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By Jess Grant
on Monday, 2nd February 2009 at 4:06 pm
Thee Vicars are a super-cool quartet from Bury St Edmonds who look back lovingly to garage of the 60s when creating their raw and freakbeat sounds. While attending the gig of a run of the mill indie band, Thee Vicars decided they were “sick of everyone sounding the same”. From there onwards, the band set out upon a mission to bring bona fide rock and roll to the masses.
Thee Vicars state Billy Childish, early Stones and The Mummies as just some of their influences. They can sound like everyone from The Sonics to the more harmonious Beach Boys – all the while maintaining an excitingly authentic sound that’s completely different to everything out there right now. If I had to, rather unwillingly, draw parallels between Thee Vicars and a contemporary band however, I’d probably point you in the direction of The Horrors. If you liked ‘Strange House’, check out this similarly dark band.
The groovy retro riffs of tracks such as ‘You Lie’, or ‘Out of My Mind’ combined with the punky fuzz of tunes such as ‘Back on the Street’ and ‘Why Have You Changed’, have certainly gained these reverends an unsurprising trendy cult following. They are proving a hit at vintage underground clubs around the capital and are signed to nostalgia loving Dirty Water Records. They’ve played with everyone from the Buzzcocks to Ipso Facto and you can catch their energetic selves throughout February in London before they embark on a tour of Europe March-onwards.
Fresh off their UK Tour which ended last night in style at Wolverhampton, Bloc Party have announced a brand new tour for October, which they have christened “Bloctober”. Genius.
Tickets go on sale on Friday morning (6th February) at 9am.
Catch the lads at:
Friday 2nd October 2009 – Blackpool Empress Ballroom
Saturday 3rd October 2009 – Edinburgh Picture House
Sunday 4th October 2009 – Inverness Iron Works
Tuesday 6th October 2009 – Aberdeen Music Hall
Wednesday 7th October 2009 – Dunfermline Alhambra
Thursday 8th October 2009 – Hull City Hall
Saturday 10th October 2009 – Sheffield Academy
Sunday 11th October 2009 – Leeds Academy
Monday 12th October 2009 – Lincoln Engine Shed
Wednesday 14th October 2009 – Stoke Victoria Hall
Thursday 15th October 2009 – Birmingham Academy
Friday 16th October 2009 – Newport Centre
Sunday 18th October 2009 – Llandudno Arena
Monday 19th October 2009 – Liverpool University
Tuesday 20th October 2009 – Bristol Academy
Thursday 22nd October 2009 – Truro Hall for Cornwall
Friday 23rd October 2009 – Plymouth Pavillion
Saturday 24th October 2009 – Brighton Centre
Monday 26th October 2009 – Southend Cliffs Pavilion
Tuesday 27th October 2009 – Cambridge Corn Exchange
Wednesday 28th October 2009 – Nottingham Rock City
Friday 30th October 2009 – Reading Rivermead
Saturday 31st October 2009 – Bournemouth Bic
To find tickets, we suggest you try using Needtickets. Needtickets.com offers you the most comprehensive ticket service in the UK. With one click you can search every nationwide online ticket agent and as a result you can find tickets for any live music event that can be booked online. Every ticket is 100% guaranteed as Needtickets.com only offers links to official agents.
I was expecting a lot heading into tonight’s show by Bloc Party. They’d done a so-so cover of Girls Aloud’s “Call the Shots” on Radio 1, and I’d heard talk on the grapevine of something sensational with an acoustic guitar.
It takes a lot to keep me happy, and when the snow meant that we arrived almost an hour after doors, I was not in a good mood. We’d missed the first support, Wet Paint, however managed to sneek our way into the downstairs bit instead of our boring balcony seats to catch Tommy Sparks, who immediately cheered me up, with his great 70s style pop. A surprising choice to support Bloc Party, but then Matt was quoted recently as saying they may well be turning their back on indie.
Then the main act… the last night on their short tour meant all guns were blazing, banter between songs at its best. Every time I catch them, Kele seems to be chattier and chattier, tonight joking about topics ranging from his dislike of Klaxons’ legacy (the throwing of glow sticks), Matt’s new pearl necklace, and the random objects thrown on stage (shoes, condoms, dirty (guy’s) underwear). Oh yes, they were chatty compared to that first night in Southampton over 2 years ago.
