Friday, 26 December 2008


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Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Marina and the Diamonds

Just another female singer in the midst of Lykke Li and Laura Marling? Oh no. There is a ferociousness that accompanies Marina's cutting insights on modern life seethe through the sweetness in her voice.
"Obsessions" is a piano driven and haunting affair which evokes simple, maudlin musings which contrasts greatly to "Seventeen" which matches staccato beats and Kate Bush inspired vocals with a feisty air thumping chorus. The sweetness of Yael Naim with the force of Karen O's personality seeps through.
"Mowgli's Road" gathers in it's arms a bundle of ideas and throws them in the air- the end result falls into a mish-mash of piano, vocal and thumping drums creating a seriously interesting sound. Added to this heartfelt lyrics and a set of powerful lungs and your there.

It is subtlety which is intoxicating.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Little Joy

It seems that every Stroke's member had a hand in creating their sound if the music they are creating now is anything to go by. Within Albert Hammond Jnr's side-project there are hints of it and now with Fabrizio Moretti's new stuff "Little Joy" there is a nod back to the 'Room on Fire' era. Especially in "Keep Me in Mind"; I almost feel like Julian et al are back only to be reminded this just isn't so.
Lazy strumming of guitar set against sparse drumming and wonderfully droning vocals it's almost like they're back together. I can forgive this whole-heartedly though because The Strokes were a band where every member provided an integral key to the music created and because deep down, after Julian, Fab was always my favourite. A bit like when Pete and Carl spun away from each other and produced bands which had similar elements to the Libertine sound but developing and honing their own talents 'Little Joy' have their own sound entwining the Strokes vibe.
Proving not to want to jump into the lime-light too readily there are two other major components to Little Joy in the shape of Binki Shapiro and Rodrigo Amarante. Taking over the vocals and various other instruments this really does feel like a band rather than a side-project for Fab.
And to call themselves 'Little' Joy is an understatement- their songs a full of joy. The kind that lights up summer days and winds down the winter nights. Unfortunately they've released their debut as the winter draws in and so lolling around the garden, cocktail in hand and sun shining down whilst pumping out their music isn't possible. Although on the flip side their Californian laid-back pop does bring those elements to the brittle winter months so all is well.

Songs like "No One's Better Sake" use disjointed, 60's infused synth and sparse drumming with lethargic vocals which turns the whole thing into a reggae infused affair (possibly not on purpose) whereas "How to Hang a Warhol" takes simplistic guitar riffs and wraps the whole thing into a bundle of indie fun. It's sort of like The Thrills or She & Him combined with an hint of Belle and Sebastian. It's possibly "Don't Watch Me Dancing" though which is their most beautiful endeavour as Binki's understated vocals take control and the melodic guitar carries the simple lullaby of the song. In the same way "Unattainable" takes the same melancholy music tinged with heartfelt lyrics which evokes the 1970's folk infusion. It's songs like these which take away the Strokes element and show the band off to their best.

Their music is so laid back it's almost horizontal, but who cares? Hooks a'plenty and filling the void left by the Strokes rather nicely it's undemanding of it's listeners and allows the sunshine pop of yesteryear to transport you to a happier, sunnier place than England in December. Lovely!
Jade XX

Monday, 1 December 2008

We Have Band

If the Horrors went 80’s induced disco you might balk at the concept yet the beginning of We Have Band’s debut “Oh” sounds exactly like that with a broody hook which runs with the disco feel.
Cramming in Hot Chip beeps with Talking Head’s rhythm the concoction is a frantic, itchy marrying of sounds which wouldn’t be out of place on the Skins soundtrack, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The frenetic repetition of “Oh/ oh/ oh” skips over the macabre disco and despite the heavy electro influence it is more new wave than new rave, which in the post-mortem of the Klaxons aftermath is defiantly in their favour. These are The Rapture of the new generation; as filthy as The Faint with a pinch of futuristic-pop to match the heavy laying of programming and drums.
It’s the most chilled disco-funk ever- it’s almost electro-by-numbers except for the fact it manifests itself into the catchiest, most danceable song ever transcending any influence gained from the likes of ADULT and Fischerspooner and creating a whole new, addictive sound!
Jade XX

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Florence and the Machine

A truly amazing performer. I've liked Florence for quite a while now and her unique blend of folksy guitar and gut-wrenching powerful lungs combine to make an artist NME have even allowed set foot on tour with them.

Whether this is testimony to her or not the fact remains that a lot will be heard from Flo and her Machine next year. If Laura Marling got saucy or MIA simmered down a bit there would be a touch of Florence in that, I bet!There is a rawness which hopefully won't get lost in production and the glam-folk which is evoked in songs such as "Kiss With a Fist" and "Girl With 1 Eye" is like Bowie crossed with Kid Harpoon.
Seeing her live is a revelation as a whirlwind of energy and excitement exudes from every pore of her set- jumping, shouting, singing, running from one side of the stage to the other in 2 seconds flat. It all adds up to a something fun to watch. But then I'm A Celebrity.. Get Me Out of Here is fun to watch, it's throwing into that mix her impressive vocal range and knack for perfect melodies that makes it superb.
Having worked with Lightspeed Champion extensively in 2008 it could have been plausible for her to jump on that bandwagon and keep the profile higher- as it turns there is an element of going it alone now and it's gone from covering Green Day to writing her own sterling material.
A charismatic character which surely will be getting due attention soon. It's music to punch the air too, to swirl around the room too, to belt out the lyrics too and all in a non-cheesy, football hooligan sense.
"Kiss With A Fist" remains a fresh, lively song even after being rinsed by TV ads and DJ sets alike and it's heart swelling soul for the foreseeable future. It's anticipation which builds as her debut album can't come soon enough.
Jade XX

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Officer Owl

Perfect cure for a moody disposition. Calm beats float around a lull of guitar and harmonious vocals. Officer Owl have a tinge of acoustic genius about them but more than that there is a simplicity which is instantly appealing. Not relying on the raucous effects of feedback or unruly synth which some bands tend to rely on here the softer nuances overtake and carry all the songs on a soft cloud of melody.
There is a tinge of melancholy about "Untitled Number Two" which takes the refrain of "Never going to leave you alone" and carries it with the duel vocals blending together effortlessly.
Effortless music is always the best. As the various notes hit the air with a confidence unhampered by arrogance or distortion. "Untitled Number Seven" allows the guitar to take on a harder(ish) lead and vocals which sound a little bit like Ian Brown if he sang sweetly and didn't have a penchant for knocking people out. Lyrics like "Someone said the witch was dead but she's floating on the water" instantly stand out with the simple brilliance of imagery as the repetition of the verse becomes like a softly hummed chant, never lifting into an angry anthem but meandering in and out of the music with a persistence.
Unfortunately the extent of what I've heard from Officer Owl stems from Myspace which in turn only offers two songs. But beautiful songs they are with a sound which bodes well for future songs.
Jade X
Untitled Number Two- Officer Owl

