30 April, 2016

[GIG REVIEW] Fickle Friends with KYKO @ 100 Club, London, 27th April 2016

The 100 Club, one of London’s premier and historical venues sits obliviously amongst the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. Positioned awkwardly next to an Anne Summers, the downstairs establishment is only noticeable due to the growing queue outside. This week on the 27th April, it was home to lively Brighton five-piece Fickle Friends and the talented KYKO as support.

KYKO, aka Scott Verrill, is a South London raised musician far beyond his years. Fusing funky rhythms and relatively soulful lyrics, the youngster revels in the experience and can only come across as casually confident. Backed by a full band, the multi-instrumental Verrill explores African drum beats, summery melodies whilst maintaining a minimalist, lo-fi indie core. The result is something that has gained traction on BBC Introducing lately, and would not be out of place on a Made In Chelsea soundtrack (you know, that sort of thing). Running through tunes such as ‘Mexico’ and ‘Native’, the set is fun and bouncy, with the only pause being for some punter to fall off his mate’s shoulders.
The night does however belong to Fickle Friends. Only just returning to the UK, the band are backed with pink and blue and a new lighting rig evoking an 80s brand to match the evolving indie-pop. Taking to the stage, the band launch straight into usual set-opener and fan favourite ‘Say No More’ – the first song of an hour long set, which craftily and refreshingly balances up-tempo peaks and slower moments. Lead singer Natassja Shiner dominates the stage, baggy t-shirt and all. After a weak and unobtrusive start to her vocals, she eases into it quickly and soon finds top form, working through ‘Could Be Wrong’. The audience mixes in with the laid back atmosphere, contributing to a lot of fun and also a few awkward moments in-between songs – there were people on shoulders thrusting umbrellas in the air, there were irritating mosh pits (I mean, seriously), there were also balloons and glitter thrown on stage.

Written on the road, new tune ‘Cry Baby’ goes down a treat; a modern take on groove and pop. The band continue to thrive, pushing back any doubts of excessive travel – “I think we may have jet lag, but fuck it”. The sound is well balanced and impossible not to dance to, and dance the audience did. With their lustre and resourcefulness in electronic exploration and synth-pop sensibilities, the band maintain strong bass grooves and compact pop melodies. ‘Play’ and ‘Freak’ are perfect examples of the 80s inspired new era – flirting with the old school but remaining contemporary throughout. Fickle Friends’ sound is even bigger live, with percussion and bass leading from the front. Looking around the venue, I could not see one person with arms folded – that’s the effect, infectious dance and an uncompromising desire to sing along.
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Over halfway and the show is taken down a notch with a striking rendition of ‘Paris’; performed under dimmed lights and intentionally much slower than on record. The song builds into a gratifying crescendo before finishing abruptly to move into oldie ‘For You’. This section of the set is dominated by the guitars with disco-tinged inflections. Following on from a technical halt, “Our keys have turned off… it’s a recurring theme at our gigs”, the band swiftly and almost perfectly deliver ‘Brooklyn’ and personal favourite ‘Velvet’. The latter leading to the whole place jumping up and down in tandem. ‘Velvet’ is arguably the blueprint to any great pop tune, using simple catchy dance beats to work in tandem with harmonious lilts and a memorable chorus. Finishing in wild fashion, the set is closed by new single ‘Swim’. Before beginning, Natassja revises the lines to the song as a solo in order to envision a huge singalong. The result - half the audience belting the lyrics back at her, the other half throwing themselves around the room (some in time, others far too aggressively). A group of teens successfully storm the stage, and to the amusement of everyone else, are thrown directly back off.

It’s a strong and powerful set, full of energy. Fickle Friends win you over early doors and don’t let go. The sign of a great set.



Fickle Friends played:
Say No More
Could Be Wrong
Cry Baby
Play
Freak
Paris
For You
Brooklyn
Velvet
Swim

Written by – Richard Maver (@richmaver)

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LISTEN to KYKO // [SOUNDCLOUD]

29 April, 2016

[LISTEN] Courts - No Lie

Essex five piece Courts return with their signature hazy summer sound and a contagious chorus you won't be able to get out of your head. Making a self confessed 'music with a message' new single 'No Lie' balances energetic vocals, playful guitar solos with an catchy summer beat.

