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Undertone Double Issue!

Image: FLICKR: Kuba Bozanowski


Image: Flickr kevin dooley

Image: FLICKR: notsogoodphotography


{Take your pick} News Pages 5-22 Lives Page 23 - 42 Takedown Festival The Great Escape Fort Hope Slam Dunk South Camera Obscura Green Day Matt Corby Counting Crows Swiss Lips

Introducing Page 43 - 48 Baby Godzilla Melt Yourself Down Kobi An Interview with Ellie Makes Music Jagwar Ma An Interview with Black Nevada

Features

Page 49-56

Kerrang Awards Coverage Things I Hate: at a concert Do you remember your first record? R.I.P Ashley Maile Future Vision

Reviews Page 57-71 The 1975 Laura Marling Elissa Franceschi City and Colour Rudimental Mac Miller Daft Punk Tom Odell

Sigur Ros Boards of Canada Deerhunter 30 Seconds To Mars Kanye West Mark Owen The Dillinger Escape Plan She & Him


{The TEAM} Our favourite musicals. (we know you love them too.)

Les Miserables

A beautiful piece that just has so much emotion. It’s fun in parts but just has the right amount of emotion to bring you to tears. A character driven story that doesn’t stop at one song. - Elly Rewcastle. Editor.

The Nightmare Before Christmas Classic Tim Burton, this musical is twisted and menacing, yet lovable and almost... relatable? The underlying sentiment is beautiful; Jack Skellington is bored of his everyday life, and seeks for a change in Christmas Town. But everything goes horribly wrong. Sums up my life perfectly I reckon. - Katie Pathiaki. Assistant Editor.

Mamma Mia music is incredible, gotta love a bit of Abba. Also so upbeat you can’t help but feel better about life. - Katrina Quick. Features Editor.

Hairspray Although the songs are cheesy it really hits the nail on the head about social perception that are still prevalent today, even though it was set in the sixties. - Ashley Chalmers. Reviews Editor. Undertone 1


Sweeney Todd I love Tim Burton as a director and even through the light heartedness you often expect from musicals, he portrays the darkness of Sweeney Todd perfectly. - Megan Hunt. Writer.

Across the Universe Simply, this is my favourite because it was performed very well by the actors and it’s so trippy! - Sofie Kranstz. Writer.

Hairspray What’s not to like about a film with Zac Efron, beehive hairstyles and songs you have to actively stop yourself from dancing to - Amy Leadbetter. Writer.

Grease Because I grew up with the soundtrack and every time I watch it, it makes me think of the dance routines and sing-a-longs me and my best friend used to make up to it when we were about 10 years old - Sam Lawrie. Writer.

What are your favourite musicals? Get in touch at undertoneeditor@gmail.com and you could be featured in the next issue!! Undertone 2


Editorial

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Editorial

'Brothertons' elly Rewcastle. editor. ‘Brothertons’ was a typical example of record shops countrywide. A shop down a side street of a busy shopping centre, but a little bit of paradise for those who frequented it every Saturday. Row upon row of well thumbed album covers all in alphabetical order were there for you to browse for hours on end. Behind the counter, the treasured albums were crammed floor to ceiling while the knowledgeable vendor was able to locate the correct inner of choice immediately. If your portable record player – the ‘Dansette’ (electricity essential) or gramophone needed a new needle (or a stylus to those who use the correct terminology!) then this was the place to be. Through the small back room of this aladdins cave aspiring musicians could buy drum sticks and guitar strings, plectrums and straps. Books on how to play the guitar like Bert Weedon or piano like Liberace in three weeks, as well as the old schoolgirls favourite descant recorder. Sheet music by the oldies like Doris Day and Mario Lanza was crammed into spinners but the up to date tunes were protected by a glass cabinet and you were handed it by the attendant. The NME, Sounds and Melody Maker were the top music mags and you were allowed to stand in the shop and read it from cover to cover if you wanted to. Although not a magazine as they were the size of the Daily Mirror! (more interesting though) A single, affectionately known as a ‘45’ (that being the rotational speed of said plastic disc) could be previewed in a booth resembling an upside down transparent tub chair, and listened to through headphones the size of footballs. If you liked it, you bought it. If not you tried again with something else. When you had made your purchase it was back to the bus stop as quick as you could to get home to place 4 singles together on the top of your portable ‘Dansette’ record player, swing the holding arm across to keep your records in place and enjoy the mono sound. If you wanted to learn the words to the song it was easy to just lift the arm and move it back to where you wanted it, to hear it over and over again. Try doing that with an ipod! For those unfortunate enough to have an unsteady hand, the record was scratched and ruined by tea time! Ok so that doesn’t happen with an ipod.

LP’s (Long Playing Record) or album (same thing but not known as a 33 1/3!) were something else. Just as the choice was there in the shop to buy your favourite artist or band’s latest release, you could also buy a ‘sampler’, an album with a host of new or obscure talent . These were cheaper than a regular LP, sometimes sold on the street like the Big Issue is today, but occasionally an absolute gem could be found . These ‘samplers’ were produced by the record label to promote artists of the time who were making different genres of music and hoping your tastes would expand and your hard earned cash would be spent on more vinyl. The likes of Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Nick Drake and Cream were on samplers. The sleeve notes would give you all the information you needed about the artists. An excellent example would be an album entitled ‘Bumpers’. For the princely sum of 99p (and this was just after decimalisation or it would have cost 19s and 11d ! ) this album boasts the talents of Fairport Convention, Traffic and Cat Stevens. They wet the appetite and leave you wanting more. Job done. An album was a precious thing. The feeling of pride felt when you eventually learned how to handle an LP – properly - without getting sticky fingerprints on it. How to hold it in one hand with the thumb on the rim and the finger through the centre. How to hold it between the fingers of both hands and turn it around to red the label on the reverse without dropping it (a certain tension required to push but hold at the same time) . Pure satisfaction. This was the time before social media and file sharing, music storing devices and computers. New music was heard on a battery powered transistor radio from Radio Caroline (pirates) and Luxembourg (state of the art radio through the night with no commercials!) or Top of the Pops for 30 minutes every Thursday on \BBC 1, and that was it. CDs spoilt all the enjoyment. The discs can be handled between the finger and thumb on one hand. You can wave it in the air without fear. The covers are so small the graphics make less of an impact, and the writing microscopic. Downloads give you nothing more than a tune. A good old album gave you free posters, coloured discs, picture discs and legible song lyrics. Albums are making a bit of a comeback but not quick enough for me!

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Photo Curtosey of slayer.net

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‘Slayer’ legend passes at 49.

Jeffrey John “Jeff” Hanneman, thrash metal pioneer and founder member of four-piece American legendary band Slayer, passed away couple of weeks ago due to liver failure . Hanneman died on Thursday morning at an area hospital with his wife, Kathy, by his side. The severity was apparently not known until just before his passing. Hanneman founded Slayer along with Kerry King in the early 1980’s and was best known for writing the classic metal songs such as ‘Raining Blood’, ‘Angel of Death’, ‘South of Heaven’, ‘Black Magic’, ‘Dead Skin Mask’ and ‘Hell Awaits’—all of which are a landmark in the thrash metal genre. Hanneman’s song writing theme was visibly and greatly inspired by his father who fought in World War II as well as his two older brothers who served

in the Vietnam War. In early 2011, Hanneman contracted and battled necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease from a spider bite. He failed to seek medical attention immediately, a decision which nearly cost him his arm, and had been on a break from Slayer ever since. Gary Holt of Exodus took his place for the band’s live shows until Jeff’s fitness and strength improved. The band released a statement some time last year that explained Jeff Hanneman’s physical condition. He exercised when he was in rehab and learned how to walk again due to his many health issues. He was very patient with his recovery and had already begun writing songs for the band’s anticipated new album.

Scouting for Girls announce Greatest Hits album

Our favourite London pop trio Scouting For Girls have announced details of their next release. The Greatest Hits will be the bands fourth album, due for release on July 29 comes a year on from previous release The Light Between Us meaning this announcement will no doubt please fans! The deluxe release of the album is to feature an impressive 30 tracks including fan favourites such as Heartbeat, Silly Song and Famous. Alongside new tracks Millionaire (which is due out as a single on July 21will be an additional CD jam packed with rare b-sides and previously exclusive tracks,

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which is making this look set to be the best Scouting For Girls release to date! However never fear, the band have confirmed the end is not in sight despite this being their Greatest Hits. Well that’s a relief for us!


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Would you “Belieb” it? He’s at it again! Volume 2

Image curtosey of justinbeibermusic.com

It just doesn’t stop. Here at Undertone, we look at what teen pop sensation Justin Bieber has been up to since the last issue. Under Investigation Although this time Bieber is out of the spotlight, his entourage is not after Hollywood law enforcement have opened a misdemeanor battery investigation after security allegedly assaulted a fan trying to take a photo of the star. According to gossip website TMZ, a source told them a bodyguard of Bieber’s security entourage tried to stop the fan from taking the photo. The scuffle comes just a week after the singer allegedly ordered his security guards to take a camera from a pursuing paparazzi outside of Miami’s Hit Factory Studio at 4am. A video from the scene shows Bieber demanding security “grab that camera!” Although eventually the photographer received his camera back, Bieber responded saying “I’m gonna take your SIM card though”. The photographer is now allegedly taking legal action against the Canadian singers entourage. These are just the latest in a long line involving Bieber and his run in with the paparazzi across the world. Diamond’s aren’t just a girls best friend On a much lighter, and shinier, note, the RIAA

(Recording Industry Association of America) have awarded Bieber with the prestigious diamond certificate. The award celebrates and congratulates Bieber on achieving a 12x multi-platinum (that’s over twelve million) record. It comes in the form of chart topping track ‘Baby’. The single, released in 2010 from album My World 2.0, shot the teen wonder into stardom. Bieber’s blasting off again According to Sir Richard Branson, the 19 year old and manager Scooter Braun have signed up to Virgin Galactic’s commercial space flights. The programme, clocking in with a whopping $250,000 deposit, already has a number of A-list celebrities reportedly ready to be strapped in and sent into space including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. A tweet from Branson revealed double act Bieber and Braun’s registration onto the programme “Great to hear @justinbieber & @scooterbraun are latest @virgingalactic future astronauts. Congrats, see you up there!” Bieber in space? An ideal surrounding for the controversial star. Maybe he ca stay out of trouble for a while.

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As I Lay Dying frontman in court for murder plot

Tim Lambesis, lead singer of Grammy-nominated heavy metal bands As I Lay Dying, Austria Death Machine and Pyrithion, was arrested on Tuesday, May 7th for a murder-for-hire plot against his estranged wife, Meggan. Lambesis was taken into custody for allegedly attempting to hire an undercover detective near his home in Oceanside, California around 2 p.m. at a store in Vista Way. He pleaded not guilty. The band issued the following statement to their fans: “To our fans:  As we post this, the legal process is taking its course and we have no more information than you do. There are many unanswered questions, and the situation will become clearer in the coming days and weeks. We’ll keep you informed as best we can.  Our thoughts right now are with Tim, his family, and with everyone else affected by this terrible situation - and with our fans, whom we love and draw strength from.  Thank you for understanding, and as always, for your support of As I Lay Dying.  - Jordan, Nick, Phil, and Josh.” Lambesis apparently gave an undercover cop a total of $1,000, photographs of his wife, potential scheduled dates and times to kill her, as well as the key code to the gate of their home. Lambesis’ plan was to have the undercover cop break into her home and kill her when the children were with him, as that would establish an alibi. “The information came to us late last week. We acted quickly on it. I believe that we averted a great tragedy,” said Jan Caldwell, the San Diego

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County Sherriff spokeswoman. Caldwell also said that the ongoing investigation prevented her from disclosing any further details on why exactly Tim Lambesis might have wanted to have his wife murdered or how the police first learned about what they described as his murder plan. Meggan Lambesis, Tim’s wife, filed for divorce in September 2012 because of Tim’s drastic changes in his recent behaviour. She said that he was obsessed with bodybuilding and that he spends most of his time lifting weights, hanging out in the gymnasium and being unavailable to their three adopted children from Ethiopia—ages one, six and eight. Meggan also alleged that Tim had fallen asleep while he was supposed to be watching the kids at the beach or pool and that he would ignore them to text or talk on the phone. She also claimed that he spends thousands of dollars on tattoos and high-end vehicles. The frontman is also away for six months of the year touring and visited his then-girlfriend in Florida twice in that time span. On May 19th, his lawyer, Thomas Warwick, stated that Lambesis has been using steroids and that his thought processes were devastatingly affected by his drug use. Warwick requested Lambesis’ bail to be reduced from $3 million to $250,000. With that being said, As I Lay Dying had to drop out of their upcoming tour with Killswitch Engage and Miss May I. Heavy metal band, Darkest Hour, will be filling in for them. Lambesis will be back in court June 10th and his preliminary hearing is set exactly one month after on July 10th.


No gift for baby North West Kim gave birth to baby North West on June the 15, making Kanye a proud father but the star’s close friend T-Pain has failed to fill the best friend role by opting out of buying the newly born baby a gift out of fear ‘he’d be made fun of’. The rapper excused himself out of arranging a present saying ‘he has very expensive tastes’. T-Pain stated “Kanye is much richer than me so I’m not even going to try.” He went on to explain that he would feel embarrassed if Kanye and Kim made fun of the gift he would provide. T-Pain explained that he wouldn’t want to be embarrassed in front of their group of friends and if he did go ahead and buy a baby present he would have to go all out, something golden. Still worried about letting down pal Kanye, T-Pain made the comment “You

don’t want to be that person because he’ll make a big scene about that.” Kim gave birth a whole 5 weeks before her due date, making Kanye an earlier father than expected and it is believer that both Kim and new baby North will be going on the 10 month tour with him.

Stressed out Rihanna strikes out Recently, the global star went viral on social networking sites featuring in a video of her striking a latching fan with her microphone during her concert in Birmingham. This clip shocked millions but is has been explained that the star is facing a stressful time dealing with stalkers. A crazed stalked was found and arrested after finding themselves on top of Rihanna’s LA rooftop last week. It was said “Rihanna’s been very scared lately after numerous stalker threats. She’s been getting bizarre messages from fans and knowing that someone was at her home has freaked her out.” Alongside this, her angered split with Chris Brown is thought to have added to the Stars aggressive and unexpected behaviour. Following the incident at her concert, Rihanna made clear that she did hit the fan on purpose, feeling she had no choice as “She was scared”. It seems she will have to add this to the list of negative publicity including things such as her raunchy outfits, public support of marijuana and hedonistic lifestyle.

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Frontman’s Cancer inspired new Behemoth album Black Metal legends Behemoth have unveiled that their lead singer Nergal’s Cancer was a chief inspiration for their upcoming 10th studio album “The Satanist.” Nergal, aka Adam Darski, who is famous for ripping up Bibles and impersonating Hitler, was diagnosed with Leukaemia after being rushed to hospital in 2010. Due to a bone- marrow transplant Darski fought through the disease and survived. Speaking to Revolver Magazine, Darski says: “When I was in Hospital I was collecting experiences and emotions. I’m pretty sure that’s coming out now. There are moments I catch myself thinking about how my state was back then – it was me versus life, me versus death. It definitely changed my thoughts and it’s one hundred percent reflected in the record.” Darksi describes the new record as “Emotional”, but he says that Black Metal fans shouldn’t worry: “Take Slayer,” he said. “Whatever genre they dabble in they come out sounding like Slayer. When they were flirting with Nu- metal it still sounded like Slayer. It’s the same with Behemoth.” “The Satanist” has been slated for an Autumn release via Nuclear Blast.

Ian Watkins denies 23 sexual offences in court

Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins has denied 23 charges of sexual offences, which included two charges of raping a baby, conspiracy to rape another child as well as other various sexual offences. He also denied a 24th offence of possessing a picture of an indecent nature involving an animal. The lead singer of the Welsh Rock titans appeared in Cardiff Crown Court today (June 3rd) alongside the two women that he was arrested with initially. In March of this year Watkins issued a statement via his solicitor, which read: “Mr Watkins furiously denies all charges and allegations against him. He intends to fight until the bitter end to clear his name. He wishes to thanks the fans, family and friends for the constant love and support they have given and continue to give throughout this testing time.” The next date that Watkins is due to appear in Court for a hearing is Thursday 6th of June.

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Swans announce plans for a new album

Michael Gira’s underground Noise Rock icons Swans have announced that they will shortly begin working on the follow up to last year’s crushingly good “The Seer.” “The Seer” was described by Gira as “the album I’ve been working on for the past 30 years”, and featured highly in many end of year album lists. In a recent post on the band’s Facebook, Gira wrote: “A few more of these short tours are upcoming, then a live album (hand made), then a new studio album using the live versions of these songs as starting points. So, the studio album will move

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forward from the live versions you’ve possibly witnessed (which have already changed nightly in the recent tour-s), and there will be studio- only songs as well. We feel absolutely blessed to do the thing we love, and are profoundly moved that some people on this Earth find something of value in our work. Thank You!- Michael Gira/ Swans.” This is tantalising news indeed. If you have ever witnessed the absolutely bone shattering force that Swans are live then you know just how special these tracks are likely to be. Watch this space.

White Stripes star saves Detroit music venue Jack White’s undercover good deed has come to light. The musician and Detroit native, formerly of the White Stripes, anonymously donated money to the Detroit Masonic Temple last month to pay off a hefty tax bill. According to reports, the historic Detroit property owed $142,000 in back taxes and was facing foreclosure when an unnamed donor stepped in to help. “We could not be more humbled to bestow this honor upon Jack,” the president of the Detroit Masonic Temple Association, Roger Sobran, said in a statement. “Jack’s donation could not have come at a better time and we are eternally grateful to him for it. Jack’s magnanimous generosity and unflinching loyalty to this historic building and his Detroit roots is appreciated beyond words.”

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Nantwich quartet Blitz Kids have unveiled their new single Run For Cover, due for release on 5th August. The single gives fans an insight into what can be expected from album The Good Youth due out in late September/early October. The release will be available as a digital download and limited edition 7”, head over to iTunes now to pre-order your copy! Guitarist Jono Yates says of the release: “Run For Cover’ is just basically your run of the mill fists in the air, lager on the floor, punch your best friend in the face and eat a kebab after you’re finished kind of tune. It’s about getting blagged by your missus when you’re out on tour with the lads, and the challenges that come with being in a relationship when you’re constantly on the road.”. Blitz Kids are heading out on tour in October supporting The Blackout, travelling up and down the country. Tickets are on sale now, we’ll be there so don’t miss your chance to witness this wonderful line up!