Monday, 20 October 2008

The Virgins

There is something about the sultry guitar and the laconic vocals which makes you think perhaps The Virgins don't live up to their name. If James Brown had a penchant for guitar based indie instead of being a Sex Machine extraordinaire he would sound like these. I bet.
'Rich Girls' is like a sexy Razorlight strutting about as New York cool exudes from the very notes played. Apparently they are supporting the Pigeon Detectives which probably doesn't do justice to their tour de force. Gathering the listener up in a dizzy swirl of laid-back music it demands to be played in the hottest clubs as the best dressed people nod along with a cigarette in one hand and a bored expression on their faces. Pop-noir-c'est-cool.
'One Week of Danger' takes a Strokes influence with the Five O'clock Heroes bringing up the rear and a dash of brit-pop for good measure. It would, however, be quite easy for a band like this to slip into obscurity- quietly fading away as the newest fad takes their place. If their next handfulof songs can polish the edges with some added substance (and no, not cocaine) then they'll be okay if not then just enjoy their sultry guitar pop for what it is- achingly cool and probably not out of place on the Gossip Girl soundtrack.
Jade XX

Monday, 15 September 2008

Fan Death

These sultry 80s beats (which wouldn't feel out of place in a Flashdance-esque escapade) will surely have hearts melting and eyebrows flickering upwards everywhere. Not since MGMT burst in and psych'd up summer will a band get so much hype in 2009...
It is blissed out pop which reeks of cool. "Veronica's Veil" grasps the 80s infused sound to it's fullest extent whereas "The Constellations" sounds more like a subtle Kate Bush if she had it off with Little Boots (ooh er).
Fan Death are everything you need in a band, nothing too serious yet nothing to flippant with a head for merging good beats with non substantial lyrics. "The Best Night" would make you silly not to dance where "The Son Will Rise" somehow reminds me of Rocky (in only a good way- a song you could power walk too, no doubt). Rather than the noir Gothic pop that is stemming from London 'Fan Death' have a multi-coloured glow beneath the torrid exterior as eerie noises emit from synth and voice.
Or if you are Wikipedia:
"Fan death is a South Korean urban legend which states that an electric fan, if left running overnight in a closed room, can cause the death (by suffocation, poisoning, or hypothermia) of those inside. Fans manufactured and sold in Korea are equipped with a timer switch that turns them off after a set number of minutes, which users are frequently urged to set when going to sleep with a fan on.[1]"

Wednesday, 3 September 2008


The genius that is.
This is simply because I've reacquainted myself with their lofi blend of musical greatness.
Words can't even describe so:
Shoot the Singer- Pavement
Kennal District- Pavement
Jade XX

Monday, 18 August 2008

Old School / New School

Three bands which have blossomed over the years rather than withered by the wayside have new material out! Yes, Franz Ferdinand, Kings of Leon and Bloc Party are all marching down the road with a fistful of new stuff.
These are bands that made me love music and, unlike the Rakes who's second album didn't really hit the spot, they have continued to progress and get better with every album and new single they get out there (minus, maybe Bloc Party's "Flux" which was mediocre compared to their earlier stuff).

Kings of Leon's "Crawl" is a dysfunctional slam of fuzzy guitars, Calebs trademark wail and perhaps a glance back to earlier stuff which was laden with sexual references (eg; Molly's Chamber). With a simple guitar refrain echoing through the driving force of the drums sets the song rolling forth as the vocals settle on top like an old glove. "Sex on Fire" is even more blatant with its innuendo but a step forward, if it is believable the band could get any better, with whirling guitar and gritty vocals.

Franz Ferdinand's "Lucid Dreams" is undeniably them; Kaprano's vocals drip over the lyrics with ease as a feeling of noir and romanticism rolls over the music. Building up as the song nears towards the end the crescendo is a powerful impact. Lyrically as ever Franz Ferdinand have shown craftsmanship but its the stomping drums which keep the track together as guitar riffs slide across. Although unfortunately their album has been put back to 2009 hopefully the process isn't too fraught with problems as they sound better than ever.
Bloc Party's "Mercury" is perhaps the only song of the three bands which takes a departure from what they used to know. Strong synth and brass laden moments mean than there is hardly any comfortable ground here- no hint of Helicopter or Hunting for Witches. Only Kele's vocals remain similar ground as trumpets and thumping drums jump in and out of skittering and shrieks and beeps. This is exciting music, it has all the elements of not only a dance floor classic but a genuine classic song. Its discordant beats drip over a copy and paste chorus as Kele's vocals rip down the middle of the organised mess.
This band have a bundle of talent underneath their skinny frames. The stuttering beginning might throw you for a moment but give it time as the rest of the band launch a full assault on your eardrums. It's darker, more serious and grittier than previous endeavours- even more doom-laden than Hunting for Witches. This might be a song which upsets "true" Bloc Party fans- yet their admirable attempts to move forward is something to applauded rather than vilified. They have created a densely musical song which retains their ethos without compromise- as strangely addictive as The Prayer with all of the craftsmanship expected from the band.
Crawl- Kings of Leon
Lucid Dreams- Franz Ferdidnand
Mercury- Bloc Party

In Other News?
New issue of XOX is out here: XOX ISSUE THREE with interviews with the Maccabees, Bombay Bicycle Club, Pop Levi as well as reviews, Festival fashion and competitions!
Jade XX

Sunday, 20 July 2008


1stly ; Thank you Drunken Werewolf for getting me into the loop via Pengillys. His music is heart-achingly good.
Have you ever sat by a lake, chewing a piece of grass a la Clint Eastwood whilst perusing the Collected Works of Shakespeare? No? Me either but that’s what Pengillys music makes me want to do. His music is epic, nostalgic, beautiful and raw. “Mr Punch and Thomas Moore” takes the simple strum of a ukulele and soaring vocals which turns into the chorus skilfully refraining “I will never grow old” as a menagerie of instruments take over including an accordion and violin. “Films” rattles along very nicely. A track to play when on a long train-ride where your imagination can be cast back to black and white movies and take the line “They play noble parts / Like two English hearts” and run with it.
Whereas “To London” almost feels like a battle cry with an evocative take on a march as trumpets toot and rolling piano carry the listener the more subtle “The Wind Blew Her In” whispers its message over soaring violin. “Lavenders Blue” reinvents the lullaby with sweeping noises and sweet vocals whilst wrapping it all up with a carnivalesque and triumphant musical interlude. It’s ragamuffin, Dickensian music for the here and now. “Escapades” sounds like early Patrick Wolf as ominous sounds twist and turn into a more up-tempo call to arms. Its music for the backlash to the flaccid fashionista favourites and Top Shop play-list; rolling and raucous to soft and reflective it binds itself up in triumph and tradition. It’s more than “alt-folk” it’s what’s needed in music today-whimsical nuances, thundering ideals, brilliant lyrics and talent. Basically he is wicked !

