In the last couple weeks, we asked you to vote for the top 10 artists you thought would be big in 2013. Starting the list off at #10 in fine fashion are a grunge/blues band from Bath…
Kill It Kid are going to rock your world in 2013. Their astonishing revival of the blues via crunching, wall-demolishing guitars sweetened with tongue-tingling girl vocal lines means their only competition on the circuit is similarly bi-gender practitioners of homespun blues-rock Band of Skulls. Think a contemporary backyard G ‘n’ R with prominent piano and a *strong* female influence that never gives up even when faced with several channels of guitar onslaught and the usual male tendency to dominate.
In the sparse, keening intro to ‘Wild and Wasted Waters’ (video below), one is reminded how desolate and yet fulfilling the delta blues of south-west North America can be, particularly when interpreted through the body and soul of practitioners from a geographically similar region of England. There’s nothing to pick between the regions for sincerity and conviction; indeed the sentiment that Kill It Kid ply is married to that of the spiritual USA: it’s heard in the enthusiasm for minor keys, the worship of the diminished fifth, and the vintage-toned arrangements.
Theirs is the world of smoky, aromatic last-minute shows; scuffed and scraped Les Pauls hurriedly mated with ancient Twin Reverbs, frayed leads and cracked pop guards further reinforcing the intimate, heartfelt nature of the performance. ‘Feet Fall Heavy’, 2011’s seminal long-player, is a skeletal homage to Robert Johnson’s desolate accounts of the redemptive power found within the dark reaches of the heart, as liberated by six amplified strings and the sound of air deliberately split asunder.
Kill It Kid are surely the go-to band for 2013’s blues revivalists, steampunks, and grizzled old bluesmen awaiting the second coming. Await no longer… at least if the Devil can be distracted from listening to this tour de force of contemporary electric blues to attend to you. It’s a thankless task, but someone’s got to do it.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 4th December 2012 at 9:00 am
Lower Than Atlantis have announced a new headlining tour of the UK and Ireland for next April. Tickets are on sale now. Below the tour dates is an embed of their festive video for their new holiday single ‘Merry Christmas (Wherever You Are)’ now available on iTunes.
Sunday 14th April 2013 – Dublin Academy
Tuesday 16th April 2013 – Cardiff Solus
Wednesday 17th April 2013 – Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
Thursday 18th April 2013 – Manchester Academy 2
Friday 19th April 2013 – Glasgow QMU
Saturday 20th April 2013 – Leeds Metropolitan University
Sunday 21st April 2013 – Yeovil Westland Leisure Complex
Tuesday 23rd April 2013 – Norwich Waterfront
Wednesday 24th April 2013 – Portsmouth Pyramids Centre
Thursday 25th April 2013 – London Shepherd’s Bush Empire
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 3rd December 2012 at 4:00 pm
I was so very chuffed when us here at TGTF were invited to participate in the inaugural ARIA Week that took place the last week of November in Sydney, Australia. This was the first year that showcases, the first-ever Electronic Music Conference (EMC) 2012 (the largest dance conference for the Asian-Pacific region), and parties provided the lead-up to the absolute pinnacle of the Australian music industry, the 26th ARIA Awards (the Aussie equivalent to the UK’sBRITs and America’s Grammys). After a full day spent at the Rock Lily nightclub within the Star City Casino in the Pyrmont area of the city for the first-ever ARIA Masterclass for industry, it was time to get stuck in to Sydney nightlife.
As the editor of this Web site, I’ve seen the Australian tour dates of so many of my favourite bands and invariably, the one place everyone seems to play is the Oxford Art Factory. Its location can’t be beat: it’s within walking distance of the central business district (CBD) where most tourists make a beeline for. As should be predicted, it lives on Oxford Street, though it bears little resemblance to the one in London that we are all more familiar with. For one, the street, along with all of the Sydney I saw, was incredibly clean and there’s something to be said about walking around in a city in late November with the sun blazing down. It just brightens your whole day – and night – and makes covering a gig feel like less work.
The first ARIA Week showcase I caught was the Universal Australia Monday night, with an evening chock full of bands. Looks are very deceiving: it looks like a massive place, but our friends from the AU Review said it only held 600. It looked way bigger than Washington’s Black Cat. Our friends also told us the first spots to go at the OAF are always the ones on the balcony; I’ve never been stood at the balcony of the 9:30 because you just aren’t close enough to be able to see the bands; at OAF, this isn’t a problem, with the venue feeling equally grand in size, while maintaining an intimate feel. And the sound system? Simply amazing. I daren’t even consider how many great bands we could reel into Washington if the Black Cat’s system were as good.
