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We'll resume normal service here on TGTF on 13 October.
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By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 30th September 2015 at 4:00 pm
Presumably to talk up her current North American tour – she played the Royale in Boston last night – Lianne La Havas has revealed this live video from a performance in Germany this past summer. In it, the BBC Sound of 2012 alum (a vision of loveliness in green leopard print) and her band perform ‘Green & Gold’, a pretty chill track from her current album ‘Blood’, at Grünspan in Hamburg. Watch the live performance below.
The singer/songwriter’s second album ‘Blood’ is available now from Warner Brothers. You can catch all of TGTF’s past coverage of Lianne La Havas through this link.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 29th September 2015 at 4:00 pm
The next release from Scottish trio The Twilight Sad will be their live ‘The Oran Mor Sessions’ song collection. Just exactly as it sounds, the new release features songs from their 2014 album ‘Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave’, recorded live at the beautiful, legendary venue in Glasgow.
Last month, we shared with you this live gig video of James Graham, Andy MacFarlane and Mark Devine performing ‘It Was Never the Same’. Today, we have for you the latest reveal from the sessions, in the form of a reworked version of the album title track. Watch it below.
‘The Oran Mor Sessions’ will drop on the 16th of October on FatCat Records. Catch all of TGTF’s previous coverage on The Twilight Sad here.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 22nd September 2015 at 4:00 pm
Adelaide, Australia band Atlas Genius are currently on tour in America. Earlier this month, the group – lead by brothers Keith and Michael Jeffery – stopped in at the House of Blues in San Diego, where Yahoo! filmed this performance of ‘Molecules’, a single from their second album ‘Inanimate Objects’,that was released on the 28th of August, which followed their popular debut album, 2013’s ‘When It Was Now’. Watch the performance below.
Next in the album track listing after ‘Molecules’, I reviewed another of Atlas Genius’ singles, ‘Stockholm’, back in July ahead of the LP’s release. For more on Atlas Genius on TGTF, here.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 21st September 2015 at 2:00 pm
Since the announcement last November 2014 these Oxford shoegaze legends were reforming, they’ve been on quite a (wait for it) Ride. They’ve just announced last week the upcoming release of ‘Nowhere25’, a new CD and DVD on the 6th of November to nicely dovetail with the final third of their North American dates. I’ve always been fond of their sound, if not a massive fan, but something changed when I heard them doing their first radio performance in years at Maida Vale for BBC 6 Music back in June and being interviewed by Steve Lamacq, and ahead of this show in DC, their first date on a 2-month campaign of our continent, I was getting very excited. Having never seen them play before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. When the lights dimmed for their headline set, an extended, serious-sounding instrumental seemed to suggest the imminent arrival of Darth Vader or one of the Jurassic Park dinosaurs to the stage. But before I get ahead of myself, let me speak a bit about the opening act first.
Leader Zachary Cole Smith of DIIV (pronounced ‘dive’) explained that they were from “New Bork City” and said “s’anks” (I guess his silly version of “thanks”) several times during their band’s set. While with his long blonde hair and guitar stance, Smith might easily be mistaken for Kurt Cobain, his getup for the gig Thursday night definitely would have thrown you off: an oversized shirt, hippie pantaloons and a sun hat more appropriate for the Kalahari Desert was atop his head, unlike his bandmates who were all wearing baseball caps. (Eventually he removed his hat, I guess he got overheated.) The young upstarts’ inclusion on Ride’s tour made many scratch their heads, I’m sure.
The extended, jammy style of their songs, however, seemed to fit well with Ride’s oeuvre. DIIV’s older songs such as ‘Ocean’ and ‘Wasted Breath’ drew enthusiastic cheers from their young fans in the crowd. However, it became quickly evident by the number of new songs that Smith introduced, including ‘Loose Ends’ and ‘Douse’, that they were smartly using this fortuitous North American support slot to road test new material ahead of the release of their hotly anticipated second album ‘ Is the Is Are’, the follow-up to 2012’s ‘Oshin’. I have to be honest, after a while, all the songs sort of melted into one another to me and were indistinguishable, though the guitars sounded pretty killer. Or maybe that’s the whole point?
Despite the pretentiousness of their walk-on music, Ride wiped away any doubts of their musicianship and on the sincerity of their reuniting by speedily launching into their first number, ‘Leave Them All Behind’ from their 1992 Creation album ‘Going Blank Again’. It was as if the last 20 years had never happened. Surrounded by men of varying ages swaying or headbanging in time to the music, mostly in cargo shorts or the occasional jeans, it was a strange place to find myself in but was oddly comforting too. If I needed a kick in the arse to revisit the British rock in the ’90s, this show was just about as good as any: the guitars were on point, loud and unyielding except to the underlying song melodies, and after the kind of awful summer I’ve been having, they jolted me back to life, firing up my senses as I’m sure everyone else in the 9:30 felt that night.