Listen to it below and enjoy!


Muse's Matt Bellamy breaks bone in his foot

What is it these days with Glastonbury headliners and breaking bones? Matt Bellamy of Muse has posted a photo of a broken/fractured toe to his Twitter account. With the words "Minor fracture big toe (ran into sprinkler w/bare feet) Hobbling next few shows No star jumps /pogoing for a while!"

Let's hope he doesn't break anymore bones otherwise it might be another shuffle-about on The Pyramid stage come June.




[LISTEN] Club Kuru - Not For Me

Whilst in the process of building a studio in north east London with some close friends and fellow musicians, Club Kuru started off as one person. But after friends joined in and experimented with some new sounds while sharing a collective love of 60's and 70's American RnB, soul music melodies and 7" 45s breaks, the new post romantic incarnation of Club Kuru was born, and "Not For Me" is their new track!


Club Kuru is...
Laurie Erskine (lead vocals/synths)
Graham Godfrey (drums)
Ferg Ireland (bass)
Jess Berry (backing vocals/synths)
Laurence Hammerton (guitar)


[LISTEN] Spring King - The Summer

Spring King have revealed their brand new single "The Summer". They're huge fans of The Beach Boys and this song was written as an ode to them according to the band. The track was first played on Annie Mac's BBC Radio 1 show. More news from the band is that they're going to be finally releasing their debut album on the 10th of June! It's called "Tell Me If You Like To".

Listen to their new track "The Summer" below.



Biffy Clyro perform new songs in Annie Mac/BBC Radio 1 Session

Biffy Clyro headed down to Madia Vale to perform a very special session for Annie Mac and BBC Radio 1, with 30 fans in attendance too. The trio performed 12 songs in total with 4 of them getting their live debut. You can listen to it all (apart from "Animal Style") below.

To hear "Animal Style" click here.


Setlist:
Animal Style
Wolves of Winter
Bubbles
Black Chandelier
Semi-Mental
Rearrange
Machines
Biblical
Sounds Like Balloons
Many of Horror
Medicine
The Captain


[LISTEN] Tamper - Aurora

Tamper have revealed a very spacey new track, called "Aurora". After getting a lot of hype from their covers - such as "Red Socks Pugie" by Foals and "Wide Eyes" by Local Natives - they're back with some original material.

The Brooklyn duo's new cut wouldn't sound out of place late night on The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, it's got so much atmosphere going for it that it's unreal. Head on down and check it out.



[LISTEN] Leif Erikson - Never Get You Out Of My Mind

London's Leif Erikson - named their band after the Icelandic explorer who beat Christopher Columbus to America (or the Interpol track in my mind)- have revealed their latest single "Never Get You Out Of My Mind". With only one track released so far in the form of "Looking For Signs", they're definitely living up to the hype that currently surrounds them.

Their second single, "Never Get You Out Of My Mind" is spine-tingling and so beautiful that you can easily get lost in it, listen to it in full below.


Kasabian announce huge gig at Leicester City's King Power Stadium

Leicester City FC are about to make the biggest shock in football, a year ago they were flirting with relegation, and in just a year later they're about to be crowned champions of England. One of football's biggest fairytales - hands down! So what to Leicester's biggest band do as a thank-you? Announce a huge show at the football ground, yes that's right, KASABIAN are playing in the King Power Stadium.


Serge said - "No matter how it goes, we're going to need a place to all stand together and reflect on what's happened, because it is just unbelievable. In the stadium, with us playing our music. There is no better way. We're so proud."





[LISTEN] ZIBRA - Goodbye Mondays

Until recently if you wanted to listen to ZIBRA's contribution to the FIFA 16 Soundtrack would be to buy the game itself. Now the band have unveiled a stream on their soundcloud. The track is currently not a part of any of their releases, but with hype surrounding the FIFA 16 soundtrack they'd be mad not to put this into their début album.

I don't care if Monday's blue, ZIBRA's latest effort sums up Monday life for me perfectly. Listen to it in full below.



Clay unveil video for latest single "Stay Calm!"

We've been liking what Clay have been up to since the first song, and their latest effort - "Stay Calm!" - is yet another banger. The band have recently unveiled their self-produced video for their latest single, it's glitchy, it's black and white, (the track is funky as heck) and we're loving it.

