Monday, 24 December 2007

Josh Weller

To be perfectly honest, acoustic is a genre I normally detest however I have been recently converted due to the joys of Josh Weller. He is a quirky wonder with a strangely complementary style of both haunting and charming. Myspace has shown only a glimpse of his individuality, found both in his music and style. His innovative style of combining sumptuous and endearing lyrics with a powerful guitar back up may not be original but certainly remains divine. With lyrics such as “Darling sometimes a hate you” it’s hard not to be impressed by this Morrissey-esque irony that his tracks are steeped with. His influences are clearly seen in songs such as “I’m a Christian” heavily reeking of the 20’s blues mastered by Bo Diddley and Robert Johnson. Josh Weller is an artist who due to his inane eccentricity has allowed him the freedom of no genre shackles and is certainly a talent who deserves a break in 2008

Also whilst I’m here I wish the 3 people who read this a very Merry Christmas haha

Wednesday, 19 December 2007


frYars. Sort of like Patrick Wolf. Sort of like Bowie. Sort of like all those other on-the-fringes-of-genre folk. Yet like Wolf there is a depth and some lyrical meaning coupled with a talent and penchant for weird instruments and distorted voice.
The collection of songs on his Myspace are addictive with their poppy, tinkling piano and pop-rock synth. Linked, unsuprisingly, with Bombay Bicycle Club and Cajun Dance Party frYars sophisticated take on music is both uplifting and depressing to a point. Marrying darker and more macabre lyrical content with danceable and pop/electro/alternative (according to good ol'Myspace) music this is endearing stuff
All in all it is wistful indie at its finest with an unidentifiable something which lets it almost escape genre and with lyrics and poignant musical arrangements. Magical!

(open in new window!)
frYars- Madeline

frYars - happY
Jade xx

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Get Dancey x4!

1. Mixing many a “woo-hoo”, hand claps and shouty shouty vocals And What Will Be Left of Them are refreshingly upbeat! They nod to the 60s and have punkish tendencies binding it all together with male/female duel vocals.
They’re songs are familiar from the first listen. “Come with me” wraps the listener up in its recognisable guitars and synth infused chorus whilst “Hi-fi” takes a mellower take on the peppy, up-beat sound. It is “Four Years to be an Artist” though which is distinctively (and instinctively?) good with its charming lyrics and relentless beat.
And What Will Be Left of Them?- 4 Years
And What Will Be Left of Them?- Hi Fi

2. Friendly Fires manage to marry what can only be described as ‘funky’ beats with repetitive lyrics and smooth as you like vocals. A dance act for once not riding on the tail-coats of 90’s rave nostalgia and hopefully not a glow stick in sight. They should remain a credible band for at least 2008! Although it can make you wary when you see a dance infused track remixed Nightmoves remix of “On Board” handles it well adding enough to make it interesting but taking nothing away. And if you don’t end up waving your hands in the air (yes, like you just don’t care) to “Paris” then shame on you!
Friendly Fires (Nightmoves Remix)- On Board
Friendly Fires- Paris

3. I can’t get enough of
Crystal Castles at the moment. After dispelling them to the back of my mind for most of this year I had it down as annoying noise that was neither compelling or hard to do. Oh how times change; after seeing them live and also taking the time to listen to gems like “Alice Practice” and “Crimewave” my opinion has changed quite the bit. Jumping from subtle electronic tinges of beeps and bleeps blended over the stylised vocals to the thrash thrash thrash and high pitched yelps they create un-genrefiable dance/ thrash/ hard-core/ rave/ indie/music. End of.
Crystal Castles- Alic Practice
Crystal Castles- Crimewave

4. Finally The Je Ne Sais Quoi have more than a hint of the 1980s in their track "Chameleon. Distinctly danceable beats laden over with harmonising vocals and glittering synth makes their songs a more mellow take on dancing. With multi-faceted songs in which insturments skim and slide over once another like "Chamelon" their harmonise, Swedish twang and smooth execution of the song makes them charming.

