Friday 17 December 2010

So,who'll be big in 2011?

I can't predict the future but I do have an idea of bands that I think will make it in 2011...


I watched them play a gig at The Bull & Gate in Kentish Town this week and can indeed confirm that they are the future of indie pop with their sharp, yet light and pleasant melodies.

The Naked and Famous

They make good, rather cool, pop music, yes? And now that everyone's catching onto this fact and they're getting the attention that they deserve, I'm sure they will acheive amazing things in 2011.

Esben & the Witch

I'm listening to their album as I write this which is going to be released in January 2011 and can indeed confirm that it is BIG. I'm pretty certain that it will be just as well praised as albums from their 'witch-house' counter parts: Glasser and Zola Jesus were this year.


I don't think I really need to say much about Yuck as if you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know how much I've raved about them over the past year. 2011 WILL be their year, with their debut album set for release.

Matthew and the Atlas

They fit right into the 'nu-folk' scene along with Noah and the Whale (who are also due to release an album in 2011), Laura Marling and Johnny Flynn but this is not to say that they're just another nu-folk band. They are individual and posess the melodic/musical/poetic skills to do great things in 2011.


Having been the first person ever to interview her back in May of this year, I feel so proud of all of the media coverage she's getting at the moment and trust that she'll do great things in 2011 as she certainly has the drive. Here's the interview:

Having just performed her first set (and only 2nd ever live show) of the Marina and the Diamonds tour, East London songstress, Spark joins me for a brief chat in the Glee Club dressing room. Her dark hair is all clipped back, gravity defying eyelashes frame her eyes and she’s wearing starry hot pants teamed with a fancy looking ruched top; she looks like an authentic pop star already.

We soon establish that Spark’s real name is Jess Sparkle Morgan, yes; Sparkle is her middle name, that’s amazing right? But she mainly goes by the name of Spark whilst on tour due to her manager also being called Jess which can lead to confusion.

Spark tells me that although, leaving education would seem like a big decision for many people, for her, it was not as she would never have considered going to university. She’s only eighteen and left school (the Brit School) yesterday (she was meant to leave on Friday but “slipped out early” to come on tour) and has no intention of returning.

We also discuss how the whole music career thing happened; it seems to have all taken place so rapidly. “I have no idea, one day I was singing in nursery and the next day I’m on tour with Marina” Spark tells me endearingly. She used to play guitar and write songs, wrote her first song at the age of twelve and has always sung but she says that never really had any musical influences at all. She also describes the whole process as: “I just kept writing songs and then after that is all a blur.”

When asked about being on tour with Marina, she seems incredibly excited; having never witnessed one of Marina’s brilliant live shows, she’s eager to see what all of the fuss is about. She also appears to be stimulated by her future plans for after the tour as her debut single ‘Shut out the Moon’ is being released and she is already “living her dream.” “I feel like some-one’s going to pinch me and I’ll wake up and have to drag my sorry arse to school” she tells me with what seems like a mixture of genuine disbelief and delight. And that is where our chat terminates as we ‘hug it out’ in the words of Spark and head off to see Marina.

Sunday Girl

She's beautiful, she has a good eye for fashion, a great voice and can write good pop songs (and produce good cover versions). She's so perfect that there's no way in hell that this girl won't be doing something huge next year!


I saw them play at a night that my friend, Jamila, put on in a rather odd venue in Hackney under a block of flats and they were absolutely brilliant. They're like no other bands out their at the moment. They combine distorted guitars with piano riffs and electric violins. Think of Muse, but of their faces on MDMA. I will be posting more on these boys soon! Keep your eyes peeled!

Too Young to Love

Hailing from Madrid, Italy; I'd say that this band are the most diverse choice on my list. Their music is a mélange of witch house, indie, shoe gaze and classic pop. Thus, giving them the sound of The Big Pink, mixed with These New Puritans (in some of their more experimental songs), mixed with Fever Rey, mixed with Hurts.

Wild Palms

Simple, catchy indie pop but with a bit of synth and plenty of delicious percussion. I saw them the play the other day too and they proved themselves to be pretty great live.

Clare Maguire

The phenominal voice of 2011. Her voice will blow your songs off just like the likes of Adele and Winehouse did. Her pop songs are great too. Head over to for a free download of the song below.

Wolf Gang

Now that they're finally getting the praise and media coverage that they deserve for their utterly marvelous pop music, they're heading for big and exciting things in 2011, including the release of their debut album.

The CocknBull Kid

Now that she's focussing on her own music carreer instead of writing songs for other people, Anita Blake is releasing her debut album 'Adulthood' in Febuary 2011 on Moshi Moshi. It will be a great pop album, fact. Here's the time when I interviewed her in November:

Jamie Woon

This man knows how to mixed beats together and sing. Look, he's great! Beautiful pop music with bitterly dark undertones:

James Blake

The voice, the minimalism; it's all just pure beauty in a musical format.

The Vacccines

Ok, yes, they are another scuzzy, nostalgic, lo-fi indie band. But that doesn't make them any less brilliant.

Summer Camp

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you obviously know how much I love them. With the album release next year and a heavy tour schedule planned, they will achieve mass recognition in 2011, for sure. This video is so cute, it's ridiculous:

Thanks for reading! Have a nice christmas! I love you!



Wednesday 8 December 2010

Chapel Club -Wintering EP

As far as dark, atmospheric rock music goes, Chapel Club are one of the best bands of recent times. After the likes of Glasvegas and White Lies, although quality bands, made a mockery of the genre by refusing to wear anything other than black onstage, Chapel Club are making morbidity cool again.

In this new EP, they successfully balance elements of love, life and heartbreak into an even mix of pensiveness, joy and pain. Opener ‘Roads’, introduces the style of the EP; a hazy, blissed out body of relaxed, yet skilful, guitar loops and painstakingly intense lyrics. ‘Bodies’ is a gothic twisted power ballad that conveys feelings of love at its extremity in a truly moving format. ‘Widow’ cements the gothic undertones that the band seems to posses whilst the distorted guitars add contrast to the mellower moments that are present in the EP. Chapel Club’s lyrics are certainly their great strength and throughout Wintering, singer, Lewis Bowman’s poetry skills are uncovered and displayed amongst layers of drums and guitars; the drums allowing movement and adding ‘pop’ qualities.

As soon as the listener starts listening to the EP, they begin to uncover Bowman’s emotions one by one which are so easy to lose yourself in. Wintering plays with the heartstrings with its solid intensity throughout; the lyrics toying with the listeners mind and emotions as Bowman pours his heart out and the band as a whole appear to put everything they have into what they are doing. It is clear that a lot of time, effort and creativity has been put into this EP and it’s certainly a ‘must listen’ and an emotional journey that everyone must embark on.

Monday 6 December 2010

Summer Camp and Idiot Glee @ The Drop, Stoke Newington

It's December and now socially acceptable to celebrate Christmas. So when guests arrived at the door of 'The Drop', the basement music venue of 'The Three Crowns' pub on the 3rd of December they were greeted by Summer Camp holding a box of mince pies. The dj was playing the Moshi Moshi Christmas compilation on repeat and Idiot Glee was wearing a flashing Santa hat. The barman also gave me half price drink "because it's Christmas", this was another reason for me to be filled with festive cheer. The fact that basement resembled a Swedish cabin also helped.

At 8.30, the adorable Idiot Glee takes to the stage. His is set is furnished with pretty much all of the songs on his myspace page , including his absolutely beautiful take on Bill Withers's 'Ain't no Sunshine' where he manages to fuse together blues with lo-fi pop. He also gets Luisa from Lulu and the Lampshades up on stage for a duet of 'Baby, it's cold outside' ; their voices gell together magically. Idiot Glee is definitely onto a winner as tonight's performance proves.