Image: Flickr: Jr Hunter

Blitz Kids announce new single ‘Run for Cover’

Lily Allen takes to Twitter, branding NME as ‘Twats’ Lily Cooper lashed back at Music magazine NME for giving singer-songwriter Tom Odell a harsh review for his debut album ‘Long Way Down’. Lily Cooper (formerly Allen) took to Twitter after seven weeks of silence to stick up for her protegé, Tom Odell, who was described by NME’s Mark Beaumont as ‘Musical syphilis’, receiving a ridiculously poor score of 0/10 for his latest album. Lily responded to the extremely harsh critique

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on twitter, saying: “Yo , whagwan ? Long time and all that. Please can everyone go and get the @ tompeterodell album and show the NME what twats they are. Thanks’. Lily the keyboard warrior princess added that NME was just a ‘Fanzine’ that people used to read in the 90s. Not one to shy away from a Twitter feud, her previous social media grievances feature the likes of Cheryl Cole, Piers Morgan and more recently, a group of Vegans.


Arctic Monkeys to release fifth album in September 2013 Alex Turner, frontman of one of the UK’s most loved indie-rock bands Arctic Monkeys has divulged details of their latest record. The title of the album will be ‘AM’ and will be released on September 9th of this year. When speaking to BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe, he mentioned working with Queen’s of the Stoneage frontman Josh Homme and describes his contribution as ‘really exciting’. He said ‘The Josh thing was very much a case of one of us returning a back scratch to the other…

he came down and sort of got us out of a little rut. It’s just fun, it’s friends, extended family now – [they] came round, had a fun night. His contribution to our record is really exciting, it’s probably my favourite. The 30 seconds that he’s in there is just, I dunno, it’s like something that I’ve never heard before. Not to blow my own trumpet or anything, but you know what I’m saying.’ Arctic Monkeys’ latest record will feature tracks ‘Do I Wanna Know’ and ‘R U Mine’. The band will be headlining Glastonbury on the last weekend in June.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis set new record! Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have set a new record for being the first duo in the Mainstream Top 40 chart to take their first two entries to Number 1. This is a first in the twenty year history of the chart. The Mainstream Top 40 is an airplay chart from Billboard Magazine. It measures the airplay of songs across popular radio stations in the US that play pop-orientated music. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis broke the record when “Can’t Hold Us” featuring Ray Dalton was a successful as breakthrough single “Thrift Shop.” “Thrift Shop”, featuring Wanz, spent two weeks at the top of the Mainstream Top 40 back in March. The pair’s debut album The Heist, has been

available to buy from October 2012. Over the summer, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis will be appearing at the Wireless festival before they begin performing at the 02 Academies across the UK, due to start from early September.

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£35 million paid to Jackson’s abuse victims

Michael Jackson, who died in 2009 aged 50, is believed to have paid in the region of £35 million to supposed sexual abuse victims. Evidence in the form of phone transcripts and audio tapes has revealed a number of families threatened Michael with legal action, forcing him to pay the large amounts of money, up to £20 million in one case. This evidence was collected by an investigator, Anthony Pellicano, who was hired by the king of pop in 1993 after a 13-year-old boy revealed he

had been abused. The the investigator recently stated ‘I haven’t released this now to upset Michael’s children…I felt it was time the public knew what information had been collected.’ The information collected contains the names of 17 boys and is being given to the FBI to help with the investigation into Anthony Pellicano who is now seeing out a 15 year sentence relating to racketeering and wiretapping, unrelated to Michael Jackson.

Avril Lavigne celebrates pre-wedding party with fiancee Chad Kroeger. Sk8r Boi star Avril Lavigne, and Nickleback’s Chad Kroeger, have celebrated with a wedding party last Saturday, June 29, but the couple are yet to tie the knot after a year of engagement. News of the party was made public via Twitter, a tweet sent by the CEO of the Talent Resources Company, Mark Heller, who represents the star sparked rumours that the wedding had actually gone ahead that weekend. However, sources say that the couple are “technically not married yet”, as they plan an intimate ceremony for close family and friends. Avril, 28, and Chad, 38, have written a new track marking the celebration, which will be released after the wedding, which is reportedly set for July 1st. Avril told Nylon magazine in an exclusive interview that she is excited to be planning for the big event. “I want all the guests who come to have this once in a lifetime experience and I want everyone to say ‘Wow!’ and for it to be special for everyone, not just us.” July 1st will see Chad in his first marriage, and Avril’s second. She was previously married to Sum 41 star Deryk Whibley until their divorce in 2009.

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Eminem explains how close he was to death during drug addiction Near organ failure is what Eminem battles with after being addicted to prescription drugs. The worldwide rapper, now 40 years old, spoke out about his near death experience in an interview for a new television documentary called ‘How To Make Money Selling Drugs’. He mentioned how he found himself in a critical condition, being rushed into hospital following a heavy night of binging. The rapping icon made the worrying claim that “Had I got to the hospital about two hours later, I would have died. My organs were shutting down; my liver, kidneys, everything”. He fought off friends and family who tried talking to him about having

a serious problem with these drugs that were killing him. After his hit album Recovery in 2010, the star finally came clean about his addiction. “I don’t know at what point exactly it started to be a problem. I just remember liking it more and more’. After just one month out of hospital, Eminem aka Marshall Mathers deteriorated but says he overcome his problem by looking to himself as a father to his daughter. After his battle to become clean, the star mentioned how his condition was so bad that he had to regain motor skills and talking skills saying ‘It does get better’.

Beloved Nolan sister, Bernie passes at age 53 after battle with cancer. Actress and singer Bernie Nolan has died at the age of 52, following a long battle with breast cancer. The former lead singer of The Nolans was first diagnosed in 2010, and had chemotherapy and a mastectomy, receiving an all-clear in 2012. However, months later the disease returned and spread to her brain, bones, lungs and liver.

In recent years she was best known for her acting roles in The Bill and Channel 4 soap Brookside. “Bernie passed away peacefully this morning with all of her family around her,” said a spokesperson for the family. “The entire family are devastated to have lost beloved Bernie, a wonderful wife, adoring mother and loving sister, she is irreplaceable.” Presenter Lorraine Kelly paid tribute on Thursday, tweeting: “Bernie Nolan was a very special woman. Brave, funny and hugely talented. She will be sorely missed. Thoughts with her family and friends.” Sherrie Hewson, who works with Bernie’s sister Coleen on Loose Women, tweeted: “RIP the wonderfully talented Bernie Nolan. A beautiful person that brightened up this sometimes dark world of ours! Sing forever Bernie.”

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Reading and Leeds add new flavour to the already smashing line up. Reading and Leeds organisers announced a whole bunch of new and awesome additions to their 2013 summer line up! Here at Undertone, we couldn’t be more excited about the festival. Here’s our run down of those awesome new bands added to the bill. Amongst those added to this years incredible lineup, are Undertone favourites Don Broco. They’re joining the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Hadouken and the Editors on the main stage as well as sharing that prestigious stage with frontman Rob Damiani’s favourites, Biffy Clyro. Their brand of infectious rock will have you bouncing on your toes to tracks such as Priorities, Thug Workout and Yeah Man. Taylor Momsen fronts American rage rock band The Pretty Reckless who bring their aggressive pop-rock to Green Day’s headlining stage amongst Deftones and System of a Down. Returning again to the festival, this time the Radio 1/NME stage are alternative rock lot Deaf Havana, who gave a thrilling and impressive performance opening the main stage at last years festival to hearty crowds of very pleased punters. Joining Deaf Havana are the equally as impressive and entertaining Darwin Deez who will bring their imaginative tone of indie music to the tents of Reading and Leeds. Alongside Irish folk band Villagers and Californian surf-rockers Wavves. This year, the Lock Up/Rock Stage has exploded with brand new talent just waiting to unleash itself on the ears of many the intoxicated punter. Hardcore connoisseurs Feed the Rhino bring their rough riff-heavy hardcore tracks whilst Sonic Boom Six’s creative blend of ska, reggae and punk sounds crossed with an interesting dubstep influence guarantees one hell of a line-up, even if it’s only a fragment. It’s certainly a line-up to remember. Meeting the stage are rising and exciting punk band Off With Their Heads as well as Portland stars Hawkeyes who couldn’t be more pleased to be added to the line up. We had a quick chat with guitarist Rob who said, “After headlining the Introducing stage last year we are really pleased to be asked back to Reading and Leeds. This will be the 4th time we’ve played, we won’t need the Sat Nav now!” And here at Undertone we couldn’t be

more excited to see the Hawkeyes lads rip Reading and Leeds a new one. Skrillex, who headlines the Radio 1 stage on the Friday (Reading, Saturday at Leeds) brings his own sourced talent in the form of Alvin Risk. A Skrillex label signing with his own flavour of dark, aggressive dubstep that’s bound to blow the minds of any gathered audience. Influenced by the likes of art house cinema and the post-punk genre, Savages intend to bring something new and unfound to the Festival Republic Stage and fun loving favourites Frankie and the Heartstrings bring return with brilliant tracks from an incredible second album. The BBC 1Xtra Stage welcomes British rapper iTch who intends to mix up a storm with his blend of UK rap and rock riffs next to Zane Lowe favourite Chance The Rapper. It’ll be a brilliant festival and it’s only just getting better and better with every announcement. Keep your eyes peeled for new announcements, who knows what else the festival organisers can come up with. Tickets are still available but they’re going fast so be sure to grab yours today! Ticket prices are as follows (Details taken from official Reading and Leeds website) Weekend: £202.50 face value + max £8 booking fee Early Entry: £15.00 face value – no booking fee Day Tickets: £90.00 face value + max £7 booking fee Campervan: £60.00 face value - no booking fee Locker: £16 face value – no booking fee Only ever buy your tickets from an official outlet See Tickets Ticketline Ticketmaster NME.com Crash Records Jumbo Records Gigantic Skiddle

Words: Elly Rewcastle - Editor

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The Line Up

This years line up for hide out festival, Croatia, looks incredible. Chase and Status are headlining along with favourites such as David Roddigan, Mista Jam, Andy C and Lonestar to mention but a few. I personally can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be. The fantastic location of the hot and crazy Zrce beach on the Island of Pag will make for a fabulous get away, with the promise of tanning and chilling with friends.

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Unfortunately however this dream holiday doesn’t come cheap, with tickets starting at a hundred pounds, flights costing over a hundred and fifty, and that’s before even mentioning accommodation and the copious amounts of booze and other substances necessary for a festival of this size. If you have the money, this is definitely one I’d check out.


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Not ready for the full on sweat and mud bath joy that is likely to be served, fresh with some of the UK’s biggest festivals? Not feeling the crush of the arena at Reading or Leeds, or the mass scale of Glasto? Latitude may be the festival for you. The green fields of Henham Park, Suffolk are beckoning with their glistening line up of bands and artists; relaxed vibe and folksy atmosphere that is sure enough to stamp wonder-filled festival memories in your brain for years to come. This years line up features headliners: Bloc Party, German techno pioneers -Kraftwerk and Foals, alongside majestic acts such as The Maccabees, Hot Chip, Grizzly Bear, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and many, many more, playing in the Obelisk Arena. Situated at the top of the hill, the Obelisk Arena will host the headlining acts, overlooking the rest of the site to create a beauty of a festival experience. The BBC6 Music stage will play host to some of the biggest and best artists that the UK has to offer, from Mercury Award winners Alt-J to perfect chill-out acts Daughter and Beach House, to two of the UK’s most up and coming EDM acts Rudimental and Disclosure. There is something for everyone. Not only that, but the Festival offers an opportunity to bring nature and music as one, as the iArena is enclosed under a canopy of trees, creating a secluded and impactive music experience. The Lake Stage is situated by a gorgeous glistening lake, where all of the artists performing have been picked by none other than Radio 1 DJ, Huw Stephens. Featuring the likes of Ben Leftwich and the 1975, it is sure to be an overall atmospheric affair. But who said festivals were all about the

music? A number of theatrical performances and dance productions will also be taking place at Latitude this year, alongside some of the biggest names in comedy. Eddie Izzard will be making his way to Latitude to fill the event with witty banter, alongside comedians Dylan Moran, Sean Locke, Russell Kane and Mark Watson to name just a few on the colossal list of comedians. A range of activities, from fashion presented by Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Lang, to the food section featuring culinary goddess Gizzi Erskine - the festival is a revelry on all accounts. Family friendly, there is a huge selection of family fun-filled activities for those smaller festival goers, allowing Latitude to appeal to everyone under the glorious, festival sun. Latitude welcomes the poet within you, as an eclectic selection of talented poets and spoken word artists will be there in all their might, beautifully expressing themselves through poetry and other spoken word art forms. Poet Laureate Carol Anne Duffy will be headlining and will be showcasing her classics alongside new material. Although it may be seen as one of the more expensive festivals, it does not lack in quality, and the serene, picturesque setting of Henham Park is an awe-inspiring bonus that will ensure you have an overall groundbreaking festival experience. With an all-star line up and something for everyone, Latitude is sure not to disappoint – not even the UK’s temperamental and poor excuse of a Summer could put a dampener on your weekend with a lineup this good.

See the full line up at www.latitudefestival.co.uk

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news news

Burn Out Festival.

Bigger, better and even more badass Elly Rewcastle Editor Last month we did a huge low down on Bournemouth’s very own three day festival. In a wonderous spin of events, organisers announced a brand new change. A reshuffle of artists, a new stage and all across two days. Monday June 10th brought with it a massive change in the Burn Out office. Spending the weekend prior to the announcement teasing the eager listening festival goers and even going as far as to remove tickets from sale Team-Burn Out managed to generate one hell of a lot of excitement. Now, the cat is out of the bag and the announcement has been made. The organisers have decided to abolish the Friday date of the festival and instead add in another stage, presumably in the upstairs of Front Magazine stage venue The Old Fire Station. The line up has also taken a mix up, Friday’s Kids in Glass Houses, Mallory Knox, Straight Lines, Sonic Boom Six, Evarose, Scholars, Attention Thieves, Nightlife, Jody has a Hitlist and now solo artist Emily Wilson have moved across to take their place on the Saturday across to the Front Magazine stage. Whilst Sunday’s line up has gained Natives, Save Your Breath and Rat Attack. On the offcial Burn Out Facebook page the announcers have released this statement;

Due to a variety of issues out of our control Burn Out Festival has had to make some changes. The main one being we have needed to condense down to two days. Sorry if this causes any inconvenience for people, but it had to be done we’re afraid. Good news is that it’s all done. Better news is we haven’t lost a signal band and have in fact gained a load more. We’ll now have 58 bands play in total. And with the new weekend ticket price that works out at about 70p per band. All purchased tickets remain valid.

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Anyone who has bought a ticket for Friday 26th can use it for either Saturday 27th or Sunday 28th. No need to exchange and no additional charges. Just turn up on the day with your ticket / eticket and you’re good to go. Anyone who receives a refund will have to purchase tickets at the new price if you wish to attend. Anyone who has bought a weekend ticket will receive a £7 refund on the ticket. Any questions or queries please email us: burnoutfestival@hotmail.com

Being added to the bill are a number of great festival friendly acts that are bound to add that extra value to any purchased ticket. Included in those additions are Bleed From Within, Feed The Rhino, Marmozets, TRC, With One Last Breath, Idiom, Continents, The Catharsis, Our Hollow Our Home, Griever, Earth Eater, Hill Valley High, FuryBorn This brings the total of bands playing Burn Out 2013 to a whoppin 58! Here at Undertone we couldn’t be more excited to head out into the Bournemouth summer sun to experience Burn Out festival. Why don’t you take a look at the line up and join us for a weekend of sun, amazing music, maybe a few of those tasty bevvys and have a great time! We’ll see you there!! Keep up to date with any new Burn Out developments with the origanisers on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/BurnOutFest And again if you experience any problems, have any queries or questions or anything of the sort, don’t be afraid to get in contact with the festival organisers through the e-mail above; burnoutfestival@hotmail.com


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news news

Butserfest 2012 was one of our favourite events of the year, located in Queen Elizabeth’s Country Park on September 14 the mainstage just announced, it’s already a corker of a line up. Tipped as THE band to watch in 2013, Mallory Knox are returning after their debut in 2012. With their mainstage R&L appearance in the Summer, MK are heading straight for the big time. Local favourite Natives have been working hard all year, having just released their ‘Stand for Something’ EP it’s time for them to hit the mainstage. With strong visuals and a flawless live set Fearless Vampire Killers are making waves on the scene, looking set to give Butserfest a great show. Following on from their hectic 2012 with numerous UK tours and a R&L appearance Reading boys Attention Thieves are more than ready to show Butserfest what they have on offer. Never heard of Max Raptor? Well you soon will! Following on from their busy summer festival appearances in 2012 and a R&L slot this year is looking just as promising. With their debut album due for release later this year, their powerful rockset is bounding to set the park alight. Completing the first mainstage announcement is Guildford noise makers Subsource, with many

more announcements to come. Headlining the second stage at Butserfest are Glasgow metallers Bleed From Within, high profile tourers Heights, djent rap metallers Hacktivist (yes you heard us right), Liverpool’s Math quintet Marmozets who are set to deliver attitude in the shedload, Punk some more punk and a garnish of punk is what can be expected from Brighton’s Gnarwolves, Welsh hardcore at it’s finest Continents, Guildford’s best export Palm Reader and Southampton favourites The Valiant! Well that’s a bit of a mouthful isn’t it! With more bands to be added to the festival line up on both stages things can only get better and better. Alongside music there will be free activities such as zorbing, laser quest and human demolition, which in our eyes equates to a fun day out for everyone. Tickets are on sale now for £20 (plus booking fee of £1.75) from Butserfest.co.uk/tickets We’ll be there so you should too!

