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By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 14th May 2014 at 2:00 pm
Just prior to playing a high-profile – and Yorkshire Tea-sponsored, I might add, complete with tea on tap – gig at London Village Underground on Thursday, Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson of Slow Club decided to play back to back and entirely free warm-up shows in their hometown of Sheffield on the Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. I’d never have known about it if it hadn’t been for my local, musically inclined hosts for my 4-night holiday in Steel City, who clued me in that they were playing these shows at the Great Gatsby on Division Street and I’d be a fool not to go.
Funnily enough, Martin and I had swung by the place Sunday night when he’d come into town to have dinner with me in Broomhill as a respite after we’d both finished our festival coverage that weekend (3 days at Liverpool Sound City for me, Saturday’s Live at Leeds for him) and we didn’t stay there on the grounds (Martin’s) that it was “filled with townies”, so I instead took him out to the Shakespeare instead, as it was the only other place I’d been on my last trip there. But returning to the Gatsby on Tuesday night for an actual gig was a much more delectable proposition.
The support act for the night I caught were also local to Sheffield: Seize the Chair, who Steve Lamacq once told me he considered “a great little band”. Admittedly, their name scared me (thinking about how one of my laddish mates giving them nothing but superlatives from their appearances at past Tramlines didn’t help) and made me think I, a terribly claustrophobic person, had made a huge mistake in choosing to spend my evening in the cramped and very hot and sweaty confines of the top floor of the Gatsby. I sucked down a cider in record time in an attempt to cool down. The band themselves seem to have been amused by my fear, RTing my Tweet that I was not sure I’d survive 2 hours in that sweat box. (I find it entirely ironic that their Facebook description reads “cool cool conditioned air”. Snort.) While Seize the Chair were loud (pounding drums, crashing guitars and the occasional shriek), they weren’t aggro as I had envisioned.
I have to be honest, upon hearing the title cut from their new forthcoming album ‘Complete Surrender’ out on the 14th of July on Caroline Records (previous Video of the Moment here), I thought Slow Club had jumped the shark. The song sounds more pop and Radio 1 and the video looks more Beyonce and less the thoughtful, emotional folk duo I had remembered from days gone by when I’d seen them in DC on Valentine’s Day in 2012 and at SXSW that year, when Rebecca was sporting her Wednesday football shirt. I figured I’d be able to tell from their expressions playing live if their hearts weren’t in it. However, judging from their wide smiles, they’re enjoying the change in direction. Maybe they were tired after two albums of the same ol’ schtick and wanted to try something else as indicated by the title of fresher tune ‘Everything is New’?
The crowd, which besides myself I guessed was made up of skint and/or curious uni students and all the band’s local mates, was quietly appreciative of the newer cuts included in the set list but naturally, they enjoyed the older numbers. My personal favourite of the night was a Rebecca Taylor solo version of ‘Not Mine to Love’, which to my knowledge never had an official release as a single. (Good news: it’s on the new album. Dying from its loveliness will be commencing all around the world, then.) It’s a clear example of how pained and emotional Taylor’s voice can be, given the proper forum. I think that’s what I worry most about Slow Club’s future: are they trading emotional content for chart success?
It’s hard for me critique the new songs, since it was the first time I’d heard them, but the duo along with their live backing band seem committed to the new direction and if this gig is a harbinger of things to come, there will be more energetic, dancier moments in their live sets than ever before. Taylor encouraged everyone to dance and return for the next night’s gig before closing out the set with ‘Two Cousins’. So not everything has changed. Good to know.
After the cut: Slow Club’s set list.
Continue reading Live Review: Slow Club with Seize the Chair at Sheffield Great Gatsby – 6th May 2014
Oxford dance doctors Glass Animals have just announced a tour of the UK in support of their debut album, ‘Zaba’, which is scheduled for release on the 9th of June via Wolf Tone Records. Tickets for the following shows are available now.
Saturday 14th June 2014 – Cardiff Buffalo Bar
Monday 16th June 2014 – Bristol Lantern
Wednesday 18th June 2014 – London Meltdown Festival
Friday 20th June 2014 – Leeds Belgrave Music Hall
Saturday 21st June 2014 – Manchester Ruby Lounge
Monday 23rd June 2014 – Newcastle Think Tank
Wednesday 25th June 2014 – Sheffield Bungalows and Bears
Thursday 26th June 2014 – Oxford Jericho Tavern *added 30/05/2014
Multifaceted singer/songwriter Paloma Faith has just announced a full UK tour for this autumn, following a handful of May shows around the release of her upcoming single, ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’. The newly-released video for that song, from her recent album ‘A Perfect Contradiction’, can be found below the tour date listing.
Tickets for the October and November dates go on sale on this Friday, the 4th of April, at 10 AM.
Friday 23rd May 2014 – Ipswich Regent
Saturday 24th May 2014 – Cambridge Corn Exchange
Tuesday 27th May 2014 – London Roundhouse
Wednesday 28th May 2014 – London Roundhouse
Tuesday 28th October 2014 – Sheffield City Hall
Wednesday 29th October 2014 – Southend Cliffs Pavilion
Friday 31st October 2014 – Hull City Hall
Saturday 1st November 2014 – York Barbican
Sunday 2nd November 2014 – Leeds O2 Academy
Tuesday 4th November 2014 – Liverpool Empire
Wednesday 5th November 2014 – Manchester O2 Apollo
Saturday 8th November 2014 – Plymouth Pavilions
Sunday 9th November 2014 – Reading Hexagon
Monday 10th November 2014 – Birmingham Symphony Hall
Wednesday 12th November 2014 – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
Thursday 13th November 2014 – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
Friday 14th November 2014 – Leicester De Montford Hall
Sunday 16th November 2014 – Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
Monday 17th November 2014 – Aberdeen Music Hall
Tuesday 18th November 2014 – Newcastle City Hall
Thursday 20th November 2014 – Bath Forum
Friday 21st November 2014 – Brighton Centre
Saturday 22nd November 2014 – Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Monday 24th November 2014 – Folkstone Leas Cliff Hall
Tuesday 25th November 2014 – London Eventim Apollo (Hammersmith)
Doves frontman Jimi Goodwin has announced his first full solo UK tour for May, in support of his upcoming solo album, ‘Odludek’. These dates are in addition to his previously announced warm up dates later this month and his support slot for Elbow‘s arena tour in April.
