By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 20th June 2013 at 8:00 am
Indie favourites Pigeon Detectives have revealed they will be touring the UK this autumn, in October and November. Tickets are available now.
Thursday 17th October 2013 – Aberdeen Lemon Tree
Friday 18th October 2013 – Dundee Fat Sam’s
Saturday 19th October 2013 – Edinburgh Electric Circus
Monday 21st October 2013 – Newcastle Warehouse 34
Tuesday 22nd October 2013 – Lincoln Engine Shed
Thursday 24th October 2013 – Barrow-in-Furness Nines
Friday 25th October 2013 – Manchester Academy 2
Saturday 26th October 2013 – Wolverhampton Slade Room
Sunday 27th October 2013 – Gloucester Guildhall
Tuesday 29th October 2013 – Cardiff Globe
Wednesday 30th October 2013 – London Koko
Thursday 31st October 2013 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Friday 1st November 2013 – Folkestone Quarterhouse
Saturday 2nd November 2013 – Leeds Metropolitan University
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 4th June 2013 at 10:00 am
Leeds trio Dinosaur Pile-Up are offering up a free download of their track ‘Hanging By a Thread’ on their Facebook page, if you simply ‘Like’ their page. Go here to get the mp3.
The band will be on tour in the UK in July; the mayhem begins the 3rd of July in Newcastle. Tickets are on sale now.
Wednesday 3rd July 2013 – Newcastle Think Tank
Thursday 4th July 2013 – Dundee Beat Generator
Friday 5th July 2013 – Aberdeen Tunnels
Sunday 7th July 2013 – Glasgow King Tuts
Monday 8th July 2013 – Hull Fruit
Tuesday 9th July 2013 – York Duchess
Wednesday 10th July 2013 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Friday 12th July 2013 – Manchester Ruby Lounge
Saturday 13th July 2013 – Liverpool Shipping Forecast
Sunday 14th July 2013 – Cardiff Buffalo Bar
Monday 15th July 2013 – Birmingham Flapper
Wednesday 17th July 2013 – London Cargo
Thursday 18th July 2013 – Southampton Joiners
Friday 19th July 2013 – Bristol Louisiana
Saturday 20th July 2013 – Brighton Hope
The fantastic Fenech-Soler are gearing up to release their sophomore album ‘Rituals’ on the 2nd of September, and they’ll be going out on tour in the UK and Ireland in support of it in November. Tickets to this tour are on sale now.
Watch their latest video for single ‘Magnetic’ (out the 1st of July) in this previous Video of the Moment post.
Thursday 7th November 2013 – Liverpool East Village Arts Club
Friday 8th November 2013 – Belfast Limelight 2
Saturday 9th November 2013 – Dublin Academy 2
Monday 11th November 2013 – Aberdeen Tunnels
Tuesday 12th November 2013 – Glasgow Kings Tut’s
Thursday 14th November 2013 – Newcastle Academy 2
Friday 15th November 2013 – Manchester Gorilla
Saturday 16th November 2013 – Birmingham Institute
Sunday 17th November 2013 – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Tuesday 19th November 2013 – Bristol Thekla
Wednesday 20th November 2013 – Brighton Concorde 2
Thursday 21st November 2013 – London Shepherds Bush Empire
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 30th May 2013 at 2:00 pm
All photos by TGTF Head Photographer Martin Sharman; see the full gallery of high-res photos from this gig here.
As the American editor of a UK/US music Web site, I hope this will become a more common occurrence in the very near future. But in general, it is a very rare treat for me to see a seminal ’80s band that I loved as a child in a venue as beautiful as the Gateshead Sage. When I took the train in from Edinburgh, I spied from out the carriage window a massive, hulking silver piece of architecture that I wouldn’t have been able to miss. Shortly after I’d arrived, I met up with Martin at the pub and he explained, “ah yes. That would be the Sage”.