The songs? Well, we got the usuals. Positive Tension’s deafening finale, Song For Clay segueing perfectly into Banquet, Kele’s front-row walkabout for Mercury. All well and good, perfect as ever. However, where were those “gig defining” moments? The ones you remember for a looooong time? Well, to be honest the first one I felt was a let down – Letters to My Son featured an acoustic guitar, which was great but not amazing – I was hoping for a reworked “So Here We Are” or, a la Placebo, a slowed down version of an old classic.Still, as Matt commented after, “I never knew when we wrote that song that we’d see a circle pit going!” Indeed they did. It seems it really is true – Sunday night is the new night to party!
However, for the encores the double drums made a more than welcome return with “Sunday” from “A Weekend in the City” being wheeled out for Gordon to go head to head with Matt. Encores? Not encore? Yes, you read me right. Everyone’s filing out as Kele, Russell, Matt and Gordon sneek back on to plunge into Girls Aloud’s “Call the Shots”. It’s far better than their version on Radio 1, bringing the energy right back to how it was at the first song – everyone ready and up for it. Flux closed the evening, but not before Matt did a quick run around the stage in some fetching fluorescent undies. Needless to say, as we trudged out into the newly fallen snow, shared smiles said it all. No words were needed, and it more than made up for the painfully slow drive home.
Yes, I love Bloc Party in an unashamedly fan-like way instead of my usual head-screwed-on music blogger kind of way. However, they really are one of the brightest hopes for today, when everything’s topsy-turvy, Kele’s lyrics and Matt’s driving drums give us something to be happy about, and something to think about. Haven’t seen them yet? They’re playing two shows at London’s Olympia on Easter weekend, and will be back for a winter UK tour most likely. As ever, keep an eye on TGTF for the latest news.
Finally, in true fan-boy style, enjoy a shaky, dodgy quality video of “Call the Shots” from last night.
After the Jump: full setlist and some pictures. Fun.
Continue reading Live Review: Bloc Party live at Wolverhampton Civic (Sunday 1st February 2009)
By Phil Singer
on Saturday, 31st January 2009 at 9:20 pm
It’s scary to think that just a month ago I was on the banks of the Thames watching 2009 roll in with some great fireworks and friends.
One of the songs that I loved the most was Passion Pit‘s “Sleepyhead” (pictured top). Since then I’ve been slowly falling in love with their US electro jams. Think Hot Chip, but not as repetitive. Ohhh yes. They’re currently recording an album, and Fader had a great piece recently about their new album, and footage of them recording with a kids choir. Quite something. Watch if you have a spare 20 minutes or so!
As many of you probably have worked out, I get easily hooked on the simplest things. Alongside by growing Google Reader addiction, and my stead-fast cocktail of Facebook, last.fm and Ask Metafilter, Twitter has joined the ranks of things I’m inappropriately excited about. It’s micro-blogging, 140 characters of what I’m up to, and gets quite addictive watching people around the world and what they’re doing.
Along with Stephen Fry, Philip Schofield, Danny Wallace and Jonathon Ross, many musicians are getting in on the act. My personal favourite at the moment is the amazing Dan Black (who we’ve covered before, and is pictured right), who gives rarer updates than some, but packed with nuggets about his new album.
MP3: Dan Black – HYPNTZ
We’ve held off on our uber-fan boy rantings about Bloc Party for a while now, however I can hold it in no more – tomorrow night / early Monday morning we’ll be bringing you our second live review of 2009 when we catch Kele and co in Wolverhampton. It’ll be the fourth time we’ve caught them (having seen them in Southampton, Scotland, and London), and tomorrow night looks to be a good one, going by their Radio 1 session yesterday. Their new single, One Month Off, is out now (well, it came out on Monday) and has a rather surreal video with it (below). So, expect much fevered talk of Bloc Party over the next few days from me. Apologies.
