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Archive for August, 2007

THE LOVES – Xs And Os/She’ll Break Your Heart… Again (7", Fortuna Pop!)

Posted: August 12th, 2007, by Mandy Williams

Lovers of the Sixties, take note: there are some new kids on the block. But no copyists these, The Loves put an up-to-the-minute spin on The Velvet Underground and The Monkees, by way of garage rock and Creation Records.

For their pains, the Cardiff band received The Sunday Times LP of the week for Technicolour, released on Fortuna Pop in February, and including tracks mentioned here. The band have been through many reincarnations since they formed in 2000.

‘Xs and Os’ is a singalong ode to a friend in trouble; like The Archies meets Jan and Dean with a psychedelic bluesy twist. ‘She’ll break your heart again’ begins like Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders ‘The Game of Love’ crossed with the Beat’s ‘I Can’t Get Used To Losing You’, then the percussion whizzes you back to The Troggs’ ‘Wild Thing’. By then, it’s full-on sixties bubblegum, complete with keys, chimes and huge beats. Simon and Jenna duel on vocals. Her seductive intrusive refrains remind you of Jane Birkin or Nico, against his nasal tone. The song ends abruptly with a single note.

‘My Sweet Drunken Blues for You’ is a chaotic jam on a four track that sounds like an early Stones demo. On ‘Nao Va Se Perder Por Ai’ we get another change of style – The Bees meets the Magic Numbers, if they sung in Brazilian with backing vox that rattle along eccentrically in the background.

With their revolving door membership policy this band have cleverly picked a name that inspires adoration, and they’ve toured with Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Rapture. What’s not to love?

The Loves


Posted: August 12th, 2007, by Mandy Williams

As I opened the plain white cardboard sleeve, labelled with scrawled biro, that sat amongst a pile of other CDs bearing flashy artwork, I had absolutely no preconceptions. On hearing the first notes I was quite captivated.

High Vinyl are a band from Cambridge who formed in 2001 and have a few EPs under their belt. Their sound can best be described as indie instrumental. Guitar- and bass-driven resonance with a light yet insistent percussive touch, intermittent vocals, and assistance from flute and glockenspiel.

The first track ‘Predicted/ignored’ is pure instrumentation, starting slowly and building into controlled mania. Like Field Music meets Joy Division in a very mellow mode. The vocals kick in for ‘A Disappointing Cycle Ride in Romsey’, where they begin to sound a touch like The Longcut. The lyrics inhabit the solid bass sound without dominating proceedings.

With the next track it’s a return to emotional musicality. The flute and glockenspiel play over clever fretwork. ‘Moth Eaten’ has percussion-led, driving resonance. The singer’s muffled vocals slur, “They are hiding away in pitch black, I want them back.” At this point their style is somewhere between Pavement and an upbeat Zero Seven. Snarey, shuffling drums and delicate guitar lines populate ‘The Abbot Sway’, giving it a vibrato layered feel.

I’m not immediately drawn to the instrumental, but this piece of work flows really well and convinced me enough to play it repeatedly. Tracks from their last three EPs, including some of this work, is combined on their debut album Condor vs. Albatross. With Kelso on vocal, Nicos on drums, Auff on bass, Shpol on flute and Hotch on guitar, check them out. They are as interesting as their names sound.

High Vinyl

Your favourite movie soundtracks #1: Stan Tontas

Posted: August 6th, 2007, by Simon Minter

The Birds

The most famous Hitchcock / Herrmann collaboration may be Psycho, but The Birds is much more interesting. No nervy violin stabs, no music at all. The Birds is all about silence.

When the birds gather, they cackle and chatter. They sound like birds but somehow wrong, unnatural and that’s because you aren’t listening to birds, but to tape spooling.

When the birds attack, the tape spooling becomes an enveloping, wheeling riot.

But at the most chilling points in the film, there is silence. And all you can do is listen for the birds to return.

Buy The Birds in diskant’s Amazon.co.uk store

Hey, You!

Posted: August 6th, 2007, by Marceline Smith

So, yesterday was Hey You Get Off My Pavement, the annual alldayer by the lovely folks at Mono. The concept: a festival-like atmosphere in the city centre with awesome local bands, shopping, the wonderful Monorail, vegan foods and of course plentiful alcohol. Your ideal Sunday in Glasgow really.

The reality included all of the above but with constant pouring rain. Normally this would kill off a festival but luckily this one is held in a courtyard with concrete underfoot and sheltered areas all round so it only dampened the enthusiasm a little. The line-up was pretty fantastic already and the secret surprise guests turned out to be Franz Ferdinand which made us all feel a bit smug. Yes, we may be standing around in the rain like losers but you’re missing a tiny gig by Franz Ferdinand.