See the full line up at http:// www.butserfest.co.uk/lineup/ Undertone 21


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Lives

The Big Review Placing the main stage next to a lower stage, that’s predominantly filled of ‘crash’ ‘crash’ ‘bang’ ‘bang’ bands probably wasn’t the best move here at this years Takedown festival. Aside from that and the 25 minute search for the main stage, there’s quite a buzz in the concert hall, although something shouts that it’s the copious amount of free Monster Energy rather than the bands opening today. There’s a lot of excitement and a couple of screams at the various band members that wander about to catch the set, which is off putting to say the least. Fearless Vampire Killers - Rocksound Stage Cramming to the front to reach the outstretched hands of Fearless Vampire Killers, the first band on todays Rocksound roster, the teenagers gathered, clad in Doc Martin’s, backcombed hair and one hell of a lot of eyeliner. The same could be said for the slightly older Fearless Vampire Killers as they burst on stage in a rush of energy launching straight into their set. Frontman number one, Kier Kemp surges forwards and straight into opener ‘Concede. Repent. Destroy’. With vocals that are similar to that of ex- My Chemical Romance frontman, Gerard Way, the track pounds through the room. It’s not full but those that are scrambling to reach his outstretched hands are enjoying it. That’s for sure. Followup ‘Bow Ties on Dead Guys’ is a fan favourite, taken from their 2012 release, ‘Militia of the Lost‘, which is then followed greatly and amusingly by a certainly unique and different choice of cover in the shape of Elton John’s “I’m

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TWENTY

TAKEDOWN 13

Words: Elly Rewcastle Photos: Marianne Harris

Still Standing” that manages to successfully have almost everyone in the room singing along to the rock classic. For half past 2 in the afternoon, the energy and the appreciation for this band are present and they know how to draw a crowd. Keeping the audience on their toes, Kemp and co-frontman Laurence Beveridge work together in an awe inspiring fashion to create a show that’s full of dynamics and energy that’s been missing from gigs for far too long. The Hype Theory - Small Town Records stage Female fronted bands are on the rise and it’s not necessarily the best craze to experience. There’s been a few successful ones, Evanessance, Paramore, We Are The In Crowd and Tonight Alive to name a few but there’s definitely been a lot that really shouldn’t have bothered. Luckily for them, The Hype Theory are not one of those unsuccessful ones. Luckily front lady? Front woman? Front girl? Vocalist Katy Jackson has the crowd under her fingertips and the voice of an angel...well a punk/rock angel. Belting through songs taken from both their debut album “Glory Days” and it’s successor, ready to be released “Captives”. Tracks ‘Blood’ and ‘Heartsick’ bring and end to the set that’s filled the room and those gathered there are obviously enjoying it. Max Raptor - Rocksound Stage Back at the Rocksound stage, Midlands outfit Max Raptor are gracing the stage. Their strong anthemic punk rock sounds ignited the crowd from the moment the set begun. We’d previously heard nothing but good things about the quartet and it was obvious why. Frontman Wil Ray domineered the crowd with his harsh, raw vocals which were chanted back to him throughout the crowd from their loyal following. Now it has to be said Max Raptor know how to write a catchy, crowd uniting song as shown through The King is Dead the track features undoubtedly the catchiest chorus of the day. Within an instance everyone (us included) couldn’t stop ourselves singing along and having a real good boogie! Their 30 minute set featured a lot of dancing, some crazy moshpits and a lot of pure good fun.


Lives

Finding a new band is always a delightful experience, but for us seeing Max Raptor brought something more. A sign that the up and coming UK music scene is stronger than ever before. The Younger - Big Deal Clothing Stage By this point my ears are ringing like nobodies business but I still happened upon The Younger, a quartet from Essex, with their own version of upbeat, bouncy and catchy pop-rock. Giving away their new EP for free, The Younger, managed to successfully draw a healthy crowd. Bouncing through track after track The Younger certainly have something to offer to the gathered crowds of Southampton’s student union. It seems to be the stage that draws the crowds for the comfy seating and the alcoholic beverages but nevertheless the music is good and it’s a carefree, friendly and relaxed environment. Taking songs predominantly from their EP, the four lads manage to keep the gathered audience engaged and there are plenty of heads and feet bopping along throughout the X minute set. ‘Missing’ comes mid way through the set and it’s a breath of fresh air. A steady building ballad with a radio-feel chorus, something that’s few and far between at a festival like this. Frontman Daniel Lawrence apparently can’t go a track without thanking the audience for watching them. It’s admirable at best and as new single ‘ X’ carries them towards the last ten minutes of their set it’s becoming more and more obvious that this band are certainly going places. With powerful vocals similar to those found in those tracks Kings of Leon like to belt out. The Younger certainly have a festival vibe and bring an end to their set with their debut single ‘Scream it Out’. Departing the stage with yet another thank you, the crowd show their own appreciation before dispersing in search of the next band on their bill. Arcane Roots - Rocksound Stage This is the most packed the main stage has

been all day. Which is surprising to say it’s had the likes of Max Raptor and Marmozetts on the stage before now. Arcane Roots have received a lot of hype in the past couple of weeks since the release of their debut album ‘Blood and Chemistry’. Opening the set with some almighty noise, I feel for a second as if I’m watching Biffy Clyro. The beards, the high hitched guitars, it’s all there and then they start playing. It’s not bad, opener ‘Energy is Never Lost, Just Redirected’ has an impressive start. The hype is well deserved as Arcane Roots storm through their set in a rush of that redirected energy. ‘Second Breath’ and ‘Resolve’ are both incredibly well received by the crowd, a huge circle pit opening up in the centre of the room. There’s one boy, resembling that of a Christmas pudding, that appears to enjoy just standing amidst the sweaty bodies within the pit and just shoving them away from him when he feels like it. Something tells me he’s new to this sort of thing. Ending the set on ‘Million Dollar Que$tion’ Arcane Roots have set the bar high for those bands following. With high expectations from all the hype surrounding this band, there was an anxious feel when they arrived on stage. It, wonderfully, was quickly dispersed as the band continued to impress throughout their short, but admirable set. Mallory Knox - Rocksound Stage - 6:15pm Mallory Knox are that kind of band that once you’ve listened to them you can’t get them out of your head. Since the release of debut album ‘Signals’, Mallory Knox have stormed the music scene taking British listeners for a ride. “We played Takedown last year” admits frontman Mikey Chapman to a rather large crowd of gathered onlookers, “and it was the first ever festival we’d played”. Now the band are set up to take their place on the bill of Reading and Leeds, one of the largest UK festivals and what’s more, they’re not just playing any old Reading and Leeds show.

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Lives

No, Mallory Knox have gained themselves an incredible spot on the festivals main stages. Today however, it’s heating up. Calling up tracks from all of their repertoire including ‘Hello’, ‘1949’ and ‘Lighthouse’ from this year’s ‘Signals’. Mallory Knox know how to please a crowd and it’s a wonder it’s taken them this long to crawl into the British rock spotlight. We Are The Ocean - Rocksound Stage Since vocalist Dan Brown departed ways with We Are The Ocean, there’s been a ‘Deaf Havana’ esque transformation. In the same way Deaf Havana were average and then became an incredible four piece, We Are The Ocean are following in the same footsteps. The crowd have stayed intact and there’s a healthy gathering casting their eyes forward onto the main stage. The setlist contains the right mix of older stuff from previous album ‘Go Now and Live’ as well as the best from their latest release ‘Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow’. Frontman Liam Cromby displays an incredible talent, stretching his vocals into all the nooks and crannies of each track. The crowd enjoy it that’s for sure and it doesn’t take long for a circle pit to emerge in the center of the room. It’s hot and it’s sweaty, and aside from technical difficulties surrounding Cromby’s suddenly now broken guitar, the set is magnificent. We Are The Ocean have been quiet in the UK since their January headline tour and it’s great to see them back, hitting the festivals around the country and not disappearing just yet. Don Broco - Rocksound Stage Since the release of debut album Priorities in August of last year, Don Broco have been on the rise. Now, gathered in the Rocksound stage is proof of just how well these boys have done. Fans gathered chant ‘Broco’ as the band enter the stage and lurch straight into title track ‘Priorities’. Of course

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what’s a Don Broco gig without the now infamous and signature ‘The Walk’, a dance routine that plenty of the crowd attempt regardless of how squashed they are. When playing live, Don Broco manage to give their tracks an energy not found on the recording. ‘Here’s The Thing’ from debut Priorities is injected with what seems like a dozen cans of the free energy drink on offer, it’s three times more energetic and the crowd love it. Big Fat Smile era is broken out half way through the set with ‘Beautiful Morning’ kicking off, to which the crowd react to like it’s an old friend. Thug Workout follows and the sweat is ridiculous. It’s one of the hottest sets of the day but it doesn’t seem to stop fans from bashing out their best dance moves and the most ruthless of mosh pits. “If someone falls down, pick them back up and carry on” vocalist Rob Damiani encourages watching from his equally as sweaty spot center stage. After a couple of attempts, Damiani manages to convince the crowd gathered to take part in one combined push up, originating from the push up gang who usually do ten push ups mid Thug Workout. This time, the entire crowd manage on the third try, it’s not something I see them doing again. Stick to the push up parade lads. ‘Yeah Man’ includes an acoustic guitar and a lively leap from guitarist Simon Delany up onto the speakers on one side of the stage. It shakes things up, and the track has enough bounce to draw even more people so it suddenly becomes practically impossible to move. Ending with single ‘Fancy Dress’, Don Broco really know how to put on a show. The Blackout - Rocksound Stage It’s got to be slightly embarrassing for tonights headline band, when the hall isn’t quite as packed as it’s predeceasing band, but The Blackout’s fans do come out in their numbers to cheer on the welsh quartet.


Lives

Opening with 2011’s Ambition is Critical off album number 3 ‘Hope’. It’s one of the band’s stronger songs and it certainly brings alive the set. Album title Start the Party is up next and it’s a moment where a lot of people take a step back. It takes frontman Sean Smith, a little over 20 seconds to get into the crowd. Running around the back of the room, whipping people with the mic stand, Smith goes all out and there are one or two rear ends of onlooking girls connecting with the now red-heads hand.

It seems like more than a year between The Blackout’s heartfelt album ‘Hope’ and their more piss take, sloppy release with ‘Start the Party’. It’s a real disappointment to see newer tracks like Radio and Running Scared not trigger the same lively ambitious atmosphere that TBO classics like “Children of the Night” and “Top of the World” both taken from second album The Best in Town. The Blackout are a band that most certainly have a wild on stage atmosphere. Although the newer tracks are like a black line across the rainbow, they still give that something extra to make the show special which is why The Blackout were chosen to headline this festival. There’s a good stream of “old” tracks that Smith and co-frontman Gavin Butler, belt out with attitude. “Save our Selves (The Warning)” has the audience on their knees and jumping simultaneously like salmon at the thunderous command of the two controlling the stage. Ending their set with boisterous “I’m a Riot? You’re a f**king riot!” drives the crowd into overdrive and there is so much sweat it’s appalling. But it’s exciting, it’s lively, and it’s worth the money and the aching feet afterwards. All in all Takedown Twenty 13 was a HUGE success. Better bands, better people, better atmosphere and it’s certainly a festival to keep your eyes on because it can only get better next year. We are very very very pleased to announce that the festival organisers have managed to secure the venue again for next years event and planning is already in the works. Keep an eye on their facebook page for regular updates! We look forward to seeing you there next year! All photos courtesy of Takedown Festival. With big thanks to Marianne Harris for her excellent work.

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Lives

The Great Escape 16th-18th May - Brighton Photo: Solange Moreira-Yeoell

The Great Escape Festival has seen Brighton play host for the last seven years to hundreds of unknown, unsigned and unheard bands, making it Europe’s biggest festival for new music. Undertone headed to the southern seaside town to bring you some of the highlights from this year’s festival. The Skints Komedia Downstairs The Skints kick off the first night of the festival with their own unique style. While most people think reggae music was left behind by the UK in the 1980’s, simply existing now across Caribbean waters, little do they realise that it’s being brought into the modern day right here in London- not exactly the shores of Jamaica! The Skints have amazing reggae beats, and zap the genre straight into the 21st Century with rap verses from two of the band’s vocalists, Josh and Marcia. Modern rap entwined with classic reggae adds a fresh British twist to the already established genre. But it isn’t only their distinctive take on the sound that makes The Skints so interesting; the fact that three out of the four band members are strong vocalists gives them a chance to layer different tones and harmonies that you simply don’t get from other artists. Their extensive use of various instruments, from Marcia in particular, is outstanding and gives them a truly original sound. They get the whole room moving to their irresistible beats, with everyone at ease thanks to their chilled out vibe- nothing to do with the drink in hand, of course Kodaline Audio Possibly the most endearing act at the entire festival is Dublin-based band Kodaline. Drawing in a long queue and a packed room, it’s clear these

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guys are a festival favourite. It’s easy to see why. When lead singer Stephen Garrigan talks to the crowd in his hushed, shy, Irish accent, the band come across as truly humbled to be here and genuinely grateful that people have even turned up. But when the music starts, it’s their songs that do the real talking for them. The instrumentals are beautiful, setting a soft tone as the foundation for Garrigan’s vocals, which are captivating the second they set in. His voice, completely honest and heartfelt, fills the venue entirely and seems to echo for miles, despite being confined to these four walls. It is something special, almost feeling like a private event that only a few people are allowed to be part of. The emotion touches a nerve, and as their set comes to an epic close, it seems to end far too soon. Kodaline are so alluring, so addictive, one could easily listen to them all day. They take you to whole other place, and if they don’t reach dizzying success, I might just lose all faith in music. That’s how amazing they are. Bo Bruce Komedia Studio Bar Lady Catherine Anna Brudenell-Brucebetter known by her stage name, Bo Brucefound herself in the public eye last year after participating in BBC One show The Voice. She made it to the finals and proved herself as the most unique act of the series, so it’s no wonder that she has managed to pull in a pretty decent crowd of supporters for her Great Escape debut. Bo Bruce isn’t a dynamic, energetic, forceful performer, but she proves that she doesn’t need any gimmicks; as she simply stands on the stage alone (aside from her keyboard player) and sings in her other-worldly voice, people are hooked. It’s as if she is in her own world as she sings and sways, closing her eyes and throwing her arms in uninhibited displays of passion. As she breathes


Lives her enchanting vocals down the microphone, they flow through the room like magic. Hearing her on record is nothing compared to seeing her perform live; after a song or two, you kind of get the idea, but you still don’t want to leave. Bo Bruce’s hypnotic voice and entrancing appearance is almost ethereal; no doubt she will put many more people under her spell in the future. Lauren Aquilina Blind Tiger The recent rise of the female soloist can only be a good thing; it seems lately that British music is inundated with a plethora of strong female artists who are going it alone. Lauren Aquilina is taking full advantage of this latest musical surge, making her festival debut here in Brighton. Think along the lines of down-to-earth Gabrielle Aplin and emotional lyrics of Adele, and somewhere in between you’ll find Lauren Aquilina. As she sits at her keyboard and introduces herself, she seems like an ordinary young girl, especially when she describes one song about not wanting to go to university, making her instantly relatable and likeable. However, she shows depth and maturity beyond her years with her frank, sometimes painfully so, lyrics, sung with beautiful vocals and backed up by subtle melodies. She’s quite delightful to listen to, and with time on her side, she has plenty of potential to develop and grow. The Blackout Concorde 2 The Blackout are one of The Great Escape’s more well-known artists, so it’s no surprise that they are given an established music venue and an enthusiastic crowd of fans to work with. The Blackout are no strangers to live performances and, by now, they’ve got the art of performing pretty much covered. Their set is fuelled by post-hardcore angst and they thrive off the audience reaction, trying to involve them as much as possible. In almost every song there is opportunity for the crowd to sing the lyrics

back to the band at the top of their lungs. Circle pits are actively encouraged by vocalist Sean Smith, and during ‘Save Our Selves’ everyone is ordered to crouch on the floor, then jump up together, screaming “FUCK!” in unison; a typical The Blackout move that never gets old. As always, their performance is electric and vibrant, full of action and energy levels that practically raise the roof. Sean and second vocalist Gavin Butler complement each other, alternating between screaming and singing- without their onstage chemistry, The Blackout simply wouldn’t work. Their show adds some much-needed rock to The Great Escape, and they are the perfect goingcrazy-on-a-Friday-night band. Everything Everything The Dome Concert Hall Everything Everything; not exactly what you’d expect. I imagined a band with such name to genuinely offer everything, but that really wasn’t the case. The band performed at the Great Escape festival last week, supported by Kodaline and We Were Evergreen. Made up of 4 young men - one member short and monkey-like, one incredibly lanky and the others serving a kind of middle ground - this is quite possibly the oddest looking band ever seen. The music itself also reflects their odd image. Known for an intensely eclectic style and intimate construction. Jonathan Higgs, the lead singer, has an incredibly rich voice and his falsetto is without doubt the best around in popular music right now. At times his diction isn’t too clear but the delicacy of his riffs mean the lyrics become superfluous anyway. Whilst their image and music is certainly unique, the band lacked any real kind of stage presence. Between songs Higgs muttered a few words and simply headed straight into falsetto once again. Maybe in a few years once they’ve grown and become more accomplished will they will really fulfil the name Everything Everything.

Sam Lawrie & Sarah Boast

Photo: Andy Sturmey

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Lives

Fort Hope

Union Chapel London May 22nd 2013 Words: Jenna Young

Half of the rock band Fort Hope show their softer side at an unplugged evening in Union Chapel Minus bassist Simon Rowlands and drummer Jamie Nicholls, Fort Hope play an acoustic set at the Union Chapel in Islington. It’s the perfect opportunity for lead singer Jon Gaskin to prove his capabilities. The power and emotion in Gaskin’s vocals are clear, as are his explanations of the meaning behind songs. With guitarist Andé D’Mello being the only other member playing tonight, Gaskin’s voice was easily heard and carried around the chapel. The mellow songs performed either with guitar or piano, played by the singer, seem to fit the venue better than anyone could have expected from a rock group. The opening song ‘The Rapture’ is the strangest to hear acousticly, with the full band version beginning with a catchy drum rhythm which continues to carry the song. However this version, with simply one guitar and vocals sounds just as good and truly displays the talent and range of Gaskin’s voice. It’s a great start to a set which only improves. ‘We Are The Gods’, is performed by Gaskin alone on the keyboard, before it merges into ‘Heritage’ when the guitar joins in again. As the song comes to a close D’Mello’s start to sing ‘Fix You’ by Coldplay in his backing vocals, which becomes a short but beautiful version of the song. This is the first of two covers, the second being ‘Somebody To Love’ by Queen. These covers are a great opportunity for the band to play something different and for new fans to join in.

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Once or twice, Gaskin seems to find it difficult keeping a rhythm without a drummer on stage. The crowd enjoy taking part themselves, finding a familiar flow in the covers Fort Hope bring with their set. On stage banter between band members is minimal but the music speaks volumes so the banter isn’t missed in the slightest. There is something about the purity and emotion of Jon Gaskin’s voice which seems to be lost during the recording process and it’s rare to find a vocalist that’s distinctivley better live than on a disc. Fort Hope choose to close their set with upcoming single ‘Control’. At this point Gaskin takes time to introduce the song as the last of the set and promote its release on the 24th June, before thanking the audience. It is a strong ending number with an easy to pick up chorus. The whole show is faultless and the band deliver a five star performance.

WIN! We’re giving away a signed copy of Fort Hope’s debut EP and a wristband to one lucky subscriber. All you have to do is like our facebook page www.facebook.com/UndertoneZine Closing date - July 29th. Winner announced in our August issue!


Lives

Swiss lips Bournemouth University. June 8th 2013 katie pathiaki. assistant editor

Newbie electro-pop band, Swiss Lips, stormed onto stage with stamina and immediately caused an uproar with “Danz”. Fortunately, even if you do not know of this band, they will get you bobbing up and down as soon as the first synth clashes with a guitar. Never keeping still, the five lads from Manchester own the stage, moving on to the lesser known “Carolyn”; The crowd are lapping up the perfect Saturday night dance-indieelectro pop sounds blaring from the speakers, but not many noticed that the lead singer, Sam Hammond, appears to be miming. Missing a few cues, lagging behind the track... Giving them another shot, “Books” starts with heavy synth and bass. Belting his heart out, Tim Estherby, keyboards, seems to actually be singing. It’s hard to tell though with a microphone so close to his mouth. But if he isn’t, then he definitely makes it look like he is, as he bellows “Set fire to the books that you read” his face turns read, unlike Sam. Who is still a suspect? “Grow”, another lesser known track begins and ends with the same excited reaction from the crowd. Everyone appears to be waiting for something.

