GIG – Little Cub at The Joiners – Monday 11th September 2017

little cubA refreshingly honest record brimming with English jest and thoughtful electronic musicianship, Little Cub’s first shot at an LP holds a confident consciousness of modern reality, no matter how bleak it may be.

 

“You’ve been caught out wanting something shameful” deadpans Dominic over synthy bassline on closing track “Television”. The line just might summarise Little Cub’s dystopic debut which spans themes of moral degradation and personal as well as ballot box politics, Gore’s songwriting sensibilities evidence of a primary passion for literature, having been influenced by greats such as Wilde and Larkin on tracks which initially began as poetry.

This record’s most contemplative cut comes in the form of “Hypnotise”. Driven in true indie mentality by a looped drum-roll and a niggling hook, the track is a gaze at corporate corruption, a perceptive view on politics which pronounces an unresolvable plague of inequality; a widespread incentive to protest but a lack of self-awareness. Apt, perhaps, in times where politics persists via the safety blanket of social media.

A highlight can be marked at the outset with single and opener “Too Much Love”; an ode to today’s lack of generosity in human interaction. Enduring over glistening pulses of production, the track builds in house stamina to a climactic synth-pop dance beat. “And if I had to ask a personal question / I’d probably ask you what you wanted to drink”; Gore presents our generation’s lack of emotional commitment via a male bravado and this is achieved poignantly throughout with sincerely thoughtful lyricism.

The triumph of Still Life relies heavily on its ability to cultivate a type of melancholy which still manages to persist over a dynamic pop proficiency. This is achieved exceptionally well through the nocturnal groove on “My Nature”, growing synth chords backing a lyrical consciousness of distrust and the unsimplicity in desire – “your pleasure is paid for by another heart”.

There’s an undeniable charisma on this album and it stems from the detached wit of Gore’s vocal which delivers relatable, yet brutal sentiments backed by the band’s shimmering production work – a winning formula, so it seems.

Masking our flawed humanity with flawless electro, the South London trio fork over a delicious portion of pessimistic pop, drizzled in scrumptious synths and glorious electronic production, but bypassing a sugarcoating of over-hackneyed hedonism.

Album review from The Line of Best Fit website

 

 

 

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GIG – Alvvays at The Talking Heads – Tuesday 29th August 2017

ALVVAYSAlvvays (pronounced “Always”) is a Canadian indie pop band formed in Toronto, Ontario in 2011.

The band currently consists of vocalist Molly Rankin, keyboardist Kerri MacLellan, guitarist Alec O’Hanley and bassist Brian Murphy.

Their debut album, Alvvays, was released in 2014, peaking at number one on the U.S. college charts. Their second studio album, Antisocialites, is due to be released in September 2017.

Alvvays’ music has been described as jangle pop, both by the music press and its members. According to Rankin, the band’s emphasis is primarily on strong melodies, rather than for a specific genre: “If old people ask, I say it sounds like the Cranberries. If young people ask, I call it jangle pop. If a punk asks, I say it’s pop.”

The band has often been compared to Camera Obscura; Rankin noted she shared vocalist Tracyanne Campbell‘s “fondness for the pathetic perspective.” Rankin sought inspiration from Stephen Merritt, frontman of the Magnetic Fields, as she appreciated the honest but lighthearted nature of his lyrics. Rankin’s personal influences include the Magnetic Fields, Teenage Fanclub, Dolly Mixture, the Smiths, Celine Dion, Pavement, the Primitives, and Oasis.

While the band does not have an overt Celtic music sound, Rankin also acknowledges that because she was immersed in the genre from childhood, it has a discernible influence on the way she sings and writes melodies.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

GIG – Kassassin Street at The Joiners – Wednesday 14th December 2016

kassassin-street2015 was the year that Kassassin Street broke out from their home town of Portsmouth and started spreading their infectious blend of psyche-infused indie-dance nationwide. Previously, they had established themselves in their home town – selling out the Wedgewood Rooms – and releasing two well received singles, including the anthemic indie-dance onslaught of ‘Centre Straight Atom’.
Two releases in 2015 – To Be Young and the Radio Silence EP – were supported by radio both here in theUK and in Spain, The Netherlands, Germany and the US (Jason Kramer and Brian Crow at KCRW; Shannon
Sauter at KEXP), as well being received to fantastic reviews from blogs across the board, from Indie Shuffe, When The Gramophone Rings, and Breaking More Waves (‘goes at it like two lustful lovers who haven’t
seen each other for months and doesn’t let up until it has climaxed after a glorious three minutes and forty seconds.’) amongst many others.
They played a full summer of festivals including Blissfields, Beatherder, Secret Garden Party, and Bestival.

Their festival season ended with a triumphant homecoming slot at Victorious Festival, which was described as “a truly spectacular performance” (Vulture Hound). They embarked on their first national tour in November, selling out many of the shows and ending on another sell out at the Wedgewood Rooms.

The band have spent 2016 writing new material, venturing out of Portsmouth for a handful of shows. Radio 3 in Spain flew them out for a slot at the SOS 4.8 festival after being selected via a listener poll – and hundreds of fans turned up to watch their set. The same happened at Y Not, Live at Leeds, and Koko in
London, the hard slog of the previous year paying off. They also released the electro-punky ‘Hand In My Pocket’.

