Vampire Weekend premiere video for Father Of The Bride track This Life


Vampire Weekend (Photo: Paul Bachmann for Live4ever Media)

Ezra Koenig was a busy man during the build-up to Father Of The Bride’s release, and now Vampire Weekend‘s new album is out he’s wasted no time in premiering a video for This Life.

 

After an appearance at the Hangout Music Festival last week, the first round of North American touring behind Father Of The Bride is due to start at RBC Echo Beach in Toronto June 5th. “As trivial as it now seems, the contrast in image between mid-noughties British bands and their American counterparts couldn’t have been starker,” our album review begins.

“Whilst in the UK for the main part the look was leisure casual scruff, Vampire Weekend’s preppy neatness made them the outfit you could bring home to your parents.”

“The same confident message permeated their music, the sort of know-it-all montage of hip regalia which spoke to well curated record collections and luck meeting opportunity. Over a decade later however, most of their contemporaries – friend and foe – are little more than a memory, and Ezra Koenig’s role as captain of his ship has become ever more pronounced.”

By Live4ever - Posted on 21 May 2019 at 6:56am 

‘The pressure to be the voice of the people’: The Blinders with Live4ever at SXSW 2019

The Blinders with Live4ever @ SXSW 2019 (Paul Bachmann / Live4ever)

The pressure put on bands to represent the voice of the people – be it a specific generation, class or political inclination – is a curious one.

Few other creative types have such responsibility placed upon their shoulders, largely due to the unique passion and life-changing effect that only music can have. But spare a thought for those handling the pressure. Such is the absolute world that we now live in, to walk that tightrope is a thankless task.

“If you’re talking about politics it gives you a reason to be shut down,” ponders The Blinders’ Charlie McGough when talking to Live4ever at South By Southwest 2019. “If you’re just a band talking about your Friday night, what is there to criticise? If you then do or say something that might be politically incorrect, or make money from those reasons, then that’s a reason to disqualify anything of the band.”

Expecting sympathy for a trio of young men (Thomas Heywood, guitar and vocals; McGough on bass and Matt Neale on drums) who are living not only their dream but countess other peoples’ too may be optimistic, but some empathy should be applied. It’s not an original observation, but musicians earn a pittance of what they once did and yet because of social media are scrutinised more than ever: At the tail end of 2018 one of the band’s songs, the mighty Brave New World, was used on an advert for leading betting organisation William Hill.

Barbs were slung in their direction, of ‘selling out’ or being insincere. It did seem curious, an usual misstep in what had otherwise been a faultlessly principled journey. Debut album Columbia was met with acclaim, stocked to the gills with parallels of western culture viewed through a dystopian prism or righteous fury. To fall so quickly and controversially into the trap of capitalism seemed beneath them.

‘That nearly split up the band actually,” Heywood explains.

 

‘This was an argument we discussed for a very long time. We knew we would get flak for it, there was no question about that. The way we got around it was to preach to the converted. We saw Cabbage go on Soccer AM. That’s on Sky, everything that they talk against. Yet they wore the Justice For The 96 shirts. It’s something that nearly broke up the band and is one of those…The idea was to put the song out there to as many people as possible, and that was the only thing that could justify that. If it is justifiable.”

“We live in a capitalist society don’t we? That’s the nature of it,” McGough continues. “We sell t-shirts, we make profits on t-shirts but then you’ve got to make a profit to survive. The advert thing, it goes to pay off a debt with the record label that needs paying off.”

Context and compromise are key. In an ideal world, The Blinders wouldn’t have been in a position which could be perceived as selling out. Rock stars, like the rest of us, have to make ends meet. But the alternative would be for the band to cease functioning. Too heavy a price to pay for all of us. Not least for the band themselves, three childhood friends who have been playing music for as long as they can remember. It’s the familiar but heart-warming tale that Heywood regales us with; “We were all into similar music and we were the only ones that really played instruments. We went to secondary school together and we magnetised naturally through playing instruments, and the love and passion we shared for mutual bands.”