“U Got The Power”, a former BBC Radio 1 big thing meant that, every day for a week, Swiss Lips were played on the radio. If the boys are known for anything, it’s this song. But first “in the water”, a very 1975-like song, starts up. With its very easy lyrics, the crowd are soon singing along, giving it their all. The lads are still moving about, interacting to the crowd through various different hand signals. Sam blows his cover during this song, though. He begins to sing a line of the song which is not playing, and immediately realises what has happened, and tries to smooth it out with a quick dance move. It is soon forgiven and forgotten when “U Got the Power” starts. Anyone who can stand still to this song is not human. The track almost force feeds enthusiasm and happiness. To top it off, a guy at the front starts handing out “Swiss Lips” merch. Maybe it’s not so bad that everyone has paid to listen to a CD. Swiss Lips(ync) put on a good show, and the mood in the tent was uplifted. Maybe they were nervous.

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Lives

Slam Dunk South University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield May 26th 2013

Words: Sam Lawrie Photos: Marianne Harris

Slam Dunk Festival is fast becoming the UK’s most popular rock festival, with more and more people turning up to rock out every year. Undertone headed to Slam Dunk South to see what this year’s line-up had to offer… Jägermeister Stage The Summer Set have a big task on their hands as they kick off the Slam Dunk main stage, and they set the bar pretty high for the rest of today’s bands with their starting slot. The pop-punk fivepiece from Arizona are welcomed into the UK with open arms as they completely own the huge centre stage and the field full of people in front of them for 35 fun-filled minutes. Cheeky frontman Brain Dales has the girls in the audience eating out of the palm of his hand the minute he flashes a grin their way, and it’s no surprise the crowd warm to them right away. Pop anthems such as ‘The Boys You Do (Get Back at You)’ and ‘Chelsea’ have the crowd off their feet within seconds, and songs from their new album Legendary, such as ‘Fuck U Over’ and ‘Boomerang’, show that The Summer Set aren’t going anywhere anytime soon; in fact, Slam Dunk seems almost like a starting point from which they will hurtle full-throttle into the poppunk limelight. Tonight Alive keep the vibe going next with their set. To anyone who doesn’t know Tonight Alive, they bring their feisty Aussie spirit with them and show the UK exactly what they’re made of, packing a punch with every song. Frontwoman Jenna McDougall is obviously a born performer and has a natural ability to take over any stage in front of her; luckily for us, she stepped into the world of music and now the Slam Dunk crowd is reaping the benefits. As she darts from one side

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of the stage to another, jumping onto amps and throwing her arms into the air, she is captivating. It’s impossible to ignore her energy, especially when it’s backed up by such great songs, including ‘Breaking and Entering’ and ‘Wasting Away’. Spending so many years supporting other artists, it’s refreshing to see them perform off their own backs, if only for half an hour or so. Let’s hope this sees them blossom into full-blown headliners from now on. The first homegrown act of the day for the main stage is British up-and-comers Mallory Knox. Having exploded onto the scene in a colossal way over the past year, they certainly aren’t short of fans in the Slam Dunk crowd. They soak up all the unwavering adoration and throw an amazing show back out at us. There is something about the simplicity of Mallory Knox that draws you in; they are just five blokes from Cambridge playing a load of good, solid rock songs. As they blast out song after song from their debut album, including hits such as ‘Lighthouse’ and ‘Wake Up’, it’s clear why they are the UK’s hottest new rock band. Without using gimmicks or tricks, they put on one hell of a show and leave everyone wanting more; whilst playing alongside a line-up of American teen heartthrobs, what better way to do Britain proud? Pierce the Veil are next to take the reins, and these new kids on the post-hardcore block show Slam Dunk that they aren’t prepared to take a backseat today. The San Diego quartet turn this relaxing Sunday afternoon into a riot, with sweaty circle pits and screams echoing throughout the whole of Hertfordshire that shake up the crowd, who are falling over themselves to get a piece of Pierce the Veil. Being up against bands such as festival favourites All Time Low and current


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post-hardcore giants Sleeping with Sirens, it feels as though Pierce the Veil have got something to prove today, so they give us absolutely everything they’ve got. Their set spans the whole spectrum of what they have to offer, from songs that strike an emotional chord with the band and fans alike, such as ‘A Match into Water’, to crazy anthems, such as ‘King for a Day’, featuring Sleeping with Sirens vocalist and friend of the band, Kellin Quinn. Pierce the Veil have been bumped up to the main stage for Slam Dunk South, and they prove that they well and truly deserve their place. There are some bands here today that attract the majority of festival goers, and Sleeping with Sirens are one of them. Seeing people wander around the campus with SWS t-shirts all day gives some early indication of the mammoth crowd that descends on the main stage when it’s time for their set. Despite the huge numbers, Sleeping with Sirens have complete control of the crowd; they dictate how crazy people get, how violent the moshing is, how loud people scream and when people should just shut up and listen. Kellin Quinn’s vocals are unlike anything else, reaching pitches that no man should be able to reach one minute, then screaming like the devil the next. The band don’t take a breather from the moment the step onto the stage, pulling the crowd along with them in a fit of screaming, jumping, fist pumping, swearing and an I-don’t-give-a-fuck mentality; if anyone was holding back before Sleeping with Sirens appeared, they aren’t anymore. The band have an amazing ability to elicit rage, love, sadness and joy from an audience with songs such as ‘A Trophy Father’s Trophy Son’, ‘If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn’ and ‘Fire’. They finish with ‘If You Can’t Hang’, the perfect exit note that lingers in the air long after they’ve gone. Kids in Glass Houses follow some serious hardcore bands, so do they choose to keep up the heavy atmosphere? Pfft, of course they don’t! They’re Kids in Glass Houses! Instead, they bring back the lighthearted fun of Slam Dunk Festival,

with beach balls bouncing through the crowd and catchy tunes such as ‘Saturday’ and ‘Matters At All’ seeing everyone get off their butts and move. No-one pauses for a moment of thoughtful reflection over these 45 minutes-they’re all too busy dancing! As the sun begins to set, Kids in Glass Houses make the most of the evening; they are just five cheeky chaps from Cardiff having a bloody good time! But still, they are determined not to be lost among the mighty line-up, so they pour every ounce of energy into their set and make sure everyone gets a little taste of Kids in Glass Houses. They may not be the most emotive, the most accomplished or the most overwhelming band at Slam Dunk, but they sure as hell are the most fun! British rock is not to be sniffed at these days, thanks to bands like Deaf Havana. As they take their place as Slam Dunk co-headliners, they bring an essence of power and awe along with them. People genuinely look up to the Norfolk six-piece as a real example of modern British rock music, and it’s crucial that they don’t let us down today, surrounded by a plethora of American bands. Thank God they pull it out of the bag with an impressive set of massive riffs, huge hits and pure rock awesomeness. They have the crowd right where they want them the second their first song plays out- a cover of Robbie Williams’ ‘Let Me Entertain You’. As much as everyone here might like to think they aren’t into pop music, every single person sings along, melting away any cool bravado some people in the crowd might have. Deaf Havana continue the sing-a-long vibe with ‘I’m a Bore, Mostly’ and ‘Leeches’, as well as latest single ‘Boston Square’, which is already a hit among fans. Deaf Havana simply stand on stage with their instruments and perform, but anyone who assumes they must be boring are sorely mistaken. This is what the fans want, and as long as they are satisfied, that’s all that matters. Tonight’s headliners are Baltimore-based All Time Low. As it hits 9:30pm, the screams are

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Lives piercing and the crowd is suffocating, which is usually sign that All Time Low are about hit the stage. The band members are irresistibly charming, with guitarist Jack Barakat playing off of the crowd at every opportunity and vocalist Alex Gaskarth breaking the hearts of every girl here tonight. Some bands prefer to keep things cool, but All Time Low are more than happy to break the barrier between band and audience by interacting with anyone they can spot in the crowd- which, more often than not, tends to be girls with their breasts on show! The banter between the band members is always funny, always carefree and always filthy, but it means that All Time Low are an open book for the crowd; they aren’t rockstars in another world, we feel like we really know them. Their music epitomises pop-punk, with upbeat tracks from their latest album Don’t Panic, such as ‘Somewhere in Neverland’ and ‘If These Sheets Were States’, as well as crowd pleasers including ‘Lost in Stereo’, ‘Jasey Rae’ and ‘Weightless’. The main stage has churned out great band after great band all day, and All Time Low keep the bar raised right until the end of the night. Their set is fun, energetic and ends the Slam Dunk main stage on a real high. Macbeth Stage In America, The Wonder Years may be known more favourably as a 1990’s sitcom show, but at Slam Dunk today The Wonder Years means one thing, and one thing only: pop-punk is here! As the band work their way through awesome song after awesome song, all of which are lapped up by the ever-growing crowd, they take in every inch of energy from the room and give it all back to us twice over. Despite the ongoing love and support from fans, The Wonder Years never get too big for their boots, and even stop to take a humbling moment of reflection and gratitude as they admit

they can’t believe they are playing this stage to so many people. Songs such as ‘Washington Square Park’ and ‘All My Friends Are in Bar Bands’ are so catchy that they can’t fail to put a smile on your face, which explains why everyone leaves The Wonder Years’ set grinning ear to ear. Monster Energy Stage Having just stepped off of sharing a tour bus with Sleeping with Sirens and The Word Alive, Our Last Night should be putting their feet up at home with their comfy slippers and a cuppa, but instead they’re rocking the Monster Energy stage at Slam Dunk South. The four-piece are a perfect example of modern metal, as vocalist Trevor Wentworth screams until his throat is raw while guitarist Matthew Wentworth melts faces with insane guitar shredding. Their set is fanatical, with people climbing over one another to get a front and centre spot. No-one is standing still and, for those in the crowd who have no fear- or no sense-, the mosh and circle pits are where the action is. Our Last Night tear the Monster Energy marquee to pieces, pushing themselves to the limit and constantly being on the move. Fans and band members both leave the stage covered in sweat and gasping for air, and there’s no better way to show that this gig was a damn good one! Memphis May Fire are ready to bring the house down when their slot rolls around. They take on Slam Dunk like it’s the last time they will ever perform and they are just as pumped as the fans, if not more so. Perhaps this is because they know Your Demise are following them with their last ever show which they will put their heart and soul into, and Memphis May Fire refuse to be overshadowed. To make sure no-one forgets them by the end of the night, the metalcore Texans put on one of the heaviest shows Slam Dunk may ever see. The Monster Energy stage is full to the brim with people and there’s barely room to breathe- although people still find space to go crazy in a fit of rock-fuelled energy. More and more people keep squeezing themselves into the marquee to catch a glimpse of the band; next time, nothing less than a headliner spot will be fitting for the metalcore titans. Vans Off The Wall Stage Gnarwolves are part of the new generation of punk rock, and if you need proof that punk isn’t dead, look no further. The venue is already bursting at the seams before the band even hit the stage, full of fans not-sopatiently waiting Gnarwolves’ arrival. Considering they are the first band of the day on the Vans Off The Wall stage, boasting such a large crowd is no mean

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Lives feat, and it simply shows that people are still desperate to see a decent punk rock show. Crowd surfing, fist pumping and most pits are just the tip of the iceberg when absorbing the crowd’s reaction to Gnarwolves, as it’s obvious people are mad about them. Their songs may not be known word-for-word by everyone hereexcept when they cover Green Day’s punk classic ‘Basket Case’- but people react positively to them nonetheless. Love ‘em or hate ‘em (I’m sure plenty of people do both!), it looks as if Gnarwolves are here to stay. The Skints bring some muchneeded reggae to Slam Dunk South. In among all the screamo voices and the pop-punk riffs, you can find some smooth vocals and down-to-earth reggae beats at the Vans Off the Wall stage tonight. The Skints work modern “London town” rap and electro dub into the classic Jamaican roots of reggae, which go surprisingly hand in hand. This may have something to do with vocalist/guitarist Joshua Rudge’s overriding confidence and determination to encourage more people to fall in love with reggae, or the many talents of vocalist/guitarist/ saxophonist/keyboardist/flutist/anything else she fancies Marcia Richards. She sings soft reggae with a feisty tone, which fits nicely beside the unbelievably fast raps and edgy vocals of Josh. As if that isn’t enough, drummer Jamie Kyriakides also sings alongside them as well as throwing out the rhythm from the drum beats that hold the whole sound together. There isn’t a person in the room who can stop their body from moving in time with the music, and that’s the irresistibly beauty of The Skints. Tiger Stage Devil Sold His Soul are taking the opportunity today to say goodbye to their beloved vocalist, Ed Gibbs, who has decided to leave the band after this year’s run of festivals is over. It is an emotional set for the band and the fans, who are both saying goodbye to the past and wondering what the future (with new vocalist Paul Green) will bring for Devil Sold His Soul. Still, they don’t let this dampen their spirits and instead use it as an excuse to play one of their most kick-ass shows ever. Devil Sold His Soul are known for being one of the most experimental heavy bands in the UK, and during this set it is made clear why; their music ranges from metal, to progressive rock, to post-hardcore, and practically anything in between. Thanks to their eclectic style, a whole host of people come to watch their set, each with different tastes and different backgrounds, but all of whom can take something away from Devil Sold His Soul and enjoy it in their own way. As their final song draws to a close, there is an air of sadness in the room,

but also an air of hope and curiosity. This show wipes the slate clean for Devil Sold His Soul, and everyone can now look forward to whatever the future may bring. Keep a Breast Stage Marc Halls is the first act of the day to grace the acoustic Keep a Breast stage. Tucked at the back of the festival site, behind the bars and merch stalls, under a garden marquee, Slam Dunk’s finest acoustic artists are providing a gentler alternative to the craziness of the other stages. Marc Halls is one quarter of alternative rock band Hey Vanity, but today he is performing alone as a rock/folk soloist. Equipped with only a guitar, a microphone and a hangover from Slam Dunk North, he doesn’t have much to work with compared to his usual band set-up. However, he doesn’t let that deter him and he performs half an hour of beautiful tracks flawlessly. His voice is riddled with emotion and the acoustic guitar supports his vocals with effortless simplicity. Anyone wanting to ease themselves into the day gently is best off here with Marc Halls at the Keep a Breast stage. If you’re thinking “The Blackout doesn’t sound like a band fit for the Keep a Breast stage”, you’re right. However, one of the band’s frontmen has taken it upon himself to venture outside the posthardcore screams of The Blackout and instead go solo with acoustic music. Gavin Butler is better known as one of half of the band’s vocal duo, alongside Sean Smith, but today he plays a whole host of new songs and unheard tracks to try and make a name for himself as an artist. He performs softer, more delicate tracks than we’ve ever heard him perform before, but he doesn’t have the heart to completely step out of The Blackout’s shadow just yet as he slips an acoustic cover of ‘Save Our Selves’ into his set. The fans lap it up, and Gavin Butler leaves Slam Dunk as Gavin Butler, not just “that guy from The Blackout”.

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Camera Obscura Northumbria university june 8th 2013 fifth album and it’s both a departure and a continuation, deliciously blending well-honed instrumentation with Tracyanne Campbell’s infectious melodies and beautiful voice. Compared to their previous album this record has a cleaner sound with far fewer strings and brass and a somewhat punchier, more assured vibe around the still bitter-sweet, lovelorn and sometimes even sombre songs. It is somehow less needy, not trying too hard to be pop but allowing both calm observation and vulnerability their place alongside jangly guitars and catchy melody. It has a mature confidence about it, even when dealing with the teenage angst we all suffer from at times, regardless of our calendar age and station in life.

As Camera Obscura took to the stage they knocked over a mic stand but the stage crew’s quip that “they do all their own stunts” was swiftly drowned out by the warm applause and shouts of congratulations to the lead singer, Tracyanne Campbell, who is expecting her first child. The band – a seven-piece for the UK tour, adding Nigel Baillie’s trumpet and Tim Cronin on percussion to the five core members – kicked off with the excellent upbeat new single Do It Again. The set naturally featured several songs from their new album, Desire Lines, but they played almost as many tracks from their 2006 album Let’s Get Out Of This Country – which many fans would argue was their best album until now. Also included were songs from 2009’s My Maudlin Career and the track Teenager from their second album way back in 2003. The audience was a mixture of older folk and students, which probably reflects this Glasgowbased band’s broad appeal and longevity. They have been making records for nearly fifteen years now and are these days consistently selling them into the album charts, albeit at the lower end of the UK top 40. Originally compared to Belle and Sebastian and championed by the late John Peel, they have evolved both a sound and a following that are very much their own. Camera Obscura have just released their

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The live set displayed these same qualities of maturity and assurance, although perforce omitting some of the band’s better recordings, simply because arrangements that work perfectly in a studio do not always lend themselves to the practicalities of live performance. This may be because they rely on more instruments than can be readily dragged onto a stage but is also often because the song’s subtlety and pace is better appreciated in a quiet room rather than over the clamour of a large audience. The obvious example from the new album is Cri Du Coeur. This band has a splendid body of work to draw on though and as ever delivered a very entertaining set with considerable musical flair and precision. I have heard them criticised for their lack of onstage banter and interaction with the audience but you pays your money and takes your choice. Personally I’d rather see and listen to a band who are clearly focussed on delivering the best musical performance they can rather than


Lives The Newcastle audience clearly thoroughly enjoyed the main set and loudly demanded more. The band played a two song encore, beginning with French Navy, restarted after a few bars with Traceyanne apologising for “a frog in my throat”. The conclusion was a scintillating performance of Razzle Dazzle Rose. If you can, go catch Camera Obscura - after their current US tour - on 27th July at Indietracks 2013, Midland Railway, Butterley, Derbyshire. www. indietracks.co.uk

have musicians waste their energy wooing me by cracking entirely average jokes or trying to tell me something about my home town that I don’t already know. Camera Obscura last toured in 2010. Since then they have had an enforced break while the keyboard player Carey Lander fought off cancer and other band members also faced various upheavals including parenthood and bereavement. The upside to all this is that the band had time to take stock and write and plan their next album, eventually taking the opportunity to go to Portland, Oregan, to record with Tucker Martine. From reading various interviews the band have given lately it seems that, as well as the productions skills and facilities on offer, they valued the time they were allowed there to get the recordings done just the way they wanted them. Tracyanne also freely admits that the inspiration for her new songs owes much to the challenges faced by the band in the four years since their last release.