Head on down below to check it out



[LISTEN] Barns Courtney - Hands

Bars Courtney has revealed his brand new track, "Hands", as well as details of his debut EP of the same title. On the EP is "Hands", "Goodbye John Smith", a remix of "Glitter & Gold" by ZIBRA and finishes off with a Jefferson Airplane cover, "Somebody To Love", the EP is due to be released on the 27th of May via Virgin EMI.

You can listen to "Hands" blow and also check out his UK dates too. It's music like this that keeps me motivated when times are dark, such a great track, and be sure to keep an eye on him in the coming months!


Barns Courtney Live UK Dates
April
29th - London – KOKO, BBC Introducing / Club NME
30th - Leeds, Live at Leeds
May
1st - Glasgow, Stag & Dagger Festival
3rd - Newcastle, Head of Steam
5th - Cambridge, Portland Arms
20th - Brighton, The Great Escape. Venue: Patterns (Upstairs)
21st - Brighton Alternative Escape, Black Lion, (Various Artists and Sesac Showcase)
27th - Manchester Dot to Dot Festival
28th - Exeter – Radio 1’s Big Weekend
28th - Bristol Dot to Dot Festival
29th - Nottingham, Dot to Dot Festival
June
18th - 110Above Festival. Gopsall Hall Farm, Leicester
July
1st July - Barn on the Farm Gloucestershire

28 April, 2016

[INTRODUCING] Timeless Lizards

Local bands are something we don’t take seriously enough. Our ability to support local artists and venues is extremely minimal compared to the majors in the industry, but it’s a chance for you to become well aware of music that is one day going to be considered big. From the grunge-tinted melodies to the harmonies that could make you almost hysteric, Timeless Lizards are a four-piece waiting to be noticed by more than just your average punter.

Not too long ago a demo named ‘I Should Know’ became available on Soundcloud by the Bedfordshire-based band. With little information available and the band almost unknown, the song offered an exciting look in to what the local scene was about to get. Bluesy-rock hangs in the background whilst darkened vocals, supported by suggestive guitar playing came to the forefront, creating the prospect of a bright career for a, somewhat, mysterious quartet.



Inspired by Peace, Foals, The Beatles, The Police and others, you would be forgiven for thinking that the band may just be any other indie project consisting of four kids who “just want to make music, man”. Their only released demo feels teasing, it suggests an ability to create music that is strikingly different to that of many other unsigned bands, but also adds a certain degree of depth to an abyss that Ollie Taylor’s vocals create. Unreleased material follows suit but gives the sense that the song is ready to be played in a venue like Brixton Academy, it’s a large anthem embellished by prominent lyrics covering a tiring theme that already highlights their progression in maturity and knowledge of creating something that really works.

Winning battle of the band heats around the counties and becoming a hotly-booked band for local gigs is something any musician could dream of, but it’s the four-piece that take it in their stride. A swift walk on to the stage before releasing an almighty river of anthemic choruses for the crowd to be sucked in to, seduced by the timidness they portray between songs. It becomes part of the charm, part of the reason you begin to enjoy their music more and more and the final time you ask “who the fuck are these?” Chances are you’re going to remember them from that moment.

Timeless Lizards may just be another band for now, but with their following growing with each live show and with every track share, the quartet are producing a feeling inside people that has been lacking for some time. The belief that this can go bigger is there, it’s just a matter of time.

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[LISTEN] Promise Keeper - Side Decide

Promise Keeper has released his second single, Side Decide.

London-based electro-pop artist, Promise Keeper, has put out a song that is his second piece of work and promises a funk-infused, hip-hop inspired beat driven by chilled out soul vibes - a perfect combination for the seasons ahead. 


Though everything still seems pretty secretive, we're certain that this is going to be something that blows up heavily in the coming months. Take a listen to the single below and gear up for a new favourite. 

27 April, 2016

Tom Prior reveals "Voicemail" video


Tom Prior returns with the visual masterpiece 'Voicemail' delving into his urban influences; bringing a new and less acoustic sound to the forefront.

The EP Paint The Ceiling Blue, displays volumes of Tom's talent. He takes us through a journey of those ghosts from his past of love and lust.

