For editor Mary's coverage of SXSW 2013, go here.
For TGTF team coverage of Liverpool Sound City 2013, go here.
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Festival season is fast approaching and the picturesque images of rolling hills, covered in revellers swigging lukewarm cider move ever-closer. Rain or shine, a festival is an atmosphere unbeknownst, to anyone who hasn’t been a merrymaker at these events. People band together, the person in the tent next to you becomes your best mate and personal hygiene goes well and truly out of the window, to be forgotten until the pleasure of a shower on the Monday morning.
No festival epitomises the festival spirit more than Reading and Leeds. Where the abundance of top rock acts are complimented by the intense variety you can bear witness to. One minute you can be watching an unsigned acoustic troubadour from Shoreditch on the BBC Introducing Stage, only to go on the next starring world-beaters from across the Atlantic, with their own musicals and platinum selling albums on the Main Stage.
2013 will be no different with the Main Stage playing host to the Real Slim Shady, Eminem, who will surely bring all his theatrics and the tunes that we all know and love to the festival. Meanwhile, Green Day (pictured at top), System of a Down and Biffy Clyro will be raising hell with their huge riffs.
Live action specialists Pure Love will be returning to reading and Leeds after recording the video to Riot Song at the festival last year. Anyone who has seen Frank Carter in his previous mantle as Gallows‘ frontman will know that he brings a live-wired energy to his live performances, and with Pure Love alongside Jim Carroll, Frank ups the ante to bring a set which will be a must see at the festival. In a tent, chaos will ensue.
TGTF dance favourites Fenech-Soler have slowly been ploughing away, working their butts off and producing some of the catchiest electropop that is out in the ether at the moment. Their set on the Radio 1 Dance Stage will be a sure-fire way to dance off that Saturday hangover.
Another TGTF favourite Lucy Rose is returning to the festival after her triumphant set last year and her appearance with close bros Bombay Bicycle Club. This year her indie-folk stylings can be sampled on the Festival Republic Stage alongside one of the most understated, yet brilliant bands of the last decade British Sea Power.
The brand new Rock Stage will be headlined by debut performers Shikari Sound System, Enter Shikari’s lesser known alias. Lining up beneath them festival veterans and victims of a power cut in 2009 on the Main Stage Funeral for a Friend, Wade McNiel-fronted Gallows, plus Northern Irish band And So I Watch You From Afar. Adding to the talent on the Main Stage are pop-punkers We Are The In Crowd, festival specialists Skindred with their unique reggae metal sound and British punk rock band Lower Than Atlantis.
Weekend tickets are still available for the 23rd to the 25th August 2013 Bank Holiday Weekend, at a price of £202.50 before booking fees. Buy them here on the official Reading and Leeds festival Web sites.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 7th March 2013 at 6:00 pm
We learned last month that Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro would be headlining Reading and Leeds this year. Now, we have for you the new video for ‘Biblical’, taken from their #1 charting album ‘Opposites’ out now. Watch it below.
Reading and Leeds. The rockers’ festival, taking place August Bank Weekend, 23 to 25 August 2013.
Forget all this chatter about it getting a little too indie. Where Download goes down and out to bring you the heaviest of heavy metal, Reading 2013 sits proudly on rocks shoulders and goes hey! We don’t have to all wear black to throw some horns and get down and dirty (insert your favourite metal cliché here), we just need some sick bands to thrash about to.
Enter the sick bands. In 2012, Reading and Leeds had stellar headliners in the form of Kasabian, The Cure and the ultimate festival closer Foo Fighters. They were supported by Florence and the Machine, Paramore, The Black Keys, Enter Shikari and a host of huge acts.
How do they top that? Well, how about getting the biggest rapper in the world, Eminem. FACT. Getting everyone’s favourite shirtless Scotsmen Biffy Clyro to headline. And by booking a re-formed Fall Out Boy, a rejuvenated Bring Me the Horizon and System of a Down. BLOODY SYSTEM OF A DOWN. Remember them, and just how hard they rocked, yeah, well, just imagine how hard they are going to rock the Main Stage.
Add to that the pure power of Deftones, the hottest new band around in the shape of alt-J, a Sub Focus live set for you dub junkies, an 18-year old with a number one album (Jake Bugg), math-rockers Foals and jesus. You’ve got the makings of a helluva weekend. A perfect mix of what’s hip and new and the best of the ‘older’ generations of rock.
And they’re not even finished. What next? I simply can’t see them topping what they’ve got so far. So if you’ve been swayed, weekend tickets, early entry permits, camper van permits are still on sale and are available from Seetickets, here for Reading and here for Leeds.