Words & Photography by Sue Muirhead

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Green Day

Emirates Stadium June 1st 2013

Words: Sam Lawrie Photos: murray grimwood & Alison Wheatley, Flickr: edvill

Billie Joe Armstrong’s onstage breakdown and consequent rehab stint last year left the future of pop punk’s biggest band hanging in the balance. Tonight, however, Green Day prove that they are back and ready take over the world once again. Emirates Stadium is usually home to football fans, but tonight it is filled with thousands of music lovers and punk rockers, ready for the time of their lives. Claiming control of this mammoth venue isn’t going to be an easy task; first to take a shot at it is pop punk band All Time Low. Used to running the show these days- having headlined Slam Dunk festival only last week- the band are taken down a peg or two when they squint into the sunshine and realise they have to win over a stadium of people who may never have heard of them in preparation for their personal idols. They aren’t short of fans in the crowd though, and they play a tonne of huge hits at an unrelenting pace‘Somewhere in Neverland’, ‘Lost in Stereo’ and ‘Time-Bomb’ are just a sample of songs from their

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fun-filled set. People get into the swing of things, and the band leave with satisfied grins, knowing they’ve done their job. Next to take over are the Kaiser Chiefs who, after spending several years out of the spotlight, are in the midst of their comeback, and how better to do that than supporting the kings of modern punk in one of Britain’s biggest venues? Some people may question the choice of a British indie-rock band supporting Green Day, but the Kaiser Chiefs take advantage of hesitant onlookers, making it their mission to win them over. They unearth songs that we forgot we even knew, with chart toppers such as ‘Ruby’ and ‘I Predict a Riot’ being sung by the crowd almost word-for-word. They treat us to some new songs too, showing us they’re here to stay. Lead singer Ricky Wilson dominates the huge platform in front of him, running left to right and hanging off of the side scaffolding; his energy is undeniable and their set is bursting with enthusiasm. If anyone fails to feel totally pumped by the end of their final song, ‘Oh My God’, they must’ve been in a different stadium to the rest of us. As avid Green Day fans will know, the person dressed in a pink bunny costume stumbling all over the stage in a drunken shambles to the Ramones’ ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ signals the imminent arrival that everyone is waiting for. Screams begin to thunder throughout the stadium, increasing as the band members appear. Most bands would simply stroll onto the stage, but Green Day have a much more striking presence; the holy trinity of pop punk, they strut with purpose and determination, knowing they will own this 70,000-strong crowd for the next two and a half hours. With a trio of new albums under


Lives their belt, Green Day aren’t short of some fresh blood for their first UK show since the release of ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré!. They open with a track from the latter, the tour’s namesake, ‘99 Revolutions’. Some older fans a little baffled, but people who have followed Green Day until the present day clearly love their latest material, throwing themselves into the song. Other new tracks such as ‘Stay the Night’ and ‘Stray Heart’ are lighthearted and fluffy compared to older Green Day material, but the sun is still shining over London and something happy-go-lucky is perfect for this carefree atmosphere. There are a few surprises from the Green Day back catalogue, as the band have an extraordinarily long slot to fill and grab the opportunity to squeeze in songs that are often overshadowed. ‘Nice Guys Finish Last’ doesn’t initially spring to mind as a Green Day anthem, but it fills the stadium when they perform it tonight, as if the crowd are remembering something they’d long stored away in the back of their mind, and taking great pleasure in doing so. ‘Waiting’, from the band’s lesser-loved album Warning, is another unexpected delight. The biggest surprise of tonight is when someone from the audience requests Dookie’s ‘Sassafras Roots’ and the band simply shrug and launch into it, sending the crowd wild. Dookie put Green Day on the map, but many great songs from the album are frequently overlooked- well, not tonight. Of course, the show wouldn’t be complete without old favourites. ‘Know Your Enemy’,

‘Longview’, ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ and Operation Ivy cover ‘Knowledge’ are plucked from the band’s 26-year-long career. For each of these songs, fans are hauled onstage to join the fun; some sing, some play instruments, and one young fan simply holds up a “Green Day Rocks” sign. This, along with t-shirt guns and giant water pistols, show that Green Day’s audience participation is still unbeatable. Some classics simply cannot be ignored, such as Dookie landmarks ‘Welcome to Paradise’, ‘When I Come Around’ and ‘Basket Case’; vintage Green Day track ‘Going to Pasalacqua’ from debut 39/Smooth; and hits such as ‘Holiday’ and ‘St. Jimmy’ from the epic concept album that brought Green Day back from the dead. Anti-status quo hit ‘Minority’ indicates the beginning of the end. The band leave for a minute or two, no doubt taking a few deep breaths and a swig or two of water, and return for the finale. ‘American Idiot’ is a teenage anthem for many, a comeback single for others; either way, it is essential. ‘Jesus of Suburbia’ follows, a rock opera that sees its story become even more awesome when it unfolds in front of your eyes. The band finish with new track ‘Brutal Love’. As Billie Joe’s heartfelt voice echoes hauntingly throughout the venue, this new finishing track signals a clean slate. Green Day have struggled through some pretty dark times this past year, experiencing the awesome heights of three new albums and the devastating lows of substance abuse, but tonight has demonstrated that they have come out the other side burning brighter than ever before.


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Matt Corby Koko London, Camden June 19th 2013

Standing against the barrier at the front of the crowd, the theatre fills up, packed to the rafters (literally), awaiting the night’s entertainment. It’s pleasantly cool, unlike most standing events and the neon glow of UV light beams from the stage – the crowd are ready for the night’s first act, Annie Eve. Timid as a shrew and overwhelmed by the intense number of bodies before her, she says a quiet ‘Hello’ into the mic and away she runs with the music. The guitar is almost as big as she is, but she comfortably picks away to her intricately melodic tunes. Her voice; unique and in control, fits perfectly with the quirky, folky sound of her music. The electric guitarist leads the way with powerful, rhythmic finger picking and an enthusiastic cellist rocks the crowd with and intensely loud, groundquaking performance. Soft vocals and harmonies push their way through from Annie Eve’s female drummer and together, the band whip the crowd into an unexpected state of awe. The beautiful tones of electric guitar do not overpower Annie’s soft vocals, they pull the

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sound together, creating an overall pleasant and enjoyable music experience. Her most famous track ‘Elvis’ is welcomed by those who have heard it before with a ‘WOO’ and the set ends on a wonderful note. The crowd explode into applause, and everyone is ready for the main act, Matt Corby, to take to the stage. A half hour interlude separates the performances and technicians scurry around the stage like elves in preparation for the night’s headliner. In the distance, a rugged man takes a seat at the keyboard, ready to start the show. The crowd delay in realisation that he is there and welcome him with cheers and applause. He waves at the audience and smiles nervously, ready to perform his first track, ‘Made of Stone’. Perfectly simplistic, his fingers flutter their way through the intro, and he sings his first line. Completely focused, his vocals are perfect. The first half of the performance is stripped back, just Matt and the piano whilst the spotlight shines down on him. The band appear from out of the darkness and join in with the performance, creating tension and impact, bringing the whole


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sound into a brand new light. When the time comes for his most soulful of tracks ‘Souls A Fire’, the audience are ready for it, giving a loud, excited cheer in anticipation. The band take it away with the distorted guitar, organ and slow drum beat, really embedding the American blues feel to the track. Matt Corby throws himself into the performance, feeling each and every word that leaves his lips, throwing in vocal tricks that would make Mariah Carey stop and listen. The body of the crowd rocks along to the music with the band. Never have I seen artists lose themselves in the moment as much as Matt and his band. All six of them, eyes closed, feeling every beat, every note, every motion as though it was an outer body experience. The final leg of the song is just an explosion of talent coming together; a climax of soul that completely rocks the house. Every person in the audience can feel the passion and an eruption of deafening applause follows. Each and every performance by Matt Corby and the band is breathtaking. He reaches every note in every song, and his unique, rugged, jagged vocals feel angelic at times. He is able to emulate every emotion through the soul of his voice. As he stands before you, he searches himself to find the memory and the feeling that his song portrays. He is truly an artist. Whether he’s playing the piano or guitar, he is flawless, his all round technical capabilities are difficult to match. The band complement each other as their individual performances gel as one, creating a seamless, fluid masterpiece on every track. Performing his more upbeat tracks such as ‘Brother’ and ‘Resolution’, Matt and the band create an energy in the room that involves the audience. The artists and the crowd are as one as

the audience sing along to the tunes and howl along to ‘Brother’. When the more slow-tempo tracks such as ‘Untitled’ and ‘Big Eyes’ are playing out, the focus is drawn completely to Matt where he is in his zone reaching the depths of his soul as the audience take a moment to stop and listen in awe. He plays ‘Big Eyes’ in the encore, and is joined on stage with his female flautist who is not only wonderfully talented at the flute, but her classically soft falsetto vocals are a perfect contrast to Matt’s deeply rugged tones. The venue itself is a perfect spot for artists like Matt Corby and it is easy to see why it is such a premier venue for live music. It is small enough to feel intimate, but big enough to generate the perfect buzz. The lighting perfectly complemented the music, flashing in time with the beat of up beat tracks, and creating a serene ambience as the more intense tracks were performed. Overall, the gig was an incredible experience. At £14 a ticket, it was definitely amazing value for money – a show I will see again, and a show I will never forget. It is only a matter of time before Matt Corby is fully recognised for his sheer, raw talent and I recommend that if anyone has the chance to see him at one of the festivals this year (Latitude, Somerset House Series, Blissfields) that they go and enjoy the beautiful experience and the pleasure that his music brings.

Words By

Ashley Chalmers Reviews Editor

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Counting Crows Hammersmith Apollo 22nd april 2013 Sam lawrie.

Counting Crows haven’t visited the UK in such a long time that they’ve almost become more of a mystical presence for British fans rather than seven tangible musicians. But tonight, Counting Crows are about to become a startling reality once again. The Hammersmith Apollo fills slowly as the audience wander in unhurried and relaxed; there’s no rush, no panic, no screaming and shouting. Counting Crows are a calm band, and fans are soaking up their tranquillity already. Support act Lucy Rose is in perfect keeping with this atmosphere as she and her band keep things mellow with their set. Lucy Rose’s beautiful voice is backed up by low-key instruments and her quaint, down-to-earth appearance. Songs such as latest single Shiver are both haunting and graceful, with an almost dreamlike quality that take the listener to a whole other place. Lucy Rose will have left the venue this evening with more fans than she came with, that’s for sure. It is now time for Counting Crows to take over, and they simply blow the crowd away. They begin the evening with the easily recognisable Sullivan

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Street from their ever-popular debut album, August and Everything After. People are instantly swept into the magic that Counting Crows bring to the stage, even with a song that is topping twenty years since its release. They then whiz into the present day with Untitled (Love Song) from their 2012 cover album, Underwater Sunshine. This song is not particularly well known in its original form, performed by The Romany Rye, giving Counting Crows the perfect opportunity to recreate the song and, even people hearing the song for the first time tonight fall in love with it. Just because Counting Crows aren’t leaping all over the stage doesn’t mean they can’t blow the roof off this place. They can and absolutely do tonight. More upbeat songs such as St. Robinson in His Cadillac Dream and Hanging Tree have irresistible rhythms that get people up off their feet without losing the emotional aspects of the songs. Unlike other bands, Counting Crows don’t need a ballad to bring out their emotional side; it’s an on-going theme throughout every one of their tracks.


Lives it now.

However, when Counting Crows strip back everything and perform in the most simplistic way, they are untouchable. Songs such Colorblind, A Long December and Goodnight L.A bring together a beautiful combination of sophistication in the inspiring lyrics and simplicity in the stripped back nature of the performance. Lead singer Adam Duritz almost isolates himself during these songs, going completely into his own world, so much so that you can almost see him tapping into his private feelings and exposing them to thousands of people. Everyone watching tonight is moved by the raw emotion that seems to be almost dragged out of Duritz’s lungs against his will and poured out into the room. The connection built between the audience and the band without the use of any physical interaction is felt by everyone. Of course, there are always favourites that don’t need that sense of awe and wonder; they are already adored by fans. Hits such as Omaha and Big Yellow Taxi are welcomed back by the crowd with open arms, some of whom probably thought they would never get the chance to hear some of their much-loved favourites performed in front of their eyes and are thrilled that they’re witnessing

The band complete their main set with two absolute classics from their back catalogue, Round Here and Rain King. Round Here is a typically extended version, interspersed with other songs and adlibs from Duritz, and Rain King is an epic affair, with dramatic lights and booming instrumentals that fill the venue to the brim. It is impossible to explain the overwhelming power and atmosphere created by these two songs; it is something sacred to everyone here tonight, and cannot be explained simply by words on a page. After much demand from the audience, Counting Crows return for their encore, which perfectly unites the key elements of tonight’s concert in three songs. Washington Square is effortless and beautiful, while Hanginaround is electric and upbeat. The final song, Holiday in Spain, is both emotional and uplifting, and the night ends on a perfect note. As California Dreamin’ by The Mamas & the Papas plays out over the speakers and the band leave the stage, everyone is filled with a sense of genuine satisfaction. Counting Crows gave absolutely everything they could give; they put themselves fully in the hands of the crowd tonight and let us take whatever we wanted from them. Emotions ran so high throughout the night and it is difficult to pinpoint one particular moment as we pile out of the venue, but everyone leaves knowing they were part of something special, and that’s enough.

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Introducing

Introducing This Month..

BABY GODZILLA Jack mckeever. Introducing editor.

Imagine you’re throwing a birthday party for your 6 year old son. He and his friends are playing tag nicely in the sandpit, there are glasses of orange squash and small, triangular ham sandwiches on the table, and the parents mill around chatting and laughing with each other warmly. Then, you’re idiot party animal nephew turns up with a few mates, necking beers and shots and throwing themselves around the lounge whilst the last McLusky album blares from the stereo at full volume.

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This is what Nottingham quartet Baby Godzilla sound like. Their debut EP “At The Oche” is 7 tracks of primal fury that combines the angular, ramshackle rawness of fellow Northern upstarts Pulled Apart By Horses and Hawk Eyes with the swagger of “Hot Damn!”- era Every Time I Die and the spontaneous outbursts of The Chariot. They’re also building up a reputation as one of the most ferocious live bands the UK has to offer. Their UK supporting cult alt- rock heroes The Wildhearts kicks off at Bournemouth’s O2 Academy on the 21st of June so make sure you get there if you want to witness a true spectacle. You’re unlikely to hear something more untamed and raw in 2013.


Introducing

Melt yourself down

Jack mckeever. Introducing editor.

Kobi

Melt Yourself Down is a Sextet based in London comprising of saxophonists Pete Wareham and Shabaka Hutchings, drummer Tom Skinner, bassist Ruth Goller, percussionist Satin Singh and vocalist Kushal Gaya, and their abrasive but deliriously catchy and ambidextrous punk- funkjazz- pop is currently taking many corners of the underground music community by storm. Raucously funky and well composed but also frenzied and free- willing, Melt Yourself Down’s music takes elements from a global scale of inspiration and sounds and, literally, melts them down into a hybrid that marries the fullthrottle intensity of bands like The Bronx (minus the guitars and bellowing) with the groove orientated factor of The Specials or a plethora of Asian funk musicians. It’s not an entirely new fusion by anyone’s standards, but the important thing about Melt Yourself Down is that they manage to make it almost endlessly thrilling, whether they’re being raucous or mellow. A truly cultural blend of huge magnitude, it is unlikely that any band will make you appreciate the worth of world music in 2013, or indeed dance, like this band will.

Ashley chalmers. reviews Editor New Indie-pop band hailing from the Highlands, KOBI, are set to entrance us all with their brand new single ‘All The Way,’ out 22nd of April. Gary Thain (vocals/guitar), Steve Robertson (bass) and Dave Smith (drums) have been working with Grammy Award winning producer, Steve Orchard, on their latest masterpiece “All The Way” - a song that will leave you smiling from the catchy chorus and empowering backing track. Frontman Gary said “The time is right to for us to unleash this track! we’ve really embraced our pop sensibilities on this and have been blown away by the crowd reaction when we debuted the song as part of our live set”. Making their way to the top, KOBI have played some of the best venues in Scotland, such as King Tuts, The Lemon Tree and Ironworks. The band have a huge sound that should be at the top of your Summer playlist.

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Introducing

Amy Leadbetter Presents:

An interview with: Ellie Makes music -Are there any musical influences that you try to incorporate into your songs? Laura Marling and Joni Mitchell’s guitar playing style has had a massive influence on the way I play and their songwriting styles has too, but I try to write without too much influence from other artists. I want to be unique. -Tell us about your first gig and how it went My first gig was part of Swn Festival 2009, which has steadily been becoming a major Welsh festival. I played in a small venue that doesn’t exist anymore to mostly family and friends and a couple of people I had never met before. I think it went quite well, though it was mostly made up of covers because I had written about a total of 4 or 5 songs! It was really fun though and I was really grateful for the opportunity. -Why did you decide on Ellie Makes Music instead of your own name?

Regular readers may recognise the name Ellie Makes Music, as Ellie appeared in our Introducing section last month. This month however, Ellie took some time out of her day for an interview, and gave us an insight into the meaning behind Shaky Hands, what it’s like playing with a live band, an update on her EP and her plans for the summer. -How long have you been making your own music? I started playing guitar when I was 11 and then I started writing my own songs when I was 13/14. It started off as just a hobby but then I got my first gig as part of Swn Festival here in Cardiff in 2009, and then I started getting more gigs and writing more songs.

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Well, I didn’t want to just be Ellie James. There are so many singer-songwriters that just go by their names and I didn’t want to be the stereotypical singer-songwriter. So it was around the time of Florence and the Machine and Marina and the Diamond’s emerging, as well as Sue Denim from Robots In Disguise starting her own solo project, then named Sue and the Unicorn. I made a myspace page with the name Ellie Makes Music and it just stuck! -I personally adore the single, but what has the overall response for Shaky Hands been like? Really good! I’ve had some nice reviews and some airplay on various radio stations with it. It’s a song that meant a lot to some people who are fans of my music so I knew it had to be the single. -For those who haven’t heard it yet, what is it about? Where did your inspiration for it come from? I wrote Shaky Hands when I was 16. One of my best friends, who I talked to every day, was going


Introducing through a really dark time and she would talk to me about it and tell me things she wasn’t telling anyone else. After a particularly scary conversation with her, I wrote Shaky Hands. I’ve had a lot of friends struggling with depression and anxiety so the song itself is just a reminder to them and to others who have dealt with mental health issues that they’re not alone and there is always somebody there who loves them and would do anything for them.

play some more in London over the summer! -There are several live performances of you doing Shaky Hands. Any plans to do a video for it? I’d love to! We did some filming at Acapela when I supported Al Lewis, so there will be a live music video coming soon, but doing a music video might be something I could work on over the summer!

