaz are. The crowd seem angry that they don’t know any of the words, as if it’s the band’s fault, and even an appearance from Lou Reed (!) can’t change the cynical mood. Similarly criticised for having his words written down, Mark E Smith is under appreciated despite a.) being Mark E Smith, and b.) ranting like a twenty something dressed as a used car salesman, with more angst than anyone else on the entire bill. Snoop Dogg blags his way through a closing ‘Clint Eastwood’ by putting ‘izzle’ on the end of real words (surprise, surprise) and that too is loose but unquestionably fun and surely in the spirit of the festival. It’s just a shame the crowd don’t realise it, because Gorillaz are the surprise hit of Glastonbury.
04 snoop dogg The Pyramid Stage, 5.00pm, Friday 25th Cordozar Calvin Broadus pulls off two very impressive feats at Glastonbury – he draws the biggest crowd we’ve ever seen EVER, and then makes everyone (not just the staple front ten, squished rows) go fucking mental. And, while the day up until now has been full of “you’ve gotta go and see Snoop” pearls of wisdom, once in front of the Pyramid, it doesn’t feel like anyone is here out of irony. Or if they were, the opening ‘Still Dre’ sobers that feeling up – still the best West Coast gangsta track to ever make a Cadillac bounce. With cartoonish pimp leans, everyone tries to look as black as possible, failing miserably on the whole, mumbling along and shouting the few words they remember.
But, for half an hour, at least, it’s far more impressive than anyone could have expected. Snoop’s bands are tighter than his Baby Gap vest, wearing ‘Dogg Pound’ tees to promote the merch onsite, like the rapper’s hoes, if you will.When not singing 50 Cents’ ‘P.I.M.P.’, or a Justin-less ‘Signs’, or that song about fucking all the ladies, Snoop prevents the sun-baked crowd from going flat by shouting “Make some mutha fuckin’ noise!!!” or “hell, mutha fuckin’ yeah”, or any other sentence with mutha fukin’ implanted in it. After half an hour, sure, we’re less high on Snoop’s tricks and we’ve heard ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’. But still, before it was silly it was fun, not funny, and it turns out that “you gotta see Snoop” is the most sensible advice we get all weekend.
A month ago we saw The Pet Shop Boys headline Primavera Sound with an identical set to that we are watching now. But you’d see England win two consecutive football matches by a measly goal if you could, and this show is infinitely more dramatic, camp and sensory than that would ever be. Arriving through the middle of two walls of cardboard boxes (each acting as a projection screen for graphics so kitsch it’s hard to tell if they’re totally shit or utterly brilliant), Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant step forward to perform ‘Heart’ with coloured cubes on their heads. He’s not, but Tennant sounds as though he could easily be miming, now and throughout the show. Four dancers come and go throughout what is a few tracks shy of a greatest hits set.There’s no ‘Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)’, ‘Shopping’ or ‘Domino Dancing’, save for a few bars that are worked into the outro of ‘What Have I Done To Deserve This?’ and a needless cover of Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’ – through which Tennant swans about in a robe and crown. But there is ‘Se A Vida E’, ‘Suburbia’ and ‘It’s A Sin’ and ‘West End Girls’ that end the main set and encore, respectively, all of which take our minds off of ‘Go West’. Halfway through ‘Building A Wall’, the temporary projection screens tumble to the ground, their bricks moved around the stage for the remainder of the evening to create podiums and steps for the dancers to largely boxercise and step aerobics atop. It’s as cabaret as it sounds, and yet ‘very Pet Shop Boys’; dated and yet modern, simple disco and yet inventively captivating and completely euphoric.
