Friday, February 29, 2008

Not happy that The Cribs won NOTHING at last night's NME Awards. More later.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I just thought that I'd share with you my list of bands that I am determined to listen to and make my mind up about this year. With so many 'ones to watch in 2008' lists going on, I thought I'd add mine!

Admittedly, some of these aren't necessarily new bands, but they seem to be the same names that crop up again and again:

Good shoes
Clap your hands say yeah
Pull Tiger tail
Riverboat gamblers
Patrick Watson
Blood red shoes
Rumble strips
Shiny toy guns
Mumm ra
The Ponys
Tokyo police club
The ting tings
Cajun dance party
Late of the pier
Look see proof
The ghost frequency
The runners
We start fires
Does it offend you, yeah?
Kids in glass houses
Captain black
Joe Lean and the jing jang jong
The troubadors
Okkervil River
Black lips
Cheeky cheeky and the nosebleeds
The builders and the butchers
Pete and the Pirates
Alexis is on fire
Operator please
Twisted wheel
Future of the left
The vagabonds
The natives
The Baskervilles
Shut your eyes and you’ll burst into flames
The big bang
Sonic boom six
65 days of stactic
Les savy fev
The satin peaches
The fiery furnaces
Clarky cat
Dirty projectors
The rascals
The suzukis
One night only
Sky Larkin
Ra ra riot
The alones
Those dancing days
Team water polo
Friendly fires
These new puritans
Duke special
The displacements
Black kids
The vampire weekend


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My ultimate Maximo Park set list

So I am going to see Maximo Park at the start of their 3 night stint at Brixton Academy. I am so excited it’s not even funny anymore, and so in the spirit of this, I thought I would post my ultimate Maximo Park set list with explanations. I do not think for one minute this is the way they’ll do it; it’s just the way I would want them to.

In this order:

Girls who play guitars – it is the ‘Our Earthly Pleasures (OEP)’ tour, it opens the album and it is a belter of a tune that will get the whole crowd going.

By the Monument – One of the more upbeat songs from OEP, it will keep the momentum.

Books from boxes – Calming it down a bit, but still a sing-along classic

Postcard of a painting – The start of an ‘A Certain Trigger (ACT)’ section, this one would kick it off in style

Limassol – Slightly frenzied by this point, I’d guess

The Coast is always changing – Giant sing-along

Acrobat - time for a bar break

Parisian skies – back to OEP to mix it up a bit

Sandblasted and set free – a weird choice, but they played it at Reading, so I bet they do it here too and this would be a good place for it

Nosebleed and Your Urge – I see these being next to each other to complete the mellow moments

Once a glimpse – get everyone dancing again

Graffiti – I think they’ll do it as an encore, but I’ve got a better one planned in my fantasy gig

Apply some pressure – sends everyone mental

Russian Literature – it needs to be in here somewhere

Karaoke plays – I’ve just found out it’s the next single so they will probably throw it in sooner?

I want you to stay – calming it down

Now I’m all over the shop – good finisher


Our velocity and Going missing – I’m biased cause they’re my favourites, but that would work and be incredible!!!!

Let’s see if I’m right then!!


Friday, September 07, 2007

Second album syndrome and overhyped indie bands?

Yes, it seems to be one of those things that has no signs of abating. The reviews for Hard-Fi’s latest offering have been very mixed, ranging from a lukewarm NME review to a glowing 4 stars from Q. But the consensus seems to be ‘must try harder.’ It will be interesting to see how many of these bands from the exciting, rebirth of Britpop from 2005/2006 will be able to replicate their early successes.

The Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand, Hard-Fi, Maximo Park (I reluctantly add this, which I will explain later), Arctic Monkeys..the list goes on.

It stretches across the pond too; The Killers are a prime example of a second album not living up to expectations.

The reason that I reluctantly added Maximo Park to the above list is because initially, the second album was very disappointing. I listened to it and my heart sank because I had such high hopes for it. However, it is now one of my favourite albums ever, as it is such a grower. I will be doing a separate review of this at a later date.

With music increasingly becoming the ‘cool’ thing, and everyone from 13 year old girls to heads of record labels scouring Myspace and for the ‘next big thing’, there tends to be massive hype surrounding a number of artists who ultimately fail to deliver.

Who can distinguish between The Twang, the View the Enemy, the Fratellis, the Pigeon Detectives and all the other ‘the’ bands out there? I’m not debating the fact that I actually like all of these bands, and I have been championing the Pigeon Detectives for nearly 2 years, but the point is that the scene is starting to feel tired. And there seems to be a formula to it – band build up big following, NME, Q, the BBC, whoever labels them ‘the next Oasis’, ‘the next Coldplay’, ‘the next Libertines’ etc etc etc. Hype reaches fever pitch, and then when the album comes out the reviews are good, but not as good as the hype suggests, and then the next big thing comes along and it all starts again. I am looking forward to second albums from these artists to see if any of them have any longevity.

Of course, I’m not saying that it’s just a malaise attached to second albums. It can also happen to established artists that make a seminal album, and then the follow up has such high expectations to meet, that it ultimately fails. That’s not to say that these albums are bad, more simply that they cannot meet the high standard of their predecessors. The sad matter of fact it that if these also-ran albums were the band’s debut, then they would be treated as fantastic albums in their own right.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The insurgence of independent record labels is something that is really fascinating me at the moment. I know that the indies are doing well, with Warp registering their highest ever album chart position for Maximo Park's Our Earthly Pleasures (genius, btw). But I'm talking more about bands setting up their own labels to release their music. Also, bands such as The Crimea releasing their album for frr on download. It really is changing times for the music industry, and it will be interesting to see how this phenomenon will progress.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I am writing this whislt feeling slightly upset. I am slightly upset as Johnny Borrell, charismatic front man of top pop band Razorlight, has turned into a bit of a c**k.

I do not write this easily. Up until about 3 weeks ago, I may well have been the Borrell's biggest fan. I liked his arrogance and self assurance, and it didn't harm the fact that Up All Night may well be one of the best albums of the last five years, conjuring up images of dirty London, drunken summer nights and lazy days. It was an album that had no fillers, was full of catchy tunes and was generally very very good. In contraat, the new album is a bit dull. I may well be the only Razorlight fan on the planet that doesn't think its as good as UAN, but there you go. It's not. It a bit formulaic, not very interesting and there's a couple of outstanding songs, but the energy and exuberance (as well as the sexiness) is gone.

I really can't understand why critics loved it, and I feel that Mr Borrell is believing his own hype, which is making him look like an idiot. His antics at SXSW prove that. He has got it into his head that he is the best thing since the Beatles, and is acting like a jumoed-up Mick Jagger wannbe, but nowhere near as cool. He may even find that he ends up alienating all the people who were once fans.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I made a list today of the top 10 CDs I want to buy and they are:

Cat Power - the Greatest
Maximo Park - Our Earthly Pleasures
Kubichek - their new album
Enter Shikari
The Klaxons
The Twang
The Pigeon Detectives
The Spinto Band
The Ponys

Obviously, the one I'm most excited about is Maximo Park, but am pleased that the Pigeon Detectives are finally getting some recognition, after I championed them 8 months ago!

Have also just heard a rumuor that Reading tix go on sale on 26th March - but with Razorlight as the only confirmed name so far, not sure if the line up is going to be any good. Don't get me wrong, Up all Night is a classic album, and possible one of my favourite of all time, but the new one's not so good!