Jade xx

Sunday, 9 December 2007


Teenagersintokyo are actually in their twenties and from Australia. "Twentysomethingsinsydney" doesn't have the same ring to it though; luckily their songs are divine.
Blending simplistic electro and brooding bass notes they create electrifying dance music. "Robocat" evokes a sense of a lighter Bonde Do Role but still with an edge of dark. With Karen O-esque vocals and various screeches and whimpers towards the end the beat carries it through. Sultry and with blinding synth "End It Tonight" is reminiscent of Theoretical Girls darker take on electro; forget NYPC and CSS's candy coated version of new rave- this tenser version of danceable songs combine good nights with the morning after and more.

What with one bloke amidst four females teenagersintokyo sort of escape genre; neither girl group or boy and with the ability to write great lyrics but no concept of grammer (if their name is anything to go by). Either way they are quite addictive and its only a pity they live in Austrailia & I can't see them live yet.
Jade xx

Friday, 23 November 2007

Theories and Shambles...

Quick post really! Today I got Theoretical Girls new single "The Hypocrite". It is suffice to say quite brilliant; a singer/songwriter doing away with the warbles and whingeing and instead revelling in disenchantment and ethereal vocals. After being aware of TG for quite a while now it is lovely to see her brand of simplistic and dark compositions gaining a reputation. And she has the best hair.

Also went to see Babyshambles last night. Although it was in the far from filled MEN they still managed to make an intimate atmosphere. It was something of a novelty that they came on at the right time, Pete only fell over once and at one point Babyshambles (metaphorically)disappeared only to be replaced with a jazz-esque persona as they whisked through "There She Goes" and Pete preformed "Lost Art of Murder" acoustically; who knew Peter Doherty to be capable of not mumbling lyrics and playing complex guitar. Charming as ever and playing more than their quota of songs it is a return to form for them. Thank God!

Jade xx

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Summery Bands for the Winter

Littered with summery nuances and pretty choruses Brontosaurus Chorus evidently take inspiration from bands like Belle and Sebastian, Elastica and (although musically they aren’t as macabre or deep) Joy Division. These are the type of people you’d invite to a party, get drunk and force to play an assortment of instruments just to make you smile. Like a more innocent and less lyrically evolved Los Camp! songs such as “Now We’re Making Out” evoke warm nights and warm wine glistening on a sideboard whilst “David Bowie” is an utter hit (even if purely for writing a song about the legend that is). The female based vocals soar and dive over trumpets and violins and guitars and drums and cellos in a thoroughly heart-warming way! Formed in the summer of 2006 it is down to the listener to wonder how much of that time is captured in the balmy musings of songs like “Summer Skies” and the fab “Distortion Pop”.

Brontosaurus Chorus Myspace (YOU CAN DOWNLOAD “David Bowie” AND “Love is the Path” HERE!).
Bront C- Distortion Pop
Bront C- Now We're Making Out
A band which evokes a darker and slightly more sinister side to light-hearted indie-pop is The Royal We. Leaving hand-claps and “woo-hoos” like debris throughout their songs they are the epitome of strange and wonderful. “Baby take my arms/ Baby take my legs/ But please don’t take my baby ‘cos our love is all the rage/ All Right!” is just one example of the lyrics which surround this band. The accompanying video to “All the Rage” is equally disturbing with body parts (fake obviously) being scoffed down and a disembodied head singing prettily into the camera. Actual genius. “I Hate Rock and Roll” actually has rock’n’roll nodded too in the guitar arrangement at times (deliberate or not I’m not sure) whilst “Back and Forth Forever” takes a more laid back approach with duel vocals and gentle strums. Sadly they’ve already apparently called it a day but their Myspace has songs and videos to see and admire.

Jade xx

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Old Loves and New...