The trio are now based in Manchester but hail originally from Doncaster, a collection of villages in Yorkshire that, it’s probably fair to say, are not particularly renowned for rock heritage. The musical DNA of Doncaster is more based around an older tradition, explains Heywood. “My father was a brass band musician and so was my mother, so they were musicians in their own right, but they never forced me to go down the brass route! That’s the kind of thing that was in Doncaster. It’s in the blood, if you like.”

An aptitude for music is a start, but harnessing the sound takes time. Long hours are required in the practice room, but whilst in that grind it’s hard to see past the next rehearsal. Eventually, a leap of faith is required. The Blinders were lucky enough to have a helping hand.‘The bar where we used to play in Doncaster, we played there for our second or third gig I think it was,” McGough explains. ‘The guys who ran the bar stopped and watched us, and we’re now good friends with them. That felt like a good moment because it got us other shows. That was a catalyst at that early stage. They were the cool guys in town and to have their approval…”

All the band are in their twenties, but they are fast learners. The price of being in a larger, more culturally astute environment is that the competition is of a higher standard. This is especially true with a city like Manchester. From the Buzzcocks to Everything Everything, the Cottonopolis has always had a relevant stake in alternative music, ergo it would be easy to drown in the creativity. “You have to actively do something to stand out from the crowd,” argues Heywood. “We very quickly realised that we did have something to say. Whether or not we knew how we wanted to say it was a different matter. I think we’re still finding that out.”

For those that haven’t had the pleasure of entering their ‘alternate world informed by reality’, it’s a wonderfully immersive place, not only because of the political allegories which are rife throughout but because of the imagery surrounding courtyards, kingdoms and older hierarchical societies managing to find the perfect balance between whimsy and social commentary. “That’s exactly what we wanted to put across”, Heywood informs us.

“We can’t think of a better way to enjoy our music. We’re not here to say something or change people’s minds on matters. Unfortunately, we’re the type of band to write as a mirror rather than give any answers to anything. We just write what we see and hold a mirror up to society. It’s there if you want to see it but it doesn’t have to be. Just tap your foot if you like.”

The Blinders with Live4ever @ SXSW 2019 (Paul Bachmann / Live4ever)

So on to the future. It’s an old cliché that bands have twenty years to write their debut and a year to write their sophomore. Is a return trip to Columbia a possibility, or are we sailing for alternative shores? We’ll have to wait to find out.

“We’re always working on new material. We’ve really sunk our teeth into writing and creating music now we’ve been in the studio. We’ve seen what we have at our fingertips and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t push the boundaries. We’ve got about a dozen songs written over the last six months, give or take. We want to write double that by the summer.”

“We have sort of realised that we want to create as opposed to perform. So we’re focusing on a lot of new material and ways to try and take whatever we’ve got going on as far as we can as fast as we can. We have no intention of dabbling around the same sound – because we’ve been given the platform to do whatever we want, basically, we’re going to do that. That’s just how it feels with the future.”

Frustratingly cryptic but understandable. The Blinders have worked very hard so far, with attention paid to all elements of their output, be it the theatricality of their live shows (Heywood doubles as Johnny Dream onstage) to the over-riding themes mentioned on their album. Art should not be rushed, especially principled art. However, demonstrating you have some form of social conscience arms your critics, as the furore over the William Hill advert proved. The issue clearly still rankles with the band, if only because they resent being confronted with the dilemma in the first place. McGough elaborates:

“Although that sits uncomfortably with you, what do you do? What is the answer? Arctic Monkeys might get criticised for not saying enough, but that’s OK because they’re making money so they don’t have a voice, basically. Then Bono stands in front of 90,000 people and makes however much from the Zoo TV tour but then gets criticised. So where is the balance?”

“They all do it. Bruce Springsteen is outspoken and one of the richest men in the country. U2 are invalidated because they don’t pay their tax in Ireland. That’s fair enough; criticise a band for letting their music be on a betting advert. Choose to listen to that band or not then. But you’ve got to understand that money has to be made somewhere. I don’t know whether that’s a valid point or not.”

