Monday, 31 May 2010

I'm a Dapper Dan man!

Return of the Exiles....


LIVE - New Street Adventure/Mayer Hawthorne

 Birmingham 02 Academy
Starting tonight’s proceedings are Birmingham’s own soul trio New Street Adventure, self confessed fans of the very man they’re supporting and definitely a soul band. Singer Nick Corbin relentlessly drills the crowd with the fact they’ve left their old set of rebel rousing rants at modern day social fuck wits and cock sure bar men behind and are now on a new soul inspired route to the top.
The dashes of colloquial fun poking and jib jabbery from Corbin show this is a band with their finger on the pulse and to say they’re a soul band is true but it’s not in the familiar sense. They’ve stuck to their roots and remain a three piece giving them the raw edge you don’t necessarily get from your typical soul band and the swooping harmonies, flowing bass licks and snappy drums all show a serious progression in style and substance for New Street Adventure.  Plus, a well executed cover of Bill Whithers’ ‘Use Me’ is always appreciated.
After last year’s release of the soul inspired motown debut, ‘A Strange Arrangement’, Mayer Hawthorne is at last on English soil. As he takes to the stage the small crowd swells in the intimate surroundings and are immediately catapulted into ‘Your Easy Lovin’ Ain’t Pleasin’ Nothin’ with Hawthorne playfully swinging a tambourine and jiving to his own catchy melodies. It’s dancing music and the crowd dutifully respond with a hip swinging splendour which gives the show an electricity from start to finish.
The former rap producer plugs through most of his debut album with a faster and more upbeat groove, aided by his un-erring band (the County) and an excellent rendition of Electric Light Orchestra’s ‘Mr Blue Sky’.
Tonight’s show displays a true and versatile talent in all its glory. With this being the last show on an impressive 25 dates in 30 nights tour Mayer Hawthorne still seems to be hitting top gear while still letting the sentiment fall from his sleeve...a night for the soul.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

The Black Keys - Brothers

Released May 17 by V2 Records
It has been nearly ten years since the feedback started and nothing much has changed for the Black Keys.
‘Brothers’ is their eighth studio album and after relenting their remorselessly raw basement blues and whipping some of the frayed edges when teaming up with Danger Mouse for 2008’s ‘Attack And Release’, the Ohio duo have continued the trend with ‘Brothers’, choosing to keep the edges just a shade neater.
It’s still not a far cry from  the basement sessions of ‘The Big Come Up’ and ‘Thickfreakness’ with the hip grinding blues groove remaining in the rootsy opener of ‘Everlasting Light’ which chugs and swings with a soul swept falsetto dignity. Twitches of sleazy synth glam up the mix of ‘Howlin’ For You’ and the sorrow seeps through in ‘Too Afraid To Love’ as Auerbach moans: “I’m ringing myself dry and I can’t afford to lose another tear drop from my eye.”
Despite the similar connotations that surround them there is ingenuity with the Black Keys and they continue to do things their way which makes it all very refreshing .They haven’t strayed from the sound they’ve rubber stamped on our minds; it’s still garage rock and it’s still blues, just in a different way, the Black Keys way.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

On the Stereo

1. Rocks Off - Rolling Stones

2. The Big AC - New Street Adventure -

3. Hit The Road Jack - Ray Charles

4. Woke Up This Morning - Alabama 3

5. Blue Drag - Washboard Rhythm Kings

All cracking tunes, 'The Big AC' by Birmingham soul boys New Street Adventure is certainly worth a listen as they're looking like a breath of fresh air on a breezy seaside afternoon. They're supporting Mayer Hawthorne on the Birmingham leg of his UK tour and are well worth checking out.

Over the last few weeks I've had the pleasure of seeing Turin Brakes in extremely intimate surrounding at the small bit of Sheffield's City Hall (the name escapes me). Having gone back to their stripped down roots with new LP 'Outbursts' Ollie and Gale seem to have found their rightful place, a palce outside of the larger venues and the big band set up.

Also returning to their roots are Feeder. After their split with long term record label, Virgin,  last year they're now going under the name Renegades and have found their balls in the process, then connected them to a series of distortion pedals. After a sold out and shit kicking set at Sheffield's Leadmill the Feeder we once knew seems to have disappeared and they've been replaced by a monster intent on making noise and turning heads, it's working.