Newcastle – and Gateshead for that matter – surprised me on many levels; maybe it was the fact that I arrived on a clear, sunny day and the skyline was breathtaking, but compared to the usual city suspects I visit in my travels (London, Manchester, Liverpool), the city feels very much like a younger, cleaner, smarter brother to all of those. The Sage, in all its grandeur as a posher place to see orchestras and rock bands alike, fits neatly into this description. It’s even better when you’re shown to your seat by a real live Geordie usher. Ah, North East accents, they’re adorable! (Somewhat related tangent: when I watched the Stoke vs. Sunderland match in a Glaswegian bar the previous Tuesday and was absolutely enthralled by O’Shea’s equalising goal for Sunderland in the second half, I got this Tweet from David Brewis of Field Music, and Martin’s attempt at recreating the sound of a Sunderland accent saying this made me chuckle.)
The ’80s band in question was, of course, OMD. Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys’ career in the UK hasn’t followed the same trajectory as in America, and this distinction was made starkly clear during this show in Gateshead. I think I can safely say among Americans that the most instantly recognisable song of theirs – and certainly the most played of theirs on MOR ’80s radio stations these days – all happened as the result of one ‘If You Leave’ being included as part of the soundtrack to Howard Hughes’ teenage angst film Pretty in Pink, starring then Hollywood teen heartthrobs Molly Ringwald and (one of my personal favourites, swoon) Andrew McCarthy. McCluskey himself acknowledged that this inclusion wasn’t very rock ‘n’ roll: “a long time ago we sold our souls to the devil…Well, to Paramount Pictures, and it made our drummer very rich!” They were one of the first then-current bands of the era whose British English spelling of their name sent me into rapture: “Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark”. So sophisticated!
In America, OMD owes this song a lot to their mainstream popularity; when we’d seen them 2 years ago at 9:30 Club, saying that the audience was entirely in rapture during its playing would have been an understatement. Interestingly, this is not the same reception the song received in Gateshead. I’ve never seen such a country-specific divide at a show before. I’m also wondering if the multimedia presentation with swiveling panels high above the stage will make it to America this summer, as I’m meant to see them again in July; Ringwald’s photogenic face projected on these panels made for a compelling visual, though I’m positive it would go over like gangbusters here in DC and have a far better reaction. For sheer crowd reaction, I’d say Britain’s ‘If You Leave’ is probably ‘Enola Gay’, another very worthy contender in the OMD oeuvre.
But let me start at the beginning. As readers know, OMD released their latest album ‘English Electric’ in April (my review here), and you’d be right in assuming the current set list takes full advantage of the new release; the show began with the confounding ‘Please Be Seated’ album intro, followed by the competent but not hugely anthemic ‘Metroland’. While it has its moments, I don’t find it a particularly strong record, so I was disappointed that the set didn’t include more from 2010’s ‘History of Modern’. That said, the evening’s set was a nice selection of back catalogue gems (‘Messages’, ‘Tesla Girls’, ‘The Pacific Age’ with Humphreys on lead vocal duties, ‘Maid of Orleans’) interspersed with the high tech whimsy of ‘English Electric’ (‘Kissing the Machine’, the absolutely dotty ‘Atomic Ranch’, the sure to be future classic ‘Dresden’). All the while, McCluskey’s style of inexhaustible somewhat dad-dancing style of interpretative dance was on display, to the well-dressed punters’ glee. (Yes: if you’re seeing in a show at the Sage and it’s a well-known band you’re seeing, expect to pay upwards of £30 per ticket.) The end of the night was capped off by a brilliant rendition of the first song the pair wrote as boys in the Wirral; ‘Electricity’ never fails to wow.
The best thing about the night? Martin had never seen OMD live before and afterwards, he revealed, “I quite enjoyed that!” Result! I was asked many times on this trip to Britain what spurred me on to become a music writer in the first place. Two reasons really: one, I wanted more British bands to be aware of the DC market and to stop skipping us in favour of Philadelphia (this is happening less, and I think this is because of my hard work), and two, to encourage folks to listen and try out music they might otherwise venture into themselves. Martin’s music taste is impeccable (of course it is, he writes for us ::grin::), so the fact that I turned him on to a band I really like, that is just icing on the cake.
After the cut: the set list.
