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Mencap gigs announced / November 2008

 
By on Monday, 29th September 2008 at 10:25 pm
 

Following on from last year’s amazing lineup, the Mencap Little Noise sessions are back again this November to raise more money for the mental disability charity.

The series of gigs at London’s Islington Union Chapel will take place over about 2 weeks, with more dates and artists to be announced

The charity’s ambassador, Jo Whiley, may be on maternity leave from her job at Radio 1, but she’s managed to get an incredible lineup to play. She commented: “Mencap’s Little Noise Sessions are a great opportunity to see big name bands play an acoustic gig in an intimate setting, whilst raising money for a really worthwhile cause.”

Fans wanting to buy tickets need to register on Mencapmusic.org.uk between October 1 and 16. All proceeds from ticket sales go to Mencap.

Saturday 8th November – Glasvegas, Cage the Elephant
Sunday 9th November – Razorlight, Florence and the Machine, Esser
Monday 10th November – Stereophonics, Seasick Steve
Tuesday 11th November – Adele, Angus And Julia Stone
Wednesday 12th November – Biffy Clyro, Friendly Fires, Frank Turner
Thursday 13th November – James Morrison, Katy Perry, Sam Beeton
Friday 14th November – Kasabian, Reverend and the Makers, The Hours, Fight Like Apes
Saturday 15th November – Keane, The Script, Bryn Christopher, Red Light Company
Tuesday 18th November – The Fratellis

 

Vodafone Live Music Awards 2008 / This Thursday

 
By on Monday, 15th September 2008 at 7:28 pm
 

Corporate music awards shows ahoy! The Vodafone Live Music Awards 2008 takes place this Thursday at London’s Brixton Academy, then shows on 4Music this Friday 19th September at 9pm and on Channel 4 on Saturday at 10am and 11:25pm.

This years awards looks set to be the best in the 3 years the awards have been running – Primal Scream, Glasvegas, James Morrison, Will Young, Estelle and The Ting Tings are all going to be performing live, along with one more mystery guest.

Presenting will be the (rather bizarre) mix of Steve Jones and Juliette Lewis, along with guest presenters including Mark Ronson, Kelly Rowland, Andrew Flintoff, Keith Lemon, Dave Berry and Nicholas Hoult.

Voting is now closed, but let’s just hope Amy Winehouse doesn’t win best female, and that Kaisers don’t win best live act.

If you’re home alone this Friday or Saturday night why not tune in for one of the last of this year’s major awards ceremonies?

Photo is taken from Scott Roberts’ flickr stream under the creative commons license.

After the jump: Full list of awards and nominations
Continue reading Vodafone Live Music Awards 2008 / This Thursday

 

MTV Gonzo tour / Bloc Party / Kaiser Chiefs / Foals / October 2008

 
By on Monday, 8th September 2008 at 7:21 pm
 

MTV’s Gonzo has announced it’s annual round of birthday shows for October as they stop off at a series of Barfly venues over two weekends.

Tickets for the below dates go on sale on Friday (12th September) at 9am.

Friday 10th October – The Automatic and Iglu And Hartly at Liverpool Barfly
Saturday 11th October – Mystery Jets, Noah And The Whale at Birmingham Barfly
Sunday 12th October – Kaiser Chiefs and Late Of The Pier at London ULU
Friday 17th October – Foals, Esser at York Fibbers
Saturday 18th October – Glasvegas, Friendly Fires at Aberdeen Moshulu
Sunday 19th October – Bloc Party, Magistrates at Glasgow Barfly

 

Hydro Connect: The Complete Review

 
By on Sunday, 7th September 2008 at 5:41 pm
 

Hydro Connect Festival was my first proper music festival, and quite possibly one of the furthest away from home we could get. After a 9 hour drive leaving home at 5am on Friday morning, we arrived at one of the most beautiful festival settings I think you’ll find this side of Coachella.

After the horrible trek from car park to campsite (we were warned it was 20 minutes, but we’d suggest you double that if you’re carrying a tent), we set up our tent and went out to explore the main arena.

First up were Noah and the Whale and Ladytron on the Guitars and Other Machines Stage (otherwise known as the second stage for those of you who are Glastonbury / Reading / Leeds fans), before a wander around to see Amy MacDonald sporting a rather fetching kilt. I’ve never been a huge fan of her Radio 2 – lite tunes, but the Scottish crowd certainly loved the Glaswegian girl.