And at half past nine, on come headliners, Summer Camp, to a wave of claps and cheers as the room is now full. Their set is a recipe of songs from their 'Young' EP such as ‘Why don’t you Stay’ and ‘Veronica Sawyer’ and favourites 'Was it Worth it' and 'Ghost Train' as well as new songs such as the fantastic 'Losing my mind.’ These songs were sandwiched between onstage banter (including Elizabeth trying to rap) and their wonderful cover of The Waitresses 'Christmas Wrapping' which goes down an absolute dream.

The evening was a complete festive treat on behalf of Moshi Moshi and I'm pretty certain that every single member of the audience had a lovely time. Again next year please Moshi Moshi?

Thursday 2 December 2010


So, it's that time of the year again and whilst everyone is writing their 'Albums of the year' list with no explanation to why they chose each album, I thought I'd do a one sentence explanation per album, apart from my number 1 which gets a paragraph. So here we go, there are some obvious choices and some rather controversial ones...

30. Jónsi - Go

For being a beautifully epic, well orchestrated masterpiece.

29. Wild Nothing - Gemini

For being sweet on the ears

28. Harry's Gym - What was ours can't be yours

Because they deserve more recognition for the brilliant, haunting pop music that they create.

27. Beach Fossils- Beach Fossils

One of the most relaxing, happiness inducing albums of this year

26. Yeasayer - Odd Blood

For being an excellent pop album with a cynical twist

25.Hurts- Happiness

A great pop album

Johnny Flynn - Been Listening

For being lovely

24. Beach House - Teen Dream

For being one of the 'chillwave' albums of the year.

23. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest

For the wonderful American folk-pop

22. Everything, Everything- Man Alive

For being utter indie-pop darlings

Freelance Whales- Weathervanes

For the individuality and the delicious intricacy of their music as well as the man at Brick Lane market (whoever you may be) who listens to it on Sundays whilst he works his stall.

21. Tame Impala -Innerspeaker

For the delicious guitar riffs and the trippy ambiance that they conjure

20.The Drums - The Drums

For providing one of the soundtracks to my Summer.

19. Marina and the Diamonds - The Family Jewels

For being one of the best female pop stars of the past ten years.

18. Blood Red Shoes -Fire Like This

Because they're one of my favourite bands and don't get enough credit for their talent in crafting superb rock music.

17. Foals - Total Life Forever

An album that takes you to another place.

16. Dum Dum Girls – I Will Be

The best album to drive to, ever.

15. Bombay Bicycle Club - Flaws

For being one of the sweetest albums of the year

14. Zola Jesus – Stridulum II

An EPIC album

13. Glasser -Ring

For taking you on a journey to a far away land.

12. The National- High Violet

For it's urgent emotion

11. Caribou- Swim

Trippy, yet motivational dance music at it's best.

10. Laura Marling- I Speak because I can

For the mature poetry, collaborations and sleek musicianship.

9. Mystery Jets - Serotonin

One of the best indie albums of the year; brilliant songs songs with brilliant lyrics.

8. Perfume Genius- Learning

For it's ability to take away your breath with just one listen.

7. Villagers- Becoming a Jackal

For Connor's beautifully honest lyrics that tug at the heartstrings.

6. Sleigh Bells- Treats

For being Rad.

5. These New Puritans- Hidden

For the extreme experimentation and for doing things that no band has ever done before.

4. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

For it's polished brilliance and for the songs 'We Used to Wait' and 'Sprawl II' which are two of my favourites of the year.

3. Best Coast-Crazy for you

For reminding me of the best summer of my life

2. Los Campesinos! - Romance is Boring

This album is already an old friend that I turn to in times of need.

Warpaint- The Fool

After being completely and utterly blown away by them at Reading Festival (despite being quite unknown they were literally a highlight of my weekend), I knew that this album was going to special as their set proved that the material they had created was of an incredibly high standard. Since Reading, I long awaited this album and the wait paid off and made me even more happy when it finally arrived. For me, Warpaint's powerful lyrics really strike a chord and are backed by tidy guitar riffs with effects that build up a blissful, hazy ambiance and urgent drumming that captures the intense restlessness that the album seems to possess. I know it may be a controversial choice but I think it definitely deserves the position I've given it.

Twin Sister @ The Lexington

For original post on The 405, click here.

Kotki Dwa open the show tonight and it’s only their second gig after a three year break. Despite this; they’re on top form. There music lies somewhere between The Wave Pictures and Egyptian Hip Hop; they combine indie style guitar work with obscure keyboard sounds and quirky lyrics which finishes up as a rather exclusive and interesting sound. They even use their mouths to create beeping sounds (to mirror a supermarket scanner) at one point during their set as the singer goes onto sing about particular events that occurred during a supermarket shop.

Still Corners are up next which the audience appears to be extremely excited about, probably having downloaded the glorious free give away ‘Endless Summer’ earlier this year; it was certainly one of my favourite musical discoveries of the summer. The band manage to conjure a soothing air of sixties nostalgia and a kind of disturbing, ghostly ambience that I can’t quite put my finger on. Their performance certainly has a powerful effect on the audience as they stand in silent awe.

Finally, headline band, Twin Sister, take to The Lexington stage; lead singer, Andrea Estella's hair a bold shade of green which made her look like some form of beautiful mermaid/sea creature. Twin Sister maintain the hazy, trippy, dream pop vibes that Still Corners created earlier. Estella’s charisma is astonishing; let’s put it this way, I’ve never wanted to have green hair more than I did whilst watching her in my whole life. Her performance comes naturally, casually even; the whole band’s performance is relaxed and all of the members seem to complement each other without even trying. Twin Sister craft beautiful, tripped out, eighties tinged, romantic pop music as their performance tonight truly cements.

Local Natives @ The Forum, London

The orginal post on the 405 is here.

Last week I got the chance to witness Local Natives’s celebratory last show of the year before they headed back to the studio to record the next album. It took place at Kentish Town’s HMV Forum, a beautiful venue that was perfect for the occasion.

First up are Cloud Control, hailing from the Australian Blue Mountains (near Sydney) who enchant the audience with their blissful, hazed out, percussive indie folk. They give a polished performance and definitely recruit new fans in the process with their lustrous, distorted guitar riffs that draw comparisons between them and bands such as Tame Impala (who they have already toured with), Local Natives, who they are supporting tonight, whilst the folk vibes lead to Fleet Foxes similarities.

The next band to take to the forum stage are Moshi Moshi favourites Summer Camp, consisting of Jeremy Warmsley and ex Platform Magazine editor, Elizabeth Sankey. They dive straight in with an abridged version of ‘Why don’t you Stay’ from their debut EP, Young, which was released in September, followed immediately after by fan favourite ‘Was it Worth it.’ Their set comprises of material from the EP, such as ‘Jake Ryan’ and ‘Veronica Sawyer’, and new songs such as ‘88’ and ‘Losing my mind’; all 80’s tinged, smile producing, lo-fi pop diamonds of course, in true Summer Camp style. They end their triumphant set with their most recent single ‘Round the Moon’ which goes down a treat; a perfect end to a smooth set.