Mystery Jets Somerset House, London 08.07.2010 By Mandy Drake ▼
There is an argument that a massive arse could parp Jamiroquai B-sides in the opulent courtyard of Somerset House and it would somehow be not completely terrible. Mystery Jets just so happen to have a four-day-old new album in them that’s so full of swooning, mid-stadium rom-pop that the bum test is neither passed nor failed this evening. For opener ‘Flash A Hungry Smile’ the sound is a little boomy but that soon settles down, as do the super posh, chattering crowd with the following ‘Half In Love With Elizabeth’.What follows is nearly a complete shunning of the band’s debut album, ‘Making Dens’ (with the exception of ‘Diamonds In The Dark’, which is greeted by fans almost as enthusiastically at ‘Two Doors Down’ and a ravey, boisterous ‘Hideaway’), a set of hits from ‘Twenty One’ and most of new record ‘Serotonin’. It’s often not the case, but the new songs really are the best – the swaying ‘Melt’ and the jubilant title track especially – and tonight’s set would have been triumphantly emotive if played anywhere. Up Jay-Kay’s pompous arse, even.
Throats Pavilion Tavern, Brighton 29.06.2010 By Nathan Westley ▼
Late last year a list arose that outlined the thirty five artists America’s military had a fondness of playing at deafening volume in order to help interrogate suspected terrorists.Throats were not on that list.Yet tonight a mere thirtyminute live set is proof enough that they can encroach so far upon the average person’s pain barriers that the UN could deem enforced exposure to them inhumane.This is band as cuddly as a crocodile covered in broken glass, who play at an ear splintering level, hit at high force – chunky guitar and bass riffs caked in so much thick, sludgey distortion that they merge together to become a near constant barrage of dynamic free noise that is occasionally punctuated by a
deftly played drum break.Yet if this miniscule changing foundation is not fearful enough, it is topped off with the type of deathly growled out vocals that would explode Osama Bin Laden’s head at 100 metres.Throats should carry a health warning.
Dirty Projectors The Barbican Centre, London 25.06.2010 By Omarrr ▼
Since you can’t turn 360 degrees without bumping into another drab World Cup match, it seems apt that tonight’s gig is a game of two distinct halves.The first hour sees Dirty Projectors’ loosenecked, streaky brainchild Dave Longstreth reassemble his 2005 concept album ‘The Getty Address’ along with 15-piece NYC orchestra Alarm Will Sound.Whilst backing singers Amber and Angel are ever-resplendent in matching red and yellow riding-hoods it does little to mask the challenging complexity of Longstreth’s early creation (it’s an abstract story based on Don Henley, founder of The Eagles). Brass and percussion polyfill the fragile holes in the original record but it’s still tough going. “That was some music I wrote when I was 21,” pipes the singer after a half-time team talk. “Now we’re in a rock band”. The sextet then tumble forward much more confidently, with a second half of songs from their most recent effort, 2009’s ‘Bitte Orca’. ‘Two Doves’ is a gentle and lovelorn reintroduction and ‘Stillness Is The Move’ warms the room like a powdery rainbow with its TLCesque strut.Tonight is a reminder that this band are still a work in progress.They flit between the inspired and the insipid but there are enough clues that Longstreth might yet have a truly classic album up his sleeve.
Kele O2 Academy, Oxford 02.07.2010 By Tom Goodwyn ▼
Anyone who’s followed Kele Okereke’s career will not have been surprised by the sound he’s
opted for in his solo material. Over time Bloc Party had drifted away from the cheesewire guitars of their early days and into much dancier territory. On tour, in support of his first solo album, ‘The Boxer’, there is one noticeable change – he’s absolutely brimming with confidence.When he first appeared, back in 2004 he was notoriously shy, but now, he seems to have become a showman, demanding the crowd cheer harder throughout his set, which they do, with shouts getting louder as the gig goes on. He plays most of the album, a superb bassy,Whileyesque ‘Tenderoni’, as well as four Bloc Party songs, including a tranced-up ‘Blue Light’ and a euphoric ‘One More Chance’. His new material takes the band’s forays into dance and really runs with them, ending up more Fedde Le Grand than Gang Of Four. And yet, despite Kele‘s new tracks being well received, the biggest cheers, rather predictably, are reserved for Bloc Party songs, which makes you wonder whether he’ll be convinced to return to his day job.