One of my friends saw The Jesus and Mary Chain last year and had warned me that they were a boring band live, and I was concerned that Ride could very well be the same. Not at all. I was sure from the moment main lead singer Mark Gardener said the words, “Washington, it’s been a long time,” followed by the audience’s massive response in cheers and applause that they were going to be totally different, and they were, so energetic and feeding off the energy of punters who had waited over 2 decades to see their favourite band again. Part of this I’m sure was due to drummer Laurence “Loz” Colbert’s late arrival; apparently he had arrived at the club 30 minutes before showtime and for a while, the other band members were concerned that they would have to cancel the show, unable to go on without him.
For the occasion, they trotted out ‘Birdman’ and ‘Decay’, which haven’t been played live since 1995 and 1991, respectively, dedicating the latter to some friends they had in the audience. As you might imagine, some Ride fans in attendance went absolutely mental hearing these songs they thought they might never hear again live. For me, it was ‘Like a Daydream’, ‘Cool Your Boots’ and ‘Twisterella’ that hit the spot, the intricate lead guitar work by Andy Bell on ‘Twisterella’ a special treat to finally witness live. However you feel about their back catalogue, if you want a rock ‘n’ roll primer from some legends still kicking in the business, you won’t go wrong with buying a ticket to this tour.
After the cut: Ride’s set list.
Continue reading Live Review: Ride with DIIV at 9:30 Club, Washington, DC – 17th September 2015
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 18th September 2015 at 4:00 pm
At the start of summer, back in June, Until the Ribbon Breaks played their first headline show in DC at Black Cat Backstage, a room of similar size to DC9’s performance floor. As much as I enjoyed that gig and was buoyed by the crowd’s intense reaction to Lawrie-Winfield and co.’s music, the turnout was less than I would have liked. Contrast that to this show 3 months later: there were certainly more people present, no doubt from the word of mouth from the last show and the strength of the debut album, and the energy in the room was even better, the trio – frontman Lawrie-Winfield, James Gordon on synths and backing vocals and Elliot Wall on drums and percussion – feeding directly off punters’ excitement, performing confidently and flawlessly.
Placed in a corner, the stage at DC9 is unusual, but I think it makes for a far more intimate experience, especially since there is absolutely no distance between artist and fan if you’re down the front and want it (memorably, I was practically looking up Simon Neil’s nose the one time Biffy Clyro played there in 2010). It’s hands down one of my favourite venues in the city for that reason, and with the right band as was case with Until the Ribbon Breaks and their fans last night, the atmosphere was incredible.
I brought a friend with me who knew nothing about them and is admittedly not an electronic fan at all. By the end of the show though, he was won over, surprised that Winfield-Lawrie not only sings, plays synths and beats, but also plays trumpet. There’s such a variety in tempo and vibe across Until the Ribbon Breaks’ songs, from the upbeat disco dance beat and “oh oh ohs” of ‘Spark’ to the two lyrical faces – one rap-happy provided by their Friday at SXSW 2015 FLOODfest billmates Run the Jewels, the other apocalyptic provided by Lawrie-Winfield – on the mesmerising ‘Revolution Indifference’, that there’s something for everyone.
Their music on record is the kind to savour in your ears while your body follows to the slow jam rhythms, and in a satisfying way I too rarely experience. When you see the band perform live in person, the feeling is heightened 1000-fold. While I expected ‘Perspective’, one of my favourites from ‘A Lesson Unlearnt’, to be utterly amazing, I was also captivated by the Eastern rhythms and the lovelorn lyrics of ‘Persia’. Recalling Lawrie-Winfield’s sweet story of being sung the tear-jerky ‘Romeo’ by a little boy in Paris when I chatted with him in June made the song the standout track of the evening for me as it closed the set proper.
The punters at DC9, however, wouldn’t be satiated until the band came back out for an encore, chanting and cheering for the band to reappear. Their efforts were rewarded, with Lawrie-Winfield, Gordon and Wall returning to the stage, first with the reflective track that bears their act’s name, then ending with the arresting ‘Goldfish’. The words from the former – “we came from nothing / and we could go back there / if that’s what it takes / but I made a promise / that I’d try to keep you” – seem to be quite apt given the circumstances: three boys far away from Cardiff, playing to an audience in the States, against seemingly impossible odds, yet they keep going and do it for the art. We might have been in a 200-capacity club, but judging from the audience reaction last night, everything Until the Ribbon Breaks are doing is absolutely worth it all, because they’ve connected with the people.
It may be some time before we get another album from Until the Ribbon Breaks. But there is no doubt in my mind that it will be entirely worth the wait. Best wishes, friends.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 17th September 2015 at 4:00 pm
Pop legends Duran Duran released their latest album ‘Paper Gods’ last week. (As a Duranie, I stopped counting after they reunited with the original line-up in the last decade.) But no matter: they’re still making the American late night telly rounds, this week performing the radio-friendly single ‘Pressure Off’ on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. The studio version features Nile Rodgers and Janelle Monae, but sadly neither were present for this performance. Guys, what is up with those shoes? Sorry…I did say I was a Duranie…
Watch the performance of ‘Pressure Off’ below. Grab ‘Paper Gods’ now from Warner Brothers.
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