By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 21st April 2015 at 4:00 pm
Mali-born band Songhoy Blues‘ arresting performances at SXSW 2015, including the Transgressive Records showcase Carrie covered on the Tuesday night of the festival, kept punters spellbound and with good reason. If you’re still in need of convincing, the band have released a new live performance video of them playing ‘Soubour’, a new single that is released on the 11th of May on Transgressive.
It also just so happens that the band appeared on Later…with Jools Holland recently, and you can also watch their performance from the telly below as well.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 20th April 2015 at 4:00 pm
Legendary Mancunian band James have released a new performance video of their second single ‘Curse Curse’ from current album ‘La Petit Mort’, released in 2014. The band describe it being done semi-acoustically – that is, there is a laptop and the guitar looked amped up…oh wait… – but it’s part of their Living Room Sessions, which adds that intimate feel you certainly won’t get seeing James in a far bigger venue. Watch it below.
For those that prefer to spend their evenings running into each other at full speed, this Wednesday the Academy in Newcastle upon Tyne obliged by hosting, a trio of acts purveying the heavier side of rock, perfect for moshing to. Telford’s Hyena were up first, a quartet of young chaps promoting their recent release ‘Mental Home’, which conjures up all sorts of pleasant memories of discovering the delights of Queens of the Stone age. They’ve also put a nice waltz in the middle. Well worth checking out.
TGTF was ostensibly here to have a listen to heavy rock duo Dolomite Minor, who first came to my attention as doing the rounds of all the big urban music festivals last year, but who I failed to see at any point on their travels. Tonight’s performance sees them a little, shall we say, under-motivated, duck-toed singer and guitarist Joe Grimshaw wanly peering out between curtains whilst spidery fingers pluck away on his guitar. Their live presentation does them no favours, really: on record they sound enormous, chromatic riffing and robotic vocals combining with a massive drum sound to great effect. But, like seeing the workings of a magic trick, watching the two young chaps of Dolomite Minor deliver their music dilutes its power somewhat. There’s little in the way of movement or audience interaction – at one point, after asking how everyone’s doing and getting only a few half-hearted whoops in reply, Grimshaw’s retort is “same as last night,” which seems unnecessarily churlish.
Presentational challenges aside, Dolomite Minor do have some good tunes, particularly if you’re a fan of the flattened fifth: in ‘Talk Like An Aztec’, guitars in various states of distress revolve around said interval, ‘Let Me Go’ takes a ’50s rock ‘n’ roll swagger and adds the requisite crunching riffs underneath a slap-backed vocal, and ‘When I’m Dead’ adds more than a hint of psych-drone which is an interesting direction that the group could explore further. The band do thaw out a bit towards the end of the set, so that ‘Watch Yourself’ ends up a thrilling multi-movement romp with a fine climax. If these guys could loosen up a bit, look like they’re enjoying themselves, and get the crowd going a bit more, they could be a big draw.
Loosening up is something that Turbowolf are experts at. Frontman Chris Georgiadis (the word “singer” simply doesn’t do justice to his talents) is expert at getting the crowd onside right from the moment he steps onstage to whoops of delight. “Onside” is the right word because he spends plenty of time on the wrong side of the barriers, interacting with the mosh pit, inviting lucky punters to sing into the microphone: most people know the songs word-for-word, if not note-for-note, and they’re not afraid to show it.
Musically, Turbowolf are all about big, swinging riffs, twisted lead parts and Georgiadis’ turned-up-to-11 vocals, often played at breakneck speed. The crowd are exhorted to mosh and do that weird, pulsating, crash-into-each-other dance that brings so much pleasure to young men. A memorable, often surreal performance, which would work fantastically well on a festival stage – Turbowolf are to be found at The Great Escape, 2000 Trees, and Kendal Calling over the summer.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 16th April 2015 at 4:00 pm
I get this incredibly happy feeling when I see a UK band I’ve been following for a long time finally get the attention they deserve on this side of the pond. London-based Life in Film have been soldiering on for the last few years, having caught the eye of those fashion hounds at Burberry as early as 2010, leading me to write this Bands to Watch on them the following year. Well, ladies and gents, I am here to tell you graft does pay off, as Life in Film are now gearing up for the release of their Stephen Street-produced debut album ‘Here It Comes’ the 4th of May on ECC Records (the American release follows on the 5th on +1 Records). Now everyone – I’m telling you everyone, from Consequence of Sound to Teen Vogue, from Nylon to Pigeons and Planes – want to talk to them, and I just want to say…well, I was tipping this band way before all of you!
Ahead of the album’s release, Germany-based Berlin Sessions had the foresight to videotape the band playing these stripped back acoustic versions of ‘Get Better’, ‘Alleyway’ and ‘The Idiot’, which all appear on ‘Here It Comes’. If you happen to live in North America, you can catch them as the main support for Liverpool’s Wombats on their tour of our continent starting next Tuesday in Toronto. I’d recommend you catch them now while you still can. Catch all our past coverage on Life in Film here.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 15th April 2015 at 4:00 pm
If you’re looking for something fantastic to get you over the midweek slump, we’ve got you covered. American band Eels just released yesterday a special 2-disc CD, 3-cisc clear purple vinyl and a DVD, the band’s third, ‘Live at Royal Albert Hall’. You can watch the whole gig below as filmed on the 30th of June 2014, courtesy of our friends at Baeblemusic. To watch the whole presentation in its full-sized glory, watch it at Baeblemusic’s Web site.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 10th April 2015 at 4:00 pm
Josh Savage was a late addition to the line-up for SXSW 2015, and judging from this video he made himself using a GoPro camera, the Winchester/Paris singer/songwriter had a great reception in Austin. In this video, it’s like you’re in the room with him and his new fans while performing the lovely ‘Lost in Paris’. Watch it below.
Our past coverage on Josh Savage, including Carrie’s interview with him at the Driskill Hotel in Austin last month, is here.