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Live Review: Official Secrets Act and Will & The People @ the Borderline – 8th April 2009

 
By on Thursday, 9th April 2009 at 2:05 am
 

This review originally appeared on Londonist

Official Secrets Act (live side)Sometimes it’s good to catch a band with next to no prior knowledge or expectations. You can be blown away by their amazingness, or just enjoy them with no prior hype. That’s just what we did last night when we caught London’s Official Secrets Act at the rather great Borderline. We knew of one song, so we popped down to check them and some other great bands out.

Opening was Devon’s Paper Heroes who have shot to fame since their song “Jenny Jones” was featured on the latest series of teen drama Skins. Delivering a welcome hit of indie pop, they are certainly more than competent, blasting through their short set with doses of banter (“come on… Come closer, we won’t bite… We’re from Devon after all!”) and some great pop. The downside? Its all about as memorable as a Kooks b-side, and the stuff that is great is a walking talking cliché… “1,2, I love you, 3,4…”, “Up, Down, All around”. Really?

Next up was Will and the People, whose new single “Knocking” has been getting the Radio 1 daytime fans a bit hot under the collar. Catchy as anything Scouting for Girls have put out, the songs are both funky and memorable. You can’t feel that Will is stuck in the 90s though, calling his guitar the guitizzle and myspace myspizzle… Still, that shouldn’t distract from a band who look set to be 2009’s Hoosiers… catchy songs, snappy melodies and that marmite factor that divides opinions strongly.

Don’t forget that Will and the People recorded a special version of Knocking. Check it out here.

Will and the People (middle live)

The headliners, Official Secrets Act sound like they’d be the perfect band to headline the cavernous Borderline with their dark brooding name. Their lyrics may be dark but their music is anything but. Fast, frantic and a lot of fun, they blasted through their 40 minute set with bounds of energy and a sense of self-assuredness. The people next to us may not have been too keen on their “cocksure-ness”, however we loved it, thinking they already have the air of an Academy headlining band. The decision to put their biggest single to date, “So Tomorrow” in three songs into their set was a brave one which could have easily backfired, however we quickly realised that this is in fact a perfectly average song when compared to their others. As the temperature climbed, so did the excitement of the front of the crowd, clearly feeding off of the energy from the stage.

It seems that, like so many indie pop bands of the moment Official Secrets Act have a lot going for them, and are definately one of the better ones to watch out for at the festivals this summer. Their debut album, Understanding Electricity is out now.

 

Daily Roundup – 14th January 2009

 
By on Wednesday, 14th January 2009 at 10:08 am
 

Having a few issues at the moment keeping up with so much good new music I’ve been stumbling across. So settle in as we give you the run down on some ace new acts.

Official Secrets Act (side)Steve introduced you to Alessi’s Ark‘s (pictured top) lush colourful musical soundscapes almost a month ago, and since then we’ve been hooked – great music to listen to in the evening, really relaxing and so beautiful. She may not be destined for huge things, but it’s beautiful and may well be soundtracking the next episode of Grey’s Anatomy or Scrubs, going by their music policy these days.

MP3: Alessi’s Ark – Magic Weather

Crazy (but sweet) Marina & The Diamonds segues us easily between Alessi’s Ark and the rest of our colourful line up, sounding like a crazy hotpot of Imogen Heap, Regina Spektor, Goldfrapp and Bjork. Yes, it’s artistic, yes it’s great.

MP3: Marina & The Diamonds – Obsessions

One of the new blogs I’ve found recently, The Recommender, managed to suggest The Sound of Arrows, and reminded me to check out The Official Secrets Act (pictured on the right)who I saw featured in an NME “radar” feature just the other month, but never got round to checking out. Needless to say, The Recommender has links to tonnes more great bands and artists, so be sure to check it out (when you’ve run out of things to read from us, of course!

MP3: The Sound of Arrows – Danger!
MP3: The Official Secrets Act – So Tomorrow

Some of you might be trying frantically to find some sort of connection between this artists, whether they’re all pop or all dark and meaningful. I don’t think there’s much connection between them all – they’ve all got quite different sounds, though are all pretty mainstream I guess. To finish it off on the free MP3 stakes, Bangor based Two Door Cinema are so unashamedly synth-happy I may have just fallen in love again. They’ve got “that” sound that will probably appeal to the same people who love the Wombats (who incidentally they’ll be supporting at the NME awards shows – nice linking I think you’ll agree!), Team Waterpolo, Death Cab For Cutie or Los Campesinos! etc – slightly pop, slightly indie, slightly great. The only downside? They don’t have a drummer – I think every band should have a drummer, it offers that little bit more flexability, you don’t have to restart the drum loops to fit in with your mistakes.

Listen and love:

MP3: Two Door Cinema Club – Something Good Can Work

Oh, and we’ve also been majorly loving Franz Ferdinand‘s new album. For obvious reasons you don’t get an MP3 out of it (as we don’t want another Cease and Desist letter!), but feel free to see what Jess thought of the first single, Ulysses, here. Also got the White Lies new album, though its taking a bit longer to get into – at the moment it’s feeling a bit of a paint-by-numbers affair. Shame.

 
 
 

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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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