Jade XX
Films - Pengillys
Mr Punch and Thomas Moore- Pengillys
To London- Pengillys

Thursday, 17 July 2008

The Faint

The wildly addictive trash-punk-electro-dance band have been on my radar for quite a while and I've been hearing they are back! Thank the Lord. Their macabre and dense dance music is irresistible and makes you need to dance. Not even dance. To jerk bits of your body about in obscene ways and as arms and legs flail they drive the beat home and you look a tit as 'dancing' occurs. Its all a bit wrong.
And any thought that the band might mellow over the years is proven wrong as "The Geeks Were Right" unleashes trademark electrified vocals and frazzled synth alongside dirty drums and guitar; phew. Sounding not unlike "Agenda Suicide" it is less aggressive than "Dropkick the Punks" or "Worked Up So Sexual". If the Rapture copulated with ADULT whilst !!! watched on I wouldn't be surprised if the slightly sordid Faint wasn't the result.
However the one Faint song I can't stop listening to right now is "Glass Danse" which grabs synth laden verses and tangles them in with the dips and dives of guitar; taking a lesson from Year 8 music I know that they use tempo and dynamics to the best of their ability. It's the type of song which makes you think it's over but it continues in a stream of beat and bass. Addictive.

Their new endeavours show a maturity in lyrical content and a refinement of music but the basics are the same; dirty punk-dance music for your head, heart and soul.
Jade xx

Wednesday, 16 July 2008


Haha, this is actually amazing. Friendly Fires couldn't get any better- 80s beatz meets synth laden goodness! Basically I can't stop listening to this/// Jade xx

Lovesick - Friendly Fires

Sunday, 13 July 2008


Or Dananannananannananannnackroyd (as I always end up putting one too many "anana's" in there) are the essence of youthful abandonment and the sort of night that causes you a deadly but satisfying hangover. After initially rebelling against their music I've come to realise they are actually seriously good. Their exuberance and energy might have something to do with the sheer amount of members in the band as six people sharing the weight of jumping around isn't bad going. Me and Hannah ended up seeing them live last year in a tiny, grotty bar which they utterly wreaked havoc in, winding over bar stools, under wires, into the audience and onto tables. As the lead singer caused havoc in the audience the other members pushed forth a sheer amount of sound and noise. It was a bit mental.
Listening to their songs isn't the same as watching them live- it's easier to stomach and easier to make sure your feet don't get stamped on- but songs like "Some Dresses" and "British Knights" capture their pure noise ethic.

Describing their influences as "1991 the year punk broke" is pretty genius and if you like Johnny Foreigner you'll pretty much like these I'd guess.
Listening intently there are tiny essences of Hot Club de Paris plinking and nautical theme but it's driven hard down under thundering guitars and shit hot drumming as Sonic Youth gives the whole thing a whack around the head.

The best thing is the urgent, crazy mess streams into your ears yet the band are in full control of what your hearing, "tight as a misers fist" is what my mother would inevitably say. "British Knights" rambles like crazy around guitars and raucous drumming whilst "1993" retains a little more dignity and more vocals; they are not- it has to be said- one trick pony's. They are- it again has to be said- pretty amazing!
Jade xx

Some Dresses- Dananananaykroyd
British Knights- Dananananaykroyd
1993- Dananananaykroyd

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Pop Levi

The cosmic scouser returns this summer with his brand of saucy glam-pop. The new album is looming & if the single "Never Never Love" is anything to go by it'll be the sickest soundtrack to the summer this side of Mars. Out of sync synth over the repeated refrain "Never never love, love, love/ never never love, love, love/ all the time" it's possibly the most sublimely addictive thing - guaranteed to have you humming it to death.
Me and Hannah caught Pop Levi in Manchester when touring "The Return To Form Black Magick Party" and it remains possibly the most intense live show I've ever been too. It wasn't packed out (but then it wasn't empty either) and the band came on to distortion, strobe lighting and a 5 minuet long intro as the maestro had a long look around Academy 3. With roaring guitar and eye contact galore it was modern-retro-chic (ooh er) at it's best.
Shifting the Ladytron electro puppy fat to reveal the slim-lined, glam rocked, 70s infused goodness of "TRTFBMP" (yeah!) thundering drums, grimy bass lines and fuzzy guitars took hold with songs like "Blue Honey" and "(A Style Called) Crying Chic" contrasting to the upbeat goodness of "Sugar Assault Me Now" and "Pick-Me-Up-Uppercut". If the Kinks had copulated with Bowie would Pop Levi be the result? A question for genetic scientists everywhere I'm sure.
Diversity and cult status as well as a cracking live show was thus achieved.

So with the looming second album and a couple of teasers on the Myspace what is to be expected? Never Never Love certainly has that ear-catching factor and the camp goodness of a dancefloor sweeping tune and whats great about Pop Levi is the strive for new, better music with something different about it. Sure there can be heard the strain of Bolan in some of the vocals or the Doors keyboards or the strum of Bowie in the guitar but this is looking forward, moving forward and dragging the listener relentlessly forward with it. Moog, drums, guitars and intensity in hand hopefully the new album will be even more astounding than "TRTFBMP" (I do like that)...
Dita Dimone is all that is sultry electro-infused with a deluge of scratchy vocals and an onslaught of glamour and dirty beats. Refrains and repeats mean for another addictive offering- they should bottle/crush up/ make up in pill-form whatever it is used to make these songs. I swear it'd sell faster than cocaine! Songs to Check= Wannamamma, Never Never Love, Skip Ghetto, Blue Honey, Oh God (What Can I Do?). Oh sack it- buy the albums and shake with excitment. Dare you.

