Monday, 3 October 2011

Live Review - Slow Club

 
WRITTEN FOR CLASH MAGAZINE
 
Leadmill, Sheffield
 
Following the release of Slow Club’s excellent sophomore album, ‘Paradise’, tonight sees a welcome homecoming for the Sheffield duo.

Their popularity in the Steel City has continued and a hushed silence falls over the Leadmill as they take to the stage. Despite an additional drummer and bass player, it’s very much business as usual for Charles and Rebecca. And as they open with new single ‘Where I’m Walking’, they wrap their alternate vocals tentatively around their folk pop.

It’s easy to see why their large crowds keep returning - in addition to their catchier-than-a-cold folk, the city’s worst kept secret ooze personality on the live stage. Rebecca can’t help but burst out laughing at times (often during the middle of a song), and when Charles brings up the subject of her chosen attire (a custom made Sheffield Wednesday kit-cum-dress) there’s a heartily mixed reception before she pipes up: “Well we’re all Sheffield aren’t we?”

‘Christmas TV’ is as beautiful as ever and songs from ‘Paradise’ (‘Hackney Marsh’ and ‘Never Look Back’ in particular) are composed, full and sink into their set with an unfaltering ease, demonstrating just how far the twosome have come since the release of their debut ‘Yeah So’ in 2009.

‘Two Cousins’ draws an end to the main set before ‘Giving Up On Love’ completes the show with Rebecca’s voice dominating a fitting end to a compelling evening.

Live Review - Viva Brother

 
WRITTEN FOR CLASH MAGAZINE
 
The Leadmill, Sheffield
 
When Viva Brother walk onto the Leadmill’s Steel Stage you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d walked back into August by accident.

The heavily talked about and much maligned self-titled ‘Gritpop’ quartet have a crowd baying for blood. And when the opening chords of ‘New Year’s Day’ ring out, the crowd heavily populated with students begin to let the frustrations of an almost certainly sexless Fresher’s Week be known, and a bouncer takes up residence on the stage.

Amps and platforms are mounted as Viva Brother follow the rock n roll precedent they’ve set themselves, and when they find the time to stop spouting self-indulgent statements of intent, they really can crunch a riff as good as any pub band out there. They have their sing-along moments and at times can be good value, but between all their swagger and front there really isn’t that much to talk about - you know about the nineties, right?

There’s dodgy falsettos (‘Electric Daydream’) and, apparently, rare moments of modesty from front man Lee Newell (“Well this is a bit mental, please don’t throw those guys out, they’re legends”) as the growing number of bouncers wage war on renegade bar dancers and crowd surfers from an already cramped stage.
‘Darling Buds Of May’ provokes further madness as Viva Brother re-find their groove, albeit a groove that was found long ago – and done better.

They’re going to wish they’d never asked you to read between the lines.

Kasabian - Velociraptor!


Written for SHUlife

Released September 19

Columbia

“It’s been fifteen or sixteen years since the last truly classic album, but I think we’ve done it,” says Serge Pizzorno, guitarist and songwriter of Leicester four-piece Kasabian.

Pretty standard  - Kasabian lauding themselves pre-release, claiming to be the best band on the block and the most important British band and blah blah blah.

‘Velociraptor!, the band’s fourth album, buzzes with the garage rock and synth psychedelia from which they spawned but, at times, shows a new found maturity that forgets the strident Kasabian we know for a more poignant one.

‘Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To’ is wrapped in Arthur Lee influence as rhythm, melody and arena-rock breakdowns are effortlessly twisted together. ‘Days Are Forgotten’ has a ragged blues swagger and the cursory spaced out chorus but it’s in ‘Goodbye Kiss’ when Kasabian enter new territory with strings and hooks lifted straight from the rock n’ roll handbook of heartbreak.

‘La Fee Vert’ tries to continue the good form but crashes into a non-descript abyss while ‘Acid Turkish Bath (Shelter From The Storm)’ will act as a place to hide when questioned about a so-called masterpiece as it rings with an anthemic, eastern undertone.

While ‘Velociraptor!’ has the blueprint of solidarity, it’s not classic, just good.

Did some photographs of...Viva Brother




 





 

Did some photographs of...Slow Club