Monday, 25 February 2008

Oh and

best song I've heard this week comes in the form of "Love No" by the Teenagers.
Well, more the Soko version really, her voice is so lovely!

Jade x
Love No - Soko (Teenagers Cover)

LIVE: Lightspeed Champion

Sunday 17th Feb 2008
Roadhouse, Manchester

A buzz surrounds Dev Heynes at the moment and with his lyrically sublime songs and self-deprecating nature it isn’t hard to see why so many find him endearing. Armed with a talented band and his guitar Dev is in his stride from the off, bantering with the audience about everything from Year Zero (“This didn’t go down well last night but I’m going to explain the theory anyway”) to I, Robot (“It’s just a shit film”). It’s like half stand up, half gig; the audience gazing adoringly and laughing along to each of the flippant comments made.
A good majority of the audience bob their heads along to album tracks like “Tricks for a Bitch” but it’s songs like “Midnight Surprise” and “Tell Me What It’s Worth” which combine notoriety with talent and have everyone smiling. Something which is different this time Lightspeed play live is a lack of cover songs; Eugene McGuiness and The Strokes have been replaced by their own material and the audience even get treated to new stuff (about hookers, obviously). Heynes voice is suited perfectly to the folk-esque guitars and soaring violins and it’s songs like “No Surprise” which truly showcase the extent of talent. Drums and violins submerge into guitar and vocals and this coupled with Dev clambering onto the speakers and bearing down over the heads of the audience give the feeling of a band in their element.
One of the things setting this band out from the mainstream is the lyrics. Stories which could be portrayed as mundane come to life wittily and humbly. “Everyone I Know is Listening to Crunk” has the audience swaying in time and a few smirks pull at the corners of mouths once the lyrics sink in (“Take me to the Genesis to see Saw III” / “And the stranger on the night bus in the checked coat is not you”).
Highlight of the entire night though comes in the form of the band covering “Thriller”. The hype them should be believed, Lightspeed Champion have talent, a humble and endearing attitude and can make you laugh too- what more do you need?
Jade x

Saturday, 2 February 2008

LIVE: Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit

31st Jan 2008
Ruby Lounge, Manchester

This penchant for twinkly guitars and rustic charm has seemed to come about rather suddenly and although Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit might on the surface seem to fit in with this genre a closer inspection suggests a greater depth than a new fad.
Firstly the duel vocals of brother and sister provide harmonies and beatific noises as various other members of the band chip in when they feel like it. Their multi-talented front man picks up various instruments (as do the band) and there is no smugness or feeling of trying to impress with the range of their skill.
One of the most superb things about this folk-steeped band is the lyrics; wonderfully angelic voices wrap themselves around the words which evoke different worlds and forgotten people. Beginning the show with “The Box” with its twangy guitar and almost Deep South feel a focus is brought on a homeless man whilst rural fables come to life in the magic “Leftovers”. Their evocative music is deeper than trend or fashion; it extends to the audience, holding them in its grip and literally begging for an encore.
It’s poignant and bluesy with more than enough heart and soul. There is religious imagery mixed with tales of the homeless mixed with tales of love; a rare thing for a set to have so much depth but whilst also holding interest for every song!
A loyal fan base gather on the floor of the Ruby Lounge and a strange feeling occurs, people flop down onto the floor, sitting and nodding adoringly along with every song. Rather than making the whole thing seem lethargic and boring this almost school-like approach to watching the band (legs crossed and eyes turned upwards) seems fitting. Everyone is still moving (one man goes so far as to slap his thigh along with the beat. The look would only have been completed with a piece of hay coming out of his mouth and a floppy straw hat!) And Flynn’s bashful presence is appreciated with applause and cheers.
As the band run through their set it is clear to see they are not only skilful musicians but also destined for success. With their sound reminiscent of Adam Green or even blues/rock’n’roll virtuoso Robert Johnston their lyrics and music intermingle creating poetry alongside sound. A truly great live band with an menagerie of instruments and talent!

Jade xx
(reviewed for High Voltage)

Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit - Leftovers
Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit- Oh, To Eat An Apple
Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit- The Box

Friday, 1 February 2008

Elle S'appelle New Material

QUICK! Hop on over to Elle S'appelle's Myspace to hear fab new material. Hopefully some of it is to be included on their forthcoming EP! And they're on tour with goFASTER>>... ace news.
"Monkeyshine" is all crecendo-ing "woah-oh-ohs" and ska-esque keyboards dancing over harmonising vocals. Beautifully addictive; their songs are near flawless with their own brand of simplistic pop dipped in originiality and talent! As the end nears in sight skipping drums and a change of tempo twist and turn as duel vocals battle over jumping beats. "Reasons Your Reasons Your Reasons" is like Hot Club De Paris taking The Futureheads waltzing; with a distinctive fairground feel. A sort of Victorian English Gentlemans Club sound is set in the band with a similar set up and the same penchant for dizzying musical heights. Crecendo, tempo, lyrics, instruments and voices all get melded into the sublime pop that is Elle S. The effect is an overwhelment of music and ideas. Chouruses melt into a whirlwind of sounds and voices skipping over pure, unadulterated noise. Come on 2008- bigbigbigbigbigbig things must happen for these guys; they're just too good!!
Jade xx
just because it is one of the most innotive videos around !