Again played by their supporters at radio, the single was well reviewed by Music Ninja, Indie Shuffle, and Indie Is Not A Genre.

The rest of 2016 will be spent working on the material that will form their debut album, and before another nationwide tour in November.

http://www.kassassinstreet.com

GIG – Lowly at The Railway Inn- Saturday 29th October 2016

lowlyLowly is a five-piece noise pop band from Denmark. They appeared out of nowhere in April 2014 with the release of the bewitching ‘Daydreamers’. The sound, already so rich and full, was like being put under a magical spell.
Initially brought together – in hindsight I’d suggest by a visionary alchemist – purely to fulfil part of a short music project at the school they all attended, Nanna, Thomas, Steffen, Kasper and Soffie immediately found the chemistry so many musicians search years to find. The individual influences of each, so different it seemed to begin with, truly give Lowly that unique sound, one that has been developing over the course of the last year.

In the fall, Lowly released their EP “Sink Way Into Me” and the single “Fire” was described as “ABBA’s Super Trouper remixed by Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker” by Ed Nash from The Line Of Best Fit.

The music is at times intricate yet deep and sensual, the fascinating rhythms of drummer Steffen create a perfect counterpoint to the gorgeous melodies of Soffie and Nanna.

The overall effect of this in tandem with the liquid bass and keyboard lines create a set that has you on the verge of crying and dancing all at the same time. There isn’t a band out there today like them, which is thrilling. To make music that is both emotional and influential at this early stage, shows that Lowly are a band of limitless possibilities.

From The The Railway website

GIG – The Spitfires at The Joiners – Saturday 1st October 2016

spitfiresThe Spitfires are a four piece band from Watford.

Their work ethic and powerful song-writing mixed with their acute social commentary and lack of mainstream industry industry support has made this fiercely independent band one of the most popular and vital underground bands in the UK today.

This attitude has earnt them a dedicated following and sold out shows across the UK and abroad. Following up the critically acclaimed debut ‘Response’ which saw the band enter high in the UK Album Charts and reach Number 6 in both the independent and vinyl charts – The Spitfires return with their much anticipated second album ‘A Thousand Times’ out August 26th on Catch 22 Records.

From band website

GIG – The Tuts at The Joiners – Wednesday 14th September 2016

tutsThe Tuts are a pop-punk trio from West London. Live they seriously pack a punch and are noted for their impassioned songs about sexism, feminism and everyday life-isms. The Selecter’s Pauline Black describes The Tuts sound best: ‘infectious guitar led pop wrapped around fiery drums, sharp tongues and splendid harmonies’.

Founding members, Nadia Javed (guitar/lead vox) and Beverley Ishmael (drums) recruited Harriet Doveton (bass/vox) in 2011. The following year they were spotted by Kate Nash and supported her UK and European tours, building up their fan base of ‘Tutters’ wherever they went. Kate Nash raved ‘they are currently the best UK band I’ve seen live in a really long time’. These tours were notably an all-female rock experience that celebrated feminism in the unapologetic 1990s ‘Riot Grrrl’ tradition.

In 2014 Billy Bragg invited The Tuts to play his LeftField stage at Glastonbury. The effervescent appeal of Nadia’s irreverent stage persona and, as Billy himself called it, the ‘fabulous cacophony’ these three women conjure up every time they play makes for an unforgettable live experience. Pauline Black was in the crowd and soon after The Tuts joined The Selecter on their 2015 UK tour.

The Tuts’ music owes something to the Libertine’s brash, devil-may-care aesthetic but they are not fashionable, and hopefully never will be. This is not beautifully crafted gloss for the latest hipster market – the tunes are too good for that. Their timeless three and four chord rants sung out in authentic working class accents carry the X-Ray Spex and 70s New Wave mantle onwards. The Tuts are ‘indie’ indeed, but not in some generic introspective sense: here is a band that possess that irrepressible spirit unique to independent DIY bands. There is no escaping it, ready or not, The Tuts are coming

From The Joiners website

GIG – Sulk at Lennons – Saturday 20th August 2016

sulkSULK are an English psychedelic rock/shoegaze band from London.

The group was formed in 2011 in London by Jon Sutcliffe (vocals), Tomas Kubowicz (lead guitar) and Andrew Needle (rhythm guitar). The line-up was later completed by Jakub Starzyński (bass guitar) and Lewis Jones (drums).

The band’s debut single, “Wishes”, was recorded and produced by Suede, Pulp and White Lies collaborator Ed Buller at ICP Studios in Belgium. Released in August 2011 on Perfect Sound Forever, the single was mentioned in NMEs “Radar Tip Of The Day” by Matt Wilkinson,This Is Fake DIYs single review by Chelsea Cochrane and Killing Moon Limited’s “Track Of The Day”. The track was also played by Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 6, Clint Boon on XFM and John Richards on KEXP.

The band released new song in anticipation to their upcoming sophomore album via Stereogum.  “Black Infinity (Upside Down)” had its premiere on 18 September 2015.

In December 2015 it was announced that the band’s second album would be called “No Illusions” and would be released on the 15th April 2016 – exactly three years after the release of their debut album, Graceless.

Another song was released on 3 February 2016 following up the news of band’s first European Tour in May 2016. Fred Perry Subculture premiered “The Tape Of You”, saying “SULK have the songs and substance where it counts, and their second LP “No Illusions“, will reportedly push their British indie-pop sound forward to win new ground.”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

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