The venue finally fills up to its full capacity, just in time for headliners, Local Natives, as they take to the stage to mass cheers; an atmosphere of hysteria dominating the room. Firstly, they plunge into ‘Camera Talk’ and the audience is lost in their own excitement. They then play a set comprising of songs from their much loved album, Gorilla Manor, which goes down a dream with the audience as that’s exactly what they came here to witness. Driving percussion and jangly guitar riffs urge gentle dancing amongst the audience, whilst contagious vocal refrains force a group sing-a-long. The crowd’s passion for Local Natives is clear for even the blindest of eyes to see. The band’s set is graceful, humble and everything you’d want it to be. Local Natives are not a band that offer a ‘show’ as such and it suits them down to their bones. They leave the stage after performing an elegant version of ‘Airplanes’ before returning for an encore of the utterly gorgeous ‘Who Knows, Who Cares’ and the heavily percussive, crowd pleaser ‘Sun Hands.’

They then terminate their performance by thanking the audience for having them and London as a whole for being a “second home” to them over past year. Local Natives are certainly unlikely indie-folk heroes but their audience perceive them as such and their performance tonight proves that they deserve the credit they receive.

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Frankie Rose and the Outs- Girlfriend Island

Frankie Rose is usually recognised for her drums/vocal/guitar contribution in scuzzy lo-fi rocks bands: Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls and The Crystal Slits but now she’s founded her own project where she is the is the pinnacle figure, rather than having behind the scenes involvement.

Her new band are entitled Frankie Rose and the Outs. They may sound rather like the other bands that she’s worked with but that doesn’t make them any less wonderful or significant. New single ‘Girlfriend Island’ is as twee as fuck, but not in a pejorative way. In the cold grimness that is winter everyone needs cheering up, and ‘Girlfriend Island’ is a perfect way of doing so; the retro guitar riffs and the sweet, harmonious vocal refrains could warm even the coldest of hearts.

Frankie Rose certainly knows how to construct an almost perfect retro pop song; her new single is proof of this. Bands like Frankie Rose and the Outs are keeping the girl band revival alive simply because they do it so well. Frankie’s influences are clear throughout the record as it pretty much reeks of everything that was great about music in the 1960’s. Frankie Rose was a centre piece of this revival and continues to be as she demonstrates during this brilliant new single. The record seems so catastrophic, due its lo-fi, unrehearsed edge, yet pristine at the same time, making it a body of delightful chaos.

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Love Blogging

Stevie MacKenzie-Smith, the author of Discoteque Confusion and Alex Fury, the fashion director at talk about the importance of blogging in the fashion industry. If you love fashion or blogging, you should probably watch this:

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Isn't this man wonderful?

His name is Gareth Jones. He's produced albums for everyone from Depeche Mode to Nick Cave to Interpol and Mogwai. He's currently working with Emmy the Great (one of my favourite artists) for her new album, which I'm very excited about. Here's a little documentary on him:

Sunday 14 November 2010

Cocknbullkid Interview

After being thrown out of a Marina and the Diamonds sound check; I joined Anita Blay (Cocknbullkid) in her dressing room at Kentish Town’s ‘Forum’. We start off by discussing how she has found touring with Marina and the Diamonds. She tells me that it’s been “really good fun and it’s a bit sad that it’s coming to an end”, however, once the Marina tour is over she’s heading straight out on the road with Kele. She was a “big fan of the first Bloc Party album, particularly the second single ‘Everything you wanted’” and is looking forward to seeing him live as a solo artist.

The topic of conversation then shifts to the new EP, ‘One Eye Closed’, her first EP release since her début EP two years ago. She seems pleased with it and is aiming to release her first album in February, which she will be calling ‘Adulthood’, “not to be confused with the film,” she adds.

I ask her what music she’s been listening to recently. She replies with “I’ve just slowly started listening to music again because I didn’t want to listen to anything whilst I was writing the album so excuse me if this reference is really old but I’m really into Sleigh Bells at the moment.” This sways the conversation to how I’m seeing them support MIA tomorrow and Anita seems to be a big MIA fan as well.

I follow up this question with “do you go to many gigs?” but she tells me that she made a decision that she wouldn’t go to any gigs, listen to any music or read any magazines whilst she was recording the album so the last gig she went to was the Sleigh Bells instore at Rough Trade. “I haven’t been to any gigs in a while but I’m getting back into it now” she informs me. The ‘not listening to music’ concept seem to be more about avoiding finding out what everyone else is doing and what’s ‘cool’ rather that being influenced as Anita tells me that she definitely draws musical inspirations from: Kate Bush, The Beach Boys, Morissey and The Smiths. The fact that she likes The Smiths leans the conversation towards Britpop as a whole and when asked about the Pulp reunion she seems very excited.

We then move onto the inevitable topic of her writing for other artists, which she tells me has always been a side project of hers. “We’ve just finished some songs for a new girl band and we’re just sorting out some other things as well at the moment” she tells me conspicuously, trying not to give too much away. I then ask her whether she plans on focussing more on her own music career now that the album is all set to be released but she says “I’ll still keep writing for other people; I have a few sessions booked as it’s very important to me as I enjoy writing so much and so I try and do it parallel to my own stuff, when I’m not too busy with it.” Writing is clearly a big part of her life and she loves to keep busy with it.

We then move onto the other inevitable question that I felt very obliged to ask of why she got rid of the ‘The’ in her stage name. She tells me it was just because she felt it was a bit of a mouthful, “it’s neater this way.”

On the topic of image, particularly onstage, Anita feels that “it is important to a degree. If you’re claiming to be a pop star then it kind of is but if you’re just sat there playing a guitar and singing and that’s all it is and it’s not a show then you could just turn up in just your jeans and a t shirt.” I ask her if her musical performances are a ‘show’ and she tells me of her designs and ambitions for it to be but she knows that she’s “just got to take baby steps to make this happen but in the meantime I just think that charisma and just a good performance is a good show.”

I close with the question of whether she has a favourite venue that she would like to play at and she tells me of how she would love to play in a church or a cathedral as “it wouldn’t be great for acoustics but there would just be something really grand and beautiful about it and my mum would be so chuffed to see me sing in a church. I sung in churches when I was younger as I was in the choir but never at the front or anything.”

Monday 8 November 2010


Remember I posted the trailers for Mandingo! on here? You know, the odd swingers parties full of black men? Well here's episode 1, it's all very strange and slightly disturbing....


These people love blogging as much as me:

Fashion bloggers Richard Nicoll and Disneyrollergirl explain to Vice why they are such fans of blogging:


Sunday 7 November 2010

Lykke Li @ Heaven

So, this Thursday I finally got to witness Lykke Li perform live after always having a burning desire see her. It was an absolute pleasure, apart from the disgusting couple to the side of us that were all over each other like a terrible rash.

After no support act, the audience were pretty hyped to see Lykke Li to say the least. The crowded (but not too crowded) venue, Heaven, was filled with excited fans. At 9 o clock, on came Lykke and her band, head to toe in black, looking rather like a widow in morning. She opened with a one of the new songs that's set to feature on her new album which is soon to come out. It was sounding delicious and Lykke performed it well as she danced and teased the curtains which were being blown around by a wind generator. This dancing and curtain teasing remained part of her 'act' throughout the show and worked nicely as it really suited her dark, yet sexual persona.

Little Bit:

'I'm Good, I'm Gone'

The set was scattered with a handful of songs from the new album and classic songs from her début, 'Youth Novels'. The new songs were sounding like fresh and brilliant pop songs whilst the old songs went down with the audience a dream. Highlights of the set included: 'Little Bit', 'I'm good, I'm Gone', 'Dance, Dance, Dance' and her new song (which is up for free download from her website ), 'Get Some.' She also sung a cracking cover of the Big Pink's 'Velvet', which she completely put her on special twist on and made it sound quite far away from the original.

