Archive for November, 2009

Going to gigs alone is a terrible business. I am getting used to it though, so there is definitely a skill involved. For Wavves, I stood close to a group of men who were chatting quite loudly about something. That way, you kill two birds with one stone, in having something to listen to as well as looking to others as if you are part of a group. The worst part is just after a band goes off, as that’s when you’re meant to turn and chat to a friend about what you’ve just seen. In order to stop this horrible affliction, simply go to the bar or, if you’ve got no money, go to the toilet. in extreme cases, you can also go outside to make a phonecall to someone you know will answer or, in worst-possible-scenario, you can walk to the nearest cash machine and check your balance. Be warned, that last one can be the most depressing.

Wavves at Manchester Deaf Institute. Supported by Mazes and Spectrals
[This is Fake DIY]


Mazes – Bowie Knives [fileden]


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This Many Boyfriends

I’ll be honest in saying that a lot of whether I look into a band or not is based around their name. It’s a shit system, but if you’ve got a bad taste in band names, then you’ve probably got bad songs. I am sorry, I can’t stop how I think. Anyway, This Many Boyfriends clear the first hurdle with ease, as do all bands that name themselves after a Beat Happening song. Anyway, names don’t really matter when you’ve got songs as good as these have.

They claim to only have a few tracks properly recorded, which is fair enough. Anyway the ones that they’ve got up on their myspace are ace. They claim, in bold, that they are NOT twee, but it’s easy to understand why the assumption might be made. In personal favourite ‘That’s what diaries are for’ they mix early Los Campesinos! pace and content with the riffs and delivery of Johnny Foreigner, complete with amazing boy/girl interchanges. It’s a classic in waiting, a beautiful critique of everything that’s wrong with pretty much every scene ever made. Honestly, it’s truly superb. Try it below:

This Many Boyfriends – That’s what diaries are for (fileden)

This Many Boyfriends – It’s Lethal! (part 1) (fileden)


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People may moan about bands pretty much sounding like Joy Division and Interpol, but they do it for a reason – because both of them are pretty fucking awesome. But there’s always comparisons to be made with any band who sound a little bit downbeat and industrial with those two – it’s just a pity that Ian Curtis, Paul Banks and co. have made it their own with such critically admired work.  with other genres, bands generally get away with it without much hassle – nobody really abuses Good Shoes for inhabiting a similar part of the sonic spectrum as The Maccabees first album, but that’s just how things work.

Fiction should make it big. But if they do, you should expect all the tired comparisons to come out. They don’t sound much like Unknown Pleasures, but the fact that their music have an overwhelmingly sinster air means that it’s unavoiable. It actual fact, it’s brilliant, and their live show sounds even better. They’re playing Dummy mag’s party on Friday and I was asked to speak to them about it. It’s up on the dummy website, so head over there to enjoy me moaning about living in the UK’s second city:

Fiction – Dummy Mag (link)

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When you see something great happening, usually you’ve just got to sit back and admire. Fighting back the waves of jealousy that come whenever anybody does something brilliant and inspired, Dan Parrott, who was head of musical output at Manchester’s Channel M before they dropped any semblance of entertaining programming, has brought together 5 of the city’s most exciting new artists for a new EP. On Love & Disaster you will find Airship, Dutch Uncles, Jo Rose and Everything Everything remixing Delphic, which provides one of the most interesting 15 minutes of listening that the city has ever produced. The key thing is that, whereas Manchester has been churning out hit artists at it’s usual rate, there’s been very little sense of a unified movement.

Anyway, onto the bands themselves. This time next year pretty much everyone will have heard of Delphic thanks to their forthcoming debut record, Acolyte, which promises to be one of the best records of 2010. Encompassing members of the now defunct Snowfight in the city centre, they’re now making the ‘nu-rave’ movement of 2007 seem like some horrid nightmare for intelligent dance music. Their song ‘This Momentary’ was put out by Kitsuné in September, and Geffen-signed Everything Everything have put their own twist upon it with a remix for this album. There’s also Airship, who have recently finished supporting Editors, and judging by opener ‘Kids’, there’s a lot more to be expected of these.

Manchester faithful may remember the scramble around Fear of Music a few years ago. Anyway, from the ashes of that comes Jo Rose who, at 22, already has more experience of the industry than most people could ever wish for. either way, ‘Lastbreath, California’ is a sprawling, amazingly adventerous song, sounding as though it’s been crafted by someone well beyond his years.

Oh, and there’s Dutch Uncles. Their song ‘OCDUC’ also features, and it’s the wonderful jaunty, tip-toe pop that you’d expect. But you don’t need me ruining it with my words – experience it below:

Dutch Uncles – OCDUC

Anyway, here’s the tracklisting:

1. AIRSHIP ‘Kids’
3. JO ROSE ‘Lastbreath, California’

You can get your hands on a copy from 11th January, either on Gatefold 10″ vinyl or the usual digital channels. And here’s the label’s website, where you can stream the entirity of the release (link)

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Beko DSL – Moscow Olympics

There are a lot of shoegaze bands around at the minute and they all sound alright, really. Whilst The Pains of being pure at heart have recieved a lot of coverage, it’s a shame that Moscow Olympics haven’t been afforded the same luxury. The problem may lay in the fundamental differences between the bands – whilst the New Yorkers make something that’s identifiabley pop music, Moscow Olympics create a song more on the dreamy side of the genre. 2008’s Cut the World was one of the better records of the year, and with better marketing and distribution, it would’ve undoubtedly have earnt the sales that the songs deserved. However, it’s probably difficult being a band from the Phillipines that make interesting, slow burning songs. In fact, operating outside of any traditional music hubs is probably difficult. I don’t know, this is all guesswork. I have as much working knowledge of the music industry industry as I do of operating a forklift truck.