The issue has clearly strengthened the band’s resolve and made them arguably even stronger and closer. This is a band who thrive on conversation and debate. “I think in this day and age it’s a very private world we live in, as well as very open. I don’t think we’ll ever get people coming and discussing open politics. But if, as a consequence of listening to our music or coming to one of our shows, that triggers something in their minds…” Heywood makes no bones about their stance, whatever Joe Public thinks.

“We have no intention of shoving this down people’s throats. It’s just what we’re writing about and what feels natural to us. If people get behind it then they get behind it.”

“Isn’t that what all music is, really?”

(Richard Bowes)

By Live4ever - Posted on 16 May 2019 at 8:16am

Podcasting, pop, politics and punk: Live4ever chats with Don Letts


Don Letts is a busy man. Filmmaker, DJ and host of a BBC 6Music Show, the spectacularly dreadlocked veteran began curating his Turtle Bay podcasts in 2017, each one a uniquely themed look at Reggae, the Jamaican music exported to the world which has been the soundtrack to a life spent as a first-generation black British citizen during a time of huge social change.

The 63-year-old first introduced punk to reggae and vice versa as a DJ at the infamous Soho venue The Roxy in 1976, and went on to be a member of the ahead-of-their-time outfit Big Audio Dynamite with former Clash man and long-standing friend Mick Jones, but today he’s in the midst of having his boiler repaired. It’s a slice of the mundane which, for the next half-an-hour or so, is pushed to the back of a conversation that spans podcasting, pop, politics and punk as well as his role as an innovator and role model which growing up he admits he never had.

“It’s a hustle,” explains the effusive Londoner, “but it’s a creative hustle!”

You’ve just released your latest Turtle Bay podcast. For those people who haven’t heard one of them, what’s the idea?

When I was first invited to do them I said I wanted to have a different approach to a ‘normal’ podcast. I didn’t want to have a situation where people were just talking for an hour, so they’re not dialogue-based, they’re more like music documentaries, or mixtapes, which is something I used to do back in the late-seventies for people like The Clash, the Pistols and even Patti Smith.

There’s something totally refreshing about them being so music-led.

For me, any excuse to turn people onto new sounds. I give a bit more context and information obviously – this isn’t just a playlist – but as they’re just an hour long, there’s only so much background you can talk about. They’re built to last though, not to be disposable and, unlike some other podcasts, they’re meant to be something people can go back to time and time again.

Do you have a specific audience in mind when you’re putting them together?

Yeah…me! I don’t want that to sound selfish because it’s not, but I’ve found that doing it like that is the only way I can operate. It’s just like my radio show, I hand pick the songs and don’t play a tune I don’t like. If that resonates with 75% of the listeners, winner. Ultimately, it’s about taste – luckily, I got some!

What do you want people to take away from them?

I’d like to encourage them to dig further. It may be that there’s lots of the material they’ll be familiar with, but if they’re new to the genre I’ve tried to explore lots of different aspects, and then from that point it’s up to them to pick up the ball and run with it.

The last episode for instance focused on covers, with versioning of acts like The Beatles, Joy Division and even Nirvana.

I think what I was trying to show with those selections is that Jamaicans don’t live in a bubble; they’ve been listening to things from around the world since the early sixties – there’s even Bob Marley on there doing What’s New Pussycat.

And this wasn’t just a one-way thing.

No. The sonic experiments being created in Jamaica then are now part of the fabric of popular music. That’s testament to the cultural exchange that took place between Jamaica and the world.

How about now? What’s the state of British reggae in 2019?

For me, there are a lot of artists taking it into the future, people The Skints, Hollie Cook or Gentleman’s Dub Club, but as I said before, the influence of Jamaican music extends far beyond specifics – just consider Massive Attack for instance, who’re heavily influenced by the whole sound system culture. The same is true of the UK Grime scene now: a lot of MC’s will have parents or older siblings who were into the vibes created by bass culture and sound systems.

