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Bikini Black Special: Demo Review

By on Wednesday, 15th August 2007 at 11:28 pm

Bikini Black SpecialA couple of months ago I featured Bikini Black Special as a “band to watch in the future“, after I was involved in the judging of the Road To V bands through Virtual Festivals. Now they’ve sent me their first demo CD, which sounds exceptionally professional for a debut effort.

A mix between the urgency of Arctic Monkeys, early Razorlight (before they got shite) and the tales of Hard-Fi, BBS are never going to win innovation and originality awards. However what they lack in originality they more than make up with in style, talent and sheer songs.

Opening with “Easy, Faster” the lads have a fine opening track, combining northern grit with a fine tune, bemoaning how “you’ve got it so easy”. Quickly builds into an unstoppable juggernaut, before plunging straight into the second track, “Cuffs + Kisses“.

Vocalist Stevo sounds like a mixture of Arctics’ Alex Turner and The Enemy’s Tom, channelling his bitterness and anger into the track – calls of “the same old pathetic shit… You’re good for nothing, you don’t know what you’re missing” making a great anthem for jilted youth.

Shoot Me Now” has a memorable yet simple chorus with a distinct feeling of yearning throughout the track, reminiscent of their MySpace track “Do What You Do”. Live I’d imagine live this track is one of the standout tracks of the collection.

Outside Tonight” is a fine closing track to the collection – slower than the rest, a great love song that just begs for repeated listening.

Radio friendly, Bikini Black Special’s demo may not be the most original ever created, but it sure is a fine start to a career that could bear many fruits.


New festival for London: iTunes festival at ICA

By on Tuesday, 12th June 2007 at 3:24 pm

Imogen HeapThose lovely people at iTunes have set up their own “festival” in the centre of London to take place at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) throughout July, with a raft of the best in current bands playing each night.

iTunes will be recording each of the shows and are planning to make songs from the shows available via their music shop. The ICA holds about 350 people, making the shows exceptionally intimate.

The bands include, in date order:

Mika supported by Leon Jean-Marie (1)
Crowded House supported by Justin Nozuka (2)
Travis supported by The Hoosiers (3)
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club supported by Nine Black Alps (4)
Groove Armada supported by Mutya Buena and Beardyman (7)
Ash supported by Ben’s Brother (8)
The View (9)
Imogen Heap supported by James Wolff (10)
Editors supported by GoodBooks (11)
Scott Matthews (12)
Athlete supported by Tiny Dancers (13)
Paolo Nutini (14)
Gianna Nannini (15)
Ludovico Einaudi supported by Dhafer Youssef (16)
The Bad Plus supported by Rebekka Bakken (17)
The Pigeon Detectives supported by The Rakes (18)
Beverley Knight supported by Raul Midón (19)
Stereophonics supported by Little Man Tate (20)
Jamie Scott & The Town (21)
Wir Sind Helden (23)
Amy Winehouse supported by The Rumble Strips and Remi Nicole (25)
Just Jack supported by Mr Hudson & The Library (26)
Jack Penate (27)
The Maccabees supported by Goldspot (28)
Duke Special supported by Tom McRae (29)
The Coral supported by Candie Payne (30)

Tickets will be given away free via radio, TV stations and band and fan websites. The specific details of which will be announced soon. Some tickets are already available from the itunes festival website.

Photo taken from Mteson’s flickr stream.


Bands to keep a watch out for in the future: #1: Bikini Black Special

By on Thursday, 12th April 2007 at 4:14 pm

This year’s Road To V competition has been lining up pretty well, with some fab entrants that hopefully should make the shortlist and onto the TV.

One of my favourites is Leeds four piece Bikini Black Special, who have a great summery sound, and whilst aren’t necessarily the most innovative band going, their songs are great pop songs that are sure to set V festival on fire should they make it to open up the festival. They combine a touch of Kooks, a touch of Razorlight, as well as lots of other bands that critics always compare new bands to but I haven’t really listened to enough to compare them to.

My favourite is “Do What You Do”, a crowd sing along that is sure to get everyone going, though over on their myspace they really don’t have a dud song.

As they’re a relatively new band they haven’t had much hype around them, though did describe them as having “60s inspired tunes flavoured with working class grit and just a touch of swagger”.

Hopefully things are looking up for this band – if they don’t make it onto the shortlist I won’t be a happy bunny.

Bikini Black Special


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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