Anyway, Beko DSL have done their bit in giving the band a little bit more exposure by making Moscow Olympics their free single for the week. I hate to witter on again about the label, but I feel I need to – every Monday, they put out a two-track digital single by an ace band for you to download, free of charge. This duo of songs shows a deeper, slightly more experimental side to the band, and it should act as an interesting precursor to their second album, which we can only hope is on it’s way soon. If you’re a fan of beautiful, melodic and eerily perfect shoegaze songs, then there’s no excuse not to download the single from Beko:

Moscow Olympics – Beko DSL (link)

And here’s one of their older tracks, probably my favourite:

Moscow Olympics – Still

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Judy and the Blumes

Last night taught me several things. Firstly, that Underachievers, Please Try Harder is a wonderful evening, and you should definitely get yourself along to it if you have not. Also, I now understand that I am far from efficient at DJing, and would like to apologise for all the missed links between songs, bad choices and general ignorance that went on. Most people were upstairs anyway, but if you were there and managed to catch me, I am so sorry. Lastly, but most importantly, it taught me that Judy and the Blumes are brilliant and amazing and the best thing ever.

Well, it’s already something that I suspected. I went to see Casiotone for the painfully alone with my girlfriend a while back, and due to car troubles, Owen and his band were very late in getting to the venue. With a lot of time to fill, Charlotte from Judy and the Blumes stepped in to avert a disaster and turned it into a wonderful evening for all. Unfortunately, we’d already had a lot to drink, so we couldn’t remember who to scour myspace for the morning after. Anyway, if you’re a massive, crippling Los Campesinos! fan like myself, then you might already know of Charlotte, what with her being referenced in a song on their last album (‘Charlotte says it’s more constructive…’) and having a track dedicated to her on the new record.

Anyway, enough about that. Judy and the Blumes make some nice sounds about some nice and not nice things. ‘Your New Girlfriend’ is pretty much the best song you could ever write about an ex-lover who has moved on to someone who, in the bands words, ‘is better looking’ than you. It’s all quite simplistic, two girls on acoustic with some ad-hoc percussion. The fact that Jam on Bread’s Ukelele was used in the set pretty much says it all – they’re glorious.

Not only that, when the band were soundchecking, I started to get a song ready to play – which they then went and covered without my knowledge. Anyway, I asked Charlotte if she could send me over the file so I could relive the moment over and over again, but it turns out she couldn’t locate it. So she recorded a new version. I would like to call this an exclusive.

Judy and the Blumes – Love Connection (fileden)

Just to confirm, it is the Casiotone version that’s being covered, so it’s a cover of a cover, which is about as good as music can get. Also, there was a file posted on the Los Campesinos! website a few months back, in which Charlotte covered the band’s Heart Swells, which is wonderful. Anyway, I may as well post it too, whilst you’re here:

Charlotte from Judy and the Blumes – BST (GMT +1) (Los Campesinos! Heart Swells Cover) (fileden)

Head over to their myspace for some feminist rap on ‘Rappers not rapers’ and the exquisite ‘Your new girlfriend’. Ace. (Myspace)

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Brown Orange Blue

It’s a sad fact that people from art schools generally make better bands than people who go to study music at university. Generally, if you’re interested enough in playing guitar to get to grade 8 or whatever their equivalent of the black belt is, then you’ve got a huge interest in the technical side of music, which, as ever, is the boring side. Muse are good at playing their instruments but they are terrible at getting their instruments to make songs that don’t sound boring and dry. At least one of Keane know how to play a piano, but none of them understand how to make a song with an ounce of originality. Now, i don’t know much about Brown Orange Blue (to the point where I’m not sure whether they’re called Brown Orange Blue or brownorangeblue or The brownorangeblue band), but I know that at least one of them attends art school, which is enough for me to form a half-hearted attempt at a post on.

Comprised of Daniel Watson (the one I know) and Simon Turner (the one I don’t), they hail from Blackburn, and craft some of the most effortlessly tuneful and wonderful music. Though the first paragraph moaned somewhat about techincal bands vs good bands, it’d be fair to say that Brown Orange Blue aren’t the typical lo-fi, fuzzed up mesh of sound that you’d otherwise be expecting to hear from a band with a member studying art. In fact, it’s perfectly formed and it sounds actually pretty good. From the limited selection of stuff that I’ve heard (all of which is available on Myspace), it’s all excellent and filled with lyrics that tell some bizarre and brilliant stories. If you’re Manchester based, they’re playing Retro bar on the 9th of December. I cannot wait.

Descriptions by Daniel from the band

Brown Orange Blue – Lindow Man

lindow man- is about an old man simon met at night. The man had worked as a foreman on most of the houses when they were being built but couldnt remember which house was his.

Brown Orange Blue – A Disappearing Trick

The disappearing trick- has got natasha lea jones singing on it .Its about the two seperate occurances where simon’s girlfriends cats got run over outside his house. Both times he had to take the bodies to the house, they must of thought he was a cat hating man.

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