Appearing in the Radio One Live Lounge last month, alongside Naughty Boy and Little Simz, Tom proved himself as a firm one-to-watch for 2016, with this new material bolstering that claim.

Paint The Ceiling Blue EP was released under the Blue Flowers label.

26 April, 2016

[INTERVIEW] with... HONNE

HONNE are taking the music scene by storm, with a huge new single under their belts 'Someone That Loves You' in collaboration with Izzy Bizu, there is no stopping this incredible electronic-soul duo. We chatted to HONNE about SXSW, developing their sound as a full band and festival season. Check out the full interview below!

Hi there, so we see you’ve been pretty busy touring the US at the moment! How was that? 




Hello! Yep we were there for a load of our own gigs and SXSW. It was a really special couple of weeks and we had some very memorable shows. We can't wait to get back!


Talk to us about SXSW? It looked amazing this year! Which set was your favourite to play?


SXSW is a mad festival. We played 7 shows over a few days all over Austin.  I think our favourite set was probably at the Hype Hotel. It was at 1pm so we were expecting everyone to be in bed hungover to be honest! But just before 1 the place suddenly filled up. 

Any acts that stood out for you?
One act that stood out to us was Pumarosa. We saw them play a great set at the Fader Fort. We saw them at the Royal Albert Hall in London the other day too actually, their sound really suited that huge room.


We saw you play a year ago supporting Kwabs as a duo at Thekla (you were amazing by the way), and now you’ve headlined Thekla and the Electric Brixton with a full band to support you guys. How has this whirlwind of a year been for you? How has the development of having a full band affected your shows and music? What can we expect this year in terms of live shows?


Ah thanks. We've loved every minute of it. Ever since day one we always said when we played live we wanted to use a full band to make it really energetic and step it up a notch from the record. We've been playing as the same group of people for a long time now, so there's a real chemistry between us all. So people can expect smooth and sexy, but also bright, loud and exciting.


Let’s talk about your recent Valentine’s day release, Woman. What was the principal inspiration for it? 


Woman was written between International Women's Day and Valentine's Day last year. We wanted to write a track celebrating the women in our lives, and it's as much about friends and family as it is lovers. 
The video is great too, do you guys get creative input when putting the videos together?

Yep, we're really involved with anything creative. That video concept was sent to us by an amazing director in LA called Dori. We chatted with him and threw ideas around and the video was born!


So an album is on the way we are guessing from your Facebook posts. How does the album process differ from previous releases? What can we expect from the album?


It is indeed. We're just finishing it off as we speak. The album is a great opportunity for us to explore. It's got a few tracks that you'll already know, but the majority are new. We hope it's going to take people on a bit of a journey and show everyone some other sides to HONNE that they might not have heard before.

Lastly, you’re playing numerous festivals this summer, including the intimate Barn On The Farm Festival. What’s your favourite aspect about fetsival season? Any acts you’re looking forward to seeing?

We are, and we can't wait. Festivals are great. I think my favourite thing, other than the gig itself, is seeing the other artists who we bump into all the time. We often see Lapsley, Tei Shi, Shura, Tom Misch etc on the same festivals as us, so it's cool seeing them play and catching up.
What's your festival must-have?

A Festival must-have: A blow up bed. We're not roll-mat kinda guys.
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HONNE are playing numerous festivals this year including Barn on the Farm Festival, July 1st - 3rd in Gloucestershire. For more information please visit www.barnonthefarm.co.uk
 

[LISTEN] Farebrother - Third Flaw

Up and coming indie-rock band Farebrother have unveiled their new single 'Third Flaw' and it's undoubtedly huge. Commencing with a powerful guitar section that provides atmospheric background for this tune, one cannot deny being hooked immediately. Prominent husky lead vocals sung by Tom Hunt certainly embellish the track effortlessly, also establishing clever lyrics and catchy melodies that will unquestionably encourage the audience to sing along to. Repetitive guitar riffs as well as a continuous driving drum beat ensure that the track is well-equipped for its genre, building up to a mighty dynamic chorus that will most surely tear the roof down at any venue. The instrumental climax draws the track to an extremely effective close. Brimming with compelling guitar solos and commanding percussion, this highlights the phenomenal energy and pure talent being delivered by this exceptional emerging band.