-How is the EP coming along? Are you still in the writing process or are you in the studio? The EP is all finished! There are 5 tracks on it, all of which I had written when I was 16-18 and had been playing at gigs for a long time. We went into the studio and changed them around a bit with the addition of other instruments and it’s all sounding really good. It’s in the process of being mixed and mastered and edited – all stuff I have no clue about – so I’m just waiting to hear the final versions of each song now! It’s all really exciting. -Is it still looking to be a July release? Yes, hopefully! The artwork is done, the tracks are nearly finished, so as soon as it gets sent off to the distributors I’ll have some idea of an exact release date. -2013 seems to be shaping up to be a pretty good year for you. What have been some of the highlights for you? Recording the EP and releasing the single have been massive highlights. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time so to be able to search myself on iTunes and see Shaky Hands on there is insane! I also did a session and interview on the Alan Thompson show on BBC Radio Wales this year which was also something I’ve always wanted to do, so that was particularly great. -You supported Al Lewis today (12th May) with a live band. What was that like? Ever had a live band before? It was awesome! The venue was Acapela Studios, where I’ve been recording, so it was really lovely. I’ve done some things with a live band in the past but it’s been a long time since I’ve played with one live. -Who is someone you would dream of supporting? I think if I ever got to support Darren Criss or Laura Marling, I would die. -Apart from getting the EP out, any plans for the summer?

Get to know Ellie! 1. 2. 3. Describe yourself in 4 words. Outgoing, Ambitious, Polite and Kind.

How about your music in 4 words. Honest, Dynamic, Simple and.... Good.

Name a couple of your favourite things Lazy days, comedic tv shows, chocolate freddos and learning.

4. 5. 6. 7.

Favourite song at the moment? Make A Little Room by Al Lewis. An album you’d recommend to readers Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars. An artist you’d love to see live Darren Criss or Ben Howard. Best live performance you’ve seen, and why? Arcade Fire. They give so much energy with every song they perform and every time I’ve seen them, I’ve felt like I was part of something really special.

The EP is the only thing I’ve really got going on, apart from playing as many gigs as possible. I’ve got a gig in London this month, so hopefully I’ll

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Introducing

jagwaR mA Jack mckeever. Introducing Editor.

The likes of “Man I Need” bring to mind The Stone Roses or even The Charlatans at their most danceable, whilst “The Throw” descends halfway through into a swirling, druggy House boogie.

If you want something that sounds like downing a series of cocktails and swallowing a handful of pills on a beach as the sun sets and a shuffle of Primal Scream’s “Screamadelica” and late ‘80s house blares from someone’s ipod dock then look no further than Australian duo Jagwar Ma. Their specialist fusion of guitar and dance music is a concoction that hasn’t been perfected for two decades, and it’s as trippy as it is groovy as it is catchy.

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It’s caught the attention of one particular notable figurehead too. “The future of the galaxy depends on the Temples and Jagwar Ma records” Noel Gallagher recently told NME magazine. “If those two records are right, the imperial forces will be defeated.” Gabriel Winterfield, one half of the duo, responded thusly: “That’s ridiculous. Noel was my hero...”. Whilst I’m not sure about the future of the galaxy, if you like drinking and dancing then Jagwar Ma’s debut “Howlin” is well worth your pennies.


Introducing

An Interview with: Black Nevada

Jenna Young - Lives Editor

Black Nevada, a four piece from County Durham, North East of England, chatted to Undertone after being signing their first deal with Red Dragon Records. First off, meet the members: Anthony Fish: Hey, Im Anthony and I play bass in Black Nevada. Jordan Bailey: I’m the frontman of the band, I sing and play rhythm guitar. Cameron Dunn: Hi I’m Cameron I play drums and hit things. George Tait: Good day, I would be the lead guitarist and general babe Undertone: How did you become a band? Anthony: We became a band through our college. I’d known Jordan from school and we said we wanted to form a band but just couldn’t find the right members. When we went to college we met George and Cameron and then we decided to properly start this band up. U: What’s it like getting signed?

A: Being signed is great. We have worked hard on this band and its great that everything is starting to pay off. U: How will your album differ from the EP, Rising Evolution? A: For the next release we put out we are taking our time with writing the songs. I think for this reason it will be different as we are always finding out about new bands who we take some form of inspiration from when writing songs so in that sense I think it will be different. U: What plans do you have for future releases and touring? A: For future releases there is nothing in the pipeline at the minute but we constantly write songs and jam things out in rehearsal so we should have plenty of new material to put out eventually. As for the touring part We will probably just start by doing a couple of shows further out than were used to and when we build a fan base elsewhere we will probably start to plan some form of mini tour.

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Features

Jenna Young. Lives Editor. In the week leading up to the 13th June, rock bands descended on London in preparation for the Kerrang! Awards. When the day came fans lined the red carpet outside the Troxy in East London hoping to get a photo or autograph from their favourite rockers. Bands started arriving at six o’clock and everyone from ‘Newcomer’ nominees, like Mallory Knox, to legends like Brian May of Queen, stopped to talk to fans. This year’s hosts, Mark Hoppus [blink-182] and Scott Ian [Anthrax], were met with much enthusiasm, but the biggest scream definitely came at the unexpected arrival of Clown and Sid from Slipknot, fully equipped with masks. Despite being some of the last to turn up, they didn’t leave a single onlooker disappointed, stopping frequently on the way to the venue doors. Once inside it didn’t take long for the bands to find the alcohol. It is clear from the Kerrang! live stream of interviews (now on their Youtube page) that certain rockers were well on their way to being drunk at this early point in the evening. Of course, when an event like this offers free drinks, the rockers aren’t going to waste it, in fact Danny Worsnop [Asking Alexandria] and Laurence Beveridge [Fearless Vampire Killers] were already struggling to get their straws into their mouths before the ceremony had even started. Then came the main event, opened by Kerrang! editor James McMahon making a moving speech about the late photographer Ashley Maile followed by the awards. Of course no fan will ever be happy with all of the winners, but Lower Than Atlantis caused some controversy, winning the ‘British

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Newcomer award’ despite having been around for longer than the other nominated bands (formed in 2007!), although they were only signed last year. Perhaps the biggest disappointment was among the All Time Low fans. As well as supporting their band, who became ‘Best international band’, they had voted non-stop for guitarist Jack Barakat to be dubbed ‘Hottest Female’, and yes Jack is a guy’s name! He lost out to Lzzy Hale, who can definitely pull off a mini skirt and heels better than the poppunk guitarist. Brian May and Roger Taylor were among the legendary artists to accept awards, receiving the ‘Services to Rock’ award for Queen and mentioning singer Freddie Mercury in their speech. Unfortunately Mercury was not the only one to receive a posthumous award with Slayer and Pantera taking home awards and paying respects to their late members Jeff Hanneman and ‘Dimebag Darrell’ respectively. Not everything was so solemn, however, as much celebration was involved, as it should be on an evening like this. Surrey boys You Me At Six won Best Event for the first arena headline show, ‘Final Night Of Sin’ and ‘Fall Out Boy’ enjoyed their return earlier this year with the award for best single for ‘The Phoenix’.


Features

The winners:

Best British newcomer:

Best international newcomer:

Best Single:

Best Video:

Best Live Band:

Best Album:

Best International Band:

Best British Band:

Kerrang! Icon:

Kerrang! Inspiration:

Kerrang! Service to Rock:

Legend Award:

Lower than Atlantis

Pierce the Veil - King for a Day

All Time Low

Iron Maiden

Of Mice and Men

Black Veil Brides

Bring Me the Horizon

Queen

Fall Out Boy - The Phoenix

Biffy Clyro - Opposites

Venom

Slayer

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Features

Kerrang! Hall of Fame:

Best TV Show:

Best Video Game:

Best Film:

Best Comedian:

Tweeter of the Year:

Hottest Female:

Hottest Male:

Best Festival:

Pantera

The Hobbit

Lizzy Hale

Dr Who

Louis CK

Ben Bruce

Best Event:

Bioshock Infinite

Gerard Way

Download

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Features

Things i hate: At A Concert We all love to have a good moan. This month it’s about concert-goers So, I am standing in a crowd at a gig, and, for the first time ever, I actually witnessed a girl use an app on her phone to identify the name of the song playing. If you are paying £55 for a gig ticket, then why on earth do you not know the songs that the band is playing? Get out and give, no, throw your ticket away.

Image: Flickr: Tundrabuni

DO NOT TAKE OFF YOUR SHIRT. I don’t care if you are male or female, I do not want to see your bare chest. Being male, you are probably sweaty and gross, and that sweat will be all over my face and body within a few seconds. If you are a female, we know why your top is off. You want to be on the big screen. I’m sure your mother will be so proud when she sees the gig footage.

Image: Flickr: Through Painted Eyes

Image: Flickr: Amaia Orozko

Secondly, if you look like a supermodel, go home and change. Within about ten minutes you’ll be in tears because your makeup has smudged and your £90 Topshop dress has been ripped in half from the grasping hands reaching from a mosh pit. Usually, I target these girls and jump ecstatically behind them to any song which happens to be playing; just to show them that being pretty has no advantages at a concert.

People who are under the age of 15 should not be gigging. It’s not cool to see a group of tiny children screaming and being excessively stupid in a crowd. However, anyone who brings a parent with them is also unwelcome in my books. Does your mother really want to be in a crowd with thousands of sweaty teens? Yeah, I’m sure she wants to dive into the mosh pit and do some crowd surfing. Hold on, no, she wouldn’t. She is just going to stand there and cry about the beer, or worse, that is being lobbed at her head.

Image: Flickr: Chadwise

Photo: Flickr: Elitist Czar

A huge pet peeve of mine is when girls wear their hair down. No one likes eating hair. I have got into a habit of bringing five extra hair bands for the annoying females who end up looking like the wild women of Borneo, with their hair all over the surrounding people in the crowd. Surely you would think, gosh this gig will be sweaty as fuck, I need to bring a hair tie so I don’t annoy the sweaty people around me.

you look stupid and your own feet are at risk.

At every concert, people want to remember their time by snapping a few photos, filming a couple of videos. That is fine, I can deal with the occasional phone in the air. But it’s not For heaven’s sake, why do people okay when someone constantly has their wear sandals, heels, or worse, a phone in the air, blocking my view, filming combination of both to a concert? the entire concert on their mobile or camera. If you are wearing sandals, myself, What’s worse is when they actually watch and many others will aim for the performance through the screen of their your toes. If you’re wearing phone. WATCH THE LIVE HUMAN BEINGS IN heels, you are basically FRONT OF YOU. You paid to see them, right? asking to be pushed over Next time, stay at home and record the TV set. resulting in a broken ankle. Just don’t bother,

Katie Pathiaki. Assistant Editor

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Features

Do you remember your first record?

Katrina Quick. Features Editor

This generation has lost something. We, the ‘90s kids’, have lost the ability to truly appreciate music as a personal, real thing. When I hear my parents and those of the older generation talk about the first record they ever bought, the feeling of owning something so special, I can’t help but try to remember my first ever record. The sad thing is, I can’t. Being able to download music for free is great. There is no limit to the amount you download. As a result, however, I can’t help but wonder if we are missing something fundamental. Music has lost its magic. There’s an overload of choice, and as a result the standard of music out there has dropped. Songs feature sex, and without romanticism, sex appears as something dirty and freely available. Other main topics featured in today’s charts consist of alcohol and drugs. Is that all we have to offer as a

generation? Sex and drugs? Also, auto tune does not help. With advances in technology making everything accessible at a click of a button, music has come to reflect this, with deep house and drum and base offering robot beats that are upfront and in your face, an instant shallow tune that is easy to grasp and doesn’t cover any of those tricky subjects that are so easy to avoid.

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Perhaps I am wrong. One could point out that throughout the last three decades, at least, the topics regularly visited in today’s charts actually have been youth’s main obsessions. Maybe it is just me and my constant search for something with greater depth... others enjoy the charts without question. But just think; Do you remember the first single you ever bought?


Features

RIP Ashley Maile. Jenna young. lives Editor The Canadian photographer Ashley Maile, best known for his work with Kerrang! Magazine, passed away after a battle with cancer on the 13th May, his 36th birthday.

going into music journalism. I always looked forward to getting Kerrang! just to look for his and Paul Harries’ photography. Along with Paul and one other photographer they pushed me to pursue my passion for live music. And I have always had his work on my walls at home. His portfolio includes a lot of the musicians that I aspire to work with one day. And I will feel privileged if I am even half the photographer his was.’ Here’s what those who have worked with him tweeted upon hearing the news:

Many rock fans who have magazine posters plastered on their walls as I do probably see Ashley Maile’s work every day. He was a well known and versatile photographer in the world of rock music shooting magazine and albums covers, live shots and promo shots. There is a long list of magazines which have featured Ashley’s work including Kerrang!, Alternative Press and Total Guitar and an even longer list of musician’s he has worked with from classics like Metallica to shooting for Kerrang!’s introducing feature with small up and coming bands.

Slash: Rock n Roll has lost a great photographer, person, friend, Ashley Maile. RIP man, we’re going to miss u very much.

One band Ashley worked with frequently was Alter Bridge who’s lead guitarist posted this after hearing the news: ‘We’ve lost a dear friend to cancer at only 36yrs old. Ashley Maile was Alter Bridge’s photographer but became a great friend. RIP Ashley.’

Deaf Havana: Extremely sad and shocking to hear about the passing of Ashley Maile. I shall truly miss him mocking me for being a “Pisshead”. RIP brother.

Kayla Elliott, our photography editor at Undertone, wrote a few words on how he influenced her: ‘From a photography point of view, I have looked up to Ashley for about five years. He was one of my main inspirations going into a lot of my photography briefs at college, and going to university to follow my dream of

Frank Turner: Just heard of the passing of @ kerrangmagazine photographer Ashley Maile. Very sad. Lovely guy and great at what he did. RIP. Bullet For My Valentine: Such sad news to wake up to. RIP Ashley Maile, one of the best photographers I’ve ever worked with. Gutted. Matt Tuck.

James McMahon (Kerrang! Magazine editor): Just learnt that Kerrang!’s photographer Ashley Maile passed away this week. All at Kerrang! are heartbroken. All love to friends/family It is clear that Ashley was a great photographer and a good person to be around and work with. It’s always sad when someone is taken so early in their life and Undertone send their best to all who knew him.

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Features

future vision jack mckeever. introducing editor.

Why Britpop was the last great anti- establishment musical movement, and why we’ll never have one on the same scale again

Recently I watched Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Britpop, an hour and a half long documentary about the key proprietors and performers of the Britpop movement of the mid- ‘90s. Oasis’ Noel and Liam Gallagher, Blur’s Damon Albarn and Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker all feature heavily, each approaching the subject of Britpop with varying degrees of humility, regret, admiration and, in the case of Liam Gallagher, that most prominent of Jesus Christ poses that still lingers with an air of tragedy in many of today’s old rock stars. The most prolific moment of the 2003 film however, for me, is when Jon Savage talks about the experience of seeing Oasis perform “Some Might Say” on Top of the Pops in 1995. It’s that most rare of things when a mainstream pop performance also makes a substantial political statement. As Savage highlights in the film, the Thatcher era was over, and here were 5 working class boys from suburban Manchester performing a song about a

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brighter future and the supposed end of austerity. Savage says he just sat there and cried. And it made me think, when does this ever happen anymore? Is there even a hint of strong political conviction in pop music anymore? Prolific political righteousness is rife in the world of underground Hip Hop or African funk and traditional music, most notably in the shape of rebel Tuareg tribesman group Tinariwen, who themselves have found a degree of respectable prominence in certain spheres. But in terms of mainstream pop challenging the establishment, those days seem to be a distant, forlorn memory. Greenday’s anti- establishment cock- pop- punk posturing has a demographical appeal that prevents the majority of people over the age of 25 really finding political sustenance in their music. Billy Bragg is still strong in his beliefs but isn’t any more popular than he was 25 years ago, and his supposed heir Frank Turner’s lyrics are


Features you what they’ve got and you haven’t. To counter it, we have Plan B’s “Ill Manners”, which is precisely SO revolutionary because it is one of its kind, but it’s by no means his most lauded work. People prefer the soulful story telling of “The Defamation of Strickland Banks.” Plan B’s presence in popular culture should not be underestimated however, and he is an important powerhouse indeed. As someone who speaks for the youth, he’s a vitality.

more sentimental than universal. There’s Johnny Marr asserting that David Cameron is “not allowed to like or listen to the Smiths”, which might be a nice gesture but it is one that carries little weight. Britpop speaks volumes for the last time that pop music REALLY stood for something. The Anti- Americanisation of British Culture, the anticonservative nature of bands like Oasis. The cultural and social climate is the most similar under this Coalition government to the Thatcher era since. Before the people suffering had bands like Oasis and Suede to represent them to some extent. In 2013, the same kind of people are suffering, but without the imperative force in the world of musical culture. The fact is that for all the peaceful protests of the last 3 years or so, for all the rhetoric of the opposition Labour Party, we live largely in an age of abstinence and lethargy, especially in terms of the pop world, a universe unto itself. Politics in reality is an entirely different spectrum to the performance politics of the pop world, but the two are not mutually exclusive, making it more of a shame that they rarely crossover. These days we have Rihanna degrading herself and promoting the sexualisation of women in ever- evolving ways. Beyonce has inspired a generation more concerned with dancing in a certain fashion than paying attention to what the people who determine specifics of their lives, and big time rappers like Jay- Z and Kanye West are more concerned with telling

Without any political nutrition in popular music, the current age of deliberation and a (perhaps unconscious) “laissez- faire” appropriating is likely to grow and continue. Not only does it stand as symbolism for an era in which politics doesn’t matter as much as it should to the young generation, but it reflects the idea that behaving loosely and making kids dance is the future. Envisaging a world where sex is an even more prominent market than already and club culture matches that of the late ‘80s but in a more pastiche-y style is frightening indeed. Perhaps the most sobering thing of all though is that it doesn’t look like a cultural revolution on the same scale is likely to take the world of music by storm any time soon. The slew of young bands that find themselves presented in the pages of NME are more entwined with ideas of teenage love than a wider sociological relevance. Now Britpop seems like a sound for a very specific time and place, but that time and place is one of the few eras of music that’s sentiments, if not entirely its sound, needs a revival.

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Reviews The 1975 - ‘IV’ Katie Pathiaki. Assistant Editor

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The 1975 have taken the UK by storm with their catchy tune “Chocolate” which peaked at number 19 in the singles chart. So expectations were high for this up and coming band’s forth EP, IV. Opening with their recent hit, ‘The City’, the EP had a seemingly good start. A catchy chorus tainted with the Mancunian accent of Matthew Healy created an indie, alternative feel, and although the lyrics are almost undecipherable, the welcoming sound of guitar and synths are enjoyable to listen to, and creates a false sense of security for the rest of the EP. Everything just goes downhill from here, though. ‘Haunt//Bed’ starts with a spooky intro, which turns out to be the base for the rest of the track. It’s boring and repetitive with little bass, vocals, or any kind of production. Even insomniacs could listen to this and fall asleep; it’s that dull. There’s not an interesting riff, or chorus in sight. Similarly, its brother, ‘So Far it’s Alright’ is minimalistic and probably took less time than ‘Haunt//Bed’ to produce. However, this song has a distinct upper hand, purely due to the use of a xylophone, creating a cutesy atmosphere which would please any indie listener. The last track “Fallingforyou” starts with a slow beat, and synths which build up to the chorus. For the duration of the song, the pace is quite slow, and the vocals are repetitive, these factors all contribute to lull the listener into a sense of utter complacency. Overall, this album is disappointing for a band described as being the next big thing.


