Music - live music and CD reviews
CD Review The Ting Tings
Sounds From Nowheresville (Columbia)
With their much-delayed second album, the indie-pop duo seem to be asking their fans one question: was the wait really worth it? Almost four years on from the release of their debut We Started Nothing, The Ting Tings don’t appear to have had a single new idea.
This sophomore album sticks very close to the guidelines established by its predecessor; vapid lyrical hooks plastered over funky, rhythmic drum beats, repeated ad infinitum. While the tracks remain impossible not to tap toes to, each one is instantly forgettable, lacking the catchy sing-a-long moments from 2008’s effort.
Clearly positioned as a singles…
Aireheads Looking Ahead to 2012
Larry and Paul are making resolutions
We’ve launched headlong into 2012 with the will to improve our bad selves. By the end of this year we want to be essentially two of the most well-rounded, capable guys we know.
“But Larry & Paul – how can you improve on near perfection?” you’re probably asking, and you’d be remiss not to. We’d simply chuckle at you (not sinisterly), take you gingerly yet tenderly by the elbow (a safe zone and apparently not as sexually threatening as taking you by the arse, as Paul recently found out) and show you this column, for on here shall be a…
CD Review Alabama 3
Shoplifting 4 Jesus (Hostage Music)
The first thought that comes to mind when describing Alabama 3’s Shoplifting 4 Jesus is that old Monty Pythons catchphrase: "Now for something completely different".
A band of eight, whose core members are believed to have met in rehab, and describe their sound as ‘country acid house music’, their music always had a very slim chance of sounding normal.
Genres a plenty are packed into Shoplifting 4 Jesus, along with loads of different sounds (including a cameo from Motorhead’s Lemmy) and a plethora of different voices to rival So Solid Crew – it’s a very diverse album.
The songs sound…
Music News The Leeds Music Hub
We find out about a new cafe, social and learning area for local musicians
What were you doing two and a half years ago? Kate Zezulka was just beginning the long trawl of grant applications that would eventually result in the opening of the Leeds Music Hub – the city’s newest resource for aspiring local musicians and anyone with a curiosity about music.
The funding did not come easily. Guitarist and harpist Zezulka made four unsuccessful applications to the Arts Council, but eventually raised the start-up capital from a wide variety of sources including Leeds University, Leeds City Council, UnLtd and a donation from the now-defunct Leeds Independent Music Awards.
The space, situated just…
Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose (Mute)
Anyone familiar with Beth Jeans Houghton will know that this record was a long time coming. I’ve read that she fell in love with LA at some point during recording, which must be distracting. But it must have also taken a while to assemble and properly process the number of ideas and motifs that she has fitted into this utterly wonderful record.
In some respects she conforms perfectly to an established musical type: the kooky female singer-songwriter who people will immediately compare to Kate Bush.
But that doesn’t really tell the whole story of Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose. Songs stop,…
Live Review Wild Flag
Four-piece who include two ex-members of Sleater-Kinney play a storming set at The Cockpit
Wild Flag delivered a master class in US alt rock full of passion and great tunes. That’s hardly surprising as this indie supergroup bring together former Sleater-Kinneys Janet Weiss and Carrie Brownstein, plus Helium guitarist Mary Timony and Rebecca Cole from The Minders.
From the off this band of 40-something riot grrrls were taking no prisoners, ripping into a no-nonsense ‘Electric Band’ from their critically acclaimed debut album. The centrepiece of their sound is the wild drumming of former Elliott Smith and Steve Malkmus & The Jicks band member Jane Weiss, who launches assault after assault on her kit.…
Live Review M83 Stylus, Leeds University Union
Shoegazing electro-types keep the Stylus audience in raptures
The bar area was deserted. The dance floor was full. Those who couldn’t fit on the dance floor stood around the edges and on the upper level, every head turned towards the stage.
There were a few mumbles but no one looked like they were attempting conversation. The air was filled with anticipation.
As a detached observer, it was a powerful scene. There was an acute sense that something really special was about to happen. And to all of those M83 fans on Friday 20th January standing jam-packed in Leeds University Union, pushed against one another to make sure…
Competition Allo Darlin'
London-based indie-popsters chat to Leeds Guide's Nick Rowan ahead of their forthcoming Leeds show and the release of their second album. Plus WIN! a pair of tickets to the show
‘Twas a chilly January evening in 2011 when Allo Darlin’ first appeared in Leeds. Having received scarcely a mention from the national music press up to that point, the promoters understandably decided to make the Oporto show a free event. Though as online word of mouth began to build, it became more and more obvious that the gig (with added local support from Just Handshakes, We’re British and The Seven Inches) was going to be a busy one.
Elizabeth Morris (vocals/ukulele) picks up what happened next: “Leeds was certainly memorable; it was one of the standout shows of the tour…
CD Review Pulled Apart by Horses
Tough Love (Transgressive)
Pulled Apart by Horses are synonymous with the most hyperactive live performances you can imagine; if you’re lucky you’ll come away from the gig with the same matching battle scars as the band.
Tough Love is the Leeds bands’ second album and takes you back to the front of the stage at one of their gigs, squashed against other sweaty fans, screaming at the top of your lungs and grabbing at the band like a ravenous zombie.
Each track packs such a punch that you’re dizzy after hearing the record. The album does exactly what is says on the…
CD Review Enter Shikari
A Flash Flood of Colour (Ambush Reality)
The St Albans four piece Enter Shikari have always been known for pushing the envelope, infuses their post-hardcore sound with trance synths and, more recently, edging into the dubstep market. Understandably, their music can easily divide opinion. Their third album, A Flash Flood of Colour may be a sign that they’ve not only pushed it, but shredded the envelope.
A Flash Flood of Colour is interesting, but the constant change in music styles seems more confusing – though each track stays true to the Enter Shikari sound, the complete journey of genres you are taken on appears more random than…