Belle and Sebastian. A band I have liked for many years has recently developed into love as I understand them a little better. Yes they are whimsical to a point but they have more substance and ideas (and band members) to create magical songs every time they make an album. From “Dear Catastrophe Waitress” to “The Blues are Still Blue” Murdoch, Jackson and Martins vocals wrap the listener up with harmony and wonderfully elusive lyrics. “Piazza, New York Catcher” is simple with vocals and guitar being the only instruments used (unlike “Step Into My Office, Baby” which has a fully fledged orchestra). What I like most about “New York Catcher” is how it epitomises Belle and Sebastian’s sound and lyrical work in the simplest way.
“The Boy with the Arab Strap” is equally compelling with hand claps and an earlier sound to the band (it being the third of their eight albums). “Another Sunny Day” gathers speed with the electric guitar and a distinct and succinct 60’s feel to it.
There are a million(ish) songs I could go on about because since 1996 Belle and Sebastian have been making music but basically, what I like most about them (other than they named themselves after that French cartoon) is that they are versatile and relevant as ever. They could bring out an album in another 10 years and it would still be a piece of wonderful and ‘folksy’ work. They are magic.
Talking of new loves is a band of another whimsical nature. Los Campesinos are possibly on of the best bands I have seen this year with their mixture of male/female vocalists and all-band dance routines. And they were touring with Sky Larkin and You Say Party We Say Die (two other amazing bands).

An enigmatic front man (with an apparently Justine Frischmann-esque haircut although I couldn’t see that myself) and a menagerie of musical instruments creates a fusion on stage that translates to the audience too. Covering “Frontwards” by Pavement they put their own unique twist of happiness on it. The music blends seamlessly with the lyrics which are on their own works of art. Basically, I couldn’t praise this band enough and hopefully they’ll get all the praise and awards and stuff they deserve. Get your glockenspiels and violins at the ready
Reading back it seems I like bands which have many members, many instruments involved and lyrics that make little sense… 4 piece indie bands are so 2004 dah-ling. (Jokes) (not really)
Jade xx

Belle and Sebastian- Piazza, New York Catcher.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

I'll have a pint of McGuinness please...

Sadly nowadays its becoming rarer and rarer to find a musician or band that encites me due to their sheer raw talent and orginality. It seems bandwagons are becoming the new fashion which strips the airwaves of anything different or magical hense why listening to Eugene McGuinness has become such a wonderous experience. Burdened with an unnecessarily geeky name has certainly not tainted his effortless approach to being cool, with an enigmatic stage presence and

His most noticable song being "Mosters under the Bed" is filled with whimsicle imagry and equally magical coingages (fanfuckingtabulous) to match. His vocal ability is odd yet charmingly crisp with his music containing distinc ska influences however manages to forge its own unique genre verging on the indescribable.
Finding himself on the support act circuit with his contempories (including Lightspeed Champion, his biggest fan!) may not be the most fulfilling career move however this will no doubt enable him to build on his already dedicated fanbase and expand his music thefore reciving the acclaim he righfully deserves. A British talent to be proud of, and perhaps one that should be cherished rather than ruthlessly captilised in order to please the greedy masses.

So from the new to the old, as we drift the the 1930's I recommend you all dig out a Robert Johnson record. This man is the sole reason for rock and roll, a true innovator of all things great and deserves to be cannonised for his works! Only 2 surviving pictures and the odd recording of the man makes his persona even more mesperising and ultimately mysterious. The emotive resinance contained within his purely r'n'b voice is both moving and admirable, most successfully heard on "Sweet Home Chicago". Its hard to avoid his influence in todays world, and this significant hold could be caused by his short albiet eventful life. His legacy is timeless, and its a sad shame that his talent often goes unrecognised by modern music lovers as he is a man whose naivity towards his own music has produced some of the finest recordings ever.

Hannah xx

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Paradox (or is that an Oxymoron?)

(image compyright Danny North)
"Sounds Like: Pop heaven in a library."