Jade xx

Friday, 13 June 2008

The Rosie Taylor Project

Like Belle and Seb taking it down a notch The Rosie Taylor Projecthave the balance between pretty noise and evocative lyrics. Slow-paced but not to the point of ennui they don't drag the listener to the end of songs but rather ramble down a country lane with them, pointing out interesting wild-life along the way. Not one for the post-punk lovers then but I bet if Byron were alive he'd listen to these; it's romanticismfor the 21st Century. "Sun on My Right" grapples with acoustic guitars and brass instruments with duel vocals harmonising (very Slow Club). Nostalgic and summery and tender and folk inspired are all ways to describe this band yet looking a bit further and melancholy refrains seep through as trumpets and achingly maudlin vocals wind across each other. It's versatile music, catchy enough for a summers day yet with sad nuances for the heartbroken to be heart warmed.
"A Good Cafe on St. George Street" sketches lovely scenes in front of the listener showing storytelling skills nearly to rival Johnny Flynn; melodic lullabies with glittering riffs which meander over trumpets, electric keyboard, bass, french horns and drums. It would be easy enough to lump them into the 'alt-folk' genre but there is more to them that that- their songs sound like Noah and the Whale's "Mary" or Laura Marlings "Shine" but the use of trumpets and the downplaying of the acoustic guitar at times means they take on a new edge and a more lo-fi sound. Best song "A Few Words of Farewell" is magic and melancholy affair and possibly the slowest of their offerings; it's focus relies more on the lyrics than musical content here but it works well ("A blank space where the fragments lay") and the vocal harmonies take over.

Defiantly goose bump inducing and possibly tear reducing they play on human emotions with not only their lyrics but with their pretty-pop music too. Lovely.

Thursday, 12 June 2008


This years Transgressive tour has come up trumps with a sterling line up of 2008’s brightest sparks, with bands that have yet to reach widespread acclaim however their potential has not gone unmissed. With such a line up of strong live performers its seems these set of gigs will not disappoint from clerical Goth to living room folk there is clearly something for everyone in thus sublimely eclectic combination

So its seems there his been a significant transformation from the twee cardigan and cravat wearing Les Incompetents as its remaining members are clad in religiously gothic garb. Careful to establish a distinct reputation from the start shows that with this change comes a refreshing musical evolution which promises they’re live shows to be a rawkus yet perfected, something stylishly hard to pull of. With this experience comes an odd sense of sophistication yet remaining is the exuberant energy and passion to perform ..

Their exploration of a deep and sultry style is an intensity which has been sorely missed since the likes of Joy Division. In tracks such as ‘Motherhood’ it’s this unusually sinister musical spin that excites and intrigues completely with a pounding bass always on hand to reinforce they’re discovery of powerful new ground.

‘Pop Pop Pop’, or so he describes himself. Esser is very much the new enigma on the music scene with his odd style collaborating perfectly with his bizarrely original embrace of all things peculiar which makes his sound so refreshingly worthwhile and much needed! He never fears to explore what others may avoid with a beautiful simplicity with the use of stupidly catchy chorus’s, stripped down drum machines and a heavily addictive accent dripping with attitude and confidence which by the sound of these demos is by far justified.
‘Headlock’ sands out as his finest song to date, musically it uses only the bare essentials but its within the words where the talent lies as there is a raw sincerity that’s so unfounded today in songs that aim to please the buyers and leave no long lasting satisfaction.

Jeremy Warmsley
Jeremy is certainly a man in the know, with a list of indie/folk friends that would make anyone jealous with the likes of Johnny Flynn, Mystery Jets, Laura Marling and frYars. Cleverly however, he has used his contacts to showcase some of Britain’s finest talents, including his good self through ‘This is our TV show’ in which his charmingly corwded lvving rooms in crammed to the brim with a lively crowd watching adoringly at such an atmospheric experience! Not only that, but this is also a clever lad adorning a degree from Cambridge only making his talents more envious. It’s within the ‘Boat Song’ that Warmsley’s voice flickers with a beauty that seems to blend seamlessly with each collaboration he ventures within. There are so many new folk bands cramming our ears at the moment but it has to be said that there is a spark of difference in this man, an easae within him that conjures a smile on any listener.

So So Modern
It has to be said I had not been exposed to the music of So So modern before seeing them within this line-up but on hearing they’re music it quickly becomes apparent what they have to add with the lads from Wellington claiming there influences (rather sensibly) being amongst cosmology, theology and urban foolery these. A frenzied compilation of all that is great, with acidic electro cleanly with crisp vocals that instantly makes your body jerk, a ready made dance floor band ready and armed to charm their way into our hearts

Attacking us ladled with an army of instruments, instead of overwhelming is strangely enticing and moreishly addictive, the musical equivalent to the Pringle one might say. Ordered chaos is necessary oxymoron that can only describe this sound with harmonies that sprinkle over this harsh jagged and wondrous noise.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Totally Addicted...

...Unfortunately not to bass but to the sultry sounds of Françoise Hardy. She sang in a variety of languages, came fifth in the Eurovision Song Contest and epitomised European chic. Oh and sang with Iggy Pop and is referenced by Bob Dylan. Phew.
With all the sounds you'd associate with the 1960s; twangy guitars, harmonies, that tweak of 50s rock'n'roll but with the soaring, multi-lingual voice of Hardy over the top. Lovely! The type of music I use to close my eyes too, imagine I'm sipping cocktails in a Parisian bar while the sun shines and, oh yes, I have managed to travel back in time.
As well as singing she also appeared in "Whats New Pussycat?", "Masculin-Féminin" and "Chateau en Suède" and currently resides in Paris. I don't think I've ever been more jealous of a women in all my life- scratch Agyness Deyn or Kate Moss - this women met Jagger for crying out loud!
Jade xx

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Bright Sparks

Oh thank the lord, its safe to say the dreaded exams have finally ended and no longer will we have to face sitting at a desk feeling despair (well apart from my inevitable re sits any how!). This has resulted in a great sense of relief with the lure of twee picnics accompanied with a refreshing beverage nearing ever closer, regardless of how the English weather behaves as I am fully prepared to sit in the rain safe in the knowledge that is it summer. I don’t care what anyone says, no matter how masculine you look a pint of cider is possibly the most sublime of drinks! (No white lightening shite, Strongbow all the way). Anyhow with this regeneration and brief reencounter with the sun, it seems the most fitting time to re discover musical classics. I present Sparks. One of music’s oddest; Hitler tash wearing, eternally youthful, charismatic sibling duo’s to hit our airwaves. And I know that may seem a narrow gap in the market however they tick these boxes and so much more.

So rather admirably the band have embarked on an extravaganza of musical delight by playing an album a night form their extensive back catalogue performing over 256 songs! The effort and passion they sow towards music still today is both amazing and deeply underrated. Recently there has been a flourish of disappointment with bands returning second album yet in their 21st masterpiece Spark are unfazed by any pressure, showing that longevity is quite possibly the most significant trait for a band to carry. What makes this band so unique is there refreshing wit with titles such as “lighten up Morrissey” what more could you possible want in a band? And they carry their talent still, with a credibility that is lacking from such OAP’s as Paul ‘I suddenly love the mandolin’ McCartney. They’re infinite song “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For the Both of Us” is somehow imbedded in everyone’s brains however is an unfair reflection of the better works with a timeless electro-pop style filled with the attitudes and obsession of a yesteryear England which amplifies their extraordinary quirkiness.

