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Along with their major 2015 tour announcement, Royal Blood have unveiled a new video for ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’, the next single from their recently released self-titled LP, reviewed by Mary here. The new track will be released in a 7” format on the 1st of December with the b-side ‘One Trick Pony’ and is available for pre-order at Stereo Boutique.
The video for ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’ features a series of live shots of the Brighton duo playing in a deserted cave interspersed among vague but ominously threatening scenes that insinuate a love affair gone awry. The dramatic imagery and lyrics, including the opening lines “She took my heart, left me for dead, and drank my blood”, match the frenetic pace of the music to create a suspenseful mini-thriller.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 21st October 2014 at 4:00 pm
The latest promo from Geordie stalwarts Maximo Park is for ‘Give, Get, Take’, the opening track from their current album ‘Too Much Information’, released in February.
As noted by the Maximo devoted, their last video for ‘Midnight on the Hill’ didn’t feature the band at all, so this performance video in a space well loved by and truly important to the North East band is a nice change. Somehow, I felt I’d been there before, so I asked the band on Twitter if my gut feeling had any merit. (It did; turns out the venue is the famed Bridge Tavern in Newcastle, just a stone’s throw away from the main railway station in town where our Martin took me the first time I visited Newcastle last year.) Watch the video below the Twitter embed.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 21st October 2014 at 2:00 pm
As you can imagine with me living in the States, I don’t have the opportunity too often to take advantage of London album launch party invitations. However, this past holiday of mine in the UK happily coincided with the week that Sivu’s fab debut album ‘Something on High’ was released on Atlantic Records just the day before, and timing worked perfectly for me to make the journey down to the big smoke from Liverpool to see him play at Oslo Hackney. (Read my review of the debut here; he’s currently on tour with Nick Mulvey and all the dated are listed here.)
For those of you familiar with London venues – of which there are many – the smaller ones that bands call with minimal adoration part of ‘the toilet circuit’ tend to be pretty grim. And smell of things that should not be mentioned by a lady. Oslo, located quite handily next to the Hackney Central Overground station, suffers no such problems, as it hasn’t been open all that long. As a music journo, it’s nice to go somewhere where I know if I drop my jumper on the floor, it won’t be all gross with god knows what when I pick it back up. (Unfortunately, this was not the case when a punter knocked into me on Saturday night at Manchester Soup Kitchen and my new Cloud Boat t-shirt – a white one – was an unfortunate victim of the venue’s grimy floor. Review of that show is forthcoming.)
As you will have read in my review of ‘Something on High’, my impression of Sivu’s music is that its alternative style has a unique way of relaying emotions and the oft poignancy of said feelings. So imagine my surprise when a completely bonkers – and surely heavily pissed – female super fan screamed and yelled her way through a set list that featured softer, more subdued numbers that the rest of us were trying to enjoy for their emotional quotient. At the encore, I can’t imagine James Page has had many fans this crazy at his shows; he tried to laugh it off, saying, “I didn’t know I was such a babe magnet!” Well James, if Hozier and your current tourmate Nick Mulvey are, maybe you are too. (I still don’t understand the ridiculous hype surrounding either and far prefer Sivu’s debut over Andrew’s.)
With its haunting vitriol, minor key tune ‘Love Lives in This House’ seemed like an odd choice to open a celebratory album launch night. However, things quickly picked up and the more upbeat previously released single ‘Bodies’ and LP starting point ‘Feel Something’. Sivu’s first-ever release ‘Better Man Than He’, most famous for its promo video filmed from within an MRI machine at St. Barts’ hospital in London, elicited a lovely crowd sing-along that made Page smile; he told it meant so much that we could share in the realisation of a dream of his from years ago.
Clearly the most fun song from the album, ‘Can’t Stop Now’, was just as fun live, providing punters an opportunity to shake a tail feather. ‘God Speaks in Tongues’, which does not appear on the new release but has been a firm favourite of Sivu’s long-time supporters, warmly received by this audience. However, for its ability to tug at the heartstrings, the most touching moment of the night had to go to the performance of ‘Sleep’ just prior to the encore, as Page alternated between his regular and falsetto voices in masterful delivery. I’m not sure how I managed not to cry, as its telling of suicide as the only option in the face of unrequited love is truly genuine, despite its conclusion painting an extreme image of desperation of a lover spurned. Love hurts. And Page has expertly grasped just how to express this beautifully in song.