More broadly than that, most of the content played on commercial radio can have its roots traced back to aspects of Afro-Caribbean music in some way.

It’s all a testament to Jamaica’s gift to the world: bass! I don’t have a scientific answer why, but bass seems to connect people to each other and internally connects us to the planet. I always thought that if the earth was going to make a sound, it would be bass.

We also had a look at one of your DJ sets recently and the audience seems to be very young and cosmopolitan. Is reggae’s cross generational appeal to you a surprise?

Not at all. I’ve seen it grow from Millie Small’s My Boy Lollipop into something truly global. This sound system culture can be found almost everywhere and I get to travel the world meeting dub heads and bass warriors from Poland and Russia to South America – we’re talking about a phenomenon, unfortunately it’s just not on MTV.

There are a lot of genres not served very well by MTV…

If you didn’t know and based on lack of presence in that medium, you’d assume that bass culture was a niche thing. It’s anything other than that.

Given its exposure and its history, particularly in the late 20th century, do you feel that reggae and music more fundamentally still has a role to play politically?

I grew up on music that helped you be all that you can be and wasn’t just there to sell you stuff. Music can entertain you, but it can also be a genuine tool for social change, inspiring people. There are still some people out there who understand its power to change lives, but they’re not the ones you’re gonna see on TV right now. It’s all a bit emperor’s new clothes; if you’re mediocre and you’re not saying anything, then you’re gonna get pushed to the front of the queue. A lot of music in this century’s just become a soundtrack for passive consumerism.

What about those who are making music that challenges the status quo but are being prevented from recording or performing by the authorities? Is that censorship?

You can’t silence the artist, but for me the artist has to acknowledge their responsibility. Equally though, you can’t just blame them for issues which are part of wider societal problems. Part of art is to inform, respond and react and in that context. Movements like drill for instance are as relevant as anything that’s out there.

Finally, we were really interested in a comment you made saying that ‘reggae got nothing from punk but exposure’. As someone who was right on the frontline of that twin revolution, what was the dynamic?

People like The Clash, Public Image and The Slits took reggae on board and it informed what they did. For me, it was testament to the power of culture that they and others chose to push things forward and brought people closer together, which was important then, but it’s more important now more than ever.

Culture is a continuum…

I think that there are people out there who are appreciating it and taking things forward, and some that are exploiting it, trying to monetise it. As Joe Strummer once said: ‘You always need to have your bulls**t detector finely tuned’.

Our time is up. Don’s boiler has been fixed. His thoughts are turning to a schedule that includes trips to Paris and Tokyo visiting exhibitions where the assemblage pays testimony to the positive embracing of new ideas which so obviously is his philosophy and way of approaching life. These excursions allow him to carry on soaking up new experiences and, by extension, maintain a wide perspective on his art and society.

It’s a hustle alright, but isn’t everything?

(Andy Peterson)

By Live4ever - Posted on 12 Mar 2019 at 10:00am 

Album Review: Clinic – Wheeltappers And Shunters


All hail the unheralded heroes.

Ever since The Velvet Underground, who have now taken their rightful place as one of the most influential bands of all time, there has always been those acts that operate in the shadows or the underground but have no end of plaudits from those in the know.

Love, Neu and the Buzzcocks can all lay claim to shaping British music in the sixties and seventies. The recent rebirth of Gang Of Four has led to a re-evaluation of their back catalogue. Devo are not a well-recognised name but can claim huge influence.

On this side of the year 2000, one of the early movements was to be found on Merseyside, with The Coral, The Zutons and The Dead 60s spearheading the charge for off-kilter, guitar driven, spiky scally rock. It’s a distinctive sound that is identifiable as being unique and self-contained enough to come from that corner of the North West, and to ignore Clinic as pioneers, or at least flame-bearers of that movement is to do them a huge dis-service. That they’ve been operating for 21 years from behind the curtains is a crying shame.

