It’s difficult to imagine exactly how a band from Leeds should sound. It might have something to do with heavy industry, perhaps a bit of boot-in-the-face blues-rock; certainly there will be an electric guitar or two. Suffice to say whatever the mind conjures it probably won’t be what Fossil Collective offer with their latest song revealed.
‘The Water’ uses layers of acoustic guitar and heavily-reverbed vocals to generate a windswept, desolate landscape, which builds to a gentle, keening brass-laden crescendo of modest beauty. Imagine standing atop a granite boulder somewhere on a windswept corner of the Yorkshire Moors, summoning the spirits of deceased Black Dyke Band members, as photographed by Andreas Gursky. That should do the trick.
‘The Water’ is also the title of their forthcoming EP, to be released on the 28th of October on Dirty Hit Records. We’ve yet to hear the other three tracks, but if they are up to the same standard as this then fans of bucolic UK folk will be dead chuffed, like. Stream ‘The Water’ below, and catch up on their their tour dates across the UK and Ireland posted below as well.
Tuesday 1st October 2013 – Brighton Haunt
Friday 4th October 2013 – Bristol Louisiana
Saturday 5th October 2013 – Cardiff Moon Club
Sunday 6th October 2013 – Exeter Phoenix Art Centre
Monday 7th October 2013 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Tuesday 8th October 2013 – Oxford Academy
Wednesday 9th October 2013 – London Tabernacle
Thursday 10th October 2013 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Friday 11th October 2013 – Liverpool Leaf Cafe
Sunday 13th October 2013 – Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire
Monday 14th October 2013 – Glasgow King Tut’s
Tuesday 15th October 2013 – Belfast McHughs
Wednesday 16th October 2013 – Dublin Academy 2
By Mary Chang on Tuesday, 1st October 2013 at 9:00 am
Following on from a sold out winter 2013 tour, the sisters Haim have announced they will be returning to the UK and Ireland in March 2014. Tickets are on sale on Friday at 9 AM.
If you want to watch something, err, unusual, watch the sisters perform on the Andrew Marr show, in front of PM David Cameron, on the BBC Web site here. Reportedly, they dedicated ‘The Wire’ to him. Make of that what you will.
Tuesday 4th March 2014 – Nottingham Rock City
Thursday 6th March 2014 – London Brixton Academy
Friday 7th March 2014 – Brighton Dome
Saturday 8th March 2014 – Manchester Academy
Monday 10th March 2014 – Dublin Olympia
Tuesday 11th March 2014 – Sheffield Academy
Wednesday 12th March 2014 – Glasgow Barrowlands
The sumptuous surroundings of The Lexington in London’s Kings Cross, with its deep claret walls, raised mezzanine and Victorian charm, always seems to yield a civilised affair. Especially when set against the floorboard-ripping antics of Camden’s many boozer/venue crossovers that lay just the other side of the station. And, here again, a diverse crowd of loyal fans and curious new-bloods converged for Sky Larkin’s first London show in 3 years; an intimate airing of their already acclaimed third studio album ‘Motto’, released just a day earlier on Wichita Recordings – “the only label that will bring you a whiskey on stage”. (Read Carrie’s review of ‘Motto’ here.)
Opening with ‘Still Windmills’ from their second album ‘Kaleide’, it was fitting that the first lyrics uttered that night were: “I know there’s potential”. Not only was their live sound a nicely fattened, foie gras extension of the playfully whimsical vocals and multi-level guitar fog of their studio sound, but, as we were soon to find out, their latest material represents an effortless slide into musical maturity. ‘Treasury’, the first offering from their new album, was transformed into a kind of call-and-response meeting of tempos that hadn’t been half as evident on the album. It’s a racy number, dripping with feedback, which climaxes with lead singer and guitarist Katie Harkin wailing at the mic from six inches away to add a new realm of reverb.
Their next track, ‘Loom’, carries the same kind of infectious potential you’re warned about in sex ed classes, with an accompanying video that playfully juxtaposes the sense of frustration through inactivity elicited in the lyrics. Their live interpretation had an air of Giant Drag about it, and for such a streamlined guy, bassist Sam Pryor managed to produce a behemoth bass line more reminiscent of rolling thunder. In so many ways this song sums up Sky Larkin’s approach to music; forgoing the passions of love and hate for an investigation into the nuances of normality.