'Third Flaw' is out now on iTunes, Soundcloud and Spotify. You can also catch Farebrother at numerous tour dates next month, including a debut London date at The Garage on May 12th and a slot at the prestigious Dot to Dot Festival in Bristol on Saturday 28th May. Meanwhile, check out the new single below!


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25 April, 2016

Bloc Party are back in the studio

Bloc Party are back in the studio everyone, with their latest album "Hymns" already out, it looks like the itch to record needs to be scratched. The band are well known to release a 'filler' song between albums - as shown below.

This will also be the first time that their new drummer - Louise Bartle - would be a fully fledged member of the band as they hired a session drummer for "Hymns", one thing is promising though, they are using their guitars, so could be yet another 'edgy' number!



KEY // Bold = Album / Italic = Filler single

"Silent Alarm"
"Two More Years"
"A Weekend In The City"
"Flux"
"Intimacy"
"One More Chance"
"Four"
"The Nextwave Sessions" (an EP) 
"Hymns"



 


Also - below is Louise and Russell practising "I Still Remember".

A video posted by Louise Bartle (@louisebartle) on

Glastonbury 2016 - What to do on Thursday

Since the Wednesday edition of this post was a hit, I've decided to put up one for Thursday, and to be brutally honest - there is a whole lot more going on on the second full day of the festival than the first, so with that in mind here is our 'What to do' list for Thursday!


1 - If you haven't got a sore head, wake up nice and early and treat yourself to some cooked breakfast, they do Emu sausages, Ostrich egg omelettes and all sorts of herbal tea.



2 - William's Green is where it's all at - usually the TBA/TBC bands are 'Indie' bands, last year was Wolf Alice and Drenge, the year before was The 1975 and Metronomy, the year before that was Alt-J. So it's always worth a shout,



3 - BBC Introducing - Check out the stars of tomorrow play on the BBC's flagship festival stage for new music. The line-up is smaller compared to Friday to Sunday, however they do have a few class acts from all over the UK, so if you're at a loose end watching an up and coming band is always a good shout!

Hozier performing a secret set in 2014

4 - Check out some new and fresh Electronic music and some great artists from further afield at La Pussy Parlure Nouveau (in the Silver Hayes area) - in recent years I've seen MØ, London Grammar, Garden City Movement, Balthazar and Fenech-Soler there.

2014's Line-Up, note they're not afraid to mix it up a bit!
5 - Take in the view from the top of the Ribbon Tower in The Park (photo of the Tower below) - although you may have to pay to up it.



6 - Go to Shangri-La - there are clubs for every music scene there, from 80's Rock to Trance via Pop and Jungle! It's a mind blowing place.



7 - Block9 - go to Block9 and check out some pretty radical installations and epic artwork on the buildings. It's mainly a rave/dance/electronic area of the site, but it's a thing to behold even if you do go in one of the venues for a few minutes!



8 - Beat Hotel - head to the Beat Hotel, grab a drink, climb the steps outside of it if you're not too drunk and enjoy the music! Some pretty sweet DJs make appearances there and it's close to a lot of campsites, so head on down!



9 - "The World-Famous Thursday Piss Up", organised by the Glasto Chat Facebook page. Look out for a horde of pink umbrellas by the big tree in the Pyramid field on Thursday around 1pm onwards.

24 April, 2016

[LISTEN] VITAMIN - Waterfall

Leeds indie pop four-piece VITAMIN have revealed their brand new single 'Waterfall' and it does not disappoint. Again, establishing their signature VITAMIN sound full of catchy choruses, bright synths and exciting guitar solos, 'Waterfall' ensures that the band continue to thrive in 2016. Produced by Rich Turvey and recorded in Leeds, this track contains all the necessary elements to become a hit. After listening to the single once, you'll undoubtedly have the tune in your head constantly on repeat for days.


In our interview last year with VITAMIN, lead singer Jared explained that 'Waterfall' was one of his favourite songs to play, as they would close their set with that track and it was always a great moment. 'Waterfall' is out now and you can catch VITAMIN on tour with The Magic Gang this month and at numerous festivals next month including The Great Escape and Live At Leeds. Meanwhile, listen to the new track below!

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