Laura Marling

‘Once I Was An Eagle’ Ashley Chalmers - Reviews Editor Laura Marling has taken the UK music scene by storm with her latest album, Once I Was An Eagle. A prevalent voice echoing in the background for years, she has finally taken centre stage and the stripped back beauty, style and grace of her material speaks louder than any words. Vocals, soft and elegant like that of songstress, Eva Cassidy, Laura Marling brings a touch of class with her timeless tones. The first track, ‘Take The Night Off’, is exuberant and energetic, yet mellow and beautifully soft; a juxtaposition that is pleasing to the ear and to the mind. Throughout the album, her partly spoken lyrics make the emotion and story more believable and relatable. The heavily textured acoustic guitar and cello perfectly compliment the soft, bird-like tones of Marling’s voice, as well as adding sharp, classical qualities to the overall feel of the music. It would be unjust not to mention her sheer talent for guitar, and the album gives her many opportunities to showcase the diversity of her skill. The album overall has a number of influences: ‘Master Hunter’ shows elements of American Country music, whereas ‘Little Love Caster’ has some similar qualities to a Mediterranean symphony, where quick finger picking adds drama and artistic focus to the piece. The album overall sets a high bar for whatever else is yet to come from Laura Marling, however her flawless tone and intricately written lyrics instill confidence in her ability to take work above and beyond. The album is near perfection, and definitely well worth listening to.

Reviews

Elissa Franceschi

‘Devoid of Rue’

Jenna Young, Lives Editor. Elissa Franceschi releases Pledge Music project, a five track EP called Devoid of Rue. The Surrey born singersong writer’s fourth release was funded by fans through a Pledge Music campaign, and fans of Elissa Franceschi are sure to be pleased with the results. It has the familiar emotional feel of her past CD’s while feeling new and fresh. The first single ‘All These Days’ starts with a gentle piano accompaniment before a band kicks in, giving the track a pop-rock feel but retains the meaningful power of Elissa’s voice. Closing song ‘Dust’ follows a similar pattern rounding the EP out nicely and tying everything together. ‘Outside My Body’ is a great mid-way point with a good rhythm and catchy refrain with simple lyrics, “Run, run, run, run, ‘cause he holds my heart like a loaded gun, gun, gun, gun,” that will be stuck in your head for days after you first hear it. The next track mellows slightly, holding onto the rock feel but with much more concentration on piano and harmonies. Perhaps the most potent track on the EP is ‘Oceans’. Elissa is very quiet about the story behind this song, saying she would rather people got their own story and emotion from it. As the slowest track on the album featuring nothing but Elissa’s voice and piano playing it is clearly a very personal song with a powerful sentiment behind it. The lyrics are easy to hear making it easy to feel the emotion, “I’ll love you ‘til my days are done. I loved you but you’re not the one.” Any girls out their looking for a comforting break-up song or need to know someone else has been through it, download this song. The EP features a great mix of slow and poprock tracks which are easy to listen to and to relate to. If you’ve never listened to Elissa Franceschi before, these five tracks would be a great way to discover her.

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Reviews

City and Colour

‘The Hurry and the Harm’ Ashley Chalmers. Reviews Editor. Beautifully melodic, City and Colour, aka Dallas Green, has released yet another masterpiece of an album – featuring his graceful, falsetto vocal tones and signature acoustic sound. The former member of rock band, Alexisonfire, has been pushing through the music circuit with what was originally just a side project, slowing down the pace and swapping angst with blues. His unique take on folk music, incorporating gospel organs, harder rock elements and soul could possibly be the unique quality that makes his sound so appealing, bringing classic styles of music into the now. The Hurry and the Harm is punchier than his previous solo albums Bring Me Your Love, Sometimes and Little Hell. He seems to have reached a depth that has not yet been explored with his previous material. The songs sound fuller and thicker in texture than before, as there seems to more instrumental involvement in each track. Incorporating not only the full sounding acoustic guitar, the album uses bluesy distortion effects on electric guitar and brings in the orchestral influence of violin to add emotion to the music. At first you are drawn in by the electric guitar distortion on the opening track ‘The Hurry and the Harm’ and are unsure whether or not he has taken a route back to his Alexisonfire days or if he is tricking you. The truth is the latter, and the song takes form of his traditional style. The song does however have an elevating electric guitar solo, allowing to take a new stylistic direction, dipping into almost Coldplay territory. Dallas Green, like on all of his albums, uses heartfelt and emotive lyrics to accompany his sound. This latest album possesses a theme where feeling lost and without any direction is prevalent, particularly in ‘Of Space and Time,’ whereby lyrics “I’m roaming through the hills, All alone, I’m trying to find my direction home,” encapsulates the journey of self discovery. Loneliness is something that we can all connect with, and is something that he addresses throughout, perhaps making this album so universally emotionally accessible to anyone who listens to it. ‘Thirst’ has a sexier, dirtier, rock n roll vibe – I

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can only imagine myself in a biker’s bar on the Highway, necking JD with this resonating from the Jukebox. He takes blues and soul and intertwines it with distorted guitar to give it an edgy vibe that is unseen from City and Colour’s material before. Overall the album has fairly sorrowful undertones, and the use of violin adds to the perception of sadness that floods through the music and into the listener’s consciousness as shown in ‘Take Care’. It also allows the songs to take an anthemic turn particularly when matched with the deep bass in ‘Two Coins’. This album could possibly be the best yet from City and Colour. It is deeper and darker, in theme and in melody. He has taken new artistic directions, stretching further from the simple set up of man and guitar, incorporating influences from across a board of genres, adding a new dynamic to the music. Reaching into his heart; laying it out before you in his music with beautifully sung lyrics, he leaves you to feel as though he understands you, and that your life is being played out as he fingerpicks his way through track after track.


Reviews

Rudimental ‘Home’

Ashley Chalmers. Reviews Editor. London-based EDM pioneers have surged their way to the top spot with their debut album Home. The UK chart toppers, Rudimental, have set themselves apart from other UK EDM acts, as they fearlessly incorporate elements from nearly every genre known to man, to make their music not only energetic, but uplifting and motivational to listen to. The first single ‘Home’ is bluesy and showcases a classic RnB style that has been so influential to artists across the board. Talented, mellow vocals ooze in and out of the sonic waves with the slow, laid back tempo and organ to create a perfectly chilled track. The album then jets off into the stratosphere with their debut single ‘Feel the Love’ featuring John Newman. It is no secret that this colossal summer anthem was probably the hook for the group’s massive and ever growing fanbase. Newman’s soulful and unique vocals tie in perfectly with the saxophone and gospel choir, bringing togetheR a whole new genre and dynamic to the track. ‘Feel the Love’ hits you in the heart and exhilarates you into a frenzy of happiness. The grey complexion of a British summer is no match for this tune, as you feel the basking glory of sunlight washing away depression in just one listen. Home is jam packed with up and coming artists, and is the perfect platform to unite the amazing talent that is yet to make their imprint on the British music scene. Powerful vocals from the likes of The Voice’s Becky Hill on ‘Powerless’, Emeli Sandé on ‘More

Than Anything’ and ‘Free’, Ella Eyre on ‘Waiting All Night’ and John Newman throughout the album add a superior quality to the record and contributes to it’s goliath success. Including the vocals of unique artists really only adds to the impact that this album leaves on the listener. Each song is completely different, as it incorporates artistic direction from the collaborating artist on the track, ensuring that no song sounds the same. Each and every song packs an almighty punch, as the flawless performance from new artists and the fine tuned production qualities from Rudimental collide together and form a masterpiece that is Home. Not afraid to bring the old in with the new, classic jazz and gospel influences are brought into the 21st century with skipping electro drumbeats, creating a classic signature style that is mostly identifiable to Rudimental, existing throughout tracks such as ‘Feel the Love’, ‘Not Giving In’ and ‘Give You Up’. Rudimental’s experimental style has proven to be a massive hit with anyone who listens to it. The album holds something for everyone, and even if you are not a fan of EDM, chances are you will love at least one track on the album. It is a game changer and has set a sky-scraping benchmark for acts to follow.

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Reviews

Mac Miller

‘Watching Movies With the Sound Off’

Jack Mckeever. Introducing Editor. In a world where Macklemore has brought being personal to Hip Hop in a much less cheesy and exasperated way than Eminem, albums like Mac Miller’s “Watching Movies with the Sound Off” are likely to find themselves in a unique position. Whilst “Watching Movies...” is not a conventional sounding record compared to the works of JayZ or the aforementioned Eminem, the hugely unprecedented success of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “The Heist” means a glimmer of the big time is now available to Mac Miller, even if it’s not apparent that he actually wants it. The truth is that “Watching Movies with the Sound Off” is likely to be a bit too much for people even of the persuasion that a certain amount of social consciousness and brutal honesty about drug problems is real Hip- Hop. This finds Mac Miller at the most introspective he’s ever been, but what provides the foundations for this introspectiveness is something much greater; something beyond comprehension but is seemingly tangible. The recurring themes on this album are uncertainty, faith, death, time, depression, drugs and overshadowing all of them the premise that there is something out there which makes every human interaction or action completely insignificant. Ultimately, it’s Mac Miller laying out the human condition through the story of his life. “Still trapped inside my head/ I feel like it’s a purgatory” he raps on the opener “The Star Room”, and goes on to allude to subjects like drug addiction, alienation from his father and corruption, all over a desolate beat comprising of a dusty, twanging guitar sample and resounding

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but low- key electronics. He touches into the wider picture almost immediately afterwards on the beautiful piano- lead “Avian” with the line “to live life you kids might just close your computers... the street lights might blind you though.” The epitome of the beautiful mesh of circumstances and personal issues that Miller deals with here comes on “I am who I am.” Heavenly female vocal tones provided by Niki Randa circle around an understated chamber-pop-esque beat, whilst Miller directly addresses the supposed insignificance of the human life form, subject matter of death, suicide and the sanctity of life all prevalent. “Initial signs of schizophrenic behaviour, my mind is like religion, it can’t decide who’s its saviour.” All of this dextrous righteousness is interspersed with the kind of bangers than won so many people over with Mac Miller’s previous project “Blue Slide Park.” The thing is that now these tracks are obviously supposed to be humorous, and thus they fit the mould much better as a product of such. A prime example is “Bird Call” on which Miller intones “I used to give a fuck about success, now I just wanna see Mila Kunis undress.” Prior to its success, “The Heist” was not an album that many would have said would appeal to the mainstream consciousness. It feels premature to say the same of “Watching Movies with the Sound Off”, but it’s not too premature to say it would be a mighty shame if it did. This is Mac Miller’s masterpiece.


Reviews Daft Punk

‘Random Access Memories’ Ashley Chalmers. Reviews Editor Mysterious French techno duo Daft Punk are back with their groovy new take on dance music. After producing a giant soundtrack for Disney blockbuster Tron Legacy, starring Jeff Bridges, true Daft Punk fans were left questioning their talents. Had they had their day? With a lot to prove, the release of Random Access Memories had been much anticipated, and although it doesn’t follow the the classic style of Daft Punk it is new and fresh, packed to the brim with classic influences from 70s groove and 80s synth pop. ‘Get Lucky’ featuring Pharell Williams could possibly be the most overplayed song of 2013 by far, however it is full of summer vibes, cheeky lyrics and brings back groove and soul that we are all guilty of appreciating. This song was the golden ticket to Random Access Memories’ further success. The album, like ‘Get Lucky’, has the groove bass and guitar riffs that channel throughout, making this album perfect for the Summer. Pharell’s vocals makes an appearance on ‘Lose Yourself to Dance’ which is possibly one of the best songs on the album. His falsetto vocals emulate those of groove soul legends Earth Wind and Fire, which adds an almost vintage feel to the album. ‘Instant Crush’ featuring vocals from The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas is eighties cool, perfectly in keeping with Julian’s eighties techno fascination that was wonderfully portrayed in their latest album Eighties Comedown Machine. It is mellow, chilled and effortlessly cool, and the use of auto tune is not a mistake like it has been in recent musical choices of the likes of Ke$ha… The album overall is easy to listen to. If you can get over the talking at the beginning of some tracks, it is very easy to have on, may it be in the background or blaring through headphones. Random Access Memories is not like any other Daft Punk album and it is refreshing to see what else they have to offer, without losing the sound that is true to their style.

Tom Odell

‘Long Way Down’ Ashley Chalmers. Reviews Editor Winning the Critics’ Choice award at this year’s Brit Awards alongside Emile Sandé, Tom Odell had high hopes and expectations bestowed upon him with regards to his debut album A Long Way Down. The album is likable and most certainly a grower. Passionately pounding at the keys of his piano, and a shaky warble in his vocals are telltale signs that he really is giving his first shot his best. With a rough and ready take on a classic style, the whole sonic package is in keeping with the obvious and prevalent theme of love that runs throughout. In each of the songs, his vocals possess this raw, natural quality that contrasts with the clean, sharp sound of piano, perfectly accompanied by soulful backing vocals. The album features previously released tracks ‘Can’t Pretend’, ‘Another Love’ and ‘Hold Me’. It starts off energetic with an uplifting vibe that emulates from his powerful performance. You can tell that he really reaches into himself and pushes his emotion through to create an almost explosive start to the record. Dipping lower into heartbreak, ‘Another Love’ takes centre stage, with cleverly written lyrics and a progression in texture and tempo. Although the album is good, it is not clear as to whether or not it has reached the expectations of those who eagerly awaited it. Many songs are in danger of sounding the same throughout and there is little wow factor once you have reached the middle point of the album, as it starts to sound similar to the first half. This being said, it will be interesting to see how he can change up his style and what stylistic elements he may incorporate in future material.

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Reviews

She & Him ‘Volume 3’

Katie pathiaki. assistant editor Featuring three cover songs, and 11 original tracks, the quirky, cheery, duo She & Him return with their third album “Volume 3”. However, the focus of the band sways more toward movie and television start Zooey Deschanel, rather than the “him”, Matthew Ward. Although, don’t get me wrong, the influences of M. Ward are very clear and present as a producer; the tracks on Volume 3 sound much more appealing to those which Zooey had performed with her previous jazz/cabaret band, “If The Stars Were Pretty Babies”. The album starts with a summery, beach boysesque track, but “I’ve Got Your Number, Son” is anything but bouncy. The lyrics completely juxtapose the chirpy piano, guitar and clapping in the background. Following tracks, “Never Wanted Your Love”, “I Could’ve Been Your Girl”, “Turn to White”, “Together” follow in the footsteps of the first track; The initial appearance of a breezy, sunny soundtrack is pulled apart by genuine lyrics resounding heartbreak, loss and agony. After her divorce in 2011, Zooey has developed and enriched her music to reflect her grief. Every song is full of emotion. “Shadow of Love” and “Something’s Haunting You” are two tracks

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different from the chirpy, but heartfelt songs on the rest of the album. They are slower, more relaxed but solemn, too. With strong bass, the songs almost step into the genre of Jazz. Lazy, and slow, Zooey beckons, “You and I, we told a story of love from our hearts/But it never came true/There’s no tomorrow for me and you”. These songs are the exceptions to this seemingly happy ‘tomorrow is another day’ kind of album. Such easy listening, the deep and heavy lyrics are a hidden gem. It is definitely a good contrast. Isn’t everyone bored of slow, sad, love songs? She & Him have re-invented the classic ballad. The duo have managed to retain the deep meaning held within love-song lyrics, but use a jolly mash up of various ukuleles, pianos, guitars and violins to keep your head up and hopes high. Ballads are out, country, indie pop is in.


Reviews

Boards of Canada ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest’

Jack Mckeever. Introducing Editor There has been much made recently (and perhaps with good reason) of the post- apocalyptic vision. TV shows like The Walking Dead and the spookily beautiful Les Revenants have both alluded to the otherworldly, inexplicable mystique in their own artistic way. It’s mostly through the use of imagery of course, of visual activity and set pieces. As a musical outlet, Scottish duo Boards of Canada enjoy no such luxury, and thus they are (in a suitably post- apocalyptic way) left to their own devices to craft their own distinct perception of what the Earth may be like post- it’s end. As always on this, their third album “Tomorrow’s Harvest” (and their first since 2004), Boards of Canada have also deprived themselves the luxury of words, owing any emotional evolutions to the use of music itself. The idea in this case is to create soundscapes that transcend words, and this modus operandi revolves around manipulation of both the unsettling and the gorgeous in equal measure. Opener “Gemini” sets the tone of the album in stone, half glacial post- apocalyptica envisioned by rising bleep arpeggios, half unnerving, lowrumbling synth grates. “Reach for the Dead” is more serene, nuanced layers of thick, lush synths and a hazy crackle. Equally migrating towards this trajectory is the heavenly 6 and a half minutes of

“Jacquard Causeway”, on which a clunking beat is foreshadowed by immersive, cyclical layers and textures. “New Seeds” offers some reprise towards the final throes of the album, dealing in epic, jarringly bubbly keys rotations which evolve into an understated by quietly triumphant wall of sound before ending on soft chamber beeps. Of course, the end of the world is indeed a strikingly unnerving concept, and this is catered for too in abundance on “Tomorrow’s Harvest.” “White Cyclosa” marries disconcerting helicopter propeller samples with a sinister underbelly and an eerie, woozy lead melody, like a search party rooting around in rubble without much hope. “Collapse” feels like you’re watching the Earth cave in on itself from space, bleary eyed and helpless, but it’s somehow soothing with its whooshes of background wind and calm electronic patter. They save the most unsettling of all for last though in the shape of “Semena Mertvykh”, a spine- chilling drum-less hum of horror movie score- esque tone, ending the album on a bleak marker. There are times when “Tomorrow’s Harvest” doesn’t quite reach the heights it aims to, like on the wishy- washy, dream- like “Cold Earth” or the spiralling textures of “Split Your Infinities.” But for the most part, the album’s fragility and musical sensitivity does enough to create a pretty solid landscape of what the future of the Earth may behold, and even though it still seems distant, it hits a nerve frighteningly close to home.