Inevitably, she performed an encore, during which she played: 'Possibility' and 'Unrequited Love.' This was a beautiful way to terminate her stunning set with the audience singing along in unison, gathering a really friendly, harmonious atmosphere; something which unusual for a London gig. However, despite being on for almost an hour, her set did seem quite short (possibly due to the lack of support act) and she finished without having performed fan favourites 'Tonight' and 'Everybody but me.' But apart from this, my first Lykke Li live experience was pretty pleasurable.

Thursday 28 October 2010

A new installment of Vice's Guide to travel...

MANDINGO - "A African male who knows that he has a huge penis that can hit all night and keep a female coming back for more."

This will blow your mind.

VBS travels to Tampa, Florida – home of America’s fastest growing fetish: interracial swinging. It’s a scene run by a mysterious gangbang crew known as The Florida Mandingos.
Our guide is Art Hammer, the founder of the Florida Mandingos, a group of “discreet, professional, educated, intelligent, physically fit, drug and disease free, well-hung black gentlemen, age 24-45, that specialise in hot, intense, nasty gangbangs for couples/females who love big black dicks and black dick fantasies!”FOR REALZ.

Here are the trailers. These will give you a brief idea of how bizarre/insane the whole thing is:

(Watch out for the first epsiode - coming next week on

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Maps & Atlases Interview

I forgot to post my Maps and Atlases interview up here that I did for The National Student. Here it is:

I’m sat in the beer garden in Shoreditch’s ‘Cargo’ (finally, after having gotten lost on my way there) with Dave Davison and Erin Elders from Maps and Atlases.
In the middle of a UK tour the band are now in London following what was apparently a truly beautiful set at Deaf Institute in Manchester. As they often do they finished with an acoustic set in the middle of the audience, a special event always enjoyed by both band and crowd.

“It makes a nice change to play acoustically and it is a lot more personal with the audience,” Davison tells me. They also tell me that it’s good to play acoustically as they get so used to playing with amps that it’s great to just play some real “human” songs and give the pieces more feeling.

When asked whether it’s their first UK tour, they tell me of how they toured with Foals two years ago and how much fun it was and how they’re enjoying “hanging out in London” on this tour as they didn’t get a chance to on the last one.
They’ve been on tour since May promoting the recently released and brilliant album Perch Patchwork and they’ll be pretty much on tour until December. Despite the tough touring schedule the band don’t seem phased by it and look forward to life on the road.

I ask them how they feel about the label ‘Math Rock’ which they are often attributed with. “People can’t help but label things, it’s natural”, says Elders.

“We don’t really like the label of ‘Math Rock’ as it makes the music sound like it’s far more calculated than it actually is; we like to think that our music is created naturally. We do definitely think that the guitar work is complicated though, we like to keep our guitar riffs intricate,” Davison chips in.

We move onto discuss why they released two EP’s and then an album rather than releasing just two albums. They say they wanted the EP’s to be short and sweet and full of mainly upbeat songs and that it wouldn’t feel right to put them together. They were created to be just two small bodies of work.

“We’d say that the album is more an equal mix of upbeat songs and slower songs which is exactly how we wanted it to be like, that’s why we released it as an album,” Davison adds.

The band point out how they are honoured that Perch Patchwork was the 100th release on the acclaimed and prestigious label FatCat (home to the likes of Frightened Rabbit, Sigur Ros, Brakes and Animal Collective).

“We didn’t actually realise that it was going to be the 100th release until after the album had been made but it was pretty exciting when we found out. We didn’t really celebrate it because we didn’t really realise,” Davison explains.

Answering the inevitable ‘what’s next’ question the band say they will be returning to the UK after a string of European dates for gigs in Liverpool and Dublin before heading back to America to continue their relentless touring.
Perch Patchwork is out now on FatCat records


Like Crystal Castles? Like their second album? Like their song 'Not in Love'? Well it's just been made even better with the aid of Robert Smith....

I thought I was going to have a heart attack when I heard this; it excited me so much.

Over and out,


Monday 25 October 2010

Lykke Li - Get Some

Having been away for a couple of years, Lykke Li's return has been much awaited. I'm very excited to say that the wait is over and she's giving away her come back single with a B Side included for free.

'Get Some' seems to be a complete and utter oxymoron to the mellow B side 'Paris Blue' which showcases a delicate side of Lykke Li, in a similar way that songs like 'Tonight' did on her début album, 'Youth Novels'. Contrastingly, upbeat future pop hit 'Get Some' contains brash lyrics, such as "Don't pull down your pants before I go down" and "I'm your prostitute, you're gonna get some." Only Lykke Li could pull this one off.

Lykke Li - Get Some by radarmaker

Both songs can be downloaded from her Official Website.


After triumphant performances at Reading and Leeds this year which proved that Warpaint had more potentially brilliant material other than free download 'Billie Holiday', the music industry was all over Warpaint like a contagious rash.

Despite having been around for ages, Warpaint seem to have only really broken into the music industry this summer, which gives the impression that they seem to have come out of nowhere to sell out shows and produce a highly rated album. A delight for them I'm sure after all of that time they've spent waiting for that moment to come.

Warpaint successfully express many feelings that a typical human being has ever felt in their stunning début 'The Fool' in a distressed art-rock format. Guitars are effortlessly tight, yet relaxed whilst drums are sharp and driving. Lyrics are poetic, yet simple, production minimal and a beautiful hazy, trippy atmosphere is created, leaving listeners in a blissful, peaceful place.

There are questions as to whether this is a conceptual, feminist album due to lyrics such as "What's the matter? You hurt yourself? Opened your eyes and there was someone else?" (from recent single 'Undertow') but I still think that Warpaint are too ambiguous with their lyrics for anyone to label it a feminist album. Warpaint display their emotions throughout 'The Fool' yet with an air of precaution. The album is only a slight incite into their minds, no-one can understand what they were thinking when they wrote the album and quite frankly, I really wouldn't want to know. It would ruin the mystic ambiance that the album possesses.

'The Fool' proves that Warpaint are certainly a talented quartet of young women with the potential to achieve fantastic things. With 'Undertow' having gone down so well with the media and reaching playlists and grabbing listeners attention all over the world, who knows how amazingly songs like 'Bees', 'Composure' and ' Majesty' will be received which also contain a similar commercial potential. Another standout track is 'Baby', an acoustic song that reveals heart tugging vulnerability and offers a stunning alternative to layered reverbed guitars.

This is certainly one of the most interesting and spectacular albums of the year.

Wednesday 20 October 2010


The first band I see at Koko this evening are East Londoners ‘Flats’ who have provided support on all of the dates of the tour. Flats manage to successfully divide the audience into lovers and haters. Half of the audience detest their abrasive punk rock that’s delivered with typical punk arrogance whereas the other half pogo like nutters. Their set is brief though due to their songs all being under 3 minutes, so those that didn’t enjoy them were put out of their misery pretty soon. I found their set entertaining, but in the spacious decrotive surroundings of the KOKO, there swagger and energy was lost a little, stick them in sweaty basement and you could have one hell of an act on your hands.

Next up were fellow London boys ‘Chapel Club’ who present the crowd with an emotive set. They put their souls into it, and contrary to popular belief, were actually really great to watch. Their live performance provides focus on the beauty of their lyrics and proves that they have got some decent tunes under their belt. Highlights of the set were: all four singles (particularly the latest single ‘Five Trees’ and set closer ‘All the Eastern Girls’) as well as a new song entitled ‘Bodies’ which was utterly gorgeous.