On this new album, their first after a sustained period of productivity (one album every two years without fail since 2000), we are once again welcomed into their weird and wonderful world. Few tracks exceed three minutes in length and manage to be both individual bursts of life that hang together to form a structured and coherent piece of work. It could easily be both concept album or Best Of collection.

 

The broad theme is of old-fashioned, family participating entertainment, references to circuses and fairs abound. Band conductor Ade Blackburn states that in serious times it’s nice to have some inoffensive fare to feast on as refuge. But like those once-halcyon days, there is a dark heart lurking beneath the surface. An air of looming menace pervades, as it always has done.

Incidentally, it’s been a good week for Wheeltappers and Shunters. For those fortunate enough not to remember it, the album is named after a long forgotten Granada TV production from the 1970s, where light entertainment favourites would perform in a fictional club environment. Think of a slightly less fictionalised version of Phoenix Nights. In a strange coincidence, the video for Noel Gallagher’s latest single centres around the show. Classic Gallagher cribbing? We’ll probably never know.

Once again, they are brimming with ideas. Laughing Cavalier is hurdy-gurdy lightweight psychedelia with Blackburn’s unique blend of earnest and grappling vocals leading us into ‘the fun of the fair’, grabbing the listener by the hand like the madcap ringmaster he was always meant to be. Complex echoes early Gorillaz, harmonica and drum machine working in spooky synchronicity, with background voices, either whispers or shouts, persisting in the lower levels of the mix. Flying Fish is more like the intense Clinic of old, the whimsy temporarily stripped  away, while Congratulations is a Hammond organ kaleidoscope of a song. Rejoice! is glam at its most insistent. The whole album has a deftness that Clinic have undoubtedly always had but rarely utilised, perhaps due to the long sabbatical.

This album is unlikely to win over any new fans, but then that’s extremely unlikely to be Clinic’s priority, having never been so. We must treasure bands of their ilk; those whose charms only appeal to a select few but which are harnessed and shaped to appeal to many more.

(Richard Bowes)

By Live4ever - Posted on 09 May 2019 at 4:04pm 

Album Review: SOAK – Grim Town


It’s hard to escape the feeling that anyone who calls their album Grim Town in an age when you have to almost put a gun to someone’s head to make them listen to one is either incredibly brave or incredibly blasé.

This is even more jaw-dropping when you take into consideration that it’s a place that only exists in the mind of Bridie Monds-Watson, an imaginarium which eventually unfolds to be both a haven and a prison.

Being treated to the inside of anyone’s head is rarely less than awkward, but Monds-Watson has used the premise to deliberately sharpen some of the edges around her writing first heard on the critically acclaimed debut Before We Forgot How To Dream. This new starkness is rarely more potent than on Fall Asleep, Back Seat, about overhearing the conversation between her parents agreeing to divorce as a child, the words a sombre nursery rhyme for heartbroken grownups.

 

If coming to terms with that trauma is now long in the past, the singer spends much of Grim Town accepting many other things, firstly her changing relationship with a fiercely independent Londonderry home on Knock Me Off My Feet, but also with the inner workings of depression and how to escape its ugly event horizon on Get So Go Kid, its drift-laden piano and marching drums an amusement park theme staked against a delicate, piping hymn to making it out.

Even when striving so desperately to be true to yourself, a person’s life can still be defined by the actions of others and the relationships we pursue that we would do better to leave alone. Grim Town’s vacuum doesn’t exclude those people; the sombre Everybody Loves You deals with the isolation of being fossilised in your own feelings, while the doused strings and poise of Valentine Schmalentine are a token of when the final beads of loving warmth were still connecting, like hands wrapped tight around the thorns of a rose.

For somewhere so blighted, there’s a lot going on here. A teenage Monds-Watson used SOAK as an identity, a source of boldness she didn’t always feel, but this license to be someone else again reconnects to a pop self sometimes lost; Maybe’s scramble up-tempo then squared by Scrapyard, an indie dreamscape which strips away much of the rest of the album’s wistful enervation and replaces it with a rowdier sense of fulfillment.