Ok, grammer aside the paradoxical nature of "GET IT LOUD IN LIBRARIES" is possibly the best idea ever!
Cramming as many people into Lancaster Library as possible to bring to people aged 0-100 (much like that yoghurt advert!) the best new music around they've had an array of talent playing so far.
Gracing the stage in the music section of the library has been; The Long Blondes, Bat for Lashes, Tiny Masters of Today, Sky Larkin, You Say Party! We Say Die!, The Wombats, Los Camposinos!, The Hot Puppies and Field Music !
AND Coming up as well there is The Whip and The KBC on the 24th October.
Having been to two of the gigs I can saftly say the age-range (toddlers to OAPs and everything in between) is one of the most positive aspects of the whole thing as well as seeing new bands in a small space where most of their influences come from. Music, literature and community are all combined to create a unique experiance. No wonder awards have graced this novel and magical idea.

Monday, 8 October 2007

around the world in 60 seconds...

.. or something of that nature!

Out “there” is a lot of good music. Out “there” being across the ponds and various seas that divide the British Isles from the rest of the world!
For example New York used to be known for likes of Patti Smith and The Ramones as its own! However now there are bands lurking in the Big Apple like "Nous Non Plus" who seem to sing mainly in French about “Lawnmower Boy[s]” and "The Lisps” whose eccentric stage antics (not having a microphone, tap dancers and dressing as though they were puritans or something) put Tilly and the Walls ‘quirky’ antics to shame! California isn’t just the home of the OC either, the whimsical and slightly bizarre "Vermillion Lies” trail haphazardly around in weird and wonderful clothes with a 30’s/ Bette Midler feel to them. Whilst other American bands such as “Tiny Masters of Today” and the unmitigated greatness of “White Stripes” and “Adam Green” keep us all entertained!
Or if America is too close to home how about Australia or New Zealand? Yes, countries that are still probably waiting for the Kasier Chiefs to visit them are sending us the cream of their crop. Never mind “The Datsuns”- bands like “Architecture in Helsinki” and “So, So Modern” are bringing their twangy accents and Crocodile Dundee covers to Britain in a flurry of electro pop and shouty vocals. Not to mention The Brunettes” from Auckland who resemble a softer Blood Red Shoes! You’ve also got Die! Die! Die!” with their dark take on the blues…
Bleeps and “blue, blue, blues” are being taken care of courtesy of Canada’s finest “Crystal Castles” and “
FeMeNin MaScUlin” whose blend of sugary, female vocals and synthesized wonderment is keeping foots tapping everywhere!
France, possibly known more for its penchant for snails than its good ol’fashioned indie rock, is boasting not only the fab “The Teenagers” but also “Les Shades”, “Second Sex” and “The Plasticines”! Keeping it in Europe we have "Les Fauves” from Italy and the ADULT-esque "MiT" from Germany who aso get to boast Berlins "Kitty Solaris”.
Sweden has “The Je Ne Sais Quoi” whose blend on poppy synth and 60’s esque guitars are beautiful. Also from the land of the Swedes comes another band. Pop infused, female fronted and possibly sugar coated as well; Those Dancing Days”. Songs “Those Dancing Days” and “Hitten” are possibly the most addictive things ever? (View Video Here!) Sweden also claims "Salty Pirates" as its own whos addictive tracks "Survivalist Guide" and "Common Sense" are slightly Americanised but with slightly humourous vocals due to accents galore!

Another country from ‘up there’ (aka. Iceland Geography isn’t my strongest attribute) are “Jakobinarina”, the excellent, punk filled greatness that is. Argentina has Modular whose blend of ‘sunshine pop’ and ‘pop orquestral’ is alluring and also like something out of Napoleon Dynamite!

Well, that’s about as many countries as I can come up with; maybe thats not many but hopefully enough ha.

Jade xx

-taken from NeuMag!




Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Shotter nation ...

