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By Mary Chang
on Friday, 28th November 2014 at 4:00 pm
Last Saturday, off-kilter Cardiff-based indie pop band Los Campesinos! stopped in at the Flapper in Birmingham as part of the second to last date on the current Dr. Martens #STANDFORSOMETHING tour. Here they are performing ‘Avocado, Baby’, off their 2013 album ‘No Blues’. Thankfully, the Haim sisters were nowhere near the place, allowing frontman Gareth to concentrate on the performance at hand. Watch below.
The last date on the #STANDFORSOMETHING tour – starring Sydney group Tonight Alive – takes place tomorrow, the 29th of November, at Newcastle Cluny 2. To read further coverage of the band on TGTF, head this way.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 28th November 2014 at 11:00 am
Saint Saviour and Bill Ryder-Jones, her collaborator and producer of her third album ‘In the Seams’ out this month, will be coheadlining a UK tour in December. The series of dates kicks off next Tuesday, the 2nd of December, at Cambridge Portland Arms. Our friends at Gigs and Tours have given us a pair each to this tour’s Manchester (the 6th of December at Deaf Institute) and London (the 12th of December at the Tabernacle) shows, and we’re wanting to give them away to lucky TGTF readers. Think of it as an early Christmas present from us! To be in the running for the tickets, follow the directions below to fill out the contest form.
First, give your full name and your email address so we can contact you if you win. Second, tell us which show you want to win tickets for (Manchester or London). Then, to make sure you’re not a robot (who can tell these days?), tell us where Saint Saviour is from. We will then choose a winner for each show all the correct entries received.
Get your entries in by noon British time Tuesday, the 2nd of December. We’ll contact the winners by email. Good luck! Please note: this contest is open to UK residents only who can get him/herself to the city of the show. All duplicate entries will be discarded.
If you’d rather buy tickets to the tour instead, Becky Jones and Ryder-Jones will be calling at:
Tuesday 2nd December 2014 – Cambridge Portland Arms
Thursday 4th December 2014 – Stockton-on-Tees Georgian Theatre
Friday 5th December 2014 – Glasgow Nice and Sleazy’s
Saturday 6th December 2014 – Manchester Deaf Institute
Monday 8th December 2014 – Birmingham Horse and Hounds
Tuesday 9th December 2014 – Bristol Lantern
Wednesday 10th December 2014 – Brighton Studio Bar
Friday 12th December 2014 – London Tabernacle
Saturday 13th December 2014 – Liverpool Kazimier
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 27th November 2014 at 4:00 pm
Longfellow have been a favourite of mine ever since I got wind of them from the fine folks of Fierce Panda. We were so very pleased to hear that the band from London had been given a shout, their second, for SXSW 2015, so you can bet we’ll be catching them live and catching up with the fabulous fivesome in Austin in the new year. Yeehaw! (Sorry, couldn’t resist…)
Er, sorry, back to the matter at hand. The premise of Ont’ Sofa is similar to Sofar Sounds – have a band play acoustically in an intimate setting – except not in front of an audience in someone’s home. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to see Longfellow live, these videos of ‘Gabrielle’ (from the band’s wonderful mini-album ‘Prelude’, released this summer) and new song ‘Where I Belong’ give you a flavour of what beauty to expect. Watch the videos below.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 26th November 2014 at 6:00 pm
It’s my birthday today, so it’s lovely that I can take the opportunity to post about mates of mine and what they’re up to artistically. The latest collaboration between Maximo Park’s Paul Smith and Field Music’s Peter Brewis has a new video to release to the wild. The promo for ‘L.A. Street Cleaner’ was created by Chris Bate and features reflections of light on water shot on 16 mm film (sadly, it does not feature the principals). Paul explains how the song came about:
“Peter’s music brings an odd tension to the words on this song. There’s a lightness to the plucked strings that made me think of the bleached-out sunlight of L.A. and I tried to pick phrases to match that. Once again, a sense of strangeness that might only occur to a non-native pervades the
lyric. I hadn’t noticed how hairy palm trees are! In the US, the pavements are massive!
“There’s a sense of life going on at its own pace while the narrator has the luxury of a moment of contemplation.”