Manic Street Preachers were up next, and were on absolute fire as they did an amazing set. I’d heard people rave about them, but now I really can understand why – they were amazing. Kasabian headlined, but frankly were nothing on the Manics. Tom Meighan is an amazing frontman and certainly can whip everyone up some, but frankly they don’t have the tunes that the Manics do.

After an interesting night in the campsite, we slowly started our Saturday in the Speakeasy cafe on the sofas, listening to some amazing acoustic music. Quickly time rolled around and we had to amble back to the Media tent to catch a quick chat with Paul from Glasvegas and Kele and Matt from Bloc Party. After coming down from that little bit of excitement, we went to catch Friendly Fires on the Guitars and Other Machines Stage. We knew they were good having stumbled across them several times around the blogosphere, but weren’t expecting the amazingly high-energy set they provided us with. Black Lips disappointed, failing to energise the rather small crowd. Glasvegas had one of the biggest mid-afternoon crowds of the weekend, and provided the anthem of the weekend around the campsites.

A bit of food, and back to the main Oyster stage for the evening. We had high hopes for Grinderman, but simply didn’t appreciate Nick Cave’s new project, with it sounding largely inaccessible to us. Paolo Nutini I wasn’t holding out high hopes for, but he plain and simply blew me away, with his songs providing some great sing alongs. Oh, and his cover of Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? AMAZING.

We’d been excited about Bloc Party since their confirmation as Saturday night headliners, and with the announcement of their new album, Intimacy, just 10 days before the festival we were all the more excited. Kele and co didn’t disappoint, blasting through everything we’d hoped for and a bit more.

Somehow getting almost 6 hours sleep on Saturday night, we were woken by the pouring rain on Sunday morning, and took the decision to put our tent back in the car to prevent it from floating away in the increasingly boggy waters around our tent. Making the way back to the main arena we couldn’t decide who to catch, so caught snippets of a few different bands. Santagold looked rather out of place in a metallic blue dance suit compared to the muddy audience, but none the less was amazingly good, with her indenti-kit backing singers coupled with her backing band providing some surprisingly good tunes.

I’d heard about the Levellers from friends, but never actually caught them live. They were a true festival band, getting everyone moving, and really warming things up a bit. Elbow I’ve never been a huge fan of, however they again surprised me. Lead singer Guy Garvey was decidedly chatty, commenting that “this is my sort of weather – I don’t like the hot weather ‘cos people take off their clothes and it isn’t pretty from here! In Manchester just about every beer garden looks like it has about 2 dozen red eggs in it anytime there’s a mildly warm day!”

Goldfrapp were so-so. I’ve never been a huge fan of their stuff, on the basis lots of it is a bit too arty-farty for my liking. Plus, I was simply excited for Sigur Ros, who were next up and closing Hydro Connect 2008 for us. They didn’t disappoint.

With that, we left leaving Franz Ferdinand to do probably much what they did last time I caught them, and to make an exit from the car park (with the help of some amazingly nice girls who pushed us out of the mud).

What was hot:

  • Amazing setting
  • Great food at good prices
  • The lineup… simply amazing for a festival so young and small
  • The speakeasy tent with its comfy sofas and free newspapers
  • Friendly and helpful security

What was not:

  • Mobile reception was always hampered by “network busy” responses… if Hyde Park can cope with having upwards of 40,000 people all with mobiles, why can’t Connect? This was also the reason for a big lack of live updates from Connect – we didn’t take a laptop, and had been planning on there not
  • The hideously long trek to and from the carpark
  • A massive lack of toilets and washing facilities on the campsites.

Overheard:

“I now know where they let the oldies out to: we were by far the youngest in that tent!” (joked two mid-20 somethings on the walk back to the campsite)
“When you fail to perform, it really knocks your confidence… then you just can’t perform next time!” (overheard one morning at the campsite… you can only guess what it’s regarding!)
“This is SO overrated!” said by a guy completely covered in mud after wrestling his mate

Want more coverage?
Why not check out these Flickr Streams:
jjbuchan’s flickr stream
Taburetka’s flickr stream
Foofango’s flickr stream
Aaron Bassett’s flickr stream

… or these other reviews:
NME.com’s review
Sunday Herald’s review
The Lancashire Herald
The Independent
The Times

Thanks go to:
Lee and all at Burt Greener Communications for looking after us so well and sorting out the tickets.
Dan for the photos and putting up with me for a weekend.