The stage is scattered with bird cages filled with fairy lights and then the moment that the majority of the crowd has been waiting for arrives as The Joy Formidable take to the stage, lead singer Ritzy looking rather like an exorcised porcelain doll. Her lacy black dress, contrasting to her pale, snow white skin and bleach blonde hair. They head straight into ‘Spectrum’, an unusual choice as it’s a lesser known song. In fact, it’s not until, ‘The Greatest Light is The Greatest Shade’, which is the fourth song in that they play one of their ‘hits.’ They then carry on bashing out these hits, much to the audience’s pleasure before inviting Paul Draper to the stage to perform o0n ‘Greyhounds in The Slips.’ Next they dive straight into their Christmas song (oddly) ‘My Beerdrunk Soul is Sadder than a Hundred Dead Christmas Trees’ which was a lovely, more mellow moment of their performance. They close with crowd pleaser, ‘The Last Drop’ but then obviously, as headliners do, return to stage for an encore. Ritzy thanks the audience humbly and the band plunge into fan favourites ‘Whirring’ and ‘Cradle’ and the roof is raised, the atmosphere electric, the crowd buzzing. This is visual evidence that there are some very passionate Joy Formidable fans out there.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Being a 'fresher' in London....

I was asked to write an article about being a 'fresher' for Uniplanet. Here it is:

So, having only started university this September, I had my first experience of 'Freshers week' and the whole general moving away from home experience.

Freshers week was, in a word- cliché, everyone was so excited about being 'a fresher' and attending really bad club nights and drinking the cheapest drink on the house. These events were also quite costly, I thought for students anyway and for their bad quality. I moved to London to experience the best of the nightlife. Having grown up in Stoke-on-Trent where nothing exciting ever happens, I was very eager to head out in London to some of the best clubs/clubnights and to witness some of the local musical talent.

So eager in fact, that on the Friday of Fresher's week, I completely abandoned Freshers week at Roehampton and headed to London Bridge for the launch night of The Counter Culture Project . It's a 99 day art/music/film exhibition taking place at a double roomed pop-up venue in London Bridge under a disused rail arch. The atmosphere was friendly, the music was good, DJ sets came from the coolest and the most current people in the industry, the lighting was phenomenal and the bar was relatively cheap and sold my favourite tequila! What more could you want? Most of the events happening there are also under a tenner, pretty student friendly really.

There have been some down sides of course to moving away from home, which I've found are: the prices of things (chicken, washing, standard things that you didn't know were so expensive), missing my friends from home that I have so much in common with, travelling (don't get me wrong, the London transport system is good, it's just the killer 3 buses home from central London at night are utterly lethal.)

From a personal prospective Freshers week is great as you're free, you have your own personal space, you are constantly meeting new people and no work to feel guilty about not attending to! But, if you're looking for interesting or fun events you're best paying the price and heading to central London for nights out rather than staying at the uni to watch some people from Hollyoaks (I don't know who they are, I don't watch Hollyoaks, I don't even have a TV) DJ quite badly.

So, in conclusion. Freshers week was great for meeting people as I met a collective bunch of people from 1st years to 3rd years but the events, at my university at least, were terrible, so bad infact, that I fell asleep at my own fresher's ball!

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Glasser @ Rough Trade East

It’s a warm Sunday afternoon in Rough Trade East, the crowd mainly consists of industry types, hipsters and foreign tourists. I’m drinking piping hot coffee (bad idea, I know) and I’m practically burning up, especially as I manage to spill it all down my white top.

At six o clock, Glasser takes to the stage wearing what can only be described as a plastic, black cagoule with her band in tow, who are sporting what look like white forensic scientist outfits. One of them fiddles with a laptop and bangs a drum rather passionately, whilst the other one plays a synthesized guitar.

Glasser introduces herself humbly and commences her set with ‘Apply. ’ The audience are immediately hooked, even those that may not be aware of her.

Her onstage confidence has multiplied considerably in the past 7 months since her tour with the XX, where she didn’t even tell the audience who she was, leaving the Birmingham Academy audience puzzled, yet intrigued. This new found confidence is quite understandable given the press’s brilliant reaction to her debut album ‘Ring.’ Glasser’s presence is undeniable: the quirky vocals, the sharp dance moves, her great rhythmic awareness, she’s every audience’s dream. It’s hardly possible to take your eyes off her.

As her set comes to a bittersweet end when she concludes with ‘Tremel’ having only played a few songs, it’s a disappointing moment as the audience clearly wants her performance to go on a lot longer to feed their new found fascination. And, also after having heard the celestial debut album (as a lot of the audience have), who wouldn’t want it to? She clearly has a lot of material to show off. You just have to catch her at a ‘proper’ Glasser gig to witness it. All in all, a very encouraging set from Glasser, she’s a definite ‘must see.’

To see orginal Hive Magazine post, click here

Mark Ronson and the Buisness intl- Record Collection

See original Faux Magazine post here

Having had this album bubbling away for a while, it is obvious that a lot of time, care and creative energy went into this record. Also, no-one really knew what quite to expect from it. Having already executed a hip-hop based record and a soul based record, the question was: what would Mark Ronson do next?

Record Collection merges a diverse mélange of genres, from hip hop to rap, from soul to 80′s tinged synth pop music. Guests are just as diverse as the music itself: Kyle (of ‘The View’ fame), Rose Elinor Dougall (ex- Pipette and solo artist), Boy George, Q Tip and MNDR, to name a few. No-one would have pictured these artists together other than Mark Ronson.

With ‘Record Collection’ Ronson still cements himself as the crafter of good pop music, with contagious lyrical hooks and perfectly polished production; yet as an album, ‘Record Collection’ fails to quite grip the listener throughout. ‘Bang Bang Bang’ (the phenomenal single featuring MDMR and Q-Tip) was the first song released from the album and is still the best on there; the rest of the songs on the album fail to out do the mind blowing brilliance of ‘Bang Bang Bang’, which leaves listeners disappointed.

It also lacks depth, which was inevitable as Ronson’s a producer, rather than an artist. There’s no emotional attachment to any of the album’s content to Mark Ronson or the artists involved on the album.

Stand out tracks are definitely: ‘Bang Bang Bang’, new single ‘Somebody to Love me’ (featuring Boy George), ‘You Gave me Nothing’ (featuring Miike Snow and Rose Elinor Dougall), ‘Hey Boy’ (featuring Rose Elinor Dougall and Theophilus London) and Glass Mountain Trust (featuring D’Angelo.)

Saturday 9 October 2010

Dr Martens 50th Birthday

On the 29th October Dr Martens will host a party (in a secret east London venue) to celebrate their 50th Birthday.

'Black Lips' are set to headline, whilst 'Mazes' are also on the bill with critically acclaimed London punk rockers 'Flats' join them fresh off the NME Tour.

Also on the line-up is London surf pop band 'French Kissing' and dj sets will come from 'Sexbeat' and 'This is music. '

All in all, it's set to be a great night, tickets are free (you just need to register here ) and booze is cheap!

Sunday 3 October 2010

Glasser- Ring


When Glasser bagged themselves a support slot for the XX on their March tour, they were virtually unknown, particularly in England anyway. Since then they have been gradually creeping their way up the rungs of the hype ladder and have become rather well rated. Their debut album, 'Ring', that they'd been quietly piecing together proves them to live up to such impressive press responses.

Not only do they seem to keep an aloof attitude with regards to themselves, their music and trying to sell it but their music is just pretty much the definition of cool, therapeutic, you could even argue.