SO today i made an investment, a wise one in my opinion. Shotters nation, the second offerening from Babyshambles and it has to be said, a sublime piece of msuical work. It appears that the band have fused, forming a relation with each other that has proved healthy and prosperous. Although the departure of ex-gutarist Patrick Walden was a sad one it seems his replacement, Mick has justifed himself. The one striking comparison between this and their debut album is that musically "Shotter Nation" is impressive and has not gained the wrong fame purely from the infamous Pete who has wrongly become a household name for the sake of selling papers. His talent lies deeper and its this ability to create which is putting his music back in the limelight. For too long, liberitines fans througout the world have had to grit their teeth and constantly defend their icon owever this new chapter of Petes life is strongly deemed to be a success. Perhaps endless court appearances and split between his infamous lover Kate has reforcussed his determination and rekindled his one true love, Music. Although the now legendary partnership between Pete and Carl has ended it seems a new one is blossoming and perhaps Babshambles have been given a new chance to prove themselves as accomplised musicians.

The absence of Mick Jones seems to be another positive step in the right direction, and even on first listen, the production of the album is noticiably pristince. Stephen Street must be commeded for his different approach which in turn creates a wholesome sound rather than a disjointed album. On listening to these different tracks, it becomes clear that Pete & co have drawn influenes from the major bands rather than the obscure. Sounds from The Kinks, The Doors and even The Stone Roses are obvious but do not suggest plagourism, rather necessary influence.

Pete recently has become scaily close to losing his appeal, however when I found myself grinning like bagpus on y first listen of the album, I knew my love for him and his works will never fade. Its special and beautiful lyrical content is what makes petes a leppar in musical society and a traite he should never lose!

So to the music and tracks stand out like saw thumbs is this array of the sublime. "You talk" is a natural showcase of petes vocal ability which is rarely commended. Riffs that ooze success rest neatly over a rare co-ordination of sound. Other highlights include "unstookietitled" and "crumb begging", with the appeal of both mainstream and obscure ears alike, a rare balance that possible only Babyshambles can pull off with credibility. This album provides proof that Babyshambles are certainly not just Pete's backing band, talented musicians in their own right which is slowly becoming a rareity in todays stupidly mindless charts!

With any of Petes ventures, the album is certainly not flawless but fills the gap in what we were all waiting for, an album for us all to be proud of. Pete, the innovator of a close relationship between band and fan has crossed the boundries in many ways throughout his career therefore this, his latest effort should certainly be given the chance to succeed without the stereotypical stigma attatched to it.

I must stop, as it is quite possible for me to talk for hours about anything Libertines related!!


Just a quick post about the Jakobinarina gig !

Hailing from Iceland (so that’s Yak-O-Bina-Rina) they played at the Roadhouse on Sunday courtesy of Same Teens Live.
Starting the night were the City Royals, Manchester answer to cheeky indie-pop and despite vocal strain (at one point a request for a hot toddy was made by a rasping lead singer) they delivered a blinding set with “Neon Pretty” and “Holiday” winning the “could-be-an-indie-dance-floor-classic” category. Despite a crude joke about aids (still got a few laughs) they still claim an absolutely ace drummer and vocalist with the Gallagher swagger; defiantly a Manchester band!
Satin Peaches on the other hand were distinctly American (they’re from Detroit); with the angst and Kurt Cobain whine down to a pat they didn’t seem to be everyone’s cuppa’. However, for those who like the grunge sound (and look) they’ll be a firm favourite. Their live set is distinctly darker than the sound conveyed on CD and what seems like a jovial, 60’s infused song in “Well, Well, Well, Well” came across from the stage as macabre, The Kinks gone bad so to speak.
Finally, Jakobinarina came on. With all the arrogance of a world-famous rock star Gunnar Bergmann belatedly jumped on stage. Launching into “This is an Advertisement”.
“’Allo this is Jakobinarina/ We are officially announcing ve are sell-oot,” pretty much sums up the feelings of the band. Tongue-in-cheek songs about selling out (like so many bands do now) and “Jesus” ordering everyone to “Jump around/ to the sound/ of mediocrity” gathers the crowd up together in a whirlwind of energy and transplants them somewhere buzzing with resentment for todays “popular music”. “Sleeping in Seattle” and “Riding” give a slower sense to the occasion. Dance moves provided by the lead singer were more reminiscent of a dad dancing at a disco- yet on him made to look effortlessly cool. Showing that Iceland has more rock in it that Siguor Ros and that anti-disestablishmentarians and antipathy towards what classes for music now crosses seas and binds us all together. All in all, Jakobinarina provide an outstanding live act that reflects their music, style and passion as well as extremely danceable and likeable songs!