Also on a non musical related note yet continuing my reminisce down classic lane I briefly mention my sheer fascination with the great Malcolm McDowell, possibly one of Britons greatest actors with an eternal twinkle in his eye. As summer has sprung I have embarked on watching his trilogy including ‘If…’ and ‘o lucky man’ which land high in my expectation due to his outstanding and superbly chilling portrayal of Alex in A Clockwork Orange, brought to visual life by Stanley Kubrick. His level of ability at that age made me eternally envious yet left me in a complete trance by his captivating presence on camera with his presentation of such bizarre language being flawless and extraordinary. It took me many years to pluck up the courage to watch the film and I am devastated I wasted so much time in prolonging such a vivid experience!

Hannah xx

Friday, 6 June 2008


I really love it when someone says "Hey listen to this band" and they turn out to be seriously good. Like the type of band you wished you'd tipped people off about and heard first (worst luck Forrest beat me too it- but never mind).
I mean I never knew what the word "blood curdling" meant until the shrieks emitted from KASMs occur ed. Taking a member from Test Icicles (and taking it in a direction as far from Dev Hynes' new stuff as possible) and a member of RAT:ATT:AGG, two defunct but brilliant bands, and grabbing two girls they've got the feedback meets pulsing beats via sonar vocals thing down. And it works!

KASMs have style but as well as that catchy macabre songs like "Taxidermy" which takes brooding guitars and a lead singer emitting shrieks and yelps like Siouxie has mated with Debbie Harry. It's a bit punk, its a bit moody. The likes of Ipso Facto and Violets have been joined by KASMs; strong female vocals floating (or rather writhing and stomping) over the favoured discordant guitars, wicked bass and thumping drums. "Toil and Trouble" doesn't really focus on lyrics, quite the bit of repetition going on, but it does have strong beats and a spiky, staccato guitar riff and "Siren Sister" takes the vocals down low and with elongated vowels speeding over electro-punk ending with an abrupt "Amen".

The songs are good, no doubt about it, but there has been a surge of this female fronted, synth laden, messy-punk hybrid for a while. What sets them apart is the energy. If so much comes through via computer speakers imagine them live. It's probably a snarling, writhing, loud, feedback-driven success. It's probably one for the faux-fashionista's who clung so hard to the Horrors to sink their teeth into; the type of music messy haired individuals with amazing shoes and a penchant for brooding will like- but finally getting it right with the music. Lead singer Callaghan has finally provided us with a rock icon for our generation; the Poly Styrene we needed before Adele or someone became the voice of the disenfranchised youth.

"Mackerel Sky" sounds like someone has grabbed early 60s-psych or the Beatles "Benefit of Mr.Kite" and roughed it up a bit. Mugged it's cash but left its purse. Industrial size noises pipe up and down as the odd-pop lyrics wind over the top (with eerie yet by now expected shrieks).

Absolutely brilliant yet discordant music providing pulsing, writhing, odd and fantastic noise.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

The Kabeedies

The Kabeedies are a tumbled up hybrid of Be Your Own Pets energy, Cheeky Cheeky and the Nosebleeds elusive lyrics and Shrags yelps. Singing about how lips taste like petis filous (calling to mind that annnooooying advert with that girl who likes to beat up little boys), asking that all important question "Who's your favourite / Kung-Fu artist" and the teaching the world about the 'Coaster Game'. It's indie-pop with talent!

"Mythical Beasts" has rock'n'roll guitars, fingers slipping along keys and inspired lyrics "I'm just a mythical beast / Drawn on the back of the Birdcage toilets" it sounds like Goodshoes but taking themselves less seriously. They have a distinctive sound, something rare in a band so 'young' or at so new. "Lovers Ought To" is art rock at its finest as Katie takes lead vocals yelping over those delightfully sketchy drums and Maccabees-esque guitars ("About Your Dress" rather than "Toothpaste Kisses"). "Palindromes" tackles that tricky subject of ADHD (a popular topic- didn't Blood Red Shoes toy with that idea too?); this is probably the weakest song out of all of theirs but there are some nice screams midway through to focus attention back. And a great image of "Both my parents are palindromes".

Strong vocals- the whole boy/girl thing going on- singing staccato over ringing guitars and scratchy drums and throwing it in the air to make concise-pop (none of their songs extend over 3 mins). But less is more, catchy hooks and singalong choruses pop out amidst accapella, indie-stomping beats and references to Roxy Music. Surely they could take over dancefloors and airwaves alike- their music is as catchy as influenza and as addictive as cocaine, but in both cases not as life threatening (unless you have a dicky heart and a penchant for jumping about erratically when dancing)! Yay!
Check out
their myspace for The Kabeedies favourite condiment of the week & to purchase their new single!
Coaster Game - The Kabeedies
Petis Filous - The Kabeedies
Sideburns- The Kabeedies

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Exam Stress

Oh dear. A week today and exams are all over for me but until then its stress and revision and escaping from revison through various forms.
One form = the genius of Jeffrey Lewis. If you fail all your exams who cares? If you can play an acoustic guitar, make up some witty and clever lyrics, draw wicked cartoons and be an 'anti-folk' icon your sorted and can follow in the footsteps of the man himself.
For now though you could just listen to these and chill for two seconds before picking up the books again (urg):
Back When I Was 4- Jeffrey Lewis
I Ain't Thick- Jeffrey Lewis

I could go on and on and on and on and on (etc) about the amazing music created by JL but, you know, gotta revise and all that (making the point of the post nicely I think)... byeeee !


Saturday, 24 May 2008

LIVE: Noah and the Whale / Slow Club

Went to see Noah and the Whale and Slow Club last night at "Get it Loud in Libraries" in Lancaster Library. A completely brilliant setting as the bands are hemmed in with books, spoken word tapes and cds on a stage and a venue seriously intimate. People sat crossed legged on the floor in the manner of five year olds (but ones with good taste in music- not the Tweenies or something)...
Slow Club have compact and sublime songs ranging from raucous to soft. Masters of crescendo its really hard to believe only two people are up there making so much sound. Shouts and duel harmonies so lovely they lie next to each other perfectly, entwining and breaking at different points. to tell the tales Stories are told through the medium of guitar, drums (and old bits of chair tapped loudly) and voice; "Apples and Pairs" takes simple melodies and a smooth pace and adds lyrics sprinkled with melancholy and a twist on a simple love story. "Me and You" shows the dexterity of the band in that they can make faster music which gathers the audience up in its joyful dips and dives.
Noah and the Whale were superb! Racing through "Mary", "Jocasta" and "Shape of My Heart" they played a tight set with various members taking up different instruments and Rebecca (Slow Club) on harmonies. I've long been enjoying this new emerging "folk" scene (neu-folk? Oh dear God no. Getting a bit of the Klaxons touch with genre going on!) and live Noah and the Whale sounded better than ever. Crisp sounds fly over one another as guitars and glockenspiel and violin and drums weave around creating beautiful noise. The influence of the "anti-folk" / Jeffrey Lewis thing is almost tangible and culminating their set with "5 Years Time" a feel good glow almost descended on the audience and heads bobbed and hands clapped and some Spanish people filled in optional "Woo's" and jigs. They came back on to play a Temptations cover trying (slightly failing) to get some audience participation going on and leaving the stage to a wealth of new fans.