Having felt like being stuck forever inside the walls of Grim Town with a hundred other unwilling souls, closer Nothing Looks The Same takes us away, a farewell perhaps not a goodbye but a departure all the same, one which sees our guide leaving her introspection and doubt to another day. The trip like this record is a complicated one, an assemblage of parts which at times manages to cut through its own contrivances and make you care deeply about every character wrapped up in it, but too often hope is weighed down by melancholy.

Tourist or resident? You’ll have to decide.

(Andy Peterson)

 

By Live4ever - Posted on 04 May 2019 at 5:23am 

Live Review: ‘The more it changed, the more it stayed the same’ – Live At Leeds 2019

Live At Leeds 2016 (Gary Mather for Live4ever)

For some reason this year’s Live at Leeds felt a little different. Maybe it was a bill lighter than previous ones on big names; possibly it was something to do with the weather, which was more typically northern Bank Holiday than 12 months ago. Whether this sensation was real or not, the same idea as usual still applied: get walking, get ducking into venues and get in front of some new music wherever possible.

On that note, the day opened at Hyde Park Book Club with In Your Prime, a youthful five-piece on home territory who play anthemic, hangover curing rock that brings back memories of Evanescence. In singer Ruby Cooke they have a front woman with lungs like bellows and in Handle With Care they have a song which could break them beyond they city’s confines.

There are fewer worries about profile for Paramore drummer Zac Farro, looking chic in a beret and striped t-shirt and enthusiastically fronting side project Halfnoise. A world away from the angsty heft of the mothership, his alter ego is psychedelic, soulful and, as you might expect, percussion heavy, as demonstrated ably on the likes of Scooby’s In The Back, Funny Feeling and disco stomper French Class.

 

Less minted but just as special are Cardiff’s Buzzard, Buzzard, Buzzard. Lead singer Tom’s dad used to drum for the Bay City Rollers and their retro-kitsch borrows much from T-Rex, with the swagger of Double Denim Bop leaving a bumper crowd riding their white swans in appreciation. Derbyshire-based Pattawa certainly can’t be accused of lacking a sense of humour after naming their last release London, Paris, New York, Matlock, and another thing they’ve got is the funk, especially on floor movers All The Time and Never Been Better. Also with tongues firmly planted in cheek are Dream Wife, whose self-titled debut album released last year won many friends for its punk sass and gender-conscious smartness. They announce mid-show that they’ve been writing the follow up in a Somerset barn and, as if they feel the story requires further evidence, then produce the tree stump on which bassist Bella Popadec conceptualised most of the material. Anyway, after inviting all the bad bitches down to the front they smash through a crisply energetic set which underlines their undoubted promise.

Another outfit with reasons to be optimistic are local lads Marsicans, due next month to appear on the undercard to Leeds royalty the Kaiser Chiefs at Elland Road; with a finely tuned ear for pop that gives songs like Your Eyes and Suburbs a poised gloss with substance underneath, they may yet emulate their hosts. A jog of sorts then makes catching the ever-wonderful Gengahr possible, with lead singer Felix Bushe simultaneously announcing the good news of their third album and the bad news that it won’t be out until next year.

Christopher Duncan’s miserly 30-minute turn is also as enjoyable as it is truncated, the Glaswegian still celebrating the release of his third album Health and its more expansive approach with new songs from it such as Talk Talk Talk and Holiday Home, still having time though to include the operatically beautiful Say. It was also a briefer than scheduled thing from She Drew The Gun, who right up until the point that singer Louise Roach suddenly left the stage for good had been delivering their melodic agit-prop with typical fiery aplomb. We learned later that the rapid curtailment was due to a Quorn allergy brought on by a vegan sausage roll.

Whether Dublin’s The Murder Capital are carnivores or not is unknown but despite their relative lack of profile, by the time besuited, bouncer-looking singer James McGovern takes to the Brudenell Stage word of mouth alone has the main room almost full. Redolent of Joy Division, their starkly landscaped post-punk is a tar-black revelation; McGovern spends part of the night letting the band’s twin guitar attack rend atoms from each other, seemingly lost in thought.