Jade xx

BUY THEIR ALBUM (according to the lead singer "It is niiiiiice"!)


Jakobinarina - Sleeping in Seattle
Jakobinarina- This is an Advertisment

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Folkin' Hell

Folk, bluegrass, rockabilly; these are words that would have my mother sniggering as she recalls stereotypical men with beards, strumming at a guitar and pretending they are Simon and Garfunkle! Very 70’s! But get ready to welcome in the new breed- The Mules, Noah and the Whale, Kitty Daisy and Lewis, The Woodsmen, Vincent Vincent and the Villains. All great bands combining different sounds- moving away from the classic “indie-pop-Razorlight-make-loads-of-money” formula and making music for the sake of music!
And wonderful music it is too; focus isn’t all concentrated on guitar riff solos and whether the lead singer is “fit” or not but instead on the musical ability of all involved. Violins, harmonicas, fiddles, banjos, guitar, drums, little bit of synth; there is a wealth of inspiration to draw on and an array of musical instruments to explore.
The type of music
Gypsy Kings and Kalico Queens would dance to around campfires whilst drinking copious amounts of rum or whiskey and enjoying the nuances of the sounds!
Bands like the Mystery Jets, Patrick Wolf and Larrikin Love have helped pave the way; rejecting soullessness and connecting with fans through their lyrics and obvious love for their day-jobs. The words aren’t focused on how drunk they got last night, how much they fancy that “bird” by the bar or how many drugs they took in one hour but instead following themes of freedom, love, pent up emotions and inspiration.
In all their tender years Kitty Daisy and Lewis are prime examples of how not following the crowd makes you infinitely cooler. Epitomising 40’s/50’s glamour and playing an assortment of instruments and with harmonica solos rather than guitar makes them unique and talented all in one go!
The Woodsmen
with their macabre and addictive music have all the qualities of a debauched pirate pillaging towns whilst stopping sometimes to make a bit of music and have a bit of a jig!
The Mules
take bits of everything and splice them together to create imagery and worlds that are subtle and vivid. “Rhino” has the makings of a great novel behind the lyrics of a 3 minuet song. Then there is Patrick Wolf who’s upcoming tour (!!!!!!!) promises Patrick with only a violin, harpsichord and piano for company. His orchestral nuances combined with an ever changing persona, David Bowie-esque vocals and optional glitter and magical song content leaves many a fan happy he isn't quitting touring as previously thought! A fore-runner in the weird and wonderful world of swapping a guitar for a fiddle his previously dark songs have been transformed into a glitterati world of Bluebells and Magic Positions!
Although it is a matter of taste, what is wonderful about all these bands is although they don’t seem to be trying to appeal to the masses or garnishing themselves with No1 spots and Brit Awards galore their music has an appeal that could just reach those obsessed with the Top 40 if only they gave it a chance to flourish. Music, it seems, isn’t all about the lyrical hook, perfect drum beat and pulsing rhythms but about subtleties and talent.
Jade xx

Monday, 24 September 2007

3 of a Kind...

It has been brought to my attention how good David.E.Sugar is! A working mans Justice with more longevity than the Klaxons. His perfect blend of electronical noises (for those who still think neu-rave is a genre) and vocals-taking a trip past bass, synth, guitar- are surely set to take over dancefloors and hearts everywhere? Calvin Harris relenquish your (self-proclaimed) claim that you "created disco" and hand full regalia to Mr. Sugar!