Friday, 23 May 2008


Is it noise? Is it music? Is it a comfortable middle-man? IS IT ALL THREE? Do these questions make sense?
Ahh, the beeps and bleeps of Esser, disconcertingly catchy. I'm not altogether sure it should work, electronic voice drifting over funky (yes, funky) bass and synth. "Lets Work it Out" is guarenTEED to have you humming, singing, dancing, pointing fingers in a 'Saturday Night Fever' kind of way and all the time the relentless rush towards the end nearing in sight. Play it again, Sam. "I Love You" take disjointed synth, sort of like being at a fairground but with added cool (have you seen his hair?- very cool). A modern love song, really. In the same way Crystal Castles defied musical genre and had noise-music which made sense after a few listens Esser has the same sort of thing going on. "Headlock", on first listen, is like "Huh?" second listen though the discordant vocals are appealing, the backbeat is the most important thing ever and indeed "you press the button/ I start dancing" becomes a true statement on both listener and artists part. It's taking musical genre and turning it on its head. Discordant-pop? Whatever it is I liiiike it! Catchy as fuck and ace live too; talent in abundance.
It is rather too early in the morning to write in coherent sentences about music, sorry.
Esser's Myspace
Lets Work It Out - Esser
I Love You- Esser

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Chester French

They're signed by Pharrell (or something) and sing about meeting girls in 'grocery' stores, Jimmy Choos and are quite, quite American with a Beach Boys-meets-Harvard-graduates 'vibe'.
"She Loves Everybody" sounds as if it could have been plucked from the 60s except for the slightly risque "She craves affection/ So I use protection" instead of the more innocent "I wanna hold your hand" from the Beatles. There is the twang of the guitar next to the twang of the American accent, harmonies and innuendo-take-another-look lyrics. An undercurrent of electro buzzes next to the retro-pop feel. Summery enough to make a bit of a splash in the chosen season and (hopefully) a sense of tongue-in-cheek as one of them sings "Is she just another shortie" - A burning question to ask and I know Pharrell is producing them but the hip-hop slang doesn't sit well unless its a bit of a piss take. Oh and "Jimmy Choos" has a nice bit of repetition in the "She needs Jimmy-Choo-ooh-ooh-ohh-oos"- innovative I'm sure you'll agree.
Anywayyyy... I'm quite liking their blend of different influences; the fact they dress 'preppy' (oh the American colloquialisms) yet have major hiphop stars foaming at the mouth and have named themselves after a famous sculptor. 'Dig it dude'.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Sun and Cynics

I am one of those people who doesn't find talking about the weather boring. It doesn't represent a conversation dying on its feet between two awkward (and probably related) people; instead it represents a nation finally able to go outside and play frisbee, or drink wine in a park or merely just sitting outside the confides of their houses like the people of Europe do everyday.
The sun has been shining for about a week now and for Manchester (and England) that is no mean feat! So to celebrate:
Good Day Sunshine- The Beatles
And for the dash of cynicism every good day needs: Joe Strummers Grave- Billy Childish
Billy Childish has everything that is good and pure about punk, rock'n'roll, The Clash, the decline of Britain and wit combined in "Joe Strummers Grave". He is inimitable and does far more than I could ever write about or do justice too; creativity personified. Things about Billy Childish

Saturday, 10 May 2008

LIVE: Lightspeed Champion/ Operator Please / Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man

Venue: Manchester Club Academy
Date: 05/05/08
First up were Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man with a phenomenal live performance for a band first on the bill. Energy and talent swirl around the ex-Les Incompetent front man and the blend of eerie subject matter and haunting guitars and synth couldn't be further away from spiky indie-pop if it tried. Like disconcerting chamber music but with an endearing, popular twist. Chamber pop, perhaps?
Dev sneaked on stage to play guitar in their last song and material like "Fatherhood" and "Matter of Time" was executed with precision and passion.

Operator Please took a completely different take with bouncier sounds and ferocious violin making up most of their set. The vocals have a tinge of "The Noisettes" about them and songs like 'Leave it Alone' have potential to be dance-floor classics. Blending a menagerie of instruments, strong vocals and that undeniably addictive Ping Pong song they had most of the audience dancing and bobbing about. Highlight of the night had to be watching a man of at least 50 with a beer-belly and fashionable goatee punching the air and singing along despite evidently not knowing any words other than "ping pong".
Lightspeed Champion have evolved ten-fold as a live band. From bashful and awkward on stage to engaging in almost full blown conversation with members of the audience there is a departure from apologies and mumbling. Launching through "Galaxy of the Lost", "No Surprise" and "Tell me What its Worth" with skill and sureness a confidence surrounds the band. Dev Hynes still retains some of that bashful awkwardness that makes him such an endearing front man, though. Dealing with one girl yelling out "Can I be your girlfriend?" he fends the question off with a couple of blinks and by launching into another song. Getting Fred from Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man on-stage and Dev setting up stall behind a drum-kit they did a cover song and before launching into the epic "Midnight Surprise" came a rendition of the Star Wars theme tune; showing the sense of humour hasn't been lost amidst the tightening up of live performances.
Vocals which soar over the crowd coupled with the violins, guitars and drums gives the folk-esque genre a new twist and new material played sounds even better than earlier stuff with a more guitar-led twist. Finally shaking off the Test Icicles cloak which veiled him at the beginning of his new musical endeavour Dev has proved that the songs are filled with talent and wit and now a new sense of refinement and confidence.