After the cut: Sivu’s set list from the album launch.
Continue reading Live Review: Sivu at London Oslo Hackney (‘Something on High’ album launch party) – 14th October 2014
When I first heard that the band that makes me weep in this awesomeness were planning a concept record, I was fearful. Were they going to go full Muse on ‘The Resistance’ and forget what made them the accessible, fucking amazing group they are now? I felt a bit queasy in that place in your tummy that goes all squirty when your boss calls you into the office with THAT look on their face… The undoubtable feeling that this could go completely arse over face…
As the build-up towards Foo Fighters’ return gathered traction, I became more and more nervous. Numerous octogenarian musicians were wheeled out for amazing cover songs. Dave and co. haven’t lost IT, but I was still feeling that sense of foreboding about the record. They hadn’t lost IT, but they may have lost their minds, retreated up their own arses and made one of those concept records which bands who have done so well tend to do when they get to this stage, Muse’s ‘The 2nd Law’ as the prime example (I’m really giving Muse a hammering lately and I love Muse. Sorry, Muse).
20:50 last Thursday night, Zane Lowe had been tickling and teasing with clips from an interview with Grohl, Shiflett, Mendel, Smear and Hawkins, and on came and the opening chords of ‘Something From Nothing’, the first track on upcoming release ‘Sonic Highways’ came on. At that point, I sighed a neurosis releasing breath of relief – the man Grohl was back, and he had in fact NOT disappeared up his own arse.
We’ve got Wayne’s World-esque guitar solos and it goes full DIY with a honky-tonk funkadelic groove. And finally, we’re furnished with the Grohl yell, “FUCK IT ALL I CAME FROM NOTHING! I’M SOMETHING FROM NOTHING / YOU ARE MY FUSE!”
It’s classic Foo all over. Whilst it isn’t a departure from the DIY sound which made ‘Wasting Light’ such a success, the song has the fundamentals of any Foo songs and is underpinned by a huge, fist-pumping chorus.
Now, the theory of an album made from stories gathered on an enormous musical road trip across the USA is an intriguing one. The sounds of the States have trickled through modern music and changed it at its very core, whether its the punk scene of Seattle or jazz and blues in New Orleans. Whether putting them together in eight songs will actually make a decent album is the question we’re still waiting for the answer for… But already the signs are looking good.
In a bit of random-but-perversely-interesting music news, veteran pop singer/songwriter Neil Diamond has announced details of his forthcoming new album ‘Melody Road’, along with a list of UK and Irish tour dates for summer 2015.
Out this week via Capitol Records, ‘Melody Road’ is Diamond’s first album of original material in 6 years and features the production talents of Don Was (Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, John Mayer) and Jacknife Lee (Snow Patrol, One Direction, Taylor Swift). Below the tour date listing, you can view the lyric video for album track ‘(Ooo) Do I Wanna Be Yours’. Tickets for the following live shows are on sale now.
Tuesday 30th June 2015 – Belfast Odyssey
Friday 3rd July 2015 – Dublin 3Arena
Tuesday 7th July 2015 – Glasgow SSE Hydro
Thursday 9th July 2015 – Manchester Arena
Saturday 11th July 2015 – Birmingham Arena
Tuesday 14th July 2015 – London O2
Manchester quartet PINS have followed up their cassette-format EP ‘Come Back’ with a video for its title track, a cover of The Belles 1966 garage rock classic. Our own Martin featured a stream of the track in his previous review of the EP, but the video adds a new dimension to PINS‘ quirky take on the song. Directed by Amy Watson, it takes an off-kilter, behind-the-scenes look at the sterile and artificial quality of bands in manufactured television appearances. As in Honeyblood‘s recent video for ‘Super Rat’, the pristinely made-up members of PINS eventually descend into chaotic destroying of desserts and the systematic ruin of their carefully coiffed image. Are these grunge rock girl bands trying to make a point or something?
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