Another band on top form and finally set to grace the UK instead of Berlin, Paris and numerous other European countries are Robots in Disguise. Possibly the two coolest girls ever? Dee Plume and Sue Denim. The names say it all really. New song "The Sex Has Made Me Stupid" isn't lyrically as good as "Turn it Up" or " Boys" but is still charmingly cheeky with dirty great bass lines and various squeels and shrieks from the girls as well as smokey vocals.
Finally, one more band I'd class as electro (genres aren't my strong point!) are So, So Modern who hail from New Zealand but have nothing to do with kiwis, sheep or rugby (sterotypes a-plenty!). Along with The Brunettes they're striking blows for NZ everywhere with credible music. Acrid electro for the masses. Like a 99p ice cream they pack sweet, smooth and bad-for-you goodness into every song. Finally a band to cite from the country that isn't named The Datsuns (even though they're pretty good too)! Slightly annoying until a second, third, fourth listen and then instantly the most catchy thing you'll ever hear. Hum along, dance along, sing along; don't be shy!
Jade xx

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Spin spin spinning ...

So our love of vinyl's and our obsession for music has caused for an obvious collision as we decide to delve into the sublime world of DJ'ing. I find this word carries all sorts of bizare sterotype's including images of Fat Boy Slim and the incessent need to scratch and swerve but as we slowly become akin the new jargon and vocabularly that comes with this wonderful hobby we adorn our headphones and get ready to dance our feet away.
On the 24th October, we venture out of the confides of our own homes to the Retro Bar for the Kalico Queens offical debut and we will be joined by the sublime Peter and the Wolf. Its safe to say we are positively giddy and hope to see a few friendly faces there as we enforce our taste of music (Which is naturally faultless!) upon you!

Paris ...

Paris has a culture to admire; a home of fashion, architecture, food and history. In a recent visit to the city I found myself falling in sync with the easy-life persona it exudes; the notoriety Parisians have gained regarding their relaxed style is something I really adore. European cities are soon finding their musical niche, Berlin being the innovators of all things quirky but its Paris that is leading the way forward, providing us with some sultry delights.Style is an essence that comes so easily to Parisians and something I will be eternally envious of. This inherent ability to be elegant has produced some of the finest work both culturally and practically. However, when it comes to European music, it seems there is an endless gap in the market. For the main part, Paris is known only for a brief Eurovision fame and a glorified covers band, both of which can tarnish a country with the "naff and tacky" music label. Longevity has never been important to the French as a nation, with their timeless artists being locked in the realm of operatic and classically trained musicians. So have the independent been left behind? Do the teenagers have to survive on Edith Piaf? Everywhere there is the sense that our musical counterparts are loosing their identity. Being polished for mainstream ears, so little is left plainly visible for the people who seek obscurity in it finer form. Often it seems we have to travel overseas for that…this enthusiasm to rejuvenate such a traditional musical genre is something that will appeal locally and nationally, and it’s a matter of time before the trilby wearing, winkle picker army of Britain are seduced and lured in by these dreamy eyed starlets laced with dodgy accents and a twinkle in their charming eye.

However its not just the fast pace jangly rock kids that are sweeping the country, it appears the traditional sound of folk has been rejuvenated to appear a more accessible genre than previously thought. This is the Kit are a band primarily originating from Bristol however a swift move to Paris and their sound is transformed. Solely dependant on atmospheric vocals and the odd strum of a acoustic guitar, this reliance on natural sounds causes the band to delve into the world of a genre that should be explore more commonly. “I left her standing there” is a song that can only be described as simplistically genius, with beautifully formed scat harmonies reminiscent of 40’s style ballroom rendez.Pristine yet risqué pop trio The Teenagers marry lyrically obsessive content about America’s most notorious women, with cheeky yet sparkling electro that induces an instant sing-a-long. It may not be anything significant or politically sophisticated but it’s the arrogant simplicity of their attitude that appeals, something to make you laugh and dance with an alternative tinge that seals the bands authenticity. Is fashion and dashing good looks something that is entirely necessary? No. But it’s certainly an added bonus when you take the time to have a gander at teen tykes Les Shades.

