Friday, August 15, 2008

Tubelord/Blakfish @ Hamptons Bar

Not only was last night (14th August) a celebratory night out for A level students who had received their results, it was also the night the Tubelord/Blakfish tour hit Southampton! Tubelord were fresh/tired from the Tubelord/Tellison tour promoting the split single containing both bands, a tour which sadly didn’t come close enough to me. Blakfish were touring because they recently released their mini-album/EP See You In Another City on Big Scary Monsters Recording Company. Secondsmile were also featured on the line-up, promoting their newly released second album Years, which is also released on BSM. The two smaller bands opening the gig were Southamptoners Lucida Bright and the local favourites who are tipped for big things, Venice Ahoy. Tickets were only £5 too, which was an amazing price for the 5 bands on offer.

We arrived in Southampton at about 6 o’clock so killed some time in the recently done-up HMV, it’s got Macs in it! Not very good Macs though, you could only go on a few websites and couldn’t scroll down. We then headed to the venue at the end of the high street, expecting a 15 minute wait for doors to open. The gig started about and hour and a 15 minutes late, which meant we were outside for about an hour and a half and the rest of the show was a bit of a rush. But kind of made it all more fun! The first band on were Lucida Bright, who were suprisingly good considering their singer is in Egypt. You can download their Demo EP from their Myspace or you can get an MP3 at the bottom. They seem to sound better live though. If you were to Google them, you would learn that their name is taken from a font! A lot of the crowd seemed to know the band. About 5 seconds after LB finished, Venice Ahoy leapt out of the seats against the wall into the band area and started to get ready. It was another energetic and exciting set from the VA, who sold the last 4 copies of their First EP just before I was going to get mine, sadface. They were also selling shirts for £5, I wish I had bought one now. The guitarist and bassist seem to jump into each-other a lot, I thought they were gonna fall over more than once. Venice Ahoy are highly recommended, add them on Myspace! We used the time before Secondsmile took to the stage to phone our lift home and say the gig is gonna end late. The crowd was slowly getting bigger. I don't understand why people do that, only show up for the final band/s.

So anyway, Secondsmile, the first of the bigger bands took to the stage, and they really were bigger, they had to move the stage outwards a bit. It wasnt exactly hard though, it was hardly a stage, they just moved a few amps on the floor forward. They had a few good songs, but not many people seemed to know them. Still, check out the complimentary Myspace link! I think everyone just wanted to see Tubelord, an opinion that Blakfish shared, and were not afraid to tell everyone about, so they "played their fast songs as quickly as possible" as they put it. The guitarist was a bit nuts, he jumped into the crowd and swung around with his guitar and at the end of the set, gave his guitar to Joe Tubelord while he went off through the crowd starting a 5 second mosh pit and standing on a table shouting stuff. The only way to improve their set have been if they had played Jeremy Kyle Is A Marked Man, or maybe a bit of nudity, which is what i!AMYOU specialise in! Click on it, you know you want to. If you're lucky, you can still see some i!COCK on Youtube, and catch them at London Barfly on Sunday night (17th August!).

Finally, it's Tubelord time! Everyone's legs were probably aching apart from everyone sitting on the lovely leather seats that we all craved. They were better than last time, I think because more people knew them and had come to see them, not Johnny Foreigner (the headliners last time I saw Tubelord). They played a variety of tracks including 2 or 3 new ones, tracks from their EP including apparent fan favourite Propeller and engaged in hugs with crowd members between songs. They ended their energetic-as-ever set with their single Feed Me A Box Of Words. No blow-keyboards this time but the glockenspiel lives on.

All in all, an enjoyable few hours of music, thanks to Meat Pie Promotions for putting the gig on! Despite not getting a Venice Ahoy EP, I did still manage to get a copy of Blakfish's new EP, Tubelord's split single with Tellison and a Secondsmile/Meet Me In St. Louis split single. Tasty stuff.