A flutter of high-hat and snare from drummer Nestor Matthews gave the chorus of their next track, ‘Carve It Out’, a sense of brevity that lifted it above the more conventional indie rhythms that had been on display so far. A busy number with a thousand components, the track showcased the versatility that, in part, is the reason ‘Motto’ is on an upward trajectory. Next up, ‘Bravo Dodo’ was a lesson in how to make a two word chorus imply more than any Meatloaf-like barrage of language; sitting back on the beat, confident in its own majesty.
‘Frozen Summer’, a slow burner centred around just two chords, built progressively into an epic closing section that married interstellar cyclic arpeggios and a lumbering, comedy dinosaur bass line. The interaction between the three present band members during this track gave the biggest indication yet of the kind of rapport that can be cultivated from spending 8 years onstage together (although Sam Pryor only stepped in last year, and guitarist Nile Marr was absent). Between jibes about Sunderland Sam’s “why-aye phone”, and the hilariously cutting query over whether “anyone here was from London”, it could be seen that such comfort suggests that this album, as the lyrics suggest, represents the summer of their own souls.
Harkin got lost somewhere in the stripped-back simplicity of at the start of ‘Newsworthy’, focused squarely on a single spot on the back wall to the extent that you didn’t want to turn round in case you saw a rogue 747 making a beeline from Heathrow. By the end of the track – a standout on the new album – she was beating on her guitar with fervour, a theme that continued (with just a hint of indie irony) into ‘Matador’, from their 2009 debut ‘The Golden Spike’. A well placed cover can tell you so much about a band’s influences and mission statement. And, so it was that the band descended into X-Ray Spex’s ‘The Day the World Turned Day-Glo’; a choice that signifies a move away from bigoted feminine pop archetypes and towards a more tongue-in-cheek, lyrically challenging concoction. Oh bondage, up yours!
One last sojourn into ‘The Golden Spike’ with ‘Summit’ was clearly appreciated by the old faithful and, after a wrangle over whether an encore was worthwhile if you had to walk through the crowd to get out, they decided to plunge straight into their closing number, the title track of their latest album ‘Motto’. Quite a statement for a final track, and likely to be the only song that has had the time to be fully digested by their fans, ‘Motto’ built out of three lonely chords with a bass line reminiscent of the opening of The Doors’ ‘LA Woman’. It is not a similarity that continued, however, and the freedom Katie was able to express through her wandering vocal melodies kept raising that same X-Ray Spex inspired flag. Seemingly somewhat of a satire on the music industry’s promise to deliver “the mottos to mutter” (or, more accurately “the catchphrase of the cash cow”), it was evident by now that Sky Larkin had given everything in an hour-long burst of energy; creating something that no amount of pay advances and larynx insurance could conjure – real world emotion.
By Mary Chang on Wednesday, 25th September 2013 at 9:00 am
Danish singer/songwriter Nanna Øland Fabricius – aka Oh Land – has announced a short string of dates for December 2013. Tickets are on sale now.
Monday 2nd December 2013 – Manchester Deaf Institute
Tuesday 3rd December 2013 – Glasgow King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
Wednesday 4th December 2013 – Birmingham Institute @ the Temple
Thursday 5th December 2013 – London Scala
Friday 6th December 2013 – Brighton Haunt
By Mary Chang on Monday, 23rd September 2013 at 9:00 am
Scottish rock heroes Franz Ferdinand will be touring the UK and Ireland next March. Tickets are on sale now.
And if you want a laugh, watch the video for ‘Evil Eye’, from their current Domino Records album ‘Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action’ (reviewed by John here) embedded below the tour dates. A bit gruesome but funny gruesome.
Friday 14th March 2014 – London Roundhouse
Monday 17th March 2014 – Brighton Dome
Tuesday 18th March 2014 – Bristol Academy
Wednesday 19th March 2014 – Southampton Guildhall
Friday 21st March 2014 – Birmingham Academy
Saturday 22nd March 2014 – Manchester Academy
Sunday 23rd March 2014 – Dublin Olympia
Tuesday 25th March 2014 – Glasgow Barrowlands
Wednesday 26th March 2014 – Leeds Academy
Thursday 27th March 2014 – Newcastle Academy