Their version of The Strokes classic “Hard to Explain” is vocally slightly bemusing but such a daring move has paid off by both proving their excellent taste in music and showcasing the potential dexterity that lies within such a youthful band. Their striking appearance and loyalty of their home land is a commendable asset. Even though their lyrical content is often French, their appealing popularity is not tainted; it only proves what a seductively attractive and romantic language it is.The girls of Paris are sublimely represented by art rock genii, Plasticines, mastering the fine art of edgy harmonies and the effective use of the old fashioned rock riff to catapult them. This traditional format has been rejuvenated and updated and it seems inevitable that this impressive (and sometimes heavily Americanized) sound will enrapture the hearts of thousand. There are heavy parallels to be had with The Long Blondes; phonetic vocals that crescendo in a fine piece of strength and control is highly reminiscent of the steady and cultural sounds of the stylish Sheffieldonians!

The Parisians have a distinct lack of influence therefore looking to such iconic bands as The Libertines has enabled them to focus on the importance of essential music, and they’re hard work has paid off. The bands have been careful however not to become a carbon copy of already acknowledged British acts, this factor paying dividends when listening to their work. French bands have the drive and determination required to claim “icon” status and is clearly and achievement they wish to accomplish, a goal that only British bands seem to strive for. Parisian talent reaches its peak with de Beauvior influenced Second Sex, a band that with only a splutter of live shows to their name have quickly impressed the MySpace generation with their rough English translations and bizarre variety. “Lick My Boots” is a rustic, raw and captivating glimpse into their potential. Their energy and enthusiasm is shockingly visible, not phased by the pressure that can come with musical talent. Loud vocals and the use of hard guitars smashes the boundaries between thrash and indie; a combination that seems to suit Second Sex. These French bands are both originally iconic and innovative, adding the sophistication so desperately needed in Britain. Our complacent love for mediocre bands is tiresome, and more often than not we settle for the overplayed pub bands that did not even deserve a chance in the first place.This raw passion and love is what the British scene lacks, a disappointing fact but none the less one that needs to be addressed. Maybe a shift in loyalty is needed in order to let French bands such as this make more of an impact in Britain. My suggestion? Ditch the classical stereotypes, throw away the onions and stick on your beret as you get prepared for an all new French invasion.
Hannah xxx
X Berg- This is Pop
Sunset Beach- The Teenagers

In which we introduce ourselves & get the ball rolling...

Hello! This is the first (of possibly many) posts on our shiny new blog.
Just as in intro to us : Kalico Queens = a DJ duo (Jade&Hannah) from up'north who also dabble in hosting under18 club nights, writing for many amazing fanzines and dancingdancingdancing! (endintro!)

Although it's back at school/college/uni/jobs and summer is merging far to swiftly into autumn there are still many amazing gigs (now festivals have ended!) and bands floating about s o o o hopefully new music and old will be brought to attention and shared!

Firstly a band EVERYONE (nearly) is talking about: Elle S'appelle. The best band to come out of Liverpool since the Beatles might be going a bit far but they're definatly better than their contempories Hot Club de Paris!
After listening avidly to them for ages now it is safe to say they should be cited as everyone in the worlds new favourite band. From their simplistic and addictive songs like "Mariappa" to the more complex and addictive (at least they're better for you than any drug!) "Wood for Tree" they have created a range of songs which all sound inexplicably perfect for a band who have only just begun to bloom. Unfortunatly I've not had the pleasure of seeing them live although I hear they have gigs coming up in Manchester for an In the City courtesy of Powwow!
Keeping with the theme of Liverpool goFASTER>> are also playing In the City which will be an absolute treat for the ears/eyes and possibly other senses too!! Other bands to take to the stages are people like (shameful plug) The Brouges (literally related to The View but far better!) and Paddy Orange who are gracing the all ages stage at Virgin Megastores courtesy of Same Teens. I'm sure Manchesters finest The Answering Machine, Sir Yes Sir, Headlines and The Ting Ting's will be found lurking at various venues too!!!
Jade x

Elle S'Appelle - Mariappa