It got late and there were a number of worthy headliners we could’ve seen to close proceedings, but instead it was back to the former subterranean petrol tank that is Hyde Park Book Club to see Bilk, gobby Chelmsford grime punks with a yard of attitude and biting two minute sonic darts like CM2 and Slob. Coming over as sort of early Green Day meets The Streets, they were all the more loveable for it.

And so, another Live at Leeds had been and gone. The more it changed, the more it stayed the same, with sore feet and ringing ears the best reminders that safe and predictable should always be someone else’s problem.

(Andy Peterson)

 

By Live4ever - Posted on 08 May 2019 at 8:53am 

black midi share new single Talking Heads


black midi @ SXSW 2019 (Sam Huddleston / Live4ever)

black midi have shared their latest single Talking Heads.

 

Finally giving a name to one of the early tracks which ignited such an immediate buzz around the band, it’ll be backed by the previously unveiled Crow’s Perch and be released via Rough Trade on May 17th.

black midi’s touring continues at Sounds From The Other City in Manchester this weekend, with Great Escape due soon after.

Tour dates:

May
5 – Manchester, UK, Sounds From The Other City
9-11 – Brighton, UK, The Great Escape Festival
25 – Totnes, UK, Sea Change
30 – Nimes, FR, This Is Not A Love Song Festival
31 – Dudingen, CH, Bad Bonn Kilbi

June
1 – Neustrelitz, DE, Immergut Festival
6 – Gothenberg, SE, Garden Festival
8-9 – Paris, FR, Villette Sonique
10 – Moers, DE, Moers Festival
15 – Bergen, NO, Bergenfest
18 – London, UK, EartH (Concert Hall)
20 – Bristol, UK, Fiddlers
21 – Liverpool, UK, Phase One
22 – Glasgow, UK, Mono
23 – Nottingham, UK, Contemporary Space

July
5 – Roskilde, DK, Roskilde Festival
5-7 – Moscow, RU, Bolь Festival
12 – Madrid, ES, Mad Cool Festival
14 – Nijmegen, NL, Valkhof Festival
18 – New York, NY, Bowery Ballroom
21 – Chicago, IL, Pitchfork Music Festival
22 – Minneapolis, MN, 7th Street Entry
23 – Madison, WI, The Terrace at University of Wisconsin
26 – Hyères, FR, Midi Festival

August
2-4 – Katowice, PL, Off Festival
4 – Waterford, IRE, All Together Now Festival
8 – Rees Haldern, DE, Haldern Pop
10 – Oslo, NO, Øya Festival
16 – Viana do Castelo, PT, Paredes de Coura
16-18 – Biddinghuizen, NL, Lowlands Festival
24 – Gueret, DR, Check In Festival
31 – Dorset, UK, End of the Road Festival

September
19 – Paris, FR, La Boule Noire

October
7 – Berlin, DE, Lido
8 – Hamburg, DE, Kampnagel
9 – Cologne, DE, Bumann & Sohn

 

By Live4ever - Posted on 03 May 2019 at 3:50am 

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds release new single Black Star Dancing


Noel Gallagher at the Leeds First Direct Arena during the Stranded On The Earth world tour (Gary Mather for Live4ever)

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds have released a new single entitled Black Star Dancing.

 

It’s one which sees Gallagher delving even deeper into the 80s, disco-fused influences of recent work and is the lead track of an EP of the same name which has been set for release on June 14th.

“It manages to combine the influences of David Bowie, INXS, U2, Queen, Indeep AND ZZ Top FFS!,” Gallagher, who also produced the track, has said.

“I might have been watching too much Top Of The Pops recently. Anyway, it’s ‘dope’, not my words, but the words of Nile Rodgers who literally danced in the studio when he heard it!”

During the press rounds yesterday, Gallagher revealed this EP is the first of three he is planning to release this year with the last earmarked for Christmas time. Presumably, these were also recorded at Abbey Road when Gallagher was joined in the studio for the first time by the members of the High Flying Birds live band which was assembled for the touring in support of 2017’s Who Built The Moon?.