MP3: Lucida Bright - Chunky
MP3: Venice Ahoy - Maps
MP3: Secondsmile - Years [Buy album]
MP3: Blakfish - Jeremy Kyle Is A Marked Man [Buy EP]
MP3: Tubelord - Propeller [Buy split single]
MP3: i!AMYOU - AQA

Monday, August 11, 2008

Klaus Says Buy The Record - Centurion EP

The word "Centurion" has multiple meanings; a ranking in the Roman army, a type of tank, the name of a place in South Africa and the name of an estate agents amongst other things. Centurion is also the name of Klaus Says Buy The Record's new EP, his (Jonathan C Mills) first release since winning the Red Stripe Music Award 2008. The EP may not be as exciting as the Roman army or a tank, but it does contain 4 easy to listen to acoustic pop songs, maybe to calm you down after you've driven your tank. The opening track, also called Centurion is a good track to begin the EP, it's classic Klaus. The line "You are feeling blue, so I'll colour you in. I'll promote your smile to a full time grin" seems to be his main new catch-phrase, if you will. It's written on the back of one of the pieces of paper inside the EP and is his new Myspace quote. It's quite a nice line. The song includes buzzing synths which come in and out of the song, similar to his experimental track Miracle On Stairway B. The girl with the face paint on the artwork has an African kind of feel to it, which could be a link to the place called Centurion in South Africa. The soulful howling, the ba-ba's and the claps on the second track Lone Wolf seem to suggest he is continuing the African theme throughout the EP. The highlight of the release is Happy Birthday Blue, again featuring buzzing synths, sharp-yet-soft guitar, gentle drums and a bass! Possibly the first Klaus song I've heard a bass. Or maybe I just never noticed. Final track Ukulele And So Can I unsuprisingly is played on a Ukulele. It's a nice and simple and you just want to hug it.

Finally, I'd like to mention the fact that the artwork and pieces of paper feature actual printed photographs, which is pretty cool. This is a really nice EP. I'm looking forward to being able to order a copy of his mini-album Mother Hen, which is being re-released in October. Overall, I'd give this release a 7/8 out of 10. You can buy the EP from Norman Records here.

MP3: Klaus Says Buy The Record - Happy Birthday Blue

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My next post will be a review of this gig and maybe some merch I buy:

Tubelord/Blakfish/Secondsmile/Venice Ahoy/Lucida Smile @ Hamptons Bar on 14th August.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

We can speak at slower speeds

I want to do more reviews so that this looks like a good blog that reviews real things, instead of random shit. However, I'd only feel able to review something if I'd actually bought it. I don't know why, maybe it's my subconscious making me not review things because it knows that the reviews will be crud. But I'll show him. Also, I only really want to review new releases, which makes things harder. I did a review of The Long Blondes new album and it was just a track by track guide really and it was pretty crap. And I haven't listened to the album since! Bad start to my reviewing. So, here's my attempt at something which will hopefully look like a review.

Late Of The Pier - Heartbeat

With their album release date is days away now, this week Late Of The Pier released their album teaser single Heartbeat on Parlophone Records. When I first heard LOTP's Zarcorp demos, I wasn't sure about it. The songs sounded good, but due to the fact they were demos and therefore the production wasn't brilliant, I struggled to listen to them. I gained a little more interest in them after seeing them live, and even more when I heard their first big single Focker/Space And The Woods. Now they're one of my current favourites. The new and improved version of Heartbeat has been put through the Erol Alkan filter and now sounds incredible, so much more energetic and buzzing. Some might say over-produced, but those people can suck my cock. The itsy bitsy little riff in the intro of the demo has been crapped and replaced with a keyboard piece that sounds like pure rainbows, so good. I say rainbows, like all nice and lovely like wow! the short interlude half-way through the song has an Interpol - Roland kind of feel to it. The single comes armed with the b-side Very WAV (a revamped version of the demo Very Wav Wet Wipes and a variety of remixes. Personally I would have preferred a new song instead of one of the remixes, but I suppose the remixes all suit their 12" release tradition. You can buy Heartbeat on CD, 7" and 12" here. You should buy it, even it's just to stare at that artwork for hours upon end.