Midlake The Leadmill, Sheffield 26.06.2010 By Daniel Dylan Wray ▼
With a band boasting seven live members you by rights expect to experience something above the norm. Sadly, tonight Midlake offers nothing but that.While it’s arguable their whimsical, nostalgic sound is only for a certain few, they have successfully transcended niches and genres and created some floating yet concise folk/pop songs in their time. Four guitar players grace the stage, tonight. Now, when you see a band with three guitarists you usually expect one of them is the filler for the other two who take on lead and rhythm.Well, Midlake manage to succeed in making all four guitars sound like the filler, creating a subsequent mass of mediocre wobbling.They simply plod through what feels like an endless barrage of tinkering and incoherent meanderings.The theoretical journey stays so firmly in the middle of the road that you wouldn’t even get hit by a car coming from either side, as much as you may want to.There are brief moments when it works, but you
can’t help but feel bitterly short changed.What exactly are all seven people doing up there? Sometimes less is more.
Delorean The Relentless Garage, Islington 30.06.2010 By Omarrr ▼
A new name to some, Barcelonabased electro-bods Delorean have actually been together for nearly a decade. It’s their latest album, ‘Subiza’, that’s responsible for floating them into the limelight recently and it sure is a departure for the foursome who started many moons ago as an angry hardcore gang in a Catalan village, scaring sheep and obsessing over F1 cars (their 2009 EP was called ‘Ayrton Senna’). Now ensconced in Barcelona’s burgeoning electronic scene they’ve made an album of euphoric, sundown-rave that recalls Animal Collective at their most accessible. In the flesh though, with rough edges included, they’re more like Tame Impala, Caribou or Yeasayer. Bravely, album highlight ‘Stay Close’, is a card played early but sounds like diving into a freezing swimming pool at the end of an Ibiza comedown. Likewise, ‘Real Love’ is a dazzling jewel, layers of beats gently pulled across each other, and Delorean continue to be brilliant. Originally named after the wheels that took Marty McFly back to almost snog his mum, this band have driven all the great bits of Balearic dance of the last ten years into an airborne intoxicating punch.
The Get Up Kids The Underworld, Camden, London 24.06.2010 By Ross McTaggart ▼
While the pop punk genre may have lost its lustre, there’s a packed Underworld crowd assembled tonight to give thanks to The Get Up Kids, who all but started the movement. In support are The Xcerts, who combine raw power with infective melodies to create such grunge pop anthems that they regularly cast dispersions on the idea that Biffy Clyro are Scotland’s
most important three piece. From The Get Up Kids’ opening track, ‘Holiday’, it’s obvious tonight is all about reliving the emo dream to a soundtrack of poppy, would-be classics. Cherry picking tracks from their four albums, the band don’t even have to break a sweat to please the loyal fans who are more than happy to scream punk sentiments into the low ceiling all night.There seems to be some tension between Matt Pryor and Jim Suptic – perhaps years of touring and a rather cramped stage aren’t helping – but the inclusion of mellowed acoustic-led tracks and some newer material helps to prevent the set from becoming stale and predictable, and as closer ‘Ten Minutes’ kicks in The Underworld erupts as we catch a real glimpse of the visceral, heartfelt energy that made this band so influential.
Please Old Blue Last, Shoreditch, London 03.07.2010 By Sacha Shaikh ▼
Tonight the crumbling Old Blue Last plays host to the launch of Dance Magic Dance’s jam-packed cassette compilation, so, rather fittingly, the line up is equally as crammed with bands that are given just fifteen minutes each. Opening are London three-piece Please, playing their first of two shows tonight, and they manage to fuse together their obvious 60’s and 70’s influences to create something rather unique and noisy.With heavy guitar riffs and skull-bashing drumbeats, this modern-day, psych-rock garage band are fronted by lead singer/guitarist Keebie – a man dressed as if he’s chartered his own yacht to east London and strops about the stage like a vibrant jack in the box. If nothing else, it distracts from the poor sound as the singer’s vocals are drowned out by the frenzied, fuzzy guitars.The issue is soon resolved and the venue begins to come alive, just in time for featured track ‘Sutton Hoodoo’ – a song of fast paced Arabian sounds that’s followed quickly by a cover of obscure 60’s French track ‘Ta Ta Ta Ta’. It’s a real shame that the set is so short but if these fifteen minuets are anything to go by the lucky punters at the next show are in for a treat.
