By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 29th July 2015 at 4:00 pm
It seems to be the month for reworkings. Following on from Matthew E. White‘s redone ‘Visions’ that Carrie wrote about on Monday, today we have Gaz Coombes having a go of it.
He’s reworked and extended the title track from him album released earlier this year and called the effort ‘Matador (Da Capo)’. It features on the new ‘Matador (Da Capo)’ EP, which will be released on the 18th of September on Hot Fruit Recordings / Caroline International. Just for you collectors, the limited edition EP will be numbered and be on coloured 12″ heavyweight vinyl. The reworking will be accompanied by a demo of the track, a new instrumental called ‘4 Track Loop’ and two live recordings of ‘Buffalo’ and ‘To the Wire’ (both from the album ‘Matador’) at Coombes’ recent show at Brighton Old Market.
Ahead of the EP’s release, you can settle in and watch Coombes performing the reworked ‘Matador (Da Capo)’ in the below live and tour video that he himself directed. Enjoy.
Like the cohorts of children that carouse within its boundaries, Deer Shed Festival grows up perceptibly every year. This time the powers that be had the astute notion to shift the whole affair a week later in the calendar to encompass the school holidays, thus making it much easier for parents with school-age kids to arrive early in the day. A happy by-product was that the festival sold out for the first time. Result!
So by Friday lunchtime, the site was mostly full: an impressive achievement considering the stresses involved in corralling over-excited children. Having said all that, over a Deer Shed weekend one inevitably misses several sets of essential music due to the inconvenient timing of a child needing a toilet stop, meal break, or perhaps having fallen in the lake.
First on the list of oh-no-is-that-the-time-I’m-going-to-miss-them-now sets was Diagrams, who played at the deeply unsociable hour of half past 5 in the afternoon. Luckily, however, our group had decided to camp next to the eponymous Shed itself, which location, apart from having grass rendered pungently musky by the recently vacated permanent residents, had a direct line-of-hearing from the main stage. So I can confidently say that Diagrams’ set was a triumph, Sam Genders’ tales of adulthood working just as well as festival pieces they do being mused over headphones. The songs were a bit beefier played by a live band, which did them no harm at all, and their breezily jaunty rhythms were a perfect way to kick the weekend off.
Black Rivers, a band for one obvious reason particularly close to TGTF’s heart, were up next, and thankfully experienced in person. They really are very much like Doves, except the bass player is now right-handed. So you know what to expect – a touch of bagginess, tinges of electronica, lots of lovely melodies, and they played one or two Doves tunes. You know the one… oh, the name escapes me now…
Parents hoping for their kids to have an undisturbed night’s sleep would have done well to avoid Du Blonde’s ferocious set: all red lipstick, skin-tight leggings and diva attitude, it’s enough to give even big kids some weird, if not unpleasant, dreams. To be fair, in addition to the noisy stuff, Beth Jean Houghton‘s ballads are arguably even stronger pieces of music, so she’s got the bases covered. As reinventions go, this one has been particularly successful. For any fan of the assertive young lady musician – and even though it’s a cliché I have to make a comparison to PJ Harvey – Ms Blonde is officially the Real Deal.
And so we turn leftwards to Billy Bragg. Granted, some people like him, in the same way as some people like cold showers or running marathons. Worthy causes, but are they truly enjoyable leisure activities? Or is the best part about it the smug sense of satisfaction afterwards, personified by being able to wear the t-shirt for the next 5 years? Personally, I can’t stand the chap, what with his clangy Telecaster and unreconstructed Red Wedge politics. And while Bragg is a fair booking at a bigger event, where those of us who gladly left politics lectures behind in our teens can wander off in search of more welcoming, funky fare, to plonk him at the very head of the bill, with nothing else available on any of the other three stages for the best part of two hours, is bad planning at best, and deliberately divisive at worst. None of our group, including one or two whose politics may coincide with that which Bragg espouses, were remotely bothered about his music. Just as we’d been released from the shackles of childcare, there was nothing to party to. Bummer. So a long wait by the bar until…
…the true headliners of the night appeared. Holy Moly & The Crackers are a band whom it’s impossible to dislike, and easy to love. Lead singer and violinist Ruth has beauty in her soul and her voice, the music is a clever combination of traditional English folk and off-beat Baltic rhythms, and it worked perfectly in a packed Obelisk tent, the crowd united by a love of inclusive music and the basic instinct to have a boogie. After an hour of breathtaking hoe-downs, everyone seemed in agreement – that’s how you do a headliner.
Tomorrow at Deer Shed 2015: it’s the turn of the kids!
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 27th July 2015 at 4:00 pm
Back in May, Brandon Flowers played two back-to-back nights at London Brixton Academy. Lucky for us and anyone out there who weren’t able to be at either gig, he has recorded this live performance of ‘I Can Change’. The soulful, r&b-tinged song – sampling Bronski Beat’s ‘Smalltown Boy’ and guesting Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys, no less – floats through the rafters as punters file into the venue from the queue outside and continues on as Flowers take the stage. Watch the drama unfold below.
‘The Desired Effect’, Brandon Flowers’ second solo album following the release of ‘Flamingo’ in 2010, is out now.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 24th July 2015 at 4:00 pm
If you live in London (hell, if you’ve ever seen a gig in London or entertained the idea of doing so), it’s likely you’ve heard of the unique art and performance space Village Underground in Hackney. The famous venue is now in the midst of filming a series of live sessions outdoor to the venue, such as on its own rooftop. Last week, the musicians du jour to grace their open air stage were the bluesy, psychedelic and at times introspective rockers Smoke Fairies, whose performance of ‘Shadow Inversions’ from their 2014 self-titled, fourth album. Check out the reverb and echoes from the Southern duo on this video below.
For more on Smoke Fairies on TGTF, go here.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 23rd July 2015 at 9:00 am
Young singer/songwriter Kimberly Anne, who will have cracked the top 5 on the UK singles chart this week with her cover of Robin S’s house classic ‘Show Me Love’ that has also been A-listed on Radio 1, will be releasing a new single very shortly. The Communion New Faces 2014 tour alum has announced details of her first-ever UK headline tour. Tickets are on sale tomorrow, Friday the 24th of July, at 9 AM.
Have a watch of a new live video Kimberly Anne has recorded of her performing live under the tour date listing. For past coverage of the singer/songwriter on TGTF, go here.
Sunday 4th October 2015 – Glasgow Stereo
Monday 5th Oct ober 2015 – Manchester Sound Control
Tuesday 6th Oct ober 2015 – London Barfly
Thursday 8th Oct ober 2015 – London Barfly (sold out)
Friday 9th Oct ober 2015 – Brighton Patterns
Saturday 10th Oct ober 2015 – Bristol Louisiana
Sunday 11th Oct ober 2015 – Birmingham Hare and Hounds
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 22nd July 2015 at 4:00 pm
I’m not exactly sure what Laura Marling is doing in terms of promoting her current album ‘Short Movie’, which came out back in March. I totally get why she has had her series of Short Movie Sessions videos, including early teaser ‘False Hope’ and another version of ‘I Feel Your Love’ in March, because it was talking up the album just prior to its release.
So imagine my confusion getting a link to another ‘I Feel Your Love’ live video, this one dubbed with a director’s cut label. This one’s black and white and the camera is focused squarely on Marling from the neck up. Otherwise, I don’t really get the difference – ? Watch it for yourself below and have a think about it.