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By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 20th March 2013 at 4:00 pm
Back in January, the Strokes surprised everyone with their ’80s sounding offering ‘One Way Trigger’. (You can listen to the track here.) Now they have a new video for their song ‘All the Time’, which is a frenetic bunch of clips behind the scenes of their touring life over the last decade or so. Watch it below.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 29th January 2013 at 10:00 am
So the new Strokes song ‘One Way Trigger’ has itself triggered divided opinion. 6music’s Lauren Laverne yesterday compared it to the Stranglers; her programme listeners say it sounds like a-ha, which I agree with more as it’s got a definite ’80s vibe. Listen to and download the track below.
The final day of Leeds Festival 2011 brought with it dryness and a relative calm that I hadn’t seen all weekend, no frantic rushing to tents. Just good music. Well, for most of the day anyway… Speaking of music that just is not good in the slightest, my first port of call for the day was the Main Stage to watch Pigeon Detectives. Beginning with their set with arguably their most popular track ‘I Found Out’ was their first mistake, as they had my attention for that brief point. But from then on though, it was as I expected. A set as tragically flawed as the band themselves, riddled with album tracks that nobody cares about at home, let alone at a festival. Truly a thoroughly dour start to my final day.
It was only fair that after such musical torture, I was gifted with the brilliant music of Seasick Steve, doing what he does best, getting crowds to love him with his brilliant style of DIY bluegrass rock ‘n’ roll. Halfway through his set he does what anybody who is third on the Main Stage at a festival wishes they can do to get the crowd going: nothing huge, just something like bring on a member of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band of all time, Led Zeppelin. Yes. John Paul Jones. With JPJ on bass, Steve hammering his bizarre instruments and a drummer with a longer beard than Steve himself, the trio on stage was a force. ‘Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks’ sounded positively fierce and ‘Thunderbird’ was easily the highlight of the first few bands of the day.
Two Door Cinema Club strolled onstage, and within seconds girls all around me were clambering over each other to be as close to these Irish charmers. Two Door surely could not have anticipated what a success ‘Tourist History’ was going to be, so the thousands upon thousands of people mimicking every track back at them must have been quite a shock. [Editor’s note: not really to us at TGTF. We wrote about a couple of their songs in a Kitsune sampler in January 2010 and then mused on the actual album 2 months later.] Their delivery was fantastic though, and throughout the gig they had the crowd placed firmly within the palms of their hands.
To follow Two Door in the form they are in can hardly be seen as an undaunting task. So it probably helped that the guys to do it are the most seasoned pros on the bill: enter Madness. Beginning with classic ‘One Step Beyond’, the crowd were already in full swing, gone were the attempts at mosh pits and in their place, everyone doing a strange minimalistic rendition of the running man. Their set was riddled with classics: ‘Baggy Trousers’ was greeted to a huge reception and ‘House of Fun’ was literally the most ‘fun’ song of the day.
From a band centred on dancing about like there’s no tomorrow to a band who in all honesty aren’t exactly the jolliest fellows around, this of course was the pioneers of emo kids Jimmy Eat World. Their set was by far too long for the amount of material they had; while ‘Bleed America,’ ‘The Middle’ and ‘Sweetness’ were fantastic, nobody cared about ‘Coffee and Cigarettes’, let alone enough to hear it when you could be heading over to see Bombay Bicycle Club…hey, wait a minute. That sounds like a good idea! So I did!
Bombay’s crowd was, as expected, huge, as is the hype around these nervous little boys. While they may not look the most confident bunch, they still manage to capture the crowd brilliantly. Sure, it helps that they have some seriously solid tune,s but I think the nervousness plays well for them. New single ‘Shuffle’ from their new album ‘A Different Kind of Fix’ (review here) sounded note perfect live and could easily grow into one of the biggest strings on their live bow. They finished with ‘Always Like This’ to bring an end to a set which they breezed through, the crowd hooked on every word.
Next up were co-headliners the Strokes (pictured at top), who turned out to be truly awful. They are a band with such a reputation but who managed to look as uninterested from the beginning as I became halfway through their dry, unimaginative set. Julian Casablancas looked as if he wanted to be anywhere else but here and that was how I started to feel as the hits faded into plugging of the new album. The one highlight had to be ‘Juicebox’, which added some much needed energy to the proceedings. Bar that, disappointing is the only word I can use to describe their set. Devoid of any showmanship, any invention.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 18th April 2011 at 6:00 pm
Put together by Alfred Hammond Jr. of the the Strokes, here’s the video for ‘Call Me Back’, from the band’s recently released album ‘Angles’. It’s not flashy but considering the song is very chill, the visuals work quite nicely.