film By IAN ROEBUCK
Whatever works Starring: Larry David, Michael McKean, Evan Rachel Wood, Patricia Clarkson Director:Woody Allen
Leonardo Dicaprio in Inception
Cinema Preview A truly mind-bending trip to the movies this month… -----A fragmented mind, aspects of identity and a fractured sense of self have haunted Christopher Nolan’s films since his striking debut Doodlebug back in 1997. Whether it be Guy Pearce’s memory struck Leonard in Memento, Al Pacino struggling to grasp reality (and yet another misguided Robin Williams serial killer) in Insomnia or Christian Bale’s Dark Knight grappling with his grey matter, the brain has become the battleground for Nolan’s psychological take on cinema. So it continues with the intriguing Inception, a film already described as James Bond meets The Matrix (the names Neo…err that’s it) and fittingly hyped as the summer blockbuster, which is good for two reasons – a.) it’s not a sequel, and b.) it doesn’t look shit. Inception exists in a world where the subconscious is accessible in its dream state, essentially meaning that you can take a peak at another’s night time thoughts when the mind is at its most vulnerable and, in Leonardo DiCaprio’s case, you can nick them. Yes, the forever-young, Scorsese-bothering, Brylcreem baby plays Dom Cobb; a master thief and extractor of dreams hell bent on tearing up the complicated world of corporate espionage.The twist in the tale lies in the ultimate heist – instead of stealing a dream he has to plant one, giving us the film’s title. Astonishing teaser trailers and an ambiguous viral campaign involving blacked out text and something called the dream-share manual have assured a
genuinely exciting buzz around the film. Nolan knows how to assemble a cast too, and with Joseph GordonLevitt, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy and Ken Watanabe all clambering for screen time there promises to be no shortage of brain related brilliance. As already established, sequels are rarely to be cherished (at least not while McG walks the earth) and yet there’s no denying that the early 1990’s were graced by glorious number 2’s. Terminator, Die Hard and Predator all came back in impressive form as the action movie hurtled towards its arguable peak. Despite John McTiernan and Arnold Schwarzenegger dropping from sight for Predator 2 they were at least handsomely replaced by Stephen Hopkins and Danny (boy) Glover. Now the Robert Rodriguez-produced Predators purrs from the undergrowth, flirting in its franchisey way (yes, we are sidestepping the paltry AVP and the frankly embarrassing AVPR). At it’s helm, Nimrod Antal, director of the underrated Vacancy and distinctly average Armoured, handpicked by Rodriguez to help create his labour of love, having started the script himself on the set of Desperado. After Arnie, the Predator series seems to be on an unconventional slope when it comes to its stars. First Danny ‘don’t sit on that toilet’ Glover stepped up, and now Predators brings us the new skinny action hero, Adrien Brody.What to expect apart from an illfitting vest is anyone’s guess, but it doesn’t take too much imagination.We’re in the jungle again, the original Predator is back and they’ve even cast a Latin American woman to scream expletives in a different language while Brody’s crew slowly get picked off.