By Live4ever - Posted on 03 May 2019 at 4:03am 

Album Review: The Chemical Brothers – No Geography

There’s a revelatory sort of freedom in dancing; whether it’s an act of provocation to those around you with a feverish, f*cks-not-given abandon, subliminally making the beast with two backs right in plain sight, or by losing your identity in a pack of unified ravers, at its root remains a primal impulse which five thousand years of civilisation has failed to destroy.

When Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands were doing just that in the late 1980s the sounds which would make you contemplate these little feats of rebellion were more interlocked with counter-culture; for years you were as likely to find a sound system being rolled up into a field was the property of people who got little out of walls, or laws.

The duo have been very careful to not navigate a direct path between that era of youthful hedonism and this of increasing authoritarian control and Britain’s lemming like progress towards cultural hari-kari, but No Geography’s tracklisting does it for them. Opener Eve of Destruction reads as apocryphal as anything they’ve ever recorded, but with its thumb-snapping bass and bubbling rave samples, the then could be now, a call to get our collective asses shakin’, to flip off the man and escape his mono-belief system and mind slavery.

 

This then is a world away from 2015’s lackluster Born In The Echoes; the pair who were as responsible for the underground becoming everyone’s playground seem to be spending this record on some sort of community payback scheme, splicing down the unnecessary dimensions to their sound by making collaboration the lesser of all evils. This trimmed sense of urgency is screw tight, brooding under strobes as on The Universe Sent Me, with Free Yourself’s AI-fed exhortations cryptic. Who wants to be liberated? Why? The questions come posed by a robotic upstart voice, bred from a broken algorithm.

Amongst the rubble found sounds and old, discombobulated voices have taken up the mantle of communicating emotions; the anonymous man with the time bomb that’s gone off inside him gives the corkscrew, dream like acid rips of MAH a dystopian air, somewhere inside it there’s a riot going on.

Every wise mentor though leads their flock through what are only possibilities, even if the choices presented are stark and primal, but then offers in amongst the splinters of normality a promise just as fundamental: hope. No Geography’s title-track is salvation in its broadest, watching the dawn break terms, a pulse that owes much to the societal optimism at the dawn of the computer age, of its naïve belief that boundaries would by now be just a memory.

Sometimes though the act is just enough no matter how little its meaning is for anyone else; on Got To Keep On the pair slip straight through into an alternative Balearic dimension that the pealing bells, frothing, happy hour synths and delirious sense of positivity makes into a playground for smiles, proving nirvana is in you forgetting your like count for good.

That’s what dancing teaches you, if you listen hard enough and are prepared to grab the accelerant, lessons that conditioning simply can’t suffocate. The Chemical Brothers have lit the fuse. No Geography could make you land just about anywhere.

(Andy Peterson)

 

By Live4ever - Posted on 03 May 2019 at 3:42am

Beirut post video for When I Die

Photo: Paul Bachmann

Beirut have posted their video for When I Die.

 

“After the psychosomatic session that inspired the Gallipoli cover art, I ran another session with Zach to guide a new video for When I Die,” says its director Brody Condon. “Something was missing. Later I learned the song was loosely about a fictional suicide cult, so I facilitated a group encounter with the band before their show in Berlin.”

“I was surprised by their willingness to test each other’s boundaries, and spontaneously embody elements of Zach’s inner zone. They told me these intimate processes didn’t feel so differently from what they already do on stage.”

‘Gallipoli, for all its multi-cultural signatures, still feels more like a waypoint than a final destination’, Live4ever concluded in our review. Have a read in full here. It’s currently out on a European tour and is in Leeds tonight.

Tour dates:

April
11 – Leeds, Town Hall
12 – London, Eventim Apollo
14 – Vienna, Gasometer
15 – Munich, Zenith
18 – Milan, Alcatraz
19 – Zurich, Volkshau

 

By Live4ever - Posted on 11 Apr 2019 at 10:10am 

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