Anyway, I was doing a little stall inside (thanks everyone who stopped by!) so I was nicely sheltered but also cut off from the bands. I did see bits of Dananananaykroyd (riotously fun as ever) and The Twilight Sad (one of those bands who definitely have something and will probably do well but just don’t hugely appeal to me. You know?). Sadly Part Chimp pulled out but De Salvo seemed to be doing a reasonable job at trying to break some sound barriers in their absence.

Once I had packed up my stall it was time for Franz Ferdinand and it was still pissing it down but we are from Glasgow so we had hoods and hats and umbrellas. I haven’t seen Franz play since way back at the beginning so I was quite looking forward to seeing them. And thus quite surprised to discover they were really dull. I kept thinking they were playing new songs but then I would slowly recognise them as album tracks played in a rather lacklustre manner. No hits and nothing much particularly exciting. Very disappointing.

I might have blamed it in some part on the rain or the sound but Errors were on after and sounded immense. They managed a bigger moshpit than Franz and in more rain as well. Errors have been playing all over the place recently and have quite obviously grown more confident in their talents. They may still look like they’ve wandered in off the street but they’ve lost a lot of their previous rabbit in the headlights nervousness, and their onstage banter is even almost decipherable. But none of that really matters when you have a synth that goes URRRRRRR and you play it very loudly alongside those chiming guitar lines and the relentless drumming. By the time they pulled out a glitched-up extended Mr Milk people were punching the air and dancing in the rain and Franz Ferdinand were all but forgotten.

I love Glasgow. I really do.

(I love Mono too. Thanks to everyone for such a fun day.)

BECK’S FUSIONS – Free tickets!

Posted: August 4th, 2007, by Marceline Smith

I don’t normally post these types of things as I am always dubious of the whole ‘win free tickets by visiting our corporate sponsored website constantly” thing but I actually won some tickets so I will pass it on.

Hyperbolic press info below (“ground-breaking”, haha):

London, Dublin, Manchester, Glasgow. Art and music will unite.

This September four iconic centres across the UK and Ireland will host groundbreaking events fusing art and music. The Beck’s Fusions Experience, a unique touring audio-visual gallery commissioned by Beck’s and the ICA, will show continuous projections created by a selection of the most exciting and innovative artists and musicians working today. The Beck’s Fusions Experience will be open to the public free of charge and will be followed with the exclusive ticket only events.

Each Beck’s Fusions event will build towards a unique live performance from pioneering art and music talent including The Chemical Brothers, United Visual Artists, Calvin Harris and Novak 3D Disco among others who have been challenged to create inspiring and truly memorable experiences.

Trafalgar Square, 6th – 8th September
Chemical Brothers & UVA
Calvin Harris & Novak 3D Disco
Erol Alkan – DJ Set

Meeting House Square, Sunday 16th September
Calvin Harris & Novak 3D Disco

Urbis, Saturday 22nd September
Calvin Harris & Novak 3D Disco

The Old Fruitmarket, Saturday 29th September
Calvin Harris, Errors & Novak 3D Disco

The daytime events are free to everyone. The evening things with the bands are all free tickets. You can win them on the website at www.becksfusions.com. Good luck!

Serge from Kasabian

Posted: August 2nd, 2007, by Chris Summerlin

Everytime I open a music magazine, this moron is spouting some ill-informed guff back at me. First of all it was saying that, although he didn’t know that guy from Franz Ferdinand, he was positive that he didn’t think about his music with as much care and love as Serge thinks about the work he does in Kasabian.

That kind of pissed me off. “That guy from Franz Ferdinand” was putting on DIY gigs and playing in countless under-the-radar bands when old Serge was probably putting on an anorak and heading to Knebworth to see Oasis.

But, that’s cool. He’s missed the point. He was aiming his anger at something he mistook for something else. Everyone misses the point from time to time. I’m always doing it. That’s OK.

This month I opened up Q in WH Smith’s and browsed the Top Guitar Tracks selected by rock stars past and present. Serge had been quizzed and had chosen Cherry Red by The Groundhogs.

This threw me into a spin. Perhaps I had been hasty in labelling the guy a knee-jerking talentless fuckwad? Maybe he really does have good taste and maybe he’s actually a good guy.

But no.

He manages to get The Groundhogs in Q and then states he only heard the song a year ago and had ‘had a listen to the rest of the band’s stuff’ and ‘none of it compares’ apparently. In fact, he goes as far as to say Cherry Red is their ‘one good moment’, therefore dismissing a band’s entire recorded output and influence in exactly the same way future generations will (rightfully) dismiss his. Or more accurately, he dismisses a band with a 30+ year back catalogue in the same vein as an obscure one-hit wonder he’s dug up for the benefit of the world who, up to that point, were in the dark.

Serge from Kasabian: EAT A SHIT.