I've said it before about Glasser and I'll say it again, the echoes of similar artists like Fever Ray for example, are enchanting rather than annoying, the tribal vibes so seductive and imagination stimulating that I'm pretty sure there are few people in the world that would not find their music at the least interesting or intriguing.

Experimental rhythms,sinister Gothic undertones, inconspicuous noises and odd instruments are present. Whilst haunting lyrics involving the natural elements make the listener forget that nearly everything the band is doing is done on Apple Macs.

Mesirow's vocals seem almost ceremonial. Throughout 'Ring' the mind is taken on a trip to a parallel universe of sacrifices, costumes, passion and drumming. Where many albums fail to have such a strong impact, Glasser succeed this with flying colours, quite literally. The whole album is pretty much a complete and utter trip fest, who needs acid when you have 'Ring?' Even the album artwork is a visual mind fuck. Listeners are taken on a complete break from reality, an adventure even, as all of the best albums do.

Glasser may not be the most radio friendly band in the world but this completely doesn't matter. This album is a master piece designed to be listened to in one sitting, not a break up of pop songs. It's certainly one of the most ground breaking albums of the year so far.

Friday 1 October 2010

So I did a review of Dot-to-Dot Festival for the newspaper at uni...

I know I've already done one but here's my new version:

Dot-to-Dot Festival

On bank holiday Monday (31st May), I attended my first ever Dot-to-Dot festival in Manchester and one of the first festivals of the summer!

One of the highlights for me was definitely Liars, in the 'Club Academy' AKA, the sweaty basement of the Academy. There's nothing quite like the release you get from prancing around to dirty rock music is there? Truly liberating stuff. Liars intense build ups and break downs worked well on stage, you could sense everyone in the crowd waiting for the heavy break down to arrive to throw themselves around to. A really stimulating set to say the least.

Another highlight was seeing one of my favourite bands ever, Blood Red Shoes. I had the pleasure of interviewing Steven in a shower once, it was amazing.

Blood Red Shoes were on fire and the crowd reaction was completely electric. It made me feel so proud to have watched them grow and to see now how people appreciate them. Manchester Academy 2 is the biggest venue I'd ever seen them play at and it was brilliant. They lured in a good crowd that were singing and bouncing along to every lyric, having been a fan of them since pretty much the beginning of their career, I felt so happy to see them go down so well.

The Chapman Family were also great. I'd never seen them play live before, in fact, I hadn't heard much from them since their single 'Kids.' Kingsley Chapman, the lead singer, was hurling himself all over the stage in a Gothic, tormented kind of way. At one point he even 'attempted' to strangle himself with the microphone lead, some would find that silly and attention seeking, but I guess I enjoyed it. They also proved that there’s more to them than just ‘Kids.’

We then headed off to see Wild Beasts in Academy 2. They were wonderful of course, as critically acclaimed. They whipped the crowd into a hazy, blissful frenzy, fantastic!

I then proceeded to get drunk on Red Stripe whilst waiting around to watch Mystery Jets, a band that I hadn’t seen play live in about a year and a half.
There was such a brilliant atmosphere, everyone was singing along and jumping in unison. The band seemed pretty pleased with this response; there was a great love for Mystery Jets in that rather large room. They split their set well between stand out songs from their album 'Twenty One' and songs from Serotonin (bear in mind, it was unreleased at that point, its brilliance had not yet been unleashed!)


From Mystery Jets we ran straight to see Los Campesinos! as their set had already started down in Club Academy. I'd like to think that me and my best friend, Emily made a dramatic entrance as we jumped/danced down the stairs and through the crowd whilst bellowing the lyrics to Death to Los Campesinos! as they played it on stage, just because we’re geeky indie kids like that. We went to join a large clan of people who were jumping and singing along to every word as passionately as the band themselves whilst musically unknowledgeable onlookers just looked permanently confused. Their set was superb, love and energy gushing through my veins excitedly. Yes, I am far too obsessed with this band. Their outstandingly beautiful lyrics were emphasised well during their live performance, it was an incredibly strong performance. Their set terminated with 'Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks' and Gareth Campesinos! in the crowd, surrounded by happy and devoted fans.

I was slightly upset that Los Campesinos! ran over their allotted time as I really wanted to catch ‘Yuck’ at Deaf Institute. The one song I saw was beautiful though, as was the venue itself. It reminded me of a chapel on the inside with its dome structure but with vintage looking bird print wallpaper and toilets that looked like they'd come straight from a Mexican bar scene in an old film.
To end the night we went to see Zane Lowe DJ in a tiny club called 'Factory (FAC251)' which was rather fun. Zane Lowe is certainly a skilled man. He played far too much drum and bass and dubstep though, that's literally all he played! But if you’re into that stuff, definitely go and see him at Fabric on the 7th October!

For £28 Dot-to-Dot is definitely worth the money. They also seem to have a strong line-up every year. Well done Dot-to-Dot!

Tuesday 21 September 2010

Vice team up with Palladium Boots

Having already teamed up with Palladium Boots before,Vice have teamed up with them again to bring you this Johnny Knoxville (from Jackass) video. In it Johnny discovers Detroit, the city that famously represents the "death of the American dream." He focuses on it's music and art with pop-ins from mainstays like punk band the Dirtbombs and hip-hop artist Black Milk (let's not forget that Detroit became the home of Motown in the 60's). This video gives an excellent insight into the creativity currently present in Detroit, especially the young creative minds that are working together to re-build their city into something great.

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Summer Camp-Young EP


Summer Camp got under way when Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey started writing music together last October, since then, they've provoked quite a stir as they've already played most of this year's summer festivals and have released a 12" single (Ghost Train). Last week (the 6th September- I forgot to post this review until now) saw the London duo release their first EP on Moshi Moshi as well as a tour with Sunderland boys 'Frankie & the Heartstrings' which they are due to persue this October.

Throughout 'Young' Summer Camp combine all elements of pop music from the last few decades, probably subconsciously. Despite their ongoing obsession with the 80's, the EP definitely does not seem to be purely 80's influenced.

In an era where nostalgia seems to be making a comeback, Summer Camp are bang on trend, yet it all seems so accidental which makes them even more endearing as initially the idea of sharing their music wasn't what attracted them to writing music. This is one of the things that set Summer Camp apart from their nostalgic pop counterparts such as: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Warpaint, Best Coast, The Dum Dum Girls and The Drums. In this EP, not only have they created blissful, youthful, pop music but they appear to enjoy doing it as well as their listeners. It's music for themselves, rather than just attempting to make effortlessly cool music for people to engulf themselves in.

During the course of the EP, Summer Camp explore various elements of youth from first love to house parties to drunken nights and break ups. 'Veronica Sawyer' describes being at a house party full of drunken strangers, whilst 'Round the Moon' sounds as if it's come straight off the soundtrack of a cheesy 80's film with a young, teenage target audience.

Lo-fi production eliminates all elements of possible corniness whilst keyboards have been successfully experimented with. This EP promises that Summer Camp are onto a winner.

Jamie Reynolds meets filmmaker Jack Bond.

WOW, I LOVE this!

Jack Bond is one of Britain’s most radical filmmakers and over a fifty year career has redefined documentary, art-house drama, music video and television.

Jamie Reynolds is lead-singer of Klaxons, one of Britain’s most visceral, important bands. In 2007 they won The Mercury Music Prize with their debut album and their follow-up, Surfing The Void, was released on August 23rd.