Roll on Hydro Connect 2009 is all we can say!

 

Thom Reviews Glasvegas

 
By on Sunday, 7th September 2008 at 2:24 pm
 

Like so many bands before them, massively over hyped Glasvegas have become a marmite-band, meaning quite simply that you either love them, or hate them. Unless of course you are a level headed, unbiased music critic. So nobody working at the NME, The Times, The Guardian, The Observer, Q or any other musical reviewrs, all of whom have declared them to be the next Oasis, or as the NME put it; “The most important band of their generation.”

Following in the footsteps of Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, The Long Blondes and The Twang, Glasvegas won this year’s Phillip Hall Radar Award at the NME Awards. No surprise then that they too went on to tackle the charts after winning the award.

Occasionally their “tales of broken Britain” don’t sound original, but reminiscent of The Enemy, despite minimal musical similarities. However, to write off this band as another act with minimal ability, over hyped by corporate music outlets would be inaccurate. The first thing which struck me when I first heard Geraldine this summer was the superb lyrical content, and the work on the album is not a letdown, it features songwriting at the same level that Geraldine promised, particularly on the track Flowers and Football Tops, where James Allen sings; “Police on my left and right/My son’s not coming home tonight.”

On Stabbed, the quartet show that they are not devoid of energy as it may seem on their leading singles. However despite this they don’t lose their lyrical genius and maintain the melancholy mood which seemingly haunts the album.

As usual with the NME darlings, this band may be overhyped, but their promise is evident. Whilst the album may be receiving extremely generous reviews, the fire behind the smoke is one of promise.

6/10.

 

Hydro Connect: Day 2 review: Glasvegas

 
By on Tuesday, 2nd September 2008 at 10:04 pm
 

Glasvegas drew one of the biggest mid-afternoon crowds of the festival over on the Guitars and Other machines stage, as legions of fans came out in support of the NME darlings.

Earlier in the afternoon we were lucky enough to get a chat with their bassist, Paul Donoghue by a very fragrant portaloo, when he talked to us about their debut self-titled album, which is out next Monday (8th September). He’d received the first complete copy with artwork and case and everything just 2 hours prior to talking to us, and was clearly chuffed how things were coming together.

“It took almost 8 weeks for us to record the album in New York, though it only took me two days to record my parts”… asked what he did for the rest of the time, he mentioned his fondness for drinking and watching the football. “There were two football TV Channels in the hotel room.. one showing English football, the other Spanish… I was slowly learning Spanish from the commentary!” he joked. Caroline’s drums took 2 weeks to get right “which is all the more surprising when you consider I was the least experienced!” he smiled.

As for the rest of the lineup, Paul was hoping to catch Spiritualized over on the mainstage. We joked that we weren’t that impressed with Paolo Nutini playing before Bloc Party, to which Paul commented that he caught him playing acoustically earlier in the year, and thought he was “out of this world”, which certainly put us in our place! He joined just about everyone we’d spoken to in commenting that the setting was just gorgeous, and wishing he could have stayed longer.

After our chat we went to catch Glasvegas on the Guitars and Other Machines stage, and needless to say were blown away. By far one of the largest mid-afternoon crowds had gathered, and blasted through a short yet triumphant set. Geraldine, Flowers And Football Tops and Daddy’s Gone all prove that frontman James Allan has a genuine lyric-writing gift, but at times the feedback-drenched sound was just a bit too much My Bloody Valentine for my liking.

Closing with current single and Radio 1 favourite “Daddy’s Gone”, the chants of “He’s gone, he’s gone, he’s go-one, oooh-oh-oooooh-ohh” could be heard for much of the rest of the day and much of Sunday, easily one of the anthems of the festival. Watch out for them next year – once they’ve played their tour this month, there will be no stopping them. Scotland’s Oasis? No, they’ll be bigger than that.

After the jump: some big photos.

Continue reading Hydro Connect: Day 2 review: Glasvegas

 
 
 

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