A warming sense of familiarity envelopes Whatever Works;Woody Allen’s first film shot in Manhattan since 2004’s Melinda and Melinda. It’s also Allen’s first film with Larry David; something of a kindred comedic spirit both in tone and intelligence. David plays Boris Yellnikoff (a retired quantum physicist and self proclaimed genius), with a beguiling mix of his and Allen’s renowned comic ticks. It’s a wonderful combination of Curb Your Enthusiasm’s provocative, cutting humour with every flourish you’d expect from the 74year-old director.Where Boris differs to Allen’s previous protagonists is the sheer anger he exudes, though to have him directly address the camera throughout engages the character’s endearing side. Having split with his equally intellectual wife, Boris takes in dense runaway Melody (pitch perfect from Evan Rachel Wood) whose deep southern mouth strangely compliments David’s acerbic witterings about the inchworms and imbeciles that surround him. It’s this vast gulf in intellect that Allen exploits to great effect as the relationship blossoms. An outstanding script helps the film truly sparkle and the dialogue remains in good hands throughout, particularly when we see Melody’s mother played exuberantly by Patricia Clarkson. Her battle with David’s character a constant delight and on-running jokes about catfish,Yankees and the Nobel Peace prize add an extra layer to an occasionally sloppy narrative.There are moments where the inspired dialogue falters and the flaws shine through, and while Allen can be admired for keeping mistakes and first takes in, I imagine he’s the only person who enjoys these, with the exception of David perhaps. Boris’s mantra of sorts is encapsulated in the title – “Whatever Works” is a message for the world to seize happiness in anyway possible. And in the film’s case the audience can find joy from many sources, whether it’s David’s all too familiar character or Allen’s affectionate, amiable script. It’s a good effort from everyone. Preeety, preeety good.
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Photo Casebook “Party on Robbie: Pt 6” OK, Robbie. If you win, you’re back in Take That. If I win you tell everyone that I wrote ‘Angels’! ...and ‘She’s The One’. I like that one too.
MEMOIRS “You’ll never make anything of yourself, Kemp!” snarled Mr Hughes as my pants became damp.The other boys tittered. University was meant to be fun, but I was having a rotter of a time. I knew I had to toughen up so I joined Fitness First (or was is LA Fitness?) and never looked back. I shaved my head, bought out the local FCUK store and treated myself to some army trousers from Debenhams.They were made by Rocha John Rocha and the legs zipped off to make them into shorts. I looked like a mean brother lover, and felt like one too. My first audition for Enders was possibly the happiest day of my life. “Isn’t he muscley?” said one casting director to the other. I launched into a scene I’d prepared from Top Gun and they lapped it up.When I was finished I pulled on my FCUK top (my ‘Like I Give A FCUK’ one) and picked up my volleyball.The wait for their judgment was excruciating. I could sense that they’d liked it but you can never be too sure. “We like you, Ross,” they finally said to my relief. “This could be the start of you making something of yourself.” My pants became damp.
BRING IT BARLOW! (and thanks, I’ve always liked ‘She’s The One’)
Fuckin’ el Gary, you weigh a tonne!
Lonely hearts “It’s not weird, it’s a sexy Facebook”
GoOutWith MyFriend.com This is not boxing!!!
Area: Children: Diet: Employment:
“ Kill him, Gary! Actually kill him!!!!
to be cont.
LA Am one Cute dogs Good Question
Nicole has this to say about Paris: Yeah, because Paris needs an introduction - AS IF!!! She is, like, TOTALLY hot! We’ve been friends for, like, ever, or something. And we’ve been everywhere and done everything. One time we traveled around the States and met normal people who aren’t rich and some of them were sooooo cute in their small little pathetic houses. But, yeah, Paris blows away most guys she meets. Eek, did I just say THAT!?? Eeek, I DID!!!!!! Well, I didn’t even mean it that way, anyway. Although I have seen this film she made... Yeah, because that needs an introduction - AS IF!!!!!! :P xoxo Paris responded by saying: My computer is pink.
Disclaimer: The representations of the persons herein are purely fictitious.
29, looking for fame
Factory Floor / Bitches / Flats / Memoryhouse / Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster / Young And Lost Club / Becoming Real / Golden Grrrls
Published on Aug 1, 2012
Factory Floor / Bitches / Flats / Memoryhouse / Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster / Young And Lost Club / Becoming Real / Golden Grrrls