Continue reading Live Review: OMD at Gateshead Sage – 13th May 2013
Public Service Broadcasting are a multimedia project, mixing live drums and guitar with samples, sequences and visual films, to create a modern, danceable soundtrack to historic records of events that changed the course of history. They take as their inspiration and sampling material that rich vein of mid-century film footage which gloried in the wonder of British achievements, celebrating the majesty of heavy engineering, the valour of daring explorers, and the gritty triumph of war. The band themselves mirror the tone of their subject matter by dressing in tweeds and having names like Wriglesworth; one half-expects the other band members to be called Ginger and Algy, and for them to fly off in Sopwith Camels after the show is over.
Each piece brings to life a particular microcosm of history via clips from vintage newsreels, spanning about 20 years from the early 1940s to the advent of practical colour television in the 1960s. Wartime propaganda is invoked in ‘Dig for Victory’, the distinctive iconography exhorting the populace to self-reliance via growing their own food is writ large across several vintage television sets adapted for digital projection. ‘Spitfire’ uses copious footage from the 1942 film The First Of The Few to honour the achievements of RJ Mitchell, the designer of arguably the most famous aircraft ever built.
And what sequence of wartime tributes would be complete without the famously lugubrious tones of Winston Spencer Churchill himself? Progressing from the war years, there’s music and film evoking topics as disparate as recreational drugs, the conquest of Mount Everest, and the advent of colour television. Perhaps the most symbiotic conflation of soundtrack and visual is found in the celebration of postal trains – the visceral impact of the pounding, steel-on-steel rhythmic chatter of a steam train at full speed is expertly captured in the music, the visuals a reminder of the brute force engineering which was once required for the transmission of data in a pre-digital world.
The whole project is as much a tribute to the unnamed writers, directors, cameramen and narrators of the original films as it is a vehicle for PSB’s original music. As the project name suggests, the imagery is so powerful and the subject matter of such importance to the British national story that the performance would be just as much at home as part of an Imperial War Museum educational installation than on the gig circuit; surely any student of history bored of dry textbook treatments could find fresh inspiration here.
But surely the most intriguing aspect of the whole performance is the sociopolitical context. It has been the tactic of several so-called ‘progressive’ politicians of the last decade or two to belittle any display of appreciation of the culture and achievements of the moderately recent past with such labels as ‘reactionary’ and ‘populist’. Yet here we have a modern audience lapping up – and the volume of applause is testament to just how much the audience enjoy this performance – a series of reminders of what Britain was once like, and how her achievements literally changed the world. Never in my lifetime have I experienced a large crowd so enamoured to see a film of a Spitfire in flight, cheering a Royal Navy destroyer pounding through a rough sea, or applauding a Churchill speech. But that is what Public Service Broadcasting have managed, and that is perhaps their greatest achievement of all.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 29th May 2013 at 10:00 am
The Manchester/Marple brotherhood is alive and well. Need evidence? Dutch Uncles have just been announced as support for Everything Everything‘s October UK tour (all the dates listed below) and they’ve gone and done a remix of EE’s ‘Duet’ that is now available as a free download to all. Win-win for all of us!
Friday 4th October 2013 – Newcastle Academy*
Saturday 5th October 2013 – Edinburgh Picture House* (added 12 July; on sale 19 July)
Sunday 6th October 2013 – Glasgow ABC* (added 12 July; on sale 19 July)
Tuesday 8th October 2013 – Dublin Academy
Wednesday 9th October 2013 – Belfast Limelight
Friday 11th October 2013 – Manchester Ritz* (sold out)
Saturday 12th October 2013 – Manchester Ritz*
Sunday 13th October 2013 – Liverpool Academy*
Tuesday 15th October 2013 – Bristol Academy*
Wednesday 16th October 2013 – Portsmouth Pyramid*
Thursday 17th October 2013 – Cardiff University*
Friday 18th October 2013 – Birmingham Institute*
Sunday 20th October 2013 – Norwich UEA*
Monday 21st October 2013 – Nottingham Rock City*
Tuesday 22nd October 2013 – Sheffield Academy*
Thursday 24th October 2013 – London Forum*
Friday 25th October 2013 – London Forum*
* with support from Dutch Uncles