Reviews

Deerhunter ‘Monomania’ Sofie Kranstz Indie rock and shoegaze sensational, Deerhunter, features the newest members of the band—Josh McKay and Frankie Broyles in their most recent release called Monomania. The band describes Monomania as a “nocturnal garage” in a press release. Personally, the brand new album has less trippy and more experimental aspects (by Deerhunter’s standard that is!) Its overall tone sounds like a mixture of noisy art-punk with glitz and glam thrown in there as well as that garage band atmosphere to it. Monomania begins with ‘Neon Jacket’, a track that kicks off the album right away that has a bit of a country-feel to it with its acoustic guitars swirled with the synthesizer effects accompanied by a simple, but yet tasteful drum track. The song begins as a garage-rock cry before the song intensifies into a frantic, hasty and chaotic noise towards the finishing line. ‘Leather Jacket II’ continues with the noisy aspect of Deerhunter with the squalling guitars mixed with Bradford Cox’s distorted vocals. It is so raucous that at times it feels like an epic live ending to a song in which the band destroys their instruments. This is definitely the kind of song that will drive your parents out of your bedroom! After ‘Leather Jacket II’ is ‘The Missing’ which is a mellower, atmospheric and haunting but yet an elegant track. The beat is steady and embraces the listener. ‘Pensacola’ is an upbeat punkish song that tempts the listener to dance their little hearts out while walking or driving down the country side whereas ‘Dream Captain’ has a heavy psychedelic vibe that takes you on a cruise ship adventure. ‘Blue Agent’ is a playful but yet abstract song—which is always a

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good thing! To take a break from the noise, the song ‘T.H.M.’ is drastically different compared to the first few tracks. It is calming and serene with a poppy sound. This track is definitely the biggest surprise in Monomania in which I encourage you to witness. ‘Sleepwalking’ is a fluid but fun with a slight bit of a romantic-feel into it. It doesn’t exactly stand out but it’s still an enjoyable song. Another enjoyable and not overly noisy song is the next track, ‘Back to the Middle’. It somewhat sounds like The Strokes and The Smiths had a baby in a song form. Deerhunter is, of course, known for their piercing and earsplitting sounds and the title track is the perfect example of that. ‘Monomania’ has a copious amount of distortion rendered into the song. Towards the end, the song erupts into a disorganized clatter and a motorcycle revving can be heard as the song fades out. ‘Nitebike’ is also one of their less rowdy tracks off of Monomania. The song starts softly and gets a little more intense on and off with the strumming guitars. Bardford Cox’s vocals are echoey and lingering. And last but not least is ‘Punk (La Vie Antérieure)’ which has a super catchy guitar line in the beginning. This song is a song that can be played around beach campfires. In all conclusions, Monomania may be hard to get into the first because of its overall drone, hallucinogen mess, dreamy, ambient nonsense, avant-garde and art-punk commotion but Deerhunter stepped out of the box with Monomania and it worked well altogether.


Reviews

30 Seconds to Mars

‘Love Lust Faith and Dreams’ Megan Hunt. 30 Seconds To Mars hinted they were going on hiatus in 2011. But instead they’ve returned with an album they’ve insisted they really worked their hardest on. 30 Seconds To Mars went all out on their latest album Love Lust Faith + Dreams. Whether you enjoy their music or not, the whole process of the album should still be impressing. Firstly, the band released their first single by teaming up with NASA. They sent the single into space to premiere to two expedition crews. Secondly, not only did lead singer, Jared Leto, produced the album himself, they also recorded the album in various locations all over the world. Through the whole recording process, Jared Leto posted pictures from the recording in places from California to India. Thirdly, they did a repeat of “The Summit”, which was used for the backing vocals to their previous album. Whilst it was a lot smaller this time round, it’s still a great way to make the fans feel even more involved. Last but not least, the album artwork was created by one the most wellknown modern artists, Damien Hirst. Now to the music. In the run up to the album, the band promised us something very different and said they felt it was their best work yet. The album is split into 4 themes, Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams, each introduced by a woman. The first theme, Love, is made up of the tracks ‘Birth’, and ‘Conquistador.’ Lust contains, ‘Up in the Air,’ ‘City of Angels,’ ‘The Race’ and ‘End of All Days.’ Faith is introduced by ‘Pyres of Varanasi,’ followed by ‘Bright Lights’ and ‘Do or Die.’ The final segment, Dreams, consists of ‘Convergence,’ ‘Northern Lights’ and ‘Depuis Le Début.’ The album opens with a typical 30 Seconds To Mars song, with solid vocals, chanting backing vocals and a dramatic sound created with a variety of instruments. This seamlessly flows into ‘Conquistador’, which again is similar to the 30 Seconds To Mars we all know and love. The Lust section of the album opens with their first single ‘Up In The Air.’ This is a slightly more poppy song for the band but the good lyrics and catchiness of the song, means I can forgive that. The

two songs following this are a bit more of soft-rock ballads, but have a synthesiser backing track which I find hard to get over. The chorus to ‘The Race’ is also highly repetitive, consisting of only the words “The race” and “I’m not running.” The theme of Lust ends with another slow song, ‘End of All Days’ and its only point is to show off Jared’s voice. As he has very impressive voice, it makes the song, the best of this section. Faith opens with ‘Pyres of Varanasi.’ This is an instrumental track with an electronic sound to it and in my opinion is the only track where the electronic sound and synthesisers really work well. Sadly by this point the album starts to become a bit boring and it is evident that that there is not much inspiration for the songs. In previous 30 Seconds To Mars albums you can really tell they put their hearts into it, but with this one, it sounds more like they were trying to meet a deadline. However the Faith segment ends impressively with, ‘Do or Die.’ They took out all the unnecessary synth sounds with this song, giving it more of 30 Seconds To Mars feel. This is a strong track which sounds more like it came from their previous album, This is War. The final segment of the album, Dreams, is again more of the old 30 Seconds To Mars with no unnecessary electronic backing tracks. The final track of the album ‘Depuis Le Début’ opens with just Jared’s voice and a guitar. Sadly the track does not continue like this and turns into an instrumental track to end the album. The first 30 seconds of this track are easily my favourite part of the entire album. I thoroughly enjoyed this album, but feel only hardcore 30 Seconds To Mars fans will agree with me, purely due to their loyalty. The album is too synthesised, over-produced and feels very forced.

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Reviews

Kanye West

‘Yeezus’

Jack mckeever. introducing Editor. So, here it is then. And it’s called “Yeezus.” To be fair, that’s probably the LEAST surprising thing Kanye West could have called this album. Because whatever you think of him, whenever Kanye West releases an album these days it’s treated like an event, in part due to the adoration surrounding 2010’s opera- esque “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” and in part due to the man’s self- assumed divinity. Nobody should be surprised by West declaring himself a deity. He’s done it before and he’ll do it again. It’s not defendable necessarily, but it’s part of the cycle now. Let’s get the good things about “Yeezus” out of the way primarily. First and foremost, West has been relatively daring with this release. It’s nice to see his entirely self- made production venturing down the dark, noisy and adventurous routes that it so often does here, suggesting more often than not that he’s been listening to more Death Grips than counterpart in self- defining sheen Jay- Z. “Yeezus” is challenging on the production front; it’s noisy, unexpected and ambitious- all traits that can indeed be contributed to West’s persona, so in a way this feels like his most reflective work to

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date. What’s also promising about the production on “Yeezus” is that West must know that this isn’t going to get radio play, and he doesn’t seem to care either. There are unlikely to be any “Hits” from “Yeezus.” It’s also unlikely to shift as many sales units as any of his previous work. The fact that all this seems to be deliberate is certainly refreshing. But does it work? Well, yes and no. Opener “On Sight” bursts into the forefront with brutal, fizzing industrial synths and a well- balanced House beat. “Black Skinhead” is less profitable for the listener, revolving around a shuffling beat akin to Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People.” “New Slaves” deals in sinister but high- brow keyboard stabs and crushingly heavy walls of cold, industrial tide and the aforementioned Death Grips- esque sampling. “I’m In It” traverses along a dramatic, glacial and ethereal Clams Casino- esque beat, “Blood on the Leaves” has an intensely heavy Hudson Mohawkeesque trap stomp whilst closer “Bound 2” chops up a Jackson 5- sample and intersperses it with a dramatic vocal take. But where this album lets itself down is the lyrics. Topically they largely centre around those most perennial of Kanye’s values; shagging, how much of a God he is, how much money he’s got, etc... Only once does he expose himself to be


Reviews more mortal than he would have the rest of us believe, sounding truly vulnerable on “Guilt Trip” where he whines “if you love me why’d you let me go?” The rest of the lyrics here veer between the questionably misguided and the cringe- worthy. In “On Sight” he spits “we get this bitch shaking like Parkinson’s.” More criminal perhaps is West’s distinct lack of historical accuracy on “Black Skinhead” as he raps “I keep it 300, like the Romans, 300 bitches, where the Trojans?” “I am a God” features the more unsurprising reprise of (in reference to Jesus) “I know he the most high, but I am a close high” as well as such assertions as “I am a God, even though I’m a man of God” and how he’s “the only rapper compared to Michael.” The end of the song is completely slaughtered production wise too due to Kanye’s strange desire to scream inconsolably into the microphone over a dour synthscape. “There’s leaders and there’s followers, but I’d rather be a dick than a swallower” he notions on

“New Slaves”, which believe it or not is otherwise a rare moment of actual lyrical potency here. It reaches perhaps its most mundane on “I’m In It” however, as Kanye raps “Eating Asian pussy all I need is some sweet & sour sauce” and “I’m getting you wet after we turn off the shower”, which are funny, but not in the same way that Kanye intended them to be. There are two major problems with “Yeezus.” The first is that, for all Kanye’s creativity, the production is not anywhere near as audacious as he thinks it is. I mean, we’re not talking Company Flow’s “Funcrusher Plus” here. Also, there’s no one there to say to West, “actually, I don’t think that’s a very good idea”, and even if there was he wouldn’t listen. That kind of uncompromising attitude is what makes Kanye both an artist to be respected and loathed. It’s the same attitude that leads “Yeezus” to mostly be a colossal mess.

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Reviews

Mark Owen ‘The Art of Doing Nothing’ Sam Lawrie. Mark Owen, best known as one fifth of the UK’s biggest man-band, is here to prove that he is more than just Take That’s pretty boy with his first solo album in eight

years, The Art of Doing Nothing. Considering Mark Owen celebrated his 41 first hit the charts over twenty years ago, it wouldn’t be surprising if The Art of Doing Nothing was a typical ‘dad’ record, full of outdated tracks that would’ve been hits “back in the day”. However, that definitely isn’t the case. The Art of Doing Nothing mainly runs distorted vocals to a backing track of synth pop, and as popular artists such as The 1975 have demonstrated, the trippy sound of synth pop is back and bigger than ever. It’s impressive to see tracks such as ‘Giveaway’, ‘Carnival’ and ‘Heaven’s Falling’ hitting current music trends right on the head, with the latter even featuring vocals from up-and-coming rapper Jake Emlyn. As fashionable as this electropop sound might be, the album follows these lines religiously up until the halfway mark, which becomes a little monotonous. However, the sixth track, ‘Us and Ours’, finally gives the listener something different- better late than never! The vocals are bouncy and innocent; it’s a down-to-earth pop song that established fans will love. The upbeat rhythm is instantly likeable, and it’ll have people singing and dancing in no time. ‘Raven’ also has a beat that’ll get people moving, and includes a strong guitar intro; it’s refreshing to identify an actual instrument rather than electronically produced sounds. Songs such as ‘S.A.D’ also make use of a guitar, introducing an almost Latin sound with the acoustic intro. ‘S.A.D’ also features female vocalist Ren Harvieu, whose deep tones compliment Mark Owen’s vocals perfectly, coming together beautifully for The Art of Doing Nothing’s token ballad. This isn’t the album’s only serious song, as ‘Heaven’s Falling’ features an intense sound and sombre vocals, making it the album’s most epic track. It’s a serious piece of work from a serious artist, not just a 1990’s heartthrob or Gary Barlow’s backing singer. In fact, in recent years Mark Owen has taken on more lead vocals in the group, and it’s easy to see why as his distinctive vocals on this album show off a real trademark. Lyrically, The Art of Doing Nothing has its ups

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and downs. The album’s lead single, ‘Stars’, includes lines such as “Gonna build a rocket / Anytime you want it / Paint it pretty colours” which surely has some greater meaning but, to the listener, sounds a bit gobbledygook. However, the overriding theme of the song sticks with the message of the previous track ‘The One’ which, with lyrics such as “Life, with its glorious twists and turns / And no matter which way you go / It’s the greatest ride of your life” and “Every time I close my eyes / It’s bigger than the whole of us”, hints at inspiration, ambition and hope, with a message that this world is more than just you or me. The final track, aptly named ‘End of Everything’, includes lyrics that speak of finality- “It’s the end of everything we know / The end of all know / The end of all we’ll ever know / Is this the end of everything?”alongside an uplifting instrumental. Perhaps the album is supposed to end with ambiguity, or perhaps this juxtaposition is deliberate, with an aging Mark Owen acknowledging, that all things must come to an end, but ultimately looking forward to the future. The entire album has been carefully thought out, with credit going to The Art of Doing Nothing’s ruthlessly precise production team. Nothing is there by accident and we, the listener, may never know the truth behind the album’s end. Nonetheless, it echoes the whole album’s sense of awe, thoughtfulness and inspiration, which is what makes it a bigger record than any of us would have expected from this cheeky chappy who made his name in a boyband.


Reviews

The Dillinger Escape Plan ‘One Of Us Is The Killer’ American mathcore band, The Dillinger Escape Plan, is a band either people find hard to get into or a band that people cannot get enough of. They are known for their aggressive, brutal and violent stage presence and performance as well as their weird and complicated time signature they incorporate into their songs. This year, The Dillinger Escape Plan strikes again with their fifth studio album called One of Us Is the Killer. The Dillinger Escape Plan released the first track, ‘Prancer’, two months prior to the album’s release date. ‘Prancer’ immediately starts off heavy and speedy with Greg Puciato screeching the opening lines which balanced the bassist and guitarists’ off-beat but yet powerful sounds. The drums are heartpounding and consistently remain that way throughout its entirety. To build suspense, the song mellows out and slows down which then picks back up towards the end making a big finish. The Dillinger Escape Plan also delivered a shocking performance in Revolver Magazine’s 2013 Golden Gods Awards which featured ‘Prancer’ along with ‘43% Burnt’, ‘Behind the Wheel’ with Chino Moreno of Deftones and another track off of their new record called ‘When I Lost My Bet’. Personally, ‘When I Lost My Bet’ is the highlight of the entire album. The song starts out and also ends with a severe aggression which transitions onto the title track.

‘One of Sofie Kranstz Us Is the Killer’ is a break from the first two intense tracks of the album. Greg almost sounds haunting with his clean and falsetto vocals in the verse and powerfully sings throughout the chorus. ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’ is yet another heavy but tasteful song that sounds like it’s from their previous album Miss Machine. The next track, ‘Nothing’s Funny’, contains more clean vocals from Greg paired with slower tempo and appealing riffs followed by ‘Understanding Decay’ and ‘Paranoia’ which are both spectacular tracks that captures the essence and complexity of mathcore. Another notable but yet bizarre track off of One of Us is the Killer is ‘CH 375 268 277 ARS’ which begins quietly and then blossoms to a proggylike breakdown and transitions to an interesting riff that sounds like the song was a television program having technical difficulties. I guess the title of the song speaks for itself! ‘Magic That I Held You Prisoner’, ‘Crossburner’ and ‘The Threat Posed by Nuclear Weapons’ are all wonderful songs which tied up the ending of the album perfect. I would not be surprised if anyone puts the album on repeat because The Dillinger Escape Plan all did a terrific job with yet another astonishing album! Overall, One of Us Is the Killer is a very heavy and brilliant album that gets the adrenaline pumping. The entire band has done it again with but this time, I feel like they have completely outdone themselves in every way possible. Be sure to buy a physical copy of this record and to catch The Dillinger Escape Plan this summer at the Summer Slaughter Tour to witness their hostile and destructive performance!

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Reviews

Sigur Ros ‘Kveikur’ Jack Mckeever. Introducing Editor To some extent Sigur Ros’ success in the UK is questionable. Their slow, languorous sound and Jonsi’s resolute decision to sing exclusive in his native Icelandic means that they’ve always been considerably inaccessible in terms of their modus operandi. But since the BBC sound tracked the Planet Earth advertisements with the band’s glacial “Hoppipolla” from their album “Takk...” they’ve reached well beyond the admittedly devoted underground post- rock following they’d already garnered by that point. But if Sigur Ros have proved anything (and their status as arguably the world’s most popular PostRock band can vouch for this) it’s that more people than you would expect can tap into musical depth and excellence and resonate with it just as much as they can with lyrics. After all, if they couldn’t then Sigur Ros would be considerably less lauded than they are, because up until now it’s only been the expansive, explorative soundscapes that they have given people to relate to. With “Kveikur”, their 7 terms of sound and production, and changes have certainly occurred. Firstly, they’ve lost Kjartan Sveisson, the keyboardist and chief string- arranger who was so dominant on last year’s gorgeously beautiful “Valtari.” That album had barely a drum hit or a guitar chord in sight, which makes the fact that Sigur Ros have indeed pursued the darker, heavier pastures that they promised they would on “Kveikur” follows nicely. “Kveikur” is certainly dark and heavy, whilst still clinging on to some of the traits that were worked

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so prolifically on “Valtari”, for example the horn and glitch electronic mesh that closes opener “Brennistein” and the dramatic swells that engulf the clanging percussion of “Hrafntinna.” The prettiness is still there, but it’s melded with some thrilling new sonic territories for the band. “Brennistein” kicks off with wailing, cacophonous walls of guitar noise and monstrously distorted bass stabs. Jonsi’s vocals add a touch of sweetness to the proceedings, and the chorus is awash with huge violin-scapes which plays to the understated but soaring tendencies the band do so well. The title track fuses disturbing but heavenly choir harmonies with rising whooshes of pugilistic industrialism and ends on a climax of swelling, thick drones. “Isjaki” is the most direct moment here. A thumping, rolling beat resounds behind sparkling keys and quietly gorgeous guitar note progression and is accompanied a chorus that is genuinely catchy. “Rafstraumer” combines robust drumming, an epic electronic transgression and a neatly guttural guitar melody. The problem with “Kveikur” is that there’s nothing particularly constructive or negative to say about it. There are certainly highlights, but there are also moments like “Yfirboro” which, despite being very pretty and some alienating vocal effects akin to those on Radiohead’s “Kid A” the rising beat fails to take the song anywhere. The same goes for “Blapradur” and the drumless ambience of closer “Var”, which just kind of fly by without making much of an impact. Ultimately, the darker pastures explored by Sigur Ros here are pulled off, but as such isoften the case with albums of this ilk, there are always times when the songs don’t reach the heights they seem to be aiming for. It’s intense and tantalising but also floaty and airy. Annoyingly it may well leave you on the fence.


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Undertone Music Zine Issue 4  

Undertone is a musiczine delivering music from all genres to you every month

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