Thursday, 8 May 2008

Cassie and the Cassettes

At first Cassie and the Cassettes seem like a band focused on plinking keyboards and whimsical vocals. Looking a bit further brings out lovely lyrics and an upbeat message which is tinged with a touch of melancholy ("Today was fine/ But I'm not ok"). The perfect songs to sit back, close your eyes and let the music do its magic. A flutter of tounge-in-cheek graces "But I suprise you / When I say I don't like you" as the keys and guitars lull the listener into a vocal-focused message before launching back into the chourus. It's really like Kate Nash if she had talent and better lyrics than her face full of freckles or like Soko without the French-tinged accent.
"Two of a Kind" is up-tempo'ed and still lovely! It swoops and soars; perfect summer pop; tender lyrics and hearfelt vocals. Based in London so the vocals do at times have a cockney tinge but thankfully not full blown "orite guv'na, apples'n'pairs, I'm-a-bleedin'-cockney" stuff! I swear you'll be humming to these songs in you sleep and my only grumble is that there isn't more music to be heard as of yet!

Subtle Belle and Seb tones whisper through the songs as the distinctive keyboards and skittering drum beats creates magical undertones. It seems simplistic yet skill and substance surround the band and as they themselves pledge "the band are now ready to fight injustice and bands full of pale Smiths obssesives, invading public eardrums along the way…"

Jade x

Sunday, 4 May 2008


There are a million-and-one remixes of every imaginable song and genre. A craze which either renders songs ten times better or completely massacred- there are no grey areas.
I'm addicted, possibly belatedly, to Rumble Strips on Amy Winehouse. Hot foot it down to for lots of other electro-ridden goodies + Mystery Jets remixxxxxx'ed by Shoes (beautiful to say the least).
Back to Black- Amy Winehouse (Rumble Strips Remix)

Saturday, 3 May 2008

John and Jehn

There is more than a hint of brooding and darkness underneath the overlapping synth and French-accented vocals of John & Jehn. A tres, tres cool et jolie fille et garcon (ouch, GCSE French) living in London they give the impression that they are so cool it might just hurt to touch them, speak to them or ever lay eyes on them. Describing their split EP (one "John" and one "Jehn") as a 'conversation' rather than 'battle' their hybrid of taunt, angular guitars and swooping synth makes at first an uncomfortable hearing and the strained vocals emit screeches from time to time. Yet this is like Ipso Facto without the Horrors haircuts (although Ipso do manage to hold a tune a bit better J&J have gritty garage infused music to fall back on). With Velvet Underground-ed glamour the synth cuts like a blade through "1,2,3" wrapping the whole song together in a Joy Division-meets-The Fall-meets-The Slits. Post-punk with a French twist. "20 L 07" takes a departure from moody-pop and combines a bouncier sound and electronic feel; one trick ponies they are not. Boy meets girl, boy sings then girl sings, boy and girl unfurl to show a shared love of music and wearing black. Basically a loved-up couple making music together in a brooding, swaggering and confident manner; cool as fuck and like those faded rock stars presented in black and white. "Fear Fear Fear" has echos, repetitive sounds and a desperate undertone which grapples with the listener and leaves them disconcerted in a good way. Split-vocals focus on monotone, whispers, screams of anguish, sultry harmonies and breathy sighs; and lets face it everyone loves a couple of ultra-beautiful things creating chic-rock'n'roll.

Monday, 14 April 2008

LIVE: Mystery Jets

Venue: Manchester Night & Day
Date: 13th April 2008

A second album is always hard to get right. Especially when the first is so good. Mystery Jets, then, have achieved something great; not only is their second album so different from the first with its 80s inspired beats and broodier sound but it also translates amazingly well live. Starting their tour in one of Manchesters smallest venues the dark electro noises and wailing sirens that began the set were made even more eerie as the band entered the stage to rapturous applause. Launching into "Hideaway" with its skittering refrains and synth-ridden chorus ("Hideaway/ Hideaway/ Hideaway-oh-way-oh") the crowd began dancing. Songs like "Flakes" were pitch perfect with harmonies to melt the heart. There is a feeling behind the lyrics and music which connects both the audience and the band and songs like "Veiled in Grey" and "Half In Love With Elizabeth" show a penchant for slightly oblique lyrics ("I can see a pink elephant and it's standing at the corner of the bed") and a menagerie of musical instruments. "Young Love" had the crowd swaying in time whilst mouthing along to the words and new singly "Girl Next Door" perfectly epitomises their new sound. Whats lovely about the Mystery Jets is not only do they care about what they do but they do it well! And take away any part of the songs (drums, guitars or cowbells) and the songs would loose something showing that "less is more" isn't always correct.
The only downfall to showcasing a new album is not all the audience will be familiar with it. Slightly disappointingly they only played "Diamonds in the Dark", "Zoo Time" and "Boy Who Ran Away" from the "Making Dens" album; but the band did seem somewhat surprised at coming back on for an encore! It's a good job their new stuff is almost better than before and its clear to see them evolving as a band. And you know a mark of a good band is when you feel the band should have done more songs, plus b-sides and demos and acoustic solos and instrumentals and gone on forever.

Hideaway- Mystery Jets
Veiled in Grey - Mystery Jets
Girl Next Door- Mystery Jets
Lizzies Lion - Mystery Jets

Saturday, 12 April 2008

LIVE: Adam Green

Venue: Club Academy
Date: 11th April 2008
Firstly, the Paddingtons were only. As punk as ever and showcasing a fistful of new material (in fact the only old song they played was "Panic Attack"). It would have been nice for some older material to be integrated into the new stuff but at least they've still got catchy, if slightly embryonic lyrics, and music that makes you want to jump about (or head nod vigorously). And then Noah and the Whale with Rebecca (Slow Club) on xylophone and harmonies. Chatter subsided once the songs kicked in and "Five Years Time" was near perfect with whistles and hand claps and whimsical lyrics with songs like "Peaceful the World Lays Me Down" taking the pace down only to be whizzed up with "Jocasta". Their range of talent and musical instruments is matched with gloriously poetical lyrics.
Adam Green, in a word, amazing. Whipping through countless songs it was a charming, witty and at times shambolic. Giggles inflitrated songs, lyrics were half forgotten and amps blew up (resulting in an impromtu acoustic performance); stage banter came in the form of an odd retelling of an alien popping out of a band mate which Adam claimed (in a 5 year olds voice) "I gave it a blow job". Riiiiight. Bounding onto the stage with quite the bit of enthusiasm the audience were treated to a greeting "Hello Manchesthair; Man Chest Hair; this is my man chest hair" whilst high-fiving audience members and clad in a fetching shirt which dripped tassles from the sleeves. It was a performance unsurpassed by anyone I've ever seen and wildly eccentric. This eccentricity bleeds into his lyrics too; "Mozzarella Swastikas" claiming "Well we came upon a cracker/ and we came on this cracker/ and the last one had to eat it/ and she did" (this being punctuated with giggles and "This is the best bit, listen up!"). During some of the acoustic bits chatter sounded up; only to be shushed by Green and audience alike. Songs like "Nat King Cole" and "Pay the Toll" bled perfectly into one another whilst also demonstrating how the sound has matured with a full band as seen in songs like "Morning after Midnight". It was a show of many parts with a hilarious and unique front man; joined half way through by Josh and Tom from the Paddintons they performed a 'new' song "Ladyboy" (or something like that) which claimed "Your from Thialand/ thats not my land". Urrg there is too much to recount but suffice to say it was quite the evening. And he sand "Dance with Me" and "Emily" and "What a Waster" abnd "Getting Led" and "Gemstones" as well as leading a crowd sing-a-long with a few too many reprisals of "Cocabana" (I think that is how you spell it?!). Well anyway, it was much, much better than good and better than a shot in the foot anyday!