You can read Luke’s review of ‘Angles’ here.
By CoCo Wong
on Thursday, 24th March 2011 at 11:00 am
One of the most highly-anticipated music festivals in the UK is returning to Richfield Avenue and Bramham Park this summer. Yep, it’s Reading and Leeds, held during the August bank holiday weekend.
Apart from the headliners, this year’s line-up looks not too different from the one from last year. The Strokes, who have just released their new album ‘Angles’ (TGTF review here), seem to be one of the biggest names this year. Elbow will be a blast as well as they will no doubt play tracks from ‘build a rocket boys!’ Other headliners include Muse (pictured above), My Chemical Romance, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Pulp and Interpol.
Let’s move on to the NME/ Radio 1 stage, the stage I’m most interested in. Metronomy and Patrick Wolf will definitely be highlights. I personally think that Reading’s second day on the NME stage line up is the best for Ilike all the bands playing; I’m particularly looking forward to Everything Everything’s performance, and Kiwis the Naked and Famous are going to be fun to watch as well. Other great acts include Noah and the Whale, White Lies, Crystal Castles, Bombay Bicycle Club, Warpaint, Chapel Club and Cage the Elephant.
The Festival takes place on the August Bank Holiday weekend – Friday 26th to Sunday 28th August 2011. The tickets are available from SeeTickets (0870 060 3775). As for purchasing in person, tickets are available at the following 3 HMV stores: Reading Oracle, Southampton (weekend tickets only) and Oxford (weekend tickets only). Tickets are £199.50 for the weekend and £89.50 per day.
The line-up as announced so far is after the cut.
Continue reading Preview: Reading and Leeds 2011
For a band who have achieved the level of fame reserved only for a select few, the Strokes were under a lot of pressure with their latest album. ‘Angles’ is the band’s first release in 5 years since ‘First Impressions Of Earth’ which, frankly, was not as strong as debut record ‘Is This It?’ Could the New York City rockers revert back to their former glory and create a record to elevate them onto the next pedestal of rock ‘n’ roll infamy?
At first glance, ‘Angles’ looks nothing more than a filler album. Ten tracks which come in at just under 35 minutes is nothing less than unconventional compared to band’s other albums. Similarly, the band recently revealed to ShortList magazine that they were already working on the follow-up to this LP. So perhaps ‘Angles’ is a stopgap between longer albums and is more of a glorified EP?
The album begins with the very ’80s ‘Machu Picchu’ laced with electro synth pop intertwined with Julian Casablancas’ unmistakable voice. Despite not being the usual Strokes-esque track, it is catchy and could easily be a single. For an album expected to be the biggest thing in American indie this year, it’s an interesting choice for an opener. The first single from the album, ‘Under Cover Of Darkness’, is one of the best songs on the album. It’s upbeat, catchy and grows on you faster than a tropical disease. It’s undeniably the Strokes and ‘Angles’ is a much stronger album because of it, as some of the tracks simply aren’t the same standard, or even the same style.
The majority of the album doesn’t fit the mould of the band. Despite there being an obvious undertone of the New York noiseniks throughout, a lot of the songs deviate from the band’s usual sound and ultimately don’t fulfill the urges of a Strokes fan whose been waiting with baited breath for years. ‘You’re So Right’ and ‘Call Me Back’ are packed with effects and are much slower affairs than the Strokes’ usual repertoire.
‘Angles’ can’t actually figure out what it’s trying to be. ‘Taken For A Fool’ has a funk feel to it, whereas ‘Games’ reverts back to the ’80s style of ‘Machu Picchu’ earlier in the LP; it even features pan pipes! There are, however, some songs which work incredibly well. In fact, the latter part of the album. ‘Gratisfaction’ is an upbeat and overall happy song: with its chorus, it brings a nice bounciness to the slower and at times weaker tracks before it.
Album closer ‘Life Is Simple In The Moonlight’ is another prime song on the record. It’s quite minimal and chilled but doesn’t wander off into nothingness like a number of tracks on ‘Angles’. It is one of the best examples of a slower song by the Strokes in their entire back catalogue. Its chorus is upbeat and keeps the song moving along, keeping the band and unique sound alive. A great way to end an album which, overall, could have delivered better on its promise.
‘Angles’ by the Strokes is available now.