Music - live music and CD reviews
Live Review Big Country
Scottish anthem-merchants take their new line-up out on the road.
The Scottish mountains backdrop that illuminates the O2 Academy stage leaves you in no doubt as to who is playing tonight. Big Country consists of the original members Bruce Watson (guitars), Tony Butler (bass) and Mark Brzezicki (drums). Since 2010 they have been joined by Watson’s son Jamie (guitar) and Mike Peters of The Alarm (vocals), who has taken over the vocal duties once filled by the much missed Stuart Adamson.
Big Country never quite reached the pinnacle of success other stadium rockers of the same era, such as U2 or The Waterboys, did. They still share many of the…
Live Review Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
American alt-rock band that now appear to have weathered the early barrage of hype and return to Leeds with a knockout performance.
At first glance, CYHSY looks like a complicated set of letters thrust together chaotically and haphazardly. However, in reality, this American indie rock band is refreshingly simple: good tunes played to an audience of fans who can’t wait to listen to them.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah formed in 2004 and gained international success through a flurry of online exposure that was sealed with their self-released, self-titled debut album in 2005. A second album, Some Loud Thunder, followed in 2007 and then the rumour every devotee fears. The band was “taking a break” and the thousands of international followers that…
Interview One Night Only Play It With Style
We talk tailoring, shopping in the VQ and modelling for Burberry with two fifths of Yorkshire band One Night Only, singer guitarist George Craig and drummer James Craig
You got your big fashion break through the band.
George: Designer and Burberry’s chief creative officer Christopher Bailey saw the video for ‘Just For Tonight’ and called me in. I tried on some suits and didn’t really know what was going on, but then I got a call to ask me to model for the brand. Talk about a big break. It opened so many doors and I’ve met some great people. Burberry’s a real part of my look and they’re so savvy when it comes to music, it’s brilliant to be part of it. The team at Burberry are…
Interview Martin Tinsdall
The man behind the 1977-8 new wave fanzine, New Pose, tells us about the music scene in Leeds when punk was taking off
"There was no one writing about punk rock in Leeds at the time, none of the big newspapers seemed bothered so me and the girl I was going out with at the time thought that if you could just get a camera, any camera, and just go to a gig and write about it, take a few photographs that it would be like the NME, but it couldn’t have been further from the truth, you really do have to take a lot of photographs and write a lot.
"We’d seen the Anarchy in the UK tour [with The Clash, the…
CD Review The Rosie Taylor Project
Twin Beds (Odd Box)
One time Leodensian (now London-based) sextet the Rosie Taylor Project arrive with their second album Twin Beds, continuing their blend of poetic lyricism with gentle acoustic tunes. The result of this combination is a record that superficially sounds very thin, but will offer more to those prepared to concentrate on the lyrics.
Tracks such as ‘For Esme’ and lead single ‘Sleep’ give the album some sonic substance, with the latter in particular offering up an infectious rhythm, but often the instruments are too fleeting to give any of the songs any real musical bite. All too regularly the melodies are…
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,…