Long awaited by the faithful, Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro have released the first single off their upcoming double album ‘Opposites’, due out next month. ‘Black Chandelier’ starts with a syncopated a capella “drip, drip, drip” from the boys that then slides into a non-threatening melody that shows little novelty. With slightly trite lyrics, my first listen had me a bit worried: “it feels like we’re ready to crack these days you and I / when it’s just the two of us, only the two of us, I could die”. And then even worse, “you left my heart like an abandoned car”; it just didn’t sound like the band I had come to know and love. But the Biff-ness soars back with the tiniest alteration the second time around, “when it’s just the two of us and a cute little cup of cyanide”. Mmmm, cyanide…
It’s not always the words that draw you to a Biffy Clyro song. No, it’s the uniqueness of the timing, the melding of lyrical with a hard edge, the overall bizarreness of some of it. And that’s there, coming through on even this most radio-friendly of tracks. About three-quarters of the way through, we get a tasty bit of what we’ve come to expect with a couple of bars of crunching guitar and odd gasps from lead singer Simon Neil. It’s just enough edge to ensure that no one mistakenly plays this at a school disco. This is the kind of peculiarity that binds fans to the band.
The accompanying video, however, is absolutely brilliant and goes a long way to making the song less pedestrian in my eyes. Filmed in London last month by renowned directors Andy Delaney and Monty Whitebloom from Big TV, the mood is both menacing and poetic. Melding the fiery performance style that Neil and the Johnston twins are known for with a big cinematic feel from eye-popping graphics, the video itself is a masterpiece. I do want to say that when I first watched it, I really expected the “black” to burst all over the band covering them in it, not explode into mist. Perhaps there are outtakes where they tried that?
I was lucky enough to get to the extraordinarily intimate Warner U.S. preview gig earlier this month in New York City, so I have heard a good selection of the new tunes. I can honestly say that despite what Zane Lowe pronounced when he premiered the song, this is not the best Biffy has to offer this time around. But make no mistake, this is their single, like ‘Many of Horror’ before it. It has a place in the Biffy pantheon and will likely be a smash. Everything else I’ve heard so far is BETTER. So do not, DO NOT, miss them live, I say; see dates for their spring UK/Irish tour here.
‘Black Chandelier’ will be released on the 14th of January 2013 along with two non-album tracks, ‘The Rain’ and ‘Thundermonster’. ‘Opposites’, their new double album, will drop on the 28th of January.
Biffy Clyro have announced an 11-date tour of the UK and Ireland, culminating in a gig at London O2 Arena on the 3rd of April. Tickets go on sale this Friday, the 26th of October, at 9 AM.
The tour arrives a month and a half after the release of the Scottish trio’s sixth (and double) album ‘Opposites’, which is set to be a double burst of fist-pumping anthemic Scot-rock.
Wednesday 20th March 2013 – Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
Thursday 21st March 2013 – Birmingham LG Arena
Friday 22nd March 2013 – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
Thursday 23rd March 2013 – Sheffield Motorpoint Arena
Saturday 25th March 2013 – Manchester Arena
Sunday 26th March 2013 – Bournemouth International Centre
Tuesday 28th March 2013 – Dublin O2
Wednesday 29th March 2013 – Belfast Odyssey Arena
Friday 31st March 2013 – Aberdeen AECC
Saturday 1st April 2013 – Glasgow SECC
Monday 3rd April 2013 – London O2 Arena
‘Stinging Belles’ from Biffy Clyro debuted on Zane Lowe’s Radio1 show last night, after a brief chat with frontman Simon Neil. It will be the first single from a forthcoming double album.
It starts with a rather long intro, drums are properly smashing away and well, it’s a bombastic level of pomp that can be expected from the Biff. They smash through the intro and the excitement builds, but the sad thing is in my opinion, the first 30 seconds is as good as it gets. It has a ‘The Captain’-ish stomp to it at the start with the guitars noodling over the top mixed in with a ‘Born on a Horse’ tomfoolery.
This is the first single from the new double, yes, DOUBLE, album ‘Opposites’ forthcoming from the Scottish trio. Now while the song may not be an instant winner, on second and third listen it’s a hell of a lot more catchy. It’s got that trademark new Biffy chorus. Instantly repeatable and the kind of verse which will have you throwing pints in galore at any festival.
The pomp is most apparent about two-thirds through though. I mean, come now, they have bagpipes! They are Scottish, but that is simply inexcusable. Bagpipes are for that one guy busking on the street, not, I repeat, NOT for a rock song.
For the first single it’s an odd one, but then again ‘That Golden Rule’ wasn’t the strongest track on ‘Only Revolutions’, and with a double album on the cusp of release from Biffy, it’d be a very bad idea to write them off after an average first single.
Update 1 August 2012: We’ve replaced the not great stream of the song available yesterday with the official music video released today. Watch it below. In the UK, if you want to listen to the song alone, you can at Zane Lowe’s page here. To hear the song as played on Radio1 last night along with a chat with Simon Neil, use the Listen Again feature here.