The song appears on the pair’s ‘Frozen by Sight’ album, out now on Memphis Industries. Catch them live – with a large group of their mates / siblings / etc. – on tour in England in mid-December. For more information on the collaboration, read Martin’s preview of their album here.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 26th November 2014 at 12:00 pm
Based on their unusual moniker alone, you might mistake Get Inuit for a couple of Eskimos who decided to grab some instruments on the tundra and form a band. I’ll have to ask them sometime from where they got and decided on their name, as all the press releases on them so far fails to explain all of this. But let’s leave that for another day and an interview feature down the road (here’s to hoping in person and by this editor) and focus on the things we do know…
Get Inuit are from Sittingbourne, Kent, a town in the South East that is surrounded more by lovely farming land than barren polar landscapes. More importantly, the four piece – Jamie Glass on lead vocals and guitar, James Simpson on guitar and production duties, his brother Rob on drums and Oliver Nunn on bass – are now signed to Alcopop! Records, most famously known as the London indie label home to devil-may-care Brum rockers Johnny Foreigner. The four will be releasing their debut EP, ‘001’, in early February, and ahead of that, they have revealed the humourously named single ‘Dress of Bubblewrap’. This follows on from the raucous and yes, cute ‘Cutie Pie, I’m Bloated’ track we gave away in June.
I’ve wondered how ubiquitous bubblewrap as packaging is in the UK, as it used to be the standard packaging you’d see surrounding brand new electronic devices here in America. Well, until some intelligent people started using more earth-friendly materials like recyclable, crumpled up kraft paper and you never saw those bubbly things again. But if we’re talking about those plastic sheets covered in dots that were oh so tempting to pop and annoy the heck out of our parents and teachers back in ‘90s and before, yes, there is definitely some humour to the title of the single, as it recalls an earlier, more carefree time.
The humour also extends to the lyrics, as Glass sings in a whimsical voice about a woman who “broke her hip / half of the city saw it snap / maybe you’ll learn a lot from this / now that you’re flat out on your back”. Call me crazy, but I doubt anyone’s bones were broken in public, and this is just a clever setting of a scene in which an observer is commenting on a woman being embarrassed publicly for something she was misled into doing. In an eloquent show of sheer chivalry, he offers to be there the next time he needs her, to be her knight in shining armour – “drop me a line next time you slip / I’ll make you a dress of bubblewrap” – to essentially catch her when she falls.
Further, when the song reaches the chorus, Glass’ voice soars beautifully as he suggests that he takes his offer of crafting a protective dress for her and together “maybe we could redesign scars into tattoos / maybe redesign roses from the bruise”. In other words, he’s offering that the two of them together can rebuild from the point where they are now, and he can give her a better world. Man, what the heck. I’m getting all philosophical. This is supposed to be a pop song, isn’t it?
But that’s what makes it brilliant. This kind of serious, un-pop message is obscured by the fun, dancey tune woven around the words. The song, co-produced by James Simpson and Story Books‘ Kristofer Harris, is upbeat in tempo with plenty of interesting minimalist guitar notes to huge flourishes, while banged on drums providing an irresistibly driving rhythm. It’s as catchy as all hell and not likely to leave your mind anytime soon. Not that you’d want it to. I’d say if Get Inuit can continue this songwriting that’s fun and funny, they’ll be ones to watch in 2015. Let’s just hope they don’t ditch Kent for an igloo…
‘Dressed in Bubblewrap’, Get Inuit’s debut single for Alcopop! Records, is available now. You can listen to it below. Stay tuned, as their debut EP ‘001’ will be released on the 9th of February 2015.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 24th November 2014 at 6:00 pm
We’re pleased to see The Very Best – singer Esau Mwamwaya and producer Johan Hugo – make a reappearance. Their new single ‘Hear Me’ came from a politically charged place: the pair was in Malawi during the time of the latest presidential election in Malawi and also the 50th anniversary of the country getting their independence from colonial rule. The song soundtracks a beautifully shot – and turns out secretly shot also – time lapse video of Malawi shot by the duo themselves.
A new album is in the works. In the meantime, if you’d like to read more from our previous coverage on the Very Best, come this way.
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