First up was Harts, which at first glance looked like a rock quartet. This was quickly explained away by the lead singer / guitarist, who must have said, “I am Harts, and I am from Melbourne” at least three times during their set. So I guess he is a solo artiste but comes out on tour with three backing musician, none of which were ever introduced and/or thanked by Harts himself, so my guess is he’s a multi-instrumentalist who needs touring band members to truly bring his masterpieces to life onstage.
It seems overkill to have not one but two synthesiser players onstage at one time, though I can appreciate that some of Harts’ tunes have a disco bent (therefore at least one synthesiser player makes sense). What was more apparent was his penchant for employing Prince-type guitar solos as well as the Purple One’s wails, such as in the song ‘All Too Real’. The wailing was something quirky, as was the checkered kerchief around the top of his microphone, which I guessed was a homemade pop shield. (Aren’t pop shields only ever employed in recording situations? Or maybe I’m being a total anorak, I dunno…)
Sydney band The Preatures were on next. (Where possible, I’ll be including the cities all the bands I saw are from, as it should be of note that unlike the UK and more like America, cities are very far apart and except of course the Sydney-based ones, most of them had to travel long distances in order to participate in ARIA Week.) This group handily won the best dressed award for the night for their chaps in smart suits and female singer Isabella Manfredi in Outback chic, sporting a leather fringe vest and drapey scarf.
With male and female lead singers, there was a definite Fleetwood Mac vibe to them, in that when their vocals were paired, they worked perfectly together; Gideon Bensen’s style of singing reminded of the Rascals’ Eddie Brigati, every time he opened his mouth, it looked like it took tonnes of effort, as it opened with alarming wideness. (If that makes sense at all…) They offered up ‘Drive Away’, “a brand new song that’s only been played a couple of times”. While I enjoyed the vocals, I wasn’t blown away by their songs.
Second on the bill, The Art of Sleeping from Brisbane, was the band I was most eager to see. Imagine long-haired and beardy blokes like Fleet Foxes, but ones that rock out just a bit harder, as well as ones who have the instinctive ability to write anthemic tunes similar to the Temper Trap, and you get some sense of their musical style. Beautiful harmonies and great guitar work are a hallmark of this group.
They recently released an EP, ‘Like a Thief’, and most of their set consisted of songs from this EP, including the overly gorgeous ‘Empty Hands’ (see video below). They also played new song ‘Voodoo’ as well. It was an all too short set for me. Seeing how quickly both the UK and America took to the beard-sporting Seattle folk rockers, with the right promotion, The Art of Sleeping have a chance to do very well in both markets.
The headliner was Universal Australia success story Bertie Blackman, who despite what you might initially think looking at the first name, it’s a she, not a he. Sydney-born Blackman has sold numerous albums in her home country, and I have to wonder why she doesn’t have a UK contract yet, and I’ll tell you why. In my preliminary research of the bands I might see at ARIA Week, there were many I couldn’t find on the American version of Spotify because of region copyright issues, and although I’d heard some of Blackman’s songs, the image that stuck with me was her looking like a goth punk on the covers of her albums. I was thinking, ok, maybe ‘90s-era Liz Phair before she went pop?
So imagine my surprise when she comes out in a red muu-muu (Phyllis Diller vibes?) with a white camo design on it and starts beating frantically on a drum like her life depended on it, just as her fans screamed their devotion to her. Later, Blackman took to her guitars, which she played with gusto while singing her brand of emotion in a wide-eyed Grace Slick kind of emphatic way. The whole package, borderline subversive, reminded me of a featherless Patrick Wolf, and she pleasantly surprised me. She might not be a star overnight in Britain, but I can totally see a fan base ready and waiting for her.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 30th November 2012 at 6:00 pm
How better to start your weekend off right with a new single from Manchester DJ/production duo Heavyfeet and DRS? It’s called ‘Dirty & Stinking’ (yeah, I know, not a pretty title, is it?) and it’s out now on Black Butter Records/Spread Love with the song ‘Cosworth’ as its B-side. The song itself premiered on BBC 1Xtra last week.