In the summer of 2010, these two artists were brought together by VBS.TV, Vice magazine’s groundbreaking online TV station. After reading about Jack Bond’s films in Vice a year before, Jamie Reynolds had became an obsessive, collecting his films and discussing them endlessly with the only people he knew who’d seen them, Vice writers and VBS producers. Jamie was desperate to meet Jack and VBS agreed to help make it happen.

In VBS meets Jack Bond, Jamie and Jack spend the day together in Hampstead pubs recounting Jack’s tales of loosing 50 mental patients on a shoot, bumping into famous friends, and discussing Jack’s relationship with Jane Arden. Eventually, drunk, they finally end up at the fun fair, reciting poetry on the teacups.

In 1965, Bond, then 28, spent two weeks with Salvador Dali filming the revolutionary documentary Dali in New York with his lover Jane Arden. They would remain the only film crew Dali would ever agree to work with. The pair worked together on a series of dense, obscure, psychedelic films: Separation (1967), The Other Side of the Underneath (1972), Vibration (1975), and Anti-Clock (1979). In 1982 Arden killed herself and Jack banished the films to the Technicolor vaults. They would remain there unseen for over 20 years, until the BFI released them on DVD last year. Jack’s work is now an inspiration for a new generation of avant garde, fearless filmmakers.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Counter Culture Project

As festival season grinds to a halt (unless you're lucky enough to be attending Offset and Bestival, I'm very jealous you are, I'm all out of money), moods darken, the sky darkens, the world becomes a vat of darkness in general. Ok, that was a slight exaggeration but if you're anything like me, you get rather depressed in winter. But if you are a Londoner, you are in luck! Counter Culture has come to rescue you from your state of dismay!

Counter Culture is a 99 night project (it's taking place EVERY NIGHT for the next 3 months) launched by a group of dedicated, open minded individuals commencing on the 24th September and ending on the 1st January (yes, that does mean a cracking New Years Eve party is coming your way).

It is a project taking place in a venue under London Bridge Station (7-9 Crucifix Lane to be precise) that aims to showcase the best in the world of art, music, literature, film and theatre of the moment. Expect anything, anything at all. From the UK's hottest DJ's to the exhibitions of immensely talented photographers. At Counter Culture anything creative goes.

You'd be a fool not to attend any of the brilliant events that Counter Culture has to offer, the listings are here , look, they are looking impressive so far, yes? And there are a lot more to be added! KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED.

You should also totally join the mailing list as the first 100 people to join get free entry to the project launch on the 24th September which saves you £12 and is sure to be an excellent night!



Tuesday 31 August 2010

Reading Festival 2010

After having arrived on the Wednesday (one of the worst mistakes I've ever made) and getting all of my belongings saturated by the rain whilst putting my tent up and having watched it torrential rain for 2 whole days and having wrecked my military boots in the mud, let's just say I was in desperate need of something to cheer me up. This something turned out to come in the form of a 15 piece female 'Alt-choir' wearing tassells and ribbons and headdresses in every colour of the rainbow and holding a banner a banner which read 'This is merely a distraction from the inevitable' on Friday afternoon. Some would say 'GAGGLE' are bunch of diverse individuals that lack sanity but who says that's a negative thing? The security guards at Reading had apparently christened them 'Radio Gaggle.' But the harmonies work, their ideas and style are original, their costumes are brilliant, the choral directer (is there a proper musically correct name for this?), Deborah, was already cracking open a bottle of wine at 12pm, what more could you want from a band?

I then headed off to catch a bit of Surfer Blood who were...okay. Yet, surely they are just a not quite so talented version of The Drums? However, I then headed straight to catch a bit of Funeral Party, an Irish rock band whom I was pleasantly surprised by, the crowd lapped them up too, which always helps.

I then got drunk on vodka, cider and wine and watched Summer Camp, Jeremy Warmsley's new project with Elizabeth Sankey, former editor of online cult magazine 'Platform.' Their fun 80's tinged pop lightened up my drunken emo phase that I was experiencing as did Elizabeth's onstage dancing and sequined jumpsuit.

And then there was teenage hipster band Egyptian Hip Hop who's demos have impressed industry types all over the blogsphere and radio, a band who I've been fond of for a while, yet, I must admit their set was quite underwhelming. It seems they have a lack of live practice which showed in their performance. That said, they do now possess some brilliant songs, the album should be good at least.

From one teenage band to another...I watched Californian band AVI Buffalo who proved themselves to be masters of heartfelt indie pop. Though the real American stars of the afternoon were certainly Warpaint, the all female creators of fuzzy surf rock/pop music. There seems to be a lot of the same sort of thing about right now (eg. Best Coast, Still Corners, The Dum Dum Girls) but there is a reason for this: It's amazing! Something tells me their EP which is coming out in October will be something pretty special. Their music is lushness personified.

From there I went to a very rammed NME tent for Mumford and Sons, I don't really feel like I should review them as I was too far back to see them and had the most disgusting couple in front of me which was distracting. The girl behind me even said to me "oh god, they'll be shagging on the floor in a minute" whilst the guy next to her shouted "just get a johnny and fuck her already", so yes, I was forced to leave.

I fled to somewhere that I was a lot happier at: Blood Red Shoes's gig in the Festival Republic tent, which was excellent, they just get better every time I see them. It's so nice to see them do well and to see their set go down well with the audience as I feel they are a band that really are underrated. It also makes me feel proud to have interviewed Steven in a shower (just scroll back a few pages, you'll find it somewhere, it's worth a read if I don't say so myself).

I then caught the LCD Soundsytem set which was pretty good and James Murphy is great front man, I was just slightly disappointed that they didn't play 'New York, I Love you', not a logical decision at all. It would have gone down a dream with the crowd.

Everything Everything were the first band I saw on Saturday, who didn't fail to impress as they did last time I saw them. They seemed so grateful to have such a wonderful crowd reaction too, yes, I'm a sucker for gratitude. The album is out next week I think, it will be definitely worth checking out, it will have some good pop tunes on, fact.

I then finally watched Yu(c)k, whom if you've been following my blog will already know my complete and utter adoration for their soothing pop music and how I've accidentally missed them play live twice. Well, Daniel, Jonny, Mariko, Max and Ilana definitely lived up to my expectations. Yep, they definitely write blissful pop music, it was lovely.

Another stand out band of the weekend was Freelance Whales. A Brooklyn based band that writing gorgeous, interesting music that I find possesses that same originality as bands such as Arcade Fire. There's nothing in the music industry quit like it, lots of intriguing instruments, stunning hearty lyrics and charismatic stage presence, definitely one of my favourite bands of the moment.

After such a beautiful spectacle, I Blame Coco failed to impress me really. Having been fond of her for a while now and having seen her perform an excellent acoustic set earlier on this summer, I decided I really liked her. Yet, her electric set proved her as 'just another pop act'. She's gone from a quirky ska writer to 'just another pop act' who fails to compete with stronger acts such as Marina and Florence. This said, as she comes across as quite a shy person offstage, the girl gave it her best shot, she gave the audience her heart and soul, yet a lot of the pop content lacked originality.

Darwin Deez was also a definite highlight of the day, having just watched Chapel Club play a surprisingly half decent set, considering their live reputation amongst journalists with some of the guitarist's friends, I stayed in the tent and watched Deez perform an absolute cracker of a set. Also, he seems to be the most loved man in the music industry as he took to the stage to chants of 'Darwin, Darwin' which he seemed thrilled about. In fact the crowd reaction throughout the entire set was insane, as were the band's dancing and the fact that Deez chose a security guard and danced onstage to single ladies with him. So there you have it, everyone loves Deez.