MP3: Late Of The Pier - Heartbeat

Bombay Bicycle Club - Evening/Morning

I haven't bought this yet, I'm struggling to find it anywhere that won't cost me a total of £5 including postage. But I will get it somehow. I was first recommended Bombay Bicycle Club by a good friend about 6 months ago, so I listened to them and thought they were a bit meh, if you know what I mean. Then I heard the new single Evening/Morning and instantly liked it. This leaded to me listened to their prior releases again, and you know how it is, when you listen to meh stuff a few times you start to like it. So I'm starting to like BBC. I (started) read their interview in this months Artrocker magazine and had no idea how young they were. If I had a hat, I'd take it off to them. Evening/Morning's guitar and bass riffs sound slightly Interpolly (the second comparison to them in this post!) and really sound quite dark, and play well with the croaky vocals and jumpy drums. The b-side to the single is You Already Know, an adorable little acoustic tune about two friends who become more than friends (I think). From what I learnt in their Artrocker interview, they are preparing to start work on their debut album. I predict a couple more singles before we get our hands on it. I will be eagerly anticipating it! You can and should buy the single from Norman Records here.

MP3: Bombay Bicycle Club - Evening/Morning

Next week I'm going to review Klaus Says Buy The Record's new EP. This is fun!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Midnight Corn Flakes

I'm such a terrible blogger. I can't say I have good reasoning for not posting, I'm just lazy. I've been watching a lot of films over the past few days. I had to squeeze them between entertaining cousins and other boring things. But I thought you might like to know what films I watched and what I thought of them. That's what this post is starting off with. New music related stuff later. This post might be a bit long and boring. Sorry.



I started my film-a-thon with that recently released hollywood "excuse for some big explosions" kind of film Hancock. It started off okay and just went downhill. I'm not going to go on about it. Instead watch this review on Youtube, of which i fully agree with. It tickles me.



Then I watched Signs, which was quite good. I don't really understand the whole "Signs is shit" thing. The aliens looked a bit generic though, just green men. Next up was American Psycho! I absolutely loved that film. Slightly confused about what actually happened at the end due to not having read the book first but it was fantastic. I'm currently downloading it! It's quite interesting how Christian Bale's character is called Patrick Bateman and he is also the current Batman. Bateman, Batman. Cool coincidence. Whilst on the subject, I saw The Dark Knight last week, very good film but went on for a very long time. Interested to know who the next villain is. Anyway, after watching American Psycho I watched The Interpreter, a political (aka boring) film about some country who has a president who killed people and some woman isn't happy about it. Yawn. The next film I watched was The Village, the second film by M. Night Shyamalan (the first being Signs). It was interesting and had some nice twists and turns in the plot although I did expect it to be scarier. I suppose it was only a 12 rating. I am currently half way through watching the new The Mummy 3 film, it's buffering. It's okay I suppose, a bit boring to start off with though. Still 35 minutes left to go though.

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I have now watched all of The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor and I can safely say it was predictable and boring, probably trying to ride off the sucsess of the new Indiana Jones film. I wasn't actually aware I was watching a cinema recording until two people got up near the end. They probably felt the same about the film as me! Today I am going to watch About Schmidt. The reason I'm trying to watch as many films as possible is because I'm doing film studies at college and I want to be good at something. It's pretty easy to watch films so I should watch as many possible.

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I have just finished watching About Schmidt. What a lovely moving film. I cryed at the end. Any excuse to see Jack Nicholsons arse. I felt a bit peckish halfway through so ventured downstairs for a midnight snack; Corn Flakes! Hence the post title. Writing about music is over-rated. My blog is officially becoming slightly about films as well as music. Hurray.