‘Odludek’ will be released on the 24th of March on Heavenly Records. Watch the video for its first single ‘Oh! Whiskey’ in this previous Video of the Moment post.
Tickets for the following dates go on sale this Friday the 28th of February.
Friday 2nd May 2014 – Sheffield Leadmill
Saturday 3rd May 2014 – Liverpool Sound City
Sunday 4th May 2014 – Kendal Malt Room
Tuesday 6th May 2014 – Newcastle Think Tank
Wednesday 7th May 2014 – Norwich Waterfront
Saturday 10th May 2014 – Glasgow King Tut’s
Sunday 11th May 2014 – Belfast Black Box
Monday 12th May 2014 – Dublin Whelan’s
Thursday 15th May 2014 – Cardiff Gate
Friday 16th May 2014 – London Islington Assembly Hall
Sunday 18th May 2014 – Bristol Thekla
Monday 19th May 2014 – Oxford O2 Academy 2
Tuesday 20th May 2014 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Thursday 22nd May 2014 – Colchester Arts Centre
Friday 23rd May 2014 – Birmingham Library
Monday 26th May 2014 – Manchester Gorilla
Brighton-based four-piece Wildflowers center their folk rock sound around the vocal harmonies of sisters Siddy and Kit Bennett. Siblings almost always have a unique ability to perfectly match their vocal diction for seamless harmonies, but the sisters also share a love of rebellious female songs, citing Alanis Morrisette as an early musical influence. Hints of Morrisette certainly appear in Wildflowers’ lyrics and Siddy Bennett’s vocal delivery, but the overall sound leans more toward the bluesy country of Patsy Cline. The Bennett sisters cite their nomadic, bohemian upbringing as an influence on their music as well, with American bands like The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac informing the full-scale vocal harmonies they share with band members James Ashbury and Kendal Sant.
On listening to the tracks available on the band’s Soundcloud page, I was struck by the variety in their songs. The live version of ‘Let It Go’ from BBC Introducing in September 2013 is catchy, upbeat and a little gritty, but nicely balanced by the sweet vocals. ‘Tell Them I’m Your Woman’ makes the Patsy Cline influence abundantly clear, and while Siddy Bennett’s voice doesn’t quite hit that mark, her throaty vocals and the sexy percussion and guitars do pack some emotional heat. The bluesy, almost gospel sound is turned up even further on ‘I Need to Hit That Road’ (don’t miss the chorus of this one!) and ‘Took Me to the River’ (see the video for this track at the bottom of this post).
Wildflowers are just finishing a supporting tour for singer/songwriter Tom Odell and are set to embark on their own headline tour of the UK in March, ahead of their scheduled appearance at SXSW 2014. Their debut EP ‘Wild Among The Flowers’ is available now.
Thursday 13th February 2014 – Sheffield O2 Academy (supporting Tom Odell)
Wednesday 5th March 2014 – Manchester Castle Hotel
Thursday 6th March 2014 – Glasgow Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’s
Friday 7th March 2014 – Liverpool Korova
Saturday 8th March 2014 – Birmingham Sunflower Lounge
Monday 10th March 2014 – Bristol Louisiana
Tuesday 11th March 2014 – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
Wednesday 12th March 2014 – Cambridge Portland Arms
Thursday 13th March 2014 – London Sebright Arms
London quartet Wolf Alice have just announced a May 2014 tour of the UK, to follow their appearance at SXSW 2014 in March. Tour dates include festival appearances at Liverpool Sound City, Live at Leeds, and Stockton’s Sunday Live the first May bank holiday, as well as the band’s largest headline show to date at London Scala on the 28th of May. Wolf Alice will be joined by Superfood on all dates except on 12th of May. Tickets will go on sale Wednesday the 5th February at 9 AM.
The band’s EP ‘Blush’ is out now on Chess Club Records. Check out the video for the song of the same title below the tour date listing.
Thursday 1st May 2014 – Glasgow King Tut’s
Friday 2nd May 2014 – Liverpool Sound City
Saturday 3rd May 2014 – Live at Leeds
Sunday 4th May 2014 – Stockton Sunday Live
Monday 5th May 2014 – Hull Fruit
Tuesday 6th May 2014 – Sheffield Leadmill 2
Wednesday 7th May 2014 – Newcastle Think Tank
Thursday 8th May 2014 – York Duchess
Monday 12th May 2014 – Birmingham Temple
Tuesday 13th May 2014 – Oxford Academy 2
Wednesday 14th May 2014 – Cambridge Portland Arms
Thursday 15th May 2014 – Bedford Esquires
Friday 16th May 2014 – Guildford Boileroom
Saturday 17th May 2014 – Leicester Cookie Jar
Sunday 18th May 2014 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Tuesday 20th May 2014 – Brighton Haunt
Wednesday 21st May 2014 – Preston 53 Degrees
Thursday 22nd May 2014 – Stoke Sugarmill
Tuesday 27th May 2014 – Milton Keynes Craufurd Arms
Wednesday 28th May 2014 – London Scala