Villagers performed a lovely set, I thoroughly enjoyed eating chips and wotsits and watching lead singer Connor pour his heart out to blissed out spectators. The boy's a cutie pie! And their set made me realise that I need the album in my life! Does anyone have it yet? How is it?

And then it was time for...THE LIBERTINES! I was particularly excited as I was too young to see them (13) when they broke up. They played pretty much everything the crowd wanted to hear really, bar, The Man Who Would Be King, which is all everyone wanted really, a drunken sing and dance along. There were even flares let off and a bit of a fight at one point so security turned the power off half way through their set but then let them return to the stage shortly after. I had fun with my Libertines crazy friend, Eva anyway.

We then ploughed to the front for Arcade Fire, an act which was worth every push and shove and kiss dodging (long story) and standing next to weird old men for. Words just can't describe how beautiful it was. The unity, the insanely capable musicianship that was witnessed by the audience, Regine's outfit, the meaningful lyrics sung in a meaningful way, the stage graphics... It. Was. Magical. It also proved the strength of the new album 'The Suburbs. ' Stand out tracks were: Intervention, We Used to Wait, The Sprawl II, Wake up (obviously), Tunnels and Haiti. It was a BEAUTIFUL SPECTACLE.

If I'd have not known the time I would not have thought that it was 12.45pm when I saw The Joy Formidable in the NME tent. Their set was excellent. Front woman Ritzy was on fire, she smashed up her guitar during the first song. Their excellent simple rock music never fails to impress me. I look forward to their next release, whenever that may be..

I caught Local Natives's set whilst in there, it was great as ever. Good crowd reaction too. They were joined by a few random people onstage at the end, including We Are Scientists.

Me and my friend's then witnessed Los Campesinos! play a thrillingly emotional set, that just wasn't quite long enough considering how good they are, they needed to be higher up on the bill as they are not only one of my favourite bands ever but one of my favourite live bands too. Half an hour set is not enough for them, they have three albums worth of superb material!

We stayed for Wild Beasts who eased our hangovers with their hazy tones. I don't even care that an over excited fan in front of me jumped on my toe and quite possibly re-broke it (I think I broke it at a Silent Disco at Summer Sundae Festival), I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Staying for Wild Beasts meant that we were right at the front for The Drums's set, a band whom I love dearly. They played a really exciting set, despite the fact that they ran out of time to play 'Let's go Surfing.' It was well worth having the BBC cameraman stick a camera in my face throughout the entire set for anyway.

After that, off the Festival Republic tent to see 60's girl band influenced 'The Like', AKA the best looking band in the world, watching them makes you feel so ugly and untalented (they played a great set). They seem far too lovely people to dislike with envy though.

Straight after that was Tame Impala who performed an excellently woozy set whilst shoeless and they gave me a Kit Kat, they know how to win me over, for sure. I was really pleasantly surprised by them, I enjoyed them a lot and shall certainly be investing in more of their material.

The NME tent was absolutely packed for FOALS, who played and alright set but they didn't play 'This Orient', which is the best song they've ever written, why would they do that? I was drunk, I wanted to hear it so badly and dance manically to it. Gutted.

From Foals I headed straight to Caribou, who really impressed me which I didn't expect them to do live. I definitely danced in a drunken haze to them and made friends with some weird boys that crashed me some of their roll ups too. I now must get the Caribou album as what I heard was BRILLIANT.

Klaxons were great, yet, didn't compare to Caribou. The new stuff sounded better live than on the record though, I may have to give the record another listen, maybe it's better than I first thought it was. They played a nice mix of both albums and I found it a really enjoyable set. I'm not sure it was the best way to end the festival though, it made me wish the Sunday headliners were better...

All in all, I am rather satisfied Reading Festival punter. I am sorry that this blog is so long, I just couldn't leave any bands out.


Thursday 12 August 2010

Like Dinosaur Jr?

Here's when VBS interviewed the founding member of the band, J Mascis and talked about his life on the East Coast, Scooby-Doo comparisons and The Stooges, it's pretty interesting, have a watch:


Friday 23 July 2010

Can you remix?

At The Creators Project in London last Saturday Jammer, Rodaidh McDonald (producer, of the xx), Sampha, Mumdance and a participating audience created a pop song in just 58 minutes. This was called The Pop Song Panel. This pop music experiment aimed to collaboratively produce a pop hit that would reach out to a vast amount of people and get to number 1 in the UK chart. This experiment resulted in: bass heavy musings on the impact of a free bar, appropriately entitled;‘'Too much alcohol in my system'’ which was a huge hit with the tipsy crowd.

Vice are looking for people to remix 'Too much alcohol in my system' so if you are a technical genius, unlike myself and can remix and want to show off your skills then head here for more info:
Get on it!

Katie X

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Monday 19 July 2010


As you all will know by now if you've been reading my blog recently, I have been getting very excited about The Creators Project. The Launch Party in London took place on Saturday night at Victoria House in Bloomsbury.

Victoria House was overflowing with artists, hipsters and journalists. Films were shown in the auditorium ("I'm Here" a robot love story by Spike Jonze being a particular favourite- see the trailer below), the creators of fascinating electronic art projects which were scattered around the building made inspirational speeches, the music was brilliant (I'll explain more about that later) and alcohol was free and unlimited all night.

Many of the art projects were interactive, for example The Radical Friend installation where you went into a large glass triangular booth, got your face scanned and then it morphed on a big screen. It's purpose: who knows, but it was fun and the guys doing the face scanning looked like additional members of the band, Hurts. There was also interactive 3D drawing, an indoor enchanted, pine forest corridor by Karl Sadler and 'The Blue Box' where each participant put on their favourite song on the laptop, danced around to it whilst being filmed and it was shown on a big screen duplicated. This was a lot more interesting than it sounded, especially after a few cocktails (stand out cocktails were Pom Collins and some sort of gingery one). We met some lovely, friendly people there including Will, The Californian, who we later found hunched over outside looking just a little bit fucked, we couldn't even tell us his name when we asked him, he just said "Will and shit" , two french girls and a guy that we had witnessed performing a Napoleon Dynamite dance routine earlier. Whilst we were waiting to dance, a slightly drunk Peaches was wheeled in on her wheelchair (she has a broken leg) and we saw her dance in her wheel chair. It was filmed, have a watch: (I'm sorry you can't hear too much we were having a rowdy conversation about which dance moves we were going to pull out):

She then went off and performed an excellent DJ set, despite the cast!

And here is us (I'm wearing a blue t shirt and black leather shorts) dancing on this video, we were very drunk and it was only about half past nine, we had already thoroughly taken advantage of the free bar:

We could not find the Ballroom for ages and therefore missed Flats and Yuck (the latter, very, very regrettably as I absolutely adore Yuck, as you probably know if you read my blog or follow me on twitter, this is the SECOND TIME that I've missed them!), I nearly cried when I found out that I'd missed them! But, I soon recovered from my disappointment as Mark Ronson and The Business International performed an utterly amazing set. Mark was joined onstage by guests Q-Tip,MNDR, Kyle from The View and Rose Elinor Dougall and brought to life tracks from all three albums, with Valerie ft. Kyle as a finale.

Kele Okereke was also brilliant, after having sound problems him and his band returned to the stage and delivered an animated, well received set full of not only songs from his solo album (which is out now, you should get it!) but a Bloc Party medley, wrapping things up with the classic, Flux. After this we then went to the toilet and when we tried to come back in for Tinchy Stryder we were denied access as the room was "too full" but ah well, it was still a excellent, memorable and interesting night with free alcohol, stunning art, great music performances and wonderful people. Bravo Vice/Intel, Bravo!
Over and out,