Jade xx
Dance with Me - Adam Green
Mozzarella Swastikas- Adam Green
Morning After Midnight- Adam Green

Saturday, 5 April 2008

LIVE: The Teenagers

Venue: Manchester Roadhouse
Date: 1st April 2008

Even if you didn’t know this band their name would suggest their tongues are firmly placed in cheek (literally in the case of songs like “French Kiss”) with wittily crude lyrics jumping from behind the scratchy guitars, thumping drums and electric beeps. They’ve added two members for live purposes, spurning the drum machine and adding a girl guitarist to the mix and they’re as geek chic as ever.
Launching into “Starlett Johansson” with slightly smug smiles curling their lips as the crowd instantly recognise this ode to Scarlet they join in the dancing with wooden yet enthusiastic dance. They also whipped through “III” which provided a mellower refrain of “I don’t know anything” and more music made for air punching and bum shaking. Even the most ardent feminist couldn’t deny that “Fuck Nicole” is one hell of a song, the whole two front lines of the crowd moving in unison and even the girls (in fact most of the front two lines were girls… surely much to the satisfaction of the band!) singing “Fuck Nicole/ It’s out of control / Call Nicole and fuck Nicole”. Songs like “Streets of Paris” mean that the band couldn’t be more French and singing in sweet Parisian-tinged accents “Riding bikes and talking loud/ they were wearing Nike caps!” they managed to show that the streets of Paris are just as full of scally’s as the streets of Manchester.
Possibly they’re most well known song “Homecoming” meant that the band dragged a couple of girls on stage; as usual one over-confident and the other self-conscious which meant that the backing track did most of the singing. They show they aren’t to be taken seriously and people who do are missing the point; and yeah, they’re no longer teenagers themselves but the personas of the songs are and as they say themselves “We’re playing the songs and you’re dancing along/ Feeling better/ you’re feeling better”… It’s all in the name of fun and all in the name of ‘youth’… And they’re great live too!
Jade xx

Thursday, 27 March 2008


An MSN convo:
jade says:
jade says:
jade says:
They're French, supporting Blood Red Shoes and called 1984
jade says:
best band ever?
Harri Chan Lancker I'm gonna love you till the stars fall from the sky says:
Harri Chan Lancker I'm gonna love you till the stars fall from the sky says:
Harri Chan Lancker I'm gonna love you till the stars fall from the sky says:
jade says:
they are too too good!!!!
jade says:
like horrors and franz ferdinand in one
jade says:
actually love
Harri Chan Lancker I'm gonna love you till the stars fall from the sky says:
and a bit kraftwerky
jade says:
a bit joy divisiony
Harri Chan Lancker I'm gonna love you till the stars fall from the sky says:

jade says:
Desert Dancers = actual tune
Harri Chan Lancker I'm gonna love you till the stars fall from the sky says:
thats my favourite

Ok, the MSN speak possibly doesn't do them justice but LOL THEY R GUD ok!? Double-whammy endoresed band by the name of 1984.
Not only named via George Orwell but a bit too catchy as well!
1984 Myspace
Can't say fairer than that !!
Jade x

Tuesday, 25 March 2008


In a quest to dispel the weather (I mean, it is actually snowing/hail stoning in March... Unimpressed!) with happyhappyhappy music Fanfarlo are the newest order of the day to close your eyes and pretend the sound of hail stones against the window is really a cool summer breeze / bee's trying to get in or something.
Basically it's jingly jangly music which is so feel good it becomes a little bit wrong. A wondrous amount of instrument are involved, the affectionately named 'glock', banjo and mandolin make an appearance and it's all a bit Belle and Sebastian with elements of Pavement whispering in the vocals. The same thing that's got people physically shaking with excitement about Vampire Weekend can be seen in them. Oh, its all a bit folksy but not just that they've managed to squash feelings, charm and melody into perfect pop song length. And they're unsigned (not for long I shouldn't think). Songs like "Harold T Wilkins" and "...Outsiders" have a subtle eloquence and it seems to literally shit sunshine and summertime; and despite that horrible imagery their songs really are delicate with a sort of happy around the edges glow.
Jade xx
Fire Escape - Fanfarlo
Harold T Wilkins- Fanfarlo

Thursday, 20 March 2008

An interview with Josh Weller

We spoke to impecably dressed folk super talent Josh Weller on his plans for the future ...

1. How important has myspace been for you personally?
Until i get a website made, probably very important. I write stupid blogs most days about things i find funny and people can get in on it. its like a little club

2. What are you aims for 2008 and what can we expect musically?
my first single Pretty Girls came out last week, there's a weird music show thing called 'Tourist Guiding with Josh Weller'. I'll start the album at some point.......

3. Who are your main influences?
Richard Pryor, Chet Baker, Woody Allen, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Randy Newman, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.

4. How would you describe your own music?
All of those moments when you wish you could spontaneously burst into song.

5. How important do you think style and appearance is for a performer?
It depends on the performer i think. Randy Newman never dressed up and he wrote far better songs than Adam and the Ants. For me, i like to look like i could either play a song or go clay pigeon shooting at any given moment.

6. If you could do a duet with anyone dead or alive who would it be?
Chet Baker or the B52's

7. What is like to have your first ever single released?
Never before have i had so many family members phone me up asking for a free copy.

8. Do you think being from and in London has influenced you msuic?
Definitely. London is one of my favourite places to get bored in, there's always something to make you 'un-bored'. and there's so many great bands and musicians all over the city.

9. Has being in a band lived up to its expectations so far?
I don't really know what the expectations are. i've never thought about it. i'm having a lot of fun though.

10. What are the best and wost apsects of playing live?
worst - the toilets, the food, the sleep, the roads, the sticky floors,the tinitus, the load in, the load out. soundchecking at 5 and playing at 11, the void afterwards.
best - playing live is the best thing in the world and nothing can beat it. it is actually better than i can put into words.