By Thom Morgan
on Saturday, 31st January 2009 at 3:57 am
It’s not very often a band delivers on their promise to come up with a ‘new sound’ which is why the unexpected innovation on ‘Which Bitch?’ is all the more surprising. Furthermore it’s hard to make an impression and stake your claim for album of the year the same month as Animal Collective and White Lies dropped their gallant efforts, but yet again The View defied expectations in blatant disregard for the generic label placed on them. Lead single ’5rebeccas’ however is a chip off the old block, it’s filled with the boyish guitarism which made ‘Hats Off’ such a success and demands stadium play or at the very least a festival makeover. However it’s when you dwell deeper in to the record that the true genius emerges.
‘Unexpected’ with it’s soft acoustic overlay and stringy backdrop is perfect in it’s composition. The calm eeriness is soothing and chilling all at the same time. The track alone is the best example of the development between the two albums – ‘Hats’ was filled with post-Libertine ramblings as the boys tried to fill the void left by Doherty, Barat an co. This album sees them find a more unique sound and this time they’re the ones pushing the indie boundaries. Another example of this echo filled mania is ‘Glass Smash’ which is energetic and brilliantly rhythmic as the lyrics flow beautifully in contrast with the rough guitars.
The boys have a Kooksy moment on ‘Temptation Dice’ and the ringing of ‘Always Where I Need To Be’ is present through the track especially during the du-da-du-da-da-da-du singalong. Filled with the sunshine and summer feel of ‘The Don’ the track posses the remains of their debut but in a fresh way. The repeated lyrics “You’re my best friend” also cries out Kooks-esque cringe but it’s not a trackly occurrence as on KONK and so it can be pardoned.
The most admirable is the way that this band have delivered what indie has been craving since The Libertines – a fresh sound, with a different approach and musical quality. Right from the get go the intro ‘Typical Time 2′ radiates a bluesy glow combined with the boys Irish roots as the harmonica (or so I think) swells. The jazzy sax on ‘Covers’ with Paolo Nutini’s vocals gives a folkish feel, and yet again shines as an example of avant-garde-indie.
Despite this they maintain a classically garage indie feel as ‘Shock Horror’ shows. A track that is skank-bound when played live much like ‘Same Jeans.’ The back up of their experimental indie tracks with belters like this ensure that the record succeeds and provides them with enough material to headline festivals over the summer (Glasto anyone? Reading? Leeds?)
Overall ‘Which Bitch?’ should be regarded as – brace yourselves – one of the finest indie albums since the Arctic Monkeys explosive debut. Maybe it was that nobody expected such a change from these Dundeeans, which is why when it came it blew us away further back, but either way this record needs recognition becauase a) it breaks free of the generic indie mould as followed so strictly by The Pigeon Detectives, The Kooks, Kaiser Chiefs etc. etc. and b) it’s generally a fine tuned album and an all round indie rock’n'roll masterpiece.
The View – 5Rebccas Acoustic
on Thursday, 29th January 2009 at 4:29 pm
The latest emerging singer songwriter, Matt Duke has been quietly making his way to the top and yes, seemingly like most new artists, he is completely different and unique. He’s got more attitude than competitor James Morrison and, so I’m told, better looks than James Blunt.
It’s safe to say that there are hundreds of acoustic singer songwriters around so why does Matt Stand out? Well his songs have a bit more pop/rock feel about them compared to rivals and there is plenty more modern, electronic effects used than most other acts.
As far as talent goes, you need loads to make see of the others in the music industry and Matt displays his attributes with vast variety and quality. So what songs should you check out? Well, “Sex and Returns” is a good way to break the ice and along with “I’ve got atrophy on the brain” reveals the upbeat pop sound that makes Matt’s material a little different. But if you’re put in the same category as James Blunt then you need slower, pure piano and acoustic guitar dominated tracks. “Rabbit” and the inventively named “Too much egg not enough Nog” tick this box.
I’m not sure Matt Duke will make it to the top of the top of our charts but he’ll definitely be up there. All the potential and talent is there but the tracks sound, in some ways, over produced. Even though Matt Duke has broken the mould of singer/songwriters with a bit more cest, it sounds a bit on the fence.